University of Pittsburgh

Archived Faculty News

September 17, 2010 - 6:53am
Professor John Burkoff’s article, Appointment and Removal Under the Federal Constitution: The Impact of Buckley v. Valeo, 22 Wayne L.Rev. 1335, 1347, 1364 (1976), was cited approvingly this Summer by Justice Stevens in his 4-justice dissenting opinion in Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Co. Accounting Oversight Bd., 130 S.Ct. 3138 (2010). Justice Stevens cited Professor Burkoff’s research for the proposition that “[c]ourts and scholars have struggled for more than a century to define the constitutional term ‘inferior officers,’ without much success.”
September 16, 2010 - 2:39pm
The newest issue of "Clinic Matters," the newsletter of the clinics at Pitt Law, has been published.  The newsletter can be found here.
September 16, 2010 - 2:25pm
Professor John Burkoff talked with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review about the recent settlement of charges against Allegheny County that it improperly strip searched individuals who were jailed for minor offenses.
University of Pittsburgh law professor John Burkoff said the county and plaintiffs faced "real risks of losing" at trial. Individual settlements are capped at $3,000, about average for this kind of case, Burkoff said.
September 16, 2010 - 2:21pm
Professor David Harris spoke to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review regarding the difficulties of trying six defendants jointly in a murder case involving the torture and killing of a mentally disabled woman. With multiple defendants in any case, judicial efficiency and consideration for the burden on witnesses favor one trial, but this creates substantial hazards for the defendants when their defenses are inconsistent with each other. "What you're going to do if you're only one defendant is to shift the blame onto the others," he said. "It's everybody punching each other out, and the prosecution can sit back." Link
September 16, 2010 - 2:16pm
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently cited Professor Rhonda Wasserman’s article, The Subpoena Power: Pennoyer's Last Vestige, 74 Minn. L. Rev. 37 (1989), in Eli Lilly & Co. v. Gottstein, No. 07-1107, -- F.3d -– (2d Cir. Aug. 12, 2010). The opinion relies on the article for the proposition that state court subpoenas duces tecum are generally effective only within the territory of the issuing state.
September 13, 2010 - 1:13pm
Professor Anthony Infanti presented his paper titled "Inequitable Administration: Documenting Family for Tax Purposes" on Friday, September 10 at the Third National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference. The conference was held at Seton Hall Law School.
September 9, 2010 - 8:03pm
Professor David Harris commented in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review on Tuesday's Third Circuit ruling concerning the government's need for a warrant to obtain information on the cell phone towers carrying a defendant's phone signal. The government has used this type of information to argue to juries in other cases that a defendant is reasonably likely to be in one or another location, but in this case argued that they did not need a warrant because tower information was not the same as more precise cell phone tracking information. "This is tracking technology by any other name and, because of that, should be treated like any other tracking technology," Harris said. Link
September 9, 2010 - 8:02pm
The Public Service Committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Allegheny County Bar Foundation has chosen the University 0f Pittsburgh School of Law Family Law Clinic as the recipient of the 2009 Law Student Pro Bono Award. The pro bono awards will be presented at the Fellows Grand Reception on Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. In the past academic year the Clinic prepared motions on behalf of 550 indigent litigants and presented argument before the Family Court Judges in approximately 85 of those cases.
September 3, 2010 - 5:10pm
Professor Lawrence Frolik’s article, “Needed: The Right of a Retiree to Convert a 401(k) Account into a Federally Guaranteed Annuity” was published in 17 Journal of Pension Benefits 7 (Summer 2010). In the article, Professor Frolik argues that retirees are generally not capable of successfully managing a lump-sum distribution from a 401(k) plan over the 30 or more years of retirement. Instead, they need to be able to purchase a federally guaranteed lifetime annuity.
September 2, 2010 - 4:59pm
Professor John Burkoff was quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a story covering the question of recusal of a federal district judge in Pittsburgh in matters in which the federal Public Defender's Office appears.
While it's unlikely the public defender's office would be successful with its motions to disqualify, one law professor said what may be happening is that the public defender's office is sending "a cannon shot across the judge's bow. "What they're saying is, 'we don't think you're being fair in this one case, and what we're trying to do is prevent that in the future,' " said University of Pittsburgh law professor John Burkoff.

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