Professor Tripp Cited in Groundbreaking New Regulation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published a historic new regulation that prohibits nursing homes receiving federal funds from using pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements. Pre-dispute binding arbitration agreements are usually presented to residents upon admission to the nursing home and residents are often unaware that by signing them they are giving up their rights to go to court. These agreements ban all claims by residents from being litigated in courts, including claims involving elder abuse, sexual harassment and wrongful death, among other things. The decision to ban these agreements is the first time a federal agency has ever issued a rule providing such sweeping protection of the rights of injured people to access the public courts. 

AJMLS Professor Lisa Tripp is a leading scholar in this area and CMS cited two of Professor Tripp’s articles in support of this pioneering regulation. She was also quoted in the preamble: “Tripp notes that ‘residents of nursing homes are frail and elderly people who are completely dependent on the facility and its employees for their safety and health. Thus, many residents and their families would not oppose the arbitration provision because they are fearful of antagonizing the facility.’” If you see Professor Tripp around campus, be sure to congratulate her on her accomplishment and thank her for her work on behalf of nursing home residents across the country.

SALT Awards 2016 Junior Faculty Teaching Award to Professor Harpalani

Savannah Law School Professor Harpalani has been awarded the esteemed 2016 Junior Faculty Teaching Award by the Society of American Law Teachers (‘SALT’). The award recognizes an outstanding and emerging law professor who demonstrates a commitment to justice, equality and academic excellence. Professor Harpalani was selected for the award among a field of highly deserving nominees.

Professor Harpalani is truly a quality professor who values a commitment to social justice, diversity, and access in his teaching, scholarship and service. He is very much deserving of this national accolade.

The award will be given at the SALT Annual Members Meeting at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago on September 30th. When you see Professor Harpalani on campus, be sure to pass along your congratulations. This is a prestigious award and Professor Harpalani is a wonderful representation of the quality of education at Savannah Law School.

Professor Jaffe Quoted in The Wrap

Robert Sepúlveda Jr. is Logo TV’s lead in the network’s first same-sex dating show, Finding Prince Charming. He is threatening to sue online cyberbullies for “targeted harassment, shaming and bullying.” Sepúlveda Jr. turned to Instagram to fire back at those he feels have bullied him and stated “if you come for me, we will come for you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.” This transpired following revelations that Sepúlveda Jr. worked as a male prostitute while in college. Members and activists within the gay community were outraged to learn of Sepúlveda Jr.’s past.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Associate Professor Elizabeth Jaffe was quoted in the article. “It’s unclear who he intends to sue,” Jaffe said. “But I think it would be difficult for him to make that case. If people are saying ugly things about him, it doesn’t necessarily rise to the level of cyberbullying.” In our modern social media world, anti-bullying laws that have an electronic harassment provision are currently an area of evolution within the law. Thank you Professor Jaffe for your comments on such a relevant legal discussion.

Professor Rapping Discusses Current State of the Criminal Defense System

Atlanta’s John Marshall’s Professor Jonathan Rapping was recently asked to participate in a discussion on the podcast Criminal (In)Justice with David Harris. The subject of the podcast was the current state of our criminal defense system, specifically indigent defendants requiring state-provided assistance of counsel.

Professor Rapping was asked to participate because of both his impressive resume and his extensive skill set in this domain.  The discussion centered on the current underfunding for public defenders. Due to the underfunding and general lack of necessary resources, public defenders are handling record high caseloads. Because of the heavy caseloads, public defenders are unable to provide each and every defendant with adequate representation. During the podcast, Professor Rapping explains the purpose behind Gideon’s Promise and his mission to remedy the system through strengthening public defenders.

You are highly encouraged to listen to the podcast here. The discussion is thought provoking and highly relevant. Thank you, Professor, for your continued work in this arena.

Professor Rapping Selected to Participate in Town Hall by Russell Simmons

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Professor Jonathan Rapping was recently selected by Russell Simmons and his media company, All Things Def, and participated in a town hall at the Montalban Theater in Los Angeles. Along with our own Professor Rapping, the panel featured Nick Cannon; National Bar Association President Benjamin Crump, who represented the family of Trayvon Martin; National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives President Gregory Thomas; and New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman. The event was moderated by former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry.

The town hall was arranged for the parties to come together for a public discussion about recent civilian deaths and the need for revised law enforcement and policies. The event will be the first in a series of public conversations about criminal justice reform.

Professor Rapping was chosen to participate because he is the founder of Gideon’s Promise, an organization that trains public defenders. Thank you for representing AJMLS and for your insight in such a relevant conversation, Professor.

Professor Michael Mears Publishes Viewpoint in Daily Report

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Associate Professor of Law Michael Mears recently wrote a poignant article which was published in the June 16, 2016 issue of the Daily Report.

The article affirms that law students with dreams of joining the legal profession make a tremendous commitment of both their time and finances to further their education. He goes on to state how disappointing it is to see students lose sight of those same dreams; dreams that persuaded them to apply for entry in to law school in hopes of pursuing their passions. He urges students and attorneys to reminisce on why they chose to enter into the profession in hopes of reigniting their fire for success and self-fulfillment.

In sum, the article reminds students and practitioners alike to remain steadfast in their commitment to the legal profession; a profession that Professor Mears proffers to be the greatest in the world. To that Professor, we wholeheartedly agree. Thank you for your continued dedication to educating AJMLS students and producing quality attorneys to join the profession.

Professor Michael Mears to Serve as Vice-Chair of ICLE Georgia’s Board of Trustees

Professor Michael Mears has been asked to serve as the Vice-Chairperson of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) in Georgia’s Board of Trustees for the year of 2017. The Chair of the Board will be Robert Kauffman, the Immediate Past-President of the State Bar of Georgia. This is a tremendous honor, not only for Professor Mears, but for Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Mears will be succeeding The Honorable Ray Lanier from the Georgia State University College of Law.

The Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia is the not-for-profit educational service of the State Bar of Georgia; and is a consortium of the Bar and the Law Schools of the Universities of Georgia, Emory, Mercer, Georgia State and Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. ICLE is fully self-supporting; and receives all of its income from tuition charges and sale of publications. ICLE exists solely to serve the educational needs of practicing lawyers; with any surplus revenues being devoted entirely to the improvement of CLE products and services.

All of the Institute’s activities are designed to promote a well organized, properly planned, and adequately supported program of continuing legal education by which members of the legal profession are afforded a means of enhancing their skills and keeping abreast of developments in the law, and engaging in the study and research of the law, so as to fulfill their responsibilities to the legal profession, the courts and the public.

Professor Suparna Malempati Named Area Vice President for Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Professor Suparna Malempati has joined the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (GACDL) as area Vice President for Fulton County beginning in January 2016.  GACDL is a statewide association that supports criminal defense attorneys in their fight to advocate and protect the rights of the accused.  GACDL is the largest member supported statewide criminal defense association in the US and has a membership that includes criminal defense lawyers, law school students, and full-time criminal defense investigators.

Professor Malempati is a veteran trial attorney who fought many battles in her decade of service with the Fulton County Public Defender’s Office.  As an area Vice President, she will serve as liaison between GACDL and its members in the area, as well as criminal defense lawyers, judiciary, and legislators.

To learn more about GACDL, please visit the website at www.gacdl.org.

Assistant Dean Ortega and Professor Malempati Present at 2015 Georgia Conference on Children and Families

Assistant Dean Ortega and Professor Malempati of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School presented at the 2015 Georgia Conference on Children and Families (GCCF) held in Augusta, Georgia October 21-23, 2015.

The GCCF is the largest annual interdisciplinary event in Georgia designed to bring together the community that serves children and families, including child advocacy, juvenile justice, social service, legal counsel, and the faith-based community.

The conference provided a forum to improve competencies, network, and learn from experts in the field with the goal of improving outcomes for children and families. Dean Ortega spoke on Post-Disposition Advocacy for Delinquent Youth and Professor Malempati spoke about Bridging the Gap between Dependency and Delinquency.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Welcomes New Faculty

Fall classes are officially underway and the law school is pleased to welcome its new and returning faculty.

