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Gary Simson

The Road to Mercer


Paul Melia. Illustration

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An interview with the new Dean | P. 13



A mercer law F A C U L T Y LEGEND RETIRES P. 3 0


Scene from Macon

Roger Idenden photo

The Bootle Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, named for Mercer Law School alumnus, the late Judge William Augustus “Gus” Bootle. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Judge Bootle’s order to desegregate the University of Georgia.

Contents f eat u res


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22 Class Action

13 Dean Gary Simson

Mercer Law students maintain a tradition of

Q&A with the former dean of Case

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G e o r g e

S c h o o l

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Western Reserve Law School and

excellence, both in the classroom and through philanthropic work in the community.

associate dean of Cornell Law School, who brings his intellectual acumen (and wife Rosalind, a philosophy professor) to Middle Georgia. He discusses the multiple roles a dean must play in leading Mercer Law School into the future.

24 Marc Treadwell, Doing It Right Newly appointed as a Federal District Court Judge, the ’81 graduate takes on the wide-reaching responsibilities of the bench.

Roger Idenden photo


de p artments

William D. Underwood Dean Gary J. Simson

Professor Sarah Gerwig-Moore with Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking and featured speaker at Mercer University’s inaugural Freedom Lecture on Martin Luther King Day 2011

5 On the Docket

Highlights from 2010-11

26 Faculty Essays

Challenging the constitutionality of healthcare reform Professor David G. Oedel

The dual enchantments of music and the law Professor Jack Sammons

Editor Steve Murray Faculty Editor Professor Linda D. Jellum Senior Associate Vice President Gloria O. Marshall Design Marketing Communications Photography Mary Ann Bates, Roger Idenden,

30 Faculty Profile

Professor (and master storyteller) Joe Claxton heads into retirement after 38 years

David Indech, Erik Lesser, Mike Melia, Saldivia-Jones Photography Contributing Writers Professor David G. Oedel

32 Student Profile

A former chemical engineering professor, David Whitmire cracks a new set of books

Professor Jack L. Sammons Send change of address to: Mercer Lawyer is published

33 Faculty News and Scholarship

for alumni and friends of the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law. News submissions,


38 Alumni News

including Class Notes, are welcome

Alumni Profiles: Nnena Ukuku ’08, Katie Powers ’09, Jon Gary Branan ’80, Diane Owens ’80, Lamar Sizemore ’74

editor, Mercer Lawyer, 1021 Georgia

Class Notes

In Memory

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

and should be addressed to the Ave., Macon, GA 31207 or e-mail:


on the docket

H I g hli g h t s F r o m 2 0 1 0 -11

March/May 2011

Mercer Law Brings Noted Speakers

Left to right, Mike Mattox (Co-Coach), Matt Shoemaker (Class of 2012), Dodson Strawbridge (Class of 2012), Tyler Oldenburg (Student Coach, Class of 2011)

for 2011 Law Day and Commencement Addresses

April 2011 Strossen


On March 25, 2011, Nadine Strossen, president of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1991-2008, was the guest speaker at Mercer’s Law Day luncheon. Her longtime leadership role with the ACLU made her an especially apt choice to address this year’s National Law Day theme: “The Legacy of John Adams: From Boston to Guantanamo.” As a lawyer, Adams defended the British officer and soldiers who fired into a crowd of protesters, killing five civilians in what came to be known as the Boston Massacre. Adams has come to symbolize the pursuit of justice and protection of individual liberty, no matter how unpopular the case or the client might be in the eyes of the public. Similarly, in its ninety-plus year history, the ACLU has never shied away from controversy when it believed basic liberties were at stake, whether that meant defending flag-burners or anti-war protesters on the left or Oliver North and Rush Limbaugh on the right. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Strossen has taught for many years on the New York Law School faculty. The author of several books and numerous articles, Strossen was twice named one of “The Most Influential Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal and has received a half-dozen honorary Doctor of Law degrees. On May 14 Judge Karen Nelson Moore of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit spoke, and received an honorary doctorate, at the Law School’s graduation ceremony. After graduation from Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Moore clerked for Federal Appellate Judge Malcolm Wilkey on the D.C. Circuit and then for Justice Harry Blackmun on the Supreme Court. After two years as a litigation associate at Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, she was a law professor at Case Western Reserve University from 1977 until her appointment to the bench in 1995. Her primary areas of teaching and scholarship included civil procedure, complex litigation, Supreme Court practice, and federal income taxation. Since becoming a federal judge she has served on numerous judicial committees, including the Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Security. “Not only is the quality of her scholarship as a law professor and her opinion-writing as a judge first-rate,” says Dean Gary Simson, “but she, in person, is a role model for everyone in the legal profession to follow.”

Mercer Wins Buffalo Moot Court Competition “As employers across Georgia and elsewhere have come to recognize, our students acquire an excellent grounding....” A Mercer Law School team won the Buffalo Criminal Law Society’s 13th Annual Herbert Wechsler Moot Court Competition, held April 2, 2011, at the Buffalo City Court courthouse in downtown Buffalo, N.Y. The Mercer team of second-year students Matt Shoemaker and Dodson Strawbridge was coached by third-year student Tyler Oldenburg, Michael Mattox, director of development for the law school, and Professor Tim Floyd. Mercer competed against teams from 23 other law schools, including American University, Valparaiso, Hofstra, New York University, University of Michigan, University of Richmond, William & Mary, and Rutgers. The Mercer team defeated Appalachian Law School in the finals. The Wechsler Moot Court Competition, named after the drafter of the Model Penal Code, is the only national moot court competition in the United States to focus on topics in substantive criminal law. This year’s problem was based upon a case that is currently pending before the United States Supreme Court. “I was delighted, though not surprised, to learn of our team’s first place finish. Our students compete in a wide array of competitions elsewhere, and having judged various practice rounds, I know first-hand how unusually skilled and well-prepared they virtually always are,” said Gary Simson, dean and Macon Chair of Law. “As employers across Georgia and elsewhere have come to recognize, our students acquire an excellent grounding not only in the knowledge needed to be an outstanding lawyer but in the essential skills as well.” “The Mercer team displayed great poise under pressure,” Mattox said. “The questioning was tough and persistent but Matt and Dodson were able to answer with confidence and return to their main argument. They demonstrated excellent command of the facts and the relevant case law. We can all be proud of this team and how well they represented Mercer Law.”

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011



H I g hli g h t s F r o m 2 0 1 0 -11

on the docket

November 2010

In November 2010, Mercer Law School hosted the nation’s first moot court competition in legal ethics and professionalism. “Issues involving lawyers and their conduct have become increasingly important in the nation’s courts,” said Professor Tim Floyd, who helped organize the competition. “A law student moot court competition is an excellent vehicle for law students to explore the ethical dimensions of lawyering. And given the strength of our academic programs in legal writing and in legal ethics and professionalism, as well as our national prominence and successes in moot court competition, Mercer is a natural and fitting home for this competition.” Sixteen teams competed in the competition. To avoid any home-court advantage, Mercer did not enter a team. A team from Stetson defeated one from Liberty in the final round.

November 2010

Smith Excels in Closing Argument Competition Mercer Law student Louise Smith (second from left) finished first in November 2010 in the Keenan’s Kids Foundation’s annual Closing Argument Competition among students from Georgia’s five law schools. The Keenan’s Kids Foundation was established in 1993 by the Keenan Law Firm to raise awareness about child safety.


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

Roger Idenden photo

Mercer Holds First-of-Its-Kind Moot Court Competition

Final round of competition, with Dean Gary Simson, far left, and former Dean Daisy Floyd, far right, among the judges.

October 2010

Mercer Law School Hosts “The Brain Sciences in the Courtroom” Symposium

Roger Idenden photo

The 2010 Mercer Law Review Symposium, titled “The Brain Sciences in the Courtroom,” was held at Mercer Law School on October 22, 2010. The Symposium featured panel discussions by leading experts in the field: Professor Oliver Goodenough, “A Decade of Neurolaw — Where Has it Brought Us?”; Dr. Richard Elliott, “Neuropsychiatry in the Courtroom”; Dr. Abigail Baird, “The Teen Species”; Professor Theodore Blumoff, “How (Some) Criminals Are Made: MAOA and Behavioral Control”; Professor Neil Feigenson, “Fantasies of Visual Proof: Visual Memory Reconstruction via fMRI”; Professor Francis Shen, “Brain Scans as Truth Verification: U.S.

v. Semrau”; Professor Julie Seaman, “Race and Reason: An fMRI Study of Evidentiary Weight”; Professor Edward J. Imwinkelried, “Serendipitous Timing: The Coincidental Emergence of the New Brain Science and the Advent of an Epistemological Approach to Determining the Admissibility of Expert Testimony”; Professor Susan Bandes, “The Implications of Neuroscience for Criminal Negligence Liability”; Professor Amanda Pustilnik, “Embodied Morality: Physiology & Normativity in Dialogue”; Professor Stephen Morse, “Irrational Exuberance: Neuroscience in the Courts”; and Judge Morris Hoffman, “Ten Legal Dissonances.”

November 2010

Latest Edition of Princeton Review Praises Mercer Law In its Best 172 Law Schools: 2011 Edition, The Princeton Review offered high praise for Mercer Law School: “Mercer University School of Law strikes the ‘perfect balance’ between a ‘familial atmosphere’ and one of ‘healthy competition’ thanks to its ‘smaller size,’ which ‘allows for close relationships with other students and productive interaction with professors.’” According to The Princeton Review, Mercer Law students described the faculty as “brilliant academics, which can be intimidating at times – especially in the beginning – and as having the ability to stimulate student thought through engaging discussion.’” Students are also quoted characterizing Mercer’s Legal Writing Program “second-to-none,” adding that their “superior” legal writing training will distinguish them from other law school graduates. Finally, “The substantial emphasis that Mercer Law places on developing superior legal writing skills is an asset that will distinguish all graduates throughout their legal careers,” a student opined.

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011



on the docket

H I g hli g h t s F r o m 2 0 1 0 -11 September 2010

Issue of The Journal of Southern Legal History Dedicated to Judge Bell The Journal of Southern Legal History published in September 2010 a very special issue. A big part of what makes the issue so special is its focus: the late Griffin B. Bell. One of Mercer Law’s most illustrious graduates, this esteemed federal appellate judge, Attorney General of the United States, and longtime partner and guiding force at King & Spalding had a legal career that few could rival. Though probably best known for restoring the reputation of a Justice Department still reeling from the Watergate fiasco, he in numerous ways played a vital role in helping ensure that the law has, as Professor Jack Sammons writes in the introductory essay to the issue, “the moral authority it needs to have to be available to us when law is most needed.” Contributors to the edition range from a former President of the United States to Griffin Bell’s colleagues in the Justice Department, the judiciary, and private practice, to legal academics and to Griffin Bell himself.

July 2010

April 2010

National Criminal Defense College Graduates Student 5,000

Mercer Law School Makes Strong Showing in Vale Moot Court Competition

Summer 2010 marked the 26th year that Mercer has hosted, and Professor Deryl Dantzler has led, the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC). Ninety-six individuals participated, including the 5,000th lawyer that NCDC has trained. Number 5,000, Jennifer Kearney from Nebraska, raved about her experience: “Let me start by saying this: Macon in the dead of July is hot. Not just hot, but melt-your-faceoff-your-skull sweltering. And the truth is, if I had the opportunity to go back tomorrow, I would. I would pack my bags, tune the car radio to a top40 station ... and I would drive the 18 hours of back-numbing tediousness just to experience it all over again. NCDC changed my life, my career and my passion for what I do, even on the days when I am totally beat down. I’m a total addict.”


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

For the sixth time in the past seven years, Mercer Law School’s Corporate Law Moot Court Team advanced to the championship round of the Vale Corporate Competition in Wilmington, Delaware. The Vale Corporate Law Competition is the premier corporate competition in the country and involves difficult and unsettled issues in Delaware corporation law. Students Jon Simpson, Kelin Murphy, and Paul Chichester outperformed teams from more than twenty other law schools from around the country to advance to the finals with the help of their student coach Kate Willett and faculty coach Chris Wells. In a split decision, Mercer’s team lost to Southwestern. Members of Mercer Law’s 2010 Vale Corporate Moot Court teams confer before the final rounds of the competition. From left: student coach Katie Willett (who had argued the finals of the 2009 Vale Competition), Kelin Murphy, Jon Simpson, Kate Butnik and Stephen Rogers. (Not pictured: Paul Chichester)

April 2010

Mercer Honors Outgoing Dean Daisy Floyd

Floyd holds a check for nearly $7,000, donated by faculty, adjunct faculty and staff for the endowed scholarship she established with her husband, Professor Timothy W. Floyd.

Roger Idenden photos

On April 13, 2010, faculty, staff, alumni, and students gathered to thank and honor Dean Daisy Hurst Floyd, who decided to step down after six years as dean. Dean Floyd joined the Mercer law faculty as dean on July 1, 2004. Speaking at a party in her honor, Professor Jack Sammons summed up her six years as dean: “In light of all the challenges Mercer has faced in the last six years, we would judge Daisy a remarkable dean if she managed simply to keep the institution afloat. But she did so much more. Under her leadership, we greatly increased scholarships, created an in-house alumni development program, developed a clinic with public interest programs funded almost entirely with outside monies, diversified the faculty, improved the school’s financial management, increased and improved faculty scholarship, and dramatically improved the facilities. These are, I know you will agree, accomplishments that would have entitled her to be considered one of our best deans under ordinary circumstances. To have done these things in the face of the extraordinary challenges she faced is simply extraordinary. We are all in your debt.” After a year’s sabbatical, Dean Floyd, whom President Underwood has named to a university professorship, will return to full-time teaching in fall 2011. She will develop and teach courses both within the Law School and Mercer’s other colleges, building upon her earlier work with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011



on the docket

H I g hli g h t s F r o m 2 0 1 0 -11 February 2010

Mercer Law School Sweeps Charleston Moot Court Competition March 2010

In March 2010, Mercer law student Ashley Pruitt won the annual Hugh Lawson Moot Court competition at Mercer. A panel of Mercer Law School alumni judges awarded Pruitt $500 and the King & Spalding Cup for arguing most effectively.

