Hot Bench: Josh Myers

 

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

2.  What is your favorite word? Optimism. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Court of Petty Appeals: PILA v. JanderMeulen

The Court of Petty Appeals is the highest appellate jurisdiction court at UVa Law. The Court has the power to review any and all decisions, conflicts, and disputes that arise involving, either directly, indirectly, or tangentially, the Law School or its students. The Court is comprised of four associate justices and one Chief Justice. Opinions shall be released periodically and only in the official court reporter: the Virginia Law Weekly. Please email a brief summary of any and all conflicts to jmg3db@virginia.edu.

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

HADEN, J., writing for a unanimous Court.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is so ordered.

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ach7pa@virginia.edu

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

Lunch with Admissions Director Grace Cleveland

Jenna Goldman '18
Editor-in-Chief

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

Photo courtesy of content.law.virginia.edu

Photo courtesy of content.law.virginia.edu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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jmg3db@virginia.edu

Lunch with Dean Donovan

Lia Keane '18
Features Editor

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

Photo courtesy of content.virginia.edu

Photo courtesy of content.virginia.edu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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lk3da@virginia.edu

Hot Bench: Chris Butler

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ve streaked the Lawn. (Lie)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Court of Petty Appeals is the highest appellate jurisdiction court at UVa Law. The Court has the power to review any and all decisions, conflicts, and disputes that arise involving, either directly, indirectly, or tangentially, the Law School or its students. The Court is comprised of four associate justices and one Chief Justice. Opinions shall be released periodically and only in the official court reporter: the Virginia Law Weekly. Please email a brief summary of any and all conflicts to jmg3db@virginia.edu.

 

Coughlin v. Virginia Animal Law Society

90 U.Va 403 (2017)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

GOLDMAN, C.J., concurring.

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

ANGELOTTI, J., concurring in the judgment.

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

JANI, J., dissenting. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ach7pa@virginia.edu

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

Hot Bench: Robert Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9.  Are you a good dancer? Uhh…yeah.

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

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

I have number-form synesthesia. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

TweedleDum: Should Celebrities' Political Opinions Matter?

Kimberly Hopkin '19
Tweedledum

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

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

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

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

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knh3zd@virginia.edu

1 https://www.quora.com/Why-do-some-women-dislike-Lena-Dunham
2 http://theboot.com/natalie-maines-dixie-chicks-controversy/
3 http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/celebrities/celebrities-who-are-republican-conservative-1.3890829
4 http://money.cnn.cohttp://money.cnn.com/2017/01/09/media/celebrity-politics/

TweedleDee: Should Celebrities' Political Opinions Matter?

Max Wagner '19
TweedleDee

This past election cycle featured a number of political PSAs, all featuring the same old, tired format, where one celebrity speaks for a while before saying a SUPER AWESOME MEGA IMPORTANT word, and the rest all echo that same word. Beyond that, we have been treated to celebrities from the overrated Meryl Streep, to Ashley Judd, to David Harbour lecturing the American public about their own political views and feelings. I can honestly say I really don’t care. Oh, a celebrity supports a candidate for something? Why should I care? Why should you? You shouldn’t. 

The first and most important reason to ignore the political yammering of celebrities: they have no expertise in the subject and have no idea what they are talking about. Most of the celebrities in these events are movie stars, or music performers; in other words, they are great at performing things other people have written. And they do it well. But let’s take a look at some of the celebrities who descended from their Olympus to interact with the plebs this election cycle. 

First was Robert Downey, Jr. He was the first and the primary celebrity in the video “IMPORTANT” on the YouTube Channel “Save The Day. Vote.” What qualifications does Robert Downey, Jr. have to lecture the rest of the country on his personal politics? Does he have a degree in or a history of study in political science? Has he been involved in governing or other political adventures for an extended period of time? No. He has done none of those things. He moved to Hollywood after high school to become an actor. He has no experience which indicates to me that his word should be taken any more seriously than any other person. When I want advice on the next step in my acting career, I will gladly take his advice in his field of expertise. 

Next let’s look at Martin Sheen, a notable name in a couple of the other videos. Martin Sheen is most well known for playing President Josiah Bartlett in Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing. Notably, he is also the father of noted “winner” Charlie Sheen, and unnotably Emilio Estevez (and apparently a Ramón and Renée Estevez). Martin Sheen is popular on these types of videos because he pretended to be president in a TV show. That does not actually give you the skills to be president, or make you an expert in anything except (again) reading lines someone else wrote. Hilariously, Sheen seems to agree with this sentiment. In 2006, the Democratic Party of Ohio tried to get Sheen to run for the US Senate. He rebuffed them saying “I’m just not qualified. You’re mistaking celebrity for credibility.” This really sums up my entire argument but, confusingly, after saying this, he has continued to go out and speak as if people should listen. He acknowledged his own lack of standing as a serious voice to discuss these issues, and then immediately jumped back into it. Again, if he wants to speak about how to make it in Hollywood, I will listen, because THAT is his area of expertise. 

Next let’s turn away from Hollywood and politics, to the realms of sports and science. Athletes are the perfect example of incredible amazing skill, knowledge, and expertise in one field, and complete, glaring, almost terrifying lack of knowledge in other fields. For this example, let’s jump to Kyrie Irving. Some of you may know Irving as the dominating point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but most of you probably know him for his real expertise: Astronomy. Yes, that’s right. The genius that is Kyrie Irving is a flat-earther. For those of you who don’t know, a flat-earther is someone who thinks the earth is flat like a disk. Yes, I am obviously being sarcastic with everything above praising the idea of a flat-earth. Everyone knows it is a globe. We ignore this nonsense because he is a great athlete. And that is all he is asked to be. Mostly he is ignored because the shape of the earth is something on which an overwhelming majority of the population agrees. 

These three examples show the real problem with giving a platform to celebrities and their opinions. We gravitate toward and focus on those with which we disagree, while often dismissing dissenting celebrities as emptyheaded and clueless on the topic. Instead, we should treat celebrity opinions no differently than opinions of any other person: personal and likely flawed. People with no background on an issue should not get a larger platform just because they are a celebrity, whose skill is in no way related to said issue.

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mjw5pt@virginia.edu

1 It was hilarious to see the caliber of celebrity continually drop, video after video.
2 I don’t say that… People say that. 
3 Actually, I really like Emilio Estevez – though I was recently warned by my sister that Mighty Ducks 2 does not hold up. Make of that what you will. 
4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Sheen
5 Id.

 

Lunch with Director Hulvey

Kimberly Hopkin '19
Columns Editor

Before we start, I’m a little biased. Director of the Office of Financial Aid Jennifer Hulvey, who sweetly reminds me every time I see her that she wants students to call her Jennifer, conducted my application interview to UVa Law. Okay, fine – I’m extremely biased because Hulvey has always been there rooting for me personally since I first pressed send on my application. But she’s also been rooting for you, too. 

Hulvey credits her strong sensibilities to her rural background growing up on a farm. She still cherishes her life on the farm, and she loves talking to students from rural backgrounds about driving tractors; growing, harvesting, and canning her own food; and coming together as a family to make sure everything on the farm ran smoothly. For a kid like me who grew up in the suburbs, it’s easy to romanticize that lifestyle. However, she’s always clear that it doesn’t look like the movies. Barns aren’t red wooden structures with thoroughbred horses chewing on hay. It took hard work and living by a different set of norms. For instance, her mother still worries about whether Hulvey has a hot dinner ready for her husband when he’s done with work – something crucially important for men laboring on a farm for tireless hours a day. She’s able to laugh off the assumption that her husband can’t fix himself something to eat when her job keeps her late, but she did grow up in a community where this role was essential.

