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What Exactly Is the Defense Production Act? Hon. James E. Baker Speaks to CNBC

James E. Baker

What exactly is the Defense Production Act?

(CNBC Markets in Turmoil | April 3, 2020) James E. Baker, professor at the Syracuse University School of Law, on the Defense Production Act and the powers it gives to the president.

Watch the segment.

Hon. James E. Baker on CNBC, April 4, 2020.
Hon. James E. Baker on CNBC, April 4, 2020.

Hon. James E. Baker in The New York Times: Why Is Trump So Timid With the Defense Production Act?

Hon. James E. Baker

(The New York Times | April 3, 2020) Every Marine knows better than to pull a knife in a gunfight. But so far, that appears to be the federal government’s approach to battling Covid-19. The president has “invoked” the Defense Production Act, but the government has not used the full authority of the act. There is a difference between invoking a law and using it, just as there is a difference between talk and action.

Governors and health officials tell us that there is a profound gap between the protective equipment, hospital equipment and testing resources that are needed (and will be needed) and what is available (or in the pipeline). Bill Gates reminds us that we will need to produce millions, perhaps billions, of doses of vaccine in 12 to 18 months. This isn’t a passing crisis; we will need more of everything in two months, six months and maybe years.

Don’t let debate over the details of General Motors’ and Ventec’s honorable effort to build more ventilators hide the bottom line: The federal government has all the authority it needs to close the supply gap, allocate resources among states, and prepare for the production and distribution of the vaccine to come. Until the federal government demonstrates — with statistics, contracts and timelines — that the gap is closed and the vaccine pipeline is ready, we should ask: Why isn’t the government bringing its full arsenal to the fight? …

Read the full article.

Professor Doron Dorfman Examines "[Un]Usual Suspects: Deservingness, Scarcity, and Disability Rights"

Doron Dorfman
"[Un]Usual Suspects: Deservingness, Scarcity, and Disability Rights." UC Irvine Law Review 10:2 (2020).

People encounter disability in public spaces where accommodations are granted to those who fit into this protected legal class, writes Professor Doron Dorfman. Nondisabled people desire many of these accommodations—such as the use of reserved parking spots or the ability to avoid waiting in a queue—and perceive them as “special rights” prone to abuse. 

This apprehension about the exploitation of rights by those pretending to be disabled, which Dorfman refers to as “fear of the disability con,” erodes trust in disability law and affects people with disabilities both on an individual level and a group level. 

Individuals with disabilities are often harassed or questioned about their identity when using their rights. As a group, disabled people are forced to navigate through new defensive policies that seek to address widely held perceptions of fakery and abuse. 

This article uses a series of survey experiments conducted with multiple nationally representative samples totaling more than 3,200 Americans along with 47 qualitative in-depth interviews. It brings to light the psychological mechanism of suspicion and identifies factors that motivate fear of the disability con in public spaces. 

Findings counterintuitively suggest that the scarcity of the desired public resources has no effect on the level of suspicion against potential abusers. Rather, it is the sense of deservingness (or lack thereof) in the eyes of others that drives suspicion. 

Using these empirical findings, as well as analysis of relevant case law, Dorfman outlines the normative implications for the design and implementation of laws affecting millions of individuals. Furthermore, this research contributes to our understanding of how rights behave on the ground, both with regard to disability and to myriad distributive policies.

Syracuse University College of Law Introduces S.J.D. Degree Program

College of Law

Syracuse University College of Law is pleased to announce the launch of its new Doctor of Juridical Science in Law (Scientiae Juridicae Doctor, or S.J.D.) degree program. This is the third programmatic announcement in the 2019-2020 academic year for the College of Law, coming after the December 2019 launch of the online J.D./M.B.A. program and the January 2020 launch of Third Year Away

An advanced research doctorate program—which has been approved by NYS Department of Education and received acquiescence from the American Bar Association—the S.J.D. program is similar to Ph.D. programs in other disciplines. While pursuing their advanced legal studies, S.J.D. students will work under the supervision of their faculty advisors to produce an original dissertation that will make a substantial contribution to the field of law. 

"Syracuse's S.J.D. program is designed to foster original research of outstanding legal scholars and aspiring academics from around the world. S.J.D. students will discover that the College of Law is a thriving academic community where the breadth and depth of our faculty's expertise as leaders in their respective fields will complement the students’ own advanced intellectual inquiry," says Dean Craig M. Boise. "I look forward to welcoming S.J.D. students whose contributions and international perspectives will enhance the College of Law's reputation as a global center for engaging in the most pressing legal and policy topics of our day." 

"The College of Law’s new S.J.D. Program builds on our highly successful LL.M. program that offers unique specialties in international and comparative disability law, national and international security law, technology and innovation law, as well as other disciplines," says Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor and Faculty Director of International Programs Professor Arlene Kanter. "Syracuse also offers S.J.D. students the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary coursework and academic engagement with other academic programs of Syracuse University—an R1 research institution—including at the world-renowned Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication, and Whitman School of Management." 

Assistant Dean of International Programs Andrew Horsfall says that “the S.J.D Admissions Committee is eager to begin reviewing application materials from potential candidates for the Fall 2020 cohort, and we will continue to do so on a rolling basis.” Applicants must hold a degree in law, and international applicants are encouraged to have an LL.M. from an accredited law school in the United States. An applicant's prior academic record and the compatibility of research goals with College of Law faculty expertise are among the other admission criteria.

The S.J.D. program requires a year-long colloquium course as well as elective coursework to support the student’s dissertation research and writing. S.J.D. students are expected to complete the program within three to five years, culminating in an oral defense of their dissertation that will be open to the University community. 

During semesters in residence, S.J.D. students will engage in coursework and research activities at the College of Law and across Syracuse University. After their first year, students may pursue optional semesters in residence at Syracuse, or field placements and research opportunities away from the College of Law. 

For more information about the S.J.D. Program, visit law.syr.edu/sjd or email Assistant Dean of International Programs Andrew S. Horsfall at SJD@law.syr.edu. Press inquiries should be directed to Robert Conrad at rtconrad@law.syr.edu

“Cool” Relief for Migraine Sufferers: Innovation Law Center Helps Bring Wearable Tech to Market

Prolivio Migraine Headband

By Julia Scaglione '20

Imagine having a migraine and reaching for an ice pack for relief. Sure, the cooling numbs the pain for a while—but 20 minutes later the relief ends as the ice pack reaches room temperature. But now the tedious process of returning the pack to the freezer and waiting for it to re-freeze—while the pain returns—has an alternative solution: Prolivio. It’s an ice pack whose temperature can be controlled and customized to meet exact needs.

Prolivio is a migraine-relief cooling headband designed to reduce the longevity and severity of headaches. A “digital icepack” of sorts, the simple device provides a customizable level of cooling per customer preference through its adjustable temperature and time settings. Not only does Prolivio provide better relief, it enables cooling to happen on-the-go.

Plus, the device is connected to an app that collects data, allowing its users to better understand how often they experience migraines and the effect of contributing influences. Thus, by collecting data on the user’s migraines, Prolivio works to not only provide immediate relief through its cooling tech, it aids the management of migraines in the long run.

The company was founded by Benjamin Zombek and Robert Juncosa in 2019 and now operates with a small team preparing for commercial launch. Zombek, the Industrial Designer of the team, is no stranger to migraines, so the issue hits close to home for him. “As a kid, my mother suffered horrible migraines,” he explains. “She experienced awful side effects and was often non-functioning due to heavy medication.” The personal impact of migraines does not stop there: Zombek’s wife and daughter experience them as well.

The fact that three significant people in Zombek’s life all experience migraines is not as unusual as it may seem. The condition is a lot more prevalent than meets the eye. The Migraine Research Foundation reports that nearly 1 in 4 US households include someone with migraine and that 12% of the population—including children—suffers from migraine. According to Zombek, one billion people suffer from migraines worldwide.

Not only does this chronic condition create huge out-of-pocket medical costs for sufferers but it also results in a loss of income due to time lost at work. According to industry statistics provided by Zombek, the annual economic loss resulting from time lost at work due to migraines in the United States alone is $31 billion, and 157 million people miss work hours each year. So prevalent is the condition that a “migraine industry” has developed, with sufferers spending $41 billion to treat their range of symptoms—not just headache, but nausea, light sensitivity, and more. Prolivio plans to enter this industry with a product that can provide immediate relief as sufferers continue to wait for a cure.

Estimated to be 14 to 16 months from its product launch, the Prolivio team is working to build beta units of its product, conduct market research through customer discovery, pitch in business plan competitions, and build relationships with strategic partners.

In addition to their preparatory work at the Prolivio headquarters, Zombek and the team have been working with the Syracuse University College of Law’s Innovation Law Center (ILC) to understand the product’s intellectual property landscape, the application of various regulations, and how to optimize the product’s path to market.

Specifically, Zombek and the ILC students are compiling research to help solidify the parameters of the Prolivio patent protection strategy, as well as what obstacles there may be to market entry and whether the company can anticipate any freedom to operate issues. “So far, the students have given us reassurance that there are no red flags and that the patent looks very strong,” Zombek reports. “Those are two huge wins in taking the product to market, so working with the ILC has been great.”

Looking forward, Zombek hopes to launch Prolivio in mid-2021. The company will spend the upcoming months going through the final rounds of engineering and prototyping to build and scale the product, in addition to securing funding and partners to launch.

Outside of Prolivio, Zombek hopes to develop further health and wellness products for a variety of conditions through his company, BZD Ventures. The inventor says he aims to launch more enabling technology for the disabled community, as well as other therapeutic technologies. At the end of the day, Zombek’s goal with Prolivio and all of his inventions is simple: “I want to help people in pain. And overall, simple tech makes a difference.”

Prolivio migraine headband.
Prolivio migraine headband.

New Database: Wolters Kluwer Study Aids

The Law Library is pleased to announce a new online study aids collection, Wolters Kluwer Study Aids, for law students.  The collection includes the popular Examples & Explanations series, Glannon Guides, and more.  Users will be prompted for their NetIDs to successfully connect..  Once connected, users can create and use their own customized accounts to highlight text, make annotations, etc.  

Please see our student flyer for additional information.

Serving Veterans During COVID-19: VLC's Beth Kubala Appears on the Dave Allen Podcast

Beth Kubala

During an appearance on WSYR's Dave Allen Show (March 30, 2020), Beth Kubala, Director of the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic (VLC), discusses the clinic's work, her military career, and how she, the clinic, and its students continue to serve Central New York's veterans during the coronavirus public health crisis.

Listen to the podcast

Professor David Driesen: Why NY Law Requires Absentee Ballots in Response to COVID-19

David Driesen

(syracuse.com | March 30, 2020) Postponing elections because of COVID-19 is dangerous. We don’t know when the crisis will abate. And President Donald Trump, if he falls behind his opponent in the presidential race, may cite any state postponements of elections as precedent for seeking to postpone the 2020 federal elections indefinitely.

But how can New York avoid postponing elections when illness from COVID-19 prevents many voters from going to the polls? The answer is quite simple. The New York Election Law permits (and arguably requires) universal rights to absentee ballots during the current crisis, because it authorizes absentee ballots when illness prevents voters from appearing personally. That explains why Attorney General Letitia James is on solid legal ground in supporting universal absentee ballots.

The election authorizes people who may contract an illness prior to election day to obtain absentee ballots in anticipation of that possibility, at least in the case of a pandemic. The law’s language does not require that absentee voters be unable to appear personally, only that they “expect to be unable” to appear ...

Read the full article.

Professor Cora True-Frost: Parenting in the Shadow of Scarce Ventilators

Cora True-Frost

(Newsday | March 28, 2020) As a mom, I have the same concerns as all parents during this pandemic: identifying and accepting my children’s feelings, limiting their screen time, discussing appropriate tone in texts, and managing their studies.

But as the parent of a child with multiple disabilities, I am a member of a select tribe. Many of us already have nearly lost or already lost a child. Many of our children already have been or are currently on ventilators.  We know the agonizing vigilance that comes with prolonged, uncertain hospital stays, even during socially undistanced times.

Isolation, uncertainty, worry, and fear are not new to members of our tribe.  Neither are scarce resources. Technology often keeps our children alive, and we are constantly reminded of the fragility of life. Pre-pandemic questions included: Will the nutritional supply company send on time the formula that keeps my son alive, or will an insurance snag hold it up? Will the nursing agency find a replacement for the nurse who just quit without notice? Will the wheelchair-repair company finally deliver the long-awaited parts? 

The pre-pandemic answers were disheartening enough. Now it’s downright terrifying to imagine what supply chain disruptions, no staffing help, canceled appointments, and system overload will mean not only for my son, but also for the many people whose lives rely on supports and assistance beyond the norm ...

Read the full article

Professor William C. Banks in Ms.: Voting in a Time of Pandemic

William C. Banks

Voting in a Time of Pandemic: The November Election Must Go on as Scheduled

by Stephen Dycus & William C. Banks

(Ms. | March 27, 2020) With polls showing Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden—his likely Democratic opponent in the November election—it is widely rumored that the president might seek ways to postpone the election in order to remain in office.

Such a move would be blatantly illegal: It would place the government of the United States in the hands of one man, abridge the cherished right of those in the U.S. to choose their leaders, and threaten democracy itself.

The Power to Control Elections Lies with States and Congress

The Constitution entrusts the timing and conduct of federal elections entirely to Congress and the states. According to Article I, states prescribe the times, places and manner of selecting senators and representatives—although Congress may change those rules.

The president has no role to play in their election.

Election of the president is a bit more complicated, but here again the Constitution is clear. Under Article II, the President’s term is limited to four years—although she may be reelected for a second four-year term.

The same article gives Congress the job of determining a time for “chusing the Electors,” who are appointed by each respective state, and whose role in selecting the president is spelled out in detail in the 12th Amendment.

The process is entirely out of the president’s hands.

The 20th Amendment to the Constitution says the President’s term ends on January 20th, and the term of her successor “shall then begin.” It also says that if a president has not been chosen by that date, and no vice president has qualified to serve instead, Congress may either designate someone to act as president or may prescribe a new procedure for selecting one.

Invoking this provision, the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 states that if no one has qualified to serve as President, the Speaker of the House—or others in a specified line of succession—shall serve instead ...

Read the full article.

College of Law Adjusts Deadlines & Policies for Fall 2020 Applicants

College of Law

Syracuse University College of Law is taking several proactive steps to accommodate applicants planning to start law school in Fall 2020. These measures apply to all J.D. programs at the College of Law. 

Effective immediately, the College has issued the following updated guidelines:

  • The priority deadline of April 1, 2020, for Fall 2020 applications has been waived. 
  • The final deadline to submit a complete application is now Aug. 5, 2020, to accommodate the June 8 and July 13 scheduled LSAT test dates.
  • Applicants who have taken the GRE in the past five years are eligible to apply under the College’s LSAT waiver policy.  

Applicants may now apply before receiving test scores. In response to question two of the application form, enter your planned test date.The College will hold your application until your results are available. 

Virtual Open Houses start the week of April 6. Please visit law.syr.edu/visit to register for a date and time to participate in a virtual open house with College of Law admissions and financial aid representatives. Join us to learn more about the College’s programs and student life.

The admissions office is open, and all of services—including admissions counseling appointments—are available through video conferencing and by phone. Send an email to admissions@law.syr.edu to set up an appointment.

Visit law.syr.edu/admissions for additional information or to apply.

Professor William C. Banks Discusses Emergency Powers on ABA National Security Podcast

William C. Banks

Emergency Powers & COVID-19 with William Banks

William Banks is the Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security Advisory Committee and a Distinguished Professor and Emeritus Professor at the Syracuse University College of Law and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and the author of several constitutional law textbooks.

This episode references:

Listen to the podcast

Professor William C. Banks: Martial Law Would Sweep the Country Into a Great Legal Unknown

William C. Banks

By William C. Banks & Stephen Dycus

(The Atlantic | March 27, 2020) The last time martial law—military control of the government—was declared in the United States was December 1941, just hours after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The territorial governor, acting under a turn-of-the-century statute, handed the government of the Hawaiian islands over to the commander of U.S. forces there. The military governor, as he styled himself, immediately ordered the closure of courts, shut down schools, froze wages, suspended labor contracts, and imposed censorship of newspapers, radio, and civilian mail. He also decreed a curfew and blackout, as well as a ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages—a wildly unpopular measure that was quickly reversed. Despite the fact that there was no threat of a Japanese invasion after the Battle of Midway in 1942, martial law remained in place for another two years.

In 1946, after the war ended, the Supreme Court ruled in Duncan v. Kahanamoku that the statute authorizing martial law in Hawaii did not enable military trials of civilians, and it warned against the “subordination of executive, legislative and judicial authorities to complete military rule”—but it offered no further guidance about the circumstances that would justify a declaration of martial law, or about the consequences of such a declaration. Nor has Congress ever tried to clarify the criteria for or limits of martial law.

