Court of Petty Appeals: Section A v. Section B (aka In re Wanna-Bs)


 Section B v. Section A (In re: Wanna-Bs) 

883 U. Va. 110 (2018)  

ZABLOCKI, J., announced the opinion of the Court in which VANDERMEULEN, C. J., and RANZINI, J. joined. MALKOWSKI, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which SCHMALZL, J., joined. SCHMALZL, J., filed a dissenting opinion. 

Justice ZABLOCKI delivered the opinion of the Court. 

Before this esteemed Court comes the case of Section B v. Section A, more colloquially known as In re: Wanna-Bs, on appeal from the Petty Court of Petty Complaints, which held as follows: “Huh?”  

The facts are as follows: the twerpy 1Ls of Section A thought they would be super clever and co-opt the University-assigned generic name of another section—namely, Section B—for their section softball team name. Section B protested the purloining of the only name by which they are recognized throughout the University community, the only name which is likely to be appropriate to mention whilst schmoozing still-wet-behind-the-ears, just-minted UVa alums at firm receptions, the name that not one member of the section ever objected to, unlike the seventeen others considered for their own softball team name. In short, Section B claimed trademark infringement on grounds of likelihood of confusion, dilution, and deceptive and/or fraudulent trade practices. In response, Section A moved for declaratory judgment, seeking to establish that no valid trademark could attach to “like, SUCH a dull name” as “Section B.” In the alternative, Section A countered that its desire to be known as “Section B” is intended as the highest compliment, to boot, as that most sincere form of flattery known as imitation, and that Section B’s reaction has provoked feelings of deepest melancholy and rejection among the section’s members, who were hoping to befriend their classmates adjoining them in the alphabet and instead are suffering deepest emotional distress. 

This Court shall set aside any horror at the lack of creativity apparently engendered by the thirty or so, um, humans[1] of Section A. This Court recognizes this would be a form of personal judgment rather than legal. Similarly, this Court shall not comment on the related allegations that Dean Faulk and his office have breached their duty to the existing student body not to admit only utter and absolute bores, except to say that allegations alone don’t make for a lawsuit—in this school, we don’t conduct trials in the media, but rather in court, as is proper. Instead, this Court shall focus on the instant claims relating to the putative trademark “Section B.” 

Trademark infringement describes the scenario when some genius who can’t think of his own trademark or trade name starts using a trademark or name belonging to someone else, who did not give permission for such use, in commerce. As a threshold matter, a valid trademark needs to exist for infringement to occur, so we’ll deal with that first. It is not contested that Section B has first use, as assigned by prior years’ Section Bs from one Section B to the next since 1819. Similarly, it is acknowledged that Section B has been using the putative mark as an identifier of its section in commerce, with goods in the form of section T-shirts and services ranging from “team-building” (i.e., forcing non-athletes to relive the painful experience of middle school gym and forcing non-theaterish people everyone to suffer through Dandelion) to procurement of sponsorship from area retailers generous enough to support the aforementioned albeit somewhat lackluster softball team. Rather, Section A bases its motion on what it alleges to be the generic nature of the putative mark, proffering that the word “section” followed by a single letter is a common schema, particularly in the Law School community. In fact, this Court would agree with Section A if not for the context of the Law School community. You see, each section has acquired distinctiveness through years of use in commerce, be it providing recreational activities or donating the winningest PILA auction items.[2] In the case of Section B, previous years’ Section Bs have earned the reputation of being the most gossipy section, which is quite an achievement at a Law School that itself has more drama than 82% of high schools in the U.S. Notwithstanding the dubious nature of the acquired distinctiveness, this Court is unable to deny that it exists and, with it, a valid trademark for “Section B.” 

This Court now directs its attention to the claims of infringement levied by Section B against Section A. Likelihood of confusion exists when marks are “confusingly similar,” as tends to be the case when they are identical, and “the goods and/or services of the parties are related such that consumers would mistakenly believe they come from the same source.” This is a fairly universal standard, having been adopted even by the United States Patent & Trademark Office, from which these quotes were taken.[3] While it is unclear that Section A would be able to match the traditional Section B reputation for drama at the end of the school year, at this point in time we find that a likelihood of confusion does exist. After all, none of us can tell the 1Ls apart and honestly probably won’t be able to until they emerge from their 1L bubbles, and if any of said 1Ls don’t suck at softball, it’s probably on an individual basis, not by section. 

Because all 1Ls are kind of interchangeable to the world at large, in which they don’t even fully exist, see above, we find that dilution at this point in time is impossible without some evidence of intent to act in such a manner that “Section B” acquires a reputation worse than that of the average 1L section, namely, being kind of gossipy and kind of a mix of gunners and complacent individuals who think they have Made It because they are here rather than at Georgetown[4] and, in sum, just a stressed-out bunch of people who really aren’t cool.[5]

With regard to Section B’s allegations of deceptive and/or fraudulent trade practices, we think that’s going too far. Much as a rose is a rose is a rose by any other name, with that signature floral fragrance, Section A is Section A is Section A by any other name, and there ain’t no escaping that stink.6 In other words, if you feel compelled to pretend to be a whole different section because you’re so bad at softball, the situation is probably dire enough no one will be fooled by the ruse, and attempted deception that is so far from succeeding is what passes for humor here on North Grounds. 

Section A’s counterclaim of IIED provoked by Section B’s reaction to their so-called flattery is dismissed. Stop being such smarmy little shits, guys. 

The Court orders as follows. Section A is liable for trademark infringement and is hereby enjoined from any further use of the mark. Further, in lieu of paying damages to Section B, Section A is hereby assigned the team name “Wanna-Bs.” Being merely descriptive of Section A, it is unlikely that Section A will be able to acquire trademark protection for itself; however, this Court has never seen a section exhibit such behavior and feels Section A should wear, if not a scarlet letter, at least a highly descriptive one which, bonus, will also incorporate what is apparently the section’s favorite letter. Also, court costs and fees are awarded; Section A owes this Court donuts for services rendered in consideration of this case—and this being the great Commonwealth of Virginia, all y’all’s driver’s licenses will be suspended if you don’t pay up. We convene in SL 279 at 5:30 PM on Mondays, we prefer Duck Donuts, and we will be expecting you. 

It is so ordered

 

Justice MALKOWSKI, dissenting. 

“Letting” 1L sections vote amongst themselves for clever nicknames is one of this law school’s most blatant methods of lying to itself about what 1L year entails. 1L sections can hardly be either trusted or burdened with the task. They are busy, people. They’ve just found out they are in seventh grade again. They all have to purchase gym shorts, sneakers, lunchboxes, and acne medication, start pretending they enjoy team sports with strangers, and organize various GroupMe cliques. I propose that instead, all 1L section names be submitted to the authority of the Committee for Naming Truthfulness, to be henceforth organized and manned by this justice. Some initial suggestions: Section A for Anxiety Athletes, Section B for Battered Nerves, Section C for Curve? Balls, Section D for Distressed on the Diamond, Section E for Ego Bruise Bears, Section F for Fatigue of Their Own, Section G for Griever Pitch, Section H for Healed of Dreams, Section I for Ipso Cracked-o, and Section J for Just Chills in the Outfield. 

Justice SCHMALZL, dissenting. 

After a heated conference debate, I dissent. 

First, Justice ZABLOCKI’s statement that there is no contention regarding whether a trademark exists or not is, in fact, false. A trademark, as I have recently learned in Law and Economics from the wonderful Professor Gilbert (who I’m hoping will read this and give me an A on our upcoming exam for applying what I’ve learned in class to hard-hitting legal issues), is a distinctive logo to be used for consumers to identify brand and quality of products/services to decide which to purchase. To my knowledge, Section B has put forward no logo on shirts, nor put anything (except maybe drama) into the commerce of the law school. Therefore, the only thing to trademark is not a logo, but the words “Section B” used in connection with each other. The irony here is that “Section B” is used every year by a different group of people, proving on its own that it is not a distinctive logo that identifies a certain group. In fact, Section B changes annually and their reputation changes with it, making Justice ZABLOCKI’s argument factually incorrect. If we allow them to trademark the English language, we are stifling the limited creativity that law students have, and I can’t condone such a precedent to be set by this Court. 

Further, Section A is not using the name in any legal capacity—it is not their team name—and seem to be following the rules set out by the Court of Petty Appeals in “doing whatever they want.” Chanting Section B at the announcement of their second-place finish at Dandelion can only build the Section B reputation after their pitiful attempt at gymnastics, so IDK what they’re even complaining about TBH. Section B should be thanking Section A for building a better reputation for them instead of going against UVa Law’s core value of collegiality and refusing to share. As the famous and well-respected High School Musical cast once said, “We’re all in this together,” so let’s stop the madness and get over ourselves for a hot sec. 

I join Justice MALKOWSKI’s dissent in full, and am glad to see that the redhead representation on the Court understands the harm inflicted by the majority. I worry about what this means for the future health and wellbeing of an innocent section just trying to make friends, but don’t let it get ya down. The only way to spread collegiality far and near, is practicing it and shouting it for all to hear.  

Also, the majority’s attacks on Section A’s softball skill is unfounded given that they’re undefeated. BOOM. 

I respectfully dissent. 

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amz2ea@virginia.edu

 

 

 

 

Hot Bench: Jill Rubinger '19


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1. What are you most excited for during your first year in D.C.? Try out new restaurants. 

2. What is your favorite word?  “OH!” 

3. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. Rise up.  

4. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? Christian’s Pizza after a night on the corner.  

5. If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why? Chrissy Tiegen 

6. What’s your favorite hobby to avoid the stress of law school? Impromptu dance parties.  

7. Where is your favorite place to vacation? Deer Valley, Utah 

8. What’s something you wish you’d known about law school before coming to UVa Law? That I would need to have answers ready for hot bench.  

9. What did you have for breakfast this morning? Breakfast tacos and lots of salsa.  

10. What’s your most interesting two-truths-and-a-lie? (And what’s the lie?) I’m amazing at beer pong, I’ve thrown a (fake) bat-mitzvah and wedding during law school, and my name is misspelled on the UVA internal people search. Lie: I’m dreadful at beer pong.  

11. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Paris.  

12. What’s your least favorite sound? Forks scratching on a plate.  

13. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? The block rocker.   

14. Blueberries or strawberries? Both, I am #BerryGang til I die.  

15. What is the best concert you have ever been to? All of Austin City Limits in 2016.  

16. What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville? Villa breakfasts on Sunday mornings.  

17. If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be? If I send you a meme, it will be the first time you’ve seen it.  

18. What’s your spirit animal? Becca Chandler.  

19. What’s your favorite food(s)? Tossup between tacos and sushi 

20. If you won the lottery, what would you do with it? Accidentally spend it all online shopping.  

21. If you had Matrix-like learning, what would you learn? Lots of languages.  

22. If you could be in the winter Olympics, which sport would you compete in? Probably alpine skiing. I would prepare while vacationing in Deer Valley.  

