Court of Petty Appeals: Students Involved v. Sarah Davies


Students Involved v. Sarah Davies (in her official capacity)
323 U.Va 125 (2019)

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

Justice Calamaro delivered the opinion of the Court

There are times when a case comes across the docket that defines a generation. These generation defining moments, such as Students v. Eight Cartons of “Firehouse” Submarine Sandwiches, More or Less (68 COPA 976 (2018)) or Students v. Simpson Thatcher Hats (67 COPA 553 (2017)), shaped our Law School society for better or for worse. This is one of those cases. The opportunity and ability of a person, without regard to race, creed, orientation of any kind, gender, religion, or ability, to answer the holiest call of nature in the privacy of a bathroom stall is a right without equal in the American, indeed even the human, experience. The case before us addresses that issue head on, and our great Court of Petty Appeals must rule on it fairly and without prejudice, a monumental task attempted only by a handful of courts in the past.

              Before the Court is a class-action suit brought by student plaintiffs against the administration of the Law School, stating that they have “failed to provide adequate privacy protections in every bathroom on the School premises.” Specifically, the bathroom stall doors have giant cracks around the frame, otherwise known as “sight lines.” These sight lines, the plaintiffs argue, infringe on their privacy, and make for extremely awkward interactions when one student is trying to deposit their “natural packages” while another student walks in and makes eye contact with the first student. Although the administration has not responded to these charges, we can assume their two arguments in failing to secure privacy for the students involve monetary hardship as well as the “benefit” of using stall door sight lines to determine which stalls are occupied and which are empty.

              Despite the School’s defenses, we as a Court unanimously hold that the School administration has committed a gross violation of privacy, as well as a gross violation of privacy, by not utilizing readily available sight line covers, and uphold the trial court’s remedy of installing them by the end of the semester. It is well known that everyone poops,[1] and the Court today holds that this great institution of humanity be honored by completion of this remedy in a swift and timely manner.

Infringement of privacy

              Since the dawn of humanity, the need for privacy has separated us from the wild animals of nature.[2] Privacy in the privy has long been an especially treasured right, and was heightened at the invention of the toilet and floating ballcock by Thomas Crapper.[3] Who among us hasn’t sought out a private space to cry after a particularly tough cold call and found the bathroom stalls to be inadequate due to the massive sight lines in the doors?[4] Our Founding Fathers knew this was a struggle worth protecting and sought to immortalize that protection in the Fourth Amendment, which states “the right of the people… to sit in their outhouses in peace.”[5]

              Although the term “outhouses” has been constant cause for concern and strife in the lower courts, the Court of Petty Appeals affirms today that the term rightfully refers to all forms of bathrooms, including the stalls within. Indeed, outhouses were the first stalls, and even during our founding, cracks in the outhouse doors were avoided at all costs. It wasn’t until the beginning of the twentieth century when stall doors were manufactured en masse that sight lines were widened. This, of course, was meant to cut costs by literally cutting corners. To this the Court says no more!

It is this Court’s view that, although sight lines in the doors help others determine which stalls are open as the defense argues, this is not enough of a benefit to offset the harm caused to those inside. Instead, we see sight lines as a blatant attempt to cut costs for the School by providing doors that only minimally protect the privacy of those doing their duty inside. The Founding Fathers knew that these rights were not equal, and that the rights of the one inside the stall far outweighed the rights of the bathroom newcomer. Indeed, we see this in the Federalist Papers when Paul Revere famously wrote in response to Hamilton’s suggestion of building outhouse doors with larger sight lines, “One goes on land, two out to sea,[6] and all should be done in privacy.”[7]

It is clear to the Court that the University of Virginia School of Law, founded by our nation’s Founding Father, an avid user of outhouses, has lost its way. These stalls would have been unacceptable then and remain unacceptable now. The Constitution could not be clearer on this topic, and the Justices are all in agreement on the prohibition of sight lines in bathroom stalls.

 

Costs

              The defense states that procuring sight line covers would come at great expense and hardship. However, a cursory look at Amazon shows that a single set of sight line covers is only $34.99. Although this Court is not privy to the number of privies in the School, a quick back-of-the-envelope math shows that, even if there are 100 stalls, the cost would only be $3499 to procure these covers. The Court will not rule on whether to include installation costs, but it can safely state that this is a reasonable cost for the School to incur in order to save students from the awkward experience of making eye contact with an interviewer while sitting on a porcelain throne.

              Thus, the Court upholds the lower court’s ruling against the School, and order them to order sight line covers. It is our duty to preserve the last truly private space in this cold world that the Constitution sought to protect, so that we may do our duty in peace. This is what the Founding Fathers would have wanted, and is now what the American people demand.

 ___
dac6jk@virginia.edu


[1] See generally Tarō Gomi, Everyone Poops (1993).

[2] See Adam and Eve

[3] See, Wikipedia

[4] This is simply conjecture—the majority has never done this

[5] The Constitution, somewhere

[6] Referring to plumbing which, in that day, deposited waste out to sea

[7] See Federalist Papers No. 2

Hot Bench: Katherine O'Neal '22


Katherine O’Neal ‘22

Hot Bench Katherine O'Neal.jpg

1L First Year Council President and Disabilities Rights Advocate 

 

Hi Katherine, and thanks for joining us on the Hot Bench! Where are you from? 

I moved around a lot. The longest place I stayed in is Asheville, North Carolina. That’s where I feel most comfortable. 

 

Can you tell us something about Asheville? 

It’s kind of a hippie town. There was a guy who would dress up in a nun costume and ride a ten foot tall pink bicycle. 

 

Please you tell me you have a picture of this. 

 

[see Pictures File in Dropbox] 

 

Where did you go for undergrad? 

University of Alabama, it was great. I’m a big football fan. I definitely needed to get out of Tuscaloosa after three and a half years though. 

 

That’s an early graduation isn’t it?

Yes, I studied at Oxford for a summer through my undergrad, and I had credits going into college, so I graduated early. I studied English and African American Studies. 

 

What did you do between graduation and law school? 

I graduated in December 2018, so I spent about eight months napping. 

 

When did you start thinking about law school? 

When I was little, I wanted to be a politician before I saw the error of my ways. But anyway, you need to be a lawyer to be a good politician, so I became interested in the law. For a while though, I wanted to be a doctor, but it’s hard to pass chemistry when you’re colorblind. In the end, I was deciding between a PhD and law school, and, when I was writing my thesis, I thought to myself, “I would die if I had to do this forever.”  

 

Now that you’re here, what are some of your plans?! 

Short term? Don’t fail out. Obviously. Long term, my idea dream job is working in entertainment law for the NFL or Disney. I would love to do transactional work for those companies. 

 

Let’s switch tracks a little and talk about the First Year Council (FYC). What motivated you to run? 

I ran on a platform of unity. As FYC President, I want to crowdsource and step out of the Law School bubble to see what other graduate programs are doing to support their first years. It’s a lot easier to accomplish things when you have a wider perspective. My big platform was that , to help ourselves, we need to step outside of ourselves. 

 

What’s one initiative from other graduate programs that you’re looking to implement?

The SilverCloud app. It’s basically a self-guided therapy app and there are specific programs for  treating anxiety or depression. A lot of people tell me they don’t have time to see someone, so this will be really useful in the Law School environment, because we’re always going and going.[1] People can use it at their own pace, and there are resources to connect people with real life providers here or at Main Grounds. A five minute mental break can really make a difference. 

 

I hear that you and Jill Quigley (’22) are starting a club for students with disabilities. Can you tell us more?

We want to create a student group to support disabled and chronically ill students and to educate allies. Disabilities can vary from learning disabilities to physical disabilities. Sometimes, the Law School is good about giving support, but sometimes there’s a gap in terms of what’s offered and what’s needed. We hope this group will help the administration and our peers to understand our experiences and needs. At this point, we’re trying to write our constitution. 

 

What inspired you to advocate for students with disabilities? 

I became disabled and chronically ill my first semester of college. I never had any health issues the first eighteen years of my life and, to be hit with that suddenly, I gained a unique perspective. I can see the gaps and I’m comfortable advocating to fill those gaps and needs. Since I have this voice, why wouldn’t I use it? 

 

What is your unique perspective?

I have really clear notions of the biases that disabled people face because I have to face them. At the same time, I remember my life from before I was chronically ill. I can use my prior experiences of health to have conversations with people. It’s more of a skill than a perspective. 

 

Are you comfortable talking about your disabilities?

Yes, I would rather be open than have people be concerned or assume things. It’s much easier to give a five-minute explanation than to have to re-inform people later on. I have six autoimmune and autonomic diseases. Basically, my white blood cells attack my tissues, joints, and organs, and my nerves don’t work, and I have an undiagnosed neurological issue. 

 

What’s one thing people might not know about your disabilities?

It’s hard to communicate the amount of pain I’m in, because I may look okay on the outside. The medicines that I have to take can also make me feel bad. For example, I take a drug that was typically used in chemotherapy and it makes me really sick once a week. I hurt all the time and I get really tired. I get sick if I eat any food. It’s a hard balance, because the medicines I take harm me to help me. 

 

Let’s do a lightning round! 

 

Favorite food? 

Tiramisu, 100%. 

 

Favorite place in Charlottesville? 

Honestly, I really like my townhouse. Just laying there with my dog, it’s my homebase and I feel really comfy. 

 

Anti-Stress Hobby? 

I watch a lot of Netflix. The Real Housewives in particular. 

 

Pet peeve?

People not reading their emails and then asking me questions that were answered in the email. 

 

Favorite word? 

Cantankerous. 

 

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? 

Oh, it would be back at Oxford, favorite place in the world. 

 

What is your least favorite sound? 

People gulping water. I don’t know why, there’s just something about that noise, especially in class. 

 

Where’s a place you’ve never been, but would like to go? 

I really want to go to California. I’m looking at the LA market and I would like to go before I commit to working there. 

 

What do you like to do for fun? 

I’m a classically trained musician, so that’s my go-to. Oboe and English Horn are my primary instruments, and I’m a trained singer. I was on a music scholarship for a bit before I retired. 

 

What’s one movie that left an impression on you?

I really like the Birdcage, it’s my favorite movie. I think it says a lot about taking someone as they are. It’s also extremely funny. 

 

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

Other than pay off loans, I would probably put it in a trust for my family. I don’t like spending money. It stresses me out. 

 

If you could pick one song to play in the background of your life, what would it be? 

“Diet Soda Society” by The Maine—It’s an all-occasion song that my friends and I listened to all the time. Personally, I think it’s a bop. 

 

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

There are so many. One, read your email. Honestly, read your email. But, if I were ruler of the universe and I could make one rule, I would say that I get one Diet Coke every day and everyone would take shifts bringing me one. 

 

What’s your favorite thing about the Law School?

That I don’t feel like I’m competing academically with anyone. We’re all building each other up. We’re all going to pass collectively as a group. It’s nice. 

 ___
kro7uh@virginia.edu


[1] Eds. Note: if you feel like you’re too busy to talk to a therapist, go visit Dr. Kate Gibson. She’s located right in Slaughter, so you don’t even have to leave the school. She’s wonderful. As a lawyer herself, she understands what law school is like.

Faculty Lunch Series: Professor Lovelace


Taylor Elicegui ‘20
Features Editor

“Live purposefully and be passionate,” advised Professor Timothy Lovelace ‘06. On Tuesday, September 17th, Professor Lovelace joined myself, Leah Deskins ‘21, and Grace Tang ’21 for the first Law Weekly faculty staff lunch of the semester. Professor Lovelace, a quadruple ‘Hoo (B.A., J.D., M.A., Ph.D.), is a visiting professor from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Professor Lovelace is teaching Critical Race Theory at the Law School. He also teaches a class on Main Grounds.

