11.15.2016

Regent Law Faculty Achievements - Week of November 13, 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 Dean Lynne Marie Kohm, Professors James Duane, Natt Gantt and Ben Madison, and Associate Professor Kathleen McKee presented various topics at the National Christian Legal Society Convention in Washington, D.C. October 20-24. 

Assistant Professor Tessa Dysart spoke at the student Federalist Society chapters at Concordia Law School in Boise, Idaho on Oct. 13, and at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon on Oct. 20.  These presentations were largely based on her articles: The Origination Clause, the Affordable Care Act, and Indirect Constitutional Violations, and The Protected Innocence Initiative: Building Protective State Law Regimes for America’s Sex-Trafficked Children.

Associate Professor Mike Schutt was the keynote speaker at the recent Advocates International Conference in Australia in early October, speaking from his book Redeeming Law: Christian Calling and the Legal Profession.

Professor Eric DeGroff was a panelist on Teachers’ Rights in the Public Schools, at the 2016 Public School Education Summit, sponsored by Education Services of Hampton Roads, Inc., in Norfolk, VA on Oct. 8, 2016.  His work on this can be downloaded at Sex Education in the Public Schools and the Accommodation of Familial Rights. Professor DeGroff also was formally selected last week as chair of the Environmental Section of the Virginia State Bar and will serve in that role for the next year.

Professor James Duane spoke about the Fifth Amendment during the week of October 18 at Georgetown Law School in Washington, D.C., and at Cornell Law School in Ithaca, NY on his articles: The Right to Remain Silent: A New Answer to an Old Question, and The Extraordinary Trajectory of Griffin v. California: The Aftermath of Playing Fifty Years of Scrabble with the Fifth Amendment.  Professor Duane will be presenting his work "You Have the Right to Remain Innocent" at Albright College, in Reading, PA, in cooperation with the Berks County Bar Association Lecture in Contemporary Legal Issues for a 2017 event. He was also invited by Alliance Defending Freedom to participate as faculty for the Blackstone Legal Fellowship 2017.

Associate Professor Jim Davids has accepted an offer from Liberty University Law Review to publish his article, "The Role of Worldview in the Judicial Decisions of John Paul Stevens" in their upcoming judiciary-focused spring issue.

Associate Dean Lynne Marie Kohm presented “Baby Daddy Drama: Father’s Rights in the Context of Abortion” (working off a parallel piece: A Prospective Analysis of Family Fragmentation: Baby Mama Drama Meets Jane Austen) at the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates Conference in Fredericksburg, VA on October 27.

Professor Lou Hensler’s proposal for "Religious Critiques of the Law" was accepted for Pepperdine Law School’s Nootbaar Conference in March 2017.

Assistant Professor Caleb Griffin’s proposal was accepted to the SEALS New Scholars Program which will take place July 30 through August 6, 2017 in Boca Raton, FL.

Professors Natt Gant and Ben Madison
will present at the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility Conference next year on professional identity formation.

Professor Ben Madison’s proposal on "The Rubric Meets the Road in Legal Education: Program Assessment of the Degree to Which a Law School’s J.D. Program is Achieving it Learning Outcomes" was accepted for the Detroit Mercy Law Review.  Professor Madison also just accepted an invitation to present at an ABA Conference in St. Louis May31-June 2, 2017.

Dean Michael Hernandez, Associate Dean Lynne Marie Kohm, and Professors Natt Gantt and Lou Hensler were invited to participate in an official induction ceremony for their publications over the past two years into the University Library collection, featured as the Spotlight on Faculty Scholarship event on November 15, 2016.

Regent Law Adjunct Professor Dr. Carol Rasnic is presenting "How (if at all) did the 2013 and 2015 U.S. Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Decisions Affect Employment Discrimination Law?" this week at the Annual General Meeting of the Irish Association of Law Teachers in Waterford, Ireland.

Raising Up More Lawyers for Jesus with Regent School of Law Dean Michael Hernandez

This past weekend, Dean Hernandez was interviewed on Lawyers for Jesus Radio hosted by Noel Sterett '06, a Regent Law alum and partner at Mauck & Baker, LLC in Chicago, IL.

Listen in to hear Dean Hernandez discuss Faith in the Law.

Regent Hosts Annual Regional Moot Court Tournament

Regent University hosted the Mid Atlantic American Moot Court Association (AMCA) tournament the weekend of November 4, 2016. Students in the Regent University Debate Association (RUDA) from the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) registered five teams, two of which earned third and fourth place in the regional competition. Three students, Alexandria Cross, Ronald Pantalena, and Christopher Mateer, received top-10 speaker awards.