Hulvey’s path from this rural background to directing the Financial Aid Office at UVa Law wasn’t always easy – and it certainly wasn’t predictable. She was the first in her family to attend a traditional four-year college, which meant she didn’t have the typical support system other students benefited from. After earning her degree at Virginia Tech, she decided to work in the finance sector of the agricultural industry. While successful, Hulvey didn’t feel fulfilled. She was raised to believe that her job, her life, shouldn’t be about just making money. Therefore, she made the decision to seek employment in higher education at a financial aid office. Thinking back to her time just starting, Hulvey couldn’t help but laugh at how much she didn’t know back then. But her passion for helping students from rural backgrounds (and a few generous co-workers) fueled her success. 

When she chose to go back to school, Hulvey dealt with some less-than-kind presumptions from her family. The idea that she could quit a job with pay and benefits that she was good at to go back to school sounded lazy to some family members. However, Hulvey had seen first-hand the range of opportunities higher education can bring. After earning her graduate degree from James Madison University, Hulvey started working in the information technology field. She was a consultant for the group implementing what we know today as SIS. In a wonderful turn of events, just as that consulting job was coming to a close, UVa Law was looking for a new Director of Financial Aid. Unknown to Hulvey, her tenacity and welcoming spirit had been her job application, and she became the Director of Financial Aid in 2009. 

Although the Financial Aid Office hasn’t always been quite as involved in the admissions process, Hulvey explained that Dean Faulk has made an effort over the last couple years to include them. It’s part of an effort to break down any barriers in students’ minds about approaching the talented people in the office when they need help. Plus, UVa Law’s new application process, which includes entrance interviews, means the Financial Aid Office not only can help potential students with any financing questions, but also help fill the UVa Law community. Because Hulvey is also the liaison for military or dependent students, she typically interviews those with a military background as part of their application process. She also helps interview applicants from rural backgrounds. Given her unique perspective, Hulvey helps bridge the gap between these potential students and the law school, often reassuring an applicant through her slight Appalachian accent alone. I think we can all agree that her subtle accent is welcoming to everyone!

Hulvey loves each and every role she plays in students’ lives – no matter how small. She doesn’t want to leave UVa Law, even though she constantly gets offers to rejoin the consulting world, because she has a personal stake in the success of students here. Every day that she sees a UVa Law graduate accomplish something, she feels like she got a chance to contribute in the smallest of ways to the good that graduate is doing in the world. She values that feeling more than money. 

Speaking of things that are more valuable than money, Hulvey is always open to discussing how to juggle two strong, professional careers in a marriage. After twenty-plus years of marriage, the Hulveys have discovered that intentionally setting aside time for each other is paramount. Everyone these days has competing priorities; Hulvey and her husband strive to make sure each one knows how important they are to the other. One marriage suggestion she offered is having a regular date night. Instead of concentrating on cooking or cleaning, Hulvey and her husband go out and focus on only each other – no phones. They also do this with camping trips throughout the year. On a day-to-day basis, they try only to answer emergency emails at night. This leaves work at work so that they can enjoy their time together at home. 

The last thing Hulvey wants everyone at UVa Law to know is that her cat, Doodle, should win Paw Review. First of all, Doodle is adorable. Secondly, in the photo provided for Paw Review, Doodle is clearly brandishing her paw for you to see. Isn’t this the point of Paw Review?!

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knh3zd@virginia.edu

Court of Petty Appeals: Joe v. Fore 187 U.Va. 17 (2017)

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

Today’s case involves a dispute between a teacher and a student over the teacher’s power to give a failing grade. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and direct the lower court to enter judgment in accordance with our opinion here.

All parties to this dispute agree to the relevant facts necessary for resolution of this case. The plaintiff, who we refer to as Dohn Joe for purposes of anonymity, is a 1L currently enrolled at the Law School. As a 1L, Joe is currently enrolled in the yearlong confusing legal adventure known as Legal Research and Writing (hereinafter LRW). Joe’s professor is one of the defendants, Professor Joe Fore, who, we have been told, does not do as many pull ups as Professor Doran.

Defendant Fore assigned a legal brief as the main assignment for LRW this semester. This brief, which amicus briefs have described as “torturous,” “hellish,” “kinda fun if you’re the kind of person who enjoyed journal tryouts,” and “pretty sucky,” was meant to be between fifteen and twenty-two pages, which is a whole lot.[1] Fore made these briefs due at 5:30 pm sharp on Thursday, March 16th. Seven copies of the brief had to be printed out and turned in at the specified time. Fore warned his students, including Joe, that failure to submit the briefs on time would result in a student automatically failing LRW for that semester.

On March 17th, plaintiff Joe was having a pretty shitty day. He had just taken the Accounting exam the day before and that hadn’t gone well. Joe had gotten little-to-no sleep because he was writing personal statements for journal tryouts. Joe and his girlfriend had gotten in a pretty big fight because he really didn’t want to go out for St. Patrick’s Day, but she was really into it and didn’t want to go alone. Worst of all, Joe was out of money in his printing account so he had to go to FedEx to get his briefs printed out. Plus, they charged him extra for the red cover on all of his briefs. Needless to say, Joe was not doing super well around 5:25 pm as he sprinted out of the FedEx store to get back to the Law School.

At 5:31 pm, defendant Fore closed the door of the small interview room where he was collecting the briefs. At 5:34 and ten seconds, Joe arrived but found the door locked. He was unable to submit his briefs. Defendant Fore told Joe via email that Joe would fail LRW and would need to take the class again 2L year. Joe then filed this lawsuit, seeking to enjoin Fore from failing him in LRW for being late to turn in his briefs. Joe also filed suit against defendant Jason Dugas, seeking to enjoin Dugas from entering a failing grade onto Joe’s transcript.

Defendants filed a motion to dismiss in the court below. They argued that, even accepting the facts as true, the difficulties of the plaintiff were not sufficient to warrant an extension on submitting the brief. They argue that professors have plenary power to assign grades in classrooms, and students cannot petition these grades for extraneous reasons. Finally, defendant Dugas argues that grades cannot be left off of a transcript, as that would defeat the purpose of a transcript of one’s academic progress in Law School. A panel of three judges below, consisting of two Dillards and Professor Sarah Ware, granted the motion to dismiss as to both defendants. We affirm the motion to dismiss as to defendant Fore, but reverse the motion to dismiss as to defendant Dugas.

At the outset, following the Goluboff Suggestion, we note that we have jurisdiction as this is a case that rises out of, and uniquely out of, the Law School.

We first turn to the plaintiff’s contentions against defendant Fore. The lower court held that there are no circumstances that the plaintiff could allege such that the deadline (and the subsequent automatic failure of LRW) could be judicially ignored. We disagree with that contention. Certainly there are cases and circumstances in which a Petty Court, acting under its broad grant of equitable powers from this Court,[2] could find that a deadline is unreasonable or unfair, and grant the kind of relief that plaintiff here seeks. However, we are convinced that the plaintiff’s particular circumstances here cannot give rise to the relief he seeks against Fore.

Fore is correct that professors often enjoy plenary power in deciding the grades of their students. There are limitations of fairness and equity; typically these limitations take the form of the “curve,” which we have held elsewhere can be judicially altered. See Anonymous 3L v. Clerkship Rejection, 289 U.Va 1829 (2014). However, we have also held that in pass/fail classes, there are fewer limitations because there is no curve. We have even gone so far as to hold that “the presumption [in pass/fail classes] is that you’re gonna pass, so long as you’re sober 50% of the time.” Seminar on Ethical Values v. Ferzan & Hellman, et al., 382 U.Va 18 (2016). That presumption is only overcome by a clear warning from the professor.

In this case, it is undisputed that Fore gave such a warning to his students, including the plaintiff, that a student would not pass if a brief were submitted late. We find that as a matter of law, Fore did not act outside of his duly granted powers as a professor in setting a deadline, advertising that deadline, and using an automatic failure as the punishment for failure to meet the deadline.

As noted above, we also find that the plaintiff’s specific circumstances do not warrant an exception. Circumstances that might give rise to such an exception include, but are not limited to, a death or serious illness in the family, some sort of unforeseen accident, or the Thursday Keg suddenly returning to its rightful day.[3]

Plaintiff argues that without this Court granting relief, he will be forced to redo LRW and that will be too humiliating to bear. We agree that it may be humiliating, but hopefully it will be easier the second time around. Plus, the 1Ls will just think you’re a Dillard. We must affirm the judgment of the lower court as to defendant Fore.