Professor Timothy Lovelace ‘06 graciously sat down with the  Law Weekly  for the first faculty lunch of the semester. Photo courtesy law.virginia.edu

Professor Timothy Lovelace ‘06 graciously sat down with the Law Weekly for the first faculty lunch of the semester. Photo courtesy law.virginia.edu

Professor Lovelace is originally from Roanoke, VA and is excited to spend the year closer to family there. Professor Lovelace is also excited to be back in Charlottesville because “it feels like home.” He really enjoys his students and colleagues—some of whom were his peers in law school like Professors Charles Barzun ‘05, Leslie Kendrick ‘06 and Micah Schwartman ‘05. Professor Lovelace is also excited to take advantage of some of the local Charlottesville attractions; he particularly enjoys Pippin Hill and Carter Mountain. Because Profess Lovelace lives close to Carter Mountain, he can often be found relaxing and reading a book on the mountaintop. He also noted that the scenery and hills are a nice change of pace from Indiana, which is very flat.

Professor Lovelace is a legal historian. He wasn’t originally interested in academia and entered law school to pursue a career in public service. Professor Lovelace caught the private law firm bug and spent one summer in private practice. During that summer, Professor Lovelace enjoyed his work but realized his heart wasn’t in it. He was spending his evenings printing out law review articles and reading them at home, and a colleague pointed out that didn’t seem like a typical hobby for big law attorneys. He decided to apply to graduate school and pursue a degree in history in one of the country’s best programs—UVA. Professor Lovelace was accepted to the program and wrote his dissertation on how the American Civil Rights’ Movement impacted the International Human Rights Movement. Dean Goluboff sat on Professor Lovelace’s dissertation committee. Professor Lovelace noted that Dean Goluboff is one of the most eminent legal historians and having her sit on his dissertation committee was an honor.

As a dedicated UVA alum, Professor Lovelace is a big Cavaliers sports fan. Professor Lovelace likes all of the teams, but his true passion is basketball. Professor Lovelace is particularly a supporter of the Women’s Basketball Team. During his time in college, Professor Lovelace played on the scout team, which is a group of basketball players who practice against the Women’s team, impersonating specific members of the opponent to help the team prepare. He’s hopeful for another great season for both teams this year.

I was impressed by Professor Lovelace’s passion for legal history and teaching. He told us that when your work is your passion, it makes hard work much easier. Professor Lovelace also told us he appreciates his passionate students and the interesting in-class conversations. He only handed out a syllabus for the first half of the semester in Critical Race Theory, so the second half can be specifically tailored to his students’ interests. Professor Lovelace encourages discussion in class and allows his students to take control of their education. For example, Professor Lovelace decided to dedicate a whole class to Brown v. Board of Education at his students’ request. When I asked Professor Lovelace if he saw any differences between teaching an undergraduate and graduate course, he told me it was pretty much the same, although undergraduates are less career-oriented. I was surprised, and a bit concerned about how the big egos of law students would survive this revelation. However, Professor Lovelace softened the blow a little bit by praising the merits of both the undergraduates and graduate students—some of the finest in the country.

Overall, lunch was great and I appreciated the opportunity to get to know Professor Lovelace. I would highly recommend everyone consider his class in the Spring!

___
tke3ge@virginia.edu

Indispensable Advice for 1Ls: Part II


Drew Calamaro ‘21
Satire Editor

As we start rolling into our fall semester, I want to dish out some more advice before mid-October, when the 1Ls begin to realize that they should’ve been outlining as they go along but it’s too late now and they will just wait until Thanksgiving break because they’ll definitely be productive and get it done then. Some aspects of this article should be discussed by PAs, but given that I know many of the PAs.... let’s just say that there are many stones left unturned in the advice department, despite that department being filled to capacity with warm bodies. So, without further ado, I give you advice for the rest of the semester.

 

Always sound as proper as possible in a cold call, and if they give you dirty looks, it is just because the intimidation tactic is working. Many would say you sound like an idiot when you use the word “one” instead of the colloquial “someone.” Others would say you sound full of yourself and pompous to the point of insufferability[1]. To that, I say nay! ‘Tis the weaker mind that is bothered by the advanced verbiage you are putting on display like a codpiece worn by Henry VIII[2]. Oh, how they will tremble as you say, “What if one were to instead entertain this hypothetical I don’t actually need to add to the conversation?” Surely the professor must give you an A- on this sentence alone! Can they not see how you rise above the rabble, the plebs who use the word “someone” like some uneducated dunce!? They will look upon you and see your magnificence for what it is, an ENTJ personality-type with a couple of ENTP results thrown in[3]. So, speak properly and carry a big stick, and when you are walking make sure it is no longer in the nether regions since you only have ten minutes to waddle to class.

 

Any sentence starting with “I feel” is the most important sentence you’ll listen to for the rest of your career and/or life. Many say that listening is just as important as talking in law school. I don’t buy it, but the times when it rings true are when you hear a classmate say “I feel” before diving into an unrelated example. You may think that entire conversation is useless, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. The professors are in fact required to take note of these special and rare occurrences, and sprinkle some of them into the final exams. So next time you think those moments are simply for someone to get a thought out to score points with a professor and impress their fellow students, check yourself. In law school, details matter, and sentences starting with “I feel” are the ones that change the world.

 

Do NOT mess up firm receptions since they will remember your face and full name. I didn’t get this piece of advice as a 1L and I wish I did! First, the number of receptions you get invited to, or attend, should absolutely matter, both to yourself and everyone around you. If you didn’t tell someone not attending a reception that you, in fact, are going to a reception that very night, you might as well have not gone at all. Receptions are a social currency that is unequaled in the school. They mean you are wanted, desired, even admired by the firm. Furthermore, you absolutely can mess up a reception and your chances at a job in general by forgetting a name or not having a factoid you found on their website ready to whip out at a moment’s notice. This is because firms only send their most trusted and put-together lawyers to conduct firm receptions, and they always return with a full report of faces, names, and things you said that their fellow firm-monkeys workers will go through with a fine-toothed comb. Thus, you should always be nervous for firm receptions, and never, EVER make good conversation unrelated to law school or lawyering—that is a trap I have seen many fall for and never recover from.

___
dac6jk@virginia.edu


[1] The editors would say this isn’t a word. But the editors are wrong because I just used it.

[2] Look it up.

[3] Basically a mix of Bill Gates and Margaret Thatcher. Ever heard of them?

Club Spotlight: Amici Signatae Lingaue


Jana Minich ‘20
Guest Writer

Imagine your high school days, if you can remember back that far. But imagine that, instead of hearing the bell between classes, the slam of the lockers, and the ring of your best friend’s laugh, you hear nothing. Fast forward and picture how different law school classes, bar review, or snagging snacks from the snack office would be if you couldn’t chat with friends in the halls or hear the professor in the classroom.

Hearing people inevitably take sound for granted, and when we contemplate life without it, we think of all the music, sounds, or maybe podcasts we would miss. But for Deaf people, it is the communication barrier between them and the hearing world that is significant. Without sign language training and interpreters, this barrier can separate Deaf children from family conversations and Deaf students from educational opportunities and relationships with classmates.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Awareness of Deaf culture, common courtesy toward the Deaf, and even a basic understanding of sign language can powerfully bridge divides and bring the Deaf more fully into the community both here at the law school and in the workplace. That’s why a small team of UVA Law students is working to grow a sign language organization—Amici Signatae Linguae (“ASL”)—here at the law school. Amici Signatae Linguae means “Friends of Sign Language,” which embodies our vision of fostering sign language use at the law school for the benefit of Deaf students and visitors, children of Deaf adults, and hearing sign language learners.

The inspiration to start ASL began during my 1L year, in a small church fellowship hall, trying desperately to remember enough from high school sign language to be able to communicate with Bobby and Mary. Deeply kind older people that they are, they patiently taught me to sign and understand signs better. I found that sign language tapped a creative linguistic part of my brain unexercised by law school classes or even my failed attempt at Spanish fluency. I was hooked.

When I found out that a Deaf student had started at the law school last year, I knew it was time to spread sign language fever at the law school. I put out a small plug on the SBA Events email to gauge interest, and the organization took off from there. We started with a sign language training kickoff in the spring semester, and a band of faithful students stuck with the weekly meetings through the end of the school year.

Because sign language doesn’t require complicated verb conjugations like spoken language (go, am going, went, have gone), it’s less confusing to pick up. Intuitive signs also help the learning process go more smoothly—can you guess what the sign for “time” is? And of course, you can always fall back on fingerspelling in sign language, so nothing stops you from diving into simple conversations using the signs you know even if you’re just beginning. That’s not say that sign language is simple or easy. It’s a complex and beautifully expressive language with nuances just like spoken language. But its unique attributes make it easier to begin using sign language than a new spoken language.

This year, ASL started strong with “An Introduction to the Deaf World,” an event featuring sign language faculty from Main Grounds who shared their personal stories of hearing loss or living with Deaf family members. They also shared pointers on working with interpreters to maintain maximal clarity with legal clients. Our guests finished by teaching a few basic signs. (We will preserve the anonymity for the members of the crowd who confused certain similar signs, saying “forbidden” instead of “law,” “nice to date you” instead of “nice to meet you,” and “naked” instead of “what’s up.”) We look forward to hosting another event on Deaf culture and concerns next semester!

In the meantime, join us for a training session on every Monday at 5:45 p.m. in WB 105. There’s always food to eat, signs to learn, and laughs to be had at someone’s signing mistake (often mine). We also have informal signing lunches at noon every Thursday in ScoCo. Bring your own lunch, but prepare to enjoy fantastic baked goods brought by our own Lena Welch.

A big thanks to the board members who make ASL possible: Michael Gibbons as VP, Bill Re as Treasurer, Lena Welch as Signing Lunches Chair, Joe LoPresti as Membership Chair, and Kolleen Gladden as Overlord of Social Media and Advertising.

___
jmm4pn@virginia.edu

Court of Petty Appeals: Andrews v. UVA Law School


Andrews et al. v. University of Virginia School of Law
323 U.Va. 115 (2019)

 

DESKINS, J., announced the unanimous opinion of the Court.

 

Today’s opinion seeks to resolve an increasingly frustrating issue continuously presented before the Court: the daily temperature of the Law School’s classrooms. A class of plaintiffs representing the Law School’s entire student body (especially people who seek to wear warm-weather clothes during the warm-weather months—not Canada Goose parkas, sweatshirts, gloves, or L.L. Bean’s flannel-lined jeans) alleges that the classrooms in the Law School “are too darn cold.” (Compl. ¶ 1.) Plaintiffs aver that the sub-room temperature[1] temperatures constitute a violation of their fundamental right to be free of physical distractions in class.[2]

 

FACTS

 

Generations of UVA Law students have complained about the extremely cold temperatures in the classrooms.[3] Their suffering has manifested itself in many physical symptoms: shivering, cold and clammy fingers that lead to a diminished ability to type efficiently and quickly on their laptops,[4] feeling so cold that they become unable to concentrate on the lecture, anxiety stemming from the status of their exposed toes[5] due to their decision to wear Chacos instead of insulated boots, and increased sensations of hopelessness beyond that experienced by a typical law student. Plaintiffs state that they have been forced to endure these practically-arctic conditions not only during normal class meetings but also during exams. They also note that some individuals among the various defendants seem more prone to creating these environments than others. Defendants insist that the “cool”[6] temperatures serve several goals: (1) they help keep students alert in class, (2) high air-conditioning bills help keep tuition high, and (3) the unpleasant temperatures give otherwise-socially-incompetent law students something to discuss with their peers.[7] After feeble attempts to convince seemingly supportive professors of their plight, but to no avail, Plaintiffs filed suit with this Court. They seek an order requiring that Defendants set all classroom air conditioning systems to room temperature (71 degrees Fahrenheit).

 

Analysis

 

The Court of Petty Claims previously dismissed this case, asserting that Plaintiffs did not have standing to bring their claim.[8] We disagree. Plaintiffs have CLEARLY[9] demonstrated standing. They could easily avoid their classroom shivers by keeping a sweatshirt, sweatpants, socks, mink coats,[10] and towel warmers + warm towels in their lockers to don upon entering the Law School. However, doing so would at least slightly inconvenience Plaintiffs, and because they want to “have it [their] way”[11] without actually doing anything to deserve such an outcome, their claim thus qualifies as petty.

