University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Monday, July 22, 2013 - 9:28am

Professor Ben Bratman appeared on WESA FM's Essential Pittsburgh on Thursday, July 18, 2013. As part of the segment "Internships: Drawing the Line between Experience and Exploitation," Bratman discussed recent successful lawsuits against companies challenging their use of unpaid interns to perform primarily the basic tasks of an employee, in violation of wage and hour laws. 

Listen to the recorded interview here.  

Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 9:31am

The deal reached in the Senate avoids a change in the rules governing filibusters of executive nominations, but what will happen to judicial nominations? The Wall Street Journal addressed this question and asked Pitt Law Professor Arthur D. Hellman whether judicial nominations might be treated differently. As reported by the Journal, Hellman said that there exists a key difference between judicial and executive nominees. While it makes sense for a president to be able to choose officials who will be implementing his program, the issue is more complicated for judicial nominees, since “it is not their job to carry out the president’s agenda.”

Read the full story here.   


Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 11:50am

A controversy over a new method of selecting judges has erupted in Kansas, and the Associated Press asked Pitt Law Professor Arthur D. Hellman to comment on the latest development. Hellman expressed support for Governor Sam Brownback’s decision not to release the names of all applicants for an open position on the Kansas Court of Appeals. According to the AP story, Hellman said there is little value in the early release of names when most applicants have little chance of being nominated, and he agreed that releasing applicants’ names will discourage some candidates.

Hellman also addressed the argument that the Governor’s approach is contrary to the procedure that was followed under the prior selection process. “When you switch the process, everything else is up for grabs,” he said. “I would not assume — when you make a major change like that — that you would necessarily hold anything over from the old model.”

Read the full story here.  

Monday, July 15, 2013 - 11:59am

Professor Ben Bratman appeared as a guest on Essential Pittsburgh, on WESA-FM, Friday July 12, 2013. Bratman commented on recent lawsuits against Starbucks challenging its policies on the distribution of collected tips and discussed the law governing employers' treatment of tips and tipped employees.

Listen to Bratman on the show here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 11:02am

WESA 90.5 Radio’s locally produced public affairs program Essential Pittsburgh will feature commentary at noon and 8 p.m. today from Anthony C. Infanti, associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law.

Appearing with American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Staff Attorney Molly Tack-Hooper, Infanti will discuss the federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Pennsylvania on behalf of 23 LGBTQ Pennsylvanians who wish to marry in the state or want Pennsylvania to recognize their out-of-state marriages. Essential Pittsburgh host Paul Guggenheimer will discuss the lawsuit with Infanti and explore what it might mean for Pennsylvania, as well as other states.

Tune in to 90.5 FM or listen online at

Infanti is the author of Everyday Law for Gays and Lesbians (and Those Who Care About Them) (Paradigm Publishers, 2007), which includes a chapter titled “Marriage and Its Alternatives” that provides discussions about the Defense of Marriage Act, state and U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and constitutional law.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 10:49am

Victory at what price? Same-sex marriage rulings leave couples with quandaries, argues Professor Infanti.  

Read the full op-ed published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here.  


Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 10:40am

Professor Brake coauthored a column analyzing and critiquing one of the Supreme Court's recent employment discrimination cases, Univ. of Texas SW Med. Ctr. v. Nassar, which was posted on Justia's Verdict on July 9, 2013. The case sets a higher burden on employees to prove causation in retaliation cases than they face in discrimination cases under Title VII. Prof. Brake (with coauthor, Prof. Joanna Grossman, Hofstra) criticizes the decision for its approach to statutory interpretation and its practical effect on employees.

Read the column in its entirety here.  

Monday, July 8, 2013 - 10:54am

A final order has been issued in a judicial misconduct proceeding involving a Montana judge who forwarded a “racist” email involving President Barack Obama, but the contents of the order remain a mystery. Pitt Law Professor Arthur D. Hellman discussed the tangled proceeding and its implications in an interview with the Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune.

According to the story, Hellman said the lack of transparency in the federal judicial misconduct process has led to speculation about what the court’s nine-month investigation may have revealed. Hellman went on to say that Cebull’s abrupt retirement within days of the council issuing its order adds fuel to that speculation.

Read the full story here.  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 3:33pm

Pitt Law Professor Tony Infanti continues to be a leading national expert on the same-sex marriage decisions recently handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court as well as on new questions that have now been raised.   

“These two decisions together will now open up a Pandora’s box about who will be considered married for federal purposes and how the disconnect between federal recognition of same-sex marriage and state-level non-recognition of same-sex marriage will play out,” Infanti said to new outlet Politico (read it again here).

Read Professor Infanti’s opinions are widely covered in articles featured in CNN Monday, Desert News, the Guardian, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette below.

CNN Money

Same-sex couples: Beware the marriage penalty

Desert News

Supreme Court tackles DOMA, Prop 8; legal experts lay odds on decisions

The Guardian

US moves to end Doma discrimination after gay rights breakthrough

Doma ruling will allow 100,000 legally married gay couples equal rights

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Newly married lesbian couple from Monroeville proceed in unknown legal territory

Attorney with hand in crafting DOMA glad to see it go

Monday, July 1, 2013 - 2:56pm

Professor Vivian Curran's article, co-written with David Sloss, “Reviving Human Rights Litigation After Kiobel,” has been accepted for publication by the American Journal of International Law. 

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