While we cannot enjoin Fore to help the plaintiff, we think that we can (and should) enjoin Dugas to help the plaintiff. We do not agree with Dugas’ argument that the point of a transcript is to record grades. Rather, we see the transcript as the fundamental tool in helping students get jobs. We recognized that transcripts serve this vital role in Davis Polk v. Donovan, 2 U.Va 1892 (2016) (“Transcripts and softball batting averages are the key statistics that employers examine.”).

We agree with our partially dissenting colleague that in almost all cases, finalized grades should not be removed from the transcript, as that might cause a flurry of litigation from these gunnery 1Ls. However, today, we recognize an exception: failing grades in LRW shall be henceforth stricken from all UVa Law transcripts. Defendant Dugas is hereby enjoined from placing such a grade on any student’s transcript. Fore may fail Joe, and Fore may make him take LRW again, but no evidence of this shall appear on a permanent record.

We therefore reverse the motion to dismiss as granted against defendant Dugas and remand this case with instructions to enter judgment for the plaintiff against defendant Dugas. The remainder of the judgment is affirmed.

ANGELOTTI, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part.

I would affirm the entirety of the lower court’s decision. I cannot join the Court in its conclusion that grades can be left off of a transcript. That would defeat the entire point of a transcript. Trust me, I’d love to get rid of some of my grades, but we can’t do that because without grades, there’d be no Law Review, and without Law Review, I wouldn’t know who to avoid at parties.

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ach7pa@virginia.edu

[1] As a Court rule, we don’t accept briefs longer than four pages. Who has time to read that much?

[2] Yeah, we learned something from LRW. #disgorgeBrunoKrait.

[3] But see the Regulatory Office of Student Affairs’ recent promulgated rule: “No fun shall be had on Thursdays ever.”

Hot Bench: Allie Hemmings

1. Have you ever had a nickname? What?

My mom and grandma call me Xanuca, which is the diminutive form of my name in Portuguese.  I love hummingbirds, so some of my friends in college called me “Hemmingbird.”

2. How old are you in dog years?

111 years old.

3.  Where did you grow up?

I am originally from Johannesburg, South Africa.  We moved to the U.S. when I was two, and I mostly grew up in Houston, TX.

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

After college I lived next to this food cart that served the most incredible ramen.  My favorite was the tonkotsu ramen.  It came with chashu pork, a perfectly cooked egg, bamboo shoots, and nori, and I would always get mushrooms and spinach added in.  It was my comfort food to get through the cold, dark, and rainy winters in Portland, OR.

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

I would want to meet Cheryl Strayed. Her writing is so beautiful, and she always has such a kind and emphatic perspective on all the challenges life has to offer. I read all of her “Dear Sugar” columns last year, and I was just floored by them.

6.  What’s your favorite book?

I’m going to cheat on this one and refuse to pick one favorite. My favorite classics are Persuasion by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, and The Great Gatsby. My favorite modern books are The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, and White Teeth by Zadie Smith.

7.  Cats or Dogs?

I grew up with a yellow lab, so I am definitely a dog person.  I have to make an exception for my roommate’s cat, Chloe. She has the highest sass-to-size ratio of any animal I have known.

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

I would want an incredibly banal power that would make life easier – like never hitting a red light or always getting up the first time your alarm rings in the morning.

9.  Are you a good dancer?

I am a terrible dancer, but I really enjoy it. What I lack in skill I make up for with enthusiasm.

10.  What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Soft-boiled eggs with toast.

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

I have been winter camping in -20 degree weather in the Artic Circle.
I have run a marathon. *
I really enjoy darkroom photography.

*Lie: extremely unlikely. 

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

I have always wanted to renovate an old house; it would be a really fun challenge. I like refinishing furniture – all the cleaning, sanding, and painting is really soothing.

13.  Do you sing in the shower?

Not usually – I am quite fond of my roommates and respect their eardrums.

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

My birthday was at the very beginning of 1L year, and a few of my section mates chipped in to get me a beautiful copy of Jane Eyre that I had been admiring at a bookshop on the Downtown Mall. It was so kind and unexpected and made me feel so welcome at UVA.

15.  Do you believe the library should install a water feature?

Perhaps? Another Keurig machine would be even better though.

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

I wouldn’t want to know anything about my future.  What will happen will happen, and knowing about it in advance won’t change that. 

17.  Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

*NSYNC for sure.

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

About 36 hours – any more than that and I get too loopy to function.

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

Wine tasting, hiking, and going to see movies at the Violet Crown. The seats in that theater are insanely comfortable and their chocolate mousse is to die for. Also you can get chocolate mousse there.

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

Be nice to your waiters! Say thank you and tip them well.

Lunch with Professor Kitch

Lia Keane '18
Features Editor

Having been a member of our faculty since 1982, Professor Edmund Kitch has become a friendly fixture within the UVa Law community over the last three-and-a-half decades. Always quick to greet students in the hallways with a smile, Prof. Kitch helps to promote the collegial atmosphere that the law school prides itself on, and that is one of the reasons why the Law Weekly staff was excited to speak with Prof. Kitch when he joined us for lunch before spring break. 

Photo courtesy www.law.virginia.edu

Photo courtesy www.law.virginia.edu

Prof. Kitch received his B.A. from Yale University and completed his law degree at the University of Chicago. While in law school, Prof. Kitch developed an interest in law and economics, which he attributes in large part to the mentorship he received from Ronald Coase and Aaron Director, two highly celebrated professors at Chicago who played a key role in developing the university’s School of Economics. After graduating from law school, Prof. Kitch initially began teaching at Chicago, though he subsequently took at position at the Indiana University School of Law to be eligible for a draft deferment. Prof. Kitch returned to Chicago’s law school in 1965, and he remained there until coming to UVa seventeen years later. When asked what factors have kept him at UVa Law for such a substantial portion of his career, Prof. Kitch replied that the support he’s received from his colleagues and the law school’s alumni has made our school a wonderful place to work. Notably, Prof. Kitch has also taken several visiting professor positions over the years, which he described as providing excellent professional and academic opportunities. In particular, Prof. Kitch stated that he appreciated seeing the differences between law school programs across the country and having the opportunity to bring successful elements back to UVa.   

Prof. Kitch primarily teaches courses that fall within the corporate umbrella, such as Corporations and Securities Regulation, though he indicated his personal interest in antitrust and intellectual property law as well. This semester, Prof. Kitch is also co-teaching the Monetary Constitution Seminar with Professor Julia Mahoney. The course examines the evolution of our country’s financial industry and offers students the opportunity to delve into the historical context of many modern issues, such as the national debt and taxation. Prof. Kitch expressed enthusiasm for the current student-to-faculty ratio, and said that he has enjoyed teaching smaller classes and interacting more closely with students. 

Despite his long tenure as a professor, Prof. Kitch said that he still finds the process of learning “puzzling.” When pressed to elaborate, Prof. Kitch noted that students learn a great deal between the start of 1L and their graduation day, though he wonders what it is that specifically allows them to leave UVa with a sense of preparedness for the future. Prof. Kitch believes that receiving adequate legal training may take all three years of the current degree program, though he noted that it is up to students to make the most of their schedules by taking relevant practical classes. In terms of the advice that Prof. Kitch has for students, he urges continually refining your career goals and strategies. In doing this, Prof. Kitch recommends critically assessing who your clients will be, what value you can bring to your job, and identifying methods of conveying your special attributes to your colleagues. For students planning on working for a firm, Prof. Kitch highlighted the importance of developing a strong bond with a partner or set of partners who can help to develop your practical skills and general knowledge while you are still in the early stages of your career. More generally, Prof. Kitch also encourages students to become comfortable with various research tools, including those that aren’t automatic or “easy” in order to avoid becoming dependent on flawed systems or making easily avoided errors. 

