August 2014

August 1-15

NPR—August 1
Phillipa Loengard, a lecturer at Columbia Law School and assistant director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts, discussed a Miami graffiti copyright controversy and whether street art is challenging conventions about intellectual property.
The Wall Street Journal—August 1
For the private-equity professionals, having their names associated with a state-owned fund in Russia won't sit well with authorities, said John Coffee, a Columbia Law School professor and director of the school's Center on Corporate Governance. "Even though there is no legal violation by serving on the board, there can be a reputational cost by winning disfavor from the U.S. government," Mr. Coffee said. "Reputational penalties are real."

The Nation—August 1
What would happen if the Internet became like cable TV? If the Internet service providers decided which websites were available to you and which weren’t? That possibility is not so far-fetched, according to Tim Wu, Columbia Law Professor and candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York. That’s why Wu established the concept of “net neutrality,” to define the Internet as an open space and to defend that openness doggedly.

ColorLines—August 1
“This hearing was necessitated by the silence around girls of color that we’ve seen in the discourse around the school-to-prison pipeline and more recently in the silence in My Brother’s Keeper,” said Kimberlé Crenshaw, a professor of law at Columbia University and UCLA and a host for the evening’s proceedings. Too often, said Crenshaw, people settle for fallacies that suggest that girls and women of color suffer less than men of color do from racism.
The Washington Post—August 3
Prof. Michael Graetz of Columbia Law School proposes cutting the corporate tax rate to 15 percent and taxing dividends at the (higher) rate for ordinary income (with an offsetting credit for taxes paid at the corporate level so as not to hurt the stock market).

Moscow-Pullman Daily News—August 4
Gay Marriage: Appeals Court Will Rule on Constitutionality Lawsuit in Coming Months
A lawsuit filed against Idaho's governor and other state officials on the constitutionality of Idaho's gay marriage laws will move to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this September. The Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic has filed an amicus brief in favor of the plaintiffs in the case, arguing two provisions of the U.S. Constitution are being directly violated by Idaho regulations against gay marriage.

The Jewish Channel—August 4

Up Close: August 4, 2014

Then, Columbia University professor Bernard Harcourt explains the latest, posthumously-published, work by famed 20th century moral philosopher Michel Foucault, Wrong-Doing, Truth-Telling: The Function of Avowal in Justice. Harcourt is the book’s co-editor, along with Fabienne Brion, and developed it from a series of lectures given by Foucault later in his life and which he never had a chance to publish.

The Verge—August 4
Point of Despair: Father of Net Neutrality Tim Wu Talks about Tech Policy’s Worst Year
Any way you look at it, Tim Wu is an unlikely candidate for public office. The Columbia Law School professor who coined the term "net neutrality" is a public intellectual better known for his academic work than his political activism.
The Wall Street Journal—August 4
Daniel C. Richman, a former Manhattan federal prosecutor who is now a professor at Columbia Law School, said Mr. Bharara's office has been "reminding the governor of the general rules of the road."

The New York Times
—August 4
For now, said Suzanne B. Goldberg, a law professor at Columbia, “the court’s recent gay rights decisions seem to be catching up with women’s rights cases of earlier decades.” “At the same time,” she added, “we live in a society that now seems more receptive to gay rights than women’s rights generally, so it is disheartening but not surprising to see that reflected in decisions like Hobby Lobby, which failed to see the link between contraception access and women’s equality.”

Card Hub—August 4
Michael J. Graetz: Columbia Alumni Professor of Tax Law, Columbia University: A cap or a shift to a credit -- at the same cost in revenues as the existing deduction -- would reduce charitable giving by high income individuals and perhaps increase such giving a bit by lower and middle income individuals, but the latter is speculative.

CNN—August 5
What Libya Says About Intervention
By Matthew Waxman
Last month, American diplomats and Marines were evacuated from Tripoli. The 2011 international coalition intervention in Libya was supposed to be a step forward for the Responsibility to Protect doctrine – the notion that if a state fails to protect its citizens from mass atrocities, it becomes the international community's responsibility to do so. Tragically, the current collapse of governance and bloody infighting among factional militias there will instead result in a step backwards for this important principle.

The Huffington Post—August 5
Katherine Franke, director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School, argued that this trend counterintuitively demonstrates the success of the gay rights movement in the Bible Belt. "The turn to religion is Plan B," Franke said. "Those who opposed gay rights for so long and really held the public agenda now see themselves as retreating to an enclave -- an enclave that's protected by free-exercise rights and the pickets of religion. And that's such a shift, to see themselves having gone from established norms to being the discriminated minority themselves."
The CBS Evening News—August 6
Suzanne Goldberg of Columbia Law School believes it's inevitable one of those challenges will reach the Supreme Court.

Slate—August 6
If a Monkey Takes a Selfie, Who Owns The Copyright?
“It’s a great final-exam question for a copyright class,” says June Besek, executive director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts at Columbia Law School. “Under the copyright law as it’s been interpreted, there has to be human authorship for there to be copyright. So I would say there isn’t copyright on the photo.”

June Besek is a lecturer.
Addis Fortune—August 6
Ethiopia: Thinking Twice About Inequality
By Michael Doyle and Joseph Stiglitz
At the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000, UN member states took a dramatic step by putting people, rather than states, at the centre of the agenda. In their Millennium Declaration, the assembled world leaders agreed to a set of breathtakingly broad goals touching on peace through development, the environment, human rights, the protection of the vulnerable and the special needs of Africa.

The Volokh Conspiracy—August 6
Adapting the Law of Armed Conflict to Autonomous Weapon Systems
The post heading is the title of a new paper, just up in draft version at SSRN (free, easy download), by me, Daniel Reisner, and Matthew Waxman.  The paper argues that autonomous weapon systems are quite capable of being evaluated through the existing body of the law of armed conflict, and sweeping, radical proposals in the international NGO community to ban the whole category of AWS preemptively are a very bad idea.

Schneier on Security—August 7
The U.S. Intelligence Community Has a Third Leaker
And there's this excellent article by David Pozen on why government leaks are, in general, a good thing.

Climate Wire—August 7
New Lawsuits Unlikely to Touch EPA’s Carbon Rule, At Least in the Near Term
"Courts generally don't like deciding cases they don't have to," said Michael Gerrard, a professor and director of climate law at the Columbia Law School

Bloomberg—August 7
Bharara vs. Cuomo Emerges as Battle of Two N.Y. Sheriffs
Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan and now a professor at Columbia Law School, said Bharara isn’t doing anything out of the ordinary by raising the question of tampering.  “When the feds have expressed an interest in a matter, circling back and trying to get people to change or clarify their accounts really is a dangerous move,” Richman said. “Corporate counsels are generally careful about this, and one would have thought that the governor’s office would be too.”

The Washington Post—August 7
Has the Era of the “Climate Change Refugee” Begun?
But do the world's leading statesmen, beset by a host of other crises, care? Michael Gerrard, Director for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, puts current progress in perspective: "The world community has not even begun to grapple with what is to come," he tells WorldViews in an e-mail.

eWeek—August 7
Classified Data Leaks Tough to Stop, Sure To Continue, Experts Say
Other experts agree. It's likely that such leaks will continue, at least in the United States, because a leaky government serves both the needs of the executive branch and the needs of the populace, David E. Pozen, associate professor of law at Columbia Law School, argued in a December 2013 paper published in the Harvard Law Review and cited by Schneier.
Associated Press—August 8
In Gaza, Dispute Over Civilian vs. Combatant Deaths
However, a high ratio of civilian deaths does not necessarily point to a violation of the rules of war, said Sarah Knuckey, an international human rights lawyer at Columbia Law School in New York. It might raise legal concerns, but "does not itself answer whether any party ... violated the rule against disproportionate attacks," she said. In judging if disproportionate force was used, each incident has to be investigated separately, she said.
Bloomberg BNA—August 8
Dudenhoeffer Ruling Benefits Both Sides, Attorneys Who Argued Case Agree
Ronald J. Mann, who argued on behalf of the ESOP participants and is a professor at Columbia Law School in New York, agreed that the ruling was a mixed bag, calling it “glass half full, glass half empty.”  

San Antonio Express-News—August 8
Texas Books Worth Savoring
“The Wrong Carlos: Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution” (Columbia University Press, $27.95) is the tragic story of Carlos DeLuna, a poor Texas man with limited intelligence executed in 1989 for murdering a convenience-store clerk. Forgotten for years, he was later proved to be innocent by a Columbia University law team led by professor and author James Liebman. The “other Carlos,” the true killer, also named Carlos, was a “phantom” of DeLuna's imagination, the prosecutor said.  

The New York Times—August 8
“A good number of lessons have not been learned,” said Larry D. Johnson, formerly the lead United Nations lawyer who served on that board of inquiry…. Mr. Johnson, who now teaches at Columbia Law School, said he was especially struck by two parallels between 2009 and now. The Israeli military continues to use mortars, which are imprecise weapons, so if a mortar round is aimed at militants outside a school, he said, “there’s a good chance it will hit a school.”
Larry D. Johnson is an adjunct professor.
The Economist—August 9
Sins of Commissions: How Americans Have Come to Labour Under a Dual System of Government
An interesting new work by Philip Hamburger, a law professor at Columbia University, dispenses with the tiresome back and forth between Republicans and Democrats. Instead, it focuses on Washington’s permanent administration—the ever-expanding federal bureaucracies that have come to play a central role in health care, finance, housing and work, and large roles in education, energy and whatever else constitutes the American system.

Library of Law and Liberty—August 11
Chevron, Independent Judgment, and Systematic Bias
By Philip Hamburger
The recent circuit court decision in Halbig v. Sebelius has exposed doubts about Chevron deference, but what exactly is wrong with such deference? The usual answer comes in terms of delegation, representative government, and other objections to agency interpretation. But there are more direct objections to judicial deference. First, it violates the constitutional duty of judges to exercise their own, independent judgment. Second, it is systematic judicial bias in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

Professor Hamburger’s commentary was also featured in Reason and Instapundit.          

The New York Times—August 12
Owner’s Refusal to Sell Islanders Draws Questions, and Now a Lawsuit
“Bottom line, Wang has the advantage, but it is not a slam dunk if the evidence indisputably shows that he has welched,” John C. Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School, said in an email. He added, “Barroway might be able to get an injunction against a sale to a third party based on a claim of bad faith.”

Natural Resource Defense Council—August 12
Council on Environmental Quality Declares Climate Change Already Covered in Environmental Impact Review, No New Regulations Needed
By Michael B. Gerrard
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), signed into law by President Richard Nixon on January 1, 1970, was the first U.S. environmental statute of the modern era. It requires the preparation of environmental impact statements (EISs) for major federal actions that may have a significant impact on the environment. NEPA has gone a long way to improving federal decision-making.  

The Washington Post—August 13
There’s just one problem: In 2014, the 1986 model looks like “a dead end.” Or so argues Michael J. Graetz, a former Treasury official in the first Bush administration and longtime advocate of radical tax reform who teaches at Columbia Law School. In his latest paper, published by the National Tax Journal, Graetz contends, plausibly, that the 1986 tax reform worked because it was then possible to pay for rate reductions by eliminating billions of dollars in individual and corporate tax shelters without tackling middle-class breaks like the mortgage interest deduction.
Professor Graetz’ commentary was also picked up in the National Catholic Reporter.

Bloomberg BNA—August 13
Challenges to EPA Power Plant Proposal Highlight Issues Central to Future Litigation
“Murray Energy is a long shot. The new case is a somewhat shorter shot, but it still rests on asking the court to issue a declaration on a rule that hasn’t been issued yet,” Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, told Bloomberg BNA.  

Associated Press—August 14
Lighter Sentences Sought for Some Business Crimes
In comparison, the clamor for changing white-collar guidelines has been muted. The Justice Department, already criticized for its paucity of criminal prosecutions arising from the financial crisis, has said it's open to a review but has not championed dramatic change."I don't think there's a political will for really cutting back or retooling the guidelines," said Columbia University law professor Daniel Richman.
Inside Cal/EPA—August 14
Top NEPA Lawyer Renews Call For GHG Guide
But Michael Gerrard, the Columbia University Law professor who helped write the 2008 petition on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), is faulting CEQ for failing to issue new NEPA guidance to the agencies on how to assess projects' climate impacts, saying such guidance is needed to ensure consistent analysis.  

The Wall Street Journal—August 14
To train the next generation of lawyers who can wage similar battles, Mr. Sabin has made a gift of $3.5 million to the Columbia Law School’s Center for Climate Change Law. The gift to the center, which will now be named for Mr. Sabin, will be announced Friday. It follows a $1.5 million donation he made in 2009 to endow a professorship for Michael B. Gerrard, the center’s director.
Bloomberg Businessweek—August 15
13-F Filings: Are They Valuable to Investors?
Columbia University Professor of law John Coffee and Bloomberg’s Julie Hyman discuss the importance of 13-F filings, Berkshire's adding a Charter Communications stake and John Paulson taking a stake in Allergan. They speak on “Street Smart.”  

The Columbia Spectator—August 15
Columbia Unveils New Sexual Assault Policy
“The expectation is the policy will be in place for this year, but not written in stone forever at Columbia,” Suzanne Goldberg, the newly appointed special advisor to University President Lee Bollinger on sexual assault prevention and response, said in an interview. “The University is committed to shaping the policy going forward.”   This story was also picked up in the Huffington Post.
Newsweek—August 15
What Michael Brown’s Death Says About America
To try to understand the dynamics of the protest—and the president’s ability to address them—Newsweek turned to Columbia Law School professor Patricia J. Williams. As a lawyer and author, Williams is known for her thoughtful explorations of racism in America.
Law360—August 15
As Professor John Coffee and others have recognized, many plaintiffs have secured significant recoveries by opting out of federal securities fraud class actions to pursue their own individual actions.[1] These opt-out actions have returned substantial sums to investors and usually proceed under state law in state courts.
The Grio—August 15
Affirmative Action: Time to Flip the Narrative
“The animation was created by my colleague and me to push back against the widely shared but incorrect framing of affirmative action as preferential treatment,” says Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, a prominent figure in Critical Race Theory and currently a professor at UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School. Crenshaw specializes in race and gender issues.


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August 16-31

City Journal—Summer 2014
But according to Dan Richman, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District and currently a Columbia University law professor, even if you can’t figure out the value-added of prosecution to lowering crime, “acting as if you can is a huge step forward. The prosecutors start conceiving of felony arrests as information.”
Forbes—August 17
The IRS is really not expendable. Columbia Law Professor Michael Graetz would keep it, but also would add a national sales tax. Professor Graetz thinks a 12.9 percent VAT would allow our nation to cut our corporate tax rate to 15 percent. He also says it would eliminate income taxes for all households earning less than $100,000 ($50,000 for singles).

Newsweek—August 17
Suzanne B. Goldberg, a law professor who serves as Special Advisor to President Bollinger on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response and helped draft the document, disputed the charge that students input wasn’t taken into account. “Many of the policies’ provisions were direct responses to student concerns and suggestions raised throughout the last academic year,” Goldberg told Newsweek.

The National Law Journal—August 18
Columbia Law Given $3.5M for Climate Law Center
Columbia Law School has received a $3.5 million gift from the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation to bolster its Center for Climate Change Law. That center, which develops legal avenues to fight climate change and trains lawyers in those techniques, has been renamed the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law… There is much work to be done, according to Columbia Law professor Michael Gerrard, who advises small island nations regarding rising sea levels. This story was also picked up in Politico and the Philanthropy News Digest.

Just Security—August 19
Did the U.S. Drone Strike and Secretly Compensate Yemeni Civilians?
By Sarah Knuckey
New documentary evidence has emerged indicating that the families of those killed in a controversial December 2013 U.S. strike in Yemen received upwards of $1 million dollars in compensation for their losses. 
Democracy Now!—August 18
Ferguson Protests Erupt Near Grave of Ex-Slave Dred Scott, Whose Case Helped Fuel U.S. Civil WarAgain, the Dred Scott decision, considered the worst decision in the history of the Supreme Court, in the slave state of Missouri, the seven-to-two decision. The chief justice was a slave owner himself. In fact, a number of the Supreme Court justices were slave owners themselves. To talk more about the significance of this case today, we’re joined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, professor of law at UCLA and Columbia University, founder of the African American Policy Forum. 

Greenwire—August 19
Conservationist Andrew Sabin has given Columbia Law School $3.5 million to expand its climate change law program. The endowment will be doled out over the next five years and will significantly bolster Columbia's Center for Climate Change Law, which Sabin helped establish in 2009 with a separate $1.5 million contribution… It is led by professor Michael Gerrard, a well-regarded legal expert in the subject who has known Sabin for decades.

Associated Press—August 20
John Coffee, Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law at Columbia Law School: "This is the largest settlement yet, this is $4 billion larger than the $13 billion settlement with J.P. Morgan, which set a unique record several months ago. Of the $17 billion, about $10 billion will be cash and about $7 billion will be in the form of consumer relief."

The Volokh Conspiracy—August 20
The antitrust scholars on the brief occupy different parts of the antitrust spectrum–in addition to me, there’s my colleague Tom Arthur at Emory, my former colleagues Steve Salop at Georgetown and Darren Bush at University of Houston, co-blogger David Hyman at Illinois, Ian Ayres at Yale, Ken Elzinga at UVA, Harry First at NYU, Scott Hemphill at Columbia, Herb Hovenkamp at Iowa, Dick Schmalensee at MIT, and many others.

—August 21
By Matthew Waxman
A number of friends and colleagues have asked me recently for recommended readings on the law of armed conflict and Gaza. I’ve decided, therefore, to post some of my suggestions and some explanation as to why I chose them… A similar Associated Press story quotes my Columbia Law School colleague Sarah Knuckey for the critical point that the raw numbers don’t answer the important legal questions.

Fox Business—August 21
Jettisoned from Wall Street’s Inner Circle, Cohen Said to Plot Comeback Bid

“I would say Steven Cohen’s chances are about as good as Michael Milken’s would be” for returning the securities business, said Columbia Law School professor John Coffee, referring to the tarnished junk bond pioneer. Still, Coffee added, “a lifetime ban allows you to reapply five years later for readmission,” meaning it’s not impossible.

The Washington Post—August 21
“All of a sudden you can easily check your competitors’ tax rates, and if yours is higher than theirs, that’s going to be a problem,” said Alex Raskol­nikov, a tax law professor at Columbia Law School. “You could end up in a race to the bottom.”

NPR—August 21
As the fall semester approaches, students returning to classes at Columbia will learn about changes to the way the school handles sexual assault allegations, and how it seeks to prevent sexual violence from happening. Suzanne Goldberg, special adviser to the president on sexual assault prevention and response at Columbia and a Columbia Law School professor, explains what's new, and follows up on some criticism of the new policy from a Columbia student on yesterday's show.

Marketplace—August 21
Could $1 Store + $1 Store = Monopoly?
"In very dense environments, where there’s a store every couple of blocks, you don’t worry as much because there are so many competitive choices,” says Scott Hemphill, a professor of antitrust law and intellectual property at Columbia Law School. But things can change as geography does. "If you are a customer in a part of the country that’s close to Dollar General and close to Family Dollar, but not close to a Wal-Mart, then there’s a real concern that the firms that they merged would be able to raise their prices," he says.  
The Guardian—August 21
Bank of America Reaches Record $17bn Settlement Over Questionable Mortgages
John Coffee, Adolf A Berle professor of law at Columbia University
, said: “There is another shoe that needs to drop before we can assess this settlement. This is the largest fine but yet again we have seen an inability, or a reluctance, to name and go after the individuals responsible.”

Bloomberg BNA—August 21
EPA Power Plant Rule Raises Questions About Expansion of RGGI Participant States

‘‘I think the greatest determinant of whether a state will join (or stay in) a regional emissions trading program like RGGI is the politics of the state, rather than whether it would objectively benefit under the forthcoming EPA rules,’’ Michael B. Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, told Bloomberg BNA in an e-mail.

