1.24.2017

Regent Law Dean Appointed to Board of Governors of the Virginia Bar Association

On Saturday, January 21, the Virginia Bar Association (VBA) inaugurated its statewide representatives for their 2017 term.

Dean Michael Hernandez

Regent University School of Law (LAW) Dean Michael Hernandez was among those new leaders as he accepted his appointment as a representative by the Board of Governors of the VBA.

Hernandez will represent law schools on the VBA board for a minimum of a one-year term. He is the first Regent LAW faculty member to be appointed to this distinction.


“It is an honor to serve as the sole law school representative on the Board of Governors and a privilege to be a part of this accomplished group of prominent attorneys.  I am excited to work with the other Board members to build on and continue the standard of excellence that the VBA has upheld since it was founded in 1888,” said Hernandez.

“The other members of the Board of Governors are the most accomplished lawyers in Virginia, and the Board is collegial and committed to the highest standards of professionalism,” he continued. “It was humbling to be chosen to serve in this role.  When I first began practicing law 30 years ago, I never imagined I would be given this honor one day.”

The VBA is the first statewide and largest voluntary organization for lawyers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its members are active in promoting legislation before the Virginia General Assembly.

Made up of about 5,000 members, it seeks to “advance the highest ideals of the profession through advocacy and volunteer service,” according to an official news release from the organization.

Learn more about Regent University’s School of Law.

By Brett W. Tubbs

1.19.2017

Regent Law Faculty Achievements - Week of January 19, 2017

Regent University's School of Law Faculty members willingly share their knowledge and expertise beyond the classroom to spark scholarly debate and advance the practice of law. Their latest endeavors include the following.

Law Library Assistant Director Marie Summerlin Hamm’s Book Review "Stop Telling and Start Showing: Show, Don't Tell: Legal Writing for the Real World by Adam Lamparello & Megan E. Boyd," was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for:

  • LSN: Book Reviews (Sub-Topic)
  • LSN: Practice of Law Librarianship (Topic)
  • RCRN: Writing Across the Curriculum (Topic)
  • Rhetoric Educator: Communication, Composition, Rhetoric, & Writing eJournal. 
She also did a review of The Complete Legal Writer (Carolina Academic Press), published in 108 Law Lib. J. 660 (Fall 2016).  The book, written by a couple of legal writing professors at UNC, explains their unique “genre discovery” approach to teaching legal writing.  The authors were so pleased with her review, that one blogged about it - Katie Rose Guest Pyral, one of the authors, posted a response to the book review on her blog. 

Director Janis Kirkland has recently published several case summaries in several journals including the EPA Administrative Law Reporter, the Securities Reform Act Litigation Reporter, Bank & Corporate Governance Law Reporter, the RICO & Securities Fraud Law Reporter, the EPA Administrative Law Reporter, the Chemical Waste Litigation Reporter, and the Securities Reform Act Litigation Reporter

Assistant Director Hamm and Director Kirkland, and Assistant Dean Kimberly Van Essendelft presented at the Legal Writing Institute’s One-Day Workshop at Wake Forest in December. The assistant director of that LAWR program sent Dean Hernandez a letter praising their work.

Associate Dean Natt Gantt and Professor Ben Madison’s paper, "Is There a Paradox Between Ethics and Happiness? Moral Formation for Lawyers," was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for: LSN: Law Firms/Legal Practice (Topic).  


Professor Eric DeGroff’s book chapter, “Access to Information: international perspective,” has just been published in Decision Making in Environmental Law, by Paddock, Glicksman, & Bryner.  The book is one volume of a two-volume encyclopedia covering environmental regulation and the environmental decision making process in the United States and internationally.

Carol Daugherty Rasnic, one of our fall adjunct professors, published "What the German Bundestag might have learned from the U.S. Congress on workers' right to strike." 


Associate Dean Lynne Marie Kohm's piece co-authored with Sandra Alcaide (’16) “Obergefell: A Game-changer for Women," was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for: Sexuality & the Law eJournal, among others. 


Professor Craig Stern’s downloads on SSRN have now eclipsed 1,550, led by "The Heart of Mens Rea and the Insanity of Psychopaths."

Distinguished Professor Harry Hutchison’s downloads are about to hit 4,100. View his work.


Professor James Duane’s downloads are nearly at 2,650, led by "The Right to Remain Silent: A New Answer to an Old Question" which has 1,239 downloads after being posted for just eight months.
 

