Hot Bench: Alex Viner '20

1.  Have you ever had a nickname? What?

Just Alex. Having a unisex nickname used to bother me, but I’ve embraced it as I got older.

2.  What is your favorite word? 

Currently “tragic”, inspired by the Kim Kardashian gif in iMessage. I definitely overuse it with a sarcastic connotation on a daily basis (i.e. in response to my roommate telling me he rammed his head into the wall as he sneezed).

3.  Where did you grow up?

Brooklyn, New York, although when asked in person, you’ll often hear me say “South Brooklyn”. Just as Manhattan is comprised of tons of entirely different areas/neighborhoods, so is Brooklyn, and I like to be very specific about the region of Brooklyn I claim.

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

Matt Bomer. High-key stalked him as he was filming White Collar while I was in high school, but I’d love to be able to sit down and actually have a conversation with him. There are various elements of his background that are similar to those of mine, and, in spite of his talent and striking features, he expresses traits that I value, which are uncommon among most celebrities.

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

Another tough one - I listen to music 24/7, so it’s super hard to pick one song to have to listen to non-stop, but I guess I wouldn’t be opposed to it being Call on Me by Eric Prydz. I haven’t gotten tired of it since hearing it for the first time about 10 years ago, and it’s a great walking/working out song (and a good one to dance to as well). 

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

Probably invisibility. I’m a huge people watcher, and it’d be great to get away with staring at people for prolonged periods of time without appearing as creepy as I actually am.

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

-One of the most stressful experiences of my life was an Uber ride in Miami.

-I once walked headfirst into a pole and apologized to it.

-I’m an avid Game of Thrones fan.

The last one is the lie. Sorry GOT lovers - you can’t kill off a dire wolf on camera and expect me to continue watching. Kill off as many people as you’d like, just leave the doggies alone.

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

Amsterdam. I studied abroad there in the summer of 2015 and fell in love. In fact, an ideal five/ten-year plan would involve my working at The Hague for a while. I’d be elated.

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

My first dog, Lucky. My parents got him for me on my 13th birthday, after years of begging them for a dog, and he’s been my best friend since day one. One of the hardest parts about law school is being away from him, but I know he’s in better hands at home than he is here.

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

Probably “most stylish”. Might not be as significant in law school as it was in high school, though. 

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

My best friend and I have a pact that, if we are both 35 and single, we will get married and start a family of our own. So, I’d be curious to see if that’s how my future will actually play out.

12.  Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

 Close call, but *NSYNC.

No one should be allowed to walk slowly in Times Square. Trust me, it would be a lot more enjoyable for everyone, tourists and natives alike, if everyone were required to keep a certain pace.

 

Court of Petty Appeals: Custodial Staff v. Three Gallons, More or Less, of Store-Brand Ice Cream

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 jmg3db@virginia.edu.

Custodial Staff v. Three Gallons, More or Less, of Store-Brand Ice Cream

17 U. Va. 413 (2017)

GOLDMAN, C.J., joined by VANDERMEULEN, J.  HOLMES, J. writes separately, concurring. 

Exhibit A courtesy of the Law Weekly.

Exhibit A courtesy of the Law Weekly.

This court has long been asked to rule on what food may or may not be left on the free food table. We usually leave such determinations to SBA, as this Court generally ascribes to the doctrine of “all food is good food.” That is, until this case which was brought to us by the esteemed custodial staff because “enough is enough.” We, of course, seized on this rare opportunity to exercise our in rem jurisdiction.

On Friday, November 17, at approximately 7p.m., a pink carton filled approximately three-quarters full of melted vanilla ice cream was left on the free food table along with several paper cups and spoons. 

The free food table is the last frontier of lawlessness at the Law School. Generally governed by the reasonably prudent students who attend this institution, the table plays host to extra food and snacks placed there by organizations after mid-day events they host.  We find this acceptable, and indeed desirable, because if there is food, it is generally taken during the ten-minute interval between classes in the afternoon. Supplying extra food to the hungry students of UVa Law serves an important public service, so the existence of the table is not at issue. 

There are two problems at issue in this case. First is the timing of the dropping off of food. The accepted practice is to leave food on the table during class change or during times of high density of hungry law students (for instance, after 5 p.m. classes let out during the week). 

Second is the content of the food. The dropping of highly sought-after food such as non-perishable candy, Zoe’s Kitchen catering, Sticks, pizza of any kind, and Ivy Provisions is nearly always acceptable. 

Ice cream that was half melted when it arrived at the table is next-level egregious. First, nobody wants to eat half-melted ice cream. Second, those desperate souls still at the Law School on the Friday before Thanksgiving Break are not lucid enough to neatly pour the melted ice cream into the flimsy paper cups and subsequently got the goop all over the table and the carpet beneath the table, and they continued to drip it down the hallway. 

Both situations are disgusting, and nobody should have to deal with this, especially the custodians who work all through the night to clean up after us on a regular basis. Really, this is a law school! We aren’t dissecting cadavers; we sit in desks with textbooks and type on Microsoft Word. The amount of dirt and trash we leave all around this school is shameful and perplexing. We can’t blame everything on the undergrads.

 This Court believes the free food table is the greatest example of collegiality and integrity at this school, and so we will not allow it to be hijacked by melted, sticky ice cream. This ruling is narrow, and should not be construed to cause a chilling effect on any potential food to be left on the free food table. 

The ice cream is hereby ordered impounded and returned to the nearest freezer. And you know what, we’re going to do some equity too. Members of the Law School community are hereby enjoined from placing melty ice cream on the free food table. Students and faculty: We sentence you to do some soul searching as to why this place gets so gross. 

HOLMES, J., sitting by designation, concurring in the judgment:

I concur with the result that the majority has reached, and I write separately to explain my own reasoning. Amici have claimed that no one could foresee that any ice cream would so long remain as to melt, and further, that by providing a gift to the students at large, the greater good of society was so served as to outweigh by far the “risk,” as they term it, that the ice cream would make an unpleasant mess. In so offering, they attempt to practice sophistry upon the Court.

Every gift comes pregnant with the hidden seed of burden, as the shrewd kings of Siam, who bankrupted their enemies by gifting them, in pretense of tribute, with the exacting care of white elephants, knew so well. Here was just such a case. The ice cream, if not carried away and eaten entirely within the hour, would melt, and cease to be a delicacy but become a sticky mess whose removal would fall to the hands of the cleaners, the plaintiffs here; and equally evidently, this burden would fall upon them without a chance to sample the treat in its delicious frozen state. It was incumbent, evidently, upon them from whose hands the ice cream passed to provide prudently for its timely removal—or else, not to leave it at all. This they did not do; and having called their tune, the law will have them pay the piper.

In a few cases, it is true, the law does not demand the detached reflection of the reasonable man in he who acts. But nowhere was there here the Thuggee’s upraised knife or the speeding train to demand instant action unchecked by the patient deliberations of the reasoned mind. By the operation of natural law the ice cream would in time decongeal, escape its container, and do mischief where it fell. Foreseeing that consequence, the law says that it was incumbent upon the defendants to prevent this at their peril.

Perhaps those who left the bucket on the table did not foresee that the spoons they left would not suffice to carry away the melting treat, or that, late on a Friday when dismissed from classes, few would remain in the halls to eat it before the fatal moment of dribbling. They are as liable as if they had; the law is the measure of every man, and the sacrifice of those who do not meet this measure we must exact, or else turn forever from the path of the law.

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jmg3db@virginia.edu

Hot Bench: Amy Cameron Duncan '19

Amy Cameron Duncan ‘19 

(she/her/hers) 

1. Where can you find the best margarita in NYC? 

Well, I wouldn’t say that it’s the best margarita in New York, but my favorite place to drink a margarita in New York is Lucky Dog in Brooklyn. Because, really, what’s better than drinking a ridiculously gigantic margarita in a backyard surrounded by thirty dogs?

2. What is your favorite word?  

Petrichor. It means the smell that comes after a rain. 

3. Where did you grow up? 

All around the DC area, but I went to high school in Alexandria, VA. 

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

Dame Helen Mirren because she kicks a lot of ass and generally seems like she would be an incredibly good time.

5. What event are you most excited for on the UVa calendar? 

The PILA Shaping Justice Conference! That’s mostly a shameless plug because I’m co-directing it with Ryan Snow, but I think it’s really going to be incredible this year.

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

Picking one song to play in the background forever sounds absolutely horrendous, but I have been listening to “Ran” by Future Islands pretty much constantly for the past few weeks…

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

I have always wished that I had the power to fluently speak the native language of anyone I met, including the ability to understand jokes and idioms. I’m not exactly sure what kind of superhero that would make me, but it’s a power that I’ve always wished I had.

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

2L is harder than 1L for a lot of people. Apparently they don’t like to tell 1Ls that for fear that they’ll drop out, but I think I’d have preferred to know know. And on that note, don’t be afraid to get involved, but also don’t take on leadership to know. And on that note, don’t be afraid to get involved, but also don’t take on leadership positions unless you are actually excited about doing the work associated with them.

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

Berlin, though I don’t have a good explanation as to why.

10. What’s your least favorite sound? 

My alarm.

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

My grandmother sent me a $100 chipotle gift card out of the blue right before finals last year and it was AMAZING.

12. Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

Boyz II Men. Seriously, they were just better. I saw them in Philly this summer and they’re still incredible.

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

I got super lucky a few years back and randomly ended up at this party that Talib Kweli was performing at.  Seeing one of my favorite artists in such a small setting was pretty unbeatable.

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

No posting “facts” that have no basis whatsoever in actual fact on social media.

Court of Petty Appeals: Class Talkers. v. Trash Talkers

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 jmg3db@virginia.edu.

Class Talkers v. Trash Talkers, 70 U. Va. 482 (2017)

GOLDMAN, C.J., joined by HALL and JANI, JJ.  

The Court certifies two classes of individual students regarding the same issue: talking in class. The trial court consolidated both the classes of plaintiffs and defendants together in classes referred to as “Trash Talkers” and “Class Talkers.” Trash talkers were awarded summary judgment in an opinion by Judge Ranzini that stated simply: “Please shut up.” The Class Talkers appealed. Upon appeal, this esteemed Court took the case to resolve this contentious issue once and for all. 

