June 29, 2018

Warner Participates in UNCITRAL Discussions at United Nations

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G. Ray Warner

On June 28 and 29, Professor G. Ray Warner was at the United Nations representing the International Insolvency Institute in the UNCITRAL discussions regarding the effect of digital architectures (distributed ledgers, block chain, smart contracts, etc.) on secured transactions.

June 29, 2018

Goldweber Moderates Panel at NYC Elder Abuse Conference; Represents Elderly Fraud Victim through Consumer Justice for Elderly: Litigation Clinic

On June 13, 2018, Professor Ann Goldweber moderated a panel at the 13th Annual NYC Elder Abuse Conference sponsored by NYC Department of Aging.  goldweberThe panel discussed the impact of elder abuse on immigrants who do not have lawful status, including immigration protections and benefits for survivors of elder abuse and immigration consequences for alleged abuses. Panelists included Timothy Fallon, Senior Immigration Attorney, Her Justice and Richard Bailey, Attorney, Immigration Practice, Brooklyn Defender Services.

In her capacity as Director of the Consumer Justice for the Elderly: Litigation Clinic, Professor Goldweber also worked with clinic students and the Queens District Attorney’s Office, Senior ADA Christine Burke, Alumna ’93, to assist an elderly victim of deed theft.  The perpetrator pled guilty to a felony, the victim got his home back and on the recommendation of the DA’s office, the clinic client received restitution of $123,000.  The Clinic also received a $10,000 donation as part of the plea deal.

June 28, 2018

Boyle Interviewed on Local Television

Professor Robin Boyle was interviewed by local Brooklyn television station BRIC TV on Thursday, June 21, 2018.   BoyleAs a member of the advisory board for the Journal of the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), Professor Boyle was invited to the studio to discuss cults and the recent federal case against Nxivm, whose founder, Keith Raniere, was arrested on April 20, 2018 along with actor Allison Mack.  Raniere and Mack were indicted by the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York, on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy.  Professor Boyle’s interview can be viewed here.  She will be presenting on this topic at the annual conference of ICSA in Philadelphia on July 7, 2018.

June 21, 2018

Salomone Leads Session at Global Forum on Girls’ Education in Washington. D.C.

On June 18th Professor Rosemary Salomone opened a pre-conference session for representatives from tuition -free/state-sponsored all-girls’ schools at the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Global Forum on Girls’ Education II in Washington D.C.

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Rosemary Salomone

Participants included advocates and school directors and staff from the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Qatar, and Poland. Her presentation, “Making the Case for Single-Sex Schooling” responded to the legal and policy claims made by civil liberties groups and others against publicly supported single-sex schools, critiqued the research on which those claims are based, and detailed randomly controlled empirical studies from Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and South Korea suggesting that these schools can produce positive outcomes.

June 19, 2018

Cunningham Appointed Co-chair of NYSBA Committee on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar

Dean Larry Cunningham has been appointed co-chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar.  Vice_Dean_CunninghamAppointed by President Michael Miller, Dean Cunningham will serve as co-chair for the next year. The committee, which is composed of practicing attorneys as well as law school representatives, works on matters related to legal education, the bar exam, and admission.  He serves with Patricia Salkin, Provost (Graduate and Professional Divisions) of Touro College.

June 18, 2018

Krishnakumar Moderates Panel at Second Circuit Judicial Conference

Professor Anita S. Krishnakumar, Dean Michael A. Simons, and Professor John Q. Barrett attended the Second Circuit Judicial Conference in Saratoga Springs, New York, on June 13-15.  KrishnakumarOn June 15, Professor Krishnakumar moderated a panel titled, “Courts and the Administrative State,” featuring former Obama Administration Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and Professors Gilian Metzger (Columbia), David Vladeck (Georgetown), and Ilya Somin (George Mason).  The panel explored recent and anticipated changes in the balance of power between the judicial and executive branches, including the future of the Chevron and Auer deference doctrines, presidential efforts to adopt policies in the wake of congressional gridlock and judicial responses to such initiatives, and the role of state courts in the modern administrative state.

