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CHAPTER VII The Next Step in the Law of War? By Brian Foley, Professor of Law Page 12


Roadside Memorials, Free Speech & The Establishment Clause

By Amanda Reid, Asst. Professor of Law Page 16


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We offer challenging, accredited curriculum taught by faculty and practicing attorneys, combined with generous supplemental support and real-world experiences that prepare our graduates for bar passage and success in their chosen field.

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With reimbursements of up to $12,000 if we fail to deliver on our assurances. It’s called the Assured Outcomes Partnership , a shared-accountability program developed through years of evaluating the factors that contribute to successful student outcomes. By following a set of best practices that are incorporated into your program of study, you’ll be giving yourself a great chance to achieve your goals. SM

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Coastal Law Magazine | Spring 2013

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intracoastal WINTER 2014 | VOL. 6, NO. 2

Coastal Law develops JD Fast Track program



Yellow Ribbon program helps air force veteran pursue degree



Challenging Chapter VII

By Brian Foley, Professor of Law DEPARTMENTS 6

1000 Words


News & Events

20 Faculty Spotlight 22 Alumni 31 Special Feature 32 Snapshots 34 Q & A

Art by Heather Blanton


PRESIDENT Dennis Stone INTERIM DEAN Chidi Ogene EDITOR & PUBLISHER J. Brooks Terry, Director of Marketing and Communications ART DIRECTOR Corie Biandis DESIGN BroadBased Communications, Inc. CONTRIBUTORS Lauren Griffith Alan Smodic Wayne Moles PHOTOGRAPHY Heather Blanton Jim LaBranche MAIN NUMBER 904.680.7700 ADMISSIONS 904.680.7710 ALUMNI 904.256.1212 MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS 904.680.7730 REGISTRAR 904.680.7631 INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT 904.256.1244 Coastal Law Magazine is published by the Florida Coastal School of Law Office of Institutional Advancement. Address correspondence to: 8787 Baypine Rd. Jacksonville, FL 32256 Telephone: 904.256.1212 Fax: 904.256.1104 Email: Web: or


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Pictured left, Shamauria Walton.

Pictured on far right, Winnifred Staats.


Coastal Law Magazine | Winter 2014

On Monday, May 20, 2013, the inaugural class of Coastal Law’s JD Fast Track program began their expedited course of study. Consisting of the same number of credit hours as a traditional three-year degree, this program offers a unique opportunity for students to enter the legal community after only two years. “This is for students who are prepared to really

buckle down and devote the time necessary,” said JD Fast Track student Winifred Staats, who earned a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Marshall University. Made possible by maximizing course loads and summer semesters, this rigorous program provides substantial financial benefits including the reduction of living expenses by one third.

JD Fast Track students who started the program in May 2013 will receive a total legal education savings of approximately $50,000. “Yes, it’s a challenge,” said JD Fast Track student and Florida State University graduate Shamauria Walton. “But I think it will create top lawyers who are dedicated to their work and prepared to handle the pressure.”


NEW SCHOOL LEADERSHIP EMPHASIZES INNOVATION Florida Coastal School of Law’s new president and interim dean have dramatically different backgrounds, but what they have in common is a remarkably similar view on how best to prepare students for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century legal profession.

Dennis Stone, appointed the school’s president in May 2013, is a long-time Jacksonville resident and was both a founding executive of Coastal Law and of the InfiLaw System, the consortium of independent law schools of which Coastal Law is affiliated. Chidi Ogene, Coastal Law’s interim dean since June 2013, grew up in Nigeria, graduated from universities there and in the U.S., and practiced corporate and commercial law before joining InfiLaw as general counsel. Despite their disparate backgrounds and paths to Coastal Law, both men’s careers gave them opportunities to observe several models of legal education. Those included the more traditional programs, as well as others that were taking more innovative and radical approaches to achieving desired outcomes. Stone and Ogene agree the latter more contemporary approach is better positioned to more swiftly adapt to the realities of today and tomorrow’s legal marketplace. THE ROAD TO PRACTICE-READINESS “One of our top priorities is to graduate attorneys who can more immediately add value to their respective organizations because they will have right knowledge and training to do so. The more traditional model of legal education is more likely to graduate law students who expect their first employers to train them after they’re hired,” said Stone. “For instance, our JD Plus program is already one of the most innovative in the country in terms of preparing students for the demands of practice, and we are continuing to introduce other programs rarely found at other law schools.” This spring Stone said Coastal Law will launch the Center for Law Practice Technology, a unit within the school focused on preparing students for a legal marketplace that demands knowledge and skills related to technology and innovation. He said feedback on the CLPT has been overwhelmingly positive from the legal community in Jacksonville and beyond. (See more on the CLPT on the opposite page.)


Coastal Law Magazine | Winter 2014

“We also just launched the country’s first LL.M. in Transportation and Logistics,” he said. “That’s in addition to our LL.M. for foreign lawyers that has proven to be very popular since its launch a few years ago.

Ogene said, “While many law schools will likely remain committed to the more traditional model of legal education, administrators and faculty Coastal Law anticipate ever fortifying their focus on skills development in the years ahead.

Stoned added Coastal Law will continue to add dual degree programs to its portfolio of offerings that currently includes a JD/Masters of Business and a JD/Masters of Public Policy. DON’T TELL ME; SHOW ME

“What it means to be professionally prepared for the legal profession is changing dramatically as a result of pressures clients are bringing to bear on law firms and other purveyors of legal services. We have to prepare our students to compete in that environment.

Dean Ogene shares President Stone’s interest in curriculum innovation, but adds that an enhanced emphasis on graduating attorneys with demonstrable skills will also be critical if Coastal Law hopes to deliver on its promise for modern-day legal education.

“Don’t tell me you took a class in securities regulation; show me you can draft an offering statement for an IPO. Don’t tell me that you took a class in family law; show me that you can prosecute, from start to finish, a nocontest or even a contested divorce.”

“If you look where higher education and professional development are headed,” said Ogene, “you’ll see we’re beginning to shift away from traditional measures of excellence, which were defined on inputs—how many credit hours in what subjects—to better measures, which are predicated upon outputs—what competencies do you have?”

REVAMPED EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM In order to increase opportunities for students, both President Stone and Dean Ogene have focused attention on the school’s internship and externship programs.

externships,” said Stone, “how we place students in them, and how we manage the placements over time to ensure they are winwin situations—great learning experiences for the students and productive opportunities for the agencies or law firms employing them.” “Internships and externships are absolutely critical,” adds Ogene. “Medical students can’t graduate as doctors without dealing with real patients. There is no substitute for training in a live environment. Our internship and externship programs, which we are in the process of expanding, provide that real-life experience.” Will these innovations differentiate Coastal Law? Stone and Ogene are confident they will. “If we execute them as well as I know that we can,” Ogene said. “If we construct all of our systems in that outcome-centered way—the curriculum, the pedagogy, the supporting systems, the competency measures, all of that—there is no question that our graduates will be much better positioned to enter the job market than their peers at other law schools.”

“In the past few months we have revamped the way we manage the development of

NEW CENTER PREPARES STUDENTS FOR TOMORROW’S LAW JOBS Coastal Law has created the Center for Law Practice Technology (CLPT), a focused unit within the school that will offer certificates in legal technology and law practice management. The CLPT is designed to prepare students for a new and evolving legal marketplace that increasingly demands knowledge and skills related to technology and innovation. Richard Granat and Stephanie Kimbro, acknowledged leaders in the online legal

technology movement, have been appointed as Co-Directors of the CLPT. They will also serve as affiliate professors at Coastal Law.

legal services, including electronic discovery, legal process outsourcing, law practice management software, and more.”

“At its core, the certificate offered through the center will ensure students graduate with the technological competence all lawyers need in light of the demands of the profession, namely how to leverage technology to serve clients more effectively and efficiently,” Granat said. “However, we also understand it is perhaps even more important to prepare students for new positions in the burgeoning market of companies offering technology solutions for

For those interested in pursuing more traditional career paths, Coastal Law Vice President of Strategy and General Counsel Terri Davlantes said students earning certificates through the CLPT will know how to create a virtual law firm that provides 24/7 access for clients, how to automate frequently used legal documents, how to leverage social media to develop a law practice brand, and the legal ethics surrounding the delivery of online legal services.

news & events

NEW SCHOLARSHIP CONNECTS ALUMS AND PROSPECTS Pictured left, Wendy Belanger. Pictured right, Chuck Malloy.

