Virginia Chief Justice Commends 2L for Winning Annual Writing Competition

On March 25th, Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leroy Rountree Hassell, Sr. praised second-year student Robert Noote for winning the third annual Writing Competition named for His Honor.

In his submission, “Is and Ought: How the Progression of Ricci Teaches Us to Accept the Criticisms and Reject the Norms of Political Jurisprudence,” Noote discusses the implications of a school of thought that removes any distinction between human will and rule of law.

According to proponents of political jurisprudence, judges are merely political actors and their opinions and decisions are not law, but rather rationalizations of what the judge intends to do in a given case.

“Of course the implications of this theory are disturbing to me,” said Noote. “However, not everything that this theory posits can be quickly dismissed. It is not appropriate to adopt a worldview that rejects the rule of law, but it is appropriate to accept the criticisms of an idea that challenges the human propensity towards biased behavior.”

Empirical evidence tracking the decisions of Supreme Court Justices as well as the writings of Blaise Pascal and Soren Kierkegaard formed the basis of Noote’s research.

During this research, he grew to better appreciate the constancy of God’s nature in light of the unpredictable movements of the human heart. Unlike proponents of political jurisprudence, Noote is certain that there is a rule of law that people ought to follow. He believes this task, however, is easier when people realize their own limitations and look beyond themselves.

Unable to attend this year, Justice Hassell oversaw the presentation of the award from his Richmond office via telecommunication.

Regent Law Faculty In The News

Law Professor Lynne Marie Kohm commented in this CBN news story Thursday about a Washington high school student whose school facilitated an abortion for her without notifying the girl's parents.

Law Professor Brad Jacob was interviewed by WAVY-10, Norfolk's NBC affiliate, regarding a lawsuit filed by Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli over health care legislation. The story also aired on the local FOX affiliate, was posted online to and aired on WNOR FM99 of Hampton Roads.

Regent Law Alumni in the News

The hard work and creativity of Joshua Bachman (’09), City Prosecutor of Stewartsville, MO and sole practitioner, was chronicled in this March 24th article.

Jordan Sekulow (’09), Director of International Relations for American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, and Al-Jazeera in recent weeks discussing everything from the reaction of Justice Alito to President Obama's State of the Union, to a possible reversal of policy to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammad in a military tribunal instead of civilian court.

Sekulow spoke February 16th on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan show about bank regulation. He also appeared on Fox News’ Red Eye on March 12th to discuss curriculum modifications in Texas.

On March 16th, on MSNBC’s Shuster Showdown, Sekulow discussed a Keep America Safe advertisement regarding the Department of Justice attorneys that represented Al Qaeda terrorists.

On March 23rd, he appeared again on the Dylan Ratigan show to speak about the protests made in wake of the health care bill.

Gary McCaleb (’97), Senior Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund and Senior Vice President of Litigation Support and Mentoring, was quoted in a March 16th article in The National Law Journal about a letter that he wrote urging Congress to make changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Law Professor Publishes Innovative Civil Procedure Text for All States, Is Honored by University for Outstanding Contribution to Scholarship

Twice a year, Regent University honors a professor who has excelled in teaching, service, or scholarship. School of Law professor Benjamin Madison recently received the “Award for Scholarship” for his excellence in research and publications.

Of the scholarship Madison has published in various law reviews and journals in the last few years, Civil Procedure for All States: A Context and Practice Casebook is a highlight. Civil Procedure is one of twenty-five books in Carolina Academic Press’s Context and Practice Casebook Series, an innovative series among textbooks designed for law students.

The series’ editor, a nationally known teaching and learning scholar, believes that students excel when given a chance to improve their self-directed learning skills in context-based instruction. And so, rather than relying heavily on cases, Madison’s text places students in roles as practitioners through simulated law practice problems.

Also unique to the series is an ethical component designed to develop students’ professional identity. A former partner at Hunton & Williams and a successful litigator, Madison is familiar with the ethical pitfalls of his profession.

“In this book, I am asking students to pay attention to their moral compass,” Madison said. “The theory is that if you don’t start paying attention to this compass and instead justify your decisions on the basis of being a zealous advocate or ‘doing all you can’ for your client, even when it’s not right, you’ll start to dislike yourself and your profession.”

Professor Doug Rendleman of Washington and Lee University, an accomplished scholar and textbook author, cites Madison’s casebook as “sophisticated and thorough” and “lucidly written and well designed.” Rendleman also complimented Madison as “a rising teacher and scholar of Civil Procedure.”

Civil Procedure for All States: A Context and Practice Casebook will be available in the summer of 2010. Find it here.

Regent Law Team Wins National Black Law Students Association International Negotiation Championship

The Regent community congratulates third year law students Efrem Craig and Tiffany Verdell who advanced past teams from Boston University and the University of Virginia to win the 2010 National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) International Negotiation Competition held March 12-14 in Boston, MA.

