November 16, 2016

Levine’s Article Selected for Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize

Professor Kate Levine‘s article, Who Shouldn’t Prosecute the Police, 101 Iowa L. Rev. 1447 (2016), has been selected as one of the co-winners of the seventh annual Fred C. Zacharias Memorial Prize for Scholarship in Professional Responsibility.  levine

The other co-winner is
Leslie C. Levin, for Lawyers Going Bare and Clients Going Blind, 68 Fla. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2016).

Kate will be presented with the award at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Francisco in January 2017.

November 15, 2016

Subotnik Presents at MSU IP Seminar

On Tuesday November 1st, Professor Eva Subotnik presented her work on postmortem copyrights at the MSU IP Capstone Seminar at Michigan State University College of Law.


Eva Subotnik

Her presentation, facilitated by remote video link technology, discussed issues that surround dead-hand control by authors and the role played by copyright successors. The seminar series, described here, includes MSU’s top IP students and interested faculty, and it hosts leading young scholars to present papers or works-in-progress. Links to Professor Subotnik’s work can be found here.

November 14, 2016

Greenberg Presents on Bankruptcy Mediation and Moderates Panel at Interfaith Conference

On November 2, 2016, Professor Elayne Greenberg moderated the keynote panel at the Third Annual Interfaith Conference on Ethno and Religious Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding sponsored by the Interfaith Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation and the Interchurch Center. The keynote speakers, Pastor Don Mackenzie, Rabbi Ted Falcon and Imam Jamal Rahman known as the Interfaith Amigos, discussed how the shared values in Judaism, Christianity and Islam can form bonds to unite us.  image

On November 11, 2016, Professor Greenberg presented on Bankruptcy Mediation sponsored by the Commercial Law League of America’s Fall Conference in Manhattan. Her co-panelistics included Judge Alan Trust, a Bankruptcy Judge in the Eastern District of New and an adjunct professor in St. John’s Bankruptcy LL.M program and Albert Togut, partner of Togut, Segal & Segal and an esteemed St. John’s alum.

November 14, 2016

Borgen and McGuinness Speak at International Law Weekend about Recognition and Non-recognition Under International Law

On Friday, October 28th, Professor Christopher J. Borgen and Professor Margaret E. McGuinness, the co-directors of St. John’s Center for International and Comparative Law, were panelists at International Law Weekend, the annual conference organized by the American Branch of the International Law Association.

mcguinness                               borgen

They both spoke on the panel “The Recognition and Non-recognition of States and Governments: Current Issues in U.S. Practice.” For over five years the International Law Association’s Committee on Recognition and Non-Recognition has studied how states do or do not recognize other regimes as states and governments. This panel brought together members from the ILA Committee to discuss the findings of their reports. Professor Borgen is the Co-Rapporteur of the Committee and Professor McGuinness is a member of the Committee. Borgen’s presentation analyzed U.S. diplomatic practice in the recognition and non-recognition of regimes that want to be considered states, including entities like ISIS (that may be trying to become a state) as well as separatist regimes such as South Ossetia in Georgia. McGuinness’s presentation considered the effects of recognition and non-recognition of states and governments in the U.S. court system, including examples from recent federal litigation.

November 11, 2016

Borgen and McGuinness Convene Opinio Juris Bloggers to Discuss International Law and the Next U.S. President

On October 26th, Professor Christopher J. Borgen and Professor Margaret E. McGuinness, the co-directors of St. John’s Center for International and Comparative Law, convened a group of their colleagues from Opinio Juris, a leading website of debate and discussion about international law, for a conversation about international law and U.S. foreign policy in this Presidential election year.      mcguinnessborgen

Professors Borgen and McGuinness, and their colleague Professor Julian Ku from Hoftsra Law founded Opinio Juris in 2005.

In the last eleven years, the site has expanded from a few dozen visits per day to a current total of over six million visits. The masthead has grown to ten law professors, plus there have been hundreds of guest bloggers. Together, they have written over 9,000 posts on international legal issues. Opinio Juris has also become a resource for information about international law on Twitter, with over 11,000 followers, and also on Facebook, with over 6,000 followers. For their discussion, which took place in the Law School’s Moot Court Room to an audience of over 70 students, faculty, and alums, Professors Borgen and McGuinness were joined by Professor Ku as well as Professor Kristen Boon (Seton Hall Law School) and Professor Deborah Pearlstein (Cardozo School of Law).

Topics included the ongoing conflict in Syria, tensions in the South China Sea, the situation in Ukraine, the status of the United Nations, and the Obama Administration’s record on human rights issues. The roundtable was co-sponsored by the American Branch of the International Law Association and the New York State Bar Association, International Section Committee on Public International Law. It was introduced by St. John’s Law alum and Adjunct Professor, Mark A. Meyer, a member of the law firm Herzfeld & Rubin and Co-Chair of the Public International Law Committee of the NYSBA.

