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.

Faculty Scholarship Reported in January and February 2012

Assistant Professor Jessica Feinberg was a panelist for a presentation, titled “Out in the Classroom and the Academy,” at the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C., in January.

Professor Patrick E. Longan, W. A. Bootle Chair in Ethics and Professionalism, presented “Teaching About Bar Discipline in a Required First-Year Course,” at the National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism in Palmetto in November.

Associate Professor David Ritchie presented at the Annual Association of American Law Schools Law and Interpretation panel in January. The panel, titled “Law as a Discourse Community,” was conceived of and developed by Professor Ritchie. He was the outgoing chair of the Law and Interpretation section. Carolina Academic Press will publish the presentations from the panel in book form and Professor Ritchie will edit the volume.

Professor Jack L. Sammons presented a paper, titled “Listening to Law,” at the Religious Legal Theory Conference at Pepperdine University in February. He will present a paper titled “The Origin of the Opinion as a Work of Art,” at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Law, Culture and Humanities in March. His article, “Confronting the Three Apprenticeships,” will be published as part of the book Character, Practical Wisdom, and Professional Formation Across the Disciplines, edited by Professor Mark Jones; Dr. Paul Lewis, associate professor in the College of Liberal Arts, and Dr. Kelly Reffitt, associate professor in the Tift College of Education; and published by Mercer University Press.

Associate Professor Scott Titshaw was quoted in the front-page article “U.S. Demands Proof of Parentage for IVF Babies” in Haaretz, Israel’s leading daily newspaper, as an authority regarding assisted reproductive technology and the transmission of U.S. Citizenship on Feb. 23, 2012.