Alumni

David H. Simmons ’77 profiled in Florida Politics following 18 years of service in the Florida State Legislature

Apr. 27, 2020—Simmons served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008, was elected to the state senate in 2010, and will retire this year due to term limits. He co-founded the Central Florida law firm of Beaubien Simmons Knight Mantzaris and Neal, where he continues to practice, in 1980.

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Alumni


Read Lawfare column by Cort Thompson ’20 about Russia’s recent space activity

Apr. 21, 2020—Thompson is a military intelligence officer attending VLS through the U.S. Army’s Funded Legal Education Program and as a Thomas Beasley Scholar. His Lawfare blog column, “Russia’s Recent Space Activity Is a Return to Old Form,” is based on his paper “Avoiding Pyrrhic Victories in Orbit: A Need for Anti-Satellite Arms Control in the 21st Century,” forthcoming in the SMU Journal of Air Law and Commerce. Thompson’s paper is the winner of the American Society of International Law’s 2020 Richard Baxter Military Prize.

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Alumni General News


VLS Pro Bono Spring Break team works at Just City in Memphis with Wesley Dozier ’19

Apr. 21, 2020—Dozier is working at Just City as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. He supervised a team of students who worked on expungement cases, participating a Court Watch program, and supported other criminal justice advocacy initiatives.

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JETLaw paper by Ramon Ryan ’21 prompts legislation aimed at creating NEPA review for satellite launches

Apr. 21, 2020—Ryan’s paper, “The Fault in Our Stars,” which challenges the FCC’s longstanding policy of excluding commercial satellites from NEPA review, has prompted Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) to ask for a GAO review.

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Maria Lopez Evangelista ’00 elected to seat on San Francisco Superior Court

Apr. 20, 2020—Judge Evangelista had worked as a trial lawyer in the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office since 2003, most recently as a deputy public defender.

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Alumni


W. Kip Viscusi featured on Planet Money podcast addressing “Lives vs. the Economy”

Apr. 20, 2020—In a discussion with Planet Money hosts Sarah Gonzalez and Kenny Malone, Professor Viscusi applies his research on the value of reducing risks to life to two pressing questions: "Is it worth it to shut down the economy to save lives?" Or "Should we let people die to save the economy?" He talks about how he came up with a value for a human life and how that value could inform decisions about when to reopen the economy. Viscusi co-directs the Ph.D. in Law and Economics program.

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Alumni Faculty News General News


VLS Pro Bono Spring Break team works at Mississippi Center for Justice

Apr. 15, 2020—Students worked in an expungement clinic, investigated policing practices to support impact litigation, researched the criminalization of HIV and supported other legal advocacy initiatives.

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Alumni General News Public Interest News


Hannah Martins Miller ’20 receives Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center Leadership Award

Apr. 9, 2020—Miller was recognized for her leadership in activities that contribute to the achievements, interests and goals of women or that promote gender equity. She is editor-in-chief of the Vanderbilt Law Review. She served in the Army ROTC as an undergraduate at Princeton University, and her legal education has been supported by the Funded Legal Education Program, which sponsors 25 Army officers each year.

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Alumni General News


Kevin Witenoff ’21 selected as American Constitution Society Next Generation Leader

Apr. 9, 2020—Witenoff has served as president of the VLS chapter of the American Constitution Society during 2019-20.

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Alumni General News


Read John Hasnas’s review of Brian Fitzpatrick’s book, The Conservative Case for Class Actions

Mar. 27, 2020—John Hasnas, executive director of the Georgetown Institute for the Study of Markets and Ethics, touts The Conservative Case for Class Actions as "a well-constructed, informative, and clearly expressed argument for the value of class action lawsuits." In his review, published in Regulation, Hasnas says Fitzpatrick's book "should appeal to thoughtful readers regardless of prior ideological commitments."

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Alumni Faculty News General News


Judge Thomas A. Wiseman Jr. ’54 (BA’52) of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee dead at 89 

Mar. 21, 2020—Wiseman was nominated to his seat on the Middle District of Tennessee in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter. He assumed senior status in 1995. Before taking the bench, he served as state treasurer from 1971-71 and in the Tennessee State House of Representatives from 1964-68. 

