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By: Professor Phil Broadhead

This semester the Criminal Appeals Clinic has reached the century mark through the representation of 100 appellants since the creation of the Clinic in 2002. Filing briefs and motions for rehearing on behalf of the clients in all of the cases, filing petitions for certiorari to the Mississippi Supreme Court in eighteen cases, and participating in 27 oral arguments, has resulted in winning reversals in 13 of those cases. During that time, 187 law students have been trained in the highly-specialized field of appellate practice and criminal law through this clinical course of study, along with instruction on advanced “fact-centered” legal writing, practical application of the Rules of Evidence and Criminal Procedure, problem-solving in the clinical setting, and oral advocacy before both the Court of Appeals of Mississippi and the Mississippi Supreme Court.

“Many of the students who pass through the Criminal Appeals Clinic compare their experience to an apprenticeship, although they never use that word,” Clinical Professor Phillip Broadhead said. “They regard the Clinic as a professional, rather than a traditional professor/student, relationship that is intuitively more collaborative than competitive. This view of the course of study transforms their focus to problem-solving in real cases through working within with the case teams under the supervision of a clinical professor. The opportunity to teach, collaborate with, and mentor these students has lead me to believe the clinical dynamic guides them to a shorter transition time from being a law student to becoming a lawyer.”

Visit the Criminal Appeals Clinic web page to learn more.

From left: Hunter Robinson, Diane Maxwell, Prof. Desiree Hensley, Research Counsel Forrest Jenkins, Mrs. Dickens, Cecilia Bacon, and Mack-Arthur Turner

By: Professor Phil Broadhead

Edna Dickens first met with Low-Income Housing Clinic student/attorneys and their supervisor, associate professor Desiree C. Hensley, in the fall of 2013. After the interview, the students concluded Mrs. Dickens had lost her home of 43 years to strangers at a property tax sale, getting her home back was a long shot, and she might end up homeless.

“Mrs. Dickens is a lovely person and we really wanted to save her home. It was hard to give her such bad news and to see how that affected her,” said Darnell Pratt, now a practicing lawyer at Simmons & Simmons, PLLC in Greenville, Miss.   The students also told Mrs. Dickens although her legal situation was a hard one, they would do everything they could do to help her.

Daniel McHugh, who is now a clerk for the local Federal District Court, remembers working with other Housing Clinic students to search the land records and to investigate the facts, building the best case they could.

“We decided our first course of action was to help Mrs. Dickens negotiate with the tax sale purchasers and encourage them to sell her home back to her for a reasonable price. To do that we needed to demonstrate that the tax sale was defective in some way.”

The students put together their best arguments for Mrs. Dickens, contacted the tax owners and were able to negotiate a successful sale back to her. That was not the end of the case, however.  McHugh remembers that the students’ investigations lead to more complex problems for Mrs. Dickens.

“Her home turned out to be heir property – property that neither she nor her husband ever actually had a deed to because its ownership had passed by intestate succession through several different people; even worse, there turned out to be other heirs who could claim to own a share of the property. Mrs. Dickens’s home was even more at risk than we had first realized. The only way to solve this problem was to try to find and then file suit against all of the heirs so that Mrs. Dickens could claim her share of the property.”

Clinic students spent the next two semesters finding missing heirs, obtaining expert witness appraisals and surveys of the properties and filing suit in Lafayette County Chancery Court. Finally, the case was set for trial this semester – almost three years after Mrs. Dickens first came to the Clinic for help.

Current Housing Clinic students Cissy Bacon and Mack-Arthur Turner tried the case – each had to examine expert and lay witnesses, enter documents into evidence and argue the law before Chancellor Robert Whitwell. Diane Maxwell and Hunter Robinson also provided research assistance and advocated for Mrs. Dickens in the Chancellor’s chambers. Finally, at the close of the students’ case, the parties reached a settlement agreement that the Chancellor entered as his final order: Mrs. Dickens’ home was hers and hers alone.

Many other graduated law students worked on Mrs. Dickens’s case during those six semesters, including Mitch Thomas, Cori Benefiel, Sam Maddox, Cameron Himes, Shandreka Brown, Amy Mitchell, Marta Toczylowski, Merry Johnson and Scarlett Jones.

Last week, Mrs. Dickens and her family invited the entire Housing Clinic over to share a meal in her home to thank the students for their help.

“This could not have happened without you,” she told the students.