They scored 98 out of 100 in the final round.

NBLSA’s International Negotiation Competition (INC) is designed to hone the negotiation skills vital to a legal career while fostering an awareness of timely issues facing the global community. The winning team successfully negotiates real-life, cross-border conflicts over multiple 80 minute competition rounds.

Craig and Verdell’s championship win hinged upon their renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement in the final round. As is the norm for the INC, they literally prepared their strategy overnight.

“The final round was definitely the toughest,” Craig said. “The goal of our preparation was to fully understand the intricacies of the issue and gain a working knowledge of the positions of all parties. We did extensive online research and preparation, and also spent significant time ironing out the precise wording we wanted to use.”

“It was a wonderful experience and an honor to be competing at the national level,” Verdell said. “When our school’s name was called as the winners I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and thankfulness to God and all the people that helped get us here.”

“Being recognized for an achievement in a room full of professional, intelligent individuals was very humbling,” Craig added. “It was not as if we had dominated the competition in such a way that we knew that we had won, so it was still very much a surprise. I know that the glory belongs to God.”

Regent’s teams are two-for-two in winning the NBLSA International Negotiation Competition, with Efrem Craig’s brother Ari Craig and teammate Brenda Thorn bringing home the 2008 championship. Regent did not field a team in 2009.

Craig and Verdell wish to thank NBLSA chair Jadinah Sejour along with BLSA’s board and members as well as Alternative Dispute Resolution Board chair Grace Pandithurai for their assistance in competition preparation and for their prayerful support; and Professors Nelson and Degroff for the opportunity to learn the negotiation skills vital to their success.

Regent Law in the News

Law Professor Lynne Marie Kohm's comments about possible labor law violations regarding children on reality TV shows were included in this article.

Regent University's participation in a legal brief for the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the Christian Legal Society at the Hastings College of Law was included in this Inside Higher Education article, which provides a comprehensive overview of the case.

Law alumna and Army National Guard Major Sarah D. Smith '02 recently earned a Bronze Star for her efforts in Afghanistan. An account of her work in supporting Operation Enduring Freedom can be found in this article from her hometown newspaper, The Edwardsville (IL) Intelligencer.

Law alumnus '05 Justin Bush was featured in The Suffolk Sun, a tab section of The Virginian-Pilot, on Thursday. He made law partner faster than anyone at his firm, Stallings and Bischoff, handling criminal justice and family law cases. A link to the article is not available.

Law alumna '00 Kristen Smith, who died in February, was profiled in this Virginian-Pilot feature for her work with children in the court system.

Regent Law Trains Lawyers Called to Fight for Social Justice

As Regional Legal Coordinator with Freedom Firm in Maharashtra, India, Evan Henck ‘07 helps unravel the complex legal and social difficulties that come with prosecuting sex trafficking.

Evan’s virtual journal entry below depicts the sobering reality of the sex trade even as it celebrates the Freedom Firm’s recent progress. It originally appeared in the 2010 Spring/Summer edition of “Brief Remark”, Regent University School of Law’s new biannual publication.

From giving papers at a national human rights conferences and training human rights attorneys, to subsidizing summer internships within the nascent Center for Global Justice, the Regent Law community is committed to furthering the cause of justice at home and abroad.

If you feel called to the legal profession and to the fight for social justice, a Regent J.D. might be for you. Learn more here.

Jan. 16 2010
Maharashtra, India

In January an informant phoned Suresh Pawar, a human rights activist with the Freedom Firm in Maharashtra, India, with a tip that goons from the red light district intended to form a mob against him. They planned to beat him up hoping that then the local police raids would stop. Further information revealed a plot to collect money from brothel keepers to have him killed.

The threats surfaced after Suresh Pawar and his team filed three human trafficking cases, rescued ten girls, and apprehended eight accused all in the first half of January.

This type of opposition doesn’t just come from the brothel keepers and criminals; Freedom Firm must also negotiate shady police practices. After the intervention team’s second raid, for example, Suresh Pawar walked back into the brothel to counter police extortion. Since the raids started, criminal entrepreneurs, some of them police, have begun using Suresh Pawar's name to blackmail brothel keepers with threats of a police raid. So Suresh Pawar reentered the brothel to tell the brothel keepers not to give money when his name was used in the threat.

Suresh Pawar completed the raid with the help of the police, and then went back into the brothel to stop the police. Relationships with the police in Maharashtra are razor thin and complicated to say the least.

After the mob threats were investigated, local police hauled two criminals into the station to question them about the murder- for- hire scheme. On the way, they cooked up a story. They wanted to file a complaint for extortion - against Suresh Pawar!

So, as I write, this is where we stand at Freedom Firm. And yet this is the best possible news.

