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October

Oct. 2-9

SURPRISINGLY FREE (Blog)
Oct. 2
Michael Heller opened the debate with the idea that when too many people own pieces of one thing, nobody can use it. Ownership structure, not just private property rights per se, are what is important. Too much ownership (fragmented, badly designed, or mis-specified ownership rights) creates gridlock and this is one of the biggest problems in the modern economy.
 
CBS
Oct. 3
Columbia Law School professor Richard Briffault said the court's judges frequently vote against the positions of the governor that appointed them, and their terms often outlast the governor's, though there may be some "philosophical sympathy." Read's history as a lawyer for a governor — Pataki — may have made her more sympathetic to Paterson's position, he said.
 
SURPRISINGLY FREE (Blog)
Oct. 4
Scanning books is expensive, but not so expensive that we need the government or a regulated utility provider (as Tim Wu suggests) to do it. If a fair use exemption or other workaround was available, I’m sure we’d see more than one competitor jump into the space. Like Prof. Wu understood in 2006, and as Google knows now, there is lots of money to be made in hyper-narrow niches.
 
DAILY NEWS
Columbia law Prof. Daniel Richman predicted Sotomayor will strive not to be "pigeonholed from the get-go as being a sure vote for any particular side." "She prides herself in being hard to predict, not because she's irascible or erratic, but just because she doesn't want to be a brand," he added.
 
BROADCASTING & CABLE
(Similar articles also appeared in Daily Finance and Ars Technica)
Oct. 6
A quintet of law professors including familiar names to net neutrality debates, Lawrence Lessig of Harvard and Tim Wu of Columbia, have weighed in with the court in support of the FCC's finding against Comcast in the BitTorrent case.
 
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Oct. 8
"There is a problem with pay-to-play," Columbia Law School Prof. John Coffee said. "The plaintiff law firms know that to be considered to be on the list of eligible firms, they have to ante up."
 
ALIBI.COM
Oct. 8
No sentient mayor is talking about free citywide wireless anymore, including Mayor Chavez. The reason is fairly simple, according to Columbia Law School professor … Tim Wu, who, in 2007, wrote a notable piece for Slate titled, “Where’s My Free Wi-Fi? Why Municipal Networks Have Been Such A Flop.” Cities missed it by seeing citywide wi-fi as a trendy social perk. Cities, Wu counters, should have viewed access as a public utility instead.
 
AMLAW LITIGATION DAILY
Oct. 8
On Wednesday, SEC senior trial counsel Scott Blank filed a one-page demand for a jury trial with Manhattan federal district court judge Jed Rakoff. "This sounds like at least a modest, incremental shift toward the SEC behaving like a zealous litigator," Columbia Law School professor John Coffee said. "The SEC used to view litigation as a negotiation over the terms of settlement."

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Oct. 9-16

AFL-CIO NOW BLOG
Oct. 9
Columbia University law professor Mark Barenberg proposes new strategies to ensure that trade agreements protect and advance workers’ rights and says “we should incorporate labor rights and standards in the fundamental ground rules of the new global economy.”  
 
THE GUARDIAN
Oct. 11
"New York white-collar lawyers are doing quite well right now responding to grand jury investigations and the threat of grand jury investigations," said Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School. "There's a sense that quite a few more are moving down the pipe."
 
CNN MONEY
Oct. 12
John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University, speculated that prosecutors chose to release the one entry from Tannin's diary "to show that he knew the outlook was gloomy and it was having an impact on him; thus, he was not simply blindsided by a swift change in the market but clearly saw it coming."
 
LEGAL THEORY BLOG
Oct. 12
Peter L. Strauss (Columbia Law School) has posted Legislation that Isn't - Attending to Rulemaking's Democracy Deficit (California Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN.
 
CORPORATE COUNSEL
Oct. 12
The conference, which was held at Columbia University, began on Tuesday when lawyers from the AGs offices met privately. They were joined for dinner by Varney, Leibowitz, and some of their people, many of whom lingered for informal conversations, according to James Tierney, director of the Columbia Law School State Attorneys General Program, which co-sponsored the conference with NAAG.
 
