News

3L John Hubert’s Case Summary appears in the Veterans Law Journal

Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic (VLC) student 3L John Hubert’s case summary of Mayfield v. McDonough, 36 Vet. App. 251 (2023), appeared in the Veterans Law Journal, 2023, Vol. III, pages 26-31, a quarterly publication of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association (CAVC).

His summary was of Mayfield v. McDonough, a case that involved a Board of Veterans’ Appeal decision that denied a request by a veteran’s surviving granddaughter to substitute herself in the veterans place to continue his benefits appeal after his death. The Veterans Law Journal provides recent case summaries of federal court cases impacting the field of veterans law, and are written by practicing veterans law attorneys. Hubert volunteered as a student contributor under the supervision of Professor Beth Kubala, Executive Director of the VLC.

“I mentioned to Professor Kubala that I wanted to get involved in academic-type writing regarding veterans law, and that’s when she told me that the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims’ Bar Association puts out the Veterans Law Journal, which provides articles and case summaries,” said Hubert. “The case I was assigned, Mayfield, was mostly decided by the CAVC on principles of federal jurisdiction, administrative law, and veterans law, and CAVC refused to grant itself the power to review the propriety of a Reviewing Office’s denial of a request for substitution. Overall it was a positive experience that I really enjoyed, and I hope to have similar opportunities such as this in the future, and it is only an example of the kinds of experiences the clinic has allowed me to have.”

“John voluntarily sought out this unique opportunity to contribute to the field of veterans law. He tackled a case involving a complex procedural issue and summarized it in a way that practicing attorneys can understand. John’s efforts directly impact the way veterans and their survivors navigate the benefits process. I’m very proud of his efforts and scholarly work,” says Kubala.

“The legal clinic at the College of Law is without a question what I am most proud, honored, and privileged to be a part of here at Syracuse,” said Hubert. “Working with Professor Kubala and the other students at the clinic has allowed me to grow professionally and personally in ways I never thought I would be able to, even strengthening my bond with one of my best friends who is an active-duty Marine.”

About The Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic

The Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic provides representation to veterans and their families who are seeking benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or upgrading an unfavorable discharge through the various military services. While representing real clients, student attorneys gain an understanding of military culture, interact with government agencies, develop case management skills, improve advocacy skills, and instill the value of pro bono service.

About The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association

The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association was created to improve and facilitate the administration of justice in the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). The CAVC Bar Association provides information and services to the community of those interested in Veterans law, a diverse and rapidly growing area of administrative law.

Professor of Law Emeritus William C. Banks Writes an Expert Backgrounder on Federalizing the National Guard for Just Security

Professor of Law Emeritus William C. Banks has contributed an Expert Background article on federalizing the National Guard and the domestic use of the military for Just Security.

In the article, Banks, who authored “Soldiers on the Home Front: The Domestic Role of the Military”, addresses the background and legal architecture for the domestic use of the military, civil disturbances, border security, and other situations of domestic use of the military.

College of Law Hosts Dr. Günter Schirmer from the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly for a Lecture on Russian Accountability for the War in Ukraine

Günther Schirmer speaking into the microphone

Dr. Günther Schirmer, head of the Secretariat of the Committees on Legal Affairs and Human Rights and on the Election of Judges at the European Court of Human Rights at the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, recently spent time at the College of Law for a talk on Russian reparations for the war in Ukraine and to meet with students interested in an International Law career.

His discussion topic, “Accountability for Russian Aggression: A Frontline Perspective from Europe” examined the various avenues for Russian reparations to Ukraine and the international legal and political barriers that need to be addressed to hold Russian leaders accountable. The approaches discussed included establishing a special tribunal to address criminal and financial repercussions, including financial aspects of international law that are being discussed in Europe.

Dr. Schirmer also met with law students to discuss careers in international law. His advice focused on having the ability to speak another language, experience traveling abroad, and seek out internships that open your network to those involved in international law.

