June 29, 2022

Borgen Publishes Article on Western Sahara in Israel Law Review

Professor Christopher Borgen’s article “The Art of the Deal or ‘Abandoning’ Self-Determination? US Recognition of Morocco’s Territorial Sovereignty over Western Sahara,” has just been published in the Israel Law Review (Hebrew University of Jerusalem). Here is the abstract:

This article considers the recent recognition by the United States of Morocco’s territorial sovereignty over Western Sahara. After a review of certain aspects of the history of the dispute over Western Sahara, it focuses on the interaction of arguments based on the recognition and non-recognition of territorial sovereignty with those prioritising the right of self-determination of the Sahrawi people. It concludes that, in as much as the population of Western Sahara has a right to decide its own future, US recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara has undermined key principles of international law.

Christopher J. Borgen
Professor of Law
Co-Director, Center for International and Comparative Law
June 13, 2022

Salomone Presents and Publishes Her Work Across the Globe

Professor Rosemary Salomone presented key points from her book, The Rise of English: Global Politics and the Power of Language (Oxford University Press) as part of the Centre for Global Governance Studies Global Webinar Series, “The Future of Global Governance,” at KU Leuven (Belgium) in May. The discussant was Helder De Schutter, Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at the university.

She also moderated a panel discussion in May on “Cross-National Responses to Multilingual Challenges During COVID-19” as part of a symposium on Multilingualism and COVID-19: Lessons Learned and Looking Forward hosted by the Study Group on Language and the United Nations, which brought together United Nations staff members, government officials, university scholars, and members of civil society to discuss health and education.

Her commentary, “Ravenna: Dantean Paradiso,” drawn in part from the Preface to her book, appeared in the June 9th edition of Times Higher Education (UK) in an invitational series of travel reflections by six academics from across the globe.

Excerpts from an interview with Professor Salomone on the book appeared in the June 4th issue of Io Donna, a weekly women’s magazine and Saturday supplement of the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Her essay, “The Unstoppable Spread of English in the Global University” was published in the Spring 2022 issue of International Higher Education. 

Rosemary C. Salomone
Kenneth Wang Professor of Law
June 10, 2022

Congressional Quarterly’s Roll Call Covers Sovern’s Blog Battles

A June 7th article headlined “Battle of the blogs: Legal experts spar over consumers’ arbitration clauses,” by Steven Harras in CQ Roll Call discusses online debates between Professor Jeff Sovern and the Ballard Spahr firm’s Alan Kaplinsky. Harras opens:

Legal heavyweights who’ve rhetorically sparred online over the actions of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are at it again, this time over the clauses that limit consumers’ ability to sue their banks.  

St. John’s University School of Law Professor Jeff Sovern and Alan S. Kaplinsky, a partner at the national law firm Ballard Spahr LLP — two leading figures in consumer financial law — are engaged in debate over arbitration clauses and what the CFPB should do about them. 

* * *

The two men have been debating the issue off-and-on for years. 

The pair often spar on legal and consumer financial issues. Kaplinsky’s opinions and analyses appear in Ballard Spahr’s Consumer Finance Monitor blog. Sovern’s Consumer Law & Policy Blog is sponsored by the nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. 

The online exchanges between Sovern, who holds views generally favoring stronger consumer protections, and Kaplinsky, more frequently viewed as sympathetic to the financial services industry, have gained traction among private attorneys, government lawyers and financial industry observers. 

* * *

Sovern said that according to Lexis, an online legal research tool, his blog has “been cited dozens of times in law review articles, congressional hearings, and the like.” 

The full article is available on Westlaw.

Jeff Sovern
Professor of Law
June 9, 2022

Barrett Speaks on Reproductive Rights, Justice Jackson, & Skinner—at Georgetown & on C-SPAN

On June 1, 2022, the 80th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Skinner v. OklahomaProfessor John Q. Barrett participated in a panel at Georgetown University Law Center on “The Unknown History of Reproductive Rights & Eugenics: From Skinner to Roe.”

In Skinner, the Supreme Court unanimously declared unconstitutional an Oklahoma law that provided for the sterilization of some thrice-convicted “habitual criminals.” Jack Skinner, a state prison inmate, won a decision that protected his reproductive capability and autonomy. The decision became an important starting point for constitutional law doctrines that protect individuals from government regulations and penalties in the areas of contraception, abortion, private intimacy, and other fundamental rights.

Professor Barrett spoke about Justice Robert H. Jackson’s concurring opinion in the case.

The panel is available here on C-SPAN.  Professor Barrett’s lecture begins at time counter reading 21:20.

