Regent Law Students Participate in Two Supreme Court Cases

Through the Right to Work Practicum at Regent University School of Law, Regent’s law students have recently had the incredible opportunity to participate in not one, but two cases being heard by the United States Supreme Court. The United States Supreme Court will rule on Mulhall v. UNITE HERE in 2014.

Students participated in both Mulhall v. UNITE HERE, a major labor law case heard by the United States Supreme Court on November 13, and Harris v. Quinn, another important labor law case which the court will review in 2014.

Under the guidance of Professor Bruce Cameron, a National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation litigator and Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University (pictured), law students provided research for the lead attorney in Mulhall v. UNITE HERE.  Students also conducted research for Harris v. Quinn.

“Most attorneys never file a case that the U.S. Supreme Court will consider,” says Professor Cameron.  “Few attorneys are involved in cases that the Supreme Court accepts for argument.  Even fewer argue a case before the High Court. But Regent students are involved in two cases accepted for argument by the Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The law school also held a moot court for Mulhall v. UNITE HERE.

Third-year law student Jennifer Brown performed research for Mulhall this semester and also sat as a judge during the moot court.

 “It’s a rare experience to have researched cases that were used in the brief and to sit as a judge in the Moot Courtroom,” Brown said. “I enjoyed digging for the one article or case that could be the changing factor in the argument.”

Other moot court judges included third-year law student Chelsea Schlittenhart, Dean Douglass Cook, Professor James Duane, Professor Bruce Cameron, Professor Kathleen McKee, and Professor Michael Hernandez.

Learn more about the opportunities Regent Law students enjoy through the Center for Advocacy.

Law Team Advances to National Competition

For the third consecutive year, Regent University's School of Law Moot Court team has advanced to the finals of the National Moot Court Competition.

On Saturday, Nov. 16, Regent's team finished second place overall in the regional round held in Richmond, Va.

Regent's team also took home the best brief award, marking the second year in a row Regent has received this distinction.

The finals will be held February 2014 in New York City.

"I was gratified to hear the outcome of the New York Bar Association Regional Tournament. Our team prepared and competed with excellence, and they showed once again that Regent students can compete with anyone in the country in their advocacy skills," said Jeffrey Brauch, dean of the School of Law. "I look forward to seeing them compete for the National Championship in the spring, and I praise God for their success!"

Third year Regent Law students Sharon Kerk, Erik McCauley, and Joshua Smith comprise this year's moot court team. These students were led by law professor Michael Hernandez, who serves as faculty advisor to the Moot Court Board as well as the coach for Regent's team.

"I am very proud of Sharon, Erik, and Joshua. They did an excellent job both in writing the brief and in the oral arguments," said Hernandez. "Most importantly, they were excellent representatives of Regent and our Lord. We are looking forward to the nationals!"

During the regional competition, Regent participated with 21 teams, coming out ahead of teams from Charlotte School of Law, Campbell Law School, Richmond University School of Law and University of Louisville.

Also participating in the competition were teams from Duke University, George Mason University and William & Mary. Regent came in second place to a close final round up against Wake Forest University School of Law.

Learn more about Regent University School of Law.

By Brett Wilson

Center for Global Justice Hosts Summit

Unfurling in the regime of North Korea are shocking events meeting at the intersection of a present-day Holocaust and Underground Railroad. Though the traumas evolving within the country are mostly unheard of by the rest of the world, the religious and political persecution taking place in North Korea affects nearly 200,000 people trapped in concentration camps.

Regent University School of Law's Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law explored these human rights abuses during the North Korea Human Rights Summit early in November. Students obtained an inside glance into the tumultuous violations such as torture, starvation, forced abortions, beatings and assaults that take place in the nation every day.

"This is arguably the greatest human rights abuse that's taking place today," said Ernie Walton, administrative director for the Center for Global Justice. "The people are starving; they don't have rights—and the extent of the human rights abuse that is taking place there is absolutely astonishing."

The summit featured a showing of the Korean film, The Crossing, which delves into the hardships many North Koreans are facing as they struggle to flee the country, seeking refuge in South Korea by escaping through China.

The summit also featured expert panelists dedicated to informing the public about the outrageous abuses taking place today. Jae-Chun Won, professor from Handong International Law School in South Korea; Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director for the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK); and Myunghee Um, a North Korean refugee and pastor, shared their personal experiences with students.

Along with the panelists, the issues struck a chord for Regent students. Sarah Drury, School of Law 3L student and head student coordinator of the summit, explained that these human rights challenges spurred her decision to attend law school, so that she may someday advocate for the rights of those who are oppressed.

"I believe that God may enable some of us in the Regent community to actually advocate for North Korean human rights," said Drury. "While this is a very complicated situation that doesn't have an easy answer, the first step to finding a solution is being made aware of the problem's existence."

In addition to bringing awareness to the horrors unraveling in North Korea, the heart of the summit was, according to Walton, to encourage the Christian community to begin intervening, if only by prayer, for their brothers and sisters suffering overseas.