Earlier this year, the Coastal Law Offices of Admissions and Alumni Relations collaborated to create The Alumni Admissions Referral Scholarship - a one-time $2,000 award that both rewards prospective students and allows alumni to help shape the incoming class. The scholarship program officially began in fall 2013 with 39 students, including part-time, firstyear student Wendy Belanger. Belanger currently works for the Naval Station Mayport and first heard about Coastal Law from colleague Chuck Malloy, a 2013 Coastal Law alum. “[Attending law school] is something that was always a pipe dream that other people did,” said Belanger, who was enlisted in the Navy for six years before attending the University of


Coastal Law Magazine | Winter 2014

Florida. “But when I saw that Chuck had done it, I figured I really had no excuse. I could see that it was doable.” Belanger said Malloy’s assistance, support, and expertise have been invaluable. Both Belanger and Malloy emphasize the benefit of having someone who understands both the legal terminology as well as the stress many students bear during law school. “He will wander by my office and I’ll say ‘Oh, wait a minute, this thing in contracts ...’ and he’ll stop and talk through it with me or I’ll come chase him down and say ‘I have no idea what I just read ...’,” she said. “People at work see us together and they just kind of roll their eyes and keep going because no one else can understand what we’re saying.”

Malloy recommended Coastal Law to Belanger after discovering her long-standing interest in the law. He passed along old Barbri books and discussed early doctrinal course work where he noticed how quickly she took to the material. “When I started law school, somebody was there to help me when I needed it,” said Malloy, who now serves as the Boatswain’s mate (BMC) for the Naval Station Mayport. “To me, it just kind of feels like I’m paying back a debt.” If you are interested in nominating a student for the Alumni Admissions Referral Scholarship you can complete a nomination form at

YELLOW RIBBON PROGRAM HELPS AIR FORCE VETERAN PURSUE DEGREE Bobbie Garrison, a third-year student in Coastal Law’s Family Law Certificate Program, knows a lot about stress. She sees it in the faces of her fellow students as they prepare for classes and exams, but when those same students ask her why she’s unfazed by the pressure, her answer is simple: “Because I don’t have a gun pointed at me.” A retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant who has been deployed in the likes of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, Garrison has certainly weathered more stressful situations. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared,” Garrison said about her six-month deployment in Kabul. But as the only military paralegal in an office with 14 attorneys from every branch of the U.S. services, plus a representative of the Canadian armed forces and three civilians, she said she was too busy to focus on the danger. Instead, she said the deployment was “a good experience for me. I learned a lot, and I was glad to be able to be part of something I believed in,” helping to establish legal systems for Afghanistan’s government and military. Now Garrison is applying herself toward something else she believes in: Family Law and the pursuit of justice for the victims of abuse. Making that possible is Coastal Law’s Yellow Ribbon Program. When Garrison entered the Program in August 2011, the school provided a $3,000 discount on tuition to qualified veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs matched that amount from the veteran’s GI Bill Benefits. Thanks in part to Garrison, Coastal Law’s Yellow Ribbon Program benefit has now been increased. She petitioned the school to change the benefit to one-half of the cost of tuition and the petition was accepted. Now, when matched by the VA, the school’s Yellow Ribbon Program can ensure that veterans, or their transferees, will be able to attend tuition-free.

Garrison, at the Berlin Airlift

Monument at Frankfurt International

Airport, during her first re-enlistment.

Garrison recommends Coastal Law for interested veterans and thinks that individuals with military experience have the tools to make good students. “Veterans have supervised others, they’ve demonstrated leadership, and they’ve made critical decisions,” she said. “Even if they don’t have paralegal experience, the military is good preparation for law school.” Graduating in December 2013, Garrison has participated in an internship at the Pentagon, where she worked in the office the General Counsel of the Secretary of Defense, and is currently working in an externship with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Jacksonville.

After graduation, she hopes to work for the U.S. Department of Justice or for the Florida Department of Children and Families. While she would prefer to stay in Florida, she says she would be willing to move to Washington, DC for the right position: her first as a civilian after more than 23 years of service. “The military is very structured,” she said, “and I was often recalled to work in the middle of the night when emergencies occurred. Now, in a civilian setting, that doesn’t happen.” “On the other hand,” she added, “I do have to beef up my wardrobe.”


Coastal Law Magazine | Winter 2014

Art by Heather Blanton



CHAPTER VII Winter 2014

The Next Step in the Law of War?

The thing that’s amazed me the most for the longest time in law is that the most horrific, destructive action a government can undertake is governed by so little legal process. A President or Prime Minister wants to wage a war? There’s less required testing of evidence and rationale than when a person faces a misdemeanor conviction, or even when a restaurant wants a liquor license. Generally, the level of process required to test a government decision roughly equates with the gravity of the decision. Decisions involving the deprivation of life and liberty get more process than those involving a deprivation of property. Compare a death penalty case with the procedure for a parking ticket. War’s an anomaly. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because war is too horrible to think about. Maybe because war has traditionally been left to the whim of absolute monarchs. Maybe because we’re used to the government having more access to information and to be in control of the flow of information; we’re used to deferring. Or maybe we think that wars, like natural disasters, are a common, tragic part of life that just happen now and then like hurricanes and tornados. But there is law regarding war. Most people are at least vaguely familiar with the laws that govern how hostilities must be carried out, laws known collectively as the jus in bello (law in war). The Geneva Conventions, which address how soldiers must treat enemy soldiers, prisoners, and civilians, are the best known. Most people are familiar with bans on certain types of weapons, such as poison gas.1

We are far less familiar, however, with the laws governing when nations may legitimately go to war, laws known as the jus ad bellum (right to war), such as the venerable Just War Standard dating back to St. Augustine,2 the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which outlawed war in 1928,3 and the UN Charter, a treaty that requires Member Nations to turn over their decision-making power on whether to wage war to the Security Council, except if immediate self-defense is required.4 Even then, a nation must turn over the matter to the Security Council as soon as possible.5 The Just War standard and UN Charter set out rules, but what’s missing is any way to enforce them. The last time the world has seen leaders of developed nations put on trial for starting wars (and committing crimes during the wars) were the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials, which were ad hoc tribunals set up to prosecute Axis leaders after World War II. The crime of “aggression,” which was what Nazi leaders were charged with, was only recently codified in international law, after several years of work.6 As for the jus ad bellum, it seems that the UN Charter has been reduced to something that international leaders, jurists, and public intellectuals sometimes refer to before and/or after wars, but only in a rigid, j’accuse fashion. Now and then, defenders of wars might deign to argue that their military action didn’t violate the Charter; usually, however, they seem not to mention these laws, perhaps fearing that doing so would give them legitimacy – leaders don’t want their ability to wage war limited by law. And, unfortunately, the Security Council rarely makes any pronouncement, one way or the other. For example, it never made a clear pronouncement regarding the legality of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

By Brian Foley, Professor of Law

Much of my scholarly work and public commentary has been to argue that the Security Council should test claims for war before the first shots are fired, to guide nations in what’s legal and what’s not.7 My idea is that the jus ad bellum can be used dynamically to help us prevent unnecessary wars and limit the harms of necessary ones. If leaders were forced to lay out their claims and evidence, other nations, and their publics, would get to see these claims tested. Good claims would lead to popular support. Bad claims would lead to the opposite – which might prevent a war.

LAW AS A GUIDE TO GOOD THINKING One of my views of law is that it’s not just a set of rules to tell us what we can or cannot do, what’s right or wrong, etc. Rather, at its best, law can serve as a guide for decision-making. Opposing arguments are fully ventilated, the accuracy of evidence is tested, and reasoning for the decision is set forth. It’s a transparent process, a requirement that reason will govern the decision-making, rather than an authority figure’s “Because I said so!” (That’s one of the things that attracted me to law in the first place. Maybe that’s the case with you, too?) As lawyers, we can envision processes we’re familiar with as rough analogies. After a war that violated the UN Charter, a leader could be tried, in a manner akin to a criminal trial. Leading up to a war, a leader’s case for war could be tried in a process akin to a motion for preliminary injunction.

The Process in Action

“With a policy of early intervention, the U.S. has the ability, and, I would argue, the responsibility, to be deliberative about avoiding or limiting these costs.” Even without formal process, we can envision what “common sense,” or rudimentary problem-solving, about whether to wage war would entail. First, we’d determine the goal for which using military force is proposed. Next, we’d weigh the costs and benefits. We’d also continue vigorously to find or devise lesscostly alternatives to war. If no alternatives existed, then we’d look for ways to eliminate or at least minimize the costs.8 Another analogy: A shopping mall is proposed in a town or city. The planning and zoning boards test the developer’s case. “Impact studies” are often required. Again, big decisions require big process, for high scrutiny. Why not legally require deliberation for such an important undertaking, an undertaking that will result in irreparable harm? The sense running through my work on this issue is that this isn’t too much to ask! One might counter that we don’t have the luxury to deliberate: This is war! True, if a nation is attacked, its leaders and citizens are unlikely to assemble a debating society. But that’s not the model anymore for U.S. wars. Even after the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. didn’t strike back until almost three weeks later,


Coastal Law Magazine | Winter 2014

October 7, when it invaded Afghanistan. But the Bush Administration explicitly adopted an aggressive strategy that focused on preemptive war, a strategy of striking any enemy early, while that enemy is plotting and planning attacks. (President Obama appears to still follow this strategy, given his threats to Iran and his use of drone strikes.) The challenge with such a regime is that the evidence of such plotting and planning might not be clear. There might be different interpretations of another nation’s intentions. The ongoing U.S. confrontation with Iran is a good example. Is Iran really building an atomic bomb? If so, will it actually use it against the United States or Israel? If not, then there are needless costs to going to war. But if the U.S. were to remain passive in the face of an actual threat, there would be needless costs as well. (“Costs,” of course, is a euphemism for deaths of civilians and soldiers; physical injuries; psychic injuries; people being made refugees; property destruction; environmental destruction; financial costs; etc.) With a policy of early intervention, the U.S. has the ability, and, I would argue, the responsibility, to be deliberative about avoiding or limiting these costs.