Roger Idenden photo

Pruitt Wins 1L Moot Court Award

February 2010

Client Counseling Team Makes it to Finals in ABA Regional Competition Mercer Law School’s client counseling team advanced to the finals in the American Bar Association’s Client Counseling Competition, South Regionals, held in February 2010. It was the fifth time in as many years that a Mercer Law team had advanced to the championship round, coming just short of winning first place. The Mercer Law team was students Travis Meyer and Kathy Seabolt.


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

A Mercer Law School moot court team swept the Charleston School of Law National Moot Court Competition in February 2010, winning the coveted team championship and both “Best Respondent’s Brief” and “Best Oralist.” In the closing rounds, the team, comprised of law students Falen Cox (photo below, top) and Emily Macheski-Preston, defeated law school teams from the University of Florida (quarterfinals), DePaul University (semifinals) and Florida Coastal (finals). Moot court teams from 19 law schools participated in the national competition, including teams from Duke, Florida State, and NYU. “We could not have won without the tremendous support we received from the Mercer Moot Court Board and the help of the faculty,” said Macheski-Preston, who won “Best Oralist.” “Our win is simply tangible evidence of the first-class education we receive at Mercer Law,” Cox said.

January 2010

Erik Lesser photo

Deadwyler Earns Coveted Public Interest Fellowship In January 2010 the international law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, in alliance with Equal Justice Works, awarded Mercer Law School student Ashley Deadwyler a public interest law fellowship, making her one of 19 Greenberg fellows of 2010. Her fellowship would begin several months after her graduation and run for two years at the Atlanta-based Georgia Justice Works. Since 1998, Greenberg Traurig has sponsored, in whole or in part, al-

most 100 fellows who have worked on innovative public interest projects in many of the communities in which the firm’s attorneys practice. The fellowships offer salary and loan-repayment assistance, a national training and leadership development program, and other forms of support.

2009/August 2010

Phi Alpha Delta Chapter Wins National Service Program Award Mercer Law School’s chapter of Phi Alpha Delta received the award for Outstanding Law School Chapter Community Service Program for its 2009 Mercer Law Talent Show. The talent show raised funds for Booker T. Washington Community Center, which offers an after-school and summer program for underprivileged families. The award was presented at the 58th Biennium Convention of Phi Alpha Delta in Tampa, Aug. 4-8, 2010.

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011




Numbers to remember Your main contacts at mercer Law school

Dean’s Office

Continuing Legal Education

Academic Dean

Law Review


Law School Development



Alumni Affairs


Career Services

Student Affairs

Karen Batts Assistant to Dean Gary Simson 478.301.2602 Steve Johnson Associate Dean 478.301.2192 Michael Dean Associate Dean 478.301.2607

Marilyn Sutton Assistant Dean 478.301.2429 Gloria Marshall Senior Associate Vice President 478.301.2173 Stephanie Powell Assistant Dean 478.301.2064 Erik Lesser photo

Hope L. Martin Director 478.301.2615


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

Nancy Terrill Coordinator 478.301.2204

Yonna Shaw Advisor 478.301.2622 Mike Mattox Director 478.301.2232 Suzanne Cassidy Director 478.301.2665 Patsy Crammer Director 478.301.2621 Mary Donovan Assistant Dean 478.301.2586

cover story


On July 1, 2010, Daisy Hurst Floyd’s tenure as Dean of the School of Law came to a close and Gary Simson’s began. Dean Simson came to Mercer from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he served as Dean from 2006-08 and as the Baker & Hostetler Professor of Law from 2006-10. Most of Simson’s academic career was spent at Cornell Law School in Ithaca, N.Y. He served there as Professor of Law from 1980-2006, including seven years (1997-2004) in two consecutive associate deanships.

Mike Melia photo

>> Continued on page 14

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011


He began his teaching career in 1975 at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas, and was promoted in 1977 from Assistant Professor to Professor. He also has taught at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, serving as a Visiting Professor in 1986. Dean Simson graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale College in 1971. He received his J.D. in 1974 from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of The Yale Law Journal. The following year, he clerked for Judge J. Joseph Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Dean Simson is married to Rosalind Simson, a professor for many years at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y., and most recently at Case Western Reserve University. She joined the Mercer University faculty in July 2010 as Associate Professor of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies. They have two children — Nathaniel, a physics teacher at a high school outside of New York City, and Jennie Anne, a freshman and future astrophysics major at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. Toward the end of his first semester at Mercer, Dean Simson sat down for the following interview with the Mercer Lawyer:

What do you see as the role of a law school dean? Dean Simson: The dean has a lot of different roles, and that’s part of what’s nice about being a dean. It requires you to use a lot of different skills. You’re the leader of the faculty, which means building consensus in the faculty, laying the groundwork for forward movement on various fronts. You have to have some conception of where you’re hoping the institution will go, but you need the enthusiasm and agreement of the faculty. Not everyone on the faculty has to think that something is the absolutely perfect thing to do, but you need to make it something that many are eager to see happen. A lot of what I’m doing in my first year is getting a feel for what Mercer is about, because leadership can’t be effective unless it is consistent with the identity of Mercer. The dean also has a major role in terms of the students. The students look at the dean as the individual who personifies the school and its values. Mercer is a truly welcoming environment for students, and that should be clear from the dean. In

“Gary Simson is among the most respected leaders in legal education. He’s a great fit for Mercer. He’s an outstanding teacher who appreciates the importance of great teaching. He’s a great scholar, among the most nationally prominent in his field, who understands that first-rate faculty scholarship can enhance the classroom experience of students. He’s an accomplished lawyer, who appreciates that we are a professional school that must prepare our students for the responsibility of representing clients in times of crisis. He’s an experienced leader, who has already proven to be a wise and thoughtful decision-maker. His standing in the world of legal education will raise the profile of Mercer among law schools nationally.” — Mercer University President William D. Underwood


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

Mike Melia photo

Dean Simson with daughter Jennie Anne and his wife, Professor Rosalind Simson

interacting with students, the dean should exemplify Mercer’s very genuine commitment to their learning and to their personal growth and well-being. Another very big role as dean is interacting with alumni. I love getting to meet people doing so many different and interesting things, and it is energizing to hear first-hand about their student days and about their fondness for the school and ambitions for it. As dean, you want to create opportunities for faculty and alumni to interact, but ultimately you’re the face of the faculty to the alumni community, and I really enjoy all that role entails. The dean also represents the law school and its interests in the university. Mercer University has the very good fortune to be led by President Underwood and Provost Daniel. They have both been extraordinarily welcoming and supportive to me. They have high ambitions for the law school, and that’s great. You have visited and will continue to visit Mercer law alumni throughout the academic year. What do you hope to accomplish in these visits? Dean Simson: As someone new to Mercer, I’m eager to meet and get to know as many alumni as I can around the state and the country. I want the alumni to feel enthusiastic and

confident about the future of the school, but that’s simply unrealistic to expect unless they have some sense of who is now leading the school. I enjoy doing alumni receptions, but I see them as a twoway conversation, not just my standing in front of the room and telling alumni who I am and what I hope to do. I really value getting their input and perspective. What do they think about the various things we’re doing at the law school? What are we doing well? What could we be doing better? What new directions should we be taking? I find opportunities to speak with alumni one-on-one, either at receptions or elsewhere, absolutely invaluable. Alumni involvement in the life of the law school is vital to the school’s growth. Their financial assistance is of course important, but so is the assistance that they provide in helping recruit students and place graduates, in teaching as adjunct faculty, in serving on the alumni board and board of visitors, and more. You majored in Spanish literature as an undergraduate. Why, and what importance, if any, has that had in your career? Dean Simson: My majoring in Spanish literature was an interesting decision. I had to declare a major at the start of

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011


my junior year, and I signed up to major in English. Probably half the upperclass students were English majors, and I ended up getting the seminar that was my lowest ranked choice of ten. It wasn’t one that I was the least bit interested in taking. So, I started thinking “Why am I doing this? I really love literature, I love writing, but I can do both with a Spanish literature major.” I had been taking Spanish literature courses in college, and I had taken Spanish all the way through middle school and high school. Don Quixote is still my favorite book of all time. It was incredibly exciting to read it in Spanish as a college freshman. I decided not only to major in Spanish, but to be what the school called an intensive major. That meant taking on a large writing project. Half of my course credits as a college junior were devoted to writing a 200-page thesis on two authors: Cervantes, the leading figure in Spanish literature over the centuries, and Unamuno, a writer who was really extraordinary, though not nearly as well known in the U.S. as Cervantes. Although Unamuno was much later than Cervantes, there are fascinating connections between their work. The two of them were such brilliant and creative thinkers that getting so immersed in their writings couldn’t help but be an exhilarating experience for me, and it clearly was. I did the project as a tutorial with the department chair, who besides being a great scholar was an amazing mentor. How I go about writing a scholarly article today is still very much a function of what he taught me. He took me by the hand through the mechanics of how to plan a major project and

how to pace myself properly in writing it up. He also taught me how to think more critically, both when I read what others have written and when I go over my own drafts. I couldn’t have gotten better training anywhere for a career in academia, but what he taught me also would have served me well if I had decided to spend my career as a practicing attorney. It was truly an education in how to write and think. What led you to decide to go to law school and then to become a law professor? Dean Simson: I was one of those college students who was pre-everything. In the fall of my senior year, I was still trying to decide between law school, medical school, and graduate school. They all sounded interesting, but what ultimately led me to decide on law school was — and I know this sounds very idealistic — that I saw it as the best opportunity for me to make a positive difference in society. It was an era of a great deal of social and political ferment, a time when it seemed natural to think about what you could do to contribute to a better world. In fact, though, that’s not just how I used to think. I still think that way, and if that seems overly idealistic, so be it. My thinking in deciding to go into law teaching was along those lines. Through teaching and scholarship, a law professor can have a real impact on the direction and shape of the law and on the type of justice that our system produces. My writing is almost all in constitutional law and conflict of laws. Generally, it fits the mold of what is called “law reform”

“Gary thinks outside the box. He’s very intelligent. He doesn’t mind talking about hard subjects, or talking about the elephant in the room. I think it’s probably good — for the School, for the professors and the alumni — to have somebody from outside the South. I think he’ll bring a new intellectual curiosity. He has the ability to look at the big picture with fresh eyes, and he’s excited about changes he can make that will enhance the reputation of the School on an academic level.” - S. Catherine (Katie) Phelps (class of 1991), Chair of Law School Board of Visitors


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

“Gary Simson brings another dimension to our law school. His academic credentials, along with his many years of experience in both teaching and administrative positions at Cornell and Case Western Reserve, provide new perspectives and challenges for our law school and the strong core curriculum we offer our students. I am impressed by his vision and by his stated goal of achieving that long-desired national recognition and perception that Mercer’s law school richly deserves. Time will tell, of course, but, in my judgment, Dean Simson’s presence here should go a long way toward bringing national focus to a law school program that has been one of the nation’s best for a very long time.” - Hon. W. Homer Drake, Jr. (class of 1956) Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Member and Past Chair of Mercer University Board of Trustees writing. It is mainly directed at the Supreme Court, but also at other courts as well as legislatures. I’ve written on a number of topics that various people had already written on. My feeling is that if a topic really interests me and seems to have some real depth and complexity to it, I should write about it without getting all caught up in how much else has already been written on the topic. Law reviews often focus on whether one or another article submitted to them has been “preempted.” But if you’re going to be a productive scholar over the years, I think you need to have a certain degree of skepticism that preemption is a real concern for you. You almost have to have a kind of leap of faith that what you will write will have some originality to it. Music is a major interest of yours. Can you talk about that a bit? Dean Simson: As anyone who knows me at all well knows, I’m a big fan of Bob Dylan. I think he is the leading songwriter and poet of the last fifty years, and I’ve got good company in saying that.

I enjoy listening to a lot of music, especially folk music and what’s often called “folk rock,” but for me there’s nothing like Dylan. One of the great things about Dylan is his constant transformation. You can never put him in a box. He’s out of it in no time. In the early ’60s, he is the darling of the old folk music crowd, writing songs that take on the most controversial political and social issues of the day. Then, in the mid-’60s, he goes electric and his music turns inward, as he writes deeply personal songs filled with complex imagery. Then, in the late ’60s, just when people are starting to feel like they’ve got him figured out, he does a country album, and his fans go half crazy. And change has continued to be his pattern through the years. When I was in college, it seemed like almost everyone played guitar, and if you didn’t know how, you learned by watching other people. I was one who learned by watching — no lessons, and I know it shows — but I love playing, and, as you would guess, especially Dylan. Not only are his music and lyrics great, but his range is one my voice can handle. I’ve performed at a number of student fundraisers over the years, including a great event here in November. The students

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011


are always wonderfully indulgent, and I always enjoy showing them another side of myself and exposing them to Dylan and others whose songs I’ve been playing for years, like Phil Ochs and Tom Paxton. The Carnegie Report on legal education maintained not long ago that law schools typically are not preparing law students adequately for the practice of law. In legal education, what should be the balance between theory and skills training, and how well do you think Mercer Law School has struck that balance? Dean Simson: You certainly need both, and law school offers an ideal opportunity to provide them. We teach the substance and theory of the law, but we also need to ensure that students have the legal skills and the genuine understanding of legal ethics to be able to translate their knowledge of the law and legal theory into top-flight practice. For quite some time Mercer has been at the forefront of melding theory and practice. That is at the heart of our award-winning Woodruff Curriculum, and I am eager for us to continue to lead in that area. Usually law faculty who teach standard classroom courses don’t ever teach clinical courses, particularly not ones involving client representation. After many years of teaching constitutional law and conflict of laws, what led you to take on a religious liberty clinic? Dean Simson: A number of factors influenced that decision. Until starting the clinic, my only practice experience had been

one year right after law school as a clerk for a federal appellate judge. For some time it had been in the back of my mind that it would be good for both my teaching and scholarship for me to get more real-world experience. In the early ’90s, I was a member of the promotion and tenure committee at Cornell, and I sat in on a class taught by Glenn Galbreath, one of the clinical faculty. I was so impressed that I decided to approach Glenn a few days later and ask if he might be interested in co-teaching a clinical course that would draw on his expertise in clinical education and my expertise in the law of freedom of religion. Glenn quickly agreed, and we did it the next fall as a full-year course. In our five years doing the course, we had one particularly fascinating case that ultimately influenced free exercise law across the country. The case originated in upstate New York. Our client, Raymond Rourke, was a Native American prison guard who was fired from his position for refusing to cut his hair to conform to a hair-length regulation for prison guards. His reason for not conforming was that as a follower of the Longhouse religion, he believed that by growing his hair as long as possible in the back, so it could reach closer to the ground, he would spiritually be closer to the Creator. Mr. Rourke had been a prison guard for some time before beginning to grow his hair long. He lived on a reservation in upstate New York, and its residents’ disagreement over whether to establish a casino there was so intense that it led to shooting and bloodshed. Mr. Rourke’s cousin was one of those killed. Mr. Rourke came away from that experience with the belief that if he and others had faithfully followed their traditional religion, the Longhouse religion, the tragic events never would have happened.

