Hand v. Scott: Florida’s Method of Restoring Felon Voting Rights Declared Unconstitutional

Kate Henderson*

In February, a federal court considered the method used by Florida executive officials to reinstate voting rights for convicted felons in Hand v. Scott. First Amendment protections in the context of felony voting restoration was a matter of first impression for the court.  The court held the “unfettered discretion” the Clemency Board possessed over a felon’s voting right restoration and the lack of clear time limits in deciding clemency applications violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. . . .

Click here to view full article. 

* Candidate for Juris Doctor, Cumberland School of Law, Class of 2019.  Junior Editor, Cumberland Law Review.  Bachelor of Science, Florida State University, Class of 2013.

Safe Injection Sites and Potential Federal Response

Kate Henderson*

 The misuse and overuse of opioids have created a crisis in the United States.  Drugs involved in this crisis include prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids.  It is estimated that over 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.  In 2016 alone, approximately 42,000 people died from overdosing on opioids.  In an effort to decrease the death toll due to the opioid crisis, some U.S. cities are planning on creating safe spaces for drug users . . . . Read the full article here.

*  Candidate for Juris Doctor, Cumberland School of Law, Class of 2019. Junior Editor, Cumberland Law Review. Bachelor of Science, Florida State University, Class of 2013.

Supreme Court Denies Trump Administration’s “Cert before Judgment” DACA Appeal

Anna Saunders*

The Supreme Court declined to hear the Trump Administration’s appeal of the nation-wide injunction that prohibited the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) immigration policy.  The Court noted, however, that “[i]t is assumed that the Court of Appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case.”  The order indicates that the denial of the petition can be attributed to . . . .

Read the full article here. 

*  Candidate for Juris Doctor, Cumberland School of Law, Class of 2019. Junior Editor, Cumberland Law Review. Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance, University of Alabama, Class of 2016.

Fourth Circuit Judge Assumes Senior Status

By: Emma Cummings*

On January 30, 2018 Judge Dennis W. Shedd stepped down from his 15 years of service as an active judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and assumed senior status.  Judge Shedd, along with Judge Paul V. Niemeyer and Judge William B. Traxler, Jr. of the Fourth Circuit, heard oral arguments on January 30 at the University of South Carolina School of Law.  After oral arguments, Judge Shedd was presented with the Order of the Palmetto Award by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. . . .

Read the full article here.

* Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, Candidate for Juris Doctor, May 2019; Wofford College, Bachelor of Arts, May 2016.



To Inform or Not to Inform: California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act

Jessica Wolinsky*

          In October 2015, the California legislature passed the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act ( the “Reproductive FACT Act” or “Act”), which requires clinics and other facilities that provide family planning or pregnancy-related services to present certain notices to clients.[1]  The Act specifically dictates both the notice’s form and content, which must be displayed in . . . .

Read Article Full Article Here. 

*Candidate for Juris Doctor, Cumberland School of Law, 2019. Junior Editor, Cumberland Law Review. Bachelor of Science in Political Science, Berry College, 2016.
[1] Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 123470–1234073 (West 2017); Bill Chappell, Supreme Court Takes on Case About Free Speech and Abortion, NPR: the two-way (Nov. 13, 2017, 11:27 AM) (summary of the Reproductive FACT Act and the events leading to the Supreme Court’s consideration of the case), https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/13/563737297/supreme-court-takes-on-case-about-free-speech-and-abortion.

Reducing Alabama State-Owned, Tax-Delinquent Properties by Clarifying the Law of Redemption

William S. Hereford*

CLICK HERE to view the full article. 


     The State of Alabama owns tens of thousands of taxdelinquent properties, and that number is increasing at an alarming rate.  According to a recent Cumberland Law Review article, the state owned 8,595 taxdelinquent properties in 2005, and the number jumped to 25,000 by 2012, representing $141 million in property value at that time.  The increase continued after 2012, reaching a total of 38,664 stateowned taxdelinquent properties as of September 21, 2017.  These properties create a multitude of problems for the state and local communities.  For one, they represent millions of dollars in uncollected property tax revenues, on which counties, cities, and local school districts rely.  Further, because stateowned properties are not taxed, they represent the continuing loss of millions of dollars of tax revenue each year during the state’s ownership.  Moreover, there is a high correlation between urban blight and the number of taxdelinquent properties, and efforts to address blighted properties are intertwined with the state’s ability to sell taxdelinquent properties.

