The Informant: June 8, 2015

Faculty Happenings

Associate Dean Greg Stein shares the latest faculty accolades, publications, presentations, and more

Professor Brad Areheart’s article, “Integrating the Internet” (coauthored with Michael Stein), has been published in the George Washington Law Review.

Professor Ben Barton has published a column, “The Fall and Rise of Lawyers,” at In the column, Barton discusses recent economic trends causing a contraction in the market for lawyers and law students, while also seeing reasons to be optimistic about the future.

Dean Doug Blaze has been awarded the 2015 Barristers’ Law and Liberty Award by the Knoxville Bar Association. The award is granted to a lawyer who is visible to the profession and local bar, works to advance understanding of the law in the greater community, sets an example of good citizenship, donates time for volunteer work, sets high professional standards, and achieves professional goals even in the face of adversity. In an article in the KBA’s official monthly magazine,DICTA, discussing the award, alumnus Buck Lewis (’80) described Blaze as “nothing less than a force of nature – a bundle of energy constantly pushing to promote the values of our profession.”

In addition, Blaze’s article, “Legal Education at Tennessee: Where We Are and Where We Are Going,” has been published in DICTA. The article discusses the dramatic changes confronting law schools in recent years and UT Law’s responses to these challenges. Blaze also introducesDICTA’s readership to incoming Dean Melanie Wilson.

Members of the Tennessee Bar Association Entity Study Committee, including Professor Joan Heminway, have joined in the views expressed by the committee’s chair, attorney Riney Green, in a Nashville Business Journal column entitled, “Rebuttal: New Corporate Law Does Not Make Directors Personally Liable for Company Debts.” The column responds to an earlier column in the same Journal that made a contrary assertion about 2015 amendments to Tennessee corporate law. The Chattanooga Times Free Press quoted Heminway on this subject and she also authored a blog post on the topic.

Professor Amy Hess spoke at a continuing legal education program sponsored by the Tennessee Bar Association. Her talk, “Unleashed: Hot Topics in Animal Law,” took place in Nashville in May. Hess has also been nominated to serve a three-year term on the Section Council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law. She will represent the Trust and Estate Division.

Adjunct Professor Stephen Ross Johnson (’02), who heads the College of Law’s Innocence and Wrongful Conviction Clinic, was featured in an article in the Knoxville News-Sentinel. The article, “UT Law Students Work with FBI, DOJ, on ‘Innocence’ Project,” discusses how cases based on an earlier method of hair analysis have been discredited with the advent of DNA testing. The story also notes the contributions of students Kaitlin Kazmier (’17) and Lauren Bellaflores (’17) and Legal Clinic Coordinator Lisa Holden.

Professor Don Leatherman spoke before the Bankruptcy and Workouts Committee at the meeting of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association. Leatherman was part of a panel that considered how the use of disregarded entities affected the treatment of discharged debt. The panel, “Hot Topics in COD Income,” took place in Washington, DC, in May.

An article by Professor Tom Plank has been cited in an opinion of the United States Supreme Court. The opinion, Wellness Int’l Network, Ltd. v. Sharif, addresses issues of bankruptcy jurisdiction. Plank’s article, “Why Bankruptcy Judges Need Not and Should Not Be Article III Judges,” 72 Am. Bankr. L. J. 567, 608 (1998), is cited in Justice Thomas’s dissent, at page 58 of the slip opinion.

Professor Glenn Reynolds appeared on the Fox Business Network’s “Kennedy” on May 27 and on “Stossel” on May 30. On both of these shows, Reynolds discussed his research into whether there is a higher education bubble.

Professor Dean Rivkin, attorney Brenda McGee, the UT Education Practicum and Administrative Support Assistant Sean Gunterreceived the Spirit of ADA Award in the category of “Advocates.” The award was presented on May 14 at a ceremony on Market Square hosted by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero and State Senator Becky Duncan Massey. The disABILITY Resource Center noted, “Professor Rivkin and Attorney McGee have proven themselves tireless champions for children’s rights. They have represented at-risk youth in court proceedings, successfully persuaded the Tennessee educational system to implement more rigorous screening for students in need of accommodations, and have focused national attention upon widespread injustices in prosecutions of truant children without legal representation.”

Associate Dean Greg Stein’s recent book, “Modern Chinese Real Estate Law: Property Development in an Evolving Legal System,” received a favorable review in the Law and Politics Book Review.