November 8, 2016

Federal Education Department Relies on St. John’s Arbitration Study

The federal Department of Education recently issued new student loan regulations barring the use of pre-dispute arbitration clauses.


Jeff Sovern

In so doing, it relied in part on ‘Whimsy Little Contracts’ with Unexpected Consequences: An Empirical Analysis of Consumer Understanding of Arbitration Agreements, 75 Maryland Law Review 1 (2015), authored by Professor Jeff Sovern, Professor Elayne E. Greenberg, Dean Paul F. Kirgis, and Yuxiang Liu. The Department cited “Whimsy Little Contracts” for the proposition that “consumers commonly lack understanding of the consequences of arbitration agreements.” 81 FR 75926-01, 76028 2016 WL 6408735.  The nearly-300 page document explaining the new regulations cited only three other law review articles.

The article has drawn attention from other quarters as well. On August 3, 65 members of Congress joined in a letter supporting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed arbitration regulation, which quoted a letter from 210 law professors. The first article cited in the law professor letter is “Whimsy Little Contracts.”  The article had previously been discussed by the CFPB in its 2015 Arbitration Report, and has been cited more than twenty times, including by the New Jersey Supreme Court in Morgan v. Sanford Brown Institute, — A.3d –, 225 N.J. 289 (2016).

November 7, 2016

Borgen Speaks at West Point on International Law and Complex Battlespaces

On October 24 and 25th, Professor Christopher J. Borgen, co-director of St. John’s Center for International and Comparative Law, participated in a workshop entitled “Complex Battlespaces: the Law of Armed Conflict and the Dynamics of Modern Warfare,” hosted by West Point’s new Lieber Institute for Law and Land Warfare and the US Naval War College’s Stockton Center for the Study of International Law. borgen

The workshop gathered a group of scholars, lawyers, and officers (many participants being all three) from the US, the UK, and Israel to consider emergent issues in modern combat, including autonomous weapons, urban warfare, and adversaries that are non-state actors. Borgen’s presentation considered how decisions to recognize, or to refuse to recognize, an entity as a state, a government, or a belligerency might affect that entity’s access to resources and how that might in turn affect its strategy and tactics.

November 4, 2016

Wade Presents Paper at Washington & Lee Symposium

Professor Cheryl L. Wade presented her paper, “Compliance as Corporate Social Responsibility” on a panel at Washington & Lee University School of Law on October 22, 2016.  Wade_lores_web

The panel was part of a conference entitled “Corporate Law, Governance, and Purpose: A Tribute to the Scholarship of Lyman Johnson and David Millon.” Academics, lawyers and judges, including Leo Strine, Jr., Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, Jack Jacobs, Senior Counsel at Sidley Austin LLP and former Justice on the Delaware Supreme Court, and Jospeh R. Slights, Vice Chancellor, Delaware Court of Chancery, paid tribute to and critiqued the progressive corporate law movement. Professor Wade’s paper will be published in the next volume of The Washington & Lee Law Review.

November 3, 2016

Cunningham’s Article Cited by Connecticut Supreme Court

Vice Dean Larry Cunningham’s article, Appellate Review of Unpreserved Questions in Criminal Cases: An Attempt to Define the “Interest of Justice”, was cited favorably by Justice Richard N. Palmer’s concurrence in State v. Bellamy, a decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court.


Larry Cunningham

The case concerned whether Connecticut appellate courts should consider challenges to jury instructions when no objection was made at the trial court level. Justice Palmer’s concurrence was joined by Justice Andrew J. McDonald. Dean Cunningham’s article is the leading one to discuss the ability of appellate courts to review unpreserved claims on appeal. The articles articulates a framework by which appellate courts can analyze legal issues that are raised for the first time on appeal. Dean Cunningham’s has previously been cited by the highest courts in Alaska and Mississippi. Dean Cunningham’s scholarship focuses on appellate practice, criminal justice ethics, and legal education. He is the author of a blog on assessment in law schools.

November 3, 2016

Sovern Gives Presentation to City Bar Committee on Consumer Affairs

On October 26, Professor Jeff Sovern spoke on arbitration to the New York City Bar Association Committee on Consumer Affairs.


Jeff Sovern

Professor Sovern discussed an article he co-authored with Professor Elayne Greenberg, Dean (and former St. John’s law professor) Paul Kirgis, and Yuxiang Liu, ‘Whimsy Little Contracts’ with Unexpected Consequences: An Empirical Analysis of Consumer Understanding of Arbitration Agreements, 75 Maryland Law Review 1 (2015), as well as the CFPB’s proposed arbitration rule.

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