AJMLS Moot Court Team Advances to Octo-finals in Elon Law National Competition

The Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Moot Court Team recently advanced to the octo-finals in the Elon Law National Moot Court Competition. Sixteen schools participated in the competition including: Charleston, Florida Coastal, George Mason, Howard University, New York Law School, Nova Southeastern, Regent University, South Texas, Southwestern, Texas Tech, UNC, University of Virginia, Wake Forest, Wayne State, and William and Mary.

The John Marshall student competitors were Nickolas Kitchens, Ellakisha O’Kelley, and Rodrigo Silva – all part-time students.  Their coach was Michael Bauer, and student coaches Stephanie Garner and Koji Noguchi. Professors Burch, D’Agostino, Dalton, Harrison, Lynch, McMillian, Rapping, and Taylor were also an integral part of the team’s success.

Congratulations to everyone who had a hand in our Moot Court Team advancing in the Elon Law National Moot Court Competition.


Governor Nathan Deal Names AJMLS Alumna Solicitor General of Muscogee County

Governor Nathan Deal recently named Suzanne Goddard, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumna, the new Solicitor General of Muscogee County. The vacancy was created by the appointment of the Hon. Benjamin Richardson as State Court judge of Muscogee County. Goddard’s appointment is effective upon swearing-in.  Goddard has worked in the Office of the Solicitor-General since 1997 — the same year she earned her law degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia. Congratulations on behalf of the entire John Marshall community.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Announces New Dean

The Directors of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and the Savannah Law School are pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Malcolm L. Morris as Dean/CEO and Professor of Law, effective July 1, 2014.

Professor Morris has enjoyed a distinguished career including two terms as the Associate Dean and one as Interim Dean at Northern Illinois University College of Law. During his tenure there he was elected Secretary of the Faculty Senate and was a member of the Strategic Planning Committee and the University Council, as well as the University Personnel Advisor. Professor Morris currently is Director, Graduate Estate Planning Programs, and Associate Director of Graduate Tax Law Programs at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Additionally, he has been active as an ABA accreditation site visitor (he was on the team that visited us in 1997), Board member and Treasurer of CLEO, Inc., LSAC trustee, and member of various AALS and ABA committees. During his time in Illinois he has chaired and participated on numerous Illinois State Bar Association committees and received a number of awards for those efforts including election as a Laureate in its Academy of Illinois Lawyers. He also has an extensive scholarship record that includes works in both law reviews and practitioner-oriented publications. Professor Morris is a graduate of Cornell University (B.S.), SUNY Buffalo (J.D.), and Northwestern University (LL.M.). Malcolm brings us enthusiasm, creativity, imagination, and a wealth of experience in legal education at a time when these qualities are much in need.

While his duties officially begin July 1, 2014, he will be on campus from time to time before then to get more acquainted with the law school.

Please join in welcoming Professor Malcolm L. Morris to Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and the Savannah Law School. We will be planning several on-campus receptions in the upcoming months in Atlanta and Savannah for Malcolm to get to better know and exchange ideas with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the broader legal community.

AJMLS Moot Court Team Wins Georgia Intrastate

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Moot Team scores a historic win at the 2014 Georgia Intrastate Moot Court Competition. As their first victory at the competition, the win represents a milestone for the law school.

Every year all five law schools in the state of Georgia compete against each other at the Georgia Intrastate Moot Court Competition, where competitors are scored on their brief writing and oral advocacy skills. Until this year, the University of Georgia has enjoyed a comfortable eight-year winning streak at the competition.

This would all change in 2014 as the winning team, consisting of students Kimberly Stahl (Cartersville, GA), Daniel Ybanez (Port Orange, FL), Mathis Wilkens and Derek Gross, scored an upset. The AJMLS moot team defeated teams from the University of Georgia, Mercer University, Georgia State University and Emory University during the two-day event held at Emory University from March 21, 2014 to March 22, 2014.

Advancing to the final round of the competition were the moot teams from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and The University of Georgia. Kimberly Stahl and Mathis Wilkens represented the AJMLS Moot Team in the finals. Although this isn’t the first year that the AJMLS Moot Team has placed in a moot court competition, this year has marked several significant changes for Moot Court at John Marshall.

Professor Malempati who took over as the Director of Advocacy Programs in August of 2013 had this to say about the improvements that led to the school’s win, “Oral advocacy and legal writing are a focus of our curriculum at John Marshall. The faculty are committed to the practical training of our students.”

She goes on to say, “We have also added two incredibly dedicated alumni coaches: Michael Bauer and Thomas Lyman. We have always known that our students are incredibly talented. I am just so pleased to see that they are being recognized for all of their hard work.

