Regent Law in the News

Regent Law Professor Bradley Jacob was a guest on Nightside with Dan Rea (WBZ-AM Boston) on Monday, March 21, to discuss President Obama’s recent declaration that the federal government will no longer support the Defense of Marriage Act.

Alumnus Thomas “Greg” Jones (’94) was recently elected president of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Foundation Inc., according to a Wednesday, March 23, article from the salisburypost.com.

Valerie Johnson’s Win for Her Client: A Civil Litigation Clinic Success Story

Part-time student Val Johnson (’11) joined the Civil Litigation Clinic to gain a real-life perspective on the law while maintaining her outside job.  But at heart, Johnson was drawn to the Clinic because of its service-based approach to legal practice.  Little did she know the experience would change lives – including her own.

Clinic Director, Professor Kathleen McKee, assigned Johnson her first case, a disabled man who had been denied SNAP benefits. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), administered by the Department of Social Services, provides funds to needy recipients to purchase food.
 
Johnson’s interest in the case grew as she got to know her client.  “I realized he was a very hard worker.  This wasn’t someone who was taking advantage of government services,” she said.  Her client needed food to take with his disability medication, food his SNAP benefits provided. Johnson gave her client a list of local churches and food banks to use until his benefits could be reinstated.

SNAP recipients undergo a periodic verification process to maintain eligibility, and Social Services determined that Johnson’s client’s income exceeded the allowable amount.  “My client had received SNAP benefits in the past, but for this particular period he was denied even though nothing had materially changed in his case,” Johnson said.
 
Reviewing his case, Johnson found that her client’s income had been misappropriated on his verification paperwork.  She also realized that the verification rules were so complex that the average person may not understand them, much less someone with a disability.
 
At the hearing Johnson requested to correct the error, Social Services asserted that the verification process had not been completed by Johnson’s client.  Johnson said her client was never notified by the agency. 
As a novice litigator wanting to help, Johnson was surprised and relieved by the ruling in her client’s favor.  The hearing officer ordered Social Services to repeat the verification process to determine her client’s income. “I’m confident my client will receive back benefits,” said Johnson.

Johnson’s victory helped her client become food secure and exposed a weakness in the welfare system.  It also changed her perspective and her vocational direction.  She now hopes to do similar litigation or to improve the welfare process by helping government agencies review their policies related to people in positions like her client.   “This experience taught me to be compassionate and not judge where a person is, and to be sincere in my efforts to help,” said Johnson.  “I’m confident the practical experience will be helpful as I transition into my legal career.”


- By Kristy Morris

U.S. Senate Candidate and Law Chapel Speaker Jamie Radtke Asks: “Will You Rebuild the Wall?”

Chairwoman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots, candidate for the United States Senate (Va.) and homeschooling mother of three Jamie Radtke recently spoke at Regent Law Chapel about her compulsion to enter national politics. Likening Nehemiah’s rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem to American Christians facing national decline, Radtke drew parallels and principles from Nehemiah, inspiring students to take personal responsibility to stand for truth in their own spheres.

Radtke first highlighted brokenness as the precursor to action. As Nehemiah wept when he looked out from the palace on the ruins of the Jerusalem wall, prosperous American Christians must be genuinely broken over our national condition. “We look out and see our country broken down, and it is an act of disobedience if we aren’t out there doing something about it,” said Radtke. “There are absolute consequences for sitting on the sidelines.”

Though the walls were gone in Nehemiah’s day, Jerusalem’s foundation was still intact. Radtke reminded students that the Judeo-Christian foundations of American government remain, but like Jerusalem, our walls are gone, due in part to Christian ambivalence. “For too long Christians have bought the lie of separation of church and state and not gotten involved in public affairs,” said Radtke. “Scripture shows us that we have an obligation to stand up for truth and that God holds us accountable for what our country reflects.”

Radtke noted the general fear of standing for truth and a sense of despair at the enormity of the task of changing our national reflection. She read Nehemiah 3 which lists individual groups who each took responsibility to rebuild their own sections of the Jerusalem wall. “We don’t have to fix the whole problem,” said Radtke. “We’re just called to rebuild the wall in our own back yard” - a focus that she said minimizes fear and prevents discouragement.

As the Israelites made progress, ruthless opposition arose. Radtke showed that Nehemiah shifted the Israelites from solely offensive work to both offense and defense in response, but he never allowed them to stop working (Neh. 4:6). As we witness our national leaders defying the rule of law, Radtke said that we, too, must stay vigilant in the face of opposition by continuing to stand for truth, covering our efforts in prayer, and confessing our sin of ambivalence.

Radtke admitted that it’s easy to grow weary in the struggle but reminded students of the outcome of Nehemiah. The Israelites completed the wall in a mere 52 days and set fear in their enemies’ hearts because their enemies saw Almighty God. “When we persevere against all odds, the Lord gets the victory and glory – and that’s the only reason we were created – to glorify God,” said Radtke. “Can you imagine the testimony we would have if everyone who confesses to be a Christian were obedient to be rebuilding the wall in their own back yards?”

