Reno: Lawyers must be better...
 Career Services
 Events and opportunities
 People, scholarship and activi...
 Wrongly convicted man speaks...


Fla law newsletter of the University of Florida College of Law
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072281/00135
 Material Information
Title: Fla law newsletter of the University of Florida College of Law
Portion of title: Flalaw
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Levin College of Law
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: <Gainesville FL> College of Law Communications Office 1997-
Creation Date: March 7, 2005
Frequency: weekly
completely irregular
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol.1, no. 1 (Oct. 6, 1997)-
General Note: Weekly during the school year with a biweekly insert, numbered separately called: The Docket.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002311766
notis - ALR5129
System ID: UF00072281:00135

Table of Contents
    Reno: Lawyers must be better fact-finders
        Page 1
    Career Services
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Events and opportunities
        Page 4
        Page 5
    People, scholarship and activities
        Page 6
    Wrongly convicted man speaks out
        Page 7
        Page 8
Full Text

al aw

Reno: Lawyers Must Be Better Fact-Finders
The former attorney general addresses students, faculty at the Levin College of Law

Attorneys have a moral re-
sponsibility to get a better grip
on the uses of evidence, says
the woman who was once the
nation's top prosecutor.
Citing a number of seeming-
ly airtight convictions that were
later overturned due to DNA
evidence, former U.S. Attorney
General Janet Reno says the
nation's lawyers must get better
at collecting facts.
"We need to ask ourselves
what we can learn to avoid get-
ting false confessions, what we
can learn to help us work better
with eyewitnesses," she said.
"We have got to do a far better
job at fact-finding if we want
the justice system to work for
Reno spoke to a crowd of

2 Career Services
4 Events
8 Calendar

more than 80 students, faculty,
and staff at the Levin College
of Law Feb. 24. Her visit was
organized by the UF chapter
of the American Constitution
Reno stressed the need for
lawyers to learn more about the
science behind the collection of
evidence in criminal cases. She
said law schools have tradition-
ally offered students too little
training in scientific disciplines
that are vital to the prosecution
of criminal cases.
"For example, when I was
in law school, I had almost no
training in the psychology of
memory," she said. "We can
do so much better if we talk to
experts in other fields and learn
what they have to tell us. We

Innocent on
Death Row


have got to be experts not just
in the law, but in fact-finding."
Reno cited the case of Ronald
Cotton, a North Carolina man
who spent more than nine years
in prison after a rape victim
identified him as her attacker.
Cotton was freed after DNA
evidence showed he wasn't
guilty of the crime.
"We have had cases involv-
ing confessions and eyewitness
testimony that have later been
overturned through DNA
evidence," Reno said.
The former attorney general
also urged students to use their
law degrees to serve the greater
good by either working in the
public sector or taking on jobs
that serve the public interest.
"I love the law," she said.
"One thing I don't like is
greedy, indifferent lawyers."
Reno said that despite
weathering criticism during
her seven-year stint as attorney
general, she never regretted tak-
ing the job.
"It was a remarkable oppor-
tunity to use the law the right
way," Reno said. "And how
else could you get on Saturday
Night Live?"




Lecture to Focus
on Gay Rights
Florida's unique role in the his-
tory of the gay rights movement
will be the focus of this year's
Dunwody Lecture, held March
18 on the law school campus.
The event is free and open to
the public.
Speaker William Eskridge, the
John A. Garver Professor of
Jurisprudence at Yale Law
School, will discuss the 1977
battle over a Miami-Dade
County ordinance banning
discrimination on the basis
of sexual orientation. That
controversy, Eskridge contends,
marked a pivotal moment in
American politics generally and
the gay rights movement in
Organized each spring semester
by members of Florida Law
Review, the Dunwody Lecture
Series was established by
Dunwody, White and Landon,
P.A.; the law firm of Mershon
Sawyer, Johnston, Dunwody
and Cole; and the U.S. Sugar
Corporation in honor of UF
alumni Elliot and Atwood


Apply for Fall
Scholarships Now
Now is the time to apply for aid
for the 2005-06 academic year.
Students are encouraged to
apply online to save processing
time and reduce errors through
the system's built-in editing for-
mat. Just go to www.FAFSA.
ed.gov and follow the instruc-
tions. You can then check the
status of your application and
make corrections online.

