Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

March 30, 2012
Southwestern Adds Four Outstanding Legal Practitioners and Scholars to the Full-time Faculty

Southwestern will be welcoming four new full-time faculty members in Fall 2012. They each bring outstanding academic and professional credentials as well as tremendous enthusiasm for teaching and research:

  • Professor Ryan Abbott, an attorney and physician who is currently a resident in internal medicine at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, has been appointed as an Associate Professor of Law and will teach in the areas of torts, health law and intellectual property.
  • Professor Priya S. Gupta, a member of the faculty at Jindal Global Law School in India, has been appointed as an Associate Professor of Law and will teach Property, and Law and International Development.
  • Professor John Heilman, a member of the Whittier Law School faculty, has been appointed as a Professor of Law and will teach Criminal Law, Evidence and courses in the Academic Support Program.
  • Professor Vivien T. Montz, of counsel to the firm of Siegfried, Rivera, Lerner, De La Torre & Sobel in Florida and former faculty member at the University of Miami School of Law, has been appointed as an Associate Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills.

Ryan AbbottProfessor Ryan Abbott has served as a consultant on health care policy and regulation, intellectual property, health care financing, and clinical research design for international organizations, academic institutions and private enterprises including the World Health Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization and University of California, Los Angeles. A licensed physician, attorney, patent agent and acupuncturist, he has considerable experience in the fields of public health, food and drug law, as well as technology transfer and development.

In 2005, Professor Abbott completed his B.S., summa cum laude, with highest departmental honors at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his M.T.O.M. (Masters of Traditional Oriental Medicine), summa cum laude, at Emperor's College. He earned his M.D. degree in 2011 at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, where he received the Weiss Medical Research Scholarship for research in Preventive Medicine. He also completed his J.D. degree in 2011 at the Yale Law School, where he was Editor and Submissions Editor of Yale Journal of Law and Technology and Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law, and Ethics, and the recipient of the Kirby Simon Fellowship for International Human Rights Work. He is a member of the California State Bar.

Currently a Resident Physician in Internal Medicine at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Professor Abbott recently served as Director of Research and Project Management at Nova Worldwide Consulting, a firm specializing in technical assistance and advice to governments and international organizations on the design and implementation of legislation and programs with respect to international trade, industrial development and intellectual property rights, and as Principal Investigator of biomedical research studies at UCLA.

Professor Abbott has published widely on issues associated with health care law and intellectual property protection in legal, medical and scientific peer-reviewed journals. His most recent article, "Treating the Health Care Crisis: Complementary and Alternative Medicine for PPACA," is due to be published in April in the DePaul Journal of Health Care Law. His text on Documenting Traditional Medical Knowledge is due to be published by the World Intellectual Property Organization next month as well. His current research is in the field of Bioinformatics, focused on the intellectual property implications of innovations related to human biological processes.

Priya GuptaProfessor Priya Gupta brings an important international perspective gained from research and practice in the areas of property rights, law and economic development, as well as gender and the law. Since 2009, she has served as an Assistant Professor of Law at Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) in India and Assistant Director of the law school's Centre for Women, Law and Social Change, which she helped establish. She is also involved with JGLS' clinical program which supports citizen participation in rural governance in Haryana. Prior to joining JGLS, Professor Gupta practiced law as a structured finance attorney at the international law firm Linklaters LLP in New York and also took an active role in the firm's pro bono program, including representing an asylum claimant in Immigration Court. Professor Gupta previously served as a consultant for Operation Asha (a Delhi-based tuberculosis control non-governmental organization) and worked as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in Washington, D.C.

A member of the New York State Bar, Professor Gupta earned her J.D. in 2007 from New York University School of Law where she was a Dean's Scholar, a staff editor of the Journal of Legislation & Public Policy and a recipient of the Lawrence Lederman/Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy Fellowship in Corporate and Business Law. She completed her MSc. degree in 2004 at the London School of Economics, and a B.A. degree in Economics with distinction in 2001 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was Phi Beta Kappa.

