At the Times, Adam Liptak generously describes my study with Andrea Campbell (MIT), which looks at the short term impact of the decision in the Health Care Case on public opinion toward the Court and the Affordable Care Act.
The Max Planck Research Award…is presented annually by the Max Planck Society and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to two outstanding scientists. The award always goes to two internationally renowned scientists from Germany and abroad. The award theme in 2012 was the “Regulation of International Financial Markets”. The recipients are Katharina Pistor of Columbia University Law School and Martin Hellwig of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn.
I was joined by Naureen Shah from the Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School; Omar Shakir, co-author and researcher of "Living Under Drones"; Shahzad Akbar, a Pakistani lawyer who represents the family members of non-combatant victimes of U.S. drone strikes; and Zmarak Yousefzai, a national security litigator.
The U.S. Supreme Court convened on Monday to kick off a new term that could prove to be a watershed for same-sex couples across the country…. “We are at a national turning point, and what the Supreme Court decides in these cases will have a lot to say about the direction of gay equality in the United States,” said Suzanne Goldberg, co-director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School in New York City.
“There’s a big difference when you’re using a drone in a full-scale military operation. Then it’s just a weapon,” says Sarah Holewinski, executive director of the Center for Civilians in Conflict at Columbia Law School in New York, which produced a report this week, "The Civilian Impact of Drones: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions." “You’ve got boots on the ground and intel from soldiers out in the field.”
Nathaniel Persily, a Columbia University law professor, summed up the resulting confusion this way: "What we need more than anything else is clarity as to what the rules are on election day. This decision didn't really give it, but it does tend to suggest that no voter is going to be turned away and no voter is not going to have their ballot counted as a result of the ID law."
“They are women who need to learn skills not only to help them at the negotiating table but to get to the negotiating table in the first place,” said Alexandra Carter, an associate clinical professor of law at Columbia Law School and director of the school’s Mediation Clinic, who led a three-hour workshop on negotiation skills.
February of 2010, at the height of Facebook’s run-in with the public’s trust, a law professor named Eben Moglen delivered a public lecture at NYU titled “Freedom in the Cloud."…Indeed, since the birth of the information age, argues Tim Wu, a recent F.T.C. advisor and a law professor who propagated the idea of “net neutrality” – of keeping the Internet’s pipes free of top-down restrictions – we’ve readily sacrificed freedom for something far more seductive and perhaps, easily recognizable: convenience.
The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation - October 2
In our new paper, Shining Light on Corporate Political Spending, we put forward a comprehensive, empirically-grounded case for SEC rules requiring public companies to disclose their political spending.
I was reminded of Edna O’Brien’s novel, August is a Wicked Month, when two scandals erupted last month – one, predictably, in the financial sector and the other, more surprisingly, in the journalistic sector.
“You want to give schools a really good indicator of how they’re doing right now,” said James Liebman, Columbia Law School professor who worked with the city’s Department of Education to develop the first school progress report.
Financial problems ripple through the West Bank, and buying an instrument is an expensive pursuit. Kind acts of human nature have allowed Dalia to defeat this obstacle - Katharina Pistor, a Professor at Columbia Law School, sent her two flutes after she read a 2009 article in the New York Times which featured Dalia.
Pennsylvania voters won’t have to show photo identification to cast ballots on Election Day, a judge said Tuesday in a ruling on the state’s controversial voter ID law. The ruling could help President Obama in a presidential battleground state… “The thing I’m concerned about is that it will lead to confusion on Election Day,” said Nathaniel Persily, who teaches at Columbia University in New York. “There will be spotty enforcement ... and there could be lines and slow voting as a result.”
Two Washington-based environmental groups filed suit Wednesday to block pollution trading in the Chesapeake Bay, contending the market-based cleanup program violates the federal Clean Water Act and will undermine rather than help efforts to restore the ailing estuary… The two environmental groups are represented by Columbia University law school's environmental law clinic.
