Regent Hosts Judicial Internship Banquet

During their three-year stint in the juris doctorate programs, many students focus on the theory of law, absorbing two-dimensional cases from books laced with legalese. But, through its Judicial Internship Program, more than 50 Regent University School of Law students have the opportunity to learn from judges and clerks from local city courts.

On Tuesday, June 25, the School of Law, along with the Office of Career & Alumni Services, hosted the 10th Annual Judicial Internship Banquet at The Founders Inn and Spa.

There, program participants from more than 15 courts—such as the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and the Virginia Beach Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court—were honored for their service in guiding students.

Judge Patricia West, associate dean for the School of Law (pictured), welcomed the students, judges and clerks who participated in the Judicial Internship Program for the 2013-2014 academic year. And while she acknowledges that the program provides a unique opportunity for Regent students to gain real-world application of the principles of law, she believes there are additional benefits that are just as important.

"Our students develop personal relationships with the judges, the clerks and many of the attorneys who appear in the courts where the students are assigned," said West. "Those relationships often remain long after the particulars of a case are forgotten, and we are grateful to the judges and clerks who open their courtrooms and their hearts to our students."

Aubrey Cross, a second-year student in the School of Law, expressed her gratitude at the banquet. This summer Cross is serving at the Chesapeake General District Court, where she's received a more holistic view of the courtroom.

"You have given us an opportunity that I'm sure we will never forget," said Cross.

This "unforgettable" opportunity is what spurred Judge Glen A. Huff Jr. to share the story of his internship experience, which he completed nearly four decades ago, and is what encourages him to participate in the internship program for Regent students to this day.

"Judges can have a profound effect on young lawyers; it's a pleasure to work with the students and to watch them grow and develop," said Huff. "We're doing something to bring these young people into their careers."

Huff explained that his own internship opportunity opened his mind to "possibility thinking." His upbringing was in "stark contrast" to the years he spent learning the law, but Huff's judicial clerkship gave him the confidence to imagine that he could one day be an attorney and eventually be appointed to the bench of the Court of Appeals of Virginia.

"It's our responsibility to bring these students into our sphere of influence," said Huff. "May each of the judges embrace these students and encourage our colleagues to give them their time; we can make a difference."

Learn more about Regent University School of Law and the Office of Career & Alumni Services.

By Brett Wilson

Faculty Achievements: Week ending June 27, 2014

Professor James Duane's article, "The Proper Pronunciation of Certiorari: The Supreme Court's Surprising Six-Way Split," continues to be cited online. University of Wisconsin Law School professor Ann Althouse addressed the article in her popular ephonymous blog, and National Law Journal featured the article in "No Video, But Here's Audio of How Justices Say 'Certiorari.'"

Professor James Duane also had the opportunity to speak in Tulsa, Okla., as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Criminal Defense Institute sponsored by the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

Professor Bradley Jacob was interviewed by CBN News regarding legal challenges related to recent attempts to redefine marriage.

Professor Scott Pryor's paper, "Municipal Bankruptcy: When Doing Less is Doing Best," was recently listed on SSRN's Top 10 download list in these categories: ERN: Other Political Economy: National, State & Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations (Topic); and PSN: Local Politics & Policy (Topic).

Law Professor’s Article on Ambiguous Pronunciation of ‘Certiorari’ Goes Viral

When The Green Bag, a journal known for featuring humorous legal articles, published “The Proper Pronunciation of Certiorari: The Supreme Court’s Surprising Six-Way Split,” Professor James Duane didn’t expect major legal news outlets to make his article headline news.

The article uncovers inconsistencies in the pronunciation of “certiorari,” an order that allows a higher court to request a lower court’s records. The confusion is a classic case of poh-tay-toh/poh-tah-toh: there seems to be more than one way to say it, and no one has standardized the pronunciation.

When researching, Professor Duane consulted legal dictionaries, but he only found inconsistencies. Then he turned to recordings of 13 modern Supreme Court justices speaking in court. Ideally, to save face, a lawyer should mimic the Supreme Court justices’ pronunciation, but it turns out that their pronunciations are inconsistent too.

The article has gone viral in the legal world. It was the topic of several National Law Journal articles. One, “No Video, But Here’s Audio of How Justices Say ‘Certiorari,’” includes audio files of six Supreme Court justices pronouncing the word. It was a headline story and one of the “most read items” in the ABA Journal, and Ed Wheland wrote about it in a National Review blog post. Adam Liptak, a Supreme Court reporter for The New York Times, even tweeted about it. Ann Althouse, a professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, picked up the topic in her eponymous blog.