CBS NEWS.COM
Oct. 12
As Timothy Wu of Columbia Law School puts it, a "battle royal [is] underway over what the norms of the wireless world will be--more open, like computers, or closed, like telephones." The FCC will have to decide whether we're moving to a world where you can attach your mobile phone to any wireless network, the same way you hook up your telephone or computer.
 
EUROFINANCE
Speaking exclusively to EuroFinance, the specialists in treasury thought leadership, just one week before addressing the 18th International Cash and Treasury Management conference in Copenhagen, Harvey Goldschmid, former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, today claimed that the financial crisis unfolded in part because large sections of the industry were unregulated, while other parts were simply badly regulated, typically by overlapping agencies.
 
KANSAS CITY STAR
Oct. 12
At the other extreme common property can be unexploited or underexploited as explained by Michael Heller in his book "The Gridlock Economy." Heller notes that joint ownership can make negotiating a contract almost impossible when each member has veto power. Ostrom's research explains how common property can be managed effectively.
BLOOMBERG
Oct. 13
“This is their maximum effort to see if they can reach a settlement without going to trial,” said John Coffee, a securities law professor at Columbia University. “They hope that with greater transparency they can get closer to a settlement.”
 
POLITICO
Oct. 13
“The administration came in reading there to be wide support for closing Guantanamo at home and abroad, and I think it misread that attitude,” said Matthew Waxman, a Columbia law professor who held Defense and State Department positions on detainee policy. “In general, they were right….but there was very little willingness to accept the costs and risks of getting it done.”
 
DNA INDIA
Oct. 14
Global FDI flows stood at $1.73 trillion in 2008 -- down 17% from the $2.09 trillion seen in 2007, which capped a four-year long boom in cross-border mergers and acquisitions and FDI, according to a report by the Vale Columbia Center on sustainable international investment.
LOUISVILLE COURIER-JOURNAL
Oct. 14
In an article on a Web site owned by the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Paul S. Applebaum wrote: “Reasonable and effective response to the commission of sexual offenses require thoughtful consideration of the effects — both positive and negative — of restrictive laws and of their costs.
 
DAILY COMET (Lafayette Parish, LA)
Oct. 14
The system is still bound by the federal order that resulted from the desegregation lawsuit, school officials said. “Usually there’s a hearing which terminates the decree. If you don’t find one of those, it’s still in effect,” said Jack Greenberg, a professor of law at Columbia University. Greenberg, a lawyer for the NAACP during the civil-rights era was one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit against Terrebonne.
 
CBS EVENING NEWS
Oct. 14
Banks are on track to pay their employees record amounts this year but some workers are being forced to take huge pay cuts. Jim Axelrod interviews John Coffee on the divide between Wall Street and Main Street.
 
PORTFOLIO.COM
Oct. 15
“The whole point of the 4,450 is to make 20,000 nervous,” John Coffee, professor at Columbia Law School, said at the time of the settlement. “The U.S. government really wants to intimidate people into entering the voluntary program.”
 
NEW YORK TIMES
Oct. 15
James E. Tierney, the director of the National State Attorneys General program at Columbia Law School, said in recent years state attorneys general have frequently acted on consumer issues that might take federal regulators much longer to address. “This is exactly the kind of issue that an attorney general basically should look at,” Mr. Tierney said.
 
NATIONAL JOURNAL
Oct. 15
"The chief problem with the Cash for Clunkers program from [an] environmental standpoint was the small improvement for mileage that the law required," said Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, who was also a critic of the program.
 
FINANCIAL TIMES
Oct. 15
"They're not going to win," said John Coffee of Columbia Law School. "The lawyers pursuing this action are equivalent to the people who bought a $1 ticket in the Irish sweepstakes."
 
BBC
Oct. 16
Africa's huge mineral riches continue to draw investors - with reports in the last few days that China is making a seven billion dollar deal with Guinea, swapping oil and mineral rights for huge investment in infrastructure. Peter Rosenblum is interviewed on some of the problems involving mining on the continent.
 
