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April 2015

April 1-15


Mother Jones—April 1
Michael Gerrard, who directs the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, agrees. "A state that does not include climate-related impacts in its emergency planning will be closing its eyes to one major cause of extreme events and not fully protecting its population," he said.

Bloomberg BNA—April 1
According to a recent article by John C. “Jack” Coffee, Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School and director of the school's Center on Corporate Governance, because the proposal only bars fee-shifting bylaws and charters “in connection with an intracorporate claim,” the new legislation could be read not to apply to certain types of federal securities class actions.

Daily Banter—April 1
The Indiana RFRA protects religious persons if they are “likely to be substantially burdened” sometime later. Professor Katherine Franke of Columbia Law School said about this line in the statute, “That is an extremely radical idea, that you could bring a lawsuit on a conjecture of a future injury.”
 
CNBC—April 1
For Tilton's case to succeed, it would probably have to happen that the Supreme Court overturns a part of Dodd-Frank, which would be unlikely given prior precedent around administrative law judges, said John Coffee, a Columbia Law School professor and securities regulation expert. "It might have some ability to get them a favorable settlement, but I don't think it has a good chance of succeeding in court," Coffee said in an interview with CNBC Wednesday.
 
Similar stories appeared in other outlets, including Bloomberg Business.
 
Sally Kohn Syndicated Column—April 1
According to Katherine Franke of Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, the discriminatory beliefs don’t even have to be the official doctrine of the religion an individual is claiming. Nor does the individual have to be a devout or confirmed member of that faith. The asserted “sincerely held beliefs” basically just have to be plausible, explains Franke.

Inc.—April 1
"The RFRA bills are part of a larger campaign to diminish what is public norm-making through the democratic process, that we don't allow certain forms of discrimination in public spaces," says Katherine Franke, a professor of law and director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality at Columbia University, in New York.

Bloomberg View—April 2
I'm not sure there's new news here, but this is a very sensible paper about modern market structure that is worth reading if you are confused about whether and how the U.S. equity markets are rigged. It's by Merritt Fox and Gabe Rauterberg of Columbia Law School and Lawrence Glosten of Columbia Business School.
 
RH Reality Check—April 2
Philip Genty, a professor at Columbia Law School who is a leading national authority on incarcerated parents, says it has become common for incarcerated mothers to face losing their parental rights. “It is a very rare situation where a woman prisoner with a child in foster care has not been confronted with this,” he said.
 
New York Times—April 2
The proposed ban is back, setting up a battle royal between corporate lawyers and the plaintiffs’ bar, not to mention debate in the legal community. John C. Coffee Jr., a professor and expert in securities law at Columbia Law School, has argued forcefully against these provisions and in particular contends that the proposed amendment is ill-drafted.

Columbia Spectator—April 2
“We needed a set of rules. In ’68, the University didn’t have a code of conduct,” law professor and executive committee Chairman Michael Sovern, who would later become Columbia’s president, told Spectator. “The objective was to be fair to anyone accused of misconduct.”
 
MarketWatch—April 3
Regardless of the medium, one rule remains constant: the SEC insists companies cannot disclose information just to certain groups, by design or by accident, without disclosing it to everyone. A tweet alone reaches a limited audience and can provide market-moving news that does not reach the rest of the market; thus "it needs to be accompanied or preceded by disclosure that reaches the broader world," said in an e-mail John Coffee, a Columbia Law School professor.
 
NDTV—April 3
'Look at Your Own History and Relax a Bit', Says Jagdish Bhagwati on Christian Response to Attacks: Full Transcript
Now one of the most respected and influential economists, public intellectual and thinker of our time Prof Jagdish Bhagwati, has waded in on the debate.
 
The Globe and Mail—April 3
Anu Bradford, director of the European Legal Studies Center at Columbia University and author of a 2012 study about the EU’s regulatory clout called “The Brussels Effect,” thinks a British exit (“Brexit”) from the EU would be counterproductive. “The U.K. is simply too small a market,” she said in an interview.
 
Politico—April 3
“At one end of the spectrum is a view that a deal increases Iranian standing in the region and frees up resources to pursue policies antithetical to our own,” says Matthew Waxman, a former senior national security official in the George W. Bush administration who is now a professor at Columbia Law School.
 
