University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Monday, August 5, 2013 - 9:41am

Jessie Allen was quoted in a Pittsburgh Post Gazette article about a non-disclosure agreement in the settlement of a Marcellus Shale damages case. Professor Allen commented on the agreement's extraordinary inclusion of two young children in a purported lifelong ban on speaking about the Marcellus Shale, gas industry or fracking.

Read the full article here.  

Friday, August 2, 2013 - 1:28pm

The University of Pittsburgh conferred emeritus status to Pitt Law professors William Luneburg and Stella Smetanka, effective July 2013. The title of Professor Emeritus is granted to professors nearing retirement who have made career-spanning meritorious contributions to the scholarly mission and programs of the University.
Smetanka, who has spent years fostering law students' skills in Pitt Law's Health Law Clinic, has a long history of dedicated public service combined with legal instruction. She previously received the Chancellor's Distinguished Public Service Award of the University of Pittsburgh in 2004. Smetanka is a member of the board of directors of Neighborhood Legal Services Association, a past board member of KidsVoice, and she volunteers at the Uptown Legal Clinic based in Bethlehem Haven.
Luneburg has taught at Pitt Law since 1978, focusing initially on Civil Procedure and Legislation and later focusing his research and instruction on Environmental Law. Among his many accomplishments, Luneburg became a nationally-renowned researcher in environmental law, litigating environmental cases on behalf of local and regional environmental organizations in the 1990s. In 1997 he joined the EPA's subcommittee for Ozone, Particulate Matter, and Regional Haze Implementation Programs (part of the EPA's Clean Air Act Advisory Committee)  for which prepared the groundwork for implementation of tighter national ozone and particulate matter standards.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 9:28am

David Garrow was quoted extensively in a lengthy Christian Science Monitor story surveying the new upsurge in abortion-restrictive legislative enactments in states around the country.

Read the full article here.  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - 4:44pm

The New Public Health blog has published an interview with Professor Mary Crossley about her participation in the recently launched public health Scholars in Residence fellowship program sponsored by the Network for Public Health Law and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This summer Crossley is in residence at the San Francisco Department of Public Health working with officials there to identify innovative ways for California health departments to address the growing burden of chronic disease and the social and economic determinants of health.

Read the full interview here.  

Monday, July 29, 2013 - 1:52pm

Professor Rhonda Wasserman was quoted in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Saturday, July 27, 2013. The article discusses a recent Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which held that for-profit corporations cannot engage in religious exercise and therefore cannot challenge, on religious grounds, the portion of the health care law requiring them to provide insurance coverage for emergency contraception. Wasserman commented on the likely impact the appellate court's ruling would have on another case pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Read the full story here.  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 8:49am

A pitched battle over President Obama’s judicial nominees is expected this fall, and the Wall Street Journal asked Pitt Law Professor Arthur D. Hellman for his assessment. "Things are set up now for what could be a very tense fall," Hellman said. "You're fighting not only today's battles, but all the old battles, as well." 

This was the second time in a week that Hellman was quoted by the Journal on battles in Congress over judicial nominations.  Read the full story here.  

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.

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