Hot Bench: Wyatt Kozinski '18

Wyatt Kozinski '18

1. Have you ever had a nickname? 

Numey.  For some reason, my soccer coach thought that I looked like Alfred E. Neuman.  

2. What is your favorite word?  


3. Where did you grow up?  


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

I once had a delicious meal while travelling with my brother in Barcelona.  We were greeted with freshly poured cava, and before the napkins hit our laps, the food started coming.  After four or five courses of fresh seafood, a gentleman in coattails simply asked, “more?” We nodded until our stomachs hurt.  Those monosyllabic exchanges were the only interaction we had with anyone there.  

For a guy who hates talking to his barber, this was heaven.

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

Norm MacDonald.  The man can turn a knock-knock joke into a shaggy dog story and vice-versa.  

6. If you owned a sports team, what/who would be the mascot? 


7. If you had to pick one song to play non-stop in the background of your life, what would it be?  

As Slow as Possible by John Cage.  And I hope to hear the whole thing.

8. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

The power of love.  

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

Professor Jeffries is the kindest man you’ll ever meet.

10. What did you have for breakfast this morning?

A plate of scrambled eggs and cheesy grits, y’all.  

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

When I was in fourth grade, Steven Segal flipped me the bird.  I was part of a neo-funk duo called Sexual Factory.  I once bench pressed a baby gorilla at a party on a dare.

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

I would live in Florence, and it would be in Colorado.

13. What’s your least favorite sound? 

“Thank you for interviewing, we’ll be in touch.”

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

My striking good looks (see pic).

15. If the Law School had yearbook awards, what would you want to win? 

Most likely to interplead.

16. If you could know one thing about your future, what would it be?

The BTC/USD conversion rate on Jan. 1, 2024.

17. Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

Next question.

18. What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep and why?

Once stayed up for three days waiting excitedly in line for an *NSYNC concert.  

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

Walking Rivanna trail with a good friend.

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

Be excellent to each other. 


Harvey and Irma: How You Can Help


On August 25, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Rockport, Texas at peak intensity. In Rockport, entire blocks were leveled by the hurricane’s Category Four winds, measuring in at 132 miles per hour. The storm has resulted in eighty-one confirmed fatalities. Across the state of Texas, official aid workers and good Samaritans rescued over 13,000 individuals from the storm and its after-effects. The storm displaced another 30,000 people. Harvey inflicted serious structural damaged to over 48,700 homes throughout Texas, including completely destroying 1,000 residences. Nearly 700 businesses were damaged as well. The storm resulted in billions of dollars in estimated property damage.1

In addition to the storm’s devastating effects on the private well-being of Texas citizens, the consequences of Harvey threaten to stall the second-largest state economy in the United States. Risk Management Solutions analysts believe economic losses could run between 70 and 90 billion dollars.2 A majority of this loss stems from uninsured properties. The implications of storm recovery on Texas’ booming energy industry remain relatively unknown. The country’s most active oil refinery, Motiva, which typically produces 603,000 barrels of crude oil every day, has been shut down due to flooding and environmental concerns since the August 30. As much as thirty-one percent of the total American oil refining capacity has been either disrupted or severely limited since Harvey made landfall. The Houston area alone, known as the energy capital of the world, is capable of refining about 2.7 million barrels of crude oil a day, or fourteen percent of the nation’s capacity.3 Fuel shortages threaten to increase gas prices and decrease resource availability as displaced citizens return to the Houston area. The booming alternative energy industry, specifically in wind energy, is also certain to experience a stall in growth after Harvey.  As the people of Texas fight to return to normalcy, a great many organizations have stepped up to help with the relief efforts. 

Here at UVa, the Lone Star Lawyers are collecting donations for Texas relief efforts. All donations go to the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the Coastal Bend Food Bank in Corpus Christi, Texas. Venmo donations can be made to the group’s account at the username “@TxHoos.” For those hoping to provide more general forms of relief, Global Giving, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and the United Way of Greater Houston have launched Harvey relief funds for the thousands of people displaced or suffering from the effects of the hurricane. These general funds will disperse resources to immediately provide food, water, and shelter. The funds will then transition to fund more long-term recovery efforts, such as the redevelopment of residential and commercial areas. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy emphasizes investing “well rather than investing quickly” to address the greatest needs and gaps in funding that may yet emerge.4 Notably, Houston Texans star J.J. Watt has raised over $30 million for Houston relief efforts through “YouCaring,” a crowd-funding site. 

Less than two weeks after Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas and the parts of the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Irma did the same in the Caribbean and southwestern Florida. The storm leveled 90 percent of structures on the islands of Anguilla, Barbuda, and Antigua.5 For the first time in 300 years, there is no one currently living on Barbuda. The large-scale devastation on the U.S. Virgin Islands left more than twenty people dead and thousands of people without power, running water, and cell service. St. John resident Stephanie Stevens reported to NPR that those on the island need security: “We all survived this monster storm. But will we survive the aftermath?”6 On Monday, Hurricane Maria made landfall in the Caribbean threatening the already distressed region. With winds over 100 miles an hour, Maria threatens to displace even more Caribbean residents and damage structures fragilely standing after weathering Irma. Similarly to J.J. Watt, Tim Duncan has started a “YouCaring” account for his native Virgin Islands that is still actively accepted donations. 

The continental U.S. also suffered significant damage as a result of the hurricane. Southern Florida felt the brunt of the Category Four Irma as it made landfall. Nearly 6.5 million Florida residents across the state woke up to no electricity the week of September 11.7 The storm also left 10,000 Florida key residents homeless.8 Florida’s economy will experience substantial obstacles after Irma. Damage to Florida’s tropical fruit industry was dramatic with an anticipated 70 to 80 percent drop in crop yield. Recovery efforts in southern Florida will have to focus on both residential and commercial losses.

In response to the overwhelming destruction produced by these hurricanes, many organizations have joined the relief efforts. If you are currently a student looking to help with the hurricane relief efforts, there are several different methods to help those in need. As we’re all students and our surplus funds are often already allocated to G&Ts at Bilt, there is also the option to donate clothing and nonperishable food to affected communities. Students can get online and use GreenDrop, a charitable organization that will pick up clothing, shoes, household items, etc. at a scheduled time and location on behalf of the American Red Cross, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, or the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. All three organizations have pledged that current donations will go towards hurricane relief efforts. Scheduling a pick-up is extremely easy, so clean out your closets, and maybe your pantries too! The Salvation Army is accepting donations of food and water to provide to first responders, as well as coordinating massive feeding efforts for residents. Feeding Texas and many local food banks are also accepting food donations. 

Donations will be needed long into the future with thousands of evacuees still displaced from Texas, the southern regions of Florida, and the Caribbean islands. Clean water, food, and clothing will be critical in the resettlement process. Please consider donating money, food, or clothing to the hurricane relief efforts through any of the convenient and reliable organizations currently contributing to relief efforts.


1 Holmes, Frank, “We Looked into the Effects of Hurricane Harvey and Here is What We Found,” Forbes, 09.05.17. 

2 Id.

3 Id.

4 Wamsley, Laurel, “Here’s How You Can Help People Affected by Harvey,” NPR, 08.2017. 

5 Wamsley, Laurel, “Here’s How You Can Help People Affected by Harvey,” NPR, 08.2017. 

6 Dwyer, Colin, “The Rubble and Recovery of the U.S. Virgin Islands: ‘Will We Survive the Aftermath?” NPR, 09.2017. 

7 Associated Press, “A Look at the Damage from Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean,” 09.2017.

8 Atkins, Katie, “10,000 People in the Keys Left Homeless by Hurricane Irma,” Miami Herald, 09.18.17. 

Hot Bench: Siarra Rogers '19

Siarra Rogers ‘19


1.  Have you ever had a nickname? What?

I’ve never had one my self-esteem couldn’t handle. 

2.  What is your favorite word? 

Bananas /bəˈnanəs/ adjective outrageous, senseless or extremely silly “That is bananas.” 

3.  Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Clearwater, Florida. It’s a beach town outside of Tampa Bay. 

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

Whatever I can find on the free food table (within reason, looking at you Panera Bagels). 

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

Jean Claude Van Damme. When I first saw Bloodspot I sat in front of the TV and didn’t take my eyes off the screen. It was the first and last time I haven’t talked through a movie. I like to imagine we would do some splits, kick some palm trees, and maybe get in a workout. 

6.  If you had to pick one song to play non-stop in the background of your life, what would it be?  

“American Girl” – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. JK, you know I am talking John Mayer cover here. It’s an anthem. 

7.  If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

The ability to always make myself the center of attention. 

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

How truly incredible the folks here are. Shout out to my friends!

9.  What did you have for breakfast this morning?

 Hashbrowns and Advil.

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

(1) Hulk Hogan lived in my neighborhood, (2) I have been in and won a professional eating contest, and (3) I wrestled in high school. Number two is a lie, the contest was not professional and I took second.  

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

I would live in Zion National Park. So, Utah. 

12.  What’s the best (or worst!) PG-rated pick-up line you’ve ever heard?

“Do you like raisins? How do you feel about a date?”

“Are you a casebook? Because I wanna study you all night.”

14.  If the Law School had yearbook awards, what would you want to win? 

Teacher’s Pet, gotta get those Letters of Rec.

15.  If you could know one thing about your future, what would it be?

I’d like to know which of my classmates will be the president that appoints me to my judgeship. 

16.  Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

On advice of counsel, I would like to utilize my fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. 

18.  What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep and why?

I get eight hours a night, baby. 

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

Going to Bilt three-to-five times a week. 

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

I would outlaw Pav construction during the school year. I understand they need to lay new tile on top of other tile, but the water saw has woken me up every day this week and, frankly, I am resentful. 














Spotlight 9/20/17

The Law Weekly reached out to affinity group leaders to write for us in a feature we are calling “Spotlight.” Our goal is to give leaders a regular platform to start conversations about issues they are facing, to reflect on the events of August 11th and 12th, and to educate the UVa Law community about their diverse experiences so that we can become better allies to our fellow classmates.   

If you or your organization would like to be featured, please reach out to us at

Wade Foster '19
Vice Chair of Programming, Lambda Alliance

Last weekend, Charlottesville hosted its annual Pride Festival, a time for the LGBTQ+ community to come together, to celebrate, to reflect, and to focus on the challenges still facing our community. Pride, even in Charlottesville, is a multi-day community celebration with events hosted by LGBTQ+ organizations, a festival downtown, and a parade. However, the first Pride wasn’t nearly so cheery or community oriented. The first Pride parade was organized in New York City to commemorate the police raid on the Stonewall Inn and subsequent riots that took place on June 28, 1969. The organizers of the first Pride parade intended it to build visibility and inform the public about the oppression faced by the LGBTQ+ community. Since the initial Pride parade in New York City, the LGBTQ+ community has gained more acceptance, and the focus of Pride has changed to reflect both that acceptance and the challenges still facing our community. Much like the changing tenor and focus of pride celebrations, Lambda has changed over the years to reflect the needs of its members and the challenges facing our community. 

