1996 Alumna, Tasha M. Mosley, Appointed Clayton County District Attorney

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates 1996 alumna, Tasha M. Mosley, on her recent appointment as District Attorney of the Clayton County Judicial Circuit.

Mosley has served Clayton County as their Solicitor General since 2009, and previously served as Assistant Solicitor General in Henry County as well as Master Assistant Solicitor General from 2004 to 2006, and Assistant Solicitor General from 1998 to 2004 in the Clayton County Judicial Circuit.

After graduating from AJMLS, Mosley was the sole practitioner of the Tasha Mosley Law Firm in Jonesboro before beginning her career in public service.

An active community leader, Mosley has received numerous professional awards, including the 2013 Clayton County Bar Association Community Service Award, 2015 and 2018 Freddie L. Groomes-McClendon Caring Awards, 2018 Angela M. Williams Humanitarian Award, 2018 Regina Crothers from the Heart Award, and 2018 Thompson-Jones Award. She also is a member of the State Bar of Georgia‘s Statewide Judicial Evaluation Committee, Rainbow House Executive Board, and Calvary Refuge Center Executive Board. She is the former Vice Chair of the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia, Vice President of the Clayton County Bar Association, and President of the Solicitor General Association of Georgia.*

When asked of the appointment, Governor Kemp remarked:
“For many years, Tasha has worked tirelessly to serve the Clayton County community as a strong advocate for her constituents, both in and out of the courtroom. She is beloved by her neighbors and peers, highly regarded and respected in the legal profession, and ready to take on this new adventure,” said Kemp. “She has the perfect background and personality for this opportunity, and I know that she will excel.”
Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School celebrates its alumni and wishes District Attorney Mosley all the best in her new chapter.

2013 Alumnus, Judge Ethan Pham, Named to Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates Judge Ethan Pham, Class of 2013, for his recent honor of being named one of Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40. The 40 individuals were selected by the Georgia Trend staff from more than 400 nominations by readers throughout the state. Judge Pham is a Partner at the Law Firm of Nguyen & Pham LLC and an Associate Judge for the City of Norcross and City of Morrow.

Georgia Trend’s article notes,

Ethan Pham began his law career working for a private firm that represented municipalities around the Atlanta airport. As an assistant city attorney, he advised local governments on the legality and the constitutionality of their actions.

Pham, who immigrated from Vietnam at age 11, says that experience gave him a deeper understanding of the word freedom. “Freedom is not just freedom from oppression from a foreign country, but freedom is also freedom from oppression from your own government,” he says.

Pham is passionate about community service. He is the vice chair of the Gwinnett Transit Advisory Board; a member of the Gwinnett Police Foundation; serves as legal counsel for the Atlanta International Night Market; and is the co-founder of the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Georgia.*

Pham earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Biology and Business Administration with a minor in chemistry. After completing his undergraduate studies, he worked as a tax software developer and dabbled in entrepreneurship via acquisition of a poultry operation. Prior to co-founding Nguyen & Pham, LLC, Pham worked as an assistant city attorney for a private law firm practicing local government law and serving public entities.** Recently, he came in third in last year’s U.S. House District 7 Democratic primary election.

The Law School is proud of Judge Pham’s continued success and we look forward to celebrating with him for many years to come.

2011 Alumnus, Nick Schnyder, Employs Fellow AJMLS Graduates at Nick Schnyder Law Firm, LLC

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumnus, Nick Schnyder, has only hired passionate legal minds from his alma mater since opening his firm, Nick Schnyder Law Firm, LLC, in August of 2016. Schnyder’s firm experienced rapid growth and turning to his fellow AJMLS alumni for support has enabled the firm to continue taking on difficult and rewarding cases.

The Nick Schnyder Law Firm was pleased to hire Rebecca Rae, Class of 2012 in 2017, and Matthew Nestrud, Class of 2012, in 2019. Prior to attending law school, Rae accumulated over a decade of legal experience as a legal assistant and paralegal, and is also the co-founder of the non-profit, Flashpoint Artists Initiative, Inc., which has donated approximately $100,000 to local charities over the past 13 years. Nestrud graduated top ten in his class from AJMLS, was the Executive Legislative Editor on Law Review, and competed on the Moot Court Team.

Schnyder also graduated top of his class, passed the bar, and began his journey of becoming a personal injury civil litigation attorney in 2011. His determination to fight for justice is both professional and personal as his own family was injured by medical error in three separate incidents giving him common ground with the clients he serves. Since founding his firm, Schnyder became a member of the Georgia Bar Association, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, and the Cobb County Bar Association. He has also won numerous awards including Top 40 Under 40 from National Trial Lawyers and Georgia Trend’s Legal Elite.

The Law School is proud of the success of its alumni at the Nick Schnyder Law Firm and is pleased to share their work fighting on behalf of Georgia’s injured families.

About Nick Schnyder Law Firm, LLC – Established in 2016. Experienced personal injury and catastrophic injury attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia.

Are you an AJMLS graduate with exciting news or honors to share? Please email us at marketing@johnmarshall.edu.

*Image courtesy of Nick Schnyder Law Firm

WalletHub Interviews Professor Diamond About Georgia Auto Insurance

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Adjunct Professor, Jeffrey D. Diamond, was interviewed by WallHub as one of their insurance experts. The article goes in-depth about Georgia auto rates and insurers. Professor Diamond is a practicing litigation attorney who specializes in insurance law and related matters and teaches Insurance Law at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.

Questions asked of Professor Diamond in the article:

What are the biggest risk factors keeping car insurance rates from being cheaper in Georgia?

Is there anything that state and local governments can do to promote cheap car insurance rates for their constituents?

What is the biggest vehicle-related financial mistake that drivers in Georgia make?

Why do you think credit history has a relatively [big/small] impact on car insurance rates in Georgia?*

Questions from WalletHub’s article: 2019’s Best Cheap Car Insurance in Georgia

Serving Those Who Have Served Us: The AJMLS Homeless Veteran Legal Clinic

Few resources are available to provide free criminal legal services for homeless Veterans, despite the fact that legal services are often essential for removing barriers to obtaining or retaining permanent housing, receiving needed healthcare, income stability, and opening doors to employment. Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS), in partnership with the Atlanta Veteran’s Administration Medical Center (VAMC), has created a voluntary Veteran’s Legal Intensive Externship program at Ft. McPherson military installation in East Point, Georgia.

This hybrid clinical externship, known as the Homeless Veteran Legal Clinic, is run by the Office of Experiential Learning and is supervised by AJMLS Alumnus Mr. Corey Martin of Martin and Associates. The hybrid clinic is manned by AJMLS students and operates on a walk-in basis once a month. It is a great opportunity for students to receive externship or pro bono credit.

Since its inception in 2018, 34 referrals have been made to the Homeless Veteran Legal Clinic and AJMLS students have served 23 of the 34 cases. Four veterans have had their charges dismissed, 18 cases received legal consultation, and in five cases legal representation is currently being provided. The average number of referrals are three to four per month. This is a great opportunity for AJMLS students to serve those who have served us. Should you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Assistant Dean, Dr. Bridgett E. Ortega at bortega@johnmarshall.edu.

The Fort McPherson VA Clinic is located at 1701 Hardee Avenue, Southwest Atlanta, GA 30310.

*Image courtesy Atlanta VA Health Care System

Dr. Ortega Leads Training for Georgia Association of Legal Externships

Several years ago, Georgia law schools formed GALE, the Georgia Association of Legal Externships. GALE has worked hard to standardize policies and practices for the supervision of externs in their field placements. Every year, the Georgia Association of Legal Externships hosts an annual Supervising Attorney training designed to help externship supervisors and their organization get the most out of working with law students. This year’s supervisor training was held at the Georgia State Bar on August 7, 2019. Assistant Dean of Experiential Learning, Dr. Bridgett E. Ortega facilitated a session on navigating cultural difference that was warmly received by the 75 plus attorneys in attendance.

The Atlanta’s John Marshall Legal Externship Program provides work experience in different areas of practice so students can determine what suits them best. Externships also help students to develop relationships that will continue as they begin their legal career. Externships are an educational experience in every sense and good placement supervisors serve to enhance the students’ educational experience in the field where students get to experience firsthand the practice of law.

Professor John Melvin Named Georgia Bureau of Investigation Chief of Staff

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Adjunct Professor and Acting District Attorney in Cobb County has been named the new Chief of Staff at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).

In addition to teaching AJMLS students, Professor Melvin is in his 24th year as a prosecutor and has worked in three metro Atlanta counties: Dekalb, Gwinnett, and Cobb.

Quoted in the Daily Report,

Melvin said he makes a pitch for his career path in classes he has taught at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and previously at Emory University School of Law.

“I tell them I have dismissed more cases as a prosecutor than any defense attorney will ever win,” Melvin said.

“People want to change the system and improve the world,” he said. “A prosecutor has a tremendous amount of power. You really want good people in those positions.”

His courtroom experience has brought invaluable lessons and insight to AJMLS students in the classroom and we wish him the best as he transitions to his new post at the GBI. Congratulations, Professor!

AJMLS Students Volunteer at Gideon’s Promise Trainer Development Conference

On January 19, 2019, Gideon’s Promise hosted their annual Trainer Development Conference (TDC) in Atlanta and offered Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) students the unique opportunity to volunteer and participate. At the conference, AJMLS students played the role of young attorneys where they conducted opening statements, cross examinations, as well as role played some challenging ethical hypotheticals. They received feedback and coaching from the seasoned public defenders and law school clinicians at the conference.

The President and Founder of Gideon’s Promise, Professor Jonathan Rapping, is the Director of the Criminal Justice Certificate Program at Atlanta’s John Marshall and the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.

