×    By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

New Article by Professor A. Joseph Warburton Examines Mutual Funds' Risky Borrowing Practices

A. Joseph Warburton

MUTUAL FUND BORROWING POSES RISK TO MILLIONS OF INVESTORS

(Re-published from Whitman Voices | May 21, 2019) A new study forthcoming in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies provides evidence that mutual funds are borrowing in an attempt to improve their performance. But those attempts are not only falling short, they are creating more risk to investors who count on the funds to bolster their retirement savings.

“Economists often assume that open-end mutual funds do not leverage themselves by borrowing money, however the Investment Company Act of 1940 permits mutual funds to have a capital structure that is up to one-third debt,” said A. Joseph Warburton, professor of finance at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management and professor of law at Syracuse University’s College of Law. “This paper is the first to study the performance of open-end funds that exploit their statutory borrowing authority.”

Warburton constructed a database using information contained in annual filings of open-end domestic equity mutual funds covering 17 years from 2000 to 2016. He found a surprising number of funds – 18 percent – bulked up at some point by borrowing in an effort to juice performance after lagging in the mutual fund rankings. Ironically, those that borrowed underperformed their non-borrowing peers by 62 basis points per year on a total return basis, incurring greater risk, as well.

“These borrowers are plain-vanilla mutual funds, not the exotic investment vehicles often associated with leverage, such as alternative funds and levered index funds,” said Warburton. “Most people think their 401(k)s are safe, but there is hidden risk in the investment vehicle millions of Americans rely upon for their retirement savings.”

Unlike borrowing, the study found funds that use derivatives and other financial instruments perform about as well as unlevered mutual funds, before and after adjusting for risk, and with less volatility. This suggests that many mutual funds use derivatives to hedge risk rather than as a substitute for leverage through the capital structure.

“Borrowing may present a greater risk than derivatives, which have received more attention than borrowing,” said Warburton. “The average investor is virtually unaware of how much a mutual fund is borrowing and the associated effect on performance,” said Warburton. “The required semi-annual reports have very little detail and it’s not easy to find.”

Warburton maintains that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is too focused on the use of derivatives, overlooking the potential crisis mutual fund borrowing presents. Fund investors and regulators would benefit from collecting further data on mutual fund borrowing to provide greater transparency into mutual fund capital structure.

Pacific Standard Magazine Discusses Journalist Raid with Professor Roy Gutterman

Roy Gutterman

SAN FRANCISCO POLICE RAIDED A FREELANCE JOURNALIST'S HOME. WAS IT LEGAL?

(Pacific Standard | May 13, 2019) On Friday, May 10th, freelance journalist Bryan Carmody awoke to police officers using a sledgehammer on the gate to his home in San Francisco. After Carmody allowed the police inside, they seized a variety of items, including computers, phones, and flash drives from his home and office. Carmody was detained in handcuffs for roughly five hours while police searched his home, KQED reports.

They were searching for the source of a leaked police report that Carmody had sold to three TV news stations, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The police report concerned the events surrounding the death of San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi in February at age 59. Adachi was known for being a watchdog of police conduct, the Chronicle reports. Just hours after his death, information from the leaked police report—including that Adachi had died from accidental overdose of cocaine and alcohol—appeared on various news stations.

Two weeks ago, investigators asked Carmody to identify the source that had provided him with the report, but he declined. The raid was "a step in the process of investigating a potential case of obstruction of justice along with the illegal distribution of confidential police material," a spokesman for the San Francisco police told NPR.

To learn more about what made this raid unusual, Pacific Standard spoke to Roy Gutterman, an expert in communications law and First Amendment rights. Gutterman is the director of the Newhouse School's Tully Center for Free Speech, and a member the Freedom of Information Committee for the Society of Professional Journalists and the faculty committee for the Government Accountability Project in Washington, D.C.

If a reporter obtains leaked documents, have they committed a crime?

Reporters get materials and documents they shouldn't have all the time. That's not necessarily a crime—and it shouldn't be considered a crime—unless the reporter played a pivotal role in obtaining the documents illegally, such as breaking into an office or hacking into a computer system. But simply having sources who give you materials you shouldn't have does not and should not constitute a crime.

As far as we know, Carmody didn't obtain those documents illegally. Was it still legal for the cops to search his home and office?

The police got a search warrant—I can't believe a judge approved the search warrant in the first place. The question of the probable cause as to whether the reporter played a role in a leak is a huge step away from what should be permitted under both the First and Fourth Amendment.

Why would a judge approve a warrant in this case? And what is the significance of having a warrant issued instead of a subpoena?

When police show up at a house or a business with a search warrant, everybody that is subject to that search warrant has to comply. There are legitimate law-enforcement reasons for that: the destruction of evidence, the preservation of evidence. However, I don't think a leak investigation is the kind of criminal matter that would warrant an early morning execution of a search warrant. At least you can file a motion to quash and challenge it and attempt to get it thrown out of court [with a subpoena]. There's no such luxury with a search warrant.

Again, [law enforcement is] coming to a freelance reporter's home. They're not going to an organized crime hideout or a drug stash or any place like that. So it just seems extremely heavy-handed. Law enforcement knew what they were doing: They knew that they could just go right in and execute the search warrant without having to worry about a legal challenge on the spot ...

Read the whole article

Syracuse University College of Law NTC Team Reaches Elite Eight, Wins Tiffany Cup

3L Dennis Scanlon and 2L Adam Leydig

The National Trial Competition (NTC) is one of the oldest, largest, and most prestigious mock trial competitions in the United States, featuring teams from more than 140 law schools and 1,000 law student competitors. This year's national finals were held in San Antonio, TX, on March 27-31, 2019. Having won its regional round, the College of Law NTC team advanced with 29 other teams to the national finals, where it reached the quarterfinals, making it one of the top eight mock trial teams in the nation. 

Furthermore, the team of 3L Dennis Scanlon and 2L Adam Leydig won the prestigious Tiffany Cup. Established in 1974, the Tiffany Cup was created by the Trial Lawyers Section of the New York State Bar Association. It is awarded to the New York State law school whose team has the highest cumulative point total at the NTC. 

Thanks to Scanlon and Leydig's win, the cup—created by jewelers Tiffany & Co.—will be on display in Dineen Hall for one year. Additionally, the College of Law collects a check for $7,500 and a plaque listing 2019 NTC Team members and coaches. This year, the NTC team was coached by Joanne Van Dyke L'87, Jeff Leibo L'03, Justin St. Louis L'17, and Professor Emeritus Travis H.D. Lewin. 

Commentary: Like the Warmbiers, Former CIA Detainees Deserve Chance to Seek Justice

David Crane

By David M. Crane

(Re-published from The Hill | May 19, 2019) In the headlines again recently was the tragic case of University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier, when it was disclosed that North Korea billed the United States $2 million for his medical treatment while a captive. Warmbier died in 2017 shortly after arriving home following more than a year in North Korean detention. Arrested by the North Koreans for spying, Warmbier was accused of ripping down a propaganda poster in a restricted area of his hotel in Pyongyang. He likely suffered unimaginable torture during his time in detention, but because of the opaque nature of the North Korean regime, little is known about his treatment and what caused the severe brain injury that led to his coma and death.

The news raised questions about the negotiations for Warmbier’s release and whether the medical bill the U.S. apparently had agreed to pay essentially was a ransom payment. The Trump administration has denied that it ever was paid. Warmbier’s mother, Cynthia, said that if she knew the North Koreans were after money she would have given it to them from day one. It is understandable that the relatives of victims of torture and cruelty by foreign governments are prepared to do anything to see them released and to gain justice for their families.

The Warmbiers received a modicum of justice in a federal court last December, when North Korea was ordered to pay the family over $500 million in damages. At the time of the ruling, his parents commented, “We are thankful that the United States has a fair and open judicial system so that the world can see that the Kim regime is legally and morally responsible for Otto’s death. … We promised Otto that we will never rest until we have justice for him.” The judge in the case noted that the award was substantial to deter the North Koreans from engaging in this type of behavior again.

Although the U.S. courts have offered a legal venue for the Warmbiers to seek judicial redress, under Article 14 of the Convention against Torture (CAT) and international legal standards, they also should have meaningful access to legal proceedings where the torture took place. They have a right to judicial redress, adequate compensation and means for as full a rehabilitation as possible. This is something that the United States and the 163 other signatories to the CAT have committed to and is an important tool for ensuring reconciliation, healing and prevention.

Unfortunately for the Warmbiers and their quest for justice, North Korea is unlikely to pay a damages award or to provide this sort of judicial process for redress and compensation. But imagine if similar torture, cruel treatment and even death happened to a U.S. citizen in a country that had signed the CAT. The United States surely would demand the right of our citizens to have access to judicial redress and the ability to seek adequate compensation for their treatment.

Indeed, if the United States expects other countries to open their courts for U.S. victims overseas, it needs to do that for those who claim torture and ill-treatment by the United States. Specifically, victims of the U.S. post-9/11 Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program thus far have been unable to seek meaningful redress in U.S. courts. These individuals were suspected of terrorism, rounded up in Afghanistan on promise of a bounty. After months or years of detention, many were released without charge or explanation ...

Read the full article.

David M. Crane is a Syracuse University College of Law Distinguished Scholar in Residence.

Law Library Closed: May 27

The Law Library will be closed on Mon., May 27 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. The service desks will re-open on Tues., May 28 at 8am.

Professor Arlene Kanter Calls for CRPD Ratification in Touro Law Review

Arlene Kanter
Kanter, Arlene S. "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).

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted by the United Nations in 2006 and entered into force in 2008, explains Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence and Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program Arlene Kanter in Touro Law Review.

Since then, 177 countries have ratified the CRPD, but not the United States. "This is not the first time that the US has failed to ratify a human rights treaty," Kanter writes. "Of the nine core human rights treaties that the UN has adopted, the US has ratified only three. Based on this record, the US is considered to have one of the worst treaty ratification records in the world." 

After President Barack Obama signed the CRPD, the US Senate failed to ratify it, "not once but on two occasions." Kanter further explains that the CRPD goes beyond the rights provided in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). "However, that is not a reason not to ratify. In fact, 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," she continues. 

In her article, Kanter argues that the Senate should ratify the CRPD without any further delay. The first section provides an overview of the CRPD, followed by a discussion of the ways in which the Convention differs from the ADA of 1990, as well as the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. The third section discusses the process that led to the failure of the Senate to ratify the CRPD, including responses to the arguments against ratification presented by a group of “Tea Party” Republican senators. 

Kanter's article concludes with an immediate call for the Senate to ratify the CRPD in order to fulfill its duty to Americans with disabilities. However, "given the current composition of the Senate and the isolationist policies of the Trump Administration," Kanter concedes that despite the many benefits of CRPD ratification, it is unlikely to occur any time soon.

Jacobson Joins Bond, Schoeneck & King

Nicholas Jacobson

Nicholas Jacobson joins Bond, Schoeneck & King as an associate in the firm's Labor and Employment Department.

Wentsler Named a Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year"

Stephen Wentsler

Stephen Wentsler, managing member at Wentsler LLC, was named a 2019 Patent Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Cleveland, Ohio, by Best Lawyers.

Hubbard Named in 40 Under 40

Tyson Hubbard

Tyson Hubbard, partner at Downey Brand, was named a 2018 40 Under 40 Honoree by Sacramento Business Journal.

Imhof Jr. Joins Vedder Price

John Imhof Jr.

John Imhof Jr. has joined Vedder Price as Global Transportation Finance Shareholder.

Murphy Named in Best Lawyers in America

Timothy Murphy

Timothy Murphy, managing partner at Hancock Estabrook, was named in the 2019 Best Lawyers in America.

Shaw Named in Best Lawyers in America

Steven Shaw

Steven Shaw, leader of the Real Estate Practice Area at Hancock Estabrook, was named in the 2019 Best Lawyers in America.

Pierce Named in Best Lawyers in America

Alan Pierce

Alan Pierce, partner and leader of the Appellate Practice at Hancock Estabrook, was named in the 2019 Best Lawyers in America.

Meagher Named in Best Lawyers in America

Walter Meagher

Walter Meagher, partner at Hancock Estabrook, was named in the 2019 Best Lawyers in America.

D'Agostino Named in Best Lawyers in America

Raymond D'Agostino

Raymond D'Agostino, partner at Hancock Estabrook, was named in the 2019 Best Lawyers in America.

Corcoran Named in Best Lawyers in America

John Corcoran

John Corcoran, chair of the Labor & Employment Department and leader of the Education and Municipal Practices at Hancock Estabrook, was selected for inclusion in the 2019 Best Lawyers in America. 

Cook Named in Best Lawyers in America

Richard Cook

Rick Cook, partner and leader of the Banking & Finance Practice at Hancock Estabrook, was named in the 2019 Best Lawyers in America.

Gold Named Senior Director of Corporate Accounts at Catalyst

Daniel Gold

Daniel Gold was named Senior Director of Corporate Accounts at Catalyst.

Gusmano Joins Barclay Damon's Trust & Estate Practice Area

Kelly Gusmano

Kelly Gusmano, associate at Barclay Damon, joins the firm's Trust & Estate Practice Area.

Coppola Named Chair of the National Association of Women Business Owner's Presidents Assembly Steering Committee

Lisa Coppola

Lisa Coppola, founder and managing partner of the Coppola Firm, was named Chair of the National Association of Women Business Owner's Presidents Assembly Steering Committee.

Paull Goldberg Joins the Coppola Firm

Melissa Paull Goldberg

Melissa Paull Goldberg joined the Coppola Firm as Of Counsel. 

Commentary: Aiming for Trump's Achilles' Heel

David Cay Johnston

By David Cay Johnston

(Re-published from Newsday | May 15, 2019) Throughout his adult life, Donald Trump has escaped the consequences of his actions. Trump has run out the clock on several grand juries. Trials and audits showed he hid records. He has lied under oath, ratted out others, required associates to sign lifetime secrecy agreements and shielded his finances thanks to the secrecy and complexity of tax law.

Trump seems vulnerable to attack, like Achilles, the mythical Greek warrior whose mother Thetis dipped him in the river Styx so he would be invulnerable. But Trump has an Achilles’ heel. A political arrow that strikes at Trump’s one vulnerable spot is flowing faster than the river Styx toward Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s desk.

Candidate Trump promised to make his tax returns public, but then reneged, claiming he is under audit. That made no sense because once you sign your tax return declaring it “true, accurate and complete,” disclosing the return only allows voters to see what you did.

Trump also will not produce an audit letter, an anodyne document that reveals nothing except the type of tax return and year or years under audit.

Now Trump is trying to block the chief tax writer in Congress from confidentially obtaining the last six years of his tax returns under a 1924 anticorruption law. It requires that any returns “shall be furnished upon written request.” The president has the same power, and both the White House and Congress exercise this law routinely.

Trump ordered Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to break the law, Section 6103 of the tax code, the first violation in the 95 years since enactment.

Mnuchin’s involvement suggests that Charles Rettig, the Beverly Hills tax lawyer who Trump named IRS commissioner, refused Trump’s order. That would have put Rettig’s California law license at risk, potentially ending his lucrative career.

In addition to forcing House Democrats to seek court orders to enforce the law, Trump sued his banks and accountants, hoping to block them from turning over financial and tax records ...

Read the full article.

David Cay Johnston is a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Syracuse University College of Law. 

Law Library Summer Hours Posted

​The Law Library has posted its hours for summer 2019 on its Law Library Hours web page.

Summer Hours run through August 11, 2019.

Professor Shubha Ghosh Publishes on "Jurisdiction Stripping" & Commercial Law in Akron Law Review

Shubha Ghosh
​Ghosh, Shubha. "Jurisdiction Stripping of the Federal Circuit?" Akron Law Review,  52:2 (2019).

"This article examines how the Federal Circuit addresses state commercial and contract law in its patent law jurisprudence," writes Crandall Melvin Professor of Law and Director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute Shubha Ghosh in the abstract to "Jurisdiction Stripping of the Federal Circuit?" in Akron Law Review, 52:2.  

Instead of deferring to state law, Ghosh asserts, the federal circuit court creates its own "federal common law of contracts and assignments," creating parallels with the debates arising from the 1938 Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins decision ("Since federal common law is invalid, federal courts sitting in diversity jurisdiction should apply substantive state law and federal procedural law, unless there is a conflict between substantive state and federal law.")

This federal common law is inconsistent with the need for uniformity in the law governing patent transactions, says Ghosh, adding that, to resolve this issue, "Congress may consider stripping Federal Circuit jurisdiction over state contract law claims." Ghosh's article further examines the pros and cons of this proposal.

Professor David Driesen Discusses "Rethinking Impeachment" with Politico

David Driesen

Here’s Why Democrats May Rethink Impeaching Trump

(Politico | May 10, 2019) Democrats know that impeachment is a losing proposition against President Donald Trump right now.

But there’s another rationale for launching impeachment that has some Democrats reconsidering the idea — getting access to the sensitive documents and testimony that Trump’s team is withholding.

Judges have repeatedly ruled that Congress has a greater claim to sensitive government documents and personal information when it can point to an ongoing legal matter, instead of just a congressional investigation or legislative debate. And impeachment would give lawmakers that legal matter — the process is essentially a court procedure run by Congress where the House brings charges and the Senate holds the trial.

The idea might seem toxic to House Democratic leaders who have so far resisted impeachment overtures against the president, aware that the politically explosive move wouldn’t get through the Republican-led Senate and could turn off voters ahead of the 2020 election.

But legal experts and lawmakers across the ideological spectrum acknowledge that formally unleashing impeachment would bolster Democrats’ arguments that they deserve to see the president’s tax returns, interview senior officials, peruse special counsel Robert Mueller’s trove of evidence and see the details of Trump’s personal dealings with foreign leaders. So far, the Trump administration has vociferously argued it doesn’t need to acquiesce to such demands, which it says are merely part of a political hit job. The president’s personal attorneys have even punched back with lawsuits in some cases ...

... Absent opening up impeachment proceedings, Syracuse University law professor David Driesen said he thinks the Trump administration has the upper hand in its court fights over the ignored subpoenas and requests. The current argument that the information is needed to help Congress craft legislation just won’t cut it, he said.

“I think the courts — especially conservative judges — are more likely to give weight to an impeachment inquiry than the claim that this is somehow relevant to legislation,” he said ...

Read the whole article

Commentary: Between Hacks and Hostilities—Are the US Government and Private Sector Ready for Persistent Engagement?

Hon. James E. Baker

By the Hon. James E. Baker

(Re-published from ABA Journal | May 9, 2019) Cybersecurity is necessarily an issue that crosses international boundaries, raising complex questions of sovereignty, jurisdiction, law and policy. In response, lawyers have struggled to find the right legal metaphor or framework to apply to cyberspace. Each of these issues concerns the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative because the way we as a society choose to address these challenges implicates what it means to live and operate under the rule of law.