Ted Shaw, Columbia University School of Law professor and former attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Kevin Powell, political activist and author of “Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan and the Ghost of Dr. King,” join “Viewpoint” host Eliot Spitzer to react to news that GOP operative Nathan Sproul has been implicated in a voter registration scandal… “It’s undemocratic,” Shaw says. “Shame on him, shame on the Republican Party and shame on anyone in either party who tries to keep people from voting.”
A renowned economist, who backs Beijing's policy stance and says outsourcing fears are overblown, talks with Chen Weihua of China Daily in New York. Indian-American economist Jagdish Bhagwati would be the polar opposite of China if the country hadn't embraced market reforms and globalization over the past three decades.
As recently as last month’s convention, Democrats were getting their narrative back. They were uniformly praised for their message discipline and for laying out an inspiring vision for the country, reflected in a string of rousing speeches that told a story and signaled (instead of concealed) their values. After last night’s debate, Dems risk falling back into the lost decades when the party could offer only a grab bag of policy goodies to its fragile coalition instead of a coherent governing philosophy. If Barack Obama’s debate performance is any indication, they seem poised to forget a key lesson from the last three elections: We’re all “values voters.”
Professor Ronald Gilson of Stanford Law School and the Columbia School of Law has stated that "voting rights attached to shares are valuable" and that "the premium associated with TELUS voting common shares is well recognized by the market." Professor Gilson notes that TELUS' proposal would have the effect of "transferring value from the existing holders of common shares with voting rights to the existing holders of non-voting shares."
Columbia University Law School's Internet law guru Tim Wuhassuggested setting up a community of experts, or of YouTube users, to give advice on tough questions of regulating speech online: a fine idea but decisions to block content must be made very quickly, before they become moot. In practice, Internet companies will probably continue to make their own decisions; outsiders and experts will continue to critique them after the fact.
"Each political party has its own preferences about which voters should be able to vote more easily than others," said Nate Persily, a law professor at Columbia University who focuses on voting and election law.
There are good reasons the Wednesday argument before the Supreme Court in the case called Fisher vs. University of Texas has prompted more than the usual amount of speculation about the intentions of the justices and the case's likely outcome. For higher education and, we believe, American society at large, the stakes could not be higher.
Columbia Law School managed to get 99 percent of its graduates a gig within nine months of leaving — the top rate among law schools nationally, according to the latest grad-school rankings by The Princeton Review.
Similar articles appeared in other publications.
Morning Call – October 9
Columbia law professor on Bethlehem, unions, free speech and a casino
Some consider Bethlehem Steel the birthplace of the labor movement, the place where skilled workers and laborers rallied to get better working conditions and pay as the steelmaker grew in industrial might…. This week, the South Side Iniatitive will be launching a public discussion on the topic at Lehigh University. They’ve invited Mark Barenberg, a Columbia University law professor who is an expert on constitutional and labor law.
When the city's annual school progress reports are released, critics say that schools’ grades are meaningless, but a poor result will lead the city’s department of education to close a school. This both understates the value of the progress reports and overstates the determinative power of a school’s grade.
“If there wasn’t going to be a consequence to this, or a result that has an impact, I don’t think we’d be seeing the efforts and we wouldn’t be seeing this concern,” said Theodore Shaw, professor of professional practice at Columbia Law School and former director-counsel and president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
The idea of small donor democracy is to make candidates less beholden to specific interest groups, to financially based interest groups. But it doesn’t and still needs to do something to activate a financial base and get people to give them money.
Theodore Shaw, a professor at Columbia Law School who helped create Michigan’s affirmative-action policy, said “there’s no simple good reason” why affirmative action is back on the docket, but believes the new conservative wing of the Court was pushing for a revisit of Grutter.
The story of intellectual property rights and innovation is one of a good idea gone way too far. I.P. law is usually a big success in the industries it began in. For copyright, that’s the book industry; for patent, pharmaceuticals, chemistry and mechanics. Great so far.
