News Briefs: March 11, 2013
Experts discuss alternatives to divorce litigation today
The Family Law Society, the Center on Children and Families, and Gators for Alternative Dispute Resolution present “Alternatives to Divorce Litigation: Collaborative & Mediation Techniques” today at 1:30 p.m.
The Family Law Society will hold a moderated discussion on dispute resolution techniques in family law cases. Experts and guest speakers Robert Merlin (JD 78) and Elinor Robin will compare and contrast collaborative law approaches and family law mediation. The event will begin with refreshments in the foyer of the Martin H. Levin Advocacy Center at 1:30 p.m. The discussion will begin at 2 p.m. in the courtroom.
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Merlin graduated cum laude from UF Law in 1978. He is board certified in marital and family law and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Court Mediator. His practice focuses on family law, collaborative family law, family mediation, and guardian ad litem.
Elinor Robin received a Ph.D. in psychology, with a specialization in conflict management from the University of Cincinnati in 2006. She is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, as well as a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Court Mediator and Primary Mediation Trainer. Her practice focuses on professional and personal relationship conflict.
University of Florida Levin College of Law students Rachael Simpson (2L), at left, and Katherine Artman (2L) won second place in the 2013 American Bar Association Regional Client Counseling Competition. The students ranked first among law schools in attendance from the state of Florida, including Stetson University College of Law, Florida State University College of Law, Florida A&M University College of Law, and Florida Coastal School of Law. Other schools competing included Emory University School of Law and Mercer University – Walter F. George School of Law. The competition was held in Ft. Lauderdale on Feb. 9.
Ajay Singh (JD 12) coached the team and Karina Rodrigues played an integral role as the team’s competition strategy coordinator.
The Florida ADR Team, now in its second year competing, also placed fifth, out of 24 teams, at the American Bar Association Regional Negotiation Competition in the fall. The team members were second-year students Elesa Rectanus (2L) and Nick Vargo (2L). Florida’s ADR Negotiation team came out ahead of schools including Emory University School of Law, Florida State University College of Law, and University of North Carolina School of Law.
Florida Moot Court send teams to state, national competitions
Two teams traveled to Las Vegas Feb. 13 for the American Bar Association Regional round. Jessica Andrade (2L), Ryan Gilbert (3L) and Dee Dee Scheller (2L) comprised one team; Ian Dankelman (2L), Danielle Grundt (3L) and Brandon White (3L) comprised another. The teams were coached by Dylan Shea (3L) and Kelsey Veitengruber (3L), respectively. Both teams advanced to the round of 16 before being eliminated. Dankelman, Grundt and White were awarded the 3rd place brief award.
Zachary Ritz (3L), of the Florida Moot Court team, paired with fellow Tax Moot Court Team members, Caitlin Foster (3L) and Hans Tanzler (3L), competed in the National Tax Moot Court Competition. The team traveled to Miami to compete the weekend of Feb. 9, and placed fifth in the competition.
Megan Coughlin (2L) and Nate Diehl (2L), coached by Ryan Hopper (3L), competed in the National First Amendment Moot Court Competition on Feb. 21-22 in Nashville. They competed well, but did not advance to the finals. Hopper noted, “Megan and Nate were phenomenal and performed with all of the skill, confidence, and class we expect of our advocates. There’s no doubt in my mind that they’re capable of competing with the best and winning.”
Nick Andrews (3L), Robbie Boone (3L), and Bob O’Linn (3L), coached by Kristina Gandre (2L), competed in the Cristol, Kahn, Paskay Bankruptcy Cup in Miami on Feb. 23. The team advanced to the semi-finals and placed in third overall. Boone won the Best Advocate Award at the competition. The team competed again in the Duberstein Moot Court Competition in New York over spring break. Results were not available at the time of publication.
