Archive for November, 2013

November 27, 2013

Subotnik’s Paper Selected for NYU Annual Tri-State Region IP Workshop

Professor Eva Subotnik’s paper, Intent to Fair Use, was accepted for an Intellectual Property workshop to be held at NYU Law School in early January.  The Workshop brings together intellectual property law scholars from the tri-state region.  Approximately 5-10 papers are selected for presentation and feedback in advance of the spring 2014 law review submission cycle.  In her paper, Subotnik focuses on the degree to which recent fair use case law and scholarship that suggest that the evaluation of a challenged use of a copyrighted work be made principally from the perspective of a reasonable observer (rather than from the perspective of the defendant artist herself) advances the goals of copyright policy and provides predictability for those contemplating future uses of copyrighted works.  Information about the Workshop can be found here


November 26, 2013

ABA Journal Selects CLR Forum as Top 100 Best Law Blog

The editors of the ABA Journal have named the Center for Law and Religion Forum, produced by St. John’s Center for Law and Religion, one of the top 100 best blogs for a legal audience. CLR Forum is one of 15 blogs selected for the “Niche” blog category.  The full list appears in the December issue of the magazine.CLR

Regularly updated, the Center for Law and Religion Forum offers a comprehensive compilation of new law and religion scholarship, put together daily by the Center’s student fellows – the latest American law review scholarship as well as foreign and comparative pieces and new books in law and religion. It also provides engaging commentary by Center faculty on law and religion issues in the news and around the web, along with useful links to research centers, blogs, and news sites.  

Professor Mark Movsesian, Frederick A. Whitney Professor of Contract Law, produces and contributes to the blog as Director of the Center, together with its Associate Director, Professor Marc O. DeGirolami.

November 25, 2013

Calabrese Leads Clinic to Victories

Professor Gina Calabrese, with law students of the Consumer Justice for the Elderly: Litigation Clinic recently celebrated two important victories in CJELC cases.  In one case, the Clinic obtained a judgment cancelling fraudulent deeds that robbed an elderly man with Alzheimer’s disease of title to his home.  In the other case, the Clinic obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of a  95-year-old woman who transferred her house to her nieces with the condition that they not sell it until after she died and that they use the proceeds to pay for her funeral.  The nieces sold the house, violating the terms of the constructive trust, and retained the proceeds for themselves.  The new owner attempted to evict the elderly woman; the preliminary injunction preserves her right to remain in the home while the lawsuit is pending.  The Clinic also defeated four cross-motions to dismiss the action.  The court’s decision cites much of the legal authority that appeared in the Clinic’s briefs.

gina c

November 18, 2013

Sheff’s IP Article on Praised on Jotwell

Professor Jeremy Sheff‘s Stanford Law Review article, Marks, Morals, and Markets, has been identified by Professor Laura Heymann as one of the best works of recent scholarship relating to Intellectual Property, in a review published today in Jotwell: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots).  Describing Professor Sheff’s article as “thoughtful and sophisticated”, the review concludes,

Sheff does not purport to set forth an all-encompassing theory, but his proposal is highly compatible with the way we now talk about brands. We are ever more in a world in which consumers engage with many brands as personas. Brands are trusted confidants and comforting companions. They find allegiances with different social groups at different times in their development; they uplift us and betray us. These brands are not simply a way of finding goods in the marketplace; they are also a way of announcing or defining one’s identity, creating relationships with others, signaling wealth, or engaging in any one of a number of expressive functions. Companies respond in kind, by creating advertising or affinity groups that foster this type of engagement, and by aggressively using trademark law as a kind of corporate defamation law, pushing back at uses that offend their view of their brands. If these are our relationships with brands today, then perhaps we should be characterizing their relationships with us as ones of promise, representations, and trust. The difficulty will then be in determining which promises we truly expect brands to keep.

sheff photo


November 18, 2013

Sovern on the Validity of Student Evaluations

The New York Times published Professor Jeff Sovern‘s letter in its Sunday Dialogue feature titled “Academia’s Two Tracks.”  The letter addresses the validity of student evaluations in assessing the performance of tenured and tenure-track professors versus adjuncts.  Professor Sovern states:

