Professor Helfman Hosts DCEx Seminar at DOJ

Posted on Friday 7/13/2018
Professor Helfman speaking to DCEx participants.

The Summer 2018 DCEx participants met with Professor Tara Helfman at the US Department of Justice on Tuesday, July 10. Professor Helfman currently serves as Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

Professor Helfman welcomed the participating students to an educational experience in the Civil Rights Division’s historic conference room (the former office of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover). There, students learned about the Division’s role and duty in upholding the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans, particularly through the enforcement of federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status and national origin. Students also learned about the various career options available to them in the private, public, and academic sectors. 

Afterward, students went on a guided tour of the Department of Justice, indulging in the history and significance of artworks and sculptures throughout the building. Highlights included the Office of the Solicitor General, the Office of the Attorney General, the DOJ’s Main Library, the courtyard, and the Great Hall.

In Their New Book, Larry Logue & Peter Blanck Analyze Military Veterans’ Psychological Wounds Through a Civil War Lens

Posted on Friday 7/13/2018
Heavy Laden

The psychological after-effects of war are not just a modern-day plight. For instance, following the US Civil War, numerous soldiers returned with damaged bodies and damaged minds, but compassion was often lacking in their treatment. Published at a time when American public consciousness is recognizing more than ever the psychological wounds of war, and the veterans' health crises of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) and self-harm, Heavy Laden: Union Veterans, Psychological Illness, and Suicide (Cambridge University Press, 2018) is a look at the “hidden wounds” that remained open in the aftermath of the war between the states.

Drawing on archival materials—including digitized records for more than 70,000 white and African-American Union Army recruits, newspaper reports, death registers, and census returns—Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University (BBI) scholars Larry M. Logue, BBI Senior Fellow, and Peter Blanck, University Professor and BBI Chairman, uncover the diversity and severity of Civil War veterans' psychological distress. 

A compelling book that brings to light the continued sacrifices of men who went to war, its findings about the recognition of PTSD, veterans' treatment programs, and suicide rates will inform current studies on how to effectively cope with this enduring disability in former soldiers.

In the book's Foreword, psychiatrist Elyn Saks, author of The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness, explains, “Logue and Blanck offer groundbreaking analyses and insights of how veterans across the spectrum of humanity perceived and coped with warfare’s consequences. The authors brilliantly open up new historical vistas, reminding me of the promise by which I closed The Center Cannot Hold, ‘The humanity we all share is more important than the mental illness we may not.’”

Jay Winter, editor of The Cambridge History of the First World War, writes, “The hidden injuries of war are by no means an invention of the last hundred years. Veterans of the American Civil War carried the often silent and unacknowledged traces of combat with them, in body and soul, for the rest of their lives. Logue and Blanck merit our gratitude for having brought the American soldiers of 1861–1865—Northerners and Southerners, black and white—into the growing body of literature on the war-related mortality and morbidity of soldiers who return from war.”

“Suicide amongst veterans is an enigma. It is shocking, deeply disturbing, and tragic in nature, with the potential of damning the impact of war,” observes Eric T. Dean Jr., author of Shook Over Hell: Post-Traumatic Stress, Vietnam, and the Civil War. “Logue and Blanck recognize the subtleties of the subject and deliver a nuanced consideration of the plight of Civil War veterans, centering on the topic of suicide. A must-read for those concerned about the impact of this or any war.”

Paula Johnson Speaks to the AP as Emmett Till Case Is Re-Opened

Posted on Thursday 7/12/2018
Paula Johnson

Government Reopens Probe of 1955 Emmett Till Slaying

(AP | July 12, 2108) The federal government has reopened its investigation into the slaying of Emmett Till, the black teenager whose brutal killing in Mississippi shocked the world and helped inspire the civil rights movement more than 60 years ago.

The Justice Department told Congress in a report in March it is reinvestigating Till's slaying in Money, Mississippi, in 1955 after receiving "new information." The case was closed in 2007 with authorities saying the suspects were dead; a state grand jury didn't file any new charges.

Deborah Watts, a cousin of Till, said she was unaware the case had been reopened until contacted by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The federal report, sent annually to lawmakers under a law that bears Till's name, does not indicate what the new information might be.

But it was issued in late March following the publication last year of "The Blood of Emmett Till," a book that says a key figure in the case acknowledged lying about events preceding the slaying of the 14-year-old youth from Chicago.

The book, by Timothy B. Tyson, quotes a white woman, Carolyn Donham, as acknowledging during a 2008 interview that she wasn't truthful when she testified that Till grabbed her, whistled and made sexual advances at a store in 1955.

Two white men -- Donham's then-husband Roy Bryant and his half-brother J.W. Milam -- were charged with murder but acquitted in the slaying of Till, who had been staying with relatives in northern Mississippi at the time. The men later confessed to the crime in a magazine interview, but weren't retried. Both are now dead.

Donham, who turns 84 this month, lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. A man who came to the door at her residence declined to comment about the FBI reopening the investigation.

"We don't want to talk to you," the man said before going back inside.

Paula Johnson, co-director of an academic group that reviews unsolved civil rights slayings, said she can't think of anything other than Tyson's book that could have prompted the Justice Department to reopen the Till investigation.

"We're happy to have that be the case so that ultimately or finally someone can be held responsible for his murder," said Johnson, who leads the Cold Case Justice Initiative at Syracuse University ...

Read the whole article.

"A Slow Check & Balance": Newsweek Speaks to William C. Snyder About SCOTUS & Presidential Power

Posted on Wednesday 7/11/2018
William C. Snyder


(Newsweek | July 20, 2018) Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s opposition to a sitting president potentially facing an indictment, as well as the court’s lengthy history in bending the Constitution to favor a president’s powers, could raise as much concern among opponents of President Donald Trump's nominee as his potential threat to abortion rights.

For a president who has openly flaunted what he believes is the power to pardon himself, Trump may have taken into account Kavanaugh's views on executive power and how much power the U.S. Constitution places in the president.

The nominee's belief in presidential power may even extend to criminal prosecutions. Kavanaugh, who Monday said would "keep an open mind in every case," distinctly laid out his view over whether a sitting president should face criminal charges while in office in 2009 for the Minnesota Law Review. He based the interpretation on his experience with George W. Bush’s administration ...

... Many of these decisions by the court would suggest the judiciary often bows to the executive branch, but William C. Snyder, Teaching Professor at Syracuse Law School and expert on federal courts, disagreed.

“Our federal courts are reactive. They only respond to actual cases and controversies. So, they seem to be a slow check and balance in a world that moves fast. But, the Supreme Court does come around,” Snyder told Newsweek in an email.

But as Snyder noted, the court is “retroactive” and thus reactionary. And that leaves it beholden to the actions taken by a president, one who Snyder admits could have ulterior motives.

“Yes, it may well be that this president is more concerned with finding a justice who will uphold executive power in general than with finding one whose position on a particular policy or right matches his own,” Snyder said. “[T]his president is known to shift his own positions, so a justice who would uphold executive power, in general, would be more useful to him.”

Read the whole article.

CCJI to Assist With Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit filed by the Family of Native American Rexdale Henry who Died in Custody in Neshoba County Jail

Posted on Tuesday 7/10/2018

On Friday, July 6, 2018, the family of Rexdale Henry filed a lawsuit alleging constitutional claims and violations of federal civil rights that resulted in Mr. Henry’s death while in custody at the Neshoba County Detention Center in July 2015. 

53-year-old Mr. Henry was a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and was arrested on July 9, 2015, on warrants for minor traffic fines. Five days later, on July 14, 2015, he was found dead in his cell.  Mr. Henry developed serious alcohol withdrawal disease after he was held in jail without being treated for obvious symptoms. Left untreated, he suffered and was in severe pain and disoriented from these effects.  

“We never thought that Rexdale received just treatment,” says Lonie Henry, Rexdale Henry’s widow. “Not in jail and not in the criminal court system. They put Rexdale at risk and did not help him when his life was in danger. We are thankful that attorneys, advocates, and civil rights leaders are fighting for justice on our behalf.”

“Neshoba County jailers’ treatment of Henry defied basic humanity,” says Janis McDonald, Professor Emeritus of Syracuse University College of Law. “Despite his pleas for medical attention, jail officials ignored his requests and instead treated him with callous disregard, including physical and mental abuse, and also allowed other inmates to abuse him while he was under the complete care and custody of the jail.” 

Paula Johnson of the Cold Case Justice Initiative adds, “The jailers’ response to Mr. Henry’s medical condition to was simply ‘throw him into the detox tank,’ rather than obtain necessary medical personnel to provide treatment for him. Even more egregious, they were aware that it directly violated a consent decree previously ordered by Judge Thomas Lee, of the Southern District of Mississippi, for identical practices in 1994-1997.”

Last year the state charged Mr. Henry’s cellmate, Justyn Schlegel, with his death.  Schlegel subsequently was convicted of criminal homicide, which he has appealed. The family’s lawsuit will prove that State authorities remain ultimately responsible for Henry’s death.

