University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Monday, May 23, 2011 - 11:11am

Professor John Burkoff’s article, “How Far Can They Go?: The Lawful Scope & Intensity of Searches Pursuant to a Warrant,” was published as the April 2011 issue of Search & Seizure Law Report (West).    



Monday, May 23, 2011 - 9:31am

Professor David Harris explained how claims of mental retardation by two defendants in a torture/murder death penalty case may influence the outcome.  Since the U.S. Supreme Court says that people with mental retardation cannot be subjected to the death penalty, claims regarding defendants' mental deficiencies can make all the difference.  "An IQ of 70 is often used to determine (a mental disability)...when someone is at a significant number above or below that," mental deficiency is not an issue, Professor Harris told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  "In cases where they are close to that number, we can have a legitimate disagreement."


Read more here

Sunday, May 22, 2011 - 8:33pm

Professor Jules Lobel discussed Congressional inaction on the President's use of American military force in Libya in the Washington Post.  HIstorically, despite calls for presidents to seek Congressional authorization for military action, many presidents have not done so, and Congress has not always been eager to force the president's hand.  According to Professor Lobel, Congress will often fail to act because “[i]f you authorize it, and it turns out badly, you’re on the line. And if you refuse to authorize it, the president then says, ‘We’re weak, and it’s because Congress is weak.’ ” The story ran in numerous publications around the country.



Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 11:19am

Professor Jules Lobel has given speeches and presentations on many topics during the past several months.  He was the keynote speaker at the Ontario annual meeting of community law clinics (the equivalent to legal services in the U.S.) in  Toronto on May 13.  He also gave the keynote address at a March 25 conference called "Litigating Palestine" at Hastings Law School, and at a national conference the legal aid and legal services managers in March in Nashville.


Professor Lobel spoke on a panel at Wayne State Law School in Detroit at a February 4 symposium on "The Legal  Landscape After 9/11: A Decade Later," and at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law's April 5 symposium,  "Developing the Law of the Marcellus Shale," co-sponsored by the Pittsburgh Law Review and the Innovation Practice Institute.  


Professor Lobel also spoke before the Murraysville (PA) Council, which was covered by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, to the Progessive Book Club in Florida, which invites speakers from around the country to speak to them each year.

Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 11:14am

Professor Michael Madison gave a talk titled “Intellectual Property and Knowledge” at the fourth annual Progressive Property Scholars Workshop, held on May 16 and 17 at the McGill University Faculty of Law in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The workshop is an outgrowth the Statement of Progressive Property, written by Cornell Law professors Greg Alexander, Laura Underkuffler, and Eduardo Penalver and Harvard Law professor Joseph Singer, and published in 2009 in the Cornell Law Review.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 10:07am

Professor Hellman offers his insight as the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals prepares to hear arguments about whether President Obama's health care law is constitutional.  Read the full article here.

Monday, May 16, 2011 - 3:16pm

Associate Professor of Legal Writing Ben Bratman presented at the Second Annual Empire State Legal Writing Conference, held at St. John’s University School of Law on Friday, May 13, 2011. The presentation was entitled Would A Court Enforce What I Just Drafted? Introducing First-Year Students to “Preventive Law” and Raising the Stakes on the Inter-Office Memo.  From the conference program:

Professor Bratman discusses his integrated sequence of assignments designed to introduce first-year students to client interviewing, negotiations, drafting, and related skills in a context of seeking to prevent litigation. The sequence culminates in an inter-office memo in which students assess the quality of their own preventive work by predicting whether a court would enforce a contractual clause that they drafted.

Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 11:17am

A DUI case that involved a bike rider has resulted in an unsual court hearing in which two officers ended up testifying against each other.  Pitt Law Professor John Burkoff offered his thoughts on the dispute to the Pittsburgh City Paper.  Read the full article here

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 4:14pm

Pitt Law’s Innovation Practice Institute and Carnegie Mellon University recently hosted Investing in Innovation: Astrobotic Technology and Pittsburgh’s Quest for the Moon.


The event celebrated Pittsburgh’s potential to become an industry hub for planetary robotics and space commercialization, and featured Astrobotic Technology, Inc., a Carnegie Mellon spin-off space delivery company with a mission to enable the commercialization and exploration of the Moon and other planetary bodies.


The IPI plans to continue to host a series of Investing in Innovation conversations.  Read more about the first event here in the Pittsburgh Business Times. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 8:48pm

Professor David Harris discussed the state of police/community relations in Pittsburgh in the wake of the decision by the U.S. Department of Justice not to prosecute the three police officers involved in the beating of CAPA High School student Jordan Miles.  Professor Harris told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that relations between police officers and African Americans in the city have become dangerously polarized, and that this constitutes a genuine danger to public safety.  "If you want to have real, sustained gains in public safety, the police must do it along with community support," Professor Harris said.  "What we're facing is a real crisis of confidence and trust. That is something that can only be repaired by rebuilding that trust."

Link to Post-Gazette article

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