            Additionally, Defendants’ supposed justifications for “temperature situation” (as it has come to be known) all fail. As for the “alertness” justification, multiple members of this Court have very unpleasant memories of being both very sleepy and very cold in the Law School’s classrooms. Cold calls are bad enough when you’re sleepy! Why add cold classrooms to the mix? As the second justification, Lee v. The Law School, 323 U.Va 99 (2019),[12] makes clear that the Law School needs no real justification for tuition increases. It does whatever it wants. Thus, we call bullshit on this one. Plaintiffs should not have to suffer from both cold temperatures and unjustified, unannounced tuition increases. As for Defendants’ final proffered justification, we can assure them that nothing will save UVA Law students from their own inability to discuss anything other than what they learned (or did not learn) in a particular class, their irrelevant undergraduate accomplishments, how much they grew professionally at their summer job,[13] and their plans to clerk on the DC Circuit after graduation. KDon, there’s really no hope.

            Plaintiffs have presented a truly sad state of affairs to the Court. Finding that Defendants have proffered no valid justifications for their actions, we hereby REVERSE the finding of the lower court, and we ORDER that Defendants operate the Law School’s HVAC system as to maintain a “room temperature”[14] temperature.

 

It is so ordered.

 ___
lcd4ew@virginia.edu


[1] The Court defines “room temperature” using the Porridge standard first articulated in Goldilocks v. Bear Family, 436 F. Tal. 311-12 (Sty. Cir. 1918) (Declaring that an appropriate bowl of porridge is “not too hot, and not too cold”), which, according to the Justices, when applied to classroom temperatures, is exactly 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

[2] See David A. Harrison III Law Grounds Unofficial Bill of Rights. The fundamental right to be free from physical distractions enables students to spend more time and energy focusing on their cyber-based distractions, namely, Amazon and their iMessage conversation with that friend across the room.

 

[3] And by “generations,” we mean as far back as Fall 2017, but there might be earlier instances of which the Court has not yet been made aware.

 

[4] This Court looks favorably upon those professors who allow the use of laptops in class.

 

[5] While no instances of classroom-induced frostbite have been introduced before the Court thus far, in the Court’s view, it is only a matter of time.

 

[6] Their term, not ours.

 

[7] The Office of Private Practice has emphasized this point in particular, claiming that it helps prepare students for OGI.

[8] As a reminder, in this jurisdiction, Plaintiffs do not need to (1) have suffered an “injury in fact,” (2) show that the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged action of the defendant, or (3) show that it is likely, as opposed to merely speculative, that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision. Plaintiffs need only demonstrate a petty claim.

 

[9] LRW professors will tell you not to use words like this in your memos and briefs. They assert that you need to show, not tell, your audience that you have a strong claim. They’re CLEARLY wrong.

 

[10] We know at least some students from the 1% here at UVA Law can actually afford these.

 

[11] The Court was recently made aware that Burger King ditched its famous slogan in 2014 for the overly-supportive “Be Your Way.” Yuck. We belatedly mourn this loss, and more importantly, we want to let Professor Collins know that this means his Burger King v. Rudzewicz joke about the slogan is going to start falling flat very soon.

 

[12] See Va. Law Weekly No. 2, p. 4 (2019).

 

[13] This makes the Court cringe.

 

[14] Just a reminder, this is 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hot Bench: Chance Maginness ’22


Chance Maginness ‘22

Chance Maginness.jpeg

Hi Chance, welcome to the Hot Bench! Please tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? 

I’m from a small town in Kansas called Westmoreland, but I went to the University of Kansas in Lawrence, so sometimes I feel like I’m more from there. 

 

How many people live in Westmoreland? 

Oh god, I would say less than 500. It’s tiny. 

 

What else can you tell us about this tiny town?

Back in the 18th century, there was a law that whoever held the county records held the county seat. So a group of people from Westmoreland snuck out in the dead of night and stole the records from Wamego and drove them back in a covered wagon. Westmoreland has been the county seat ever since, and it was the most interesting thing to happen to the town...until I got there, of course.

 

How did you learn that? 

It’s a town story that’s been passed down. I feel like I googled it once. 

 

When did you start thinking about law school? 

When I was in high school. I did a lot of debate and forensics. Other schools might call it something else, but forensics covered speeches, acting, and extemporaneous speaking, which is when you have thirty minutes to prepare a speech on a current events topic. I read a lot to keep up with the news, and once you become informed you can’t be uninformed anymore. Plus, I wanted to have an impact. It was going to be either law school or art school. 

 

Are you an artist? 

No. That’s what’s really ironic about it. At the time, though, I thought I could be. 

 

Let’s say law school does work out, what then? 

At some point in time I want to move back into politics. I was a field organizer for the Democrats in Nevada during the 2018 cycle. I really liked organizing and I would go back—assuming that the republic still exists. If I stick with the law, I would probably like to move into academia at some point, probably in some field related to constitutional law.

 

Why constitutional law? 

I really like the theory of it. I really enjoy the idea that it’s a written document that we can read so much into. Yuval Noah Harari talked about it in his book, Sapiens. He talks about how the law and everything we believe in are collective myths that we agree to. I think the Constitution really embodies that and I like the nuance and challenge of interpreting it. 

 

Are you looking forward to Con Law next semester? 

I’m so excited. 

 

What else do you do around the Law School? 

Well, all I have time for right now is reading, more reading, and additional reading on the side. I’m involved in Law Dems, LAMBDA, SBA, and FYC. When law school settles down a little, I’d like to watch a movie now and then. Maybe rewatch an episode of Scream Queens. Eat. Breathe. 

 

Why did you run for First Year Council?

I didn’t run, they just sort of told me I would do it. I had done student government before though, so I felt up to the task. At KU, I ran for Freshman Senate, and when I got it, I kept going. I had this idea that I wanted to be Student Body President, but at a certain point, it stopped being about that goal. I realized we had the opportunity to make an impact in everyone’s lives. It became about doing what public service is ultimately about—doing public good. I grew up a lot in college, in that regard. 

 

Why run for 1L Senator? 

Well, I ran for Senator and FYC President. I’m a big believer that if you’re in an elected position, you should do all you can do. I have a pretty expansive background in student government—at my undergrad, I was in charge of allocating over twenty-one million dollars to various student services, groups, and clubs.  

 

As a 1L Senator, what are your plans? 

Community is very important to me. People should feel that they can rely on one another and I want to make sure everything we do is geared towards involving the 1Ls as much as possible. 

 

Let’s do a lightning round! 

 

Favorite food? 

Stir-fry. 

 

Favorite place in Charlottesville? 

Shenandoah Joe on Preston. 

 

Anti-Stress Hobby? 

Watching reruns of American Horror Story. 

 

Pet peeve?

Inefficiency.

 

Favorite word? 

****. 

 

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Estes Park, Colorado, because I love it. The mountains are so beautiful and it never gets above 70 degrees in the summer. If I had all the money in the world, I would open a bookstore in Estes Park and never have a concern in the world. 

 

What is your least favorite sound?

The sound of people popping their joints. I once broke my ankle and it made the same sound. I can’t hear people pop their joints without getting a twinge. 

 

Where’s a place you’ve never been, but would like to go?

Probably anywhere in Asia. I’ve been to a lot of places in Europe and traveled a lot of the United States. Thailand. I’ll say that. 

 

What do you like to do for fun? 

I like to go to the movies. I used to go 2-3 times a week. I also like watching TV to think about the production of it and I critique it in real time. People hate watching TV with me. 

 

What’s one movie that left an impression on you?

Heathers, I also love the musical. 

 

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

I would probably open my own media company that would be a progressive answer to Fox News. If I won a lot of money, I would use it to produce movies. 

 

You win enough money to produce one movie. What’s your movie about? 

It’s about a student government election that takes over two days. And it’s about three people vying for the student body presidency, and it’d be based on my own experiences about how truly vicious that can become.  

 

Working title? 

“Student Government,” but that feels really basic. Maybe, “SBP” for Student Body President. Genuinely unsure. That’s a post-production problem.

 

If you could pick one song to play in the background of your life, what would it be?

Proud Mary by Tina Turner & Ike. Tina always goes first.  

 

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

I would require everyone to have a three-day driving-course from me, in which I instruct them on how to put their foot down on the gas and go. “Efficiency and Driving with Chance Maginness.” 

 

What’s your favorite thing about the Law School?

The availability of cold brew every day and getting to say hi to Mandy. I literally survive on cold brew. It runs through my blood. I come to ScoCo every morning without fail. Sometimes I come back mid-day. 


___
clm7hk@virginia.edu

Hoos Pets are These? Pt. II


Taylor Elicegui ‘20
Features Editor

            Last week, I began my deep-dive investigation into why my peers generally seemed so happy and found the reason: Pets. There were so many wonderful furry friends to be profiled that the article had to be split into two parts. This week, I got to put the finishing touches on this article while my new kitten, Lucy, ran around my room like a crazed monster.[1] I’ve had Lucy for a little less than a week, but I can now officially confirm my hypothesis was correct. My life is immeasurably more fun with the addition of a three-pound little fluff ball. I don’t even mind cleaning the cat-box. For anyone contemplating joining the ranks of pet ownership and who’s ready for the financial and time commitment, read up for some advice from the experts and hit up the CASPCA.[2]

 

Ellie Riegel and Stevie

Stevie wonders why nobody will throw the ball for him.

Stevie wonders why nobody will throw the ball for him.

            Ellie Riegel got her puppy, Stevie, on Thursday, September 5. According to Ellie, “I had been hoping to get a dog for over a year, but when I met Stevie I knew I had to adopt him! He has an adorable personality and loves to play. We hit it off the first day I went to look at dogs at the SPCA.” Since getting Stevie, Ellie’s schedule now revolves around him, but she enjoys it. Ellie has to get up early with him, take him for walks and trips to the park, and, of course, nap time. Ellie particularly enjoys the puppy cuddles and seeing Stevie happy and comfortable in his new home after having a tough start to life. Stevie loves to play with his toys, particularly his Kong, which Ellie fills with peanut butter. Stevie also really likes his bones, which he hides in the couch cushions for safekeeping. Ellie advises anyone who’s contemplating getting a dog to go to SPCA, because they have a lot of wonderful dogs in need of good homes.

 

Lydia Parker and Harvey

Harvey may not have mastered ‘fetch’ yet, but he has this up-dog thing down.

Harvey may not have mastered ‘fetch’ yet, but he has this up-dog thing down.

            Lydia got her puppy, Harvey, on August 16. Lydia wanted a dog for a long time, and “figured 3L was a good time to raise a puppy because my schedule isn’t too demanding.” Puppies like Harvey require a lot of time and training, since his current favorite activities include biting, gnawing, and chewing. Since getting Harvey, Lydia has loved meeting new people everywhere she goes. She said, “I love how Harvey brings so much joy to everyone around me.”[3] As part of her new dog-mom lifestyle, Lydia has had to rearrange her schedule. She told me, “I can't spend my days in the library and at the gym like I did 1L and 2L. This is really good for me! Harvey forces me to appreciate the present moment and connect with my community instead of constantly working towards my individualistic goals.” For anyone contemplating getting a puppy, Lydia said, “Make sure it's a well thought out decision. You have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of time, flexibility, and money in exchange for unconditional love. For me, it's 100% worth it!”

 

Eleanor Schmalzl and Maysie

Maysie, likewise, takes a break from terrorizing toes to pose for the camera.

Maysie, likewise, takes a break from terrorizing toes to pose for the camera.

            Eleanor got her cat, Maysie, during fall 2018. Maysie was born in Eleanor’s aunt’s basement when a stray cat came in through the window and had kittens. Eleanor’s family found homes for the kittens when they were old enough and had received the appropriate vet care. Eleanor loves “waking up to her snuggles! She is so sweet at night and in the morning and it is so nice to have a purring kitten on your chest every morning.” Maysie likes to attack feet and play fetch with hair ties, which Eleanor appreciates as a good way to tire Maysie out. Eleanor said she does feel bad about not being home more, because it’s hard to stay out late knowing you have a little critter waiting for you to come back. Eleanor had some advice for anyone contemplating getting a pet soon: “Don't get a big dog if you're going to live in a tiny apartment in a big city. If you do/already have, become a morning person and a runner to give them some exercise. But really, just get a cool cat––they sleep a lot and don't require half the attention, but are perfect company at the end of a long day.”

