Professor Jules Lobel has been interviewed on a number of media outlets in the past few days in connection with the applicability of the War Powers Resolution to the Obama Administration's Libya actions. He was interviewed on the Bev Smith show, a nationally syndicated radio show heard on the American Urban Radio Network; KPFT, a Pacifica affiliated radio station in Houston; WBAI, a Pacifica station in New York City; and WNUR, the Northwestern University radio station in Chicago.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - 10:33am
Monday, June 27, 2011 - 9:17pm
Professor John Burkoff spoke to the media multiple times today concerning the penalty phase of the Richard Poplawski murder trial. He did live radio interviews with KQV AM at 8:06 a.m. and KDKA AM at 12:06 p.m. At 6:00 and 11 p.m., Professor Burkoff discussed the penalty phase in interviews on KDKA Television.
Sunday, June 26, 2011 - 6:44pm
The University of Kentucky’s Law Journal has published the article by Janice M. Mueller and Daniel Harris Brean, Overcoming the “Impossible Issue” of Nonobviousness in Design Patents, at 99 Ky. L.J. 419, 419-554 (2011). Abstract:
Through its patent system, the United States offers legal protection for industrial designs—the overall aesthetic and external appearance of everyday objects ranging from automobiles to iPads. To be patentable, a utilitarian device must be a “nonobvious” advance over earlier technology; similarly, a new and ornamental design must differ from prior designs to an extent that would not have been “obvious to a designer of ordinary skill who designs articles of the type involved.” In contrast with utility inventions, the nonobviousness requirement for designs originated and evolved as a result of prolonged inattention by the legislature and judiciary rather than through any purposeful development. Drawing from the industrial design literature and the authors’ original interviews with designers from varied industry sectors, this Article postulates that existing nonobviousness precedent reflects an ignorance of the creative processes commonly employed by industrial designers. To bridge the gap between design patent standards and the reality of design, this Article proposes powerful yet practical tools to exploit recent judicial receptiveness to rethinking design patent law generally.
Mueller’s co-author Daniel Brean is a 2008 graduate of Pitt Law. Brean is currently serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in Washington, D.C.
Sunday, June 26, 2011 - 6:36pm
Professor John Burkoff commented on the final efforts of the defense in the guilt phase of the Richard Poplawski trial in Pittsburgh. The defense had little good evidence to work with to assert that Poplawski might not be guilty, said Professor Burkoff. The types of questions being asked by the defense meant that "defense counsel has a very difficult case, to put it mildly, and what they're doing is preparing for the next phase," in which the question will be whether or not Poplawski gets the death penalty.
Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 3:08pm
Professor Larry Frolik will give a talk on June 25 at the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) in Atlanta, Georgia at the Annual Summer Meeting. Professor Frolik will discuss “Dealing with the Partially Incapacitated Client: How to Prevent Financial Abuse, Undue Influence and Other Ills of Aging.”
Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 3:03pm
Pitt Law Professor John Burkoff shares his opinion on the approach of the prosecution in the Poplawski trial. He says that prosecutors want to play to the penalty phase, in which the jury would decide on life or death if it convicts Poplawski of first-degree murder.
Read the full article here.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 1:41pm
Professor David Harris discussed the settlement of a case against the Philadelphia Police Department for excessive use of stops and frisks, especially against African Americans. The settlement mandates better and more extensive collection of data on stops and frisks, and regular review of the data by an independent monitor. “The vast majority of police departments do not track this activity. This should not be something that the public has to ask for or even go to court for. This is something that should be routine,” Professor Harris said. The Associated Press article appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and many other papers, as well as in Yahoo News.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 1:31pm
Professor John Burkoff commented on the court's exclusion of a statement made by the defendant's mother, in which she told police that her son killed police officers. Professor Burkoff said that the judge probably kept the statement out of the trial because it seems conclusive on exactly the issue that the jury must decide: whether or not Poplawski killed the three officers.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 1:26pm
Professor of Legal Writing Ben Bratman has published "Legal Research and Writing as a Proxy: Using Traditional Assignments to Achieve a More Fundamental Form of Practice Readiness," in the Spring 2011 edition of The Second Draft, the newsletter of the Legal Writing Institute. From the article:
Regardless of what precisely beginning lawyers are writing or doing, there remains much to be said for requiring first-year students to complete the traditional troika of a formal inter-office memorandum, an appellate brief, and an appellate oral argument. . .[M]ost practicing lawyers will not perform all of these tasks during their careers, and many practicing lawyers will not perform any of them. Yet, each of these assignments retains considerable importance as an effective tool for instilling fundamental attributes of a good lawyer that go well beyond the basics of analysis and writing, and that ultimately can make a graduate more marketable and employable.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 8:54am
Professor Jessie Allen discussed the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Wal-Mart case, in which more than a million female employees sued the company for sex discrimination. The Supreme Court ruled that these women could not proceed through a class action lawsuit. In the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Professor Allen explained that the Wal-Mart decision was the latest of a string of cases that has made it harder to sue for employment discrimination. "[These cases] are gate-keeping decisions about the procedural rules that govern what it takes to get any case into federal court, but together, they tend to keep job discrimination plaintiffs out of the courthouse," she explained.