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Res Ipsa January 2008.qxp


  • pg 1
									                                                             Volume XXVI
                                                               Number 5

                        Res Ipsa                 The Official Newspaper
                                                         of the
                                                  University of Miami
                                                   School of Law

January/February 2008
Inside this
                              Miami Law Alumni
Page 2:
Miami Alums Win Major
                              Win Major Polk
Case in Polk County

Page 3:
SBA President’s
                              County Case

Page 5:
Honoring Judge Peter

Page 8:
National Security
Forum with former
NATO Commander

Page 9:
Student Candids

Page 10:
GOP Candidates
debate at UM in

Page 12:
GAPSA Tax Forum
attracts Elected

Page 13:
Hurricanes Men’s
Basketball Team

Page 15:
Opinion: Abandoning
Page 2                                                                               Res Ipsa LOQUITUR                                                                      January/February 2008

          From the Classroom to the Courtroom:
            Two UM Law Alums’ Victory in Court
 MARLA SOMERSTEIN                                 tion. The young son, Mario Ladler II, suf-        Doctor from the University of Miami                    David Kleinberg discovered his passion
 RES IPSA STAFF                                   fered severe, debilitating brain damage and       School of Law in 1975. During his tenure as       for law at UM in 1988 and states, “every-
                                                  the father, Mario Ladler, was seriously           a law student, he clerked for prominent civil     thing I do in court room is influenced by
       While still students, getting an “A” in    injured as well.                                  Circuit Court judges and criminal judges,         what I learned from Terry Anderson, and the
 Torts at University of Miami Law was once             The largest portion of the award, $27        developing a deep passion for trial advoca-       trial program which I participated in at
 their goal. Now the stakes have changed.         million, will go towards the care for the         cy. “I truly learned from clerking I was          UM.” Upon reflecting on Kleinberg’s trial
 Years following graduation at UM Law, the        young son Ladler II, who is living at the         more interested in trial work than non-trial      program experience he states that “after par-
 goal is now to obtain justice and subse-         Florida      Institute     for      Neurologic    work”, stated Neufeld, “I also picked up          ticipating in mock trial, I felt the blood flow-
 quently receive multi-million dollar judg-       Rehabilitation, Kleinberg said. The remain-       various litigation styles I liked and became      ing through my body.”
 ments in personal injury trials. “Motion         der is for potential lost wages, pain and suf-    acquainted with court procedures and per-              Kleinberg, clearly a born trial lawyer,
 GRANTED”, as the judges say. Two                 fering. Ladler II’s family will collect the $50   sonnel.” For the past 32 years, Alan has vig-     joined NK&P in July of 2002 with 14 years
 University of Miami Law Alumni, Alan S.          million through Geico Insurance.                  orously represented seriously injured clients     of experience as a passionate and tough trial
 Neufeld (Class of 1975) and David                       Brain injury cases are devastating,        litigating cases involving complex medical        lawyer. He has litigated hundreds of cases
 Kleinberg (Class of 1988), were recently         causing life long problems including diffi-       malpractice, nursing home abuse, products         involving defective products, medical mal-
 awarded $50 million by a jury in a personal      culty staying employed and the challenge of       liability, airplane, railroad and motor vehicle   practice, civil rights, wrongful arrest/use of
 injury action, the largest civil jury award in   maintaining normal human relationships.           crashes, slip and fall injuries, improper         force, inadequate security, automobile acci-
 Polk County, Florida history.                    According to a deposition given by pediatric      security, and bad-faith litigation against        dents, falls, vaccine-related injury/death,
      A Lakeland, Florida family’s life           neurologist, Ladler II will never be able to      insurance companies. Neufeld enjoys the           even trademarks and unfair competition.
 changed on September 3, 2004, when a             hold a job and will need 24-hour supervision      diversity of his practice. He has successful-          Regarding N&P’s most recent victory,
 father, mother, 4 year-old son, and 2 year-      for the rest of his life due to brain damage.     ly obtained several million-dollar jury ver-      shaped by their unique experience at
 old daughter were violently struck in their            At the Miami and Lakeland law firm of       dicts and settlements involving these types       University of Miami School of Law, Alan
 car by a drunk truck driver, barreling into      Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, P.A.,              of issues. Alan’s son, Jason E. Neufeld,          Neufeld and David Kleinberg were able to
 them in his pickup truck. The verdict was        (NK&P)          (www.neufeldlawfirm.com),         JD/MBA, is following in Alan’s footsteps,         use their brilliant trial skills for a virtuous
 announced on October 31, 2007. The drunk         Neufeld and Kleinberg are successfully            has also excelled at UM Law (Class of             cause and to bring justice to a physically and
 driver pled guilty to Driving Under the          striving to challenge injured victims’ rights     2007), and is currently in-house counsel at       emotionally crushed family.
 Influence and was sentenced to five years in     and serve justice in the community.               Seven Kings Holdings, Inc. in Jupiter,
 prison to be followed by ten years of proba-               Alan Neufeld, earned his Juris          Florida.
January/February 2008                                                                 Res Ipsa LOQUITUR                                                                              Page 3

