AJMLS Professor Publishes Book on New Georgia Evidence Code

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School adjunct professor Michael Carlson has recently released a highly anticipated, first-of-its-kind book on Georgia’s new evidence code.

Carlson on Evidence: Comparing the Georgia and Federal Rules by Ronald L. Carlson and Michael Scott Carlson was published in December 2012 by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia. It is a rule-by-rule comparison of the new and former Georgia, as well as the federal evidence rules.

Michael Carlson serves as Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney and head of the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Gang Prosecution Unit. He teaches advanced evidence and advanced criminal procedure at John Marshall. His father, co-author Ronald Carlson, is the Fuller E. Callaway Chair of Law Emeritus at the University of Georgia Law School and has authored numerous leading publications on evidence, trial practice and criminal law.

In 2011, the Georgia General Assembly voted to comprehensively rewrite the state’s 150-year old evidence code to model the Federal Rules of Evidence. The new evidence code became effective Jan. 1, 2013.

Carlson on Evidence is a user-friendly book that identifies the differences between the state’s new and old evidence code with the federal rules. This comprehensive break-down of the evidence code is essential to practicing law in Georgia,” John Marshall Dean of Academics Kevin Cieply said. “We are honored to have our students learning from one of the premier scholars on Georgia’s new evidence code.”

The Carlsons have taught various continuing judicial and legal education programs on the new evidence code to numerous members of Georgia’s bench and bar. In December, they hosted the Carlson on Evidence seminar, which served as the formal launch of the book. That program was a sold-out event at the Georgia State Bar headquarters and was simulcast live to other State Bar satellite offices. The event was attended by numerous John Marshall alumni, faculty and students.

For more information or to purchase the Carlson on Evidence book, visit http://www.iclega.org/.

AJMLS Announces New Assistant Dean for Career Development

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is pleased to announce Ivonne Betancourt will now serve the law school in the role of Assistant Dean for Career Development. Since 2006, she has been a vital part of the success the Career Development Office has experienced.  “Ivonne has done an incredible job growing the Career Development Office during her time at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Students are highly satisfied with the assistance she and her staff provide as they look for jobs,” said Richardson Lynn, Dean of the law school. “Our placement rate has been remarkable, even during the last few tough years in the economy, and she will supervise the same effort at Savannah Law School.  The title “Assistant Dean” merely recognizes her outstanding service to John Marshall.”

On behalf of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, thank you Ivonne for your hard work and dedication to the school.  Congratulations on a job well done and we wish you continued success in your new position!

Professor Mears Quoted in the AJC about the Death Penalty

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School professor Michael Mears was recently interviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution regarding the decline in death penalty rulings in Georgia and nationwide. Based on a survey designed to track capital punishment nationwide, it appears more juries are less likely to opt for the death penalty. The article stated, “Only twice this year did a Georgia jury choose death as the punishment for murder. Those numbers are consistent with recent years, as the death penalty has been on the wane for more than a decade in Georgia and nationally.”

Viewed as a death penalty expert, Professor Mears said, “Jurors are finally catching on that sentencing someone to death really doesn’t accomplish any sense of justice for the victim’s family. Jurors are beginning to believe that life without parole does mean life without parole. The gloss is off the death penalty in many, many cases and it’s showing up on the number of death penalty cases.”

Professor Mears said he believes the cost of death penalty trials is part of the reason district attorneys are not seeking the punishment as often as they did in the past. He goes on to say a death case can cost $1 million to $1.5 million, including appeals. The article mentioned the death penalty trial of convicted courthouse killer Brian Nichols cost $3.2 million to which Professor Mears responded, “Cases like the Brian Nichols case can break the back of the public defender system.”

Professor Mears teaches Advanced Criminal Procedure, Advanced Evidence, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence at the law school.

Dean Cieply to Participate in Experts Roundtable at Emory University

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Associate Dean of Academics and Associate Professor Kevin Cieply was recently invited to join an experts roundtable hosted at Emory University by its International Humanitarian Law Clinic. The event, titled  “The Application of the Law of Armed Conflict in Situations of Organized Crime and Armed Conflict” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on January 22, 2013 at the university. The focus of the program centers around the clinic’s goal to promote the law of armed conflict and fight to eliminate torture, war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.

Dean Cieply is joined by many notable and respected experts in the field from Jennifer Daskal of Georgetown Law School and Geoffrey Corn of South Texas College of Law to Sandy Hodgkinson, Former Chief of Staff, Deputy Secretary of Defense and many more. Congratulations Dean Cieply for being selected to lend his expertise to this event. For the full list of roundtable participants, click here.