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Lisa Cole Honored with Ms. JD Fellowship

3L Lisa Cole is among 12 law students from around the country honored with a Ms. JD Fellowship. According to Ms. JD—a non-profit, non-partisan organization that seeks to support and improve the experiences of women law students and lawyers—fellows are selected based on their academic performance, leadership, and dedication to advancing the status of women in the profession. 

Among Cole's achievements at the College of Law so far, she is Business Editor of the Syracuse Law Review, a member the regional winning team for the 2019-2020 National Trial Competition, a semifinalist in the prestigious Tournament of Champions advocacy competition, and Treasurer of the Women’s Law Student Association. 

Established in 2010, Ms. JD’s Fellowship Program promotes mentoring and professional development for future female attorneys. The mentors are taken from the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession’s Margaret Brent Award Winners and Commissioners. In addition to receiving financial support and invitations to ABA and Ms. JD events, each fellowship winner is paired with a mentor. 

The 12 fellows reflect a full range of diverse interests and backgrounds, with the women pursuing opportunities in public interest, academia, and the private sector in every region of the country. This is the third year in a row a Syracuse student has been awarded a Ms. JD Fellowship. Lisa Cole follows Aubre Dean L'20, a 2019 recipient, and Erika Simonson L'19, a 2018 recipient. 

Yaghi named Rising Star

Lana A. Yaghi

​Lana Yaghi has been named a National Law Journals’ Rising Stars/DC.Ms. Yaghi joined Miller Canfield in June 2019 as a Senior Attorney, Corporate/Transactions group in their Washington DC office. 

Roddy joins Butzel Long

Kevin T. Roddy

Butzel Long, a leading Detroit-based law firm announced today that it has expanded its Intellectual Property (IP) Practice Group with the addition of Kevin T. Roddy (Of Counsel) in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.   Kevin Roddy has more than 15 years of experience in patent law and has advised a wide range of clients in developing patent portfolios for a variety of technologies and industries. He also has experience in IP due diligence, especially with merger and acquisition transactions. 

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 on Spectrum News: Oswego Sheriff Should Leave Politics at the Door

Roy Gutterman

Oswego Co. Sheriff's Office Violates County Policy by Flying Trump Flag, Legislator Says

(Spectrum News | Aug. 3, 2020) Dozens of boats floated around Oneida Lake on Sunday showing support for President Trump. Members of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office joined the parade while patrolling the flotilla.

The sheriff’s office said in a statement: “This flag was flown to show support of the citizens who were attending this event and to show recognition to the President of the United States for his constant support for law enforcement.”

State and federal laws prohibit law enforcement from political endorsements while on the clock ...

... It was an inappropriate time to take a stand, according to a legal expert.

“It could be any endorsement of any political movement and that would be inappropriate for any government official,” said Gutterman. “You need to leave your politics at the door when you put on a uniform" ...

Read the full story.

Tahanie Aboushi L’09: Guardian of Justice

Tahanie Aboushi L’09

When Tahanie Aboushi L’09 was 14 years old, she and her nine siblings got a firsthand glimpse of the legal system as her father stood trial and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. “It was a very destabilizing experience,” recalls Aboushi, a civil rights attorney now running for Manhattan district attorney. “We underestimate how big of a footprint the legal system has on family and on the community.”

Aboushi’s parents immigrated to New York City from Palestine before she was born and started a grocery store in Brooklyn that became a community staple. “We often only think about the one person who is incarcerated, not realizing that it has an effect on the spouse and children, financial circumstances, educational opportunities and stability,” she says.

Aboushi describes the experience as “invasive”—the defense lawyers were part of their everyday life, but the family ultimately felt abandoned by the legal system. “The legal system disrupted everything—schoolwork, family dynamics, dinnertime, what the weekend looked like,” she says. “At the end, it was like, we got our sentencing and you’re all now on your own.”

After the trial was over, the family spoke frequently to their father on the phone and visited him in prison—no easy feat as he was incarcerated in Ohio (among other places over the years), an eight-hour drive from the family’s home in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

The experience left Aboushi wondering what she could do to change this.

Pursuing a Law Degree

Her parents prized and encouraged education. Two of her older siblings became attorneys. Aboushi followed suit, attending Syracuse University College of Law, after seeing what an incredible experience her older sister, Diane Aboushi Saleh L’06, had there.

Diane shared how she explored the law in ways that put a realistic tone to it. “She would tell me how she spoke to professors about current events beyond the classroom. There was an awareness of world events going on, and there were opportunities to express views and find ways to incorporate personality and your objectives in classroom and extracurricular activities. So, once I was accepted, I didn’t care about any other acceptance letters. I said Syracuse is it for me,” says Aboushi ...

Read the full story.

Professor Nina Kohn Critiques "Safe to Work Act" for Law360

Nina Kohn

GOP's Coronavirus Biz Liability Shield Plan Raises Eyebrows

(Law360 | July 31, 2020) Republicans' recently floated bill in the Senate to shield businesses and health care providers from coronavirus-related injury suits has raised the eyebrows of both plaintiffs and defense attorneys, with some saying it was the most sweeping and expansive attempt at tort reform they'd ever seen.

The Safe to Work Act would impose significant hurdles for workers, customers and patients who want to sue businesses and health care providers over coronavirus-related injuries, which the bill's sponsor, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said were necessary to prevent the latter "from being sued into oblivion." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had called the liability shield a top Republican priority and a "red line" issue for their next relief package proposal, which Senate GOP members unveiled last Monday ...

Nina Kohn, a professor at the Syracuse University College of Law and an advocate for nursing home patients' rights, said the only good thing about the bill is its title.

"It is the kitchen sink of tort reforms. It's possibly the kitchen bathtub, though, because there are things in here that are unscrupulous and extraordinary," Kohn said. "Not only is this an incredible amalgamation of every tort reform wish list, there are things in here that, to the best of my knowledge, are unprecedented."

Kohn noted that the bill defines gross negligence as reckless disregard of both legal duty and applicable government standards and guidance.

"The 'and' does incredible mischief here," she said. "Things that we would consider gross negligence [under common law] would not be considered gross negligence here" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Paula Johnson Reflects on Rep. Lewis' Legacy for CNYCentral

Paula Johnson

Syracuse University professor reflects on the legacy of John Lewis

(CNYCentral | July 30, 2020) A Syracuse University law professor who personally worked with the late Rep. John Lewis says it is up to us to continue his legacy. 

Lewis was laid to rest in Atlanta on Thursday. Former president Barack Obama delivered a eulogy.

Prof. Paula Johnson says Lewis helped shape her life and so many others. They worked together on the Emmett Till legislation and the Cold Case Justice Initiative

Watch the segment.

Professor Michael Schwartz Reflects on the ADA@30 for WAER

Michael Schwartz

SU Disability Rights Clinic Director Reflects on the ADA 30 Years Later

(WAER | July 29, 2020) The Director of the Disability Rights Clinic at Syracuse University’s Office of Clinical Legal Education says the American’s with Disabilities Act has helped.  

However, he says we still have a long way to go.  Over the weekend marked the 30th Anniversary of the ADA. Michael Schwartz is a Supervising Attorney and a Professor. In terms of securing employment for those with disabilities, the unemployment rate remains at 1990 levels of 70%. 

Although, he says the ADA has altered perceptions and led to massive changes.

“… But, in terms of changing people’s attitudes and gaining the ability to ask for access to government services, to private businesses open to the public, like doctors and lawyers (it has).”

Schwartz is deaf himself and spoke to us through his interpreter and wife, Trisha.  He’s heard frequently at the clinic from individuals who have had difficulty finding legal representation ...

Read the full article

"By and By:" Professor Paula Johnson Remembers Rep. John Lewis

Paula Johnson

By Paula C. Johnson, Professor of Law & Co-Director, Cold Case Justice Initiative (CCJI) 

I woke up today humming the spiritual "We Shall Understand It By and By," as I thought about the final funeral service uplifting the life of Rep. John R. Lewis.  

The service was held at Ebenezer Baptist Church at 11 a.m. on July 30, 2020. What was caught in my throat and in my mind, was the refrain:

By and by, when the morning comes,
When the saints of God are gathered home,
We’ll tell the story how we’ve overcome,
For we’ll understand it better by and by.

This spiritual was written by Rev. Charles Tindley, born in 1851 of an enslaved man and a free woman. He is often regarded as the father of American gospel music. Struggling with death of his wife, who died just as the congregation was to enter the new sanctuary of their church, Tindley is said to have mused, “One day I will understand it better by and by.”  

Thinking about the life and legacy of Congressman Lewis, the refrain and indeed the entire hymn are so apropos the celebration of Congressman Lewis’ life. Of course, the spiritual "We Shall Overcome" was the mantra of the Civil Rights Movement. But what moves me most about "By and By" is that it tells us that we must tell the story.  

This is an imperative to remember and live the ideals of a nation and a better humankind. John Lewis lived, bled, and died for these ideals. We must tell this story—his story—to ourselves, our children, and generations to come. 

I did have the honor to watch Congressman Lewis over my lifetime from afar, and up close as an adult. It was humbling to collaborate with him and his staff. It was amazing and heart-rending to witness how he touched, consoled, inspired, and strengthened the family members of victims of Civil Rights Era racial violence and murders. He knew their victimized family members, and he knew the descendants’ pain and endurance. The family members simply revered Congressman Lewis. I never witnessed a false or discordant note from him. His anger and ire, it seems clear, was reserved for injustice of any type against anyone. 

Sometimes we speak hyperbolically about greatness, great men and great women. John Lewis was a great man. Full stop. John Lewis is going home and the nation rightfully honors him today. But if we truly want to honor his legacy and all that he stood for, we must vote and make it possible for all others to vote.  

Democracy, love, and the beloved community—this is the meaning of John Lewis’ life. As the hymn says, "Trials dark on every hand, / And we cannot understand, / All the ways of God would lead us / To that blessed promised land."  

We may never come to understand the mysteries and cravenness of racism and anything that would seek to dehumanize fellow human beings, but we must be committed to continue to fight against it.  

This is Congressman Lewis’ legacy—that in righting wrongs, in speaking out, and acting up, we must get in good trouble. In doing so, let us honor the man and also honor all that we profess to stand for.  

Thank you, Congressman Lewis. Fond farewell. 

Rep. John Lewis at the CCJI Retreat in Atlanta, 2010.
Rep. John Lewis at a CCJI Retreat in Atlanta, 2010.


Wickstrom "chair-elect"

Heidi Wickstrom

Heidi L. Wickstrom (J.D. 2007) has been elected “chair-elect” of the American Association of Justice’s Professional Negligence section.  As chair-elect, Ms. Wickstrom will assist in overseeing the Professional Negligence newsletter and online content, help plan the group’s CLE for the next year’s conventions, schedule webinars, and assist the chair of the group with anything she needs. Next year, she will become the chair of the section. Ms. Wickstrom is currently an associate attorney at the Illinois personal injury law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard. 

Professor Corri Zoli: US Intelligence Warns of Foreign Election Interference

Corri Zoli

With less than 100 days to go before the US election, US intelligence officials are warning of attempted interference by Russia, China and Iran, according to an update from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Professor Corri Zoli’s research focuses on contemporary problems of warfare from an interdisciplinary social science, public policy, and law perspective, and one track of her research investigates the changing nature of the US military force structure and the challenges of asymmetric warfare for military personnel.

“Election interference from foreign actors is a common and persistent concern in the United States (as well as in other democracies),” says Zoli. “Open systems with free markets, free speech, and robust public spheres are always subject to influence operations by actors, state and non-state, with their own agendas. These influence agendas may be motivated by political and economic interests, an opportunity for peer competitors to gain an advantage or edge over the US, or they may be efforts to simply test the strength and resilience of US public democratic institutions and processes, to see how far they can exercise power and influence on an unsuspecting American public.

“The recent statement by William Evanina, at the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence Director of National Counterintelligence and Security Center, should be read as a positive, proactive posture on the part of the federal government. It indicates that US Intelligence professionals are ready and aware of these multifaceted election threats. Part of the purpose of Evanina’s message is to publicize the issue—to make ordinary Americans aware that bad actors will try to influence them through information campaigns, including on social media platforms.  

"The reach of those influence campaigns also includes cyber acts targeting election systems and infrastructure. The US is somewhat distinctive in the diversity of our election systems among municipalities and states, with multiple redundancies and post-election auditing procedures, all of which makes voter fraud less likely. There are recent cases of US based election interference by vote tampering, evident in recent prosecutions of individuals, including over 900 criminal convictions across the US of individuals attempting to change or remove votes (false registration, buying votes, misuse of absentee ballots, etc.)—but still the scope of that problem is relatively small.

“Director Evanina’s message is also designed to educate Americans and all private and government entities to adopt an aware and ‘hardened’ posture about foreign influence campaigns in social and traditional media designed to shape US voters’ perspectives and preferences by manipulating fears—about COVID-19 and the pandemic response, recent protests and riots across the nation, political division, etc.”

WXXI Cites Professor Doron Dorfman's Article on Mask Mandates

Doron Dorfman

Lack of mask exemption guidance leaves policy decisions up to doctors

(WXXI | July 29, 2020) Since April, New York state has required people to wear masks when they are outside of their own homes and cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from each other.

That rule has two exceptions: Children under 2 years old, and people who cannot “medically tolerate a face-covering” are not required to wear masks.

The first exception is clear, but the second remains open for interpretation even months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order took effect, said Dr. Mical Raz, a professor of history and health policy at the University of Rochester.

The lack of clarity is true across the country, Raz said. “Most local ordinances that require masking note that there should be exemptions for medical conditions, but nobody actually knows what these medical conditions are,” she said.

Raz and Doron Dorfman, a law professor at Syracuse University, co-wrote a paper published this month in JAMA Health Forum in which they described an “evidence-free zone” of disabilities that warrant exemptions from mask mandates.

“There is no way to build a complete list. That is not the way the law works in America,” Dorfman said.

Leaving decisions up to doctors “preserves what we think of as individual liberties in this country, but it can leave things open for abuse" ...

Read the full article.

Syracuse University College of Law and Rochester Institute of Technology Enter Into 3+3 Admissions Agreement

Syracuse University College of Law & RIT

Syracuse University College of Law and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) have entered into a 3+3 Admissions Agreement for RIT students who wish to kick start their legal careers. The agreement enables qualified students to obtain their bachelor’s and J.D. degrees in six years, instead of seven.

Under the agreement, RIT students who are admitted and enroll through the 3+3 program must complete all coursework required of their School of Individualized Study undergraduate major in three years. Their first year at the College of Law then fulfills the final year of their bachelor's degree, allowing 3+3 students to finish both degrees in six years.

“The 3+3 agreement with Syracuse provides our students with an accelerated pathway to one of the top law schools in New York State, just 90 miles from Rochester, trimming one year off the total time for an undergraduate and law degree,” says Interim Dean for the College of Liberal Arts LaVerne McQuiller-Williams. “This new partnership enables our students not only to get a jump on their legal careers, in many cases student will save on tuition and living expenses.”

“Our 3+3 agreement with RIT places students on a fast-tracked path into the College of Law and our innovative programs, academic offerings, and experiential learning opportunities,” says Denée Page, Assistant Dean of Enrollment Management, Syracuse University College of Law. “I look forward to meeting talented RIT students and to helping them map their future through Syracuse.”

“Among our multi-disciplinary research centers and institutes, the College of Law’s Innovation Law Center (ILC) will be of special interest to RIT students,” explains College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “This program attracts top law students interested in intellectual property law, and it is a particularly good fit for students with a science and technology background. ILC is just one of Syracuse’s applied learning opportunities, along with our nationwide Externship Program and our Advocacy Program, ranked 15th in the nation.”

Designated the New York State Science and Technology Law Center since 2004, ILC offers a Technology Commercialization Law curricular program for students interested in the technical, legal, and business aspects of bringing new technologies to market. In addition to focused doctrinal study, ILC students work on research projects for real technologies on behalf of universities, federal research laboratories, technology development organizations, and established companies and startups. The program provides a solid foundation for careers in law firms, corporations, government agencies, tech transfer offices, and consulting and investment banking firms.

With this agreement, RIT joins other 3+3 schools who partner with Syracuse University College of Law in Upstate New York —Alfred University, Le Moyne College, Nazareth College, and St. John Fisher College—as well as Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management and three Atlanta-based Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College.

Interested RIT students should visit the institute’s pre-law program page for more information. More details on Syracuse’s 3+3 programs can be found on the College of Law’s Office of Admissions webpages.

Professor Nina Kohn Named Yale Law's Solomon Center Distinguished Scholar in Elder Law

Nina Kohn

Nina A. Kohn, David M. Levy Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Online Education, has been named the Solomon Center Distinguished Scholar in Elder Law by The Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School. This new affiliation will allow Kohn to continue to work closely with other scholars at Yale Law School, where she served as a Visiting Professor during the 2019-2020 academic year. 

Also a faculty affiliate with the Syracuse University Aging Studies Institute and a member of the American Law Institute, Kohn is a leading authority in elder law and the civil rights of older adults. Her research focuses on how the law shapes and responds to the experience of growing older and the needs of older adults.

A prolific writer, Kohn’s work has appeared in diverse forums, including the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, the Washington University Law Review, and the Washington Post. She is the author of Elder Law: Practice, Policy, and Problems (Wolters Kluwer, 2nd ed., 2020). She also served as Reporter for the Third Revision of the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act and subsequently testified about guardianship abuse before the US Senate Special Committee on Aging. 