The process would be fairly straightforward, with at least four basic steps.9 First, determine whether the military force would be required to prevent a serious irreparable harm. For example, force can’t be used simply to take over a country for its resources. Force can’t be used simply to punish a nation or its leaders (as innocents will surely be killed). The sorts of serious irreparable harm I am thinking of would involve dangers to human life. Things such as a rogue nation’s acquiring a nuclear bomb with the intent to use it, or a nation’s harboring terrorists bent on attacking other countries, or ongoing or a threat of genocide, could be included. There would be a sort of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) approach: Assuming arguendo that the claims made by nation seeking to use military force are true, is the situation one of serious irreparable harm? If not, game over. If so, then there would have to be an actual testing of the evidence that such irreparable harm is occurring or likely to occur. If there is evidence, then the next step would be a search for alternatives. I have argued that this search is required by the language in the UN Charter and Just War standard that force should only be used if “necessary.”10 Otherwise, the word “necessity” is meaningless. So some “forced creativity” would be required. A nation seeking to wage war would have to show that it had tried alternatives to military force and they failed, or that it is clear they would be likely to fail if tried. I envision the Security Council brainstorming or engaging in other ways to enhance creativity. Perhaps they could do this behind closed doors, if they’re afraid of not looking “dignified.” But that seems a small price to pay if it could avoid the serious costs of war! Moreover, brainstorming and similar activities are becoming more and more common in businesses.11 They work. In the future, we might all be used to seeing higher-ups brainstorming and engaging in other creativity exercises. This “step” would actually be ongoing. Efforts to come up with solutions, and tenacious diplomacy to broker a war-avoiding deal, shouldn’t stop, even after war has begun. The next step would be to lay out clearly the likely harms, and to seek ways to limit them. Creativity would be required here, too. Military strategies can be shaped in various ways to avoid particular harms. For example, what

would be the relative costs to all involved of troops on the ground vs. high altitude bombing? (Of course, high altitude bombing is safer for the attacking nation, but it’s less safe for the innocents on the ground.) The next step would be balance the irreparable harm that military force is proposed to prevent against the likely harms of using the force. It’s a familiar cost-benefit analysis.

havoc of war should be forced to meet the highest standard to show that war is justified and that no reasonable alternatives exist. This isn’t rocket science; indeed, it’s familiar to us lawyers. The beauty of this process is that it could be used by the UN Security Council or by Congress. It could also be carried out by any of the world’s almost 200 nations, especially those asked to join a coalition. A nation could invite the leaders of a nation proposing to use

“One of our core beliefs as lawyers is that process enhances the accuracy of decision-making.” Throughout the process, the burden of proof should be at least the legal standard “clear and convincing evidence.” Better yet, with preemptive wars and other wars of choice, the highest legal standard, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the familiar standard used in criminal cases, should be applied. After all, anyone proposing to unleash the destruction and

military force to come lay out their claims. If governments fail to provide such a forum, an NGO or civil society organization could step up and hold hearings and televise them or put them on the Internet for the world to see. If leaders of a nation proposing war don’t show up, outstanding lawyers could be tasked to argue the case for war. The incentive to do a

vigorous job on all sides and avoid the sense that the inquiry is a “kangaroo court” would be high: the world would be watching, and legitimacy of the process would be scrutinized.

What next? The benefits: a proposed war that is justified will garner wide support, and damages from it would be limited. A proposed war that isn’t justified won’t garner sufficient support and might end up being avoided altogether.12 That is, there’s more likelihood that the right decision will be made. One of our core beliefs as lawyers is that process enhances the accuracy of decision-making. Why not apply it to this most deadly decision? It comes down to this: Do we have the will to create and mandate such a process? Then we can move on to other projects: Requiring withering cross-examination in Presidential debates, or hearings to get to the bottom of claims about global warming, etc. Let’s keep applying the critical thinking we lawyers are trained in to create a better world.

See Brian J. Foley, Avoiding a Death Dance: Adding Steps

the Security Council and shall not in any way affect


to the International Law on the Use of Force to Improve the

the authority and responsibility of the Security Council

Achieve Collective Security, in Progress in International Law

Search for Alternatives to Force and Prevent Likely Harms, 29

under the present Charter to take at any time such

571-590 (Russell A. Miller & Rebecca M. Bratspies, eds.,

Brook. J. Int’l L. 129, 144-45 (2003) (discussing jus in bello).

action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or


restore international peace and security.

cfm?abstract_id=1202882 (last accessed October 21, 2013).



For a recent discussion of Just War theory, see Jeff

See Brian J. Foley, Reforming the Security Council to



U.N. Charter, art. 51.

McMahan, Rethinking the “Just War,” Part I, New York Times,


See id. at 577. Brainstorming has become something of a regular practice

Opinionator, Nov. 11, 2012, available at http://opinionator.


For an accessible overview of this recent history, see

Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton


part-1/?_r=0 (last accessed October 21, 2013).

University, Handbook: Ratification and Implementation of

at Coastal.

the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute of the ICC 3

The Pact may be found at

avalon/imt/kbpact.htm (last accessed October 21, 2013). 4

U.N. Charter, ch. I & VII. The Charter is available online at

Crime of Aggression (2012), available at crimeofaggression.



(last accessed October

Council exposed U.S. claims for war as supported only by

21, 2013). (Note: This link will simply result in your computer

shaky an evidence (such as the forged documents used to

downloading this handbook as a PDF.)

allege that Iraq sought uranium from Niger; claims about (last accessed October 21, 2013). 5

The Charter states, Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent

For example, let’s go back to 2003. Had the Security

Iraq’s nuclear program that had been gained from coercive In preparing a paper for a human rights and terrorism

interrogation; information from an informant so distrusted

conference in January, 2002, in Cairo, Egypt, I challenged

that intelligence officials had nicknamed him “Curveball”),

myself to go beyond j’accuse to come up with the proposal

the war might have been avoided. I’ve set forth more fully

discussed in this article.

a “counterfactual” case study of how this process could


right of individual or collective self-defence if an

have worked had it been applied in 2003, a well as to the

armed attack occurs against a Member of the United


See Foley, supra note 1, at 154-57 (discussing problem-

Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures

solving approach). Readers might be glad to know that, with

necessary to maintain international peace and security.

the help of my wife, the philosophy professor M.G. Piety, I

Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this

recently created and taught an intersession course, “Critical

right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to

Thinking and Problem-Solving for Lawyers.”

1999 NATO airstrikes in Kosovo and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. See Foley, supra note 9, at 580-86.






“IT SEEMS GOOD TO MARK AND TO REMEMBER FOR A LITTLE WHILE THE PLACE WHERE A MAN DIED.”1 To “make sense of senseless deaths” along the public roadways, private roadside memorials are part of a growing trend among the bereaved.2 These memorials often feature a Latin cross and are part of deeply meaningful bereavement practices, which support the grieving process. They are created to fulfill a human need during a time of crisis and are, therefore, largely constructed without regard to the legality of erecting such markers.3 Courts have yet to provide clear guidance on the constitutionality of erecting and maintaining these private memorials on public spaces. Roadside memorials are intensely personal, idiosyncratic expressions motivated by a seemingly senseless death.4 Senseless deaths along the roadways are surprising and shocking because modern technological advances lull us into thinking we have some measure of control over death.5 Roadside memorials are most often created by friends and family members of teenagers who die in car crashes.6 Scholars confirm that public opinions about roadside memorials are mixed: “Some claim never to see them, some are angered by them, some place them by the side of the road and never go back, others tend them regularly.”7 Public officials are often concerned about the visual distraction and traffic hazard these memorials can create.8 16