The United States government produces almost as many reports and strategies as the ABA. One recent document warrants the attention of the bar, and not just security practitioners. The Department of Defense Cyber Strategy released in September—or more precisely, the unclassified part of the Strategy available to the public—breaks new and important ground, potentially marking a significant shift in the federal government’s strategic posture. How important the Strategy is will depend in large part on whether it is tied to an effective policy and decision-making process.

If I were briefing a senior policymaker on the substance and import of this new Strategy, I would highlight the following key statement:

“We are engaged in a long-term strategic competition with China and Russia. … The United States seeks to use all instruments of national power to deter adversaries from conducting malicious cyberspace activity that would threaten U.S. national interests, our allies, or our partners. … [The United States will] persistently contest malicious cyber activity in day-to-day competition.”

What is remarkable here is not the content of the statement, but the willingness to say it publicly. What would be even more remarkable would be if the U.S. government did in fact use all the instruments of national power to enforce cyber norms, as it once used all the instruments of national power to contain the Soviet Union. Gen. Paul Nakasone, in his capacity as the commander of U.S. Cyber Command, has advocated this approach encapsulated in the concept of “persistent engagement" ...

Read the full article.

Trial Practice Class Continues Collaboration with Cayuga County Sheriff's Department

Cayuga County Deputy testifies in Lee Michaels' trial class

The third annual collaboration between Adjunct Professor Lee Michaels’ L'67 trial practice section and the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department continued a welcome trend of law enforcement participation in the College of Law's Advocacy Program. In Spring 2019, four final trials for the students took place, each with a member of the Sheriff’s Department as a live participant, acting as a guest witness. Two detectives, a road deputy, and Sheriff Brian Schenck acted as prosecution witnesses in four separate practice criminal trials. 

In addition to the guest witnesses, the trials included four guest judges, including David Thurston L'04, a former student of Michaels, and Joanne VanDyke L'87, longtime coach and mentor of the College’s intercollegiate trial teams. 

Michaels’ classes have concluded with final practice trials for nearly three decades. When necessary, extra class sessions are scheduled in order to permit qualified students to compete alone in a mock trial that typically takes over three hours to complete. This year, four students participated alone. Michaels admits that he is a demanding professor. “I expect excellence by the end of the semester from every student,” he says. “From the very first class until students have completed their final trial, they are constantly under pressure to improve their skill level every week, performing and competing in increasingly challenging exercises. The pressure is not off until they finish their final trial and can take a deep breath. I do not allow students to stay down on themselves.”

Sheriff Schenck noted his department’s excitement when asked to partner with the College again as students put what they have learned to the test in a court room setting. The collaboration is a mutually beneficial. During the practice trials, officers have the opportunity to hone their own testimony skills while the students are able to examine live witnesses. “This is a great partnership that is very beneficial to all of us,” agrees Schenck. After each of the Sheriff’s Department witness completes his or her testimony, the trial is stopped while Michaels critiques the witness for a few minutes. “That’s my very easy end of the bargain with the Sheriff,” says Michaels.

William C. Banks Discusses Trump, Barr, & Executive Privilege with Bloomberg Law

William C. Banks

William C. Banks discusses the clash between House Democrats and Attorney General William Barr over a subpoena for the unredacted version of the Mueller report and Trump’s decision to assert executive privilege. He speaks with Bloomberg’s June Grasso.

Listen to the segment

Samantha Kasmarek Moderates NALP Public Sector Careers Panel

Samantha Kasmarek and panel members at NALP 2019 in Sand Diego, CA.

Samantha Kasmarek, Associate Director in the College of Law's Office of Career Services, recently moderated a panel discussion at the National Association for Law Placement (NALP) Annual Education Conference in San Diego, CA, April 9-12, 2019.  

The program—"Public Sector Interviewing with Confidence"—featured members of hiring committees for the New York City Law Department, the New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney’s Office, and the Legal Aid Society of San Diego. 

"The engaging discussion addressed difficult interviewing questions faced by graduating students for entry-level public interest jobs," says Kasmarek. "Panelists shared the qualities they look for in candidates and how schools can best prepare their students and graduates for the interview process."

Panelists were Lillian Evans, Deputy Director of Legal Recruitment and Deputy EEO Officer, NYC Law Department; Audrey Moore, Executive Assistant District Attorney, Chief Diversity Officer, and Chief of the Special Victims Bureau, New York County District Attorney’s Office; and Daniel Benson, Managing Attorney, Legal Aid Society of San Diego.

"We spoke before audience members from law schools and other legal employers, so it was lively discussion!" notes Kasmarek. 

Peter Blanck Joins Policy & Governance Panel at Autonomous Systems Policy Symposium

BBI Chairman Peter Blanck speaks at

Peter Blanck, University Professor and Chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute, joined colleagues from across Syracuse University at "Autonomous Systems and their Policy, Law, and Governance Implications," a one-day symposium that took place on May 6, 2019, in the Goldstein Auditorium. The Symposium—along with Blanck's panel on Policy and Governance of Autonomous Systems—is part of a new, cross-campus initiative by the University to explore technology, policy, legal, and wider social implications of autonomous systems.

From self-driving cars to drone delivery systems and from robotic underwater vessels to smart-home technologies, autonomous systems are transforming the world, posing complex social, ethical, and legal questions that demand multi-faceted research. At the Symposium, University Chancellor Kent Syverud announced the establishment of a new interdisciplinary Institute at the University that will examining myriad issues surrounding the increasing reliance on autonomous systems.

Joining Blank on the Policy and Governance panel were Jamie Boone, Vice President of Government Affairs, Consumer Technology Association; Tina Nabatchi, Joseph A. Strasser Endowed Professor in Public Administration; and Austin Zwick, Assistant Teaching Professor, Maxwell School. The panel was moderated by Maxwell School Dean David van Slyke. 

The Autonomous Systems Policy Institute will be led by Professor Jamie Winders of the Maxwell School. The Institute will draw on the expertise of all of the University’s schools and colleges and provide opportunities for faculty and students to immerse in cutting-edge research and experiential learning in this rapidly evolving field.

Law Review Symposium Addresses Impacts of Online Education on Law Schools & the Legal Profession

Syracuse Law Review Symposium on Online Education

On April 26, 2019, Syracuse University College of Law and Syracuse Law Review hosted a first-of-its-kind law review symposium on online education and its impact on law schools and the legal profession. “Online Learning and the Future of Legal Education” convened a diverse group of leading thinkers—including a number of current and former law school deans—to discuss best practices in online learning, to share and evaluate different learning models, and to explore the implications for the legal profession and access to justice more broadly.  

Introduced by Associate Dean of Online Education Nina Kohn and Syracuse Law Review Editor-in-Chief 3L Shelby Mann, the symposium opened with presentations on best practices in online law teaching, moderated by College of Law E.I. White Chair and Distinguished Professor of Law Robin Paul Malloy. University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz explained how law teaching excellence is not “modality dependent” and suggested that the most effective form of law teaching would likely include both residential and online components. Texas A&M Clinical Associate Professor Noelle Sweany then shared best practices for designing and developing engaging online courses.

Subsequent morning presentations focused on the impact of online education on the legal profession and those it serves. In the session moderated by College of Law Executive Director of Online Education Kathleen O’Connor, Touro Law Center Professor Jack Graves spoke about "hybrid models" for legal education, while Professor David Thomson, of the University of Denver Strum School of Law, looked toward the future of legal education. In his talk, Eric S. Janus, former President and Dean of William Mitchell College of Law, described how attitudes toward hybrid legal education are indeed shifting.

A lunchtime conversation between College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise and online legal education pioneer Barry Currier, Managing Director of Accreditation and Legal Education at the American Bar Association, saw Currier raise the issue of whether law schools are currently underutilizing online learning and ask, rhetorically, how long it would be before the ABA approves a fully online law degree program. 

College of Law Associate Dean for Faculty Research Lauryn Gouldin moderated the afternoon session. Texas A&M’s Professor James McGrath and Dean Andrew Morriss explored how online legal education could help close the “justice gap” by training lawyers to practice where they are needed. Professor Victoria Sutton, of Texas Tech University School of Law, then compared two online learning models—asynchronous and hybrid e-learning—with the traditional classroom. Rounding out the presentations, Kellye Testy, President & CEO of the Legal School Admission Council, shared data on how the move toward online education aligns with other trends in legal education and law school enrollment. 

“What I learned at the Symposium validates my belief that we have arrived at a critical and exciting inflection point in the delivery of legal education,” noted Dean Boise, thanking the participants. “Improvements in online pedagogy and delivery give us—indeed, force us—to rethink how we do legal education and what it means to ‘do it right’! I couldn’t have asked for a better group to examine the challenges and ample opportunities that lay ahead.”

It is no coincidence that the College of Law—which enrolled the first cohort into JDinteractive, its live, online law degree program, in January 2019—hosted this ground-breaking symposium. 

“Online education—and its impact on legal education, the legal profession, and those it serves—is an issue that Syracuse scholars and educators care deeply about,” explains Associate Dean of Online Education and David M. Levy Professor of Law Nina Kohn. “Our faculty and staff have worked diligently and carefully to develop an online law degree program that we believe can expand access to legal education to talented students and be a model for other schools seeking to move into this space.”  

To continue the Symposium’s inquiries and scholarship, “Online Learning and the Future of Legal Education” will result in a Syracuse Law Review issue devoted entirely to exploring questions raised about online education. 

Symposium Papers

"The Hybrid Model for Legal Education: Better Teachers, Greater Access, and Better Future Lawyers"
Jack Graves, Professor of Law and Director of Digital Legal Education, Touro Law Center 

"The 'Worst Idea Ever!'—Lessons from One Law School’s Pioneering Embrace of Online Learning Methods"
Eric S. Janus, former President and Dean, Mitchell Hamline School of Law (formerly William Mitchell College of Law)

"Online Legal Education and Access to Legal Education and the Legal System"
James McGrath, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Support, Bar Passage, and Compliance, Texas A&M School of Law
Andrew P. Morriss, Dean, School of Innovation and Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Texas A&M University 

"Pernicious Legal Education Myths: Towards a Modality-Less Model for Excellence"
Michael Hunter Schwartz, Dean and Professor of Law, University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law

“A Comparative Study with the Traditional Classroom”
Victoria Sutton, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and Associate Dean for Digital Learning and Graduate Education, Texas Tech University School of Law

"From Theory to Practice: Evidence-Based Strategies for Designing and Developing Engaging Online Courses"
Noelle Sweany, Clinical Associate Professor, Educational Psychology, Texas A & M University Department of Education and Human Development

"The Promise of Online Educational Platforms for Law and Legal Education"
Kellye Testy, President and CEO, Law School Admission Council and Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law 

"How Online Learning Will Transform Legal Education"
David Thomson, Professor of Practice and John C. Dwan Professor for Online Learning, University of Denver Strum School of Law

Commentary: Competition Through the Pervasive Method

Shubha Ghosh

(Re-published from Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog | May 3, 2019)  Antitrust law is hot again, but what will be its flavor? Bork’s antitrust paradox has just created new dilemmas. Lower prices, as made possible by platforms like Amazon, may not live up to the promise of maximizing of consumer welfare. And consumer welfare may not be the right metric for antitrust success anyway. Over the forty years since the publication of The Antitrust Paradox in 1978 United States markets have become more concentrated, less competitive, and less innovative despite the veil of new gadgets, lowered transaction costs for consumers, and imagined increases in consumer surplus.

Professor Jonathan Baker’s new book, “The Antitrust Paradigm: Restoring a Competitive Economy,” calls for a revitalization of antitrust by making it truer to its economic goals of promoting allocative efficiency and aggregate welfare. There is no new paradigm being offered, but a return to fundamentals with a reboot incorporating new economic models from industrial organization, new thinking by existing antitrust agencies, and a new commitment to reducing concentration. Starting with a diagnosis of “market paroxysms,” which shows how Chicago-style economics of the 1970’s (the one informing Bork) has guided judges and agencies to permit increased concentration with the resulting threats to innovation and to economic welfare, all justified by the pursuit of economic efficiency. Bork’s solution to his perceived antitrust paradox has created a paradox of its own: an antitrust law that fails to promote competition by extolling a competitive economy that leads to bigness. Peter Thiel best exemplifies this contradiction in his “Zero to One,” where he suggests that business success is measured by being number one, including being a monopolist in one’s industry.

An indication of the timeliness of Professor Baker’s book is its synchronicity with the release of a new report from the International Monetary Fund on April 3, which concluded, according to The Economist: “[M]arket power has risen notably in America and by a smaller amount in Europe and largely affected industries outside manufacturing.” Although the Fund acknowledges that this increased concentration may be the result of organic growth in winner take all markets, The Economist points out, “market power that grows organically is still market power.” The Fund’s report identifies the pernicious effects of this concentration: less investment in physical capital, a smaller share of the economic value created going to workers, and potentially putting a brake on future innovation, despite evidence of increased patenting today.

Against this background, Baker proposes a revitalized approach to antitrust that combats concentration. Two reform proposals can strengthen antitrust enforcement, he argues. First is a more judicious use of presumptions by antitrust agencies and courts.  Evidence of firm concentration will trigger a presumption of anticompetitiveness which the firm must rebut. Second, this presumption would be imposed based on a sliding scale with firms having less market share receiving a presumption of competitiveness. As I understand them, the twin proposals can shift the current lackadaisical attitude that has permitted the levels of concentration reported by the IMF and justified on efficiency grounds. Professor Baker does not engage with defenses of synergies which have often allowed high tech mergers, such as the ones between AOL and Time-Warner decades ago and the recent Time-Warner merger with Comcast. But the use of a sliding scale would require strong evidence to rebut the presumption of harm to competition in concentrated industries, making it more difficult to justify mergers on predicted technological or economic synergies.

Professor Baker addresses the issue of competition and innovation in Chapter Eight, and I will focus on this chapter for the rest of this post.  Two big ideas come out in his discussion of innovation. First is a rethinking of the Horizontal Merger Guidelines as framed by Baker’s reform proposals. Second is increased antitrust scrutiny of patents, especially in the context of standard setting.

Baker’s reassessment of the Horizontal Merger Guidelines is a welcome analysis of an area of antitrust law that has seemed toothless and unpredictable. Part of the problem is that merger analysis gets lots is a trove of necessary, but often impenetrable, technical data that guide the decisions of antitrust agencies. Large mergers that seem to have strong anticompetitive potential pass muster while seemingly less problematic mergers fail. As discussed above, the mysterious appeal to synergies often mask more immediate and negative consequences. Baker’s proposals, if taken seriously, could jump start the field and counter trends towards concentration ...

Read the full article.

Commentary: Mueller Report Offers Ample Basis for Impeachment Inquiry

David Driesen

By David Driesen
University Professor

(Re-published from Law360 | May 3, 2019) Special counsel Robert Mueller's recently released report paints a disturbing picture of President Donald Trump and his aides welcoming Russian interference in the 2016 election. This vivid picture, while damning enough on its own, lacks some pieces. Portions of the report addressing Trump’s relationship with the Russian election interference have suffered heavy redaction, and key witnesses destroyed potential evidence.

Even so, the decision not to prosecute Trump or his associates for accepting Russian help reflects a close call in at least one instance. In many more cases, the welcoming of Russian interference, while probably not criminal, clearly is wrong and raises serious questions about U.S. national security while Trump remains in office. Opening up an impeachment investigation is the prudent and necessary next step by House Democrats, given what we have learned thus far. 

The close call involves Donald Trump, Jr., who received an offer from a Russian attorney for allegedly incriminating documents about Hillary Clinton on June 3, 2016. He did not report this apparent Russian government effort to influence the American election to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Nor did he ignore the offer.

Instead, he encouraged the Russians to continue their efforts and to make it more effective, stating, “I love it especially late in summer.” And he arranged for subsequent meetings, suggesting a desire to obtain the derogatory documents.

The Mueller report explains in detail why the special counsel decided not to charge Trump, Jr., with campaign finance violations for accepting valuable information from the Russians, but the reasons are very technical and quite debatable. 

The report also explains that on July 27, 2016, candidate Trump publicly stated that he hoped that Russia would “find the 30,000 [Hillary Clinton] emails that are missing.” Thus, Trump invited the Russians to interfere in our election, which they clearly did. The report does not explain why this conduct alone does not constitute conspiracy or treason, but it suggests collusion.

The report documents that the Russian GRU intelligence service stole documents from Democratic party servers and gave them to WikiLeaks. Furthermore, Trump knew about the WikiLeaks publication of stolen documents before they occurred, since “Trump told Gates that more releases of damaging information would be coming.” Equally troubling, the report explains that Trump’s campaign aides greeted this news of publication of the fruits of Russian espionage with “enthusiasm" ...

Read the full article.

DCEx Students Visit Pentagon as Guest of Joseph Rutigliano L’86

The Pentagon

Alumnus Joseph Rutigliano L’86 is Branch Head for the International and Operational Law Branch, Judge Advocate Division, US Marine Corps and Special Assistant on Law of War issues. On April 25, 2019, he was Distinguished Guest Lecturer for the Spring 2019 DC Externship Program’s final seminar, hosted by Rutigliano at the Pentagon. 

Before the lecture, participants enjoyed a private tour of the Pentagon from Rutigliano and CPT Stephanie Iacobucci, a US Marine Corps JAG officer currently detailed as a staff attorney within the Operational Law Branch’s office. The participants visited the Pentagon’s 9/11 Memorial exhibits, 9/11 Memorial Chapel, and the Marine Corps Commandants Corridor.

Rutigliano’s presentation was held in the General H.M. Smith Conference Room, where commandants of the Marine Corps hold operational briefings. Rutigliano discussed his experience as a JAG officer and described his path to a career in the Pentagon. He also spoke about his office’s role in providing legal advice to the Department of Defense, which includes emerging areas of military and operational law such as the use of lethal autonomous weapon systems, Marine Corps support at the southern US border, and the protection of certain facilities and assets from unmanned aircrafts. Iacobucci also spoke on her experience as a public defender and her current responsibilities as a US Marine Corps Judge Advocate.

3L Molly D'Agostino Wins First Place in the New York Business Plan Competition's Tech and Entertainment Section

Molly D'Agostino

Third-year law student Molly D'Agostino won first place and a $10,000 prize in the Technology and Entertainment Section of the New York Business Plan Competition (NYBPC), the finals of which took place in Albany, NY, on April 26, 2019. D'Agostino's business—Our Song Co.—writes custom songs and offers media services for couples and weddings, including consulting, video, poetry and memoir writing, and more. 

Speaking to how her legal studies have contributed to her business venture, D’Agostino says, “The most valuable thing law school has contributed to my business is my experience with the College of Law’s Innovation Law Center (ILC). I knew I had a unique idea, and I wanted to learn how to protect it. What I discovered through ILC helped me craft my strategy.”

