MARKETWATCH: A Champion of Investors Who Betrayed His Own August 30, 2007 ``Investors are losing an ally and enemy in Bill Lerach. … `He was the quintessential attorney general,’ said John Coffee, a securities professor at Columbia University who's known Lerach for many years. `But he got into the same kind of trouble as another attorney general, Mr. (Alberto) Gonzales.’ Coffee believes Lerach's ultimate influence will be the advancement of the securities class action, that, rightly or wrongly, investors can hold management accountable for wrongdoing.’’ This story was picked up by CNNMoney.com and other media outlets.
FINDLAW: The Sins of Alberto Gonzales, and Advice for the Next Attorney General August 29, 2007 BYLINE: MICHAEL C. DORF ``On Monday, Attorney General Gonzales announced that he will leave office next month. President Bush greeted the news with sadness, describing Gonzales as a faithful public servant whose `good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons.’ The claim that Gonzales came under sustained critical scrutiny because of ordinary politics is absurd on its face. For one thing, even many Republicans in Congress repeatedly expressed skepticism about Gonzales's performance. For another, if simple politics were at work in the way the President claimed, Democrats would have been willy-nilly calling for the resignation of all Bush Administration officials. Democrats had no reason to single out Gonzales for criticism--no reason, that is, other than his performance. In this column, I will explain what was wrong with the way Gonzales did his job as Attorney General, and offer a suggestion for his successor.’’ … Michael C. Dorf is the Isidor & Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia University.
NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL: Who Will Replace Gonzales? August 29, 2007 ``Two of the more interesting and potentially confirmable of the nearly dozen names floated to replace Alberto Gonzales as U.S. attorney general are Solicitor General Paul D. Clement and retired New York federal judge Michael Mukasey. … Michael Chertoff, head of the Department of Homeland Security and a former judge, night not be the right choice. `If you asked me two years ago, I'd say absolutely yes, but in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, some have focused on his role,’ said Michael Dorf, law professor at Columbia University School of Law.’’
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Gonzales Never Figured out His Proper Role August 29, 2007 ``James Tierney is a lecturer in law and the director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School. He served as the attorney general of Maine from 1980-1990 and is a consultant to attorneys general and others regarding state regulatory structures and multistate initiatives. He spoke to The Inquirer about the resignation of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who on Monday announced his intention to resign Sept. 17. … James Tierney: `Gonzales viewed himself as the president's lawyer, not as a law enforcement officer. As such, he did not listen to or consider the views or concerns of state and local law enforcement officials, and that has led to policy drift and budget cuts that have had a devastating impact on the safety and security of Americans.’’’
NEWS JOURNAL (Wilmington, Delaware): Del. Lawmakers Welcome Gonzales Move August 28, 2007 ``Delaware's congressional delegation reacted to the news of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation with a mix of relief and `I-told-you-so.’ James Tierney, the former attorney general of Maine and now the head of Columbia Law School's National State Attorneys General Program, said the departure marks, `a great day for career law enforcement on the state and federal level.’ He said Gonzales' short tenure has created needless turmoil and disruption for the law enforcement community and `complicated’ numerous cases.’’
ARS TECHNICA (blog): Glowing Report on State of US Cellular Market Overlooks Problems August 28, 2007 ``The US cellular phone market is in fine shape—at least compared to Europe's. That's the opinion of a new report (PDF) from The American Consumer Institute, a free-market advocacy group that has very little in common with groups such as Consumer Reports publisher Consumers Union. … Earlier this year, Columbia University law professor Tim Wu suggested that wireless carriers be required to observe the principles of network neutrality. In his paper, Wu pointed out a number of ways in which the dominant cellular carriers in the US have slowed down the development of new applications and devices.’’
WALL STREET JOURNAL: Politics, Time Deepen Challenge to Find Successor (subscription required) August 28, 2007 ``In seeking a replacement for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the Bush administration must find a candidate acceptable to Congress and able to reinvigorate a demoralized, fractured Justice Department. … James Tierney, director of the National State Attorney General Program at Columbia Law School, said a Hatch nomination would be interesting. `People would say he's a politician but I don't think there's a reason to believe he couldn't be an honorable attorney general and that's really what we want,’ Mr. Tierney said.’’
