University of Pittsburgh

Archived Faculty News

February 14, 2007 - 1:45am
Professor John Burkoff is quoted in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on issues surrounding prosecutorial searches of lawyers' offices.Link:  http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07045/761847-28.stm
February 9, 2007 - 1:51am
Professor Jules Lobel is quoted in Time magazine in connection with the possible extradition of former Bolivian president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, now under indictment in Bolivia.
Sanchez de Lozada has little sympathy in Bolivia today - even leading opposition party politicians have stated publicly that he should be brought to trial. A bad reputation, however, notes Jules Lobel, Professor at University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Vice President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, isn't a legal defense. "While the United States may claim that the accusations fall under the rubric of the political offense exception," says Lobel, "in my opinion the massacre of hundreds of civilians should not be considered a political offense."
Link:  http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1586707,00.html
February 9, 2007 - 1:50am
Is "giving the middle finger" to a police officer an exercise of free speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution? The answer is generally "yes," according to Professor Arthur Hellman. Professor Hellman was quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on a lawsuit filed against a police officer who cited a motorist for "flipping him off" on a Pittsburgh street. Link:  http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07040/760661-53.stm
February 8, 2007 - 1:53am

Professor Janice Mueller, Director of Pitt Law's Certificate Program in Intellectual Property and Technology Law, has published "Taking TRIPS to India--Novartis, Patent Law, and Access to Medicines" as a Perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine.  Regarding Novartis's efforts to obtain Indian patent protection for a leukemia treatment, she writes:

India has an independent judiciary and an established rule-of-law tradition. Novartis's litigation needs to run its course, and the system must be allowed to do its job, since a number of important results could flow from this case. Indian courts probably cannot use the WTO's rules to strike down laws enacted by India's parliament, but the Chennai High Court will have to grapple with the meaning of Section 3(d) and other untested patent rules. Regardless of the outcome, the system will benefit from the judicial analysis. And even if Novartis ultimately obtains an Indian patent on Gleevec, the current safeguards give the government multiple options for ensuring public access to this and other lifesaving drugs.
Link:  http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/356/6/541 An audio interview with Professor Mueller is also posted at the site, at http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/356/6/541/DC1 UPDATED 2/20: Ongoing coverage and reprints of Professor Mueller's NEJM article: Pharma Week:  http://www.pharmaweek.com/Business_and_Markets/Novartis%20Fight.asp   European AIDS Treatment Group:  http://www.eatg.org/news/newsitem.php?id=899   The Commonwealth Secretariat:  http://www.thecommonwealth.org/news/159818/taking_trips_to_india___novartis__patent_law__and.htm   ZENCast:  http://www.zencast.com/channels/showchannel.asp?mc=3&cid=1864   DrugWorks.com, from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest:  http://www.drugwonks.com/2007/02/not_all_patents_created_equal.html 
February 6, 2007 - 2:03am
The University of Pittsburgh School of Law and the law firm of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney hosted a symposium on Monday, February 5 entitled "Tax Exemption and Charitable Health Care Providers" to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the law school's Health Law Certificate Program. The symposium codirectors were Alan Meisel, Pitt professor of law and Dickie, McCamey and Chilcote Professor of Bioethics, and Robert T. Harper, cochair of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Healthcare Section and a faculty member of the health law program at Pitt. Thomas K. Hyatt, a Pitt law school alumnus and principal of the Washington, D.C., law firm of Ober Kaler Grimes & Shriver gave the keynote address. He is the author of "The Law of Tax-Exempt Healthcare Organizations", 2nd edition, with Bruce R. Hopkins, (John Wiley & Sons, 2001). Hyatt is chair emeritus and serves on the faculty of the annual Tax Issues in Healthcare Organizations seminar sponsored by the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) and is past chair of AHLA's Tax and Finance Special Interest and Substantive Law Committee. Hyatt's talk was followed by a panel of speakers composed of Pitt law school Dean Mary Crossley; Thomas E. Boyle, a healthcare attorney with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney who teaches a course in the health law program; Linda Burke, Pitt adjunct professor of law and former IRS Large and Midsize Business Division Counsel; and Karl Emerson, director of the Pennsylvania Department of State's Bureau of Charitable Organizations.
February 6, 2007 - 1:54am
Recently posted to Pitt Law's Working Paper Series at Bepress: Peter Oh, The Dutch Auction Myth: "This article comprehensively assesses the case for Dutch IPOs. . . . Ultimately, claims of the Dutch IPO's superiority over bookbuilding are unproven at best and at worst fail to appreciate certain risks. " Elena Baylis & David Zaring (Washington & Lee), Sending the Bureaucracy to War: "We conclude that anti-terrorism should rarely be the principal justification for a new administrative initiative, but offer some recommendations as to when it might make sense to re-purpose civil officials as anti-terrorism fighters." David J. Herring, The Multiethnic Placement Act: Threat to Foster Child Safety and Wellbeing: "More specifically, this article uses behavioral biology research on kinship cues and social psychology research on in-group favoritism to formulate a hypothesis that has implications for MEPA's prohibition on the routine consideration of race in making foster care placement decisions." Arthur Hellman, The View from the Trenches: A Report on the Breakout Sessions at the 2005 National Conference on Appellate Justice: "In November 2005, four prominent legal organizations sponsored the second National Conference on Appellate Justice. One purpose was to take a fresh look at the operation of appellate courts 30 years after the first National Conference. As part of the 2005 Conference, small groups of judges and lawyers gathered in breakout sessions to discuss specific issues about the operation of the appellate system. This article summarizes and synthesizes the participants' comments."
January 31, 2007 - 2:35pm
Professor Lawrence Frolik has published "Watching The Watchman" in Wealth Strategies Journal.  A taste:
The old saying, "Who watches the watchman?" is as true as it ever was.  Very old, frail and demented elderly need a watchman, but they also need someone who is keeping an eye on the watchman.  An essential aspect of planning for agents and surrogates is to provide oversight lest the watchman become the exploiter.  As in so many aspects of life, a little planning can prevent a great deal of pain.
Link:  http://www.wealthstrategiesjournal.com/Issue_2007_01/2007_01_COL_02_p02.html
January 31, 2007 - 2:34pm
A public apology by a federal judge for violating rules of judicial ethics "will send a strong signal to judges across the country," Professor Arthur Hellman said recently. Professor Hellman was quoted in a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting on two federal judges who made political campaign contributions while members of the federal bench. Professor Hellman lauded Chief Judge Danny Boggs of the Sixth Circuit for initiating the judicial misconduct process and assuring that the matter would become the subject of a formal proceeding. Link:  http://www.muckraker.org/pg_one_investigation-1258-7-0.html
January 31, 2007 - 2:11am
In mid-January Professor George Taylor testified as a prosecution witness in a criminal trial where three staff members of the Cuyahoga County (Cleveland area) Board of Elections were accused of illegal activity during the 2004 Ohio presidential recount.  Last week, two of the three were found guilty of individual felony and misdemeanor charges.  Professor Taylor’s testimony was based on his activities as one of three advisors to the political parties participating in the recount and subsequent testimony, on behalf of the Kerry-Edwards campaign, at a Board of Elections meeting where Professor Taylor brought forward evidence of apparent recount irregularities.  In particular, witnesses discovered that during the recount of several precincts, there were long runs of votes for one presidential candidate and then another.  This evidence suggested, as was later confirmed, that the precincts had been unlawfully precounted by election staff in order to ensure no discrepancy between recount and election day tallies.   The litigation had already led to changes in Board of Election policies, and it is hoped that the convictions will create an impetus for even greater election integrity in the future.   Link:  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/25/us/25brfs-ELECTION.html?_r=1&oref=slogin Link:  http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/01/2_ohio_vote_off.html 
January 19, 2007 - 2:37pm
Professor Arthur D. Hellman, the Sally Ann Semenko Endowed Chair at Pitt Law, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' use of video hookups for oral argument. Argument via videoconference "is awkward in that it can be difficult to have visual contact with all the judges," Professor Hellman said. "In addition, the procedure denies lawyers the nonverbal cues they get from the judges when the judges and the attorneys are assembled in the same location." Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-video16jan16,1,1009685,print.story?coll=la-headlines-california

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