 

New to Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School

Derek Alphran, Adjunct Professor

Judith Barger, Distinguished Teaching Professional

Ronald Blasi, Adjunct Professor

Sujata Chanani, Adjunct Professor

Erin Corken, Adjunct Professor

Joe Habachy, Adjunct Professor

Susan Jackson, Adjunct Professor

Michael Loudenslager, Legal Writing Professional

Keith McCrickard, Legal Writing Professional

Loren Pratt, Legal Writing Professional

Dena Sonbol, Adjunct Professor

Jennifer Spreng, Legal Writing Professional

Returning to Campus this Fall

K. Lee Adams, Associate Professor

Joanna B. Apolinsky, Associate Professor

Anthony Baker, Professor of Law

Robert Black, Adjunct Professor

Scott Boone, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Associate Professor

Kathleen M. Burch, Professor of Law

Robert D’Agostino, Professor of Law

Kari Mercer Dalton, Associate Professor

Helen de Haven, Associate Professor

Kimberly Williams D’Haene, Assistant Dean for Academic Achievement

Jace C. Gatewood, Associate Professor

Jonathan Goins, Adjunct Professor

Howell Haunson, Adjunct Professor

Elizabeth M. Jaffe, Associate Professor

Browning Jeffries, Associate Dean of Academic Administration, Associate Professor

Honorable Willie Lovett Jr., Adjunct Professor

Michael Lynch, Director of Law Library, Professor of Law

Suparna Malempati, Associate Professor

Lance McMillian, Associate Professor

B. Michael Mears, Associate Professor

John Melvin, Adjunct Professor

Joseph Mitchell, Adjunct Professor

Stacey L. Mitchener, Adjunct Professor

Jonathan Rapping, Director of Criminal Justice Honors Program, Associate Professor

Joseph Rosen, Adjunct Professor

Stan Schoolcraft, Adjunct Professor

Heather Scribner, Adjunct Professor

Lisa Durham Taylor, Professor of Law

Lisa Tripp, Associate Professor

Jeffrey A. Van Detta, The John E. Ryan Professor of International Business and Workplace Law

Erika Walker-Cash, Director of Academic Achievement

Former Chief Justice Norman Fletcher Mentions Professor Mears While Accepting Gideon’s Promise Award

Professor Michael Mears, a former public defender and leading expert on the death penalty in Georgia, was mentioned in high regard by former Chief Justice Norman Fletcher as he accepted the Gideon’s Promise Award from the Southern Center for Human Rights.

During Fletcher’s award acceptance, he addressed Steve Bright (Southern Center’s president and senior counsel) by saying,

Steve, I am going to shock you, and probably most everyone here, for I must now admit that your criticism of my death penalty decisions was justified. For with wisdom gained over the past 10 years, I am now convinced there is absolutely no justification for continuing to impose the sentence of death in this country. In 2001 when the Georgia Supreme Court in a 4-3 decision ended the use of electrocution and turned to lethal injection as the sole means of inflicting the death sentence, a colleague remarked that Mike Mears and Steve Bright would never be satisfied until the death penalty itself was totally abolished in Georgia and in this country. Time has proved that colleague to be right, and I thank God for Mike’s and Steve’s resolve. Our death penalty system is unsupportable.

To read more of his acceptance speech, click here.

Professor Michael Mears is an Associate Professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School where he teaches Evidence, Advanced Criminal Procedure, and Ethics. He is considered one of Georgia’s leading experts on the death penalty and is a frequent contributor on NPR and WPBA on the subject.

Professor Jonathan Rapping Speaks at Bold Moves TEDx Talk

Professor Jonathan Rapping, Director of the Criminal Justice Honors Program and 2014 MacArthur Genius Fellow, spoke at the April 28, 2015 Bold Moves TEDx Atlanta talk.

TEDx described the Bold Moves event on their website,

What’s a bold move and why does it matter? It’s a challenge to go where you’ve never gone before. It’s the sounding of a wake-up call that draws attention to a situation or shows a different way forward. Without them it becomes ever more difficult to initiate much needed change in our lives and communities. With TEDxAtlanta 2015 we’ll explore bold moves from individuals and organizations who are providing ideas and platforms that shift our thinking and calls to actions in impactful ways—through their courage, conviction and commitment.

Professor Rapping spoke of his organization, Gideon’s Promise, and how it is inspiring a new generation of public defenders facing “the nation’s greatest civil rights issue today” – the tragic shortage of representation for those who can’t afford a lawyer.

You may view the video in its entirety on YouTube here.

Professor Lisa Tripp Writes Opinion Piece on Euro Crisis for CNN

Professor Lisa Tripp’s expertise in Greece, the Eurozone and the U.S. healthcare system has led her to become a frequent guest and contributor to CNN. Tripp’s recent opinion piece, Greece the only villain in euro crisis? Don’t believe it!, is paraphrased below. The full article may be read online here.

Europe is in the midst of a political and economic crisis that threatens to unravel decades of European integration and derail the world’s recovery from the great recession.

Because Spain and Greece cannot devalue the euro, the only way they can become competitive is through internal devaluation. This means Greece and Spain are in for years of high unemployment, reduced living standards, falling wages and deflation. In other words, massive impoverization.

Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, famously said: “The euro is forever.” That may or may not be so, but it doesn’t mean that countries like Greece and Spain should stay in the euro forever. Contrary to popular opinion, this crisis cannot be explained away with a moral tale of Greek fiscal irresponsibility. The facts suggest otherwise.

Lisa Tripp is an Associate Professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Atlanta Georgia. She teaches Health Care Law, Torts and Remedies.

Dean Renata D. Turner Appointed Associate Judge for Fulton County Juvenile Court

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School congratulates Assistant Dean Renata D. Turner, current Magistrate Judge in Fulton County, who has recently been appointed as Fulton County’s next Associate Juvenile Court Judge.

Fulton County Juvenile Court is the largest such court in Georgia and amongst the largest in the Southeast, with over 6,500 cases handled in 2014. In fulfilling the role of an Associate Judge, Judge Turner will hear a variety of court proceedings, conduct adjudications and refer children to the Court’s many diversion and rehabilitative programs, such as The Learning Club, Juvenile Drug Court and Family Dependency Treatment Court.

Judge Turner’s career and leadership at the law school began in 2007 and grew from Associate Professor to Director of Pro Bono Outreach and Externships to her most recent post as Assistant Dean for Pro Bono and Experiential Learning.

Under her leadership, the law school has been recognized and awarded such honors as:
The Community Outreach Award at the U.S. Attorney’s Office Community Outreach Awards Ceremony (December 2014), for the work done by the law school’s Office of Pro Bono and Experiential Learning.
• Named among the best law schools for practical training (National Jurist, 2014), which is awarded for efforts to provide students with a quality and in-depth variety of pro bono and externship opportunities.
• Ranked among the top 25 law school for externships (preLaw Magazine, 2013), in recognition of maximizing opportunities for students through experiential learning.

“I’m both honored and humbled by this new opportunity- honored to be entrusted with providing justice for our children and humbled by the magnitude of that responsibility,” said Judge Turner about her upcoming role as Associate Judge for Fulton County Juvenile Court.

The Office of Pro Bono Outreach and Experiential Learning will continue to serve the Atlanta community and produce impactful programs, developed over the course of Judge Turner’s career at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School:

  • Street Law – Based on the curriculum of the national non-profit, Street Law teaches high school students about constitutional and legal issues that directly impact their lives. The law school partners with the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District and Booker T. Washington High School each spring to teach legal issues to students.
  • Youth Law Summit – Day-long workshop presented in partnership with the Gate City Bar Association that introduces minority middle and high school students to the law through an examination of emerging issues.
  • Reentry Forum – The law school partners with individuals, agencies and organizations that support prisoner reentry efforts to help formerly incarcerated men and women transition back into society.

Judge Turner currently serves on the Fulton County Child Advocates Board, is a member of the Charles Weltner Family Law Inn of Court, as well as a current member and past president of the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA).

Professor Michael Mears Quoted by AJC’s Bill Torpy About Last Meals on Death Row

Professor Michael Mears was quoted by Bill Torpy of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in his recent column that discussed the last meal of death row inmate, Kelly Renee Gissendaner, as well as the history of the last meal ritual. Just last month, Mears also appeared on GPB Radio to discuss Georgia’s death penalty law and the execution of mentally disabled persons.

