Court of Petty Appeals: Roach v. Mooch, et. al. 18 U.Va 453 (2017)

Roach v. Mooch, et. al.

18 U.Va 453 (2017)


Today, we consider a vitriolic dispute amongst members of both the student body and the faculty. This dispute causes us to consider not only the world of linguistics, but also standing, the competence of this court to hear certain cases, and our jurisdiction over various parties.

If this Court were some sort of children’s TV show, we might be inclined to humorously note that “the word of the day is ‘brooch.’” Apparently, this word, referring to a piece of jewelry that no one has worn in about 200 years, has caused quite the stir at UVa Law. The plaintiffs in this case are a group of students at UVa Law who have petitioned this Court to offer an official interpretation of the pronunciation of the word ‘brooch.’ They have sued the faculty and administrators at the school in an attempt to bind all professors to our official interpretation. Defendants have claimed a variety of defenses, all centering around our power or jurisdiction to hear such a case.

Plaintiffs allege in their complaint that, over the past few weeks of the semester, there have been a variety of cases in several classes involving a brooch. The trouble appears to emanate from Professor Ferzan’s Evidence class. Plaintiffs state that, while discussing a case about a brooch, Professor Ferzan stated explicitly that the only possible pronunciation was the pronunciation that rhymes with “roach” (hereinafter, the Roach Interpretation). Plaintiffs allege that other professors, upon hearing Ferzan’s emphatic advocacy for the Roach Interpretation, began pushing a contrary pronunciation; namely, those professors claim that brooch rhymes with “mooch” (hereinafter, the Mooch Interpretation). Still further professors claimed that both the Mooch and Roach Interpretations could be valid. In particular, Professor Doran claimed that either could be used, although one was more common with the proletariat. 

Plaintiffs in this case have asked us to settle this dispute once and for all, in a manner binding upon all parties in the Law School. They filed the original action in this Court, despite our preference to exercise appellate jurisdiction only; however, contrary to defendants’ claims otherwise, we certainly have original jurisdiction over suits (see Petty Rule of Jurisdiction 1: “We hear what we want.”). In addition, for a case as important as this one, we do not see the purpose of having a lower court decide this case incorrectly in the first place just so that we can rectify the decision later. Finally, we don’t really have a lot going on in our docket now that the insider trading suits against the Sec. Reg. professors have been finalized, so we’re happy to hear this case.

[W]hether the Roach or the Mooch Interpretation shall be Supreme
— Haden, C.J.

Defendants first argue that plaintiffs do not have standing to bring this case. They argue that professors disagree on various topics all of the time because it’s simply a part of academia. Defendants cite as an example the fact that Professors Hellman and Prakash disagree as to whether Corinne is on the Bachelor for love or just to promote her acting career; the defendants claim that certainly a dispute such as that does not give rise to an injury that can be resolved by this Court, and certainly not an injury to students.

Defendants’ argument is misguided. There may be such an academic or professorial dispute that does not deserve this Court’s intervention, but certainly this issue is not such a dispute. Professors on both sides of the argument have explicitly invoked this Court’s attention and have mentioned one another as parties to this issue. By involving such students and explicitly saying that one professor or another is wrong, the defendants (and one plaintiff) have involved the students enough to the point where they have suffered an injury, and therefore, have standing to bring the suit.

Certain parties claim that this Court is not competent to hear this suit, and relatedly, this Court does not have jurisdiction to entertain such a suit. The second question is easily answered. This Court has jurisdiction to review “any and all decisions, conflicts, and disputes that arise involving, either directly, indirectly, or tangentially, the Law School or its students.” Defendants cannot seriously argue that this dispute arises independently from the Law School given that its faculty are the ones engaged in this argument. Defendants, especially Professor Doran, may argue that this jurisdiction is too broad and wide-spread but that argument is not properly presented for this Court. Indeed, such a question of jurisdictional breadth is properly submitted to the legislature for determination of the proper scope, although we should warn defendants that several members of this Court serve as members of the legislature.

Professor Doran and defendants argue that we are not a court of competent jurisdiction to hear such a case. First of all, no. That’s just insulting. We don’t go around calling people incompetent; we expect the same courtesy from others. Secondly, what kind of strategy is it to call the judges incompetent? We have never in our history found ourselves incompetent. See CoPA v. Student Affairs, 20 U.Va 16 566 (2017) (“Actually, I think we can assign alcohol permits quite well, thank you very little.”). 

This argument seems to hinge on the idea that there is some other Court that is competent to hear such a dispute; however, defendants seem unable to name a single court able to entertain such a dispute. They simply say that no court can hear such a case, and therefore, we are not able to hear it. Such an assertion is baseless, both in case law and statute. See Obergefell v. Hodges, 32 U.Va 231 (2016) (“Seriously? It’s the 21st century. How are people still arguing this? Love is love.”). 

Having dispensed with all of defendants’ procedural arguments, we turn to the issue at hand: whether the Roach or the Mooch Interpretation shall be Supreme. Ordinarily, we are reticent to enter the field of prescriptive linguistics; we feel that the expression of individuals should normally be the default rule of pronunciation. Nevertheless, we are appalled by the blatant disregard for normal pronunciation rules that the supporters of the Mooch Interpretation advocate, and therefore rule in favor of the Roach Interpretation.

We have yet to see a single piece of independent evidence that supports the Mooch Interpretation and we are surprised that anyone chooses to use such a strange pronunciation. We find that the natural, historical, and linguistically pleasing choice is the Roach Interpretation. Therefore, we reject the Mooch Interpretation and henceforth ban all professors, students, administrators, admitted students, townies, and people in Section D from ever pronouncing “brooch” as rhyming with Mooch. Any violations of this order shall be considered contempt of this Court, resulting in a punishment up to and including grading a four-hour, open book, spaghetti-to-the-wall exam. Please don’t test us.

It is so ordered.

ANGELOTTI, J., concurring in the judgment.

I really like Professor Doran and his classes, especially ERISA, because retirement security is one of the most important things (except for employee benefits for top executives). However, no one really says “brooch” rhyming with “mooch.” That’s as silly as suggesting that securities laws are too lax and that government regulation is always good. Which it isn’t. See Dean Mahoney’s book. I love that book. Do you think I can get a signed copy?

Anyway, I agree with Professor Ferzan. Professor Doran, I still love your class! Can you teach a class on golden parachutes?


We do not address this claim by Professor Doran, as we have been presented with no evidence as to its veracity.
2 Namely, Professor Ferzan.
3 There is no conflict of interest here. All conflicts of interest are petty, and all petty things fall under our jurisdiction.
4 Other than “some people say it.”

SBA Candidate Statements

Editors’ Note:  We opened up this newspaper to the candidates running for SBA positions to tell you about themselves and support their candidacies. Their appearance in the paper does not constitute an endoresement of any candidate. The views expressed in these reflections are the views of the individual authors and are not necessarily the views of the Law Weekly’s Executive or Editorial Board. The candidates appear by position and alphabetically within each position. Each candidate’s name appears next to her or his name, year, and the position for which she or he is running.

Steven Glendon (, 2018

President and Third-Year Senator (running for both offices)

I am a long-standing member of the SBA and believe that my experience will make me a good choice for President. I intend to maintain an open and honest relationship with the student body by communicating SBA activities in a timely manner and making myself available for questions and concerns. I also intend to move forward inter-school collaboration which was started by our current president, focusing on Darden and the Medical School. I will remain open to suggestions from the student body and look forward to implementing new initiatives to engender a positive student experience at the Law School.

Laura Gregory (, 2018


My name is Laura Gregory, and I am delighted to announce my candidacy for Vice President of the Student Bar Association. The Vice President is primarily responsible for managing all of the SBA’s committees, such as Programming, Health and Wellness, and Barristers’ Ball. Additionally, the Vice President coordinates with the new elections council for all elected SBA positions and assists student groups in renewing their registration with the SBA and accomplishing their organization goals.

As Vice President, I would like to foster a stronger relationship between SBA and student organizations to help increase their funding and funding options for initiatives to support the UVa law school experience for every student.

SBA is more than just its elected officials. The appointed SBA committees, who do the majority of SBA events, should have greater representation and attendance in weekly SBA senate meetings and greater communication with the student body. However, the committees will not have additional requirements just thrown at them. I plan to truly fullfil the role of Vice President to support the committees by having more active involvement in the planning of SBA events.