FINANCIAL TIMES (Letter to the Editor)
Oct. 16
Peter Rosenblum:
Systematic disclosure alone cannot magically dispel the evils of corruption or the asymmetries of local and international competence, but without transparency there is little chance of overcoming either.
 
ABC NEWS
Oct. 16
The administration has been active mainly on three fronts, said Michael B. Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University Law School. "They are advocating the enactment of legislation by Congress. Second, they are proceeding with EPA regulation of greenhouse gases under the existing laws, especially the Clean Air Act. And third, they are actively engaged in international discussions," Gerrard said.

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Oct. 16-23

 

VANDERBILT LAW REVIEW
Oct. 16
Peter Strauss: Introductory essay in an electronically published roundtable sponsored by the Vanderbilt Law Review on the Supreme Court’s forthcoming consideration of Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a case raising important separation of powers questions.
 
NBC NIGHTLY NEWS
Oct. 16
“I think this is going to increase the estrangement between Main Street and Wall Street,” said John Coffee. “It looks like they are breaking the law to make these extraordinary profits.”
 
FINANCIAL TIMES
Oct. 16
“Electronic surveillance only works when the authorities are focusing on criminal activity as it unfolds,” said Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor. “In the white-collar area, that is rarely the case.” John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University, said Friday’s insider-trading case also highlighted the importance of securing cooperating witnesses. “That is the hard part: getting the first witness,” he said. “Then, you can use him to divide and conquer the rest.”
 
DIARIO XALAPA (Veracruz, Mexico)
Oct. 17
Michael Alvarez, Nathaniel Persily, specialists in electoral processes and political science from the U.S., said Mexico is ready for new technologies like electronic voting or the Internet, provided it trains people how to use the new technology and to ensure it is properly administered.
 
MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS
Oct. 18
''This system will not get fixed until someone credible does the necessary due diligence,'' said John Coffee, a finance expert at Columbia University.
 
RADIO NEW ZEALAND
Oct. 18
Jane Ginsburg talks about howauthors, long deprived of bargaining power are now, due to new technologies, also losing artistic control over their work.
 
IRISH TIMES
Oct. 19
“After years of brimming rumors that hedge funds were getting these tips, it is heartening to see the government go after it,” said Daniel Richman, a Columbia University law professor. “This is really different in terms of what the government is willing to do to get information.”
 
NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION
Oct. 19
Columbia Law School professor Matthew Waxman points out that this is a tricky judgment call: "The principle of proportionality says that a military target may not be attacked if doing so is likely to cause incidental civilian casualties or damage that would be excessive in relation to the expected military advantage of the attack....”
 
CHICAGO PUBLIC RADIO
Oct. 20
As an outcome of the Spanish American war of 1898, Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States. It is a self-governing, unincorporated territory of the United States. Christina Burnett, Professor of Law at Columbia University, explains what that means. She co-edited the book Foreign in a Domestic Sense: Puerto Rico, American Expansion and the Constitution. Christina was raised in Puerto Rico.
 
WASHINGTON SQUARE NEWS
Oct. 20
Avery Katz, a law professor at Columbia University, said universities can be held responsible for advice given to students, but is surprised this case has gone as far as it has."What's really unusual about this situation is that it actually came to a lawsuit, and they didn't manage to handle it within the university," Katz said. "That often happens because someone's being unreasonable."
 
MAINE PUBLIC BROADCASTING
Oct. 20
"Let's make this simple, all right?" says former Maine Attorney General Jim Tierney, who accompanied Pingree. Tierney now directs the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School. "Whether this referendum passes or doesn't pass, the question of whether same-sex marriages will be discussed in schools will be a matter decided by the local school board….”
 
THE ECONOMIC TIMES
Oct. 20
"I expect things will continue at full bore," said Daniel Richman, a professor of law at Columbia University. "Preet has moved in seamlessly ... even though Preet is coming in on a case that has gone quite far before he came, I think that it very much suits his enforcement priorities."
 
