Faculty in the News

Columbia Law School Clip Report, January 23–February 15, 2018

Reuters—January 23, 2018
Ninth U.S. city sues big oil firms over climate change
Legal scrutiny of oil companies is growing in the United States, said Michael Gerrard, an environmental expert at Columbia Law School. “Each new lawsuit is incrementally more pressure on the oil companies,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.

Bloomberg—January 23, 2018
KKR, Blackstone Targeted in New Kentucky Suit (Audio)
Richard Briffault, a professor at Columbia Law School, discusses a last-minute suit by Roy Moore, who attempted to challenge Doug Jones’ victory in the Alabama special senate election.

Buzzfeed—January 23, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions Sat Down With Special Counsel Mueller’s Office
The New York Times also reported Tuesday that Mueller's team interviewed former FBI director James Comey last year. Asked about the Times report, Columbia Law School professor Daniel Richman said in an email to BuzzFeed News that he is one of Comey's lawyers and that they would decline to comment.

Consumer Reports—January 23, 2018
What the New Tariff on Washing Machines Means for Consumers
Petros Mavroidis, who teaches trade law at Columbia University and consults with the World Trade Organization, says tariffs on imported consumer goods can also affect selection and innovation. “They definitely increase prices,” says Mavroidis. “And some goods might stay out of the market because they have been priced out.”

Newsday—January 23, 2018
Flushing Financial delivers bonuses after tax overhaul
The bonuses at Flushing, Dayton T. Brown and other companies will be well received by employees, although they are one-time payments, said Alex Raskolnikov, a tax law professor in Columbia University’s law school.

Vanity Fair—January 23, 2018
“This Is Serious”: Facebook Begins Its Downward Spiral
As Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School and former senior adviser to the Federal Trade Commission, told me recently, Facebook is in real potential trouble of running into regulatory hazards, either at home or abroad.

The Washington Post—January 24, 2018
AT&T wants Congress to draft a net neutrality law. Here’s why that’s a big deal.
In a 2003 paper, the legal scholar Tim Wu said that tech companies could be the victims in a world without net neutrality because Internet providers have a motive to steer customers away from some apps and services and toward others that may share a commercial relationship with the providers.

Vice—January 24, 2018
All the ways Jess Sessions’ “American Carnage” op-ed was wrong
Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School and former federal prosecutor, published a study last year about the factors driving the uptick in homicides. Richman and his colleague concluded that national spikes in murder rates tend to be driven by regional clusters or a handful of large cities, where factors like inequality and distrust of law enforcement combine to create fertile conditions for violence.

The Washington Post—January 25, 2018
The Energy 202: California just can't get enough of suing the Trump administration
According to Michael Gerrard, an environmental law professor at Columbia Law School, “a major reason why states are having such success in court” on environmental issues is that the “Supreme Court has held that each state has such an interest in its own environment that it may have standing to sue in some cases where others might not.”

Bloomberg—January 25, 2018
The High Cost of Free Speech, From Charlottesville to the Women’s March
The result, says David Pozen, a visiting scholar at Columbia’s Knight First Amendment Institute, has been that the public now effectively subsidizes the speech not only of peaceful protests like the 200 or so Women’s Marches that took place across the U.S. this January, but also that of the most controversial, inflammatory figures, even when they’re just looking for a fight.

NorthJersey.com—January 25, 2018
Leonia's ban on commuter traffic along local roads: Is it legal?
Richard Briffault, professor of local government law at Columbia Law School, said the Supreme Court decision Zeigler cites does create precedent for the borough to “favor their own” when it comes to scarce resources — in this case, the roads. But Briffault was not sure how the state viewed Leonia’s law. And the outcome may hinge on that.

New York Daily News—January 25, 2018
Vance learns the hard way about campaign money
Amid swirls of scrutiny last fall, Vance asked a think tank at Columbia Law School to develop recommendations on how to handle donations from attorneys with business before his office. He’s accepting their proposed restrictions and then some.

The Washington Post—January 25, 2017
Why Net Neutrality Has Sparked a Whopper of a Fight: QuickTake
The term “network neutrality” was coined in 2002 by Tim Wu, a law professor and author. He argued that no authority should be able to decide what kind of information was and wasn’t allowed on the internet.

Bloomberg—January 25, 2018
Internet Giants Try to Soften Antitrust Rules in Credit Card Case
Even the most extreme scenarios could become immune to antitrust complaints, argued Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School. Uber could ban drivers from working with Lyft Inc., or Amazon could make sellers charge lower prices on its platform than anywhere else.

