January 2016

January 1-15

The Washington Post—January 4
In a recent post, co-blogger David Bernstein analogizes Columbia law professor Philip Hamburger’s important recent book criticizing modern administrative law to Richard Epstein’s 1985 book Takings, a now-classic critique of the Supreme Court’s Takings Clause jurisprudence. Both books were derided and dismissed as extremist by many legal scholars when they came out. But, as David points out, Epstein’s book has since achieved widespread influence among judges, including influencing Supreme Court jurisprudence on takings. Hamburger’s work might well follow the same path to mainstream influence.
E15initiative—January 2016
By Petros C. Mavroidis, Lucian Cernat
In their excellent survey of literature, Francois and Hoekman (2010) justifiably point to the ‘disembodiment’ literature to make the point that, because of technological advances, services became disembodied from goods where they were incorporated, and it is because of this disembodiment process that trade in services increased. Bhagwati (1984) should be credited with pioneering status in this area, whereas Sampson and Snape (1985) put it all in operative language and laid the foundations for what became the four modes of supply in GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services).
Mother Jones—January 6
John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School who is one of the country's leading experts on class actions, agreed the bar for class actions is currently quite high. "I think this law is unneeded," he said in an email. "The Supreme Court has already greatly constrained, and is continuing this year to limit, class actions, and this makes legislation such as this both superfluous and confusing."
NPR—January 6
The significance of the subpoena is hard to gauge at this point, said Daniel C. Richman, professor law at Columbia University, in an interview with NPR: "It's never good news for a company when federal prosecutors open a grand jury investigation into its operations, but it's far too early to tell how sustained that interest will be here and what, if any, criminal violations will come to light."
SCOTUSblog—January 6
By Gillian Metzger
For nearly a quarter-century, Planned Parenthood v. Casey has governed constitutional scrutiny of abortion restrictions. Over that time, it has emerged as foundational to the Supreme Court’s contemporary substantive due-process jurisprudence. Yet lower courts continue to disagree over its import in practice, with some courts like the Fifth Circuit here reading Casey to sustain health regulations that eviscerate basic access to abortion.
The Jewish Press—January 6
By Nathan Lewin
In more than 50 years of practicing law as both a prosecutor and defense counsel I have witnessed no more misguided and foolishly destructive use of law-enforcement resources than the FBI’s recent triumph in a federal court in Trenton, New Jersey.
[NOTE: Lewin is a lecturer.]
The Alex Jones Radio Show—January 6
Thomas W. Merrill, a law professor at Columbia Law School, cites a court ruling to explain the original concept of the Property Clause.
The D&O Diary—January 6
The press release also quotes Columbia Law School Professor John Coffee as supporting the bill as a “moderate and reasonable ‘regulatory nudge’ that pushes public companies to give greater attention to cybersecurity issues with out mandating an inflexible board structure or insisting that ‘one size fits all.’”
Jewish Link of New Jersey—January 7
Recognizing the importance of educating influential Americans about Israel, America’s Voices in Israel (AVI) has appointed David Schizer, the Dean Emeritus of Columbia Law School, as its new president. AVI organizes week-long missions to the Jewish state, which have been attended by a phalanx of prominent headline-makers, including leading journalists, prime-time media and Hollywood TV stars, as well as religious and political leaders in the Latino and African-American communities.
BBC—January 8
A former federal prosecutor who is a professor at Columbia University Law School, Daniel Richman, has said Durst’s bathroom comments could be admitted in court “so long as it can be shown that the tape wasn’t tampered with”.
ProPublica—January 8
“The messaging by the supporters of these measures is they’re really about carving out a space for those who object to same-sex marriage,” said Katherine Franke, director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia University and author of the new book, “Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality.” “But what they’re creating is a really broad license not to be governed by laws that govern anyone else.”