Professor Hensley is happy for Mrs. Dickens and for her students: “I am so proud of the ambitious legal work the law students took on in this case and their success. There is no better feeling than using your legal skills to help a person in a crisis. These students will always know that as lawyers they can choose do a great deal of good in the world.”

‘Kind, considerate and engaging’ law professor receives 2016 Elsie M. Hood Award

OXFORD, Miss. – John Czarnetzky does more than teach the law; he infects his students with his enthusiasm for it.

Professor John Czarnetzky receives the Elsie M. Hood Award from Chancellor Vitter.

The Mitchell, McNutt and Sams Lecturer at the University of Mississippi School of Law, Czarnetzky is known as a great communicator who earns praises for his ability to engage students in complicated subject matter and nuances of the law, UM Chancellor Jeff Vitter said Thursday evening (April 7).

For this, his passion and dedication to teaching, Czarnetzky has been awarded the 2016 Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teaching Award, presented by Vitter during the 73rd annual Honors Day Convocation. Czarnetzky, who has taught undergraduate students as well as law students, was honored and humbled.

“I was in the car with my dear wife, and became emotional when the chancellor called and told me I was to receive the Elsie Hood award,” he said. “I am privileged to know a number of previous winners, from longtime colleagues at the law school through Bob Brown, last year’s winner. I was humbled deeply, and still have trouble believing, that with this award I am being grouped with those outstanding professors and colleagues.”

Colleagues affirmed that Czarnetzky is a perfect choice for the honor.

“John Czarnetzky is widely regarded as one of the law school’s best teachers,” said Debbie Bell, the school’s interim dean. “He is a spellbinding speaker and gifted teacher, with the added benefit of being one of the most entertaining lecturers I have ever heard. His students sing his praises. Being named as the Elsie M. Hood Award recipient is a well-deserved recognition.”

Czarnetzky joined the law faculty in 1994, after practicing bankruptcy and commercial law in Chicago and in Richmond, Virginia. He has been honored as outstanding professor four times by the law student body and serves as an adviser to several student organizations and to the Business Law Institute, an innovative collaboration between students and faculty that provides opportunities for students to develop skills in corporate, commercial, tax and business law.

The professor says this is the highest honor he could hope to receive.

“It always seemed out of reach for me,” he said. “Receiving it is the capstone of my 22 years here at the University of Mississippi, an institution I love. Going forward, my task will be to live up to this high honor.”

Students cited Czarnetzky’s enthusiasm and ability to stimulate a classroom amongst his traits that make him a great teacher.

“Few individuals have the ability to not just teach the law, but to animate the law,” one student wrote in a nomination letter. “His passion for the law and for the subject he is teaching is evident from the first moment of each class session, when he comes bounding into the classroom with a textbook – or nowadays, Kindle – tucked under his arm and a grin on his face.”

Another student called him “by far the most kind, considerate, engaging professor I have had throughout my undergraduate and law school tenure at Ole Miss.”

“The courses he teaches, including bankruptcy, civil procedure and secured transactions, are some of the most complicated ones at the law school, but that they are always in demand because he is such an engaging and effective teacher,” the student continued.

These students’ words are reflective of Czarnetzky’s teaching philosophy, which he says he’s developed over his tenure.

“My approach is to treat students as adults unless they are determined to prove me wrong, and to model civility and professionalism in the service of intellectual rigor,” he said. “I try to impart to students my enthusiasm for the subjects I teach and, perhaps more importantly, my dedication to them as persons.

“I also think a bit of humor in the classroom helps avoid the trap of taking ourselves too seriously all the time, whether in the classroom or in life. I am deeply gratified that students believe they benefit from my approach.”

Czarnetzky holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from M.I.T., where he was an offensive tackle on the football team. He served in the U.S. Army as a chemical officer and intelligence analyst before obtaining his law degree from the University of Virginia. He also served as executive editor of the Virginia Law Review and editor of the Virginia Journal of Environmental Law.

He was the first law professor invited to teach in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and helped establish a partnership between the two schools.

“He inspired a love of debating and defending my ideas, and empowered me to continue challenging my and others’ ideas throughout my life,” wrote a student in his Honors 102 class.

“He’s always available, and always has a smile on his face,” said Jess Waltman, law school student body president who also took several courses from Czarnetzky as an undergraduate honors student. “He genuinely cares about our students and our school and wants it to be the best it can be.”

In addition, Czarnetzky serves as a legal adviser to the Holy See’s Mission to the United Nations. He has represented the Holy See in negotiations including the establishment of the International Criminal Court and several international treaties, including one on the rights of persons with disabilities.