Kohn is active in law reform and public interest work. Her current activities include, among others, Reporter for the Uniform Law Commission’s Study Group on the Uniform Health Care Decisions Act; Advisor to the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law Third, Torts: Concluding Provisions Project; and Director of the Aging, Law, and Society Collaborative Research Network.


Hubbard named to Rising Stars

Tyson Hubbard

Downey Brand, a prominent law firm with offices in Sacramento, San Francisco, Stockton, and Reno, is pleased to share the news that Tyson Hubbard was selected as a 2020 Northern California Rising Star for his legal work in the area of estate and trust litigation.

Sandmann Defamation Suit: Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Speaks to Washington Times

Roy Gutterman

Nicholas Sandmann settles defamation lawsuit against Washington Post

(Washington Times | July 24, 2020) Attorneys for Nicholas Sandmann said Friday that they have settled the Covington Catholic student’s defamation lawsuit against the Washington Post.

Mr. Sandmann, who said he turned 18 on Friday, sued the newspaper in 2019 over its coverage of his viral encounter with a Native American activist at the Lincoln Memorial ...

... Syracuse University Newhouse School Professor Roy Gutterman said that for the Post, settling the case may have been less costly than going to court, an illustration of “the dangers that media face when dealing with defamation suits like this.”

“Even though the law and facts seemed to support a vigorous defense, the prospect of litigation and continued appeals, probably made settlement a practical and safer option,” said Mr. Gutterman. “This is the second settlement and there are still cases pending so we will probably be hearing some more stories like this in the future.”

Read the full article.

Professor Peter Blanck Reviews 30 Years of the ADA for Legal Examiner

Peter Blanck

The Americans with Disabilities Act at 30: Progress, but more needed

(Legal Examiner | July 24, 2020) To Tony Lombardo, who has multiple sclerosis, the Americans with Disabilities Act bestowed recognition of disabled people’s basic humanity.

Marilyn Golden, who uses a wheelchair, says life under the ADA is “hugely different, but it doesn’t mean it’s enough.”

And John Morris, who also uses a wheelchair and has a website for wheelchair travelers, thinks the law has opened up access in a lot of places where it didn’t previously exist, but has not lived up to its full potential.

As the landmark civil rights law turns 30 years old, advocates, disabled individuals and researchers are evaluating the impact it has had across a variety of fronts, from transportation to public accommodations, from communications to employment.

In some very literal ways, the law has transformed the landscape, from the ubiquity of curb cuts to the appearance of ramps and elevators where stairs once stood alone as virtually insurmountable barriers to people who use wheelchairs.

But while experts agree the law has done profound good, its overall report card is mixed ...

... The law was written in a way that allows it to evolve with each court decision interpreting its meaning and application, according to Peter Blanck, university professor at Syracuse University and author of a new book Disability Law and Policy ...

... Blanck conceded there have been abuses, from people who wrongly use handicapped parking placards to those who claim their pets are service animals to those who claim ADA excuses for not wearing masks during the pandemic.

There have also been lawyers who abused the law by filing serial lawsuits against businesses and forcing them to pay settlements for sometimes frivolous accessibility violations. Blanck said that issue has been overblown.

He noted that courts have sanctioned attorneys for this behavior. And he added, “I am not aware of a single small business that has been quote, put out of business because it needed to comply with the ADA,” he said. “To the contrary, I would suggest that these green dollars of individuals with disabilities are helping keep those small businesses afloat."

But the law has been consequential for people with disabilities, removing barriers to living the way others take for granted.

“The world is a more physically accessible place,” Blanck said. And the benefits extend beyond the disabled, he added. For example, people pushing strollers can cross the street more easily because of curb cuts that have been installed because of the ADA ...

Read the full story.

Professor Doron Dorfman Examines the ADA & the Equality Gap on KCBS Radio

Doron Dorfman

July Marks 30th Anniversary Of ADA, But Many Americans Still Experience Equality Gap

(KCBS Radio | July 26, 2020) This week marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which mandates equal opportunity for people with disabilities - in employment, transportation and more.

But as the New York Times reports, many Americans are still not getting the equality they need and are entitled to.

KCBS Radio's Curtiss Kim talked more about it with Doran Dorfman, Associate Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law.

Listen to the segment.

Five College of Law Faculty to Participate in SEALS Conference 2020

Syracuse University College of Law

Five College of Law faculty members will participate in the 2020 Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) conference, to be held online across July 30-Aug. 5, 2020. Syracuse participants will join workshops and discussions covering the development of online content and best practices for online instruction, admissions processes, criminal procedure reform, transnational/comparative law, non-traditional labor law, and faculty/student exchanges. 

The full program can be browsed here.

Syracuse University College of Law Presentations (in order of appearance)

Professor Jack Graves

  • Developing Content for Online Courses | July 31, 2020; 1 p.m. (speaker)
  • Best Practices for Online Instruction and Assessment | Aug. 1, 2020; 1 p.m. (discussant)
  • Master Class for Experienced Online Educators | Aug. 2, 2020; 1:30 p.m. (discussant)

Assistant Dean of Enrollment Management Denée Page

  • Promoting Access to Legal Education | Aug. 2; 1:30 p.m. (moderator)
  • What Your Admissions Office Wishes You Knew | Aug. 3; 10:15 a.m. (speaker)

Professor Sanjay Chhablani

  • State Your Case: The Influence of State Court Decisions, Tribal Courts, and State and Local Level Reforms on Criminal Practice | Aug. 3; 3:30 p.m. (discussant)

Professor Todd Berger

  • Law in Hong Kong SAR, Peoples’ Republic of China | Aug. 4, 8 a.m. (moderator)
  • International Collaborative Teaching | Aug. 4; 10:15 a.m. (moderator)
  • International Cooperation and Faculty Student Exchanges | Aug. 5; 9 a.m. (discussant)

Professor Jennifer Breen

  • Alt-Labor: Nontraditional | Aug. 4; 1 p.m. (moderator)

Professor Corri Zoli Helps Empower Veterans at Virtual Academic Boot Camp

Corri Zoli

Professor Corri Zoli was among University faculty who, for the sixth year in a row, helped teach in the esteemed Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP), a no-cost academic boot camp for first-year student veterans. Normally held on campus to allow for a comprehensive campus experience, the program was moved online this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hosted at 18 select institutions nationwide, WSP empowers enlisted military veterans by providing them with a skill bridge to enable a successful transition from the battlefield to the classroom, maximizes their education opportunities by making them informed consumers of education, and increases the confidence they will need to successfully complete a rigorous four-year undergraduate program.

This year’s cohort of nine included four active duty incoming students, four veterans and a reservist, all members of the US Army, US Navy or the US Marine Corps. Participants attended virtually from Hawaii, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Washington, Washington DC, Nevada, Ohio and Iowa.

The project at Syracuse University is a collaborative effort of the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs and the College of Arts and Sciences. Syracuse faculty who taught during this year’s program include, among others:

  • Corri Zoli, Associate Teaching Professor, College of Law and Maxwell School
  • Tessa Murphy, Assistant Professor, Maxwell School
  • David Bennett, Professor Emeritus, Maxwell School
  • Eileen Schell, Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Genevieve García de Müeller, Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Read the full story.

On ADA Anniversary, Professor Kanter Critiques Biel Decision in The Hill, Jurist

Arlene Kanter

Religious freedom is no reason to deny people with disabilities the right to equality in the workplace

The Hill | July 26, 2020

... Just as Congress acted to correct the court’s decisions in the Sutton trilogy of cases, Congress should act now to correct the court’s misinterpretation in Biel of Title I’s religious “ministerial exception.” Unless an employee has a leadership role in a religious organization, the employee should be protected under the ADA as well as all other civil rights laws. 

Five years ago, President Obama observed that the 25th anniversary of the ADA is a cause for celebration but also a time to “address  the injustices that linger and remove barriers that  remain.” The Biel decision is an example of the court’s unwillingness to fully protect the right to  equality in the workplace for people with disabilities. It is now up to Congress to act again and correct the court’s misguided decision that tramples on the rights of people with disabilities — this time in the name of religious freedom ...

Read the full article.

Turning Their Back on People with Disabilities in the Name of Religious Freedom

Jurist | July 26, 2020

... Other scholars will debate the constitutional implications of this case. But as we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the ADA today on July 26, 2020, we should be wary of a Supreme Court that allows religious institutions to be shielded from compliance with our civil rights laws. Upon signing the ADA, President Bush called on Americans to “remove the physical barriers we have created and the social barriers that we have accepted. For ours will never be a truly prosperous nation until all within it prosper.” 

The Supreme Court just slammed the door shut on people with disabilities, including those who wish to follow their faith and teach in religious schools. That sounds less like the Court’s upholding of religious freedom and more like a free pass for religious institutions to discriminate ... 

Read the full article

Burns Named in Super Lawyer

Henson Efron is pleased to announce Syracuse University College of Law Alumni, Christopher Burns (grad year 1999), has been selected as a Minnesota Super Lawyer Honoree.

Hon. James E. Baker in the NYT: Invoke the DPA During the Coronavirus Surge

James E. Baker

Virus Surge Brings Calls for Trump to Invoke Defense Production Act

(The New York Times | July 22, 2020) Experts, medical workers and elected officials are reviving their call for the Trump administration to ramp up its use of the Defense Production Act to secure critical medical supplies.

In March, as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the United States and pressure from cities and states grew, President Trump used the act to press General Motors to begin production of ventilators. But four months later, frustrated by what they describe as a lack of federal leadership in the face of continued shortages, critics say the Trump administration is not wielding the act to the extent that it can and should. 

“What the federal government—the president or secretaries possessing delegated authority—have not done yet is use the D.P.A. to create a permanent, sustainable, redundant, domestic supply chain for all things pandemic: testing, swabs, N95 masks, etc.,” said Jamie Baker, a former legal adviser to the National Security Council and a professor of national security law at Syracuse University ...

Mr. Baker, the national security law professor, said he worried that the federal government’s struggle to supply swabs and protective gear might portend difficulties in widely distributing a vaccine.

“Whatever vaccine is produced, it’s going to involve a vial and a needle,” he said. “If we cannot figure out how to produce enough swabs or tests, will we figure out how to produce enough vaccine or treatments?”

Read the full article.

Professor David Driesen: This Election is About the Survival of American Democracy

David Driesen

(syracuse.com | July 23, 2020) The media often treat the upcoming election as a normal political battle about policy. I teach constitutional law and do not think of this presidential or congressional election in such narrow terms. And my colleagues on both the left and the right who teach constitutional law do not see it that way, either.

To explain this, I start with a point that all voters might agree to: President Donald Trump is extremely divisive. He tweets out vicious insults aimed at political opponents and members of his own party who displease him in some way. He even characterized the Democrats’ criticism of his handling of the coronavirus, which he consistently downplayed, as a “hoax.”

No American president behaves this way. Presidents aim to unite the country and generally do not descend to using personal insults.

Many people who Trump openly admires — such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — use attacks and insults as a major governing tool. All of these leaders have one thing in common. They have all dismantled democracies to establish autocracies, not through a sudden coup, but by using attacks on individuals and institutions to destroy checks and balances over several years …

Read the full article

Chinese Hacking Indictments: Professor Corri Zoli Speaks to SCMP

Corri Zoli

US indicts Chinese hackers on charges of targeting coronavirus vaccine data and defence secrets

(South China Morning Post | July 22, 2020) The US government has indicted two Chinese nationals in connection with long-running cyber espionage operations that aimed to net information on Covid-19 vaccines, military weapons and human rights activists, in what is the second Justice Department indictment against individuals from China in recent days.

Li Xiaoyu, 34, and Dong Jiazhi, 33, were charged with 11 counts of conspiracy, identity theft and fraud related to operations carried out from China since 2009, some in conjunction with China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), according to an indictment filed on July 7 with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Washington and unsealed on Tuesday ...

...“This is information warfare so there's a lot of evasion and distraction going on here,” said Corrinne Zoli, director of research at the Institute for Security Policy & Law at Syracuse University in New York. “I think the issue is not that the Chinese need more clinical data to sort out their own vaccine programmes.”

China is more likely to be “trying to probe the US response to what really is an economic and security threat that is the pandemic”, she added. “They’re trying to figure out if the response is leading to the US to be more stable or unstable, if their response is indicative of a government that resilient or a government that’s in crisis" ...

... “What you’re seeing now is just an administration that’s got a more of a forward posture … you're seeing more inter-governmental operability, you’re seeing more inter-agency cooperation to manage this threat,” said Zoli. “Any nation state that has capacity, and usually that's any nation state with a developed military, is going to have some information warfare capacity,” including the US.

The difference, she added, is that while the US government limits cyber espionage to the countering of national security threats, China is more inclined to hack for economic and commercial secrets as well.

“That’s where I think they are in a league of their own,” she said ...

Read the full story.

Professor Nina Kohn Offers "Teaching Law Online: A Guide for Faculty"

Nina Kohn
"Teaching Law Online: A Guide for Faculty." Journal of Legal Education (2020).

As law school classes move online, it is imperative that law faculty understand not only how to teach online, but how to teach well online. 

Professor Nina Kohn's article is designed to help law faculty do their best teaching online. It walks faculty through key choices they must make when designing online courses and concrete ways that they can prepare themselves and their students to succeed. 

The article explains why live online teaching should be the default option for most faculty, but it also shows how faculty can enhance student learning by incorporating asynchronous lessons into their online classes. It then shows how faculty can set up their virtual teaching space and employ diverse teaching techniques to foster an engaging and rigorous online learning environment. 

The article concludes by discussing how the move to online education in response to COVID-19 could improve the overall quality of law school teaching.

Science Magazine Interviews Professor Arlene Kanter About Reopening Campuses

Arlene Kanter

‘Ethically troubling.’ University reopening plans put professors, students on edge

(Science | July 20, 2020) Come August, hundreds of universities across the United States are poised to reopen their campuses with a mix of online and in-person courses. Only a handful are aiming for an entirely online semester. But as the machinery of higher education cranks back into action, faculty, staff, and students are voicing concerns that, with COVID-19 cases surging in many parts of the country, employees are being forced to put their health—and the health of others—at unnecessary risk ...

... For some, workplace regulations are little help. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employees who are age 65 or older or have preexisting conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID-19 can request to work from home. 

Leave may be available to others who, for example, live with a high-risk family member through protections afforded by the Family and Medical Leave Act—but that leave is unpaid. 

“In my view, [university policies should] go beyond compliance with the law and do the right thing—which is to allow [employees] to work from home if they feel at risk,” says Arlene Kanter, a law professor at Syracuse University ...

Read the full article

Professor Stephen Kuusisto Goes 30 for (the ADA at) 30

Stephen Kuusisto

As the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act gets nearer, Stephen Kuusisto, Director of the Burton Blatt Institute’s Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach is posting 30 short essays about the law, the anniversary, and the cultural impact of ADA@30. 

According to Kuusisto, “I’m doing this as a disabled person who’s lived half his life before the ADA. I’m reflecting on the ‘before and after’ of the law.”

1.     Thirty for Thirty on the ADA: “Bicycle-Blind & Belabored” 

2.     Thirty for Thirty on the ADA: “Coming out of the Dark”

3.     Thirty for Thirty on the ADA: Essay Three “Lyric Life”

4.     Thirty for Thirty on the ADA: Essay Four “Among”

5.     Thirty for Thirty on the ADA: “Outside the Box”

6.     Thirty for Thirty on the ADA: A Largely Lonely Triumph: Disability and Contemporary Higher Education

7.     Thirty for Thirty on the ADA: “Essay Seven: It’s Life Itself”

8.     Thirty for Thirty on the ADA: “Maybe Tomorrow”

9.     Thirty for Thirty on the ADA: “Masks”

10. Thirty for Thirty on the ADA: “The Dumpster” ...

Read more of Kuusisto's essays.

Professor Doron Dorfman's Mask Exemption Research Cited by Houston's KPRC

Doron Dorfman

Who is exempt from the mask mandate and what options to people with disabilities have?

(KPRC Houston | July 20, 2020) With Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s mask mandate in place, his position on the matter is clear.

“If everyone can adopt the practice of wearing a face mask for the next four weeks, we will be able to get COVID 19 under control,” Abbott told KPRC2 during an interview last week.

It’s a simple strategy to fight a complex virus. But what about those unable to mask up? ...

“There is a delicate balance in the ADA regulations between the personal privacy rights and the rights of the business owner,” said Doron Dorfman, a professor at Syracuse University College of Law. He co-authored a report on the challenges of mask exemptions. It’s a new frontier during this pandemic but, not an entirely new legal concept.

“If you think about people that need doctors’ notes for service animals, as an example, or not standing in line in certain places,” said Dorfman ...

Read the full article.

Professor Doron Dorfman: No Constitutional Right Not to Wear a Mask

Doron Dorfman

Gov. McMaster refuses call for state mask rule, pushes reopening as SC ‘hot spot’ surges

(The State (Columbia, NC) | July 19, 2020) As South Carolina surpassed 60,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 1,000 deaths last week, making headlines for becoming a global hot spot, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster continued his push to reopen the state against growing alarm from health experts, educators, parents and local leaders alike.

On Wednesday, the Columbia Republican — who shut down the state’s economy in April and, just as quickly in May, reversed nearly every closure order he’d issued — urged school districts to restart full-time, in-person instruction by Labor Day week. The welfare of children was his top priority, he said.

Yet McMaster reiterated, again, he won’t be closing businesses back down or requiring South Carolinians to wear masks — two solutions other governors have adopted to slow the spread of COVID-19 in their states ...

