Faculty Scholarship and Activities Reported in July 2012

Professor Emeritus Joseph E. Claxton made a presentation with Macon Attorney Jonathan Alderman titled, “Estate Planning for Families with a Person with a Mental Disability” on April 14 at Developmental Disabilities Ministries, Inc. in Norcross, Georgia.

Professor Jim Fleissner made a two-hour presentation, titled “The New Georgia Evidence Code,” to more than 100 Georgia Juvenile Court judges on May 15 at Jekyll Island. The program, sponsored by the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia, was to help prepare the judges for 2013, when Georgia’s revamped evidence rules based on the Federal Rules of Evidence, go into effect. At this year’s graduation ceremony, Fleissner was named the 2012 recipient of the Reynold J. Kosek Jr. Excellence in Teaching Award, presented annually to a member of the faculty by a vote of the graduating class.

Associate Professor David Ritchie was a visiting fellow in the Department of Politics at Oxford University for the Trinity Term (April – June). He has been made a research associate at the Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) at Oxford. He delivered and discussed a paper, titled “The Kill Lists,” to the War Workshop, convened by ELAC at Merton College, Oxford, on June 5. Ritchie has also been made a member of the international jury of PLURAL+, a joint initiative between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organization for Migration. PLURAL+ is a youth-produced video festival that encourages young people to explore migration, diversity and social inclusion, and to share their creative vision with the world. On June 21, Ritchie delivered a paper, titled “Elements of the Pacifist Conscience,” at the 12th International Law and Ethics Conference “Pacifism: Still the Issue” in Belgrade, Serbia.

Associate Professor Karen J. Sneddon was elected to be a member of the Legal Writing Institute Journal Editorial Board for a term from 2012-2016. Her article, titled “The Will as Personal Narrative,” will be published in 20 Elder Law Journal at the University of Illinois College of Law (forthcoming fall 2012). On June 1, Sneddon presented at the Biennial Conference of the Legal Writing Institute a presentation titled “Do Now’s: 25 Invigorating Warm Up Exercises.”

Faculty Scholarship and Activities Reported in April 2012

Professor Jim Fleissner made a presentation on April 10 to federal prosecutors for the Middle District of Georgia titled “Supreme Court Update: Criminal Law and Procedure,” which provided a briefing on decisions and undecided cases on the court’s docket from the beginning of October Term 2010 to the present.

Associate Law Librarian Ismael Gullon co-presented “Federal Tax Materials Collections Essentials,” at the Southeastern Chapter of the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting in Clearwater, Fla., on March 22. He is also serving as the SEAALL Nominations Committee chair.

Professor Mark L. Jones will have two articles published in the spring edition of Mercer Law Review: “Introducing a Surprising Conversation about Conversation,” and “Fundamental Dimensions of Law and Legal Education: Perspectives on Curriculum Reform, Mercer Law School’s Woodruff Curriculum, and… ‘Perspectives.’”

Associate Professor David Ritchie published an article, titled “Assessing the Moral Status of State Immigration Actions” in Volume 5, Issue 2 of the John Marshall Law Review (Spring 2012).

Associate Professor Jennifer Sheppard published “What if the Big Bad Wolf in All Those Fairy Tales Was Just Misunderstood?: Techniques for Maintaining Narrative Rationality While Altering Stock Stories that Are Harmful to Your Case,” in 34 Hastings Communication and Entertainment Law Journal 187 (2012).

Faculty Scholarship and Activities Reported in March 2012

Associate Professor David Ritchie spoke on a roundtable panel at the University of Southern California on March 20. The panel, titled “How do We Bring the Rule of Law to Places that Don’t Have it?,” was sponsored by the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics, the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and Jewish World Watch. Ritchie, who is also a Carnegie Global Ethics Fellow, is currently in Macau, working with the vice rector at the Macau University of Science and Technology. The law department at MUST is interested in developing a strong legal analysis and communication program, and Ritchie is consulting with them about Mercer’s renowned legal writing program.

Professor Jack L. Sammons delivered a paper titled, “Listening to Law” at the Religious Legal Theory Conference at Pepperdine Law School on Feb. 25. He also delivered a paper titled “The Origin of the Opinion as a Work of Art” at the Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and Humanities held at Texas Wesleyan on March 17.

Continuing Legal Education Coordinator Nancy Terrill was named as the Macon Bar Association’s representative on the state-wide Georgia Legal Services Board of Directors.

Associate Professor Scott Titshaw co-wrote an article titled, “A Future without the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)? And Navigating a Present in Which DOMA Unfortunately Still Exists,” which will appear in this year’s edition of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Immigration and Nationality Handbook. On Feb. 8, Titshaw spoke at the John Marshall Law Journal 2012 symposium on a panel discussing international human rights law and human rights enforcement in U.S. immigration law. On March 14, he joined Greg Nevins, the supervising senior staff attorney of the Southern Regional Office of Lambda Legal, in a training session for asylee and refugee service providers on the legal issues faced by LGBT asylees and refugees. The training was organized by the Heartland Alliance and Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta. On March 16, Titshaw participated in a panel on “Immigration and Individual Rights” as part of the St. John’s Law School of Law Symposium Border Patrols: The Legal, Racial, Social and Economic Implications of U.S. Immigration Policy. On March 27, he delivered, “A Comparative Introduction to the German Legal System: Impressions of German law, legal education and practice from an American perspective” at the University of Georgia School of Law. Titshaw was also a guest on the nationally syndicated radio show and podcast “Creating a Family” on March 28 where he spoke on the legal and immigration issues when going abroad for egg donation or surrogacy.

Mercer Law Professor Involved with Healthcare Litigation

Mercer Law Professor David Oedel continues to serve as a Deputy Special Attorney General for the State of Georgia, assisting in the litigation with 25 other states against the federal government on the constitutionality of two aspects of federal health care reform, the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion. Professor Oedel is in Washington, D.C. this week as the Supreme Court hears arguments in this case.

An Old Friend’s Tribute to Pat O’Neal

Patricia Beauchamp O'Neal, 83, passed away peacefully surrounded by her beloved gardens on Thursday, March 22, 2012. A memorial service was held at Martha Bowman Memorial United Methodist Church with the Rev. John Horton officiating. Pat was born April 11, 1928 to Fredrick and Constance Beauchamp in Decatur, GA. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Georgia in 1948 and her Law Degree from Walter F. George School of Law in 1951. After many years spent at home raising her children and creating beautiful gardens, she returned to the work force at the Walter F. George Law Library. After retiring, she began volunteering with Macon Outreach and Meals on Wheels. She was always ready for a few hands of bridge or a good game of Scrabble with her special friends. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Erin O'Neal and is survived by her three grateful children, Hank and June O'Neal, J. B. and Donna O'Neal and Keith and Patricia DeMarcus. She will be greatly missed by her grandchildren, Mary Palmer, Jennifer O'Neal, Keith, Lindsay and Elise DeMarcus; her six great grandchildren; her sister, Myra Collins and numerous nieces and nephews.