June 13, 2018

Subotnik Presents at UPenn Copyright Roundtable

Professor Eva Subotnik presented her paper, Copyright in Sharp Focus: An Empirical Study of Professional Photographers, co-authored with Professor Jessica Silbey (Northeastern) and Professor Peter DiCola (Northwestern), at the Third Copyright Scholarship Roundtable, held on June 8-9, 2018 at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, PA.

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Eva Subotnik

The Roundtable is designed to be a forum for the discussion of current copyright scholarship, covering a range of methodologies, topics, and perspectives. Nine papers were chosen for discussion at the Roundtable this year.

Here’s an abstract of their paper:

Photography is among the activities most profoundly changed by digitization, mobile computing, and internet connectivity. Polaroids and photo albums have given way. Many people now enjoy the ability to take thousands of high-resolution images with their smartphone, store even more in the cloud, and share them on social media. Specialized equipment and national marketing reach are more widely accessible. Like many other creative professionals today, photographers who seek to make a living from their art are feeling pressure in the new landscape. As professional photographers have experienced these technological shifts, have they adapted their business models, their creative practices, or both? What role does the law, especially copyright law, play in how professional photographers make money and how they make photographs?

To study the working situations of professional photographers, we have conducted twenty-six interviews with individuals working in various genres and at different career stages. In this Article we explain how professional photographers approach the digital, miniaturized, and networked environment by detailing one of their most basic business decisions: pricing their services. We find that our interviewees rely heavily on an initial negotiation with clients. They rely much less on sales to other businesses, organizations, or consumers in the secondary market for photographs. As a result, we see copyright law’s primary economic function for professional photographers as supporting the creator’s bargaining power in an up-front negotiation before the images are created. This stands in contrast to a model of copyright as an anti-piracy tool. Additionally, we have observed that copyright law serves critical non-economic functions—such as maintaining image quality, subject integrity, and the photographer’s reputation—each of which relates to a core notion of professionalism. These findings suggest a path forward for copyright law focused less on preventing copying and more on facilitating bargaining leverage and professional integrity, both of which are relevant to photography’s role as the dominant communicative medium in the twenty-first century. This Article, then, is a study of law as social-economic regulation in the context of rapidly changing technology and the networked marketplace.

May 31, 2018

Levine Presents at Richmond and Law & Society

On May 16, 2018, Professor Kate Levine presented her paper, Discipline and Policing, at the Richmond Law School Junior Scholars Workshop.    levineOn June 7, she will be in conversation with scholars from Brooklyn, Colorado, and Yale Law Schools at the Law and Society Association conference in Toronto about some of the problems with current police reform strategies, including the reform movement’s overreliance on transparency at the cost of important privacy principles, which she discusses at length in her paper.

Here is the abstract:

A prime focus of police reform advocates is the transparency of police discipline. Indeed, transparency is one of if not the most popular accountability solutions for a wide swath of policing problems. This Article examines the “transparency cure” as it applies to Police Disciplinary Records (“PDRs”). These records are part of an officer’s personnel file and contain reported wrongdoing from supervisors, Internal Affairs Bureaus, and Citizen Complaint Review Boards.

This Article argues that making PDRs public is worthy of skeptical examination. First, it problematizes the notion that transparency is a worthy end-goal for those who desire to see police reform in general. Transparency is often seen as a solution with no downside, but this Article argues that, in the realm of PDRs, it comes with at least two major tradeoffs: first making PDRs public will not lead to the accountability that advocates seek, and in fact may cause retrenchment from police departments. Second, transparency on an individual level necessarily comes with major privacy tradeoffs.

The problem with individualized transparency is not theoretical. in fact, it has been much critiqued by scholars in a different but comparable realm: the wide dissemination of criminal records. PDRs and criminal records have similar problems: due process issues, inaccuracy, arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement, and permanent reputational harm. Indeed, the rhetoric used by law enforcement to defend their privacy rights sounds almost identical to the critiques scholars make of criminal record transparency.

