Recent Symposium Brings Muslims, Scholars on Islam and Democracy to Campus

The Regent Journal of International Law (RJIL) recently hosted the 2007 Fall Symposium on campus themed "Islam, Democracy, and Post-9/11 Nation Building." More than 100 people were in attendance at the event held in the Regent University Library Atrium.

According to RJIL's Symposium Director Zack Hofstad , a third year law student, this year's symposium was a historic event bringing three practicing Muslims to campus to debate with other noted scholars on Islam and democracy. The speakers shared their views on reforming Islam in a thought-provoking panel, which also featured spirited debated with a former Muslim who is now a Christian. "We had an overwhelming response from both our attendees and the speakers," said Hofstad. "One of the main goals of this symposium was to get people talking about these issues and I believe we succeeded in doing so." Hofstad also noted that in the days following the event a number of students have remarked about their interest in continuing to study and debate this issue in the future.

One attendee Farnaz Farkish, a 2007 Regent Law alumnus of Persian descent, remarked that the speakers were "refreshingly honest and unafraid of disagreeing with one another." She also noted that from her observation the speaker's views on the compatibility of democracy with Islam seemed to depend on the types and interpretations of sharia law. "In the end, they reframed the issue after their debate with one another," said Farkish.

This year's speakers included Dr. Vali Nasr, internationally recognized expert on Islam and democracy, Stephen Schwartz, author and executive director of the center for Islamic Pluralism, Mehrangiz Kar, author, attorney, and an Iranian political exile, Dr. Radwan Masmoudi, President of the Center for the Study and Democracy, and Dr. Thomas Najjar, author, lecturer and former Muslim, and General John H. Johns, ret., twenty-six year Army veteran. Finally, two professors from Regent's Robertson School of Government took part including Dr. Joe Kickasola, Professor of International Affairs and Professor Jennifer Jefferis.

Regent University Law Review & The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies Announce Fall Symposium

The Regent University Law Review will host its upcoming symposium in conjunction with the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies on the weekend of November 30, 2007. The symposium will consist of a banquet and keynote address on Friday followed by a lecture and panel discussion on Saturday. The topic for this year’s symposium will be the doctrines of justiciability and standing after the recent Supreme Court decisions of Massachusetts v. EPA and Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation, Inc. The keynote speaker will be Professor Jonathan H. Adler. Other speakers include Dr. John C. Eastman, and Professor David Wagner.

The banquet and keynote address will be held on Friday, November 30, 2007 at 6:30 p.m. in the Library Atrium. On Saturday, December 1, 2007 the symposium will continue with a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. in the Robertson Hall atrium, followed by a lecture by Dr. Eastman at 9:30 a.m. and a panel discussion beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Robertson Hall moot court room. The breakfast, lecture and panel discussion are free to attend and the banquet costs $10 for students and $15 for non-students. To register, please visit http://www.regent.edu/symposium.

Jonathan H. Adler is Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he teaches courses in environmental, regulatory, and constitutional law. A prolific writer, Professor Adler is the author or editor of three books on environmental policy, and his articles have appeared in numerous publications, ranging from the Harvard Environmental Law Review and Supreme Court Economic Review to The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. His television and radio appearances span an even broader spectrum, from the PBS "Newshour with Jim Lehrer" and NPR's "Talk of the Nation" to the Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor" and Entertainment Tonight. Additionally, Professor Adler is a contributing editor to National Review Online, where he covers environmental and legal topics, and is a regular contributor to the popular legal blog, "The Volokh Conspiracy."

In 2004, Professor Adler was awarded the Paul M. Bator Award, given annually by the Federalist Society for Law and Policy Studies to an academic under 40 for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and commitment to students. Professor Adler holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University and a J.D. summa cum laude from the George Mason University School of Law. Prior to joining the faculty at Case Western, Professor Adler clerked for the Honorable David B. Sentelle on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and worked at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free market research and advocacy group in Washington, D.C., where he directed CEI's environmental studies program.

Dr. John C. Eastman was appointed Dean and Donald P. Kennedy Chair in Law of Chapman University Law School in June 2007. Previously, Dr. Eastman was the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service, and Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, a public interest law firm affiliated with the Claremont Institute that he founded in 1999. Prior to joining the Chapman Law faculty in August 1999, he served as a law clerk with Justice Clarence Thomas at the Supreme Court of the United States and with Judge J. Michael Luttig at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. After his clerkships, he practiced with the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, specializing in civil and constitutional litigation. Dr. Eastman earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where he graduated with high honors in 1995. He was selected for membership in the Order of the Coif, was a member of the Law Review, a Bradley Fellow for Research in Constitutional History, and an Olin Fellow in Law & Economics. Dr. Eastman also received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School, with fields of concentration in Political Philosophy, American Government, Constitutional Law, and International Relations. He has a B.A. in Politics and Economics from the University of Dallas. Prior to law school, he served as the Director of Congressional & Public Affairs at the United States Commission on Civil Rights during the Reagan administration and was the 1990 Republican Nominee for Congress in California’s 34th District.