“He made a very positive, favorable impression on our committee. He has a fine academic background and a distinguished record of writings and articles and so forth, in addition to his previous experience as a dean. He brought some very positive attributes to the table. And I like him personally, by the way, and his wife. They’re both very likable, admirable individuals.” - Frank C. Jones (class of 1950, Honorary Doctor of Laws 1996) Jones Cork & Miller Member of Law School Dean Search Committee 2009-10


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

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The prison administration did not object to Mr. Rourke’s hair length until soon after he testified against a prison superintendent in an unrelated grievance hearing. Another superintendent then told him that his hair, which was in a ponytail, was too long in the back and that in keeping with the hair-length regulation, he needed to cut it to one-quarter of an inch below the top of his shirt collar or he would be fired. Mr. Rourke responded that he couldn’t do as asked because it would violate his religion. He offered to tie his hair up as

women with long hair were allowed to do, but the prison authorities said that wasn’t good enough, and they fired him. At that point, we had just gotten our clinic under way. Mr. Rourke had sought legal assistance from one of the religious liberty organizations that I had contacted as a possible source of cases, and when the organization offered us the case, we jumped at the opportunity. The case so obviously raised important issues of religious liberty. We were litigating against the state of New York, and so

“He is a superb scholar and teacher. He also, and wonderfully, combines those skills with extraordinarily good administrative abilities. Most important, he is a truly fine human being. He’ll be a great dean at Mercer.” - Guido Calabresi Sterling Professor Emeritus of Law and Professorial Lecturer in Law, Yale Law School; senior judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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“Gary Simson brings to the Mercer Deanship long and successful experience as a scholar, teacher and administrator. He is committed to building on the strengths of Mercer and contributing to the life of the law.” - Russell K. Osgood President Emeritus and Professor, Grinnell College, and Dean Emeritus, Cornell Law School we knew that we needed to do first-class work. Glenn and I had agreed that I would have primary responsibility for any briefs. The students would collectively produce a draft, and then I would edit and re-edit until I was satisfied, which often meant a final product that bore little resemblance to what they handed in. Because each of the students was working on a different issue in the case, Glenn and I were the only ones who knew all aspects of the case. So, when it came time to argue a summary judgment motion in the trial court, it was either Glenn or me. I told Glenn that it was his decision because of his much greater experience in litigation, and he said that, because of my knowing free exercise law so much better, the job was all mine. So, I got my first experience arguing in court and was successful both on the summary judgment motion and on

appeal. The court ordered Mr. Rourke reinstated with back pay. That was a state-court judgment of national importance because it was one of the very first cases in which a state court was willing to interpret its state constitution as more protective of free exercise than the federal Constitution’s free exercise clause. In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court had very narrowly construed the federal clause, breaking sharply with its longstanding approach. After winning in the state courts, we went to federal court and were able to get damages for the emotional distress that the prison administration had inflicted on Mr. Rourke. We then went back to state court and sued for attorney fees, and we were awarded about $60,000, which went to the law school’s legal aid clinic. Altogether, it was an amazing case, and an amazing educational opportunity for me, Glenn and the students.

“Gary’s a very good blend of both the esoteric — which you expect from someone with a pedigree like his — and the practical. He’s got those two unique traits combined. He’s very good at looking at things from different angles. And he has a very good appreciation of what our Law School is. It’s not a Socratic, Ivy League place. It produces working, active lawyers. He understands that and values that and wants to continue to move us in that direction.” - Kate Sievert Cook (class of 2002) Butler Wooten & Fryhofer Secretary of Law School Alumni Association Board


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

Mike Melia photo

Glenn and I taught the clinic for five years. We would have kept doing it, but I became associate dean, and after one year of doing the clinic and my other courses and also associatedeaning, I knew that either the clinic or the associate deanship had to go. Much as I loved doing the clinic, I decided that I should give it up for the associate deanship and the new challenges that that offered.

diversity. In particular, the importance of ideological diversity among the faculty is too often overlooked.

The American Bar Association (ABA) and the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) maintain that it is important to have a diverse faculty. What are your thoughts on this?

Dean Simson: Learning to think objectively and openmindedly about legal issues is a basic part of being a law student and becoming a good lawyer. Constitutional law really puts that to the test because it frequently deals with issues that students have long felt strongly about for political, religious, and other reasons. As the professor, you have to teach them that whatever their personal views on an issue may be, they need to be able to articulate and analyze rigorously the legal arguments that reasonably can be made for each side.

Dean Simson: I’m very much in agreement with the ABA and the AALS that faculty diversity is a basic ingredient of any good law school. It significantly affects the quality of the education provided to students and the quality of the scholarship the faculty turns out. By the way, when I say “diversity,” I don’t mean only racial, ethnic, and gender

As a constitutional law professor, how do you manage to have useful classroom discussion of issues, like abortion and affirmative action, that tend to bring to the surface major differences in the students’ political leanings?

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011


In Class and Out

Dedication to Excellence By Lindsay Daniel and Lucie Hartmann, Members of the Class of 2011

Students at Mercer Law realize the importance of investing their time, not only in their own futures, but in the futures of those in the surrounding community and outside, including overseas. This year alone, Mercer Law students have dedicated more than 800 hours of their time and raised over $34,000 to benefit organizations and causes ranging from the West Macon Little League to a unit of the United States Army in Afghanistan. One thing is clear: Mercer Law students are making a difference. In addition to participating in service projects, including rebuilding and repairing homes of those in need and giving hope to individuals and families stricken by cancer, students are also honing the talents established and developed at Mercer Law to make an impact in the legal community as well. Mercer Law students actively volunteer their time and legal expertise at locations including the local District Attorney and Public Defender offices, the Crisis Line and Safe House, Central Georgia CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children), and Georgia Justice Coming Home Project, to name a few. Mercer Law has historically been dedicated to excellence in both education and public service and current student organizations are committed to carrying on this longstanding tradition. Student organizations presently hold on-going philanthropic projects at the following locations: • AIDS Walk Atlanta • American Cancer Society • American Red Cross • Crisis Line and Safe House of Central Georgia • CURE Child Cancer • Jay’s Hope • Joshua’s Wish • Living Water for Girls • Middle Georgia Food Bank • Ocmulgee River Initiative • Ronald McDonald House • Salvation Army • Special Youth Challenge Ministries • Susan G. Komen for the Cure • The Sunshine House • United States Army • West Macon Little League


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

Highlights: • Association of Women Law Students (AWLS) hosts an annual Charity Auction each spring where students and faculty members place live and silent bids on items donated from the local community to benefit Jay’s Hope, Ronald McDonald of Central Georgia, and The Sunshine House. The 2010 auction raised a total of $13,834.86. • Association of Women Law Students (AWLS) hosts a variety of events on-campus during October to raise Breast Cancer Awareness, including pink pancake breakfasts and professors donning pink wigs during class. The 2010 AWLS raised $5,320.81 to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. • Black Law Student Association (BLSA) helped raise funds for Joshua’s Wish, an organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for childhood cancers. BLSA sold Halloween Candy Grams to benefit to this deserving cause raising over $200 for Joshua’s Wish. • Black Law Student Association (BLSA) co-hosted a blood drive with Association of Women Law Students (AWLS) to benefit the American Red Cross. The Mercer Law community donated enough blood to save 39 lives. • Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) showcased both the talented (and notso-talented) members of the Mercer Law Community in their annual talent show. PAD raised over $4,000 to help fund a necessary security system for the Crisis Line and Safe House of Central Georgia. • Phi Delta Phi (PDP) hosts an annual golf tournament in honor of the late James C. Rehberg, a professor at the Law School for almost 50 years. The latest tournament raised over $2,000 to benefit the Crisis Line and Safe House of Central Georgia. • Student Bar Association (SBA) participated in Macon’s first Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society. Over 50 SBA members stayed up all night in recognition of the fact that “cancer never sleeps.” The relay team raised an unprecedented $4,000. • 2nd Amendment Society hosts an annual skeet shoot to benefit the Special Youth Challenge, an organization committed to introducing disabled youth to the great outdoors. The latest skeet shoot raised over $2,000.

Amber Sharman and Louise Smith (both Class of ’11) pitch in for SBA’s event with Rebuilding Macon, which rehabilitates housing for low-income elderly and disabled homeowners.

Students aren’t the only Mercer Law School people serving the community. The — how shall we put this? — seasoned rock band Sue ’n the Bastards (get it? As in “suin.’”) has become a regular player in Macon night spots. Especially when there’s money to be raised. Formed in 1992 — by professors Dick Creswell (acoustic guitar and vocals) and Chris Wells (electric guitar) — to play at the Law School’s annual Barrister’s Brawl, the cover band is still going strong. “Over the years our membership has changed often, with students, faculty and ringers brought in as needed,” Wells says. “In the past couple of years we have played other fund-raising events — largely because they needed people to play for free.” The lineup now includes professors Linda Jellum (keyboard), Sarah GerwigMoore (vocals), 1996 Law School alumnus Rob Fenimore (bass) and 2008 School of Engineering graduate David Milligan (drums). “With the exception of our long-time bass player and Mercer music grad Rob Fenimore (who serves as our musical director because he can name all the notes), the Bastards have only modest instrumental ability,” Wells says. “Thankfully, though, our two vocalists seem to know what they are doing.  What we lack in talent, we make up for in amplifier volume and physical attractiveness.”  Recent Gigs • Pi Alpha Delta Fundraiser, The Armory Ballroom, November 2009 • Legal Aid Volunteer Association Fundraiser, The Cox Capitol Theatre, April 2010 • Bragg Jam, The 567 Café, July 2010 • Mercer University Homecoming Concert (opener for the Kinchafoonee Cowboys), The Cox Capitol Theatre, November 2010 • Pi Alpha Delta Fundraiser, The Power Station, November 2010

Mary Ann Bates photo

Sue ’n the Bastards amp it up for Fundraisers

Professors Dick Creswell and Sarah Gerwig-Moore

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011


Doing it right

In his new job as Federal District Court Judge, Marc T. Treadwell ’81 has to do something he’s never done before in 30 years of practice:

Impose prison sentences. “That is an awesome responsibility,” Treadwell says. “‘Awesome’ in the sense that it is a heavy responsibility. You’ve got to make a decision that’s going to affect somebody, in all likelihood, for the rest of their lives.” He was appointed to the seat vacated by Judge Hugh Lawson, who took senior status, and he serves the Middle District of Georgia, an area that covers more than a third of the state. Born in Fort Campbell, Ky., Treadwell lived many places as a boy: North Carolina, Iowa, Virginia, even Germany, twice. “My father was career military, so we moved all over, until 1966 when he was deployed to Vietnam.” The following year, his father — already an Army major though still in his early 30s — was killed. Marc Treadwell was 12. He recalls, “I was young, but one thing he instilled in me was, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” After his father’s death Treadwell grew up in small-town Blackshear, Ga., going to high school there, then Valdosta State University, and finally Mercer Law School. Professor Hal Lewis was fairly new to the classroom himself when he taught Treadwell, and coached him on Mercer’s National Moot Court team. When the team traveled to a regional competition in Florida, they lost despite stellar legal work. It appeared that the competition’s judges gave highest points to students who provided the most table-thumping, arm-waving histrionics. Lewis remembers Treadwell’s look of disgust at the decision — and the way he climbed back into his car and drove all the way back to Macon in silent protest. “I think that was Marc’s first experience with injustice,” Lewis says. “Marc is going to be one of the very, very best federal judges that we’ve ever had in this district.” “People who knew him here at the Law School could see he was going to be a good, strong, very ethical lawyer and have a great career,” says Professor Joe Claxton. “He was just always ready, very prepared, very bright. And he had a knack for just getting


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

along with people — which isn’t always true with lawyers and lawyers-to-be.” After graduating cum laude, Treadwell worked at Atlanta’s Kilpatrick & Cody, but returned to Macon with his family in 1985. His wife, Wimberly, whom he married in 1983, is a Macon native. Initially working with Chambless, Higdon & Carson, he became in 2000 a partner in Adams, Jordan & Treadwell, specializing in injury and wrongful death cases. “Because of Mercer I was able to get a job with an excellent firm in Atlanta after I graduated,” Treadwell says. “I feel like time after time I’ve had opportunities open up to me in large part due to the education that I got at the law school.” Among Mercer alumni he admires are Manley Brown, Frank Jones, the late judge and Attorney General Griffin Bell, and the late Judge William Bootle, whose order to desegregate the University of Georgia marked its 50th anniversary this year. Jones returns Treadwell’s compliment. “At an early age Marc Treadwell was invited to join the American College of Trial Lawyers, which is limited to a maximum of one percent of lawyers in each state and provinces of Canada,” Jones says. “That’s a high honor in my judgment. I was a strong supporter of his aspiration to be a judge.” On the day of his confirmation hearing in the Senate, Treadwell wasn’t anywhere near Capitol Hill. He was attending a meeting at his church, Vineville United Methodist, where he’s chair of the Administrative Board. A fellow congregant, Jones recalls that “at the conclusion of that board meeting, Marc checked by telephone and found that, while the meeting was in process, he was confirmed. So maybe it pays to go to a good church meeting.” “I knew with Senator Chambliss’s and Senator Isakson’s support that there was no question as to the outcome,” Treadwell says. “But still, the fact that my nomination was being debated and voted on on the floor of the Senate was an unusual experience.” Treadwell will continue teaching Georgia Civil Practice and

Procedure as an Adjunct Professor at the Law School. But he’ll no longer write for the Mercer Law Review, which has published numerous articles by him over the years. The most recent edition of the Review was dedicated to him in appreciation of his work as an author and attorney and for his service to the community. “One thing that has always impressed me so much about Marc is his seriousness and dedication toward the students he’s taught at Mercer,” Hal Lewis says. “He’s always been totally focused and very dedicated in the midst of an extremely busy practice. For years I’ve just watched the hard work that he’s put into that course, simply for the joy of assisting students in their careers.” In addition to his new job, Treadwell and his wife are newly dealing with an empty nest, with both their sons currently students at Auburn University. “Our younger son graduated from high school in May and I took this job in June,” Treadwell says. “We had two significant, life-changing events within a month. But it’s been a very pleasant transition.” And his career change from attorney to judge? “As far as I can tell it’s been a very smooth transition,” he says, “although I’m cognizant of the fact that people don’t always tell me things that they think I don’t want to hear. But I think that my years of almost exclusively litigation practice prepared me well for this.” If anyone says otherwise, don’t listen. That’s Joe Claxton’s opinion, anyway: “If you find anybody who has something bad to say about Marc Treadwell, there’s something wrong with them.”