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Alumni General News


James Danly ’13 confirmed as commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Mar. 20, 2020—Danly previously served as general counsel at FERC, where he supervised a legal staff of 200.

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Alumni General News


JETLaw 2020 Symposium features law and technology scholar Lawrence Lessig as keynote speaker.

Feb. 17, 2020—The day-long symposium sponsored by the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law is titled “Spheres of Influence: Examining the Interplay of Technology and the Law,” and features panel discussion on how technology influences courtrooms, elections and regulatory compliance.

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Alumni General News


VLS Office of Public Interest partners with Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors to offer immigration intake clinics

Feb. 14, 2020—Twelve students are providing more than 420 hours of pro bono legal work through Woodbine Immigration Intake Clinics scheduled throughout the academic year at a local church.

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Chandler Ray ’21 and Abigail Wood ’21 win 2020 Bass Berry & Sims Moot Court Competition.

Feb. 12, 2020—Michael Clark ’21 and Ty Trejo ’21 were finalists. The round was argued before federal appellate Judges Cheryl Ann Krause of the Third Circuit, James C. Ho of the Fifth Circuit and Amy J. St. Eve of the Seventh Circuit.

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Paper by Ramon Ryan ’21 identifies enforcement gap in regulations governing environmental impact of satellites

Jan. 27, 2020—Ryan’s paper, which will appear in the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, suggests that the FCC’s approval of SpaceX’s Starlink Mega Constellation may have been unlawful because the agency failed to consider the impact of satellites on the night sky. The paper was reported on by Scientific American, Business Insider and Futurism.

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Alumni General News


Former law professor Bruce E. Gagnon dead at age 78

Jan. 27, 2020—Gagnon taught at Vanderbilt Law School from 1967-70 and then moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where he spent the remainder of his career practicing law.

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Alumni


Reunion 2019 final results are in!

Jan. 21, 2020—Our Reunion 2019 volunteers and alumni donors raised over $2.6 million for the law school! Your generous support ensures a bright future for VLS and stands as a testament to the camaraderie and spirit of your class. Reunion 2019 Final Fundraising Results Class Total Raised # in Class # of Donors Participation 1969 $313,065 82...

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Alumni


Darby Dickerson ’88 is president of the Association of American Law Schools

Jan. 13, 2020—Dickerson is the dean of UIC John Marshall Law School in Chicago. She was inducted into her one-year term as AALS president during the association's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. in January.

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Ray Lui LLM’11 named to China Business Law Journal A-List

Jan. 7, 2020—Liu is a partner with Dorsey in Beijing, where he focuses on cross-border dispute resolution, U.S. litigation, interanitonal and foreign-related arbitration, and trade and compliance matters. He is licensed to practice in New York.

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Alumni


Retired federal Judge John T. Nixon ’60 dead at 86

Jan. 2, 2020—Judge Nixon was appointed to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee by President Jimmy Carter and served as the court's chief judge from 1991 to 1998.

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Alumni


Yufang (Ethan) Ma ’02 (MS’01) named one of China’s Top 15 IP lawyers for 2019 by Asian Legal Business

Jan. 2, 2020—Ma is a partner at Orrick, focusing on intellectual property and trade secrets litigation, at Orrick in Shanghai.

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Alumni


Fred Graham ’59, legal affairs reporter and Court TV anchor, dies at 88

Dec. 31, 2019—Fred Graham pioneered coverage of Supreme Court rulings as the law correspondent for CBS News, was a substitute anchor for "Face the Nation," the "CBS Morning News," and "Nightwatch," and one of the first anchors of Court TV, where he covered the O.J. Simpson trial.

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Bill Purcell ’79 tapped to join Nashville’s Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency board

Nov. 21, 2019—Purcell practices with Farmer Purcell White & Lassiter and teaches as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt University. He served as Nashville's mayor from 1999 to 2007.

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Alumni


Susan Kay ’79 honored with “Lifetime Achievement Award” by ACLU of Tennessee

Nov. 14, 2019—Kay, who is associate dean for experiential education, has taught at VLS since 1980 and established the law school's first clinic. The award recognizes her lifetime dedication to criminal justice reform and legal advocacy, which includng successfully challenging Nashville's jail conditions. She was honored on Nov. 14.

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