“I was of course hoping that somebody might notice my work on this, but I did not expect the item to attract quite this much attention so quickly,” says Professor Duane.

“Perhaps critics of the Supreme Court on both the right and the left love the idea of anything that makes it appear that the justices on the Court cannot get their story straight. If this mounting wave of interest keeps up, the piece might even come to their attention as well.”

Download a copy of Professor Duane's article here.

Faculty Achievements: Week ending June 20, 2014

Professor Eric DeGroff was elected secretary of the Board of Governors for the Virginia State Bar’s Environmental Section. The position lasts for one year.

Professor James Duane's article, "The Proper Pronunciation of Certiorari: The Supreme Court's Surprising Six-Way Split," has earned tremendous popularity. It was the subject of the headline story in the National Law Journal, one of the top headline stories and most read items in the ABA Journal, discussed in Ed Whelan's blog in National Review Online, and mentioned by Adam Liptak of The New York Times on his Twitter account.

Professor Tessa Dysart's article, "Child, Victim, or Prostitute? Justice through Immunity for Prostituted Children," is available on SSRN. She argues that prostituted children should be immune to prosecution. The article is published in the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy.

Professor Lynne Marie Kohm's paper, "Roe's Effects on Family Law," which is published in the Washington and Lee Law Review, was recently listed on SSRN's top 10 download list for Family Law.

Faculty Achievements: Week ending June 13, 2014

Professor Kenneth Ching's new essay, "Beauty and Ugliness in Offer and Acceptance," made the following top 10 lists on SSRN:

Professor James Davids wrote "The Role of Worldview in Judicial Decision-Making," a chapter in a book that Cambridge Scholars Publishing accepted for publication.

Professor Thomas Folsom is presenting at an international program (property, new remedies, intellectual property) scheduled June 17-19 in Aix-en-Provence, France. He will also lead a seminar entitled "Liberty, Law, and Politics: Islamic and Western Perspectives" for Regent's Oxford Study Abroad Program at Oxford Brookes University from June 23 to July 4.

Professor Michael Hernandez just had his latest book published by West Academic Publishing: Unlocking Estates in Land and Future Interests.

Professor Lynne Marie Kohm has been invited to make a presentation at an academic symposium on Friday, October 10, 2014 at J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University.

Professor Scott Pryor's blog, Pryor Thoughts, recently achieved 90,000 page views. Here is the breakdown of the blog's audience by location and number of page views: United States (65,016), Germany (2,393), Russia (2,130), India (1,586), United Kingdom (1,496), France (1,332), China (1,002), Ukraine (1,000), Canada (688), and the Netherlands (682).

Students Research for Wrongful Death Trial

While many soon-to-be law graduates were preparing for the impending ceremony and wrapping up their final exams on the week of graduation, four Regent University School of Law students were assisting in a three-day $8 million civil trial in Westmoreland County, Va. The plaintiff's lawyer, Randy Singer, is attorney-in-residence at Regent Law, who regularly taps students to work with him.

Throughout the spring 2014 semester, Kevin Hoffman, rising third-year law student Sarah Morris, Matthew Puchferran '14, and Katelyn Rodebeck '14 assisted Singer in preparing for a civil case exploring the wrongful death of a Westmoreland County woman who was found frozen in a snow bank in February 2010.

Each year Singer, who is also managing partner of Singer Legal Group, LLC, pastor of Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Va., and esteemed author of several "legal thriller" books, selects four Regent students to participate in a practicum course designed to give law students hands-on court experience.

Singer explained that the students' work on the case was "invaluable," as they helped research the case, kept the exhibits safe during the three-day trial, and prepared witnesses for their examination in court.

"They not only performed well under pressure, but they had a good time doing it," said Singer. "They have the best attitude and it really made the whole process more enjoyable."

The students not only experienced the pressure of working in a real-life court case, they also balanced the remainder of their challenging coursework; and Hoffman, Puchferran and Rodebeck were preparing to cross the graduation platform.

"It was a crazy week, and we were really low on sleep, but it was totally worth it; we had plenty of adrenaline to keep us going," said Rodebeck, who commuted from Regent to Westmoreland several times throughout the week.