His scholarly interests are bankruptcy, commercial and international law. Czarnetzky has published in the Notre Dame Law Review, Fordham Law Review and Arizona State Law Journal, and his scholarship also has explored the intersection of Catholic social theory and American corporate and commercial law.

Czarnetzky is married to Sylvia Robertshaw Czarnetzky, an Episcopal priest in the Delta town of Cleveland, where they reside.

Each year since 1966, the university has recognized excellence in teaching by presenting the Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award. Based on nominations from both students and faculty, the award includes a personal plaque and a check from the chancellor. Recipients’ names are also engraved on a plaque listing previous winners, which is displayed in the university’s J.D. Williams Library.

By Jenny Kate Luster

OXFORD, Miss.–The University of Mississippi School of Law’s Business Law Network will host a conference on Friday, April 22, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. at Regions Private Wealth Management in Memphis, Tenn., offering three hours of CLE credit to attendees.  The Conference and CLE will be followed by a cocktail reception sponsored by Regions Private Wealth Management.

The CLE cost is $60 and has been approved both for Mississippi and Tennessee credit.

“We are very excited to finish the school year with our Business Law Network Conference and CLE in Memphis, Tennessee,” said Gregory Alston, CEO of the Network.  “This is the first time in the history of the Business Law Network that the Network has expanded out of state for our annual conferences and CLE’s, and we are very appreciative of Regions for sponsoring this event.”

Registration will begin at 1:00 p.m.  Please RSVP to Business Law Network CEO Gregory Alston:

The Business Law Network’s mission is dedicated to connecting students who have an interest in business law with practicing business law attorneys. The Business Law Network is composed of over 50 student members of the University of Mississippi School of Law.

For more information, please visit

By: William Pomeroy and Autumn Breeden

On March 28th, 2016 the Mississippi Sports Law Journal partnered with the Law Association for Women to a host a forum about Women in Athletics. Speakers included Lynette Johnson, Ann Carr, Kathryn Fowler, and Jordan Woolums. Lynette Johnson is in her 27th year overall with Ole Miss Athletics and is in her 18th year as a Sport Administrator and Senior Woman Administrator. Ann Carr is a 13 year veteran in athletic administration at Mississippi State, she currently serves as a Senior Associate Athletic Director of Women’s Sports, and she is a former Lady Bulldog athlete. Kathryn Fowler is a current second year Law Student, and was a four-year member of the Ole Miss Golf Team. Finally, Jordan Woolums is a current first year law student at Ole Miss and is a former soccer player at Indiana University.

Topics ranged from the current state of women’s sports in college to professional opportunities for female student-athletes beyond college. Mrs. Johnson spoke of the positive evolution that she has witnessed throughout her career in athletics. She spoke of witnessing the first women to hold head coach and administrative positions, as well as increased support for female athletes. She also stated that the best way to combat lesser attendance and coverage for female athletic events is to simply keep playing the sports. Networks, such as the SEC Network, have given rise to increased exposure of female athletics, which can only help increase interest in women’s sports. Both Ms. Carr and Mrs. Johnson used the recent success of women’s softball as an example of how television exposure has had a positive impact on a sport as a whole. Ms. Carr spoke of the need to provide female staff members at different universities a more welcoming atmosphere and increased support when they are placed in an unfamiliar setting. Issues that face both Ole Miss and Mississippi State in recruiting female coaches and administrators often revolve around family support, including things like on campus day care and employment opportunities for a spouse. Both Kathryn and Jordan spoke fondly about their experiences at Division I schools, and felt their athletic achievements had a positive effect on their educational and professional opportunities.

Overall, the event was attended by approximately 50 students and faculty who asked questions and listened attentively to the forum speakers. It was a positive conversation focusing on continuing to improve opportunities for female athletes, coaches and administrators.


Attendees at the forum.

Presenters at the Women’s Athletics Forum

By: Professor Phil Broadhead

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA), in partnership with North Mississippi Rural Legal Services, once again is offering tax preparation assistance to families in the Oxford-Lafayette County area. This effort by law students is directed by Professor of Law Donna Davis, who supervises 12 students at the local public library.

“I thought it was good idea to get this hands-on experience to see the different kinds of basic issues in tax,” Davis said. “It’s been busier than I thought it would be, especially early on. We had tons of people. For me personally, almost every person I dealt with was a new learning experience. I’ve encountered very unique situations that I didn’t think I would encounter.”

