For the first time in its 10-year competition history, FIU Law’s Board of Advocates Appellate Advocacy Moot Court team advanced from a national regional round to an international final round! Congratulations to team members Paula Barbieri Janvion, Adrienne Grandolfo, Jonathan Railey, Sylmarie Trujillo, Gabriela Castillo, and Crystal Umpierre for their outstanding performance at the Americas Regional Round of the Price Media Law Moot Court Programme which was held at Cardozo Law School in New York City. The team will advance to the International Finals which will be held at the University of Oxford in England in April 2014.
The Price Media Law Moot Court Programme was established in 2008 with the first International Rounds in Oxford as a way to foster an interest in international law governing freedom of expression issues. The Price Media Law Moot Court Programme is more than a moot court – it is a tool for raising the profile of freedom of expression by bringing informed and effective debate and discussion on significant issues of information flows and technology to many parts of the world. For faculty coach Professor David Walter, it was another victory for FIU Law and an opportunity to groom students. “It was truly my pleasure to work with another fine FIU team – from the brief writing in November and December, through the oral argument practices in January, they showed their dedication and talents every step of the way. I look forward to our prep work in March and the Oxford competition in April – I know they’ll represent FIU well,” he commented.
The FIU team finished as one of the top four U.S. teams, and as quarterfinalists overall. Third-year law student Paula Barbieri Janvion used this experience to broaden her view of the study of law. “Being part of the FIU Law team and competing in the Price Media Law Moot Court Competition was an unbelievable experience not only because we were able to work with international law and human rights issues, but because we learned first-hand that team work and hard work pays off. We have enjoyed every step of the way, and we are excited to advance to Oxford and make FIU Law proud,” she stated.
FIU Law presents Great Legal Storytellers with guest Mark O’Mara. O’Mara served as George Zimmerman’s criminal defense attorney during the Trayvon Martin trial.
WHEN: February 6, 2014 11:45 a.m./Reception 12:15 p.m./Presentation
WHERE: RDB Ceremonial Courtroom
RSVP: RSVP here.
This roundtable discussion on academic freedom and Stanley Fish’s forthcoming book, Versions of Academic Freedom: From Professionalism to Revolution will discuss trhe legal ethical, moral, social, practical, personal and theorectical aspects of the principles of academic freedom.
Professor Stanley Fish Davidson-Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and Law, Florida International University
Dean Robert C. Post Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law, Yale University
Professor Lawrence A. Alexander Warren Distinguished Professor of Law, University of San Diego
Professor Frederick Schauer David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia
In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, FIU Law alumni came out in full force to support Kristi House Child Advocacy Center during the Second Annual Toys & Toasts of Good Cheer event. With close to 100 alumni and guests in attendance, the event raised more than $500 and collected three giant sacks of toys for children whose holiday season will be made a little brighter. For Alumni Association President Robert Scavone Jr., it was a great way to kick-off the holiday season.
“The event was a huge success, and it was great to see so many friends and colleagues. We had a record turnout and were able to help the young women and children Kristi House supports,” he shared. “Community involvement and giving back is a big part of what FIU Law is all about, and I am proud the alumni continue to do their part for those among us. We hope to have an even bigger event next year.”
Toys & Toasts of Good Cheer strives to bring awareness to the efforts of Kristi House and serves as a way for alumni to celebrate with one another. For Maria Clara Rodriguez of Kristi House the evening was very special.
“We are grateful for this partnership and appreciate the support of FIU Law’s alumni,” Rodriguez commented. “It’s wonderful to know that despite their busy schedules this group of committed individuals took the time to give back to help put a smile on the faces of the children we serve.”
If you missed the event and/or want to support Kristi House please click here.
Congratulations to FIU Law Alumni Association Vice President Olivia C. Rodriguez ’10 on her recent election to the CABA Board of Directors.
