Student Article to be Published in UC Davis Environmental Law Journal

January 20, 2016

tom-jimmy-dwight3L Jimmy “Dwight” Tom
Third-year law student Jimmy “Dwight” Tom accepted an offer to have his research article, “Easement Come, Easement Go – The Cemetery Access Easement: The Exception to the Right to Exclude Whose Time Has Come to Facilitate the Preservation of Nineteenth-Century Texas Family Cemeteries,” published in Environs: Environmental Law and Policy Journal at University of California, Davis, School of Law. The article will be in the spring issue of volume 39.

Tom’s article explores access to cemeteries on private land. He believes that both private and public owners have an obligation to grant access to and preserve all cemeteries.

“I specifically focused on access to and preservation of post-Native American nineteenth-century Texas burial places.”

Tom was inspired to write the article after he was denied access to a family cemetery in southwest Texas to make a photo log for the Texas Historical Commission.

He said he was very excited to receive an offer from the UC Davis School of Law because it was clear from the offer that the editor understood why the issue was important to him.

“It felt like a good fit because California has similar cemetery access issues,” he said.

Tom had the guidance of some Texas A&M University School of Law professors in writing the article. He discussed the issue with Professor Stephen Alton to determine the kind of easement the cemetery access easement is. Professor Susan Phillips served as his faculty advisor, helping with style and structure. Tom said Professor Patrick Flanagan was the last set of eyes on the article.

“I must thank Professor Patrick Flanagan and his Texas Research Practicum that taught me how to research every source of law,” he said. “His expert suggestions and encouragement were a major factor in my decision to submit my paper for publication.”  
This is Tom’s first article to be published, and he’s optimistic for the impact it could have.

“Hopefully this article will start the conversation on preserving all family cemeteries before the Texas Bicentennial in 2036.”

- Article by Jennifer Nassar, Communications Specialist, Texas A&M University School of Law

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