Monthly Archives: November 2012

Fifteen Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly

Even when you only have to write an eight-page document, the number of errors you could make is almost infinite.  However, some errors seem worse than others.  Below is a list of some of the more embarrassing errors you should try to avoid.

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly

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ExamSoft Releases a New Version of SofTest Compatible with Windows 8

 ExamSoft is happy to announce that they have released a version of SofTest that is now compatible with Windows 8. Students will be able to download Windows 8 by installing the software by logging into as an exam taker.

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Immigrant Rights Clinic scores victory

The Immigrant Rights Clinic experienced a huge victory recently. Student clinicians Collin Coakley, Danitza Gonzales and Eric Ortiz zealously represented their client before the Orlando Immigration Court in an intensive two-day hearing. As a result of the students’ written and oral advocacy, the Immigration Judge granted Cancellation of Removal and the client is now officially a Lawful Permanent Resident, who can remain in the U.S. and continue to raise and care for her family.In his decision, the Judge commended the students on their performance in Court and excellent representation of the client. The outcome of this case will have long-lasting and life changing effects for the client and her entire family and Collin, Danitza and Eric should be applauded for their hard work and dedication.

The students were supervised by Clinical Teaching Fellow, Vanessa Bernadotte, and Adjunct Professor, Karen Winston. You can read more about this case on the Legal Clinics Blog.

It was another outstanding weekend for our Advocacy Teams. The Mock Trial Team competed again this year in the very prestigious Georgetown White Collar Crime Tournament. With over 88 students competing, Garth Cheek was honored for Outstanding Advocate. Previously he was awarded ” Best Direct Examination” at the Lone Star Classic National Tournament, was in the top 10% at the Nova Closing Argument Competition that is open to all Florida law students, was on the ABA Labor Law semi-finalist team last year, and he took second place at this year’s Spohrer Dodd Trial Advocacy Scholarship Competition.

This makes Garth the most individually honored student in Coastal Law mock trial history. Congratulations to Garth Cheek and the entire Georgetown team: Jon Gless, Laura Padilla and Jason Kemp as well as coach Professor Lois Ragsdale.

Congratulations to three Moot Court Honor Board teams on their success this weekend. Two of our teams competing this weekend in Washington, D.C. reached the national semi-finals in the Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition, hosted by the National Asian and Pacific American Bar Association.

Over 70 teams from around the country competed in Tang. Having two of the teams in the final-four is a significant accomplishment. Our students argued in front of benches that included federal and state judges, including a state supreme court justice, and former United States Supreme Court clerks. Kristy Warren served as the Team Manager for both our Tang teams. The advocates on the two teams consisted of Alex Amador and Jansen Balisi (oralists/brief writers) and Nina Cano and Rishi Pattni (oralists/brief writers). In addition, Alex and Jansen won the national Best Brief Award for the competition. Professor Sander Moody coached both teams.

Another one of our Moot Court teams reached the octo-finals at the National Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition in Chicago this weekend. The team consisted of Sarah Allen and Brad Moyer. Heather McGriff served as the Team Manager. Professor Jennifer Reiber coached the team. Congratulations to all.

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Does it Really Matter?

Are you wondering whether those extra hours of studying on a Friday afternoon really matter?  Are you wondering if being the only person in the library on a Saturday night is going to pay off in the long run?  Are you wondering if all the effort you are pouring into your law school experience is really worth it?  Watch this video and see what you think.

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Managing Personal Relationships During Law School

Personal relationships can be strained during law school.  Students need to spend much more time studying then they did during their undergraduate experience – law school is more competitive, requires a lot more work, and demands more analytical thinking.  This may cause your family, friends, and/or significant others to feel neglected as they are not experiencing what you are currently undergoing as a law student.  This lack of understanding can also cause you to feel stressed and spread yourself thin. 

Our biggest advice for a student going through this is to open up and share their experience with their loved ones.  Show them what you’re learning and why it’s difficult to comprehend concepts like the parol evidence rule, future interests, and homestead. Give them undivided attention time where you focus solely on your relationship; then study somewhere else. It is not fair if you get frustrated because they become distractions.

