Columbia Law School offers the Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic under the leadership of Conrad Johnson, Mary Marsh Zulack and Brian Donnelly. This program is a pathbreaking offering that explores the impact of technology on law practice and the profession. More than just a course, this clinical program involves client work and collaborative projects with major public interest legal organizations and prominent jurists.
Is Administrative Law Unlawful? This is the title of my new book, and I am grateful to Scott Johnson and Power Line for allowing me to preview its thesis: that administrative power revives absolute power. Administrative power is increasingly pervasive. Presidents come and presidents go, and each has extended this power, until by now administrative rules outnumber statutes.
Power Line also posted a series of excerpts from the book and an interview with Professor Hamburger.
Van Hise’s lawyers have filed a motion for acquittal, and it’s possible that Judge Gardephe will rule in his favor, too. Such requests are standard practice, says Columbia Law professor and former federal prosecutor Daniel Richman, but they’re “usually made with no expectation of success, and denied with very little reason given.”
If Clemons correctly named search neutrality as the next major chapter in the fight for overall net neutrality, then yesterday’s panel was an auspicious occasion for the christening. On stage with Clemons was Columbia Professor of Law Tim Wu, who coined the phrase “net neutrality” in 2003.
Panelist Tim Wu — author, policy advocate, professor at Columbia Law School, and contributing editor at The New Republic (and the source of the evening’s best quotes) — likened Bezos to another famous industrialist, one whose name you can find carved into libraries all across the world: Andrew Carnegie. When the discussion of books as “pure commodity” came up, Wu quipped, “Efficiency is great for US Steel, but it doesn’t necessarily make sense for books.”
John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School who specializes in corporate governance and securities law, says it is often the CEOs themselves who don't want to share the news, rather than their companies. "Most securities lawyers and general counsels recognize that the health of the CEO can be material," he says. "But they have to sell that proposition to the CEO, who is likely to be very sensitive."
“I think the lesson here is pretty simple,” said John C. Coffee Jr., a professor of securities law at Columbia University. “Bad things happen in the dark.” Based on what he’s read in the complaint, Professor Coffee said, “Barclays was lying to customers. They weren’t protecting them — they were setting them up.”
Avery W. Katz, professor of law at Columbia Law School, tackles the conundrum of “incomplete contracts. The challenge? How can organisations fashion a contract that is both economically flexible enough for a business relationship to move forward efficiently, and legally secure enough to satisfy the parties’ legal departments.
"What it signals is that those who are unhappy with a governmental law or regulation can simply say 'Your law doesn't touch me.' They don't even have to fill a form out," said Columbia Law professor Katherine Franke, director of the school's Center for Gender and Sexuality law.
Columbia law school professorJames Liebman, and Andrew Markquart and Shawn Crowley, talk about the case and how faulty eyewitness testimony, poor legal representation, and prosecutorial misfeasance continue to put innocent people at risk of execution.
A few weeks ago, a judge in California struck down the state’s teacher tenure and seniority-order layoff laws. Even though the ruling has not yet been reviewed by the California Supreme Court — which may well reverse it — there already is a strong copycat effect, as groups in a number of states, including New York, have announced plans to file similar lawsuits in the near future.
“Net neutrality got them where they are,” said Timothy Wu, a Columbia University law professor in New York who supports open-Internet rules. “There’s a danger that they, having climbed the ladder, might pull it up after them.”
[Scott] Hemphill said that the rulings reflect skepticism about class actions (Twombly and Comcast) as well as the ongoing influence of economic theory on the substantive scope of liability (Weyerhaeuser, Leegin and Actavis). He pointed to the latest ruling, in Actavis, as cabining “patent triumphalism” in antitrust… Columbia’s [Robert] Jackson agreed, stressing that the Roberts Court lacks any business lawyers, and therefore they don’t really understand what businesses want from the Court and often make mistakes that actually make the law tougher on those they’d like to help. So, while the Court may want to be pro-business, it is decidedly not.
