LL.M. Program

Mercer Law's LL.M. in Federal Criminal Practice and Procedure is the only program in the nation designed for law school graduates seeking to prepare themselves for federal criminal practice as a prosecutor, Federal Defender, or private defense counsel.

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Mercer Alumni Elected Officers of Young Lawyers’ Division, Cobb County Bar

In the May 2013 elections, four positions on the Young Lawyers’ Division of the Cobb County Bar Association board were filled by Mercer Law alumni. Chase Swanson, '10, was elected President; April Holloway, '09, was elected President Elect; Soo Hong, '08, was elected Treasurer and Darl Champion, '07, was elected Secretary.

W. Carl Reynolds, ’66, and Joseph Boyd, ’04, Settle Workers’ Compensation Claim for $4.5 Million

W. Carl Reynolds, ’66, and Joseph Boyd, ’04, of the law firm Reynolds Horne & Survant, recently settled one of the largest workers’ compensation claims in Georgia history for $4.5 million. The claim involved a 28-year-old man who was paralyzed when a tree fell on his car at his job site. Reynolds and Boyd were also able to obtain land for the construction of a handicap-accessible home, a handicap-equipped van and modified equipment for recreational activities.

Boyd says that, “this resolution allows our client some financial independence from the restrictive workers’ compensation system and means to provide for his family. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know such an inspirational young man.”

Kathleen Connell, ’05, Appointed to Georgia Commission on Child Support

Katie Connell, ’05, was appointed by Georgia Gov. Nathan B. Deal to the Georgia Commission on Child Support. She began her four-year term on May 1.

Connell is a partner of Atlanta’s Boyd, Collar, Nolen & Tuggle and serves clients facing a variety of family law matters, including divorce, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, custody and post-divorce matters. Connell also provides pro bono legal services, serving as a guardian ad litem to children involved in contested custody battles. Among many other accomplishments, she has served on the State of Georgia’s Electronic Child Support Worksheet Task Force, held leadership roles with the State Bar of Georgia’s Family Law Section Executive Committee and the Charles Longstreet Weltner Family Law Inn of Court, and chaired the State Bar of Georgia’s Young Lawyers Division Family Law Committee. She also frequently contributes to The Huffington Post.

Steve Berry to Deliver 2013 Commencement Keynote Address

Steve Berry ('80), New York Times bestselling author , will deliver the keynote address at the 2013 Commencement ceremony of Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law on Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m. in Hawkins Arena at the University Center.

Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of eight Cotton Malone adventures, four stand alone thrillers, and four e-book original short stories. His books have been translated into 40 languages with more than 15 million printed copies in 51 countries. They consistently appear in the top echelon of The New York Times, USA Today, Indie and international bestseller lists.

Faculty Scholarship and Activities Reported in March 2013

Practitioner in Residence Dwight Davis was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the board of the Department of Natural Resources in January. In February, Davis was also appointed to the board of the North Georgia Mountain Authority by Gov. Deal.

Assistant Professor Jessica Feinberg gave a presentation, titled "Avoiding Marriage Tunnel Vision: Why the Same-Sex Marriage Movement Need Not and Should Not Undermine the Advancement of Non-Marital Relationship Recognition," at the Midwest Family Law Consortium at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She also presented on the same topic at the Feminist Legal Theory Conference at University of Baltimore School of Law in March. Feinberg was also a panelist at Sister to Sister, Southern Region of Black Law Students Association Academic Retreat in Atlanta in October.

Professor and Director of the LL.M. Program Jim Fleissner spoke as a panelist at a symposium hosted by Mercer Law School, titled "Defining and Enforcing the Federal Prosecutor's Duty to Disclose Exculpatory Evidence," on Oct. 5. Along with panelists Bruce Green of Fordham Law School and Peter Joy of Washington University Law School, Fleissner addressed legislative proposals for federal criminal discovery reform.

W.A. Bootle Chair in Ethics and Professionalism Patrick E. Longan presented "Ethics and Professionalism Uncorked" as part of a panel at the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association Continuing Legal Education in February. Longan was also the program co-chair of the Beginning Lawyers Program, Georgia Institute for Continuing Legal Education in Atlanta, which was held in February. He was the moderator for "Acting for Your Client" at the Beginning Lawyers Program and presented on "Update on Legal Ethics and Professionalism" at the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association Continuing Legal Education in Macon. In November, he made several presentations: "Ethics and Professionalism in Entity Representation and Dealing with a Mistake by Opposing Counsel," at the Georgia School Board Association School Law Seminar in Atlanta; "Georgia Stakeholders Roundtable," at the 2012 Convocation on Professionalism, Georgia Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism in Atlanta; and served as a panelist on "Ethics and Professionalism in Mediation," at the Georgia Institute for Continuing Legal Education in Macon. Longan was the program co-chair and moderator for "Defining and Enforcing the Federal Prosecutor's Duty to Disclose Exculpatory Evidence," at the 13th Annual Georgia Symposium on Professionalism and Ethics in Macon in October. Finally, he presented on "Ethics for Law Assistants and Judicial Staff Attorneys" in Atlanta for the Atlanta Bar Association in September.

Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute/W. Homer Drake Jr. Endowed Chair in Bankruptcy Law Professor Michael Sabbath will be the keynote speaker at the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association’s 23rd Annual Seminar, held in Myrtle Beach, S.C., May 3-5. Professor Sabbath will present papers on the following topics: “Bankruptcy and the Elderly,” “Issues Involving Student Loans in Bankruptcy” and “The Supreme Court’s Decision in Stern v. Marshall and Fraudulent Conveyances .”

Griffin B. Bell Professor of Law Jack Sammons had his article, titled "The Law's Mystery," accepted for publication in the British Journal of American Legal Studies with co-author Linda Berger. He also published "The Impossible Prayers of James Boyd White" in 'The Legal Imagination': The Future and the First Forty Years, Watts and Etxabe, editors (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Mich. Press, 2013). Sammons presented a paper, titled "The Origin of the Judicial Opinion as a Work of Art," at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and Humanities. He also presented his paper on James Boyd White at a festschrift in White's honor at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and Humanities in London in March.

Associate Professor Karen J. Sneddon presented "It's About Time: Assessing Transactional Skills in Thirty Minutes or Less," at the Third Biennial Conference on Teaching Transactional Law and Skills at Emory Law School in Atlanta on Nov. 3 with Susan Chesler, professor. Sneddon also published "Improving Routine Documents Part 2: Memo to File," 18 No. 4 Georgia Bar Journal 70 (December 2012) with David Hricik, professor. Sneddon and Hricik also published "Improving Routine Documents Part I: Engagement Letters," 18 No. 2 Georgia Bar Journal 54 (October 2012). Sneddon was also appointed a member of the 2012 poster committee for the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research.

Associate Professor Scott Titshaw presented "'I Do,' You Don't: The Constitutionality of Defining Marriage," as a panelist for the Charlotte Law Review Symposium held in Charlotte, N.C., in March. He also presented "Shifting Immigration Options for Same-Sex Couples & Their Children" at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Georgia-Alabama Chapter Conference in Atlanta in February. Titshaw also presented "LGBT Immigration Issues" at the National LGBT Bar Association lecture series in January and "Why Yes, This is My Spouse—Same-Sex Partners & Significant Others" as a panelist for the AILA National Audio Seminar in January.


Did you know?

More than 20 years ago, Mercer resolved that no Mercer lawyer would enter the profession without a solid grounding in practical legal skills.