*Gideon’s Promise is one of the nation’s leading public defender education programs. It uses a comprehensive, interactive curriculum to prepare new public defenders to raise the standard of representation in challenging environments. The program teaches values, substantive knowledge, skills essential to being a public defender, and helps its lawyers develop strategies for implementing these lessons in the courthouses where they work.

The Trainer Development Conference teaches cutting edge techniques for legal professionals who educate existing or future lawyers who represent poor people accused of crimes. TDC is only offered to members of the public defender community. It is open to public defender trainers and clinical professors who teach exclusively in criminal defense clinics.

The effectiveness of Gideon’s Promise training is evidenced by its support from leading foundations such as the Open Society Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the United States Department of Justice. Gideon’s Promise has partnered with over 45 offices to provide training to young public defenders across 17 states.

When asked about working with the AJMLS student volunteers, here’s what a few conference participants had to say:

“I could not believe that these students had come in for a full day on a holiday weekend, and they had come in prepared (more than many attorneys I’ve worked with in NIDA trainings before) – and then they were THANKING us.  I was impressed by their diligence, their openness to feedback, and the improvements that they made during each session, and I think we are in very good hands if they represent the next generation of lawyers.”

Elizabeth Nevins, Associate Clinical Professor, Attorney-in-Charge, Criminal Justice Clinic, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

“One of our students prepared a cross-examination that was on the advanced level, she asked one fact per question and when the witness got squirrely, she naturally looped to keep him on track. It was an incredible cross-examination.

Beyond being prepared for their exercises, our students were all-in on listening to each other when the others were presenting. You could see the growth happening in real-time.”

Brent Getty, Deputy Training Development Coordinator, Office of the State Public Defender, Montana

“The John Marshall law students I met at the Gideon’s Promise Trainer Development Conference exceeded my expectations in every way. They were well prepared, smart, and engaging. I hope to see them at our office in the future.”

Christopher Hernandez, Deputy Public Defender, El Paso County Public Defender’s Office

“The John Marshall Students were far and away the most prepared law students I have seen at a training event. Many of them had never taken a trial advocacy course, but they had strong ideas and were dedicated to improving their skills to benefit their future clients. Never have I seen such dedication from such a group of young students.”

Ray Ibarra, Education Supervisor, Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy

*Gideon’s Promise

Professor Jonathan Rapping Helps Facilitate Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Professor and Director of the Criminal Justice Certificate Program, Jonathan A. Rapping, helped to facilitate the Trial Advocacy Workshop for law students at Harvard Law School January 9-10, 2019. In addition to his roles at AJMLS, Professor Rapping serves as the President and Founder of Gideon’s Promise, is a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard University Law School, and is a frequent presenter and contributor to national conversations on criminal justice reform. Rapping is also the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.

Also recently, The Jewish Council for Public Affairs invited Professor Rapping to join a working group of Jewish experts in criminal justice reform, and to participate in a strategic planning session on Jewish Advocacy and Criminal Justice Reform. The planning session took place at the law offices of Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. December 4-5, 2018.

On November 28, 2018, Professor Rapping also presented at the National Association for Public Defense “We the Defenders Conference” in Indianapolis. Professor Rapping’s presentation on Client Centered Defense Teams and Race in the Criminal Justice System was delivered to investigators, social workers, and sentencing advocates from across the nation.

The Law School is thrilled to offer its students the opportunity to learn criminal law from one of the nation’s leaders working to improve the criminal justice system. Thank you, Professor!

Alumnus, Vincent A. Lotti, Sworn in as Henry County Magistrate Judge

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates Vincent A. Lotti, Class of 2010, for his recent appointment as a Henry County magistrate judge. At the Law School, Lotti served as both a Peer Mentor and a Student Ambassador, and was a three time Dean’s Award recipient.

Judge Lotti is a lifelong resident of Henry County, graduated from Union County High School, and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from The University of Georgia. After graduating from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Lotti entered private practice and founded his own practice representing clients in both civil and criminal cases.*

The Law School is incredibly proud of Judge Lotti’s drive and service to the community and we look forward to celebrating his continued success.

*Henry Harold

Atlanta’s John Marshall Alumni Are Sworn Into Practice at Mass Swearing-In Ceremony

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School hosted a mass swearing-in ceremony for its recent graduates and alumni on November 29, 2018 at the Blackburn Conference Center. The Law School was honored by Justice Carol Hunstein of the Georgia Supreme Court and Judge T. Jackson Bedford of the Fulton County Superior Court. Thank you to all who participated and congratulations to all the graduates!

Images from the event may be viewed here or at the Facebook post below. Be sure to follow the Law School page for other updates and images around campus!

Alumnus, William J. Black III, Sworn Into Practice at Pershing Point Park’s WWI Monument

On Tuesday, November 20, 2018, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Alumnus and U.S. Air Force Veteran, William J. (Billy) Black III, was sworn into the practice of law by DeKalb County Superior Court Judge and U.S. District Court Nominee Hon. J.P. Boulee. The ceremony took place in Pershing Point Park, across West Peachtree Street from the Law School. Mr. Black’s mother, wife, sister, niece, and nephew attended. Honored guests included Mr. Richard H. Deane, Jr., managing partner of Jones Day’s Atlanta Office, and a major force in renovating the park which honors Fulton County residents who lost their lives in World War I.

In Billy’s words:

My swearing-in at Pershing Point was so much more than a ceremonial formality or personal celebration for passing the bar. I chose the Park’s World War I monument as the location because I researched its complicated racial history while in law school. The monument contains a memorial ledger of soldiers killed in WWI from Fulton County. The list segregates its black soldiers by listing them at the bottom right corner of the memorial ledger underneath an inscription etched in stone: “NEGROES.” The monument lay neglected for nearly 100 years until 2014 when a young associate attorney at Jones Day, J.P. Boulee, and now a U.S. District Court Judge Nominee, led a firm wide effort to revitalize the monument and park. Also present was Richard (Rick) Deane, former U.S. Attorney and managing partner at Jones Day, who devoted a substantial effort to ensure the park was maintained and preserved in the future. I had the chance to interview Rick while researching my article. Both he and Judge Boulee were instrumental in my understanding of the monument and how they approached its complicated history when they sought to clean up Pershing Point. I expand on this understanding in my article and also present the black soldiers’ military service history following its trail throughout their time in Europe. It also suggests a judicial framework for approaching cases involving the removal of veterans monuments from public land.  
To me, my swearing-in celebrated the intersection of our shared histories spanning 100 years from a time when society was nearly destroyed by racial animus to now, when a few Veteran lawyers from diverse backgrounds could finally be the voice for those who were segregated even in death and possibly reconcile a new understanding of how far we’ve come from then to now. As a Veteran, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to pledge my oath as an attorney than to do so while standing next to my fallen brothers and raising my right hand like we all did as soldiers. 

Mr. Black, who served as Editor-in-Chief of Volume 11 of the John Marshall Law Journal, researched and published an article on the history and interpretations of the imposing monument erected in that Park in 1920 by the War Mothers of Fulton County. See William J. Black, A Higher Loyalty To Their Ultimate Sacrifice: Segregated Black War Casualties And Society’s Monumental Mistake, 11 John Marshall Law Journal 34 (2018).

During his tenure as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Journal, Black led the effort that produced the well-received and highly successful 2017 Symposium & CLE Event on Veterans’ Issues and the Law. Judge Boulee was one of the featured speakers at that event, where he discussed the concept of accountability courts for veterans as an alternative to traditional adjudication.

Mr. Black is now working as a cybersecurity software engineer at Equifax and pursuing a Master of Laws in Securities and Financial Regulation at Georgetown University Law Center. He also volunteers as a Special Assistant District Attorney in Cobb County under the supervision of Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Mike Carlson, primarily on gang related criminal appeals.

He is hoping to explore an attorney career in cybersecurity, government investigations and special matters, and working directly with corporate or government clients advising their application development teams, data protection officers, and cybersecurity engineers on IT Security Risks, databreach management, regulatory responses, and deploying secure development practices that comport with federal, state, and international cybersecurity laws.

The Law School is incredibly proud of Billy’s research and service, and we look forward to celebrating his continued success.

Announcing the Loss of Our Dear Friend, Allan Brezel

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is saddened to announce the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Allan Brezel. Allan was the Law School’s Associate Dean for Finance (and prior Chief Financial Officer). Known for his fatherly demeanor and dry humor, the AJMLS family feels lucky to have met Allan in early 2011. Our hearts are with his family, who were his everything.

Re post from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Allan Brezel, age 64, Marietta, GA, died November 17, 2018. Allan was a caring man who loved his family with all of his heart. Allan was originally from Queens, New York. The son of two holocaust survivors who grew up helping his parents run their family owned clothing store on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan. Allan and his wife, Susan, relocated to the Atlanta area where he attended Emory University, earning a master’s degree in accounting.

In Atlanta, Allan and Susan put down roots and made friends who became family. The three children that Allan and Susan raised together were Allan’s greatest loves. Allan enjoyed playing golf, watching the stock market, taking long walks along the Chattahoochee River, and spending as much time as possible with his three granddaughters who called him ‘Pop-Pop’. Allan was well known amongst his friends and family for being a good listener and giving sound advice. Allan made a positive impact on everyone he met and the world will be a little darker without his warm hugs and bright smile.

He is survived by his wife, Susan Brezel; daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer and Matthew Kulkin; son and future daughter-in-law, Jonathan Brezel and Michaela Hankinson; daughter and son-in-law, Jordan and Michael Levene; brother and sister-in-law, Dr. Ted and Claire Brezel; brother and sister-in-law, Dr. Mitchell and Lisa Brezel; grandchildren: Ava, Julia and Elise.