BUSINESS WEEK: Why Apple Can't Stop iPhone Hackers August 28, 2007 ``It sure sounds like a steal. On Aug. 31, George Hotz plans to trade in his iPhone for a metallic blue Nissan (NSANY) 350Z sports car and three brand-new iPhones. … Problem is, it could be argued that, in reality, the lock only protects access to a carrier's communications network—and communications services aren't copyrightable under the Act, explains Jane Ginsburg, professor of literary and artistic property law at Columbia Law School. `This law was written for DVDs and video games,’ she explains. `What's going on here is using the Copyright Act to achieve another objective.’’’ This story was picked up by The Inquirer (U.K.) and other media outlets.
MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE: Editorial: Gonzales Gets the Message August 28, 2007 ``In offering his resignation Monday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales finally acknowledged what most Americans recognized months ago: The U.S. Department of Justice has lost the confidence of the public, the Congress and the legal profession, and it cannot function until it regains that trust. … Columbia University law professor Daniel Richman, a former assistant U.S. attorney, says federal prosecutors were instructed to pursue cases that advanced the White House political agenda -- immigration and voter-fraud cases, in particular --which undercut the professional judgment and local autonomy necessary for effective law enforcement.’’
THE AMERICAN LAWYER: Gonzales Announces Resignation August 27, 2007 ``Attorney General Alberto Gonzales -- the nation's troubled top law enforcement officer -- ended speculation Monday and resigned after a months-long standoff with the Democratic-controlled Congress over his candor on several major issues, most notably the handling of the firing of at least eight U.S. attorneys. … `Gonzales and those around him showed a lack of concern for the professional traditions of the department and a lack of respect for professional personnel,’ says Dan Richman, professor at Columbia University School of Law and a former consultant to the Justice Department.’’
STATELINE.ORG: Lobbyists Targeting State Attorneys General August 27, 2007 ``He runs a business helping corporate clients influence government policy, but former Nebraska Attorney General Donald Stenberg (R) isn’t listed in the state’s database of registered lobbyists – nor does the law require him to register. … That approach makes lobbying aimed at attorneys general far different from the lobbying directed at legislators, said James Tierney, the former attorney general of Maine and now the director of Columbia University’s National State Attorneys General Program. Direct requests for attorneys general to take a desired action `would be very offensive,’ Tierney said. Instead, lobbyists primarily explain the positions of the companies that pay them, he said, and do not typically make the kind of requests that are more common in the legislative branch.’’
BOSTON GLOBE: China's Doors Wide Open for Mass. High Schoolers August 26, 2007 ``Intent on giving their graduates an edge in the workforce, public high schools across the state are sending students to China, where they live with host families in high-rise apartments and study alongside Chinese peers in crowded classrooms, experiencing the country in a way tourists rarely do. … Ben Liebman was among the first group of students Newton sent to Beijing in 1986. It was a daunting trip at a time when China was less familiar to American students, said Liebman, now a professor and director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia Law School. … ‘It's the most important thing I've ever done in my life,’ said Liebman, 38. `None of this would have happened without this exchange.’’’
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pros See Cons in LiLo's Sentence August 26, 2007 ``Twelve-stepper Lindsay Lohan wrangled a sweet plea deal from prosecutors but, in a Hollywood-worthy twist, her one day in jail may help the people suing her. … Columbia Law School professor John Coffee said Berk likely considered the civil complaints when she worked out Lohan's deal. Specifically, the pleas of no contest to the drunken and reckless driving charges mean the troubled actress ‘can still seek to deny liability in a subsequent civil trial,’ Coffee said.’’