                                                        SBA President’s Update

          The Student Bar Association
would like to welcome the UM law com-
munity back to school! The SBA is proud
of its productive fall semester and is look-
ing forward to an even better spring
semester. We strive to represent the stu-
dent body and to act as liaisons between
our students, the faculty and administra-
tion. To that end, we would like to take a
moment to highlight some of our recent
accomplishments to let our students know
what we have been up to. Also, we are
excited to tell everyone about our plans for
the spring. If you have additional sugges-
tions for this spring, please don’t hesitate
to contact us directly. Our contact infor-
mation is listed at the bottom of this arti-
cle. Thanks for all your support and partic-
ipation during the fall semester.               Front row (from L to R): Preston Clark, Melissa Kiedrowicz, Lindsey Savastano, Kim Salamone, Rachel Papeika, Allison Avent, Serena
          Special recognition and congrat-      Josephs, Andy Loewenstein. Second row: Allyssa Wickstrom, Tommy Wang, Omar Bradford, Matt Givens, Jennifer Pratt, Fernanda
ulations are in order for the 1L class for      Figueiredo, Rebecca Lada, Jana Blount, Brett Trembly. Third row: Ian Kirtman, Chris Meyer, Michael Marshall, Adam Goldman, Josh Rubens.
getting through their first semester. No
one said it was going to be easy, but it does   and copy card availability.                     will continue in to the spring semester.        SBA, under the leadership of ABA Rep.,
in fact get easi-er. As the heavy workload                Energy Drinks: 1L Senator Omar                  Shalala on Facilities: The SBA        Allison Avent is planning the 1st Annual
becomes more manageable we encourage            Bradford oversaw the free distribution of       sat down with President Shalala to discuss      Diversity on the Bricks. The three-day
you all to get involved in the many student     energy drinks on the bricks during the fall     our sub-par facilities on the law campus.       event will offer a venue for our diverse
organizations on campus, including the          semester. In our constant pursuit to make       She assured us that she was aware of the        UM Law community to celebrate our
SBA. Part of your UM law experience will        the grind less unbearable, the SBA is           problem and that she had every intention        many different cultures. Food, music and
be defined by your involvement in our           always open to new ideas to get our stu-        of resolving it in the near future (irrespec-   art will fill the bricks and the student
many great organizations. We all look for-      dents through the struggle.                     tive of any developments surrounding the        lounge in February. If you are interested in
ward to your participation.                               Snacks on the Bricks: Instead of      possible move to downtown).                     getting involved, please contact Allison
                                                the traditional coffee and cookies on the                 Book Exchange Remodel: The            Avent.
   SBA Accomplishments, Fall 2007               bricks, the SBA, in association with the        SBA, under the leadership of SBA                          Dean’s Cup: Thanks to the tire-
                                                Dean of Students Office and Iris Morera,        Treasurer, Andy Loewenstein, the Book           less efforts of 3L Senator, Brett Trembly
          New Office Space for Student          set out to provide healthy snacks and           Exchange Renovation Subcommittee and            this year’s Dean’s Cup, in honor of Dean
Orgs: The SBA and ICC, under the leader-        drinks during finals period. We are open to     Dean Matas oversaw the renovation of the        Lynch, will be the best one ever! With
ship of Dean Stearns and SBA Secretary,         suggestions on items our students would         Book Exchange during winter break. With         some great new sporting events, as well as
Serena Josephs reorganized the student          like to see this coming finals period.          the new paint and carpeting set, and            a service project organized with HOPE,
organization offices located above                        Tailgates: Thanks to the efforts of   shelves and furniture on the way, the new-      the SBA is looking forward to kicking
Subway. As more and more student organ-         the SBA Speaker of the Senate, Chris            look Book Exchange promises to be a             some serious Med School butt. Dean’s
izations are formed, we are faced with the      Meyer, and 2L Senator, Chris Malek, the         more welcoming place for students to buy        Cup 2008 is set to kick-off in April. We
challenge of providing new office space.        SBA brought back the Law School tailgate        books, rent lockers and get advice from         encourage 1L participation.
In many cases, organizations with strong        this year. It seemed only fitting that the      SBA leadership.                                           Business Cards: In response to
membership found themselves without a           law school showed its school spirit during                The New Student Center: The           student interest in obtaining UM Law
