On Friday, November 8, Michael Perino, Dean George W. Matheson Professor of Law, was in Chicago to present a paper at the First Annual Corporate and Securities Litigation Workshop, sponsored by the University of Illinois College of Law. Professor Perino co-authored the paper, Private Ordering Versus Judicial Regulation of Attorneys’ Fees in Securities Class Actions: An Empirical Assessment, with University of Texas Law School professors Lynn Baker and Charles Silver.
Tinnelly Professor of Law Lawrence Joseph‘s poem “In a Post-Bubble Credit-Collapse Environment” appears in the November 18, 2013 issue of The New Yorker. The audio version of the poem is also on The New Yorker‘s Digital Edition.
On Saturday, November 10, Professor Joseph was a featured reader and participant in the day long Festival Within: Best of the Best of American Poetry, at the Walt Whitman Birthplace in Huntington, Long Island. On Friday November 1, he was a featured speaker at A Centennial Conference: Robert Hayden at the University of Michigan, which celebrated the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Robert Hayden, a major American poet and the first African-American Poet Laureate of the United States.
On November 7th, Professor John Q. Barrett was a principal speaker at the Brandeis Association’s program on “Law, Justice and the Holocaust: How the Courts Failed Germany.” At this program, which commemorated the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, Dr. William Meinecke of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum spoke about German law and judges under the Nazis and Professor Barrett spoke about the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals following World War II. The program was held at the Queens County Civil Courthouse in New York City.
Professor Ann Goldweber secured a grant to operate a full-time pro bono program to provide legal services to unrepresented debtors in Civil Court, Queens County and unrepresented plaintiffs in uncontested divorce cases. St. John’s and three other New York-area law schools received grants. This is the first time the New York State Office of Court Administration has awarded grants to law schools.
The Access to Justice Grant grant compliments an earlier award for an existing part-time clinical program and gives St. John’s law students and alumni the opportunity to help a greater number of people. The Consumer Debt Volunteer Lawyer for the Day Program , which is supervised by St. John’s alumna Helen Wrobel, provides limited representation to pro se defendants in consumer debt cases at pre-trial conferences in Queens Civil Court. Under attorney supervision, students work to negotiate settlements with opposing counsel, conference with court attorneys, argue before judges and advise clients on trial strategies. In the past six months, in the part-time program, 130 people received representation. In the Uncontested Divorce Program, also under attorney supervision, students prepare uncontested divorce papers and walk clients through the divorce process. One hundred and twenty-five people have been assisted in this part-time program in the past six months. By expanding these programs, the numbers can be doubled, reaching more low-income people in need of legal representation. This new grant gives St. John’s law students the opportunity to learn valuable lawyering skills while helping to meet the needs of the low-income community in Queens.
Last week, Professor Margaret “Peggy” McGuiness, Co-Director of the law school’s Center for International and Comparative Law, participated in a podcast on United States v. Bond, which is currently before the United States Supreme Court. The Court heard oral argument in Bond on November 5. Bond considers Congress’s treaty powers and competing interpretations of the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act. The podcast is featured on the Opinio Juris, the international law blog that Professor McGuinness co-founded with Professor Christopher Borgen.
Professor Gina Calabrese recently co-authored an amicus brief for the New York Court of Appeals, on behalf of the Consumer Justice for the Elderly: Litigation Clinic and ten other advocacy groups. The brief addressed questions certified by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in two related appeals, Cruz v. TD Bank, and Martinez v. Capital One Bank. The cases center on the banks’ implementation of New York’s Exempt Income Protection Act (“EIPA”). EIPA prevents garnishment of bank accounts that contain income exempt from judgment enforcement, particularly when directly deposited from identifiable sources such as Social Security. The amicus brief argues that an accountholder has a private right of action against a bank for violating EIPA and can obtain damages and injunctive relief. The Clinic and many of the advocacy groups that appeared as amici, were involved in the effort to win passage of EIP. As amicus counsel, Professor Calabrese was joined by lawyers from AARP’s national office and New York City’s New Economy Project.
Professor Jeff Sovern was quoted in an article on Law360, CFPB Aims To Fill Gaps With Coming Debt Collection Rules [link at http://www.law360.com/articles/486713/cfpb-aims-to-fill-gaps-with-coming-debt-collection-rules]. After noting that the existing federal statute, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, antedated the creation of text messages, email and social media, the article notes:
The statute does not take any of these modes of communication into account, and that has led to confusion about how it applies to them — as well as confusion’s sometime byproduct, litigation, said St. John’s University School of Law professor Jeff Sovern.
Professor David Gregory was quoted again in the New York Times, in an article headlined N.F.L. Picks Lawyer to Lead Inquiry Into Dolphins. The inquiry, headed by Ted Wells, is to focus on the conduct of a Miami Dolphin player. Here is an excerpt from the article:
“He has huge credibility as one of the best defense lawyers in the country and a football veteran,” said David Gregory, the executive director of the Center for Labor and Employment Law at St. John’s University School of Law. “He’s exquisitely fair and will have an immediate understanding of the team, and even in his 60s, he looks like he can suit up tomorrow.”
Gregory said that whatever Wells finds, the Dolphins could be dragged into a legal fight because the case involves allegations that Richie Incognito bullied his teammate Jonathan Martin and used racial epithets.