Inside Philanthropy—August 22
The Republican Metals Magnate Fighting Climate Change Through the Courts
Go ahead and read that a second time if you want. Andrew Sabin is a Republican donor, owner of a precious metals refiner, and he just gave $3.5 million to support legal strategies to fight climate change. Sabin’s grant to Columbia Law School will expand upon the school’s Center for Climate Change Law, which he first helped launch with a $1.5 million gift in 2009, to develop legal techniques to fight developers over environmental issues and otherwise combat climate change. The Center is headed by Michael B. Gerrard, who once served as the family business Sabin Metal Corp.’s environmental attorney.  

The New Yorker—August 25
In Beijing, I met Benjamin Liebman, a professor at Columbia Law School, who has published a study on “malpractice mobs” in China. He told me that protests consistently extract more money from hospitals than legal proceedings do. Family members can even hire professional protesters… Liebman told me, “Protest becomes the mechanism for providing social security and for distinguishing people who need help.” The problem is, he said, “everyone knows the government has funds to pay people who petition or protest, and that incentivizes more protest.”

Canadian Lawyer—August 25
The Law School of the Future—Today
Arthurs isn’t alone in that assessment. Peter L. Strauss, the Betts Professor of Law at Columbia University, calls it the “new Langdellian moment,” referring to Christopher Columbus Langdell, the Harvard Law School dean who introduced the case method, revolutionizing the teaching of law more than a century ago.

Women News Network—August 25
Unaccompanied Child Migrants Face Extra Trauma Once Inside U.S.
Staff attorney at The Legal Aid Society of New York and Lecturer-in-law at Columbia Law School, Kathleen Maloney, represents unaccompanied children in the New York city immigration court. She says that the crisis with children crossing the border didn’t recently start to happen. Those who have been legal advocates for migrants in the U.S. for many years have seen the numbers increasing. 

Latin Business Chronicle—August 25
Will banks in emerging markets thrive under the new regulations on capital adequacy standards, proprietary trading or conflict of interest trading? Will non-banks push banks out of some market niches? To discuss these topics, Latin Business Chronicle invited Georges Ugeux, European Banking and Finance professor at the Columbia University School of Law and author of the book, “International Finance Regulation: The Quest for Financial Stability.”
Georges Ugeux is a lecturer.

The National Law Journal—August 26

Columbia Law Prof Named to Ginsburg Chair at Georgetown
Columbia Law School professor David Schizer
will be the next occupant of an endowed chair at Georgetown University Law Center named after Martin Ginsburg, the late husband of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Schizer is a professor of law and economics at Columbia, and served as its dean from 2004 to 2014. He clerked for Justice Ginsburg in 1994 and 1995. He will teach a tax law and public finance workshop at Georgetown next spring.

The New York Times—August 26
Fantasy Football, Stock-Market Edition
John C. Coffee Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School
, refers to the Fantex shares as a kind of sports souvenir, as well as a sign of the times. “The market has soared over the last two years, and everything is at record levels, and that’s when you get a little bit of froth on top of the wave,” he says. “I’m not trying to predict whether there’s a bubble bursting or not, but this is the kind of froth that you see only at market peaks.”

CNBC—August 26
Court Rule Against Tepco is a ‘Stretch’: Pro
Curtis Milhaupt, Director of the Center for Japanese Legal Studies at the Columbia Law School
, discusses news that the firm has been held responsible for a suicide case. 

New York Law Journal—August 27
Injunction Motion to Release School Aid Moves to Albany
They say, 'We acknowledge you need an X amount, but we are a little short, so we will give you X minus Y and we will call that a gap elimination adjustment,'" said Michael Rebell, lead attorney for the plaintiffs… Rebell is the former executive director of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity who was lead attorney during the protracted CFE litigation. He is also director of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University and a Columbia professor of law and educational practice.

Michael Rebell is an adjunct professor. 

Contra Costa Times—August 27
Bidder for Bay Area Hospitals Sues Unions, Alleging ExtortionKatherine Franke, a professor at Columbia University Law School, said that using the RICO statute -- a law originally intended to address organized crime and racketeering -- has become a well-known basis for a "strategic lawsuit against public participation,'' commonly known as a SLAPP suit. Such suits, she said, are used as a way to intimidate or scare opposing parties by burdening them with litigation. "Having to respond to it means hiring a lawyer and distracting you from whatever it was you were doing,'' Franke said.