The column,  A double voyeur, with macabre on the side, quotes:

Georgia defense attorney Mike Mears said some prisoners order as much as they can to jerk around the system. “It’s their last act of defiance.”

“Others order food that had good memories with families,” said Mears, who has been involved with 167 death penalty cases and had six clients die. “It’s probably the last pleasure they will ever experience.”

Many of the meals, Mears said, come from a truck stop near Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson. Comfort food is the norm. Most on death row don’t have much experience with fancy foods. Treadwell said double burgers seem to be far and away the choice of the doomed.

But, Mears said, it wasn’t always just the prisoners digging in.

In the 198os, Mears discovered that the Corrections Department produced a spread for those involved in the execution. One inventory included of 10 pounds of Turkey Ham, 20 pounds of Turkey Pastrami, 10 pounds of Turkey Salami, and 225 pounds of chicken. The menu also included pounds of pimento cheese, trays of hors d’oeuvres and cheese straws.

“The prisoner gets it before the execution,” Mears said. “The guards get it after.”

You may read the full column online here.

Professor Lisa Tripp Discusses Future of Greek Economy on CNN

Prior to the polls coming to a close in Greece’s recent election, Professor Lisa Tripp spoke with CNN’s Jonathan Mann via Skype to discuss the future of the country’s economy.

After the election, Tripp joined CNN’s Amara Walker and Michael Holmes on CNN Today to weigh-in on the new Prime Minister’s economic challenges.

Lisa Tripp is an Associate Professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Atlanta Georgia. She teaches Health Care Law, Torts and Remedies. Professor Tripp practiced health care law and commercial litigation prior to joining the faculty of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2006. As an attorney for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Professor Tripp focused primarily on long term care enforcement. She litigated many cases involving physical and sexual abuse, elopements, falls, neglect and substandard quality of care. Professor Tripp currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Leadership Council of The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. She has served on health quality measurement committees and panels for the National Quality Forum and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). Professor Tripp received her law degree, with honors, from George Washington University Law School, in Washington, D.C.

You may view a sample of the CNN Today discussion on our Facebook page, linked below:

 

Professor Michael Mears Appears on GPB Radio to Discuss Georgia’s Death Penalty Law

Professor Michael Mears appeared as a guest on the GPB Radio program On Second Thought (hosted by Celeste Headlee) on Tuesday, January 27.

Mears discussed the history of Georgia’s death penalty law and the execution of mentally disabled persons. The timely discussion was prompted by the scheduled [Tuesday] execution of Georgia inmate, Warren Lee Hill. Also covered on the show was the history of Georgia legislation, as it pertains to the death penalty, and the high standard which a person must overcome in order to prove that they are indeed mentally disabled.

You can listen to the segment online here.

Professor Mears served for over 15 years as a criminal defense attorney before joining the John Marshall faculty in 2007. His practice was dedicated to indigent defense, and he served as lead counsel in over sixty death penalty trial and appellate cases since 1984. Professor Mears was appointed as Director of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council in 2004, and served from 1992 to 2003 as a Multi-County Public Defender for the Georgia Indigent Defense Council. Prior to entering his public defender practice, Professor Mears was the Partner-in-Charge of Litigation at McCurdy & Candler, a firm specializing in civil and banking law. In 2007, he was appointed as Co-Chair of the State Bar of Georgia’s Indigent Defense Committee and as a member of the Post-Conviction Capital Representation Committee.

Professor Patrice Fulcher Quoted in The Economist

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School congratulates Professor Patrice Fulcher, who has been quoted in a headline article in the 24 January 2015 issue of The Economist.

Patrice Fulcher is a Tenured Associate Professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School where she teaches Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. Her scholarship focuses on issues surrounding the Prison Industrial Complex; prison privatization, the exploitation of prison laborers, the effects of the utilization of prison video visitation systems, and other profiteering schemes that benefit from mass incarceration in the U.S. Professor Fulcher has dedicated her entire career to the fight for equality of all disenfranchised people, and quality representation for the poor.

The article, Conditions Behind Bars: Screening Visitors–Prisons Profit By Stopping Family Visits, quotes:

Complications may arise from all this. Lawyers may claim that communicating with their clients only through video calls is a violation of due process, says Patrice Fulcher of John Marshall Law School. The possibility of recording such conversations could also lead to the leaking of privileged information. “This whole situation exploits people on the inside and their families on the outside,” Ms Fulcher says. 

For six years, Professor Fulcher organized and chaired the AJMLS’s Fred Gray Social Justice Seminar. In 2011 she was recognized for her outstanding and impactful service to the law school and legal community.

Prior to joining AJMLS in 2007, she served as a Senior Staff Attorney for the Georgia Capital Defender and the Fulton County Public Defender offices. She was a Senior Staff Attorney for the Fulton County Conflict Defender, and worked in the Felony Trial Division of the Georgia Indigent Defense Council. She has successfully represented indigent clients facing the death penalty as well as all other major felony and misdemeanor offenses. Additionally, Professor Fulcher has provided representation and research for abused and neglected children with the DeKalb County Georgia Juvenile Court, and litigated against unconstitutional jail conditions and practices with the Southern Center for Human Rights. She is a core instructor for Gideon’s Promise (formerly known as The Southern Public Defender Training Center), and has been a litigation instructor for The Kentucky Death Penalty Institute, The Mississippi Office of the State Public Defender Training Division, The Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, The Fulton County Public Defender Office, and the American Bar Association NACDL National Defender Training Program.

Professor Fulcher has lectured extensively on mass incarceration and the Prison Industrial Complex across the U.S. (including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico), the erosion of the 4th Amendment, capital defense, juveniles charged as adults, client-centered representation, successful defense trial investigations, and effective storytelling techniques for public defenders. In 2014, she was asked to provide an expert opinion to the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the adequate criminal procedure for congressional contempt proceedings.

Professor Fulcher received her B.A. from Howard University in 1992, and her J.D. from Emory University School of Law in 1995.

AJMLS Alumnus and Professor Quoted in AJC on Immigration

When it comes to the debate on U.S. immigration; neither U.S. Rep Doug Collins (Class of 2008) or Professor Joseph Rosen are strangers to the discussion.

In an article recently published by the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC), both Collins and Rosen, along with several other law professors were given the opportunity to share their views on revamping the nation’s immigration system.

The article quotes Professor Rosen, who teaches Immigration Law at AJMLS, as saying; “This is the opportunity for the president through executive action, and (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) attorneys through prosecutorial discretion, to do the right thing. It is time for America to show the compassion and justice that are the foundations of this country.”

Prior to serving the 9th District of Georgia, Collins earned his law degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School over his first term representing District 27 in the Georgia House of Representatives, and has also served the community as the senior pastor at Chicopee Baptist Church.

Prior to founding the Joseph H. Rosen Immigration Law Group, Professor Rosen served more than 30 years with the U.S. government. For 20 of those years Joe was an FBI Special Agent and a U.S. Customs Special Agent. Rosen is an Adjunct Professor of Law at John Marshall Law School (teaching Immigration Law, Seminar: Asylum & Refugee Law), past President of the North Fulton Bar Association, a former contract legal instructor with the U.S. government, and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

You may click here to view the article in its entirety.

The Honorable Wendell Willard Visits John Marshall

The Honorable Wendell Willard, Chairman of the Georgia House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, recently visited Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School to speak to Professor Michael Mears’ Evidence class.

State Representative Willard led a decade long fight to have the model rules of evidence adopted in Georgia. It was largely through his efforts that Georgia adopted the rules, before being signed into law by Governor Deal. While at the law school, he spoke Mears’ class of about 80 students about the successful  efforts to adopt the new model rules which became effective on January 1, 2013. Willard is also a member of the Georgia House of Representatives Rules Committee and the City Attorney for Sandy Springs, GA.

The law school was honored to have Mr. Willard on our campus to speak with our students. For more information on the State Representative Wendell Willard, visit the Georgia House of Representatives website. Information on Professor Mears is available on his faculty profile.

