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Friday, August 29, 2014

Professor Jeffrey Stempel to Attend Meeting on American Law Institute Principles of Liability Insurance Project

Jeffrey Stempel is the Doris S. and Theodore B. Lee Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

From Sept. 3 through 5, Stempel will attend an American Law Institute meeting for advisors on the Principles of Liability Insurance Project. Stempel and other advisors will meet in Philadelphia to discuss the current draft of the American Law Institute's Principles of Insurance Law Project and discuss the project's future presentation to the Institute.

Professor Stempel has numerous publications to his credit, including books, treatise chapters and supplements, and law review articles. He is a 1981 graduate of Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal and co-founder of the Yale Law and Policy Review.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Professor Fatma Marouf Helps Write Amicus Brief That Results in Groundbreaking Decision

Fatma Marouf is the Co-Director of the Immigration Clinic and an Associate Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

Marouf's work on an amicus brief that was reviewed by the Board of Immigration Appeals resulted in a groundbreaking decision on Aug. 26. The decision recognizes for the first time that individuals who have experienced domestic violence can meet the criteria for asylum in the United States. The decision is a result of years of advocacy.

Marouf helped draft the amicus brief that was submitted in the case on behalf of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, along with Philip Torrey, Deborah Anker, and Sabrineh Ardalan of Harvard Law School and Benjamin Casper from the University of Minnesota.

On Sept. 3, Marouf wrote a post titled, Guest Blog: Fatma Marouf, Groundbreaking Decision for Women Seeking Asylum Based on Domestic Violence, for the Hamilton and Griffin on Rights blog.  

Drawing on her extensive experience representing individuals before the Immigration Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals, and U.S. Courts of Appeals, Professor Marouf's research probes various problems involved in adjudicating immigration cases at all levels.

Boyd Alumna Kathleen Ja Sook Bergquist '09 to Be Featured on MAKERS

Boyd School of Law alumna Kathleen Ja Sook Bergquist '09 will appear on the Vegas PBS-produced MAKERS: Women in Nevada History, premiering in October.

MAKERS, a project between the Women's Research Institute of Nevada and Vegas PBS, will be piloted by three half-hour programs that feature women who have improved the quality of life in Nevada.

Bergquist's profile will feature her work with Bamboo Bridges, a non-profit organization founded by the Boyd alum that views violence against women as a spectrum, starting from dating violence, continuing to domestic violence, and reaching human trafficking. Projects implemented by Bamboo Bridges include training advocates for Asian Pacific American victims of violence, educating the community, and advocating for change that will decrease the opportunities to exploit women.

Barbara Buckley of the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and Rosita Castillo of Promotores De Salud will also be featured in the MAKERS pilot series.

Professor Leslie Griffin to Present at UNLV Women's Council Event

Dr. Leslie C. Griffin is a William S. Boyd Professor of Law at UNLV.

On Sept. 9, Griffin will present on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby at a UNLV Women's Council event to be held in the Student Union.

Griffin's presentation will be followed by talks by the planning dean of the UNLV school of medicine, the chair of the Department of Economics at the Lee Business School, and the director of health programs at The Lincy Institute. Stacey Tovino, Lincy Professor of Law and Lehman Professor of Law at the Boyd School of Law, will moderate the event.

Professor Griffin, who teaches constitutional law, is known for her interdisciplinary work in law and religion.

Aug. 28 Boyd Briefs Now Available

The Aug. 28 edition of Boyd Briefs is now available.

This week's edition features Professor Stacey Tovino, student Brittany Cermak, and alumnus Sam Bateman '02.

Tovino is one of Boyd's extraordinary teachers and scholars. In addition to being popular among students, she is a nationally recognized expert in health law, mental health law, bioethics, and the medical humanities.

Cermak is entering her final year in Boyd's part-time evening program. She currently serves as articles editor of the UNLV Gaming Law Journal and is a member of the Environmental Law Society.

For the past three years, Bateman has served as a city councilman in Henderson. He credits his many successes in a wide range of areas to his law degree from Boyd.

To subscribe to Boyd Briefs, visit law.unlv.edu/BoydBriefs.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dean Dan Hamilton, Associate Dean Anne Traum, and Boyd Alumni Write for Nevada Lawyer

Dean Daniel Hamilton, Associate Dean Anne Traum,
Kelly McIntosh '07, and Shane Young '04

Dean Daniel Hamilton, Associate Dean Anne Traum, and Boyd alumni Kelly McIntosh '07 and Shane Young '04 recently published articles in the August issue of Nevada Lawyer, the State Bar of Nevada's monthly magazine.