So what would happen if, amid the panic of the coronavirus pandemic, the president tried to declare martial law? Without question, military forces directed by state governors—and perhaps even, in extreme cases, by the president—may be uniquely able to help get us through the current crisis. At least 20 state governors have now called up their National Guard to assist with delivery of food and medical supplies, clean public facilities, and adapt some of those facilities to house patients if hospitals become overwhelmed. Guard personnel could also help enforce quarantines ordered by state governors, and even arrest violators. But their role is to support, not replace, civil authorities. The states’ legal power to do all this is clear; it is not martial law ...

Read the whole article.

Hon. James E. Baker Signs Letter Urging Use of the Defense Production Act

Hon. James E. Baker

National Security Veterans Urge Trump to Invoke Emergency Mobilization Law

(The Wall Street Journal | March 25, 2020) A bipartisan group of more than 100 former national security officials are urging President Trump immediately to use a Korean War-era defense mobilization law "to the full extent" to support companies making supplies critical to combating the coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter Wednesday, the former officials said the Defense Production Act was designed precisely because the private sector "lacks the ability to process incoming requests, prioritize the most urgent needs and coordinate with other companies absent more concerted government involvement."

Read the full article.

Professor William C. Banks Helps Fact Check Martial Law Rumors

William C. Banks

Martial Law Isn’t ‘Imminent’

(FactCheck.org | March 25, 2020) President Donald Trump mobilized the National Guard on March 22 in Washington, California and New York — three states that have been hit hard by COVID-19 — to assist with everything from distribution of food to set-up of medical tents.

The following day, Defense Secretary Mark Esper clarified: “To be clear, this is not a move toward martial law, as some have erroneously claimed.”

Esper was responding to persistent online rumors that martial law is either currently in place or very near.

Generally, martial law is military authority substituted for civil government during periods of unrest. It’s a murky concept that hasn’t been defined in American law — as we’ll explain later.

As for the rumors hyping the idea that military rule is looming, the Facebook page for “Alternative Media Television” recently warned its more than 145,000 followers: “STORM IS COMING TO AMERICA!!!! MARTIAL LAW NEXT 24 HOURS!!!!!!”

That post linked to Alternative Media Television’s online store, which sells “emergency survival” gear and “emergency preparedness” food supplies.

Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist behind the website Infowars.com, also has been pumping out misinformation on the issue while selling his own survivalist supplies, including face masks.

“We are already under overlying fields, crisscrossing fields, of martial law,” Jones said in one recent video

… Basically, martial law is the temporary replacement of civil government by the military during a period of unrest, explained David Glazier, a professor at Loyola Law School and former U.S. Navy officer.

It has rarely been used in the U.S., said William Banks, professor of law at Syracuse University. The last time was in Hawaii, when martial law was instituted following the attack on Pearl Harbor …

Read the full article.

LA Times Quotes Hon. James E. Baker on COVID-19 & the DPA

James E. Baker

Trump’s refusal to use wartime powers to direct scarce medical supplies has left states fighting it out

(Los Angeles Times | March 25, 2020) When President Trump invoked emergency war powers last week to fight the coronavirus outbreak, many were hopeful that the federal government would take charge in addressing the nation’s dire shortage of ventilators, protective masks and other critical gear for patients and medical staff.

But Trump has not made actual use of the powers granted in the Korean War-era law known as the Defense Production Act, even though state governors, health experts and lawmakers of his own party have appealed to the administration to employ that authority to bulk up production of medical equipment and supplies, and just as critically, to ensure that they’re distributed to areas of most urgent need ...

... New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has grown increasingly angry as COVID-19 cases have exceeded 26,000 in his state, about half of the infections recorded in the United States. On Tuesday he lashed out at the Trump administration’s failure to use the DPA, saying the law was made precisely for a time like now.

“When we went to war, we didn’t say, ‘Any company out there want to build a battleship? ... Maybe a couple of you guys can get together and build a battleship ... maybe, you think,’ ” he said, dripping with sarcasm. “That’s not how you did it. The president’s said it’s a war. It is a war. Well, then, act like it’s a war.”

Cuomo said that New York has received only 400 ventilators from the federal government. “FEMA says, ‘We’re sending 400 ventilators.’ Really? What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000?”

Jamie E. Baker, former legal adviser to the National Security Council and a professor at Syracuse University, said: “If there is a gap between voluntary production and what is needed, or anticipated to be needed, the DPA is the mechanism to close that gap" ...

Read the full article.

VLC Represents Client at Board of Veterans’ Appeals

Members of the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic

In early March, the College of Law's Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic (VLC) visited the nation’s capital to represent a client at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, part of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Presenting before a Veterans Law Judge, 2L Madeline Cardona offered opening and closing arguments, interviewed three witnesses, and provided testimony and evidence in support of an issue regarding veteran disability benefits.

While in DC the group met on Capitol Hill with alumnus Bill Van Saun L’19, Legal Counsel to the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Van Saun updated the group on current veterans issues, with—at the time of the visit—nearly 30 hearings scheduled on budget and policy topics affecting veterans and their families in advance of the annual Defense Authorization Bill.

Pictured are (L to R) 2L Madeline Cardona, Chantal Wentworth-Mullin L'07, VLC Managing Director; Beth Kubala, VLC Executive Director; Bill Van Saun L’19; and Matt Bulriss, VLC Fellow. 


Professor Nina Kohn: Move Class Online ... But Do It Right

Nina Kohn

(Syracuse.com | March 19, 2020) With coronavirus surging, universities around the country have shuttered physical classrooms and moved classes online. These changes have been met with concern that the result will be substandard education, and educational experts have warned that faculty will be unable to create engaging online courses on short notice. But online education is not necessarily inferior, and low expectations risk creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

High quality education can be delivered online. There is ample research on online education, including in higher education, that shows that it can be an effective modality for teaching both concepts and skills. Whether moving on-campus courses online requires fundamental changes in teaching methodologies to avoid sacrificing quality depends, in large part, on the online format.

Many people equate online education with self-paced (or “asynchronous”) methods that lack real-time interaction. The creation of high-quality, interactive, self-paced classes often requires faculty to rethink how they teach and takes a considerable investment of resources. This investment may be worthwhile as the self-paced format can encourage reflective learning and make education accessible to students with inflexible schedules due to work or care-giving obligations. However, it means that it is unrealistic to expect faculty or universities to be able to rapidly pivot to high-quality, asynchronous instruction …

Read the full article.

Professor Bruce Ching Analyzes "War on Terror" Presidential Statements

Bruce Ching
"Echoes of 9/11: Rhetorical Analysis of Presidential Statements in the 'War on Terror'". Seton Hall Law Review (forthcoming 2020). 

In "Echoes of 9/11," Professor Bruce Ching examines persuasive statements by presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, involving appeals to national identity as a rhetorical foundation for anti-terrorism policy since 9/11. 

Their specific rhetorical methods have included the use of memorable catch-phrases, alliteration, metaphorical framing, and contrast between values of the United States and those of the terrorists. 

President Bush focused on rallying the nation’s response against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, identifying the US with “freedom itself” and invoking the phrase “War on Terror.” President Obama emphasized the importance of the nation’s values while denouncing the Bush administration’s torture of terrorism suspects, and again extolled American values when announcing that US forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the terrorists involved in the 9/11 attacks. 

In contrast to his predecessors, who explicitly stated that the US was not at war with Islam, President Trump has tended to invoke anti-Muslim sentiment in his anti-terrorism rhetoric and his immigration policies. The presidential statements presented justifications for the actions of the chief executives and reflected their priorities in directing the “War on Terror.”

Hon. James E. Baker Explains the Defense Production Act for The New York Times

Hon. James E. Baker

How the Defense Production Act Could Yield More Masks, Ventilators and Tests

(The New York Times | March 21, 2020) President Trump issued an executive order this week invoking the Defense Production Act to battle the coronavirus pandemic, but his advisers have resisted making aggressive use of the law to mobilize private industry.

Mr. Trump has given mixed signals about whether his administration has actually used the law at all to spur the production of scarce and necessary items like ventilators; testing kits; and protective masks, gloves, and gowns.

Here is an explanation of the law.

What is the Defense Production Act?

It is a law that permits the federal government to impose some control over private-sector industry to ensure the production of material that is deemed necessary for national defense. It traces back to the Korean War.

Congress enacted it with military necessities like steel and tanks in mind, but lawmakers expanded it after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to cover other areas, including public health and safety. It was reauthorized last year until 2025.

Notably, an existing government panel created under the law, the Defense Production Act Committee — made up of officials from various agencies — already has a process and a system in place to implement it.

“If I were advising the president, I would say, ‘Mr. President you have a lot more tools available under the D.P.A. than are being used. Moreover, some of the tools have lead times,’” said Jamie E. Baker, a former legal adviser to the National Security Council and a professor of national security law at Syracuse University.

He added: “And, if these tools are being used, then the government should be more transparent in their use so that the public and our first responders are aware that help is on the way” …

Read the full article. 


Professor Kevin Maillard in The New York Times: Parenting by FaceTime in Coronavirus Quarantine

Kevin Noble Maillard

(The New York Times | March 20, 2020) The saccharine melodies of Kidz Bop play on repeat, alternating with the “Frozen II” soundtrack. My two children, who are 7 and 4, run around our Manhattan apartment, showing the typical strains of stir-craziness from endless hours at home: “He hit me!” “That’s mine!” “Why do I have to take a bath?”

They do online art lessons and they have Silly Time at noon followed by some character-themed yoga. Sometimes they are allowed to watch “Paw Patrol,” which is usually perfect for maintaining quiet during a work call. They FaceTime me.

I’m 10 feet away, on coronavirus quarantine in the master bedroom, and I have been here for days. My partner, who has a demanding corporate law job, is now working from home and saddled with all of the physical work of child care, while I quack orders from the other side of the closed door.

I can’t make lunch, give baths or administer Band-Aids. All I can do is try to enforce naptime, referee kid squabbles and attempt to soothe their fears from the other side of the wall. This poorly timed absence renders me helpless and guilty, and I’m an Episcopalian.

I got tested for Covid-19 last weekend after feeling fatigued and having a mild fever. At the urging of a forcefully persuasive doctor friend, I walked to our local urgent care center and told them about my symptoms. I am a recent cancer survivor, which makes me “at risk,” so I was tested for flu and coronavirus.

The doctor pushed a cotton swab so far up my nose that it seemed like malpractice. He placed it in a vial and sadly announced that “it doesn’t look like it’s going to be flu.” Then he said, “If you thought that was bad, the next test goes much deeper.” This time, he took out a thin, flaccid swab and shoved it into my wasabi burn area, all the way down to my tongue. I tried to suppress my gag and act like an old pro at pandemic testing. I failed ...

Read the full article.

Hon. James E. Baker: Use the Defense Production Act to Flatten the Curve

Hon. James E. Baker

By the Hon. James E. Baker, Director, Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law

(Just Security | March 20, 2020) The novel coronavirus bell curve is coming. We are not quite sure when or what form it will take. But it is coming, and we have rapidly diminishing time to influence its shape. One way we can do so, health experts state, is with more data about who has COVID-19 and who does not. That takes tests. More tests than, apparently, we have. Another way we can influence its shape is through social distancing. That takes widespread discipline and a commitment to our larger communities and not just ourselves. But where we cannot or should not distance, in health facilities and in supermarkets, it may require more surgical masks, gowns, gloves, eye protection, nasopharyngeal swabs, and wipes. More than we have. And, when the curve comes, we know from Italy, China, and South Korea that we will need hospital beds and ventilators–again, more than we have. 

We know these things now. Why doesn’t the federal government act? It has the legal authority to do so: The Defense Production Act (DPA). On March 18, President Trump signed an Executive Order invoking the DPA to delegate authority found in Section 101 to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. However, various public statements by the president and vice president cast doubt on whether the DPA will be operationalized at this time or held in abeyance until some unspecified future date after the crisis has worsened. It is time to clear up the confusion, stop talking about the DPA, and start putting it in action.

DPA Background

In moments of crisis, time is sometimes lost because policymakers are unsure of the facts. Not here. We essentially know now what we will need. Time is also sometimes lost because there is genuine policy debate about the best course of action. Not here. We know now what we need to produce and where to send it. And, time is sometimes lost because of uncertainty about the government’s legal authority to act. Again—not here. The DPA provides broad authority for the government to take the necessary actions.

One hopes that the government’s lawyers have considered most, if not all, potential scenarios on a contingency basis. But sometimes new facts beget new and genuine questions of law that in a democracy ought to be resolved before action is taken. Sometimes, too, policymakers hide behind the law to explain inaction. Lacking the will to act, they blame the law and the lawyers for limiting or eliminating their options. But not here. There remain, and will remain, genuine questions involving the police power, public health, and the constitutional role of federalism in allocating responsibility between state, local, and federal authorities. However, there is no doubt the federal government has the authority to direct the industrial strength of the United States to produce more tests, more masks, more ventilators, and more hospital beds and do so now. The answer is the DPA.

The DPA is a Cold War era statute (1950) that derives in turn from World War II era statutes intended to harness the industrial capacity of the United States for war. The statute was drafted with steel and tanks in mind. However, the statute has been reauthorized over fifty times since 1950 and amended to include within its reach not just the traditional defense industrial base, but also the nation’s critical infrastructures, like public health and critical technologies …

Read the full article.

Professor William C. Banks Reviews Use of National Guard in a Homeland Crisis for The Detroit News

William C. Banks

Whitmer seeks broader authority to deploy National Guard for crisis response

(The Detroit News | March 19, 2020) Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday formally requested authority from President Donald Trump to expand use of the National Guard in Michigan by calling up members to aid in the humanitarian response to the coronavirus outbreak on the federal dime. 

In a Thursday interview, Whitmer stressed that the National Guard would serve a supporting, humanitarian role and would not be involved in law enforcement or policing ...

... The National Governors Association sent a similar Title 32 request to Esper on behalf of its membership Thursday, asking that he mobilize the National Guard to federal status. 

"We believe that this authority, in support of the current National Emergency, will ensure more streamlined and operationally effective and responsive operations to support our communities and citizens in combatting COVID-19," the letter reads. 

The most efficient thing to do would be to grant the NGA's response, since other governors like New York's Andrew Cuomo are making the same request individually, said William C. Banks, a professor at Syracuse University specializing in national security law. 

"It’s a tremendous fiscal advantage for the state. It also enables the National Guard to do whatever they’re trained to do, including enforcing local laws if need be," Banks said. 

The National Guard was deployed in states under Title 32 authority after 9/11 and in response to disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Banks said ...

Read the full article

Law Students: Law Library Services Are Available!

Dear Students,

I know this note finds you eager to continue your studies at the College of Law, and I write to make sure you know how the Law Library will continue to support your coursework and research throughout the semester.  Please continue to utilize our resources; Librarians and staff are available to help you.  Here is how to access library services, and that includes access to the entire collection. 

The primary contact point for the Law Library is by email to reference@law.syr.edu or by phone to 315-443-9572.  While most of us are working remotely, our goal is to provide the library services you’re used to in as seamless a manner as possible. 

Electronic Study Aids

West Academic Study Aids

To access West Academic Study Aids use the Law Databases drop-down menu on the Law Library website.  From there you will be able to search the collection and read the full text of each title.  To make the best use of West Academic Study Aids, customize your experience by going to the top right corner of the screen and click on the link “Create an Account.”  When you create your individual account you can annotate, highlight, and print sections of materials.


CALI offers hundreds of online tutorials covering 30 different Law School topics. These lessons can be extremely helpful when reviewing course materials in preparation for class, finals, or just to get a handle on an area of law. You will need to register on the CALI site in order to use the tutorials. If you do not yet have a CALI account, you can create one by going to http://cali.org/user/register and hitting the “Register” link in the top right of the screen. Complete the template using the authorization code for the SUCOL.  E-mail us at reference@law.syr.edu for the code.

Lexis Courtroom Cast

LexisNexis Courtroom Cast has audio files of cases, organized by casebook.  While this is not a substitute for reading your casebook, it is a great way to supplement it. To register the first time you use Courtroom Cast, open the “Login & Register” link in the top right of the screen, then choose the “Sign Up” button on the next screen.  Choose Syracuse University College of Law and fill out the rest of the registration form.

Electronic Research Databases

Don’t forget all of the other great databases the Law Library offers.  Our most popular databases are available on the drop-down menu under Law Databases on the Law Library website. Take advantage of our Research Guides to for recommendations on the best sources for broad topical areas of law.  For a complete list of databases organized by category, see the Law Databases Page.  To search databases available through other SULibraries, search Summon or browse the database list at Databases A-Z

If you need a new registration key for Lexis, Westlaw, or Bloomberg Law, email reference@law.syr.edu and we will send one to you, along with registration instructions. 

Reference Services

Reference Services will be available remotely during normal Reference Hours, which means that if you call or email us during these times, you will hear from us right away; of course, there may be a line, so thank you for your patience.

Monday-Thursday 9 am – 8 pm

Friday 9 am – 5 pm

Sunday 9 am – 5 pm

You can email reference@law.syr.edu any time and your question will be answered during our next Reference Hours, and you can leave a voicemail at 315-443-9572.  We can even arrange for a Zoom Reference consultation with you; we will be happy to do that and look forward to seeing you.