The Gay and Lesbian Law Student Association (“GLLSA”) was the first organization at the law school formed for gay and lesbian students. Founded in 1984, GLLSA brought “gay students together for social, political, and educational activities.”1 Shortly after its founding, GLLSA began bringing speakers to the law school to discuss challenges faced by gay and lesbian students and hosted the first “Gay Awareness Week” in 1986. In the early days of GLLSA, the organization took an active role in educating the law school community about the AIDS crisis through a conference entitled “HIV and AIDS in Central Virginia: A Legal and Medical Perspective.” At the time, HIV and AIDS were viewed as an urban disease. Speakers at the conference brought the AIDS crisis home to rural Virginia by focusing on the effects of the AIDS crisis throughout Virginia. 

Today Lambda hosts multiple events focused on current issues facing the LGBTQ+ community. In the coming months, we plan to host a panel discussion in conjunction with Virginia Employment Labor Law Association (VELLA) on the Seventh Circuit’s decision that employment discrimination based on sexual orientation violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We are also planning several events focused on transgender issues and freedom of religion as it impacts LGBTQ+ rights. 

Alumni of GLLSA recall the law school as a supportive environment that had a commitment to its lesbian and gay students. This is pretty incredible for the time, but not unexpected from the UVa Law community. One of the key aspects of supporting any minority population is getting to know those individuals and understanding what support looks like. GLLSA was originally founded to help educate the law school community about lesbian and gay issues. Today, Lambda continues to bring educational opportunities to the law school about challenges facing the LGBTQ+ community. 

Lambda is planning programming to help our allies understand how they can support LGBTQ+ individuals. As an LGBTQ+ person goes through the coming-out process, they reveal one of the most intimate parts of themselves. We want our allies to be able to support our LGBTQ+ students, both as they go through coming-out process and after they are out. It is important to understand that if an LGBTQ+ individual has entrusted you with this information it is your duty to keep it confidential. It is their decision to come out on their own schedule, not anyone else’s. 

Today, much like the early days of GLLSA, Lambda serves a social role for LGBTQ+ individuals to gather and be themselves. Alumni of GLLSA remember the organization as playing an important social function, giving them a “safe space” to let their hair down with people who had similar experiences. This remains a core mission of Lambda today. While the world is more supportive of the LGBTQ+ community than it was when GLLSA was founded, coming out can still be a scary process and it helps to have a readily identifiable community where you can open up and truly be yourself. 

GLLSA appears to have changed its name to Lambda Law Alliance sometime in the early 2000’s, the first reference to Lambda in the Law Weekly is in April 2001. The Greek lowercase λ (lambda) was chosen as the symbol for the Gay Activist Alliance in 1969. “The GAA literature explained that the lambda represented ‘a complete exchange of energy--that moment or span of time witness to absolute activity’ in the notation of chemistry and physics.”2 Since then lambda has been adopted broadly as a symbol of the LGBTQ+ community. 

The name change from GLLSA to Lambda reflected the increasing “exchange of energy” throughout the organization and the increasing diversity of the membership with students across the LGBTQ+ spectrum including transgender, gender non-conforming, queer, bisexual, and questioning students. It also reflects the changing mission of the organization and the changing state of LGBTQ+ rights in America. 

While Lambda continues much of the work GLLSA was founded to do, the mission has grown significantly, Lambda serves as an important career/networking conduit for its members and the legal community. Lambda also strives to be more inclusive of individuals with marginalized identities and aims to raise awareness beyond the walls of the law school.  

GLLSA alumni in the late 1980’s did not feel comfortable putting their association with the organization or anything relating to their sexual orientation on applications to law firms. So while they were out at the Law School (or at least to their peers in GLLSA), they went back into the closet when the job hunt began. Fortunately, the legal community today is much more accepting and encouraging of LGBTQ+ students. 

In the early days, GLLSA had 15–20 members, some of whom were allies. Today the UVa Law LGBTQ+ community has over fifty out individuals. This is a testament to the support of the law school community that more and more law students feel comfortable being themselves. 

Pride is a time to celebrate how far we have come and a time of reflection. Pride is also a time to focus anew on the challenges facing the LGBTQ+ community. While it is amazing how far we have come since GLLSA was founded, it is amazing how much work is left to do. Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. Forty percent of transgender adults report attempting suicide.3 LGBTQ+ individuals can still be fired in many states just for being themselves. 

These are just a few of the challenges that Lambda will continue educating the law school community about. We are thankful for our straight allies here at the law school and in the broader community joining us to work on these issues. If you want to get involved please reach out, if you are questioning your sexuality or gender identity know that there are students here who will confidentially support you. 

*Special thanks to J. Goodwin Bland (’87) and Joe Baker (’87) for sharing their experiences as members of GLLSA for this article. 


1 Glenn Jessee, GALLSA Outlines Gay Awareness Week, 38 Va. L. Weekly No. 19 (March 28, 1986); Law School Briefs, 36 Va. L. Weekly No. 13 (Feb. 3, 1984). 




Hot Bench: Jason Boyle '18

Jason Boyle ‘18 


1. Have you ever had a nickname? What?

JBo is what my teammates and coach from my college debate team call me.

2. What is your favorite word? 


3. Where did you grow up?

Pilesgrove Township in rural Salem County, New Jersey. Basically, the “garden” part of the Garden State.

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

The special rolls at Sushi Lounge in Morristown, New Jersey. I especially recommend the Hoboken Roll.

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

Patrick Stewart. He seems very approachable and I imagine he has a lot of wisdom about life and the world that he would be eager to share. And obviously, because Picard was the greatest captain of all.

6. If you owned a sports team, what/whom would be the mascot? 

My sports team would be the Jackalopes. The mascot would appear as a large jackrabbit with deer antlers. I probably wouldn’t attend any of the games, but I would wear the team shirt.

7.  If you had to pick one song to play non-stop in the background of your life, what would it be? 

Take It from Me, by KONGOS. The sole motivation behind my desire to learn how to play the accordion.

8.  If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

I would love the power of flight more than anything. I would probably get stuck with something more mundane but practical, like the ability to locate buried potatoes with my mind.

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

While it is true that you don’t have to know what you want to do after graduation while in law school, knowing what you want to do, choosing classes and extracurriculars, and networking toward a specific area of law from day one can make a huge difference. The hiring process gives too little room to explore different areas and options while at law school.

10. What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Three scrambled eggs, wheat toast with hummus, and a bowl of plain yogurt with blueberries and granola. Big breakfast is key.

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

I skipped high school, I’ve run two marathons, and I have millions of views on YouTube. Unfortunately, the marathons are the lie.

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

At the top of Lookout Mountain, located in the foothills outside of Denver, Colorado. But Buffalo Bill Cody already called dibs and claimed it for his gravesite. 

13.  What’s the best (or worst!) PG-rated pick-up line you’ve ever heard?

“Tell me, how do you like your eggs in the morning?”

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

When I was very young, one of my older brothers gave me a package of modeling clay as a Christmas gift. I’ve loved sculpting clay ever since. I eventually went on to win Best in Show in the Home Economics category at the Salem County Fair for my sculptures.

15.  If the law school had yearbook awards, what would you want to win?

Most Time Spent Meditating at School.

16.  If you could know one thing about your future, what would it be?    

Whether I’ll ever get the opportunity to travel into space. If I knew this was a possibility, I would work harder towards this goal.

17.  Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

*NSYNC. Easy. Hands down. No contest. Now excuse me while I go Google search these bands…

18.  What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep?

Thirty-six hours after pulling an all-nighter to pack and fly from Philadelphia to Melbourne, Australia. Planned to sleep on the plane. That was the same trip I learned that I can’t sleep on planes.

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

Walk the downtown mall and stop in at the Draft Taproom.

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

Everyone would have to vote in federal elections. “No preference” would be an option on the ballot, but submitting something would be compulsory like it is in Australia.


Court of Petty Appeals: Student Body of UVa v. Thimpson Sacher

The Court of Petty Appeals is the highest appellate jurisdiction court at UVa Law. The Court has the power to review any and all decisions, conflicts, and disputes that arise involving, either directly, indirectly, or tangentially, the Law School or its students. The Court is comprised of four associate justices and one Chief Justice. Opinions shall be released periodically and only in the official court reporter: the Virginia Law Weekly. Please email a brief summary of any and all conflicts to

Student Body of UVa1 v. Thimpson Sacher2 

27 U.Va. 203 (2017)

ZABLOCKI, J., delivered the opinion of a unanimous Court.

The case at bar comes to us on appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, which held this subject matter to be too highly specialized. This matter arises out of events which occurred last Thursday, September 7, during Bar Review and an otherwise generic Thursday night at Bilt. As the entire law school wearily acknowledges, the 2Ls are in the latter phases of OGI, which for many involves offers / offer dinners / accepting offers (note: WE DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE). Thimpson Sacher’s was among those offer dinners hosted in Charlottesville. In addition to free food and alcohol, the representatives of Thimpson Sacher plied attendee-offerees with baseball softball hats that from the front appear as ordinary UVa hats.3 This Court supports uninhibited displays of school spirit, no matter how dismally crushed those spirits may be upon game’s end or, you know, one quarter in. However, the backs of these hats were emblazoned with the true name of party “Thimpson Sacher” (see Exhibit 1). Subsequently, the Thimpson Sacher contingent picked up and headed over to the venerable establishment known as Bilt, where, in keeping with the high-falutin’ nature of the establishment, various offerees succumbed to the urge to dance on tables while wearing the afore-described caps.4 This gives rise to the two claims on which this Court now passes judgment.

Exhibit 1.

Exhibit 1.

First, the Student Body of UVa claims trademark infringement under the Lanham Act for unauthorized use of a “V” that is confusingly similar to the UVa logo in connection with promotion of Thimpson Sacher’s services of eliminating happiness from the lives of otherwise content young attorneys (“in the experience of those who have walked through that door, waited in the security line, taken the elevator up, walked through another door, successfully completed a maze of cubicles, and perched upon an uncomfortable chair at a cluttered desk in a shared office . . . Big Law’s true purpose is to make life misery for recent law school graduates, even in comparison to their law school experiences, the provision of legal services being merely incidental to this goal.5 And so this Court finds.” Georgetown University Law Center Graduates 2013-16 v. Big Law, 273 F. 3d. 123 (D.C. Cir. 2017)). The base elements of a trademark infringement action are satisfied by (1) holding of a valid mark, which, it’s an orange “V” and we’re in Charlottesville so not even disputed, (2) having priority (Tommy J., 1743-1826 vs. Thimpson Sacher, founded 188X . . . yeah, math checks out, also undisputed), and (3) likelihood of confusion. This latter element is the source of contention. The Student Body strenuously objects to Thimpson Sacher’s casual appropriation on basis of each likelihood of confusion (“We don’t want people thinking we’re with the miserables over there.”) and dilution (“Do you really not get it? School sucks but we still have a reputation for being happy-ish people.”).  

