Faculty scholarship and activities

Published: October 18th, 2010

Category: News

Jeffrey Davis
“Southwest Florida bankruptcy filings expected to keep climbing” (Oct. 10, 2010, The News-Press) Bankruptcy filings have been on the rise in Southwest Florida for the past five years and there is no indication that they will decline in the near future.From the article:
Jeffrey Davis, professor of law at the University of Florida, Gainesville, said businesses in tough financial seas still should try approaching creditors for modified payment schedules. He acknowledged these concessions are tougher to get these days: “In this economy, everyone around you is struggling,” Davis said, adding, “Some aren’t going to make it.”

Nancy Dowd
David H. Levin Chair in Family Law and Director, Center on Children & Families “Rick Scott dodges answers by invoking Fifth Amendment, Democrats claim in ad” (Oct. 12, 2010, PolitiFact Florida)

A new ad from Alex Sink’s gubernatorial campaign points out that GOP candidate Rick Scott invoked his Fifth Amendment right 75 times in a deposition regarding fraud allegations aimed at his hospital chain, Columbia/HCA.

From the article:
“The Fifth Amendment is not a shield against fishing expeditions,” said Nancy Dowd, a UF Levin College of Law professor. “If you want to cloak yourself in the protection of the Fifth Amendment, it has to be for the reason that your answer could result in criminal liability.”

Teresa Drake
Director, Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Clinic (IPVAC)
TV interview – “Family Spotlight” on IPVAC Clinic (Oct. 7, 2010, WCJB-TV 20)

Drake discussed intimate partner violence crimes as well as the new Intimate Partner Violence Asisstance Clinic – of which she is the director – in this TV 20 spotlight.

Thomas Hurst
Professor Emeritus and Sam T. Dell Research ScholarHurst presented a paper entitled “The Use of Clawbacks to Recoup Excessive Executive Compensation After the Worldwide Financial Crisis” at the Cambridge Symposium on Economic Crime at Jesus College, Cambridge University in September.

Clifford Jones
Associate In Law and Lecturer “Ambler’s suit to knock Norman off ballot goes to trial Tuesday” (Oct. 11, 2010, The Tampa Tribune)

State Rep. Kevin Ambler filed a lawsuit seeking to disqualify Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman for running for state senate and remove him from the November ballot. The lawsuit claims Norman failed to report a house in Arkansas owned by his wife, mostly paid for by a former friend and political supporter.

From the article:
State law says disqualification is an appropriate penalty if a candidate deliberately fails to list assets on state financial disclosure forms, said Clifford Alan Jones, a professor at the University of Florida law school.

“But it is not clear to me if a court would order (disqualification) prior to completion of an Ethics Commission hearing,” Jones said.

Diane Mazur
Professor “Congress, not courts, may have final word on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell'” (Oct. 11, 2010, Law.com)

Mazur commented on the recent federal court rulings regarding the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and the previous court cases they cited in their decisions.

From the article:
“Although these Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell cases are not criminal prosecutions, not sodomy prosecutions, the courts in both Witt and Log Cabin said, ‘We’re still talking about the same constitutional liberty,’ ” said Diane Mazur, a professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and legal co-director of the Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, which focuses on military issues including Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Judge orders ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ injunction” (Oct. 12, 2010, Associated Press)

Last week a federal judge issued an injunction to stop the enforcement of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, to be effective immediately. Mazur commented on the president’s position on the issue.

From the article:
“The president has taken a very consistent position here, and that is: ‘Look, I will not use my discretion in any way that will step on Congress’ ability to be the sole decider about this policy here,’ ” said Diane H. Mazur, legal co-director of the Palm Center, a think tank at the University of California at Santa Barbara that supports a repeal.

The article ran in a number of media outlets, including The New York Times.

Mazur was quoted in AP’s “Quotations of the day.” “The whole thing has become a giant game of hot potato. There isn’t anyone who wants to be responsible, it seems, for actually ending this policy. The potato has been passed around so many times that I think the grown-up in the room is going to be the federal courts.” – Diane H. Mazur, a legal expert at a think tank at the University of California at Santa Barbara in comments after a federal judge ordered the military to immediately stop enforcing its ban on openly gay troops.

Jon Mills
Dean Emeritus Director, Center for Governmental Responsibility
Animal activists mount protests of UF researcher” (Oct. 8, 2010, Gainesville Sun)

A UF researcher has been the target of animal rights activists because of a connection to research done relating to experimentation on primates. A website has been created with the researcher’s address and a picture of his home on it and protests have been planned in Gainesville and in the researcher’s neighborhood in the future. The approach indicates a shift in animal rights activists’ tactics, focusing on individuals involved or related to research rather than the larger entities who sponsor it. Currently the situation appears to be a protest rather than a threat, according to UF police.

From the article:
The courts typically have given wide latitude to free-speech rights in such cases, said UF law professor Jon Mills, who wrote a recent book on privacy. But he said a civil case is possible if someone is being slandered with false information, and other legal action also could be taken in the case of a threat. “People can say a lot of things online if it falls short of actual slander, but one thing that the courts get nervous about is if they say or imply actual threats,” he said.

“Summary of 6 statewide constitutional amendments and one nonbinding referendum” (Oct. 12, 2010, Gainesville Sun)

With six proposed changes in the Florida Constitution on the November ballot, Mills addressed the issue of Florida Supreme Court’s language standards that can sometimes make the wording of amendments confusing to some voters.

From the article:
“The language has to be less than 75 words and explanatory of everything (the amendment) does and be approved by the Supreme Court,” said Jon Mills, a University of Florida law professor. If it’s not in the title, “it would be considered deceptive. The Supreme Court has taken several initiatives off the ballot for being misleading,” he said. Nonetheless, initiatives and constitutional amendments are one of the people’s rights and one that should be taken seriously, Mills said. “They are there permanently,” Mills said. “Putting something in the constitution is hard, and getting it out is even harder.”