Regent Law Faculty in the News

Bruce Cameron, the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law, was interviewed by Phil Walzer of The Virginian-Pilot about a settlement reached between Smithfield Foods and the United Food and Commercial Workers union. Smithfield had brought a lawsuit against the union, accusing it of using extortion to bring down the company. Read the full story here.

Law Professor Bradley Jacob was quoted in this article on, a fund-rating website, about how the next president's appointments to the Supreme Court will impact constitutional rights.

Fortune Small Business
will be publishing a response from Law Professor Thomas Folsom to a reader’s question regarding trademark issues in the December-January issue.

A Frenzy of Food

Regent Law School Wins Attorney General's Cup Two Years Running


From left to right: Virginia Atty. General Bob McDonnell, Dean and Professor Jeffrey Brauch, 3L Mykell Messman.

Working to bring greater attention to the issue of hunger in America, Regent Law responded to a nationwide call-to-action to fill local foodbanks.

Over the summer students, administration, and faculty worked together to donate over 16,000 pounds of food to Virginia’s Second Annual Legal Food Frenzy, which benefits the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia (FSEVA).

Against a backdrop of Hunger Action Month, the school’s efforts were rewarded in September with the Law School Attorney General’s Cup for collecting the most total pounds and most pounds per capita of food.

Virginia Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell honored Regent Law with the Cup at an awards ceremony that celebrated law firms, organizations and law schools that together raised 1,366,401 pounds of food.

The ceremony was also a celebration of the grand opening of FSEVA’s new marketplace that will house the foodbank’s 500+ partner agencies that feed the hungry of Southeast Virginia. With the September donations, the agency will be able to provide 1,067,501 meals.

While the Law school won the Attorney General’s Cup last year as well, the 2008 donations exceeded those of 2007 by nearly 12,000 pounds.

Clash of the Titans 2008: Civil Discourse Reflects Passionate Beliefs


Steve Forbes answering audience question as other debaters look on.

While the country has had the past 18 months to ponder the question, the six panelists at Regent University's sixth annual Clash of the Titans® had just two hours to debate which party is best suited to lead America. 

No election in recent memory has been talked about, parsed, debated or written about as much as this one: the first African-American running as candidate of a major political party; the first woman to run as a Republican candidate for vice president; and the sheer volume of newly registered voters have made this political fascinating to watch—particularly as both parties are running vigorously on platforms of change.

An increasingly unpopular war, an unstable economy, and the very real threat of a world-wide recession are bringing unprecedented numbers of people to the polls—to the extent that citizens are allowed and even encouraged to vote early, to avoid long lines and frustration on November 4. Rarely has the country felt more divided. 

It is in that context that the words of Dr. Jay Sekulow as he introduced Regent University President and Chancellor Dr. M. G. "Pat" Robertson rang both true and vital: "the university is committed to intellectual discussion, and to exposing students (and the world) to a diversity of views." Perhaps never before has exposure to the views left and right of center been more critical. 

The six debaters chosen to be 2008's "Titans" were introduced by moderator Norah O' Donnell, chief Washington correspondent for MSNBC, and were seated in the following order: 

On the right side of the aisle (and on the Regent stage) was Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and 2008 Republican candidate; 

On the left, Alan Colmes, host of 
The Alan Colmes Show and co-host of Hannity & Colmes, both on the FOX network; 

On the right, Steve Forbes, chairman and CEO of Forbes, Inc., and Republican candidate for president in 1996 and 2000; 

On the left, Donna Brazile, political commentator and chair of the Democratic National Committees Voting Rights Institute; 

On the right, Rick Santorum, former U. S. Senator from Pennsylvania and former chair of the Senate Republican Conference; and 

On the left, Geraldine Ferraro, Democratic candidate for vice president in 1984 and former member of the House of Representatives from New York. 

The debate was divided into four parts: opening statements (5 minutes), round table discussion where the debaters put questions to each other, pre-selected questions from the audience and closing remarks. 

In his opening comment, Governor Huckabee brought laughter from the crowd when he said he was grateful for five minutes—"much more than I ever got in the presidential debates." His remarks were focused on domestic/social issues, and concentrated on his pro-life stance. 