 

Will Tucker and Maple

Maple is purely sweeter than syrup.

Maple is purely sweeter than syrup.

            Will got his dog, Maple, between OGI and the start of fall classes last year. According to Will, “I was lucky that the rescue I got her from let me wait until between OGI and the start of classes, because I could get her up to speed on Bluebooking, basic FRCP principles, and Westlaw terms and connectors before things got busy. She's been an ideal research assistant ever since.” Will decided going into 2L was the ideal time to get a dog. He had wanted one for a while and finally had enough predictability as to his living situation and schedule to add a four-legged roommate. Since getting Maple, Will’s favorite thing about her is “her unrestrained joy. Maple gives me a reminder every day to appreciate simple things and not let this or that external stress get me down for too long. It's one of the best parts of my life having an endlessly enthusiastic running buddy, morning meal companion, and friend who is (presumably) neuro/physiologically incapable of talking about law school. She makes me happy every day, no matter what.” Maple likes making new friends, “be they canine, feline, human, bird, gopher, butterfly, tree branch moving slightly in the wind, or otherwise. Specifically, she's a big fan of climbing onto the back of the couch when you sit there and licking your ears and kinda generally crawling onto your shoulders until she's as close as possible to your face.” Will advised anyone thinking about getting a pet to “consider all of the factors very seriously—it can be a huge amount of work added to your life. It's especially important that you time things well. For example, if you know you want to get a puppy, get her at a time when you'll be able to be vigilant about housetraining and be okay with losing a little sleep here and there (sorry Bev, thanks again, pal). And remember that traveling with a pet can be VERY difficult! Plan ahead for that too. But so long as you're taking the pragmatic side of things into account, do what will make you and your potential pet happy! Maple is excited to meet you both!”

 

Lena Welch and Draco

Draco Meow-foy does what he does best: sleeps.

Draco Meow-foy does what he does best: sleeps.

            Lena got Draco in August, 2014, right before her senior year of college. Lena said, “I love cats. My friend’s mom is a vet and was volunteering in a shelter when a cat had a litter. She took in the litter to find homes for the kittens. My friend knew I was interested in getting a kitten, and so Draco came into my life.” According to Lena, cats are pretty easy to take care of, but she definitely has more scratches than before she got Draco. Lena likes to snuggle with Draco and bump her forehead against his. Draco also likes to meow until Lena or her mom gives him treats. Lena says that getting a pet has reduced her stress, because she loves him.

 

Brooke and Christopher Swann and Lucy and Loki

Loki takes a low-key break from the stresses of cat life.

Loki takes a low-key break from the stresses of cat life.

            Brooke and Christopher, Brooke’s husband, have two pets, dog Lucy (a miniature dachshund) and cat Loki, who they got last year. Brooke’s favorite thing about having pets “is that no matter what happens during the day, they're always going to love me and be happy to see me when I get home. They're the best company for late night reading, and they're the best listeners when it comes to life chats.” Lucy likes to hide her treats around the apartment for later while Loki likes to sit in the window and creep on people until he falls asleep. Brooke advises those contemplating getting a pet to “be prepared for planning your days and life around them! They're such blessings, but they're also a lot of responsibility. I can't just stay gone all day or drop everything and leave town for the weekend. With that being said, I wouldn't trade them for anything! Also, your new furry friend may be free to adopt, but vet visits are never free and neither is all of the gear you'll need to get before bringing them home.”

Brooke, we asked for a picture of your dog Lucy, not food.

Brooke, we asked for a picture of your dog Lucy, not food.

 

Matt Simpson and Lacrosse

Lacrosse, a serious working man, doesn’t have time for your “pets” nonsense.

Lacrosse, a serious working man, doesn’t have time for your “pets” nonsense.

Matt got Lacrosse, his guide dog, during his sophomore year of college about ten years ago. Matt applied to a guide dog school in California. The process was lengthy—it required interviews, mobility assessments, and assessments of Matt’s living environment. After being accepted, Matt went to two weeks of training with Lacrosse. Matt’s favorite thing about Lacrosse is the way he makes his life easier, because he’s a conscientious guide dog. When not working, Lacrosse likes to sleep (as anyone who’s ever been in class with Lacrosse can attest), chew on bones, and lounge in the sun. Matt thinks that Lacrosse particularly likes law school, because class gives him plenty of time to sleep. Matt advises those considering getting a pet to think carefully about the responsibility and time commitment—not all pets get to take their owners to class.

___
tke3ge@virginia.edu


[1] If you want to see pictures of her looking like a dragon or adorable model kitten, hit me up.

[2] They have a ton of cute animals who just arrived from St. Croix. If you’re interested in fostering or adopting, visit the CASPCA today!

[3] Lydia was kind enough to let me play with Harvey as part of my very serious pet investigation, and I can confirm he’s the cutest, fluffiest Golden Retriever I’ve met in years.

Club Spotlight: Virginia Law First-Generation Professionals


Nicola Pidala ‘21
Guest Writer

A group of us founded Virginia Law First-Generation Professionals (VLFGP) in April 2019 to facilitate the transition and integration of first-generation professional students into Virginia Law and the legal profession through mentorship, career advising, academic support, social activities, and more. In forming the organization, our intention was to build a community of first-generation students at the Law School to provide support to one another and other resources that we believe would have benefited us during our first year. Many students who identify as first-generation professionals lack access to some of the class-based privileges of our peers, which can feel like a glass ceiling for advancement in the legal profession. Through programming aimed at addressing such economic and educational barriers, we hope to make the profession a more inclusive space for students of diverse backgrounds and let first-generation students know that they are welcome and supported in an environment that may not seem designed for them.

 

Our organization welcomes students from a variety of backgrounds, including students who grew up in working-class or low-income communities, students who are first-generation Americans, and students who are first in their family to attend high school, college, or graduate school. We recognize that the issues first generational-professionals face are not solely limited to these groups and encourage those who may not identify with these groups to engage in the organization to broaden the concept of diversity on Grounds and address barriers to entry that persist in the profession.

 

This upcoming year, we are interested in hosting a mix of formal and informal events for our members and the broader Law School community. For First-Generation Student Day on November 8, we plan to have an event to celebrate the success of our members and first-generation professionals in the legal field. We also hope to organize events with faculty and staff at the Law School, career development offices, law firms, and other student organizations to connect our members with different resources and opportunities at Virginia Law. Lastly, our mentorship chairs—Erin and Josh—have been developing our mentorship program to connect 1Ls with 2Ls and 3Ls. Through this program, we hope to provide a forum to discuss various topics, including financial considerations associated with law school and career opportunities, balancing academics with competing professional and personal demands, what “Big Law” and “business casual” mean, and what electives to take Spring 1L. Additionally, we hope to provide community and mentorship to first-generation students.

 

For anyone interested in getting involved, please reach out to the co-presidents, Nicole (and Jenny, at either ncp6yn@virginia.edu or hke5ek@virginia.edu.

___
ncp6yn@virginia.edu

On the Road in the Post-Apocalypse: A Problematic Journey (Part I)


Will Palmer ‘21
Apocalypse Enthusiast

            So, there we were, out of gas and low on water, sitting on the hood of the Jeep and munching on looted Slim Jims, when the Blue Checks found us. My traveling companion, Dennis, saw them first, picking out their advancing bikes from the asphalt mirage’s scorched liquid haze.  He took a thoughtful bite of mechanically-separated chicken and pointed. “Might have an issue.”

            I wiped the ‘Jim grease off my hands and grabbed the binoculars. The advancing bikers, pedaling insistently toward us on their fixed-gears, came into focus. “Yeah…that’s an issue, alright. Us driving with fossil fuel and eating processed meat products? We’d be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail if these guys didn’t find all three of those things extremely problematic.”

            Dennis shrugged and took another bite of his ‘Jim. “Seems like everyone’s got beef these days. What can ya do.” It wasn’t a question.

            “I’m not really concerned with changing their beliefs. I just want to get out of here with my rear end un-roasted,” I shot back, not particularly kindly.

            “Well, it was either die of thirst by the side of the road, or get snatched by the Blue Checks and hopefully get some water out of the deal, so we can’t complain that much.”

            “You’re forgetting what’s behind door number three,” I replied.

            “The Bridge Trolls? I’m not forgetting them. I just prefer to not think of their existence. Say what you will about eating granola, at least the Blue Checks don’t spend their free time hammering out poorly-written manifestos that no one will ever read.”

            I raised an eyebrow. “Woah. Look at you, getting all woke. Maybe we’re not screwed after all.” I gestured towards the approaching Blue Checks, now close enough to count without binoculars.

            Dennis hopped down from the hood. “It’s not that I’m particularly woke, my man.” He punctuated his sentence by hocking spit onto the cracked asphalt, “I’m just not an asshole.”

            “Well,” I mused, looking towards the sustainably-clad bikers racing towards us, “let’s hope they think so too.”

            The Blue Checks pulled up in a cloud of dust, popped out their kickstands, and observed us for a moment. The closest of them, a tall, skeletal specimen, stepped away from their bike and ambled towards us, face unreadable under a dirty plastic Guy Fawkes mask (made in China). Fawkes stopped a few paces away and spoke in a toneless voice.

            “You come here uninvited. Judgment is required.” They gestured to the other riders, who approached hesitantly. Fawkes addressed them with what might have been annoyance. “Do not fear them, comrades,” Fawkes said as he kicked the empty package of ‘Jims. “These two roamers feast upon vile sundries. They cannot withstand the might of our camaraderie!”

            “Uh—hey,” Dennis interjected, “You can just put the bags on and take us to your place; we’ve done the whole abducted-by-marauders thing before.”

            An hour or so later, Dennis and I had the obligatory kidnap-sacks yanked off our heads and found ourselves seated on wicker chairs in front of a wooden stage fronted by an intricately-wrought podium. Our hands remained bound by knotty hempen rope—I briefly wondered whether it was free trade—but we were relatively unconstrained otherwise. Fawkes stood behind us, watchful eyes glinting out from under the mask. Murmuring Blue Checks stood in rows all around.

            A third prisoner, a short, rotund man who was sweating furiously and trying to shout through a pair of socks stuffed in his mouth, was seated to my left.

            I turned and addressed him quietly, “Hey, buddy, the shouting won’t help. You know what’s going on, right? The whole big daily judgment show?”

            Socks quieted down and looked at me questioningly. “I guess not,” I continued. “Just try not to say anything problematic.”

            A hush fell over the crowd as an ominous figure stalked out of the darkness of the stage to the podium. Fawkes piped up from behind me, “Hail the Chief of Equals!”

            “Hail!” parroted the serried ranks of Blue Checks.

            The Chief of Equals, crowned with an immense, interlocking stack of antlers bedecked in dreamcatchers and “Coexist” stickers, raised her hands for quiet.  The strands of “healing crystals” wrapped around her wrists clacked together in the fresh silence.

            “Comrades of the Blue Check! We gather today to judge and punish those we find problematic.” The self-righteousness evident in her tone had me nervously thinking over my old social media profiles, even though they were all lost to the ether in the Crash. The electric ghosts of bad jokes have a way of haunting you, after all.  I shook my head and turned my attention back to the proceeding at hand.

            “Ye that are not verified shall be judged,” the Chief of Equals was barking. “And ye that are deemed problematic—yea, thou shalt be brought to the roast.” She stepped down from the platform and paced before us for a moment before turning abruptly, a rictus of a grin smeared onto her face. “Now,” she began, in a tone that notified all of us that this was definitely a trap, “What do you think of…Colin Kaepernick?” She looked to Dennis first.

            “Uh. He’s got pretty decent stats…I think?” The Chief of Equals harrumphed and turned to me.

            “He’s fine. I got no beef- er, problems.” My questioner glowered slightly at my faux pas and leaned closer. I could smell the expired Kombucha on her breath.

            Socks, having had the footwear removed from his mouth, chimed in from my left, “I personally can’t stand the guy. Just un-American, if you ask me. Shameful.”

