Law Team Wins National Negotiation Competition

Regent University School of Law's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) team of Katy Dacanay and Bo Holden won the Robert R. Merhige Jr. National Environmental Negotiation Competition held at the University of Richmond's T.C. Williams School of Law, March 27-28.

After two days of intense competition against 26 teams from 15 law schools nationwide, Regent bested teams from Pepperdine, University of Maryland, Lewis and Clark, and Hastings law schools to advance and win in the final round.

Teams were judged on how well they were able to negotiate with opposing teams towards a mutually agreeable problem solution.

Dacany and Holden, along with Regent Law professor and team coach Eric DeGroff, cite the Regent Law ADR board's dedication and cooperative spirit as an essential component of the team's success.

"The most important factor [in our success] is that Regent's ADR board is extremely active," DeGroff said. "Students are very supportive of one another and spend a lot of time researching and sparring with one another. It's truly a board-wide effort."

To compete as a representative of the ADR board, students must have taken a standard negotiations class, met GPA requirements and participated in an intramural negotiations competition.

Before the competition, Holden and Dacany went through a week-and-a-half of intense sparring practice.

Regent has won the Merhige National Environmental Negotiation Competition on three previous occasions, and Regent teams were finalists at last year's event.

For information on the growing list of recent Regent Law moot court and negotiations awards and recognitions, click here.

Regent Law Alum Named to North Carolina Super Lawyers 2009

Regent Law alum James Davis (’91) was recently selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers 2009.

Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Lawyers magazine, published in all 50 states and with a readership of over 13 million, recognizes attorneys in each state who received the highest point totals in peer-review assessment and through the independent research of Law & Politics.

“It’s a humbling experience [to be recognized as a Super Lawyer]. In reality, there are many excellent lawyers, but I appreciate the vote of confidence by my peers. I will strive to be worthy of the honor,” said Davis who is a trial lawyer in North Carolina and has had a successful practice for 18 years. “To run a successful firm, it’s taken lots of effort and the willingness to ask questions. It is difficult to master business and management principles of a law practice. I watch successful attorneys, seek the counsel of relevant professionals, read a lot, and, in the end, ask my wife. She’s loaded with smarts and common sense.” Davis credits his whole family with supporting his accomplishments. 

Davis’s son, James A. Davis II, has taken support of his dad’s career a step further; he’s followed his dad’s path to Regent Law where he is now in his second year. “Working with my father after college was the best thing I could have done before entering law school,” said Davis II. “He taught me to appreciate both the intellectual and counseling aspects of practicing law.”

The young Davis has an outstanding academic record and a knack for the courtroom, which he attributes to watching his father. “Intellectually, I could not have a better teacher. Aside from being a ‘Super Lawyer,’ he is recognized as a board certified specialist in federal and state criminal law and regularly speaks at CLE's on an array of evidence issues.”

The young Davis also has taken cues from his father’s dedication to his clients. “[My father] showed me that being an attorney isn't just another job, but a vocation which can be used to positively influence the lives of others. Many of his clients are in jail, spiritually and emotionally broken, and are awaiting trial. He often takes an extra five to ten minutes -- time that he doesn't have -- to step away from the merits of the case and let his clients know he cares about them personally. In fact, he often uses this time to pray with them.”

Davis didn’t anticipate that his son would become a lawyer and never pushed him in that direction. When asked what it feels like to have his son follow so closely in his footsteps Davis said, “Unworthy. He is a shining star who is humble, diligent and very smart. He will be a far better lawyer than I am. I not only love him; I respect him. I am thrilled to one day have the opportunity to practice with him, as I did with my dad.”

And the young Davis returns his father’s compliments; “Simply put, I'm both proud and fortunate to be able to call him ‘Dad.’”

Read the Salisbury Post’s coverage of Davis’s recognition here.
Access Super Lawyers here.

Law Alum Chosen as Executive Director of Eagle Forum

Regent Law Alum Colleen Holmes (’99) was recently given her dream job. Ever since she encountered conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly’s writings as a student at Wellesley College, Holmes has considered Schlafly to be a personal hero, and Schlafly’s Eagle Forum to be her dream employer.

“[Schlafly] helped me put into perspective much of the feminist literature I was exposed to as an undergraduate. I sought out her writings to provide a conservative counterpoint to my assigned reading, and I came to regard her as an excellent role model; as a woman who was too busy being effective at what she did, being a wife, a mother and an activist, to complain about being a woman” Working with the Eagle Forum became a goal, but after working in non policy-oriented jobs for most my career I had sort of given up. I would have been happy to lick stamps at the Eagle Forum but it seemed God’s timing was perfect, and here I am.”

Since September 2008, Holmes has worked as Eagle Forum’s Executive Director of the Capitol Hill office.

The Eagle Forum is a conservative grassroots organization founded by Schlafly in 1972. The organization grew from a group of moms, grandmothers, and other women concerned for their communities into a multi-faceted political organization that is aimed at protecting America’s unique way of life. “We have as our mission,” said Holmes, “that America will continue to be a land of individual liberty, respect for life, public and private virtue, and private enterprise.”

