Vanderbilt Law Magazine

James H. Cheek III ’67

Mar. 24, 2014—Professor of the Practice of Law Partner, Bass Berry & Sims After earning his undergraduate degree at Duke, James H. “Jim” Cheek III was wavering between a career in law or finance. A Nashville native, Cheek had spent his college summers working at J.C. Bradford, a storied investment firm in downtown Nashville. He started out...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Christopher Serkin

Mar. 24, 2014—Professor of Law Energy, Environment and Land Use Program Christopher Serkin’s interest in the conflicts between individual property rights and government power has its roots in two very different environments. Serkin grew up in Marlboro, a small town in southern Vermont, where, he noted, “land and property issues are important to people, and a lot...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Windsor v. United States

Mar. 24, 2014—The Supreme Court invalidated part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. What does that tell us about challenges to state laws that ban same-sex marriage? By Suzanna Sherry Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law Edith Windsor was legally married to Thea Spyer under New York law. When Spyer died, however, Windsor was not entitled...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


States of Union

Mar. 24, 2014—Mark Brandon’s new book explores the legal history of marriage and family in America. By Jim Patterson As the contentious battle over gay marriage plays out in various states and in two Supreme Court decisions, Vanderbilt Law Professor Mark Brandon asks a question that seems particularly relevant: How and when did the institution of the...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


A Summary of Why We Need More Judicial Activism

Mar. 24, 2014—By Suzanna Sherry, Herman O. Loewenstein Professor of Law In this piece, Suzanna Sherry summarizes her essay, “Why We Need More Judicial Activism.” The full version of the essay will appear in a collection Sherry has co-edited with Giorgi Areshidze and Paul Carrese to be released in 2014 by SUNY Press. Sherry wrote this summary...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Ganesh Sitaraman

Mar. 24, 2014—The portrait of President John F. Kennedy hanging in Assistant Professor Ganesh Sitaraman’s office at Vanderbilt Law School reflects Sitaraman’s vision of a great political leader—a capable intellectual who is also a dedicated statesman. Sitaraman returned to Vanderbilt last summer after working for another political leader in that mold—Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren—as policy director during...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Reunion 2013

Mar. 24, 2014—Reunion is about coming back and giving back, and alumni from years ending in “3” and “8” did both last fall. About 340 alumni came to the weekend festivities October 3–5, and 34 percent of Reunion alumni made gifts totaling more than $2.3 million.

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Firm Giving Honor Roll

Mar. 24, 2014—The following firms made the Firm Giving Honor Roll for fiscal year 2012–13 (July 1, 2012–June 30, 2013). Many thanks to the firm representatives listed below who encouraged their colleagues to give back, and to all the alumni donors! 100 percent giving across all firm locations FIRMS WITH 40+ ALUMNI Alston & Bird Charles H....

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Litigator Perry Brandt ’77 (BA’74) touts civility

Mar. 24, 2014—Early in Perry Brandt’s career as a trial lawyer, a senior partner sent Brandt to take a deposition. Brandt’s firm was representing the plaintiff, a food plant, in a case against an engineering company. The young associate surprised the engineer he was deposing with a barrage of polite, but blunt questions. “I have never been...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


2013–14 Judicial Clerks

Mar. 24, 2014—The following Vanderbilt Law alumni are serving judicial clerkships in federal appellate and district and state supreme and other courts during 2013–14: Michael Adler ’09: Judge Alicia M. Otazo-Reyes, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Nicholas Ryan Barry ’13: Judge William O. Bertelsman, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Speaking of Alumni

Mar. 24, 2014—One of the many pleasures of working on behalf of Vanderbilt Law School is that our alumni, in contrast to law school graduates from many other institutions, actually have fond memories of their time here. Many recall a Vanderbilt law professor as the best teacher they ever had. Most made lifelong friends here—and some met...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Samar Ali ’06 (BS’03)

Mar. 14, 2014—When President Lyndon Johnson established the White House Fellows program in 1964, he had people like Samar Ali ’06 in mind. Johnson wanted to give exceptional young Americans the opportunity to work at the highest levels of the federal government and to use that experience to benefit their home communities. Ali was an ideal candidate...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Rob Strayer ’00

Mar. 14, 2014—When Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005, its impact was felt from the Gulf Coast all the way to the halls of government in Washington, D.C. Among its many ripple effects, Katrina marked a turning point in our nation’s approach to emergency management. It also happened to mark a turning point in the career of...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