Professor Tripp, Guest Speaker on FOX Business Channel

FOX Business channel recently aired a news segment featuring Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor, Lisa Tripp. Professor Tripp was a guest on MONEY with Melissa Francis discussing amongst a panel of experts the referendum in Scotland and their currency options if they chose independence . She was contacted by FOX based on her recent article, Lessons for Scotland from Greece’s Euro Tragedy, which explored what Scotland can learn from Greece’s euro tragedy. “This article focuses on the risks small nations can face in a currency union, as told through the prism of Greece’s experience in the Eurozone,” says Tripp. Her article is available for download via the Social Science Research Network. More information on Professor Tripp can be found on her faculty profile. Congratulations to Professor Tripp on her first appearance on national television.

Professor Mears Discusses Ethics at Georgia Public Defenders Council Lecture

Professor Michael Mears was recently asked to prepare and present a course and lecture for the Georgia Public Defenders Council entitled Ethics for Public Defenders. The Council subsequently decided to use Mears’ presentation as a statewide webinar lecture on ethics, as well as a learning tool on the Council’s YouTube channel.

The one-hour lecture has already been used by over 400 public defenders and it is expected that the viewer list will continue to grow. The engaging and insightful lecture is available below. More information about Professor Mears can be found on his faculty profile.

Professor Jonathan Rapping Named MacArthur Genius Fellow

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is honored to announce that Professor Jonathan Rapping was named a 2014 MacArthur Genius Fellow for the impact his non-profit organization, Gideon’s Promise, has made on society. The MacArthur Fellow Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Dean of the law school, Malcolm L Morris, expressed to the entire John Marshall community, “This is a momentous honor and his dedication should serve as an inspiration to us all.”

In 2007, Rapping created the Southern Public Defender Training Center, subsequently renamed Gideon’s Promise. Named after the landmark 1963 Supreme Court case Gideon v. Wainwright, Gideon’s Promise teaches public defenders to work more effectively within the judicial system by providing coaching, training, and professional development as well as a supportive network of peers and mentors from around the country. The growth Gideon’s Promise has experienced since its founding is due to the vision and dedication of Professor Rapping. The organization has grown from a single training program for 16 attorneys in two offices in Georgia and Louisiana, to a multi-tiered enterprise with over 300 participants in more than 35 offices across 15 states.

While Professor Rapping’s work with Gideon’s Promise has been revolutionary in training and improving the nation’s public defenders, the MacArthur Foundations insists that the fellowship “is not a reward for past accomplishments, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential.” The MacArthur Genius Fellow Program is intended to encourage recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society.

“I can’t imagine a greater personal honor, nor a more significant validation of the work mission of Gideon’s Promise and the amazing work of everyone in this community,” says Rapping.

This year, Professor Rapping established a partnership with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, marking the first time the Gideon’s Promise model will be integrated into a statewide defender system. The MacArthur Foundation states that “Rapping’s effective and replicable model of teaching, mentorship, and professional networking is an innovative prescription for equitable legal defense and is safeguarding the essential democratic right of every American to high-quality legal representation regardless of ability to pay.”

Professor Rapping shares this accomplishment with poets, mathematicians, musicians, computer scientists, filmmakers, and more from around the world. For additional information on Rapping and the other 2014 MacArthur Genius Fellows can be found on their website. Once again, congratulations to Professor Jonathan Rapping for inspiring and impacting the world in such a meaningful way.

 

Pro Bono Assistant Director to Speak at 10th Annual Accountability Courts Conference

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is proud to announce that Bridgett E. Ortega, Assistant Director for the Office of Pro Bono and Experiential Learning, will speak at the Accountability Courts Conference. The conference will be held at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center during the week of September 14-18, 2014.  Sponsored by the Judicial Council of Georgia, the theme for this year’s conference is A Decade of Reform, Restoration and Results.  Organizers hope that attendees will leave more informed and prepared to shape the future of accountability courts in Georgia and around the country at the conference. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the conference and work from academics and professionals across disciplines will be presented.

Bridgett E. Ortega, M.A., J.D. will be co-presenting with retired Judge Henry Weber, a session entitled “Ethics for Juvenile Drug Court Judges, Prosecutors and Attorneys.” She will also be presenting a session entitled “Targeting – Getting the Right Youth for the Juvenile Drug Court.” In addition to working at the law school, Bridgett is president of the board of directors for the National Juvenile Defender in Washington, D.C. She has served over 25 years in legal and programmatic positions aimed at juvenile justice reform. She is a zealous advocate for children and adults whether as a public defender, researcher, or in her role as policy consultant.  

For more information on the 10th Annual Accountability Courts Conference, visit their website. Once again, congratulations to Mrs. Ortega on yet another outstanding professional accomplishment.

AJMLS Professor Travels to New Mexico Detention Center to Represent Immigrant Children

Joseph Rosen, Immigration Law adjunct professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School  will travel to an immigration detention center in New Mexico next week to represent some of the Central American detainees who have recently crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. Rosen will be helping immigrant children and their parents determine if they have viable claims for asylum in the U.S. and seek relief from deportation. A former U.S. Customs Service special agent, Rosen will be doing the work in Artesia, N.M., for free in connection with the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

“For those with little or no resources that still see the U.S. as the sanctuary against evil that they have been subjected to, these hearings are their only hope,” Rosen said on his law firm’s Facebook page. “It humbles me to be a part of this and it also satisfies my sense of adventure and excitement to be a part of this effort.”

Read the full article on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website.

Professor Mears Discusses Death Penalty with the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor, Michael Mears, was recently interviewed by the Chattanooga Times Free Press to discuss delayed justice in Walker Co., GA where many inmates sit on death row for decades while the families of their victims are left to wait hopelessly for justice to be served. In the article, Professor Mears explained the process by which death penalty cases are assigned to local judges and the roles which the courts must play in insuring that each defendant in a death penalty case has a qualified defense attorney.

An excerpt from the article reads:

Michael Mears, the head of the Multi-County Public Defenders Office that represented indigent defendants in capital cases throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, said a district attorney can’t blame the defense in this type of case. The prosecutor has to move the case forward because the defense is always going to delay any hearings. One more day of delays means one more day their client stays alive.

“If people are awaiting death and are waiting for something in the case,” Mears said, “there is no great incentive to push it forward.”

“A lot of district attorneys shy away from it,” he said. “It’s a lot of work. Quite frankly, it’s the responsibility of the judge … It starts with the judge. The case is on his docket. He’s got to stay on top of it. Now, some of these cases fall through the cracks.”

To read the full article, visit the Chattanooga Times Free Press website. More information on Professor Mears can be found on his faculty profile.

Article from Professor Fulcher Listed on SSRN’s Top Ten Download List

An article from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor, Patrice Fulcher, was recently listed on Social Science Research Network’s (SSRN) Top Ten download list for the topic Security and Safety. The article also reached the Top Ten downloads list for the Criminology eJournal, Political Economy – Development eJournal, and the Economic Inequality & the Law eJournal on SSRN. Professor Fulcher’s paper, “The Double Edged Sword of Prison Video Visitation: Claiming to Keep Families Together While Furthering the Aims of the Prison Industrial Complex,” discusses how the rise of video visitation in prisons may appear beneficial to maintaining strong family ties when in actuality it robs inmates of face-to-face interactions with their loved ones. For more, read the Abstract below. The full article can be downloaded through the SSRN website.

Abstract:

Each year, the United States (“U.S.”) spends billions to house the country’s massive prison population. The need to board over 2.3 million incarcerated human beings has U.S. correctional departments looking for ways to increase revenues and offset costs. According to these correctional agencies, one major expense is prison visitation. In order to reduce spending and alleviate safety concerns, U.S. federal, state, and private correctional facilities have turned to video visitation as an alternative to in-person visits.

The use of prison video visitation systems started in 1995. Since then, many private telecommunications companies have professed to have the solution to correctional visitation problems. These companies promote video visitation as a cheap, safe, and easy alternative to in-person visits, as well as a profitable means of generating revenues. Government and private correctional institutions, buying into these endorsements, have reduced or completely eliminated face-to-face visits and installed video visitation systems within their walls. Under this structure, inmates use video stations in their cellblock to visit family and friends at corresponding video kiosks within the institution; or inmates visit loved-ones who are at home or elsewhere outside prison walls via computer Internet video visitation.