Bloomberg BNA—January 8
Philippa “Pippa” Loengard, a law professor at Columbia University, New York, said that the Malarky complaint seemed different from the other cases because Bandier—unlike the manufacturers in the other cases—was not just taking designs but crediting them to Malarky. “These people are perfectly happily advertising their affiliation and using that affiliation to promote the clothing,” Loengard told Bloomberg BNA. “Ordinarily if a clothing manufacturer is ripping off an artist, they don't make it the center of their ad campaign.”
[NOTE: Loengard is a lecturer.]
The Huffington Post—January 10
"This seems to be a misuse of investigative reporters for a largely private purpose," said Jack Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School who specializes in corporate and white-collar criminal law issues. "This is turning Woodward and Bernstein into private thugs," he added, referencing the Washington Post journalists who uncovered Watergate.
BBC News—January 11
But legally, it is OK to talk to someone when they are a fugitive from justice? "Simply having contact with a known narco-trafficker is not the basis of prosecution," said Daniel Richman, a professor of law at Columbia University and a former federal prosecutor.
The Philadelphia Inquirer—January 11
The institute's initial Board of Managers - chosen by Lenfest - includes men and women of accomplishment and standing, weighted toward academia. Aside from Lenfest, the members are: David Schizer, dean emeritus and professor of law and economics at the Columbia University Law School
Bloomberg—January 11
Even if Clinton wins the presidency, her plan isn’t going to be approved “unless there are some tectonic shifts in Congress,” said Alex Raskolnikov, professor of tax law at Columbia Law School.
The Final Call—January 12
Columbia Law School Professor Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw and colleagues explained the gravity of the situation in their 2015 report, Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced, and Underprotected.  They found that 90 percent of all girls expelled from New York City public schools in 2011-12 were Black. Ms. Crenshaw says girls of color are “doubly vulnerable” facing gender stereotypes like Caucasian girls and racial stereotypes like Black boys. “Girls tend to be disciplined when they do things that are non-normatively feminine, like when they get into beef with each other,” she says.
Truthout—January 12
One of the side events at the Paris climate conference was devoted to holding ExxonMobil accountable for its dangerous deception about climate change. Columbia law professor and former environmental lawyer Michael Gerrard presented a scenario whereby the corporation could be sued for being a criminal enterprise under the RICO statute (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), violating consumer protection laws, constituting a public nuisance and participating in a civil conspiracy.
AlterNet—January 12
“It was instantly addictive, it created ‘superpredators,’ you became a sexual deviant, especially if you were a woman, it destroyed maternal instincts,” Jeffrey Fagan, a professor of law at Columbia University, told the Atlantic, ticking off a list of falsehoods.
Midwest Energy News—January 14
But Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, says legal precedent has already been set in the U.S. and that it is no longer promising to pursue monetary damages against companies for their emissions.
Bloomberg Big Law Business—January 14
Asked about the reforms, John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School, sounded a skeptical note: “It is likely to be half a loaf,” he wrote in an email, “not token but also not equivalent to civil discovery in court.”
ThinkProgress—January 14
Michael Gerrard, a Professor at Columbia Law School and a lead author of the report, told Climate Progress that climate centers at Columbia, NYU and UCLA law schools had started to look at Section 115 with interest and decided a deeper dive was warranted given its promising nature.
The Wall Street Journal—January 15
Gramercy hired Columbia Law School professor John Coffee to provide a legal opinion on Peru’s disclosures to investors. According to Mr. Coffee, Peru violated the Securities Act of 1933 in October when it issued a €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion) bond, telling investors in offering documents that the country was “not involved in any disputes with its internal or external creditors.”
Utility Dive—January 15
But would a court place liability on a utility? Critics of the research say probably not. At least four legal precedents would seem to limit these lawsuits and Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, told Midwest Energy News that "shielding themselves from potential money damages from greenhouse gas emissions is a much lower threat” for utilities than it was a decade ago.
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January 15-31

Law Street—January 15
A few different viewpoints were represented by the speakers of the panel. New York Times reporter Erik Eckholm spoke about his experiences covering the gay marriage beat. Professor Katherine Franke of Columbia University spoke about discrimination in the LGBT community, particularly surrounding the issues of civil unions and legal marriage.