The facts are not disputed, are identical in each case, and are as follows:

At various points in class, Class Talkers will audibly and sarcastically make disruptive noises such as signs, snorts, cackles, laughs, and gestures such as nodding their heads vigorously, turning to the students seated next to them to make a comment, and will generally make their approval or disapproval of a statement made by a professor and/or student known by means too numerous to cite in this opinion. 

The Trash Talkers are the consolidated complaints by students, professors, faculty, and custodial staff who are “annoyed and offended by the snide comments” or have otherwise “been personally victimized by the Class Talkers.” 

The Trash Talkers claim that judgmental noises are a distraction from class to the point where they are effectively barred from meaningful participation. 

The Trash Talkers bring these claims under our Doctrine of Decent Behavior.

To decide whether claims fall under the Doctrine of Decent Behavior, we must first decide whether the behavior is “annoying.” Because most of our cases turn on this determination, we have established the Chief Justice Haden’s Annoyance Test: Would a reasonably prudent law student (1) roll their eyes at the behavior, (2) find the behavior in question disruptive, and/or (3)(a) irritating, (3)(b) bothersome, (3)(c) nettlesome, (3)(d) vexing, (3)(e) or any other synonym for the word ‘annoying’ found on Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Furthermore, this Court may deem any behavior annoying. We know it when we see it.1

The Trash Talkers allege that the Class Talkers’ behavior meets every prong of our test, as they unanimously roll their eyes at the defendants and have stated that the behavior impedes their ability to learn and fully participate in class for fear of mockery by the Class Talkers. This Court agrees: This behavior is unequivocally annoying. 

Appellants contest that their behavior is involuntary and that by their nature as law students they “have an uncontrollable urge to demonstrate our superior intellect to everyone within our vicinity at all times.” 

Appellants have not persuaded the Court that this is an actual ailment. They failed to produce a single doctor’s note stating this particular affliction, Student Affairs does not accommodate for “being an asshole,” and a majority of students at this school have the ability to control offensive outbursts, at least during class time. 

Now, for our favorite part: damages.

If one does not feel free to fully participate or learn in class it is as if they did not attend that class at all. Tuition for the 2017-2018 year for a nonresident is $61,300 2 per year (not including books and supplies, rendered useless because what’s the point if you can’t concentrate in class?). The Trash Talkers note that the Class Talkers are more subdued in classes such as Civil Procedure with Professor Nelson and Federal Courts with Professor Jefferies, where all students, even Class Talkers, are too afraid to make sudden movements. Those classes should be subtracted from the total owed to Trash Talkers.

The violation of the Doctrine of Decent Behavior is clear. The Honorable Chief Justice of the Court and the Honorable Associate Justices (oyez!) have even felt mockery and distress from the behavior of the Class Talkers. Though the Appellees didn’t ask for this, we also find the behavior illegal and have written and affirmed our own cease and desist letter to the Class Talkers. In the future, if the Class Talkers are so anxious that they absolutely must say something, we suggest using iMessage like everyone else. 

We remand back to Judge Ranzini to calculate the monetary damages because we hate math. Give the Trash Talkers something for IIED, we trust your discretion. 

Affirmed. 

ZABLOCKI, J., concurring in part, concurring in the judgment, and dissenting in part: To the extent the Honorable Chief Justice of the Court and the Honorable Associate Justices are collectively included in the class of Trash Talkers, I dissent. In my personal experience, certain Justices have inflicted injury as Class Talkers in the past (*cough, cough* Jani, J.). With respect to our Honorable Chief Justice’s judgment, however, I concur: SHUT THE F*** UP, EVERYONE.

VANDERMEULEN, J., dissenting

I agree with my esteemed colleague, THE CHIEF JUSTICE, in nearly all the sentiments expressed by her opinion for the Court. Class Talkers are surely a plague upon all right-thinking people, but are they not protected by the Constitution of these great United States? The emanations and penumbra of the First, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Eighteenth, and Twenty-First Amendments surely protect the right of jerks to be jerks. I would echo what Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes beautifully wrote in the seminal Buck v. Bell: “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Does not the security of our glorious nation rely upon the freedom of individuals? See Korematsu v. United States; Cf. Minersville School District v. Gobitis, rightfully restricting Jehovah’s Witnesses from handing out handbills. (“National unity is the basis of national security. To deny the legislature the right to select appropriate means for its attainment presents a totally different order of problem from that of the propriety of subordinating the possible ugliness of littered streets to the free expression opinion through handbills.”) Lochner v. United States guides this court’s jurisprudence. If New York bakers cannot be forced to work fewer than 80 hours per week, can gunnery 1Ls be forced to shut their pieholes? I am forced to conclude, with great reliance upon stare decisis, that they cannot.

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jmg3db@virginia.edu

1 Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184, 197 (Stewart, J., concurring).

2 https://content.law.virginia.edu/financialaid/annual-cost-attendance-budget

 

 

 

Dr. Kate Gibson: Lawyer-Counselor to Future Lawyers

Ali Zablocki '19
(she/her/hers)
Arts Editor

Dr. Kate Gibson, J.D., Psy.D., is at UVa Law because of a sharp yet deliberate shift in career path and life outlook. After receiving her law degree from Harvard Law School, Dr. Gibson followed the natural route of many students of top law schools, beginning her career in the Washington, D.C. office of the firm now known as WilmerHale. Dr. Gibson practiced corporate law, work she described as law on a macro level. With a laugh, she added that it was fun to spot ads for the companies whose deals she was working on around town. However, the Big Law pace of life was as grueling then as it is now. Family health issues compounding this existing stress eventually prompted Dr. Gibson to reconsider her path. 

Illustration courtesy of Charles Schultz.

Illustration courtesy of Charles Schultz.

This reevaluation led Dr. Gibson to the realization that she found working with clients on an individual level most fulfilling. Personal experience piquing her interest in clinical psychology, Dr. Gibson tested this potential new career through volunteer work. Even considering such a change was a big step; Dr. Gibson describes herself as an “incrementalist,” just as do many law students, for whom diverting from the clear path ahead is often a challenge. However, feeling that it was her vocation, she applied for and matriculated to The George Washington University’s professional psychology doctorate program. This program in clinical psychology allows candidates to focus their studies on clinical work; there is no dissertation component or pharmacological training (only psychiatrists are able to prescribe). 

In 2006, Dr. Gibson joined the staff of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) on Main Grounds as a predoctoral intern. She remained after receiving her doctorate, working at CAPS until heading north to the Law School three years ago. In contrast with CAPS, where students, from first-year undergrad to doctoral candidate are served by a much larger organization, Dr. Gibson has found working at the Law School means focusing on a single, more distinct community. This has afforded her greater flexibility in working with students, who in turn tend to have more in common, and the chance to learn the rhythms of the Law School. Dr. Gibson remarked that working at the Law School has been a unique opportunity to combine both phases of her career arc; vivid memories of the stress of 1L grades and summer job hunting give her what she described as a head start in understanding law student stress, although she also suggested that changes in the legal profession have only increased this pressure in the intervening years. She enjoys working with a student body which she described as bright and rich in life experience, but also with an administration she has found to be smart, competent, and, perhaps most importantly, very invested in its students.

Having recently surpassed a decade of Charlottesville living, Dr. Gibson describes the town as much smaller than where she previously lived, but as punching above its weight in terms of the arts, speakers, and things going on in general. Though characterizing herself as more of a spectator than a participant, Dr. Gibson is an avid supporter of the arts, mentioning the Paramount Theater and Heritage Theatre Festival (UVa Drama’s summer theatre program) as particular favorites. She also enjoys exploring the history and environs surrounding Charlottesville, where the mountainous landscape contrasts sharply with that of Massachusetts, where she grew up, and sampling Charlottesville’s ever-expanding restaurant scene (her favorite is Bang!). When she has a chance to relax, Dr. Gibson is an enthusiastic reader, preferring to mix novels and history books.

As we enter the holiday season, one of the most stressful times of the year even without finals looming, and students’ hours spent studying and anxiety both crest, Dr. Gibson also enters a busy period. Dr. Gibson emphasized that she tries her utmost to make time for all students who seek her counsel, and maintains a daily open hour from 2:00 until 3:00 P.M. In terms of services offered, she provides one-on-one counseling sessions, and maintains a referral list of other therapists and psychiatrists in the broader Charlottesville community who may be better able to provide services on a longer-term basis. Dr. Gibson also noted that law students have access to CAPS on Main Grounds, including their crisis services (in-office from 8:00 A.M. until 4:30 P.M. daily, with phone availability after hours) and excellent group programs.

Advice for anyone at any time of the year? “As a general rule, humans do better when connected authentically.” While being able to talk openly to whomever, be it a friend, family member, or professional, may not be a magic solution, it most definitely is helpful.

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amz2ea@virginia.edu

Court of Petty Exchequer: Doe v. Gunner

The Court of Petty Exchequer is the moste high bench of Her Majesty’s Chamber at UVa Law. The Court has the power to effectuate its noble jurisdiction over any conflict, dispute, &c, that arise involving, either directly, indirectly, or tangentially, the Law School or its students. The Court is composed of whichsoever barons the House of Lords so chuses. 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 jmg3db@virginia.edu.

Doe v. Gunner

2 C.P.B. 786-790; 14 C. P.Ex. 183 (2017).

Reporter: Archibald McVeigh

Case. The declaration stated that the defendant, before and at the time of committing the grievance thereinafter mentioned, was seized with contagious disease, of great severity, viz., the Spanish-influenza, and at the time of committing of the said grievance, was, and from thence had been, and still was, a student of the College of Law at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, yet while he was so afflicted of the same disease, aforesaid, wrongfully and unjustly came into the classroom where was the plaintiff, DOE engaged in his studies and, vi et armis, &c., &c., did there wrongfully and injuriously sneeze, cough, and wipe his nose with paper-handkerchiefs which he strewed about him, without regard for the eyes then upon him in that place, or the silence of the classroom, or the space propriate to DOE the plaintiff, or the gross indecency of his conduct, expelling thereby a great quantity of catarrh, spittle, and other matter, all being materia morbis; and producing by his expectorations sights and sounds unseemly and insupportable; during all which time the plaintiff thereby suffered and underwent great pain in the seeing and hearing of it, and was in consequence of these emissions prevented from attending to, or working at the reading of law, and from performing and transacting his other lawful and necessary affairs and business by him to be performed and transacted, and thereby lost great gains which he might and otherwise would, have acquired; to wit, studying for the end-of-term exams and; that the plaintiff, by means of the expulsion of the matter aforesaid was threatened with the transmission of the Spanish-influenza. 

