All-Star Games End in Controversy

1L all-stars on the field moments before drama goes down. Photo Credit M. Eleanor Schmalzl ’20

1L all-stars on the field moments before drama goes down. Photo Credit M. Eleanor Schmalzl ’20

Lena Welch
New Media Editor

Sixty first-year UVA Law students took to the diamond in the All-Star softball games at the Park on Wednesday, October 23. The night featured three games, with co-ed rosters for the first two games and an open game featuring the top 1L men in the final game of the night.

Game 1: Home 26, Away 8

The night kicked off with a trouncing of the away team, 26-8, who couldn’t find a presence on the mound to stop the home team. With the teams tied 5-5 after the first inning, the home team pulled away with eight runs in the bottom of the second. The home team took advantage of ten walks on the night. Max Baird ’22 went 4-for-4 with a home run in the second inning to lead the home team bats. Clair Reiling ’22 and Jack Tucker ’22 batted second and third in the lineup, respectively, and each reached first base five times. James Harper ’22 held down the mound for the home team, and contributed a triple in the second inning.

Marc Kilani ’22 doubled as the leadoff batter in the second inning for the away team, and CJ Collins ’22 sent him home with a two-run homer, giving the away team a 7-5 lead before the home team stepped up with 21 runs in the final three innings.

Game 2: Away 20, Home 9

In the second game of the night, the away team earned the victory, 20-9. Tallulah Tepper ’22 had a standout performance, pitching for the away team gave up just 11 hits and picked up two strikeouts. The away team racked up four runs in the first inning, including three off a home run by Will Scheffer ’22. The home team got one back in the bottom of the first, but the away team took a dominant lead with seven runs in the second. Leon Ebani ’22 extended the lead in the third inning for the away team with a three-run homer.

Michael Peña ’22 went 3-for-3 on the night for the home team. Trace Larabee ’22 pitched for the home team, and had a good hit down the right field line in the fourth inning, but a strong defensive play by Caroline Spadaro ’22 kept the home team from scoring. Ebani’s miraculous catch in left field in the bottom of the fourth was another defensive highlight for the away team.

“Y’all can keep playing, but let’s be clear that’s game.”

(Controversial) Game 3: Away 21, Home 19

The final game ended in controversy as umpire Ethan Silverman ’21 called the third out on a thrown bat (the second thrown bat by the same player, who was warned after the first instance that he would be called out if he threw the bat a second time). The call itself was not contested, but it abruptly stopped a comeback inning for the home team. The home team pled for the game to continue, but members of the away team exited the field, bringing an end to an entertaining game featuring stellar plays and high tensions.

“They left the field like they stole something. Didn’t even shake hands. Ian [Jones ’22] was probably exhausted after pulling the flop of the century at catcher after the tossed bat allegedly came a little too close to his ankles. Phil [Tonsesth ’22] was just pissed that it was a little too cold to wear a crop top to this game.” Nathan Wunderli ’22 said.

The home team took the lead after one inning, 4-3. Wunderli pitched the first inning for the home team, picking up a strikeout for the third out, then stepped up to the plate and sent the ball over the fence for the first homer of the game.

The away team took a permanent lead in the second inning after piecing together seven runs in the inning. Bolton Smith ’22 homered as the leadoff batter in the second inning, and seven other members of the away team earned hits. The home team cut the deficit to 10-7 with three runs in the bottom of the second.

The third inning featured a pair of solo home runs from Chris Leveroni ’22 and Nick Roberti ’22 for the away team, while the home team rounded home three times in the bottom of the third. Tonseth picked up back-to-back outs with catches in foul territory, helping to limit the comeback from the home team.

The away team carried their defensive momentum into the fourth inning, preventing the home team from rounding home after picking up another three runs of its own in the top of the fourth.

The away team pulled away with six runs in the top of the fifth. Tonseth and Kurt Swalander ’22 hit consecutive home runs to extend the away team’s lead to 19-10, and the away team took advantage of an error in the outfield, a single by Connor Day ’22, and a sacrifice fly from Leveroni for a 21-10 lead heading into the final frame.

The home team stepped up to the challenge, piecing together nine runs before the fateful call. The home team started with the top of the lineup as Paul Koltz ’22 tripled to left center, setting the tone for the inning. Wunderli sent him home with a double, and Niko Orfanedes ’22 cleared the bases with the two-run homer. With two outs, five more members of the home team crossed the plate, including two off a home run from Koltz. Trailing by two, with a runner on first, Silverman called the final out as the tossed bat hit Jones in his already injured ankle.

Despite the abrupt ending to the game, the open All-Star game featured impressive performances by the top 1L men. For the away team, Swalander hit for the cycle, changed from his Converses to cleats during the game, and showed off his stellar arm from left center field. For the home team, Wunderli notched a pair of home runs in consecutive appearances at the plate.

According to one NGSL source, the aftermath of the 1L All-Star games has been “entertaining.” Certainly, the All-Star games were entertaining for all who attended.


First Human Rights Week a Success

Sam Pickett ’21
News Editor

In her video message to the UVA Law community, Dean Goluboff introduced the school’s first ever Human Rights Week as a “great opportunity to learn about our program and also hear about cutting edge issues in human rights law.” And that it was. Over the course of last week, the Human Rights Program, led by the dynamic trio of Alex Karahalios ’21, Kunchok Dolma ’21, and Rachel Davidson Raycraft ’20, presented events on three pressing issues from around the globe: organ harvesting in China, hardships for minorities in India under Prime Minister Modi, and the impact of the United States’s “War on Drugs.”

On Monday, renowned human rights lawyer Dr. David Matas and UVA Medical School Professor, Dr. Joshua Li, spoke about forced organ harvesting in China. Dr. Matas spoke first and described his experience investigating transplant programs of hundreds of hospitals in China. He drew on media reports, official propaganda, and more in his revealing report on the practice of harvesting organs from minorities in China, particularly Falun Gong practitioners. Hearing Dr. Matas speak was quite the surreal experience, given that he was a 2010 Nobel Peace Prize nominee who helped discover significant evidence of what he has termed the “bloody harvest.” His accomplishments are a testament to the fact that one individual really can help change the world. Dr. Li concluded the presentation with important context regarding the minority and subordinated groups in China, including the practices of Falun Gong.

On Wednesday, Professor Neeti Nair and Professor Parhana Ibrahim discussed the difficulties faced by India’s religious and ethnic minorities, in particular Indian Muslims, under the recently re-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The main issue discussed was Prime Minister Modi’s recent announcement regarding the termination of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and assertion of power over Kashmir, an area of land heavily disputed between India and Pakistan. The professors did an excellent job, however, of providing the audience with a brief history of the conflict between India and Pakistan and the steady progression of Indian Hindu nationalism over time. They emphasized the fact that Islamophobia is not a new force in India, but that the nationalist rhetoric of Prime Minister Modi and influence of social media has allowed it to become even more latent. The presentation was followed by thoughtful questions from the audience, ranging from the practice of reservations in schools to the role of civil society organizations in a possible solution.

The week concluded on Thursday with an event on the global war on drugs with Sanho Tree from the Institute for Policy Studies and Teresa García Castro from the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). Tree presented first on the development of counternarcotic efforts throughout the last fifty years. He preached the futility of trying to stop the war on drugs by targeting suppliers, citing the innovative nature of drug cartels, who use everything from submarines to underground tunnels to traffic their product. He similarly condemned the interdiction of drugs because it would raise demand while lowering supply—meaning drug dealers would turn to more potent, more compact drugs like fentanyl to supplement their supply. His message, therefore, was that the “War on Drugs” had forced the drug economy to develop at a lightning pace, which had made it almost impossible to shut down with militarization and prosecution. García Castro then stepped in to present the impact of the war on drugs on the demand side, describing the impact of the war on drugs on female incarceration and sharing shocking data on the dramatic growth in female incarceration over the past few years in Latin America.

The first Human Rights Week in UVA Law history was a massive success. The widely attended events, expert panelists, and continuous presence of cheerful International Human Rights co-director Camilo Sánchez showed off exactly what UVA has to offer: An engaged student body, access to some of the most interesting people in the world, and a dedicated faculty. Having been to almost every human rights event (weirdest flex ever, I know) since my arrival at this school, it has been a joy to see the school continue to invest in international human rights and the increasing popularity of the topic. In summarizing the week, Co-Student Coordinator of the Human Rights Program Karahalios said, “As part of our goal this year to increase our presence on campus, Professor Camilo Sánchez had the wonderful idea of putting on an inaugural Human Rights Week. The programming, attendance, and feedback from the Law School community far surpassed our expectations. We are very grateful to our speakers for putting so much thought and effort into their engagements and to the Law School community for joining us in our endeavor to educate ourselves on a diversity of issues present around the world today.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.


Fauxfield Part Deux: No Faux Pas

Phil Tonseth ’22
Staff Editor

Darty, the colloquial phrase for a day party, is the base theme for Fauxfield. To the casual observer, Fauxfield is nothing more than law students enjoying pizza, refreshments and quality bands all day long. However, in only one year’s time, Fauxfield is both the Alpha and Omega for UVA Law in the fall, establishing the line of demarcation between summer and winter. It signals the transition from a carefree first few months of class, football tailgates, and Thursday nights spent at Carter Mountain getting the perfect picture for “the ‘gram,” to the impending doom of finals season for 1Ls, cuffing season for everyone else, sweater weather, and—a new pain felt this year—the seasonal end of Natural Light’s beer of the summer, Naturdays.  Filled with debauchery, I invite you to join along and experience the journey of Fauxfield from a first-time participant’s perspective.

10:00 a.m.: Wake up and check the weather. Even though Spooky SZN[1] is here (or Halloween for normal people), today is not the day for a costume. I’m really regretting owning neither any Uggs nor a flannel, and for not having a Keuring for a pumpkin spice latte to fill out the fall theme, so jeans and a t-shirt will have to do.[2]

10:02 a.m.: I have already begun to doubt myself. A mimosa is the proper way to enjoy a nice brunch, but is there a fall equivalent? While I don’t have any apple cider handy, I reassured myself that the dash of orange juice in champagne was at least one fruit serving for the day that would make my mom proud. Take that, V-8.

1:05 p.m.: Can you pre-game a darty? Is it really a pre-game if you and your 1L friends spent time discussing whether a haunted house can be liable for IIED if you desecrate your own pants?[3] It may be the mimosas speaking, but that could be an exam question for 2023 1Ls in Torts to really make them reevaluate if they’ve learned anything.

2:00 p.m.: My sources state both that the bluegrass band was quality music as an opener, and that the Biltmore was fazed by its competition for music supremacy. Playing Skrillex at 2 p.m. was not the way to attract more customers, @Biltmore.

3:33 p.m.: I thought walking from the Pavilion to Crozet would burn the few calories I had consumed during the pre-game, as well as work up my appetite for pizza. Turns out, I had too many mimosas and made a horrible decision. I arrived both late for free Jell-o shots, as well as covered in sweat. At least the pizza is endless.

4:00 p.m.: I find my foot casually tapping along with the beat. Panic! at the District Court[4] lived up to their theme of the year, playing “strictly bangers.” Zane Clark ’21, and vocals and base for Panic!, later asserted that “it was great to play a full set in front of an awesome crowd,”[5] while also giving a shout-out to the huge LLM presence. Jacqueline Foley ’21, lead singer, added, “it’s really cool that something that started by a fly of your pants thing ended up as such a cool event.” I fully support that statement, but it may be the copious Jell-O shots I bought to make up for lost time speaking.[6]

5:13 p.m.: Will Tucker ’20, master saxophonist for The Gunners,[7] was “relieved to play for just the Law School again.” “Who needs horses when you have this?” boasted the Gunner’s lead singer, Katharine Janes ’21, during their set. While I think a valid argument could be made to add a mechanical bull next year to truly make Fauxfield a wild time, I’m not sure the SBA is willing to take on that liability.[8]

5:50 p.m.: Professor Ferzan made a very compelling case for being one of the coolest professors at the Law School. Her rendition of “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar was both a “banger” and brought the house down.

6:42 p.m.: I’m not as young as I used to be, I need to sit down. Luckily enough, I ran into Co-Head PA Molly Cain ’20, SBA President Jasmine Lee ’20, and Co-Director and Vibe Curator of the Fauxfield Planning Committee, Taz Jones ’20. Molly was quick to point out that “Fauxfield is easily [her] favorite event of the year. The live music by both bands, with multiple throwbacks to Green Day by Panic! and the playing of multiple ‘bangers’ made this event awesome. Plus, Professor Ferzan singing with The Gunners was tremendous.”

