Archive for May, 2013

May 30, 2013

Movsesian to Speak at the European University Institute in Florence

Professor Mark Movsesian will  give a talk, “Psychic Sophie and the Rise of the Nones,” next week at the European University Institute in Florence.  The talk will be sponsored by the Institute’s ReligioWest project. Here’s the abstract:

The most important story in American religion today is the rise of the “Nones,” the category of people who declare no religious affiliation. Approximately one-fifth of American adults are in this category, and their numbers have exploded in the past two decades. Surprisingly, perhaps, the Nones tend to be believers; very few of them say they are atheists or agnostics. They reject not belief but organized religion, and draw on a variety of traditions to create their own, a la carte, spiritualities. In this paper, I explore the rise of the Nones and the tensions it exposes in American law, particularly with regard to the definition of religion. To illustrate, I rely on a recent US appeals court case in which the plaintiff, “Psychic Sophie,” argued that the state had interfered with the exercise of her religion — which she defined, in typical None fashion, as “following her inner flow.”

More information is available here.

Mark Movsesian

Mark Movsesian

May 29, 2013

Zimmerman Quoted on Reuters on New Cert. Grant, Mississippi v. AU Optronics Corp.

Professor Adam Zimmerman was quoted in a Reuters article about Mississippi v. AU Optronics Corp. earlier today.  The case was recently granted review by the U.S. Supreme Court and involves the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) and State Attorney General actions.  Here’s the relevant text:

When Congress passed CAFA, it considered an amendment to exclude actions filed by state attorneys general. But the Senate rejected the amendment. One senator cited concerns about plaintiffs’ lawyers using the exception as a loophole to persuade “a State attorney general to … lend the name of his or her office to a private class action.”

Still, any concerns the Supreme Court has over class action abuses will have to be balanced by its concerns over state sovereignty, said Adam Zimmerman, a professor at St. John’s University School of Law. If the Supreme Court rules that lawsuits filed by states can be removed to federal court, “it would threaten state sovereignty in a way Congress did not envision,” he said.

Please find the full text here:

Adam Zimmerman

Adam Zimmerman

May 28, 2013

WSJ Blog Quotes Perino on the Financial Crisis and Wall Street Reform

Writing for the Wall Street Journal’s personal finance blog, Total Return, Jason Zweig quoted Professor Michael A. Perino, Dean George W. Matheson Professor of Law, on the prospect of reforming Wall Street.  Professor Perino is the author of the award-winning text, The Hellhound of Wall Street: How Ferdinand Pecora’s Investigation of the Great Crash Forever Changed American Finance (Penguin Press 2010).

Here’s the relevant portion of the post:

In the wake of the 1929 crash, Ferdinand Pecora, who led the investigative Pecora Commission in the U.S. Senate, humiliated one banking titan after another with revelations of self-dealing and other shady behavior. Richard Whitney, president of the New York Stock Exchange, ended up being thrown into the slammer at Sing Sing for embezzlement. The ensuing outrage and revulsion led to the series of reforms that overhauled Wall Street’s practices in the 1930s.

More than a half-century later, prosecutor Rudolph Giuliani went after insider trading with similar zeal, even having some alleged perpetrators hauled off the trading floor in handcuffs. Some of the cases fell apart, but the public’s sense of a level playing field was restored.

However, as Michael Perino, author of a riveting biography of Pecora, The Hellhound of Wall Street, told me in a conversation last year, “It’s only when things get really bad that [the U.S. can] overcome the normal political forces that are at play and we can achieve significant reforms. At this point, it might take another crisis to do something.”


The link to the full blogpost is here:

mike perino


May 24, 2013

Cavanagh Joins Distinguished Panel of Alums at FBC Event

On Wednesday, Professor Edward Cavanagh participated in a CLE on attorneys’ fees in federal litigation sponsored by the Federal Bar Council.  The event was held at the federal district court in Central Islip and featured United States District Judge Joanna Seybert ’71 and United States Magistrate Judge Kathleen Tomlinson ’87, in addition to Professor Cavanagh.  Anton Borovina ’75 was the program coordinator.


May 22, 2013

Barrett Introduces Chief Justice Roberts at Jackson Center

On May 17, 2013, Professor John Q. Barrett introduced the Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts, Jr., when he spoke to a crowd of over 2,000 people at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, New York.