The cause was tried before Ranzini, Ch. J. at the sittings at Albemarle, after St. Chad’s Day Term instant. The facts that appeared in evidence were as follow: The defendant, GUNNER, had displayed increasing signs of malaise beginning from the first of October. By the fifth, he had ceased to nod obsequiously along with the Estates master and begun incessantly to clear his throat instead. By the seventh, he was feverish and drowsy in the afternoon sittings. An Agency professor testified that from this date GUNNER’s mood had become so subdued that he lacked something of “his usual compulsion to get the last word in” and though he yet took every opportunity to quibble pedantically with the professor, he no longer sought out every chance  to obscurely gainsay the other pupils. By the ninth, his offering of prolix hypotheticals had declined to a truly wonderful extent; he seemed at once to have become a regular damp squib. From the tenth, the voice transformed finally from adenoidal to croaking. From the eleventh, it stopped altogether; beside the obtrusive book-stand he invariably carried to his classes a box of paper handkerchiefs now appeared; into these he coughed and sneezed continuously, and filled his pockets with clumps of tissue coated thickly with his own secretions, which, overflowing, piled on the floor by the plaintiff. Red-eyed, shivering, his nostrils raw and philtrum slicked with mucus, the defendant nevertheless continued to appear in classes, racked though he was with grippe. 

On behalf of the defendant was urged a deficiency in the plaintiff’s pleading, stipulating by this motion to the fact of the illness but submitting that its noxious effects extended only to the defendant, the plaintiff’s injury being purely speculative. In alternative it was urged that an affirmation of necessity barred the plaintiff’s case, on the strength of Temperley v. Craunchston Water-Gas, Ltd.  4 Q.P.B. 298. and Ex rel. 14 Unidentified Orphans v. Hounslow Cat-gut Manufactory, Ltd. 4 Q.P.B. 335.; and that the plaintiff, having received no inoculations against Spanish-flu, was so far contributory to the injury of which he complained, as to disentitle him to maintain an action at law.

His Lordship summed up the evidence to the jury, and told them, that, if they thought the defendant was absolutely and manifestly compelled to attend classes then he could not be held responsible for the injury done to the plaintiff; but, that, if he had any alternative, e.g., reading of the Power-Points or class recordings, he was liable. 

To this direction the counsel for the defendant again excepted, inasmuch as the class-rooms maintained always the circulation of the pure air to forestall the arisal of miasma, there could not be said to be a threat of transmission of the Spanish-influenza, it being further urged that the theory of contagionism lately urged in the symposia by Dr. Snow, and on which the plaintiff’s case depended, was but modish, Continental speculation. On the question of necessity it was further submitted, on the strength of Tanner v. Lichfield, 1 Bos. & N.P.R. 404, [Over. Cramsworth v. Fannyston & Hounslow Steam-Aëronautical. Co. (1823) 4 P.Ex 244, 20 L.P.J. Ex. 65.];  that if a reasonable man in the defendant’s position might have been found in class, then the defendant might not be liable. 

Leave was reserved to the defendant to enter a nonsuit, if the Court should be of the opinion that either objection was well founded. 

The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff, damages 69£, 2s., 11d ½.

Davies, Serjt., in Hilary Term instant, pursuant to the leave reserved to her, obtained a rule nisi to enter a nonsuit, on the grounds urged at the trial. She referred to Mondegreen v. Portmanteau, 55 R.P.R. 319, Quarman v. Burnett Gun-cotton Works, 55 R.R. 717, (6 M. & W. 499), Sugden v. O’Geran, a Lunatic, 1 Jo. & Lat. P.R. 872, Garwood v. Fooks, Jubber, & Butt (8 Beav. P. 183) Ex parte Joliffe, (8 Beav. 168-176), Regina v. Approximately 3500 cwt. Afghan Opium, 1 D.D.F.H. 241 (2 K.M. & El. P. 36); In re the Junk “Wu-Tang”, 1 M.C.A. 1992 (2 R.Z.A., G.Z.A., & O.D.B. 36c).

Davies, Serjt. in support of her rule: The defendant was under a supervening requirement to attend class under any circumstances, the effect in law of which was, that he must, unless absolutely confined to bed, attend his lectures. And so I rest. 

Jani, Serjt. in support of his rule: The defendant was in a condition so offensive as to manifestly exceed the bounds of decency, besides the obvious hazard to others of his vile state; and it is a venerable maxim of the law, that he who comes before the court must come with clean hands. And so in the case of the class-room also. 

Hall, B: It is well shewn, and we do not now deny it tends to annoyance to come into the presence of another with a disease that is communicable, as e.g., consumption, fly-blows, or the gaol-fever. But we cannot thereby say that good claim will always lie thereby. I would have submitted to the jury the instruction urged by the defendant. 

van der Meulen, B: I cannot agree with my brother Baron Hall. Whether viewed from prudence towards the body of the defendant or of the shocking vileness of Gunner’s conduct and its manifest superfluity I am convinced that the court below could have made no error in instructing the jury. And so, &c., I affirm, &c. 

Goldman, C.B.:  I am quite in agreement with my brother Baron van der Meulen; and at the threshold I take notice that the counsellors before us likewise appear most wonderfully poorly to-day. I infer the learned gentlemen have conferred a trifle closely with the defendant. You may stand there, if you please. Were the bar a few paces closer to our bench I should cover my mouth and nose with my periwig.  

We think the rule is, that the case is pled rightly not in case or nuisance, as the plaintiff urges, but in the action for Douche-baggerie; wherein sua sponte, we will construe the action now at bar. It is a rule now long established in our jurisprudence that it is nowise only the most outrageous crimes and torts that deserve the severest measures in their relief; and he who is chafed at the soul by the venial, yet still maddening missteps his brother men may make, will find his relief at the bar of H.M. Courts of Petty Exchequer. True, it was not always so; but if the defendant finds cause to gripe with our verdict he must reflect upon the fate visited upon the egregiously sickly defendant who came before Littleton, C.J. at the sitting of the Court of Pettie Exchequer at Michaelmas Term in the 29th of the reign of Henry II Plantagenet, and sneezed upon the Justice. In the record it is given: And for this, an indictment was immediately drawn against the defendant and his nose was amputated and fixed to a gibbet, on which he was immediately hanged in the presence of the court; and his lands escheat, he being thus adjudged a felon.”

Affirmed. 

---

dwr7ed@virginia.edu

Faculty Lunch: Kristin Glover

Lia-Michelle Keane '18
(she/her/hers)
Features Editor

Eleanor Schmalzl
(she/her/hers)
Staff Editor

Originally from Atlanta, Kristin Glover, a research librarian and Harvard University graduate, enrolled at the University of Virginia School of Law after first working in New York City’s affordable housing department and then for a non-profit that specialized in providing services to the city’s homeless population. According to Glover, her time at the non-profit and an interest in housing matters inspired her to ultimately attend law school. At the time, she thought she would return to work in either city government or public service, and in fact, Glover joined New York City’s Corporation Counsel’s Office after graduating. 

Research Librarian Kristin Glover. Photo courtesy of University of Virginia School of Law.

Research Librarian Kristin Glover. Photo courtesy of University of Virginia School of Law.

Glover described her time at the Corporation Counsel’s Office as providing her with a great opportunity to see how cases develop firsthand and emphasized the practical differences between reading about court decisions compared to drafting documents and being involved in the discovery process. Glover said that working with highly experienced individuals was beneficial in helping her grow as an attorney. Although she enjoyed her time at the Corporation Counsel’s Office, when presented with the option to return to UVa Law, Glover found it impossible to turn down the offer. Glover said that the prospect of working for UVa Law’s library was particularly appealing because she had enjoyed research and writing throughout law school—Legal Research and Writing (LRW) was one of her favorite courses—and while she was in practice. 

Returning to UVa Law has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience for Glover, who praises her colleagues and the community at-large for creating a collegial workplace. Glover thinks that the positive environment found at UVa Law may be unique to our school and said that it was one of her favorite parts of being a student and now a faculty member at UVa Law. Specifically, she commended UVa Law professors for their intellect, but emphasized that it is their approachability and kindness that makes them a true pleasure to work with. 

As a research librarian, Glover works with a wide range of individuals on any given day and encounters an array of new issues as a result. In addition to helping professors researching complicated paper topics, Glover also assists students who are working on notes of their own and members of the public with an interest in researching the law. Glover teaches Advanced Legal Research, which builds on the skills that students are typically first exposed to during LRW. The class uses practical methods to help students become more familiar with databases such as Westlaw and LexisNexis before they head into practice. Glover asks all her students to select a an issue in the news that they are interested in and to track related developments throughout the semester. Glover said that one of her favorite parts about teaching is discovering the wide range of interests that her students hold and watching them grow increasingly confident in their research abilities over time.  

When asked if she has any advice to share with students, Glover suggested that they should begin thinking early on about the importance of work-life balance. Specifically, she recommended that students should try to develop a commitment to things that they can enjoy outside of work—things that will allow them to clear their heads when they start feeling overwhelmed. As we head into finals season, this advice seems particularly prudent, especially for 1Ls who may already be feeling anxious and worn down from late nights spent briefing the cases in their Civil Procedure textbooks. 