Business Insurance—January 17
“The agreement is about as good as could have been hoped for, which is limited,” said Michael Gerrard, professor and director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School in New York. “They are voluntary and not enforceable, but there will be a stringent reporting system.”
New York Post—January 19
“This is the best possible set of facts that the government could hope for,” John C. Coffee, a professor in securities law who co-teaches a class with Rakoff at Columbia Law School, told The Post.  “Salman is a family case, and gifts are typically made in families,” he added.
Al Dia News—January 20
David M. Schizer is Dean Emeritus and Harvey R. Miller Professor of Law and Economics at Columbia University Law School. He is considered to be one of the nation’s leading tax law scholars, whose research also focuses on energy law and corporate governance issues.
Above the Law—January 20
Looks like Amal Clooney is looking to spend more time stateside. It was announced today that the lawyer to the imprisoned former Maldives president, Mohamed Nasheed, whose human rights bona fides also include being senior adviser to Kofi Annan, will be teaching this spring… Clooney will lecture in Professor Sarah H. Cleveland’s Human Rights course and speak about human rights litigation strategies to students in the Human Rights Clinic, directed by Professor Sarah Knuckey.
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder—January 21
Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, told ThinkProgress, “The leaders of the world recognize that the consequences of noncompliance are disastrous. We are looking at the wholesale transformation of our global climate. The main incentive here for compliance is not the threat of some civil penalty — non-compliance would mean environmental disaster.”
[NOTE: Burger is a lecturer.]—January 21                 
Harry Belafonte, Eve Ensler, Danny Glover, Kerry Washington, Rosie O'Donnell, Michael Moore Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin are among those lending their names to the Stop Hate Dump Trump campaign, with the goal of calling out the candidate for "hate speech, misogyny, Islamophobia and racism." But the organization also is taking aim at the way that the media is covering Trump, whether through excessive coverage or by treating him as entertainment. Kimberlé Crenshaw, law professor at Columbia and UCLA Law Schools, also is involved in the campaign, and others who have signed on include Alice Walker, Gloria Steinem and Jonathan Demme.
[NOTE: This originally ran in Variety.]
Press Progress—January 21
As Lisa Sachs and Lise Johnson of Columbia Law School's Center on Sustainable Investment explain: "[The TPP] includes an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism that allows foreign investors to sue state parties for violating broad investor protections contained in the agreement ... the TPP now codifies the approach many arbitrators have been taking by allowing investors' 'expectations' to be a key factor in determining whether a government has breached its obligations. If an investor's 'expectations,' which may be based on general statements of government officials or promotional materials used to attract investors, are then not met, they can sue for damages."
[NOTE: Sachs is a lecturer.]
Great Lakes Echo—January 21
But Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, says legal precedent has already been set in the U.S. and that it is no longer promising to pursue monetary damages against companies for their emissions.
New York Law Journal—January 21
By John C. Coffee Jr.
In his Corporate Securities column, John C. Coffee Jr. of Columbia University Law School provides a brief tour of the empirical evidence associated with the rise in hedge fund activism and then turns to policy issues surrounding the matter.
CityLab—January 22       
“There was a lot of concern on the respondents’ side and among people who care about climate change that if a stay were to be granted, that would really shift momentum against the development of the plans and following through on the Clean Power Plan,” says Michael Burger, executive director of Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. Burger, who is filing an amicus brief in support of the CPP on behalf of the National League of Cities, says now “it’s full steam ahead” for the plan.
[NOTE: There was extensive coverage of this Sabin Center-led amicus brief]
Moyers & Company—January 22
Independent lawyers agreed: “I think it shows that [the trade groups] are not utterly certain it will be dismissed,” Michael B. Gerrard, the director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia, who is not affiliated with the case, told us back in November.
IBN Live—January 22
The expression "network neutrality" was coined by American academic Tim Wu in his 2003 paper "Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination". It calls for governments, Internet service providers and other stakeholders to treat all data on the Internet equally - therefore, not charging users, the content providers, platforms, sites, applications or the mode of communicating differentially.
