University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

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

Friday, April 22, 2011 - 10:14am

George Pike, Director of the Barco Law Library and Assistant Professor of Law, writes a Legal Issues column and feature articles for Information Today.  Pike's recent publication, "House and Senate Propose Online Privacy 'Bill of Rights' Legislation," can be read in full her here.  

Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 9:18pm

Professor Rhonda Wasserman’s article, Transnational Class Actions and Interjurisdictional Preclusion, was published in the Notre Dame Law Review, 86 Notre Dame L. Rev. 313 (2011).



Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 9:07pm

Professor David Harris spoke at a conference on offender reentry programs.  The conference, "Offender Reentry: The Challenges for Law Enforcement and the Community," took place on April 20 at St. Louis University Law School, and drew law enforcement professionals, public officials, and leaders from every level of government across the country.  Professor Harris discussed how the lesson learned in the public debate over racial profiling could help persuade law enforcement agencies, leaders, and officers to get behind efforts to re-integrate released prisoners into society.  



Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 9:00pm

Professor Janice Mueller’s essay, “Facilitating Patient Access to Patent-Protected Genetic Testing,” has been published at 6 J. Business & Tech. L. 83 (2011), a journal published by the University of Maryland.  Abstract:


In March 2010, a New York federal district court granted summary judgment invalidating a number of biotechnology patents directed to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 human breast cancer genes. One of the most highly publicized patent disputes in recent memory, Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) v. United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Myriad Genetics, Inc. pits patient care advocates against the patent-owning biotechnology industry. The Myriad decision is now under review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Neither the Federal Circuit (nor the U.S. Supreme Court, if it were to grant review) should prohibit the patenting of genetic material through judicial decision; such a drastic change in patent law requires due deliberation by Congress. Despite the critical importance to society of facilitating patient access to genetic testing, dismantling patent protection for this important technology is not the right approach; instead, modifying approaches to licensing gene patents is. This essay concludes that the district court’s decision in Myriad should not stand. The essay also evaluates the recommendations of a Department of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee for facilitating access to patented genetic testing and offers a modification of the committee’s proposed framework.

Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 8:49pm

Professor John Burkoff explained new defense motions in the upcoming retrial of State Sen. Jane Orie.  In Orie's first trial, the court did not allow anyone to serve as a juror who lived in Orie's district, and the defense has asked the judge to reverse that ruling for the retrial, which is now scheduled for October.  The defense has also asked that the jury in the retrial be sequested for the entire case, not just the deliberations.  Professor Burkoff  told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he believed the first of these motions  would not succeed, but the sequestration motion might, given the amount of publicity about the first trial and the mistrial that ended it.



Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - 6:59am

Professor John Burkoff explained to Pittsburgh's WTAE (Channel 4) News why a Lawrence County judge found a field sobriety test to be inadequate to sustain a prima facie case for DUI. The ruling concerned an incident in which a 59 year old woman could not pass the a standard part of a field sobriety test by standing on one leg.  The court held that such tests cannot be used for people over 60 years of age.  



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