"I think the students did very well," said Dr. Nick Higgins, CAS assistant professor and RUDA sponsor. "We will have two teams that will be invited to go to the national tournament in Florida in January. Now we are just working with them to refine their arguments, looking at where the judges poked holes in them, and create a better way to go about and ensure we, Lord willing, have victory in Florida."

Eleven RUDA students competed in teams of two. They presented arguments about voter ID laws, and whether they violate the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Gender played a role in this year's AMCA scenario by presenting a fictitious case where a woman was denied her right to vote after marrying, changing her name, and attempting to vote before she could obtain a new ID. New for this year, competitors had to prove they had standing to bring about a lawsuit before a judge would hear the scenario case.

Competitors came to the annual tournament at Regent from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the University of Virginia, George Washington University, James Madison University, Bridgewater College, Patrick Henry College, and Liberty University. Judges determined speaker awards based on knowledge of case facts, legal reasoning, and the manner in which contestants presented themselves while facing pressure from judges. Points were awarded in these categories, and then aggregated.

"These students have been working anywhere from three to six hours per week just on presenting their arguments to myself and Lindsey Gilman, a third year law school student who helps coach them," said Higgins. "She and I are there two to three days per week, and we have students come and give arguments to us, and we badger them back and forth like they would at a tournament. The students do their own legal research and prepare their own arguments, and they've been doing this since the first week of school."

RUDA students who succeeded at the regional tournament took a few days off, but are preparing for a national tournament at Stetson University in Florida in January. RUDA typically focuses on Moot Court in the fall, but may expand to do policy debates in the spring. Higgins says students enjoyed the regional competition and are looking forward to competing again next year.

By Brennan Smith

11.04.2016

Law Students Take Second Place at Stetson National Pre-Trial Competition

Regent University School of Law (LAW) Trial Advocacy Board earned early success at the 2016 Ninth Annual National Pre-Trial Competition at the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida, in late October.

Robertson Hall
LAW students Daniel Waters ’17, Julianna Battenfield ’17, Alison Haefner ’17, Elizabeth Berry ’18, and Justin Burch ’17 earned second place in the competition, coming out ahead of teams from law schools such as University of Miami School of Law, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and Texas Tech University School of Law.

Additionally, the team earned the Second Best Brief in the competition for Prosecution and Second Best Brief for Combined Memoranda. They were coached by LAW adjunct professor Jim Metcalfe.

“Regent Law strives to develop three general legal skills: writing, advocacy and strenuous academics,” said Waters. “This competition required excellence in all three of those areas.” Waters said his favorite part of competing is proving his team’s great writing and advocating skills.

“Consistently at all competitions, judges say [we] are currently better than many lawyers they see in their courts,” said Waters. “That means the Regent Law Advocacy program is training lawyers who are academically and experientially on-par with many top 100 advocacy programs.”

According to Waters, the team will assign 2L students to their Spring Semester 2017, and will continue to prepare for competitions at the regional and national levels.

Learn more about Regent University’s School of Law.

By Brett W. Tubbs

11.03.2016

Regent University School of Law Presents “Slavery in India: Myth or Reality?”

The unbroken cycle of poverty, debt and high-demand for slave labor and sex trafficking leaves many broken families and individuals in the nation of India. But individuals and organizations are working to combat this repetitive, tide-like loop.

David Eggert, Evan Henck, and
Abishek Jebaraj.
On Monday, October 31, Regent University School of Law’s Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law presented a discussion titled, “Slavery in India: Myth or Reality?”

The event featured assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, Grayson County and alumnus Evan Henck ’07 (LAW), and India General Counsel at Justice Ventures International (JVI) Abishek Jebaraj. The panel was moderated by University of Washington & Lee Professor David Eggert.

To Henck, slavery in India is all but a myth. His line of work as the former director of Freedom Firm, an organization that seeks “rescue, restoration and justice” for survivors of sex-trafficking, gave him specific insight into the repetitive problems unfolding every day in India.

“Sex trafficking is everywhere,” said Henck. “I’m not sure how to measure it, but essentially it’s in every city and town in India. Every town seems like they have red light areas.”

Bonded labor is another struggle for Indian cities. Families work to pay off loans for generations, and frequently the women and children absorbed into this type of trafficking are beaten.

According to Jebaraj, slave labor is so extensive in Indian cities that an approximated eight to 10 million people are impacted by it.