"It was just a perfect end to law school to have that experience right before we graduated, and it set the bar pretty high for the future," said Rodebeck.

Traveling efforts and lack of sleep aside, Rodebeck explained her favorite part was witnessing the lives of those involved in the case changed as a result of her work. When the trial concluded, she said the family members affected by the case hugged and thanked her.

"That's what made me realize how much I love law," said Rodebeck. "I had worked all through law school, being very technical about the law, but this was a real trial with real people—this really happened to them and it was an eye-opening experience."

Puchferran, much like Rodebeck, agreed that while he values the theoretical education that comes alongside his new law degree, there was something special about being a part of a real-life court trial.

"I think that if you're a law student and you have the opportunity to jump into the program like the Singer Law Group offers, you can't say 'no,'" said Puchferran. "It provides so much perspective." For Hoffman, the experience of not only being a part of a trial, but seeing it through from start to finish was the best way to cap his legal education.

"There's no way to really know trial practice skills without actually practicing them," said Hoffman. "I just appreciated learning from Mr. Singer—his instincts are incredible, and you learn those things by watching someone who is really good at what they do."

Hoffman will continue to learn from Singer as he joins his team of associates in 2015.

Learn more about Regent University School of Law.

By Brett Wilson

Faculty Achievements: Week ending June 6, 2014

Dean Jeffrey Brauch was a guest on The Tide 92.3 FM (Virginia Beach) on Tuesday, May 27. He discussed some of Regent Law's distinct characteristics. An audio clip of the interview is available here.

Professor Kenneth Ching's article "Beauty and Ugliness in Offer and Acceptance" recently made the SSRN top 10 list for contracts.

Professor James Duane was cited in Bryan Garner's Usage Tip of the Day, which the Oxford University Press distributes. The tip addresses when to use "whether" and "whether or not." Read Professor Duane's article.

Summer Assignments: Center for Global Justice 2014 Interns

This year, 19 Center for Global Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law interns are scattered around the globe, serving organizations that protect children, promote religious freedom, fight human trafficking, and aid the poor. Some of our interns serve organizations located a short drive from Regent University’s campus, such as the Virginia Beach Justice Initiative. Others travel a bit further to Washington, D.C., and Texas, while others board long flights to Africa and Asia.

No matter where they go, the Center for Global Justice interns will be equipped to seek justice for the downtrodden and combat human rights abuses.

Take a look at where some of the interns are serving this year and the causes they support:
  • Michael Aiello (Chang Mai, Thailand): International Justice Mission, Human Trafficking
  • Emily Arthur (Texas): Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center and Mosaic Family Services; Immigration, Protecting Children, and Human Trafficking
  • Tiffany Bennett (Washington, D.C.): Jubilee Campaign, Religious Freedoms
  • Krystle Blanchard (Washington, D.C.): International Justice Mission, Rule of Law
  • Lindsey Brower (Washington, D.C.): International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Protecting Children
  • M. Stockton Brown (India): Freedom Firm, Human Trafficking
  • L. Carter Budwell (Virginia Beach, Virginia): National Legal Foundation, Rule of Law
  • Cassie Carsrud (Los Angeles, California): Christian Legal Aid, Care for Poor
  • Paul Davis (Kampala, Uganda): Sixty Feet, Juvenile Justice
  • Sarah Decker (Landstown, Virginia): Justice Fellowship, Prisoner Restoration
  • Palmer Hurst (Lira, Uganda): Land and Equity Movement, Rule of Law
  • Ra Hee Jeon (Alabama): Alabama Attorney General’s Office, Protecting Children
  • Ilona Manzyuk (Washington, D.C.): Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Protecting Children
  • Allysa Martinez (Texas): Mosaic Family Services, Human Trafficking and Protecting Children
  • Sarah Jane Norris (Washington, D.C.): Jubilee Campaign, Religious Freedoms and Human Trafficking
  • Elissa Polley (Fort Worth, Texas): Traffick911, Human Trafficking
  • Sean Reilly (Washington, D.C.): The Renewal Forum, Human Trafficking
  • Paul Shakeshaft (Sofia, Bulgaria): Advocates International (Bulgaria), Religious Freedoms
  • Christy Stierhoff (Virginia Beach, Virginia): Virginia Beach Justice Initiative, Human Trafficking 
Read more in the Center for Global Justice Blog

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...