A Farewell to the Virginia Law Weekly's 3Ls

Kim Hopkin ‘19
Probs Off Crying About Graduation

The Law Weekly has grown to mean so much more than a newspaper to me that it’s hard to believe it’s only been three years. When I first started coming to the weekly editorial meetings, I remember feeling like everyone possessed impossible levels of knowledge about the school, the law, and the world. Just sitting in the room gave me insight into SCOTUS personalities, NGSL gossip, and modern European politics. I’d like to say that now I’m the older, wiser 3L bestowing knowledge on 1Ls, but it’s obvious I learn just as much from them as I did from my 3Ls. (Well, I do explain all the latest Kardashian drama complete with hand-drawn genealogy charts, and I think they can’t live without it.)

But seriously, the people I’ve met through the paper have challenged my world vision, made me laugh until my sides hurt, and changed me into the woman I am today. I’ve had to say goodbye to two different graduating classes while working on the paper, but I’m just now realizing I have to say goodbye to three this year. I hope they know how much I cherish them. I came for the pizza; I stayed for the family. I hope you’ve had half the fun reading the paper that we’ve had making it.



Hopkin and Malkowski living their best 3Lol lives. Photo courtesy of Kim Hopkin ’19.

Hopkin and Malkowski living their best 3Lol lives. Photo courtesy of Kim Hopkin ’19.

Alison Malkowski ’19
First Cool Red Head You’ve Ever Met

I joined the Law Weekly in 2017 because Kim Hopkin asked me to carry some pizzas, but I stayed for so many reasons. In the time I’ve been on this paper, we’ve dealt not just with weekly deadlines and the eternal crisis of how many ANGs about the weather is too many, but with very real, very big questions. How do you respectfully document traumatizing historic events in your community? How do you navigate the preservation of public dialogue in the face of opinions with which you profoundly disagree? I will be the first to admit that I love jokes more than most things in this world, and I spend the majority of our Monday night editing meetings (well, really all of my time) interrupting other conversations to make them. But all jokes aside, some of the conversations we had as an Ed Board shaped not just my understanding of the Law School community, but my understanding of our obligation to communicate with each other in every community to which we belong.

I did a thing I shouldn’t have this semester and scheduled a class that meets some Monday nights. It’s an excellent class, but it means I’ve missed six of Law Weekly’s editing sessions, and will miss the final editing session during which this article is reviewed. Fortunately, I’m awful at being sentimental anyway. So without looking any of my fellow staff members in the eye in person, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who was a part of this paper with me. I learned so much from you. I carried the pizza the first time on a whim, but I came back every week for two more years. The thing speaks for itself.



Katherine Mann ’19
Committed Commuter

I’ve spent my three years of law school as a commuting mom, splitting time between law school and my family. A foot in both worlds has sometimes made me feel not completely a part of either. I’ve never been to Foxfield, I never made it to Barrister’s, and I’ve been to exactly one bar review. But the Law Weekly has been a reliable Monday night second family for me, and the comfort is not just because of pizza. It’s the grammar-loving, gossip-sharing, and law school-commiserating friends that have kept me coming back. Thank you all for making my time at UVA feel a little more complete.



Class of 2019 (and some of their JD/MBA classmates) featured left to right: Anand Jani ’20, Katherine Mann ’19, Benjamin Lucy ’20, Kim Hopkin ’19, Ali Zablocki ’19, Daniel Grill ’19, Jill Rubinger ’19, Jansen VanderMeulen ’19, “Big Mike” Michael McGuire ’19, Julie Dostal ’19. Photo credit Kolleen Gladden ’21.

Class of 2019 (and some of their JD/MBA classmates) featured left to right: Anand Jani ’20, Katherine Mann ’19, Benjamin Lucy ’20, Kim Hopkin ’19, Ali Zablocki ’19, Daniel Grill ’19, Jill Rubinger ’19, Jansen VanderMeulen ’19, “Big Mike” Michael McGuire ’19, Julie Dostal ’19. Photo credit Kolleen Gladden ’21.

Ali Zablocki ’19
Still Promoting Her Cat

As someone who avoids spending time at school whenever possible, Law Weekly has been *the* window into happenings at the Law School–good, bad, and ugly (yes, I’m referring to WB’s resident snakes). Did the amount of free pizza do good things for my health? Probably not. Is cartooning still on my list of career possibilities for if and when I flee the legal world? God no–although on the plus side, no longer do I wonder “what if” I had pursued art. But did I meet some truly excellent people? Absolutely. I’ll miss UVA for sure, but I’ll especially miss those magical Monday nights gossiping with ANG!



Rocky Zablocki
Law Weekly Mas-”cat”

As he moves onward and upward, Rocky–Everyone’s Favorite Pawhoo®–thanks Law Weekly for the very occasional opportunities it has provided to grow his celebrity and wishes the paper luck in identifying a replacement mascot. [Editor’s note: The Law Weekly still supports Gary the Toad above all other Paw Review contestants.]

Jansen VanderMeulen ’19 poses as his spirit animal with his latest shooting trophy. Photo courtesy of Jansen VanderMeulen.

Jansen VanderMeulen ’19 poses as his spirit animal with his latest shooting trophy. Photo courtesy of Jansen VanderMeulen.

Jansen VanderMeulen ‘19
Dairy Enthusiast

I’ll miss a lot of things about the Law Weekly, but none more than getting to turn my personal grievances and idiosyncratic opinions into decisions of the Court of Petty Appeals. In my three years at this Law School, I’ve authored or joined opinions against, among others: (1) people who sit at standing desks; (2) Professor Doran and his incorrect pronunciation of “brooch”; (3) gunners, like eighteen times; (4) PAs who tell comforting lies to 1Ls; (5) Career Services for serving Panera bagels instead of Bodo’s; (6) the 1L canon of famous cases; (7) Stephen T. Parr; (8) Paw Review, twice; and (9) 1Ls complaining about lost cookies and coffee. It’s been an illustrious, cathartic jurisprudential career, and I don’t know where else would have let me turn constant gripes into pieces read by at least six people.

We’ve won the ABA Law Student Division’s Law School Newspaper Award both years I’ve been on the paper, and just this week we filed our application to win again. I hope we do, and I hope students realize that this weekly newspaper thing isn’t real common and is kind of precious. You may not think the thumbs ups are funny, or you might only read the Faculty Quotes, but most law schools don’t have something like this. This is our seventy-first year; I’m sincerely hopeful the paper’s still going in 2048 for its hundredth anniversary. Maybe they’ll let me write a guest Court of Petty Appeals complaining about age or something.



Unidentified man (right) and Daniel Grill ’19 posing on Halloween 2018. Photo courtesy of Jansen VanderMeulen ’19.

Unidentified man (right) and Daniel Grill ’19 posing on Halloween 2018. Photo courtesy of Jansen VanderMeulen ’19.

Daniel Grill ’19
Makes a Mean Burger

I have really enjoyed being part of the Two-Time ABA Award Winning Law Weekly. While I only joined as a 3L, the Law Weekly crew has been very welcoming and I have enjoyed meeting up every Monday to edit the pieces for the week. Writing articles for the paper has also been quite rewarding. I have never been part of a school newspaper before, and I did not anticipate joining the newspaper when I came to law school, but I have enjoyed writing half-serious half-joking articles about things going on around the Law School and Charlottesville communities. I hope the 1Ls and 2Ls continue to have fun with the paper and build on the great tradition of student journalism at the Law School.



UVA Basketball Takes First National Title: Law Students Share Their Reactions

Sam Pickett ’21
News Editor

As the final performance of UVA’s 111th Libel Show wrapped up, the cast gathered in the auditorium to watch the final minutes of UVA’s game against Purdue on the projector. The game was doubly important for me. Like most law students, I had become an ardent UVA basketball fan throughout the team’s incredible run during the regular season and tournament. But Purdue was also my college rival, and I couldn’t stand the thought of losing to a team I had grown up hating. As Mamadi Diakite hit the game tying shot to send it into overtime, the entire auditorium exploded into cheers—and thus began Virginia’s three game journey to cause heart problems for as many of their fans as possible. While it may have been particularly sweet for me to watch Kyle Guy, a fellow Hoosier who chose to go to Virginia, show the world what Indiana basketball can do, UVA’s wild run inspired a wide range of reactions from around the Law School.


There were those who couldn’t contain their excitement (or who suffered from said excitement):


“I thought I was gonna die in the crowd and I lost a shoe” – Drew Calamaro ’21


“We’re going streaking!” – Anonymous 1L


“I was too busy to watch the game and so worked until a few minutes before midnight. I couldn't hear any excitement all evening so I assumed we were losing until, just as I lay down, when everyone in Charlottesville started yelling and shooting fireworks so loudly they sent a police helicopter to hover over my apartment and its open windows. When I finally got to sleep in the wee hours I had a pretty good idea that we'd pulled off a come-from-behind win.”—David Ranzini ’20


And some people got a little too excited…:


Sources informed the Law Weekly that a girl got so overwhelmed by the excitement that she bit a law student. Stuck in the crowd and unable to move, a desperate student decided to chomp down on a nearby elbow—which earned her an involuntary elbow to the face. That’s right folks, this is your news editor delivering hard hitting stuff.


There were also double Hoos who had the pleasure of reliving their undergrad days and realizing their long-held dreams of winning a national championship:


“After UVA’s utterly heartbreaking loss to Syracuse in 2016, Tony Bennett told his team and the media: ‘Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.’  Well, joy has finally come to so many of us.  Watching this team finally cut down the nets was the single greatest sports moment of my entire life, and I am so proud of Coach Bennett and this team for finally bringing home a championship to Charlottesville. Wahoowa.” – Teddy Kristek ’19


“Watching it as a Double Hoo at JPJ was super special. The atmosphere was electrifying and it was emotional to finally see the team win the national championship after the struggles of last year and the disappointing performances in the previous tournaments under Coach Tony Bennett. I’m so proud to see this team prove everyone wrong and show their resilience on the national stage.” – Caline Shamiyeh ’21


“As a double hoo and big UVA basketball fan I had been contemplating going to Minneapolis for the game, but decided in the end I wanted to be in Charlottesville to celebrate at home. It was so worth it! Cheering for UVA, especially as Kyle Guy was making those three throws in the Final Four game, surrounded by my classmates is truly a memory I will never forget from my time in law school…I have been a huge UVA basketball fan for years, so I loved seeing so many of my friends also cheering them on, wearing the gear. I think at a lot of grad school people find themselves less invested in the larger school community compared to their undergrad, so seeing how much interest there was in watching UVA win the national championship was incredibly special. I hadn’t realized until I got home and was watching highlights [that] I never even saw the ending of the game. Once it was clear UVA had won, Boylan was already celebrating and cheering and living it up!” Jasmine Lee ’20


And there were those who may have rooted against the Hoos, but were going to end up winners either way:


“I attend Texas Tech for undergrad, so I was actively rooting against UVA in the national championship. Although I’m disappointed that my Red Raiders fell just short, I’m glad that my fellow Hoos got to celebrate the big win. Still, I watched in anguish as we lost the game as a bunch of rowdy UVA fans were going crazy about the win.” – Arjun Ogale ’21


A special shout out must also be given to our school’s incredible SBA. UVA’s run to the title happened remarkably quickly and SBA reacted accordingly, delivering an incredible experience to the school’s grateful students. SBA President Jasmine Lee was eager to give credit where it was due. “I cannot sing the praises of the executive team and all of SBA enough over their help with executing these two events. Everything happened so fast and we hadn’t done anything like this before, but everyone stepped up to make both watch parties a success. Our hope is that we created an unforgettable memory for the school.”