Other defendants in the suit include members of the Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Tommy Waddell, Investigator Ralph Sciple, Jimmy Reed, Administrator of the Neshoba County Detention Center, Stephen Collins, Neshoba County Coroner, and several others. The authorities and other defendants’ abusive actions, lack of proper medical care, and failure to protect Henry constitute the basis of the family’s claims of violations. Violations include 42 U.S.C. §§1983, 1985, 1986, and 1988, and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 

Handling this case for the family is Natchez, Mississippi Attorney Paul Sullivan, a veteran personal injury attorney, who filed the lawsuit on Friday, July 6, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Janis L. McDonald, Professor Emeritus at Syracuse University College of Law will join him as counsel.  McDonald and Professor Paula C. Johnson co-founded the Cold Case Justice Initiative (CCJI), at Syracuse University College of Law.

Sullivan is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law. He was a state prosecutor in Florida for two years, and 28 years representing people charged with various crimes.  An experienced criminal trial attorney, Sullivan has tried approximately two hundred jury trials, both as prosecutor and defense attorney, including first-degree murder, drug trafficking, sex crimes, and robbery. He has extensive experience representing people charged with DUI, including over 140 DUI jury trials and has a long history of representing people charged with crimes throughout Mississippi and Florida. 

“There is no excuse for the persistent inhumane and racially biased treatment against detainees of color in Neshoba County Jail,” says Sullivan.  “Officials must be held accountable for the heinous results of their cruel disregard for Rexdale Henry’s life and the loss that his family and community have suffered.” 

In July 2015, just after Rexdale Henry was discovered dead in his cell at the Neshoba County Justice Center, civil rights icon Diane Nash contacted the co-directors and requested help in obtaining answers and accountability for those responsible for his death.  McDonald, Johnson, and CCJI law students volunteered to assist the family to obtain the answers and justice they sought for Mr. Henry’s death.  This included helping to secure an independent autopsy on the cause of death and helping them find legal representation in Mississippi.  Nash and other civil rights activists have continued to seek justice for Rexdale Henry.   

Mr. Henry’s survivors include his wife Lonie Henry, mother Winnie Willis, daughter Patricia Mitch, sons Kinsey Henry, Sr. and Anselm Henry, brother Ronnie Henry, and 12 grandchildren. His mother, Winnie Willis, recently passed away. Rexdale Henry was a medicine man and a civil rights activist on Native American rights and other social justice issues. He also coached stickball and made traditional equipment for the sport.

“The Cold Case Justice Initiative will continue to assist the Henry family in their quest for justice. This is an important part of our racial justice mission,” says Johnson. 

“This lawsuit is an important step toward holding the authorities responsible for their inhumanity against Rexdale Henry,” McDonald emphasizes. “And by extension, bring attention to the plight of other detainees, the neglect of those with dangerous alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and those who are mostly poor people of color caught up in their vicious cycle of arrest, detention, and inhumane treatment.”

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Rostin Behnam L’05 Hosts DCEx Students

Posted on Friday 7/6/2018
Rostin Behnam

Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Rostin Behnam L’05 recently participated as a distinguished guest lecturer for the DCEx program. Commissioner Behnam was appointed by President Trump last July and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in August. He assumed office in September and will serve in one of the Democrat seats until 2021. 

Commissioner Behnam and two of his advising attorneys described the agency’s role and statutory authority to regulate commerce and the CFTC’s political and social dynamic. The commissioner encouraged the students to continue participating in externship opportunities like the DC Externship Program because students stand to gain incredibly valuable connections and real-world experience that the classroom cannot provide. 

Before being appointed to the CFTC, Commissioner Behnam served as senior counsel to US Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan where he advised her on matters pertaining to the CFTC and Department of Agriculture. 

Shubha Ghosh on the EU's Delay of "New Media" Copyright Legislation

Posted on Thursday 7/5/2018
Shubha Ghosh

The European Union (EU) parliament has rejected proposed legislature that would have imposed a tax on tech companies such as Facebook that linked to content (a "link tax") and would have required companies to implement technology to screen copyrighted content from being uploaded to their platforms. 

The legislature was promoted by copyright societies representing artists, authors, and composers and will now be redrafted for reconsideration by the EU in September.

The US has dealt with these issues through the courts. Linking is generally found not to constitute copyright infringement, often protected as "fair use". Screening technology has been voluntarily adopted by platform companies to avoid liability for copyright infringement. 

Furthermore, extended litigation between Viacom and YouTube addressed issues of copyright liability, with YouTube adopting ContentID technology in the late 2000s to help monitor and takedown copyright infringing content. Facebook and other platforms use similar technologies. The use of screening technology has been voluntary rather than mandatory, contrasting with the rejected proposal in the EU.

The impetus for the EU legislation is the concern among authors, artists, and composers that they are not being adequately compensated for use of their copyrighted work online.  

In the US, such issues have been addressed through copyright enforcement against unauthorized uploads and downloads of content and the creation of digital rights going back to amendments to the copyright law in 1996. The recently passed Music Modernization Act extends protection to streaming of sound recordings, an issue of long term and ongoing controversy in the courts and Congress.

Arlene Kanter Pens OpEd for The Jerusalem Post

Posted on Monday 7/2/2018
Arlene Kanter

The Education Ministry is Turning Its Back on Children with Disabilities

(The Jerusalem Post | July 1, 2018) Why are so many countries (other than Israel) working so hard to promote inclusion over segregation? Because inclusion works. It is good for students with and without disabilities.

On Wednesday, July 4, the Knesset will likely bring to a vote a proposed law to deprive thousands of children with disabilities in Israel of their right to attend school with their brothers, sisters and neighbors. The proposed law, Amendment 11 of the Special Education Law, provides funds for services for children with disabilities in separate special-education schools, but not for children who wish to attend their neighborhood schools. This proposed law contradicts not only current Israeli law, but also the Education Ministry’s own expert Dorner Committee Report of 2009 that recommended government funding for inclusion of children with disabilities in the general education system. 

Inclusion is based on the belief that all pupils – with and without disabilities – should learn together in general education classrooms. Keeping children in their neighborhood schools is the first step in the process. I have met with lawyers from Bizchut, the Israel Center for Human Rights for People with Disabilities, who work with families of children with disabilities. These families describe how their children have to travel hours each day to and from special-education schools to receive the services and accommodations they need. Why aren’t such services and accommodations available in their own local schools? Regardless of how a child may walk, hear, see, talk or think, shouldn’t that child be able to attend his or her local school, just like children without disabilities? A coalition organized by Bizchut of teachers, parents, adults with disabilities, and academics all agree and therefore oppose the government’s bill. Support for pupils in general education system is also required by international law.

Israel ratified the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in 2012. That means that Israel must do what it says. Article 24 of the CRPD requires Israel to ensure the right of all children with disabilities to receive the individual support and accommodations they may need in the general education system. Forcing children to receive services only in special-education settings is discrimination, prohibited by the CRPD. The CRPD Committee also requires States Parties, including Israel, to “redefine budgetary allocations for education, including by transferring part of their budgets to the development of inclusive education.” Israel, therefore, is prohibited from decreasing or reallocating funding that interferes with inclusive education. Yet the proposed law does just that.

Not only is Israel ignoring its international legal obligations, it also fails to acknowledge that Israel has the highest number of students in special education of any country with which Israel compares itself. In the United States, as of 2013, at least 95% of students with disabilities aged six to 21 attend regular schools, with only 3% attending separate schools, according to the US Department of Education. In England, inclusion in regular classrooms is also preferred for children with disabilities, with more than 90% of the two million pupils with disabilities attending regular schools, and only 1% of the school population attending special schools. And, in the EU, generally, 97% of pupils in compulsory education attend mainstream schools, with only 2.3% educated in either special schools or a separate classes in mainstream schools. 

In Israel, it is the exact opposite. In the 2017-18 academic year, only 60% of children with disabilities (52% with mild disabilities and 8% with severe disabilities) receive education in inclusive settings. A total of 20% of children with disabilities attended separate schools and 20% attended separate programs in regular schools, for a total of 40% of pupils in segregated settings. That number is significantly higher than the number of children in special education in the US, England, and other EU and OECD countries ...

Read the full article.

"The Problem with Civility;" Keith J. Bybee Speaks to NPR's On the Media

Posted on Monday 7/2/2018
Keith Bybee

(On the Media | June 29, 2018) The idea that our societal norms are on the verge of destruction has been in vogue ever since the 2016 election. But in the context of history, that’s normal, especially when the codes of civility that safeguard them seem to be continually battered by culture and politics. 

World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, jazz, rock and roll, the Vietnam War, alienation and the internet—according to Keith Bybee, author of How Civility Works, every generation of Americans has found a reason to bemoan the end of courtesy and respect. He and Brooke talk about how good manners can be a tool of oppression and why our current discussion of civility suffer from a series of timeless tropes and misunderstandings.

Listen to the segment.