Construction crews will soon
begin putting the finishing
touches on the Levin College of
Law's renovation and construc-
tion projects. But as construc-
tion nears completion, there
may be small problems that
have so far gone unnoticed:
lights that don't work, dents in
walls, etc.
These problems can be fixed,
but only if the contractors
know about them. If you
spot a glitch in construc-
tion, please report it to

Bar Scholarship
An item in the Feb. 21 issue
of Flalaw incorrectly stated
that the recently established
Cuban-American Bar Founda-
tion Scholarship is for students
of Cuban-American descent.
The scholarship is in fact open
to any student who has done
outstanding scholarly work on
human rights and the restora-
tion of democratic rule of law
in Cuba.


Hints to help you in the legal profession

Where Are They Now?
You may already know where
you'd like to find work after
completing law school but
you may be wondering how
previous UF law graduates fared.
Here's an overview of where
the 407 graduates from the last
school year (Aug. 2003-Sept.
2004) are now, as reported to
the National Association for
Law Placement on Feb. 15.

Employer Type
Fifty-seven percent of em-
ployed graduates are in private
practice. About 48 percent of
graduates employed by a firm
work for small firms (2-25 at-
torneys), a four percent increase
from the previous year. Percent-
ages remained constant for those
employed in medium-sized firms
of 26-100 (17 percent) and
larger firms of over 100 lawyers
(28 percent).
Twenty-three percent of last
year's employed graduates work
in the government sector.
Within that group:
* 46 percent are prosecutors,
* 17 percent are federal or

state-level judicial law clerks,
including 10 federal judicial
law clerks, four state-level law
clerks and two trial court staff
* 11 percent work for or are in
the military (double the num-
ber from the previous year),
* Remaining graduates were em-
ployed in other federal, state
or local-level agencies, includ-
ing the U.S. Department of
State, the National Labor Rela-
tions Board, the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, the Florida
Department of Education,
the Florida Attorney General's
Office, the Florida Legislature,
the Florida Department of
Health, the Florida Depart-
ment of Children and Families,
and various city and county
attorneys' offices.
Seven percent of last year's
graduates identified themselves as
working in business or industry.
Many of those graduates were in
a management or consulting ca-
pacity where part of their respon-
sibilities involved contracts, bids,
intellectual property and corpo-
rate legal issues. Others worked

in accounting firms, banking,
technology, or the investment
and insurance industries.
Ten percent work in what
NALP considers the public
interest or academic sector. This
number includes public defend-
ers, who NALP once classified
as government employees. Public
defenders make up six percent of
last year's graduating class.

UF law graduates who re-
ported a salary last year com-
manded an average income of
$56,909. The average salary for
graduates starting at law firms
was $69,454.
The overall average salary
increased by $1,351 over the
previous year. The average salary
for new UF graduates at law
firms increased $4,000 over the
previous year.
Graduates who report their
income in the post-graduation
survey are doing current stu-
dents a big favor, said Assistant
Dean for Career Services Linda
Calvert Hanson.
"Employers know that we
collect this information, and
from time to time they check our
numbers to make sure the salaries
they offer are competitive," she
said. "This may be a factor in this
year's increase in average salary."

Last year saw a big jump in
the number of UF law gradu-
ates finding work in the Western
states. Seven members of last
year's graduating class found jobs
in California, compared to one
graduate the previous year.
Calvert Hanson said she still
isn't sure what single factor, if

