October 19, 2017

Barrett Gives U.S. Supreme Court Review/Preview Lecture

On October 5, Professor John Q. Barrett lectured at the Federal Bar Association’s EDNY jqb photoChapter, at the U.S. Courthouse in Central Islip, New York, on U.S. Supreme Court decisions and developments from last Term and cases and possible developments in the newly-started Term. This is the sixth consecutive year in which he has lectured in this well-attended program for Federal lawyers and Judges.

October 19, 2017

Sovern Speaks at City Bar Association, Quoted In Five Articles on Equifax Data Breach, Including by Consumer Reports and American Banker

Professor Jeff Sovern spoke to the New York City Bar Association Committee on Consumer Affairs about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the Trump administration on October 12. In addition, he was quoted in five articles.


Jeff Sovern

On September 28, Consumer Reports, in an article titled “Should You Participate in a Class Action Against Equifax?​” and posted on Yahoo Finance, quoted Sovern as follows:

In some cases, you may have a choice of accepting either a default payment or applying for a higher amount based on any proof you have that your losses were higher, says Jeff Sovern, professor at the St. John’s University School of Law in New York. * * *

You can opt out of a class action. If you do, you’ll preserve your right to sue on your own, Sovern says.

The American Banker quoted Sovern in two articles. One, on September 22, was about a credit union class action against Equifax in connection with the data breach, and was headlined “Credit union suit of Equifax may be first, likely won’t be last”​:

“I wonder whether the breach will affect the willingness of financial institutions to give Equifax the information which it needs to function,” Jeff Sovern, a law professor at St. John’s University, said in an email.

“After all, financial institutions now have a reason to believe that information may not be secure,” Sovern continued. “If some financial institutions stop providing Equifax data, that may make Equifax’s product less valuable to other lenders, which could also affect their willingness to be an Equifax customer. So financial institutions can damage Equifax even without suing.”

The other American Banker article, published on September 11, was headlined “Equifax breach may kill repeal of CFPB mandatory arbitration rule.”​ The article quoted Sovern as folllows:

Jeff Sovern, a law professor at St. John’s University in New York, called Equifax’s use of an arbitration agreement “diabolical” and “clever lawyering.”

* * *

“Equifax’s arbitration agreement precludes consumers from bringing class actions,” said Sovern, who added that the agreement likely now extends to noncustomers, giving the company even more cover.

“Many-perhaps most-of the consumers whose data has been compromised won’t have a previous contractual relationship with Equifax, and so would have been able to bring a class action,” Sovern said.

Sovern was also quoted by Woman’s Day in “You Could Be Entitled to Money From the Equifax Security Breach” on September 22:

That being said, Jeff Sovern, a professor of law at St. John’s University, says if you weren’t planning to sue on your own, you have little to lose by joining in.

“If you believe you have a valid claim but you aren’t going to bother to sue separately, and you think the settlement is likely to benefit you (e.g., if money will be deposited directly into your bank account without you doing anything or if you believe you would file the claim forms), then you gain something by joining without losing anything,” he explained to GoodHousekeeping.com.

Bankrate.com also quoted Sovern in an article titled “Ready to sue Equifax? Here’s what to know”:

“If somebody has a huge amount of damage — their credit is destroyed or they’ve put down a deposit to buy a house and now they can’t get a mortgage and they lose the deposit, they lose their dream house — now their damages are enough to pay for an attorney,” says Jeff Sovern, a law professor at New York’s St. John’s University. * * *

If consumers have agreed to an arbitration clause, they’re usually stuck. But these agreements can be waived if there’s public pressure, Sovern says.

October 16, 2017

Di Lorenzo’s Article Published in the New York Law Journal

Professor Vincent Di Lorenzo’s article, “Unlimited Liability in Limited Liability Companies”, was published in the New York Law Journal on October 6, 2017.  Vince Di Lorenzo

The article explores the intersection of corporate and tort law on the issue of personal liability of individuals with management power. The literature has explored the participation standard and how it serves to impose personal liability on corporate directors. The focus of this article is on limited liability companies. LLCs are often used as ownership entities for real estate ventures. Members of LLCs are similar to corporate shareholders but also similar to corporate directors in that they exercise management power. State decisions are divided on the question of whether members of LLCs can be held personally liable under the participation standard when they act on behalf of the LLC. This articles examines New York decisions that have imposed such liability in cases involving active participation. It then explores if and when members can be held personally liable in cases involving inaction in the face of tortious conduct by agents or other members.

October 11, 2017

Video of Professor Barrett’s Interview of Eichmann Prosecutor Gabriel Bach

In late August, Professor John Q. Barrett, working with camera crews in New York and Jerusalem, videotaped an interview with Israeli Supreme Court Justice (retired) Gabriel Bach.


John Barrett

In 1961, Bach was Israel’s deputy prosecutor in the trial of former Nazi SS officer Adolf Eichmann, a principal architect of the Holocaust. Today, Justice Bach is the only surviving prosecutor from the Eichmann trial, which captured worldwide attention through television and print coverage and gave prominent voice to Holocaust survivors.

The edited Barrett-Bach interview now is available online. It was played on September 12 at the Paul S. Miller Distinguished Lecture program, sponsored by the International March of the Living and Rutgers Law School, in which Professor Barrett also lectured. For this blog’s previous post on the Miller Lecture program, click here.