D'Agostino was one of several Syracuse University students and student teams that competed in the 10th annual NYBPC, organized by the Upstate Capital Association of New York. Five teams, including D'Agostino, returned to Syracuse with awards for their ideas. The NYBPC regional qualifier was organized by the Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad, whose staff also accompanied the teams to Albany. Molly Zimmermann, Associate Director of the New York State Science & Technology Law Center—which is housed in ILC—also accompanied the Syracuse teams. 

Since 2010, more than 2,500 students have participated in NYBPC, more than 100 businesses have been started, and the competition has seeded more than $1M, yielding more than $20M in additional funding for these companies.

College of Law Names Advocacy Honor Society After Professor Emeritus Travis H.D. Lewin

Travis H.D. Lewin

Syracuse University College of Law has named its student-run advocacy competition organization the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society. In doing so, the College honors the faculty member who was instrumental in creating what was, in the early 1970s, a ground-breaking program and who oversaw years of high-profile Moot Court competition successes. 

College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise announced the new name at the Advocacy Honor Society’s annual banquet on April 26, 2019. Professor Emeritus Lewin attended the banquet, along with members of his family, faculty, colleagues, and students and alumni, including many who volunteer as coaches and judges for the Advocacy Honor Society’s inter- and intra-school advocacy competitions. 

"Professor Emeritus Lewin has made a profound impact on the history of our College and on the lives and careers of our students, especially in courtrooms nationwide. For decades, he advised, coached, and mentored Moot Court competition teams and won national championships against top law schools," says Dean Boise. "Even in retirement, Travis continues to judge competitions and to follow our student competitors avidly. His legacy has fueled the growth and prestige of the Advocacy Honor Society, which now encompasses appellate, dispute resolution, and trial courses and competitions, and serves as a powerful recruitment tool to attract star advocates to our College. Naming the Advocacy Honor Society for Travis will ensure that future generations of advocates are aware of its roots and of the innovation it represented when it was created."

Today, the College of Law is known nationwide for its advocacy skills training and for success at the regional and national levels of major competitions. It has been honored 10 times as New York’s best trial skills law school by the New York State Bar Association.

The Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society oversees mock appellate, alternative dispute resolution, and trial experiences; organizes five intra-school competitions; and sends students to 17 inter-collegiate competitions. Over the years, Syracuse students have won numerous national and regional awards, and during 2017-2018, 196 students took part in the Program.

The College of Law’s Advocacy Program complements the Honor Society by supporting students' practical and trial experiences through teaching essential skills that they will need as practicing lawyers. The curriculum includes the popular introductory and advanced trial practice courses in which lawyers, judges, and faculty teach trial procedures, strategies, and techniques, such as jury selection, expert witness examination, direct and cross-examination, and summation. Simulated trials and competitions take place in Dineen Hall's two state-of-the-art courtrooms.

Before joining the College of Law faculty in 1967, Lewin was in private practice and served as an Assistant US Attorney. A pioneering educator, Lewin's mark on the College extends beyond the Advocacy Program. He was instrumental in establishing the Clinic Program in 1968; he served on numerous University, Chancellor, and University Senate committees and task forces; and he served as Interim Dean of the College from 1987-1988. 

Lewin is the distinguished recipient of many awards in the field of advocacy training, including a 1990 Emil Gumpert Excellence in Trial Advocacy Award from the American College of Trial Lawyers; a 2018 Syracuse Law Honors Award from the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association; and a University Chancellor’s Citation for Academic Excellence. Stetson University College of Law has recognized Lewin's work with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching Advocacy. 

Retiring from the classroom in 2012, Lewin remains an active figure at the College, and he continues to support the Advocacy Honor Society, notably in the establishment of two scholarships for student advocates. The first scholarship honors his friend and teaching colleague Emil Rossi L’72. The second—the “Models of Excellence in Advocacy" scholarship—is given to a student who "exemplifies leadership, sportsmanship, and professionalism,” and is conferred in honor of an alum of the program. 

College of Law Students Present Current Issues in Zoning to Regional Planning and Zoning Officials

2L John Dowling, 3L Maria Zumpano, Professor Malloy, 2L Zach Sonallah, and 3L Chris Baiamonte

In partnership with the town of DeWitt, NY, the College sponsored a four-hour continuing zoning education program in April 2019 for planning and zoning officials from Onondaga and Madison counties. Professor Robin Paul Malloy delivered the program along with four of his Advanced Zoning Law students: 3Ls Chris Baiamonte and Maria Zumpano, and 2Ls John Dowling and Zach Sonallah.

Sixty people were in attendance to learn about current issues in zoning related to Article 78 appeals, accessory uses, non-conforming uses, issues related to the legalization of marijuana, and land use law and disability. Two College of Law alumni attended the program: DeWitt Zoning Board Attorney Donald Doerr L’88 and attorney and real estate developer Marc Malfitano L’78. 

After the presentations, attendees provided positive feedback on the content and students, including:

  • “Plenty of ideas that will be useful at our local level. Time to review some of our previous decisions."
  • “Exceptional in content and relevance, Bravo!!!”
  • “Great presentations ... they helped me greatly.”
  • “Excellent program and a great credit to the Syracuse University College of Law.“
  • “Excellent 'on-point' in-service training; presenters were well prepared and their knowledge on their subjects reflected their research and documentation. Great job by ALL!”

College of Law Invites Participants for the Inaugural Syracuse National Trial Competition

Syracuse University College of Law

Syracuse University College of Law has invited applications from other law schools nationwide to compete in the Syracuse National Trial Competition (SNTC), a new invitational advocacy competition that will take place in Syracuse city courtrooms and at the College of Law, Oct. 10-12, 2019.

According to Director of Advocacy Programs Professor Todd Berger, 12 law school teams will be selected to compete from those that apply. Team selection will be based on the quality of a school's advocacy program and on wide geographic diversity. 

“We look forward to presenting a robust and exciting competition with talented student advocates sharpening their skills in a realistic courtroom setting,” says Berger. “Each team will be guaranteed four rounds of competition before the semi-final and final rounds, which will take place in Dineen Hall. The fact pattern likely will be based on a civil case. In addition to the team competition, awards will be given for individual student performances.” 

"The College of Law has a stellar reputation for the quality and scope of its advocacy program and for its successes at the regional and national levels of major competitions," says Dean Craig M. Boise. "The visibility the College will garner from hosting a new national trial invitational, and the level of competition we expect will take place, present a significant opportunity for our students and for the College as a whole." 

Honored 10 times as New York’s best trial skills law school by the New York State Bar Association, the College of Law's Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Program teaches essential skills that student advocates will require as practicing lawyers, including trial procedures, strategies, and techniques. As part of the curriculum, simulated trials and competitions take place in Dineen Hall's state-of-the-art courtrooms.

Supporting the advocacy curriculum, the College's Advocacy Honors Society (AHS) promotes the development of critical written and oral advocacy skills through competition opportunities. AHS hosts four intra-collegiate advocacy competitions and sponsors College of Law teams that participate in 17 nationwide inter-collegiate competitions.

WAER Explores "Inclusive Capitalism" with Robert Ashford

Robert Ashford

(WAER | April 15, 2019) If you hear the words “inclusive capitalism,” what would you think it means?  

To some Central New Yorkers, it might sound like a system that allows more people access to the economy, perhaps alleviating poverty.  At the same time, others might feel it’s another term for socialism.  

A Syracuse University law professor says his idea actually doesn’t fit neatly into the typical economic or political spectrums.  WAER's Scott Willis digs a little deeper to find out how it might work.

If you ask Professor Robert Ashford, this is how he sees inclusive capitalism.

Ashford says his theory falls somewhere in between because many politicians these days are either solidly for austerity or stimulus.  

In a nutshell, Ashford says his principle goes something like this:  The more broadly a business acquires capital and distributes it with the earnings of capital—which is to say labor, land, buildings, and machines—the fuller employment we will have.  

That’s Jenny Trinh, senior manager of thought leadership at the coalition for inclusive capitalism. The not-for-profit works with companies to promote innovative business solutions so economic benefits are widely shared with the many, not just a few.  

Trinh says there’s been a lot of interest, though definitions and perceptions of inclusive capitalism clearly vary.  

Some might call it conscious or responsible capitalism. She says we’re seeing some of that now, through offering better maternity and paternity leave, supporting worker college tuition payments, or paying for skills recertification to name a few. But Trinh says the larger impact goes beyond benefits and wages.

Professor Robert Ashford says people are getting poorer because they don’t have that access to capital acquisition without the earnings of capital, they’re left out of that equation.  

He acknowledges the concept of inclusive capitalism is not widely understood, though a growing number of economists are beginning to accept it.  Ashford says those who might be skeptical have to understand that another system might work.  

Listen to the segment

William C. Banks Publishes Seventh Edition of Constitutional Law

William C. Banks
Constitutional Law: Structure and Rights in Our Federal System (7th Edition)
Eds. William C. Banks & Rodney A. Smolla
Carolina Academic Press, 2019

"Twenty-five years ago we set out to create a constitutional law casebook that teaches well," write Professor Emeritus William C. Banks and Dean Rodney Smolla of Widener University Delaware Law School in the Preface to the seventh edition of Constitutional Law: Structure and Rights in Our Federal System (Carolina Academic Press, 2019). "We wanted to teach from a book that would engage students in learning basic constitutional law and would enable teachers to work with cases and problems relatively unencumbered by extensive secondary source materials and treatise-like notes.

"In preparing the seventh edition of our casebook, we have continued to develop the characteristics that distinguish our book from others. First, we continue to place heavy emphasis on the structure of government, the constitutional concepts of federalism, and separation of powers."

Traditional in scope, with full coverage of separation of powers, federalism, and individual rights, Constitutional Law emphasizes structural issues more so than many other constitutional law casebooks. Individual rights are discussed in context and within chapters focusing on traditional doctrinal categories, such as economic and social rights, rights of conscience and expression, and rights in the public arena.

The seventh edition makes heavy use of contemporary constitutional conflicts to present in a vivid manner the cases and secondary material traditionally covered in comprehensive constitutional law courses, including case studies in issues such as gun control, problems on the special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller, the Supreme Court's resolution of which branch controls recognition of Jerusalem in providing passports, and controversies surrounding the Affordable Care Act.

This edition also expands dramatically the coverage of the religion and speech clauses, so that the casebook is useable for comprehensive courses on the First Amendment at law schools that break out coverage of constitutional law into a basic course and a follow-up course on civil liberties or the First Amendment.

Chapters

  1. The Origins: “We the People”: Where Does Power Reside in Our Constitutional System?
  2. Separation of Powers: Constitutional Checks and Balances
  3. Federalism Limits on Federal Courts
  4. Federalism Limits on the Elected Branches and on the States
  5. Public and Private Domain
  6. Exclusion and Equal Protection
  7. Economic and Social Rights
  8. Religion
  9. Freedom of Speech and Association 

Sanford Heisler Sharp LLC Hosts DCEx Students

DCEx participants sit around a conference table listening to a panel of distinguished guest lecturers

Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP recently hosted spring DCEx participants where the firm’s DC Partner Saba Bireda, Senior Litigation Counsel John McKnight, and Litigation Fellow Shaun Rosenthal spoke to externs as distinguished guest lecturers.

Sanford Heisler Sharp was founded in an effort to litigate public interest and social justice cases that add significant value to individuals and communities. Sanford Heisler Sharp represents plaintiffs in individual matters and class actions nationwide. The firm’s lawyers specialize in employment and gender discrimination, wage and hour violations, complex civil litigation, whistleblower/qui tam matters, public interest litigation, financial services litigation, prison litigation, and criminal/sexual violence litigation. 

DCEx participant Brandon Golfman moderated the panel discussion. Sanford Heisler Sharp attorneys provided students with an overview of the firm’s current practices, including plaintiff-side employment discrimination and whistleblower matters. They also discussed how Sanford Heisler Sharp is working to transform the legal profession by representing female attorneys who experience career-crushing gender discrimination, bringing to the fore employment practices that have historically prevented women from attaining fair compensation for leadership roles.

Students learned about the day-to-day practice of a litigation attorney and the qualities needed to handle complex and sensitive client issues. The panelists encouraged students to be empathetic, dedicated, and detail oriented. The seminar concluded with the panelists offering their advice for navigating the final year of law school and the DC legal market. 

2L Rodney Dorilas Reflects on White House Externship

Rodney Dorilas
The College of Law’s Externship Program—one of many available experiential learning opportunities—continues to provide students with top tier placements and invaluable experience. One student, 2L Rodney (Rod) Dorilas, completed two externships over the past year, capitalizing on the Programs’ many options and flexibility. Last summer, Dorilas participated in DCEx with the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Office of the Assistant Attorney General. This spring semester, he had the privilege to participate in DCEx at the White House, Office of White House Counsel.

Dorilas will graduate early in December 2019 with a year of legal experience under his belt and a developing professional network in the nation’s capital. Looking to the future, Dorilas reflects on his experiences in DC. 

“Through DCEx and the White House Internship Program, I had the privilege to serve as a White House Legal Intern with the Office of White House Counsel. I was one of two law students serving within the Office. During my time as a Legal Intern, I was responsible for researching and writing memoranda on regulatory reform, executive authority, government ethics, and various legal issues arising from ongoing legal disputes with the Executive Branch. I also had the pleasure of assisting the White House Counsel’s Office execute its duties in responding to governmental oversight requests and federal judiciary nominations. 

This experience had a tremendous impact on my legal education, as it has brought the classroom teachings to life. For some law students, the legal concepts and theories learned in the classroom, particularly in constitutional law, may be intriguing and intellectually stimulating, but may also seem far-fetched, latent, or insignificant to what we will face in the legal profession. The rules and concepts learned in our first-year courses may seem irrelevant or ancient, but they serve as a foundation to almost every legal issue that we may encounter.

Today, in this political climate, it is more important than ever we understand the history and role of the different branches of government and how each case we will encounter effects the grand scheme of governance, our nation’s civility, and our respect for the rule of law. Working in Washington, DC, specifically with the Department of Justice and now the White House, I have a greater appreciation and understanding of the law. 

Gaining real world experience in crafting legal arguments, especially where legal disputes involve separation of power issues—leaving nothing to turn to but the Constitution and founding-era documents—is crucial for future legal practitioners who seek to challenge some of the most captivating and groundbreaking issues before us and on the horizon. 

Working under some of the most brilliant-minded scholars and legal practitioners at the White House Counsel’s Office and Department of Justice has given me great insight to what it means to be a lawyer.” 

Before joining the College of Law, Dorilas received a bachelor’s degree with honors in criminal justice with a minor in international relations from Florida International University. Before that, Dorilas was a Fire Controlman in the US Navy for over six years where he was in charge of planning and executing the deployment of Tomahawk land attack missiles on a Ballistic Missile Defense destroyer.

What's Next After the Mueller Report? William C. Banks Speaks to WAER

William C. Banks

National Security Expert at SU Speaks About What’s Next After Mueller Report

(WAER | April 19, 2019) WAER’s Chris Bolt spoke with Professor Emeritus William Banks on some of the legal and historical aspects of the report and what it means going forward.

One of most significant things about the report William Banks says, might be what’s not there. President Trump was never directly interviewed about any of the allegations.

“His responses to the written questions were that he simply didn’t recall, most of the time when the questions probe his state of mind. Had they obtained oral testimonial from the president would be far more difficult to walk away from direct answer to the question about his state of mind.”

Intent would have to be established for prosecutors to be able to bring any charges for obstruction of justice against the president. But that doesn’t mean the investigation didn’t have legal ramifications … he notes two dozen indictments of others came out of it. Still, no direct questioning of President Trump leaves a hole in any possible criminal case.

He found in the report less redaction that he thought by Attorney General William Barr. Most things blacked out had to do with grand jury materials, things relevant to ongoing congressional investigations, and identification of ancillary witnesses. What does concern him, is the lack of objectivity from the Attorney General’s office.

“The willingness of the justice department to go behind the scenes to allow them to prepare their rebuttal today speaks more of an effort to support the administration than it does to simply speak for the rule of law for the United States.”

Of course you can’t escape the political aspects of the investigation and the report. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who’s a presidential candidate, called it an embarrassing display of propaganda. She said in a release that the nation can’t trust a hand-picked attorney general and that congress should see the full, un-redacted report to really find the truth.

Area Congress members John Katko and Anthony Brindisi had different reactions to the release of the report, both speaking at a public event in Oswego. Katko told Syracuse.com he had no problem with Barr’s press conference and then releasing the report. He’s more concerned with what’s in it and how we reduce Russian influence in elections. Brindisi wants to see a full, un-redacted version before drawing conclusions, though he also does not want the investigation to overshadow other issues that need attention. Professor Banks meanwhile believes the prospect of Congress starting impeachment proceedings is not in the cards.

“I think the democrats recognize if they start an inquiry in the house, they may or may not have sufficient votes to impeach there. If they did, they would certainly not have votes to convict to the senate. It would be a way like the Clinton inquiry many years ago, a lot of effort for vey little outcome, any positive outcomes.”

While the President might not face that challenge, Banks says the whole process draws into question just how Mr. Trump views the office.

“One of the aspects of his presidency is to treat more like a business and a personal fiefdom, as though he was a king or autocrat, rather than a democratically elected leader of a country who shares authority with the congress and the court in between nation government and states. So in many respects, I think the president has treated the office of presidency in a way as no other president has before as though he was above the law. That’s the most dramatic challenge to our constitutional system that I can imagine.”

And he adds things are far from over. There are still ongoing grand jury investigations; congress will have its own investigations and hearings; and Banks expects you should get used to hearing about the report and all manner of reactions to it on the campaign trail.

“I think certainly through the 2020 election, this is not going to be done. And then whatever the result the election produces, certainly the president and perhaps the shape and contour of the congress on the partisan, aside democrats from republicans. Then maybe on the November, 2020, this will all go away, but I doubt that it will before then.”

Listen to the segment.

INSCT Welcomes Five National Security Experts as Distinguished Fellows

Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism

The Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT)—a collaboration between the Syracuse University College of Law and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs—has added five senior national security experts to its academic and advisory leadership team. 

These Distinguished Fellows—drawn from the upper echelons of the national security and intelligence communities—will assist the Institute's mission with a variety of assignments that will directly benefit students and expand INSCT's portfolio of research and policy projects. 

Joining INSCT are Steve Bunnell, Co-Chair of Data Security and Privacy at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, former General Counsel of the US Department of Homeland Security, and former Chief of the Criminal Division at the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC; Rajesh De, Chair of the Cybersecurity and Data Privacy practice and Co-Chair of the National Security practice at Mayer Brown LLP and former General Counsel for the US National Security Agency; Avril Haines, Senior Research Scholar at Columbia University, former Deputy National Security Advisor, and former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Amy Jeffress, Partner at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP and former Counselor to the US Attorney General; and Lala Qadir, Associate and Member of the Artificial Intelligence Initiative at Covington & Burling LLP and Lecturer in Law at George Washington University Law School.