"I pray that they gain hope that God is still moving, and that there are Christians, and others, non-believers, who are fighting for these people," said Walton. "I hope that they were moved, at a minimum, to intercede for the nation of North Korea, for the people there and for our fellow brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith."

Learn more about the School of Law and the Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law.

By Brett Wilson

Faculty Achievements: Week of November 11, 2013

Professor James Davids is currently in Kiev presenting two lectures on the “History of Western Legal Tradition” to evangelical Christians in Eastern Europe. Professor Davids will also give a lecture on constitutional law at the invitation of the Federalist Society at Villanova University School of Law on Thursday, November 21.

Professor James Duane accepted an offer to publish “Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Pointless Remand” in the Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law.

Professor Michael Hernandez will be in Richmond, Va. on Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16 coaching a team of Regent Law students (Sharon Kerk, Erik McCauley, and Joshua Smith) at the regional National Moot Court Competition. There are 21 teams in this region, and the top two teams advance to the NYC nationals in February.

Professor Lynne Marie Kohm submitted a book chapter for Child Participation in Justice, which will be published by the Oxford University Press. The chapter is called "Teen Courts and Parents Engendering Participation, Love and Respect." Professor Kohm relied on original research done by the Child Advocacy Practicum and the Center for Global Justice.

Student News Recap: Week of November 4, 2013

The Black Law Student Association (BLSA) hosted a Care for Caretakers program on Tuesday, November 5.

Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) hosted a Single Soldiers Holiday Cards Project meant to provide holiday cards for single soldiers on deployment on Wednesday, November 6. They will continue to host the event on Wednesday, November 13 and 20.

On Thursday, November 7, Darius Davenport, professor and director of career services at Regent Law, spoke at Law Chapel. He addressed the importance of remembering God's past victories in our lives and His faithfulness to bring triumph in our present circumstances. Previous Law Chapel messages may be viewed here.

Student News Recap: Week of October 28, 2013

On Monday, October 28, Career Services hosted Regent Law’s first ever Search Firm Career Fair & Program for students to interview for temporary legal positions and learn about available resources.

Honorable Frank J. Santoro of the United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia, North Division, was a guest speaker in Professor Pryor’s UCC II Secured Transactions Course on Tuesday, October 29.

The Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Society (IPELS) hosed guest speaker Attorney Edward Langer, Advisor and Patent Attorney from Israel on Monday, October 28. He spoke about the differences between U.S. and Israel Patent Law.

On Tuesday, October 29, the Regent Law Moot Court Board hosted Attorney William "Bill" Messenger of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation who mooted an upcoming case to be heard by the United States Supreme Court.

The Federalist Society hosted a Biblical Law Integration Colloquium featuring Professor Lee Strang, of the University Of Toledo's College of Law, on Tuesday, October 29. Professor Strang and other Regent Law professors discussed whether there is a Christian perspective on constitutional interpretation.

The Council of Graduate Students (COGS) held a university-wide town hall meeting on Tuesday, October 29. Students were able to voice their questions to various members of the Regent faculty and staff.

The Center for Global Justice hosted a table day on Tuesday, October 29 and Wednesday, October 30.

Professor Jae-Chun Won of Handong International Law School in South Korea, member of the Board of Directors for the Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human rights and Former Director-General, National Human Rights Commission of Korea spoke at Law Chapel on Thursday, October 24. Previous Law Chapel messages may be viewed here.

As part of the North Korea Human Rights Summit, the Center for Global Justice hosted a movie screening on Friday, November 1, of Crossing, a Korean film based on a true story that highlights the difficulty of life in North Korea and the plight of North Korean refugees through the story of one family's struggles and escape through China. The trailer of the film can be found here: Crossing (2008).

On Saturday, November 2, the Center for Global Justice sponsored the North Korean Human Rights Summit panel discussion highlighting North Korea's labor camps, human rights abuses in North Korea, the plight of refugees, and suggestions for involvement in North Korean human rights advocacy.

Alumni News Recap: October 2013

Amanda Freeman ('09) has joined the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. Read the press release here.

Jeremy Gray ('09) has become a full partner at the Newman, Thompson and Gray Law Firm in Forest City, Iowa. Read the story, which is featured in the Forest City Summit, here.

Stephen Casey (‘07) and Greg Terra (‘01) appeared on The Kelly Files discussing a follow-up to the news story here. View the video of the interview.

On Monday, October 7, as the Supreme Court of the United States opened for its October 2013 term, Regent Law alumni Tiffany Barrans ('09), Matthew Clark ('08), Carly Gammill ('07), Shaheryar Gill ('09), Marshall Goldman ('08), Jordan Sekulow ('09), Abigail Southerland ('07), Michelle Terry ('09), Miles Terry ('09), and Tyler Weiss ('09) were admitted to the Supreme Court Bar. Read the full story here.

Congratulations to alumnus Lauren Mehosky ('05) who received one of the Inside Business 2013 Top Forty Under 40 awards.

Keila E. Molina ('12) is now the Director of Community Relations, Hispanic Affairs, and Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts for U.S. Representative Ed Royce (CA-39), who is chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee. Keila is actively working on the issue of human trafficking in Southern California.