Sign online guest book at www.edressler.com. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research (www.lustgarten.org).

A graveside service will be held Monday, November 19, 2018 at 3:00 pm at Arlington Memorial Park with Rabbi Joshua Heller officiating. Arrangements by Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, Atlanta (770) 451-4999.

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from November 18 to November 19, 2018

Dean Malcolm L. Morris Represents CLEO in Collaboration with National Conference of Bar Examiners

NCBE and CLEO Announce New Collaboration

NCBE invests in diversity and inclusion within the legal profession

*Madison, Wisconsin – The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO) are pleased to announce a new collaboration in support of their shared goal of increasing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. NCBE has provided funding to bolster CLEO’s programs that help individuals from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and disadvantaged communities achieve success in law school and prepare to take and pass the bar exam. For over 50 years, CLEO has successfully contributed to increasing the number of lawyers from diverse backgrounds in all sectors of law.

“Diversification of the legal profession is a top priority for legal education and admissions stakeholders at all levels. We are proud to partner with CLEO and support programs with a strong track record of helping prepare underrepresented groups for law school and bar exam success,” said Judith A. Gundersen, NCBE President and CEO.

“Diversity and inclusion have been the cornerstone of CLEO’s mission since 1968,” said Cassandra Sneed Ogden, the Chief Executive Officer of CLEO. “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to collaborate with NCBE to expand the services we provide our students, especially those preparing for the bar examination. NCBE has a wealth of online information and study aids available to help students be successful in their final quest to join the legal profession. However, some students need a personal touch to coach them over the finish line. With NCBE’s generous financial support, CLEO will be able to assist scores of 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls across the country to methodically prepare to conquer the bar exam.”

About the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc.

CLEO, Inc., is committed to diversifying the legal profession by expanding legal education opportunities for individuals from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and disadvantaged communities.

Founded in 1968 when the number of lawyers of color was less than one percent, more than 10,000 individuals have participated in CLEO’s programs, many of whom have gone on to excel in every area of the legal profession to include judges, corporate attorneys, law school deans and professors, practitioners, politicians, and more. Although best known for its Pre-Law Summer Institute “boot camp” for entering law students, CLEO provides services to secondary, college (pre-law), and law school students, which include mentoring, placement assistance, academic counseling and support, bar prep orientation, and scholarships. For information about CLEO, Inc., and its programs, please visit: www.cleoinc.org. For more information about CLEO’s historic 50th Anniversary and corresponding celebrations, please visit: www.cleoinc.org/50.

About the National Conference of Bar Examiners

The National Conference of Bar Examiners, headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1931. NCBE develops the licensing tests used by most states for admission to the bar. NCBE stakeholders and constituents include state Supreme Courts, state attorney licensing boards, attorneys, and law school deans. NCBE is governed by a national board of trustees consisting of judges, bar examiners, and bar admission administrators. Approximately 71,000 law school graduates sat for the bar exam in 2017.

On October 26, 2018, NCBE President Judith A. Gundersen, NCBE’s Board of Trustees, and NCBE Diversity Issues Committee Chair Bryan R. Williams met at NCBE headquarters with CLEO Director of Prelaw Program Operations Bernetta Hayes and CLEO Board of Directors member Malcolm L. Morris to formalize its collaboration.

*Photo and article courtesy of the National Conference of Bar Examiners

Front row: Suzanne K. Richards, Bernetta Hayes, Michele A. Gavagni, Malcolm L. Morris, Judith A. Gundersen, Hon. Phyllis D. Thompson, Bryan R. Williams, Hon. Rebecca White Berch (Ret.)

Back row: Timothy Y. Wong, Patrick R. Dixon, Augustin Rivera, Jr., Darin B. Scheer, Hulett H. Askew, John J. McAlary, Anthony R. Simon, Hon. Cynthia L. Martin

Kayla Kudratt, Class of 2018

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School gave me the opportunity to attend a close-knit, diverse institution where professors, faculty, and staff truly care about the students and their success. As a Criminal Justice Honors Program graduate, I was afforded the opportunity to follow my passion and learn from prominent, well-respected attorneys in the legal community which helped me secure my dream job upon graduation. The Law School not only prepared me to succeed as a student in the classroom, but the hands-on experiences in combination with my externships prepared me to succeed as an attorney. As a proud graduate of Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, I am forever grateful for our AJMLS community who supported and believed in me and my dream. I went to law school to get an education, but I left with a new family.

Professor Jeffrey Van Detta Lectures at Belmont University Law School and State Bar of Georgia ICLE

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Professor Jeffrey Van Detta, the John E. Ryan Professor of International Business and Workplace Law, recently gave two lectures based on his most recently completed works of legal scholarship.

On October 5, 2018, Professor Van Detta was one of the featured speakers at Belmont University Law School’s 2018 Law Review Symposium-CLE Program,

“The Modern Workplace: Contemporary Legal Issues in Employment & Labor Law.”

His topic is an area of particular expertise for Professor Van Detta — the “direct-threat” standard under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy published Professor Van Detta’s 1999 article on this subject, which arose frequently during his 13 years of law practice at Atlanta-based Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, when he represented clients in safety-sensitive industries such as commercial passenger aviation, defense contracting, and manufacturing and logistics. Professor Van Detta’s latest article on this topic updates the developments in this area over the last 20 years. “For The Love Of God!  Open This Door!”:  Individual Rights Versus Public Safety Under The “Direct Threat” Standard Of The Americans With Disabilities Act After Three Decades Of Litigation, 6 Belmont L. Rev. ___ (2019)

Faculty from Boston University Law School, Pace University Law School, University of West Virginia College of Law, University of Cincinnati College of Law, University of Memphis Law School, ITT Chicago-Kent College of Law, and Nova Southeastern University College of Law, joined Professor Van Detta on this day-long program.

On October 18, 2018, Professor Van Detta was a featured presenter at the 25th Annual Georgia ICLE Supreme Court Update. Following a presentation he made on a blockbuster 2013 SCOTUS case concerning the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) in 20th Annual Supreme Court update in 2013, Professor Van Detta lectured on a pair of 2018 SCOTUS cases that substantially limited the kinds of claims that can be made under both the ATS and the anti-terrorism exceptions to foreign-nation sovereign immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). The paper he wrote for the ICLE program has been accepted by the University of Indiana Robert H. McKinney School of Law’s International & Comparative Law Review, for publication in its Spring 2019 issue. In addition, the University of Indiana has invited Professor Van Detta to be one of the featured speakers at the Law Review‘s Annual Symposium in Spring 2019. Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran and Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC: SCOTUS Trims To Statutory Boundaries The Recovery In U.S. Courts Against Sponsors of Terrorism and Human-Rights Violations Under FSIA and ATS29 Indiana Int’l & Comparative Law Review ___ (Spring 2019).

Professor Van Detta is currently in his 20th year of teaching at AJMLS, where he teaches courses and publishes in the areas of domestic and trans-national business law (including Contracts and International Business Transactions), workplace law (including Employment Discrimination Law, Labor Law, and several LLM-level courses), Torts, and procedural law (Conflict of Laws, International Civil Litigation in U.S. Courts, and Civil Procedure).

Atlanta’s John Marshall Hosts 9th Annual Owl Classic Invitational Mock Trial Tournament

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School was pleased to host the 9th Annual Owl Classic Invitation Mock Trial Tournament for Kennesaw State University this past weekend. Over the course of two days, the competition welcomed 180 participants and 25 judges to Atlanta and the Law School.

Thank you to this year’s coordinators: Dr. Elizabeth Gordon, Mary Loudermilk, Callie Christian, and Gillian Morris, it was a pleasure to work with you and host the tournament.

Congratulations to the top trial teams at the 2018 Haunted Owl Classic!

First place: Lee University (Skeletons)
Second place: University of South Carolina (Witches)
Third place: University of Florida (Monsters)
Fourth place: Middle Tennessee State University (Goblins)
Fifth place: Kennesaw State University (Pumpkins)

The outstanding attorney award winners:

Ben Asher, Lee University
Kayla Long, Middle Tennessee State University
Ben Wycoff, Lee University
Grace Russ, University of South Carolina
Nichole Laverde, Kennesaw State University
Emily Laurare, Spelman College, received special recognition for winning awards on both sides of the case

The outstanding witness award winners:

Lawrence Hall, Kennesaw State University
Jordan Jackson, Mercer University
Bryn Sluder, University of South Carolina
Madeline Burgess, Lee University
Madison Mermeistein, Mercer University
Grace Anne Cochrane, Lee University
Kyle Lang, University of South Carolina
Tom Morrison, Georgia State University

Congratulations to all the participants and thank you to the judges for volunteering your time!

Lee University
University of South Carolina
University of Florida
Middle Tennessee State University

AJMLS Professor Delivers Keynote as Two Alumna Are Honored at Atlanta Bar Association Celebrating Service Luncheon

The Atlanta Bar Association is hosting their 11th Annual Celebrating Service Luncheon today at the Commerce Club. The luncheon is a celebration honoring legal professionals who have made significant impacts on our community through their dedication to public service.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Professor and Director of the Criminal Justice Certificate Program, Jonathan A. Rapping, is delivering the keynote address. Rapping will talk about the important role that lawyers play in addressing some of society’s most pressing problems and inspire the audience to find ways to take on these challenges. In addition to his roles at AJMLS, Professor Rapping serves as the President and Founder of Gideon’s Promise, is a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard University Law School, and is a frequent presenter and contributor to national conversations on criminal justice reform. Rapping is also the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant.