Borrowing Books 

If you want to check out a book from the print collection, email circ@law.syr.edu with the book’s title and call number from the Library Catalog.  Library staff will retrieve the book and arrange to get it to you, via pickup or (for as long as it is available) via UPS shipment. 

Renewing Books

Please use the self-renewal feature built in to the library catalog at https://catalog.syr.edu/vwebv/login.  We will not charge overdue fines this semester, but please renew your books anyway so that they don’t show up in the library catalog as Lost.  We will provide information by May 1 about returning books at the end of the semester.

Returning Books  

Please email circ@law.syr.edu for instructions on returning books to the Law Library between now and May 15.  

Scan and Send

For some items we may able to provide scanned copies of print materials.  Details will vary based on the length of the requested item, so send scan requests to reference@law.syr.edu.

Your Feedback

Your feedback is important to us.  Please send it to me at jflecken@law.syr.edu and be sure to include your impressions, your ideas, your questions, your concerns, and your suggestions.

I know that all of us are undergoing tremendous changes, but your College of Law Librarians and staff welcome you to the Library.  We hope to see you remotely often.  Be sure to ask us for whatever you need, and we will work with you to figure out how to help you! 

Best wishes from all of us at the Law Library.  Please take care. 


Jan Fleckenstein, M.L.S., MS/IRM, JD

Associate Teaching Professor of Law

Director of the Law Library

Syracuse University College of Law

Kelly joins DLA Piper

DLA Piper announced March 16 James Kelly joined their New York office as Partner in their Corporate practice, Kelly, who will serve as head of the firm’s New York Private Equity practice, represents private equity funds in all aspects of their investments activities. This includes primary and secondary leveraged buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, equity investments, divestitures and restructurings. He also regularly represents public and private operating companies across a variety of industries, including the portfolio companies of his private equity fund clients, for which he handles a wide range of matters.

Alfano joins DLA Piper

DLA Piper announced March 16 Peter Alfano joined their New York office as Partner in their Finance practice, Alfano represents private equity sponsors, corporations and other entities in domestic and cross-border finance transactions, including leveraged acquisitions, corporate financings, recapitalizations and asset-based lending transactions. He has extensive experience in senior secured, first and second lien, mezzanine, and asset-based financings across several industries, including manufacturing, alcoholic beverages, packaging, healthcare and media. 

Surveillance Court Reform: William C. Banks Speaks to Sinclair About FISA

William C. Banks

Officials warn against letting surveillance powers expire as FISA bill stalls in Senate

(Sinclair Broadcast Group | March 13, 2020) Three surveillance powers that U.S. officials say are vital to national security may expire Sunday night after Senate Republicans backed off plans to vote on a reauthorization bill under an apparent veto threat from President Donald Trump.

Despite vocal support for the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act from the Justice Department, Trump tweeted Thursday that some Republican senators were urging him to veto the bill “until we find out what led to, and happened with, the illegal attempted ‘coup’ of the duly elected President of the United States,” presumably a reference to the FBI’s investigation of his 2016 presidential campaign’s ties to Russian interference efforts.

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that investigation was legally justified, though special counsel Robert Mueller ultimately did not establish any conspiracy between the campaign and Russia. However, Horowitz’s investigators identified numerous problems with the FBI’s applications to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The law enforcement powers set to expire Sunday have nothing to do with the authorities used to monitor Page, but the legislation has become a vehicle for moderate reforms to the FISA process. Civil libertarians and the president’s allies say those changes do not go far enough, but Trump’s top law enforcement official disagrees.

"It is of the utmost important that the Department's attorneys and investigators always work in a manner consistent with the highest professional standards, and this overall package will help ensure the integrity of the FISA process and protect against future abuses going forward," Attorney General William Barr said Wednesday, urging Congress to pass the bill.

The House passed the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act on a bipartisan basis Wednesday, but the Senate adjourned for the weekend Thursday without taking action ...

... William Banks, founding director of the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy, said the changes to the FISA process in the bill would increase accountability for abuses of the system and require the FBI to disclose more information to the court.

“They’re the kind of thing most of us have wanted to see since these issues came to light,” he said.

Banks expects the House bill will be passed by the Senate soon after it resumes work next week. With lawmakers focused on responding to the coronavirus pandemic and partisanship raging in Washington, he commended House leaders for finding common ground on a relatively contentious subject.

“Given the political climate and everything else going on right now, it’s nothing short of amazing they were able to get this far with a fairly decent and substantive FISA bill,” he said ...

Read the whole article

Ravala elected Fellow

M. Salman Ravala

Criscione Ravala, LLP is pleased to announce the election of Firm partner, Salman Ravala, as Fellow of the New York Bar Foundation. This prestigious distinction recognizes members of the bench and bar for outstanding professional  achievement, dedication to the legal profession, and commitment to the service of others."

Professor Nina Kohn Discusses Law Schools' Shift to Online Classes During COVID-19 on Law.com

Nina Kohn

Law Schools Shift Classes Online Amid COVID-19, But Can They Do It Successfully?

(Law.com | March 10, 2020) Law schools in four states so far are canceling in-person classes and moving courses online amid the spread of the coronavirus. But legal education as a whole is less prepared for that shift than many other graduate programs due to its relatively slow adoption of online learning.

The American Bar Association in recent years has increased the number of credit hours schools are allowed to deliver online, but fewer than 10 law schools have J.D. programs that are mostly online and many law faculty have never taught a distance education class.

Syracuse University College of Law’s JDInteractive program—launched in January 2019—was the second online program to be offered in the U.S., following Mitchell Hamline School of Law’s hybrid program in 2015.

Professor Nina Kohn spearheaded the creation of JDInteractive and has taught many of its courses. Law.com talked with Kohn Tuesday to discuss how law schools can quickly move to an online format, the mistakes law professors often make online, and whether the coronavirus will usher in a new era of online law teaching. Her answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Are you getting a lot of calls from professors and schools looking for advice on how to make the move online right now? 

I was beginning to get inquiries about that before coronavirus, and certainly now with coronavirus knocking on their doors, schools are scrambling to figure out: “What would it look like to move classes online?”

How do you think law schools, on the whole, are prepared to make this switch? Do they have the technology in place to make it happen? 

I think an important thing to remember in thinking about how to make the pivot from bricks and mortar to online is that online education isn’t just one thing. There are two flavors of online class. There is the self-paced, asynchronous class. Then there is the live, real-time class. To move to the self-paced, asynchronous style in a way that is high quality takes a real investment of time, energy, and rethinking how you break down what is normally a live experience into self-paced components. It’s easy to do self-paced badly. It’s hard to do self-paced well in a manner that’s interactive. That would be a difficult pivot for schools to make. But if we look at live online classes, that’s a much easier pivot to make because you don’t have to change how you’re teaching. You just have to recognize that your classroom can be a virtual classroom. Readily accessible video conference software can be employed by law schools very rapidly to bring existing courses with existing faculty and existing students online quickly ...

Read the full article.

Lawler named Leadership Council

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP has chosen Baltimore partner Katherine A. Lawler to be a member of the 2020 class of Fellows in a program created by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) to identify, train, and advance the next generation of leaders in the legal profession.

Professor Nina Kohn Discusses Online Legal Education on LawtoFact.com

Nina Kohn

LawtoFact.com | March 6, 2020

In this Episode

Professor Leslie Garfield Tenzer speaks with Nina Kohn, the David M. Levy Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Online Education at Syracuse University College of Law about developing online classes for legal education.   

Some Key Takeaways

1. Online classes are asynchronous or synchronous.  Asynchronous classes are recorded and students can watch them on their own time.  Synchronous classes are live.  Students are all present at the same time and the professor is able to engage in dialog.2. Developing an online class is not as difficult as one might think (and Prof. Kohn explains how to make it happen)

3. The key to creating an online class is to first identify goals and principles.

4. Faculty can deliver the Socratic method through online learning.

About Our Guest

Nina A. Kohn is the David M. Levy Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Online Education at Syracuse University College of Law, a faculty affiliate with the Syracuse University Aging Studies Institute, and a member of the American Law Institute.  Professor Kohn is currently a Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

Kohn led the development and launch of Syracuse University College of Law’s online JD program (“JDinteractive” or “JDi”).  The program is the nation’s first fully interactive online JD program. In addition to teaching Torts to JDi students, Kohn oversees the program’s continuing development and operations.

Professor Kohn’s scholarly research focuses on elder law and the civil rights of older adults and persons with diminished cognitive capacity.

Listen to the podcast.

Disability Law & Policy Program Wins International Award

Professor Arlene Kanter with spring 2020 DLPP students.

Syracuse University College of Law's Disability Law and Policy Program (DLPP) has won an international award for its innovative disability-related academic program at the Zero Project Conference, held at the United Nations Offices in Vienna, Austria, on Feb. 20, 2020. 

The Prize for Innovative Practices was awarded to the DLPP by the Zero Project, an initiative of the Essl Foundation, whose mission is to create  a world without barriers, as envisioned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Says Professor Arlene Kanter, who worked with the UN on drafting CRPD, “DLPP is the most extensive disability-related law school program in the United States, and perhaps the world.” DLPP houses the nation’s first joint degree program in Law and Disability Studies and a Curricular Program in Disability Law and Policy.

DLPP students also work in the College of Law's Disability Rights Clinic, take disability-related courses, and work as interns and externs in disability related placements in New York City, Washington, DC, and other cities in the US and throughout the world. 

Experts across the globe peer-reviewed more than 500 Zero Project-nominated projects, which this year focused on the topic of inclusive education. Of the nominees, 75 innovative practices and 11 innovative policies from 54 countries were selected. The DLPP was one of only three awarded programs in the United States and the only US based university program.

View the full list of awarded projects here.

Professor Arlene Kanter with spring 2020 DLPP students.
Professor Arlene Kanter with spring 2020 DLPP students.

College of Law Ultimate Bar Pass Rate Exceeds 95%

College of Law

More than 95% of 2017 Syracuse University College of Law graduates passed the bar exam regardless of jurisdiction, according to ultimate bar pass rate data released by the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. 

The 2017 ultimate bar pass rate of 95.6% places Syracuse in the top 20% of ABA-accredited law schools nationwide. Syracuse ranks sixth among 15 New York State law schools and 18th of the 135 US law schools with fewer than 200 graduates. The ultimate bar pass rate measures 2017 graduates who took the bar exam within two years of graduating.

This news follows an impressive 88% pass rate for the New York Bar among the Class of 2019’s first-time test takers. 

The College of Law is committed to preparing students for the bar exam by offering comprehensive academic and bar success programming that begins before orientation with Orange Edge, continues throughout a student’s academic career with access to Academic Success Fellows in the first year and then a structured curriculum that requires key bar classes, and culminates with a credit-bearing course in the third year that focuses on strategies and skills necessary for passing the exam.

Distinguished Guest Lecturer Michael Kiklis L’93 discusses Patent Law and Career Advice with DCEx Participants

Distinguished Guest Lecturer Michael Kiklis L’93 and DCEx Students

Distinguished Guest Lecturer and Partner at Bass, Berry & Sims Michael Kiklis L’93 recently hosted the Spring 2020 DCEx students. Kiklis’s area of expertise is patent litigation and trials at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board. He also handles appeals to the Federal Circuit from his cases, having now been involved in more than 20 appeals. He both enforces and defends the intellectual property rights of his clients, and is often called upon to handle cases worth more than $100 million.

During the seminar, Kiklis shared his advice for young professionals who are getting started in the legal industry. He emphasized the importance of being persistent when applying for jobs. After law school, he sent out hundreds of resumes before hearing back from a firm that worked on software patents for Microsoft. 

This led to the next piece of advice for students: create a market for your services. At the time Kiklis began practicing, software patent law was a new industry, and he needed to make his services marketable as he grew his practice. One tip he shared to help with marketability is to be available 24/7. He also said to get as much real experience as possible, including pro bono work, and to find a mentor who can give you work and advice. 

Kiklis also advised the students to work on specializing in something that is in high demand and to market yourself as an expert in that specialization by writing articles and participating in speaking events and webinars. He also reminded the students that as the law continues to evolve and there are always chances to seize new markets and opportunities by not being afraid of reinventing yourself. 

Mock Trial Provides Courtroom Experience for Newhouse and College of Law Students

Newhouse/College of Law Mock Trial

(SU News | March 2, 2020) Two Syracuse University professors have teamed up in an innovative cross-campus collaboration to allow future television reporters and future lawyers to experience the drama of a high-profile murder trial.

Professor Elliott Lewis of the Newhouse School and Professor Todd Berger of the College of Law have brought their classes together for the mock trial of People v. Mitchell, a fictional case involving the shooting death of a young woman. The victim’s husband stands accused of her murder.

Berger teaches a course in evidence and trial advocacy. His students are playing the roles of prosecutors and defense attorneys, questioning witnesses and making objections during testimony.

Lewis teaches a graduate course in television reporting. His students are practicing their skills as television journalists, performing live updates during breaks in the trial and producing a narrated report after its conclusion.

The master’s students in Lewis’ class were required to request permission from the judge, played by Berger, to allow a television camera in the courtroom and must adhere to the judge’s restrictions limiting its movement. The law students in Berger’s class were instructed to make themselves available for interviews with the reporters following the verdict.

“With a top-rated journalism school and a top-rated trial advocacy program located on the same campus, it doesn’t make sense for us to stay isolated in our academic silos,” Lewis says.

“I honestly don’t know of another law school that has attempted something like this in a beginning trial advocacy class,” Berger says. “It gives law students a taste of having to represent a client in the media as well as in the courtroom.”

The two professors came up with the idea when Lewis approached Berger about having his students observe a mock trial to learn more about the court system. Berger proposed having the journalism students cover it like an actual trial, exposing the law students to working in the media spotlight.

“I have this dream that some of these students will meet again at a real trial someday,” Lewis says. “And both the reporters and the lawyers will have a better understanding of where the other side is coming from as a result of this experience.”


College of Law Celebrates Diversity Law Day 2020

Diversity Law Day 2020

Syracuse University College of Law celebrated Diversity Law Day on Feb. 28, 2020, in collaboration with the New York State Bar Association, the William Herbert Johnson Bar Association, Law School Admission Council, and the Syracuse Civics Initiative.

 Students from Syracuse-area school districts visited Dineen Hall and met with College of Law faculty and students, as well as local practicing attorneys, who discussed the importance of diversity, inclusion, and representation in the law. 

Director of Inclusion Initiatives Suzette Melendez offered opening remarks before law students gave a presentation to the high schoolers about the famous espionage trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg during the Cold War. The presentation was followed by a brief reenactment of the trial.  

The students also heard from Syracuse alumna the Hon. Thérèse Wiley Dancks L’91, who spoke about her passionate interest in civics education. During the working lunch, the high schoolers worked in small groups with law students to discuss the important themes of the Rosenberg trial. After lunch, law students offered their thoughts and fielded questions on college, law school, and diversity during a panel discussion in the Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom. 

Law Students Assisting on Diversity Law Day

  • Rosenberg lesson planning: Katherine Brisson, Taylor Carter-Disanto, Briana Clayton, and Brian Gunderson
  • Assisting with the trial reenactment: Audrey Bimbi, Chanan Brown, and Ken Knight
  • Assisting during the working lunch: Ariel Blanco, Taylor Carter-Disanto, Briana Clayton, Brian Gunderson, Dominique Kelly, Ken Knight, and Chelsea Simpson
  • Student panelists: Taylor Carter-Disanto, Briana Clayton, Ken Knight, Omar Mosqueda, Frances Rivera Reyes, Chelsea Simpson, and Jimmy Thyden

Cramarosso joins Taft Law

Stephen Cramarosso

Stephen Cramarosso—a 2017 SU College of Law alum—has joined Taft Law as Counsel. Stephen is based in Taft’s Chicago office. Stephen counsels clients on legal matters relating to general corporate law, business operations and mergers and acquisitions.

Professor Shubha Ghosh Explores Genetic Patents in "Myriad, Post-Myriad"

Shubha Ghosh
"Myriad Post-Myriad." Science and Public Policy (February 2020). 

The US Supreme Court’s 2013 decision, holding patent claims to isolated, endogenous deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequences to be invalid, seemed to have limited negative impact on Myriad Genetics, whose patent on the isolated BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes were at the heart of the case. 

Professor Shubha Ghosh explains this minimal impact in two ways. First, the Court’s decision still left synthetic DNA patentable, leaving that as a fruitful source for commercialization by companies such as Myriad. The Federal Circuit’s subsequent decision, however, invalidated Myriad’s product claims over the synthetic polymerase chain reaction primers based on the isolated DNA sequences. 

Second, the Court’s decision did not address the patentability of mined genetic data for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. This field of genetic data mining is precisely where Myriad has moved in its patenting activity.

Syracuse Law Students Uncover New Evidence in Racially Motivated Cold Cases

3L Sarah Everhart

(CNYCentral | Feb. 28, 2020) The skin they were born in is the reason they were killed. Their stories, families and justice are the reasons that the Cold Case Justice Initiative (CCJI) at Syracuse University works to uncover the truth.