Roger Idenden photo

“I feel like time after time I’ve had opportunities open up to me in large part due to the education that I got at the Law School.”

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011


Why I’m helping Georgia challenge healthcare reform h By D G. O avid














“Why did you come to Mercer?” My students routinely ask that question, sometimes after I’ve asked them first. It’s been 20 years since I first came, and my answer today would be informed by many different factors. But in important ways, my answer would be the same today as then. Before coming to Mercer, I was working on some wonderfully interesting, nationally prominent matters covered, for instance, by a “Sixty Minutes” feature and, twice in other cases, by the New York Times on its front page. As a young lawyer, I had no complaints about the significance of my cases, or my salary. But something was missing. My clients were relatively remote. I wanted more immediacy with the human side of my practice — in legal terms, with my “principals.” In teaching, I saw the chance to work with more accessible principals — students excited about this profession, just like me. I wanted to work with people who were afire with elemental legal tinder: good legal minds engaged with good legal matters. It turns out I was right. Mercer has given me the freedom to pursue all sorts of remarkable legal issues with my students and colleagues, sometimes in the classroom, sometimes in articles or in the courtroom, sometimes in more informal settings. My classes and students’ questions occasionally lead me to explore unexpected new paths. One day, for instance, my constitutional law class was examining the text of Georgia’s constitution in light of a then-present dispute: whether Georgia’s governor has the constitutional right to direct the course of litigation in the state’s name. I followed the discussion carefully, and grew persuaded by those students arguing that Georgia’s constitution gives the governor a remarkably strong hand in directing the state’s litigation. Based in large part on that initial class discussion, I later crossed party lines to serve that governor as one of his counsel, and later as amicus curiae before Georgia’s Supreme Court, to argue the point in greater detail. More than 40 of my students worked with me on a comparative study of the constitutions of all 50 states that would help the Court understand the unique significance of Georgia’s constitutional answer to that question. Georgia’s Supreme Court ruled that, although the Governor


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does have comparatively broad powers in controlling the state’s litigation, the Attorney General still retained power to dismiss a Voting Rights Act case like the particular one at issue (one that was already at the United States Supreme Court). Despite losing that particular case, the exercise was a good one for my students and me, as it provided an opportunity to participate in a live constitutional controversy on matters that were of both academic and practical significance. Mercer provided me with the ability to take such a case — and take along with me more than 40 students as my temporary, makeshift law firm. This year, I have been serving as Deputy Special Attorney General for the State of Georgia with respect to what is now a 20-plus-state challenge to healthcare reform (also known as the Affordable Care Act, or the ACA). Plenty of people, notably including my wife and parents, have wondered why I am on that side of the issue. It’s not that I have it in for President Obama, for instance — heck, I even voted for him. When I looked carefully as a constitutional law professor with my class at the way healthcare reform was enacted, though, I simply came to believe that the ACA was unconstitutional at its core in two ways. First, the act’s “individual mandate” goes beyond congressional power to regulate economic activities by requiring people who choose not to participate in a market to buy in that market. If the Commerce and Necessary and Proper clauses of the Constitution are read so broadly, there would essentially be nothing that the federal government could not regulate, and our doctrine of enumerated powers would be empty. Second, Congress’s aggressive use of the congressional spending power to effect changes to Medicaid seemed to me and many of my students to be beyond the boundaries established by the Supreme Court in the 1987 case of South Dakota v. Dole. Dole held that the federal government could constitutionally persuade states to adopt a 21-year-old drinking age by withholding five percent of federal highway funds. However, the federal government’s contribution to Medicaid dwarfs its contributions for transportation — and the ACA makes the states’ assent to the changes in Medicaid

photo Courtesy Washington, DC, Tourist Bureau

an “all or nothing” proposition. If any state refuses to accept all the changes to Medicaid, that state and its citizens will lose every dime of healthcare funding for the poor — meanwhile shipping all the federal tax dollars from citizens of that state to the poor citizens only of other states. That is coercive and outside the scope of the “general welfare” as I understand that constitutional term. Prominent law professors from around the country were already railing against the legal challenge to healthcare reform, calling it frivolous and sanctionable, for instance, in the National Law Journal and in the New York Times. So it was with something of a gulp that I signed on to represent Georgia in this challenge on grounds that I truly believed then, and continue to believe now, are rock-solid matters of our Constitution. Had I not been a professor at Mercer Law School, I suspect that it would have been harder to make that commitment to my understanding of the Constitution, to the integrity of my teachings about the Constitution, and to the rule of law. In fact, I remain the only law professor in the country who is counsel to

any of the states challenging healthcare reform. Thankfully, the criticisms of our arguments are receding. The ACA’s core constitutional flaws are becoming widely acknowledged, even on the editorial pages of the New York Times. People are beginning to see that the case may not just be colorable, but a winner. Mercer Law School is not a particularly conservative law school. Almost all of my colleagues disagreed with my positions on the ACA, some vehemently. But I have felt safe at Mercer to take this politically dangerous position in legal academia, secure that Mercer stands for freedom and the integrity of legal thinking, teaching, scholarship and advocacy. So if you want to know if I’d come to Mercer again? The answer, of course, is yes. Here I can securely take a controversial position without fear of scorn and retribution, while remaining true to what my students and I study together freely in class about the meaning of our Constitution. David G. Oedel is a professor of law at Mercer Law School.

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011


The sound of law ack











My latest “wanton act of scholarship,” as the late Dr. Ted Nordenhaugh of the Philosophy Department referred to them, was also my most enjoyable. As part of the Scarpa Lectures on Law, Politics, and Culture, Villanova Law School hosted a festschrift for my dear friend, Joseph Vining, the H.B. Hutchins Collegiate Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan and author of From Newton’s Sleep. Joining me as speakers were a collection of people most of whom are friends and all of whom I greatly admire: James Boyd White, the Hart Wright Collegiate Professor Emeritus and Professor of English Emeritus also at the University of Michigan; Judge John T. Noonan, Senior Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; H. Jefferson Powell, Frederick Cleaveland Professor of Law and Divinity at Duke University; Dr. Lee Bolinger, President, Columbia University; Steven Smith, Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, University of San Diego; Reverend John McCausland, Vicar, Holy Cross Episcopal Church; and the conference organizer, Patrick Brennan, Professor of Law and Scarpa Chair in Catholic Studies, Villanova. As is the function of festschrifts, the invited speakers offered papers that addressed the work of the person being honored. Rather than responding, Joe insisted upon a panel discussion with questions from the speakers to each other and questions from the audience to end the day. It was a lively, stimulating, and exhausting day — the kind of exhaustion that, after a night’s rest, leaves you renewed in body, mind, and spirit (especially, in this case, in spirit). For this conference, like all of Joe’s work, was filled with refreshing hope. My own contribution, to be published in 55:6 Villanova Law Review, and available online at my Social Science Research Network webpage:, starts with the following problem:




Regarding “law,” as Joe Vining teaches us, there is nothing we can point to and say: “That is it.”


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Those things we might be tempted to think of as law are only evidence of it and not the thing itself. For someone like Joe, who resists the theoretical and insists that truthful thought starts in trusting perceptual beliefs, “in the empirical” as he often describes it, this is a problem. And yet, Joe has, through his work, shown us “law,” and, true to his understanding of it, he has displayed it in a manner that, in Schelling’s words, seeks to “enlarge our thought so that it shall be in proportion to the phenomenon.” But how can this be? What possible ontology could account for the law he displays? And by what epistemology could we know it? I want to offer to you today one way of understanding law as Joe has displayed it for us by drawing upon an analogy to music. For it is easier for us to trust the perceptual beliefs we have about music than it is those we may have about law. Our perceptions of music, I believe, offer us the shortest, least arduous, and most natural route into matters of ontology and epistemology. One thing I found, through using this analogy to music to understand “law,” is that a person who has not pre-analytically felt the forces of music, felt its motion, felt the tensions, the resolutions, the ongoing explorations of meaning, along with the creation of a sense of direction in which these continue forever, has not understood music. And, a person — a judge or a lawyer — who has not pre-analytically felt the tension, the movement, and the resolution, along with the creation of a sense of direction in which these seem to continue forever, has not understood the law. Now, of course, all of this sounds esoteric, but I would insist that it is not and insist further that such questions about

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the law are at the heart of the life of the judge, the lawyer, and, most importantly for me, law students. These questions are at the heart of how we read cases, speak on behalf of clients, write opinions, and, in fact, they provide the measurements by which we know when we are doing these things well. In times well past, a life within the law would have been a life of unquestioned meaning for the law had its own honored enchantment. Service to the law was service to something that could be understood as, in some fashion, in touch with a divine that arose from within our lives when they were truthfully imagined. Such an understanding seems well beyond us now, but I believe that an attempt to return to those appreciations of the law’s enchantment still left for us — its excess, if you will; the way in which the law, like music, always seems to be more than it is and to point beyond itself and to continue — is essential to any understanding of the law that does not reduce it to petty force and reduce us to violent difference. What I argued in the paper, following Joe Vining, was for an understanding of a non-conceptual mode of knowing the law and a different dimension of the law as being and time that our common understanding of experience obscures from us or even denies and yet, as music reveals to us, can still be there within our ordinary perceptions. At the end of the day, one question asked from the audience was what a Joe Vining law school would look like. It was an

excellent question, but I thought immediately that there are moments when I think our little Law School has this potential far more than most others do, and it made me proud once again to be at Mercer. Jack Sammons is Griffin B. Bell Professor of Law at Mercer Law School.

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011


F a c ulty P r o fil e

The Claxton legacy

On Professor Joe Claxton’s office wall hangs a certificate, signed by Warren G. Harding, appointing Joe’s paternal grandfather postmaster of small-town Kite, Ga. Anchoring Claxton’s office is the anvil owned by his maternal grandfather, a farmer. As he retires, Claxton will be packing up these mementoes — along with thirty-eight years’ experience teaching nineteen different courses and holding four different administrative positions.

Anyone who spends a few minutes with Claxton (whose family, for the record, has no connection to the Georgia town or its infamous fruitcakes) quickly discovers that he’s a raconteur, possessing a wealth of historic, legal and just plain interesting info. He knows “maybe too many stories,” he admits with a laugh. “I have a good bit of institutional knowledge, and I’m either blessed or cursed with a long memory.” He’s especially fascinated by the normal people of the Southern past, like his two grandfathers. “I am very interested in the people who came before me,” he says. Claxton grew up on a farm in “very rural” Henry County, “doing things a kid does outdoors — riding ponies and horses (not very well), and raising hogs and cattle for 4-H Club projects.” Educated at Oxford College of Emory University, Emory University and Duke University School of Law, he practiced briefly in Atlanta as an associate at Cody, Rogers, McClatchey & Regenstein before joining the Mercer faculty in 1972. Since then, he has written 28 academic publications, which he characterizes, on his Law School web page, as “widely unread.” “I wrote that a) because it’s true, and b) because I have a weird sense of humor,” he says. For example, take the time, years ago, Professor Joe and Jane Price Claxton


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when he was responsible for compiling the Law School’s annual, “boring as [heck]” catalogue. And he prankishly published a photo of a ramshackle country shack alongside the section about housing. “There were a couple of people who thought it was undignified,” he recalls. “Too bad.” He also slipped the occasional fake course description into the catalogue to see if anybody would catch it; no one did. In nearly four decades here, Claxton has seen three particular changes at the law school, all positive. First, the increasing numbers of women, not only in the Law School classrooms, but in the legal profession. “I think the old cliché about women being willing to work in a more cooperative way than men is accurate,” he says. “They don’t tend to be lone wolves so much.” He also notes the influx of ethnically diverse students as a big plus. The third change: huge advances in technology, making work easier for students, professors and attorneys alike — though Claxton describes himself as a Luddite. (“I believe in quill pens.”) Claxton has some practical advice for all of Mercer’s incoming classes of 1-L students: “Law school is best handled by people who take it one day at a time, who don’t allow themselves to get behind, who put in some work at least six days a week, who don’t cut corners, but who also recognize that they’re not going to be perfect,” he says. “I’ve heard some good lawyers say that preparation is nine-tenths of the game, and I think that’s right.” According to Claxton’s longtime colleague Professor Michael Sabbath, “Joe’s greatest legacy is the thousands of law students he’s inspired and encouraged…. He has always been totally and unselfishly dedicated to the School of Law, to Mercer University, and to the Middle Georgia community.” Dean Simson adds: “In the relatively short time I’ve been Joe’s colleague, it is already obvious to me how much he contributes by his generosity, kindness, and good — actually, great — humor to the law faculty’s being an unusually collegial group.”

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Claxton looks forward to spending free time with his wife, whom he’s known since first grade. “We started dating the day after she turned 16,” he says. “And we’ve managed to stay married — or she’s managed to put up with me — for 42 years, going on 43.” Now retired, Jane Price Claxton taught for 25 years at Macon’s Mount de Sales Academy. “I have never known anyone who was better at working effectively with young people,” Joe Claxton says. “She was also my greatest supporter during my years at Mercer.” They hope to spend quality time with daughter Anne, their son-in-law and two grandchildren in the Columbus, Ohio, area, and with their son, also named Joe, a resident at Wesley Glen Ministries, where Joe père and Jane are both board members. When younger, Claxton imagined himself teaching until he was pushing 80. “I feel just as close to this place now as I did 30 years ago,” he says. “But I really believe there comes a time when you need to say, ‘OK, I’m gonna get out of the way now.’ I am a strong believer in giving new folks a crack at reinventing the wheel.” He’ll be back, teaching a single course each of the next three academic years. He may also be spending time at the Law School nurturing a personal project, committing some of the Mercer stories he’s amassed into a memoir ... just so long as some kindly Law School staffers are willing to help this jovial Luddite survive any computer glitches....

