College of Law Offers First-Ever International Tax Law Course, in Switzerland and Liechtenstein

Group photo of International Tax Law students, 2018

Taught by Dean Craig M. Boise and alumnus Marnin J. Michaels L’96, G’96, the College's first-ever, two-credit International Tax Law course wrapped up its study abroad portion in the Swiss resort town of Saas-Fee on March 18, 2018, after a series of seminars, lectures, and other events across two European financial capitals.

The course--subtitled "The Evolving Role of International Tax, Transparency, and Tax Equalization"--introduced students to international tax law matters from multiple perspectives encompassing the collection and distribution of taxes. It began with a Feb. 18, 2018, introductory session in Syracuse, NY, before 20 students travelled to Switzerland and Liechtenstein during Spring Break, to meet with representatives of financial firms, government offices, universities, and banks. Throughout the course, students were introduced critical concepts, such as the differences between the civil and common law systems, the nature of legal entities in both systems, tax advising for clients, measuring risk and intangibles, the application of various tax regimes, and reporting standards and related regulatory issues.

“This course pushed me to think about tax law, nationality status, and what it means to be a global citizen in new ways," says 2L Zoe Whitehouse. "It provided an invaluable opportunity to engage with, and hear from, practitioners, and academics at the epicenter of the financial world.”  

In Switzerland, students engaged with the Chair of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce; the Swiss Federal Tax Administration's Head of Tax Policy; the Managing Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs for UBS bank; the Head of Tax for Bank Vontobel AG; and Symantec's Head of Legal; among others. On March 13, the group sat down with Richard Gassmann, a counsel for corporate and tax law firm Baker McKenzie Zurich, where Michaels is Partner. Later that day, Baker McKenzie hosted a reception for the Syracuse visitors.

Traveling to the nearby principality of Liechtenstein on March 14, the class visited with representatives of private wealth firm Kaiser Partner; Katja Gey of the Liechtenstein Tax Administration; and Heinz Frommelt of Sele Frommelt & Partner, a commercial and tax law firm. The students also visited the Liechtenstein parliament in the capital of Vaduz, before returning to Switzerland and the Alpine town of Saas-Fee. There the group heard from two academics, Rene Matteotti of the University of Zurich and Robert Danon of the University of Lausanne.

The course concludes in April with another session in Syracuse, where student groups will present their final projects—an analysis of hypothetical client problem—as well as share their reflections about the course and study abroad trip.

Matthew Wallace Elected as ABA Board of Governors Law Student At-Large

Matthew Wallace

Matthew Wallace, a J.D./M.P.A. candidate (2019) and a Second Lieutenant in the US Army, has been elected as the national Law Student At-Large on the American Bar Association (ABA) Board of Governors. In this capacity, he will be responsible for advocating on behalf of the nation’s more than 120,000 law students during the 2018-2019 academic year. The online election took place from 13 to 15 March, 2018. 

"As Law Student At-Large, my priorities, among others, will include advocating for the preservation of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and increasing the availability of mental health resources for law students," says Wallace. "These issues are vitally important both to my fellow students at the College of Law and to the future of our profession as a whole. I look forward to bringing these concerns before the Board of Governors and working with them to find viable solutions that will benefit law students all across the country." 

In his election Platform Statement, Wallace also addressed improving law student participation in the ABA and starting a campaign to reach out to communities that could potentially provide a pool of law students, and eventually attorneys, dedicated to public service. 

"One such community is veterans returning from our decade-long conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan," explained Wallace in his statement. "Having worked with many of these individuals first-hand, I know their passionate commitment both to this country and to the success of every individual they stand beside each day. Several of my classmates are veterans, and I know that a targeted recruitment campaign could result in a new generation of attorneys ready to serve the people of the United States."

A native of San Francisco, CA, Wallace earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, where he enrolled in the Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps. Wallace was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army upon graduating in June 2016. Before beginning law school, Wallace worked as part of a Joint Force Operations and International Law team at the Pentagon. 

At the College of Law, Wallace is Executive Vice President Elect of the Student Bar Association, and he was the 1L Class Vice President. Wallace also has worked as a Student Attorney for the College's Wohl Family Veteran's Legal Clinic and has interned at the JetBlue Airways Legal Department, a position in line with his passion for the aerospace industry, as is his membership in the ABA Air and Space Forum. 

The Red Line? William C. Banks Discusses the Trump Organization Subpoena with Bloomberg Law

William C. Banks

"William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses a New York Times report that details new Subpoenas issued by special counsel Robert Mueller, including ones involving the Trump Organization, which the President has said he would see as a red line in the investigation."

Listen to the podcast here.

Lauryn Gouldin's Research on Flight Risk Profiled by SU News

Lauryn Gouldin

Research Profile: Professor Examines State of Bail, Pretrial Detention, Reform Measures

By Kathleen Haley

Nine out of 10 people who are awaiting resolution of their felony criminal case in jail are being detained because they can’t afford the pre-trial bail, according to national statistics.

What does that say about the U.S. criminal justice system? Is it fair? Is it unconstitutional?

Judges use their discretion in determining bail, weighing a defendant’s flight risk—the risk of them not showing up in court—and in certain cases their danger to society if they are released.

But Associate Professor of Law Lauryn Gouldin has observed how bail has become too restrictive and overly burdensome for defendants, when alternative means to ensure someone’s return to court might be just as effective.

“Bail originally was a way to secure someone’s release, and it’s now become this path to detention,” Gouldin says. “Our current system is pretty well divorced from whatever logic originally justified bail.”

Gouldin is part of an increasing number of legal scholars who are examining pretrial risk assessment, the process of bail determination and excessive rates of pretrial detention in the United States. Her work also looks at bail reform proposals that could better align individual liberties with the need to ensure a defendant’s appearance in court and decrease the number of people in jail as they wait for their case to be determined.

Six words

Her research in this area examines the 8th Amendment: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

Just six words, out of 16—in a law crafted more than 225 years ago—guide the constitutional analysis of bail.

“It’s very slender language. There’s almost nothing in the discussion of what the framers intended by this,” says Gouldin, who has an upcoming article, “Defining Flight Risk,” in the University of Chicago Law Review.

But the language, in its simple phrasing, speaks volumes to protect an individual’s rights.

“There are clear constitutional issues when we don’t employ the least restrictive means to ensure that someone comes to court,” Gouldin says.

Along with concern over basic liberties, “there are cascading problems that are created when we detain people before trial,” Gouldin says. “There are impacts to their family obligations, their educational opportunities and employment—all of these have an impact on communities that we should work to avoid.”

Case outcomes

Studies also show that pretrial detention affects case outcomes. Defendants detained before trial are more likely (than similar defendants who are released before trial) to plead guilty, to be convicted after trial and to receive longer sentences.

Recently, however, Gouldin has seen a turnaround in attention being paid to issues of excessive bail.

“What you’re seeing across the country is people developing new scholarly arguments, creative litigation strategies and novel community-driven reform proposals,” she says.

Federal legislation around bail has been proposed, along with proposals in some states, including New York State, where reforms (including a proposal to eliminate money bail for low-level offenses) are being actively debated.

“I write about questions of fairness and the need to protect individual liberties, but one of the appealing things for me as a researcher is that so often there are counterintuitive policy impacts,” says Gouldin, who also does research in matters involving the Fourth Amendment. “For some of these policies, the government is shooting itself in the foot in the way that it approaches pretrial detention. It turns out to be very expensive to detain people—particularly those charged with low-level, nonviolent offenses—as opposed to trying to impose less restrictive conditions of release to ensure they come back to court.”

One of the reasons that many types of bail reform proposals attract bipartisan support is that there are spaces where the system operates so inefficiently that we can be more protective of individual liberties, while also promoting community stability and safety,” she says.

“Disentangling Flight Risk from Dangerousness”

Gouldin initially focused on the federal bail statute, which permits pretrial detention based on flight risk and, in some cases, dangerousness. In an article for the Brigham Young University Law Review, “Disentangling Flight Risk from Dangerousness” (2016), Gouldin examined the problem with combining two factors into one pretrial risk score; how judges were more likely to overestimate both risks through questions used to help predict both factors and why they should evaluate both factors separately.

Her forthcoming article, “Defining Flight Risk,” discusses the need to distinguish between those who would truly pose a flight risk (by fleeing the jurisdiction) and someone who just may have a difficulty in returning to court—such as if they forget a court appearance or have a conflict and are not able to promptly contact the court.

“There are people who spend time in jail only because they can’t afford $250 for their bail,” Gouldin says. “People are finally appreciating that’s there’s no situation in which that makes sense.”

Gouldin, who is assisted in her work by graduate students who work on analyzing federal and state cases and statutes and tracking policy developments across states, notes interventions such as reminders or more flexible court schedules may help to mitigate some of these issues.

Risk assessment tools

Her research also looks at pretrial risk assessment tools that involve the use of specific questions to help judges make better predictions of a person’s flight risk. While some of the tools have potential, Gouldin has also noticed flaws that don’t match existing legal constraints or policy priorities and are not nuanced enough in understanding why someone might fail to appear for a court date.

Gouldin, who teaches Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure, often involves students in discussions on policies and reforms associated with the Fourth and Eighth amendments. Her new seminar course in the fall, Criminal Justice Reform, will look at a range of criminal justice problems with a focus on issues of policing, bail and pretrial detention, and the opioid crisis. The course is open to graduate students across campus for an interdisciplinary conversation.

“I’m going to push students to identify policymakers or legislators who could be an audience for their work,” Gouldin says. “It’s about developing real policy proposals—pointing out fixes that are working in other places or reforms that could be considered.”

Peter Blanck to address National Academies of Sciences Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence about National Study on Diversity & Inclusion

Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) Chairman & University Professor Peter Blanck will speak at the National Academies of Sciences Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Washington D.C. at the Keck Center. Blanck will discuss the recent American Bar Association (ABA) and BBI National Study on Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession.

In 2017, the ABA launched a first-of-its-kind nationwide longitudinal study, conducted by BBI, to identify biases encountered by disabled and LGBT+ lawyers in the legal profession, and to help develop and implement strategies to ameliorate such biases. Findings from the ABA and BBI study will be used to develop strategies for more inclusiveness in the professions. Blanck’s talk presents preliminary findings from this national study, based on responses from more than 1,600 lawyers across the United States. The initial findings suggest the need for continuing efforts to promote the full and equal participation of all diverse persons, including lawyers with disabilities and who are LGBT+, in the profession.

The Aging, Disability, and Independence Forum was formed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to foster dialogue and address issues of interest and concern related to aging and disability. Its goal is to serve all individuals with respect to long-term supports and services regardless of age or disability.

For more information about the Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence, visit:

For more information on the ABA study, visit:

Kevin Noble Maillard Discusses "The Many Colors of Matrimony" with National Geographic

Kevin Noble Maillard

The Many Colors of Matrimony

(National Geographic | March 13, 2018) Marrying across racial and ethnic lines has become more common, and more accepted, in the 50 years since a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

... The Loving decision invalidated state laws banning interracial marriage, which 17 of the 50 states still had at that time. Changing the law was a start—but it didn’t “necessarily do anything to change people’s minds,” says Syracuse University law professor Kevin Noble Maillard, who writes frequently about intermarriage.

Maillard suggests that the growing acceptance of interracial marriage in the past 50 years—and of same-sex marriage in the past dozen years—has been influenced by shifting social norms and by public and media validation. Partners of different races or ethnicities are nothing new, he notes: “But it’s very different when there’s public recognition of these relationships and when they become representations of regular families—when they’re the people in the Cheerios commercial" ...

Read the full article here.

Webcast: Shubha Ghosh Speaks to Blockchain & Genomic Data Experts

Shubha Ghosh

On Feb. 23, 2018, Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh spoke with Dr. Vasiliki Rahimzadeh and David Koepsell about how blockchain technology can be used as a tool to share genomic data. 

Blockchain is a prominent tool for sharing large amounts of data that permits monitoring uses and transformation of data. Part storage device, accounting system, and tracking tool, blockchain allows participants to jointly use many kinds of data, such as financial data behind online currencies (such as Bitcoin) or genetic data valuable for scientific researchers. The latter is the focus of this webinar.

Rahimzadeh is a post-doctoral researcher at McGill University. Her work on blockchain technology for scientific research won an award for best poster session at the American Advancement of Science annual meeting in February  2018. David Koepsell, an attorney with a Ph.D. in philosophy from SUNY-Buffalo, has launched a Florida-based start-up named Encrypgen that distributes software to enable blockchain technology for the sharing large datasets of genomic information. 

Such sharing is important for research scientists and can protect the interests of a patient, who is the source for the underlying genes, against misappropriation and unauthorized use, a problem that is often litigated. This issue was the subject of a recent book and movie about cancer-patient Henrietta Lacks

The webinar explores Koepsell's start-up and Rahimzadeh's research and the interplay between commerce and science. 

DCEx Students Learn About Military Law and Law of War from Distinguished Guest Lecturer Joseph Rutigliano L’86

On March 5, 2018, Distinguished Guest Lecturer Joseph Rutigliano L’86 hosted the Spring 2018 DC Externship participants at the Pentagon. Rutigliano currently serves as the Branch Head for the International and Operational Law Branch, Judge Advocate Division, Headquarters, US Marine Corps, as well as the Special Assistant on Law of War matters. 

Upon arrival participants enjoyed a private tour of the Pentagon from Rutigliano, where he took them to the Pentagon’s 9/11 Memorial Chapel and through the President’s Corridor of Naval Service and Constitutional Hall. 

During his presentation, which was held in the Commandant of the US Marine Corps’ board room, Rutigliano discussed his experiences as a JAG officer and described his path to a career in the Pentagon. He told the students about various cases he handled as legal advisor and trial counsel in Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the Gulf War. He also described his role in the US Marine Corps Law of War issues that include rules of engagement and force used abroad, as well as the legal advice he gives to the US Department of Defense on matters of international law. 

NYSSTLC Featured in FuzeHub Connections Blog

SoraLinks Logo

SoraLinks & NYSSTLC: Targeted Networking Opportunity Leads to Valuable Resources for One Start-Up Company

Tim Monroe started SoraLinks only a year ago.  This young, Saratoga Springs, NY-based company is developing a high tech product aimed at the exploding drone industry and its consumers. “Networking is critical when you are starting up a company,” says Monroe, “but if you are not doing so in a targeted and directed way you can waste a lot of time.”

Prior to starting SoraLinks, Monroe was running Saratoga Aerial Media, a business he founded which provides aerial cinematography, photography and video services using drone devices. A Clarkson engineering graduate with over 20 years of senior engineering management experience and an extensive background in software, Monroe confesses that “there are some aspects of this new technology product that I am developing that are beyond my expertise. And I don’t know enough about manufacturing, which makes it difficult to figure out how to design for commercial production levels without help.”

New Connections Open Doors to Solving Product Development Needs

In July, Monroe attended a FuzeHub Solutions Forum held in Saratoga Springs, NY.  These events are hosted by FuzeHub around the State and bring together manufacturing, technology, product development and business support resources in a “one-stop shop” format that allows entrepreneurs to access an incredible collection of expertise for free.  “It was a very efficient and effective way for me to network with the right people,” according to Monroe.

At the Solutions Forum, Monroe met with Molly Zimmermann, Associate Director of the New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYSSTLC) at the Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL), and Glenn Saunders, Senior Engineer with the Center for Automation and Technology Systems (CATS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).  Both NYSSTLC and CATS (as well as FuzeHub) receive funding from Empire State Development’s (ESD) division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) to support NYS companies with business, technology and prototype development. ESD is New York State’s largest economic development organization. NYSTAR funds 70+ facilities and tools that enable growth ...

Click here to read the whole story.

Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic Participates in the National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium Conference

The College of Law’s Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic, under the leadership of Clinic Director Yelena Duterte, participated in the recent National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium Conference. Duterte served as a panelist on VBMS and the VA Intranet.

In addition, the National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium, of which the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic is a member, was named a Veteran Service Organization by the VA.

INSCT Students Compete in the 2018 National Security Crisis Law Simulation

Students at the 2018 National Security Crisis Law Simulation

From March 1-3, 2018, a team of College of Law and Maxwell School national security students—coached by Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT) Director William C. Banks and Maxwell School Professor Sean O'Keefe—took part in the 2018 National Security Crisis Law Simulation at Georgetown Law. This year, the students competed not only with other national security law students from the US—including from Cornell, Fordham, New York University, and the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School—but also students from six Canadian universities, the Australian National University, and the UK.

The Syracuse University team consisted of third-year J.D./M.P.A. students Conor Sullivan and Ryan White; second-year J.D./M.P.A. student Kristina Cervi; third-year M.A.I.R/M.S.P.R candidate Stephen Brickey; and third-year J.D. student Elizabeth Snyder.

As with previous crisis simulations, the students were given government roles to assume during a series of complex and fast-moving crises that call on each team to develop and draft legal and policy responses and work with other teams/agencies, under the tutelage of national security experts. The interdisciplinary INSCT team played law and policy roles within the US Department of State (DOS), specifically Secretary of State (Brickey); Legal Advisor (Snyder); Under Secretary for Political Affairs (Sullivan); Coordinator of the Office for Counterterrorism (White); and a DOS staff member (Cervi).

"This was the third national security invitational, and Syracuse has participated in each of them," says Banks. "I think that it’s fair to say that our students performed superbly, more than holding their own against the best from other schools. Their role was in the middle of several intense crises, and they had to gather law and facts, make decisions quickly, persuade others of their positions, and communicate them succinctly and clearly." 

At the end of the event, the teams were reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges, including former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. "The feedback was laudatory and very valuable for the students," Banks observes. "I could not be more proud of the Syracuse group. They demonstrated once again the value of our interdisciplinary model and of the joint Maxwell School/College of Law INSCT program."

Arlene Kanter Discusses Support of Students with Disabilities with NII-Israel

Arlene Kanter Speaks at Bar-Ilan University.

Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence Arlene Kanter recently met with representatives of the National Insurance Institute (NII) of Israel, as well as staff of centers that support students with disabilities in higher education in Israel, to discuss international developments to increase access and support to students with disabilities in various countries. The meeting took place on Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, on Feb. 26, 2018.

During her two years as a Fulbright Scholar (2009-2010) and Distinguished Switzer Fellow (2019-2011), Kanter’s comparative research on access to higher education in Israel and the US resulted in a proposal to establish centers to support students with disabilities in higher education and training program for the center staff.

At the meeting, Kanter, with her colleagues from Haifa University, “also discussed our research project on the topic, that includes focus groups, surveys, and qualitative interviews of students, staff, and faculty about issues facing students with disabilities in colleges and universities throughout Israel."

Kanter says she is in the process of preparing an article for publication about the beginning phase of her research. "Moreover, when we complete our research next year, we will prepare additional articles about our findings among the students, staff, and faculty, respectively."

Israel is one of the few countries that has a government-funded system of support centers for students with disabilities in colleges and universities, Kanter notes. "Further by next fall, the final version of a new law mandating such support centers at every one of Israel's 66 colleges and universities will be adopted."

During 2017-2018, Kanter is on sabbatical from the College of Law. In the Fall she was a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School; for the spring 2018 semester, she is a Lady Davis Fellow at Hebrew University Faculty of Law.


AAJ Trial Team Wins Boston Regional, Advances to Finals

Congratulations to third-year students Thomas DeBernardis, Annie Millar, Jenny Pratt, and Raul Velez, who won the Boston Regional of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Advocacy Competition on the weekend of 1-4 March, 2018.  As the regional winners, the College of Law team moves forward to compete in the National Finals in Raleigh, NC, in April. Professor of Practice Erik Teifke coached the team, and Kody Luczak (3L) was team clerk/alternate.

AAJ's mock trial cases are always civil cases, and they typically deal with products liability, personal injury, or medical malpractice/negligence issues. Teams are judged on their skills in case preparation, opening statements, use of facts, the examination of lay and expert witnesses, and closing arguments.

Syracuse bested teams from Albany, Buffalo, Cornell University, Harvard University, Massachusetts School of Law, Quinnipiac University, Suffolk University, University of Connecticut, University of New Hampshire, and Western New England University.

Today's VALOR Day event is canceled due to the weather.

TCLC to Co-Host "Trademarks: The Key to Commercialization," a Talk by USPTO's Craig Morris


The Technology Commercialization Law Center at Syracuse University College of Law will co-host, in collaboration with the CNY Biotech Accelerator at Upstate Medical University, a talk designed for local entrepreneurs and start-ups by Craig Morris, Managing Attorney for Trademark Outreach, US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The talk will take place on March 28, 2018, from 3 - 4:30 p.m. at the CNY Biotech Accelerator, 841 East Fayette St., Syracuse, NY.

In "Trademarks: The Key to Commercialization," Morris will discuss how trademarks, copyrights, patents, domain names, and business name registrations differ; why new businesses should select a trademark that is both registrable and protectable; the importance of a complete search and whether to use an attorney; what to do if another trademark owner sends a "cease-and-desist" letter; how to apply for federal registration and the role of USPTO; and how to avoid scams.

Registration is required. Please RSVP by March 26, 2018, to Pizza and beverages will be provided. Free parking is available in the CNY Biotech Accelerator parking lot at the Irving Avenue and East Fayette Street intersection in Downtown Syracuse.

Matthew Wallace Selected as Candidate for ABA Law Student at Large

Matthew Wallace

2L Matthew Wallace has been selected by the American Bar Association (ABA) as a candidate for Law Student at Large on the ABA Board of Governors. Campaigning for the law student elections began on Feb. 20, 2018, and it culminates with an online election across March 13 to 15. The election webpage can be viewed here

A native of San Francisco, CA, Wallace earned a undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, where he enrolled in the Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps. Wallace was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army upon graduating in June 2016. Before beginning law school, Wallace worked as part of a Joint Force Operations and International Law team at the Pentagon. 

At the College of Law, Wallace is active in the Student Bar Association and the American Bar Association, and he was 1L Class Vice President. Wallace also has interned at the JetBlue Airways Legal Department, a position in line with his passion for the aerospace industry, as is his membership in the ABA Air & Space Forum. 

Matthew Wallace's Platform Statement

My platform is three-fold. First, I’ll continue the work of G. Meredith Parnell, the current Law Student At-Large on the American Bar Association’s Board of Governors, and Thomas Kim, the Chair of the Law Student Division. Meredith and Thomas have made great strides this past year in improving law student participation in the ABA, communication between the Board of Governors and the Law Student Division, and advocacy of behalf of all law students with particular emphasis on those who remain undocumented yet seek to take a bar exam.

Second, I want to guide the ABA towards once-again advocating for the preservation of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. As members of the legal profession, we know that an extreme disparity exists between those who need legal aid and the services that are available to them. Unfortunately, a legal education is expensive and many of my fellow students take on student loans to cover the cost. These loans can lead to high monthly payments as soon as school is complete which often times pushes new attorneys away from public service and towards higher-paying positions in the private sector. 

Now, more than ever, we need programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness because they encourage new attorneys to pursue careers in public service. Even if one does not have student loans or started school before the Program began, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program benefits all of us. This Program is at the forefront of helping to close the widening gap of needed legal services; but as the most recent tax bill debate showed us, nothing is ever off the negotiating table. As legislation like the PROSPER Act, which eliminates the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, continues to re-appear in Congress, the ABA needs to renew its commitment to advocate on behalf of all law students, like it did several years ago, to preserve this valuable and effective program.

Finally, I want to start a campaign for the American Bar Association to reach out to communities that could put forward law students and attorneys dedicated to public service. One such community is that of veterans returning from our decade-long conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2001, 2.7 million Americans have deployed to these conflict zones. Having worked with many of these individuals firsthand, I know their passionate commitment both to this country and to the success of every individual they stand beside each day. Several of my classmates are veterans and I know that a targeted recruitment campaign could result in a new generation of attorneys ready to serve the people of the United States. Although, this is just one of the many communities that the American Bar Association could reach out to as our profession continues to adapt and change within today’s legal environment.

TIME Quotes Janis McDonald in Story on Lynching Cold Case

Janis McDonald

(TIME | Feb. 27, 2018) It was the summer of 1946 when two young black couples riding along a rural road were stopped by a white mob in Georgia at Moore’s Ford Bridge, overlooking the Apalachee River. The mob dragged the victims from the vehicle, led them to the riverbank and shot them multiple times.