Third-year law students Austin Emmons and Brennan Black are the site coordinators for the tax clinic.

“It’s class credit through the school, but I also enjoy it because it gives you practical skills that you don’t necessarily get from the classroom,” Emmons said. “You get used to interviewing people and get a feel for does the client feel comfortable with what you’re doing, do they understand what you’re doing. It’s also about helping the community.”

The clinic’s public service was recognized by an article in last Sunday’s Oxford Citizen, as well as by the Mississippi Bar Association’s Mississippi Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, who awarded the VITA program the annual Beacon of Justice Award in 2015.

OXFORD, Miss.–The first Intellectual Property Student Scholarship Symposium was held at the University of Mississippi School of Law on February 19th. The Symposium was sponsored by the Mid-south Intellectual Property Institute, which is a collaborative effort of the Law School and FNC, Inc.  Students and professionals came together to discuss and share knowledge on the latest developments in intellectual property.

The forum discussed a wide array of topics from collegiate licensing and trademark enforcement, to product design and more.  The scholarship included:

  • “Trade Dress:  An Unsuitable Fit for Product Design in the Fashion Industry” by Shayna Giles
  • “Why Can’t my Waiter Sing Happy Birthday to Me:  The Chilling Effect of Corporate Copyright Control” by Rachel Smith
  • “Alice’s Wonderland:  Patentable Subject Matter in the Wake of The Supreme Court’s Alice Corp. Decision” by Lindsey Sullivan
  • “Issues in Collegiate Licensing and Trademark Enforcement” by Katie Diem

Students who wrote papers on these topics made individual presentations that were followed by discussions on their topic with other students and lawyers.

“This symposium gave me the chance to discuss some concrete examples of how copyright protection allows corporations to restrict our free speech, rather than encouraging creative expression,” said Rachel Smith, current law student.  “Many of the audience members provided me with interesting questions and concerns with policies I addressed and proposed.”

“Overall, this experience was beneficial right now for my academic legal growth, but potentially in the long run as well considering it introduced me to people I may work with in the IP field one day.”

With help from the moderators Stacey Lantagne, assistant professor, and Will Wilkins, director of the Mississippi Law Research Institute, the students were able to receive positive academic critique and gain valuable experience throughout the process.

By: Meghan Burnett

OXFORD, Miss.–Suzette Matthews has a passion for education, and since Feb. 1, 2016, the former Teach for America staffer has turned her talents in fundraising and education to the law school as the new director of development.

Previously the senior director of development for Teach for America in the Mississippi Delta, Matthews grew individual donations substantially for the organization, often 300 times an original gift amount, and increased overall gifts by 150 percent.

“We are lucky to have Suzette Matthews join our team,” said Debbie Bell, interim dean.  “She comes to us with a strong background in fundraising in Mississippi, a love for her adopted state, and great enthusiasm about the law school’s future.”

The Texas native taught high school English in Ruleville, Miss., with Teach for America for two years prior to joining their development staff. She worked with individual corporations and foundations mainly in the Delta and Jackson areas, and cultivated relationships she believes will be beneficial for the law school.

“I think alot of the relationships and networks I was able to build will overlap,” she said.  “It’s my goal to invest our alumni in our students’ work and raise an additional $500,000 for scholarships, as well as double the percent of alumni giving.”

Though her focus has primarily been secondary education, Matthews is excited about transitioning her work to the university and law school.

“I really wanted to get back into higher education,” she said.  “And, when I look at who is influential in making decisions for our state’s future, it’s Ole Miss law alumns.  We have so many great things happening here.”

Suzette Matthews. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Matthews graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and obtained her master’s degree in education from Delta State while in Cleveland.   She was named Ruleville Central High School Teacher of the Year in 2010 and Sunflower County School District Teacher of the Year.

She is a graduate of Leadership Mississippi and the Delta Leadership Network.  She served on the Mississippi Center for Nonprofits board, the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce executive board and Mississippi Economic Council Board of Governors. She also founded and served as president of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Young Professionals and is a member of the Mississippi Association of Fundraising Professionals.

In addition to education and fundraising, Matthews and her husband Matty own Delta Dairy, a frozen treats shop in Cleveland.  She enjoys running and spending time with her husband and dog, Tchula.

“I’m really excited about this position, and I really look forward to meeting everyone,” she said. “Please feel to contact me anytime.”

Suzette may be reached by e-mail or phone: 601-937-1497.

