News

VLS Steering Committee on Racial Inequities and Injustices issues report

Sep. 4, 2020—The report reflects the results of a community-wide survey and input from three anti-racism task forces representing VLS students, faculty and staff. It recommends short- and long-term actions designed to address racial inequities and injustices in the VLS community and beyond.

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Michael A. Newton appointed to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission

Aug. 21, 2020—Newton is an expert on transnational justice and treaties. The Arctic Research Commission is an independent agency that advises the President and Congress on domestic and international Arctic research.

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Claudia Bonnyman ’74: How my great-grandmother’s bravery helped secure a woman’s right to vote

Aug. 21, 2020—Read an essay adapted from a speech Chancellor Bonnyman delivered at an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women suffrage. Bonnyman served for 15 years as a chancellor for the Davidson County Chancery Court. Before her appointment to the bench in 2003, she served as the chancery court clerk and master starting in 1989. She became the founding president of the Lawyers Association for Women in 1981.

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Should conservatives embrace class actions? A Point/Counterpoint Debate in Judicature between Brian Fitzpatrick and John Beisner

Aug. 21, 2020—Beisner, leader of Skadden's Mass Torts, Insurance and Consumer Litigation group, and Fitzpatrick, who studies complex litigation, discuss the thesis of Fitzpatrick's book "The Conservative Case for Class Actions" in a Q&A published in Judicature, a journal that focuses on the practice of judging and publishes research that aims to improve the administration of justice.

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Yesha Yadav named associate dean for diversity, equity and community

Aug. 18, 2020—As the inaugural appointee, Yadav will work with Dean Chris Guthrie and law faculty, students, and staff to support diversity, equity and inclusion at VLS.

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Consumer financing expert Paige Marta Skiba seeks to prevent a wave of consumer bankruptcies as unemployment aid ends

Aug. 17, 2020—Skiba cochairs an interdisciplinary group of scholars who recommend interventions to protect households from debt collection, foreclosure, eviction, and bankruptcy, and to position the bankruptcy system to respond to consumer needs during the pandemic.

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Corporate law expert Brian Broughman joins Vanderbilt’s Law and Business faculty

Aug. 13, 2020—Broughman previously taught for 11 years at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, where he also served as associate dean for research.

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Jennifer Prusak to launch new Housing Law Clinic at Vanderbilt Law

Aug. 13, 2020—Prusak has joined Vanderbilt’s clinical law faculty. She has more than 15 years of experience advocating for low-income tenants and fair housing

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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 corporate secretary of Rite Aid

Aug. 5, 2020—Gilbert's career focusing on health care 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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