... Doron Dorfman, an associate professor at Syracuse University College of Law who specializes in health law, said the 10th Amendment of the Constitution clearly gives states the authority to oversee matters such as the public’s health and safety.

“The state and the governors have the authority to make sure that people do wear masks to protect other people from the spread of the virus,” Dorfman said. “And there’s not a constitutional right not to wear a mask — you can buy things without going to a store" ...

Read the full article

Professor Paula Johnson Remembers Rep. Lewis, Rev. Vivian in Syracuse.com

Paula Johnson

Rep. John Lewis, Rev. C.T. Vivian: Men of Principle and Sacrifice (Commentary)

(syracuse.com | July 19, 2020) It is almost inconceivable to know that Congressman John Lewis and Rev. Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian – two giants of the Civil Rights Movement – both died on Friday, July 17, 2020. These are immeasurable losses for our country and world. 

Together and individually, they represented the highest ideals and hope for this nation to reach its promise of racial equality, universal voting rights and social justice for all people. Their principles and sacrifices that are embedded in our national consciousness. Both men were part of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s inner cabinet. They were trusted and dedicated leaders in the movement for civil rights.

Lewis, who was 80, began his activism at an early age. He recalled his effort as a child to obtain a library card in his rural Troy, Alabama, community. He was turned away upon being told that the library and all that it contained was for whites only. Undeterred, he determined to make the changes that would one day open American institutions to all people. 

Inspired by the passionate sermons and growing activist movement led by King and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, John Lewis wrote to King when he was 18 years old and asked to join the movement. This began a lasting bond to change the arc of America’s racist underpinnings. King affectionately nicknamed Lewis “the Boy from Troy.” Lewis never lost the humility of his rural beginnings in a family of sharecroppers, no matter how high he reached later to be called “the conscience of the Congress" ...

Read the full article

Rep. John Lewis & Rev. C.T. Vivian
Rep. John Lewis (top) & Rev. C.T. Vivian

Professors Blanck and Dorfman Help USA Today Fact-Check Face Mask Regulations, Exemptions

College of Law

Fact check: ADA does not provide blanket exemption from face mask requirements

(USA Today | July 15, 2020) The claim: The Americans with Disabilities Act exempts people from face mask requirements imposed by governments and retailers. 

Face mask use has been a source of confusion and contention amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As new outbreaks of the coronavirus grow across the country, some anti-mask activists have claimed that policies mandating mask-wearing infringe on disability rights.

“According to ADA Mask Not Required Anywhere in America!” reads one flyer shared hundreds of times on Facebook.

The graphic cites the Americans with Disabilities Act’s requirement for “reasonable accommodation to anyone who cannot wear a mask due a medical condition,” as explanation for why mask wearing is optional under the law ...

The ADA is an anti-discrimination law meant to provide similar legal protections to disabled Americans as other groups protected under federal civil rights law because of their color, race, sex, religion and national origin.

“When you offer something to the public – a job, a restaurant – it’s not that people with disabilities are the first in line; it’s that they can get in line,” Peter Blanck, a professor of disability law at Syracuse University, told USA TODAY ...

... Many disabled people, who are at especially high risk of experiencing severe cases of COVID-19, are largely adopting measures to avoid in-person interaction entirely, opting for the delivery of groceries and other goods rather than risk exposure.

“In my experience, people with disabilities are not the ones rushing to stores looking for accommodations because they know they are the ones who are most likely to get COVID-19,” Doron Dorfman, a professor of law at Syracuse University who has researched misconceptions of disability rights, told USA TODAY ...

Read the full article.

Professor Mark Nevitt: Secretary Pompeo’s Surprising Defense of International Law

Mark P. Nevitt

Secretary Pompeo’s Surprising Defense of International Law, Allies, and the Law of the Sea Convention

(Just Security | July 15, 2020) On Monday, Secretary of State Pompeo issued a strongly worded, highly legalistic statement lambasting excessive Chinese maritime claims in the South China Sea.

I welcome Pompeo’s statement as a substantive legal matter. It is long overdue. Nevertheless, it showcased the United States’ current schizophrenic approach to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), its international allies in the Indo-Pacific region and elsewhere, and international law more generally. The United States should seek to reaffirm and reinforce its commitment to international law through UNCLOS Senate ratification. While doing so is by no means a magic bullet, it would serve as an important signal of the U.S. commitment to a rules-based order in the South China Sea and beyond.

To recap: for years, China has been making excessive claims in the region, pointing to a so-called historic “Nine-Dash Line” as the legal basis for these claims. This envelops an enormous swath of the South China Sea, encroaching on other nations’ maritime boundaries. And China is following through on its excessive claims: it has shown a willingness to employ aggressive tactics — including flexing military muscle — against other coastal states in Southeast Asia. It also has been building massive structures on contested “low tide elevations” and “rocks” in the area. These formerly uninhabited formations barely rise above sea level. They don’t qualify as “islands” under international law and, therefore, don’t create a critically important exclusive economic zone around them. But that has not stopped China from building and asserting one …

Read the full article.

BBI, ABA Study Finds Prevalent Reports of Discrimination Faced by Disabled, LGBTQ+ Lawyers

Burton Blatt Institute

A new national study by the ABA, in collaboration with the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University, finds lawyers who identify as disabled and LGBTQ+ report experiencing both subtle and overt forms of discrimination at their workplaces, with common reports of subtle but unintentional bias.

The groundbreaking study of 3,590 lawyers from every state and the District of Columbia is among the first and largest undertaking of its kind to focus on lawyers who either identify as having disabilities or who identify as LGBTQ+ in their workplaces. 

Particularly noteworthy, the study examines individuals with multiple identities that intersect, such as people of differing sexual orientations and gender identities who also have disabilities. The study was conducted from 2018 to 2019 ...

Read the full press release.

National Security, Climate Change Expert Mark Nevitt Joins Syracuse University College of Law

Mark P. Nevitt

An expert in the intersection of national security and climate change, Mark P. Nevitt has joined the Syracuse University College of Law faculty as Associate Professor. Beginning in fall 2020, Nevitt will teach national security law, climate change law and policy, environmental law, and constitutional law. He will be affiliated with the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law (SPL).

Before joining Syracuse, Nevitt served as the Distinguished Professor of Leadership and Law at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. From 2017 to 2019 Nevitt served as the Sharswood Fellow, Lecturer-in-Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he taught climate change law and policy, as well as a seminar on national security, law, and society.

Nevitt has written on climate change, environmental, and national security law in the Harvard Environmental Law Review, Washington University Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Georgia Law Review, Berkeley Journal of International Law, and Cardozo Law Review. His chapter “Environmental Law in Military Operations” was published in US Military Operations: Law, Policy, and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2016). He is a frequent contributor to New York University School of Law’s influential Just Security blog and Penn Law’s Regulatory Review.

Nevitt’s current research focuses on climate change and its destabilizing impacts on many areas of law. “My projects address international governance gaps in addressing the ‘super-wicked’ problems caused by climate change, to include its existential threat to small island nations,” says Nevitt. “I am also researching numerous legal issues associated with how the United States manages retreat from areas exposed to climate change, an issue which has enormous implications for environmental law and environmental justice, as well as how we conceptualize both national security and human security.”

“Professor Nevitt's work across a range of national security topics—and most significantly for our age, climate change—expands the teaching and research capacity of the Institute for Security Policy and Law," says Dean Craig M. Boise. “Our students will benefit not only from his extensive research and teaching experience but also his experience with operational law, as a JAG officer and public servant. Along with SPL Director Judge Jamie Baker, I welcome Mark to Syracuse and look forward to his contributions to our strategic research initiatives.”

"At SPL our mission is to inspire and to prepare the next generation of thought leaders and practitioners in the national security field,” say SPL Director the Hon. James E. Baker. “Mark will help us do that by bringing to Syracuse a rare blend of practical experience and academic rigor. He also brings an important focus to one of this century’s most important security and humanitarian challenges—Mark’s presence immediately makes SPL a national leader in the study of climate change and national security. What is more, he is a wonderful person who will help teach and mentor Syracuse students to serve a greater good."

Before his academic career, Nevitt served as both a tactical jet aviator and a Judge Advocate General's Corps attorney in the US Navy. As an aviator, Nevitt flew more than 1,000 hours and accumulated more than 290 carrier arrested landings. 

As a JAG attorney, Nevitt served in assignments with a focus on environmental, administrative, and international law. While serving as the Regional Environmental Counsel in Norfolk, VA, Nevitt tackled emerging legal and policy issues posed by the intersection of climate change and national security. Nevitt also helped provide legal advice to the US Navy’s investigation into the 2016 Iranian detention of Navy sailors in Farsi Island, investigating issues of international, national security, and administrative law. His military awards include the Air Medal and Meritorious Service Medal (four awards).

Originally from Rhode Island, Nevitt received his J.D. and LL.M. (with distinction) from the Georgetown University Law Center, his Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a National Security Diploma from the US Naval War College.

Nevitt joins a deep bench of national security thought-leaders recruited by Judge Baker. These appointments include Associate Director Tom Odell, a former litigator at Covington & Burling LLP, where his practice focused on international arbitration, arbitral award enforcement, and corporate disputes. For SPL, Odell teaches postconflict reconstruction and computer crimes, among other subjects.

SPL also has added five distinguished fellows drawn from the upper echelons of the national security and intelligence communities: Steve Bunnell (Distinguished Fellow of Homeland Security), Co-Chair, Data Security and Privacy Practice, O’Melveny & Myers LLP; Rajesh De (Cybersecurity and Data Privacy), Partner, Mayer Brown LLP; Avril D. Haines (National Security Policy and Law), Commissioner, National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service and Deputy Director, Columbia World Projects; Amy Jeffress (National Security Law and Transnational Criminal Law), Partner, Arnold & Porter; and Lala R. Qadir (Emerging Technologies), Associate, Covington & Burling LLP.

Professor Shubha Ghosh Examines Google v. Oracle Supreme Court Case in Florida Law Review

Shubha Ghosh
"Do the Games Never End?" Florida Law Review 71 (2020).  

Professor Shubha Ghosh's article is a response to Pamela Samuelson's "Staking the Boundaries of Software Copyrights in the Shadow of Patents." https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3250496

Categories create hours of fun for the legal mind. Is it this? Or is it that? Could it be both? At the end of the day, the best, but nagging, answer might be “None of the above.”

Categories are at the heart of Professor Samuelson’s article, which addresses the vexing question of how to categorize software as intellectual property. The central dilemma is drawing the line between copyright and patent, particularly with respect to software. 

A common mantra is that copyright protects expression (“what a work says”) while patent protects function (“what a work does”). 

Saying and doing, however, are not often distinguishable, especially for software. A program is a set of instructions. It says something, like a recipe. But unlike a recipe, a software program is self-executing: It does something, occasionally, on its own accord. 

Hence, why the question at the heart of Professor Samuelson’s article is so critical and tantalizing. Adding to the challenge is the pending decision in Google LLC v. Oracle American, Inc. (“Google”) by the US Supreme Court, for which Professor Samuelson’s article serves as a necessary guidepost.

Ghosh's response traverses and remixes the boundary between copyright and patent, both actual and imagined. Section One reacts to Professor Samuelson’s article. In Section Two, Ghosh presents his views on how the Supreme Court might decide the Google decision. Finally, in Section Three, Ghosh recommends some policy options in the shadow of the Oracle American, Inc. v. Google Inc. (“Oracle”). 

Lana Yaghi L’14 Speaks to DCEx Students About Practicing Cross-Border Law During COVID-19

Lana Yaghi L'14

On July 9, 2020, Distinguished Guest Lecturer Lana Yaghi L’14, Senior Attorney at Miller Canfield, spoke with the 2020 Summer DCEx students via Zoom. Yaghi practices international corporate and commercial law, typically splitting her time between offices in Washington, DC, and Qatar.

A 2011 graduate of the American University of Beirut, while at studying law at Syracuse Yaghi participated in the inaugural class of DCEx in 2014, working as a legal fellow in the Office of Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand. She also externed with US Bank in London and the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

Yaghi told the 2020 Washington, DC-based externs that although she is fluent in Arabic and French, which has undoubtedly helped her practice, the most important skill a young lawyer should learn is the ability to write well, a skill set she honed at Syracuse.

Following graduation, Yaghi worked as an Associate Attorney at K&L Gates in their Qatar and Washington, DC, offices before moving to Miller Canfield. She established the Miller Canfield office in Qatar, an Arab Gulf country with a rapidly expanding footprint in international commerce. Among other practice areas, Yaghi’s work includes cross-border transactions of corporate aircraft and contracts for the construction and operation of US military bases.

Drawing on her own career history, Yaghi emphasized the importance of networking and maintaining a diverse set of skills, explaining that every position she has obtained was through networking. She added that regardless of practice area, or even the country you are based in, critical thinking and analytical skills also provide young attorneys a solid professional foundation.

Yaghi’s critical thinking has been in demand of late. In the past few years, her cross-border law practice has been impacted by Qatar’s strained geopolitical relationships with its neighboring countries. More recently, her work has been further challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prevented her from traveling to Qatar, where she would normally spend three weeks every two months. 

Professor Arlene Kanter in Forbes: Teaching College in the Time of COVID

Arlene Kanter

Many College Professors Don’t Want To Teach In Person. Will They Have A Choice?

(Forbes | July 10, 2020) As Covid-19 cases are climbing in several states, lots of colleges plan to reopen campus in the fall with in-person classes. Many faculty members have expressed concerns about contracting the virus or passing it onto loved ones if they teach in person. 

But universities differ in their approach to letting them work from home. Some allow faculty to move their classes online at their own discretion, while others require an application process with medical documentation. If denied, instructors may be forced to return to campus despite the health risks, take an unpaid leave of absence or quit their jobs. As a result, professors across the country have petitioned for the right to work remotely without having to prove their medical risk ...

... Although employers have traditionally had the right to ask for medical documentation of a disability before giving accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), doing so now is “unnecessary and inappropriate” considering the scope and severity of the pandemic, according to Kanter. If a faculty member is denied the ability to work from home, they may consider a lawsuit against their university. Although courts have generally sided with the employer in granting accommodations to employees, some more recent cases have upheld employees’ right to work from home as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. University faculty, in particular, may have a stronger case for working from home, says Kanter, since colleges already acknowledged that instructors can perform the essential functions of their job remotely when they moved classes online in March. 

But like the professors who have petitioned, Kanter believes the right to work remotely should extend beyond those who have health conditions or care for high-risk family members. Instructors also have many practical and pedagogical concerns about teaching in person that have sprung from the pandemic, including finding childcare, working with students who may not comply with social distancing, and shouldering the added burden of planning both an in-person and online version of their courses. All of these concerns can be resolved by allowing faculty to work from home, says Kanter. 

The debate over remote teaching reveals a deeper issue in higher education: Faculty want more autonomy and decision-making power at their universities. Instructors have had little say in how their universities managed the financial fallout of the pandemic, which has resulted in pay cuts, furloughs, and layoffs of faculty and staff. And now, professors are frustrated that colleges are making big decisions about reopening without consulting faculty in a meaningful way. 

“We are stakeholders in this university,” reads the Penn State faculty petition. “Transparency, consultation, shared governance, and the active involvement of faculty, staff, and other employees in decision-making processes is imperative at all times, but even more so during times of uncertainty and crisis.”

The petition urges university administration to go beyond “including a handful of individual faculty members on the task forces” and “conducting online surveys with questions of a very limited scope.” 

“We're on the cusp of something important, which is for higher education institutions to think about their priorities, to think about what education in 2020 now means,” says Kanter. “[Decision-making] should be a deliberative process where university administrators are engaging with faculty to think about how best to move their institution forward.”

Read the full article.

Professor Doron Dorfman Examines Mask Exemptions in JAMA Health Forum

Doron Dorfman
"Mask Exemptions During the COVID-19 Pandemic—A New Frontier for Clinicians." JAMA Health Forum (July 10, 2020). (With M. Raz.)

Masking or face covering amid the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has emerged as a highly polarizing practice, with surprising partisan divisions. 

While masking remains contentious, there is bipartisan agreement among policy makers that medical exemptions for masking are necessary and appropriate. Yet there is a dearth of guidance for clinicians on how to approach a request for an exemption. In this article, Professor Doron Dorfman and Dr. Mical Raz of the University of Rochester analyze the medical and legal standards to guide this debate ...

Read the full article

"Disturbing and Cruel:" Assistant Dean Horsfall Comments on New Visa Rule for International Students

Andrew Horsfall

Universities blast new visa rule for international students

(Science | July 8, 2020) A new U.S. immigration policy announced Monday, which threatens to revoke visas for certain international students if they are not taking in-person classes, is stirring panic and confusion and causing some universities to push back with lawsuits. 

The policy states that international students who are currently enrolled in online-only programs will need to leave the country immediately or transfer to a school with in-person classes to legally continue their education. The announcement doesn’t explicitly distinguish undergraduate and graduate students—creating uncertainty among science and engineering graduate students who are focused on research and had no plans to enroll in courses this fall ...

... When U.S. universities shut down earlier this year due to the spreading coronavirus, they moved spring and summer courses to a fully virtual format. During that time, ICE allowed international students on visas to take more online courses than usually permitted. The 6 July announcement revokes this allowance, even though the pandemic has not slowed in the United States. “We were waiting for guidance on the extension of the current waiver, but received this bombshell,” says Andrew Horsfall, assistant dean of international programs at Syracuse University College of Law. “It’s disturbing and cruel.”