This Article argues that the comparison of PDRs and Criminal Records is instructive because it allows us to view criminal records through a new lens. As with criminal record publication, forced PDR transparency will likely not solve the problems advocates hope it will. Thus, the Article concludes that a more nuanced regime should be put in place for PDRs, and that advocates should use law enforcement rhetoric to support a more privacy-protective regime for criminal records.

 

 

May 30, 2018

Sovern Presents at Teaching Consumer Law Conference, Has Op-Ed in Daily News, and is Quoted by Media

Professor Jeff Sovern was a panelist at the University of Houston Law Center’s Tenth Teaching Consumer Law Conference, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on May 18. Sovern’s topic was “Teaching Consumer Law: What Has Been Included–What Should Be?”

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Jeff Sovern

On May 24, Professor Sovern’s op-ed, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Leaving the Public High and Dry, ran in the New York Daily News. Professor Sovern expalined:

[CFPB Acting Director] Mulvaney once called the bureau a “sad, sick joke” and co-sponsored a bill to eliminate it. The solution he has adopted to run an agency he thinks should not exist is to “be a good bureaucrat,” and do what the law requires — but no more. Mulvaney even extends this strict-construction approach to congressional testimony: He explained that he did not have to answer questions from the members of Congress because the statute said he had to “appear” before them but said nothing about responding to their queries — though he did so.

A problem with this grudging approach is that no legislature can write statutes to prohibit all the ways businesses devise to take advantage of consumers. When the bureau, then led by Obama appointee Richard Cordray, fined Wells Fargo $100 million for opening millions of unauthorized accounts, it did not rely on a statute that said banks cannot open sham accounts, because there is no such statute. Instead, the bureau used the more general authority Congress had given it to punish banks for unfair and abusive practices.

But a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that interprets those powers as applying only to Wells Fargo will not provide consumers needed protection against other financial institutions. And not even Wells Fargo would have to worry if the Republican-controlled House of Representatives gets its way on a bill it passed to do away with the bureau’s power to sue financial institutions for unfair and abusive practices.

On May 8, Sovern was quoted in the Washington Examiner in an article headlined House Votes to End Obama-era Auto Lending Crackdown, kicking off legal debate​. According to the article:

“In the longer term, if the bureau gets leadership that wants to enforce the underlying law, I still doubt that it changes enforcement because the [Congressional Review Act] does not say anything about enforcement,” noted Jeff Sovern, a law professor at St. John’s University, “but rather only prohibits disapproved rules from taking effect and bars the agency from issuing rules that are substantially the same.”

Sovern is one of a few academics who have been in a debate over the ramifications of the disapproval with lawyers with Ballard Spahr, a law firm that represents financial institutions.

Finally, on April 9, BNA/Bloomberg ran an article captioned CFPB’s Mulvaney, Democrats Prepare for Battle in Congress about a forthcoming congressional hearing. The article stated:

There have also been changes in CFPB fair lending enforcement and data collection policies that need answers, said Jeff Sovern, a professor at St. John’s University Law School.

“This is an opportunity to learn more about what is happening at the bureau and for the members of the committee to fulfill their oversight function and I hope that is what happens,” Sovern said in an email.

May 22, 2018

Movsesian Comments on Masterpiece Cakeshop Case at Princeton Conference

Professor Mark Movsesian spoke about the upcoming Supreme Court decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop on a panel, “Religious Freedom at Home and Abroad,” at Princeton University ​on May 18.

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Mark Movsesian

The panel was part of a conference, “Taking the Measure of Where We Are Today,” sponsored by Princeton’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, where Professor Movsesian is a visiting fellow this year. Other panelists were John DiIulio, Jr. (University of Pennsylvania), Michael Stokes Paulsen (University of St. Thomas School of Law), and Katrina Lantos Sweet (Lantos Foundation).

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