Keith J. Bybee Writes on "The Rise of Trump and the Death of Civility" in Law, Culture, and the Humanities

Posted on Thursday 6/28/2018
Keith Bybee

According to supporters and opponents alike, President Donald J. Trump has been an unconventional candidate and president. In this article, Vice Dean Keith J. Bybee evaluates the relationship between Trump’s unconventional behavior and the requirements of civility. 

He provides a definition of civility and explains why it makes sense to relate Trump’s actions to civil norms. He also discusses how civility is enacted, examines criticisms of civility’s triviality, and explores the ways in which civility may repress dissent and maintain hierarchy. 

Although Bybee considers the degree to which Trump’s actions are strategic, he ultimately argues that Trump’s incivilities should be understood as an effort to initiate a revolution in manners. In this regard, Trump’s behavior is not unprecedented. He is participating in a longstanding American tradition of determining standards of appropriate conduct through political conflict.

Read the whole article.

Technology Commercialization Law Program to be Re-Named Innovation Law Center, and a New Intellectual Property Law Institute Created

Posted on Thursday 6/28/2018
Innovation Law Center students.

Founded in 1990 by the late Professor Ted Hagelin, the Technology Commercialization Law Program (TCLP) was the first in the nation to combine scholarly legal analysis and a guided, hands-on law curriculum with the active development of new technologies, intellectual property (IP), and start-up companies. Under the subsequent leadership of Syracuse University College of Law professors Jack Rudnick and Shubha Ghosh, the program has continued to pioneer the teaching and practice of innovation and the law, boasting hundreds of successful alumni, dozens of early stage companies assisted, a widening network of partners and collaborators, and a growing body of salient scholarship. 

The program is a significant differentiator for the College, a focal point of its academic strategic plan, and one of the pillars upon which its scholarly and pedagogical reputation is built. Recognizing this strength, earlier this year, New York State's economic development agency—NYSTAR—once again designated TCLP the New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYSSTLC), this time extending the designation period from three to five years. 

To ensure the program’s continued growth and success, College of Law and TCLP leadership—with critical input from the College’s IP faculty—have worked during the past year to reshape and divide the work of professors Rudnick and Ghosh between two new entities, beginning in Fall 2018. 

First, the experiential work of Professor Rudnick and his staff and students will form the core of what will now be known as the Innovation Law Center. This new title better captures the essence of what the Center does—nurturing innovation through legal assistance—and it also represents the spectrum of sub-disciplines and services that Rudnick's team addresses.

The Innovation Law Center will continue to oversee NYSSTLC (the NYSTAR center) and offer students the opportunity to assist with emerging technologies via a course called the Innovation Law Practicum. The Center also will explore new opportunities, such as additional applied learning law courses, executive education mini-courses, and an innovation law practice incubator.

Second, Professor Ghosh will lead a new institute for the College: the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute (SIPLI). Founded on Ghosh's pre-eminent scholarship in the field, SIPLI will pursue interdisciplinary research in the areas of IP, technology transfer, licensing, patents and trademarks, business regulation, and antitrust law, and it will publish and present in leading academic and practitioner forums. Most importantly, SIPLI will apply this scholarship to new academic opportunities for College of Law students.

Ghosh will remain the faculty lead for the College’s Curricular Program in IP and Technology Commercialization, and students will continue to hone their skills in the Intellectual Property Law Association and the Syracuse Journal of Science and Technology Law. Reflecting their shared interests and approaches, the Innovation Law Center and SIPLI will work closely together, coordinating the College's directed technology law curriculum and sharing resources and deliverables. 

“This new structure will positively impact the College's ability to recruit students; enable us to cover more ground in a growing field; help us to integrate more thoroughly into the University's innovation ecosystem; and further cement our reputation as a leader in law and technology programming,” says Dean Craig M. Boise. “With clear identities and new missions in place, I’m confident that the Innovation Law Center and SIPLI will reach new heights, collaborating within the College, across Syracuse University, and around the country.”

David M. Crane to Speak on Yemen Crisis at Stimson Center Event

Posted on Tuesday 6/26/2018
David M. Crane

INSCT Faculty Member David M. Crane will join other distinguished international law scholars and practitioners at "Crisis in Yemen: Accountability and Reparations," an event designed to bring the world's attention to a growing humanitarian disaster in this Middle East nation. 

The panel discussion takes place at The Stimson Center in Washington, DC, on June 26, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The simulcast can be viewed here.

Sponsored by the American Society of International Law, the Stimson Center, and the Washington Foreign Law Society, the panel also features Stephen Rapp, Former US Ambassador-At-Large for War Crimes; Mark Agrast, Executive Director, American Society of International Law; and Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch, among others. View the full list of panelists here

The Yemen Civil War, which had its roots in the political upheaval of 2011-2012, has since turned into a complex conflict among a central, recognized government and its powerful Saudi-led allies, an alternative government in the country's north backed by Houthi rebels, and several terrorist groups. 

Escalating in 2015, the civil war has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. An estimated three quarters of the civilian population have been affected by the devastation from warring parties on all sides. Death, disappearances, detentions, torture, displacement and famine are ravishing the country. A cholera epidemic is being exacerbated by raids on civilian populations. 

Meanwhile, critical ports for delivery of food and medicines have been blocked. Arms and deadly munitions, funded by the US and UK, have proliferated. Secret prisons established inside and outside the country are detaining countless numbers of civilians, women, children, and aid workers. 

The panel of experts, led by Rapp and Crane, will assess the situation on the ground in Yemen, and propose solutions drawn from fundamental international laws and standards.

David Driesen Comments on Immigration Crisis in WAER Story

Posted on Friday 6/22/2018
David Driesen

SU Law Professor Says the Future for Immigrant Families Remains Uncertain

(WAER | June 22, 2018) An Administrative Law professor at Syracuse University feels the future of how to handle the crisis of breaking-up immigrant families entering the US remains uncertain.  David Dreisen said President Trump’s Executive Order to reverse his policy does not state if previous families will be unified or if there is a plan to accomplish that. 

He said the real truth is that immigrants come to America because they are fleeing persecution and poverty. They’re seeking refuge. 

"They are families. They haven't committed any real crime." Dreisen said. "It is a of course a crime to go over the border now, but that does not mean you have to separate parents from children. I think it's despicable. In terms of the executive order, it responds to the evil fo separating parents from children with a new evil, which is to keep them together in jail."

The professor said applications for asylum seekers aren’t being processed at the US border, so immigrants resort to entering between ports of entries. That is a misdemeanor, but it’s not a reason to jail families. 

"These are exceptions in that bill for child welfare, and you might argue that child welfare is not served by putting them in jail," said Driesen. "I'm not confident. This whole thing could be a mirage. I'm not sure of that. It depends on how its implemented. But I don't have much faith in these guys. Trump does not follow the law. He does what he wants. That's a big problem for American democracy."

Dreisen has been reviewing legislation by Republicans, but he couldn't find a single provision in the Paul Ryan compromise bill that says re-unification of families must happen.  He said lawmakers continue to be unresponsive to a humanitarian crisis brought on by the President, and Congress needs to hold Trump responsible.  A vote on the Conservative bill failed in the House on Thursday.  The Ryan Companion bill has been pushed to Friday. 

Listen to the audio.

Corri Zoli Co-Authors Safety Science Article on "Terrorist Critical Infrastructures"

Posted on Friday 6/22/2018
Corri Zoli

INSCT Director of Research Corri Zoli has published "Terrorist Critical Infrastructures, Organizational Capacity, and Security Risk" in the engineering journal Safety Science. This interdisciplinary article is co-authored with Zoli's Syracuse University colleagues Professor Laura J. Steinberg of the School of Engineering and Computer Science and Professor Margaret Hermann of the Maxwell School, along with Martha Grabowski, an engineering professor at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY.

This essay addresses gaps between studies of terrorism and infrastructure resilience to explore “terrorist critical infrastructures” (TCIs) as one critically missing framework to understand the rise of terrorist political violence globally. This approach to global terrorism maximizes core perspectives common in resilience and safety research and uses comparative analyses from terrorism studies, systems engineering, and infrastructure protection.

The authors develop a topology of terrorist infrastructures, introduce the concepts of “enabling” and “coopted” TCIs, and contrast characteristics of TCIs with those of conventional infrastructures. They argue that the organizational intelligence that comes from aligning strategic goals with infrastructural capacity is critical to explaining the prevalence, durability, and resilience of many terrorist organizations (as well as their increasing use of violence).

"We can understand these emerging organizational forms by their design and development, often flat, mobile, and flexible ‘networks of networks’ themselves," the authors explain.

Article Highlights

  • Analysis used a systems-based interdisciplinary approach to terrorism.
  • Informal, illicit non-state groups, such as terrorist organizations, build and design critical infrastructures to effect terrorist aims and goals, including targeting soft targets.
  • The types of TCIs can be categorized according to terrorist organizations’ strategic targeting priorities; interface with existing context-specific civilian infrastructure systems; and their need to design, build, and engineer new infrastructure systems particular to illicit organizations.
  • Such TCIs involve formal and informal, legitimate and illegitimate, and physical and virtual systems.
  • TCIs often interface with criminal networks and low-governance.
  • Results show the need for more research and a targeted, infrastructure based approaches to combating terrorism.\
  • Practical implications for governments and security sectors are discussed.