The rule applies to students holding nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 visas. ICE isn’t permitting exemptions if there is a surge in COVID-19 cases near a university, causing an in-person or hybrid course to shift to an online-only format midsemester. If that happens, visa holders will need to leave the country, request a medical leave from their universities, or take other steps to maintain their nonimmigrant status. “Given that [ICE has] articulated what could happen later in the fall semester if there’s another shutdown, it signals that they aren’t planning to make changes,” Horsfall says. “That’s what is scary about this rule" ...

Read the full article.

Adjunct Professor David Reed L’85 Teaches Online International Business Transaction Course at Al Yamamah University

David Reed L'85

During summer 2020, David Reed L’85, Adjunct Professor of Law and Founder and Owner of Reed CNY Business Law PC, is teaching International Business Transactions—via video conference—at Syracuse University College of Law partner institution Al Yamamah University College of Law, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The five-week, two-credit hour live course meets twice a week to introduce students to the transactional, regulatory, and litigation aspects of deals involving at least one private party.

In this first-ever course collaboration between the College of Law and the Saudi university, 16 Al Yamamah University students are taking this offering, among other courses, to improve their understanding of international business, to prepare them for opportunities to advance at their workplace, and to determine if they are interested in pursuing international law. The majority of the Saudi students are employed in the legal profession, but many are not lawyers. 

The College of Law entered an international consultative relationship with Al Yamamah University in February 2019. As part of the MOU, College of Law professors have the opportunity to teach courses within the Masters of Law (LL.M.) in Business Law program at Al Yamamah’s newly accredited law school, located on its Riyadh campus.

“After Dean Boise and Syracuse University entered into this new partnership, I was asked by the College if I’d be interested in adapting my International Business Transactions course for Al Yamamah. I quickly agreed and had planned to teach the course in person, but then the COVID-19 pandemic halted travel,” says Reed. “The College of Law, Al Yamamah, and I examined holding the class online, and it was deemed feasible for inclusion in Al Yamamah’s short summer session.” 

Looking ahead, Reed says he hopes to conduct the next class in person, but he says he is ready to hold class online if the coronavirus pandemic situation continues. “My students are knowledgeable and well-informed on world events, and they are energetic in their participation in the virtual classroom discussions,” adds Reed. “My success in bringing this course to Al Yamamah students was made possible thanks to the wonderful assistance of the head of their law department, Dr. Moatasem El Gheriani.” 

Senlet named co-chair of Regulatory Practice Area

Ekin Senlet

A member of the Regulatory Practice Area as well as the Energy, Oil & Gas, Renewable Energy, and Cybersecurity Teams, Senlet will serve as the Regulatory Practice Area co-chair. 

Syracuse University College of Law Adds Cisco Palao-Ricketts L'03 to Its Board of Advisors

Cisco Palao-Ricketts L'03

Syracuse University College of Law is pleased to announce the addition of Cisco Palao-Ricketts L'03, Partner at DLA Piper, to its Board of Advisors, an appointment that continues the College's commitment to reflect on its Board the diverse talent and leadership represented by its alumni community. 

Palao-Ricketts becomes the first Board Member from the state of California. In recent years, the Golden State has been the fourth or fifth largest source of College of Law applications, and the College continues to build an impressive alumni base in the state: nearly 600 Orange Lawyers and counting.  

"A proud member of our alumni family on the West Coast, Cisco has built a remarkable career in Silicon Valley as a multi-disciplinary specialist in tax, ERISA, securities, corporate, and employment law. This perspective, as well as his lived experience as an immigrant from Peru, make Cisco a dynamic addition to our Board," says Dean Craig M. Boise. "I look forward to the energy Cisco will bring to our discussions as we continue to develop our 21st-century legal education experience."

"As the changing demands of employers and students continue to evolve legal education, the insights of young, successful lawyers such as Cisco become ever more important," says Board of Advisors Chair Robert M. Hallenbeck L’83. “Cisco's enthusiasm and commitment to the College are palpable. Along with the rest of the Board, I welcome him wholeheartedly to our team." 

Born in Cuzco, Peru, Palao-Ricketts left Peru in 1983 due to terrorism and political instability that impacted his family directly. Without knowing English, Palao-Ricketts immigrated to Illinois and lived with his grandparents. After graduating from the University of Chicago Laboratory High School and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with degrees in political science and communications, Palao-Ricketts studied law at Syracuse, developing a strong interest in tax and ERISA law. 

After graduating from Syracuse in 2003, Palao-Ricketts received an LL.M. in tax law from Georgetown Law in 2004, with a focus on employee benefits and executive compensation. Palao-Ricketts began his career at Holme Roberts & Owen before moving to Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in California, where he focused on executive compensation arrangements and mergers and acquisitions. 

Palao-Ricketts joined DLA Piper in 2015, where he is now a partner and leader of the firm’s West Coast Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Practice. A specialist in executive and equity compensation, he describes himself as a “one-stop-shop on the many laws impacting how employers pay employees and consultants in the technology and life sciences sectors.” 

”I genuinely look forward to contributing in a meaningful way to the College of Law,” says Palao-Ricketts. “I was extremely lucky to have, and to capitalize on, my experience at Syracuse as a student and an alumnus, and I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to pay it forward by being a resource for Dean Boise, the Board of Advisors, and our students.” 

Palao-Ricketts has mentored and advised dozens of students from the College of Law since graduating, including helping students discuss their interest in tax law, bar exam preparation, or the transition to the practice of law. As a consultant to the State Bar of California, Palao-Ricketts for several years drafted model answers and graded bar exams. He has served on the Board of Directors of La Raza Centro Legal, a San Francisco non-profit providing legal services to the working poor, the elderly, and immigrants, and he volunteers as a Boy Scout den leader and a PONY league baseball head coach.

BBI Co-Hosts National Symposium on "Creating a Disability-Inclusive Law School Environment”

Burton Blatt Institute

From July 7 through July 9, 2020, the Burton Blatt Institute will convene top law schools in the nation working on disability inclusiveness, accessibility, and campus climate to share ideas and resources, identify existing challenges and barriers, and ultimately form a taskforce that works toward a more disability inclusive future in legal education. 

The symposium seeks to deepen conversations on the intersection of disability and race with particular attention to (1) how ableism and racism function together; (2) racial disparities in COVID-19 that impact our students of color; (3) race-based trauma; and (4) the need to combat anti-blackness in disability advocacy.


Disclosing Disability: Should I or Shouldn’t I?

When applying to law school, deciding whether to request accommodations for classes, the bar exam, internships and externships, and applying for a job after graduation, law students with disabilities grapple with the same decision: “Should I or shouldn’t I disclose my disability?” 

Depending on whether you have an apparent or non-apparent disability, the decision may be framed differently. And, the decision to disclose is complicated by stigma, discrimination (i.e., ableism, racism, sexism), and fear of retaliation. This workshop will discuss topics including students’ personal experiences with and concerns about disclosure, factors that students should consider in making the decision, and how law school administrators can help counsel students.

How Law Schools Can Best Serve Students with Disabilities

For law schools, diversity and inclusion are core values. Nonetheless, disability is often forgotten in this conversation. Further, students with disabilities are not monolithic. They possess multiple identities and experiences. Are we effectively thinking about disability climate from a holistic perspective that considers intersectionality? How does combatting anti-blackness in our institutions converge with our work on disability inclusion? Are we offering training for law school personnel on disability, equity, accessibility, and inclusion?  

This workshop will address how law schools and students can work together to create a campus climate that better serves people with disabilities, including disabled people of color, and not just for the accommodations process.

Accommodations: Creating a Level Playing Field 

More and more students in higher education are requesting accommodations, with a rise in the number and complexity of requests sought for anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, and other non-apparent disabilities. 

This workshop will examine recent trends in accommodations requests including in the COVID-19 virtual learning environment, ways in which law school administrators can work together to address these requests, what a fair accommodations process looks like, challenges students encounter, and teaching self-advocacy skills for students requesting accommodations in the workplace, among other topics.


  • American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Disability Rights
  • Burton Blatt Institute (BBI)
  • Law School Admission Council (LSAC)
  • National Disabled Law Student Association (NDLSA)
  • The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy and Innovation

Professor William C. Banks Analyzes Hong Kong National Security Law

William C. Banks

How Hong Kong national security law compares to legislation in other countries

(South China Morning Post | July 7, 2020) China’s decision to write up and enact a national security law for Hong Kong was welcomed by city leaders, rejected by protesters, and met with incredulity by some legal authorities, with one remarking that it seemed to apply to “everyone on the planet”. But how does it compare to similar laws elsewhere?

National security laws seek to strike a balance between public freedoms and protecting a country, while also shifting in focus as perceived threats change, legal scholars say.

Such a shift was seen after reports by US intelligence agencies that Russia used social media to try to sway the outcome of the US 2016 presidential election, including hacking the campaign of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton ...

... William Banks, a professor emeritus of law with Syracuse University in the United States, said: “[National security] definitions are a game that all governments play. Pay attention instead to how governments treat their citizens.”

Banks said the terrorism sections in Hong Kong’s new law were similar to those in many other countries and were not by themselves problematic.

“The striking feature of the new law is that it criminalises expressive behaviour that is not in any way violent. The sections on secession and subversion are the key provisions,” he said ...

Read the full article

Dean Boise, JDinteractive Featured in Raising the Bar Commentary on Distance Learning

Dean Craig M. Boise

Dean Craig M. Boise is featured in the summer 2020 issue of Raising the Bar, the publication of AccessLex's Center for Legal Education Excellence. 

Dean Boise's thoughts on JDinteractive, the College of Law's fully interactive online law degree program—part of Raising the Bar's "Distinguished Thinker Commentaries on Distance Learning"—can be read starting on page 27.

Blocking Mary Trump's Tell-All: Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Interviewed by Bloomberg

Roy Gutterman

Mary Trump’s Book Is Temporarily Blocked by New York Judge

(Bloomberg | June 30, 2020) A tell-all book about President Donald Trump’s family written by his niece has been temporarily blocked by a New York judge after a lawsuit claimed disclosures in the manuscript violated a 20-year-old secrecy agreement.

A temporary restraining order against Mary Trump and her publisher, Simon & Schuster, was issued Tuesday by Justice Hal Greenwald in Poughkeepsie, New York. Mary Trump was ordered to explain by July 10 why the judge shouldn’t issue a longer-lasting injunction against the book sought by the president’s brother, Robert Trump, who filed the lawsuit ...

... There is a high bar for blocking publication of a book in the U.S., even in cases where the contents might violate a nondisclosure agreement, said Roy Gutterman, a journalism professor at Syracuse University and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech. If a book violates such a deal, that can be dealt with by the courts after publication, he said.

“Under the First Amendment, the standard has always been there has to be a compelling reason to justify blocking publication with a restraining order,” Gutterman said. “I don’t think an allegation of violating a family settlement NDA rises to the level to justify blocking a publication.”

Read the full article.

DCEx Students Learn Political Communications Law from Joseph Di Scipio L’95 of Fox Corporation

Joseph Di Scipio L'95

Guest lecturer Joseph Di Scipio L’95 recently spoke with summer DCEx students via videoconference about his role as Fox Corporation’s Senior Vice President, FCC Legal and Business Affairs and Assistant General Counsel. Di Scipio gave insight into his experiences at Fox and an understanding of political communications law. 

Di Scipio explained that he spends 20% of a usual day reviewing political advertisements. He explained that there are two types of campaign advertisements: candidate ads and political action committee (PAC) ads. Di Scipio gave examples of actual campaign advertisements Fox is sent and the day-to-day decisions he makes concerning FCC regulatory matters for the corporation.

Di Scipio also gave insight into some relevant FCC regulations. For example, the Equal Opportunities Rule mandates that if a candidate appears on-air, radio or television stations must provide equal appearance opportunities to other candidates. The exceptions to this rule include appearances by candidates on the news or in interviews.

In his position, Di Scipio explained he has to make tough decisions and many risk assessments. He also noted that his personal partisan views cannot come into play in order for him to adequately perform his duties. 

Di Scipio advised students on the importance of public service and working in government, especially since his government background led him to Fox. He also observed that he has never landed a single legal job without the help of networking. 

Can the Community Enforce Mask-Wearing? Professor Doron Dorfman Weighs In

Doron Dorfman

Governor Cuomo is asking the community to enforce mask wearing

(CNYCentral | July 1, 2020) At his press conference Wednesday Governor Cuomo was not happy that not everyone is wearing masks, and says perhaps it is up to the people to enforce it.

“We have had compliance issues all across the state,” said Governor Cuomo. “But the local governments, the establishments, and even people have been policing" ...

Doron Dorfman is a professor at Syracuse University who has done extensive research on policing by everyday people.

“I worry that if we only allow lay people to enforce rules and norms, they may not have the best experience with that,” said Professor Dorfman. “There is a lot of bias, perception, and stereotypes that come with it.”

He says with the current policing climate, police may not be the best to enforce the rules either.

Instead, he thinks business owners should feel empowered to do so.

“If we have those public health requirements about wearing masks in closed spaces, the people who own those closed businesses, like restaurants and businesses, will be in the best position to enforce those laws,” said Professor Dorfman ...

Read the full article.

Commentary: Professor David Driesen on the Seila Law Case

David Driesen

The Seila Law Case: Liberty and Political Firing

(The Hill | July 1, 2020) In Seila Law, the Supreme Court gave President Trump a constitutional right to fire the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for political reasons, nullifying a statute that only authorizes him to fire the director for good cause in a 5-4 decision. The “presidentialist” majority’s reasoning creates a broad constitutional rule authorizing firing almost any powerful executive branch official for wholly political reasons. Seila Law legitimizes President Trump’s repeated abuse of the power to fire federal officials, which he has used to undermine the rule of law. 

Astonishingly, Chief Justice John Roberts’s majority opinion associates the president’s ability to use political firing to instill fear in government employees with the preservation of liberty. The majority, in keeping with conservative political philosophy, sees government bureaucrats as the primary threat to liberty. But almost all of world history, including our own experience in the Revolutionary War, suggests that the chief executive constitutes the primary threat to liberty and democracy itself and that an autocrat destroys democracy through command of subordinates.

The majority creates a constitutional right to fire officials carrying out their duties properly in the midst of a presidential campaign against our democracy that uses abusive political firings to destroy the rule of law. The list of those let go for obeying the law and revealing information about government abuses includes: District Attorney Geoffrey Berman, for conducting investigations of the president’s associates; Inspector General Michael Atkinson, for obeying law requiring sharing a whistleblower complaint with Congress; many other inspectors general, for checking governmental corruption; Homeland Security Director Kirstjen Nielsen, for obeying some immigration law; Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions, for obeying legal ethics rules; and FBI Director James Comey, for investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election. All government officials now know that speaking the truth or obeying the law on matters important to Trump endangers their livelihood ...

Read the full article.

WaPo Interviews Professor Arlene Kanter About Risks of Returning to Campus

Arlene Kanter

As young people drive infection spikes, college faculty members fight for the right to teach remotely

(The Washington Post | July 1, 2020) As a new academic year approaches, colleges and universities across the country say they are taking every precaution to safely bring their campuses back to life. But with coronavirus cases surging, especially among young people, college faculty members are demanding the right to teach remotely this fall — no questions asked.

Thousands of professors, increasingly rattled by reopening plans that they say place tuition revenue above their well-being, have signed petitions calling for more flexibility to teach remotely. They argue they should not be forced to disclose medical information or make a case for keeping themselves and their families safe in the middle of a pandemic that has killed more than 125,000 Americans ...

... Arlene S. Kanter, director of the disability law and policy program at Syracuse University, said there are legal protections for faculty members concerned about the risk of returning to campus.

Those with disabilities or conditions that put them at higher risk for severe illness from the novel coronavirus can ask to work from home under ADA rules. Even though the law does not require accommodations for family members of people who are disabled, employers can be flexible to limit the risk of exposure, Kanter said. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged colleges to provide that flexibility.

“The role of law is important,” Kanter said. “But the law should always be considered the minimum. Universities say they are committed to inclusion, but to be respectful to your community, you have to do the utmost to protect the welfare of your community. That means going beyond what the law may require.”

Read the full article.

Professor Doron Dorfman Joins Leading Scholars to Publish Essay on Disability Rights During Crises

Doron Dorfman
Guidry‐Grimes, Laura et al. "Disability Rights as a Necessary Framework for Crisis Standards of Care and the Future of Health Care." Hastings Center Report, 50:3 (June 2020). 

Professor Doron Dorfman has joined a group of leading bioethicists and disability scholars to publish a comprehensive article on healthcare and disability during crises in the leading journal Hastings Center Report.

In their essay, the authors suggest practical ways to shift the framing of crisis standards of care toward disability justice. 

They elaborate on the vision statement provided in the 2010 Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Medicine) “Summary of Guidance for Establishing Crisis Standards of Care for Use in Disaster Situations,” which emphasizes fairness; equitable processes; community and provider engagement, education, and communication; and the rule of law. 

The authors argue that interpreting these elements through disability justice entails a commitment to both distributive and recognitive justice. The disability rights movement's demand of “nothing about us, without us” requires substantive inclusion of disabled people in decision‐making related to their interests, including in crisis planning before, during, and after a pandemic like Covid‐19.

ABA Clears the Way for Syracuse University College of Law’s Expansion of its Online JDinteractive Program


The American Bar Association has granted Syracuse University College of Law permission to expand its innovative online law degree program. JDinteractive (JDi) is a fully interactive program that combines live online class sessions with self-paced class sessions, residential courses, and applied learning experiences. 

