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August 2015

August 1-15


ABA Journal—August 1
Laws Need to Catch Up to High-Speed Trading
One interesting issue that has arisen out of high-frequency trading is the co-location of computer servers that give traders an advantage, said Edward F. Greene, senior counsel at Cleary Gottlieb in New York City and a senior research scholar and lecturer at Columbia Law School. “When you can trade in milliseconds—and that’s what we’re talking about, milliseconds—that type of advantage can be profitable,” Greene said.
 
The Guardian—August 2
Professor Robert Ferguson of Columbia Law School addressed the men at the ceremony: “You’re better equipped than anyone else I know for work. Why? Because your education has been so hard to get.”

The Washington Post—August 3
By Robert Ferguson, Judith Resnik, and Margo Schlanger
Over the last several weeks, President Barack Obama has pushed criminal justice reform to the top of the domestic policy agenda. In a passionate speech to the NAACP on July 14, the president called for reducing mandatory minimum sentences, ending prison rape and reviewing overuse of solitary confinement.

Business Day—August 3
Surely, import restrictions would result in higher prices of consumer goods. This is because sheltered domestic producers tend to become complacent or “goof off”, as the Columbia University economics professor, Jagdish Bhagwati, put it, and produce costly and poor quality products, which domestic consumers are forced to buy because they no choice.
 
The Atlantic—August 3
“They’re the most important regulations on climate change ever issued by the U.S.,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School. Gerrard said while the rule’s impact would be important stateside, it was at least as important because of the role it will play in the global negotiations in Paris.

Bloomberg BNA—August 3
“The energy efficiency change--that those efforts are not part of a formal building block, but are still an acceptable way to meet goals--makes the rule more defensible,” Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, told Bloomberg BNA. “With the building block, there was a legal question of could EPA indirectly require actions by those outside the fenceline.”

International Business Times—August 3
“What happened in Hawaii was that key countries like Canada, which doesn’t want to liberalize its dairy trade, and Japan, which has its own issues on certain agricultural markets, aren’t ready to come to an agreement that locks them into a deal,” said Jagdish Bhagwati, an economics professor at Columbia University who is an outspoken proponent of free trade.

The New York Times—August 5
“Calculating this figure is definitely not trivial,” said Robert J. Jackson Jr., a professor of law at Columbia. He said that the number might nevertheless be useful. “Management will have a more systematic understanding of what their employees earn — and that might be very beneficial, both for investors and for the public,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal—August 5
“There are students at Columbia with the singular goal of getting hired by Pershing Square,” said Robert Jackson, a professor at Columbia’s business and law schools.

Huff Post Live—August 7
Professor Robert Jackson, Jr. discussed the debate over executive compensation.

The Christian Science Monitor—August 7
“This is not a breakthrough for a political settlement, it’s a start,” says Michael Doyle, an expert in international relations at Columbia University in New York and a former UN special adviser.

New Haven Register—August 7
Lewis was unsuccessful with his appeals until his case was taken up by Brett Dignam, then a professor at Yale Law School. In December 2013, Lewis’ team won a ruling by U.S. District Judge Charles Haight Jr. that, during his trial, state prosecutors had failed to tell the defense that the state’s key witness, Ovil Ruiz, had repeatedly denied having any knowledge of the murders.

Vineyard Gazette—August 8
Kimberle Crenshaw, a professor at UCLA and Columbia School of Law, noted that racial dynamics are not the only forces at play, and gender also had a significant role.

Bloomberg—August 10
Richard Pildes, a professor at New York University School of Law, and Richard Briffault, a professor at Columbia Law School, discuss a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Texas’s strict voter identification law discriminates against minority voters. They speak with June Grasso and Michael Best on Bloomberg Radio’s “Bloomberg Law.”
 
The Village Voice—August 11
The kind of theft Charles has been encountering is common in the world of graffiti art, says Philippa Loengard, a lecturer at Columbia Law School. What isn't common is an artist fighting back. "Infringement isn't new, unfortunately," she says. "I think the thing that's new is taking legal action to enforce your copyright." Street artists, she adds, have historically been reluctant to protect their rights for a variety of reasons.
 