Careers with the U.S. Department of State event Wednesday
The Center for Career Development and the International Law Society will host Andrew Passen, a Diplomat in Residence (DIR) with the U.S. Department of State, on Wednesday at noon in the Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom (HOL 180) to discuss career opportunities for students interested in international relations. Students who would like to meet with Passen between 1 and 2:30 in a small-group setting may sign up for a time slot by contacting the CCD. To learn how you can use your law degree to serve and see the world, join the CCD on Wednesday.
Passen has more than 30 years experience in Foreign Service positions and has served in numerous international posts. His first overseas posting was as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in the kingdom of Swaziland from 1981-1984. He taught biology, chemistry, and physics to over 700 students in a rural high school. Passen lived with a Swazi family, learned farming, and became fluent in the local language of siSwati. Subsequent positions included serving as a Team Leader of the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team in Baghdad, Iraq. Additional assignments have included Kaduna, Nigeria; Lusaka, Zambia; Bern, Switzerland; Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Montreal, Canada; Dakar, Senegal.
Spring Book Awards Ceremony takes place Friday
Created to honor scholastic achievement in legal education, Book Awards recognize the outstanding student in each course at the Levin College of Law. The Book Award Program provides unrestricted funds to support students and student organizations, faculty teaching, research and development, and student/alumni programs and services. Book Awards in Graduate Tax courses provide unrestricted funds to support the Graduate Tax Program. The ceremony is at 3 p.m. Friday at the Reitz Union Auditorium.
Annual Youth Summit slated for Friday
The Annual Youth Summit, sponsored by the UF Law Center on Children and Families and the Criminal Justice Center, will host the Pace Center for Girls – Alachua at the law school Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Martin H. Levin Advocacy Center. The Youth Summit informs young people about rights, responsibilities and consequences of their actions.
LIC Notes: Research Time Saver: 50-state surveys
Have you ever needed to compare how several states treat an issue for an article or book that you are writing? A 50-state survey may be useful for your research. 50-state surveys compare every state’s law on a specific issue, usually listing the citation to the law and providing a brief summary. If the survey is accessed through an online research platform, such as LexisNexis or Westlaw, the laws will usually be linked to in full. 50-state surveys do not exist for every law, but they can be a time saver when they do exist. 50-State Surveys can be accessed through Westlaw Classic (SURVEYS), Lexis.com, and the UF catalog. If you find yourself in need of a 50-state survey and need assistance locating one, contact your library liaison or call the reference desk at 352-273-0723.
Dean hosts Music Night Sunday
Got a hidden musical talent? Show it off at the upcoming Music Night 2013 to be held Sunday, March 17, at 7 p.m. at the home of Dean Robert Jerry and his wife, Lisa. All students and faculty are invited – but the “ticket” to attend is that you must bring a dessert and agree to perform a musical piece (play an instrument or sing a song). A piano will be available. Each participant can bring one guest. Space is limited, so sign up is on a first-come, first-serve basis. To register, stop by the Dean’s Office and see Doris Perron.
South African freedom fighter to address gay marriage at UF Law
Albie Sachs, retired Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and life-long freedom fighter in the struggle against apartheid, will speak about gay marriage at the University of Florida Levin College of Law Tuesday, March 26 — the same day the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case challenging California’s ban on gay marriage.
“Gay Marriage and the Promise of Equality” will be at noon in the Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom, HOL 180, with a book signing immediately following. The talk is free and open to the public. Parking restrictions in the green areas at the law school will be lifted for the event.
Sachs’ talk is co-sponsored by UF Law’s Center on Children and Families and UF’s Center for African Studies.
Sachs will also be giving a talk at the Center for African Studies at 4 p.m. the same day. Check FlaLaw next week for more information.
UF Law Alumni and Student Orange & Blue-B-Que
Join your fellow (and future) UF Law alumni at the law school campus on Saturday, April 6, at 11 a.m. (before the spring Orange & Blue Debut football game) for this inaugural event hosted by the Center for Career Development. The CCD hopes to provide an atmosphere that helps foster connections between current and future generations of Gator lawyers. RSVP by March 31 here: Orange and Blue-B-Que RSVP.