Archive for December, 2013

December 14, 2013

Chiu Chairs 15th Annual Northeast People of Color (NEPOC) Conference

Since 2006, Professor Elaine Chiu has chaired the planning committee of the annual Northeast People of Color (NEPOC) Conference, the eastern affiliate of the National People of Color Conference (NPOC).  For the past year, Professor Chiu has been working with the host school, the University of Puerto Rico School of Law (UPR School of Law) and the Society of American Law Teachers to plan this year’s conference which took place this past weekend in San Juan, Puerto Rico and attracts national scholars each year.  NEPOC originated in 1996 under the leadership of Professor Leonard Baynes, Director of the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development (The RHB Center).   The RHB Center has continued its steadfast support for this annual gathering of legal academics of color by providing an online home for the conference.

Professors Elaine Chiu and Leonard Baynes and Associate Dean Janai Nelson participated in this year’s NEPOC conference, along with faculty and deans from regions all over the United States and its territories, to discuss the legal regulation of human vice and to learn about the culture, people and current state of affairs in Puerto Rico, the U.S.’s largest territory.  The collaboration and exchange between almost eighty scholars, activist lawyers, and legal educators from Puerto Rico and the continental US were productive and inspiring for all.  In addition to chairing the conference, Professor Chiu participated in a workshop on advising lawyers of color interested in becoming legal academics, presented a work in progress on the movement to regulate newborn male circumcision, and introduced the keynote speaker, Ediberto Roman, and the closing speaker, Judge Jenny Rivera of the New York State Court of Appeals.  Professor Baynes was a panelist on a panel discussing race, ethnicity and profiling in the Trayvon Martin case and in the New York City stop and frisk policy.  He also led a discussion on the latest trends in legal education and described the success of The RHB Center’s Law School Prep Program.  Associate Dean Janai Nelson moderated a roundtable on the efficacy of human trafficking laws and regulations.

On Friday, NEPOC conferred the Haywood Burns-Shanara Gilbert awards to Professors Efren Rivera Ramos (UPR School of Law), Ediberto Roman (Florida International University College of Law), and Catherine Smith (University of Denver Sturm College of
Law).   The award ceremony was especially poignant because of the passing of Nelson Mandela, which shaped the spirit of the entire conference, and the moving tribute to Nelson Mandela offered by Professor Rivera Ramos.  In addition, Professors Haywood Burns and Shanara Gilbert, the namesakes of NEPOC’s annual awards, lost their lives in a car accident in South Africa while working on the South African Constitution at the request of Nelson Mandela.

Another conference highlight took place on Saturday when NEPOC, along with SALT and UPR School of Law, partnered to take advantage of the conference’s locale to address the low numbers of Puerto Ricans in the legal profession and in the legal academy.  They conducted day-long pipeline programs for high school students from all over the island of Puerto Rico and for prelaw advisors, admissions directors and interested faculty.  NEPOC hopes to continue its pipeline work at future conferences.

elaine chiu

December 14, 2013

SSRN Selects Movsesian Essay on Armenian Genocide As a Weekly Top Five Paper

The Social Science Research Network has selected Professor Mark Movsesian’s essay, “Elusive Equality: The Armenian Genocide and the Failure of Ottoman Legal Reform,” as one of its Weekly Top Five Papers this week. The SSRN archive contains approximately 425,000 papers from scholars around the world; roughly 66,000 are added each year.

Professor Movsesian, who is also the director of the Center for Law and Religion at St. John’s, told SSRN:

I wrote this essay for a symposium on legal issues surrounding the Armenian Genocide of 1915. In part, it is an essay in legal history. It describes how reforms in Ottoman law, designed to benefit religious minorities like Armenian Christians, perversely led to a backlash against those very minorities.

The essay also contributes to the emerging field of comparative law and religion. Comparative L&R explores how different legal regimes reflect, and influence, the relationships religious communities have with the state and with each other. Here, I discuss the treatment of Christians in classical Islamic law and show why the transition to a secular, egalitarian regime proved so difficult and had such dire consequences for vulnerable communities.