Outside of teaching, Prof. Kitch enjoys attending the opera in New York with his wife. His favorite show, Lucia di Lammermoor, will run at the Metropolitan Opera throughout the spring. In addition to spending evenings at the opera, Prof. Kitch goes to Tanglewood Music Festival each year. Tanglewood, which is held in Massachusetts, consists of a series of concerts featuring symphonic, chamber, and choral music, along with contemporary jazz and pop artists. Prof. Kitch also enjoys spending time with family; his two daughters live in Los Angeles and Camden, Maine, respectively, and his son currently resides in Greenwich Village.

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 lk3da@virginia.edu

Lunch with Professor Harmon

Kimberly Hopkin '19
Columns Editor

If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting and learning from Professor Rachel Harmon, then you’re missing an essential perspective. After an extremely diverse academic career at MIT and the London School of Economics, Prof. Harmon changed course and pursued a law degree because she values concrete legal questions and has an innate ability to solve them. After graduating Yale Law School, Prof. Harmon practiced law as a federal prosecutor, helping victims find justice when other authority figures wouldn’t listen to their complaints. It wasn’t a relaxed job; she mostly prosecuted official misconduct of police officers. Sometimes her cases involved excessive force and sexual misconduct. But sitting at lunch with Law Students, she focused the discussion on how she was grateful for the opportunity to empower victims who otherwise felt marginalized. 

Photo courtesy www.law.virginia.edu

Photo courtesy www.law.virginia.edu

After being a determined and effective prosecutor, it was difficult for us to understand why she would leave that life for academia. To the average student, academia seems less exciting than tackling real-life, gritty cases straight out of “Law & Order” episodes. However, Prof. Harmon described how the transition flowed naturally. Her prosecution job required substantial amounts of travel in order to fully investigate her cases. While she loved the work, it was taxing. When some other employment options reached out to her, she took a step back and decided to consider all her options. Her mind traveled back to an experience she had at trial where she wanted to make an argument in her closing statements comparing two policies. It seemed like an obvious argument for her, but she couldn’t find a law review or journal article that met that idea head on. So, she knew that she had to write about it. 

Prof. Harmon’s transition into academia in 2006 had other benefits as well. She enjoys the ability to influence students she truly believes will take over the world. Prof. Harmon treasures the professor-student relationships here at UVa Law because the law school atmosphere is vastly different from her law school experience. Prof. Harmon and her fellow colleagues vest themselves in the success of bright students who are oriented toward practice. Teaching UVa students energizes her passion for the law. And, considering she practiced Muay Thai and is constantly training for triathlons, you can tell she has a lot of energy.

When asked about her ultimate goal for the students in her classes, she paused and thought deeply. You could tell it was important to her that she communicate her idea precisely and that we fully grasp her response and internalize it. She thinks the ultimate purpose behind our time at law school is developing an ability to look at immense legal issues and then analyze situations and fact patterns deeply. Too many students try to skate by in their classes through skimming cases and pulling quotes that suit their immediate purpose. Prof. Harmon explained that is not what a lawyer should be. For incoming 1Ls, she always encourages them to slow down and avoid panicking during the first part of the year. She has confidence that they will master the basic ability to think like a lawyer by Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the next two and a half years are so detail oriented that students sometimes forget how deeply they can, and should, analyze a topic. Having a student return to that habit is her ultimate goal. 

For the 3Ls preparing to enter the legal career field, she doesn’t doubt that they will accomplish great things. But, she wants to remind them that, in their legal careers, ethical questions don’t approach you as stark, black-and-white choices. Being truly ethical requires constantly monitoring your interests or choices and aligning those with your responsibilities. Sometimes you won’t be able to realize how important a decision was until hindsight. As the world changes with technological advances and globalization, Prof. Harmon feels that the face of law practice will necessarily change, too. These new challenges may make people feel like their careers are fundamentally different than those that came before; however, the importance of ethical practice is a constant. 

Speaking of changes, when we asked Prof. Harmon about the future of police reform, she responded positively. Although she does have doubts that the same national momentum will continue under the new Administration, she predicts that the momentum will shift to more local initiatives. It might not be centered on constitutional questions, but she does not think the passion we see now will fade away. Prof. Harmon noted that pushes for reform usually occur when crime rates are low, and we need to wait to see whether that number changes in the near future. 

As the lunch came to a close, her last piece of advice was encouraging us to inhabit our own spaces and use our strengths to our advantage. We may not all be intimidating people who can enter a room and pound on a table, but she has learned that those qualities weren’t necessary for her to be successful. Even though other people may insist there’s only one method or route to success, she has seen first-hand that this simply isn’t true. 

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knh3zd@virginia.edu

Hot Bench: Chris Byer

 

1. Have you ever had a nickname? What? “Big Chris,” “Big Krit,” “Moose,” “K-Pop King 9000.”

2. How old are you in dog years? 167.88 years old (taking into account that I’m writing this on Sunday, February 19). 

3.  Where did you grow up? I spent most of my childhood in the lovely State of Denial. 

4. What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? I once had an elk steak at a restaurant in Breckenridge, CO called “Ember.” I still dream about it sometimes. 10/10 would recommend. 

5.  If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be? Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

6.  What’s your favorite book? It changes depending on which book I read that day. Currently, it’s “Green Eggs and Ham.”

7.  Cats or Dogs? I feel like most people who know me are expecting me to say “cats,” but I’m very much an animal person. So, similar to that lie parents tell their children, I love them both equally. 

8.  If you were a superhero what would your superpower be? I’d have pockets that would fill with whatever I need. Need cash? Check my pocket. Grappling hook? Check my pocket. Bigger pockets? Check. My. Pockets. 

9.  Are you a good dancer? I won a dance off at Bilt a couple weeks ago, “Step Up 2: The Streets” style… so probably not, but what I lack in skills, I make up for in enthusiasm.

10.  What did you have for breakfast this morning? Eight hundred milligrams of ibuprofen, two tablespoons of Pepto-Bismol, and a large iced coffee (light ice, no cream). 

11.  What’s your most interesting two-truths-and-a-lie? (And what’s the lie?) I have a tattoo, I once saved a kid from a shark, and one time I ran 42 miles after training for only four weeks. Lie: it wasn’t actually a shark, but have you ever brushed up against seaweed in the ocean? Equally terrifying. 

12.  If you could live anywhere, where would it be? In Beyoncé’s heart. 

13.  Do you sing in the shower? As a general rule, I always sing when I’m naked. So yes, in the shower, at playgrounds, occasionally in SL 294… 

14.  What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? For my birthday last year, I received a kitten calendar starring staged pictures of my cat. 

15.  Do you believe the library should install a water feature? A water feature in a room containing thousands of books? That sounds like a fantastic idea. 

16.  If you could know one thing about your future, what would it be? Who my first wife will be! And why we’d get divorced. 

17. Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC? I can sing every word to the Backstreet Boys “Y2k” album. It’s like a talent, if talents were completely useless. 

18.  What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep? I once went an entire period of crim without sleep. I know, it was only 60 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. 

19.  What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville? I like long walks on the beach, volunteering at the local animal shelter, and generally being a good role model for children. Just kidding. I enjoy staring out the library window trying to remember what fresh air smells like.

20.  If you could make one law that everyone had to follow, what would it be? I believe it was Abraham Lincoln who once said, “Use your blinkers.” 

Court of Petty Appeals: Ingles, et al. v. Parkers of Arlington Blvd. and City of Charlottesville 251 U.Va 900 (2017)

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

Today we consider a case relating to a permanent issue around the Law School: parking. We affirm in part and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

The facts of this case are not in serious dispute. The area in question is Arlington Boulevard between Massie Road and Millmont Street (hereinafter “Arlington”). The lead plaintiff, Sarah Ingles, is a resident in the relevant area of Arlington.