any, is responsible for the surge
in California hires but she
welcomes the news.
"California has historically
been a very tough market to
break into," she said. "This may
be a sign that our alumni are
developing the networks that will
help future graduates find posi-
tions in the Pacific region."
California wasn't the only com-
petitive out-of state market where
UF graduates found positions.
Six of last year's graduates went
to work in Washington, D.C.,
five found positions in Chicago,
and two in New York City.
Atlanta remains the number
one out-of-state destination for
UF law graduates, with 18 going
to work there last year.
Ninety-one percent of
graduates remained in Florida.
Orlando was a top destination
for grads who remained in-state,
with 58 graduates finding work
there. The Gainesville/Ocala
area came in second with 37
graduates remaining here
(though Career Services staff
say that number may represent
part-time or short term jobs held
immediately after graduation).
Thirty-one graduates are now
working in the Tampa/St. Pe-
tersburg area, 31 in Palm Beach
County, and 25 in the Miami
metro area. Other top in-state
destinations include Ft. Lauder-
dale, Jacksonville, the Naples/
Ft. Myers/Sarasota region, Tal-
lahassee and Lakeland.
Only four graduates went to
work in the Panhandle, down
from 15 the previous year a
slump that may be due to the
impact of Hurricane Ivan.

Employment Rate
Ninety-six percent of last year's
graduates seeking employment
had found positions by the
time data was collected for
the Feb. 15 report to NALP. Of
graduates who reported their sta-

tus, 362 were working in full or
part-time positions, and 24 had
gone on to graduate school.

Workshop Addresses
Workplace Discrimination
Lambda Legal Alliance and
Career Services will host a
workshop on lesbian/gay/bi-
sexual/transgendered issues in the
legal workplace at noon March
9 in the faculty dining room.
Panelists include Karen Doering,
staff attorney for the National
Center for Lesbian Rights and
consultant to Equality Florida
ofTampa; Shelbi Day, (JD 02)
of Southern Legal Counsel; Re-
source Counselor Erica Byrnes,
and Professor Diane Mazur. All
students are welcome to bring a
lunch and join in the discussion,
which will focus on workplace
discrimination issues that future
lawyers may be called upon to
initiate action against or to de-
fend. The group also will discuss
how sexual orientation issues
affect the job-seeking process,
and how to deal with such issues
in your workplace.

Judicial Process
Speaker Series Begins
Legal skills Professor Patricia
Thompson and Director of Legal
Skills and Writing and Appel-
late Advocacy Henry Wihnyk-
will conduct "A Research and
Writing Refresher" March 9
at 6 p.m. in the faculty dining



room. The event is the first in the
Judicial Process Speaker Series,
which all students with Summer
or Fall 2005 judicial externships
must attend.

Report Pro Bono and
Service Hours
It's time to turn in pro bono
and community service hours to
Career Services. Students who
turn in their hours will be eligible
for a certificate of recognition at
the April 7 award ceremony at
the J. Wayne Reitz Union.
A new awards category begins
this year, honoring an outstand-
ing volunteer from each class
year, and one student organiza-
tion that has made a difference
in the community. These awards
will be by peer nomination only.
Nominations are due by March
24 in Career Services.

Tax Law Talk Wednesday
Students interested in careers
in tax law will want to hear Visit-
ing Assistant Professor Kerry A.
Ryan (LLM 02) speak on "Tax
Law: Substantive and Practical
Aspects" at 11 a.m. March 9 in
the faculty dining room. The
event is co-sponsored by the Es-
tate, Trust and Elder Law Society,
which will provide lunch.

A Balancing Act
Come to the faculty dining
room at 11 a.m. March 10 to
hear a panel of guest speakers dis-
cuss "Balancing Family Life and
a Legal Career." Co-sponsored
by the Law Association for
Women and the Center
for Career Services, this
event offers tips on
how to do it all and
still maintain a decent
quality of life. Lunch
will be provided.

Former Treasury
Official Speaks on
Tax Policy at UF
Pam Olson, former Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury for
Tax Policy, spoke to faculty,
staff and students on the topic
of "Social Security and Tax
Reform: Context and Alterna-
tives" Feb. 25 in the Bailey
Courtroom. Olson served as
assistant secretary from 2002
until last year.

Study in the South
of France
The Montpellier Summer Pro-
gram allows UF law students
to spend June 27-July 29 at
Montpellier University in the
south of France. Students in
the program get a chance to
live in and enjoy the rich culture
of France while studying
international and comparative
law under both French and
American professors.
Mornings and early afternoons
are devoted to law classes
(conducted in English). French
and American students also will
meet with members of the judi-
ciary and the legal profession.
Students can transfer up to six
credit hours and pay a single
fee of $2,200. For more infor-
mation, contact Noemar Castro
in the Student Affairs Office
(castro@law.ufl.edu) or Profes-
sor George Dawson in the
Dean's Office (dawson@law.
ufl.edu). You can also visit the
college's website: http://www.
summer montpellier.shtml.