Last, but certainly not least, we have had tremendous support this year from the faculty. Professors Baker, Boone, D’Agostino, De Haven, Doneff, Mears, and Van Detta tirelessly benched our competitors so that they were thoroughly prepared to walk away with the winning prize.”

Likewise, LoriBeth Westbrook, the current Chair of Moot Court also had this to add regarding the progression of the school’s moot court team, “Although we did not expect the changes we have made to the program to have had such a dramatic impact so soon, our success at Georgia Intrastate and Stetson demonstrates that those changes are having a positive impact. And I am confident that there will be even more success to share in the future.”


Professor D’Agostino Interviewed Regarding Bankruptcy Laws

In a recent article from CardHub, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Robert D’Agostino and other legal experts answered common questions individuals have regarding bankruptcy. CardHub offers an easily-accessible search engine and relevant articles for individuals to use to find a credit card that suits their personal and financial needs. However, due to the increase of bankruptcy filings and subsequent increase in societal reliance on credit cards, CardHub sought out legal experts to answer general questions about bankruptcy in an effort to educate its audience.

Professor D’Agostino was asked, “What part of the bankruptcy process do you think people understand least?” He replied, “The issue of what is and what is not dischargeable . This particularly true of tax liabilities and the IRS’s ability to impose a 100% penalty on bankrupt small business owners when the business has not paid its required taxes. BAPCA has clarified and broadened the law applicable to what assets of an individual do not become part of the bankruptcy estate. The ‘mini’ chapter 11 has made that process more accessible and less expensive for small business.

To view the entire article and read what other experts said about bankruptcy, click here.


The National Jurist Names AJMLS Among the Best Law Schools for Practical Training

In the March 2014 issue of The National Jurist, the magazine names the law schools with the most comprehensive experiential learning offerings. By analyzing the information each school provided to the American Bar Association in December, the magazine was able to assign a letter grade to each law school. Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s Office of Pro Bono and Experiential Learning earned a “B” for their efforts to provide students with a quality and in-depth variety of pro bono and externship opportunities. Congratulations to Director Renata Turner and Assistant Director Bridgett Ortega for all their hard work and dedication to improving the student experience at the law school. To read the full article, click here.

AJMLS Student Placed Third in ABA Business Law Section Mendes Hershman Student Writing Contest

Please join the law school in congratulating AJMLS student and Law Journal member Sheronn Harris for being awarded third place in the ABA Business Law Section’s 2013-2014 Mendes Hershman Student Writing Contest, for her comment, “What is Considered a Reasonable Investigation Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act?”  Papers in this national competition were judged on research and analysis, choice of topic, writing style, originality, and contribution to the literature available on the topic.

Harris will receive a cash award and an all-expenses paid trip to by the Section to attend the ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting and receive the award. Her paper will also be considered by the section for possible publication in a future edition of The Business Lawyer. Details about the competition can be found here.


Register Now for the Next LL.M. in Employment Law Virtual Open House, March 18

As the online LL.M.in Employment Law Program prepares for its next cohort, LL.M. Director, Lisa Kaplan invites prospective students to join her for a virtual open house. During the open house,  students will learn more about the LL.M. in Employment Law Program and also have the opportunity to have any questions answered live during the event. The event will be held on March 18, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. To register for the LL.M. in Employment Law Virtual Open House, click here. For additional information, please contact Lisa Kaplan at lkaplan@johnmarshall.edu or call (404) 872-3593 ##Ext. 131.

AJMLS Students Awarded Best Draft at Regional Transactional LawMeet

On Friday, a team of two students – Bentley Adams and Irena Chernova – competed at the Regional Transactional LawMeet.  Prior to Friday’s in-person competition, all teams were assigned a side to represent in a transaction – buyer or seller.  Each team then completed two drafting assignments consisting of (1) drafting an indemnification agreement and (2) marking up a draft indemnification agreement prepared by the other side in the transaction.  The teams then competed on Friday at various regional competitions across the country.

The Regional meet this year was hosted by the University of Georgia and AJMLS participated with teams from 11 other schools – University of Georgia, Georgia State, Georgetown, Emory, Baylor, University of Mississippi, University of Tennessee, Florida International, Nova Southeastern, Washington & Lee, and Northern Kentucky.

The AJMLS team did a wonderful job.  The team was awarded BEST DRAFT on the seller’s side and came in third place for the negotiation piece on the seller’s side. Special thanks goes to Ben Stidham and Amy Zapatka, the AJMLS alumnae who competed in last year’s National LawMeet.  They generously donated their time and expertise to consult with the students on this year’s problem and Ben traveled to Athens with the group on Friday.  The law school is very fortunate to have such dedicated alumnae who continue to support the school and the students. Congratulations again Bentley and Irena!

For the full press release from LawMeets, click here.