home on our law campus. Thanks to the           the final season at the Orange Bowl. Go         SBA, in association with Dean Stearns,          business cards, the SBA plans to meet
flexibility of the organizations that previ-    Canes!!!                                        tirelessly negotiated with the Vice             with the Dean’s discuss the possibility of
ously held space, we were able to consoli-                Dean Search: The SBA is repre-        President’s office to expand and reorgan-       making the UM Law business card tem-
date and rearrange in order to accommo-         senting its students on the Dean Search         ize the planned proposal for student organ-     plate available to our students. At a law
date many of the newer organizations and        Committee. We recently held an open             ization office space in the new Student         school that prides itself on teaching pro-
to maximize our use of the facilities.          forum for students to meet with Beth            Center. We are confident that our students      fessionalism, business cards should be par
          New Lockers: In response to stu-      Hicks, the representative from Korn/Ferry,      will be pleased with our location in the        for the course.
dent demand, the SBA, under the leader-         the firm tapped to oversee the search for       new facility. The construction of the new                 3L Gift: The SBA, in association
ship     of     SBA    Treasurer,     Andy      our new dean. In the weeks to follow there      facility will begin in August, 2008.            with Dean Angones and the Alumni
Loewenstein, Dean Stearns and Dean              will be more opportunities for students to                Homecoming Sponsor: The SBA,          Association, plans to raise funds and
Matas was able to secure 200 new lockers        get involved in the selection process.          under the leadership of 3L Senator and          establish a 3L gift to celebrate the legacy
for student use. At the time of writing, the              Undergrad Outreach: The SBA,          Parliamentarian, Rachel Papeika, made a         of the class of 2008 at the University of
lockers have been shipped, and we are           in association with the Admissions office       donation and participated in the 2007           Miami School of Law.
waiting delivery. As soon as the lockers        and the Toppel Career Center, hosted an         Hurricane Homecoming. In an effort to                     Alumni Networking Event: In an
are in place, we will notify the students on    undergrad outreach program to offer UM          create solidarity with the main campus,         effort to create employment opportunities
the locker waiting list. Please contact         undergrads the opportunity to meet with         the SBA seeks new ways to bridge the            and to prepare our students for the com-
Andy Loewenstein if you would like to be        current law students. Special thanks to         gap.                                            petitive legal job market, the Alumni
added to this list. We hope to accommo-         Jonathan Brown, Miriann Guazzini,                         2008 MLK Day of Service:              Association has agreed to collaborate with
date as many students as possible.              Rachel Drude, and Vance Aloupis for their       HOPE, BLSA and the ABA sponsored the            the SBA to organize networking events
          Copy Cards: In response to 1L         support.                                        2008 MLK Day of Service to help                 during the spring semester.
concern, the SBA, under the leadership of                 Graduation Speech: The SBA is         improve the living conditions for residents               The leaders of the Student Bar
1L Senator Omar Bradford was able to            in a dialogue with students, faculty, and       of Little Haiti. Our own ABA                    Association are committed to representing
secure free copy cards to students during       administration in order to reevaluate the       Representative, Allison Avent, helped           the student body. We welcome your advice
the tedious LRW Open Brief process.             process used to select the student speaker      organize and participated in this great         and suggestions on ways to improve our
Dean Lynch and Dean Coker were respon-          at graduation. There have been complaints       event.                                          law community. Thanks for all your sup-
sive to student concern and made the cards      in the past from both faculty and students                                                      port. We’ll see you on the bricks!
available almost immediately upon meet-         that the current process does not always        Future Accomplishments, Spring 2008
ing with student leaders. The SBA will          select the student most well suited to rep-                                                              Suggestions/Comments/Concern
continue to push for increased subsidies        resent the graduating class. The dialogue                Diversity on the Bricks: The           s: sbapresident@law.miami.edu
Page 4   Res Ipsa LOQUITUR   January/February 2008
January/February 2008                                                          Res Ipsa LOQUITUR                                                                               Page 5