David M. Crane Testifies About Postconflict Justice Options for Sri Lanka

Posted on Thursday 6/21/2018
David M. Crane

Professor of Practice David M. Crane testified in front of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on June 19, 2018. The hearing, chaired by Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), investigated postconflict justice options and human rights issues related to the long Sri Lankan Civil War, which lasted from 1983 to 2009. 

Joining Crane as witnesses were J.S. Tissainayagam, journalist and human rights advocate; Michael Jerryson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Youngstown State University; and John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch. 

In his statement, Crane told the committee that, "I approach this issue as a neutral, someone who stands for the rule of law, particularly on the battlefield and for the protection of noncombatants. We live in an age of extremes. Dirty little wars arise across the globe. Parties to the conflict pay little heed to the laws of armed conflict. Many of these largely non-international armed conflicts see civilian casualties mount, most of them women and children. The conflict in Sri Lanka was one such dirty little war, which saw the death and destruction of tens of thousands of human beings on both sides."

Crane was a member of a panel of experts advising the Commission of Missing Persons set up by the Sri Lankan government in 2014. "I spent days walking the battlefields of the conflict in Sri Lanka, particularly of the final campaign in the Winter of 2009." 

Crane enumerated several humanitarian and war crimes issues that arose from the conflict and that have yet to be properly reconciled. These include violations of international humanitarian law committed by all sides, the intentional targeting of civilians in a campaign of terror to seek a military and political conclusion, and a brutal  final campaign in the winter of 2009 that was exacerbated by an increasingly desperate Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam army (the LTTE, or "Tamil Tigers"). 

Noted Chairman Smith, “Although the civil war ended almost 10 years ago, important work remains to make sure basic human rights are being respected in Sri Lanka. The resurgence of Buddhist Sinhalese nationalism poses a particular challenge to ethnic reconciliation. It is imperative for Congress to exercise leadership on this issue and ensure that a country as strategically located as Sri Lanka doesn’t collapse again.”

DLA Piper Partner Brad Jorgensen L’06 Discusses His Diverse Legal Career with DCEx Students

Posted on Wednesday 6/20/2018
DC extern students hear from Brad Jorgensen L'06, a Partner with DLA Piper

Brad Jorgensen L’06, a Partner with DLA Piper, hosted a summer 2018 DCEx seminar at DLA Piper’s Washington, DC, office. Jorgensen focuses his legal practice on government contracts and gave students insights from his experience litigating before both the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals and the US Court of Federal Claims. He is currently involved with providing legal analysis of mergers and acquisitions. 

In addition to describing his work, Jorgensen discussed the importance of being an excellent writer as an attorney, and he emphasized the significance of working hard and knowing what you are willing to sacrifice for your career while keeping a focus on what is important in your life to maintain balance. Finally, he discussed the indispensable experienced he gained while working in the US Department of Justice prior to transferring into private practice. 

Before joining DLA Piper, Jorgensen served as an Assistant General Counsel for the Office of General Counsel, Federal Bureau of Prisons. Directly out of law school, Jorgensen clerked for the Hon. Brian Stewart of the US District Court located in Salt Lake, UT. 

Nina Kohn Co-Organizes Tel Aviv Elder Law Conference

Posted on Monday 6/18/2018
Nina A. Kohn

Organized by David M. Levy Professor of Law Nina A. Kohn, in collaboration with Professor Daphna Hacker of Tel Aviv University, "Elder Law and Its Discontents" takes place across June 18-19, 2018, at the Cegla Center for Interdisciplinary Research of the Law, Tel Aviv University, Israel.

The organizers note that, "The world is aging. Lower fertility rates combined with longer life expectancies mean that, for the first time in human history, the number of persons older than 60 is expected to equal the number of people younger than 15 by 2050. This new reality, raises new questions and theoretical challenges for the law.  This conference addresses the key questions: Are new bodies of law necessary to address this “silver tsunami? Should “old age” be treated as a meaningful legal category? Is a separate area of Elder Law desirable or dangerous?

With Kohn providing introductory remarks by way of a "Theoretical Rational" paper, the conference explored interdisciplinary topics under the general headings "Vulnerability," "Employment Discrimination," "Abuse," and "Filial Piety," including elder law's intersection with family law, law and dementia, the "mature sandwich generation," and age discrimination and employment.

Corri Zoli Discusses North Korea Summit with WSYR

Posted on Thursday 6/14/2018
Corri Zoli

Speaking to WSYR's Dave Allen on June 12, 2018, Director of Research Corri Zoli analyzes the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean President Kim Jong-un and the fate of the verbal de-nuclearization agreement between the two leaders. While cautioning some skepticism, Zoli says Kim's action's before and after the summit offer some amount of hope that a lasting nuclear and peace deal can be reached and that the Western-educated dictator might be a "change agent" for the hermit nation. 

Listen to the segment

A Technology Commercialization Law Student Helps Drone Start-Ups Soar

Posted on Wednesday 6/13/2018
Cody Andrushko

Classes might be out for summer, but the work of the College of Law's Technology Commercialization Law Program (TCLP) continues apace, with students and staff coordinating several early stage commercialization law projects to assist entrepreneurial clients and economic development business partners. 

One of these business partners is CenterStateCEO, Syracuse's economic development agency, which held the finals of its GENIUS NY unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business accelerator competition at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown on April 9, 2018. Funded by Empire State Development, GENIUS NY is the largest UAS business accelerator competition in the world.

The $1 million grand prize was won by Swiss company Fotokite, whose technology provides fire departments a live aerial situational awareness tool to help fight fires and save lives. As part of the accelerator program, the competition finalists were invited to become TCLP clients. This summer, rising 3L Cody Andrushko has been gaining crucial practical experience by taking the lead on providing intellectual property (IP) research assistance, which focuses primarily on trademarks and patents, to the drone companies as they prepare to enter a crowded marketplace. 

Andrushko took time out of juggling his workload to describe his projects for TCLP and his UAS clients, the path that brought him to TCLP, and the legal career he hopes to pursue, bolstered by this experiential training. 

Could you describe your work this summer on behalf of the GENIUS NY UAS teams? What IP challenges, if any, have been raised for the start-ups?

I am currently leading a team working on projects with four of the six GENIUS NY finalists, and I plan to meet another one soon. The advice we give is not legal advice, and we make it clear that what we say is not a substitution for the work of an attorney. That said, our advice can be integral in assisting companies understand potential issues and risk. One of the biggest IP concerns I have spotted is potential trademark issues. Because of the "use in commerce" requirement, many of the companies have yet to federally register their mark. So we are conducting Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) and secondary source searches to determine if there may be issues when it comes to the use of their marks. In addition, we are conducting patent landscape research, as well as research on the markets they plan to enter. 

How does this IP work benefit TCLP clients? 

Our work helps the companies understand potential issues there might be for commercialization and whether it may be smart to contact an attorney to resolve these issues or gain further guidance. In addition, TCLP may provide regulatory research, although I am not currently providing this type of assistance for these clients. But we have offered them some of the literature the law center has created over the last few years, having already worked with a few drone companies outside the GENIUS NY initiative.

How did you develop your interest in IP law and commercialization law?

My bachelor's degree was in biology and pre-health from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY. However, I found myself drawn toward the law, yet I still wanted exposure to science and technology. As a result, IP and commercialization law, and in particular patent law, has become the perfect focus for me. 

I have taken almost every IP class offered by the College, and I took TCLP courses as a 2L. Last summer, I worked for the US Patent and Trademark Office's Office of Patent Legal Administration through DCEx, the Washington, DC, externship program. This experience allowed me to perform the duties of an examiner, reviewing and potentially rejecting patent applications submitted by attorneys, companies, and pro-se inventors.

How is your practical work for TCLP preparing you for your career?

My experience in the law center, and my IP courses, have provided me the necessary skills to analyze patent landscapes in order to help start-ups understand potential vulnerabilities or issues they may face when seeking patents or licensing patents (I've noticed, for instance, that sometimes patents may be extremely narrow, so a landscape can potentially caution a client that a patent might not have the value they believe it has). 

Moreover, through TCLP, I am maintaining my exposure to transactional, innovation, and start-up law. I enjoy conducting research and providing analysis for early stage companies, helping them understand potential risks, and seeing them grow.

GENIUS NY 2018 UAS Companies


Fotokite (Switzerland)—combines aerial and ground-based robotics with flight control algorithms to create a kite-like tethered drone system that can fly fully autonomously for 24 hours.


Quantifly (Michigan)—simplifies and reduces the costs of parking and traffic studies through the unification of unmanned aerial systems, machine vision, and analytics by eliminating human error, mitigating safety risks, and centralizing harvested data.


