October 2014

  NYC Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs Discusses City's Immigration Policies   
New York City’s Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs spoke last week to students at Columbia Law School about her aims to connect immigrants with pathways to justice, advocate for reform, and embed a culture of inclusion across city agencies.
  Data Security on Both Sides of the Atlantic   
Tensions between how the United States and the European Union envision data security complicate compliance for firms wishing to operate in both markets, said Kurt Wimmer, U.S. chair of Covington & Burling’s privacy and data security practice, in a Sept. 24 talk at Columbia Law School hosted by the European Legal Studies Center.
  Mediation Program Trains New Generation of Problem Solvers   
U.N. diplomats, practicing lawyers and even a judge joined Columbia Law School students for several days in early September to take part in an intensive mediation skills training offered by the Edson Queiroz Foundation Mediation Program.
  Supreme Court Review   
The U.S. Supreme Court issued some high-profile opinions last term in cases involving sovereign debt, access to contraception, the president's power to make recess appointments, and the Fourth Amendment, but many of those decisions left open questions that are likely to generate follow-up litigation, a panel of Columbia Law School professors explained at the Center for Constitutional Governance's second annual Supreme Court review at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison on Sept. 29.
  Women Judges Reflect on their Careers in Discussion at Columbia Law School   
Distinguished Columbia Law School alumna and New York State Court of Appeals Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam ’77 joined two of her colleagues from the judiciary for a Sept. 23 discussion about their careers in the law.
  Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought Launches   
The roots of critical thought go back at least to French Renaissance writer Michel de Montaigne, but a new Columbia Law School and Faculty of Arts and Sciences initiative will apply the age-old interdisciplinary approach to a host of modern issues, including the use of surveillance as a mode of government power in the age of Big Data.
  Professor John C. Coffee Jr. Testifies on Fee-Shifting Before SEC Committee   
Columbia Law School Professor John C. Coffee Jr. testified before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee today about board-adopted bylaws that require shareholder plaintiffs to pay a defendant company’s expenses if the plaintiffs unsuccessfully sue over securities laws violations (or even if they are successful, but do not achieve a complete victory.)
  Highest-Ranking U.S. Military Operational Lawyer Discusses Civilian Casualties   
The U.S. military is constantly revising its policy standards and training to ensure that civilian casualties are limited in combat zones, according to Brigadier General Richard C. Gross, legal counsel to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a Sept. 24 visit to Columbia Law School.
  Professor Merritt Fox Presents on Supreme Court’s Halliburton II Securities Class Action Decision   
At a recent workshop of the Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets, Columbia Law School Professor Merritt Fox made a presentation concerning the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Halliburton II case relating to the fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance in Rule 10b-5 private damages securities suits.
  Reproductive Rights as Human Rights   
The international legal framework for human rights has become a key tool in the fight for women’s access to reproductive health services around the world, said Katherine E. Mayall, Global Advocacy Adviser at the Center for Reproductive Rights, in an October 6 talk at Columbia Law School.
  City Bar Justice Center to Honor Five Columbia Law School Alumni for Pro Bono Service   
Five Columbia Law School alumni will be honored as outstanding pro bono volunteers for the City Bar Justice Center (CBJC) at an Oct. 20 awards ceremony and reception.
  Building a Career in Intellectual Property and Fashion Law   
Columbia Law School alumnus Joshua Schiller '08 can trace his interest in intellectual property law to his time as an undergraduate, in the early days of free music downloading. In 2000, under legal pressure, his university became one of the first to block students' access to the popular online music-sharing service Napster.
  Professor Emeritus Frank Grad '49 LL.B., Pioneering Public and Environmental Law Attorney, Dies   
Frank P. Grad ’49 LL.B., a pioneering public and environmental law scholar who was called upon by New York City mayors and members of Congress for his expertise in legislation on issues ranging from air pollution to the Human Genome Project, died Oct. 14. He was 90.
  Creation Is Not Its Own Reward   
Pulitzer Prize winners T.J. Stiles and Doug Wright stressed the importance—and limitations—of the copyright regime in protecting their work and livelihood in keynote speeches that kicked off an Oct. 10 symposium sponsored by Columbia Law School’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts.
  In Pursuit of Change   
Students can make a difference in the world by putting their passion and problem-solving skills to work in any career they pursue, Columbia Law School Dean Robert E. Scott told a standing-room only crowd at a student-faculty workshop series event on Oct. 13.
  Legal Scholars Urge Obama Administration to Limit Exemptions to ACA's Contraception Requirement   
More than 40 corporate law scholars today strongly urged the Obama administration to restrict the for-profit entities eligible for a religious exemption to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraception coverage requirement to entities of a limited size that can provide evidence of religious mission and whose owners unanimously agree to seek the accommodation.The scholars made their views known in comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on regulations issued to govern the ACA accommodation process.
  The Roles of Congress and the President in U.S. Foreign Policy   
The U.S. Congress mostly plays a reactive role in contemporary American foreign policy, argued Elliott Abrams, a former senior national security official in the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations, in an Oct. 9 talk at Columbia Law School.
  Incoming Dean Gillian Lester, Professor Anthea Roberts Elected to American Law Institute   
Incoming dean of Columbia Law School Gillian Lester and Professor Anthea Roberts were recently elected to the American Law Institute.