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March 2014

March 1-21


ABA Journal—March 1
Columbia University law professor David Pozen, who specializes in constitutional and national security issues, says that Sullivan and other cases from that era are “seen as valorizing an aggressive form of journalism and promoting the idea that courts are the institutional safeguards of that kind of journalism.” But he says Sullivan has become more of an “interesting cultural artifact” than a court opinion reflecting how the judiciary views journalists.
 
USA Today—March 1
The biggest pushback will likely be from Upstate New York politicians who will be leery of doing anything that seems soft on crime, said Jeffrey Fagan, a Columbia University law professor. He also doubts whether Cuomo, who will face re-election in November, will stick by the plan if too many view it as being easy on young criminals. "The bread and butter for politicians is to be tough on crime," Fagan said. "I think fears of crime will trump any rational argument based on science."
 
CNN—March 2
Jeffrey Toobin, Jamal Greene and Brian Stelter on Justice Clarence Thomas’s eight year silence during Supreme Court oral arguments; should the media be more critical?
 
The Record—March 3
New Jersey is the only state that has an acting attorney general, with John Jay Hoffman serving in an interim capacity since June 10. That’s exceptionally long, said former Maine Attorney General James Tierney, director of Columbia Law School’s National State Attorneys General Program.
 
Ebony—March 3
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, professor at the UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School and a prominent figure in the study of critical race theory, shaped the language and theory of intersectionality “to capture the reality of the way we experience racial discrimination and gender discrimination.”
 
NBC News—March 3
30 Seconds To Know: About 1,000 same-sex couples were married in Utah before a court order halted any future marriages. Columbia Law Professor Suzanne Goldberg explains what happens to those couples who are in legal limbo.
 
The New Yorker—March 4
On this week’s Out Loud, Nicholas Thompson, the editor of newyorker.com, speaks with Tim Wu and Alan Burdick about “technological evolution”—the idea that technological forces, far more than biological ones, are shaping what it means to be human today….) Wu, a law professor at Columbia, and Burdick, an editor at The New Yorker, consider the implications of our prosthetically enhanced existence
 
The Cauldron—March 4
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employment law expert Suzanne B. Goldberg gave a lecture on lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) discrimination in the workplace Wednesday, Feb. 26 in the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Moot Court Room at Cleveland State University. Goldberg is the Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and a leading national expert in employment law related to sexuality and gender.
 
Investors Business Daily—March 4
Law Professor John Coffee of Columbia University called the securities class-action system "perverse" and akin to "punishing the victims of a burglary for their failure to take greater precautions."

Florida Watchdog—March 4
Pedro A. Freyre, Lecturer in Law at Columbia University in New York and an analyst on issues related to Cuba, said the survey shows “it’s time to set up a meeting, a commitment to normalizing relations with Cuba.”
 
The Wall Street Journal—March 4
If the top court decides to change course, it would be a win for businesses, but it may be a bittersweet one for the law firms that defend them. “There is fear and trembling within the defense bar that a complete overturning of the doctrine would affect their business model,” said Columbia University law professor John C. Coffee Jr.
 
SCOTUSBlog—March 4
By Ronald Mann
As quick off the mark as usual, Justice Scalia’s unanimous opinion for the Court in Law v. Siegel was the Court’s first opinion from the January argument calendar and his fourth opinion (more than any other Justice) of the 2013 Term.
 
Investopedia—March 5
What’s wrong with the latest round of ideas? For starters, a floating net asset value won’t deter investors from withdrawing funds. Quite the contrary. As Professor Jeffrey Gordon of Columbia Law School told the SEC, when there is a lot of trading and values fall, “today’s NAV would be higher than tomorrow’s NAV.” As a result, he added, money market fund investors “can be expected to exit en masse, not exhibiting the pattern of holding or ‘slow’ exits in other mutual funds.”
 
The American Lawyer—March 5
In a paper entitled, “Toward a Constitutional Review of the Poison Pill,” Harvard Law School professor Lucian Bebchuk, who directs the school’s corporate governance program, and Robert Jackson Jr., an associate professor of law at Columbia Law School, write that the potential of the law in question, the Williams Act, to trump poison pills has been largely ignored since its passage in 1968.
The New York Times—March 6
But Matthew Waxman, a Columbia professor who was a top detainee policy official for the Bush administration, said military and intelligence agencies had been skeptical of taking that step because they worried about potentially complicating their overseas operations.
 
The Wall Street Journal—March 6
Credit Suisse agreed to pay the SEC $196 million over those charges last month, in a case that bore a striking resemblance to the allegations against another Swiss bank, UBS AG. “It’s Deja Vu all over again,” said John C. Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School.
 
