University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - 8:42pm

Professor Michael Madison spoke on Thursday, March 10, 2011 in Washington, DC at a symposium titled "The Future of Scientific Knowledge Discovery in Open Networked Environments."  The program was part of a two-day National  Symposium and Workshop organized by the Board on Research Data and Information in collaboration with the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board.  Both Boards are programs of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Madison's presentation focused on legal barriers to conducting and sharing the products of emerging forms of data-intensive scientific research. Link to the meeting summary

Sunday, March 13, 2011 - 9:52am

Professor William Luneberg was interviewed on National Public Radio's Morning Edition on March 9 on whether a consultancy that contracted  to bring influential people to meet with Ghadaffi to "get the good word out" on him might have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Link

Sunday, March 13, 2011 - 9:41am

Professor William Luneberg discussed the apparently illegal establishment of "Communication Management Units" within prisons by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).  These units tightly restrict the telephone, visiting, and even letter writing privileges of inmates who are thought to have some connection to terrorism.  According to Professor Luneberg's comments in The Nation, the BOP failed to follow the Administrative Procedure Act when it proposed and established the units.  “It is not a normal thing for agencies legally bound by the APA to propose some new program, to start through the public rule-making process and then basically not complete it, and then to decide to go ahead and do it on their own.” Link

Sunday, March 13, 2011 - 9:39am

Professor Deborah Brake presented her recent paper, “Sport and Masculinity,” at a faculty workshop at the West Virginia University College of Law in Morgantown, West Virginia, on March 9.

Sunday, March 13, 2011 - 9:37am

Professor David Harris told the Pittsburgh City Paper that the investigation of a fake letter that was supposed to look like it was from Pittsburgh's Fraternal Order of Police raised multiple concerns.   First, since the FOP and its members were the victim, Pittsburgh police had a conflict of interest when they investigated the case.  Second, this kind of case -- a parody of an FOP announcement of its position on a high-profile case -- is almost never treated as a criminal act subject to an intense investigation and public statements that the perpetrators had committed a serious crime and would be prosecuted. Link

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 11:50am

Porfessor Tony Infanti of Pitt Law will deliver a talk at a Harvard Law School conference.  Profesor Infanti will discuss the estate tax and the LGBT community at  Harvard Law School Lambda's 6th Annual Legal Advocacy Conference, entitled "Queering Age: Exploring the Lived Experiences of LGBT Youth and Elders."   The conference takes place at Harvard on April 1 and 2.  Professor Infanti will also present his new paper,  "Inequitable Administration: Documenting Family for Tax Purposes," at the Law, Culture & Humanities conference in Las Vegas on  Friday, March 11, as part of a panel discussion called "Codifying Families."  Professor Infanti will also serve as the chair and discussant for another panel at the conference, entitled the "Corporate Forms."    Link to Harvard conference Link to Law, Culture, and Humanities conference 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 11:38am

Professor David Harris told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that camera systems installed in police cars can have a strong effect in law enforcement, particularly when positioned to collect evidence.  For example, officers often position DWI suspects in front of the cameras during sobriety tests.  The resulting recordings can be powerfully persuasive.  "There's nothing like the evidence being on film like that.  All the prosecution has to do is turn on the tape and it's over." Link

Sunday, March 6, 2011 - 9:29pm

Visiting Professor Sheila Velez Martinez, quoted in the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, discussed the granting of asylum claims in the U.S. for LGBT individuals persecuted in Carribean nations.  Professor Velez Martinez said that such claims may arise because of a lack of access to adequate anti-discrimination legislation in the Caribbean, sometimes resulting in discrimination and outright violence.  She attributed this to “the stigma and discrimination against all homosexual acts, gays, lesbians, transgenders and ‘all sexuals’ in Caribbean societies" resulting from "a longstanding heteronormative culture." Link

Sunday, March 6, 2011 - 9:16pm

Professor John Burkoff told WTAE-TV that the allegedly forged documents that caused a mistrial in the political corruption case against State Sen. Jane Orie could have grave consequences for the defense in the case, and for Senator Orie herself.  Burkoff compared the situation to the Watergate scandal, in which the attempt to cover up the initial crime led to Richard Nixon's downfall. As in Watergate, according to Professor Burkoff, "you have a criminal problem and the possible cover-up becomes as bad or worse than the crime itself." Link

Sunday, March 6, 2011 - 9:09pm

Professor David Harris discussed the use of arrest warrants in last week's raids on gang members on Pittsburgh's North Side. In the course of executing one of the warrants, FBI agents raided a house formerly occupied by the wanted suspect which now houses an unrelated family. Professor Harris pointed out that arrests warrants can only be used to raid a residence at which police have probably cause to believe the suspect lives. "Otherwise, a warrant for anyone could allow you to go anywhere that person could be." Link
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