All in all, it was an amazing tournament run for the Cavaliers and a fitting end for a team that just last year became the first #1 seed in the NCAA tournament history to lose in the first round. Following that infamous game, Kyle Guy changed his Twitter avi to a picture of him bent over, head down in defeat after the loss. After leading his team to a redeeming run, I think it’s safe to say that Guy can change his picture.

A group of Hoos join in the Saturday celebration for the men’s basketball team. Photo credit Kolleen Gladden ’21.

A group of Hoos join in the Saturday celebration for the men’s basketball team. Photo credit Kolleen Gladden ’21.

Law Weekly photographer Kolleen Gladden ’21 captures the crowd present at the Scott Stadium celebration.

Law Weekly photographer Kolleen Gladden ’21 captures the crowd present at the Scott Stadium celebration.

Court of Petty Appeals: In re Game of Thrones

In re Game of Thrones

323 U.Va 9 (2019)


Elicegui, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Shmazzle, VanderMeulen, Ranzini, Luk, and Schmid, JJ. join.


Justice Elicegui delivered the opinion of the Court.


*** Warning: Game of Thrones spoilers potentially ahead; insider references certainly ahead. Read at your own risk. This disclosure insulates the Court from liability should anyone be unhappy with a spoiler.


Plaintiff Hannah Dryer ’20 brings suit against Breanna Green ’20. Dryer alleges that Green breached an implied-in-fact contract by asking too many questions and being a bad guest during a Game of Thrones watch party. After careful consideration, the Court agrees that Green breached the contract. The Court awards compensatory damages and gives an injunction outlining the etiquette of television watching.




Game of Thrones has been called the “last great water-cooler fodder.” I mean, really, who can remember the last time we were all so invested in a show and had to wait a whole week to find out what happened in the next episode? And we got to talk it over with each other while we waited? Given the magnitude of such a cultural phenomenon, it is only natural that several claims would arise out of such a show. For the sake of efficiency, the Court has consolidated two Game of Thrones appeals and will dispense with both at once.


The plaintiff, Hannah Dryer ‘20, brings suit against Breanna Green ’20, seeking both compensatory and injunctive relief. Dryer alleges that Green breached an implied-in-fact contract to be a good Game of Thrones watching buddy, causing her severe emotional distress and disappointment. Dryer wants to make Green pay her for this harm. She also seeks an injunction to ban Green from her apartment for future episodes, to prevent harm from occurring again.


On Friday, April 12, Dryer woke up around 5 a.m. because she was too excited to sleep. Three days until Game of Thrones! She had been waiting 592 days for this moment and there was so much to be done before her watch party on Sunday night. Dryer began transforming her Pavilion one-bedroom apartment into Winterfell to really set the scene. Dryer spent the weekend decorating and cooking the perfect Game of Thrones-themed snacks—including greyscale cream puffs—printing out Game of Thrones brackets, making her selections, and managing the fantasy league as League Commissioner.


After days of prepping, the day finally arrived. Dryer welcomed thirteen of her sectionmates into Winterfell/her Pavilion apartment. Dryer and her sectionmates snacked and made their fantasy selections until 8:58 rolled around. At 8:58, Dryer refreshed HBO Go and started screaming. Season 8 was finally available! At that same moment, George Woods ’21, looked up from his phone, where he was reading the section GroupMe. “Breanna Green just texted that she’ll be a little late, but she’s on her way from Ivy. She asked if we could wait to start.” “Umm, sure, I guess,” Dryer responded, looking crestfallen. “Tell her to hurry, though. She only gets a three-minute grace period before we start.”


Six minutes later, Green had still not arrived. Dryer made the executive decision to begin the episode—she had already given Green double the grace period she had originally promised, and people really need to show more respect around such a sacred event. Nine minutes after that, Green rushed into the room. “What’d I miss, guys? Omg is Jon about to ride a dragon? Has Cersi killed anyone yet? Why does Bran look so angsty?”


Dryer gritted her teeth but didn’t say anything. Green proceeded to ask fifteen questions in a row,[1] spilled cream puff crumbs on Dryer’s carpet, and started talking about her theories of the identity of the Prince who was Promised. Finally, Dryer had enough: “Breanna, I can’t take this anymore! Either shut up, and clean up your mess, or get out of my apartment!” Green refused to leave, and Dryer got more and more angry throughout the episode as Green kept ruining it. Finally, the end credits rolled and everyone left.


Dryer brought suit, and the lower court found against her. Under the doctrine of formal invites, the lower court found that Dryer invited her whole section to her watch party and did not put any conditions on the invite. Therefore, Green had a right to be at the party and that right continues through future episodes. Dryer appealed, and we granted certiorari to adjudicate proper Game of Thrones watching behavior.




After careful analysis, we conclude that Dryer had an implied in-fact-contract that Green breached with her conduct. Dryer extended an invitation to her section to “watch” Game of Thrones at her apartment. The word “watch” implies paying attention, listening, and taking in content as it is shown on the screen. “Watch” does not imply asking questions, talking, or sharing theories—particularly in a show that does not have commercial breaks.


We can only conclude that by extending an invitation only to “watch” and not “discuss” Game of Thrones, Dryer intended for her friends to observe the show without commentary. As courts often say in a fancy Latin phrase that this Court can’t remember, the inclusion of one implies exclusions of others. If Dryer wanted annoying commentary, she would have asked for it. Green accepted Dryer’s contract by coming to the watch party. The mutual promises provided by both (a place to watch Game of Thrones; friends to watch it with) constituted the consideration for the contract.


Because Green breached a contract, this Court must give a remedy. As law school taught us, rights are useless if no one is around to enforce them. Under considerations of fairness and mercy, this Court will award Dryer will damages to make up for the harm she has suffered. Green needs to make Dryer a batch of cookies and apologize. However, under the doctrine of mercy that Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regent of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons, doesn’t really seem to get, this Court will not award an injunction banning Green from Dryer’s watch party. Green deserves a second chance. Besides, Dryer already extended the invitation, so no takesie-backsies. Instead, this Court will award an injunction with conditions for next watch party: Green will either arrive on time or not ask what she missed; Green will withhold sharing all theories until after the show; and Green will tweet any questions she has instead of asking them. It is better to scream into the void than annoy the people around you.


It is so ordered.

[1] Just ask John Legend how annoying that is. He gently encouraged the Lady of the Manor, Chrissy Teigen, to not watch Game of Thrones because she asks too many questions.

Hot Bench: Alison Malkowski '19

Alison Malkwoski ‘19

Alison 2.jpg

Have you ever had a nickname?
My sister calls me AlPal. Other people have called me Malkovich, Squeaks, Al, Lindsay, and Person. At this point, I just think no one knows my name.

Where did you grow up?
Funfax, Virginia.

What is your favorite word?

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
My family ordered from my favorite Peruvian chicken place on the day I had my wisdom teeth removed. I was so upset, I ate half a chicken with just my front teeth out of spite. I don’t know that it was my best meal but it was certainly memorable.

If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why?
Both of the Lindsay Lohans in The Parent Trap. I’m worried about her. On a more serious note, probably Haley Fitzgerald (dancer) or Daniel Sloss (comedian).

What’s your favorite hobby to avoid the stress of law school?
British panel shows, baking, and dancing.

Do you have a favorite dance class to take?
Candace Brown at Broadway Dance Center, Bo Park at Peridance, or any class at House of Movement. Also, Chris Martin (of Choreo Cookies, not Coldplay) came to UVA to give a workshop last year. It was the fourth class in a row on one day and the Saturday before final exams, but I stayed even though I was about to pass out because I adore him. I did so terribly. It was still amazing.

What is your favorite job that you’ve had as a dancer?
I was hired for this music video that filmed at an abandoned mansion in Yonkers. It was a huge production and the most professional set I’ve ever been on. The singer kept having meltdowns because he couldn’t do the dance moves that no one asked him to do.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?
If it’s Sunday, I had three breakfasts because breakfast is the best. If it’s Wednesday, I guarantee that I did not have time before my 10 a.m. class. If you are in my 10 a.m. class, you can probably tell that this is true.

Blueberries or strawberries?
I ordered a Magic Bullet blender with my bar prep gift card and I can’t stop making smoothies. I will not choose.

What is the best concert you have ever been to?
Christine Malkowski’s marching band competition in 2002. It was during the D.C. sniper era, so the competition was held indoors on a basketball court. It was chaos and I loved it.

What’s the worst sleep schedule you’ve ever had?
I was badly nocturnal in undergrad. I had a 4 a.m. “regular” omelette order with the breakfast staff and friends kept posting photos of me asleep on public couches.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with it?
Tell no one.

What advice would you have given 1L you?
Stop drawing cartoons in the margins of your casebook because you will be too embarrassed to return the rental at the end of the semester.

What will you miss most about Charlottesville?
The trees. Also, Duck Donuts. Also, a lot of people.



Letters to the Editor: 4-17-2019

Last week the Law Weekly published “Impeachment Stories: Congressman Gerald Ford’s Attempt to Remove Justice William O. Douglas” written by Will Fassuliotis ’19. This Letter to the Editor was submitted in response to that article.

Professor George Rutherglen 

It was with some amusement and more distress that I read the column by Will Fassuliotis published by the Law Weekly on April 10.  It concerns Justice Douglas, “a rank partisan” according to your columnist.  He should be careful, since his rank partisanship is on open display in his column, not to mention his ignorance of constitutional law.  Perhaps “Wild Will,” to paraphrase the title of a biography of Justice Douglas, can tell me how Douglas’s best-known opinion, Griswold v. Connecticut, recognizing a right to contraception and providing the foundation for the modern law of reproductive and sexual freedom, was an exercise in “rank partisanship.”  Very few states, and certainly not Connecticut, favored reproductive rights in 1965 when the decision was handed down.  Wild Will’s rank partisanship seems to lie with the Christian, Trump, and Republican right at this moment, not the historical context in which Justice Douglas acted.  Beware of whom you accuse, Wild Will, because those accusations fit you all too well.

I am, I admit, a former law clerk of Justice Douglas, and Justice Stewart, and Justice Stevens.  You might count me biased in this respect, but you have to understand that Justice Douglas did not curry favor with his clerks. On the contrary, he criticized all of us in the most unsparing terms. And it was for failure to respect individual rights, not for failure to toe the line of whatever party might be in power. Since Wild Will tells stories on Justice Stevens’s swearing-in ceremony and Justice Douglas’s encounter with Justice Whittaker, I have to disagree.  Justice Douglas had suffered from the massive stroke that would eventually kill him when Justice Stevens was sworn in.  I know, because I was there.  I would not, myself, expect a dying man to offer comments with the most equanimity at the end of his career and of his life.  In any event, Justice Stevens never mentioned any such conversation between Justice Douglas and President Ford to me, and I have had several occasions to talk with him about Douglas’s work on the Court just before he retired. As for Justice Whittaker, he was notoriously indecisive, and as I was told by Justice Stewart, who was given Whittaker’s copies of U.S. Reports for his chambers, Whittaker had underlined every line in those volumes.  How would you like to purchase a used casebook with underlining on every line? I take this fact to confirm Whittaker’s indecisiveness and the need he felt to accept help from Douglas.

Wild Will has made Justice Douglas into an anti-Christ of what must be resisted in American law today.  A look back at what Douglas stood for, what he wrote, and which of his opinions have become foundational will lead any unbiased reader to the opposite conclusion. He set the terms for debate over constitutional issues today, from sexual rights to the commerce clause. If that’s “rank partisanship,” I’m sure Wild Will wants the justices he favors to accomplish as much.