THE WASHINGTON POST
Oct. 20
"Judges are very anxious; you can feel their anxiety," said Katherine Franke, a director of the Gender and Sexuality Law Program at Columbia University Law School. "They don't want to pick a rule, because they know it's arbitrary."
 
THE WASHINGTON POST
Oct. 20
"It's an indication of why more oversight is needed," said Harvey Goldschmid, a Democratic commissioner at the SEC between 2002 and 2004 who pushed for the registration of hedge funds. John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University, said the Galleon case adds to the already substantial anger among the public and on Capitol Hill toward Wall Street.
 
FINANCIAL TIMES
Oct. 20
John Coffee, a Columbia University law professor, said Friday's charges might have been the "first cut", with prosecutors focusing on what they believed were the most egregious offenders.
 
ABCNEWS.COM
Oct. 21
"The real impact of this case could well be in Congress," said John Coffee, a Columbia University law school professor and expert in securities regulation and white collar crime.
 
CBC
Oct. 21
Tim Wu, a Canadian professor at Columbia University in New York who is often credited with originating the concept of net neutrality, said he was disappointed by the ruling. The CRTC has taken a counterproductive step by allowing network management practices such as throttling to continue.
 
SLATE
Oct. 21
Tim Wu: Copyright lawyers, when asked about fair use; love to emphasize its complexity and opacity. I won't deny that fair use can be a little dense, yet I firmly believe the basics can be well-understood.
 
MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL FACULTY BLOG
Oct. 21
The uncertainty in federal sentencing is representative of the uncertainty inherent in the criminal justice system as a whole.  I remember back to my first-year criminal law class taught by Professor O’Meara … where he talked about criminal justice as an area of law “without an effective theory.”  He borrowed this term from Columbia University Professor George Fletcher.
 
LAW 360
Oct. 22
Constitutional law professors from Columbia Law School have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court opposing a libertarian lobbyist group and Nevada accounting firm’s challenge of the constitutionality of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. Gillian Metzger, an expert on administrative law, and Henry Monaghan, the Harlan Fiske Stone Professor of Constitutional Law, filed the brief with counsel of record Caitlin Halligan.
 
REUTERS
Oct. 22
The European Union told Oracle Corp on Wednesday that it has failed to produce hard evidence to placate concerns that its purchase of Sun Microsystems Inc would hurt competition. "This is bad news for Oracle," said Eben Moglen, founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center who has been closely watching the case.
 
NEW YORK TIMES
Oct. 22
John Coffee: Free market ideologues may call Mr. Feinberg’s new rules the end of capitalism as we know it. That’s nonsense. His edict is probably better described as an experiment in general deterrence.
 
HARVARD LAW RECORD
Oct. 22
Not long ago, “the idea of an international criminal court was goofy,” according to Jeremy Rabkin. The creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has not changed his position. On Thursday, October 8, Professor Rabkin debated the future of U.S. policy toward the ICC with Prof. Lori Damrosch in an event hosted by the Federalist Society.
 
THE ECONOMIST
Oct. 22
Yet Jeffrey Gordon, a professor of law at Columbia University, points out that Goldman set aside 50% of its profits for bonuses, in keeping with previous years. “There is no evidence that Goldman’s management has overreached shareholders in making this decision, or that bondholders have any basis for objection in light of their covenants or other expectations,” he says.
 
BOTTOM-UP (Blog)
Oct. 23
Lakely quotes extensively from the work of free software intellectuals like Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen. To his credit, he gives a relatively even-handed account of what free software advocates believe, quoting them in their own words and acknowledging some important nuances.
 
FINANCIAL TIMES
Oct. 23
“People have to remember that white-collar cases take a while to bring to fruition even if they are handed to you as in Madoff and even the Madoff case takes a while once you get beyond the guy himself,” says Daniel Richman, formerly of the southern district and now a Columbia university law professor.
 