Holmes has had to hit the ground running. Because she was hired just before the 2008 elections and because the legislature is now in session, there has never been a slow day. As Executive Director she has a leadership role in nearly all the Eagle Forum’s activities, which include communicating issues of political import to a national membership and state leaders, and coordinating a political action committee, which includes networking and interviewing candidates for endorsement.

The Eagle Forum also participates in grassroots lobbying. “The stimulus package offers a great illustration of what the Eagle Forum does,” said Holmes, “Once the Members of Congress were given the draft of the stimulus package, they had fourteen hours to read over 1000 pages. Considering the legislative language, that was some task!”

Armed with knowledge of what the bill entailed, Holmes and her colleagues worked to raise awareness among the legislature and send alerts to Eagle Forum’s membership to spread the word. “We had spent all week learning from experts, watching online resources, and going to meetings. When the time was right, we encouraged our members to contact their Senators and Representatives and let them know our view on the damage that could be done by some of the proposals.”

Part of Eagle Forum’s unique mission comes from what Holmes describes as its founder’s unique ability to foresee unintended consequences of laws and policies. “Phyllis Schlafly has a gift of understanding how policies that might sound good on the surface can be very damaging as applied,” said Holmes. Eagle Forum is strategically poised to educate law makers about the potential impact of these policies.

Pleasantly surprised by the people she’s met since moving to D.C., Holmes said, “You’d think that people who spend too much time here have to get cynical, but it hasn’t been my experience. I’ve met many Members of Congress and staffers who are making huge sacrifices because they believe in being true public servants. They are positive, brilliant, and really understand the issues.”

Ironically, now that she has the job of her dreams she’s realized she could give it up. “If God didn’t want me here, I would leave. Just because I am involved with the things that are of national interest, the things that are in the news, they aren’t the most important things. People’s live being impacted by His power, that’s the most important thing.”

Luckily, the ‘most important thing’ easily intersects with her duties at the Eagle Forum. Tasked with figuring out what is important to Americans so that Eagle Forum can effectively advocate for those values, Holmes spends her time building relationships. “My gifts and talents are really summed up in this: the ability to talk. So, I use that to get to know people and then communicate their desire to make an impact.”

Chief Justice of Virginia Supreme Court Awards First Prize in Writing Competition

Regent Law recently welcomed long-time friend and Jurist-in-Residence Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leroy Rountree Hassell, Sr. to campus.

During Regent’s annual Jurist-in-Residence week, March 9-13, Justice Hassell spoke to campus leaders, lectured on various topics in classes, and joined students for meals to offer insight into the value of legal education and the rigors of the legal profession.

The week’s activities were highlighted by Hassell’s presentation of a $500 award to second-year law student Benjamin Eastburn as top prize in the second annual Honorable Leroy Rountree Hassell, Sr. Writing Competition.

Eastburn’s student note, Hold That Line! The Proper Establishment Clause Analysis for Military Public Prayers, was written in response to improper applications of current Establishment Clause tests to a military context. In his note, Eastburn purports to refute the use of those tests and provide a proper analytical framework for public prayer in the military.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Eastburn deployed twice to the Middle East and knows firsthand the importance of prayer and religion while on deployment. In addition to the cash award, his note will be published in an upcoming issue of the Regent Law Review.

94% of Regent Law Alums Find Jobs Despite Slow Economy

According to U.S. News and World Report calculations, 94.4% of Regent Law’s 2008 alums are presently employed or in a graduate law program, a statistic in league with top-tier law schools nationwide.

Furthermore, 11% of the class of 2008, or 17 students, are presently enjoying prestigious judicial clerkships.

“These numbers represent a high percentage of our ’08 graduates serving in an important role – especially considering the extremely competitive nature of clerkships,” explains Regent Law Dean Jeffrey Brauch. The school reports its numbers each year to the National Association for Law Placement and US News and World Report.

Regent Law Professor Weighs In on N.Y. Daily News’ Palin Piece

Law Professor Lynne Marie Kohm, Regent’s John Brown McCarty Professor of Family Law, was interviewed by the New York Daily News  regarding rights of unmarried fathers. The story resulted from the recent news of Bristol Palin breaking up with her fiance and father of her child.

Regent Law Wraps Up Successful Moot Court and Mediation Season

Regent Law’s moot court teams continue to be a powerhouse on the ABA competition circuit, with recent strong showings at both the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Regional Competition held March 7-8 in Washington, D.C ., and the ABA Regional Mediation Competition held February 28 - March 1, in Durham, NC.

At the Appellate Advocacy Competition, Regent’s team of Jeremy Spitzer, Rachel Williams, and Tiffany Barrans advanced to the final round, defeating teams from William & Mary, UVA, Liberty, and South Carolina law schools and narrowly losing to a team from American University.

Regent’s second team of Melissa Hudgins, Aaron Casavant, and Aaron McDonnell advanced to the semifinal round, where they narrowly lost a close contest to a team from South Texas that ultimately advanced to the national competition.

