Archive for May, 2014

May 30, 2014

Baum Addresses Lawyers at Federal Court Pro Bono Training

On Thursday, May 29, 2014, Jennifer Baum, Associate Professor of Clinical Legal Education and Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic, joined judges, trial lawyers, and the Chief Counsel to the Pro Se Office in training new and experienced attorneys for pro bono cases in the Southern District of New York.   This CLE program, titled Trial Advocacy Training for Pro Bono Lawyers was organized by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bar Council’s Public Service Committee.  The full day event was free for over 100 lawyers who agreed to accept a pro bono case within one year. Professor Baum described recent pro bono cases she has handled in federal court, and met with lawyers to discuss upcoming pro bono litigation opportunities.





May 27, 2014

Sovern Publishes Op-Ed in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Privacy

Professor Jeff Sovern has published an op-ed, Business Forum: Data brokers peddle information for their own selfish interests, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Professor Sovern concludes:

Congress should create a single website that consumers can visit to opt out of the collection of information on their transactions.

The options should be detailed enough so that consumers who want merchants to know of their interests in some things can indicate that, while still blocking sale of other information.

Merchants that collect information about consumers should be obliged to respect consumer choices, just as telemarketers must honor the “do-not-call” list. Merchants should be able to sell information about sensitive subjects, like illnesses, only if consumers affirmatively grant permission to do so.

Privacy policies should be standardized, brief, written in plain English and link to the opt-out website. If the result is fewer free websites, at least that will reflect what consumers want, rather than what businesses have decided for them. I may now be cancer-free, but until Congress acts, I am also privacy-free.


May 20, 2014

Sovern, Greenberg, and Kirgis Secure Grant for Arbitration Research

Professors Jeff Sovern, Elayne Greenberg, and Paul Kirgis, in conjunction with the Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution, have been awarded a grant from the American Association of Justice to survey consumers about their understanding of arbitration clauses.  The grant is to culminate in publication of a law review article.  Many consumer contracts include clauses requiring the parties to forego litigation in court or class actions, and it is unclear whether consumers understand the rights they give up when they enter into such contracts.  The professors’ research should shed light on that question.  Congress has barred the use of arbitration clauses in some consumer contracts, and has directed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to study the use of arbitration clauses, after which the Bureau may issue a regulation regulating their use.



May 19, 2014

Barrett Speaks at SDNY Memorial for Judge Walsh

On May 8, 2014, Professor John Q. Barrett spoke at a special session of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, honoring the life and service of Judge Lawrence E. Walsh (1912-2014).  Judge Walsh, a member of the Southern District bench from 1954-1957, later served as Deputy Attorney General of the United States, as president of the New York State and American Bar Associations, and as Iran/Contra Independent Counsel.  You can read Professor Barrett’s remarks, here.  The other speakers were SDNY Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska, Judge Thomas P. Griesa, Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, and attorney Guy M. Struve of Davis, Polk & Wardwell, the law firm where Judge Walsh practiced law for decades.

John Q. Barrett

John Q. Barrett


May 18, 2014

Barrett on Justice Jackson and Brown v. Board of Education

National Law Journal published an essay by Professor John Q. Barrett on the writing of the historic opinion in Brown v. Board of Education that was issued sixty years ago today.  In the piece,  Warren, Jackson Honed ‘Brown’ Decision in Hospital,  Professor Barrett describes the meeting between Chief Justice Warren and Justice Jackson in the latter’s hospital room regarding both the draftsmanship of the opinion and specific holdings.  The essay was originally published as part of the Jackson List.

For the Jackson List archive, Google “Jackson List” or click here.

John Q. Barrett

John Q. Barrett

May 6, 2014

Chronicle of Higher Education Interviews Salomone on Challenges Facing Global Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently interviewed Rosemary Salomone, the Kenneth Wang Professor of Law, for an article titled, Global Higher Education’s Winners and Losers Are Focus of Meeting, following her recent participation in the Global 2014: The Conference for Leaders of International Education.  Salomone spoke about the increasing use of English in higher education abroad.  Here’s an excerpt of the article (internal links omitted):

In a survey of British Council staff members and other education experts in 55 countries, almost 51 percent of the respondents said teaching in English was a “controversial” issue with the public. Around 38 percent said people were in favor, while the rest either didn’t answer or said the question was not applicable.  Last year the debate flared up in both France and Italy, said Rosemary C. Salomone, a law professor at St. John’s University in New York who has studied bilingual education in the United States and is now looking at the spread of English teaching overseas.  The French see the issue very much as one of “national pride,” she said.  “How could the French replace the language of Molière with the language of Shakespeare?,” she asked, describing the attitude of some in France.   Meanwhile, in Italy, the concerns center more on practical questions: Would teaching in English put some Italian professors out of work? Or hurt their ability to convey complex thoughts and hold unscripted classroom discussions?  Looking ahead, she warned that if more top institutions in Europe or elsewhere adopted English, it could build a new barrier to disadvantaged students or immigrants who are not taught English at a young age or have difficulty learning it.  The move toward English “is not a zero-sum game,” she said. “There inevitably will be winners and losers.”

Rosemary Salomone

Rosemary Salomone

May 5, 2014

Reuters Interviews Greenberg on OCA’s Mandatory Mediation Pilot Program

Reuters recently interviewed Elayne E. Greenberg, Assistant Dean for Dispute Resolution Programs, Professor of Legal Practice, and Director of the Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution about the Office of Court Administration’s proposed pilot mandatory mediation program in the Manhattan Supreme Court’s commercial division.  The program would require that every fifth case go to mediation within 180 days of the case’s assignment to a commercial division judge.  Here’s an excerpt of the interview:

My major concern is that the one-in-five number is arbitrary. It’s less likely to ensure that mediation is a meaningful event because of the randomness of it, meaning appropriate cases are included and attorneys are willing participants and understand it. . . .  There has to be an interest in settling. For most cases, mediation could be appropriate if used properly. The caveat is if one side wants to create legal precedent. Family law, bankruptcy, commercial law, in surrogate’s court, in intellectual property; it’s being used more and more in international sports. It can work in most every area.




May 3, 2014

Weiskopf Publishes 3rd Edition of Commercial Arbitration Textbook

Professor Nicholas Weiskopf is publishing the third edition of his textbook, Commercial Arbitration: Theory and Practice, with Vandeplas Publishing.  Weiskopf teaches Contracts, Drafting Legal Instruments, Commercial Arbitration, and a Legal Writing Seminar and has published several articles on topics including contracts, commercial law, commercial arbitration and securities regulation.


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