Legal Issues in
Coming Soon
Legal experts from across the
Western Hemisphere will gather
on the UF campus May 15-17
for the sixth annual Conference
on Legal and Policy Issues in
the Americas.
The conference, held at the Hil-
ton UF Conference Center, will
open with a focus on analyzing
justice systems in selected
countries throughout the Ameri-
cas, beginning with Peru.
It will conclude May 17 with a
panel discussion on terrorism
in the Americas, with a look
at how al-Qaeda and other
terrorist groups collect and
distribute funds and what is
being done to stop them.
Registration is free, but limited
to 100 attendees. Register
by April 11 in the Center
for Governmental Law and


Attorneys Recall
Rolling Murder Trial
Chief Assistant Public De-
fender John Kearns and Chief
Assistant State Attorney Jeanne
Singer will discuss the murder
trial of Danny Rolling who
was convicted for the 1990
murders of five Gainesville col-
lege students March 9 at 5:30
p.m. in the Bailey Courtroom.
The event is sponsored by the
Criminal Law Association. All
are invited to attend.

Senior Pictures
This Week
Graduation is getting nearer:
don't forget to pose for your
senior picture. Photos will be
taken from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
in Student Affairs March 8 and
March 9. Sign up for a three-
minute photo shoot now in Stu-
dent Affairs. If you have regalia
and want to be photographed in
it, be sure to sign up for an extra
three-minute session.

Apply for Land Use Law
Certificate Program
Interested in going into
environmental law? To enter the
Environmental and Land Use
Law Certificate Program, you
must apply by March 18. To ap-
ply, go to www.law.ufl.edu/elulp
or see program assistant Maria
Wolfe in room 319.

Welcome Back,
Grab Your Skates
Missing your law school friends
after a week of Spring Break? Get
reacquainted at the John Marshall
Bar Association's Roller Skating
Social at the Skate Station March
12 at 4 p.m. Activities include

roller skating, miniature golf and
rock-climbing. The event costs $1
for JMBA members and $8 for
non-members. Space is limited, so
sign up early.

Meet Scholars from
Around the World
Meet this semester's visiting
scholars from Korea, China and
Italy at this month's meeting of
the International Law Society at
5 p.m. March 14 in the faculty
dining room. Visiting scholars
will give brief presentations shar-
ing their research and comparing
U.S. law with the legal systems of
their home countries.

MLSA Members: Sign Up
All Military Law Student
Society members are encour-

aged to register for MLSA on the
Westlaw TWEN site. The site is
the best way to get updates and
e-mails regarding events and
meetings, MLSA leaders say.
Anyone else who wants to receive
updates regarding MLSA can
sign up as well.

Kosher Box Lunches
Available from Hillel
The Hillel Foundation and
the Jewish Law Student Asso-
ciation are now selling kosher
box lunches to UF students.
Lunches will be delivered at the
law school every day between
noon and 1:30 p.m. and cost
between $7 and $9 each. For
more information or to sign up,
contact JLSA President Lee Stein
at uflaw6@yahoo.com.

Trial Team Final Four
The UF law Trial Team held its Final Four competition Feb. 18.
Competitors were (from left) Takisha Richardson (2L), Kurt Zaner (2L),
Justin Mazzarra (2L) and Justin McCormack (2L). Richardson and Zaner
took the "Best Team" prize in the competition, and Mazzarra was
named "Best Advocate."

Sign Up for Prison Tour
The Criminal Law Asso-
ciation has organized tours
of Florida State Prison on
March 15 and March 22. The
tours begin at 1:15 p.m. at the
prison, located near Starke,
about an hour's drive from
Gainesville. Access varies from
tour to tour, but on past tours,
students have seen large por-
tions of the prison including
Death Row and the execu-
tion chamber. To apply for
the tour, contact the CLA at
by 11:45 p.m. today, March 7.