June 6, 2022

Chiu Authors Important Report on Hate Crime Prosecutions in NYC

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) released its second major report on anti-Asian hate crimes last week on May 31st, the last day of AAPI American Heritage Month. Professor Elaine Chiu was one of the executive editors and led the data collection and analysis efforts. Unlike any other study, the Endless Tide report aimed to answer an important question for this time of deep hate and violence in America: “What happens after a victim reports a hate crime?” In particular, the report focused on the efforts to make arrests and prosecute hate crimes in New York City and found that 7 incidents so far out of 233 incidents have resulted in a hate crime conviction. Some convictions led to imprisonment while others imposed non-incarceratory sentences such as counseling and drug rehabilitation.

Along with Professor Chiu, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other local elected officials spoke at the press conference announcing the report. Since its release, the Endless Tide report and Professor Chiu have been featured in a variety of media outlets, including the New York Law Journal, CNN, NBC News, CBS News, Gothamist, and Law360. The report has also been covered internationally.

Below is a sample list of media coverage:

June 4, 2022, farsnews.ir: New Report Says Only 3% of Reported Attacks on Asian Americans Led to Hate Crime Convictions

June 3, 2022, NBC News: Only 3% of reported attacks on Asian Americans led to hate crime convictions, new report says

June 2, 2022, Yahoo News: Attacks against Asian American New Yorkers rarely end in guilty verdicts, report finds

June 2, 2022, Web Times UK:  Only 3% Of Reported Anti-Asian Attacks In NYC Led To Hate Crime Convictions, New Report Finds

June 1, 2022, Philippine Daily Mirror: Lawyers’ group releases its second report on anti-Asian hate and violence in NYC

June 1, 2022, Nextshark.com: Only 3% of reported anti-Asian attacks in NYC led to hate crime convictions, new report finds

June 1, 2022, Poughkeepsie Journal & lohud (same article): Attacks against Asian American New Yorkers rarely end in guilty verdicts, report finds 

May 31, 2022, Gothamist: Citing recent attacks, Asian American Bar Association pushes for more bail reform rollbacks

May 31, 2022, CNN: Only 7 of 233 reported attacks against Asian Americans in NYC in 2021 led to hate crime convictions, new report says

May 31, 2022, New York Law Journal: New York’s Asian Community Faces ‘Endless Tide’ of Hate Crimes

May 31, 2022, Law360: Anti-Asian Hate Incidents Rose In 2021, NY Bar Assoc. Says

May 31, 2022, CBS News: New report criticizes rate of convictions in crimes with Asian victims in New York City

May 31, 2022, News Channel 3: New report due out today on anti-Asian violence and hate crimes in New York City

Elaine M. Chiu
Professor of Law
May 31, 2022

Boyle Promoted to Editor in Chief for Perspectives

Professor Robin Boyle was promoted to Editor in Chief of the editorial board of Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing. Perspectives is unique in that its nine-person board has a balance of law librarians and legal writing professors.  

For 2020-22, Professor Boyle served as the journal’s Assistant Editor in Chief, and from 2017-20, as an editorial team member. She has published several articles in Perspectives, including one forthcoming this summer entitled “Swimming with Broad Strokes: Publishing and Presenting Beyond the LW Discipline” (with Stephen Paskey). In addition to Professor Boyle, Professors Rosa Castello and Patricia Grande Montana have published articles in the journal in recent years.

Perspectives typically publishes articles that offer practical suggestions for teaching either the first-year or advanced courses in LRW, teaching international students, teaching transactional research or writing, and teaching the skills covered in academic support. 

Perspectives is an electronic journal sponsored and distributed free of charge by Thomson Reuters as a service to the LRW community. It has a subscriber base of 4,000 readers, and that base is growing.

Robin Boyle
Professor of Legal Writing
May 24, 2022

Calabrese and Sovern Speak at Houston/Berkeley Consumer Law Conference

Professors Gina Calabrese and Jeff Sovern spoke on May 20th and 21st at a conference entitled “Teaching Consumer Law In the New Normal,” hosted by the University of Houston Law Center’s Center for Consumer Law and the UC Berkeley School of Law’s Center for Consumer Law & Economic Justice. Professor Calabrese’s talk was titled “Online Dispute for Consumer Credit Cases” while Professor Sovern spoke about “Using Learning Science to Teach Consumer Law.”

