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),

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.

2017 Symposium Review: A Grand View of the Field

    By: Jessica Wolinsky

On October 13, 2017, Cumberland Law Review and the American Journal of Trial Advocacy hosted the 2017 Symposium titled “A Ball Park Overview: The Field of Sports Law” at the Regions Field, Schaeffer Eye Center Lounge in Birmingham, Alabama.  This marks the first year both journals have had the privilege of collaborating to host symposium, and the event was a grand slam.  A delicious welcome breakfast complemented an excellent view of Regions Field for attorneys, law students, and professionals involved in Alabama’s sport’s law industry.

The event began with a welcome from Sean Herald, Managing Editor of Cumberland Law Review, and opening remarks by Cumberland Assistant Dean, Allen Howell.  Dean Howell described sports as a reflection of our culture and society, drawing together people from all walks of life and ideological backgrounds.  Furthermore, he found Regions Field to be the perfect venue for Symposium, representing the impact sports can have on a community.

The discussion portion of the event began with a presentation titled “Eligibility Issues of Blue Chip and International Student-Athletes” by Don Jackson, principal of The Sports Group and an adjunct professor at Cumberland School of Law.  His experience counseling and representing professional athletes, scouts, and coaches, as well as appearances before various NCAA committees, allowed him to incorporate personal anecdotes that brought to life many of the issues facing the world of sports.  Upon the conclusion of his presentation, a question was raised regarding the potential for a public university to sue a player’s family member under the new definition of “agent.”  To his knowledge, a family member had never been sued by a university, but it is now a possibility under the new definition.

Patrick Strong, counsel at Balch & Bingham, LLP, then provided an extensive overview of sports law.  His representation of some of the most respected collegiate and professional coaches in the country gave him an excellent perspective in answering the question “what is sports law?” In a detailed presentation, he described the differences between the traditional and non-traditional roles of sports agents and the role of the courts in resolving sports conflicts.

Following a short break, the event reconvened with a panel on NCAA compliance. Clayton Bromberg, Jr. and Jay Ezelle, partners at Starnes, Davis, Florie, LLP, provided key insight, having successfully represented both schools and athletes in the area of NCAA compliance.  Additionally, William King, Associate Commissioner for Legal Affairs and Compliance with the Southeastern Conference (“SEC”), provided a unique perspective as he is responsible for overseeing current litigation and assisting SEC institutions with compliance issues and rules education.  Additionally, King has over twenty-five years of legal practice experience, where he was recognized as a leader in NCAA compliance.  Rounding out the panel’s discussion group, Clinton Speegle, an associate on the NCAA compliance team at Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC, provided additional insight from his experience representing schools before the NCAA Committee on Infractions and involvement in all phases of NCAA enforcement investigations.  The discussion was moderated by Russ Campbell, founding partner of Balch Sports at Balch & Bingham, LLP, who has more than two decades of experience as a sports agent and is a leading attorney in the sports and entertainment arena.  Questions posed to this highly experienced panel brought about a thorough discussion on the differences and similarities between civil litigation and NCAA compliance, the overall NCAA process, and the responsibilities of head coaches, including the difficulties they face in managing players.

The event concluded with a presentation detailing the “Vanderbilt Rape Trial” (Tennessee v. Brandon E. Banks et al.) and the role sports played in this case.  The presentation featured Roger Moore, Deputy District Attorney General for Davidson County, Tennessee, and Worrick Robinson, IV, defense attorney with Robinson, Reagan & Young, PLLC, and a Cumberland alumnus.  This case revealed that, with the increase in media attention, student-athletes have become high-publicity targets, which can affect the outcome of litigation.  The significant coverage in this specific case, actually led to a retrial after a juror was recognized by a subject who had previously assaulted him.  The subject notified defense counsel, questioning why the individual was permitted to serve on the jury.

Closing out the event, Allyson Swecker, Articles and Symposium Editor for the American Journal of Trial Advocacy, gave final remarks, thanking all in attendance.  Following the event, speakers joined members of the Cumberland administration and board members from both Cumberland Law Review and the American Journal of Trial Advocacy for lunch in the skybox, overlooking the field.

On behalf of the Cumberland Law Review and the American Journal of Trial Advocacy, special thanks are offered to the speakers who presented at this year’s Symposium, Cumberland School of Law, all guests in attendance, and a specific thank you to Sean Herald, Allyson Swecker, and Lynda Reynolds for coordinating the 2017 Symposium.



An Overview of President Trump’s September 24th Travel Ban

On September 24, 2017, President Donald Trump signed a presidential proclamation placing travel restrictions on eight countries.  This proclamation was enacted to replace several expiring provisions in previous restrictive executive orders.  This is President Trump’s third travel restriction and is aimed at collecting information on individuals seeking to enter the United States, rather than banning individuals from certain Muslim-majority countries.

Click here for full article.

DACA Rescission: Fight Procedure Rather Than Constitutionality

Anna Saunders*

On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,[1] a program established under the Obama Administration in 2012.[2]  However, several states and DACA beneficiaries have already filed lawsuits alleging that President Trump’s decision was “unconstitutionally motivated by anti-Mexican and anti-Latino animus.”[3]  The DACA program allows young, unauthorized immigrants who grew up in the United States to obtain work permits and . . . .


* 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.

[1]     Jefferson B. Sessions III, U.S. Att’y Gen, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Attorney General Sessions Delivers Remarks on DACA (Sept. 5, 2017) [hereinafter Sessions Remarks],

[2]     See Memorandum from Janet Napolitano, Sec’y, Dep’t Homeland Sec., to David V. Aguilar, Comm’r, U.S. Customs & Border Prot., et al. 1-3 (June 15, 2012),

[3]     Keshner, Andrew, Lawyers fight to save Mexican native who lost work permit granted through DACA, NY Daily News (Sept. 5, 2017, 8:06 PM),