Alan Colmes also drew a laugh when he described what it's like to be a liberal working for the FOX network. Turning serious, he lamented the ugly tone the current election has taken and expressed his hope that the remaining days of the election would be spent talking about issues, rather than negativity and personal attacks on the candidates, all four of whom he called good people. 

Steve Forbes, talking about the current economic crisis, immediately cast blame on the Bush administration for countenancing a weak dollar. He cited the differences between various elements of the Obama and McCain tax plans, and emphasized that the Republicans have the right idea. 

The first applause of the debate was earned by Donna Brazile, when she suggested that no matter what the issue—fiscal responsibility, budgetary spending, tax plans, the war in Iraq—the question the candidates need to answer for Americans is, 
how do we get to the solutions together? 

Rick Santorum spoke about the huge differences in the foreign policy platforms of the two candidates. He explained that the jihadists who threaten America are motivated by theology, hating us not because of what we do, but because of who we are. He worried that candidate Obama does not understand the jihadist mindset. 

Geraldine Ferraro noted her own process of deciding to endorse the Democratic ticket. A passionate supporter of Hilary Clinton, she had to be persuaded through questioning and study to support Barack Obama. Her conclusion: his intelligence, his thoughtfulness and knowledge, his selection of Senator Biden as his running mate, made him the best choice to lead this country in difficult times.

During the round table discussions, the debaters queried each other, and it was during those exchanges that the most heat was felt. No softball questions, these: they ranged from abortion to tax plans, and from the Cold War to the ones being waged now and being contemplated in the future. Referring to Huckabee's pro-life stance citing the sanctity of life, Colmes challenged his position by asking why it would not also apply to fighting an unnecessary war that has resulted in the needless loss of thousands of lives? Huckabee responded that "protecting innocent people from harm" is different than killing a baby. 

Ferraro challenged Forbes on the efficacy of trickle down economics, and argued against his assertion that Reagan era politics resulted in America willing the cold war. Ferraro retorted that we won the cold war because the Russian economy imploded. Santorum queried Brazile about whether capital gains taxes should be increased, even if doing so would not raise revenue, just because in Senator Obama's words, "it's fair." 

The most heated exchange was between Ferraro and Santorum. It had to do with America being safer under Bush administration policies since 9/11. Ferraro contended that neither she nor her fellow New Yorkers feel safer, and asked him directly if he still would have voted for the Iraq war if he had known that there were no weapons of mass destruction. Santorum predicted that within a few months, "something will happen in Iran," and stated matter-of-factly, "Iran cannot get a nuclear weapon. Period." 

The discourse remained civil, but it was apparent that each of the six was prepared to defend firmly held positions. Even as they sparred, the debaters demonstrated that people of good will can and will differ on philosophical and political issues. 

It was the audience's turn next. Their questions touched on all the standard campaign topics, and were answered with the same candor and thoughtfulness. 

As the debate closed, all six of the "Titans" spoke with the passion that reflects the importance they ascribe to this election: 

Santorum declared that if Senator Obama is elected, the country will suffer from the Democrat's inexperience and radical policies. 

Ferraro cited health care as one of the major issues facing American voters and noted that McCain's plan could put families in jeopardy of losing coverage altogether. 

Huckabee noted the resilience of the American people, and he reiterated the wish that the campaign had been as civil as this debate. 

Colmes asked why the voters should reward the political party that had brought America to its current state of crisis. 

Forbes focused on McCain's economic plans and called them the only solution to get the country out of those crises. 

And Brazile ended by stating that no matter who is elected, he will have to reach out to the other, and to all Americans, as that is how as Americans we face diversity—together. 

The last word, fittingly, belonged to moderator O'Donnell and it was heartily received by the audience: "Now go vote!"

Regent Student Wins Contested Asylum Case

Internship brings opportunity to advocate for Ethiopian immigrant

For 3L JoRae Bishop, issues of immigration are nothing new. “I grew up as a minority in El Paso, Texas, a community of immigrants. I’ve always been aware of immigration issues.”

So, a summer internship at an immigration agency was simply the natural progression in her legal career.

