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January 2015

January 1-15


Moment Magazine—January-February Issue
Civility is, of course, an important virtue, one vital to maintaining both social relations at universities and a vibrant civil society. But as Katherine M. Franke, a Columbia Law School professor, has noted, civility has become “a catchword for a kind of censorship of speech that makes us feel uncomfortable.”

Legal Theory Blog—January 1
Self-Help and the Separation of Powers by David Pozen
 
Philosophy Talk—January 3
John and Ken celebrate the examined year with a philosophical look back at the year that was 2014: The Year in Academic Freedom with Katherine Franke, Professor of Law at Columbia University and Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law

The New York Times—January 5
Robert J. Jackson Jr., a professor at Columbia Law School, said he was shocked when he read the paper. “All should agree that it is wildly inappropriate for a sitting S.E.C. commissioner to issue a law review paper accusing a private party of violating federal securities law without any investigation or due process of any kind. This is a striking, and as far as I know unprecedented, departure from longstanding S.E.C. practice,” he wrote in an email.
 
This story was picked up in Corporate Secretary.

The Volokh Conspiracy—January 5
That’s the title of a very interesting forthcoming Columbia Law Review article by Jessica Bulman-Pozen and David Pozen.

The Wall Street Journal—January 5
John Coffee, a securities crime specialist at Columbia Law School, says prosecutors have grown increasingly skeptical to corporate counsel claims that a conviction will cause a firm to die. In fact, in some cases the announcement of a guilty plea sent a convicted company’s stock prices higher. “It removed the cloud of uncertainty,” he said.
 
Lawfare—January 5
By Matthew Waxman
Just before the end of the year, the Palestinian Authority took steps to become party to the Rome Statute and thereby join the International Criminal Court (ICC). This is a lose-lose-lose move: it is bad for Israel, bad for the Palestinian Authority, and bad for the ICC.
 
Alternet—January 5
In an interview with Democracy Now!, Scott Horton, a human rights attorney and author of "Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America’s Stealth Foreign Policy," touched on the debate over national security and secrecy.
 
Horton is a lecturer.

Digital Transactions—January 5
Columbia law professor Philip Hamburger makes a cogent argument that administrative law is unlawful. “The administrative regime consolidates in one branch of government the powers that the Constitution allocates to different branches. Administrative power thus brings back to life three basic elements of absolute power. It is extralegal, supralegal, and consolidated.”

Boston Review—January 5
By Susan Sturm
The tension between public order and individual protections, experienced most profoundly by residents of disadvantaged and marginal communities of color, is not inevitable. It stems in part from Loury’s focus on order rather than community safety, which invites an adherence to what the legal scholar James Forman calls a “warrior” model of policing.

C-SPAN—January 5
Professor Gillian Metzger, who's the vice dean and Fuld Professor of Law from Columbia Law School, will open up the conversation by examining how federal agencies use their discretionary authority or not to accommodate state interests. Professor Metzger's scholarship focuses in the areas of administrative law and constitutional law with a specialization on federalism.
 
The New York Times—January 7
“It’s an ongoing national question, whether women will have meaningful access to abortion across the country, or only in a subset of states,” said Suzanne B. Goldberg, director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School.
 
National Review—January 7
Of course, there is no constitutional authority for Congress, much less a bunch of its minions in the bureaucracy, to exercise such power. This gives strong support for the argument that Columbia Law professor Philip Hamburger makes in his book Is Administrative Law Unlawful?

The Huffington Post—January 7
Though we credit Martin Luther King Jr. and those who put their lives on the line in the great Selma to Montgomery march -- as we should -- it is worth noting that those events, which led to the historic Voting Rights Act, took place because a lawyer, Jack Greenberg, then director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), persuaded a federal judge to permit King and his allies to go forward.

The Huffington Post—January 7
Beyond sovereignty claims, the very credibility of international law is also at stake. As Columbia University Professor Matthew C. Waxman succintly puts it, "For the UNCLOS system -- as a body of rules and binding dispute settlement mechanisms -- prominence and credibility are at stake. A decision that the arbitral panel has jurisdiction," could put the arbitration body at the risk of "being ignored, derided and marginalized by the biggest player in the region." In the end, there may be no clear winners.

Forbes—January 8
Republicans in Congress will use riders on appropriations bills to try to choke off funding for the EPA Clean Power Plan and other rules that curb greenhouse-gas emissions, Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, told about 50 people at the University of Chicago. The rules will also face an onslaught of lawsuits that will try to prevent EPA from regulating power plant emissions.