To accomplish my goal for stronger relationships between SBA, its committees, and student organizations, it is essential to move the meeting outside of the Fox Seminar room in the library to a larger space that can truly be a student forum.

This past year I had the privilege of serving as the SBA Secretary. As Secretary, my primary goal was to increase transparency and communication between the SBA and the student body. I started a new initiative – a weekly table outside Scott Commons called “Say Hey, SBA” – to give students the opportunity to speak directly with their SBA members about current SBA projects and events. We also set up a response form for students to submit suggestions for the law school, such as the implementation of gender-neutral bathrooms.

Additionally, I served as the President of the First Year Council during my 1L year. As FYC President, I worked to integrate the 1L class into the UVa Law community by coordinating events such as Foxfield, the Halloween Carnival, and weekly SBA socials.

Working within the SBA has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my time at UVa Law. I am excited about the opportunity to continue serving on the Executive Board and would be honored to have your vote for Vice President.

Hannah Fraher (, 2019


Through my experience starting a business, working as a bookkeeper for several million-dollar companies, and serving as a member of student government at the largest university in the country (with a budget of over fourteen million dollars) I gained valuable experience in creating and managing budgets which will serve me well as your SBA treasurer.

As your treasurer, I commit to creating a fair and balanced budget that will provide equal opportunities for all members of the student body to partake in the activities they choose. As a member of the greater SBA, I vow to create a transparent and inclusive environment where everyone will have the opportunity to have their voice heard and feel included in the student culture of the law school.

I look forward to the opportunity to serve the student body and welcome the chance to get to know each and every one of you.

Current involvement includes: Federalist Society 1L Committee, First Year Council Vice President (schedules all bar reviews, 3@3, and other 1L class activities), Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, and J.B. Moore Society of International Law.


Frances Fuqua (, 2019

Treasurer and Second-Year Senator

My name is Frances Fuqua, I am a 1L, and I am asking for your support to be the next SBA Treasurer. I have substantial experience that makes me the perfect candidate for this position. In undergrad, I was treasurer of a number of student groups, most notably managing a $5,000 budget for a student peer education group, a $100,000 budget for my sorority, and a $760,000 budget for the programing arm of the university’s student government. I also have substantial fundraising experience, heading up a $25,000 fundraising effort for St. Louis public schools, and managing all the fundraising for my sorority, which totaled 30% of our overall budget. Lastly, I am familiar with how SBA functions; having the opportunity and honor to serve as the FYC president this year. All of this experience, taken together, makes me the most qualified candidate for this position. As treasurer, I will work to increase our fundraising budget from 2% of the total SBA funds to at least 10% in order to lower the costs of attending school events, such as Barrister’s Ball. I will also continue to be as transparent as possible about where your student activity fee is going and work with the administration to keep the budget process as much in the student’s hands as possible. I love UVa and I want to help make our time here as enjoyable as it can be. I know how important it is that you feel SBA is being responsible with your money, and I promise to do my absolute best to serve the students of UVa and uphold that promise of responsibility and integrity as treasurer, and I hope I have your vote.

Muskan Mumtaz (, 2019

Secretary and Second-Year Senator

My name is Muskan, I am a 1L, and I am asking for your support to serve as your secretary. My platform “More with Muskan” is about giving you more: more visibility, more connectivity, and more transparency. As a double-Hoo, I am committed to self-governance, which does not always make its way to the law school. Furthermore, as a current FYC, I am familiar with how SBA functions and have spoken extensively with current members regarding the functions of the SBA secretary. In other words: I know what I’m getting into. Finally, as a Muslim refugee, I am committed increased inclusivity on North Grounds and hope being on the SBA Executive Committee will give me the platform to support affinity groups at the law school.

If I am elected to serve as your secretary, I would dedicate myself to bringing you more visibility of student events. The current bi-weekly email system is a great start, but we can do more. The formatting of these emails can be improved so that you can more easily identify lunch and event opportunities on your mobile phone.

Second, I am committed to bringing more connectivity with main grounds. A part of your tuition goes to the student activities fund on main grounds, and I want to better integrate our events listings with those of the undergraduate community. UVa attracts incredible speakers every week, and I will include the most notable events in a separate “main-grounds” segment of the bi-weekly email.

Third, I am committed to increasing transparency on SBA. Serving as secretary goes beyond sending emails and updating the calendar—I would argue that the most important aspect of this position is serving as your representative on SBA. There are currently two centralized ways of voicing your concerns to SBA: (1) through weekly “Say-hey-SBA” events, and (2) through an online google-sheet. These issues are then brought up in SBA meetings, and unfortunately, the responses and solutions are often buried in the meeting minutes’ document. One way to better publicize the SBA responses to student suggestions is by posting them on the website, which brings me to my fourth point: we need a better website.

Currently, when your organization hosts an event and wants to publicize it online, you need to submit it to both to the administration for it to go on the official UVa calendar and then again to the secretary for it to be featured in the bi-weekly emails. This often leads to events being posted in one or the other. If elected, I will immediately begin working with the administration to streamline this process into a consolidated system.

As the year progresses, we will continue to craft new solutions for the issues our student body face. If I am elected to serve as your secretary, I promise I will do my best to not only execute the plans I’ve outlined here but also expand the SBA’s student-engagement efforts, so that your voice is heard in your student government.

Toccara Nelson (, 2019


My name is Toccara Nelson, and I am running for Secretary for the Student Bar Association here at UVa Law. I aim to continue the great work that Laura Gregory has done with keeping students informed about the various initiatives going on at the law school. I am a proponent of transparency and openness of communication between those part of student government and the students, and I look to uphold these values if elected Secretary. I plan to promote such transparency by further developing current initiatives like “Say Hey SBA” to be a forum for members of the SBA to listen to student experiences and to spotlight different organizations and events at the law school. I will brainstorm additional ways to keep students aware of all that UVa Law has to offer without overwhelming students with too much information, and to also elicit crucial feedback from students about their concerns with the law school. Promoting awareness and communication between the SBA and the student body may involve meeting with individual student organizations or just having one on one conversations with students about their concerns with the law school. Whatever it takes to promote more open lines of communication between the SBA and students, I will put in the effort to do it.

At the end of the day those on SBA serve you, the students. And if elected as Secretary of SBA, I’ll do just that.

Charles Baker (, 2018

Third-Year Senator

Facilitate better relations from Student Affairs and where applicable work towards greater law school autonomy from main ground's student government.

Ashley Finger (, 2018

Third-Year Senator

I have been serving as a class senator since 1L year which means that not only am I familiar with the workings of SBA, but also that I have ongoing projects I wish to continue. Additionally, I have established the working relationships with the administration necessary to continue to accomplish my goals. In particular, I intend to continue to improve the efficacy of the Building Services and Environmental Concerns Committee, addressing issues such as waste management and holding educational events related to topics such as responsible consumerism. Additionally, I plan to continue to work closely with VELF to ensure efficient and effective pursuit of environmental goals at the law school.

Ricardo Fraga (, 2018

Third-Year Senator

It has been my pleasure to serve as the SBA’s 2L Senator over the course of the past year, and I look forward, if elected, to continue my service as a 3L Senator. During my term, I had the honor of working on initiatives involving improved dining options, greater environmental awareness around grounds, a more enjoyable library experience, increased SBA transparency, and greater access to the law school’s administration.

Should I be reelected as a 3L Senator I look forward to building upon these many initiatives and focusing on how the SBA can work more closely with the student body to continue improving our collective experience as students. I believe that there should be greater avenues of communication between the SBA and the many organizations of our law school, and in order to achieve this, I look forward to proposing a bimonthly lunch where student leaders can meet with the SBA and provide us with feedback as well as with suggestions about how we can further improve the student experience.

The SBA is also tasked with providing venues where students can meet with one another in a more casual setting. Understanding the importance of networking both with law students as well as with other graduate students at the university, I will continue to work on an interscholastic competition that will bring the graduate schools together for a weekend of fun and community building.

Lastly, I want to be YOUR representative. I have ideas that I’m excited to propose to the SBA, but I realize that I’m representing the 3L class as a whole and as such there will always be an open line of communication between the class and I. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or ideas you may have; I’ll always have an open door policy and I look forward, if elected, to serving your interests.

Thank you for your consideration. Wahoowa!