You can download the paper here.

Mark Movsesian

Mark Movsesian

December 9, 2013

Journal of Catholic Legal Studies Publishes Symposium on State-Sponsored Religious Displays

The Journal of Catholic Legal Studies has published papers from a symposium on state-sponsored religious displays that the St. John’s Center for Law and Religion co-sponsored with the Libera Universita Maria SS Assunta (LUMSA) in Rome last year.  The papers compare the treatment of such displays in the United States and Europe.  Contributors include Silvio Ferrari  of the University of Milan (“State-Supported Display of Religious Symbols In The Public Space”); Thomas Berg of the University of St. Thomas (“Can State-Sponsored Religious Symbols Promote Religious Liberty?”); Monica Lugato of LUMSA (“The ‘Margin of Appreciation’ and Freedom of Religion: Between Treaty Interpretation And Subsidiarity”); and Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain of the US Court of Appeals (“Religious Symbols and the Law”). There’s also an introduction by Professor Mark Movsesian, the Center’s Director. You can download the articles here.


December 5, 2013

Borgen on the Protests in Ukraine

Christopher Borgen, Professor and Associate Dean for International Studies, has written this piece on Opinio Juris on the recent protests in Ukraine.  Professor Borgen analyzes the tug of war between the EU and Russia over Ukraine, and what it tells us about the evolution of geopolitics and international norms.


December 2, 2013

Greenberg Named One of Best Mediation Lawyers in America 10th Year in a Row

For the tenth year in a row, Elayne Greenberg, Assistant Dean for Dispute Resolution Programs, Professor of Legal Practice, and Director of the Hugh L. Carey Center, has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of mediation.  Best Lawyers,  which compiles the annual list of top attorneys in various fields, is a peer-review publication in the legal profession that identifies outstanding attorneys through confidential peer-review surveys.

Professor Greenberg regularly shares her renowned expertise with students in and out of the classroom.  The New York State Unified Court System’s Office of ADR Programs recently approved under Part 146 her forty-two hour Divorce Mediation and Commercial Mediation courses.  Upon completion of each course, students will receive a certificate of participation that can help them satisfy the training requirements to serve as a mediator in court-connected mediation programs.


December 2, 2013

Cavanagh’s Publishes Article on Antitrust Law and Economic Theory

Professor Edward “Ned” Cavanagh has recently published an article in the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal entitled Antitrust Law and Economic Theory: Finding a Balance.  In the article, Professor Cavanagh argues that economic theory has taken precedence over facts in antitrust analysis in the courts and that a re-calibration is in order.  Here’s the abstract:

Over the past forty years, the federal courts have relied more and more on economic theory to inform their antitrust analyses. Economic theory has indeed provided guidance with respect to antitrust issues and assisted the courts in reaching rational outcomes. At the same time, infusion of economic evidence into antitrust cases has made these cases more complex, lengthier, more expensive to litigate, and less predictable. This Article argues that courts need to restore the balance between facts and economic theory in undertaking antitrust analysis. The problem is not that judges and juries cannot reach good outcomes in antitrust cases, but rather that courts have become too reliant on economic theory in deciding them. Just as courts of an earlier generation became too enamored of per se rules in antitrust cases, some courts today have become too enamored of economic theory in addressing and resolving antitrust issues. Some courts have lost sight of basic antitrust goals and have gotten bogged down in arcane
economic tests—relevant market and proof of common impact in class action cases are two examples—which have become obstacles to, instead of tools for, resolution of antitrust disputes. Antitrust is a body of law enacted by Congress and construed by the courts; it is not a compendium of the latest thinking in economic theory. The role of the courts is not to decree economic policy, but rather to implement antitrust policies enacted by Congress. Antitrust has always been a
fact-specific enterprise, and courts need to restore the proper balance between fact finding and economic theory by confining economic theory to those areas where it assists antitrust analysis and discarding such theory where it gets in the way. In short, courts need to return to simple, predictable, and administrable—but informed—antitrust rules.


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