In her spare time, Glover enjoys hiking, yoga, and describes herself as an avid walker. Glover said that one of her favorite parts of living in Charlottesville is being able to walk from the Downtown Mall to the countryside and watching the scenery change along the way. She loves poetry, though denies having a single favorite author. Still, Glover cited Emily Dickinson and Gwendolyn Brooks as being two of her mainstay favorites. When asked what her favorite restaurant is in Charlottesville, Glover enthusiastically responded that Tavola, an Italian restaurant located in the Belmont neighborhood, is a fabulous option and recommended everything on the menu from the bruschetta to the more complex seafood dishes. Finally, Glover recommends taking the time to check out the Virginia Film Festival, which will be held in town November 9–12. Glover indicated that attending the Film Festival is a highlight for her each year and noted that it presents students with a fun opportunity to see select movies before they enter wide release. 

We thoroughly enjoyed meeting with Glover and encourage students to stop and say hello when they see her around the library! 

---

lk3da@virginia.edu

mes5hf@virginia.edu

Spotlight 11/8/17

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 editor@lawweekly.org.

Minority Rights Coalition

Puerto Rican resident wades through flooded street after Hurricane Maria. Photo courtesy of Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images.

Puerto Rican resident wades through flooded street after Hurricane Maria. Photo courtesy of Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images.

In the Trump Era, the news happens so quickly that it can be easy to lose sight of what really matters. Consider, for instance, what has occupied our attention since Hurricane Maria made landfall in the Caribbean little more than a month ago. 

President Trump criticized NFL players protesting police brutality by calling them SOBs; LeBron James responded by calling him a bum. Trump threatened to destroy North Korea. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, resigned in disgrace due to his abuse of taxpayer funds. The president openly feuded on Twitter with the Mayor of San Juan. The Las Vegas shooting happened. President Trump announced plans to de-certify the Iran Deal, gut the Clean Power Plan, and squash the birth control mandate. Senator Bob Corker called the White House an adult daycare, prompting angry tweets from the president. The White House announced it would not fund essential insurance subsidies, seriously damaging Obamacare. The President and his staff embroiled themselves in a week-long controversy over the death of an American soldier in Niger. Senator Corker and President Trump continued their feud. UVa Law Alum Robert Mueller readied his first indictments.1 

Take a deep breath. Reading that list can be overwhelming. It’s hard to know what to focus on and what to tune out in the bad reality show that is America 2017. The Minority Rights Coalition at UVa Law would like to suggest that you should focus your attention, your energy, and your outrage not on the president’s latest tweet or embarrassing blunder, but on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. 

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, causing apocalyptic damage.2 More than a month later, the island remains in rough shape. Seventy-five percent of Puerto Rico lacks reliable electricity and access to clean water looks to be patchy, at best.3 FEMA had to continue delivering food and running water four weeks after the hurricane, a first in the agency’s history.4 

We may never know how many of our fellow Americans died as a result of this storm because the overwhelmed Puerto Rican government has allowed funeral directors to burn bodies without counting them in the death toll.5 As a result, many observers are concerned that the death toll could be far higher than reported.6 In raw numbers, the storm could cost Puerto Rico up to $95 billion.7 It may set the island back decades. 

The response to Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico’s devastation differed markedly from the response to Hurricane Harvey hitting Texas and Hurricane Irma sweeping through Florida. FEMA responded more slowly and with fewer personnel for Maria than it did for Harvey and Irma.8 Private donations for Harvey, especially, far outpaced similar efforts for Maria.9 And, of course, the President of the United States did not attack the Mayor of Houston on Twitter, or question whether Texans deserved aid after tragedy struck. Trump’s apathy reflects that of his supporters, like the Trump voters in Houston who received aid after Harvey but do not believe Puerto Ricans deserve the same helping hand.10 

Indifference—or outright hostility—to Puerto Rico in other areas has infected the response to Maria. An old shipping regulation called the Jones Act, for instance, has been driving up the cost of living unnecessarily in Puerto Rico for decades.11 After public outcry, the Trump administration waived the regulation after Maria, so supplies could get to the island cheaply. The Trump administration, out of incompetence or outright malice, recently let that waiver expire.12 Concerns about corruption involving a $300 million rebuilding contract caused a firestorm before the contract was cancelled over the weekend.13

This column does not have the word count to dive into the shadow of colonialism displayed through PROMESA and the Puerto Rican debt crisis,14 or the appalling behavior of Puerto Rico’s creditors since Maria hit the island,15 or the potential for Puerto Ricans to reshape the electoral map of Florida (and the country) in 2020.16  Instead, the members of the Minority Rights Coalition ask our friends and classmates to do three things. 

First, give (or continue to give to) relief efforts in Puerto Rico. The link in the footnote below is a good place to start.17

Second, tune out the noise. It’s all too easy to get distracted by the latest uproar in the ongoing Trump reality show. Focus your attention—and your time and talent—on the injustices that really animate you, whether that’s tabling for Puerto Rico or protesting against police brutality. 

Finally, stay involved in politics. Puerto Ricans deserve both statehood and effective representation in Congress.18 Until then, it is our obligation to vote, and vote often, until the administration can no longer afford to be apathetic. 

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wch4xs@virginia.edu

1 This timeline constructed from my own memory and this helpful piece from AOL: https://www.aol.com/news/trump-timeline/. 

2 http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/25/us/hurricane-maria-puerto-rico/index.html

3 https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/25/16504870/puerto-rico-running-water

4 Citing a tweet from https://twitter.com/DavidBegnaud in https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/25/16504870/puerto-rico-running-water

5 https://www.buzzfeed.com/nidhiprakash/puerto-rico-cremations?utm_term=.dlAo0yB1nN#.xkVGypO5M8

6 https://www.buzzfeed.com/nidhiprakash/puerto-rico-natural-causes?utm_term=.owqBabJK16#.aoEKNzdw7y

7 http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/28/news/economy/puerto-rico-hurricane-maria-damage-estimate/index.html

8 http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/26/us/response-harvey-irma-maria/index.html

9 http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/26/us/response-harvey-irma-maria/index.html

10 https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/many-trump-voters-who-got-hurricane-relief-in-texas-arent-sure-puerto-ricans-should/2017/10/20/32da835c-b344-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html?utm_term=.182f82e5458b

11 https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/9/27/16373484/jones-act-puerto-rico

12 http://thehill.com/latino/354561-white-house-lets-jones-act-waiver-expire-for-puerto-rico

13 http://abcnews.go.com/US/puerto-ricos-governor-whitefish-power-agreement/story?id=50795922&cid=clicksource_4380645_2_three_posts_card_hed

14 https://newrepublic.com/article/132307/colonizing-puerto-rico

15 https://theintercept.com/2017/09/27/puerto-rican-debt-holders-respond-to-catastrophic-hurricane-by-offering-puerto-rico-more-debt/

16 https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2017/09/27/puerto-rican-devastation-could-mean-more-florida-voters-114762

17 http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-help-puerto-rico-hurricane-maria-2017-9/#the-united-funds-of-puerto-rico-1

18 This proposition has overwhelming support in Puerto Rico, but Congress has yet to act. http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/09/us/puerto-rico-statehood-vote-2017/index.html

Hot Bench: Eli Mekonen ‘20

Eli Mekonen ‘20
(he/him/his) 

1.  What is your favorite word? 

It’s a tie between behoove and poltergeist.

2.    Where did you grow up?

I split my childhood and teenage years between Chicago and the D.C. area. Chicago definitely feels more like “home,” though. I go back at least once a year and I hope to start my legal career there.

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

Anything at Sweetwater Tavern in Centreville, VA. The white chocolate bread pudding is so good. Sometimes, I tear up when I eat it.

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

Paul Tudor Jones. He’s pretty knowledgeable on the subjects of asset management and poverty alleviation- coincidentally two things I would like to learn more about. I could probably gain some invaluable insight hanging around a person like him. Also, I hear he went to a cool undergrad.

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

Gilderoy Lockhart by Ehiorobo. 

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

The ability to never get tired or hungry. Eating and sleeping are massive time sinks. The average person spends over 260,000 hours eating and sleeping. By comparison, it only takes about 2,000 hours of practice to become fluent in another language, and less than 62,000 hours to visit every country in the world.

7.  What did you have for breakfast this morning?

A banana, croissant, and a cup of coffee. My normal breakfast, plus a banana and a croissant.

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

I met Jesse Jackson, Chance the Rapper, and Kanye West all in Chicago.

Kanye was the lie. I met Jesse Jackson in a small Chicago airport and went to elementary and middle school with Chance the Rapper.

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

“You dropped something …..” *Waits for person to look down.* “My jaw.” I’ve actually used this line with some success but I think the girls who talked to me after just felt bad for me.

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

1 round trip ticket to any city in the continental U.S. after graduating from college (I chose Seattle).

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

Whether I will be a practicing attorney long-term or change careers.

12.  Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

*NSYNC, and it isn’t really close. No Strings Attached and Celebrity are incredible albums. The Backstreet Boys never matched *NSYNC’s star power or penchant for making outright bangers.

13.  What’s your favoritething to do in Charlottesville?

Eat apple pie with vanilla ice cream at Carter’s Mountain Orchard.

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

Mandatory (and free) courses in civics, consumer economics, and sociology.

 

Court of Petty Appeals: Best-of Edition

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 jmg3db@virginia.edu.

In accordance with this Court’s decision in Anonymous (Whiny) 3L v. Court of Petty Appeals and Justices Thereof, in their Official Capacity, but Especially Chief Justice Goldman and Justice VanderMeulen, 18 U.Va 642 (2017), the Court orders reproduction of its opinion in Coleman v. HungryMan, 14 U.Va 114 (2016) as part of its “Best of the Court of Petty Appeals”  series. The Court trusts the law school community will find this opinion relevant and timely.

Coleman v. HungryMan

14 U.Va 114

GOLDMAN, J., presents the opinion of the Court and is joined by WALLACE, ANGELOTTI, and PICKUS, JJ.

This appeal presents a question of common decency; how much food is appropriate to take at Law School events when there is clearly not enough for everyone in attendance? After considering the arguments of both parties, the esteemed Court created a reasonably hungry person scrutiny, with the standard of review “Don’t be a Jerk.” As always, the Court reviews the case de novo and, based on careful consideration of the facts, we reverse. 

