University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 9:08pm

Professor Michael Madison presented a paper on Friday, April 1, 2011 at Texas Wesleyan School of Law in Ft. Worth, Texas as part of a conference titled "Evolving Economies: The Role of Law in Entrepreneurship and Innovation."  The conference featured presentations on work to be gathered into a book of the same title, to be published by Edward Elgar and edited by Texas Weslayan Professor Megan Carpenter.


The title of Professor Madison's contribution and presentation is "Contrasts in Innovation: Pittsburgh Then and Now," adapting the title of a classic article by the late economist Ben Chinitz.



Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 9:05pm

Professor Pat Chew and her co-researcher, Robert Kelley  of CMU, conducted a workshop for state and federal judges in Seattle, Washington, sponsored by the University of Seattle Law School and the Washington State Access to Justice Board on March 7.  The workshop was titled "A Conversation on Race and Judicial Appointments," and reviewed recent data on the diversity of the federal judiciary and empirical research on the relationship between the judges' race, the plaintiffs' race, and outcomes in racial harrasment cases.  The next day, Chew and Kelley presented in the "Influential Voices" speaker series at the law school on "Dear President Obama" with a presentation on the same topics.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 8:57pm

Professor Pat Chew presented a faculty workshop at Case Western Reserve Law School on April 4, 2011.  She discussed her empirical work on how a party's race can make a difference in case outcomes.  In particular, she discussed the plaintiff-employee's race in racial harassment cases. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 8:45pm

Two blogs discussed the recent program at the College de France, in Paris, which featured a presentation by Professor Vivian Curran, Justice Stephen Breyer, and many French luminaries.  Read about the program in "An American in Paris" here; the account in the blog "IntLawGrrls is here

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 8:39pm

Linda Tashbook, Foreign and International Law Librarian at the Barco Law Library at Pitt Law, has joined the Board of NAMI Familias.  The organization is a support and advocacy organization for the well relatives of people living with mental illness.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 8:33pm

Professor Vivian Curran has published a new article, "History, Memory, and Law, in volume 16 of the Roger Williams Law Review.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 12:28pm

Professor Alan Meisel to American Medical News that a case in which a surgical patient showed signs of a lack of competency for decision making raises difficult questions for treating physicans and surgeons.  In a Montana case, doctors recommended life-saving surgery to save a woman from cancer, but she refused; a judge ordered her to undergo the surgery, finding the woman incompetent.  The Montana Supreme Court has stayed that ruling, pending appeal.  Professor Meisel said that although it is ultimately up to a judge to decide a patient's competency, "[i]f doctors have reason to believe a patient lacks decision-making capacity, they should do something" to bring it to the attention of appropriate authorities, he said. "It could be considered an abrogation of their duty to ignore it."


Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 12:20pm

Professor John Burkoff told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the payment of judges' expenses to attend and speak at conferences resort-type locations is not unethical.  "Sometimes these things look bad when they really aren't," he said, noting some limits. "I certainly agree there's always a line where it gets excessive, if the meeting is in Galapagos, and (the judge's) family is coming and he or she is speaking for an hour."



Monday, April 4, 2011 - 9:37am

A senior judge is a regular judge who, upon qualifying for retirement, decides to semi-retire instead by taking a reduced caseload.  Since senior status bars them from working in the private legal sector, they forgo lucrative jobs as private mediators, said University of Pittsburgh law professor Arthur Hellman, who studies the federal court system.

"They're working -- really -- for nothing," he said. "They really are doing a public service."

Read the full article here

Friday, April 1, 2011 - 9:40am

Pitt Law Professor Debbie Brake is the 2011 recipient of the Iris Marion Young Award for Political Engagement.  The Young Award for Political Engagement honors Iris Marion Young, a philosopher and social theorist of international renown.  Young was a professor in GSPIA during the 1990s before taking a position as Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago in 2000.  She died in 2006 of cancer.


At Pitt, Young was a galvanizing presence, active in the Women’s Studies Program as well as within GSPIA. During her time in Pittsburgh, Young volunteered and organized on behalf of peace and social justice, fair labor practices, adult literacy, and children’s rights, among other causes, and she worked to combat hate groups and poverty.


GSPIA and the Women’s Studies Program inaugurated the award in 2008 to honor Young’s memory and recognize a member of the Pitt community whose actions have had political impact within the University or beyond.


Sponsorship for this award is done so through the Women's Studies Program, Center for Metropolitan Studies Program, University Center for Social and Urban Research, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, Cultural Studies Program, and the Department of Sociology.

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