Deans Hamilton and Traum wrote Dean's Column: Health Law at UNLV. The column reads, "The complexity and constantly changing nature of health law make it a rich and rewarding area for research and teaching. At UNLV, we’ve learned that collaborating across disciplines and professions is essential to understanding the scientific, medical, ethical, legal and economic aspects of health law. And we’re fostering the know-how and impetus to navigate the many challenges of health law that we face in the law and in our communities."

In HIPAA and Attorneys: How it Applies and Why You Should Care in Nevada, McIntosh states, "If you use, receive, request or otherwise encounter individually identifiable health information in your legal practice, it is important to consider how HIPAA may apply to avoid penalties or other consequences for you and your clients."

Young wrote One Focus: A Spotlight on Pro Bono. In it, she writes, "Prior to taking cases with the Legal Aid Center, I had little to no experience in family law, other than teaching a guardianship class as part of my graduation requirements for law school. My background is in business and commercial litigation, so the thought of representing abused children or a father appealing his terminated parental rights was a little daunting. I started with one case, having been promised that I could call on staff and other members for help as needed. Now, several cases and clients later, I still reach out for help. Resources are there so no one is left to figure out how to navigate unfamiliar practice areas alone. In addition, the Legal Aid Center offers training and mentoring."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Professor Fatma Marouf Featured in August Issue of COMMUNIQUÉ

Fatma Marouf is the Co-Director of the Immigration Clinic and an Associate Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

Professor Marouf was recently published in the August issue of COMMUNIQUÉ, the Clark County Bar Association's monthly magazine.

In an article titled "Immigration Detention and Deportation in Nevada," she addresses how individuals end up in immigration detention, while exploring why certain groups such as women, mentally incompetent individuals, and minors remain particularly vulnerable once detained. The article also discusses the conditions of Nevada detention centers, and includes a few of the challenges involved in representing detained individuals.

Drawing on her extensive experience representing individuals before the Immigration Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals, and U.S. Courts of Appeals, Professor Marouf's research probes various problems involved in adjudicating immigration cases at all levels.

Boyd School of Law Student Amber Lilienthal, Professor Lori Johnson Win Milani Disability Law Writing Competition

UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law student Amber Lilienthal and Associate Professor-in-Residence Lori Johnson recently won first place in the Adam A. Milani Disability Law Writing Competition.

Lilienthal won the competition for a brief she completed in Professor Johnson's Lawyering Process II class.

The national competition, sponsored by the Mercer University School of Law and the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability, honors the work of the late Professor Adam Milani, an advocate for disability rights.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Boyd School of Law Among Top Schools for Graduate Placement in State and Local Judicial Clerkships

The William S. Boyd School of Law was recently named one of the nation’s top schools for graduate placement in judicial clerkships at the state and local level.

According to a June article in U.S. News & World Report, the school ranked sixth, with nearly 20 percent of graduates scoring these coveted positions. The ranking puts the Boyd School of Law well above the national average.

“We’re very pleased,” said Tera Hodge, judicial clerkship & public interest coordinator for the Boyd School of Law. “We like that we’ve created this culture of judicial clerkships and also that our students are well received by the judges. We’re a state law school, so we want state court judges to find that our graduates are qualified and capable. I think this demonstrates that they do think that.”

Judicial clerkships are highly competitive, one-to-two-year, paid positions that provide law school graduates a chance to further develop their skills through real-world experience. By working directly with a judge, clerks strengthen their analytical skills and legal writing abilities while gaining insight into the judicial decision-making process.

Along with its many benefits, Hodge noted that law clerks typically report high job satisfaction.

“They tend to really enjoy the experience because the judge often becomes a mentor for them,” she explained. “They get so much insight into the practical aspects of legal practice, and it helps them figure out which way they want to go as far as their career path and ultimately become better advocates for their clients.”

Boyd graduate Wade Beavers ‘14 compared clerking to an intensive fourth year of law school, only with pay. In addition to developing a solid foundation of legal training post law school, he is hopeful that his own clerkship with Judge Patrick Flanagan of the Second Judicial District Court in Reno will help him make professional connections in Northern Nevada.

“Nearly all judges have deep connections in the legal community where they serve, and many make a point to assist their law clerks in finding long-term employment after the one- or two-year clerkship term is over,” he said.

Beavers has known a number of graduates with clerkships at both the state and federal level, including several who obtained prestigious clerkships with the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He’s also met students from law schools where clerkships are not such a focal point – he said they're always impressed that he’s going on to be a clerk.