The Oklahoman—January 24
Meanwhile, Kimberlé Crenshaw, professor of law at Columbia Law School and UCLA, and co-founder and executive director of the African American Policy Forum, said there should be just as much uproar about the victimization of black women as there is about police brutality in black communities.
Inside Climate News—January 24
“It’s a long-standing principle––one country shouldn’t be able to pollute another," said one of the study’s authors, Michael Gerrard, a professor of environmental law at Columbia University. "What this does is gives the EPA the tool to address the greater impacts of greenhouse gas emissions generated in the United States."
New York Law Journal—January 25
A panel discussion on the constitutional convention will feature state constitutional scholar Gerald Benjaim, Columbia Law School Professor Richard Briffault, former Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch and state Solicitor General Barbara Underwood.—January 27
Collins and Reed have lined up a number of endorsements for their bill from consumer protection activists, financial regulatory reform advocates and academics, including Columbia University Law Professor John Coffee, who says the legislation "amounts to a moderate, and reasonable regulatory nudge that pushes public companies to give greater attention to cybersecurity issues without mandating an inflexible board structure or insisting that one size fits all. This will help spur action, but still permit diverse approaches to a developing problem."
The New York Times—January 28
“Wall Street is a big favor bank,” said John C. Coffee Jr., a professor and expert in securities law at Columbia Law School. “There’s a culture of reciprocity.”
HuffPost Business—January 28
By Georges Ugeux, Chairman/CEO, Galileo Global Advisors & Adjunct professor at Columbia Law School
The recent action by the United Kingdom to tax Apple has, at last, opened the Pandora box of the practice of Corporate America whose objective is not to pay tax. The hypocritical comment "tax authorities define the rules, and we comply" from Apple only confirms what we all know. Since taxation is a national sovereign prerogative, the search for tax evasion is made easy.
[NOTE: Ugeux is a lecturer.]
Bloomberg—January 28
Richard Briffault a law professor at Columbia University Law School and Nate Persily, a law professor at Stanford Law School, discuss a voter ID law in North Carolina, which is on trial in Federal court this week for being discriminatory towards Blacks and Latinos. If upheld, the law, which is one of the strictest in the nation, would not only make voting in North Carolina considerably harder for certain portions of the population, it would allow other states to pass equally discriminatory laws. They speak with June Grasso and Michael Best on Bloomberg Radio’s “Bloomberg Law.”
New York Observer—January 28
“Foreign-flight capital isn’t itself of great public policy concern, but capital that is parked here by people who have obtained it through corrupt, illegal means is of growing interest to the government, and rightfully so,” Columbia Law School professor Daniel C. Richman, a former federal prosecutor, told the Observer.
Newsworks—January 29
Columbia University law professor James Liebman and a team of students published a 6-year study in the Human Rights Law Review that concluded Carlos DeLuna, executed in 1989 for stabbing a gas station clerk to death, was innocent. They note that shoddy police work, the failure to pursue a similar-looking suspect and a weak, government-provided defense led to DeLuna's downfall.
PC Mag—January 29
"We should be allowed to know how the things we buy work," Eben Moglen, a Columbia University law professor, told the New York Times, adding that cars have become "sealed-hood entities with complicated computers and modules." But automakers and suppliers have resisted opening up their code to scrutiny, and the primary trade group for the auto industry has fought to have software used in vehicles added to a proposed list of Digital Millennium Copyright Act exemptions and considered copyrighted works.
Austin American-Statesman—January 31
“These are life and death stakes, and it is so important to have dedicated counsel helping families through the process,” said Elora Mukherjee, director of the Immigrant Rights’ Clinic at Columbia Law School.
60 Minutes (CBS)—January 31
The hidden camera tapes raise all sorts of ethical questions not just about the behavior of the lawyers, but about the methods used by Global Witness in making them. We showed the footage to Bill Simon, a law professor at Columbia University, who is one of the country's top legal ethicists.
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