Be careful what you criticize, Wild Will, because you seem to be criticizing yourself.


While the Law Weekly normally does not release Letters to the Editor in advance of publication, the Law Weekly wanted to offer the graduating 3L a chance to respond as this is the Law Weekly’s last issue of the semester. His response follows .

Will Fassuliotis ’19
a.k.a. “Wild Will”

Justice Douglas is a controversial figure. Just as with the other controversial figures I have written about, I tried to cover him with a respectful tone but, when necessary, a critical one as well. Sometimes the words do not come across exactly as I intended. Professor Rutherglen takes objection to my use of “rank partisan” to describe Douglas. One thing I admire about Justice Douglas was his one-man crusade to end the Vietnam War. He spoke out in public and wrote article after article against it. His efforts culminated in Holtzman v. Schlesinger[1] where, acting on his own capacity as a Circuit Justice, he issued an injunction on the United States Airforce from bombing targets in Cambodia. Douglas, despite being an early supporter of intervention in Vietnam, rightly came to believe that the Vietnam War was a bloody waste of American lives. Douglas did not complain behind the scenes, but did everything in his power to end the war, up to and including this unprecedented judicial interference in the President’s war powers.

Soon after he issued the injunction, the other eight Justices swiftly overruled him and his injunction, ending any judicial oversight of the Vietnam War. In a very narrow way, Professor Rutherglen is correct that “partisan” was a poor choice of words; Justices Brennan and Marshall, also Democrats, also judicial liberals, did not join him. But this episode undoubtedly shows that Douglas was an ideologue (perhaps a “rank ideologue”), willing to use any method to get the end result he desired, whether the Constitution or law plausibly permitted that result. Again, I found that admirable in this context. Morally, it was the right thing to do. But was it the right thing for an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to do? Justice Douglas rarely let such considerations constrain him.  

I strive to present a balanced view of the Justices and events I write about. Not a single Justice to ever sit on the Court—from Chief Justice John Jay to Justice Brett Kavanaugh—is without vice or virtue. One person’s landmark case is another person’s abdication of the Constitution. The very cases that Professor Rutherglen holds up as exemplary were in no small measure why Representative Ford and other conservatives wanted to oust Douglas. To not include that is to do a disservice to those who do not know the context of the time. Like any writer, I am limited to the historical record as I find it. As I tried to stress, Douglas, more so than any other modern Justice, has a mythology surrounding him. Piercing the myth is complicated.

At the beginning of the school year, I said to the Law Weekly Editor-in-Chief, “I have a lot of stories I want to tell and no one to tell them to. Can I write something for the paper?” I hope they have been informative. But more so, as with any piece of history, I hope you, the reader, have read my work with a skeptical eye, and were encouraged to find out more for yourself.



[1] 414 U.S. 1316 (1973).

Court of Petty Appeals: Class of 2019 v. 2016- 2017 Peer Advisors

Class of 2019 v. 2016‒2017 Peer Advisors

323 U.Va. 1 (2019)

VanderMeulen, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Hopkin, Dostal, Malkowski, and Mann, JJ., joined. Malkowski, J., filed a concurring opinion.

Justice VanderMeulen delivered the opinion of the Court.

The question before the Court is whether there may be liability for Peer Advisors accused of defrauding the 1Ls entrusted to their care by telling them fanciful lies about law school. The plaintiffs, a class of graduating 3Ls, filed suit against their now-graduated former Peer Advisors seeking damages for fraud. The lower court dismissed the plaintiffs’ cause of action citing lack of jurisdiction. We now reverse.


For as long as anyone[1] can remember, each class of 1Ls has been assigned a group of Peer Advisors (PAs) to mentor them, guide them, and provide them unheeded advice about the dangers of dating your sectionmates. These PAs are said to bring varying levels of comfort to their child-like mentees: Some students call their PAs “lifelong mentors and real-life friends” while others call them “Who?”

But it is not the merits of the PA system before the Court. At issue is the set of soothing statements programmatically made by PAs to frightened 1Ls throughout the duration of the PA–1L relationship. Plaintiffs, a class of graduating members of the Class of 2019, allege that these statements were fraudulent and that they suffered grave psychic and pecuniary damage as a result of their reliance on the statements. The lower court, Judge Davies presiding, dismissed plaintiffs’ claim for lack of personal jurisdiction, arguing that, because defendant former PAs no longer attend UVA Law, they cannot be held liable for any damages they might have inflicted on plaintiffs, citing our seminal holding in SBA v. Mahoney, 220 U.Va. 17, 23 (2016) for that proposition. (“Dean Mahoney doesn’t go here anymore, kids, stop trying to sue him for your student loans.”) Plaintiffs filed a timely appeal to this Court.


We can dispense with the jurisdictional issue with ease: First of all, as Petty Rule of Civil Procedure 1 states succinctly, “We do what we want.” Implicit in this rule is the power to do whatever we want. And besides, we’ve often held that our jurisdiction extends to anything having only the most tenuous connection with the Law School. See NGSL v. Burly Alumni, 43 U.Va. 12 (2003) (former bros are under our petty jurisdiction); Fuqua v. Chipotle, 254 U.Va. 110 (2009) (so is the Chipotle burrito artist who screwed up the SBA President’s burrito); Pittman v. Fillkie Warr, 907 U.Va. 670 (2019) (and the co-chair of a major New York law firm who once recruited a UVA Law student). Our jurisdiction is, in short, expansive and ever-growing. We have no problem asserting personal jurisdiction over a couple of recently graduated alums who lived, studied, and made fools out of themselves on the Corner here in Charlottesville.

So now that the lower court is reversed, you’d think we’d remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion, right? WRONG. We’re here, the case is ripe, and I’m putting off weeks of Caleb Nelson’s reading at the moment, so we might as well knock this baby out.


Let’s talk about these lies. Plaintiffs list four in particular, covering a wide spectrum of Law School life:

(1)  “Don’t worry—2L is way less busy than 1L, and 3Ls don’t do any work at all!”;

(2)  “No one notices if you botch a cold call”;

(3)  “Journals totally aren’t a pointless sham—you can learn a lot if you put in the effort!”; and

(4)  “You can definitely land in New York or D.C.

Unlike complicated common-law fraud that the Court doesn’t remember learning, Petty Law fraud is straightforward: If you lie, someone reasonably believes it, and suffers because she believes it, that’s fraud. The reasonable belief part is key. See, e.g., Smith v. Hulvey, 242 U.Va. 990 (2010) (“There can be no recovery where only a complete moron would believe he ‘can graduate debt-free if [he] put [his] mind to it.’”).

There can be no doubt that at least some credulous 1Ls bought the above-listed statements—the poor dears. Plaintiffs allege they not only believed the trusted mentor-figures who brought beer to their pregames, but relied on the PAs’ statements to their detriment—a necessary element of Petty Law fraud. See Class of 2017 v. Glendon, 847 U.Va. 344 (2017) (“You said there’d be Duck Donuts, Glendon, we skipped lunch!”) Now, they claim, they’ve been injured in various ways: a firm job in Colby, Kansas; a miserable position on a journal managing board; the savage laughter of unsympathetic sectionmates; and a permanent eye-twitch from twice-weekly all-nighters during 2L. These injuries are cognizable and sufficient to constitute damages: The Court collectively shudders imagining living in the hellscape of western Kansas.


In their defense, defendants at least spare the Court the farcical claim that the contested statements are true. They instead argue that the lies were a sort of necessary, coddling encouragement, like telling a child he can be an astronaut if he wants to be. Most children, of course, cannot be astronauts, due either to their complete lack of competence in physics or the gap in their resumes where their naval aviation career ought to be. Similarly, defendants claim, of course not every 1L can land in New York or D.C., but 1Ls’ believing they can is critical to maintaining their hopeful spirits. Likewise, if 1Ls knew people would remember in stunning detail every excruciating moment of their hideous attempts to explain easements or substantive due process, they wouldn’t even have the courage to show up to class.

When I started this opinion, I thought I was going to agree with plaintiffs, but honestly I’ve kind of convinced myself here. How would anyone make it through 1L if they knew the truth that 2L was just as excruciating? Why would anyone bother learning the Rule Against Perpetuities if they knew their efforts would be in vain—that they were bound for Nowheresville or worse: Cleveland. In light of this change of heart, we’ve decided to reverse Judge Davies (for old time’s sake) and remand for trial on the main factual issue in this case—what was the biggest waste of 3Ls’ time in law school: journal tryouts or sucking up at firm receptions?

The Court of Petty Claims is REVERSED and the case is REMANDED for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

It is so ordered.

Justice Malkowski, concurring.

PAs, you say? I ran into a fellow who purported to be my PA at Libel rehearsals my 1L spring. I’d never seen him before. He felt bad for failing me and said I didn’t have to refill his beer. I proceeded to refill his beer. This concludes the history of my PAs and me.

[1] Except Professor Bonnie, probably.

Hot Bench: Nathan Young '21

Nathan Young ‘21

Nathan Young.jpeg

Where did you grow up?

Whidbey Island, WA.

What were you doing before coming to UVA Law? 

I was a strategic analyst at a large insurance company in Seattle for four years.

Why did you decide to come out to Virginia for law school?

I have a passion for the intersection of business, law, and policy and really wanted to be near the D.C. area at a place that has both a great law school and a great business school.

When was your son born? (congratulations to Grace and yourself by the way!)

April 1! I thought my wife was pulling a cruel April Fools’ prank when she called to say she was going into labor.

What’s his name?

Colby Jefferson Young (no, his middle name has nothing to do with being born in Charlottesville, but we love the coincidence).

Any sports teams you want him to be a fan of?

Mariners, Seahawks, UVA, but most importantly, Gonzaga basketball.

What are your favorite ways to escape the stress of law school? 

Watching or playing almost any sport. But nothing beats just having a relaxing night at the house with my wife and our new addition to the family.

Where is your favorite place to vacation? 


What did you eat for breakfast? 

French toast, eggs, and sausage—a major departure from my usual granola bar.

How do you take your coffee?

I drink an unhealthy amount of mochas.

What profession, outside of law, would you like to attempt?

I would love to spend some time working more directly in the politics/policy realm much later in my career.

What profession would you not like to try?

The world will be better off if I don’t try to pursue a singing career.

What’s something your classmates would be surprised to learn about you?

I’m obsessed with U.S. Presidential trivia. Exhibit A: I named my dogs Rufferford (Ruff) and Millard (Millie) after the 19th and 13th presidents, respectively.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

At the risk of sounding super cliché, I can’t imagine a better gift than the birth of my son last week. Other than that, for Christmas a few years ago, my dad planned a fantastic trip for the two of us to see the Mariners Spring Training in Peoria, AZ.

What advice would you give to 1Ls?
I’ll let you know if I get through the next month… 




Professor Sánchez Talks International Human Rights Law with the Law Weekly

Sam Pickett ‘21
News Editor

            What Camilo Sánchez doesn’t know, and what he will uncomfortably know as soon as this is published, is that my goal since coming to law school has been to make him my best friend. As an aspiring international human rights lawyer, I greatly admire Professor Sánchez’s impressive credentials and commitment to the development of human rights in the Americas and, more specifically, in his home country of Colombia. Since his arrival in the fall, however, I have been even more impressed by his accessibility and commitment to the community. He often speaks at human rights law events and attends them even more frequently; he sponsors ’s new Spanish-language club[1]; he also fully committed to the role of inflatable-guitar holding rock star in this year’s 111th Libel Show. As a result, I was more than happy to sit down with Professor Sánchez and four other Law Weekly students to (1) show them how cool he is and (2) to learn more about how cool he is.