For video of the Chief Justice’s speech, click here.

For audio of the entire event, including Professor Barrett’s introduction (starting at counter reading 9:05), click here.

For the text of Professor Barrett’s remarks, click here.

Professor Barrett is Justice Jackson’s biographer, author of the very widely read Jackson List (click here for the archive, and for instructions on how to subscribe) and a member of the Jackson Center’s Board.

John Q. Barrett

John Q. Barrett

May 21, 2013

Sheff Paper to Appear in the Washington Law Review

Jeremy N. Sheff’s paper, Disclosure as Distribution, forthcoming in the Washington Law Review,  is now available online.  Here is the abstract:

This brief Response to the work of Professors Omri Ben-Shahr and Carl Schneider on mandated disclosure regimes investigates the normative criteria underlying their claim that those regimes are failures. Specifically, it unpacks the pieces of those authors’ implicit cost-benefit analysis, revealing inherently normative judgments about desert and responsibility at the core of their (or any) critique of disclosure regimes. Disclosure regimes may aim to improve human decisionmaking behaviors, but those behaviors are influenced in non-deterministic ways by cognitive capacities that are heterogeneously distributed among subjects of the regimes. Accordingly, any claim regarding the normative desirability of disclosure regimes (or any other regulatory regime that seeks to channel and improve decisionmaking) implicitly rests on judgments regarding individuals’ responsibility for their own capacities. I argue that in evaluating such regulatory regimes, focusing on efficiency through cost-benefit analysis distracts from inescapable and logically prior distributive questions regarding desert and responsibility.

sheff photo

May 17, 2013

Baum Co-Leads AALS Clinical Law Court Visit in Puerto Rico for Law Day

On Law Day (May 1), Professor Jennifer Baum, together with faculty from La Universidad de Puerto Rico and the University of Colorado, led a multi-national group of clinical law professors in an immersion experience at the local courts in San Juan, Puerto Rico during the annual AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education.

Professor Baum and her colleagues escorted two dozen clinical law professors from the continental United States and abroad through San Juan criminal, civil, and family court, and observed Spanish-language court cases using simultaneous translation through headsets.  The visit culminated in a discussion on the role of court observation in graduating practice-ready law students.


May 16, 2013

Christian Science Monitor Quotes Crimm on IRS-Tea Party Investigation

In an article headlined Tea party investigation: Is the problem the IRS or the tax code?, the Christian Science Monitor quoted Professor Nina Crimm. Here’s an excerpt:

But some experts are skeptical that Congress will do much to fix the system that underlies the current IRS scandal, even if they do manage the long-shot feat of a sweeping tax overhaul sought by Baucus and Representative Camp.

“How much of the code, if any, is really going to be tackled?” Crimm asks. “And is this something that this Congress wants to tackle in terms of the tax exempt area?”

“My suspicion is that a lot of them might not see fit to tackle this area,” she says, because picking a campaign-finance fight amidst an already difficult slog to paring back the nation’s tax code is probably a bridge too far.



May 16, 2013

Sheff’s Article, Self-Replicating Technologies, Mentioned on IP Blog

Professor Jeremy Sheff’s article, Self-Replicating Technologies, gets a mention in an IPKat post on the Supreme Court’s recent decision on patent rights in Bowman v. Monsanto.  Here’s an excerpt from the post:

In an interesting paper entitled ‘Self Replicating Technologies’, Professor J. Sheff highlighted that ‘not all self-replicating technologies are identical, and a categorical rule exempting them from exhaustion doctrine is unwarranted’. Although the Supreme Court did not go as far as identifying a criterium [sic] for modulating the patent exhaustion doctrine, as suggested in the paper (according to which, ‘the application of the exhaustion doctrine should depend on the patentee’s ability to charge supracompetitive prices in its primary market where consumers are able to substitute secondary-market embodiments’), its final clarification appears to be a step in the right direction.



May 15, 2013

Nelson on Lawyers of Color’s List of Minority Professors Making an Impact

Professor Janai Nelson was named to the Lawyers of Color’s 50 Under 50 list of minority professors making an impact in legal education.  The list is published in LOC’s “The Law School Diversity Issue”  which was released today.

janai blue


%d bloggers like this: