Mercer Law School Announces New Director of International Initiatives

Mercer University School of Law announces the appointment of Dr. David Ritchie to the position of Director of International Initiatives. In this new position, he will help increase the visibility of Mercer Law’s current international programs and offerings as well as implement a plan for growing offerings in this area of law.

Additionally, Dr. Ritchie will coordinate with international law faculty to ensure cohesion of the international law curriculum and guidance to students. Part of his role will include increasing opportunities for study abroad, student exchanges with foreign universities, international externships placements and general guidance for current and prospective students interested in practicing international law.

Mercer Law School Receives Prestigious ABA Gambrell Professionalism Award

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professionalism has named Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law as a recipient of this year’s E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award. The Gambrel Award honors excellence and innovation in professionalism programs. Mercer previously received the Gambrell Award in 1996 for its Woodruff Curriculum, based on the “depth and excellence” of its commitment to professionalism education. This year’s award will be presented during the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston on Aug. 8.

Faculty Scholarship and Activities Reported March 2014

Assistant Professor Jessica Feinberg wrote "The Survival of Non-Marital Relationship Statuses in the Same-Sex Marriage Era: A Proposal," which was accepted for publication in the Temple Law Review.

Professor of Law David Hricik gave presentations on legal ethics in patent practice to the Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Arizona in Phoenix for George Mason University School of Law at the United States Patent & Trademark Office, and also for the IP Inn of Court in Austin, Texas. He spoke at law review symposia at St. Mary's Law School in San Antonio, Texas, and also at the University of Akron School of Law. His column, "Writing Matters," which he co-authors with Karen Sneddon, associate professor of law, continued its regular publication in the Georgia Bar Journal. Finally, Professor Hricik was selected by Stetson University's School of Law to teach "Patents, Human Rights, and the WTO" in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this coming summer.

Professor of Law and Philosophy Dr. David Ritchie recently published an article, titled "Constitutionalism Ownership," translated into Portuguese, in Trarado de Direito Constitucional: Constituicao, Politica e Sociedade, Felipe Dutra Asensi and Daniel Giotti de Paula, eds., (Campus Juridico 2014). He also recently published a book review on the book Philosophy after Hiroshima, in Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, 26:1, 149-153 (2014).

Griffin B. Bell Professor Emeritus Jack L. Sammons presented a paper, titled "The Missing Poetry of Legal Rhetoric: A Phenomenological Inquiry," at the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and Humanity Annual Conference at the University of Virginia Law School in March. Professor Sammons' book review "The Virtuous Circle of Justice: Richard Dawson's Justice as Attunement: Transforming Constitutions in Law, Literature, Economics, and the Rest of Life" will be published this summer in No Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Law and Justice at the University of Helsinki. "The Common Good of Practices," Sammons' festschrift review of Professor Stanley Fish's most recent book on academic freedom, will be published this month by Florida International College Law Review.

Professor Scott Titshaw Receives Prestigious Fulbright Award

Mercer University School of Law Professor Scott Titshaw has been selected to receive a Fulbright-Schuman European Union Program grant to spend the 2014-15 academic year conducting research through the support of this prestigious award. Professor Titshaw will be doing comparative legal research on immigration and internal migration by same-sex couples and their children. This is a timely topic since these European families, like their American counterparts, face fundamental issues with divergent laws affecting the cross-border portability of their family relationships.

Faculty Scholarship and Activities Reported Dec. 2013 - Feb. 2014

Professor Jim Fleissner gave a presentation to over 200 prosecutors at the winter conference of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia at Brasstown Valley Lodge in Young Harris, Ga. The presentation addressed the use of “similar transaction” evidence against criminal defendants under Georgia’s new evidence code. He gave a presentation at a meeting of the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia, titled “Balancing National Security and the Free Flow of Information: The Legal Landscape for Leakers and Publishers of Classified Information,” on Aug. 23 in Chicago. He also organized and hosted a day-long program on February 19 that was a collaboration between Mercer’s LL.M. program in Federal Criminal Practice and Procedure and the post-doctoral fellowship program in psychology at Georgia Regents University. The program consisted of a series of simulation exercises, based on real cases, of direct and cross-examination of expert testimony by psychologists on the issues of the competency of criminal defendants to stand trial and the insanity defense.