Columbia Law School Professor Mark Barenberg said the provision disallowing labor-related gatherings and any activity offensive to Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem on city-owned property at SteelStacks could be overturned for a multitude of reasons….“If they don’t arrest you and throw you off, that’s a huge victory,” he said.
According to election law expert Nathaniel Persily of Columbia Law School, the greatest causes for concern include insufficient ballots, machine breakdowns, arbitrary application of the law and long lines. “The more pernicious problems with American elections come from errors and mistakes rather than intentional manipulation of the process,” he said. “But lawyers are prepared for both.”
This distinction could be crucial in determining whether US prosecutors choose to pursue criminal charges against the banks, said Columbia Law School professor John Coffee, a leading authority on securities law. “It is possible we could see criminal charges brought in the United States, but it’s not going to be because the banks wanted to make themselves look better,” Coffee said. “It’s going to be because of cross-firm contacts and efforts to push Libor up or down.”
The federal government advised the Supreme Court that the ruling correctly interpreted patent law, so the high court's decision to review the dispute raised eyebrows in legal circles, said Harold Edgar, a law professor at Columbia Law School who studies patents and bioethics.
"I think most people were surprised the Supreme Court took it," he said.
But Columbia Law School's Professor Nathaniel Persily is not so sure the Citizens United decision is entirely to blame. He thinks it has been possible for wealthy individuals or groups to get money to candidates for years, but Citizens United might have prompted a cultural shift. ''Corporate involvement in politics changed from being a licence into being a blessing,'' he observes, adding it is possible that wealthy people simply found themselves at odds with Barack Obama and sought to remove him as president.
U.S. courts saw a rise in the number of climate-change-related lawsuits in the past decade, including some brought by flood-damaged towns alleging that energy companies are responsible for churning out emissions that contribute to global warming and, therefore, are partly responsible for a range of damaging weather, said Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.
The thorniest legal questions may be raised by authority for the orderly liquidation of financial institutions — a crucial element and one intended to prevent more bank bailouts. “I think there are some serious constitutional problems there,” says Thomas W. Merrill, a professor at Columbia Law School. “I think it could have easily been avoided.”
The Straits Times – October 15
Candidates’ comments on China irk local officials
Yet Chinese investment in the US is still small compared to US investment in China, with room to grow, said Dr. Karl Sauvant of ColumbiaLaw School's Centre on sustainable international investment. "This is an attractive market for Chinese firms who have been told...
Crain’s New York Business – October 15
25 YEARS OF 40 UNDER 40 CLASS OF 2006
David Schizer THEN 37 Dean ColumbiaLaw School NOW Dean ColumbiaLaw School
Columbia Law School Professor John Coffee says it will be difficult if not impossible for the SEC to oversee the prohibition on analysts promising positive research reports in exchange for underwriting business now that many analysts are permitted to participate in the pitch meetings.
In the article “Nonprofits and Disclosure in the Wake of Citizens United (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/elj.2011.0114),” Richard Briffault, PhD, Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School, noted that the Citizens United decision launched “an intense media and public outcry” for greater disclosure on the sources of nonprofit political contributions and signaled that broader laws requiring disclosure of these donors may be constitutional.
“You can't get enough base-broadening to finance his rate reductions,” says Michael Graetz, a ColumbiaLaw School professor who was a top tax official in President George H.W. Bush's Treasury Department. “Romney says what he will do on...
David Pozen, a Columbia University law professor who until recently worked for the US State Department, said the government at the highest levels can be one of the most enthusiastic leakers. "The White House wants to plant stories," he said.
C-SPAN – October 16
National Security Panel 2 Fordham Law School in New York City held a day-long conference focusing on the balance between government secrecy, transparency and public access to information. Panelists analyzed the implications of various national security leaks including military drone strikes, enhanced interrogation programs and WikiLeaks. Scott Horton and David Pozen professors at Columbia Law School spoke at the conference.