Lola "Lollie" Akere (, 2019

Second-Year Senator and Student Council Representative

I am committed to the University of Virginia School of Law. In my short time here I have been elected the 1L Representative for Virginia Law Women. I am a proud member of the Black Law Students Association, Women of Color, LAMBDA Law Alliance, Lone Star Lawyers, and the Fed Sox Softball Team. I generally try to speak to everyone I meet, and I pride myself on my ability to make friends with not only my classmates but everyone who is welcomed to the law school. I am quite close with a number of faculty members, and strive to make meaningful and impactful connections daily.

As the Student Council Representative, I would use my roles in various organizations to gain a realistic perspective that consisted of the genuine opinions of law students concerning issues pertinent to our community. I would be able to represent the Law School in matters that require a personal perspective, diligence, and attention to detail. I try to be someone that considers all angles before making a decision. I do feel that my role in the Nelson Mandela International Negotiation Competition will give me an advantage when advocating on behalf of the law school. I pride myself in how much I genuinely care about The University of Virginia School of Law. I know I am capable of representing the Law School Well on the Student Council.

I intend to run on a platform that embodies kindness, inclusivity, and genuine care for every member of our community. Although collegiality is one of the pillars of UVa Law, I worry our values may not transcend our small society, and I would love to serve as a liaison between the Law School and the rest of the campus. I do feel there is value in the opinions and views cultivated here that all of grounds could benefit from. I envision a future where we are working closer with the undergrad and other graduate schools on issues we both care about. I think exposure to other types of thinkers would add to the diversity, and aid UVa lawyers in being even more of the personality types the world so desperately needs. As Student Council Representative I would pledge to abide by the Law School values, while aiming to strengthen our role in the greater UVa community.

I intend to seriously listen and to prioritize the needs of my classmates. I have felt nothing but love and inclusion since the day I stepped on the Law School’s campus, and I want to make sure everyone else also feels that way. As a member of various affinity groups, it has been unfortunate to hear the consistent trends of people feeling lonely. Although they may be surrounded by so many people who care about them, some people are still feel left out. That feeling is uncomfortable and is not welcome at UVa Law. I would like to work toward eradicating it.

As a Senator, I feel I would be able to directly contribute to events and decisions in an innovative and inclusive way. I feel my unique perspective as someone who comes from multiple historically marginalized groups makes me the perfect candidate to consider those who may not always be in the majority. I also feel my friendships with people of all backgrounds helps me to balance the wants and needs of both parties in a unique way. I would use my roles in the various organizations to gain a realistic perspective that consisted of the genuine opinions of law students concerning issues pertinent to our community. I would be able to represent our class in matters that require a personal perspective, diligence, and attention to detail. I do feel that my role in the Nelson Mandela International Negotiation Competition will give me an advantage when advocating on behalf of our class. I pride myself in how much I genuinely care about The University of Virginia School of Law. I know I am capable of representing the Class of 2019 well as a 2L Senator.

Aparna Datta (, 2019

Second-Year Senator

Hi friends! It's me, Aparna! [Pronounced Uh-par-nuh just in case you're wondering. :)] I hope all is well! I just wanted to say that I've had a blast serving as a First-Year Council representative and senator this year, and I really hope I have the chance to serve y'all as a 2L senator too! For this upcoming term, I'd really like to focus on helping SBA's efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion on grounds. I’ve had a lot of experience with planning fun and educational (fun-ducational!) multi-cultural events, and I hope that my experience can be a positive addition to SBA’s work in fostering and maintaining an open and inclusive environment for all. We are so lucky to be at such an amazing law school, and I hope I can play a small part in contributing to the awesomeness that is UVA law. Thanks for such a great first year! #ClassOf2019 #BestClass #AmIRite? #Yes

Robbie Pomeroy (, 2019

Second-Year Senator

Hi everyone! My name is Robbie Pomeroy and I am so excited to be running to represent our class as your 2L senator. I came to UVa Law because I loved the community. Since arriving, I have already taken steps to further our community and will continue to do so as your 2L senator. As co-chair for Admitted Students Open House, I am working with the Admissions Office to showcase our community for the incoming class of 2020. As a member of the First Year Council, I have focused on making opportunities for members of my section to connect with each other and other 1Ls. I will take my event planning skills from these two positions and apply them to our school as a whole to continue to bring exciting and innovative events that bring us together. Using my experiences in affinity groups such as Lambda and the Latin American Law Association, I make a commitment to diversity and inclusivity and growing our sense of acceptance and solidarity at the law school. Being a senator is what you make of it- having the drive to take initiative and run with an idea is important to success, and through my time here at UVa, I hope I’ve shown that I am already committed to improving our community in any capacity I can. As an undergraduate student at UF, I was committed to university growth through the ambassador and orientation organizations. It was such an important part of my life there, and I cannot wait to apply my skills from those experiences to our community. Go Hoos!

Julia Wahl (, 2019

Second-Year Senator

I look forward to helping facilitate and continue the success of the Virginia Student Bar Association. I hope to do so through three key means: transparency, honesty, and communication. I plan on using my position as a liaison to the administration to increase understanding with the student body to change dissatisfaction to action. Beyond internal communicative responsibilities I also hope to facilitate contact and interaction with other post-graduate divisions of UVa–specifically to work toward an annual university-wide event that incorporates both professional networking and social interaction of post-graduate students. On that note, I also hope to bring more programming (and free food!) opportunities to law students so we can utilize our building for more than just academic pursuits!


Lindsay Fisher (, 2019

Honor Committee Representative

As we all did, I chose UVa Law for many reasons. An important one of those reasons is its commitment to the Honor Code and to a Community of Trust. The ideals of honor and integrity are not only vital to a thriving community here at UVa, but they are also values and standards that we as lawyers will be held to as we enter the practice of law.

Immediately upon arriving at UVa I sought out ways to learn more about the system and to work within it to further that Community of Trust. My goal is to build upon that knowledge and experience through representing the Law School as an Honor Representative through the Student Bar Association.

As an Honor Committee Representative on SBA, I hope to be a voice of collaboration between Main Grounds and North Grounds, encouraging cooperation and finding opportunities for collaboration. Relating more specifically to Honor, I look forward to continuing to work towards an expansion of the Informed Retraction.

In my role as SBA Honor Representative, I would also encourage more law students to engage with Honor. I have found the process of training and subsequently serving as an Honor Support Officer to be incredibly challenging and rewarding. The position is also an excellent training ground for future lawyers, as Support Officers have the opportunity to conduct interviews, investigations, as well as provide advice and counsel to either accused students or the Community. I would encourage incoming first years to apply to serve as Support Officers and to serve the Community during their time here.

Similarly, I look forward to implementing the recommendations of the independent Honor Audit Commission. The Honor Audit Commission is currently studying the Honor system holistically and will provide recommendations on how the system can improve moving forward.

I have served as an Honor Support Officer for the last semester-and-a-half and have seen cases from a variety of perspectives. I spent a significant portion of my first semester of law school training for this role and have already found it to be an enriching experience. I have served as counsel for the Community and have provided advice to students regarding the Honor system. I also currently serve as an Honor Representative for Section F, working to foster a dialogue about Honor among my section. During my undergraduate studies, I served on my school’s University Judicial Committee, a body that is similar to both UJC and Honor.

 Owen Gallogly (, 2019

Honor Committee Representative

I have been involved with the Honor System since 2009 when I was an undergraduate. Over my four years as an undergraduate I served in numerous roles within the Honor Committee, including as a Senior Counsel, investigator, advocate for both accused students and the University Community, and a Pre-Trial Coordinator. In my fourth year I drafted the legislation that would become the Informed Retraction, one of the most significant changes to the Honor System in the past 50 years, which allows students who have been reported to the Honor Committee to admit guilt and face a one-year suspension in lieu of trial. Since returning to Law School I have continued serving as a Pre-Trial Coordinator and counsel.

My primary goal if elected is to build a closer relationship between the Honor Committee and System and students and faculty at the School of Law. As an undergraduate, the Honor System was an important facet of my educational experience and one that I believe helped cultivate a strong community. Unfortunately due to a variety of reasons, including simple physical distance from the Central Grounds of the University, the Honor System seems less prevalent in everyday life at the Law School and other graduate schools. I hope to work with both the other Honor Committee representatives from graduate schools, the SBA leadership, and law faculty to address this disconnect.

