Executive Editor Lauren Brasher Published in The Alabama Municipal Journal

Lauren Brasher*

While clerking this Summer at Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff, & Brandt, LLC, Executive Editor Lauren Brasher, in conjunction with Attorneys Phillip Corley and April Danielson, wrote an article overviewing Alabama’s drainage laws and their impact on municipalities. In general, courts have been hesitant to impose liability on municipalities for drainage they have not expressly accepted to maintain or constructed the drainage system themselves. The article discusses the Public Purpose Doctrine, when drainage is considered within the the control of the municipality, and what does and does not constitute acceptance for maintenance.

Click the link below to read the full article in the Fall 2020 Issue of The Alabama Municipal Journal! The article begins on page thirty-one.

False Alarm label in all caps

Ga. Elec. Life Safety & Sys. Ass’n v. City of Sandy Springs: Can Cities Constitutionally Impose Fines on Alarm Companies for False Alarms?

Cullen Armstrong*

Photo Credit:  https://perma.cc/UMZ9-MJED

In Georgia Electronic Life Safety & System Ass’n v. City of Sandy Springs, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed the constitutionality of a city ordinance that imposes a fine on alarm companies for false alarms. Affirming the lower court’s ruling, the Eleventh Circuit deemed the city ordinance constitutional because “[i]mposing a fine on . . . alarm companies is rationally related to the City’s strong interests in reducing the number of false alarms that heavily burden its police and fire departments and waste public resources.” In deeming the Ordinance constitutional, the Eleventh Circuit demonstrated that it will not interfere in a municipality’s regulation of economic behavior when that municipality can establish that the regulation is rationally related to the governmental interest.

Cumberland Law Review Hosts Visit to Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice

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The Equal Justice Initiative has invited Cumberland School of Law students to visit its Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice for free as part of its Law School Racial Justice Program. This event is open to all 2L and 3Ls, with 1Ls having attended during their orientation. The Cumberland Law Review is hosting a visit this Saturday, October 10th from nine a.m. to one p.m. Students have the opportunity to visit for free on October 17th and 24th as well. Students who attend will receive free copies of Just Mercy and The Sun Does Shine.

To obtain free admission, students must wear their red volunteer Samford shirts and bring their student IDs. Students must also fill out this form prior to arriving to confirm their attendance and masks must be worn. Please tag any photos taken with #changemakers2b #lawstudentwellness and #ABAmentalhealth

photo of gender bathroom symbols

Adams ex rel. Kasper v. School Board of St. Johns County: Restricting Transgender High School Students’ Restroom Access Violates the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX

Mitchell Brisbon*

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In Adams ex rel. Kasper v. School Board of St. Johns County, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit considered a challenge to a Florida high school’s policy prohibiting transgender students from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify. The plaintiff, a transgender male, challenged the policy under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. The court affirmed the district court’s judgment on both grounds, with one judge dissenting, holding that the School Board’s policy violated both the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination in education. Although not specifically decided, the case tees up a potential challenge to sex-separated bathrooms.

picture showing people submitting voter ballots

Greater Birmingham Ministries v. Secretary of State for the State of Alabama: Eleventh Circuit Finds Alabama Voter Identification Law Constitutional

Kaylee Rose*

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In Greater Birmingham Ministries v. Secretary of State for the State of Alabama, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed the constitutionality of an Alabama law that governs “‘one of the most fundamental rights of our citizens: the right to vote.’” The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling that Alabama’s 2011 Photo Voter Identification Law is constitutional and not racially discriminatory. Circuit Judge Elizabeth L. Branch, writing for the majority, found that “[t]he burden of providing a photo ID pursuant to Ala. Code § 17-9-30 in order to vote is a minimal burden on Alabama’s voters—especially when Alabama accepts so many different forms of photo ID and makes acquiring one simple and free for voters who lack a valid ID but wish to obtain one.”

Picture of Insurance Claim


Terra Silva *

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In Mama Jo’s Inc. v. Sparta Insurance Co., the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that an insurer properly denied coverage for a restaurant’s cleaning and business interruption claims because neither claim satisfied the policy’s “direct physical loss” requirement. The Mama Jo’s decision may be used by insurance companies arguing that denial of claims was proper based on the lack of any “direct physical loss,” as required by many policies. Though pandemic-related case law is still developing, Mama Jo’s may have major impacts on the outcome of such litigation.

Microphone in front of crowd

Political Speech On Campus: A Practical Look At University Policies and Regulations

Laura Beltz and Mary Zoeller

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In just forty-five words, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a “blueprint for personal freedom and the hallmark of an open society.” Critically, the First Amendment protects citizens from governmental interference with these foundational rights and prevents state actors—such as public colleges and universities—from hindering the exercise of these rights. In contrast, the First Amendment does not generally apply to students at private colleges.


Words such as equality, women, race, rights, etc.

Monaghan v. Wordplay U.S., Inc.; Eleventh Circuit Clarifies the Standard for Title VII Retaliation Claims

Taylor A. Johnson

In Susan Monaghan v. Worldpay US, Inc., the Eleventh Circuit reversed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in a Title VII retaliation complaint. This decision clarifies the requirements needed for successful Title VII retaliation claims.



Law Review Members Selected for Cumberland’s 2020-2021 National Moot Court Team

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Congratulations to Copy Editor Taylor Johnson, and Junior Editors Mitchell Brisbon, Kaylee Rose, and Dale Turley for making this year’s National Moot Court Team!

In the SAAD Moot Court Competition, the National Team’s tryouts, Taylor was named Best Oral Advocate and Best Appellate Brief. Both Mitchell and Kaylee were also finalists in the competition.

Great work everyone!

Student Materials Editor Gabe Tucker Published in The Alabama Lawyer

Gabe Tucker*

While clerking this Summer at Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt, LLC, Student Materials Editor Gabe Tucker, in conjunction with Attorneys Phillip Corley and April Danielson, wrote an article discussing state and local government powers during COVID-19. The article discusses the constitutionality of stay-at-home orders, a municipality’s power to implement response measures to COVID-19, law enforcement response measures, and potential liability issues for municipalities, business owners, and employers.

Click here to read the full article in this year’s July Issue of The Alabama Lawyer!