8:02 p.m.: The crowd is not ready for this night to end, but I am. I need a nap.

Luckily, I snagged Read Mills ’20, both a Co-Director of Fauxfield and the singer/guitarist for The Gunners following their set. “This was a bigger success than last year and way better than expectations,” he breathlessly exclaimed. “I’m in shock, both by the amazing band performances and the flawless nature of the event overall.” The fact that the size of the crowd still dancing at 8 p.m. rivaled that to any crowd in the prior six hours proves Read’s point. Fauxfield was worth the time and effort. Shoutout to SBA for a great event![9]

Although I am less than three months into law school and still impressionable, Fauxfield did not disappoint. Multiple times I heard attendees stating their pleasure with the event, the specials, bands, and overall atmosphere of the day. I can only hope SBA will continue this event in the future. Succinctly stated by Taz Jones, “To me, Fauxfield objectively supersedes Foxfield: lower price point for bigger benefits, a more comfortable climate, and a perfectly suited space reserved exclusively for our classmates to get together for a fun break from schoolwork.” I fully concur. For all those that skipped out, I only wish you make up for the errors in your way and attend next year.


[1] Take advantage of Spooky SZN and rock out to The Gunners on October 31 at 10 p.m. at Boylan’s official Halloween party.

[2] A picture was still taken for “the ‘gram” with the caption, Spooky SZN. 

[3] Complete hypothetical, unless someone in my friend group has a Lady Gaga-esque poker face.

[4] Follow them on Instagram at @paniccourtuva.

[5] If any 1Ls are interested in starting a band or are in need of equipment, please reach out to Zane!

[6] Panic! at the District Court will be tabling in ScoCo the next two weeks to sell t-shirts, check them out!

[7] Follow them on Instagram at @TheGunnersUVA.

[8] The organizers of Fauxfield fully endorse this idea, liability insurance coverage pending. Another idea, each 1L section should draft the fastest person from their section to dress up as a horse and then have them race around Crozet. Food for thought.

[9] Read Mills and Taz Jones would like to publicly thank the SBA members who contributed to this event and helped with tabling: Savanna Williams, Lera Bamgbala, Ben Elron, Katherine O’Neal, Sara Phipps, Josh Short, Steven Bonniwell, Chase Harris, Austin Schlatter, and Katharine Janes.

Remembering Mortimer Caplin ’40

Sarah-Jane Lorenzo ‘21
Staff Editor

The Law School community gathered on Saturday to celebrate the life and legacy of Mortimer Caplin ’40, who died this summer at 103. Caplin was a dedicated alumnus and professor emeritus who served as a beachmaster for the U.S. Navy during the Normandy invasion, sought to bring ease to tax season as IRS Commissioner in the early 1960s, and co-founded the Washington, D.C. law firm Caplin & Drysdale.


University of Virginia President James Ryan delivered opening remarks, and reflected on some of Caplin’s earliest contributions to the University: as a member of the university’s boxing team, Caplin won an NCAA boxing title with a broken bone in his left hand. The words of his boxing coach continued to inspire him throughout his career—“Punch hard, punch first, and keep on punching.”


Caplin excelled academically and graduated first in his class from the Law School. His talent quickly led him back to Virginia, where he was a young law professor when Gregory Swanson, the first black student to attend UVA, applied for admission. Gregory Swanson’s nephew, Evans Hopkins, shared that Caplin’s advocacy on Swanson’s behalf was powerful.


When Swanson applied to the Law School, no black man had ever been admitted to an all white southern school. Law school faculty engaged in a spirited debate over Swanson’s application, and Caplin spoke strongly in Swanson’s favor. Although he was new to the faculty at the time and speaking up was risky, Caplin understood the importance of commitment to diversity. As the Law School’s first Jewish professor, discrimination was not foreign to him: despite graduating first in his class and serving as editor-in-chief of the Virginia Law Review, Caplin was repeatedly turned down by New York firms while searching for a job.


Perhaps inspired by Caplin’s impassioned advocacy, law faculty voted unanimously in favor of Swanson’s admission. The University’s Board of Visitors rejected the school’s decision and a legal battle ensued. When Swanson entered the Law School as a student, Caplin was one of his professors. Years later, a classmate that Swanson first befriended in Caplin’s class—Robert F. Kennedy—recommended Swanson’s employment at the IRS, where Caplin was then serving as Commissioner. Throughout his lifetime, Caplin remained dedicated to preserving Swanson’s story: in his 90s, he authored an online blog devoted to the Gregory Swanson case.


Wherever he went, Caplin was committed to his community. With his wife Ruth, he opened his home as a classroom for children in Charlottesville when the Governor of Virginia shut down state public schools during the massive resistance to federal desegregation orders following Brown v. Board of Education. Caplin’s son, Michael, remembered that his father always “shared what he had with anyone who needed it.”


At work, Caplin was known for sharing his energy with all who crossed his path. Caplin & Drysdale attorney Scott D. Michel ’80, noted that Caplin relished being a disrupter and enjoyed asking hard questions. Late into his 90s, Caplin continued swimming a mile each day and heading into the office. If asked about his age, Caplin liked to quote the witticism that, “age is a question of mind over matter—if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” As Michel said, “Mort didn’t mind, and it didn’t matter.”


Caplin believed that every generation can rise to greatness. Through his many contributions to the Law School, he sought to help thousands of students make the world a better place. Law School Dean Risa Goluboff reflected on Caplin’s spirit of giving and generosity and noted that gifts given in furtherance of his “legendary commitment to public service” continue to provide so many opportunities for students and faculty at the Law School each year.


Friends and coworkers described Caplin as humble and respectful, with a constant smile and a twinkle in his eye. His son Michael said that Caplin’s outlook was always bright and his zest for life was contagious. “His every day was designed by the passionate pursuit of the common good.”


President Ryan noted that Caplin extolled the virtues UVA strives to promote. “If you’re looking for an example of great and good,” he said, “look no further than Mort Caplin.”


Professor Panel Discusses Impeachment

Phil Tonseth ‘22
Staff Editor

“Congress has set forth a process that we can’t possibly predict.” This theme pervaded the panel discussion of the current impeachment process within the House of Representatives, hosted by Virginia Law Democrats on October 2, 2019. Professors Ashley Deeks, Deborah Hellman, and Saikrishna Prakash spent forty-five minutes applying their expertise to the areas of national security, campaign finance, and presidential privilege in light of the current impeachment process. This discussion was followed by a fifteen-minute question and answer session. It’s fair to say more questions were left open than were answered, not due to lack of knowledge on the topic, but rather because of the nearly constant matriculation of information from Washington D.C. and the unpredictable nature of the relevant actors.

To set the stage, Professor Deeks ran through the basics of presidential power in foreign affairs. Drawing from the Constitution, the President maintains broad powers and discretion in foreign affairs, serving as the sole actor for the country. The structural advantages inherent to the office: secrecy, speed, and control over intelligence, have only been enlarged by Congress’s additional delegation of power to the Executive through various statutes. President Trump’s current, unfettered power as the sole voice in foreign policy for the U.S., while necessary to execute the president’s authority, is being challenged for its appropriateness and necessity within the scope of the whistleblower complaint.

As a preeminent expert on national security law, Professor Deeks transitioned the discussion to the classification of powers of the president as compared to the powers of the Judiciary and Congress to check the executive in this realm. As President Trump is able to classify or declassify documents at his discretion, thus allowing the White House to retain certain “code word” access files, inherent difficulties exist for congressional oversight. Even with certain congressional Committees maintaining security clearances and receiving classified briefings, the White House and Presidency often exert executive privilege to protect certain documents. Identifying a major crux in the current inquiry, Professor Prakash noted the Supreme Court has not fully fleshed out the issue of executive privilege,[1] has not dismissed this privilege, nor completely defined its full extent. The gaps between the branches of federal government on executive privilege and the extent to which it protects communications is one major issue to be addressed in this inquiry relating both to national security and presidential powers. 

Relatedly, Professor Deeks addressed the risk the impeachment inquiry would have for U.S. national security writ large. With the Department of State, Department of Justice, and Congress focused on this matter, their concentration will not be on external adversaries including North Korea, Russia, and Iran. The time for an adversary to test U.S. foreign policy and strength would naturally follow from this distracted focus, thus increasing the risk to the nation as a whole during this process on both a domestic and international scale.

Professor Hellman then turned the conversation to how the alleged bribe offered can be construed as a violation of campaign finance laws. Although impeachment covers the crimes of treason, bribery, and high crimes and misdemeanors, Professor Hellman focused on bribery as her example to dissect the duplicity of the legal and political fight within the greater impeachment inquiry. Whether President Trump solicited a bribe is a question to be decided by Congress, but for a bribe to occur, there had to be a trade between two unequal types of things. Whereas withholding appropriated aid for a better foreign rights record does not constitute a bribe, as both things are political in nature, withholding foreign aid for opposition research does not meet the same threshold. Continuing this example, opposition research would be a form of campaign contribution, as it is inherently something of value. Thus, opposition research received as a bribe would violate campaign finance laws. Is this an impeachable offense? Does it fall within a high crimes and misdemeanor definition? Or, is there a necessary public benefit to receive the information from the investigation on the Biden family? The method Congress uses to determine impeachment and judge the aforementioned questions, if campaign finance crimes are taken into account for impeachment, must be apolitical and objective, because politicians will naturally believe their own reelection is beneficial to the public.

Taking into account all of the national security, campaign finance, and presidential powers issues brought up by the panel, it is clear that impeachment rests on both political and legal pillars. This was both enlightening and slightly frightening. The mental exercises of detailing potential avenues for prosecution, defense, and raising unanswered questions on impeachment generally implored the audience to think past the media portrayals of the current impeachment inquiry. As stated by Virginia Whorley ’22, “it was refreshing to hear about the impeachment inquiry from the perspective of law professors that have experience in areas of the law playing a role in it and to learn what questions they are asking as the process moves forward.” Although nobody knows where the process will take the American public, it is safe to say that we as a citizenry are in uncharted territory.


[1] Originally conceived by George Washington with regard to the Jay Treaty, as discussed in United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974).

Roundup of Recent Supreme Court Cases

Taylor Elicegui ‘20
Features Editor

Last week, the Student Legal Forum hosted its annual Supreme Court Roundup, where professors gather to discuss important cases from the last term. Professor Dick Howard has been moderating the panel for a long time—so long that he can’t remember when the tradition started. This year, Professor Howard was joined by Professors Leslie Kendrick and Rich Schragger and, for the first time, an election law expert non-faculty member, Brian Cannon. Cannon, a William & Mary School of Law graduate, is the executive director of One Virginia 2021, a non-profit dedicated to ending gerrymandering in Virginia.

            Professor Howard began the panel with a discussion of the patterns and personalities that shaped the last term. Professor Howard noted that the term was not a “blockbuster” because the Court did not decide many hot button issues and decided cases on narrow grounds. It was also a particularly divided term. The Court only issued twenty-nine unanimous decisions, about 38 percent of its total decisions. Professor Howard thinks the term represented the Court in transition and can be identified as the term where Chief Justice Roberts truly took charge, serving as the ideological center of the Court and casting the deciding vote in two of the most important cases—Dep’t of Commerce v. New York (the census case) and Rucho v. Common Cause (the gerrymandering case)—one decision with the liberals and one decision with the conservatives. Surprisingly, Justice Kavanaugh played an unexpected role in the balance of power and voted with Chief Justice Roberts in 94 percent of cases, putting him closer to the ideological center of the Court. Additionally, Justice Thomas wrote the most (337 pages) and Justice Ginsburg worked the fastest (producing decisions in seventy-one days, on average).

            Professor Howard also mentioned other particularly important cases and offered his predictions on the upcoming term. Along with the census and gerrymandering cases, Professor Howard identified Flowers v. Mississippi (overturning the sixth conviction of Curtis Flowers when the prosecution used its peremptory strikes to discriminate on the basis of race)[1] and Apple, Inc. v. Pepper, where Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, Kavanaugh, and Sotomayor allowed an antitrust action against Apple to proceed.  In this upcoming term, Professor Howard identified the consolidated cases on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, New York State Rifle and Gun Ass’n v. New York (the first Second Amendment case in over a decade), and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case, as the most important cases of this upcoming term. Finally, Professor Howard predicted that Roe v. Wade will not be overturned this term, and any cases changing the precedent will occur slowly and incrementally.