"The College requested expansion of the JDi program in order to meet increasing demand from strong law degree candidates for a high quality, flexible online law degree program that meets their family, work, and other needs," says Dean Craig M. Boise. "The ABA's approval is a testament to the successful design of our program, which includes a carefully calibrated mix of live online classes taught by College faculty, self-paced classes, applied learning opportunities, and short residencies."

In February 2018, the ABA granted a variance to the College of Law to allow JDi enrollment of up to 65 students per academic year. Since its launch in January 2019, the College has seen a robust increase in interest and applications for the degree program. Under the terms of the expanded variance, the College of Law will be permitted to enroll up to 100 students annually in the JDi program.

The College anticipates substantial demand for the JDi program in the coming year, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty for prospective law students as to whether they will be able to attend a residential law program in fall 2020 and beyond.

"Given the uncertain trajectory of the public health crisis, prospective law students—especially those with preexisting conditions or those caring for others—may understandably be more risk-adverse going forward and make the choice to limit in-person contact," explains Faculty Director of Online Education Nina A. Kohn. "Furthermore, mounting job losses and disruption to families across the country may mean that law students cannot relocate or need to care for family members. With this expansion, we’ll be able to allow more students access to our rigorous program of online legal education so that they don’t have to place their future careers on hold.”

JDi is designed to meet the needs and demands of well-qualified law students for whom a residential program is not feasible. More than half of current JDi students are caregivers for young children or aging relatives; the majority have existing careers; and many are military-connected and thus unable to commit to being in one geographic location for the duration of their law school education. By design, JDi is also uniquely positioned to accommodate students with disabilities, which reflects the College’s long history as a leader in disability law and policy.

"The decision of the ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar recognizes that JDi has the capacity and infrastructure to expand without risk to the quality of either our online or residential J.D. education," adds Kohn. "Since its launch, our program has seen remarkable success in terms of the academic credentials of the students enrolled, the quality of instruction and support for students, and their academic performance."

The College will begin to receive Fall 2021 applications in September 2020. 

About JDinteractive

Launched in January 2019, JDinteractive was the nation's first online law degree program to feature live, interactive class sessions. The program combines these live sessions—taught by College of Law faculty—with highly interactive, self-paced online class sessions that students complete weekly; six in-person residential courses; extracurricular opportunities; access to campus life programs; and applied learning experiences, including externships. jdinteractive.syr.edu


Commentary: Professor Shubha Ghosh on Retiring Offensive Brands & "Vestigial Use"

Shubha Ghosh

(PatentlyO | June 29, 2020) As companies voluntarily retire their offensive trademarks, two questions tug at whatever passes for a conscience nowadays.  First, can these undesirable marks come back, revived by whomever sees a market niche for these symbols? This may seem like a ridiculous possibility, but on June 21, 2020, an Intent to Use Application was filed  on the word mark “Aunt Jemima” by Retrobrands, a Florida LLC, whose mission “is to revive ‘abandoned’ consumer iconic brands and to bring them back to the marketplace.” 

The second question is, do these intellectual property mea culpas do any good in the face of companies like Retrobrands and the entrenched nostalgia it represents?  After all, gallons of maple syrup were transformed into Benjamins, even more Tubmans, over the years. Should not there be some disgorgement in the form of reparations?

The proposed doctrine of vestigial use under federal trademark law can address both questions. As described below, vestigial use can prevent trademark abandonment, which would potentially allow some enterprising cultural chauvinist from appropriating the mark. Vestigial use, as applied, can also provide a new revenue source that can finance the necessary reparations.

A vestigial use is the use of a mark to maintain the memory of a brand. Instead of offensive symbols littering the shelves of your local grocery store, they can be relegated to a museum. The idea would be similar to that of Budapest’s Memento Park, where the brutalist statues  from the Soviet era have a fitting resting place, about a forty minute bus ride from the Budapest bus terminal in a rural outskirt more habitable than Siberia but just as overlooked. Memento Park is a reminder of ideas gone woefully wrong.

Vestigial use would allow a trademark owner to continue using a mark without completely abandoning it ...

Read the full article.

Professor David Driesen Weighs in on SCOTUS CFPB Decision

David Driesen

SCOTUS decision on CFPB receives support – and condemnation

(Mortgage Professional America | June 30, 2020) Industry groups and advocacy organizations had mixed reactions to the Supreme Court’s Monday ruling that preserved the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but allowed the president to fire its director at will.

The 5-4 ruling agreed with the position of Seila Law, a California law firm that argued that the agency’s leadership structure—in which a sole director could be fired only for cause—violated the Constitution’s separation of powers clause. Financial industry groups—which have long held that the CFPB’s director had too much power and too little accountability—supported the decision ...

... Others, however, said the decision put too much power in the hands of the president. David Driesen, a constitutional law scholar who serves as a professor at Syracuse University, said the ruling had implications that went far beyond the leadership of one agency.

“The Supreme Court today created a Presidential constitutional right to fire government officials for political reasons,” Driesen said in an email to MPA. “President Trump’s abuse of firing authority and the history of the world show that such unchecked power threatens the rule of law and the survival of democracy" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Arlene Kanter Contributes to New Book on CRPD's Adoption

Recognising Human Rights in Different Cultural Contexts

Professor Arlene Kanter's chapter "The Failure of the United States to Ratify the CRPD" has been published in a new book that reviews how international law is translated into specific cultural contexts, taking the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as its example. Recognising Human Rights in Different Cultural Contexts: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Palgrave, 2020) is edited by Emily Kakoullis of Cardiff University, UK, and Kelley Johnson of Deakin University and University of New South Wales, Australia. 

From 2001-2006, Kanter worked with the UN committee on drafting CRPD. Since then, she has worked with governments and disability organizations on implementing the CRPD in more than a dozen countries. Kakoullis' and Johnson's book explores how CRPD has been interpreted and translated from an international human rights treaty into domestic law and policy in different cultural contexts. 

Beginning with reflections on "culture," "disability," and "human rights" from different disciplinary perspectives, the book is organized into "snapshots" of CRPD's journey from the international level to the domestic; the process of ratification and implementation; and the process of monitoring the CRPD’s implementation within states' cultural contexts. 

Kanter is among 16 leading global contributors who provide cutting-edge accounts of the interactions between the CRPD and diverse cultures, revealing variations in the way that the concept of "culture" is defined. Specifically, Kanter's chapter reviews how and why the United States has failed to ratify the CRPD treaty, even though the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act inspired the convention. 

As Kanter writes in a related article ("Let’s Try Again: Why the United States Should Ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities," Touro Law Review 35, 2019), "CRPD was adopted by the United Nations in 2006 and entered into force in 2008. Since then, 177 countries have ratified it, but not the United States. This is not the first time that the United States has failed to ratify a human rights treaty ... [it] is considered to have one of the worst treaty ratification records in the world." 

Kanter argues that "the best reason for the US to ratify the CRPD is that ratification will help to fully realize the promise of the ADA and its 2008 amendments." 

Reviewing Kakoullis' and Johnson's book, Columbia University Professor Maya Sabatello writes, "[It's an] important addition to the field of disability rights, highlighting the role of culture(s)—legal, social, and identity—on international law-making processes, interpretation, and implementation ... Recognising Human Rights in Different Cultural Contexts provides a first-of-its-kind look into dynamics and embedded values that affect the struggle for human rights of persons with disabilities."

Professor William C. Banks to Vox: Southern Deployment Legal, But Is the Wall?

William C. Banks

The US military will stay on the US-Mexico border, even with migration falling

(Vox | June 25, 2020) The Pentagon will officially keep as many as 4,000 troops at the US-Mexico border in October — ensuring President Donald Trump’s military deployment continues throughout the election season despite no signs of an actual crisis.

In a Thursday statement, Army Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell, a Defense Department spokesperson, said Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved the Department of Homeland Security’s request for assistance at the border. Most military backup will come from the National Guard, he noted, which will help monitor the frontier, provide logistics, and offer transport to Border Patrol personnel. Troops can’t engage in law enforcement activities.

In a follow-up comment to Vox as to why such a decision was made months in advance, Mitchell said, “The current mission is set to expire at the end of September. This is just an extension of the mission through the next fiscal year.” The new authorized number of troops would actually be a decrease from the 5,500 military personnel currently at the border ...

... William Banks, an expert on national security law at Syracuse University, told Vox that such a deployment, like the previous ones, is clearly legal. But, he added, “I continue to question whether the wall construction itself is lawful,” noting that multiple lawsuits proceed.

All this sounds well and good, but the issue is that what was supposed to be a temporary backfill at the border has now become a perpetual solution, and it’s not clear the military is even needed at the Mexico frontier anymore ...

Read the full article

Professor Lauryn Gouldin Awarded Grant to Research Criminal Justice Reform

Lauryn Gouldin

Professor Lauryn Gouldin has been awarded a New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Grant to support research into trends in criminal justice reform, with a particular focus on developments in New York State.  

As Principal Investigator, Gouldin will organize a speaker series, open to the community, that will address comparative approaches to criminal justice reform; data-driven insights for understanding trends in criminal justice reform; practitioners’ perspectives on reform; and interdisciplinary criminal justice research, among other topics.

The grant also provides support for research into emerging criminal justice reform topics, including pretrial decision-making, comparing New York bail and other reforms with reforms in other states, and analyzing potential for technology to restrain police interference with individual liberty, without increasing public safety risk.

Professor Corri Zoli Discusses Arrest of Chinese Researcher with SCMP

Corri Zoli

US ties activities of arrested Chinese military officer to those by defendant in Boston case

(South China Morning Post | June 25, 2020) US federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have tied the activities of an arrested Chinese military officer conducting research at the University of California to that of a Chinese defendant charged in another high-profile case, in what Washington sees as a coordinated pattern of spying.

The indictments reflect the US government’s efforts to prevent advanced technologies developed in America from being transferred to China’s military, as lawmakers and government officials all the way up to President Donald Trump warn of Beijing’s attempts to undermine national security ...

... Corri Zoli, director of research at the Institute for Security Policy & Law at Syracuse University in New York, went further: “I can’t imagine that the Chinese government would be sending active-duty military officers to academic tech programmes, who are on their payroll and engaging is some sort of transfer of research technology, and they’re not somehow involved” in an orchestrated tech transfer strategy, she said.

“These efforts are very much a kind of fourth-generation warfare or information-warfare-type strategy, and this is the way of our contemporary world,” Zoli added.

“It’s not just China doing this. It's everybody. This is the way that we're evolving into a new battlespace, but China happens to be very effective at it.”

Read the full article

Beth Kubala Joins Virtual Women Veterans Recognition Day

Beth Kubala

New York State's Virtual Women Veterans Recognition Day took place via Zoom on June 12, 2020. Joining Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic (VLC) Director Beth Kubala as a panelist at the online event were Syracuse University Vice Chancellor Mike Haynie and Nick Armstrong, Senior Director for Research and Analytics, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, as well as other leaders from across the state. 

Kubala spoke about the legal services provided by VLC, and she encouraged women veterans in attendance to explore the wide range of benefits offered through the US Department of Veterans Affairs and New York State. “Do not hesitate to apply for the benefits that you have earned, and that you deserve.” she emphasized. 

Women Veterans Recognition Day is an annual event held at the New York State capitol in Albany (the accompanying photo is from the 2019 event). 

Assemblywoman and US Army veteran Pamela J. Hunter of Syracuse hosted this year's virtual celebration that brought together women veterans, state legislators— who expressed their gratitude for the service and sacrifice of the veterans—and state veterans organizations. In addition to Syracuse University, panelists represented the Binghamton Veteran Center, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Program, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  


Professor Corri Zoli Awarded US Intelligence Community Grant to Offer Geopolitical Simulation

Corri Zoli

Professor Corri Zoli, Syracuse University College of Law Director of Sponsored Research, has been awarded an Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (ICCAE) Program Office grant for a 2020 Virtual Summer Session Simulation project she is spearheading entitled "Strategic Triangulation in Central, South, and East Asia." The award is made through the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which directs the national ICCAE program. 

The nationwide ODNI ICCAE Summer Session takes place across 26 July and 7 Aug., 2020. The simulation, which will be presented to ICCAE students twice, draws on the international security subject matter expertise of Zoli, a Co-Investigator for the Syracuse University ICCAE, and Robert B. Murrett, Professor of Practice in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and SU ICCAE Primary Investigator. Also helping to design the simulation are Professor James Edward Crill II, Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute (FNSSI), College of Arts and Sciences; Professor Margaret Hermann, Director of the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, Maxwell School; Professor Michael Marciano, Associate Director of FNSSI Research; and Professor Robert A. Rubinstein, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Professor of International Relations, Maxwell School. 

"The ODNI ICCAE online simulation scenario reflects today’s highly dynamic strategic environment and the stressors currently faced by the 17 elements of the US Intelligence Community (IC) and our national security institutions," explains Zoli. "This environment is characterized by complexity and unpredictability, asymmetric actors, transformative technology, and global economic and public health variables, to name just a few challenges." To provide a realistic geopolitical theater, the simulation begins with a recent real-world event: on April 2, 2020, an Indian quadcopter was shot down by the Pakistan Army after it violated Pakistan’s airspace in the Sankh district and entered 600 metres into Pakistan's territory to conduct surveillance. 

"As the simulation unfolds, ICCAE students will discover, through plot-twists and seemingly unrelated incidents in Afghanistan—including the release of a modified vaccinia virus and the recovery of fissile material from a dirty bomb—that China is influencing actors in the background," explains Zoli. The students, adopting various roles in the IC community, must puzzle their way through this combustible mix of events, involving operationalized chemical and nuclear capabilities, illicit global economic collaboration, disrupted supply chains, and the role of transnational critical infrastructure, such the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. 

“ICCAE students will play US intelligence analysts from many of the 17 IC agencies and must make sense of the threats and opportunities that these kaleidoscopic challenges create," says Zoli.

Zoli explains that in the interdisciplinary spirit of the SU ICCAE program, the simulation exercise is the result of a collaborative partnership that includes faculty from the College of Law, College of Arts and Sciences, and the Maxwell School. Zoli adds that several of her College of Law colleagues also will share their expertise with participating ICCAE students from across the nation. Furthermore, SU ICCAE graduate students have been invited to join with and mentor ICCAE summer session students during the simulations. 


Recently renewed for year two, the Syracuse University Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (SU ICCAE) is a Congressionally-mandated, $1.5 million federal award program designed to increase the recruitment of diverse candidates into US public service and the 17 agencies of the Intelligence Community. SU ICCAE—which includes minority-serving partner institutions CUNY Grove, CUNY John Jay, Norfolk State University, and Wells College—is open to all Syracuse University faculty and students. Embracing a broad understanding of diversity, SU ICCAE prioritizes the central role and contribution of diversity to public service, building next-generation knowledge professionals, and the ethics and rule of law tradition essential to US security policy and governance.

Syracuse University College of Law Students Awarded Downey Scholarships

Rising 3L Sehseh K. Sanan and 1L Penny Quinteros have been awarded Downey Scholarships by the Syracuse University Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (SU ICCAE). The $1,500 awards recognize the students' academic excellence; diversity of background, perspectives, and experiences; and commitment to a career in public service.

The award is named for John “Jack” Downey, a Superior Court Judge in New Haven, CT, for more than 35 years, serving primarily in the area of juvenile justice. Before attending law school, Downey was one of the first CIA paramilitary officers who distinguished himself by his response to duress. In 1952, while on a clandestine mission during the Korean War, Downey’s aircraft was shot down in Manchuria, and Downey was imprisoned in China for 21 years. He earned the Distinguished Intelligence Cross, CIA’s highest award for valor. 

Recently renewed for year two, SU ICCAE is a Congressionally-mandated, $1.5 million federal award program designed to increase the recruitment of diverse candidates into US public service and the 17 agencies of the Intelligence Community. SU ICCAE—which includes minority-serving partner institutions CUNY Grove, CUNY John Jay, Norfolk State University, and Wells College—is open to all SU faculty and students. Embracing a broad understanding of diversity, SU ICCAE prioritizes the central role and contribution of diversity to public service, building next-generation knowledge professionals, and the ethics and rule of law tradition essential to US security policy and governance.

Serving on the interdisciplinary SU ICCAE Downey Scholars Graduate Selection Committee are Professor Audie Klotz (Chair), Department of Political Science, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs; Professor Michael Marciano, Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute, College of Arts and Sciences; Professor Suzette Meléndez, College of Law; Professor Corri Zoli, College of Law; and Lindsay Burt, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Political Science, Maxwell School. 

Rising 3L Sehseh K. Sanan and 1L Penny Quinteros
Rising 3L Sehseh K. Sanan and 1L Penny Quinteros

Professor Aliza Milner Presents on Asynchronous Legal Writing Courses at William & Mary Conference

Aliza Milner

Professor Aliza Milner, Director of Legal Communication and Research, presented on "Developing Asynchronous Content in Legal Writing Courses" at William & Mary Law School’s Conference for Excellence in Online Teaching Legal Research and Writing, presented via Zoom across June 18 and 19, 2020. 

The conference focused on the best practices for online teaching, tailored to legal writing faculty and law librarians, an especially prescient topic given that many law schools will be employing hybrid teaching methods for the fall 2020 semester, due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. 

More than 375 people attended Milner's session, which also featured Brian Larson, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University School of Law, and Allison Martin, Clinical Professor of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. 

Central questions the panelists posed were, What can related disciplines teach about delivering asynchronous content and how may evidence-based online teaching of technical writing inform online teaching of legal writing? The presenters also discussed strategies and "corresponding online gadgets and gizmos" for effectively converting a live legal writing course into an asynchronous course. Finally, the presentation addressed how to divide a course between asynchronous and live classes, as well as what works for self-study versus what teaching should be preserved for live classes? 