William Nagy (, 2019

Honor Committee Representative

I will help facilitate the operation of the honor system, ensure equitable application of its principles, and serve as an approachable point of reference for students at the School of Law. A student-run, effectual honor system provides a tool for creating a more trusting environment, reflected in both the conduct of students and the trust and latitude of the staff and faculty. The Honor Code plays a large part in making UVa Law the unique and amazing place we love. I will dedicate my tenure as Honor Representative to keeping this tradition strong.

My qualifications include serving as an elected representative for the Honor system at West Point, where I helped educate my peers about the code, served as a reference contact for questions regarding possible violations, conducted investigations, and as a voting panel member during honor hearings. I also served as an honor representative for my 1L section.


Peter Bautz (, 2018

Running For University Judiciary Committee Representative

I am seeking re-election to continue serving you as a law school representative to the University Judiciary Committee (UJC). Over the past year, I have served as one of the two law school reps on the UJC. In that position, I was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the UJC as the Vice Chair for Trials. This experience is important because it is vital that we keep graduate students on the Executive Committee next year. Undergraduates tend to be disproportionately represented on the Executive Committee, including having no graduate students on the Executive Committee last year. As someone with experience on the Executive Committee, I stand the best chance of keeping a law student on the Executive Committee, possibly as the Chair of the UJC.

If elected, I would work to add a dedicated graduate position to the UJC Executive Committee to ensure graduate students have a guaranteed voice in that body–a voice that is important to give undergraduates the perspective of graduate students both as accused students and as members of the University community. As the graduate members of the UJC are mostly law students, it is important that we at the Law School lead the charge on this issue. With my experience as a member of the Executive Committee this past year, I believe that I would be best suited to filling this important role. I hope you will vote for me, so I can continue serving you as your UJC Representative!

Brandon Newman (, 2018

University Judiciary Committee Representative

This past year, the law school students, as well as other grad students in UJC, have done a great job making sure there is more grad-student representation in UJC. I will continue to make sure grad students (especially law students) are fairly represented in UJC.






Food and Fun with Prof. Ferzan

Allie Thornton '17
Staff Columnist

Grace O’Donnell dressed as Prof. Ferzan for Halloween. Can you tell them apart? Courtesy of Prof. Ferzan

Grace O’Donnell dressed as Prof. Ferzan for Halloween. Can you tell them apart? Courtesy of Prof. Ferzan

Professor Ferzan sat, beaming at me with her bright eyes, in a vibrant purple blazer, with a white button down artfully folded over the cuffs at her wrist. I instantly wanted to know everything about her, but feel overcome by the imposter syndrome. Who am I to ask her invasive questions? Who am I to attempt to match her intelligence? 

    Professor Ferzan smiles as she vividly describes the course of her career. Every milestone seems deliberate, but at the same time each feels like a product of chance. Perhaps this impression comes from Professor Ferzan’s exuberance, which makes the life experiences of this academic seem less like a trajectory, and more like a lively story in which you are rooting for the narrator. No matter, it is incredibly clear that Professor Ferzan has earned all she has accomplished. 

    Professor Ferzan talked about her time at Penn for law school. One story that she recounted will be familiar to many of her 1Ls, regarding a cold call. Her professor called on “Miss Kessler,” [Ferzan’s maiden name] and looked up at Professor Ferzan. She looked up, surprised to be called on, and pointed across the room at her friend (with the same last name), asking “Me Miss Kessler, or her Miss Kessler?” Needless to say, the professor was neither amused nor distracted, and she still had to answer the question. While at Penn, Ferzan studied torts with Professor Heidi Hurd; several years later, Professor Ferzan is good friends with Professor Hurd, despite the fact that Professor Ferzan believes that the tort system could be entirely absorbed into criminal law. 

One example of the earned-yet-seemingly happenstance incidents comes from the story of her choosing a clerkship. Like most would-be clerks, Professor Ferzan applied to most judges in a geographic region, around Philadelphia, and then went to interviews as opportunities were presented. Not shy to admit to the superficiality of wanting to enjoy her workplace, she was charmed that the judge had a pink couch in his office and a painting by Claude Monet on the wall. She thought it was homey. Professor Ferzan would later discover that the judge was color-blind, and his secretary had chosen the couch. Nonetheless, that judge would later officiate her marriage. 

Professor Ferzan also spoke about her career at the DOJ as a prosecutor in the Public Integrity division. Following the trend of fortunate moments, Professor Ferzan applied to the DOJ because that’s what all of the other clerks did. After an afternoon reviewing criminal law with a fellow clerk, she went to the interview, where she was (fortunately) not asked any questions about the Fourth or Fifth Amendments. Professor Ferzan assured me and fellow students interested in working with the DOJ that they should not be deterred by a change in administration.

    Professor Ferzan spoke quickly, which contributes to an impression that she is genuine. When I asked Professor Ferzan what crime she would commit if she were guaranteed to get away with it, she logically responded, “murder,” without hesitation or embarrassment. I wonder how this criminal law professor who enjoys exploring deontological theories can justify such a deadly inclination. Correctly, she pointed out that if she’s going to get a “get out of jail free card” she wants it to have the most value as possible. She is self-assured and straightforward. 

    Professor Ferzan has a special connection to the Virginia Law Weekly. She is ranked as the most-quoted professor in recent history, and is also one of two faculty members who actually read the paper. In an attempt to treat Professor Ferzan like one of us kids, I asked her the questions the Law Weekly often asks students for its “Hot Bench” feature. She resolutely informed us that she is a cat person. She wondered why have a dog when you can have a pet that you can love on your own terms? Why have a dog when you can have a pet that you can throw off your lap when you’re trying to read your book? 

    Professor Ferzan also participated in two truths and a lie, which turned out to be one truth, one half-truth, and one lie. The truth is that she once hitchhiked. Professor Ferzan travelled to Death Valley, California years ago for a conference. When a group of intellectuals invited her on a light hike through Death Valley, she agreed. Upon realization that the hike would be more like a trek through the desert, she politely decided to wait by the car for the group to return. As time passed, and more and more people pulled over by the trailhead to take pictures, she suddenly felt quite vulnerable in this remote area. A minivan pulled up and a three-generation family hopped out. The family began taking photos. Knowing full well that cell phone service was non-existent, she asked to use their phone. The family took the hint that Professor Ferzan was looking for a way out and drove her the mile back to her hotel. She clung to the car door the entire way, just in case, despite the family’s assurances that they would not harm her.

The half-truth is that Professor Ferzan has hang glided. In reality, she once held onto a hang-glider as an instructor failed to guide her off of the ground. The lie is that Professor Ferzan has ever done illegal drugs. Professor Ferzan classifies herself as a rule worshipper. This trait came in handily when she was going through the background checks at the DOJ. One friend remarked, “not only has she never done drugs, she is rude and judgmental to everyone who has.” 

    Professor Ferzan is quick to reveal a relatable self-consciousness. Raised in Miami, Florida, Professor Ferzan’s Sunshine State roots show through by her love for the beach. However, Professor Ferzan is aware of the sideway glances she must get when reading books such as Entertaining Satan at the beach; she has wisely begun a system of removing the book covers before venturing into public. For the record, Entertaining Satan is about the Salem witch trials; Professor Ferzan does not spend her free time summoning the devil. 

    We at the Law Weekly thank Professor Ferzan for her wit in the classroom, her good humor about being quoted so often in the paper, and her willingness to be the subject of this article. For those students reading this article who are in her Evidence class this semester, please remember to write down her quotes and send them to


Hot Bench: Charlie West

1. Have you ever had a nickname? What?

My parents call me June because I’m a junior. My college friends called me Hyde because of my nighttime persona. My former students called me C-Dub after I wrote a math problem featuring a DJ named C-Dub. I think that’s all I want in print. 


2. How old are you in dog years?

I’m an old soul. Probably should’ve been born in 1942. So I’m a spry 525 in dog years. 


3. Where did you grow up?

Columbia, SC, in a loving home that promoted middle class values.


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

I was doing a project in Nicaragua and spent some time on Ometepe Island. I rented a horse one day, went fishing in Lake Nicaragua and while riding around, complete strangers offered to cook my fish and make me a meal. Still waiting on an experience to top that.


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

Forest Whitaker. I want him to teach me his Idi Amin accent.


6. What’s your favorite book?

In high school I once admitted to a television audience that my favorite book(s) were the Harry Potter series. I got so much flak for that. One of my favorites is The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy.


7. Cats or Dogs?

Dogs, but cats are making a come back in my book.


