ua law logo high res | Link                                                                                  October 9, 2013



This week's featured members of the Arizona Law community are student Alex McCourt, Professor Ellen Bublick, and alum R.J. Suzuki.


Until the footnotes,



Alex McCourt (Class of 2014)


When he graduates from Arizona Law, Alex McCourt (BS '10) will receive not just his JD but his MPH, through our dual-degree program with the U of A Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. With more than 15 percent of the economy accounted for by health care, and with the dramatic transformations in regulation, private markets, and technology in the health arena, the combination of the JD and MPH can be very powerful.


"I've always had an interest in health law and policy," says Alex, a Tucson native and triple Wildcat who plans to pursue a career in this field. "I completed a year of the MPH program prior to starting law school. After a rewarding experience working at the Tucson Family Advocacy Program with Anne Ryan ('84) the summer after my 1L year, I decided to join the JD/MPH program." Anne, an Arizona Law alum, directs the Tucson Family Advocacy Program and is a clinical professor at the U of A College of Medicine.

Determined to make the most of his time in law school, Alex also serves as Senior Managing Editor of the Arizona Law Review -- and he is working part-time at the U of A Office of the General Counsel. He interned there this past summer and was invited to continue working with the office this academic year.

"While working with the University's attorneys, I have researched and written on many different topics, including state trust land issues, the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, and the physician-patient privilege," he says. "It has been a rewarding and fascinating experience."

A highlight of his law school experience, Alex says, was serving as a Research Assistant last year for Professor Ellie Bublick (profiled below).

"Professor Bublick was my 1L Torts professor and also served as my student note adviser for Arizona Law Review," Alex says. "I learned a lot about legal scholarship from her, and she has given me valuable advice about my future goals."

You can connect with Alex on LinkedIn.



Professor Ellen Bublick 


Ellie Bublick, the Dan B. Dobbs Professor of Law, has earned a role as one of the central players in tort law in the United States and increasingly, through international discussions, on the world stage. An active scholar, she often collaborates with Regents' and Rosentiel Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus Dan Dobbs, the mentor whom she credits as a major reason for her choosing to join our faculty in 1997.


After earning her BA from Duke University and JD from Harvard Law School, Ellie clerked for Judge Walter Cummings on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and practiced law at Mayer, Brown & Platt in Chicago before entering academia.  


"I knew of Dan Dobbs' and [Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus] Roger Henderson's work when I first interviewed with the University of Arizona," Ellie says. "The prospect of working with these world-class scholars excited and scared me. I was also struck by the extraordinarily collegial nature of both faculty and students. I had been on a Chicago Bar Association task force that visited all of the Chicago law schools, and I knew that the type of collegiality I saw here was unusual."


Ellie recently completed the seventh edition of Torts and Compensation, her popular casebook co-authored with Dan Dobbs and Loyola Law Professor Paul Hayden. She also recently published the third edition of A Concise Restatement of Torts on behalf of the American Law Institute.


Ellie is widely known to law students, the bench, and the bar for The Law of Torts, which she, Dan, and Professor Hayden updated as a four-volume treatise in 2011. The text is now available in electronic format on WestLaw in the DOBBLOT database, and the authors will prepare a single-volume hornbook on the text this spring.


Later this month, Ellie will deliver the University Lecture at Western University in Ontario -- the first American to do so. She's also preparing to participate in a forum of Australian, English, Canadian, and Chinese tort scholars in Sydney in December.


Closer to home, in January, she will participate in a State Bar of Arizona CLE program on "Updates to Arizona's Economic Loss Doctrine," with state and federal judges.


Ellie's passion for scholarship is matched by her love of teaching -- which is not lost on her students. Alumni from the past decade who have had Ellie as their small-section teacher proudly embrace their standing as "Bublicans."


Ellie speaks often of the joy she derives in helping students succeed. She adds that many of them also receive considerable help from alumni.


"I am so appreciative of the great support our students enjoy from the bench and bar in this state," she says. "Can you believe that my students last year got to learn from two Justices of the Arizona Supreme Court and from two 9th Circuit Judges?" It was as much of a treat for me as for my students."


Ellie is referring to Arizona Supreme Court Vice Chief Justice (and adjunct professor) Scott Bales and Justice and alum John Pelander ('76, profiled September 25), who spoke in her Torts class; and to Appeals Court Judges Andrew Hurwitz and Michael Hawkins, who spoke in her Economic and Dignitary Torts class.


"I am continually awed by how willing our alums and friends are to help our current students," Ellie says. "When I had a 1L student who was interested in international human rights law, I connected her with a former student who worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He contacted her from The Hague within days. Similarly, I had a student who was interested in law enforcement; two of my former students who are now FBI agents gave him valuable guidance that led to his summer job at Immigration and Customs Enforcement."