El Paso’s Las Americas, an immigrant advocacy center, handles three types of immigration cases: unaccompanied minors, woman who are victims of abuse, and asylum seekers. As an intern, JoRae was able to engage cases that fell within each category, but her summer centered on a particular contested asylum case.

“The client that I spent the most time with was a young Ethiopian man, persecuted because of his membership in a minority tribe in that country,” JoRae said. “He was forced with the choice of staying in Ethiopia and facing death or fleeing to the United States.”

Her client chose the risky path of fleeing. Having no promises once he arrived in the States, he ended up in a detention center in El Paso. There, JoRae met with him once a week to develop his story.

“He’d been through so much but laughed so freely,” she said. “He was childlike, but clearly knew one thing: America stood for democracy and freedom. It was the one place he believed his life would be spared.”

As Attorney of Record on the case, JoRae was tasked with everything necessary to apply for asylum. She developed a timeline of her client’s life, tracked every graphic detail of his persecution, and gathered supporting evidence, which involved researching country-specific facts and contacting experts to testify at trial. She wrote and submitted the brief, and because the hearing was in September, she flew back to Texas from school to spend 6 hours in court arguing the case.

Despite a vigorous contest from the government attorney, JoRae’s client was granted asylum on September 17th. While the government still has until October 21st to appeal, her client is free at this moment.

But while her legal obligation is over, her client’s freedom uncovered a missing link in the process for immigrants awarded asylum that she can’t ignore. Despite being the second largest port-of-entry for immigrants in the United States, El Paso has few resources for immigrants. “There is no rehabilitation or resettlement program in El Paso,” said JoRae disbelievingly. “Once an immigrant is granted asylum, they are entitled to stipends, food stamps, Medicaid, and social security. But if there’s no agency for those benefits to funnel through, the beneficiary doesn’t receive them.”

Consequently, JoRae is working from Virginia Beach to make sure the correct paperwork is filed and that her client has access to networks he needs to meet his immediate needs such as housing and food.

“I believe in a holistic approach to helping people,” JoRae said. “You need to meet their needs in the moment. Just because my legal duties are over, doesn’t mean I quit.”

Advocacy - really taking on a client’s case and discovering what his best interest is - is the largest lesson of JoRae’s summer. But she’s convinced her advocacy skills aren’t what got her a favorable verdict. “The thing that really won this case is my client’s story,” she said. “Granting asylum is discretionary. The bottom line is that the judge believed him. We were able to discover and construct his story from beginning to end, without any holes, so that he could tell it. For a deserving immigrant, lawyers have the power to make that happen.”

Regent Law Prof. Eleanor Brown is one of the “Best Lawyers in Virginia”

Regent Law professor, Eleanor Brown has been named one of the “Best Lawyers in Virginia” for the 4th year in a row by Virginia Business Magazine.

Brown is a tax law expert and has been a professor at Regent Law since 2003.

“The selection is of course a great honor,” said Regent Law Dean and fellow professor Jeffrey Brauch. “But here is why it matters so much to our students. Sadly, many law school faculties today are filled with brilliant scholars who have never really practiced law. I think it is a real strength of Regent that our students learn from exceptionally bright people who are also great lawyers. Indeed, the vast majority of my colleagues had substantial practice experience before coming to teach. And it’s is our students who benefit most.”

One of Brown’s recent articles on conservation easement tax credits is being included as a chapter in a forthcoming book to be published Oxford Press.

Regent Law Students Win Best Brief at the 2008 National Pretrial Competition

Regent University law students know how to take knowledge from the classroom and put it into practice. In their latest endeavor, the school's Trial Advocacy Board was awarded Best Brief at the National Pretrial Competition, hosted by Stetson University School of Law in Gulfport, Fla., on Oct. 2. This is the Trial Advocacy Board's first award.

Regent's team was composed of Brandon Carr, Jessica Coulter, Roberta Gantea and Carmelou Aloupas, all second- and third-year law students. The students prepared the briefs and presented arguments at competition. And Professor David Velloney coached them. "Our students excelled because of their meticulous attention to detail and tireless commitment to ensuring that they addressed every significant facet of the law in a clear and concise manner," said Velloney. 