NEW YORK TIMES: After Plea, Vick Is Given Suspension by the N.F.L. August 25, 2007 ``The National Football League suspended Michael Vick indefinitely without pay yesterday after he admitted in court papers that he paid for dogfighting bets and helped kill underperforming dogs. … In a telephone interview, Daniel C. Richman, a professor at Columbia University School of Law and a former assistant United States attorney, said of Vick’s plea agreement, `It could lead to an investigation that could go in an entirely different direction, and he could be used to testify in front of a grand jury investigating other matters.’’’ This story was picked up by The DayandSt. Paul Pioneer Pressamong other media outlets.
NEW YORK TIMES: As Woes Grow, Mortgage Ads Keep Up Pitch August 25, 2007 ``Wall Street may have soured on the mortgage business. But on television, radio and the Internet, the industry is as ebullient as ever. … ‘You do get an immediate positive feedback,’ said James E. Tierney, director of the national state attorneys general program at Columbia Law School in New York and a former attorney general. ‘But it’s hard to make it a sustainable success since there are so many lenders and ads.’’’ This story was picked up by The Tuscaloosa News among other media outlets.
NEWSWEEK: iHacked my iPhone August 25, 2007 ``Hackers around the world had one goal this summer: ‘unlock’ the iPhone and allow users to ditch AT&T's exclusive service contract. … ‘It's an exception that's never been tested’ in the courts, says Timothy Wu, a former telecomm lawyer and professor at Columbia Law School. ‘The copyright office wanted to say, 'This is for protecting DVDs, not to protect the cell-phone industry.'’’’
THE STRAITS TIMES (Singapore): Law Society Should Pay Clients of Errant Lawyers August 25, 2007 ``I read with concern the report, 'Another lawyer disappears overseas' (ST, Aug 22), in which 'a lawyer allegedly skipped town over the weekend with about $68, 000, suspected to have been stolen from a former client's account'. … Recently, the Columbia Law School released the results of a survey on the public perception of attorneys. …’
C-SPAN, WASHINGTON JOURNAL August 22, 2007 ``HOST: ‘Scott Horton, contributor to ‘Harper's Magazine’, joins us from New York. … There's an opinion piece by Philip Bobbitt today in ‘The New York Times’ – the headline, The Warrantless Debate over Wiretapping … HORTON: Philip Bobbitt, of course, has been with us at Columbia University Law School this last year. Spent a lot of time with the National Security Council in the White House and reflects, I think, the view of the national security establishment in Washington on these issues. And I think, from a logical perspective, of course, what he is saying is true but runs smack into the face of a long, well-established constitutional tradition in the United States …’’ Scott Horton is a lecturer-in-law at Columbia Law School. Discussion of Bobbitt’s op-ed also appeared on the ABA Journal Daily News,The Daily Kos and other blogs and news outlets.
NEW YORK TIMES: The Warrantless Debate Over Wiretapping August 22, 2007 BYLINE: PHILIP BOBBITT ``Congress just passed, and President Bush hurriedly signed, a law that amends the legal framework for the electronic interception of various kinds of communication with foreign sources. Almost immediately, commentators concluded that the law was unnecessary, that it authorized a lawless and unprecedented expansion of presidential authority, and that Democrats in Congress cravenly accepted this White House initiative only for the basest political reasons. None of these widely broadcast conclusions are likely to be true.’’ …Philip Bobbitt, a professor of law and the director of the Center for National Security at Columbia University, was a National Security Council senior director from 1998 to 1999.
WALL STREET JOURNAL: All-Star Cast in Securities Law Are 'Friends' in High-Court Case August 22, 2007 ``The list of high-powered attorneys, law professors and former government officials weighing in on a case to be argued in front of the Supreme Court this fall reads like a who's who in securities law. … Among the boldfaced names: William Donaldson and Arthur Levitt, both former chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who along with former SEC Commissioner Harvey Goldschmid filed a brief on behalf of the shareholder plaintiffs.’’ Harvey Goldschmid is the Dwight Professor of Law.
PROVIDENCE JOURNAL: Insanity Ruling Costs 2 Men Their Right to Vote August 21, 2007 ``It has been nearly 20 years since judges confined William Sarmento and John A. Sarro to a state mental hospital here. … But Paul S. Appelbaum, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, said that policymakers and the courts seem to be moving away from broad-brush bans on voting and toward a more careful, case-by-case approach. `The trend in the last two decades has been to recognize that merely because someone is mentally ill, merely because they have been hospitalized, merely the fact that they have been placed under guardianship, does not necessarily mean that they are incompetent to vote,’ he said.’’ Paul Appelbaum is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Law.