Plaintiff Ingles alleges, and defendants do not dispute, that there is a variety of street parking available in the Arlington area. All of this street parking is parallel parking. In addition, there is designated resident parking inside or around each of the various living areas and apartments in the Arlington area. This parking is for residents only; the street parking is free for use by anyone, including residents. At all times while she has lived on Arlington, Ingles has also owned a car.

Plaintiff’s main complaint relates to the street parking. Plaintiff alleges that people who use the street parking do so improperly. These parkers leave at least half of a car length between the cars, resulting in fewer parking spaces available for people to use. Plaintiff alleges that this behavior is intolerable, and she prayed for both injunctive relief and money damages against those relevant parkers on Arlington. In addition, she has sued the City of Charlottesville and its officers in charge of parking enforcement, alleging that they have failed in their duty to properly monitor the parking situation on Arlington. 

After plaintiff filed this lawsuit, she was joined by several other residents on Arlington, who share her same complaint. Most notably, the entity known as MindsEye also joined the suit, claiming he or she needed money damages for “some side projects,” which honestly concerns us. In the lower court, injunctive relief against all defendants was entered. In addition, the court found that the plaintiffs were entitled to money damages from the parking defendants; however, the court allowed an interlocutory appeal before a trial on damages, in part to certify the following question to this Court: “Should monetary damages be allowed in this case?”

At the outset, we note our jurisdiction. Dean Goluboff has asked that we start including this section in our cases to affirm this Court’s plenary power over the Law School after the contentious power struggle of Court of Petty Appeals ex rel. Ferzan v. Doran, 819 U.Va 187 (2017) (“Give it up, dude; no one pronounces it that way.”). We have jurisdiction over this case because the plaintiffs are law students at UVa Law, and because the area in question is adjacent to the school.

I. We turn first to the plaintiffs’ claims against the Improper Parkers on Arlington (hereinafter “IPAs”). The named defendants whom plaintiffs were able to identify contest only the awarding of money damages; they do not challenge the lower court’s decision to enter injunctive relief against them. This concession is a wise one. It would be most unfortunate for a party to claim that this Court lacks the power to enforce a rule through our equitable powers. Indeed, as the Court below found (and as we are also convinced), these IPAs have been parking very badly. They have taken up more than their fair share of spots, and they must be enjoined from this behavior in the future. 

Defendants instead attack the lower court’s awarding of money damages to plaintiffs for a successful claim of the tort of irritation. As Justice Jani pointed out in Unner v. SSLP, the tort of irritation requires a showing that irritating conduct has occurred, and that such conduct falls outside of the normal scope of irritation. 696 U. Va 924 (2017). Defendants have nominally challenged both prongs of the tort, but during oral argument, they appeared to abandoned the first prong after we made it “really fucking clear that we don’t like people who take up extra parking spaces.” They instead argue that the parking does not fall outside of the normal scope of irritation.

To support this contention, they claim that plaintiffs, as residents of Arlington, have their own designated resident parking spots, where they can keep their cars. Therefore, the bad parking on the street, while mildly annoying, cannot be overly irritating to them. This contention, however, does not take into account the complexities of the plaintiffs’ position.

First, plaintiffs (wisely) did not sue under a theory of conversion. That is, they have not claimed that they have a property right to the street parking that has been violated by the defendants. Instead, they made several factual claims in the court below. They asserted that their guests are harmed by IPAs. They argue that apartments with more residents than resident parking spaces are harmed by IPAs. They argue that bad parking requires Uber drivers, OrderUp vans, and mail trucks to double park, affecting traffic flow. We are convinced that all of these factual allegations together make a sufficient factual basis for the lower court’s finding that the conduct of the IPAs falls outside of the normal scope of irritation.

Perhaps more fundamentally, defendants’ appeal misunderstands the basic premise of this suit. Defendants seem to believe that plaintiffs are only allowed to bring this suit because they are residents of Arlington. They believe that this resident status gives these plaintiffs, and only these plaintiffs, standing to bring this suit. This idea is fundamentally false. ALL PEOPLE who attempt to street park on Arlington but are unable to do so because of IPAs may bring a suit in our lower courts for money damages and injunctive relief. Defendants argue this ruling is unfair, but life is unfair. Learn to park.

Defendants’ final contention is that money damages are unavailable because the harm here is incalculable. We have more faith in our lower courts than the defendants do. “Just because something is hard to calculate, doesn’t make it incalculable.” Accounting and Corporate Finance v. Haden’s Exam, 7 U.Va 918 (2015). We therefore remand to the lower court for an estimation of damages each plaintiff is due. As with all cases in our Petty Jurisdiction, punitive damages are available. Davies v. Wednesday Keg, 12 U.Va 781 (2015) (“It doesn’t get much more petty than being punitive.”).

II. The City of Charlottesville has also appealed the injunction entered against it in the lower court. That injunction provides that the City of Charlottesville, through its officers, must enforce this Court’s decision by ticketing IPAs regularly. The defendants claim that this injunction is invalid because municipal governments cannot be enjoined into following the law, and even if they could be, the injunction is too vague because it only specifies “regular” ticketing as opposed to specific frequencies.

Defendants cite Ex parte Young, a U.S. Supreme Court case, for the proposition that private citizens cannot enjoin state actors. However, we note that case is inapplicable for two reasons: (1) Ex parte Young only applies to federal and state courts, and we are an entirely different Petty court; and (2) we are not bound by Supreme Court decisions, and we never have been. See all of the terrible choices that the Supreme Court has made over the years. 

We see no problem with forcing officers to enforce the law. In fact, one might say that an officer’s whole job is to enforce the law. Theoretically, defendants are correct that we shouldn’t have to force people to do their jobs at all. But clearly, the situation on Arlington has gotten out of hand.

We also see no problem with the word “regularly” as used in the injunction. “Regular” has enough of a commonplace meaning that we feel that defendants will have little to no trouble acting within the reasonable bounds of the injunction. Should a citizen feel that the defendants are not adequately adhering to the injunction, that citizen may file an action in our lower courts to enforce the injunction or have the defendants held in contempt.

There may indeed come a time where this injunction is no longer necessary. We speak of a time where a person is free to park on Arlington because other people have not selfishly parked to prohibit maximum parkage. However, we do not live in such a time. Therefore, until we live in such a utopia, we must grant the plaintiffs their relief.

Judgment affirmed; case remanded to the lower court for a determination of damages. 

 

ANGELOTTI, J., dissenting 

I do not like parallel parking. I did not learn how to do it, I do not like to do it, and I will not force people to be better at it. If people can’t find parking, they should just Uber. Or park at the Law School. It’s free.

1 Or, if the IPA is a repeat offender, the IPA may be held in contempt of this Court's order today.

A Guide to Charlottesville

Law Weekly Editorial Staff

Charlottesville is known for having the most restaurants per capita in the country. As the recent winner of the “best place to eat in Charlottesville” debate written in this paper, I feel eminently qualified to introduce you to the basics of the Charlottesville food scene.

 

North Grounds / North Grounds Adjacent:

Let’s start with the basics: you’ve got an hour between class, and you can’t handle another Scoco Chicken Caesar wrap. Here are your basic options near the Law School. You’ve got Zzaam, a Korean rice bowl place a little bit past Barracks, which is honestly delicious and very underpriced. There’s also Cookout right next to Zzaam, in case you want to see how terrible you can make your body feel for just $2.80. Plus, they have milkshakes, so that’s good.

In Barracks itself, you have some classic brands. There’s a Chipotle, but it is always SUPER busy with undergrads who call it “Potle.” The real pros always order ahead online, or go to the other Chipotle a little further away in Pantops. There is also a Ruby Tuesday, at which I have seen a total of two people eating during my three years in Charlottesville. Very unclear how they are staying in business. There’s a pizza place called Brixx, which has a decent lunch deal with a half pizza and half salad for ten bucks. Not amazing pizza but not too bad. Sedona is also near the Law School, but the real reason to go to Sedona is for its happy hour (3 to 6 everyday, mark your calendars). The food is fine for lining your stomach after a couple of martinis, but otherwise isn’t really worth stopping by.