23. Where is a place you haven’t been but want to travel to? Tulum.  

24. What are the 7 wonders of the law school? (1) snack office; (2) Gambini Room in the Library; (3) the Kingdom; (4) free food table after ACS and Fed Soc host competing events; (5) what actually goes on in Dean Dugas’s office/head; (6) the folder on Dean Davies computer of everyone saying their names; (7) the portrait of the dean wearing white fur  

 

Spotlight: Black Law Students Association

Rachel Barnes ’20

The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA) was founded in 1968 by Algernon Johnson Cooper, the former mayor of Pritchard, Alabama, at the New York University School of Law. Today, NBLSA is one of the largest student-run organizations in the United States, comprising over 130 chapters. NBLSA chapters represent over 6,000 members and are organized into six regions. Through its national reach and local chapters, NBLSA strives to develop lawyers of tomorrow by sponsoring its prestigious competitions such as the Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition, the Nelson Mandela International Negotiations Competition, and the Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition at the NBLSA Annual Convention. NBLSA also implements community service and social-action initiatives in furtherance of its mission. 

The Virginia Law Chapter of the Black Law Students Association was founded in 1970 and formally chartered in 1996. Dedicated to the development of talented, engaged, and diverse attorneys, UVa BLSA sponsors various student support programs, community outreach projects, panel discussions, and receptions. The Virginia Law Chapter is a leading BLSA chapter, and in recent years, has been recognized as Regional Chapter of the Year five times and National Chapter of the Year three times. UVa BLSA also regularly sends its members to serve as regional and national officers, boasting three past National Chairs and various other Directors, Coordinators, and Specialists among our alumni. 

I personally decided to join UVA BLSA after visiting for Admitted Students Open House. Meeting so many impressive black law students inspired me and gave me hope. These accomplished and driven students are now my peers. 

This year, I am very excited to serve as the President of BLSA here at UVA Law. Serving with me this year are: Emmaline Rees, Vice President (vicepresident@uvablsa.org); Alexis Wallace, Treasurer (treasurer@uvablsa.org); Tomi Olutoye, Secretary (secretary@uvablsa.org); Lise Guerrier, Firm Relations Chair (firmrelations@uvablsa.org); Moussa Ismail, Community Service Chair (service@uvablsa.org); Michele St. Julien, Social Action Chair (socialaction@uvablsa.org); Courtney Davis, Education Chair (education@uvablsa.org); Sarah O’Brien, Social Programming Chair (socialprogramming@uvablsa.org); and Jasmine Lee, Membership Chair (membership@uvablsa.org).  

As we move forward into our 49th year, our Executive Board plans to reimagine BLSA’s programming in order to ensure that we not only maintain BLSA’s expected level of excellence, but also address the diverse needs of our members. To that end, our Chairs will be hosting a wide variety of academic, professional, and social programming designed to provide holistic support for our members as they navigate their law school journey.  

Additionally, we plan to host a number of social and service related events as a complement to our annual “Role of Non-Black Allies” event in order to better connect our members with supportive members of the greater Law School community. One such event is the Community Bridges 5K scheduled for Saturday, October 20, 2018. BLSA will be participating and volunteering this year and we welcome allies to join us! Anyone interested joining our team to run or volunteer should email our Community Service Chair, Moussa Ismail, at service@uvablsa.org.  

My personal goal as President this year is to do whatever I can to support my fellow board members and ensure that the black law students here at UVA feel safe and supported. Law school can be a challenging and occasionally isolating place by itself, but these obstacles are often compounded when only 6% of the law school looks like you; which is why BLSA and its mission are so important to me. The mission of the Black Law Students Association is to increase the number of culturally responsible black and minority attorneys who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. Both locally and nationally BLSA provides a haven of support and understanding for black students pursuing their legal education, and I hope to share this haven with the Class of 2021. 

Following the events of August 11 and 12, it was members of BLSA who reached out and took care of me when I suddenly was very unsure of my decision to come to Charlottesville. Thanks to their kindness and support I was able to overcome that trying time. UVA BLSA has a very special place in my heart and I am grateful and honored to serve as its President. I look forward to seeing what this year has in store and encourage all who read this to join or support our BLSA chapter because Black Lawyers do Matter. 

If you would like to learn more about BLSA and our events please sign up for our allyship listserv by emailing socialaction@uvablsa.org.  

---- 

rb5ae@virginia.edu 

 

 

Hot Bench: Nicole Llinares '19

Nicole Llinares ‘19

 Nicole Llinares ‘19

Nicole Llinares ‘19

1. What is your favorite word?

Toad.

2. Where did you grow up?

Hauppauge, N.Y. which is in the middle of Long Island. It’s equally far from the city and the Hamptons as well as the North and South Shores. It’s all the traffic with none of the benefits. (Can’t wait to show this Hot Bench to my parents!)

3. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

I’m not very fancy. I went to all the Ohio State football games in college to give the impression I was a loyal fan (which I was), but everyone knows I only stayed for the hotdogs. Recently, however, I went to a restaurant called Damas in Montreal and ate some life-changing Baba Ghanoush salad.

4. If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why?

Mindy Kaling. I think she is an amazing role model for young women. Also, she’s hilarious.

5. What’s your favorite hobby to avoid the stress of law school?

The stress of law school has really helped me realize I have no hobbies. I am currently trying to learn how to play the guitar. If you hear a sad attempt at Bob Dylan through the walls of Ivy, that’s me! Everyone seems to react negatively to Wonderwall so I’ll probably start on that one next.

6. Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Seaside PARK on the Jersey Shore. Please note the emphasis on Park. I did, however, see D.J. Pauly D working in the Shore Store once.

7. What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Sour gummy bears.

8. What’s your most interesting two-truths-and-a-lie? (And what’s the lie?)

(1) I used to have a lip piercing.

(2) Bachelor in Paradise is bad TV.

(3) I’m a nice person.

Bachelor in Paradise is an extremely entertaining program. #ChrisHarrison2020.

9. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I’d get a lake house on Flathead Lake in Montana.

10. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

Tickets to a Spice Girls concert in the second grade.

11. What is the best concert you have ever been to?

I saw Arcade Fire at the Panorama Music Festival on Randall’s Island in 2017. I was not familiar with their music at the time, but it was still the best and most enjoyable performance I have ever seen.

12. What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville?

Leave. Fine—breweries! I love Devil’s Backbone, but it’s a bit of a hike (something I sometimes also enjoy).

13. If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be?

Never say “hi” to anyone you pass in the hall or on the street. You know, kind of like in NYC. I’m really trying to decrease the percentage of time in my day in which I feel awkward. This rule would really take the pressure off.

14. What’s your favorite food?

Chicken cutlet with mayo. Doesn’t need to be on bread.

15. If you won the lottery, what would you do with it?

Start a production company and make all my own movies.

16. If you had Matrix-like learning, what would you learn?

Videogames. Then I could be the #1 player on Fortnite and make a career out of it and all the celebrities would want to play with me.

17. Where is a place you haven’t been but want to travel to?

Bora Bora ever since my cousin had a poster of it in her room in middle school. And I want everyone to know this was my idea before the Kardashians went and had their big-time family vacation there back when Kim was still married to Chris Humphries.


ncl3cn@virginia.edu

Law Weekly Staff Biography: M. Eleanor Schmalzl '20

M. Eleanor Schmalzl ‘20
Executive Editor


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Name: M. Eleanor Schmalzl (What does the “M” stand for, you might ask? Come to any of my first days of class to find out.)

Law Weekly Position: Executive Editor

Hometown: Walton, Kentucky. (I’ve heard there’s a rumor that I am from Ohio. If you are among the mistaken, please reference the tattoo of Kentucky on my foot.)

Undergrad: Ohio Northern University (Go Polar Bears!)

Favorite Horse: Clydesdales, because they are beautiful and represent my favorite cheap beer, Bud heavy.

Favorite Law School Activity: SOFTBALL!!

Least Favorite Type of Bottled Water: Nestle or Ice Mountain. I can tolerate Ice Mountain when cold, but Nestle is all around a garbage brand of water. Stick to cookies, Nestle.

Greatest Achievement: Being able to write legibly with my non-dominant hand. Whoever said doodling during church was a waste of time doesn’t know how to doodle effectively.

Why I Joined the Law Weekly: Free dinner on Monday nights during 1L was a huge draw. Why I became Executive Editor is less clear, but I recall the editor-in-chief telling me it “isn’t that much extra of a time commitment” and that “we don’t stay past 11 on Monday nights.” Oh, how young and naïve I was as a 1L.


mes5hf@virginia.edu

Looking Back: 70 Years of the Law Weekly

In celebration of seventy years of publication, Volume 71 of the Law Weekly takes pleasure in publishing excerpts from the past seventy volumes. This week, a special focus on the late ’90s, aka the heyday of Kordana restaurant reviews.


Memories of Hurricanes Past

“The City of Charlottesville awoke Friday morning to find itself without power, as Tropical Storm Fran battered Albermarle County… Even students who did not live on a mountain were affected. ‘A tree fell over our driveway and stayed suspended on an electric power line for three days before Appalachian Power removed it,’ said second-year law student Mark Hornor, who lives in Covesville, about 20 miles south of Charlottesville… Like other Albermarle County residents, many law students went without power or phone service for part of the weekend, including some who remained without power throughout the weekend.” Curtis J. Romig ’98, “Fran Wreaks Havoc on Virginia,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, September 13, 1996.

Eds.: This is your friendly reminder to stock up on candles, batteries, and non-perishables, kiddos.

 Professor Anne Coughlin in simpler, less fashionable times. From the  Law Weekly’s  issue of 10/31/1997.

Professor Anne Coughlin in simpler, less fashionable times. From the Law Weekly’s issue of 10/31/1997.

An Allegation of Fraud from an Unlikely Source

“The pricing scheme’s initially intriguing structure yields to no apparent logic. (For example, prices are not chosen to come out evenly with the addition of tax; the examples given above include prices set at 17, 12, and 7 cents below $3.) A cynic might suggest that the prices are unusual in order to make monitoring the bill more difficult: on my first visit a $2.93 Blind Pig (a ’96 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medalist) was erroneously charged at over $5.” Professor Kevin Kordana, “Zen and Culinary Art at the Buddhist Biker Bar & Grill,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, October 31, 1997.

Eds.: RIP Buddhist Biker Bar & Grill, Professor Kordana’s restaurant reviews, and illogical price schemes.

A Gloomy and Impotent Protest Against Progress

“The Law School has implemented a policy, effective this fall semester, requiring that all first-year students own a notebook computer… While the long-term benefits of this requirement in regard to the Virginia legal education remain to be seen, the immediate financial impact is readily apparent. In addition to paying for tuition, housing, multiple textbooks and study aides, first-years must now absorb another significant cost upwards of several thousand dollars.” Howard Chang ’01, “Laptops a New Requirement,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, September 3, 1999.

Eds.: Thank goodness the price of laptops has come down to only a thousand dollars these days. And most importantly, thank goodness laptops ushered in a technological revolution so we never had to learn to Shepardize cases by hand.

Examples of Personal Ads that Remind Us Why We Don’t Run Personal Ads

“Come on Baby Light My Fire: Disgruntled 2L tired of this school stuff seeks dynamic instructor to rekindle my interest in the law. No legal economists need apply. Looking for inspiration and willing to actually do reading provided it is not too boring.”