NEW YORK TIMES: As Japan and India Forge Economic Ties, a Counterweight to China Is Seen August 21, 2007 ``When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan touches down in India this week, it will be the highest-level step yet in what analysts say is a long-term effort to balance, if not contain, China’s growing economic and political might. … `Whatever doubts Japan had for so long, now India is smelling like roses,’ said Jagdish N. Bhagwati, an economist and a professor at Columbia University and a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. `They want to get in before it is too late.’’’
NEW YORK TIMES: A Quest to Get More Court Rulings Online, and Free August 20, 2007 One project, AltLaw (altlaw.org) is a joint effort by Columbia Law School’s Program on Law and Technology and the Silicon Flatirons program at the University of Colorado Law School to permit free full-text searches of the last decade of federal appellate and Supreme Court opinions. “I’m a legal academic and I woke up one day and thought, ‘Why can’t I get cases the same way I get stuff on Google?’’’ said Tim Wu, a Columbia law professor who is one of the leaders of the project. “People should be able to get cases easily. This is a big exception to the way information has opened up over the past decade.’’
CONSUMERIST (blog): Got An Inactive Macy's Store Account? Here's Your New Citibank Mastercard August 20, 2007 ``Recently, a Consumerist tipster sent in an internal memo from Macy's explaining that the store was `flipping’ 3.5 million inactive store accounts into Citibank Mastercards. … Professor Ronald Mann of Columbia University is an expert on electronic commerce and the credit card industry, so we asked what he thought of Macy's memo. Although Professor Mann had never heard of `flipping’ either, he speculated that what was really going on was a `transfer of data’ from Macy's to Citibank. ‘By aggregating this information with other information CitiBank has about these people, CitiBank would enhance its ability to design products that would both be profitable for CitiBank and attractive for these people. I expect that CitiBank paid Macy's a substantial amount for the data,’ he told Consumerist in an email.’’
TIME: Can We Avoid Another Virginia Tech? August 2007 ``As a state panel in Virginia continues to investigate the fatal shootings at Virginia Tech, university and local mental-health officials have been arguing over who's to blame for not making sure Cho Seung-Hui, the troubled student who shot and killed 32 people before killing himself on April 16, received the outpatient psychiatric treatment a judge had ordered for him in 2005. … `The bottom line is that administrators and clinicians have much more discretion than they may believe with regard to sharing information,’ says Dr. Paul Appelbaum, director of the Division of Psychiatry, Law, and Ethics, Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University.’’
NEW HAVEN REGISTER: Tough '3-Strikes' law stirs debate; Connecticut eyes California model in wake of Cheshire massacre August 20, 2007 California has the strictest ``three strikes and you're out’’ law in the country… and some lawmakers here are responding to the brutal July 23 murders in Cheshire by calling for a similar measure. ``I think it's always a mistake to pass legislation in the aftermath of a tragedy," said professor James E. Tierney, director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School and Maine's former attorney general. ``You just don't get it right; solid investment into parole officers, more money for district attorneys -- that's what works.’’
FINANCIAL TIMES: Seidman Highlights Auditor Liability Fears August 16, 2007 ``The auditing profession’s nightmare scenario moved a little closer to reality this week. … Jack Coffee, professor at Columbia Law School, says: ‘It’s even worse because this is a smaller firm. These firms are the primary hope that we could develop a larger base of auditors and thus have a larger base of competition. This is a poster child for the argument that there should be a ceiling on [auditor] liability.’’’
NEW YORK TIMES: Greatest Threat to Vick May Be Links to Gambling August 15, 2007 ``The assertion that Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick gambled on dogfighting appears to be a more serious threat to his professional football career and freedom than the federal felony charges that he helped organize and run a dogfighting ring. … `The government is doing two things at once,’ Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School, said in a telephone interview. `It is putting more pressure on him to plead guilty by raising the potential sentence. And the government is also creating a framework within which it can prove a broader range of criminal activity and increase its likelihood of gaining at least one conviction at trial.’’’
