June 2015

June 1-15


The Deal—June 1
Why Some Investors Dread Proxy Campaigns
Columbia Law School professor John Coffee noted that activists believe that corporate boards exist to represent shareholders and no one else. He said that activists, particularly those seeking to break up companies, will urge actions that reduce debt ratings and result in cuts to research and development spending.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch—June 1
The difference may not seem large, but it is. “Five percent is a much more difficult number,” says John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University. “People typically do not buy 5 percent and hold it for three years.”
Psychiatric News—June 1
“The decision represents a strong affirmation of the reason for physician-patient privilege: to encourage disclosure in the context of diagnosis and treatment,” former APA President Paul Appelbaum, M.D., the Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Law at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, told Psychiatric News.
The Times Herald—June 1
Professor James Liebman of Columbia Law School documented that “23 years of results reveal a death penalty system collapsing under the weight of its own mistakes. They reveal a system in which lives and public order are at stake. There is serious, reversible error in nearly 7 of every 10 of the thousands of capital sentences that were fully reviewed during this period.” The conclusion is that innocent persons have been executed.
McClatchy—June 2
Elizabeth Warren Rips SEC Chief: ‘Extremely Disappointing’
John C. Coffee Jr., a nationally recognized securities law professor at Columbia University in New York who frequently testifies before Congress, echoed Warren’s complaint. “Right now, I see an SEC that seems somewhat equivocal, and somewhat weak-kneed and generally unwilling to take stern action against banks,” Coffee told McClatchy, adding that “indeed, if you’re convicted, everyone else takes action against you, but the SEC assures you it won’t mean a thing.”
The Washington Post—June 2
That's because it is legal for states to give money to political parties, said Columbia Law Professor Richard Briffault, an expert in campaign finance and government ethics issues… "I can't tell you it's illegal," Briffault said, "but it certainly seems improper."
Vice—June 2
"The rate of participation [by local police with the UCR] has been falling steadily for years," said Jeffrey Fagan, a law professor at Columbia University in New York, before suggesting that the entire system of self-reporting is flawed. "What are the incentives? They might be political," Fagan said. "A local police executive who wants the information to be publicized maybe? I don't know the incentive structures."

Berfrois—June 2
With the third course, 1972-73’s La société punitive (“The Punitive Society”), the tape recording was erased, but not before a transcript was fortunately prepared. That was made on Foucault’s request, and the surviving archival copy was corrected by him. It was then edited by Bernard Harcourt for the published version. Harcourt also serves of the editor of Théories et institutions pénales.

The New York Times—June 3
Ex-FIFA Official Chuck Blazer Admitted Accepting Bribes for World Cup Votes
A deposition is one option, said Daniel C. Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School. While courts do not favor them in federal criminal cases, Mr. Richman said, they are allowed “in extraordinary circumstances, and it sounds like this one is.”

Stratfor Global Intelligence—June 3
At least two presidential candidates — Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton — are being flayed with the question, "If you had known in 2003 what you know now, would you have supported the Iraq invasion?"

The Volokh Conspiracy—June 3
In Defense of Judicial Equality
As Philip Hamburger demonstrates in his book Law and Judicial Duty, the term “power of judicial review” is an anachronism. At the founding it was thought that judges had a duty to follow the law, and that the Constitution was a law that was higher than any statute, however popular.

The New York Times—June 4
Jeffrey A. Fagan, a professor at Columbia Law School, provided data for this essay.
The Huffington Post—June 4
By Georges Ugeux
As well intended as it could be, the regulator seems to ignore that none of the European insurance companies needed any rescue during the financial crisis and they even contributed to the haircut of Greek debt.
Georges Ugeux is a lecturer.

Integrated Regional Information Networks—June 5
How US Is Failing Syrian Refugees
Columbia Law School professor Michael Doyle pointed out that the refugees are fleeing the very people the US is terrified of letting in. “But the spectre of ISIS, the beheadings and the rhetorical targeting of US citizens makes it a very difficult issue for the immigration services to wave aside.” Being responsible for opening the door to terrorist infiltration would constitute a disaster for any president, he added. 
The Atlantic—June 5
“A punitive impulse has controlled criminal justice in America for almost half a century,” Columbia law professor Robert Ferguson writes in his searing book, Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment. Surveying law, history, philosophy, and literature, Ferguson grapples with Americans’s peculiar commitment to punishment (rather than, say, rehabilitation, justice, or utility) as the aim of our justice system. “American attitudes toward legal punishment have entered a fantasy land of inconsistencies so intense that there seems to be no possible return to reality,” Ferguson told me recently.
CNN Money—June 5
North Carolina Law Could Stymie Undercover Videos of Animal Abuse
"The conditions in those facilities are sometimes quite problematic," said Susan Kraham, a senior staff attorney for Columbia University's Environmental Law Clinic. "The response by the industry and state governments to efforts to uncover abuses has been to criminalize the behavior of the undercover investigators," Kraham said.

