Dana Point, CA, July 26, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

“It’s truly a privilege for us to be able to give something back to the community that has given so much to us,” said Aaron Fhima, a partner at the law firm. “We’re really proud to have Christian as this year’s winner. He has proven himself to be an intelligent young man and a hard worker, and we’re sure he’s going to make a positive contribution not just to our community, but far beyond it. To be able to contribute to his education is an honor.”

Christian Rice, originally from La Mesa, Calif., is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he majored in government and minored in philosophy. He was a policy analyst in the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Rice began work last year for the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), where he acts as coordinator of government and public relations and is also a contributing writer. He specializes in issues regarding several aerospace topics, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

The Neale & Fhima scholarship is designed to financially award potential law students for creative authorship as they move forward in their academic endeavors. Contestants must be a U.S. citizen and must qualify by providing an acceptance letter to law school for the fall 2017 term and submitting a writing sample that has previously been published in a newspaper, magazine or journal. The winner is decided by representatives of Neale & Fhima and is based solely on the written piece.

Rice won this year’s scholarship based on an article published in the NAAA journal titled The History and Present Status of Airspace Law; Will UAS Alter It? The article is a summary of laws concerning the evolution of ownership of airspace into modern day. It begins with the first lawsuit, which was in England in 1598, when a landowner successfully sued a balloon pilot for flying over his land. Rice goes on to document several changes in law until the present day, when the Supreme Court essentially stated that landowners own the space above their land so far as they can use it, but that aircraft flying low enough can violate that right. Rice’s well-written and comprehensive summary shows a level of research and ability to transpose complex issues into a language understandable and appealing to a mass audience without his expertise, both of which are creative and technical skills vital to practicing law, according to Fhima.

“The skill set Christian uses in his writing will benefit him in the future,” Fhima said. “It is truly one of the most useful and important parts of being an attorney.”

Fhima said that the law firm looks forward to renewing their commitment to award the scholarship next year and for several years to come. He said the rules for application would be the same, or very similar, as will the award, and that the announcement of the next scholarship opportunity will be soon.

“Participation was very good this year, but we hope to have even more entries next year,” Fhima said.

Neale & Fhima has been serving residents of California for more than 40 years, focusing on personal injury and lemon laws. With a 99 percent success rate and more than $50 million recovered, we look forward to helping with your claim. For questions or a free consultation, please contact us online  or call us at 949.661.1007.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/cc0a9adf-03c5-491d-9708-840abef6776b

Aaron Fhima
Neale & Fhima, LLP
(949) 661-1007