In a forthcoming law review article, Richard Briffault of Columbia Law School argues that the rise of super PACs and unfettered contributions and spending this election cycle are “effectively ending the post-Watergate era of campaign finance laws.” To help understand what is shaping up as a watershed election cycle, I asked Briffault to explain the path that took the country from stringent post-Watergate contribution limits through Citizens United to today’s multi-billion-dollar free-for-all.
The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania issued a statement in support of the municipalities that are opposing Act 13, and the Columbia University School of Law is also helping to fight the legislation, as are environmental groups.
Similar articles appeared in other publications.
Associated Press – October 18
Bipartisan Policy Center Launches Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative
...John Bovenzi, Partner, Oliver Wyman, former Deputy to the Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation -- John Coffee, Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law, Columbia Law School -- H. Rodgin Cohen, Partner, Sullivan and Cromwell, LLP -- James...
The Editor interviews Timothy E. DeMasi, a Partner in Weil's Patent Litigation Group in the New York Office. Editor: Please tell us about your background and current practice. DeMasi: I’ve been a partner in the Patent Litigation Group at Weil since 2002. My practice is exclusively patent litigation and focuses primarily on computer hardware and software technologies given my background in electrical engineering. I’ve represented plaintiffs and defendants, practicing entities and non-practicing entities. I also co-teach patent litigation at Columbia Law School.
"The plaintiffs will say that analysts were downgrading Facebook before the IPO because people were making selective disclosures about mobile applications," said John Coffee of Columbia University Law School. "You have to show there was a material fact not stated in a registration statement, but Facebook's statement does say there was some problem with mobile apps. A change in analyst recommendations is not something you normally put in SEC disclosure statements."
"Both the House Intelligence Committee report and the Ralls case don't send a positive signal to Chinese firms that they are welcome in the US," said Karl Sauvant, a Columbia University law professor who is an expert on Chinese investment in the US.
Richard Briffault, a professor of law at Columbia University, said the issue is legally unresolved because nobody has ever challenged the city authority to set its own limits. "The issue has never been addressed by the courts," he said. "So, we honestly don't know what would happen."
Columbia Law School Professor Richard Briffault wrote in The Atlantic magazine that “[d]ependence on these large donors inevitably influences the policies they [politicians] support, much as the fear of triggering a torrent of spending against them can cause them to run away from certain issues and not cast certain votes.”
With his eye on the much-coveted female voter, Mitt Romney proudly brandished his pro-woman credentials in Tuesday night's presidential debate, recounting his vigorous efforts to hire women as members of his Cabinet when he was governor of Massachusetts.
In the paper Interbank Discipline, recently posted on SSRN and forthcoming in the UCLA Law Review, I examine the increasingly important role that banks play monitoring and disciplining other banks. As a result of the transformation of banking over the last three decades, today’s complex banks typically have numerous relationships with other banks.
In May, the Columbia Human Rights Law Review dedicated an entire issue to the story of Carlos DeLuna, who was executed by the state of Texas in 1989. The article, “Los Tocayos Carlos: An Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution,” forthcoming as a book, runs 434 pages long, reads like Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, and is groundbreaking in its detail and scope. Its conclusion: Texas murdered an innocent man.
“You’re radically restricting your pool if you’re looking to people who are able to take the year off and work without pay,” said Daniel Richman, a law professor at Columbia University’s law school. “The nature of that population gets somewhat more troubling when you assume that people who worked at an office will have a leg-up when hiring starts.”
We speak to Karl P. Sauvant, Resident Senior Fellow at the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment at Columbia University, Adjunct Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School, and Senior Advisor of the Investment Advisory Committee at the China International Investment Council. He is also the editor of and a contributor to the book Investing in the United States: Is the U.S. Ready for FDI from China?, and Wang Yong, Director of the Business Law Institute in the Civil and Commercial School of Economics in China's University of Politics and Law.