He was hosted by the Journal of International Law and Commerce and the Journal of Global Rights and Organizations and Impunity Watch News.

The View from the Corner Office

Alums Reflect on Their Journey from Law School to the C-Suite

View from the Corner Office featuring five alumni photos for each article, with a blue bar at the top and bottom

The College of Law has produced extraordinary leaders throughout our history. Today, our alumni include the President of the United States, elected and appointed officials at all levels of government, judges, public servants, C-Suite business executives (including Joanna Geraghty G’ 97, L’97, the CEO of JetBlue, who was profiled in the 2020 Stories Book) and nonprofit executives, entrepreneurs, writers, managing partners of global law firms, and so many others in positions of influence.

In past Stories Books, we have examined how College of Law alumni have navigated their way to the C-Suite and other positions of leadership and explored the impact of their law degrees on their careers.

This year, our fifth such feature, we are looking at leaders in the field of entertainment and sports law. This field, which is growing in popularity among current students, ranges from representing individual entities such as sports teams and entertainment venues to securing broadcast rights and programming, and beyond. We spoke with five Law alumni spread across different aspects of sports and entertainment law to hear about their unique careers and how their law degrees set them up for success in an ever-changing industry.

Elsewhere in the magazine, we speak with a 2023 graduate who has a Fellowship with the Toronto Raptors and a Lawyer in Love alum who also is a leader in sports and entertainment law.

Shawna Benfield L’09

Legal Acumen that Empowers Creative Minds

Shawna Benfield sits in a red chair for the Voice, holding her hand over the buzzer button.

Shawna Benfield L’09 was drawn to the entertainment industry early on—but always worked behind the scenes. “I was way too shy and utterly lacking in talent,” she laughs, “But I loved seeing how things were created.” She was the first non-musical theater major to take a course in the history of musical theatre at the University of Miami, where she majored in sports administration. So it was probably inevitable that she would end up in entertainment law, but it was not a straight career path out of law school.

As a first-generation college student, a law degree represented stability and respect. “I fell into the same mold as many law school students,” she says, studying for a career in litigation or corporate law, soaking up essential skills and being inspired by certain professors. She wasn’t drawn to tax law, for example, but loved classes taught by Professors Robert Nassau and Gregory Germain, who became trusted mentors.

Following graduation, Benfield clerked for federal judges and worked in a big law firm doing commercial and securities litigation, but she never lost her passion for the entertainment business. Her husband Andrew K. Benfield L’09, a tax attorney, encouraged her to career course-correct. She reached out to a network of colleagues and alumni. “I did the awkward thing, talked to strangers, and asked for help,” says Benfield. She demonstrated that her skills were transferrable to an industry that is essentially “a mishmash of potential legal issues.”

Bringing her legal acumen into the creative process, Benfield, who is now associate principal counsel for Walt Disney Television and the FX network, gets involved in everything from contract negotiations with agents to issues related to freedom of expression here and abroad, to labor law and international contracts. The consumers of entertainment are unaware of the legal complexities behind the scenes. Benfield offers this example from when she was a production attorney for The Voice. During a live broadcast, a contestant went missing, forcing producers and directors to quickly decide (during a commercial break) how to cover the time. Benfield advised on measures that were equitable to other contestants and in compliance with rules governing competition shows. “The worst thing a lawyer can do is ruin the vibe of the show,” says Benfield.

“We never want to hamstring the creative,” says Benfield. She works closely with production teams to facilitate storytelling that entertains, enlightens, and impacts viewers around the world. Sometimes it’s about solving logistical problems: “Can we go to Iceland to shoot that scene? Do we need visas if we only work there for a week?”

