LL.M. Program

Mercer Law's LL.M. in Federal Criminal Practice and Procedure is the only program in the nation designed for law school graduates seeking to prepare themselves for federal criminal practice as a prosecutor, Federal Defender, or private defense counsel.

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Steve Berry to Deliver 2013 Commencement Keynote Address

Steve Berry ('80), New York Times bestselling author , will deliver the keynote address at the 2013 Commencement ceremony of Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law on Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m. in Hawkins Arena at the University Center.

Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of eight Cotton Malone adventures, four stand alone thrillers, and four e-book original short stories. His books have been translated into 40 languages with more than 15 million printed copies in 51 countries. They consistently appear in the top echelon of The New York Times, USA Today, Indie and international bestseller lists.

Faculty Scholarship and Activities Reported in March 2013

Practitioner in Residence Dwight Davis was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to the board of the Department of Natural Resources in January. In February, Davis was also appointed to the board of the North Georgia Mountain Authority by Gov. Deal.

Assistant Professor Jessica Feinberg gave a presentation, titled "Avoiding Marriage Tunnel Vision: Why the Same-Sex Marriage Movement Need Not and Should Not Undermine the Advancement of Non-Marital Relationship Recognition," at the Midwest Family Law Consortium at the University of Wisconsin Law School. She also presented on the same topic at the Feminist Legal Theory Conference at University of Baltimore School of Law in March. Feinberg was also a panelist at Sister to Sister, Southern Region of Black Law Students Association Academic Retreat in Atlanta in October.

Professor and Director of the LL.M. Program Jim Fleissner spoke as a panelist at a symposium hosted by Mercer Law School, titled "Defining and Enforcing the Federal Prosecutor's Duty to Disclose Exculpatory Evidence," on Oct. 5. Along with panelists Bruce Green of Fordham Law School and Peter Joy of Washington University Law School, Fleissner addressed legislative proposals for federal criminal discovery reform.

W.A. Bootle Chair in Ethics and Professionalism Patrick E. Longan presented "Ethics and Professionalism Uncorked" as part of a panel at the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association Continuing Legal Education in February. Longan was also the program co-chair of the Beginning Lawyers Program, Georgia Institute for Continuing Legal Education in Atlanta, which was held in February. He was the moderator for "Acting for Your Client" at the Beginning Lawyers Program and presented on "Update on Legal Ethics and Professionalism" at the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association Continuing Legal Education in Macon. In November, he made several presentations: "Ethics and Professionalism in Entity Representation and Dealing with a Mistake by Opposing Counsel," at the Georgia School Board Association School Law Seminar in Atlanta; "Georgia Stakeholders Roundtable," at the 2012 Convocation on Professionalism, Georgia Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism in Atlanta; and served as a panelist on "Ethics and Professionalism in Mediation," at the Georgia Institute for Continuing Legal Education in Macon. Longan was the program co-chair and moderator for "Defining and Enforcing the Federal Prosecutor's Duty to Disclose Exculpatory Evidence," at the 13th Annual Georgia Symposium on Professionalism and Ethics in Macon in October. Finally, he presented on "Ethics for Law Assistants and Judicial Staff Attorneys" in Atlanta for the Atlanta Bar Association in September.

Southeastern Bankruptcy Law Institute/W. Homer Drake Jr. Endowed Chair in Bankruptcy Law Professor Michael Sabbath will be the keynote speaker at the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association’s 23rd Annual Seminar, held in Myrtle Beach, S.C., May 3-5. Professor Sabbath will present papers on the following topics: “Bankruptcy and the Elderly,” “Issues Involving Student Loans in Bankruptcy” and “The Supreme Court’s Decision in Stern v. Marshall and Fraudulent Conveyances .”

Griffin B. Bell Professor of Law Jack Sammons had his article, titled "The Law's Mystery," accepted for publication in the British Journal of American Legal Studies with co-author Linda Berger. He also published "The Impossible Prayers of James Boyd White" in 'The Legal Imagination': The Future and the First Forty Years, Watts and Etxabe, editors (Ann Arbor: Univ. of Mich. Press, 2013). Sammons presented a paper, titled "The Origin of the Judicial Opinion as a Work of Art," at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and Humanities. He also presented his paper on James Boyd White at a festschrift in White's honor at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and Humanities in London in March.

Associate Professor Karen J. Sneddon presented "It's About Time: Assessing Transactional Skills in Thirty Minutes or Less," at the Third Biennial Conference on Teaching Transactional Law and Skills at Emory Law School in Atlanta on Nov. 3 with Susan Chesler, professor. Sneddon also published "Improving Routine Documents Part 2: Memo to File," 18 No. 4 Georgia Bar Journal 70 (December 2012) with David Hricik, professor. Sneddon and Hricik also published "Improving Routine Documents Part I: Engagement Letters," 18 No. 2 Georgia Bar Journal 54 (October 2012). Sneddon was also appointed a member of the 2012 poster committee for the AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research.

Associate Professor Scott Titshaw presented "'I Do,' You Don't: The Constitutionality of Defining Marriage," as a panelist for the Charlotte Law Review Symposium held in Charlotte, N.C., in March. He also presented "Shifting Immigration Options for Same-Sex Couples & Their Children" at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Georgia-Alabama Chapter Conference in Atlanta in February. Titshaw also presented "LGBT Immigration Issues" at the National LGBT Bar Association lecture series in January and "Why Yes, This is My Spouse—Same-Sex Partners & Significant Others" as a panelist for the AILA National Audio Seminar in January.

Mercer Law Professor Sarah Gerwig-Moore Wins Shanara Gilbert Emerging Clinician Award

Mercer Law Associate Professor Sarah Gerwig-Moore has been selected as the 2013 Shanara Gilbert Emerging Clinician Award winner by the Association of American Law Schools Section on Clinical Legal Education.

Gerwig-Moore joined Mercer Law School as a professor in 2006 and soon after established the Habeas Project, the only pro bono effort in Georgia to focus on non-capital post-conviction cases. She and her students have handled 38 cases in the Georgia Supreme Court since 2006, and in total she has been counsel of record, co-counsel or collaborated in that court in nearly 100 cases. Additionally, she teaches in Mercer Law’s Public Interest Practicum, is chair of the Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission and serves on the board of directors of the Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve Initiative.

Brian Magee Marine Special Prosecutor Enrolls in LL.M. to Advance Career

For Marine Captain Brian Magee, enrolling in the inaugural class for the Master of Laws Degree in Federal Criminal Practice and Procedure was, well, something of a no-brainer. For him, the LL.M. is a custom fit.

“One of my professors from [the University of] Georgia who ran the prosecutorial clinic there sent me the flyer on Mercer’s criminal LL.M. program,” Magee says. “I saw that and thought, ‘Perfect.’ Whether I stay in the military or go out into practice, what I want to do is prosecution.”

Mercer Receives Best Brief in John J. Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition

Mercer’s team of second year students Christiane Cochrane, Geoff Bard and Catherine Bishop competed in the John J. Gibbons National Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition and took home the award for Best Respondent’s Brief. The competition was hosted by Seton Hall Law School in Newark, New Jersey on March 23-24. Mercer’s team advanced to the quarterfinals before losing a close match to Ohio Northern Law School.


Did you know?

Mercer Law offers an LL.M. in Federal Criminal Practice and Procedure, the first of its kind in the nation.