12.21.2016

Regent Law Posts Excellent 2016 Bar Passage Rates


Congratulations to the Regent Law Class of 2016 for outstanding bar passage rates! The following results are from the July 2016 Bar Exam.

Regent Law graduates earned a 100% bar passage rate in Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New York, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Additionally, they earned a 90% bar passage rate in the Uniform Bar Exam, which has been adopted in 26 states. This allows the graduates to potentially be licensed to practice law in all 26 states, which include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.


For all U.S. bar exams across the country, Regent Law Class of 2016 earned an 82.3% bar passage rate, outperforming the 2015 national average of 59%. 

In Virginia, Regent Law earned an 81.8% bar passage rate, outperforming the state average of 73%. 




12.12.2016

Regent Law Faculty Achievements -- Week of December 12, 2016

Regent University's School of Law Faculty members willingly share their knowledge and expertise beyond the classroom to spark scholarly debate and advance the practice of law. Their latest endeavors include the following.

The addition of Distinguished Professor Harry Hutchison to our ranks, as well as our continuous work marketing our scholarship, our ranking in SSRN has moved up to 127 from 130, surpassing Richmond, even with our very small faculty.  Download some of Professor Hutchison’s publications. Also download his most recent publication from the Harvard J. L. & Pol’y Hobby Lobby, Corporate Law, and Unsustainable Liberalism: A Reply to Judge Strine.

Professor James Duane’s piece The Right to Remain Silent: A New Answer to an Old Question has been downloaded a landmark 1,149 times, and he will be presenting at our Regent Law Faculty Colloquium Series brought to you by the Regent University Law Library, on January 24, 2016.

Professor Lou Hensler will be presenting at our Regent Law Faculty Colloquium Series brought to you by the Regent University Law Library, on February 28, 2016. 

Assistant Dean Kim Van Essendelft, Law Library Assistant Director Marie Hamm, and Principal Lecturer Janis Kirkland made a presentation about our developing assessment program today at the Legal Writing Institute One-Day Conference at Wake Forest University School of Law.

Marie Hamm had a proposal accepted for the 2017 SEALS conference entitled “Rubrics and Checklists and Frameworks - Oh My!” To read her latest publication download (Book Review) Stop Telling and Start Showing Show, Don't Tell: Legal Writing for the Real World by Adam Lamparello & Megan E. Boyd.

Janis Kirkland published a piece in Chemical Waste Litigation Reporter or EPA Administrative Law Reporter, and she will be a regular author for LWI Lives, a publication highlighting members of the legal writing community.  Her additional recent publications for November include summaries of the following cases for publication in Chemical Waste Litigation Reporter:
•    NRDC v. City of Los Angeles
•    In re E.I. DuPont de Nemours C-8 Personal Injury Litigation
•    Hanford Challenge v. Moniz
•    Alaska Oil & Gas Ass’n v. Pritzker

Janis Kirkland also published the following case summaries in EPA Administrative Law Reporter:
•    NRDC v. City of Los Angeles
•    Hanford Challenge v. Moniz
•    Alaska Oil & Gas Ass’n v. Pritzker

Associate Dean Natt Gantt has an article being published by The Learning Curve in the Winter 2017 issue.

Professor Ben Madison and Associate Dean Natt Gantt are presenting at a Symposium of 30th Anniversary of the McCrate Report and 10th Anniversary for Carnegie Best Practices for Legal Education in February.  Their presentation will be published as an article in the St. Thomas Law Review.  To see their most recent work, download Is There a Paradox between Ethics and Happiness? Moral Formation for Lawyers, which they presented at CLS in October.

Professor Jeff Brauch had a proposal on human rights accepted for the ATINER Conference in Athens, Greece in July 2017.  To read his latest publication on that area of law, download Human Rights Protections in the Post-9/11 World.

Associate Dean Lynne Marie Kohm’s piece with Sandra Alcaide entitled, Obergefell: A Game-Changer for Women, was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for seven different areas of law: ERN: Women & Gender Issues (Topic), LSN: Family Law (Sexuality) (Topic), LSN: Marriage & Other Domestic Partnerships (Topic), LSN: Marriage (Topic), PSN: Other Political Behavior: Race, Ethnicity & Identity Politics (Topic), SIRN: Impact on At-Risk Populations (Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Advanced Age) (Sub-Topic), SIRN: Social Security (Topic) and Social Security, Pensions & Retirement Income eJournal.  Although it was only posted to SSRN late last week, it has already been downloaded 24 times.  Download it here.

11.29.2016

Regent Law Alumnus Finds Success With Own Firm in Norfolk, Virginia

Regent University School of Law alumnus Gabriel McCoy (’11) had never been a part of a Christian higher education institution before.