Sometimes, it’s about managing legal risks to empower the storyteller. For example, in working with a journalist on the production of a docudrama, Benfield considers “wildly different rules” governing free speech and defamation in different countries. “I’ll tell the writer, ‘Put your pen to paper, be your best, and we will figure out the rest.’ Sometimes the very best stories carry risk. But just because it’s risky doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Having taken some risks herself in redirecting her own career, Benfield couldn’t be happier: “There’s nothing better than helping people with creative talent succeed, and being able to play a small role in that is just wonderful.”

Peter Carmen L’91

A Principled Approach to Law and Business

headshot of Peter Carmen smiling and wearing a blue suit and tie

Like most kids his age growing up in Syracuse in the 70s, Peter Carmen L’91 didn’t reflect on Indigenous lands or tribal sovereignty. It wasn’t part of the public consciousness then. That makes the story of how he became one of this nation’s leading advocates for tribal sovereignty and a driving force behind the success of Turning Stone Enterprises, LLC all the more intriguing.

Today, Carmen is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Oneida Indian Nation and its enterprises in gaming, hospitality, entertainment, retail, and technology, including the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY. Before stepping into his current role in 2010, Carmen was General Counsel and Senior Vice President. He has been a member of the College of Law’s Board of Advisors since 2022.

“I knew in high school I wanted to be a lawyer,” says Carmen. “I had so much fun in mock trials, drawn to issues of fairness.” His first philosophy course at Brandeis University focused on Socrates. “Finding the truth through the Socratic method resonated with me. My honors thesis tackled the cosmological argument for the existence of God.”

At the College of Law, he was inspired by professors in constitutional law and the appellate team. He is grateful for the discipline demanded by professors like Christian Day. “I remember how he ripped apart my first brief,” says Carmen. “He shaped how I write today. Lawyers shouldn’t write like philosophers. Philosophers wax on. Attorneys must make the point and get out. Every sentence must advance the point from the previous sentence. If it doesn’t, it’s superfluous.”

Carmen was working at Mackenzie Hughes LLP in Syracuse when he met Oneida Indian Nation leader Ray Halbritter ’85. “I was immediately intrigued by the variety and complexity of issues,” he says. Halbritter asked for help on an internal tribal issue and was impressed enough with the results that he engaged Carmen and his firm to assist Oneida’s formidable legal team. “They wanted a ‘green light lawyer’ who could envision solutions and work through roadblocks. We were aligned in our values and culture.”

So aligned that Carmen accepted Halbritter’s offer to join Oneida as its General Counsel in 2005. The years since have proven the law to be a powerful tool in the hands of a resourceful and values-driven organization to achieve fairness and prosperity for the tribal community and the region.

Carmen says the highlight of his career was teaming with Halbritter and another College of Law alum (Oneida’s current General Counsel) Meghan Murphy Beakman G’00, L’00, to negotiate the 2013 historic agreement with the state of New York and local counties that resolved every outstanding legal issue related to land, tax, cultural and gaming disputes, while bringing significant revenue to local economies.

Carmen’s focus shifted to operations when he became COO in 2010, working with Halbritter to oversee one of the region’s largest employers and a respected partner in community and economic development with an estimated annual economic impact exceeding $1 billion.

When Oneida announced last year that it was entering into the cannabis business (from seed to sale), with the Verona Collective, one prominent news commentator said: “They will follow whatever professional standards there are in that industry and they will do it far faster and far more affordably. Everything (they) have touched has, over time, turned to gold because they used common sense and hard work.”

For Carmen, who never imagined himself in the gambling or marijuana business, it’s the principled approach to the practice of law and business that drives him. “At the end of the day, our business is a people business. And I have the honor and privilege of working for the Oneida people.”

Joe Di Scipio L’96

Earning Trust in Fast-Changing Media Regulatory Environment

Joe Di Scipio smiling at the camera wearing a maroon quarter zip in front of the capitol building outside in Washington, DC

When Joe Di Scipio L’95 was in law school, he wasn’t especially interested in mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He had his eyes set on politics, perhaps the U.S. Attorney’s office, and thrived on the trial team. Today, Di Scipio is heavily engaged in business negotiations and regulatory compliance in a field that involves a whole lot of politics.