Among the honorees of today’s luncheon are two outstanding AJMLS alumna: Alpa Amin, Class of 2010, and Vanessa Kosky, Class of 2005. Alpa Amin is the recipient of the Public Interest Law Section Rita A. Sheffey Public Interest Award. Amin graduated from AJMLS in 2010 and is the Director of Legal Services at the Georgia Asylum & Immigration Network (GAIN). Vanessa Kosky is the recipient of the Guardian ad Litem of the Year Award. Kosky graduated from AJMLS in 2005 and is a sole practitioner of The Law Office of Vanessa Kosky, P.C.

Thank you to our AJMLS community and to all the honorees at today’s luncheon for your dedication to public service.

AJMLS Civil Liberties Seminar Successfully Represents Public School Students in Disciplinary Hearings

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) students are working to dismantle the school to prison pipeline in their Civil Liberties Litigation Seminar, taught by Professor Kathleen M. Burch. The three-credit elective seminar allows Atlanta’s John Marshall students to work on live legal issues and gain clinic-like experience working with a civil liberties issue.

This semester, in collaboration with attorneys from Georgia Legal Services, the Seminar students are representing local public school students in disciplinary hearings. In preparation, the AJMLS students learned the school disciplinary process and students’ right to due process during investigations and hearings.

As a result, two public school students were able to return to their classrooms this week. The AJMLS students wrote the briefs appealing the discipline by the hearing officers to the respective school boards, and both school boards determined that the expulsions were not warranted.

The Law School is proud of the hard work of our students in the community and is thrilled to offer these hands-on experiences in and outside the classroom.

AJMLS Professors and Associate Dean to Chair and Participate in 25th Annual U.S. Supreme Court Update

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Professor Kathleen M. Burch has been selected as Program Chair of the 25th Annual United States Supreme Court Update seminar of the State Bar of Georgia’s Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) to be held on October 18, 2018.

Additionally, Professor Jeffrey A. Van Detta and Associate Dean Judith Barger are also presenters at the program. Professor Van Detta will be leading the Suing Sponsors of Terrorism in US Courts presentation and Dean Barger will be leading the Fourth Amendment Update presentation.

The event will be held at the State Bar of Georgia Conference Center in Atlanta and the program topics will include Georgia, the Death Penalty, Jury Bias, and the Supreme Court; Gerrymandering: Political and Racial; First Amendment Update; Fourth Amendment Update; and Immigration Update.

Professor Burch also recently returned from Palau this September where she presented The Supreme Court Review at the Pacific Judicial Council’s Mid-Year Conference. The purpose of the Pacific Judicial Council is to provide a collaborative and educational forum for sharing ideas, information, and resources to improve the administration of the courts and the delivery of justice in the Pacific region. Member jurisdictions include Americam Samoa, Chuuk, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia National Court, Guam, Kosrae, the Republic of Palau, Pohnpei, and Yap.*

Thank you to our educators for their participation in these great events and their continued contributions to the legal community.

*Pacific Judicial Council

Alumna, Fallon McClure, Helps Bring Change to Georgia Communities at Spread the Vote

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) alumna, Fallon McClure, currently serves as the Georgia State Director for Spread the Vote. McClure graduated from AJMLS in 2014, and her path to Spread the Vote is an inspiring one to share.

After graduating from Georgia State University with a B.A. in History, McClure started in public service on the other end of the 911 line working as an Emergency Communications Officer for Cobb County. Inspired by family to pursue legal education, McClure enrolled in law school out-of-state. Soon after, she felt called back to family and began her full-time career as a paralegal in Atlanta.

McClure transferred to Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and completed her J.D. studies in the part-time evening program at AJMLS while maintaining her full-time job as a paralegal during the day and also starting a family. Through both the on-campus Career Development Office and the Office of Experiential Learning, McClure completed an internship in private practice and also an externship at a District Attorney’s office in Atlanta.

After graduation, McClure began working at the ACLU of Georgia as the Special Assistant to the Executive Director and then later became the Policy Advocate. Working at the ACLU allowed her to help organize and empower communities with the tools to advocate for themselves, and in doing so, helped her define that community outreach was her passion.

McClure transitioned to become the Georgia State Director for Spread the Vote where she has been able to help bring immediate change to Georgia communities while also maintaining a caseload of criminal defense cases. The mission of Spread the Vote is to help obtain government-issued photo IDs for eligible voters. They are building a scale-able and sustainable way to help voters get the IDs they need for job, housing, voting, and healthcare needs.* Spread the Vote is actively expanding and currently has state chapters in Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and Texas, and Georgia chapters in Athens, Atlanta, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Henry County, South Cobb/Paulding Counties, Albany, Gwinnett County, Rome, Columbus, and Macon.

The Law School is incredibly proud of Fallon’s dedication to her education and service to communities in Georgia and we look forward to celebrating her continued success.

*Spread the Vote

National Voter Registration Day

Is Today, September 25!

Need to check if you are registered? Want to register online? Click here!

Local events around the Metro:

  • Voter Registration at SweetWater! September 28, 2018 • 3:00 PM SweetWater Brewery 195 Ottley Dr NE Atlanta, GA 30324

Get Details & RSVP

  • National Voter Registration Day – ProGeorgia September 25, 2018 • 10:00 AM Woodruff/Troy Davis Park 91 Peachtree St NW Atlanta, GA 30303

Get Details & RSVP

  • NCBW, Inc. – Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter National Voter Registration Day Drive – Public Policy Committee September 25, 2018 • 12:00 PM Booker T. Washington HS 45 Whitehouse Dr. SWAtlanta, GA 30314

Get Details & RSVP

  • Voter Registration at Emory September 25, 2018 • 12:00 PM Emory University 201 Dowman DrAtlanta, GA 30322

Get Details & RSVP

  • National Voter Registration Day with New Georgia Project September 25, 2018 • 10:00 AMMetropolitan Library 1332 Metropolitan Pkwy SW Atlanta, GA 30310

Get Details & RSVP

  • NVRD 2018 with New GA Project – Chamblee MARTA VR Drive September 25, 2018 • 10:00 AMChamblee MARTA Station 5200 New Peachtree Rd. Chamblee, GA 30341

Get Details & RSVP

  • Voter Registration Event – Our Vote is Our Voice September 25, 2018 • 10:30 AM Refuse Coffee Shop 4170 Ponce de Leon Ave Clarkston, GA 30021

Get Details & RSVP

  • BLUEPRINT TO DEMOCRACY September 25, 2018 • 4:00 PM NAM DAE MUN FARMERS MARKET 5158 Memorial Drive Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Get Details & RSVP

  • Midterms on My Terms – Voter Registration Drive September 25, 2018 • 9:00 AM Clayton State University Library & Clayton Hall 2000 Clayton State Blvd Morrow, GA 30260

Get Details & RSVP

  • Heroes Vote! #VoteToLive September 25, 2018 • 12:00 PM Heroes at Home Barber Shop 1825 Rockbridge Rd SW, #16 Stone Mountain, GA 30087

Get Details & RSVP

  • Nationl Voter Registration Day Rally September 25, 2018 • 5:30 PM Lee Street Park 155 Lee StreetJonesboro, GA 30236

Get Details & RSVP

  • Clayton County Board of Elections & Registration 2018 National Voter Registration DaySeptember 25, 2018 • 8:00 AM Historical Jonesboro Courthouse 121 S. McDonough Street Annex IIJonesboro, GA 30236

Get Details & RSVP

  • Celebrate National Voter Registration Day September 25, 2018 • 7:00 PM West Cobb Regional Library 1750 dennis kemp lane Kennesaw, GA 30152-3938

Get Details & RSVP

  • National Voter Registration Day September 25, 2018 • 8:00 AM Elections & Voter Registration Offic825 Memorial Dr. Griffin, GA 30223

Get Details & RSVP

  • LWV Rome-Floyd County September 25, 2018 • 1:00 PM Sara Hightower Regional Library 205 Riverside Pkwy NE Rome, GA 30161

Get Details & RSVP

  • Voter Registration at UGA September 24, 2018 • 3:00 PM University of Georgia Athens GA Athens , GA 30602

Get Details & RSVP

Three Alumni Accepted to GTLA LEAD Program

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates Jim Jenkins, Class of 2009; Daniel Justus, Class of 2014; and Chinny Law, Class of 2014 for their recent acceptance to the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA) LEAD (Leadership Education and Advanced Direction) Program for 2018-2019.

The GTLA LEAD Program was founded in 2013 for the purpose of educating GTLA’s youngest and newest members on both the benefits and the expectations of membership, building strong relationships between young promising trial lawyers from all four corners of our state as well as diverse trial practice areas, and ultimately to better prepare tomorrow’s leaders today.*

Jim Jenkins, Class of 2009

While at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Jenkins was a seven-time Dean’s Award recipient. From August of 2009 until August of 2010, Jenkins was the law clerk/staff attorney for the Superior Courts of the Northern Judicial Circuit, primarily working with Chief Judge John H. Bailey, Jr. Following his clerkship, Jenkins practiced law with his father, at Jenkins Law, LLC, in a general law practice primarily consisting of domestic relations, personal injury, criminal defense, contract litigation, estate matters, corporate law, and real estate law. He spent a great deal of time in the courtroom litigating all types of cases. Additionally, Jenkins is a registered neutral and has mediated many cases privately and for the 10th District Alternative Dispute Resolution program, ranging from personal injury to divorce and custody lawsuits.**

Daniel Justus, Class of 2014

While at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Justus served as Executive Chairman of the Trial Advocacy Team and Executive Vice-Chairman of the Moot Court Honor Board. During his tenure with these organizations, Justus was a member of five national law school trial competition teams including Atlanta’s John Marshall’s first ever Georgia Intrastate Championship team, defeating the twelve time defending champion, University of Georgia. Additionally, he received the Southern Illinois Invitational Best Witness Examination Award and was the recipient of Atlanta’s John Marshall’s 2014 Excellence in Trial Advocacy Award. In 2017, Justus was honored by the American Institute of Legal Advocates as a “Personal Injury Rising Star” and by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys as one of the 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys for Client Satisfaction.***

Chinny Law, Class of 2014

While at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Law graduated in the top twenty percent of her class. She has tried and appealed cases before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and has participated in successful mediation settlement conferences. Furthermore, she has written appellate briefs and delivered oral arguments before the Board’s Appellate Division. Law is the recipient of the 2018 Ingrid Rosenthal Leadership Scholarship, which is given by the Workers Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), a national organization dedicated to representing the interests of injured workers and their families. Law is also a graduate of the Georgia Bar’s prestigious Young Lawyers Division Leadership Academy and recipient of the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers Foundation Scholarship.****




The Law School is proud of its alumni and we look forward to following their careers!