The New York Times—January 26, 2018
McGahn in June, Other Republicans Soon
“I know it’s not the key point tonight, but for someone who built a TV show around it, Trump turns out to be very bad at firing people,” notes Matthew Waxman, a former official in the George W. Bush administration.

Huffington Post—January 27, 2018
Facebook And Google’s Surveillance Capitalism Model Is In Trouble
This was the “grand bargain,” as Columbia University law professor Tim Wu called it in his book, The Attention Merchants, that users struck with corporations. Wu wrote that Facebook’s “billions of users worldwide were simply handing over a treasure trove of detailed demographic data and exposing themselves to highly targeted advertising in return for what, exactly?”

The Columbus Dispatch—January 29, 2018
Ohio State associate professor among scientists pushing back against EPA ban
Michael Burger, a Columbia Law School environmental attorney representing Wilson and her co-plaintiffs, called the removal of EPA grant recipients a “purge” that threatens the committees’ integrity. He said the EPA’s action violates a federal law designed to ensure fairness, balance and independence in policies.

Lawfare—January 29, 2018
What’s So Great About the Declare War Clause?
By Matthew Waxman
“First, James Madison was brilliant and prescient about many things, but the strategy and politics of war were not among them. Second, modern constitutional critics of an imperial presidency place too much weight on the declare war clause—and especially Madison’s statements about it.”

Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights—January 29, 2018
Making Catholic Hospitals Illegal
A recently published report, 'Bearing Faith: The Limits of Catholic Health Care for Women of Color,' is the most anti-Catholic document assessing Catholic healthcare ever published. The authors want to effectively shut down Catholic hospitals, unless, of course, they stop being Catholic. The report is the work of the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project, a unit of Columbia Law School. It draws on data supplied by MergerWatch.

The Washington Post–January 30, 2018
Democrats should take Trump’s immigration deal seriously
By Michael W. Doyle
“President Trump has proposed a deal: a path to citizenship for 1.8 million ‘dreamers’ in return for a $25 billion ‘beautiful’ wall (with a $5 billion security top-up) and an end to the diversity lottery and some family reunification rules. This is an offer liberals should engage with.”

Yahoo!—January 30, 2018
Early Word on a Contract May Have Helped Investors Cash In
John Coffee, a professor of corporate law at Columbia University who’s advised members of Congress on insider trading, questioned why the Education Department didn’t wait to notify bidders until after the trading day ended. “It’s quite clumsy and negligent, but I don’t think it’s criminal,” he says.

GoDanRiver.com—January 30, 2018
Are special prosecutors needed in police-involved shootings? Expert opinions vary        
Localities where special prosecutors are appointed by default are rare, said Jeffrey A. Fagan, law professor at Columbia Law School in New York. “There aren’t very many places where a police shooting automatically triggers a special prosecutor,” Fagan said.

The New York Times—January 31, 2018
67 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump
To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse more than 60 environmental rules, according to a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker, Columbia Law School’s Climate Tracker and other sources.

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin—January 31, 2018
When computer algorithms rule on jail time
But others worry the algorithms will make judging more rote over time. Research has shown that people tend to follow specific advisory guidelines in lieu of their own judgment, said Bernard Harcourt, a law and political science professor at Columbia University.

The New York Times—January 31, 2018
Should Trump Nationalize a 5G Network?
By Tim Wu
“The White House proposal, which at the moment is just an idea, appears driven by concerns about security threats related to China’s development of 5G networks.”

AL.com—January 31, 2018
Attorneys for Alabama AG's Office, death row inmate argue in federal court
His attorney, who is also a professor of law and political science at Columbia, Bernard Harcourt has argued that Hamm has lymphatic cancer and intravenous injection of the lethal drugs will cause significant pain and suffering.

AL.com—February 1, 2018
Alabama death row inmate granted stay of execution by federal judge
According to Hamm's attorney and law professor at Columbia, Bernard Harcourt, the court granted Hamm a stay of execution and will allow the case to go forward.

Lawfare—February 1, 2018
War, Threats of Force, and Law: Thoughts on North Korea
By Matthew Waxman
“Does law enhance or degrade deterrence of North Korean provocations? Does it help or hinder efforts to coerce North Korea toward concessions? These questions are rarely asked, but they should be. Here’s why.”