            Professor Kendrick took the microphone next and discussed Iancu v. Brunetti, which gave her several opportunities to say the word “FUCT.” The petitioner challenged a portion of the Lanham Act, which prohibits the government from granting trademark protection to “immoral or scandalous trademarks” and the denial of his application for a trademark over FUCT. The petitioner alleged that the prohibition was viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment, and a majority of the Court agreed. The dissenting members of the Court criticized the decision for opening the floodgates to immoral or scandalous trademarks without any sort of limiting principle. Professor Kendrick also discussed the decision within the context of First Amendment jurisprudence, which has been expanding, and questioned if it’s necessary for the First Amendment to reach this far.

            Continuing the First Amendment theme, Professor Schragger discussed American Legion v. American Humanist Assn., also known as the Bladensburg Cross case. The Court ruled that the government could continue to maintain a 40-foot cross in Bladensburg, Maryland without violating the Establishment Clause. After American Legion, it’s unclear how the Establishment Clause limits what the government can say. The case cast doubt on any purpose-based test under the Establishment Clause, because the Court found that the meaning of the cross had become “secularized” over time and associated with honoring the deceased in World War One rather than religion. Professor Schragger concluded that American Legion raises the possibility that the Supreme Court will revisit settled Establishment Clause issues, like prayer in school.  He also questioned how the Court will handle these cases, where the prayer in question was once a part of civic society and a long-standing tradition until the Court found it unconstitutional.

            Cannon concluded the panel with a discussion of Rucho v. Common Cause, where the Court held that partisan gerrymandering claims are non-justiciable within federal courts. The decision was a blow to academics and lawyers who spent the last fifteen years trying to come up with tests to measure partisan gerrymandering after Justice Kennedy requested a test in the 2004 decision Vieth v. Jubelirer. While the case was a loss for anti-gerrymandering advocates, Canon noted that the case wouldn’t have created the precedent necessary to end partisan gerrymandering because it only would have outlawed partisan gerrymandering where the legislators specifically admitted that they drew districts for partisan advantage. Legislators could simply stop admitting their partisan goals, and gerrymandering could continue unabated. After Rucho, the gerrymandering fight will continue at the state level, where advocates have made significant progress. Cannon noted that the 2023 House of Representatives will be the first House where more than half of the members come from states that have outlawed partisan gerrymandering under their state constitutions. Cannon is hopeful that Virginia will join that list.


[1] If you haven’t, please listen to In the Dark and learn about the absolute injustice the prosecution has perpetuated against Flowers.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling in M&A

Melissa Privette ‘22
Staff Editor

“There’s no cookie cutter approach to being a lawyer in this field,” Moderator and Covington & Burling attorney Charlotte May stated in her opening remarks during the Women in M&A panel on Tuesday, October 1. The event, held by attorneys from the American Bar Association’s Women in M&A Subcommittee, was sponsored by Virginia Law Women and Virginia Law & Business Society and organized by Marit Slaughter of the Office of Private Practice.

Every two years, the ABA surveys over 20,000 lawyers in North America, across over twenty-five law firms, to measure the number of women in various roles and practice areas. According to the most recent study in December 2018, women make up almost half of the entry-level legal professionals in North America. However, when looking at the mergers and acquisition (M&A) practice area specifically, women only comprise 41 percent of all junior associates in North America, and only 16 percent of senior equity partners. This event was geared at encouraging more women to consider M&A practice.

The event kicked off by explaining what exactly M&A is. M&A typically involves working on private equity transactions or the purchase or sale of a public or private company. In public M&A, the target is publicly traded, which means there are different rules in terms of disclosure and structuring of the transaction, which would look different from the perspective of a private company, especially one that is closely held by a few investors or a family.

The panelists expressed how the work they do is unique and exciting. Skadden partner Kady Ashley described working on “a panoply of things,” including a hostile takeover in which her client received an unsolicited offer and was engaged in a proxy fight over its board, resulting in a purchase by another company. Allison Schiffman, a special counsel at Covington & Burling, said, “M&A is very broad,” and that no two deals are the same. A deal can be just a sale of assets, equity, or even a joint venture, when both companies contribute assets to form a new entity. “As the M&A lawyers, we’re really running the deal,” Schiffman explained.

Each panelist also discussed why they chose M&A over other practice groups. In Schiffman’s case, she didn’t like writing briefs but enjoyed writing in general. She participated in M&A training during her time as a summer associate at a firm and then worked in-house for a year prior to joining a firm full time. She chose to practice M&A because it was “where I could really feel I was a part of what my clients were doing.”

Katherine Keeley, a senior associate at Hogan Lovells, came to UVA knowing that she wanted to do corporate law after having worked in real estate for three years before law school. “I wasn’t certain I wanted to be a lawyer forever,” she recalled. She felt that working in a practice that required her to use business knowledge would keep her options open in case she wanted to go back to that field. “M&A, of the corporate practices, is the most creative practice,” she told the room. It allows an attorney to work across multiple industries and areas and is a very social practice. M&A attorneys must coordinate with specialist groups over the course of the deal.

Julia Kim, an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell, had a unique path to the M&A practice. Having spent three years as a public school teacher, she initially believed she wanted to practice immigration law but ultimately decided to do corporate work. She pointed out that she was drawn by the prospect of each deal being unique, saying, “For someone like me who has a diverse range of interests, I thought the field really suited me.”

Ashley, who works in D.C., said that while D.C. is known more for its litigation work than corporate, she had wanted to try both areas and realized that she didn’t want to do something as combative as litigation. She said that when clients come to her for help with a deal, she is “doing something productive for their business. It’s very collaborative—you do get to know your clients and their businesses very well.” Clients often will come to her with other issues unrelated to M&A. “You are the trusted advisor,” she added.

The panelists also covered common misconceptions about the M&A practice’s lifestyle. “M&A gets a bad rap for lifestyle. It’s not well deserved,” Keeley remarked. Contrary to popular belief, M&A lawyers are not on planes 24/7 and it is possible to have a family. It would perhaps be more accurate to say that litigation involves more travel than M&A, and for longer periods of time. “If you a litigator, there’s a risk you will be away for weeks,” she went on to say. Most of M&A work is in an office and consists of calls and conferences. As an attorney achieves more seniority, there is more travel, but mainly for client development purposes. Keeley recalled that when she was just beginning as an associate, the most she traveled was maybe once a year. As with any practice, M&A has its ups and downs. It is busy when you’re staffed on a deal about to close, which will lead to late nights and sometimes late mornings. The times where the job is busy are more condensed, and attorneys have a lot more free time when they aren’t staffed on a closing deal.

Kim also acknowledged the challenges of working in such a dynamic practice group, saying, “You’re helping your clients through a really pivotal point in their timeline.” However, the advances in technology has helped attorneys bring work home and create flexibility in the face of unpredictability. “You need to be good at managing unpredictability, but at the same time, it is manageable.”

Ashley spoke about how law firms are beginning to offer benefits to new mothers, like reduced hours and greater flexibility on when and how they work. She also drew a contrast between the time it takes to close a deal and the life cycle of a case. “Our deals start and end in a reasonable amount of time,” she said, while litigation can last for years.

The panelists also sought to dispel any fears of not being up to speed on financial knowledge from discouraging women from entering this practice. That said, Schiffman suggested that any aspiring attorney “take any accounting classes you possibly can no matter what you want to do.” Whether doing transactional work or litigation, being well versed in accounting will help you to understand your client’s business. She also observed that the accounting person at your client might decide to call you, knowing that you’ll understand their jargon, which is one way a new attorney can add value. “Always absorb the knowledge being given to you,” she advised, encouraging the attendees to ask questions and “make it your mission to learn on the job.”

Keeley agreed that accounting is a useful skill that applies to litigators too, and urged students not to be intimidated despite a lack of background or knowledge. “You learn corporate work on the job,” she commented. A lot of law schools (not UVA) don’t have robust corporate curriculum. Here, we are fortunate enough to have a plethora of classes that are geared toward future corporate lawyers, such as corporations, income tax, corporate tax, and securities, as well as practitioner-taught classes, and classes taught by Darden professors.

The event concluded with the panelists providing candid advice for anyone hoping to pursue a career in M&A. Ashley remarked that junior associates who “get it” stand out quickly and that partners are constantly trying to find these associates and give them more responsibility early on. Since much of M&A work is done on small teams, Keeley pointed out that “there’s no place to hide. You are a crucial part of the team and everyone has a role.” Each panelist expressed their hopes that more women will consider this field. It does seem that the tide is turning and more women are getting into M&A. Ashley shared that on one deal, she noticed “there are 15 men and me in this room.” Just recently, she worked on a deal with a female general counsel, a female chief legal officer, a female CEO, and a female senior associate.


Yay for Neigh: Foxfield Gallops Back into Law School Social Calendar

Jacob Jones ‘21
Events Editor

The Foxfield Races are a biannual event where families go to enjoy tailgating and horse races while law students, put in their own special corner, set up canopies and enjoy each other’s company. With over 137 followers on Twitter,[1] the races are clearly the most exciting thing that happens in rural Albemarle County.  According to Wikipedia, the event has been criticized as the “pinnacle representation of the upper middle class [sic] nature of UVA’s student demographic.”[2] It’s hard to disagree, but it’s also hard to argue that the chance to go outside, have fun with friends, and watch horses is a bad thing. So, with that in mind, law students said “yay for neigh,” and galloped on over in semi air-conditioned buses to the event.

Students, mostly 1Ls, started showing up around 9 a.m. for the races that didn’t start until around 1 p.m.[3] The ones who arrived at 9 a.m. probably didn’t get to see much of the races, but the event turned out to be more of an excuse to party.

Students were dressed according to the standard of the early 1900’s. UVA Law boys reverted back to their true form, wearing the preppiest shirts imaginable.[4] Wikipedia, the source of all knowledge, says that people typically dress in a “Southern, aristocratic style,” a description that made me a little uncomfortable.[5] There were all sorts of pastel colors, with salmon shirts, light pink shirts, slightly brighter pink shirts, light blue shirts, and sometimes boys were daring and wore light green. In order to stand out among a sea of pastel, men had to really up their game. Some wore cowboy hats, some newsboy hats, and one even wore a barbershop hat. The best of the bunch went with the bow tie and suspenders look. UVA Law women dressed in much livelier colored dresses with flowers, horses, and other cool patterns that looked pretty snazzy.

Once the horse races started, all bets were off. But the bets were sort of on, as students picked a horse and cheered for it without any background knowledge about the race.[6] Without any meaningful guide for which horse they should choose, students made their decisions based on random factors, such as how small the jockey was, how swole a horse looked, or whether the horse looked pretty in general. In the end, since the law students weren’t near the finish line and couldn’t hear the speaker, the cheering was for naught. Apparently, these races are done in the “Steeplechase” format. This is horse-person speak for a hurdle race. The “jockeys” are people who ride the horses. Apparently, horseracing is like the legal profession, where special words are made up for concepts that there are already common names.

There was plenty of excitement aside from the races. Two people who were just horsin’ around[7] were told that, nay, they could not do that by the dedicated officers of the Albemarle County Sheriff’s Department, and so they reined themselves in with long faces after jockeying for position.[8] Like a pool lifeguard without much else to do, the dedicated sheriffs put an end to two friends who were just having fun. Can’t we just let the players play? Other sources of excitement included hearing over the speaker that one “Mr. Rishi Kumar” had lost his wallet ten minutes after arriving. Plus, there were ponies, a bouncy castle race, and a tractor ride. Come to think of it, a bunch of law students didn’t really fit in with the self-styled “Fall Family Day,” which is probably why the law students were in the far corner of the field. Still, the families could stand to get off their high horse, because law students were well behaved.

By around 1:30 p.m., with most of the horse races seemingly done, the students who had been at the races since morning were mostly gone. While SBA informed us that there would be no cell service and we could not Uber, that turned out to be false. People tired from the heat, sun, and certain other factors like too much “lemonade” began leaving in droves. Plus, the fried chicken had long run out. By approximately 2:30 p.m., most people had left, too impatient to wait for buses. And so everyone else packed up, went home, and recovered to enjoy the last day of Ivy Garden pools being open.