“In Search of the Fourth Horseman: Three 3Ls job offers in hand, seek a fourth for regular rounds at Birdwood. Our sole goal this year to reduce our handicaps by half. Would prefer someone with a good short game. No duffers need apply.”

Ben Block, “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, September 3, 1999.

Eds.: Glad to know not much has changed since 1999. This is still why the Law Weekly doesn’t run actual personal ads.

Organization Spotlight: The Federalist Society

Jenna Adamson ‘19
Guest Columnist


Questioning presuppositions, engaging with inconsistency, and searching for truth—that’s the essence of debate and what first drew me to the Federalist Society. I heard about the UVa chapter’s events while growing up in Charlottesville and was impressed by the organization’s dedication to testing the value of ideas by hosting public debates. Since entering UVa Law, I’ve learned that the Federalist Society is more than a debate society. It rests on principles that represent the bedrock of our constitutional system, and its members’ shared belief in those principles encourages the formation of enduring professional and personal bonds.

When I arrived at UVa Law, I quickly became involved in the Federalist Society by serving on the 1L Committee and attending as many events as possible. One particularly memorable event was entitled “Where is Feminism Headed?” Karin Agness, founder of the Network of Enlightened Women, a group for conservative college women, appeared on a panel that included Gail Deady, a Legal Fellow at the ACLU of Virginia. Professor Emeritus Lillian BeVier, UVa’s first tenured female law professor, moderated the panel. It might have appeared an unlikely event for an organization whose membership is often stereotyped as exclusively male. And yet, it was precisely the kind of event that has made the Federalist Society successful and influential. During the event, Karin Agness and Gail Deady engaged in an increasingly heated exchange that revealed divergent visions of the policies necessary to empower women—but a shared goal of promoting female economic and political opportunity. Indeed, the panel provided a lesson in the importance of opening the door to dialogue, especially when two sides appear ideologically irreconcilable.

As vice president for speakers during my second year of law school, I strove to carry on FedSoc’s tradition of providing a forum for rigorous debate. I didn’t fully appreciate the significance of the Society’s founding principles, however, until halfway through 2L year. The Federalist Society is founded on the principles that “the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.” My study of American history and political theory during college had already shaped my agreement with the first two propositions, but taking Judge Amul Thapar’s and Professor BeVier’s January term course on Justice Clarence Thomas’ jurisprudence represented my first real opportunity to reflect on the role of judges, originalism, stare decisis, and other jurisprudential topics.

Only by reasoning through Justice Thomas’ opinions and, later, studying administrative law and reading Justice Scalia’s essays in Scalia Speaks, did I come to see the relationship between the Federalist Society’s third founding principle and the first two. James Madison (FedSoc’s mascot) alludes to the first principle in his essay on property: “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses.” Federalist No. 51, also written by Madison, connects the first and second principles: “In order to lay a due foundation for that separate and distinct exercise of the different powers of government, which to a certain extent is admitted on all hands to be essential to the preservation of liberty, it is evident that each department (branch of government) should have a will of its own . . . .” The separation of powers is essential to preventing the “accumulation” of all legislative, executive, and judicial power “in the same hands,” which constitutes “the very definition of tyranny.” The Federalist No. 47 (Madison). But what’s to prevent such a concentration of power? This is where the third principle comes in. Paraphrasing Justice Thomas’ arguments in his Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association[1] and Michigan v. EPA[2] concurrences, the judicial power vested in the judiciary by Article III of the Constitution requires a judge to exercise independent judgment, free of personal biases and “human will.” This proper exercise of judicial power—saying what the law is, not what it should be—prevents the judiciary from usurping legislative power by using judicial decrees to make policy. Additionally, when courts exercise this independent judgment, rather than surrendering it through Chevron and Seminole Rock deference to administrative agencies, they act as a bulwark against accumulation of executive, legislative, and judicial power in the executive branch. Thus, the judiciary’s adherence to its constitutional role supports the separation of powers, which in turn protects liberty. I hope that opportunities, such as our Originalism 101 event, will enable the current class of 1Ls to learn much earlier than I did what it means for the judiciary “to say what the law is” and why it matters.

A shared passion for the Federalist Society’s founding principles sustains a strong professional network that promotes mentorship and friendship. UVa FedSoc members and alums want to invest in fellow FedSoc-ers from the moment they step on Grounds, as my own experience demonstrates. One former UVa FedSoc member (class of 2016) helped me navigate course selection for my second 1L semester; another (class of 2012) met for coffee to guide my 1L summer job search; a third (class of 1994) offered crucial advice about my 2L summer job search and clerkship application strategy. All three women have become mentors and friends, who inspire me to share my experience with the UVa FedSoc students who follow me. The exceptional enthusiasm of 2L and 3L members to participate in our chapter Mentorship Program indicates that I am far from the only FedSoc member who, having benefitted from the UVa FedSoc network, wants to reinvest in our new members.

Engagement with the national network provides additional opportunities. The Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention brings together lawyers in government, Big Law, public interest, academia, and the judiciary. Attendance at the convention may provide the occasion to meet someone who could write an important recommendation or sit across an interview table in the not too distant future. The Federalist Society Student Symposium offers the chance to hear exceptional speakers from across the political spectrum debate current legal and constitutional issues, and then to rehearse those debates with fellow law students from across the country. Those law students will become colleagues, collaborators, friends, and supervisors who could one day promote pursuit of a new opportunity at a firm or a move into a new job.

Of course, any explanation of my love for the Federalist Society and our UVa Law chapter must recognize our Law School’s special community. FedSoc chapters at other top law schools do not always experience the willingness of other organizations to cosponsor events and the respect from students and faculty that our chapter enjoys. One of the reasons I ran for FedSoc president was that I believed our chapter could do a better job of strengthening our chapter community and emboldening our members to articulate the importance of the principles of individual liberty, separation of powers, and the rule of law. We hope these are principles upon which all lawyers can agree, but we are grateful for a community eager and willing to debate their significance and how we, as a society and a profession, may achieve or defeat them.


[1] 575 U.S.        (2014)

[2] 576 U.S.        (2015)


vna7f@virginia.edu

Law Weekly Staff Biography: Jansen VanderMeulen '19

Jansen VanderMeulen ‘19
Editor-in-Chief


Jansen VanderMeulen.jpg

Hometown:

Burlington, Washington

Undergrad:

Washington State University (Go Cougs!)

Favorite Tree:

Sycamore or Red Oak

Favorite Berry:

BLUEBERRIES

Least Favorite Harry Potter Movie:

Order of the Phoenix. They seriously messed up the really cool Ministry scene and I’m not over it. I wanted to see the fountain statues move.

Greatest Accomplishment: I shot a buck with no rest at dusk with a muzzleloader when I was 12 in the mountains of Central Washington.

Reason for Joining the Law Weekly:

I needed a positive outlet for my grammar compulsion + pizza.

Court of Petty Appeals: In Re Karsh Money

In re Karsh Money

452 UVa 382

JANI, J., sitting by designation delivered the opinion of the court, in which RANZINI and ELICEGUI, JJ., joined. VANDERMEULEN, C.J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in which SCHMALZL, J., joined.

Justice JANI, sitting by designation, for the Court.

Hello, fellow students! Welcome to the 2018-2019 Virginia School of Law academic year. To all the 1Ls, your experience here at UVa Law will be a transformative experience. Your cheerful dispositions and naïve attitudes will soon be challenged and transformed into a deep cynicism which will remain with you for the rest of your life. This Court greets you as you ascend to the distinguished club of jaded alcoholics we call the legal profession. To all of the 2Ls, this Court offers its compliments for surviving the human petting zoo that is OGI. Some of you have undoubtedly accepted offers to your future firms and others of you have not. Be kind to each other, regardless of employment status. This school is already too much of a floating ship filled with barrels of rum for second year law students to start lighting matches. Enjoy your upcoming summer and your daily steak and sushi lunches. Just realize that, like your law school relationship, the affinity you feel for becoming indoctrinated into your law-firm tribe will not last. To the Class of 2019, cheers, you all have made it through the “real” part of law school. Now you get to relax and bathe in the basking glow of top dawg status. Have fun reading for class when you feel like it, delegating all your club/journal work to the 2Ls, and enjoying the previously forgotten concept of a full night sleep. Do not let the fact that you are paying $80,000 for a seemingly meaningless year of school sober you from your drinking and your “hey, we’ll never see each other again” trysts.

Now that salutations are out of the way this Court has decided that it would behoove all to recap the rules and norms that govern behavior before this court and within the institution of this journal at-large. The Court celebrates the Chief Justice’s effort to establish the standards of the rule of this bench. However, the Court believes the Chief Justice’s genteel nature and courteous spirit may have led to confusion among some of our student population. We reiterate the thesis of the Chief Justice’s treatise on the Rules of Petty Procedure: there are no rules. We take no heed of the past or the future, we do as we wish, when we wish to do so. In the past, more generous jurists have solicited the grievances for adjudication before this Court and some have gone even further and given weight to the amicus curiae briefs submitted by students and faculty, and in the future a more judicious arbitrator of pettiness may choose to do so again. This Court, sitting by designation, could care less about the moans and grumbles of the student body or our benevolent overlords. This Court does what it pleases without regard to the desires of the less enlightened public, which provides an almost too effortless segue to the second major precept. DO NOT TAKE OUR PAPERS. As this Court sees it, there are three main reasons the Virginia Law Weekly confines its editors in SL 278 every Monday night until sometimes early Tuesday morning. The first is to provide a journal of the events at the School, which includes the thoughts and emotions of the students which encapsulate it in any given academic year. Our institution’s recordkeeping goes back to 1948, and any member of the Law School that so pleases is invited to visit our office to see Professor Jefferies’ larger-than-life mustache or the volumes from the late 2000s that almost got this paper shut down. The second is to provide a source of levity and humor in the otherwise grueling and soul-grinding slog that can be law school. And the last is to provide a platform through which students, faculty, administrators, and other members of the public can share their opinions and sentiments freely and clearly. One is allowed to be offended or even disgusted by the views of another, but the oppression of that person’s independent views is unacceptable. This Court cares not if members choose to live their lives in a bubble, protected only by the soft cushion that is the bubble wrap they’ve encased themselves in, but when that personal choice is turned and used against the rest of the public, this Court will not stand for such repressive conduct.

With the pleasantries out of the way, the matter before the Court of Petty Appeals today is one that is of great importance to the destitute students of this great institution. On May 10th of this year it was announced that Martha and Bruce Karsh, Virginia Law alumni and deceptive perceptions that law school relationships bring enduring love and wealth, will donate $25 million U.S. to the Law School. The gift, which kicks off the Law School’s bicentennial celebration as well as its Third Century Campaign, will be matched with $18.9 million from the University’s Board of Visitors. This Court notes that word “matching” implies that the size of the Board of Visitor’s donation should be equal in number or amount to that of the Karsh’s. An amicus curiae brief filed with this Court on the back of an envelope by Darden MBA students, who ran the figures during in the small window of time between their debauchery and general drinking, confirms that 18.9 does not, in fact, equal 25. Nevertheless, the gift is quite sizable and generous.