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Two instances, one from Massachusetts and the other from Australia, illustrate some of the tension between the needs of the bereaved and the interests of the public. In Shutesbury, Massachusetts, a 17-year-old died in a one-car accident, and the teen’s father constructed a roadside cross to commemorate his “last alive” place.9 Two homeowners who live near the accident site want the cross removed. The cross has commemorated the site at the end of one of the homeowner’s driveway for over six years. The homeowners say it serves as a constant, painful reminder of the night they and other neighbors went to aid the dying teen.10 In Ormeau, Australia, a 19-year-old was struck and killed by a vehicle as he walked home. His memorial was thrice vandalized when the teen’s laminated photograph was taken down and the flowers were removed. A note was left on the memorial site explaining the removal: “The community of Ormeau ha[s] endured this memorial site for one year and two months and we feel that is, by far, long enough.”11 The note also admonished the teen’s parents that the roadside was not a gravesite and that the family should be thoughtful of the community. In response, the teen’s parents claimed the right to grieve for as long as necessary: “We never put the cross there to offend anyone. This has absolutely gutted our family. It’s not always going to be there, but it should be up to us to take it down when we’re ready.”12 Understanding the phenomenon is an important first step in analyzing the Free Speech and Establishment Clause issues that are raised by the presence of these private memorials on public spaces. The Supreme Court has emphasized that “there is a crucial difference between government speech endorsing religion, which the Establishment Clause forbids, and private speech endorsing religion, which the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses protect.”13 Private religious speech in a designated or traditional public forum is generally free from Establishment Clause concerns.14 However, private religious speech may lose its “purely private” nature by its placement in a public space.15 The public roadways have not been treated as traditional public fora where individuals may express themselves without government restraint or limitation. And by not removing the private religious displays, it is unclear if a government risks appearing to tacitly adopt the religious message.16 The Supreme Court in Pleasant Grove City, Utah v. Summum reflected

this position when it explained, “It certainly is not common for property owners to open up their property for the installation of permanent monuments that convey a message with which they do not wish to be associated.”17 Therefore, according to the Court, “because property owners typically do not permit the construction of such monuments on their land, persons who observe donated monuments routinely—and reasonably—interpret them as conveying some message on the property owner’s behalf.”18 Monuments and symbols are subject to more than one interpretation. And these monuments and symbols can communicate a message on behalf of more than one speaker. The roadside crosses undoubtedly speak on behalf of the private individuals who were motivated to erect them. But, by allowing the roadside crosses to remain on public property, the government may also passively adopt the message of the memorial cross. The proliferation of roadside memorials poses a problem for public officials, who are in an ongoing quandary concerning how to balance

For memorial makers the place of the memorial is inextricably intertwined with the message of the memorial that moving the memorial to another place would not be an ample and adequate alternative.25 A cemetery or other memorial site is not an adequate substitute for a roadside memorial because the “last alive” place is deeply important to memorial makers. The site is of supreme importance because it is sanctified by the spilled blood of the loved one.26 These roadside memorials leave visible and poignant reminders of death on public space.27 Justice John Paul Stevens has acknowledged that sometimes “the location of the sign is a significant component of the message it conveys.”28 By removing these memorials from the site of death, the message of the memorial is altered. Thus, the location of the speech is part of the expressive message. But the expressive right to memorialize a loved one is not unbounded. The Supreme Court has noted that “the First Amendment does not guarantee the right to communicate one’s views at all times and places or in any manner that may be desired.”29 And while roadside

THE SUPREME COURT HAS EMPHASIZED THAT “THERE IS A CRUCIAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOVERNMENT SPEECH ENDORSING RELIGION, WHICH THE ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE FORBIDS, AND PRIVATE SPEECH ENDORSING RELIGION, WHICH THE FREE SPEECH AND FREE EXERCISE CLAUSES PROTECT.”13 traffic safety and the aesthetic interests of the community with the grieving process of the bereaved.19 Balancing the interests of road safety and maintenance, visual blight, and Establishment Clause concerns with the needs of the grieving is “a public relations minefield.”20 Roadside memorials have been a source of controversy and debate in both the United States21 and in other countries.22 Roadside memorials serve as a powerful signifier of death and space. While these symbols do not lend themselves to a single message or meaning, they undoubtedly serve an important expressive function for the loved ones of the deceased.23 The memorial speaks as much for the memorial maker as it does the loved one who is memorialized by reflecting the maker’s image of the loved one.24

memorials can be deeply meaningful and healing for the mourners, some observers object to the sanctification of public roadsides. Those who voice criticism suggest that the roadside memorials are “disingenuous” or “personal propaganda,” the makers are “faking it for attention,” or the memorial is a “pious form of littering.”30 Memorials on public spaces are situated to draw in strangers to share in the grieving process.31 Some memorials are clearly visible and are intended to be seen, while others are more personal and private.32 Participating in a stranger’s roadside memorial can promote a sense of group solidarity, “a symbolic coming together of the community in mourning.”33 Yet, sometimes strangers do not welcome being drawn into the grieving process because it brings unwanted reminders of death.34 For some, memorials are an unwelcome testament to the fragile and fleeting nature of life.

“POLICYMAKERS STRUGGLE TO BALANCE THE NEEDS OF THE BEREAVED AND THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY.” These memorials serve as powerful reminders of the inherent dangers of driving. And viewers receive unsolicited reminders of these dangers while driving down the same roadway where someone else died.35 According to Doug Tindall, a maintenance engineer for the Oregon Department of Transportation (DOT), his department “regularly receives calls regarding roadside memorials. Most callers want displays removed because they don’t want continual reminders of someone’s death in a traffic accident.”36 Memorial-making can be productive and healing for the maker, but the memorial can also bring unwanted, “vicarious trauma” to other drivers who are forced to experience it.37 In addition to viewing a memorial as an unwanted reminder of tragic loss, some individuals see a memorial as a “macabre eyesore.”38 Journalist Stephanie Warsmith observed, “The teddy bears turn soggy and gray. Flowers wilt. Handwritten tributes become illegible. Rather than serving as a tribute to someone who died, they become an eyesore.”39


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More than just an issue of aesthetics, roadside memorials raise concerns about road maintenance and road safety. These memorials can interfere with road maintenance and mowing operations.40 Mementos left at roadside memorials can become hazardous projectiles when tall grass is mowed.41 Roadside memorials can also pose a safety hazard to other drivers.42 Professors of Sociology George Dickinson and Heath Hoffmann, who surveyed state DOT officials, found that 70% of officials said roadside memorials were considered a safety hazard in their state.43 An Arizona DOT spokesperson reported that of the 4,000 rear-end collisions that occurred in a year, “a troubling number involved drivers who stopped to view roadside memorials.”44 In Wyoming, the DOT considers roadside memorials dangerous and cited an accident where the death of a child was attributed to a driver who was distracted by a memorial for two young pedestrians killed earlier at the same site.45 And in Texas, a young woman was struck and killed by a car while she was visiting the roadside memorial of her cousin following the cousin’s funeral.46

In light of experiences like these, some state officials have concerns about the safety hazards posed by roadside memorials.47 However, the traffic safety researchers who have examined the hazards posed by these memorials have found them to be generally safety-neutral. Two studies report no statistically significant effect from roadside memorials.48 And one study found that, while drivers were less likely to run through red lights at intersections with roadside memorials,49 the researcher, Professor Richard Tay, warned that such memorials could raise “other safety concerns, including potential hazards to pedestrians, cyclists and maintenance workers.”50 Professor Tay also cautioned that leaving roadside memorials completely unregulated could raise safety concerns because “[w]ithout some forms of restrictions in place, some memorials erected may become a potential hazard due to their size and materials used.”51 State and local governments across the country have adopted a patchwork of policies and regulations for roadside memorials.52

Policymakers struggle to balance the needs of the bereaved and the needs of the community. Many governments are considering appropriate limits on roadside displays as a way to balance these needs.53 Nearly half of the states have adopted some policy regarding the placement of roadside memorials.54 Policies vary widely with some states expressly permitting private markers,55 some allowing only state-sponsored markers,56 some having no express policy,57 and some expressly prohibiting all private roadside markers—albeit with lax enforcement. Roadside memorials are prohibited as an obstruction or encroachment of a highway in states like Indiana,58 Iowa,59 Montana,60 and North Dakota.61 But these laws are often not enforced.62 In states where erecting a roadside memorial is prohibited, public officials often turn a blind eye to memorials out of respect.63 Scholars have found a common theme of deference among DOT officials, who try to balance safety concerns while simultaneously respecting a family’s need to grieve for the loved one.64 State officials are generally sensitive to the grief of the loved ones and grant a certain “grace” to these memorials, notwithstanding any official policy.65 In states where roadside memorials are illegal, authorities often leave the memorials in place unless a complaint is lodged. These local agencies take the unofficial stance of acknowledging the need for individuals to grieve and leave most memorials undisturbed.66 If policymakers either ignore or expressly permit roadside crosses, it remains unresolved whether governments open themselves up to an Establishment Clause challenge by tacitly or expressly permitting crosses to remain on public lands. The Establishment Clause has often been employed as the basis to challenge the display of religious symbols on public property. For some in the community, the endorsement of religion through displays of religious symbols on public lands undermines respect for diversity of faith traditions and moral philosophies, whereas others view the invalidation of public displays of religious symbols as evidence of hostility toward religion. This is a hotly contested area of the law, and the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on the constitutionality of religious symbols on public property continues to evolve.67 In this evolving jurisprudence, the Court has held that sometimes a government may erect a crèche, or nativity scene,68 on public property, but sometimes it may not.69 Sometimes a city may display the Ten Commandments on public