There’s a fair amount of fast food around North Grounds. There’s Arby’s, McDonald’s, Subway, and Taco Bell. But the crown jewel of North Grounds is Wings Over Charlottesville. Cheap, delicious wings, open until 3am, and they deliver. Do yourself a favor and order the parmesan garlic fries. 

The Corner

If you’re ever on the Corner during the day, I definitely recommend going to Trinity. While Trinity at night is a hotbed for physical violence and poorly-made drinks, during the day it has pretty decent pub food and a fine beer selection. Apparently Bilt has okay food but you can judge for yourself whether that’s a good idea or not. There’s also Pigeon Hole if you are interested in brunch that is overpriced.

For all of those other times you’re on the Corner (read: only at night), the move is dumplings at Marco and Luca. Be forewarned that the line in the store is really confusing, and if you cut in front of a drunk undergrad, you will be yelled at and possibly lectured by a sophomore Philosophy major about morality. But trust me, the dumplings are worth it. 

For the two Thursdays a semester that Bar Review isn’t at Bilt, Boylan has okay food sometimes. People also talk about the White Spot, but I am not really sure why.

 

The Downtown Mall:

Here’s where the focal point of your dining experiences in Charlottesville should be fixed. There are tons of great places on the Downtown Mall, so I encourage you to try all of them. I’ll just point out a few of my favorites.

Whiskey Jar is a great place to get some classic Southern food with a fancier twist. Delicious corn bread, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, collard greens, etc. They have a great meal where you can just pick a bunch of sides all together as your meal. Definitely worth it. Their drinks are okay, but not worth the price, especially given the number of better bars on the Downtown Mall.

Jack Brown’s is a great spot to get a fairly cheap burger and fries; if you’re a JMU alum, then you already know how great Jack Brown’s is. It is pretty busy and seating is a little limited, but the food and the price are definitely worth the wait. Compare with Citizen Burger, which, in my opinion, is exactly the opposite. The burgers at CB are pretty bland, and they are wayyy too expensive for how meh they are. 

Miller’s has pretty good food and some good beer on tap; its major bonus is that NO ONE is ever there (if you don’t mind a pretty thick smell of cigarette smoke). There’s also Now and Zen, a great sushi place just a block off the Mall. It’s a little pricey but the sushi is really good, probably the best tasting sushi in Charlottesville. 

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Pretty much anywhere in the Belmont area is delicious and really expensive. Wait for your parents, sugar parents, or firm to take you out to these places. Mas, The Local, Tavola, etc. All great places. But you can skip the new BBQ place next to the Local. It’s pretty average food, a little on the dry side, and not worth the money. Another Belmont notable is Lampo Pizza. Open late, this pizza joint is pretty good, putting some new twists on classic pizzas. 

A little ways up on Route 29, there is Love Sushi King (LSK). At LSK, you pay $17 (maybe $14 for lunch), and you get UNLIMITED items off their menu. That’s right. Unlimited. Their sushi, their sashimi, their hibachi, their appetizers: all unlimited, all for just $17. You can literally gorge yourself on the hedonism. Is it the absolute best tasting sushi in the world? No, probably not, but it’s pretty decent for what it is, and I again repeat, UNLIMITED. I highly recommend the crab Rangoon; my personal record at one sitting is eight orders.

I’m sure I’ve left great restaurants off this list, but they’re playing that music from the Oscars to make award winners stop talking, so I’ve got to bounce. Catch you at Wings Over!

 

Bars

At some point in law school, you’re going to need a drink or ten. The two main areas you’ll want to hit up are the Downtown Mall (pros: no undergrads, more upscale; cons: wayyyyy more expensive and further away) and the Corner (just reverse the pros and cons from above). Notable stops on the Downtown Mall are Commonwealth’s Skybar (overlooking the mall area), Whiskey Jar (be sure to try some of their Southern-inspired items on their menu), and Alley Light. If you’re looking to dance out your stress while enjoying a cocktail, there’s no better place on the Mall than Éscafe. While it markets itself as a gay bar, people of all genders and sexualities flock there for the great music and large(ish) dance floor.

The Corner, more central to university nightlife, has a wider variety of choices for the casual (or less casual) drinker. Biltmore (Bilt) is the “law school bar,” the default stop for law students, but when it gets cold enough to close the outdoor area, the upstairs bar becomes super crowded – claustrophobes beware. Across the street, Coupes is the opposite situation – there’s tons of room because no one goes there. Around the corner, the Virginian is another law school favorite, but the venue is extremely small, and if you or a friend doesn’t get a table early, it’s almost not worth it. But once the crowd gets rowdy enough, people start to dance on the tables. Cf. Trinity, the Ke$ha of bars. After 11:30pm, the top floor becomes a huge dance floor, perfect for dancing those boozy calories away. 

 

Music

Charlottesville’s location, between the Clinch Mountains of Virginia where country music was born and the major East Coast music circuits, lends it a fantastic blend of attractions that come to town. We are the proud birthplace of the Dave Matthews Band, and with so many venues friendly to up-and-coming musicians; it is easy to see how the Band developed. Here are a few of my favorite spots to hear live music:

 

John Paul Jones Arena

A short walk from the Law School, Charlottesville’s largest venue seats over 14,500 guests and hosts all of the big name acts such as Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, and Cirque du Soleil. The arena may be more notably home to the University of Virginia Cavalier Basketball Team, and students (yes, even law students) are encouraged to reserve their free ticket to support the ‘Hoos!

 

The Jefferson Theater

This theater has a folksy reputation, probably because it has attracted artists like Shakey Graves, Brandi Carlile, and Trampled by Turtles to name a few. But to say this is an Americana joint would be a misnomer: The Jefferson has played host to pop bands like Fitz and the Tantrums to the ravey electronic band Lotus to Southern rapper Big K.R.I.T. 

 

Twisted Tea Branch Bazaar

This tiny hole in the wall, nearly hidden on the Downtown Mall, is the perfect chill spot to hear local bands and poets for cheap ($5-7 cover). Along with an impressive tea and small plates selection, you can also listen to music in their hookah lounge and patio. 

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jmv5af@virginia.edu

1 We tried to track down a source for this fact, but it seems like it was started as a rumor by Professor Bowers back in 1940.
2 No, seriously, ask Ryan Caira. He totally admitted that Maya was great.
3 Although I don’t know if it’s possible to have too many of those wraps.
4 I shit you not.
5 Fair warning: there will be undergrads. Something something The Hills Have Eyes.
6 Why?
7 Don't be fooled. Bar Review is always at Bilt. But legally, SBA is required to pick other places sometimes.
8 But see below.

TweedleDee: Charlottesville's Best Bar & Restaurant?

Ryan Caira '17
TweedleDee

Best Bar in Charlottesville: Miller’s Downtown

Charged with picking the best place for a drink in Cville, I’d pick Miller’s Downtown. This town is chock-full of worthy watering holes, but few of them have the special local charm of a Miller’s. I can think of only two other townie joints with that kind of enchantment, one of which, C&O, would’ve been my pick until two nights ago, when the spell was broken by the paisley-tie-and-velvet-vest-wearing hipster cocktail artist who’s taken over the downstairs bar lorded over us his authority to ban customers he doesn’t like the look of—viz., us. (The other, Durty Nelly’s, dropped out of the running when the bartender had to shut down drink service because a clogged up toilet had overflowed into the barroom.) 

Miller's Downtown. Photo courtesy www.vabrewpass.com.

Miller's Downtown. Photo courtesy www.vabrewpass.com.

Miller’s has got it all. Walk in the door and you’re greeted with friendly service and a homey air of re-circulated cigarette smoke, a smell pregnant with the nostalgia for all the best salt-of-the-earth establishments. I’ve never been a smoker, but having grown up going to restaurants that maintained the smoking- and non-smoking section division, places for me retain a kind of everyman’s charm. The food is hearty and unpretentious. When a friend visiting from abroad asked me to take her to a place where she could get the ‘authentic’ American burger experience, I took her to Miller’s. And it’s a fine place to go and just grab a drink, the most basic criterion for any good bar. They have their fair share of Islay whisky, the tap and bottled beer is quality, and the bartender won’t criticize you for mistaking Amaro for Chartreuse—which you would never order. 