The Guardian—January 8
By Jessica Bulman-Pozen and David Pozen
Civil disobedience is a familiar protest tactic. From Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King Jr, some of our most iconic reformers have engaged in nonviolent, unlawful social action. But it isn’t always necessary to disobey the law to defy a legal regime.

The Baltimore Sun—January 9
Nor do they seem to understand that not all capital crimes leave DNA evidence behind. Indeed, studies have shown the high error rates among death-qualified juries in handing down the ultimate penalty (see Columbia Law Professor James S. Liebman's classic study, "A Broken System: Error Rates in Capital Cases, 1973-1995").

Law360—January 9
In New York, Silvia Hodges Silverstein has taught the courses "Law Firm as a Business" and "Law Firm Marketing" at Fordham Law School since 2010, and the course "Law Firm Financial Management" at Columbia Law School since 2013.
 
Silverstein is a lecturer.

International Financing Review Asia—January 10
A three-member external panel is currently being selected by ISDA’s 15-strong DC. On Thursday, four people were nominated as potential candidates to hear the Caesars case – Kimberly Summe, general counsel at Partner Fund Management, Rick Grove, CEO of advisory firm Rutter Associates, Columbia Law professor David Schizer, and Cornell Law professor Charles Whitehead.

The Des Moines Register—January 10
A rose to Grinnell College for bringing two fine speakers to campus Jan. 19 and 20 to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Patricia Williams, a professor of law at Columbia University Law School and recipient of a MacArthur "genius grant" in 2000, will conduct an interactive lecture and discussion beginning at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 19 on "Hoping Against Hopelessness: An Anatomy of Short Lives."… It may seem hard to come up with meaningful ways to mark the King anniversary, but Grinnell deserves credit for doing it right. These speakers are worth the trip.

The Record—January 11
Edward Lloyd, an environmental law expert at Columbia Law School and member of the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, agreed. “The public policy issue here is that certainly no company should be able to spin off some of their operations just to avoid liability for contamination,” Lloyd said. “Otherwise this is just an easy route around the law.”

Hindustan Times—January 11
Jagdish Bhagwati, professor of economics, law and international affairs at Columbia University, says the Narendra Modi government has got the sequencing of reforms right, but it should not start spending money until revenues start flowing in. Bhagwati, who will deliver this year’s Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, spoke to HT on a range of issues.
 
Bhagwati’s commentary was picked up in other outlets, including Firstpost and Quartz.

China Law Blog—January 11
Two Columbia Law School professors, Benjamin Liebman and Curtis Milhaupt, did a study, Reputational Sanctions in China’s Securities Market, where they posited that the avoidance of public humiliation is a big behavior inducer in China. Unlike in the United States where being sued is viewed pretty much strictly as legal matter, in China it is humiliating...

CBC Radio—January 11

Race, Fear and The Law – Patricia Williams
Patricia Williams is an astute analyst of race and the law. She's the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University, and her books include The Alchemy of Race and Rights and Seeing a Color Blind Future: The Paradox of Race. She also writes a column called Diary of a Mad Law Professor for The Nation magazine.  Michael spoke with Patricia Williams about the frictions and intersections between race and justice in the United States.

IT Brief—January 12
This year’s event features three keynote speaks including Bob Young, founder and chairman of Lulu.com, co-founder of Red Hat and the Center for Public Domain. Linus Torvalds, software engineer and the principal force behind the development of the Linux kernel, and Professor Eben Moglen, executive director of the Software Freedom Law Center and professor of Law and Legal History at Columbia University Law School.

The National Law Journal—January 12
By Robert A. Ferguson
Correction officers rarely are convicted for the mistreatment of prisoners, but California and New York have bucked the trend. Last month, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department grudgingly agreed to the need for systemwide changes, but only after the convictions of seven officers for obstructing a grand jury investigation into a decades-old culture of severe abuse in county jails.

The Huffington Post—January 12
By Pedro A. Freyre
When I was a child, I learned a phrase that comes in handy during moments of stress. It is a Cuban-American mantra. It is simple, catchy and can be applied to any circumstance -- from accounting for the actions of a wayward child to explaining why you forgot to take out the garbage: La culpa de todo la tiene Fidel, Fidel is to blame for everything.

Freyre is a lecturer.

Time—January 13
“We subscribe to the principle that people should get to make decisions for themselves almost all the time,” says Paul S. Appelbaum, a psychiatry, medicine and law professor at Columbia University. “The exceptions to that rule are rare. What we’re seeing play out in Connecticut is really the exception, not the rule.”