Bloomberg BNA—March 6
However, Michael Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, said the EPA is evaluating whether it could propose emissions standards for existing power plants that would give facilities credit for emissions reductions achieved off-site through energy efficiency programs for consumers or investments in renewable energy.
 
Reuters—March 7
"Unquestionably, faith-based institutions can discriminate however they like in hiring people designated as religious leaders, but the question is where the line gets drawn," said Suzanne Goldberg, a Columbia Law School professor.
 
SCOTUSBlog—March 7
By Ronald Mann
The last argument of the March argument calendar, Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, has the potential to become one of the most important business-law cases of the decade, but only if the Justices decide to overrule the 1988 decision in Basic Inc. v. Levinson.
 
The New York Daily News—March 8
She and Bonventre put a jolt into the trial when they made the “unusual and risky” decision to take the witness stand, said John Coffee at Columbia Law School. “When a defendant takes the stand all the evidence fades away and the jury attempts to reach a moral judgment,” Coffee said.
 
The Daily Beast—March 8
Some believe that the courts hold the key. Professor Jack Greenberg, a professor at Columbia Law School and a lawyer who argued Brown vs The Board of Education, has been working on the issue with Roma leaders in Eastern Europe since 2003. “The Roma are pursuing a strategy of litigation, thereby taking a leaf out of American Civil Rights movement,” he told The Daily Beast.
 
BusinessWeek—March 10
“Any corporation with global operations has to hedge currencies using futures and swaps,” said John Coffee, a securities law professor at Columbia University in New York. “If the FX market is manipulated, it can create a loss that is passed on to the consumer and shareholders.”
 
NPR—March 10
Too many poor people in the U.S. lack access to lawyers when they confront major life challenges, including eviction, deportation, custody battles and domestic violence, according to a new report by advocates at Columbia Law School's Human Rights Clinic.
 
Asbury Park Press—March 11
[Edward] Lloyd, an environmental law professor at Columbia Law School, is also a founder and board member of the Eastern Environmental Law Center, where a staffer had signed onto a letter with other groups urging Pinelands officials to allow more time for public comment on the pipeline.
Fox Business—March 10
Columbia Law School professor John Coffee on whether the SEC will bring any legal action against Herbalife.
 
Bloomberg BNA—March 10
Michael B. Gerrard, director of the Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, told Bloomberg BNA the $4 clearing price “is more than double what the price had been for most of the period between September 2009 and December 2012.’’
 
National Review—March 11
By Philip Hamburger
The Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, which concerns religious objections to HHS regulations. To be precise, should religious objections prevail under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act against HHS regulations that require employers to include coverage for contraception in their health-insurance plans?
 
Hamburger’s piece was picked up at the Volokh Conspiracy.
 
The Wall Street Journal—March 12
“Those who want to resist progress on this issue always point to someone else that needs to first be brought into the fold,” said John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School, who specializes in securities law. None of these states have wanted embrace transparency, Mr. Coffee said, only to see a account holders flee to countries that could still shelter their money.
 
ProPublica—March 12
The conflict between religious freedom and gender/sexual equality has become "the most important civil rights issue of this time." So says Professor Katherine Franke, director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School and one of the driving forces behind the school's Public Rights/Private Conscience Project, a new initiative that seeks to shift the way people look at religious and secular values — and to bridge a divide that has come to seem insurmountable.
 
ProPublica’s interview with Franke was picked up by Alternet and Salon.
 
The New York Times—March 13
Daniel C. Richman, a law professor at Columbia University, said in a phone interview that although prosecutors are free to select portions of a defendant’s statements to use at trial, “the evidence rules make it very hard for a defendant to use his own out-of-court statements instead of taking the stand.”
 
The Financial Express—March 14
Jagdish Bhagwati: A Columbia University professor of Economics, he has been in news over the last one year for backing the Gujarat model of development.
 
Bloomberg BNA—March 14
Professor Peter Strauss, who teaches administrative law at Columbia University, told Bloomberg BNA March 13 that the Labor Department generally has discretion to implement regulatory changes such as those related to overtime pay under the FLSA. Nevertheless, Strauss said opponents of the changes can attempt to challenge or undermine the new regulations, whether in court or at the U.S. Capitol.
 
Christian Science Monitor—March 16
"We're in a really interesting point to see whether the Comcast precedent is going to be exported, this give-us-the-cash-for-better-streaming model, to the rest of the industry," says Tim Wu, the Columbia University law professor who coined the term "net neutrality" in 2003. Content providers "are nervous, and you can imagine them as circled wagons, and Netflix just went down."
 