They’ve got regular live music, and the bands can groove. (Let’s not forget that Miller’s is where Dave Matthews got his start, first as a bartender, then as a regular performer on what might be Charlottesville’s smallest stage.) And, as far as I’ve seen, they’ve got the most interesting clientele in town. Where the Corner seethes with undergrads and insecurity, and neighbors on the Mall aspire to gaudy New York heights, Miller’s is just Miller’s, a regular ole small-town Virginia drinking spot.  They’ve got pool, darts, and townies. It’s a good place to be a regular, a good place to hide out, and a good place to meet someone new. As far as I’ve seen, it’s solid in a way that no other bar in town is. And for all that, I’d say it merits the No.1 spot. 

 

Best Restaurant in Charlottesville: Mas

With all the New York money residing in its perimeter of horse-farm estates, Charlottesville manages to maintain what is, for such a small town, an unusually high concentration of superb restaurants. It’s hard to pick a best restaurant in town. There’s no shortage of greats—The Ivy Inn, Tavola, the Local, Public Fish and Oyster, and El Bebedero are all noble contenders. But it’s the city’s tapas bar that earns the number one spot here. 

For starters, its Belmont location automatically promotes it to a higher tier of competition. There’s something ineffably charming about the neighborhood, though the frequent 1L firm outings to the Local erode that feeling a little bit, so that going out to eat in Belmont feels like more of an event than eating in most other parts of town. The plate of olives they lay out for you when you sit down helps, too.

The interior of Mas Tapas. Photo courtesy www.adreahubbell.com.

The interior of Mas Tapas. Photo courtesy www.adreahubbell.com.

Mas sits comfortably in the prime seat chiefly for one reason: its wine list. There’re plenty of restaurants in town where you can get good to great wine, many of which I’ve already named, but Mas has a broad selection of consistently excellent wines at a good value; and for a wine list, value is the hardest thing to come by. It has an advantage, of course: most of the wines are Spanish, and Spanish wines haven’t quite taken off in the States like French or Californian wines have, so they should be well priced even somewhere like Food of All Nations or Market Street Market. But Spanish wines are also very tasty, and at Mas, they know how to pick them. 

Still, most people who’ve been to Mas probably think first of the food, and they’ve got dozens of delicious plates at all sorts of price points. By which I mean, you can go there and have a small bite or a filling meal without paying as much as you would at, say, the other restaurants of its ilk, the datey uptown places like Cville’s pseudo speak-easy Alley Light or its neighbor, the disconcertingly named Red Pump Kitchen. Another fun piece of the Mas experience, and no small part of the reason I enjoy it so much, is that as a tapas place, you can try a bunch of the menu at once, mitigating against the chance that you’ll order the wrong thing and have a bad meal.  

I’ve had restaurant experiences in Charlottesville better than any I’ve had in Mas; but, overall, both the peak and the average Mas experience is high enough that I think it earns the number one spot. 

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rac5af@virginia.edu

TweedleDum: Charlottesville's Best Bar & Restaurant?

Alex Haden '17
TweedleDum

Tweedledum here to help you find the best hidden and not-so-visited bars and restaurants to be able to impress your friends with your recommendations. Today, I’m here to talk about Maya and Tavern and Grocery.

The interior of Maya. Photo courtesy www.wolfackerman.com. 

The interior of Maya. Photo courtesy www.wolfackerman.com. 

Maya Restaurant is one of the great restaurants in Charlottesville, located just off the Downtown Mall in the Main Street District. You’ve probably seen it when you park at the Amtrak Station, because it’s right across the street; it has a huge outside eating area right along Main Street. Maya is a throwback to that old Southern style of cooking, giving a modern twist to classic southern cuisine. They make all their food from scratch using local ingredients. Some 2Ls are lucky enough to go to Maya for various firm events during OGIs, but many people remain unaware of the deliciousness of their menu.

Maya in the summertime is great because you can enjoy their food and drinks on the Patio area, which is fun, intimate, and great for soaking up some rays. Even in the winter, Maya still thrives as the place to go. Their inside seating is surrounded by their beautiful brick interior, and their upstairs area is perfect for a larger gathering or reception.

The management of Maya is well-experienced in the art of fine food and hospitality. Christian Kelly, the co-owner and executive chef, served as the executive chef of the Relais and Chateaux property, Clifton Inn before opening Maya in 2006, naming this new restaurant after his daughter. Peter Castiglione, the other owner and restauranteur, has decades of experience in the food industry and has worked to give Maya its distinctive environment.

But let’s get to the important part: the menu. You can’t afford to skip out on the appetizers at Maya. I recommend their cheese fritters (not only delicious, but fun to say!) and the gnocchi. I know, I know, you’re all saying that gnocchi everywhere is good, and I largely agree, but this gnocchi is something special. 

Entrees: you’re going to want to get the trout. Trout is not very common (at least this far north), and it’s hard to make well. But it is 100% delicious and perhaps even life-changing. As a Marylander, I don’t usually advocate for crab cakes outside of the Old Line State, but people who aren’t from glorious Maryland do like Maya’s crab cakes. Their ribs are an interesting and very different take on the classic ribs; if you’re in love with old-fashioned smokehouse ribs, you might not love Maya’s, but definitely give it a try if you’re ready for a different approach to ribs.

All of the sides are delicious and worth trying (see below about the Tuesday $12 menu). Standouts include collard greens, mac and cheese, and the cheddar drop biscuits. Finally, for the best part: dessert. The all-star of the menu is Mississippi Mud Pie. If you’ve never had one before, stop what you’re doing and go to Maya right now. I don’t even like chocolate, but I would have a bite. 

The best time to go to Maya is on Tuesdays, where they offer the $12 menu. You get to pick one of four entrees with two sides (or, just order four sides as your entrée). Don’t forget the cocktails and dessert! Maya is open all week, but only for food from 5pm to 10pm, although their bar is open even later.

So you’ve stuffed yourself at Maya, and now you’re looking for a great bar afterwards to unwind. Head just down the street to Tavern and Grocery, an unassuming building on the corner of 4th Street and Main Street. The top level of the building is a regular restaurant with decent food and drinks. However, the real treasure is downstairs: a speakeasy-type bar called Lost Saint, open late and serving some of the best drinks in Charlottesville. In a town known for its wineries, cideries, and local beer brands, the craft of a great cocktail can go underappreciated, but Lost Saint has kept me and my need for wonderful drinks well-satisfied.

One of the greatest parts about Lost Saint is its atmosphere. The bar is in a basement, and while you’re drinking there, it feels like you’re hidden away in a secret world. To be fair, because few people know about Lost Saint, it is a kind of hidden world. I wasn’t alive in the 1920s, but I have to think that speakeasies at the time felt similar, hiding from big bad Prohibition trying to ruin everyone’s good time. Think of Alley Light, but less upscale, so you don’t feel as bad about showing up in jeans and a t-shirt. 

The interior of Lost Saint. Photo courtesy www.scoutology.com.

The interior of Lost Saint. Photo courtesy www.scoutology.com.

Lost Saint is either completely full or basically empty, which is great; you either have the place to yourself or you’re at the most hopping party in town. Be forewarned, if you’re there alone, the bartenders might listen to your conversations and participate if they feel so inclined. Service can be a little slow, but the good drinks are worth waiting.

My favorite go-to is an old fashioned. They have a wide selection of whiskeys and bourbons to craft your old-fashioned to your taste; just ask your bartender for his or her suggestions. Other great drinks include their mojitos, whiskey sours, and martinis. I can’t speak to their wine and beer selection (I’m not sure why you’d want to order those at a great cocktail bar, but to each their own), but I’m sure that they are more than sufficient for those who don’t “do cocktails.”

