Archive for April 27th, 2012

April 27, 2012

St. John’s Law and Religion Colloquium

This semester, the Center for Law and Religion (CLR) inaugurated an exciting new course, “Colloquium in Law: Law and Religion.” The seminar, taught jointly by CLR Director Mark L. Movsesian and Assistant Director Marc O. DeGirolami, gave selected St. John’s Law School students an opportunity to study cutting-edge issues in law and religion with some of the most prominent thinkers in the field, including Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The seminar was structured as a series of workshops in which speakers presented papers to the students and faculty from St. John’s and other universities. The papers addressed a variety of topics and perspectives. Michael W. McConnell (Stanford Law School) critiqued the Supreme Court’s free-exercise jurisprudence, demonstrating the tensions in the Court’s landmark decision in Employment Division v. Smith. Philip Hamburger (Columbia Law School) discussed the history of freedom of conscience, focusing on medieval thinkers like Aquinas and Bonaventure, and M. Cathleen Kaveny (University of Notre Dame Law School) critiqued a classic contracts case, Watts v. Watts, from the perspective of moral theology. Two papers were comparative. Joseph Weiler (NYU School of Law) addressed the recent European Court of Human Rights decision in the Italian crucifix case, Lautsi v. Italy, and Ayelet Shachar (University of Toronto Faculty of Law) discussed religious family-law arbitration in Canada and the UK.

You can find more information on the colloquium here.

April 27, 2012

Jeremy Sheff on the Law of Luxury Good Knock-Offs

Jeremy Sheff

Associate Professor Jeremy Sheff has a new post on PrawfsBlag (here) analyzing the legal treatment of luxury good knock-offs under the Lanham Act. The legal analysis in these cases turns on a doctrine called “post-sale confusion.”  As Jeremy explains: “Luxury knock-offs do not infringe the luxury house’s trademark because of their effect on the purchaser of the knock-offs, but because of their effect on people who observe that purchaser consuming the product after it has been purchased. Such observers, the theory goes, will see the non-confused purchaser consuming the defendant’s product, but mistake it for the plaintiff’s product due to the similarity of the products’ trademarks or overall designs.”

Jeremy’s question is a simple one–why should we care? “What is the social or moral ill,” Jeremy asks, “that results if I mistakenly believe that a woman walking down Fifth Avenue is carrying an authentic Louis Vuitton purse when in fact she is carrying a cheap imitation?” Jeremy’s answer to that question is in the latest issue of the Minnesota Law Review (the link to the SSRN version of the paper is here).

April 27, 2012

New on the Dean’s Docket

Over at the Dean’s Docket, Michael Simons summarizes Justice Scalia’s visit to St. John’s.

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