property, but sometimes it may not.70 And sometimes religious displays on public property are government speech, which is immune from Free Speech challenges, but sometimes it is private speech on public property.71 Current justices have noted the lack of clarity in the current Establishment Clause jurisprudence.72 Governments must be careful not to appear to endorse religion by adopting the message of the memorial cross on public land. As Justice David Souter observed, “[W]henever a government maintains a monument [that] has some religious character, the specter of violating the Establishment Clause will behoove it to take care to avoid the appearance of a flatout establishment of religion, in the sense of the government’s adoption of the tenets expressed or symbolized.”73 To assess Establishment Clause concerns created by roadside crosses on public roadways, it is important to identify both the speaker and the message. Yet it may be unclear who the speaker is, or what the message is, when a roadside cross is displayed on public property. In Pleasant Grove City, Utah v. Summum, the Court recognized that “it frequently is not possible to identify a single ‘message’ that is conveyed by an object or structure” displayed on public property.74 While the Court concluded that a permanent monument displayed in a public park is “best viewed as a form of government speech,”75 the donee government and memorial donor may not share a singular, unified message. The Court acknowledged “the thoughts or sentiments expressed by a government entity that accepts and displays such an object may be quite different from those of either its creator or its donor.”76 Thus, the message of the original creator of the display may differ from the message of the entity that expressly or tacitly accepts the display.77 In addition to the uncertainty about the speaker, there is uncertainty about the message communicated by roadside crosses on public property. The Supreme Court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence contemplates that a display can have multiple meanings and messages. Justice Stephen Breyer, concurring in Van Orden v. Perry, concluded the “religious aspect” of the Decalogue display did not predominate.78 And the Court in McCreary County v. ACLU of Kentucky concluded, after examining the iterations of the Decalogue displays, that the displays failed the secular purpose prong of the Lemon test because

the dominant religious nature of the displays was unmistakable.79 The notion that a religious aspect or a religious nature can predominate implies there are other aspects or messages that do not predominate, yet still exist. This suggests a multiplicity of meanings or messages can exist within a display. This multiplicity of meaning was also reflected in Summum: “[T]he monument may be intended to be interpreted, and may in fact be interpreted by different observers, in a variety of ways.”80 The Summum Court also suggested a certain indefiniteness of meaning because the message of a display may not be static: “The message that a government entity conveys by allowing a monument to remain on its property may also be altered by the subsequent addition of other monuments in the same vicinity.”81 Roadside memorials are indeed multivocal; they can simultaneously communicate more than one message, on behalf of more than one speaker. Individually, the roadside memorial communicates a multilayered message of remembrance of the deceased and warning to other drivers.82 Collectively, the phenomenon communicates a critique against modernity—modern transportation, modern culture, modern death practices, and modern religion.83 Identifying a single, predominant message can sometimes be difficult, and such messages may change over time. A single, festooned memorial placed by a roadway sends a different message than a mass of memorials along a stretch of highway. Memorial makers are avoiding readily available alternative avenues for ventilating their expression. For some bereaved, these roadside memorials meet a human need that interment in a cemetery cannot.84 By avoiding or supplementing the cemetery memorial, these bereaved are communicating that the cemetery is an inadequate avenue for their expression. The growing popularity of this mode of expression raises traffic safety, aesthetics, and religious neutrality concerns. The roadside memorial phenomenon thus lies at the crossroads of cultural, social, religious, and legal forces.85 To read the unabridged article and citations please visit,

faculty spotlight

43,731 miles to Coastal Law For Jonathan Burton-Macleod and Ashleigh Barnes, perspective is everything. Collectively, their scholarship has led them through diverse international opportunities including faculty positions in India and Australia, as well as study abroad programs in Russia, Tanzania and, perhaps most endearingly, Cape Town, South Africa, where the couple first met.

A Florida native and graduate of the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law, Barnes’ research draws upon interdisciplinary scholarship, particularly historical and sociological approaches to childhood, as well as international law’s approaches to children in order to propose new ways of examining children’s lives and interests within U.S. law.

“In any area of law you benefit from comparative perspectives,” said Barnes, who earned a Ph.D. from the Australian National University earlier this year, “I think you can sit at a desk and read about it, but actually going and taking European human rights in Europe, for example, changes the focus completely. That absolutely infuses your scholarship and your teaching - it brings so many insights into the substance of what you’re teaching.”

Like Barnes, Burton-Macleod’s expertise and familiarity with comparative law is immediately apparent. His curiosity in the subject first stemmed from his time working at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga. While there, he developed an interest in social policy through witnessing how social and economic factors can affect disease. Law, not medicine, suddenly seemed the more appropriate route to explore these interests.


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Ashleigh Barnes & Jonathan Burton-Macleod “In the implementation of law - context matters and political culture matters,” said BurtonMacleod, who served as Assistant Dean for Research and International Collaborations at the O.P. Jindal Global University in Delhi, India. “I highlight that to my class and I want to highlight that as a benefit to studying overseas. What we call legal positivism - the idea that text and internal interpretation is all that matters - is not something that I hope to be true. In my experience, context matters a great deal for how law is understood and implemented. Comparative law is an extended lesson in understanding that context matters a great deal for how law is interpreted and implemented.” Currently, Burton-Macleod’s research focuses on identifying and explaining the influence of public discourse on formal law and policy-making

Read us online! processes within the areas of constitutional law and law and development. “Legal pedagogy and the law school experience are increasingly reliant on a sense of globalization, a sense of internationalized networks, transnational networks, and exchange opportunities,” said Burton-Macleod. refreshes content with each new issue and includes online extras not found in the print version. Other features of the site include: ability to search and link content, share stories via various social media sites, subscribe to news postings in your RSS reader and interact with each issue.

“Not just in terms of market share or in gaining international students but in terms of strategically buying into a global outlook. That is something that I have seen and was attracted to in coming to Coastal Law and in conversations with others at the school. The idea that we have to be very aware of what we’re doing as a law school and the ways in which we can strategically optimize transnational opportunities for our students. “Recently, in reintegrating into the American context as a teacher, I have really drawn on my mentorship contacts in the U.S. There have been a few key people who have really stuck with me, given me advice, and have been strong advocates for me. I enjoy thinking about being able to pass that on - whether with students at Coastal or students that we’ve previously had in India or Australia.” As they begin their work at Coastal Law, Burton-Macleod and Barnes plan to contribute their knowledge and international experience to Coastal Law’s curriculum and programming. Barnes said what she finds most gratifying about teaching are the experiences she’s had with students who enter law school overwhelmed and faced with tremendous disadvantages yet utilize their available resources to overcome difficulties and succeed. “This is part of the reason why we really appreciated Coastal - this notion of serving the underserved,” said Barnes. “We’ve found in our classes at Coastal, students are exceptionally motivated and come to class prepared and willing to participate. As a professor you can’t ask for more than that; that’s the ideal I think.” For now, the world-traveling couple has settled in St. Augustine, Fla. where they are raising their young daughter, Thea.

Learn more about Florida Coastal School of Law’s LL.M. and certificate programs in Transportation and Logistics Law offered entirely online. 904.256.1240


“Vivant le rêve”

The following is a first-person perspective by Kyle Sill, a 2009 Coastal Law graduate and a charter class member of the school’s study abroad program with the University of Auvergne in Clermont-Ferrand France. The program is now in its sixth year. When you are asked to go to France to teach American law you don’t say no. What started as a law school summer abroad in ClermontFerrand, France, developed into living and working in France as a professor of law. And now, that has blossomed into clerking at Florida’s busiest district court of appeal, while also serving as an adjunct professor at my law school alma mater. Coastal Law’s five-week summer abroad program is amazing. My full course load included classes on international and French law and made me realize, though we may govern differently, the laws are extremely similar. Living and later working expanded on this in ways I could never imagine. I figured out how


Coastal Law Magazine | Winter 2014

to teach American law concepts in what was a second or third language for most all of my students. I now know that being a law professor is the endgame for me. I traveled all over France and Europe: from the Alps to Ukraine. I solidified my inner travel bug and now take—at least—yearly trips to scratch the ever-growing itch. Today, I am a judicial clerk at Florida’s First District Court of Appeal, where I get to research, discuss, and write on every facet of law: administrative, criminal, civil, and everything in between. I get to recommend courses of action. It is an incredible challenge, and no two days are the same. If not for Coastal Law’s summer program, I would never have made the initial trip. If not for that trip, I would never have met my future employer in France. If not for the professors, education, and opportunities I received while at Coastal Law, I would never have thought of teaching as a career or been qualified to do so.