            I turned to look at him, jaw fully dropped. “Bruh,” I said. “Kinda problematic.”

            The Chief of Equals delivered a firm backhand to my face. “Watch the gendered language, roamer.” She stepped back to the podium and lifted her arms to the flock before her. “And yea, the aggressor reveals himself! Bring out the roaster!”

            At the Chief of Equals’ order, two robed Blue Check acolytes rolled an iron cage onto the stage and opened the door. Inside were yesterday’s charred human remains. Socks’s eyes widened. He asked, to no one in particular, “What did that guy do? Not a Kap fan either?” The robed officiants turned to him.

            “Who knows?” said the left.

            “Who cares?” said the right.

            “That was yesterday,” finished the left.

            They dragged Socks into the cage and rolled it offstage. The congregated Blue Checks followed, leaving Dennis and I alone with Fawkes and the Chief of Equals.

            Fawkes gestured to one of the departing attendants. “Bring the Macropods.”

            “Big-foots?” I asked Dennis under my breath.

             “I think big-feet is the preferred nomenclature,” he shot back.

            The Chief of Equals, hearing us, turned with a grin both malevolent and delighted.

            “Our Bailiffs. The guardians of this righteous court and the executors of the justice herein set forth. You might know them by a crasser name: Kangaroos.”

            Fawkes turned to the four lumbering, misshapen figures—robed, cowled, and masked in the baroque livery of their byzantine order—which had just entered my peripheral vision, and gestured at us with a head tilt that conveyed unadulterated, ecstatic glee.

            The Macropods were shrouded to the point of unrecognizability. I found myself wondering, as two of them seized each of my biceps with inhuman strength, whether they were in fact the marsupials their title proclaimed. The one grasping my right arm turned the hooded darkness which served as its face to receive the command of its master.

            The Chief of Equals, with that same undisguised rapture that had been on display throughout the whole of this strange proceeding, pointed at me and Dennis, and pronounced our sentence: “To the soy mines with them!

 

To be continued…

___
wtp7bq@virginia.edu

Hot Bench: Amanda Marie Brock


Amanda Marie Brock

Mandy.jpg

Hi Mandy! Welcome to Hot Bench! For all our readers who might not know, Mandy is our local superstar in Scott Commons who gives us that life-sustaining substance—coffee. Mandy, can you tell us a little about yourself? 

 

My name is Amanda, and I’m 38 years old.  I’ve been working at UVA Law for fifteen years, and I have two beautiful children. I love my job, and I love my coworkers. I like to play basketball and I love collecting stamps. 

 

How did you get the nickname Mandy? 

My cousin named me Amanda for her favorite soap opera. I think my Dad first started calling me Mandy when I was a kid, and it just went from there. I like Mandy. 

 

What kind of stamps do you collect? 

Like the older Black History stampsthose especially. 

 

In the fifteen years that you’ve worked here, what are some changes that you’ve seen come to Scott Commons? 

The food. That’s about the only thing. We used to be Grill Works, Montague Deli, and Bene Pizza. Now, we’re just Great Harvest Cafe. We used to have hot foods like hamburger steak, pork chops, fried chicken (a Thursday special), and chicken parmesanwe had so much stuff. 

 

If there’s one thing you could change about the cafeteria, what would you change? 

The food, to be honest. The stuff we have is good, but there aren’t as many options as before. We used to have more hot dishes and vegetarian options. Now, it’s four sandwiches at the deli and four sandwiches at the grill. 

 

What is your favorite thing that you guys serve? 

The most popular thing is the Yard Bird Salad and the Cubano from the grill. 

 

I heard that you won an award recently. Please share details! 

Okay! I got chosen, I don’t know how, but I got chosen. I think someone recommended me and wrote a letter, but I don’t know who. The award is the highest honor that Aramark gives to their employees. Aramark is a company based out of Philadelphia. Their goal is to enrich and nourish lives through innovative services in food. Out of 27,000 employees, they picked me and another person. I get to go to Arizona for a week on Aramark’s dime. I’m getting picked up in a limo from my house to the airport, and then I get pampered for a week in Arizona. 

 

I see, I thought this was a university award, but Aramark is our dining contractor. What is it that Aramark provides? 

Aramark provides the dining services, and then there’s another vendor who provides the food. 

 

Let’s do a lightning round! 

 

Favorite food? 

Fried chicken, I could eat it to death.

 

Favorite place in Charlottesville? 

Jefferson-Madison Regional LibraryI love to read. 

 

What do you like to read? 

I like mysteries. 

 

Anti-Stress Hobby?

Reading while taking a bath. 

 

Pet peeve? 

I think cats. They’re creepy to me. They’re like humans almost. 

 

Favorite word? 

BooI like to call people boo. 

 

What’s your spirit animal? 

A lion.  

 

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? 

I would want to live in Africa if I could. I want to go there one day. 

 

Where did you grow up? 

Right here in Charlottesville, VA. 

 

Can you tell us about your adorable kids?=

I have a seventeen-year-old. Her name is Emoni. She’s a senior at Charlottesville High School. She is a very outgoing child. If you met her, you would fall in love with her. She wants to be a Certified Nurse Assistantshe always wants to help others. That’s what I love about her. And I have my son, his name is Jeremiah. He’s fourteen and all he knows is basketball. Basketball is life for him; he can tell you anything you want to know about basketball. I think he wants to be a superstar one day. He’s shy, but he’s a good kid. He just started high school. 

 

Are your kids basketball fans? 

Oh yes, my son is for Kentucky and my daughter likes Duke. I like UVA. 

 

Do you play basketball? 

Yes, it’s my favorite sport. When I have free time, that’s what I do with my son. 

 

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

I would give half to charity and then I would take care of my parents, my siblings, and, of course, my kids. I wouldn’t quit my job. They say money doesn’t last forever, so I won’t quit. 

 

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

Everyone to be nice to one another. 

 

What’s your favorite thing about the Law School?

The students, faculty, and atmosphere. Everyone is so nice and pleasant to me. There is a good energy in this building that I can feel from my box. I love everyone I encounter at my counter! 

 

What would you like to tell all the students? 

I want to tell all the students, thank you for everything that you do. Thank you for always being so nice and pleasant to me when you come to my counter. Stay positive! Don’t let school stress you out. :) 

___
amandabrock81@gmail.com

Hoos Pets are These? Pt. I


Taylor Elicegui ‘20
Features Editor

              Recently, I’ve noticed a trend among my peers. Everyone looks a little brighter, a little happier. Is it the relief of being a 3L? The joy of being back in Charlottesville, surrounded by beautiful, lovely law students? Or the happiness of not having to put on a suit to go to work anymore? While all of these factors may contribute, I have a different theory: the rise of the 3L pet. Many pet-obsessed law students take advantage of the easier workload in 3L getting a furry friend. 3L is considered the perfect time, since students have less schoolwork (or at least, have a better idea of how to do their schoolwork) but also don’t have to deal with the demands of the workplace yet.

              With that theory in mind, I wanted to spread this joy across the school, and also distract myself while I wait until Friday to go pick up my own 3L pet (the most adorable little kitten I’ve ever seen). I spoke to several peers about their furry friends (and one particularly hardworking good boy) and collected some advice for those contemplating getting their own 3L, 2L, or even 1L pet. There are so many cute furry friends to be featured that this article is part one of at least a two-part series. If you have a furry friend to be featured, please send me an email: tke3ge@virginia.edu.

 

Brand New 3L Pets

Abbey Thornhill and Sully

              Abbey got Sully, her mini goldendoodle puppy, last Friday, September 6. According to Abbey, “I've always wanted a dog. Last winter I decided that it was sort of now or never—if I was going to get a dog in the next few years, it should be while I was still in school so I could have the flexibility to come home and hang with the pup during the day between classes. So, I decided it was time to get myself on the waiting list with the hope of the puppy coming home 3L fall!” Since getting Sully, Abbey hasn’t really slept much or done any reading, but she’s hoping life with Sully will get easier as he gets older. Puppies are definitely a lot of work, so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re contemplating following the pet trend. Thus far, Sully’s favorite thing to do is play with leaves. For more Sully content, follow him on Instagram: @sullytheminidood727.

 

Jackson Myers Argo.jpeg

Jackson Myers and Argo

              Jackson and Maddie Roth, Jackson’s girlfriend and a graduate student at UVA’s Batten School of Public Policy, adopted Argo from the Augusta Regional SPCA on August 9. Jackson said, “I grew up with dogs at home and Maddie had always loved them from afar; our Instagram feeds are both predominantly dog accounts. We knew we wanted a dog, and decided that there would never be a better time to get a puppy than this August, when we both had about three weeks before classes began in order to get the puppy acclimated to us and to start doing training.” Jackson also got Argo as a way to encourage himself to care about schoolwork less and give himself a new organizing principle. Jackson said, “Playing with, cuddling with, or even just looking at Argo is like an automatic happiness injection—she is just the cutest, sweetest dog, and every moment I spend with her is better than that moment would have been without her.” For anyone contemplating getting a pet, Jackson said, “Getting a dog (since I can’t opine on cats or any other kind of pet) can add a ton to your life, but it’s also a lot and has to be taken very seriously. That said, 3L is a great time to get a dog, because for most people a lot of the academic pressure is off (so a furry distraction is fine/welcome) but you also still have a flexible schedule so you can be with the dog as much as possible.”

 

Law School Pets

Sarah Iacomini, Onyx the Adventure Cat and Norbert the Wolf Dragon

              Sarah adopted Onyx the Adventure Cat just before starting law school. Norbert the Wolf Dragon joined their cat family in August. Sarah decided to get her cats for companionship and to support her local animal shelters in Florida. According to Sarah, “Onyx loves watching squirrels visit the bird feeder at Sarah’s house and Norbert delights in playing with a piece of packaging paper that came from a shipping box.” Since becoming a cat owner, Sarah loves the stress-relieving snuggles provided by her cats. The biggest difference from pre-pet life, Sarah says, is the way the cats have taken over her photos, videos and conversations. Sarah advises anyone contemplating getting a pet in law school to support their local animal shelters by adopting from there. For more Onyx and Norbert pictures, follow them on Instagram: @onyx_the_adventure_cat & @norbert_the_wolf_dragon.

 

Ben and Grace Bevilacqua and Baker[1]

              Ben and Grace got Baker, a standard poodle, during 2L—the day after their Sooners defeated the Mountaineers (November 24, 2018). Ben and Grace had wanted a dog within the next five years, and decided 2L was the best time to do it. They love Baker’s frivolity and curiosity. Ben noted that Baker is particularly good at playing fetch, which is her favorite hobby (particularly in the woods). Ben advised anyone contemplating getting a pet to plan ahead and get the pet sooner rather than later, so they can be trained by next summer. If you want to follow Baker, check out her IG: @baker.the.standard. 





Pre-Law School Pets

Jenny Lewis and Millie

              Jenny got Millie, a one-hundred-pound Newfoundland/Great Pyrenees, right after college graduation. Jenny always wanted a dog, but her dad was allergic. So, when Jenny realized she wasn’t going to live at home anymore, Jenny “made my puppy dreams come true after 22 years of non-dog life.” Jenny loves never coming home to an empty house, particularly because Millie is so excited to see her when she gets home. Jenny said, “It’s her favorite part of the day (except breakfast.  And dinner.  And any other time food is available.” Life with a pet requires more planning ahead so you can take care of them, and it’s more expensive—but way more fun. For anyone contemplating getting a dog, Jenny advises, “It’s hard, but you can do it!  Get some good friends to be available to pet sit.”

___
tke3ge@virginia.edu


[1] Congratulations to the newlyweds!  Grace and Ben, both 3Ls, got married over the summer.

Court of Petty Appeals: Mellark v. Everdeen


Mellark et. al v. Everdeen
323 U.Va 105 (2019)

 

Elicegui, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Shmazzle, C.J., Ranzini, Luk, and Schmid, JJ. join. Calamaro, J., filed a dissenting opinion. Justice Elicegui delivered the opinion of the Court.

