Archive for October, 2013

October 31, 2013

Cunningham Certified in Six Sigma

Associate Academic Dean Larry Cunningham has become certified in Six Sigma, a process improvement methodology that draws heavily on statistics.  Originally developed by, and implemented in, the industrial sector, Six Sigma is now deployed in a variety of fields, including health care, law, and higher education.  Dean Cunningham has implemented the Six Sigma philosophy on several projects at the Law School to improve the delivery of student services.
October 30, 2013

Barrett Lectures on “New Yorker” U.S. Solicitors General

On Friday evening, October 25, 2013, Professor John Q. Barrett delivered a lecture, “New York Greatness in the History of Solicitors General of the United States,” to a full house in the Meeting Room at the New York City Bar Association.

Professor Barrett’s lecture opened a program, “Learned in the Law:  The Role of the U.S. Solicitor General … a New York Point of View,” co-sponsored by the Supreme Court Historical Society and the Historical Society of the New York Courts.

Following Professor Barrett’s lecture, Jeffrey Minear, Counselor to Chief Justice Roberts, moderated a panel of three former Solicitors General:  Justice Elena Kagan, Paul D. Clement and Drew S. Days, III.

The program was recorded and should be broadcast soon on C-SPAN and available online.

John Q. Barrett

John Q. Barrett

October 28, 2013

Salomone Speaks on Children’s Rights and Educational Policy in a Globalized World

Professor Rosemary C. Salomone made a presentation on Children’s Rights and Educational Policy in a Globalized World at the University’s Eighth Biennial Vincentian Chair of Social Justice Conference on Saturday, October 26th.  Her talk focused on the  U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, and the campaign to move the United States toward ratifying the convention in helping to protect the right to education for children around the world. It further addressed achievement gaps by race, ethnicity, and poverty level in the United States and the unmet needs of immigrant students.

Rosemary Salomone

Rosemary Salomone

October 25, 2013

Borgen Weighs in on Russia’s Foreign Policy at Opinio Juris

Christopher Borgen, Professor and Associate Dean for International Studies, recently weighed in on Russia’s foreign policy in this essay on Opinio Juris .  Professor Borgen’s essay addresses a New York Times article that discussed Russia’s controversial policies toward its “near abroad” neighbors, such as Armenia, Moldova, and Ukraine.  In particular, Professor Borgen considers the complexity and urgency of the strained relations in this region and the important role of international law in solving these conflicts:

 [T]hese situations  . . .  exemplify the importance of law (both domestic and international) in international relations, because high politics in the ”near abroad” is not about the formal acquisition of territory, but the adoption of norms. . . . [T]his is a significant moment in trying to resolve the identity of these systemic borderlands. But does it have to be one normative system or the other? Can Moldova or Armenia be part of both the European and Russian normative orders?


October 21, 2013

Lazaro Speaks at Annual Meeting of Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association

Christine Lazaro, Director of the Law School’s Securities Arbitration Clinic, spoke on a panel titled “The Ethical Implications of Securities Arbitration Expungement” at the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association’s 22nd Annual Meeting last week.


October 18, 2013

Alexander Publishes Article on the CPLR at Fifty

Professor Vincent C. Alexander has just published an article in the N.Y.U. Journal of Legislation and Public Policy entitled,  The CPLR at Fifty: A View from Academia.  The article is based on remarks Professor Alexander delivered at NYU’s Dwight D. Opperman Institute of Judicial Administration on March 12, 2013, as part of a symposium on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of New York’s Civil Practice Law and Rules (“CPLR”).

The CPLR has its roots in New York’s groundbreaking Field Code of 1848, but it has evolved into a multifaceted code that carries forward a few too many eccentric and arguably outmoded rules of procedure.  The symposium participants, whose remarks are included in the publication, include U.S. Senior District Judge Jack B. Weinstein, who was one of the principal authors of the CPLR, former New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, NYU Law Professors Oscar G. Chase and William E. Nelson, and practitioner/author David L. Ferstendig.

The symposium reflects upon the creation of the CPLR, its strengths and weaknesses, and its place in the history of procedural reform.  Professor Alexander provides an academic perspective, focusing on the teaching, scholarship and law reform opportunities that the CPLR provides.  He argues that the New York courts, acting through the Chief Administrative Judge, Judicial Conference and CPLR Advisory Committee, rather than the Legislature alone, should be given the authority to amend the CPLR.  Nevertheless, his article concludes:

 [T]he CPLR has served the bench and bar of New York quite effectively for the past fifty years.  It carries forward New York traditions that apparently are near and dear to the hearts of New York judges and attorneys, and there is value in that.  It is a testament to the CPLR’s durability that, unlike the pre-1963 era of New York history, there have been no widespread calls for the overhaul of the New York procedure code.  The CPLR may have some quirks, but on the whole, it is a coherent code of procedure . . . .  The CPLR gives New York litigants a fair and reasonable means of having their disputes resolved on the merits.  Such is the purpose of procedure.