American Banker—January 13
In sum, the CFPB is administrative law on steroids. Support for this argument can be drawn from Is Administrative Law Unlawful?, a book by Columbia Law School professor Philip Hamburger. As his book explains, the system is supposed to work this way: legislatures make laws, executive agencies implement and enforce the laws, and an independent judiciary adjudicates. Notwithstanding the deference that courts have given agencies, only Congress can make binding law.

The Times of India—January 14
Economist and Columbia University professor Jagdish Bhagwati is seen as the Modi government's guiding light. The PM is taking bold steps, he tells Sagarika Ghose, but cautions that he must not let Hindutva hardliners undermine his economic agenda.

The San Francisco Chronicle—January 14
Even if the tech world can’t persuade Warren to run, her backers hope their efforts will challenge Clinton to take more liberal positions. “If Warren jumped in, then what I like to call the 'progressive tech wing’ would have a voice in the primary,” said Tim Wu, a Columbia University professor and Warren supporter who coined the term “net neutrality.”

Hindustan Times—January 14
India-born economist Jagdish Bhagwati, a professor at Columbia University in New York, said the government must do more to tackle corruption among public officials that plagued the previous left-leaning Congress government's decade in power.
Similar articles appeared in other outlets, including the Economic Times and The Hindu.

Marketplace—January 14
During a call with reporters, CEO Jamie Dimon declared that “banks are under assault," and that it now has five or six regulators coming after it on different issues, compared to one or two previously. Marcus Stanley, policy director of Americans for Financial Reform, says Dimon has it backward – regulators and Congress are under assault from the financial lobby due to ongoing efforts to repeal various elements of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms passed in 2010. Who’s right? Both sides, says John Coffee, a Columbia Law School professor.

The Volokh Conspiracy—January 14
A very interesting panel from the Federalist Society faculty conference earlier this month, with Profs. John Harrison (Virginia), Gillian Metzger (Columbia), and Zachary Price (Hastings), and our very own Nick Rosenkranz (Georgetown), moderated by Prof. Tara Grove (William & Mary):

Lawfare—January 14
I spent the last two days at a terrific conference in at Columbia Law School on asymmetric warfare and the laws of armed conflict, organized by Matthew Waxman and the great Stanford international relations scholar, Steve Krasner. The conference was interesting in bringing together top-flight international relations theorists and international law experts to discuss an issue both think about—but for whom the vocabularies and methodologies of inquiry are totally different.
 
Time—January 14
“The increased use of cameras both by agencies and by citizens will make it easier for prosecutors and defense lawyers to get a sense of what happened in a fraught encounter,” says Columbia University law professor Dan Richman. “The cases brought against officers may be stronger and the decisions not to charge may be easier. Still, the controversy surrounding the death of Eric Garner highlights how filmed encounters can be deeply contested.”

New York Law Journal—January 15
By Michael B. Gerrard
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed new laws in 2014 regarding climate change adaptation, invasive species, chemical regulation, wildlife, and hazardous substances. However, there was no comprehensive legislative reform of the Brownfield Cleanup Program.

The Indian Express—January 15
Narendra Modi’s government would do well to heed the advice of Columbia University professor Jagdish Bhagwati to “hold back” Hindu chauvinist elements that, he believes, are undermining its larger development agenda.

Bloomberg—January 15
Three former SEC officials, including former Chairman Harvey Pitt, issued a statement today backing Gallagher and saying the paper was consistent with the commissioner’s duties. The professors who signed the letter include Yale Law School’s Jonathan Macey, Columbia Law School’s John Coffee and Boston University Law School’s Tamar Frankel.
 
This story was picked up in other outlets, including Reuters.

The Nation—January 15
Moderated by the Schomburg’s Director, Khalil Muhammad, the forum will feature Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson, Nation columnist and Columbia law professor Patricia J. Williams, Nation editorial board member and DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University Eric Foner, Nation contributing writer and blogger Mychal Denzel Smith and award-winning author and essayist Darryl Pinckney.

Law360—January 15
Augusto E. Maxwell, a partner and chair of Akerman LLP’s Cuba practice, said the new rules make for a saner regulatory world and should give business attorneys and general counsel a greater sense of comfort. Maxwell, who teaches a seminar on the country at Columbia University School of Law, has been traveling to Cuba since 2003, and said Cubans are still in a period of “shock and awe” over recent changes.

Maxwell is a lecturer.

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