                      Judge Peter R. Palermo – a Dynamic and
                                Indefatigable Man
SYLVIA-REBECCA GUTIERREZ                       of the Center for Ethics and Public          war, and served as the Mayor of West           Board of Directors of the Federal Bar
                                               Service, and Karen P. Throckmorton,          Miami. Next, he served three years as an       Association, The American Judicature
                                               Deputy Director of the Center, and           Assistant State Attorney, and then prac-       Society, Peter Fay Inns of Court, the
                                               Director of Miami Street Law. Ms.            ticed criminal defense work as the senior      Eleventh Circuit Historical Society, and
          On November 14, 2007, the            Throckmorton clerked for Judge Palermo       partner in Palermo & Connelly for eight-       the Advisory Board of the Center for
Center for Ethics and Public Service held      from 1981 through 1983. Among those          een years. Judge Palermo said that because     Ethics & Public Service. Judge Palermo’s
a reception in The Alma Jennings               gathered for the “up close and personal      he and his partner maintained the highest      experiences as an Italian-American facing
Foundation Student Lounge celebrating          look” at Judge Palermo’s legacy were         standard of ethical conduct for the busi-      South Florida’s segregationist past served
the outstanding career and public service      Senior U.S. District Judge William           ness and the community, they never once        as a reminder to his audience of the impor-
achievements of the Honorable United           Hoeveler, Senior U.S. District Judge Ned     argued with each other. In 1971, he was        tance of a strong unified and whole com-
States Magistrate Judge Peter R. Palermo.      Davis, U.S. District Judge Paul Huck,        appointed as one of the first United States    munity. When asked how to handle a polit-
Third year law students Vance Aloupis, a       Circuit Court Judge Jacqueline Hogan         Federal Magistrates and has so served for      ical and legal career while raising a fami-
Peter R. Palermo Fellow, and Melissa           Scola, Federal Magistrate Judge John O’      36 years. Judge Palermo has participated       ly, Judge Palermo fondly recalled the qual-
Melshenker, a Hunton & Williams Fellow,        Sullivan, and Federal Magistrate Judge       in development of the magistrate system,       ity time he spent with his son despite the
interviewed Judge Palermo about his pio-       Chris McAliley, who all attested to Judge    and has proudly sworn in over 500,000          many demands on his time.
neering 50-year judicial career and his fas-   Palermo’s skilled bread baking and his       new citizens.                                            As Ms. Throckmorton said,
cinating life. Judge Palermo received the      love of dancing.                                      Judge Palermo stressed how            “Judge Palermo has been an inspirational
distinguished Lawyers in Leadership                      A native of Pennsylvania, Judge    important humility is to both the legal pro-   leader in our community through his
Award, which honors leading members of         Palermo served heroically in the Army and    fession and to build an individual’s           excellence as a federal judge, his mentor-
the bar and bench. As the thirteenth recip-    the Air Force in World War II, for which     humanity. He emphasized to his interview-      ing of young lawyers over the decades,
ient of this award, Judge Palermo embod-       he received the Bronze Star and six Battle   ers and his audience that getting good         and his love of our country and pride in
ies the Lawyers in Leadership Series’          Stars. During the interview, Judge Palermo   grades on law school exams means little; a     our Constitution.” His legendary career is
vision of a “citizen lawyer” – one who         recounted the atrocities he saw during the   lawyer’s true worth lies in being a part of    complemented by his unremitting devo-
practices law with integrity and serves        war, the lessons he took to heart, and the   his community, serving his community           tion to compassionate community service.
others in order to better our world.           wish for a peaceful future. Judge Palermo    and giving back to his community. Judge        The impact of this humble man and source
          The celebration included remarks     enrolled at the University of Miami          Palermo’s volunteer service includes a         of justice is incalculable.
by Professor Anthony V. Alfieri, Director      School of Law when he returned from the      charter membership in the Lion’s Club, the
Page 6   Res Ipsa LOQUITUR   January/February 2008
January/February 2008   Res Ipsa LOQUITUR   Page 7
Page 8              Res Ipsa LOQUITUR                                    January/February 2008