“New York City has 12 million residents,” said Jebaraj. “That should give you an idea of how big the problem is."

Henck explained that the injustice is far too widespread to rely solely on education or restoration means to combat the problem.

“The legal means is by far the best means,” said Henck.

He believes that developing the rule of law and establishing repercussions for those who participate in the trafficking of young women, children and slave labor is the most effective means of stopping the trend.

But the problem doesn’t stop with legality, or even recognizing the moral issues tacked with selling labor or sex as commodities. It’s a social issue.

“We’re there because no one else really cares,” said Henck.

For Jebraj and his work with JVI, his hope is for freedom, justice and restoration for the survivors of trafficking. He joined the organization when he was 20 years old. He says the work he’s done over the last decade has shaped him significantly.

“God got my heart,” said Jebaraj. “And I have a more fulfilling calling on my life.”

His call to the students in the room was to “do something,” even if it means dedicating 15 hours of pro-bono work a year to the cause.

“Just a few hours a year can make a small difference,” said Jebaraj. “And, of course, prayer makes a world of a difference.”

Learn more about Regent University School of Law and the Regent Law Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.

By Brett W. Tubbs

10.14.2016

Ron Villanueva Visits Regent University School of Law

On Tuesday, October 4, Regent University School of Law students had the opportunity to connect with Delegate Ron Villanueva, who represents the 21st District in Virginia's House of Delegates. The event was sponsored by Regent's Asian Pacific Law Student Association (APLSA).

Ron Villanueva.
Villanueva has held an elected office for 15 years, and currently represents portions of the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, all-the-while balancing the demands of a family and his small business ownership.

“As an elected official, you want to make a difference,” said Villanueva. “You want to enjoy what you’re doing.”

Villanueva was a graduate student in the mid-1990s at Regent’s Robertson School of Government (RSG) and also worked on campus in the development office. His time learning on campus was “transformational,” helping him grow out of a season of doubting God and questioning his faith, and sustaining him after a season of loss.

“It’s tremendous to see how the student body and programs have grown,” said Villanueva. “It’s a testament to the mission of this school. And it’s wonderful to be back here.”

Villanueva was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2009 – the first Filipino-American elected to Virginia’s state government. Since then, he’s held four consecutive terms, serving as the new Chairman of Transportation, and sits on the Science and Technology and the Commerce and Labor Committee. Prior to serving in the Virginia House, Villanueva was a member of Virginia Beach City Council.

And though, admittedly, he’s earned respect despite his youthfulness, his message to students was to “do your homework.”

“You have to come with your A-game,” he said. “You need to be well-versed and when you speak, map out where your opinions are going.”

He also suggested students pursue careers in the fields where the workers are few but imperative, such as cyber-security, telecommunications, finance, healthcare, criminal justice, LGBT legislation, appeals, business law and immigration to name a few.

But for Villanueva, his life is more than developing policy, earning another term or chairing another committee.

For him, it’s about seeking the support of others, managing his schedule and acknowledging that he can’t “do it all.” He’s learned the issues that come up in his day-to-day life will always be there; but his priorities are clear:

“I’m not perfect, so I lean on God, friends and family support – that’s what I’ve been teaching my family,” said Villanueva. “There will always be another meeting you need to go to, always a deal you need to close, but you can’t take your eyes off your family and faith.”

Learn more about Regent University’s School of Law.

By Brett Wilson Tubbs | October 14, 2016

10.13.2016

Regent University School of Law Celebrates 25 Years of Law Review

Regent University School of Law (LAW) holds fast to its traditions and values stemming from the biblical mandate in Isaiah 1:17: seeking justice and encouraging the oppressed.

Justice Daniel Kelly.
This October, however, LAW paid tribute to another tradition: the Regent University Law Review. In partnership with the Regent Law Federalist Society, on October 1 LAW hosted the 2016 Regent University Law Review Symposium, titled “First Amendment post-Obergefell: the Clash of Enumerated & Unenumerated Rights.”

The symposium's first panel was on education and the effect of the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges opinion on religious universities and law schools.

Participation in the panel included LAW dean, Michael Hernandez; Canadian Counsel of Christian Charities’ Barry Bussey; professor at Duquesne Law, Bruce Ledewitz; and professor at St. Mary’s Law, Bill Piatt.

A second panel focused on Obergefell’s effect on the First Amendment rights of religious objectors in for-profit companies, non-profit entities and churches. Speakers on this topic included Family Research Council’s Travis Weber; First Liberty Institute’s Chelsey Youman; and Alliance Defending Freedom’s Caleb Dalton.