It is unclear from the reception invitation Thimpson Sacher emailed in answer to the Student Body’s complaint whether or not permission was obtained from the school administration prior to customizing and distributing said hats. It is possible that “V” Thimpson Sacher gave up before they started and intended this invitation as a conciliatory outreach, but it wasn’t taken as such and so this Court takes full notice. Regardless, the Student Body disputes the validity of any authorization that may have been given. Being composed largely of current/future employees of competing firms, the Student Body demands a say in the use of a logo that derives value from goodwill that exists because, well, the Student Body is so good, and also because each member thereof pays $60,000 annually for tuition, thereby sustaining the logo. This much being obvious to anyone with the logical capacity of J. Jani a Thanksgiving turkey,6 this Court notes that Thimpson Sacher is equally liable regardless of any attempt to obtain permission because willful ignorance is not a defense. See, something in 1L crim, may that class rot in hell eternally.7 Therefore, on this first claim, this Court finds Thimpson Sacher liable to the nth degree; damages TBD.

The second claim brought by the Student Body against Thimpson Sacher is for inciting douchebaggery among its offerees, who also happen to be members of the Student Body. Though the base elements are the same as those requisite to a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress, incited douchebaggery is distinct from IIED in that the emotional distress is determined according to a reasonable person standard rather than the subjective experiences of the victim, whose proximity to the events occurring may be as distant as shared group affiliation. Additionally, the emotional distress suffered can be shame and embarrassment. The tort of inflicted douchebaggery extends from the tort of douchebaggery, in some jurisdictions known as hurt feelings.  UVA Law Class of 2022 v. UVA Law Faculty, xx __ xxx (TBD, 2018) (“This Court acknowledges even the iciest of special little snowflakes may suffer on the hot seat of professorial cold calls; truly extreme examples of such may result in liability for the tort known as douchebaggery. However, this Court warns that such liability could result in legend status for the professor and probs backfire against plaintiff-victim, so really, just do the reading—we’re not here to help.”). Regardless, inflicted douchebaggery typically involves pain and suffering (mental, emotional, or otherwise) of a group of three or more people.

The base elements of IIED corresponding to the base elements of incited douchebaggery are easily satisfied by this fact set. Defendant’s intent is clear from embroidery of “V” and its own name in garish orange and white thread; this conduct was outrageous in the extreme, given reasonable knowledge both the group constituting offerees—to get drunk and dance on tables—and of the group constituting non-offerees—the majority of whom are generally nice, not obnoxious folk who would be appalled by the conduct incited; there is enough distress that we have been forced to take judicial notice;8 and now the Student Body as a whole is suffering severe shame at being associated with the actors in the events of September 7. This Court comprising mostly reasonable individuals who are in no way biased by their membership in the Student Body, we do not hesitate in applying a reasonable-person standard and recoiling in horror at the douchebaggy behavior on display on Bilt’s tabletops last Thursday. Parading around your offers of Big Law jobs with full knowledge there are people nearby who neither know nor, more importantly, care to know about your success is the very definition of douchebaggery. While We hesitate to call classmates douchebags, these individuals are certainly guilty of the crime of douchebaggery and We are ashamed at sharing grounds with them.9

Having determined Thimpson Sacher’s liability on both counts, this Court now turns to the matter of damages. Compensatory damages being impossible to determine, this Court will solely award punitive damages, which it acknowledges will do little to assuage the Student Body but tough shit. It is henceforth decreed that should Thimpson Sacher dare to darken our doors during OGI 2018 and onwards, the firm’s representatives shall leave their hats behind and bring not only Bodo’s, but also donuts. And not just any donuts, DUCK DONUTS. Because what’s up with firms bringing bagels and no donuts??


1 Excluding offerees and current/future employees of Thimpson Sacher.

2 A pseudonym to protect against sullying the name of a party not yet shown to bear liability against the wrath of Career Services, those godlike beings who make it rain for us in a way the inhabitants of Mount Olympus only ever aspired to.  See In Rem Noah’s Flood.

3 To which, hoo would object?

4 To those who didn’t . . . you have a defense; use it.

5 Congrats on hitting your target, we guess?

6 The logical ones realize it’s Thanksgiving and hide before they can be turned into Thanksgiving turkeys, DUH.

7 Hi Ferzan.

8 Given that we DGAF about all y’all’s bitching and moaning, this says a lot.  In fact, it says it all.

9 Unfortunately, charges have not been formally brought against these individuals, so we can only hope that shame at being the source of the Student Body’s shame is sufficient punishment.  And karma.  She’s a bitch, in case you haven’t heard.



Spotlight 9/6/17

The Law Weekly reached out to affinity group leaders to write for us in a feature we are calling “Spotlight.” Our goal is to give leaders a regular platform to start conversations about issues they are facing, to reflect on the events of August 11th and 12th, and to educate the UVa Law community about their diverse experiences so that we can become better allies to our fellow classmates.   

If you or your organization would like to be featured, please reach out to us at

Shruthi Prabhu (she/her/hers) '19
Guest Columnist

“Diversity” and “inclusion” are buzzwords I personally was privileged enough to never worry about growing up. Law school changed that. Here at UVa Law, those two words have a robust presence, involving themselves in career prospects and the social environment, an inevitable result of the greater social homogeneity here than that in cities many students are used to. Needless to say, it is a bit of a culture shock for some who come to a place with dissimilar demographics to home. That is where affinity groups such as SALSA, the South Asian Law Student Association, come into play. 

Photo courtesy of Maya Iyyani

Photo courtesy of Maya Iyyani

Some people have reached out to me to ask about affinity groups have asked me whether there is a problem when it comes to diversity. My response typically consists of an anecdote in an effort to answer as honestly and candidly as possible. In my experience, I’ve found that within an educated population, racism and hurtful words are not malicious; rather, they come from a place of misunderstanding and mild ignorance. 

My story is about the 1L career search. Texas, my target geographic preference, has a faster timeline than other states. Consequently, I finished my job search relatively early. I kept the news of the offer somewhat close to me, only divulging its existence to close friends or to those who specifically asked. A couple months into spring semester of 1L, I distinctly remember participating in a conversation about the job search with a group of friends. At the time, I was the only one in the group with a summer clerkship, and no one in that particular group knew that yet. One girl asked me about my summer plans and I told her the truth. Instead of normal responses, such as “congratulations,” “that’s great, good for you,” or even just saying very little and continuing the underlying conversation, her first reaction to me was, “Oh wow, I wish I was a minority.” 

“I wish I was a minority.” All my hard work in classes, the networking and cold calls to land interviews with firms in Texas, the extracurricular involvements throughout the year that had led to this position had all been reduced to the color of my skin. I knew the statement was not meant to intentionally hurt me or to dismiss my accomplishments, but hurt and dismiss is exactly what it did. That statement came from ignorance, from the inability to see the countless hours I labored while maintaining a good academic and social standing in order to secure a position in my geographic preference. The worst part: I have heard similar stories before, and I will continue to hear them again until we educate about diversity and inclusion. 

I cannot pretend that I have been the victim of racial injustice throughout my life. I consider myself privileged in that regard. However, this event was a slap in the face and made me realize that these problems truly do exist, even in great institutions of law. It was then that I realized the role SALSA played in my life. My community through the organization served as a sounding board for the hurt I was feeling. 

The purpose of SALSA is to represent the views of South Asian American students at UVa Law. This purpose is achieved through educational, professional, cultural, and social programs. SALSA provides a forum for the discussion of those issues affecting South Asian American law students and the university community as a whole. Another aim is to help educate and inform the greater community (not just South Asian people) about issues that involve South Asian Americans, since education is one of the quickest solutions to ignorance. 

During my time at UVa Law, I have found multiple homes in people and groups, and one of those homes is SALSA. Last year was the organization’s first year of existence. Spearheaded by 3Ls Maya Iyyani and Nimrah Khan with help from 3L Shanthi Rajagopalan and recent graduate Vishal Ganesan, SALSA became a way to form a South Asian community for future students to utilize as home, as well as a conduit to progress at the law school. As a 1L representative my first year working alongside these amazing individuals, and now as the president of the organization, I have been able to participate in discussions, meet like-minded students, and talk with the administration to emphasize the “inclusion” part of the buzzwords, “diversity” and “inclusion.” 

The environment at UVA Law is indeed collegial, a wonderful law school where friends want friends to succeed, a place where I would hope no one would intentionally bring another down for looking different than them. My genuine hope for this organization, as well as my hope for other affinity groups, is that one day, they will not only serve as a home for those who seek peers similar to them culturally and physically, but also as an educational asset demystifying diversity and inclusion for those who would benefit from it. 


Hot Bench: Katie Daw '20



1. Have you ever had a nickname and what’s the origin of it?

People in high school called me Katorade because, as a freshman, I accidentally spilled a full container of red Gatorade powder on the principal’s two-year-old daughter.  The toddler and my classmates thought it was hilarious.  My principal did not.

2. What is your favorite word? 


3. Where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in the Reno, Nevada/Lake Tahoe area.  I will fight people who incorrectly pronounce “Nevada” as “Nev-ah-duh”. 

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

My mother makes a killer grilled-cheese sandwich with four cheeses.  I think their deliciousness has a lot to do with the copious amounts of butter she uses, but I can’t be sure because I’ve been unable to replicate them.                       

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

I would want to meet Leo DiCaprio because I still don’t understand the ending to Inception and I have questions that need answering.

6. If you owned a sports team, what/who would be the mascot? 

The mascot would be a capybara because I think they’re hilarious.  Then again, people in mascot costumes make me nervous, so perhaps my sportsteam wouldn’t have a mascot and I should just acquire a pet capybara for myself.

7.  If you had to pick one song to play non-stop in the background of your life, what would it be? 

I would probably go with “Renegade” by The Styx.  It never fails to pump me up.

8.  If you were a superhero, what would your super power be?

Never needing to sleep would be an excellent and very practical super power.  

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

I wish that I had known that some professors don’t allow laptops in class because I would have spent the summer working on my penmanship so that I could actually read my notes.

10. What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Homemade French toast, imported maple syrup, fresh berries, and mimosas . . . Just kidding. I’m pretty sure I rolled out of bed and ate stale Goldfish crackers and canned fruit.