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

Oh, I’d want to manipulate matter for sure. I think my first super act would be creating money out of thin air because the working for money thing is getting old.


9. Are you a good dancer?

Yes. That’s my answer and I’m sticking to it.


10. What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Quaker apple cinnamon oatmeal with dried cranberries and coffee.


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

Advice from my great-grandmother.


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

1) I used to be a Boy Scout. 2) I dislocated my jaw once. 3) I know how to hunt for bats. The first is a lie. I never completed my Cub Scout requirements.


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

Right at the foot of the Andes in Ecuador. Bye-bye seasons.


14. Do you sing in the shower?

Rarely. If I am singing, I’m singing anything Earth Wind and Fire.


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

No! I couldn’t abide another distraction in the library.


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

I want to know everything. I don’t like surprises. 


17. Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

C’monnnn. Consider this simple logic game: NSYNC–>Justin Timberlake. JT–> Justified. Justified–>FutureSex/LoveSounds.


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

Probably 30 hours. And it was probably in college. 


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

I really appreciate anytime I get to discover a new Charlottesville restaurant that isn’t on the Mall.


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

Truth is becoming optional. My law would require that everybody be truthful, live in truth, and cling to the truth no matter what external influences are at play. 

LAW WEEKLY FEATURE: Reflections on the Inauguration and Women’s March

Editors’ Note:  We opened up this newspaper as a forum for student voices to express their feelings about the inauguration and the Women’s March. The views expressed in these reflections are the views of the individual authors and are not necessarily the views of the Law Weekly’s Executive or Editorial Board. 

Michael Goudey '18

The Women’s March on Washington gave me an opportunity to stand up, acknowledge my privilege, and signal to my friends, family, and former co-workers who felt vulnerable that they were not alone. That despite feeling besieged by a wave of misogyny, jingoism, and intolerance, millions of men—straight and gay, cisgender and trans, black and white—stood with them in opposition to the hateful, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, and anti-LGBTQIA rhetoric the 2016 presidential campaign fueled. 

I felt inspired to stand, packed like sardines, on Jefferson Ave and slowly march the 1.5 miles to the White House with millions of brilliant, passionate women proudly asserting and demanding respect for their humanity. I worried, though, that as the afterglow of the march wore off, so too would the energy of the hundreds of thousands who chanted, “Her body, her rights,” and “Immigrants are welcome here.”

I could not have been more wrong. Thousands of lawyers descended on airports this weekend to assist refugees, immigrants, and non-immigrant visitors from seven Muslim-majority nations navigate the President’s Executive Order on immigration. Closer to home, I know dozens of friends and family members who—for the first time in their lives—are contacting their elected representatives and urging them to stand-up for Progressive policies. Friends who had never considered entering politics are attending training sessions on civil activism and running for office. The Women’s March didn’t represent the apex of a movement organizing to oppose hateful policies. It was just the start.


Alana Harris '18
Attending the Women’s March in New York City was a memorable and inspiring experience. I am not sure whether I was more touched by the little girls holding signs, emulating their strong moms and big sisters, or the older women who have dedicated their whole lives to fighting for equality for women, unwilling to let their decades of hard work go undone. The crowd was lively and energetic—I’ll certainly remember this experience forever.


Madison Bush '17

The Women’s March on Washington will, without a doubt, remain one of the formative experiences of my life.  I was moved and inspired to spend the day in our nation’s capital, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people of many different genders, races, nationalities, and religions, all coming together to stand up for what we believe in. But what exactly is it that we all believe in?  It is this uncertainty that is both a strength and a weakness of the Women’s March movement. 

    Early on, the March was criticized for a lack of intersectionality, prioritizing White Feminism over equality for all. In response, the organizers reached out to a slew of leaders from diverse backgrounds, emphasizing diversity moving forward.  This inclusivity became a key message of the movement, one that desperately needed to be addressed, especially in light of statistics showing a majority of white women voted for Trump, a sad truth which I can only continue to apologize for. 

Diversity is absolutely crucial if feminism is to succeed in America.  At the same time, achieving ethnic and religious diversity in the movement should not mean that there is no shared goal.  At the March itself, cheers including, “We want a leader, not a creepy tweeter,” clashed with others such as, “Fired up! Ready to go!” All too often, the marchers lapsed into silence, unsure of which message to carry forward. I worry that the leaderships’ choice to let the marchers choose the message may be the movement’s greatest weakness in the long run. 

    At the March, I worried what would come after. I worried that, much like the Occupy Wall Street movement, there would be nothing tangible to show for our efforts.  The “10 Actions, 100 Days” initiative assuaged my fears, promising continued actions in the coming months. I jumped right into the First Action: writing postcards, happily scribbling away to urge all of my representatives to defend the Affordable Care Act and the environment.  I also considered writing about protecting a woman’s right to choose, protecting marriage equality, opposing the wall, etc. etc.   It didn’t take me long to realize that the “10 Actions, 100 Days” plan may face many of the same issues as the March itself. Writing postcards certainly garners involvement, but without a clear message of what the movement wants to achieve, will a real chance for change get lost in the muddle of myriad mixed messages? 

    There is a bigger, overarching problem, one that I fear the Women’s March will be unable to solve—the Donald himself. The basic presumption of democracy is that the president is a representative of the people.  But what happens when the person elected by the unpopular vote is an unpredictable egomaniac who was inaugurated without having turned over his tax returns, divest from his business investments, or having relinquished his personal cellphone? Will that man change his mind about anything when three to four million Americans march in protest nationwide? If the first ten days have shown us anything—apparently not.  The Donald is not willing to listen to the people, and that should scare us all. 


Lauren Sandground '18

When the Women’s March on Washington became a coherent event in late 2016, I had serious hesitations about whether to attend.

Despite holding strong beliefs in particular about women’s issues, I had never participated in a march before, and never had the desire to. Honestly, I have always questioned the efficacy of marching. I thought that participating in a march would be a romantic way to live out one’s freedom of expression, out in the polis. Yet, as a law school-bred consequentialist, I questioned whether marches resulted in something tangible. I wanted my efforts to be worthwhile. Why should I bother?

Prior to this march, I had several conversations with fellow UVa students about my musings on marching. Two thoughts stuck with me from these conversations, and they ultimately motivated me: One, marches build movements, and two, marching is a vital tool in the toolbox of a people-driven democracy. Without people committed to marching, the Tea Party would not have been formed, nor would MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech have resonated across the country. Arguably, neither would have had such an impact on American politics. Without marching, people with less privilege (political privilege, which compounds further with identity privilege) would be limited in their means of voicing their concerns and participating in democracy. 

If marches are worthwhile generally, was it worth it for me? What was at stake that would shake me out of my bed at 5am to drive 2.5 hours up Route 29 in the (mild) Virginia winter? This part came more easily. Women have made significant progress in gaining civil, political, social, and economic rights and protections in America over the past two centuries. These guarantees are not rigorously maintained, especially along intersectional lines, and cultural misogyny has become normalized. I wanted to march to remind myself that I should speak and act where and when it is necessary for me to do so to uphold these rights. As one famous scholar and feminist, Audre Lorde, said, “I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.” 

Even at the risk of being misunderstood, I marched. On January 22, I drove up Route 29 with eight other law students and friends. I shuffled at 0.5 miles per hour with 500,000 people from different backgrounds. In the heart of the nation’s capitol, I saw a movement forming. I was part of it.


Kendall Burchard '19

I have struggled to unpack the complex feelings and reactions I have had to the Women’s March on Washington. I do not claim to speak for all the women involved, nor do I claim to speak for even a small number of those who marched. The reasons millions of men, women, and children left their homes and flooded the streets of cities across the world were as varied and diverse as the individuals themselves. And yet, we marched in solidarity, drawn together by the simple, unwavering belief in the immense power of physical presence to convey what individual actions and solitary voices fail to do adequately. Simply put, I marched against fear. I marched against the fear that my potential will be undercut by my sex. I marched against “alternative facts” and the blatant disregard of truth, humanity, and equality. I marched to show that the actions of the Trump administration would not define me as an American, and I marched to show I would not allow unconstitutional bans and inhumane policies to be enacted without a fight. I marched for my friends concerned for the safety of their families, those fighting to protect their bodily autonomy, and those fearful their right to marry the person they love is now in jeopardy. I marched to show that I refuse to accept the violent attacks that have plagued our schools and public spaces as the “new normal,” and I refuse to blame an entire religion for the actions of few. Although I am deeply concerned about the policies and proposals the President has offered this past week, the March and subsequent displays of patriotism and unity this weekend have remind me of the common individual’s ability to make a difference, to fight against oppression, and to hold the powerful accountable for their actions and rights violations. While our country’s principles and priorities appear to be shifting at times, watching hundreds of thousands of people flood the streets of Washington and cities around the world reminded us all of America’s resilience and fight.