If not for each of these things, I would not have been hired to clerk for two appellate judges. When I started law school, if you had told me this is how it would have played out, I would have laughed. But now, I cannot see doing it any different or any other way. I developed and followed my passions and dreams—and have reaped immeasurable benefits. I wake up every day and get to do what I love.

Sarah Spear Sands [pictured center]. Photo by Jack Conroy.

Alumna empowers others - one class at a time For evidence on the versatility of a juris doctor degree, look no further than Sarah Spear Sands. A former legislative affairs senior director for the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU) on Capitol Hill, Sands now focuses her talents on what many may consider an unlikely venue – fitness. Sands, a Coastal Law Class of 2006 alumna, is the owner of Dance Trance DC, a franchise of the dance fitness program that mashes aerobics and choreography to Top 40 hits. A near-instant success, Sands said that in only one year she outgrew her first studio and now manages two full-time employees and six instructors.

“Then I got married and my priorities shifted. I realized I wasn’t being honest with myself and I needed to make a change.” Sands said her husband Ben was instrumental in helping her arrive at that conclusion. Three months before their wedding he left his consulting job to start Regret Free Life, a company that empowers professionals to form and achieve goals. “He let me know it was ok to admit that I wasn’t doing what I loved and that I needed to look for other opportunities,” Sands said. “I was his first client, actually.”

“It has really been an incredible experience and even though I was nervous and maybe even embarrassed to try something new, my education and experience ultimately gave me the confidence to try,” she said.

Dance Trance isn’t new to Sands. She began taking classes her first year at Coastal Law and stayed with it all along. She said it was not just a way to “turn off and not think about work,” it also allowed her to develop a healthier lifestyle.

“Trust me. Studying for the bar is definitely a confidence booster.”

“That’s one of the things that I enjoy passing on to others,” she said. “I empower people, including my former colleagues to live better lives. At first I didn’t know how people would react when they found out what I’m doing now, but it’s completely the opposite. They say, ‘I admire your strength. You left the desk behind to do what you love.’

Though a success today and poised for growth, Sands said her decision to leave behind what was once her dream job was both difficult and deeply personal. “So many people on the Hill work themselves to death trying to reach unattainable goals and, for a while, I was no different,” she said.

How does a former Capitol Hill attorney use her law degree to transition from one successful career to another on the opposite end of the spectrum? Here’s how: 1. In the beginning: “What I learned in my business law classes was incredibly helpful - things like incorporating an S Corp and an LLC. It helped having that background.” 2. When negotiating: “As a business owner I have a lot of difficult decisions to make – how I price, who I work with. I decide all of that.” 3. When it comes to confidentiality: “When I work with clients, I exercise the same discretion I did in my past jobs. Often, I work with people who are going through life transitions of their own – divorce, emotional issues, etc. It’s really important to keep all of that in confidence.” 4. In public speaking: “In law school you learn a lot about communicating clearly and about logic and rationale. That kind of training continues to serve me well.” 5. When it comes to being diplomatic: “In this job, I come across people from all different backgrounds. As it is in the law, it’s important to treat everyone fairly and with respect. I’m reminded of that every day.”

“I really do.”


class notes

Letter from the Alumni Association Board of Directors


Have you recently started a new job? Moved to a new city? Had an impromptu reunion with another Coastal Law graduate? Let us know so we can spread the word.

E-mail the Alumni Association at

1999 • John Fernandez ’99 recently opened John D. Fernandez, P.A. in Clearwater, Fla. He focuses his trial practice on personal injury, criminal, and family law.

2001 • Giselle Carson ’01 was named Jacksonville Bar Association’s Lawyer of the Year, 2013; Jacksonville Business Journal Women of Influence and Up & Comer’s (40 Under 40); Super Lawyers – Super Lawyer and Rising Star and Florida Trend’s Up and Comer. Giselle is a shareholder at Marks Gray in Jacksonville, Fla. and practices Business and Corporate Law and Immigration and Naturalization.

2002 • Cynthia L. Scavelli ’02, JD, CCEP was recently promoted, to the position of FIS Ethics Officer. Scavelli had been the Corporate Compliance and Ethics Counsel for FIS since 2009.

2004 • David Azotea ’04 has been named a partner of the Atlantic City, N.J. law firm of Levine, Staller, Sklar, Chan & Brown PA. Azotea’s practice includes employment law, commercial litigation and construction litigation. He joined the firm as an associate in 2006 after working for a private firm in Sea Girt, Monmouth County, and as an assistant public defender in Jacksonville, Fla. • Dennise Grayson ’04 is a solo practitioner in the Athens, Ga. area and focuses her practice on Special Needs, Trusts and Elder Law. She is accredited by the Veterans Administration for pension benefits and is a member of NAELA (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys).

2005 • Clark Wilson ’05 and his wife Sindy welcomed a son, Liam Dunlop Wilson on October 16. The family lives in Atlanta, GA.


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The members of the Florida Coastal School of Law Alumni Association Board of Directors have been hard at work this year. Each board member serves on one of four committees: Admissions, Career Services, Student Services, and Professionalism and Retention. Board members are making a real impact and helping Coastal Law reach out to accepted students, host mentoring events for 1L’s and collaborating with faculty and SBA on student programming. If you would like to strengthen your connection to Coastal Law and serve on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, I encourage you to apply by visiting Nominations are due March 2014. Many thanks to all our alumni who came out to a chapter event this summer and fall and especially to our Alumni Chapter Leaders. Our Chapter Leaders work hard to plan fun and meaningful ways for you to connect to the school so if you live in a chapter area, be sure to make it out to an event this spring! If there is not a chapter in your area but you would like to help host an event, reach out to the Alumni Relations Office and they can help you get started. Alumni Weekend 2014 is coming up on April 25-26 and will honor the Charter Class and Classes of 1999, 2004 and 2009. I hope you all plan to make it back to Coastal Law to reconnect with your classmates and the Coastal Law community. Preston Oughton ‘08 President

Sobrina Thomas Cox’s ‘08 daughter Sienna

Fraz Ahmed ‘06 & Lindsay Tygart ‘06

Courtney W. Hamer ‘07

2006 • Lindsay Tygart ’06 and Fraz Ahmed ’06 were engaged in October 2012 and were married November 16, 2013. They honeymooned in St. Lucia and are living in Jacksonville, Fla.! Lindsay, an Associate at Edwards & Ragatz, P.A. since March 2012, specializies in the areas of medical malpractice and nursing home neglect. Fraz is an Attorney at Kubicki Draper. • Amber Austin ’06 opened her own law office in September in Tacoma, Wash. Austin is also continuing to teach as a Paralegal Instructor at Everest College in Tacoma.

2007 • Amien Kacou ’07 recently had an article published in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs titled, “For Refugee Protection, More Lenient Marriage Recognition is a Must.” After graduating from Coastal Law Kacou received an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University in Global Security Studies and currently works at GPI Law, LLC in Baltimore, Md. • Courtney W. Hamer ’07, attorney at Hatcher Law Group, served as a speaker at a Continuing Legal Education seminar on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at The Westin Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. The Continuing Legal Education seminar, titled “Family and Matrimonial Law in the 21st Century,” covered divorce and family law basics, with special focus on placing children’s best interests and needs first. Ms. Hamer was approached to speak at the seminar due to her extensive knowledge and experience in family law matters.

Bradley Blair ‘07

Clay Smith ‘08

2008 • Sobrina Thomas Cox ’08 and her husband Dr. Shawn Cox proudly announce the birth of their daughter, Sienna Janet Cox, on January 4, 2013. She is the second child for the couple who welcomed daughter, Sophia, two years before. • Timothy Darby ’08 was honored along with four other young professionals by the Winter Haven Chamber Foundation at the Third Annual Polk Emerging Leaders Banquet held August 28 at the Polk State College Lakeland Campus. The five were selected by a committee of judges from throughout Polk County. Darby practices Elder Law at Darby Law Group, P.A. in Lakeland, Fla. • Homer I. “Mac” McMillan, II ’08 was appointed to Assistant Regional Counsel for the Office of Regional Conflict Counsel, First Region in Tallahassee, Fla. He continues to serve as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the Helms School of Justice at Liberty University and as pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Carrabelle, Fla. • Leigh Futch ’08 was promoted to Director of Compliance for University of Georgia Athletic Association. Futch earned a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast News at UGA in 2005 and served as an assistant to the football team’s video coordinator throughout her undergraduate career. During law school, Futch spent the summer of 2007 interning for the UGA Compliance Department. Most recently, Futch served as Director of Web Marketing Services for Nexxtep Technology in Valdosta, Ga., before returning to UGA. • Clay Smith ’08 and his wife Ann recently joined the Peace Corps and are volunteering in Ksar El Kebir, Morocco.