**Jenkins Utley, photo also courtesy
***Lasky Cooper Law, photo also courtesy
****Ramos Law Firm, photo also courtesy

Alumnus, Ethan Pham, First Appointed Vietnamese-American Judge in Georgia

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) congratulates Ethan Pham, Class of 2013, for his recent appointment as associate municipal judge in Morrow, Georgia. Pham was unanimously appointed by Morrow City Council at its July 24 meeting and sworn in today, August 14, 2018.

Pham is part of a very exclusive club: he is the third Vietnamese-American judge in Georgia, the first appointed Vietnamese-American judge in Georgia, the first Asian-American judge in Clayton County, and the first immigrant Vietnamese-American judge in Georgia.*

Pham earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Biology and Business Administration with a minor in chemistry. After completing his undergraduate studies, he worked as a tax software developer and dabbled in entrepreneurship via acquisition of a poultry operation. Prior to co-founding Nguyen & Pham, LLC, Pham worked as an assistant city attorney for a private law firm practicing local government law and serving public entities.** Recently, he came in third in this year’s U.S. House District 7 Democratic primary election.

The Law School is incredibly proud of Judge Pham’s drive and service to the community and we look forward to celebrating his continued success.

Alumnus, Erik Provitt, Accepted to American Bar Association Fellows Program

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is thrilled to congratulate Erik Provitt, Class of 2016, for his recent acceptance into the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Fellows Program.

The ABA Section of Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Fellows Program encourages the active involvement and participation of young lawyers in Section activities. The goal of the program is to give young lawyers an opportunity to become involved in the substantive work of the Section, while developing into future leaders.*

Erik is also currently a Georgia Housing Corps Fellow and is a staff attorney with Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation Standing with Our Neighbors Program.

The Law School is incredibly proud of Erik’s work in the community and we look forward to celebrating his continued success.

*American Bar Assocation

Atlanta’s John Marshall Faculty, Staff, and Board Members Serve State Bar of Georgia Committees

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is proud of its community members that serve the State Bar of Georgia as active committee members and leaders of change. The following committee descriptions are courtesy of the State Bar of Georgia’s website.

Bar Center Committee

This standing committee will continue to monitor the Bar’s needs and uses of its headquarters in Atlanta.

Patrise M. Perkins-Hooker, Board of Directors
Committee Member, term ending 2019

Commission on Continuing Lawyer Competency

It is of utmost importance to members of the Bar and to the public that attorneys maintain their professional competence throughout their active practice of law. To that end, this commission establishes the minimum requirements for continuing legal education.

B. Michael Mears, Associate Professor
Other Entities Appointee, term ending 2018

Disciplinary Rules and Procedures Committee

This standing committee shall advise the Executive Committee and Board of Governors with respect to all procedural and substantive disciplinary rules, policies and procedures.

Kellyn O. McGee, Associate Professor, Savannah Campus
Committee Member, term ending 2019

Formal Advisory Opinion Board

This board is authorized to draft Formal Advisory Opinions concerning a proper interpretation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or any of the grounds for disciplinary action as applied to a given state of facts, as set forth in Bar Rule 4-403.

Jeffrey A. Van Detta, John E. Ryan Professor of International Business and Workplace Law
Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Representative, term ending 2019

ICLE Board

This program committee shall render advice to the staff, Executive Committee and Board of Governors with respect to the rules, procedures, policies and operations of the ICLE program. It will promote and support continuing legal education programs for Bar members designed to enhance their skills and keep them abreast of developments in the law. It will also encourage CLE programming by the Sections of the State Bar.

B. Michael Mears, Associate Professor
Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Representative, term ending 2019

iCivics Committee

This special committee will work towards implementing iCivics into Georgia’s 8th grade curriculum. Founded by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, iCivics is the nation’s most comprehensive, standards-aligned civics curriculum that is available freely on the Web. Working with the Young Lawyers Division (YLD), attorney volunteers will be solicited to assist Georgia’s social study teachers with the curriculum units.

Honorable Carol W. Hunstein, Board of Directors
Honorary Chairperson, term ending 2019

Patrise M. Perkins-Hooker, Board of Directors
Committee Member, term ending 2019

Committee to Promote Inclusion in the Profession

This standing committee shall facilitate, analyze and present for consideration initiatives and programs which increases participation, retention and representation of diverse attorneys in the legal profession in Georgia that accurately reflects the makeup of our State. In this effort, the committee will work towards inclusion of lawyers who have been historically underrepresented. It shall advise the Executive Committee and Board of Governors with regard to those interests.

Kellyn O. McGee, Associate Professor, Savannah Campus
Committee Member, term ending 2019

Military Legal Assistance Program

This standing committee shall monitor and render advice to the program’s director, Executive Committee, and Board of Governors with respect to the operation of the Military Legal Assistance Program, which facilitates pro bono representation of veterans and service members in addressing their unmet legal needs.

B. Michael Mears, Associate Professor
Committee Member, term ending 2019

Professionalism Committee

This standing committee shall consider and make recommendations to the Executive Committee and Board of Governors necessary to advance professionalism in the practice of law. It shall concern itself with the various facets of professionalism including knowledge, technical skill, integrity in relations with both clients and courts, dedication to the law and public good, and ultimately the providing of competent legal services to the public.

Kellyn O. McGee, Associate Professor, Savannah Campus
Committee Member, term ending 2019

B. Michael Mears, Associate Professor
Committee Member, term ending 2019

Hope L. Jamison, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs
Committee Advisor, term ending 2019

Programs Committee

This standing committee shall advise the Executive Committee with respect to the addition, deletion, change, and operation of all State Bar programs and services. It shall solicit and review staff and budget impact statements whenever any proposal is made for the addition, deletion, or change of any State Bar program or service.

Kellyn O. McGee, Associate Professor, Savannah Campus
Committee Member, term ending 2020

Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee

This program committee shall investigate and diligently inquire into the unlicensed practice of law by law agencies and other unauthorized persons specifically including any person not an active member in good standing of the State Bar, and the participation of lawyers therein, and proper methods for the prevention thereof.

Kellyn O. McGee, Associate Professor, Savannah Campus
Committee Member, term ending 2019

Dean Malcolm L. Morris Meets with Aspiring Law Students at CLEO ASAP Event

Dean Malcolm L. Morris met with aspiring law students this past week at the Council of Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) Achieving Success in the Application Process (ASAP) event in Washington, D.C. Dean Morris is a member of the CLEO, Inc. Board of Directors and its Executive Committee.

ASAP is an intensive weekend that helps participants develop the tools they need to understand the application process and become competitive law school applicants. College juniors, seniors, and post-graduates who plan to apply to law school are eligible to apply.

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is a proud supporter of CLEO.

Hands-Free Georgia Act

Let’s save some lives

Before we outline the specifics, let’s cover the why. Heads UP Georgia hit the nail on the head when they explained our state has seen significant increases in vehicle traffic crashes, fatalities, and bodily injury, and that these incidents are a clear indication of driver inattention. Other states that have passed similar laws have seen significant decreases in traffic fatalities the years after the law was passed.

Your safety and the safety of other Georgians and our millions of visitors each year are paramount. Thank you for reading and investing in safe driving practices.

Here’s a link to the complete law, below is our personal summary that is being provided to help inform you of the changes to take effect July 1, 2018.

  • Can I hold a wireless telecommunications device and drive? NO
  • Can I hold a wireless telecommunications device while lawfully parked? YES
  • Is sitting at a red light or stop sign lawfully parked? NO
  • Can I answer or use a wireless telecommunications device while driving? YES, BUT you may not use more than a single button to initiate or terminate the voice communication AND you may not reach for the device if it means you are no longer seated or have to remove your seat belt
  • Can I use hands-free voice-to-text? YES
  • Can I use hands-free GPS? YES
  • Can I use hands-free single-ear headphones? YES
  • Can I use hands-free Bluetooth pieces? YES
  • Can I use in-car navigation? YES
  • Can I use in-car stereo/equipment? YES
  • Can I use voice technology? YES, IF it’s hands-free
  • Can I text/email while holding a wireless telecommunications device? NO
  • Can I watch videos while driving? NO
  • Can I record videos while driving? NO

Professor Lisa Tripp Speaks at Department of Justice World Elder Abuse Awareness Event

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently recognized the 13th annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by hosting an event in Washington, DC. Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Professor Lisa Tripp was invited to attend and speak at the event, where next steps in seeking nationwide elder justice were announced.

Tripp is a consultant to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and is a frequent speaker and contributor at conferences around the United States and abroad. Professor Tripp’s research and scholarship focuses on areas of U.S. and international law, while on the domestic front, she is an expert on federal regulations governing health facilities. With this expertise, Tripp spoke at the DOJ event about the federal government’s health and safety regulations and how those regulations are enforced.

The Law School thanks Professor Tripp for her contributions and ongoing efforts to help protect and empower our seniors.

