UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law

Boyd Briefs: February 18, 2016

From Dean Dan

Today, the law school was pleased to host hearings before the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) for the Ninth Circuit. The BAP is a federal appellate panel that hears appeals from the United States Bankruptcy Court. Holding hearings like these at Boyd offers our students a unique opportunity to see appellate advocacy in action and to see firsthand oral arguments by distinguished practitioners.

We are grateful to The Honorable Randall Dunn, Chief Judge for the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, The Honorable Meredith Jury, and The Honorable Ralph Kirscher for coming to Boyd to meet with our faculty, students and alumni during their visit.

Thanks also to The Honorable Gregg Zive, United States Bankruptcy Court judge; Jim Shea, partner at Armstrong Teasdale and president of the American Bankruptcy Institute; and Boyd alumna Corina Pandeli '10, a permanent clerk at the BAP; for helping to organize this event.

The BAP coming to the law school builds on our growing and successful bankruptcy program. We are extremely fortunate to have on our faculty, Garman Turner Gordon Professor of Law Nancy Rapoport, one of the nation's leading bankruptcy scholars. We are proud to partner with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, offering free legal education classes to the community on bankruptcy and other legal topics. We are fortunate to have Judge Mike Nakagawa and Judge Zive from the United States Bankruptcy Court teaching courses at the law school. And on Feb. 20, we are delighted to host the second annual Judge Lloyd D. George Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition where eight law student teams from multiple schools will compete at Boyd in a regional competition before heading to New York for the national competition. Boyd is proud to field student teams both here and in New York.

Finally, please join me in congratulating Professor Rachel Anderson on being named a Leader in Diversity by The National Jurist magazine. Professor Anderson was one of 20 law professors highlighted in the publication's fall issue, as well as the winter issue of preLaw magazine. Congratulations and thanks to Professor Anderson.

 

Dan

Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law
daniel.hamilton@unlv.edu
facebook.com/DeanDanHamilton




 
Addie Rolnick
 

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT: Addie Rolnick

Professor Addie Rolnick engages in scholarly work and advocacy within three main areas: criminal and juvenile justice in Indian country, race and criminal justice, and Indians and race. Before joining Boyd, she represented tribal governments; she continues to advocate for indigenous people as well as other groups and individuals who are poorly served by the justice system.

What's the most important thing you are working on right now? When a child has experienced physical or sexual violence, is struggling with substance abuse or mental issues, and is getting into low-level trouble -- as is the case with the majority of Native youth in the juvenile justice system -- the worst thing you can do is lock her in a cell where guards can watch her every move, and where she will receive little or no education or treatment. Yet, this is largely what Native youth experience when they enter the juvenile justice system. My work tries to change that. One article, Untangling the Web: Juvenile Justice in Indian Country, looks at why Native youth have such bad experiences in federal, state, and even tribally-run juvenile justice systems. Based on the proposals outlined in it, I testified before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs last summer about how to improve juvenile justice in Indian country. I am working now on amendments to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act to make sure Indian tribes know what is happening to their children and have the resources to help them. Another article, Locked Up: Fear, Racism, Prison Economics, and the Incarceration of Native Youth in Tribal Systems, looks at the harder question of why even tribal governments are locking up children who really need treatment and care -- it's a complicated story of how federal grant funding and federal agency policies, all informed by a general culture of fear, have created a system of incarceration that is very hard to dismantle.

If you could pick one of your shorter articles to recommend, what would it be? Nevada recently expanded its self-defense law (though not as much as was originally proposed), and many other states have done the same (most famously, Florida's expansive self-defense law was at issue in the George Zimmerman case). I wrote an op-ed about the proposed law loosely based on a forthcoming article about how self-defense law encourages people to police their own homes and neighborhoods using violence. A successful self-defense case revolves around convincing a jury that you feared for your life, and that your fear was reasonable. The victims in these cases are very often black and brown people. There is so much social science research demonstrating that nearly everyone reacts with more fear when they see a black face, and that people are more likely to assume a black person is up to no good. I read recently about a neighborhood group in Las Vegas that encouraged people to take and post videos of suspicious people in the neighborhood. White residents posted photos and videos of black teenagers who lived there. But we never talk about these realities when our legislatures are debating the laws. In effect, though, expanding self-defense laws communicates to people that it is OK to kill people who scare us and ask questions later. As a legal matter, it's even OK if the scary person turns out to be a neighbor kid playing, as long as our fear of that kid is something other people find "reasonable." When states expand the right of self-defense, especially when there is no gap in existing law, it further empowers citizens to police their neighborhoods. It makes some people feel more secure in the right to defend their spaces, but for others it is a reminder that they don't belong in those spaces, and that the consequence of looking out of place may be death.

