News Briefs January 12, 2009

Published: January 12th, 2009

Category: News Briefs

CCF needs research help with anti-gay adoption brief

The Center on Children and Families needs immediate research help for an amicus brief on Florida’s anti-gay adoption statute. Several distinct projects exist, most of which need to be completed in the next 2-3 weeks. Contact Joe Jackson at if interested.

Earn pro bono hours with VITA program

The Volunteer Income Taxpayer Assistance program begins this semester and is a great way to earn pro bono hours toward your pro bono certificate. Volunteers in VITA prepare tax returns for low and middle income taxpayers in Gainesville. Many UF students also use VITA as well. Once a tax return is prepared, an experienced coordinator will review the return. You also obtain first-hand experience interacting with taxpayers and learning more about our tax system. No prior tax experience or knowledge is required. The training materials will provide you with the basic information you will need to prepare tax returns. There are two basic tests that must be passed by the end of January before you can volunteer for VITA. You only have to volunteer one day a week (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) during the spring semester, excluding spring break. For more information contact Christopher Pavilonis at

2009 Haitian Lawyers Association Scholarship

The Haitian Lawyers Association (HLA) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for the 2009 scholarship awards. Every year HLA awards monetary aid to a student of Haitian descent. Since the award’s inception, the amount has increased to a total of $8,000, and HLA has expanded the offer from the South Florida area law schools to law schools statewide. The application deadline is Jan. 19, and each recipient is eligible to receive up to $2,000. Recipients are invited to attend the association’s annual gala on Feb. 7, 2009. The student must be of Haitian descent and must be in good academic standing. The student must submit an official transcript, and a one page (maximum two pages) personal statement describing involvement in the community, financial need for the award, as well as reasons why the student is better qualified to receive the award. The entire submission shall be postmarked no later than January 19, 2009 and mailed to the attention of Kertch J. Conze, Esq., at 801 N.E. 167th St., Second Floor, North Miami Beach, FL 33162. For more information contact Kertch Conze at 305-455-2040 ext. 245.

Moot Court Board wins in Atlanta

Justice Campbell Thornal Moot Court Board members Andrew Hoffman, Michael Friedman, Lorna Cobb and coach Meghann Wolfe won the Best Brief award at the Region Five National Moot Court Competition held in Atlanta, Ga. on Nov. 21-22, 2008. The team also advanced to the semi-final round, surpassing six other teams. Mercer University School of Law defeated Florida by a narrow margin, and later finished as the Region Five champion. Andrew, Michael, and Lorna argued the constitutionality of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act and as a separate issue, whether the Individuals with Disabilities Act requires a student to enroll in public school before becoming eligible for private school tuition reimbursement. The team received valuable assistance from professors Little, Fenster and Pflaum. The Justice Campbell Thornal Moot Court Board represents UF Law in numerous state and national appellate advocacy competitions throughout the year. The Board was founded in 1961, and was named after the prominent Florida Supreme Court chief justice. The board’s mission is to promote excellence in appellate advocacy. Comprised of students from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, the board has received numerous state and national awards. New members are selected each year from all third semester students who try out for the team. (Photo: Lorna Cobb and Michael Friedman. Not pictured: Andrew Hoffman)

Students form Faculty Recruitment Committee

In fall 2008, the Faculty Recruitment Committee was formed with the help of the Office of Student Affairs. The committee is led by founder David Kerner (2L) and Kali Feinman (2L) and consists of 16 diverse members of the law school community, ranging from 1Ls to members of the LL.M. tax program. The committee, which works under the Faculty Appointments Committee, was designed to interact with professorial candidates who were invited to interview for a tenure track faculty position. “It is the FRC’s hope to put the student body’s best foot forward during this important function and to let the candidate know that our student body is involved and invested in the affairs of the law college,” said Kerner. “We believe that student body input is vital to the faculty recruitment process, and with the help of the members of the committee, I know we were able to fulfill the committee’s mission of doing just that.” Kerner also noted that the success of the committee would be impossible without the encouragement and assistance of the faculty, and in particular, Professor Hernandez and Professor Wright, who head the faculty hiring process. The current student members of the Faculty Recruitment Committee are: Andrew Comiter (LL.M.), Jenny Perkins (3L), Charles King (3L), Jonathan Blocker (3L), Clay Carlton (2L), Kali Feinman (2L), David Kerner (2L), Stephen Liverpool (2L), Gaston Fontela (2L), Darren Heitner (2L), Rebecaa Sable (2L), Ashley Beaman (2L), Jennifer Hartzler (2L), Harlan McGuire (2L), Wayne Atkinson (2L), Sara Casey (1L) and Kyla Tan (1L). (Photo: Pictured from left to right, Darren Heitner, David Kerner, Professor Candidate Dr. Noa Ben-Asher and Ashley Beaman during one of the committee’s breakfast interviews.)