University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Sunday, February 13, 2011 - 11:26am

Professor John Burkoff told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the prosecution and defense were presenting starkly different narratives as testimony began in the trial of State Sen. Jane Orie.  ""The strategy, obviously, is that the prosecution wants to show this is a clear pattern... The defense strategy is that these were minor events, or they were done on comp time because these people had an interest in the political future of the Orie sisters. There's two different narratives being spun." Link

Friday, February 11, 2011 - 3:00pm

Professor David Harris was the lead witness in a City Council hearing on a set of legislative proposals designed to increase accountability and transparency of Pittsburgh police operations.  Professor Harris helped draft the legislation with various community members, in conjunction with the staff of Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess.  Professor Harris testified that real gains in public safety could come only through a genuine partnerships based on trust between police and the community, because such a partnership would bring the police information from the community that would allow them to conduct targeted, effective enforcement operations.  "No trust, no relationship. No relationship, no information. No information, public safety is slow to come, if it comes at all." Link

Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 5:56pm

Professor David Harris worked with the Yale Visual Law Project, a new program at Yale Law School in which film makers, law students, and others make documentary films on current legal topics.  Professor Harris met with the Project in New Haven, where he was filmed for a documentary on racial profiling.  The Project's web site describes itself as " student-initiated alternative law journal that aims to produce smart, engaging documentaries on cutting-edge legal issues." Link to the Yale Visual Law Project

Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 5:55pm

Professor Pat K. Chew published  "The Missing Minority Judges," 14 Iowa Journal of Gender, Race & Justice 179 (2010) (coauthored with Luke Kelley-Chew).  Here is the abstract: This article explores the absence of Asian-American judges on federal bench and considers its effect on the outcomes of racial harassment cases in which Asian-Americans are plaintiffs.  Having more Asian-American judges may theoretically benefit Asian-American plaintiffs, but it is so statistically improbable that an Asian-American plaintiff would have an Asian-American judge, these benefits would rarely occur.  Thus, the article concludes that having more Asian-American judges would benefit the justice system more broadly and serve an important symbolic purpose, but would not benefit Asian-American plaintiffs directly.

Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 5:53pm

Professor Pat K. Chew has published a new article, " Seeing Subtle Racism," 6 Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties 183 (2010).  Here is the abstract: Traditional employment discrimination law does not offer remedies for subtle bias in the workplace. For instance, in empirical studies of racial harassment cases, plaintiffs are much more likely to be successful if they claim egregious and blatant racist incidents rather than more subtle examples of racial intimidation, humiliation, or exclusion. But some groundbreaking jurists are cognizant of the reality and harm of subtle bias—and are acknowledging them in their analysis in racial harassment cases. While not yet widely recognized, the jurists are nonetheless creating important precedents for a re-interpretation of racial harassment jurisprudence, and by extension, employment discrimination jurisprudence more broadly. This article traces the development of racial harassment jurisprudence, explaining the development of the traditional model, which does not recognize subtle bias. It concludes with an analysis of an alternative jurisprudential model that “sees” subtle racism.

Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 5:33pm

Professor Doug Branson explained to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Super Bowl ticket holders who did not get seats they were promised could sue the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys, or both.  "If you sue them both, they would file what's called cross claims against one another," Branson said. "They would fight it out amongst each other [over] who's going to pay what percentage of whatever damage total is found." Link

Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 5:29pm

Professor Anthony Infanti has published "Decentralizing Family:  An Inclusive Proposal for Individual Tax Filing in the United States," 2010 Utah Law Review 605.  Here is the abstract: The debate in the United States over individual versus joint federal income tax filing is at something of a crossroads. For decades, progressive - and, particularly, feminist - scholars have urged us to abolish the joint return in favor of individual filing. On the rare occasion when scholars have described what such an individual filing system might look like, the focus has been on the ways in which the traditional family must be accommodated in an individual filing system. These descriptions generally do not take into account - let alone remedy - the tax system’s ongoing failure to address the tax treatment of nontraditional families. More recently, scholars concerned with the sexual-orientation-based discrimination that pervades our tax laws have proposed extending joint filing to same-sex and, in some cases, unmarried different-sex couples. But these proposals are equally problematic because they merely widen the privileged circle by extending the tax advantages provided to traditional families to other relationships patterned after the traditional family (and only to such relationships). Especially in view of the growing complexity of family arrangements in the United States, I find neither of these proposed paths to be desirable. As an alternative, I lay out a third path in this article that has a different, more inclusive destination. Relying on the Canadian experience with individual filing and proposals there to move “beyond conjugality,” I sketch the outlines of an individual filing system that, where appropriate, recognizes all economically interdependent relationships for tax purposes — and not only those that are patterned after the traditional family headed by a married different-sex couple. Link to article

Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 3:47pm

Assistant Professor Charles C. Jalloh has been selected to serve as a Visiting Scholar at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the summer of 2011.  Professor Jalloh will be resident in The Hague during the period, and will advise the Registry’s Office of the Public Counsel for the Defense on International Criminal Law issues.  According to the ICC, these visitorships are “offered to candidates who have extensive academic and/or professional expertise in an area of work relevant to or related to the Court.”

Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 3:43pm

Professor Harry Flechtner has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to support teaching and research as a Visiting Professor at the University of Salzburg (Austria) in spring 2012.  The grant, part of the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, is sponsored and funded jointly by the Austrian-American Education Commission and the University of Salzburg.  The award is designed to support a visiting professor whose program will enhance understanding of the American legal system in general, and U.S. contract law in particular, among Salzburg students, and will explore the global impact of U.S. contract law.  Professor Flechtner will teach two courses during his time at the University of Salzburg: a course on Comparative American and (Emerging) European Contract Law, and another on Comparative International Sales Law.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 10:37pm

Professor John Burkoff will speak as part of a  program at West Virginia University School of Law on "The Vanishing Fourth Amendment."  The program, on February 17, at noon, will be webcast.  Professor Burkoff will discuss the consent doctrine; his co-presenter, Professor Gerald Ashdown of WVU, will discuss the growing irrelevance of the Fourth Amendment. Link to program Link for webcast
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