The facts in this case are as follows: petitioner was looking forward to “Sticks” at the latest Law and Prison Project event, and arrived five minutes before the event started after Professor Duffy letting people out late from Admin. (We refer Professor Duffy to our prior decisions decrying this activity, but here the point is moot). Due to the popularity of the event, by the time the petitioner made it to the front of the line, to her horror, there were no vegetarian kabobs and she was begrudgingly left to eat only rice. Respondent, a student who also attended the event, ended up taking more than what petitioner calls “his fair share” of Sticks. Respondent replies that petitioner assumed the risk by not arriving to an event with Sticks more than five minutes before the start. 

Trial Judge Ranzini found in favor of the respondent. Drawing from his own experience, he stands firmly in the “You snooze, you lose” camp. We believe this rule is too hard and fast and fails to accommodate externalities such as professor tangents, bottlenecks in the halls, or general stampedes. “Move out of my way, that last chicken biscuit is mine!” Kaplan Bar Prep v. Hall 4 U.Va. 36 (2015).

Though this Court acknowledges that a lower court may find contributory negligence on Petitioner’s part (we don’t really care about damages), the underlying issue this Court will decide is more pressing; it is one of courtesy, of survival really, in the perils and the hunt for free lunch at the Law School. 

In Students for the Equitable Distribution of Free Law School Lunch’s amicus brief, they cite the tremendous cost of catering Sticks. “The name of the restaurant ‘Sticks’ is a misnomer; truly the name of the restaurant should be ‘Stick,’ which is more indicative of the suggested portion size.” This Court finds their argument compelling, though a second kabob may be allowable half-way through the event when it is reasonably apparent that everyone in attendance has had the opportunity to get a plate.

As a matter of public policy, it is widely known that Sticks-catered events draw large crowds, often for no other reason than because Sticks is being served. See generally every Lexis Training. If this behavior is allowed to continue, then Sticks will no longer act as a carrot to lure unsuspecting, hungry students to events that provide students with a mastery of the intricacies of tax reform, or something equally as dull. 

The opinion of this Court is to determine in good faith how much food you should take by considering the number of hungry people behind you in line. You do not need to pile up your plate when the organization hosting the event clearly misjudged the amount of food they needed to order. Make like a reasonably prudent person and stop by Student Affairs for some Chex Mix if you’re still hungry. We hereby adopt the rule “Don’t be a jerk” when it applies to free food at events. 

The Court remands to find equitable damages for Ms. Coleman and reminds UVa law students that sometimes it is appropriate to abandon their collegiality when fellow students act against the common interest. This Court is not going to encourage vigilantism during events serving Sticks, but we do not discourage it.

The dissent will have us judge based on archaic overgeneralizations about the amount of food needed by size. We do not know what kind of day the petitioner has had, we don’t know whether she had breakfast that morning, and we are not in the business of determining how much hummus is appropriate to satisfy Ms. Coleman.  

ANGELOTTI, J., concurring

I join fully with the majority. I just wanted to say that sometimes even small people are hungry and if we don’t get enough food we get hangry. (hangry: adj., angry because you’re hungry). See Black’s Law Dictionary. But I don’t like Sticks much so idk. 

HADEN, C.J., concurring just a little but dissenting a lot.

While I applaud the majority for its Disney-esque “happily-ever-after” conclusion, I find myself unable to join the decision due to its many conflicts with our jurisprudence. Therefore, I content myself to respectfully dissent.

The first issue appears to be the adoption of what the majority calls a standard of review, entitled “Don’t be a jerk.” What the majority should call this is its real name: a dull-edged and therefore useless standard. Our jurisprudence has repeatedly marked the need for clear rules as opposed to strange and amorphous standards; “Don’t be a jerk” can only fall into the latter category without supplemental guidance for what constitutes jerkiness. 

I concur with the remand for damages. However, I would also want to make more clear that contributory negligence is a bar for recovery under the tort of negligence. We have long held that contributory negligence is one of the few things that we have adopted from the state of Virginia. Cf. other Virginia policies that we have refused to adopt: bans on interracial marriage, the concept of coverture, etc. If petitioner can prove, however, that her lateness was due to the illegal (administrative?) action of Professor Duffy, then she shall not be contributorily negligent.

However, I dissent also because I believe that the standard of “don’t be a jerk” is inappropriately applied to the facts of this case. To me, equalizing food for everyone is not fundamentally fair if people of different sizes have different appetites to satisfy. I am intrigued by the amicus brief filed by FedSoc, who claimed that “vegetarianism is a choice,” citing their own administrative adjudication of Fed Soc v. Vegetarian. While I am not convinced by that fact specifically, I am convinced that equal distribution of food is not a fair division. Plus, sometimes I need more than one Stick. It’s called Sticks, for goodness’ sake. I assume that other similarly sized people may feel a hunger for more food than those like the petite petitioner.

I applaud our most junior Justice for completing her first case (yay Jenna), but I find its conclusion and reasoning to be an unwelcome departure from what I feel is well-settled precedent. The opinion is well-written, humorous, but ultimately incorrect; therefore, I must dissent.

---

jmg3db@virginia.edu

 

Hot Bench: Phoebe Willis '18

Phoebe Willis '18
(she/her/hers)

1.  Have you ever had a nickname? 

What? Pheebs (even my parents call me that)

2.  What is your favorite word? 

Why

3.  Where did you grow up? 

Fredericksburg, Va.

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

Any Black Tap Milkshake (I have a huge sweet tooth and love to eat dessert as a meal).

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

Angie Mar—my fiancée is a huge foodie and we go to the Beatrice Inn for her birthday every year. I would want to meet Angie to ask her if she would give me cooking lessons.

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

The Notorious RBGs because Ruth Bader Ginsburg is indestructible.

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

A mash-up of “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons and “Rise Up” by Andra Day. 

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

Flying. I hate driving and sitting in traffic (I’m often in a rush). It would be really cool to just zip around.

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

Don’t buy any highlighters or water bottles—there are so many free ones here!

10.  What did you have for breakfast this morning? 

Eggs, bacon, and a biscuit because my fiancée cooked. I only see her on the weekends, so during the week I typically eat a banana.

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

I once fractured my left foot in eleven places

I accepted a job as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs (lie, I turned it down)

I’ve gotten five stitches on my face without anesthesia 

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

Hawaii

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

A pogo stick when I was ten, I bounced around on that thing for hours. I had some crazy record of over 1,000 bounces in a row without falling off.

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

Most likely not to be a lawyer in ten years.

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

Will I ever get a Sleep Number mattress? 

16.  Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC? 

I was more into strong female vocalists during the 90s—Britney, Missy Elliot, TLC, Christina, P!nk

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

Charlottesville Farmers’ Market on a Saturday morning.

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

For every complaint, a person also has to propose at least one solution. 

 

Spotlight 11/1/17

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 editor@lawweekly.org.

Elyse Moy '18
(she/her/hers)
President of Women of Color

The term “women of color” is often defined in the negative to describe all women who are not “white.” But this definition, despite its seeming broadness, is inadequate. It does not capture those who are white-passing but do not identify as such. And trying to define this term in the positive raises even more challenges. In the discourse of race, gender, and ethnicity, “women of color” carries several different definitions. For some, only certain Asians are included in this umbrella category. Meanwhile, the U.S. Census Bureau considers “Hispanic” an ethnicity, not a race. In each of these cases, these distinctions are imposed upon individuals. They are based upon an outsider’s perception of identity, ignoring the lived experiences of those who are so labeled. For those who do not fit within the white-black, male-female binaries, and for those whose identity is not readily apparent, such mislabeling can have detrimental effects on one’s self-perception and on establishing truly intersectional solidarity.

Photo courtesy of Women of Color.

Photo courtesy of Women of Color.

Intersectionality is a similarly important concept that is hard to define. In short, intersectionality recognizes that people hold multiple identities. It recognizes that one cannot examine gender in a vacuum—one must also account for aspects such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and much more. It also draws attention to how detrimental monolithic perceptions of identity can be. Our laws and discourse often only address one aspect of identity, while overlooking the overlapping of identities. In doing so, we fail to properly address the reality of discrimination, which operates across gender, racial, and class lines, and with disproportionate force. This oversight allows systemic injustice and inequality to persist. 

One way in which we hope to dismantle systemic injustice is through solidarity. Too often, the burdens of oppression and the responsibility for education falls on the shoulders of Black and Brown America. It is time for allies—male, female, and gender nonbinary; white allies and allies of color—to step up in solidarity. Women of Color seeks to provide one such platform for diverse students of UVa Law to come together and speak out against inequality; however, we should also recognize that solidarity does not necessarily ensure unanimity. Sharing one or even several aspects of our identity does not mean that we share the same experiences, the same values, or the same goals. Intersectionality is one tool to highlight and celebrate the differences among us in a productive manner, and solidarity requires constant negotiation of these differences.

In these ways, the intersectionality of our organization is both our challenge and our strength. Again, it is difficult to define exactly what Women of Color is because of our diversity of identities and values. But it is also our strength because we represent a multitude of viewpoints and thus can highlight many different issues. 

When Women of Color was revived two years ago by Dana Wallace, she was not sure if there would be enough interest in the organization to keep it going, but her hope for the organization was that it could be as vibrant and strong as it once was. She envisioned creating a supportive space in which women of color could express themselves. She sought to connect students to the resources they needed to do so. After Wallace graduated, we passed the helm to Jasmine Esmailbegui, and continued to work towards achieving that goal. Today, Women of Color is composed of approximately 100 women and men of various backgrounds and races.

As a relatively new organization, Women of Color has focused on growth, visibility, and accessibility. Women of Color tries to plan and get involved in as many events and projects as possible, so that people know a supportive community exists at the Law School and that there is an outlet where people can highlight issues important to them. Women of Color has worked to promote the equality of all women by highlighting the unique struggles faced by women of color. To do so, we have hosted guest speakers who discussed how our criminal justice system and public health systems disproportionately underserve women of color. We hosted law firms and public interest lawyers who could speak to the specific experiences women of color face in the workplace; and we hosted several social events for our members to meet each other and other affinity groups. For example, after 9/11, Women of Color held a discussion series that sought to educate the public about Muslim communities and dispel harmful misunderstandings. And just last year, we hosted a panel that examined the struggles women of color faced in prison and reentry.

