Stetson Law Review Symposium
Live Event and Webcast: Friday, March 18

Stetson Law Review’s daylong symposium, “Effective Advocacy in a Territorial Jurisdiction: The Repudiation of the Restatements in the Virgin Islands and Emerging Issues of Political Status in the Territorial and Insular Jurisdictions of the United States,” will explore the development of common law in the Virgin Islands.

 In 2011, the landmark case of Banks v. Int’l Rental & Leasing Corp. held that the Restatements, which served as the primary rule of decision in V.I. courts, were no longer valid. Subsequent case law has established that common-law issues should now be addressed as issues of first impression and resolved by employing what has become known as the Banks analysis. This symposium will provide an insightful discussion on the recent experience of the Virgin Islands, as well as a comparative approach on how other European countries and insular laws in the United States address their respective statuses.

Friday, March 18, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Stetson University College of Law
Gulfport, Florida

Stetson students, faculty, and staff may attend free by emailing by March 15.

Register Now for Law Review Symposium


J. Russell B. Pate, Esq., LL.M.
J. Russell B. Pate currently serves as the president of the Virgin Islands Bar Association. Pate earned his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law and then went on to earn his LL.M. from California Western School of Law in the area of trial advocacy. Pate started his legal career working for a large plaintiff’s law firm helping people who developed cancer from exposure to asbestos and other toxic substances. He then worked with the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Texas practicing criminal defense. Before opening his own law firm in 2010, he worked for an insurance defense firm in St. Thomas. He is admitted to practice law in North Carolina, Texas, Florida, and the Virgin Islands.

Professor Carlos Iván Gorrín-Peralta
Professor Carlos Iván Gorrín-Peralta is a professor of law at InterAmerican Unversity of Puerto Rico. Professor Gorrín-Peralta’s impressive body of scholarship includes considerable work on the insular cases. His work in Puerto Rico and the United States at the Crossroads has been featured in a recent book entitled Reconsidering the Insular Cases: The Past and Future of the American Empire, published by the Harvard University Press. 

Dr. Flora Goudappel 
Dr. Goudappel holds the Jean Monnet chair of EU trade law in the overseas territories at Erasmus University Rotterdam, is currently the interim dean of law at the University of Netherlands Antilles, Curaçao and specializes in EU law in overseas territories, external borders, asylum and migration, and EU citizenship and free movement. 

Dean James Huffman
Dean Huffman is the dean emeritus of Lewis and Clark Law School and has published numerous books and articles on a wide range of topics including constitutional law, jurisprudence, the evolution of the common law, legal history, and the history of legal education. 

Judge Robert A. Molloy
Judge Molloy serves on the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix Division, having previously served as an attorney in the Office of Collective Bargaining. Judge Molloy has spoken to the Virgin Islands Bar Association on the application of the commerce clause to territories. Stetson is honored that he is able to join us. 

Professor Ediberto Román  
Professor Ediberto Román is a professor of law and director of citizenship and nationality initiatives at Florida International University School of Law. Professor Román’s extensive scholarship includes the award-winning book The Other American Colonies: An International and Constitutional Law Examination of the United States’ Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Island Conquests.

Neal Weare
Neal Weare is the president and founder of the We the People Project. Raised in Guam, and having worked for Guam’s non-voting delegate Madeleine Bordalle prior to his matriculation at Yale Law School, Weare has devoted his professional life to achieving equal rights for Americans in the territories of the United States. He argued his first landmark case while still a law student, and in February 2015, argued the case of Tuaua v. United States before the D.C. Circuit, making the case for equal citizenship in U.S. territories.

Anthony Ciolli, Esq.
Anthony Ciolli serves as acting legal counsel for the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands. As one of the first employees hired by the V.I. Supreme Court, Ciolli has participated in building a court of last resort from scratch and helping it evolve into a mature institution. Ciolli earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an LL.M. in Taxation from the New York University School of Law. In addition, he also has an M.A. in Sociology from Queens College, a Master of Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and a Master of Liberal Arts from Harvard University. Prior to moving to the V.I., Ciolli clerked at the Supreme Court of Guam and the New York State Division of Human Rights.

Joseph Gasper, Esq. 
Joe Gasper has been clerking in the Virgin Islands for nearly six years, starting with the Superior Court in 2010 and continuing with the Supreme Court in 2012. He returned to the Superior Court in 2013 to clerk for all of the judges, helping with the complex litigation/toxic tort case against the former oil and aluminum refineries on St. Croix. Gasper also works on internal appeals from magistrates for the judges and appeals from local boards, agencies, and departments. He graduated in 2006 with a J.D. and M.A. in Philosophy from Howard University and worked for two years after law school with Clifford Chance, US LLP, as a litigation associate in their New York office.

Gasper will speak about the VI Supreme Court's decision in Banks compared with the way other courts have viewed their reception statutes whereby they "received" the common law. 

Gregory Adam Thorp, Esq.
Gregory A. Thorp serves as an appellate law clerk for the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands. He earned his J.D. with cum laude honors from Howard University School of Law. Thorp is admitted to practice law in the Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C.

Katrina Womble
Katrina Womble is a third-year law student at Stetson University College of Law. She graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in History and Political Science. Before enrolling at Stetson, she worked for the leading liberal think tank, Center for American Progress, in D.C. She was also a research assistant for the Health Policy Department, working on issues related to health reform under the Affordable Care Act. Womble previously served as a Notes and Comments editor for Stetson Law Review and is currently a research assistant for Professor Robert Bickel.

Courtney Cox
Courtney Cox is a May 2016 J.D. candidate at Stetson University College of Law and currently serves as a Notes and Comments editor for the Stetson Law Review. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in English-Literature. Before enrolling at Stetson, she worked in the insurance industry. Upon graduation, Cox will work for the Department of the Navy-Office of the General Counsel.

Professor Kristen David Adams
Kristen Adams is a professor of law at Stetson University College of Law. She graduated from Emory Law School with honors and received an LL.M. from Yale Law School. Before entering academia, she practiced law for four years in Atlanta with a focus in general commercial litigation, products liability, medical products litigation, medical malpractice defense, intellectual property, and real estate. Professor Adams has written more than a dozen law review articles and has co-authored several books with a focus in commercial law.


For more information about the symposium, please email