OXFORD, Miss.–Seventeen University of Mississippi School of Law alumni were named as Leadership in Law by the Mississippi Business Journal recently.  They make up a group of the state’s most successful lawyers nominated based on the following nomination criteria: exemplifying the noble tradition of the legal profession; are astute, wise, knowledgable and successful; win cases and solve problems with utmost integrity; inspire and lead others with their skills and character; are role models and mentors; and are passionate and aggressive on behalf of clients and the community.

Among those chosen were the following:

  • Watts C. Ueltschey, Lawyer of the Year (Brunini, Granthan, Grower & Hewes)
  • Robert A. Biggs, II (Biggs, Ingram & Solop)
  • Katrina Brown (Brown Bass & Jeter)
  • Yancy Brian Burns (Burns and Associates, PLLC)
  • Mark P. Caraway (Wise Carter)
  • C. Greg Copeland (Copeland Cook Taylor Bush)
  • John Cox (Cox and Moore, PLLC)
  • Joe Deaton (Deaton & Berry)
  • Trey Dellinger (Wells Marble & Hurst)
  • Sean Wesley Ellis (Young Wells)
  • Emiko Faust (Mississippi Attorney General’s Office)
  • Kathryn Gilchrist (Gilchrist Donnell PLLC)
  • B. Stevens Hazard (Daniel Coker Horton & Bell, PA)
  • Henry Laird (Jones Walker)
  • Kimberly W. Nailor (Law Offices of Kimberly W. Nailor)
  • David M. Ott (Bryan Nelson, PA)
  • Thomas Suszek (Holcomb Dunbar)
  • Rocky Wilkins (Rocky Wilkins Law Firm, PLLC)

In addition to the distinction, recipients were honored with a reception and awards celebration. Nomination and submission information for the 2016 class may be found on the Mississippi Business Journal‘s website.


By: Professor Phil Broadhead

During Spring Break, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, in conjunction with the Mississippi Public Defenders Association, conducted a two-day conference entitled, “Taking the Fear Out of Forensics.”  The conference drew attendees from Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama who heard presentations from a group of nationally-recognized experts on topics involving the applied sciences commonly used in criminal prosecutions, including “The Lawyer’s Guide to Understanding Mobile Forensics”, “Challenging Eyewitness Testimony”, “Basic Scientific Principles of Cognitive Bias”, “Pattern Evidence: Firearm and Toolmark Analysis”, and “False Confessions”.  All of the presentations were very informative to those who practice criminal law, but Friday morning’s multiple sessions on cell phones and digital device evidence was a particularly fascinating and cutting-edge topic.  Since the UM School of Law offers a concentration in criminal law, we have national DOJ programs (such as last summer’s Gideon’s Promise training) choosing to come to Oxford for their regional conferences.

Left to right: Kellie Grizzell, Sparkle Jennings, Ashton Fisher, Jacob Waldo, MacArthur Justice Center Director Cliff Johnson, Breanna Goff, Sampada Kapoor, Rob Noland, Michael Shoptaw, and Naura Guillaume

Left to right: Ashton Fisher, Sampada Kapoor, Michael Shoptaw, Naura Guillaume, Kellie Grizzell, Breanna Goff, Jacob Waldo, Sparkle Jennings, Rob Noland, and MacArthur Justice Center Director Cliff Johnson

On March 9, 2016, members of the MacArthur Justice Clinic conducted an inspection of Death Row at the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman as part of the monitoring component of the MacArthur Justice Center’s recent settlement of its lawsuit against the State of Mississippi addressing the conditions of confinement on Death Row.  In addition to conducting an inspection of the facilities, Clinic participants interviewed Death Row inmates “cell-side” regarding the State’s compliance with the terms of the settlement.  Following their work at Death Row, Clinic members visited the gravesite of Fannie Lou Hamer in Ruleville, Mississippi.  Hamer was a heroine of the Civil Rights Movement who embodied the strength and influence of the “ordinary people” who have been the backbone of the fight for equality in Mississippi.  Hamer is perhaps best known for her lament, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Professor Hans Sinha

The third edition of Learning From Practice was released last month, and contains a new chapter, “Criminal Justice Placements”, co-authored by Prof. Hans Sinha. Covering topics important to law students working externships, in-house clinics, and other experiential courses, the text is intended for assist students working in real practice settings succeed in their work, reflect on their development, and plan for their lives as lawyers. The text is one of West Academic Publishing’s best-selling textbooks on experiential legal education.

