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Circuit Board


Vol. 39 No. 9
Compiled byTonnya Kennedy Kohn

1st Circuit
Yale Law School students Lindsey Luebchow, Michael Love, Stephanie Lee, Kathryn Bradley, and Cheryl-Lyn Bentley, contributed to the start-up of the New Haven Promise program. The students participated in legal and non-legal aspects of establishing the program, which provides college scholarships for local residents who meet certain criteria. The students were involved in negotiations to fund the program and helped draft bylaws for the program and its board of directors. The students also helped establish eligibility rules, create materials, and met with parents to answers questions about the program.
2nd Circuit
Fordham University School of Law’s Dispute Resolution Society became World Champions in February when it bested 57 teams from 26 countries in the 6th Annual ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition. The event was hosted at the headquarters of the International Chamber of Commerce. The winning team consisted of students Matt Bress, Christie Houlihan, Patrick Jacobs,Veni Manickam, and coach Stephen Grable. The team competed in pairs through eight rounds over the course of the five-day event. The eight mock cases in the contest concerned international commercial disputes, including intellectual property rights, global franchise agreements, contract rights in the purchase and sale of manufacturing equipment, and international corporate restructurings.


3rd Circuit
Avery Blank, a third-year student at the University of Maryland School of Law, is interning for Baltimore City Council President Bernard “Jack” C. Young, but last summer interned at the White House. As a White House intern, Blank worked with the Office of General Counsel, Executive Office of the President, Office of Administration. Working with the Deputy General Counsel, Blank reviewed government ethics laws in relation to presidential gifts and financial disclosure filings for senior officials.


4th Circuit
Students from Wake Forest University School of Law, as well as from the university’s divinity and medical schools, traveled to Nicaragua during spring break for a cross-disciplinary course focusing on professional development. The course was co-taught in Managua with faculty from each of the schools. Through seminars, field work, and service opportunities, students explored what it means to be a member of the professional class and how this meaning is formed through training and practice. Students worked with Nicaraguan partners to help solve social, economic, environmental, and health-care challenges in that country.


5th Circuit
Sims Rhyne and Wes Hill, second-year students at Cumberland School of Law, won the annual American Bar Association Student Tax Challenge in January. Ninety-five teams representing law schools across the country entered the national competition sponsored by the ABA Section of Taxation, with the final rounds held at its 2011 Midyear Meeting in Boca Raton. An alternative to traditional moot court competitions, the Student Tax Challenge asks two-person teams to solve cutting-edge and complex tax problems that might arise in everyday tax practice.


6th Circuit
Kevin Preslan, a student at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, won the 2010 International Fiscal Association, USA Branch, Student Writing Competition for his paper, “Turnabout is Fair Play: The U.S. Response to Mexico’s Request for Bank Account Information.” Preslan won a cash prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Annual Meeting of IFA, USA Branch in Atlanta, where he will receive his award.


7th Circuit
Third-year Valparaiso University School of Law student Andrew Kipple juggles a booming website with full-time law school classes. After completing his first year of law school, he became a founder of Peopleof He started the popular website with his brother and a friend. Collectively, they were inspired by a summer grocery shopping trip to a local Wal-mart. The business, Three Ring Focus, LLC, has now expanded into 18 websites, and is consistently growing. After graduation, Kipple will relocate to South Carolina, where he will manage Three Ring Focus with the other founders.


8th Circuit
Creighton University School of Law’s Milton R. Abrahams Legal Clinic is the first winner of the Inez Fitz Community Service Award, which will be presented annually by the Fair Housing Center of Nebraska-Iowa. The Clinic was chosen because of its “tireless and effective work to assist economically disadvantaged people [to] enjoy . . . protections afforded by . . . housing laws . . .” The award was presented in April.


9th Circuit
An amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Camreta v. Greene prepared by the Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI) at the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law has been named Brief of the Week on February 23, by The National Law Journal. The vast number of amicus briefs filed in this case voice concern for children who may be sexual abuse victims, but many differ on the role that the Fourth Amendment should play in abuse investigations. Professor Robert C. Fellmeth, who is the founder and director of the school’s Children’s Advocacy Institute, filed his amicus brief in support of neither party, but believes caseworkers need flexibility to pursue those investigations where they have a reasonable suspicion that abuse has occurred.


10th Circuit
About 100 Washburn University School of Law students attended a special appearance by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kansas, in January. Invitations to the event, “A dialogue with Justice Sotomayor,” were limited to students and faculty at Washburn Law and the University of Kansas School of Law and area high school students. Prior to the main event, 22 student members of the Hispanic American Law Student Associations at Washburn and KU law schools met with Justice Sotomayor.


11th Circuit
The George Washington University Law School won the Gujarat National Law University International Moot Court Competition 2011 in February. Thirty-three teams from four countries participated. This was the second time George Washington Law won the competition.


12th Circuit
Three University of Oregon School of Law Environmental LL.M. students are working with famed Oregon environmental lawyer Charlie Tebbutt to prosecute a Clean Water Act lawsuit against BP and Transocean regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Elisabeth Holmes, Kevin Bonin, and Alex Hood are helping Tebbutt, who represents the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), and his team as they seek approximately $20 billion in civil penalties from BP, based on a claim of $4,300 per barrel spilled—the maximum allowed under the Clean Water Act. The CBD has filed the suit against BP under the citizen suit provision of the Clean Water Act.


13th Circuit
Students from South Texas College of Law claimed first place at the 19th Annual National Health Law Moot Court Competition held at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. The competition involved teams of law students representing more than 30 schools from across the United States who prepared and argued a hypothetical case with issues of property rights in a corpse and religious freedom. The team of Charlie Gustin, Mary Nelson, and Sabrina Stone defeated Loyola University Chicago School of Law in the final round.


14th Circuit
Caramad Conley, who spent 18 years in prison for murder, was recently released in part due to the work of Golden Gate University Innocence Project students Treva Stewart and Justine Schmollinger. These students, under supervision of then adjunct Professor Alex Green, tracked down and interviewed now-deceased witness, Clifford Polk. Polk’s admissions that he had perjured himself at Conley’s trial ultimately led to Conley’s exoneration. When the project closed in late 2005, Golden Gate referred the case to the Keker firm and to attorney Dan Purcell, who won Conley’s freedom. After her graduation, Schmollinger continued to work on the case with Purcell.


15th Circuit
An article written by Jamie Carpenter, a third-year law student at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, will be published in the June issue of the Denver Water Law Review. Carpenter’s article is titled “Pre-Statutory Water Right Claims in Utah: Uncertainty in the Administration of Water Rights.” The article addresses the history of Utah water law as it relates to the recognition of pre-statutory water right claims and examines the number of claims on record with the Utah Division of Water Rights that have not been subjected to judicial or public review.

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