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

1. I met Paul McCartney while hanging out in a hotel swimming pool.  2.  I spent a summer on an archaeological dig in Lebanon.  3. I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until I was 18. 

(Number 2 is the lie.  Though I do truly enjoy archaeology, I’ve never been to Lebanon.)

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

I would want to live in London. I studied abroad there during undergrad and fell in love with it.

13.  What’s the best (or worst!) PG-rated pick-up line you’ve ever heard?

 Is your name Earl Grey? Because you look like a hot-tea!  

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

When I was going through a rough time in undergrad, my family gave me my Great Grandma Jewel’s college class ring.  When she was widowed at the age of 42, she put herself through college and went on to get a Master’s degree while raising three children on her own.  She wore the ring everyday while she had it, and I have worn it every day since it was given to me.  

15.  If the law school had yearbook awards, what would you want to win?

I hope I would win “least likely to sleep through a morning class,” but the chances of my never sleeping through my 8:30 class are extremely slim.  Realistically, I could probably win “most likely to still get hopelessly lost in the law school as a 3L.” 

16.  If you could know one thing about your future, what would it be?

 It’s a trap!  I don’t want to know anything about my future.  Does that ever turn out well in movies and literature?

17.  Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

This might be the hardest question on here.  I think I’ll have to go with Backstreet Boys, though. (Sorry, JT!)

18.  What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep?

About fifty hours.  Never again.

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

Everything!  So far, I really like sitting on the benches at the downtown mall and people watching. The hiking is nice, too!


Court of Petty Appeals: Class of 2020 v. Law School Canon

The Court of Petty Appeals is the highest appellate jurisdiction court at UVa Law. The Court has the power to review any and all decisions, conflicts, and disputes that arise involving, either directly, indirectly, or tangentially, the Law School or its students. The Court is composed of four associate justices and one Chief Justice. Opinions shall be released periodically and only in the official court reporter: the Virginia Law Weekly. Please email a brief summary of any and all conflicts to

Class of 2020 v. Law School Canon, 502 U.Va. 626 (2017)

VANDERMEULEN, J., announced the judgment of the Court in an opinion joined by GOLDMAN, C.J., and HALL and ZABLOCKI, JJ.

The case at bar comes to us on appeal from a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss granted by Judge Kendrick in the lower court. It presents a novel issue of law: may the 1L class, mired in the intractable wilderness of the canonical 1L cases, earn an injunction against the teaching of generations of law school wisdom, in particular, what is known as the “1L canon”? Judge Kendrick granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss, made to her on behalf of the faculty by Professor Bonnie, who couldn’t bear the thought of not being able to teach Faulkner, Cunningham, or any of the rest of those weird British cases he uses to teach mens rea.1 In recognition of the Goluboff Suggestion, we note that our jurisdiction over this matter is clear, as it concerns students and faculty of the Law School, and we affirm the court below.

The petitioners, the Class of 2020, apparently already weary of parsing 18th century language2 and reading the phrase “to wit,” base their effort to bar the teaching of legendary pre-1960 cases on a series of claims, each more tenuous than the last. First come the usual suspects: the Eighth Amendment, which they surely do not yet understand (not that they will even after Con Law, lol), and the tort of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (does anyone other than Professor White actually get what this is?). Next are a blizzard of legal and equitable claims so dizzying that this Court is led to believe that some overzealous 1L has been doing too much outside reading3: unconscionability (yeah, right), substantive due process (talk to me when you’ve read Glucksberg), trover (wut), and, most bafflingly, the Rule of Capture based on that “pernicious and incorrigible” fox case. The Court doesn’t even know how to respond to that.

Despite the labyrinthine catastrophe of ill-wrought and contradictory claims made by the petitioners’ representatives in their effort to escape the venerable precedents of their legal ancestors, their claim can be summed up by two sentences from their initial complaint: “The traditional law school canon no longer serves any discernible purpose. It is provincial, outmoded, and, to wit, totally f*cking lame.”4 While this Court is not unsympathetic to the pleas of the Law School’s newest denizens, we feel compelled to affirm Judge Kendrick’s order. Make no mistake: this Court could, of course, enjoin the teaching of the 1L canon and rid North Grounds of Pennoyer v. Neff’s maddening opaqueness for all time.5 We frequently exercise our plenary equitable power to prohibit those activities deemed hostile to the continued functioning of the Law School. See Sitting at Standing Desks v. Standing at Standing Desks, 340 U.Va. 712 (“Sitting at standing desks is hereby absolutely forbidden. What the fuck is wrong with you guys?”) and Class of 2019 v. 1L Professors, 312 U.Va. 600 (2017) (“Nobody wants to see their professors at the Rec. That’s gross.”) But why would we act to deprive these bright-eyed, eager 1Ls of the wisdom of ages past? This Court’s members all read these cases,6 and the years since 1L have blessed us with the sagacity and sophistication to truly appreciate the multi-faceted and timeless wisdom that they alone can . . . lol jk. I don’t remember anything about Pennoyer other than the phrase “quasi in rem,”7 and despite the apparent lesson of Lucy v. Zehmer, several members of this Court regularly engage in attempted real estate transactions while inebriated only to later attempt to renege.8 

Nevertheless, both petitioners and respondents fail to grasp the 1L canon’s most essential quality: law students have shitty senses of humor, and without the common bonds of the 1L canon, we would lose a massive chunk of our already-paltry joke material. In order for the members of the Class of 2020 to be fully accepted as members of the community, they, too, must find themselves consumed by self-loathing when, months from now, they make a bad joke about feeling like the horse in Bailey v. West or craft a lousy pun about the scales in Palsgraf. It’s what it means to be a law student. Left bereft of the 1L canon, we would have only the professors and softball to unite us in humor, and, let’s be honest, most of the professors aren’t that funny.9

No, it will not do. This Court has long held to the idea that a thriving law school humor scene is at the heart of what it means to go to UVa. See SBA v. Libel, 342 U.Va. 116 (2017) (“No, A.J., we won’t make Libel stop making fun of you.”) With the fragile state of the humor-dependent lawyerly psyche in mind, this court affirms the holding of the lower court, and orders dismissed petitioners’ claims. Have fun reading Erie, bitchez.

JANI, J., concurring

I join in full the opinion of my colleague Justice VanderMeulen. I write this concurring opinion only to respond to his pernicious accusations. While my learned colleague and erstwhile sectionmate is technically correct that I failed to read Pennoyer, Lucy, and every Torts case prior to Thanksgiving, he knows perfectly well that the fault for that failure lies entirely with my supreme and unmatched dedication to Legal Research and Writing. I doubt Joe Fore has ever seen such an exemplary memorandum of law! In response to Justice VanderMeulen’s libelous accusation of drunk transacting, I would like to remind him that plying fellow students with hard liquor and then inquiring about their family’s foreign real property holdings is ethically questionable and beneath the dignity of this court. 


1 Just wait ‘til you get to the insanity defense, seriously.
2 And sometimes earlier; thanks for making us read that 15th century Thorns Case, Professor Abraham, I’ve been super careful about bush-trimming ever since.
3 Color us surprised.
4 The Petty Court notes its appreciation of the 1Ls' talented weaving of pretentious law school language with pointed profanity.
5 See Rule of Petty Procedure #1: We do what we want.
6 With one exception; see Jani, J., concurring.
7 Sorry, Professor Woolhandler, it wasn't you, it was me.
8 Looking' at you again, Justice Jani.
9 It's true, don't @ me.



Spotlight 8/30/17

The Law Weekly reached out to affinity group leaders to write for us in a feature we are calling “Spotlight.” Our goal is to give leaders a regular platform to start conversations about issues they are facing, to reflect on the events of August 11th and 12th, and to educate the UVa Law community about their diverse experiences so that we can become better allies to our fellow classmates.   

If you or your organization would like to be featured, please reach out to us at

Kimberly Delk (she/her/hers) '19
Vice President, UVa BLSA

A threatening crowd of Neo-Nazis shouts "Blood and Soil" on Grounds August 11, 2017. Photo courtesy

A threatening crowd of Neo-Nazis shouts "Blood and Soil" on Grounds August 11, 2017. Photo courtesy

It’s hard to be a person of color in America. It was difficult four hundred years ago when slaves were first brought to this country. It was a slap in the face two hundred and fifty years later when slaves were set free without educational resources. One hundred years ago, it was painful to endure mass lynchings throughout the South and just fifty years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. sacrificed his life in furtherance of a dream for equality. Sadly, it was equally as onerous on August 11th and 12th to watch Klansmen, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis wave their flags, flaunt their guns, and shout their racist ideologies free from legal retribution. 

What made that weekend most difficult was not the physical proof that racism still exists; we already knew that. The events that took place are forever etched into our memory because society, the city of Charlottesville, and the University of Virginia defended free speech for bigots and racists. As a consequence of their actions, inactions, and mis-actions, Black and Brown people were denied their most basic, inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Before James Madison established the First Amendment’s freedom of speech, Charlottesville’s beloved Thomas Jefferson granted a series of inalienable rights to every American. Putting aside Jefferson’s contradictory and hypocritical ownership of slaves at the time, those rights were challenged throughout history by the racism that permeated through Jim Crow laws, poll taxes, gerrymandering, zoning, mass incarceration, maximum sentencing, standardized testing, etc. Unfortunately, the “Unite the Right” rally opened the door to the most herculean tool in racism’s arsenal: fear.

Fear for Life. The protesters shouted “Blood and Soil” throughout the streets of Charlottesville. This Nazi slogan refers to the unification of pure-blooded, Anglo-Saxon people and the acquisition of territory for their people. By also chanting, “you will not replace us” the protesters made it clear that America was theirs for the taking. Considering how the Americas were “taken” in the first place, the only way to fulfill the prophecies of their slogans is to take the land by force: placing the lives of people of color in jeopardy. 

Some Americans interpreted these chants as hate speech or just the ignorant opinions of a small group of deplorables. It is imperative to understand that Black and Brown Americans heard real, tangible, life-altering threats. As we tuned into CNN, MSNBC, and FOX, we could feel the heat from a burning cross in our front yards. We could see the noose hanging from an oak tree in our local parks. We could even smell the bonfire used to burn our belongings and possibly our kinfolk. We feared for our lives while the law allowed these protesters to not only promote the supremacy of their race, but also the inferiority of all others. We were forced to bear witness that some Americans do not believe our lives matter.

Fear for Liberty. For all of the students that were in Charlottesville that weekend, we were denied the liberty to leave our homes out of fear. We feared what would happen if we were out there and found ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. We wanted the protesters to go home so that we could be free from the cameras, free from the hate, and free from the chaos. To date, our minds are still constrained as we constantly think and talk about what transpired. 