AJMLS Launches New Co-Enrollment Option for Students

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is excited to announce a new co-enrollment program for its students. Upon successful completion of the first year curriculum, students may apply to co-enroll in the Criminal Justice Certificate Program. This new program allows students to co-enroll in classes that will grant credit towards their Certificate.

Students participating in the Criminal Justice Certificate Program (CJCP) will graduate with both their J.D. and Certificate in Criminal Justice. The CJCP is an excellent option for students considering practicing in the criminal justice arena or students who have a general interest in criminal justice. The Program packages electives and required courses that are strongly recommended for a potential career in criminal law. However, participation will not preclude a student from pursuing other fields of practice and participants will still have at least seven credits to use for additional electives of their choice. Click here to learn more about the program and request information.

Contact Information

Jonathan Rapping, Professor of Law and Director of Criminal Justice Certificate Program

Professor Michael Mears Elected to Serve Second Term as Chairperson of ICLE Board of Trustees

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) Professor B. Michael Mears has been re-elected as Chairperson for the Georgia Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) Board of Trustees. The ICLE is a not-for-profit educational service for Georgia’s licensed attorneys.

The State Bar of Georgia assumed administrative duties for the ICLE in 2017 and is governed by representatives from each of the state’s law schools and by members of the State Bar of Georgia. Professor Mears has been Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s representative to the Board for five years and is now serving his second consecutive term as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees.

Read here for Professor Mears’ first term announcement

Meet Your 2018-2019 Student Bar Association Executive Board

On May 19, 2018, the 2018-2019 Student Bar Association (SBA) Executive Board took office. Thank you to the 2017-2018 Board for your tireless work on behalf of the Atlanta’s John Marshall student body, we are excited to follow your success as new attorneys.

The primary objective of the SBA Executive Board is to represent the viewpoints of the student body, and serve as a conduit between the students and administration. Your 2018-2019 Executive Board is already hard at work on your behalf, and looks forward to a productive academic year.

Genghis Shakhan, President

Where were you raised: Columbus, Ohio

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: The Ohio State University: B.A English, M.A Literature, M.Ed Secondary Education

What are your future career plans: Business Law and Public Interest

What do you look forward to as the SBA President: I look forward most to serving the student body and being a conduit and agent of change.

What are your goals in the position this academic year: My primary goal is to elevate the prestige of the law school and increase consumer confidence.

What do you want your classmates to know about you: All of my life I have wanted to help people just like my mother. In all I do I try my best to emulate her example; sometimes I fail, but oftentimes I succeed.

Chelsea Wilkerson, Vice President

Where were you raised: I was born in Hahira, Georgia in 1994 then moved with my immediate family to Sylvester, Georgia

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: I earned my Bachelors in Sociology at Georgia State University

What are your future career plans: To be an advocate for impoverished and homeless populations by providing legal services involving housing, education, and access to healthcare legal issues

What do you look forward to as the SBA Vice President: Mostly serving the student body by incorporating board initiatives to make 2018-2019 a great academic year, as well as addressing students’ most pressing concerns. I also look forward to working on my own initiatives in my capacity as Vice President that will draw students closer to the Atlanta community while encouraging a sense of community within the law school.

What are your goals in the position this academic year: My mission is to make lasting investments, and the best way to do that is by investing in the students by promoting personal and professional standards of conduct, belief in oneself, appreciation for this amazing opportunity that we all sacrificed to maintain, and pride in the profession of being agents of change as attorneys at law. My goals are to incorporate innovative energy into student events, collaborate with the student organizations, and foster public service. One of the ways that I will foster public service is by spearheading a suits, shoes, and dress clothes drive for men’s clothing.

What do you want your classmates to know about you: I’m too excited about my 3L year for words. I am so grateful and proud of myself for coming this far. I hope you are too, because it’s not over yet!

Stephanie Dennis, Treasurer

Where were you raised: I grew up in Johns Creek, Georgia

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: I graduated from Georgia State University in 2014

What are your future career plans: I am still exploring what type of law I would like to practice in the future, but eventually I would like to open my own firm after I gain experience in the legal industry.

What do you look forward to as the SBA Treasurer: The thing I look forward to the most is earning the trust of the student body by being transparent and fair.

What are your goals in the position this academic year: My main goal is to be as transparent and fair as possible with the student body about where student fees are going and why. Law school is a huge financial investment and I believe students should not be left feeling like they do not know what they are paying for.

What do you want your classmates to know about you: I feel like a lot of law students don’t know who to turn to when they have a problem or a need a question answered—I certainly felt that way multiple times during 1L year. I want my classmates to know that if you have a question or are having an issue about anything (even things unrelated to my position as SBA Treasurer), just come talk to me. If I can’t help you, I’ll find someone who can!

Natalie Foster, Secretary

Where were you raised: I was born and raised in Long Beach, California

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: After high school graduation, I moved to Atlanta to begin my collegiate career at Spelman College. I completed my undergraduate degree at Middle Tennessee State University, where I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with minors in Psychology and Writing.

What are your future career plans: Though my career path is still forming, I have developed a passion for oral advocacy, opening avenues for appellate work in my future. Additionally, I have an interest in assisting minority college students get into, and succeed in, law school. I hope to open a program with this goal as its focus.

What do you look forward to as the SBA Secretary: As SBA Secretary in the 2018-2019 academic year, I look forward to bridging the gap between the SBA Executive Board and the student body. There has been an interest and need in the past years among the students for transparency. I look forward to delivering that transparency through efficient and open communication.

What are your goals in the position this academic year: My goals for my position align with this goal, as a large part of the secretary’s job functions include disseminating information to the student body. I aim to keep the student body informed and at ease about how the executive board is furthering its interests.

What do you want your classmates to know about you: I want my classmates to know that I am here to serve them. I want them to know that, despite my busy schedule and other activities in which I am involved, performing my duties well as Secretary are my top priority. I am open to their questions, comments, and feedback and hope that my classmates will always feel as though they can reach out to me. I aim to be accessible and transparent.

Dwight Harris, Parliamentarian

Where were you raised: I was raised in Americus, Georgia, Sumter County

Where did you complete your undergraduate and/or graduate education: I completed my undergraduate education at THE Albany State University located in Albany, Georgia

What are your future career plans: My future career plans entail working as an Assistant District Attorney in either the state of Georgia or Maryland. Eventually, I will work toward an elected position on either a state or federal level to effect change in the field of law with a political angle. The pinnacle of my career goals will end with being a justice on the highest court in the land, The United States Supreme Court.

What do you look forward to as the SBA Parliamentarian: I look forward to serving the student body and producing tangible, positive results that would benefit the students.

What are your goals in the position this academic year: My goals revolve around three main pillars: Efficiency, Transparency and Communication. Through Efficiency, I plan to make information and processes available to the entire student body in a more convenient format. We are a generation of technology. Therefore, it should be utilized to benefit the student body. With Transparency, I plan to provide the student body with adequate information about important issues, so they can make informed decisions about their educational experience. This leads to the third pillar, Communication. The phrase, “Communication, is key!” is paramount to any successful relationship. I plan to put the voice of the student body back in Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School through a series of initiatives. With these three pillars, I have hope we can reach the ultimate goal of PROGRESS.

What do you want your classmates to know about you: I want my fellow colleagues to know it is an honor to serve as the 2018-2019 SBA Parliamentarian and I will fulfill my role to the best of my abilities. Also, I want my colleagues to know that I am a diverse student that can adapt and relate to all of you on many different levels. I have experienced and lived through many things. I am always up for a conversation with anyone because I think there is a “Blessing in Every Lesson.” Thank you Everyone.

There’s a new LSAT being administered in July – here’s why it’s not the same as the June test

The June LSAT has long been regarded as the last test that could be considered for a fall applicant and the new July exam does not change that.

From an admissions standpoint, the June test allows just enough time to thoughtfully process and render a decision for fall entry. Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School encourages June LSAT takers to submit an application as soon as possible and indicate a future LSAT registration. Doing this allows the application to be evaluated immediately upon receipt of the June score, applications are evaluated in the order they were received.

The new July test, albeit administered prior to the start of the fall semester, releases its test scores 3 days after the start of the fall semester and 1 day prior to the add/drop deadline (2018). This timeline does not allow a fall application decision.

The July test is a great option for applicants interested in spring enrollment. Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School seats a spring class. Students who start in the spring, may graduate this accelerated program in 2.5 years. The accelerated J.D. program at Atlanta’s John Marshall is offered yearly, but only in the spring. Similar to the June LSAT being the last exam evaluated for a fall application, the December LSAT is the last exam that may be evaluated for a spring application.

2018 Dates to consider

May 1, 2018 – Registration receipt deadline for June 2018 LSAT (Fall 2018 entry)
June 11, 2018 – June LSAT
June 13, 2018 – Registration receipt deadline for July 2018 LSAT (Spring 2019 entry)
July 6, 2018 – Score release date by email for June 2018 LSAT
July 23, 2018 – July LSAT
August 13, 2018 – First day of classes at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School
August 16, 2018 – Score release date by email for July 2018 LSAT
August 17, 2018 – Last day to add/drop classes at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School

Announcing the Loss of Our Dear Friend, Hayward McBride

hmcbride-armyAtlanta’s John Marshall Law School (AJMLS) is saddened to announce the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Hayward McBride. Hayward was the Law School’s Network Administrator, and a key player on our Information Technology team. Known for his sense of humor and infectious smile, the AJMLS family feels lucky to have met Hayward in 2011. Our hearts are with his family and community.

Hayward served from 1969-1971 in the United States Army. He was in the 1st Signal Brigade/Regional Communications Group in Vietnam. He was a recipient of the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and National Defense Service Medal. After his service, Hayward earned his Bachelors in Business Administration at Alabama State University.