The brazen lynching of the four sharecroppers horrified the country that year. President Harry Truman sent the FBI to the site in rural Walton County. Months of investigation yielded dozens of possible suspects. But a federal grand jury failed to indict anyone. The case was revisited several times decades later, and just last month Georgia’s top law enforcement agency closed its latest investigation not long after the FBI concluded its latest review, saying no one remained to prosecute because all the likely killers were dead.

Despite all that, activists and others who spent countless hours studying the slayings and trying to raise awareness still hope answers will surface.

“We want to perfect the record for history’s sake, to make sure this case is never forgotten,” said Tyrone Brooks, a veteran civil rights activist who began looking into the lynching in 1968 at the request of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Even if no one is ultimately prosecuted for the deaths of Roger and Dorothy Malcom and George and Mae Murray Dorsey, it’s important to know what happened and who was involved, said Brooks, a former state lawmaker.

Particularly in recent decades, hopes of cracking the case have led civil rights activists, journalists, students, cold case groups and historians to the bridge and surrounding towns, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Atlanta, seeking clues or trying to coax people into talking. But the community’s hesitancy to talk — out of fear or unwillingness — has persisted, much as it stymied investigators long ago ...

... Janis McDonald, co-director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative at Syracuse University College of Law, said some of her students worked on the case in 2015. She said that at least with the investigative files now publicly released, a fresh set of eyes might find something new.

She said it was vital to keep studying this and other big cold cases.

“The reason this is so important is that we’re still facing all this racial conflict, and acknowledgement is the only real key to healing,” McDonald said. “You’ve got to acknowledge that the wound is there, and that hasn’t happened here.”

The full story can be read here.

Duelling Memos: Bloomberg Radio Speaks to William C. Banks About the Democratic FISA Memo

William C. Banks

Democrats Release Nunes Memo Rebuttal

(Bloomberg Radio | Feb. 26, 2018) William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses the release of a memo written by Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee. The heavily redacted document was published in response to a memo written by the committee’s chairman, Devin Nunes. He speaks with Bloomberg’s June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s "Politics, Policy, Power and Law."

DCEx Students Learn About Election Law from Past Program Participant Dennis Polio L’16

DXEx Seminar with Dennis Polio

On February 12th, DCEx program participants joined Dennis Polio L’16 at the Georgetown office location of Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky PLLC. Shortly after passing the bar, Polio began his legal career as an associate with this firm working in the areas of campaign finance and election law, lobbying, ethics compliance, and tax-exempt organizations.  

As a former two-time DC externship participant himself, Polio highlighted the crucial importance of networking and starting the job search well before graduation. He explained that while many may be uncomfortable with the concept of networking, it was and is no excuse to avoid what could set up the legal career of a lifetime. Polio provided insight and valuable resources for students to navigate the network of legal professionals in DC and offered some candid advice on professional networking sites. He discussed the impact Syracuse Law had on his legal career today from the journals and extra-curricular activities he was involved with, and encouraged students to remain engaged because of the opportunities those efforts may present. 

The seminar concluded with an open Q&A discussion between the students and Polio about his work in election law and the dynamics of this type of law in the nation’s capital. 

Shubha Ghosh Assists NLU-Delhi Team with National IP Survey

Shubha Ghosh

Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh is assisting colleagues at National Law University-Delhi's Centre for Innovation, Intellectual Property, and Competition (CIIPC) on a survey that tracks the innovation and intellectual property behavior of Indian startups, part of a research project to assist Startup India, a flagship initiative of the Government of India. 

Designed by the groups Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, and Ease of Doing Business in India, Startup India aims to build a strong ecosystem to nurture innovation and entrepreneurial traits among Indian youth. Initial data on startups' growth, investment, and employment at the national level suggest unusual dynamism in India. However, CIIPC researchers note that their work will further assist the initiative by examining whether the Startup India Action Plan 2016 sufficiently addresses the identified priorities and optimal policy reforms that will meet the intellectual Property (IP)-related needs of startups in India. 

The "Survey on Startups, Innovation, and Intellectual Property" will reach around 10,000 startups, explain principal investigators Yogesh Pai and Dr. Arul George Scaria. The survey aims to reach companies recognized by the Indian Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, those that have applied for IP protection, and those qualified for venture capital funding during last three years. 

The investigators explain that they started working on the survey in 2017 with a literature review and development of the questionnaire. The questions were fine-tuned with suggestions from Ghosh, as well as from Professor Jay Kesan, of the University of Illinois; Dr. Chiranthan Chatterjee, of the Indian School of Business; Prashanth Reddy, of NALSAR University of Law; and Ananth Padmanabhan, of Carnegie-India.

College of Law Team Advances to the National Round of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition

2L Donya Feizbakhsh, 3L Ryan Lefkowitz, and Brady O'Malley L'11.

It was a superb result for the College of Law team of 3L Ryan Lefkowitz and 2L Donya Feizbakhsh, which won the Manhattan Regional competition of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition on the weekend on Feb. 24, 2018. The team, coached by Brady O'Malley L'11 (of Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet PC) advances to the National round in Washington, DC, in April. Feizbakhsh was awarded second best advocate for the region and Lefkowitz, the sixth best advocate.

A second College of Law team of 3Ls Aya Hoffman, Jonathan Maddalone, and Veronica Ramirez, coached by Professor Shannon Gardner, advanced to the semi-final round.

This year’s competition focuses on when and how courts should apply Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) to law-enforcement operations.  Thirty-two teams competed in the Manhattan Regional of the National Appellate Advocacy Competition this weekend and the top team from each region advances to the National Finals in Washington, DC.  Manhattan is an extremely competitive region and both teams demonstrated hard work and professionalism throughout their preparation and competition arguments.  Thank you coaches and congratulations to all our students.

LaunchPad and NYSSTLC Students Offer Tech Commercialization Office Hours

Blackstone Launchpad

Blackstone LaunchPad has announced a new collaboration with the New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYSSTLC), a NYSTAR-sponsored resource at the College of Law available to New York State entities working on commercializing new technologies. NYSSTLC operates through the Technology Commercialization Law Program (TCLP).

College of Law students from TCLP will hold office hours at Blackstone LaunchPad at Bird Library to discuss patent searching strategies and to assist with conducting a patent search for Syracuse University students (although this service is not a substitute for IP patent counsel). Assistance is at no charge to students on a first-come, first-served basis or by appointment by emailing

LaunchPad office hours are:

  • Feb. 28, 10 a.m. – noon
  • March 6, 3 - 5 p.m.
  • March 22, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • March 26, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • April 4, 10 a.m.– noon
  • April 10, 3 – 5 p.m.
  • April 19, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • April 23, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

On call will be a rotation of third-year tech commercialization students: Jennifer Hicks, Lindsey Round, Xiang Tony Qi, and Tom Carlon.

Syracuse Law to Host VALOR Day of Free Legal, Financial, and Career Services to Central New York Veterans, Service Members & Families


Syracuse University College of Law will hold its tenth VALOR Day event on Saturday, March 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dineen Hall, 950 Irving Avenue, Syracuse. Local attorneys and professionals will provide free legal, financial, career, and counseling services for veterans, active duty service members, and their immediate families. Conceived by College of Law students, VALOR (Veterans’ Advocacy, Law and Outreach) Day is one of the many ways students give back to the community and those who serve our country.

Services available during VALOR Day include legal consultations with attorneys that specialize in veterans’ legal issues, family law, criminal law, estate and planning issues, and other related areas. Attendees can also have résumés critiqued and receive credit counseling. The event will include a veterans’ information fair with representatives from more than 10 veteran and government organizations on site to discuss their services. 

“College of Law students are proud to coordinate with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County and host VALOR Day as a way to give back to the veteran and military communities,” said Cecilia Santostefano, a third-year law student and executive director of VISION. “We look forward to helping attendees find the right service providers and get the assistance they need. It is a very educational and rewarding experience for our student volunteers.”

VALOR Day is coordinated by VISION (Veterans Issues, Support Initiative and Outreach Network), a student-run College of Law organization. Since its inception in 2012, VALOR Day has assisted more than 280 veterans and their families by providing access directly to services they need the most.

Appointments made in advance are suggested, but not required. Free parking is available in the Stadium lot and the Irving Garage during VALOR Day. For more information or to arrange an appointment, contact or call (315) 828-5001.

Emily Brown Shares an Interdisciplinary Approach to Climate Change with Architects

Emily Brown lecturing to architecture students.

"Climate change is no longer a scientific issue. It is a legal and political one," explained Assistant Teaching Professor Emily Brown to a graduate architecture design studio on Feb. 15, 2018. "Or maybe—more likely—it simply cannot addressed by each discipline working independently of one another." Following up on the publication of Climate Comments, a website that translates climate change policy into plain language to inspire individuals to action, School of Architecture Professor Joseph Godlewski invited Brown to speak about interdisciplinary approaches to climate change and to describe the work law students and Newhouse undergraduates have done on the website. 

Godlewski teaches the graduate studio along with Professor Lori Brown. This semester the studio is focusing on the urban effects of climate change, particularly in tropical and sub-tropical regions, with a longer-term project involving designing a facility in St. Petersburg, Florida.

"I discussed some of the unique challenges and opportunities for architects when adapting to and combatting climate change, and since the graduate architecture class is traveling to St. Petersburg, I also looked at the initiatives there to try to combat and address the changing environment," says Brown, adding that as a lawyer she also raised with the architects the more mundane subject of risk. "I spoke about the potential likelihood of architects being sued for malpractice for failing to plan and design for changes in weather." 

Finally, keeping with the interdisciplinary, cross-campus theme of her talk, Brown invited the group to a half-day climate change symposium at the College of Law, planned for April 25, 2018, hosted by Professor Shubha Ghosh. 

The symposium will explore "Policy and Technology Responses to Climate Change" across two panels. The first—Technological Responses to Climate Change—will feature Zachary Liscow, Professor, Yale Law School; Eric Schiff, Professor and Department Chair, Department of Physics, Syracuse University; Edward Bogucz, Executive Director, Syracuse Center of Excellence for Environmental and Energy Systems; Joshua Sarnoff, Professor, DePaul College of Law; and David Popp, Carolyn Rapking Faculty Scholar in Public Administration and Policy, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Emily Brown will speak on the second panel—Legal and Policy Implementation—along with David Driesen, University Professor, College of Law; Dalindyebo Shabalala, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Dayton School of Law; and Keith Maskus, Professor of Economics, University of Colorado-Boulder. 

Bybee Discusses the Rules of Civility in PolitiFact Article

Keith Bybee

George Washington’s lessons and the future of political civility

(Politifact | Feb 19, 2018) Five years ago, we published an article inspired by a visit to the restored colonial city of Williamsburg, Va., where we discovered a gem of a book: George Washington’s Rules of Civility.

Somewhat lightheartedly, we published "What Would George Do?" on President’s Day as a counterpoint to the incivility that had come to dominate his namesake city more than two centuries later.

In today’s bitter political climate, we thought we’d revisit these rules to see how much better or worse things have gotten ...

... Often, people learn the rules of civility growing up. But that can be tricky in the contemporary United States.

"You could say that etiquette is the original homeschooling," said Keith J. Bybee, a political scientist at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and author of How Civility Works. "In a static and homogenous society, one would expect homeschooling in civility to yield a consensus on the norms of appropriate public behavior. But the United States is not such a society."

In a country as dynamic and heterogeneous as ours, Bybee said, "people regularly learn different rules of civility at home. And even when they learn the same rules, there is no way to ensure that they agree on the application of those rules to concrete circumstances" ...

Read the whole article here

Shubha Ghosh's Scholarship Continues with Completed Manuscripts, Published Articles, a Planned Symposium, and More

Shubha Ghosh

The intellectual property, patent law, antitrust, technology commercialization, and biotechnology scholarship of Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh continues in spring 2018 with a number of published and placed articles and chapters; presentations in Israel, Singapore, and Washington, DC; a planned workshop on trademarks and patents for entrepreneurs; and a half-day symposium on "Climate Change: Law, Policy, and Technology" at the College of Law.

Forthcoming Books

Transactional Intellectual Property: Cases and Materials (Fourth Edition). Carolina Academic Press.

The Exhaustion Doctrine: Comparative Law and Policy. Cambridge University Press.

Forthcoming Chapters & Articles

"Myriad, Post-Myriad: Algorithmic Medicine in Light of the Supreme Court Decision in Myriad," forthcoming in Science & Public Policy (Oxford University Press).

"Patents," forthcoming in the Oxford Research Handbook of Economics and Finance (Oxford University Press).

"Digital Antitrust," forthcoming in the Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Digital Technologies (Edward Elgar). 

"The Antitrust Logic of Biologics." University of Illinois Law Review 46 (2018) (an invited symposium on "biologics"). 

"A Court Divided," forthcoming in the Chicago-Kent Law Review (an invited response to Solicitor General Seth Waxman's article on the Federal Circuit and United States Supreme Court).

"A Dormant IP Clause?" forthcoming in the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law (an invited symposium on intellectual property and investor-state disputes).

Planned Events

"Trademark Law for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups," a presentation by Craig Morris, US Patent and Trademark Office, at the Syracuse University College of Law and Syracuse Biotechnology Accelerator (March 28, 2018).

"Policy and Technology Responses to Climate Change," a half-day symposium at the College of Law, (April 25, 2018). 

  • Panel 1: Technological Responses to Climate Change, with Eric Schiff, Director, Department of Physics, Syracuse University; Edward Bogucz, Executive Director, Syracuse Center of Excellence for Environmental and Energy Systems; Joshua Sarnoff, Professor, DePaul College of Law; and David Popp, Carolyn Rapking Faculty Scholar in Public Administration and Policy, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
  • Panel 2: Legal and Policy Implementation, with Emily Brown, Assistant Teaching Professor, College of Law; David Driesen, University Professor, College of Law; Dalindyebo Shabalala, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Dayton School of Law; Keith Maskus, Professor of Economics, University of Colorado-Boulder. 

Past Presentations

"A Dormant IP-Clause" at Vanderbilt Law School (Jan. 25, 2018).

"Pharmaceutical Patent Law Developments" at National Law University, Delhi, India (Feb. 7, 2018).

"Fragmented Regulation: The Case of Net Neutrality" at Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, India (Feb. 8, 2018).

"Biotechnology Patents and Data Mining" at National Law University, Delhi, India (Feb. 10, 2018).

Planned Presentations

"Digital Antitrust Roundtable" at the National Press Club, American Antitrust Institute (March 22, 2018).

"Research Methods in Intellectual Property Scholarship" at the Singapore Management University Faculty of Law (March 1, 2018).

"Comparative US-Japan Design Protection" at Singapore Management University Faculty of Law (March 1, 2018).

"Commercializing Traditional Knowledge: International Developments" at the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, Tel Aviv, Israel (May 1, 2018).

BBI Chairman Peter Blanck to discuss Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession at the University of Texas School of Law

Peter Blanck

BBI Chairman Peter Blanck to discuss Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession at the University of Texas School of Law

March 26, 2018 11:45 am–1:15 pm

Location: University of Texas School of Law - 727 East Dean Keeton Street - Austin, TX 78705

William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law - TNH 3.126

Join us for a talk followed by a discussion with Peter Blanck, chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University.

In 2017, the American Bar Association launched a first-of-its kind nationwide longitudinal study, conducted by the Burton Blatt Institute, to identify biases encountered by disabled and LGBT+ lawyers in the legal profession, and to help develop and implement strategies to ameliorate such biases. This talk presents preliminary findings from this national study, based on responses from 1,000 lawyers across the United States. The initial findings suggest the need for continuing efforts to promote the full and equal participation of all diverse persons, including lawyers with disabilities and who are LGBT+, in the legal profession.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration required. Please RSVP here to reserve your spot and lunch.

Sponsored by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law and the Mithoff Pro Bono Program

About the Burton Blatt Institute

BBI reaches around the globe in its efforts to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities, with offices in Syracuse, NY, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Georgia. BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, a pioneering disability rights scholar, to better the lives of people with disabilities. For more information about BBI and the dates and locations of the seminar series, visit:

Kevin Noble Maillard Pens "Black Panther" Article for The New York Times

Kevin Noble Maillard

I Took 7th Graders to See "Black Panther." Here’s What They Said.

(The New York Times | Feb. 18, 2018) Seven seventh graders arrived at the theater, excited. There were braces and glasses, sneakers and hoodies, teasing and giggles — all the trappings of tweens. They clapped, whispered, squirmed and guffawed. They quite literally sat on the edge of their seats.

I had invited a handful of 12-year-olds from P.S. 282 in Brooklyn to an early screening of “Black Panther” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. (Disney donated the tickets and BAM provided a place to talk afterward.)

In 23 years as an educator specializing in the relationships of law, society and entertainment in the construction of racial norms and beliefs, I had been keenly following the hype surrounding “Black Panther” and the argument that the story of an African superhero would benefit black children’s self-esteem. There was even the #BlackPantherChallenge and there were crowdfunding campaigns to send youngsters around the country to see the movie.

But in all the talk, a crucial element was missing: the voices of black children. What did they actually think of the film, and how did it make them feel?

In a conference room after the screening, I asked the students to write down their reactions to the movie, whether about T’Challa, Black Panther himself; Wakanda, his fictional kingdom in Africa; or the women surrounding him, like Okoye, the bald leader of his all-female guards, the Dora Milaje, and Shuri, his technologist sister. Categorically the students gave the movie a thumbs up — especially Black Panther’s suit. But they also saw deeper meanings in the movie.

Here are excerpts, edited for length. To quote one student, “Spoiler alert!!!” Plot points are discussed.

Immediate Reaction

  • The film makes me want to start my own tribe and make my own inventions to help the world. It also makes me want to make my own Panther outfit. — Gabriela Myles
  • I want to go jump over a car and make a tribe as well because if Black Panther can do it, then I can as well. — Kayin Scrubbs
  • The movie makes me want to come back from the dead and take out people with my claws. — Marquez Celestin
  • [It makes me want to] protect my family, believe in myself, never give up on anything, and try to achieve my goals even if it leads to me dying. — Paris Bellinger ...

The full article can be read here

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Receives 2018 IRS Grant

Professor Robert Nassau

The College of Law's Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), directed by Professor Robert G. Nassau, has again received the maximum allowable annual grant of $100,000 from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). LITC offers legal assistance to low income taxpayers who have controversies with the IRS and with New York State.

"The grant program, authorized by Section 7526 of the Internal Revenue Code, has existed since 1999," explains Nassau. "Since 2002, the College of Law has been among approximately 125 law schools, business schools, and non-profit agencies that receive matching grants each year for their work."

LITC offers law students an unparalleled opportunity to learn how to represent taxpayers. "Students learn basic tax procedure and applicable substantive tax law," says Nassau, "and they get to practice what they learn by representing clients in administrative proceedings before the IRS or by representing clients in judicial proceedings before the US Tax Court or Federal District Courts. Each semester, 10 student attorneys work in LITC under my direction." 

Tax controversies that the clinic and its students address include taxpayers who are being examined or audited; who have filed petitions with the US Tax Court or complaints with the Federal District Courts; and who are delinquent or who owe money to the IRS or New York State. 

Adds Nassau, "Since its inception, LITC has helped taxpayers recover more than $1.3 million and avoid or reduce tax liabilities of several million dollars more."

"Threat to Our Democracy": William Banks Quoted by the NY Daily News on Russian Election Meddling

William C. Banks

H.R. McMaster says proof of Russian meddling in 2016 election is 'incontrovertible''

(New York Daily News | Feb. 17, 2018) President Trump’s own national security adviser thinks there’s “incontrovertible” evidence of Russian efforts to undermine American democracy.

H.R. McMaster’s blunt assessment Saturday — following an indictment charging more than a dozen Russians with illegal activity in the 2016 election — counters Trump’s claims that allegations of foreign efforts to sway the public in his favor were false.

“As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain,” McMaster told a Russian delegate at the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

Russian officials, meanwhile, dismissed the indictment as “just blabber.”

The country’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, brushed off charges from special counsel Robert Mueller that a troll farm with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin attempted to unlawfully influence the election ...

... The President appears more concerned with his election win not appearing tainted by outside help than with securing against America’s vulnerabilities, experts warned.

“These indictments remind us that the Mueller investigation has always first and foremost been about Russian interference in the election,” said William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School. “Just about everyone but the President has characterized their interference as a serious threat to our democracy.”

Mueller, tasked with investigating Russia’s efforts after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, is also looking at whether anyone in the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin and whether or not the President has attempted to obstruct justice ...

The full article can be read here.

More Than 200 Local High School Students Participate in Diversity Law Day

More Than 200 Local High School Students Participate in Diversity Law Day 2018

The College of Law's Office of Admissions and Financial Aid hosted Diversity Law Day on Feb. 16, 2018, an event co-sponsored by the New York State Bar Association, Law School Admission Council's DiscoverLaw, New York State Bar Association, and William Herbert Johnson Bar Association.  

“Diversity Law Day is part of the Diversity Matters initiative to expose high school students from various racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds to the field of law," says Denée Page, Assistant Dean of Enrollment Management, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. "This year we hosted even more area students than last year, with more than 200 students attending from Syracuse and Utica area high schools. We are so honored to host these students and allow them to hear from current law students and local attorneys about the importance of diversity and representation in the legal field.”

Diversity Law Day brought to Dineen Hall students from Henninger, Nottingham, Elmcrest, and Fowler high schools in Syracuse, as well as from LaFayette, Onondaga Nation, and Utica Proctor high schools. 

Before a networking lunch, the high school students heard from current Syracuse law students during a panel moderated by 2L Pthara Jeppe and then from young professionals in an Attorney Panel, moderated by Professor Suzette Melendez and featuring Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs LaVonda N. Reed, Professor Paula C. Johnson, Kayla Aria L'15, and Alphonse Williams L'17.

After lunch, there was Mock Trial Presentation in the Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom by members of the Syracuse University Undergraduate Mock Trial Team. The high school students not only observed the trial, they participated as members of the jury. The day's closing remarks were given by Director of Externship Programs Kimberly Wolf Price L'03.

Arlene Kanter's Scholarship Continues with Five Placed Disability Law Chapters and Articles

Professor Arlene Kanter

Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence Arlene Kanter has been productive while on her sabbatical away from the College of Law, beginning in June 2017 and taking her around the world. Currently a Lady Davis Fellow at Hebrew University Faculty of Law for the spring 2018 semester, Kanter has found time to catch up on her scholarship and writing, completing no less than five articles that have been recently published or are forthcoming in books and journals. Topics Kanter addresses include the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, inclusive education, the concept of personhood, and equal access to justice. 

Book Chapters

  • "The Failure of the United States to Ratify the CRPD." In Recognising Rights in Different Cultural Contexts: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Eds. K. Johnson and E. Kakoullis. Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming 2018).
  • "Inclusive Education Under International Law." In The Right to Inclusive Education in International Human Rights Law. Eds. G. De Beco, S. Quinlivan, and J. Lord. Cambridge University Press (forthcoming 2018).
  • "Commentary on Article 35 of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities: Reports by State Parties." In A Commentary on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Eds. I. Bantekas, M. Stein, and D. Anastasiou. Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2018).

Law Review Articles

  • "The Fight for Personhood, Legal Capacity, and Equal Recognition Under Law for People with Disabilities in Israel and Beyond." 39 Cardozo L. Rev. 557-610 (December 2017).
  • "Ensuring Violence Against Women and Girls with Disabilities: Ensuring Access to Justice Under International Human Rights Law." Northeastern U. L. Rev.(Special Issue, forthcoming 2018). (With Carla Villarreal Lopez.)

Kanter's sabbatical began in June 2017 with a number of activities in Nairobi, Kenya, including conferences on Disability and Justice and Violence against Children and lectures at Kenyatta University and the University of Nairobi. In  August 2017, Kanter spent a month in Israel conducting research on the impact of new legally mandated support centers for students with disabilities in Israeli universities in conjunction with a team of researchers from Haifa University.

In the fall 2017 semester, Kanter was a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School before returning to Israel and the Hebrew University Faculty of Law. At Hebrew University, Kanter is teaching a course on International Human Rights and Comparative Disability Law to law students and students enrolled in the university’s new interdisciplinary Disability Studies program, which Kanter helped to develop. 