As Senior Vice President for FCC Legal & Business Affairs for Fox Corporation, Di Scipio is involved in the buying and selling of television stations, brokering distribution deals on streaming and digital platforms, and negotiating licensing deals for the retransmission of Fox TV programming. “This isn’t the M&A we studied in law school. Selling broadcast is not like selling a building or real estate,” says Di Scipio.

Having worked at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) both before and after law school, Di Scipio knows how regulations impact a rapidly evolving field. “How we consume media is changing by the minute,” he says. “I actually had predicted the demise of the field I work in several times, and it just hasn’t happened. In 2005, I thought over-the-air broadcast television would go away, particularly the network affiliation distribution model. I figured cable and satellite would replace that model, but that was not to be. Now, people can download or stream anything they want.”

He says the skills he acquired in prepping for trials are most relevant today as he works through the morass of regulations governing media and negotiating with the FCC on policy changes. “At the federal level, a lot of times the decisions being made are more political than they are legal,” says Di Scipio. “You have to understand the politics involved to get to the desired legal decision.”

For example, when Fox stations started airing college football games, they wanted to offer extended pre-game programming. But the FCC required broadcast stations to carry a certain amount of children’s television, which typically aired at the same time. “Fortunately, we were working with a Republican administration that had a deregulatory bent, but getting them to change the rule and allow greater flexibility in how children’s programming was provided is still a huge deal.”

Di Scipio credits Professor Emeritus Travis Lewin and Judge Elijah “Chip” Huling who worked with the trial team for instilling in him the skills to succeed. “It is the ability to think strategically on your feet when you’re negotiating, to get the other party to move toward your ultimate goal,” he says.

In many broadcast distribution deals, the two sides are partners in desiring to disseminate programming, “but we are diametrically opposed because one side wants to get paid a lot of money and the other doesn’t want to pay anything,” says Di Scipio. “If you can’t figure out how to get the deal done, you’ll go dark. Nobody wants that.” He prides himself on having developed a reputation for being tough, but fair.

Di Scipio says he “trades on trust” in this fast-paced field. Trust that comes from years of building relationships, and involvement with the National Association of Broadcasters, Federal Communications Bar Association, FCBA Foundation, Syracuse University Alumni Association, and Syracuse University Law Alumni Association.

“My advice to students or new lawyers is to invest time in developing relationships outside of their work. It gives you legitimacy. It earns you trust.”

Stephanie Jacqueney G’82, L’82

Ensuring the Show Goes On

Stephanie Jacqueney smiles at the camera for a headshot, wearing a blue shirt in front of a gray background

The precision with which 38 Rockettes on stage individually perform 160 eye-high kicks in unison in every show is stunning. Audiences are mesmerized, never thinking about the lawyers behind the scenes who enable this extraordinary entertainment with their own precision and discipline.

“If you’re involved in the production of live or taped shows, you’re dealing with contracting, music rights, film rights, intellectual property, and union/labor issues,” says Stephanie Jacqueney, G’82, L’82, who spent more than two decades as Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs for Madison Square Garden. Jacqueney didn’t learn all that she needed to know in law school. But it didn’t matter.

“I didn’t take a copyright class, but I did learn how to read a statute and cases, and how to be analytical. That’s what matters,” says Jacqueney, who has been a member of the College of Law’s Board of Advisors since 2020. She entered law school with a strong interest in public policy, drawn to Syracuse because she could obtain both a J.D. and a Master’s from the Maxwell School. She had worked in human services and intended “to save the world and do something in the public interest.” But the compensation from those jobs generally can’t pay off law school debt. So, she headed to corporate law.

