University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Saturday, January 28, 2012 - 10:06am

David Herring, professor of law and a former dean in the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, will be a featured guest on the KQV Radio-1410 AM program Pittsburgh Profiles at 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. tomorrowJan. 28, and at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29. Herring will talk about a colleague and friend, the late eminent legal scholar Derrick Bell, a 1957 honors graduate of Pitt’s School of Law who also served as Distinguished Lecturer and Scholar in the law school during the 2005-06 academic year. Bell is remembered as a pioneer in the study of critical race theory and a champion of gender and race diversity in the legal community.

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 3:16pm

Assistant Professor Charles C. Jalloh was one of six people tapped to serve on the 2012 Helton Fellowship Program Selection Committee. Funded partly by members of the American Society of International Law (ASIL), the prestigious Helton Fellowships fund law students and young professionals from the U.S. and around the world “to pursue field work and research on significant issues involving international law, human rights, humanitarian affairs, and related areas.” The award honors the life of Arthur Helton, who was killed in the August 2003 bombing of the United Nations Mission in Iraq, which also led to the death of over 20 others, including then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Sergio de Mello. Professor Jalloh is also currently elected co-chair of ASIL’s International Criminal Law Interest Group.



Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 10:53am

Amidst calls for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin to step down given the possibility of political corruption charges against her,  and the looming re-trial of the case against her two sisters, Professor John Burkoff told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the time for action had not yet arrived.  The media have reported that Justice Orie Melvin has received both a target letter and a subpoena from the grand jury investigating the case, causing some to call for her to leave the bench immediately.  Professor Burkoff counseled caution.  "She hasn't been indicted and she hasn't been charged," he said. "If that happens, then I agree she should step down."


Read the Philadelphia Inquirer story here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 8:58pm

Professor Jessie Allen's article, "Documentary Disenfranchisement," has just been published by the Tulane Law Review (86 Tulane L. Rev. 389).  The article promptly garnered a "Recommended" designation the Legal Theory Blog. 


See the blog post on Professor Allen's article here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 8:38pm

Professor David Harris spoke as part of a panel about the Pittsburgh Rep's upcoming play, "The Gammage Project." The panel discussion, at the Charity Randall Theatre on January 23, explored the state of police/community relations in Pittsburgh since the death of African American businessman Jonny Gammage at the hands of police in 1995.  In addition to Professor Harris, panelists included Tim Stevens of Black Political Empowerment Project, Elizabeth Pittinger of the Citizens Police Review Board, Wayne Babish, former chief of police in Brentwood, and Brandi Fisher of the Alliance for Police Accountability.  "The Gammage Project" will run in Pittsburgh February 9 through 19 at the Henry Heymann Theatre, and March 2 through 4 at the August Wilson Center.


Panel discussion information here.


Information about "The Gammage Project" here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 8:26pm

Professor John Burkoff commented on a mailing sent by State Senator Jane Orie to some number of her constituents on the eve of her re-trial on political corruption charges.  In the letter, Orie asks that those who know "what I represent and what I stand for" to come forward as character witnesses for her.  Prosecutors contend the mailing is designed to taint the jury pool in Orie's favor.  Professor Burkoff told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that a defendant in a criminal case would always have the right to solicit character witnesses, but that a mass mailing of a form letter could present very real concerns.  "If it's not a mass mailing, it doesn't seem like it would be very hard to deal with any potential taint. If it's 25, I don't see anything wrong with it," he said. "If it's 2,500, oh my. That's a different story entirely."


See the Post-Gazette article here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 2:45pm

Pitt Law Professor Arthur Hellman talks to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the upcoming arguments that former solicitor general Paul D. Clement and current solicitor general Donald B. Verrilli will soon deliver on the constitutionality of the 2010 Affordable Care Act before the U.S. Supreme Court.  Just how much time could be put into preparing for this debate? 


"Would hundreds of hours be an exaggeration? Probably not," said Hellman. "This is possibly the most important constitutional case of our generation; you want to anticipate everything."


Preparing includes the use of murder boards, moot courts comprised of the best attorneys across the U.S. 