What recent reading has influenced you? I am reading Jesmyn Ward's book Men We Reaped, in which she reconstructs the story of how, within four years, "five black young men I grew up with died, all violently, in seemingly unrelated deaths." I read recently that Oscar Grant, the teenager who was killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit officer in Oakland, was one of a trio of best friends. Grant was shot and killed by police in 2009. His friend Johntue Caldwell was shot and killed in 2011. This year, the third member of this group of best friends, Kris Rafferty, was also shot and killed. Reading the book and the article together reminded me of the very real violence and pain behind the things we teach, and how stopping all the death is so much more complicated than putting body cameras on police or putting anyone in prison.

     

     

Tyler Mowbray



 

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Tyler Mowbray

How did you enjoy your time as an undergraduate at Notre Dame? Notre Dame has a strong community among the students, faculty, and administration. It provided several opportunities to develop enduring relationships within the school. Notre Dame also challenged its students to pursue their passions and provided the resources and opportunities to do so.

You became a football coach in an unconventional way. Tell us about that. I became passionate about coaching during college. I was never a football player. As soon as I knew I wanted to pursue coaching, I immersed myself in the profession. I talked to as many coaches and attended as many practices, meetings, and clinics in as many sports as I could. In addition, I coached a high school baseball team. After graduation, I applied for jobs on every level to find a football coaching job. Current UNLV head football coach Tony Sanchez hired me at Bishop Gorman High School.

Now that you've passed the midway point in your time at Boyd, what's been your most valuable experience here? My most valuable experience at Boyd has been developing relationships with the students, faculty, administration, and local law community. The community at Boyd and in Las Vegas has provided mentors and a solid foundation for my legal career.

Any solid ideas as to your career path at this point? I am interested in mediation and litigation. Growing up in a Nevada legal family, I observed the positive impact lawyers have on their clients. Also, I have seen the positive impact of third-party neutrals who resolve many conflicts before they wind up in litigation. Later down the line, I may translate the legal skills I have developed into a career in athletics. One path may be to become an athletic director.

     

     

Audrey Beeson '07

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Audrey Beeson '07

Audrey Beeson '07 is of counsel with The Law Offices of Frank J. Toti Esquire; and owns her own business, Audrey Beeson, Esq. PLLC. Her practice focuses primarily on family law and she is a Nevada Board Certified Family Law Specialist. She also does some estate planning -- drafting simple wills, POA's and trusts.

Your law practice sounds very interesting. Care to share a bit more about yourself? I served the Las Vegas community as a Truancy Diversion Judge for five years, and piloted the first elementary school in the program. Currently, I serve as a TIP (Transitioning into Practice) Mentor for the Nevada State Bar. In addition, I've recently completed the 40-Hour Basic Mediation Essentials Training held by UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution. My plans are to offer mediation services through my current practice.

While I was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, I have been a resident of Las Vegas for more than 19 years. In 2004, I completed my undergraduate degree in political science at UNLV while working full time as an Executive Assistant Manager at Walgreens.

Can you tell us about your most memorable experience while at Boyd Law? The most memorable experience would be my externship with UNLV's Office of General Counsel which broadened my first-hand experience with a number of different areas of the law.

With all the volume of work-related reading, do you have favorites on your reading list now? I always seem to be reading two or three books at a time. I am currently reading John Grisham's Rogue Lawyer; Bill Eddy's BIFF: Quick Responses to High-Conflict People, Their Personal Attacks, Hostile Email and Social Media Meltdowns; and David Baldacci's Guilty.

Besides reading, what do you enjoy in your off hours? I enjoy spending time with my miniature dachshund, Mia; hanging out with friends; exercising; and retail therapy. I also enjoyed a recent vacation to Bora Bora, where I loved the beach, swimming, and snorkeling; including an opportunity to swim with black-tip reef sharks, lemon sharks and stingrays.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? My vision in the next 10 years is to have a successful family law mediation practice; earn an LL.M. in Dispute Resolution; and share my knowledge and experience through teaching.

What's the best work-related advice you've received and whom did it come from? The best work-related advice I have received was, "Don't take it personally -- you will see the same attorneys numerous times over the years and you cannot let what happens in the courtroom affect your professional relationship with those attorneys outside of the courtroom." My co-worker Frank Toti is the person that gave me that advice and it was part of a personal story of his very own.

 

     

 
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