Business Insider—February 1, 2018
At Vice Media's once high-flying ad agency Carrot — a founder is out and insiders describe a hostile culture toward women
Last summer, for instance, it revamped its workplace-training programs and also committed itself to implementing pay parity by enlisting Columbia Law School’s Suzanne Goldberg to guide the process, a representative told Business Insider.

The New York Times—February 1, 2018
Settlements for 3 Wall Street Banks Hold a Silver Lining
Kathryn Judge, a Columbia Law School professor, said the change was a sign of the waning influence of Ms. Warren. “Elizabeth Warren has done an outstanding job for a long period of time being simply so vocal and so visible and understandable to the public that the administration and regulators were scared to take action that would have invoked her ire,” Ms. Judge said.

Forbes—February 1, 2018
Unraveling The Mess In North Korea
As a Stratfor contributor, I generally avoid prescribing policy. But today I can't resist, having found myself in a position to report a policy prescription available nowhere else in English. Philip Bobbitt has come up with a novel proposal for managing the mess in North Korea, which BBC China published in Chinese on Jan. 28.

The News Tribune—February 1, 2018
N.C. steel company, once run by Trump trade adviser, to settle racial discrimination suit
“If the company is being cynically realistic, it may say to itself: ‘No one can sue us unless the stock price plummets, and it won't,’” said John Coffee, director of the Center on Corporate Governance at Columbia Law School and frequently asked by Congress to testify on matters of securities law.

Bloomberg—February 2, 2018
Is Cyber-Inside Trading Illegal?
But here are a blog post and related a paper — “Informed Trading and Cybersecurity Breaches,” by Joshua Mitts and Eric Talley of Columbia — discussing a different approach, which is that you could just trade on the fact that you could hack into the computers.

InsideClimate News—February 2, 2018
Trump's Arctic Oil, Gas Lease Sale Violated Environmental Rules, Lawsuits Claim
“Over the years, there have been many court decisions saying that greenhouse gas emissions should be considered in Environmental Impact Statements,” said Michael Gerrard, the director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.

Climate Liability News—February 3, 2018
Chevron Wants More Companies Blamed in Climate Liability Cases
“Basically, when you have multiple parties potentially liable for damages and not all of them have been named in the lawsuit defendants can and will file these types of third party complaints against others,” said Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.

The Washington Post—February 3, 2018
Trump claims memo ‘totally vindicates’ him in Russia probe
“Having decided to cherry-pick, the Nunes team picked a bunch of the wrong cherries for its own narrative,” Matthew Waxman, a Columbia University law professor and former Bush administration official, wrote in an email.

Wired—February 5, 2018
Can VR Survive in a Cutthroat Attention Economy?
By Tim Wu
“How, exactly, will or does VR fit into the collective human schedule? When and where will large numbers of people ‘do’ VR, in a time when nearly every second of week is contested territory?”

Institutional Investor—February 6, 2018
Why Spotify Is Skipping Wall Street
Still, some applaud a direct listing that at least strikes back at Wall Street’s fees. “All that the issuer likely loses is the first-day run-up in a ‘hot’ IPO,” writes John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School, in the New York Law Journal. “The direct-listing procedure will be cheaper, faster, and probably less legally risky to the issuer.”

McClatchy DC Bureau—February 6, 2018
Lawsuits, hearings batter bitcoin sector as owners HODL (hold on for dear life!)
“The SEC has been slow to respond to this challenge but is now picking up the pace and may accelerate even faster in light of bitcoin’s plunge,” said John Coffee, a Columbia University law professor and a frequent congressional witness on securities matters.

USA Today—February 6, 2018
Nashville mayor backed daughter of affair partner for city job
“There's a general norm and principal that people should not use their office for private advantage, including for those you associate with,” said Richard Briffault, a professor at Columbia Law School and chair of the Conflicts of Interest Board of New York City.

Bloomberg—February 6, 2018
California Critic Cites Climate Hypocrisy, Urges SEC Probe
The odds of legal sanctions are slim, according to Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.

Washington Post—February 6, 2018
Treason: Dissing President Trump it’s not. Here’s what is.
In England, treason was “abused as a way of getting at the King’s enemies,” Columbia Law School’s Richard Briffault told Business Insider. “And so I think the special requirements of proof, and the specific definition of treason . . . was a way of narrowing the definition of what treason is.”

AL.com—February 7, 2018
Judge issues 25-page opinion on stay of execution for Doyle Lee Hamm
Columbia Law School Professor Bernard Harcourt, who has represented Hamm for 28 years, argued Hamm is too sick to die by lethal injection.

Real Clear Markets—February 8, 2018
Tort Lawyers and Attorneys General: A Corruptible Combination
“I think we need plaintiffs’ attorneys, but we need the process in which they represent the public to be purged of political overtones,” said John Coffee, a law professor at Columbia University. “This was probably the biggest pay-to-play issue of all time.”

University of California Santa Cruz—February 9, 2018
MLK Convocation: For racial equality, we must hear women
Kimberlé Crenshaw, known for the development of intersectional theory, praised the legacy of MLK but noted that the civil rights movement and the Obama era left out the perspectives and voices of women

CNN—February 9, 2018
ACLU challenge in case of American detained as ISIS fighter targets 9/11 law
“The answers to these questions are not clear, and if I were the government I would not want to risk litigating them,” said Matthew Waxman, a professor at Columbia Law School and former Pentagon adviser on detainee issues.

Plunderbund.com—February 10, 2018
25 Billboards Outside Cincinnati, Ohio
Plunderbund consulted Dr. [sic] Richard Briffault, a professor at Columbia Law School with a focus on state and local government law and government ethics, to ask why an Ohio-centric Super PAC would make a non-federal contribution to another state’s Republican Party campaign finance arm.

U.S. News and World Report—February 12, 2018
The Right’s First Amendment Push
“We have certainly seen it in a few prominent issues,” says Gillian Metzger, a Columbia University law professor and visiting scholar at Harvard School of Law. “It's part of an even broader attack on regulations and the administrative state.”

New York Law Journal—February 12, 2018
Weinstein Lawsuit Positions New York AG for Key Role in Victim Compensation
“This is not a commonly used tactic by the attorney general,” said Eric Talley, a professor at Columbia Law School who specializes in corporate governance and finance. “The idea is to use as much leverage as [Schneiderman] can to find that money at as upstream a position as possible,” in order to keep it from flowing to the Weinstein brothers or other board members, Talley said.

The New Yorker—February 12, 2018
Is There a Smarter Way to Think About Sexual Assault on Campus?
She sat next to Suzanne Goldberg, who at the time was a special adviser to Columbia’s president, Lee Bollinger, on the subject of sexual-assault prevention and response.

ThinkProgress—February 12, 2018
Planning for future ‘extreme weather’ is mentioned just once in 2018 budget deal
“It is a little bit of good news,” Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for climate change law at Columbia University, told ThinkProgress. “I don’t know where the language came from or how closely the administration looked at it amidst the massive chaos that surrounded the budget.”

Mondoweiss—February 12, 2018
Message from Massachusetts: When we fight we win!
The bill would, in the words of Columbia Law School professor Katherine Franke, “mete out a state sponsored penalty towards citizens who are exercising constitutionally protected rights and would, as a result, chill that protected speech.”

Foreign Affairs—February 13, 2018
The President and the Bomb: Reforming the Nuclear Launch Process
By Richard K. Betts and Matthew C. Waxman
“Although common sense and careful official planning dictate a process to prevent an imprudent and impulsive president from starting a nuclear war, there is nothing stopping a determined president from overriding it.”

Smithsonian Magazine—February 14, 2018
What to Know About 5Pointz Graffiti Collective’s Big Win at Court
“If I’m a landlord who reads this, the first thing I’m now doing is getting artists to waive VARA, which in the end run could hurt artists and the power of VARA,” Philippa Loengard, deputy director at the Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School, tells him.

Vice—February 14, 2018
The Woman Going After Big Energy for the Typhoon That Killed Her Family
“It’s important that the law . . . recognize that climate change does have these impacts on human rights,” Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, told me.

E&E News—February 15, 2018
More than 100 climate lawsuits filed last year
In 2017, plaintiffs launched more than 100 lawsuits over either climate change impacts or greenhouse gas reductions in U.S. courts, the report by Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law found.

Bloomberg—February 15, 2018
Barclays Charged in Qatar Fundraising Case (Audio)
John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School, discusses why Barclays is facing a new criminal charge in relation to the lender’s controversial $16.6 billion fundraising at the height of the financial crisis a decade ago.

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This report shares mentions of Law School faculty cited in print, broadcast, and online news outlets. It is not intended to be inclusive of every media mention.