The group members are quick to direct the credit for their success beyond themselves. "We owe a great deal of our brief writing skill to Professor Kimberly Van Essendelft," said Carr, who also serves as chair of Regent's Trial Advocacy Board. When asked what set their brief apart from the others, Gantea replied "Organization. Great research gets a team nowhere if the brief is not easy to read and easy to follow." 

Law School Dean Jeffery Brauch has long emphasized the importance of legal writing. "I am most proud that our school has brought home awards recognizing the increased standard of performance in the legal writing of our students," Brauch said recently at a Regent alumni banquet. 

Regent University was one of seven teams invited to participate in the competition. Teams were given a civil issue that required them to research and write a brief arguing two issues: one based on Florida law, the other based on federal law. In addition to the briefs, teams had to present oral arguments and conduct cross-examinations of four witnesses. 

While the team didn't win the overall competition, they're excited about the future. The Trial Advocacy Board will send teams to Washington, D. C., in November and Texas next semester. The trial competition team has already been invited back to Stetson University for next year's Pretrial Competition. 

The Trial Advocacy Board joins the long list of Regent Law School teams that have won national recognition. Most notably, Regent's Moot Court teams have achieved elite status, ranking fifth in the nation, based on its numerous regional and national titles, as well as winning awards for their briefs. Regent's negotiation team also recently won a national title.

Regent Ranks Among the "Best Law Schools of 2009" by Princeton Review

Regent University Law School is one of the nation's most outstanding law schools, according to The Princeton Review—a company that assesses school districts across the United States and networks prospective students with college and career resources. Regent Law ranked second for "Candidates for Heritage Foundation Fellowships" and seventh for "Best Student Life" in Princeton Review's latest book Best 174 Law Schools: 2009 Edition.

"We select schools for this book based on our high regard for their academic programs and offerings, institutional data we collect from the schools, and the candid opinions of students attending them who rate and report on their campus experiences at the schools," said Robert Franek, vice president of publishing for The Princeton Review. "We are pleased to recommend Regent to readers of our book and users of our website as one of the best institutions they could attend to earn a law degree."

The Princeton Review does not rank the schools in the book on a single hierarchical list from 1 to 174, or name one law school best overall. Instead, the book has 11 ranking lists of the top ten law schools in various categories. Ten lists are based on The Princeton Review's surveys of 18,000 students attending the 174 law schools profiled in the book.

Regent Law School Alum Wins Prosecution Award

Regent Law School Alumnus Tony Leibert (‘87) has spent the last three years successfully prosecuting sex-crimes committed against children.

His track record of courtroom success recently earned him the 2008 Ernest F. Hollings Award for Excellence in Prosecution. The award was presented this past Monday night at a statewide meeting of prosecutors in Hilton Head, S.C.

Read the full story here.

Regent Law celebrates the success of alums like Tony Leibert, recognizing that law is much more than a profession. It’s a calling.

Georgetown Professor Viet Dinh Speaks at National Security Symposium 2008

Georgetown University Law Center Professor Viet Dinh was the featured keynote speaker at the National Security Symposium 2008, presented by the Regent University Law Review and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies.

Dinh delivered a stirring lecture on the separation of powers in the three branches of government, in light of the War on Terror. He identified four defining legal cases with respect to the war, and he spoke specifically of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions that affect rights of enemy combatant detainees in Iraq and Guantanamo.

He noted how since September 11, the branches of power in government have struggled with each other to assert their own role within the constitutional structure in responding to the attack of terrorists. Of the Constitutional conversation going on between the branches, he called attention to the court's triumphalism. "What started as a dialogue is now a monologue," he said.

He spoke of the dangers of constitutional brinksmanship, of the Court assuming a triumphalist position and dangers of exceptionalism, so that what Chief Justice Roberts calls "Constitutional bait-and-switch" gives the enemy more rights than Haitian refugee applicants or even members of the U.S. military.

Regent Law Secures Victory at 12th Annual Statewide Legal Food Frenzy for Third Year Running

Regent University School of Law students, faculty,  and staff contributed to the 1.5 million pounds of food collected by the local legal com...