University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 8:10pm

Professor Douglas M. Branson was the keynote speaker at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s 17th annual Business Lawyers' Institute, held in Philadelphia November 9-10.  He was the featured speaker at the opening plenary session, speaking about board of directors and senior management composition issues, including diversity.  The PBI has named the opening address the W. Edward Sell Memorial Lecture.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 8:54pm

Professor Anthony Infanti commented on the recent decision of the Internal Revenue Service to abide by a Tax Court case that allows a medical deduction for sex assignment surgery.  Professor Infanti's comments were carried by Time's "Moneyland."


Link to article here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 8:29pm

Professor John Burkoff commented on the statute under which Penn State officials are charged with failing to report child abuse to police.  The current version of the Pennsylvania statute requires that anyone who "comes into contact with a child" must report possible abuse; the version in effect in 2002, which would apply because that is when the crime is alleged to have taken place, said that only those who came into contact with a child in their professional capacity are obligated to report, making it harder to convict.  According to Professor Burkoff, the case presents unique questions in a university setting, and he is "quite certain" that it will lead to an appeal if there is a conviction.


Legal Intelligencer article link

Monday, November 7, 2011 - 8:44pm

Professor Bernard Hibbitts spoke on “Continental Lawyering” at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC on October 25. Speaking to an audience of DC Pitt alums and local Canadian Embassy staff, Professor Hibbitts discussed the historical migration patterns of American lawyers north into Canada and Canadian lawyers south into the United States from colonial times to the present day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 8:24pm

Professor Anthony Infanti was quoted in Tax Notes on the recent announcement that the Internal Revenue Service will follow a decision of the Tax Court.  The Tax Court decision, issued last year, determined that sex reassignment surgery qualified as a deductible medical expense.  Professor Infanti praised the action of the IRS.  "It correctly lays to rest an issue that should never have to have been litigated in the first place," he said.  


For a link to Professor Infanti's 2010 article on the Tax Court's case, click here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 8:17pm

Professor Anthony Infanti participated in a discussion at Pitt's Humanities Center on November 5 of the book "The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Diasporas and the Racialization of Intimacy" by David Eng (Professor of English and Asian American Studies at Penn). Professor Infanti was one of three invited to provide responses to the reading. The other responders were Benjamin Kahan, an Assistant Professor of English and Gender Studies at LSU who is a residential fellow at the Humanities Center this year, and Cathy Hannabach from Pitt's Women's Studies department.

Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 7:07pm

Professor John Burkoff on the resentencing of former State Senator Vince Fumo.  A resentencing has been ordered by an appellate court, and the prosecution has submitted incendiary emails Fumo has sent from a federal prison computer where he is incarcerated.  The emails show Fumo is utterly unrepentant and has vowed to exact revenge against those responsible for his conviction.  According to Professor Burkoff, this will certainly influence the judge.  "How can [the judge] not factor into any new sentence Fumo's apparent total lack of repentance and understanding of the gravity of his offenses? These e-mails are bound to cost the ex-senator greatly."


Tribune-Review article: link

Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 6:58pm

Professor John Burkoff commented on the allegations of child sexual abuse and a failure to report the abuse, involving officials at Penn State University.  "Whether those accused are guilty or innocent, this is a sad day for Penn State University," Professor Burkoff said. "It's a lot of mud to be thrown at an institution. This involves people in (Penn State's) chain of command."

Tribune-Review article link

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 9:23am

David Harris, a University of Pittsburgh professor of law, will testify at 10 a.m. Nov. 4 in a hearing before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. The hearing, titled “Twenty-first Century Law Enforcement: How Smart Policing Targets Criminal Behavior,” will take place in Room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.


Harris, Distinguished Faculty Scholar and associate dean for research at Pitt, is among four experts on law enforcement from around the country to testify. Harris was invited to testify by Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, the ranking member of the House Committee on the Judiciary.


“For our police to do the best job they can, they have to be smart on crime, not just tough on crime,” Harris said. “Being smart means using intelligence, and that means cultivating strong relationships and real partnerships with the communities police serve, because the best source of intelligence is the members of the community.”


Author of Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work (The New Press, 2002), Harris also noted that practices like racial and ethnic profiling that break down these bonds must be discouraged. “Being smart means using all of your assets, and a supportive community is the most important asset police can have,” he said.


Profiles in Injustice led to federal efforts to address profiling and to legislation and voluntary efforts in more than half the states and hundreds of police departments. Harris also is the author of Good Cops: The Case for Preventive Policing (The New Press, 2005), which uses case studies from around the country to show that citizens need not trade liberty for safety: They can be safe from criminals and terrorists without sacrificing their civil rights if law enforcement uses strategies based on prevention.


Harris does professional training for law enforcement officers, judges, and attorneys throughout the nation and internationally and with public officials and citizens’ groups locally and nationally to improve police services and public safety.


To view the hearing notice, click here.    


Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - 9:28pm

The third quarter issue of Directors & Boards featured a profile of Professor Douglas Branson as a corporate governance scholar and as the W. Edward Sell Chair in Business Law at the University of Pittsburgh.  The issue also contained an excerpt from one of Professor Branson’s recent books, The Last Male Bastion – Gender and the CEO Suite at America’s Public Companies.  The excerpt was entitled “Susan Ivey Made It Happen for Women.”


Current Issue of Directors & Boards: link

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