"These Distinguished Fellows are five of the leading experts in the field of national security law and policy, and I am thrilled that they have chosen to affiliate with the Institute," says the Hon. James E. Baker, Director, INSCT. "They bring extraordinary practice experience and diverse expertise to Syracuse. They will expand the Institute's reach in areas such as emerging technology, data privacy, and cybersecurity. Even better, if you think they are great at what they do—and they are—they are even better people, among the most honorable and ethical public servants I have known. If your mission is to train the next generation of thought leaders and practitioners in the field of public and private national security law, you would want this team of Fellows on your side."

Among the Fellows' roles—in Syracuse, New York City, and Washington, DC—they will help teach national security courses; lecture in the Institute's speakers program; provide students with career advice and guidance; and offer insights and input regarding the Institute's classroom and practical curriculum and its research and policy portfolio. They also will help the Institute stand up and teach a cutting-edge course on the practice of private national security law.

“Specifically, the Distinguished Fellows give the Institute the opportunity to fill a need that is not being met," continues Judge Baker. "They will help us teach students at the College of Law and the Maxwell School what they need to know in order to practice in the area of private national security law and policy—at law firms, as in-house counsel, or as business officers and executives. This is an area of private practice that is growing exponentially, that offers career opportunity for our students, and that is critical to US national security, as well as the protection and advancement of US legal values.” It is anticipated that additional Fellows will join those announced today.

"The addition of these national security experts to the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism significantly strengthens the Institute's already formidable academic and research portfolio," says Dean Craig M. Boise, Syracuse University College of Law. "Crucially, INSCT Distinguished Fellows will open up important opportunities and avenues for law and public policy students, especially in emerging areas of national security studies, such as artificial intelligence, data privacy, and transnational crime."

“With decades of experience working on some of the most pressing law and policy issues of our time, INSCT Distinguished Fellows will add greatly to our students’ understanding of the practice of national security law and policymaking," says Dean David M. Van Slyke, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. “Their insights as senior civil servants and practitioners in political positions, as well as in private practice and academia, will enrich the student experience and expand the depth and reach of Maxwell’s thought leadership and emerging research.”

William C. Banks Reviews the Mueller Report with KPCC

William C. Banks

AirTalk special: DOJ releases redacted Mueller report to the public

(KPCC (Los Angeles) | April 18, 2019) Two years and countless subpoenas and indictments later, the Department of Justice has released a redacted version of the Mueller report to the public.

In a press conference, Attorney General William Barr on Thursday laid out in advance what he said was the "bottom line:" No collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government hackers.

Barr said at a news conference that the president did not exert executive privilege to withhold anything in the 400 page-plus report. And he said the president's personal attorney had requested and gotten a chance to review the report before its public release.

Barr said that no one outside the Justice Department has seen the unredacted Mueller report. And he added that no redactions were either made or proposed outside of the small group of Justice staffers that pored over Mueller's report.

Listen to the segment.

GUESTS:

  • Nick Akerman, partner at the New York City office of Dorsey & Whitney LLP; he is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and served as Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor with the Watergate Special Prosecution Force
  • Miriam Baer, professor of law at Brooklyn Law School where she specializes in corporate and white-collar crime and criminal law and procedure
  • William C. Banks, professor emeritus of law, public administration and international affairs at Syracuse University
  • Christian Berthelsen, legal reporter at Bloomberg
  • John Eastman, professor law and community service and director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at Chapman University
  • Robert G. Kaufman, public policy professor at Pepperdine where he focuses on U.S. foreign policy, national security and international relations; author of “Dangerous Doctrine: How Obama's Grand Strategy Weakened America” (University Press of Kentucky, 2016)
  • Laurie L. Levenson, professor of law at Loyola Law School and former federal prosecutor
  • Justin Levitt, professor of law at Loyola Law School and former deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department under President Obama; he tweets @_justinlevitt_
  • Amanda Renteria, chair of Emerge America, a national organization that works to identify and train Democratic women who want to run for political office; she is the former national political director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign; she tweets @AmandaRenteria
  • Sean T. Walsh, Republican political analyst and partner at Wilson Walsh Consulting in San Francisco; he is a former adviser to California Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger and a former White House staffer for Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush

Disability Rights Clinic Helps Village of Cazenovia with Accessibility Project

Michael Schwartz

Disability Rights Clinic Director Professor Michael Schwartz, 3L Albert Karmi, and 2L Allison McVey—along with Ted Bartlett, an adjunct instructor at the Syracuse University School of Architecture—presented a preliminary accessibility plan to the village of Cazenovia, NY, Board of Trustees on April 1, 2019. The Board is exploring a project to enhance accessibility of commercial buildings on the north side of Albany Street between Kinney Drugs and Lincklaen Street.

The “Village of Cazenovia Accessibility Study” is a joint effort among the College of Law; the School of Architecture’s Freedom By Design Program; and Crawford & Stearns PLLC, architects and preservation planners.

“The Disability Rights Clinic has, in partnership with the village of Cazenovia, identified a need for an accessible sidewalk along Albany Street,” said McVey at the meeting, as reported by the Cazenovia Republican. “As you all know, there is a step up for each of the shops there, which makes it difficult for people with disabilities and a number of other members of the community to access those shops without the use of a ramp.”

The proposed design includes a concrete ramp with four access points, one at each end of the street and two in the middle.

The plan also features a simple iron safety railing, selected to blend in with the character of the historic buildings. In front of each storefront, a break in the railing would allow for easy pedestrian access to the building. All other specific design decisions would be left up to the village, according to McVey.

Collaborating with the Disability Rights Clinic, the site measure-ups and initial drawings were produced by the school of architecture’s Freedom By Design community service program. Joseph Picciano, an associate and project architect at Crawford & Stearns, completed the design.

According to McVey, the proposed plan is designed to benefit not only individuals with disabilities and wheelchair users, but also many other community members, including parents with strollers, the elderly and veterans with mobility issues.

Read the full story.

Shubha Ghosh Speaks to Law360 About Apple vs. Qualcomm

Shubha Ghosh

After Ceasefire With Apple, Qualcomm’s War Continues

(Law360 | April 17, 2019) The global licensing flare-up between Apple and Qualcomm was extinguished abruptly Tuesday with a dramatic settlement announced moments after opening arguments. The deal ends all litigation between the California tech giants, but it doesn’t directly impact the U.S. government’s enforcement action against the chipmaker.

Here, Law360 looks at what’s ahead for Qualcomm after its armistice with Apple.

The Pressure to Settle

Apple and Qualcomm offered few details about the settlement resolving Apple’s lawsuit alleging the chipmaker violated antitrust law by requiring companies that assemble iPhones and iPads to pay for both its cellular network-accessing modem chips and for a license on its patented technology. Qualcomm was also pursuing its own suits accusing Apple of patent infringement in jurisdictions around the globe and seeking to block imports into the U.S. and elsewhere of iPhones that allegedly infringed its products, namely those using chips made by Qualcomm rival Intel.

Under the deal, Apple will pay an undisclosed amount to Qualcomm. The tech giants also reached a six-year licensing agreement, effective April 1, which could be extended another two-years, and a multiyear chipset supply agreement.

The companies struck the deal a day-and-half into trial, after jury selection and opening arguments from both sides ...

... Qualcomm had clear reason to settle. Experts note the pressure bearing down on Qualcomm, not just from Apple, but from antitrust enforcers around the world and private litigants who’ve targeted licensing practices that allegedly allowed it to overcharge Apple billions of dollars.

“They clearly were seeing years of litigation ahead if they didn’t come to some sort of agreement,” said Shubha Ghosh, head of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute.

Read the whole article.

Tim Green L'94 Awarded Chancellor's Medal

Thane Green accepts the Chancellor's Medal on behalf of his father, Tim Green L'85

College of Law alumnus Tim Green L'94—one of the most accomplished student-athletes in Syracuse University history—was awarded the Syracuse University Chancellor's Medal at the One University ceremony in Hendricks Chapel on April 12, 2019. Tim's eldest son, Thane, received the award. 

The annual ceremony brings the University community together to celebrate the faculty, staff, and student recipients of the University’s most prestigious awards and honors. The Chancellor’s Medal is one of two major awards conveyed, along with the Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence.

Green was a legendary member of the Syracuse Orange football team from 1982-1985. He helped the Orange begin its resurgence under head coach Dick MacPherson. Dubbed the “Renaissance Man of American Football," after a stellar career at Syracuse, Green enjoyed success as a player in the National Football League and then as a commentator, before becoming an accomplished attorney at Barclay Damon, an NPR legal commentator, a TV host, and a best-selling author. Recently, Green was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). His life story and battle with ALS have been profiled on CBS 60 Minutes

The Chancellor's Medal was first presented in 1967 as the Centennial Medal on the occasion of William P. Tolley’s 25th anniversary as Chancellor. The name of the award was changed in 1972. It is given to “extraordinary individuals, whose career success and philanthropic contributions have had a significant impact on society and the University.” Previous recipients include Aaron Copland, Alfonse M. D'Amato, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Ralph Nader, and Donna E. Shalala. 

3L Erika Simonson and 2L Aubre Dean Win the Inaugural Entertainment and Sports Law Negotiation Competition

Aubre Dean and Erika Simonson

3L Erika Simonson and 2l Aubre Dean prevailed over 3L Sophie Bober and 2L Josh Steele in the inaugural intra-school Entertainment and Sports Law Negotiation Competition.  Dean also captured the Best Overall Advocate award. The final round followed the conclusion of the 5th Annual Entertainment and Sports Law Symposium.

James Zeszutek L’76, Partner, Dinsmore and Shohl; Professor John Wolohan, Professor of Sports Law and Management, Syracuse University David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamic and Adjunct Professor, College of Law; and Kevin Belbey, L’16, Agent, The Montag Group judged the final round.

Forty-eight students took part in the competition. The Entertainment and Sports Law Society and the Advocacy Honor Society were co-sponsors of the competition.

Syracuse University College of Law Enters into 3+3 Admissions Agreements with Three Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Dean Craig M. Boise signs a the 3+3 admissions agreements with three Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Syracuse University College of Law has entered into 3+3 admissions agreements with three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) located at Atlanta University Center: Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College. The agreement was signed at an April 15, 2019, ceremony at Atlanta-based law firm Taylor English Duma LLP with representatives from all three HBCU and the College of Law participating.

The 3+3 program allows students to finish the bachelors and juris doctor degrees in an accelerated format by completing all coursework required for the undergraduate major in three years and finishing their degree during their first year of law school at Syracuse. J.D. students at the College of Law may also jointly earn a master’s degree at other Syracuse University schools and colleges, including the top-ranked Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and Newhouse School of Public Communications. The combination of the 3+3 and joint degree programs permits a student to earn as many as three degrees in just six years—a year less than generally required for just an undergraduate and J.D. degree at most other institutions.

“Partnering with these distinguished HBCU to create a 3+3 program significantly reduces the time and cost required for qualified African-American students to obtain a 21st-century legal education at Syracuse,” says College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “This is one of the ways we can address the legal profession’s need for more diversity among the ranks of lawyers. I join our faculty, staff, and students in looking forward to students from these renowned colleges becoming members of our College of Law family.”

“Developing the accelerated dual degree (bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees) between Clark Atlanta University and Syracuse University College of Law is mutually beneficial. This endeavor aligns with our efforts to expand academic pursuits for Clark Atlanta graduates,” says Dorcas Bowles, Provost, Clark Atlanta University. “As such, this partnership increases our students’ academic and career success and will serve as a beacon of access and opportunity for African Americans and other underrepresented populations in the field of law.” 

Says Sharon L. Davies, Provost, Spelman College, “As one of the nation's top producers of black women applicants to law school today, Spelman College is excited to enter into this agreement with Syracuse University College of Law. With this new partnership, Spelman students interested in careers in law will be able to complete their undergraduate studies and legal studies in six years instead of seven, saving a full year of college expenses, and enabling them to bring their unique talents to the field of law one year sooner.” 

“I am excited by the opportunities that this program will provide for our students who are interested in pursuing careers in law. This program is a testament to Dean Boise’s and Syracuse’s commitment to the recruitment of black students, and I hope it serves as a model for law schools across the nation,” says Matthew B. Platt, Ph.D., Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Morehouse College.

“As someone who counts both Morehouse College and Syracuse University College of Law as alma maters, I have great pride in knowing future law students will be able to experience the same institutions that helped me realize my career goals under this accelerated path,” says Michael Johnson L’93, a partner at Taylor English Duma LLP. “I am honored to host the signing ceremony at Taylor English Duma, and I look forward to following the progress of the 3+3 students—future Orange law alumni—as they embark on their legal careers.”

In addition to the 3+3 agreements, the College of Law recently expanded its Externship Program to Atlanta to provide field placements in the city and its surroundings, allowing local students to network and to gain experience close to home. The College of Law also has a liaison in Atlanta who will be on campus to meet with students and answer any questions about the program.  

Clark, Morehouse, and Spellman colleges join Alfred University, LeMoyne College, Nazareth College, St. John Fisher College, and Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management as 3+3 partners of the College of Law.

Former Dean Craig Christensen Passes

Dean Craig Christensen

Obituary

Craig W. Christensen
Ventura, CA
March 11, 1939 - April 3, 2019

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Craig W. Christensen at his home in Ventura, CA, after a valiant battle with Alzheimer’s and COPD.  

Craig was born in Lehi, UT, to Helen Sena (Thompson) and Wane Eric Christensen on March 11, 1939. He was Professor of Law Emeritus and held a B.S. (Hons.), Political Science, 1961, Brigham Young University, and a J.D. (magna cum laude), 1964, Northwestern University. He was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Illinois State Bar. A distinguished legal educator, he was a Past President of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), had more than 30 years of teaching experience, and was Dean at two law schools.

“I'm an old-fashioned law teacher and believe in the Socratic Method in which the approach is principally to engage people," he said. "As a result, I spend more time asking questions than answering them."

Following law school, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Northwestern University Law Review, Craig practiced law with the Chicago firm of Kirkland & Ellis and later served as Executive Assistant to the Chairman and President of the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company. He began his career in legal education as Executive Director of the National Institute for Education in Law and Poverty and Lecturer at Northwestern University. 

In rapid ascent, Craig served as Legal Advisor to the President and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Michigan, and then accepted deanships at the law schools of Cleveland State and Syracuse universities. He then served as President and Executive Director of LSAC for nearly five years, followed by a year as Visiting Professor of Law at Hastings College of Law. He was appointed to the Southwestern faculty in 1992. He became Professor of Law Emeritus in 2006.

Long active in the area of gay rights, Craig served on the National Advisory Committee of the Law and Sexuality Journal. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the LAMBDA Legal Defense and Education Fund and the New York State Human Rights Political Action Committee; Past Chair of the State of New York's Task Force on Gay Issues; and Founding Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Gay and Lesbian Issues. He also served on the California Democratic Party State Central Committee and was a delegate to the 2000 Democratic National Convention. 

Craig was preceded in death by parents, Helen and Wayne Christensen; brother, Corey Christensen; and daughter, Cara Christensen. He is survived by his husband and partner of 37 years, Anthony J. Mullen; son, Michael (Denise), Cuyahoga Falls, OH; daughter, Laura Ghirardini (Peter) Swampscott, MA; son, David, Adelaide, Australia; brothers, Russel (Kathi), Las Vegas, NV, and Chris (Anne), Bozeman, MT; sister, Karma Wagstaff, Salt Lake City, UT; plus 11 grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and his pugs, Elektra and Bruce. 

Special blessings and thanks go to Liz Moten, his caregiver for many years. With her help Craig was able to enjoy his home by the sea till the end.

A memorial will be held on May 9, 2019, at 10 a.m. for family and friends at the Edward J. Ryan and Son Funeral Home, 3180 Bellevue Ave., Syracuse, NY. Family will receive friends from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. before the service. Burial will be in Valley Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please donate in Craig’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association of CNY, 441 W Kirkpatrick St., Syracuse, NY 13204.

Innovation Law Center Students Help Allied Microbiota Commercialize a Clean Tech Breakthrough

The Innovation Law Center team that worked on a proprietary research report for Allied Microbiota.

One of the many impressive tasks that Innovation Law Center (ILC) research associates perform when writing proprietary reports for clients of the New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYSSTLC) is getting up to speed very quickly with novel and often complex technologies. Becoming competent with groundbreaking biotechnology was certainly necessary for the report presented to Allied Microbiota, a New York City-based company that is developing a microbial product to remediate difficult-to-treat organic pollutants.

It helped to have a couple of College of Law students with biology backgrounds working on the report. 

"My undergraduate degree is in biology," explains Senior Research Associate Gabrielle Sherwood, a third-year law student. "This project was a nice refresher on what I learned in my biology classes, although describing this complex technology was a challenge." However, adds Sherwood, another member of her team—2L Christina Brule—holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry. "Her knowledge came in very useful for the technology description and the intellectual property section."

Sherwood and Brule, along with 3L Trevor McDaniel and 2L Kristian Stefanides, formally presented their report to Allied Microbiota in March 2019. Allied Microbiota CEO Frana James and CSO Dr. Ray Sambrotto describe the students' work—which analyzes her company's intellectual property claims, the potential market for its technology, and the regulatory landscape for bioremediation—as "really insightful". "They offered us a new perspective about regulatory hurdles, prospects, and certifications we probably need to get," adds James. 

James says she discovered the Innovation Law Center through her connection to FuzeHub, a New York State manufacturing extension program supported by Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology & Innovation (NYSTAR). Through FuzeHub, James met NYSSTLC Associate Director Molly Zimmermann and ILC Adjunct Professor Dom Danna ’71. Eventually, Allied Microbiota joined 14 other start-up technology companies that ILC students have been assisting, on behalf of NYSSTLC, during the spring 2019 semester. 

A Columbia University-trained engineer with an MBA from the India Institute of Management, James founded Allied Microbiota three years ago with Sambrotto, a Research Professor at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. James and Sambrotto became interested in the commercial potential of biological soil remediation products that were being developed in the lab.

Despite some commercialization setbacks—as James says, "laboratory technologies can be difficult to scale up, and we certainly ran into our share of challenges"—yet fueled by funding and assistance from the National Science Foundation, PowerBridgeNY, SUNY-Stony Brook, NYSERDA, and others, Allied Microbiota is now in the large-scale testing phase for its PacBac product. 

PacBac uses naturally occurring, non-pathogenic thermophilic bacteria to naturally destroy soil contaminants that are difficult and expensive to clean up using current remediation technology. These recalcitrant contaminants include a rogues' gallery of dangerous chemicals—dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, benzene, toluene, and xylene—that are often deposited in soil by industrial processes, creating dangerously polluted brownfield sites. 

"These are pretty toxic soil contaminants that resist decomposition," observes Sambrotto. "Current treatment methods include dredging the soil and disposing of it in a landfill or thermal destruction. These methods are expensive, use a lot of energy, and are not sustainable. PacBac is both an effective and cost-effective biological solution that uses a bacterium and enzymes. It degrades contaminants very fast." 