Professor Camilo Sánchez graciously met for lunch with Law Weekly staff, including his biggest fan Sam Pickett ’21. Photo credit UVA Law.

Professor Camilo Sánchez graciously met for lunch with Law Weekly staff, including his biggest fan Sam Pickett ’21. Photo credit UVA Law.

            Professor Sánchez’s career has been motivated by a passion for learning and a restlessness that led him from Colombia to the United States and back. His plan for the first twenty years of his career was to explore the world and try as many jobs as he could to find what he loved to do, and then to spend the next twenty years focusing on that. While Sánchez’s career hasn’t been quite this frenetic, he has rejected complacency and embraced new experiences and new people. He began his career in human rights as part of the Colombian Commission of Jurists working with the families of those who had been disappeared during the Colombian conflict between the government and the FARC. [2] Soon after graduation, however, he received a scholarship to work at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights in Washington, D.C. While the scholarship lasted for only a year, Sánchez continued to work there afterwards until he left briefly to get his LL.M. in International Legal Studies from Harvard.

            Even though he returned to the Commission afterwards, he grew restless and sought a change. This time, he moved back to Colombia to work at the Center for the Study of Law, Justice, and Society (Dejusticia), where he spent time grappling with the complex issue of transitional justice and negotiating a political solution to the Colombian armed conflict. In fact, Dejusticia contributed to the peace negotiations by acting as an intermediary between the two sides and dealing with controversial problems—like balancing the ideals of international law with the practical necessities of ending a civil conflict, such as providing amnesty for rebel soldiers. And yet somehow, throughout all of this, Professor Sánchez had time to get his Ph.D. and write his dissertation on property law in societies in conflict and post-conflict.

            As Colombia began to maneuver through the difficulties of a post-conflict society, Professor Sánchez decided that it was time for him to continue on a new journey, one that would allow him to continue growing as a person and an academic. And thus he arrived at UVA. Here, he has come to appreciate the additional time and student interaction that has come with teaching. He values the opportunity to better reflect on what he is teaching, which he has found to be a never-ending learning process that gives him the opportunity to interact with new people and new subject areas all the time. His reflective approach is evident in how he structures his International Human Rights Law clinic. Students do not just work with international human rights law—they investigate how the law intersects with diverse subject matters and they work to inject the knowledge, sensibilities, and principles of human rights into a wide range of the world’s industries. The clinic members also work to significantly impact human rights by promoting the development of international norms, and this week they will be traveling to Geneva for a convention of the UN Committee on Migrant Workers.

            If you want to take a class with the man Amanda Yale (called “the nicest person I’ve ever met”) and who everyone agreed was a fantastic choice for lunch, then I would encourage you to take a class with Professor Sánchez. Or to go see a talk by him. Or to go to any human rights event and talk with him. Or you can be like me and just walk into his office and ask him to help you start your career in international human rights.[3] He certainly has the experience to do so.



[1] E-mail Jen Kelso at jlk8uc@virginia.edu to learn more!

[2] The conflict lasted over half a century and has resulted in the disappearance of more than 100,000 people. This is more than the combined number of disappeared persons in Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.

[3] And he has! This summer I’ll be working at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in large part because of his help!

Hot Bench: Michael McGuire '19

Michael McGuire ‘19

Michael McGuire.jpg

Where did you grow up? 
In Maryland, on both sides of the bay.

What were you doing before coming to UVA Law? 
I worked in a language school in Seville, Spain. I also did freelance marketing and design work.

What is your favorite English word?
Nacreous or rhythm—for the way they look in print and not because either is particularly useful.

What is your favorite Spanish word? 
Azahar. [Editor’s Note: The Editorial Board were curious what this meant, and found that it meant “orange blossom” for any of our curious readers who are too lazy to Google.]

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
Almost any tapeo in Spain or Thanksgiving dinner with my family.

What are your favorite ways to escape the stress of law school? 
Cooking for friends. Playing piano and singing. I also buy myself a new (old) book or album every other month.

Where is your favorite place to vacation? 
Bald Head Island, N.C., book in hand and phone at home.

What did you eat for breakfast? 
I have a bowl of cereal every morning.

How do you take your coffee?
I don’t.

What sound or noise do you love?
Birdsong. My grandmother’s hello.

What sound or noise do you hate?
Alarms of all kinds. Silence during a cold call.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Black-and-white photographs, old maps and floorplans, Martha Stewart manuals.

What turns you off?
Ignorance and a lack of empathy.

What profession, outside of law, would you like to attempt?
Interpreter or translator. Travel writer.

What profession would you not like to try?
Sports announcer.

What’s something your classmates would be surprised to learn about you?
I won an online “Un-Break My Heart” cover contest one summer during undergrad. [Seven-time Grammy winner] Toni Braxton selected the winner. When she called me (!), we chatted for a half-hour about her music, Spanish and a mutual love of Barbra Streisand.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? 
I’d divide my time between a farmhouse in Maryland and an apartment in Seville.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with it?
Invest, tithe and keep working. See also dream homes, supra.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
My first big-kid bike. Nothing beats freedom.

What advice would you give to 1L Michael?
Hard work will pay off, but get out of the library more often.

Looking Back: The Libel Show

Libel is here! Libel is here! Extra, extra read all about the Libels of the past!

Law Weekly staff


“In fact, I’d go so far as to say that every student at U.Va. Law should be required to attend at least one Libel Show during their tenure here… The most valuable thing about the Libel Show is that it allows you to think, if only for a few hours, that law school is not the end of everything that is good in life.” Dan Gocek ’11, “Libel Shows Its Show,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, March 26, 2010.

PSA to all those gunners out there that think they’re “getting ahead” of their classmates by skipping one of the best events during their law school career. Inside jokes will be made Thursday-Saturday, and if you don’t come, you risk being on the outside forever.


A production number on “The Wizard of Oz” featured Bernie Feord ‘88 as the Tin Man (Professor Charles Goetz); Fred Wagner ‘87 as the Scarecrow (Professor Michael Dooley); Mikki Graves (now Wasler) ‘88 as Dorothy (Professor Mildred Robinson); Mike Callahan ‘88 as the Lion (Professor Cal Woodard). Photo Credit law.virginia.edu.

A production number on “The Wizard of Oz” featured Bernie Feord ‘88 as the Tin Man (Professor Charles Goetz); Fred Wagner ‘87 as the Scarecrow (Professor Michael Dooley); Mikki Graves (now Wasler) ‘88 as Dorothy (Professor Mildred Robinson); Mike Callahan ‘88 as the Lion (Professor Cal Woodard). Photo Credit law.virginia.edu.

“This year’s [professor] performance consisted of three songs, one focusing on the ban of laptops in classrooms from the professors’ point of view, on[e] about the joys of being a law student, and a chilling tune entitled ‘The Economy, It is a Tankin’.’” Jessica Brown ’10, “Libel Show Delivers Laughs,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, March 27, 2009.

A joke about the economy in 2009? Law School professors are savage. I’m glad (most of) the professors have finally accepted they lost the war against laptops—my improved Tetris skills thank them.


“While most were pondering why the circus had overrun the Law School yet again, we pondered a different question: Who were these people? Among the familiar faces on stage stood at least a half-dozen people we had never seen before. Perhaps, we wondered in our state of innocence, alumni participated in these affairs. Skimming the program as quickly as possible, the true identities of these purported interlopers became apparent. They were second semester 3Ls!” Law Weekly Staff, “Libel Show Liable for Nothing,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, March 30, 2007.

The Law Weekly staff would like to encourage all of this year’s 3Ls to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors and stop coming to class. Stop trying to break the curve and enjoy your last chance at extended vacation before moving into the top floor of a NYC skyscraper.


“The Old School adaptation was not as well-integrated into the rest of the show as last year’s Office Space-inspired video (flashback: Professors Jim Ryan, John Harrison, and Anup Malani take a baseball bat to a wireless card). Still, the professors relished their roles, with a standout performance by Professor Cohen that is best summarized in two words: ribbon dance.” Irene Noguchi ’06, “Good Game, Larry & Junta,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, April 1, 2005.

Is the past predicting the future? Will President Ryan make an appearance in this year’s show? Will Professor Cohen bring the ‘ribbon dance’ back? Only time will tell.

A Coarse Line, or Alice Well That Ends Well, concerned the careers, from admission to graduation, of six typical law students (wahoo, bookworm, idealist, instate jock, Yalie, and the innocent Alice Purebody) and the search of Emmo’s men for a snark, a ‘mythical female creature who teaches law.’ But the plot was a mere backdrop for the humor, which only occasionally overstepped the bounds of good-natured libel, and the music, complete with clever lyrics and arrangements, and exceptionally strong voices.” Peter Hursh, “Libel Show Has Talent, Humor ‘A Coarse Line’ Earns A-Plus,” Virginia Law Weekly, Friday, April 22, 1977.

In the words of our beloved Molly Brady, you either die a Yale Law School Law Revue director or live long enough to become a UVA Law Libel Show sketch.


Hot Bench: Collin Hunt '19

Collin Hunt ‘19

What is your favorite word?

“Torn” – Like ’90s one-hit wonder Natalie Imbruglia.  


Where did you grow up? 



Your mom and your girlfriend switch bodies and the only way to switch back is to kiss one of them. Who would you kiss?

Nice try, I’ve seen Freaky Friday, all they would have to do is share a fortune cookie.


Other than his rugged good looks, what is Graham Pittman’s best quality?

Consistency––As far as I can tell, he’s worn one blue and red Patagonia jacket for his entire life. Solid meme guy too.


Favorite pregame song? 

“Like a Prayer,” Madonna.


If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why?

Shia LaBeouf. Seems like he has some good ideas.


What’s something you wish you’d known about law school before coming to UVA Law?

When people tell you that no one remembers your embarrassing cold calls, they’re lying. Everyone who was there remembers, and occasionally they’ll remind you. Best to just accept it and not care.


What conspiracy theory do you buy into?

Dinosaurs were tamed and trained by the ancient Egyptians to help them build the pyramids.


If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Houston, Texas (Hope my supervisors will read this!).


What’s your favorite hobby to avoid the stress of law school? 

Shoving it down, and softball.


How many ten-year-olds could you beat in a fight, assuming they came at you in waves of five?

The limit does not exist. If you’re counting, that’s two Lindsay Lohan movie references.


What’s your most interesting two-truths- and-a- lie? (And what’s the lie?)

1. I was in the local newspaper as a young kid for getting into a white Bengal tiger pen and playing with the cubs.

2. I am borderline fluent in Japanese.

3. I’ve been to a bonfire at Billy Joel’s house.

(Why would I tell you guys the lie? That’s the whole point.)


What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

My childhood collie, Gracie. Named after Mark Grace, Chicago Cubs star first baseman of the ’90s.


What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville?

Trivia at Fry’s Spring Station with the rest of the “Very Stable Geniuses.”


Least favorite part about law school?

Cite checks, far and away. Nothing against the people on my journal though, they’re very nice and accommodating.


If you were challenged to a duel, what weapon would you bring?

Thanos’s glove. I don’t see how I could lose.


What’s your spirit animal?

Rhino––I’ve had 3 concussions from slamming my head on things.


What’s your favorite food?

Brick-oven pizza.


Is a hot dog a sandwich?

Definitely in Chicago.


If you could be in the Olympics, which sport would you compete in?

Skeleton, to challenge 2018 South Korean Gold Medalist and personal hero of mine, Yun Sung-Bin.