Tess Fardon '18

I feel very lucky to have been able to participate in the Women’s March on Washington. The March itself was empowering – it was great to see so many people coming together for women’s rights, standing up for each other, seeing family members marching for the women in their families who were unable to – but the best part, to me, was the walk down to the National Mall, where the March took place. My friends and I walked three miles from Columbia Heights to the Mall. People were dancing the entire way down, and strangers were smiling at each other and hugging one another. Cars drove by with the passengers honking and cheering. It felt like we were all part of this giant picture, this historic moment, that anything was possible, and we were thrilled to share the moment with so many others. Feeling this intense bond with so many strangers, and seeing that such an overwhelming number of people are passionate about equality, was a nice reminder that we are not alone. I think the best thing that can come out of this election is finding solidarity with others who share your beliefs. The he comfort that comes from that solidarity was what the March brought out for me. 


Sarah Ingles '19

I’ve heard some criticism about the lack of a “unified message” from the Women’s March, but I think the diversity in messages was its greatest strength. Intersectional feminism is a concept to which people are still adjusting. It’s not a lack of unification, but rather an acknowledgment that my concerns as a straight white woman don’t encompass the entire spectrum of feminist issues. The real impact of marches lies in their aftermath, and attending the Women’s March plugged me into a number of networks that will help me stay politically active and informed. Had the march been limited to a single issue, I may not have even heard about so many great organizations promoting the rights of different groups.

Campbell Haynes '19

The Women’s March left me feeling inspired, activated, energized, and optimistic. It gave both of my grandmothers hope that a movement led by women can change this country. It is something that I will tell my own grandchildren about one day. Now, I pray that the activism of the Women’s March will turn into tomorrow’s direct political action. Judging by this weekend, it may already have. 




On my way into D.C. for the Women’s March, I knew my day would be unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I’m a big crier—I cry at everything—and, looking around at the beaming faces on the metro, so excited and anxious about the day to come, I was moved to tears. There were dads with their daughters, college students, 80+ year old women enthusiastically explaining how they had knit their “pussy hats” at a party they threw in their hometown in Idaho. There were no strangers on that metro; it was unspoken that we were all friends, all in this together, all here for each other. That positive spirit carried through out the entire day. Even when we were packed like sardines, over 500,000 people crammed into just a few streets, everyone around me had a smile on their face. 

Many people don’t realize that the march was actually cancelled; when so many people showed up to the rally, the organizers were forced to cancel the march. But it would’ve been impossible to hold back a crowd of that size and with that much passion. After about four hours of standing, we flooded into the streets and ended up in front of the White House. For many, it was an act of defiance. For others, a place for catharsis. But, for most, it was both, and so much more. It was a sign of hope that we desperately needed and it opened up a dialogue about the future of a more intersectional, inclusive, action-oriented feminism that was long overdue. In that regard, the Women’s March may have been a one day event, but its effects will be felt for years to come. I will be forever proud and forever grateful to have participated. 


Elizabeth Sines '19


On my way into D.C. for the Women’s March, I knew my day would be unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I’m a big crier—I cry at everything—and, looking around at the beaming faces on the metro, so excited and anxious about the day to come, I was moved to tears. There were dads with their daughters, college students, 80+ year old women enthusiastically explaining how they had knit their “pussy hats” at a party they threw in their hometown in Idaho. There were no strangers on that metro; it was unspoken that we were all friends, all in this together, all here for each other. That positive spirit carried through out the entire day. Even when we were packed like sardines, over 500,000 people crammed into just a few streets, everyone around me had a smile on their face. 

Many people don’t realize that the march was actually cancelled; when so many people showed up to the rally, the organizers were forced to cancel the march. But it would’ve been impossible to hold back a crowd of that size and with that much passion. After about four hours of standing, we flooded into the streets and ended up in front of the White House. For many, it was an act of defiance. For others, a place for catharsis. But, for most, it was both, and so much more. It was a sign of hope that we desperately needed and it opened up a dialogue about the future of a more intersectional, inclusive, action-oriented feminism that was long overdue. In that regard, the Women’s March may have been a one day event, but its effects will be felt for years to come. I will be forever proud and forever grateful to have participated. 


HOT BENCH : Emily Mordecai

1. Have you ever had a nickname? What?

Several of my friends call me by my last name, Mordecai. Last syllable pronounced “key” as in #MajorKey. 

2. How old are you in dog years?


3.  Where did you grow up?

Virginia Beach, VA

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


5.  What’s your favorite book?

The Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay. I would totally hire Meg Jay to be my life coach, assuming Mariska was unavailable. 

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

One of my best friends who lives in Richmond took me to a restaurant where they serve a sandwich with mac-and-cheese, bacon, and BBQ sauce on it. The American dream.

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

Mariska Hargitay: my greatest role model, other than my mom.  

8.  Cats or Dogs?

Not really an animal person, tbh. 

9.  What did you have for breakfast this morning?

A granola bar from the Student Affairs office. Thanks, Ms. Lisa!

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

Teleportation. It’d be helpful for spending time with my aunts, uncles, and cousins who are spread out along the east coast, and in California. Also helpful for times like the morning I accidentally woke up at 8:22 for my 8:30 class.  

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

1. I went to UVa for undergrad.

2. I studied abroad in Europe. 

3. I spent my early childhood as a member of the hip-hop dance company at a place called Attitudez Dance Studio. 

Lie: #2. I’ve never been to Europe. 

12.  Are you a good dancer?

Yes. See Question #11. 

13.  Do you sing in the shower?

Yes. Mainly alternating between a two-song repertoire of KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree,” and John Legend’s “Ordinary People.”

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

Last year for my birthday, several friends from my section chipped in $5/person and got me a $70 Bodo’s gift card. Whoever said diamonds are the way to a girl’s heart has clearly never been to Bodo’s. 

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

I thought we already had one…

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

At what age my hair goes gray; tends to happen earlier rather than later in my family.

17.  Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

Gotta give it to *NSYNC, seeing as they provided the soundtrack for that dance my two sisters and I made up to “Pop” in 2001. 

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

    Watch the greatest men’s basketball team in the entire NCAA/universe play at John Paul Jones arena. #gohoos

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

    Federal mandate for all disc jokeys to play at least one Beyoncé song per gathering, and tax cut eligibility for satisfying mandate with dance anthems from her B’Day album. 

Breaking Bread with Bamzai

Lia Keane '18
Features Editor


When the Law School released a press statement over the summer to announce that Professor Aditya Bamzai would join our faculty this semester, I remember thinking to myself, “What a cool career.” 

    An alumnus of Yale University, Bamzai graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 2004, where he was the editor-in-chief of the Law Review, before clerking for Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton of the Sixth Circuit. Following his clerkship, Bamzai spent two years working for the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Justice Department and then clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia during the 2007–08 term. Bamzai characterized both of his clerkships as having been positive experiences thanks to the mentorship he received and the unique learning opportunities that clerking provided. Bamzai even went so far as to describe his fellow Supreme Court clerks and the other people he worked alongside during that year as “[being] like family.” In response to a question about what it was like to clerk for such a prolific justice, Bamzai recounted that he would often spend hours arguing issues with Scalia and his co-clerks after a case’s oral arguments came to a close. Bamzai said that he encourages students with an interest in working for a judge to pursue a clerkship, though he noted that it is always a good idea for such individuals to consider their career goals and evaluate the level of benefit that a clerkship would provide. 

    Prior to entering academia full-time, Bamzai also worked as a partner in the appellate litigation department of Kirkland & Ellis’ Washington, D.C., office and served as counsel in the DOJ’s National Security division. Bamzai stated that during his time in the public and private sectors, he particularly enjoyed having the opportunity to work on interesting issues and collaborating with individuals whom he respected. Despite professing that he “hadn’t known much” about computer crime when he first went to work at the DOJ, it took only a few years before Bamzai had developed a specialized niche. Bamzai acknowledged that his career path reflects the oft-repeated mantra that you “can’t plan for everything.” However, he also admitted that most of his previous employment decisions were at least partially motivated by his longstanding interest in becoming a professor. 

