December 18, 2014

Sheff Comments at Intellectual Property and Competition Workshop

On Wednesday, December 10, Professor Jeremy Sheff served as an invited commentator at

Jeremy Sheff

Jeremy Sheff

a workshop on Intellectual Property and Competition convened by the World Intellectual Property Organization at WIPO’s New York Office. The workshop focused on a recent empirical study of patenting by small- to medium-sized entities (SMEs) in the smartphone industry, and was co-sponsored by Fordham Law School’s Center on Law and Information Policy, which performed the study.

December 17, 2014

Perino Authors NY Times Dealbook Column

Professor Michael Perino had a column in Friday, December 12th’s New York Times titled,mpThe Gift of Inside Information,” which discusses and criticizes a recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. A bit:

Insider trading is perhaps our most symbolic white-collar crime. Our ban on the practice expresses our deep social commitment to equality of opportunity; it embodies that peculiarly American revulsion for any special privileges that might be thought to accrue to the wealthy or to the political and social elite. As Preet Bharara, the United States attorney who spearheaded the most recent spate of prosecutions, explained, insider trading tells everybody “that everything is rigged and only people who have a billion dollars and have access to and are best friends with people who are on the boards of directors of major companies … can make a true buck.”

Allowing executives to give away information to whomever they choose so long as they get nothing in return simply makes no sense.

December 15, 2014

Barrett Lecture to Nova Scotia Judiciary

On November 19thProfessor John Q. Barrett delivered a plenary session lecture, “The

John Barrett

John Barrett

Rule of Law at Nuremberg, 1945-1946 (and Its Lessons for Today),” at the Canadian National Judicial Institute‘s Nova Scotia All Courts Education Seminar, held in Halifax.  The seminar was a three-day program of judges, from all levels of courts, across the province of Nova Scotia.

December 11, 2014

Warner to Work with UNCITRAL

G. Ray Warner

G. Ray Warner

Professor Ray Warner will be in Vienna, Austria, this week working with United Nations UNCITRAL Working Group VI. Working Group VI is preparing an international model law on secured transactions.

December 5, 2014

American Banker Runs Sovern Op-Ed on St. John’s Arbitration Study

The American Banker ran Professor Jeff Sovern’s op-ed, Arbitration Clauses Trap Consumers with Fine Print, on the St. John’s Arbitration Study.  Professor Sovern collaborated on the study with Professors Elayne Greenberg and Paul Kirgis, and the director of St. John’s Institutional Assessment, Yuxiang Liu.  The full study can be found here.

Jeff Sovern

Jeff Sovern

Elayne Greenberg

Elayne Greenberg

Paul Kirgis

Paul Kirgis

 

December 2, 2014

Cleveland Plain Dealer Reports on St. John’s Arbitration Study

Jeff Sovern

Jeff Sovern

Cleveland Plain Dealer consumer affairs columnist Sheryl Harris reported on the St. John’s arbitration study in her column, Arbitration – what you don’t know about fine print can hurt you: Plain Dealing. Here is an excerpt:

Well, lawyers at St. John’s University Law School recently conducted [a study] and found that even when [consumers] know there’s an arbitration clause in a contract, they often don’t understand what it really means  —  even when they think they do know.

Researchers showed consumers a standard credit card contract with a binding arbitration clause and then asked them a series of questions.

The findings:

  • Most people didn’t realize there was an arbitration clause in the contract.
  • Of the 40-odd percent who spotted the clause, almost two-thirds believed – wrongly – that if the disputed amount was too big for small claims court, they could still go to common pleas or federal court.
  • Less than 9 percent both spotted the arbitration clause and correctly said it would prevent all consumers from going to [a] court [other than a small claims court] to resolve a dispute.

Remarkably, 87 percent of the 303 people who swore they’d never agreed to a contract that contained an arbitration clause were flat-out wrong

How did researchers know? They asked people if they did business with AT&T Mobility, Sprint, Verizon, PayPal or Skype – companies whose contracts routinely require consumers to agree up front that if they ever have an issue with the company, they can only resolve it through binding arbitration.

“We don’t know about the remaining 13 percent,” says law prof Jeff Sovern, one of the authors of the study. Sovern says the number of people who had unwittingly agreed to mandatory arbitration is likely higher because researchers asked consumers about contracts with those five companies, not about every company they did business with.

November 18, 2014

Goldweber and Calabrese Participate in Nationwide Conference Call with Consumer Financial Protection Board Director Cordray

On Wednesday, November 12th, Professor Ann Goldweber and Professor Gina Calabrese participated in a nationwide conference call with the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Board, Richard Cordray.  Eleven students from the professors’ clinical course, Consumer Justice for the Elderly: Litigation Clinic, also participated in the call.  During the call, thirty law school clinics from around the country discussed problems their clients encountered in mortgage servicing and debt collection.  Professors Goldweber and 2L Samantha Ruppenthal engaged in dialogue with Director Cordray and CFPB attorneys regarding a mortgage servicer that is violating a Consent Order reached with the CFPB.  Professor Calabrese discussed New York’s new rules for default applications in consumer debt cases.  The call is part of a CFPB initiative to establish regular exchanges of information with consumer advocates.  The CFPB has encouraged law school clinics in particular to share information and ideas about illegal, unfair and deceptive practices encountered in their cases.

goldwebercalabrese

November 14, 2014

DiLorenzo’s Papers Published in New York Law Journal and Accepted World Congress of the International Society for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy

Professor Vincent DiLorenzo’s article, “Congress Exempts Condominiums from the Vince Di LorenzoInterstate Land Sales Act,” was published in the New York Law Journal on November 12, 2014. The article examines the provisions of the Interstate Land Sales Act that allow purchasers to revoke contracts for the sale of condominiums when developers (a) have not complied with the registration and disclosure requirements of the Act, or (b) have not complied with the contractual requirements contained in the Act, including limits on available remedies for breach. HR 2600, passed in September and signed by the President, exempts condominiums from the registration and disclosure requirements of the Act. However, it is not clear if Congress intended to exempt condominium developers from the Act’s contractual requirements. This article explores that ambiguity in the statute and the courts’ interpretation of the scope of earlier exemptions that arguably extended to the Act’s contractual requirements.

In addition, Di Lorenzo’s paper, “Reason, Cognition and Emotion: A Study of Regulatory Standards and Enforcement Policy,” was accepted and will be presented at the World Congress of the International Society for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy.

November 13, 2014

Greenberg Presents Paper at AALS Conference

Elayne Greenberg

Elayne Greenberg

Professor Elayne Greenberg presented her paper, “Fitting the Forum to the Pernicious Fuss: A Dispute System Design to Address Implicit Bias and ‘Isms in the Workplace” at the AALS Alternative Dispute Resolution Section’s 8th Annual Works-in-Progress Conference on November 8 at Southwestern Law School.

November 13, 2014

Recent Panel Remarks and Lectures by Barrett

John Barrett

John Barrett

On October 25th, Professor John Q. Barrett participated in a reenactment of the 1935 oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, and then in a panel discussion, with Judges Gerard E. Lynch (2d. Cir.) and Stefan R. Underhill (D. Conn.), on the Supreme Court, President Franklin Roosevelt, and the constitutional powers of Congress, at the Federal Bar Council’s bench and bar retreat in the Poconos.  On October 29th, Professor Barrett spoke at the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center in Roslyn, New York, about the Nuremberg trials.  And on November 6th, he delivered a lecture, “Kristallnacht:  Perpetration, Comprehension & Accountability,” at a Kristallnacht commemoration sponsored by the Brandeis Association and the Queens Women’s Bar Association, held at the Queens Bar Association.

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