Fox Business—March 17
John Coffee, a Columbia University law professor and expert in white-collar crime, said much of the case boils down to whether the jury believed DiPascali or the defendants. “Do you believe the principal witness, one of Madoff’s key henchman, or do you believe the testimony of defendants who claimed they never saw the light?” Coffee asked.
 
UK Wired News—March 17
June Besek of Columbia Law School says the broadcasters are angry because Aereo is capturing and retransmitting their signals and not paying any licence fee for that. "Aereo says they have give an antenna to each individual user. So according to Aereo, if you have 100,000 people watching the World Series, through individual antennas, it's still a private performance," she says.
 
June M. Besek is executive director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts and a lecturer.
 
Bloomberg TV—March 18
Bloomberg's Keri Geiger and Columbia's John Coffee discuss the crackdown on high-frequency trading with Trish Regan and Matt Miller on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart."
 
Reuters—March 18
"Content providers and service providers are finding it more constructive to work together rather than litigate," said June Besek, a Columbia Law School lecturer and intellectual property specialist. "Content providers need a Google to filter material, and Google needs content to attract people to its websites."
 
SCOTUSBlog—March 19
By Ronald Mann
Clark v. Rameker is the kind of case every judge should love.  It presents a clean and straightforward question of statutory interpretation, with no looming shadow of oppressive media scrutiny.  The briefs on both sides are lucid and persuasive. And the parties even agree on what the question is. 
 
Reuters—March 19
Columbia Law School professor John Coffee said getting Marketwired to stop selling to traders was much easier than effecting change to more critical practices such as stock exchanges allowing firms to use direct feeds that give them price data milliseconds earlier than others.
 
The Wall Street Journal—March 19
Adds Scott Hemphill, a professor at Columbia Law School who specializes in antitrust issues and intellectual property: “The district court’s opinion is pretty surprising. The idea that cash counts as payment but anything else – gold bullion, land – would not, just because the Supreme Court said ‘cash,’ is contrary to the thrust of the opinion and defies common sense.”
 
LawFare—March 20
By Matthew Waxman
Secrecy—of the sort that typically shrouds cyber-defense and cyber-attack capabilities and doctrine—complicates the development of international norms.  Secrecy makes it difficult to engage in sustained diplomacy about rules.  Officials can talk about them at high levels of generality, but can’t get very specific, and it’s therefore hard to reach agreement.
 
The New York Times—March 20
“It’s not unprecedented, but it is rare and troubling,” said Robert Jackson Jr., an associate professor at Columbia Law School. “There’s something stunning about such big paydays for such a small amount of work.”
 
SCOTUSBlog—March 20
By Ronald Mann
The Justices have danced around the question for years.  Critics (including a decided majority of academic analysts) have bemoaned the drag on innovation for decades.  But now the Supreme Court will have a chance to face the question squarely, in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International:  does the Patent Act authorize patents on software – more specifically, on computer-implemented inventions?
 
New Orleans Times-Picayune—March 21
Stone has served on the faculty at Columbia University Law School since 1974, where he held the Wilbur Friedman Chair in Tax Law.
 
Macleans—March 21
[Robert A.] Ferguson, a professor of law and literature at Columbia University, maintains a tone that is remarkably, not accusatory or political, as he roams through Dante and Melville, Hobbes, Locke and Machiavelli looking for clues, for the punished are generally silent (or silenced) and there are no experts on punishment “whom you would like to meet.”
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March 22-31

The Boston Globe—March 22
Columbia Law School professor Jane Spinak, an expert on family courts who has studied the rise of the problem-solving movement, says that for many low-level offenders, the choice to participate in a problem-solving court instead of going through the regular system can mean spending a year or more being closely monitored by the court, instead of serving 30 days in jail.
 
Power Line—March 22
Professors Sander and Heriot teamed up to debate the proposition that affirmative action on campus does more harm than good. Harvard Law School Professor Randall Kennedy and Columbia Law Professor Ted Shaw, a long-time attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, were paired against them. The debate was held at Harvard under the auspices of Intelligence Squared.
 
National Law Journal—March 24
By Vivian Berger
Ask the average American whether failing to pay a debt can land a person in jail, and the answer will likely be "no." But that would be wrong. Although the federal government abolished imprisonment for debt in 1833, more than one-third of the states permit incarceration of those in default of their civil obligations.
 
London Evening Standard—March 24
By Philip Bobbitt
The most predictable foreign policy crisis in recent memory is unfolding in Eastern Europe. It has long been clear that Vladimir Putin was seeking opportunities to re-establish the stature of the Russian security establishment and to demonstrate the hollowness of Western blandishments.
 