Election for Officers
Phi Alpha Delta will hold
officer elections March 10
at 6 p.m. in room 285B. All
members of the group are
urged to attend.

Pi Delta Phi:
Time to Apply
Spring applications to join Pi
Delta Phi are now available in the
Student Affairs office on the front
counter. To get an application
in your student folder, send an
e-mail request to dayleg@ufl.edu.
Applications are due in the blue
collection box at Student Affairs
by March 16. Make sure you
sign the bottom of the form.

JTLP Welcomes
The Journal of Technology
Law and Policy would like to
congratulate the following
students for grading on to the
Journal this spring:
Jack Abid, Emily Carson
Barrow, Jonas Brandon, Todd
Brister, Eveline Bronkhorst,

Ramsey Clark, Jocelyn Croci,
Damian Daley, Darrin Dunn,
Sara Holladay-Tobias, Jamara
Kinberg, Kelly Lyon, Billy
Newberry, Gregory New-
burn, Eduardo Quinones,
Todd Radulski, Frank Rho-
den, Mary Rucker, Zainabu
Rumala, Priscilla Sakaya,
Lauren Scheuer, Justin Smith,
Lee Stein, Seth Traud, Brock
Wilson and Anne Zerbe.

IPTLA Meets Today
The Intellectual Property
and Technology Law Associa-
tion meets today, March 7, at
5:30 p.m. in room 345. Topics
of discussion include upcom-
ing elections, the IP Certifi-
cate Program, and a review of
IPTLA's participation in the
Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court

Moot Court Final Four
The four top Moot Court
competitors on the UF law cam-
pus will face off in the Final Four
Competition at noon March 11
in room 180A.
UF law students Gina Civin,
Kelly Moore, Jarrett Deluca and
Chris Dix will face a panel of
judges headed by Chief Judge
Patricia Fawsett.
The event is sponsored by
Joseph Rhile and his grandson
Henry Sorensen, who provide
funding for scholarships awarded
to best oralist, best written brief,
and best overall competitor. Any
students interested in trying out
for Moot Court during their
third or fourth semesters are
encourage to attend the event to
get a taste of what Moot Court is
all about.

Environmental Conference Draws

More Than 300 Participants
Battles over fresh water,
the fate of the world's seas,
and Florida's vanishing stock |
of farmland were just some
of the topics addressed by
environmental experts at the
UF law school's Public Inter-
est Environmental Confer-
ence Feb. 24-26.
More than 300 people
attended the three-day
conference, which offered
19 panel discussions on a wide variety of environmental issues facing
Florida and the world.
A highlight of the conference was the keynote address by Margie
Eugene Richard, a Norco, La. former middle-school teacher who
convinced Shell Chemicals to relocate her and other residents of her
neighborhood after years of exposure to chemicals from a nearby Shell
plant, including two industrial accidents.
In a rousing speech, Richard told the story of her family's history in
the Norco neighborhood of Old Diamond, as well as her own story of
struggle against Shell Chemical.
"It was much more personal than the sort of speech you typically hear at a
conference," said Joan Flocks, director of the social policy division at the Cen-
ter for Governmental Responsibility and a faculty advisor for the conference.

Race Scholars Gather for Workshop
Race and law scholars
from around the country
gathered at UF Feb. 24-26
for the Race and Law
Curriculum Workshop,
sponsored by the Center for
the Study of Race and Race
Relations. Participants dis-
cussed race and pegagogy,

how race fits into the law
school curriculum, and the
consequences of teaching
race in the law school environment.
Speakers at the workshop included Keith Aoki of the University
of Oregon, Alfred Brophy of the University of Alabama, John 0.
Calmore of the University of North Carolina, Kim Forde-Mazrui of the
University of Virginia, Cheryl Harris of the University of California- Los
Angeles, Tanya Hernandez of Rutgers University-Newark, Sherrilyn
Ifill of the University of Maryland, Angela Mae Kupenda of Mississippi
College, Cynthia Lee of Washington University, Margaret Montoya of
the University of New Mexico, john a. powell of Ohio State, Gloria Va-
lencia-Weber of the University of New Mexico, and keynote speaker
David D. Troutt.