“I think he has no chance on this lawsuit,” Vincent Blasi, a professor at Columbia Law School and expert in tort law, told TIME. “If the grievance is defamation, you have to show someone said something factually false about him. It requires a misstatement of an empirical fact.”
Tim Wu is a busy man. When he's not teaching law at Columbia or writing for The New Yorker, he's testifying before Congress about the FCC proposed net neutrality. And as of last month, Wu is running for lieutenant governor of New York State. Busy might not be the right term, actually. Tim Wu is brimming with purpose.
Citigroup may have floated the $7 billion dollar figure to see how shareholders would take it. "They may resist and push back more if they’re getting a very negative reaction from the market," says John Coffee, director of Columbia University’s Center on Corporate Governance.
Georges Ugeux, founder of Galileo Global Advisors and adjunct professor at the Columbia Law School where he teaches a course on European banking and finance, has had a long career in international financial markets. He has worked at Soc Gen, Morgan Stanley, Kidder Peabody, the European Investment Fund, and the NYSE. He draws on that experience as well as his training as an economist and lawyer to tackle a daunting topic: International Finance Regulation: The Quest for Financial Stability (Wiley, 2014).
By Michael B. Gerrard
The courts issued 38 decisions in 2013 under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). This represented the third-lowest number of decisions since this annual survey began in 1990; lower numbers were found only in 2011 (35) and 2010 (37).
Recently, I talked with Jeffrey Fagan, a professor at Columbia Law School, who has studied crime in New York for decades and whose data and testimony were used in last year’s trial over the city’s stop-and-frisk practices.
Much has been written about the Supreme Court's recent Hobby Lobby ruling and how it took up a conflict between reproductive rights and religious liberty, coming down on the side of religion and ceding to the religious right's effort to stain contraception with the stigma associated with abortion.
The stories are legion. A pregnant woman under a medical lifting restriction is denied light duty by her employer. Another employee requests to leave an hour early for a prenatal doctor's appointment; in response, her boss fires her.
I’m delighted to report that Prof. Philip Hamburger of Columbia Law School — a leading scholar of constitutional law and constitutional history — will be guest-blogging this coming week on his new book, Is Administrative Law Unlawful?
“So it all comes down to a principle of being able to speak, or being able to innovate, without centralized permission,” Tim Wu, the professor at Columbia Law School in Manhattan who developed the concept of net neutrality and coined the term, said in a panel discussion at Fordham University in early July.
Conservative religious leaders want the rule, still being drafted, to exempt religious groups that object to homosexual behavior. But legal experts, organized by Katherine M. Franke of the Columbia University Law School, said in an open letter that church groups are already allowed to favor members of their faith in hiring, and that a new exception would allow employers to discriminate using taxpayer dollars and enshrine a second-class legal status for gay, lesbian and transgender workers.
Over 50 legal scholars have signed a letterorganized by the Columbia Law School Center for Gender and Sexuality Law Public Rights/Private Conscience Project, urging President Obama not to include a religious exemption in his planned executive order barring anti-LGBT discrimination in hiring by federal contractors.
John Coffee, a professor of law at Columbia University, says it would be precedent-setting for GM’s senior executives to face some form of prosecution, but he believes U.S. prosecutors are looking into it. “What’s unusual and what may be in prospect here is an attempt to indict senior officers of the corporation because of the corporation’s failure to respond to a problem,” Coffee said in an interview with CBC’s The Lang & O’Leary Exchange.
By James S. Liebman, Simon H. Rifkind Professor of Law, Columbia Law School, and Shawn Crowley, Andrew Markquart, Lauren Rosenberg, Lauren Gallo White and Daniel Zharkovsky
Do states with the death penalty execute innocent people? That is the fundamental question at the heart of The Wrong Carlos, a book I recently published with student coauthors. It is also the question facing the American public following a series of devastating developments for death penalty supporters.