Supervised by Professor Danna, the student research team made observations and recommendations in three areas that will help Allied Microbiota bring PacBac to market. "We created a patent landscape and researched the chances of Allied Microbiota obtaining a patent. We also completed a freedom-to-operate analysis, to see what patents are out there and to determine if Allied Microbiota may infringe any of them," explains Sherwood. "The regulatory section was a challenge because it's a heavily regulated sector. We identified permits required, which are often concerned not with the remediation itself but with moving contaminated soils."

According to Sherwood, the market analysis section of the report proved very fruitful. "We identified competitors and potential customers. The market for bioremediation is potentially huge, with companies under order to clean up sites and consumers demanding more environmentally friendly methods of removing contamination."

"The remediation market is huge," agrees James. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, there are more than 450,000 brownfield sites in the US and more than 1,300 "superfund" priority list sites known to be releasing extremely hazardous substances. James says the remediation market potentially could be worth $65B by 2025.

Allied Microbiota is currently testing PacBac in collaboration with Clean Earth, a specialty waste management company. James says that small-scale field tests have been positive, and now the companies are working together to expand the testing with the goal of eventually decontaminating commercial grade sites. "We know the product works well, and we know how to implement it. Now we need to scale it up and offer it at a commercially viable price." 

Commentary: Are Nonresident Aliens Exempt From the Loss of Personal Exemptions?

Robert Nassau

By Robert Nassau
Director, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic

(Re-published from Procedurally Taxing | Jan. 29, 2019) Until recently, I thought I had left International Tax in my side-view mirror (“rear-view mirror” is a cliché, and I was taught to avoid those).  Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and I was a Big Law Tax Associate, three of my “specialties” were Eurodollar transactions, foreign tax credit maximization, and FIRPTA (don’t bother to look it up), none of which was relevant when I moved to Little Law, but all of which validated my bona fides when Syracuse University College of Law was looking for an adjunct to teach International Tax.  Years later, SUCOL had sadly dropped International Tax, but happily added a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, which I, as the devil they knew, got to direct.  And, as they say, the rest is history.  (So much for avoiding clichés.) 

Last year, our Clinic formed a relationship with the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York, through which LASMNY referred to us a number of foreign “temporary agricultural workers.” These gentlemen, mostly from Jamaica, validly reside in the United States and work in our agriculture industry.  They receive H-2A Visas and have Social Security Numbers.  Some come every year; some come for two or three months; and some come for as long as six or seven months.  (For those readers whose notion of New York is Broadway and Wall Street, please note that the Empire State is #2 nationally in apple production, #2 in cabbage (think sauerkraut), #3 in pumpkins and grapes (we have over 400 wineries), and #4 in sweet corn, squash and snap beans.  We are also #1 in the world, both quantitatively and qualitatively, in maple syrup.  Take that Justin Trudeau!)   

For tax purposes, these non-US citizens are classified either as resident aliens, in which case their income tax treatment is nearly identical to that of a citizen, or nonresident aliens, in which case their income tax treatment is governed by special rules in Subchapter N of the Code (Section 861 et seq.).  The definitions of resident alien and nonresident alien are set forth in Section 7701(b), which, for the holder of an H-2A Visa, looks to a formula based on days of physical presence within the United States.  By way of simple example, someone in the US for 90 days a year would always be a nonresident alien (“NRA”), whereas someone in the US for 150 days a year would quickly become a resident alien.   

Among the special rules governing the tax treatment of NRAs are Sections 873(a) and (b), which limit an NRA’s allowable deductions.  For tax years prior to 2018, an NRA was not allowed a standard deduction, but was allowed a personal exemption, pursuant to Section 873(b)(3), which provided – and still provides:

The deduction for personal exemptions allowed by section 151, except that only one exemption shall be allowed under section 151 unless the taxpayer is a resident of a contiguous country or is a national of the United States. 

Now comes TCJA 2018, which, as we all know, was not the poster child for precise statutory draftsmanship, but did, for tax years 2018 through 2025, eliminate personal and dependent exemptions, replacing them with a larger standard deduction and expanded child tax credit.  Or at least it did this for US citizens and resident aliens.  But what about NRAs? ...

Read the whole article.

2Ls William Wolfe & Omar Mosqueda Featured in Bar Reporter

OCBA Bar Report March 2019

Diversity & Inclusion Interns Rock

(Re-published from OCBA Bar Reporter | March 2019) Syracuse was at first unfamiliar to [second-year College of Law] law students William Wolfe and Omar Mosqueda.

The OCBA Diversity and Inclusion Committee together with the William Herbert Johnson Bar Association earlier this year recommended both 2Ls for the CNY Legal Diversity Internship Program.

The bar associations co-sponsor the program that seeks to increase diversity in the legal profession in Syracuse by attracting second- and third-year law students to work in paid positions with area law firms and legal employers for the spring semester.

These 10-week internships offer Wolfe and Mosqueda each 10 hours of work a week and a stipend of $1,800. Plus free parking.

In 2018, the program’s inaugural year, the Hancock Estabrook law firm welcomed [College of Law alumnus] Julian Harrison L'18, the first Diversity Intern. This year, Mosqueda, accepted the internship at the 130-year-old law firm.

“Hancock Estabrook is proud to have been the first law firm to participate in this program, and we look forward to its continued growth. We believe it is an important tool in promoting greater diversity in the legal profession and local bar association,” said Robert Whitaker, chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group.

“This program offers a great opportunity for students to gain private law firm experience and build their resume, while also allowing firms like ours to more deeply self-reflect based on feedback from law students as to how we may improve diversity.”

Joining Hancock this year is Bond, Schoeneck & King, another long-established Syracuse firm, where William Wolfe heads two afternoons a week, plus Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“They do a good job making me feel welcome,” Wolfe said. He didn’t expect it, but when he arrived at BSK Wolfe was introduced to nearly every attorney whose door was open, and he was shown his own “nice, neat office.” “I was shocked,” he said.

Aware of his interest in litigation, the bulk of his assignments are from that department and consist of drafting memoranda, client letters, and researching applicable statutes, and case law.

“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to participate in the internship program this semester. While Will is getting real life work experience, we also benefit. Over the years Bond has hosted diverse interns throughout our different offices and we will gladly continue to do so, not only because we benefit from new thoughts and perspectives during the semester of the internship, but also because some of our post-graduation hires have resulted from these types of programs,” Bond management stated.

Wolfe hails from Chicago’s west side, a notoriously rough area of a city known for its storied criminal past and present ...

Read the whole article (Bar Reporter pp6-8)

Aparicio & Carbajal Reach Quarterfinals of the Herrara Moot Court Competition

3Ls Esther Aparicio and Kelsea Carbajal with coach Jose Perez L'07

Third-year students Esther Aparicio and Kelsea Carbajal reached the quarterfinals of the annual Uvaldo Herrera National Moot Court Competition, which took place during the 2019 Hispanic National Bar Association’s Corporate Counsel Conference, March 20-23, 2019, at the Albuquerque (NM) Convention Center. 

Now in its 24th year, the Herrara Moot Court Competition attracted 32 teams to argue the case of Jed Akers and National Cable Channel v. Lorna K. Fuentes, US President. 

"The competition is always a constitutional law problem that is presented as though to the Supreme Court," explains Carbajal. "This year, the problem involved the revocation of a White House correspondent’s press pass and its implications regarding the 1st and 5th amendments to the Constitution. The competition consists of a brief and an oral argument." 

This year the team was coached by Professor Suzette Meléndez and alumnus Jose Perez L'07, with Perez traveling to Albuquerque with the team. 

Michael Schwartz to Keynote University of Bialystok Disability Conference

Michael Schwartz

Professor Michael A. Schwartz, Director of the Disability Rights Clinic, will be one of three keynote speakers at a disability law conference organized by the Faculty of Law, University of Bialystok, Poland on April 11-12, 2019. The Polish university is an international partner of the College of Law. 

At the conference—titled "Axiological and Legal Aspects of Disability"—Schwartz will discuss "The Ontology of Being Deaf in an Aural World." Addressing some of Schwartz's themes, the conference's tracks will examine the philosophical, legal, ethical, theoretical, health, educational, and practical aspects of disability. Other keynote speakers are Professor Gracienne Lauwers, Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, Belgium, ("Generating Awareness and Capacity of Schools to Implement Adequately the Rights of Pupils with Disabilities") and Professor Anna Drabarz, Faculty of Law, University of Bialystok ("Measuring the Effectiveness of Disability Rights: Some Challenges of Collecting, Analyzing, and Reporting Disability-Related Data"). 

Schwartz, Professor Cora True-Frost, and alumnus Eric Namungalu LL.M.'18, are featured in a special disability studies issue (volume 23 issue 4) of the peer-reviewed Białostockie Studia Prawnicze (Bialystok Legal Studies). Schwartz is also a member of the disability conference's Scientific Committee, along with Professor Lauwers and Professor Maciej Perkowski, University of Bialystok. 

Cora True-Frost Pens OpEd on the Rwandan Genocide Anniversary

Cora True-Frost

What Have We Learned From the Rwandan Genocide?

By Cora True-Frost

(Re-published from U.S. News & World Report) This first week of April marks the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, a three-month long massacre during which Hutu militants killed an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus after the Hutu president was killed. The international community responded to the atrocities late, and then sought accountability after the genocide by establishing the International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda (ICTR) to try those most responsible.

It is important that we remember the horror of the genocide and reflect on the mistakes made, in order to work toward a more peaceful future. One of the main takeaways from the ICTR's atrocity trials is that words matter.

The world of the Rwandan genocide may to most people seem far removed from the United States. It does not to me. I am a law professor who grew up an Army brat, often abroad. I graduated high school in Nuremberg in the former West Germany – the site of the famous Nuremberg Tribunal held in the wake of the Holocaust. I know that words matter. Always mindful of the horrors of the Holocaust and the ways that democratic majorities can scapegoat and dehumanize minorities, my professional focus has been in constitutional and international law.

The law, and particularly international criminal trials, should teach us about past mistakes. The legacy of Rwanda's genocide has some compelling messages for American people about the power of our words, and the danger of hate speech. Few of us are immune to the polarizing media coverage. Our leaders and media pundits use generalizations about cultures and fear-mongering to drive home support for policy in a very profound and impactful way. Creating hate as opposed to understanding will lead to repeat mistakes.

This week in particular, we should heed the legacy of Rwanda's genocide, reminding our nation of what can happen when we don't identify and speak about the impact that fear has on our united psyche.

We Americans know words matter. We famously have strong free-speech protections. We are outliers in the international community for refusing to penalize hate speech. However, even those of us with the strongest commitments to free speech understand that speech can be dangerous and even constitute incitement ...

Read the full article.

Roy Gutterman Speaks to Spectrum About Ending the Release of Mugshots

Roy Gutterman

State Police to End Release of Booking Photos, Per Budget Agreement

(Spectrum News | April 4, 2019) Booking photos will no longer be released automatically by the New York State Police as part of an agreement in the newly-approved state budget.

The State Police will release booking photos, commonly known as mugshots, only if there is a “specific law enforcement purpose” the agency said in a statement on Wednesday. Exceptions include searching for fugitives or missing people, they said ...

... "I see a slippery slope. That if the government is going to wake up one day and say 'Well, maybe we don't want this information to go out' maybe other types of important public information will be withheld too," said Roy Gutterman, Syracuse University media professor ...

Read the full article.

Syracuse Civics Initiative & NYEx Students Participate in the Northern District’s Live Courtroom Reenactment

3L Michael Varrige, Kim Wolf Price L’03, 3L Jenifer Taylor, Judge Dancks L’91, 3L Alexander Robinson, 2L Katherine Brisson

The US District Court of the Northern District of New York recently hosted a live courtroom reenactment of the US Supreme Court case Russo v. Central School District No. 1 that included timely discussions of patriotism, loyalty, and the First Amendment. This re-enactment was part of the Second Circuit’s Justice for All Program. 

Syracuse Civics Initiative (SCI)Co-Directors Professor Kim Wolf Price L’03 and Professor Lauryn Gouldin—along with civics fellows 3L Matt Wallace and 2L Katherine Brisson—promoted this event to students at the College of Law and many school districts throughout Central New York. Since this is an annual event hosted by the Second Circuit’s Justice for All Program, SCI expects to continue its involvement with live courtroom reenactments in the future.

NYEx students Brisson and 3Ls Alexander Robinson, Jenifer Taylor, and Michael Varrige—along with Wolf Price—all had speaking rolls in the live reenactment. The reenactment brought together members of the Central New York legal community in an effort to inspire area high school students to engage in civics learning and discourse. US District Court Judge Mae D’Agostino L’80 directs the reenactments for the Northern District of NY with the assistance of US Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of New York the Hon. Therésè Wiley Dancks L’91 and Chief Judge of the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York.

The Syracuse Civics Initiative is a Syracuse University CUSE (Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence) Grant project. Through the Initiative, Gouldin and Wolf Price are working with courts, bar associations, school districts, and other organizations to develop and promote civics education programming for Central New York. 

Pictured are (L to R): 3L Michael Varrige, Kim Wolf Price L’03, 3L Jenifer Taylor, Judge Dancks L’91, 3L Alexander Robinson, and 2L Katherine Brisson.

Syrian Accountability Project Releases Report on 2018 Gaza Demonstrations

An Endless Tragedy: A Report on the Incidents Regarding Demonstrations in Gaza

Syracuse University College of Law students working for the Syrian Accountability Project have released an exploratory account of the violence that has occurred along the border of the Gaza Strip and Israel starting in March 2018. "An Endless Tragedy: A Report on the Incidents Regarding Demonstrations in Gaza" examines acts of violence perpetrated by both sides of a conflict that has become known by Palestinians as "The Great March of Return". The report—supervised by Distinguished Scholar in Residence David M. Crane L'80—has been sent to the United Nations, which continues its own analysis of the conflict through the UN Human Rights Council Independent International Commission of Inquiry, of which Crane is a former member. 

Authored by third-year law students Margaret Mabie and Brandon Golfman, the report covers actions that took place through December 2018. On March 30, 2018, violence erupted along the Gaza/Israel border fence as Palestinians began protesting Israel's blockade of Gaza and demanding the "right of return" to land lost in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. 

According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the ongoing protests—which have continued into 2019—have claimed the lives of 189 Palestinians (with roughly 19,000 injured) and one Israeli soldier. Israel's use of deadly force—against what it claims are militants aligned with Hamas—was condemned in June 2018 by UN General Assembly Resolution ES‑10/L.23. This resolution calls on Israel to protect Palestinian civilian protesters, to allow humanitarian assistance into Gaza, and to work toward mediation with the Palestinian government. 

"We looked at potential crimes committed by all sides in the conflict," says Mabie, "and we wanted to inspect the facts because no amount of politicking can erase reality. We want the report to be seen as neutral and measured. We weren't doing the bidding of any side in the conflict."

The report's structure, explains Mabie, follows that used by SAP in its reports on the Yazidi Genocide, the gas attack on the Syrian province of Idlib, the Siege of Aleppo, and sexual violence in the ongoing Syrian Civil War. 

The Gaza report begins with a historic overview of the conflict between Israel and Palestine and an examination of "Nabka" (the 1948 Palestinian exodus) and "Nabka Day," which the 2018 demonstrations were intended to commemorate. After an overview of the 2018 protests, the report then provides a highly detailed, day-by-day analysis of the violence in its Conflict Mapping Narrative, which uses open sources and on-the-ground reporting to pinpoint legally relevant acts perpetrated by all sides of the conflict. The narrative is accompanied by a Crime Base Matrix that isolates acts of violence that may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, with specific articles of international humanitarian law cited for each act. 

At the heart of the report is the question about what differentiates ordinary civic protest from armed, asymmetric conflict. On one side of this question is the fact that the March 30, 2018, demonstration began with "an estimated 30,000 Palestinians gathered at six points along the border to protest Israel’s policy toward Palestine ... [many] bussed by Hamas". The report's Crime Base matrix for that day notes that "Palestinian protesters hurled rocks at Israeli soldiers and rolled burning tires toward the border fence ... [which] served as the predicate act for Israeli use of force against the protesters." 

On the other hand, the June 2018 UN resolution expresses "deep alarm at the loss of civilian lives and the high number of casualties among Palestinian civilians, particularly in the Gaza Strip, including casualties among children, caused by the Israeli forces". In February 2018, the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry released its own analysis of the Gaza protests, titled "No Justification for Israel to Shoot Protesters with Live Ammunition". 

"An Endless Tragedy" recommends that individuals on both sides of the conflict responsible for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity should be prosecuted by a domestic court of competent jurisdiction or "failing that, the United Nations Security Council should exercise its authority to submit the matter to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in accordance with Article 13(b) of the Rome Statute." 

Spring 2019 International Scholar Series Begins with Talks on Arbitration, the Mafia, and Egyptian Protest

Gian Marco Bovenzi discusses the “Anatomy of Mafia-type Organizations”

On April 3, 2019, the Syracuse University College of Law Office of International Programs began its spring International Scholar Lecture Series with three short lectures, on arbitration in Madagascar, Mafia-type Organizations in Italy, and recent protests in Egypt.

In “The Road Less Traveled: Exploring Arbitration in Madagascar,” Fulbright scholar Michelle Rafenomanjato discussed how arbitration has emerged in Madagascar and addressed key challenges and opportunities faced by the Malagasy Arbitration Center over the years. 

“Anatomy of Mafia-type Organizations” explored past and current Italian struggles against organized crime. Gian Marco Bovenzi explained the organizations' dynamics, structure, crimes, and victims, as well as how this phenomenon affects Italian society and economy and the legal framework used to tackle it.

The recipient of an Open Society Foundations Civil Society Leadership Award, Hassan Mosad Ahmed addressed the connection between graffiti and protest in Egypt over the past eight years in “Graffiti and Protest in Egypt to Promote the Rule of Law”.  

2Ls Aubre Dean and Julia Wingfield Win the 47th Annual Mackenzie Hughes LLP Edmund H. Lewis Appellate Advocacy Competition

2Ls Aubre Dean and Julia Wingfield

2Ls Aubre Dean and Julia Wingfield prevailed over 3Ls Elle Nainstein and Diane Williamson in the 47th Annual Mackenzie Hughes LLP Edmund H. Lewis Appellate Advocacy Competition. Wingfield was selected as Best Advocate and 2Ls Rick Miller and Carly Rolph won the Best Brief award.

Final round judges were the Hon. Rosemary S. Pooler, US Circuit Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; the Hon. William Q. Hayes L’83, US District Judge for the Southern District of California; the Hon. David N. Hurd L’63, US District Judge for the Northern District of New York; the Hon. Brenda K. Sannes, US District Judge for the Northern District of New York; and the Hon. Diane L. Fitzpatrick, Judge on the New York State Court of Claims.