The question remains, what should the Law School do with this money? As of the time of this decision, the Law School and the Karshes have decided that the gift will, fund the Law School’s premier student scholarship program which will be renamed the Karsh-Dillard Scholarship, establish the Karsh Center for Law and Democracy, and create an endowed professorships fund to support faculty affiliated with the Karsh Center. The described uses of this fund have garnered significant grousing within the student population. As one 3L stated, “I mean, I guess it’s cool, but couldn’t they get us another massage chair? Professor Kordana is always stealing it for himself.”

As such, this petition has made its way to this court of second instance after the plaintiffs were denied relief in the lesser courts, most recently by Judge J. Ryan for failing to state a claim. We take up this matter in hopes that our ruling will provide all parties with equity.

We start with gratitude. The Karshes did not have to give so magnanimously to the institution we call home. While the gift undoubtedly provides the family with significant tax breaks and stature, this Court is under the belief that converting the $25 million to gold coins and then diving into the pile would have furnished the Karshes with the same happiness and sense of pride. This Court, nevertheless, is a bit skeptical of the allocation of this gift.

If $25 million dollars doesn’t change the name of the Dillard Scholarship to the Karsh Scholarship, then what is the money really buying? Without deciding whether or not funding more scholarships is a good idea, this Court is under the impression that the Dillard should be dropped from the Karsh-Dillard Scholarship. We understand that Hardy Cross Dillard, former Dean of UVa Law, remains an institution at this establishment, but that’s old money, already gone and spent. The name of Dillard can be honored by remaining with the Legal Writing Fellows forced to read terrible briefs of, and meet with, apathetic 1Ls.

This Court is not sure if it is a mistake or if the Karshes have not heard the news, but democracy is dead. Although some may believe that democracy is still well and alive living on some beach in Europe with Tupac and the Lindbergh Baby, this Court assures the public that democracy is dead and has been for some time. Trying to revive this system of government by establishing a center is a fool’s errand like trying to drain the ocean with a tablespoon or taking M&A with Professor Choi and expecting to do well. With the political climate and the state of affairs as they are today, it would be more apt to establish the Karsh Center for Edgy Memes for T-14s.

Instead this Court suggests that the money be spent towards more productive means. For instance, maybe we can all stop eating Aramark in the Sidley Austin Café. The same company that provides the food for the Law School also services prisons, and while many may feel as if it is apt considering the metaphorical iron bars that encase the library, this Court has taken notice that prisoners around the country have gone on strike due to Aramark’s food. The Karsh money could also be used to fund electric scooters for the entire student population. There is no practical reason for this or any tangible benefit that the Law School will gain, but this Court believes it would be really funny to watch Professor Abraham dodge students on scooters while on his daily walk around school grounds. The Court’s final suggestion, and perhaps its most sensible one, is to reduce the cost of tuition at UVa Law. Fifty million dollars as a perpetuity at a 3% rate, quite a safe and conservative figure, will provide the school with interest payments of $1.5 million dollars per year. This is enough to reduce tuition for each student at the Law School by approximately $5000 per year, or $15,000 over three years. As the current fixed interest rate for a Direct PLUS Loan is 7.6%, the average student can save almost 30,000 dollars over the course of ten years. If the pursuit of legal studies is something that this Law School wants to open up to students of all socio-economic backgrounds, then this Court implores the School to do something about runaway tuition. Multi-million dollar gifts are great and a half-billion dollar endowment is even better, but if the money isn’t put towards the benefit of all students, the gap between the haves and the have-nots will continue to widen, and if it isn’t dead already, democracy soon will be.

Of its suggestions, the Court likes the scooter one best. It is therefore ordered that Stephen T. Parr purchase one scooter for each student and faculty member. See you on grounds, Abe!

It is so ordered.

Chief Justice VANDERMEULEN, concurring in the judgment.

I have no idea what my Brother Jani is prattling on about, but I’d really like a scooter, and I’d like to see Professors Ferzan and Mitchell scooter-racing to the death. Bring on the scooters!


ahj3ez@virginia.edu

Alumni Corner: Alex Haden '17

Taylor Elicegui ‘20
Features Editor


I recently caught up with Alex Haden ’17, who was the Editor-in-Chief of Volume 69 of the Law Weekly during his time at UVa. Haden attended Yale for undergrad and came to UVa because he wanted a law school with a strong campus community. Haden was an active member of SBA, the Judiciary Committee, and PILA. Of all those activities, Haden particularly loved Law Weekly for its family-like atmosphere. When you join the Law Weekly family (do it; we have pizza every Monday), sometimes “you laugh, you cry” with a “rag-tag group that ended up being super good friends.” During Haden’s time, the Law Weekly expanded and added several new features: cartoons (now Cartoons by Jenny), Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum (now written by this reporter and Executive Editor Eleanor Schmalzl), faculty interviews, and, my personal favorite, the famous Court of Petty Appeals.

 Alex Haden ‘17. Photo courtesy of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom.

Alex Haden ‘17. Photo courtesy of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom.

Haden sees humor as integral to the Law Weekly. As he explained to me, the Law Weekly will never beat GroupMes as the school’s source of breaking news, so the newspaper has to add value by adding humor and analysis. The newspaper is the school’s only source of media specifically meant for students—an “internal-facing” institution. The newspaper also serves an important function by contributing to the school’s institutional memory. Students cycle through every three years and each class knows no more than five other class years. By recording events and accomplishments, the Law Weekly creates a record of things that might otherwise be forgotten.

Haden loved his time at UVa and has some advice for the newest members of our community, the Class of 2021. In terms of academics, he said, “There’s no magical formula to winning law school. You have a magical formula for how you learn best. The people who do well because they know themselves and know how to study for themselves.” In terms of extracurricular activities, Haden said, “The whole point is you can’t be in the library the whole time. You have to do something that brings you joy and relief. Find enough that you can still stay motivated to work.” Don’t know where to start for extracurricular activities? Stop by Slaughter 259 at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays to meet the best crew in the law school. Even if you don’t like us, we can help point you in the right direction and send you on your way with some road pizza.


tke3ge@virginia.edu

Lunch With Professor Mitchell: "It All Started With a Redhead"

Jansen VanderMeulen’19
Editor-in-Chief


Your Law Weekly staff sat down with Professor Greg Mitchell this week in an attempt to shed light on one of UVa Law’s most shadowy and Southern professors. Noting Format Editor Alison Malkowski’s striking red hair, Professor Mitchell told your columnists the story of how he ended up a professor here “all starts with a redhead.” Mitchell is a proud Arkansan and alumnus of the University of Arkansas. When he headed out to the University of California, Berkeley to study psychology and law, his long-term, redheaded girlfriend stayed behind in Arkansas for Medical School. Planning to clerk in Tennessee or Arkansas to be nearer to her, Mitchell bought an engagement ring. Alas, his hopes were foiled: Mitchell’s best friend ran into the redheaded girlfriend and another man—to whom she is now married—on a date at a restaurant. That brought an end to Mitchell’s relationship and began a life-long vendetta against those with red hair. Even today, students with red hair who take Professor Mitchell’s classes are likely to have their hair color noted, and perhaps face greater “forced engagement” than most of their peers.

 Professor Greg Mitchell. Photo courtesy University of Virginia School of Law.

Professor Greg Mitchell. Photo courtesy University of Virginia School of Law.

After earning his Masters, J.D., and Ph.D. at Berkeley, Professor Mitchell clerked for the Middle District of Tennessee in Nashville (a city he loves but whose increased corporateness and decreased charm he laments) and worked there at a small litigation boutique before taking up teaching. He met his wife Val through a friend, and she started at Vanderbilt Law while he practiced in Nashville. Mitchell loved practice; he thinks practicing law is one of the most rewarding and fun professions, much better than the behavioral psychology he studied before. When asked why he preferred the law, Professor Mitchell waxed poetic about lawyers’ ability to help people and solve problems. “Even if it’s for Time Warner!” he said, noting his lack of sympathy for students who complain about their Big Law jobs.

Astute readers of the Law Weekly will know that Professor Mitchell is never included in the Faculty Quotes section of the paper. By his own instruction, students of his classes do not send faculty quotes to our staff, and generations of Law Weekly editors have known better than to poke the Mitchell Bear. Why won’t he let the newspaper quote him? Professor Setear once told Mitchell that his quotes in the Law Weekly “made him sound like an oversexed hillbilly.” That bothered Professor Mitchell: “The last person I want to get grief from is Professor Setear.”

Asked about his approach to teaching (he won the UVa All-University Teaching Award in 2016 and is famed as an excellent teacher), Professor Mitchell said the two worst things in a law school classroom are boredom and confusion. He likened a good law school class to a song that is both funny and well-crafted, a combination he asserts is rare but can be found in the music of Todd Snyder (an alternative country artist) but certainly not in the songs of Weird Al Yankovic. Mitchell thinks professors shouldn’t shy away from hot-button topics, but should strive to avoid letting their own biases be known. He worries professors’ letting their own beliefs be known can chill any student who doesn’t agree with those beliefs.

Professor Mitchell teaches Civil Procedure (“a pretty boring class”), Evidence, Persuasion (a J-term course), and, with the passing of Professor J. Gordon Hylton, Professional Responsibility. Mitchell couldn’t resist taking a stab at his nemesis, Professor Kim Ferzan: “I’ll be teaching privilege in my PR class to make up for Ferzan’s educational malpractice in not teaching privilege in Evidence.” Reiterating again that he “c[ould]n’t believe that Ferzan doesn’t teach privilege,” Professor Mitchell encouraged the Law Weekly staff to personally serve Professor Ferzan with a copy of this article in order to reignite their longstanding-but-lately-dormant feud. Mitchell really hopes people will take his Professional Responsibility course. “There’ll be a whole section just called ‘Sex with Clients: When It’s Okay,’” he reminded us.

While Professor Mitchell’s Arkansan heritage is credentialed beyond a doubt by his drawl and references to the early 1990s country-music scene, your columnists discovered to our surprise and dismay that Mitchell did not know the precise requirements of the famed Arkansas “Pig! Sooie!” call. When told that the Wikipedia page for the University of Arkansas’s famed athletic fight chant states that the “woo” preceding the words “Pig! Sooie!” should last eight seconds, Professor Mitchell called the Wikipedia page’s editor’s integrity and knowledge into question (a degradation not unfamiliar to those poor redheads unfortunate enough to take Professor Mitchell’s classes).

Pig! Sooie! flaws aside, Professor Mitchell is an engaging and beloved member of the UVa Law faculty. His love of the legal profession and unique perspective as a behavioral psychologist have endeared him to generations of law students. Readers of this paper are encouraged to take his classes; unless, of course, they have red hair.


jmv5af@lawweekly.org

Hot Bench: Darcy Whelan

Darcy Whelan

She/her/hers

 

1. What are you most excited for during your last year in Charlottesville? 

I am so sad to leave this place. I’m looking forward to thoroughly eating and drinking my way through C’ville’s restaurants, breweries, and wineries, though. #TeamBodos #3LOL #HarrisTeeterBar

2. What is your favorite word?  

“Idiosyncrasy.” I don’t know why, but it’s always been my favorite.