I

At the beginning of every year, the normally polite, well-mannered, collegial students of UVA Law channel their inner Hunger Games fighters and chaos ensues as the barbarians fight to get the best seats. The Administration’s statute, U.Va. G. St. § 17-839, describes the School’s seat policy as: “We let students pick their own seats.” Given the lack of guidance and ambiguity in the statute, this Court will restore order by interpreting the statute against the backdrop of UVA’s general rules of collegiality and the common-law understanding of adverse possession. Property rights do not attach to a particular seat until a seating chart is filled out or students become accustomed to the seat over the course of at least three weeks.

 

II

On September 2, 2019, Peeta Mellark arrived for his 1:00 p.m. Corporations class in SL 289.  Mellark discovered that a group of three—Clove, Cato, and Glimmer—had taken Mellark’s seat from last class. Since there was not yet a seating chart, Mellark was content to move back a few rows. Mellark picked out a seat and began settling in. 

Five minutes later, Mellark had settled in and was enjoying his morning coffee. All of a sudden, an arrow whizzed past Mellark’s ear. Mellark jumped clear out of his seat, which ended up being a good thing, because another arrow whizzed underneath him. Mellark looked around, confused and frightened, and caught a glimpse of Katniss Everdeen’s camo-clad figure.

Suddenly, Everdeen dropped down on Mellark’s desk from the ceiling.  “What?!” Mellark loudly exclaimed. “Excuse me, this is my seat,” Everdeen hissed.

“Oh, well there’s not a seating chart yet, and other people were in my seat, which is totally cool. But that means I needed to move,” Mellark explained.

“I don’t think you understand,” Everdeen said, her voice getting more menacing. “This is MY seat.” Frightened and wanting to avoid confrontation, Mellark got up and moved, giving Everdeen the seat she claimed as her own.

After class, Mellark drafted a complaint and filed suit against Everdeen in the Court of Petty Problems. Mellark alleged unlawful conversion of property and emotional distress from Everdeen’s aggression. At trial, Judge Marlyse Vieira found that Everdeen correctly protected her property from Mellark’s attempted unlawful conversion and Everdeen did not engage in unlawful conversion because she had a vested property right in the seat. Judge Vieira also dismissed the emotional distress claim, citing 1L Gunners v. Everyone Else, 324 U.Va. 22, 24 (2019) (“[E]motional distress is a harm within the risk of attending law school.”).

Mellark appeals Judge Vieira’s ruling on the property question, but does not appeal the emotional distress decision, as it is clearly right as a matter of law under petty precedent.

 

III

With all statutory analysis questions, this Court begins with the text of the statute. However, U.Va. G. St. § 17-839 does not provide much insight. “We let students pick their own seats” does not account for a seating chart, which locks students into particular seats and prohibits moving after a certain point in the semester. As current and former professors, the drafters of U.Va. G. St. § 17-839 clearly knew about seating charts and intended for the rule to co-exist with them. Therefore, “We let students pick their own seats” cannot exclusively mean what it says.

This Court must look outside the face of the statute into the larger cultural context of UVA Law. As demonstrated by the existence of a seating chart, property rights clearly must attach to a student’s chosen seat at some point. To co-exist with the Law School’s policy and the fact that the School, in fact, owns every seat in the school, students gain property rights in the form of a semester-estate through adverse possession. Adverse possession requires open and notorious use that is contrary to the owner’s interests in the seat. This Court holds that possession cannot be open until a seating chart is filled out. At that point, property rights attach to the student and the student has a cognizable claim should someone else invade the property right. The school has notice that the student has claimed the seat, satisfying the open use requirement. The possession is also notorious because the school loses the right to put prospective 0Ls or visiting guests in that seat for the remainder of the semester.

In situations where a seating chart is not yet in place, or for courses where the professor does not use a seating chart, the regular rules of UVA Law student conduct govern. Therefore, students are expected to behave in a civil manner. The Hunger Games ends now.  No more shooting arrows. If you want a particular seat, get yourself to class early and claim the seat. If a student arrives early enough to claim the seat they want, they get it. If you aren’t happy with your seat from last class, get there early next class. And, if someone takes a seat you do not yet own, suck it up and find a different seat. Don’t hate the player—hate the game.  After a reasonable period of time, consistent occupation establishes adverse possession even without a seating chart.

 

J. Calamaro, dissenting.

              My colleague writes of the interaction between Mellark and Everdeen[1] through the lens of a social “faux pas.” Yet she forgets that, throughout the history of law school, the greatest minds have always been the ones that commit these social “mistakes” every day. Have not the most successful, greatest law students also been the friendless, and socially awkward? Is this even social awkwardness so much as social Darwinism, whereby the strong may take the seats of the weak? Fighting for seats is a time-honored tradition, the game of kings and peasants alike, and should be the main tool by which we choose our seats throughout the semester.[2]

I propose that we cast aside these “castes” of seating charts which have long been a tool for professors to gain even more control over the lives of the plebeians. Instead, we must remember that law school is about intimidation and strength, and that if someone comes in with a knitted wool vest over a button-down shirt, he is clearly the smartest and most accomplished student and must be allowed to take whichever seat suits him. So it was with our ancestors, so it must be now. It is our human nature to fight, be it with clubs and pitchforks, or with passive-aggressive looks at the person who is sitting where we feel that we ought to. We must therefore be allowed to duke it out in whatever manner is necessary to achieve seating tranquility. The time for “seating socialism”™ is long gone—the time for seating altercations, be they verbal or just angry mutters under breaths, is here.

The majority should be prepared to reckon with the grave consequences of their actions today. Law students are people who throw off the bonds of social structure, who decide to cut in line because life is theirs for the taking, who go to class sick because herd immunity be damned.[3] We deserve to prove our worth to our families not just in the field of finals, or the field of softball, but also in the field of seating arrangements. Only by knowing who is the best at sitting will the black holes that are our hearts be filled with self-esteem and meaning.

___
tke3ge@virginia.edu
dac6jk@virginia.edu


[1] The law school equivalent of Jane and John Doe

[2] See:  Henry VIII, duck duck goose

[3] RIP cabin crew and norovirus.

Tweedledee: To Binge or Not to Binge


Lena Welch ‘20
New Media Editor

When Netflix started releasing the Great British Bake-Off[1] an episode at a time, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. But I don’t have to be happy about it.

Binge-watching is among the things I do best in the world. I truly excel. I watched season three of Stranger Things three times (plus a re-watch of seasons one and two) in the time it took my friend to watch just the third season.[2] Essentially, I have a specific type of willpower that doesn’t allow me to prevent myself from watching television but does allow me to consume a massive amount in a single sitting. 

Which brings me to GBBO. This show is my life force. It appeals to me on multiple levels. The easiest level to identify is as a baker. I live for the flavor combinations and methods. Since watching, I have tried my hand at genoise cakes, laminated pastries, breads, and choux pastries—to varying degrees of success, of course.[3]

Lena has an agonizing week-long wait to see a new episode. Photo credit Mark Bourdillon.

Lena has an agonizing week-long wait to see a new episode. Photo credit Mark Bourdillon.

The show also appeals to me as a human being. The only other show that taps into my humanity in the same way is MasterChef Junior.[4] GBBO demonstrates some of the best parts of people—helping others even in the face of competition, creativity when following tradition is the easy way out, and quick-thinking problem-solving when things don’t go to plan.

Finally, it appeals to me as a law student with a sometimes unbelievable amount of stress. I turn to GBBO during these highly stressful times of my life, and I let the British summer, beautiful bakes, and soulful tone of Selasi’s voice wash over me. I fired it up the other day in response to my fellowship-application-clinic-case-start-of-school stress, and saw a notification that new episodes were coming. EPISODES. 

Well, I woke up at 3 a.m. last Friday to discover only one episode available and a new episode to come in each of the next nine weeks.[5] The outrage! What is this? Television?

Now, you may be saying, “Lena, I thought you were watching in response to stress.” And you’re right. For that reason, this is the best thing to happen to me. New bakers, new challenges, expanding the universe that I love, and in measured doses that better fit with school’s current demands on my time. But consuming the new season in one sitting and compromising other areas of my life was my mistake to make, Netflix! 

Michael Schmid ‘21
Production Editor

I may be in my twenties, but in many ways I feel adrift from the trends of my generation. I’m not on social media. I am currently reading an autobiography of Art Garfunkel.[6] The last movie I watched starred Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.[7] So, it might make sense to readers that I’ve never understood the appeal of bingeing a new show.

Lest you gain the impression that I am a complete contrarian, I would just like to state that I do, in fact, love many features of streaming services. Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime are near-ubiquitous fixtures in my apartment. How else can I watch the same episodes of the shows I’ve watched since high school over and over and over?[8] Being able to watch the same episode of The Office for the millionth time is a security blanket of unparalleled comfort. I enjoy streaming services so much that I constantly forget my apartment complex provides cable.[9] But for all of the positives of Netflix, releasing an entire season all at once isn’t one of them.

Watching newly released content is much more enjoyable when it is released incrementally. The first reason is my own impatience. It already takes forever to wait for a new season even when you don’t binge watch, but you have to wait even longer if you do. The second reason has to do with another shortcoming of mine—there is just no way I can focus on that many episodes in a short amount of time. Most likely, I’ll just fall asleep. So[10]—perhaps multiple times—and the Internet abounds with spoilers and hot takes. All this happens, most likely, before I even knew the new season was released.[11] Those who binged the new season have to avoid giving spoilers to their more methodical comrades who have not seen as many episodes. That means we all lose, both bingers and non-bingers alike.

The closest I came to bingeing an entire season was season three of Santa Clarita Diet. I blew through it at record pace[12] only to find that the much-awaited season four would never come to pass after Netflix unceremoniously cancelled the show.[13] The lesson I learned from that situation is clear: bingeing only leads to sadness.

___
lw8vd@virginia.edu
ms3ru@virginia.edu




[1] Also known as the Great British Baking Show to Americans, but I prefer to call it by its proper acronym (GBBO).

[2] A quick shout-out to my best friend who does not want me to reveal his identity but who recently watched Stranger Things. I had been feeling guilty for letting him go so long without watching it, so I am quite pleased that he is now a fan.

[3] As frequent recipients of their goodies, the Law Weekly staff is eternally grateful.

[4] If you’re not watching this show, you are making a mistake.

[5] The release corresponds with the release in the U.K., which is another reason why this is one of the best things to happen to me, but again, not happy. I’m a horrible, disgusting, spoiled, instant-gratification-seeking garbage person, and I want my show now!

[6] What Is It All but Luminous?, Knopf (2017).

[7] Charade (1963), directed by Stanley Donen.

[8] An episode of Psych that I’ve seen a million times is playing in the background as I write.

[9] But it’s standard def basic cable, so really what’s the point?

[11] See above: I don’t have social media.

[12] It was probably like one week, but… it’s all relative.

[13] Don’t even get me started on that decision…

Hot Bench: Jordin Dickerson '20


Jordin Dickerson ‘20

What are you most excited about being back?

Being back so I can finish, and seeing all of my friends.

 

Do you have any 3Lol goals?

To finish the Monticello Wine Trail.

 

What is your favorite word?  

Sassafrass.

 

Where did you grow up? 

Fayetteville, North Carolina.

 

Oh, so how has Hurricane Dorian been impacting you?

I went to undergrad a county over from my hometown and they’ve had classes cancelled. Where I’m from is a poorer county and is more rural so it floods easily. I’m more nervous for my undergrad because of how rural it is and how easily it floods, so I hope people are okay and don’t get trapped without a way to leave.

 

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

Definitely when I was in Italy. Homemade pasta with pesto in an amazing restaurant. It was sooo good.

 

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

Leonardo DeCaprio, because he’s beautiful and cares about climate change.

 

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

Netflix.

 

What show?

It’s between The Office and Parks and Rec, but I pick one to watch all the way through and then switch to the other one.

 

What did you think about the Game of Thrones ending?

Terrible. Very disappointing. They should’ve just ended it at the Battle of Winterfell.

 

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

The beach, generally. As long as there’s water and a place to lay down, and a beverage (alcoholic?) I’m happy.