In order to sell this method of visitation to the public, U.S. correctional agencies contend that video visitation helps to keep families together by allowing inmates greater contact opportunities with loved ones. In some regards, it may be argued that video visitation does assist in the preservation of family units. Inmates are often forced to serve time in prisons miles away from their homes, so outside visits are far and few between. Yet, through the use of in-home video visitation configurations, inmates are able to connect with relatives who reside hours away.

At first glance, this visitation scheme may seem beneficial, but this Article argues that prison video visitation is a double edge sword. First, prison video visitation may help preserve family units while people are incarcerated, but the elimination of face-to-face visits robs inmates of much needed human contact with their children, spouses, and other family members. Second, almost all in-home prison video visitation systems exploit the relatives and friends of inmates because they charge excessive fees to visit. Third, the economic success of prison video visitation systems is contingent on the number of incarcerated humans. So, like other profiteering schemes of the Prison Industrial Complex (“PIC”), prison video visitation incentivizes incarceration: A decrease in the prison population has a corollary effect on million dollar revenues and corporate profits, hence compelling the need to detain more U.S. inhabitants.

Consequently, this Article argues that face-to-face visitation should be the primary means of contact for families that visit at prison facilities. In order to accomplish this goal, inmates must be assigned to correctional facilities close to their homes if space is available and there is no proven risk to security. Additionally, if prison video visitation is utilized, any fees associated with its use must be regulated to insure that the financial expense is not exorbitant.

More information on Professor Fulcher can be found on her faculty profile.

Professor Dalton Discusses Priest-Penitent Privilege in The Washington Times

Fueling the debate over priest-penitent privilege, is the recent ruling in the Louisiana Supreme Court which states that a teenage girl’s confession to a priest can be used as testimony in a child abuse case. A recent article by The Washington Times says, the Diocese of Baton Rouge deemed the court’s decision a violation of the separation of church and state, and in a rare statement on legal proceedings, declared the ruling an infringement on religious freedom.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor, Kari Dalton, was consulted and offered her expert opinion on the decision. She says, “I think it’s a very interesting conflict placing priests between centuries-old holy rites and mandatory child abuse statutes.” Professor Dalton adds, “When you involve priests as mandatory reporters under child abuse reports in states, you run into lots of potential constitutional issues.”

Professor Dalton teaches Legal Research, Writing & Analysis I & II and Pretrial Practice & Procedure at the law school. She is also the author of “The Priest-Penitent Privilege v. Child Abuse Reporting Statutes: How to Avoid the Conflict and Serve Society.”

To read the full article, visit The Washington Times website. More information on Professor Dalton can be found on her faculty profile.

Professor Joseph Rosen Discusses Immigration in Special Fourth of July Podcast

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor, Joseph Rosen was recently interviewed by Mark Deal from U.S. Immigration Podcast in a special Fourth of July episode. As America turned 238 years old, Professor Rosen was selected to speak on the history and future of immigration in the country. Rosen also discussed topics such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, security of the U.S./Mexican border, the discrimination surrounding immigration law development, and more.

Professor Rosen is the managing attorney for Joseph H. Rosen, Immigration Law Group.  He began practicing Immigration Law in June 2001 after retiring from the U.S. Government where he spent 20 years as a Special Agent for the FBI and U.S. Customs.  His law enforcement career includes 10 years of working on or near the U.S. /Mexico border.  He teaches immigration law, as an adjunct professor, at the law school and is a Clinical Director for the school’s Immigration Law Clinic located at Catholic Charities Atlanta.

To listen to the full podcast featuring Professor Rosen, visit U.S. Immigration Podcast.

 

 

Professor Mears Discusses the Upcoming Execution of Marcus Wellons

Marcus Wellons, convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in 1989 is set to be executed on June 17, 2014 at 7 p.m.

However, instead of a three-drug cocktail formerly used, the state of Georgia wants to use one drug — sodium pentothal — to execute Marcus Wellons. In small doses, it is a sedative. The state wants to use a custom-maker to actually make the drug — because the drug manufacturer that normally makes it won’t sell it to conduct executions. However, the identity of the new manufacturer that will make the lethal injection meant for Marcus Wellons is remaining a secret; making Wellons the new face of the argument over how to carry out Georgia’s death penalty.

“It’s an experimentation process that’s going on here. And they’re doing it in secret,” said Mike Mears, a lawyer, former mayor of Decatur, and Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor who has opposed the death penalty his entire legal career.

A new state law allows the state to keep secret who made the drug that would put Wellons to death. “I get drugs to treat an animal, and they have to tell me more than the state of Georgia is telling us about how they’re going to kill Marcus Wellons,” Mears said.

Marcus Wellons is due to die today, on the gurney in Jackson — unless his attorneys successfully challenge the secret source of the chemicals that would kill him. The full article and video can be found at 11Alive. For more information on Professor Mears, view his faculty profile.

Professor Rapping Speaks on Unequal Representation for the Poor

A recent article from The Guardian calls on Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Jonathan Rapping to discuss unequal representation for the nation’s poor. In the article by Sadhbh Walshe, the issue of wealth and its connection with acquittals, not-guilty verdicts, and reduced sentences were discussed. Professor Rapping insists that, “Money determines who sits in jail pre-trial. It determines who takes a plea deal, it determines who gets to have a trial and it can influence the outcome of a trial. This is not how our legal system is supposed to work.”

Walshe goes on to say: Public defenders today are dealing with caseloads that far exceed the recommended federal maximums established in 1973, and they’re cutting back on case spending because of it. “No matter how zealous, talented or passionate an attorney is,” says Rapping, “they cannot perform at their best when they are overworked and under-resourced.” Pit that lawyer against a team of high-powered attorneys with their accompanying “expert” witnesses, investigators, scientific tests, gloves and all, and someone who relies upon the Sixth Amendment doesn’t stand a chance.

Read the full article at The Guardian. An in-depth profile of Professor Rapping can be found on the law school’s faculty page.

 

Footnote from AJMLS Professor Used in Dissent of Justice Benham

The Georgia Supreme Court recently issued its opinion in the Warren Lee Hill case. Hill was sentenced to death following the 1990 murder of a fellow inmate in the Lee County Correctional Institute, in which Hill beat the victim with a board embedded with nails.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Michael Mears was quoted in a footnote by Justice Robert Benham who dissented along with Justice Carol Hunstein. The footnote used from Professor Mears is based upon a Daily Report article in which Mears discussed the unconstitutionality of the State Secret Act which protects the identity of the executioners and the names of the drug manufacturer.

Their dissent cited a botched execution last month in Oklahoma, Benham saying Georgia’s approach to executions could lead to such “macabre results.” Benham wrote that the secrecy law has the effect of creating “star chamber-like proceedings.”

The footnote reads:
“See also Land, Greg, Oklahoma’s Botched Execution is a Wake-Up Call in Georgia, Says
Law Professor, Daily Report (May 1, 2014), quoting Professor Michael Mears as follows:
“The defense bar is …about protecting the Constitution. How do we know what [drugs] they’re using and not telling us about?”

The full article can be found online through the Daily Report.

AJMLS Professor Accepts the Eleventh Annual Ridenhour Prize for Gideon’s Army

Gideon’s Army, an HBO documentary about the non-profit organization of AJMLS professor Jon Rapping, recently received the 2014 Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize. The film follows three young public defenders as they struggle with staggering caseloads, long hours, low pay, and trying to balance their commitment to public service with a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point.

The annual Ridenhour Prizes recognize acts of truth-telling that protect the public interest, promote social justice or illuminate a more just vision of society. In reflecting upon its decision, the awards committee said, “We are thrilled to have selected Gideon’s Army which celebrates the legion of idealistic young public defenders who are fighting for equal justice for the disenfranchised within our broken and biased legal system, while struggling to stay one step ahead of poverty themselves.”

Professor Rapping accepted the award with Gideon’s Army director and producer, Dawn Porter. An excerpt from his speech reads:

Now, I started my career as a public defender here in D.C. which is one of the few really well functioning public defender offices in the country. I wasn’t aware at that time about this crisis, and then I went south and worked in Georgia and Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. And I saw criminal justice systems that just processed human beings, that literally accepted an embarrassingly low standard of justice for poor people. And I met these young inspired public defenders who would go into this work for the right reasons and very quickly have the passion beaten out of them. And soon they would either quit or they would become resigned to the status quo.