                                        Photos Courtesy Scott Wacholtz
January/February 2008                Res Ipsa LOQUITUR                    Page 9


        Photos courtesy Tommy Wang

                 UM ALUMS WIN
                 MAJOR CASE IN
                 POLK COUNTY
                 (FROM COVER)

                                             Photos by Marla Somerstein
Page 10                  Res Ipsa LOQUITUR                                       January/February 2008


                                       Photos courtesy Telemundo/University of
                                       Miami Communications
January/February 2008   Res Ipsa LOQUITUR   Page 11
Page 12                                                                            Res Ipsa LOQUITUR                                                                  January/February 2008

                                 GAPSA Event Attracts
                             Law Students and Community
                                                 members of the Law School community             event was also a great opportunity for those     their stories and any advice to those who
RES IPSA STAFF                                   who simply want insight on the inner work-      in attendance to ask questions and voice         wish to follow in their footsteps. Future
                                                 ings of our political system. With the cur-     their concerns about the issue.”                 events may include a panel discussion con-
     On     Thursday      November       15th,   rent executive board members graduating              Munoz said, “we think that our dual         cerning the election primaries controversy,
University of Miami School of Law student        this coming May, the 25 members are             missions of providing law students with          where both the Democratic and Republican
organization Government and Politics             actively promoting the organization and         opportunities to learn about current issues in   National Parties may punish their respective
Student Association (“GAPSA”) hosted a           working hard to organize future events.         government and politics, and opportunities       parties at a local level for moving forward
panel discussion on the Florida Property Tax               Past events hosted by GAPSA
Reform. The event was a great success,           include organized panel discussions featur-
attended by dozens of University if Miami        ing numerous local city and county attor-
students, staff, other members of the com-
                                                                                                      GAPSA looks to bring distinguished, well-known political
                                                 neys, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez
munity, as well as the board members of the      and University of Miami President Donna
                                                                                                      figures from all levels, federal, state and local to upcom-
newly founded FIU Law GAPSA chapter              Shalala. She was featured in GAPSA’s inau-           ing discussions, to provide
which resulted in an entertaining, informa-      gural speaker event this past January.               a medium for them
tive and lively debate. GAPSA President          President Shalala, who served for eight              to share their stories
Larry Munoz said, “we were pleased with          years as the Secretary of the Department of          and any advice to those
the turnout. In addition to a good showing       Health and Human Services during the                 who wish to follow in
from students, we were happy to see a dozen      Clinton administration, shared her experi-           their footsteps.
or more members of the broader Miami             ences and knowledge to students eager to
community.” He added, “most importantly,         gain a political job in the federal govern-
the attendees were treated to a substantive      ment.
discussion of the property tax issue, and             This past November’s panel discussion
they had an opportunity to pose their ques-      centered around Florida Property Tax
tions directly to the people who are working     Reform and featured Rep. Dan Gelber, the
to address the problem."                         Florida House Minority Leader and Of
          GAPSA is a student organization at     Counsel at Akerman Senterfitt, and Rep.         to learn how to build a career in this field,    with an early primary date in Florida.
the Law School, which provides a forum for       Carlos Lopez-Cantera, ’96 B.A., also from       meets a need that is especially relevant to      GAPSA will also be hosting networking
law students interested in government and        the Florida House. The discussion was mod-      our fellow students.” He said, “afterall,        events for students, providing additional
politics. The association fosters students to    erated by Murray Greenbeerg, former             lawyers are disproportionately represented       opportunities for summer projects to work
gain a better understanding of the stories       Miami-Dade County Attorney and UM               in government and politics. The proof            on issues where the government, politics
behind successive politicans. The newly          School of Law adjunct professor. “Rep.          GAPSA's relevance: GAPSA now has a               and the law interact. For anyone interested
formed GAPSA, just launched in December          Gelber and Rep. Lopez Cantera provided          second chapter at FIU Law.”                      in the political side of government, or just
2006, arose from the passion of a number of      insights into each party’s views on the prop-        GAPSA looks to bring distinguished,         looking for a good debate, be sure to check
students who saw the need for a student          erty tax issue, and discussed the pending       well-known political figures from all levels,    out GAPSA and attend their panel discus-
organization centered on the political side of   property tax reform” said GAPSA Secretary       federal, state and local to upcoming discus-     sions and fundraising events at UM in the
government. GAPSE also reaches out to            and 3L Daniela Rosette. She added, “the         sions, to provide a medium for them to share     near future.