I Wolt |

Legal Technology Institute
Director Andrew Adkins has
been nominated as a Fellow of the
College of Law Practice Manage-
ment, an honorary organization
that formally recognizes individuals
who have made outstanding con-
tributions to the profession over a
period of not less than ten years.
Affiliate Professor of Law Emeri-
tus Richard Hiers delivered an
address titled "Academic Freedom
Under the First Amendment in
Public Colleges and Universities:
Faculty Rights and Court-Created
Hurdles Including the Peculiar Idea
of Institutional Academic Freedom
or Autonomy" at a February meet-
ing of the Retired Faculty of the
University of Florida.
Affiliate Professor Paul
Magnarella published an article
entitled "Diasporas and Hu-
man Rights" in Encyclopedia of
Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee
Cultures Around the World, Vol. 1,
pp. 415-422 (2004).
Samuel T. Dell Research
Scholar/Professor Winston Na-
gan, along with Senior Research
Fellow Craig Hammer, published
"The Changing Character of Sov-
ereignty in International Law and
International Relations," in 43
Columbia Journal of Transnational
Law 142-187 (2004).

In the News
Gerald A. Sohn Research
Scholar/Professor Jeffrey Davis was
quoted in a Feb. 20 South Florida
Sun-Sentinel article on Florida's
homestead exemption. Davis gave
a brief history of the exemption
and stated that it is unlikely to
be changed because voters have
little incentive to reduce their own
protection. The article was reprinted


in Black Enterprise Magazine and
in the Verizon Business Center
The Center for Governmen-
tal Responsibility's Director for
Social Policy, Joan Flocks, was
quoted in a Feb. 24 Gainesville
Sun story on the law school's
Public Interest Environmental
Conference. Flocks said stories
of grassroots activists such as
Margie Eugene Richard, the
conference's keynote speaker
- are an important component of
the environmental movement.
Alumni Research Scholar/Pro-
fessor Joseph Little was quoted
in The Tampa Tribune Feb. 20 re-
garding the case of Terry Schaivo.
The story questioned whether
the lengthy nature of the case
was a sign the court system is
broken. Little said the case is "too
unusual" to serve as a measure of
the court's integrity.
Director of the Center for
Governmental Responsibility/Pro-
fessor Jon Mills also was quoted
in the Feb. 20 Tribune story on the
Schiavo case. He said Schiavo's fate
was "a tough issue, and often tough
issues don't get resolved easily," and

asserted that the court system had
done its job. Mills was also quoted
in the "Capitol Comments"
column of The (Lakeland) Ledger
Feb. 27 regarding a bill before
the Florida House of Representa-
tives that would give lawmakers
the constitutional right to control
university spending. Mills stated
that the bill was not a surprise,
though the issue would likely be
solved in court. Mills was quoted
in a Feb. 20 St. Petersburg Times
story about a measure before the
Florida Legislature that would
require 60 percent approval of all
amendments placed on the ballot
by petition. He said the relatively
lengthy Florida constitution should
not be compared to the shorter
U.S. constitution because they
serve different purposes.
Richard E. Nelson Chair
Michael Allen Wolf was quoted
in a Sarasota Herald Tribune
article in support of a Bradenton
official's idea to use "air rights"
to construct condos over existing
structures. Wolf said "the benefits
far outweigh the drawbacks,"
and stated that the concept could
boost economic development.

Law Professor Cited by Supreme Court
The work of Stephen C. O'Connell Professor
Christopher Slobogin was cited in the Supreme
Court's arguments in Roper v. Simmons, in which
the Court ruled 5-4 to ban the death penalty for
defendants who were juveniles at the time of
their offense.
Justice Antonin Scalia cited Slobogin's case-
book, Criminal Procedure: Regulation of Police
Investigation, in his dissenting opinion in the
case. Scalia disputed the majority's argument
that American law should conform to the laws
of other countries, arguing that some aspects of U.S. law are "distinctly
American." He cited Slobogin's casebook to show that British courts rarely
reject evidence collected in illegal searches, despite the exclusionary rule
observed by American courts.