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S tu d e n t P r o fil e

Q&ADavid Whitmire Chemical Engineering Professor Now Student at Mercer Law

Tell us a little bit about yourself prior to coming to law school. I grew up in Greenville, S.C., during the ’60s. I married, and we had two daughters. For the past 20-plus years I have been a chemical engineering professor, where my research centered on alcohol metabolism. Why do you wish to become a lawyer? I wanted to be in a position where my work would make a difference. I started my career as a chemical engineer assigned to an ammonia plant. No matter how much I rationalized, it was difficult to feel that writing a memo to operations, recommending replacement of the reforming catalyst in 612 days instead of 624 days, really mattered much.

What are your thoughts about the academic interactions between faculty and students? The academic interactions are open, informal, and welcomed by the faculty. The most potent and interesting academic interaction is extra-curricular and occurs in preparation for various competitions, such as mock trial, moot court, client counseling, etc. Students and faculty are together sometimes for hours when preparing, and sometimes for days when competing.


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

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Why did you decide to come to Mercer Law School? I chose Mercer for a few reasons. A law school should be evaluated as a two-part process that mirrors its two fundamental functions: (1) What is the quality of the incoming class assembled by the school? and then, (2) How well does the school educate the class it assembled? If such a two-part metric existed, I believe Mercer Law would rank very high. When considering Mercer, I looked at both of these and concluded that Mercer Law grads can do anything they want to do. Thus, I wanted a law degree from Mercer. I ignored law school ratings available from newsstands. Those ratings are somewhat analogous to the BCS — the highly ranked teams believe them but cannot explain them. Unlike the BCS however, law schools have playoffs: moot court, mock trial, legal writing, counseling, etc. Mercer Law always does very well in the playoffs. We’ve won national championships.

What about the relationships among students at Mercer? For their three years at Mercer Law, each and every student finds a place where they belong. Mercer Law does not suffer from unhealthy levels of inter-student competition. Students compete just as bright, ambitious students everywhere compete — but the competitive goal is to excel, not to impair or diminish someone else. The students I know are very generous and accepting. Even though I am about the same age as their parents, I was invited to more parties in my 1-L year at Mercer Law than in my four years at Clemson. They probably thought if they kept inviting me I would someday buy the beer. Someday, I might.

F a c ulty N e w s a n d S c h o l a rs h ip

Innovative Teaching Techniques Used in Legal Research & Writing Courses, Southeastern Association of Law Schools.

Professor Linda Berger Recent Publications Studying and Teaching “Law as Rhetoric”: A Place to Stand, 16 J. Legal Writing 3 (2010). The Past, Presence, and Future of Legal Writing Scholarship: Rhetoric, Voice, and Community, 16 J. Legal Writing 521 (coauthored) (2010). How Embedded Knowledge Structures Affect Judicial Decision Making: An Analysis of Metaphor, Narrative, and Imagination in Child Custody Disputes, 18 S. Cal. Interdisc. L.J. 259 (2009). The Legal Writing Institute: Celebrating 25 Years of Teaching & Scholarship, A Symposium of the Mercer Law Review, 61 Mercer L. Rev. 803 (2010). What is the Sound of a Corporation Speaking? “Just Another Voice,” According to the Supreme Court, ABA Admin. & Reg. L. News (essay) (Spring 2010). A Reflective, Rhetorical Model: The Legal Writing Teacher as Reader and Writer, 6 J. Legal Writing 57 (2000), reprinted in Vol. 1, Legal Writing Institute Monograph Series (2009). Applying New Rhetoric to Legal Discourse: The Ebb and Flow of Reader and Writer, Text and Context, 49 J. LEGAL EDUC. 155 (1999) reprinted in Vol. 1, Legal Writing Institute Monograph Series (2009). Select Speeches and Presentations LWI One-Day Workshop, Emory University School of Law. Teaching Techniques Workshop:

I Read Your Article ... What Am I Supposed to Do with It? Teaching from the Persuasion Scholarship, Biennial National Conference of the Legal Writing Institute. Not Your Mother’s Rhetoric: Rhetorical Teaching Across the Curriculum, Summer 2010 Institute for Law Teaching and Learning Conference. Legal Rhetoric: Pedagogy, Practice and Critique, Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture & Humanities. What is Legal Writing Scholarship?, Stetson Law School’s Virtual Legal Writing Conference Webinar.

Professor Theodore Blumoff Recent Publications How (Some) Criminals Are Made, in 13 Current Legal Issues: Law and Neuroscience – (Freeman ed. Oxford Univ. Press 2011). Forward: The Brain Sciences and Criminal Law Norms, 62 Mercer L. Rev. (forthcoming 2010). The Neuropsychology of Justifications and Excuses: Some Cases from Self-Defense, Duress, and Provocation, 50 Jurimetrics 391 (2010). Select Speeches & Presentations

Legal Writing Scholarship, 25th Anniversary Legal Writing Institute–Mercer Law Review Symposium.

The Brain Sciences and Criminal Law Norms, Symposium, Mercer University School of Law and William and Mary College of Law.

Beyond Mere Literary Devices: Using Metaphor & Narrative to Structure Persuasion, Southeastern Regional Legal Writing Conference, Stetson University College of Law.

Honors, Awards & Activities Symposium Organizer, Mercer Law Review Symposium: The Brain Sciences in the Courtroom.

Law & Rhetoric, Southeastern Association of Law Schools. Honors, Awards & Activities Visiting Scholar, Selected as one of the first J. ALWD Visiting Scholars in Rhetoric & Writing for 2010-11, Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University. Co-Editor, Metaphor & Narrative, Volume 7, J. Assn. Legal Writing Directors (2010) and “Best Practices” in Persuasion, Volume 6, J. Assn. Legal Writing Directors (2009).

Professor Joseph Claxton Recent Publications Book Review, XCIV Ga. Hist. Q. No. 3, 414 (2010) (reviewing Joel William Friedman, Champion of Civil Rights: Judge John Minor Wisdom) (2009).

Professor Timothy Floyd

Director, Law & Public Service Program Recent Publications Walking Through the Valley, in A Life in the Law: Advice for Young Lawyers (Duffey & Schneider eds. 2009) (book chapter). Moral Vision, Moral Courage, and the Formation of the Lawyer’s Professional Identity, 28 Miss. C.L. Rev. 339 (2009). Select Speeches & Presentations Beyond Chalk and Talk: The Law School Classroom of the Future, Society of American Law Teachers Bi-Annual Teaching Conference. Judicial Ethics, Texas Judicial Institute. United States Supreme Court Update, Appellate Courts’ Staff Attorney Seminar, Georgia Supreme Court. Anatomy of an Externship: Using Lawyers in Popular Film to Encourage Reflection on the Formation of Professional Identity, Fifth National Conference on Law School Externships. Prisoner Treatment in Peace and War, Conference on Human Rights in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Criminal Law and Mental Health, CLE, Mercer University School of Law. Recent Criminal Decisions of the United States Supreme Court, In-House Seminar for the Georgia Court of Appeals and Georgia Supreme Court. Access to Justice and the Legal Needs Study, Supreme Court Civil Justice Committee.

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F a c ulty N e w s a n d S c h o l a rs h ip

Race and the Criminal Justice System, Southeastern Association of Law Schools.

Inequitable Conduct, 2010 State Bar of Texas Advanced IP Law Symposium.

The Death Penalty in Georgia, State Bar Association of Georgia’s Annual Meeting.

About Ten Issues Facing Patent Practitioners, University of Texas Advanced Patent Law Institute.

Cultivating the Formation of Professional Identity — From the First Year to the Third Year, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning. Honors, Awards & Activities Facilitated the first conference of Georgia law school clinical teachers. Chair, Society of American Law Teachers, Alternatives to the Bar Exam Committee. Planner and Organizer, “Conference on Alternative Bar Licensing,” jointly sponsored by the New Hampshire Supreme Court, et al. Organizer, “The Death Penalty in Georgia,” State Bar of Georgia Annual Meeting.

Professor Sarah Gerwig-Moore

Professor David Hricik

Recent Publications

Patent Ethics: Litigation (2010).

Saving Their Own Souls: How RLUIPA Failed to Deliver on its Promises, 12 Rutgers J.L. & Religion (forthcoming 2011).

Modern Statutory Interpretation: Problems, Theories, and Lawyering Strategies (2d ed. 2009) (coauthored).

Select Speeches & Presentations

Teachers Manual for Modern Statutory Interpretation (2d ed. 2009) (co-authored).

Ethical Considerations in Pro Bono Representation, Georgia Bar Young Lawyers Division Leadership Academy. Anatomy of an Externship: Using Lawyers in Popular Film to Encourage Reflection on the Formation of Professional Identity, Fifth National Conference on Law School Externships. Georgia Supreme Court oral arguments: Smith v. State, 287 Ga. 291 (2010); Roberts v. Cooper, 286 Ga. 657 (2010); Williams v. Hall, 286 Ga. 280 (2009); McClure v. Kemp, 285 Ga. 801 (2009); Sanders v. Holder, 285 Ga. 760 (2009). Honors, Awards & Activities

Professor Oren Griffin Select Speeches & Presentations New Challenges to Academic Freedom, 2011 National Conference on Law and Higher Education, Stetson University College of Law. Beyond Chalk and Talk: The Law School Classroom of the Future, Society of American Law Teachers Bi-Annual Teaching Conference.

Recent Publications

Honoree, Awarded the Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service by the Georgia State Bar. Honoree, Named Best Community Leader by The 11th Hour (Macon, Georgia). Honoree, Case of the Year Award for Alford v. Georgia by Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Congratulations on Your Hallucinations: Why the 1992 Amendment to Rule 1.56 is Irrelevant to Inequitable Conduct, 38 Am. Intell. Prop. L. Q.J. 1 (2010) (co-authored). Memoriam for Professor Ed Brewer, 36 N. Ky. L. Rev. vii (2009). Remedies for the Infringer?, 20 ABA Intell. Prop. Litig. 11 (Summer 2009).

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Professionalism in IP Litigation, Corporate Counsel Institute Annual Meeting. Swindling the Bald: How to Avoid Taking a Haircut While Representing Clients, Association of Patent Law Firms’ Annual Meeting. Ethical Issues in IP Practice, 19th Annual All Ohio Annual Institute on IP. How Much of the Real Estate Transaction to Teach in First Year Property, Southeastern Association of Law Schools’ Annual Meeting.

Select Speeches & Presentations An Ethical IP Lawyer Meets the Internet, Virginia State Bar IP Law Section Annual Meeting. Ethical Issues in Intellectual Property Practice, Widener University School of Law Annual IP CLE. How Ethics Rules Prevent Compliance with Rules 11 and 9(b) and Iqbal, 8th Annual Rocky Mountain IP Institute and other locations. Swindling the Bald: Ethical Issues in Patent Practice, Kansas State Bar Association Annual IP Institute. Ethical Issues in Patent Practice, ABA IP Section’s Annual Meeting. Statutory Interpretation and the Model Rules, Georgia State University School of Law.


Do Ethics Preclude Adequate Pre-suit Investigation in Patent Cases?, Iowa IP Law Association’s Annual Meeting.

Professor Linda Jellum Recent Publications Modern Statutory Interpretation: Problems, Theories, and Lawyering Strategies (2d ed. 2009) (coauthored). Teachers Manual for Modern Statutory Interpretation (2d ed. 2009) (co-authored). The Absurdity Doctrine: Why Specific Absurdity Undermines Textualism, 76 Brooklyn L.R. (forthcoming 2011). The Art of Statutory Interpretation: Identifying the Interpretive Theory of the Judges of the United States Court of

Appeals for Veterans’ Claims and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 49 U. Louisville L. Rev. (forthcoming 2010). The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims: Has it Mastered Chevron’s Step Zero?, 3 Veterans L. Rev. 67 (forthcoming 2011). Neither Fish nor Fowl: Administrative Judges in the Modern Administrative State, Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice, (2010) Volume 28, Issue 2 (coauthored).

Honors, Awards & Activities

What to do with the Third Year (of Law School), Southeastern Association of Law Schools’ Annual Conference.

Co-chair, the annual Beginning Lawyers Program for the State Bar of Georgia.

Honors, Awards & Activities Deputy Executive Director, Southeastern Association of Law Schools. Council Member, ABA Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Section.

Professor Mark Jones Honors, Awards & Activities Co-editor, The Phronesis Project : Exploring Character, Practical Wisdom, and Professional Formation (forthcoming 2011).

Chair, American Association of Law Schools’ New Law Professors’ Section.

Professor David Oedel Recent Publications ObamaCare and the General Welfare Clause, WALL ST. J. (Dec. 27, 2010) (co-authored).

Select Speeches & Presentations Getting to No: Law Professors and the Work-life Balance, American Association of Law Schools’ Annual Conference. Comparative Administrative Law of the EU and US, Constitutional Administrative Law Forum, University of Aix-Marseille III, France. But that is Absurd: Why Specific Absurdity Undermines Textualism, Brooklyn Law School and Charleston School of Law. Interviewing Pitfalls and Mistakes, American Association of Law Schools’ Faculty Recruitment Conference. Obtaining and Executing Casebook Contracts, Southeastern Association of Law Schools’ Annual Conference. Neither Fish nor Fowl: Administrative Judges in the Modern Administrative State, Laval University, Quebec, Canada. Understanding Chevron’s Step Zero, Georgia State Administrative Law Judges’ in-house CLE. The Veterans Court Approach to Statutory Interpretation and Chevron, the 11th Annual Judicial Conference of the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Professor Harold Lewis

Walter F. George Professor of Law

Professor/Associate Dean Stephen Johnson Recent Publications From Climate Change and Hurricanes to Ecological Nuisances: Common Law Remedies for Public Law Failures?, 27 Ga. State L. Rev. 565 (forthcoming 2010).