“The career development office did a great job of actively reaching out to me with the right opportunities and advice; and my professors, by and large, did a fantastic job of presenting the law in class in such a way that I could develop the useful, objective analytical skills that are so important in any judicial chambers,” he said. “The Boyd community should be proud that it's been able to make those opportunities available to so many.”

In addition to the programs offered by Boyd to encourage clerkships, Hodge credits the state and local judges.

“By hiring law clerks they’re providing a service to the legal community because they are providing such excellent training and developing better attorneys,” she said.

But clerkships aren’t only great for the school, the community, and its graduates. They also provide great benefits for judges, according to Judge Elissa Cadish of the Eighth Judicial District Court in Las Vegas.

“I couldn’t survive in this job without a law clerk,” she said. “We have a very large caseload and it’s tough to keep up as it is, but I definitely rely on the law clerk to help.” Judge Cadish began her own career clerking for Judge Phillip M. Pro in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, which she described as a great experience. “I learned a lot, and got a great mentor out of the process,” she said. “It helped when I went out to practice as well, understanding the judge’s perspective on things.”

Judge Cadish said she enjoys mentoring her law clerks, teaching them how to practice well and to know what will persuade a judge and what won’t.

“I’d like to think when they go out to practice that they’re better for it,” she said. “They’re better prepared to go to a firm and contribute right away because they know more than someone coming right out of law school.”

When it comes to hiring a clerk, Judge Cadish said she bases her decision on a combination of academics and personality. Since her appointment as a district judge in Nevada in 2007, all of her clerks have come from the Boyd School of Law.

“Some very good people have clerked for me and they’ve all come out of Boyd,” she said. “It’s not that I’ve decided I’m always going to hire Boyd law students; but when it comes down to hiring and I want the best person I can get for the job, each year the best person has been a Boyd graduate.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

50,000 Served and Counting

Community Law Day Highlights Boyd School of Law’s Commitment to Those in Need 

From left: 2013 Community Law Day participants Ramir
Hernandez; Christine Smith, Associate Dean for Administration
and External Relations; Elliot Anderson; Danielle Barraza;
Brian Vasek; and Amanda Stevens 
Imagine being involved in the legal process and having no ability to hire a lawyer. Where do you find the information you need?

Since the founding of the William S. Boyd School of Law, its students have provided more than 50,000 Nevadans with legal education services through classes taught in partnership with Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada (LACSN) and Nevada Legal Services.

This tradition continues this school year with the 5th Annual Community Law Day event, being held Aug. 23. This event is held on-site at the Boyd School of Law and is co-sponsored by the law school, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, and Nevada Legal Services.

The event is a glimpse into all that Boyd School of Law students do to serve the community. As a requirement for graduation, students must teach eight classes (each roughly two hours long). Students who elect not to teach can help with the Boyd School of Law’s Kids’ Court School. One group of students working with the Clark County Public Defenders' Office created a record sealing class, which will also be taught at this year’s Community Law Day and at other places and times going forward.

“It can be hard to get reliable, accurate legal information. These classes bring clear, objective information to the public,” said Lynn Etkins, associate executive director of Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. “It’s also positive for the students as they are able to see the community need and grow their communication skills. The first-year law student is usually overwhelmed at first; but, in time, they hone their public speaking skills and thoroughly learn an area of the law.”

Etkins coordinates efforts with the Boyd School of Law’s Associate Dean for Administration and External Relations, Christine Smith, to create teaching opportunities for students.

“It’s the best way for students to learn, right from the outset of their law school experience, that one of their responsibilities as students and attorneys is to focus on helping people in need," said Dean Smith. “These programs take a good deal of time to administer, but it’s very rewarding work because we are helping people who are pretty desperate and do not know where to turn to for help.”

Classes Tailored to Needs 

A top priority for the Boyd School of Law’s community service requirement is to offer legal education on high-need topics. Early on, housing classes covering eviction laws and other housing-related matters were created to fulfill a community need; but, in time, other nonprofit programs emerged to cover that area. Paternity, custody, divorce, bankruptcy, and small claims classes have long been needed in Southern Nevada and are still taught regularly at the law school, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, and Community Law Day. The new record sealing class and a course for immigrants who were early childhood arrivals to the United States are examples of classes being offered that address current community needs.

“We are always staying in touch with the legal community and the judiciary so as to add new classes that address the needs of the community,” Dean Smith added.

Community Law Day also offers the classes on a Saturday, which is a convenience for those who can’t make a weekday session. In addition, attendees can be connected to other free legal resources offered either through the Boyd School of Law, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, or Nevada Legal Services, said Cliff Marcek, coordinator of community service at the Boyd School of Law.