    Bamzai described his favorite part of teaching as having the ability to interact with students, and he praised the first-year students in his civil procedure class for their high levels of engagement. Although he does not feel as if he has faced any big surprises this semester, Bamzai said that, as a new professor, it has been important for him to remember that there is no such thing as being too prepared before coming into a lecture. 

In the spring, Bamzai will draw upon his numerous areas of expertise when he teaches Computer Crime Law, a new course that blends Fourth Amendment concepts with aspects of data privacy. Bamzai stated that his goal is to make the required work interesting for students and hinted that some discussions may even touch upon storylines from the critically-acclaimed television series, The Wire, which he also indicated is one of his favorite shows. Professor Bamzai added that he thought Stringer Bell was the best character on The Wire because [Bell] represents the idea that “people can surprise you.”

    When he isn’t teaching or working on his research, Bamzai’s spare time is typically spent with his family. According to Bamzai, his children, ages two and four, have already demonstrated an interest in music and singing, though he noted that it may be a while before they are ready to officially pick up an instrument. In addition to The Wire, Bamzai also cited Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead as being among his favorite television shows. Despite liking several popular television series, Bamzai said that he wanted to avoid claiming a “generic” movie as his favorite, and succeeded in doing so by proposing that The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, an iconic western starring John Wayne, had secured that spot. Bamzai’s reading preferences span a variety of genres and include literature from the early-20th century as well as murder mysteries. A final fun fact about Professor Bamzai is that he spent a portion of his childhood growing up in Cairo. Although Bamzai said that his time in Egypt provided him with many happy memories, he lamented the fact that he has not returned to the country since leaving, though he expressed an interest in visiting Cairo again someday.    

    Bamzai’s advice for students is to “study hard,” and also to remember that both law school and our legal careers are best characterized as being “marathons, not sprints.” The Law Weekly’s staff is grateful to Professor Bamzai for taking the time to speak with us and we hope that he continues to enjoy his time teaching at UVA Law. 


Getting Grub with Gilbert

Ashley Angeloti '17
Managing Editor


    The Law Weekly staff took Professor Michael Gilbert to lunch a few weeks ago to learn a little bit more about one of UVa’s Law and Economics experts. In addition to his background in economics, he also is considered an expert in issues related to legislation, election law, judicial decision-making, and direct democracy. 

    After graduating from Tulane University, Gilbert spent three years working as a research assistant for the Federal Reserve Board in DC. During his time in DC, he met many of the Federal Reserve Board governors, including Ben Bernanke. His time at the Fed made Gilbert realize that, in addition to his love of economics, he also loved the law. 

    With that knowledge, he decided to apply to JD/Ph.D. programs across the country, and finally decided on Berkeley Law. Before starting school, he backpacked in South America for over two months, finally using the Spanish that he studied while at Tulane. 

During his 1L summer, despite having never worked at a law firm, Professor Gilbert decided to join Clifford Chance’s litigation group. The next summer, he worked at Skadden’s London office to learn more about transactional law. During his time at Berkeley, he also served as the Articles Editor of the California Law Review. He was also an Olin Fellow in Law and Economics and received a grant from the National Science Foundation for his dissertation research.

    After graduating, Gilbert clerked for a year at the 9th Circuit for Judge William “Willy” Fletcher, who was also his Federal Courts professor at Berkeley. While he states that he does not “obsess” over the Supreme Court (SCOTUS), he admits that his favorite Justice would be Scalia because of his legal mind. He also likes Justice Kagan. Gilbert is one of many who believe we should appoint SCOTUS justices for eighteen-year terms rather than lifelong terms. He said that, right now, a “SCOTUS appointment is an appointment for life, at a minimum.” Gilbert rationalizes this idea by recognizing that the more that justices are empowered, the more they feel free to make whichever policy decisions they want, no matter how far to the left or right they may be. 

    In 2009, Professor Gilbert finished his clerkship and joined the UVA Law faculty. When asked, “Why UVa?” Gilbert replied that the Law School was a “natural fit” for him and his family. He wanted to become an academic because he loves teaching, meeting interesting people, traveling to interesting places to teach or lecture, and writing papers. When writing academic papers, Professor Gilbert explained that he feels like Indiana Jones because he gets to explore a new area of the law or a unique way of looking at problems. 

    He is currently teaching only two classes this year because he is in the middle of writing a casebook on law and economics with a professor from Berkeley. While there are casebooks on topics covered in Law and Economics I, there is none on the topics in his Law and Economics II class, which looks at public law from an economic perspective. Despite teaching at UVA since 2009, Professor Gilbert has never taught a 1L class. 

Outside of work, Professor Gilbert is married with two young kids. He can typically be found spending time with his family, traveling, or exercising. If he can ever find the time, he would love to learn about photography. He also loves eating at restaurants around Charlottesville. If someone else is paying, he loves to go to Fleurie, a French restaurant on the Downtown Mall. Otherwise, his favorite place is Al Carbon.

Right now, he is reading Harry Potter and Timmy Failure with his kids. His favorite books include Siddhartha, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and All Quiet on the Western Front. His favorite movies include V for Vendetta, Mosquito Coast, and Y Tu Mama Tambien. While Professor Gilbert’s wife is convinced that his movie choices show that he is a “libertarian survivalist” at heart.  He disagrees. 

At the end of our lunch, we asked him about his best “unpopular opinion,” or a belief that he holds that would not be well received by others. He responded by stating that while he has enormous admiration for President Obama, he believes that the United States may have benefitted if it had elected Mitt Romney in 2012. Professor Gilbert rationalizes this view by saying that, had Romney been elected, the Republican Party may not be so divided, and we may have been saved from our current problem with Donald Trump. While this would not be well received by Trump supporters or Obama supporters, he does make a good point regarding the current state of the Republican Party. 

While Professor Gilbert is only teaching Law and Economics I this semester, Law and Economics II in the Spring, and a yearlong Seminar in Ethical Values, he usually teaches other courses throughout the year. His other classes include Legislation and Regulation of the Political Process. If you are a 1L or 2L (and Law and Economics is not your thing), you can still try to take one of his other classes next year, after he has finished his casebook.  


Hot Bench: Campbell Sode

1. Have you ever had a nickname? What?

I have never been fortunate enough to be blessed with a nickname but Joe Nardella, my college lacrosse position partner and I were collectively known as the Smokes Squad (long story), so I’ll just go ahead and lay claim to that moniker. ϑ

2. How old are you in dog years?

Three years old, and my fellow PA’s can certainly attest to this as I’m definitely the metaphorical baby sibling of our group. However, my section thinks I’m a middle child type so s/o to them for overlooking my irresponsible shenanigans this semester.

3.  Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Dallas, Texas and now call the tropical environs of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida home (when I’m not buried in legalese or interning in D.C.).

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

On a high school lacrosse road trip to Louisiana, the team bus stopped at a roadside joint specializing in Cajun fare in rural Louisiana just outside of Shreveport. I was introduced to the fried catfish po’boy and okra combo there and I will never forget the semi-religious experience that ensued when I tucked into that meal. 

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

Cristiano Ronaldo, my sporting hero and quite possibly the best footballer ever to grace the planet (I watched him score a goal for Portugal against Latvia as I was typing!), but I would settle for coffee and crumpets with Jose Mourinho if I had to.

6.  What’s your favorite book?

Crime and Punishment. For some reason, something about Raskolnikov’s character really captivated me, and I haven’t been quite as enthralled by the other books I’ve read thus far. 

7.  Cats or Dogs?

Dogs! My Facebook friends are all well aware of my corgi obsession; pictures of cute, fluffy corgis probably outnumber pictures of me on my timeline at this point.

8.  Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

Aaron Carter FTW!

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

I’ve always wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, and I’d like to know if I’ll be able to check that off my bucket list in the future. 

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

    Super speed, you can’t beat what you can’t catch!!

10.  Are you a good dancer?

I range from decent to very good, but my dancing ability directly correlates with how many trips I’ve taken to the bar that night so you never really know what you’re going to get.

11.  What did you have for breakfast this morning?

    An egg and sausage on an onion bagel from Bodo’s.