Gabriel McCoy.Photo courtesy
of Gabriel McCoy.
He recalls very clearly week one, first semester of his 1L year.

“I remember telling my dad that I never met so many people that were as intelligent, hard-working, hungry to compete and loved the Lord all at the same time,” said McCoy. “The caliber of people were elevated, and it was fun to run with this pack of motivated folks.”

To this day, McCoy still runs with his “Regent pack,” after co-founding Pierce/McCoy, PLLC, with Regent Law alumnus Nathaniel Pierce ’08 in April 2013. The firm, based in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, serves clients in Hampton Roads, Richmond, Texas, New York and even Serbia.

The decision to begin the daunting, yet “adventurous” task of beginning a firm came at a time when the legal market was extremely competitive and the “opportunities were few and far between.” McCoy walked in faith and in prayer asked that the Lord would “close the doors” to the wrong opportunities.

“This was the last door that was open that made sense,” said McCoy.

He gave himself a one-year deadline: It was either find enough financial success to support his family or give up and go into banking.

More than three years later, the firm has grown to eight full-time attorneys – five of which are Regent alumni.

“The best people I met in my entire life were people I met at Regent,” he said. Most of all, he said, was his wife, Regent Law alumna Sarah McCoy (‘11). The two dated throughout their three-year tenure at Regent together. And they were married two weeks after taking the Virginia Bar exam.

“Thank God for mothers, they stepped up big and helped us focus on the bar prep,” said McCoy. “Then it was off to the races.”

McCoy said that his time at Regent was a “period of enlightenment,” in his educational career – particularly in regard to the law and how it applies to different situations. While he was taught the rules and guidelines as an attorney at the bar, he believes law woven in with his faith gave him a “brighter North star” to follow when it comes to what’s right and wrong as an attorney.

“Regent’s integrating of its mission and its fundamental foundations was something that I personally enjoyed,” said McCoy. “They did a good job of integrating that law in the mission and not deviating from that mission.”

Apart from helping him pass the bar, McCoy said that the faculty and deans were just as integral in helping him build his practice.

“They were incredibly supportive and really spared nothing in giving me access to resources and people in the community,” said McCoy.

He explained that much of his job as an attorney is helping clients in their “darkest hours.” He’s found an opportunity to witness to clients and the people he works with, and even uses his office space at the World Trade Center to host a Bible study to offer “spiritual strength” to those in the area.

He said that if the only reason in hindsight of him starting his own firm was to have the opportunity to minister to the community in that way, it was worth it.

“It’s your job first to be a good attorney, and then if they’re open to counsel, presenting the opportunity of the gospel,” said McCoy. “Not only to solve [your client’s] immediate legal needs, but to also give them some level of strength and hope.”

Learn more about Regent University’s School of Law.

By Brett Wilson Tubbs

11.28.2016

Regent Law Faculty Achievements - Week of November 28, 2016

Regent University's School of Law Faculty members willingly share their knowledge and expertise beyond the classroom to spark scholarly debate and advance the practice of law. Their latest endeavors include the following.

Associate Professor Brad Jacob made three separate presentations at the CLS national conference with Associate Dean Natt Gantt. Professor Jacob also spoke at Federalist Society law student chapters at the University of Chicago, IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law, and the University of Baltimore School of Law on topics including religious liberty and the 17th Amendment (two separate topics).  To read some of his constitutional law scholarship, download Will the Real Constitutional Originalist Please Stand Up? and Back to Basics: Constitutional Meaning and 'Tradition'. In addition, Professor Jacob preached in Chapel at Grove City and Patrick Henry Colleges and gave a campus lecture at Wheaton College regarding the Supreme Court.  To read some of Professor Jacob’s work on the Court, download Eight Men Out. Make that Nine.

Professor Jeff Brauch spoke on a Higher Law at Michigan State University on Monday, Nov. 7.

Professor Eric DeGroff presented “Environmental Stewardship in Christian Perspective: Establishing Balance in Economic Development and Environmental Protection” at the Ukrainian National Forum on the Environment, and “Private Property and Private Ownership in Christian Legal Perspective” at the National Academy of State Administration in Kiev, Ukraine on Nov. 7. He also guest-lectured at the Yaroslav Mudryl National Law University in Kharkov, Ukraine on Nov. 8, as well as at the National University of Odessa, Ukraine on Nov. 9.  To read Professor DeGroff’s work on the environment, download The Application of Strict Criminal Liability to Maritime Oil Pollution Incidents: Is There OPA for the Accidental Spiller? and Raiders of the Lost ARCO: Resolving the Partial Settlement Credit Issue in Private Cost Recovery and Contribution Claims Under CERCLA.

