News

Ganesh Sitaraman named a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States

Aug. 10, 2020—Sitaraman is one of eight new public members appointed to the ACUS, which is an independent federal agency tasks with improving the administrative processes of federal agencies.

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Stanton Foundation First Amendment Clinic wins case for Tennesseans for Sensible Election Laws

Aug. 10, 2020—Students in the clinic, directed by Gautam Hans, worked with Daniel Horwitz ’13 to defend a nonprofit group’s satirical mailer criticizing a Tennessee state representative.

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Paul Gilbert ’91 named general counsel and corpoate secretary of Rite Aid

Aug. 5, 2020—Gilbert's career focusing on healthcare law has included private practice with Epstein Becker Green and Waller and service as hieve legal and corporate governance officer at LifePoint Health.

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Taylor Owings ’13 named acting chief of staff of U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division

Jul. 28, 2020—Owings joined the Justice Department as counsel to the assistant attorney general in February 2018. She had previously practiced antitrust law in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

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Blumstein and Yadav appointed to Tennessee Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Jul. 14, 2020—James F. Blumstein, a noted expert in constitutional law and health law and policy, and finincial regulatory expert Yesha Yadav will serve four-year terms on the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the US. Commission on Civil Rights.

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Leor Halevi wins the J. Willard Hurst Book Prize for his book Modern Things on Trial

Jul. 14, 2020—Halevi’s book focuses on Islam’s global and material reformation from 1865 to 1935.

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Free Justice, a new book by Sara Mayeux, chronicles the history of public defenders in the U.S.

Jul. 10, 2020—Legal historian Sara Mayeux’s book focuses on the legal struggle for due process in twentieth-century America.

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Immigration Practice Clinic students work pro bono to support communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19

Jul. 8, 2020—Cloe Anderson ’21, Grace Ko ’21 and Sarah Dvorak ’22 help draft resolution passed by the Nashville Metropolitan Council drawing attention to increased harassment and discrimination directed at Asian immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Brian Fitzpatrick proposes “The Right Way to End Qualified Immunity” in The Hill

Jun. 29, 2020—Fitzpatrick, a complex litigation expert, proposes a way to end qualified immunity while still discouraging frivolous lawsuits against police and government officials in a June 25 opinion piece published in The Hill: eliminate qualified immunity for liability, but keep it for attorneys' fees.

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Anti-discrimination law expert Jessica Clarke discusses the Supreme Court DACA case and its implications for discrimination law

Jun. 25, 2020—The Supreme Court's DACA decision has given Dreamers new hope, but it could have dangerous implications for anti-discrimination law, by suggesting that courts should not consider the biased statements of policymakers in evaluating whether their policies were motivated by discriminatory intent.

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Financial regulation expert Morgan Ricks selected for the 2020 cohort of Vanderbilt Chancellor Faculty Fellows

Jun. 19, 2020—Ricks is one of 10 scholars from across Vanderbilt University selected for the honor, which includes additional funding for research and opportunities to exchange ideas with scholars from other schools.

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Chris Slobogin proposes substantive reforms to federal criminal courts and sentencing

Jun. 12, 2020—In a forthcoming California Law Review article, Slobogin proposes the establishment of separate federal courts specializing in criminal cases, backed by a National Court of Criminal Appeals, along with a “modernized regime” of indeterminate sentencing to relieve overcrowded dockets in the federal justice system and reduce the federal prison population. The article is discussed in a June 12 article, "The Case for Federal Criminal Courts and Sentencing Reform," published by The Crime Report. Slobogin directs the Criminal Justice Program at Vanderbilt.

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Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins ’86 receives TBA’s 2020 Frank F. Drowota III Award

Jun. 11, 2020—The award, named for former Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank F. Drowota III '65 (BA'60) honors a just who has demonstrated extraordiary devotion and dedication to the improvement of the law, the legal system and the administration of justice in Tennessee.