When the Florida Legislature established FIU Law in 2000, it did so based on the ideal that the law school would provide a high-quality legal education that was affordable and accessible. In 2002, men and women of the inaugural class took a gamble on FIU Law, which had yet to be accredited. Their risk paid off. “I count myself lucky to have been a part of the FIU Law inaugural class,” said Christy Lopez. “I had complete confidence that I would be prepared to pass the bar and be practice ready. FIU Law provided me with all of that and more.”
To celebrate this group of trailblazers, the FIU Law Alumni Association, with the assistance of host committee chairs Alejandro “Alex” Raul Alvarez, Natalie Inchaustegui-Duenas, Jennifer Remy-Estornio and Mauricio Damian Rivero held a special event: Honoring our Beginning. For co-chair, Natalie Inchaustegui-Duenas, it was a time to reconnect with colleagues and reaffirm her commitment to FIU Law. “Being at the reception reminded me of how proud I am to be an FIU Law alumna and how important my class was in laying the foundation for the law school and future graduates,” she said.
Throughout the evening, professors and alumni reminisced about all the growing pains and ‘firsts’ they experienced during those early years. It was an opportunity to marvel at how far they had come as lawyers and to see what their alma mater has become.
The celebration was marked with the unveiling of a plaque which lists the names of the men and women from the inaugural class. The plaque was generously donated by the FIU Law Alumni Association. For Alumni President Robert Scavone Jr., it was a time to recognize the class of 2002 as “pioneers and risk takers.” “The graduates who followed you and those who will follow owe you a debt of gratitude for proving that with a law degree from FIU Law there is nothing you cannot do,” said Scavone Jr.
In May of 2014, FIU Law will graduate its 10th class. Since opening its doors in 2002, FIU Law was accredited in record time, rose more than 40 spots in the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings, graduated more than 1100 practice-ready attorneys.
For the first time in FIU College of Law Board of Advocates 10 year history, two teams captured both the regional championship and runner-up titles during the ABA Southeast Regional Negotiation Competition, which was held at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Taking first place was the team of Scheril Murray and Christopher Miranda, in second place Ashley Hersutamto and Daniel Blackman, and the team of Cinthya Beato and Daniel Horton finished in seventh. Co-Director and Associate Professor of Legal Skills and Values, Professor David D. Walter served as the team’s faculty coach and mentor.
The regional competition drew 20 teams from throughout Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolinas. The two-person team consists of two JD candidates who negotiate on behalf of their client to resolve a dispute or negotiate an agreement. For single mom and second year evening student, Scheril Murray, who commutes from West Palm Beach, the victory was a team effort. “The entire team, even those that did not compete, were completely invested in our success. They practiced and role played with us until we felt like experts in the material,” Murray commented. She went on to boast that “FIU’s negotiation team has a history of excellence and it is an honor to be a member and compete in FIU’s name.”
The competition helps promote greater interest among law students in legal negotiation and provides a means for them to practice and improve their negotiating skills. The simulations consist of a common set of facts known by all participants and confidential information known only to the participants representing a particular side. All of the simulations deal with the same general topic, but the negotiation situation varies with each round and level of the competition.
“We’ve won our Region five times in the past seven years, and we’ve sent a team to the National Finals eight times in the past 10 years,” said Professor Walter, “but this is the first time we’ve placed first and second and had the opportunity to send two teams to the National Finals!” “This shows how good our FIU students really are, but it also says much about their team work and incredible work ethic as well.”
Murray and Miranda, and Hersutamto and Blackman, will now advance to the ABA National Negotiation Finals in Chicago in February 2014 where the top 24 law school negotiation teams will vie for the national title.
On October 17 2013, FIU College of Law’s Black Law Students Association and Caribbean Student Bar Associations presented the Third Annual Judicial Panel –Paving the Way to Judicial Success – and welcomed Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy A. Quince, former Florida Supreme Court Justice Raoul G. Cantero, III, Honorable Alicia M. Otazo-Reyes, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida and Honorable Donald Graham, United States District Court Southern District of Florida as panelist. The panel members discussed their expectations for hiring clerks as well as clerkship and mentorship opportunities.
