University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 10:46am

Professor Bill Luneburg played a major role in organizing, researching, and writing a new ABA report on federal lobbying law.  The report, issued by the Task Force on Federal Lobbying Law, is entitled "Lobbying Law in the Spotlight: Challenges and Proposed Improvements."  The Task Force was created by the ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice, which Professor Luneburg chaired last year.  According to the Report, “[t]he proposals the Task Force offers are intended to restore the honor and enhance the efficacy of those in our profession who advocate for clients in the forum of public policy.” Link to the ABA Press Release on Task Force Report Link to C-SPAN Interview about the Task Force Report

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 10:48pm

Professor John Burkoff commented in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on the reasons for the guilty plea by defendant Christina Korbe in the homicide case in which she shot and killed FBI Agent Samuel Hicks during a drug raid.  Korbe will serve less than sixteen years, and many in law enforcement said they felt betrayed by this "slap on the wrist."  But Professor Burkoff  said taking the case to trial involved risks for both the government and the defendant, resulting in a compromise.  "There will always be people who think she should have gotten more or should have gotten less time," he said. Link

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 11:09am

Professor Ron Brand has been named to the Chancellor Mark Nordenberg University Chair, in recognition of his many hears of international leadership in law, his first-rate scholarship, and his establishment of the Center for International Legal Education at the School of Law.   In a statement awarding Professor Brand this singular honor, Chancellor Mark Nordenberg  said that “[t]he quality of our international legal programs has become a distinguishing feature of our School of Law, and no one deserves more credit for that than Ron Brand. In all of his work, which has earned him respect around the world, Ron has placed students at the heart of his efforts and has found ways to effectively partner across the boundaries that too often divide disciplines, institutions, cultures, and countries.” Link

Monday, January 17, 2011 - 11:24am

Professor Pat Chew's work topped the charts in the ABA Journal for reader interest last year.  The ABA Journal “Law News Now” website (at ABAJournal.com) recently announced its ten most popular article postings of 2010.  The article that drew the most reader attention for the year, entitled  “Race & Gender of Judges Make Enormous Differences in Rulings, Studies Find,” focused on an empirical study by Professor Chew and her co-author Professor Robert Kelley (of Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business). Professors Chew and Kelley presented their work at the 2010 ABA Midyear Meeting Judicial Division Program.  The full study is published in the Washington University Law Review. Link to ABA Journal article Link to full study in Washington University Law Journal

Monday, January 17, 2011 - 11:05am

Professor Michael Madison discussed the so-called 21st century revitalization of Pittsburgh in an article published in The Guardian (UK) on Sunday, January 16, 2011.  The article compared Pittsburgh, as a recovering post-industrial city, to Detroit, which is the subject of continuing anxiety during the current recession.  The article, which was also published in New Zealand and India, reads, in part: Other US cities have faced similar crises and come through. Pittsburgh, once the US steel capital, is often cited as an example. The city "took a giant sock to the stomach in the 1980s," says Mike Madison, law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. During that decade, unemployment hit 18%, three times the rate in the rest of the country, and the area lost 80,000 jobs.  But these days, Pittsburgh's private sector is thriving. Madison praises far-sighted city officials who backed investment in education and medicine decades before the steel industry folded. Unemployment today is lower than the rest of the US and has been for the past couple of years. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre employs 50,000 people, as many as US Steel once did. Link to the full article

Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 3:35pm

Professor David Harris was a guest on KQV AM Pittsburgh on Wednesday, January 12, to explain why the accused in the Tucson shootings must receive the benefit of all of the constitutional rights any other person would get, and why and how a lawyer would defend the accused, given the overwhelming evidence against him.  Professor Harris explained that giving the accused the same rights as everyone else, even when he is caught red handed doing something horrible, reinforces our constitutional values for everyone's benefit.

Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 3:33pm

On December 20, 2010 Professor Mirit Eyal-Cohen presented a paper, "Small Business and the Government:  A Theory of Path Dependence," at an international Law and Society Association conference, "Law, Interdependence, and Crises Within and Beyond National Borders," that took place in Israel.  Professor Eyal-Cohen presented her work as a member of a panel entitled "Markets, State, and the Law."

Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 3:28pm

Pitt Law faculty and staff took part in the Association of American  Law Schools Annual Meeting in San Francisco last week.  Two faculty members assumed leadership positions: Professor Pat Chew was elected to the organization's Executive Committee (marking the first time a Pitt Law faculty member has ever served in this prestigous position), and Professor Larry Frolik became the Chair of the Section on Law and Aging.  Professor Peter Oh presented his work, "Veil Piercing Unbound," on a panel entitled "Rebirth of the Irreparable Injury Rule" organized by the Section on Remedies.  Professor David Harris organized a Hot Topics panel, entitled "Arizona's S.B. 1070: A Combustible Mix of Constitutional Law, Criminal Justice, Racial Profiling, and Blatant Falsehoods," and presented his work concerning the effect of the Arizona immigration law on police effectiveness and racial profiling.  Drew Chelosky, Director of Development, served as a panelist for "Law School Annual Funds and Excelling After the Recession," presented by the Section on Institutional Advancement.  Also attending the Meeting were Dean Mary Crossley, Associate Dean Lu-in Wang, Law Library Director George Pike, Professors John Burkoff, Nancy Burkoff, and Doug Branson, and Director of Constituent Relations  Allison Saras.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 12:55pm

Professor Vivian Curran was quoted in an article in The American Lawyer concerning the ongoing suit by Amazon tribespeople in Ecuador against Chevron.  The plaintiffs claim that Chevron predecessor Texaco created an environmental disaster on their land. Chevron has uncovered evidence of fraud in a damages report made to the Ecuadoran court, but Professor Curran commented that in the end this may not matter. "[O]nce you're in a country where courts are politically motivated, it's tough to overcome those decisions, because you're trapped in that country's legal network." Link to article

Monday, January 10, 2011 - 10:53pm

Professor David Harris described the advantages of wearable video cameras for police officers in the Pittsburgh City Paper's story, New Ideas for the New Year.   The cameras, worn by officers using a small earpiece, make for greater accountability to the public for police conduct.  For example, in the case involving the beating of CAPA High School student Jordan Miles by three Pittsburgh police officers,  "[i]f you'd had the three officers all wearing cameras, you would have a pretty detailed picture of what happened...There would be a lot less dispute."  The cameras also protect officers from baseless complaints. Link to article
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