While at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, she worked on a case involving a prominent singer in a dispute against her manager. Jacqueney found her first venture in entertainment law “fascinating.” At Manhattan Cable TV, a Time Warner subsidiary where she was General Counsel, she struck the balance between general legal work and lobbying/public policy. Then came Madison Square Garden, with its TV productions, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Super Bowl, and other stadium halftime shows. She handled agreements for Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, and other entertainers.

It wasn’t the glamour of it all that fascinated her. It was the complexity of legal issues and the need for creative and rapid solutions. She cites the example of one Super Bowl Halftime show threatened by a copyright infringement accusation. “In this case, the set design included hundreds of feather flags. Just days before the scheduled show, someone claimed to have a copyright on the flag design,” she recalls. There was no time to fight the claim in court. She recommended giving the designer an acknowledgment in the post-show credits. Problem solved. After all, the show must go on.

Similarly, it took an army of lawyers, flight engineers, safety, and insurance personnel to successfully pull off Diana Ross’ helicopter exit after her Super Bowl Halftime performance before 100,000 fans at Tempe Arizona Stadium. “We spent weeks working on making those few seconds happen,” says Jacqueney. The event has since been hailed as one of the greatest Super Bowl Halftime exits ever!

Though her work with Madison Square Garden was fulfilling, it was all-consuming. “I was moonlighting as the mother of triplets.” When her two sons and daughter were in high school planning their college moves, their mom made her own, setting up her own consulting firm. It gave her the flexibility she needed
to help her kids make their transitions.

Her triplets excelled in college (two at Syracuse University and the third at the University of Miami) and Jacqueney still laughs at the memory of coordinating with her husband, Mark Edelstein, for their presence at their triplets’ convocations and commencements, all scheduled for the same weekend. “It was all about logistics.” She made it happen. After all, the show must go on.

Jacqueney’s clients include ABC/Disney and skating rink operators in iconic locations such as Central Park. Her career trajectory stands as a model for young lawyers who might feel stuck. “If you’re analytical, diligent, and work hard, you can change gears. Take a CLE. Seize opportunities. The truth of the matter is that I fell into this specialty.”

Richard “Rich” Jones ’92, G’95, L’95

Creating Entertainment that Serves Communities

rich jones smiles at the camera wearing a suit and bow tie in front of a neutral background

Time Inc. merges with Warner Communications. Time Warner acquires Turner Broadcasting. AOL acquires Time Warner. NBC Television acquires Telemundo, Bravo and Universal Studios. Viacom splits into CBS Corporation and a second Viacom (liquidating the famed Desilu Productions). CBS does a spin-off REIT of CBS Outdoor. CBS spins off CBS Radio. Viacom and CBS merge to create Paramount Global.

Big names in the entertainment industry and big dollar deals. And Richard M. “Rich” Jones ’92, G’95, L’95 has been involved in all of them, and more, including successfully arguing a seminal tax case before the U.S. Court of Claims (CBS Corporation v. United States, No. 10-153T).

Jones majored in accounting, and received his master’s in accounting from Whitman School of Management and his law degree from the College of Law the same year. He also holds an LL.M. in corporate, international and tax law from Boston University School of Law. “Tax issues are prevalent in every single transaction,” says Jones, who is executive vice president, general tax counsel, and chief veteran officer for Paramount Global.

Attorney and CPA Jones says it’s critical to be able to translate the financial implications of every deal into terms that business leaders, boards, judges, policy makers and the general public can understand. He regularly testifies before Congressional committees on the economic benefits that the entertainment industry brings to communities. “We spend about $20 billion a year investing in content, and it’s critical that we recover some of those costs through tax benefits,” says Jones. “The fact is that television productions are the life blood in many cities, supporting countless workers who bring these productions to life. I love this industry because it’s about storytelling but it’s also about serving the hardworking people behind and in front of the cameras.”