William C. Banks Discusses Manafort Money Laundering Case with Bloomberg Law

William C. Banks

Judge Lashes Out at Lawyers in Manafort Laundering Case 

(Bloomberg Law | Feb. 15, 2018) William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses why the judge in Paul Manafort’s money-laundering case is complaining that there have been too many secret filings in the case. President Trump’s former 2016 campaign chairman and his deputy Rick Gates have been accused of failing to register as foreign agents for political consulting they did for Ukraine and pro-Russian politicians there. 

Plus, Greg Stohr, Bloomberg News Supreme Court reporter, discusses a group of Supreme Court justices who have emerged as consensus-builders in the court, even as partisan infight takes over much of Washington politics. They speak with Bloomberg’s June Grasso.

To listening to the audio, visit Bloomberg Law.

College of Law Welcomes Spring 2018 LL.M. Cohort

A group of College of Law LL.M. students, February 2018

In January 2018, the College of Law welcomed its newest cohort of LL.M. students. With interests ranging from international humanitarian law to sports law to commercial law, the seven new arrivals travelled to Syracuse from countries in Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Africa.

This spring cohort is comprised of four female students and three male students who range in experience from recent graduates of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) programs to experienced attorneys and solo practitioners. With this cohort, the College expands its global footprint, welcoming a student for the first time from Ecuador. Isabella Pazmino Vinueza is the recipient of a Partnerships Program for Education and Training (PAEC) Scholarship, co-sponsored by the College of Law and the Organization of American States. In addition to these seven new LL.M. students, 23 students from the Fall 2017 cohort have returned to complete their degrees.

"Special thanks and recognition to the College's Office of Enrollment Management and the Office of Information Technology for their support and collaborative efforts to pull off an admissions feat that was truly a team effort," says Assistant Dean of International Programs Andrew S. Horsfall. "The Office of International Programs is poised to have an exciting spring semester."

Horsfall notes that in the coming months, LL.M. students will participate in the College's annual Job Shadow Program—now in its third year—as well as the established International Scholar Lecture Series. "Numerous other activities and opportunities for engagement are being arranged with our community partners," adds Horsfall, "such as with Legal Services of Central New York and the Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment Center, as well as with alumni, including Board of Advisors Member Alan Epstein L’74." 

Spring 2018 LL.M. Cohort

Ayisha Ahmed Zakaria (Ghana): Ahmed Zakaria received her LL.B. from Lancaster University in Ghana in 2017, where she was an executive member of the law society. She also holds a degree in Business Administration from the Islamic University College in Ghana. Zakaria will pursue courses in international business transactions and corporate and commercial law.

Alanood Alhareer (Saudi Arabia): Alanood Alhareer obtained her LL.B. from Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2014. She lived in Long Beach, CA, studying English for the last year before arriving to Syracuse. Alhareer plans to focus her LL.M. studies on human rights.

Eghoese Ataga (Nigeria): Eghoese Ataga has an LL.B. from the University of Benin City in Nigeria. While pursuing this degree, he focused on intellectual property and copyright protections. He also operated a small private law firm handling small business matters before coming to the US to pursue his LL.M. degree. Ataga plans to focus his studies on business law.

Maysaa Ghanem (Syria): Maysaa Ghanem is the recipient of the Open Society Foundation’s Civil Society Leadership Award. She obtained her LL.B. from the University of Damascus, in Syria in 2007. She also holds an Associate’s Degree in Civil Engineering. She had a brief career as a civil engineer before transitioning into law. For the past six years, she has been employed as a lawyer with the central government of Syria. Ghanem will pursue courses in international human rights law, international law, and courses that expose her to the American legal system.

Daesu Ha (South Korea): Daesu Ha received his LL.B.  degree from Pusan National University in South Korea in 2017. Before deciding to pursue an LL.M. degree, he served as a solider in the Republic of Korea Marine Corps. Ha was also an elite athlete in South Korea, having won competitions in boxing, ju-jitsu, and martial arts.  He hopes to study sports law while in Syracuse with hopes to return to South Korea to work in the professional sports industry.

Isabella Pazmino Vinueza (Ecuador): Isabella Pazmino received her LL.B. at the Universidad de Especialidades Espiritu Santo in Ecuador in 2007. She is recipient of the PAEC Scholarship co-sponsored by the College of Law and the Organization of American States. Upon graduation, she worked in Guayaquil at a small law firm where she practiced corporate law.  In 2017, she opened her own firm and specialized in real estate transactions.  While pursuing her LL.M. degree, Ms. Pazmino intends to take courses that will prepare her for the New York State Bar Exam.  

Waleed Sherdil (Pakistan): Waleed Sherdil obtained his LL.B. from the University College of London’s External Program, in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2016.  Before arriving in Syracuse, he worked at Taimoor Law Associates where he focused on tax and corporate law matters. Before that, Sherdil worked as an associate at one of the top law firms in Karachi where he practiced civil law, family law, and criminal proceedings. He plans to take the New York State Bar Exam upon completing his LL.M. degree.

College of Law Announces the Launch of the Nation's First Live Online J.D. Program

The Online JD

The American Bar Association has granted the Syracuse University College of Law a variance to offer a fully interactive online juris doctor program. The online J.D. program will be the first in the nation to combine real-time and self-paced online classes, on-campus residential classes, and experiential learning opportunities.

"By allowing students to engage in real-time online classes from anywhere, the online J.D. will make the College of Law's high-quality legal education accessible to students who cannot reasonably attend a fully residential program," says Craig M. Boise, Dean and Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law. "Designed to be a model for excellence in legal education in the 21st century, The Online J.D. will provide an opportunity for the College to expand the reach of its residential JD program and cement its national reputation for leadership in innovative approaches to legal education."

Developed by the College of Law's faculty with the leadership of Associate Dean for Research and Online Education Nina Kohn and Executive Director of Online Education Kathleen O'Connor, the online J.D. is scheduled to launch in January 2019. The program will be extraordinarily interactive. At least 50% of the online class time will be in "real-time," allowing professors and students to connect in a small class environment. Self-paced class sessions with interactive exercises will complement these live sessions. Students also will attend in-person courses on-campus and at satellite locations, have the opportunity to complete a legal externship before graduation, and participate in student organizations.

The online J.D. was subject to intense scrutiny and review by legal education experts before the College was granted the variance. Students in the online program will be taught by College of Law faculty, will be held to the same high admission and academic standards as students in the College's residential program, and will take all courses required by its residential J.D. program. 

"With this program, Syracuse is transforming legal education to better meet the needs of an evolving profession and today's students," says Boise. "I appreciate the continued support of alumni, faculty, staff, and the legal community as we develop the program and welcome a new group of talented students into the College of Law community."

For more information about the online J.D. program, visit

Shubha Ghosh Discusses Uber/Alphabet Self-Driving Car Suit with The Washington Post

Shubha Ghosh

Uber CEO Plays It Safe in Risk-Loving Silicon Valley

(The Washington Post | Feb. 13, 2018) For nearly a year, Uber and Google's parent company, Alphabet, clashed over settling a lawsuit Alphabet filed against the ride-sharing company, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Uber chose to gamble for a victory in court rather than compromise, a choice that led to a high-stakes public trial last week.

Negotiations went right up to the trial itself. As recently as last week, Uber’s board had rejected a settlement offer.

Yet on Friday, just as journalists were settling into the packed courtroom after days of bruising testimony, Uber announced it was settling the case. The agreement gave Alphabet’s self-driving car business Waymo a stake worth $244 million in the world’s most valuable privately-held start-up — and the right to vet Uber's self-driving technology ...

.... In announcing the settlement to the lawsuit Friday morning, Khosrowshahi addressed Uber’s “friends at Alphabet.” Google’s parent company, in the lawsuit filed last February, had accused Uber of stealing its trade secrets and using them in its own self-driving car technology.

A loss would have been “devastating,” for Uber, valued at $72 billion according to its most recent round, said Shubha Ghosh, director of the Technology Commercialization Law Center at Syracuse University’s College of Law. Alphabet was seeking damages of $1 billion.

Khosrowshahi wasn’t willing to take the risk of losing the lawsuit. “A settlement leaves matters more ambiguous for Uber and gives the company some cover,” Ghosh said. Khosrowshahi doesn’t want to stay mired in fights that drag Uber down, say people who work with him. He has said he plans for Uber to have a public offering next year ...

Read the full article here

Colleagues at Adam Mickiewicz University Translate Robert Ashford Article on Binary Economics

Ruch Prawniczy, Ekonomiczny i Socjologiczny

In a further collaboration between the College of Law and Adam Mickiewicz University Faculty of Law in Poznan, Poland Professors Robert Ashford and Maciej Dybowski have arranged for the Polish translation of "Broadening Capital Acquisition with the Earnings of Capital as a Means of Sustainable Growth and Environmental Sustainability," an article co-authored by Ashford. The article, translated by Krzysztofa Nędzyński and Iwona Grenda, has been published in Ruch Prawniczy, Ekonomiczny i Socjologiczny (the Journal of Law, Economics, and Sociology), and can be read at this link.

"The published translation of this article is evidence of both the international importance of a more inclusive approach to capitalism based on binary economics and also of the constructive collaboration that can result from the academic cooperation between our College and the Adam Mickiewicz Faculty of Law," says Ashford. 

The original article—by Robert Ashford, Ralph P. Hall, and Nicholas A. Ashford, —appeared in European Financial Review 70 (Oct/Nov 2012). A binary economics primer, "Broadening Capital Acquisition" explains how environmentally sustainable economic growth can be achieved through “an ownership-broadening system of corporate finance," that extends market opportunities to poor and middle-class people that enable them to "acquire capital with the earnings of capital" and thereby increase their earning capacity.

Nędzyński—the principal translator of "Koncepcja binary approach jako instrument kształtowania zrównoważonego wzrostu"—calls the article "a succinct introduction to binary economics." He continues, "Several years ago a friend sent me an article on binary economics. It was extremely intriguing but also dense. Then I read Binary Economics: The New Paradigm by Robert Ashford and Rodney Shakespeare. This was my 'eureka!' moment." Nędzyński says that moment launched his work to popularize binary economics in Poland. "It is one of the most important ideas my country needs to release its enormous human potential," he says. "I hope Professor Ashford's article is translated into many languages and widely read throughout the world."

Dybowski explains, "When Professor Tomasz Nieborak and I first visited Syracuse University in November 2016 to inaugurate the academic cooperation between the College of Law and the Adam Mickiewicz Faculty of Law, Professor Ashford introduced us to his conception of inclusive capitalism based on binary economics. We became excited about the theory, and immediately grasping its importance, we decided to do our best to introduce the Polish academic readers to Ashford’s ideas." To this end, Dybowski says the translation has been published in one of the oldest and most respected Polish academic journals. "It will definitely be important to academic, professional, and student readers in Poland," Dybowski says.

Julia Wingfield Wins 8th Annual Hancock Estabrook 1L Oral Advocacy Competition

1L Julia Wingfield with Dean Craig M. Boise, Hon. Brenda Sannes, and Hon. Therese Wiley Dancks L'91.

Congratulations to Julia Wingfield, who won the 8th Annual Hancock Estabrook 1L Oral Advocacy Competition on Feb 8., 2018, edging out Joseph Mallek. The final was delayed one day by a winter storm, but the problem at hand helped students, judges, and spectators think of spring. 3L Tom DeBernardis wrote an interesting problem about the risks one assumes as a spectator at a baseball game.

Following arguments, judges Hon. Brenda Sannes, Hon. Therese Wiley Dancks L'91, and Dean Craig M. Boise named the competition winner, Wingfield having argued on behalf of respondent the "Salt City Prowlers Baseball Club". 

In addition to DeBarnardis, the competition was organized by Moot Court Executive Director 3L Ryan Lefkowitz and Faculty Director of the Moot Court Honor Society Professor Kathleen O'Connor. Professor Richard Risman served as an evaluator, and Moot Court Honor Society members judged earlier rounds. 

The College of Law thanks Hancock Estabrook PLLC, who since 2013 has generously sponsored this important opportunity to introduce basic oral argument skills and the art of preparing and delivering an argument.

Alumni Discuss Financial Indices, Environmental Law, and Medical Malpractice With Externs

Eileen Millett L'74

Externships offer College of Law students opportunities to gain real-world legal experience, explore different areas of the law, understand potential career paths, engage with alumni, and build professional networks. In late January and early February 2018, students heard from New York City and Central New York alumni about how the "Power of Orange" helped developed their successful careers. 

As part of the New York City Externship Program (NYCEx), Alex Matturri L’83, CEO of S&P Down Jones Indices, hosted externs in the beautiful 55 Water Street offices of S&P Global. Matturi, also the Founding Board Member of the Index Industry Association, provided students with an overview of financial indices, global indexing trends, the role of intellectual property licensing at S&P Dow Jones Indices, and a summary of his fascinating career path in asset management and the index industry.

In late January, Eileen Millett L’74, a Partner at Phillips Nizer, served as a guest lecturer for the NYCEx program, summarizing for the students the history and development of environmental law. Millett—a former general counsel in the Interstate Environmental Commission and former Staff Counsel to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation—then joined the students at the NYSBA Constance Baker Motley Diversity and Inclusion Symposium, where Director of Externship Programs Kim Wolf Price L’03 served as a panelist and conversation moderator. Millett and the externs also attended the Diversity in the Bar reception after the symposium.

The Central New York Externship Program (NYEx) spans from the cities of Rochester to Binghamton. These externs heard from Syracuse-based Michelle Billington L’13, Environmental Law Associate Attorney at Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, who spoke to the NYEx students about both her career in environmental law and the planning and effort that goes into developing a rewarding legal career. Paul Lyons L'09, an Associate at Bottar Law PLLC, discussed his practice in medical malpractice and personal injury law. He also talked with them about developing practical skills as a young attorney and about "finding your own voice".

Students Make Veterans Legal Clinic Presentation to Onondaga County Legislators

2L Joshua Caron, 3L Chris Genrich, Veterans Legal Clinic Director Yelena Duterte, Clinic Fellow Chantal Wentworth-Mullen

College of Law students 3L Chris Genrich and 2L Joshua Caron recently discussed the impact that the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic has made on the area’s veteran population to the Onondaga County Legislature. Onondaga County provided the Clinic with $50,000 of funding in 2018 to provide free legal representation in VA applications and appeals and disability upgrade applications. The Clinic has also added Chantal Wentworth-Mullen as a Fellow of the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic a result of the funding from NY State, Onondaga County, and Oneida County.

Both Genrich and Caron are veterans (Army and Air Force, respectively), and Genrich will serve in Army JAG Corps upon graduation. 

The Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic is staffed by 19 College of Law students in the Spring 2018 session who have 90 active cases. 

Further, the College of Law will host its spring VALOR Day event on Saturday, March 3rd from 9am - 1pm where local attorneys, financial advisors, and a career services representative will be providing free legal, tax preparation, financial, career and counseling services for veterans, active duty service members and their immediate families at Dineen Hall.

Michael A. Schwartz Awarded Grant to Study Access to Justice for Deaf People in Northern Ireland

Michael Schwartz

Associate Professor of Law Michael A. Schwartz has been awarded a grant of more than $200,000 to explore access to justice for deaf people, working in collaboration with the British Deaf Association, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Rowan University, NJ. This grant is part of approximately $1.5 million awarded to 10 research and pilot projects across the United Kingdom. The funding has been granted as part of the Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) program, led by disabled people and funded by the UK's Big Lottery Fund.

Schwartz is one of the principal researchers for the research initiative and will work on gathering, analyzing, and writing up the data. "While studying access to health care for deaf people in Northern Ireland as part of my 2015 Fulbright research project at Queen's University Belfast, I noticed a number of complaints about access to offices of solicitors and barristers where these professionals of the law refused to provide their deaf clients with a sign language interpreter," explains Schwartz. 

He says he realized this implicated Article 13 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995, Northern Ireland's domestic anti-discrimination law. "This realization served as the genesis for the movement, ultimately successful, to obtain funding to study and remedy the problem of effective communication and access to justice in Northern Ireland," Schwartz adds.

"The success of the process surrounding DRILL was the critical fact that the research was driven, identified, and delivered through our leadership and expertise for the first time at both a regional and national level," explains Tony O'Reilly, Northern Ireland DRILL National Advisory Group member. "Disabled people were the academics and the community and human rights activists at the heart of this innovative. We were not simply the subject of research but genuine equal partners in designing and delivering meaningful research outcomes to affect real change today.

Launched in 2015, DRILL is fully funded by the UK's Big Lottery Fund and delivered by Disability Action Northern Ireland, Disability Rights UK, Inclusion Scotland, and Disability Wales. DRILL is funding more than 30 research and pilot projects over a five-year period, all led by disabled people.  

NYSTAR Re-Designates the College of Law's Technology Commercialization Law Program as the New York State Science and Technology Law Center


Empire State Development's Division of Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR) has re-designated Syracuse University College of Law's Technology Commercialization Law Program (TCLP) as the New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYSSTLC, or Law Center). Having served as the NYSTAR Law Center for four consecutive, three-year terms, TCLP's faculty and students will continue to support the state's economic development by helping entrepreneurs determine prospects for the success of new and emerging technology in the marketplace.  

The re-designation of the Law Center is a testament to the exceptional experience in technology commercialization strategy, intellectual property assessment, patent landscaping, technology licensing, R&D, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship education of the College of Law's technology commercialization and intellectual property faculty, led by Law Center Director M. Jack Rudnick and Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh. Supplementing this expertise is TCLP's cornerstone Technology Commercialization Research Center (LAW 815). Now in its 25th year, the Research Center allows students from the College and across campus to work with entrepreneurs, companies, universities and research centers throughout the state.

"I am extremely pleased that NYSTAR has granted the College of Law the coveted designation as the only New York State Science and Technology Commercialization Law Center (NYSSTLC)," says Craig M. Boise, Dean, Syracuse University College of Law. "NYSTAR's action is an explicit recognition of our faculty's strength in this area, as well as our students' hard work and creativity. Coupled with the College of Law's TCLP, NYSSTLC allows us to partner with industries across New York, to support economic development in the state, and to provide a law curriculum that is rich in hands-on, practical experience. Our innovative research and teaching in this area are—and will continue to be—attractive to prospective students interested in pursuing both traditional and non-traditional legal careers in the dynamic field of technology commercialization."

"Our network of NYSTAR-supported centers is crucial to New York State's innovation economy, providing assistance that helps companies transform concepts into realities," says Empire State Development President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. "The Science and Technology Law Center continues to offer unparalleled research and legal solutions for a range of businesses and sectors, and I congratulate the College of Law's faculty and students on their re-designation."

"We are excited and pleased to have been re-designated as the NYSSTLC. I believe the re-designation recognizes the unique skills and growth of TCLP staff, students, and researchers who do the work," says Rudnick. "Since 2004, we have earned an excellent reputation for helping startups, and I am not aware of any similar program or capability anywhere in New York State."

Since its initial NYSSTLC designation in 2004, the Law Center has accumulated an extensive body of research, educational materials, consulting services, high-quality academic offerings, and information forums-including conferences, webcasts, newsletters, and guidebooks-that promote economic growth in the state by helping to transform research and technology into business. 

Among services that the Law Center will continue to provide on behalf of NYSTAR, faculty and students will help to increase awareness and understanding of legal issues in commercialization, such as intellectual property protection; technology transfer; patents, copyrights, and trademarks; and licensing agreements. They also will advise state centers for advanced technology, centers of excellence, incubators, innovation hot spots, regional manufacturing extension partnership centers, and others on technology-related legal issues. 

The SU Law Center has expanded its services over the last five years to keep pace with the growth of tech startups in the state. During the most recent designation, NYSSTLC completed approximately 150 research projects at an average rate of 50 projects a year. According to Rudnick, the Law Center takes in clients from all over New York State seeking the assistance of the Law Center, Syracuse University's extended Innovation Ecosystem, and other organizations dedicated to tech startups. 

"Whether tech startup assistance is provided in Syracuse or some other region of the state, NYSSTLC often is involved," says Rudnick. "Our program also reaches out across the University's Innovation Ecosystem to engage the campus's tech startup community wherever possible. For instance, the Law Center has a long-standing relationship with Whitman's Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises program, and its students work as part of our teams. We have helped many entrepreneurs looking to develop their business and students looking to launch their careers, and we intend to continue."

Rudnick says his plans for the future are optimistic and expansive. "We are developing a special curriculum for non-legal students, offering transition services for individuals who want to make the move themselves from the lab to the market," he says. "Moreover, we plan to invigorate the network of tech commercialization clinics around the state, and we will expand our very popular guidebook series, adding more issues on topics relevant to innovation."

William C. Banks Expertise in Demand as FISA Court Remains in the News

William C. Banks

William C. Banks, Director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), has long studied the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the FISA Court (or FISC), which was established under FISA in 1978. The FISA Court oversees requests, often by the FBI, for warrants to surveil foreign intelligence agents and, occasionally, US persons suspected of working with foreign agents.  

One such US person is former advisor to President Donald Trump, Carter Page, who is alleged to have long worked with Russia intelligence operatives and may have been under FISA warrant surveillance as early as 2014. The FISA warrants against Page, and the intelligence used to apply for those warrants, are in the national spotlight thanks to a memo largely written by Devin Nunes, Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, alleging that the FBI misled the FISA Court as to the partisan political nature of some of that intelligence. 

Media outlets, including The New York Times and WIRED, reached out to Banks to gauge his opinion on the Nunes allegations, to explain how the FISA process works, and to understand what this controversy means for the Trump presidency and the US intelligence community. 

House intelligence committee votes to release Democrats' intel memo (CNY Central | Feb. 5, 2018)

The fact that any of the information about the FISA order against Carter Page came out to begin with is "extraordinary," said William Banks, director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University.

"It's unfortunate that anything came out. It damaged the intelligence community and the Department of Justice and the FBI," he said. But he still supports the release of the Democratic memo in order to "balance the record."

Banks continued, "I think the intelligence community is completely aghast and abhors what's going on here, whether it's coming from the Democrats or the Republicans."

Devin Nunes Promises ‘Phase Two’ of Investigation (Bloomberg Radio | Feb. 5, 2018) 

William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses the so-called Nunes memo, which president Trump said over the weekend "totally" vindicated him of any collusion with Russia or obstruction of justice in special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation. 

Reading Between the Lines of the Devin Nunes Memo (WIRED | Feb. 2, 2018)

… “The dossier and Steele and all that—it’s cherrypicking a piece of what was probably a 50, or 60, or 100 page application,” says William C. Banks, founder of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University College of Law ...

How to Get a Wiretap to Spy on Americans, and Why That Matters Now (The New York Times | Jan. 30, 2018)

William C. Banks, a Syracuse University law professor who has studied the FISA Court, said that without reviewing all the documents involved in the surveillance request, it was impossible to judge the importance of how Mr. Steele was described. But he emphasized that the government had broad leeway in seeking FISA warrants.

“Carter Page was doing business in Russia, talking to Russian diplomats who may have been involved in intelligence activities directed at the United States,” Mr. Banks said. “Game over. The standards are incredibly open-ended”  …

Communications Daily Speaks to Shubha Ghosh About 4th Circuit’s Cox Torrent Piracy Ruling

Shubha Ghosh

4th Circuit’s Cox Torrent Piracy Ruling Not Seen Clearing Up Hazy DMCA Areas

(Communications Daily/Warren Communications | Feb. 2, 2018) The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday largely upholding a finding that Cox Communications was liable for willful contributory copyright infringement by ISP subscribers left unanswered questions about Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor issues, experts told us. 

The lower court and appellate rulings give some guidance on issues like what constitutes repeat infringement, though not as much as many hoped, said IP lawyer Rick Sanders of Aaron Sanders. About the only thing clear for ISPs is to make sure they follow their policies—something Cox was blasted for not doing, said Public Knowledge Senior Counsel John Bergmayer.

Cox said it was “pleased” with the 4th Circuit’s docket 16-1972 decision, which reaffirmed a lower court’s denial of a safe harbor defense for the cable operator and remanded the case for a new trial because of jury instruction errors. BMG didn’t comment ...

... Much of the new decision focused on a 2009 email from an executive overseeing the team that addressed subscriber violations, indicating the company’s “unwritten semi-policy” was to terminate customers for DMCA violations, then reactivate them with a clean slate. That “was odd and disturbing” and likely hard for Cox to shake off, said Syracuse University Technology Commercialization Law Center-Director Shubha Ghosh ...

Read the 4th Circuit ruling here.

"Cherrypicking": William C. Banks Weighs in on the Nunes Memo in WIRED

William C. Banks


(WIRED | Feb. 2, 2018) AFTER WEEKS OF Twitter users demanding Congress #ReleaseTheMemo, the House Intelligence Committee—chaired by Republican Devin Nunes— disclosed the contentious four-page report to the public Friday, after President Donald Trump signed off on its release. And while, as expected, the document alleges that federal law enforcement officials abused their surveillance powers in investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, national security experts see something very different. In fact, they see almost nothing at all—or at least not enough to make any definitive judgement calls.

As had been rumored, the memo details supposedly improper actions by law enforcement officials in seeking a warrant to wiretap Carter Page, one of Trump's campaign advisors. But understanding what the memo says—and, critically, doesn't say—requires familiarity with the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which governs requests made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, better known as FISA. Those who know the law best say the memo is largely bunk ...

... "The dossier and Steele and all that—it’s cherrypicking a piece of what was probably a 50, or 60, or 100 page application,” says William C. Banks, founder of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University College of Law

FISA applications also have to go through an in-depth protocol known as the "Woods Procedure," during which the intelligence community needs to verify every single fact. For example, if the application says a person was on a specific train at a specific time, the agent would need to show Department of Justice lawyers how they found out that information. There are other oversight mechanisms as well. For example, applications need to be first certified by the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI, as well as the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, or Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division. In other words, FISA warrants are reviewed at the highest levels, which is part of the reason Nunes' allegations are so explosive—they implicate multiple parties at the very top of the US intelligence apparatus ...

... "I can't recall any instance in 40 years when there's been a partisan leaning of a FISA court judge when their opinions have been released," says Banks ...

To read the full article, click here.

Distinguished Guest Lecturer Kurt Wimmer L’85 Discusses Data Security and Privacy Law with DCEx Students

Wimmer speaks at DC Externship

On Monday, January 29th, the spring D.C. Externship Program participants had the opportunity to hear from Distinguished Guest Lecturer Kurt Wimmer L’85 who currently serves as a senior partner at Covington & Burling LLP. 

During the seminar, Wimmer described his path from Syracuse University College of Law to Covington and how his experiences in law school and beyond shaped his career. He encouraged participants to take chances on career opportunities that may place themselves outside of their comfort zone because of the incredible places it may take them. With this advice, he also discussed his work in data privacy, the First Amendment, and cybersecurity.

While at Covington, Wimmer recognized the field of cybersecurity would become increasingly imperative in the boom of the technological industry. By recognizing this early on, he was able to help his clients have an advantage on cybersecurity tools. Over time, disclosure prevention and containment became Wimmer’s primary focus with a client list that includes; Facebook, the National Football League, Microsoft, the National Hockey League, Samsung, and CBS. Today, Wimmer remains a leader in data security and privacy law. 

College of Law Celebrates Pro Bono Week

Annual Pro Bono Week

The College of Law’s Pro Bono Advisory Board held its annual Pro Bono Week from January 29 to February 2. During the week, the Advisory Board held a panel discussion, pro bono fair, and conducted an educational campaign about pro bono service.

The panel discussion featured five Syracuse-area attorneys who are leaders in pro bono service. They discussed the importance of pro bono work to the community, to employers and the student’s personal and professional development. The panelists included: Liz Conger (Legal Services of CNY), Gregory Dewan (Hiscock Legal Aid Society), Jillian McGuire (Mackenzie Hughes), Samantha Aguam (Volunteer Lawyers Project), and Colleen Gibbons L’17 (Bousquet Holstein).

The student-run Pro Bono Advisory Board hosted a “Pro Bono Fair” to showcase 13 local pro bono opportunities, offered with the help of Volunteer Lawyers Project, Hiscock Legal Aid Society, and Legal Services of CNY.

In addition, an eye-catching educational campaign was prominently displayed on the College’s video message boards to further deliver the message of the importance of pro bono work.

Men's Health Magazine "Texts" Nina Kohn

Nina Kohn
Associate Dean for Research and Online Education and David M. Levy L'48 Professor of Law Nina Kohn was recently contacted by Men's Health magazine for its light-hearted but useful "Text a Lawyer" section. The question was about slip-and-falls on a person's property, an appropriate subject for a Syracuse law expert in the middle of winter ...

Text a Lawyer 

(January/February 2018)

Q: A guy just slipped on an ice patch 1n my drive­way. What do I do? 

A: Is he hurt? If so, take rea­sonable measures to help. It's the right thing and can protect you from liability. And if you're kind and fair, people are less likely to sue.

Q: Me again. Made sure he was okay. He banged his elbow. Maybe his back. Seems fine. Can he sue? 

A: Yes, but that doesn't mean he can win. Did you do something to cause the ice? Or was it hidden from view? 

Q: Nope, and nope. I got his number. Should I text him and say I'm sorry? 

A: Don't admit fault. Sounds like you're okay. You acted reasonably and doing the right thing is legally smart. And use salt next time, okay

The Founders, Co-Edited by David M. Crane, Charts the Creation of the World's First International Tribunals

Crane Founders Book

Never before have international chief prosecutors written in detail about the challenges they faced, but with the publication of The Founders—co-edited by David M. Crane L'80, Professor of Practice, Syracuse University College of Law; Leila Sadat of Washington University School of Law, St Louis, MO; and Michael P. Scharf of Case Western Reserve University School of Law, OH—comes the complex story of four individuals who created the world's first international tribunals and special courts.

A candid look at how the founding prosecutors sought justice for millions of victims, the backdrop to these tales are four of the most appalling conflicts of modern times: the Balkan wars in the former Yugoslavia (1991-2001), which included the Bosnian genocide and led to hundreds of thousands of casualties and displaced peoples; the 1994 mass slaughter of Tutsi in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority government; the Cambodian genocide (1975-1979), perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge; and crimes against humanity committed during the Sierra Leone Civil War (1991-2002). The crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during these conflicts spurred the creation of international tribunals designed to bring the perpetrators of unimaginable atrocities to justice. 

When Richard Goldstone, David M. Crane, Robert Petit, and Luis Moreno-Ocampo received their orders from the international community, each set out on a quest to build unique postconflict justice mechanisms and launch their first prosecutions. South African jurist Goldstone founded the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which indicted 161 individuals between 1997 and 2004. Crane was the Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2002 until 2005, indicting, among others, then-President of Liberia Charles Taylor for his role in crimes committed against Sierra Leoneans. (Incidentally, Crane was the first American to be named the chief prosecutor of an international war crimes tribunal since Justice Robert Jackson at Nuremberg, Germany, in 1945.)  The founder of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia was Canadian Robert Petit, who led the investigation and prosecution of five of the senior-most leaders of the Khmer Rouge. Lastly, Argentinian lawyer Luis Moreno-Ocampo is most famous for becoming the first Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. During his tenure, which began in 2003, Moreno-Ocampo opened investigations into crimes committed in Burundi, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Uganda, and Georgia. 

"As we worked on this book it occurred to me the extraordinary professional and personal risk we took in establishing these ground-breaking justice mechanisms. We all had successful careers when we literally received 'the call' asking us to stop our life trajectory and to take on a task with absolutely no certainty of success," says Crane, who continues to work on humanitarian and atrocity law issues at Syracuse University College of Law, including with the student-run Syrian Accountability Project. "We were in unchartered waters, yet we were drawn to the possibility of bringing justice to victims of horrific acts. This we did, and we took up the flaming sword of justice. It was an honor and a privilege to be asked to found these international courts."

With no blueprint and little precedent, each prosecutor became a pathfinder. The Founders offers behind-the-scenes, first-hand stories of these historic journeys, the challenges the prosecutors faced, the obstacles they overcame, and the successes they achieved. Contributions are made by the founders themselves, as well as former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Hans Corell, Leila Nadya Sadat, Michael Scharf, William Schabas, and David Scheffer. 

The Founders: Four Pioneering Individuals Who Launched the First Modern-Era International Criminal Tribunals
Edited by David M. Crane, Professor of Practice, Syracuse University College of Law; Leila Sadat, James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law, Washington University School of Law, St Louis, MO; and Michael P. Scharf, Dean, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, OH
Cambridge University Press, 2018
ISBN: 9781108439510

Table of Contents

Foreword: Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General

Part I. Putting It All in Context (Introduction: Hans Corell)

1. International Criminal Justice: The Journey from Politics to Law (Leila Nadya Sadat)

2. The Cornerstone: Robert H. Jackson and the Nuremberg Tribunal (Michael Scharf)

3. The Balkan Investigation (William Schabas)

Part II. The Founders

4. The International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (Richard Goldstone)

5. The Special Court for Sierra Leone (David M. Crane)

6. The International Criminal Court (Luis Moreno Ocampo)

7. Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (Robert Petit)

Part III. The Take Aways

8. Closing Perspectives (David Scheffer)

For This Fashion Technology Company, the Technology Commercialization Research Center is a Perfect Fit

Law Lab Meeting

It is evident when sitting in on a meeting of the College of Law’s Technology Commercialization Research Center (LAW 815) that there’s a reciprocal relationship between clients seeking help from student researchers in order to commercialize a new technology and students who are accumulating critical experience in intellectual property assessment, patent protection, market landscaping, and other commercialization matters. 

Certainly, this was the case when the Research Center team met with entrepreneur Andrea Madho and software engineer Philip Manning G’98 in Dineen Hall on Jan. 16, 2018, to learn about a semester-long project the students will be conducting on behalf of Madho’s and Manning’s start-up fashion technology company, Lab141.

Now in its 25th year, the Research Center allows students from the College of Law and across campus to work on technology commercialization projects with entrepreneurs, companies, universities, and research centers from across New York State and to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world technology projects. This Research Center group is led by College of Law Adjunct Professor Dean Bell G’72, a former R&D engineer for 41 years at medical technology firm Welch Allyn who has been awarded nine US patents. Bell describes himself as the “coach” of the group of eight. His “quarterbacks” for the Lab141 project are Technology Commercialization Law Program (TCLP) senior research associates and 3Ls Annie Millar and Nick Jacobs, who is a joint J.D./M.B.A student.

Although Madho is a client rather than a teacher, her approach showed that she was eager to share her years of experience in business development, marketing, and strategic and financial consulting with the young researchers. As she told the students, “All my skills in public relations, technology, and raising money, I'm now using myself as an entrepreneur."

The same is true for Madho’s skills in pitching an idea. At the core of this kick-off session was a deft, 10-slide “pitch deck” that she has been using to describe the idea behind Lab141 to stakeholders. Madho’s presentation begins with an honest description of her own travails finding clothes, especially designer and professional clothes, to fit her “short, plus-sized, high-waisted body type.” 

As Madho explained, “Both men and women have problems finding clothes to fit. Even men have told me they are too short, too tall, too big, too lopsided, or their arms too long for off-the-rack clothes.” Because “regular” height, as far as women’s clothing is concerned, is 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 8 inches, most women are considered “specialty size,” with 67% of women deemed plus-sized and 56% either "tall" or "petite". Today, the ubiquitous dress size code that goes from 0 to 14 is so arbitrary as to be meaningless, observed Madho. “We want to have no sizes ever!”

But whereas men at least can get suits and shirts made-to-measure at a traditional tailor, non-regular-sized women have few options when it comes to the designer and professional clothes market. Lab141’s solution is to offer advanced, technology-based manufacturing so that designers, retailers, and brands can offer ready-to-wear, made-to-measure garments direct to the consumer. As the company’s tag-line states, Lab141 offers consumers “luxury made-to-fit clothes in 48 hours.” 

"Rather than create a brand for a certain body type,” explained Madho, “we chose to tackle made-to-measure clothes from a technological standpoint." It’s then that Madho stands up, in order to show—rather than tell—the students what she means. She is wearing a wrap dress designed by their alpha customer that fits her perfectly. That’s because, she explained, it has been measured, mapped, and cut to her exact body measurements and fit preferences.

Her dress and a description of how it was fitted can been found on Lab141’s website. That site will be where consumers can purchase new designer clothes offered in a made-to-fit format. Madho says Lab141 plans to initially offer one designer piece per week. Because of the fast turnaround, a consumer sends in a slate of specific measurements first and then Lab141 uses those measurements to cut the dress to order, having already received patterns and fabric from the designer at the company’s Syracuse, NY, manufacturing location. After the order is fulfilled, the consumer can buy their purchase from the website. 

To buy a bespoke item, Madho says the consumer can measure herself with a good old fashioned tape measure, or use an online measuring app, or purchase Lab141's proprietary Fiteema system, a wearable measuring garment that Lab141 also will sell on its website. The brainchild of Manning, a former software engineer for Procter & Gamble, Fiteema uses embedded technology to measure many parts of the body useful for fitting clothes, such as neckline, waist position, slope of the shoulder, curve of the back, and so on. “Fitting and cutting clothes is all about Bezier curves and mapping the body,” Madho observed. “There's a lot of math and science involved in 'redimensioning' clothes to fit a body exactly."

Lab141’s technological approach to clothes manufacturing offers many advantages for designers who partner with Madho and Manning. They include access to a lucrative market of consumers of all body types, a more transparent supply chain, reduced inventory, and digital, analytical reports about fit and preference that can be shared with designers. All in all, explained Madho, Lab141 offers a better way for clothes designers to make money from an untapped market in an industry in which margins are small. 

For their part, this cohort of LAW 815 students will perform several important business startup tasks for Lab141 as it continues to assess its chances of success in a competitive market. “We will offer a patent landscape, competitor analysis, market landscape, and trademark review,” explained Annie Millar. “The last one will be interesting because there's been a number of design trademark issues in the clothing industry in the last year.” 

“Working with clients such as Madho and Manning provides the TCLP students with a unique and exceptional experiential learning opportunity,” notes Bell. “This research experience and knowledge of entrepreneurship and tech commercialization often translates into successful careers. The clients benefit from unbiased, independent, thorough research and assessment of an emerging invention by very talented, multidiscipline students.”

Lab141 joins a long list of clients who have benefitted from the industriousness and skill of Research Center students in the last 25 years. That list includes projects on behalf of medical device, green building, and biotechnology companies and emerging technologies as varied as microelectromechanical systems, silicon membranes, smart windows, and the handling of metadata. In fact, TCLP—which in addition to the Research Center also directs the NYSTAR-designated New York State Science and Technology Law Center—has expanded its services over the last five years to keep pace with the growth of tech startups in the state. 

Robin Paul Malloy Publishes Land Use and Zoning Casebook

Malloy Land Use Casebook

E.I. White Chair and Distinguished Professor of Law and Kauffman Professor of Entreprenuership and Innovation Robin Paul Malloy has published Land Use and Zoning Law: Planning for Accessible Communities (Carolina Academic Press), the first land use and zoning law casebook to comprehensively integrate issues of accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The casebook systematically addresses the complexities of aging in place and of disability in the context of local land regulation. This integrated approach is important, explains Malloy, because as many as 30% of American families have a family member with a mobility impairment and because mobility impairments increase with age.   

"Making communities accessible requires attention to design, planning, and zoning," writes Malloy. "We not only need to remove physical barriers to access, we need to address the coordination of permissible uses, including the location of such uses as group homes, senior housing, drug rehabilitation centers, and medical marijuana dispensaries." 

Malloy notes that as these uses often raise conflicts with current property owners, consequently discussions of accessibility must go beyond design matters and focus on the coordination of uses within a community.

Land Use and Zoning Law: Planning for Accessible Communities
Robin Paul Malloy
Carolina Academic Press, 2018.
476 pp
ISBN 978-1-61163-784-7
eISBN 978-1-53100-866-6

"Game Over": William C. Banks Discusses FISA, Wiretapping, & Carter Page With The New York Times

William C. Banks

How to Get a Wiretap to Spy on Americans, and Why That Matters Now

(The New York Times | Jan. 30, 2018) A fight over a classified memo written by Republican staffers on the House Intelligence Committee, which portrays as scandal-draped the early stages of the Justice Department investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia, is heightening interest in legal issues about intelligence wiretap applications.

On Monday, the committee, which is led by Representative Devin Nunes of California, voted along party lines to set in motion a process to soon make the memo public under an obscure House rule, while rejecting a request to simultaneously disseminate a rebuttal memo produced by the committee’s Democrats.

According to people who have read it, the Republicans’ memo describes what they portray as an abuse of government surveillance powers. It centers on a classified wiretap application the government submitted to a judge in the fall of 2016 that targeted Carter Page, a onetime Trump campaign official who had traveled to Russia in July 2016 and was preparing to return there that December, along with renewal applications.

What is a FISA wiretap?

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, signed into law in 1978, requires the government, when eavesdropping on communications on domestic soil for national security purposes, to obtain permission from a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The judge must agree that the target is probably an agent of a foreign power and will probably use the specific email accounts or phone numbers that the Justice Department wants to wiretap ...

... David Kris, who ran the Justice Department’s National Security Division early in the Obama administration and helped write a book about FISA, says that when the department submits material from sources to the court, “it should also include information that would cast material doubt on their credibility — sources often come with bias or baggage of one sort or another.”

But, he said, “there is no requirement for elaborate accounting: Courts routinely accept and uphold affidavits that generally describe a source’s shortcomings” without every specific detail.

William C. Banks, a Syracuse University law professor who has studied the FISA Court, said that without reviewing all the documents involved in the surveillance request, it was impossible to judge the importance of how Mr. Steele was described. But he emphasized that the government had broad leeway in seeking FISA warrants.

“Carter Page was doing business in Russia, talking to Russian diplomats who may have been involved in intelligence activities directed at the United States,” Mr. Banks said. “Game over. The standards are incredibly open-ended" ...

To read the full article, click here

3L Kimberly Grinberg Prepares for an International Conference on US-Mexico Drug Policy

3L Kimberly Grinberg Prepares for an International Conference on US-Mexico Drug Policy

Third-year law students are busy enough in the spring semester, preparing for final exams, studying for the bar exam, lining up job interviews, and looking ahead to Commencement. But in the middle of this crowded schedule, 3L Kimberly Grinberg, a joint J.D./M.A.I.R. candidate, is preparing for a major international conference on US/Mexico drug policy, treaties, and cross-border security in San Diego, CA. There, she will rub shoulders with reporters from The Washington Post and The New York Times, representatives of major think tanks, and officials from the US, Mexico, and the state of California.

"National security and drug policy are very important areas of law," observes Grinberg. "This conference focuses on re-examining security strategies between the US and Mexico in the context of increasing violence in Mexico and persistent drug use in the US."

The conference-Rethinking the War on Drugs and US-Mexico Security Cooperation-will take place on Feb. 9, 2018, at the Center for US-Mexican Studies at the University of California-San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. Among the experts who will be evaluating the status of cross-border security cooperation and proposing solutions for policymakers will be former Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Professor Rafael Fernández de Castro, now at UC-San Diego; Dan Restrepo, Former White House Advisor on Latin America; and two former directors of the Mexican intelligence agency. 

Grinberg has been invited to speak on the roundtable "Latin American Drug Markets and the US Opioid Addiction Crisis" with Joshua Partlow of The Washington Post; José Díaz Briseño of Mexican newspaper Reforma; Gretchen Burns-Bergman of Moms United to End the War on Drugs; and Cecilia Farfán Méndez of UC-San Diego. "I have been asked to discuss, specifically, the relationship between Mexico's drug markets and the current US opioid crisis from a legal perspective."

If it seems as though Grinberg is ahead of the curve when it comes to her chosen area of interest and her career plans, that is because she has been examining drug policy since she started college. "This was the direction I wanted to go in," she recalls. "In college, I started a chapter of Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, where I focused on public education efforts surrounding drug-related issues." 

At the Maxwell School, Fernández de Castro nurtured Grinberg's commitment to strategizing solutions to the world drug problem and eventually invited her to the San Diego conference. As a law student, Grinberg was mentored by Associate Professor of Law Tara Helfman. "My College of Law experience was a primary reason I was invited," Grinberg continues. "While interning at the US Attorney's Office, I worked on narcotics prosecutions. As a student defense attorney, I represented clients accused of drug crimes in the in-house clinic. I also completed an internship at the International Drug Policy Consortium, a London-based NGO network during my 2L summer." 

These hands-on experiences have given Grinberg the knowledge base to share the stage with other experts, publish articles on federal and international drug policy, and present to local government officials on medical marijuana regulation in the context of zoning laws. 

It should come as no surprise that Grinberg is in high demand in the job market. She already has an offer from the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office to work as an Assistant Prosecutor, and Helfman has encouraged her to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship, to continue her studies at the University of London-Queen Mary College. 

"At job interviews, I am always asked what the solution is to the world drug problem," explains Grinberg. She says that she is in no position to posit a single theory that will solve the issue. "But I do know that international drug control suffers when it is informed by myths and fear."

Grinberg says that currently the global focus is on interdiction efforts, which sacrifices the benefits that a public health-based approach could bring to the problem. "Persons who use drugs deserve policies that will support their existence and rights. During interviews, I state that I think the best way to begin to address the harms related to drug misuse is to interrogate the current policies critically and look at evidence-based solutions rather than fear-based ones." 

“An Amorphous Concept”: William C. Banks Weighs In on Executive Privilege in The Washington Times

William Banks

(From the The Washington Times | Jan. 25, 2018) The White House’s increasingly aggressive threat to invoke executive privilege to keep current and former aides from answering questions in the competing Russian election meddling probes could work in the short term but set up President Trump for some bigger headaches down the road.

While a constitutional battle over what advice and conversations a president can effectively wall off may delay congressional probes and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in the short term, legal analysts warn that the strategy risks dragging the toxic politics of the controversy into the heart of the midterm elections, which are just 10 months away.

With Mr. Mueller’s investigation, particularly, inching ever closer to a confrontation with Mr. Trump, legal scholars are divided over how Mr. Mueller may try to counter a potential White House claim of executive privilege and how quickly the courts can mediate any disputes.

“Executive privilege is an amorphous concept,” said William Banks, a professor at the Syracuse University College of Law and a former special counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It has never been tested the way it could soon be tested.”

The two sides will clash if Mr. Mueller moves to subpoena testimony from the president or if Mr. Trump voluntarily agrees to an interview — a development that could happen as early as next month.

Executive privilege protects the confidentiality of presidential decision-making by allowing the president, and at times his staff, to keep certain information from the courts, Congress and the public. The concept is not mentioned in the Constitution, but since the presidency of George Washington the concept has emerged from the founders’ doctrine of a separation of powers giving the executive, legislative and judicial branches their separate spheres ... MORE

DCEx Spring Semester Kicks Off with Distinguished Guest Lecturer Tara Helfman Speaking on Her Role at the Department of Justice

DCEx Spring Semester Kicks Off with Distinguished Guest Lecturer Tara Helfman Speaking on Her Role at the DoJ

Kicking off the Spring 2018 semester, the Syracuse Law DC Externship Program (DCEx) held its first seminar with Distinguished Guest Lecturer and College of Law Associate Professor Tara Helfman at the US Department of Justice, where she currently serves as Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. During the seminar, students also heard from Sean Keveney, acting Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Section, where he described his role as a litigator for the Department of Justice.

The session with Helfman and Keveney concluded with a brief Q&A session in the Civil Rights Division Conference Room, a historic space that once served as the personal office of former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Students asked Keveney about his recent case that was highlighted in a Rolling Stone article and about Helfman’s path to a career in public service. Helfman discussed what she hopes to accomplish during the term of her appointment, and the challenges she has faced thus far working on issues that are frequently at the center of our nation’s most important political and cultural controversies. She explained how the principles of professionalism, service, and commitment to the rule of law have guided her and her colleagues in the Civil Rights Division. The Division is charged with enforcing the Constitution and federal civil rights laws to protect all Americans from discrimination and bias. 

Concluding the seminar, the participants enjoyed a private tour of the Robert F. Kennedy Main Building. During the tour, students encountered the history of the justice department through its art and architecture, which are rich in symbolism and ideals. Helfman spoke about the significance of these ideals for DOJ attorneys and staff, emphasizing that while policy may change principles do not. 

William C. Banks Updates Bloomberg on Jeff Sessions Meeting with Robert Mueller

William Banks

William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. This week, reports emerged that prosecutors working for Mueller spoke with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, making him the first Trump cabinet official to be interviewed by Mueller. He speaks with Bloomberg’s June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s "Politics, Policy, Power and Law."

Kim Wolf Price to Participate in NYSBA’s 2018 Diversity and Inclusion Symposium

Kim Wold Price

Kim Wolf Price, Director of Externship Programs, will participate in the New York State Bar Association’s 2018 Constance Baker Motley Symposium, held during the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion’s Annual Meeting on Jan. 22, 2018, in New York City.

Joining Wolf Price on the panel will be former NYSBA Diversity Trailblazer Awardees Tracy Richelle High and Christopher Auguste, as well as Gennaro Savastano, President of Le-GaL (the LGBT Bar of Greater New York). The Symposium will be moderated by Sandra Buchanan, Chair of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

The College of Law’s NYCEx students also will attend the symposium and the 2018 Diversity Trailblazer Award Ceremony and Diversity Reception.

NYCEx Kicks-off Inaugural Semester with Distinguished Guest Lecturer Richard M. Jones L’95

Richard M. Jones L'95

On Jan. 10, 2018, the Syracuse College of Law Spring 2018 NYCEx Program externs met with Richard M. Jones L'95, a retired non-commissioned officer in the US Army, College of Law Honors Graduate, and current Senior Vice President, General Tax Counsel, and Chief Veteran Officer for CBS Corporation.

The externs heard advice that will not only help them with their future careers as attorneys but with their lives as well. Jones's advice to the students in large part highlighted the life and many failures of President Abraham Lincoln. He spoke on the importance of never giving up and how failures end up being a large part of our success. He focused on what the externs could do to become better attorneys and how they should always strive to be better. Jones also answered questions regarding the transition from military life to civilian life as well as creating work-life balance. 

The externs also heard from Justin Constantine, a retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel and a Georgetown University-educated lawyer who sustained a gunshot wound to the head and survived while serving in Iraq. Constantine is currently a motivational speaker, and the externs said they were very inspired by his story and his advice. He reminded the students that everyone is going through a struggle that you may not know about and it is important to be mindful of that. He also spoke about importance of good communication and of giving people an outlet in order to speak their mind. 

—Alexandra Daniels 3L

Shubha Ghosh Joins Amicus Brief in California Copyright Case Brought by The Turtles

Shubha Ghosh

Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh has joined an amici curiae brief filed with the Supreme Court of the State of California addressing a copyright case brought by members of the 1960s rock group The Turtles. The brief is led by the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, with Ghosh joining other scholars "who research, write, or teach about intellectual property and its intersections with free expression.” 

As David Oxenford describes in his summary of the case, Flo & Eddie—two performers in The Turtles—originally brought lawsuits in 2013 against streaming music services, such as Sirius XM and Pandora, claiming that there is a state law public performance right in pre-1972 sound recordings and that the band therefore should be compensated for its performances on those services.  

Those pre-1972 recordings are not covered under federal copyright law, so Flo & Eddie brought state law actions to enforce a purported performance right in these recordings, explains Oxenford, even though no such right had been enforced against any music service in the 45 years since federal copyright law began to cover all new US sound recordings.

In California, Flo & Eddie are relying on a general statutory grant of property rights in pre-1972 sound recordings to conclude that this broad grant includes a performance right. The performers filed similar lawsuits in New York and Florida without success. In February 2017, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York accepted a ruling by the state Court of Appeals that New York common law does not protect the public performance of songs made before 1972. In October 2017, the Florida Supreme Court also concluded that the state doesn't recognize any copyrights in pre-1972 music recordings.

“The brief involves this ongoing litigation brought by Flo & Eddie Inc. against streaming music services," says Ghosh. "In 2016, the Court of Appeals of New York held against Flo & Eddie, ruling that state copyright law did not protect their right to public performance. Flo & Eddie brought a concurrent lawsuit in federal court in California on similar issues as in New York. Since the group’s claims raised state law questions, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit certified these state law questions to the California Supreme Court for resolution before a federal suit continues. This practice is standard for complex issues of state and federal law.”

Ghosh explains that The Turtles' claims are based in copyright law, which is properly a matter of federal law. However, the case's central complication continues to be the fact that federal copyright law did not recognize copyright protection for sound recordings until 1972. “Before that date, copyright protection for sound recordings was a matter of state law, which could vary from state to state, and The Turtles’ work being streamed dates before 1972.” The band's most famous 1960s hits include “Happy Together” (1967) and a cover of Bob Dylan's “It Ain't Me Babe” (1965). 

The amici curiae brief examines the narrow legal issue of what exactly are the rights of a copyright owner under state law. “In the federal court litigation in the Ninth Circuit, The Turtles made the argument that they had ‘exclusive ownership’ under state law and were not subject to the details of federal copyright law,” observes Ghosh. “The district court agreed, and now the highest court in California has to examine the state law issues to resolve the question.”

The brief makes the point that the district court adopted too broad a reading of state copyright law. “The court’s reading of state law conflicts with the protections under federal copyright law for free speech and for the promotion of progress in creating new businesses and means of creating and distributing music, such as Pandora and Sirius,” says Ghosh. If the California Supreme Court agrees with the federal court, then Sirius, Pandora, and similar streaming sites could be shut down by the California federal court. “This would create a conflict with the New York ruling and a possible review by the US Supreme Court,” concludes Ghosh. 

Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic Receives $50,000 Grant from New York State to Provide Legal Services to Veterans

Director Yelena Duterte Meets with Students

The College of Law’s Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic has received a $50,000 grant from New York State Division of Veterans Affairs to provide legal services to veterans and their families and to train law students to be advocates for veterans. 

The Clinic also will conduct educational outreach to attorneys in Central New York to broaden the network of legal professionals that can provide specialized pro bono services to veterans. 

“Through the grant, we’ll be able to reach more veterans and their families with access to life-changing services and benefits they have earned. College of Law students receive hands-on practical experience for their legal careers as they become the next generation of legal advocates for veterans,” says Yelena Duterte, Director, Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic, and Associate Teaching Professor. “In addition, by helping practicing attorneys learn how to handle the nuances of veterans law, we are increasing the number of competent attorneys able to assist veterans.”

The Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic provides veterans and their families with free representation in VA applications and appeals and disability upgrade applications. The grant runs through 2018 with an option to renew for two additional years.

Christian C. Day Speaks to The New York Times About the Bitcoin Bubble

Chris Day

Blockchain or Blockheads? Bitcoin Mania Mints Believers and Skeptics

By John Schwartz

(The New York Times | Jan. 12, 2017) Sometimes life shows you what absurd really is. This is one of those times. I’m talking about the phenomenon known as Bitcoin, a monetary system based on computation, complex algorithms and — let’s face it — communal delusion.

You’ve probably heard about this funny money, digital tokens that can be sent securely from computer to computer, with records kept through an online accounting system known as blockchain. (My colleague Nathaniel Popper has been writing great stuff about it.)

Millions of people now have accounts with Coinbase, the leading marketplace for digital currencies. And the rush into the market has helped push prices up. At the beginning of last year, you could pick up a Bitcoin (not literally, because they’re virtual, DUH) for about a thousand bucks. Its gyrations briefly brought its price near $20,000, according to, which tracks such things.

So what’s the problem?

Let me answer that question with a question: What do you know about tulips? Yes, I am referring to the Dutch tulip craze back in the 17th century, and the speculative bubble that preceded the stock market crash of 1929, and the dot-com boom and crash that started in the late 1990s. Remember that last one, when learned analysts told us that advancing technology had eliminated the business cycle?

Good times. No bubble is too big to burst.

But hey, no regrets! Carpe Bitcoin! (But not literally.)

Signs of a bubble seem to be everywhere in the Bitcoin world today. Companies are trying to cash in by sprinkling themselves with a little Bitcoin fairy dust. Take the company called Long Island Iced Tea, which makes, you know, tea. The price of its shares nearly doubled one day last month after it announced that it would change its name to “Long Blockchain Corp.” The company’s announcement claimed it would “pursue opportunities” in blockchain technology. Which makes it sound as if some of those teas they brew are highly caffeinated. Or that people are indulging in that other kind of Long Island Iced Tea.

I called Christian Day, a professor at Syracuse University law school who has written about bubbles and panics. He said that comparing Bitcoin to the tulip craze was unfair to tulips: “The Dutch were not as crazy as they’ve been portrayed.”

For one thing, the tulip bulbs were real, he said, and the hybrids that were the subject of speculation could be extremely valuable. What’s more, much of the trading was done by people who knew their horticulture. With the modern techno-tulips, he said, “I don’t think there’s anything there" ...


"The Foundation of Intelligence Gathering": Bloomberg Discusses FISA Act Extension with William C. Banks

William Banks

William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses the House’s passage of an extension to the Foreign intelligence Surveillance Act, otherwise known as FISA, which has seen unsteady support from the President, who says he now supports the warrantless spying bill. He speaks with Bloomberg’s June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s "Politics, Policy, Power and Law."

Mary Helen McNeal Awarded Grant to Research Restorative Justice for Elder Abuse

Mary Helen McNeal

The Borchard Foundation Center for Law and Aging has awarded Professor Mary Helen McNeal a grant to assist her interdisciplinary research project entitled “Exploring Restorative Justice as a Remedy for Elder Abuse and Exploitation.” 

"The grant will be used to fund a law student Research Assistant, as well as Dr. Maria T. Brown, an Assistant Research Professor in the Aging Studies Institute and faculty member in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics,” explains McNeal. "We will conduct qualitative interviews, produce a summary of relevant literature, and host a presentation of our findings for local services providers and interested University faculty."

This project grows out of an ongoing collaboration between McNeal, Brown, and the Restorative Principles Working Group, a local coalition whose long-term goal is to implement a pilot project in Onondaga County and, potentially, Oswego County, in Central New York.

"Climate Comments" Website Translates Complex Climate Change Policy into Plain Language

Emily Brown

"Climate Comments," a website designed to make accessible complex environmental regulations and proposals and to inspire individuals to participate in public policy decisions about climate change that affect their lives, has been published by Assistant Teaching Professor Emily Brown. Developed with a Syracuse University Campus as a Laboratory for Sustainability (CALS) grant, the site currently explores the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

The site not only encourages individuals to learn about climate change regulations and proposals, it facilitates interacting with them via and provides examples of comments both for and against new proposals. The comment period for the CPP repeal proposal ends on Jan. 16, 2018.

The CALS grant enabled Brown to work with three law student research assistants and four undergraduates from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications to review climate change regulations and to distill proposed rules into accessible summaries on the website. These short, plain English policy analyses also are being shared via Twitter (@Climate_Comment) and Facebook ( a social media campaign that aims to harness the potential of college student engagement in public policy debates surrounding climate change rule-making. 

On the website, the law students and undergraduates have summarized pertinent information about critical climate change policies put forward by previous administrations and now under review by President Donald J. Trump. The CPP—developed by the Obama Administration—aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power generation by 32% by 2030, but the current administration is proposing to repeal CPP in its entirety. 

Another regulation under review is the Clean Air Act, one of the most comprehensive air quality laws in the world that was first enacted in 1963 and that has been through several amendments. The Trump Administration proposes to return to an interpretation that limits emission-reduction measures applied to individual sources rather than whole industries. Also on the website is a summary of the 2009 EPA "Endangerment Finding,” which was a result of the Massachusetts v. EPA (2007) Supreme Court decision holding that greenhouse gases (GHGs) are pollutants under the CAA and that current and projected levels of six GHGs threaten the health and human welfare of current and future generations.

Brown’s project was one of five selected by the University during the latest round of CALS funding, which called for projects that address climate disruption and that offer an opportunity for communication and outreach to the campus and wider community. Funding for CALS grants comes from the Syracuse University Climate Action Plan. As energy efficiency efforts have been implemented on the Syracuse campus in recent years, so some of the savings have gone into this research fund. The selection committee was drawn from an advisory group of faculty from all University schools and colleges.

William C. Banks Analyzes Republican Complaints Against Author of the “Steele Dossier” on Bloomberg Law

William C. Banks

(Jan. 8, 2018) William C. Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses attacks by House Republicans against the FBI and the Russia investigation as GOP lawmakers try to prepare the party for the 2018 midterm elections. He spoke with Bloomberg’s June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s “Politics, Policy, Power and Law.”

Arlene Kanter Speaks on International Disability Rights at Northeastern Law

Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence and Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program Arlene S. Kanter presented her talk “Gendering International Disability Rights” at a Nov. 17, 2017, Northeastern University School of Law symposium entitled “International Law, Local Justice: Human Rights Transformed.” The symposium honored Northeastern Law Professor Hope Lewis, an expert in human rights and women's rights law, who passed away in December 2016.  

“I chose this topic because in 2012 Professor Lewis and Stephanie Ortoleva wrote ‘Forgotten Sisters, Violence Against Women with Disabilities,’ an article that greatly influenced my own work in human rights and disability, particularly my work on violence against girls and women with disabilities,” explains Kanter.

Since 2014, Kanter has worked with Handicap International on a project to raise international awareness about violence against girls and women with disabilities. In 2015, HI produced a report, co-authored by Kanter, entitled “Making It Work Initiative on General and disability Inclusion: Advancing Equity for Women and Girls with Disabilities.” Kanter has presented this report to the UN Committee on the Status of Women and at the Conference of State Parties of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

In her talk at the Northeastern Law symposium, Kanter discussed the role of international human rights law in protecting women and girls with disabilities from violence and highlighted work that needs to be done in this area since such laws have been inadequate to end such violence.

“In my presentation, I drew on research that my former students, Milanoi Koiyiet (LL.M. ’15) and Carla Villarreal Lopez (LL.M. ’17) conducted concerning the treatment of women and girls with disabilities who are subjected to violence in their home countries of Kenya and Peru, respectively,” Kanter explains.

Kanter has accepted an invitation from the Symposium conveners to contribute to a special issue of the Northeastern University Law Review honoring Hope Lewis and her work in the area of human rights law. Her article, co-authored with Villarreal Lopez, is forthcoming.

Currently on sabbatical from the College of Law, Kanter was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School for the fall semester, and she is currently a Lady Davis Fellow at Hebrew University Faculty of Law for the spring semester. At Hebrew University, Kanter will teach a course on International Human Rights and Comparative Disability Law to law students and students enrolled in Hebrew University’s new interdisciplinary Disability Studies program, which Kanter helped to develop. During her sabbatical year, Kanter also will complete several scholarly articles and begin a new book on international human rights treaties and disability law.

Associated Press Speaks to Arlene Kanter About Unusual ADA Case

Arlene Kanter

Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence and Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program Arlene S. Kanter spoke with the Associated Press on Jan. 7, 2018, about the story of a Maine teenager with autism and a rare neurological syndrome that affects his ability to speak whose parents want him to carry a recording device to school "to ensure he’s being treated properly when they aren’t watching."

This case will be heard in the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. "It pits the student’s parents against his southern Maine school district, which says the recording device would infringe on other students’ privacy rights."

Kanter told the AP she believes the family has a strong case:

"The Americans with Disabilities Act requires schools make accommodations unless doing so would pose an undue burden or fundamentally alter their program. The family here is not asking, for example, the school to spend extra money or move him to another class, Kanter said.

'From what I’ve seen, there wasn’t any showing that it was an undue burden,' Kanter said" ...

To read the whole story.

Accessing Databases Through the Drop Down Menu on the Law Databases tab

Mac users may experience problems connecting to the databases contained in the drop down menu on the Law Databases tab under Find Library Materials on the Law Library's top web page.  Users experiencing these problems should click the Browse Law Databases link found under the drop down menu and access databases through the web pages found there.

All of the databases found on the drop down menu can also be found on the Browse Law Databases pages.

Please note:  Most law databases are available to College of Law users only.  

"Some Kind of Oversight": William C. Banks Discusses FISA Section 702 and its Reauthorization with Bloomberg Law

William Banks

William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University School of Law, discusses whether or not Congress will vote to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008-and specifically Section 702—which allows the NSA to collect emails and other communications from U.S. companies while pursuing overseas foreign targets. He speaks with Bloomberg’s Michael Best on Bloomberg Radio’s "Politics, Policy, Power and Law."

Making the Unthinkable Understandable

Professor David Crane Addresses the Crowd

Uncovering and communicating the truths about human conflict, human suffering, and human rights violations is a complicated but vitally important task that often falls to those who write the “first rough draft of history”—that is, journalists operating on the front lines of conflict zones or under cover.

Training communicators to make sense of atrocity and humanitarian disaster was the motivation behind Media and Atrocities, an interdisciplinary course offered for the first time this semester at Syracuse University. The course was co-taught by David Crane, Professor of Practice at the Syracuse University College of Law and member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, and Ken Harper, Associate Professor of Multimedia Photography and Design at the Newhouse School and director of the Newhouse Center for Global Engagement.

The course examines the critical roles that law, policy, and communications play in ensuring truth-telling and securing justice for victims of atrocity, often by providing international law organizations with the raw information they require to bring humanitarian law violators to justice. Harper says he and Crane believe it’s the first university course of its kind.

“These students will become young professionals who are trained to seek and present information on atrocities, genocide, disaster … basically, making the unthinkable understandable,” says Harper.

Among the required readings were “A Problem from Hell” by Samantha Power and “A Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah. Several non-fiction films were also recommended, including “Restrepo: Injured Boy” and “Jim: The James Foley Story,” as well as fictional films such as “Blood Diamond,” “Bridge on the River Kwai,” and “Judgement at Nuremberg.”

Special guests—including Ploughshares Fund president Joseph Cirincione, CNN senior UN correspondent Richard Roth, and Physicians for Human Rights researcher Christine Mehta ’11—participated in class discussions via Skype.

Course content was constantly shifting, Harper says, “adapting to the reality the world presents.”

Students in the course included both undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of programs across campus, such as international relations, broadcast and digital journalism, public affairs, photography, and law. They began the semester by examining the meaning and history of atrocity, reviewing legal developments over the past century, and learning about the modern international criminal law system.

Most of the semester was spent building a mock postconflict justice tribunal for Syria. Students chose various roles—such as prosecutor, journalist, public relations officer, or activist—and carried out a series of practical exercises in preparation for the final exercise, held on the last day of class: a press conference called by the mock tribunal’s chief prosecutor (played by Crane) announcing an indictment against Syrian President Bhashr Hafez Al-Assad.

Students also set up a public relations office; organized a PR plan; staged a news broadcast; and developed a coordination plan for NGOs working in Syria, as well as a model for the organizations to work together into the future.

Zach Krahmer, who is earning a master’s degree in photography from the Newhouse School and an executive master’s degree in international relations from the Maxwell School, says he chose to enroll in the class because he is interested in conflict resolution and has worked with communities that have experienced trauma. “I wanted to think critically about the way we produce and consume media that involves atrocities, and the responsibility that implies,” he says.

He notes a particular assignment that had him and his classmates explore the ways social media have been used in various campaigns, with the resulting presentations touching on everything from the Colombian plebiscite to Buddhist extremist groups in Myanmar to Assad. “I was surprised by the innumerable ways that perceptions of events had been manipulated by tactful use of media,” he says.

Krahmer, along with fellow students Katie Conti and Maggie Mabie ’16, acted as Crane’s media team for the mock tribunal. They staged the public release of an indictment against a sitting head of state; wrote, edited and delivered a press release; and crafted the chief prosecutor’s press briefing. “It was valuable to experience the deliberation that goes into crafting public messages such as these,” he says. Mabie, who earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the Newhouse School and is now a joint J.D./M.P.A. student in the College of Law and the Maxwell School, says the final exercise was one of the most powerful parts of the class. “Everyone treated the simulation as if it were real.”

Following the class, Krahmer says, “I have a greater appreciation for the way media can be leveraged by different actors to achieve their goals.”

Crane knows intimately how important good journalism and good public relations are to the success of postconflict justice. As the founding chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone—an international war crimes tribunal set up after a devastating civil war—Crane held frequent press conferences and town hall meetings with ordinary citizens seeking justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity, helping them to engage with a lengthy and esoteric process and to accept its findings.

Today, Crane and his law students in the College of Law’s Syrian Accountability Project (SAP) rely on ground reports from reporters, photojournalists, and others in the field. SAP is an internationally recognized, cooperative effort to document war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Syrian Civil War. The students log reports of crimes in their “Crime Matrix,” which is filed with international clients such as the United Nations and International Criminal Court. The intent is that the Crime Matrix will help form the basis of a prosecution of those most responsible for humanitarian crimes after the conflict ends.

Crane and Harper have collaborated on several recent SAP projects, including the event Running for Cover and the white papers “Looking Through the Window Darkly”; “Covered in Dust, Veiled by Shadows”; “Idlib Left Breathless”; and “Report on the Yazidi Genocide.”

“In a conflict zone, the free press is often another victim of tyrants and unscrupulous warriors, and journalists must do their work in extremely dangerous conditions. Certainly, Ken and I know first-hand the difficulties reporters face when documenting human suffering, and the Syrian Accountability Project has recorded many crimes against journalists during that conflict,” says Crane. “Nevertheless, throughout the world there are brave reporters who risk their lives, not only filing reports so the world can witness atrocity but also acting as advocates for those who have no voice. In this course, Ken and I worked together from different disciplines to instill a sense of the responsibility communicators in war zones have, how their work can bring hope and eventually justice to the afflicted, and the importance of professionalism in extreme conditions.” 

NYSSTLC Helps a Biotech Firm Traverse Commercialization’s “Valley of Death”

Joe Scadutp

The realm of technology commercialization is fond of its geographical metaphors. Researchers and entrepreneurs who seek to make their discoveries commercially viable talk of intellectual property “landscapes,” “routes” or “paths” to market, as well as technical and regulatory “milestones.” But there is one image that is somewhat darker: the “valley of death.” 

That “valley” describes the space between the laboratory bench and the marketplace where projects can stall for want of business acumen, start-up funding, or intellectual property protection. It’s a space that Joseph Scaduto is determined to traverse successfully as he collaborates with two Stony Brook University bioscience researchers to commercialize novel inflammatory disease therapies with the help of the College of Law’s New York State Science and Technology Law Center.

In fact, so determined is Scaduto to navigate the “valley of death” that he named his start-up venture Traverse Biosciences: its logo appropriately stylizes two mountain peaks. Traverse Biosciences currently is working to commercialize one of its patented biochemical discoveries, TRB-N0224, a potentially ground-breaking disease therapy. The initial application is to treat canine and feline periodontal disease.

“I’ve been working in the ‘valley’ for more than a decade,” says Scaduto. “I’ve seen the challenges that commercializing academic research can run into when you try to create a product and find funding and other resources. There are a lot of inefficiencies in early-stage technology commercialization, and failure is all too common.” While some entrepreneurs might describe a dream that keeps them motivated, Scaduto says one of the driving forces behind his career is the way he’s “irked” by these commercialization inefficiencies that in turn “lead some to be critical of government investment in basic research.”  

“The commercialization path of Traverse Biosciences illustrates that the goal of economic development through the commercialization of university technologies can be achieved,” observes NYSSTLC Associate Director Molly Zimmermann, adding that Traverse Biosciences utilized the free reconnaissance research offered by NYSSTLC on different aspects of commercialization between 2013 and 2016. 

Scaduto’s partnership with NYSSTLC has been a return home of sorts. “In my previous life, I was Assistant Director of Business Development at Stony Brook’s Center for Biotechnology, and I was an early partner of College of Law commercialization law program founder Ted Hagelin. I had a great working relationship with Ted, and through his leadership, a network of Technology Commercialization Clinics was established across New York State to help researchers understand markets, IP protection, and regulatory landscapes.” 

After leaving the Center for Biotechnology, Scaduto founded Traverse Biosciences in 2013 and investigated a viable biotechnology to commercialize. He eventually teamed up with professors Lorne Golub of Stony Brook’s School of Dental Medicine and Francis Johnson of the departments of Chemistry and Pharmacology. 

Golub and Johnson were designing and testing compounds that showed promise as anti-inflammatory agents, and TRB-N0224 went to the head of the pack as a candidate for commercialization in Traverse Bioscience’s suite of novel compounds. This drug is envisioned as the first FDA-approved, once-daily prescription for the prevention and control of canine and feline periodontal disease (the disease affects approximately 80% of dogs by age 3, particularly smaller breeds).

“I’m now experiencing commercialization as a company owner,” observes Scaduto, “so it was natural for me to return to the two centers I know well in order to understand the issues we would have in commercializing these discoveries. I asked myself, could someone with my knowledge of commercialization create a technology that could successfully hit lab-to-market milestones?”

“Traverse Biosciences is a story about how federally funded university research ideally goes to market,” says Zimmermann, praising Scaduto’s role in creating the state-wide innovation ecosystem that his company now benefits from. “At the Center for Biotechnology—one of many NYSTAR sponsored research centers—Joe recognized the importance of vetting new discoveries for commercial potential.” Scaduto also worked with Ted Hagelin to obtain funding for what became the NYS Technology Commercialization Clinic Network that “link university engineers and scientists to entrepreneurs, funders, pitch coaches, accountants, and others,” says Zimmermann. 

The NYSSTLC receives referrals from one of the commercialization centers, and then teams of College of Law students—guided by professors with experience in product development —complete the IP, market, regulatory, and commercialization analyses needed to make a “go/no-go” decision on the moving the technology forward. 

“The law center helped me make sense of general and strategic business questions, such as the market size and opportunities, as well as regulatory pathways, for our anti-inflammatory therapies,” explains Scaduto. “This work helped us to clearly realize what our opportunities were, develop our business plan, and focus our efforts.” 

Scaduto explains that one barrier to commercialization within the “valley of death” is that a small company often has few labor resources, “so it’s important for entrepreneurs to realize they can use a center such as NYSSTLC—and the alphabet soup of other resources throughout the state—to provide them with more bandwidth. This invaluable support can also lead to networking and funding opportunities.” 

Traverse Biosciences has realized many of these opportunities in the last few years as it brings TRB-N0224 online. Among its news announcements in 2017 alone, the company was awarded a patent in January for uses for its proprietary library of chemically modified curcumins (plant chemicals found in turmeric and ginger), including TRB-N0224; it won the Association of American Universities and Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities inaugural University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase; and it received a $1.32 million Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer Award from the National Institutes of Health. 

Traverse Biosciences has already begun testing the compound in partnership with a Top 10 global animal health organization. “While for humans, we’re at a pre-clinical stage of development,” says Scaduto. “We currently are determining which human therapeutic indication to focus on, before moving on to safety studies, the submission of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application, and eventually human clinical trials.” 

As someone who has been on both sides of the “valley”—as a business advisor and now as a successful entrepreneur—it’s no surprise that Scaduto has plenty of advice for young start-ups.  

“You need to stay goal-oriented and milestone-driven,” Scaduto advises. “It’s easy to be distracted, and you will certainly face disappointments, but you must continue to achieve goals that add substantive value to your technology, and stay the course for the sake of your collaborators, licensing partners, and investors. Always understand what needs to be accomplished within a certain timeframe as you ‘traverse’ toward the marketplace.” 

Shubha Ghosh Completes Fellowship at Japan’s Institute for Intellectual Property

Shubha Ghosh

Design is a hot topic of debate for those engaged with intellectual property commercialization. A common definition of design is how a product looks or how it functions. The legal system has divided up design into the areas of utility patent, design patent, copyright, and trademark. However, according to Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh, Director of the College of Law’s Technology Commercialization Law Center, current law blurs boundaries among these areas, creating uncertainty for practitioners and policymakers.

In December, Ghosh was invited by the Institute for Intellectual Property (IIP)—an independent policy think tank that advises the Japan Patent Office (JPO)—to study these issues for a few weeks as an Invited Researcher. The fellowship was made possible by the Foundation for Intellectual Property, which supports visits by professors and practitioners from around the globe. 

Ghosh’s invitation to apply for the fellowship led to an application, a competitive review process, and a grant in early 2017. “It was an honor to be selected,” says Ghosh, “and to follow an exciting intellectual opportunity to learn more about a different intellectual property system.” 

During Ghosh’s visit, IIP arranged interviews (and an accompanying interpreter) with staff at the JPO, practicing patent attorneys, and professors in the field of technology management and intellectual property.

His research was the subject of a presentation to 30 practicing attorneys in Tokyo on Dec. 8, 2017, and it will be published as a special report by the JPO in Spring 2018.  Ghosh will also expand his report into a law review article. 3L Lauren Lyons provided background research to assist Ghosh.

According to Ghosh, Japan draws stricter lines among different types of design through a distinction between applied and fine art. The United States lost that distinction decades ago, leading to the possibility that design patent, copyright, and trademark laws are being used to protect what should be the subject of a utility patent. 

“In recent cases, Japan has extended copyright protection to the ornamental design of a high chair and a kimono sash, useful articles that if anything should be the subject of patent law,” Ghosh explains. “Lines are blurring in Japan as they have in the US, but there are useful lessons from the traditional boundaries that Japanese law has been able to draw.”

Wherever design law ends up, concludes Ghosh, it is important for technology and intellectual property commercialization because many creative people seek to obtain a foothold in markets for products that are both useful—and beautiful.

College of Law Chosen as Family Security Project Host Site

Deborah Kenn

The College of Law has been chosen as a host site for the Equal Justice Works New York State Family Security Project (NYSFSP). This state program is designed to foster family security and community education through the delivery of high-quality legal services to immigrant families. The College will be funded for one NYSFP fellow and one NYSFP law student. 

In exchange for their fellowship/scholarship award, during a 12-month period, the Fellow and the student will serve immigrant families by addressing barriers in protecting or obtaining lawful citizenship status, lack of planning for possible separation, and other issues related to immigrant family unity and stability. NYSFP is supported by the state Commission on National and Community Service, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Ford Foundation. 

The Fellow will work in the College of Law’s Office of Clinical Legal Education. Deborah Kenn, Associate Dean of Clinical Education, says, “this will be a valuable opportunity for the College to build capacity in legal assistance to immigrant communities and to provide access to justice for individuals and families struggling for basic human rights.” 

The Value of Syracuse Law

What exactly comes with a Syracuse Law education? And why is it so valuable? Whether you’re an accepted student, prospective student, or currently just considering law school, you probably want those answers as hard cold facts. So we put together an infographic (and text file) that shows how the value adds up. 

DCEx Students Close Semester with a Seminar on Law, Public Affairs, & Critical Infrastructure

James Voyles

On Dec. 1, 2017, James Voyles L'14—Policy Counsel and Director of Communications for consulting and advocacy firm HBW Resources—met with Fall 2017 DCEx externship students in Washington, DC. 

Voyles discussed his many areas of expertise, including power generation, pipeline infrastructure, the grid, renewable technologies, and access to oil and natural gas. His position with HBW Resources deals with public affairs and public advocacy law utilizing both his legal degree and Master’s of Science in Public Communications. Voyles gave participants valuable advice regarding their bar preparation, job search, and networking.

This seminar was the last in a successful fall semester for this externship program. After the seminar was completed, externs and local alumni attended a closing reception.

College of Law Holds Commencement Ceremony for Master of Laws Graduates

LLM Commencement

The College of Law celebrated the graduation of nine Master of Laws in American Law students—representing seven countries across three continents—at a Commencement ceremony in the Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom in Dineen Hall on Dec. 1, 2017. 

Introducing the graduates, Dean Craig M. Boise noted that the geographical diversity of the cohort, which matriculated in January 2017, is matched by its diversity of interests and expertise, in international law, immigration law, human rights, women's rights, corporate and commercial law, and public sector law and policy. 

“Your multiple points of view, divergent backgrounds from alternative legal traditions—not to mention your enthusiasm and wisdom—have enriched and strengthened the College of Law,” said Dean Boise in his remarks. “I have no doubt that your personal and professional experiences have amplified the law school experience for our juris doctor students, and I thank you for your contribution to the College's community and to its scholarship.” 

Dean Boise added, “I hope and fully expect that the LL.M. degree you have earned will not only advance your individual careers but also the nations which you represent, as well as the rule of law worldwide.”

Alumna Brigitte Herzog L’75, delivering the Commencement Address, congratulated the students on mastering the “difficulties of studying a legal system which is different from your own and in a language which is not your native one.” 

Herzog, an expert in comparative and international law, observed that the students will face new tests arising from their status as LL.M. graduates of an American college. “The first challenge you will face,” she said, “will be to readjust to an environment you thought you knew well but which will be different because you will look at it with a new set of eyes.” She implored the graduates to continue to improve their legal skills, to push for needed changes when appropriate, and to keep “good moral compass.” 

“When you’re a leader, people watch you,” Herzog said, “and when you make tough decisions, they might not like it at first because you will be disrupting the status quo, but if you have followed a good process to reach your decision and it is fair, it will be accepted.”

Noting that the first challenge the graduates had to face in January 2017 was a frigid Central New York winter, having “arrived from sunny climates,” Assistant Dean of International Programs Andrew Horsfall told the cohort that “you embarked on a rigorous academic journey, getting to work in the classroom, in our job shadow program, and in summer internships, not only surviving but thriving. You were a pleasure to get to know.” 

Diego Sanchez Labrador LL.M.’17, offered remarks on behalf of the students, asking “What is our role as LL.M. graduates when we are back in our home countries? How can we apply ethics, principles, and values we have learned toward changing the world?” Sanchez Labrador says he has big plans to change his native Mexico, if not the world. Politically active since a teenager, he says he will return to work for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) during the next general election cycle with the goal of one day leading his country as president. 

In fact, it was while Sanchez Labrador was working as an advisor for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto that he met former US Vice President Joseph R. Biden L’68. Sanchez Labrador says he mentioned to Biden that he would like to study law in the US, and “Biden literally stopped in his tracks and said, ‘Syracuse is your only option!’ You don't get that kind of advice every day from an American Vice President.” 

“The master's degree has been a wonderful experience, with great people and a great community,” says Linda Gitonga LL.M.’17, a Kenyan native who is beginning an Internship at The World Bank before taking up a Fellowship with the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The students were able to learn from each other, and we shared our backgrounds, experiences, cultures, and sometimes even food from back home! The alumni community has been amazing for us also. It’s great to see that the College has so many alums for us to network with, and their success is an inspiration.”

2017 LL.M. Graduates

Victor Aisenberg, Brazil

Aisenberg obtained his LL.B. from the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janiero, in Brazil in 1993. He also received a Master of Laws from the same institution in 2004. Since 2002, he has been a lecturer and professor of civil procedure and civil law at Itauna University. He plans to stay in the United States for another year through Optional Practical Training with the future goal of taking the New York Bar Exam and practicing immigration law.

Moamin Aljaro, Palestine

Aljaro is a recipient of the LL.M. Fellowship offered by the Open Society Foundation’s Palestinian Rule of Law Program. He obtained his LL.B. from the University of Palestine at Al Zahra in the Gaza Strip. Since completing his undergraduate studies, he has worked with the Norwegian Refugee Council, the Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution, and the Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Palestine. After graduation, he will focus on working with NGOs and legal clinics that concentrate on Human Rights issues in the Gaza Strip, especially on empowering women’s rights programs and initiatives. He is also considering further advancement in his educational journey.

Fatimah Aljaroudi, Saudi Arabia

Aljaroudi obtained her LL.B. from King Abdulaziz University (KAU), in Saudi Arabia, in 2013, where she was a top-ranked student in her graduating class. At KAU, Ms. Aljaroudi was a founding member of the law club, worked as a trainee lawyer in a private law firm, and worked pro bono with the organization “Right” to provide legal advice regarding claims and the right way to raise them. Upon graduation, Aljaroudi will return to her home country to receive her license before continuing her academic studies abroad.

Munahi Alotaibi, Saudi Arabia

Alotaibi obtained his LL.B. from King Saud University in 2010. Since that time, he has worked as a Legal Investigator and Lead Public Administrator for legal affairs with the Ministry of Transportation in Saudi Arabia. In his role, Alotaibi drafted legal memoranda and represented the Ministry in local councils and meetings. He plans to start his own law firm following graduation.

Adnan Alsufyani, Saudi Arabia

Alsufyani obtained his LL.B. from King Abdulaziz University, in Saudi Arabia, in 2014. He worked as a legal researcher for a technology and communications company in Riyadh before coming to the United States to improve his English. Alsufyani will continue his education by pursing a Ph.D. in commercial law.

Luis Bernal, Dominican Republic

Bernal is a citizen of the United States who obtained his LL.B. from Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra, in the Dominican Republic, in 2015. While pursuing his undergraduate legal studies, he worked as a paralegal in a private law firm specializing in corporate and commercial law. Upon graduation, Bernal plans to further his studies specializing in corporate finance with the goal of eventually starting his own private practice.

Linda Gitonga, Kenya

Gitonga graduated with an LL.B degree from Moi University, in Kenya, in 2015. She has had various experiences working in civil litigation and drafting documents. She interned for the New York State Division of Human Rights during the summer and is excited to start an internship with The World Bank’s Doing Business Project after graduating.

Anas Maroof, The Kurdish Region of Iraq

Maroof is a citizen of the United States who obtained his LL.B. from the University of Kirkuk in 2008. While pursuing his legal studies, Maroof worked within the United States Department of State as a personal linguist with the US Embassy officials in Iraq. After graduation, he plans on taking the New York Bar Exam and will practice in the fields of criminal defense and immigration.

Diego Sanchez Labrador, Mexico

Sanchez Labrador obtained his LL.B. from the Universidad Anahuac, in Mexico, in 2016. While in his undergraduate program, he performed thesis research on the Legitimacy of Proportional Representation in Mexican Parliamentarism. He also has a specialty in constitutional law and human rights from his alma matter and has earned certificates in tax regulation and conflict management. After graduation, Sanchez Labrador plans to return to Mexico to work as a lawyer in the public sector to improve the legal system with ethical principles and values so that corruption and impunity are reduced. In further service in the public sector, his professional goal is to become President of Mexico.

Also recognized: Ariana Foley and Nicola Russell, both exchange students from Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland.

NYSSTLC Wraps Up Research Reports for Innovation Businesses

Jack Rudnick

Every semester at the Syracuse University College of Law, a combination of retired engineers, faculty, and law students work together in teams to identify potential barriers to commercializing a new technology. 

They do this as part of a course taught by Jack Rudnick for early stage technologies from around NYS. They search patent literature, publications, and existing products to identify prior art that may be a factor in being able to use and protect the inventions. The teams provide an overview of regulations that the technology must comply with. Through a partnership with the Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises at the Whitman School, business students contribute to the completion of market evaluations. 

This semester’s projects included: 

  • Crystal Creek, which offers a farm digester system that allows the farmer to remove enough phosphorous from farm waste to recycle a greater amount of fertilizer and increase energy production. 
  • EndoGlow, which is commercializing a fluorescent medical device that increases vision for robotic surgical systems.
  • Empire Medicinals, which is bringing discoveries about mushroom characteristics useful for health care to market. 

Venture Creations from Rochester, NY, an RIT business accelerator, offered support to these early stage companies was a referral source.

Inter-Collegiate Moot Court Teams Complete Successful Fall Season

Moot Court Intercollegiate Update

It’s been a busy two months for the College of Law’s Trial Advocacy program, reports Professor Kathleen O’Connor, Faculty Director of the Moot Court Honor Society and Advocacy, with inter-collegiate teams reaching the Final Four in three competitions and with students and teams bringing home individual awards. 

On Nov. 9 to 11, 2017, the National Moot Court Competition team of 3L Anna Pinchuk, 2L Erika Simonson, and 3L Erin Shea participated in the Boston Regional round of the New York City Bar’s national appellate competition. The team advanced to the semifinal round and brought home the award for Best Brief. The team is coached by Professor Richard Risman, who was assisted by David Katz L’17.

The National Board of Trial Advocacy Tournament of Champions Competition team competed from Nov. 2 to 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA. Making it into the semi-finals were 2L Adam Carey, 3L Christopher Clark, 3L Annie Millar, and 2L Dennis Scanlon. Joanne Van Dyke L’87 coached the team, and 2L Sara Fitzpatrick served as the team alternate and practice partner. Additionally, Justin St. Louis L’17 helped prepare the team as an assistant coach.

The team of 3L Tom DeBernardis, 3L Stephanie Martin-Thom, 3L Jennifer Pratt, and 2L Matt Wallace competed at the Buffalo-Niagara Mock Trial Invitational on Nov. 10 to 13, 2017, advancing to the Final Four. Pratt was named Best Overall Advocate through the Preliminary Rounds. The team was coached by Jeff Leibo L’03 and Colleen Gibbons L’17, with 2L Ahmed Khattab serving as alternate and practice partner.

Coached by Professor Yelena Duterte, a 2L team of Olivia Fontana and Ryan Harrison advanced to the quarterfinals in the College of Law’s first-ever appearance in the National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition in Washington, DC, which took place from Nov. 4 to 5, 2017. The team lost in the Elite Eight round only in a split decision. 

In another first-time appearance for the College, the Judith Kaye Arbitration Competition team returned from New York City on Nov. 12, 2017, with two awards. The 2L team of Sophie Bober, Sarah Knickerbocker, and Ursula Simmons brought home trophies for Best Cross Examination and Best Brief. James Sonneborn and Casey Johnson of Bousquet Holstein PLLC coached the team. This competition is sponsored by the New York State Bar Association and the American Arbitration Association.  

A team of 3L Michelle Futch, 3L Aidan Scott, and 2L Porsche Skenandore-Wheelock took part in the St. John’s University School of Law Securities Dispute Resolution Triathlon. Coached by Professor Gary Pieples, these student advocates competed through three rounds of arbitration, negotiation, and mediation.

More information about the College of Law’s award-winning moot court and advocacy programs. 

Corri Zoli Participates in UN Counterterrorism Conference

Corri Zoli

On Nov. 15 and 16, 2017, Corri Zoli, Director of Research, Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, represented Syracuse University at two United Nations Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (UN CTED) workshops, at New York University and UN headquarters. 

"Few people know that the UN has taken a leading role in counter terrorism efforts around the world," says Zoli. "Two weeks after the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, the UN unanimously established the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) by Security Council Resolution No. 1373 (2001), comprising all 15 Security Council members. To help advise member states around the world in measures to advance their legal and institutional capacity to counter terrorist groups, attacks, and criminal activities, the Security Council in 2004 established CTED to assist in the research needed to help the CTC monitor and implement counterterrorism measures, from criminalizing the financing of terrorism to information sharing about safe havens or groups supporting terrorists." 

At both events, Zoli provided insights on data-driven approaches to understanding terrorism, radicalization, and countering violent extremism (CVE). She also shared information with colleagues and delegates on the systems, critical infrastructures, and organizational structures that terrorist organizations often use to effect their goals of political violence and creating fear among local populations. 

At the UN headquarters event, Zoli was included as an expert on questions from concerned delegates from across the globe interested in understanding “best practices” to combat terrorism. Queries posed included how to lawfully deal with foreign fighters returning home and what measures should be taken for counter-radicalization, including for women and children who were also drawn to the Levant by groups such as ISIS and Al Nusra.

Zoli's presence at this conference continues INSCT's close collaboration with UN CTED. For the past few years law and graduate students in INSCT's Law 822 Research Center have presented research to the directorate on how UN member states are complying with UN Security Council Resolution 2178, which calls on members to prevent the “recruiting, organizing, transporting, or equipping of individuals who travel to a State ... for the purpose of the perpetration, planning of, or participation in terrorist acts.” 

In May 2016, INSCT was invited by UN CTED to join The Prevention Project, directed by former US Department of State counterterrorism official Eric Rosand through the Global Center on Cooperative Security. The project aims to support member states’ efforts to deal holistically and constructively with citizens who travel to fight with extremist and terrorist organizations. 

Emerging Trends in Terrorism and Counterterrorism

New York University Center for Global Affairs | Nov. 15, 2017

Session I: Returning & Relocating Foreign Terrorist Fighters

While the flow of FTFs to Iraq and Syria has slowed, returnees and the relocation of fighters from the conflict zones to other regions present a considerable threat to international security. The flow of returnees risks spreading the threat posed by individuals loyal to ISIL to new regions. In addition to calling for terrorist attacks on an international scale, terrorist organizations—including ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida, Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab—have compensated for their territorial losses by expanding their

presence to new areas. This session will focus on discussing challenges related to returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs).

Session II: Countering Violent Extremism

Some Member States are concerned that the numbers of FTFs returning to their countries of origin, potentially intending to perpetrate attacks, in combination with those being radicalized to violence within those countries, present a growing challenge to national security. The purpose of this session is to share and discuss good practices in countering violent extremism (CVE), including the role of the media, civil and religious society, the business community and educational institutions to enhance dialogue and broaden understanding, and in promoting tolerance and coexistence, and in fostering an environment which is not conducive to incitement of terrorism.

Session III: Protection of Soft Targets

Over recent years, the proportion of terrorist plots resulting in fatalities has increased, in part due to the activities of returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), as well as due to the evolution in terrorists’ modus operandi, including: (i) their use of basic (legal and easily accessible) tools that reduce opportunities for detection and disruption; (ii) their emphasis on (often poorly protected) civilian targets; and (iii) their use of information and communications technologies (ICT), including encrypted messaging services, for terrorist purposes, including to remotely guide single-perpetrator terrorist attacks. The purpose of this session is to analyze and discuss challenges and good practices related to preventing terrorist acts against civilians.

Session IV: The Future of the Global Research Network

The purpose of this session is to assist CTED in its preparation of: (i) A list of specific trends, developments and issues that require further research and analysis; and (ii) An internal work plan for future engagement with members of the Network, with a view to developing further evidence-based research that can support the work of the Committee and CTED.

CTED Second Open Meeting of the Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee and Global Research Network Partners 

UN Headquarters, New York City | Nov. 16, 2017

  • Session 1: Summary of NYU technical consultations
  • Session II: Implementation of Security Council Resolution 2178 (2014)
  • Session III: National practices in CVE that can be conducive to terrorism
  • Session IV: The protection of civilian (“soft”) targets

Speakers included: 

  • Emman El-Badawy, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change
  • Cheryl Frank, Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria
  • Pavel Mareev, Commonwealth of Independent States Anti-Terrorism Center (CIS ATC)
  • Magnus Ranstorp, Swedish National Defence CollegeDavid Scharia, Chief of Branch, Counter-Terrorism Executive Director (CTED)
  • Ali Soufan, The Soufan Group

With NYSSTLC’s Help, Heatsleeve Is Heating Up the Prosthetic Devices Market

Brian Costello Portrait

The last straw for Bryan Costello came one bitterly cold winter morning. Having lost part of his right leg in a motorcycle accident in 2011, Costello was now employed plowing driveways instead of working as a pipefitter for a nuclear plant in Upstate New York. On that particular 10ºF morning, his carbon fiber prosthetic—fitted snugly below the knee—“was really sucking in the cold, and I said to myself, ‘Are you kidding me?!’” Like many amputees, Costello suffers from circulation issues, numbness, and pain in his stump. Now the cold was biting hard. “After that, I went to my doctor and said, ‘So, where’s the heat?’ They didn’t know what to tell me.”

When he learned there are no warming solutions for amputees suffering from bad circulation, pain, and cold, Costello, a Liverpool, NY resident, began tinkering at home. First, he rigged up a small heating pad and applied that to his stump. It gave him immediate relief. This jury-rigged solution lead Costello to create a cup-like heating device to fit over his stump, rigged to a large battery. Thus, the Heatsleeve was born. Now—a few years later—Costello Prosthetic Warmers LLC is winning start-up competitions, creating buzz, and, thanks to assistance from the Syracuse University College of Law’s New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYSSTLC), beta-testing advanced prototypes with organizations such as military veterans-oriented The Heroes Project.

Costello says his former career as a pipefitter helped him figure out the problem of how to deliver heat through a carbon fiber prosthesis. “Prosthetic limbs are just like pipes,” he says, explaining that pipefitters at a nuclear plant know only too well how cold and heat flow through a duct system. Costello also uses a plumbing analogy to explain one of the main sources of discomfort for an amputee. “When a limb is gone, your circulation becomes slowed, like in a steam pipe when a loop is cut,” he explains. “Amputees have horrendous circulation issues. We really suffer. But heat helps.”

The current Heatsleeve prototype is a stretchable Kevlar sleeve that either wraps around the socket of a prosthesis—without adding bulky wiring, obstructions, or weight—or directly around a stump. The sleeve’s embedded wires heat up via an exterior battery that sits in a pocket. The amount of heat supplied is adjustable: the sleeve can be hot if worn around the carbon fiber socket or just warm if worn next to skin. A simple, lightweight, and portable solution, Costello says that in an early market research survey of amputees, there was overwhelming interest in this form of relief. 

However, “the business stuff wasn’t part of my world,” notes Costello, referring to the process of taking his idea from the workbench into the marketplace. “But I’ve got some great mentors, and I know a lot more now than when I started.” In fact, Costello’s acumen has taken him as far as the 2017 Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC), organized by Upstate Medical University’s CNY Biotech Accelerator. One of seven companies selected by the MDIC Review Committee, Costello Prosthetic Warmers received access to free space in the Upstate MIND Creation Garage, consultations with business experts, and other mentorship resources.

One of the mentors Costello met through MDIC is Jack Rudnick, NYSSTLC Director and a member of the MDIC Review Committee. Through Rudnick and the law center, Costello has been introduced to further Syracuse University resources for entrepreneurs. Engineering and industrial design students, for instance, are helping Costello refine his latest Heatsleeve prototype. Among other improvements, they are working on reducing the size and extending the life of the battery that works with the Kevlar sleeve. “The current battery is about the size of a pack of cards and can supply power for about eight hours,” says Costello.

"One of the services the law center provides is that we can introduce a tech startup client to relevant and helpful partners that we have across the Syracuse University campus. They might not know about these resources otherwise," explains Rudnick. "Our campus partners are open and willing to help. SU has tremendous resources, and it is one of our tasks to deploy them."

“I’ve got great collaborators around me, and the learning aspect has been exceptional,” says Costello, referring to his experience working with the law center and University. “I couldn’t have done this without the University’s help. There is a real process to go through when developing a product, and many people never make it.” 

Helping Costello succeed further, NYSSTLC has also provided market, regulatory, and intellectual property (IP) landscapes for Heatsleeve, and with this knowledge—and US Patent #US9610178B2—in hand, Costello is confidently pitching to investors and seeking out partnerships to beta test his invention. 

“You can’t talk to investors without IP protection,” explains Costello. In October 2017, Costello won a pitch competition in front of investors at MedTech 2017 DisruptNY competition in Buffalo, NY, and he will meet with another investor at NYSSTLC in November. Meanwhile, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families have shown interest, and later this year The Heroes Project will provide Heatsleeves to injured war veterans that the not-for-profit is taking on a confidence-building expedition to Antarctica. “That testing will be important, to provide me with more feedback,” says Costello. “My prototype is very good, but there is more to come.”

Even as Heatsleeve heats up, Costello is developing more ideas to help amputees. And just like Heatsleeve, these new ideas have arisen from Costello’s own experiences, discomforts, and frustrations (“We are still in the 18th century when it comes to prosthetics,” he says). For instance, currently on his workbench is a device to improve the movement of a prosthetic leg and one to aid recent amputees who are still recovering from their hospital stay and not yet fitted for a prosthesis.

Costello is approaching these new solutions with the same mix of systematic problem-solving, empathy for fellow amputees, determination, and entrepreneurial spirit that he brought to Heatsleeve. “Without a positive direction, it’s hard to go anywhere,” he says. “I know why some entrepreneurs don’t go through with the process, but I’m ambitious.” 

William C. Banks Discusses Potential Charges Against Flynn, Kushner, Others

William Banks

(Bloomberg Law | Nov. 6, 2017) Andrew Kent, a professor at Fordham University Law School, and William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discuss special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which is now said to focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn. They speak with Bloomberg’s June Grasso and Michael Best on Bloomberg Radio’s Bloomberg Law.

Gassing International Law

David Crane

By David M. Crane

(Re-published from The Jurist | Nov. 6, 2017) The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) should not ignore or walk away from the alleged use of any prohibited weapon, such as chemicals, as it signals it is permissible to violate the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and erodes international norms related to such weapons. Further, it signals that countries with deep ties to P5 (U.K., U.S., France, Russia, China) are outside the scope of UNSC authority, therefore creating a bigger issue of eroding the international authority of the UNSC and jeopardizing the foundation of international law.

On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, Russia vetoed the resolution extending the mandate of the investigators probing chemical weapons attacks in Syria. [JURIST report] [Meeting Record] Following the chemical attack in 2015, Russia and America created the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) to investigate the presence/use of chemical weapons in Syria, which found 27 active production facilities. In its most recent report late last month, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said it had verified the destruction of 25 of the 27 chemical weapons production facilities declared by Syria and continued to prepare an inspection to confirm the current condition of the last two. The vote on the resolution was in advance of the JIM investigative report (presented Thursday October 26). The report sought to identify the party responsible for a deadly April 4 attack in the rebel-controlled town of Khan Sheikhoun in southern Idlib that killed and sickened scores of civilians allegedly using sarin gas. Shortly after that attack, the United States launched an airstrike on a Syrian air base and accused the al-Assad regime of carrying out the gas attack.

This action by Russia is primarily concerned with the sovereignty of Syria and stresses the maxim that you cannot enter a sovereign territory without concrete evidence of wrong doing. Further Russia believes they face possible retaliation by Syria and/or rebel groups present in Syria. Finally, Russia is concerned that there has been a blurring of lines between the conflict against Syria and the conflict against ISIS. Additionally Russia is supporting the regime and has economic ties to Syria. They do not want the US to gain any influence in Syria.

The media and various member states are concerned that the UNSC is impotent in assisting in Syria due to the P5 structure. The UNSC and the UN system are shouldering the blame for little progress in Syria. The broader discussion criticizes the entire UN system as being outdated and ineffective.

The UN is not impotent, as it has facilitated international cooperation on the conflict, resulting in ceasefires, the initial formation of JIM, condemnation of acts, and investigation of potential war crimes. Further, the UN is serving its purpose as a neutral forum for these discussions. Syria has not simply become a battlefield upon which America and Russia are fighting, nor are we seeing a return to interstate war. Therefore, the UN is working as a forum for these issues. Further negotiations need to be based on interests and relationships as nationalistic and realist strategies fail within the cooperative international organizational model …

Read the complete article.

Nina A. Kohn to Speak on “New Paradigms in Decision‐Making” at The Arc New York

Nina Kohn

Nina A. Kohn, David M. Levy Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research, will be a Plenary Session Speaker at The Arc New York 2017 Annual Guardianship Training Symposium in Bolton Landing, NY, Nov. 6‐8, 2017. Kohn will discuss “New Paradigms in Decision‐Making: Guardianship Reform and Supported Decision‐Making,” part of the symposium’s “Changing the Story: Guardianship and Evolving Alternatives” theme.

In Kohn’s session, participants will be introduced to a tool to help lawyers identify and consider decision‐making options for individuals with disabilities that are less restrictive than guardianship. Kohn, who was part of the team that developed the tool, will walk participants through the tool’s steps and give examples of how it might be used in practice.

Kohn also will introduce participants to the Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Protective Arrangements Act (UGCOPAA), which was adopted by the Uniform Law Commission in July 2017. UGCOPAA is an

updated version of the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act, originally promulgated in 1969 as part of the Uniform Probate Code. 

Kohn served as the Reporter (or primary drafter) of the Act. She will discuss how the new version aims to better protect the rights of individuals subject to a guardianship or conservatorship. Among other provisions, the Act includes a clear prohibition on imposing guardianship if less restrictive approaches, such as supported decision‐making, meet the person’s needs; new mechanisms for encouraging the use of limited guardianships over full ones; and improved approaches to monitoring guardians.

Other symposium speakers include Christy A. Coe, Principal Attorney, Mental Hygiene Legal Services, Third Judicial Department; Hon. David H. Guy, Surrogate, Broome County (NY) Surrogate's Court; Hon. John Hall Jr., Surrogate, Warren County (NY) Surrogate's Court; Tara Anne Pleat, Vice Chair, Elder Law and Special Needs Section, New York State Bar Association; and Hon. Ava S. Raphael, Onondaga County Surrogate’s Court, Syracuse, NY. 

The keynote speaker will be Stephen “Dr. Bird” Birchak, Ed.D., a nationally renowned motivational speaker, author, professor, counseling psychologist, and former college wrestling coach of the year. 

AALS CJS Names Gouldin’s “Defining Flight Risk” First Runner-Up in Junior Scholars Competition

Lauryn Gouldin

Associate Professor of Law Lauryn Gouldin’s paper “Defining Flight Risk” has been chosen as the first runner-up in the 2017 Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Criminal Justice Section (CJS) Junior Scholars Competition.  

“Defining Flight Risk” is forthcoming in the University of Chicago Law Review 85. In the article, Gouldin presents a taxonomy of pretrial appearance risks that distinguishes true flight risk from other forms of local nonappearance risk.

 Writes Gouldin, “Pretrial reform efforts must address a fundamental definitional problem: the collapsing of very different types of behavior that result in failures to appear in court into a single, undifferentiated category of nonappearance risk.”

The AALS CJS promotes the development of the scholarly, pedagogic, and public service efforts of section members. The section will honor Gouldin at a luncheon during the 112th AALS Annual Meeting (“Access to Justice”), Jan. 3-6, 2018, in San Diego, CA. 

Kanter, Kohn Both Speak at Harvard Law on Nov. 10, 2017

Kanter Harvard Poster

On Nov. 10, 2017, Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence and Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program Arlene Kanter and Associate Dean for Research and Online Education and David M. Levy L’48 Professor of Law Nina Kohn will share their expertise—in disability law and fiduciary law, respectively—at Harvard Law School. 

Kanter will deliver the lecture “The Difference a Treaty Can Make: The Case for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” at noon in the Morgan Courtroom as part of the Harvard Project on Disability, a comparative and international law initiative to advance understanding regarding disability law, policy, and education around the world. During her sabbatical from the College of Law, Kanter is a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law. 

Kohn will be speaking as a part of a conference entitled “Fiduciary Law: Charting the Field,” taking place on November 10 and 11. The conference has been organized by the editors of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Fiduciary Law (Eds. Evan J. Criddle, Paul B. Miller, and Robert H. Sitkoff, 2018).

Discussing “Surrogate Decision-Making,” Kohn will join fellow panelists John Goldberg, Benjamin Chen, and Evan Criddle in an afternoon session on November 10. The wide-ranging, interdisciplinary conference will cover fiduciary law from several perspectives, including the “duty of loyalty,” “duty of care,” Islamic law, Indian law, English common law, European civil law, investment advice, agency law, and bankruptcy and insolvency.   

What the US Government Can Do to Prevent Low-Tech Terror Attacks

Corri Zoli

By Corri Zoli

On Oct. 31, 2017, as reported by CNN, eight people were killed and almost a dozen injured when 29-year-old Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov drove a rented pickup truck down a busy bicycle path in New York City’s Lower Manhattan district. Authorities found a note claiming the attack was made in the name of Islamic State (ISIS) near the truck used in the attack.1 Saipov was shot by police and taken to the hospital. Originally from Uzbekistan, he entered the United States under a visa program designed to encourage immigration from underrepresented nations. 

Given the case facts, this tragic incident looks like yet another low-tech terrorist attack, similar to vehicular attacks in the last two years in London, France, Sweden, Spain, Germany, and elsewhere. The inspiration for these attacks comes from ISIS and its online recruitment materials that advocate for the surprise killing of civilians using any available modern tools as weapons, such as trucks, knives, or homemade bombs.2 Europe has suffered hundreds of deaths due to this “low-tech” but powerful strategy.

US Congressmembers emphasize that we’re in a high-threat environment given ISIS attacks across the world and given thousands of foreign terrorist fighters returning to their home countries (as Islamic State collapses). It should be remembered that 60,000 foreign fighters have joined ISIS in Syria and Iraq since 2012. While numbers of recruits from the US are far lower than from France and Britain—not to mention other countries—they are not zero. Since 2014, 136 individuals have been charged for ISIS-related offenses in the US, with 79 so far found guilty.

What can the US government do to prevent such low-tech terror attacks in the homeland? Physical barriers to prevent car and truck attacks would help in places where people congregate, but it is not feasible to line every road or bike path with such concrete barriers. Nor do we have as many domestic policy tools as we might like to have to deal with this issue, such as heavily secured borders or detailed vetting procedures for immigrants and refugees. Instead, we must turn to surveillance, public notification of extremist behavior, forward-leaning law enforcement professionals, and community engagement, all of which must be balanced with civil liberties.

Importantly, lawmakers and law enforcement officials need to stay ahead of global terrorist strategic, tactical, and recruitment trends, especially after the fall of Raqqa and now that ISIS operatives are beginning to return home or move into other regions (such as Mali in western Africa). To politicize these issues—or ignore them or wish them away—is folly. Preventing terror attacks will require thorough policy reviews, investigative reports, and new bipartisan laws and agency procedures, such as those developed in the past to close VISA loopholes. The U.S. is not alone on these challenges—France issued a new anti-terrorism law this week, and British ministers are actively asking what to do with foreign terrorist returnees. 

In addition to the challenge of homegrown terrorism, our immigration systems are not immune to these threats. Both the Obama and Trump administrations have increased vetting of immigrants and refugees to deal with the ways terrorist operatives target migration flows and programs. Former FBI Director James Comey in 2015 Congressional testimony noted that 15% of refugees (300 out of 2,000-plus open FBI cases) are under FBI investigation for “some contact with foreign terrorists.”

Terrorists exploiting immigration and refugee programs is a bigger problem, however, in Europe, where ISIS operatives in the Paris (2015) and Belgium (2016) attacks, among others, used refugee flows and passports to skirt border security measures. 

Likely, the visa lottery program3 Saipov used to enter the US in 2010 will come under scrutiny.4 While a small program,5 after the San Bernardino attack in 2015, President Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson and lawmakers—including Central New York’s John Katko, who leads the House bipartisan Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel—reevaluated the K-1 VISA program for fiancée/spouses, some recommending social media surveillance of individuals. 

The vetting process for the K-1 program was determined to be less rigorous than refugee vetting processes and therefore changed. In this case—as in the case of San Bernadino killer Tashfeen Malik, who was determined to have been radicalized before entering the US—an important question is whether Saipov exhibited signs of radicalization before he entered the US and whether he was properly vetted.


1 Sayfullo Saipov’s first name translates into “Sword of Allah.” Reportedly, he pledged allegiance to ISIS and had ISIS flags in his vehicle.

2 Here’s a sample from Rumiyah: Though being an essential part of modern life, very few actually comprehend the deadly and destructive capability of the motor vehicle and its capacity of reaping large numbers of casualties if used in a premeditated manner. This was superbly demonstrated…by the brother Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel who, while traveling at the speed of approximately 90 km p/hour, plowed his 19-ton load-bearing truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, harvesting through his attack the slaughter of 86 Crusader citizens and injuring 434 more. The method of such an attack is that a vehicle is plunged at a high speed into a large congregation of kufar, smashing their bodies with the vehicle’s strong outer frame, while advancing forward—crushing their heads, torsos, and limbs under the vehicle’s wheels and chassis—and leaving behind a trail of carnage.” (Rumiyah, 2016, Issue 3, p. 10)

3 There were 1,051,031 new legal permanent residents (“Green Card” holders) in FY 2015, with about 5% coming from the “diversity” visa lottery program and most (66%) coming from family relations preferences. 

4 News outlets are also reporting that Saipov was in fact investigated by the FBI in 2015 over his ties with suspected terrorists. He was further listed as a “point of contact” for 23 visitors and immigrants, two of whom were found in DHS’s counterterrorism database and overstayed their tourist visas, itself a growing problem in the US (more than 700,000 overstayed their visas in 2016). One individual was flagged as arriving from a threat country while the other was identified as a “suspected terrorist.” Vetting procedures were again changed—this time to link classified (US Department of Defense) and unclassified data on jihadists—when it was discovered that two Iraqi refugees arrested on terror offenses in Bowling Green, Kentucky had previously committed IED attacks against US soldiers in Iraq. 

5 The Diversity Visa Program prioritizes immigrants from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the US. Congressionally mandated as part of the Immigration Act of 1990, the program creates priorities—diversity—beyond traditional US immigration policy of immigrating family members or US employment needs. The program allows for 55,000 immigrants per year (beginning in 1995) with countries excluded that have sent more than 50,000 immigrants to the US in the previous 5 years.

NEXT Conference to Feature College of Law Commercialization Experts


The College of Law’s New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYSSTLC) has a leading role at the NEXT Conference and Tech Showcase, taking place on Nov. 17, 2017, at the Sheraton Syracuse University. NYSSTLC is both a conference co-sponsor and organizer of the “Legal Issues in Technology Commercialization” workshop track. In addition, professors Shubha Ghosh and Jack Rudnick will moderate panels that will feature several College of Law alumni.

Now in its fourth edition, NEXT focuses on innovations in technology, manufacturing, and biotechnology and brings together fast-track companies, managers, researchers, medical professionals, investors, attorneys, and entrepreneurs to meet and learn from each other and from international thought leaders and industry experts. Along with NYSSTLC, the conference is sponsored by the Central New York Biotech Accelerator, Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering (CASE) at Syracuse University, and CNY Technology Development Organization (TDO). 

The dynamic, full-day program features panels on “Biotech Innovation” and “Manufacturing Excellence,” along with the NYSSTLC-organized track on “Legal Issues in Technology Commercialization.”  NYSSTLC Director Jack Rudnick will moderate the panel “Protecting IP: Timing, Validity Challenges, International Decisions,” addressing patent filing strategy, international filings, trade secret protection, and post-grant review options. Other panelists are John Boger L’95 of Heslin & Rothenberg; George McGuire L’96 of Bond, Schoeneck and King; and Renato Smith of Barclay Damon. 

“Papering Up: Agreements in Tech Commercialization” will be moderated by Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh. It will discuss transferring or sharing rights to intellectual property (IP) and licenses and other documents key to successful collaborations. Panelists are Judy Albers of SUNY-Geneseo; Bill Bond of the Rochester Institute of Technology; Felix Litvinsky of the Cornell Blackstone LaunchPad; and Steve Wood G’06 L’06 of the SUNY Research Foundation. 

Additionally, Syracuse University’s Marcie Sonneborn—Professor of Practice at the School of Information Studies (iSchool)—will be a panelist on “Finding the Funds: New Venture Assistance for Innovation and Capitalization,” a NYSSTLC-sponsored workshop investigating how entrepreneurs can avoid the pitfalls of financing their ventures, which fund sources have the best long-run perspectives, and the evolution of different financing structures. Joining Sonneborn in this workshop are Rami Katz of Excell Partners; Nasir Ali of Upstate Venture Connect; and Clayton Besch of New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund. 

The conference also brings to Syracuse two world-class keynote speakers: artificial intelligence and robotics guru Hod Lipson and internationally renowned neuroscientist and medical intelligence expert Dave Warner. Parallel to the conference, a Technology Showcase will feature breakthrough science from university and industry research teams and displays from businesses developing cutting-edge products, giving attendees a unique first-hand look at “NEXT generation” opportunities, tools, and discoveries.

Learn more about the event and register.

“Living Proof”: Syrian Accountability Project Publishes White Paper on the Yazidi Genocide

Yazidi Genocide White Paper

Crimes committed against civilians during war can be especially heinous, but when those crimes are committed with planned intent to destroy an ethnic or religious community, international law applies the unique label of “genocide.” It is not a charge used lightly by the international community, although in recent times it has been applied to crimes committed during the Bosnian War (1992-1995) and Rwandan Civil War (1994). 

Now, a white paper published by the Syracuse University College of Law-based Syrian Accountability Project (SAP) asserts that war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in 2014 against the Yazidi community by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) also should be considered genocide. The report documents crimes perpetrated against the Yazidi community and calls on the international community to take “proper care of the living proof” of the Yazidi genocide and to begin the “strategic preservation” of forensic evidence that could be used in an international court.

As with past SAP special reports, the “Report on the Yazidi Genocide: Mapping Atrocity in Iraq and Syria” draws on the project’s six-year-long effort to document war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by all sides during the Syrian Civil War and associated conflicts. Working with open-source materials from available media and contacts within the region, SAP students are responsible for maintaining the project’s two main deliverables, the Conflict Narrative and the Crime Base Matrix. The former is a legally relevant historical narrative of the conflict, while the matrix’s intent is to provide case facts of representative crimes (as well as the relevant international or national legal standard for each crime) to guide a future prosecution team. In this way, SAP both advocates on behalf of victims and provides legal analysis to aid in the eventual administration of postconflict justice. 

The “Report on the Yazidi Genocide” has been sent to SAP’s international clients, including the International Criminal Court, the United Nations, the US Congress, and leading human rights organizations. The report also joins related documents requested of SAP by London-based law firm Doughty Street Chambers and barrister Amal Clooney, who acts as legal counsel to Yazidi victims of ISIS’ crimes and to Yazda, a non-governmental organization that supports the Yazidi community. 

“The Syrian Accountability Project has become a relied-upon legal investigatory tool for the delivery of justice for the people of Syria and the Levant,” says Syracuse University College of Law Professor of Practice David M. Crane, who supervises the project. “The capacity of a College of Law student with a focused, properly supervised plan is unlimited.” 

The Yazidis—an ethno-religious group of between 500,000 and 1.2 million people living primarily in Northern Iraq—are Kurdish-speaking and follow their own syncretic religion that combines aspects of Zoroastrianism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. The “Report on the Yazidi Genocide” alleges that, beginning in summer 2014, the group was targeted by ISIS and its campaign to “purify” the region of non-Islamist influences. The report details what it calls “grim incidences” of “incomparable brutality” during this campaign. More than 2,800 Yazidis were killed in this short time; 4,600 community members were abducted; 1,950 children were victimized; and towns and villages were blockaded or emptied of their residents. Women were kidnapped, raped, forced to abort fetuses, and sold into sexual slavery, while in a particularly abhorrent episode in August 2014, many children died of exposure on Mount Sinjar, where up to 50,000 Yazidis were seeking refuge. 

“This has been a harder project to track than crimes committed in Syria during the civil war,” says SAP Executive Director and third-year law student Joseph Railey. “Narratives about sexual violence as a war crime are difficult to collect, and whole villages have disappeared, so those people cannot tell their stories. Nevertheless, this white paper helps clarify for our clients what kinds of information the Syrian Accountability Project has recorded beyond the case facts stemming specifically from the Syrian Civil War.” 

While the report cross-references individual representative crimes with the articles of the Geneva Conventions, Rome Statute, and/or Iraqi Penal Code that they violate, it is the systematic nature of the crimes, along with ISIS’ stated intent to convert Yazidis to Islam, that raises the atrocities collectively to genocide. “The stories underlying these crimes provide the evidentiary support necessary to demonstrate that ISIS executed a systemic plan to destroy, in whole or in part, the Yazidi people,” the report states. “ISIS soldiers regularly demonstrated a specific intent to destroy the Yazidi people through their ideology and unabashed assertions for eliminating the Yazidi community.” 

The report recognizes that many of the circumstantial evidence and news reports that SAP has collected are not legally sufficient to support a declaration of genocide, but it hopes that publishing these narratives will spur the international community to make an effort to preserve physical evidence of crimes. “Bringing ISIS to justice for genocide against the Yazidi community, at the domestic or the international level, will depend on the strategic preservation of forensic evidence,” the report concludes. 

“What we are asking is that more recording of actual criminal evidence be done by the international community,” asserts Railey. “We are essentially saying, what happened was horrific, yet few people are talking about it. So we want to help draw people’s attention to the Yazidi situation and start a dialogue about what can be done.” 

NYSSTLC Helps Write ModoScript’s Next Chapter

David Zuleta

Not every entrepreneur’s prescription for success is exactly the same, but there are often many ingredients in common: a novel idea, a vision of success, hard yards, a dash of luck, and a carefully cultivated network of advisors, mentors, investors, and other champions. David Zuleta—while still a neuroscience and biotechnology undergraduate student at Syracuse University—is skillfully combining these ingredients to develop ModoScript, a digital prescription dosing system that he hopes will combat prescription drug abuse, boost patient compliance, cut medical costs, and disrupt the medical device industry. 

With the help of the College of Law’s New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYSSTLC), Zuleta’s vision is coming into focus and his network growing as he moves ModoScript from the concept stage toward prototyping and eventually the marketplace. 

“I started ModoScript while I was working as a part-time medical scribe at Crouse Hospital,” explains Zuleta. While he interacted with physicians, pharmacies, health insurance companies, and academic experts, Zuleta began thinking about ways to combat the epidemic of prescription drug abuse drug by improving the current prescription system. “We need a system to regulate opioid prescriptions in order to lower dependency,” Zuleta observes. “Currently, when you are sent home from a care facility, often you are forced to go off a pain medication ‘cold turkey,’ and that’s when people find themselves experiencing withdrawal symptoms that often leads them to use street drugs like heroin.” 

