University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 8:51pm

Visiting Assistant Professor J. Janewa OseiTutu presented her work in progress at the Northeast Regional Scholarship and Teaching Development Workshop,  which was held at Albany Law School on February 4-5, 2011.

Monday, February 14, 2011 - 8:49pm

Professor David Harris has published "Picture This: Body Worn Video Devices ('Head Cams') as Tools for Ensuring Fourth Amendment Compliance by Police" in the Texas Tech Law Review. Link to SSRN post

Sunday, February 13, 2011 - 11:32pm

Professor Anthony Infanti will speak at symposium at Georgetown.  The symposium, organized by the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law, concerns the intersection of tax law, gender, and sexuality. Professor Infanti is the principal speaker and paper for the panel on the intersection of tax law with sexual orientation and gender identity.  His paper is tentatively titled “LGBT Taxpayers: A Collision of ‘Others.’” Link to conference announcement

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
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