Student evaluations are a better measure of popularity than competence. Adjuncts may in fact be better teachers, but studies not based on student evaluations are needed to prove it.

jeff sovern

November 16, 2013

Calabrese Joins Catholic Migration Services Board

Gina Calabrese, Professor of Clinical Education, was recently named to the Board of Directors of Catholic Migration Services.  CMS provides legal representation and other services to immigrants living in Brooklyn and Queens.  St. John’s offers its Bread and Life Legal Clinic in partnership with CMS.  CMS also does impact litigation through its Immigrant Tenants Advocacy Project as well as assistance with the naturalization process.   It is a non-profit corporation affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.

gina c

November 14, 2013

Perino Presents Paper on Attorneys’ Fees in Securities Class Actions

On Friday, November 8, Michael Perino, Dean George W. Matheson Professor of Law, was in Chicago to present a paper at the First Annual Corporate and Securities Litigation Workshop, sponsored by the University of Illinois College of Law. Professor Perino co-authored the paper, Private Ordering Versus Judicial Regulation of Attorneys’ Fees in Securities Class Actions: An Empirical Assessment, with University of Texas Law School professors Lynn Baker and Charles Silver.


November 13, 2013

Joseph’s “In a Post-Bubble Credit-Collapse Environment” in the New Yorker

Tinnelly Professor of Law Lawrence Joseph‘s poem “In a Post-Bubble Credit-Collapse Environment” appears in the November 18, 2013 issue of The New YorkerThe audio version of the poem is also on The New Yorker‘s Digital yorker

On Saturday, November 10, Professor Joseph was a featured reader and participant in the day long Festival Within: Best of the Best of American Poetry, at the Walt Whitman Birthplace in Huntington, Long Island. On Friday November 1, he was a featured speaker at A Centennial Conference: Robert Hayden at the University of Michigan, which celebrated the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Robert Hayden, a major American poet and the first African-American Poet Laureate of the United States.   

November 13, 2013

Barrett at Brandeis Association’s Commemoration of Kristallnacht

On November 7th, Professor John Q. Barrett was a principal speaker at the Brandeis Association’s program on “Law, Justice and the Holocaust:  How the Courts Failed Germany.”  At this program, which commemorated the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, Dr. William Meinecke of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum spoke about German law and judges under the Nazis and Professor Barrett spoke about the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals following World War II.  The program was held at the Queens County Civil Courthouse in New York City.

John Q. Barrett

John Q. Barrett

November 12, 2013

Goldweber Secures Access to Justice Grant

Professor Ann Goldweber secured a grant to operate a full-time pro bono program to provide legal services to unrepresented debtors in Civil Court, Queens County and unrepresented plaintiffs in uncontested divorce cases.  St. John’s and three other New York-area law schools received grants.  This is the first time the New York State Office of Court Administration has awarded grants to law schools.

The Access to Justice Grant grant compliments an earlier award for an existing part-time clinical program and gives St. John’s law students and alumni the opportunity to help a greater number of people.  The Consumer Debt Volunteer Lawyer for the Day Program , which is supervised by St. John’s alumna Helen Wrobel, provides limited representation to pro se defendants in consumer debt cases at pre-trial conferences in Queens Civil Court.  Under attorney supervision, students work to negotiate settlements with opposing counsel, conference with court attorneys, argue before judges and advise clients on trial strategies.  In the past six months, in the part-time program, 130 people received representation.  In the Uncontested Divorce Program, also under attorney supervision, students prepare uncontested divorce papers and walk clients through the divorce process.  One hundred and twenty-five people have been assisted in this part-time program in the past six months.  By expanding these programs, the numbers can be doubled, reaching more low-income people in need of legal representation.  This new grant gives St. John’s law students the opportunity to learn valuable lawyering skills while helping to meet the needs of the low-income community in Queens.

Congratulations, Ann!


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