3. Where did you grow up? 

Calvert County, Maryland (in Maryland we identify with our counties for some reason). My mom’s family has actually been in the area since colonial days. It’s a super rural area on the water; when you drive across the county line, you’re met with a sign that says “Welcome to Calvert County. God bless y’all real good,” and our county flag, which is just one single tobacco leaf. It’s only about 45 minutes from D.C. without traffic, but it feels like a world away.  

4. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

Everything bagel with sausage and provolone from Bodo’s and a diet coke. I will also say it tastes even better when you get that #1 ticket of the day.

5. If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why?

J.K. Rowling, the guiding light of my whole life. I have so many questions for her. How was she able to chart out the entire AMAZING Harry Potter series before even writing the first book? Why does only Harry’s birthday get celebrated out of the trio? WHY DOBBY?!

6. What’s your favorite hobby to avoid the stress of law school? 

Aggressively snuggling with my puppy, Luna. She lights up my world. (Hit her up on insta: @lunathepawhoo)

7. Where is your favorite place to vacation?

The Outer Banks, North Carolina. We’ve gone there since I was a kid, and it feels so familiar to me.

8. What’s something you wish you’d known about law school before coming to UVa Law?

That your life does not have to just suck for three years. Everyone told me that law school would be miserable, but I’d do it all again if I could. I hate to leave; the friends and mentors that I have made here are now some of the most important people in my life. Plus, Charlottesville is awesome.  

9. What did you have for breakfast this morning?

... a Bodo’s bagel with sausage and provolone and a medium Diet Coke. The one consistent thing in my life.

10. What’s your most interesting two-truths-and-a-lie? (And what’s the lie?)

I’ve been skydiving, paragliding, and bungee jumping.

(Bungee jumping is the lie; a vision of the rope snapping is too engrained in my head)

11. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Italy. Either Cinque Terre or Florence. If this whole lawyer thing doesn’t work out, I’m moving there to make wine and pizza and live a happy life on the Mediterranean with my dogs.

12. What’s your least favorite sound? 

It’s a tie between people chewing and people scraping their teeth on their silverware. Both drive me utterly insane.

13. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

For our first Christmas together, my fiancé got me a set of all of the Harry Potter books because he noticed that I’d read mine so much that some of them were actually falling apart and borderline unreadable. That’s when I knew he was the one.

14. Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera?

It’s Britney, b*tch.

15. What is the best concert you have ever been to?

Kenny Chesney in Williams-Brice stadium, the football stadium at the University of South Carolina.

16. What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville?

Vigorously cheer on softball games while simultaneously be pretty lousy at softball (go Legal Eagles though).

17. If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be?

If someone does something nice for you on the road, like let you into traffic, WAVE OR OTHERWISE INDICATE YOUR GRATITUDE.

18. What’s your spirit animal?

Chrissy Teigen.  

19. What’s your favorite food(s)?

Bagels, queso, and potatoes (in all forms).

20. If you won the lottery, what would you do with it?

I’d like to say I’d do something groundbreaking and benevolent, but I’d probably just like, buy an island or something and make everyone I love move there with me to live the rest of our days in idyllic luxury.

21. If you had Matrix-like learning, what would you learn?

Another language.

22. What would be the title of your autobiography?

Darcy Whelan: A Girl Who Lived  

23. Where is a place you haven’t been but want to travel to?

Probably Greece. In my head, I am a character in the CLASSIC show and film “Mamma Mia” (the OG one), so I’ve always wanted to grab some overalls and go to Greece and sing my little heart out.

24. What are the 7 wonders of the law school?

Snakes in the law school, the absolutely magical BFF relationship between Dean Goluboff and Vice Dean Kendrick, the Libel Show, how WB is always so freakin’ cold even when the rest of the school is toasty, Mandy, the snow day decisionmaking system, Professor Dick Howard.

editor@lawweekly.org 

12 Summer Associates, 8 Markets, 1 Fantastic Summer

By Law Weekly Staff


Virginia Law Weekly staff interviewed twelve summer associates who worked for firms. These are their stories.

 

What drew you to that geographic location and/or employer?

“Great firm in my target market” – D.C. ’20

“I’m originally from Philly and it was a smaller firm. I immediately connected with the people and knew I wanted to come home for the summer.” – Philly ’20

“What drew me to [the firm] were the lawyers and the quality of work. This past summer, I met attorneys who have a sincere desire to do their best work and to mentor young associates. They collaborate with each other to devise solutions to complex legal issues.” – NYC ’19

“Close to home and reputation for being a great place to work.” – Chicago ’19

“I wanted to be closer to family, and somewhere without the awful, humid weather.” – Denver ’19

“Family.” – Houston ’19

“Lots of family and friends there from before law school (plus it's the greatest city on Earth).” – NYC ’19

“NYC has always been the goal. It seemed like the best place to start a legal career, a city that offers opportunity for all areas of law.” – NYC ’19

“D.C. is home.” – D.C. ’19

 

What type of work did you do? Were you able to become involved with pro bono work? If you had a favorite matter (billable or pro bono!), can you describe it at all?

“The firm I worked at did mostly environmental law. I focused on mainly environmental litigation but also some regulatory work. A lot of my research consisted of looking up federal or state environmental regulations and understanding the meaning and workings of them.” – Philly ’20

“I did a little bit of work in pretty much every practice group. The most exciting project all summer was an article that I actually had published and sent out to clients. I also got to see my research appear in an opposition that we filed to a Supreme Court cert petition.” – Denver ’19

“All tax work but not much pro bono. My favorite assignment was working on research for a client who was a whistleblower and figuring out how to win our client an award for the client's help in the case. The award potential was high, which made my research feel important as a 1L.” – D.C. ’20

“Mergers and Acquisitions.” – SF ’19

“I worked primarily on litigation assignments involving legal research and writing. I was also able to do pro bono work. My favorite pro bono assignment involved helping a victim of domestic violence receive a temporary order of protection from her abuser.” – NYC ’19

“My favorite project was transitioning a company from an LLC to a non-profit. This saved them money and let the younger lawyers get some really advanced work” – Chicago ’19

“Complex commercial litigation—mostly antitrust cartel investigation-related work. Also did a bit of work in energy regulatory matters and a pro bono project related to parole opportunities for asylum seekers found to have a credible threat of persecution or violence if deported home.” – D.C. ’19

“Corporate, M&A, securities, public finance, and corporate finance.” – Houston ’19

“Mixture, but mostly litigation. My favorite project was a memo for restructuring. Lots of pro bono, both firm and external program-based. I would highly recommend the Courtroom Advocates Project, which assists victims of domestic violence in procuring protective orders, if your firm participates.” – NYC ‘19

“Mainly memo drafting, which involved research and writing on various disputes related to the Delaware Corporate Code.” – Wilmington ’19

“Litigation.” – NYC ’19

“I did a little bit of everything—some corporate, mostly litigation, and a pro bono matter. I tried to do as much litigation as possible, and did a lot of sports litigation, antitrust, and insurance. My favorite matter was an extensive antitrust litigation case I was put on with another summer. It was an exciting part of a long-time case, and I had the opportunity to do some substantive work that ended up being seen by a judge.” – NYC ’19

 

Did spending the summer at a firm influence your future career goals (area of practice, firm vs. in-house, private vs. public, which market, etc.)?

“A bit in terms of area of practice, yes.” – DC ’19

“Spending my summer at the firm affirmed that I want to do litigation. I was also surprised that firm life ended up being a lot more appealing than I previously anticipated. I figured I would only spend a few years at a large firm, but after this summer, I could see myself spending the majority of my career there.” – NYC ’19

“Most definitely. It confirmed my interest in litigation work at a firm. But it also opened my eyes to environmental work—that wasn’t something I was originally super interested in, but this summer definitely changed that.” – Philly ’20

“My experience totally changed my practice group interest—I went in leaning towards litigation, but over the course of the summer I actually developed a stronger interest in health care, which is an area of law that I hadn't even previously considered.” – Denver ’19

“I knew I wanted to do tax at a firm to start out my career so it didn't change that too much, only confirmed it.” – D.C. ’20

“After spending the summer at the firm, I confirmed my interest in litigation.” – NYC ’19

“Made me realize that corporate work was right for me.” – Chicago ’19

 

What was your favorite “fun” summer class activity?

“Probably the trip to and tour of the Supreme Court with former SCOTUS clerks from the firm. Also the day one of the partners took us out on the Chesapeake Bay in his boat.” – D.C. ’19

“I loved volunteering at Habitat for Humanity with my co-interns and mentors at the firm.” – Philly ’20

“Axe Throwing” – Wilmington ’19 | “Our most exciting activity was definitely axe-throwing!” – Denver ’19 (ANG’s Note: Why didn’t ANG’s firm do axe-throwing??)

“Whirleyball” – Chicago ’19

“Going for a winetasting tour on Long Island.” – NYC ’19

“Volleyball bar event” – Houston ’19

“The most fun activity was a cooking competition held at an NYC restaurant. Attorneys and summer associates broke up into groups and had an hour to prep a meal that was judged by a restaurant chef. While using our very-limited student meal-prep experience was stressful when having to prepare a meal without a recipe, everyone got really involved and competitive and it ended up being a greatly entertaining night.” – NYC ’19

“We went to a crab house and I learned how to crack crabs open and eat them for the first time!” – D.C. ’20

“Wine tasting in Napa” – SF ’19

“I'd have to say sailing on the Hudson River with partners and summer associates. Thankfully no one fell in the water!” – NYC ’19

“Seeing ‘Come from Away’ on Broadway!” – NYC ’19

 

What was the most surprising thing about your summer?

“Hearing about how different people’s experiences were at different firms.” – D.C. ’19

“I was surprised at how quickly I became friends with my summer class. Throughout the work and extra activities, the summer class grew very close and made it difficult to leave at the end.” – NY ’19

“I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the environmental legal field but also at the amount of ‘real’ work I was given—I felt needed and appreciated.” – Philly ’20

“I was shocked by how fast the summer goes—10 weeks sounds like a long time, but it goes by so fast that you won't know what hit you.” – Denver ’19

“How quickly it went!” – D.C. ’20

“I was surprised by the amount of pro bono work that I was able to do. [My firm] has a strong pro bono practice that spans a range of areas from immigration to domestic violence.” – NYC ’19

“How helpful and patient the first-year associates were.” – Chicago ’19

“10 weeks feels much longer than 8 weeks!” – Houston ’19

“Though I appreciated getting a glimpse into first year associate life, I didn't anticipate working as hard and as long as I did.” – Wilmington ’19

 

 This chart shows the locations where interviewed members of the classes of '19 and '20 worked this summer.

This chart shows the locations where interviewed members of the classes of '19 and '20 worked this summer.

What would you suggest to someone moving to your market (professional advice, recommendation of something fun to do, where to live, favorite restaurant—sky’s the limit!)?