College of Law Announces 2020 Law Honors Awards Recipients

College of Law

At its Law Alumni Weekend 2020—happening online from September 24 to 26—the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association and Syracuse University College of Law will celebrate the achievements of five alumni and one emeritus professor. This year's recipients have distinguished themselves for their service to the College, their communities, and the practice of law.

Congratulations to the honorees:

  • Professor Emeritus William C. Banks, for his service to the College of Law, where he has served as a Distinguished and Emeritus Professor and Interim Dean; Founding Director of the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law (formerly the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism); and for his scholarship and leadership in the fields of constitutional law, national security, and counterterrorism law.
  • Everett A. Gillison L’85, for his lifetime commitment to public service, including as a member of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety for the City of Philadelphia, Chief of Staff to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, and as a member of the Pennsylvania Probation and Parole Board and Pennsylvania State Ethics Board.
  • Virginia L. Grady L’83, for her commitment to advocacy on behalf of indigent defendants, highlighted by her continuing service as the Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming, and her leadership in advancing the legal profession in training lawyers in federal criminal practice and procedure and in seeking to improve the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
  • Professor Emeritus Thomas J. Maroney L’63, for his 44 years as a faculty member of the College of Law; his public service as United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York and as Assistant Attorney General; his commitment to alternative dispute resolution as a respected labor arbitrator; and his dedication to his community as a past chair of the CNY Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union and as a long-time volunteer fire police officer.
  • M. Catherine Richardson L’77, for her dedication to the practice of law and to her community, where she spent her entire legal career specializing in corporate healthcare law and operations, and for her commitment to the legal profession and efforts to advance leadership opportunities for women, including serving as the first woman President of the Onondaga County Bar Association and second woman President of the New York State Bar Association.
  • Koert A. Wehberg L’08, for his dedication to proactive, policy- and community-driven systemic change for people with disabilities, ensuring access for all people by litigating against governmental agencies to ensure those rights, and most recently by being named Executive Director of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on People with Disabilities.

Read the recipients' full biographies at this webpage. To learn more about all 2020 Law Alumni Weekend programs and to register, follow this link.

Professor Doron Dorfman's Research Cited by Poynter Institute

Doron Dorfman

Can the government legally force you to wear a mask?

(Poynter Institute | June 22, 2020) If we want to reopen schools, we must change the trends now

With schools from elementary to universities trying to find a way to open their doors in six to eight weeks, America has to find a way to reverse the coronavirus trend that just grew worse in almost half the country.

This weekend, the COVID-19 pandemic spread at or near record levels in 22 states. In some states, the new cases set records. In others, the new cases were the highest measured since the first of May.

Can the government legally force you to wear a mask?

The answer is “yes.” In a pandemic, governments have the authority to do a lot of things that would otherwise be questionable.

Think of it like this: The government has the right to ban smoking in public places because your smoking can affect my health. And some places have signs that say, “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” Just add “no mask” to the sign ...

... Doron Dorfmann, a Syracuse University law professor who specializes in disability law, told Syracuse.com:

There may be legitimate disabilities that would prevent someone from wearing a mask: someone with autism who has sensory issues, for example, or someone with a respiratory problem for which a mask would make breathing difficult.

Under the (federal Americans with Disabilities Act), he said, store managers must be cautious in questioning anyone who says they have a disability. The manager, for example, can’t ask what the disability is.

Shop keepers can ask two questions of that person, Dorfman said: “Is (not wearing a mask) an accommodation? What kind of benefit do you get from not wearing a mask?”

Read the full article.

SULAA Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter

Today is Juneteenth, a holiday marking the 155th anniversary of the end of slavery in this country.  This should be a time of celebration.  Yet, as the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many other victims of police brutality and racially motivated violence so disturbingly and painfully demonstrate, we continue to live in a nation plagued by racism and intolerance.  Enough is enough.

The Syracuse University Law Alumni Association (SULAA), an organization that champions equality and the pursuit of justice, believes that silence is not an option.  Black lives matter.  To all alumni, students, faculty, and staff of our College of Law who are Black, Indigenous, and persons of color:  We hear you.  We stand with you.  You are not alone.

All of us, as attorneys and attorneys-in-training, must be brutally honest with ourselves and each other.  Racism has been embedded deep within our societal and political institutions for more than 400 years, providing unequal opportunities to people based on the color of their skin.  We must do better to dismantle these systemic injustices.  This starts by acknowledging that the legal system in which we practice has been built upon a historically unequal system that oppresses those who are “less than” some other person or group for having different immutable characteristics.  Given the historical record, we can expect different outcomes only when we are willing to do the work to achieve them.

As attorneys, we have a heightened duty to stand against injustice anywhere and everywhere.  SULAA seeks to make meaningful progress in our legal system and commits to do so by amplifying voices of color through partnership and collaboration in sharing their stories, celebrating their milestones, and supporting their endeavors.  We are grateful to our Inclusion Network for bringing College of Law alumni of color to the forefront and providing support to current law students.

Today, SULAA challenges you to join us in standing in solidarity with the Black community by supporting the Black Law Student Association in fundraising for Black Lives Matter protest organizations, the City of Syracuse youth programs, and other various organizations fighting for freedom and justice.  A link to the fund is available here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/syracuse-black-law-student-association-blm-fund.

We recognize that this is but a start, and we pledge to do more.  With each step, we promise transparency and openness.  We also welcome our law school community’s ideas to bring about the changes that are needed to achieve full equality in our legal system, our society, and our nation.  Please send us a message and share your thoughts.  Although this is not the first time that we, as members of the Syracuse University community, have raised our voices to address these issues, this will not be the last time we speak out.  Now, more than ever, we must fulfill the promise of Juneteenth and finally bring an end to racial injustice in all its forms.  Now is the time to put actions behind our words.  Together.

Betania Allo LL.M.’20 Selected for a Robert B. Menschel Public Service Fellows Fund Award

Betania Allo LL.M.'20

Betania Allo LL.M.’20 (Argentina), an LL.M. graduate whose interests lie at the intersection of law, technology, and international security, was selected for a Syracuse University Robert B. Menschel Public Service Fellows Fund award. 

The Robert B. Menschel Public Service Fellows Fund was established to support Syracuse University graduate students who, upon their graduation, have chosen employment in a not-for-profit organization, including federal, state and local government offices and schools, or a non-governmental organization, with the intention of encouraging such students to consider a career in that sector.

Allo is using the Menschel Public Service Fellows Fund to complete her service at the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, specifically in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) coordination, which conducts expert assessments of Member States and facilitates technical assistance on the use of technology for terrorist purposes. 

“I am immensely grateful for this award and how it will allow me to make a broader impact. I would also like to acknowledge the Menschels’ commitment to promoting the leadership and professional development of women in international security,” says Allo.

Allo has embarked on a career of public service in Argentine politics and international experiences in research and public policy. Her interests in this sector have grown in relevance since the COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the world. 

“I am concerned about the consequences of the global COVID-19 health crisis. Terrorists of all ideological origins see it as an opportunity to pursue their objectives and seek to capitalize on the increase of online activity to spread their narrative. I hope to collaborate with multiple stakeholders to advance the complexities of the use of new technologies by terrorists, and by States and organizations who combat them, contributing to the world's betterment toward a safer and just world.”

Allo obtained her law degree from the University of Morón in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2017 and completed her Masters in International Relations at Harvard University in 2019. She is the South America Coordinator for NextGen 5.0, editor of the International Counter-Terrorism Review (ICTR), and the co-founder of OpenContracts, which provides blockchain-based solutions to improve legal services. While at the College of Law, Allo served as the LL.M. Class of 2020 Student Bar Association Representative.

Szopinski Named to Board

Brianne Szopinski

Girls Education Collaborative, a Buffalo-based nonprofit working to bring social change through gender-equity education in underserved regions of the developing world, is pleased to welcome a new board member, Brianne Szopinski of Buffalo.

Professor Doron Dorfman's Research on the "Fear of the Disability Con" Cited in WaPo

Doron Dorfman

Professor Doron Dorfman's Research on the "Fear of the Disability Con" Cited in WaPo

(The Washington Post | June 17, 2020) ... Every single professional with a disability I know has been questioned privately and publicly about whether their “condition” hinders their ability to do their job. This is a universal truth and fear for any individual across physical, mental, intellectual, sensory and chronic illness communities.

This social shaming is bad enough. But it is combined with the government’s attacks on people with disabilities and their families who receive benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance, nutrition assistance or lighting and heating assistance as fakers, takers and moneymakers. This adds fuel to the “fear of the disability con” as described by scholars like Doron Dorfman, or the idea that a majority of people who use services and supports tied to a disability, in fact, are not disabled.

Stigma against people with disabilities is real and dangerous ...

Read the full article.

Professor Arlene Kanter writes "Can Faculty Be Forced Back on Campus?" at The Chronicle

Professor Arlene Kanter

Professor Arlene Kanter writes "Can Faculty Be Forced Back on Campus?" at The Chronicle. The article examines the rights of faculty as colleges seek to open campuses in the fall.

Professor Nina Kohn Reviews Illinois' Nursing Home Immunity for the Chicago Reader

Nina Kohn

The problem with Pritzker's pandemic immunity orders

(Chicago Reader | June 12, 2020) On the afternoon of the April 1 pandemic press conference, Governor J.B. Pritzker said, "We're doing our best to take care of our seniors, our children, people who are in our care. Our number one concern is the welfare of the people who are in our care." Later that same day, Pritzker quietly issued an emergency order granting Illinois nursing homes and hospitals a broad swath of legal immunities for injuries or deaths from negligence. The AARP-IL, disability rights activists, attorneys, experts, and a Department on Aging official believe the immunities from litigation will harm Illinoisans, especially those in long-term care ...

... Law school professors Nina Kohn and Jessica Roberts have published criticisms of similar orders in other states. They say the Illinois order's breadth is unusual, unnecessary, and likely harmful. After reviewing EO 2020-19, Kohn, David M. Levy Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law, said, "Granting long-term care facilities immunity from negligence claims is not something you would do if you truly care about residents of long-term care facilities" ...

... Kohn is worried. "The linkage between the COVID disaster and immunity is weak here," she said. "We're not just talking about protecting facilities from those difficult ethical decisions amid a crush of COVID patients competing for ventilators. This goes well beyond that situation to really put any patient in any facility in harm's way by essentially saying you don't have to act reasonably to your patients during this period in history" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Nina Kohn Comments on Nursing Home Protections in New York State

Nina Kohn

NY nursing homes with COVID-19 deaths have liability shield

(PIX11 | June 11, 2020) The New York State Department of Health started investigations many weeks ago about the way COVID=19 deaths are being counted in nursing homes.

Michael Arcuri wants to know if his mother, Louise’s, death on April 16 from COVID-19 pneumonia was listed as a nursing home—or hospital—death.

His 74-year-old mother technically died at Plainview Hospital, across the street from the nursing facility where she contracted coronavirus. Louise Arcuri got sick with a fever five days after a state directive said nursing homes could not turn down patients with COVID-19.

Her son, Michael Arcuri, pointed to a blank line on the death certificate.

“I think it’s like line 4-G,” he said. “It doesn’t have where she was transported from, which is Central Island, right across the street.”

Personal injury lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, told PIX11 more than 20 families had contacted him ...

... Professor Nina Kohn of Syracuse University, who specializes in elder law, said the New York State legislature really protected nursing home owners and board members with its vote for the provision.

“There’s really no state in the nation that’s granted nursing homes and their owners such broad protection,” Kohn told PIX11. “That’s dangerous for workers; it’s dangerous for residents" ...

Read the full story

Rising 2L Christopher Martz Selected to Attend the 5th Annual FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Symposium - Remotely Piloted Edition

Christopher Martz

Rising 2L Christopher Martz will join the virtual industry conference, the 5th Annual FAA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Symposium - Remotely Piloted Edition, to further his legal research on the development of UAS policy and the ethical framework that is needed for safe use domestically and abroad. His goal is to publish his findings in one of the College of Law’s academic journals.

Funding for Martz’s participation was secured through Syracuse University’s Autonomous Systems Policy Institute. The Symposium will be held virtually across two sections in July and August.

Before attending the College of Law, Martz was an Arabic linguist working for the Navy and National Security Agency. Part of his duties as an Arabic linguist included work on MQ-1 and MQ-9 UAS platforms performing Signals Intelligence team management, analysis, geolocation reporting and operations, Overhead Collection Management, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Information Operations, and Arabic Language transcription, translation, and analysis.

“Attending the symposium, even virtually, will have a direct impact on my research and scholarship on the safe integration of UAS in the National Airspace System, and international airspace,” says Martz. “In addition to my academic goals, I am planning on working in policy by taking my research and writing and putting it into action after graduation.”

Chantal Wentworth-Mullin Selected as Board Member for National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium

Chantal Wentworth-Mullin

Chantal Wentworth-Mullin, Managing Director of the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic at Syracuse University College of Law (VLC), has been selected as a board member for the National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium. NLSVCC is a collaborative effort led by the nation’s law school legal clinics dedicated to addressing the unique legal needs of US military veterans. 

The Consortium works with like-minded stakeholders to support and advance common interests with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, US Congress, state and local veterans service organizations, court systems, educators, and all relevant entities for the benefit of veterans throughout the country.

“Chantal’s experience working with veterans and their families has well positioned her for this opportunity. She is an expert in benefits assistance, a passionate advocate for our clients, and a wonderful mentor for our students,” says Beth Kubala, VLC Executive Director.  “We are thrilled that our colleagues in veterans legal clinics across the nation also recognize these talents and have elected her to this very impactful role.”

Since 2016, the NLSVCC has collaborated on amicus briefs, books, conferences, articles, and legislative priorities, among other activities.  The Consortium has proven to be a unifying force to share best practices and explore synergies among legal clinics, legal professionals, and law students to aid veterans nationwide.  

Wentworth-Mullin's position is for three years, and she will be responsible for actively participating in monthly conference calls and other meetings as required by the president, as well as participating on committees, representing membership, and supporting NLSVCC's work.


Professor Peter Blanck Publishes Disability Law and Policy Textbook

Disability Law and Policy

University Professor Peter Blanck, Chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute, has published a groundbreaking new textbook on Disability Law and Policy (Foundation Press/West Academic, 2020).

Disability Law and Policy provides an overview of the major themes and insights in disability law. It is also a compendium of stories about how the US legal system has responded to the needs of impacted individuals. 

2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. During the past three decades, disability law and policy, including the law of the ADA itself, have evolved dramatically in the United States and internationally. 

Walls of inaccessibility, exclusion, segregation, stigma, and discrimination have been torn down, often brick-by-brick. But as Blanck points out, the work continues, many times led by advocates who have never known a world without the ADA and are now building on the efforts of those who came before them.

Writing in the Foreword, Lex Frieden, former Chairperson of the National Council on Disability, writes, “In 1967, I survived a head-on car crash. When I woke up, I was paralyzed from the shoulders down ... My story is one of many in the modern disability rights movement. In Disability Law and Policy, Peter Blanck retells my story, and the personal experiences of many others living with disabilities, in a master tour of the area."

Frieden describes Blanck as a "world-renowned teacher, researcher, lawyer, and advocate. He has been central to the modern sea change in disability civil rights." He adds, "Disability Law and Policy should be read by all of us—people with the lived experience of disability and their advocates, parents, family members, and friends.”

"A new generation of people with disabilities, building on the efforts of Lex Frieden and many others, families, friends, advocates, and supporters, is stepping forward," observes Blanck. "As a guiding beacon, Disability Law and Policy offers hope of a future in which all people, regardless of individual difference, will be welcomed as full and equal members of society.”

Professor William C. Banks Speaks to PBS Newshour About National Guard Deployments

William C. Banks

‘Optics matter.’ National Guard deployments amid unrest have a long and controversial history

(PBS Newshour | June 9, 2020) When major protests erupted in dozens of cities around the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death, many states responded by calling on the National Guard to police demonstrations and to enforce curfews.

In all, more than 30 states activated about 32,000 National Guard members to supplement local police efforts to manage the unrest, which was largely lawful, but in some cases resulted in the destruction of businesses and instances of violence.

A number of high profile clashes between law enforcement and protesters have prompted criticism about what many have decried as excessive use of force — the very issue that gave rise to the demonstrations.

For decades, the guard has served the dual function of operating both domestically, in a number of capacities, and internationally. For instance, about 60,000 additional guard members are assisting this year with public safety efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic and natural disaster preparation and response as tropical storm season gets underway. But in light of recent confrontations, many are questioning the wisdom of using trained military to monitor American civilians protesting on American soil ...

... The National Guard is trained to help domestically in a variety of capacities, said William Banks, a professor emeritus at Syracuse University College of Law. “That said, they are members of the military, not law enforcement, so they are largely trained to supplement military jobs,” Banks said ...

Read the full article.

A Special Message from Dean Boise to the College of Law Community

Dear College of Law Community,

Over these last few days, we’ve observed yet again nationwide protests sparked by continuous, senseless acts of oppression and violence, injustice and racism.  We join in anguish and mourning with the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and the many dozens of other victims of racist violence perpetrated both by police and by individual members of our society.  We grieve with—and as—Black people and people of color in this country who are fearful, frustrated and angry. All of us not only yearn for a better tomorrow—a tomorrow without violence, injustice and racism—we want it with all of our being. We wish it for each other, for ourselves, for our friends and neighbors, and for our sons and daughters and their futures.  