Since 2007, Freedom Firm has conducted forty human trafficking raids in Maharashtra with fifty-two people arrested for their crimes. Approximately 60 victims, all young girls, have been taken off the market. Of three cases completed in this time frame, two were convictions. In the next case in line, the accused escaped from the court- she was going to be convicted.

Trafficking cases present a very different proposition today than they did three years ago. No longer is the hassle of attending court when the accused would ultimately be acquitted 2-3 years later simply a cost of doing business. Now, it matters. An advocate told me that he had seen maybe one girl testify in a PITA (Prevention of Immoral Trafficking) case, and that he had never seen a conviction. Now that must be an exaggeration, but the point is clear. Prosecuting human trafficking in Maharashtra used to be a game and everyone from the police to the superintendant of the aftercare homes got rich. But since there have been two convictions, the tone in the courts is changing. Enforcement is happening and it’s not a game anymore.

So it’s not surprising that Evil is pushing back with equal force. It wants the raids to stop. It wants power, it wants money, and it wants the girl. The opposition confirms that Freedom Firm’s work is having an effect. And so the raids must continue.

To support the Freedom Firm and to learn more, visit

Evan Henck ‘07
Regional Legal Coordinator, Freedom Firm

Regent Law Student Directs Regional Moot Court Competition

Regent Law’s Black Law Student Association (BLSA) chapter exists to promote service to neighboring black communities and to be a vehicle of spiritual, academic and cultural awareness for law students.

From tutoring at a local detention center to hosting the annual Soul Food Cafe, BLSA’s local events support the overall mission of the National BLSA (NBLSA), which is to “articulate and promote the needs and goals of black law students and effectuate lasting change in the communities in which they live and serve.”

As a part of her BLSA duties, Regent 3L member Valerie Johnson served as the competition director for the 35th Frederick Douglass Moot Court Regional Competition (FDMCC) February 12-13, 2010 in Norfolk, VA.

Johnson worked in coordination with the Mid-Atlantic Black Law Students Association (MABLSA), an organization comprised of law students from schools in PA, DE, VA, MD and DC.

In addition to securing a competition location, coordinating teams, and briefing judges for the regional competition, Johnson recently traveled to Boston to support the Black Law Students Association during the FDMCC national finals held March 12-14. The FDMCC’s purpose is to promote excellence in legal research, and since its inception in 1975 it has been a cornerstone of MABLSA programming.

Kudos to Valerie Johnson and to Regent’s local BLSA chapter for continued excellence in legal service and practice!

Professor Jim Duane in the News

Law Professor Jim Duane was interviewed in this article about the merits of actress Lindsay Lohan's lawsuit against E-trade.

Regent Law Home Page Ranks Fifth in the Nation

Regent University School of Law's home page ranks fifth in the nation, tied with Harvard Law, according to an independent research study conducted at Georgetown University Law.

The study, "Top 10 Law School Home Pages of 2009," (Georgetown Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 10-03), scores 195 American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school home pages on over a dozen objective design criteria including: CSS, news headlines with images, embedded media, social network links, content carousel, RSS, microformats and hierarchal organization.

As the report's introduction states, home pages are the "virtual front door" of any law school and are "critical components of enrollment success." For many prospective students, a school's home page is the first and only contact they have before deciding whether to dig deeper or to look elsewhere.

Access the study's full results here on the Social Sciences Research Network, a world-wide collaborative of over 800 leading scholars devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of social science research.

To learn more about Regent Law's people and programs, including its distinguished faculty, renowned Center for Advocacy and comprehensive International Programs, click here.

Law School Dean Gives “State of the School” Address

Law school Dean Jeffrey Brauch sounded a note of balanced optimism at the annual “State of the School” address, praising improvements in the school’s bar passage rate, employment placement, and incoming student LSAT/GPA metrics while offering encouragement to 3Ls beginning their employment search in the midst of a challenging job market.

Dean Brauch opened his address by highlighting a recent Carnegie Foundation on Education report calling for ethically principled legal education and practice, noting that Regent’s integrated curriculum has been training students to practice law ethically and professionally since its inception - in advance of recent findings.

He reminded faculty, students, and staff that Regent Law’s goals haven’t changed, confirming that the school would continue to integrate faith and law with excellence in legal advocacy skills training, and would continue to produce alumni called to engage the world with Christian legal though and practice.

Supporting his remarks with quantifiables including a recent faculty Fulbright, alumnus Bob McDonnell’s recent Virginia gubernatorial victory, and a catalogue of recent student competition wins, Dean Brauch concluded with a request for prayerful support for Regent Law’s emerging Center for Global Justice and the Rule of Law. The Center would continue the school’s commitment to social justice by training and placing the next generation of legal advocates within preexisting foundations, like International Justice Mission, providing much needed legal support along with service opportunities for students.

“We are called to engage the world with Christian legal thought and action,” Brauch said. “By God’s grace, thirty years from now, the legal profession and the law will look different because we are here.”

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...