James E. Baker Delivers Remarks on Counterterrorism at Oklahoma City University School of Law

James E. Baker

INSCT Director the Hon. James E. Baker was a participant at the 2019 Stephen Sloan Seminar at Oklahoma City University School of Law on March 28, 2019. His remarks—delivered in conversation with Homer S. Pointer, Senior Fellow of the Murrah Center for Homeland Security Law and Policy—were titled “The Evolving Legal Framework of Counterterrorism.”

This year’s Sloan Seminar—“Assessing the Future of Domestic and International Terrorism”—was billed as a “a conference honoring the ground-breaking contributions of Dr. Stephen Sloan to the field of counterterrorism, [bringing] together experts in counterterrorism analysis, policy, and national security law.” It was co-sponsored by the Murrah Center and the Center for Intelligence and National Security at the University of Oklahoma.

Among other pressing topics, Baker addressed the recent attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, the role of corporate social responsibility in regulating social media content, the First Amendment implications of regulating hate speech, and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. “Law,” he noted, “is one thing that unites all Americans. By ‘law’ I mean the principles of justice, due process, and security, not specific provisions of individual laws.” He added, “This law is America’s national security strength and virtue.”

In addition to Judge Baker’s remarks, other speakers explored “The US Perspective on the Future Direction of Terrorism,” “The European Perspective on the Future Direction of Terrorism,” and “Reflections on 40 Years of Counterterrorism Efforts, the Operational Dynamics of Terrorism, and What Lies Ahead.”

Joining Judge Baker at the seminar were Michael J. Boettcher, Senior Fellow at the University of Oklahoma Center for Intelligence and National Security; David N. Edger, Managing Director and Founder of 3CI Consulting LLC and former CIA officer in the clandestine service; Robert A. Kandra, Senior Advisor with the Chertoff Group, Advisor to the XK Group, and former CIA officer in the clandestine service; Homer S. Pointer, Senior Fellow of the Murrah Center for Homeland Security Law and Policy, Oklahoma City University School of Law; Magnus Ranstorp, Research Director at the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish National Defense University; James L. Regens, Regents Professor and Founding Director of the University of Oklahoma Center for Intelligence and National Security; and Stephen Sloan, Noble Foundation Presidential Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Oklahoma. 

3L Matthew Wallace Profiled by American Bar Association

3L Matthew Wallace, with 3L Gabrielle Bull

Larger than life: Matthew Wallace represents students nationwide

(ABA for Law Students | March 28, 2019) Can you imagine being the voice of 140,000 law students nationwide? Matthew Wallace can since that’s his current role as the ABA Law Student Division law student at-large to the ABA Board of Governors. His overarching goals in representing law students throughout the country are transparency, advocacy, and solidarity.

These concepts have guided his representation throughout his term this year and will likely remain prevalent when the next student representative fills his shoes.

Why transparency is critical

“I was concerned by the recent closures of law schools across the country, as well as the mounting student debt crisis,” said the 3L student at Syracuse University College of Law. “While I want all students to achieve their dream of being a lawyer, I also believe in setting practical expectations so that every student knows what lies ahead.”

To achieve this concept, Wallace has continued the work of previous LSD leadership in working to allow undocumented students to take bar exams. He has also worked to renew the ABA’s commitment to its advocacy for public service loan forgiveness.

A resolution Wallace has been very active advocating for is the upcoming change to ABA Standard 316. The modification would require that all law schools have a 75 percent bar pass rate within two years of graduation for each class or risk losing accreditation.

“While this resolution aligns with my goal of promoting transparency by ensuring that law schools adequately prepare students who can pass the bar, it also presented unprecedented challenges in that it would jeopardize the accreditation of schools with a high minority attendance,” Wallace said. “It’s for this reason that the LSD voted to oppose this resolution and actively campaigned against it at the 2019 ABA Midyear Meeting.”

Wallace is frank in his thoughts for the future of the ABA. “As our demographics and the world around us morph daily, we stand at a threshold never encountered before,” he said. “When people look back at my time on the LSD Council, I want them to see someone who successfully navigated the relentless changes and left the LSD in a position to succeed moving forward.”

A history of advocacy

In his role as the law student at-large on the Board of Governors, Wallace speaks on behalf of all 140,000 law students before the board and the association. “With a 44-member board, it’s easy to see how the law student voice could be drowned out in a sea of strong personalities,” Wallace said. “To counter this, I consistently remind myself that law students represent the largest majority of ABA members and the future of the profession.

“We deserve a right to help craft the future of the ABA, and that’s a message I’m proud to carry forward before the board,” he said ...

Read the full article.

3L Donya Feizbakhsh was Recognized as the 5th Best Advocate at the Brooklyn Regional of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition

Jennifer Taylor and  Donya Feizbakhsh

3L Donya Feizbakhsh was Recognized as the 5th Best Advocate at the Brooklyn Regional of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition out of approximately 100 competitors. Donya is pictured on the right with her teammate 3L Jennifer Taylor.

Corri Zoli Presents Terrorism, Security Papers at ISA 2019

Corri Zoli

Corri Zoli, Director of Research at the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, presented two papers and was a panel discussant at the 2019 International Studies Association Annual Convention in Toronto, Canada, on March 27 and 28, 2019. 

At the Wednesday session of "Revisioning International Studies: Innovation and Progress," Zoli presented on the "Challenges for Contemporary Special Operations Forces" panel. Her paper—"Terrorist Critical Infrastructures, Organizational Capacity and Security Risk"—joined others on topics such as computer-mediated threat assessment, weak states, ethic conflict, and terrorists’ use of emerging technologies.

On Thursday, Zoli joined the "Shaping the National Security State" panel and read "Leviathan Revisited: Assessing National Security Institutions for Abuse of Power and Overreach." Other papers on this panel addressed civil‐military relations, the defense industry, and Cold War Military Balance. 

Later in the same day, Zoli was the Discussant on the panel "New Directions in Qualitative International Studies" chaired by Eric Stollenwerk of Freie Universität Berlin. This wide-ranging discussion looked at modern qualitative international studies through the lenses of multi-method research, philosophy, autoethnography, and public diplomacy. 

1L Joseph Tantillo Wins the 9th Annual Hancock Estabrook LLP 1L Oral Advocacy Competition

1L Joseph Tantillo and James P. Youngs
1L Joseph Tantillo prevailed over 1L Payne Horning in the 9th Annual Hancock Estabrook LLP 1L Oral Advocacy Competition final round.  Sixty-seven 1L students participated.

The final round was judged by the Hon. Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz, Chief Judge of the Syracuse Division of the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York; the Hon. Brenda K. Sannes, US District Judge for the Northern District of New York; the Hon. Thérèse Wiley Dancks L’91, US Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of New York; the Hon. Andrew T. Baxter, US Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of New York; and Dean Craig M. Boise. 

James P. Youngs, Chair of the Litigation Department, Hancock Estabrook, LLP presented the award.

Shubha Ghosh Weighs In on Charter Spectrum Controversy

Shubha Ghosh

Will Charter Spectrum Stay in New York?

(City & State NY | March 27, 2019) New York is tangled in a months-long, multi-front war with Charter—the merged entity of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable—and the end to the conflict seems to keep getting further away. 

The state’s Public Service Commission revoked its approval of that 2016 merger in July, saying that Charter Spectrum failed to adequately extend broadband service throughout the state, which had been a condition of the merger. The PSC gave Charter 60 days to come up with an exit plan that would have another provider take over its services ...

... In this week’s “Ask the Experts” feature, we reached out to Aija Leiponen, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Applied Economics and Management; Richard Berkley, executive director of the Public Utility Law Project of New York; Shubha Ghosh, a professor at Syracuse University’s College of Law; Lawrence White, a professor of economics at New York University; telecommunications consultant Doug Dawson and labor reporter Bob Hennelly ...

Why did the Public Service Commission make this move to kick out Charter in July?

Shubha Ghosh: The PSC needed to take action to show it took access to cable services seriously. Charter, some perceived, was not moving fast enough under the terms of the approved merger to provide access to cable and Internet in underserved rural communities.

How will this conflict end?

Shubha Ghosh: It is hard to predict. An easy prediction is that the PSC and Charter will draw up timetables for Charter to follow, with protracted back and forth over the years. PSC is taking a hard line, however, and will not back down. So it may well be that the merger is unwound in New York state with the market, as it is, being open for options. Perhaps the market will provide options consistent with the PSC vision, perhaps not.

How should this conflict end?

Shubha Ghosh: One option is for the state to not unwind the merger but open up an auction for providers to serve rural areas. The deeper problem is the lack of competition in the cable industry which results from the technology and cost structure and lack of more coordinated federal and state oversight to develop communications infrastructure and more competition in the national marketplace ...

Read all the answers in the full article

Cora True-Frost to Moderate International Disability Law Panel at ASIL 2019

ASIL Logo

Professor Cora True-Frost will moderate the panel "International Disability Law and the Experience of Marginality" at the 113th American Society of International Law Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, on March 29, 2019.

The panel will address how disability issues increasingly shape the content of international law, including intellectual property law, humanitarian law, criminal law, and immigration and refugee law. But panelists will ask, Are disability issues fully integrated into the agendas of international law and institutions? Does disability as a "rights marker" generate normative, theoretical, and empirical avenues to interrogate issues of intersectionality? And are international legal institutions effective instruments for addressing disability, which directly affects at least fifteen percent of people globally? 

This panel will engage cutting edge questions related to how international law and institutions address disability rights and whether they can do more. Panelists will speak to how international human rights law addresses or evades the interaction of multiple categories of difference or experiences of marginality; critically evaluate international-level efforts to integrate disability concerns; interrogate the ability of international human rights law to address issues of identity or marker intersectionality; and propose measures to strengthen international law to tackle disability concerns and rights intersectionality more broadly.

True-Frost will be joined on the panel by Jane Buchanan of Human Rights Watch, disability rights activist Judith Heumann, Siobhán Mullally of National University of Ireland Galway, and Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo of the World Bank Group. 

College of Law Team of 3L Sophie Bober and 2L Aubre Dean Place Third at the Evans A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition

College of Law Evans Team

3L Sophie Bober and 2L Aubre Dean placed third out of 24 teams at the annual Evans A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition. The competition focuses on constitutional law issues.

During the competition, Bober argued whether college students have a property interest in higher education and Dean argued whether Batson challenges were appropriate for LGBTQ+ individuals.

College of Law to host 5th Annual Entertainment & Sports Law Symposium and CLE

The Entertainment & Sports Law Society will present the 5th Annual Entertainment & Sports Law Symposium at the College of Law on Friday, April 12, 2019, 9:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., in the Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtoom.

The symposium will feature two panels—one on music licensing and one on NCAA amateurism—and will culminate with the final round of the College of Law’s first annual Sports Negotiation Competition.

Visit the Symposium’s webpage for more details and to register.

Panel 1:

Music Licensing: The Impact of the Music Modernization Act

Imraan Farukhi, Licensed Attorney and Assistant Professor of Television, Radio & Film, Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications

Matthew Van Ryn, Senior Associate, Melvin & Melvin, PLLC

Candice Stephenson, Counsel of Rights & Clearances, Spotify

Ryan Raichilson, Director, Business & Legal Affairs, Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Panel 2:

NCAA Amateurism: How Current Rulings in the Court System Will Effect the College Game

Kevin Belbey L’16, Talent Representative, The Montag Group

Frank Ryan L’94, Partner, DLA Piper

James Zesutek L’75, Partner, Dinsmore and Shohl

Seth Greenberg, ESPN College Basketball Broadcaster


Each panel offers 1.5 CLE credits in the areas of professional practice for a total of 3 credits.

Final Round of Syracuse University College of Law Sports Negotiation Competition

Final Round Judges

Kevin Belbey L’16, Talen Representative, The Montag Group

James Zesutek L’75, Partner, Dinsmore and Shohl

John Wolohan, Licensed Attorney, Professor of Sports Law, Syracuse University Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics

DCEx Students Meet with JDi Student Brig. Gen. Andrew Gebara at EEOB

DCEx students at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Distinguished Guest Lecturer Brig. Gen. Andrew Gebara recently hosted spring DCEx participants in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB). EEOB lies within the White House Compound and houses a majority of the presidential staff. One of the current DCEx participants is placed in EEOB this semester and gave a tour of the building to his co-participants.

Gebara currently serves as the Deputy Senior Director for Defense Policy and Strategy for the National Security Council (NSC). The NSC is housed within the Executive Office of the President and is the principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters that include his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials. Gebara has served at this post since his detail from the US Department of Defense began in March 2018.  

In his role, Gebara is responsible for the formulation, coordination, and implementation of national policies concerning the nuclear enterprise, including force structure, employment guidance; weapons development; command, control, and communications; resource allocation; and strategic capability. 

Gebara gave students an overview of the NSC’s legal authorities and the process in which decisions are made. He also discussed how the NSC has transformed from administration to administration and provided an idea of what his daily operations look like.

Gebara is unique among DCEx speakers as he is currently a 1L in Syracuse University College of Law’s JDinteractive online law degree program. Students kindly and lightheartedly offered their 1L outlines to him as the seminar concluded. 

Students also heard from Col. Adam Ake, one of General Gebara’s colleagues. Ake discussed his remarkable career path from Army officer, to Assistant US Attorney, to presidential NSC staff member. 

Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse Law Review to Host Symposium on Online Learning and the Future of Legal Education, April 26, 2019

On April 26, 2019, Syracuse Law Review will bring together legal education experts from across the country for a ground-breaking symposium exploring the impact of online education on law schools and the legal profession. The one-day symposium—“Online Learning and the Future of Legal Education”—will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by online learning.

The symposium comes at an important moment in legal education. Around the nation, law schools and law professors are pioneering new forms of online teaching. Many law schools now make select courses available online or have launched online master’s degree programs. A handful of schools—including Syracuse University College of Law—are even bringing their JD programs online. This new reality raises important questions and theoretical challenges for legal education and the practice of law more broadly.

The symposium will result in the first Law Review issue devoted entirely to exploring these questions. Authors presenting papers addressing the impact of online education on the legal profession include:

  • Jack Graves, Professor of Law and Director of Digital Legal Education, Touro Law Center 
  • Andrew P. Morriss, Dean, School of Innovation and Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Texas A&M University 
  • Eric S. Janus, President and Dean, William Mitchell College of Law
  • Nina Kohn, David M. Levy Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Online Education, Syracuse University College of Law
  • James McGrath, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Support, Bar Passage, and Compliance, Texas A&M School of Law
  • Michael Hunter Schwartz, Dean and Professor of Law, University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law
  • Victoria Sutton, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and Associate Dean for Digital Learning and Graduate Education, Texas Tech University School of Law
  • Noelle Sweany, Clinical Associate Professor, Educational Psychology, Texas A & M University Department of Education and Human Development
  • Kellye Testy, President and CEO, Law School Admission Council and Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law 
  • David Thomson, Professor of Practice and John C. Dwan Professor for Online Learning, University of Denver Strum School of Law

In addition, the symposium will feature a lunchtime conversation on the regulatory and accreditation landscape for legal education with Barry Currier, Managing Director, Accreditation and Legal Education, American Bar Association. The conversation will be moderated by Syracuse University College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise.

To learn more about the Symposium and to read the full schedule and list of papers, visit law.syr.edu/online-learning-symposium-2019. To RSVP for the program, please email Stephanie Rinko at skrinko@law.syr.edu.

Corri Zoli Interviewed by CNY Central About the New Zealand Mosque Shootings

Corri Zoli

(CNY Central | March 15, 2019)

"We bring in a new perspective on an awful topic a name and a woman we turn to often in times like this. Corri Zoli is an assistant professor at the Maxwell school at Syracuse University ... why the recordings? why record what you've done?"

"I think this is a kind of classic terrorist tactic that we've been seeing since you know 2010 at the least where ISIS and al-Qaeda. I remember in the Toulouse attacks in France, for instance, where they recorded the attacks against a Jewish school with a GoPro video" ...


Distinguished Guest Lecturer Cody Carbone L’16 Discusses Public Policy Advocacy with DCEx Students

Cody Carbone L'16

Distinguished guest lecturer Cody Carbone L’16 recently hosted spring DCEx participants at Ernst & Young’s (“EY”) Washington, D.C. office.  Carbone currently serves as a Senior Associate for EY’s Office of Public Policy where he represents the firm and its partners on Capitol Hill and at federal agencies.  

Carbone started working at EY just days after completing the New York State Bar Exam in 2016.   Carbone described his role as an educator to Hill and agency staff members where he advocates for his clients based on the common interests each has and the facts EY has prepared.  Carbone mentioned the impact artificial intelligence will have on his industry’s clients in the coming years and how EY is adjusting infrastructure policy to best serve the clients under his leadership.

Carbone concluded the seminar with bar exam study tips: cut out all social media to keep the distractions at a minimum and to develop a routine that keeps you on track up until the day of the exam. 

BBI (Dis)courses Series Continues March 27, 2019, with Premiere of You Were an Amazement on the Day You Were Born

Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby

(Dis)courses: Interdisciplinary Disability Dialogues—a new multimedia series presented by the Burton Blatt Institute’s (BBI) Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach, in collaboration with the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA)—continues on March 27, 2019, at 7 p.m. in Watson Theater with the Syracuse premiere of the film You Were an Amazement on the Day You Were Born. 

The experimental film—by Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, both faculty members in the Transmedia Department of the College of Visual and Performing Arts—tells the story of a woman with mental and emotional disabilities. The screening will be followed by a discussion and reception. 

Vey Duke and Battersby have collaborated since 1994 in print, installation, new media, curation and criticism, and art video. Their work has been shown at the Whitney Museum, The New York Film Festival, the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, and elsewhere. In 2011, they were Featured Filmmakers at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and in 2016 they were Spotlight Artists at the Images Festival in Toronto. 

(Dis)courses: Interdisciplinary Disability Dialogue showcases disability literature, media, and the arts, focusing on contemporary critical reflection, teaching, and research. “Disability is at the heart of human experience," says University Professor Stephen Kuusisto, Director of BBI’s Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach initiative. "We’re seeking a broad understanding of embodiments and imagination across academic disciplines. Syracuse University, with its history of disability research, scholarship, and activism, is the perfect place for these vital conversations.”

The final event in the spring 2019 series takes place on April 15, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. Professor Jillian Weise of Clemson University will give a poetry reading in Room 001 of the Life Sciences Building, Syracuse University, followed by a discussion and book signing. 

Weise is a poet, performance artist, and disability rights activist. The Book of Goodbyes won the 2013 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her speculative novel, The Colony, features the characters of Charles Darwin, Peter Singer, and James Watson. Her first book, The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, was re-issued in 2017 with a new preface. Weise has written about being a cyborg for Granta and The New York Times, and her next book, Cyborg Detective, is forthcoming. Tips for Writers by Tipsy Tullivan, Weise's web series, "parrots and deranges literary ableism." Playing the character of Tipsy across social media, this performance has been cited by Inside Higher Ed, Electric Literature, and BOMB. 