[1] 138 followers to be precise. To be fair, the event has over 3,000 thumbs ups on Facebook. This is probably because the older crowd uses Facebook a lot more than Twitter. It’s probably for the best that older folks stick to Facebook over Twitter. See

[2] This part of the Wikipedia article does not have a citation, in violation of clearly established Wikipedia rules. In the future, those looking for a source on the matter can look to this footnote. I am hereby criticizing Foxfield as the pinnacle representation of the upper middle-class nature of UVA’s student demographic. This is like, citation-ception.

[3] Shout out to the 1Ls for organizing and bringing food and beverages, even though we kind of made them. Sometimes you get saddled with that kind of responsibility.

[4] See, e.g., “UVA Law Boys,” Libel 110, Youtube.

[5] Yikes.

[6] Picking a horse was a spur of the moment decision.

[7] “Hey, aren’t you the horse from Horsin’ Around?”

[8] That’s five horse puns in one sentence for you neighsayors.

Bonfire for 3Ls a Blazing Hit

Taylor Elicegui ‘20
Features Editor

M. Eleanor Schmalzl ‘20

UVA Law’s Class of 2020 members celebrated their 3LOL lifestyles this past Thursday by attending the annual 3L Bonfire. The event, put on by the Student Bar Association (mainly 3L Graduation Committee heads Rachel Staub and Tim Sensenig), was well attended and enjoyed by many. And while what happens at the 3L Bonfire, stays at the 3L Bonfire, the Law Weekly is here to provide an exclusive look into an exclusive party.[1]


Transportation to the event went in waves, with one group of buses leaving at 6:30 and the second leaving around 7:35. The bus ride was a throwback to college date party/formal days, which was a good dose of nostalgia to start off the night and put 3Ls in the mood to party. I particularly enjoyed hearing so many conversations swirling around me, as my classmates caught up and joked with each other.[2]


As a late-bus baller, my bus-mates and I rolled onto the scene after the sun had gone down and the path to the event was unclear. The bus dropped us off at the bottom of a hill and wished us good luck as we wandered up a path, only to find that we had to cross through some woods to actually get to the fire, booze, and s’mores. The more timid amongst us (AKA me) were terrified of ticks, but I am pleased to report that almost all of us made it through unscathed. For those 3Ls you don’t see in class the rest of the semester, you can blame it on the lyme disease they may or may not have contracted on this treacherous hike through the brush.


The first and most important part of the event was the food. Classic southern comfort food was on the menu, with fried chicken, mac n’ cheese, mashed potatoes, slaw, and more. As a late arrival, I assumed the food would be cold, but I was pleasantly surprised to still find everything a nice lukewarm temperature. I am a Wayside devotee and thus was quite pleased with the selection. There was more than enough food for everyone and I can confirm that at least one member of the Class of 2020 consumed at least six pieces of fried chicken. The booze was second on the list of top priorities, which I found to be a bit of a letdown. The Bold Rock was foamy (and no, I don’t think it was just because I don’t know how to pour beer from a keg), but supposedly the Bud Light was a good alternative for those fancier than I. For those of us without standards, the drink options were just fine. I always appreciate an event with a cider keg, because who doesn’t love alcoholic apple juice? I was also excited to snag another Class of 2020 cup, which I actually read this time. The slogan is a bit depressing—“My sun sets to rise again.” Considering that we’re all about to join a career known for a not so great quality of life, maybe it’s fitting? Nothing like a bit of impending doom to go with an otherwise lovely evening. The food cancelled out the alcohol and existential dread, making the consumption situation a net neutral.


The s’mores were a big hit, at least for the folks who could handle standing close to the blazing fire to get a good marshmallow roast. I had to summon all of my courage to get good coal access. At several points, I contemplated just lighting my marshmallow on fire to get it over with, but I toughed it out and was rewarded with a delicious s’more. As a redhead, I didn’t mind the heat of the flames, and I got close enough for a nice golden brown ’mallow to enjoy with some grahams and Hershey’s chocolate. After a successful roast, I checked my face to make sure my eyebrows were still intact and enjoyed the delicacy I had just created. My biggest complaint of the evening was very much my own fault—I really should have gone for the second s’more.


As I looked around the bonfire site, I loved seeing so many classmates and friends reconnecting with sectionmates, laughing about old times, and enjoying each other’s company as this crazy thing called law school starts to come to an end. The darkness made it a little difficult to actually see who people were, which limited my socialization to a degree, because I couldn’t see well enough to know who to say hi to. I just took to wandering around in the dark and striking up conversations with whomever I stumbled across. Griffin Peebles ’20 put everyone’s feelings best in his message to the Class of 2020 Groupme after the bonfire, saying: “I love you all. So glad to spend the last 2 and a half years with y’all. I’m so proud of each and every one of y’all. P.S. come to Bilt.” So, while the bonfire was a great event as the Class of 2020 starts to wrap up law school, we also have a lot more fun to have and things to do, so don’t count us out yet.


[1] Only the Class of 2020 and significant others who entered with the UVA Law Class of 2020 allowed.

[2] All italicized commentary is provided by Taylor Elicegui and Eleanor Schmalzl wrote the rest.

Make Antitrust Cool Again: Antitrust in the Digital Economy

Donna Faye Imadi ‘22
Staff Editor

“My challenge for today is to convince you that being an antitrust lawyer is cool,” said Chris Hockett ’85 in his opening remarks at the “Antitrust in the Age of Technology” event sponsored by Law, Innovation, Security, and Technoology (LIST) on Wednesday, September 25, 2019.

“I think I’ll take an antitrust class now. I like the way he explained it. It’s a lot of systems thinking.  I think I might be good at it,” said Claire McDowell ’22, at the end of the lecture. So, was the mission accomplished at the event? Read on, and perhaps it’ll be mission accomplished for you as well.

Hockett is a former partner at Davis Polk’s Northern California office and global head of the firm’s antitrust practice. He was greeted by a packed room of UVA Law students eager to learn about the evolving and exciting opportunities within antitrust law. Hockett’s remarks focused especially on the new forefront of antitrust enforcement in an age where tech companies have significant power in both data and privacy over consumers and small businesses.

The event began with Professor Nachbar’s introduction of Hockett. Professor Nachbar characterized the event’s purpose as being twofold: First, to “convince you that being an antitrust lawyer is cool.” And second, to introduce “the problem of antitrust in tech,” providing a presentation on an issue—big tech—that “examines the soul of antitrust.”

Hockett then began his presentation. He first framed the tension in the antitrust debate through the backdrop of the four largest tech companies: Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple (referred to as GAFA). He characterized how the emergence of GAFA is “leading to concerns about [their] economic and political power” today.

Hockett underscored that, as a result of GAFA’s rapid growth in scope and size within the last ten years, “bipartisan interest has emerged in examining the power” that these mega-tech companies wield within society and a vibrant democracy. “There are presidential candidates who are urging changes in antitrust laws and intensified antitrust enforcement against platforms,” Hockett said, further explaining that their “animosity” toward tech platforms has resulted in even a new word to describe the social/political backlash to tech’s influence—a word called “Techlash.”

The platforms’ “responses to antitrust critiques is that they succeed because they are efficient and innovative—offering extremely valued service to customers. Some for zero to little prices,” Hockett said.  He notes that their perspective is such that “they succeeded not because they are doing anything wrong or harming competition . . . and they shouldn't be punished [for that success].”

Here lies the tension. Are tech companies harboring too much power? Or is their power justified because they’ve acquired it through “innovative and productive practices?” Should the government be regulating or breaking up the power of these giant tech companies regardless of the means by which they acquired power, because the effects of their power are too great?  Hockett later elaborates on this debate by first presenting the traditional framework of antitrust jurisprudence for the last forty years. Then, he contrasts the “traditional framework” with the new transformative “Brandeis movement” that has emerged in recent years.

Intensifying antitrust regulation is opposed to the dominant theory of  “consumer welfare,” which emerged from the “Chicago School of Thought” beginning in the 1970s/1980s (see “The Antitrust Paradox by Robert Bork”). Hockett explained that this prevailing school of thought led to the decline of U.S. antitrust enforcement because its economic theory acts on the presumption that “it is wrong to evoke antitrust against firms just because they are big.” Essentially, according to this theory, “punishing a firm’s success is the opposite of what antitrust should do. Rather, it should be reserved on protecting consumer welfare standards.” As further explained by Hockett, “consumer welfare standards are things such as prices and quality.” This Chicago School Theory has been the prevailing view within antitrust enforcement since the 1970s. It emphasizes that the free market and capitalism—not government regulation—will best correct market forces and regulate the size/scope of companies.

This prevailing standard for the last forty years has led to a significant decline in antitrust enforcement and typically “defendant friendly” courts, says Hockett. But this may change in the future as it’s now being challenged in the context of intensified scrutiny of tech companies. The “rapid rise in size, scope, and perceived political power of tech platforms, data privacy issues, concerns of disruption to incumbent players and industries” have all contributed to this increased scrutiny of tech.  The concerns about “fake news” and “increasing social and political divisions and other corrosive online content,” have been at the center of our socio-political discourse,  all contributing to how some are now arguing that the techlash presents a new opportunity to shift the way antitrust regulation is carried out.

Hockett presents the questions that these issues in big tech pose: In light of techlash, “should we abandon the ‘consumer welfare standard’” to regulate the industry?  If so, “what are the potential unintended consequences” of abandoning the standard? “Is changing antitrust laws or the enforcement approach the right remedy?” These are all questions he presents as unanswered and full of opportunity for young lawyers to grapple with, learn about, and solve.

The “techlash” side of the debate is clear in the political sphere: candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar (as well as Ted Cruz), seem to vocally believe that the “consumer welfare standard” is no longer working, Hockett noted in his presentation.


He then identified the new transformative view of antitrust as the “New Brandeisians.” He explained, their vision is one which “calls to the populist roots of antitrust law”—mirroring the antitrust framework prior to the 1970’s Chicago School of Thought—more similar to the “protection of competitors” framework that came with the break-up of Standard Oil Co. in 1911. Rather than focused on protecting consumer welfare standards such as “price fixing,” they are focused on protecting the ability of “competitors” to enter the market.

The goal under this “New Brandeisians” framework is “to disburse political and economic power of large firms,” Hockett explained. Actors under this believed framework “reject focus of consumer welfare and price effects,” weighing the harm to the “competitive process” rather than consumer welfare. The big worry for the “ New Brandeisians” is the “winner-take-all market dynamics” that  mega-tech platforms have created, Hockett says. He painted a picture of this by introducing the framework of Lina Khan’s Yale Law Journal article “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” which introduces the prevailing frameworks of a newly envisioned set of rules for the future of antitrust.

These two views: The “consumer welfare standard” view, emphasizing deregulation, in contrast to the new view that the government needs to intervene to protect competitors (the New Brandeisians), are the backdrop of the emerging debate over whether and how the government should intervene with dominant tech giants that wield significant power over data, security, and the market.

When asked about the challenges that greater regulation may impose, Hockett explained that “you have a diversity of enforcers and these companies are global in scale, so having to comply with the most strict interpretation of the strictest law is going to affect how they do business everywhere, and that means it's going to be a challenge.”

Because these companies harbor massive amounts of data and have the capability to influence and filter the realities of our perceived lives, these tech giants have power over billions of peoples’ privacy and perceived choices in the marketplace. Isabelle Perfetto ’22 commented on what solutions we may be able to devise and whether antitrust is the key to the solution: “People are so focused on breaking up these tech companies, but they don't even know if that will fix what they are worried about. Maybe other solutions such as privacy law might be more appropriate?”

There is no prevailing solution at the moment, as Hockett stated. That’s a big reason why he posits that antitrust is cool. “Antitrust is a hot sector now, and this application of antitrust in technology is really interesting. I am teaching a class on it, and I’d like to have more people take it and come learn.”

Hockett will be offering his course on antitrust starting this November, entitled “Antitrust in the Digital Economy.”

J.R. Isaacson ’22 seemed convinced by the end of the lecture of at least one thing that Hockett relayed: “I like that he said that ‘being a lawyer pays you to learn and especially in the antitrust arena.’ I will take away that . . . I’d like to be paid to learn.”