While most of the student body was impacted in this way, Black and Brown students were further constrained by fear because we were the targets of their spiteful rhetoric. It was like being a kid standing in the screen door of your home while every bully from kindergarten through twelfth grade told you how worthless you are from your front yard. In a moment of bravery, you may think to go outside and tell the bullies how wrong they are and how successful you will be one day. That bravery fades as you realize you are outnumbered and that those bullies have the upper hand due to privileges and “good ole boy” networks that you will never be a part of.

Fear for the Pursuit of Happiness. The scariest part of that weekend is knowing that everyone who participated in the protest went back to their lives where they serve as CEOs, managers, and employers for people of color. It would be nice to think that the protesters were an isolated group whose ideals only reach the wicked and forgotten members of our society; however, this is not the case. Even though the rallies were extreme portrayals of racism, micro-aggressions and covert racism continue to plague our society when the cameras are off and the protesters are home.

Unfortunately, Black and Brown people have to question whether our neighbors, employers and acquaintances possess similar ideologies. While the rest of America can focus on being a productive member of society, we live in fear of how racism can manifest itself in our individual pursuits of happiness. Therefore, we walk with extra caution in the hallways, and flash a fake smile at the inappropriate comments made by our colleagues. We even offer to take on unwanted tasks just to tear down a stereotype or to convince the team that we are assets and not liabilities. Before the rally, these things were optional. Now, fear of negative repercussions on the job, at school, or in our communities make such precautions mandatory.

With everything that happened that weekend, we still prepared for church on Sunday and work on Monday because fear is exactly what they wanted from us. We contained the fear within our friendships and families while portraying strength and confidence to our coworkers and classmates. We’ll continue to exude such strength because fear will not bring about the prevention tactics, support, and legislation necessary for change.

Yes, the rallies reminded greater America of her past and present issues with acceptance and diversity. Yes, the rallies opened the hearts of millions of Americans who now understand that a post racial society is far in the distance for today’s America. On the other hand, Black and Brown America took those revelations a step further and realized that at any point in time, racists can gather to promote the destruction and extinction of entire ethnicities. If this extremist practice of free speech continues to gain traction and the law does not conform to punish such rhetoric, we fear that the difficulties of fifty, one hundred, and two hundred and fifty years ago will be the realities of the future.


Hot Bench: Jamaica "Jah" Akande (he/him/his)

1. Have you ever had a nickname? What? My nicknames are “Jah” and “Mayka.” My family is petty.

2. Where did you grow up? I was born, bred, and educated in the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  

3. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? My mother-in-law’s Gujarati styled eggplant and potato curry is to die for.   

4. If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be? I have always dreamt of meeting Sanaa Lathan. I am a Love & Basketball fanatic. 

5. What’s your favorite book? My favorite book is Beloved by Toni Morrison. It is the one book that touches my soul and shakes me to the core each time that I read it. 

6. Cats or Dogs? Dogs– preferably puppies. 

7. If you were a superhero what would your superpower be? Power to heal the wounded and broken-hearted.  

8. Are you a good dancer? Absolutely. My ancestors are African and Indo-Caribbean. I got it honest. 

9. What did you have for breakfast this morning? A banana and iced coffee with almond milk. 

10. What’s your most interesting two-truths-and-a-lie? (And what’s the lie?) 1) I started working at 13. 2) I am missing a large portion of my lung. 3) I’ve met President Obama.  (#3. I wish!) 

11. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? London. I spent three years there and my wife is from there, so it’s a natural fit.  

12. Do you sing in the shower? Yes, to country music only.  

13. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? My health. I am so thankful to be able to wake up each morning fully able to enjoy this world and live my life to the fullest. 

14. Do you believe the library should install a water feature? Let’s do it. I’m here for the healing power and calming effects of water for our law students! 

15. If you could make one law that everyone had to follow, what would it be? Replace the toilet paper after you finish it.

Court of Petty Appeals: Class of 2019 v. 2017 OGI Firms et. al.

The Court of Petty Appeals is the highest appellate jurisdiction court at UVa Law. The Court has the power to review any and all decisions, conflicts, and disputes that arise involving, either directly, indirectly, or tangentially, the Law School or its students. The Court is comprised of four associate justices and one Chief Justice. Opinions shall be released periodically and only in the official court reporter: the Virginia Law Weekly. Please email a brief summary of any and all conflicts to

Class of 2019 v. 2017 OGI Firms et. al.
8 U.Va 230 (2017)

JANI, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, joined in part by GOLDMAN, C.J., and VANDERMEULEN and ZABLOCKI, JJ.

As we open this term of the Court of Petty Appeals, this Court has the annual opportunity to introduce the newest batch of fresh meat to this Court and its jurisprudence. To the incoming 1L class, welcome. 

Today this court addresses a complaint that came to us before the start of the school term. During what is now considered the yearly feat of strength challenge, Dean Donovan tries to carry as many floundering 2Ls as he can manage to a BigLaw job, otherwise known as OGI. The petitioner is the Class of 2019, a group that as a whole qualifies as an eligible class because the withered husks of their bodies in aggregate adds up to about fourteen whole people. The first respondent is, as a group, the Firms of 2017 OGI. (The original complaint did specify several firms that were more complicit than others; however, I am still weighing job offers from a few of these firms, and therefore, I will not allow their good names to be individually slandered. For those who will say that I should recuse myself from this case, you don’t get how this works.) The second respondent is University of Virginia School of Law’s Office of Career Services. 

The facts of this case are simple and are as follows: throughout the OGI process many firms manned “hospitality suites” where they provided students refreshments while giving them the opportunity to learn more about the firm. (As an aside, the term “hospitality suite” is unfitting, as no place that mandates attendance should be described as “hospitable.”) The food of choice at many of these suites were bagels. While this Court stands in support of healthy snacks, observers to and historians of the 2017 OGI process will note that the sea of contrived and unconvincing smiles that flooded the halls of Slaughter and Withers-Brown were often propped up by a complex matrix of refined carbohydrates. As such, this Court takes no issue with the complete lack of imagination when it came to food choice. Nevertheless, the complaint does not concern the offering of bagels, but rather the offering of Panera bagels in lieu of our own local and beloved Bodo’s Bagels. The petitioners bring two claims. The first, against the 2017 OGI Law Firms, is that the offering of this fraudulent ‘bagel’ constitutes an intentional infliction of emotional distress. Second, by subjecting students to this harrowing experience, Career Services violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishments. We have decided to consolidate both cases for the sake of efficiency, and because we can. 

This court dismisses the first declaration of intentional infliction of emotional distress. This complaint falls apart on the tortious element of duty. Law firms have no duty not to offend the sensibilities of students. If anything, they have an affirmative duty to do so. (Shouts out to the interviewer who asked a student what their “favorite equitable decision case in Property class was.”) The entire fantasy of a BigLaw, $180k firm job, that allows young attorneys to have a work life balance, while engaging in sophisticated legal work in a diverse and collegial environment that students hallucinate on by drinking the free alcohol and finger foods provided to us is an exercise in emotional distress. (Again, full disclosure, I am one of the people who has been running on this proverbial hamster wheel, but to those who know me, the fact that I am willing to exchange my body, mind, and soul for shiny things should be of no surprise.) 

The second claim, that Career Services violated students’ rights by subjecting us to a cruel and unusual punishment, stands on more solid ground. Career Services is supposed to be our protectors by talking us off the ledge in our desperate times of need. By forcing us to visit these hospitality suites and choke down the chalky carbohydrates made by corporate drones that they offer (no disrespect to Panera– this court recognizes that it just called your workers corporate drones, but your only real crime here is not being Bodo’s, an establishment that I have eaten at all of two times) Career Services is arguably subjecting us to an arbitrarily painful punishment. Some may argue that asserting an Eighth Amendment violation against our own school is extreme, however, if there is one thing that this court has recognized is that law students will let no opportunity to react extremely to something pass. The facts of this case run congruent to the four principles that constitute a “cruel and unusual punishment” laid out in Justice Brennan’s concurrence in Furman. Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972) (Brennan, J., concurring) (I’m not going to list them out; do your own research.) Nevertheless, two associated yet separate common-law principles sit above all Eighth Amendment case law. The first, Snitches get stiches, and the second, Don’t whine and moan, nobody cares. The claim before us today fails both of these doctrinal tests. If anyone thought that this court would enjoin the Office of Career Services from anything besides dealing with the incoming horde of gunner 1Ls who have already made appointments with career counselors, they were severely mistaken.

So there it is, welcome to the 2017-2018 term of the Court of Petty Appeals, it will only get better from here. Or, maybe not, who knows. Feel free to send any disputes you would like heard to We won’t look at them, but feel free to send them anyway. Finally, this court would like to condemn the recent violence in Charlottesville; hate and intolerance have no place in this world, this school, and especially in this court. 

Case dismissed.

ZABLOCKI, J., concurring in judgment

I, Justice Zablocki, in whole body and mind, swear that I like Panera bagels and by extension show no loyalty to Charlottesville. Although I have a cat, a wild and noxious beast, which shows my utter lack of judgment, by some mix-up I have been granted a seat on this court. I definitely wrote this opinion, me, Zablocki, J. 

VANDERMEULEN, J., concurring in part and concurring in the judgment

I join nearly in full the opinion of my colleague Justice Jani. I write separately only to note my complete and total opposition to so-called “hospitality suites.” These tools of oppression are so noxious, loathsome, and filled with fidget spinners as to merit their total injunction, should a case seeking such an outcome arise. I depart from Justice Jani’s decision only insofar as it relies on the opinion of Justice Brennan. Professor Woolhandler was very clear that Justice Brennan is never, under any circumstances, to be cited approvingly.    

GOLDMAN, C.J., concurring in part and dissenting in part 

I concur with Justice Jani’s dismissal of the first claim and note that Bodo’s bagels are superior to all bagels in Charlottesville. I would also suggest that SBA pass a decree stating as such (is that what SBA does?) 

As to the second count, and speaking as an employed 3L, I give Career Services total impunity.      

HOPKIN, J., recuses herself because, “nOGI, b*tche$.”


Hot Bench: Josh Myers


1.  Have you ever had a nickname? What? Yes, I have had a nickname. My sister would call me “Bo” growing up, and it is still used occasionally by my family members. It was also the name of one of my great-grandfathers.   

2.  What is your favorite word? Optimism. 

3.  Where did you grow up? I grew up in the Little Mountain, South Carolina. 

4.  What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? I’m a huge fan of shrimp and grits. They are the best in Charleston, South Carolina and cannot be topped. 

5.  If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why? That’s a tough question because I have so many. I would likely go with Sir Ian McKellen or Sir Patrick Stewart because they are both fabulous film and stage actors. I’m not sure that I could choose between them. 

