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November 2009

  The Threat to Academic Freedom on Campus   
Chances are you never heard of the Institutional Review Boards that approve many research projects on college campuses. Many professors do know them, but wish they never had.
  
  Leading Civil Rights Lawyer Driven by the Urge to Intervene   
Throughout his career, civil rights attorney David Kairys ’68 has been driven by an urge to intervene. Speaking at Columbia Law School about his latest book, Philadelphia Freedom: Memoir of a Civil Rights Lawyer, Kairys traced that urge to a case he tackled as a rookie public defender. “The book starts when I left this building with a law degree but not the slightest idea of what it means to be a lawyer."
  
  Putting the Brakes on Litigation   
Dr. Seuss never went to law school. Yet, he somehow managed to capture how many attorneys feel about mediation. “Getting people to try mediation is a little like “Green Eggs and Ham,” said Carol B. Liebman, Clinical Professor of Law. “People have a lot of views about mediation, but they just haven’t tried it. And most of the time, once they try it, they decide they like it, at least in appropriate circumstances.”
  
  Professor Sanger Speaks on Use of Ultrasound Before Abortion   
Twelve states require a woman to undergo an ultrasound examination and be offered an image of her fetus before obtaining an abortion. According to Carol Sanger, the Barbara Aronstein Black Professor of Law, it’s another weapon in the arsenal of anti-abortion forces, but one that does nothing to advance the debate over abortion. Sanger will speak about the issue Nov. 12 in a lecture entitled “Abortion and the Visual Construction of Loss,” at 4 p.m. in Jerome Greene Hall, Room 701. Anne Higonnet, an art history professor at Barnard College, will deliver a response.
  
  When Religious Beliefs Play a Role in Medical Care   
Under the First Amendment, a healthcare provider’s religious beliefs should be accommodated, but the question remains to what extent. Steve Aden, senior legal counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund, and Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, staff attorney in the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, tackled this question in a recent debate at Columbia Law School.
  
  Professor Gerrard Named Top Environmental Lawyer in New York   
  
  Paying Dues: a Fact of Life for Both Musicians and their Lawyers   
For law students who aspire to a career in music and entertainment law, getting there is not easy. Just like the music business. Most entertainment practices want lawyers to come to them with a solid grounding in contract drafting, negotiations and intellectual property issues. And if you can provide clients with reality checks and soothe outsized egos, so much the better.
  
  Columbia Law School Professors to Speak at Conference on Academic Freedom   
The growing trend of courts injecting themselves into the academic world is the subject of a day-long conference Friday co-sponsored by Columbia Law School.
  
  Professor Liebman Helping to Shape New Tort Liability Laws in China   
As China draws closer to implementing a comprehensive new liability law for accidents, medical malpractice, defamation and other torts, it has looked to other countries’ systems to help shape their own. As part of that process, Professor Benjamin L. Liebman, Director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia Law School, was in Beijing as part of a delegation of foreign experts to offer insights into U.S. tort laws, including defamation on the Internet.
  
  Julie Brill to Serve as Commissioner, FTC   
Brill co-teaches a weekly seminar at Columbia Law School on “The Role of the State Attorney General” with James Tierney, Director of the National State Attorneys General Program and former Attorney General of Maine. "In addition to her legal skills, Julie has proven to be a gifted teacher who is dedicated to our students,” Tierney said.
  
  Professors Urge New York’s High Court to Protect Functional Parent-Child Relationships   
Professors from every one of New York’s 15 law schools are urging the state’s highest court to stop treating functional parents – those who raised children with a former partner – as “legal strangers” to their children.
  
  Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Submits Brief in Landmark Adoption-Rights Case   
A brief submitted by the Columbia Law School Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic urges the Puerto Rico Supreme Court to allow the non-biological parent in a same-sex couple to adopt the couple’s child.
  
  Supporter of Japanese Legal Studies Isaac Shapiro '56 Publishes Illuminating Memoir   
Shapiro's wife, Jacqueline Weiss Shapiro '56, his old friends, and many students, faculty and professors gathered to celebrate Shapiro's recently-published memoir and hear him share anecdotes from his childhood.
  
  Literary Biographer Lyndall Gordon to Give Annual Barbara Aronstein Black Lecture on Women and Law   
Lyndall Gordon, an acclaimed literary biographer, will discuss her new book about poet Emily Dickinson when she gives the Barbara Aronstein Black Lecture on Women and Law. The Nov. 9 event centers on Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family’s Feuds, which is set to be published in February.
  
  Maine Vote to Repeal Same-Sex Marriage Law Viewed With Disappointment, Not Surprise   
“I think we were all braced that this was a possibility,” said Katherine Franke, Director of the Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law. Unofficial tallies show the repeal passed by a vote of 53 percent to 47 percent in Tuesday’s balloting. Franke had expected the percentages to be closer based on recent polls.
  
  Professor Deborah Rhode Discusses Appearance Discrimination   
Rhode, a visiting professor and leading scholar in legal ethics and gender, talked about the prevalence of appearance-based discrimination in the workforce and its uglier consequences in a discussion hosted by the Reading Group of Columbia Law Women's Association
  
  Marriage Equality in Maine: Lessons Learned, Future Directions   
Maine voters are answering this question today at the polls, by voting on a proposition to repeal legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry.
  
  Bryan Earl '90 Receives Prestigious Award from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder '76   
Bryan Earl '90 recently received an Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder '76 for his work on United States v. Pavel Lazarenko.