During the past several years, vetoes have been cast in the UN Security Council to block draft resolutions aimed at addressing the crises in Syria and Ukraine. Concerning Syria, Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions (the votes were 9-2-4 on October 4, 2011, 13-2-0 on February 4, 2012, and 11-2-2 on July 19, 2012).
"SoFo Goes Silver" is honoring Eric Goode, the founder of the Turtle Conservancy, Area B, Bar and the Bowery Hotel; Michael Gerrard, an Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional practice at Columbia Law School, where he teaches environmental law, climate change law, and energy law.
The outpouring of public comments extends well beyond the details of the F.C.C.’s regulatory authority or the lobbying of major corporations, said Tim Wu, a professor at the Columbia Law School who helped create the concept of net neutrality. “This is about a fear of closing of the technological frontier,” Mr. Wu said, “of the fear of the Internet becoming too corporatized — no longer this place where even if you start small, you do have a fighting chance.”
As support for capital punishment in America continues to erode, a new book might be the next nail in the death penalty’s coffin. The Wrong Carlos: Anatomy of A Wrongful Execution [by James S. Liebman and the Columbia DeLuna Project] details the harrowing case of Carlos DeLuna, who was killed by lethal injection on December 7, 1989 for a crime he didn’t commit. From investigation to conviction, his case embodies all the reasons American support for the death penalty is at an all-time low.
In a letter signed by 54 legal scholars from around the country, Columbia Law School Professor Katherine Franke, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project Director Kara Loewentheil, and Brooklyn Law School Professor Nelson Tebbe argue that the broad exemption urged by some religious leaders and several law professors is not required by the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), or accommodations of religious liberty in other federal non-discrimination laws, including Title VII.
The New York City Bar Association on Monday honored James Liebman, a professor at Columbia Law School, and Kaye Scholer following a program on capital defense training for law students and attorneys. Liebman received the Norman Redlich Capital Defense Distinguished Service Award for his efforts to abolish the death penalty and prevent prisoner executions.
Still another letter — led by Columbia University’s Center for Gender & Sexuality Law and made public on Monday — urges Obama not to include a religious exemption in the executive order and was signed by 54 legal scholars… Among the signers of the letter are Katherine Franke, director for the Columbia University’s Center for Gender & Sexuality Law…
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew must have loved the children's classic "Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates"—and perhaps even believed it, especially the story of a Dutch boy who saves his nation by putting his finger in a leaking dike. That appears to be the Obama administration's approach to tax policy.
The more recent statements by Mr. Comey and Mr. Holder that big fines should lead to punishment from shareholders are unrealistic, said John Coffee, director of the Center on Corporate Governance at Columbia University. "Shareholders aren't going to take action. They haven't taken it in the past, they won't take it in the future,'' said Mr. Coffee, because their influence is so diffuse that it is usually difficult to direct specific actions by executives running the company.
“I'm sure regulators will take a close look at this," said Scott Hemphill, a professor at Columbia specializing in antitrust and intellectual property. Hemphill said the main issue for regulators would be the potential the "increased concentration" of television programmers and movie studios created by merging the two companies could lead to "higher prices" for distributors, consumers, and advertisers.
It's not uncommon for outside consultants to be brought into complex investigations, according to James Tierney, director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School. "The key is full transparency," he said, both from the consultant to the prosecutors and from the prosecutors to the public.
A group of law professors have sent a letter urging President Barack Obama not to include a religious exemption in his promised executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation… Organizing the push were Columbia Law School professor Katherine Franke and Columbia research fellow Kara Loewentheil, along with Brooklyn Law School professor Nelson Tebbe. Franke leads Columbia's Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.
Many death penalty experts don’t see Carney’s decision as paradoxical, however. Among them is James Liebman, a professor at Columbia Law School with expertise on the death penalty, who says Californians are so accustomed to the current system that they’ve become blind to its deficiencies. “There’s no doubt in California that there’s no predictability as to who will be executed and when,” he said.
A federal judge in California strikes down the state's death penalty, ruling that it is unconstitutional. Columbia University law professor Jeffrey Fagan discusses the implications on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero.