September 18, 2017

Barrett Delivers Miller Lecture & Interviews Eichmann Prosecutor Gabriel Bach

On September 12th, Professor John Q. Barrett delivered a lecture, “From Nuremberg to Eichmann,” in this year’s Paul S. Miller Distinguished Lecture program, held in New York City and sponsored by the International March of the Living and Rutgers Law School.


John Barrett

U.S. Department of Justice attorney and Nazi-hunter Eli Rosenbaum, longtime head of DOJ’s Office of Special Investigations, also lectured. The program also featured excerpts from Professor Barrett’s recent videotaped interview with Israeli Supreme Court Justice (retired) Gabriel Bach, who in 1961 was deputy prosecutor, in Jerusalem, of former Nazi SS officer Adolf Eichmann, a principal architect of the Holocaust.  For further information on this program, click here.

September 16, 2017

Warner’s Article To Be Reprinted in New York Commercial Law Goldbook

Professor Ray Warner’s article “Rejoice in New York’s Revised UCC, But Beware Traps,” discussing the 2014 revisions to New York’s UCC, has been selected to be reprinted in the 2018 edition of the New York Commercial Law Goldbook published by LexisNexis.


G. Ray Warner

September 5, 2017

Levine Hosts Roundtable and Presents at SEALS

On July 10-11 Professor Kate Levine hosted a roundtable for junior criminal law scholars in conjunction with Jocelyn Simonson of Brooklyn Law School.  Fourteen scholars from schools including Harvard, Wash U., Ohio State, and Vanderbilt, presented works in progress. In addition to hosting, Professor Levine presented her current work in progress Discipline and Policing.  levine

On August 1, Professor Levine was an invited presenter at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools in Boca Raton, FL. S he presented her current work in progress Discipline and Policing at a panel titled, Procedural Issues in Policing the Police.

September 1, 2017

Sovern quoted by Politico and Bloomberg

Politico’s Morning Money newsletter quoted Professor Jeff Sovern on August 25 as follows:

BANK EARNINGS REACT — Via St. John’s professor Jeff Sovern: “Greg Baer misses the mark when he criticizes regulatory reform opponents for saying reform is unnecessary because banks are making record profits. Supporters of the reduced regulation reflected in the Financial Choice Act claim the rules mandated by Dodd-Frank make it hard for banks to operate and are causing some to close.


Jeff Sovern

“Dodd-Frank supporters retort that If banks are making record profits despite the supposedly onerous regulations, banks must be doing just fine. It is hard to reconcile claims that regulations are putting banks out of business with reports of record profits.

In an August 4 story, Potential Successor to CFPB’s Cordray Unclear Under Dodd-Frank, Bloomberg also quoted Sovern:

Jeff Sovern, a professor of law at St. John’s University School of Law in New York City, . . . told Bloomberg BNA that Dodd-Frank’s language might allow the CFPB’s deputy director David Silberman to step in if Cordray leaves. “I’m not an expert on administrative law by any means, but surely an argument can be made that a director who resigns is both ‘absent’ and ‘unavailable,’ which means that the deputy director would automatically become acting director in light of the statutory text that the deputy director ‘shall serve as acting Director in the absence or unavailability of the Director,’” said Sovern, who’s also a coordinator of and contributor to the Consumer Law and Policy Blog.
* * *
Sovern looked ahead to the potential next phase, saying President Trump probably would nominate a permanent director fairly quickly if Director Cordray were to resign. “In addition, as a filibuster could not be used to block a nominee for the directorship, the Senate would probably confirm a nominee rapidly, unless the president nominated someone who would divide the Senate Republicans,” Sovern said.

August 28, 2017

Joseph Publishes Book with Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Professor Lawrence Joseph’s eighth book, and sixth book of poems, So Where Are We?, has been published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.  larry joseph photo

In early praise of the book, John Freeman, in Lit Hub writes, “Here is a 21st century Virgil, a guide to the wreckage we’ve made of enlightenment… Intimate, brave, outraged, hopeful; I’ve not read a book more for our times than this collection.”  John Hennessey, in The Common , writes that “Joseph is singular in American poetry. A pronounced poet-chronicler, a risk- taker and truth-teller… Joseph expertly combines images, ideas, and the  language of political economy, labor and capital, racism and war, with expressions of great beauty and physical and emotional intimacy…[ i]nfused with a fierce and uncompromising moral vision,” and, in The Millions, Nick Ripatrazone states that  “Joseph’s poems are necessary, immediate, somehow now and eerily ancient…Joseph has the care to document our present… the kind of poet who helps us parse the prophecies from the noise. ”  Anthony Domestico, in his introduction to  “Portrait of our Time: An Interview with Lawrence Joseph ” in Commonweal, concludes that So Where Are We? is a book that “combines formal excellence with an acute and prophetic moral vision, one of the best any contemporary American poet has written.”

August 23, 2017

Barrett Introduces Judge Newman’s Jackson Lecture

On August 16th, Professor John Q. Barrett introduced Chautauqua Institution’s 13th annual Robert H. Jackson Lecture on the Supreme Court of the United States.


John Barrett

The lecturer, Judge Jon O. Newman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, delivered a lecture entitled “The Supreme Court—Then and Now,” which compared the U.S. Supreme Court that he saw as Chief Justice Earl Warren’s 1957-58 senior law clerk to the Supreme Court of today.  For video of the Professor Barrett’s introduction and then Judge Newman’s lecture, click here.

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