Stetson Law students author book with professor

Six students who participated in Dr. Timothy Kaye’s Jurisprudence Seminar last fall at Stetson University College of Law in Tampa Bay, Fla., have recently been published in a new book edited by Dr. Kaye, entitled Law, Justice, and Miscommunications: Essays in Applied Legal Philosophy.

It may seem like a lofty title for a book, but as Dr. Kaye pointed out, understanding the basis of the law, and applying that understanding, is essential.

Dr. Kaye said that he was so impressed by the quality of thinking and writing among the students in his seminar class that he decided to publish a half-dozen of their essays in a book where they might enjoy a wider audience. Kaye said that he hopes that academics might use the book as a teaching vehicle, legal practitioners might use it to understand the law in greater depth, and lawmakers might use the book to take a closer look at the impact of the laws they’ve written.

Students William Allen and Elaine Babiarz, and alumni Ashley Grafton, Kate Jaczkanin, Neil Lyons and Abigail Pressler all wrote chapters in the book, along with Dr. Kaye.

“Participating in Dr. Kaye’s jurisprudence courses, and being a part of the book was precisely the kind of challenging and rewarding intellectual endeavor I had hoped to experience during my time at Stetson,” said Allen, who wrote the book chapter entitled, “Debunking the Idea of Political Morality.”

For the students, being part of the book was just one part of a greater formative experience. Babiarz said that she was thrilled to have an opportunity to present her essay with fellow seminar student and co-author Pressler at the Creative Law Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Pressler also presented her paper at the ATINER conference in Athens, Greece.

Babiarz said that Dr. Kaye’s seminar on jurisprudence was an opportunity to focus on justice.

“I put justice in the context of a genetically altered seed and whether that was legal,” Babiarz said of her research.

Her paper, “Amber Waves of (Genetically Modified) Grain: Rectifying the Injustice of GM Seed Patents,” discussed the debate surrounding genetically modified food, viewed as both the solution to world hunger and as a cancer-causing biological weapon.

“If you want to understand the legal system, that’s what jurisprudence is about,” Dr. Kaye explained. “It’s a chance to look at cases more deeply.”

“It’s the because and the why of what we do,” said Babiarz, who graduates in May 2012 and plans to be a prosecutor.

In describing his own philosophy, Dr. Kaye connected it to his role at Stetson, “Expect a lot from your students and provide them with the means to succeed.”

Dr. Kaye teaches torts, product liability, constitutional interpretation and jurisprudence at Stetson Law. Previously, he served as associate dean at the University of Birmingham in the UK. Dr. Kaye has done media interviews on topics ranging from employee privacy to Big Tobacco to the Deepwater Horizon (BP) oil spill.