"These were human beings. There are more than what their color is," said law student, Curtis Gilbert of the Cold Case Justice Initiative.

Since 2007, law students led by Professor Paula Johnson have brought unsolved racially motivated cases to the United Nations, Attorney General’s Office, and the FBI. The group has discovered more than 7000 evidence filed never reviewed.

"These are real people. These things actually happened to them. This wasn't centuries ago this is during my parent's lifetime," says third year CCJI law student Sarah Everhart.

Some of those never before seen files came from their first investigation, the unsolved murder of Frank Morris. He was Louisiana shoe shop owner whose business was burned down with him inside in Ferriday, Louisiana on December 10, 1964.

“He lingered in a very painful state for 4 days. We don't know if he knew who his assailants were, said Paula Johnson, director of CCJI. He tried to say something about them but because the pain was so great he wasn't able to."

Cases like the Atlanta 5 students at CCJI continue to investigate. 47 years ago, 5 Black men went on a fishing trip to Pensacola, Florida and were never seen again.

"This family deserves to know what really happened to their fathers, their brothers, their sons that day," said Gilbert.

The deaths of four young African Americans killed on a Georgia Bridge in 1946 are crimes law student Troy Gayle will never forget.

“Himself, his wife, his sister and his friend were murdered in one of the most horrific lynchings in United States history.”

Gayle combed through at 600 pieces of evidence as he researched the Morris Bridge lynchings.

“There was law enforcement involved. There were high members of the Klan involved and this was not an ordinary killed or a murder,” said Gayle.

The Cold Case Justice Initiative will honor the lives lost during these times with a legacy project that will start in Natchez, Mississippi. The birthplace of one of their most memorable cases, the murder of Wharlest Jackson Sr. ...

Read the full story.

Professor David Driesen: Will the Supreme Court Create a Pathway to Autocracy in Consumer Protection Agency Case?

David Driesen

(ProgressiveReform.org | Feb. 27, 2020) On March 3, the Supreme Court will hear a plea to invent a new rule of constitutional law with the potential to put an end to the republic the Constitution established, if not under President Trump, then under some despotic successor. This rule would end statutory protections for independent government officials resisting a president’s efforts to use his power to demolish political opposition and protect his party’s supporters. Elected strongmen around the world have put rules in place allowing them to fire government officials for political reasons and used them to destroy constitutional democracy and substitute authoritarianism. But these authoritarians never had the audacity to ask unelected judges to write such rules, securing their enactment instead through parliamentary acts or a referendum.

The blessings of liberty in this country and other functioning democracies depend in important ways on something that legal scholars call the “internal separation of powers.” Prosecutors in robust democracies, for example, enjoy some separation from the head of state, as they are expected to apply the law neutrally. In early America, prosecution was lodged outside of presidential control, among private citizens, state officials, and distant United States Attorneys. Electoral commissions and media regulators, here and abroad, often consist of representatives of both parties in order to ensure fair elections and even-handed government treatment of ideologically diverse broadcast media.

Elected authoritarians in Turkey and Hungary defeated the internal separation of powers undergirding their democracies and gave themselves control over entities vital to a well-functioning democracy by obtaining the power to remove officials devoted to the rule of law from these entities. Once they secured direct or indirect head-of-state control over government officials, they used that power to undermine the rule of law and democracy. For example, Hungary’s prosecution service, once under Prime Minister Orbán’s control, took to announcing prosecution of political opponents on the eve of elections, only to drop charges afterward to avoid the embarrassment of a judicial check. Turkish President Erdogan’s prosecutors singled out political opponents for prosecution for violations of the tax code. More recently, they have charged political opponents with terrorism-related crimes. At the same time, rampant corruption in authoritarian states escapes prosecution. These countries’ captured electoral commissions bend the rules to favor the ruling party, and their media authorities work to convert major media into government propaganda organs

Read the full article.

Students Can Apply to University Program that Provides Path into US Government Intelligence Careers

US Intelligence Community

A new University wide program is creating a path toward public service careers for all Syracuse University undergraduate and graduate students interested in making important contributions to US and global security.

The University was designated by the US Intelligence Community (IC) last year as one of eight national Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence (ICCAE), with a funding award of $1.5 million over five years. The IC is composed of 17 federal agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the National Security Agency and the Office of Naval Intelligence.

With the designation and funding, Syracuse University leads a consortium of four institutions—known as the Partnership for Educational Results/Syracuse University Adaptive, Diverse and Ethical Intelligence Community Professionals (PER/SUADE)—to recruit and educate culturally and ethnically diverse, multidisciplinary professionals from many different backgrounds interested in the intelligence field.

As a federal award recipient, Syracuse University’s ICCAE adopts an inclusive definition of diversity that moves beyond demographics to include the broad range of perspectives—from military veterans, women in security, to those with different abilities—all of whom are needed for the kind of emergent challenges facing the United States and the world.

Syracuse University’s ICCAE consortia partners are the Grove School of Engineering, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Norfolk State University and Wells College. The ICCAE seeks to build career pathways toward positions within the Intelligence Community and increase capacity to attract and educate talented under-resourced students with diverse experiences.

Entry-level positions within the IC can be difficult to obtain without experience, but the program provides a step up for students interested in an intelligence career through unique experiences and specific coursework.

“There’s no question that it is in the vital interest of the Intelligence Community to have as diverse workforce as possible because its mission is to understand diverse populations and diverse activities taking place around the world,” says Vice Admiral Robert Murrett (retired), principal investigator (PI) on the grant and deputy director of the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law (SPL). “You can’t do that when you all look the same, have all the same points of reference and come from the same place.”

Interested students from diverse backgrounds and experiences, including historically underrepresented students, students from different areas of the United States, women, student veterans and students of all abilities are encouraged to apply to the program.

The IC needs a variety of people and perspectives to better understand the whole picture of intelligence that is gathered to keep the nation safe and increase peace and security globally, says Corri Zoli, co-investigator on the award, associate teaching professor in the College of Law, research assistant professor in the Maxwell School and director of research with SPL.

“No one predicted the Arab Spring [a series of anti-government protests in countries in North Africa and the Middle East beginning in 2010]. That was an oversight on the part of our intelligence agencies,” says Zoli, who wrote the award and designed the IC Center for Academic Excellence with former Dean of Engineering and Computer Science Laura J. Steinberg, who is also a co-investigator (CO-I).

The Hon. James E. Baker, director of SPL and professor in the College of Law and Maxwell School is also a co-primary investigator (CO-PI) on the award, and faculty from the College of Law, Maxwell School, College of Engineering and Computer Science, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Falk College and elsewhere are co-investigators, creating an interdisciplinary award. Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Keith Alford and Suzette Melendez, faculty director of inclusion initiatives in the College of Law, are also co-investigators on the award.

“If you have diverse perspectives, the assumption is you’re not going to be missing huge swaths of experiences in the world because you’re going to have people who are more familiar with those places, those experiences, those communities,” Zoli says.

The IC also seeks a diversity of professionals in a variety of fields for its various intelligence operations.

“Each member of the US Intelligence Community has a different mission in the collection, analysis and dissemination of information relating to security concerns around the world,” says Murrett, also a professor of practice in public administration and international affairs in the Maxwell School. “Many of the organizations are part of US cabinet agencies or associated with military services.”

The IC is looking for professionals with both valuable functional abilities, such as critical thinking and speaking and writing skills, and subject matter expertise—along with the character traits of dedication, honesty, integrity and the ability to speak truth to power, Murrett says.

With so many professional opportunities in the IC, students from all disciplines across all of the University’s schools and colleges are encouraged to apply.

“For students pursuing a law degree, a master’s of public administration or international relations or a bachelor’s in public policy, they can do legal and policy analysis and planning at any of these agencies and develop intelligence policies that are both lawful and reasonable,” says Zoli, who explains the work of the Intelligence Community, including its covert operations, is based in US law.

There are opportunities for those interested in regions and area studies, international aid and human rights and those pursuing one of the critical languages designated by the IC, such as Arabic or Hindi.

“Anyone in the STEM fields who is interested in new categories of threat like cyberwarfare, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics would also be a good fit,” Zoli says.

Students pursuing a Ph.D. in the humanities—such as studies in culture, religion and philosophy—would be able to use their highly developed analytical skills in a variety of areas in the IC.

Zoli explains how each agency brings together professionals to work on initiatives that are improving lives and helping maintain security around the globe: “For the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, you could be working on mapping conflicts in the South Chinese Sea, looking at the best places for developing internet capacity around the world or counterterrorism spotting.

“The IC is looking for such a broad area of expertise that literally anyone who is successful in their academic degree program and wants to contribute to US security would be eligible,” Zoli says.

Students who are accepted into the program are required to take one of three core courses on the IC and two or more electives, and attend three ICCAE events per semester, including an annual symposium. Other opportunities include IC site visits in Washington, DC, study abroad, and networking and recruiting events with IC agency members.

Program members are also eligible to receive stipends to attend IC-related workshops, colloquia, conferences and participation in ICCAE program summer seminars, and may apply for scholarships. Students will also have opportunities to participate in IC internships and co-ops.

One upcoming event is the consortium’s Spring Symposium, which will be held Monday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the Hall of Languages, Room 500. Consortia partner faculty and students will be visiting Syracuse University from New York City and Virginia and panels will include teaching about intelligence, diversity experiences in the IC and faculty research. Speakers will include Julie Martin, chief counsel, National Counterterrorism Center, and Jonathan P. Gupton, with the Department of Energy. The campus community is invited to attend.

The benefits for students can be substantial. Along with networking and internship opportunities at various agencies, students will gain a deeper knowledge of the work that is done by the IC and why it matters.

“Students will have a better understanding of how the intelligence apparatus works from a national standpoint but also in other countries,” Murrett says. “It makes you a better citizen of whatever country you are from and better able to understand developments around the world around the contexts of the intelligence field and international security.”

For more information about the program and how to apply, visit the Syracuse University Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence website or contact Zoli at 315.443.4523 or cbzoli@law.syr.edu, or Murrett at 315.443.3682 or rbmurret@syr.edu.

Santos named Partner

Angela Klemack Santos (J.D., 2009) has been promoted to the firm partnership at Duane Morris LLP. Santos practices in the area of private client wealth planning and tax. 

Blood joins Goldberg Segalla

Goldberg Segalla added associate Alexander J. Blood to the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Arbitration group in Syracuse. Blood was previously with Rawle & Henderson LLP in New York, New York. Blood concentrates his practice on representing a wide variety of clients in business disputes and related litigation.

Professor Nina Kohn Publishes Second Edition of Elder Law

Elder Law

Elder Law: Practice, Policy, and Problems—an essential casebook by Professor Nina Kohn—is now in its second edition. 

Designed with the teacher and learner in mind, Elder Law combines a client-focused approach with in-depth discussions of elder law-related policy issues. Designed to be simultaneously practical and theoretical, it provides students with specific legal knowledge and a conceptual framework for understanding key issues facing older adults and the attorneys who represent them.

Kohn frames a series of primary materials including cases, statutes, regulations, and sample documents, as well as excerpts from articles designed to stimulate student thinking and discussion. 

Problems and hypothetical exercises—many of which relate to client counseling—ask students to imagine themselves in the role of the elder law attorney and to describe how they would handle various scenarios, such as a client meeting.

New to the Second Edition 

Comprehensive updates that capture changes in law and policy:

  • Nursing home regulations
  • New developments in guardianship law
  • Emerging cases on age discrimination in hiring

Plus, new coverage of:

  • Family caregiving and caregivers’ rights
  • “Gray divorce” and its implications for policy design and planning
  • Supported decision-making
  • Social service interventions that address elder abuse
Publication Date: February 2020
Page Count: 692
Print ISBN: 9781454890980
eBook ISBN: 9781543817041

Professor Lauryn Gouldin: Don't Let Fearmongering Sabotage Criminal Justice Reforms

Lauryn Gouldin

By Professor Lauryn P. Gouldin, Syracuse University College of Law; Elizabeth M. Nevins, Maurice A. Deane School of Law, Hofstra University; and Jocelyn Simonson, Brooklyn Law School

(Albany Times-Union | Feb. 19, 2020) New York State Senate Democrats appear ready to propose a significant and troubling rollback of the new bail reform law, yielding to weeks of deliberate misrepresentations and cynical distortions by law enforcement and political opponents who are intent on undermining these long overdue changes.

We are legal academics who have studied the unequal outcomes produced by our broken criminal system. We are encouraged by the progress made in the reforms adopted last year and we are distressed by this knee-jerk proposal to reverse course.

While there is no publicly available language yet, the legislation would reportedly eliminate cash bail for almost all offenses but provide judges with much greater power to jail defendants until trial.

Fully eliminating money bail, which explicitly creates a two-tiered, class-based system, is an appropriate step forward. Replacing it with a broad judicial power to order indefinite pretrial detention, however, is taking two steps back.  This new plan threatens to preserve and even deepen the mass incarceration crisis that bail reform was meant to address, and indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of the consequences of providing judges overwhelming discretion to adjudicate pretrial release decisions. History has shown us that such a plan would only deepen racial inequities and simply change the process that leads to pretrial detention, rather than reduce its prevalence.

Racial bias is baked into judicial discretion. Judges are more likely to set higher bail amounts for people of color. People of color are far more likely to be held pretrial than white individuals. Black and Latino men are less likely to be released on non-monetary conditions. The plan outlined by Senate leadership would only strengthen judicial power, which helped create this inequality. These problems with judicial discretion will not be solved with the addition of risk assessment instruments or algorithms, as those tools themselves incorporate racial biases. Too often, those tools are employed in ways that merely give judges cover for unjust decisions.

It’s easy to forget that everyone held pretrial is innocent and waiting for their day in courtYet studies have shown that people held pretrial have a 13 percent increase in the likelihood of being convicted, and a 42 percent increase in the length of their prison sentence. The Senate’s proposal makes a mockery of the supposed constitutional principle of innocent until proven guilty and would only replicate these fundamentally unjust outcomes …

Read the full article

Professor Shubha Ghosh Assesses Sen. Gillibrand's Data Protection Agency Idea for Yahoo Finance

Shubha Ghosh

(Yahoo Finance | Feb. 13, 2020) Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is taking on Big Tech. She is introducing new legislation that would establish a new Data Protection Agency. Professor Shubha Ghosh, Crandall Melvin Professor of Law and Director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute joins Yahoo Finance's On the Move to discuss.

Watch the full segment.

Syracuse University College of Law Adds Four New Board of Advisors Members

College of Law

Syracuse University College of Law is proud to announce the appointment of four new Board of Advisors members: Stephanie Jacqueney G’82, L’82; James Southwick L’89; Suzanne Galbato L'98; and Antonio Diaz-Albertini L’07. These appointments underscore the College's commitment to reflect the diverse talent and leadership represented by its alumni community. 

“Our Advisors are successful, engaged, and dynamic alumni who provide essential advice in support of our mission and our students," says Dean Craig M. Boise. "The perspectives and experiences of Stephanie, Jim, Suzanne, and Antonio are an invaluable addition to the Board. I look forward to working with them closely as we develop and execute our future plans and prepare our students for their careers.” 

“The legal profession is evolving at a fast pace, and it is crucial that law schools anticipate and respond to these changes with innovations in legal education,” says Board of Advisors Chair Robert M. Hallenbeck L’83. “The insights that these four highly regarded, high profile lawyers bring to the Board will help ensure that the College of Law meets the changing demands of employers and students alike.” 

The four new Board of Advisors members bring expertise in entertainment law, complex commercial litigation, business and employment law, environmental law, commercial financing, and private equity. 

Stephanie A. Jacqueney G’82, L’82

Stephanie Jacqueney is an entertainment lawyer and business affairs executive with more than 30 years of experience in television and live production. Jacqueney previously served as Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs, for Madison Square Garden (MSG) Sports & Entertainment LLC, where she was Lead Production Attorney for MSG and its Radio City Entertainment division’s live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the New York Spectacular starring the Rockettes, and Super Bowl halftime shows. She was also MSG’s lead intellectual property attorney and managed MSG’s intellectual property portfolio. Before MSG, Jacqueney held several positions with Time Warner Inc. including Vice President and General Counsel of Manhattan Cable TV, then the largest franchise cable television operator. 

In addition to her J.D., Jacqueney holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University. She is a Member of the Board of the Alumni Association of Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology and the Cornell University Council, as well as a Founding Member of Cornell University’s President’s Council of Cornell Women. She currently serves on the Entertainment Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association and previously served on its Copyright and its Arbitration committees.

James Thurlow Southwick L’89

Jim Southwick has spent his entire 30-year career in private practice representing plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial litigation and trials, principally involving monopolization, international cartels, and shareholder rights. For the past 20 years he has been Partner in the Houston office of Susman Godfrey LLP, a commercial trial boutique. He began his career as an associate at Breed, Abbott & Morgan in New York City.