Professor David Hricik gave presentations in California, Ohio, South Carolina, Georgia, Delaware and Texas. His chapter on ethical issues in patent prosecution appears in "Prosecuting Patents for Litigation" (2d ed. 2013). Professor Hricik and Mercedes Meyer completed the second edition of "Patent Ethics – Prosecution" (2d ed. 2013).

Professor Mark Jones served as the faculty coordinator for the Mercer Law Review Symposium on “Current Trends in International Trade and Their Impact on Multinational Business,” held at the Law School on Friday, Oct. 11. This interdisciplinary symposium, which was co-sponsored by the Law School, the Stetson School of Business and Economics, the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) of Georgia and the law firm of Bryan Cave, offered a stimulating mix of speakers from academe, government, private legal practice and corporate business to address topics that appealed to both the beginner as well as the expert in the area of international trade.

W.A. Bootle Chair in Ethics and Professionalism Patrick Longan delivered the annual Clifton B. Kruse Jr. Ethics and Professionalism Lecture to the National Aging and Law Institute in Washington, D.C., in November. Longan's topic was "Lawyers and Fiduciaries."

Professor of Law and Philosophy David Ritchie was a distinguished visitor at the Macau University of Science and Technology in July and August. While he was in Asia, he taught a short course on Economic Constitutionalism in Asia at the Nankai University School of Law in Tianjin, China. Ritchie moderated the panel, “Trends in International Trade in the Southeastern United States,” at the Mercer Law Review Symposium, “Current Trends in International Trade and Their Impact on Multinational Business,” held on Oct. 11. From Nov. 6-10, Ritchie attended the annual Global Ethics Fellows conference at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York, where he gave an address, titled “The Rhetoric and Geography of Pluralism & Difference.” Ritchie also gave the Ninth Annual Philosophy in Society Lecture at Clayton State University on Nov. 18.

Associate Professor Karen J. Sneddon published “Memento Mori: Death and Wills,” in the Wyoming Law Review, 2014. She spoke on “‘You Get What You Get and You Don’t Get Upset’: Priming and Wills, The Next Generation of Trusts and Estates Scholarship,” at the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting in New York on Jan. 3. Sneddon was a participant in the workshop, “Not Your Mother’s Will: Gender, Language, and Wills, West Coast Rhetoric Scholarship,” at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nov. 15. She spoke on “Gender, Language, and Wills, Symposium: Wills, Trusts and Estates Meets Gender, Race and Class” at the Oklahoma City University School of Law on Sept. 28.

Professor Scott Titshaw wrote an op-ed titled, "Why Conservatives Should Learn to Love Gay Marriage," published in The Huffington Post on Dec. 10. Titshaw was also quoted in an article published Dec. 10 in ABA Journal by Pamela A. Maclean, titled "DOMA's Demise Brings New Challenges." Titshaw's article, "Reactionary Road to Free Love," was quoted and cited in an online version of a column by Eric Zorn, titled "What to Expect Now that We're Expecting Gay Marriage," published in the Chicago Tribune. The Charlotte Law Review published a symposium issue featuring student summary of Titshaw's panel discussion "'I Do,' You Don't: The Constitutionality of Defining Marriage," Charlotte L. Rev. 179 (2013). In November, Titshaw published an article, titled "Revisiting the Meaning of Marriage: Immigration for Same-Sex Spouses in a Post-Windsor World," 66 Vanderbilt Law Review en banc 167 (2013). He wrote “Revisiting the Meaning of Marriage: Immigration for Same-Sex Spouses in a Post-Windsor World” for the Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc, forthcoming, 2013. Titshaw was a panelist for "International ARTs and Immigration: Time for a Treaty?" at the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys Conference in Charleston S.C., in November. He was also a panelist for "U.S. Supreme Court Update: Marriage Equality – What do the Supreme Court's Rulings in United States v. Sindsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry Mean for Georgia and the Georgia Constitution's Marriage Amendment" in October at the State Bar of Georgia in Atlanta. Titshaw spoke on "The Implications of United States v. Windsor in States like Georgia" at Savannah College of Law in October. He was also a moderator for "Broader Context: Changing Patterns in International Trade" at the Mercer Law Review Symposium in October.