“I am very proud of this showing,” team coach and Regent Law professor Mike Hernandez said. “The teams worked exceptionally hard and represented our school well.”

At the ABA Regional Mediation Competition, Regent’s team of Brooke Bialke and Ben Willis advanced to the final round with an overall second place finish. Under the coaching of Professors Alice Curtis and Kathleen McKee, Bialke and Willis finished undefeated and in first place after the preliminary rounds, losing by one point in the final round to the team from University of Richmond.

“It was a privilege to compete against the Richmond team, which was professional and well prepared.  The final round was a tough match; while losing by one point is disappointing, Ben and I walked away with positive feedback from some of the best mediators in the region and a wonderful skills boost,” said Bialke.

The strength of Regent Law’s moot court programs was further seen in the success of Liberty University School of Law, which advanced from the Appellate Advocacy Regional Competition to the National Competition in Chicago.

Liberty’s team coach and professor Scott Thompson is a Regent Law alumnus and past moot court competitor.

“I can say with complete sincerity that our teams are what they are because of the training and experience that I got while at Regent,” Thompson said. “He [Professor Hernandez] should view the members of this team of mine as his grandchildren since he is the person that coached and groomed me; and beyond grooming me while I was student, offered me great encouragement on a number of occasions during this tournament.”

Regent and Liberty’s shared commitments to Christ were a source of encouragement at the competitions, and underscore each school’s commitments to integrity and cooperative competition.

Regent Law Alumnus Nominated to Norfolk Judgeship

Regent Law alumnus and capital defender for Virginia’s Southeastern District, Joseph A. Migliozzi, has been nominated for a Norfolk General District Court judgeship.

The Virginian-Pilot covers this story here.

Israeli Military Officer Speaks to Law Students about Middle East

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Lt. Col. Nir Nitzan
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Lt. Col. Nir Nitzan
For Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Lt. Col. Nir Nitzan, living in the Middle East's only democracy brings certain responsibilities.

"The first obligation of people in a democracy is to obey the commands of your government," he asserted. "That obligation comes with the privilege of living in a democracy."

Nitzan spoke to a group of Regent Law students, professors and other faculty and staff about the current situation in the Middle East, as well as answering questions about an upcoming study trip to Israel for Regent Law students. Nitzan served as tour guide for Regent Law's first study trip last year and said he is looking forward to hosting the students again.

"This is an exceptional tour," he said, as he enumerated many of the activities that students will be able to participate in. These include coursework at the Hebrew University, which ranks in the top 50 of the world's universities; observing a military court; visiting the Knesset and talking with members of the Israeli parliament; meeting an IsraeliSupreme Court justice; traveling to and gaining an understanding of the situation at Israel's borders with Lebanon and Syria; and visiting a number of historic and religious sites.

"You'll be able to meet so many different people in different settings because Israel is a very informal place," he said.

Nitzan talked about security issues in Israel, especially in light of the recent military action in Gaza. He also shared his perspective on cultural differences between Israelis and Arabs, and between Israelis and visitors from the United States.

A graduate of the Hebrew University and a leading Israeli historian of both biblical and military sites, Nitzan served as a commander of a reconnaissance unit and received a commendation from the IDF Chief of Staff for his services to the State of Israel. He works closely with American Center for Law & Justice Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow and has escorted governors, political leaders, military experts, lawyers and others throughout Israel.

Besides answering questions about the upcoming trip, Nitzan also addressed the issues of Palestinian statehood, prospects for the new Israeli government, interaction between Israeli Arabs and Jews, the IDF's relocation of Israeli settlers from Gaza, and Israeli citizens opinions of the new U.S. presidential administration.

Regent Law's study program in Israel is May 15 — June 3, 2009. Learn more about the trip here

Assistant Attorney General and Law Alumna Prosecutes Child Pornography Cases

Assistant Alabama Attorney General and Regent Law alumna Kelly Hawkins is prosecuting a major child pornography case – a 311-count indictment, no less – less than a year after graduating from Regent Law. As Director of the Alabama Attorney General’s Family Protection Unit, she is responsible for protecting families and their children throughout the entire state of Alabama.

While at Regent, Hawkins completed a rigorous thesis on internet child pornography. Her scholarship was inspired by a faith-driven desire to protect children from sex crimes.

Regent Law students come with a calling, are built intellectually, professionally and spiritually, and leave prepared to make an immediate impact. Asst. Atty. General Hakwins is a prime example of Christian leadership changing the world, one indictment - or 311 - at a time.

For the full press release in PDF format, click this link.

Law Student Profiled by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Third-year Regent Law student and Hillsdale College alumna Erin DeBoer was recently featured in an InterVarsity article.

DeBoer is a recipient of the Regent Law/IVCF scholarship, which to date has awarded over $170,000 to InterVarsity alums attending Regent Law.

Read the article here.

Professor Brad Jacob Presents to Mexican Naval Officers at Old Dominion University

On August 8, Associate Professor Brad Jacob presented a lecture and answered questions from a group of Mexican naval officers on the history...