-By Kristy Morris

Center for Global Justice Welcomes Invisible Children


As a child, Francis Onekalit was kidnapped and forced into the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)—a rebel group terrorizing Northern Uganda. Refusing to remain a child soldier, Onekalit escaped. Today, he is working with the Invisible Children organization to raise awareness of the plight of families—especially children—who survived the attacks of the LRA.

Regent Law’s Center for Global Justice cosponsored the March 9th University Chapel service which featured Onekalit and other representatives from Invisible Children. The organization is dedicated to raising awareness among young people to help end the longest running war in Africa.

Invisible Children has developed programs in Uganda that focus on long-term development, working directly with individuals and institutions, to best understand the needs of these war-affected areas. They rebuild schools, provide scholarships, employ mentors that holistically oversee healthy development for their students, and they have implemented micro-economic initiatives and run a tailoring center that provides training in savings, investment, numeracy, literacy and health.

Even though he was only 11 when he was kidnapped by the LRA, Onekalit didn't let that stop him; he managed to escape and pursue an education. "I didn't give up my life," he said. "I went back and finished high school." Today he is a mentor with Invisible Children, working with 30 students in Northern Uganda who have suffered under the LRA.

Onekalit is also traveling with representatives from Invisible Children to raise support for the organization and the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo who are now facing the threat of the LRA. "Whatever happened to me in the past is happening right now in the Congo," he explained. But, in spite of the terrors he's experienced, he stands strong in his faith. "I know with God everything is possible.”

At a luncheon following the service, Dean Brauch and Professor Ash, Director of the Center for Global Justice, met with Onekalit and the other representatives from Invisible Children. The San Diego based group said that not only was this the first time they met the Dean of a school, but that they had never presented to a group so diverse in age as at University Chapel. They said their time at Regent taught them that there is an audience who are receptive to their message but that they have never purposed to reach out to - a lesson which they were eager to share with the whole of their organization in the hopes of broadening the scope of their outreach.

Visit the websites for Invisible Children and the Center for Global Justice to learn more about these two organizations that are making an impact around the world.


- By Rachel Judy

Professor James Duane Selected for Lead Article

Professor James Duane's article "The Strange Glitch in the Rhode Island Rules of Evidence" was selected as the lead article for the Winter 2011 issue of The Green Bag, self-described as "An entertaining journal of law." 

Read the full article here.

Professor Bradley Jacob Interviewed on Recent Supreme Court Ruling

Bradley Jacob, associate professor in the School of Law, was a guest on the What's UP Radio Program with Terry Lowry (KKHT Houston) on Friday, March 4, to discuss the recent Supreme Court ruling on Snyder v. Phelps.  [Listen Now]

Speaking on the same topic, Jacob was also a guest on The Brad Davis Program (WDRC Hartford) on Monday, March 7.

Moot Court Board Continues to Place Strong in National Competitions

After hosting the National Constitutional Law Competition at home, Regent Law’s Moot Court Board barely had time to catch their collective breath before sending teams on the road to other competitions where they performed solidly.
 
Of the 21 teams that competed, Regent Law 2Ls Annalise Lang, Jonathan Young and Jamie Barton (pictured) received third place overall in the William B. Spong, Jr. Invitational Tournament hosted by William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Va., February 18 – 19.  Jonathan Young also received top individual honors as Best Oralist at the competition.

Additionally, two Regent Law teams travelled to Brooklyn, N.Y. for the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) regional National Appellate Advocacy Competition this past weekend.  3L Daniel Hebda, 2L Tristen Cramer and 2L Megan Herwald advanced to the final qualifying round, while 3L Kawika Vellalos and 2Ls Ruth Maron and Brian Bailey advanced to the semi-finals. Of the 39 teams that competed, four will advance to the national rounds in Chicago in April.

Individual Regent Law students also proved their exceptional skill as oral advocates at the ABA competition in Brooklyn.  Tristen Cramer tied for 5th place oralist, and Kawika Vellalos tied for 10th place oralist out of 117 competitors.

Regent Law Moot Court Board will wrap up their 2010-11 competition season the first weekend in April, sending two teams to the Billings, Exum & Frye National Moot Court Competition at Elon University School of Law.

Read about Regent Law’s other recent competition wins here.


- By Kristy Morris

Law Alumnus Stephen Casey and Faculty Member Brad Jacob in the News

Stephen Casey ’08 (Law) was quoted in this Saturday, Feb. 26, article in the Virginian-Pilot discussing a client who was wrongfully identified as a felon. 


Prof. Bradley Jacob
was a guest on the The Andy Caldwell Show on KUHL/Santa Maria, Calif., on Monday, Feb. 21, to talk about UC Davis’ attempt to label religious discrimination.

Regent Law Alumni in the News

Mark Garsombke, who earned his J.D. from Regent Law in ’98, was recognized in The Business Journal’s 2011 edition of “Forty Under 40.” Click here to read the article lauding his qualification for the award.

Regent Law alumnus and adjunct professor David McCormick (‘94) recently announced his candidacy for United States Senator of Virginia. 

Regent Law Students Participate in John Costello National Criminal Law Trial Advocacy Competition

Three Regent Law students recently participated in the John Costello National Criminal Law Trial Advocacy Competition sponsored by Antonin S...