News Briefs: Jan. 22, 2013

Published: January 22nd, 2013

Category: News Briefs

UF Law forging ahead

A new video highlights the ways UF Law is growing and improving despite economic challenges. New facilities, elite speakers, improved student services, conferences and endowed chairs and professorships mean a stronger Levin College of Law.

LIC Notes: Florida Land Use Case before U.S. Supreme Court

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in the Florida land use case of Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Mgmt. Dist., Docket No. 11-1447. Koontz applied for permits to develop 3.7 acres of his Orange County property in 1994 but was denied when he refused to improve additional wetlands that he owned in exchange for the permits. The questions presented in the case were:

  • Whether the government can be held liable for a taking when it refuses to issue a land-use permit on the sole basis that the permit applicant did not accede to a permit condition that, if applied, would violate the essential nexus and rough proportionality tests set out in Nollan v. California Coastal Commission, 483 U.S. 825 (1987), and Dolan v. City of Tigard, 512 U.S. 374 (1994); and
  • Whether the nexus and proportionality tests set out in Nollan and Dolan apply to a land-use exaction that takes the form of a government demand that a permit applicant dedicate money, services, labor, or any other type of personal property to a public use. (full facts omitted).

The full briefs of the petitioner and the respondent are available on the ABA website.

Of special note is the work of Professor Mark Fenster, Cone, Wagner, Nugent, Hazouri & Roth Tort Professor of Law at the Levin College of Law, in the preparation of the amicus curiae brief on behalf of the National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, Council of State Governments, National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, International City/County Management Association, and International Municipal Lawyers Association in support of the respondent. Fenster was cited in the Orlando Sentinel article “U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in Central Florida land-development case” by Kevin Spear, which appeared on the newspaper’s website on Jan. 13. The article may be accessed here.

Costa Rica 2013 summer abroad informational meeting today at noon

Students with an interest in participating in UF Law’s 2013 Costa Rica program are encouraged to attend an informational meeting Tuesday at noon in HOL 382. Faculty and students from the 2011 and 2012 program will be on hand to answer questions and provide their perspective on the program. Pizza will be provided. Students who attended the fall informational meeting are also encouraged to attend.

The UF Law Costa Rica Program emphasizes interdisciplinary learning that includes skills training in a cross-cultural, practice-oriented environment. The program offers exposure to international and comparative law through the substantive lens of environmental law, water law and development policy, all from the unique perspective of Latin America and Costa Rica. Issue-oriented field trips and visits to legal institutions are a key component of the program. Students can receive up to 6 credits, and may be able to receive additional credits through summer externships.

Additional information including course descriptions, syllabi, field trips, photos and budgets, etc. can be found on the program website.


Learn about summer externships Wednesday

Students interested in applying for 2013 summer externship opportunities are encouraged to attend an informational meeting Wednesday at 5 p.m. in the Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom (HOL 180).

The UF Law externship program offers students the opportunity to earn academic credit while working in a variety of legal settings. Externships are offered in Florida and throughout the United States and include positions in government agencies, state and federal courts, non-profit organizations and corporations. Externships are offered in areas such as family law, criminal law, health care, local government and higher education law, just to name a few. In this meeting, directors will discuss the program requirements, the application process, application deadlines, required documentation and much more.

For general information about the program and to view the Summer Externship Guide – Part 1, visit

Multicultural & Diversity Affairs showcases annual MLK celebration

Multicultural & Diversity Affairs is proud to showcase the annual University of Florida Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration 2013. UF celebrates King’s legacy and his commitment to social justice through a collaborative campus-wide celebration of educational programs, social events and service initiatives designed to empower participants to use their strengths, passions, and talents to better the lives of others and impact their community. This year’s celebration began Monday and goes through Thursday, Jan. 31. Visit for more information.

Nelson Symposium examines conflicts between state and federal laws Feb. 8

Preemption — the subject of the 12th Annual Richard E. Nelson Symposium taking place Feb. 8 at the Hilton Conference Center in Gainesville — is a matter of concern to lawyers in the public and private sectors and to government officials at all levels. UF Law has assembled an outstanding group of national and state experts to examine the serious puzzles posed by federal and state preemption of local regulatory activity in five provocative areas: firearms, hydrofracking, immigration, renewable energy and agriculture. Clear guidance from state and federal courts is rare in this area, which means that lawyers struggle with locating the legally defensible “comfort zone” for state and local statutes, ordinances, permitting, and regulation.

Speakers are:

John R. Nolon, professor of law, Pace University School of Law
Michael O’Shea, professor of law, Oklahoma City University School of Law
Rick Su, Associate professor, SUNY Buffalo Law School
Hannah Wiseman, assistant professor, Florida State University College of Law
Michael Allan Wolf, Richard E. Nelson Chair in Local Government Law, University of Florida Levin College of Law

Respondents are:

Dave Mica, executive director, Florida Petroleum Institute
Amy T. Petrick, senior assistant county attorney, Palm Beach County
Robert N. Hartsell, Fort Lauderdale

Law student presenters are:

Samantha Culp and Eric Fisher

Click here to register for the conference. Click here to download the symposium brochure. UF Law students and faculty are invited to attend free of charge.