“I absolutely loved being able to walk to work.” – D.C. ’19

“I think it's valuable to try different practice areas at the beginning of the summer, but to not be scared of letting your preferences known once you've gained some experience. Beyond that, it's important to socialize and get to know the people you'll be working with (both attorneys and the other summer associates). I lived in Brooklyn over the summer and would highly recommend it for people working in NY. It was the ideal break on the weekends (at least in the mornings before meeting up with others in the city) to be somewhere with less people, more space, and a different vibe.” – NYC ’19

“Philly is a wonderful city! There’s a new Lebanese restaurant in Fishtown I recommend—it’s called Suraya. There are many great firms in Philly too; it’s a great city to work in if NY is too much for you and you’re not a D.C.-type person. Plus, our football team isn’t too bad right now.” – Philly ’20

“Follow the crowds and get out of the city on the weekends - there are so many things to do outdoors. And if you don't check out Bubu and/or Blue for lunch, you're missing out.” – Denver ’19

“Explore! Days can be long but make time for fun.” – D.C. ’20

“New York City is a place of endless possibilities! There are so many great restaurants (Joe's Shanghai, V&T Pizzeria, Sarabeth's) and things to do (free kayaking on the Hudson River during the summer, Shakespeare in the Park, free concerts in Central Park).” – NYC ’19

“Get out to do something every day after work. Chicago has so much to offer so there’s always something new to do. Also, I would suggest living within walking distance to your office.” – Chicago ’19

“Houston has the best restaurants for reasonable prices. Try everything.” – Houston ’19

“Live in Brooklyn--it's so much more peaceful.” – NYC ’19

“If you really, really want a spicy burger, go to Farmer and the Cow (they also serve boozy milkshakes).” – Wilmington ’19

Will You Be Returning to Your Summer Employment Next Year?

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editor@lawweekly.org

Court of Petty Appeals: Unnamed Gunner v. Section D

VanderMeulen, C.J., announced the opinion of the Court, in which Jani and Ranzini, JJ., joined. Hopkin, J., filed a concurring opinion in which Schmalzl, J., joined.

 

 

Chief Justice VanderMeulen, for the Court.

I

As the new term begins, this Petty Court finds itself once again beset by petitions to solve the most pressing questions facing UVa Law.[1] But before we resolve once and for all these vexing conflicts, we must once more address the issue that most plagues this Court’s docket: the lamentable prevalence of gunning in the Law School. Seasoned denizens of this Law School will find the uncontested facts of this case grimly familiar. As 1L classes began last Wednesday, the erstwhile eager and energetic members of the Class of 2021’s Section D found themselves enjoying a delightful Criminal Law lecture from Professor Anne Coughlin.[2] Spritely and blissfully ignorant of their coming doom via the difference between common-law and MPC mens rea standards or *shudder* inchoate offenses, respondent Section D members were looking forward to lunch—as they should, the poor dears.

Respondent Section D alleges—and petitioner Gunner does not contest—that with three minutes remaining in their first class, Professor Coughlin asked if anyone had any questions. At that moment, petitioner raised his hand confidently. Announcing that he had “been doing a little reading this summer” that “caused [him] to reexamine the way [he] look[s] at the notion of free will and its relationship with culpability and punishment generally,” he “wondered if [Professor Coughlin] might comment on . . . ” from this point none of petitioner’s colleagues can recall his comments, due both to their stupor-inducing boringness and the infuriatingly self-satisfied way in which petitioner said "canard.”[3] Professor Coughlin, looking defeated but unable to crush the lad’s spirit this early in the semester, mustered an abnormally dispirited “good for you” before dutifully providing her perspective on the question and thereby holding all the class’s attendees three minutes over time. She later joined the case as amicus curiae for respondents alongside Section I, who were also subjected to the outrageous, audacious show of gunning.

Respondents filed suit as soon as they got out of Torts that afternoon, excited to have learned from Professor Duffy about the concept of “damages.” They have, according to their refreshingly candid brief, “no idea what [they are] doing,” but know that they’ve been harmed and want redress. The case comes to us on appeal from the Court of Petty Claims, where Judge K-Don granted summary judgment for Section D, awarding the section the sum all three years of Gunner’s tuition as compensation, and we now affirm with additur because this shit pisses us off.

II

             Respondents have had, to this point, just five days of legal education, so it is to be expected that their brief is less than clear regarding their exact legal theory, but we really don’t like gunning so we’re just gonna go with it.[4] This Court’s precedents may be all over the map on such issues as massage chairs, K-cups, and disputes about proper Snack Office snack selection, but we have been crystal clear that gunning is detestable and indeed sanctionable. See, e.g., Foster, et al. v. Jeffries, 804 U.Va. 401, 412 (2016) (affirming an injunction against a group Professor Jeffries called “nefarious and know-nothing nitpickers.”); Kennedy v. Ribble, 118 U.Va. 716, 733 (1950) (“We get it, Bobby, seriously. You don’t have to give a speech EVERY CLASS PERIOD.”); Three Unnamed Roguish Brutes v. Lile, 21 U.Va. 13, 15 (1873) (“We find despickable and unbecoming the rogues’ irritating pontification.”). Indeed, these cases and their progeny make clear that there exists a presumption of damages for gunning so long as it can be proved the gunner acted with “actual annoyingness.” Abraham v. Generations of Torts Students, 487 U.Va. 83, 86 (2008) (“Where a student acts with such pretense as to seriously be a little prick, the law requires no accounting of actual harms to those alleging injury by the student’s gunning.”) (opinion of Liu, J.).

III

Petitioner here fails to defeat respondents’ summary judgment motion because, in addition to failing to show there exists a genuine factual dispute, he’s super annoying. In his brief before this Court, petitioner claims his questions “were of the highest philosophical value, pedagogically designed to challenge—nay, present an affront to—[his] fellow students’ most dearly held beliefs with the hope of provoking genuine conversation.” He also notes that he considers it his personal responsibility “to weed out pockets of bourgeois and reactionary thinking among the student body, especially as it relates to the canard of free will.” It goes on like this for, like, 26 pages and (other than some bizarre but delightful citations to Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day) reeeeeeally sucks. This Court generally urges the lower courts to exercise caution in declaring the presumption of damages that comes along with “actual annoyingness,” and lower court judges have struggled to apply the standard, but dammit Judge K-Don, well done, you did a fantastic job applying that standard here. Spot on, seriously. This sort of gunning is, to quote Justice Holmes, “the fucking worst,” and it must stop.

The concurrence is a bit wishy-washy,[5] but the Court does not blame Justices Hopkin and Schmalzl for protecting their 1Ls. The Court wishes it could have confidence that few 1Ls could be so annoying as the petitioner in this case, but, alas, long experience has not taught us to doubt the infuriating self-satisfaction of law students.

IV

Judge K-Don’s award of damages to the plaintiffs was judicious and eminently reasonable. Too reasonable. We’re doubling it, because we can do that.[6] The word “additur” came to our minds and it’s like we never saw the disappointment in Professor Abraham’s eyes after our Torts exams. Judge K-Don’s judgment is affirmed, and the award of damages is doubled. Let this be a warning to all the gunners lurking in the Class of 2021: when that pretentious quote from a treatise you read once comes to mind; when you come up with a hypo you think is super on-point but isn’t; when you get a hankerin’ to compare the case at issue with some previous case no one asked about, just stop.

It is so ordered.

 

Hopkin, J., concurring.

            While I concur with the Court’s overall argument, I write to clarify that a similar case could arise where I would be forced to decide matters in a completely opposite fashion.  This is not just because of my allegiance to Justice Kennedy, as the Court slyly alludes to in its salty footnote.

            For instance, I do not want the citizens of UVa Law to study in fear during exam season.  This Court has often proclaimed that fall exam season officially starts after the hangover following PILA Auction has concluded and ends after you drunkenly make out with a 1L at Trinity following the last exam period.  Any actions taken during this period can be rightfully attributed to “exam-time crazies” if the student meets the Court’s other qualifications—mostly, if we like you.[7]

Furthermore, since I am a Peer Advisor during my leisure time off the Court, any comments made by my 1Ls will be defended as they are my ducklings. 

 

jmv5af@virginia.edu


 

[1] For the last time, 3Ls, we will take no position on the oft-asked question, “Wait, was that Joby or Joe Fore?”

[2] Professor Coughlin is a friend of this Court and we salute her and Gary with utmost reverence as we prepare for this year’s battle against the Virginia Animal Law Society’s know-nothing speciesism. #ImWiththeToad.

[3] Note to all students: this is one of those words (like “pedantic”) that cannot be used unpretentiously.

[4] See Petty Rule of Civil Procedure 1: “We do what we want.”

[5] Unsurprising given the honorable justices’ known affinity for that rascal Justice Kennedy.

[6] See Id.

[7] The best way to never be called out by the Court is to attend editing sessions on Mondays at 5:30 p.m. in SL 279. 

In Memoriam: An Interview with Professor J. Gordon Hylton

Professor J. Gordon Hylton passed away May 2, 2018 after a battle with cancer. To honor his memory, the Virginia Law Weekly republishes this Spring 2016 discussion between Features Editor Lia-Michelle Keane '18 and Professor Hylton.


Homeruns  and  History  with  Professor  Hylton 

Lia-Michelle  Keane '18

As  a  staff  member  of  the  newspaper,  it  is  always  exciting  to  interview  a  Law  Weekly alumnus, and  that  is  especially  true  when  the  individual  in  question  can  say  that  he served  on  the  paper the  year  that  it  was  cited  by  the  United  States  Supreme  Court.  While  that  is  a  greater  claim  to fame  than  most  people  can  even  dream  of,  for Professor  J.  Gordon  Hylton,  his  involvement  in publishing  the  famed  edition  is  merely  a  line  on  an  impressive  list  of  professional  achievements.  

In  addition  to  teaching  at  institutions  such  as  Marquette  Law  School  and  the  Chicago-Kent College  of  Law  of  the  Illinois  Institute  of  Technology,  Hylton  is  also  a  past  member  of  the American  Bar  Association’s  Diversity  Committee,  as  well  as  a  former  chair  of  the  Association  of American  Law  Schools’  Sections  on  Legal  History.  On  his  journey  to  becoming  a  professor,  Hylton obtained  a  J.D.-M.A.  from  the  University  of  Virginia,  along  with  a  Ph.D.  from  Harvard  University. Although  Hylton  has  stated  that  his  interest  in  academia  was  sparked  as  a  student,  he  took  the time  to  clerk  for  Justice  Albertis  S.  Harrison  and  Chief  Justice  Lawrence  l’Anson  of  the  Virginia Supreme  Court,  and  then  worked  at  the  Massachusetts  Commission  Against  Discrimination  before ultimately  returning  to  the  classroom  to  begin  teaching.    