And so that led to my wife and I starting Gideon’s Promise, an organization that recruits, mentors, trains and support public defenders in an effort to build a community of change agents to go into courtrooms and broken systems and remind them of our American ideals.

Well, we started in 2007 with 16 lawyers and two offices. We will this summer have roughly 300 public defenders from 15 states. [applause] As we were building this, we realized we needed someone to share this story with the country, with the world. And so we started looking for a filmmaker, a storyteller, and we met Dawn Porter. Dawn was a new filmmaker. We invited her to come down and meet our lawyers. We had no idea at the time how brilliant Dawn is. We had no idea at the time how committed she would become to this cause and we certainly had no idea the impact that her work would have.

And what Dawn has done with “Gideon’s Promise” is she has reminded us that we can’t have equal justice without public defenders. She’s reminded us that public defenders are heroes. She shined a light on the public defenders who do this work and the people that they represent, which is a critical first step to raising our national consciousness and addressing this issue.

The full video of Professor Rapping’s acceptance speech is located below.

National Institute for Trial Advocacy Invites AJMLS Professor to Teach Trial Advocacy Basics

The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) is the nation’s leading provider of legal advocacy skills training. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Boulder, Colorado, NITA pioneered the legal skills learning-by-doing methodology over 40 years ago and has since remained the ultimate standard in continuing legal education.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Suparna Malempati was recently invited to join the Rocky Mountain team to teach new lawyers the basics of trial advocacy.  She spent fours days training the participants on closing arguments, direct examination, and cross examination skills. You can read more about her experience on the Advocacy Teaching Blog.

NITA’s team of practicing lawyers, professors and judges from around the nation dedicates its efforts to the training and development of skilled and ethical legal advocates to improve the adversarial justice system. NITA’s mission is to:

  • Promote justice through effective and ethical advocacy;
  • Train and mentor lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates in pursuit of justice; and
  • Develop and teach trial advocacy skills to support and promote the effective and fair administration of justice.

For more information about NITA, please visit the website at www.nita.org. View a full list of Professor Malempati’s published articles and media appearances on her faculty profile.

Daily Report Interviews Professor Mears on Botched Oklahoma Execution

“The botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma on Tuesday should serve as a wake-up call to Georgia officials scrambling to find ways to put inmates to death without trampling constitutional guarantees and basic human decency,” said Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor, Michael Mears, in a recent interview with the Daily Report.

Professor Mears, who is also the founding director of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, spoke candidly with the Daily Report about the recent execution.

“This is certainly not the first botched lethal injection execution, and if the states continue to allow prison guards to ‘play doctor’ we will have more of these outrageous execution botches,” said Mears. “It is one thing to kill a person. It is another thing to conduct experiments on them under the guise of carrying out an execution.”

The full interview can be found on the Daily Report’s website. For more information on the published works, media appearances and accomplishments of Professor Mears, visit his faculty profile.

AJMLS Announces Eleven Upcoming Tenure Appointments

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has granted tenure to eleven faculty members, effective August 1, 2014. Eight of the eleven appointments are AJMLS professors and three are professors at Savannah Law School (SLS), a branch of AJMLS.

Upcoming Tenured Professors at AJMLS

Associate Professor K. Lee Adams joined the faculty at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2008 and teaches civil procedure and constitutional law. Professor Adams earned her B.A. from Georgia State University and her J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law.

Associate Professor Kari Mercer Dalton joined the faculty at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2007 and teaches legal research, writing & analysis I & II; pretrial practice & procedure. Professor Dalton earned her B.A. from Boston College and earned her J.D. from the Loyola University School of Law.

Associate Professor Andrea Doneff joined the faculty at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2008 and teaches ADR & writing, mediation, civil procedure, legal writing, research and advocacy. Professor Doneff earned her B.A. from Emory University, her M.A. from Emory University and her J.D. from the Emory University School of Law.

Associate Professor Patrice Fulcher joined the faculty at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2007 and teaches criminal law; legal research, writing & analysis I, II & III; pretrial practice & procedure; trial advocacy and criminal procedure. Professor Fulcher earned her B.A. from Howard University and J.D. from the Emory University School of Law.

Associate Professor Jace C. Gatewood joined the faculty at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2008 and teaches business organizations and real property. Professor Gatewood earned his A.B. from Georgetown University and his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Associate Professor Elizabeth M. Jaffe joined the faculty at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2006 and teaches client interviewing & counseling, depositions, legal research, writing & analysis I & II, pretrial practice & procedure. Professor Jaffe earned her B.A. from Emory University and her J.D. from the Washington University School of Law.

Associate Professor Neva Browning Jeffries joined the faculty at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2008 and teaches Legal Drafting; Legal Research, Writing & Analysis I & II; Pretrial Practice & Procedure; Business Organizations. Professor Jeffries earned her A.B. from Duke University and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Associate Professor Kelly Casey Mullally joined the faculty at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School in 2009 and teaches Intellectual Property; Patent Law; Torts. Professor Mullally earned her B.S. from the Georgia Institute of Technology and her J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law.

Upcoming Tenured Professors at SLS

Professor Elizabeth Megale joined the faculty at the Savannah Law School in 2012 and teaches advanced appellate advocacy, pretrial advocacy and transactional drafting, art of advocacy. Professor Megale earned her B.A. and J.D. from Mercer University.

Professor Marc Roark joined the faculty at Savannah Law School in 2012 and teaches property, law & literature and sales & secured transactions. Professor Roark earned his B.A. from Louisiana State University, his LL.M. from the Duke University School of Law and his J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans.

Professor Judd Sneirson joined the faculty at Savannah Law School in 2013 and teaches contracts, intellectual property and business organizations. Professor Sneirson earned his B.A. from Williams College and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Current Tenured Faculty

●Dean & Professor Richardson Lynn
●Associate Dean for Scholarship & Professor Jeffrey Van Detta
●Associate Professor Joanna Apolinsky
●Professor Anthony Baker
●Associate Professor Scott Boone
●Associate Professor Kathleen Burch
●Professor Robert D’Agostino
●Associate Professor Helen de Haven
●Associate Professor Liza Karsai
●Professor Michael Lynch
●Associate Professor Lance McMillian
●Associate Professor Jonathan Rapping
●Professor Caprice Roberts, SLS
●Associate Professor Lisa Taylor
●Associate Professor Lisa Tripp

Granting an appointment of tenure is a firm commitment that AJMLS makes to talented faculty. The school does this to recognize professors who have consistently contributed to its mission by demonstrating excellence throughout their careers at AJMLS.

The conferring of tenure upon these faculty members represents a significant milestone in their academic careers. Please join us in congratulating each of these amazing professors for their ongoing dedication to enriching the lives of the AJMLS and SLS student body.

You may follow the hashtags #AJMLS and #ProfDev, on Twitter, to congratulate these professors or join the conversation.

AJMLS Professor Chosen for Radio Interview with Legal Talk Network

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor and Director of the Honors Program in Criminal Justice, Jonathan Rapping was recently interviewed on Legal Talk Network’s radio program, Lawyer2Lawyer, to discuss his organization Gideon’s Promise. On this episode of Lawyer2Lawyer, hosts Bob Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams interviewed Professor Rapping, founder of the Atlanta-based public defender training program Gideon’s Promise, and Dawn Porter, director and producer of the documentary Gideon’s Army. Together they discuss the daily rigors faced by public defenders in the south, their personal beliefs about unequal access to justice, and their ideas about how to better deliver on the promise of Gideon. The radio interview can be found on Legal Talk Network. More information on Professor Rapping can be found on his faculty profile.

Law Review Article by AJMLS Professor Cited in Forbes Magazine

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Beckett Cantley was cited in a recent article by Forbes Magazine discussing life insurance and 831(b) captive insurance companies. His extensive experience on the issue, in addition to his recent appearance as a panelist at the Spring Meeting of the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association made Professor Cantley an excellent source of information on the subject.

The excerpt reads:

The panel featured Prof. Beckett Cantley of John Marshal Law School in Atlanta, who discussed the fact that the IRS is taking a hard look at 831(b) captives that have purchased life insurance, and seem to be following their exact same avenues of attack that finally took down abusive VEBAs, 412(i), 419A(f)(6), and other abusive plans that offered pre-tax life insurance. Namely, the IRS is now conducting various promoter audits to obtain the client lists of the insurance managers whose 831(b) captives are involved with life insurance, as a possible predicate to making the purchase of life insurance within a captive a “listed transaction”, i.e., a presumed tax shelter that carries onerous reporting requirements and possibly very significant penalties.