Our Constitution holds that the purpose of Women of Color is:

[t]o provide support to the diverse population of women at the law school; to promote the welfare of its members through educational, professional, cultural, and social programs; and to provide a forum for the discussion of issues affecting women of color in the law school and the University community as a whole. 

As evidenced by this broad language, Women of Color aims to be an inclusive organization. Regardless of your true pronoun or gender identity, we encourage all those who support the goals and values of Women of Color to join. I am hesitant to further define “Women of Color” and thus unilaterally impose an identity upon our organization. Instead, recognizing that identity is an intensely personal inquiry, I hope to empower students to reclaim it for themselves. I reiterate that Women of Color exists primarily to unite and to serve the students at UVa Law. We hope to amplify the voices of our members and to provide a community through which students can express themselves. And we hope to provide a space through which students questioning their identities and their role in activism can explore how they can better serve their communities. As the students and society changes, so too I hope Women of Color will evolve to address their needs. 

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eam8cf@virginia.edu

This Month in SBA

Toccara Nelson '19
(she/her/hers)
SBA Secretary

Hello!

Welcome to the new monthly SBA article. We’ve decided to do something a little bit different this year. Instead of using this article to conduct a general discussion of what’s going on at the SBA, we want to use this forum to address student concerns shared in our suggestion box. The box is located in Scott Commons right next to one of the student mailrooms. Students can provide their concerns or suggestions anonymously or share their identity if interested in a direct follow-up response from the SBA.

We encourage students to share their suggestions or concerns through our suggestion box initiative. Members of our student community have amazing ideas and significant concerns about improving the law school’s programming, culture of diversity and inclusion, professional resources, and more. We hope to implement these student ideas at a higher rate through this initiative in order to improve UVA Law’s environment for students.

The SBA hopes that our Unity Social on Thursday, October 26 will be a start in facilitating a better atmosphere of learning for students. The SBA’s socials generally have a goal of bringing students together; however, this Thursday’s social has a special emphasis on promoting unity and supporting marginalized students at the law school. The goal is for all members of our community to come together in the spirit of openness and change, and to take responsibility for the environment on our campus.

While the SBA hopes the social will open doors for students of all backgrounds to engage with each other, we recognize that this event can only be a starting point for ongoing change. The SBA recognizes that this event cannot stand alone in promoting inclusion and hopes to continue implementing programming in the future to foster a positive environment. Furthermore, the SBA would like to recognize that there has been an undue burden placed on marginalized members of our community to make their own space at UVA Law. We want to encourage students of all backgrounds to take responsibility for promoting an inclusive environment in our community by attending the programming that is provided by the huge variety of diverse student groups at UVa Law. We hope that the Unity Social can be but one step in this ongoing effort.

The SBA is committing itself to increasing programming that supports marginalized students and to creating an environment in which all students feel comfortable and empowered at UVa Law. The SBA would also like to encourage all members of our community to step up and combat prejudice and bias at the law school and beyond. The SBA plans to organize meetings with student representatives from all organizations during the spring semester to promote a better environment for diverse students within UVa Law. Again, these initiatives are just starting points in improving our campus community so that all students, not just those who are from non-marginalized communities, are placed in the best position to succeed at UVa Law. We encourage students to offer feedback and suggestions regarding how SBA can further promote inclusion at our school.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about our future initiatives through our suggestion box, or email sbasecretary@virginia.edu or sbapresident@virginia.edu. Thank you!

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tmn2aa@virginia.edu

Hot Bench: Hannah Fraher '19

1.  Have you ever had a nickname? What?

Hannah Banana, and unfortunately, Hannah Montana. 

2.  What is your favorite word? 

Sad! (used facetiously and sarcastically) 

3.  Where did you grow up?

Tampa, Florida. The best (and craziest) state in the Union.

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

My favorite meal of all time consists of fried chicken, baked beans, corn on the cob, biscuits, and potato salad. 

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

Condoleezza Rice. She is my idol in so many ways and I would be honored to even just shake her hand. 

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

My cat Al, because he is the best (and cutest) thing on this earth. You can follow him on Instagram at Manx_the_Cat.

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

Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off.” 

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

The ability to stop time when I sleep so I don’t end up wasting my whole afternoon with my four-hour ~naps~. 

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

How important softball is. I could have stocked up on cute knee-high socks before getting here. 

10.  What did you have for breakfast this morning?

I’m addicted to Special K Red Berries cereal. I have a bowl every morning for breakfast, and sometimes a second one for dinner. 

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

I had purple hair. 

I’ve run a 5k.

I once got locked in a porta-potty.  

Lie: I’ve run a 5k. I don’t run. At all.

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

If Florida had everything I want and need in life I would happily spend my entire life there, but unfortunately it does not. I plan to live in D.C. after law school, which will be a great adventure. 

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

The best pickup line is classic and simple—”Can I buy you a drink?” 

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

I can’t think of just one, because it’s the little things that people do for no special reason that are the greatest gifts.

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

Most likely to be that annoying person who posts too much in the class Facebook group. 

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

What job I will have this summer. While the nOGI life was fun, it is a bit stressful not to have even applied for a position yet.

17.  Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

It’s tearing up my heart that I have to pick just one! I almost cried when *NSYNC reunited and performed at the VMAs so I guess I’ll have to betray half of my heart and pick them. 

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

I once went on a three-day no-sleep bender which was fueled by copious amounts of coffee and the unfortunate pressure of having to write an entire research paper right before it was due. *Note to my law school professors: I swear this wasn’t for any of your classes.* 

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

I have gone to twenty-two of the thirty-three wineries on the Monticello Wine Trail in the fourteen months I’ve lived here. I think that speaks for itself. #30in3

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

I’m a fan of less regulation in general, so instead of making a new law, I would require that everyone has to follow the current law that the left lane of a highway is for passing, not traveling, and would impose steep fines for people who don’t follow it.

Court of Petty Appeals: UVa Law Students v. Anonymous Inconsiderate Parker

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 jmg3db@virginia.edu.

UVa Law Students v. Anonymous Inconsiderate Parker, 

697 U.Va. 150 (2017)

HOPKIN, J. announced the opinion of a unanimous Court. 

Dumbass parks his priceless Honda Accord to protect its resale value Photo courtesy of Kim Hopkin.

Dumbass parks his priceless Honda Accord to protect its resale value
Photo courtesy of Kim Hopkin.

Today’s opinion considers appropriate remedies against a certain, anonymous1 D3 parker (hereinafter referred to as “Inconsiderate”) who insists on double parking every day. Adhering to the Goluboff Suggestion, the Court notes it has jurisdiction because the plaintiffs and defendant are law students, and the area is adjacent to the Law School. As much as the Court would like to see criminal charges brought against this delinquent,2 the case before us is a civil suit arising out of the tort of intentional irritation. While this tort is related to the intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), it does not involve a horse or a “weak female fainting,” making IIED unavailable for plaintiffs.3 Instead, the tort at issue here is intentional irritation, which is whatever 1Ls put in their generic torts outline plus an element of douchebaggery, which this Court has frequently recognized. See Student Body of UVa v. Thimpson Sacher, 697 U.Va. 100 (2017). The trial court was correct in determining that plaintiffs met all the elements for this cause of action, but erred in dismissing plaintiffs’ right to damages when enjoining future use of the D3 lot by the defendant.

The central facts are not in dispute; indeed the Court’s honorable Justices have been complaining about this on their GroupMe for weeks.4 Inconsiderate consistently parks his silver Honda Accord for his morning classes on the north side of the parking lot with his rear passenger-side tire over the line.5 After conducting a stakeout that lasted longer than the Court is proud to admit, I determined that Inconsiderate is not, in fact, chronically late but rather saunters in after purposefully parking his car in such a way. In the absence of an adequate excuse, Inconsiderate had a duty to park correctly and breached that duty with his douchebaggery, directly causing irritation of other students and damaging them by reserving a parking spot solely for one of his tires. Furthermore, the pompous disregard shown by defendant when he chose a spot close to the front of the parking lot means the trial court did not abuse its discretion by finding the defendant liable of douchebaggery and at fault by clear and convincing evidence.  

However, in the interest of fairness, a review of the procedural posture is warranted. Upon witnessing the intentional irritation tort, the Court considered all options and chose to rally the people to confront this hooligan. Unfortunately, all the students approached “had a lot of work to do” and were “really worried about the Court’s fixation on this issue.” So Justice Hopkin, in her individual capacity as a 2L, decided the best option was to commence a class action suit.6 The trial court, while certainly sympathetic, dismissed the damages portion of the case because it “isn’t that scared” of Justice Hopkin and, apparently, doesn’t take bribes.7 The Court of Petty Appeals granted certiorari to remedy this decision. It would have been a summary reversal,8 but the Court decided to take this chance to fully shame both the trial court and Inconsiderate per Professor Joseph Fore’s Treatise on Legal Methods and Rules (publication forthcoming). (“#Appellatetwitter”).

The Court has considered appropriate remedies for a similar issue in Ingles, et al. v. Parkers of Arlington Blvd. and City of Charlottesville, 251 U.Va. 900 (2017). (Plaintiffs “may bring a suit in our lower courts for money damages and injunctive relief . . . Learn to park.”) Therefore, damages are available. This Court, unwilling to trust the traitors in the lower courts, will determine the appropriate amount of damages without remanding. Since the defendant has continually used two parking spaces under the auspices of one parking pass, special compensatory damages are assessed at $576 (the price of an additional D3 parking pass).9 Additionally, plaintiffs have asked for $576 in pain and suffering damages as they feel a parking spot has been stolen from them. The Court is giving plaintiffs the full amount because the Court feels it is fair.10 

Furthermore, the element of douchebaggery lends the case to punitive damages. This is allowed under Davies v. Wednesday Keg,12 U.Va. 781 (2015) (“It doesn’t get much more petty than being punitive”) and Smith v. Wade, 461 U.S. 30 (1983) (Reckless indifference can support a finding of punitive damages without proof of malicious intent). Since the Supreme Court has determined that entering punitive damages higher than ten times the amount of compensatory damages violates the Constitution, plaintiffs request $11,520. See State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Campbell, 538 U.S. 408 (2003) (“[F]ew awards exceeding a single-digit ratio between punitive and compensatory damages . . . will satisfy due process”). However, the Supreme Court’s perception of fairness and equity does not bind us. We have the inherent authority to decide for ourselves what is punitive and what is fair. Therefore, we approve punitive damages in the amount of $15,000. The Court takes this chance to restate one of its cardinal and timeless principles: Learn to park.