Sometimes it helps your family member to receive information about your work load and study requirements from an outside party.  Your Academic Success Counselor can send a letter to your loved ones to help them understand the responsibilities of law school.  This will allow you to all be on the same page and enable you to be successful and have the necessary support from your loved ones. Please talk to your counselor if you would like more information about this letter. 

Our Academic Success Counselors can help you with your specific circumstances, so please do not hesitate to come by our office.

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Why am I here? Remembering why you came to law school.

            The clock says “2:37 a.m.”  You have already been working on your memo for three times as long as you thought you would need, and you still have less than half of it completed.  It is due in less than fifteen hours, but you also have class, reading for class, and reviewing for class, and you wouldn’t mind sleeping a little and eating something at some point.  Then your computer crashes, and you think, “What exactly was it that made me think Law School was a good idea?”

            Maybe your matriculation into law school was your grandmother’s dying wish.  Maybe you really liked the show Boston Legal.  Maybe your father, your grandfather, your great grandfather were all lawyers.  Maybe you graduated from undergrad thinking, “Geez, that whole real-world thing’s looking kind of intimidating.  I don’t have a job, and I don’t really know what I want to do; guess I’ll go to law school!”  Or, maybe you really, really, really want to be a lawyer. 

            As you can probably guess, not all of those reasons are going to provide the same level of motivation when you are working into the early morning hours.  They won’t all offer as much help when you are trying to finish your outlines, or preparing for moot court auditions, or completing a comment to write onto law review.  However, one question you should ask yourself when you are penciling more and more tasks into your law school planner is, “Do I really need to do this?” 

            Try to know the difference between what you think you have to do and what you really have to do.  Keep in mind why you came to law school, what your goals are.  If an extracurricular activity won’t help you reach those goals, maybe you can cut yourself some slack and not do it.  If you know with unassailable certainty that you will never want to be a trial attorney, you probably can skip the trial team auditions.  If you have no interest in international law, the Caribbean Law Clinic might not be a good use of your time.  Many law students have a long history of being overachievers who feel as if they are failing or letting someone down if they don’t participate, and excel, in every activity available.  In law school, that isn’t necessary and could even be detrimental.  You will want good grades and practical experience, and extracurricular activities can be impressive for employers, but if you do too much, everything may suffer, and none of it will be as impressive as you hope.  Law school is tough; there’s no reason to increase that unnecessarily.

            Unfortunately, some of the least fun aspects of law school are the most necessary.  You cannot avoid reading, briefing, outlining, or studying.  Some classes are mandatory.  While you can use your reason for coming to law school to help you avoid unnecessary activities, you can also use it to help motivate you through the unavoidable challenges.  Think about how every case you read brings you that much closer to being an attorney.  Every outline you complete gets more lawyerly knowledge into your head.  Every class you complete gets you that much closer to the day that judge swears you in.

            (I am sure some of you may not believe that last paragraph; if you want to work for the state attorney’s office, you may not see the value in studying for your Property class.  Don’t let the subject matter fool you, though.  Each class plays a part in the total rewiring of your brain.  You may not be able to recognize the transformation, but each class you take contributes to your future ability to think like a lawyer, a skill you will need in whatever field you practice.  Stay focused on the goal of being the best lawyer you can be and try to do your best in each class, even the ones you think are boring or irrelevant.)

            Almost no law student completes his or her time in law school without facing the “why am I here” question as least once.  Plan ahead and get your answer ready.  Try to make your goal as specific as possible and consider putting reminders in places around your study space to keep you motivated.  A framed copy of the Constitution or a post-it exclaiming, “Get the bad guys!” could help keep you motivated at 2:37 a.m.  (Not that I condone pulling all-nighters.)  And if somewhere along the way, you realize that law school might not be right for you, that’s okay, too.  Many goals are reachable by many different paths.  Try your best to know what you want and why you want it, and then do your best to stay focused on that goal.  Feel free to come by the Academic Success Department to discuss any of the issues you may be facing, from how you should be outlining to answering that “why am I here question.”  We are always here to help in any way we can.  Good luck!

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Boost your energy with some beets

Loosing steam???  Did you know…. Beets are high in natural nitrates.  Nitrates assist our body’s blood vessels in expansion which allows our blood vessels to enjoy more oxygen, more nutrients, and more energy.   


Boost your energy with this beet risotto recipe!