• Bradley Blair ’07 recently accepted a position as Sr. Vice President & Asst. General Counsel at Regions Financial Corporation in Birmingham, Ala. Brad and his wife Elissa have two girls, Millie and Charlotte. • Sara Glover ’07 moved into the Lake Mary, Fla. office at the Law Office of Leonard R. Ross. Glover specializes in divorce and family law.


Eddie Sarnowski’s ‘08 daughter Harper

Amanda Barton ‘09

Troy M. Farquhar ‘08

Jamie Wershbale ‘09

• Eddie Sarnowski ’08 joined Holland & Knight LLP’s Jacksonville office in January 2013, where his practice continues to focus on a variety of transactional matters, including mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, commercial real estate loans, and private equity investments. Edward has also continued to be active in the community, most recently having cochaired Holland & Knight’s Jacksonville office’s annual 9/11 Day of Service event on September 7, 2013. He is also active in the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), Association for Corporate Growth, University of North Florida’s Pre-Law Program Board of Advisors, and Coastal Law’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. And most importantly, Edward and his wife Jamie had a beautiful baby girl named Harper Grace Sarnowski on September 27, 2013! • Barry Johnson ’08 and his wife Rebecca welcomed a son, Benjamin Walker Johnson, on August 21.

2009 • Amanda Barton ’09 has joined the law firm of Markowitz Ringel Trusty & Hartog, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. as an Associate. Barton practices in the area of bankruptcy litigation and is a member of the firm’s bankruptcy practice group. Before joining the firm, she served as in-house counsel to ITG Fund II in Naples. • Jamie Wershbale ’09, married Jonathan Karpman on March 3, 2013 in Key Largo, Fla. Jamie is currently working as an Attorney-Advisor for the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development in Jacksonville. • Jennifer Kifer ’09 finished a federal clerkship with the Honorable Timothy J. Corrigan and returned to Holland & Knight as an associate in September. She has also been hired as a professor at UNF to teach Media Law; at FSCJ to teach Legal Research & Writing in the Paralegal Program; and at the University of Phoenix to teach Public Speaking.


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Aaron J. Irving ‘10

Kyle B. Sill ‘10

2010 • Aaron J. Irving ’10, of Irving & Reilly, P.L., has merged his former practice with that of Integrity Law, P.A., and Troy M. Farquhar ’08. Integrity Law, P.A. is located in historic Riverside and the attorneys practice a variety of fields including, but not limited to: Family, Landlord/ Tenant, Personal Injury, Real Estate, Title Work, and Small Business Law. Troy also works as a Guardian ad Litem for the 8th Judicial Circuit. • Kyle B. Sill ’10, Judicial Law Clerk at Florida’s First District Court of Appeal and adjunct professor at Coastal Law, and Robert Jeffrey ’10, Associate at Combs Greene McLester in Jacksonville were published in the North Carolina Journal of International Law & Commercial Regulation. Their article, Up, Around, Over, and Under: Busting Through the Supposed Privity Barrier of CISG Article 4, appears at 38 N.C.J. Int’l L. & Com. Reg. 697 (2013). • Randy Newman ’10 traveled to California in April 2013 and met with two former classmates, Matthew Mueller in Long Beach, Calif., and Jonathan Reyes in San Fransisco, Calif. Randy and his wife Jill gave birth to a son, Alexander Eugene Newman on August 27. • Lauren Blocker ’10 is living in Jacksonville, Fla. and is currently a law clerk for the U.S. Court, Middle District of Florida with Judge Howard. • Erin Martin ’10 passed the patent bar exam and is now a registered patent attorney working with PCT Law Group in Jacksonville, Fla. • Kristen Goetz Gaffey ’10 writes, “My husband Jim and I welcomed into the world our son, Jameson Michael, on March 27. He was 10 lbs, 3 oz and 22 inches long. I am a member of the faculty as a Bar Passage Lecturer at Charlotte School of Law, and I also coach Moot Court. I have been with CSL since August 2011.” 

Robert Jeffrey ‘10

Kristen Goetz Gaffey’s ‘10 son Jameson

Kelley Corbari ‘12

Randy Newman ‘10

Patrick Daven ‘11

Jessica Baker ‘12



• Christine Malamanig Berk ’11 is currently living in Orlando, Fla. and works for Emeritus Attorneys at Law. Berk was elected to the Board of Directors of the Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association.

• Jeanette Akers ’13 writes, “I recently accepted a job with the State of West Virginia, Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau of Child Support Enforcement. We go to court with 25 to 30 cases at a time. It is hectic but very rewarding. I get to help people, which is why I went to law school in the first place.”

• Patrick Daven ’11 and Rachael Erickson were married in November 2013 at the Windmill Winery in Florence, Ariz. Daven works at Fortegra Financial in Jacksonville, Fla. • Hector Murcia ’12 and Elizabeth Farhat ’11 were married on August 13 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Jacksonville, Fla. After completing his JD/MBA, Hector began work at the State Attorney’s Office and Elizabeth is working at Diana S. Farhat, PA.

2012 • Kelley Corbari ’12 passed the July 2012 bar exam and began working as a Staff Attorney in the Regulatory Analysis Section of the Florida Public Service Commission. • Jessica Baker ’12 recently got her LLM and is now working as a law clerk for the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Educational Opportunities Section in Washington, D.C. • Kristen Haraden ’12 is currently living in the Chicago area and was appointed Assistant General Counsel in the Bureau of Human Resources for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in July 2013. • Kanella Georgopoulos ’12 was recently appointed an Assistant District Attorney for Queens County, NY. • Jessica Montenegro Skapetis ’12 was married in May 2012 and is practicing criminal and immigration law at the Law Office of Elizabeth Gonzalez, PL. in Jacksonville, Fla.

• Chris Huband ’13 and Caroline de la Rionda were married on May 31 in St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Fernandina Beach, Fla. The couple lives in Jacksonville, Fla and Chris currently works at the State Attorney’s Office. • Kelly Brannon ’13 recently passed the Florida Bar and is currently working at Boyd & Jenerette with the civil litigation practice group. • Caitlin Milo ’13 recently moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and is working as an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow for the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati. • Kristi White ’13 recently accepted a job in Montgomery, Ala. clerking for the Honorable Wallace Capel, Jr., a magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. • Jessie DaSilva ’13 recently accepted a job at Fairbanks Law Group in St. Augustine, Fla. • Michelle Haines ’13 and Alex Amador ’13 recently accepted a job at McCabe Law Goup, P.A. in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. They both argued before the First Distict Court of Appeal in November. • Nina Cano ’13 is currently working as a Staff Attorney for the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project, a project funded by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration.


Chapter wrap & alumni events:

Alumni Weekend

On April 19-20, the classes of 2002, 2003, 2007 and 2008 celebrated reunions with CLE courses, a scavenger hunt through the library, an on campus reception, happy hours, a day at the beach and a trip to the Suns game!

Alumni Reception at the Florida Bar Conference

On June 27, Coastal Law faculty, staff and alumni attended the Annual Alumni Reception at the Florida Bar Convention in Boca Raton, Fla. Pictured above are the members of the winning Moot Court team. Thank you to our sponsors Michael Orr ’05, Leland Taylor ’05, Heather Reynolds ’02, Rebecca Black ’06, Jim Farah ’99, Steven Grant ’10 and Dave Lazzaroni ’05.

Immigration Law

October 10, 2013: Karen Winston ’10, Kara Roberts ’08, Enrique Barquinero ’01 and Fernando Martinez ‘13 spoke to a group of students in October about their experience practicing Immigration Law.

Hot dog Wednesday

November 11, 2013: Jacksonville alums Judi Cowart ’03, Amy Lane ’13, Lisa Dasher ’07, James Galloway ’13, Thomas Ludan ’12, Stephen Smith ’08, (not pictured, Kathy Para ’00) and student Ashton Bias ’15 sponsored this event.


Coastal Law Magazine | Winter 2014


September 19, 2013: Several members of the Class of 2004 met at Mimi’s Café in Jacksonville, Fla. to discuss their upcoming 10 year reunion on April 25-26! October 13, 2013: Several graduates from Seattle, Wash. gathered for lunch with Dean Alicia Edwards at the Purple Café. This was the first Florida Coastal Seattle alumni event and the group had a great time!

