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News & Noteworthy

New Florida Coastal Dean appointed

Professor Scott DeVito has been appointed Dean of Florida Coastal School of Law effective August 1 after a nationwide search in which a variety of qualified candidates were considered.    

Dean DeVito currently serves as a tenured member of the Coastal Law faculty.  Dean DeVito joined Coastal Law in 2008 after practicing law in Phoenix, Arizona. While there, he clerked for the late Justice Michael D. Ryan. DeVito earned his law degree from the Connecticut School of Law where he was Editor-in-Chief of Connecticut Law Review and treasurer of the moot court board.

In addition to his J.D., Dean DeVito holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Rochester. Prior to going to law school, he taught philosophy at the university level.  While at Coastal Law, Dean DeVito’s teaching and legal scholarship has focused on commercial law and quantitative empirical legal research respectively. Most importantly, Dean DeVito has led efforts to innovate legal education, serving as Chair of the Innovation Committee and taking a lead role in Coastal Law’s strategic planning process.

“Dean DeVito’s leadership and vision for the school is consistent with our mission of inclusive excellence and market leading practice preparation. We know that Dean DeVito has the right vison for Coastal Law,” said Coastal Law President Dennis Stone.

The Coastal Law community congratulates Dean DeVito on his new position and wishes him well as Dean of Coastal Law.

Read more here

Faculty News and Updates

Professor Roederer has just published Constitutional Law I (Powers) with ChartaCourse. The book is a fully online interactive textbook designed to cover all the topics covered in a Constitutional Powers course. The materials include introductions to the topic areas, edited version of all the main cases, questions for discussion and interactive charts.  More information on ChartaCourse can be found at ChartaCourse.com. Reviews of the Chartacourse approach to legal textbooks can be found at: http://blogs.ubalt.edu/cstarger/2015/08/13/social-justice-by-social-teaching/ and  http://www.openlawlab.com/2015/03/12/chartacourse-for-procedural-visual-legal-education/

Professor of Law Alan G. Williams’s article, “Abolishing the Excited Utterance Exception to the Rule against Hearsay,” was just published by the Kansas Law Review.  In the article, Professor Williams argues that renowned Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner’s recent suggestion to transfer the excited utterance exception into the residual hearsay exception is not the best remedy for the excited utterance’s inherent flaws; rather, Professor Williams proposes abolishing the excited utterance in its present form and creating a new exception within Federal Rule of Evidence 804 (b) to admit some statements previously admitted under the excited utterance exception.   The Judicial Conference Advisory Committee responsible for making recommendations for changes to the Federal Rules of Evidence has contacted Professor Williams about his proposal and he is currently working to effectuate the change to the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Professor Lucille Ponte
presented An Appetite for Apps:  Mobile Learning for 1Ls and Beyond for the Technology in the Classroom and at a Distance panel at the 2015 Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Annual Conference in Boca Raton, Florida on July 29, 2015.  She reviewed a wide range of educational mobile apps for legal research, Bluebook and court procedural rules, legal dictionaries, and 1L flash card reviews and doctrinal games. In addition, she participated in the committee meeting of the SEALS Distance Education Committee of which she is a member.

On July 31st, Coastal Law professor Jeffrey Schmitt presented on the topic of State Sovereignty and Personal Jurisdiction at the SEALS conference in Boca Raton, FL last Friday.

Professor Sarah Sullivan was elected Vice Chair of the Florida Bar’s Public Interest Law Section and is in succession to be the Chair of the Section during the 2017-2018 Bar cycle.  Additionally, her Disability Committee was successful in creating two new standing legislative positions for the Public Interest Law Section that will now go for approval to the Board of Governors.  If approved, Professor Sullivan and her committee will be drafting proposed legislation aligned with the standing positions for future Florida legislative sessions on behalf of the Section.