                                                                        The Res             Ipsa LOQUITUR
                                     The Official Newspaper of the University of Miami School of Law
                                                                                     Andrew Hass
                                                                                      Harout Samra

                               Lexi Holzberg                                     Harout
                                                                   Jordan Dresnick               Samra
                                                                                                    Sylvia-Rebecca Gutierrez                       Eric Brennan
                          Assistant Editor-in-Chief                              Assistant
                                                                 Senior Articles Editor            Editor     Articles Editor                      Articles Editor

           Rachel Lam                           Sullivan
                                         ElishaBrian Yates                            Alyssa Wickstrom                   Stephen Mitchell
                                                                                                                             Anna Mance
                                                                                                                                                               Mark Zurada
                                                                                                                                                                 Mark Zurada
          Lifestyle Editor
          News Editor                        Sports Editor
                                         Campus Editor                                 Opinion Editor                        Photo Editor
                                                                                                                             Photo Editor                       Business Manager
                                                                                                                                                             Business Manager
            The Res Ipsa Loquitur is published on a near-monthly basis, containing articles and photography on a variety of topics pertinent
                                        to Miami’s legal community. Ricardo Bascuas serves as faculty advisor.
                   Email resipsa@law.miami.edu for more information or visit our website at studentorgs.law.miami.edu/res_ipsa.
January/February 2008                                                             Res Ipsa LOQUITUR                                               Page 13