The desire to serve others has always driven Jones. He was a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, where he served honorably as a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment and 10th Mountain Division. After six years of service, he was medically retired from the Army after being critically injured when his parachute malfunctioned during an Airborne Assault Training Mission. But he never left his comrades behind, even after earning multiple academic degrees, a clerkship in the New York State Supreme Court, a decade at Ernst & Young in their media, entertainment and transaction advisory services practice, and positions at GE (NBC Universal) and Viacom. He founded the Paramount Veterans Network to support the hundreds of veterans who work at Paramount Global with education, training and employment opportunities.

Jones also serves on the board of the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) Board, the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) Advisory Board, and the Syracuse University Board of Trustees.

Jones sees his work in the entertainment field as an opportunity to impact the way the entire nation views and supports veterans. “Not only do our shows provide employment and career opportunities for countless veterans and their families, but they bring authenticity to the stories we tell,” says Jones. He cites the example of the CBS hit series, Seal Team, now in its seventh season. One of Jones’ good friends pitched the original idea for the series to CBS leadership and the rest is history.

Jones hears regularly from a Gold Star Mother who loves to watch Seal Team, even as she still grieves for her son who was among the 30 U.S. service members, including 22 Navy Seals shot down in 2011 during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. “This mother texts me each time she watches the show and tells me how it helps her by keeping her son’s memory alive,” says Jones. “I brought her to meet the cast members which reinforced that what they do is more than just playing a character on television.”

“I love having a job where I can practice law at the highest level, driving great value for stakeholders and still serve veterans and entire communities with the kind of entertainment that informs and inspires,” says Jones. “It’s storytelling at its finest. Storytelling with a higher purpose.

Venture to Victory Symposium Brings Together Successful College of Law Entrepreneurs, Legal Experts, and Finance Professionals

Panelists sit at a long table waiting to respond to questions at the Innovation Law Center's "From Venture to Victory" event.
From left: James Kelly L’99, Luke Cooper L’01, Kevin Whittaker L’02, Peter Alfano L’94 and Lon Levin L’80.

The College of Law’s Innovation Law Center (ILC) recently held the symposium “Venture to Victory:  Pioneer Perspectives in Tech, Venture, and Private Equity.” The symposium featured five distinguished alumni guests representing the legal, and financial aspects of bringing a new high-tech company from early-stage funding to exit strategies. The panelists were:

  • Peter Alfano L’94, Partner, DLA Piper  
  • Luke Cooper L’01, Founding General Partner and Managing Director, Latimer Ventures
  • James Kelly L’99, Partner and Chair, New York Private Equity, DLA Piper  
  • Lon Levin L’80, President, SkySevenVentures 
  • Kevin Whittaker L’02, Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, Ripcord  

The day’s events started with Cooper and Whittaker visiting the Blackstone LaunchPad at Syracuse University Libraries, the hub for the University’s innovation community, connecting the campus innovation ecosystem with a global network that supports innovators, entrepreneurs, and creatives. University students involved in entrepreneurship, start-ups, and innovation were able to meet with Cooper and Whittaker and discuss strategies and career paths.

Alumni meet with students in the BlackStone LaunchPad

Later, the alumni panelists attended an informal lunch with ILC Research Assistants and leaders from the College’s Corporate Law Society and Intellectual Property Law Society (event co-sponsors). The students were able to interact directly with the alumni guests, getting invaluable career and networking tips.

The well-attended symposium was held in two distinct segments. First was a more traditional panel discussion led by ILC Executive Director Brian Gerling L’99. Gerling asked questions about career trajectories and the role of attorneys in venture capital (VC) investments and private equity (PE) acquisitions. The personal experiences of the alumni provided realistic perspectives and lessons learned that were shared with the students.

A student in the audience asks a question at the Innovation Law Center's "From Venture to Victory" event.

A role-playing negotiation scenario was the basis for the second half of the symposium. The alumni took on key roles in the negotiated exit for the CEO of a high-tech start-up company in the aerospace industry. Alumni representing the CEO, in-house counsel, the VC firm that provided the initial funding, the acquiring PE firm, and the law firm that represents the acquiring PE firm.