Last week, Professor DeGroff was also appointed to serve on the Educational Programming Committee (EPC) of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution by virtue of being co-chair of the Section’s Law Schools Committee.

Associate Professor Jim Davids made several presentations at various Ukrainian Forums in November.

Professor James Duane spoke at the Federalist society chapter at Boston University Law School; he received a note from a BU Law faculty member who was citing his recent article The Extraordinary Trajectory of Griffin v. California: The Aftermath of Playing Fifty Years of Scrabble with the Fifth Amendment several times in a recent article to be published the University of Chicago Legal Forum.  Professor Duane also was recently quoted in the Virginian-Pilot.

Associate Dean Lynne Marie Kohm and Sandra Alcaide published “Obergefell: A Game-Changer for Women,” with the Ave Maria L. Rev. from a symposium last year at BYU which was co-sponsored with Ave Maria.

Professor Ben Madison was invited by the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review to present “The Rubric Meets the Road in Legal Education: Program Assessment of Degree to Which a Law School's J.D. Program is Achieving its Learning Outcomes” as part of their annual symposium to be held March 3, 2017.  Professor Madison also has gotten two project proposals approved for the SEALS conference 2017: “New Law Professors: Classroom Teaching Fundamentals,” and will be leading a discussion group entitled “Elements and Tips in Designing a Course.”  Both are in the framework of the New Law Teachers’ series of panels/discussion groups.

Associate Dean Natt Gantt and Professor Ben Madison have nominated CEFLER for the ABA's Gambrell Award for Professionalism for the work of the Center for Ethical Formation and Legal Reform.

Associate Professor Gloria Whittico submitted a proposal to W&M for their symposium entitled “Implicit Racial Bias,” to be held March 2017. To read some of her excellent work on race and law, see 'If Past Is Prologue': Toward the Development of a New 'Freedom Suit' for the Remediation of Foster Care Disproportionalities Among African-American Children.

Adjunct Professor Carol Rasnic published, "What the German Bundestag Could Learn From the U.S. Congress on the Right to Strike" in the Hungarian Labor Law eJournal.

Regent University School of Law Professor’s Viral Video Sparks Book Idea

It all started eight years ago with a videotaped lecture he gave to prospective law students.

Don’t Talk to the Police” – his lecture on the Fifth Amendment—talk dozens of times before.
Regent University School of Law professor James Duane had given his “

Professor James Duane.
“I’d been doing this thing for years, but I’d never taped any of them,” said Duane.

But this time, he made an exception: He invited his current students to join in on the lecture. And when a few students couldn’t make it to the class in real-time, he put it on Regent’s website and sent it to 40-some students via email.

A week later, he received a phone call from the head of the university’s IT department.

“She said, ‘Jim, we’ve got a problem over here,” said Duane.

The video had attracted such a high volume of viewers that the school’s server was unable to handle it. Duane agreed to release the video onto what was then known as “iTunes University,” a forum for internet-users to browse and download videos from different schools.

“That’s when it all began, people started downloading it and put it on all kinds of websites,” said Duane. “That video went viral and it changed my life.”

Duane recalls the first day he learned that his lecture had been uploaded onto YouTube when a colleague told him that it had reached 2,000 views.

“It blew my mind, I was shocked. 2,000? That’s a lot of views for a law professor,” he said. “I remember thinking, ‘gosh, if I had known 2,000 people were going to watch it I would’ve done a better job.”

To this day, several versions of the video have been uploaded for a total of 21 million all-time viewership and counting. In fact, the video has gained such popularity that Duane is recognized in public.

“I’ve heard some strange things: I was speaking about this subject at a college and a young man came up to me and said they had my video on a loop all throughout a party on campus,” said Duane. “It was the soundtrack of the party, that’s pretty bizarre.”

So, in the summer of 2015, when a publisher from Amazon approached him about writing a short book based on the video’s astounding popularity, Duane was hesitant.

“I was dubious,” he said. “Who would buy the book if the video is online? And [the publisher] said, ‘Trust me, this could sell.’”

His book, You Have the Right to Remain Innocent launched September 2016. Now, it sits at the number one spot in Amazon’s Kindle Store in the Law, Practical Guides section. He believes the theme of the book, “the protection of the underdog,” is a message that resonates with people who hold beliefs across the entire political ideology spectrum.