"The lawyers recruited for practice arguments are the most eminent and sought-after in the legal profession," Hellman said. "They're very top lawyers who try to do what they think the justices might do, and come up with every possible question -- and the hardest possible question -- they can."


Read the full Post-Gazette article here.  

Monday, January 23, 2012 - 10:50am

JURIST announced the addition of two new columnists, including Professor Charles Jalloh of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Edsel Tupaz, the founder and managing partner of Tupaz & Associates, a public-interest law firm. The addition of Professor Jalloh and Mr. Tupaz represents JURIST's first foray into presenting columns that will appear on regular basis. Columns will appear in JURIST's Commentary section.

Charles Jalloh is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He also holds affiliate faculty appointments at the Ford Institute for Human Security in Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs as well as the African Studies Program. Professor Jalloh's recent scholarship centers on questions of jurisdiction and selectivity in international criminal law, including in particular, the tense relationship between Africa and the International Criminal Court. Professor Jalloh's initial column focuses on issues of international criminal justice, especially as they pertain to Africa. Professor Jalloh's column will be featured in JURIST on a monthly basis.

"We are very excited that Professor Jalloh and Edsel Tupaz have agreed to write for JURIST on a regular basis," said Matthew Shames, JURIST's Executive Director. "Over the past two years, JURIST has greatly increased the depth of its commentary pieces from law professors, legal professionals and other legal experts. The move to include regularly appearing columns is a natural extension of this growth. The fact that our first two columnists are so accomplished and recognized, both domestically and internationally, underscores the continued recognition of JURIST as a unique media outlet and further demonstrates our commitment to empower our audience by eliminating traditional barriers to expert legal analysis." 

For more information about JURIST, please visit

Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 8:14pm

Professor Mirit Eyal-Cohen participated in the 2011 Israeli Law & Society Association Annual Conference held at Bar-Ilan University in December. The theme of this year’s conference was “Laws of Their Own: Community, Identities, and Boundaries.”  For a panel called “Minority Groups, Labor and Welfare,” Professor Eyal-Cohen presented a paper entitled “The Advancement of National Minorities through Small Business Regulation." Here is an abstract:

It is no secret that minorities find it harder to move up the economic ladder and achieve economic independence. They are often refused work and have difficulties obtaining loans from traditional lenders because they are considered to have a greater risk of failure. An important mechanism the government can utilize to promote minority groups is through small business regulation. Lately, supporters of "reverse discrimination" and race-neutrality ideology in the U.S. succeeded in convincing several local and state governments to eliminate their affirmative action programs. This paper aims to present a unique federal reaction to contemporary post-racialism trends that sought to end the need for laws and policies that deal with race issues. The federal government responded to these developments by increasing small business federal assistance programs, providing grants, education prospects, and job opportunities to help minorities and women through small business regulation. Accordingly, government agencies altered their approach to small businesses, shifting from a neutral stance to fostering minority business ownership. They founded the Women's Speaker's Bureau and the Office of Minority Business Enterprise to help blacks, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Native Americans and others become businesspersons and offered incentives for corporations to locate plants in urban slums. Boosting minority hiring within government agencies, investigating racial discrimination and developing minority programs are some of the paths taken to promote those disadvantaged groups in society. Small business regulation became a government tool to counter the effect of local race-neutrality developments and to improve minority’s economic rights and participation in the community.


Program for the Annual Conference is here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012 - 6:15pm

Professor Michael Madison offered a keynote presentation on "Overcoming Legal Barriers to Open Innovation" as part of the Second Annual Global R&D and Collaboration Symposium at the University of Pittsburgh on Friday, January 20, 2012.


The Symposium theme was "Accelerating R&D Excellence Through Open Innovation and Global Collaboration" and was co-sponsored by the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh and local consultancy Echo Strategies.  Other keynoters included scholars from Harvard University, Ohio State University, the University of Kansas, Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center, and the global enterprise software firm SAP.


Justine Kasznica, Executive Director of Pitt Law's Innovation Practice Institute, attended the symposium and served as a commentator on Professor Madison's presentation.



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