The result of this lively exercise was a realistic view of how legal professionals think and the guidance they provide firms and individuals involved in financial negotiations. A key takeaway was that today, lawyers need to work together rather than as adversaries for deals to be successful. The symposium ended with questions from the students and input from the panelists on the importance of building your network and connections.

College of Law Recognized for Bar Passage Rates by preLaw Magazine

Syracuse University College of Law was recently ranked #8 for Ultimate Bar Passage and #27 for first-time bar test takers by preLaw Magazine in the Winter 2024 edition of the magazine.

The Ultimate Bar Passage ranking is taken from 2017-2019 data and the first-time bar test takers data is from 2015-2019. The data was compiled by Jeffrey Kinsler in his article “Ultimate Bar Passage: Which Law Schools are Overperforming and Underperforming Expectations.”

“The College of Law places an emphasis from day one on being prepared for the bar exam,” says Kelly Curtis, Associate Dean of Academic and Bar Success. “We offer academic support in multiple formats throughout their time at the College and a targeted set of interventions in their final year leading up to the bar exam.”

Details on Academic and Bar Success can be found here.

College of Law Hosts Swearing-In Ceremony for Spring 2024 Law Clinic Student Attorneys

The College of Law recently held a swearing-in ceremony for on-campus and online student attorneys participating in one of the six law clinics this semester. Dean Craig Boise provided the welcome address while guest speaker the Hon. Deborah H. Karalunas L’82 administered the Student Attorney Oath. Judge Karalunas is also a College of Law adjunct professor teaching New York Civil Practice.

The College of Law Office of Clinical Legal Education provides a practical educational experience to second and third-year student attorneys while delivering much-needed, otherwise unavailable legal resources to the communities and people of Central New York.

The clinics are:

Bankruptcy Clinic*

Betty & Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic

Criminal Defense Clinic

Disability Rights Clinic

Sherman F. Levey ’57, L’59 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic*

Transactional Law Clinic*

*Clinic is offered online for the Spring 2024 semester.

Professor Gregory Germain Speaks with the Media on the Trump Fraud Ruling

Professor Gregory Germain has spoken with several media outlets on the recent ruling against Donald Trump in the New York fraud suit. He has provided insight into the appeals process, legal strategies, and the likelihood that the ruling would be reversed.

Trump will dispute NYC judge’s definition of ‘fraud’ in appeal of $355 million fine: report New York Post, February 19, 2024

Donald Trump Can Reverse Judge Engoron’s Ruling—Here’s How Newsweek, February 19, 2024

With business empire on brink of abyss, tycoon Trump recasts himself as victim The Guardian, February 17, 2024

Trump Spared From ‘Corporate Death Penalty,’ But His Business Will Still Get Slammed The Associated Press, February 17, 2024

Donald Trump dodges ‘corporate death penalty’ in New York fraud case but business hit hard The Mirror, February 17, 2024

Donald Trump Faces a Day of Reckoning Newsweek, February 16, 2024

Trump’s Civil Fraud Ruling May Be About “No Victims” Defense (Dutch translation needed) Marketscreener.com, February 16,  2024

Professor Gregory Germain spoke with Distinguished Visiting Lecturer David Cay Johnston for an article on bankruptcy options for former President Trump.

Professor Gregory Germain spoke with Distinguished Visiting Lecturer David Cay Johnston for an article on bankruptcy options for former President Trump.

In the DC Report article “Trump’s Legal Delay Tactics Will Lead To Further Self-Destruction”, Germain says what Trump can achieve in bankruptcy is delays, but almost certainly not escaping paying, assuming he has the assets to fulfill the judgments against him.

Germain notes that Trump could put his company, the Trump Organization, into bankruptcy, but that would not help him because he is personally liable as the sole owner for the judgments in all three cases.