LINUX INSIDER: New Tool Outs Would-Be Wikipedia Tricksters August 15, 2007 ``Organizations will find it more difficult to promote hidden agendas or play dirty tricks on opponents through bogus entries on Wikipedia, thanks to WikiScanner. … `The Web as a tool for coordinating what people think and know, as a kind of exoskeletal nervous system for humanity, is just beginning,’ Eben Moglen, professor of law at Columbia Law School and founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center, told LinuxInsider. `We are barely 10 years into the gestation of what is fundamentally as deep as the invention of writing thousands of years ago.’’’ This story was picked up by TechNewsWorld, E-Commerce Times and other media outlets.
August 14, 2007 ``In his speech at the Chautauqua Institution August 7, Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) spoke of the need for humility in government. … But James Tierney (D), a former attorney general of Maine and the director of Columbia Law School’s National State Attorneys General Program, said he hoped Spitzer would not go too far. Tierney pointed out that of the nine current governors who had previously served as state attorneys general, Spitzer is the only one without any non-prosecutorial public sector experience. `Eliot’s the über-lawyer,’ he said, explaining that rather than being defined by a hard-charging prosecutorial mentality, he has `more finely-honed skill sets.’’’
August 14, 2007 ``Employers will have to reconsider how they respond to Social Security Administration no-match letters in light of the Homeland Security Department’s plan to take a tough stand on immigration enforcement through administrative means, attorneys told BNA Aug. 13. ... While there have been predictions that the new rule could result in millions of immigrant workers being fired, Theodore Ruthizer of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel in New York said that the rule will have a wide impact on employers but he did not expect mass firings. `A lot of people are going to leave the workplace, but I see them disappearing into the night instead of being fired,’ said Ruthizer, head of Kramer Levin’s business immigration practice.’’ Lecturer-in-Law Ted Ruthizer teaches immigration law and policy at Columbia Law School.
August 14, 2007 ``Payday has finally come for hundreds of thousands of U.S. customers whose money has been tied up for months in a beleaguered Internet money-transfer service popular among gamblers. … `As a general matter, the federal government's interest is in going after the bookmaker instead of the gambler,’ says Joseph DeMarco, an Internet and privacy attorney who used to be assistant U.S. Attorney in Manhattan.’’ Lecturer-in-Law Joe DeMarco teaches the Internet and Computer Crimes Seminar at Columbia Law School.
August 14, 2007 ``Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. on Wednesday morning will launch an exclusive Internet exchange for banks and dealers to trade ‘private’ stocks and bonds unavailable to retail investors. … John Coffee, a securities law professor at Columbia University, said the Nasdaq is likely upgrading PORTAL in response to the creation of private trading platforms by investment banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. … The proliferation of private trading systems may increase the incentives for companies to raise money privately, rather than offer shares to the public, Coffee said. But such private listing opportunities have existed before and PORTAL is unlikely to cause `a rush from the public markets,’ he said.’’ This story was picked up by the Houston Chronicle,Forbes, CNNMoney, BusinessWeek, Hemscott and other media outlets.
DAILY HERALD (Provo, Utah): SCO Stock Nosedives after Court Ruling August 14, 2007 `` The fate of a small Lindon software firm that gained notoriety when it launched a legal offensive against Big Blue and advocates of the freely distributed Linux operating system now hangs on a thread, some analysts say. … `The remaining dismemberment of SCO has accelerated,’ said Eben Moglen, a professor of law at Columbia University and the founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center, which advocates freely-distributed open-source software. `SCO's shareholders may sue on grounds they were defrauded by SCO's claims that they own Unix copyrights,’ Moglen said.’’
THE CHOSUN ILBO (Korea): Korean-American Hailed for Debut Novel August 13, 2007 ``A Korean-American writer has found herself in the spotlight of the U.S. media and literary circles with a debut novel about the conflicts between Korean immigrant parents and their children. … Her parents are proud of their daughter, a Princeton graduate admitted to Columbia Law School. But without telling her father, she writes to Columbia to defer a year.’’