Regarding the future of antitrust, Hockett closed his remarks stating: “The paint is not dry on this. We haven’t even finished applying the paint. It makes it a specially interesting topic to spend time on because it’s changing every day. That’s not like most of the things you study in law school.”


Critical to the debate of antitrust are things that most of us in law school do every day: such as checking our phones, logging into our Macs, or scrolling on Facebook/Instagram for the tenth time in a day. But as seen through this lens of antitrust, these everyday interactions with technology have big potential to symbolize a greater shift in society than what the simple interface with your technology would lead you to believe. Whether we choose to regulate those “everyday” services differently (through a change in antitrust enforcement starting with big tech) has the potential to reshape our economy, social discourse, and political processes.

Perhaps greater quality and variations of services offered by more platforms could improve our relationships with technology, if more tech competitors were able to enter a more equitable market. Or, perhaps, greater regulation could impose negative effects on consumers of tech, creating disruption in the lives of consumers who are perfectly happy with the status quo of convenience and capacity.


If you take an antitrust class, maybe you’ll write the next chapter in this unwritten script of how society deals with these tensions in big tech and help lead the way into our understanding of the multiple potential realities.


 One thing’s for certain, antitrust is something to think about next time you pull out your phone—and an issue to watch out for in the coming 2020 election.


Section J Jumps Ranks, Wins 1L Tournament

Tyler D’Ambrose ‘21
Columns Editor

Section J flaunts their championship wares after capturing the 1L Softball Tournament title. Photo credit Zac Bell ‘21

Section J flaunts their championship wares after capturing the 1L Softball Tournament title. Photo credit Zac Bell ‘21

This past Sunday, first-year law students participated in the annual 1L Softball Tournament, and the event did not disappoint. After hours spent grinding in the summer heat at Copeley Field, Section J emerged victorious—capping off an impressive tournament run.

In a field that boasted of many talented teams, Section J was clearly the most impressive. The team began the tournament with a chip on its shoulder, as the section was the #13 seed, meaning it had to win a game before making it to the quarterfinals. But the players did just that, and in impressive fashion, bested Section F in a contest that ended 13-4. In the quarterfinals, the players in Section J had their work cut out for them as they faced the Dandelion winners and top seed of the tournament, Section C. Here, Section J had its most impressive performance of the tournament, triggering the mercy rule when Section C was dominated 18-0. And after a decisive 18-6 victory over Section A in the semi-finals, Section J was set to face the talented Section D squad.

The Finals of the 1L Softball Tournament provided arguably the most exciting game of the day. The matchup featured a pair of stud pitchers, as Phil Tonseth ’22 for Section D squared off against Connor Fitzgerald ’22 of Section J. The game was close from the start, and the score was tied 10-10 going into the sixth of seven innings. But a series of heavy hits from Section J put it over the edge and propelled the section to victory in a contest that ended 15-12. While Section D had an impressive tournament showing, at the end of the day it was Section J that was hoisting the coveted Keg Racing trophy.

There were a few other stand-out teams worthy of honorable mentions. Section G also had an impressive tournament run, nearly reaching the finals before being ousted by Section D in a tight game that was ultimately decided in overtime.[1] Also, Section A performed well on Sunday, with their only loss coming from the eventual tournament winners. While there were a few blow-outs, most of the games on Sunday were tightly contested. And it was evident that every team had practiced and was well-rehearsed for the tournament. So, congrats to all the 1L sections for making it a fun and exciting tournament.

As usual, the festivities that occurred off the field were a big hit with 1Ls. White Claw, Modelo, and near-beer Bud Light abounded in the dugouts. 1Ls faced a familiar challenge throughout Sunday, as they had to figure out how to crank out LRW memos and study for Civ Pro while away from the comforting arms of sobriety. Many were up for the challenge, and their efforts should be commended. The teams also displayed impressive and varied musical tastes, alternating playlists and genres to accompany warm-ups and walk-outs. And team chants, posters, and dances showed an impressive sense of section pride amongst the competitors. It was clear that the students were fully engaged with the tournament.

1Ls square off— in a very collegial manner— on the softball field. Photo credit Kolleen Gladden ‘21.

1Ls square off— in a very collegial manner— on the softball field. Photo credit Kolleen Gladden ‘21.

The tournament also presented opportunities for lessons in teamwork, sportsmanship, and dedication. Losing teams were repeatedly reined in by peer advisors who consoled them on their losses and congratulated them for their efforts. And several teams that finished outside first place still bathed in the celebratory champagne bath, including Section D, which, after losing the finals, began chanting, “We’re number two!” repeatedly while popping bottles. Each game ended with the opposing teams exchanging high-fives as they congratulated each other for a “good game.” Even in the few heated moments on the field, players were quick to compose themselves and quicker to apologize for any lack of good sportsmanship. Overall, the 1L Tournament continued to embody the UVA values that students hold dear.

Ryan Ray ’20, one of the organizers of the event and tournament director[2] for the upcoming 37th annual Softball Invitational in the spring, said, “Sunday couldn't have been a more perfect day for the 1L Tournament. The weather was awesome and gave us a great backdrop for what turned about to be an incredible atmosphere. I loved that 1Ls and peer advisors stayed throughout the day. It was also great to see Dean Goluboff make yet another appearance at a North Grounds Softball League event.” Regarding how the tournament prepared him for his future as a sports dad, he added, “I also thoroughly enjoyed preparing for fatherhood, sitting in a lawn chair next to Austin, wearing tennis shoes, and drinking the best carbonated, corn-syrup-free, adult beverage on the market.” Ray gave a special shout out to Brooke Swann ’20, Corey Parker ’20, Eleanor Schmalzl ’20, Molly Cain ’20, Clay Phillips ’20 and many members of North Grounds Softball League for their help throughout the day.

Austin Johnson ’20, co-tournament director with Ray, added, “As a 3L, it was great to get to see our new class in action, and (for the most part) the players and fans were humble in victory and gracious in defeat. Without a doubt, the highlight of the day was all-star umpire (and 3L softball legend) Brooke Swann standing down a man twice her size after an intense call at home plate. Thanks to all the volunteers, players, fans, our firm sponsors (Bracewell and Simpson Thatcher), and Dean Goluboff for making the day possible. To everyone except Section J: Better luck next year (oh, wait...).”


[1] All games but the finals played based on time, meaning no new inning would start after forty-five minutes of the regularly scheduled start time unless the teams were at a tie at that time.

[2] He and Austin Johnson ’20, fellow organizer and tournament director, like to refer to the position more officially as “tournament dad.”

Human Rights Program Kicks off with a Bang

Sam Pickett ‘21
News Editor

            Costa Rican attorney Victor Madrigal-Borloz began his legal career making copies at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; now he is a senior visiting researcher at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program and the United Nations (“U.N.”) independent expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In this capacity, he works to assess the implementation of international human rights and engages in dialogue with relevant stakeholders. Madrigal-Borloz also provides advisory services, technical assistance and capacity-building to help address violence and discrimination against people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender activity. Last Thursday, when he spoke at Human Rights Program Kickoff,[1] he was unconcerned with his own rise to (what I call) international superstardom[2] and focused principally on describing the problems and progressions of the LGTBQ+ movement over the last fifty years.

            Madrigal-Borloz began by describing the various stages of the legal battle for LGBTQ+ rights. The first stage focused on the decriminalization of homosexuality, where activists fought to keep government out of the bedroom—a development that Madrigal-Borloz contrasted with the work of women’s rights groups who were trying to combat domestic violence by demanding the government provide more protections for women by entering the perceived private, family sphere. The second stage emphasized the fundamental roles LGBTQ+ rights and protections hold in the development of personal autonomy and dignity, a legal argument that found support from the U.N. Human Rights Council. Madrigal-Borloz now believes we are in a third stage, where more attention is being given to intersectionality within the LGBTQ+ community and to how various sociocultural factors combine to weave “the fabric of our lived experience.” He identified the varying conditions LGBTQ+ individuals face in different areas in space and time—in cities versus in the country, as a young man versus an older woman. This tension, remarked Madrigal-Borloz, holds great promise: the better we understand people’s identities, the better we understand how they cope and how they thrive in different environments.

            Even as the legal battle for LGBTQ+ rights progresses, Madrigal-Borloz emphasized that violence and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals persists throughout the world. He described how governments weaponize LGBTQ+ issues, portraying LGBTQ+ individuals as bad citizens who threaten social cohesion, particularly during periods of societal unrest and instability. Madrigal-Borloz discussed the systemic discrimination faced by members of the LGBTQ+ community in employment, housing, schooling, and healthcare. In particular, he discussed the need to combat the deeply-engrained medical practice of  “diagnosing” homosexuality and gender dysphoria rather than simply accepting an individual’s stated identity.

            In addition to the difficulties still faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, Madrigal-Borloz addressed the progress the movement has achieved. Efforts to increase the acceptance and happiness of the LGBTQ+ community has resulted in increased openness and pride—a phenomenon Madrigal-Borloz identified as the exercise of people’s human rights, which is the key to contributing to society. He also finds solace in the steps taken by governments to eliminate formal discrimination.

Looking forward, Madrigal-Borloz called on governments to strengthen legal protections and frameworks for the LGBTQ+ community in education, employment, healthcare, and housing, among other areas. He encouraged partnerships with civil society organizations and businesses and remarked on the importance of celebrations like Pride, where LGBTQ+ individuals can proudly embrace their identities and exist openly in the public space that so often represses who they are. He concluded with the importance of solidarity and the need for action throughout society.

            Madrigal-Borloz’s talk is a reminder of what makes UVA so special. Law school often leaves students feeling suffocated by doctrine as they try to figure out what consideration is and the difference between a §1404 and §1406 motion in Civil Procedure. But impactful speakers like this can break through the law school bubble and remind students of the world beyond Withers-Brown. While just being a measly law student can make us feel helpless before all of the injustice in the world, UVA’s wealth of speakers and experts provide an outlet for students to learn more about these issues and learn how they can give back to their community, starting now.

            I left Madrigal-Borloz’s talk thankful to have learned more about a fundamental issue in human rights and eager to see what other programming the Human Rights Program will have this year. Most importantly, I came out with a renewed sense of what it means to be a lawyer. As law students, we are imbued with significant power and the ability to help those around us—be it by performing pro bono work as a law student or shaping the legal strategy for the continuing recognition and protection of LGBTQ+ student rights.


[1] Sponsored by the Human Rights Program, Lambda Law Alliance, and the Latin American Law Organization.

[2] He refuted such a label but I don’t care. He is a superstar to me.

Crowds Pleased at Wine and Cheese Event

Taylor Elicegui ‘20
Features Editor

Donna Faye Imadi ‘22
Guest Writer

 On Thursday, September 12, Virginia Law Women (“VLW”) held its annual Wine and Cheese Student/Faculty Cocktail Party. The annual event, obviously featuring wine and cheese, aims to give both new and old students alike a chance to get to know their professors outside of the classroom. Past VLW Presidents confirm the event is long-running—Wine and Cheese was already an established tradition when Stephanie Bedard ’16 began in Fall 2013. Wine and Cheese also functions as a fun way to welcome new professors and students to the UVA Law community. Nikki Wolfrey ’21, VLW’s Events Co-Chair, took the lead on organizing the event with support from the rest of the VLW Executive Board.

Students stand in classy circles at VL'W’s wine and cheese night. Photo Credit Kolleen Gladden ‘21.

Students stand in classy circles at VL'W’s wine and cheese night. Photo Credit Kolleen Gladden ‘21.

VLW President Manal Cheema ’20 said, “The Faculty-Student Wine and Cheese Night is one of the flagship events for VLW. Nikki did a fantastic job organizing this event and working with the VLW board, Student Affairs, and facilities to put this on. It requires a great deal of attention to detail and planning and the VLW Board worked extremely hard to support her vision.” When asked what preparation was required for the event, Cheema told the Law Weekly, “Among other endeavors, VLW board members took the UVA Alcohol Risk Management training in advance to serve attendees, picked up decorations and food from Wegman’s, selected an assortment of wines from Trader Joe’s, wrangled the paper cutter at the Copy Center to create the drinking tickets, did an emergency run to Harris Teeter for crackers, and came early to set up and left late to clean up Caplin Pavilion.” Cheema, reflecting on the event, said she was “grateful that we were able to put on an elegant and well-attended event together and looking forward to the rest of this year’s VLW events.”