Professor Gupta's research focuses on property, law and development from a critical perspective, and feminist legal theory. Her recent publications include "Ending Finders, Keepers: The Use of Title Insurance to Alleviate Uncertainty in Land Holdings in India," 17 U.C. Davis Journal of International Law & Policy 63 (2010); "The Ambivalent Life of DEAD AID," 1 Indian Journal of Law & Economics 169 (2010); and "The Peculiar Circumstances of Eminent Domain in India" (forthcoming 2012).

John HeilmanProfessor John Heilman brings many years of experience as a law professor, attorney and civic leader to the classroom. In addition to teaching a wide array of core courses, he developed and implemented exam writing and bar examination preparation programs for Whittier Law School, USC Law Center and BAR-BRI.

Professor Heilman earned his B.S. in Journalism at Northwestern University in 1978, and his J.D. (1982), M.P.A. (2007), and M.R.E.D. (Masters in Real Estate Development, 2009) degrees at the University of Southern California, where he was a Notes and Articles Editor of Southern California Law Review and the recipient of the Shattuck Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Law Center. Early in his career, he practiced law in the private sector and in 1987 joined the legal writing faculty at Whittier Law School. In 1990, he was appointed as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, and since 1999, has been the Distinguished Teaching Professor of Law at Whittier. Over the years, Professor Heilman has taught courses in civil procedure, community property, criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, legal analysis, professional responsibility, sexual orientation law, remedies, real property, and AIDS and international law. He also established the law school's summer abroad program on sexual orientation law. Since 1993, he has been honored nine times as Professor of the Year at Whittier.

Professor Heilman is also a prominent elected official, having served as Mayor (seven different terms) and City Council member of West Hollywood since the city was incorporated in 1984. He was active on the city's incorporation committee, served on the first city council and was responsible for hiring initial staff and developing operating policies and procedures, as well as the crafting of landmark ordinances for rent stabilization, and prohibiting discrimination on the basis of AIDS or HIV status, one of the first in the nation. Professor Heilman has served on the board of both the California League of Cities and the National League of Cities, and currently serves on the latter's Legal Committee. He is a past board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and the Local Government Commission, and is also past president of the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Local Officials Group.

Vivien MontzProfessor Vivien Montz has been a partner in, and is currently of counsel to, the firm of Siegfried, Rivera, Lerner, De La Torre & Sobel, P.A., in Coral Gables, Florida, where she has practiced in the areas of condominium law and construction law since 2003. She has also taught a variety of legal research, writing and advocacy courses at the University of Miami School of Law since 1992.

Professor Montz earned her B.A. in Philosophy at Yale University in 1981. She completed her J.D., cum laude, in 1986 at the University of Miami School of Law, where she won the Advanced Moot Court Competition and several interscholastic moot court awards as well as the American College of Trial Lawyers Medal for Excellence in Advocacy. She is a member of the Florida State Bar. She returned to teach at her alma mater from 1992 to 2002, as a Visiting Assistant Professor and Lecturer of Law, also serving for five years as Assistant Director of the Legal Research and Writing Program, before going into private practice. Professor Montz continued to teach as a Part-time Lecturer in the Legal Research and Writing Program through 2010. In addition to legal writing, her substantive courses have included Appellate Argument, Sociology of Law and Controversial Legal Trends.

Among Professor Montz's publications are "Shifting Parameters: An Examination of Recent Changes in the Baseline of Actionable Conduct For Hostile Working Environment Sexual Harassment," 3 Georgetown Journal on Gender & Law 809 (2002); "Recent Incitement Claims Against Publishers and Filmmakers: Restraints on First Amendment Rights or Proper Limits on Violent Speech?" 1 Virginia Sports & Entertainment Law Journal 171 (2002); and "The Peremptory Challenge: Should It Still Exist? An Examination of Federal and Florida Law," 54 University of Miami Law Review 451 (2000; with C. Montz). She also authored online seminars for C.L.E. certification in 20 states on Gays in the Military: Challenges to the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy; Introduction to Contracts; Overview of Hostile Working Environment Sexual Harassment; Lawsuits Against the Media for Imitative Harm; and Reproductive Rights and Abortion Law.