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

I once spent a week above the tree line in the Rockies during a 2-week hike. I was recruited to play two different sports at the NCAA level (I had offers to run cross country and play lacrosse and I opted to play lacrosse at Rutgers). I have never ever eaten at Taco Bell.

Although this may shock everyone at the law school, I have never stepped foot in a Taco Bell, much less eaten anything from there. 

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

I have to be honest, my friends, as a collective, are the best gift that I have ever received. I don’t have any siblings so I lean on y’all more than you might realize! 

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

Definitely the Algarve in Portugal, I can’t say no to whitewashed abodes, azure water, and great weather year-round.

15.  Do you sing in the shower?

Not really, I prefer to just let the hot water wash over me and relax like I’m in a Turkish bath or sauna. grew up. It really expands your horizons and changes your perspective on the world.

LAW WEEKLY FEATURE: Court of Petty Appeals

PILA Auction Committee v.
PILA Auction Attendees

470 U.Va 724 (2016)

GOLDMAN, J., This case came before us in an unusual manner; we normally hear cases in our chambers (SL 279; briefs can be nailed to the corkboard outside or sent via email at, but instead we heard this on location on the dancefloor of the Omni Hotel. Since all justices were in attendance at PILA, and Petty Rule of Civil Procedure 37 states that, “The Chief Justice may call the Court into session in any location she or he sees fit,” Chief Justice Haden used the baseball bat signed by Dean Goluboff to call the Court into session. 

The impromptu plaintiffs, the PILA Auction Committee, initiated this action charging the defendants, various Law Students in attendance of the PILA Auction, with disorderly conduct. As specific examples, the oral complaint notes various acts of mania: stolen balloons, charging the stage, and eating wayyyy too much of that pizza.

The PILA Auction is a widely respected event whose stated purpose is raise money to provide summer job funding for 1L and 2L students to work in nonprofit and government over the summer. The Plaintiffs assert that the taking of balloons, the charging of the stage, and the crude use of the balloon letter “D” meet the elements for disorderly conduct not becoming of UVa Law Students. 

The facts are not at issue: After Professors Mitchell and Bowers concluded with the live auction portion of the evening, students rushed thestage to take balloon letters that formerly spelled out “HOLLYWOOD” allegedly (or apparently) in reference to the theme of the event. Students then began to dance (badly) on the stage to Justin Beiber’s esteemed classic “Sorry” and the widely regarded best song of all time “Dancing On My Own,” which, in hindsight, could have been fraught with tort claims.   

Regarding the taking of balloons, the 1L defendants asserted that they did not know the difference between stolen and abandoned property. The 2L and 3L defendants say they believed the stage and all fixtures were abandoned since the live auction was over; and thus the abandoned property was ripe for taking. 

We remind 1L defendants that ignorance of the law is not a defense in this Court or any other (see Brady v. Free Food Table in WB 361 U. Va 276 (2016), “I put my lunch down for one second and next thing I knew I was being trampled by 3Ls and a very hungry Professor White.”).

The 2L and 3L’s arguments are more compelling, but the PILA auction does not officially end until midnight, the end of the silent auction, or when the DJ stopped playing music, whichever is latest. At the time of the takings the music was still playing and the silent auction was still open, but the time was not noted, therefore we rely on the first two conditions. Further, the PILA Auction committee worked very hard on the decorations, and a PILA ticket does not give you a vested interest in being an asshole.

To the plaintiffs’ main complaint, “disorderly conduct not becoming of UVa Law Students” is not a crime in this jurisdiction. Though the reasoning as to why SBA has not written this into the Model Petty Penal Code seems obvious, there are several events and situations that may be in jeopardy if such a crime did exist (see generally Foxfield, Barrister’s Ball, and the day after the class lottery runs within the confines of Dean Dugas’ office). In response to Chief Justice Haden’s concurrence noting that the opinion is mixing civil and criminal worlds, the majority would like to direct the Chief Justice to Petty Rule 1, “We do what we want.” 

The PILA auction committee did admit in oral arguments that since all the balloons were taken the clean-up process was expedited, but they did not appreciate the undermining of the integrity and purpose of the event. 

It is common knowledge that the PILA Auction is an opportunity to drink too much and donate an obscene amount of money to play Pokémon GO with Professors Kendrick and Schwartzman. Significant and comprehensive studies have shown that the purpose of PILA is furthered when the crowd is more drunk and debaucherous at the auction.

It was not nice of attendees to take over the stage like it was a high school prom, because attendees purport to be adults; similarly it was inconsiderate to destroy the decorations that the auction committee worked so hard to assemble. Being a Petty Court, we never issue formal apologies, and we almost never require anyone else to apologize either. Ultimately, however, the drunk and disorderly behavior worked to further the stated purpose of the event. We do not require the defendant to apologize, but we do require them, through the Student Bar Association, to replicate the “HOLLYWOOD” balloon sign and deliver it to Student Affairs, where Plaintiffs can enjoy the balloons every time they stop in for candy and gluten free pretzels. 

It is so ordered. 

HADEN, C.J., concurring in part, dissenting in part, and concurring in the judgment.

I join the majority’s opinion relating to our jurisdiction and our ability to hear cases in an impromptu manner. As Petty Rules of Evidence 1 and 37 make clear, we are able to do essentially whatever we want in terms of court procedure, and this case does not run afoul of any Petty Due Process concerns. However, the Court notes that all five Justices were present at the impromptu trial, which is true, but is not a necessary requirement for a judgment from this Court. For example, if two Justices on this Court were to recuse themselves, certainly the remaining three could decide the merits of a case, so long as a majority of the remaining three came to a conclusion. I read the above sentence in the Court’s opinion to be merely dictum and does not suggest that the presence of all five justices is required.

    As for the rest of the opinion, I find the legal reasoning to be a little unclear. The plaintiff has made a claim of disorderly conduct against the defendants. The majority, however, references the fact that disorderly conduct is not a crime in this jurisdiction. This blending of the criminal and civil worlds is problematic for our jurisprudence. We have never required that there be an underlying crime that would support a recovery in a civil action. Indeed, should our Petty Legislature decide to decriminalize arson, that would certainly not bar an action for trespass to chattels or conversion. 

    The majority also notes that such a crime would be problematic given the events that the Law School has during the year. I am not so sure that this reasoning is sound; rejecting a law simply because it would catch a lot of people does not seem to strike a proper balance. Were this question squarely before the Court, I would assume that some sort of balancing test would be required. I find myself unable to join that part of the majority’s opinion. However, since this question is not before the Court, and since the majority’s paragraph discussing it is not central to the holding, I assume it is dicta and therefore will not cause problems in future litigation.

    In my opinion, the conduct complained of absolutely constitutes disorderly conduct. The stealing of property, the storming of the stage, and the general debauchery are textbook characteristics of disorderly conduct. However, I note two things that allow me to join in the majority’s conclusion, or, at least, to join in the ultimate disposition of the case. First, there seems to me to be a cognizable defense of assumption of the risk. I read Justice Goldman’s opinion to hint at this argument tangentially, when she notes that PILA should have expected this level of debacuhery. 

    In the alternative, if I were to award judgment to the plaintiff, I would be hard-pressed to find damages to award them. I agree with the majority’s conclusion that the only cognizable loss was the loss of the balloons; in almost every other way, however, PILA undoubtedly benefited from the attendees overall.

ANGELOTTI, J., concurring specially.

    I found out that Professor Ferzan only reads my opinions because they are so short, so I am taking this opportunity to ask if you can send me those worksheets from 1L Crim for me to use when I study for the bar?

PICKUS, J., dissenting.

The Court of Petty Appeals has no jurisdiction to decide this case. PILA is an anarchic wasteland with neither law nor order. We have no more jurisdiction over PILA than we do the ninth circle of Hell or the DC Metro system. There are no laws. Abandon all hope. 

1      Jennifer Lee, Drunk and Disorderly: A Study on PILA Auction Revenue and Belligerence, 83 Nature 228, 254-342 (2016) (“There is a direct, positive correlation between the amount of money raised and amount of alcohol consumed. For example: one year a voucher for one month’s Ivy rent was purchased by an Ivy resident for more than the cost of the normal month’s rent.”). 
2     Third Restatement of Petty Actions takes generously from Beyonce’s latest album, Lemonade, see “Sorry” (“Sorry, I ain’t sorry… stop interrupting my grinding”).
3     See Justice Pickus’ research regarding North Dakota’s lax arson laws.