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UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
Boyd Briefs: September 11, 2014

From Dean Dan

This semester at Boyd I am proud to report that we have three students who are the recipients of competitive and prestigious scholarships from the Las Vegas Business Academy (LVBA). Congratulations to Tasha Schwikert, Keivan Roebuck, and Daven Cameron. Each of these students exemplify Boyd at its best. Tasha is a third-year student, treasurer of the Black Law Students Association, and an Olympic-medal-winning gymnast. Keivan is a third-year J.D./MBA student and the business editor of the Nevada Law Journal. Daven is a second-year student, a Nevada Law Journal staff member, and a student liaison to the Boyd Alumni Chapter Board of Directors. We are grateful to Chairman Rino Armeni and the board of LVBA, who in a short time have made the Academy into an institution that benefits our city and state by providing dedicated mentorship and professional development to an exceptional cadre of student leaders. Students at the law school and across the university have benefited enormously from the vision and generosity of this organization. We all benefit when UNLV students are trained for leadership positions by this community and for this community.


Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law

Rebecca Scharf


Professor Rebecca Scharf joined the law faculty at Boyd in 2004, but her distinguished service as a leader and lawyer began more than a decade earlier. Scharf graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991, moved to New York City, and became a legal aid lawyer -- declining offers to join a Biglaw practice. This path is not unlike her law school classmate now-President Barack Obama who instead moved to Chicago and became a civil rights attorney. Scharf, however, continued practicing law -- representing indigent clients and pursuing impact litigation -- for 13 years. Luring her to the Southwest to join the academy was a coup for Boyd's nationally ranked Lawyering Process Program. Scharf's keen intellect and steadfast dedication to her students, her colleagues, and our alumni have played an important role in shaping the ambition and character of Boyd. Last year, Scharf added a substantial commitment to scholarship to her already-impressive agenda and joined the tenure track.

Professor Scharf's most recent article is titled "Separated at Adoption: Addressing the Challenges of Maintaining Sibling-of-Origin Bonds in Post-adoption Families." This article explores the ways children, many of whom are in foster care, are psychologically harmed by the law's failure to ensure that the bonds they have with their siblings-of-origin are not permanently broken when one of the siblings is adopted. The article draws heavily on social science and psychological research related to the attachments children form with their biological siblings. She proposes ways that courts can better protect children from the psychological harm of having a biological sibling permanently removed from their life. She suggests that what is needed is a framework that allows visitation by biological siblings with whom children have formed attachments without unnecessarily intruding on the fundamental liberty interest of the adoptive parents.

Professor Scharf's scholarly interests extend beyond family to matters at the intersection of technology and privacy law. Advances in technology tend to complicate the legal protection of individuals' privacy rights. Crafting policies regarding unmanned aircraft systems (including “drones”), for example, bring the tension between technology and privacy into relief. Scharf will be introducing and moderating the keynote address by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky at UNLV's Symposium on UAS in Nevada: Implications for Privacy, Law and Technology on Oct. 16.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To RSVP for this symposium, click here.


Ashleigh Wise


Our Professor Francine Lipman has a unique gift -- the ability to take the subject of tax, which many find to be mind-numbing and/or soul-crushing, and make it, dare we say ... fun. Well, in the case of Ashleigh Wise, taking Professor Lipman's Federal Income Tax elective course for first-year students last spring was more an act of affirmation than transformation. Wise, you see, is an unapologetic tax enthusiast (the study thereof, not necessarily the payment thereof, to be clear).

It all started for Wise at the earliest of stages. In a manner of speaking, here's her account: “At a young age, my parents taught me to respect money and business. As I grew older, I started working in our family business and learned about the finances. In high school, I was well aware of all my parents' financial and tax issues. I found them interesting, which resulted in my taking more responsibility with the bookkeeping. In recent years, my parents have had increasing contact with the IRS and I have been privy to the ongoing correspondence. Observing those interactions with the IRS motivated my interest in tax law. I find tax law fascinating and intend to make it my life's work.”

To that end, Wise landed herself an internship with the United States Internal Revenue Service this past summer and was happier than Paul Revere with a cell phone. She also has participated in the nationally recognized Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program administered by the Asian American Advocacy Clinic. After completing her J.D. program, Wise intends to earn her CPA certification as well as an LL.M. in ... drumroll, please ... TAXATION!



Joe Cain '01


Joe Cain '01 is general counsel of Fine Properties, LLC, which operates several affiliated businesses, including: the Lev Restaurant Group (dba Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Jamba Juice, Daily Kitchen, i♥burgers, and Lobster ME); Fifth Street Gaming (Downtown Grand, Silver Nugget Casino, Opera House Casino, Lucky Club Casino, and Little Macau); plus various real estate holdings.

He is a 2001 summa cum laude graduate of Boyd and received his B.S. in international politics from Georgetown University. 

Cain spent three years with Lionel Sawyer & Collins before leaving to start his own firm. Cain subsequently shut down his firm to join Fine Properties, which had been one of his clients.

He serves on the board of the UNLV Alumni Association; the North Vista Hospital Advisory Board; and was past president of the Boyd Alumni Chapter. Cain was also an adjunct professor at the UNLV hotel school, where he taught hospitality law.

Cain spent several childhood years living overseas, including Afghanistan, where his family lived through a coup d'etat. After college, he traveled to Alaska and worked at a fishing cannery and as a logger. He used those earnings to spend a year traveling through New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Nepal.  

He enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, and various outdoor activities. In 2010, he was caught in a flash flood while rappelling in a slot canyon at Zion National Park. Cain considers himself lucky to have escaped with his life, with the story covered by NPR; the Review-Journal; the “I Survived” TV show; and Outside and Backpacker magazines. Cain and his wife, Christina, have two awesome children, E.J. and Sophie.

A proud member of the Boyd community, Cain greatly values the terrific education he received at Boyd -- and the rewarding career and relationships it made possible for him.

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