University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Monday, May 14, 2012 - 8:48pm

Professor David Garrow's review of "Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas," by Dale Carpenter, appears currently in The New Republic.  Lawrence v. Texas was the case in which the Supreme Court struck down state laws criminalizing gay sex.  Professor Garrow says that Carpenter's "assiduous unearthing of the case's early history in Houston's overlapping gay and law enforcement communities highlights how every great constitutional decision owes its existence to obscure individuals whose crucial contributions proved more essential to the final outcome than anything in the legal briefs or oral arguments."  

Read Professor Garrow's review here.

Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 6:17pm

On May 3, 2012, Professor Stella Smetanka received the Eileen P. Sweeney Award from the National Organization of Social Security Claims Representatives.  The award is given “[i]n appreciation and recognition of your distinguished service on behalf of people with disabilities in America.”  Professor Smetanka received the award at NOSSCR's semi-annual meeting, which was held this year in Philadelphia.


Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 6:10pm

On May 11 and 12 Professor Harry Flechtner participated in a conference entitled “The CISG vs. Regional Sales Law Unification” at the Max-Planck Institute for Foreign and International Private Law in Hamburg, Germany.  The conference was jointly sponsored by the Max-Planck Institute and the University of Hamburg.  On Friday May 11 Professor Flechtner presented a paper entitled “The U.S. Experience with the UCC and the CISG:  Positive Aspects and Some Insights for the Proposed CESL?”  On Saturday, May 12, Professor Flechtner chaired sessions which focused on regional sales law unification efforts in Africa (the “OHADA” Sales Law) and the European experience with the CISG. The conference papers will appear in a book to be released by the Max-Planck Institute.

Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 5:57pm

Professor David Harris told the Associated Press that the prosecution's revision of the date of a crucial incident in the failure-to-report-abuse case against two former Penn State officials will doom that charge.  Prosecutors now say they were incorrect about the date of an incident in which former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was seen raping a young boy in a Penn State locker room shower.  The incident actually happened a year earlier than previously thought.  According to Professor Harris, this will put the failure-to-report charge against the Penn State officials beyond the statute of limitations.  It will not change the case against Sandusky.  The story was reported in media outlets across the country.


Link to the story in the San Francisco Chronicle, Yahoo News, or ABC News.

Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 5:44pm

In an article in the Los Angeles Times on the importance of the health care sector to economic growth, Professor Michael Madison commented that one of the results of this growth has been that the the number of people from India nearly doubled in Pittsburgh between 2000 and 2010.  This has had an "unmistakable impact" on the region, Professor Madison said.


See the Los Angeles Times article here.

Friday, May 11, 2012 - 9:25am

Professor Pat Chew attended a meeting of Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in Washington D.C. May 8-10.  The Executive Committee leads the AALS, the nation's premiere organization on legal education; Professor Chew is a member of the Executive Committee. 

Friday, May 11, 2012 - 9:23am

Professors John and Nancy Burkoff will each be teaching a 5-hour short course for Turkish law students and lawyers next week at Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul, Turkey.  Professor Nancy Burkoff will be teaching “American Legal Reasoning & Analysis for Civil Law Attorneys.”  Professor John Burkoff will be teaching “Introduction to U.S. Criminal Justice.”

Friday, May 11, 2012 - 9:14am

Professor John Burkoff discussed the case against former Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky in numerous media outlets this week.  He also commented on the request from the District Attorney's Office that State Sen. Jane Orie, who was recently convicted of political corruption, repay the cost of her defense. Professor Burkoff said that ordering Orie to pay these costs would be "piling on" in light of Orie's conviction and likely incarceration and order to pay restitutution.

Read the story here.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 12:39pm

Professor David Harris explained to the Associated Press why defense attorneys for former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky are allowed to gather negative evidence against Sandusky's alleged victims.  Defense lawyers would attempt to use this evidence to discredit victims if the victims testify against Sandusky in a trial.  Professor Harris explained that this is allowed in order to secure the constitutional rights of people accused of crimes, but the use of the evidence is often limited -- sometimes it is even excluded -- by the rules of evidence as interpreted by the judge.  According to Professor Harris, the use of some kinds of negative evidence can be used to attack the credibility of the witness, but "[t]hat doesn't mean the witness isn't telling the truth -- it simply opens up an avenue for the witness to be attacked." The AP story appeared in electronic and print media outlets across the country.


Read the AP story here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 12:32pm

Professor John Burkoff discussed recent developments in the case against former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky in a live interview on KQV AM radio in Pittsburgh on May 9.


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