“Nobody likes unfairness,” said Duane. “There’s a God-given trait within every one of us that instinctively recoils at the thought of unfairness.”

The book takes a deep-dive into real cases where real people were honestly convicted – many of them later proved to be innocent beyond a shadow of a doubt. Duane poured over the transcripts of these cases to nail down how these false convictions happen in the first place:

“Police officers use techniques that are really quite effective in getting the guilty people to confess,” said Duane. “But they’re too effective, because they too often work on innocent people.”

Duane explained that oftentimes a suspect is all too willing to talk to police.

“They think, ‘I have nothing to hide, why shouldn’t I? I’m innocent, I’m glad to cooperate,’” said Duane. “Because they’re na├»ve, because they don’t understand the risk they face, they don’t understand how the system works.”

This book, he said, was written for them.

Learn more about Regent University’s School of Law.

By Brett Wilson Tubbs

11.22.2016

Regent Law Alumnus Selected to Supreme Court of Wisconsin

Two paths diverge in a wood, and Regent University School of Law alumnus Justice Daniel Kelly ’91 took the road that led to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.

Photo courtesy of Justice Daniel Kelly.
The newly appointed justice calls his life a “winding road,” after growing up in Santa Barbara, California and just outside of Denver, Colorado. He landed in Wisconsin to pursue his undergraduate degree, where he met his wife.

“I’ve been terribly blessed by the places I’ve been able to call home,” said Kelly. Another one of those places? Regent University. Kelly returned to campus for the first time this fall to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Regent Law Review – he served as the publication’s first-ever editor-in-chief.

“It’s phenomenal, this campus has changed so much it was hard to recognize,” said Kelly. “Except for the library, of course, I spent nearly all of my time there.”

Kelly’s professional path follows a roundabout pattern as well, returning to Wisconsin as a clerk for the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin. Then he and his growing family ventured to Washington, D.C. to clerk in the Office of Special Masters of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and serve as a staff attorney.

Then, it was back to Wisconsin, and he’s been there ever since.

“There’s nothing like Wisconsin, the people there are remarkable,” said Kelly. “I’m not one to ascribe characteristics to people, but my experience with Wisconsinites has been extraordinarily welcoming from the very beginning.”

He describes them as a people with “open hands and generous hearts.” He accepted the nomination for his new role on the bench of the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the summer of 2016 after a lengthy interview process.

“I have to say I was very pleased to be in the company I was in with the other applicants,” said Kelly. “I knew most of them and I knew them to be intelligent, and of outstanding character and capability. When I’d see my name in print alongside them, my reaction was, ‘Wow, I get mentioned in the same breath as them, how fun is that?’”

Throughout the initial interview process, Kelly found wisdom in many counselors, and asked for his most trusted inner-circle to speak the truth with him, even if it would be uncomfortable for him to hear. The feedback? Overwhelmingly positive. But admittedly, the most important voice who spoke into the mix was that of his wife’s.

“I think she might’ve said something along the lines of, ‘if you don’t do this, I will slap you, something like that,’” joked Kelly. “She was extraordinarily supportive.”

This support in particular was crucial to Kelly, who explained that the position oftentimes comes with exposure and a risk for “unkind commentary.”

“There was potential for that to wash over on my family, and I wanted to make sure that they were aware of the potential,” said Kelly. “My wife and children have been delightfully supportive.”
But in the midst of the nomination and the whirlwind of taking on a new, public role, Kelly is careful to remember that as he approaches the judiciary, it’s not about him.

“There’s a reason judges wear black robes,” he said. “It’s meant to convey uniformity, that the law you are to answer to is the same regardless of which court you walk into and which individual serves as judge. That’s just as true on the Supreme Court as it is in any of the other courts.”

This “smallness,” this reminder helps him to walk his out through his work by walking humbly, loving unconditionally and speaking soft word that turns away wrath. And though he’s unsure if Regent taught this expressly, he knows this attitude was a “necessary consequence” of his law degree.
To those who are still in the trenches of their own legal education, he encourages prayer and seeking the plan God has for their lives, and to enjoy each fleeting moment.

“This not what real life is like and the privilege to study and to study here in particular is immense, and it’s not something they’ll ever be able to do again,” said Kelly. “It’s meant to be enjoyed, and it’s a place of preparation, not a place of refuge. It’s to train us to be able to wrestle well with life. So, they should study hard – I’m sure they do.”

Learn more about Regent University’s School of Law.

By Brett W. Tubbs