Hayward is survived by his two children and granddaughter.

One of Hayward’s favorite quotes was,

Life is not measured by its length, but by its depth.

Services to be held on July 1, 2017, 11:00 a.m.
Blue Print Church
475 Boulevard NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

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.

2016 G. Alan Blackburn Competition Results

The G. Alan Blackburn Competition is a culmination of all the hard work that the first year students have put into their Legal Writing, Research, and Analysis (LWRA) II problem. This year’s competition was comprised of the top four students from each LWRA II class, a total of thirty-six students.

The competition was four rounds with the final round being held on Wednesday, April 20th. The competitors were judged by Advocacy Board members in the first two rounds, AJMLS Alumni in the third round, and three sitting judges and a practicing attorney for the final round. The final round judges were Presiding Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes of the Georgia Court of Appeals, Judge Christopher J. McFadden of the Georgia Court of Appeals, Judge Ural D. Glanville of Fulton County Superior Court, and Mr. Allen Wallace.

The final round competitors were: Zalak Raval, Rayshawn Williams, Andrew Puckett, and Allison Whitfield.
Williams and Mr. Puckett won Runner-Up Best Oralists this year.
Ms. Raval and Ms. Whitfield won Best Oralists for the final round.
Ms. Whitfield and Ms. Sarah Owensby won the best brief awards for their respective positions.

In addition to those results, the following students were awarded an invitation to the Advocacy Board as Provisional Members based on their performances:

Zalak Raval, Brandi Sluss, Nana-Yaa Amaning, Rayshawn Williams, Sarah Owensby, Tarla Atwell, Heather Kuhn, Andrew Puckett, Allison Whitfield, Kamaria Womack, and Bailey Edwards.

Please congratulate these students on their tremendous accomplishments!

2016 G Alan Blackburn Competition

Award winners with the final round judges: Pictured from left to right are Mr. Allen Wallace, Judge Ural D. Glanville, Zalak Raval, Rayshawn Williams, Andrew Puckett, Allison Whitfield, Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes, and Judge Christopher J. McFadden. Not pictured: Sarah Owensby.










2016 G Alan Blackburn Competition 2

Invitees to the Advocacy Board: Pictured from left to right are Mr. Allen Wallace, Judge Ural D. Glanville, Tarla Atwell, Allison Whitfield, Rayshawn Williams, Kamaria Womack, Zalak Raval, Andrew Puckett,  Judge Anne Elizabeth Barnes, and Judge Christopher J. McFadden. Not pictured: Brandi Sluss, Nana-Yaa Amaning, Sarah Owensby, Heather Kuhn, and Bailey Edwards.

AJMLS Participates in 5th Annual Georgia Legal Food Frenzy Competition

The Georgia Legal Food Frenzy is a partnership between the Georgia Attorney General, the Young Lawyers Division and the Georgia Food Bank Association. Lawyers and law schools statewide are challenged to compete outside the courtroom and classroom to raise food and funds for Georgia’s eight regional food banks, which serve 156,500 unique clients in Georgia on a weekly basis. All of the food and funds collected are donated to the regional food bank that serves each competitor’s community. In its first four years of competition, the Legal Food Frenzy raised the equivalent of more than 3.7 million pounds of food for Georgians in need.

The winning law school will receive the coveted “Attorney General’s Cup” and the title of the Legal Food Frenzy Law School Champion.

Support Atlanta’s John Marshall in their fundraising campaign by donating through this link. The Law School Competition is from April 4-15th so be sure to make a monetary donation or bring in your canned goods by the end of this week!


Former Chief Medical Examiner for State of Georgia Speaks to AJMLS Students

Dr. Kris Sperry, Retired Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Georgia, spoke to students in Professor Michael Mears’ Advanced Evidence class on Monday, March 7, 2016 about forensic pathology and autopsies.

Having served the State of Georgia as the Chief Medical Examiner for over 18 years, Dr. Sperry offered an unrivaled learning experience for Atlanta’s John Marshall students.

The Law School thanks Dr. Sperry for his time and expertise.


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.

Alumnus Adam Malone Named Lawyer of the Year

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumnus and 2000 class valedictorian, Adam Malone, has been recognized by his peers and named Georgia’s 2016 Lawyer of the Year for Medical Malpractice Law – Plantiffs by Best Lawyers. Malone, a Partner at Malone Law, was also featured as a cover story, Rising to the Top, for the current issue of Best Lawyers magazine.

“Lawyer of the Year” recognitions are awarded to attorneys with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic location. Only one lawyer is recognized annually for each specialty and location.

After graduating from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, Malone clerked for the Honorable G. Alan Blackburn of the Georgia Court of Appeals and was a prosecutor in the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office before joining his father in the practice of law. Malone also currently serves Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School on the Board of Directors.

Congratulations, Adam!

AJMLS Sports & Entertainment Law Society Hosts 2016 Sports, Music & Entertainment Summit

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Sports & Entertainment Law Society, The Atlanta Entertainment basketball League and Econtii Music Group are proud to present the 2016 Sports, Music & Entertainment Summit (SMES). The summit will take place on February 20, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s Blackburn Conference Center.

This one-day summit will feature panels, workshops, interviews, a luncheon and an evening mixer that will provide education and networking opportunities for local students and professionals. “The mission of SMES is to inspire, build and contribute to the sports, music & entertainment industry by providing educational resources to students and professionals through connections, guest speaking panels and educational materials,” said Portia Mazone, owner and creative director of Econtii Music Group, an Atlanta-based entertainment resources and consulting firm.

The founding partners of SMES plan to merge sports, music and entertainment industry insiders, college students looking to enter into the workforce and working professionals with the hopes of helping them connect, learn and build. Film, sports and music panels will be at the heart of this day-long summit. Attendees will also participate in workshops, interviews, a luncheon and an evening mixer.

SMES will take place at the Blackburn Conference Center at 1405 Spring St NW, Atlanta, GA 30309. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.SMESATL.Eventbrite.com or upon entry. For college students with a school I.D., the entry fee is $15. For all others, general admission is $25.

SMES Schedule

9:00 A.M. – Check In/Registration

10:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M – Learn the Biz Workshops

Live Nation Entertainment Presents: Sync or Swim – A Workshop on syncing, micro licensing, and streaming considerations.
– Julie Roach, Principal Attorney and Owner of Julie K. Roach, Esq., LLC
– Ashley Hollan Couch, Principal at The Hollan Entertainment Law Group, LLC
– Emily Kaye, Artist Rights Acquisitions-Live Nation

Beyond The Game: Sports Law Workshop
– Cecelia Townes, Esq.

11:15 A.M. – 12:15 P.M. – Lights, Camera, Action: Television & Film in Atlanta – Moderated by Rea Davis, Entertainment Journalist

– M. Scott Boone, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Associate Professor
– Patty Miranda, Digital Entertainment Officer, Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment, City of Atlanta
– Lee Cuthbert, Georgia Department of Economic Development Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office
– Tory Edwards- Vitamin E Media
12:30P.M.-1:30P.M. – The Playbook: The Business of Sports – Moderated by Bria Janelle of LoudGenius.Com
– Nzinga Shaw, Atlanta Hawks, Chief Officer of Diversity & Inclusion
– Jahi Rawlings, CEO, Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League
– Jay Pearson, WNBA Agent and Owner of Sports Wire Management and Media Company
– Sunny Wilkins, Esq.
– Cecelia Townes, Esq, Beyond The Game, LLC

1:45 P.M. – 2:45 P.M. – Lunch Mixer

3:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. – The Future of the Music Business – Moderated by Karen Marie Mason of Artist Launch

– Ray Daniels, Sr. VP of A&R Interscope Records
– Jenny Drake, Music Industry & Marketing Executive
– Jason Reddick, Promotions Director Of Radio One Atlanta Hot 107.9
– Tamiko Hope, PR to The Stars, WordInk
– Mike Walbert, Executive Director A3C Hip Hop Festival

4:15 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. – Networking Mixer

ABOUT Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s Sports & Entertainment Law Society:
Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School’s Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS) provides students with access to practitioners and other individuals in the sports and entertainment law fields, to afford students the opportunity to pursue and explore the many areas of sports and entertainment law.

ABOUT The Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League:
Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League (AEBL), founded by Jahi Rawlings in 2013, is Atlanta’s newest live sports and entertainment attraction for competitive basketball played by current, former and aspiring NBA players, celebrities, entertainers and local athletes.

ABOUT Econtii Music Group:
Econtii Music Group (EMG) is an entertainment consulting firm based in Atlanta, geared towards assisting professionals who are seeking project guidance in the entertainment industry. EMG specializes in legal research, branding and connecting professionals to the resources they need in order to successfully navigate throughout the entertainment industry.

For additional information, please contact Jah Rawlings at Jahirawlings3@gmail.com

For media inquiries, contact inf.smes@gmail.com

New Student Orientation This Saturday


Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School is pleased to welcome the incoming spring 2016 class. The semester begins Monday, January 11, 2016 and the mandatory Orientation for first-year students is this Saturday, January 9, 2016.

The event is hosted by the Office of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs, and all event information may be found on the Orientation page.

On behalf of the entire Atlanta’s John Marshall community, we welcome you to campus and look forward to meeting you!

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Named to Victory Media’s 2016 Military Friendly Schools List

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and Savannah Law School jointly announced that they have each been designated as a 2016 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs®, STEM JobsSM and Military Spouse.

Institutions competed for the elite Military Friendly® School title by completing a survey of over 100 questions covering ten categories, including military support on campus, graduation and employment outcomes, and military spouse policies. Survey responses were scored against benchmarks across these key indicators of success. In addition, data was independently tested by EY (Ernst & Young) based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media with guidance from an independent Advisory Board of higher education and recruiting professionals.

The Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation. The methodology used for making the Military Friendly® Schools list has changed the student veteran landscape to one much more transparent, and has played a significant role over the past seven years in capturing and advancing best practices to support military students across the country.

“Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and Savannah Law School are firmly committed to fostering an environment that enriches the lives of our service members–both academically and professionally– as they prepare for careers in the legal field”, said Dean Malcolm L. Morris, who is the dean of both law schools.

“Post-secondary institutions earning the 2016 Military Friendly® School award have exceptionally strong programs for transitioning service members and spouses,” said Daniel Nichols, Chief Product Officer of Victory Media and Navy Reserve veteran. “Our Military Friendly® Schools are truly aligning their military programs and services with employers to help students translate military experience, skills and training into successful careers after graduation.”

For more information on either school’s the commitment to attracting and supporting military students, visit the Atlanta’s John Marshall Veterans Benefits page or the Savannah Law School Veterans Benefits page.

Congratulations to the December Graduates

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School congratulates its December 2015 graduates. Happy holidays!





Jacques Alpacino Barker
Chantiel Denise Bell
Anthony W Berry
Audra Braswell Bleecker
Michael Allen Bodiford
Shalena Mary Broadbelt
Garrett Michael Emmons
Carl Von Epps III
Robert Mason Frisbie
Corey Dwayne Givens
Noor Elizabeth Janho
Georgia Kasidakis
Tom Katusabe
Paul Christopher Kunst
Jennifer Marie McLaughlin
Douglas Mihalik
Kelly Leigh Morton
Joseph Grady Nickel Jr
Brandy L Porter
Amber Holly Reed
Alyssa Marie Sawicki
Jeffrey Sayer
David Morris Schlachter
Shana Leinaala Scott
Audrey Antoinette Simmons
Gina Renee’ Billingsley Smith
Lisa Sonoda
Tangelita Quiimaii Taylor
Adrienne Leigh Thornton
LeAnna Gail Wade
Corey DuWayne Woods
Jeremy A Yakle

Alumni Sworn Into U.S. Supreme Court

On Monday, November 30, 2015, Dean Malcolm L. Morris sponsored eight AJMLS alumni and two guests to be sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court (Court). In order to be sworn into the Court, an attorney must have been sworn into the highest court in the state in which they are licensed for at least three years and be in good standing with that court. Those who were sworn in were: Ginger Arnold (’11), David Blackburn and his daughter, alumni Lara Blackburn Carillo (’12), Jesse Kent (’09), Prof. Stacey Mitchener, Terrye Nash (’10), Hon. Ronald Ramsey, Sr. (’92), Heather Riggs (’11), Joshua Smith (’00), and Margaret Spencer (’05.)

The evening before the swearing in, everyone enjoyed a wonderful evening with their family and friends at a reception hosted by the Alumni Office at the esteemed Willard Hotel. They dined on delicious hand-passed hors d’oeuvres and sipped on refreshments from the bar. It was a lovely event in the beautifully decorated room called “The Nest.”

On the day of the swearing in, the soon-to-be admittees had breakfast with their guests in the East Conference room of the Court. It was a wonderful photo opportunity as a large picture of former Chief Justice John Marshall hangs over the mantel of the fireplace. After breakfast, the Clerk of the Court escorts the guests into the courtroom and the attorneys are ushered in just before the Court begins its session. After being sworn in by the Clerk of the Court, the newly admitted attorneys and guests remained in the courtroom to watch the first oral argument. Needless to say, they were happy they weren’t presenting a case that day!

Despite the rain on the morning of the swearing in, everyone enjoyed beautiful weather in Washington, D.C. and had a once in a lifetime experience. It is definitely an experience you don’t want to miss!

2015 Alumni Supreme Court Swearing In 2015 Alumni Supreme Court Swearing In 2

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.

Student Advocacy Board Placed As Quarter Finalists in Carolinas Invitational

2015.10 Carolinas InvitationalThe Advocacy Board of Atlanta’s John Marshall is pleased to announce that our trial team placed as quarter finalists in the Carolinas Invitational Mock Trial Tournament. Twelve teams competed in the tournament which was hosted by the Charlotte School of Law and which involved a state criminal charge of Murder in the First Degree.

Competitors were: James Boles (3L), Sara Wardlow (2L), Sarah Pomella (3L), and Adrienne Thornton (3L). The team was coached by attorney Mitchell McGough of Atlanta.

AJMLS Team Awarded Best Defendant’s Memorandum of Law at Stetson Pretrial Competition

Stetson Law hosted their eighth annual National Pretrial Competition this past weekend and the team from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School has once again been awarded Best Defendant’s Memorandum of Law. This is the third time during the past five years that Atlanta’s John Marshall has won the best brief award at the Stetson competition.

The winning team was composed of Michael Barrett (3L), Amber Reed (3L), Sadia Ali (2L), and Olivia Fisher (2L). The team was coached by Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School alumnus Mathis Wilkens, Assistant District Attorney in Dekalb County, and the team Director was Professor Suparna Malempati.

Congratulations to all the competitors!

Stetson 2015-2 Stetson 2015-3 Stetson 2015-1b

AJMLS Professor and Death Penalty Legal Expert Michael Mears Interviewed

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Associate Professor, Michael Mears, is one of the top death penalty legal experts in the state of Georgia.

Over the course of his career, Professor Mears has worked on 167 death penalty cases, published numerous death penalty related works, and is a frequent expert contributor to multiple media outlets.

Having worked on an earlier appeal in the recent case of Kelly Gissendaner, he has also been called upon frequently to comment on her case, the appeals process, and future of the death penalty in the state of Georgia.

Below are his most recent interviews and quotes:

CBS46 Interview:
CBS46 News
Georgia Public Broadcasting: On Second Thought (September 30, 2015)


AJMLS Father Daughter Alumni Team Featured in Daily Report

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Alumni, Michael Puglise (’93) and Brooke Puglise (’14) of Puglise Law Firm, are featured in today’s Daily Report.

The article, Suit: UGA Cop Fired for Following ‘Amnesty Law’ for Overdose Calls, details their representation of Jay Park, the former University of Georgia police officer who filed suit in Fulton County last week.

Read the full article featuring the AJMLS alumni duo here: Suit: UGA Cop Fired for Following ‘Amnesty Law’ for Overdose Calls

Two Alumni Selected for 2015-2016 GTLA LEAD Program Class

The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association has announced that John Marshall Law School Alumni Thomas Lyman of the Mulholland Law Firm and Kyle Moore with the Lazenby Law Group have been selected for the 2015-2016 Leadership Education & Advanced Direction (LEAD) Program. Now entering its third year, the widely-acclaimed LEAD Program serves to train and equip GTLA members who have been identified as potential leaders in the Association with the necessary tools to take the next steps in their legal careers, both in and out of the courtroom.

In order to qualify, applicants must have less than 10 years of legal practice experience or be 35 years of age or younger. After an exhaustive application review and selection process, at total of 16 attorneys were chosen to participate in the 2015-2016 GTLA LEAD Program.

“For three years now, the GTLA LEAD Program has helped identify many of the best and brightest young lawyers in our state and prepare them for long and successful careers as leaders in the courtroom, their communities and our Association. I am proud to see that tradition continue with the selection of this year’s class,” remarked Darren Penn, President of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. “The qualifications of this year’s applicants were remarkable, and I am eager to work alongside this outstanding group of young leaders throughout this year’s program and for many years to come.”

The 2015-2016 LEAD Program will consist of six sessions, and begins on November 20-21 in Athens, Georgia. The program concludes with graduation at the GTLA Annual Convention & President’s Gala in Atlanta on April 28-29, 2016. Sessions will also take place in Savannah and Macon, as well as at the State Capitol and the Georgia Judicial Building.

“As graduates of the GTLA LEAD Program, we have seen first-hand the profound and lasting effects that the program can have on members’ legal careers,” continued LEAD Program Co-Chairs Jennifer Coalson and Yvonne Godfrey. “The stellar qualifications, diversity of experience and impressive professional backgrounds of this year’s applicants not only made the selection process quite difficult, but also reassured us that this program will continue to thrive for many years to come. With rising stars like Thomas and Kyle climbing the ranks of GTLA, the future of our Association is brighter than ever.”

About GTLA: Founded in 1956, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA) is dedicated to strengthening and upholding Georgia’s Civil Justice System and protecting Georgia citizens’ Constitutional Right to Trial by Jury.

Original Press Release provided by Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. Media Contact: Chris Kelleher (770) 355-6052.

Congressman Bob Barr First Speaker at 2015-2016 Professionalism Series

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Christian Legal Society and the Office of Student Services is pleased to present Congressman Bob Barr as the first speaker in the 2015-2016 Professionalism Series on Monday, September 14, 2015, at 3:15 p.m. in the Blackburn Conference Center Auditorium. Congressman Barr will be speaking on the topic of Morality and the U.S. Constitution.

Bob Barr is a former Congressman who represented the citizens of Georgia’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. Barr is a practicing attorney, former Federal Prosecutor, and was the Libertarian Party’s nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 election.

He has taught Constitutional Law at the law school and runs a consulting firm, Liberty Strategies, in Atlanta, Georgia.

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

AJMLS Alumnus Burl Finkelstein Featured in Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School Alumnus, Burl Finkelstein (’05), was recently featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle for his work outside the courtroom.

Finkelstein is an engineer-turned-lawyer and is the Vice President and General Counsel at Kason Industries. Outside the office, he spends his time building model rockets and the engines and propellant systems powering them.

He also is one of the supervisors for the NASA University Students Space Initiative, is a contractor for Pyrotecnico and travels the United States managing fireworks shows and attending rocket launch events.

You can read the full article here.