April 28, 2017

Goldweber and Lazaro speak about Clinics

On Thursday, April 27, Professors Goldweber and Lazaro spoke at the New York City Bar Association on a panel entitled, “The Rise of Law School Clinics.”

goldweberChristine Lazaro





Kaveh Debashi, ’17, moderated the panel which also included Beth Schwartz of Fordham.The panel discussed the rise of clinics in law schools, and how clinics help develop practice ready graduates.

April 28, 2017

Greenberg Named a 2017 Woman of Influence in Alternative Dispute Resolution

Professor Elayne E. Greenberg has been named as one of the three 2017 Women of Influence in Alternative Dispute Resolution in New York City.  image
This recognition was reported in the Spring 2017 Best Lawyers Business Edition.  Congratulations, Elayne!

April 27, 2017

Cunningham’s Article to be Reprinted in Legal Writing Institute’s Monograph Series

Vice Dean Larry Cunningham’s article, Using Principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Nervousness in Oral Argument or Moot Court, will be reprinted in the next volume of the Legal Writing Institute’s Monograph Series.


Larry Cunningham

The article originally appeared in the Nevada Law Journal and was based on a talk that Dean Cunningham gave at a symposium organized by UNLV.  LWI’s Monograph Series reprints foundational articles on subjects that are important to the teaching and study of professional legal communication. Each volume focuses on a specific topic relevant to legal communication, and Volume 6 of the series will focus on moot court and oral advocacy. Dean Cunningham’s article, which draws upon principles from an area of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, articulates ways that professors can help law students overcome their fear, anxiety, or nervousness about moot court or oral argument.

April 20, 2017

Sovern Speaks at Rutgers, Quoted in Bloomberg Law and Law360

Professor Jeff Sovern spoke at Rutgers Law School in a symposium on “Resolving the Arbitration Dispute in Today’s Legal Landscape” on April 7. His panel, on which former St. John’s professor Adam Zimmerman also appeared, was titled “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Rulemaking and Consumer Arbitration Clauses.” More information is available here.


Jeff Sovern

Professor Jeff Sovern was also quoted in a Bloomberg Law report on March 16 on the D.C. Circuit case, PHH v. CFPB. The article, headlined U.S. Set to Signal Stance in Landmark CFPB Powers Case, stated:

Jeff Sovern, a professor at St. John’s University School of Law in Jamaica, N.Y., and co-coordinator of the Consumer Law and Policy Blog, said that [the Department of Justice statement] likely means that the government will argue that the CFPB, as currently constituted, is not constitutional.

Although the Justice Department sees its role as defending the constitutionality of statutes, he said, on rare occasions it takes a different tack. That happened in 2011, he said, when the Justice Department under President Obama declined to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act—a move that critics called evidence of a politicized Justice Department.

“In the longer term, an argument that the president can remove the CFPB director from office without cause, as the PHH panel decision held, would suggest that the president wishes either to fire Director Cordray without offering a cause, or at least to preserve his ability to do so,” Sovern told Bloomberg BNA. “Firing a director who has returned nearly $12 billion to nearly 30 million consumers would be difficult to square with the president’s pledge to aid ordinary Americans.”

Finally, Professor Sovern was quoted in an April 17 Law360 article, Arguments In Debt Collection Case To Focus On Law’s Reach, on a pending Supreme Court case, Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, in which the issue is whether the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) applies to debt buyers who do not have debt collection as the principal purpose of their business. According to the article:

“If debt buyers can evade application of the FDCPA, they will face fewer restraints on misconduct,” said Jeff Sovern, a professor at St. John’s University School of Law.
* * *
“It will probably help the consumers if the argument revolves more around the legislative purpose and administrative interpretations,” Sovern said.

April 18, 2017

Lazaro Speaks About DOL Fiduciary Duty Rule

On April 12, Professor Christine Lazaro spoke at a luncheon for the Capital Region/Albany Chapter of Women in Insurance and Financial Services.  Christine Lazaro

Professor Lazaro provided the group with an update on the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Duty Rule. She also answered questions and concerns about the upcoming implementation of the rule.

April 17, 2017

Professor Warner Extends International Bankruptcy Course Across NAFTA

The innovative International Bankruptcy course, hosted at St. John’s and directed by Professor G. Ray Warner, reached an important milestone this week when Western Law, a public law school in Ontario Canada, agreed to join the course.