Professor Cantley also spoke at some length about the technical issues about why the IRS would be absolutely right in taking down 831(b) companies with significant amounts of life insurance, but instead of me paraphrasing him, it is probably better to just read his excellent article on the subject: Cantley, Beckett G., Repeat as Necessary: Historical IRS Policy Weapons to Combat Conduit Captive Insurance Company Deductible Purchases of Life Insurance (February 2013). U. C. Davis Business Law Journal, Vol. 13, 2013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2315868

And Professor Cantley is nothing like the only voice in the wilderness on this issue: Various other prominent captive tax attorneys have indicated that having an 831(b) captive be structured to invest significant assets in a life insurance policy is probably a pretty bad idea, and off-the-record statements from IRS and Treasury officials (not to mention the ongoing promoter audits) show that this is an area of intense interest, if not concern.

Prior to teaching at John Marshall, Professor Cantley served as a law professor at both St.Thomas University School of Law (Miami, FL) and in the International Tax and Financial Services Program (LL.M.) at Thomas Jefferson School of Law (San Diego, CA).  He currently also teaches International Taxation at Northeastern University.  In addition to the courses he currently teaches at AJMLS and NEU, he has previously taught several other JD and LL.M. level courses, including: Tax I; Tax II; Partnership Taxation; and Business Entities.  Prior to entering academia, Professor Cantley’s private practice included serving as an Associate Attorney with Oliver Maner & Gray LLP in Savannah, GA.

To read the full article, visit the Forbes Magazine website. Professor Cantley’s full biography including published articles and media appearances can be found here.

Professor Fulcher Gives Expert Opinion to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Patrice Fulcher was asked by Representative Elijah E. Cummings’ office, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to comment on the contempt proceedings against Lois Lerner. Cummings released opinions from 25 legal experts across the country and the political spectrum concluding that Committee Chairman Darrell Issa compromised any House contempt action against former IRS official Lois Lerner when he rushed to adjourn the Committee’s hearing on March 5, 2014.

In Professor Fulcher’s comment, she said:

released opinions from 25 legal experts across the country and the political spectrum concluding that Committee Chairman Darrell Issa compromised any House contempt action against former IRS official Lois Lerner when he rushed to adjourn the Committee’s hearing on March 5, 2014. – See more at: http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/press-releases/twenty-five-independent-legal-experts-now-agree-that-issa-botched-contempt/#sthash.twEBtBUd.dpuf
released opinions from 25 legal experts across the country and the political spectrum concluding that Committee Chairman Darrell Issa compromised any House contempt action against former IRS official Lois Lerner when he rushed to adjourn the Committee’s hearing on March 5, 2014. – See more at: http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/press-releases/twenty-five-independent-legal-experts-now-agree-that-issa-botched-contempt/#sthash.twEBtBUd.dpuf
released opinions from 25 legal experts across the country and the political spectrum concluding that Committee Chairman Darrell Issa compromised any House contempt action against former IRS official Lois Lerner when he rushed to adjourn the Committee’s hearing on March 5, 2014. – See more at: http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/press-releases/twenty-five-independent-legal-experts-now-agree-that-issa-botched-contempt/#sthash.twEBtBUd.dpuf
released opinions from 25 legal experts across the country and the political spectrum concluding that Committee Chairman Darrell Issa compromised any House contempt action against former IRS official Lois Lerner when he rushed to adjourn the Committee’s hearing on March 5, 2014. – See more at: http://democrats.oversight.house.gov/press-releases/twenty-five-independent-legal-experts-now-agree-that-issa-botched-contempt/#sthash.twEBtBUd.dpuf

“American citizens expect, and the Constitution demands, that U.S. Congressional Committees adhere to procedural constraints when conducting hearings. Yet the proper required measures designed to provide due process of law were not followed during the May 22nd House Oversight Committee Hearing concerning Ms. Lerner. In Quinn v. United States, the Supreme Court clearly outlined practical safeguards to be followed to lay the foundation for contempt of Congress proceedings once a witness invokes the Fifth Amendment. 349 U.S. 155 (1955). To establish criminal intent, the committee has to demand the witness answer and upon refusal, expressly overrule her claim of privilege. This procedure assures that an accused is not forced to ‘guess whether or not the committee has accepted [her] objection’, but is provided with a choice between compliance and prosecution. Id. It is undeniable that the record shows that the committee did not expressly overrule Ms. Lerner’s claim of privilege, but rather once Ms. Lerner invoked her 5th Amendment right, the Chairman subsequently excused her. The Chairman did not order her to answer or present her with the clear option to respond or suffer contempt charges. Therefore, launching a contempt prosecution against Ms. Lerner appears futile and superfluous due to the Committee’s disregard for long standing traditions of procedure.”

For the full story or to read the opinions of other legal experts, click here.

Jonathan Rapping Earns National Recognition with Inaugural Purpose Economy 100 Award

Nearly 80 percent of the 12 million people who move annually through America’s criminal justice system cannot afford a lawyer. As a result, many innocent defendants plead guilty simply because they cannot afford to take their case to trial, and the public defender system is so overwhelmed by crushing volume, that adequate and meaningful defense fails them as well. For Jonathan Rapping, the injustice in the U.S. justice system is simply unacceptable, and now everyone is taking note of his exploding and impactful non-profit organization, Gideon’s Promise.

Gideon’s Promise, based in Atlanta, yet armed with a national reputation, works tirelessly to inspire, mobilize and train legal professionals to provide the highest quality defense representation to people unable to afford an attorney. And work zealously to ensure that those accused of crimes, who are most vulnerable in our society, have the same access to criminal justice as everyone else.

“For the past seven years, we at Gideon’s Promise have worked tirelessly to ensure ‘equal justice for all’ is not just an empty promise, but a reality that is consistent with our Constitution and its founding ideals,” says Rapping. “Being honored with the Inaugural Purpose Economy 100 truly validates that our work to change the status quo is vital, and that our public defenders are making justice a reality every day.”

It is because of this ground-breaking work that Rapping was recently honored as one of the Inaugural Purpose Economy 100, an honor that he shares with Melinda Gates, Rick Warren, former Vice President Al Gore and Jonathan Trent among others. A complete list of winners can be found at www.PurposeEconomy.com.

“The Purpose 100 highlights and celebrates the work of those shifting the paradigm on what is possible for all of us through work that reignites purpose,” says Aaron Hurst, CEO of Imperative and innovator/creator of The Purpose Economy. “By founding Gideon’s Promise and training more than 250 public defenders over the past seven years, Jon more than exemplifies that calling. He is a pioneer working to bring equal justice back to our judicial system. I look forward to watching Jon and Gideon’s Promise continue strengthening the resources available to public defenders.”

Last year, Rapping and Gideon’s Promise were featured in the HBO documentary, “Gideon’s Army,” which follows three young public defenders, trained by Rapping and Gideon’s Promise, in their sometimes breaking quest for equal justice in indigent defense. The organization has now trained more than 250 public defenders, who each see an average caseload of 300 per year.

Rapping is a nationally renowned speaker and author – advocating for better standards in the criminal justice system by delivering powerful and varying keynotes at conferences and institutions across the country. His national outreach includes audiences at law schools, organizations committed to justice, bar associations and public defender offices and systems.

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.

 

Professor Rapping Receives the INSPIRE Award from Cardozo School of Law

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Jonathan Rapping was recently awarded the INSPIRE Award from Cardozo School of Law in New York City. The award was given to Professor Rapping, President and Founder of Gideon’s Promise, because of his work with an organization that inspires, mobilizes and trains legal professionals to provide the highest quality defense representation to people unable to afford an attorney. The awards ceremony and reception is a part of the law school’s Inspire: Awards and Public Service Networking Event which is held at the end of the school’s Public Service Week. For more information on Cardozo School of Law’s awards ceremony, click here. Congratulations to Professor Rapping for being recognized for the work his organization does in the legal community.

