Author Archives: Florida Coastal School of Law

Coastal Law’s enhanced Bar Pass Program

I would like to remind all students about the development of our enhanced Coastal Law Bar Pass Program, which is now more comprehensive and customizable than ever before. I highly encourage 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls to take advantage of this program because it will maximize your chances for passing the bar exam the first time.

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Unemployment Benefits Skills Lab wins its first hearing

The Unemployment Benefits Skills Lab won its first hearing last week.  The case involved the appeal of the denial of the client’s claim for unemployment compensation benefits. The Appeals Referee reversed the denial of benefits to a client who had been employed by the employer for 10 years at the time of termination.  The client was extremely grateful for the representation that the Skills Lab provided on a pro bono basis.

Students Holly Bayham, Ben Kelly, Lauren Gerena, Jonathan Toomey and Joshua Funk participated in the client interview, preparation for the hearing and attended the hearing. Soon, they will be representing clients at hearings, under the supervision of their professor. Special recognition goes to student Danitza Gonzales, who is the Lab’s TA, and who has worked as an Appeals Referee, for her insight and assistance with the hearing preparation. Continue reading

Congratulations to our professors and Law Review candidates

Coastal Law’s Shadow Program will be holding three orientation sessions this week: today from 12:00 to 1:15, Tuesday, August 28, 2012 from 12:00 to 1:15, and Thursday, August 30 from 12:00-1:15. All three sessions will be in Room 505.

The Shadow Program offers Coastal Law students the unique opportunity to shadow practicing lawyers and judges in a wide array of civil and criminal proceedings in both state and federal court. Students are exposed to the many different day to day facets of the practice of law in live cases.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to bridge what you’re learning in the classroom with the skills you’ll need to practice. Attendance at an orientation session is required to participate in the program. Additional orientation sessions will be scheduled in September and October.

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Coastal Law wins Zehmer National Workers Compensation Moot Court Competition

Florida Coastal had both of its teams in the finals of the Zehmer National Workers Compensation Moot Court Competition. Coastal Law also won both the Best Brief and Best Advocate Awards. Our teams defeated Stetson and the University of Miami in the semi-finals.

The Team Manager for both Honor Board teams was Samantha Marriott. The team of Michael Stack, Nakeshia Baptiste and Megan Mattson won the championship. The team of Michael Hopkins, Casandra Horsman and Andrew Weegar were the finalists. Megan Mattson won the Best Brief Award. Cassandra Horsman received the Best Advocate Award. Professor Sander Moody coached the teams.

This is the second time Florida Coastal has had both teams in the finals of a national competition. Congratulations to both teams for the way they have added to the law school’s success. We are very proud of all of you.

Welcome to the start of a great new school year

I would like to welcome everyone for the start of a great new school year. I want to especially welcome our new 1Ls. This message, Burnt Toast & Coffee, is a message that I send out at the beginning of each week concerning upcoming events and important announcements about things that have happened since the previous message.

Initially, I want to let everyone know that the new year is starting out much as the year ended, with outstanding results from a moot court competition—and it’s not final yet. Two Coastal Law teams participated in the Zehmer National Workers’ Compensation Moot Court Competition in Orlando. And, both teams have made it through to the Finals tomorrow! We will have more details for everyone following the final round. Congratulations to both teams!

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Citizenship Day success

This year’s Citizenship Day which was held on Saturday April 14th attracted a record number of applicants from the Jacksonville community.  The Coastal Law Naturalization Skills Lab with the help of student clinicians in the Immigration Rights Clinic planned, set up, and successfully held this annual event initiated by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”).

Volunteering at the event this year were 40 attorneys from the Jacksonville area, students from Professor Kara Roberts’ Citizenship Skills Lab, 15 clinicians from the Immigrant Rights Clinic, 35 other law student volunteers, Florida Coastal faculty and staff and 12 interpreters from a local non-profit agency. Students were able to assist 100 people from the Jacksonville community file their citizenship applications.  Several other individuals whose applications needed more attention are being referred to local attorneys for pro bono representation.