Marcek oversees preparation of Boyd School of Law students who teach the classes. He, or other attorneys from Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada or Nevada Legal Services, also sit in on the classes to answer questions that the students may not be qualified to answer.

After classes are taught, attendees have the opportunity to apply for a pro bono attorney, Marcek explained. While there’s no guarantee a case will be taken, Legal Aid Center’s Pro Bono Project saw 769 pro bono cases placed in 2013 and 771 in 2012.

“These community service projects really are a gateway to getting a pro bono lawyer,” Marcek added.

The Experience 

Chelsea Lancaster, a second-year law student, once worked as a process server, so teaching a small claims class seemed the perfect fit. But while there was some familiarity with the subject, she admits to being a little nervous teaching the class, as there was more to the subject than she initially thought.

“Even though small claims is supposed to be one of the easier classes, it’s still actually very complex. People don’t really understand it without being told,” she added.

Lancaster, who will graduate in 2016 and recently won the Most Outstanding First Year Student honor, also appreciated the connection with the community.

“The main thing I learned was the legal services people are always in need of but don’t always have the resources to get,” she said.

Allison Vitangeli, who will graduate in May 2015, helped usher during last year’s Community Law Day and even sat in on some classes. She found it enlightening to see how much the school offered to the community. A recent recipient of the Richard L. Brown Community Service Award, Vitangeli also worked with the public defender’s office to help create the new record sealing class offered both at Community Law Day and LACSN.

“(The community service requirement) can really help to inspire you, see what you can do for the community, and learn how much law really helps the community,” she added.

Community members remark on how much they appreciate the classes. Some of them have commented:

  • “Each student was very knowledgeable about the way the small claims court system works.” 
  • “Cliff Marcek & Branden, thank you both! Learned more information. It helped me 100%!” 
  • “It gave me a lot of resources for more help (i.e. Ask-A-Lawyer, unbundled legal services, lawyer referral program … ). Good presentation, glad there was enough time to ask questions and to fill out pro bono app.” 
  • “It answered lots of questions and gave me a better understanding of bankruptcy.” 
  • “Much information given out. Very nice presentation and the book is like gold!! Thank you.” 

If you need assistance, come to Community Law Day on Aug. 23 at the Boyd School of Law at the UNLV Campus. For more information about Community Law Day, visit the event page and read the news release.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Professor Jeffrey Stempel to Attend Annual Commercial Law Conference of Chile

Jeffrey Stempel is the Doris S. and Theodore B. Lee Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

From Aug. 21 through 28, Professor Stempel will address the Chilean Commercial Law Congress regarding "Consequences of an Insurer's Breach of the Duty to Defend in the USA -- Increased Attention and Emerging Conflicts." His talk is in collaboration with Professor Osvaldo Villagas of Adolpho Ibanez University in Santiago, Chile.

Professor Stempel has numerous publications to his credit, including books, treatise chapters and supplements, and law review articles. He is a 1981 graduate of Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal and co-founder of the Yale Law and Policy Review.

Professor Sara Gordon, Boyd Students to Travel to Alaska, Review Statutes

Sara Gordon is an Associate Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

From Aug. 17 through 21, Professor Gordon will travel to Anchorage, Ala. with the University of Nevada School of Medicine's Melissa Piasecki and Boyd School of Law students Gil Kahn and Dawn Nielsen.

The team has been contracted to review and analyze the current Alaska statutes related to Insanity and Competency to Stand Trial and Involuntary Admission for Treatment, review and analyze other states' statutes on these topics, identify areas for improvement in current Alaska statutes on these topics, and draft recommended changes to AS 12.47.010 – AS 12.47.130 (Insanity and Competency to Stand Trial) and AS 47.30.700 – AS 47.30.815 (Involuntary Admission for Treatment).

Professor Gordon's research focuses on law and psychology and the impact of cognitive and social psychology on jurors and other legal decision-makers.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Professor Marketa Trimble Presents Report at International Congress of Comparative Law

Marketa Trimble is an Associate Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

The American Journal of Comparative Law recently published an article Professor Trimble co-authored with Professor Salil Mehra of the Temple University Beasley School of Law. The article - Secondary Liability, ISP Immunity, and Incumbent Entrenchment - is based on a report that Professor Trimble presented at the XIXth International Congress of Comparative Law on July 25 in Vienna, Austria.

In her research, Professor Trimble focuses on intellectual property and issues at the intersection of intellectual property and private international law/conflict of laws.