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Morgan Ricks and Chris Giancarlo ’84 testify on inclusive banking before House Financial Services Committee

Jun. 11, 2020—Ricks and Giancarlo were among four witnesses whose testimoney addressed “Inclusive Banking during a Pandemic: Using FedAccounts and Digital Tools to Improve Delivery of Stimulus Payments." They testified before the House Financial Service Committee Task Force on Financial Technology during a virtual hearing June 11.

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Criminal justice expert Chris Slobogin joins coalition to propose first steps toward policing reform

Jun. 10, 2020—Report by eight prominent criminal justice scholar proposes urgently needed reforms to address enduring problems in American policing.

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Time to Act: A Message from Dean Chris Guthrie

Jun. 5, 2020—The recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and countless others form part of a long and tragic history of racial violence and injustice. It is time for us to act.

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Judge Aleta A. Trauger ’76 receives 2020 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Sixth Circuit

May. 29, 2020—Judge Trauger was appointed to the Middle District of Tennessee in 1998 after serving as a federal bankruptcy judge. Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw '81 (BA'79), who nominated her for the award together with other Sixth Circuit colleagues, said, "Judge Trauger has demonstrated extraordinary industry, character and intellect in every position she has held in her distinguished career. Even more remarkable is the fact that, throughout her career, she has been the first or one of the first women to hold each position.”

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Criminal justice research sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Law & Neuroscience featured in June ABA Journal

May. 28, 2020—The story, "Millions have been invested in the emerging field of neurolaw. Where is it leading?", highlights the results of projects sponsored by the Research Network and features its director, Owen Jones, who holds the Glenn M. Weaver, M.D., and Mary Ellen Weaver Chair in Law, Brain and Behavior.

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Research by Owen Jones, Christopher Jaeger ’09 and two other scholars addresses “endowment affect”-how we overvalue items we’ve acquired

May. 27, 2020—New research by Owen Jones, Christopher Jaeger '09 and two colleagues may explain why we sometimes overvalue items we’ve acquired—to an irrational degree—irrespective of their market or sentimental value. The endowment effect can lead people to make unpredictable economic decisions and has far-reaching implications for legal policy relating to markets and business. Jones holds the Glenn M. Weaver, M.D. and Mary Ellen Weaver Chair in Law, Brain, and Behavior, and Jaeger is an acting assistant professor of lawyering at New York University who also holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Vanderbilt.

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Vanderbilt establishes Nicholas S. Zeppos scholarship with $8 million gift

May. 26, 2020—The scholarship was endowed by a gift from the Sarah and Ross Perot Jr. Foundation to recognize Zeppos’ extraordinary tenure as Vanderbilt chancellor from 2008 through 2019. Ross Perot Jr., BA’81, announced the gift Feb. 7 at a meeting of Vanderbilt’s Board of Trust, on which he has served since 2010. The chancellor emeritus is currently on a yearlong sabbatical and will return to the Vanderbilt faculty as professor of law and political science.

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106 VLS students to work pro bono for judges, government agencies and law offices, and nonprofits in summer 2020

May. 20, 2020—Rising 2Ls and 3Ls will work in federal and state judicial chambers, agencies and law offices, with prosecutors and public defenders, and with public interest and advocacy organizations.

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Funmi Akinnawonu named George Barrett Social Justice Fellow for 2020

May. 13, 2020—Akinnawonu will work as an immigration attorney at the Mississippi Center for Justice in Jackson. She connected with the MCJ while working at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Jackson during summer 2019.

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Chris Serkin, Dan Sharfstein, Kevin Stack, Yesha Yadav, Ingrid Wuerth and Debra Lee receive 2020 Hall-Hartman Outstanding Teaching Awards

May. 8, 2020—Hall-Hartman Awards are based on a poll of students in each first-year section and also honor outstanding teaching in large and small upper-level classes.

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Micah Bradley receives Class of 2020 Founder’s Medal for First Honors

May. 8, 2020—21 2020 graduates honored for scholastic accomplishments, leadership and contributions to the Vanderbilt Law community.

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Amber Banks ’20 receives 2020 Equal Justice Works Regional Public Interest Award

May. 6, 2020—Banks is one of eight 2020 law graduates honored for their exemplary commitment to public interest law and pro bono work. She was a Garrison Social Justice Scholar.

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