But wishing for change will not make it happen. In processing the events of this weekend, I’ve been heartened by the response of my young adult children and their friends across social media who in the midst of their own fear have peacefully protested or worked to encourage meaningful action.  My youngest son, a junior at the iSchool, channeled his frustration this weekend by purchasing his domain name and creating a website of resources on racial inequities and police violence against Black people to help us all better understand systemic racism and take meaningful action to address it. Here’s the link: Read. Watch. Act. That’s powerful. Change will only happen if all of us involve ourselves in making it.  

Although there is physical distance between us because of another dividing force affecting our nation—COVID-19, as a College of Law family we are together in our purpose—to learn and uphold the law, to pursue truth and justice, and to use the law to improve our society.  Above all, we are together in our unwavering belief that there is no room for racism or bigotry, ever, anywhere. Not at the College of Law, not in Syracuse, not in New York and not in our United States.  

I am thinking of all of you.  

In solidarity,

Craig M. Boise

Dean and Professor | College of Law

College of Law Externship Placements Continue Through Summer 2020

College of Law

Like lawyers across the country, due to the COVID-19 public health crisis College of Law externs had to pivot toward remote workplaces for the latter half of the spring 2020 semester. Showing characteristic resilience and creativity in the face if adversity, and with expert help from faculty and workplace supervisors, they completed their placements remotely. Those in the Externship Program who are continuing their studies have taken on new assignments for summer 2020, either remotely or in person as their workplaces allow, in law firms, organizations, and businesses across Central New York and beyond.

Summer 2020 Placements

DCEx (Washington, DC)

  • The Chaklader Firm PC
  • Federal Aviation Administration, Office of the Chief Counsel, Employment and Labor Law Division
  • The Hon. J. Jeremiah Mahoney L’69, Chief Administrative Law Judge
  • Insured Retirement Institute
  • US Coast Guard Investigative Service
  • US Department of Housing & Urban Development, Office of Hearings & Appeals
  • US Department of the Interior, Office of Indian Gaming
  • US Department of Justice, Capital Case Section
  • US Department of Justice, US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia
  • US Patent and Trademark Office
  • The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
  • Office of Public Defender (Montgomery County, MD)


  • Fulton County State Court Self-Help Center

NYCEx (New York City)

  • Adam Leitman Bailey PC
  • Brooklyn Defender Services
  • Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP
  • Constellation Advisers LLC
  • Criscione Ravala LLP
  • NMIC Legal Organizing andAdvocacy
  • Suffolk County District Attorney

NYEx (Central New York)

  • City of Syracuse Office of the Corporation Counsel
  • Farmworkers Legal Assistance Clinic
  • Onondaga County Department of Law
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University
  • US Attorney's Office NDNY
  • Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County Inc.
  • Vera House

PhillyEx (Philadelphia, PA)

  • Wawa

The following alumni will offer externship seminars during the summer session: 

  • Kurt Wimmer L ’85
  • Mark Wladis L'89
  • David Goldstein L'91
  • Richard Furey L'94
  • Joseph DiScipio L’95
  • Keisha Audain Pressley L'00
  • Melanie Rodriguez L'00
  • Kim Wolf Price L'03
  • Anthony Marrone L'09
  • Lana Yaghi L’14
  • Cody Carbone L’16
  • Michael Varrige L'19
  • Elizabeth Zimmer L'19

Professor Todd Berger Publishes Investigative Criminal Procedure Casebook

Investigative Criminal Procedure in Focus

Professor Todd Berger's new casebook—Investigative Criminal Procedure in Focus (Wolter Kluwer, 2020)—uses an innovative approach, with pedagogical features that not only help students to master complex legal concepts but that provide hands-on exercises that give them the tools they need to gain a thorough understanding of investigative criminal procedure.

Part I provides a general introduction to the world of criminal procedure, explaining the differences between substantive criminal law and criminal procedure, the differences between the investigative and adjudicative stages of the criminal justice process, and the sources of criminal procedure law. 

Part II includes the study of investigative criminal procedure, focusing on a specific aspect of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, interrogation law, and eyewitness identifications.

Throughout, selected cases, framed by introductory questions and post-case analysis, teach students key concepts. Additionally, hypotheticals—frequently based on real cases—provide opportunities for critical analysis and application of concepts covered in the chapters.

Finally, Berger's discussion of the Fourth Amendment analyzes what constitutes a Fourth Amendment search and seizure; who is covered; state action and standing requirements; probable cause and warrants; exceptions to the warrant requirement; and the exclusionary rule. 

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00: Counter UNC-Wilmington Professor's Offensive Comments, Don't Punish

Roy Gutterman

University of North Carolina Wilmington calls professor's tweets 'vile and inexcusable' following growing backlash online

(CNN | June 7, 2020) A professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington has come under fire for tweets he posted which the school has called "vile and inexcusable," according to a statement the school provided to CNN Saturday.

At the center of this controversy is Mike Adams, a professor of criminology at the university, according to the school's website. On May 29, Adams tweeted, "This evening I ate pizza and drank beer with six guys at a six seat table top. I almost felt like a free man who was not living in the slave state of North Carolina. Massa Cooper, let my people go!"

Roy Cooper is North Carolina's Democratic governor ...

... Roy Gutterman, the director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University's Newhouse School, said while Adams' comments may be offensive, they should be protected by the First Amendment.

The tweets appear to be unrelated to academic work and are simply personal opinions offensive to some people, which is not a crime, he said.

"The answer to this is not punishment, which would run afoul of the First Amendment because this involves a public university. The answer is to counter the speech and confront the speech. This could be the subject of campus-wide discussions," Gutterman said ...

Read the full article.

Peter Kellogg Bertine Obituary

Peter Kellogg Bertine

Peter Kellogg Bertine, 83, devoted husband, father, grandfather, lawyer, athlete and advocate, passed away from heart complications on May 18, 2020 in Tucson, Arizona. Peter attended Kent School (’54), Williams College (’58), served three years of active duty in the U.S. Navy as an LTJG Officer and then matriculated at Syracuse University College of Law (’66) where he met and married Diane Bassett Bertine in 1965. 

Throughout his 35-year law career at Bertine, Hufnagel, Headley, Zeltner, Drummond and Dohn in Bronxville & Scarsdale, NY, he specialized in estate planning, taxation, family, business and real estate law. His deep love of the Adirondack Mountains and conversation led to a 1998 Supreme Court victory that protected specific non-navigable rivers for preservation in Upstate New York. The landowners and wildlife clapped enthusiastically.

In 2001, Peter retired from law and earned a financial planning degree from Pace University, establishing Kellogg Consulting, LLC to “problem solve and provide advice to people seeking help and guidance” on financial matters, family trusts and compassionate caregiving to elderly clients during their final phase of life. Empathy, generosity and kindness were cornerstones of his character." 

With Help from the Innovation Law Center, Off-Roaders Blue-Sky an Environmentally Friendly ATV

Innovation Law Center

By Julia Scaglione ’20

Environmental sustainability is a hot topic. From waste reduction to minimizing carbon footprints, keeping the planet clean and green is a shared responsibility requiring deep innovation in every sector of the economy, and especially transportation. One company taking steps to address sustainability in transportation’s $3.9 billion all-terrain vehicle (ATV) market comes from New York State’s own Grand Island, situated between Buffalo and Niagara Falls: DVIN Industries.

The DVIN founders are no strangers to alternative vehicles. Specializing in all things land and water, the company is innovating an amphibious, electric ATV that can traverse any surface. Michael McManaman and Alexander Dzadur have a background in ATVing and sailing, respectively, as well as in owning businesses, tinkering, and living and playing on Grand Island. This combination brought the two together over a common issue.

“Every islander is aware that only a few bridges connect us to the mainland,” explain the McManaman and Dzadur, noting the significance of amphibious vehicles to island residents. “One day we thought of electrifying the ATV market and making a step forward with an an amphibious, electric all-terrain vehicle. Whiteboards and scrap paper tell the rest of the story.”

After a process of envisioning, sketching, and problem-solving, DVIN was born and with it an unprecedented amphibious vehicle that is designed with the enjoyment of driving in mind, as well as environmental conscientiousness. As the vehicle approaches the market, McManaman and Dzadur say there’s nothing quite like it out there—and that’s exactly its point.

“A change in the way we transport ourselves is coming,” say McManaman and Dzadur. “It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.” And DVIN working to put that “when” on the calendar.

The company operates not only to innovate the ATV market, but to minimize harm to the environment. Its founders recognize that the current pollution from ATVs and other amphibious vehicles is not being addressed, and that drives the them on their DVIN journey. “What are we leaving for our children? For the next generation?” McManaman and Dzadur ask, hoping that their vehicles will be pathfinders toward a healthier planet. 

Currently, McManaman and Dzadur are the sole employees of DVIN—the two operate and run the company themselves, learning what they need to and gaining new skills along the way. The company, which formed a little over a year ago, is currently focused on legal matters, design refinements, scoping metal suppliers, and otherwise building the company. 

In spring 2020, DVIN had the opportunity to work with the Syracuse University College of Law’s Innovation Law Center (ILC)—and the New York State Science and Technology Law Center, which is housed in ILC—to provide research on patents and products, as well as Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of Transportation, and Department of Motor Vehicles regulations relevant to the vehicle. 

“We are absolutely in awe of the quality of work done by students and faculty at the Innovation Law Center,” say McManaman and Dzadur. “The scope and depth of its research gave us a new business perspective and a better understanding of patents.”

When asked about the students’ work, McManaman and Dzadur laugh. “Students? They might be students, but as competent as fully fledged professionals! The transparency of the process was wonderful. We are grateful for all their hard work and patience.”

The future looks bright for DVIN. The product has virtually no competition, as no one else is producing an electric, solar-powered, amphibious all-terrain vehicle like theirs. Yet they will continue to dial in on product innovation, brand recognition, quality, and manufacturing costs because the founders know at some point their market segment will attract competition.

With the ILC’s findings under their belt, McManaman and Dzadur plan on finalizing the technical design, prototyping, and filing utility patents. 

At the end of the day, McManaman and Dzadur say their work to minimize amphibious ATV damage to the planet is exactly the kind of innovation the world needs. “Don’t be afraid of disruption—be one,” they say, and with the DVIN vehicle on the horizon, disrupt is exactly what they will do. 

Innovation Law Center students and faculty presented their intellectual property, market, and regulatory research to the DVIN team via Zoom in April 2020.
Innovation Law Center students and faculty presented their intellectual property, market, and regulatory research to the DVIN team via Zoom in April 2020.

Professor Nina Kohn: Come Fall, Universities Must Expand Vision

Nina Kohn

(Albany Times-Union | June 6, 2020) Universities and colleges across the country plan to offer fall semester classes online to accommodate students unwilling or unable to come to campus. Some have even decided to conduct all fall classes online.

Unfortunately, when universities moved classes online this spring in response to the novel coronavirus, education suffered. Faculty were confused about how to teach online, many classes had little interactivity and students were dissatisfied.

In addition, schools canceled most extracurricular events and activities, frustrating students and encouraging a tidal wave of petitions and lawsuits demanding refunds of spring tuition and fees.

If universities want students to accept online education as a substitute for on-campus learning, they must do better come fall. This will require investing in teaching-oriented training for faculty. During spring semester, universities typically provided faculty with training and support to help them navigate learning management systems and videoconferencing software. Now they must train faculty not simply how to teach online, but to teach well online ... 

Read the full article

Summer DCEx Seminar Series Kicks Off with a Virtual Meeting with Cody Carbone L’16

Cody Carbone L'16

Guest lecturer Cody Carbone L’16 spoke with the Summer 2020 DCEx participants over Zoom for their first seminar of the semester. Carbone is one of four in-house lobbyists for Ernst and Young (EY) in Washington, DC.

Carbone graduated from Syracuse with a J.D. and master’s in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Shortly after graduating, he moved to the capital, where he took a job with EY, a professional services firm. 

Carbone explained to the externship students that when he first went to law school he wanted to work in national security law but learned after spending his first-year summer in Israel that the field was not for him. In his second year, he decided to change his career path, realizing that he always loved public policy. Carbone externed at EY during his 2L summer through the DCex program, and they made him a permanent offer. 

Using the 2016 presidential election as an example, Carbone explained that his job is made harder due to the unpredictability of elections. He pointed out that a firm like EY must have good relationships with both Democratic and Republican members of Congress and their staffs. He explained that his law degree has helped him in his career immensely as he can read and write legislation much more effectively and write better than most non-lawyer lobbyists. 

Carbone also noted that building relationships with regulatory agencies is different than working with Congress. He said that the majority of his agency work is with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Carbone added that his favorite part of his job is helping to write bills that that get signed into law. 

Disability Rights Clinic Successfully Petitions NYS Human Rights Division for Student Attorney Representation

Connor Haken L'20 and Philip M. Lee L'20

The Syracuse University College of Law’s Disability Rights Clinic (DRC) has successfully petitioned the New York State Division of Human Rights (DHR) to allow student attorneys, practicing under the guidance of a licensed lawyer, to represent clients in a public hearing.

DRC filed a complaint in 2019 with the DHR on behalf of a client with a disability. A factual investigation by DHR, which also involved DRC students, determined there was probable cause for a public hearing on the complaint. 

However, when the DRC notified the administrative law judge that a team of law students from the Clinic would be presenting the case at the public hearing, the Clinic was informed that would not be allowed. No reason was given.

Spearheaded by students Connor Haken L’20 and Philip M. Lee L’20, the DRC wrote a letter to the Commissioner of the DHR to raise this issue and to plead for a change in the rules that would allow law students operating under the supervision of a licensed attorney to present a case on behalf of a client.

In 2020, a year after submitting the letter—and after a dedicated outreach campaign to the Commissioner—the DRC was successful in getting the division to change its rule, permitting supervised law students to represent clients in proceedings. 

“We are not sure how rare it is for an administrative law judge to not allow student attorneys to represent their clients,” says Professor Michael Schwartz, Director of the Disability Rights Clinic. “But a check of state courts, including the Appellate Divisions of New York’s State Supreme Court, and the federal courts, including the New York District Courts and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, disclosed that these judicial authorities allow students to appear under the supervision of licensed attorneys. We believe this argument won the day.” 

“Working in the Clinic provides unique opportunities to learn lawyering skills and how to properly advocate for our clients. This fascinating situation meant we also learned how to navigate bureaucracy and advocate for change in the New York State legal system,” says Haken “This is an important administrative rule change. Under supervision, College of Law students provide critical legal services for those we represent. Going in front of a judge and arguing on behalf of a client is an invaluable experience for students.” 

Professor William C. Banks Comments on the Insurrection Act in Christian Science Monitor

William C. Banks

As nation reels, Trump’s focus is strength, not unity

(Christian Science Monitor | June 3, 2020) William Banks, a professor emeritus of law at Syracuse University, says Mr. Trump has the right to invoke the law, but notes that it was envisioned for a much larger threat than what we’re seeing now. 

“You want to come to the aid of the states when states can’t take care of themselves,” he says. 

By threatening to invoke the act, Mr. Trump is trying not to appear weak during a domestic crisis, says Professor Banks. But at the same time, he adds, past uses of the law have been unpopular, and governors in crisis-ridden states today might welcome having Mr. Trump seize the spotlight – and take on any blame. 

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Professor William C. Banks Publishes Seventh Edition of National Security Law

National Security Law

The field's leading casebook, National Security Law, has been published in its seventh edition by the Aspen Casebook Series.

Edited by Professor Emeritus William C. Banks, in collaboration with Stephen Dycus, Peter Raven-Hansen, and Stephen I. Vladeck, for the last 30 years, National Security Law has helped create and shape an entire new field of law. It has been adopted for classroom use at most American law schools, all of the military academies, and many non-law graduate programs. 

Relying heavily on original materials and provocative notes and questions, this book encourages students to play the roles of national security professionals, politicians, judges, and ordinary citizens. By showing the development of doctrine in historical context, it urges them to see their responsibility as lawyers to help keep us safe and free.

Like earlier editions, the new book deals with basic separation-of-powers principles, the interaction of US and international law, the use of military force, intelligence, detention, criminal prosecution, homeland security, and national security information.

New to the Seventh Edition:

  • Latest developments on US military involvement in Syria and Iran
  • President Trump’s Border Wall and appropriations power
  • Carpenter v. US and recent FISA developments and FISC decisions
  • President Trump's travel ban
  • “Defending forward” in cyberspace
  • A new chapter on nuclear war

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Comments on Recent Attacks on Journalists

Roy Gutterman

With journalists, photographers, camera crews, and other media professionals being arrested and even seriously injured by police while documenting civil unrest in the wake of the death of George Floyd, Roy Gutterman L'00—Director of the Tully Center for Free Speech and Professor of Law—was interviewed by The Canadian Press and The Washington Post

Press pass, camera no longer providing journalists protection during conflicts in U.S. 

(The Canadian Press | June 3, 2020)

“It’s one thing for reporters to get sort of caught in the crossfire, which happens to reporters in hot zones all the time,” said Roy Gutterman, a journalism professor and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at New York’s Syracuse University.

On Monday night in Syracuse, a veteran photographer reported being shoved to the ground by an officer who went out of his way to confront him even though he was nowhere near the formation, Gutterman said.

“I think there’s been a little bit of a subtle indifference to avoiding shooting into crowds, or just avoiding sending the tear gas or the rubber bullets near where the reporters are huddled.”