Several faculty members came to this year’s event, including Dean Goluboff and Professors Darryl Brown, George Cohen, Kevin Cope, Cale Jaffe, Kevin Kordana, Julia Mahoney, Dayna Matthew, Nelson Camilo Sanchez-Leon, Fredrick Schauer, Crystal Shin, and Rip Verkerke. Wolfrey worked with Kate Duvall to distribute the invitation to the entire faculty. She also advertised the event on popular listservs, chalked classrooms, and put up posters.

Roughly 100 students filtered through the event at different points in the evening. Most of the students were 1Ls, although a fair number of upperclassmen came as well, probably lured by the wine and cheese. Lauren Burns ’22 said, “I felt really welcomed as a 1L, and I had a great time. The cheese was GREEEAT.” I have to disagree slightly, because I learned from former VLW President Casey Trombley-Shapiro Jonas ’17 that baked brie used to be prominently featured at Wine and Cheese. Although the event would benefit from bringing back the traditional baked brie (really, what event wouldn’t?), the conversations and laughter made up for the lack of baked cheese delicacies.

Students and faculty mingle at VLW’s wine and cheese night in Caplin Pavilion. Photo Credit Kolleen Gladden ‘21.

Students and faculty mingle at VLW’s wine and cheese night in Caplin Pavilion. Photo Credit Kolleen Gladden ‘21.

The evening was a success, filled with conversation, laughs, and refreshments. And, in accordance with new University policy, VLW distributed drink tickets to students. This was my first event with drink tickets, and I was skeptical at first. But I didn’t really notice a difference at all, other than the slight inconvenience of having to keep track of the ticket.

Wolfrey said, “I think the event went well. It got pretty crowded and it seemed as if people were intermingling and meeting new professors.”  Franny Skardon ’22 enjoyed the distribution between the male and female professors. “It was impressive to see the number of male professors, and nice to see the supportive community.”

The event encourages students to get to know their professors and hopefully feel more comfortable in class, encouraging participation by women and academic success. Wolfrey described her goal for the event as “establishing relationships in the Law School between primarily 1L female students and professors. This would ideally foster a stronger sense of community and belonging for female students, reminding them that they are valued and respected members of this community.” Bedard also identified encouraging students to go to office hours as an additional goal of the event. If students know their professors personally, it can make it easier to seek help to clear up any potential confusions.

The event also provided students with an opportunity to meet their peers. Wolfrey noted, “I enjoyed getting to meet some of the 1Ls that I haven’t had the opportunity to meet, and getting to see them enjoying an event that is largely intended to welcome them to the Law School.” Trombley-Shapiro Jonas confirmed the event has functioned similarly in years past: “I loved the event and loved that it was very early in the fall semester and open to all. It was a great way to show that VLW is a powerhouse organization at the school, and as a 1L I know I really appreciated getting a chance so early on to meet my professors in a more casual setting. It was definitely one of the very first chances to do so. Each year after that was just a fun opportunity to hang out with VLW, friends, and professors I liked. It was also a great way to get those interested in being more involved with VLW hooked.”

The University of Chicago Law School and other peer institutions have conducted studies on gender disparities in the classroom. Women’s Advocacy Project, Speak Now: Women, Education, and Achievement at The University of Chicago Law School, (May 2018). In 2018, UChicago found that women were less likely to voluntarily participate in class, particularly at the beginning of the term.(INSERT) Women were also significantly less likely to volunteer in a class session when the first speaker was a male. Id. Wine and Cheese, falling at the beginning of the semester, can hopefully encourage female students to feel more comfortable in class. It is hoped that Wine and Cheese, as an event early in the semester, can serve as one opportunity to combat these phenomena in UVA Law classrooms.



Jeff Flake Speaks at Rotunda Room

Michael Schmid ‘21
Production Editor

“Assume the best, look for the good.” That was the phrase written on a three-by-five notecard and hung on the fridge in the childhood home of retired Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. It was a mantra the former senator, who began his career in Washington as a congressman, said that his mother lived by. And it is a mantra that he says he has carried with him throughout his life and his career. Senator Flake believes that such an outlook is lacking in Washington and is symptomatic of the broader issue of incivility in public discourse.

Retired Senator Jeff Flake delivers his lecture on civility in public discourse in the Rotunda Dome Room. Photo Credit Michael Schmid ‘21.

Retired Senator Jeff Flake delivers his lecture on civility in public discourse in the Rotunda Dome Room. Photo Credit Michael Schmid ‘21.

Senator Flake was invited to speak this past Friday at the Rotunda Dome Room on Main Grounds for the Joseph Smith Lecture on Religious Liberty sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies. His lecture was titled “Searching for the Better Angels of Our Nature,” referencing a line from Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address in which our sixteenth president called for civility. Senator Flake wondered whether the country is as divided as it has been since the onset of the Civil War, and he worries that at times it appears that our nation has “sidelined our better angels for good.”

Kathleen Flake, a professor of Mormon Studies at UVA and a distant relative of the invited speaker, provided introductory remarks before the senator was formally introduced by D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Thomas B. Griffith ’85. Professor Flake introduced her second cousin once removed as “the man in the much-maligned middle,” as the retired politician has attracted enmity from both sides of the aisle at different times during his political career. Senator Flake has rankled conservatives at times who perceive him as falling out of line; he has also drawn the ire of liberals when they believe he acts in contradiction to his image as a bipartisan politician. Perhaps this was never more clearly on display than during the contentious confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, when Senator Flake managed to incur animosity from both groups at various stages of the confirmation process.

The former senator noted that he received a flurry of angry responses when he tweeted kind words about Senator Tim Kaine after the Virginian was selected as Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the 2016 Presidential election. Similarly, Flake caused a stir among some conservatives when he crossed the aisle during President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address to sit with Democratic Representative Gabby Giffords from Arizona. Representative Giffords was recovering from serious injuries after being shot the previous year, and Flake assisted her as she stood to applaud. Senator Flake stated that many Republicans perceived him to be supporting President Obama as he was often the only Republican standing during the Democratic applause lines. Conversely, he incurred a negative reaction after he tweeted that he did not agree with Representative Rashida Tlaib’s blunt remarks on impeachment proceedings, which included an obscenity directed at President Trump.

Flake 3.jpg

Senator Flake pointed to changes during his time on Capitol Hill that he sees as indicative of a decline in civility. One such example was the rapid decline of “pairing votes,” in which a Senator or member of Congress will abstain from voting on a matter because a counterpart across the aisle, who would have voted contrarily, was unable to be present for the vote. Senator Flake recalled that Chris Coons, a Democratic senator from Delaware, abstained from voting on advancing the nomination of Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State to the full Senate floor out of deference to Republican senator Johnny Isakson who was unable to be present for the vote.

According to Flake, the only alternative to getting along is being alone. A vivid example of solitude he had experienced was his trip to the remote Marshall Islands where he stayed for a week by himself with only survivalist tools at his disposal. He returned to the Islands approximately five years ago with Senator Martin Heinrich, a Democrat from New Mexico, with similarly austere accoutrements. He stated that whenever he finds it difficult to be civil and he feels he is ignoring the better angels, he thinks of the alternative.

When asked by an audience member about factors he believes have led to a decline in civility, Senator Flake placed blame with, among other things, current campaign finance rules, the twenty-four-hour news cycle, and the drawn-out election periods. As far as particular solutions, Senator Flake stated his opposition to eliminating the filibuster, crediting the Senate rule for being the “only mechanism” that forces parties to come together to produce thought-out, enduring legislation. Furthermore, he declined to fault the two-party system for creating an inherently antagonistic clash between two camps that leads to tribalism. Rather, he generally prefers the two-party system, but believes that it has worked in the past because when the political pendulum swung too far in one direction, if one party became too far outside the mainstream, the pendulum would swing back. Now, he questions whether our current political culture has reduced that elasticity which he believes once provided balance.

Yet largely absent from the retired senator’s lecture were policies in which he believed there was hope for compromise. At times, the unspoken assumption behind Senator Flake’s words were that if one says and believes the right things, current political divides can break down. When asked where one finds the hope that the country will rediscover its better angels, Senator Flake pointed to our nation’s history of overcoming fractious times in the past, as well as a realization that there are decent people in Washington attempting to do good work. After quoting a story from the Book of Mormon, which emphasized that incivility should be returned with comity and compassion, he quipped that if harsh words were exchanged between Senators Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnel, few in the audience would believe that the two of them could set aside the uncivil words exchanged and hash out a compromise immigration bill. Yet such a framing belies the depth of the ideological rift between the two men. Beyond coarse words and occasional insults, a massive philosophical and political chasm remains on the issue.

As the senator noted, issues did not fall neatly along party lines when he began his political career. Today, sharp tones are accompanied by even sharper disagreements over fundamental issues that are deeply held among politicians and members of the public. The divide, it seems, goes deeper than uncivil rhetoric and extends to diametrically opposed views on key issues with little apparent room for compromise. Nonetheless, the vast majority of the senator’s anecdotes focused on symbolic gestures and kind words rather than on how to address finding legitimate agreement on deeply contested policy points. Throughout the night, he returned to his support for lifting the travel ban with Cuba that was largely unpopular within his own party as the evidence of his substantive bipartisanship. Overall, however, the senator appeared to be focused on the singular ability of unifying rhetoric to snap back to a more civil time and bring together those with ideologically opposed views.

Senator Flake expressed a hope that the country will return to its “old ways” where compromise is essential and people operate on “shared facts and shared values.” His optimism reflects the adage that adorned the refrigerator in his childhood home. For Senator Flake, to “assume the best” means, perhaps, believing that an increase in comity is the path to finding the better angels of our nature.


Section Pride Displayed at Dandelion

Jacob Jones ‘21
Events Editor

Last Saturday, the 1Ls and LLMs gathered at The Park on North Grounds for the event known as Dandelion. The event, which started in 1984 as a calm and respectable parade, has now turned into an amateur rendition of “So You Think You Can Dance” that makes you question whether we really go to a top ten law school. With perfect weather,[1] high spirits, and just the right amount of pizza and beer in their stomachs,[2] the class of 2022 began their attempt to see if they had any hopes for a fallback music career in case any of this “law” stuff doesn’t work out.

Section A (plus) set the standard for the rest of the sections that followed.[3] Their dance, set to the tune of “YMCA,” had a lot of high-energy pointing and other classic dance moves that don’t require a lot of practice beforehand. Section A got plus points for having matching T-shirts, but they really upped their game by bringing a live baby into the dance. While they didn’t win, Section A had the most energy and enthusiasm of any section, and could be seen dancing in a circle well after the competition had ended.

Section B was up next, and they brought a lot of low-energy hand clapping. It looked like they forgot what their routine was for a minute, but towards the end they rallied and managed some coordinated dance moves. There was also a cardboard sign about debt, but I still had no idea what was going on. Like most exams that end up as a B, confusion prevailed throughout, but there was enough tying it together that kept this performance in someone’s good graces. At least they played High School Musical.

Next was Section C, and did they ever “C-eaze”[4] the moment with their spectacular performance. In the middle of their poppin’ and “tightly choreographed” dance performance, there were some attempted cheerleader lifts[5] and attempted bribing of the judges with candy. But where they really shined was the all-male dance to “Laffy Taffy,” which the judges would later say “emanated sex.” Section C clearly came prepared and it showed.

Next, Section D had an interpretive performance of a meme that played out surprisingly well. The interpretation of “What X thinks I do” for 1Ls showed how friends view them as rich, professors view 1Ls as worshipping them, and 2Ls and 3Ls think they make a lot of Spongebob References.[6]  After getting knocked down, they got back up again, and then got knocked down, and so on until they laid crying on the floor. Such is 1L.

Section E, not wanting to be outdone by Section A, doubled the number of babies they brought. With a concept that might have been about relationships in law school, they linked arms and danced in circles to Taylor Swift, and had another great dance set to “All the Single Ladies.” Section E had a great performance that will set the standard for the number of babies that should be in performances for years to come.

Section F stood out for having the only copy of Black’s Law Dictionary that I’ve ever actually seen in person. With their snazzy coordinated outfits, IRS jokes, worm dances, and giant “F” flag, Section F gets an honorable mention. Alas, the competition was just too tough, but in an average year they would have placed in at least the top 3.