TruWeather (Virginia)—a service to improve the precision, accuracy, and communication of weather intelligence.


UsPLM (Syracuse, NY)—a collaborative environment to develop, test, deploy, and safely operate a single or a fleet of unmanned aerial systems. 

DropCopter (California)—technology that allows farmers to pollinate orchards via drones. 

Precision Vision (New Mexico)—image processing technology that makes real-time precision imaging affordable.

"Head's Down": William C. Banks Discusses Mueller Probe Latest with Bloomberg Law

Posted on Monday 6/11/2018
William C. Banks

William Banks, a professor at Syracuse Law School professor, discusses the latest updates in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

Listen to the segment (at 8m30s).

David M. Crane to Discuss Yemen Crisis at Stimson Center Discussion

Posted on Friday 6/8/2018
David M. Crane

The conflict in Yemen is currently one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, yet is often forgotten by the international community. It is reported that close to 6,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict and almost 9,000 wounded as a result of indiscriminate and disproportionate airstrikes, artillery fire, and rocket launches. Many civilians languish and are tortured in secret prisons. The suffering of ordinary citizens is exacerbated by blockades of humanitarian aid and food. 

On June 26, 2018, Professor of Practice David M. Crane David M. Crane will join other distinguished speakers at a Stimson Center event to explore how war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the most egregious human rights violations can be addressed via international law to promote accountability, uphold fundamental humanitarian standards, and obtain reparations for the countless victims of the Yemeni crisis.

Crane will lead the discussion with former Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Stephen Rapp. Discussants will be Amanda Catanzano, Senior Director for International Program, Policy, and Advocacy, International Rescue Committee; Waleed Al Hariri, Director of US Office, Sana'a Center for Strategic Studies; Raed Jarrar, Advocacy Director, Middle East and North Africa, Amnesty International; Kate Kizer, Policy Director, Win Without War; Don Picard, Chief Legal Advisor, Yemen Peace Project; and Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch. 

Learn more about the event. 

INSCT Hosts State Board of Elections Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise

Posted on Thursday 6/7/2018
INSCT Hosts State Board of Elections Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercise

On June 7, 2018, the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT) hosted one of a series of statewide exercises that focus on cybersecurity preparedness and response to threats to New York State election systems. These first-of-their-kind tabletop exercises are sponsored by NYS Board of Elections (BOE) and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the NY Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, NY State Police, and the NYS Intelligence Center. 

Taking place in the College of Law, the Onondaga County tabletop exercise--like the other five regional exercises--was designed to identify areas for improvement in cyber incident planning, preparedness, and response through realistic scenarios that simulate the undermining of voter confidence, voting operations interference, and attacks on the integrity of elections.

State and local officials, led by the BOE and DHS Cyber Incident Response Team, will utilize information gleaned from these tabletop exercises with state, local, and federal stakeholders to identify risks and develop necessary steps to safeguard the election process. 

Contoured for each region, the scenarios are based on a combination of real world events and potential risks facing election infrastructure. These threats include possible social media manipulation, disruption of voter registration information systems and processes, attacks on voting machines, and the exploitation of board of elections business networks.

The tabletop exercises are part of a BOE cybersecurity plan that was approved on May 3, 2018, to further strengthen cyber protections for New York's elections infrastructure through the Secure Elections Center.

Shubha Ghosh Discusses the Restasis/St. Regis Mohawk Patent Case with Bloomberg

Posted on Wednesday 6/6/2018
Shubha Ghosh

Allergan Faces Judge’s Scrutiny in Restasis Patent Case

Shubha Ghosh, director the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute, discusses Allergan’s efforts to transfer a patent for the blockbuster dry-eye drug Restasis to the St. Regis Mohawk Native American tribe in a case that could forever change how the US government reviews patents. He speaks with Bloomberg’s June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s "Politics, Policy, Power and Law."

Listen to the segment.

Corri Zoli Speaks to CNYCentral About Planning the North Korea Summit

Posted on Tuesday 6/5/2018
Corri Zoli

WSTM News Channel 5 | May 24, 2018


HOST: Let's bring in some new perspective on this international news. Corri Zoli is an assistant professor at the Maxwell school at Syracuse University and a familiar face here on CBS 5.

Thanks for coming in. This is sort of an unconventional from the start, the way this plan for the summit was announced. Maybe it won't happen, maybe it will. We're hopeful it'll happen, and then finally today ... what do you make of today's announcement.

ZOLI: I think that this is a great example of how negotiations are a language of power, so we're seeing stuff on the surface ... somehow this president of all people is impacted by insults ... so what we think we're seeing on the surface is not reflective of what's actually going on here in terms of the power dynamics ...

Watch the full video

Aliza Milner Named to Editorial Board of Legal Communication & Rhetoric; Ian Gallacher Steps Down as Lead Editor

Posted on Tuesday 6/5/2018
Aliza Milner

The editorial board of Legal Communication & Rhetoric: Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (JALWD) and the Association of Legal Writing Directors has named Teaching Professor Aliza Milner an Associate Editor and Editorial Board Member. Additionally, Professor and Director of Legal Communication and Research Ian Gallacher has completed his term as lead editor of JALWD.

“Professor Milner’s appointment to the editorial board continues the College’s contribution to the journal and the scholarly development of the field of legal communications and research,” says Gallacher. 

JALWD associate editors are responsible for the technical, source-checking, formatting, and citation edits. Each associate editor typically works on one or two articles per volume. The lead editor is responsible for an article’s overall analysis and organization but associate editors do provide some input to lead editors. Associate editors, like all editors, participate in the article selection process in August and September. Many associate editors have moved into other roles on the editorial board.

The mission of JALWD, a publication of the Association of Legal Writing Directors, is to advance the study of professional legal writing and lawyering and to become an active resource and a forum for conversation between the legal practitioner and the legal writing scholar.

Arlene Kanter Honored by Israeli Human Rights Center Bizchut

Posted on Monday 6/4/2018
Arlene Kanter

On June 3, 2018, Israel's Human Rights Center for People with Disabilities—Bizchut—presented Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence Arlene S. Kanter an award for her work with the Jerusalem-based organization.

Writes Kanter, "I have worked with Bizchut on and off since its founding in the early 1990s. I continue to be impressed by the people there and the work they do in Israel with and on behalf of people with disabilities. Bizchut has made a huge difference in the lives of so many people with disabilities and their families in Israel. It has worked, often against great odds, to realize the principles on which the country was founded. That is no easy task. The work of Bizchut also has become a model for other countries."

Bizchut was founded in 1992 by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. Since then, it has become the primary advocate in Israel—using a combination of legal activity, community outreach, and educational initiatives—for individuals with disabilities whose rights have been violated. 

Professor Arlene Kanter accepts her award.
Professor Arlene Kanter accepts her award.

Jasmine Greenfield Selected as Rural Summer Legal Corps Student Fellow

Posted on Thursday 5/31/2018
Jasmine Greenfield

3L Jasmine Greenfield has been named one of 30 Rural Summer Legal Corps Student Fellows. A joint program of Equal Justice Works (EJW) and Legal Services Corporation, the Legal Corps provides direct services to underserved rural communities across the United States and its territories. EJW selects the Student Fellows and LSC funds the Legal Corps program and the 26 host sites.

Student Fellows spend eight to 10 summer weeks gaining hands-on experience in providing legal services, engaging in community outreach and education, and building capacity at their host organizations. Legal skills developed through the program include interviewing clients and witnesses, advocating, and legal research and writing. Fellows also develop and distribute fact sheets and training on legal topics and they help organize focus groups and planning committees.

During her fellowship, Greenfield will provide housing representation to low-income clients in rural areas of New York. She will work on eviction defenses, warranty of habitability cases, and administrative advocacy to secure housing-related public benefits, including ongoing emergency cash assistance and eligibility for US Department of Housing and Urban Development subsidies. 

According to EJW, rural communities face a shortage of talented lawyers. Data compiled in 2013 showed that only 2% of law practices in the country are in small towns and rural communities, even though these areas are home to nearly 20% of the population.

Alumna Samantha Pallini’s Pro Bono Scholars Resolution to be Considered at ABA Annual Meeting

Posted on Thursday 5/24/2018
The ABA Law Student Division Pro Bono Caucus in August 2017.

Providing widespread access to legal services is critical if underprivileged populations in the United States are to be treated equitably and fairly. As the American Bar Association (ABA) recognizes, systematic inequities and disadvantages can be exacerbated because vulnerable populations are often unaware of their rights or cannot find or afford counsel. In many cases, it falls to service-minded law students or new J.D. graduates to close the "justice gap".

In recognition of this situation—and of thousands of hours of pro bono service law students and graduates provide—the state of New York spearheaded the Pro Bono Scholars Program in 2014. The program marries practical training for law students with the community’s need for more pro bono legal services. Now, a College of Law student—along with her colleagues in the ABA Law Student Division (LSD) Pro Bono Caucus—is hoping that her resolution encouraging all 50 states to implement similar scholar programs will pass the House of Delegates at the ABA Annual Meeting.