US News & World Report—April 3
Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University Law School, agrees. President Barack Obama, he says, almost certainly won’t budge on major energy and environment priorities to win Senate votes for an Iran deal. “He’s not backing off Keystone,” Gerrard says.

Los Angeles Times—April 4
"It's much broader than the federal law," said Katherine Franke, a Columbia University law professor. "They felt emboldened by Hobby Lobby." In late February, she wrote a letter on behalf of 30 professors to warn Indiana lawmakers their bill would create "confusion and conflict" if it became law.
 
Financial Times—April 5
Problems for Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company embroiled in what is believed to be the biggest corruption scandal in the country's history, show no sign of abating. John Coffee, professor of law at Columbia Law School, says: "Large institutional investors are increasingly opting out of the class [action] because they do better settling on an individual basis."
 
New York Times—April 5
For 20 years, Corbett has fought for the principles that have come to be known as net neutrality. The term, coined in 2003 by Tim Wu, a Columbia law professor, refers to the concept of treating all content on the Internet neutrally and prohibiting a provider like AT&T or Comcast from manipulating access to any specific site or charging companies like Netflix for faster delivery of their content.
 
Columbia Journalism Review—April 5
By Suzanne Goldberg
In this time of media self-reflection about coverage of sexual assaults, it is worth remembering the consensus amidst the controversy over the Rolling Stone campus rape piece. Three points, in particular, come to mind in the wake of discussion

CNN—April 6
"China generally does not in any case extradite Chinese citizens, so the most likely outcome were this person to be found would be prosecution within China," says Ben Liebman, director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia Law School.

Connecticut Law Tribune—April 6
This could make life easier for prosecutors, said John Coffee, a professor and securities law expert at Columbia Law School. One additional benefit of the law, Coffee said, would be that it would address computer hacking as it relates to insider trading for the first time along with "other newer forms of misappropriation."

Columbia Spectator—April 6
Today, Executive Vice President for University Life Suzanne Goldberg released an article "3 takeaways for covering sexual assaults on campus" in the Columbia Journalism Review. Goldberg draws lessons from the retracted Rolling Stone UVA article on media coverage for sexual assault.
 
China Daily USA—April 6
Ben Liebman, director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia Law School, said there is no extradition treaty between the nations, and the likelihood of China handing Li over for questioning was slim.
 
NPR—April 7
But critics of these military actions believe the president has overreached. Those debating for the motion…Philip Bobbitt is Herbert Wechsler Professor of Federal Jurisprudence at Columbia Law School, the director of its Center for National Security and a distinguished senior lecturer at the University of Texas.

The debate was picked up by other outlets, including the Washington Post.

Huffington Post Blogs—April 7
By Katherine Franke
The passage of religious liberty laws in Indiana and Arkansas has put Republican governors on their heels, forcing them to explain -- mostly without success -- that the laws are not a license to discriminate against the marriage rights of same-sex couples. Backpedaling awkwardly when the measures generated calls to boycott their states, both governors sent legislators back to the drawing board to make clear that the laws do not sanction sexual orientation discrimination.

JD Supra—April 7
Leave it to a distinguished law professor to actually read the text of proposed legislation and locate the gaping hole in it. In this post, “Delaware Throws a Curveball,” Professor John Coffee analyzes the proposed Delaware legislation on fee-shifting bylaws and finds it wanting.

Washington Post—April 8
In 2007, Professor Tim Wu of Columbia Law School recounted a game played by some prosecutors. One would name a famous person — “say, Mother Teresa or John Lennon” — and other prosecutors would try to imagine “a plausible crime for which to indict him or her,” usually a felony plucked from “the incredibly broad yet obscure crimes that populate the U.S. Code like a kind of jurisprudential minefield.”
 
George Will’s column was widely syndicated to various outlets.

Los Angeles Review of Books—April 8
As Anna Stolley Persky wrote in the ABA Journal, “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.’”

The Canton Repository—April 8
Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, a Canton native and professor of law at Columbia University and UCLA, is the co-author of a new report, “Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected.” The report contends that minority girls are being funneled toward crime and failure by way of zero-tolerance polices and through unequal applications of punishment.

Vice News—April 8
The bulk of the roughly 400-plus lawsuits related to climate change are filed by industry players challenging environmental regulations, according to the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University Law School. The Sabin Center's director, Michael Gerrard, told VICE News that the novel tack taken by Our Children's Trust — which argues that the atmosphere should be declared a public trust to be protected — faces some big hurdles in court.