Among his recent high-profile cases, Southwick led a trial of the largest shareholder oppression case on record; was co-lead trial counsel in Vitamin C antitrust litigation that led to the US Supreme Court’s ruling regarding how foreign governments’ statements about their laws should be treated by US courts; and worked extensively on suits against international money center banks for aiding the breaches of fiduciary duties at Enron. Southwick has twice received awards for outstanding achievement in antitrust litigation from the American Antitrust Institute. In addition to his J.D., Southwick holds a bachelor’s degree in economics (1982) from the College of William & Mary. 

Suzanne Galbato L'98

Suzanne Galbato is Co-Deputy Chair of the Litigation Department at Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC in Syracuse, NY, where she litigates commercial, False Claims Act, employment discrimination, antitrust, environmental cases, and more. She serves on Bond's Management Committee and is former Chair of the Associate Committee, Recruiting Committee, and Women’s Initiative. She also has been a Member of the firm’s Diversity Committee.

In addition to her J.D., Galbato holds an A.B. (1995, magna cum laude) from Harvard University. For her alma mater, she has served on the Board of the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association and the Law Honors Committee; she coaches advocacy teams and judges competitions; and she speaks regularly about private practice, interviewing, mentoring, work/life balance, and diversity. Among her service to the profession and community, she is a Trustee of the Northern District Federal Court Bar Association; a Member of the New York State Bar Association Women in the Law Section; and a Board Member of the Central New York Women’s Bar Association and the Onondaga County Bar Foundation.

Antonio L. Diaz-Albertini L’07

Antonio L. Diaz-Albertini is Partner at Schulte Roth & Zabel (SRZ) in New York City, where he advises private equity funds, global investment banking firms, commercial banks, and public and private corporations in finance transactions. He has worked on financing deals in a variety of industries including retail, financial services, technology, natural resources, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications. Diaz-Albertini serves on SRZ’s Summer Program Committee. 

Diaz-Albertini took his law degree, magna cum laude, in 2007. At Syracuse, he was a Member of the Order of the Coif and Syracuse Law Review and an Associate Member of the Justinian Honor Society. His bachelor's degree is from Bryant University (2003, magna cum laude).

New Board of Advisors members, 2020.
New Board of Advisors members, 2020.

Professor Roy Gutterman Comments on "First Amendment Auditors" for Syracuse.com

Roy Gutterman

Local librarians warned to watch for activists looking to score on YouTube

(Syracuse.com | Feb. 7, 2020) A group of “First Amendment auditors” has reached out to at least one local library threatening to come test the library’s free speech policies and evaluate whether they will protect citizens’ rights to film in public.

The auditors are a loose group of YouTube activists who enter public places like libraries, post offices or police precincts and film employees and patrons. They often post videos of confrontations with employees online with sensational titles like “LIBRARY STAFF GETS OWNED ON CAMERA!!! 1st amendment audit FAIL" ...

... Roy Gutterman runs the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University’s Newhouse school. He said the auditors are entering a “gray area” of legality when trying to film in libraries. It’s legal to record in public places like sidewalks or parks or outside a government building, he said, but there are acceptable limits inside government buildings.

“There are more limited rights for everything from filming to yelling,” he said. “You can’t yell in a library. You can’t be disruptive. I’m just not sure the purpose of recording for the sake of recording.”

Moreover, Gutterman said the auditors’ actions didn’t really appear to serve much of a public service, like they claim.

“I’m all for keeping government officials accountable, even librarians,” he said. “But I’m not quite sure what the value is of some of this. I understand recording in cases of abuse or corruption or police brutality... even public meetings...where there’s real public discourse. I’d like to see them do stuff like that, go to a city council meeting or school board meeting where there’s an important watchdog function.”

Despite the auditors’ claims, the right to record in public places has not been upheld by the Supreme Court, Gutterman said.

The most notable ruling on recording in public is the case of Glik v. Cunniffe. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled on that case in 2011, determining private citizens have the right to record police carrying out their public duties ...

Read the full article

Lana Yaghi L’14 Discusses Cross-Border Commercial Law Practice with DCEx Students

Lana Yaghi L'14

On Feb. 7, 2020, Distinguished Guest Lecturer and Senior Attorney at Miller Canfield Lana Yaghi L’14 discussed her cross-border commercial law practice in the aviation, cybersecurity, and defense industries with Washington, DC, externship (DCEx) students.

Yaghi described how she regularly advises US and foreign clients on their cross-border business activities, particularly the establishment of operations and negotiation of commercial arrangements in the state of Qatar and the United States. A significant portion of her cross-border work, she said, relates to the representation of clients in connection with the acquisition, sale, financing, and operation of corporate aircraft.

Yaghi began the seminar by candidly elaborating on her time practicing in Qatar. She said she started her career as an associate at a large international law firm, explaining that her willingness to practice overseas played a large part in her landing her first job at this firm. She answered questions about the job application process and gave a brief history of Qatar and its royal family. Qatar is a very small, but wealthy country, she explained, known for its production of natural gas. 

DCEx students were particularly interested in her aviation practice, and she explained the importance of producing high quality work in order to build a strong reputation in this relatively small industry. Answering questions about her first years of practice, Yaghi explained that young attorneys develop into experts in their field by working on similar projects over and over again, which at first seems challenging and eventually becomes second nature. 

Professor Lauryn Gouldin Discusses Risk Assessment at Wake Forest Bail Reform Symposium

Lauryn Gouldin

On Jan. 31, 2020, Professor Lauryn Gouldin—an expert on criminal justice reform—joined the Risk Assessment panel at the Wake Forest Law Review Spring 2020 Symposium on Bail Reform. 

Dr. Sarah Desmarais of North Carolina State University, Professor Sandra Mayson of University of Georgia School of Law, and Professor Jenny Carroll, of University of Alabama School of Law joined Gouldin on the Risk Assessment panel. 

The panelists addressed factors that determine the risk of setting bail for a detainee. Current standards are often based on charts that automatically set bail standards. Panelists discussed the pros and cons of this method and how to effectuate new standards that take into account the likelihood that a defendant will flee or commit another illegal act, as well as the reasonable bail a defendant can pay based on circumstances.

Learn more here

Professor Lauryn Gouldin (second from left) presents on pretrial reform and risk assessment on Jan. 31, 2020, at the Wake Forest Law Review Symposium on Bail Reform.
Professor Lauryn Gouldin (second from left) presents on pretrial reform
and risk assessment on Jan. 31, 2020, at the Wake Forest Law Review
Symposium on Bail Reform.

3Ls Brian Krastev and Matthew Marcellino Capture Second Place at the ABA Law Student Tax Challenge Competition

Matthew Marcellino and Brian Krastev

The College of Law team of 3Ls Brian Krastev and Matthew Marcellino finished second out of more than 80 teams from around the country competing in the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Tax Challenge competition. This is the College of Law’s best result ever in this annual competition.

Professor Robert Nassau, Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, coached the team.

An alternative to traditional moot court competitions, the Law Student Tax Challenge asks two-person teams of students to solve a cutting-edge and complex business problem that might arise in everyday tax practice. Teams are evaluated on a memorandum to a senior partner and a letter to a client explaining the result. Based on the written work product, six teams from the J.D. Division advance to the Section of Taxation’s 2020 Midyear Meeting, January 30-February 1, in Boca Raton, Florida, where each team defends its submission before a panel of judges representing the country’s top tax practitioners and government officials, including Tax Court judges.

College of Law Journal of Global Rights and Organizations and Impunity Watch News Announce Distinguished Lecturer Series

The College of Law’s Journal of Global Rights and Organizations (JGRO) and Impunity Watch News (IWN) have announced the participants for its Spring 2020 Distinguished Lecturer Series.

The scheduled speakers are:

Professor Chimene Keitner on “Immunity of Foreign Officials”

Professor of International Law, UC Hastings College of Law

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 | noon – 1 p.m.

Location 352

Dr. Kristen Boon on “Immunity of International Organizations after Jam v. IFC

Professor of Law, Seton Hall Law

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 | 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Location 352

Dr. Margareta Matache on “The Roma Case for Reparations”

Justice activist and scholar from Romania 

Director of the Roma Program at the Harvard University Francois Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights 

(In conjunction with the Syracuse University School of Education’s Atrocity Studies and the Practices of Social Justice)

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Location TBA

John Sopko

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 | Time TBD

(in conjunction with the Maxwell School and the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law)

“Through its Distinguished Lecturer Series,  The Journal of Global Rights and Organizations and Impunity Watch News is able to bring leading experts in international law to continue the dialog on dynamic, evolving—and sometimes vexing—issues in international law and legal institutions,” says Professor Cora True-Frost, Faculty Director of Impunity Watch News and the Journal of Global Rights and Organizations. “As the international community grapples with difficult questions of rights, laws, and norms, JGRO and Impunity Watch News’ focus is needed more than ever, and our students will be the next generation’s thought leaders on these issues.”

Professor Peter Blanck to Revisit "Guckenberger" During BU Law Talk

Peter Blanck

Burton Blatt Institute Director Peter Blanck will present "Revisiting Guckenberger: Past, Present, and Future of the ADA" as a guest of Boston University School of Law on Feb. 14, 2020.

In celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Blanck will discuss the ADA's development, the law's present challenges and successes, and where there is still room to grow in the realm of higher education and the legal profession. 

To frame his discussion, Blanck will recall his role as ADA expert in a class action against Boston University in which students alleged disability discrimination in violation of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 

Guckenberger v. Boston University (1997) is credited with bringing the "interactive process" over to higher education accommodation procedure. The lead plaintiff—Elizabeth Guckenberger, a law student with dyslexia—was subject to unreasonable documentation requests during her accommodations process. 

More recently, Blanck served as the ADA expert in litigation against the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). The litigation resulted in sanction against LSAC for violating a consent decree that prevented the council from "flagging" accommodated test scores and mandating specific protocols for handling accommodation requests.

More details about the event can be found here.

Watch: Dean Craig M. Boise Moderates NYSBA Panel on White Nationalism & Domestic Terrorism

Dean Craig M. Boise

Watch Dean Craig M. Boise moderate a star-studded and extraordinary panel at the NYSBA 2020 Presidential Summit on Jan. 29, 2020 in New York City. The panel tackled head-on one of the most disturbing trends of our time—the rise of white nationalism and domestic terrorism. More than 500 people packed the Hilton Midtown Grand Ballroom to witness the Summit live and many more watched the livestream across the globe.

The topics and remedies raised in this wide-raging discussion will resonate beyond the Summit, including the need for better laws to punish domestic terrorism, ways to proactively monitor hate groups without harming civil liberties, red flag laws, and stronger protection of targeted, marginalized groups. Panelists also stressed the importance of communities standing up against domestic terror and expressing countering points of view.

"We can't sit idly by and do nothing," said New York Attorney General Letitia James, adding that the country also needs "moral leadership" in Washington, DC, to tackle the problem.

Former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi Jr. argued that law enforcement must be given the same tools and techniques used in the fight against international terrorism in order to prevent domestic attacks before they happen.

Nan Whaley, Mayor, Dayton, Ohio; David D. Cole, National Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union; and Leonard Zeskind, Founder and President, Institute for Research and Education of Human Rights, joined James and Figliuzzi as panelists.

Wagenbach assumes leadership role

Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP is pleased to announce that Jeffrey B. Wagenbach has assumed leadership of its highly-regarded Environmental Law Practice effective January 2020. Wagenbach has substantive experience in virtually every environmental program, ranging from the Clean Air Act to the Safe Drinking Water Act, to wetlands regulation (state and federal) and the handling and discharge of hazardous materials. 

Bezigian elected Member of Bond, Schoeneck & King

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2020, Thomas Bezigian Jr., from the firm’s Syracuse office, has been elected as a member (partner) of the firm. Thomas concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning and taxation, corporate and business succession, probate, trust and estate administration, and elder law. 

Leuenberger elected Member of Bond, Schoeneck & King

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2020, Scott R. Leuenberger from the firm’s Syracuse office has been elected as a member (partner) of the firm. Scott is a business law attorney and member of the firm’s exempt organizations and tax law practices.

Reid elected Member of Bond, Schoeneck & King

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2020, Kate I. Reid from the firm’s Syracuse office has been elected as a member (partner) of the firm. Kate concentrates her practice in school law. Kate began her career at Bond in 2011, where she practiced in the areas of litigation and school district representation.

Mastroleo elected Member of Bond, Schoeneck & King

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2020, Adam P. Mastroleo from the firm’s Syracuse office has been elected as a member (partner) of the firm. Adam is an attorney in the firm's labor and employment practice with extensive experience representing employers in a variety of labor litigation matters. 

A Question of Executive Privilege: Professor David Driesen Speaks to VOA

David Driesen

How Trump Will Try to Block Bolton's Testimony in Senate Impeachment Trial

(Voice of America | Jan. 28, 2020) With the U.S. Senate increasingly likely to call former National Security Adviser John Bolton to testify in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, Trump's lawyers are almost certain to assert executive privilege to block his testimony.

Bolton poses a serious threat to Trump's defense in light of reports of Bolton's forthcoming book which corroborates one of the central allegations in the impeachment case against Trump —  that the president tried to coerce Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

But if Trump's lawyers are determined to prevent Bolton from testifying, the claim of executive privilege is unlikely do the trick. Although courts have long recognized a president's right to have confidential communication with his advisers, that right is not absolute, experts say. What's more, when it comes to impeachment, legal experts say the courts will likely side with the interest of Congress in obtaining information over the president's executive privilege claims ...

... But executive privilege is not an unlimited power. That principle was established in a landmark 1974 Supreme Court ruling that forced the White House to turn over tape recordings of conversations between President Richard Nixon and his aides to a special prosecutor investigating the Watergate break-in.  

While recognizing the constitutionality of executive privilege, the high court unanimously ruled that the principle did not override the need for key evidence in a criminal trial. The White House handed over the tapes, and Nixon resigned two weeks later as the House prepared to impeach him.

The case for withholding information in an impeachment case is even weaker, said David Driesen, university professor at the Syracuse University College of Law.

In an impeachment context, "the interest in getting accurate information is just too great," Driesen said. "It doesn't make any sense to say that information that's important to an impeachment trial could be withheld based on executive privilege."

Possibility of compromise

Trump's lawyers haven't said how they plan to stop Bolton's testimony. But if the Senate subpoenas Bolton, the president's legal team could theoretically ask a federal district court to bar him from testifying on executive privilege grounds.

In theory, the case could eventually wind its way to the Supreme Court, but legal experts say that scenario is highly unlikely.

"I can't imagine him winning the case," Driesen said. "Frankly, even with this very conservative Supreme Court, it would be an immense change from the way they've approached such questions in the past" ...

Read the full article.

Black Law Student Association Trial Team Advances to National Round of the Constance Baker Motley Trial Competition

William Wolfe, Davida Hawkes, Sharon Otasowie, Kenneth Knight

The College of Law’s Black Law Student Association trial team of 3Ls Davida Hawkes and William Wolfe and 2Ls Kenneth Knight and Sharon Otasowie placed second at the regional round of the Constance Baker Motley Trial Competition. The team will compete in the national round held in March during the National Black Law Student Association’s National Convention.

John Boyd L’16, Stephanie Martin-Thom L’18, and Alphonse Williams L’17 coach the team. 

DCEx and PhillyEx Students Hear from Distinguished Guest Lecturer Principal Assistant U.S. Attorney Alessio Evangelista L’95

Spring 2020 DCEx and PhillyEx Students

Distinguished Guest Lecturer and Principal Assistant U.S. Attorney Alessio Evangelista L’95 recently hosted Spring 2020 DCEx and PhillyEx students at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Evangelista provides overall leadership and management to the Office, and he stands in for matters when the Chief U.S. Attorney is recused. The Office employs 350 attorneys and a similar number of supporting staff.

Evangelista began the seminar explaining that the District of Columbia office is the largest in the country due to its unique mission. The Office is responsible for the prosecution of all federal crimes, including terrorism, public corruption, firearms, and other offenses, as well as the prosecution of all local crimes committed by adults in the District.  Additionally, it represents the United States and its departments and agencies in civil proceedings filed in federal court in the District of Columbia.

Evangelista went on to describe his background and the experiences that led him to the Principal Deputy position. He then provided details related to their hiring process and the three rounds of interviews that candidates encounter during selection. According to Evangelista, the profile for a successful candidate generally comprises intellectual ability, some criminal prosecution or defense experience, and a genuine interest in the work. His message to the students was that pursuing work that they are passionate about will bolster their overall success as an attorney.

Professor William C. Banks Discusses Trump Impeachment Trial on KPCC

William C. Banks

Impeachment Latest: Dems Prepare to Make Opening Arguments After Senate Sets Trial Rules

(KPCC AirTalk | Jan. 22, 2020) The U.S. Senate plunged into President Donald Trump’s  impeachment trial with Republicans abruptly abandoning plans to cram opening arguments into two days but solidly rejecting for now Democratic demands for more witnesses to expose what they deem Trump’s “trifecta” of offenses.

Trump himself said Wednesday he wants top aides to testify, but qualified that by suggesting there were “national security” concerns to allowing their testimony. He appeared to break with Republicans efforts to block Democratic motions to immediately call witnesses and subpoena documents. Instead, Trump said he'd like to see aides, including former national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, testify as witnesses. Trump said he'd leave the "national security” concerns about allowing their testimony to the Senate.