By John C. Coffee Jr. Above all, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's pending suit against Barclays PLC for allegedly misrepresenting that its dark pool (LX) was "safe" from high frequency traders, when in fact it was a hotbed of "predatory" trading, shows two things.
Every day now, myths about the death penalty explode. Glenn Ford's exoneration in March, after 30 years on Louisiana's death row, gave the lie to two urban legends: There are no innocent people on death row, and if a death-row prisoner were innocent, we would set him free right away and compensate him generously for his lost years.
Suzanne Goldberg, director of Columbia University’s Center for Gender & Sexuality Law, said Holmes may be reaching to another court that is considering marriage litigation by writing this concurring opinion. “A concurring judge goes out of his way to argue, at length, that Oklahoma’s marriage ban does not rest on impermissible animus toward gay people,” Goldberg said.
"It's not about suing the local car dealership anymore," said James Tierney, a former attorney general of Maine and currently the director of the Columbia University Law School's National State Attorneys General Program. "There are some candidates out there asking, 'Why are all these outsiders contributing money to us?' Well, the answer is: 'When you become an attorney general, you become a national figure, whether you know it or not.'"
In 1995, the average cable bill was $22 per month. Today, after waves of price hikes that have far outpaced inflation, the bill for cable television alone can easily top $100; add internet and other services, and the bill can exceed $200.
A new human rights report offers a blistering assessment of the Justice Department’s role in the fight against terrorism, taking aim at tactics used to identify and prosecute suspects. In a lengthy examination of U.S. terrorism prosecutions, Human Rights Watch, working with Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute, said the FBI and the Justice Department have created a climate of fear in some Muslim communities through the use of surveillance and informants.
This story was picked up by numerous other outlets, including the GlobalPost and Politico.
The terrible events in Ukraine, electrified by the interception and destruction of a Malaysian passenger plane, should be a thunderclap, shaking us from our torpor and confusion.
The Weekly Standard—July 21
L’État, C’est Moi Indeed, Philip Hamburger, professor of law at Columbia, argues here that it was precisely these justifications and powers that English and American constitutional law developed to protect us against. Not only is the modern administrative state unconstitutional, it is the very thing our Constitution sought to prevent.
And "net neutrality" is not a scintillating term, as even the man who coined it admits. "You know I kind of agree it's boring; there's some power in sounding boring," Tim Wu says. A professor at Columbia Law School, Wu happens to be running for lieutenant governor of New York. But he's best known for coining the term "net neutrality."
“It’s really unprecedented to have a commissioner of the same political stripe object so repeatedly and vociferously to the chairman’s actions,” said Robert J. Jackson Jr., a securities law professor at Columbia University.
American Banker—July 21
Four Years Later, Economic Cost of Dodd-Frank Remains Elusive
"I think it's probably time to start shifting to a data-driven analysis of the output of this new regulatory system," said Margaret Tahyar, a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell… Experts agree there are weaknesses to cost-benefit analysis that do little to show conclusively the impact of any regulation… Two papers by Jeffrey Gordon, a law professor at Columbia University and John Coates, a law and economics professor at Harvard University, also strongly support that claim.
While Ackman is playing hardball with Herbalife, his actions aren’t illegal and accusations of market manipulation would be overblown, said John Coffee, a securities law professor at Columbia University in New York. “Although his characterizations are harsh and possibly overstated, investors are fully aware of his self-interest,” Coffee said in an e-mail.
Professor Coffee also was interviewed on this topic by a number of other media outlets.
Is this how a government of laws is supposed to work? Philip Hamburger thinks not. The Columbia Law School professor has come out with a provocative new book, “Is Administrative Law Unlawful?,” that argues the modern administrative state resembles nothing so much as the government of King James I, where the monarch meted out his own form of justice in the infamous Star Chamber, free from the interference of meddling independent judges.
"The question amounts to what degree of care is necessary if you're shooting these weapons off," Columbia Law School professor Michael Doyle says. Russian officials could also be prosecuted for war crimes if it is proven that they are providing materiel and direction to rebels in Ukraine who commit these offenses, he adds.
The ruling will give those opposed to fossil fuels extraction on public lands more tools to fight it on the grounds that its costs associated with climate change may be too great, said Michael Gerrard, director of the Center of Climate Change Law at Columbia University in New York.
Brett Dignam is a clinical professor of law at Columbia University, where she is also the director of the Mass Incarceration Clinic. “You don’t understand this problem until you are sitting opposite a table of a prisoner,” she said. “A lot of my students come in with preconceived notions of these horrible violent people, but they are brought up in different neighborhoods or they have different luck, but they are all the same age as my students.”
A newly published book by Columbia Law School professor James S. Liebman and The Columbia DeLuna Project lays out the story not only of Lopez’s sadistic murder but of the injustice that likely led the state to strap an innocent man to a gurney and poison him to death. The Wrong Carlos: Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution, shows how law enforcement officers botched the investigation of Lopez’s death from the first moments they walked into the crime scene.
Eric Goode, the founder of the Turtle Conservancy, was honored, as well as Peter Matthiessen, whose award was accepted posthumously by son, Alex. Michael Gerrard, Columbia Law School professor was honored also.
If there's a book every judge, prosecutor and lawmaker in America should read, it's this one, which is subtitled “An Anatomy of American Punishment.” The author, [Robert Ferguson] a professor of law and letters at Columbia University, has looked deeply into the American penal system, and what he's found is profoundly disturbing.
Other regulators on the 10-member oversight council should pick up their earlier recommendations and potentially designate the largest money funds as systemically important, Columbia Law School professor Jeffrey N. Gordon said. “The SEC’s rule adoption today regarding money-market funds is the single most discouraging regulatory action taken post-crisis,” Gordon said in an e-mail.
Law professor Suzanne Goldberg will serve as a special advisor to University President Lee Bollinger on sexual assault prevention and response, Bollinger announced in an email on Thursday. Goldberg, who currently serves as the director of the Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law and the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, will help organize and determine the structure for the office of the Executive Vice President for Student Affairs—a position Bollinger created in the spring to serve as a point person for students on sexual assault and other University issues.
Columbia University law lecturer James Tierney hadn't thought much about this year's race for New York state lieutenant governor until recently. When busy with courses and research, "most academics don't even know what state they're living in," Mr. Tierney said—let alone who is running for office. But then Mr. Tierney, a former Maine attorney general, discovered a left-of-center Democrat running for New York's second-highest office: Tim Wu, a Columbia Law School professor with "a huge reputation" on area campuses… But some who hail Mr. Wu's professorial skill are undecided on Mr. Wu the politician. "He's a first-rate academic," said Robert Scott, the dean of Columbia Law.
By Robert Chesney, Jack Goldsmith, Matthew Waxman, and Benjamin Wittes
Josh Gerstein of Politico reports that “[a] top White House official suggested Saturday that Congress pass new legislation to support President Barack Obama’s authority to act against an array of terrorist groups not clearly linked to the September 11 attacks.”
There is a precedent for making tax legislation retroactive, says Michael Graetz, a tax expert at Columbia Law School, but it’s typically happened in cases where the writing was on the wall. For example, if the House passed an anti-inversion bill but the Senate went into recess before taking action, you could argue that companies should have known better than to arrange a merger based on a tax law that was clearly about to change.
Sokolow’s insistence that he is an “impartial arbiter” even while acting “of counsel” on behalf of colleges is “very implausible,” said William H. Simon, a law professor at Columbia University. “If the college wants an impartial investigator, they shouldn’t hire a lawyer.”
Corporate entities date back to medieval times, observes Columbia law professor John Coffee, an authority on corporate law. "You could think of the Catholic Church as probably the first entity that could buy and sell property in its own name," he says… In the early years of the republic, the only right given to corporations was the right to have their contracts respected by the government, according to [Columbia Law School] legal historianEben Moglen.
