Presse, an international news agency, for an article about interest in American crime docudramas, such as “Serial” and “Making of a Murderer.” In the interview, Dean Cunningham is quoted about exonerations, innocence investigations by journalists, and the O.J. Simpson trial. The piece has been picked up by publications in Australia, Singapore, Bahrain, and others.
Professor Ray Warner will be at the United Nations this week as a member of the International Insolvency Institute’s delegation to Working Group VI of UNCITRAL. The working group is developing an international model law of personal property secured transactions.
Bloomberg BNA’s Banking Daily quoted Professor Jeff Sovern in an article, Financial Firms Watch, Wait on CFPB Move to Limit Arbitration. According to the article:
“I think they are very troublesome,” Jeffrey Sovern, a law professor at St. John’s University, in New York, said of the arbitration clauses. “Class action lawsuits are a mechanism to deter businesses from taking advantage of consumers in small amounts,” he told Bloomberg BNA, echoing a point made by Cordray in his speech.
A customer who is mistakenly charged $30 on his mobile phone bill is unlikely to file a claim in court or arbitration to get the money back, and such a case is too small to justify hiring an attorney, Sovern said. If that customer files a class action on behalf of a million customers hit with similar charges, that’s a $30 million lawsuit, and the dynamics have changed.
Professor Lawrence Joseph presented a paper,”The Aesthetics of Narrative and Metaphor: Creating a Lawyer Self in Poetry and Prose” at the Stanford Law School’s Symposium “Narrative and Metaphor in the Law” on January 30, 2016. The Symposium, in the words of its sponsors, “brings together scholars in law and related disciplines who have made the most outstanding contributions to the study of narrative or metaphor and the law.” Professor Joseph’s paper will be included as a chapter in a book of the Symposium’s presentations to be published by Cambridge University Press.
Professor Christine Lazaro was quoted in Investment News on the Department of Labor’s pending rule proposal regarding the definition of fiduciary under ERISA:
“The Department of Labor has done a pretty significant job in listening to all the stakeholders over the last five-year period,” said Christine Lazaro, associate professor of clinical legal education at St. John’s University. “To imply they haven’t fully considered the cost benefit analysis of the rule’s impact is misleading.”
The rule proposal was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget on January 28, 2016, prior to its being released to the public in the Federal Register.
Professor Ray Warner will be in Dubai this week directing the Global Insolvency Practice course for INSOL, the leading international bankruptcy organization. The course trains established bankruptcy practitioners and judges to handle cross-border insolvency cases and leads to a certification as an INSOL Fellow.
Associate Academic Dean Larry Cunningham’s research on dog bite statistics was cited favorably by
the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, the court of last resort in that state, in State v. Blatt, 774 S.E.2d 570 (2015). Blatt overturned a lower court’s decision ordering the destruction of “Tinkerbell,” a pit bull terrier that bit a child. The question in the case was whether pit bulls are “inherently vicious.” In his 2005 article, Cunningham cited research from the CDC and other experts to conclude that there was no scientific basis for the belief that some breeds of dog, such as pit bulls, are inherently dangerous or are disproportionately responsible for fatal or non-fatal dog bites. The court summarized Cunningham’s article, writing that it “describ[ed] in great detail how dog-bite statistics may not accurately present the nature of the dog bite problem because of how data is collected, what data is collected, and how data is analyzed.” Cunningham’s article is entitled The Case Against Dog Breed Discrimination by Homeowners’ Insurance Companies and is published in volume 11 of the Connecticut Insurance Law Journal.
Baum’s Article on “Compassion Fatigue” Featured in ABA Children’s Rights Litigation Committee Newsletter
Professor Jennifer Baum’s new article, “Compassion Fatigue: Caveat Caregiver?” appears in the
winter edition of the ABA’s Children’s Rights Litigation Committee newsletter.
The article reports on a recent ABA teleconference examining “compassion fatigue,” a condition that can negatively impact lawyers and others working closely with traumatized individuals. Studies show that so-called helping professionals who work day in and day out with victims of serious trauma can, over time, show changes in their ability to demonstrate compassion and care, and these workers can themselves also suffer from symptoms of PTSD, such as nightmares and desensitization. As. Professor Baum notes, “research has shown that compassion fatigue leads to an increase in direct negative impacts on clients, including legal errors, client profiling, general disorganization, and conflict and toxicity in the workplace (“horizontal violence”), which in turn leads to decreased job performance.” The article goes on to explain how to treat and reduce compassion fatigue, and improve representation for traumatized youth.
This Friday, January 15th, Professor Eva Subotnik will be presenting her paper, Artistic Control After
Death, at the Sixth Annual Tri-State Region IP Workshop at NYU School of Law. Professor Brett Frischmann, of Cardozo School of Law, will serve as the paper’s commentator. An abstract follows:
To what extent should authors be able to control what happens to their literary, artistic, and musical creations after they die? Looked at through the lens of a number of succession law trends, the evidence might suggest that strong control is warranted. The weakening of the Rule Against Perpetuities, the rise of the honorary trust, and the availability of incentive trusts and conditional bequests all portray a tightening grip of the dead hand. And yet, an unconstrained ability of the dead to determine future uses of works of literature, art, and music seems fundamentally troubling. This article situates the instructions given with respect to authorial works within the constellation of instructions given with respect to—and the policies that govern—other types of bequests. In particular, it considers the enforceability of attempted artistic control through the use of a fiduciary duty. In balancing the competing interests, this article considers the demands of both federal copyright policy and state trust and right of publicity laws. In the end, the article argues that authorial instructions must yield to the needs of the living. In particular, such a view requires that some living person(s) be in a position to make decisions about uses of a work of authorship.
The New York Times published a letter from Professor Jeff Sovern on December 30 on debt collection and arbitration. Sovern wrote in part:
You show that debt collectors sue consumers in court when it suits them but bar consumers from bringing court actions by invoking obscure arbitration clauses in consumer contracts.
Businesses defend their right to do so because, they claim, arbitration is better than court for resolving disputes. But if arbitration is superior, why do businesses want to sue in court, rather than arbitrate, as your article shows and an empirical study confirms?
The answer is that businesses value arbitration chiefly when it enables them to block class actions so they may take advantage of consumers for small amounts without worrying about consumers suing them.