Tuesday's daylong session started with the setback for Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell and the president's legal team, but it ended near 2 a.m. Wednesday with Republicans easily approving the rest of the trial rules largely on their terms. With the rules settled, the trial is now on a fast-track. At issue is whether Trump should be removed from office for abuse of power stemming from his pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden and Biden's son Hunter as Trump was withhold aid to the country, and for obstructing Congress' ensuing probe.

Today on AirTalk, we get the latest on impeachment as opening arguments are set to begin. 


  • Ron Elving, senior editor and correspondent on the Washington Desk for NPR News.
  • John Malcolm, vice president of the Institute for Constitutional Government and director of the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C.  
  • William C. Banks, professor emeritus of law at Syracuse University, he’s the co-author of “Constitutional Law: Structure and Rights in Our Federal System,” (Carolina Academic Press, 2018)

Listen to the segment.

Professor A. Joseph Warburton Co-authors “Mutual Funds that Borrow” Illustrating the Risks to Investors of this Practice

Professor A. Joseph Warburton

Professor A. Joseph Warburton, Professor of Law and Professor of Finance at the Whitman School of Management, has co-authored the paper “Mutual Funds that Borrow” with Professor Michael Simkovic, Professor of Law and Accounting, at the USC Gould School of Law, in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies

Millions of Americans rely on mutual fund investments to pay for their retirement, but mutual funds contain hidden, previously under-appreciated risks. The new study, forthcoming in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, provides evidence that mutual funds borrow in an attempt to improve their performance. But those attempts not only fail to boost average returns, but they also increase the volatility of returns, potentially creating serious problems for those who need to withdraw their money at a time when the market is down.

Download the article here.

Read more on the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance.

Schein named Partner

Evan Schein became a named partner with my firm, Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein, LLP. His individual practice focuses on litigation and the representation of high net worth individuals including athletes and entertainers.

1L Ryan Marquette Speaks with the American Legion on his Army Service and Legion Involvement

Ryan Marquette

1L Ryan Marquette recently attended the Student Veterans of America National Conference, held by the American Legion, and spoke with the Legion about his Army service and perspectives on being an American Legionnaire. He was among a larger group of Syracuse University students that attended the conference.

In his testimonial, Marquette noted that the post-9/11 veterans are drawn to the organization’s advocacy. “They are socially aware, they do believe in having social impact, and that’s what The American Legion does, through different fundraisers in their local communities or through lobbying on Capitol Hill for veterans issues. I think that is going to attract a lot of GWOT-era veterans as time continues.”

Read more here.

Scott R. Leuenberger Elected Member of Bond, Schoeneck & King

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2020, Scott R. Leuenberger from the firm’s Syracuse office has been elected as a member (partner) of the firm. Scott, a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law (J.D. 2011) and St. Lawrence University (B.A. 2003), is a business law attorney and member of the firm’s exempt organizations and tax law practices.

Kate I. Reid Elected Member of Bond, Schoeneck & King

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2020, Kate I. Reid from the firm’s Syracuse office has been elected as a member (partner) of the firm. Kate, a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law (J.D. 2011) and Miami University (B.A. 2008), concentrates her practice in school law. 

Mastroleo elected Member

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2020, Adam P. Mastroleo from the firm’s Syracuse office has been elected as a member (partner) of the firm. Adam, a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law (J.D. 2006) and Syracuse University (B.A. 2004), is an attorney in the firm's labor and employment practice with extensive experience representing employers in a variety of labor litigation matters.

3Ls Brian Krastev and Matthew Marcellino Advance to the Semi-Final Round of the ABA Law Student Tax Challenge Competition

Matthew Marcellino and Brian Krastev

The College of Law team of 3Ls Brian Krastev and Matthew Marcellino is one of six semi-finalist teams in the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Tax Challenge competition, out of the 70 teams that entered the competition. 

The team is coached by Professor Robert Nassau, Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.

An alternative to traditional moot court competitions, the Law Student Tax Challenge asks two-person teams of students to solve a cutting-edge and complex business problem that might arise in everyday tax practice. Teams are initially evaluated on two criteria: a memorandum to a senior partner and a letter to a client explaining the result. Based on the written work product, six teams from the J.D. Division are invited to the Section of Taxation’s 2020 Midyear Meeting, January 30-February 1, in Boca Raton, Florida, where each team will defend its submission before a panel of judges representing the country’s top tax practitioners and government officials, including Tax Court judges.

Syracuse University College of Law Introduces "Third Year Away" Option for Residential J.D. Students

College of Law

Starting with the Class of 2023, students in Syracuse University College of Law’s residential J.D. program will have the option of spending their third year entirely off-campus while still taking courses from College of Law faculty. Specifically, students in good standing will have the option to enroll in the “Third Year Away” program, which will allow them to satisfy their remaining requirements for graduation by completing a supervised externship in a legal practice setting and by taking up to 12 credits of interactive online courses.  

“Syracuse prides itself on a robust and innovative curriculum,” says College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “The College is now adding a new option for incoming students that will enhance our ability to provide them with both the doctrinal knowledge and the practical and professional skills necessary for the 21st-century legal profession.” 

The Third Year Away Program builds on the College’s established Externship Program, which features placements and accompanying seminars in London, New York City, Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Washington, DC—with plans to add more locations throughout the United States and beyond. The Externship Program leverages the College's global alumni network to offer semester-long placements accompanied by faculty-led, substantive seminars focused on building professional skills.

The new option also capitalizes on the College of Law’s JDinteractive (JDi) program, the nation’s first ABA-accredited, fully interactive, online J.D. program. As part of the JDi program, the College of Law already offers an array of online courses in addition to intensive residential courses. Each online course consists of live class sessions and self-paced class sessions taught by the College of Law's faculty. The JDi infrastructure, which allows the College to teach and support JDi students around the world, will allow the College’s residential J.D. students enrolled in the Third Year Away Program to participate in the academic, intellectual, and social life of the College when off-campus.

“Increasingly, our J.D. students gain valuable skills and professional experience by working as externs in judicial settings, law firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies, and non-profits," adds Dean Boise. "By allowing students to participate in externships across the nation, while still taking doctrinal classes with our faculty through online courses, we are providing them the opportunity to learn both the substance and the skills they need for success. With Third Year Away, we are truly breaking new ground in legal education.”

“Third Year Away capitalizes on two of the College of Law’s strengths: our first-rate online classes and our far-reaching Externship Program," says David M. Levy Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Online Education Nina Kohn. “While other law schools are contemplating ways to add remote learning options that increase flexibility for their upper-class students, with JDi fully underway, Syracuse already has the infrastructure, the courses, and the faculty expertise to make it happen. Moreover, Third Year Away allows students to get a jump start on their careers by combining their doctrinal coursework with field placements in the communities they seek to work in post-graduation, affording them greater opportunity to develop and strengthen professional networks that can help accelerate their job opportunities.”

Prospective students who wish to learn more about Third Year Away should contact the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid by phone at 315.443.1962 or by email at admissions@law.syr.edu. All other inquiries should be directed to Director of Communications and Media Relations Rob Conrad at 315.443.9536 or rtconrad@law.syr.edu

College of Law Student Hosts ABA Law Student Division Podcast

Meghan Steenburgh

Meghan Steenburgh, a first-year student in the College’s JDinteractive program, is one of the hosts of the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Division podcast for 2020.  Throughout the year, Steenburgh will be contributing interview-style podcasts to the ABA’s series. 

Her first podcast, an interview with Dan Sullivan, US Senator from Alaska, is now online. In the podcast, Steenburgh interviews Sullivan about his time in law school, his legal practice, service in the US Marines, and as a Senator.

Steenburgh is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds a Master of Science in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Her status as a law school student follows a career in broadcast journalism, corporate communications, politics, and state government.

Sunser named practice group leader

Heather Sunser

Barclay Damon announces, effective January 1, the following new practice group leadership change: Heather Sunser, Financial Services Practice Group leader. A member of the Real Estate, Financial Institutions & Lending, and Telecommunications Practice Areas as well as the energy and cannabis teams, Sunser will serve as the Financial Services Practice Group leader. She is taking over the role from longstanding firm leader and partner Ned Trombly.

Zumpano joins Bousquet Holstein

Maria Zumpano

Bousquet Holstein PLLC is pleased to announce that Maria C. Zumpano, MBA, CPA has joined the firm. Maria joins Bousquet Holstein representing both businesses and individuals that run them in the areas of business formation and structure, transactions and compliance, tax planning, strategy and advocacy, and business succession planning. After graduating summa cum laude with both her MBA and BS in Professional Accountancy from Le Moyne College, Maria became a licensed CPA.

Jerauld joins Bousquet Holstein

Nathan Jerauld

Bousquet Holstein PLLC is pleased to announce that Nathan M. Jerauld has joined the firm. He joins the firm’s Litigation Practice group, with a focus on estate litigation. He has extensive experience operating in high-stress environments and delivering tailored analysis of complex issues. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served worldwide, including Afghanistan and South Korea. 

Cominolli elected as partner

Elizabeth Cominolli

Barclay Damon announces, effective January 1,  Liz Cominolli, previous counsel, has been elected to the law firm’s partnership. Cominolli is a member of the Branding, Trademarks & Copyrights; Intellectual Property Litigation; and Corporate Practice Areas as well as the Outdoor & Wildlife Team. She is based in the Syracuse office.

Senlet named Partner

Ekin Senlet

Barclay Damon announces, effective January 1, Ekin Senlet, previous counsel, has been elected to the law firm’s partnership. Senlet is a member of the Regulatory Practice Area as well as the Energy, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, and Cybersecurity Teams. She is based in the Albany office.

Dove named practice group leader

Jeff Dove

Barclay Damon announces, effective January 1, Jeff Dove, a co-chair of the Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights and member of the Corporate Practice Area, will serve as the Business Services Practice Group leader. He is taking over the role from Bob Heary, who has become Labor & Employment Practice Area chair.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Holding Oral Arguments at the College of Law on March 23

Gray Ceremonial Courtroom

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will hear oral arguments in the Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom in the College of Law’s Dineen Hall on Monday, March 23 at 10 a.m. Details on the cases to be argued will be made available closer to the event date. The three-judge panel for the March 23 sitting will be announced the week before the arguments.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals sits in New York City at the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in lower Manhattan. Three appellate court judges sit on each case panel, except for en banc appeals on which the full court sits. The appellate court hears appeals from the six district courts (in Connecticut, New York, and Vermont) within the circuit.

Previously, the College of Law has hosted the New York State Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in Dineen Hall’s state-of-the-art Gray Ceremonial Courtroom. 

“Hosting live court proceedings in our building gives our students a tremendous opportunity to see the law in action at a very high level,” says Professor Lauryn Gouldin, Associate Dean for Faculty Research. “We are grateful to have this opportunity to host the Second Circuit in Dineen Hall. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of the spring semester for our students.” 

The proceedings are open to the public. Please arrive at Dineen Hall starting at 9 a.m. No cell phones or laptops will be allowed in the courtroom. The arguments begin at 10 a.m. and are expected to conclude around noon. 

Read the Cases to Be Argued Here

Second Circuit Courtroom Rules

Cell phones and laptops are prohibited. Cameras, pictures, and recordings of any type will be prohibited during the arguments. Court security will be on site and checking bags. We have been asked not to bring any bags or backpacks to the proceeding. If arriving late, you must wait for the presenting attorney to finish his/her argument before quietly finding a seat. Do not exit the courtroom during an attorney’s oral argument. 

World War III Alarmism: It’s Time to Press for Sober, Rational, & Contextual Analysis of the Iran Situation

Corri Zoli

By Professor Corri Zoli

Let’s begin with the obvious to self-aware observers of the region: “Iran’s so-called retaliation was not smart, to say the least. It was theater for its gullible constituents, and the US seems willing to let it slide.” So said Hassan Hassan about Iran’s ballistic missile attacks on Iraqi bases (Ain Assad and Erbil), which house US forces. 

Hassan directs the Non-State Actors Program at the nonpartisan Center for Global Policy, focused on improving Mideast governance and US foreign policy. As if on cue, however, Iran’s state media is reporting “heavy US military casualties.”

Hassan is not the only one piercing the veil of alarmism (largely coming from US observers), confusion and ignorance, and disinformation (coming from Iran). 

Ali Vaez, Director of the Iran Project at the CrisisGroup, explains Iran’s need for “face-saving measures” and symbolic revenge. Likewise, Illan Goldenberg at the Center for New American Security (CNAS), decodes Iran’s strategy: “This is our response, don’t hit us back. Regional players stay out or suffer the consequences. This may not be escalation just the response they felt they needed to make. Again, everyone CHILL.” 

Pentagon officials, as Jake Tapper reported, explain that “Iran deliberately chose targets that would not result in the loss of US life,” emphasizing “[d]eliberate targets, minimum damage, maximum warning/effect.” Even Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif is eager to announce the attacks as “concluded,” even while he justifies this newest round of missile attacks once again on Iraq (after the Dec. 27, 2019, Kirkuk airbase and December 31 embassy attack) as “self-defense.”

To state this point as clearly as possible: we are not on the verge of World War III with Iran, despite social media trends. 

Quite the opposite, the US government has set limits—first economically, now militarily with the Soleimani strike—on Iranian regional escalation dynamics at least since 2017, which caused a bipartisan Congress to reissue sanctions. Historically and in recent years, Iranian asymmetric warfare—with Soleimani at the helm—has hurt stability in the region. It has also become increasingly brazen—targeting Saudi refineries, downing US and Israeli drones, attacking vessels in the Gulf of Oman, and going after civilians in Syria

Reasonable people can disagree over whether the best US-Iranian foreign policy approach today is limit setting to reestablish deterrence, as per the Trump Administration, or appeasement, engagement, and integration into the geopolitical community, for the previous Obama Administration. 

Every public policy—particularly in the demanding domains of international security and foreign affairs—has strengths and weaknesses. What is not fair or good faith analysis, however, is to ratchet up global public fears about impending war as a way to win support for one’s “side.” That confuses policy with politics, without doing the hard, nonpartisan analytical work of contextual analyses, producing facts and evidence, and trying to include multiple—often contradictory—perspectives. 

Such an approach reveals a lack of genuine concern about the people facing conflict dynamics first-hand in the Middle East, those who already face extensive human rights violations and are currently protesting such conditions, caused most often by their own leadership and unaccountable forms of governance. 

Just last month Iran faced what The New York Times called its “worst unrest in 40 Years,” with anti-government protests across 21 cities—not to mention across the region—followed by the typical “brutal crackdown,” with Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps help, resulting in more than 1,500 protesters killed

For deeper analysis of how Iran and Soleimani’s approach to covert asymmetric warfare destabilized and stalled progress in governance across the Middle East, there are plenty sources for thoughtful, contextual analysis. Hassan’s Guardian essay explains the blow in the defeat of Soleimani to Iranian regional hegemony, domination, and military imperialism. Such an ambitious project was already facing grassroots challenge in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria from cross-community protests. Moreover, Kim Ghattas notes that Soleimani was not only a problem for the US, but “haunted the Arab world,” so that his death has been greeted with often quiet “elation.” 

Facing complex conflict dynamics also means we must be open to unexpected or countervailing developments. 

Some analysts see the post-Soleimani moment as a win for the region, whether for a stronger Iraq, or a weakened Quds Force. Even non-Trump supporters—such as political risk analyst, Ian Bremmer—note that while there is no “end” to the US-Iran conflict, no “mission accomplished” yet, “for everyone who thought killing Soleimani was going to lead to war, no; it established red-lines and deterrence,” and, more importantly, potentially opened “ a real window” for diplomacy. Ultimately, Bremmer sees the Iran choice as a big “win” and a “big opportunity going forward.” 

While it is a bit early to tell, scholars at their best have a public duty to pursue the truth wherever it leads—which may result in inconvenient facts and discoveries—but that ultimately helps to advance society in some way. As a cross-culturally focused law and security scholar, I believe that truth-seeking must include multiple and diverse perspectives, particularly needed to get a complete picture of “wicked problems” or complex social phenomenon, like conflicts.

Yet, the public should also ask hard questions about information accountability today, particularly as information technologies disrupt traditional news reporting standards and methods: why ratchet up ordinary Americans’ fears? Who is responsible and what is their motive for spreading such fear? Is it just to get “clicks” or are we purposely misunderstanding a situation that involves the most serious issues as war, peace, life, and death? 

I won’t answer those questions in this analysis, but we all need to insist that public—especially expert commentary and journalism—elevates the discussion and that analysts base their claims in facts, evidence, and informed inquiry, particularly when understanding is such a priority in cases of active conflict.

Professor Nina Kohn Joins Yale Law During Spring 2020

Nina Kohn

Professor Nina Kohn, David M. Levy L'48 Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Online Education, will spend spring 2020 semester as a Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

A faculty affiliate with Syracuse University's Aging Studies Institute, and a member of the American Law Institute, Kohn will be teaching a seminar on Law and Aging at Yale. 

Kohn’s research focuses on elder law and the civil rights of older adults and persons with diminished cognitive capacity. 