6.  If you owned a sports team, what/whom would be the mascot? The mascot would likely be a tiger. 

7.  If you had to pick one song to play non-stop in the background of your life, what would it be? Even though I would like to be a prosecutor, my background song would be Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson.  

8.  If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? I would love to fly, but it would have to be over 100 mph. First, I wouldn’t have to waste money on gas unless it was raining. Second, I could basically go anywhere. 

9.  What’s something you wish you’d known about law school before coming to UVA? That it is basically an exercise in critical reading and writing for three years. 

10.  What did you have for breakfast this morning? Raisin-less oatmeal with cinnamon.  

11.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Good question. Probably Rome, because I love classical history.  

12.  What’s the best (or worst!) PG-rated pick-up line you’ve ever heard? Are you from Tennessee? Because you are the only ten that I see. 

13.  What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? My hand-made cello, named Sebastian, which I still continue to play to this day. He was made by Sally Mullikin, a fabulous string luthier, in 2005 while she was a student in Newark, England.  

14.  If the law school had yearbook awards, what would you want to win? Most likely to find buried treasure. 

15.  If you could know one thing about your future, what would it be? That’s difficult. I would want to know how many children I have. 

16.  Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC? Backstreet Boys. That’s not even a question. 

17.  What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep? Gosh. When making a fourteen-hour trip to Michigan from South Carolina. 

18.  What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville? Visit wineries. 

19.  If you could make one law that everyone had to follow, what would it be? Treat others as you would have them treat you. Our world would be a much better place. 

20. What’s your earliest childhood memory? My earliest childhood memory is pretending to cook with pots on the steps on my home. I was playing as a chef. 

21. What’s your favorite movie quote? My favorite movie quote is as follows: “Our lives are defined by opportunities; even the ones we miss.” -The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Court of Petty Appeals: PILA v. JanderMeulen

The Court of Petty Appeals is the highest appellate jurisdiction court at UVa Law. The Court has the power to review any and all decisions, conflicts, and disputes that arise involving, either directly, indirectly, or tangentially, the Law School or its students. The Court is comprised of four associate justices and one Chief Justice. Opinions shall be released periodically and only in the official court reporter: the Virginia Law Weekly. Please email a brief summary of any and all conflicts to

PILA v. JanderMeulen
8 U.Va 230 (2017)

HADEN, J., writing for a unanimous Court.

Today we consider an issue of first impression in this Court: whether the Third Amendment to the Constitution shall be partially or entirely incorporated into our Petty Jurisdiction. Based on the reasons that follow, we affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the lower court.

The facts of the case are as follows. Appellee PILA is the Public Interest Law Association at UVa Law. They are primarily charged with fostering the public interest community at UVa Law. One primary function that PILA serves is raising money for and distributing summer grants for students who are working at public-service legal internships. One such fundraiser, the topic of this lawsuit, is the PILA Graduation Housing Program (GHP).

The structure of the GHP is as follows: PILA contracts with students who are not going to be using their apartments during Graduation Weekend. PILA offers to pay a certain amount of money to those students for the use of those apartments. PILA also contracts with graduating students and their families who did not book a hotel room in time. See Red Roof Inn’s amicus brief supporting appellant (“If you don’t log on exactly one year before, you’re basically fucked.”). PILA essentially rents the rooms in the apartment to the graduating students’ families for a price; part of that price goes to the apartment owners, and part of that price goes to PILA for its fundraising efforts.

This year’s program looks to be extremely successful. Many students on both sides have contracted with PILA, in part to support appellee’s fundraising efforts. One such student who offered his apartment into the program is the appellant, Vansen JanderMeulen. Appellant and appellee entered into the standard contract to rent appellant’s room to a graduating 3L’s family.1 However, things turned sour quickly. 

It appears from the record below that the appellant failed to notify his roommate of the existence and execution of the PILA contract. Based on his roommate’s unwillingness to open up their apartment during graduation week, appellant filed this case in the lower court of the soon-to-be Vice Dean, Professor Leslie Kendrick. Appellant seeks to invalidate the contract through this lawsuit; however, he smartly realizes that there is nothing in contract law that will help him win.

Instead, appellant turns to an admittedly confusing, divisive, and convoluted document for aid: the U.S. Constitution. Appellant argues that the Third Amendment, which bars the quartering of soldiers in any house in a time of peace, makes this contract void under the U.S. Constitution, or, in the alternative, void as contrary to public policy. PILA has countersued for specific performance of the contract, or damages.

Judge Kendrick held for PILA, noting that our decision in Davies v. Journals for Fair Funding made clear that it is uniquely the province of the Court of Petty Appeals, and not the lower courts, to decide which parts of U.S. law shall be incorporated into our Petty Jurisdiction. 438 U.Va. 128 (2016) (“Yeah, this seems like pretty cruel and unusual punishment.”). She allowed PILA to choose whether it received specific performance or damages. Appellant brings this timely appeal.

Under the Goluboff Suggestion, we note that we have jurisdiction, as the parties are a law student and a student organization at the Law School. The dispute also comes from a contract signed at the Law School regarding a Law School event.

Appellant admitted in the lower court (as he does here) that the Constitution and Bill of Rights are subservient to our Petty Constitution. He asserts correctly that we have, in the past, incorporated several, but not all, Amendments to the U.S. Constitution into our jurisdiction. He admits that the Third Amendment has not yet been incorporated, but asks we incorporate it today.

PILA, for its part, first contends that, even were we to decide that the Third Amendment is incorporated, it has no bearing on this case, as there are no soldiers involved, and the contract was formed voluntarily without duress. It suggests that we adopt this argument and avoid the question of incorporation under the Canon of Avoidance.

We are not so convinced that PILA’s argument is correct. While it is true that no soldiers are involved, performance of the contract would allow someone to live in someone else’s home, which strikes close to the ban that the Third Amendment would impose. We cannot say with enough confidence that the Third Amendment would not be implicated in this case if we incorporate that Amendment. “Where this Court is unsure, we’ll probably take a guess, unless we can try to divert the question somewhere else, like a cold call.” Nemtzow v. Nemtzow, 73 U.Va 1280 (2017) (“No, seriously, which one is which?”).

However, we decline at this time to incorporate the Third Amendment. Amicus briefs submitted by various dating apps2 have convinced us that there is a fair amount of spontaneous co-habitation around UVa Law.3 Implementing part of all of the Third Amendment to force people out of a home that they have selected for a night will have far reaching effects on students here, which we are unwilling to impose on the student body.

Our holding today in no way disturbs our property remedies, such as eviction actions, trespass, or zoning laws. We simply cannot allow the invalidation of this contract based on the incorporation of an Amendment which is unimportant, unneeded, and disruptive to our jurisprudence. While we sympathize with the position of JanderMeulen, we cannot let him escape his promises because his roommate changed his mind. We express no opinion on whether he can sue to have his roommate indemnify him or not for any damages until such case is before us.

Appellant also appeals the entry of judgment for PILA; here, his appeal meets with more success. Judge Kendrick allowed PILA to select between specific performance and monetary damages, but neither of these remedies is appropriate. First, specific performance for this contract is not necessary because expectation damages are more than sufficient as a remedy. Specific performance is reserved for those rare times where the object of the contract is so rare and valuable that damages are not sufficient. See Student Body v. Glendon, 379 U.Va 129 (2017) (“WE WERE PROMISED DONUTS!”). Here, the damage done to PILA can be easily measured by the value that they expected to get from this contract.

However, at this time, damages are not appropriate because the contract has not yet been breached. Under the contract, appellant is not obligated to do anything until May, when he is supposed to give his apartment key to PILA. Until that time, appellant is not in breach, and damages cannot be awarded. Once the contract has been breached, PILA may institute a suit in the lower courts for damages pursuant to the breach. 

We therefore affirm the lower court’s judgment insofar as it refused to incorporate the Third Amendment, and we reverse the lower court’s award of damages or specific performance. We instruct the lower court to dismiss both the suit and the countersuit.

As a final matter, this opinion shall be my last as a Justice on this Court. I wish the remaining and future members luck in navigating the treacherous but crucially important waters of this Petty jurisdiction.

It is so ordered.


1 The graduating 3L, D. Markoff, is not a party to this lawsuit because his “funds are real low rn, brah,” but he has filed an amicus brief supporting the appellee.
2 Tinder, Bumble, Scruff, etc.
3 See Bilt on a Thursday or Saturday.

Lunch with Admissions Director Grace Cleveland

Jenna Goldman '18

For many of us at UVa Law, Grace Applefeld Cleveland was the first person we met as an applicant or admitted student to the Law School. Before joining the Office of Admissions in 2014, Cleveland was a 2009 graduate of UVa Law, and a trademark and copyright associate at Arent Fox in Washington, D.C. 

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Cleveland majored in Dance and Creative Writing at Northwestern, then worked for four years in marketing and education for dance companies in Chicago before going to law school. Though she loved the mission of the companies and the people she worked with, she began looking for a career that would challenge her intellectually on a daily basis. 

Cleveland’s decision to go to law school was influenced by a legal dispute involving the work of Martha Graham, one of the founders of the modern dance movement. A few years after her death, Graham’s heir sued the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance, claiming rights to all of Graham’s intellectual property. The resolution of this case inspired Cleveland to focus on trademark and copyright law in school.

Cleveland left Arent Fox to clerk for Stephanie A. Gallagher, U.S. magistrate judge for the District of Maryland, then for David C. Norton, U.S. district court judge for the District of South Carolina. While winding down her clerkship and studying for the South Carolina Bar, Cleveland received notice of an opening in the UVa Law Admissions Office. She and her husband Will, a UVa Law classmate who now works as a staff attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, began investigating opportunities to return to Charlottesville.

Cleveland fell in love with the school all over again when she came to North Grounds to interview, and credits the Admissions and Financial Aid team with demonstrating that UVa is as supportive and exciting a place to work as it is to go to law school. 

On the first of the three-day South Carolina Bar Exam, Cleveland received the call that she got the job in Admissions. With Will still two days away from his final interview at SELC, Cleveland continued taking the exam. It was only after the third day of the bar that Will officially got word of his offer: The Clevelands were headed back to Charlottesville. 

During our lunch, Cleveland gave us a rare glimpse into the admissions process. Every person who applies to UVa Law has his or her application read at least twice. The first read-through is done by a member of a team of four part-time file readers; all hold J.D.s and three are alums of UVa Law. From there, the readers write a summary of the application and give a recommendation to the Admissions Committee. 

Applications are then divided up and three members of the Admissions team extend interviews to some of the prospective students. Generally, Cleveland takes the first half of the alphabet, but she also likes to speak with applicants with whom she shares commonalities to calm the nerves of the interviewees. Accordingly, she handles the interviews of applicants from Maryland, those applicants who have dance experience, or, as Dean Faulk likes to assign her, applicants with the first name “Grace.” 