JDinteractive Students Kick Off 2024 with Syracuse-based Residencies

To kick off the New Year, two cohorts of Online JDinteractive Program students traveled to Syracuse for experiential Residencies before the beginning of the spring semester.

First year students came for their Legal Applications Residency, their second of six total Residencies through the course of their legal education. Meanwhile, second-year students returned to Dineen Hall for concurrent Residencies three and four, immersing themselves in Professional Skills courses tailored to their interests and career aspirations. This vibrant start set the stage for a year of profound learning and growth.

student holding up two fingers in front of shuttle, wearing a syracuse hat and scarf

Legal Applications Residency

Prior to their second semester in the JDi program, first year students returned to Syracuse for the Legal Applications Residency. This problem-based course utilized experiential learning techniques to help students integrate the doctrinal subjects with practical skills. Students worked on interviewing, public speaking, negotiating, writing, and researching during their week in Syracuse.

JDi students attended a reception along with fellow Syracuse University Martin J. Whitman School of Management Online MBA Students to introduce the two online programs and network with other people also pursuing their degrees virtually.

four students sitting around a table smiling, with otto the mascot in the background

Venturing beyond the classroom, JDi students also explored downtown Syracuse, met for dinner in small groups at local area restaurants, and ate local cuisine at the Salt City Market. They also had a networking event with the Student Bar Association (SBA) where they were able to meet with their On-Campus J.D. classmates.

two students smiling and eating at a table together at salt city market

two students standing in front of a mural at salt city market

two students standing in front of a salt city bar lit up sign and greenery in the background

Professional Skills Residencies

As they enter their second year in the JDi Program, students partake in Professional Skills Residencies spanning topics like negotiation, client counseling, trial advocacy, and more. Best of all, this one week fulfills the requirement for both the third and fourth Residential Courses concurrently with just one trip to Syracuse.

Over the six days of the residential experience earlier this year, students learned from professors and experts in their fields including the Hon. Jamie Baker, Director of the Institute of Security Policy and Law, Professor Beth Kubala, Director of the Veterans’ Legal Clinic, and Professor Todd Berger, Director of the Advocacy Program.

Teaching Legal Ethics in National Security, Judge Baker addressed the ethical challenges that arise in national security policy and legal practice from the perspective of someone with extensive experience in the field as a previous Chief Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

judge jamie baker talking to two students in front of a large white board
Judge Jamie Baker talks to students taking his Legal Ethics in National Security class.

Professor Berger provided an introduction to Trial Advocacy, coaching students to perform as trial counsel in a variety of simulated courtroom exercises. Students engaged in direct examination, cross-examination, an introduction of exhibits, opening statements and closing arguments.

professor todd berger standing in a courtroom with wooden walls, teaching four JDi students sitting down in the jury area
Professor Todd Berger teaches Advocacy in the Bond, Schoeneck & King Courtroom.

Through the Administrative Representation for Veterans course, Professor Kubala provided students with the opportunity to represent real clients in an administrative process with a goal of changing a veteran’s character of service. 

beth kubala behind her office desk talking to two students
Professor Beth Kubala meets with JDi students in her office to discuss representation for veterans.
group of four people sit around a desk talking to a veteran in front of a military and veteran law society sign
JDi students learned about navigating the complex regulatory requirements of the Army Review Boards Agency and applied those skills to assist our community’s veterans in upgrading their discharges to allow increased access to benefits.  

To wrap up the week, students in the Media Training for Attorneys course took advantage of the resources in the Dick Clark Studios with a taped on-camera interview in a mock studio with camera, lights, and sound. This course builds life skills that all attorneys will need at some point in their lives, and it helps the students gain confidence in speaking and writing for a public audience.

two people talk to each other at a news station for the newhouse communications center
Professor Kevin Noble Maillard works with JDi student in Media Training for Attorneys course in Newhouse’s Dick Clark Studios.