How many hot dogs do you think you could eat in five minutes?

Preferably zero.


What are you looking forward to after you graduate?

Never having to have the internal debate over whether to pay the extra two dollars for guac.


What are you going to miss most about the law school?

I currently have an outrageous amount of free time for someone who is twenty-five and claims to be a productive member of society.

Court of Petty Appeals: In re Pleats

In re Pleats

303 U.Va. 295 (2019)

Schmid, J., delivered the opinion of the Court.

Justice Schmid, for the Court.


Before the Court is an appeal from the Court of Petty Fashion Claims, pertaining to a matter of direct relevance to the fashion-conscious law students of our fine institution. Faced with the re-entry of pleated pants into the rarified air of high fashion, Plaintiffs, a class of “fashionable and highly refined law students,” plead to this Court for style justice to halt this alleged fashion abomination. For the unaware, pleats are creases sewn into the front of pants, commonly found in men’s dress slacks. These creases, ostensibly to allow more freedom of movement for the wearer, cause excess fabric to bunch up below the waist. Pleated pants reached peak popularity in the ’80s and ’90s, see Any ‘90s Sitcom Set in an Office, and largely faded from the public’s fashion consciousness in the 2010s. 

Certain fashion designers, including Defendants, have attempted to revive the outmoded style of pleats. First, they placed minor pleats on women’s trousers and now are attempting to flood the market of men’s dress pants with pleats. Plaintiffs, fearing that full market saturation of pleats will leave no safe harbor for the proponent of tailored trousers, seek relief from this Court.

The learned judge below, while of unparalleled judicial acumen, is allegedly a man of less than dapper vestments[1] whom Plaintiffs allege erred in granting Defendants “judgment on the pleatings.”  Plaintiffs allege trespass, nuisance, and tortious interference against the entire fashion industry and the defendant fashion designers named herein. For the reasons set forth below, we reverse the clearly erroneous decision of the court below and fully grant all of Plaintiffs’ requested relief.


In resolving this case, a look to the petty courts of other jurisdictions have proven fruitless. Inexplicably, the issue of pleated pants has been given scant attention by judges, a typically fashion-deficient bunch.[2] There is one English case, Rex v. Royal Garment and Haberdashery of East-Westforshire-Essex-upon-Thames to take up the issue of pleats. However, there are eight different judges writing for the court, three of them named “Smith,” and this Court simply has no idea what rule is supposed to be discerned.

            Defendants’ brief claims fashion immunity, as they can “do whatever the hell [they] want and people will buy [their] clothes regardless. So deal with it.” We appreciate Defendants’ attempt to appeal to our sense of caprice, but they will not be rewarded in the case at bar. Our propensity for arbitrariness will not dissuade us from arresting the encroachment of pleated pants on the fashion market. In the alternative, Defendants contend that this claim is simply far too petty even for this Court. See Brief for Respondents (“Aren’t you guys law students? Don’t you have anything better to do?”) We categorically reject that there is an issue of any level of pettiness that cannot be rightfully claimed to be within our jurisdiction. See Section C Civ Pro v. That One Really Squeaky Chair in WB 105, 288 U.Va. 578 (2014). Furthermore, we reject Defendants’ argument that it is not the proper role of this Court to rule on matters of fashion and style. Such a claim is patently false for two main reasons. First, we refer Defendants to Rule of Petty Procedure 1: “We do what we want.” Second, Defendants clearly did not bother to read our precedents, as this Court has a long and storied tradition of adjudicating fashion disputes, dating back decades. See Class of 1976 v. Professors (1975) (finding a prima facie nuisance claim against any professor for whom the width of his tie exceeds the length). Have Defendants forgotten about the landmark case of 2L Britney Spears Wannabes v. Coalition Against Low-Rise Jeans, 215 U.Va. 213 (2002)?


Pleated pants are a nuisance, as they involve an amount of fabric that is wholly unnecessary, both stylistically and functionally. While pleats may have been necessary when trousers were made out of heavy, stiff fabric that restricted the wearer’s movements, modern fabrics are more comfortable and allow better freedom of movement. When sartorial advances render formerfashion trends obsolete, this Court feels obliged to intervene. Secondly, dicta from the case of Preppy East Coast 1Ls v. JNCO Jeans, 210 U.Va. 614 (1997) demonstrates this Court’s stylistic aversion to excessive fabric. It is argued that this Court is not well-equipped to establish a bright line rule regarding when the amount of fabric becomes “excessive.” While there can be difficulty in determining when the boundary of excessive fabric has been crossed, we know it when we see it, and pleated pants clearly contain far more fabric than is necessary. Moreover, pleated pants are a tortious interference with the enjoyment of the fashion scene of every stylish, 21st-century individual. The fabric of our nation is inexorably reflected by the fabric of our trousers, and this Court remains the vigilant guardian against the return of fashion trends best left to the annals of history.

As it relates to Plaintiffs’ trespass claim, we are in accord with Plaintiffs’ concerns about the potential resurgence of pleated pants dominating the market and displacing their non-pleated cohorts. Pleated pants have controlled the market once, and this Court will not allow such a takeover again. There’s an old saying: fool me once… shame on––wait, shame on who again? Well, if you fool us, we can’t get fooled again. We hope to avoid a scenario in which Plaintiffs will be forced to have their suits custom made to keep their clothing fashionable and pleat-less.


We grant Plaintiffs’ requested relief of damages and a permanent injunction against the design, production, and marketing of pleated trousers. Additionally, this Court has decided, sua sponte, to compel Defendants to burn any and all pleated pants in their possession to appease the snakes in Withers-Brown.

The judgment of the Court of Petty Fashion Claims is REVERSED and the case is REMANDED for further proceedings not inconsistent with this Court’s opinion and sense of style.

It is so ordered.


Justice Welch, dissenting.

Have you ever seen Michael Cera as George Michael Bluth? He was born to wear pleated pants. Accordingly, I dissent.

[1] Plaintiffs’ claim that the judge wore a brown belt with black shoes further lends credence to this conclusion.

[2] Justice Ginsburg and her phenomenal dissent collars being an obvious exception.

Court of Petty Appeals: Coughlin v. Paw Review

Coughlin v. Virginia Animal Law Society

912 U.Va. 16 (2019)

Photo courtesy Friends of Gary PAC.

Photo courtesy Friends of Gary PAC.

VanderMeulen, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Shmazzle, C. J., and Ranzini, Elicegui, and Schmid, JJ., joined. Elicegui, J., filed a concurring opinion.


Justice VanderMeulen delivered the opinion of the Court.


The sun sets in the west and rises in the east; the trees sprout new leaves in the spring and shed them in the fall; and the Virginia Animal Law Society discriminates against non-dog-and-cat animals. It’s a tale as old as time, folks, and it’s happening again.




Each year since the founding of the Law School,[1] the Virginia Animal Law Society (VALS) has held a “Paw Review” contest, wherein pet owners submit photos of their animal companions, the photos are placed on jars in the Hunton Andrews Kurth[2] hallway by ScoCo, and denizens of the Law School place money in the jars to signal their aesthetic approval of the pets. The pet with the most money in its jar at the end of the week receives the title of “the Law School’s most loved pet,” according to VALS. The money is donated to a no-kill shelter. It’s all very charming and cute and great for distracting us temporarily from our overwhelming existential dread. There’s just one problem—VALS viciously and unlawfully discriminates against animals other than dogs and cats.


Professor Anne Coughlin complained about the practice in 2017, winning an injunction from this Petty Court ordering Paw Review to include Coughlin’s garden toad, Gary. See Coughlin v. Virginia Animal Law Society, 90 U.Va. 403 (2017) (Coughlin I). There, we famously held that “all pets are beloved by their owners.” Unfortunately, VALS must have missed the armed goons we sent to enforce that ruling. Coughlin submitted photographic evidence that this year’s Paw Review consists of three categories: Cats, Dogs, and “Other.” Coughlin contends that, while “Other” ostensibly includes pets like Gary, the stigma attached to the blatant otherizing of a group of animals and Paw Review’s shameless request that participants submit photos of their “furry friend[s]” lay bare that VALS has simply applied a shiny gloss to its bigoted policies—a gloss meant to evade this Court’s injunction. Coughlin has sued to enjoin VALS to include both Gary and Sweetsong, a hummingbird that frequents Coughlin’s back porch. The lower court ruled for Coughlin, finding that VALS was attempting to evade the injunction in Coughlin I. VALS appealed, holding that the lower court failed to grant its decision-making deference under this Court’s Exxon doctrine. We now affirm.





Appellant VALS contends that under this Court’s Exxon doctrine (not to be confused with Chevron),[3] student groups are entitled to deference as long as there exists a rational basis for their decision. Class of 2005 v. Exxon Station on Emmett, 617 U.Va. 102 (2004) (“SBA’s decision to buy Exxon chicken wings for admitted students is baffling, but is nonetheless ‘rational’ in the barest sense.”). That is, this Court will not generally review de novo decisions of student organizations deemed to be supported by reason, however flimsy, to determine whether they were the best possible decision for the student body.[4] On this basis, Appellant argues its decision to advertise Paw Review for “furry friend[s]” and label animals other than cats and dogs “Other”—allegedly based on a need to “limit the number of category prizes” and “prevent a redux of the Hamster Debacle of 1978”—should receive deference.


But Appellant misreads our precedents. VALS is correct to note that student organization decisions are normally reviewed to determine if their bases are rational and upheld if so. But where a student organization’s action may plausibly be shown to demonstrate animus toward a protected class, not only does Exxon not apply, but the Court will subject the decision to the most exacting scrutiny. See Davies v. Rod & Gun Club, 764 U.Va. 33 (2013) (“A student’s being ‘a no-good hippie’—while probs true—is not a valid reason for her exclusion from a shooting trip.”) The famous protected classes of UVA Law are, of course, (1) hippies, (2) pets, and (3) massage chairs. Id.




The questions here are (1) whether Gary and Sweetsong are “pets” under Rod & Gun and (2) if Appellant’s decision to otherize them was based in animus. If yes to both, then we apply strict scrutiny and BLAMMO! VALS loses.[5]


First off, obvi the toad and hummingbirds are pets. Professor Coughlin loves them and they frequent her home and bring her joy. Appellants, quoting Justice Jani’s dissent in Coughlin I, claim Gary “is not a cherished pet but rather a trespasser in an otherwise lovely garden.” 90 U.Va. at 406 (Jani, J., dissenting). But evidence in the record that Coughlin allows Gary in her home and frequently feeds him scraps of granola and vegan mayonnaise. If that’s not owner–pet love we don’t know what is. And Sweetsong depends on Coughlin for sugary sustenance like most children do on their parents. Relying on the famed doctrine of ipse dixit, we hold that these are pretty clearly pets, folks.


Second, VALS’s decision to otherize Gary and Sweetsong is virtually dripping with animus, as is its not-so-clever “furry friend[s]” wink, clearly designed as it is to communicate that Toads and Hummingbirds Need Not Apply. VALS’s clear notice of its animus via our previous injunctions and the aforementioned armed goons leaves no room for doubt that it knows what it is doing. These guys are straight jerks, no doubt about it.




Once animus against a protected class is determined, our precedents’ commands are clear: INJUNCTION, baby. Rod & Gun. Appellant is, for the forty-sixth year in a row, formally labelled a speciesist cretin and ordered to suspend its unlawful animus. In terms of remedy, we leave it to Appellant to determine how it can include Gary and Sweetsong without the “Other” category, but they are fur sure ordered to get rid of the “furry friend” bullshit from their ads and undergo some sensitivity training about speciesism, the sick creeps.


