Archive for May, 2017

May 25, 2017

Goldweber and Calabrese Organize Conference and Co-facilitate Workgroup at Statewide Law School Access to Justice Conference at St. John’s

On May 18, Professor Ann L. Goldweber and Professor Gina M. Calabrese helped organize the conference and co-facilitated a workgroup at the Statewide Law School Access to Justice Conference held at St. John’s on May 18, 2017. goldwebercalabrese

The theme of the Conference was “The Role of New York’s Law Schools in Helping Meet the Essential Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income New Yorkers”. The Conference brought together law school clinical professors, legal services providers, not-for-profits, judges, and court administrators to foster collaboration in working towards access to justice for all New Yorkers. Professors Goldweber and Calabrese’s workgroup focused on enhancing access to justice and access to democratic participation through advocacy and community partnerships. The Work Group explored models of collaboration to expand access to justice between law school clinics and local communities, legal service providers, community organizations and courts. The morning session featured a panel of law school clinicians, St. John’s law student Katy Baldwin, and community-based legal providers. Panelists discussed the successes and challenges of their clinic-community collaborations in direct representation, law reform advocacy and information empowerment. In the afternoon session, participants worked in facilitated small groups and discussed ways of developing and strengthening collaborations and initiatives. All of the recommendations of the workgroup will be memorialized in the Annual Report of the Permanent Commission on Access to Justice.

May 24, 2017

DiLorenzo’s Research on Corporate Wrongdoing Featured in Columbia Law School Corporations and Capital Markets Blog

Professor Vincent Di Lorenzo was asked to report the results of his research on corporate wrongdoing in Columbia Law School’s Blog on Corporations and the Capital Markets.  Vince Di Lorenzo

His entry, “How to Improve Corporate Compliance with the Law,” was published on May 19, 2017. It presents the results of the research presented in his recent article, “Corporate Wrongdoing: Interactions of Legal Mandates and Corporate Culture.” In the CLS entry Professor Di Lorenzo focused on a proposed change in enforcement policy – greater use of market based sanctions such as suspensions directed at the corporation.

May 23, 2017

Sovern and Calabrese Speak at NYC Consumer Advocates Meeting; Sovern Addresses California-Irvine Law School’s Civil Justice Research Institute Symposium

On May 9, Professors Gina Calabrese and Jeff Sovern gave talks at the New York City Consumer Advocates Task Force. Professor Calabrese is a member of the Task Force.


Jeff Sovern


On April 28, Professor Jeff Sovern spoke on arbitration at a symposium at the University of California Irvine Law School’s Civil Justice Institute Symposium. The program was titled Practitioners and Scholars in Dialogue: What Do We Know About the Civil Justice System?

May 22, 2017

Borgen Presents at West Point, Cornell, International Law Weekend, US Naval War College

This past year CICL Co-Director Chris Borgen has given presentations at West Point and Cornell Law School about law and the political economy of conflicts with non-state actors such as ISIS, been a panelist at International Law Weekend on US diplomatic practice towards unrecognized regimes, and participated in a roundtable at the US Naval War College concerning the international legal implications of military space operations.  borgen

He has also spoken as a panelist at programs at St. John’s concerning the foreign policy agenda for the next American President (in October), and then, after the election, on the national security implications of President Trump’s executive order on immigration, and on the challenges of US relations with Russia in the Trump Administration. Professor Borgen continues to research and write about the interaction of international law, diplomatic rhetoric, and strategy in secessionist crises. His latest article, “Moldova and the Role of Law in Addressing Complex Crises in a Systemic Borderland,” will be in the forthcoming volume of the German Yearbook of International Law. He also has a book chapter entitled “Conflict Management and the Political Economy of Recognition,” in a forthcoming edited volume, “Complex Battlespaces.” He also continues in his role as a Co-Rapporteur for the International Law Association’s Committee on Recognition and Non-recognition and has been named to a multinational and multidisciplinary project drafting a “Manual on International Law Applicable to Military Uses of Outer Space.” This year Professor Borgen also became a member of the Advisory Board of the American Society of International Law’s Space Law Interest Group.

May 17, 2017

Salomone Presents and Chairs Panel at Symposium Organized by Study Group on Language and the United Nations

On May 12, Professor Rosemary Salomone chaired a panel on “Educational Access” and presented a paper on “Global English, Vulnerable Populations, and Educational Access: Lessons from the Courts in Three Countries” at an International Symposium on “Language, the Sustainable Development Goals and Vulnerable Populations” organized by the Study Group on Language and the United Nations, of which she is a member.


Rosemary Salomone

The following is the Abstract of the paper:

As English has become the world’s dominant lingua franca, it has sparked vigorous debate over its educational merits, its relation to national identity and culture, and its impact on educational access and outcomes. In the post-colonial world where multilingualism is the norm, the arguments typically focus on the unequal availability of quality English instruction on the one hand, and the marginalization of indigenous languages and, in some cases, other colonial languages on the other. These problems typically are addressed (though never fully resolved) in the political arena of national laws and regulations and local policies and practices. On occasion they spill over into the courts as rights-based claims invoking provisions within each nation’s Constitution. This paper looks as three such cases and how they relate to Sustainable Development Goal # 4 to “ensure inclusive, equitable, and quality education.” Specifically it discusses judicial decisions from South Africa, India, and Indonesia where the constitutional courts have balanced institutional and state autonomy against the rights of parents, teachers, and especially students set against diverse linguistic and historical backdrops. It teases out common themes running through these cases despite disparate facts, rulings, and approaches to liberty and equality. It suggests that these decisions present a sense of clarity, proportionality and political distance, framed in the language of rights, that often escape policy makers and development specialists. At the same time, the paper underscores the limits of judicial action and the inability of courts to address the collateral effect on rights not specifically presented before them or to fully resolve the tension between liberty and equality interests. Finally, it notes how the underlying lines of reasoning implicitly hold broader implications for promoting linguistic justice and equal educational access among vulnerable populations of students including indigenous groups, immigrants, and refugees across the educational spectrum.