New York’s Pro Bono Scholars Program allows third-year law students to devote their final semester to serving underprivileged populations in an externship-style placement with a legal aid provider. 

Unlike externship programs, however, scholars program students are granted special permission to take the February Bar Exam. If they pass, they then work full-time from March through May, before graduating. Program participants therefore receive accelerated admission to the Bar and an abundance of practical experience, by performing approximately 500 hours of pro bono legal services for their local community.

"We hope this resolution will encourage the ABA to embolden law schools, courts, and bar associations nationwide to design and implement pro bono scholars-style programs in their respective states," says Samantha Pallini L'18, Chair of the ABA LSD Pro Bono Caucus. “The structure and the framework of externships is already there, the need for pro bono legal services is clearly there, so now it’s time for us to build upon that framework for the benefit of our communities and our law students.”

Pallini says that the resolution was the idea of ABA LSD Chair Thomas Kim. "This is a new Caucus for LSD, so we wanted to start by targeting the heart of pro bono, asking the question, ‘How can law students address access-to-justice issues?’” says Pallini. “When Kim proposed the resolution, I was thrilled to get going, knowing the potential transformative impact it could have on communities and law students nationwide.”

Pallini began researching and writing the resolution in September 2017, “and I completed the draft in March of this year.” The resolution was then submitted to the LSD Resolutions and Advocacy Committee for commentary and rounds of editing before receiving approval and being forwarded to the ABA LSD Council. On May 18, 2018, Pallini received the news that the resolution had passed the council, where it was formally adopted as an LSD policy. 

"As a result, the Resolution will now move on to the House of Delegates, which will meet for a vote in August at the ABA’s Annual Meeting in Chicago," explains Pallini. "We’re in the process of going through some final proofing and touch-ups on the Resolution, but we should see it published to the public mid-June, after it’s formally submitted.” 

Pallini notes the remarkable, positive impact pro bono legal services have had on the city of Syracuse and the College of Law. “I am certain other communities and law schools nationwide feel the same. I look forward to garnering support for this very important and necessary resolution."

The ABA Law Student Division Pro Bono Caucus at the time of its formation during the ABA Annual Meeting in August 2017. (L to R) Thomas Kim, Chair of the Law Student Division; Samantha Pallini L'18; Taryn Sanders, George Washington Law; Angela Lee and William Nobriga, UNLV Boyd School of Law; and Ryan Memoli, Pace Law. Not pictured, but helping on the Pro Bono Scholars Resolution are John Weber, University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law; Alissa Koenig, New England Law; and Joshua Duden, Drake Law.
The ABA Law Student Division Pro Bono Caucus at the time of its formation during the ABA Annual Meeting in August 2017. (L to R) Thomas Kim, Chair of the Law Student Division; Samantha Pallini L'18; Taryn Sanders, George Washington Law; Angela Lee and William Nobriga, UNLV Boyd School of Law; and Ryan Memoli, Pace Law. Not pictured, but helping on the Pro Bono Scholars Resolution are John Weber, University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law; Alissa Koenig, New England Law; and Joshua Duden, Drake Law.

Christopher Clark L’18 to Participate in Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition for Second Consecutive Year

Posted on Tuesday 5/22/2018
Sara Fitzgerald, Christopher Clark

Alumnus Christopher Clark L’18 has been invited to participate in his second consecutive Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition held at Baylor Law School. 3L Sara Fitzpatrick will assist Clark during the competition and Joanne Van Dyke L’87, a partner at Coté and Van Dyke LLP, will serve as the team’s coach.

At last year’s Top Gun competition, Clark finished as the runner-up. In addition to Top Gun, Clark has participated in a number of intercollegiate competitions, including advancing to the final round of the National Trial Competition regional competition and semi-final round of the Tournament of Champions. As a student at the College of Law, he captured the 2017 Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition and the 2017 Mackenzie Hughes LLP Edmund H. Lewis Appellate Advocacy Competition.

“Christopher is an experienced, well-rounded trial competitor who is ready to represent the College of Law at this unique, prestigious event,” says Van Dyke. “While having competed at Top Gun last year should be an advantage, not knowing the case materials beforehand will necessitate careful planning, strategizing, and teamwork to be ready to take on the best law students in the country.”

Fitzpatrick has participated in the Tournament of Champions and the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition intercollegiate competitions along with a number of College of Law events.

Top Gun is an innovative, invitation-only mock trial tournament at which the single best advocates from some of the top 16 trial advocacy schools go head-to-head for the honor of being “Top Gun.” The winner earns a $10,000 prize.

Unlike other mock trial competitions, participants do not receive the case file until they arrive at Baylor Law School, a mere 24 hours before the first round of trials begin. Preparation includes reviewing depositions, records, and photographs and taking a trip to the actual places where events in the case supposedly occurred. Shortly before each round, competitors are assigned a witness or witnesses who may be used at their discretion during the round. The jurors for each round are distinguished trial lawyers and judges.

Alumna Appointed President & COO of JetBlue

Posted on Monday 5/21/2018
Joanna Geraghty

On May 18, 2018, JetBlue Airways announced that Joanna Geraghty L'97, G'97, will be the company's new President and Chief Operating Officer. In this position, Geraghty will manage day-to-day airline operations, focusing on customer service, structural cost initiatives, and operational performance.

Geraghty joined JetBlue in 2005. She was most recently Executive Vice President-Customer Experience, responsible for the experience of millions of customers annually and for 15,000 customer-facing crew members. She served as Executive Vice President-Chief People Officer from 2010 to 2014 and was previously the airline’s Vice President, Associate General Counsel, and Director of Litigation and Regulatory Affairs.

At Syracuse University, Geraghty was a joint degree student, receiving a master’s in international relations from the Maxwell School as well as a juris doctor degree. 

“I’m honored and humbled to take on this role, and I am committed to supporting our nearly 22,000 crew members at JetBlue as we continue to prove why JetBlue is the airline that inspires humanity,” says Geraghty.

Geraghty also is President of the JetBlue Foundation and Chairperson of the Board of Concern Worldwide, an international humanitarian not-for-profit. Before joining JetBlue, she was a Partner at Holland and Knight, a New York law firm.

William C. Banks Speaks to Bloomberg Law on the One Year Anniversary of Mueller’s Appointment

Posted on Friday 5/18/2018
William C. Banks

Senate Releases New Document Trove in Russia Probe

William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses the release of 2,500 documents related to the chamber’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He speaks with Bloomberg’s June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s "Politics, Policy, Power and Law."

Listen to the segment here.

College of Law Celebrates the Commencement of the Class of 2018

Posted on Monday 5/14/2018

On May 11, 2018, the College of Law conferred 174 Juris Doctor and 32 Masters of Laws (LL.M.) in American Law degrees for the Class of 2018. In addition, 25 J.D. graduates completed their dual degrees in a number of disciplines.

Preet Bharara, Distinguished Scholar, NYU Law School, and former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, delivered the commencement address. At the conclusion of his address, he stressed that “Never has the law been more important. Never have lawyers been more important. Never have leaders been more important.”

Recognizing the faculty member who made an impact on the Class of 2018, the annual Res Ipsa Loquitur Award went to Associate Professor Lauryn Gouldin. Associate Professor Cora True-Frost L’01 was selected by the Masters of Laws students as the recipient of the Lucet Lex Mundum Award, recognizing a faculty member who made a significant impact on the LL.M. class. Class president Nicholas Dellefave and LL.M. Student Bar Association senator Salem Hafez delivered addresses. 

Watch Today’s Commencement Ceremony Starting at 11 a.m.

Posted on Friday 5/11/2018

Click here to watch Today’s Commencement Ceremony Starting at 11 a.m.

Peter Blanck Comments to Financial Times on Disabilities & the Workplace

Posted on Thursday 5/10/2018
Peter Blanck

Companies grapple with growing legal obligations to disabled people

(Financial Times | May 9, 2018) Unite, the UK union, helped win a legal victory in March that expanded safeguards against discrimination in the workplace established under the 2010 Equality Act to those with “pre-cancer”.

The ruling added to the range of workplace protections for disabled people in the UK. However, a challenge remains in knowing when the law should be applied, particularly in the case of mental health disabilities.

“It can be very difficult to work out whether someone is suffering from a particular impairment,” says Simon Kerr-Davis, a lawyer in the London employment practice at Linklaters. “But once that’s established, most employers are pretty clear as to what their obligations should be.” The scope of employer obligations has expanded in recent decades. In the US, the Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990. In the EU, provisions on disabilities were included in the Employment Equality Directive, adopted by member states in 2000.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted in 2006. Article 27 protects people with disabilities from discrimination and recognises their right to work on an equal basis with others.

Across jurisdictions, laws have different characteristics. “While within Europe, we’re all driven by the same directive, there will be differences between the implementations in different jurisdictions,” says Mr Kerr-Davis.