(Dis)courses series events are free and open to the public. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) will be provided during the readings and discussions. The March 27 film screening will be captioned and presented with descriptive audio. ASL interpretation will be provided during the reception following the film screening. For other accommodations requests, or if you have any questions, please contact BBI at least one week before a scheduled event.  

Parking is complimentary, on a first-come, first-served basis. On March 7 and 27, the Marion Lot will be available, with the Q5 lot designated for accessible parking. On April 15, the Q4 lot will be available, with the Q2 lot designated for accessible parking. Parking locations can be found on the campus parking map. Questions about parking can be directed to Dee Bailey at debailey@syr.edu or 315.443.5319. 

About the BBI Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach

The Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach creates and advances interdisciplinary, intersectional educational programs, research, and pedagogy focused on disability justice, identities, cultures, and studies. The office engages with a wide array of Syracuse University constituents to collaborate with local, regional, national, and global partners and to pursue development and advancement opportunities that celebrate and enhance the rich and nuanced experiences of disabled people. Disabled students, faculty, staff, and alumni—including the significant experience and contributions of military veterans—are the heart of the Office's mission. 

Executive Education: Dean Craig M. Boise Quoted by InsideHigherEd

Craig M. Boise

A Law School Ventures Into Executive Ed

(InsideHigherEd | March 18, 2019) Business schools dominate online executive education, for good reason. But leaders at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles believe they’ve identified a gap in the market: teaching basic legal skills to business professionals.

The law school, part of private nonprofit Loyola Marymount University, is today launching an executive education program called LLX.

Michael Waterstone, Fritz B. Burns Dean of Loyola Law, said the motivation behind the program is to open up legal education to a “wider range of executives and professionals.”

Law schools have been slow to embrace online education due to a combination of tradition, accreditation limits and state regulation. But after years of falling enrollments and some institutions even closing their doors, leaders like Waterstone are looking to innovate ...

... Craig M. Boise, dean and professor at the College of Law at Syracuse University, said many law schools have been thinking in recent years about “how they can take their core product -- understanding the law” to a wider market.

Several schools have established law degree programs that are online hybrids, said Boise. But few have explored outside the realm of continuing legal education. “There is a market out there for providing legal education to people who don’t want to practice,” said Boise. “I applaud Loyola for thinking outside the box.”

Loyola is a well-known law school, particularly in Los Angeles. But whether its online certificates will have national appeal remains to be seen. “Very few schools, with the possible exceptions of Harvard and Yale, have brands that are going to carry a lot of weight,” said Boise. This is not a criticism of Loyola, he said. Syracuse has in the past decided against offering online certificates for this reason. “Certificates have got to have some currency,” he said ...

Read the full article.

William C. Snyder Discusses Huawei as a Security Threat With The Verge

William C. Snyder

Is Huawei a Security Threat? Seven Experts Weigh In

(The Verge | March 17, 2019 )The United States government is cracking down hard on Huawei. Lawmakers and intelligence officials have claimed the telecommunications giant could be exploited by the Chinese government for espionage, presenting a potentially grave national security risk, especially as the US builds out its next-generation 5G network. To meet that threat, officials say, they’ve blocked government use of the company’s equipment, while the Justice Department has also accused Huawei’s chief financial officer of violating sanctions against Iran, and the company itself of stealing trade secrets.

Huawei’s response has been simple: it’s not a security threat. Most importantly, the company’s leaders have said the US has not produced evidence that it works inappropriately with the Chinese government or that it would in the future. Moreover, they say, there are ways to mitigate risk — ones that have worked successfully in other countries. Huawei’s chairman has even gone so far as to call the US government hypocritical, criticizing China while the National Security Agency spies around the globe. The company has also denied any criminal wrongdoing ...

WILLIAM SNYDER, PROFESSOR OF LAW, SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

Huawei is a threat to US national security, but that misses the bigger point. Vulnerabilities in the supply chain of network hardware and software is, has been, and will continue to be a threat to the national security of the United States and many other countries, including China. It remains very difficult to audit that a chip with millions of embedded transistors or software with millions of lines of code does only what consumers know and consent to it doing. Even if Huawei is not committing the sort of crimes for which a US grand jury indicted it, any company that supplies such a large percentage of the market for components of telecommunications networks and has such ties to the People’s Liberation Army is a threat. Huawei’s need to operate under Chinese laws about cooperation with Chinese military and intelligence agencies is of concern.

Huawei’s status as a threat is hardly unique. Not only are other Chinese companies such as ZTE and China Mobile embedded in the supply chain, but so are those of other countries. Huawei itself buys components from major US firms, including Qualcomm. Those companies are subject to US laws concerning cooperation with US intelligence agencies. Given the essentially free market economy of the United States, rarely, if ever, will a US company be as closely tied to the government as Chinese companies are. Still, if you are a security policymaker of a nation like India — with several times the population of the US — wouldn’t you worry about how many major militaries have back doors into your networks?

As long as conflict occurs at the nation-state level while critical cyber networks are designed and manufactured internationally, we all must be very careful. This is a systemic problem. Currently, Huawei’s size and ties to the PLA make it the focus of concern. In the future, another supply chain threat will take center stage.

Read the full article.

US News & World Report Rankings 2019

College of Law

The 2020 edition of the U.S. News and World Report law school rankings was released on March 12. The College of Law is ranked #91—in a tie with 10 other law schools—dropping from last year’s ranking of #88.

That drop occurred despite the fact that our 2018 incoming class’s 25th percentile GPA increased from 3.04 to 3.13; the 25th percentile LSAT score improved from 150 to 152; our New York State bar pass percentage was the highest ever, at 91.6%; and our employment rate for bar passage-required and JD-advantage jobs exceeded 90%. 

We are committed to continuing to strengthen areas reflective of our strategic vision, such as selectivity in admitting new students, bar passage rate, and our graduates’ ability to obtain gainful employment. 

We also will continue to address the College’s reputation with peers and within the legal industry by building, promoting, and publicizing innovative programs—such as JDinteractive and our expansive externship program—and by differentiating ourselves through our three strategic research institutes and our trial and advocacy program.

Our mission is to provide an outstanding, forward-leaning 21st-century legal education so that our students can cultivate rewarding careers and realize their life goals. Our improvements in key indicators over the past year—in enrollment, bar passage, and employment—show that we continue to deliver on our strategy of educational excellence. 

Alumni support is critical to our success in these matters, and I appreciate all you do for your alma mater.

Craig M. Boise
Dean & Professor of Law

Syracuse University College of Law to Host ALPS 10th Annual Meeting, May 16-18, 2019

ALPS 2019

From May 16-18, 2019, the Association for Law, Property, and Society (ALPS) will hold its 10th Annual Meeting at the Syracuse University College of Law. The ALPS Annual Meeting—hosted by the College's Center on Property, Citizenship, and Social Entrepreneurism (PCSE)—convenes scholars from all over the world to discuss property law, policy, planning, social scientific field studies, modeling, and theory. 

"We are delighted to have Dean Craig M. Boise support our hosting of the 10th Anniversary Annual Meeting of ALPS at the College of Law," says Professor Robin Paul Malloy, E.I. White Chair and Distinguished Professor of Law and PCSE Director. "ALPS is the most diverse and influential association of property law scholars in academia today. Syracuse was the original force behind the founding of ALPS, and this relationship makes hosting the 10th anniversary meeting extra special for us." 

ALPS is a membership organization for scholars performing interdisciplinary legal scholarship on all aspects of property law and policy, including real, personal, intellectual, intangible, cultural, personal, and other forms of property. Its scholars work in the realms of common law, civil law, indigenous law, and mixed legal traditions. 

Topics to be discussed at the Annual Meeting include disability law, the built environment, and accessibility; indigenous people; energy law; water law; climate change; land use planning, land regulation, and Zoning; and historic preservation. Attendees will have the option, while in Central New York, to visit to the Oneida Nation, an indigenous nation of Native American people whose sacred and sovereign homelands are located in Central New York. 

For more information on ALPS 2019, visit alps2019.syr.edu

Corri Zoli Discusses "Terrorist Critical Infrastructures" at the American Society for Public Administration Annual Conference

Corri Zoli

Corri Zoli, Director of Research at the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, joined interdisciplinary scholars of critical infrastructure and disaster management policy on the panel "Crisis and Emergency Management Decisionmaking" at the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) Annual Conference in Washington, DC, on March 10, 2019. 

Zoli's paper addressed "Terrorist Critical Infrastructures: A Public Service and Disaster Management Approach to Global Insecurity". Defining "terrorist critical infrastructures" as physical and virtual systems and assets designed and appropriated by terrorist actors to achieve their aims, Zoli's paper critiques current counterterrorism approaches and argues for better approaches based in "appropriate public affairs domains: public service, disaster management, and framed by empirics, good governance, and the rule of law." 

Billed as public administration's premier event of the year, ASPA convenes 1,300 practitioners, scholars, and students to join together theory with practice and to share current trends and information. This year the closing address was given by College of Law alumnus Vice President Joseph R. Biden L'68. 

Civility Expert Keith Bybee Speaks to NPR

Keith Bybee

Examining Civility In A Time Of Deepening Political Divisions

(NPR Morning Edition | March 11, 2019) These days, the word civility can seem almost quaint. Do Americans even agree that it's something to strive for? We explore what civility — and incivility — mean in polarizing times.

 

Law Library Displays Photography of Professor Paula Johnson

Professor of Law Paula Johnson

If you haven’t yet explored the art display on the first floor of Dineen Hall, be sure to stop by soon! The double-sided gallery facing the Levy Atrium and the  Law Library Kossar Reading Room showcases a selection of photographs by Syracuse University College of Law Professor Paula C. Johnson. The images are from two of Johnson’s exhibits—Cultural Crossings: Images of Southern, Central, and West Africa, and Photo Essay: Conversations with Black Women Gardeners and Farmers

The display was created by Law Librarians Mark Burns and Kimberly Miller, on behalf of the Law Library, as part of the College’s celebration of Black History Month, and will run through the end of March. 

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Johnson grew up in Washington, DC and Prince George’s County, MD. She is a scholar, activist, photographer, and gardener. She teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, race and law, and directs the Cold Case Justice Initiative (CCJI), which investigates unsolved racially-motivated killings from the Civil Rights Era and recent times. She is the co-editor of Johnson, et al., Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States (UC Berkeley. Press, 2010); and is the author of Inner Lives: Voices of African American Women in Prison I (NYU Press, 2003). She writes and speaks frequently on civil and human rights, incarceration in communities of color, access to higher education, and LGBTQ rights. Her photographs of the peoples and landscapes of the African Continent and the African Diaspora have been widely exhibited in galleries, universities, and community spaces.

ABOUT THE EXHIBITS

CULTURAL CROSSINGS: IMAGES OF SOUTHERN, CENTRAL AND WESTERN AFRICA depicts the diversity of African peoples and places. These images reveal the beauty, complexity, and endurance of African people in relation to history, modernity, rural and urban spaces, community, culture, self-awareness, and self-definition. The photographs span several regions of Africa, including Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.

CONVERSATIONS WITH BLACK WOMEN GARDENERS AND FARMERS are part of a photo essay in which Black women across the U.S. discuss their relationships to the land through gardening and farming in ways that are rarely depicted. They discuss their interests, knowledge, and cultural and creative expression in connection with the land. In light of the massive degree of Black land loss in the United States, the women’s narratives and portrayals carry a further sense of urgency with regard to the cultural, racial, gender, aesthetic, and legal dimensions. 

College of Law Team Places 5th in National Phi Alpha Delta Mock Trial Competition

Phi Alpha Delta team

The team of 2Ls Joseph Mallek, Molly McDermid, Richard Miller, and Kevin Risch, representing the College’s Carmody Chapter, placed fifth at the National Phi Alpha Delta Mock Trial Competition. The team was coached by Anthony Johnston L'15 and Jennifer Pratt L'17. Twenty-eight teams from Phi Alpha Delta chapters around the nation competed in the annual event.

College of Law Wins Regional American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition

AAJ Trial Team

A team of 3Ls Gabrielle Bull and Matthew Wallace and 2Ls Courtney Thompson and Alex Trunfio won its regional round of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Student Trial Advocacy Competition. Joe Cote L’87, Annie Millar L’18, and Joanne van Dyke L’87 served as coaches, and 2L John Dowling was the alternate.

Over the course of the competition, the College of Law team won every ballot except one in their four rounds. This is the third consecutive year that the College of Law has advanced to the national round.

In April, they will face the winners of 15 other regional competitions in the National Finals Competition in Philadelphia.

William C. Snyder Discusses Police Brawl Case with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

William C. Snyder

Legal experts analyze lack of charges in bar brawl between Pittsburgh police, Pagans

(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | March 4, 2019) Last week the top two prosecutors in the Pittsburgh region said they wouldn’t charge Pittsburgh police officers seen on video brawling with members of the Pagans at Kopy’s Bar on the South Side, in one case punching a man 19 times while he was being held by his hair.

Why no charges?

The U.S attorney’s office said Wednesday that the FBI found no basis for federal crimes. The next day the Allegheny County district attorney’s office said it wouldn’t charge the officers with any state crimes, either.

Neither office will comment further.

Undercover Pittsburgh police detectives brawled with members of the Pagans motorcycle club inside Kopy's bar on the South Side on Oct. 11, 2018.

But the consensus among legal experts, lawyers and former prosecutors is that while the first decision is understandable, the second is harder to justify.

“The part that is most likely to be unlawful is the repeated punching of one civilian on the bar who cannot resist. It is hard to see how that is not criminal,” said William Snyder, a Syracuse University law professor and former assistant to the U.S. attorney general who spent 13 years as a federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh.

That opinion was shared by others who saw the recording of Frank DeLuca being punched again and again while appearing to be defenseless ... 

Read the full article.

DCEx Students Learn About Military Law from Distinguished Guest Lecturer Colonel Karen Mayberry

Colonel Mayberry and students

Distinguished guest lecturer Col. Karen Mayberry recently hosted spring DCEx participants at Joint Base Andrews. Mayberry currently serves as the Chief Appellate Military Judge for the United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals. She was appointed to the court in 2015 and has served as a Judge Advocate General in the Air Force since 1990.

Mayberry hosted the seminar in her courtroom and provided students with an overview of the court’s current judges and staff and jurisdictional authority, and she explained how the latest changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice have altered day-to-day operations. The Chief Judge discussed how consensus is reached on the court and how she manages a docket that permits the court to engage in de novo review for factual sufficiency which is unlike many other appellate courts. She noted that many of the right answers to the legal questions and predicaments she has faced in her career did not come from the classroom, but from her experiences.  

Before her appointment to the court, Mayberry served as the Chief Defense Counsel in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In this role, she oversaw all defense attorneys representing detainees. “While a difficult role, the Colonel highlighted that her flexibility and adaptability served her well as she adjusted to new roles and locations around the world. These are traits she recommended each student possess in order to have fulfilling and successful legal careers,” said Professor Terry L. Turnipseed, Faculty Director of Externship Programs.

Nina Kohn Cited in Pacific Standard's Presidential Age Cap Article

Nina A. Kohn

Should There Be an Age Cap on the President?

(Pacific Standard | Feb. 25, 2019) With the beloved Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders gearing up for another bid for the presidency in 2020, the Democratic primary field is one of the oldest in recent memory. Sanders, at 77, is five years older than President Donald Trump—the oldest person ever elected to the office except for Ronald Reagan in his second term. Two of Sanders' most viable Democratic competitors, Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, are 69 and 76, respectively.

The age of many of those seeking office lends itself to a question: Is a candidate ever too old to run?

Article II of the Constitution doesn't set a maximum age for holding the office of president, instead setting a minimum age of 35 and stringent citizenship requirements as the preconditions for executive power. But the question of setting a maximum age is becoming an increasingly pressing one as the average age of presidential nominees has steadily increased over the last century. While average life expectancy has also increased among American men and women, "age is a potent risk factor for any number of diseases," as FiveThirtyEight noted during the 2016 contest, including "the incidence of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease all increase in advancing years" ...

... "Chronological age is seen as an expedient and acceptable proxy for a variety of underlying human characteristics that policymakers wish to target for public policy interventions, and age-based criteria continue to be entrenched in U.S. public policy," writes Kohn in an analysis of age-based discrimination. "For example, one must be twenty-one to consume alcohol legally and sixty-five to become eligible for general Medicare. ... Chronological age criteria employed in statutes can also dictate the ability of an individual to invoke statutory protection from employment discrimination" ...

Read the full article.

Foreign Policy Discusses Southern Border Troop Deployment with William C. Banks

William C. Banks

Pentagon Chief Weighs Broader Approach to Border Security

(Foreign Policy | Feb. 25, 2019) The US military is sending an additional 1,000 troops to the border with Mexico, bringing the number of US military personnel there—both active-duty and National Guard—to about 6,000, a senior defense official told reporters at the Pentagon on Feb. 22.

That’s a significant chunk of military resources going toward a mission that can only legally be performed by domestic law enforcement such as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers: border security. Under the Posse Comitatus Act, the US military is prohibited from taking any direct role in law enforcement—including search, seizure, apprehension, or arrest.

So what, then, are those 6,000 troops actually doing there? So far, the US military has functioned primarily in a supporting role—installing concertina wire, transporting law enforcement officers by air, providing medical services to migrants, hardening points of entry, and helping with surveillance. In addition to stringing another 140 miles of concertina wire, the troops will be supporting the CBP officers between the points of entry, as well as installing ground-based detection systems, the senior defense official said.

The goal is “freeing up agents and putting them in a law enforcement role instead of administrative duties,” according to the official.

Despite their restricted role, it now seems like the troops on the border are there for the long term. As the Trump administration trumpets the so-called national security crisis of border security—and seeks to divert billions of dollars in military funding to building his long-promised border wall—the Pentagon is reassessing the role of the US military in securing the border ...

... But William Banks, an emeritus professor at Syracuse University’s College of Law and Maxwell School, believes there is no “clear, positive legal authority” for active-duty US troops to be at the US-Mexico border. The surveillance and detection role could pose a particular problem, he added.

The laws allowing US military forces to conduct surveillance in support of CBP officers dates back to the “war on drugs” in the 1980s and were specifically designed for counter-drug activities, Banks explained.

That means that any surveillance the US military is conducting that is not directly related to drug trafficking—for example, monitoring the border for illegal crossings—could be challenged in a court of law ...

Read the full article.

William C. Banks Scholarship Included in Groundbreaking Disaster Risk Management Handbook

Disaster Risk Management

Professor Emeritus William C. Banks is among the authors included in a groundbreaking handbook for the emerging fields of disaster risk management and disaster risk reduction (DRR) law. The Cambridge Handbook of Disaster Risk Reduction and International Law (Cambridge, 2019) is edited by Katja L. H. Samuel, Marie Aronsson-Storrier, and Kirsten Nakjavani Bookmiller. Banks' chapter—"Improving disaster risk mitigation: Towards a 'multi-hazard' approach to terrorism"—is co-authored with Samuel and Daphné Richemond-Barak, of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel. 

