University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 9:49am

Professor Haider Ala Hamoudi told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the death of Osama bin Laden had significance not appreciated by everyone.  For example,  many Americans may not realize that al-Qaida and its affiliated organizations killed more Muslims than Westerners.  Professor Hamoudi also called bin Laden's interpretation of Islam far outside the mainstream of Islamic thought and scholarship both historically and in contemporary terms.  Bin Laden was "someone who knowingly and consciously goes against a broad, centuries-long tradition of Islamic law ... and tries to derive his arguments based on a very contentious reading of some of the earliest texts," he said.

Link to article

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 12:29pm

Professor David Harris told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the use of the wrong address on a search warrant in a current federal criminal fraud case is "a live issue" that could conceivably result in the suppression of evidence.  In the ongoing prosecution of Gregory Podlucky, federal agents executed a search warrant for Podlucky's home.   However, the warrant gave an incorrect address for the home; the address in the warrant was a vacant lot, located at least 1,000 feet from the home, on a different street.  Nevertheless, the agents used the warrant to conduct the search at the defendant's home, the address of which was not given in the warrant.  While these types of motions are difficult to win, Professor Harris said the motion certainly made a colorable argument.  The U.S. Supreme Court has found that warrants must include "enough information so that a reasonable police officer can determine where he or she is supposed to go and search," Professor Harris said.



Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 11:27am

The motion to vacate a gay judge's ruling in the Proposition 8 case takes disqualification law into uncharted territory, says Pitt Law Professor Arthur Hellman,  quoted in The American Prospect. Hellman comments that the attempt to get the ruling of federal Judge Vaughn Walker overturned because he did not disclose that he was gay and in a committed relationship presents an incredibly unusual situation.  "It's rare that you have a case like this one where the plaintiffs are seeking a form of relief that would benefit the judge in a non-financial way." 


Read the full article here.

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 6:44am

Professor David Harris told the Pittsburgh City Paper that the time may be right for Pennsylvania to re-think years of relying on incarceration as the answer to every criminal justice problem.  In the current fiscal climate, he said, political leaders have no choice but to look for alternatives to ever-more-expensive policies that imprison criminals for longer and longer periods.  "It's as if we're being forced into sanity by a lack of money," Professor Harris said.


Link to City Paper story

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 8:37pm

On April 14-21, Professors Harry Flechtner and Ronald Brand accompanied the Pitt Law Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot team to Vienna for the 2011 Vis Competition.  The Pitt team consisted of Sarah Miley, Kimberly Stains, Kaitlin Young, and Patrick Yingling.  In Vienna, the Pitt team met for informal practice with the Pitt Consortium of teams Pitt Law and its graduates have helped establish at the University of Belgrade (Serbia), Donetsk National University (Ukraine), Kyiv-Mohyla National Academy (Ukraine), Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University (Ukraine), the University of Pristina (Kosovo), Qatar University, Sultan Qaboos University (Oman), and UAE University.  The Pitt Law team made the final round of 64 teams out of 265 teams from over 60 countries.  Professor Flechtner also sang about the CISG (United Nations Sales Convention) at the opening reception for the competition on Friday, April 15.


Link to Video of Professor Flechtner Singing about the CISG

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 8:32pm

On April 12-13, 2011, Professor Ronald Brand, along with 3L Amelia Mathias, and Rick Grubb, J.D. ‘10, coordinated training and administration of the the First Annual Willem C. Vis Middle East International Commercial Arbitration Pre-Moot in Vienna, Austria. The event was organized in coordination with the U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) and the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR).  Katerina Ossenova, J.D. ‘08, coordinated the pre-moot on behalf of CLDP.  Participating teams of law school students from Sultan Qaboos University College of Law in Oman, the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport in Egypt, and the Faculty of Legal, Political and Social Sciences of Tunis took part in oral argument training sessions and six rounds of moot arbitration.  In addition, Qatar University and UAE University College of Law competed in the written memoranda portion of the Pre-Moot. The students learned valuable skills in presenting oral arguments, advocating for their client, responding to arbitrators’ questions, conducting international case law research and analysis, and legal memorandum drafting.

            Prizes awarded at the Vis Middle East Pre-Moot were:

            Best Team Oral Argument: Sultan Qaboos University

            Best Individual Oralist: Humaid Al-Toubi, Sultan Qaboos University

            Best Memorandum for Claimant: Qatar University

            Best Memorandum for Respondent: Sultan Qaboos University

Monday, April 25, 2011 - 9:22pm

On April 21, Professor Vivian Curran  spoke at Villanova Law School about the French Headscarf Law ("L'Affaire du foulard").  Professor Curran's presentation discussed contextualizing the ban on conspicuous signs of religion in public schools within French legal culture. Her co-panelist for the discussion was Prof. Anita Allen of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  The event was sponsored by the Black Law Students Association, the Francophone Professional Student Organization, Middle Eastern Law and Cultural Society, and the International Law Society.

Monday, April 25, 2011 - 9:15pm

Professor Douglas M. Branson was featured in a recent issue of the Pittsburgh Business Times.  He commented on the lack of progress in increasing the number of women directors on publicly held corporation’s boards of directors in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania’s (“one step forward, two steps back”); according to Professor Branson, Pittsburgh and the region lag considerably behind many other areas of the country.  He also commented on Commonwealth Treasurer McCord’s activist campaign to vote shares in portfolio companies against management nominees for director unless the company has in place a program to increase diversity (particularly women) on its board and can demonstrate progress in implementing the plan.  The Commonwealth Treasurer controls a portfolio containing over 13 billion dollars worth of common stocks.

Monday, April 25, 2011 - 9:08pm

Professor Larry Frolik served as a presenter for the ABA nationwide webinar entitled "Introduction to Elder Law" on April 5th.  On April 29, Professor Frolik will appear in Washington D.C. on a panel at the Spring Symposia of the ABA Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section. The panel will address how an elder law attorney can best collaborate with allied professionals to ensure appropriate assistance for an older client.

Sunday, April 24, 2011 - 10:30am

Assistant Professor Charles C. Jalloh has just published the lead article entitled Special Court for Sierra Leone: Achieving Justice? in the Spring 2011 issue of the Michigan Journal of  International Law, Vol. 32 No. 3, at pp. 395-460. The abstract and paper may be downloaded from SSRN.


Link to SSRN version

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