G. Ray Warner

This course was already very unusual in that it involved 8 to 10 law schools annually that were linked together through audio and video over the internet in a shared real-time class. The course is sponsored and generously supported by the American College of Bankruptcy, which provides the funding needed to bring the world’s leading experts in as lecturers. The internet bridge allows multiple schools to share the lectures and class discussions. A Mexican law school, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), was already a participating school. With the addition of a Canadian law school, the course is now shared by law schools in all three NAFTA countries, probably a first in legal education.

April 13, 2017

Movsesian Quoted in The Atlantic

The Atlantic quoted Center for Law and Religion Director Mark Movsesian in a recent article on religious freedom in Europe.


Mark Movsesian

The article, by religion editor Sigal Samuel, considers the legality of recent proposals in Europe to ban sermons in the Arabic language.

April 11, 2017

Movsesian Presents Paper at William & Mary

Professor Mark Movsesian delivered a paper, “The Limits of Doux Commerce,” at William and Mary Law School on April 7.


Mark Movsesian

The paper was in connection with a conference, “Markets, Morality, and Contract Law,” hosted by the university’s Center for the Study of Law and Markets in connection with Professor Nathan Oman’s new book, “The Dignity of Commerce.” Papers will appear in a symposium issue of the William and Mary Business Law Review this fall.

March 29, 2017

Bloomberg View runs Lazaro Op-Ed

Professor Lazaro has an Op-Ed on Bloomberg View.


The op-ed was co-authored with Benjamin P. Edwards, soon to be an associate professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas’s William S. Boyd School of Law. The op-ed discusses the implications of the Department of Labor’s pending proposal to delay implementation of the Department’s fiduciary rule. The following is an excerpt:

The Office of Management and Budget’s notice explains that the 180-day delay the Labor Department initially proposed would have reduced investor gains by $441 million in the first year and $2.7 billion over a decade. The current proposed 60-day delay will still hurt investors, reducing gains in the first year by $147 million and $890 million over a decade. Those figures understate the stakes because they assume that the rule will go into effect immediately after the delay. Cutting the rule entirely will cost investors billions more.

But another delay serves no purpose, because honest consideration will not change the fiduciary rule. The Labor Department engaged in a long and thoughtful process to craft it, having already considered the financial industry’s positions restated in the memorandum. The department first attempted to protect retirement savers with a fiduciary-duty rule in 2010. Responding in good faith to industry concerns, the department delayed taking action on it so that it could hear from all stakeholders. Over the next several years, the Labor Department consulted with industry groups and investor advocates. The department proposed the current rule in 2015, then spent about a year listening to industry professionals once again ― through comment letters, meetings and public hearings.

The final fiduciary-duty rule emerged in 2016. To avoid sudden disruption, the department even granted the financial industry time to adjust, drawing the implementation period out over almost two years. Three different federal judges have rejected attempts to block or delay the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule.

March 21, 2017

Sheff’s Book Under Contract with Cambridge University Press

Professor Jeremy Sheff’s forthcoming book, Valuing Progress: A Pluralist Approach to Knowledge Governance, is now under contract with Cambridge University Press.


Jeremy Sheff

Here’s a blurb:

Should the crops that feed the world be patented? How should musicians earn a living? Why does lung cancer research get half as much funding as breast cancer research? Should a college textbook cost 50% less in Bangkok than it does in Boston? Who should pay for childhood vaccinations in the developing world? The answers to these questions not only shape the world we live in; they have profound cascading effects on the future, and on the lives and opportunities that will be available to generations not yet born.

Valuing Progress is a book about our relationship with the future. It is about the ways societies go about deciding how to make tomorrow better than yesterday, how they determine whose desires for the future will be pursued and whose will be deferred or denied, and how they apportion the burdens and benefits of getting us there. It is about how we collectively use social institutions—especially legal institutions—to generate and distribute the new knowledge that the future will depend on. And most importantly, it is about how we justify those institutions. Its core argument is that that the creation and distribution of new knowledge implicates plural and competing values, and that designing regimes to govern new knowledge therefore requires institutions and ethics that can accommodate those values.

Valuing Progress will be available in late 2018.

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