By: Professor Phil Broadhead

The UM Clinical Programs were recently named among the Top 50 law schools for practical training offered to students, and the Spring 2016 issue of The National Jurist magazine crunched the numbers for all of the schools’ statistics, which awarded the University of Mississippi School of Law an A- rating, placing nineteenth in the nation. “The American Bar Association now releases ample data on how many students participate in clinics, externships and simulation courses. The National Jurist used this data to measure which law schools are delivering when it comes to practical training,” the magazine said. “We looked at the percent of full-time students in clinics, externships and simulation courses, also looked at student participation in interscholastic skills competitions, such as moot court tournaments. We again placed the most weight on [the] clinical experience, since experts say it is a particularly effective practical training tool. Students, under faculty direction, work with clients in a number of legal areas. However, clinics are the most costly [programs] for schools to incorporate.”

The University of Mississippi School of Law has created and maintains nine in-house clinics, including Child Advocacy, Criminal Appeals, Elder Law, Housing Clinic, MacArthur Justice Clinic, The George C. Cochran Innocence Project, the “Street Law” Clinic, Transactional Law Clinic, the Clinical Externship Program, and the Pro Bono Initiative. The Pro Bono Initiative was recently honored by the Mississippi Volunteer Project’s Beacon of Justice Award for public service. Additionally, two practicums, Tax and Conflict Management, offer law students opportunities to learn through experience, providing low-income families income tax assistance and the University law students are trained to resolve disputes between undergraduate students. The Tax Practicum also won the 2015 Beacon of Justice Award.

The School of Law has also enjoyed notable success in moot court competitions, collecting ten national competition championships in two years, including back-to-back championships in the Pace Environmental Law competition and, most recently, the Tulane Professional Football Negotiation Competition. The School of Law offers an LL.M. program in Air and Space Law, and its moot court team won the international championship in the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court Competition, held in Jerusalem in October of 2015.


On February 12, the Transactional Clinic, led by Clinical Profs. Marie Cope and Cameron Abel, participated in the Business Law Network’s Winter Conference & CLE at the Fairview Inn in Jackson, which featured Mississippi State Treasurer Lynn Fitch as the keynote speaker. The advanced students in the Clinic, Elizabeth Robinson and Jessica Rice, at the direction of the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office prepared and conducted a presentation on Limited Liability Company (LLC) formation and the Revised Mississippi LLC Act of 2013. Prof. Marie Cope also gave the attendees a brief overview of the Transactional Clinic, and two other TC students, Marie Wicks & Sampada Kapoor, also made a presentation at to the conference.

The student-lead presentations discussed the main steps of formation and the requirements of compliance enforced by the Secretary of State’s office. The students pointed out the new online services on the Secretary’s website and gave a step-by-step explanation on how business owners can create usernames, passwords, and file Certificates of Formation & Annual Reports. They also highlighted how these filings can now be completed online, and concluded the presentations with a discussion with the group of the differences between the superseded LLC Act and the Revised LLC Act.

Student presenters Marie Wicks, Sampada Kapoor, Jessica Rice, and Izzy Robinson are pictured with State Treasurer Lynn Fitch.

Marie Wicks, Jonathan Clay, and Kristen Schalter

John Juricich, Professor David Case, and Mary Margaret Roark

OXFORD, Miss.–Third year students Mary Margaret Roark and John Juricich have again won the the Jeffrey G. Miller Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition at Pace Law School in White Plains, N.Y. Feb. 18-20.  The win marks the second consecutive national title for the pair, third for the law school.

In addition, the win means Ole Miss Law claims five out of the last six Pace competitions, and adds another national championship, making its 12th national or world advocacy title since 2011.

“Having two second year students win a competition like Pace and then return to win the competition again as third year students is absolutely amazing,” said Professor David Case, team coach.   “I’m pretty sure that has never happened in the 28 year history of the Pace competition.”

Roark of Cleveland, Miss., and Juricich of Anniston, Ala.,  competed against over 50 law schools from around the country, beating the University of Alabama and University of Houston in the final round. The team won the Best Brief – Petitioner (Save Our Climate) award and John Juricich was awarded runner up Best Oralist for the competition.

The Pace competition is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the country.  It provides a rigorous academic experience, testing skills in appellate brief writing and oral advocacy, involving issues drawn from real cases, and providing first-hand experience in environmental litigation.

“This year there were six issues to argue for three different parties and more teams were going noteless,” Roark said. “The teams were definitely better in terms of performance.”