Her articles address family caregiving, supported and surrogate decision-making, financial exploitation of the elderly, vulnerability and discrimination in old age, the practical and constitutional implications of elder abuse legislation, the potential for an elder rights movement, and legal education. She is the author of Elder Law: Practice, Policy, & Problems (Aspen, 2014).

SU Humanities Center and The Burton Blatt Institute Host “‘Cripping’ Graphic Medicine: Drawing Out the Public Sphere 2020

MK Czerwiec, RN

Syracuse University's Humanities Center and The Burton Blatt Institute's (BBI) Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach are hosting a two-part Syracuse Symposium, “‘Cripping’ Graphic Medicine: Drawing Out the Public Sphere 2020.”

MK Czerwiec, RN, MA, a.k.a. “Comic Nurse”, will lecture on the emerging field of graphic medicine on Thursday, January 23, from 4 – 6 p.m. at SUNY Upstate Medical University, New Academic Building 4414BC. Czerwiec will discuss how the growing field of graphic medicine can benefit all involved in health/care, whether in the clinic, the classroom, or the community.

On Friday, January 24, Czerwiec will lead a workshop on graphic medicine exercises from 10 a.m. - noon at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Setnor Hall 2509/10. In this session, participants will engage with graphic medicine exercises to explore creative, reflective, and inclusive practices for the care of self and others.

Both events are free and open to the public.

“These Syracuse Symposium events will address issues of power in the silencing of disability and the ‘voices‘ of those who experience barriers in healthcare and healthcare education and practice,” says Diane Wiener, Research Professor and Associate Director of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach for BBI. “These events will also address how disabled people’s ‘voices‘ are sometimes silenced in Graphic Medicine, the comics industry, and beyond, thus demonstrating why adaptations are necessary to (re)fashion a primarily visual medium so that it is consistently accessible to a spectrum of creators and audiences.”

As was the case with the fall 2019 installments in the series, the symposium is sponsored by the Burton Blatt Institute’s Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach, the Consortium for Culture and Medicine (LeMoyne College, Syracuse University, and SUNY Upstate Medical University), and the College of Arts and Sciences.

About the speaker:

MK Czerwiec has been making comics under the pseudonym Comic Nurse since 2000. With UK physician Ian Williams, she co-runs GraphicMedicine.org, a website devoted to the intersection of comics and health. Her first graphic memoir, Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371 (Penn State University Press, 2017), is believed to be the first graphic memoir created by a nurse. She is also a co-author of the Eisner Award-nominated Graphic Medicine Manifesto (Penn State University Press, 2015) which maps the field of Graphic Medicine. 

Event Details

Thursday, January 23

Graphic Medicine: Can Comics Improve our Health?

Public Lecture by MK Czerwiec, RN

4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

SUNY Upstate Medical University, New Academic Building 4414BC.

Friday, January 24

Cultivating Care: A Graphic Medicine Workshop

Workshop led by MK Czerwiec, RN

10 a.m. – Noon

SUNY Upstate Medical University, Setnor Hall 2509/10.

The event locations have wheelchair-accessible space and bathrooms. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be provided. Please refrain from using scented products to ensure the comfort and safety of participants. 

For information on parking or to request additional accommodations, please contact Rachael Zubal-Ruggieri at 315-443-2156 or razubal@law.syr.edu by 1/16/20.

Iran & LOAC: Professor William C. Banks Joins ABA National Security Podcast

William C. Banks

Iran and the Law of Armed Conflict with Bill Banks and John Bellinger

(ABA National Security Law Podcast | Jan. 6, 2019)

This episode references:

Listen to the podcast.

Manase Nyaga LL.M. '20: Bringing a Global Perspective to Local Issues

Manase Nyaga, LL.M’20

Law student Manase Nyaga’s breadth of experience and Syracuse University education shape his goal to serve.

When Manase Nyaga, LL.M’20, moved to Syracuse, he hoped to pursue a graduate degree in law but wanted to gain experience in American legal practice first. His plans were complicated when Nyaga, who earned his bachelor of law from the premier university in Uganda, found that some businesses and firms couldn’t recognize his undergraduate degree. But with his wife in nursing school and plans to start a family, not working wasn’t an option. Nyaga was considering a position in retail when he got a call from the Frank Hiscock Legal Aid Society in downtown Syracuse. Hiscock, which provides free legal assistance to low-income individuals and families in Onondaga County, honored Nyaga’s degree and appreciated his international perspective. They offered him a position as a paralegal in their Foreclosure Prevention Project providing counseling and representation to those in danger of losing their homes.

Thus began a promising new chapter, one that would lead Nyaga to the Syracuse University College of Law. “Working on the Foreclosure Project was an amazing experience,” he says. “We were helping people at their greatest time of need and providing real relief.” The work gave Nyaga an eye-opening view into poverty in Central New York. “What impressed me is how similar the issues were here to what I have seen in Kenya. Struggling people deal with the same situations and have the same concerns, regardless their culture or where they live,” he explains. “I really got to see how we are all the same.” Nyaga also worked in the criminal appeals department, visiting clients in prison and attending court proceedings. These experiences added valuable depth to his understanding of the American legal system.

During his three years at Hiscock, Nyaga worked with many Syracuse University College of Law alumni. When he decided to enroll in law school, their endorsement made Syracuse the obvious choice.

Preparation and Support

Nyaga credits his upbringing in Kenya for providing excellent preparation for graduate work at Syracuse University. He attended boarding schools from the age of 10. This fostered an independence helpful in the transition from central Africa to Central New York, and underscores his appreciation for the small class sizes, access to professors, and strong academic and career-oriented support available at Syracuse University. “Among our professors are former judges, intelligence agency attorneys and human rights advocates. It amazes me that professionals with that level of experience would care so much and be so personally involved in our success,” Nyaga says.

Nyaga also appreciates the diversity within the student body at the College of Law. “In a class of 20 people, we may all be from different countries,” he says. “We sit together and hear one another’s views and learn about one another’s cultures.” His experience as a student has expanded how much he values his academic pursuits at Syracuse University. “For me, a degree from Syracuse will change many things. But it’s not just the degree that matters—it’s the whole education.”

Helping Those in Transition

In September 2019, Nyaga became an American citizen in a naturalization ceremony at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Syracuse. The moment was the culmination of a long journey that began when he and his wife met in Zanzibar, where he was working and she was visiting before returning to the U.S. after serving in the Peace Corps. They lived in Zanzibar while Nyaga went through the immigration application process. He was granted admission in 2015, and they came to the U.S. accompanied by their two dogs, Luna and Tusker.

Nyaga says he was unprepared for how much the naturalization ceremony would move him. “When you are becoming a citizen, to have your hand over heart and pledge allegiance—it is very powerful! It really made me think about who I am, and how the Kenyan and American parts of my identity work together.”

This duality, and the wealth of insight he’s gained through work and education, inform Nyaga’s goals for the future. After graduating in May, he intends to move his family to Washington D.C., where he hopes to work on issues of national security or humanitarian aid. His dream job, he says, would allow him to help others who are seeking to fulfill their potential.

Sarah H. Griffin

Office of International Programs & Disability Law and Policy Program Visit China

Professor Arlene Kanter lectures at Peking University, December 2019.

In December 2019, Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence, Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program (DLPP) and Director of International Programs Professor Arlene Kanter, along with Assistant Dean of International Programs Andrew Horsfall, traveled to China on a whirlwind visit to four cities in over two weeks. They discussed developments in disability law, inclusive education, and international legal education, as well as potential future collaborations with the College of Law's international programs. 

"Although a busy schedule, this extensive working visit to Beijing, Wuhan, Xiamen, and Guangzhou was both enlightening and productive. It was also a first for the College of Law," says Kanter. "It's gratifying to see the strides disability rights are making in China, and I'm proud to say that College of Law and DLPP alums are in the vanguard of that evolution. We were able to connect with many Chinese students and faculty eager to learn more about the rich academic offerings of the College, and we anticipate plenty of interest in our DLPP and graduate programs as a result." 

During the two weeks, Kanter and Horsfall visited and lectured at Peking University, Tsinghua University, Chinese University of Political Science and Law, Wuhan University, Xiamen University, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. They also met with staff at EducationUSA, the Fulbright Commission, and other foundations.

“One of the highlights of the trip was meeting with members of College's growing Chinese alumni community,” says Horsfall. 

At a charter of Best Buddies International, a parent’s organization for children with disabilities, Kanter caught up with alumna Xuehong “Michelle” Wang LL.M.’18 and discussed recent developments in the field of inclusive education. Lecturer Xian Zhan L’18 hosted Kanter and Horsfall at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law, where they discussed future partnerships and trends in international legal education. Da Lu L’18 and Boliang Xia L'18 were the hosts for meetings at the ZhiLin Law Firm in Beijing, while Milan Tang LL.M. ’17 hosted the Syracuse delegation at the W&H Law Firm in Guangzhou. On Dec. 7, 2019, Kanter and Horsfall offered remarks at a lunch meeting of the Syracuse University Beijing Alumni Club.

“Even within the ever-shifting landscape of international higher education and geopolitics, China continues to offer exciting opportunities for engagement, student and faculty exchange, and a better understanding of our respective legal systems. Our alumni are eager to be part of the momentum the College of Law is building toward these efforts,” says Horsfall. 

College of Law’s Disability Law and Policy Program To Host Leading Human Rights Scholars as Part of CUSE Grant Project

The College of Law’s Disability Law and Policy Program (DLPP), through a Syracuse University Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) Grant, will be hosting a lecture series throughout 2020 on the Effectiveness of Human Rights Treaties.

The speakers include:

Catalina Devandas Aguilar

UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Friday, Jan. 24, 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Location TBA

Professor Erika George

Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law, University of Utah College of Law

Thursday, Feb. 13, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

College of Law Collaboratory

Co-sponsored by the College of Law Office of the Dean

Professor Beth Simmons

University Professor of Law, Political Science and Business Ethics, University of Pennsylvania

Friday, March 13, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

College of Law Collaboratory

Co-sponsored by the College of Law Office of the Dean

Professor Kathryn Sikkink

Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights, Harvard Kennedy School 

Fall 2020

“This slate of speakers, representing the nation’s leading human rights scholars, is part of a two-year-long interdisciplinary CUSE Grant Project on the role of human rights treaties in effecting societal change,” says Professor Arlene S. Kanter, Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence, Director of DLPP, Director of International Programs, and Principal Investigator for the grant. “Not only is this CUSE Grant Project bringing to the College of Law leading experts in the field of human rights;  it is also bringing together faculty from throughout the University, including my colleagues Professors Cora-True Frost and Zoli from the College of Law, Professors Klotz and Abdelaaty from Maxwell, Professor Gill from the School of Education, and Professor Bellows from Falk College,” Kanter explains.

Additional speakers and events will be announced in the months ahead. 

The CUSE Grant program was designed to be highly interdisciplinary, to spur growth in the research enterprise and to further support the University’s standing as a pre-eminent and inclusive student-focused research university. The CUSE Grant application and merit review processes were designed to emulate the most common practices found in leading external sponsors, with an expectation that CUSE-funded faculty members will seek extramural support for their developed projects and collaboration. The program’s ultimate goal is to increase both extramural funding and high-quality scholarly output, which in turn will increase national and international recognition of awardees, their programs, and the University.

Newsweek Quotes Professor William Banks on Iran Retaliation

William C. Banks


Newsweek | Jan. 8, 2020

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested Wednesday that Iran would take further steps to escalate tensions with the U.S., saying military strikes carried out against bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq were not enough.

"They were slapped last night, but such military actions are not enough," Khamenei wrote in a tweet.

However, the Iranian leader's post appeared to counter previous remarks by Iran's Foreing Minister Javad Zarif, which suggested that his nation did not plan to further retaliate against the U.S. at the present time ...

... William Banks, a professor of law, public administration and international affairs at Syracuse University, cautioned against further escalation in comments emailed to Newsweek.

"This is an escalation for sure but retaliation, revenge, or reprisals are unlawful at international law, not that Iran abides by international law," Banks said. "The risks are that the U.S. will play along and some escalatory act will be disproportionate to the circumstances, leading to something far worse," he said ...

Read the full article

Professor Doron Dorfman Explores the "Fear of the Disability Con" in Law & Society Review

Doron Dorfman
"Fear of the Disability Con: Perceptions of Fraud and Special Rights Discourse." Law & Society Review (November 2019). 

Professor Doron Dorfman presents a new framework for analyzing the development and implementation of disability law and policy: the prism of the "fear of the disability con"—popular perceptions of fraud and fakery. 

Although news stories and memes about falsely claiming disability rights abound, what the public makes of these stories or how disabled people experience this suspicion is something not integrated into a systematic analysis of law in everyday life. 

Yet, as Dorfman shows, these attitudes could well shape how people experience their rights, how they are willing to exercise them, and how the law itself is being shaped to respond to this suspicion. 

The article demonstrates how disability law plays out in everyday life. As the data demonstrate, negative attitudes and stereotypes laypeople hold against disability law currently negatively affects millions of Americans living with disabilities: it is the cost they bear for their civil rights, writes Dorfman. 

Dorfman argues that a legislative amendment, such as the 2008 ADAAA combating judicial backlash, is not a panacea for this issue. An elaborate, multifaceted effort is needed to overcome the challenges associated with altering attitudes about disability and disability rights.

Spring 2020 DCEx Session Begins with 15 Placements

DCEx Program

Fifteen College of Law externs have kicked off the spring 2020 semester in the nation’s capital, looking to gain essential practical experience at government, military, congressional, law firm, corporate, and nonprofit placements. 

One of the College's many externship options, DCEx provides students an intensive professional immersion, with a seminar that guides their understanding of the unique legal landscape of Washington, DC.

Federal Government Placements

  • US Department of Health and Human Services, Developmental Appeals Board
  • US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General
  • US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
  • US Department of Justice, US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia
  • US Department of Justice, Civil Division, Office of Foreign Litigation (OFL) and Office of International Judicial Assistance (OIJA)
  • US Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section
  • US Department of Commerce, Office of General Counsel, Employment and Labor Law Division
  • US Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Trading and Markets
  • US Department of State, Bureau of Human Resources, Office of Overseas Employment

Local Government Placements

  • Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney, Loudon County, Virginia 
  • Office of Public Defender, Montgomery County, Maryland

Law Firm Placements

  • Sanford Heisler LLP
  • Garfield Law Group LLP

Nonprofit Placements

  • Cold Case Justice Initiative
  • Multicultural Media, Telecom, and Internet Council

Natalie Hempson Elected as Member

Natalie Hempson

Bousquet Holstein PLLC is pleased to announce that Natalie P. Hempson-Elliott has been elected as Member of the firm. Natalie joined Bousquet Holstein in 2014 and is part of the firm's Real Estate, Business, and Public Finance Practice Groups. Natalie has over 10 years of experience representing clients in various business, real estate, and public finance transactions. She has served and advised clients in matters relating to real estate development, commercial lending and financing, leasing, and the acquisition and sale of real property interests.

The Soleimani Airstrike: An End to His Signature Middle East Strategy?

Corri Zoli

By Corri Zoli, Director of Research, Institute for Security Policy and Law

Less well-known than Al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden or ISIS’s Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi, the covert Iranian commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani had widespread strategic influence throughout the Middle East. He was responsible for standing up and activating a clandestine infrastructure of organized armed groups from Hezbollah to Hamas and for ongoing instability and insurgency in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and elsewhere. It is for this reason that several terrorism scholars and expert observers—myself included—have identified Soleimani’s defeat as far more significant than that of Osama bin Laden or Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.

While the repercussions of his death for Mideast dynamics are still unknown, even in these polarized times, the defeat of Soleimani should warrant a clear-eyed recognition that his two decades of orchestrating a covert signature strategy for Mideast insurgency and instability has come to an end. 

First, the facts as currently known. On Jan. 3, 2020, Soleimani—head of the elite, external clandestine Quds Force, a division of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)—was targeted and killed by a US drone airstrike, authorized by President Donald J. Trump. The strike happened as Soleimani and four Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) members—including Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) Commander Jamal Jafaar Mohammed Ali Āl Ebrahim (Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis)—exited their aircraft at Baghdad International airport. 

The five has just arrived from Lebanon or Syria, signaling coordination between Iran’s IRGC and the Iraqi-state supported umbrella PMF, often called the new Iraqi Republican Guard. PMF includes more than 40 largely Shia militia and terrorist groups, including Iran-supported KH, the Khazali Network, and Badr Brigades. 

While some commentators have pointed to a post-US strike escalation of tensions, the drone strike that killed Soleimani and company was in fact a response to KH’s provocative 31 Dec., 2019, attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad—a breach of international law—and its 27 Dec., 2019, attack on the Iraqi K-1 Air Base in Kirkuk, which hosts US Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) personnel. During that attack, KH rockets—more than 30—killed a US civilian contractor and injured four US and two Iraqi military personnel. It is for these immediate precursor reasons that the Department of Defense has characterized the Soleimani strike as “defensive.” 