Wrongly Convicted Man Speaks Out
A former Death Row inmate tells his story to UF students

For 17 years of his life, Juan
Melendez harbored little love
for lawyers.
As he sat on Death Row at
Florida State Prison, Melendez
says, he seethed with anger at the
system that convicted him of a
murder he didn't commit.
"When they sent me to death,
my heart got full of hate," said
the former inmate "I hated the
judge, I hated the prosecutor, the
jury, even the one who patted me
on the back when they sentenced
me my defense attorney."
Melendez shared his story
with about 70 UF law students
in a Feb. 21 speech at the Levin
College of Law. Co-sponsored
by Floridians for Alternatives to
the Death Penalty, the National
Lawyers' Guild, the Criminal
Law Association, the Association
for Public Interest Law, and Cari-
bLaw, Melendez's speech served
as a cautionary tale for future and
present criminal lawyers.
Melendez was a 33-year-old
itinerant fruit picker in 1984
when he was arrested for the
murder of Delbert Baker, an
Auburndale cosmetology school

owner. Though Melendez insisted
he had never been to Auburndale
and no physical evidence con-
nected him to the case, he was
convicted on the testimony of
two people jailhouse snitch
and another witness who placed
Melendez near the scene of the
crime, but later recanted.
By the Melendez was tried,
another man had confessed to
the murder. But the tape of the
confession was never introduced
into evidence, and sat on a shelf
in a records room, unheard, for
17 years.
When he first arrived on Death
Row, Melendez recalled, the
farmworker was determined to
fight his execution with physi-
cal force. He said he "did push-
ups until I had muscles coming
out of my eyebrows." He kept
pieces of a ripped-up bedsheet in
his cell, so he could tie the door
shut when the time of his execu-
tion came.
"I said to myself, 'I'm going
to fight these people to death,'"
he said. "I'm not walking to that
But it was ultimately luck,

Melendez said, that gave him
his freedom. When Melendez's
former defense attorney became
a judge, the case was moved to
a new court where a judge or-
dered a review of all the evidence
in the case. That order resulted
in the discovery of the taped
"I was not saved by the
system, I was saved in spite of
the system," said Melendez, who
now works on a plantain farm in
Puerto Rico. He has not received
any compensation for his time in
jail only the $100 routinely
given to felons upon their release.
Melendez said he has learned
to let go of his anger toward the
people who were responsible
for his wrongful conviction. He
is, however, campaigning for a
proposed law that would hold
prosecutors liable for convictions
based on "fabricated or decep-
tively manipulated evidence".
"I've never yet known a pros-
ecutor who would apologize,"
Melendez said. "These things, it's
just like they never happened."

Loans for Bar
Exam Expenses
Wondering where you'll find
the money to cover your
expenses while taking the Bar
exam? There are private loan
companies who will make Bar
Exam loans to students in
their final year of law school.
These loans can be used for
a student's living expenses,
Bar-prep classes and other
expenses. You may borrow
little as $1,000 or as much as
$11,000. For more information
regarding these private loans,
contact Carol Huber in the
Financial Aid Office, or contact
the lenders directly at:
Access Group
Key Education Resources

New Operating
Hours for Publix
The Legal Information Center's
Publix Annex will be open until
10:30 p.m. Sunday through
Thursday every week through
the end of exams. Library hours
are limited by the terms of the
variance issued by the County
Commission to guarantee the
safety of students using the
The library will begin its move
back to campus on June 15
and will resume regular summer


College of Law
* Robert H. Jerry, II, Dean
* George L. Dawson,
Associate Dean for
Academic Affairs
* Stuart R. Cohn,
Associate Dean for
International Studies
* Thomas F. Cotter,
Associate Dean for
Faculty Development
* Michael K. Friel,
Associate Dean Et
Director, Graduate
Tax Program
* M. Kathleen "Kathie"
Price, Associate Dean
for Library and
* Gail E. Sasnett,
Associate Dean
for Students,
Professionalism and
Community Relations
* J. Patrick Shannon,
Associate Dean for
Administrative Affairs
* Linda Calvert Hanson,
Assistant Dean for
Career Services
* Richard L. Ludwick,
Assistant Dean for
* J. Michael Patrick,
Assistant Dean for
* Donald J. Hale,
Senior Director of
Development and
Alumni Affairs
* Debra D. Amirin,
Director of