 

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

I had no lawyers in my family, so I really feel like I didn’t know anything. I wish I knew first year would be the hardest academically speaking.

 

Have the other years been harder in different ways?

I’m much busier now, but class is much easier, so it’s a balance.

 

Would you have done anything differently if you knew what you wished you’d knew?

I wouldn’t have taken four exams second semester and now have a strong policy to not take more than two exams in any one semester.

 

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

An iced coffee.

 

What’s your most interesting two-truths- and-a- lie?

1.     There is a 17 year age gap between one of my siblings and I.

2.     I’ve never seen Star Wars.

3.     I lived in Italy for two years.

 

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Italy, because I love pasta, pizza, and wine. Plus, in the afternoon, everything closes for a nap. What more could you want?

 

What’s your least favorite sound? 

Whining, whether it’s a kid or an adult. I hate whining.

 

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

My first bike when I was seven for Christmas.

 

Who gave it to you?

My mom and stepdad at the time. They did a scavenger hunt for it, and my sister and I found matching bikes on the back porch.

 

Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

*NSYNC, hands down. No question.

 

What is the best concert you have ever been to?

J Cole, in Fayetteville, at the end of his 2014 Forest Hills Drive album. That was the address where he lived in Fayetteville. He brought Drake and Jay-Z along, it was awesome.

 

What’s your favorite thing to do in Charlottesville?

Go to Brazos!

 

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

To acknowledge and be thankful for what you have.

 

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

I’d open a pro bono legal office and practice there.

 

Peter Dragna: Wow, really? I hope you never win

 

Jordin: Okay I’d pay off my student debt and go on vacation too. But I’d still want to work, I didn’t do all this schooling to not do something with it.

 

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

Foreign languages. Ideally all of them.

 

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

Race walking. It is the funniest thing, the rules are so strict and it’s awesome to watch.

 

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

Peru. I’ve never been to South America and want to see Machu Picchu.

 

What are you looking forward to after you graduate?

I guess actually practicing. I like being in court, which I knew after this summer, and you don’t really get to do that in law school.

 

What are you going to miss most about law school?

I’m going to miss talking with my friends at the ScoCo table. And glaring at people who take it without understanding that it’s OUR table.

___
jad8cb@virginia.edu

Letter to the Editor: 9-4-19


Michael Berdan ‘22

This week, I attended the Federalist Society’s speaking engagement, Originalism 101. My attendance was motivated less by ideological affinity than by curiosity, desire to understand those with whom I disagree, and love of free Chick-fil-A. As my friends and I stood in line to pick up our food, we noticed that the more delicious spicy chicken sandwiches were disappearing much more quickly than were the original sandwiches.

 

In that moment, a fellow attendee advanced past us to the front of the line, went behind the food service table, and took two sandwiches—including one of the three or four Spicy sandwiches remaining. As he grabbed his food, he slyly grinned and shrugged at the line from behind the table, as if to say, “Why not use both sides of the table?” No one followed his lead.

 

Now, lest you think I carved time out of my dense 1L schedule to write a Seinfeldian letter about nothing, I want to get to my point. I have trouble believing that this fellow’s true motive was to share a more efficient means of distributing the food. If it were, he would have suggested his forking-line method to those in front, then returned to his position in the line. His intention was to unfairly obtain what he wanted, while “sheltering” himself under a plausible—though transparent—justification.

 

This type of rhetorical sheltering is often observed in politics and where politics meets law. Though I adore the late Justice Antonin Scalia as a writer (two of his books sit on the shelf in front of me as I write this), I often lamented that his ardent originalism just happened to always convene his conservative religious social aims. Many of his acolytes, in my experience, quickly hold up strict constitutional originalism to dodge questions about the social and ethical consequences of their policy goals. I question whether originalism is leading them to their conclusions or propping up a position already held.

 

The left is guilty of “shielding” as well. We liberals frequently shirk nuanced discussion of thorny issues like immigration, abortion, and tax policy by aggressively claiming the moral high ground and labeling any flexibility in policy a compromise in morality. Such virtue signaling accomplishes little in an ideologically diverse democracy and is likely to lead to a very disappointing result in 2020.

 

We can engage better with others, but only if we first engage better with ourselves. Law school is the best place to learn to hold ourselves intellectually and ideologically accountable. Surrounded by intimidatingly smart peers, we can listen and respond with vulnerability, particularly to those with whom we disagree. We can interrogate that defensive instinct within ourselves that tells us we might not be thinking, speaking, or acting sincerely. We can lay bare our true motives and do the hard work of changing them for the better—even if it means someone else ends up with that last spicy chicken sandwich.

___
mwb4pk@virginia.edu

Court of Petty Appeals: Lee v. The Law School


Lee et al. v. The Law School (2019)

Chief Justice Shmazzle delivered the opinion of the Court.

 

Today, the Court must address a problem we’d prefer to pretend doesn’t exist like we do the other 364 days of the year: tuition. A class of plaintiffs comprising the entire student body[1] of the law school alleges that, having procrastinated until the last possible day to pay tuition,[2] it noticed a shocking and heretofore unknown increase in tuition. Aggrieved and contemplating a thinner budget of $7 beer and dumplings that taste good only when you’re drunk, the class filed suit alleging that the tuition increase constitutes a taking by the administration and, alternatively, that it violated the North Grounds Procedure Act because of the egregious lack of notice provided to students.  

 

FACTS

UVA Law students dispersed across the country this summer to pursue summer work in the form of government internships, law-firm jobs, public-interest endeavors, research, and more. All[3] worked their butts off, trying to impress potential future employers and recommenders, and planned for the upcoming school year to come. As the Summer Solstice passed and the days began to grow shorter, paychecks[4] tapered off, and emails from the school filled our inboxes, students (their parents, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae) were faced with the most dreaded part of any semester––paying tuition. And as students logged on to pay the exorbitant fee, this Court started receiving complaints from students about the increase in tuition that no one thought we’d be interested in knowing about in advance (and, if such notice was provided, no one on this Court caught it in our inboxes). Complaints included claims of detrimental reliance on prior terms of cost of attendance, use of force/duress in springing these costs on students so late as to make it impossible to transfer or otherwise order their budgets to prepare for this additional cost, and lots of F-bombs. Eventually, the class settled on the claims here, seeking restitution in the form of additional Thursday kegs for the money that was taken unexpectedly or an explanation regarding why tuition increased and what the money will be going toward.[5]

 

ANALYSIS

The lower court, in granting respondent’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds that its notice-less tuition increase was a valid exercise of its power, gave several justifications. First, the lower court held that the amount of the increase was not a taking because it was, in the grand scheme of things, “not that much money.” The lower court even claimed this was petty cash compared to what these students will ultimately make in their legal careers.. But we’re going to give a big old “WRONG” to that. This might seem like petty cash to whoever implemented this change, who paid like three grand a year to go to law school in 1953, but this is no petty sum for students. This money could buy students 650 drinks at Bilt (even more if it’s bar review), 300 large Christian pizzas with extra toppings, all their law school books during all three years of law school, and most importantly, a new puppy. Do respondents find a puppy small and insignificant? Do y’all hate animals? Because that’s what I’m getting from that ruling, and that’s garbage. This Petty Court will not allow rulings that support animal cruelty, and for that reason this Court finds the lower court’s argument to be without merit.

Second, the lower court found that there was adequate notice under the North Grounds Procedure Act for students to discover this increased tuition cost. Citing Pennoyer v. Neff and Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co.[JV1] , the lower court thought it was really smart and rational in finding that students had enough time to ask for increased loans and cancel post-2L law firm trips around the world. But the lower court forgets that this Court doesn’t follow such precedents––they’re far too confusing and the writers use too many big words. Instead, we follow our own case law. A long series of prior cases indicates that students should win when the administration doesn’t send at least four emails alerting them to a change in policy or required course of action. See, e.g., Students Registering for Classes v. Dugas, 876 U.Va. 110 (2016) (finding that one email about course selection isn’t enough and ordering damages to all rising 3Ls who had missed the course lottery; no one can seriously expect those burnouts to remember something after just one email); 1Ls v. Career Services, 667 U.Va. 1 (2012) (enjoining Career Services to send important dates out in several emails instead of expecting stressed-out, crazed 1Ls to actually read emails start-to-finish. The 1Ls are smarter than any law-firm-partner-turned-career-advisor up there, obvi, and don’t have time to worry too much about job advice from the sass-monster).[6] The case before us here is worse than even those examples––at least the losers in those cases sent ONE email. Here, the Court can find no evidence that respondents sent any.[7] Logging into SIS three weeks before classes start to pay tuition and discovering this change is not enough time to re-budget and re-plan for costs to come. That’s not notice and no court should pretend otherwise.

Lastly, the lower court judge found that, even if respondents ought to have to explained their actions or given notice, failing to do so was harmless because the people making these decisions are “very busy” and the extra money will “go toward things that benefit the students.” But judge, I have to ask[JV2] ––have you seen the truncated remains of Jeffries Garden? And the lack of potato chips in the snack room?! This Court hasn’t seen any new benefits to students,[8] and we all know that if you can’t see something then it must not be there. Because respondent has not supplied any justification (at least none that the court can find) for such increased costs or what the funds will go toward, we cannot agree that the error in failing to provide notice was harmless.

There’s also a chance the class of plaintiffs has sued the wrong defendants. The Court has heard rumor that there’s some sort of “Board of Guests” that sits somewhere called “the Rotundity” or something like that that makes decisions about tuition. Until we get confirming evidence of these (frankly ridiculous sounding) entities, we’re just going to blame the Law School in our tantrum.

Finding none of the lower court arguments for respondent persuasive, this Court turns to petitioners’ argument that this change was not “fair,” “cool,” or “dope” at all. Further, this court considers petitioners’ suggestion that some explanation of what the increased funds are being used for is in order. And this court considers the petitioners’ request for an apology for forcing a cost on students so late and without any actual notice. Since this Court hasn’t heard a word from respondent, it has to assume the money was taken to inflict undue hardship on petitioners without Due Process and that it all went toward funding the world’s black market for Coach purses.[9] Because the money is likely unrecoverable, this Court refrains from issuing damages to petitioners. Instead, we remand to the lower court with orders to grant petitioners’ motion for summary judgment, which requested that respondents be shamed for their actions and comply with any and all Law Weekly investigations regarding these funds.

 

It is so ordered.

 

Associate Senior Justice Elicegui, concurring in part and dissenting in part.

 

I agree with the conclusion reached by my colleague, Chief Justice Schmazzle. However, this case can be resolved entirely on procedural grounds, thus avoiding the need to reach the merits and providing an opportunity to dunk on Judge Shipman, which I relish.

Judge Shipman, ignoring Petty Rule of Civil Procedure 16, reached the merits of the case to find for respondents, even though respondents never even deigned to respond to the complaints! The respondents had notice of the case and were properly served with the complaints, I think. And if not, the respondents had notice that they were implementing a tuition increase and should have expected students to feel aggrieved, then take their grievances to the most illustrious body in all the land for resolving such problems.[10] 

Given the lack of response, the Law School loses.  Sorry, I don’t make the rules, I just enforce them.  Jk jk I also make the rules.  See Petty Court of Civil Procedure R. 1: we do what we want. 

So give us our dollar bills back.  It would be so ordered if I were in the majority.  Le sigh.

 ___
mes5hf@virginia.edu
tke3ge@virginia.edu


[1] Except you gunners with scholarships.

[2] As is sacred law school custom.

[3] Read: everyone except rising 3Ls at law firm jobs. Mostly they sat around scrolling Twitter and indulging in daily three hour lunches while their waist lines expanded from the combination.

[4] For those students fortunate enough to get them.

[5] Let’s hope they don’t claim the increase went to luxurious new furniture in the renovated WB rooms.

[6] @New 1Ls, if you want to see a real-life fire-breathing dragon, RSVP to all and then don’t attend any of the spring firm receptions. K-Don loves that.

[7]The number of emails signed “best-jason” during this period, meanwhile, boggles the mind.

[8] We acknowledge it has been like four days since these increases went into effect but we’re mad, so . . .

[9] Admit it, ladies. You all know you had one circa 7th grade.