D.C. Externships—Summer 2013

Mar. 14, 2014—Vanderbilt law students served externships either for course credit or with summer stipend support with 10 government agencies, a U.S. senator, and two D.C.-based advocacy organizations: Federal Government Department of Education, Office of the General Counsel Department of Energy, Assistant General Counsel for Labor & Pension Law Department of Health and Human Services, Office of...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


John and Meredith B. Cross

Mar. 14, 2014—John J. Cross III ’81 met Meredith Brinegar ’82 at Blackacre on Meredith’s first day of law school. They were engaged at the beginning of her second year and married in Nashville when John graduated. In the three decades that they have been practicing law, they’ve created a family brand of public service that has...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Michael Russell ’84 (MA’84)

Mar. 14, 2014—Of all the words to describe the pace at which the U.S. government typically operates, “swift” probably would not top most people’s lists. Yet Mike Russell, who has nearly three decades of federal service, would argue that when it comes to protecting its citizens and interests against terrorism, the government has been just that—swift. In...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


John Ryder ’74

Mar. 14, 2014—John Ryder’s love of politics started in high school, when he became fascinated with how government systems work. That fascination has continued over the decades, leading the Memphis lawyer to his current role as the general counsel of the Republican National Committee. “We are fallible human beings,” he says. “James Madison said in the Federalist...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Phyllis Fong ’78 and Paul Tellier ’78

Mar. 14, 2014—The next time you dig into a juicy rib eye steak or order Eggs Benedict at brunch, you can thank Phyllis Fong that your food is safe to eat. As inspector general of the United States Department of Agriculture for more than a decade, Fong is responsible for protecting food consumers. “The USDA oversees programs...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Jan Witold Baran ’73

Mar. 14, 2014—Soon after the U.S. Supreme Court announced its 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in 2010, Jan Baran ’73 endorsed the majority opinion in a New York Times opinion piece. His essay, titled “Stampede Toward Democracy,” countered President Obama’s prediction that the decision would result in a “stampede of special-interest money in...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Bob Kabel ’72

Mar. 14, 2014—From his K Street office in Washington, D.C., Robert J. “Bob” Kabel can see a freight train headed straight for the Grand Old Party. “To say rapidly changing attitudes about same-sex marriage—especially among younger voters—is a major challenge for the Republican Party is an understatement,” said Kabel, a longtime Washington insider who represents D.C. on...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Aaron Cooper ’00

Mar. 14, 2014—Special Counsel, Covington & Burling Former Chief Counsel for Intellectual Property and Antitrust, Senator Patrick Leahy Aaron Cooper did not anticipate spending eight years on Capitol Hill when he graduated from law school in 2000. After clerking for Judge Gerald Tjoflat on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Cooper moved to Washington to join...

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Vanderbilt Law Magazine Winter 2014


Educating Lawyers for the 21st Century

Jul. 16, 2013—We are facing a time of great change in the legal job market and in the way law is practiced. Thus, law schools must better prepare our students not only to obtain legal jobs but to excel in their chosen careers. That’s why we asked our Board of Advisors for input on our upperclass academic...

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Summer 2013 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


Make It Harder to Be a Troll!

Jul. 16, 2013—As the Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Julie Samuels ’05 possesses one of the most intriguing and amusing titles in the legal profession—and a unique advocacy job. In January, after stints as an intellectual property litigator in Chicago with Loeb & Loeb and Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, Samuels...

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Summer 2013 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


TRIPS Agreement Drafting History and Analysis

Jul. 16, 2013—Daniel Gervais’ book sheds light on the provisions of a complex agreement. You won’t find pictures of cowboys, camels or kangaroos on cigarette packs in Australia these days. The country’s Plain Packaging Act is clearly intended to discourage smoking. Cigarettes sold in the Land Down Under now come in drab olive boxes emblazoned with warnings...

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Summer 2013 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


When Judges Get Angry

Jul. 16, 2013—Judges don’t leave their emotions behind when they take the bench. When the 18-year-old girl appearing in court before him laughed inappropriately, the judge angrily increased her bond. When she responded to that with an obscene gesture, he snapped, sentencing her to 30 days in jail. Then a court-recorded video of the incident went viral....

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Summer 2013 Vanderbilt Law Magazine


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