Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2010-01-13


The Law Review at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law will host a symposium on the Jefferson County sewer situation Friday, Jan. 29.

“The Jefferson County Sewer Debacle: A Case Study in Law, Public Policy and Municipal Finance,” will offer a scholarly discussion of the many factors surrounding the issue.

The program will take place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the moot courtroom of Robinson Hall law building. The public is invited free of charge. Continuing legal education credit is available for attorneys.

“Although journalists have documented the Jefferson County financial situation, the legal community has yet to engage in an organized, scholarly discussion of the multitude of factors surrounding the Jefferson County sewer debacle,” says Cumberland Law Review editor-in-chief Brittany Adkins.

The Cumberland forum will facilitate discussion of how the county “got itself into its current financial trouble and how to prevent history from repeating itself,” said Adkins, a third-year law student from Nashville, Tenn.

The program will begin with a brief history of the crisis presented by Cumberland professor Michael D. Floyd.

Other morning topics and speakers are financing plans for the sewer system: issues and mistakes, James H. White III, chairman and chief compliance officer, Porter, White & Company; and federal policy responses to the predicament of municipal finance, U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus.

Afternoon sessions will cover structuring county government to mitigate risk in financing decisions, Samford political science professor Dr. Randolph Horn and Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama executive director James W. Williams, Jr.; and legal implications of the Voting Rights Act consent decree on Jefferson County government, Cumberland professor LaJuana S. Davis.

The symposium will conclude with a panel discussion led by White, Williams and Larry Lavender, chief of staff, U.S. House of Representatives financial services committee.

Registration check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. A noon lunch will be provided. Pre-registration is requested but not required. For information on registration or CLE credit, call the Cumberland Law Review office at (205) 726-2757.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.