3/4 pound beets (1 bunch small), roasted
6-7 cups chicken or vegetable stock, as needed
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
Salt/ ground pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425.  Wrap beets in aluminum foil and place in oven safe pan.  Bake 40-60 min. until beets are easily pierced with a fork.  Set aside and allow to cool.  When cool peel, and dice.
2. Pour stock into a saucepan and bring to a low simmer.
3. Saute onion in large saucepan, until onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.�
4. Add the rice and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the grains of rice are separate and beginning to crackle, about 3 minutes.
5. Stir in the wine and cook over medium heat until just about evaporated.  Stir in a ladleful  of the simmering stock and cook, stirring often, until liquid is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook in this fashion, not too fast and not too slowly, for apx. 10 minutes.
6. Stir in the diced beets and additional stock until rice is just barely covered.  Stir mixture continuously for another 10 to 15 minutes. Taste a bit of the rice. Is it cooked through? It should taste chewy but not hard in the middle. If the rice is still hard in the middle, you  add another ladleful of stock stirring for another 5 minutes or so, repeating if necessary until rice reaches desired consistency.
7. Add ground pepper and salt to taste.  Stir in another half cup of stock, Parmesan, 1/2 cup frozen peas, and the parsley.

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Virtual Legal Tech Seminar- 11/08/12

Virtual LegalTech is an experience that includes presentations, virtual booths, online networking, chatting, blogs, and more. It’s everything you’d expect from a live conference, brought right to your computer.

The registration fee is free and can be accessed from any computer. Workshops will run all day on November 8th from 9:30am until 7:00pm. This is a great way to become familiar with technology in the legal environment for students and faculty.  Some webinar topics are also CLE eligible.

November 8 Webinar Topics Include:

  • Capitalize on Managed Print Services – Smart Print Management for Law Offices
  • Taking Control: Strategies to Rein in Escalating eDiscovery Costs – CLE ELIGIBLE
  • The Risks of BYOD and What You Can Do About Them – CLE ELIGIBLE
  • Bringing Electronic Discovery In-House as a Managed Service – CLE ELIGIBLE
  • Cloud Based Escrow Protection for SaaS: Protecting Subscribers against the What-If’s – CLE ELIGIBLE
  • Pulling the Curtain Back on Predictive Coding – CLE ELIGIBLE
  • Five Best Practices for E-Discovery Readiness – CLE ELIGIBLE
  • Putting the “Defensible” into Defensible Predictive Coding: Drivers, Technology and Workflow – CLE ELIGIBLE


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Coastal Law Moot Court Honor Board reaches quarter-finals

Congratulations to a Moot Court Honor Board team for reaching the quarter-finals this weekend at the National Veterans Law Moot Court Conpetition in Washington, D.C. The team members were Cathy Mainardi and Melinda Patterson (brief writer/oralists). Dale Shelton served as the Team Manager. Professor Sander Moody coached the team.

The Florida First District Court of Appeal will hear cases at Florida Coastal tomorrow and Wednesday, November 6 and 7 starting at 9:00 a.m. each day. This is a tremendous opportunity to observe the Florida appellate court in action.  I encourage students to drop by to hear at least a portion of the arguments.  The court understands that students will be coming and going to attend classes.  Please dress in courtroom attire.  Additionally, please silence your cell phones and remove head coverings not worn for religious reasons.

Legal work experience is essential to becoming job ready!  Learn about a great way to get hands-on experience here on campus during the Spring Semester.  Attend a Skills Lab Information Session on:

  • Monday November 5, 2012 at Noon, in Room 505; or
  • Tuesday November 6, 2012 at 4:30 PM, in room 505; or
  • Tuesday November 13, 2012 at 1:00 PM in room 455—lunch will be served at this session, please RSVP via Symplicity.

Skills Labs to be discussed: Wills & Estates; Education Law; Interviewing & Counseling; Mediation; Unemployment Compensation Claims and Appeals; Florida Appellate Law; Wrongful Convictions; Juvenile Law and Veteran’s Benefits Claims. Please attend the information session to learn more about the skills labs prior to registration, and look for the e-mail sent to all students regarding the skills labs. We look forward to seeing you there for LUNCH (on 11/13).  This is an opportunity to obtain some great information!

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“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to…

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”

– Elbert Hubbard

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