Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 4:27pm
Professor Rhonda Wasserman commented on a federal court order permitting lawyers to file under seal all documents relating to a class action settlement. The order shields from public scrutiny not only the terms of the settlement, but also the notice of the settlement, any transcripts of hearings regarding the fairness of the settlement, and any objections to the settlement filed by class members. Professor Wasserman told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that such secrecy is at odds with the public scrutiny needed to protect the interests of absent class members who are not directly involved in the negotiation of the settlement.
Read the full story here.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 11:00am
West Publishing Company has just published Professor John Burkoff’s new casebook: Criminal Law: A Contemporary Approach. This casebook is the newest addition to West’s Interactive Casebook Series. West’s “interactive” texts are made available to students simultaneously in hardcopy and online editions. The online edition includes extensive hyper-linking to cases, statutes, other legal materials, and supplementary online resources, e.g. oral arguments of cases. Professor Burkoff’s co-authors on this book are Russell Weaver at Louisville and Catherine Hancock at Tulane.
Monday, March 28, 2011 - 11:04am
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review highlighted the annual Distinguished Intellectual Property Lecture on March 24 at Pitt Law, and Professor Dan Burk of UC Irvine, this year’s speaker, in a piece that talked about the event’s sponsor, the Innovation Practice Institute, and the IPI’s goals for supporting the region’s innovation economy.
Professor Burk’s lecture focused on legal issues surrounding virtual worlds and videogame technologies. During his visit to Pittsburgh he also met with faculty and students at the Entertainment Technology Center, a program of Carnegie Mellon University.
Sunday, March 27, 2011 - 11:05am
Professor Benjamin Bratman commented on a local woman’s suit against an employer that required her to take religious training sessions as part of her employment. According to her suit, the woman worked successfully as for the bathroom remodeling company, but when she refused to continue attending the training, the company forced her out. Professor Bratman said that once the burden shifts to the company to explain its actions, it would have a difficult time explaining why the religious training is necessary to the company’s operation. “What in the world does religious proselytizing and religion have to do with remodeling bathrooms?”
Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 11:08am
Professor John Burkoff commented on the defense motions in the ongoing case against State Sen. Jane Orie. Earlier this month, the judge stopped jury deliberations and declared a mistrial because documents submitted to the court by the defense appeared to have been forged. The defense has now asked that the judge recuse himself from the upcoming retrial of the case, and has also asked that the court bar any retrial on grounds of double jeopardy. Professor Burkoff said that “this is more of the offensive tactic of trying to paint this as a political prosecution. It seems the odds on [the judge] ruling in their favor on this are slim to none.”
Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 11:06am
On March 24, 2011, Professor Ronald Brand attended the meeting of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law, where he provided for the group an overview of the EU Commission proposal for revisions to the Brussels I Regulation on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.
Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 11:05am
Professor George Pike, Director of the Barco Law Library, will be a panelist at a program about the impact of Wikileaks on law, poitics, and scholarship. The event, “Wikileaks: Current Critical Issues in Media Culture,” will take place on March 28, 12-1:30pm, in Room 501 of the Cathedral of Learning. It is sponsored by DM@P (Digital Media at Pitt), and along with Professor Pike will feature Professor John Beverly (Hispanic Languages & Literature), and Steve Slota (School of Information Sciences). The discussion will be moderated by Professor Annette Vee of the English Department. Those wishing to attend are asked to email Prof. Vee at email@example.com by Friday, March 25 to confirm a place for the event.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - 11:09am
Professor Doug Branson commented on the lack of women on corporate boards in Pittsburgh in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s March 22 “Top 50 in Business” special section. Professor Branson, author of “The Last Male Bastion: Gender and the CEO Suite in America’s Public Companies,” said that despite registering a small increase in women directors between 2009 and 2010, Pittsburgh remains “a good ol’ boy town,” adding, “[i]t’s kind of like we take one step forward, then two steps back.”
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 12:08pm
Professor David Harris discussed U.S. Department of Justice allegations of racial profiling by the New Orleans’ Police Department, which is itself majority black. In an interview with Congressional Quarterly’s Justice blog, Professor Harris explained that racial profiling is not, first and foremost, a problem of racial bigotry. Rather, it is a question of the police department’s culture, training, and customs. All officers in the department, black and white, work within the same institutional influences. If the department’s culture and approach encourage profiling of blacks, all officers will engage in it as the standard behavior. “Black officers are going to be trained like all the others,” Professor Harris explained. “They’re going to want to fit in just like all the others.”
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 12:06pm
From March 4 through March 9, Professor Ronald Brand was in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, where he worked with Pitt Law students Kristine Long (J.D. ‘11) and Richard Kyle (J.D. ‘11) to assist the Vis International Arbitration Moot teams of Qatar University and UAE University in their preparations for oral argument at the competition to be held in Vienna in April. The training sessions were funded by the Commercial Law Development Program of the U.S. Department of Commerce.