In the UK, part of the definition of a disability is that it has a “long-term” negative effect of 12 months or more on someone’s ability to conduct normal daily activities. This is not the case in the US. “In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act was amended and it made the threshold question of who has a disability more open — you don’t have to show a particular time period,” says Peter Blanck, a Syracuse University professor and chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute, which promotes the interests of people with disabilities.

Within the US, state laws sometimes go further than the ADA. “California and New York have very strong additional protections,” says Prof Blanck. “At a minimum they would comply with federal law but they are free to do an even better job" ...

Access the full article here.

Trial Practice Class Simulation Prepares Students and Volunteers for the Courtroom

Posted on Thursday 5/10/2018
Trial Practice class

Students in Professor Lee Michaels’ L’67 Trial Practice class recently participated in a simulated trial as part of their final grade. The simulated trial cast the students as prosecutors, defenders, and witnesses in a fictitious criminal case. Also taking part in the simulations were an actual judge and a deputy from the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department.

“The goal of this course is to prepare students to step into the courtroom and try a relatively simple case as soon as they are admitted to the bar. To me, the best way to accomplish this is to throw the students into adversarial situations from the first class to the last moment of their final trial,” said Michaels. “There are very few lectures. Instead, the students get a critique after their weekly exercise and I don’t hold back. I don’t worry about embarrassing someone who has made a mistake or can do something better. No one escapes the semester without some criticism. Thus, the students learn not only from their own exercise and critique but from the critiques other students receive.”

A recent simulation featured Auburn City Judge David Thurston L’04 as the judge, with 3Ls Sarah Wheeler and Chris Genrich representing the prosecution and 3Ls Jason Zajdel and Matt Martello representing the defendants. Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Brian Myers served as a witness, along with other students from the class. Testifying in the other trials were Deputy Mike Baim and Lt. Brian Schenck.

“This a great collaboration between the two groups. The students did a great job presenting and defending the case,” said Schenck. “The class is an effective way to get our deputies and patrol staff trained and comfortable being in a courtroom setting.”

“To make it even more realistic, for the final trials, I invite area judges and trial lawyers to participate as the presiding judge. Last year we began a collaboration with the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department. This year, the collaboration is such that, in three separate trials we have received the participation of a deputy or higher in each trial,” said Michaels. “The deputies seem to like testifying in a mock situation where no one may go to jail or escape a conviction because of a mistake they might make. When the deputy is finished testifying, we stop the trial and the presiding judge and I critique the deputy as a witness. From the feedback I have received, this collaboration has been a beneficial activity for all involved.’’

Over the course of four final trials, the guest judges were: Auburn City Court Judge Michael McKeon, Kevin Kuehner L’99 of Kuehner Law Firm, Judge Thurston, and US Magistrate Judge Thérèse Dancks L‘91, the last three all being former trial practice students of Michaels.

In addition to students, volunteers from the local community act as witnesses. In one case, says Michaels, a husband played the part of an alleged rapist and his wife played the part of the alleged victim.

Banks, Baker Serve on ABA Military Commissions Workshop, Report Published

Posted on Wednesday 5/9/2018
Guantanamo Bay

On Dec. 7, 2017, INSCT Founding Director William C. Banks and incoming Director the Hon. James E. Baker joined colleagues on the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security (ABA SCOLANS) for a one-day workshop investigating law and policy related to the military commissions at the US Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Workshop Report—The US Military Commissions: Looking Forward—has been published and is available from ABA SCOLANS.

Co-convened by George Washington University Law School, the purpose of the workshop was to provide a forum for expert discussion of issues that face the US military commissions. The commissions were first authorized by President George W. Bush in a Military Order in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and subsequently by the Military Commissions Acts of 2006 and 2009. Forty-one detainees are currently held at Guantanamo Bay. On Jan. 30, 2018, President Donald J. Trump's Executive Order "Protecting America Through Lawful Detention of Terrorists" allows the US to transport additional detainees to Guantanamo Bay "when lawful and necessary to protect the Nation.” 

The workshop's four sessions addressed:

  1. An overview of the military commissions at Guantanamo.
  2. Legal questions related to existing detainees not charged before the commissions.
  3. Legal issues that could arise if new detainees were brought to Guantanamo.
  4. The implications for the commissions posed by a new authorization to use military force.

Workshop rapporteurs were Judge Baker, who will succeed Banks as INSCT Director in July 2018, and Professor Laura Dickinson of George Washington University Law School. The workshop's non-partisan report is intended to inform policymakers, commentators, and the public on possible paths forward in the interest of US national security, law, and justice.

"The group assembled by ABA SCOLANS brought together scholars and practitioners in the US who are most knowledgeable about the Commissions and who are in the best position to think clearly and positively about reforms that could set the Commissions on a path toward achieving their goal of justice in individual cases," says Banks. 

Among the prominent national security scholars joining Banks and Baker at the workshop were Geoffrey Corn of South Texas College of Law, Jennifer Daskal of American University Washington College of Law, Ryan Goodman of NYU Law School, Andrea Harrison of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Robert Litt of Morrison & Foerster, and Steve Vladeck of University of Texas Law School. 

College of Law Researchers Awarded CUSE Grants

Posted on Tuesday 5/8/2018
Syracuse University Seal

Seven College of Law researchers are among the lead investigators and co-investigators awarded Syracuse University Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) grants, in the program's inaugural round of funding, announced on May 4, 2018.

This internal grant program provides seed funding for faculty research and scholarly projects across all disciplines. The College’s projects address a spectrum of issues with timely, real-world impacts, from the causes of structural poverty and military veterans’ reintegration to civic engagement and "fake news." The projects were divided among three of the four types of grant on offer: Seed Grants, Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research Grants, and Interdisciplinary Seminar Grants. The College of Law projects include three that draw on the expertise of Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism scholars.

“These grants recognize the impactful and interdisciplinary work of College of Law faculty,” says Nina Kohn, Associate Dean for Research and Online Education. “Some will provide the seed funding to allow faculty to develop larger, funded initiatives; others will support innovative and interdisciplinary teaching that will enrich the student experience.”

In total, $1.67 million was awarded for 90 projects across the University. All schools and colleges that applied to the program are represented in the funded projects, and many of the projects—included those related to the College of Law—are interdisciplinary and collaborative.


Syracuse Civics Initiative

PI: Kimberly Wolf Price, College of Law

Co-PI: Lauryn P. Gouldin, College of Law

Type: Seed Grant

The Syracuse Civics Initiative will develop a program to engage University faculty, staff, and students from across campus to build partnerships with local school districts and educators to address the crisis of confidence in public institutions. By using available resources at the University and building connections between local school districts and the national, state, and local organizations that support civics education, we will work to create innovative approaches to foster civic engagement and restore public trust in our democratic institutions.

Among its projects, the Syracuse Civics Initiative will work with the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to expand its Justice for All program to Central New York and with the Association of Former Members of Congress about partnerships around its Civics Connection program. The grant also will fund a law student Civics Fellow to work with the initiative's leadership team. 

The Case for Fake News

PI: Keith J. Bybee, College of Law

Type: Seed Grant

Although partisans sharply disagree about what news is fake, all parties denounce "fake news" as corrosive. The shared criticism is rooted in a belief that the news ought to provide facts the public needs to understand and participate in politics. This research project will argue that the conventional understanding of fake news is incomplete because it ignores the political dimension of news consumption—it is not solely a means of gathering facts; for many, it is a means of confirming identity. 

In tracing how the understanding of news has developed in American legal and political thought, this project will 1) examine nineteenth century theories that envisioned news consumption as a way of imagining and creating community; 2) demonstrate how older theories have been obscured by a dominant contemporary understanding that sees the free press as an essential mechanism for discovering truth; and 3) argue that the importance of fake news stems not only from the misinformation it contains but also from the forms of communal identity it facilitates. 

Turbulent Tenancy: Evictions in Syracuse

PI: Gretchen W Purser, Maxwell School

Co-PIs: Deborah S Kenn, College of Law; Prema Ann Kurien, Maxwell School; Christina Leigh Docteur, Syracuse University; Zhanjiang Liu, Arts & Sciences; Andrew S London, Maxwell School; David Van Slyke, Maxwell School 

Type: Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research Grant

Eviction is a critical issue among the urban poor. This project will conduct a longitudinal study of evictions in Syracuse—starting as close to the time of the eviction hearing as possible, with follow-ups at three and 12 months—and assess its impacts on structural causes of generational poverty. The project's goal is to recommend policy, legislative, and administrative changes. 

Historical and Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Post-9/11 Veterans’ Reintegration: Interdisciplinary Social Science Research for Understanding Veterans’ Transition Experiences

PI: Robert A. Rubinstein, Maxwell School

Co-PIs: Dessa K Bergen-Cico, Falk College; Clementine Fujimura, US Naval Academy; Margaret G. Hermann, Maxwell School; Robert B. Murrett, INSCT; Rosalinda Maury, Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF); Bryan Semaan, iSchool; Corri Zoli, INSCT

Type: Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research Grant

This project will develop interdisciplinary and cross-cultural knowledge of reintegration challenges for post-9/11 and Gulf War US military servicemembers and veterans. Using historical and cross-cultural lenses, it will identify and assess current (both formal and informal) mechanisms for reintegration and identify successful mechanisms that are used in other contexts. 