Political Heavyweights Debate Presidential Power

In a political season marked by gridlock and diatribe, Regent University's 11th Annual Clash of the Titans® struck a more collegial chord as political heavyweights from both sides of the aisle squared off over the topic of Presidential Power: Has the Executive Branch Gone Too Far? At the event on Friday, Oct. 25, the speakers staked out strong and often opposing positions, yet also managed to find common ground on what unites Americans.

Nearly 800 people turned out to hear the esteemed panel of political heavyweights: David Axelrod, former Obama senior strategist; David Plouffe, former Obama senior adviser; Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker; and Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary and FOX News co-anchor, moderated the debate.

View more photos.

The speakers' opening remarks set the stage for the rousing 90-minute dialogue. Gingrich began, providing a brief lesson in the Constitution and the role of the executive branch.

"The presidency is, in fact, second in the line of power outlined in the Constitution. The founding fathers wanted to avoid a dictatorship, so they invented a machine so inefficient that no dictator could rule it," he said, drawing laughter from the audience. "We've decided to cut through the baloney and go straight to the top, the president. If we centralize, we can make decisions faster. But centralizing power is useful once, and then it becomes a problem. It's a short-term solution."

Axelrod noted that the issue of presidential power is not a recent development, as it has been expanding over time due to an increasingly complex society. He expressed a differing opinion of the issue.

"Over time, what has really changed is not the level of power the executive branch has, but the role of Congress," he said, citing "aggressive use" of the filibuster in the Senate and the Hastert Rule in the House of Representatives, which prevents something from getting to the floor for debate. "This has been a development that has made government less workable."

Plouffe echoed the sentiment about Congress. "A gridlocked Congress puts a lot of pressure on the Executive Branch." He also raised the issue of presidential appointments made during Congressional recess. "Recesses have now become like a filibuster in opposition for either party. Democrats did this to Bush, Republicans did it to Obama, and this raises big questions. So much of it does come back to the dysfunction in Washington."

With a direct answer to the debate question about the executive branch going too far, Sekulow answered a firm "yes." "I think you can challenge the policies of the president and still have respect for the office of the president. But the president doesn't get a pass. The president is not a monarch, it's an elected office. You don't get to hold on to it, and you have to be very careful about what you do with that power while you have it."

The debate took off in earnest as Perino asked the first question, regarding whether there's a problem with inconsistency in applying presidential power. The speakers responded and began firing questions at each other in a spirited contest that delved into the president's handling of recent events including the IRS scandal, Syria, the government shutdown and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act website.

After considerable back and forth, Perino posed several questions provided by audience members, including Regent students. One question about whether expanded presidential power signals weakness in civic power generated responses that showed a commonality of thought among the debaters as they discussed the involvement of citizens, especially young people.

"This is a remarkable generation. I think this generation is going to do remarkable things," said Plouffe. "We still see these younger generations wanting to be engaged, wanting to be involved."

Gingrich noted, "The country's at the edge of another surge of movement that will drive us forward....The system isn't working, so I think young people will get involved."

Another question that provoked strong reactions involved the lack of anyone putting forth ideas to solve problems.

"I think the absence of ideas on both sides is stunning," said Gingrich. "You have no party of ideas to get us into a new world. The news media and the bureaucrats are almost impervious and it's a major problem for both parties."

Axelrod was also blunt in his response. "I've found that you have some very courageous people who are in Washington because they want to make a difference and others who are principally concerned with keeping their jobs. This inspires asking what they need to do to stay in office. That's a corrosive thing, but some of the responsibility relies on voters to ask for something more of their government."

In their closing remarks, the speakers all shared a refreshing sense of optimism.

"If you strip away all of the gridlock, the truth is that there's a lot more that unites us than divides us," Plouffe concluded. "What the American people want is leadership. Eventually, we will get this right and we will make progress. If you're unhappy, organize and defeat. Stick your neck out there and seize the moment to do the right thing for our country."

Sekulow shared the story of his grandfather, who immigrated to the United States from Russia, hoping for a better life for his family. "We don't have a country to flee to. This is our country and we're blessed to be here. Divine providence plays a role in this country. We've been given an opportunity and we can't squander it and we can't surrender it. We have to be willing to fight for it. Will we be intimidated into silence or will we take that divine opportunity?"

Picking up on his theme from earlier, Gingrich said, "I believe what we'll see is the empowerment of the American people. It is very important for people who care about this country to study the Constitution and take seriously the magic that became America. We have a structure that allows anyone from anywhere on the planet to come have a good life. Protecting that is the great challenge of our nation."

After joking that Sekulow stole his story, Axelrod, whose father came to America as a young boy, shared that he finds hearing the U.S. national anthem being played on foreign soil his most moving experience.

"I celebrate this country. I have a responsibility to keep this country strong, and even though we have different views, it's important to find that common ground."

Since its inception in 2003, Regent University's Clash of the Titans® has been recognized as one of the biggest public events of its kind in Virginia, a must-attend venue, given the impressive roster of panelists who have battled and debated pressing issues in a robust, free-wheeling forum. Learn more about Regent University's Clash of the Titans.

By Regent University

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