Forgotten in recent news, however, were a series of highly provocative attacks since 2017 by IRGC across the region. Last year alone, these include the May 2019 Gulf of Oman oil tanker attacks damaged six commercial ships, including two Saudi Aramco oil tankers; the May 2019 Saudi pipeline attack and the Sept. 14, 2019, unprecedented drone hit on Saudi Aramco’s two major oil processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais; and the June 20, 2019, attack on a US RQ-4A Global Hawk surveillance drone for which Trump intended to respond but reversed his decision, instead requesting a United Nations Security Council closed-door meeting on Iranian regional escalation. This pattern is why former US military commanders in the region, such as Gen. David Petraeus, have framed the Soleimani strike as a need to reestablish “deterrence.”

From a broader strategic perspective, for those unfamiliar with the region, the killing of Soleimani uncovers plenty of questions about the region’s politics and conflicts: Why in the world would Iran sponsor an irregular militia to attack a sovereign embassy, which Iraq as the host nation is required to protect? Why would Iran support the targeting of a neighbor’s military airbase, particularly when the world’s most powerful military force is on base? Broadening the aperture, why would Iran—with Soleimani as its operational mastermind—ally with Russia to support Syrian President Bashir al-Assad, since 2012, in the Syrian Civil War with brutal atrocities against his own people? Moreover, why would Iran seek to destabilize Yemen—supporting the Houthi insurgency—at Saudi Arabia’s doorstep, thus drawing the Gulf Arab states into the fray? 

Welcome to the dynamics of proxy warfare and Soleimani’s signature strategy in the Middle East. At its core, Soleimani aimed to blend the power of the state (Iran, and its political power) with the dynamic activism of violent extremist and militant groups, much like the model of Hezbollah in Lebanon, as Middle East expert Ali Soufan observed. That strategy alone—where nonstate groups can draw on the power of a state—warrants a more disruptive response which utilizes all instruments of national power, including economics and kinetics.

Still one of the best strategic profiles of Soleimani is Dexter Filkins’s 2013 New Yorker essay, “The Shadow Commander” in which Filkins explains how Soleimani was shaped by the 1980s Iran-Iraq War (with its use of chemical weapons) and then tasked as early as 1998 to advance the 1979 Iranian Revolution and reshape the Middle East into the Shia Crescent zone of influence. As part of this vision, Soleimani went on—all at the same time—to help direct and fund Assad’s war in Syria, Hezbollah’s control of Lebanon, and the ongoing insurgencies against US and coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq (since 2001). 

Soleimani’s endgame was to reshape the Mideast into a zone of Iranian influence, thus, advancing the Iranian revolutionary flame ever forward. While this goal is by no means unique to Soleimani—Iran’s Supreme Leaders share this core aspiration—what was unique to the general was his powerful execution of this goal by building a vast covert organizational infrastructure of dozens of Iran-backed militant and terrorist organizations. These proxies and special groups have been increasing at rapid rates due to fighting against US coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in Syria and against Islamic State. 

In light of Soleimani’s long-term signature strategy, it is not surprising to see successive US administrations designate these proxy and covert forces as terrorist organizations. On April 8, 2019, Soleimani’s IRGC and Quds Force were both designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, augmenting earlier Obama-era Treasury designations in 2007 and 2010. Likewise, in July 2009 under executive orders 13438 and 13224—covering those who threaten stabilization efforts in Iraq—the Obama Administration designated Kata’ib Hezbollah a terrorist organization, the only Iraqi Shiite militia so designated by the US. Soleimani himself was a “specially designated national” (SDN) since 1999, again in 2010 under EO 13382, with additional sanctions after his foiled plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in the United States.

Such tactics also were used at home. In early December the world witnessed an Iran “convulsed” by what The New York Times called its “worst unrest in 40 Years,” with anti-government protests across 21 cities. These protests were followed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s “brutal crackdown”—with IRGC involvement—resulting in more than 1,500 protesters killed. Iranians were protesting rising fuel prices, the result of economic mismanagement and EU and US sanctions issued in response to IRGC provocations. These included the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which passed overwhelmingly by both houses in 2017 (including sanctions against Russia and North Korea).

There’s no doubt Soleimani will be replaced, but his successor will have very large strategic shoes to fill. Reports indicate that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has regrouped and will replace the head of its agile, covert militant network with Quds Force deputy Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghaani

Governments in and beyond the region are collectively holding their breath, hoping that violence will not escalate. Some—such as Russia, Iran’s ally in Syria—criticized the US action and, in turn, praised Soleimani for having “faithfully served and defended the national interests of Iran.” Any realistic account must address the conflicting, multiperspectives in the region. In addition to celebrations among communities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere, journalist Kim Ghattas notes that Soleimani was not only a problem for the US, he “haunted the Arab world,” so his death has been greeted with often-quiet “elation.” While Iraq’s parliament will ask for the removal of US forces, some see the post-Soleimani moment as a win for a stronger Iraq. No doubt, US military servicemembers, directly targeted by the IRGC especially in Iraq, offer important insights.

Critics of this action will fixate once again on the Trump Administration’s strategy, positing the US as responsible for Mideast conflict and crisis. Some of these critics ignore Soleimani’s two decades of militant infrastructure-building or the audacity of Kata’ib Hezbollah to target its neighbor’s embassy and airbase. They also forget that KH Commander Muhandis—killed along with Soleimani—was the alleged mastermind of the US and French embassy bombings in Kuwait in 1983, as well as the assassination attempt on Kuwait’s emir in 1985. Such forces have been hard at work for a long time. 

While we do not know what happens next, with Soleimani’s demise, Iran and its proxies have lost their strategic architect. 

Professor Corri Zoli's Expertise in Demand as Media Make Sense of Iran Crisis

Corri Zoli

Corri Zoli, Director of Research for the Institute for Security Policy and Law, helped local media make sense of the Jan. 3, 2019, assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the subsequent Iran Crisis,  and what this US military action means for the security of an already volatile Middle East region.

SU Professor: "Something Had to be Done" to Stop Gen. Soleimani's Influence in Middle East Conflicts

WAER | Jan. 6, 2020

"Something had to be done. Former General David Petraeus was in the news the other day saying, listen, we had to reestablish deterrence somehow because the moves were getting more and more audacious. Closer and closer to US civilian populations, closer and closer to armed forces."

Read more

SU Counterterrorism expert: Soleimani death may be more significant than Osama bin Laden

CNYCentral | Jan. 3, 2020

... Zoli says Soleimani had even greater military reach throughout the region. He was a man, Zoli says, who helped support unrest in Yemen, Syria and was a key figure behind insurgencies against U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

"The IEDs were as a tactical strategy in the field was pioneered by Soleimani. So many American service members think of him as responsible for these," Zoli said. 

She says Soleimani was covert but calls him an operational mastermind who built an enormous infrastructure of terrorist groups throughout the Middle East ...

Read more

What Led to Airstrike That Killed Iranian Military Commander?

Spectrum News | Jan. 3 2020

"I think everyone is holding their breath in the Middle East right now, there's significant concern that there will be increased conflict, escalation, dynamics that will involve retaliation,” said Zoli. "There's no doubt that the US is preparing for that."

Read more

Corri Zoli interview by CNYCentral on Jan. 3, 2020.
Corri Zoli interview by CNYCentral on Jan. 3, 2020.

COL (R) James R. McKee selected Senior Civilian Attorney

James McKee

COL (R) James R. McKee, Class of 1991, was selected to be the Senior Civilian Attorney for the 902D Military Intelligence Group, Intelligence and Security Command, Fort Meade, MD, which is the Army’s premiere counterintelligence organization, focusing his efforts on counterintelligence and counterespionage investigations, operations, collection, and analysis on foreign intelligence entities, international terrorism, and insider threats to U.S. Army Forces. 

Dean Craig M. Boise to Moderate NYSBA Panel on Legal Implications of White Nationalism

Dean Craig M. Boise

Dean Craig M. Boise will moderate a panel discussion on the legal implications of white nationalism at the 2020 New York State Bar Association Summit. The Jan. 29, 2020, panel will be part of a Presidential Summit at the state bar association’s week-long annual meeting.

The panelists—representing a diverse set of viewpoints on how to address domestic terrorism, including mass shootings—will be former US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson; Nan Whaley, the Mayor of Dayton, OH; David Cole, National Legal Director for the ACLU; Leonard Zeskind, author of Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream; and Frank Figliuzzi, former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence.

"The five panelists, coupled with Boise as moderator, should provide an interesting discussion for anyone interested in how civil rights intersect with issues such as domestic terrorism and stronger gun control," says Hank Greenberg L'86, President of the State Bar Association and a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig.

Read the full story.

Professor William C. Banks Comments on FISA Reform for USA Today

William C. Banks

Sinclair Speaks to Professor William C. Banks About Horowitz Report, FISA Reform

William C. Banks

Amid partisan warfare over Russia probe, lawmakers agree FISA reforms needed

(Sinclair Broadcasting Group | Dec. 12, 2019) The release of Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s long-awaited report on the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and its surveillance of a former aide to President Donald Trump’s campaign has fueled a heated partisan debate over the extent to which the 480-page document refuted the president’s claims of a politically-motivated conspiracy to spy on his campaign.

But the political theater on Capitol Hill this week threatened to overshadow a central point of Horowitz’s report: that safeguards put in place to protect Americans from inappropriate government surveillance appear to have utterly failed multiple times and need to be fixed ...

... Investigators obtained a FISA order to wiretap Page in October 2016 and the permission for surveillance was renewed three times in the following year. Horowitz’s review provided an unusually in-depth look at the applications and the evidence within them, and the results were troubling for national security experts, civil rights advocates, and many members of Congress.

“For many of us who’ve been FISA people for a long time, it came as a surprise and a disappointment,” said William Banks, founding director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism and professor emeritus at Syracuse University.

When concerns have been raised about FISA in the past, proponents have often stressed how thoroughly FISA applications are vetted before they are submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. However, Horowitz identified at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” in the four Page FISA applications ...

Read the full article.

Syracuse University College of Law and Martin J. Whitman School of Management Launch Nation’s First Online Joint JD/MBA Degree Program

Online Joint JD/MBA Degree Program

Syracuse University College of Law announces the launch of the nation’s first online joint JD/MBA degree program, in partnership with Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management. The new joint degree combines the College of Law’s ground-breaking, ABA-accredited JDinteractive program with the Whitman School’s highly ranked MBA@Syracuse program.   

“As we’ve learned from decades of success with our joint residential JD/MBA with the Whitman School, there is strong demand for a joint law and business education,” says College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “JDinteractive attracts many students whose careers, credentials, and ambitions are a natural fit for a dual law and business curriculum. It makes sense to partner with our colleagues at the Whitman School to make this curriculum available online.”

“In a globalized, interconnected marketplace, business leaders must constantly consider legal and regulatory frameworks. Across the spectrum of daily business transactions, legal considerations increasingly occupy a prominent place in boardroom discussions,” says Whitman Dean Gene Anderson. “An unprecedented option for students who wish to change careers or improve credentials, the new online JD/MBA provides even greater access to the high-quality legal and business education offered by two nationally ranked schools.” 

Students admitted to the joint program will earn their JD degree through the College of Law’s innovative JDinteractive (JDi) program. JDi courses are conducted primarily online, with each course consisting of both self-paced class sessions and live class sessions taught by the College's faculty. In addition, JDi students participate in six intensive residencies, which provide them with an opportunity to develop key professional skills. JDi students take all courses required of students in Syracuse's residential JD program, select from elective courses, participate in student organizations, and receive hands-on experiential learning and skills-building training. 

Online JD/MBA students earn their master's degree in business administration through the Whitman School’s MBA@Syracuse. Recognized for its strong alumni outcomes, MBA@Syracuse is ranked among the Top 40 Best Online MBAs by U.S. News & World Report and among the Top 25 Best Online MBAs by The Princeton Review. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, MBA@Syracuse features the same curriculum content as the on-campus MBA program and blends multimedia coursework with live, online classes and hands-on residency experiences.

JDi students will be eligible to apply to the joint JD/MBA degree program starting in 2020. Before starting the online MBA portion of the joint degree, JDi students must be separately admitted to the Whitman School, have completed 34 credits of law school, and meet all defined academic requirements. 

“This is a real first for legal education,” explains Nina Kohn, David M. Levy Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Online Education at the College of Law. "Through the JDi program, we've been able to expand access to legal education to remarkably talented students for whom a residential JD education was out of reach, whether because of family obligations, military service, or the demands of their careers. Now we are poised to open the door of opportunity even wider—finally making a joint JD/MBA a real possibility for these students."

Those interested in earning their JD/MBA through the new program may email onlineJD@law.syr.edu or call 315.443.1262. 

Professor Roy Gutterman Interviewed for PolitiFact Article Fact-Checking Trump on Libel and Prison

Roy Gutterman

Fact-Checking Donald Trump on Libel Law and Prison

(Politifact | Dec. 5, 2019) At a NATO summit in London, President Donald Trump took aim at one of his adversaries back across the pond: House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a key figure in the inquiry into impeaching the president.

Trump has repeatedly referred back to the time when Schiff paraphrased Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — an event at the heart of the impeachment inquiry. 

Trump has portrayed Schiff’s words as a fabrication that twisted what he said, but Schiff prefaced his remarks by saying they were not verbatim but were rather "the essence of what the president communicates" and "in sum and character, what the president was trying to communicate."

In a press conference at the NATO summit, Trump once again attacked Schiff over his remarks, suggesting that Schiff could be arrested for what he said ...

... The vast majority of libel or slander cases are civil rather than criminal, said Leonard Niehoff, a University of Michigan law professor. This means the speaker’s money could be at risk if they lose a libel or slander case, but they would not be imprisoned.

However, criminal libel laws of one kind or another do exist on the books in almost half the states. According to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Committee to Protect Journalists, two dozen states have criminal libel laws. 

The Supreme Court ruled in the 1964 case Garrison vs. Louisiana that the standard for criminal conviction is the same as in the landmark case from the same year, New York Times vs. Sullivan, that addresses civil libel cases. "The prosecution must prove falsity and actual malice, beyond a reasonable doubt," Wasserman said.

Some of today’s 24 state laws wouldn’t be relevant to the Schiff example. The laws in Illinois and Texas only cover slanders against financial institutions, while the one in Massachusetts concerns hate speech based on race or other classifications. Three others specifically exclude imprisonment as a possible sentence. (The states that do set maximum prison sentences top out at one year, possibly including fines.)

In addition, the Committee to Protect Journalists cites court cases in seven of these states that would seem to make these laws unconstitutional today, meaning that their existence on the books is archaic.

Even the states that have criminal libel laws rarely use them.

"As a general proposition, prosecutors have vastly better things to do with their time that pursue charges of criminal libel," Niehoff said.

In addition, such laws "would likely be deemed unconstitutional under the First Amendment if they were applied," said Roy S. Gutterman, director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Importantly for Schiff’s case, there’s no criminal libel statute for the District of Columbia, or an equivalent federal statute. Nor is there one in Schiff’s home state of California. 

"So even if Schiff's summaries of the conversations were knowingly false and he were not immune, I am not sure what law he could be prosecuted under," Wasserman said.

Read the full article

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) Preapproved for 2020 IRS Matching Grant; Director Robert Nassau Speaks at Annual LITC Grantee Conference

LITC Director Robert Nassau (far right) and Earned Income Tax Credit panelists

The College of Law’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) is preapproved for a matching grant for 2020 by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For 21 years, the LITC has provided legal assistance to lower-income taxpayers in Central New York who have controversies with the IRS while providing law students with hands-on experience representing clients in these matters.

In addition, LITC Director Robert Nassau recently participated on the “Earned Income Tax Credit” panel at the annual LITC Grantee Conference.

Professor William C. Banks Comments to China Daily on Impeachment, 2020 Elections

William C. Banks

Impeachment Seen as Impacting 2020 Election

(China Daily | Dec. 11, 2019) As the US House Democrats sought on Monday to bolster the case for impeaching President Donald Trump, analysts said the move would have political repercussions on the campaign trail even if the result is "impeached but not removed".

Trump "constitutes a continuing threat to the integrity of our elections and to our democratic system of government," Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said after the panel heard from House Intelligence Committee staff members on their investigation of Trump on Monday.

"Such conduct is clearly impeachable. This committee will proceed accordingly," said Nadler, a New York Democrat ...

... William C. Banks, a Syracuse University College of Law professor, said the scenario that Trump is subjected to a trial and ultimately acquitted may help him politically, but "only time will tell how voters react".

"For those who believe in the rule of law and the importance of constitutional norms, his impeachment is nonetheless important because it upholds and reinforces the importance of those norms," Banks said.

Banks, who co-authored National Security Law and the Power of the Purse, a 1994 book about tensions between the executive and legislative branches over security and spending, said there will undoubtedly be an impact on the 2020 campaign.

"Biden is of course central to the Ukraine scandal, and his testimony will be more damning of the president than harmful to Biden," Banks said.

Banks also said it is impossible to know the immediate repercussions of the impeachment for Democrats in next November's election.

"Trump continues to have a constant 40 percent approval rating, but given the electoral system, he could win again with less than a majority of votes. It's too soon to tell," Banks said ...

Read the full article.