Deutsche Welle—March 24
"The Prime Minister will always be remembered by Indians with fondness for having launched the 1991 reforms," Jagdish Bhagwati, an Economics and Law professor at Columbia University, told DW, adding that the reforms transformed India from a poor country into "an economy that grew rapidly and, in turn, managed to reduce poverty significantly."
 
The Guardian—March 24
John Coffee, the Adolf A Berle professor of law at Columbia law school said: “There was some testimony that they were poor simple fools who did not know what was going on. Cross examination explored that and frankly to anyone with an IQ above room temperature the constant backdating of documents, particularly on brokerage trading slips, has got to raise red flags.”
 
The Huffington Post—March 24
Columbia Law School Professor Katherine Frank wrote, "A law targeting the boycott today cannot be differentiated from the laws that punished boycotts in the U.S. civil rights movement or those that compelled academics to sign loyalty oaths as a condition of employment."
[Note: We have requested a correction of the spelling of Prof. Franke’s name]
 
Human Rights Watch—March 25
The case, Henry Hill et al. vs. the United States of America, was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute on behalf of 32 people serving such sentences in Michigan for crimes they committed as children.
 
The Wall Street Journal—March 25
In reaching the conclusion that courts may someday reject poison pills as unconstitutional, Professors Lucian Bebchuk of Harvard and Robert Jackson of Columbia look back at two U.S. Supreme Court cases decided in the 1980s, in the relatively early days of takeovers
 
The New York Daily News—March 25
He’s expected to go to trial this year, but Monday’s jury verdict against Daniel Bonventre, Joann Crupi, Jerome O’Hara and George Perez might spur him into making a deal, experts said. “I would think this would scare the hell out of him,” said John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School.
 
The Philadelphia Inquirer—March 26
Even so, veteran lawyers with experience in high-profile criminal cases say it is unusual for prosecutors to promise cooperators a total pass on all charges. "The prosecutor likes to be able to go before a jury and be able to say this guy confessed to a real crime and he's going to be punished, too," said Daniel C. Richman, a former federal prosecutor who is now on the faculty at Columbia University law school.
 
NPR—March 26
Theodore Shaw teaches professional practice in law at Columbia Law School. He was thepresident of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, for which he worked in various capacities over the span of 26 years.
 
ABC News—March 27
Robert Kheel, a lecturer at Columbia Law School, was quoted regarding collective bargaining for student-athletes.
 
CNBC—March 27
"This is a fight between stuffed Christians and stuffed lions," said John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School and expert on corporate governance. "They're not what they report to be. ... Both want to be the noble champions of the public interest and they both fall a little short."
 
Democracy Now!—March 28
Scott Horton, human rights attorney and contributing editor at Harper’s magazine. He is also a lecturer at Columbia Law School and author of the forthcoming book, Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America’s Stealth Foreign Policy.
 
The Boston Globe—March 28
Into this terrible situation steps Robert A. Ferguson, the George Edward Woodberry Professor in Law, Literature, and Criticism at Columbia University, with “Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment.” This is less a public-policy book than a deeper exploration of what it means to punish.
 
SCOTUSBlog—March 28
By Ronald Mann
The Court’s consideration of LexMark International, Inc. v. Static Control Components, Inc. puts the Court at the epicenter of a “sprawling litigation” (to use the Court’s words), involving a variety of claims under state and federal law, to say nothing of LexMark’s persistent efforts against all who attempt to interfere with its efforts to erect a practical monopoly over refilling cartridges for its printers.
 
The New York Times—March 28
“Given that these are local markets, and that Comcast and Time Warner Cable don’t overlap, the merger really has no impact on competition,” said Scott Hemphill, an antitrust professor and specialist in intellectual property at Columbia Law School.
 
The Record—March 30
It could be significant — during oral argument, several justices expressed concern over the size of Massachusetts’ zone, Columbia law Professor Suzanne Goldberg said. "The fact that Englewood’s [buffer zone] is much smaller might enable that zone to survive legal review even if the Massachusetts law is struck down, though much will depend on exactly what the court says in its opinion," Goldberg said.
 
The New York Times—March 30
“Net neutrality is starting to bleed into a bigger debate about whether the Internet has become a public utility,” said Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia University in New York who coined the phrase net neutrality in the early 2000s. “It has become about who controls access to online content.”
 
New York Law Journal—[Date Unknown]
Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment [Print Edition]
These statistics may be startling to some, but as Columbia Law Professor Robert Ferguson points out in his poignant new book, ‘Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment,” it is hard to grasp the meaning of such numbers.
 
Opinio Juris—March 31
By Anthea Roberts
As I have argued previously, investment treaty arbitration can be understood through many different paradigms, including traditional public international law, international commercial arbitration, public law, human rights law and trade law.
 
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