The Independent—August 27

Over $3 Mil to Columbia Law

The East Hampton-based Andrew Sabin Family Foundation has established an endowed fund to support and expand the Center for Climate Change Law, which has been renamed the
Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, at Columbia Law School. The $3.5 million gift over five years will strengthen and expand the center's groundbreaking work on climate change law, which is directed by one of the nation's most prominent environmental law experts, Michael B. Gerrard.

Newsweek—August 28
Though Section 115 has barely been mentioned in the press, and has yet to ever be implemented, the academic world has been discussing its potential for several years. “I think it has real promise,” says Michael Gerrard, a law professor and director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University. “It is an almost completely unknown and untested section of the Clean Air Act. But on its face it would seem directly applicable.”

NBC News—August 28
Why Is the ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech Copyright-Protected?
Use of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech" is highly restricted. Columbia Law Professor Scott Hemphill explains why. 

The Washington Times—August 28
Green-trigue: N.Y. Legal Memo May Give Obama Path to Make U.N. Climate Deal Binding
“That would be a real stretch,” said Michael B. Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School. He said the 1992 treaty laid out such vague goals that it is unlikely a court would find targets in it that would bind the federal government. “The U.S. courts have not been receptive to making up their own rules on climate change,” Mr. Gerrard said. “They are certainly willing to enforce statutes on the books, such as the Clean Air Act, but they don’t want to make up their own rules, and implying an obligation from the ‘92 convention would be very close to that.” 

Media Matters—August 28
In an interview with Media Matters, Columbia University Law Professor Michael B. Gerrard, who is the director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, stated that "from the press reports and from everything else I've heard, it would be a non-legally binding agreement of the sort that should not require Senate ratification." He added that "there are numerous international agreements that the U.S. enters into without -- without Senate ratification. The most prominent of them is in 1945, FDR negotiated the Yalta agreement with Churchill and Stalin -- an enormously consequential agreement -- but never obtained Senate ratification. So the President has considerable, you know, foreign affairs powers."
Foreign Policy—August 28
Obama Hints at Legal Rationale for Airstrikes in Syria
Matthew Waxman, a law professor at Columbia University
who served in George W. Bush's administration, said he needed more evidence to judge definitively whether the United States has a case for airstrikes. But on the face of it, he said, "justification for some military action is strong.  "When it comes to terrorist threats, the United States tends to claim a broader right of self-defense than many other countries recognize, but it will find a lot of sympathy in this case.”
Bloomberg—August 29
New York Flaunts Clout in Review of Comcast Deal
New York law allows the public service commission to block a merger outright, said Tim Wu, a Columbia Law School professor who is running for lieutenant governor in the Democratic primary against a candidate picked by Cuomo. “The tradition has been where they use the power to block to extract a series of goodies,” Wu said in an interview in Albany.
Christian Science Monitor—August 29
‘The Wrong Carlos’: Was an Innocent Man Executed?
Now, a Columbia University law professor and a team of law students say DeLuna didn't do it. They point their fingers at the late Carlos Hernandez, an invisible man in plain sight, in their new book The Wrong Carlos: Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution.… In an interview, lead author and law professor James Liebman talks about what went wrong, how his team uncovered the truth, and what this case means for the debate over the death penalty. 

The Wall Street Journal—August 29
“Rather than ignore the roughly 1 million people who have weighed in on this petition, the SEC should do a formal study of whether undisclosed political spending is bad for investors,” says Robert Jackson, a professor at Columbia Law School who helped draft the petition.
Psychiatric News—August 29
Court Upholds Ban on Doctors Discussing Gun OwnershipCommenting on the appeals court decision, Paul Appelbaum, M.D., past chair of the APA Committee on Judicial Action and the Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Law at Columbia University, told Psychiatric News, “The 11th Circuit’s decision upholding Florida’s gag law is troubling because it is one more example of courts and legislatures attempting to control what doctors say to patients. Here, the judges have decided that asking routinely about the presence of guns is contrary to good medical practice and hence can be prohibited by the state. When courts set the standards for clinical interactions rather than leaving that task in medical hands, the inevitable result is harmful to the public’s health.” 

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