        Given the magnitude of this problem, the wide array of factors impacting the state’s ability to sell its tax-delinquent properties need to be carefully considered.  This article focuses only on a specific factor relating to the demand for the state’s properties: the impact that an ambiguity involving Alabama’s property tax sale redemption law has on the demand for the state’s properties.  The article seeks to clarify the law in that area to improve the demand for state-owned properties and maximize the benefit to the state.

CLICK HERE to view the full article. 

* Partner, Burr & Forman LLP, Birmingham, Alabama; B.S.B.A., 1985, Univ. of Alabama – Huntsville; J.D. 1988, Vanderbilt Univ.  Appreciation is given to the following for their contributions to this article:  Thomas Williams, J.D., Univ. of Alabama, The Title Group, for his valuable input on the section addressing title underwriters’ concerns with tax delinquent properties; my son, Faulkner Hereford, M.A. Applied Economics, Univ. of Alabama, Investment Banking Analyst, Deutsche Bank, for his organizational and editorial suggestions from the perspective of someone without previous experience with this topic; and the Cumberland Law Review Editorial Board for its helpful review and editing.

Dunn v. Madison

By Emma Cummings

Thirty-two years ago, Vernon Madison was charged with the murder of a Mobile, Alabama police officer, Julius Schulte.  He was convicted of capital murder by an Alabama jury and sentenced to death.  Madison was scheduled to be executed on May 12, 2016, but he petitioned the state court to suspend his death sentence on the grounds that he was incompetent to be executed after suffering complications from several strokes.  At the trial court’s hearing, the court’s appointed psychologist reported that “although Madison may have ‘suffered a significant decline post-stroke, . . . [he] understands the exact posture of his case at this point,’ and appears to have a ‘rational understanding of . . . the results or effects’ of his death sentence.”  Additionally, Madison’s own psychologist reported that “Madison’s strokes have rendered him unable to remember ‘numerous events that have occurred over the past thirty years or more,’” but that he ultimately understood what he was tried for, that he was in prison because of murder,  that Alabama was seeking retribution, and that his sentence was the death penalty.  However, Madison’s psychologist stated that “Madison does not ‘understan[d] the act that . . . he is being punished for’ because he cannot recall ‘the sequence of events from the offense to his arrest to the trial or any of those details.’”

Click here to read the full article.

Samford University to Host Alabama Appellate Courts’ Oral Arguments November 1, 2017

On November 1, 2017, Samford University will host the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals and the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals as they hear oral arguments in Keith v. LeFleur and Hicks v. State of Alabama, respectively. The event will be held at the Wright Center, and the arguments are set to begin at 9:00 am.

Cumberland Law Review’s Christian Feldman and Alex Thrasher have written case summaries for both cases. Click the links above to download the articles!

The Eleventh Circuit Establishes New Standard for Judicial Estoppel in Bankruptcy Cases

Brenton Thompson*


On September 18, 2017, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, held that before precluding a debtor’s claim on judicial estoppel grounds, district court judges are required to consider all facts and circumstances to determine whether omitting a pending civil claim from a bankruptcy filing evinces a debtor’s intent to make a mockery of the judicial system.[1]  This standard—intent to make a mockery of the judicial system—serves as the second prong in a two-part analytical framework employed by the Eleventh Circuit to evaluate the appropriateness of judicial estoppel.[2]  The full court remanded the case to the three-judge panel[3] to decide the case under the new standard.[4]


* Candidate for Juris Doctor, Cumberland School of Law, Class of 2019. Junior Editor, Cumberland Law Review. Bachelor of Science, Auburn University, Class of 2016.

[1] Slater v. U.S. Steel Corp., No. 12-15548, 2017 WL 4110047, at *1 (11th Cir. Sept. 18, 2017) (Slater II).

[2] Id. at *5.

[3] The three judge panel consists of Eleventh Circuit Judges Gerald Bard Tjoflat and William H. Pryor, and Southern District of Florida Judge Robert N. Scola. Slater v. U.S. Steel Corp., 820 F.3d 1193, 1195 (11th Cir. 2016) (Slater I).

[4] Slater II, 2017 WL 4110047, at *12.

[5] See Burnes v. Pemco Aeroplex, Inc., 291 F.3d 1282, 1287-88 (11th Cir. 2002).

[6] Slater II, 2017 WL 4110047, at *8.