In order to effectively control pain and keep patients from abusing prescription medications, Zuleta conceived a tamper-proof, “smart” dosing system to better regulate the flow of opioids, stimulants, and anxiolytics. He hopes to combat the ongoing epidemic of drug abuse from the root, while reducing costs associated with patient non-adherence, overdose, under-dose, and prescription trafficking that the healthcare industry must deal with. 

ModoScript’s digital health system combines an automated, “pill-safe” dispenser with a mobile application to connect several sectors of the healthcare industry. A patient prescribed controlled medications will be required to use the pill-safe dispenser provided by a pharmacy. The dispensers are fitted with biometric safety locks to combat abuse and ensure proper patient compliance.

Zuleta says there are other safety pill dispensers on the market, but ModoScript differentiates itself by being a business-to-business platform that will be sold not directly to patients but to insurance companies tackling the opioid abuse epidemic. 

ModoScript aims to lessen the paperwork load on doctors (by integrating seamlessly with electronic medical records, for instance) and to lower costs for insurance companies, “while providing pharmaceutical companies with a tool that will help them improve clinical trials in hopes of developing safer medications for patients,” says Zuleta. 

In July 2017, ModoScript was the only student startup winner of the Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC), sponsored by the Upstate Medical University’s Medical Innovation and Novel Discovery Center (Upstate MIND). NYSSTLC Director M. Jack Rudnick led the committee of experts that judged entries. This fall, Zuleta became one of NYSSTLC’s semester-long projects. Under the guidance of Professor Chris Horacek—and with help from 3L research associates Lindsey Round and Jennifer Hicks—the law center is helping Zuleta with patent, intellectual property (IP), and market landscaping; information on US regulations and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submission process; and business development issues, such as vesting agreements. 

“The landscapes we provide are useful to the client and their attorney in the pursuit of IP protection,” explains Rudnick. “We always say ‘you don't know what you don't know,’ so this information helps the inventor or entrepreneur make a decision to keep going, pivot, or simply stop. Because ModoScript is at an early stage, our research could actually influence the form and nature of the technology so they end up with a protectable technology that can achieve early market acceptance.” 

Zuleta says that IP and market landscaping is also helping him develop marketing and investment pitches and—for the patent application process—prove novelty. Putting IP protections in place allows him to approach partners, mentors, and investors with confidence, a process that has accelerated since ModoScript won MDIC and became involved with NYSSTLC. “I like to work with the best, and that’s especially important in the healthcare industry,” he says. “You can’t really walk into the offices of the big players in this industry as a student and expect to be taken seriously. To do so, you need to cultivate a high-level mentorship team. The bigger your dream, the bigger the reputation you need to build around it.”

The team that Zuleta has built in a short time is impressive, too lengthy to list in this article. It is made up of regulatory experts, angel investors, and a mentorship board, while advice also is coming from the CNY Biotech Accelerator, Empire State Development, Microsoft BizSpark, Syracuse University’s LaunchPad Blackstone, the Couri Hatchery, the Tech Garden, and others. 

To develop the prototype, Zuleta has put together a team consisting of Ph.D. mechanical, biomedical, and computer engineers from Cornell University and Syracuse University, including Jason Hooper, Yunpeng Li and lead of product development, Tiffany St. Bernard. The engineering team is charged with completing a prototype by the end of November 2017, when—as an MDIC finalist—Zuleta will be asked to test ModoScript’s efficacy. An innovation challenge pitch is scheduled for December in front of high-level SUNY-Upstate principals and outside investors. 

Assuming all goes well, Zuleta says he is looking forward to “phase 2”: filing a patent application, further product development, building venture partnerships, and working toward FDA compliance. 

“I started this company because I thought the healthcare system fails to provide patients with the proper treatment guidance they deserve,” notes Zuleta. “ModoScript is a patient-centered approach to drug safety and compliance. We want to educate patients about individual treatments and ameliorate physicians’ fears about prescribing controlled substances. We will initially target opioids, stimulants, and anxiolytics, then expand into other highly monitored treatments such as cancer and cognitive disabilities. The opioid epidemic will get ModoScript into the market, but the technology will ultimately benefit everyone.”


Jennifer Holtz L’08 and Colleagues Discuss A Wide Range of Federal Communications Commission Legal Topics with DCEx Participants

DC Externship Program

On September 23, 2017, the Syracuse College of Law Fall 2017 DCEx participants had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer Holtz L’08, currently the Deputy-Division Chief of the Cyber Security and Communications Reliability Division of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Holtz put together an impressive list of speakers for the externs, including an introduction by Lisa Fowlks, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief, who stated the biggest mistake a lawyer can make is thinking they have learned it all. Fowlks was followed by Chris Anderson, the Deputy Chief of the Operations & Emergency Management Division, who reported on how the FCC responds to emergencies, including natural disasters like the hurricanes that have recently hit the United States. Michael Connelly, an attorney in the Policy and Licensing Division, then walked the externs through a brief history of 9-1-1 and what the future of 9-1-1, Next Generation 9-1-1, will look like. David Plotinsky, the Deputy Chief of the Cyber Security and Communications Reliability Division, discussed his experience in the intelligence community, including investigating Edward Snowden, and his journey to the FCC.

Holtz then finished the seminar by discussing her networking strategies, and general professional development advice. She specifically focused on how to cultivate a relationship with people after the initial networking meeting and how to continue to develop that relationship to create a healthier and more extensive network. Holtz then posed a challenge to all the externs to have coffee with at least three additional people in D.C. before the semester ends.  

After the seminar was completed, the externs participated in their fourth networking event, gaining the opportunity to talk with Holtz and Plotinsky about their experiences working in the D.C. market, learning more about their professional experiences, and gaining insight on how to develop networking and professional skills that every young attorney needs. 

3Ls Melissa Green, Christopher Clark Win 40th Annual Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition

2017 Grossman Competition

On Oct. 26, 2017, the Moot Court Honor Society held the finals of the 40th Annual Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition in the Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom in Dineen Hall. Presided over by Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby L’85, Chief United States District Judge, Northern District of New York, 3Ls Melissa Green and Christopher Clark won the competition. Clark also received the Frank Armani Advocacy Award, which was presented by award namesake and distinguished guest Frank H. Armani L’56. 

“I want to thank all those who supported the 40th Annual Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition,” says Kathleen M. O’Connor, Faculty Director, Moot Court Honor Society and Advocacy.  “I especially want to thank our faculty evaluators—Emily Brown, Sanjay Chhablani, Lauryn Gouldin, Travis Lewin, and Richard Risman—for their time. I also thank our faculty competition director, Shannon Gardner, for her tremendous work to make this competition an enriching experience for the students; our competition directors, Annie Millar and Jenny Pratt; and Moot Court Executive Director Ryan Lefkowitz. Congratulations also to all participants and especially to the winners and the runners-up, 3Ls Nick Dellefave and Raul Velez.”

Created in 1978, the annual Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition offers law students the opportunity to practice oral advocacy and hone their trial advocacy skills. The competition is named for Lionel O. Grossman L’16, whose professional achievements, community service—especially in the fight against cerebral palsy—and commitment to excellence personified the ideals of the legal profession. Richard Grossman ’51, L’55 and Dr. Murray Grossman ’43, MED ’45, established the competition as an 80th birthday gift in honor of their father. The competition is hosted by the Moot Court Honor Society, whose 58 second- and third-year student members participate in a variety of intramural and intercollegiate competitions designed to sharpen advocacy skills essential to the legal profession. 

This year’s problem involved a criminal case brought by the “State of New Columbia” against Chris Archer. The State had charged Chris Archer with first-degree murder and criminal hazing following the death of a college fraternity pledge, 18-year-old Milan Jackson, who died as a result of a fall from a campus clock tower. The defendant was the fraternity’s president the year of the accident and was in charge of planning pledging activities. Student advocates were asked to call witnesses, introduce and challenge evidence, and make timely objections throughout the trial. The competition was governed by Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and Evidence. 

Joining Presiding Judge Suddaby were evaluators Hon. Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz, Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge, Northern District of New York; William Fitzpatrick L’76, District Attorney, Onondaga County; Hon. Mae D’Agostino L’80, United States District Judge, Northern District of New York; Lisa Peebles L’92, Federal Public Defender, Northern District of New York; and Professor of Law Emeritus Travis H.D. Lewin. A full list of competition participants and judges for all rounds can be found in the competition program

College of Law, Oneida County Partner to Expand Legal Aid Services to Veterans

Dean Craig Boise welcomes a new partnership between the College and Oneida County to provide veterans' legal services.

On Oct. 26, 2017, representatives from the College of Law joined Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. in Utica, NY, to announce a partnership between the College and the County to expand legal aid services to Oneida County veterans through the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic. The partnership is a three-year commitment totaling $150,000 that will enable the College to operate the clinic from the County Office Building in Utica, as well as a location in Rome, NY.

Founded in January 2015 by two Syracuse University College of Law alumni—Tom Caruso L’14 and Josh Keefe L’14—the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic is the first comprehensive legal clinic in New York. It provides free legal assistance to veterans as they apply for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, appeal adverse VA decisions, and attempt to upgrade their military discharges. 

“Taking care of our veterans has always been a top priority of my administration,” says Picente. “The Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic provides essential legal services to local veterans in need, helping them navigate many complex issues and obtain the benefits they deserve. I am happy that we are strengthening our valuable partnership with the Syracuse University College of Law and expanding our ability to assist those who have sacrificed so much on our behalf.”

The clinic operates as part of the College of Law’s Office of Clinical Legal Education. Students who work for the clinic research, investigate, and advocate on behalf of clients. In addition to client representation, the clinic engages in community outreach in Syracuse, Utica, and now Rome, and partners with social services agencies to connect clients to available resources designed to support veterans and families.

“Since its founding by two College of Law students, the clinic has impacted the lives of hundreds of veterans,” says College of Law Dean Craig Boise. “I am proud of what Oneida County and the college has achieved thus far, and thanks to our renewed partnership with the county—and the generosity of Oneida County-based donors and our alumni—we can make a real difference in the lives of many more veterans.”

In the two years the law clinic operated from the Veterans Outreach Center in Utica, it received 160 requests for legal assistance and 80 cases were accepted across the county. Twenty-two cases were brought to closure, 32 were referred to the legal clinic’s network of partners, and 80 cases were referred to outside legal services providers. This effort resulted in more than $31,700 in back pay awards, an average benefits increase of nearly $19,000, 960 hours of student pro bono work, and 36 College of Law students trained as veterans advocates. 

“Through the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic, Oneida County veterans will have access to the specialized legal representation needed to navigate the VA so they can receive the benefits they have earned and discharge upgrades they deserve,” says Clinic Director Yelena Duterte. “The clinic also will continue to train the next generation of veteran advocates with the skills they need to serve our veterans in their practices or in pro bono service.”

Led by the efforts of Oneida County residents Linda, John, and Jackie Romano and Rob Esche, more than $100,000 was also raised recently at a Utica event to support the clinic’s work. 

“My family and I have been honored to be a part of the development and opening of a Veterans Legal Clinic at Syracuse University with a presence here in Oneida County,” says Linda Romano. “I cannot think of a more deserving group than the veterans who put their lives at stake to ensure that our way of life and freedoms are protected. They deserve to have their rights protected as well.”

“I grew up in Utica, and I know what a special place this is,” says Tom Caruso. “As a naval officer and attorney, I have traveled around the country and seen the lack of legal resources for our veterans. We made a promise to our warriors that if they serve our country that we would take care of them when they return. The Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic is helping to fulfill that promise here at home. Due to the generous support of Oneida County and the Romano family, we now can serve those who have served us all.”

“Research Handbook on Remote Warfare” Features William C. Banks on Cyber Conflict

Research Handbook on Remote Warfare

Featuring an essay on “Developing Norms for Cyber Conflict” by INSCT Director William C. Banks, the Research Handbook on Remote Warfare, edited by Cornell Law School Vice Dean Jens David Ohlin, has been published by Edward Elgar Publishing. 

The handbook (also offered as an e-book) is described as an essential read for academics and students of jus ad bellum, national security law, international humanitarian law, human rights, and modern warfare techniques and the complex legal issues they create.

Essays examine how the practice of armed conflict has changed radically in the last decade and addresses in particular the legal implications of remote warfare and its significance for combatants, civilians, policymakers, and international lawyers.

Primarily focused on the legality of targeted killings by drones, cyber attacks, and autonomous weapons, chapters offer compelling insights, challenge assumptions, and give a variety of international perspectives on the use of force, humanitarian law, criminal law, and human rights law. Suggestions are made for the future development of law to control the limits of modern remote warfare, with a particular focus on the possibility of autonomous weapons.

In his essay, Banks reviews the state of the law when it comes to disruptive intrusions—cyber attacks on critical infrastructure, for instance—by state and non-state actors and the complexity of creating a “more fully-formed international law" of cyber conflict and even cyber warfare.

Writes Banks, “Developing an international consensus on the norms for cyber conflict will not be easy. The state of doctrinal international law is only partly to blame. At least as important as constraints are the political differences among states and non-state actors in shaping cyber norms. In addition, the facts needed to make the normative judgments in this fast-paced realm of changing technologies are now and will be for the foreseeable future hard to come by and even more difficult to verify. Law will play catch up, as it should, but the lag between evolving technologies and normative stability in cyber operations may be a long one.”

In his review of the handbook, the University of Exeter's Michael Schmitt observes that, “Professor Ohlin has brought together a diverse group of talented scholars and practitioners to assess drones, cyber operations, and autonomous systems from a completely novel perspective—remoteness. In doing so, he and his team shed new and important light on topics that lie at the heart of future conflict. Additionally, by focusing on remoteness, this handbook breaks loose from the intellectual stove-piping that characterizes our often-predictable assessments of emergent methods and means of warfare. It yields valuable insights into a characteristic of weaponry and tactics that will increasingly define warfare in the decades to come. It is a must-read for anyone concerned with international law in the battlespace.”

Syracuse University College of Law New York Bar Exam Pass Rate is Highest in Decades

Dineen Hall

Syracuse University College of Law graduates who took the New York State Bar Exam for the first time in July 2017 achieved a 91.6% pass rate. That mark represents the highest in decades and an increase of more than two percentage points over the College’s 2016 pass rate.  It is also well above the statewide median pass rate of 85% for New York law schools. 

“We are pleased that our graduates continue to excel on the New York State Bar Exam,” says Dean Craig M. Boise. “For the second year in a row, our graduates have delivered the best results in decades, and we are proud of their accomplishment. Their hundreds of hours of study and preparation are complemented by our dedicated faculty, supportive staff, and well-designed program of education. In particular, our new structured curriculum has proven to be a key to success on the bar exam, passage of which is essential to the practice of law.” 

“To sustain this kind of excellent performance,” continues Boise, “our faculty will continue to review our curriculum and our bar support programs to ensure we are employing instructional methods—from matriculation through graduation—that best prepare and support our students to launch successful professional careers.” 

Professor Ian Gallacher Receives Legal Writing Award

Ian Gallacher

Director of Legal Communication and Research and Professor of Law Ian Gallacher has been awarded the 2018 Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Legal Writing by the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) and the Legal Writing Institute (LWI).

Created to honor the life of ALWD/LWI colleague Tom Blackwell, the award is given to a scholar who has made an outstanding contribution to improve the field of legal writing by demonstrating an ability to motivate students to excellence; a willingness to help other legal writing educators improve their skills; and an ability to create and integrate new ideas for teaching. 

Gallacher was cited for his prominence in the field of legal writing, his involvement in editing legal writing journals, his work with peers on evaluation, and his collaborations with other scholars to improve the field. 

“In short,” reads the citation, “Ian is a product of multidisciplinary areas of study and scholarship, something he still plies to this day. He is a legal writing professor, a program director, a great lawyer, a great former conductor, a violist and violinist, and a gifted prodigious scholar who is very active within our community.”

“I am honored to be thought of in the same manner as Tom Blackwell, a vital influence and inspirational leader to the legal writing community,” says Gallacher. “I want to thank my colleagues who nominated me as I am truly touched that they hold me in such high regard. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the many students who I’ve had the pleasure of teaching and mentoring.”

The Blackwell Award will be presented at the January 2018 meeting of the American Association of Law Schools in San Diego, CA. 

William Snyder Explores the “Internet of Things” at Albany Conference

William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyder addressed the “Internet of Things” on a panel at Albany Law School’s “Cybersecurity and the Law” conference, which took place Oct. 19 and 20, 2017. Snyder, who teaches Cybersecurity Law and Policy and Computer Crimes, was joined on the panel by Andrea Matwyshyn of Northeastern University School of Law, Scott J. Shackelford of Indiana University School of Law, and David Thaw of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Presented by the Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology, Center for Internet Security, Cybersecurity and Privacy Law Center at Albany Law School, and the Sobota Lecture Series, the keynote speaker for “Cybersecurity and the Law” was Mark S. Zaid, Esq., a Washington, DC, attorney who specializes in crisis management, diplomatic immunity, Freedom of Information Act, whistleblowers, privacy, and other areas of national security and international law. 

Research materials and reading for the conference can be found here

Shubha Ghosh Publishes Two-Volume Research Handbook “Intellectual Property and Innovation”

Ghosh IP Textbook
Shubha Ghosh, Crandall Melvin Professor of Law and Director of the Technology Commercialization Law Center, has published a two-volume research handbook Intellectual Property and Innovation with Edward Elgar Publishing, part of its Critical Concepts in Intellectual Property Law series.

“Everyone is familiar with the phrase, ‘Build a better mousetrap and the world will blaze a path to your door,’ says Ghosh, “but there are lots of impediments to building that path. The articles collected in this volume identify these impediments and provide solutions.”

The collection presents 39 leading articles, dating from 1990 to 2015, on the theory and practice of intellectual property law as it applies to the promotion of innovation in economic, social, and legal dimensions.

Introduced with an essay by Ghosh, topics include the role of law and incentives, cumulative and open forms of innovation, as well as discussion of intellectual property and innovation’s social dimensions, relationship with market institutions, and how to chart a course for future innovation policy.

Writes Pam Samuelson, Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law and Information at the University of California-Berkeley, “Innovation has become a vitally important field of study in the modern era. This compilation offers the single best collection of insights that scholars of innovation—including but not limited to intellectual property professors—have to offer about what innovation is, why it is essential to economic growth, and how to foster it. It is a major accomplishment to have brought these insightful works together.”

More information, including the table of contents, can be found here.

Stacey Wiley Joins the College of Law as Director of Career Services

Stacey Wiley

Stacey Wiley has joined the College of Law as Director of Career Services. Wiley, a 2000 graduate of the College of Law, will be responsible for the strategic planning, ongoing management and leadership of the College’s career services office, staff, and initiatives.

Wiley comes to the College of Law from State University of New York (SUNY) College at Geneseo where she served as Director of Career Development.

“Stacey brings a wealth of experience in career development, both in law schools and in a broader higher education setting, which gives her a critical perspective today as the career paths for law graduates are more diverse than ever,” said Sophie Dagenais, Assistant Dean for Advancement and External Affairs. “I know our students will benefit from her insights and creativity, and the passion for our profession that she will bring back to her alma mater.”

Prior to SUNY Geneseo, Wiley held career service positions at Quinnipiac University School of Law and Cornell Law School. Before academia, she practiced ERISA, trusts and estates, and tax law for several years at a local Syracuse firm.

“Career paths for law school graduates are continually evolving, and the Office of Career Services must be nimble and responsive to the student and legal marketplace needs,” said Wiley. “I look forward to providing our students with the support and guidance that will enable them to achieve their career goals.”

In addition to her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law, Wiley holds a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York at Cortland and a Master of Science in Counseling from Syracuse University.

“Why Should You Protect IP?” Shubha Ghosh Speaks at USPTO IP Workshop

Professor Ghosh

Shubha Ghosh, Crandall Melvin Professor of Law and Director, Technology Commercialization Law Center, discussed protecting intellectual property (IP) at the IP Workshop for North Texas Inventors and Entrepreneurs on Sept. 30, 2017. 

The full-day workshop was held at Texas A&M University School of Law and was co-sponsored by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the State Bar of Texas IP Section. In addition to his talk, Ghosh joined USPTO examiners and registered patent and trademark attorneys to consult with inventors and answer their questions. 

Photo by 3L Lauren Lyons.

In a Forthcoming Book, Robin Paul Malloy Re-Assesses Adam Smith’s Theory of Jurisprudence

Robin Paul Malloy

If the ghost of Adam Smith were to haunt the undergraduate classrooms of Syracuse University this Halloween Season, he would perhaps be mortified about how his ideas are being remembered. Despite publishing and lecturing extensively during the 18th century on moral philosophy, political economy, and the law, Smith today is most well-known for the image of the “invisible hand of the market” associated with his magnum opus,  An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). 

However, E.I. White Chair and Distinguished Professor of Law Robin Paul Malloy believes it’s time to re-assess Smith’s ideas on morality, markets, and justice and to revise the way we apply Smith’s philosophical ideas to the law.

In a forthcoming book—as well as at a talk at the Midwest Law and Economics Association at Marquette University Law School, Oct. 19-22, 2017—Malloy will argue that despite Smith’s deep influence on market theory, the Scottish philosopher intended not for economics but for justice to be the central pillar of society. Justice, Smith believed, is what mediates between self-interested individuals and the demands of society as a whole. Malloy believes that a fuller understanding of Smith’s concepts can better inform the way law is theorized and practiced, for the betterment of individuals, social order, and economic progress. 

“The dominant image of Adam Smith as the creator of a dispassionate, mechanical, and wholly rational economic theory emerged from the interpretation of George Stigler and the Chicago School of Economics,” explains Malloy. “Stigler extracted the ‘invisible hand’ as a metaphor for market theory and employed it as a central tenet of economics to advance the idea that rational, self-interested actors could behave in a way that miraculously benefits society as a whole.” Malloy says that lawyers borrowed this somewhat one-dimensional understanding of Smith’s work from economists “and applied it to law in order to advocate for efficient legal rules and in an effort to make the law more scientific by removing moral reasoning from legal judgments.” 

However, Malloy’s latest scholarship illustrates that there is much more to Smith’s work than the simple interpretation of the “invisible hand.” After all, in Smith’s other book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), he develops a theory of morality and provides another of his grand metaphors: the “impartial spectator.” The “impartial spectator” is used to explain how individuals develop moral thinking from the blank slate of birth. Individuals, argued Smith, grow up seeking approval for their moral ideas from other people, or—if the observer is internalized as the “impartial spectator”—from what might be described as a conscience. 

“Smith’s plan was in fact to write three books,” continues Malloy. “The Theory of Moral Sentiments, the Wealth of Nations, and a book on jurisprudence.” Malloy explains that Smith, also a lawyer and legal scholar, spent a large part of his life working on a theory of jurisprudence, but when he died he wanted this unfinished work to be burned. 

Nevertheless, some of Smith’s legal ideas survived, including lecture notes taken by his students. It’s these theories—and how Smith connected jurisprudence to moral philosophy and economics—that Malloy has been exploring for more than 30 years, in two books (Adam Smith and the Philosophy of Law and Economics and Adam Smith and Law) and several chapters and articles. 

The central question of my new book is “What is Smith’s theory of jurisprudence?” says Malloy. “This is a side of Smith that is seldom fully explored by lawyers seeking to apply economics to law.” 

In re-reading Smith’s legal theories, Malloy says a third metaphor—the “man in the mirror”—should be added to the “invisible hand” and “impartial spectator.” The “man in the mirror” addresses jurisprudence and the social context in which we act. “The mirror reflects ourselves and the other people with whom we interact,” explains Malloy, adding that with this third concept, an alternative and more complete model of Smith’s moral, legal, and social universe emerges. The “invisible hand” represents the self-interested actions of individuals, which are in tension with the interests of others as represented by the “man in the mirror” who critiques our self-interested actions. In turn these two are mediated by the concept of justice, or the “impartial spectator.” 

In fact, observes Malloy, Smith used a legal analogy—the common law magistrate—to explain the role of justice in society. Smith saw the English common law magistrate as someone who must practically weigh the interests of individuals against the mores and norms of society. According to Malloy, reconciling Smith’s ideas about the marketplace, justice, and morality is consistent with the desire for modern societies to increase prosperity and protect liberty. “Economic progress occurs in a framework based on morals and justice,” says Malloy. “This understanding of Smith opens the door to a broader than currently existing dialogue in law concerning the proper relationship between—as well as a more diverse and inclusive approach to—law and economics.”