             Hurricanes mens basketall team hits Puerto Rico
CHRIS BROCHYUS                                   and if they can beat St. Johns, on
RES IPSA STAFF                                   December 2, they could crack the top 25.
                                                           Leading up to the championship
          With the U football team losing        game, the star of the tournament was Jack
their way out of bowl contention, the
Dolphins only getting Ricky back for 5
carries, and Shaq’s mid-season hibernation
                                                 “J-Mac” McClinton (17.3 p.p.g), who was
                                                 encouraged to attend Miami from his good                                         Tournament
                                                 friend and former teammate, Dorell
fast approaching, the holidays in Miami are
looking grim. Besides the annual “Jesus
                                                 Wright, currently of the Miami Heat (the
                                                 6’9’’ small forward in constant fear of
Rocks” text message to my Jewish friends         being eaten by Shaq). The shooting guard
on Christmas morning, it appears there is        has NBA potential, and when you watch
nothing to look forward to for the holidays.     him drive the lane or take on multiple
Coach Haith, however, would disagree.            defenders, you realize he should have Lil’
          “Well the goal is, we want to get      Webbie’s “What is it” playing in the back-
to the postseason,” Haith said before the        ground whenever he touches the ball.
season began.                                              In the championship game
          If the ’Canes stand a legitimate       Providence doubled up J-Mac, and denied
chance of making the tournament, they            him the ball throughout most of the game.
need to win and they need support from           With Providence up 22-18 at half it looked
fans, any fans.                                  like their strategy was going to work; how-
          In its first year, the O’Reilly Auto   ever, they were not counting on an emerg-
Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off Classic brought        ing star in James Dews, who scored 9
together eight different conferences,            points in the second half and clutch plays
including           Arkansas,
Commonwealth and Providence, all three
                                      Virginia   from solid veteran Brian Asbury.
                                                           The point guard situation was of
                                                                                                              Remaining Schedule
in the top 50 nationally.                        some concern in preseason talks, but both
          No one expected the U to win, but      Lance Hurdle and Eddie Rios have con-
after watching the ’Canes breeze through         tributed positive minutes toward the effort.
                                                                                                      February 6 - FLORIDA STATE - 7:30 PM ET
the tournament, the 35 people watching in                  Rios handled the ball well down              February 9 - Virginia Tech - 2:00 PM ET
the stands became true believers. Besides        the stretch against Providence, while man-
being the first team to take home the O’         aging to help the team score points.
                                                                                                        February 17 - Georgia Tech - 1:00 PM ET
Reilly Auto Parts Trophy, the champi-            However, someone has seriously misin-                     February 20 - DUKE - 9:00 PM ET
onship game beat a Florida Marlins’ atten-       formed Rios, telling him it was okay to
dance record for most invisible fans.            wear a stocking on his arm.
                                                                                                       February 23 - MARYLAND - 2:00 PM ET
          In Miami’s first preseason tourna-               Miami has a little room for                    February 27 - Clemson - 7:30 PM ET
ment victory since the memorable Virgin          improvement for improvement from their
Islands Paradise Jam Tournament, the             “bigs,” though Anthony King played well,
                                                                                                          March 1 - VIRGINIA - 2:00 PM ET
’Canes relied on their depth and experience      Dwayne Collins was ineffective coming                March 5 - BOSTON COLLEGE - 7:00 PM ET
to beat Marist, VCU and Providence.              off the bench, Miami will need more con-
          Coach Haith has put together a         sistent play from him in the future.                    March 8 - Florida State - 12:00 PM ET
strong, cohesive group of players who
deserve to draw attention. In the latest AP
                                                                                                                   *Home Games in Caps
Top 25 poll the ’Canes (5-0) are No. 34,
Page 14   Res Ipsa LOQUITUR   January/February 2008
January/February 2008                                                                          Res Ipsa LOQUITUR                                                                               Page 15