Although  Hylton  speaks  of  his  time  at  Marquette  Law  fondly,  he  readily  acknowledges that  he  is happy  to  be  back  at  his  alma  mater,  noting  that  “[a]lthough  the  law  school that  [he]  attended  in the  mid-1970s  was  a  more  diverse  and  more  cosmopolitan institution  than  it  had  been  in  the past,  today’s  faculty  and  students  of  law  school  in general  are  far  more  representative  of  the American  population  as  a  whole  than  was the  case  in  [his]  student  days.”  Something  that concerns  Hylton,  however,  is  the  fear that  current  students  recite  the  names  of  individuals  such as  John  Barbee  Minor  and William  Minor  Lile,  yet  few  know  who  they  were.    

Notably,  for  those  UVa  Law  School students  who  enjoy  participating  in  the  North Grounds  Softball League,  you  can  thank Hylton  for  helping  to  expand  the  role  of  the sport  within  our  community. A Double Hoo  with  a  vision,  Professor  Hylton  and  a  group of  friends  founded  the  league  during the fall  of  1976,  leaving  behind  a  legacy  and time-honored  tradition  that  would  continue  for  decades to  come.  In  fact,  as  Hylton  happily pointed  out  during  our  lunch  in  Stone  Dining  Room,  NGSL  will celebrate  its  40th anniversary  in  the  fall,  which  makes  the  student  organization  one  of  the longest running at  our  school.  When  asked  if  he  continues  to  play  softball  in  his  spare  time,  Hylton replied  that  although  he  is  on  a  team,  his  love  of  sports  has  largely  shifted  from  the field to his  research.

Indeed,  as  a  legal  historian,  Hylton  has  examined  historical  and legal  developments within  the sports  industry  to  write  on  such  topics  as  the relationship  between  baseball cards  and  the modern right  of  publicity,  as  well  as  the  longstanding  tradition  of  using Native  American  team names. Hylton’s  work  is  not  confined  to  the  sporting  realm, however;  he  is  also  well-known  for  his scholarship  pertaining  to  the  history  of  African-American  lawyers,  a  fact  that  our incoming  dean,  Professor  Risa  Goluboff,  praised  him for  extensively  when  he  permanently  joined  UVa  Law’s  faculty in  2015.  Currently,  Hylton is  examining  the  history  of  legal  education  at  UVa  Law,  focusing  in particular  on  the law  school’s  beginnings  in  1827  and  the  changes  that  it  underwent  up  until  the mid-1970s.  He  hopes  to  track  the  development  of  the  Law  School  and  “the  role  of  the University of  Virginia  in  the  larger  story  of  the  history  of  American  legal  education.” Further,  Hylton  stated, “One  of  the  great  attractions  of  doing  non-ideologically  driven history  [research]  is  that  you  don’t know  what  you  are  going  to  find  until  you  actually do  the  research.

Despite  his  impressive  credentials,  Hylton  maintains  a  tremendous  sense  of  modesty, which  he wears  along  with  an  unfailingly  jovial  attitude.  Professor  Hylton’s  passion  for teaching  is  apparent, and  he  notes  that  one  of  the  things  that  he  likes  most  about being  a  professor  is  having  the opportunity  to  speak  with  students  after  class  and during  office  hours.  Additionally,  Hylton  admits that  although  he  realizes  1L’s  are  under a  great  amount  of  stress,  he  nevertheless  enjoys teaching  first-year  law  school  students because  they  are  typically  the  most  focused  and  well-prepared. Perhaps  that  is  why  Hylton’s  favorite  class  to  teach  is  Property,  though  he  paused  to  add  that Trusts  and Estates  was  a  close  second.  He  described  the  latter  as  an  extension  of  Property, noting that  both  courses  involve  elements  of  “death  and  greed,”  which  bring  human  aspects  to  otherwise  technical  subjects.  He  claims  to  appreciate  the  relationship  between  material  possessions  and  how  people  relate  to  those  objects,  offering  a  unique  way  to  think  about  future interests  and  the  right  to  exclude.  In  addition  to  the  courses  noted  above,  Hylton  also  teaches Professional  Responsibility  and  African-American  Lawyers  from  the  Civil  War  to  the  present.  

Although  Hylton  derives  great  joy  from  his  time  lecturing,  he  does  have  one  major complaint about  teaching  at  UVa  Law.  Shaking  his  head,  Hylton  lamented  that  he  is occasionally  tasked with teaching  in  WB128  and  similar  classrooms  where  the  lectern  is positioned  far  away  from  the  first row  of  students.  If  it  were  up  to  him,  Hylton  said that  he  would  hold  his  classes  in  the  rooms located  on  the  second  floor  of  Slaughter Hall,  which  he  described  as  being  “much  better” than their  counterparts  in  Withers-Brown  Hall.  Finally,  when  asked  to  offer  a  piece  of  advice  to students,  Hylton  earnestly replied,  “Giving  good  advice  has  never  been  one  of  my  strong  points; however,  I  think the  legal  profession  will  be  better  off  if  lawyers  are  as  concerned  about  what the  law should  be  as  they  are  in  knowing  what  the  law  is.”

Court of Petty Appeals: Greene, et al., v. Coleburn, et al.

Greene, et al. v. Coleburn, et al. 863 U.Va. 120 (2018)

Zablocki, J., announced the opinion of the Court in an opinion joined by Dostal, Ranzini, and Malkowski, JJ. VanderMeulen, C.J., filed an opinion concurring in part, dissenting in part, and concurring in the judgment.

Justice Zablocki, for the Court.

I

Petitioner Greene, who represents an entire class of individuals frustrated at their roommates’ environmentally unfriendly tendencies, prays that we recognize the following claims against the class known by the surname of named respondent Coleburn: (1) temperature-inflicted assault and battery, (2) wanton waste and/or destruction of natural resources, and, of course, (3) intentional infliction of emotional distress.

On the first claim, Petitioner Greene alleges that during our balmy Virginian summers, his final approach to his apartment is routinely filled with trepidation at the blast of frigid air which will blast him upon opening the door. Petitioner has described this experience as both physically and mind-numbing, referring to his confusion at what necessitates a 65°F thermostat setting. This bewildering effect is especially consternating, Petitioner has explained, in light of the fact that come crisper fall days, the switch is immediately flipped to the heat setting, with the thermostat set to 72°F—a temperature significantly higher than that preferred during warmer months but which is similarly in opposition to the natural temperature and which leads to similarly unwelcoming homecomings.  And then the thermostat may perhaps be flipped back to AC later that same day when the sun’s warming rays streaming in through the window have a greenhouse effect, boosting the temperature to—gasp!—78°F.  In her amicus brief, Chief Justice Emeritus Goldman, who recused herself in order that she be allowed to join in protest of such absurd practices, said the following: “You know it’s out of control when the Floridian says the heat is on too high and the Minnesotan says a bit of Southern heat and humidity would be a welcome respite from the AC.” 

II

That Petitioner has made Respondent aware of the torturous results of such temperature settings upon Petitioner, and yet that Respondent continues to indulge himself, satisfies this Court that Respondent is intentionally causing Petitioner this angst, thus satisfying the key elements of the assault claim.  Temperature swings á la left hook/right uppercut are, of course, de facto battery. 

This Court therefore finds Respondent liable for assault and battery, and decrees that Respondents’ behavior in setting the thermostat in opposition to Mother Nature, apparently in some show of the power of humanity over nature,[1] is absurd and should cease. 

III

A

On the second claim of wanton waste and/or destruction of natural resources, this Court sympathizes with Petitioner. Just because Respondent has the wherewithal to pay astronomical electric bills in order to adjust his apartmental microclimate does not mean Respondent should. In the first instance, this Court loathes such entitlement and views such a practice as a clear step along the pathway to driving a Hummer. In the second, more paternalistic instance, this Court is puzzled why any student would wish to take on additional loans just to fight Mother Nature. In the third instance, which has nothing to do with saving the planet, it’s kind of shitty to unilaterally boost your roommates’ electric bills in order to make yourself comfortable while making them miserable. However, as there is no private cause of action by which Petitioners may do battle on behalf of the planet, this Court chooses to use its equitable powers to expand upon the tort of douchebaggery (see Student Body of UVa v. Thimpson Sacher and Offerees Thereof, 27 U.Va. 203 (2017)).  As described above, Respondent’s behavior is intentional, outrageous (lolz Law Student v. Mother Nature), douchey, and distressing; ergo, without further ado, we find Respondent liable for direct douchebaggery.

B

This Court takes judicial notice that 65°F is 65°F and 72°F is 72°F no matter the season. We’d cite some scientific principle, but unfortunately—or perhaps fortunately, as at least this isn’t what public funding and grant money is being used for these days—the mathematical property read as “A = A” was deemed too duhhh for anyone to want to take credit, put his (it would totes be a his) name on it, and be immortalized as the person who pointed out the obvious.[2]  In addition, while in the grand scheme of things it is a relatively novel idea, as such innovation has only been around for roughly half a millennium (vs. the wheel c. 3,500 BC), opening or closing a window is in fact an ecological method of climate control with tremendous effectiveness limited to a single room! For instance, if it is November, 71°F in the apartment, and 62°F outside, one can contrive to mix the cooler (fresher!) outdoor air with the warm, allegedly stale air inside the building by sliding the panel of glass up, rather than turning on the AC.  The additional benefit of this method of climate control is the ability to customize one’s own space to personal preference, rather than inflicting such preference upon all cohabitants.

IV

With regard to the IIED claim, this Court is sick and tired of adjudicating such whiny bullshit.  Therefore, rather than going through the motions, the Court leaves it to Respondent to consider whether it is better to have an increasingly pissed-off roomie or, well, oneself constantly hovering on the brink of pissed off due to lack of sleep?  In so ruling, this Court congratulates itself on ensuring a constant stream of future litigation as passive aggression becomes outright aggression and the roomie situation escalates.

V

In sum, happy Earth Day.  Quit wasting electricity and making your roommates miserable—rather, show a touch of respect for the planet and your fellow humans.

VI

The decision of the court below, enforcing injunctive relief against Respondent and damages of public shaming, three-quarters of recent power bills, two strawberry milkshakes, a bouquet of petunias, and some lemonade, is hereby affirmed.

It is so ordered.

 

Chief Justice VanderMeulen concurring in part, dissenting in part, and concurring in the judgment.

I join the judgment of the Court, which I find to be judicious and precise. Respondent’s ridiculous manipulation of the apartment thermostat ends here, and the damages due to Petitioner ought to justly redress the class’s injury.

Rather than the Court’s enviro-Marxist nonsense, I uphold the judgment of the Court like a red-blooded American: through objection to waste and entitlement. The environmental impact of Respondent’s profligacy is next to nil, but the vice and sheer outrage of such wastefulness is very real. Respondent demonstrates his moral vacuity and blameworthiness by way of his deplorable self-indulgence, which has inflicted grievous cost on Petitioner and demonstrated Respondent’s own depravity. Only the most despicably self-obsessed among us indulge their own comforts with so little regard for the natural way of the world and their roommates’ pocketbooks.

With this in mind, I join Parts III-A, IV, and VI of the Court’s opinion. I’ll celebrate Earth Day like any good salt-of-the-earth American: by driving a four-wheeler out to a bonfire full of old-growth cedars through a Wetland. But I join with the Court to condemn the vicious waste here occurring.