Section G, probably following the advice their PAs gave them, made their skit about the different parts of law school. Their Disney-themed performance was a standout. First, orientation welcomed the 1L class to “A Whole New World.” Then, after realistic portrayals of 1L professors and networking opportunities set to “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” the 1Ls defeated existential despair by drinking a beer. Section G gave another great performance that didn’t place solely because of the tough competition.

Section H featured two guys dancing semi-shirtless in front of their section-mates.  “And that was it. The whole thing,” reported one witness who preferred to not be named.

Section I pulled out all the stops. And by stops, I mean every generic dance they could think of in the five minutes they spent preparing their dance routine. They did the vintage “step side-to-side and clap,” the classic “hold your nose and pretend to snorkel,” and who could forget the Conga line. I haven’t seen this much enthusiasm for generic dances since white people discovered the Macarena in the 1990s.[7]  

Section J, not wanting to be outdone by Section I in the creative dance department, invented a whole new dance where they held out one arm and flipped their palms up and down. Unfortunately, Section J committed the classic Dandelion error of thinking that someone could hear them. I think they were trying to make up their own words to a song, so points for creativity, but then they didn’t even memorize the words and read off pieces of paper, so they broke even. Really, the blunder is the fault of Section J’s PAs for not letting them know ahead of time how this would work. To their credit, they managed to smile through it all.

LLMs take home bronze to international acclaim. Photo Credit Kolleen Gladden ’21.

LLMs take home bronze to international acclaim. Photo Credit Kolleen Gladden ’21.

Last, and certainly not least, came the international superstars, UVA’s very own LLMs. With the most choreographed performance that was set to the same High School Musical song, the LLMs knocked it out of the park. Their pom-poms, which were occasionally dropped, contributed to a performance that will cement this incoming LLM class as the coolest in the history of LLM classes, maybe ever.

In the end, the LLMs placed third, Section D second, and whether through bribery, seduction, or both, Section C took home the gold. While some continued to dance, Section C began the inaugural softball game against the stacked NGSL team, because remember, this whole thing is all about softball. While Section C lost eighteen to two—because that’s the whole point—there was a short movement where Section C was beating the competition one to zero. A moment where a bunch of scrappy underdogs in boat shoes, flip flops, and even a barefoot guy came together and were beating the most stacked team all of UVA Law could put together. And while they didn’t win, they showed a lot of heart and teamwork, which will serve them well in the year to come. The same can be said of all the other sections that performed this year.


[1] Back in my day (2018), we had to walk a mile in the rain from Ivy, and then dance in the same downpour just so we could be booed by 2Ls and 3Ls. Apparently, this was the first Dandelion in three years where it didn’t rain.

[2] Thanks, North Grounds Softball League!

[3] Eds. Note: the author is biased, given his position as a boyfriend for a PA for Section A. Take his opinions with a grain of salt.

[4] Get it? Seize? It’s not as bad of a joke as Carpe Donut, ok? They based a whole business around that pun.

[5] It’s a good thing these were only attempted, because 1Ls, beer, and cheerleader stunts on asphalt do not go well together.

[6] “Can I be excused for the rest of my life?”


Law School Hosts Symposium on Uses of Force

Maria Luevano ‘21
Staff Editor

This past Friday, UVA Law Faculty sponsored the Use of Force Symposium centered around the 2017 case of a Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder for shooting a 911 caller. The event was presented by the two attorneys who prosecuted the case—Assistant Hennepin County Attorneys Amy Sweasy and Patrick Lofton. Timothy Longo, former Charlottesville Police Chief and Adjunct Professor at the Law School, was also present. Longo was a key advisor to the prosecutors when they were deciding whether or not to prosecute the officer. The case was highly complex and unprecedented for the city of Minneapolis. It raised issues including the rigor and quality of investigations of officer-involved shootings by an outside agency, police training, the use of body-worn cameras, race and immigration, and the challenges of trying a case in an international spotlight. The prosecutors opened by discussing their reasons for making the details of the investigation and trial as public as possible. Their office, with the support of the victim’s family, hopes that this transparency will contribute to the national conversation around police use of force and shootings in a meaningful way and induce change in the way these investigations are conducted.

The Facts

              Sweasy and Lofton highlighted a number of facts about this case that made it different from many police shootings that make news headlines. Notably, the victim, Justine Ruszczyk, was a white woman who had moved to Minneapolis from Australia. Ruszczyk called the police around 11:30 p.m. to report sounds of a woman in danger. Police officer Noor and his partner responded to the scene and did not find anything amiss in the quiet, affluent neighborhood. They parked briefly before leaving the area, when an unknown silhouette appeared next to their car, scaring the two officers. They couldn’t tell that the stranger was Justine, who had placed the 911 call. While Noor’s partner reached for his gun, Noor fired out of the car window and struck Justine, who died on scene. The two officers then turned on their body cameras and called for assistance. What happened following the shooting and the way the officers handled the situation was the subject of investigation by both Prosecutors Sweasy and Lofton, as well as the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).

The Investigation

The prosecutors walked through what their investigation found, despite the lack of cooperation from both the Minneapolis Police Department and numerous missteps in the BCA’s own inquiry. Body camera footage from officers on scene proved inconsistencies in witness testimony about whether Noor was interviewed following the shooting and what his partner saw. The BCA did not follow up on these inconsistencies and discounted information that the prosecutors thought may be relevant, such as the fact that one of the victim’s neighbors also called 911 that night to report sounds of a woman screaming. Sweasy and Lofton wonder if this was a missed opportunity to find a possible witness to the shooting, or a way to find the original potential victim that Justine had called 911 about. The BCA also did not thoroughly collect and maintain evidence, including the officer’s squad car, which was washed and returned to service before the prosecutors could collect evidence. This was the type of practice that led Sweasy and Lofton to work on making changes to the way investigations into police use of force are conducted in the county. They believe that many of the Bureau’s lapses were informed by efforts to continue the status quo and assumptions that were made in favor of the police officers, instead of following potentially inconsistent evidence. Sweasy and Lofton hope to change the attitude around these investigations, and they maintain that just because something has been conducted a certain way for years does not mean it has to continue. 

The Trial

In addition to the high-profile nature of the case, the trial was complicated by a number of factors. The prosecutors opined that many cases involving police shootings do not go to trial, resulting in a lack of case law on the issue. This meant that the question of whether the officer’s actions were “objectively reasonable at the time of the shooting” was challenging to answer. They were also challenged by Minnesota statutes that made it difficult to determine the appropriate charge in this type of case. They ultimately decided on third degree murder, which uses a “reckless indifference” standard.  In the prosecutor’s favor, they also took this opportunity to address the case as if it “had no limits” and admit any evidence they could. The prosecutors explained how their expert witnesses were not only crucial at trial, but also served as their teachers. Expert witnesses, including then-Chief Longo, helped the prosecutors better understand the issue of police use of force. In the end, Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and received a 150-month sentence. His lawyer has released a statement outlining plans to appeal.

Lessons Learned

Sweasy and Lofton ended their presentation with a discussion of what they have reflected on and learned from their experiences investigating and trying this case. Ultimately, transparency around this issue has been liberating for them. It has been important for their office, as well as the victim’s family, that everything possible is made public. They also celebrate that the case has contributed to a noticeable shift in the way that Minnesota conducts investigations into police use of force. In answering a question, Longo emphasized how it has never been more important to conduct these types of investigations regardless of the victim’s identity. He advised that communities need to demand this type of action, for the better of the law enforcement profession. 


Recap of Supreme Court Recap Event

M. Eleanor Schmalzl ‘20

This past Monday, Professors Julia Mahoney and Michael Gilbert sat in a panel alongside Ms. Elizabeth Slattery of the Heritage Foundation to discuss influential opinions from the Supreme Court’s latest term.


Slattery opened the panel, discussing general observations about the last term. She noted that last term will likely be remembered more for Justice Kavanaugh’s hearing and confirmation than any of cases decided. She also noted that twenty-one cases, 29%, were decided five to four, the highest percentage of five-four decisions in a term since 2012. Slattery focused on cases that she deemed “missed opportunities” for conservatives and how they, in her eyes, may negatively impact the country in the future.


First, American Legion v. American Humanist Assn., was an Establishment Clause case about a forty-foot cross in Maryland. While the cross was originally built on private land, the government purchased this land in the 1960s and, in recent years, citizens protested for its removal. In a seven to two decision, the Supreme Court upheld the cross’s constitutionality. The big debate was about the continuing validity of the Lemon test and what test should be used to decide whether structures like this should be allowed to stay standing on public land. No majority was reached, and instead a plurality with five concurrences resulted. Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor dissented, suggesting that the cross could be relocated instead of torn down.


Slattery also discussed Kiser v. Wilkie and Gundy v. United States, two administrative law cases with big implications for the field. In Kiser, a veteran sought retroactive post-combat benefits after being initially denied but then later approved for these benefits. The Court refused to overturn Auer v. Seminole Rock, a divisive case in administrative law. Auer stands for the notion that courts should defer to an agency’s reasonable interpretation of its own ambiguous regulations unless clearly erroneous. While the precedent is highly criticized, Justice Kagan wrote for the five-person majority, reinforcing the decision on stare decisis grounds.


Gundy, questioning Congress’s ability to delegate its legislative power to other branches of government so long as an “intelligible principle” is stated by Congress to guide those receiving the power, was decided before Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed. The Court split five to three affirming that Congress could delegate power to the U.S. Attorney General to decide whether to apply a statute retroactively. Slattery found this decision rocky but expects that the non-delegation doctrine will be questioned again soon once the newly confirmed justices are more established in their roles on the Court.


Professor Gilbert spoke next about districting cases the Court heard this past term, namely Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill and Rucho v. Common Cause. The Bethune-Hill case dealt with the Virginia legislature redrawing district lines, which were allegedly drawn in pursuit of unconstitutional racial gerrymandering. The lower courts struck down these districts as unconstitutional, and the Virginia Attorney General eventually stopped appealing the decision. Instead, the Virginia House of Delegates picked up the fight, and the Court addressed the question if this new group of plaintiffs had standing. The majority, in a five to four decision, said no. Ginsburg, writing for the majority, says that the Virginia House of Delegates’ argument for why they were harmed and therefore had standing was not sufficient. The group claimed that, if new lines were drawn, certain people already in office would not be reelected, harming the House of Delegates in being able to push forward with their duties. In dissent, Alito found this argument persuasive, but this was not enough to convince a majority of the Court to join in favor of the plaintiffs.


Rucho concerned partisan gerrymandering, where redistricting is aimed at weakening one political party’s chances of winning and strengthening another. Cases from Maryland and North Carolina were merged together in this single case, where the redistricting was challenged all the way up to the Supreme Court. The Court reached another five-four decision, with Chief Justice Roberts writing in the majority and finding that the case was nonjusticiable. Roberts found that judicially manageable standards weren’t feasible here and, as a result, the Court could not decide on challenges to these types of gerrymandering cases. Kagan dissented, believing that we are better off having the Court pursue an imperfect attempt to resolve the issue than not giving any attempt at all.


Professor Mahoney concluded the panel with a discussion of cases involving government interests in private property. While her time was limited, she focused her discussion on Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania. Knick involved an aggrieved property owner who was upset about the township signing an ordinance saying she had to provide access for the public to a small graveyard contained within her property. A major issue in the case involved whether the property owner could file in federal court––two prior cases, working in conjunction, seemed to bar her from doing so. These prior cases established that 1) a state court must deny a private property owner’s compensation of a government taking before the owner can come to federal court and 2) if the property owner goes to state court and loses, then the federal claim will be barred in federal court because of the Full Faith and Credit Clause (which respects a state court final decision and bars a federal court to redecide on the same issue). Roberts, for the majority, overturned this precedent, deeming it similar to a catch-22 and felt this was an appropriate time to overrule these past decisions.


All the panelists showed an extreme depth of knowledge that I unfortunately can’t articulate as well here as they did on Monday, but their insights into the Court showed that there is a lot of excitement to come and a lot of close decisions to continue to be made.


Gunners Collide at J.D./M.D. Mixer

Jacob Jones ‘21
Events Editor

Last Saturday, August 31, two opposite worlds collided. One side brought words and books and papers. The other side brought like, numbers and facts or whatever. Each side also brought a lot of spunk.