Susan Kraham is a lecturer.

The Guardian—June 5
Some are seeking to rectify that, like the Columbia University law professor Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, who recently co-authored a report called #SayHerName: Resisting Police Brutality Against Women, for the African American Policy Forum. “The failure to highlight and demand accountability for the countless black women killed by police over the past two decades,” the report observes, “leaves black women unnamed and thus under-protected in the face of their continued vulnerability to racialized police violence.”
Bloomberg—June 5
As John Coffee has put it: “The key advantage of joining a “wolf pack” is that it offers near riskless profit. The hedge fund leading the pack can tip its allies of its intent to initiate an activist campaign because it is breaching no fiduciary duty in doing so (and is rather helping its own cause); thus, insider trading rules do not prohibit tipping material information in this context.”

The Guardian—June 6
By Bernard Harcourt
Pulling a page out of the conservative playbook from the 1960’s, some are arguing that America is seeing a “dramatic crime wave” as a result of the protests against police shootings in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson.
The New York Times—June 6
“The legal requirement to be a gift is that it’s made out of detached and disinterested generosity,” said Michael Graetz, a tax law professor at Columbia. So, if events occurred as described by government prosecutors, these payments were not gifts.
The Virginian-Pilot—June 8
Grand juries are also "more likely to excuse a police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed civilian, due to broad definitions of deadly force and the rules about when it is justified," according to a fact sheet about grand jury proceedings by Columbia Law School professors Jeffrey Fagan and Bernard E. Harcourt.
The New York Times—June 9
The government can “gather information not only for use as evidence at trial but information to be used by the government to get smarter about the threats it’s trying to quell,” particularly when someone is captured overseas, said David Raskin, a former federal terrorism prosecutor who now teaches national security law at Columbia Law School and is a partner at Clifford Chance.
David Raskin is a lecturer.

Truthout—June 9
We write to you again on behalf of New York City’s children and families regarding the Department of Correction’s recent submission (May 26, 2015) of a request to begin rule-making regarding several standards… Thank you for your careful consideration of this critically important matter. Sincerely,… Philip Genty, Director, Prisoners and Families Clinic at Columbia University
New York Law Journal—June 10
The New York City Bar Association honored Columbia Law School professor Jack Greenberg, seated, with an honorary membership Monday. Greenberg argued Brown v. Board of Education and succeeded Thurgood Marshall as director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. He also is a founding board member of Human Rights Watch.—June 10
Michael B. Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, expressed his concerns about the rising sea level and how it could affect life for East End residents. "The central range of projections is that the level of the ocean off of Long Island in the 2020s will be about 6 inches above what it is now, but it might be 10 inches," noted Gerrard. "By the 2050s, the central range is around 15 inches above what it is now but might be around 30 inches, depending largely on what greenhouse gas emissions are."
Gerrard’s remarks were also picked up in The East Hampton Star.
Bloomberg BNA—June 10
“It’s the least-surprising decision of the year,” Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, told Bloomberg BNA June 9.—June 10
Environmental Groups Move to Block Christie’s Exxon Deal in Court
"We believe DEP is no longer representing the people of the state, because they've proposed this settlement which doesn't adequately compensate the public for damage that's been done here," said Edward Lloyd, director of the Environmental Law Clinic at Columbia Law School, which is representing some of the groups.—June 11
On March 12, Susan Kraham of the Columbia Environmental Law Clinic filed an appeal of the settlement on behalf of the Highlands Coalition and Sierra Club.

The Lompoc Record—June 11
Columbia law professor Robert Ferguson writes in his book "Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment:" “A punitive impulse has controlled criminal justice in America for almost half a century.” Rather than rehabilitation, justice, or even utility as the primary goal of our justice system punishment has assumed the Paramount position."
Politico—June 12
The crime of mail or wire fraud requires a “specific intent” to defraud, according to John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School. “So far, I have not seen any credible scenario that banks were intending to defraud anyone. This is not a money laundering kind of case where they were stripping the Iranian senders’ identities off the transfers. Clear as the fraudulent intent of some individuals may have been at FIFA, I cannot transfer their guilt to mere instrumentalities.”
The Wall Street Journal—June 12
“It is unusual because only insiders and venture capital funds normally agree to lock ups at the underwriters ‘ insistence,” says John Coffee, a Columbia University Law School professor who specializes in securities law. “…This does show a deeper commitment but it is still surprising that these investors would give it.”
ABA Journal—June 12
One of the interesting issues 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 and a senior research scholar and lecturer-in-law 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.”
The New York Times—June 14
With some 40 migrants arriving at Dilley each day, most have to go it alone. “They might have winning claims,” said Elora Mukherjee, a professor from Columbia Law School who brought a squad of students to volunteer here last month. “But we don’t know because there are just not enough lawyers.”
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