The Record—August 11
Grand Jury To Hear Cases of Police-Involved Shootings in Hackensack, Lyndhurst
But Jeffrey Fagan, a Columbia University law professor and expert on police accountability, said that sending more cases to a grand jury could signal that legal institutions take police shootings seriously and are independent from the police. “Justice may well be served by a strong and independent interrogation of each incident,” he said.
 
The Los Angeles Times—August 11
"This is the first time they have caught a scheme that involved both computer hackers and insider trading, going on for a long time and involving a substantial amount of money," said John Coffee, a Columbia University law professor.

Canadian Class Actions Monitor—August 12
However, as professor John C. Coffee of Columbia University Law School explains in Reforming the Securities Class Action: An Essay on Deterrence and Its Implementation, the current structure of securities fraud class actions, considered in conjunction with the current structure of the market, makes it impossible for these suits to serve as either a compensatory mechanism or a meaningful deterrent.

TaxProf Blog—August 12
Americans take for granted that when we flip a switch the light will go on, when we turn up the thermostat the room will get warm, and when we pull up to the pump gas will be plentiful and relatively cheap. In The End of Energy, Michael Graetz shows us that we have been living an energy delusion for forty years.

The Street—August 12
"The decision is disturbing in several respects and uses a flawed logic," John C. Coffee of Columbia University, wrote in an email to TheStreet when the ruling was handed down in June.  "It seems to feel that the Fed has a duty to be fair to failing financial institutions because of its 'monopolistic' position. Under that dubious logic, the Fed might be sued for not granting a bailout when it thought the risk was too high or the social need too low. All in all, this is a check on financial regulators who were already too equivocal and undemanding."

The Atlantic—August 12
Indeed, the harsh, punitive reaction to the crack era was the result of mythology about its use, and its users, that later turned out to be false, says Jeffrey Fagan, a Columbia University professor who has long studied the intersection of criminal justice and race. “It was instantly addictive, it created ‘superpredators,’ you became a sexual deviant, especially if you were a woman, it destroyed maternal instincts,” he said. All of that nonsense led to the draconian sentencing laws associated with crack use in the 1980s, Fagan told me.
 
The New York Times—August 12
Professor Jessica Bulman-Pozen’s and David Pozen’s scholarship on ‘uncivil obedience’ from the Columbia Law Review was cited in The New York TimesThe Ethicists Podcast.

The New York Times—August 13
“Her case will go nowhere,” said Katherine Franke, an expert on sexuality law, as well as religious exemptions, at Columbia Law School, earlier this week, adding that previous cases in which public officials have sought not to perform their duties on religious grounds have ended much the same way. “She doesn’t get to pick and choose which of her duties she will perform.”
 
Bloomberg BNA—August 14
Youths Sue Government Over Climate Change, Saying It Violates Constitutional Rights [Story Behind Paywall]
"This case would plow new ground," Michael Gerrard, who directs the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, told Bloomberg BNA. Gerrard, who is not involved in the case, said going back 40 years, there have been efforts to establish a constitutional right to a clean environment, none of which succeeded.
 
The Wall Street Journal—August 14
Consulting firms brought in by banks after they reach settlements with the authorities involving allegations of wrongdoing, such as money laundering, are both working for the banks as clients and presenting reports to regulators on their clients’ compliance efforts, blurring the lines of accountability. “There are no clear standards for what a consultant must do,” said John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School.
 
The Huffington Post—August 14
Jeffrey Fagan, a Columbia University law professor who has closely followed the Garner case, told HuffPost that Zuckerman's reading of New York's grand jury laws "makes a lot of sense."
 
Associated Press—August 15
Matthew Waxman, a Columbia University law professor and former Defense Department adviser on detention issues, said in an email that while there's limited court precedent, he thought most judges would generally back the two-phase interrogation and would be "reluctant to create practical barriers to criminal prosecution of such terrorism cases." But he said each case relies on its own facts.
 
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