AJMLS Professor’s Non-Profit Organization Receives $1 Million Grant from Department of Justice

Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced a total of $6.7 million in grants to state and local criminal and civil legal services organizations across the country that provide legal defense services for the poor.  The non-profit organization of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Jon Rapping was one of the organizations chosen to receive a grant.

Gideon’s Promise, a nonprofit organization that partners with public defender offices to build a community of attorneys committed to indigent defense reform,was awarded $1 million.  The funds will provide 25 new attorneys, including criminal defense lawyers working on tribal lands; establish training and leadership development for public defender trainers and supervisors and a semi-annual leadership summit for chief defenders; and create an advisory council to test measures and indicators showing the outcomes of providing effective counsel for all individuals.

These grants from the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) are part of the Justice Department’s continuing efforts to improve indigent defense, which is often underfunded and understaffed, and to support training, mentoring, technical assistance, leadership development and research to enhance the effectiveness of adult, juvenile and tribal indigent defense practices.

Professor Rapping feels that the grant is another indicator of the type of education students can receive by enrolling in the law school’s J.D. Honors Program in Criminal Justice. He said, “through the Honors Program in Criminal Justice, our students are getting the kind of preparation for careers in criminal justice that the Department of Justice recognizes is critical.  Three of our Honors Program faculty (Professors Rapping, Fulcher, and Saviello) are also core members of this organization that the Department of Justice is investing in as a real solution to the criminal justice crisis we face.”

For more information on the other organizations chosen to receive grants, click here.

 

Professor Rapping Gives Keynote Address at University of Iowa Law School

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Professor Jon Rapping was recently the keynote speaker at the University of Iowa Law School’s “Fifty Years of Gideon” symposium. Professor Rapping was chosen based to his work with Gideon’s Promise, his nonprofit organization that works to inspire, mobilize and train legal professionals to provide the highest quality defense representation to people unable to afford an attorney. Gideon’s Promise was later featured in an HBO documentary titled Gideon’s Army which aired July 1, 2013. The symposium commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision granting all indigent defendants the right to counsel, Gideon v. Wainwright. Following Professor Rapping’s keynote address, a renowned group of panelists discussed the history of Gideon, the current state of indigent defense, and future developments for the right to counsel. For more on Professor Rapping’s work with Gideon’s Promise, click here. To learn more about the University of Iowa Law School symposium, click here.

 

Professor Rapping Named the 2013 Public Interest Scholar in Residence at Touro Law School

Professor Jon Rapping was recently selected as the 2013 Public Interest Scholar in Residence at Touro Law School. Through the Distinguished Public Interest Lawyer in Residence Program, Touro Law Center recognizes attorneys who have made significant contributions to society by representation of individuals or groups historically denied access to justice. Honorees visit the Law Center to meet with students, guest teach classes and deliver a public lecture. The program attracts distinguished visitors who are active in the field of public interest who inspire and teach members of the Touro Law community. On behalf of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, congratulations Professor Rapping on another outstanding accomplishment. For the full story, click here.

Professor Van Detta Named the John E. Ryan Professor of International Business & Workplace Law

Dean Richardson Lynn is pleased to announce that the Board of Directors of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, in recognition of Professor Jeffrey Van Detta’s distinguished service to the law school, his excellence as a teacher, and the breadth and depth of his scholarship, has conferred upon him a named Chair in Law:  The John E. Ryan Professor Of International Business & Workplace Law. Congratulations Professor Van Detta on this prestigious accomplishment.

Professor Rapping Interviewed by The Seattle Times in Indigent Defense Case

Jon Rapping, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor and founder and president of Gideon’s Promise, a national organization aimed at improving indigent defense, was recently interviewed by The Seattle Times regarding an ongoing indigent-defense case.

The Seattle Times reports:

Today, many in America’s legal and law-enforcement communities — from judges and prosecutors to defense lawyers — believe the promise of Gideon v. Wainwright, grounded in the Sixth Amendment, has mostly gone unfulfilled. To prove it, some point to Mount Vernon and Burlington.

The Skagit County towns are at the center of a groundbreaking class-action civil-rights lawsuit over indigent defense filed two years ago by the American Civil Liberties Union, alleging misdemeanor defendants were given little more than a “meet ’em, greet ’em and plead ’em” defense by a pair of public defenders expected to handle more than 2,000 cases a year.

Now, with a Seattle-based U.S. District Court judge set to rule on the case, Mount Vernon and Burlington may become part of an unprecedented solution — the first-ever federal-court takeover of a public-defender system.

The goal, Rapping said, should be that the indigent accused “receive the same kind of representation that you or I would pay for.” The reality at this point, however, is that most public-defender agencies — including the federal Public Defender’s Office — are struggling with budget cuts and a paucity of resources, he said. “It’s unfortunate, but over the years we have become accustomed to a lower standard of justice for poor people,” Rapping said.

To read the full article, click here.

Professor Mears Reappointed to the Post-Conviction Capital Representation Committee of the State Bar

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Professor Micheal Mears was recently reappointment to a very important State Bar of Georgia committee.  He has been honored to be appointed to the Post-Conviction Capital Representation Committee.  This committee of the State Bar deals with matters relating to the post conviction of defendants in death penalty cases and reports any recommendations to the Board of Governors.

In discussing his appointment, Professor Mears stated, “I know that we all serve the Bar in various ways and serve on important committees and task forces.” He went on to say, “I am especially proud of this Committee Assignment over these past years because it has given me such a great opportunity to continue the work of so many lawyers, both prosecutors and defense attorneys, in addressing the life and death issues of the death penalty.” Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School congratulates Professor Mears on his most recent appointment.

AJMLS Professor Joins Group of National Experts at the White House

Professor Rapping was among a group of national experts invited to the White House on June 5, 2013 to discuss Judicial Vacancies and the Importance of the Courts.  With five unfilled vacancies on the Eleventh Circuit and Northern District of Georgia, four of which are considered judicial emergencies, the situation is particularly pressing for Georgians.  Professor Rapping then joined a small Georgia delegation to meet with staff for Senators Isakson and Chambliss to discuss the problem of unfilled vacancies on Georgia’s federal courts and the risk it poses to the efficient functioning of our judicial system. Once again, another exciting accomplishment for our faculty.

AJMLS Adjunct Professor Appointed Juvenile Court Judge

On May 21, 2013, Judge Willie J. Lovett, Jr. began serving as a Juvenile Court Judge for the Atlanta Judicial Circuit in Fulton County, Georgia.  Judge Lovett will preside over all juvenile matters originating in Fulton County and will provide leadership to the Juvenile Court as it prepares to implement Georgia’s new Juvenile Code, which will become law on January 1, 2014.  Judge Lovett also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, where he teaches Georgia Practice and Procedure and Local Government Law.  In 2012, Judge Lovett became certified by the American Bar Association and the National Association of Counsel for Children as a Child Welfare Law Specialist (“CWLS”).  Judge Lovett is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Association of Counsel for Children and the Georgia Association of Counsel for Children. 

 

Prior to this appointment as Juvenile Judge, Judge Lovett served as the Director of the Fulton County Child Attorney’s Office.  In that role, he managed the attorneys, investigators, social workers and administrative staff, ensuring that constitutional and statutory mandates are met utilizing the American Bar Association Standards of Practice for Lawyers Who Represent Children in Abuse and Neglect Cases, (NACC Revised Version).  Judge Lovett has also served as Deputy County Attorney for the Fulton County Attorney’s Office where he was lead litigation counsel for Fulton County in the Kenny A. v. Perdue litigation, originally filed in 2002.  Prior to joining the Fulton County Attorney’s Office, Judge Lovett clerked for the Honorable Joseph W. Hatchett, former Chief Judge of the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Atlanta’s Law Department, and worked as an associate at several Atlanta law firms. 

 

In 1985, Judge Lovett earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, cum laude with Distinction in the major from Yale University, where he received the 1985 Roosevelt Thompson Prize for commitment to public service.  In 1988, Judge Lovett earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School, where he served as a Comments Editor on the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and in 1991, he earned his Master of Laws in Litigation from Emory Law School.  Judge Lovett is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia, the Georgia Supreme Court and the Georgia Court of Appeals.

 

Judge Lovett is a native of Savannah, Georgia, currently resides in Fairburn, Georgia and is married to Seletha R. Butler, Esq.