Legal Food Frenzy Concludes Successful Drive

During the week of April 4-15, Regent Law students, staff and faculty participated in the 5th Annual Statewide Legal Food Frenzy. They raised 142 pounds of food and $3,112.04. Every dollar equals four pounds of food.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell ('89) founded the program when he was serving as state attorney general to end hunger in the Hampton Roads area. In this competition, the group that raises the most food will be awarded the Mini Attorney General's Cup.

"There are people in this area who are in need, and the most vulnerable of those are the elderly and children," explained 3L Angela Brooks, Regent's student representative to the Virginia Bar Association (VBA) and organizer of Regent's efforts. "As a student my daily life generally revolves around me—what I need to read for class, what I need to pass law school, what I want to do tonight. Never [have I] wondered if I would eat that day, if I had the money to pay for food ... I think it is a good thing for people—especially me—to put the "me" aside, even if it's just for a day, and to think about someone who they will probably never meet."

The Legal Food Frenzy is organized by the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the VBA Young Lawyers Division and the Federation of Virginia Food Banks. The first drive was held in 2007 and continues as a friendly competition among all Virginia law firms and law schools.

"This has become a great tradition for the law school, first, because it gives us the opportunity to give to those who God has commanded us to love and care for—children, the elderly, the working poor, widows and our neighbors—and, second, because Regent Law was the first winner of the Mini Attorney General's Cup and we would love to bring the cup back home to Regent," explained Darius Davenport, director of Regent Law's Career and Alumni Services who cosponsored the event.

Over the past four years, the Legal Food Frenzy has raised the equivalent of more than 5,400,000 pounds of food statewide. The group that wins the Mini Attorney General's Cup will send its top two student donors to attend a special reception at the Governor's Mansion for an awards presentation hosted by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Governor McDonnell.

- By Rachel Judy
(Photo courtesy of Phil Wood Photo)

Regent Law Alumnus Wins Supreme Court Case

David Cortman (’96) is Senior Counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and served as the lead attorney for the petitioner in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization (ACSTO) v. Winn which resulted in a win at the Supreme Court on April 4th that the ADF is calling “a huge victory for proponents of parental choice in education.”

Representatives for Kathleen Winn, and a few other taxpayers, initially filed a lawsuit against the Director of the Arizona Department of Revenue challenging the constitutionality of a tax credit program that allows private individuals to donate money to private non-profit organizations who then award scholarships to private schools. ADF represented Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization (ACSTO) in the case which is the largest non-profit school tuition organization in Ariz., supporting over 140 Christian private schools and granting over 17,000 scholarships to students. Winn argued that ACSTO is discriminative in awarding scholarships to students based upon their religious affiliations. They deemed this a violation of the Establishment Clause of the United Stated Constitution. According to Winn, the ability to take a tax credit turned the private contributions into “state funds” and therefore violated the “separation of church and state.”

Cortman, however, maintained that the mere fact that Winn, et al. are taxpayers did not give them standing to challenge tax credits for contributions to private or religious schools since the defendants were not personally injured by such actions. Moreover, the money in question was purely private donations, not government funds.

The Supreme Court agreed with Cortman and reversed the previous court’s decision.

“Parents should decide what schools their children attend and where their money goes. This constitutionally sound program allows families the liberty to choose what’s best for their kids,” said Cortman in an interview. “Those challenging Arizona parents’ rights have suffered no legal injury, giving them no reason to file suit in the first place. This program is neutral; the state never touches the private money involved, and it is one of several popular school choice programs that offer Arizona kids real educational opportunities.”

He went on to say, “Regardless of whether they are religious or non-religious, any type of private school can be legally funded by school tuition organizations, which distribute only private money. This type of funding does not become unconstitutional just because non-religious organizations have not taken as much initiative to make use of the opportunity.”

- By Molly Eccles

Prof. Dave Velloney Interviewed

David Velloney was a guest on The Andy Caldwell Show (KUHL Santa Maria, Calif.) on Wednesday, April 6, to discuss the Obama administration's decision to hold suspected terrorist trials in military courts at Guantanamo Bay instead of in U.S. civilian courts.

Attorney-in-Residence Addresses Law Chapel

Randy Singer is a pastor, critically acclaimed author, president of FamilyNet television, and attorney-in-residence at Regent Law. So when asked to address last Thursday’s Law Chapel participants it comes as no surprise that he drew from his God-given years of varied experience and wisdom when challenging students, faculty, and staff.

Referencing Acts 19:8-22 which recounts the Apostle Paul bringing the gospel to the city of Ephesus, Singer discussed the Apostle Paul’s fearless pursuit and distribution of the gospel. He compared that to today’s Christians who claim to desire the advancement of the gospel, but all the while retreat to Christian safe-zones. “The gospel is not meant to be a fortress but a battering ram,” he said.

After commending Regent Law, which ensures a solid Christian foundation and integration of faith into the study and practice of law, Singer encouraged listeners “not to get comfortable at a place like Regent.” He went on to offer that “God wants us to integrate His law and His truth in every aspect of whatever area of law we choose to practice.”  According to Singer there are no “secular” fields of law or offices from which to practice because “God wants authority over every square-inch of creation,” including places that are not overtly Christian.

He then went on to share a brief clip from the TV show Undercover Boss, a program in which heads of major corporations go undercover to work the entry level positions of their own companies. By the end of the clip the boss was astounded at the upbeat attitude and adventurous spirit of his employee who emptied and cleaned portable toilets for a living.

“Christ is the ultimate undercover boss,” Singer said after reading Matt. 25:35-40 which states, “… to the extent that you did it to one of the least of these brothers of Mine… you did it to Me.”  Singer said that when you are serving the least of your clients, you are serving the Lord. “What sanctifies [the legal profession] is not the type of law that you practice but the heart that you bring to it.”

Singer concluded by speaking to the power of living by faith in God, and not by our own efforts. “It should be ordinary for Christians to have extraordinary things happen in their lives, but only if the extraordinary is sought for the purpose of glorifying God, not ourselves."

- By Molly Eccles

Moot Court Board Wins Multiple Awards at National Competition

Amy Vitale, Linh Flores, & Matthew Roche
won 2nd overall and Best Brief
Over the weekend of April 1, 2011, Regent Law’s Moot Court Board sent two teams to participate in the inaugural Billings, Exum, and Frye National Moot Court Competition hosted at Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, NC. 

32 teams from 17 schools competed. Of the two teams fielded by Regent, the team comprised of Linh Flores (3L), Amy Vitale (2L) and Matthew Roche (3L) finished second place overall in a well-contested final round, beating out a number of the nation’s best law schools including University of Virginia School of Law, Duke University School of Law, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, George Mason University School of Law, and Liberty University School of Law.

Quarter-Finalists Brittany Marks,
Melissa Yatsko, & Sonny Behrends
Regent also brought home the award for the competition’s Best Brief.

The team of Sonny Clinton Behrends (2L), Brittany Marks (3L) and Melissa Yatsko (2L) advanced to the quarter-final round.

Teams competed in a minimum of four rounds. They were judged on the quality of their appellate brief and oral arguments regarding a hypothetical problem that focused on a constitutional law issue currently under consideration by the federal courts.

Both teams were coached by Professor Kathleen McKee, who was assisted by 2L Tristen Cramer. Professor Michael Hernandez, who serves as the faculty advisor for Regent’s Moot Court Board, lauded the success of the two teams. “Our advocates did an excellent job overall representing our school and our Lord,” he said.

Congratulations to the Regent Law Moot Court Board on their continued success in the national competition arena!

 - By Molly Eccles

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...