WWRL: All Things New York August 11, 2007 ``Rennie Bishop: `For a group of 30 or so Harlem 8th graders being a practicing lawyer isn't just a future aspiration. ...It is actually a hands-on experience. ...It is a program being administered by the Legal Outreach...Let us find out more about this by speaking to the Dean of Social Justice Initiatives, Dean Ellen Chapnick. ... It is a great initiative by the Columbia Law School.'''
NEW YORK TIMES: Judge Says Unix Copyrights Rightfully Belong to Novell August 11, 2007 ``In a decision that may finally settle one of the most bitter legal battles surrounding software widely used in corporate data centers, a federal district court judge in Utah ruled Friday afternoon that Novell, not the SCO Group, is the rightful owner of the copyrights covering the Unix operating system. … `It was argued that this was supposed to suggest riskiness in open source, but it turns out that the open-source world was rock solid from the beginning,’ said Eben Moglen, a professor of law at Columbia University and the founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center, which advocates open-source software.’’ This story was picked up by the International Herald Tribune, CNET News and other media outlets.
HUFFINGTON POST: Roberts, Breyer, Louisville, Seattle and Humpty Dumpty August 10, 2007 BYLINE: JACK GREENBERG ``June 28, at the end of the Supreme Court's last term, Chief Justice John Roberts, in a 5-4 decision, held unconstitutional school assignment rules in Seattle and Louisville. To prevent creation of educational ghettos the rules denied enrollment to students whose race would cause its black-white ratio to deviate too far from the city's. A small number of white students who didn't get their first choice sued claiming racial discrimination. Roberts' sound-bite peroration – ‘[t]he way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race[.]’ gave me the feeling he was making a claim for historic stature alongside John Marshall Harlan's dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson (which in 1896 had enshrined segregation in constitutional law).’’
NEW YORK SUN: Cuomo Seeks New Powers After Scandal August 10, 2007 ``Attorney General Cuomo is seeking to use the state police scandal surrounding Governor Spitzer as a springboard to increase his powers to investigate public corruption at the highest levels of state government, including the executive chamber. … ‘In theory, it's good to have an attorney general with a broad ability to investigate corruption,’ a Columbia Law School professor, Daniel Richman, said. ‘The attorney general is politically accountable to the electorate of the state in a way the district attorney of Albany is not.’’’
NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL: Columbia Boosts Law School Faculty August 9, 2007 “Columbia Law School has added seven full-time faculty members for the upcoming academic year, a record for the school. The hires are part of Dean David Schizer's initiative to increase the school's faculty by 50%.”
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE NETWORK: The Sky Isn't Falling August 9, 2007 ``If you look strictly at the software world as a marketplace, where software competes, then it's clear that Microsoft has no great love for free/open source software (FOSS). … Eben Moglen, Columbia Law School professor and the Founding Director, Software Freedom Law Center, says, in essence: ‘Don't worry. Their patents haven't been validated. And look, they forgot to dot the i's. We've won!’’’
August 9, 2007 ``The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that Democratic Commissioner Roel C. Campos intends to leave the agency in a month’s time and return to the private sector. … Back in 2005, when Nazareth succeeded former Democratic Commissioner Harvey Goldschmid, securities lawyers told ISS that among the names under consideration were Columbia University law professor John Coffee, veteran Washington securities lawyer John Olson, and Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester.’’
AMSTERDAM NEWS: Program Exposes Harlem 8th Graders to Legal Profession, Top Colleges August 9, 2007 ``For a group of 30 or so Harlem 8th graders, practicing law isn’t just a future aspiration, it is also a hands-on experience as local judge critiques their courtroom performances in Legal Outreach mock trials. … The program receives funding from Columbia Community Service and also gets the assistance of administrators and students from Columbia Law School. … This July, Legal Outreach scholars received instruction in trial practice at Columbia Law School, where they learned the components of a proper opening argument, how to cross-examine a witness and how to close in convincing fashion, says Executive Director James O’Neal, also an adjunct professor at Columbia Law School. ‘So many kids un urban communities like Harlem really don’t have a vision of what the future can hold and what they can become,’ ONeal says.’’