After the interview, applicants’ files are returned to the Admissions Committee for a final decision.

Beginning with the 2015 cycle, every person admitted was interviewed by a member of the office. She says this is helpful in determining fit, “There are some students who I was on the fence about when I read their paper application, but then when I interviewed them I knew we had to take them!” The interview policy has allowed the office to get a more “three-dimensional” picture of the applicant. 

When she isn’t reading applications, Cleveland can be found hiking, cooking, and chasing her two-year old son Liam. The Clevelands love Charlottesville’s outdoor and food scenes, and they especially like to sit on the patio at their favorite restaurant, Lampo. 

Cleveland’s biggest piece of advice is for 3L students as they approach their bar study: “There’s going to be a point, maybe around the Fourth of July, when you will start to freak out,” she says, “you might start to doubt yourself and whether you will pass,” but Cleveland encourages students to reach out or stop by the Admissions Office for a pep talk. “We know that you all are really smart people who work really hard,” and Cleveland likes to remind students to think back to their 1L year, or even to when they were studying for the LSAT. “You got through it and you excelled, and you will do the same with the bar.” 

Grace Cleveland should know; it is her job to spot potential. 


Lunch with Dean Donovan

Lia Keane '18
Features Editor

When I think back to my freshman year of college (’09) and the wide-eyed look of terror that I received from my academic advisor after I told him I wanted to go to law school, the thought of taking charge of a law school’s career services department during one of the worst periods of legal hiring in recent history seems daunting to say the least. Yet that is precisely the challenge that Kevin Donovan, Senior Assistant Dean for Career Services, took on when he joined UVa Law’s administration in 2009. 

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Of course, in hindsight, Dean Donovan seems like the natural choice for the role. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Dean Donovan clerked for a district court judge in Cleveland, OH, before joining Morgan Lewis & Bockius’ Philadelphia office, where he worked for eighteen years and became partner in 2000. While at Morgan Lewis, Dean Donovan worked as a litigator and primarily specialized in complex tort litigation. Notably, in addition to assisting with Morgan Lewis’ recruiting committee, Dean Donovan was also put in charge of running the firm’s global pro bono practice. Dean Donovan stated that the work he did during his time managing the pro bono division culminated in what he described as being one of his proudest professional accomplishments. Specifically, under Dean Donovan’s guidance, Morgan Lewis’ pro bono practice gained increased national renown and the firm’s rankings quickly climbed as well.  

In Dean Donovan’s view, his time in private practice gave him the necessary foundation to work with and lead UVa Law’s career services team. When asked how his current role compares to his time as a litigator, Dean Donovan indicated that he misses having the opportunity to write on a regular basis and to engage in complicated legal analyses. Additionally, Dean Donovan wishes that it were easier to remain in contact with his former colleagues, who he praised for making his time at Morgan Lewis particularly enjoyable. Nevertheless, Dean Donovan noted that working in career services has provided him with a new set of organizational challenges and the opportunity to work closely with students. 

When asked to give a prediction about how legal hiring might change in the coming years, Dean Donovan indicated a belief that the On-Grounds Interview system may begin to give way to a less centralized process. Dean Donovan thinks that legal hiring may shift towards what he described as “the business school approach,” which will place greater weight on the connections that students and employers make before the hiring season officially begins. Dean Donovan suggested that this may be a mutually beneficial change because students and firms will have more opportunities to determine whether they are a good fit for one another. Dean Donovan emphasized that forming relationships with your coworkers is a crucial aspect of practice because doing so will make it easier to “get through tough times.” Regardless of which trends ultimately take hold, Dean Donovan stated that the goal of everyone in career services is to constantly “innovate and improve” the programs that are currently in place. 

Dean Donovan’s advice to students will likely offer comfort to those of us who, say, are on the fence about which 2L practice group to join or whether to clerk after graduation. According to Dean Donovan, a legal career should be thought of as a jungle gym rather than a ladder, and our professional progress is unlikely to unfold in an entirely linear fashion. He noted that our generation often expresses anxiety over the possibility of making a misstep but he encourages students to be confident in the decisions they make. Further, he wants us to remember that not every path we take will be immediately appealing. Referring again to his time as the head of Morgan Lewis’ pro bono program, Dean Donovan admitted that he had initially been reluctant to take the position, though he ultimately considered it a fantastic experience.  

When Dean Donovan finds a few moments of downtime in his schedule, he enjoys attending basketball and football games, and spending time with his wife. His three children have all attended UVa, though Dean Donovan joked that he never ran into any of them on Grounds. Dean Donovan also tries to read the books published by members of UVa Law’s faculty, and stated that he particularly enjoyed Dean Risa Golubuff’s Vagrant Nation. He praised the book for causing him to think about an area of the law that he hadn’t previously thought extensively about. Dean Donovan is also an avid runner and regularly runs with other Charlottesville professionals. In fact, shortly after members of the Law Weekly staff sat down with Dean Donovan for lunch, he participated in the Charlottesville marathon. For those who are familiar with the Meyer-Briggs scale, Dean Donovan is an ISTJ and believes that knowing your MBTI score may help you identify the strengths and weaknesses that you may bring to a legal team one day. 

And finally, for everyone who’s ever wondered: yes, he knows we call him KDon.


Hot Bench: Chris Butler

1. Have you ever had a nickname? What? Yes. My favorite elementary school teacher called me “Buttles.” He was arrested for armed robbery and disappeared mid-year; regrettably, “Buttles” didn’t and stayed with me through high school.  Also Prof. Choi calls me “Paul” sometimes; not sure if that counts but if he passes me in M&A this semester, he can call me whatever he wants. 

2.  What is your favorite word? Gnarly. Stoked is a close second. 

3.  Where did you grow up? Edinburgh, Scotland and La Canada, California (same as Christine Sun and Kevin Kraft). The cool place to hang out in high school was the E-Mile attached to the Chevron Station. 

4.  What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? Post workout pancakes with whipped cream, syrup, and fruit. 

5.  If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why? Hamish and Andy –my favorite radio/TV comedians. I love to laugh. 

6.  If you owned a sports team, what/whom would be the mascot? Roll War Beavers

7.  If you had to pick one song to play non-stop in the background of your life, what would it be? Vance Joy - “From Afar.”  Fortunately, my roommate (Zach Osinski) would be ok with it. We listen to the exact same Pandora stations. 

8.  If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? Bring back Chet Roundstone. RIP buddy. 

9.  What’s something you wish you’d known about law school before coming to UVa? The difference between ‘statutes’ and ‘statues’. Fortunately I caught on quickly and I think everyone just figured I had a slight lisp during first week. 

10.  What did you have for breakfast this morning? Nothing. I was late to Securities Regulation. 

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

I lost at arm wrestling to a girl in middle school.  (True)

I’ve streaked the Lawn. (Lie)

I’ve been invited to appear on MTV’s show ‘Naked Dating’  (True)

12.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Australia. That one’s pretty easy. Charlottesville’s not too shabby though. 

13.  What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? My sister commuting back from college to help train me for my last ever 1600m track race. She’s not an excuses person. Also, an employee at the North Grounds Gym front desk gave me the majority of her Domino’s Pizza one time. That was pretty cool too.

14.  If the law school had yearbook awards, what would you want to win? Best dressed. I have a pretty popular floral blouse/shirt (unfortunately it’s a cold-call magnet) and a yellow kitten-burger tank top. Also I think people are finally starting to respect my cold weather winter coat and short-shorts combo. 

15.  If you could know one thing about your future, what would it be? How long do I stay in my first firm job? Also, do I have an office plant, and if so, is it a succulent? 

16. Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC? Backstreet Boys. #IWantItThatWay

17.  What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep? Maybe two-and-a-half days? 

18.  What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville? Eating and football tailgates along Alderman road. 

19.  If you could make one law that everyone had to follow, what would it be? Stilts Saturday on which stilts must be worn at all times.

20. What’s your earliest childhood memory? I was in special education in elementary school due to my underwhelming academic performance. During 2nd grade they seated my class in ranked spelling groups: team A, B, C and D. Team D consisted solely of me and a fellow special education student Craig O’Donnell. Just before I moved to America I got promoted to the C team and Craig had to sit by himself.

Court of Petty Appeals: Coughlin v. Virginia Animal Law Society

The Court of Petty Appeals is the highest appellate jurisdiction court at UVa Law. The Court has the power to review any and all decisions, conflicts, and disputes that arise involving, either directly, indirectly, or tangentially, the Law School or its students. The Court is comprised of four associate justices and one Chief Justice. Opinions shall be released periodically and only in the official court reporter: the Virginia Law Weekly. Please email a brief summary of any and all conflicts to


Coughlin v. Virginia Animal Law Society

90 U.Va 403 (2017)

HADEN, J., joined by GOLDMAN, C.J., and PICKUS and THORNTON, JJ., announcing the opinion of the Court.

Petitioner Coughlin appeals to this Court, asking us to recognize a discrimination claim on behalf of her pet, Gary. Based on the following, we reverse.

The facts of this case are not in dispute. Every year, the Virginia Animal Law Society (VALS) conducts a “Paw Review” event, which they hold right after journal tryouts to remind 1Ls of their traumatic experience trying to write on to Law Review. The purpose of the event is to raise money for a no-kill shelter for animals in Fluvanna County. According to the event description made public to the Law School: “[T]he pets of student [sic] and faculty compete to receive the title of the law school’s most loved pet.”

VALS sets up the event as follows. They solicit members of the student body and faculty to submit photos of “pets” for the competition. Then, each pet’s photo is placed inside of a jar, and all of the jars are put on display in Hunton & Williams. People are encouraged to vote for the pet that they like the most by placing money in that pet’s jar. See also Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 588 U.S. 310, 313 (2010) (“Money=votes”).

Professor Coughlin submitted a photo of her pet Gary, a toad, for Paw Review, and VALS accepted the submission and allowed Gary to be entered into the competition. At the end of the voting period, VALS calculated the winners, and announced two separate winners: Best Dog and Best Cat. The winners were determined based on the amount of money that their jars had collected. 

Professor Coughlin lodged a complaint with VALS regarding the results of Paw Review. She does not dispute that the Best Dog and Best Cat received more money than any other cat or dog, or indeed, any other pet, including Gary. Rather, she argued that the categories of Best Cat and Best Dog discriminate against non-furry pets, and that there was no way Gary could have won, even if he did earn the most money. She argues that there should be a separate category that her pet could win, like Best Reptile. 

VALS ignored the complaint, feeling that they had no power to make any changes after the winners had been announced. Having exhausted her administrative routes, Professor Coughlin filed suit in the Court of Student Affairs. VALS argued that they did not discriminate against Gary in selecting the winning categories, because the vast majority of pets are either cats or dogs. They also argue that there is no remedy available now that the contest is over. Judge Napier agreed, and dismissed the case. Professor Coughlin timely appealed.