Ellie and her husband David Jacobs have two sons, Harrison and Daniel.


You can learn more about Ellie at our website.



Richard J. Suzuki ('00, BA '97)



Double Wildcat R.J. Suzuki is the first in his family to graduate from college and attend law school.


Born in Tucson and raised in Gallup, New Mexico, R.J. wanted to be a prosecutor since he was 10 years old.


"I spent a lot of time with my grandma," he recalls. "She often observed criminal trials at the McKinley County Courthouse in Gallup and would tell me the stories after I got home from school. Being a prosecutor seemed so interesting, because you serve the public and are in a position to do what's right -- which is a prosecutor's most important role."


R.J. played a lot of sports growing up. "In fact, it was baseball that paved my way to college," he says. "My parents could not afford tuition, so I worked and played baseball at Western New Mexico University before eventually transferring to the U of A."


He started attending Arizona Law in 1997. "I could not have attended a better law school," he says. It was full of diversity, and a place where I made lifelong friends."


After graduation, R.J. was a law clerk for Judge Howard Fell ('71) with the Pima County Superior Court. "I watched several felony trials and learned from one of the best judges and former prosecutors," he says. "I knew I was on the right career path."


Next, R.J. was a prosecutor for more than three years at the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, where he started working misdemeanor cases before being promoted to the Major Crimes - Gangs Bureau, where he prosecuted violent felony cases. That experience led to his next position: Assistant US Attorney with the US Department of Justice.


"It was such an honor to work as an Assistant US Attorney in the federal court system," he says. I learned from and worked with some of the best!"


In 2007, R.J. opened Suzuki Law Offices, L.L.C., a criminal defense and personal injury law firm, as a solo practitioner. The firm has grown to include four attorneys and two office locations, in Phoenix and Tempe. Earlier this year, R.J. successfully settled a motorcycle accident case for $3 million.


When not helping his clients, R.J. devotes many hours to coaching children on the baseball field and basketball court. "I feel that we all have a duty to give back to our community, and working with kids is the foundation to helping our community," he says. "If kids are playing sports, they are not in the streets 'hanging out.'" R.J. is also involved with the Phoenix Children's Hospital and YMCA and serves on the board of directors of Ahwatukee Little League.


R.J. paid a visit to the College of Law last month, where he shared his story and counseled students on the power of hard work, determination, and building a professional network.


R.J. and his wife, Jessica (also a Wildcat, who earned her BA from the U of A in 2000 and has an MBA), have an 8-year-old son, Dylan, and a 2-year-old daughter, Ryann.


"I am truly blessed to have a career I am passionate about and a wonderful wife and kids," R.J. says.


You can connect with R.J. on LinkedIn.


Movers and Shakers 


John Swain Delivers Keynote Address at Arizona Tax Conference

Professor John Swain was the keynote speaker at the 96th Annual Arizona Tax Conference in Flagstaff in late September. The title of his talk was "Can This End Well? Megatrends in State and Local Taxation."
The conference was attended by Arizona tax officials and practitioners and was co-sponsored by the Arizona Department of Revenue and Arizona Association of Counties.

US Department of Justice Honors Three Alumni


Assistant US Attorneys Beverly K. Anderson ('86), Christina M. Cabanillas ('90), and Bruce M. Ferg ('73) have received the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service, the Department of Justice's second-highest award for employee performance. The three were honored, along with other members of the prosecution team, for their successful prosecution of Jared Loughner, convicted of shooting former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and wounding and killing others, including our distinguished alum John M. Roll ('72, BA '69), the late Chief Judge for the District of Arizona.


David Gantz Receives Fulbright Specialist Award


Professor David Gantz, the Samuel M. Fegtly Professor of Law and Director of Arizona Law's International Trade and Business Law Program, has been selected for a Fulbright Specialist project. He is spending October and November of this year teaching international trade law at Universidad Mayor in Santiago, Chile, and participating in several conferences in Chile.


You can read the announcement here.


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"The Data Speaks: A Closer Look at Gun Violence" - Professor John Donohue III of Stanford Law School - Thursday, Oct. 17


From 5-6 pm, Ares Auditorium. Register here.  


Homecoming Alumni Weekend: Friday - Saturday, Nov. 8 - 9


For more information about Homecoming 2013 and to register, click here.



We are approaching the halfway mark for the Fall term, and the College is full of life. We welcome you at any time. When you cannot join us in person, we often make our events available through live streams or on our YouTube channel.


   Marc Signature            
Greeting R.J. Suzuki as his son Dylan looks on.
Marc L. Miller
Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law
James E. Rogers College of Law 
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