This year marks the Law Review’s celebration of its 25th anniversary. Its first issue was published in 1991, and since then, the Law Review has completed 28 volumes encompassing 390 articles.

Attending the celebration was Regent LAW alumnus, Daniel Kelly '91, who was appointed justice for the Supreme Court Justice for the State of Wisconsin in summer 2016. Kelly was the Regent University Law Review’s first-ever editor-in-chief.

“When I first accepted this invitation, I thought, ‘25 years is quite a long time for the Law Review to have been in existence,” said Kelly. “This thought was immediately interrupted with a second, which was the fact that as much as this birth coincided with my graduation from my beloved alma mater, 25 years isn’t really long at all.”

Whether he perceives the passing of those 25 years since he was last on campus as long or short, Kelly was quick to admit that he hardly recognized the school once he returned. “I have the fondest memories of this place and my time here,” said Kelly. “And I don’t mean to sound like a stereotypical uncle upon seeing his nieces and nephews after an extended period of absence, but my, how you’ve grown!”

And though the buildings have changed, and the student body is at its largest-ever, Kelly explained that the important things, such as the purpose, spirit and fellowship that made Regent unique was still apparent to this day.

He thanked those in the Regent Law Review’s past – including associate vice president for Academic Affairs, Doug Cook – who championed the importance of the Law Review in its early days. Kelly also charged the current and future leaders of the Law Review to continue the “noble cause” with excellence.

“May the Regent University Law Review always be blessed with editors who care about it as much as the ones it has today,” said Kelly. “May its contribution and the influence it’s had over the last 25 years grow as quickly and surely as it has grown it its first. And now, may God bless you, this university and the work of your hands.”

Learn more about Regent University School of Law.

By Brett W. Tubbs | October 10, 2016

10.10.2016

Regent School of Law Hosts 2016 Conference of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools

This fall, Regent University’s School of Law hosted the 2016 Conference of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools (RALS). The biennial symposium provides law professors with an opportunity to address issues of particular relevance to faith-based law institutions.

Photo courtesy of the School of Law.
This year’s conference – titled “Changes and Challenges for Faith Based Legal Education” – attracted panelists from institutions such as, St. Mary’s School of Law, University of Illinois College of Law, University of Houston Law Center and Florida Coastal School of Law.

“We were honored to host the 2016 Religiously Affiliated Law Schools (RALS) Conference,” said LAW Dean Michael Hernandez. “The conference provides an excellent opportunity for our faculty to host and engage professors from other law schools and to showcase Regent Law’s Christian mission and commitment to academic excellence.”

Throughout the conference, panelists zeroed in on topics such as “Implementing Ethical Formation & Professional Identity in Law School,” “Potential Accreditation and Tax Exempt Status Issues for Religiously Affiliated Law Schools After Obergefell,” “New Scholarship,” and “Pursuing Global Justice.”

Professor Edna Udobong from Liberty University School of Law presented on The Challenge of Global Justice: Advocating for Equal Rights in an Unequal World.

“Global justice is a broad topic, but we have to start somewhere,” said Udobong. “God is the source of justice.”

She explained that law schools should influence local law; provide legal and spiritual assistance; give continuous advocacy; train law enforcement; and counsel children and their parents in refugee camps to serve those seeking justice.

“That’s our mission,” said Udobong. “To train students and ourselves to fulfill the Great Commission.”

Dean of St. Thomas University School of Law, Robert Vischer spoke on Institutional Engagement & Institutional Misison – Why Religiously Affiliated Law Schools Should be Deeply and Proactively Engaged with the #BlackLivesMatter Movement. He called for a need of compassion for those involved in religiously affiliated law schools in a world that is losing its capacity for showing empathy for others.

“What are we doing in this area? And what is a law school for? How do we move forward on these important issues?” asked Vischer. “These topics have required me to get out of my comfort zone. It’s a lot easier for me to attend an alumni party than it is for me to go to a protest – but if the students are there, I’m there.”

Finally, Jim Gash, professor at Pepperdine University School of Law, shared his views on Engaging Students in Global Justice on the Ground in Real Time.

“The students that you attract are going to law school not just to be equipped with the law, but they will learn how to be ministers to the broken,” said Gash. “That’s what we do: We create ministers to the broken and we prepare them to serve.”

Learn more about Regent University School of Law.

By Brett W. Tubbs