CNN reporter and crew arrested live on air while covering Minneapolis protest 

(The Washington Post | May 29, 2020)

“Newsgathering on public streets and documenting police and protesters serve an important function of the first amendment," said Tully Center for Free Speech Director Roy Gutterman. "Unfortunately, arresting a TV reporter in the aftermath of a riot or protest is nothing new, but is certainly another unnecessary development in an already sad and disturbing situation.”

Lundborg named in Rising Stars

Pamela Lundborg

Pamela Lundborg has been recognized as a 2020 Florida Super Lawyers Rising Stars in the field of Business / Coporate. 

College of Law Researchers Awarded CUSE Grants for Projects on Military Veterans, Elder Care

College of Law

Syracuse University College of Law researchers have been awarded two Syracuse University Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) grants. One grant funds interdisciplinary and cross-cultural engagement surrounding the March 2021 sitting at Dineen Hall of the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC). The second grant is for an empirical assessment of whether Americans believe family caregivers of older adults should be paid.

Executive Director of the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic Beth Kubala leads the first project: "It builds around CAVC’s planned visit to Syracuse on March 25, 2021, and it creates an opportunity for increased engagement across both campus and the community in the area of veterans benefits."

Kubala explains that CAVC is a unique federal court that hears appeals of veteran benefits claims. The court will hold oral arguments in Dineen Hall's Melanie Gray Courtroom. Kubala says she will use the grant funding “to create a University and community-wide event to elevate the interdisciplinary and cross-cultural knowledge of benefits challenges facing our nation’s veterans as they navigate the complex disability compensation process."

Professors Nina Kohn and Doron Dorfman are principal investigators for the second project. Their study will explore whether Americans believe family caregivers of older adults should be paid and would expect payment for care, and whether demographic characteristics such as caregiver race and gender affect these perceptions. 

The project builds on a study that Kohn published in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review that found that the law increasingly treats caregiving of older adults as non-economic, and that administrative law judges are more likely to treat family care provided to older adults as non-economic where the caregiver is male. Kohn explains that the new study “is designed to help inform policymakers seeking to encourage family care for older adults and regulations governing eligibility for Medicaid."

Kohn further explains that the study aims, first, to determine whether the assumptions that state Medicaid programs make about sums transferred to caregivers are accurate, a determination that would inform states as they refine their Medicaid regulatory approaches.

Second, to the extent that the study shows gender or race bias, it has the potential to expose these biases and thereby provide an opportunity for de-biasing interventions. Finally, the study aims to provide insight into the extent to which policymakers seeking to incentivize elder care should focus on payment to family caregivers and the amount of such payments.

Adam Leydig L’20 Finishes 5th at the Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition

Tyler Jeffries and Adam Leydig

Adam Leydig L’20, along with second chair rising 3L Tyler Jeffries, placed fifth at the annual invitation-only Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition, held online from May 27 to 31, 2020. Coached by Joanne Van Dyke L’87, Leydig won three of the four preliminary rounds, resulting in a tie for fourth. However, Leydig failed to advance on a tie-breaker.

Hosted by Baylor Law, Top Gun brings the best advocates from the 16 top trial advocacy schools across the nation together to compete before a host of accomplished and distinguished judges and trial lawyers. The competitors are given only 24 hours to prepare for a detailed and challenging case. In this regard, Top Gun is a uniquely challenging mock trial competition. While the competition is typically held in person, due to the COVID-19 health crisis this year Top Gun billed itself as the nation's first "live virtual" mock trial competition.  

“The College of Law has sent competitors to Top Gun in four of the past five years,” says Professor Todd Berger, Director of Advocacy Programs. “It is an honor for the College to be among the best advocacy programs in the nation, and this speaks to our students’ dedication and passion to become outstanding courtroom advocates. I, along with the College of Law community, congratulate Adam and Tyler for their significant accomplishment in a unique, tough competition held in an online environment for the first time.”

Sohl joins Murray Guari as an Associate

Murray Guari Trial Attorneys is pleased to announce that Rudolph Wm. Sohl has joined their West Palm Beach based personal injury and wrongful death law firm as an Associate Attorney. He will continue to handle personal injury cases at his NY law firm as well. 

Professor William C. Banks Discusses Use of Troops on Home Soil in WaPo, Military.com

William C. Banks

Trump wants to crush Black Lives Matter with a law that fought segregation

(The Washington Post | June 2, 2020) Not satisfied by tear gas, rubber bullets and threats to use “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” against citizens protesting racism and police violence, President Trump threatened Monday night to send the U.S. military into any cities where local officials fail to control crowds of unruly protesters. His secretary of defense, Mark T. Esper, obligingly chimed in on the need for troops to “dominate the battlespace” in American cities.

Trump appears to be planning to invoke the Insurrection Act, which would turn his administration’s dystopian fantasy of urban combat against U.S. citizens into a reality ...

... In 1957, when nine black students attempted to enter an all-white school in Little Rock pursuant to a federal court order, then-Gov. Orville Faubus sent troops from the Arkansas National Guard to block them. 

With state troops under the command of a governor openly defying an order of the federal courts, writes legal historian William Banks, President Dwight D. Eisenhower scribbled his thoughts in a handwritten note: Standing by “in the face of organized or locally undeterred opposition by violence” would, he feared, cause “the entire court system [to] disintegrate” and lead to “the destruction of our form of gov’t.” 

Reluctantly, he invoked the Insurrection Act the next day, and soldiers from the Army’s 101st Airborne Division formed a protective cordon to allow the nine black students to walk safely to class ...

Read the full article.

Here's What You Need to Know About The Pentagon's Riot Response and Martial Law

(Military.com | June 2, 2020) The Pentagon has ordered a small contingent of active-duty soldiers to alert status, on standby to join thousands of National Guard troops to help police quell civil unrest amid protest demonstrations across America. But the unprecedented situation is still a long way from martial law, legal experts say ...

... Martial law is an "extraordinary state of being, and it basically means the government isn't in control at all; there is no law. Martial law is the power of a commander," Banks said.

"The last time the law was declared in the United states was in Hawaii during World War II," he said, describing the military's response after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which resulted in Japanese Americans being put in internment camps.

In fact, Banks said, there is no longer a "publicly known procedure" for the enactment of martial law.

"Years ago, there were some regulations within the [Defense Department] that spoke to the possibility of martial law, but they have been taken off the books," he said. "We can't see them, so we don't even know if they exist anymore" ...

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Professor Mark Nevitt: The President, the Military, and Minneapolis—What You Need to Know

Mark P. Nevitt

(Just Security | May 29, 2020) In the aftermath of the tragic killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, riots and unrest have been spreading throughout the city of Minneapolis and the country. The Minnesota National Guard has been activated by Minnesota Governor Timothy Walz. These Minnesota National Guard members report to the governor and can actively take part in law enforcement functions, which they are doing.

But now, President Donald Trump is involved too.

The president tweeted Thursday night that he

can’t stand back & watch this [the riots] happen to a great city, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the city under control, or I will send in the National Guard and get the job done right.

Further, Trump stated that he “just spoke to Governor Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficult and we will assume control but, when the looting starts the shooting starts . . . ”

Beyond their deeply troubling moral messaging, there are two key legal issues associated with these remarkable tweets (outside of Trump’s showdown with Twitter, which placed a warning on the tweet, saying it glorified violence):
Can Trump Use the Military to Respond to Minneapolis? 

  • Under what conditions can the president order the military to respond to Minneapolis?
  • What are the military’s rules for the use of force—i.e. does looting justify shooting?

Yes, but this is subject to certain, critical legal restrictions under both the Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act. The president is, of course, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, but he lacks the authority to use the military in any manner that he pleases. That authority is constrained by Congress and the courts.

Under the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, Congress has limited the president’s ability to use the federal (title 10) military in domestic law enforcement operations such as searches, seizures, and arrests. A criminal statute, the Posse Comitatus Act makes it unlawful for the Army or Air Force to “execute the laws . . . except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress.” So, the president cannot simply call in federal military forces or nationalize the Minnesota National Guard to quell the civil disturbance in Minneapolis without pointing to a Posse Comitatus Act exception …

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Professor Roy Gutterman L'00: Trump, Twitter, & the Distraction of Censorship

Roy Gutterman

(syracuse.com | May 29, 2020) The day after the country broke the mark of 100,000 dead of Covid-19, unemployment reached 40 million and a major midwestern city burned after riots following another racial police brutality death, President Donald Trump signed an executive order attacking social media.

Thanks for the distraction. By ordering the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General to regulate and monitor social media, essentially for content critical of the president, the order ignores legal precedent, existing federal laws and standard government practices with regard to independent media.

This will surely be tested in the courts, which hopefully will look to First Amendment precedent for guidance.

This action not only seems to contradict the administration’s own policy on net neutrality, but seeks to upend 25 years of precedent under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), which has become a strong backbone of protecting speech on the internet and protecting those platforms.

The latest backlash came after Twitter announced it would fact-check and label the president’s tweets when they include glaring inaccuracies, such as unsubstantiated accusations and outright false statements ...

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Professor Dorfman's Research on COVID-19 & the FDA Blood Ban Featured in Wake Forest Law Symposium

Doron Dorfman

Featured in Wake Forest Law's 2020 Isolated by the Law online symposium, Professor Doron Dorfman discusses intersections between COVID-19 interstate travel restrictions and FDA blood donor policies. This lecture draws on research for an article to be published in  the Journal of Law & the Biosciences. 

Enacted in response to the 1980s HIV/AIDS epidemic, the FDA blood donation ban for gay and bisexual men has remained controversial. Scholars have criticized this policy as unconstitutional and out-of-step with best public health practices. 

On April 2, the FDA issued new recommendations, permitting expanded donations from men who have sex with men. Professor Dorfman draws on parallels between the interstate and blood donation response policies, demonstrating how the public may empathize and eventually mobilize to challenge the FDA’s blood donation ban.

Watch the lecture.

Professor Andrew Kim's Study of Undocumented Immigration, Stigma, and Exceptionalism Published by GW Law Review

Andrew Kim
"Penalizing Presence." George Washington Law Review 88 (2020). 

“Illegals.” “Rapists.” “Criminals.” “Aliens.” “Animals.” These labels have defined what it means to be an undocumented immigrant in the United States today. 

Undocumented status as stigma is an overdetermining identity trait that overwrites other identity dimensions and has become entrenched in both legal and cultural norms. Officials at the highest levels of all three branches of the US government continue to employ metaphoric language that conflates undocumented immigrants with illegality, criminality, and extraterritoriality. More recently, the Trump Administration has weaponized such labels to support and normalize shifts in immigration policies.

How did we get here? One answer lies in the current statutory framework that enables this false narrative. 

The Immigration and Nationality Act penalizes unlawful presence as a deportable offense and potentially bans certain unlawfully present immigrants from reentering the country for three years to permanently. While the law should penalize unlawful acts, such as the surreptitious entry or the visa overstay that produces the unlawful presence, penalizing presence does not punish conduct, but rather the person’s state of being. 

Professor Andrew Kim's article prioritizes this under-examined aspect of US immigration law and uncovers its consequences not only for the lives of immigrants, but also for the law. 

This article frames an argument for statutory reform by showing the identity and legal harms stemming from penalizing presence. It argues that this statutory choice stigmatizes and subordinates millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States. It also contends that the harms of penalizing presence extend beyond the person to the law. It shows how penalizing presence has stymied legal efforts to integrate into society the undocumented immigrant population in the United States by incentivizing their further evasion of the law and by thwarting opportunities for imposing a reasonable statute of limitations on deportations. 

In exposing immigration law’s errant departure from established legal norms, Kim moves in a novel direction continuing scholarly discourse on immigration law’s exceptionalism.

Burton Blatt Institute, UK University Begin Study of Inclusive Public Spaces and Accessibility of Streets

Burton Blatt Institute

The Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University has begun a collaboration with the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom focusing on groundbreaking research into the accessibility of public spaces and the social justice problems resulting from an exclusionary infrastructure.

The Inclusive Public Space project is a global interdisciplinary research effort that explores the social justice problems caused by city streets that limit access for some pedestrians. The project focuses specifically on pedestrians with disabilities who may have difficulties using the pedestrian paths because of the way streets are designed, managed, or maintained. Poor maintenance, uneven surfaces, potholes, poor lighting, and other streetscape structures also create barriers.

The project is led by principal investigator Professor Anna Lawson from the University of Leeds. Peter Blanck, University Professor and BBI chairman, and Barry Whaley, project director of the Southeast ADA Center, are involved, along with colleagues from the University of Leeds and collaborators in the Netherlands, India, and Kenya.

The project has three objectives:

  • Understand, via interviews, how exclusion affects the lives of people with disabilities
  • Understand how law influences the inclusiveness of public spaces
  • Raise awareness of the impact of exclusionary spaces.

“The built environment is not always an inclusive place for people with disabilities,” Whaley says. “Our hope is to learn through law, policy and practice how to improve pedestrian inclusion in the public right of way.”

Learn more about the Inclusive Public Space Project.

The Guardian Quotes Professor Nina Kohn's Research on Nursing Home Immunity

Nina Kohn

Andrew Cuomo Gave Immunity to Nursing Home Execs After Big Campaign Donations

(The Guardian | May 26, 2020) As Governor Andrew Cuomo faced a spirited challenge in his bid to win New York’s 2018 Democratic primary, his political apparatus got a last-minute boost: a powerful healthcare industry group suddenly poured more than $1m into a Democratic committee backing his campaign.

Less than two years after that flood of cash from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), Cuomo signed legislation last month quietly shielding hospital and nursing home executives from the threat of lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. The provision, inserted into an annual budget bill by Cuomo’s aides, created one of the nation’s most explicit immunity protections for healthcare industry officials, according to legal experts ...

... New York is now one of just two states to shield those corporate officials from both civil lawsuits and some forms of criminal prosecution by the government, according to an analysis by Syracuse University law professor Nina Kohn and the University of Houston’s Jessica L Roberts.

“New York is an outlier and has the most explicit and sweeping immunity language,” Kohn said ...

“We’ve had a longstanding problem holding nursing homes responsible, because if you look at government enforcement, it’s typically a slap on the wrist. A private lawsuit is often all you have left to hold a nursing home accountable,” said Syracuse University’s Kohn. “Granting immunity sends a terrible message for the future. The industry gets caught with its pants down during the crisis, and we’re now telling them they don’t have to wear pants.”

As they push to expand immunity laws across the country, the hospital and nursing home industries have continued to cast their campaign as a necessary defense of medical workers.

“As our care providers make these difficult decisions, they need to know they will not be prosecuted or persecuted,” said an emblematic letter from industry groups pressing California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, to issue an executive order shielding them from legal liability.

And yet Kohn’s research shows that 16 out of the 19 states that created liability protections extended immunity to both individual workers and nursing home facilities as a whole ...

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Professor Cora True-Frost L’01 Named Bond, Schoeneck & King Distinguished Professor

Cora True-Frost

Associate Professor of Law Cora True-Frost L’01 has been named the Bond, Schoeneck & King Distinguished Professor for the academic years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. The professorship recognizes a faculty member who exhibits distinction in the areas of teaching and scholarship.

An interdisciplinary scholar of international humanitarian and human rights law, True-Frost’s research focuses on the development of international norms, with a particular focus on the role of international organizations and the United Nations Security Council. In addition to teaching International Law, Constitutional Law, Regulatory Law and Policy, International and European Human Rights Law, and a Seminar on International Human Rights at Syracuse University College of Law, True-Frost is the Faculty Director of The Journal of Global Rights and Organizations and Impunity Watch News.

True-Frost’s scholarship draws on her experience defending individuals accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes—including at the Special Court for Sierra Leone—as well as leading the Nongovernmental Organization Working Group on Women, Peace, and Security at United Nations headquarters. She is a co-editor and author of The First Global Prosecutor: Promise and Constraints (University of Michigan Press, 2015) with Harvard Law professors Martha Minow and Alex Whiting. Her writing addresses International Criminal Court prosecution, terrorism and human rights law, and international and domestic equality law.

“Professor True-Frost has conducted wide-ranging, important scholarship across the critical fields of international law, human rights, and disability law. She is also an exemplary teacher and mentor inside and outside the classroom,” says Dean Craig M. Boise. “We thank Bond, Schoeneck & King for their support of our faculty and for recognizing the impact Professor True-Frost’s scholarship is having on communities local, national, and global, as well as on our students looking to practice international law.” 

“Bond is exceptionally pleased with the choice of Cora True-Frost as the Bond, Schoeneck & King Distinguished Professor,” says Kevin Bernstein, Chair of the Management Committee at Bond. “Her professional career is exemplary, and the world of experience she brings to her teaching improves the caliber of our future lawyers.” 

In 2017, True-Frost received Syracuse University’s L. Douglas Meredith Teaching Recognition Award and, in 2018, the graduating LL.M. class awarded her the Lex Lucet Mundum award for her significant impact on master’s degree students. True-Frost is also an advisor to the College of Law’s Philip A. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition team, and she serves as Faculty Advisor to the National Women’s Law Student Association and the Syracuse University Program on Refugee Assistance. In 2015, she was appointed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be a member of the state Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.

As Bond, Schoeneck & King Distinguished Professor, True-Frost succeeds Professor Deborah Kenn, Associate Dean of Clinical and Experiential Education and Director of the Office of Clinical Legal Education.

About Bond, Schoeneck & King

Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC is a law firm with 250 lawyers serving individuals, companies and public sector entities in a broad range of practice areas. Bond has eight offices in New York State and offices in Boston, Kansas City, and Naples, Florida. bsk.com