March 2006

Full-time Faculty

(listed in reverse alphabetical order)
  • Tim Wu penned a Slate editorial titled "Holy Grail Wars: The latest battle over The Da Vinci Code" (March 13, 2006) to analyze a copyright infringement claim that alleges the author of The Da Vinci Code stole his ideas from a 1982 bestseller. Because the authors of the earlier book claim to be presenting a real historical truth, Prof. Wu finds their claim has little legal merit: "To claim the truth is fine, but to own it is not."

  • Susan Sturm and Lecturer-in-law Ted Shaw '79, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, responded to the news that many colleges are opening minority-only scholarships to all students in the New York Times ("Colleges Open Minority Aid to All Comers," March 14, 2006). "They're all trying to minimize their legal exposure," Prof. Sturm said. "The question is how are they doing that, and are they doing that in a way that's going to shut down any effort or any successful effort to diversify the student body?"

    Ted Shaw challenged the notion that programs for minority students hurt whites. "How is it that they conclude that the great evil in this country is discrimination against white people?" Mr. Shaw asked. "Can I put that question any more pointedly? I struggle to find the words to do it because it's so stunning."

  • Carol Sanger provided comment for an article about fathers fighting to raise their children after the mothers put them up for adoption ("Unwed Fathers Fight for Babies Placed for Adoption by Mothers," New York Times, March 19, 2006). Prof. Sanger said the "father registries" that men are required to join to assert their parental rights reflect a deep societal belief that unmarried fathers are irresponsible. On March 27, Prof. Sanger appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" in a segment titled "Fathers Fight for Paternal Rights" to discuss father's rights and responsibilities to care for their children.

  • Peter Rosenblum appeared in a story about ExxonMobil's two missed monthly royalty payments to Chad due for crude sales from the country's oilfield development ("Player Behind on Doba Crude Cash, " Upstream, March 3, 2006). The article highlighted Prof. Rosenblum's memorandum about the legal avenues through which ExxonMobil can preserve the partnership with Chad and the World Bank, in which Prof. Rosenblum wrote of a "moral obligation" to ensure the continued partnership between Chad and the Bretton Woods institutions.

  • Eben Moglen was quoted about the updating of the General Public Licence, the legal document which makes free software available, in the Economist ("Open, but not as Usual: Open-Source Business," March 18, 2006). The revision to the GPL began last year, and it will enable the license to handle issues such as patents and online services.

  • Thomas Merrill spoke about the history of eminent domain in regards to the takeover of a private golf course in Long Island ("Precedent Cited for Golf Course Takeover," Newsday, March 9, 2006). He appeared in the New York Times later in the month to discuss the same subject ("Of the Rich, Eminent Domain and Golf," March 26, 2006). Of the proposed seizure, Prof. Merrill said, "It seems to me like you are courting disaster by using eminent domain in a highly unusual and aggressive way."

  • Michael Dorf commented on a recent survey finding that fewer than one percent of adults could identify the five protected rights of the First Amendment ("About those 1st Amendment rights, Doh!" Chicago Tribune, March 1, 2006). Prof. Dorf said that if people ignore their rights, those rights might disappear. "The Constitution is just a piece of paper," he said. "What makes it work is a public commitment to living under it. And that requires some minimal understanding of what it entails." On March 22, Prof. Dorf was quoted in the Washington Post on a lawsuit by a legislative watchdog group to block a budget-cutting law that passed in different forms in the House and the Senate ("Spending Measure Not a Law, Suit Says," March 22, 2006).

  • John Coffee spoke about the merger of Chicago-based Archipelago Holdings and the New York Stock Exchange in the Chicago Tribune on March 8 ("NYSE, Archipelago Complete Merger"). "This is a positive, historic event," Prof. Coffee said. He also was quoted the same day on the subject in the New York Sun article "Exchange Begins Trading Shares of Itself."

    Additionally, as an expert on the ongoing Enron prosecution, Prof. Coffee has appeared on programs on the BBC, CNBC and Reuters TV, and has been quoted in the New York Times and USA Today ("Watkins Set to Take the Stand Today," March 15, 2005), among others. 

    Prof. Coffee also discussed securities law issues in the Los Angeles Times ("In Pellicano Case, It's a Dance Over Indictment," March 20, 2006), Newsday ("High Court sets Limits on Some Class Actions," March 22, 2006), the Associated Press, NPR and the New York Sun (March 21, 2006).

  • Barbara Black '55, Judith Vladeck '47 and Constance Baker Motley '46 were featured in a documentary about New York's most prominent women lawyers that received mention in the New York Law Journal ("Accolades: Film to Honor Women Lawyers," March 10, 2006).
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Centers/ Events/ Others

  • Ellen Wayne, Dean of Career Services, was quoted in an article about pay hikes for first-year associates at major law firms nationwide ("The Matching Game: Why Firms Follow Firms on Salaries," Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2006). She said one of the forces driving the market among competitive firms was the assumption among students that they will receive the "going rate" at large law firms. She also said that money was only one of a number of factors that govern student employment choice--training and professional development is, for many students, equally if not more important.

  • Cindy Soohoo, director of the Bringing Human Rights Home project at Columbia Law School, appeared on the WPAI program "Wake Up Call" this morning to discuss the UN'S new Human Rights Commission on March 20, 2006. An audio file of the broadcast can be found here:  (Scroll down past the news from the 7 a.m. hour and click on "listen now." The segment runs from 7:15 - 7:30 a.m.) |

  • Columbia Law students were featured in an article about initiatives to help Hurricane Katrina victims, including Columbia's New Orleans-themed fundraiser at the West End and law students' participation in the Student Hurricane Network ("Students Head South For Katrina Project," New York Law Journal, March 3, 2006). Adam Pulver '08 led a group of Columbia Law students on a spring break trip to New Orleans to work with the ACLU Voter Rights Project, the NAACP and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under the Law.

  • An article about international law programs in the National Law Journal quoted a University of Southern California Law School associate dean on USC's emulation of Columbia Law: "We modeled our program on Columbia and spent a lot of time talking to them about their program ... They really stand out as a leader in [international legal education]" ("Thinking Globally," March 2, 2006). Amanda Maurer, Senior Director of International Programs, said Columbia hopes to create more joint-degree programs like the one currently offered in conjunction with a university in Paris.

  • Columbia Law's newest clinic, the first in the nation to promote civil rights impact litigation concerning lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people, was featured in the New York Law Journal ("On the ‘Cutting Edge,'" March 10, 2006). Suzanne B. Goldberg, who will serve as director of the new Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, was quoted, saying, "It's something whose time has come." Dean David Schizer also appeared in the article to comment on the clinic's significance.
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