With regard to the prospective relief granted by the trial court, the Court thinks a mere award of damages doesn’t go far enough. This Court is charged with protecting law students from the continuation of tortious behavior, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. The Court determined that enjoining D3 lot parking while leaving Blue lot parking available to the defendant would only protect a subclass of law students. Though not facially discriminatory towards financially responsible law students who choose to save money by schlepping a half mile, it would have a disparate impact by forcing only Blue lot parkers to endure his tortious behavior. We, therefore, enjoin Inconsiderate from parking in both the D3 and Blue lots. Inconsiderate has other options, including parking on Arlington Boulevard or Millmont Street taking other forms of transportation,11 or never traveling again.

As for Inconsiderate’s claim that Justice Hopkin should recuse herself from this case due to her passionate involvement, the Court refers to Rule of Petty Procedure 1: “We do what we want.” 

MANN, J. concurring. 

While Justice Hopkin nobly takes on the burden of being regarded as histrionic in her opinion, I fully share her outrage and applaud her restraint. Passion is not to be minimized as a source of judicial purpose, and certainly there is nothing that rouses the passions of competent motorists more than the errant parker. It is hard to describe the outright disregard for parallel lines that Inconsiderate has perpetrated, not to mention the subsequent inability of anyone to park alongside, or for that matter, down the continuing column of spaces. Such wanton recklessness12 of the repeated acts of crooked parking cannot be tolerated by this Court.

Though I agree with the court that the punishment fits the tort, Inconsiderate should thank his lucky stars to only be facing a fine of $15,000 and a parking lot ban. Had Justice Hopkin or I caught him in the act, he would be followed continuously by two bell-ringing banshees yelling “Shame!” Plus the other stuff.

GOLDMAN, C.J. concurs.

Honestly, if we didn’t let Justice Hopkin write this “unanimous” opinion, she would have quit the paper, and then we wouldn’t have anyone in charge of getting us pizza for our Monday editing meetings.13 Choices were made.

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knh3zd@virginia.edu

1 Because I don’t actually know his name. Since no one argued the appropriateness of public shaming, the Court saves that question for another day. 

2 I had Professor Bonnie for Crim, so I’m not clear on how the Model Penal Code factors into this, but I do know that Inconsiderate is insane. #FreeJoyBaker

3 See Abraham v. Hopkin Torts Final Exam, and companion case Abraham v. Hopkin Torts II Final Exam (“My understanding of why she signed up for another semester is on par with her understanding of basic torts concepts.”).

4 Mostly Justice Hopkin, but other Justices have responded with variations of “ruff stuff” and “Kim, really, you need to find a hobby.”

5 Like, wayyyy over the line. 

6 You would be surprised how easy it is to have students sign things in exchange for free food. Actually, you probably aren’t. We’ve seen liberals at Fed Soc events just for the Chick-fil-A.  

7 Justice Hopkin will be bringing this up in her PR class next semester for vindication. 

8 Because Professor Jeffries insists those are the most insulting.

9 University of Virginia Parking and Transportation, Parking and Transportation Service Rates: 2017/2018 Service Rates, http://www.virginia.edu/parking/information/rates.html#permits.

10 I think this is allowed. And if it’s not, it should be. 

11 This Court WILL protect bicycling commuter students if he chains his bike incorrectly. Just let CoPA know at editor@lawweekly.org. 

12 There can’t possibly be a soul stupid enough to park so badly with negligence alone. 

13 Which happen every Monday at 6 PM in SL279!

Spotlight 10/18/17

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 editor@lawweekly.org

Kendall Burchard '19
(she/her/hers)
Vice President, Virginia Law Women

Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to a national office, began her tenure in the House of Representatives exactly one hundred years ago. Since then, 319 women have represented their states and districts in the House, Senate, or both.1 In our current Congress, 105 of the 535 members of Congress are women. Twenty-one serve in the Senate, and eighty-four serve in the House. Sixty-one women of color have served in Congress to date, and thirty-eight are serving in 2017. In high school, boys and girls report almost an equal interest in politics.2 Then in college, statistically, women’s political ambitions begin to fade.3 Years later, although most women are equally likely to have the same amount of relevant political experience in “feeder” careers as their male colleagues, only 57 percent of women feel qualified to run, as opposed to 73 percent of men.4

The equalizer? Encouragement. 

Women respond just as positively as men when encouraged to run for office. But they are less likely to receive this encouragement than their male counterparts, starting in college and extending far beyond.5 Allow me to make up for some lost time—YOU should run. And on Saturday, we’ll tell you how. 

Virginia Law Women is excited to partner with the Women in Policy at the Batten School of Public Policy, Women of Color, Feminist Legal Forum, Virginia Law Republicans, and Virginia Law Democrats to bring Running Start’s “Elect Her” to Caplin Pavilion on October 21 at 1 PM. Elect Her is a three-hour crash course in how to run for office and how to support those who run. Last spring, VLW and Women in Policy welcomed founder and CEO of Running Start Susannah Wellford ’98 back to the Law School to address barriers to women running for office. Wellford first asked how many in attendance had considered running for office. As hands began to go up, Wellford’s shock quickly gave way to excitement. “I’ve never had this happen,” she said. “I’ve never had so many women in a room admit they wanted to run. We’ve got a lot to talk about.” 

The discussion continues on Saturday. Wellford and her team have specifically tailored Elect Her’s curriculum to help an enthusiastic audience recognize opportunities to serve their communities in the future. After brief introductions, the day will include a crash course in networking, fundraising, and campaigning. After a campaign simulation, we’ll hear from a panel of those who have done it—Delegate Marcia Price, Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor, Future Majority Project Director at the Republican State Leadership Committee Neri Martinez, and Delegate Lashrecse Aird will offer a first-hand account on what it’s like to run for office and what it means to serve the public. The panelists will focus on what it is like to run for office as a woman—not as a member of a particular political party. This a bipartisan event intended for everyone, regardless of political persuasion, sex, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, or other classification. 

When will there be enough women in Congress and in other elected offices? To borrow from Justice Ginsburg’s refined wisdom: “When I’m sometimes asked when will there be enough [women on the Supreme Court] and I say, ‘When there are nine,’ people are shocked. But there’d been nine men, and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.”

You look like a politician, and we’d love to see you run. Get your name on the ballot. Join us on Saturday. 

Check in for Elect Her starts at 12:30 PM on Saturday, October 21 in Caplin Pavilion. Events begin sharply at 1 PM. Programming concludes at 4, with a wine and cheese reception to follow. Please see Facebook event or Law Street Journal to RSVP. 

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ktb4xe@virginia.edu

1 Center for American Women & Politics, Women in the U.S. Congress 2017, Rutgers (2017), http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/women-us-congress-2017.

2 Janie Boschma, Why women don’t run for office, Politico (June 12, 2017 5:00 AM), http://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/women-rule-politics-graphic/

3 Id.

4 Id. 

5 Id.

 

Court of Petty Appeals: Anonymous (Whiny) 3L v. Court of Petty Appeals

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 jmg3db@virginia.edu.

Anonymous (Whiny) 3L v. Court of Petty Appeals, and justices thereof, in their official capacity, but especially Chief Justice Goldman and Justice VanderMeulen

18 UVa. 642 (2017)

VANDERMEULEN, J., for the Court, in an opinion joined by GOLDMAN, C.J. and ZABLOCKI, J.

This case comes before this Court as part of our original jurisdiction1 from an anonymous, whiny 3L,2 seeking (1) damages against the Court of two opinions for our so-called failure to publish regular decisions or (2) an injunction requiring the Court to publish a best-of compilation of the Court’s best opinions.3 This Court won’t be intimidated by threats of damages4 but is intrigued by plaintiff’s request for equitable relief.

After a rambling, kidnapper-style introduction to her/his complaint, plaintiff gets to the heart of the matter: The Court, by failing to produce opinions in the two issues preceding plaintiff’s complaint has engaged in tortious behavior toward the plaintiff and breached an implied contract between the Court and the students of the Law School. Plaintiff is, to no one’s surprise, wrong on both fronts.

First, the Court will dispense with plaintiff’s spurious tort claim. As everyone knows, torts aren’t real.5 And if they were, plaintiff would find it impossible to show that all the elements of a tort have been met. Plaintiff claims he/she has been a victim of Intentional Affliction of Opinions Unread. Ha! Everyone knows that such a tort requires actual malice of the sort described in New York Times v. Sullivan, 367 U.S. 254 (1964)! To allege that this Court was malicious6—rather than merely lazy—in its refusal to pump out opinions is degrading and probably defamatory.7 Plaintiff’s complaint also lacks a showing of proximate cause. By now, even 1Ls will know that to give rise to a cause of action in tort, an injury must be part of the “harm within the risk” of an action. See That One Case with the Tree and the Truck and the Speeding Guy.8 When the Court declined to publish opinions in its editions of 20 September and 27 September, it did so knowing that it risked having too short a paper. That means the editors have to endure long nights suffering through Justice Jani’s abhorrent music taste. That is the harm within the risk of publishing too few opinions: covers of Disney songs sprinkled with an intolerable mix of Zac Brown and French Montana. The Court could not care less about the delicate feelings of Anonymous 3Ls, even loyal readers like this one.

Next, the contract claim. The Court’s memory of contract law is admittedly fuzzy,9 but it seems clear that the supposed implied contract is void for lack of consideration. The Court’s habit of publishing semi-regular opinions is a gift to the Law School and its denizens, like the benevolent brother-in-law’s promise of a forest shack to his dead brother’s wife in Kirksey v. Kirksey, 8 Ala. 131 (1845).10 Promises to make gifts, of course, are not enforceable as contracts. Despite plaintiff’s valiant efforts to portray her/himself as a victim of contractual malfeasance, no such claim will lie in this Court.