The court below is affirmed and Coughlin wins again.


It is so ordered.


Justice Elicegui, concurring.


“All pets are beloved by their owners.” Coughlin v. Virginia Animal Law Society, 90 U.Va. 403, 406 (2017). Under this long-standing (okay, it’s only two years old, but it’s TRUE) and just principle, my esteemed colleague, Justice VanderMeulen correctly protected Gary and Sweetsong from VALS’s blatant, targeted discrimination.

I write separately from my capable colleagues to note two points. I would extend the pet-love doctrine even further to explicitly include all creatures self-identified as pets, regardless of species, age, or “existence.” I personally have two beloved pets, Cassie and Princess Star,[6] who are uniquely special to me, their owner, even though they now live in doggy Heaven.[7] In fact, I cried at a brewery over Spring Break because I had to put them down nine and four years ago, respectively. While my dear pets meet the qualification of “furry friend,” they need additional protection lest they experience discrimination for no longer residing in my household. I don’t trust VALS to treat my darling pets with the dignity they deserve.

I also note my disagreement with the Exxon doctrine and urge the Court to revisit this old, mistake-riddled doctrine that has no basis in the Petty Constitution of the Law School. As the court of highest jurisdiction over all petty disputes at UVA Law,[8] this Court cannot limit its power to reviewing the decisions of student groups by granting groups deference so long as the decision is “rational.” Exxon itself shows the error of this doctrine. The Court exists to protect students, even 0Ls, from the tummy troubles that follow after eating chicken wings from a gas station. Class of 2005 v. Exxon Station on Emmett, 617 U.Va. 102 (2004). If the Court is not going to stand up for what is right, delicious, and just, who will? Next thing you know, we’ll rubber stamp the decision to replace the cookies at the Weekly Wind Down with fruit. Not on my watch.

The Court of Petty Appeals has a duty to the UVA Law community. My colleagues do an adequate job of protecting Gary and Sweetsong, and I fully agree with that decision. However, the Court can do more to protect the citizens of UVA Law from petty slights by clarifying the pet-love doctrine to include my beloved pets and exercising the full power of petty court review, instead of limiting the Court’s jurisdiction under Exxon.

[1] We’re pretty sure this is right.

[2] RIP Williams.

[3] Jk it’s really just Chevron.

[4] Can you imagine the nonsense we’d have to deal with? SBA alone would cost us weeks of invaluable blacked-out-at-Bilt time!

[5] This is literally the only thing the Court remembers from Con Law.

[6] Princess was her first name and Star was her middle name. What self-respecting 8-year-old would give a dear pet only one name? Smh. Plus, I couldn’t decide between Princess and Star.

[7] All pets go to Heaven. Or a farm upstate.

[8] Serious disputes need not apply. If you have a real problem, take it to the experts in Student Affairs, folks. If you have a petty problem—break-ups, stolen candy, undergrads in the library—well, you know who the experts are.

Professor Lunch: Ruth Mason

Katherine Mann ‘19
Features Editor Emeritus

A (Not So) Taxing Lunch: Law Weekly Gains Exclusive Interview with Professor Mason

Many 3Ls might remember the first day of orientation in August 2016––the Friday before actual orientation started––when we were invited to attend a bonus session including a panel of professors kind enough to give their time to advise us on our first year and beyond. I clearly remember Professor Ruth Mason, who was introduced as a tax professor, respond to the moderator’s request for advice to first years. Her response: “Take tax.” Suffice it to say I was skeptical; of all the things I knew I wanted to know about the law, tax was one topic I was pretty sure was not on my list. But I was smart enough to listen, and I took her three-credit Federal Income Tax class that spring. Of course, she was correct, and I would give the same advice to any first year.

Professor Ruth Mason sat down with members of the  Law Weekly . Photo courtesy UVA Law.

Professor Ruth Mason sat down with members of the Law Weekly. Photo courtesy UVA Law.

Last week, we at the Law Weekly attended lunch with Professor Mason and she gave us her story about how she landed in tax herself. An older friend from law school told her about watching all the tax lawyers at his firm leave at a reasonable hour every day. Professor Mason, who had no prior financial background, took a tax class and realized she loved it. She worked as a tax associate at Wilkie Farr & Gallagher after graduating from Harvard Law School and subsequently worked in the Graduate Tax Program at NYU. She later transitioned to a professor position at the University of Connecticut School of Law before coming to UVA.

Her husband grew up in New York City, and she lived there for ten years. She said that they were both terrified to transition out of the City. Now they live happily with their two children in Charlottesville, where the kids can “walk on dirt,” as opposed to the concrete of their former city digs. As an example of the difference between raising kids here as opposed to New York, she said kids in New York know what a bond trader is at a pretty young age. When she has time for non-academic reading, it is mostly about gardening, since they finally have some space to grow vegetables, and their past efforts have led her to research animal-proof fencing. She noted that her husband had a rather different experience as a child in school in New York, as his school was once visited by the local police, who informed the kids that they needed to toughen up because they were becoming easy targets for muggings.

Professor Mason’s specialization is international tax, and she said that a major current issue is keeping up with international cooperative efforts to address cross-border commerce, particularly with tech companies. Apple is a famous example of a company that was able to avoid taxation by incorporating in Ireland but being active elsewhere, and countries are currently engaged in negotiations to avoid similar future tax avoidance. The recent changes to the United States Tax Code have also kept tax lawyers busy.

Professor Mason teaches the International Tax Practicum, which prepares students for the International and European Tax Moot Court Competition. Last year the UVA team became the first U.S. team to win the competition, and they are defending their title this week in Belgium. Professor Mason encourages all students to take at least one tax class, and to take it early. If you take it too late and find out you love it, you’ll have missed an opportunity to take more advanced tax classes. If you have an opportunity to take a class with her, you’ll find she has a good sense of humor, but she’s not afraid to give students a little scare once in a while. She once handed out a class evaluation form during a break, and when a few stragglers returned a few minutes late, she asked the other students to hand in their quizzes.

She has also been a visiting professor at Johannes Kepler University, Leiden University, Universite Paris 1 (Pantheon Sorbonne), and Yale Law School. Last summer, Professor Mason spent six weeks in Amsterdam as the first and youngest female professor in residence at the International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation. The goal of the appointment is to get perspectives from tax scholars around the world to facilitate discussion on cross-border taxation. She and her family enjoyed the city, and she said her kids were even speaking a little Dutch by the time they left. And she gave a pro-tip for parents: don't entirely shift kids to the new time zone. They slept in and stayed up late, so they could do activities in the evening as a family.

I may not have fallen in love with tax enough to pursue courses beyond Federal Income Tax, but I am glad I took Professor Mason’s advice early on. I will echo her advice and say “take tax,” but especially if you can get into one of her sections. Just make sure to return from the break on time.




Hot Bench: Andrew Roberts '19

Andrew Roberts ‘19

Andrew Roberts '19.png

What is your favorite word/phrase?  

“Go Dawgs.”

Where did you grow up? 

Atlanta, Georgia.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

Chick-fil-A, of course.

If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why?

I’d go on an outdoor adventure with survival instructor and adventurer Bear Grylls.

What’s your favorite hobby to avoid the stress of law school? 

Working out at North Grounds.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

The Bahamas.

What’s something you wish you’d known about law school before coming to UVA Law?

It’s all about 1L.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

An omelette, oatmeal, and a banana—same as always.

What’s your most interesting two-truths- and-a- lie? (And what’s the lie?)

(1) I get 4-5 hours of sleep every night; (2) I’ve flown on a private jet chartered by Billy Currington so I could hang out with him backstage before a concert; and (3) I am a dual-citizen of the United States and the Bahamas.  I’ll let y’all guess the lie.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

A new house on an old farm with incredible views of the countryside.

What’s your least favorite sound? 

“Roll Tide.”

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?

A six-pack of Creature Comforts beer.

Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

Backstreet Boys, I guess.

What is the best concert you have ever been to?

Turnpike Troubadours here in Charlottesville.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville?

Probably either trying new restaurants, hanging out at Common House on the downtown mall, or watching UVA basketball at JPJ.

If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be?

Use of the Oxford comma.

What’s your spirit animal?

A cow.

What’s your favorite food?

At the risk of redundancy: Chick-fil-A, of course.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with it?

If I won the Mega Millions, I would probably become a philanthropist, but if I only won a hundred bucks on a scratch off ticket, I’d probably just buy two twelve packs and a tank of gas with it.

If you had Matrix-like learning, what would you learn?

How to become an actually decent golfer and not the hack that I am.

If you could be in the Olympics, which sport would you compete in?


Where is a place you haven’t been but want to travel to?

The Holy Land—Israel and the surrounding region.

What are you looking forward to after you graduate?

Clerking back home in the great state of Georgia and marrying my fiancée, Hannah Basta (#HastaLaBasta).

What are you going to miss most about the law school?

I am genuinely going to miss school itself; most of us will never again spend three years doing nothing but learning interesting subjects taught by incredible people (we miss you at the law school, Professor Jeffries) and taking advantage of countless events and opportunities (Foxfield, PILA, Libel, softball, Bilt—you name it).

What are the 7 wonders of the law school?

(1) The “area of rescue assistance” closets in the law library; (2) the inane ordering system for the room numbers on the second floor of Slaughter; (3) whoever is bankrolling Fed Soc; (4) the third floor of the law library; (5) the vulture mentality around the free food table; (6) the curve; and (7) the massive industrial basement under Slaughter.



Letter to the Editor: 03/20/19

The Line Between Legitimate Critiques of Israel and Anti-Semitism

Jason Fruchter & Julian Kritz


The last few months has been an especially painful time to be Jewish in the United States. Hate crimes against Jews are on the rise; in New York City for instance, a majority of the city’s hate crimes have been anti-Semitic. And Congress has failed to lead on combating anti-Semitism. In the wake of a series of anti-Semitic comments made by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Congress failed to denounce her remarks, instead passing a resolution condemning bigotry in general. We recognize that there are widespread misconceptions about what constitutes anti-Semitism and when hateful rhetoric about Israel and its supporters crosses the line from legitimate criticisms of Israel into anti-Semitism. We understand that this line is not intuitive and that there must be ample space for criticism of Israel. However, as engaged leaders of the organized Jewish community at the Law School, we see it as our obligation to use recent events as a teachable moment for our fellow students, many of whom will assume positions of leadership in the future and have a responsibility to eradicate hate.


The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), a coalition of thirty-one countries committed to a coordinated effort against anti-Semitism, uses a series of examples to illustrate what constitutes anti-Semitic rhetoric. Two of them are directly applicable to Congresswoman Omar’s comments. Anti-Semitism includes “making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective—such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions,” and “accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”


These are forms of anti-Semitism with deep roots in Jewish history. For centuries, there have been conspiracy theories about Jewish domination and accusations of Jewish disloyalty, which have been used to justify discrimination and violence against Jews. Representative Omar has repeatedly invoked anti-Semitic themes, suggesting that the Jewish State has “hypnotized” the world, that it’s Jewish money that drives Congressional support for Israel, and that Jewish-Americans who feel affinity for Israel are disloyal. These are textbook examples of anti-Semitism. It is not a coincidence that former Klu Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke praised Ilhan Omar for her defiance to the “Z.O.G.,” which stands for the Zionist Occupation Government that he believes runs the U.S. Likewise, writers for the Neo-Nazi Daily Stormer have praised Omar in the “Jewish Problem” section of their website.