Bloomberg BNA—April 9
Need to Assess Coal Mine Air Impacts In Flux After Vacature of Permit Approval
However, two lawyers from Columbia Law School's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law said the ruling actually builds on an “emerging authority” in court decisions related to mining's greenhouse gas impacts. Other federal court decisions and recent White House guidance on greenhouse gas emissions indicate that combustion impacts of mining should be considered by government agencies, Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center, told Bloomberg BNA.
 
U.S. News & World Report—April 10
Revesz and other experts say the executive branch not only has the power to limit greenhouse gas emissions under the act, but federal courts also have handed down a mandate to use its authority. “He’s aggressively using the statutory authority that Congress gave him,” says Columbia Law School professor Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.
 
City Journal—April 10
Philip Hamburger’s indictment of the regulatory state is profound and sobering. A Columbia law professor, Hamburger indicts the entire structure of executive-agency rulemaking as illegitimate. It’s not just the regulations that have to go but the regulators as well, since their job is to fling down the Constitution and dance on it.

Capital New York—April 10
Under the new interpretation of the law, the Second Circuit vacated Bruno’s conviction, saying it lacked the kind of clear bribe or kickback scheme that is now required. “What you saw is the government being forced, post-Skilling to really pitch a case as a bribe case, without focusing on a failure-to-disclose theory,” said Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School.

The New Yorker—April 11
Michael B. Gerrard, the director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, told me, “The reason why the litigation seeking certain kinds of relief has not advanced is for a lot of reasons other than courts not accepting that climate change is a real problem.” He referred to Flood Wall Street as “a political advocacy tactic, as opposed to a legal strategy.”

New York Times—April 12
Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School who worked on the F.T.C.’s antitrust case against Google, noted that there were only a handful of jurisdictions in the world — Europe being one of them — that had enough expertise and lawyers to bring something as complicated as an antitrust case against one of the world’s most valuable corporations. “Where Europe leads, other countries will follow,” Mr. Wu said.

The Chronicle of Higher Education—April 13
At a time when legal education is in turmoil, Columbia Law School is in an enviable position, with students still clamoring to be admitted to the top-tier program whose graduates overwhelmingly land full-time jobs. The law school’s new dean, Gillian Lester, doesn’t plan to allow the school to simply rest on its reputation.

Columbia Daily Spectator—April 13
But administrators have defended Columbia’s policies, with EVP for University Life Suzanne Goldberg telling New York Magazine last year that she thought Columbia’s policy was “one of the best in the country, with more resources dedicated to supporting survivors and other students affected by gender-based misconduct than most.”
 
Inside Climate News—April 13
"This is a situation that George Orwell would have recognized," said Michael Gerrard, director of Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, referring to the author of the dystopian novel 1984. "It is very worrying that we are seeing public entities telling their employees to act like ostriches, to put their heads in the sand. Society thrives through innovation and insight, not willful blindness."

New York Times—April 13
The all-too-common mind-set to win at all costs has facilitated the executions of people like Cameron Todd Willingham or Carlos DeLuna, whose convictions have been convincingly debunked in recent years.
 
Carlos DeLuna is the subject of Professor James S. Liebman’s widely-covered case of The Wrong Carlos.

Yale Books Unbound—April 14
By Michael Graetz
Our nation’s tax system is badly broken. Everyone knows that. The income tax law inflicts huge distortions on our economy. The only area of the economy where the tax system creates jobs is in tax planning, tax controversies, and tax compliance.
 
Graetz’s commentary was also picked up by TaxProfBlog.

Pacific-Standard—April 14
In the United States, many previous lawsuits have attempted to use litigation to incite government action on climate change, mostly without success, says Michael Gerrard, the director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at the Columbia Law School.
 
Windy City Times—April 14
The report "Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected"—which Columbia Law School Professor Kimberle Williams Crenshaw authored alongside Loyola Law School Associate Professor Priscilla Owen and UCLA Lecturer in Law Professor Jyoti Nanda—pulls together research, statistics, stories and observations from girls and stakeholders.
 
NBC—April 15
Not everybody thinks that banning lethal autonomous weapons is the answer. "There are very serious dangers to the proliferation of this technology," Matthew Waxman, a professor at Columbia Law School, told NBC News. "I'm just not persuaded that a blanket prohibition is the right approach."  
 
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