Still, we are not unsympathetic to plaintiff’s desire for decisions from this august body. How would the Law School function without this Court’s tireless dedication to adjudicating the disputes that arise on North Grounds? The Court, therefore, finds that the plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and the case is hereby dismissed. But out of its own magnanimity, the Court will indeed indulge in a “Best of the Court of Petty Appeals” series, to begin the week of 2 November. Congrats, Anonymous 3L. 

MANN, J., concurring.

I concur with the majority, and agree that in no way has a tort claim been stated. By consuming this fine publication regularly, plaintiff has assumed the risk that the content might change from week to week, and that Justices11 may be occasionally too hungover to address the myriad issues that come before this court. Plaintiff’s claim of implied contract is straight out of crazy town as well, as no elements of a contract, implied or otherwise, exist. While this fine publication faithfully provides high-brow journalism, the drivel we get in return—mostly angry and misinformed emails – can hardly be construed as consideration. 

KENNEDY, J., sitting by designation, concurring in the judgment

I write to specifically rebut the plaintiff’s bizarre presumption that “the fact that [the Court] has or has not had Bodo’s this morning [should not] have an effect on its ruling.” I often find that certain Court pronouncements should take effect on Tuesday with the right to change them on Wednesday. It gives Justices the flexibility to condemn their enemies without making any real decisions. And that is real justice. 

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jmv5af@virginia.edu

1 See Rule of Petty Procedure 8(a): “If someone’s gonna bitch about the Court, we want to hear it directly.”

2 See Virginia Law Weekly, Volume 70, No. 6, 4 October 2017.

3 The Court won’t dignify with a response plaintiff’s request that President Glendon appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Court’s lack of recent decisions. Really? Him? After he LIED TO THE LAW SCHOOL about Duck Donuts? #GlendonsDonuts2017 #NeverForget

4 As if we could write any more of these damn opinions even if we wanted to.

5 Isn’t this roughly your thesis, Professor Ferzan?

6 Yeah yeah, Professor Abraham, we know “actual malice” doesn’t mean “ill will.” Must you continue to remind the Court of its inferiority? Wasn’t our C in Torts II enough?

7 Probably, we say, because we can’t actually remember anything Professor White said about Times, Gertz, or defamation law generally. Something something “public figure.”

8 Remember that one?

9 And consists mainly of references to an impending Canadian invasion and lizard cemeteries. Thanks, Professor Kordana.

10 The Court reserves for another day the question of whether Kirksey’s “female plaintiff loses” rule applies to the Law School generally.

11 No coincidence that Justice Jani couldn’t be found to contribute to this opinion.

Lunch with Joby Ryan: The Original New Shiny Thing

Kim Hopkin '19
(she/her/hers)
Columns Editor

Photo courtesy of content.law.virginia.edu

Photo courtesy of content.law.virginia.edu

It’s hard to find a more enthusiastic believer in UVa Law than Joby Ryan, Development and Advancement Officer for the UVa Law School Foundation. Some Law Weekly Staff were lucky enough to catch up with Ryan over lunch and ask him about his time at the Law School, his litigation experience, and why he chose to come back to UVa Law.

Ryan loved his time as a student at UVa Law. He had always been drawn to UVa and almost came to UVa for undergrad like his sister did. Instead, he went to Harvard and earned his A.B. in Government. Ryan was considering staying in Boston for law school, but changed his mind during Admitted Students Weekend (ASW). “Everyone seemed to fit here,” he recalled. When he talked to prospective students at other law schools, they weren’t as excited to attend. His mind was set on UVa after asking students a simple question. “When I asked people [at the UVa ASW] where they would go if they could go anywhere, they said Virginia.” So, he decided to join his dad as a UVa Law graduate. 

Ryan certainly didn’t regret that choice. He described the learning opportunities at UVa Law as “an embarrassment of riches.” The class that best prepared him for the future was his Socratic-style 1L Contracts class taught by Professor Kraus, but his favorite was a course called “Biology and the Law.” It brought up new issues that Ryan had never fully considered before including parental rights over inseminated eggs. Ryan also took courses by Professors Coughlin, Ortiz, and (now Dean) Golubuff. His one regret? Although Ryan participated in a myriad of extracurricular at the school, he wishes he had participated in more law related activities. While some of us have experienced Ryan’s entertaining performances during the Libel professor rebuttal, his favorite UVa Law tradition is actually Feb Club. He said, “It’s something unique to UVa Law, and it’s about having fun together.” 

As his time at UVa Law came to an end, Ryan had to decide between the Atlanta and the D.C. firm markets. The Atlanta market seemed like a comfortable choice that Ryan would have enjoyed, but the D.C. market opened a sense of ambition within Ryan. Like gravity, the desire to really challenge himself pulled Ryan towards the D.C. market, and he joined Hogan Lovells in 2005. Ryan pushed himself to work hard during his years in private litigation, but he always felt isolated by the type of work lawyers do in actual practice. So, after his first year he joined the recruiting team and got the chance to get out of his office to talk to people. “It was the one thing I do well,” Ryan joked. Soon thereafter, the market crash changed the focus his recruitment. “It changed the entire paradigm of firm practice,” he explained, “because companies had to trim the fat, and legal bills were some of the first things to go.” Still, Ryan persisted and found new growth opportunities. 

About seven years into practice, Ryan was having a discussion with some of the partners at his firm about his career projection. While everyone at the firm was supportive of Ryan, the list of accomplishments he would have to achieve in the next eighteen months brought a sense of dread to Ryan. “They were doable, but my palms started sweating—I realized I didn’t want this,” he recalls. Serendipitously, a position at UVa Law Career Services opened up within two days of that wake-up call. Ryan had always wanted to come back to Charlottesville; this combined with the prospect of working with Kevin Donovan made the job undeniable. “It felt like that same sense of ambition when I decided to go to D.C.,” Ryan explained. “Getting to work on a team with that energy and commitment” was what drew Ryan back to UVa Law in 2013. “It’s the best team in the country,” Ryan says.

When asked what he thought his biggest accomplishment was, Ryan first joked about being the namesake for a goldfish before revealing his more personal triumph. “The relationship I built with students and helping them . . . [During OGI], we won more than we lost.” Ryan beamed when describing this. He did credit the fact that “UVa Law students are more three-dimensional, and inherently easier to market to firms” for his success. Ryan then transitioned to the Law School Foundation becoming a Development and Advancement Officer. Ryan describes his job as talking to alums and “encouraging their philanthropic endeavors.” Ever the investigative reporters, we asked if this meant fundraising. Laughing, he agreed that, yes, it involves fundraising, but it gives him the opportunity to fill alums in on what the Law School is doing now and why they should continue to be proud of their alma mater. He describes his job as “making friends and being a resource [for those friends.]” Overall, his job is essential to the Foundation, which is responsible for managing the Law School’s funds.  

Ryan asserted earnestly that the Law School community is what sets UVa apart. Speaking as a former Peer Advisor (PA), he urged current PAs to welcome and invite 1Ls, LLMs, and transfers to the community as gatekeepers of this tradition. “You start this [tradition] for the school each year,” he explained. For 1Ls, Ryan encouraged them to “dive in” and diversify their interests. While he thinks you should try as hard as you can in law school, Ryan also stressed the importance of not “doing it at the expense of your life.” As for his remarkable resemblance to a certain LRW Professor, Ryan laughs at all the times people would mistakenly call him the wrong name in the hallway. While he doesn’t take offense to the confusion, he joked that he would like the Law School to know that he “was the original new shiny thing.” 

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knh3zd@virginia.edu

Hot Bench: MacLane Taggart '19

(he/him/his)

1. Have you ever had a nickname? 

My name seems to lend itself well to nicknames, so I’ve had a plethora of them. Growing up my dad called me “Mac the Knife” (referencing the Bobby Darin classic) and my siblings called me “Clano” (no cool 1920s connection). In school, I garnered several other nicknames including “Mac Deluxe,” “Big Mac,” “Mac & Cheese,” and “Mac Attack.” I guess being a chubby kid leads to a lot of food tie-ins. Generally, most people call me by my full name or just simply “Mac.”

2. What is your favorite word? 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Ask me what it means to me.

3. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in East Millcreek, just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.

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

I lived in Brazil for a couple years on a service mission and when I was working in a rural area outside of Sao Paulo we often visited with a woman from Rio de Janeiro. In 2012, she made me the best birthday lunch I’ve ever had in 2012. It was steak with caramelized onions, French fries topped with feijao carioca (beans in the style of Rio de Janeiro), fried eggs, and a simple salad. My favorite meal to this day.

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

I have a big (verging on inappropriate) crush on Emma Watson. I would love to meet her in the hopes that she would instantly fall in love with me, and we would live happily ever after. I think she’s a great actress and am really impressed with how she has used her platform to fight for women’s rights. Pretty sure I would embarrass myself if I ever had the opportunity though.

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

 I am not very coordinated so although I love playing sports, I am fairly certain my team wouldn’t do very well. So, I’d pick something nerdy like an owl wearing glasses and a graduation cap that would go around encouraging kids to go to college or something.

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

California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg) – Katy Perry #westcoastbestcoast

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

I have always thought it would be cool to be telekinetic. But if we’re talking “Last Airbender” territory, I’m a total waterbender.

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

I come from a very blue collar family (my dad loads airplanes and my mom is a high school teacher) and am the first person in my family to pursue a professional degree, so I had zero exposure to law school or the field of law before coming to law school. During 1L, I always thought there was some big secret everybody else knew that I didn’t. I wish I had known that everyone is in the same boat for the most part.

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

Truth 1: I (disastrously) auditioned for American Idol in Oklahoma City during undergrad. Truth 2: I’ve eaten Domino’s pizza in New Delhi, India. Lie: I am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do (I’m really only a yellow belt with a green stripe).

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

Mr. Congeniality

 

 

Hot Bench: Wyatt Kozinski '18

Wyatt Kozinski '18
(he/him/his)

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?  

Serendipity.

3. Where did you grow up?  

TBD.

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? 

Gudetama.

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.