The applicants who attended were from various countries.  Some of the countries represented at the event were: Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Russia, Vietnam, Sudan, Panama, Liberia, Costa Rica, and a few European countries. The community came out in great number and expressed gratitude for this life changing event put on by Florida Coastal School of Law.

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ALWR competition and Entertainment Law

Everyone is invited to attend the Eighth Student ALWR Research Poster Competition in the Atrium. Students will be showcasing their diverse ALWR research topics in academic poster sessions on Tuesday, April 17 & Wednesday, April 18 from three ALWR courses; Domestic Violence (Prof. Clausen), Employment Discrimination (Prof. Harthill) and Law of Information Technology (Prof. Ponte).  Please stop by and check out their posters and ask the students about their ALWR research.

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Seven Florida Coastal Moot Court teams reach advanced rounds

Congratulations to seven Moot Court teams for reaching the advanced rounds in national competitions this week and last, with one team reaching the championship round.

At the Rendigs National Products Liability Moot Court Competition in Ohio the team of Sarah Young (brief writer/oralist) and Drew Parrish Bennett and Anson Call (oralists) out-paced teams from Indiana University, South Texas, University of Georgia, John Marshall (Chicago) and Pace University, among others in a field of 22 teams, to reach the out-rounds. Our team then defeated Pepperdine University and Mississippi College of Law in the quarter-finals and semi-finals to reach the championship round. Drew and Anson argued in front of a bench of nine jurists in the final round, including justices from the Supreme Courts of Missouri, West Virginia, Arkansas and Indiana. The finals bench also included judges from the federal Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and District of Columbia Circuits, and the Northern District of Ohio. In addition to reaching the championship round, Sarah Young received the Best Brief, Respondent Award.

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Gain valuable knowledge from the DCA and Jurist-In-Residence

The Florida First District Court of Appeal will hear cases at Florida Coastal beginning Tuesday, March 27 at 9:00 a.m. and convening again on Wednesday, March 28 at 9:00 a.m. The judges on the panel include Judges Rowe, Swanson, Marstiller and Makar. Oral arguments will take place in the Appellate Courtroom (Room 400). This is a tremendous opportunity to observe the Florida appellate court in action. I encourage students to drop by to hear at least a portion of the arguments. The court understands that students will be coming and going to attend classes. Please dress in courtroom attire. Additionally, please silence your cell phones and remove head coverings not worn for religious reasons.

This Tuesday and Wednesday, United States District Court Judge Timothy Corrigan will be visiting as this year’s jurist-in-residence. Judge Corrigan is a highly respected jurist who brings both wisdom and enormous intellect to the federal trial bench. He is recognized not just for his legal acumen, but also for his decency and rich understanding of the human condition.

Judge Corrigan is known as a judge’s judge and as a lawyer’s judge — because of his many years on the federal trial bench and his many years as a practicing attorney. In 2007, Judge Corrigan was named “Judge of the Year” by the Jacksonville Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and he is the 2010 Ehrlich Award winner from Florida Coastal School of Law. He is a Master and past president of the Chester Bedell Inn of Court.

Judge Corrigan will hold two special topic sessions and visit a number of classes. On Tuesday, he will participate in a panel discussion with three First DCA judges on professionalism. On Wednesday, he will address the relationship between good writing and good courtroom advocacy. Each special topic session has been approved for one hour of professionalism credit.

Celebrate Mock Trial and join us for various events

The Mock Trial Team had a very successful weekend. Nova’s Trial Association sponsored a closing argument competition open to all Florida schools. Coastal sent five individual competitors. There were approximately 70 competitors from around the state. The trial that was the basis for the closings was videotaped, except for the closing arguments. The competitors were provided the video and given one week to prepare closing arguments for both the prosecution and the defense. All competitors had to be prepared to give a closing argument for either the prosecution or defense with minimal notice.

After three preliminary rounds, three Coastal Law competitors qualified for the octo-finals. Garth Cheek 2L and Jola Adigun 2L were octo-finalists. Marc Taupier 2L advanced to the semifinals and placed third in the competition. They were coached by Professor Richard Watson and Coastal alum, Jo-Anne Yau. Congratulations to all. Continue reading