The new handbook introduces concepts of DRR, especially DRR law; highlights the critical need for broader cross-sectoral engagement on DRR issues; looks at the multi-sectoral approaches of the Sendai Framework, especially between law, science, and technology; contributes to the development of DRR related law, policy, and practice; and informs law and policy makers of the growing importance of DRR law through comparative analysis of multiple regimes.

Write the co-editors in their introduction, "The number, intensity, and impact of diverse forms of 'natural' and 'human-made' disasters are increasing. In response, the international community has shifted its primary focus away from disaster response to prevention and improved preparedness. 

"The current globally agreed upon roadmap is the ambitious Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, central to which is the better understanding of disaster risk management and mitigation. Sendai also urges innovative implementation, especially multi-sectoral and multi-hazard coherence. 

"Yet the law sector itself remains relatively under-developed, including a paucity of supporting "DRR law" scholarship and minimal cross-sectoral engagement. Commonly, this is attributable to limited understanding by other sectors about law's dynamic potential as a tool of disaster risk mitigation, despite the availability of many risk-related norms across a broad spectrum of legal regimes."

Knowledge@Wharton: David Driesen on the "Green New Deal"

David Driesen

(Knowledge@Wharton Podcast | Feb 19, 2018) Whatever the merits of the “Green New Deal” that two U.S. Democrats unveiled earlier this month, it surely has raised the temperature of the debate on climate change, along with that of jobs, income inequality, health care, housing and more. In a broad sweep at progressive initiatives, the resolution introduced by New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey calls most prominently for the U.S. to move off of fossil fuels and become carbon-neutral in a decade.

While supporters have hailed the move as long overdue, critics have dubbed it as sloganeering or at best, unrealistic in its goals. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will bring the bill up for vote, but Democrats are dismissing that move as a political ploy rather than a serious debate on the merits of the plan ...

... But many climate-change policies elsewhere in the world are ambitious and have multiple goals, according to David M. Driesen, professor at Syracuse University’s College of Law, who focuses on environmental law, law and economics, and constitutional law. “I see its primary potential as being a … populist political proposal that might not pass now, but if it’s done right and messaged right, might have the capacity to help change electoral results,” he said “And that’s what’s needed. We’re going nowhere unless there are bold proposals put forward on messaging the shifts where the polity is at on these things.”

Orts, Spence, and Driesen shared their thoughts on what the Green New Deal could achieve on the Knowledge@Wharton show on Sirius XM ...

Read the article and listen to the podcast.

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

The College of Law will hold its bi-annual VALOR Day event on Saturday, March 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Dineen Hall, 950 Irving Avenue, Syracuse. Local attorneys and professionals will offer free legal and financial services for veterans, active duty service members, reserve service members, and their immediate families. Conceived by College of Law students, VALOR (Veterans’ Advocacy, Law and Outreach) Day is one of the many ways students give back to the community and those who serve our country.

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

VALOR Day is coordinated by VISION (Veterans Issues, Support Initiative and Outreach Network), a student-run College of Law organization. Since its inception in 2012, VALOR Day has assisted more than 300 veterans and their families by providing access directly to services they need the most.

Appointments made in advance are suggested, but not required. Free parking is available in the Stadium lot and the Irving Garage during VALOR Day. For more information or to arrange an appointment, contact VISION@law.syr.edu or call (315) 760-4617.

College of Law to Welcome Reshma Saujani as 2019 Commencement Speaker

Reshma Saujani

Syracuse University College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise has announced that Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, will be the speaker at the Commencement of the Class of 2019 on May 10, 2019, at 11 a.m. in the Carrier Dome, Syracuse University. 

"Reshma Saujani's path from law graduate to public servant to education innovator is an inspiration for our graduates and students, for it shows what can be achieved when imagination, drive, and a passion for giving back are combined with a rigorous legal education," says Dean Boise. "Through Girls Who Code, Reshma is transforming tens of thousands of lives a year. She is changing how technology is taught in our schools, helping to ensure broad, inclusive, and equitable access to education and opportunity. I look forward to hearing Reshma’s unique perspective on the law, public service, and education and her words of encouragement to our graduates as they begin their own careers."

Saujani is the author of three books: 2019's Brave, Not Perfect; The New York Times bestseller Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World; and Women Who Don’t Wait in Line. Her TED talk—“Teach Girls Bravery Not Perfection”—has had more than four million views and sparked a worldwide conversation about how girls are raised, taught, and given the confidence to succeed.

Beginning her career as an attorney and activist, Saujani surged onto the political scene in 2010 as the first Indian American woman to run for US Congress. A former Deputy Public Advocate for New York City, Saujani also ran a campaign for Public Advocate in 2013 on a platform of creating opportunity for all. 

"I am looking forward to visiting Syracuse in May and sharing with the Class of 2019 my thoughts on the intersections of law, service, education, and leadership," says Saujani. "My background in the law has served me at every turn of my professional life, and I believe it's hugely important to counsel young lawyers at the launch of their careers, especially when there is so much at stake in our nation and our democracy.”

During her congressional campaign, Saujani visited local schools and observed firsthand the gender gap in computing classes. This experience led her to start the nonprofit Girls Who Code in 2012. Girls Who Code leads a movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. At the end of 2018, the program had reached more than 90,000 girls across the US, Canada, and the UK.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law School, Saujani has earned broad recognition for her work on behalf of young women. She has been included among Fortune World’s Greatest Leaders, Forbes’ Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People, and Fortune’s and Crain’s 40 Under 40. Wall Street Journal Magazine named her Innovator of the Year, and she is a winner of the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education.

Saujani serves on the Board of Overseers for the International Rescue Committee, which provides aid to refugees and persons impacted by humanitarian crises, and She Should Run, which seeks to increase the number of women in public service and leadership. In addition, she serves as an ex-officio Trustee of the Museum of Modern Art. 

Roy Gutterman Speaks to WSJ About Clarence Thomas' Press Freedom Opinion

Roy Gutterman

Clarence Thomas Urges Easing Standards for Suing News Organizations

(Wall Street Journal | Feb. 18, 2019) Justice Clarence Thomas issued a solo opinion Tuesday urging his colleagues on the Supreme Court to consider making it easier for public figures to sue news organizations.

Justice Thomas made his argument in an opinion that, technically, agreed with the court in refusing to consider reinstating a defamation suit against Bill Cosby, the comedian convicted last year of sex crimes. A woman who publicly accused Mr. Cosby of rape, Kathrine McKee, sued Mr. Cosby after his attorney allegedly sent and leaked a confidential letter to a newspaper disputing her credibility.

Lower courts dismissed the suit, holding that Ms. McKee, having injected herself into a public debate, had to meet a higher burden to demonstrate her injury. The Supreme Court laid out that standard in 1964, when it unanimously threw out a $500,000 award a Montgomery, Ala., commissioner had won in state court against the New York Times ...

... The precedent Justice Thomas challenged “gives the press wide flexibility to comment on and criticize people in power. Since 1964, Times v. Sullivan has become part of our fabric, not only in First Amendment law, but American democratic principles,” said Roy Gutterman, director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University.

President Trump frequently has complained that constitutional standards make it too hard to sue news organizations, but some scholars have noted that the high bar for First Amendment lawsuits may help protect Mr. Trump from liability for some of his own provocative remarks ...

Read the full article.

College of Law Mistakenly Included in USA Today List of Poor Bar Passage Performers

Syracuse University College of Law

A Jan. 24, 2019, USA Today article entitled "Law schools where too many graduates fail the bar exam may face tougher sanctions," mistakenly included Syracuse University College of Law in a list of 18 schools that would not satisfy the ABA’s proposed new 75% bar passage standard if the standard were applied to their 2015 bar passage rates.  In fact, not only did Syracuse’s bar passage rate of 82.6% for 2015 graduates clearly exceed the proposed standard, its bar pass rates for the classes of 2016 and 2017 are even stronger, surpassing 90%.

The American Bar Association (ABA), which accredits law schools, promulgates a set of standards with which law schools must comply in order to maintain their accreditation. Recently, the ABA proposed a new “ultimate bar passage” standard that requires each class in all accredited law schools achieve a 75% bar passage rate within two years of graduating.

In its article commenting on the new standard, Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, included a table showing that Syracuse’s 2015 graduates had an ultimate bar passage rate of 71.2%. The class’s actual rate, which has been confirmed with the ABA, was 82.6%. 

College of Law Dominates at the National Trial Competition Regional Competition

3L Dennis Scanlon and 2L Adam Leydig

The team of 3L Dennis Scanlon and 2L Adam Leydig were co-winners of the Region 2 National Trial Competition in Buffalo, NY, and will represent the College at the national competition in San Antonio, TX, in March. Leydig also won Best Cross Examination and the Anthony DeMarco Jr. Region 2 Overall Best Advocate Award. Scanlon was the runner-up for the Overall Best Advocate Award.

Joanne Van Dyke L’87 is the team’s coach. A number of professors and alumni supported the team throughout their preparations, including Joseph S. Cote III L’87, Michelle Whitton Cowan L’07, Gary Kelder, Jeffrey G. Leibo L’03, Stephanie M. Martin-Thom L’18, Jimmie C. McCurdy L’09, Lee Michaels L’67, Annie M. Millar L’18, and Justin St. Louis L’17.

Burton Blatt Institute's Multimedia (Dis)courses Series Launches March 7, 2019

Burton Blatt Institute

On March 7, 2019, the Burton Blatt Institute’s (BBI) Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach, in collaboration with the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), will present the first event in a new series that showcases disability literature, media, and the arts, focusing on contemporary critical reflection, teaching, and research. The series is called (Dis)courses: Interdisciplinary Disability Dialogues.

The March 7 event will feature Professor Taylor Brorby, of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in a prose reading, discussion, and book signing at 7:45 p.m. in Watson Theater, Watson Hall, Syracuse University. Brorby is an award-winning essayist and a poet whose work has been featured in North American Review, Orion, and The Huffington Post. He is the author of Crude: Poems, Coming Alive: Action and Civil Disobedience, and co-editor of Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America

“Disability is at the heart of human experience," says University Professor Stephen Kuusisto, Director of BBI’s Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach initiative. "We’re seeking a broad understanding of embodiments and imagination across academic disciplines. Syracuse University, with its history of disability research, scholarship, and activism, is the perfect place for these vital conversations.”

The series continues on March 27, 2019, at 7 p.m. in Watson Theater, with the Syracuse premiere of You Were an Amazement on the Day You Were Born, an experimental film that tells the story of a woman with mental and emotional disabilities. The screening will be followed by a discussion and reception. 

Filmmakers Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby are both faculty members in the Transmedia Department of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. They have collaborated since 1994 in print, installation, new media, curation and criticism, and art video. Their work has been shown at the Whitney Museum, The New York Film Festival, the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, and elsewhere. In 2011, they were Featured Filmmakers at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and in 2016 they were Spotlight Artists at the Images Festival in Toronto. 

On April 15, 2019, at 7:30 p.m., Professor Jillian Weise of Clemson University will give a poetry reading in Room 001 of the Life Sciences Building, Syracuse University, followed by a discussion and book signing. 

Weise is a poet, performance artist, and disability rights activist. The Book of Goodbyes won the 2013 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Her speculative novel, The Colony, features the characters of Charles Darwin, Peter Singer, and James Watson. Her first book, The Amputee’s Guide to Sex, was re-issued in 2017 with a new preface. Weise has written about being a cyborg for Granta and The New York Times, and her next book, Cyborg Detective, is forthcoming. Tips for Writers by Tipsy Tullivan, Weise's web series, "parrots and deranges literary ableism." Playing the character of Tipsy across social media, this performance has been cited by Inside Higher Ed, Electric Literature, and BOMB

Events in the Spring 2019 (Dis)courses series are free and open to the public. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) will be provided during the readings and discussions. The March 27 film screening will be captioned and presented with descriptive audio. ASL interpretation will be provided during the reception following the film screening. For other accommodations requests, or if you have any questions, please contact BBI at least one week before a scheduled event.  

Parking is complimentary, on a first-come, first-served basis. On March 7 and 27, the Marion Lot will be available, with the Q5 lot designated for accessible parking. On April 15, the Q4 lot will be available, with the Q2 lot designated for accessible parking. Parking locations can be found on the campus parking map. Questions about parking can be directed to Dee Bailey at debailey@syr.edu or 315.443.5319. 

As Trump Turns to a National Emergency, the Media Turns to William C. Banks

William C. Banks

President Donald J. Trump has made it known that he would declare a "national emergency"  at the US/Mexico border in order to secure funds to build a southern border wall, an effort to augment funds that Congress has appropriated for border security in a bill that the president is expected to sign. 

The national emergency declaration would be unusual in this case, as the southern border crisis lacks the immediacy of a catastrophe such as Sept. 11, 2001. The declaration also may be unconstitutional, and it probably will be challenged in the courts. National security expert Professor Emeritus William C. Banks has been in demand by top media outlets to explain the what, why, when, and how of declaring a national emergency. 

Trump wants the military to build the border wall. It might not be legal.

(Vox | Feb. 14, 2019) After months of back-and-forth with Congress, President Donald Trump is expected to soon declare a national emergency in order for the US military to construct the southern border wall he’s promised for years.

But there’s a pretty big problem with that, according to experts — namely, that he has a very weak legal case, and there’s strong political opposition to making that happen.

Set aside the fact that Trump’s own administration doesn’t assess that there is a massive national security problem at the US-Mexico border. Trump believes there is, and he plans to take extraordinary measures to keep asylum seekers out of the country.

William Banks, a national security law expert at Syracuse University, helped me understand what to expect in the days ahead.

It turns out it’s going to be quite the tricky fight for Trump should he decide to actually declare a national emergency solely to get the border wall built.

The key law in question is the appropriately named “Construction authority in the event of a declaration of war or national emergency.” Here’s what it says:

In the event of a declaration of war or the declaration by the President of a national emergency in accordance with the National Emergencies Act that requires use of the armed forces, the Secretary of Defense, without regard to any other provision of law, may undertake military construction projects, and may authorize the Secretaries of the military departments to undertake military construction projects, not otherwise authorized by law that are necessary to support such use of the armed forces. Such projects may be undertaken only within the total amount of funds that have been appropriated for military construction, including funds appropriated for family housing, that have not been obligated ...

Read the full article.


SEE ALSO ...

Syracuse University College of Law Adds Three Faculty Members

Syracuse University College of Law has hired three faculty members with expertise in constitutional and administrative law, health and disability law, and business and transactional law. The new faculty members will begin their service with the College of Law in August 2019.

Professor Jennifer Breen will teach administrative law, constitutional law, and property. In the 2018-2019 academic year, Breen served as a College of Law Faculty Fellow. Before joining the College, Breen worked as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Rosemary S. Pooler on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and practiced immigration law. 

Breen’s interdisciplinary research explores democratic politics in practice, including the politics of work and immigration. Her writing has appeared in the Journal of Policy History and the American Criminal Law Review. As a student at Cornell Law School, she received the Ida Cornell Kerr and William Ogden Kerr Memorial Prize for academic excellence and the Marc E. and Lori A. Kasowitz Prize for Excellence in Legal Writing and Oral Advocacy. She also was a recipient of a Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies. 

Breen earned her J.D. (summa cum laude) from Cornell Law in 2015; her Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 and 2007, respectively; and her B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (with highest honors and highest distinction).

Professor Doron Dorfman will teach health law, employment discrimination, torts, and disability law, and he will assist the research and mission of the Burton Blatt Institute. Before his graduate work at Stanford, Dorfman was a litigator at top law firms in Israel and was actively involved in NGOs, such as Kav La’Oved (the “Worker’s Hotline” for disadvantaged workers and asylum seekers). He has been a Lecturer in the Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Stanford University, and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society, University of California Berkeley Law

Dorfman's scholarship focuses on disability and health law. Using multi-method quantitative and qualitative methods, his explores how stigma informs the legal treatment of disempowered communities. His articles are published in Law & Social Inquiry, Columbia Journal of Gender & Law, and the Journal of Law & Biosciences. Dorfman's work has been cited by federal courts and the Israeli Supreme Court. Additionally, he has received multiple awards, including the Burton-Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Award, the Steven M. Block Civil Liberties Award, and the American Society of Comparative Law’s Colin B. Picker Prize.

Dorfman earned a J.S.M. (2014) and J.S.D. (2019) from Stanford Law School. He holds a B.A. in Communication (2009), an LL.B. (2009), and an LL.M (2010), all from the University of Haifa.

Professor Mary Szto will teach contracts and business associations, among other business- and transactional law-related courses. Before entering legal education, Szto practiced law in New York City, representing banks in financing matters, and she co-founded a legal aid organization specializing in immigration law. Her previous teaching posts were at Valparaiso University School of Law and Mitchell Hamline School of Law. 

Szto has written about property issues, such as the role of real estate agents and housing discrimination, and she has published bilingual law texts on American property law and democracy in China. Her articles—on Chinese-American property ownership, anti-corruption law, real estate, and Chinese law and traditions—have appeared in the Journal of Transnational Law & Policy, Fordham International Law Journal, Minnesota Journal of International Law, and elsewhere.

Szto holds a J.D. (1986) from Columbia University School of Law; an M.A. (1983) from Westminster Theological Seminary; and a B.A. (1981) from Wellesley College. 

“The College of Law is proud to expand our faculty ranks with these outstanding teachers and interdisciplinary scholars,” says Dean Craig M. Boise. “They add considerable expertise in key strength areas of the College, they bring diverse experiences and viewpoints to the College, and our students will benefit tremendously from their inclusive approaches to legal education.”

Three College of Law Scholars Featured in Bialystok Legal Studies

Professors Michael Schwartz and Cora True-Frost, along with alumnus Eric Namungalu LL.M.'18, are featured in a special disability studies issue (volume 23 issue 4) of Białostockie Studia Prawnicze (Bialystok Legal Studies). The peer-reviewed journal is published by the faculty of law of the University of Bialystok, Poland, an international partner of the College of Law.

Schwartz's article is a narrative. In "Providing Effective Communication Access for Deaf People: An Insider’s Perspective", Schwartz outlines decades of discrimination based on his deafness by providing his insider’s perspective as a member of the Deaf community who experienced the lack of effective communication access in various settings. 

True-Frost's article—"American Law, Global Norms: The Challenge of Enforcing Children with Disabilities’ Right to a Free and Appropriate Education"—analyzes the legal interpretation of the US Supreme Court of what constitutes a “free and appropriate public education” for children with disabilities.

In "Dealing With Legal Capacity and Its Related Challenges in Uganda" Namungalu writes about the concept of legal capacity as advanced in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) within the context of Uganda as a State party.