University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 4:13pm

Professor John Burkoff commented on a case in which a prison gaurd in Allegheny County has been charged with dozens of counts of sexual assault against inmates.  The case is highly unusual, because most allegations of this type by inmates are dismissed as not credible.  According to Professor Burkoff, "there are always reports of sexual abuse or brutality by guards, and we know that some of them are frivolous and some are not. It's not common that a prosecutor can get enough evidence of what may have really happened to file charges of this magnitude."



Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 11:30am

Professor Elena Baylis participated in the Institute for International Law and Public Policy Roundtable at Temple Law School on Friday, September 23.  The invited discussants commented on Mary Dudziak’s forthcoming book “War Time.”


Link to the Institute's site, with discussion of the Roundtable.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 11:16am

Professor David Harris commented in Newsday on the U.S. Department of Justice letter sent to officials of Suffolk County, New York.  The letter reported on an extensive investigation of the police department for civil rights violations involving treatment of immigrants and other matters.  Together, the scope of the investigation, and the sheer number of recommendations aimed at changing core functions of the police department, mean that the problems cannot be addressed by just naming a new chief.  Rather, the police department appears to have deep structural problems that require significant institutional changes.



Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 11:06am

Professor John Burkoff commented on a PA Superior Court ruling that does not allow text messages to be used as evidence unless the prosecution can prove who sent them.  The case involved thirteen drug-related text messages found on the defendant's cell phone; prosecution witnesses conceded that the phone was sometimes used by persons other than the defendant.  Because the prosecution couldn't prove who sent the texts, the messages should not have been part of the evidence seen by the jury in the defendant's trial.  Professor Burkoff said that the case was just the latest example of how courts are "struggling to figure out just how to deal with the legal and evidentiary issues newly posed by the various forms of 'new' technology."




Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - 11:01am

This week, Professor John Burkoff published the newest edition of his treatise, Criminal Defense Ethics: Law & Liability 2d (West).



Monday, September 26, 2011 - 1:29pm

Professor David Harris served as a panelist at the invitation of the writer and director of Camino, a play presented by the Hiawatha Project.  Professor Harris discussed the play's immigration and criminal justice themes in a post performance session with the audience.  Camino, which is based on the deportation of former Pittsburgh resident Milton Mieja in 2009, is one of the first works of art to focus on the impact of private prisons on the immigration debate.


See information on Camino here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011 - 8:24pm

On Saturday, September 24, 2011, Professor Rhonda Wasserman attended (via web conference) a meeting of the American Law Institute Members’ Consultative Group on the Restatement of the Law (Third) on the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 5:38pm

On Friday,  Sept. 16, Professor Haider Ala Hamoudi presented a paper at a conference at St. John’s University School of Law.  The subject of the conference was religion and bankruptcy; Professor Hamoudi's paper was entitled “The Surprising Irrelevance of Islamic Bankruptcy.”   The Conference was sponsored by the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Center for Law and Religion at St. John’s Law School and the Center for Bankruptcy Studies.


Link to the conference decription here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 5:31pm

Visiting Associate Professor of Law Annemarie Bridy was interviewed recently on "Surprisingly Free," a program hosted by Jerry Brito of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.   Distributed as a weekly podcast, "Surprisingly Free" features "in-depth discussions with an eclectic mix of authors, academics, and entrepreneurs at the intersection of technology, policy, and economics.”  Professor Bridy discussed the scalability of online copyright enforcement, the subject of a law review article she recently published.


Link to the interview here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 5:14pm

Professor Michael Madison, Faculty Director of Pitt Law’s Innovation Practice Institute, spoke on Tuesday, September 13 at American University’s Washington College of Law at a celebration and book launch for a new volume from the University of Chicago Press, Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright.  The authors of the book are AU law professor Peter Jaszi and AU Professor of Film and Media Arts Pat Aufderheide.

Professor Madison has served for several years on Boards of Legal Advisors associated with collaborative research by Professors Jaszi and Aufderheide to produce “Codes of Best Practices” in fair use for a variety of creative communities.  Those codes are intended to align the competing policy goals of copyright’s fair use doctrine with the practices of communities of actual creators -- documentary filmmakers, archivists, media studies teachers, online video creators, poets, and others – and have been widely praised for offering a measure of legal clarity to creative communities that are often daunted by copyright’s apparent complexity.

At the celebration on Sept. 13, Professor Jaszi credited a 2004 law review article by Professor Madison,  A Pattern-Oriented Approach to Fair Use, 45 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1525 (2004), with supplying the theoretical foundation for the work represented in the Best Practices projects and in the new book.


Link to The Codes of Best Practices project at American University’s Center for Social Media


Link for Book Launch for Reclaiming Fair Use


Link for "Reclaiming Fair Use"


Link to Recent New York Times Op-Ed Advocating for a Best Practices Approach to Fair Use for Poetry Criticism



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