“You don’t need a formal agreement, but there’s got to be something to suggest the person [linked to the outside group] has an actual connection to the candidate,” said Richard Briffault, a campaign finance law expert at Columbia University.
"The Virginia decision is part of a broader landscape that the Supreme Court will consider at whatever point it decides to take a marriage case," Suzanne B. Goldberg, director of Columbia Law School's Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, says in an email to U.S. News. "So far, there is no split along the circuits – all three circuits to have ruled have concluded [in] favor of marriage equality. As a result, the Supreme Court could let the 10th Circuit decision sit or might decide to take up the question in the coming term."
Allowing judges such an option, to use when appropriate, is the basic premise of Concurrent Damages, an article recently published in the Virginia Law Review by Columbia Law School Professor Bert I. Huang. Analogous to the concept of concurrent sentencing in criminal law, concurrent damages would allow judges to group civil statutory damages in such a way as to reflect the harm caused, thereby neutralizing the potential arbitrariness and disproportionality inherent in inflexible statutory mechanisms.
“This is a make-work statute,” said Columbia Law School professor Peter L. Strauss, an administrative and regulatory law specialist. “It creates volumes of paperwork for Congress and the GAO that sit on the floor.”
The city is relying on its subpoenas, along with a news release, to get the word out about the change in policy. It does not plan to directly communicate anything to the roughly 800 dealerships it licenses. That could satisfy the requirement to alert dealerships to the issue, said Gillian E. Metzger, an administrative law professor at Columbia Law School. “Then it’s just a question of whether or not their statutory interpretation will hold up,” Ms. Metzger said, referring to the city’s stance, which is tougher than current state law. “A court would review whether or not it’s an acceptable interpretation.”
“Anything that makes life harder for women makes life harder for families and makes life harder for children,” President Obama told an approving crowd last month, at a White House summit meeting on working families. But this seemingly obvious point is not reflected anywhere in the president’s signature initiative on race — My Brother’s Keeper, a five-year, $200 million program that will give mentorships, summer jobs and other support to boys and young men of color, most of them African-American or Hispanic, and that entirely omits the challenges facing their mothers and sisters.
Columbia University Law Professor and lieutenant governor candidate Tim Wu told reporters on a conference call Wednesday afternoon that members of Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration may have violated four different state criminal laws by interfering with the operations of an ethics commission.
This story was picked up in other outlets, including Newsday and the New York Observer.
The NLRB’s decision “has the potential to upend the fast-food industry's decades-long strategy of out-sourcing legal responsibility to franchisees when it comes to securing workers' rights,” Mark Barenberg, a professor at Columbia Law School in New York, said in a statement. “Companies like McDonald’s insert an intermediary between themselves and workers, even though they're manifestly in control of the franchisees' employment decisions.”
After 24 years representing Connecticut in the Senate, Joe Lieberman left Washington in Jan. 2013 as a man without a party—a Democrat-turned-independent-turned-GOP-endorser… “I actually taught this last semester at Columbia Law School and I’m going to repeat that course this fall and I enjoyed it immensely, more than I expected actually. It was just very rewarding to try to convey what I experienced and learned to the next generation of students, some of whom, hopefully, will consider public service.”
Richard Briffault, a commission member and ColumbiaLaw School professor, said Thursday he was never approached on Cuomo's behalf to speak in defense of the commission. His documents and electronic records have been subpoenaed by the U.S. attorney's office, but no one from Bharara's office has asked to talk with him, he said. Briffault declined to comment about whether anyone in the Cuomo administration tried to influence the commission not to investigate people with ties to the governor.
Richard Briffault, a Columbia Law School professor and one of the commissioners, said in a telephone interview today that he received a copy of the letter described by the Times, though he declined to provide a copy. “It’s unfortunate that the public has been diverted from the corruption in Albany to the fights within and about the commission,” Briffault said. “The commission was cut off and only given half the time to do its work.”
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