Voter-impersonation fraud seems to be a non-issue, with Columbia Law professor Nathaniel Persily bluntly pointing out, “The reason voter impersonation fraud is so rare is that it is an incredibly stupid and inefficient way to rig an election.”
Columbia Law School Professor John Coffee said that just as former New York Attorneys General Eliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo and current New York banking regulator Benjamin Lawsky “moved in the past to fill the void created by slow or non-existent federal enforcement of securities fraud, we are now seeing a new entrant at the state level – district attorneys.”
Not everyone in this group should be considered close to big banks or Wall Street more generally. Three distinguished academicians are involved — John C. Coffee Jr., James D. Cox and Thomas H. Jackson. We shall see to what extent they can provide a counterweight to the financial sector.
It doesn’t mean ratings agencies bend to pressure. Not everyone agrees that complete independence is possible, however. John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University who testified at 2009 hearings in Washington probing the independence of ratings agencies, remains convinced the firms are susceptible to outside influence, particularly when it comes to rating corporate debt.
Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School, also described the case as a victory for the government, noting that the defense lost its challenge to the constitutionality of the hate crime law before the trial even began. "It is a big deal that the court rejected the challenge to the hate crimes law," she said.
“Bullying that violates criminal law can be prosecuted criminally, but not as bullying,” said Suzanne B. Goldberg, a law professor at Columbia Law School who directs its Center for Gender and Sexuality Law. Physical violence or threats of physical violence could be prosecuted, she said, “but what most often happens is that schools and prosecutors try to keep these situations out of criminal court which can be appropriate if the school system takes the incident seriously, punishes the offender and protects the victim.”
“Most likely her vote will be the one that is one the winning side,” said Ronald Mann, professor of law at Columbia Law School. “We’ll know more after the arguments. The justices will ask questions, and often the questions will give you insight into what they think about it.”
Could the nation’s districts be redrawn as compactly as possible, giving priority to natural boundaries while meeting the requirements of the Voting Rights Act? That’s what a Columbia University Law School project called DrawCongress.org, directed by professor Nathaniel Persily, set out to discover last year.
Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Postwrote over the weekend about “when is a cyberattack an act of war.” Focusing on Secretary of Defense Panetta’s recent speech warning of cyber-Pearl Harbors and on Shamoon, the nickname for a recent malware attack against Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company, Nakashima discusses in this piece two analytically distinct sets of questions that often get conflated: one is when do the type or effects of a cyber-attack give rise to a right of armed self-defense (substantive threshold or trigger issues); and another is how certain or confident a state must be in its assessment of who perpetrated the attack to justify such a response (attribution issues).
By David M. Schizer, Dean, Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, and Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law and Economics
A Columbia Law School education is a superb investment in a bright future; it has been for more than 150 years, and it always will be. We provide a broad and intensive learning experience for our students, and, importantly, we have committed to keeping our class sizes small.
For my money, the highlight of each year's Institute is the opening presentation by Professor Jack Coffee of ColumbiaLaw School concerning the past year's developments in class action law and procedure.
Before the debate, an audience vote showed 28 percent were in favor of the motion and 49 percent were against. The 23 percent undecided shrank to 7 percent after the debate. In a follow-up vote, 30 percent were in favor, but with 63 percent of the audience opposed, those arguing against the motion "The Rich Are Taxed Enough" won. This edition of Intelligence Squared U.S. was done in partnership with Columbia Law School's Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law and Public Policy.
If Davis' case reignited the capital-punishment debate, a study released this spring from Columbia Law School detailing errors that led Texas to wrongly execute Carlos DeLuna in 1989 threw more fuel on the bonfire.
The Court’s last argument before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy presented the latest chapter in a seemingly intractable problem of copyright law: whether a U.S. copyright holder can prevent the importation of “gray-market” products manufactured for overseas markets.
One thought, suggested to me by Nathaniel Persily, a public opinion expert at Columbia Law School, is that the Supreme Court has become so politicized in the public mind that there’s almost nothing left for politicians to say about it, no base that remains open to mobilization or inspiration.
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