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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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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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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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Cort Thompson ’20 wins the American Society of International Law 2020 Richard Baxter Military Prize

May. 5, 2020—Thompson’s paper, “Avoiding Pyrrhic Victories in Orbit: A Need for Anti-Satellite Arms Control in the 21st Century,” is forthcoming in the SMU Journal of Air Law and Commerce. Thompson is a Captain in the U.S. Army and will enter the JAG Corps after graduation.

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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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Listen to W. Kip Viscusi interview about the value of reducing risks to life on Top of Mind

Apr. 20, 2020—Julie Rose interviews W. Kip Viscusi about balancing the economic toll of sheltering in place with the risk of more coronavirus cases if businesses reopen in this April 8 podcast.

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Jim Rossi and Christopher Serkin win 2020 Morrison Prize for best scholarship on sustainability

Feb. 26, 2020—Rossi and Serkin were honored for their Cornell Law Review article, “Energy Exactions,” in which they propose that cities use exactions to hold developers accountable for their impacts on the electrical system. The Morrison Prize is a peer-reviewed honor bestowed through the Law and Sustainability Program at Arizona State University.

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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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J.B. Ruhl provides an overview of NEPA in podcast hosted by Daniel Raimi of Resources Radio

Feb. 12, 2020—Ruhl provides an overview of the National Environmental Policy Act drawing from his years practicing environmental law in this podcast interview with Raimi, a senior fellow at Resources for the Future. Ruhl explains how NEPA lawsuits are especially complex, involving statutes, court opinions and recent regulatory changes that are often at odds, and discusses the implications of a proposed rule change by the Trump administration that could limit the types of litigation that can be pursued under NEPA. A transcript of the interview appears below the audio link.

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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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Stanton Foundation First Amendment clinic settles case in a win for clients

Feb. 9, 2020—Clinic students served as co-counsel in Human Rights Defense Center v. Marshall County, Tennessee, which claimed that the county sheriff’s department engaged in unconstitutional censorship.

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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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Legal historian Sara Mayeux among 13 rising Vanderbilt scholars to receive Provost Research Studios for 2019-20

Jan. 8, 2020—Provost Research Studios provide up to $4,000 to support the professional development of full-time faculty early in their academic careers.

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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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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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Chancellor Emeritus Nicholas S. Zeppos appointed University Distinguished Professor and Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Law

Nov. 11, 2019—Vanderbilt has also announced that one of its newest residential colleges will be named in Zeppos' honor. He will began teaching in fall 2020, after a yearlong sabbatical.

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Brian Fitzpatrick argues class actions are a potent and necessary legal enforcement mechanism in new book

Nov. 1, 2019—In "The Conservative Case for Class Actions," Fitzpatrick debunks arguments that class action lawsuits are frivolous, primarily aimed at making money for lawyers rather than representing plaintiffs, and fail to prevent wrongdoing. Fitzpatrick asserts class actions "are a powerful component of the justice system," and proposes reforms designed to make them "acceptable to everyone."

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Chris Serkin named to the Elisabeth H. and Granville S. Ridley Jr. Chair in Law

Oct. 25, 2019—Serkin is associate dean for academic affairs. His scholarship address property theory, local governments, the Taking Clause, land use regulation and eminent domain.

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First Amendment Clinic files amicus brief in Georgia v. Public Resource addressing public access to state law

Oct. 17, 2019—Supreme Court case addresses the right of citizens to freely access official statutory codes as a means of ensuring effective participation in democratic self-government.

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Amicus brief co-authored by Jessica Clarke asserts that Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and transgender identity

Oct. 4, 2019—Clarke and her co-authors argue that the Title VII prohibition on discrimination based on sex also means employers cannot discriminate against employees based on sexual orientation or transgender identity.

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Matthew LaRue ’20 wins 2019 ABA Water Resources Student Writing Competition

Oct. 4, 2019— LaRue’s article, “The Stream of Commerce,” analyzes the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act and suggests that a new interpretation of navigable waters, one that would include all commercial waters, could bring a much-needed change to the existing legal framework.

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