Recent Publications Teaching Civil Rights with an Eye on Practice: The Problem of Maintaining Morale, 54 St. Louis U. L.J. 769 (2010).

Does the Introduction of Independent Redistricting Reduce Congressional Partisanship?, 54 Vill. L. Rev. 57 (2009) (co-authored). Select Speeches & Presentations Can Redistricting Reforms Reduce Polarization in Congress? The Woodrow Wilson Center. Our Pending National Debate: Is Healthcare Reform Constitutional? Association of America Law Schools, Annual Meeting.

The Roberts Court and the Environment, 37 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 317 (2010).

Honors, Awards & Activities

Competition: The Next Generation of Environmental Regulation?, 18 S.E. Envtl. L.J. 42 (2010).

Professor Patrick Longan

Economics v. Equity II: The European Experience, 58 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 417 (2001), translated into Chinese and reprinted in part in 2009:10 Environmental Economy 23-30.

Recent Publications

Ossification’s Demise? An Empirical Analysis of EPA Rulemaking from 2001-2005, 38 Envtl. L.J. 767 (2008), reprinted in Environmental Protection: Regulatory Issues (L. Lakshmi ed. 2009).

DeNationalize Housing Finance, NAT’L L.J. (April 26, 2010) (co-authored).

William Augustus Bootle Chair in Professionalism and Ethics

Deputy Special Attorney General for the State of Georgia.

Legal Ethics, Annual Survey of Georgia Law, 61 Mercer L. Rev. 231 (2009). Introduction to A Conversation with Frank C. Jones, 17 J. S. Legal History 151 (2009). Select Speeches & Presentations Tribute to Justice Harold G. Clarke, Georgia Convocation on Professionalism.

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011


F a c ulty N e w s a n d S c h o l a rs h ip

Select Speeches & Presentations The Law’s Melody, Scarpa Conference, Villanova Law School.

Professor Michael Sabbath Professor Suzianne Painter-Thorne

Professor David Ritchie

Recent Publications

Modern Constitutionalism and Weimar Liberalism, republished in Constitutionalism (G.V. Mahesh Nath, Ed. 2010).

Tangled Up in Knots: How Continued Federal Jurisdiction over Sexual Predators on Indian Reservations Hobbles Effective Law Enforcement to the Detriment of Indian Women, 41 N. Mex. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2011). If You Build It, They Will Come: Preserving Tribal Sovereignty in the Face of Indian Casinos & the New Premium on Tribal Membership, 14 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 311 (2010). Select Speeches & Presentations Ill Defined & Misunderstood: ‘Indians,’ ‘Family,’ and the Indian Child Welfare Act, University of South Carolina School of Law.

Recent Publications

Reflections, Remembrances, and Mimesis: One Person’s View of the Significance of the 25th Anniversary of the Founding of the Legal Writing Institute, 61 Mercer L. Rev. 747 (2010). The American Prophet: The Influence of the Prophetic Inclination on Martin Luther King, Jr., 49 Revista Da Faculdade De Direito De Universidade Federal Do Parana 59 (2009). Select Speeches & Presentations

Writing to — and for — the Bench: How Legal Practitioners Can Help Judges Write Good Opinions, 14th Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute.

Beyond Mere Literary Devices: Using Metaphor & Narrative to Structure Persuasion, Southeastern Regional Legal Writing Conference, Stetson University College of Law.

Not Your Mother’s Rhetoric: Rhetorical Teaching Across the Curriculum, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning.

Honors, Awards & Activities

Game On! Active Learning with Classic Childhood Games, 2010 Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference. Rhetorical Stepping Stones, Association of Legal Writing Directors’ Conference. Honors, Awards & Activities Managing Editor, Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD. Assistant Editor, Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors.


Symposium Organizer, Mercer Law Review Symposium: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Legal Writing Institute. Chair, Association of American Law Schools, Section on Law and Interpretation. Editorial Board Member: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute; Revista da Faculdade de Direito Universidade Federal do Parana (Brazil); Revista da Seçao Judiciária do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); and Revista de Ciencias Sociais – Universidade Gama Filho (Brazil).

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute/Walter Homer Drake, Jr., Endowed Chair in Bankruptcy Law

Mercer’s Virtue Approach to Teaching Professional Identity, American Association of Law Schools’ Clinical Law Section Annual Meeting.

Select Speeches & Presentations Claim Issues and Deposit Accounts under the Uniform Commercial Code Article 9, SE Bankruptcy Law Institute’s 36th Annual Seminar on Bankruptcy Law and Rules. Nuts & Bolts: Bankruptcy Fundamentals for New and Young Practitioners, sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute, et al.

Professor Jennifer Sheppard

Honors, Awards & Activities

In Chambers: A Guide for Judicial Externs and Clerks (forthcoming 2011).

Faculty member, SE Bankruptcy Law Institute’s 36th Annual Seminar on Bankruptcy Law and Rules.

Recent Publications

Once Upon A Time, Happily Ever After, and In A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Using Narrative to Fill the Cognitive Gap Left by Overreliance on Pure Logic in Appellate Briefs and Motion Memoranda, 46 Willamette L. Rev. 255 (2009). Select Speeches & Presentations

Professor Jack Sammons Griffin Bell Professor of Law Recent Publications The Law’s Melody, 55 Vill. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2010). Justice as Play, 61 Mercer L. Rev. 517 (2010). Introduction to An Edition Dedicated to Griffin Boyette Bell, 18 J. S. Legal History 1 (2010). Legal Writing Scholarship, Making Strange, and The Aesthetics of Legal Rhetoric, 61 Mercer L. Rev. 925 (2010). 

Using the Judicial Externship Seminar to Prepare Students to be Future Clerks, Externships in Changing Times Conference. Mentoring: Skyrocket a Career with the Right Mentor, Southeastern Association of Law Schools Conference.

LGBT Immigration: Asylum and Family-Based Immigration Issues, University of Georgia School of Law.

Professor Karen Sneddon

Macon Chair in Law

Professor Scott Titshaw

Recent Publications

Recent Publications

Recent Publications

In the Name of God, Amen: Language in Wills, 29 Quinnipiac L. Rev. (forthcoming 2011).

A Modest Proposal: to Deport the Children of Gay Citizens, & etc.: Immigration Law, the Defense of Marriage Act and the Children of Same-Sex Couples, 25 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 407 (2011).

Dean Gary Simson

Remembering Fred Z, 48 San Diego L. Rev. (2011) (tribute essay) (forthcoming). Rethinking Choice of Law: What Role for the Needs of the Interstate and International Systems? in Looking to the Future: Essays on International Law in Honor of W. Michael Reisman 235-59 (Cogan et al. eds. 2011).

New Ways to Teach Drafting and Drafting Ethics, Transactions: Tenn. J. Bus. Law (2011) (transcript of conference remarks). Speaking for the Dead: Voice in Last Wills and Testaments, 85 St. John’s L. Rev. (forthcoming 2011).

Religion, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act, 41 Cal. Western Int’l L.J. 35 (2011) (symposium essay).

Beyond the Personal Representative: The Potential of Succession without Administration, 50 S. Tex. L. Rev. 449 (2009).

Select Speeches & Presentations

Select Speeches & Presentations

The Constitution and Religion, Constitution Day Address, Mercer University.

Beyond Chalk and Talk: The Law School Classroom of the Future, Society of American Law Teachers Bi-Annual Teaching Conference.

Lovell v. City of Griffin, GA, and the Origins of Free Speech Law, Macon Inn of Court. Speeches to Mercer law alumni groups in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Macon, and Rome, Ga.

In the Name of God, Amen: Language in Last Wills and Testaments, Washington College of Law, American University. Beyond the Boilerplate: Contract and Will Drafting, Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute. Not Your Mother’s Rhetoric: Rhetorical Teaching Across the Curriculum, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning. Game On! Active Learning with Classic Childhood Games, 2010 Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference. Rhetorical Stepping Stones, Association of Legal Writing Directors’ Conference.

Sorry Ma’am, Your Baby is an Alien: Outdated Immigration Rules and Assisted Reproductive Technology, 12 Fla. Coastal L. Rev. 47 (2010). The Meaning of Marriage: Immigration Rules and Their Implications for Same-Sex Spouses in a World Without DOMA, 16 Wm. & Mary J. Women & L. 537 (2010).

The Meaning of Marriage: Immigration Rules and their Implications for Same-Sex Couples in a World Without DOMA, Charleston School of Law. Family Life, and Legacy: Planning Issues for the LGBT Community, Florida Coastal Law School. Regulations Implementing the Repeal of the HIV Bar in US Immigration Law, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Atlanta Chapter. LGBT and HIV Immigration Issues and Immigration Ethics, National LGBT Bar Association. Comparative Law: Judicial Use of Foreign Law, Mercer University School of Law.

Are Same-Sex Marriage and Immigration at a Crossroads?, 1 Voice 12 (2010). Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues Update: Same-Sex Marriage; Trangender Marriage-Based AOS; and the Removal of the HIV Bar, in Immigration & Nationality Law Handbook (2010-11 ed.) (coauthored) (book chapter). Select Speeches & Presentations ART, DOMA and the Immigration and Nationality Act, Charleston School of Law. Legal Issues Affecting the LGBT Community, Emory University. Hot Topics in LGBT Cases, American Immigration Lawyers Association National Conference. Sexuality, Gender Identity and U.S. Immigration Law, Humboldt Universität, Berlin, Germany.

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Nnena Ukuku ’08 applies practical learning at mercer to career in Silicon Valley Providing Legal Care for California Startups A native Georgian who started Law School intent on being a prosecutor, one 2008 Law School graduate found herself far from her old home and totally turned around, career-wise, when she carried the lessons she learned from Mercer into the thriving Silicon Valley world of Internet startups. Instead of floundering in this brave new digital world, Nnena Ukuku earned the San Francisco Bar Association’s “Barrister of the Year” award. Currently self-employed (and on the web at, Ukuku offers preventive legal care for corporate and private startup companies. She helps companies form their business entity. “And I also help them create their IP portfolio — which for any company is where their actual value resides,” she explains. “My goal is to make sure that these companies are structured to succeed and eventually become acquired by other companies.” When she moved to San Francisco, Ukuku threw herself into the legal and political scene. “I had to,” she says. “I was new to the city, no one knew me, and I needed a job.” Joining the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Barristers Club, a 3,200-person membership eligible to attorneys in their first 10 years of practice, she joined its Social Events and Networking Committee. The work she undertook with co-chair Blair Walsh in planning events for fellow members, “plus the fact that we played a supporting role in so many other committees,” resulted in her winning the award. Ukuku, who earned her undergraduate degree from Georgia State University, was pointed by one of her professors there toward Mercer Law School: “He said that the teachers were great, and the atmosphere was wonderful.” During her years in the Law School, she was “extremely active” in Moot Court and BLSA, and was a member of the Appellate Project and membership chair of the Christian Legal Society. Her education at the Law School prepared her for a legal career in ways both general and specific. “My property class was not the typical property class — especially for a school so far away from Silicon Valley,” she says. One professor, David Hricik, insisted that his students study intellectual property to best equip them


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

as lawyers in the 21st century. “He was right,” Ukuku says. “The ultimate irony is that I fought learning IP the whole time I was in his class. Yet what am I doing now? IP.” “The other way that Mercer uniquely benefited me was that my professors did not shy away from giving me practical skills,” she adds. “They understood that one day I would be practicing law, not in academia. Professor after professor showed us how what we were learning in class practically worked in the real world.” So, of all those professors, and all those experiences, she remembers from Mercer Law School, did any one of them in particular have an impact on her career? “Do I really have to pick one?” she says. “I cannot underscore how amazing my experience at Mercer was.”

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K atie Powers ’09 Found Mercer Great Training Ground for Real World L aw From ‘Best Advocate’ to Assistant DA Post

David Indech photo

When Mercer Law School triumphed over Harvard and the University of Houston in the 2009 National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition, 2009 graduate Katie Powers was singled out, winning the Best Advocate and the Best Cross Examiner awards. In retrospect, these victories simply look like a good start to an already impressive career. “I always had an interest in the law,” Powers says, “but the first time I realized that I wanted to do trial work was during my participation in the high school mock trial program.” There is nothing simulated in her courtroom work now. An Assistant District Attorney with the Clayton County DA’s office, Powers argued before the Georgia Supreme Court last June in Foster v. State. The defendant was appealing his conviction for the assault of his former girlfriend’s sleeping children; one child was killed. It was originally a death penalty case. “One issue in particular was the challenge to Clayton County’s jury array, alleging that the composition of the pool was unconstitutional,” Powers says. “The court affirmed the defendant’s conviction on Nov. 1, 2010, and adopted our arguments.” Her work with the District Attorney’s office includes a substantial amount of work, requiring her to manage more than 200 cases at a time. “Our office is a vertical prosecution office in that I am assigned the case prior to indictment, present it to grand jury, handle any motions that are scheduled for the case and eventually try the case,” she says. “If there is a conviction, I then respond to any appeals.” Her cases run from forgery to murder. A political science major from Georgia State University, Powers found Mercer Law School to be a great training ground for the real legal world. “One of the most important things that Mercer does to prepare you to practice law is that it makes you a well rounded lawyer,” she says. “Most law schools … focus on one area, whether that is preparing you for the bar, preparing you for corporate law, etc. Mercer’s education, no matter what class you are enrolled in,

instills the fundamental values of a successful lawyer.” Powers had a wide choice of law schools to choose from. She was accepted at Alabama, Georgia, Emory, Georgia State and others, but a Mercer alumnus tipped her decision. “I was told by Judge John Carbo [Class of 1979] to come to Mercer,” she recalls. “He said Mercer is the best education you can get to be a practicing lawyer. You can’t quantify it, but you will realize it when you get out and begin practicing.” “No school better prepares you for the practice of law. I’ve never once looked back.”