Professor David Wagner has been a professor at Regent University School of Law since 1998. He graduated with a B.A. from Yale College, an M.A. from Yale Graduate School, and a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He served as an editorial writer for the Washington Times from 1984-86 and as a speechwriter for the Department of Justice from 1986-89. From 1989-95, Professor Wagner was the Director of Legal Policy at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Professor Wagner also served as a Deputy Counsel for the United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights from 1995-96 and as a senior writer for Insight Magazine from 1996-98 before joining the Regent faculty. He teaches Constitutional law and history, Criminal law, and Administrative law.

Regent Law Professor Honored By International Academy of the Visual Arts

Regent Law School Professor Charles Oates and Regent’s Center for Teaching and Learning were recently selected as a winner of the Silver Davey Award by the International Academy of the Visual Arts for their collaboration in a video titled the Missing Persons Dilemma.

The goal of the video case study was to enhance the classroom experience among Regent Law students studying legal ethics. The Missing Persons Dilemma is a dramatic reenactment based partially on an actual case. The video illustrates the conflict two defense lawyers face when confronted with a difficult ethical issue. The lawyers must choose between protecting their client’s confidence or acceding to the public's right to know the status of missing persons. The Missing Persons Dilemma video and Professor Oates’s presentation can be viewed by visiting, Regent Showcase Webpage.

The video was created to highlight the benefits of video in the classroom. Video provides an additional dimension that taps into emotions which stimulate and generate excitement in the classroom. This type of video is particularly effective for auditory or visual learners, and it enhances the retention of information compared to information provided only through reading.The Davey Awards exclusively honor the “Davids” of creativity - the finest small firms, agencies, and companies in the world. David defeated the giant Goliath with a big idea and a little rock - the sort of thing small firms do each year. The annual International Davey Awards honor the achievements of the "Creative Davids" who derive their strength from big ideas, rather than big budgets. The Davey Awards is the leading awards competition specifically for smaller firms, where firms compete with their peers to win the recognition they deserve. Please visit http://www.daveyawards.com/ for more information.

Regent Law Students Win First Amendment Moot Court Competition

This past weekend a group of Regent law students competed at the Fourteenth Annual Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition at American University in Washington D. C. Third-year law students Ashleigh Kingery, Rich Wenner, and Heath Sabin took first place after six rounds of oral argument. Additionally, Rich Wenner received honors for "Third Best Oralist."

The Wechsler Competition brought various national and international law schools together to argue a specially formulated problem concerning the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the right of expressive association. Competitors were required to write an appellate brief that was submitted about a month prior to the competition. Each team was also required to participate in two preliminary rounds of oral argument. The brief score was then calculated into the total score and helped determine which teams would advance. Competitors showcased their oral advocacy skills before venerable judges, prominent attorneys, and First Amendment scholars. When the scores were tallied, the Regent team advanced past the preliminary rounds and then advanced further past the semifinal round, earning a spot in the final round. In the final round the Regent team competed before a panel of judges including the Honorable Boyce F. Martin, Chief Judge Emeritus of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Honorable Reggie B. Walton, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, the Honorable Rosemary Pooler, Circuit Judge for the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Honorable Stephen R. Reinhardt, Circuit Judge of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

When the scores of the final round had all been tallied, the Regent moot court team was declared champion at an awards banquet. Professor Steven Fitschen, who helped coach the competing teams, spoke highly of the competitors efforts; "I am so proud of our students. This victory is attributable to two things: a lot of prayer and a lot of hard work. God was very gracious to us, and the students pumped their hearts and soul into the competition. But I was proud of them not only for their victory, but also for their great witness for Christ that they presented to the organizers, the other competitors and the judges."

This victory by the Regent Moot Court team comes as the second first place finish in 2007, the first being at the J. Braxton Craven Moot Court Competition at the University of North Carolina in February. These moot court wins for Regent are just the most recent in a series of wins over the last few years, including first place at the 2006 ABA National Appellate Advocacy Championship.

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