UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law

Boyd Briefs: March 10, 2016

From Dean Dan

Please join me in congratulating Boyd students Garrett Chase, Shane Jackson and Kory Koerperich on winning second place in the 24th Annual Duberstein Moot Court Competition held this past weekend at St. John’s University School of Law in New York. The competition promotes and recognizes the finest oral and written advocacy on issues in bankruptcy practice. With approximately 60 law school teams participating, it is the largest single site appellate moot court competition in the nation.

The team earned the honor of traveling to New York to compete nationally after placing first at the second annual Judge Lloyd D. George Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition, the western region preliminaries for the national Duberstein Moot Court Competition. During the regional competition hosted by Boyd along with the Society of Advocates and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI), Garrett Chase also received the award for Best Oral Advocate.

Congratulations to Boyd’s outstanding team, and thanks to ABI President and Armstrong Teasdale Partner Jim Shea, for helping to organize the competitions. Special recognition also goes to friend of the law school and competition namesake, The Honorable Lloyd D. George, for his ongoing support.

Judge Lloyd D. George Moot Court Competition Winners Boyd's winning team: (from left) Kory Koerperich, Shane Jackson and Garrett Chase along with The Hon. Lloyd D. George (center) and ABI President Jim Shea

In alumni news, I am pleased to announce that we have recently launched Boyd Law Stay Connected, our new secure online community available to Boyd School of Law graduates. The new website gives alumni an easy way to stay connected with the law school and each other. Features include a dynamic alumni directory searchable by name, class year, area of practice, or geographic market; enhanced profile pages; class notes and news; and online registration for alumni events.

An email with log in details was sent to alumni last week. If you have any questions, please contact Director of Alumni Relations Carolyn Barnes at carolyn.barnes@unlv.edu or 702-895-2450.

Nevada's Big Give

Lastly, I encourage you to join thousands of Nevadans today by taking part in Nevada's Big Give. It's one extraordinary day to support the organizations that make Nevada special, including the Boyd School of Law. And, it's your chance to make a real impact. Please join us in supporting our community by donating online here.



Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law

Linda Edwards


Professor Linda Edwards is the author of well-respected textbooks in legal writing, persuasion, and property. Her widely published articles focus on narrative, persuasion, legal scholarship, and legal education.

What are you working on right now? Recently, the Supreme Court has been roundly criticized as being too distant from the citizens it governs. Simultaneously, in some of the most contentious recent cases, amicus briefs have included two controversial kinds of advocacy: (1) briefs relating stories told by individuals who are not parties to the case; and (2) a brief expressing the direct citizen advocacy of more than 207,000 individuals who "signed" the brief by responding to an internet appeal. Some commentators have argued that such briefs are improper. The article I'm currently writing defends these briefs, arguing that they provide important connections between the Court and the public. For that and other reasons, the briefs serve an important and legitimate function in Supreme Court deliberation and should not be curtailed.

If you were to recommend one of your recent articles, what would it be? For people interested in current reform proposals for legal education, I'd suggest The Humanities in the Law School Curriculum: Courtship and Consummation, which will appear later this year in the Wake Forest Law Review. Many have called for increased attention to skills instruction, and I support that idea. But in the rush to teach practical skills, we should not forget the crucially important broad analytical skills that are inherent in the study of the humanities. My article uses an example from the case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld to demonstrate the need to teach future lawyers to evaluate cases and arguments based on what we can learn from history, literature, and rhetoric.

How does your own reading influence your work? Much of my research analyzes the briefs of the best Supreme Court writers. These masters have much to teach the lawyers and law students of today. Every time I read their work, I find new things to bring to my advanced class in brief writing, "Briefs that Changed the World." Most recently, I've been focusing on the role of emotion in appellate advocacy, re-reading Terry Maroney's insightful article, The Persistent Cultural Script of Judicial Dispassion, 99 Cal. L. Rev. 629 (2010). Maroney demonstrates that emotion and rational thought are inextricably linked and that neither can function well without the other. Her work validates the ways in which the best brief writers trigger judicial emotion without appearing to do so -- a true art.



Becky Harris


STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Senator Becky Harris

How are you enjoying being among the first students in Boyd's LL.M. in Gaming Law and Regulation program? It's exciting to be a part of a first of its kind, cutting edge program. The LL.M. program is excellent. I have thoroughly enjoyed my classes and getting to know the Boyd community. My professors have all been top notch.

How does your experience at Boyd compare to your J.D. studies at Brigham Young University? I love the diversity of instruction here at Boyd. In addition to class room instruction, the opportunity to engage in a variety of interactive activities from mediations to presentations has been fabulous. I am thrilled to see the practical application of legal principles and processes in so many of my classes.

How do you anticipate your gaming law/regulation studies will impact your work as a Nevada State Senator? As Chair of the Senate Education Committee, it's wonderful to be a part of the Nevada Higher Education System and experience firsthand just how fantastic our higher education programs are. In terms of gaming law/regulation, the training and education I am receiving about our gaming industry is invaluable. Having the educational foundation and context to make good policy decisions is critical. I expect that there will be a number of policy considerations that impact gaming during the 2017 Legislative Session. I'm glad to be getting a bit of a head start.

If you have spare time, what do you like to do with it? Spare time . . . my favorite thing to do is spend time with my family. Simple pleasures like reading a good book or streaming Netflix are great for rejuvenating. Always up for a challenge, I also like trying new things that take me out of my comfort zone.



Kammi Rencher '12

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Kammi Rencher '12

Kammi Rencher '12 works as a law clerk for the Nevada Court of Appeals.

What brought you to Boyd? I have a background in writing and editing, so I wanted to attend a law school with a strong legal writing program. Boyd has a great program and was located close to home, so it was an easy choice.

What did you do after graduating law school? I clerked for Justice Pickering on the Nevada Supreme Court my first year after graduation. It was a fantastic experience and I greatly admire Justice Pickering and her work. My husband and I then moved to a small town in Arizona where he pursued a medical residency and I went to work for the second largest law firm in town (three attorneys, counting myself). It was quite an adjustment after Las Vegas!

What drew you to the Nevada Court of Appeals? After my daughter was born, I wanted more flexible work. When Justice Hardesty offered me a temporary clerkship, I jumped at the opportunity. Shortly thereafter, voters approved creation of a court of appeals. So, in January 2015, I applied for a clerkship with Judge Abbi Silver; and I've been happily clerking for her ever since.

What is your biggest pet peeve? In the context of appellate work, my biggest pet peeve is when attorneys fail to put adequate record cites or case citations in an appellate brief -- or, worse, misquote or misconstrue those citations. To be clear: appellate clerks and court staff will and do carefully scrutinize the record and every assertion --factual and legal -- made in a brief. We also conduct independent research on each issue. So, it is very important that attorneys be forthright and thorough in their appellate briefs.


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