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Jon Gary Branan ’80 Shifts Career from Courtroom to Point of Sale High-Tech Apparel Lights Way to Big Earnings

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The first time you see an eye-catching, high-tech Point of Sale (POS) advertisement on a uniform at your favorite retail store, think of 1980 Law School graduate Jon Gary Branan. But we’ll get to that in a minute. Branan, a Macon native, grew up in a hardworking family and attended Whittle Elementary School at the foot of College Hill, where he would later pursue his law degree. “I didn’t come from any money,” Branan says, and he didn’t have much to speak of when he enrolled. He was already married to his wife, Gail, who gave birth to the first of their three daughters, Katie, seven weeks after his first semester began. (Their second, Karly, arrived one month before his graduation; Laura Beth is their third.) A young family, money woes and classwork sound like a lot to deal with. “No hill for a climber,” Branan says with a smile and a shrug. “When I got my teeth in something, it was hard to shake me loose.” Admittedly, he had a little help one time. With no health insurance and only part-time income (bartending, working at a golf course, welding Dempsey Dumpsters), Branan racked up an enormous bill at Coliseum Medical Center when daughter Katie ran a series of mysterious high fevers in the late 1970s. “You could have bought a reasonably nice house for what we owed that hospital,” he says. He and Gail paid what they could, in small installments, until the day Branan delivered his latest check to the hospital, only to be told someone who wished to remain anonymous had paid the balance. “My jaw just dropped,” he recalls. But he thinks he knows who his benefactors were: Mercer Law School’s then dean and his wife. “I’m almost 100 percent certain it was Bruce and Anne Jacob,” he says. “Lets put it this way: I don’t think anybody else liked me enough to do it.” After graduation Branan practiced plaintiffs’side tort law and criminal defense law in Claxton, Ga., and successfully represented the sole survivor of an accident in which a tractor-trailer ran over a family of six. The significant financial settlement meant that Branan never again had to have


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

any boss but himself. Returning to Macon, he practiced for three years with Robert Faulkner, now Macon Municipal Court Chief Judge, and childhood friend Randall Russell, then joined Lovette Cowart & Ayerbe. Now, his lawyering days are over, thanks to another significant upswing on his wheel of fortune. He’s in business with son-in-law Blair M. Enfield (married to Karly), a Certified Financial Planner, and their company MADE Global Brands, LLC. Among other consumer products within MADE Global’s umbrella is EyeLevel Interactive, LLC. Its centerpiece is a patented technology designed to turn uniforms worn by retail, pharmacy, quick-service restaurants or grocery store employees into interactive Point of Sale advertising media. There are continuous upgrades being developed to the initial “SwitchIt”TM fabric advertising panels, including built-in atom chips in digital panels which can detect the age and gender of its customers. (If it sounds like something from the sci-fi movie “Minority Report,” you’re close.) Ask him what his job title at the company is, and Branan cracks, “Wizard.” Actually, he did a lot of the footwork when his son-in-law Blair and partner Mark De Mattei (who obtained the exclusive worldwide rights to the initial patent for the advertising panels) were raising money for the company. The investors are mainly people Branan got to know through years of practicing law, a lot of them fellow attorneys. “The best friends I have ever made were at law school here,” he says. Though Branan says he can’t divulge specific names at this point, he says that a single contract signed in January will earn the company a minimum of $35 million over the next nine years. With his personal profits, Branan says he has a few pet projects he’d like to pursue. Like maybe fashioning a homeless shelter out of one of the empty buildings in downtown Macon, maybe starting a self-sustainable, nonprofit organic farm. “I’d like to live on ten percent and give the other ninety percent of it away,” he says. “And I want to drive a real nice car.”

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Diane Owens ’80 Steers Mercer L aw and Universit y toward National Prominence As the Chair of the Mercer University Board of Trustees, M. Diane Owens is the first woman to hold that position in its 179-year history. But she’s sure she won’t be the last. A 1980 graduate of the Law School, Owens started her career as an associate of Long, Weinberg, Ansley & Wheeler in Atlanta, becoming the first female partner there in 1986. When the firm dissolved in 1999, she joined as a partner with Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers, LLP, her current firm. “I was very fortunate to work for and be mentored by Ben Weinberg, who is recognized, I think, as one of the finest trial lawyers in Georgia in his era,” Owens says. “For someone who wanted to be a trial lawyer, as I did, it was a marvelous opportunity to learn from a master and to be given great responsibilities immediately.” Among other things, Owens specializes in products liability, employment discrimination, premises liability, catastrophic injury and wrongful death. “I was fortunate to have exposure to many types of cases in many venues around the state,” she says. “I also consider myself very fortunate to be able to say that many of the clients I work with today are clients that I began working with as an associate for Ben in 1980.” In the three decades since, Owens has witnessed positive progress for women in law. “A female trial attorney is not viewed as novel today, which was not the case when I began my career,” she says. “I think firms are now more accepting of part-time or other alternative work scenarios which help women balance family and career more readily than when I began my practice. When I became an associate at Long, Weinberg, I was the only female lawyer. I don’t think that is likely to occur to a woman joining the profession today!” Owens’s time at Mercer Law School was great preparation for the career that followed. “I had energetic, engaging teachers who challenged me intellectually. I was also fortunate to be a student of lawyers who had practiced, or were still practicing, and that exposure helped me choose litigation as my career path,” she says. “I felt ready to be thrown into the deep end of the pool when I began working, which was a good thing because that is certainly what happened!”

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School shaped choice for successful career path

Twenty of the eighty-plus lawyers at Swift Currie, Owens’s current firm, are Mercer law graduates. Of the Mercer Law alumni at her firm, Owens says, “As with any new lawyer, the Mercer lawyers … succeed because they are bright and able people, with a great work ethic.” (Editor’s note: Swift Currie has long been a great supporter of the Law School, not only in hiring but also in giving. As one of the half-dozen firms to participate in the Law School’s initial Council of Firms giving challenge, Swift Currie achieved 100 percent participation. See the story on the back cover of this issue.) Chosen as Chair of the Board of Trustees last November, Owens hopes to steer the Law School and Mercer as a whole toward a higher profile. “Mercer is a great university, but perhaps not as well known as it should be. The Trustees have adopted various goals to raise the academic profile of the university and to raise awareness of the University in the state, in the Southeast, and nationally.” That includes the reintroduction of non-scholarship football. After more than 30 years full of legal achievements and recognition, one accomplishment stands alone for Owens: “I can honestly say that being selected to serve as Chair of the Mercer University Board of Trustees is the honor of my lifetime.”

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L amar Sizemore ’74 Steps down fRom Circuit Court Bench, Looks to Phase III of Legal Career Selective Practice and Teaching on the Horizon

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Appointed judge of the Superior Court for the Macon Judicial Circuit by Governor Roy Barnes in 2001, Lamar W. Sizemore, Jr., ’74, stepped down from the bench at the end of his term in 2010. But he’s not even thinking about retiring. “My attitude is that I am entering Phase III of my legal career, which will include mediating, teaching, and a selective practice of law,” he says. “I can’t imagine anything better.” The second of three generations of Mercer lawyers, Sizemore shaved off his ’70s-era mustache and long sideburns the day after he graduated from the Law School in June, 1974. His bosses at what was informally known as the Adams O’Neal Law Firm were two of his former adjunct professors: H.T. O’Neal, Jr., and Manley F. Brown. His original plan was to work in Macon for a few years, “then return to Atlanta to practice with my father in his firm, Heyman & Sizemore.” However, his father’s sudden death only six weeks after graduation changed his plans. Sizemore stayed, and over the next few years he and his wife, Sandy, “felt so at home in Macon and my law firm, we altered any plans of returning to Atlanta and chose to make Macon home permanently.” In his practice at O’Neal, Brown & Sizemore, he focused on personal injury litigation, and with Charles R. Adams III, he helped write and edit the GTLA Trial Practice Manual, first published in 1993. He served on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia starting in 1985 and is a past president of the Macon Bar Association and the Middle Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. And, since 1981, he has taught the class Problems in Insurance Litigation at Mercer Law School. Of all


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the awards throughout his career, he says winning the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Law School “brings me the greatest pride.” After his 10 years on the bench, Sizemore has general advice for those who’d like to follow his path. “I am not sure that there is any particular way to prepare for a judgeship, other than to acquire as much legal experience as possible along the way,” he says. “When opportunities present themselves, I think a young lawyer would do well to try cases, argue appeals, write for publication, teach on law school or seminar faculties, and be active in bar activities on both a local and state level.” Like many before him, and since, Sizemore thinks his education at Mercer Law School gave him a distinct head-start in the real world. “I have heard lawyers from big firms in Atlanta say that the difference between a Mercer graduate and other law school graduates is that the Mercer graduate is better prepared to deal with clients, witnesses, opposing counsel and judges than are other law school graduates.” Leaving the bench after ten years (consisting of two years by appointment, and two four-year terms via election), Sizemore is looking forward to more leisure time, even if the word “retirement” doesn’t apply. He and his wife hope to spend pleasant days as grandparents in Anderson, S.C., and Memphis, Tenn., and to travel to their favorite place, coastal Maine. But it won’t all be down time. He says, “I would love to continue to work with law students and young lawyers in hopes that I can repay the debts of older lawyers, particularly Mercer lawyers, who guided me along the way.”

Stay Board of Visitors



Year City, State Email

Virgil Adams


Macon, Ga.

Ann Baird Bishop


Marietta, Ga.

Patrick J. Farrell, Jr.


Tallahassee, Fl.

The Hon. Frank J. Jordan, Jr.


Columbus, Ga.

Mary Mendel Katz


Macon, Ga.

The Hon. John T. Laney, III


Columbus, Ga.

S. Catherine “Katie� Phelps 1991

Atlanta, Ga.

Paul Quiros (Secretary)



Atlanta, Ga.

William C. Sanders


Thomasville, Ga.

William B. Shearer, Jr. (Vice-Chair)

Alumni Board


Atlanta, Ga.

The Hon. Wendy L. Shoob


Atlanta, Ga.

T. Joshua R. Archer


Atlanta, GA

The Hon. Carl C. Brown


Augusta, GA

Kate Sievert Cook (pres.-elect)


Clermont, GA

Richard Gerakitis (president)


Atlanta, GA

William H. (Bert) Gregory


Vienna, GA

Deron H. Hicks (sec.)


Warm Springs

Anton F. Mertens


Atlanta, GA

Paul W. Painter, III


Savannah, GA


Atlanta, GA


Valdosta, GA

William B. Shearer, III (immediate past pres.) Gregory T. Talley

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011


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Steve Berry recently released his latest novel, “The Emperor’s Tomb,” a thriller featuring hero Cotton Malone and his quest to unlock the secrets of an ancient Chinese crypt. Berry practiced for 30 years as a trial lawyer in St. Marys, Ga.

Class Notes 1950

Frank Jones is the special attorney general for the state of Georgia in its lawsuit challenging the national health care law. Jones was hired by Gov. Sonny Perdue. Jones is leading a team of eight lawyers, including Mercer Law professor David Oedel, in the lawsuit filed in April 2010 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Jones is founder of Jones, Cork & Miller in Macon and has served as president of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Georgia Bar Association and the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society.


W. Andrew Haggard of Coral Gables, Fla., was named Chairman of the Florida State University Board of Trustees in July 2010.


The Honorable Judge Ralph F. “Rusty” Simpson was recently recognized and designated amicus curiae of the Supreme Court of Georgia. Judge Simpson is a former Tift County Superior Court judge. The citation signed by all members of the state Supreme Court noted that Judge Simpson had “rendered outstanding service in various capacities to the judicial system of Georgia and your constant concern for justice for your fellow man has inured to the benefit of our court.” Simpson recently completed a six-year term on the Board of Bar Examiners, where he served as chair. The Honorable A.J. “Buddy” Welch was honored for more than three decades of service in an April 2009 ceremony. The new Henry County Judicial Center in McDonough was officially dedicated to Welch, who has served as Juvenile Court Judge for Henry County since 1975.

M. Diane Owens has been named chair of the Mercer University Board of Trustees, the first chairwoman in the board’s history. Owens is a partner with Atlanta law firm Swift Currie. See Alumni Profile of Diane Owens in this issue.


Marc Treadwell was nominated by President Barack Obama, confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn in as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. The district covers an area stretching from Georgia’s southwestern corner east through Valdosta, north through Albany and Macon, and east through Athens to the South Carolina border. The district is allotted four active judges, and an appointment to the federal bench is for life. See feature story on Judge Treadwell in this issue.


Chip Bachara, founding partner of Bachara Construction Law Group, was named to the Best Lawyers in America 2011 list. He was named one of Florida Trend’s Legal Elite for 2010, and was also named a Florida Super Lawyer for the fourth consecutive year. Board-certified in construction law since 2005, Bachara has practiced exclusively in the area of construction litigation since graduating from law school and returning to his hometown of Jacksonville, Fl.  Scott Clemons, mayor of Panama City, Fla., hosted President Barack Obama’s family during their 2010 summer vacation in his city. In December, Clemons and daughter Mary Katherine, a Wake Forest freshman, attended the Christmas party at the White House.


Gary Martin Hays is founder and chairman of the nonprofit Keep Georgia Safe. Its executive director is Mary Ellen Fulkus (M.Ed., Mercer University, 2001). The organization provides crime and personal empowerment training and safety awareness, and operates a wireless emergency alert network in Georgia for missing or dangerous persons.



Sarah Brown “Sally” Akins of Ellis, Painter, Ratterree & Adams, LLP, in Savannah has been appointed to the finance committee of the State Bar of Georgia for 2011.

Stanley H. Pollock, an attorney with Haskell Slaughter Young & Rediker, LLC, has been named to a new term on the Board of Directors of the Bank Counsel Section of the Georgia Bankers Association (GBA). Pollock is a charter member of the GBA and has served on the Bank Counsel Board since its inception. 

Cathy A. Harper was recently named a senior strategic advisor and independent consultant in the Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs practice of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. As a member of MLA’s national government affairs practice, Harper focuses her practice on international public policy, supply chain management issues and publicprivate partnership projects. Prior to this new post, Harper held senior legal, government affairs and strategy positions at UPS, overseeing the acquisition of more than 30 companies worldwide. She also served as vice president and general counsel of Elavon, now a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp.

Kirby R. Moore was appointed by former Gov. Sonny Perdue to serve on the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Authority. He is a partner at Moore and McCollum, Attorneys at Law. Moore is an emeritus member of the University of Georgia Athletics Association and past president of The University of Georgia Alumni Society.

George Reid formed the Atlanta-based The Reid Firm, LLC, in November 2009. Its focus is on mediation and arbitration services for complex real estate, construction, environmental and other commercial disputes.