Ben Hawkins ‘20, Read Mills ;20, Katharine Janes ‘21, and Ben Lucy ‘20 gunning hard at Crozet. Photo Credit Kolleen Gladden ‘21

Ben Hawkins ‘20, Read Mills ;20, Katharine Janes ‘21, and Ben Lucy ‘20 gunning hard at Crozet. Photo Credit Kolleen Gladden ‘21

The concerts were located at Crozet pizza. Unlike the Biltmore, the usual stomping ground of rowdy law students, Crozet is smaller and feels pretty cramped. But it also gave people the opportunity to feel like they were truly partying by standing on tables, benches, and railings, so it all balances out in the end. For a place like Crozet that advertises itself as a Buddhist Biker Bar, I did not see anyone who was clearly either. But really, a Buddhist biker could be dressed like anything, so there could have been dozens of them and I would have had no clue.

The med school band was pretty rockin’, or at least I assume they were. “Med Zepplin” is not as clever of a name as either of the law school bands, but as law students we are blessed with a way with words so I can’t fault the med students for that. Had I been there for their performance, I assume they would have played hits like Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor Doctor), a certain Marvin Gaye song, and the latest Doctor Dr. Dre hit.[1]

When I interviewed two very handsome med students to get their thoughts about the performance of the law school band onstage, Gunners, the students were less than generous with their review than their good looks would imply. This led to a classic tit-for-tat escalation, wherein I told them that I was just as qualified to be a doctor because I have watched Scrubs, and they said they were basically lawyers because they watched Suits. I replied using the same tactic I had used at first-year oral arguments: a discrete “nuh-uh.” Then I told them Dr. Pepper was more of a doctor than they were, and thus our interview ended precipitously. Other med students seemed to really enjoy the Gunners however. At the end of the day it’s really hard to tell the difference between a 1L, a med student, and an undergrad when its 12 a.m. at Crozet.[2] The important thing is that everybody seemed to be having fun.

The night also presented an excellent opportunity for public-interest minded lawyers to mingle with future rich doctors. Those among us who plan on staying true to their law school personal statements when they said they wanted to “help people” and “save the orcas” had the chance to actually follow through on that without living on ramen noodles in a basement, by meeting an aforementioned future rich doctor. For those of you 1Ls who missed out on this opportunity, OGI has a way of creeping into your schedule. K-Don is just so persuasive.[3]

A recent shakeup due to former 3Ls joining the real world has caused a reformation of the band formerly known as Gunners n’ Roses. While remaining equally as beautiful and thorny, the band has added a new singer, and the trumpet and jazz adds a new layer of jazziness and snazziness. While some of the hits they played remained the same, the new songs were well-chosen. The hard work the band must have put into rehearsing their new hits really shined through. Most importantly, there was a Shrek reference.[4] The fastest way to make someone a fan of your band, or really anything, is to associate yourself with Shrek.[5] After that, my love of the Gunners was anything but accidental.

Alas, towards the end, the jello shots had gotten to too many people and the crowd started to thin out before the performance was finished. But the spirit of the night will live on, and many more law school band performances will be had.[6] Hopefully some of our talented 1Ls and LLMs will start one of their own![7]


[1] Even though Dre’s doctorate is probably in street law.

[2] A med student and a law student walk into a bar. Both fail the character and fitness portion of the exam.

[3] Corporations are just groups of people who have banded together to make lots of money, so you’d still technically be helping someone, right?

[4] Law school bands are like onions. They either make you cry, or you leave em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin’ little white hairs.

[5] Or what about cake? Everybody likes cake!

[6] Including our other talented law school band, Panic! At the District Court.

[7] Editor’s note: Please do not start ANOTHER law school band. There’s enough drama between these two already.

Migrant Farmworker Project Returns to the Law School

Sam Pickett ‘21
News Editor

            For law students, especially 1Ls, pro bono opportunities present an important opportunity to escape the “Law School bubble” and the doldrums of black letter law in order to interact with the Charlottesville community at large. One of the best, most hands-on projects presented to students this year is the Migrant Farmworker Project (MFP). Students who participate will work with Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) attorneys to perform outreach to farmworker camps and speak to workers about their legal rights. While the program had to cease operations indefinitely last year, it is back this year under the guidance of 3L Miranda Russell (’20) and her co-director 2L Gia Nyhuis (’21),[1] who hope to make it a triumphant and impactful return to UVA Law.

            Prior to law school, Russell worked with Student Action with Farmworkers as a part of South Carolina Legal Service’s efforts to conduct outreach to farmworker camps across South Carolina. Her experiences speaking to migrant farmworkers about their legal rights and looking for issues such as wage theft, inadequate housing conditions, and pesticide waiting times motivated her to continue her work at UVA’s MFP as a 1L trip leader and summer intern. During her experience as a summer intern, Russell had the opportunity to see different types of communities across the entire state, ranging from southwest Virginia, where farmworkers farm tobacco, to the Eastern Shore, where farmworkers cultivate tomato and potato crops.

            Along with an important lesson in Virginia’s diverse agricultural elements, however, Russell emphasized that the MFP presents students with a completely hands-on pro bono opportunity, where you get to actually use the legal skills you learn in class and work with LAJC attorneys doing interesting, substantive, and meaningful work. For Spanish-speaking law students, it is an opportunity to practice not only your Spanish, but your legal Spanish (although speaking Spanish is NOT mandatory to join the organization). In her work with the MFP, Russell has found all that and more, remarking that the experience has given her the skills to make her a better lawyer:

            “The project helped me become comfortable translating legal language into everyday vocabulary. Because we speak Spanish on outreach, I had to train my brain to translate a legal concept from ‘legalese’ to plain English language then finally to Spanish. I realized that I had to fully understand something to successfully explain it in my second language. This has been a really useful skill as a future attorney, because if I can’t explain something in plain language, then I probably don’t understand the issue.”

            MFP also taught Russell to approach problems with a whole-picture perspective; the LAJC emphasizes “incorporating the practice of law with other strategies for social change, such as community organizing.” Regardless of whether students hope to enter the public or private sector, the lessons learned from an organization such as the MFP are invaluable and can introduce students to the types of pro bono work they may want to incorporate into their future practice.

            Perhaps the most important lesson that shined through my conversation with Russell was a greater recognition of the community around her. She reminded me of the power and privilege we have simply by being UVA law students and how important it is to seek out opportunities to better the world around us. “Farmworkers feed the world,” Russell remarked, “we all deserve a just agricultural system.”

            On a personal level, I am very excited for the return of MFP, because it was one of the pro bono opportunities I most wanted to be a part of last year. I knew the chance to perform substantive legal work in Spanish would push me to be a better lawyer and a better person. I also find the program’s return to be particularly important given the United States recent (let’s be frank here, it’s not exactly recent) hostility towards immigrants. For law students who often feel stuck in the classroom, unable to make a difference in the world around them, the MFP can provide a meaningful way to help those who are particularly vulnerable to having their rights stripped away.

            While the organization has already had its mandatory training session, I encourage everyone to keep an eye out for other information about the program. If you’re interested, please reach out to Russell and Nyhuis as they continue to build the organization and help members of the Law School community leave their comfort zones in order to make a difference in the lives of others.


[1] Sadly I procrastinated on this assignment and did not get the opportunity to interview Nyhuis, but can assure you that she is a similarly remarkable individual committed to the service of the greater Charlottesville community.

Defending the Judiciary: Judge Carlton Reeves ’89 Receives Jefferson Medal, Shares His Insights From the Bench

Jacob Jones ’21
Events Editor

Judge Carlton Reeves ’89 speaks to a full auditorium about maintaining the integrity of the judiciary. Photo credit Kolleen Gladden ’21.

Judge Carlton Reeves ’89 speaks to a full auditorium about maintaining the integrity of the judiciary. Photo credit Kolleen Gladden ’21.

This past Thursday, April 11, Judge Carlton Reeves ’89 received the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law award. Even Dean Goluboff, as fast as she talks, took several minutes to introduce Judge Reeves because of his impressive list of accomplishments and contributions to both the nation and his community in Mississippi, where he is currently a U.S. District Court Judge.


Judge Reeves began by noting that Professor Armacost could take the seat in the front she had previously walked up to but then awkwardly decided not to sit in.[1] He then began his prepared remarks, entitled: “Defending the Judiciary: A Call for Justice, Truth, and Diversity on the Bench.” Judge Reeves launched into his speech by acknowledging the awkwardness of a black man being given an award bearing the name of a slaveholder, namely Thomas Jefferson. And not only did Jefferson own slaves, but he also hated the judiciary. One theme of Judge Reeves’s speech seemed to be that the mix of racism and hatred of the judiciary was not unique to Jefferson, but was something that had happened historically and continues today.


Another theme in Judge Reeves’s speech was how diversity promotes justice. He explained how justice requires that the truth be found. To get the truth, different perspectives are required. A lack of diverse experiences, he explained, was what led to the decision in Dred Scott. Focusing on his home state of Mississippi, Judge Reeves described the beginnings of inclusion in the Reconstruction Era, followed by backlash by white supremacists who used the courts to promote white supremacy and turn a blind eye to hate crimes. When the courts tried to incorporate black experiences again in Brown v. Board of Education, there was a second backlash against the judiciary. Each time more diverse perspectives were included, especially black perspectives, justice was promoted but there was a strong backlash.


Judge Reeves’s speech would have been in calm waters had he stuck to historical lessons, but I think Judge Reeves felt compelled to call out injustices of the current day, so he applied historical lessons to current day facts. For the courts to be a defender of justice, we must realize that attacks on the judiciary cannot be disentangled from the attacker’s views on race, and “we must defend against its poison when spewed today, by men of our time.” While he did not mention President Trump by name, he didn’t have to. Quoting the attacks on the judiciary by Trump was enough for a group of law students and scholars to recognize who he was talking about. Giving his perspective as a black judge who grew up in the newly desegregated South, he expressed how he heard the old calls of “a race-baiting politician, empowered by the falsehood of white supremacy, questioning the judicial temperament of a man solely because of the color of his skin.” There were no words minced.


Judge Reeves’s speech was a reminder that we cannot be complacent with the facts and circumstances of our times. We have just as much of a duty to fight injustice today as there was a duty to fight injustice in 1967.


In addition to the speech given after receiving the award, the Law Weekly had the chance to sit down with Judge Reeves and a group of student leaders for lunch earlier that day. Before the group got food, Judge Reeves had each student introduce themselves, including sharing where they were from and what they hoped to do after graduation. He sought to make the conversation personal to allow for open dialogue between everyone.


Judge Reeves’s answers to questions throughout the lunch conveyed a real sense of hope and optimism for the judiciary system now and in the future. Julian Kritz ’20 asked if he was optimistic about America’s future; Reeves said yes. He articulated the importance of remaining optimistic; if we aren’t, then we can fall into satisfaction, and he stressed that we can’t be satisfied with where we are. Jake Rush ’20 followed up, asking Reeves what the role of hope, optimism, and empathy should have in sentencing decisions. Reeves responded, saying these things “should invade every judge’s decision.” He continued by discussing the importance of finding hope, optimism, and empathy in the state court system given how much those courts handle criminal matters. Reeves also stressed this point: “We need to see humanity in every person who comes before us. Treat them like the person you love the most.”


Manal Cheema ’20 asked Reeves his thoughts on the criticism he receives for writing his opinions “too simply.” Reeves responded, saying he wants even the youngest reader to be able to understand. In Reeves’s view, judges should make sure everyday people can have access to understand and appreciate the opinion. By staying away from legal jargon and unnecessary complexities, he gets closer to that end.


While several more questions about Reeves’s jurisprudence and opinions on serious matters were asked, 3L students Lindsay Fisher ’19 and Teddy Kristek ’19 questioned Reeves on his advice for graduating 3Ls and on what has changed at UVA since his time here as a student. Reeves’s advice to those nearing graduation: “Approach [the next chapter] with vigor.” He told the story of how he ended up going into private practice, which taught him to never say never to opportunity and to not burn bridges with the people you meet along the way. Regarding what has changed most at UVA, Reeves commended UVA’s leadership. Reeves discussed how favorably he viewed the leaders at the university, including Dean Goluboff, Dean Kendrick, President Ryan, and soon-to-be Provost Magill. Reeves described Dean Goluboff as the person able to bring the Law School into this century, and said the university is “being led by the appropriate people at this moment in time.”

[1] Judge Reeves and Professor Armacost both graduated from the law school in 1989, and are both Ritter Scholars. My impression was that they were old friends.