Gina M. Calabrese
Professor of Clinical Legal Education
Associate Director, Consumer Justice for the Elderly: Litigation Clinic
Jeff Sovern
Professor of Law

May 17, 2022

Subotnik Publishes on Posthumous Art and Presents on Britney Spears

Professor Eva Subotnik’s book chapter, “Dead-Hand Guidance: A Preferable Testamentary Approach for Artists,” has been published in Posthumous Art, Law and the Art Market: The Afterlife of Art, co-edited by Sharon Hecker and Peter J. Karol (Routledge, 2022). As described on the publisher’s website, “[t]his book takes an interdisciplinary, transnational and cross-cultural approach to reflect on, critically examine and challenge the surprisingly robust practice of making art after death in an artist’s name, through the lenses of scholars from the fields of art history, economics and law, as well as practicing artists.” Here is an abstract of Subotnik’s chapter:

Postmortem copyrights in the United States allow for the control of art long after the artist has died. Successors to these interests, and even the public generally, may have bona fide reasons to encourage visual artists to be specific and comprehensive about the ways in which artwork is to be reproduced and used after the artists’ deaths. Nevertheless, this chapter cautions that efforts to encourage visual artists to provide guidance should simultaneously discourage any attempts to make these instructions binding. First, it is not clear that purportedly binding testamentary instructions about these matters will be effective. Second, the proliferation of such instructions may run counter to the goals of copyright law, raising the question of whether they should be effective. In short, in these matters, dead-hand guidance is preferable to dead-hand control.

In addition, Subotnik and her co-author Professor Andrew Gilden presented their forthcoming article, “Copyright’s Capacity Gap,” an interdisciplinary paper on legal issues growing out of the Britney Spears conservatorship, at two workshops this spring: the Critical Trusts & Estates Conference 2022, and the Mid-Career Intellectual Property Scholars Workshop.

Eva E. Subotnik
Professor of Law
Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship
Faculty Director, St. John’s Intellectual Property Law Center (IPLC)
May 6, 2022

Roberts’s Article to be Published in Minnesota Law Review

Professor Anna Roberts’s article Criminal Terms will be published in the Minnesota Law Review. Its abstract is as follows:

Core terms used by criminal legal academics bolster the criminal system and ward off radical critique. They do this by conveying implicit messages of three types: that the criminal system is generally accurate, that it is necessary, and that it is well-intentioned and moving in the right direction. While recent legal scholarship has identified other subtle ways in which we send pro-carceral messages, it has not focused on vocabulary. We thus fall behind other entities, which have recently announced vocabulary change, in recognition of the harm that such messages can do. We too have influence, not just through scholarly and public conversations, but through our framing of the system for our students, who will help determine its future. We must thus explore the possibility of, and obstacles to, change in our criminal terms.


Anna Roberts

Professor of Law
May 3, 2022

Barrett’s Virtual Lectures, 2021-2022

During this academic year, Professor John Q. Barrett participated virtually in these symposia and events—

·         On July 6, 2021, he introduced and interviewed Professor Melissa Murray of NYU Law School, Chautauqua Institution’s 17th annual Robert H. Jackson Lecturer on the Supreme Court of the United States;

·         On September 17, he spoke at a Constitution Day program, “FDR and the Supreme Court,” hosted by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum (link to program is available here);

·         On October 6, he lectured on “U.S. Supreme Court, October Term 2020” to the Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of New York chapter;

·         On October 13, he lectured on “The U.S. Supreme Court in Foreign Affairs: Robert H. Jackson’s Enduring Perspective as Justice and As Lead Prosecutor of the Nazis at Nuremberg,” to the American Foreign Law Association;

·         On October 26, he gave a lecture on the “75th Anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials,” hosted by the Queens Public Library;

·         On February 10, 2022, he gave a lecture, “Robert H. Jackson and the Birth of the National Gallery of Art,” to the Federal Bar Association’s Art Litigation & Fashion Law Conference;

·         On March 15, he gave a Supreme Court Review lecture to the Nassau County (NY) Inn of Court;

·         On April 19, he gave a lecture, “The Most Recent ‘Justice Jackson’: Robert H. Jackson’s Path in Life and the Law,” to the AdventHealth Attorney Retreat;

·         On April 28, he gave a lecture, “Some Alexander Hamilton, But Not So Much Hamilton, in the New Supreme Court,” in the Suffolk County (NY) Bar Association’s Law Day program (link to program is available here, and Professor Barrett’s remarks begin around 59:30); and

·         Also on April 28, he gave a lecture, “Justice Robert H. Jackson, the International Nuremberg Trial, and the Path to the Doctors’ Trial,” in the New York Medical College/Touro University Yom Hashoah symposium on the 75th Anniversary of the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial:

(Professor Barrett’s remarks begin around 41:45)

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