At the outset, under the Goluboff Suggestion, we note that we have jurisdiction because this case arises out of the Law School; the parties are a professor and a student group at UVa Law.

VALS has asked that we give deference to their adjudication of Coughlin’s original administrative complaint. They argue that in Law Weekly v. ABC Store #1782, we recognized that student groups should have large authority to run their internal affairs and deal with outside groups in a representative capacity. 123 U.Va 201 (2014). They ask that we review that record under an “arbitrary and capricious” standard. 

Coughlin has argued that we should review the record de novo. She points to Petty Rule of Civil Procedure 1: “We do what we want.” She also argues that in In re Virginia Law Women’s Funding, this Court noted that without a strong external review of certain kinds of actions, student groups might deprive others (or, as was the case in Virginia Law Women’s Funding, be deprived) of important resources.

We do not think that it is in VALS’ interest for us to review the record under their suggested standard. The record they present is rather scant, and there is little to no basis upon which we can affirm their dismissal of the complaint. Rather than remand this case back to them for another proceeding, further litigation, and another appeal back to this Court, we will review this case de novo and save everyone some money. Especially VALS, who has spent all $122 of their student affairs’ money allocation on this lawsuit.

VALS argues that it could have chosen not to have a Paw Review at all, or to have given prizes to every pet candidate. They argue that because they have these larger powers, they must also have the included lesser power to give some candidates prizes and not others. We have recognized this “greater includes the lesser” argument in other contexts. See Holsapple v. Rod and Gun Club, 23 U.Va 1452 (2016) (“Room reservation conditionally denied until you are actually a club again.”). However, we have also recognized that in other cases, the greater does not include the lesser when the lesser is chosen in a discriminatory or harmful way. Collins v. Elections Committee, 165 U.Va 83 (2017) (“You really shouldn’t make appointments to committees based on their knowledge of Survivor and RuPaul’s Drag Race.”).

VALS knew that Gary was a toad, but accepted him into Paw Review anyway. VALS has carefully avoided answering Coughlin’s contention that even if Gary had the most money, he still couldn’t win Paw Review. We think VALS refuses to answer that contention because it is damning to their case. VALS could have rejected Gary if they felt that Paw Review was only for cats and dogs. However, not only did they knowingly accept Gary, but they also raised money through his participation in Paw Review. 

Allowing Gary to compete in Paw Review but limiting winners to only cats and dogs discriminates against these non-furry friends. This discrimination is unlawful, and allows VALS and cats and dogs to benefit at the expense of Gary. Even petty law cannot allow such a scheme to continue.

VALS argues that, by reversing the dismissal of the complaint, they will have to give an award for every kind of animal to avoid alleged discrimination. We agree that if they choose to give an equal award to each participant of Paw Review, they will avoid future discrimination lawsuits. However, there are a number of other solutions that will reach a similar goal. They can simply give prizes for the Best Animal, and give that to the animal with the most money in its jar. They can give out no prizes and simply donate the money. Or, they can come up with silly categories, like Best Smile, and make all animals eligible for that prize.

We close by remarking that, for future Paw Review discrimination claims, damages are not available as relief, because that money should go to the shelter. Only injunctive relief preventing continuing discrimination shall be available.

This Law School was founded on the principle that all pets are beloved by their owners. Today, we are able to support that foundation and provide needed justice for Gary. The judgment of the lower court should be reversed. It is so ordered.


GOLDMAN, C.J., concurring.

I would only like to point out to Justice Haden that Toads are amphibians, not reptiles. Also my submission of the snakes of UVa Law was rejected in the Paw Review competition, so our majority decision feels particularly vindicating.   

ANGELOTTI, J., concurring in the judgment.

I agree that VALS acted improperly because they created the category of Best Cat. I do not like cats, so there can be no Best Cat. There are only two categories of cats – bad cats and dead cats. 

JANI, J., dissenting. 

Here we have a question of whether a toad, “Gary,” was unduly discriminated against by VALS in their annual Paw Review contest. I stand alone in saying the Court erred in its judgment. 

Today we see an activist Court overstepping its authority by issuing an affirmative injunction against a student group. The question this court must ask is not whether or not Petitioner Coughlin’s pet was discriminated against, but rather if there was a rational basis for VALS choosing not to include additional categories. 

The Court correctly rules that the remedy does not define the right and that the lower court erred in dismissing the complaint for failing to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See UVa Law v. UVa Undergraduates 917 U.Va 322 (2015) However, the Court then sheds itself of the robe and becomes a de facto legislator. Rather than correctly remanding the case, the court decides to review the record de novo

Here the Court errs in allowing de novo review, as this case does not meet the high threshold for de novo review. Id. (“Because we are badasses”). See also Common Sense v. Scott Commons 475 U.Va 322 (“Because this court is f**ing awesome”). “To save everyone some money” is an improper standard to warrant de novo review. In fact, the costs of litigation have been substantially lowered since Student Affairs cancelled SBA’s weekly keg (see figure 1).

In giving deference to student organizations’ independent decision making, it is imperative that the record reflect VALS’s reasoning behind creating only two awards, “Best Cat” and “Best Dog.” While Paw Review only awarded cats and dogs, it also featured some type of rodent (the record is unclear as to whether this was a gerbil or some other type of unfun pet). So this was not, strictly speaking, a student-on-frog crime. Perhaps VALS has a policy of not awarding participation trophies, or awarding animals that are not strictly pets (the record reflects that Gary is not a cherished pet but rather a trespasser in an otherwise lovely garden). The proper ruling should be to remand the complaint with a directive that VALS submit, in writing, the rationale behind their conclusion to the court of original jurisdiction.

Finally, I would like to add that there are only two types of cats: bad cats and ok cats. Therefore, I suggest to VALS that next year’s Paw Review award be changed to simply, “Cat.”


1 At least, I think that’s where they got the name.
2 These aren’t meant to be sketchy quote marks, they’re just for emphasis. Keep reading, you’ll understand.

Hot Bench: Robert Smith

1. Have you ever had a nickname? What? Yes, but not by my own choosing. A few of my classmates called me “Bert” in elementary school!

2. How old are you in dog years? About three.

3.  Where did you grow up? I spent the first five years of my life in South Jersey and the next five in Northern Virginia. My family has lived in Southeastern Pennsylvania since 2002. I have strong ties to the Philadelphia area. 

4.  What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? I once ate at Wierzynek, one of the oldest restaurants in Europe! The Krakow establishment is said to be the site of the 1364 wedding celebration between the granddaughter of the Polish king, Casimir the Great, and Charles IV, the Holy Roman Emperor.

5.  If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be? Pope Francis.

6.  What’s your favorite book? I don’t have a favorite, but I recently enjoyed A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy O’Toole.

7.  Cats or Dogs? Dogs. Let’s be honest; Sassy was the worst Homeward Bound character.

8.  If you were a superhero what would your superpower be? The ability to be fully present, to transcend time 

9.  Are you a good dancer? Uhh…yeah.

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

I got a bee stuck in my shirt on the first day of fifth grade.  

I have number-form synesthesia. 

The ShamWow! guy graduated from my high school. (False)

11.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be? I’d love to spend some time in Italy, livin’ that expat life…

12.  What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? My Mom gave me the first three Harry Potter books for my eighth birthday. 

13.  If you could know one thing about your future, what would it be? I would like to foresee my biggest regret (and how I can avoid it, if possible).

14.  Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC? *NSYNC, obviously. JT beats Nick Carter any day. 

15.  What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville? I have enjoyed hiking in nearby Shenandoah National Park. 

TweedleDum: Should Celebrities' Political Opinions Matter?

Kimberly Hopkin '19

I’m glad we can agree on one thing: treating celebrities’ political opinions like every other citizen’s opinion. To me, that means they should have a free right to assert their First Amendment right on any issue they see fit. If you see a celebrity espousing an opinion that you don’t agree with, then either ignore them or politely engage in some free speech of your own. Think about it, we don’t say “Janet, you’re a dentist – what qualifications do you have to discuss politics?” Why do we get to say, “Matt Damon is just an actor who is unqualified to discuss American politics that he finds important”?

I think the key problem here is that celebrities have a naturally larger audience than Mike from Accounting. I appreciate that turning on the television during the election cycle can sometimes feel like opposing viewpoints forcing themselves into your home. I also understand that some celebrities, like Lena Dunham, can be especially grating because of the delivery of their views. But you can change the channel, you can refuse to buy their movies or albums, and you can donate that money to whichever cause you like. That’s what happened in 2003 when the Dixie Chicks stated that they were ashamed to be from the same state as the President (at the time, George W. Bush). Their records were no longer played on the radio due to listener request. Though they released one more album, they were never welcomed back into the spotlight. At least these celebrities are associating their names and reputations with the movements about which they feel passionate. I think that engenders more discussion and the ability for average citizens to choose whether they want to discredit the information they are receiving based on the reputation of the source. 

I think it’s convenient that, during the Election Cycle, President Donald Trump was rebranded as a “businessman” after starring on his own reality show and enjoying celebrity status prior to running for office. But since that’s an extremely touchy subject right now, I’ll discuss other entertainment stars who have thrived using political opinions. For instance, former President Ronald Reagan was an actor before he pursued politics. Whether or not you agree with some of the policies he enacted (or the treatment of minorities under his administration), he enjoys a reputation as a lauded politician. There’s also former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Al Franken, Congressman Sean Duffy (of The Real World fame), and Governor Jesse Ventura just to name a few. I don’t thinkthese politicians’ celebrity status takes away from their political accomplishments; I think it’s a testament to the American political process. That’s one of the best features of the United States; anyone can run for office and change what they don’t like about the government. Having a celebrity who is not interested in enacting any public policy changes decline to run for office does not logically mean no celebrities should be able to run for office. It also has nothing to do with every American’s right to affect the political process through free speech. 

I think public perception of celebrities using their status to portray their political views is sharply divided based on whether or not you view the statements as cries for publicity. There are celebrities who use political comments as ways to garner publicity, but I think American political agents also use celebrities for publicity. Both the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention booked celebrities to increase interest and viewership of the proceedings. Although Hollywood typically leans towards liberalism, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and Clint Eastwood have all publicly endorsed previous Republican candidates for the presidency. When people pick and choose which celebrities are allowed to have an opinion, and which should shut up and dance, they tend to choose based on whether or not they already agree with their politics. Therefore, I don’t think allowing celebrities to discuss politics on talk shows, or to post about political rallies they attend actually has a negative consequence on the American political system. Just because something annoys you on TV or Instagram doesn’t mean you have the right to demand they silence their free speech. 


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