August 8, 2007 ``A ‘backlash’ is on the horizon in global foreign direct investment (FDI), especially in FDI between Canada and China, at least one expert is suggesting. Columbia University's Karl Sauvant, in Ottawa last week to speak at a two-day international conference titled Transnational Corporations and Canada-China FDI: Challenges and Opportunities, said clues pointed towards a worldwide backlash to FDI, and said action would have to be taken to prevent it from materializing.’’
ZDNET NEWS: Google Joins Open-Source Patent Network August 8, 2007 “The Open Invention Network, an organization created to help take the pressure of patent litigation off Linux developers, has added Google to the ranks of its contributors. … Eben Moglen, a Columbia University professor and chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center, said in a speech in May that companies such as Google and Yahoo have ‘ethical and community responsibilities’ to contribute their code back to the community but admitted that there were no current plans to build requirements for this into the General Public License or other open-source licenses.” This story was picked up by The New York Times, USA Today and other media outlets.
MERCURY NEWS (San Jose, California): How the Brocade Verdict Will Affect the Valley August 8, 2007 “By taking on a particularly tough prosecution in the Brocade stock options backdating case and securing a conviction, the government put itself in a position to brandish its most potent legal weapon against cheating in corporate boardrooms. … ‘I think this is going to be very interesting to a lot of prosecutors who might have been waiting,’ said John Coffee, a Columbia University law professor and leading expert on securities fraud.”
REUTERS: Jury Convicts Brocade Ex-CEO in Options Trial August 7, 2007 “A U.S. jury convicted the former chief executive of Brocade Communications Systems Inc (BRCD.O: Quote, Profile, Research) on Tuesday on all counts in the government's first criminal trial of options backdating. … ‘This is a pretty strong message to other prosecutors considering other cases ... that they can also obtain convictions,’ said John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School. ‘Prosecutors like to be able to say 'we are not breaking new ground.' And now the ground, such that it is, has been broken.’” This story was picked up by The New York Times,CNET News,Canada.com and other media outlets.
CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: Debating the Viability of School Integration August 7, 2007 “The Practising Law Institute recently held a series of panels on the completed Supreme Court term. … Michael Dorf has some ideas. ‘Liberals value integration as a good in itself because liberals, like conservatives, value color-blindness, albeit in a different sense. Conservatives believe that GOVERNMENT decision-makers should always or almost always be color-blind in the sense that government should not make decisions that turn on race. Liberals believe that INDIVIDUALS should be color-blind but see ubiquitous evidence that they are not. …’ As Dorf, a professor of law at Columbia University, acknowledges, that answers only half of Bell’s question about why liberals cling to integration.”
“When Scott Levine went after a job at a Fortune 500 company, he wanted to sell himself more than his résumé allowed, even with an extra page. … There are potential legal pitfalls, too, according to Columbia Law School Prof. Lance Liebman. Many employers have long declined to look at paper résumés sent in with photos for fear of discrimination lawsuits. Liebman said a video résumé could expose employers to the same risk - that they're choosing who gets a look based on how they look. ‘Legal disputes are coming, but they are not here yet,’ said Liebman.”
“The high-stakes worlds of casinos, hotels and banking are most susceptible to suspicious share trading ahead of big merger and acquisition announcements, according to analysis carried out by the Financial Times. … The variation by sector may also be due to hedge funds preferring certain types of stocks over others, said John Coffee, a Columbia University law professor. Mr Coffee, who has testified on hedge funds before the US congress, said some funds may be more willing than other investors to take the risk of trading on improperly obtained inside information.
“It's a scary prospect, meeting with partners at a big firm about a job. … Every August, Columbia University School of Law takes over the Doubletree Guest Suites Hotel near New York's Times Square for its annual recruiting fair. Hundreds of potential employers reserve suites, often for several days, and the school's entire career services staff moves into the hotel for the duration.”