Similar to other types of bigotry, Omar’s claims are not grounded in reality. The Jewish State is the world’s scapegoat, the target of more condemnatory U.N. resolutions than any other nation in the world, despite being the Middle East’s only liberal democracy. If Israel were trying to hypnotize the world, it would be failing miserably. AIPAC, America’s largest pro-Israel group that seeks to strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship, comes in 147th in lobbying expenditures according to a Tablet Magazine study. Last year, Gallup pegged support for Israel at 64 percent amongst Americans, a much better explanation of congressional support for Israel than money. The poll also indicates that Jews—a paltry two percent of America’s population—are not alone in feeling affinity for the Middle East’s only liberal democracy and a vital American ally. 


Omar’s anti-Semitic rhetoric is especially unfortunate because of how important it is for Jewish and Muslim communities to stand together against hate, and work together to bring peace to the Middle East. Omar herself has been the victim of despicable Islamophobia, most notably when she was depicted as being responsible for 9/11 at the West Virginia State Capitol. The recent white supremacist terror attack on mosques in New Zealand and the attack on Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue underscore the need for solidarity between our communities. This solidarity can also lead to progress towards Middle East peace, as we work together to promote reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.


We want to be very clear. We are not trying to silence debate about the contours of the Israeli-American alliance or criticism of the Israeli government. Indeed, we welcome debate and engagement with the country that is so dear to our community. At times, we ourselves are very critical of the current Israeli government. No country is perfect or immune from criticism, including Israel, though we firmly believe that much criticism of Israel is unwarranted, especially in view of Israel’s status as the Middle East’s only democracy.


But the fact that not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic does not mean that none of it is. One of the most disingenuous lines we often hear is that condemnation of anti-Semitic rhetoric directed at Israel or Israel-supporting Jews is an attempt to stifle criticism of Israel. In reality, it is the anti-Semites who are trying to silence criticism of their anti-Semitism by falsely claiming that they are just criticizing Israel.


To distinguish between bigoted and legitimate criticism of the Jewish state, the IHRA adopted what is known as the Three D’s framework, which identifies criticism of Israel that “Delegitimizes,” “Demonizes,” or applies “Double Standards” as anti-Semitic.


Delegitimization means denying the Jewish right of self-determination in their historic homeland, Israel. For instance, remarks that refuse to acknowledge any Jewish connection to the Land of Israel or call Israel the “Zionist Settler-Colonial Entity” rather than acknowledge Israel’s existence as a rightful state invoke this “D.” To uniquely deny the Jewish people the right of self-determination in their historic home is an act of hate and denial, not a legitimate policy critique.


Demonization means the portrayal of Israeli Jews as evil, often using historically-rooted, anti-Semitic tropes. For instance, the blood libel accused demonic Jews of using the blood of Christian children in their Passover Matzah. This trope was used to justify anti-Jewish riots and massacres. The anti-Israel movement often uses tropes about Jewish bloodthirstiness to demonize the Israeli Defense Force’s efforts to protect their country.


Double standards refers to the singling out of Israel for international opprobrium and sanction. For instance, the BDS movement targets Israel for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions, based on flimsy or even false claims about Israel’s human rights record, while ignoring the blatant human rights abuses of countries around the world, especially in the Middle East.


Students should know that some in our community consider almost all criticisms of Israel to be grounded in anti-Semitism, and others assert that practically no criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic. Both are extreme views unrepresentative of the mainstream of our community. What is mainstream and has been accepted by the vast majority of Jews and Jewish organizations—across the political spectrum—is the Three D approach to delineating the line between legitimate critiques of Israel and anti-Semitism.


We welcome debate about strengths and shortcomings of Israeli policy, Israeli civil society, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and U.S.-Israeli relations. But we must remain vigilant to ensure that these conversations do not devolve into bigotry. We will wholeheartedly condemn such bigotry against our own and any other community. We hope you will too.



Hot Bench: Editor Emeritus Jansen VanderMeulen '19

Hot Bench.jpeg

What are you most excited for during your clerkship year in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho? 

Wade Foster and I are going to shoot a bunch of pheasants and I can feast on pheasant tacos to my heart’s delight. 


What is your favorite word?   

January. Imagine James Earl Jones saying, “January.” 


Where did you grow up?  

Washington State’s picturesque Skagit Valley, home of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and acres of the world’s finest blueberries. 


What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? 

When I worked in the berry fields, a local taco truck would dispatch a van (license-plate frame: “Always Late But Worth the Wait”) to the fields for lunch every day. We would drop what we were doing and “make haste”—as the kids say—over to the van for some of the Doña’s tortas de asada. If she mass-produced her torta sauce she’d be a millionaire. 


If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be and why? 

I don’t believe in celebrities. 


What’s your favorite hobby to avoid the stress of law school?  

If you go west on Barracks Road and just keep going past the general store, the road eventually turns to gravel; if you keep going a while longer, you end up at a county park in some foothills far from everything. My cell phone doesn’t work there and there’s no one around, so I open my truck window on a nice spring day to let the breeze in, lean my seat back, and go to sleep. It’s paradise. 


Where is your favorite place to vacation? 

Southeast Washington’s Blue Mountains are an uncharted and unpopulated nirvana, far from street lights and car horns and 1Ls who steal your seat after the third day of class. You can hear the bull elk bugling and drink the spring water, but you will run into black bears and that can be disconcerting for some folks. 


What’s something you wish you’d known about law school before coming to UVA Law? 

I should have known not to believe the tour guide who told me we’d all receive a fur cape like Emerson Spies’s when we graduated. 


What did you have for breakfast this morning? 

I have forsworn breakfast in this life except in narrow circumstances mostly involving Bodo’s and blueberries. 


If you could live anywhere, where would it be? 

See Question 3, supra 


What’s your least favorite sound? 

The unmistakable throat-clearing of a gunner about to derail Prof. Nelson yet again.  


What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? 

For my high school graduation, my penny-pinching Dutch family knew I wanted an ice cream cake, so they picked up one that was on sale at Dairy Queen. It said “Happy Acquittal, Suzy” with frosting decorations of an unlocked ball-and-chain. Given that the cake was left behind and on sale, Suzy apparently had a bad court date. 


What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville? 

Sometimes I go up to Darden Towe Park in Pantops and sleep on the ground under the big tree by the softball fields.  


If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be? 

I’d ban brunch don’t @ me. 


What’s your spirit animal? 



What’s your favorite food? 

I shoot some ducks, I pluck them, I cut out the breasts and sauté them with garlic and Worcestershire sauce and put them in some tortillas with peppers and onions and some sauce. 


If you won the lottery, what would you do with it? 

First, bye bye law school debt. 

Second, give Michael the groundskeeper a huge raise, Spies Garden looks amazing. 

Third, buy my dad a trip to Australia. 

Fourth, go to Delaware to prove it’s not a myth made up by law school professors. 

Fifth, purchase Waffle House. 

Sixth, end Waffle House. 

If you had Matrix-like learning, what would you learn? 

Civ Pro. 

What are the 7 wonders of the law school? 

  1. The giant hedge of red bushes the Law School is currently destroying by the Dean’s parking lot; 

  2. Lisa; 

  3. All eighteen things in the Law School named “Caplin”; 

  4. Tom Watson’s hair; 

  5. The enormous, wildly detailed painting of the hills in Caplin Pavilion; 

  6. K-Don’s success rate; 

  7. Dean Jeffries’ pocket square. 





COPA: Stevens v. Grey

Stevens v. Grey 

303 U.Va. 294 (2019) 

Justice ELICEGUI delivered the opinion of a unanimous Court.

After a messy breakup, George Grey and Alex Stevens brought suit in the Court of Petty Breakups. That Court misapplied the Petty Law of the Land, resulting in an inaccurate division of property and assets. This Court applied the fairness doctrine and best interests of the (fur) child to reach an appropriate division of assets.  

Petitioner George Grey and Respondent Alex Stevens began dating during their first semester 1L year. Stevens and Grey became fast friends; their relationship started off strictly platonic, because they were both in long-distance relationships with other people. After long nights struggling over proximate cause and the Erie doctrine, though, Stevens and Grey could not deny the chemistry between them. Stevens broke up with her boyfriend and Grey broke up with his girlfriend. 

Because Stevens and Grey started dating so early into their 1L year, their life at UVA became deeply intertwined. They had the same friend group, classes, and study habits. They went to the same parties and bars. Second semester, Stevens and Grey arranged to take one of their two electives together—Family Law. While taking Family Law, Stevens and Grey learned about prenuptial agreements and became concerned about what would happen if they ever broke up. They decided to draft a prenup to divide their friends and assets in case they divorced. 

Stevens and Grey continued to date happily. They spent 2L summer working in the D.C. office of Grey and Sloan LLP, and both received offers to return after graduation. When they returned to Charlottesville, they moved into a two-bedroom apartment together at the Jeffersonian. In October, they adopted a rescue Corgi named Toast.  

Unfortunately, though, the stress of living together and caring for Toast took a toll on Stevens and Grey’s relationship. They broke up in January of their 3L year. Stevens asked Grey to follow the terms of their prenup, move out of their apartment, and give her Toast. Grey refused, and counter-offered that Stevens should leave the apartment and give him the dog. Thereafter, they lived for three weeks in a tense silence, only communicating when they had to decide who would feed the dog or take her for a walk.  

Unable to persist in that untenable state, Stevens took the case to the Court of Petty Breakups to get a judgement enforcing the prenup and giving her custody of Toast. Stevens argued that the prenup was enforceable, because it was entered into by two equally savvy-1Ls. Stevens argues she was the rightful owner of the dog because she picked up Toast’s poop more often and that she should get to keep the apartment because it would be more of a hassle for her to move. On the other hand, Grey could easily move in with his friend O’Malley. The Court of Petty Breakups agreed. It found the prenup agreement enforceable, gave Stevens custody of Toast, as per the terms of the prenup, and issued a petty judicial decree, declaring that “Grey so totally had to get out of the apartment.” 

Grey appeals that decision to this Court. He argues that the prenup agreement is not enforceable because the couple made the agreement while already dating and did not consult a savvier, neutral 3L who actually knew about the Law School, law, and life. He asks this Court to apply the equitable doctrine of laches and, under that approach, give him custody of everything because he “has always been nicer than Stevens and should be rewarded for that.” 


While this Court will not use an ancient common law remedy to totally screw over Stevens, we do agree that the Court of Petty Breakups misapplied the petty law and did not reach the proper outcome. 

We agree with Grey and find that the prenup is unenforceable because it was entered into by parties that basically knew nothing while they were already dating. Everyone knows that second semester 1Ls haven’t learned property yet and don’t even know about the fertile octogenarian. How can they be expected to come to a fair division of ScoCo time? Or dog custody? In situations such as this, each party has a duty to consult an impartial, savvier 3L or one of his or her PAs. That disinterested third party can advise the 1L about life at UVA and how they should fairly divide up the power of the 3L couches in the future. Because the parties did not do this, this Court cannot enforce the prenup. 

This Court will apply the fairness doctrine to equitably divide up the parties’ assets and will look to the best interests of the (fur) child to decide who receives custody of Toast. First, turning to the parties’ friends, this Court is not in a position to divide up the couple’s section mates evenly or fairly. How are we supposed to know who’s good at softball and who’s fun to go out with? Instead, the parties shall hold a friend draft, to take place two weeks from now, where they will take turns selecting friends to keep. If the friends would rather be on the other team, they may trade among themselves to come to a better breakdown. 