The open dialogue between the students and panelists allowed for the sharing of ‘real life’ experiences including how to pursue the law profession, how to evaluate law firms and the process of selecting the right one.
In addition to the panel discussion, three law students were presented with scholarships. The scholarships were created during the College of Law’s 10th anniversary celebration and are named after Florida Supreme Court Justices Barbara J. Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy A. Quince for the continuous support of the College of Law.
Scholarships were awarded to:
Justice Barbara J. Pariente Scholarship - Franco Bacigalupo
Justice R. Fred Lewis Scholarship – Chanel Rowe
Justice Peggy A. Quince Scholarship – Altanese Phenelus
Since 2009, 17 alumni have accepted 23 State Appellate or Federal Clerkships, including six at U.S. Courts of Appeals. Read More.
Evening Alumni Join to Create Evening Student Scholarship
Former evening students have come together to create an evening student scholarship program. Led by Alumni Association President, Robert Scavone Jr. ’12, alumni I. Seth Denison ’10, Robert Foley ’10, Gunnar Mandrisch ’12, Pamela Pedlow ’06, Sanjeev Shah ’12, and Roberto Suarez ’11, will each donate $500.00 a year for five years. The funds will provide scholarships for evening students who have at least 5 years of post-undergraduate work experience and remain employed while attending classes at FIU Law.
“When the group began discussing the scholarship, there was a consensus that many evening students deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments. Evening graduates are among the most successful FIU Law alumni, and the evening program is an asset to the profession. We hope what we are doing will inspire others to support FIU Law and its students,” said Scavone Jr.
“Our alumni are doing really well and are giving back,” said R. Alexander Acosta, Dean of the College of Law. “This group of alumni–many only a year into their legal career–came to FIU Law as successful professionals, and I am proud that we were able to helped them advance their careers.”
About the donors:
I. Seth Denison is a Director for Thoroughbred Capital Partners, a private equity firm, as well as an associate at the law firm of Jorge L. Gurian, P.A. Prior to law school and during law school, Denison served as a police officer in the town of Virginia Key Beach, Florida. Denison is treasurer of the FIU Law Alumni Association.
Robert Foley is founder of Robert P. Foley, P.A., where he focuses his practice on assisting military veterans in appeals for benefits before the Veteran’s Administration. Prior to law school, Foley spent several decades as a veterinarian and still owns Upper Keys Veterinary Hospital in Islamorada, Florida.
Gunnar Mandrisch is an associate at Peckar & Abramson, P.C., where he focuses his practice on construction law, land use law, environmental law, administrative law, and general business litigation. Prior to practicing law, Mandrisch worked with one of South Florida’s premier general contractors, where he served as an Estimator, Project Engineer, and Project Manager.
Pamela Pedlow is founder of The Law Office of Pamela J. Pedlow, P.A., in Melbourne, Florida, where she practices family law, foreclosure defense, bankruptcy, and civil litigation. Pedlow is a member of FIU Law’s inaugural class.
Sanjeev Shah is a regional director and principal with Lea+Elliott, Inc.—a transportation consultancy firm. A registered engineer and member of the Florida Bar, he leads the firm in providing strategic advisory services to clients on large infrastructure and transit projects. Shah has more than 20 years of extensive experience in the planning, programming, design, procurement structuring, contracting, and program management of automated guideway and rail transit systems.
Roberto Suarez is the founder of The Law Office of Roberto M. Suarez, PL, where he focuses his practice on intellectual property law. Suarez is a U.S registered patent attorney with more than 15 years of engineering experience. An inventor and patent holder in his own right, Suarez has developed innovative products for the aviation, marine, consumer electronics, and mobile devices industries.
Robert Scavone Jr. a law clerk to the Honorable Barbara Lagoa on the Florida Third District Court of Appeal and President of the FIU Law Alumni Association. He is also an adjunct professor at FIU Law. Scavone Jr. will begin a clerkship for the Honorable Adalberto Jordan on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in the fall of 2014.
If you are interested in contributing to this or other scholarships, please contact Anthony Rionda at email@example.com.