November 2010

  “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Report Could Mean Law Will “Catch Up with Reality,” Say Law School Experts   
A Pentagon report that sees little impact if gays and lesbians are allowed to serve openly should serve as the final “nail in the coffin” for the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, say gender and sexuality law experts at Columbia Law School.
  New Scholarship Honors Judge Wilfred Feinberg ’43   
More than 100 former clerks of 2nd Circuit Court Judge Wilfred “Bill” Feinberg ’43 recently established a student scholarship to honor the venerable jurist, who has served on the federal bench for half a century. Many of them gathered in Columbia Law School’s Drapkin Lounge on Nov.11, to celebrate a new scholarship that will support students based on academic achievement and financial need.
  The Law Student as Prosecutor: Externship Allows Students to Try Domestic Violence Cases in Queens   
In New York City Criminal Court in Queens, a domestic violence trial is about to start. At the defense table is a man charged with misdemeanor assault and unlawful imprisonment. Despite repeated offers, he refused a plea bargain, so the judge is hearing opening arguments in the non-jury trial from prosecutor Jamie Gottlieb—who also happens to be a third-year student at Columbia Law School.
  Professor Scott Hemphill Awarded Grant to Study Generic Drug Makers, Barriers to Cheaper Medicine   
The effects of legal efforts by generic drug makers to gain a bigger foothold in the $300 billion U.S. pharmaceutical industry, and whether they provide more access to cheaper medicine, will be studied under a grant awarded to Columbia Law School Professor C. Scott Hemphill.
  Professors Sovern and Livingston Receive Wien Prize for Social Responsibility   
Debra A. Livingston, the Paul J. Kellner Professor of Law, and Michael I. Sovern ’55, the Chancellor Kent Professor of Law and President Emeritus of Columbia University, each received the Lawrence A. Wien Prize for Social Responsibility at The Pierre hotel in New York City.
  Law School Professors, Alumni Part of Transition Team for Incoming N.Y. Attorney General   
Two Columbia Law School professors and several alumni are part of a transition team to help New York Attorney General-elect Eric Schneiderman recruit his top deputies and provide advice on public policy issues.
  Professor Jagdish Bhagwati Called Upon by World Leaders to Find Ways to Boost Global Trade   
Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor of economics and law at Columbia University, has been selected by the leaders of Britain and Germany to head up a panel that will look at ways to boost world trade. Bhagwati, also a Senior Fellow in International Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, will lead this unprecedented effort with Peter Sutherland, former director general of the World Trade Organization and GATT.
  “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Politics Get Trickier As Senate Vote Looms, Says Professor Katherine Franke   
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said he wants the Senate to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gays serving in the military. But such a vote, even if it fails, may be part of a larger administration strategy to repeal the policy, says the director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School.
  Wrongfully Convicted Man Celebrates Year of Freedom   
Nearly a year after he was exonerated for a crime he did not commit, Fernando Bermudez will speak at Columbia Law School about spending nearly 20 years as an innocent man in prison and what it has been like to regain freedom.
  Mining for Solutions: Conference Looks at Sustainable Development in the Extractive Industries   
Because extractive industries touch so many lives and generate billions of dollars for both companies and the countries where they operate, more attention is being paid to how mineral, oil, and natural gas resources can be developed in a way that is both profitable and sustainable. That was the focus of a conference held Oct. 27-28 by the Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment at Columbia University’s Faculty House.
  Sen. Orrin Hatch Says White House, not GOP, to Blame for Federal Court Vacancies   
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, told a Columbia Law School audience the Obama administration was largely to blame for the slow pace of federal judge confirmations and that he would never filibuster a judicial nomination.
  The Debate over Arizona’s Immigration Law: Necessary or an Excuse for Racial Profiling?   
Debate over the Arizona immigration legislation, known as SB 1070, rages on between proponents who say it’s needed to clamp down on an epidemic of illegal immigration, and civil rights advocates who argue it encourages discrimination and amounts to racial profiling. That battleground was mapped out further in a recent debate at Columbia Law School between Nina Perales ’90, National Senior Counsel at the Mexican-American Legal Defense & Education Fund; and Heather Mac Donald, John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a conservative think tank.
  The Rise of News Aggregation and the Race for Information in the Digital Age   
The legal controversies surrounding news aggregators such as Google News, The Drudge Report and was the subject of a lively debate hosted by Columbia Law School’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts. News aggregators often copy and display headlines, lead paragraphs, even entire stories from other websites, including those run by newspapers such as The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, prompting claims about copyright violations.