[10] At least, the most illustrious body in all the land until Chrissy Teigen gets “Chrissy’s Court” up and running.

 [JV1]Full case name; and maybe go with one of the APA notice cases instead.

 [JV2]It’s your preference, of course, but I don’t like the conversation-with-the-lower-court thing. You’re the higher court, you don’t have to ask him anything.

Hot Bench: Jenny Kwun '21


Jenny Kwun ‘21

Jenny Kwun Hot Bench Photo .jpg

Hello, Jenny, and welcome to the proverbial Hot Bench! How are you doing? 

Oh, it’s 2 a.m. and I’m currently working. How do you think I am? I should add that it’s 2 a.m. on a Sunday night, not even a Saturday or Friday night. 

 

I wanted to catch you in your element. 

Thank you, thank you. This is truly my element, because I go to sleep at 4 a.m. 

 

You’re being incredibly productive though. 

Yes, I’m working, and I’m eating grapefruit, and I’m doing this interview. So I’m triple-tasking. 

 

Can you tell our readers what you’re working on? 

I’m currently translating for a K-pop site. There’s this, I guess you could say, “American Idol” show in Korea that’s really popular, and the news just broke that there might have been fraud in the voting process. I had everything prepared to publish tonight, but now I have to rewrite everything!  

 

That’s pretty intense. Why do you publish everything at night? 

I work Korea-time. Or maybe the answer is more that the news cycle is 24/7, and someone has to be on to cover it at any time. The night shift works best for me, because I have to attend classes during the day. 

 

How long have you been at this job and how did you get started? 

I’ve had this job since 2011. I had to work during undergrad, and I applied to this company as a translator because I speak fluent Korean. After a year, they promoted me to senior editor. There are some perks because I get to interview my favorite groups. 

 

Is this something you like to do? 

Well, yeah, another reason is that it’s K-pop and this is the biggest website catering to that interest. I like the topic and I know what the work is like. 

 

What’s the coolest thing that you’ve done at your job? 

Interview people, memorably BTS. I think the interview is still on Youtube. The interview was before they got super big, haha. 

 

At what point did you decide to apply to law school? 

OMG, is this OGI? Please don’t ask me this question. 

 

Haha, okay. Are you famous? 

Mmmmh, kind of. I’ve gotten death threats, so I guess that’s how you know you made it. Not so much anymore. 

 

How do you do everything at night and still go to class? 

I have forty-eight cans of Red Bull in my apartment right now. 

 

Tell me something interesting about yourself.

I was born in Korea, and my first language is Korean. Is that interesting? 

 

Yep! When did you start learning English? 

When I was nine. The only thing I remember is that I once pronounced nowhere as “now here” and a girl in class laughed at me. 

 

Let’s do a lightning round!

Favorite place in Charlottesville? Costco. 

Anti-Stress Hobby? I write. I’ve kept a diary since fourth grade. 

Pet peeve? I really hate it when people are, how do I say this in English, when people don’t own up to their mistakes. 

Favorite word? Sluice. [What, why???] I just like the way it sounds and looks! 

Favorite food? Ddukbokki (spicy rice cake). I can totally live every day eating just that. 

 

Oh, do you cook? 

No. OMG, literally I burned ramen the other week. I had to turn my smoke detector off. I put too little water in. :( 

 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

New York City.

 

What’s your favorite movie? 

Inception. I like Christopher Nolan movies in general.

 

If you could pick one song to play in the background of your life, what would it be? 

Hang on, I don’t know. I don’t know enough music to answer this, even though I work in the music industry. I’m not sure I want K-pop to play in the background of my life. 

 

What is your least favorite sound? 

Bugs skittering up a wall. 

 

What’s your spirit animal? 

When I took the Pottermore quiz, I got a dolphin. I guess that, or a jellyfish. 

 

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

I would pay off my school debt and then pay off my sister’s medical school debt. And then buy a building. 

 

A building??

Yes, it’s a very Korean thing to do. When people get a lot of money, they buy a building. 

 

Since it’s the start of the year, let’s end by giving the 1Ls some advice. What do you say? 

They’ve probably heard this a million times already, and when I heard it I just thought it was terrible advice. But now that I’m a 2L, it really is the best advice you can give. You’ll get the hang of it. Or you won’t, and it’ll still work out. Trust me, I’ve got firsthand experience.

___
hk5ek@virginia.edu

Court of Petty Appeals: 1L Gunners v. Everyone Else


1L Gunners v. Everyone Else

939 U. Va. 111 (2019)

 

ELICEGUI, J.  announced the opinion of the Court in which the rest of the bench joined.

 

Summary

As happens every year, the brand-new 1Ls have been running around the school for a week, finding their favorite study spots, surviving their first cold calls, and bonding with their section friends. When left unattended, though, this year's crop of 1Ls developed a complex.  They began to think that they rule the school. Well, that comes to a stop today.

 

Facts

              This morning, three 1Ls—Sally Sue, Mike Matthews, and Hank Hayden—filed a lawsuit alleging intentional infliction of emotional distress and unlawful conversion. Over the last week, the three 1Ls of Section F have developed a morning routine. Sue arrives at school first and puts her stuff down in the conference room across from the bookstore (prime studying territory—arguably the best study spot in the school, since the room has its own thermostat). Sue then goes to grab a coffee and chat with Mandy. Some days she even gets a chocolate chip muffin or a scone.

              While Sue gets her caffeine and sugar fix, Matthews and Hayden arrive in the conference room and settle in.  When Sue gets back, the three brand-new section besties begin discussing the reading from last night, trying to get down the intricacies of Pennoyer v. Neff and in rem jurisdiction. This has become a comforting, cozy routine that allows the friends to catch up on section gossip from the day before and work on learning the complexities of doctrine.

              This morning, though, Sue arrived at school as usual to find her conference room occupied by a group of strangers. A group of tan, beautiful, and a little chubby-looking people were lounging around feasting on Bodo's Bagels, downing iced coffee, and laughing loudly. Sue was flabbergasted. Who were these creatures and where did they come from?! These were the 3Ls of Section Z, tan from spending all of August deep in vacation mode and a little bit chubbier from all of the steaks their law firms had fed them this summer. The 3Ls were here to reclaim their territory.

              Sue worked up her courage and walked into the conference room, explaining to the occupants that she and her friends have occupied this room every morning for the past WEEK. Did these interlopers not understand that 1L is the hardest year and that they need this space to focus and do their ten pages of Civ Pro reading? The 3Ls looked at Sue and laughed.  "Get outta here," said Riley Rivers. "Talk to me when you have thirty pages of Sec Reg reading that you're never going to do.” The rest of the 3Ls cracked up, and Sue ran out of the room in tears.

 

Procedural Posture

              Sue, Matthews, and Hayden reconvened in ScoCo and decided to seek recourse in the school's best forum for addressing wrongs—the Court of Petty Problems. The plaintiffs allege intentional infliction of emotional distress and unlawful conversion. They seek a temporary injunction to prevent the 3Ls from taking over their conference room.

              At the lower court, the Court of Petty Problems, the brand-new 1L Judge Elaine Cruz granted the preliminary injunction for the plaintiffs. According to Judge Cruz, the 1Ls showed a likelihood of success on the merits because 1Ls have a cognizable right over the conference room, gained by occupying it for the last week, and the 3Ls violated that right by taking over the conference room and laughing at Sue. The 3Ls immediately appealed the decision to this illustrious body, the Court of Petty Appeals. The appeal stated, "We don't really feel like writing a full brief, but someone needs to put the 1Ls back in their place."

 

Analysis

              Although the 3Ls' brief did not comply with the Petty Rules of Civil Procedure and did not really lay out any arguments per se, this Court will hear the appeal and restore order across the Law School.  As a Senior Associate Justice 3L, I am not particularly in a mood to do any work, but someone has to address the fact that the kindergarteners have taken over the school study spaces. I did not want to spend my first class of 3L doing justice instead of paying attention in class—I would much rather spend that time on Twitter. But, c'est la vie, something must be done. Thus, the temporary injunction issued by the lower court is hereby overturned and this court grants summary judgment in favor of the defendants because, under Petty Rule of Civil Procedure One, “we do what we want.” The 1Ls have not pled any cognizable harms for which redress may be granted and have not shown a likelihood of success on the merits.

              In order to grant a preliminary injunction, the lower Court of Petty Problems must find: (1) a likelihood of success on the merits, (2) the plaintiffs face a substantial threat of harm or injury without the injunction, (3) the threat is immediate, (4) the balance of harms weighs in favor of the plaintiffs, (5) there is no other available remedy, and (6) granting the injunction serves the public interest. Hungry Students v. SBA, 86 Va. 456 (2004) (granting a preliminary injunction against SBA that required SBA to provide more than two pizzas at the Thursday Social because people are hungry). According to Judge Cruz, all of these conditions were met. Whether that is so is a question of law and will be reviewed de novo. Judge Cruz misapplied the law because she ignored a basic rule of Petty Law, which will be underscored explicitly today: 1Ls lose. 

              The plaintiffs cannot succeed on the merits for several reasons. First, 1Ls lose. The court acknowledges that 1Ls may win when they are right, but the court assumes 1Ls will misapply the law, and therefore places a higher burden of proof on 1Ls to make good legal arguments. The plaintiffs in this case do not meet that burden.

              The plaintiffs cannot show that the 3Ls inflicted emotional distress on them because they cannot prove causation. Additionally, emotional distress is a harm within the risk of attending law school. When you pay your first tuition bill or get your first student loan disbursement, you experience shocks that are designed to prepare you for the fact that law school is emotionally stressful. When you experience your first cold call, that experience reinforces the emotional rollercoaster that is law school. How else would we prepare 1Ls for their first finals? Law students may not recover for intentional infliction of emotional distress from other law students because the emotional distress should be expected.

              Additionally, the plaintiffs cannot demonstrate unlawful conversion because the 3Ls have a much stronger claim to the conference room. The court takes judicial notice of the fact that this group of 3Ls uses the conference room in question frequently. As an Associate Senior Justice, I have walked past that room on my way to buy Diet Coke from the Bookstore and I have seen all of them. That is enough of a basis to conclude that the 3Ls are there a lot.  Therefore, they have a better claim to the room.

 

Summary

              In conclusion, the 3Ls are back, baby. We rule the school and everyone else better prepare themselves. 1Ls lose and all cases from here on out will proceed from the presumption that 1Ls are wrong. This is the first of petty applications of this new rule, but I'm sure it won't be the last.

 

It is so ordered.

___ 

Tke3ge@virginia.edu

Hot Bench: Jenny Lewis '20

Jenny Lewis ‘20

What is your favorite phrase? 

¿Porque no los dos?

 

Where did you grow up? 

Houston, with a brief stint in Singapore.

 

What is the best meal you’ve ever had?

I ate some bright orange curry someone made in high school once. Don’t know what it was, but I think about it at least once a week.

 

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

RBG, so I can show her my tattoo of her dissent collar.

 

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

Napping.

 

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

France.

 

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

Every printer in the library is out of order during finals.

 

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Juice laundry.

 

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Next door to Doug Leslie.

 

What’s your least favorite sound? 

The sound of someone posing a hypothetical in class.

 

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

My dog.

 

Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC?

*NSYNC, but I will admit the Backstreet Boys’ recent single “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” is a jam.

 

What is the best concert you have ever been to?

Spice Girls SpiceWorld Tour 1998.

 

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

Bring the Keurigs back to MyLab. 

 

What’s your spirit animal?

Cows—they’re always snacking and they sit in the sun playing all day.

 

What’s your favorite food?

Cheese.

 

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

Retire.

 

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

Basic math.

 

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

Complaining.

 

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

Karaoke night at Pizza Hut.

 

What are you looking forward to after you graduate?

The ample free time I’ll get as an associate in Big Law.

 

What are you going to miss most about the Law School?

My pals.

 

What are the seven wonders of the law school?

Free food table, Mandy, MyLab, WB 248’s printer, first floor Slaughter bathrooms, Mandy (she’s two wonder-worthy), and the unoccupied classroom I frequently nap in.

 

___

jml3ej@virginia.edu