May 8, 2017

Professor Robin Boyle Laisure Presents at Community Church Forum

Professor Boyle presented at the Garden City Community Church on Sunday, May 7, 2017, on the topic of human trafficking. She addressed the prevalence of the crime worldwide and provided advice for teachers, medical personnel, and parents.  Approximately 30 people attended for an early Sunday morning forum on Long Island.  Boyle

Prof. Boyle recently wrote a chapter on cults and human trafficking in a recently published book, Human Trafficking: Emerging Legal Issues and Applications (Lawyers & Judges Publishing Co. 2017). Last Fall, her article on a related topic appeared in the Oregon Review of International Law: “Employing Trafficking Laws to Capture Elusive Leaders of Destructive Cults.”

May 5, 2017

Sovern Article to Appear in Rutgers Law Review Symposium

Professor Jeff Sovern‘s article, Free-Market Failure: The Wells Fargo Arbitration Clause Example, will appear in volume 70 of the Rutgers Law Review, as part of a symposium on arbitration.


Jeff Sovern

Here is the abstract:

In September 2016, regulators charged Wells Fargo with opening millions of unauthorized accounts on behalf of its customers. When some of those customers filed class actions against Wells, the bank initially responded by moving to compel arbitration on the ground that the consumers had agreed to arbitrate disputes and waive their class action rights. Because most customers with claims in small amounts would probably have foregone filing an arbitration claim, the effect would have been to leave their damages uncompensated except for the refunding of fees, which Wells agreed to in the consent order it entered into with regulators.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed a regulation which, if it had been in effect at the relevant time, would have enabled the injured Wells customers to obtain class action relief. But the proposed rule is encountering objections in Congress, based partly on free-market economic theory. This Article argues that free-market economics is not sufficient to protect consumers from the type of problem present in the Wells Fargo case for two reasons. First, free-market economics assumes that consumers have complete information while empirical evidence shows that consumers do not understand arbitration clauses, much less that consumers realize that such clauses would bar class actions as to fraudulent accounts that the consumers did not know about. Second, the number of primary checking accounts at Wells consistently increased as the fraud became public, suggesting that the free market did not discipline Wells for its misconduct until regulators intervened, and did so only modestly at that point. It is even possible that by enforcing arbitration clauses as written, free-market economics prolonged the Wells fraud, thus enabling more consumers to be injured.

In short, some device beyond the free market is necessary to prevent financial institutions from cheating many consumers out of small amounts. Class actions are one such device, but arbitration clauses as currently enforced enable financial institutions to prevent their use, thus reducing their incentive to comply with the law.

May 4, 2017

Montana Presents in Legal Writing Institute’s Global Legal Writing Skills Webinar

Professor Patricia Montana presented in the Legal Writing Institute’s Global Legal Writing Skills webinar on “Teaching Global Skills to International and U.S. Law Students” on May 1, 2017.


Patricia Montana

Professor Montana presented on the topic “Teaching A Variety of Lawyering Skills Using A Single Transnational Civil Litigation Problem,” based on her advanced writing course, which she designed to develop upper-level students’ lawyering skills in the context of transnational civil litigation. Her presentation discussed how designing a course around a single litigation involving a central international trade law convention and a well-developed set of facts can easily simulate the realities of law practice in the global market and thus benefit students tremendously. Her presentation walked through the course development, illustrated some design ideas, and explained the advantages of using a single litigation to tie together all of the assignments. The webinar was videotaped and will be available on the Legal Writing Institute’s website.

May 3, 2017

Boyle Co-Organizes Program and Moderates Panel at NY Diversity Forum

Professor Robin Boyle, faculty advisor to the St. John’s Law School student chapter of the Federal Bar Association (FBA), participated in the Program Committee for the FBA’s New York Diversity Forum, held on April 28, 2017 at the Theodore Roosevelt United States Courthouse in Brooklyn.


Additionally, she was a moderator on a panel entitled, “The Common Thread of Undue Influence in Nefarious Relationships and the Challenges to Establishing Undue Influence in the Courtroom.” The event attracted over 100 attendees. Opening remarks were given by Chief Judge Dora L. Irizarry, United Stated District Court, Eastern District of New York. Panelists addressed legal issues affecting various groups, such as “Being Muslim in America“; “‘Religious Freedom’ vs. LGBT Equality“; “Racial Profiling of the Latino Community“; and “Learning the Lessons of History from the Chinese Exclusion Act to the Current Immigration Executive Orders.” Sponsoring Organizations were from the International Cultic Studies Association; FBA LGBT Section; Muslim Bar Association of New York; Latino Judges Association; Puerto Rican Bar Association; Dominican Bar Association; Long Island Hispanic Bar Association; Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County; Asian American Bar Association of New York; South Asian Bar Association of New York; and Hispanic National Bar Association, Region II (NY).

May 3, 2017

Perino’s Article Selected as One of Best Corporate and Securities Articles of 2016

Professor Michael Perino‘s article, “Is the Price Right? An Empirical Study of Fee-setting in Securities Class Actions,” has been selected as one of the Best Corporate and Securities Articles of 2016.   mp

This list reflects the choices of academic teachers in this area from more than 490 articles.  The results will be published in the upcoming issue of the Corporate Practice Commentator.  This year’s results, as well as those for the previous twenty-four years for which the list has been compiled, can be found at: Best Corporate and Securities Articles of 2016.

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