“Suspicious trading ahead of large US mergers and acquisitions has risen four-fold in the past five years, suggesting that the recent M&A boom might have sparked an even bigger increase in insider trading, according to analysis commissioned by the Financial Times. … ‘You’re in a world where there is much more competition. You need to trade quicker, search for additional facts. Sometimes that induces illegal behaviour,’ said John Coffee, a Columbia University law professor. ‘Human nature has not changed since 2003, but the predominance of hedge funds has.’”
NEW YORK TIMES: Great Wedding! But Was It Legal? August 5, 2007 “In an era of six-figure weddings when couples obsess about the band playlist and hand towels for the restrooms, one question may get short shrift: Is the person performing the wedding legally able to do so? … ‘They could just go to city hall and do it again and then they’ll know they’re married,’ advised Ariela Dubler, a vice dean of Columbia University Law School. ‘Of course, in every state but Massachusetts this wouldn’t apply to couples of the same sex, who are excluded from the states’ marriage laws.’”
“The Police Department has increasingly failed to prosecute New York City police officers on charges of misconduct when those cases have been substantiated by the independent board that investigates allegations of police abuse, officials of the board say. … A review board spokesman, Andrew Case … said that all substantiated cases were reviewed by staff lawyers and that 9 of the 12 board members are lawyers, including a professor at Columbia Law School….”
“In the shadow of the three-year-old City Center mall, two sleek Trump residential towers and a soon-to-open Ritz-Carlton, Patrice Neal foraged for quarters on Main Street here to feed a parking meter with a strict half-hour limit. …The Marines returned the volley by announcing that all of their vehicles with unpaid violations had been pulled out of city limits. Such a step may not have been necessary, however. Two constitutional scholars, Michael C. Dorf at Columbia Law School and Walter F. Murphy at Princeton University, say it is illegal for state or local officials to seize such federal property as Marine-owned vehicles.”
“Fewer people ended their court cases with a stint in county jail last year — a lot fewer, according to Barnstable County Sheriff James Cummings. … There are now nearly 2,000 drug courts in the United States, said Jeffrey Fagan, professor of law and public health at Columbia University Law School. ‘There is some evidence that they can help, that they can divert people from incarceration,’ Fagan said. Critics charge that drug courts can snare people who don't need treatment, he said, but on balance keeping people out of jail is a positive step.”
NEW YORK TIMES: In Civil Unions, New Challenges over Benefits August 1, 2007 “United Parcel Service now grants full health benefits to same-sex partners of its employees, provided they have registered for a civil union in New Jersey (as opposed to, say, in Vermont). … Nathaniel Persily, a law professor at Columbia University, said it was too early to judge the future of the state’s experiment with civil unions. ‘The pace of legal and public opinion change on this issue has been dramatic,’ he said. ‘The fact that private entities have not fully complied with the spirit of the New Jersey law within one year of the legislation is not terribly surprising. For social innovations to penetrate the private sector takes time.’”
U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: European-Style Cellphones for Americans? August 1, 2007 “Americans may finally get a taste of Europe on their cellphones, after the Federal Communications Commission decided Tuesday to force some carriers to let consumers use any device they choose, rather than only the devices preselected by the company. … While Internet access was part of the debate, questions about Europe’s system were prominent in the spectrum talks. Europeans, with their wide-open system, enjoy better services because of greater competition, argued Columbia University law Prof. Tim Wu, who likened the U.S. wireless system to land lines in the 1950s, when customers had to lease their phones from AT&T.”
THE AMERICAN LAWYER: His Way August 1, 2007 BYLINE: SCOTT HORTON “One expects to see muckraking biographies of presidential contenders as an election nears. So the appearance of two books about Senator Hillary Clinton was to be expected. More surprising, however, is the source of much of the muck: former independent prosecutor Ken Starr. Luckily for the authors, Starr doesn't feel constrained by the rules of grand jury secrecy to which most prosecutors adhere.” … Scott Horton lectures at Columbia Law School, works on military contractor issues for Human Rights First, and is member of the board of the National Institute of Military Justice.