Archive for ‘Conferences, Colloquia and Symposia’

July 19, 2014

Salomone Speaks at International Political Science Association World Congress

Rosemary Salomone

Rosemary Salomone

Professor Rosemary Salomone will speak on Monday, July 21st at the International Political Science Association 23rd World Congress in Montreal. The topic of her paper is “Making New Citizens: Transatlantic Perspectives on Language, Belonging and Immigrant Schooling.” The following is a summary:

Policies on language and schooling in the United States and Western Europe reveal a decided concern for preserving social cohesion in the face of mounting immigration and cultural and religious diversity. This paper examines how that concern finds expression in contrasting discourses on linguistic pluralism and multiculturalism, how the apparent disconnect between the political rhetoric and reality affects the lives of immigrant students, how the distinct ways in which Europeans and Americans talk about language and immigration influence public attitudes and define the range of language policy options, and how the debate over the role of language in the schools, in one way or another, seems to ignore the impact of globalization and transnationalism and the connection among language, belonging, and citizenship. The discussion begins with the United States where the argument for maintaining immigrant languages, predominantly Spanish, in the schools holds diminishing support despite an unofficial “multiculturalism lite” as a heralded aspect of American identity. By way of contrast, it examines the challenges faced by Western European nations under competing pressures of global English for productivity and supranational directives on multilingualism for European integration and job mobility, while at the same time officially rejecting a presumably “thicker” form of multiculturalism as a politically destabilizing force.

October 18, 2013

Alexander Publishes Article on the CPLR at Fifty

Professor Vincent C. Alexander has just published an article in the N.Y.U. Journal of Legislation and Public Policy entitled,  The CPLR at Fifty: A View from Academia.  The article is based on remarks Professor Alexander delivered at NYU’s Dwight D. Opperman Institute of Judicial Administration on March 12, 2013, as part of a symposium on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of New York’s Civil Practice Law and Rules (“CPLR”).

The CPLR has its roots in New York’s groundbreaking Field Code of 1848, but it has evolved into a multifaceted code that carries forward a few too many eccentric and arguably outmoded rules of procedure.  The symposium participants, whose remarks are included in the publication, include U.S. Senior District Judge Jack B. Weinstein, who was one of the principal authors of the CPLR, former New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, NYU Law Professors Oscar G. Chase and William E. Nelson, and practitioner/author David L. Ferstendig.

The symposium reflects upon the creation of the CPLR, its strengths and weaknesses, and its place in the history of procedural reform.  Professor Alexander provides an academic perspective, focusing on the teaching, scholarship and law reform opportunities that the CPLR provides.  He argues that the New York courts, acting through the Chief Administrative Judge, Judicial Conference and CPLR Advisory Committee, rather than the Legislature alone, should be given the authority to amend the CPLR.  Nevertheless, his article concludes:

 [T]he CPLR has served the bench and bar of New York quite effectively for the past fifty years.  It carries forward New York traditions that apparently are near and dear to the hearts of New York judges and attorneys, and there is value in that.  It is a testament to the CPLR’s durability that, unlike the pre-1963 era of New York history, there have been no widespread calls for the overhaul of the New York procedure code.  The CPLR may have some quirks, but on the whole, it is a coherent code of procedure . . . .  The CPLR gives New York litigants a fair and reasonable means of having their disputes resolved on the merits.  Such is the purpose of procedure.


October 17, 2013

Subotnik to Present Paper at Workshop on Intellectual Property and Constitutional Law

Professor Eva Subotnik will present her paper, Constitutional Obstacles? Reconsidering Copyright Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings, co-authored with June M. Besek, this Friday October 18th at the “IP, Meet the Constitution” Junior Scholars Workshop at Columbia Law School.  The workshop, co-sponsored by Columbia and Hofstra Law Schools and the Federalist Society, will bring together scholars from Brooklyn, Cardozo, Hofstra, University of Pennsylvania and Yale Law Schools.  In their paper, Subotnik and Besek discuss the constitutional issues implicated by the possible extension of federal copyright protection to pre-1972 sound recordings, which currently enjoy only state law protection.  The paper is one of the few to address the application of Takings and Due Process law to ‘intellectual’ property, and the issues they discuss may have broad implications for future congressional amendments to IP statutes.  The paper will be published this Spring in the Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts.  An abstract is available here.



October 14, 2013

Recent Lectures by Professor Barrett

Professor John Q. Barrett recently gave the following lectures:

  • on September 24, he gave a lunchtime lecture, “Big Break in Brooklyn:  Justice Robert H. Jackson’s Life Path & Law Legacy,” to Federal Judges and other personnel at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (live in Brooklyn and by video feed to Central Islip);


  • on September 26, he gave an update on last Term’s U.S. Supreme Court decisions to attorneys at the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, in Brooklyn;


  • on October 7, he gave the U.S. Supreme Court Update at the Federal Bar Association (EDNY Chapter) annual Federal Practice Update, at the Alphonse M. D’Amato U.S. Courthouse in Central Islip; and

  • on October 8, he gave an evening lecture, “Justice Jackson, Nuremberg, and the Pride of Our Grandchildren,” at the Temple American Inn of Court in Philadelphia.
John Q. Barrett

John Q. Barrett

June 26, 2013

Movsesian and DeGirolami at Fourth Annual Law and Religion Roundtable at Stanford

This Thursday and Friday, Center of Law and Religion Director Mark Movsesian and Associate Director Marc DeGirolami will participate in the Fourth Annual Law and Religion Roundtable.  This year’s roundtable will be hosted at Stanford Law School.  Professor Movsesian will present an early-stage project on the Psychic Sophie case and the rise of the Nones on Thursday.  Professor DeGirolami will participate in the meeting as a discussant.  The ALRR forum is an invitation-only meeting “for scholars of religious freedom to share cutting-edge works and engage in discipline-shaping conversations.”