October 17, 2013

Subotnik to Present Paper at Workshop on Intellectual Property and Constitutional Law

Professor Eva Subotnik will present her paper, Constitutional Obstacles? Reconsidering Copyright Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings, co-authored with June M. Besek, this Friday October 18th at the “IP, Meet the Constitution” Junior Scholars Workshop at Columbia Law School.  The workshop, co-sponsored by Columbia and Hofstra Law Schools and the Federalist Society, will bring together scholars from Brooklyn, Cardozo, Hofstra, University of Pennsylvania and Yale Law Schools.  In their paper, Subotnik and Besek discuss the constitutional issues implicated by the possible extension of federal copyright protection to pre-1972 sound recordings, which currently enjoy only state law protection.  The paper is one of the few to address the application of Takings and Due Process law to ‘intellectual’ property, and the issues they discuss may have broad implications for future congressional amendments to IP statutes.  The paper will be published this Spring in the Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts.  An abstract is available here.



October 16, 2013

Nelson Joins Amicus Brief on NC Redistricting Appeal

Professor Janai Nelson joined a group of fellow election law experts in an amicus brief in North Carolina’s latest racial gerrymandering challenge.  The case, Dickson v. Rucho, is pending before the state’s Supreme Court.  The brief calls for the court to correctly interpret Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which protects racial minorities from discrimination in voting.  The brief asserts that  the North Carolina General Assembly’s redistricting plan explicitly segregated North Carolina’s citizens into districts based on race, resulting in the packing of African Americans into fewer districts and diluting their voting strength in violation of the Act.  In particular, the amici argue:

“The General Assembly’s claim that its racial balkanization was required by the Voting Rights Act (“VRA”) turns the VRA on its head.  A statute meant to combat the ‘insidious and pervasive evil which had been perpetuated in certain parts of our country through unremitting and ingenious defiance of the Constitution,’ . . . was instead used to perpetuate the very evil of racial discrimination it was designed to thwart.” [Citation omitted.]

Professor Nelson, who teaches and writes on race and election law, joined another amicus brief with experts in her field earlier this year in a case before the United States Supreme Court, Shelby County v. Holder, in which the Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act.

janai blue

October 16, 2013

Calabrese and Sovern Weigh in on Debt Collection Rules

Gina Calabrese, Associate Director of the Consumer Justice for the Elderly: Litigation Clinic and Professor of Clinical Legal Education, recently supervised the clinic’s comments submission to the New York State Department of Financial Services on  the Department’s proposed rules on debt collection (link at ) that would require debt collectors to provide certain disclosures to consumers.  The Clinic project was an opportunity for law students to engage in policy work.   Among the Clinic’s recommendations was a proposal to include an advisory notice of the importance of the disclosure in the six non-English languages most commonly spoken in New York State.  (See comments here: Comments of St Vincent de Paul Legal Prog on DFS Debt Coll Rules 101113).  Multilingual Legal Advocates, a multi-lingual law students association, assisted with translating the advisory into the six different languages.  Professor Jeff Sovern also commented on the proposed rules and suggested that critical disclosures be presented more simply and prominently.

gina c                 jeff sovern

October 14, 2013

Recent Lectures by Professor Barrett

Professor John Q. Barrett recently gave the following lectures:

  • on September 24, he gave a lunchtime lecture, “Big Break in Brooklyn:  Justice Robert H. Jackson’s Life Path & Law Legacy,” to Federal Judges and other personnel at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (live in Brooklyn and by video feed to Central Islip);


  • on September 26, he gave an update on last Term’s U.S. Supreme Court decisions to attorneys at the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, in Brooklyn;


  • on October 7, he gave the U.S. Supreme Court Update at the Federal Bar Association (EDNY Chapter) annual Federal Practice Update, at the Alphonse M. D’Amato U.S. Courthouse in Central Islip; and

  • on October 8, he gave an evening lecture, “Justice Jackson, Nuremberg, and the Pride of Our Grandchildren,” at the Temple American Inn of Court in Philadelphia.
John Q. Barrett

John Q. Barrett

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