Overall, the competition requires intense preparation, including researching and analyzing challenging legal environmental issues, writing persuasive arguments about how the issues should be resolved, arguing the issues orally and having their performances evaluated and critiqued by practicing attorneys at the competition.

The Ole Miss team began in October by writing their brief. After filing it in November, they began practicing oral arguments intensely with their coaches.

“We prepared the same, but we were more relaxed because we knew what it took to achieve the end result,” Juricich explained.

“We were able to more efficiently use our time.”

Judging this year’s championship round was the Honorable Steven M. Colloton, judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; the Honorable Lynn Adelman, judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin; the Honorable Malachy E. Mannion, judge, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania; and the Honorable Beth Ward, judge, Environmental Appeals Board, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Coaching the team were the law school’s two national experts in environmental law, Professors David Case and Stephanie Showalter Otts.

“Both Professor Case and Otts play such a large role in helping us get prepared,” Roark said.

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to build a relationship with Professors Case and Otts that I otherwise would not have had,” Juricich added.

A benefit to participating in a competition of this nature is the payoff it provides students after graduation.  Both students said it helped them find their niche.

“It helped me find a joy and thrill in litigation,” Juricich said.

“I started off not having any interest in environmental law, but I grew to love it,” Roark said.  “It’s made me want to pursue a career in environmental law, in regulatory administrative work.”

“I’ve learned how to tackle issues I might know nothing about, meet deadlines, and have picked up certain writing skills I would not have had.”

Learn more about the Pace competition by visiting their website.

Alexia Boggs and Clayton Adams

Team of two students are members of the school’s Negotiation Board

OXFORD, Miss.– University of Mississippi School of Law students Clayton Adams and Alexia Boggs took the title in the Tulane Professional Football Negotiation Competition hosted by Tulane University Law School January 29-30, 2016.

The competition consisted of 20 total teams from 18 different schools.

“The competition was exciting and a great learning experience,” Boggs said.

“When Clayton and I started prepping for the competition, I knew next to nothing about actual NFL players, much less their contracts. Aside from solidifying my love of contract drafting and negotiation, the experience benefitted me as a legal professional by teaching me how to successfully advocate for my client, even when I am starting from scratch.”

The teams went through three rounds before entering the championship round against Fowler School of Law. The competition is hosted by the Tulane Sports Law Society, and is a simulated contract negotiation using real life scenarios and actual upcoming NFL free agents.

The competition is designed to help students hone their negotiation skills while learning about actual NFL contracts. Judges included professionals in the NFL world, including the vice presidents of football administration for the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints, and football administration coordinator for the Chicago Bears.

Boggs, a second year student, and Adams, a third year, participated as part of the law school’s Negotiation Board, housed in the Business Law Institute.  The Business Law Institute was developed to specifically train business lawyers through active learning, like the negotiation competition.

“As to being on the Negotiation Board, I think the benefit to a law student is that it is as close to real deal making as someone can get,” says Douglas MacKimm, chair of the Negotiation Board. “There is an expectation for modern attorneys to be strong negotiators, and this Board allows us to develop a very practical skill that has value in whatever type of career follows law school.”

For more information on the competition, visit Tulane’s website.

By: Meghan Burnett

Olivia Hoff

Olivia Hoff is among 25 students selected for inaugural Law Student of the Year feature

OXFORD, Miss.–A University of Mississippi law student is among 25 featured in the National Jurist magazine’s inaugural Law Student of the Year feature, showcasing the many talents and accomplishments of law students across the country.

Olivia Hoff’s name was submitted by the School of Law to be considered for one of the coveted 25 spots.

Hoff, a December graduate, earned a bachelor’s degree in physics with a minor in mathematics from the University of Southern Mississippi. She chose to attend the UM law school because of her interest in air and space law, and the opportunities offered by the Ole Miss program, including a chance to participate in the Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court.

“I am extremely honored the law school nominated me for this recognition and am grateful National Jurist magazine chose to accept their nomination,” Hoff said. “The news of my selection came as a bright spot amidst prepping for the bar exam.”

Hoff and fellow students CJ Robinson and Ian Perry, along with their coach, Michael Dodge, competed in Washington, D.C., in the North American round of the Manfred Lachs International Space Law Moot Court competition, where they took first place in March 2015. The team advanced to the international round in October in Jerusalem, where Hoff and her teammates clenched first place in the final round, beating out Greece.

Dodge said he could see Hoff’s work ethic shine during the preparation for the moot court championships.

“There were several students who impressed me during my time teaching, but I can say that Olivia, and all the hard work and go-to gumption she exuded in her courses and extracurricular work, will leave distinct memories for me,” Dodge said.

Hoff moved to Washington, D.C., in summer 2015 to complete an externship with the Air Force JAG Corps at Joint Base Andrews. During the fall, she completed another externship, also in D.C., with the Department of Homeland Security’s Administrative Law Branch. She considers both these assignments among her greatest achievements

“She represents the best of what we try to cultivate in law school, and I have every confidence she’ll continue to do herself, and Ole Miss, a great deal of honor,” Dodge said.

A Gulfport native, Hoff is also a member of the Trial Advocacy Board, Phi Delta Phi, the Society for Law of Outer Space and Aviation, Public Interest Law Foundation and the Dean’s Leadership Council, where she helps mentor first-year law students, serves as an ambassador for the law school and gives tours to potential students.

National Jurist magazine, published quarterly, is one of the leading news sources in legal education. Besides delivering top-quality news, the publication shares information and tools useful to law students on its website.

Oxford, Miss.–The University of Mississippi School of Law’s Clinical Programs has been named by National Jurist magazine as one of 56 best law schools for practical training.  The magazine examined the ratio of simulation, clinic and externship placements to number of students to determine the rankings.

“The UM Clinical Programs are one of the school’s strengths,” said Debbie Bell, interim dean.  “We can offer every student a clinical experience in a wide range of offerings, from litigation to child advocacy to transactional work.”

The story and ranking with grades will appear in the spring issues of The National Jurist and preLaw magazines.

The Clinic’s mission is to teach practice skills and professional responsibility to students by serving high-quality representation to underserved clients. The program is an in-house law firm with 11 practice areas, a clinical externship program, and a pro bono program:

“Law schools continue to make changes and improvements to make legal education a better hands-on experience for the majority of their students,” said Jack Crittenden, editor in chief of The National Jurist. “It has been exciting to see the gradual improvement from year to year.”

On January 29, 2016, Circuit Judge Andrew Howorth of Lafayette County hosted the UM Clinical Programs’ swearing-in ceremony for 45 second and third-year students under the Mississippi Law Student Limited Practice Rule, recently proposed by the Access to Justice Commission (AJC) and adopted by the Mississippi Supreme Court. Tiffany M. Graves, executive director of the AJC, said, “The new rule will expand the limited practice opportunities of law students by allowing them to provide limited legal services as part of a clinical legal education course, law school legal internship program, or through a volunteer legal services program under the supervision of licensed attorneys. Now, substantially more students will be able to participate in programs and initiatives that provide civil legal services to the poor.” The UM Clinical Programs consist of nine professor-directed clinics (and two in-house practicums), which allow students to “learn by doing” under the direct supervision of experienced attorney/clinicians by actually representing indigent and low-income clients with a wide variety of legal problems.

Tobi Young

Address by Tobi Young to emphasize importance of community service

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi School of Law welcomes alumna Tobi Young, general counsel and staff secretary for the George W. Bush Presidential Center, as the featured speaker at the school’s graduation, set for 11 a.m. May 14 in the Grove.

Young will speak at the law school’s individual ceremony, which will follow the main university Commencement at 9 a.m.

“The law school is pleased to have as our speaker one of our outstanding women graduates, particularly since this year marks a century since the first woman was admitted to the Mississippi bar,” said Debbie Bell, the law school’s interim dean. “Tobi has a remarkable career in public service.”

Young also serves as President Bush’s designated Presidential Records Act representative. She previously served as special assistant to the president and associate counsel in the Office of the White House Counsel.

“I am looking forward to returning to Oxford, and I’m honored to join the law school graduates and their families during this time of celebration and accomplishment,” Young said. “I remember well the anxiety and excitement that comes with this time, so I hope to share lessons learned on my journey from Ole Miss to the White House and to encourage them to use their skill set to build better communities and a stronger country.”

Before joining the White House staff, Young was a trial attorney and counsel to the assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. She also served as a law clerk to Judge Jerome A. Holmes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

Young graduated magna cum laude in 2003 from the UM School of Law, where she was selected by the faculty as the Outstanding Senior Law Student for the Phi Delta Phi award. She also attended Dartmouth College and graduated magna cum laude from George Washington University.

For more information about the law school’s commencement, visit the school’s graduation page.

By Jenny Kate Luster