Columbia Law School Alumni Win Legal Writing Awards


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New York, June 15, 2009
— Eight graduates of Columbia Law School are winners of awards for effective legal writing from the Burton Foundation, a nonprofit academic organization. The 10th annual Burton Awards ceremony takes place tonight at the Library of Congress.

Karen Lin ’09 earned an award for her note “An Unintended Double Standard of Liability: The Effect of the Westfall Act on the Alien Tort Claims Act” (Columbia Law Review, November 2008). Lin’s receipt of the award marks the fifth consecutive year a Columbia Law School student’s note has won a Burton Award. Past recipients are Tracy Appleton ’08, Grant Mainland ’07, Benjamin Greenblum ’06, and Meghann Donahue ’05. The Burton Foundation recognized Columbia Law School’s commitment to excellence in legal writing with a special Record of Distinction Award in 2007.

Here are the seven other alumni winners and the articles for which they were nominated:

Ronald Bleeker ’73, “One Year After MedImmune – The Impact On Patent Licensing & Negotiation”;

John Halski ’06, “Inter partes re-examination: What lies ahead?”;
Christopher Loh ’98, “Patent Exhaustion Revitalized?”;

Lisa Pearson ’80, “How Fluid Trade Marks Can Enhance Your Brand”;

Victor Schwartz ’65, “Consumer Product Safety Reform Could Mean a Boon for Safety or a Boondoggie for Plaintiffs’ Lawyers: It’s Up to the CPSC, State AGs, the Courts, and You”;

Lawrence Spiegel ’91, “Taming the Dragon: Avoiding Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violations in China”; and

Margaret Tahyar ’87, “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008”.

The Burton Awards program honors partners in law firms and law school students who use plain, clear and concise language and avoid archaic, stilted legalese. Managing partners of the nation’s 1000 largest law firms and law school deans can nominate articles for awards.


Columbia Law School
, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, and environmental law.