* Tim Lockette,
Editor, FlaLaw

Send Us Your News
FlaLaw is published each
week school is in session
by the Levin College of Law
Communications Office.
Submit news of interest to
the law school community
by 10 a.m. Tuesday for the
following Monday's issue to
FlaLaw editor Tim Lockette
at Lockette@law.ufl.edu or


UF Law Mediation Expert Wins Award
Legal Skills Professor Alison Gerencser is named a "Woman of Distinction" for bringing mediation to local courts

When Alison Gerencser was a
freshly-minted attorney practic-
ing family law in the Jackson-
ville area, she often wondered
if there wasn't a better way to
settle family disputes.
"I began to feel that bring-
ing lawyers into a divorce only
made a bad situation worse,"
said Gerencser, a legal skills
professor and associate direc-
tor of the Institute for Dispute
Resolution at the Levin College
of Law. "There has to be a
better way to settle these issues
than to fight it out in court."
In the early 1990s, Gerenscer's
experience led her to take charge
of the 8th Judicial Circuit's first
mediation program a project
that gives families the chance to
settle disputes at the negotiating
table before going to court. Her
involvement in the program led
Santa Fe Community College
to honor her with its Woman of
Distinction Award. Gerencser is
one of six women who will receive

the award at a March 15 cer-
emony at the Tower Club at the
Village, near the SFCC campus.
Gerenscer headed the 8th
Circuit's mandatory
family law mediation
program when it was
literally headquar-
tered in a closet in a
judge's office. Origi-
nally the program of-
fered mediation only
in family law cases
- since then, it has Gerencser, s
expanded to include civil law in
county and circuit courts, as well
as some criminal cases.
Mediation has drastically
reduced the caseload in the 8th
Circuit Court. For instance 80
percent of family law cases in
the 8th Circuit are now settled
through mediation.
"Let's face it: litigation is costly,
and people would usually prefer
to avoid it for that reason alone,"
she said. "Another reason media-
tion works, particularly in family

law, is that there's no transcript,
so you don't face the prospect
of very personal information
becoming public record."

eated bottom right, with student mediators
Gerencser teaches the UF law
mediation clinic, which trains
law students in mediation tech-
niques and gives them hands-on
experience in the field. Gerenc-
ser and her students also work
at the Pace Center for Girls and
other schools for at-risk youth,
teaching alternative dispute reso-
lution techniques to children.
"I really do believe that law-
yers have a responsibility to give
something back to the commu-
nity," she said.

7 Career Services: One
Quick Question, 10:30
a.m.-12:30 p.m., courtyard

Intellectual Property and
Technology Law Associa-
tion meeting, 5:30 p.m.,
room 345

8 Senior Photos, 9 a.m.-
4:45 p.m., Student Affairs

Toastmasters, 5 p.m.,
room 345

9 Career Services: Tax Law:
Substantive and Practical
Aspects, 11 a.m., faculty
dining room

9 Career Services: Under-
standing LGBT Issues
in the Workplace, noon,
faculty dining room

Career Services: Judicial
Process Speaker Series,
Class #1, 6 p.m., faculty
dining room

Prosecution and Defense
of Danny Rolling, 5:30
p.m., Bailey Courtroom

10 Career Services: Balanc-
ing Family Life and a
Legal Career, 11 a.m.,
faculty dining room

Phi Alpha Delta officer
elections, 6 p.m., room

11 Moot Court Final Four,
noon, room 180A

12 JMBA Roller Skating
Social, 4 p.m. at Skate Sta-
tion in Gainesville

14 Career Services: One
Quick Question, 10:30
a.m.-12:30 p.m., courtyard

International Law Society
meeting; 5 p.m. faculty
dining room

15 Florida State Prison tour,
1:15 p.m. at FSP in Starke

16 Career Services: Judicial
Clerkship Workshop,
noon, faculty dining room