Photo Credit: https://perma.cc/8J27-CNA7
In Champions Retreat Golf Founders, LLC v. Commissioner, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed whether a taxpayer qualified for a charitable deduction for a donation of a conservation easement that encompassed a private golf course as well as undeveloped land. The Eleventh Circuit vacated the Tax Court’s decision to uphold the Commissioner of Internal Revenue’s denial of the charitable deduction, “[b]ecause the [Internal Revenue] Code does not disqualify an easement just because it includes a golf course . . . . Owners of golf courses and other similarly developed commercial properties likely see Champions as a new tax-break opportunity. The Eleventh Circuit’s finding that Champions’ easement property satisfied the meaning of a relatively natural habitat, despite the use of chemicals, artificial drainage, and introduction of nonnative species, provides a baseline of the extent and type of property modifications that can exist within the limits of the Code.
Photo Credit: https://perma.cc/6VEB-XN9G
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!
Photo Credit: https://perma.cc/VG48-4W8E
Congratulations to Research Editor Trent Testa, and Junior Editors Kate Belyayeva and Meredith Buckner for making Cumberland’s 2020-2021 National Trial Team!
Photo Credit: https://perma.cc/2AJ6-T57B
Congratulations to Junior Editors Allison Lowery and Emma Goodloe for making Cumberland’s 2020-2021 National Negotiation Team!
Both were finalists in the Henry C. Strickland Negotiation Competition and Allison was named Best Advocate.
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!
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.
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.
Photo Credit: https://perma.cc/8KBB-J8EY
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 Credit: https://perma.cc/N7C9-SSZX
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.
Photo Credit: https://perma.cc/VSU6-3J93
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.”