New essay by University of Miami law professor analyzes the story of a Haitian immigrant

CORAL GABLES, FL (October 14, 2009) — University of Miami Law Professor Anthony V. Alfieri has recently authored an essay titled, “Discovering Identity in Civil Procedure” that explores the story of Floride Norelus, an undocumented Haitian immigrant. The backdrop for Norelus’s story comes out of Ariela J. Gross’s new book “What Blood Won’t Tell: A History of Race on Trial in America.” In the book, Gross expands on slavery, race, and antebellum trials to investigate the changing meaning of identity in law and litigation.

Gross conjoins the study of law and culture, as she constructs identity – both race and gender – from social performance and scientific expertise. Prof Alfieri’s essay extends Gross’ historical scrutiny of identity trials to contemporary civil rights debates over the construction of race in law and litigation. The essay is divided into three parts — Gross’ analysis of racial identity trials, examination of trial and appellate litigation in Floride Norelus’s civil rights case, and consideration of alternative approaches to civil rights litigation embodied in identity performance and empowerment strategies.

The research is being published by the Southern California Law Review, and is available now.

The University of Miami School of Law’s mission is to foster the intellectual discipline, creativity, and critical skills that will prepare its graduates for the highest standards of professional competence in the practice of law in a global environment subject to continual ― and not always predictable ― transformation; to cultivate a broad range of legal and interdisciplinary scholarship that, working at the cutting edge of its field, enhances the development of law and legal doctrine, and deepens society’s understanding of law and its role in society; and to fulfill the legal profession’s historic duty to promote the interests of justice.

The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of our diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world.

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