Professor Maurice Stucke—along with coauthor Professor Ariel Ezrachi of Oxford University—has written a blog post entitled, “From Smoke-Filled Rooms to Computer Algorithms—The Evolution of Collusion.” The post appears in the Columbia Law School Blue Sky Blog. Stucke’s latest paper, “Debunking the Myths Over Big Data and Antitrust,” coauthored with Allen P. Grunes, has been published in the May 2015 Competition Policy International Antitrust Chronicle. Stucke, along with his wife, Liz Stucke, rowed recently for Pembroke College in the Qualifiers for Oxford University’s Summer Eights rowing race. Both the men’s and women’s boats were within the top ten times and qualified for the finals.

Professor Paula Williams will give a presentation at this year’s Global Alliance for Justice (GAJE) Conference. The conference will be held later this summer in Eskisehir, Turkey.

Staff Happenings

The latest staff accolades, publications, presentations, and more

Cathrynn “Rynn” Dupes, advancement assistant in the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, was recently elected president of the League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County.

A Knoxville native, Dupes has been involved with the League of Women Voters since 2010, when she first joined the organization as editor of the monthly newsletter, The Knox Voter.

Dupes went on to serve as interim first vice president and later second vice president until May 2014. During her time on the executive board, Dupes also served as co-chair and chair of the Citizens Academy.

In the News

News from around the Web featuring UT Law alumni, students, staff, and faculty

Adjunct Professor Theodore Brown Jr. discusses amending the Constitution with League of Women Voters

Alum Kitty Conrad profiled by Vegas Magazine

Alum Lois Bunten Shults-Davis in running for Johnson City judge’s post

Alum Peter Ripley joins Nashville office of Bass Berry & Sims PLC

Alum Wanda Sobieski awarded Lizzie Crozier French Women’s Leadership Award

Alum William Allen, Ph.D. joins Cincinnati office of Thompson Hine LLP

Professor Dwight Aarons talks death penalty with WUOT-FM

Students’ work with FBI, DOJ featured by Knoxville News Sentinel

UT Legal Clinic featured by WBIR-TV for asylum work for local Syrian student


The latest news from around the College of Law

2015 Summer Faculty Forum Series

All forums this summer will begin at 12:15 p.m. and lunch will be served at each. We hope you will join us!

  • June 10:  Doug Blaze and Brad Morgan (Institute for Professional Leadership)
  • June 17: Stewart Harris
  • June 24:  Joan Heminway (Crowdfunding Intermediation)
  • July 1: Stephen Wilks
  • July 8:  Greg Stein
  • July 13:  Library (Library and Information Update)
  • July 15:  Brad Areheart
  • July 20: Judy Cornett
  • July 22:  Ben Barton
  • August 10:  Chris Bombardo and Scott Childs (Technology Update)

Open Call

A list of competitions, scholarships, internships, and other opportunities for eligible students

2016 Baker Donelson Diversity Scholarship

Baker Donelson is committed to fostering an inclusive environment where the individual differences among us are understood, respected, appreciated, and recognized as sources of strength of the firm. These qualities enrich the environment in which we work. With this in mind, Baker Donelson will again award three scholarships to diverse law students who will complete their first year of law school by June 2015.

Recipients will be awarded a six-week, salaried 2L Summer Associate position for the summer of 2016 in one of the firm’s offices.  Additionally, each recipient will be awarded $10,000 which will be paid prior to the student’s third year of law school to help defray the cost of law school tuition and related expenses. The application deadline is June 19, 2015.

Please visit the Diversity Scholarship’s page for complete eligibility criteria, instructions, and to apply. Please contact Helen Beasley with questions at or 205-244-3833.

Nominees Sought for $25k Award for Inspiring Law Professors

The Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust is seeking nominations for this year’s Beckman Award, which benefits educators who have inspired their former students to make a significant contribution to society.

Please visit the award’s page for additional guidelines. Preference will be given to educators who teach or who taught in the fields of psychology, medicine, or law. The nomination deadline is June 30, 2015.

U.S. Court of Federal Claims Bar Association Writing Competition

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims Bar Association is pleased to announce its annual Law Student Writing Competition for the 2014-15 academic year. The Court of Federal Claims Bar Association is a non-profit, voluntary bar association made up of nationwide members who practice law before of the United States Court of Federal Claims. The goal of this competition is to encourage law student scholarship on current topics that fall within the jurisprudence of the United States Court of Federal Claims.

All students enrolled in your school (including recent graduates during the 2014-15 academic year) are eligible to participate in this competition. The winning entry will receive a $2,000 cash prize and an opportunity to be published via the Association’s newsletter and website. Entries may address any topic that lies within the procedure, substance, or scope of the jurisdiction of the Unites States Court of Federal Claims.

The rules of the contest are posted on the Association’s website. The website also contains information about the three previous winning submissions. The entry deadline for submissions is July 17, 2015.