                                               After We Get Rid of Elements...
ERIC BRENNAN                                                       to integrate practical assignments into their curriculum puts      of law – if you can’t explain them in plain English to a non-
RES IPSA STAFF                                                     the lie to that. In my second and third years, at least one pro-   lawyer, then you don’t really know them. And frankly, if I
                                                                   fessor a semester has made it a requirement to draft a divorce     can’t get a student to explain to me what a class is about, then
                                                                   agreement, a plea agreement, a will, or something similar,         the class may be an extra organ the school of law no longer
          I had the pleasure of sitting next two to out-of-state
                                                                   and the Lit Skills program has an entire class dedicated to        needs – the appendix of law school classes, if you will.
attorneys on my trip to visit family over the Thanksgiving
                                                                   drafting pre-trial motions and the like.                                       In addition, when I’ve tried to break it down for
holiday. And one thing the discussion made me acutely
                                                                              My suggestion – bold though it might be – is that       attorneys I know or students at other law schools, they mere-
aware of is just how academic law school is. We study
                                                                   the Lit Skills program should be held up as an exemplar.           ly shrug and say, “Well, we got that, too, we just didn’t have
Contracts in our first year, but how many people actually see
                                                                   After taking Lit Skills this semester, I feel far more compe-      a whole class dedicated to it.” I’ve heard more than one pro-
a contract rather than a discussion of it in an appellate deci-
                                                                   tent to decide whether litigation is a field I want to pursue,     fessor here say that a stake should be driven through the heart
sion? Civil Procedure is full of terms like complaint, answer,
                                                                   and I learned more from that class than most of the courses        of Elements, and while I liked the class – and did well in it,
request for interrogatories, deposition, but how many do you
                                                                   I’ve taken. It was also the first course I’ve taken here that      so you can be sure this isn’t just bitterness talking – I can’t
get to pore over or examine closely? And this blindspot is
                                                                   really showed me how the academic material I’ve been cram-         honestly say that the important parts of it, concerning brief-
not merely limited to the practical application of the law.
                                                                   ming into my brain actually has practical applications.            ing or how to read a case, couldn’t be rolled up into other first
How many law students really understand the reality of the
                                                                              Imagine a program called “Transactional Skills,”        year courses. Briefing could be handled in LRW, for
legal profession? I have a third-year friend who didn’t real-
                                                                   where the same care and the schema that make Lit Skills            instance, and dissection of decisions is, in my opinion, some-
ly understand the difference between transactional and litiga-
                                                                   work is applied to drafting contracts, procedural motions,         thing that I got out of Torts and Civil Procedure.
tion work, and while at first I scoffed, I realized, “No one has
                                                                   divorce decrees, wills, and the like. Better still, it could be                At best, Elements could be transformed into an
ever actually discussed this with me. I learned it on my
                                                                   shoehorned into the first year classes, because if there’s one     elective, even a first year elective. Then, the option to take it
                                                                   weakness of Lit Skills, it’s that sometimes you’re taking it a     is still there, but students are getting the training in practical
          I understand that most of law school pedagogy can
                                                                   year and a half after taking evidence, or LRW, or some other       legal skills that they need. Ideally, the class would also dis-
be summed up as “Throwing students in the deep end of the
                                                                   class that has applicable knowledge to what you’re doing to        cuss all of those career options for lawyers which don’t
pool and seeing if they sink or swim,” especially in the first
                                                                   that week’s problem. Think about a class like this while           involve the court-room. Fortified with that kind of knowl-
year, but we’re a professional field. Conceivably, after I
                                                                   Contracts and Civil and Criminal Procedure are going.              edge, students would be in an even better position to sample
graduate and pass the bar, I should be able to hang out my
                                                                   Think about how useful it would be in those classes to actu-       classes in later years, having gotten a general idea what the
shingle and take on cases. (I know a graduate from last year
                                                                   ally see an affidavit or a complaint or a contract.                legal field looks like and what awaits them. The end result –
who has done just that very thing.) But are we really leaving
                                                                              But if this “Transactional Skills” course is to be      a professional class that blends practical application and
law school prepared to do that? If somebody told me that a
                                                                   shoehorned into the first year, where would you put it? My         career training with mastery of the art of writing legal docu-
doctor leaving medical school had never actually dissected a
                                                                   suggestion – remove Elements from the curriculum. Yes,             ments beyond appellate briefs and the like.
body, I’d think it was ludicrous, but there are students who
                                                                   yes, I know it’s got the weight of tradition behind it, but so
leave law school without ever seeing a contract or a com-
                                                                   does Creation Science. If you ask half of the people who’ve
plaint or a motion. Certainly, educators can claim that stu-
                                                                   taken Elements what it was there for, and they can’t answer
                                                                                                                                             Please submit Letters to the Editor to
dents get that hands-on training during summer associate
work, but the fact that so many professors have quietly begun
                                                                   you, then there’s a serious problem. It goes back to a state-
                                                                   ment one of my first year professors once made about rules
Page 16   Res Ipsa LOQUITUR   January/February 2008

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