7.22.2014

Alumnus Teresa Hammons Honored as 2014 Judge of the Year

Regent University School of Law acknowledged the Honorable Teresa N. Hammons ’88 (pictured) as the 2014 Judge of the Year at its 10th Annual Judicial Internship Banquet held this June.

Hammons currently serves as a judge for the Virginia Beach General District Court, where she handles civil, criminal, and traffic cases. Previously, she was the Associate City Attorney in the litigation section of the Virginia Beach Office of the City Attorney, where she managed civil defense litigation, adult and child protective services, employment law, worker’s compensation defense, and prosecution of misdemeanor appeals. She was also a staff attorney for the Tidewater Legal Aid Society, Senior Law Center.

Throughout her career, Judge Hammons has mentored countless interns who admire her dedication to the law and how she deeply considers the impact her rulings have on individuals and the judicial system.

The Judicial Internship Program began in 1998 when Regent Law matched first-year law students with judges and clerks in local city courts. Since its inauguration, the program has evolved into a year-round, multi-tiered judicial internship and externship experience. This year, 15 courts provided opportunities for more than 50 students.

Read more about the Judicial Internship Banquet.

7.16.2014

Law Professor and Students’ Work on U.S. Supreme Court Case Pays Off


Bruce Cameron, Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law and National Right to Work Foundation (NRTW) staff member (pictured), and three Regent Law students participated in Harris v. Quinn, a case argued before the Supreme Court of the United States in January 2014. This summer, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of NRTW; the Foundation's attorneys represented Pamela Harris.

Harris v. Quinn investigates whether state-paid home healthcare employees like Harris, who cares for her disabled son, should pay compulsory union dues. Home healthcare employees are friends and relatives of the sick and disabled who choose to provide home care rather than institutionalize their loved ones. Due to declining membership, union leaders asked states that created home care programs to recognize these workers as state employees for purposes of collective bargaining.

In June 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Harris and several other employees represented by NRTW staff attorneys, stating that it is unconstitutional that union dues be mandatory.

Professor Cameron partnered with William Messenger, an NRTW attorney who represented several home healthcare employees. Cameron edited a brief, suggested case strategy, and worked with Regent Law students who did research on issues related to Harris v. Quinn.

Three Regent Law students also worked on the case. Megan (Herald) Donley ’12 assisted both Messenger and Professor Cameron, and wrote an article for Regent University Law Review on the case. Jennifer Brown ’14 and Zachary Hoffman ’13 worked on research for Harris v. Quinn when it went before the Supreme Court.

“I continue to work towards the goal of eliminating compulsory union fees, and Regent students continue to help me,” states Professor Cameron. “We are changing the balance of political power in the United States to better reflect the free choice of citizens.”

Read more about Regent Law’s involvement with Supreme Court cases.

7.11.2014

Faculty Achievements: Week ending July 11, 2014

Professor Bruce Cameron published an article, "A Good Day for Employee Freedom," in Room for Debate, a popular opinion blog in The New York Times. Read more here.

Professor Cameron was part of the legal team that represented employees in Harris v. Quinn, in which the Supreme Court ruled that homecare workers who are funded by Medicaid should not be forced to pay fees for a union in which they are not a member. 

Professor Cameron wrote an article for the Church State Council Blog entitled “A Westboro Moment.” He discusses the First Amendment right to free speech and how it relates to Dr. Eric Walsh, a Seventh-day Adventist associate pastor and director and health officer for the City of Pasadena, who was suspended from his job with the City of Pasadena when the city learned of his conservative beliefs.

One of Professor Kenneth Ching's latest papers, "Beauty and Ugliness in Offer and Acceptance," is currently the second most downloaded article on SSRN under the topic "Legal Scholarship Network: Contracts."

Professor Ching also posted a new article, "What We Consent to When We Consent to Form Contracts: Market Price," on SSRN. The paper argues that consent to form contracts should be construed as consent to pay market price.

Professors Eric DeGroffBenjamin Madison, and Natt Gantt recently joined the Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law.  The organization, which began in 2011, strives to transform legal education in response to challenges that have emerged in the field. Members represent 113 law schools and legal service organizations. The professors also represented Regent Law last month at an invitation-only workshop, "Helping Each Student Internalize the Core Values and Ideals of the Profession," held at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

Professor Lynne Marie Kohm's article, "Roe's Effects on Family Law," was recently listed on SSRN's Top 10 download list for the topic of AARN: Family Law.

The latest article by  Professor Lynne Marie Kohm and alum Elizabeth Oklevitch ('14), “Federalism or Extreme Makeover of State Domestic Regulations Power? The Rules and Rhetoric of Windsor (and Perry),” is now available on SSRN.

7.03.2014

Professor Cameron Published in Popular New York Times Opinion Blog

Professor Bruce Cameron published “A Good Day for Employee Freedom” in Room for Debate, a popular opinion blog in The New York Times. His post responds to the topic “Union Dues and the Court.” He and three other experts weigh in, answering the following question: “Should public employees be required to pay union dues, even if they don’t join the union that represents them?”

Professor Cameron agrees with the Supreme Court of the United States’ conclusion that employees who do not join a union should not be required to pay dues. He cites the recent decision, stating, “… the First Amendment prohibits the state of Illinois from requiring home-care providers to pay union ‘agency fees,’ because those individuals are not full-fledged public employees, and the union uses this money to influence the actions of the government.”

Professor Cameron is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. He teaches Religion in the Workplace, Labor Law, and administers the Right to Work Practicum.

6.27.2014

Regent Hosts Judicial Internship Banquet

During their three-year stint in the juris doctorate programs, many students focus on the theory of law, absorbing two-dimensional cases from books laced with legalese. But, through its Judicial Internship Program, more than 50 Regent University School of Law students have the opportunity to learn from judges and clerks from local city courts.

