University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Friday, July 8, 2011 - 4:55pm

John Burkoff comments on the likelyhood of Caylee's Law being passed on the state or federal level and why legislatures are reluctant to pass laws based upon a failure to do something.  


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Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 12:07pm

Professor David Harris submitted written testimony to U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution on the "See Something, Say Something Act of 2011" at a June 24, 2011 hearing.  The Act creates legal immunity for law enforcement officers and civilians who report, or act upon, "objective reasonable suspicion" that a person is engaging in actions connected to terrorism.  Professor Harris' testimony, solicited by Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Subcommittee's Ranking Member, focused on the importance of using the established and fully fleshed out definition of the terms "objective" and "reasonable suspicion."  According to Professor Harris' testimony, "[w]ithout a clear understanding of what these terms mean in context, and how they operate in practice, the Act could actually harm our security from terrorism, instead of building it."  The testimony will be published with the text of the hearing and other written submissions.

Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 11:23am

Federal Appeals Court expert and Pitt Law professor Arthur Hellman comments on the decision by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to uphold Obama's health-care reform law.


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Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 11:07am

Pitt Law Professor David Harris comments on the community’s need for real-time court case updates and the court’s need for information control within the courtroom. 


Read the full article here.

Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 11:05am

Professor Arthur Hellman explains recent rulings that tackle the question of whether school districts should punish students for off-campus speech.


He states that the rulings still allow districts to punish students for some comments made off campus, but they don't set a standard for when that can be done.


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Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 11:03am

Pitt Law Professor Arthur Hellman shared his views on whether or not there are genuine concerns raised by 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges' holding stock and other investments.  Professor Hellman told the New York Times, "It seems to me that someone who is a federal judge has some responsibility to avoid holding onto financial assets that will compromise his or her ability to do the job."


Read the full article here

Thursday, June 30, 2011 - 10:28am

Professors John Burkoff and David Harris both spoke to the media regarding the death penalty verdict in the Richard Poplawski case.  Poplawski was convicted of murder and sentenced to death for the killings of three Pittsburgh police officers in March of 2009.  Professor Burkoff discussed the death Verdict on the P.J. Maloney Show on KQV AM.  Professor Harris discussed the likely appeals process on WPXI TV.


Link to WPXI Video

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 - 10:33am

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.

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.


Link to article

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