I’ll agree that the opinions above are just opinions, but I do think that these off-the-beaten-trail recommendations will satisfy even the most picky of people. Their locations are ideal: not on the Corner where undergrads are vomiting, but not directly on the Downtown Mall, swarming with people. Plus, on your way home, you can stop at Benny DeLucas and get a slice (or a whole pizza for $50), which you can drunk-eat on the Lyft ride home. 

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ach7pa@virginia.edu

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1 Yes, that's Maryland's nickname.

Court of Petty Appeals: Unner v. Society of Healthy Energetic Law Professors (SHELP) 696 U.Va. 924 (2017)

JANI, J. announces the judgment of the Court in an opinion joined by GOLDMAN and ANGELOTTI, JJ.

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded. 

Today we consider a matter that has long been theorized as a possible point of contention in the delicate relationship between Law Students and Professors, but only recently has come to be realized. Is it ever appropriate for a student to approach her professor at the gym?

Upon seeing first-year law students frequenting the gym, Plaintiffs filed for an emergency injunction enjoining the Defendant from pestering exercising professors. An injunction, carefully tailored to only apply to 1L students, was granted by Judge VanderMeulen of the lower court. The order was upheld by the Court of Appeals sitting en banc.

Plaintiffs, despite their dubious name, are a class of law professors at the University of Virginia. They bring this suit on behalf of themselves and all UVa law professors. Plaintiffs contend that the newest wave of law school students, more serious and unabashed than classes before, have now improperly extended the realm of professors’ accessibility to the gym. They contend that the gym is a hassle-free zone, dictated by common customs and practices among regulars, which should lie as a refuge from the pestering, bothersome 1L. 

Defendant named is first year law student Greg Unner. (Although the record does not specify, it is of this Court’s strong belief that Mr. Unner is of Section A.) The defendant largely does not dispute the facts at issue. Instead he contests three legal issues. First, he alleges that the Plaintiffs have no standing on this matter as the harm is only theoretical, not actual, and has not been realized to the opposing party. Second, the Defendant argues that any injunction would violate his due process as it arbitrarily denies the Defendant his right to professor access. Finally, in conjunction with the issue one, the Defendant maintains that any alleged tort would not fall outside the normal scope of irritation.

As noted above, the issue at hand has only come recently to fruition of recent. It is a well-known fact to this Court and outside observers that until recently law school professors did not frequent public gyms. Rather, they practiced office calisthenics, as shown in the attached photo, a tradition that was passed down from generation-to-generation of professors. Thus the chance of confrontation between sycophantic students and beleaguered professors remained slim. However, according to historical scholars of this subject, the trend started shifting in late 2011 when now-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was photographed demonstrating his workout technique in a TIME Magazine feature. Soon after, there was a noticeable uptick of gym attendance as people realized that they could not look any sillier than the then-Chairman of the House Budget Committee. Understandably, Law School professors were a part of this wave, and thus, the path to conflict was laid. 

Before we move on to our opinion, it would behoove this Court to recognize the sheer number of amicus curiae briefs that were filed regarding this case. We must ask that, in the future, parties ask themselves whether the information that they would like to provide this Court is pertinent to the matter-at-hand. Often the received briefs were simply a list of numbers indicating the maximum amount parties could lift, or a ranking of the best whey protein powders on the market (we get it, professors: you lift). One notable exception was the brief filed by one Professor Joe Fore, which was crafted beautifully, both in style and substance. 

(As an aside, this Court must stress again that it normally does not exercise original jurisdiction in deciding disputes between professors, although, if we need to, we will exercise such jurisdiction. As such, at this time, the Court declines to hear the case between Professor Michael Doran and Professor Joe Fore on whether Professor Fore could successfully adversely possess Professor Doran’s property. If the losing party wishes to appeal, we shall consider such an appeal when it appears before us.)  

First, on the issue of standing, it has long been recognized by reputable journals and academics that unwanted gym conversations cause significant stress to the imposed-upon party. See BuzzFeed, 12 Cringe-Worthy Things About The Gym That Are Just Way Too Real (2016). The thought alone of seeing a sweaty, sometimes half-naked student approaching may cause great emotional distress. Without an order from this Court, professors may be forced to live in waking fear or join an off-campus gym should they decide to live a healthy lifestyle. In this sense, the harm in this case has already been realized. We see no issues with Plaintiffs’ standing in this matter. 

Second, it has been long recognized by this Court that Law Professors are people, too (recently upheld in Prof. J.J. v. Council of Concerned Students, 467 U.Va 832 (2016).) Accordingly, on the issue’s face, these Professors should be afforded the same rights and benefits that are conferred upon a normal population of people. The lower court correctly found that it is not prohibited per se to simply approach another during their workout. The tort lies in the nature of the conversation, not the conversation itself. Correspondingly, the question before this Court is not whether professors can be approached at the gym, but whether a Law Student, more specifically a 1L, can ever have an appropriate conversation with a professor at the gym. 

The crafty 1L is no normal person, and it has been echoed by 2Ls and 3Ls in the halls of Withers-Brown and Slaughter that the Class of 2019 is unique. As one unnamed 3L eloquently stated, “These new kids have no chill.” Saddled with good pay and secured employment, Law Professors’ resolve and ability to fend off wily 1Ls, who seek to attain their ends by guileful means, is compromised. 

However, the injunction before us today unfairly targets first-year students in violation of their due process. While this Court recognizes the exceptionally fraught nature of 1Ls, we also recognize that the amount-owed figure in a first-year student’s SIS account is just as absurdly high as that of a second- or third-year student. Therefore, any order enjoining 1Ls must enjoin all law students, or none at all.

This Court acknowledges the concurrence’s extension of The Doctrine of Unclean Hands to this matter. However, the majority recognizes UVa Law’s Faculty Supremacy Clause. As read from Virginia Law’s student handbook, “Behavior constituting misconduct—as described in, and during the timeframe described in, this section—may be subject to sanction regardless of where the conduct occurs . . . . The faculty reserves the right to impose sanctions on students who are found to have violated these standards.” The Academic Policies (2016). All gym conversations are equally vapid and irritating. Yet the law identifies the unilateral authority of Professors over students. Accordingly, no matter how bothersome a conversation, the fact remains that if said conversation is initiated by a professor, it is appropriate. 

Thus we hold the Plaintiffs standing in this complaint but reverse the District Court’s order and remand this matter back to the court of original jurisdiction for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.  

 

HADEN, C.J., concurring in the judgment, joined by HALL, J. 

I commend Justice Jani, sitting by designation, for his foray into this Court’s jurisprudence on standing and the tort of irritation. I would normally join in his well-crafted opinion; however, I am unable to join because of an outstanding issue that forces me to write separate of the majority: the doctrine of unclean hands. While this issue was not briefed by the parties nor discussed in oral arguments, I feel compelled to be discerning with our remedies when the parties do not come to this Court in good faith.

The Doctrine of Unclean Hands bars a plaintiff from seeking relief from a defendant where that plaintiff is guilty of the same or a similar wrong complained of. As former Justice Collins eloquently put it, “You can’t bitch about someone being a bitch when you’re a bitch.” Darden Bro v. Shark Mountain Coffee, 12 U.Va 719 (2015).

Here, professors should be ABSOLUTELY forbidden from bringing this suit, because they are the most frequent gym-talkers of all. It’s hard to even get a mile in on the treadmill without getting a supplemental Torts lesson from your 1L professor. I ccept that this 1L class may be the most gunnery in history, but other students are still forced to be a part of gym conversations initiated by teachers. 

Until professors curtail gym conversations that they initiate, their complaint in this Court reeks of hypocrisy, and their hands are unclean (not physically, although if professors don’t wipe down the gym equipment after use, maybe physically too). As such, I would dismiss the complaint. Because the Court reaches the correct result, but by incorrect reasoning, I must concur.

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ahj3ez@virginia.edu

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1   Mr. Unner has asked that we not call him G. Unner, as that nickname has apparently caused him some social discord.