On Tuesday, June 25, the School of Law, along with the Office of Career & Alumni Services, hosted the 10th Annual Judicial Internship Banquet at The Founders Inn and Spa.

There, program participants from more than 15 courts—such as the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and the Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court—were honored for their service in guiding students.

Judge Patricia West, associate dean for the School of Law (pictured), welcomed the students, judges and clerks who participated in the Judicial Internship Program for the 2013-2014 academic year. And while she acknowledges that the program provides a unique opportunity for Regent students to gain real-world application of the principles of law, she believes there are additional benefits that are just as important.

"Our students develop personal relationships with the judges, the clerks and many of the attorneys who appear in the courts where the students are assigned," said West. "Those relationships often remain long after the particulars of a case are forgotten, and we are grateful to the judges and clerks who open their courtrooms and their hearts to our students."

Aubrey Cross, a second-year student in the School of Law, expressed her gratitude at the banquet. This summer Cross is serving at the Chesapeake General District Court, where she's received a more holistic view of the courtroom.

"You have given us an opportunity that I'm sure we will never forget," said Cross.

This "unforgettable" opportunity is what spurred Judge Glen A. Huff Jr. to share the story of his internship experience, which he completed nearly four decades ago, and is what encourages him to participate in the internship program for Regent students to this day.

"Judges can have a profound effect on young lawyers; it's a pleasure to work with the students and to watch them grow and develop," said Huff. "We're doing something to bring these young people into their careers."

Huff explained that his own internship opportunity opened his mind to "possibility thinking." His upbringing was in "stark contrast" to the years he spent learning the law, but Huff's judicial clerkship gave him the confidence to imagine that he could one day be an attorney and eventually be appointed to the bench of the Court of Appeals of Virginia.

"It's our responsibility to bring these students into our sphere of influence," said Huff. "May each of the judges embrace these students and encourage our colleagues to give them their time; we can make a difference."

Learn more about Regent University School of Law and the Office of Career & Alumni Services.

By Brett Wilson

Faculty Achievements: Week ending June 27, 2014

Professor James Duane's article, "The Proper Pronunciation of Certiorari: The Supreme Court's Surprising Six-Way Split," continues to be cited online. University of Wisconsin Law School professor Ann Althouse addressed the article in her popular ephonymous blog, and National Law Journal featured the article in "No Video, But Here's Audio of How Justices Say 'Certiorari.'"

Professor James Duane also had the opportunity to speak in Tulsa, Okla., as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Criminal Defense Institute sponsored by the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

Professor Bradley Jacob was interviewed by CBN News regarding legal challenges related to recent attempts to redefine marriage.

Professor Scott Pryor's paper, "Municipal Bankruptcy: When Doing Less is Doing Best," was recently listed on SSRN's Top 10 download list in these categories: ERN: Other Political Economy: National, State & Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations (Topic); and PSN: Local Politics & Policy (Topic).

6.26.2014

Law Professor’s Article on Ambiguous Pronunciation of ‘Certiorari’ Goes Viral

When The Green Bag, a journal known for featuring humorous legal articles, published “The Proper Pronunciation of Certiorari: The Supreme Court’s Surprising Six-Way Split,” Professor James Duane didn’t expect major legal news outlets to make his article headline news.

The article uncovers inconsistencies in the pronunciation of “certiorari,” an order that allows a higher court to request a lower court’s records. The confusion is a classic case of poh-tay-toh/poh-tah-toh: there seems to be more than one way to say it, and no one has standardized the pronunciation.

When researching, Professor Duane consulted legal dictionaries, but he only found inconsistencies. Then he turned to recordings of 13 modern Supreme Court justices speaking in court. Ideally, to save face, a lawyer should mimic the Supreme Court justices’ pronunciation, but it turns out that their pronunciations are inconsistent too.

The article has gone viral in the legal world. It was the topic of several National Law Journal articles. One, “No Video, But Here’s Audio of How Justices Say ‘Certiorari,’” includes audio files of six Supreme Court justices pronouncing the word. It was a headline story and one of the “most read items” in the ABA Journal, and Ed Wheland wrote about it in a National Review blog post. Adam Liptak, a Supreme Court reporter for The New York Times, even tweeted about it. Ann Althouse, a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, picked up the topic in her eponymous blog.

“I was of course hoping that somebody might notice my work on this, but I did not expect the item to attract quite this much attention so quickly,” says Professor Duane.

“Perhaps critics of the Supreme Court on both the right and the left love the idea of anything that makes it appear that the justices on the Court cannot get their story straight. If this mounting wave of interest keeps up, the piece might even come to their attention as well.”

Download a copy of Professor Duane's article here.

6.20.2014

Faculty Achievements: Week ending June 20, 2014

Professor Eric DeGroff was elected secretary of the Board of Governors for the Virginia State Bar’s Environmental Section. The position lasts for one year.

Professor James Duane's article, "The Proper Pronunciation of Certiorari: The Supreme Court's Surprising Six-Way Split," has earned tremendous popularity. It was the subject of the headline story in the National Law Journal, one of the top headline stories and most read items in the ABA Journal, discussed in Ed Whelan's blog in National Review Online, and mentioned by Adam Liptak of The New York Times on his Twitter account.

Professor Tessa Dysart's article, "Child, Victim, or Prostitute? Justice through Immunity for Prostituted Children," is available on SSRN. She argues that prostituted children should be immune to prosecution. The article is published in the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy.

Professor Lynne Marie Kohm's paper, "Roe's Effects on Family Law," which is published in the Washington and Lee Law Review, was recently listed on SSRN's top 10 download list for Family Law.