Gerald Davidson Jr. was recently installed to serve on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Georgia. Davidson was elected to serve in the Gwinnett Judicial Circuit, Post 4 seat on the board. Davidson is an attorney with the law firm of Mahaffey Pickens Tucker LLP in Lawrenceville, Ga.


D. Jack Sawyer has been named managing director and president of the Southeast region for Wilmington Trust FSB. In this role, he will lead the company’s wealth management business in the region, overseeing the delivery of Wilmington Trust’s comprehensive services for high-net-worth individuals and families. Sawyer is active in community organizations in Atlanta.


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The Honorable Jerry D. Webber with the County Court at Law No. 2, has been elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation. Fellows are selected for their outstanding professional achievements and their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the justice system throughout the state of Texas.


Bryan Anderson was recently named vice president of governmental affairs for the Southern Company. Anderson manages Southern Company’s Washington, D.C., office and directs the company’s federal political and regulatory activities. Anderson previously served as vice president of government relations and public affairs for The Coca-Cola Company in which he was the company’s primary representative to the White House, Congress, federal agencies, trade associations and major coalitions on U.S. public policy issues. S. Judson “Jud” Waites II and wife Birgit announced the birth of their son, Cayden, on Sept. 29, 2009.




Amy Landers May became a shareholder in the Columbia, SC-based firm Rogers Townsend & Thomas, PC, where she represents individuals in elder law, estate planning and probate matters.

Dargan Scott Cole was recently named of counsel for Hall Booth Smith & Slover, a full-service law firm with offices in Georgia, Nashville, Tn., and Charleston, S.C. Scott, a veteran attorney on water supply issues, is working with several of the firm’s practice groups, including Energy, Regulatory & Utilities; Government Affairs; Environmental, Mass Torts & Land Use, and Government Liability.

Matthew Kotzen, co-founder of Marinello & Kotzen, PA, relocated the firm’s offices to Miami Lakes, Fl., to accommodate expansion in both staff and client base. Clyde Reese was appointed commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health by Gov. Sonny Perdue. Prior to the appointment, Reese was the agency’s chief counsel and executive director of the DCH Division of Health Planning. Within the last decade, Reese spent four years practicing health care regulatory law in the private sector.


Chad Hastings was selected by the Martin County Bar Association as chair of its Trial Lawyers Committee. Hastings works for the law firm of Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, PLLC, in Palm Beach County, Fl.


Bradley M. Harmon recently made partner at HunterMaclean law firm in Savannah, Ga. Harmon specializes in business litigation with an emphasis on personal injury litigation, medical malpractice defense and commercial litigation. Hope Liipfert Martin and husband Jason Scott Martin announced the birth of their son William Liipfert Martin on April 24, 2009.

Auden Grumet was named a 2009 “Rising Star” by Georgia Super Lawyers and Atlanta Magazine in the area of Consumer Law — the only lawyer in that category to be so named. He continues his law practice with The Law Office of Auden L. Grumet, LLC, in Atlanta.

Rachel Patton became the first assistant district attorney to Jacksonville, Tx., District Attorney Elmer Beckworth. Beckworth said Patton earned the title with the skills she had demonstrated as a prosecutor.



Martin Kent was named Chief of Staff by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell in January 2010.


Greg Bell was recently appointed municipal court public defender by the Warner Robins city council. Erick Erickson joined CNN as a political contributor, appearing primarily on CNN’s John King, USA. Erickson will also provide perspective and commentary on other programs across the network. Erickson is editor of Prior to joining, Erickson practiced law for six years and managed a number of political campaigns. Andrew R. Fiddes has been commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. Greg Winters was elected Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney.

Angela M. Miller was promoted to senior associate at Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A., the largest law firm in central Florida according to the Orlando Business Journal. A registered patent attorney, Miller is now one of only 108 Florida attorneys who are Board Certified in Intellectual Property Law by The Florida Bar. Carl Varnedoe has joined the Hinesville, Ga.-based law firm of Jones, Osteen & Jones to focus his practice on personal injury and general civil litigation. Varnedoe has practiced law in Macon for the last seven years.


Matthew Vernon Creech married Margaret League Boylston on January 6, 2010, at Bethel United Methodist Church in Walterboro, S.C. Creech is an attorney with Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick, P.A., in Ridgeland. The couple honeymooned in Costa Rica.

Outstanding Alumnus Award Thomas W. “Tommy” Malone, ’66

Alumni Meritorious Service Award The Honorable Marc T. Treadwell, ’81

Meritorious Service Award Joseph E. Claxton, Professor of Law

Tommy Malone is the founder of Malone Law. For more than 40 years he has litigated cases involving catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death . He has obtained many jury verdicts in excess of one million dollars, including a record-setting $45 million verdict that changed the way that managed care providers operate. Mr. Malone’s great distinction in the field has long been recognized by numerous professional organizations, including Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, and Law Dragon 500. Mr. Malone was born and raised in Albany, GA, and he received his undergraduate education at the University of Georgia, graduating in 1963. He was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1965 and graduated from this Law School in 1966. In 2007, he established the Tommy Malone Chair in Trial Advocacy at the Law School. He currently sits on the Mercer University Board of Trustees.

Judge Marc Treadwell has been a federal district court judge for the Middle District of Georgia since June 2010. After receiving a B.A. from Valdosta State University in 1978 and a J.D. from this Law School in 1981, he entered private practice with Kilpatrick and Cody in Atlanta. He moved in 1985 to Chambless, Higdon and Carson, LLP in Macon and then in 2000 formed Adams, Jordan and Treadwell, P.C., in Macon. He specialized in personal injury and wrongful death cases, and he was named among Georgia Super Lawyers since 2004 and among The Best Lawyers in America since 2001. Judge Treadwell has been an adjunct professor of law at Mercer since 1998, teaching Georgia Civil Practice and Procedure. His many honors include having an issue of the Mercer Law Review dedicated to him in recognition and appreciation of both his exemplary work as an attorney and his many articles on Evidence over the years in the Law Review’s annual Eleventh Circuit Survey and Survey of Georgia Law.

Professor Joseph Claxton received his B.A. in 1968 from Emory University and his J.D. in 1972 from Duke University, where he was an editor of the law review. After practicing briefly in Atlanta, he joined the faculty of this Law School and was promoted to the rank of Professor of Law in 1978. He has taught the remarkable number of 19 different courses, most recently including ones in wills, trusts, and payment systems. He is the author of 28 articles in a variety of fields. He has held four key administrative posts in the Law School and University, and his innumerable institutional contributions include directing the Law School’s admissions program for eight years, drafting the plan for transitioning to the semester system, chairing a complete general curriculum review, and serving as the editor of two Law School self studies and of the school’s first Five-Year Plan. He has long been a trustee of the Georgia Legal History Foundation, and his community service includes serving on the Board of Directors of the Wesley Glen Foundation and on the Board of Trustees of Mount de Sales Academy.

Manley F. Brown Distinguished Adjunct Professor Awards David B. Higdon, Sr., ’71 (posthumously); The Honorable Walker P. Johnson (posthumously)

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011


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Class Notes 2005

Theresa Light Critchfield and her husband, John Critchfield, announced the birth of their third daughter, Mary Margaret, in October, 2009.

served as an associate with Shavitz Law Group in Boca Raton and as an associate with Rogers Towers, P.A., in Jacksonville. Trey Winder was appointed Municipal Judge for the city of Athens, Tn. He continues to practice in the Athens-based firm Reid, Winder & Green, PLLC, where he is the managing partner.


Brittany Lynn Adams married Adriano Lavalle on June 13, 2009. The Lavalles reside in McDonough, GA.

Kandice N. Harvey has been named partner in the Savannah law firm of Gray & Pannell, LLP.


Michael L. Scheve has been named associate attorney at the law firm of Burman, Critton, Lutlier & Coleman in West Palm Beach, Fl. He represents the firm’s clients in personal injury, employment and family law litigation. Prior to his new post, Scheve

1940s G. Alan Hilburn, ’49, of Greenville, N.C., died Dec. 31, 2010.

1950s Robert V. Jones Jr., ‘50, of Jasper died Oct. 20, 2009. John H. Holder Jr., ’50, of Columbus died Aug. 25, 2010. Leven H. Harris, ’51, of Shreveport, La., died Sept. 14, 2009. Andrew J. Aultman, ’52, of Albany died Aug. 26, 2009. Keith W. Benning, ’53, of Augusta died April 24, 2009. Fayes F. Thomas Jr., ’55, of Miami, Fla., died July 4, 2009.

1960s Thomas DeMartin, ’60, of Pennington, N.J., died Nov. 25, 2009. Jose M. Aponte, ’62, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, died Dec. 23, 2008. Larry Broadfoot, ’66, of Vidalia died June 17, 2010. J. Quentin Davidson, ’66, of Panama City Beach, Fla., died Aug. 27, 2009. Larry Lynn Johnson, ’66, of Louisville, Ky., died Nov. 22, 2010. Carolyn B. Gregory, wife of the Honorable Hardy Gregory, ’67, of Vienna died April 30, 2010. Warner S. Olds, ’67, of Ann Arbor, Mich., died March 24, 2009. David J. Turner, ’67, of Manchester died Aug. 30, 2009. Sibyl Branch Brooks, ’68, died Oct. 28, 2009. M. Francis Stubbs, ’69, of Reidsville died July 7, 2010.

1970s Douglas R. Davis, ’72, of Smyrna died Jan. 16, 2011. Randall M. Clark, ’72, of Brunswick died June 15, 2010.


Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011

Jared S. Westbroek recently joined HunterMaclean’s specialty litigation practice group as an associate. Westbroek will assist senior litigation attorneys who regularly represent a wide-range of corporate clients in federal and state appellate courts, administrative proceedings, arbitration panels and other alternative dispute resolution tribunals. HunterMaclean is located in Savannah, Ga.

Walter J. “Buddy” Lane, ’72, of Macon died Aug. 5, 2009. Richard D. Allen Jr., ’74, of Tallapoosa died March 2, 2009. John Dale Mixon, ’74, of Arlington, Texas, died March 31, 2010. Steven J. Richey, ’74, of Leesburg, Fla., died Aug. 9, 2010. Harry Judd Fox Jr., ’76, of Macon died Dec. 10, 2010. F. Gregory Melton, ’76, of Dalton died Jan. 21, 2011. Richard L. Hodge, ’77, of Albany died June 16, 2010. Henry K. Jarrett III, ’78, of Louisville, Ky., died June 2, 2010. B. Michael Byrd, ’79, of Savannah died Nov. 2, 2010.

1980s Joe David Jackson, ’80, of Atlanta died Nov. 9, 2009. William Clay McKey, ’81, of Valdosta died May 17, 2010. A. Leroy Toliver, ’81, of Conyers died Feb. 5, 2011. Richard Scott Bingham, ’83, of Raleigh, N.C. Dolly Hays Todd, ’84, of Dacula died March 30, 2010. Althea L. Buafo, ’87, of Macon died Oct. 21, 2009. Robert Lee Kirby, ’88, of Alpharetta died Aug. 4, 2009. Warren Thomas Taylor, ’89, of Atlanta died April 5, 2010.

1990s Ronald W. Tigner, ’91, of Atlanta died Oct. 21, 2009. Jill Nicole Meekins, ’97, of Atlanta died July 3, 2010.

2000s Mary Kathleen “Kathy” Ferreyra, ’00, of Valdosta died June 8, 2010. Walter Theodore Widener, ’06, of Douglasville died Sept. 22, 2010.


The Benchers Society English Inns of Court,

dating back to the 14th century, were historically responsible for legal education through apprenticeships of students and young lawyers. These legal societies exercised the exclusive right of admitting persons to practice by a formal “call to the bar.” Inns were governed by a select group known as Benchers, a designation reserved for highly accomplished and distinguished lawyers and jurists. Mercer Law School has chosen Benchers as the name for a new leadership donor society created to honor those alumni who support the school through annual gifts of $1,000 or more. These supporters inspire the entire Mercer Law community with their level of commitment to making a significant difference in the life of the Law School, and we wish to recognize and honor their commitment. Membership in The Benchers Society will be recognized at the following levels:


$25,000 & above


$10,000 - $24,999


$5,000 - $9,999


$2,500 - $4,999


$1,000 - $2,499


6-10 years $500


1-5 years $250

*Graduates Of the Last Decade

Benchers Society members receive special invitations to Law School events throughout the year, are acknowledged in print and electronic publications, and are honored at a special recognition reception with the dean, faculty, administrators and special guests that gather to celebrate their generosity. All gifts to the Law School, regardless of designation, will count toward The Benchers Society and will be recognized in the University’s Giving Report. Alumni support makes Mercer Law strong, and we are grateful for every gift made to the School. We look to our generous and dedicated leading alumni for continued financial assistance, enabling us to provide the highest quality legal education to exceptional students. You can make a Benchers gift by (1) MAIL to: Office of University Advancement, Mercer University, 1400 Coleman Avenue, Macon, GA 31294; (2) PHONE to Office of University Advancement at (800) 837-2911 to make a credit-card gift, to set up a recurring monthly or quarterly gift, or to obtain information about contributing publicly-traded appreciated securities; (3) CONTRIBUTION online at

Mercer Lawyer | Spring 2011



1021 Georgia Avenue | Macon, Georgia 31207 |



The Council of Firms AD On June 30, 2010, Mercer Law completed its first annual Council of Firms giving challenge. The Council of Firms provides alumni working in law firms an opportunity to reconnect with their Law School and each other by promoting support of the Law School in a fun and competitive way. Volunteer alumni captains in each firm encourage their fellow alumni to participate by making a personal contribution to the Law School Annual Fund.

It is our hope that this program will grow to include law firms across the country that employ our graduates. If your firm has at least three Mercer Law alumni and you are interested in participating, please contact Mike Mattox at (678) 314-8144 or We wish to recognize the law firms that participated in the inaugural Council of Firms:

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Troutman Sanders (100% participation) Swift Currie McGhee & Hiers (100% participation) King & Spalding (100% participation) Bryan Cave Chambless Higdon Richardson Katz & Griggs Smith Gambrell & Russell

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Mercer Lawyer is published for alumni and friends of the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law. News submissions,including Class...

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