Mark Movsesian

Mark Movsesian

Marc DeGirolami

Marc DeGirolami


May 7, 2013

Varadarajan to Present Paper at Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty Forum

Professor Deepa Varadarajan has been invited to present her paper, Improvement Doctrines, at the 2013 Harvard/Stanford/Yale Junior Faculty  Forum. This marks the third year in a row a St. John’s Law professor will present a paper at the Junior Faculty Forum.

Here’s the abstract:

When one party makes significant but unauthorized improvements to another’s land, chattels or informational assets, should the “improving” nature of the act alter the liability or remedy calculus? Traditional property law has long had to resolve conflicts that arise when one person improves another’s land or chattels without permission — for example, if A cuts down B’s trees and fashions a chair, or A erects a building on B’s land. Ordinarily, A would be liable and subject to an injunction because B has a strict right to exclude that is protected by a property rule. But various doctrines in traditional property law, like the doctrines of accession, mistaken improvers of land, and ameliorative waste, make exceptions for improvers. These doctrines either excuse the improver from liability entirely or mandate a remedy more hospitable to the improver. I call these assorted rules “improvement doctrines” and articulate a multi-part framework for understanding the equity and efficiency concerns animating them. In so doing, I challenge the (increasingly contested) presumption that property law unwaveringly favors strict exclusive rights for owners — a presumption that is often invoked by those advocating strict exclusive rights for intellectual property owners.

This Article demonstrates that unlike property law, intellectual property law has been less receptive to improvement doctrines. This is particularly surprising given intellectual property’s normative commitment to progress and innovation. Patented inventions and copyrighted expressive works necessarily build on what came before. While patent law’s “reverse doctrine of equivalents” and copyright’s “fair use” doctrine may provide incidental relief for unauthorized improvers in certain cases, these intellectual property doctrines are often indifferent to improvement. Given the uncertainty of intellectual property boundaries and the societal consequences of deterring improvement, I argue that the concerns motivating traditional property’s improvement doctrines apply with even greater force to intellectual property. Accordingly, I suggest potential areas of reform in patent and copyright law to enhance and regularize judicial consideration of unauthorized improvement at the liability and remedies stages.


April 17, 2013

Cunningham Speaks at Law Teaching Conference

On April 13, Dean Cunningham spoke at the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning’s conference, Law Teaching for Adjunct Faculty, held at Western State College of Law in Fullerton, CA. His topic was hiring, supervising, and collaborating with adjunct faculty.

April 12, 2013

Perino to Present Paper–to be Published in Vanderbilt Law Review–at Law & Economics Symposium

On Friday, April 12, Professor Michael Perino will present a paper entitled Setting Attorneys’ Fees in Securities Class Actions: An Empirical Assessment at the 19th Annual Symposium of the Institute for Law and Economic Policy in Naples, Florida. Co-written with University of Texas Law Professors Lynn Baker and Charles Silver, the paper analyzes, among other things, the effect that ex ante fee agreements have on fee awards in securities class actions. Papers from the conference will be published in an upcoming issue of the Vanderbilt Law Review. The paper is not yet available on SSRN.

More information on the symposium is available here.

April 3, 2013

Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development Symposium on Criminal Justice and Civil Rights

The St. John’s Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development, in partnership with the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development, the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), the Asian American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), and Latino Justice/PRLDEF is hosting a symposium this Friday, April 5, from 8 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Law School.  The full title of the symposium is Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: The Challenge to Protect Individual Freedoms, Civil Rights and Our Safety. Speakers include federal judges, state senators, and leading civil rights advocates.  More information is available here.

March 25, 2013

Zimmerman on Mass Settlement Rivalries

On March 15, 2013, Assistant Professor Adam S. Zimmerman spoke at the University of Cincinnati College of Law’s 26th Annual Corporate Law Symposium. This year’s symposium was entitled Addressing the Challenges of Protecting the Public: Enforcement Practices and Policies in the Post-Financial Crisis Era. You can find out more about the symposium here.

Adam appeared on a panel focusing on the policy implications of public enforcement and presented a paper called Mass Settlement Rivalries. Here is the abstract:

From cases involving securities fraud to Ponzi schemes to consumer scams, private attorneys in class actions and civil bankruptcies increasingly compete with federal prosecutors, agencies, and state attorneys general, for the same funds, from the same defendant, for the same harm, and often, on behalf of the same groups of people.  To some, government attorneys offer less expensive and more accountable representation for victims of widely disbursed harm.  To others, politically insulated private attorneys in class actions and bankruptcies offer more effective representation for parties.  But few have examined the dynamic way public and private settlements impact each other when they are implemented at the same time. 

 This Article argues that dueling public and private settlements offer several potential advantages—including more efficient representation, more oversight, and more complete forms of compensation to different subgroups of victims.  In their current form, however, settlement rivalries fall far short of these goals.  Among other things, rival settlements: (1) waste resources as duplicative actions proceed on separate tracks without coordinated judicial oversight, (2) introduce new uncertainty into litigation financing by unpredictably affecting the number of victims who ultimately participate in a class settlement, and accordingly, the fees that private attorneys recover, and (3) confuse unrepresented victims with separate, rival settlement offers. 

 Accordingly, this Article recommends three reforms that tap settlement rivalries’ potential benefits.  First, courts should formally or informally coordinate review over dueling public and private settlements.  Second, courts should  streamline notice and opt-out provisions to reduce victim confusion or unintended waivers of rights. Third, government lawyers should adopt the distribution guidelines proposed by the American Law Institute in large-scale litigation to consistently balance victims competing interests and reduce strategic behavior among parties.


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