University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 9:14am

On June 1, Professor Bernard Hibbitts presented his paper “Power, Protest and Professionalization: Lawyers in Fourteenth Century English Poetry” as part of a panel on “Power and Politics in Medieval Law” at the Law & Society Annual Meeting in Boston. The paper argues that the multiple English poems of the 1300s depicting lawyers (including works by William Langland, John Gower, and Geoffrey Chaucer) not only follow a rhetorical arc reflecting contemporary trends in legal professionalization, but actively promoted that process.


Monday, June 3, 2013 - 1:47pm


Pitt Law Professor David Harris talks to 90.3 WESA about "stand your ground" laws and their overall impact on society.  Harris is currently serving on the American Bar Association's National Task Force addressing stand your ground laws.

Listen to the entire show here.  

Monday, June 3, 2013 - 8:53am

Professor Larry Frolik made two presentations at the Law & Society Association Annual Meeting in Boston on May 30th – June 2, 2013. One of the founders of the newly formed Aging, Law and Society – Collaborative Research Network, Professor Frolik presented a paper on “Reforming the 401(k) – Reducing the Management Burden for Retirees” as part of the session “Constructing Age: How Legal Structures Shape the Aging Experience.”   He also presented on “Rethinking the Theories of Guardianship Decision Making” in the session “Beyond Elder Law.”

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 1:30pm


Professor Mary Crossley is one of six legal scholars from across the country selected to work with a public health department in tackling pressing public health law issues as part of Scholars in Residence, a new program sponsored by the Network for Public Health Law and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Crossley will work with the San Francisco Department of Public Health to identify innovative ways in which California health officials can use their legal authority to address the growing burden of chronic diseases through interventions targeting risk behaviors and social and economic factors that impact health.  

Read the full announcement here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 11:31am

On May 3, Prof. Vélez Martinez spoke at the UNESCO Celebration of World Press Freedom Day and the Caribbean Media Summit in Curaçao.  As part of UNESCO Caribbean celebration of WPFD Prof. Vèlez Martínez was asked to speak about criminal defamation prosecution of journalists as political persecution.  In particular she discussed recent cases where journalist have been granted asylum in the United States and Central America.   
Coverage of the conference (in papiamento) is here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 9:48am


Today on NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin, Pitt Law Professor David Harris will offer commentary on the closing arguments in the federal class action trial involving New York City's stop-and-frisk policy. The trial has been going on for two months in Manhattan.

Plaintiffs in Floyd v. City of New York claim the New York Police Department, its supervisors and its union pressured police officers to stop, question and frisk hundreds of thousands of people each year, even establishing quotas. They argue that 88 percent of the stops involved blacks and Hispanics, mostly men, and were in fact a form of racial profiling.

This show will be broadcast live at 11AM.  Listen here.

Tell Me More focuses on the way we live, intersect and collide in a culturally diverse world. Each day's show features a variety of segments examining U.S. and international news, ideas and people; its range of topics covers politics, faith and spirituality, the family, finance, arts and culture and lifestyle.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 10:31am


Pitt Law Professor Arthur D. Hellman expressed surprise at the “huge spread” in the number of opinions written by individual Ninth Circuit judges over a period of three years. According to a story in the Recorder, posted on the website, some judges published almost three times as many opinions as some of their colleagues.

Hellman, who was described in the article as “a close follower of the court,” pointed out that judges take different approaches to allocating their time. “A conscientious judge can spend a lot of time reviewing the record even in an unpublished case," says Hellman.

Read more here

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 2:12pm


Jessie Allen gave a presentation on her research project on the combination of doctrine and policy at the Developing Ideas Conference at the University of Kentucky's College of Law in Lexington, KY.

Monday, May 13, 2013 - 8:29pm


On May 10, 2013, Professor Deborah Brake filed an amici curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court (co-authored with Joanna Grossman of Hofstra law school) in support of the Petition for Certiorari in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., on behalf of Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund), the Women’s Law Project, the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, and a group of legal scholars with expertise in gender discrimination.  The brief argues that the Supreme Court should step in to correct a growing body of decisions, including in the case below from the Fourth Circuit, permitting employers to extend accommodations to certain, favored conditions affecting work while denying them for pregnancy.   Such decisions have eroded the protections afforded by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and have the greatest negative impact on the workers most in need of the Act’s protections: women in lower wage jobs, inflexible workplaces, and occupations with physically strenuous job requirements.

Monday, May 13, 2013 - 8:16pm


Assistant Professor Charles C. Jalloh has just published an article entitled “Prosecuting those Bearing Greatest Responsibility: The Lessons of the Special Court for Sierra Leone” in the spring 2013 issue of the Marquette Law Review, Vol. 96, at pp. 863 to 911. This is the first published work to examine the implications of this limited personal jurisdiction over those bearing “greatest responsibility” for national and international crimes in the first tribunal to be so mandated by the United Nations. The abstract and paper maybe downloaded from SSRN here.

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