[1] Because if there’s one thing the last few hurricane seasons have shown, it’s that humanity > nature.

[2] This despite endemic mansplaining—so maybe it’s something beyond obvious even?

Alumni Corner: Former Law Weekly Editor Curtis Romig '98

As part of our Alumni Corner feature, Law Weekly staff will be periodically interviewing UVa Law graduates. To nominate a graduate, please email editor@lawweekly.org with contact information.

To begin our Alumni Corner feature, we thought we’d show some nepotism and reach out to a former Law Weekly editor-in-chief. Curtis Romig ’98 is currently a partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner[1] in Atlanta. Before joining Bryan Cave, he clerked in the Norfolk Division of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, specifically for Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr.

 Curtis Romig '98. Photo courtesy Bryan Cave.

Curtis Romig '98. Photo courtesy Bryan Cave.

Romig was editor-in-chief of the Virginia Law Weekly during a transitional time in the history of the paper. He described how the growth of different academic journals at the Law School caused the paper, which for much of its history had served as a platform for publishing scholarly articles from professors, to change directions. His staff started focusing more on what was happening at the Law School from the eyes of the students. The issues also started to contain more humor about the student body. His favorite issue was the “April Fools” issue where the front page contained Onion-like satirical articles. One article was about UVa Law’s U.S. News and World Report ranking plummeting; Romig remembers people coming up to him saying they couldn’t believe it. “I said, ‘Did you even read the article?’” Romig remembers chuckling.

Romig treasures his time on the Law Weekly, telling members of the editorial board that the editing experience was invaluable. Becoming editor-in-chief also gave him the opportunity to learn about managing people that he didn’t receive elsewhere in law school, an experience he says he’s valued as he has ascended to partner at his firm. Romig still feels pride in his staff and the content they produced when he looks at the issues—he keeps a bound copy in his office of the Law Weekly volume produced during his time as head of the paper. Infusing the issues with fresh humor was his favorite aspect. Where the current Law Weekly issues feature a sudoku and a cartoon, the old issues featured pictures submitted by the student body with humorous captions created by the editorial team. Although Romig always focused the humor on the student body as a whole, he recalls that one student featured in a photo did not appreciate the joke in the caption and called him angrily, threatening to physically harm him. The experience allowed Romig to see the wide reach and potentially damaging effects of his words, a valuable experience for an aspiring lawyer.

Romig was also influential in stepping up the amount of sports and Law School news coverage in the Law Weekly. During his time, he included weekly updates from NGSL as well as UVa athletic team updates. The NGSL column, called Vanguard of Democracy,[2] played the role that Around North Grounds plays today, anonymously and good-naturedly lampooning various aspects of the Law School’s culture.

Today, Romig leads the litigation department at Bryan Cave’s Atlanta office, winning the largest verdict in the history of Brooks County, Ga., in 2016. Romig’s advice to current students is to understand the culture of the firm or office you are entering with an eye towards how they handle their employees’ needs. He also stressed the importance of understanding how the person who gives you assignments gets their assignments. Is there room to advance directly? Being aware of the business aspects and plans of your office is very important when entering. Other than that, he encourages everyone to “network, network, network.”

“You don’t have to network with people you don’t like," he clarified. "Network with the people that you do like.” That’s a smart method to ensure you are maximizing your time networking with those you respect and want to emulate.

When asked about what he’s glad he didn’t know when graduating law school, Romig laughingly replied, “The ongoing and constant weight of time entry." Romig encourages new lawyers to be smart about recording their time so it doesn’t pile up. Reminiscing fondly about his days in Charlottesville, Romig urged current students to treasure the time they spend in law school and at UVa. And of course, he advised all students to pick up copies of the Virginia Law Weekly.

[1] Bryan Cave recently merged with Berwin Leighton Paisner to form Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. Hooray for the ever-expanding, monstrous behemoths of BigLaw!

[2] Unless something dramatic has changed in NGSL in the last 20 years, this was surely another attempt at satire.

Faculty Lunch: An Afternoon With Career Services

M. Eleanor Schmalzl '20
Executive Editor

 Kevin "Savior of Rising 2Ls" Donovan. Photo courtesy of the University of Virginia School of Law.

Kevin "Savior of Rising 2Ls" Donovan. Photo courtesy of the University of Virginia School of Law.

 Marit "Goddess of Employment" Spekman. Courtesy of University of Virginia School of Law.

Marit "Goddess of Employment" Spekman. Courtesy of University of Virginia School of Law.

As the end of 1L spring quickly approaches, I can’t help but look back on all the things I’ve learned. One of the biggest learning curves during this first year was understanding the legal market; how people get jobs, the right thing to say in interviews, and how to best market myself. And while I have found it challenging to find just my own path to success, Kevin Donovan and Marit Spekman, Senior Assistant Dean for Career Services and Senior Director of Law Firm Recruiting, respectively, make it their business to help everyone in the school find gainful employment.  Knowing this, members of the Law Weekly staff sat down with these two last week to learn more about their paths to UVa, their experiences at the Law School, and what makes their job worth it.

On advice to students going through the job search process, Donovan and Spekman both had insight to share. “Employers want a strong mix of skills,” Spekman explained. “Stay engaged and view it as a marathon, not a sprint.” Dean Donovan echoed Spekman, saying, “The goal isn’t to avoid messing it up, the goal is to have it go great.  Stay positive, be bold, work with us and don’t get demoralized by the ups and downs.” Dean Donovan also stressed the importance of not checking out and trying to manage the process on your own. They both agreed that the students who struggle the most in the job process tend to be the ones who don’t utilize Career Services in navigating the search process. 

With that response, the Law Weekly group asked the duo how students who may be nervous to come to Career Services to ask for help should approach doing so. As part of the 1L class that has the reputation of “not going to anything”  in terms of firm events, I was particularly curious about their advice to students who may worry that the Career Services team would be mad that students hadn’t come in sooner. “We’re very forward-looking,” Donovan explained. “We’re not going to look at someone and tell them they should’ve been here sooner. Our goal is to move forward, not look back.”

Dean Donovan’s positive response led us to ask about his and Spekman’s favorite part of their jobs. “Seeing the evolution of people from their 1L to 3L,” Dean Donovan responded. It was clear he enjoyed seeing the transformation of students, from knowing so little to being prepared to enter a major legal market with a strong firm job. Spekman, along the same vein, said her favorite part of the job is “helping students find what they want to do and then helping them succeed in it.” Spekman, reflecting on her decision to come to UVa for this position, said she “couldn’t do it anywhere else.” For Spekman, the people and the environment of UVa are part of what make the stress of the job worth it. Dean Donovan echoed her applause of the UVa community, discussing how Charlottesville was such a great fit for him and his family when he decided to make a career shift. The UVa office was the only place he applied when he was looking to leave the firm life. It’s history from there. 

As the meeting came close to the end, the conversation shifted to the OGI process. Being the only 1L in the bunch, I talked about how daunting OGI can seem and asked how 2Ls and 3Ls, after finishing OGI, felt looking back. “Everyone’s nervous, but it’s not the worst experience,” Donovan noted, pointing out that once students get into the rhythm of the process, it can be a really positive experience. Spekman felt similarly, saying, “After a relatively quiet summer, OGI is kind of a fun way to kick off the next school year.”  Spekman talked about how there’s a lot of adrenaline and life at the Law School during that time, and how great it is to see that shift. Students enjoy getting to see their classmates, many of whom they haven’t seen in months, and de-stress together in the halls. There’s a sense of camaraderie about that moment where all the people in the hall knock on their respective interview doors; it can be a really uniting experience.

After hearing about the positive side of the OGI process, I asked the loaded question: What are some of the top recent OGI horror stories? Donovan took this question, reflecting on two natural disaster scenarios the school has faced during this process. The first bizarre incident he discussed was an actual beehive inside the school during OGI. The school called someone in to extract it and that area obviously wasn’t usable during the rest of the interview process. A fun twist, though: the honey from the hive was sold at next year’s PILA auction to fund unpaid public service jobs.  And second, the year an earthquake hit during the OGI interview timeframe. Interviewers wouldn’t go back inside after the earthquake happened, so there were interviews conducted in Spies Garden instead.

The meeting ended with the duo asking us how we felt about the job search process. They wanted to learn more about our experiences and where we felt it could improve, showing their commitment to making this process as effective and painless as possible for students. Given all the angst and uncertainty that comes naturally with the job search process, the Law Weekly is glad the leaders of Career Services are so accessible and frank. Students with questions about getting a job after law school should be sure to utilize the resources Career Services offers.  It might all seem intimidating and mysterious, but the office, including Donovan and Spekman, are here to help. 

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Mes5hf@virginia.edu
 

Hot Bench: Clayton Bailey '18

Hot Bench: Clayton Bailey '18

1. What are you most excited for during your summer? 

Charlottesville during the summer is just delightful. I’ll spend some time studying for the bar, drink some wine, and hit all the classics I won’t see again until I come back down to “recruit,”  “go to alumni events,” or “do other things that I’m actually going to do and don’t belong in quotation marks.” 

2. What is your favorite word?   

The abbreviated version of “casual” that you can’t spell in a way that seems right. 

3. Where did you grow up?  

Kentucky . . . not many people know that. 

4. What’s your favorite hobby to avoid the stress of law school?  

Re-watching The West Wing. Still great. 

5. Where is your favorite place to vacation? 

Ireland. The ground is never dry but the people are hilarious. There’s a lot of really cutting sarcasm and everyone looks vaguely like my grandpa. Great craic!  

6. What’s something you wish you’d known about law school before coming to UVa Law? 

The most accurate part of Legally Blonde is the scene where Elle gets asked a question, she answers it in a dumb way, and everyone laughs. No one means it in a mean way, but pay attention—you’ll see it. 

7. What did you have for breakfast this morning? 

Scrambled eggs . . . is this a question about legal realism? We get it, this school really leans toward the rules side of the rules-standards debate. 

8. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? 

Wait, there are options outside of New York and D.C.? 

9. What’s your least favorite sound?  

I restarted playing Candy Crush a couple of weeks ago for some reason, and the music is starting to seep into my dreams. 

10. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? 

The gift of friendship. And I receive it every day. That’s what UVa Law is all about. #UVALawDay #Retweet #Collegiality 

11. Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC? 

*NSYNC. My birthday is in May, so “It’s Gonna Be Me” is sort of a personal anthem. 

12. If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be? 

When attending karaoke, “Piano Man” is best left until the end of the night. 

13. What’s your favorite food? 

There’s this little sandwich place in Lexington called Dad’s Favorites, that has the best cheese spreads. I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but I do miss it dearly. 

14. If you won the lottery, what would you do with it? 

Fund a PAC to advocate for a less regressive government revenue stream. Also, buy a jet ski. 

15. If you had Matrix-like learning, what would you learn? 

Caleb Nelson’s casebook. I’m pretty sure it secretly contains every viewpoint on every legal issue. 

16. If you could be in the winter Olympics, which sport would you compete in? 

Last year, I walked from Ivy to the Pavilion in like a foot of snow, so I think I’m pretty much qualified to compete in any of them. 

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clb5jc@virginia.edu