This Court thinks it is only fair that one party get the apartment and one party get the dog. Whoever has to deal with the hassle of moving should at least get to keep the joy of a fluffy potato dog. Applying the best interests of the (fur) child standard, Stevens is the rightful owner of Toast. She is the one who takes Toast for walks, picks up her poop, and orders her dog food. Grey is responsible for taking Toast to the vet, but that is an infrequent duty and does not approach the level of hands-on responsibility that Stevens has. Therefore, Grey will keep the apartment. He must assist Stevens in finding a new place to live and cannot kick her out before she does, though. 

Finally, applying the fairness doctrine to the school, this Court finds there is no truly even way to divide ScoCo or classes to keep the parties entirely separate. Instead, Grey will get the exclusive right to be in the ScoCo dining area and Stevens will get the exclusive right to be in the atrium. Stevens will get the Gunner Pit and Grey will get the second floor of the library. This Court declines to impose a rule on class selection, but does encourage the parties to sit far apart if they happen to find themselves in the same class. 


Breakups are no fun, but the Court of Petty Breakups is here to smooth things over and divide assets (even if that involves divvying up beanie babies on the courtroom floor). The Court shall apply the fairness doctrine and best interests of the (fur) child to reach conclusions in the best interests of the parties and any pets involved. The judgment of the Court of Petty Breakups is VACATED and the case of Stevens v. Grey is REMANDED for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. 

It is so ordered.



Tweedledee: La Joya Fiesta


M. Eleanor Schmalzl ’20


After a long and laborious week of being 2Ls, Taylor and I decided it was time for a celebration. No, a party. Nay, a fiesta. As a result, she and I opted to try a new Mexican restaurant here in Charlottesville: La Joya. Located off Exit 120 on 64-E (and right across from the beloved Wegman’s), La Joya provided us with quick service and a great atmosphere for our first joint restaurant review.


Taylor and I entered a pleasantly quiet restaurant, dimly-lit but bright enough to find our table and even see each other from across the booth. We perused the menu and struggled to decide what meals to get given the wide variety of appealing options. Those who struggle to make decisions may be overwhelmed by this Mexican restaurant’s unique offerings, but I loved getting to pick from a wide array of exciting options. I often get the same thing every time I go to a restaurant for fear of getting a dish I don’t like as much as my normal go-to, but since this was my first visit to La Joya, the world was my oyster.


Despite the great assortment of options, Taylor and I didn’t stray too far from our core values. We ordered guac and queso in addition to the salsa that was provided fo free by the fine establishment.[1] Additionally, we both got margaritas.[2] The appetizers all had a nice little kick to them, providing the perfect[3] burst of flavor before our main courses. However, the margaritas left us wanting. What we were wanting? Alcohol. Seriously, I got a jumbo and wasn’t disgusted by the taste of tequila by the end of it (as is per usual for me when I get jumbos elsewhere in Charlottesville). But hey, if you enjoy sugary drinks that don’t leave you at least a little buzzed, La Joya margs are the ones for you!


Next came our entrees. I got the pollo con arroz[4] and, except for good company, found it to be my favorite part of the dinner. With bits of zucchini and mushroom mixed in, I enjoyed the unique twist on one of my go-to Mexican restaurant dishes. And I hadn’t realized this when ordering, but the dish didn’t include pounds of queso, meaning I didn’t have to waddle out of the restaurant in pain from being so full, as I normally do when eating at Mexican restaurants. Best of all, the restaurant honored my request for no onions despite them being included as part of the normal menu item. There is nothing worse than special ordering a dish to add or remove ingredients and those special orders being completely ignored. For this alone, I have to respect La Joya. I just can’t take the onion.


Overall, La Joya was a fine little hole-in-the-wall place for some decent grub. While I will stick to La Plaza Azteca when I need a good marg after a long week, and El Puerto for its closeness to the law school, La Joya provides a nice change of pace for people wanting a more low-key Mexican restaurant. Plus, with a Nestlé Tollhouse ice cream shop right across the street, how can you not love pay this nice, little restaurant a visit?

 [1] But extra chips after the first basket cost an additional $0.75. As the positive food reviewer, I will reserve statement on this menu decision.

[2] Only for the sake of journalistic research, obviously.

[3] Except for the onion in the guac. I don’t know why onion must be put in everything, but it has always felt especially inappropriate in the delicacy that is guacamole.

[4] This was its official title on the menu, should anyone question my knowledge that it is more commonly known as “arroz con pollo.”


Taylor Elicegui ’20
Features Editor


I have high standards for Mexican restaurants, and La Joya was okay but did not exceed expectations. The atmosphere is decent—it feels like a typical Mexican restaurant. The menu had a lot of options, which is always a bonus. There were almost too many good choices; Eleanor and I struggled to make decisions.


We started off with some cheese dip, guacamole, and salsa. This was one of my biggest complaints: the first basket of chips was free, but refills cost money. I appreciated the instant gratification of how quickly these delicious dips arrived but was very bitter when we had to pay $0.75 for another basket of chips to finish off our dips. The cheese dip was really good, but a little bit on the spicy side for my weak self. I was still undecided between several options, but the spiciness of the cheese sauce persuaded me away from the nachos and cheese enchiladas.


Ultimately, I decided on chimichangas—one chicken and one veggie. It came with rice and salad (which I find outrageous), but I substituted the salad for some refried beans. The beans were absolutely delicious and unhealthy—my favorite combo. The chicken chimichanga was also yummy and flavorful, particularly because it was covered in cheese. The veggie chimichanga was pretty solidly meh, particularly because I am not at all a bell pepper fan. I felt a little outraged on Eleanor’s behalf, though—what type of ACP doesn’t come smothered in cheese?!


My other biggest complaint was the margarita. As our driver, I went for a small, but was hoping for some interesting Eleanor jokes after she finished consuming her large. Unfortunately for me, the margarita appeared to be missing the key ingredient (tequila). She could have been the one driving us home, even post-jumbo margarita. Interestingly, the margarita also didn’t come with salt on the rim. I was happy, because I don’t like salt, but found it strange I didn’t even have to request it. If you happen to be a person who prefers a more exciting rim, make sure you request it.


Overall, the company was great and the food was okay. Not my new favorite Mexican restaurant in Charlottesville, but I would consider going again if I found myself on that side of town.

Court of Petty Appeals: Schmalzl Shmazzle v. VanderMeulen

Schmalzl Shmazzle v. VanderMeulen


936 U.Va. 492 (2019)


Shmazzle, C. J., (formerly Schmalzl, J.,) delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Pickett, Luk, and Elicegui, JJ., joined. VanderMeulen, J., filed a dissenting opinion.


Chief Justice Shmazzle delivered the opinion of the Court.




Not too long ago, former Chief Justice VanderMeulen[1] was the dictator of this Court. During his tenure, other Justices on the Court often found themselves joining opinions they’d never actually read, filing dissents they’d never actually written, and acting at the whim of “the King.” Now that I have taken control, I am going to lay to rest the wrongs he committed against me.[2] Only one such wrong is worth addressing today, for it was so great and so burdensome that no other can rightfully be tackled along with it.


As some of you may know, I entered this Court during February of 2017, eager to help decide all the petty problems that UVA Law students need litigated. The first opinion I joined was on April 11, 2018, Streit v. Students, 654 U.Va. 183 (2017), and I proudly signed off as Justice Shmazzle. The name stems from my first cold call in 1L, when an unnamed professor[3] spent extravagant time and effort trying, but never succeeding, to say my (admittedly vowel-deficient) name correctly. My sectionmates rallied behind me in support,[4] turning the trauma into a wonderful memory that I will forever hold dear. In dedication to them, I used this variation of my last name during my first year on the Court, serving as a reminder of how far I’d come since that fateful day.


Then one day, the name was ripped away from me. At the start of the 2018–19 school year, Chief Justice VanderMeulen decided using my given last name, Schmalzl, was “easier” and “good for the paper.” As his powerless minion, I sat in silence at his decision. Until now. There’s a new sheriff in town, and I’m taking my name back.


The former Chief Justice raises several defenses to his decisions, which I address in turn.






To start, VanderMeulen contends that I don’t have jurisdiction over a case in which I am a party due to ancient principles of the common law,[5] blah blah blah. My response is two-fold. First, VanderMeulen assumes this Court follows some version of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Such a notion is laughable, as this Court doesn’t follow any rules.[6] Second, even if there were some jurisdictional issue, it is well known that our readers are deeply dedicated to frequent opinions issued by this Petty Court. And because this Court has received no recent complaints to decide upon, I can do whatever I want. And even if we had received recent complaints, I still can do whatever I want. I’m the boss. Defense denied.




Next, VanderMeulen claims he had “good policy reasons” for forcing me to change my name. He claims that Shmazzle was “unrecognizable” and “no one would know who [I was],” and that therefore my good name would be wasted as a recruiting tool. To this I ask: Really? You think people can’t connect “Shmazzle” and “Schmalzl”? We’re at a top-ten law school for goodness sake, give these people some credit.[7]


Additionally, I would like to point out that other justices on this Court have used “unrecognizable” names and were not forced to change their identities. While I only know of just one, it’s a pretty good one and I rely heavily on it as precedent. Justice ScaLIA, Lia-Michelle Keane ’18, was a true inspiration to the creative minds among us. People may not have known instantly who she was, but man could she issue a damn good opinion. To force me to change my name forever is to insult the incredible minds of those who came before us. For this, I will not stand.




Finally, the dearly departed Chief states some garbage about how it’s “not a big deal” and that I should just “calm down.” [Please note that the defendant vehemently denies stating such a defense. While this Court acknowledges that he did not actually make these statements, I am on my soap box and feel the need to address all men who feel that telling a woman to “calm down” is ever, in any circumstance, a good idea. Plus, if SCOTUS can drone on about pointless topics in its opinions, then this Court certainly can too.]


This Court, in its official capacity, refutes this argument and urges VanderMeulen/all men to consider how foolish it is to tell a woman to “calm down.” Women are always calm, rational, correct, and should never be questioned. See Goluboff, Kendrick, and All the Inspirational Women Who Run All the Dang Student Orgs v. All Those Who Try to Stand in Their Way, 798 U.Va. 606 (2016). VanderMeulen should carry this tidbit of wisdom with him for the rest of his days or else risk a life of conflict with all the badass, independent women who don’t need no man to tell them what to do.




In conclusion, the Court hereby orders that I change my name back to what it is meant to be: Justice Shmazzle. Further, this Court enjoins Justice VanderMeulen from mentioning the word “dairy” for 48 hours as punitive damages for his wrongs against this Court. Seriously, the dairy jokes are udderly embarrassing and really could be beefed up a bit. He can no longer steer the paper with his silly milk references.


Petitioner’s (aka my) prayer for relief is hereby GRANTED.


It’s good to be Queen.


It is so ordered.


Justice VanderMeulen, dissenting.


I’ll admit I didn’t think out the whole “force your likely successor to change her court name” thing as well as I should have.




[1] May his soul rest in peace.

[2] I would help the others, but TBH I don’t think anyone but me cared because they “liked” and “respected” Mr. VanderMeulen. While I withhold judgment of my learned colleagues, I disagree with such kind feelings toward the tyrant.

[3] Who loves mental furniture.

[4] Section Ayeee foreverrrrr.

[5] He uses in his brief the extremely pretentious Latin phrase “Nemo judex in causa sua” which only makes us like him less.

[6] Except, of course, Petty Rule of Civil Procedure 1: “We do what we want.”

[7]  Please note that the Court does not heavily weigh the actions of students who participate in Dandelion when it makes this statement regarding everyone’s intellectual abilities.