 
TO VIEW ADDITIONAL MEDIA COVERAGE AND ARCHIVED CLIPS: Visithttp://www.law.columbia.edu/faculty/faculty_news/2009/october-09
 

 

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Oct. 23-30

BARRON’S
Oct. 24
ZL Technologies, a San Jose, Calif.-based software company that specializes in e-mail ticker: IT), alleging Gartner made false and misleading statements in its "Magic Quadrant" assessment of its products. But John Coffee, a Columbia University law professor, said ZL will have an "extraordinarily uphill battle," unless it can show "something bordering on actual malice."
 
SOLVE CLIMATE
Oct. 25
Starting Tuesday, Sen. Barbara Boxer will be launching a marathon week of hearings in her Environment and Public Works Committee on the Senate’s version of a climate and energy bill. “Any statute is only as strong as the Congress that enacts it,” asserts Michael Gerrard, professor of environmental law, climate change law and energy law at Columbia Law School and director of the Center for Climate Change Law.
 
USA TODAY
Oct. 26
Harvey Goldschmid, a professor at Columbia University Law School and a former SEC commissioner, says [Elisse] Walter "brought a new breadth, high intelligence and integrity that everyone admired ... at just that right moment." Her role has grown with the appointment of Schapiro, a friend and former colleague, as chairman.
 
FOX BUSINESS
Oct. 26
According to federal prosecutors, this is the first time that court approved wire taps have been used in an insider trading case. “The government here has a lot more than simply circumstantial evidence,” said John Coffee, a Columbia Law School professor. “They have his own voice on record.”
 
TECH PRESIDENT (BLOG)
Oct. 27
According to Columbia University law professor Eben Moglen, when relevant public information can reach interested people with sufficient structure, "government learns it has users." A longtime champion in the free software movement, Moglen says that if government provides usable data "without platformizing it or productizing it," then people will engage "not in some Platonic way, but at the fish market, in the schools, in the places where they want to take action."
 
FINANCIAL TIMES
Oct. 27
Mr. Picower's lawyer said progress had been made towards a settlement with the trustee before his client's death. John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University, said the development made a settlement more likely (similar article in The Guardian).
 
NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO
Oct. 27
Federal prosecutors are using selected quotes from e-mails written by the two men to make their case. The e-mails are strong evidence. "E-mails are the greatest advance in law enforcement since fingerprints," said John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University.
 
HUFFINGTON POST
Oct. 27
"I think Judge Rakoff resented the degree to which a government agency was seeking to pull the wool over his eyes, and just blandly stating it was his duty to rubber-stamp their settlement," said Columbia Law School professor John Coffee, who teaches a seminar on white-collar crime at Columbia with Rakoff.
 
MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS
Oct. 27
"Hedge funds were invested in just about every class of risky financial asset, and if they were to default, they would have had a major contributor to the financial crisis," said Columbia Law School Professor John Coffee. "If AIG had failed, Goldman Sachs would have taken a huge hit and so would have a number of these funds, all of which would have contributed to a quick 1000-point decline in the markets."
 
THE H OPEN
Oct. 28
Patents on software are, in effect, a tax on ideas. Eben Moglen of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) takes the view that: "Software patenting has been a scourge in the global technology industries," and that "computer programs should be as ineligible for patent protection as mathematical equations or precise descriptions of physical laws."
 
FINANCIAL POST (CANADA)
Oct. 29
"The Galleon case was pursued with the same intensity that they used to go after mafia families," says John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University. "I suspect a number of people on Wall Street are sweating bullets because at some point they may have had a conversation and don't quite remember what they said and how it might seem to someone listening."
 
ABC NEWS
Oct. 29
"Even for those who don't seem to pose much threat, it's very difficult to get other countries to open their doors, especially when our own government won't let any detainees into the United States," said Matthew Waxman of Columbia Law School, who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs in the Bush administration.
 
REUTERS
Oct. 30
"Cooperators who have overviews provide not just investigative leads but explanations and insights into a silent paper trail," said Daniel Richman, a Professor of Law at Columbia University in New York. "Insiders like DiPascali and Friehling seem to have had very close contact with Madoff and the full extent of his business operations."


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