Alumni Chapter Summer Send Offs

2014 Alumni Weekend Save the Date Info - April 25-26, 2014 Reunions: Charter Class, 1999, 2004 & 2009 Charter Class and Classes of 1999, 2004 and 2009,


It’s hard to believe your 15th, 10th and 5th class reunions are fast approaching on April 25-26, and that it is time to start planning for this milestone. We have created Facebook pages for each of the reunion classes that you can find by visiting Your class reunion schedule will be planned by members of your class and, I would like you to consider serving on the Reunion Committee. As a member of the Reunion Committee, the expectations are to:


New York City

• Attend Alumni Weekend April 25-26, 2014. • Help shape your reunion schedule. • Participate in periodic scheduled conference calls. These will typically last no more than 45 minutes once a month. • Encourage the involvement of your classmates in all aspects of the reunion, including attendance and participation in reunion planning. This is a great opportunity to make your reunion a fun and memorable affair as you reconnect with Florida Coastal and old friends. The time committed to the reunion planning is manageable and very rewarding. If you are interested in serving on your Reunion Committee, please contact me, Lauren Griffith at or 904.256.1123. Please include your name, preferred phone number and any other members of your class that may be interested in serving on the committee. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you!


Sincerely, Lauren Griffith  Alumni Relations Manager


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A decorating tradition enlivens a corner of campus In October 2010, Coastal Law students and faculty were treated to an unusual sight. A three-sided study carrel outside the Legal Clinics on the school’s second floor had been transformed into a Halloween scene, complete with a giant spider dangling from an equally giant web, tombstones, skeletal hands, and a selection of particularly frightening law textbooks. On the table sat a large dish of Halloween candy.

“The first time we put out candy, it was gone in seconds,” says Gless. “But we tried to always keep it refilled, especially around finals time. Some students and faculty were under the impression the candy was provided by the school, but it wasn’t. We had a rule: If you take candy, always say, ‘Thank you,’ and if you take some frequently, please provide some. So when other students would bring bags of candy, we would add it to the dish.”

The perpetrators of this particular trick-andtreat were first-year law students Jonathan Gless and Hunter Whaley, and it soon became apparent that they were not about to stop with a single act of decoration. For the next three years, Gless and Whaley regularly festooned the space that became known as “The Office” with a succession of holiday and seasonal designs.

Whaley and Gless both graduated from Coastal Law in May and passed the bar exam administered in July.

“The table was where Hunter and I spent all of our time every day,” says Gless. “Since we were living there, we thought that we might as well enjoy it.” According to Whaley, “Jon had appropriated the space from about his first or second week at school. I started to study there, too, and we became friends. The idea of decorating for Halloween was kind of a lark. We didn’t know how people would react, and a few seemed a little put off at first that we’d bring the outside world into the law school, but most people seemed to like it.” Once Halloween was over, the decorations quickly changed. A fall/ Thanksgiving theme was followed by Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July and so on around the calendar. But one tradition continued, regardless of the season: the candy dish.


Coastal Law Magazine | Winter 2014

“For our last decoration, we used a tropical theme and called it the ‘Bar-muda Triangle,’ “ says Gless. Gless is currently working in the legal department of Wounded Warrior Project in Jacksonville and is hoping to become a litigator in public service, either as a State Attorney or Public Defender. Whaley is now in Tallahassee, working toward a Masters degree in Library Science at Florida State University with the goal of becoming a law librarian. Both Coastal Law alums hope the tradition of decorating “The Office” for the changing seasons will continue, and that it will continue to be an informal stop on the campus tour. “We’ve passed the torch to Amy De Guzman, a third-year law student,” says Gless. “Now it’s up to her to build on what we’ve started. I’m sure she will.”

special feature

Coastal Law Foundation annual fund focuses on legal clinics From our inception, the faculty and students in the Coastal Law Legal Clinics have been providing thousands of hours of pro bono legal services to those who would often otherwise go unrepresented. In an effort to bolster those valuable services, the Florida Coastal School of Law Foundation will work to raise funds for clinics via its 2013-2014 Annual Fund.

Without Coastal Law there would be a lot more vulnerable people in our community.

“They’re very quiet about it - not much is known about what they’re doing within our community,” said Interim Executive Director of the Foundation, Elizabeth Bates. “I really don’t think people understand the void the clinics fill in Jacksonville as far as legal representation of the indigent populations.”

Money raised through the Annual Fund will benefit all of the in-house legal clinics, but the Foundation campaign centers on the Immigrant Rights Clinic and their work with victims of human trafficking. “Our go-to place is Florida Coastal,” said Michelle Clowe, Reception and Placement Coordinator for World Relief and Co-Chair of the Northeast Florida Human Trafficking Coalition. Clowe refers human trafficking clients and refugees to the clinics. “Professor Ericka Curran and her students are phenomenal in devoting their time to meet with these people. Without Florida Coastal there would be a lot more vulnerable people in our community.” The clinics are often the first experience a student has with a live client and, for many, it gives them a new perspective on the power of their education. Karla Arauz, third-year Coastal Law Immigrant Rights clinician, gained experience researching, writing memos, submitting applications, interviewing and translating as well as professional decorum when maintaining a relationship with a client.

“You learn how to talk like a lawyer - you get experience in everything right away,” said Arauz. “People assume that you’re an attorney it must be for the money, but no, it’s often for the people. The people who come into the clinic are the ones you really want to help because they have nowhere else to go.” Because the clinics’ clients have limited resources of their own, the miscellaneous costs of defending a client is often left to faculty and student clinicians. As part of the Foundation’s Annual Fund, Bates hopes to alleviate as much of that cost as possible. “By providing funding to the clinics, we are going to give them the opportunity to expand the legal work they do and subsequently provide more opportunities for students to receive hands-on experience,” said Bates. “I think working with these clients gives our students a great perspective on public service and many of them will tell you they have been changed forever.” To donate to the Coastal Law Foundation annual fund please visit foundation/annual-fund


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Coastal Law Magazine | Winter 2014


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Student Bar Association 2013-2014 President Justin Norman wastes no opportunity. A self-proclaimed introvert, Norman is in his third-year at Coastal Law and has participated in an externship with Judge Monte Richardson and has been active on Moot Court, Mock Trial, and, of course, SBA. He came to Coastal Law for the Sports Law program after graduating from Georgia State University and will graduate in May 2014.

Why did you decide to become an attorney? I’ve wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I could remember. As a kid, I always thought if I didn’t make it in basketball then I was going to become a lawyer. It was probably midway through college that I put the two together and decided on sports law. For the most part, my biggest influence came in middle school when we had a Shadow Day with an attorney. Since then, I have tried to take every opportunity to shadow, intern, go to the courthouse, take a class, do mock trial, etc. Those experiences are always exciting and have further developed my interest in law. What is life like as SBA president? Every day there is something going on and there is never a dull moment. I like that I am in a position where I can affect change and really advocate on the students’ behalf. I have to make sure that I’m always mindful of what I’m doing, but at the same time I get to inspire people. So when I think about those things it really makes me happy that I took on the role and I’m doing things that hopefully others will find to be beneficial. What would you tell someone who was considering attending Coastal Law? I think the biggest thing for me is the school’s emphasis on encouraging students to obtain practical legal experience. There

are a lot of opportunities for students to intern, extern, as well as extracurricular opportunities like moot court, mock trial, law review and things of that nature. The school really emphasizes how important it is to get that kind of training. I would also tell prospective students that, to do well in law school, you have to take the initiative and you can’t rest on your laurels. Come in with a mindset and a plan. Be proactive, network, talk to your faculty, talk to your peers because they end up being your colleagues in the industry when you graduate. You really have make the most of this opportunity. What is one of your favorite memories of your time so far at Coastal Law? Every year the school hosts a closing argument competition by a local firm Spohrer Dodd. Last year, I competed in that competition and was fortunate enough to win. I guess it was one of those moments that you needed a camera on me because I was so shocked. I truly didn’t think that I would place - let alone win. That is one of my best memories because it really caught me off guard and I was really honored to have won the award. Especially since, later on, I found out I was the first second-year student to ever win the award. For me, it was a really big accomplishment.


HUMAN TRAFFICKING* During the past two years the Legal Clinics at Florida Coastal School of Law have provided

59,120 HOURS OF FREE LEGAL SERVICES to the Jacksonville community.

Today, there are more laws than ever in place to protect residents, help victims and prosecute predators of human trafficking. However, important work remains, as Florida accounts for the third-highest call volume to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. The goal of the Coastal Law Foundation 20132014 Annual Fund is to provide much needed additional support to our pro bono Legal Clinics as they advocate on behalf of victims of these horrific crimes.

Show your support and help stop the traffic.

*Human trafficking victim and former Coastal Law Legal Clinic client The Coastal Law Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose to raise money for scholarships and programming, and provide opportunities for Florida Coastal School of Law students to enter the legal profession and to pursue their passion for public service. F L O R I D A



F O U N D AT I O N 904.256.1144


Come Join us at

April 25 - 26, 2014 This year we celebrate the reunions for the Charter Class, 1999, 2004 & 2009.

Winter 2014 | Coastal Law Magazine  

Coastal Law Magazine's Winter 2014 issue.

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