Faculty scholarship and activities

Published: March 21st, 2011

Category: News Briefs

Jeffrey Davis
Professor of Law

On Saturday, March 12, Professor Davis participated in a three-person panel at the 35th Annual Alexander Paskay Bankruptcy Seminar. The topic was Effect of Bankruptcy Code Sections 1111(b) and 506 in Recent Real Estate Bankruptcies.

Joseph Little
Professor Emeritus

“FGCU legal costs surpass $200,000 in ex-provost’s wrongful firing lawsuit” (March 11, 2011, Naples News)

Little commented on a labor lawsuit filed by Bonnie Yegidis against Florida Gulf Coast University. The suit was filed in June 2009, and as of January the university had spent $210,000 defending itself in the case.

From the article:
“Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s probably an unusual amount if a case of that sort that went on that long,” said Joseph Little, professor emeritus at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

If Yegidis chooses to appeal, she faces an uphill battle, Little said.

“When you’ve got a jury verdict on the matter that was fully litigated, it’s extremely hard to get it overturned,” Little said. “So, appealing the case would cost the plaintiff some more money. Just getting the transcript, for example, of a two- or three-day trial would cost $2,000.”

“Voters may decide to make major changes in Florida’s courts” (March 15, 2011, The Gainesville Sun)

Little weighed in on potential changes to the judicial system being proposed by lawmakers, including dividing the Florida Supreme Court into two sections – one criminal and one civil – and requiring all appellate judges to a face a confirmation vote in the Senate.

From the article:
“This political attack on the court is troubling,” said University of Florida law professor emeritus Joe Little. “Judicial independence is critical in our system of government. You might look at this way: a free and independent press and a free and independent judiciary have been the two agencies that have historically kept the legislature and executive from becoming tyrants.”

Diane Mazur
Professor of Law

“Return of ROTC at Ivies could build bridges” (March 9, 2011, Army Times),

Mazur addresses myths that have grown up around the absence of ROTC programs at Ivy League schools, dispelling the notion that they were banned, but instead left because the military needed to downsize the program. She also discussed the benefits of the ROTC returning to the campuses that it left.

From the article:
Because of the benefits students and the military can draw from interacting, Mazur said she hopes Obama’s call for colleges to embrace ROTC will at least generate honest discussion.

“Maybe it will give us the opportunity to have a very candid conversation about what’s the place of the military in the university and the university in the military,” Mazur said.

Jennifer Zedalis
Legal Skills Professor

“Hernando judiciary holds firm in courtroom space fight” (March 15, 2011, St. Petersburg Times)

Zedalis recently commented on a current debate in Hernando County over judicial spaces. She stated that it wasn’t necessary for each judge to have a courtroom. Zedalis’ statements drew criticism from some who are arguing for more courtrooms. In this article, Zedalis responds to the criticism.

From the article:
“I can’t believe the newspaper quotes a college professor about the need for courtrooms,” said (Attorney Joe) Mason, who graduated from UF’s law school. “A college professor is probably the last person who would know how a courtroom ought to be scheduled and what needs of courts might be.”

Mason, clearly, had no idea whose credentials he was degrading.

Zedalis has practiced law in Florida for nearly three decades. She is serving her third term on the Florida Bar’s Executive Council of Criminal Law Section. She also heads the law school’s Trial Practice Program and regularly works alongside and discusses legal issues with 10 or more county, circuit and federal judges. Friday, in fact, two of those judges will be teaching in her classroom.

Zedalis has worked as an assistant public defender in two circuits (including this one) and as a County Court division chief; she has run her own private practice and spent many hours in courtrooms at the Alachua County Criminal Justice Center in Gainesville.

“I know a lot more about what’s going in Florida courtrooms than whoever it was who said that,” she said. “My perspective comes from experience.”

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