This research expects to make contributions to emergent literatures on veterans’ transition challenges; barriers to civilian reintegration (including employment, education, homelessness, and mental health); and changing civil-military relations; among other issues.

Smart Cities: An Interdisciplinary Seminar Series 

PI: Laura J. Steinberg, Engineering and Computer Science (ECS)

Co-PIs: Teresa A Dahlberg, ECS; Gurdip Singh, ECS; Andria Costello Staniec, ECS; Zhanjiang Liu, Arts & Sciences; Christina Leigh Docteur, Syracuse University; Corri Zoli, INSCT

Type: Interdisciplinary Seminar Grant

This project will launch and support an interdisciplinary seminar on one of the CUSE Grants’ priority areas of focus: "Smart Cities". The goal is to create a core community of University faculty in this area of inquiry, as well as bring in outside speakers. The initial plan is to hold five events. 

Northeast Residential Energy Use Pilot Study

PI: Peter Wilcoxen, Maxwell School

Co-PIs: Steve Chapin, Engineering and Computer Science; Jason Dedrick, iSchool; Keli Perrin, INSCT

Type: Innovative and Interdisciplinary Research Grant

This proposal will carry out a pilot study of residential electricity consumption by households in the Northeast, using high resolution metering that enables near-real-time monitoring of individual circuits and household thermostats. Such data would be very helpful in the design of policies that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and peak load electricity demand and improve the resilience of communities to natural disasters. 

This project initially will set up a small sample of homes in Central New York to demonstrate the methodology, develop local expertise on installing the necessary equipment, and provide preliminary results. INSCT Assistant Director Keli Perrin will focus on privacy issues that arise from using high-frequency metering. Perrin, Chapin, and Wilcoxen co-teach the graduate course “Smart Grid: Security, Privacy, and Economics."

Spring DCEx Program Concludes with Distinguished Guest Lecturer James Voyles L’14 from the Department of Interior

Posted on Monday 5/7/2018
DC externship James Voyles

On April 23rd, the Spring 2018 DCEx Program concluded with a final seminar at the U.S. Department of Interior with Distinguished Guest Lecturer and alumnus James Voyles L’14. Voyles currently serves as Senior Counsel for the department where his portfolio consists of regulatory oversight in energy and national infrastructure projects. 

Voyles began the seminar with a brief tour of Secretary Ryan Zinke’s office. Students were able to walk around the secretary’s panoramic balcony and take in the inspiring views of the city as the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument were in clear view.

After the tour, students were able to sit with Voyles in the department leadership’s conference room where he discussed his successful path to the Department of Interior. Voyles offered encouraging advice as students continue to navigate the D.C. legal market for employment and recommended students continue to network every chance they have. Voyles attributed much of his success to relationships he developed with professors while attending the College of Law and to the master’s degree he earned simultaneously in New Media Management from Newhouse. He said the relationships forged with professors helped him understand the law on a deeper level and his skills developed through Newhouse prepared him to relay messages in a way that builds consensus today.

David Driesen Pens OpEd About the Travel Ban & Presidential Power for The Hill

Posted on Monday 5/7/2018
David Driesen

Travel Ban Has Slippery Slope to Giving President Too Much Power

(The Hill | May 4, 2018) Lawyers frequently argue that accepting an argument in one context may lead to unacceptable consequences in another. Lawyers call this a slippery slope argument. The slippery slope dominated the oral argument on the legality of the administration’s travel ban before the Supreme Court in Trump v. Hawaii. No justice suggested that a sound national security rationale undergirds this travel ban.

But Justice John Roberts worried that recognizing the principle that the president cannot restrict travel on the basis of religion or nationality might have bad consequences at other times. He asked, for example, if the president could ban travel from Syria if 20 Syrians were about to enter the United States with chemical and biological weapons.

Roberts also asked about a longer lasting danger with Congress unable to pass legislation. The court’s conservative wing seemed inclined to uphold an unnecessary ban motivated by religious animus, because a decision striking down the ban might someday stop a president from unilaterally addressing a real danger.

But upholding this travel ban also would create a slippery slope. If neither the statutory restriction on nationality-based restrictions nor the Constitution’s prohibition of religious discrimination restrain the president’s authority to ban classes of aliens, then Trump could add all Muslim-majority countries to his travel ban list, perhaps adding some other countries as window dressing.

The court can avoid sliding down a slippery slope by issuing an opinion tied tightly to the facts. The court could hold that Trump’s statements about religion make this ban discriminatory. Such a ruling might limit Trump’s options in responding to security threats, but would likely have no effect on future presidents. Or the court could overturn this travel ban based on the lack of an adequate national security rationale, since no immigrants from the banned countries have carried out terrorist attacks.

A narrower approach would combine these two options. The court could hold that once religious animus is shown, the president must proffer a reasonably robust national security rationale for his actions. The court could more narrowly hold that the president must make the entire record available so it can judge whether the national security rationale provides a mere pretext for violating constitutional rights. The administration’s failure to put the full interagency review it conducted in the record suggests that it does not support the travel ban that Trump chose.

The court’s reluctance to review a proffered national security rationale at all puts our entire democracy on a dangerous slippery slope. Given the persistence of global terrorism, almost any action limiting our liberties, no matter how unnecessary at the time, can be justified as the type of national security measure that could be needed in the future ...

Read the full article.

Hon. James E. Baker Joins Syracuse University College of Law as Professor, Director of INSCT

Posted on Monday 5/7/2018
James E. Baker

Jurist, scholar, and law and policy practitioner the Hon. James E. Baker will join the faculty of Syracuse University College of Law, as well as the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, as a Professor in Fall 2018. Judge Baker will lead the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism as Director, succeeding Professor William C. Banks, who founded the Institute in 2003.

One of the most highly regarded national security lawyers and policy advisors in the nation, Judge Baker’s career has evolved from an Infantry Officer in the US Marine Corps; to the staff of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan; to the US Department of State, Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and National Security Council. Mostly notably, Judge Baker served on the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces for 15 years—the last four as Chief Judge. 

Since 2015, Judge Baker has served as a Member of the Public Interest Declassification Board; as a Consultant for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity; and as Chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security. Judge Baker has taught at several universities, including his alma mater Yale Law School and the Georgetown University Law Center. From 2017-2018, he was a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at MIT’s Center for International Studies. Previous recipients of this prestigious fellowship include former UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Adm. William Fallon, former Commander of US Central Command. 

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Judge Baker into our College of Law family and, given the interdisciplinary approach to national security at Syracuse, I look forward to introducing him to the University as a whole,” says College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “Not only will he strengthen the College’s reputation and reinforce INSCT’s leadership position in national security law and policy, he is positioned to transform how the topic is studied and taught and to respond with intellectual agility as new security challenges emerge. Under his guidance, I fully expect INSCT to continue its exceptional track record of graduate placement in this practice area.”

"I am very delighted that Judge Baker will be joining Syracuse University and leading INSCT," says Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Dean David M. Van Slyke. "His commitment to interdisciplinary research with policy implications and to working across the sectors and levels of government makes him an ideal leader and one that we in the Maxwell School are very excited to work with."

"Judge Baker is one of the most highly regarded national security lawyers in the nation," says Professor William C. Banks, Founding Director, INSCT. "His path to excellence spans appointments in the US military, in public service and on the bench, and in academia. He is a gifted teacher and an accomplished scholar, whose penetrating analyses of national security law problems are routinely cited as exemplars in the field. That he has compiled an impressive record of publications while engaged as a judge and legal adviser in government is a testament to his energy and drive to educate about national security."

“I am excited and honored to be joining Syracuse University and the faculty of the College of Law and Maxwell School. It is also a privilege to take INSCT’s helm from Bill Banks. Bill is a friend, an educator, and a scholar whose vision created the Institute and whose leadership enriched it for more than 15 years,” says the Hon. James E. Baker. “INSCT’s excellent reputation for interdisciplinary scholarship and hands-on national security academics attracted me to this position. So did the University’s deep and sincere commitment to public service and to veterans. I look forward to continuing the Institute’s research, teaching, service, and legal and policy analysis initiatives; to expanding its portfolio of sponsored programs; and to working on critical, emerging challenges in national security law and policy with colleagues in the College of Law, Maxwell School, and across the University. I especially look forward to mentoring the next generation of national security practitioners and thought leaders.”

Judge Baker is the author of two books, In the Common Defense: National Security Law for Perilous Times (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and Regulating Covert Action (Yale University Press, 1992, with Michael Reisman) as well as numerous chapters and articles. Among his several awards, Judge Baker has been honored by the National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency, and the US Army Command and General Staff College (Honorary Master of Military Arts and Science, 2009). He holds a B.A. from Yale University (1982) and a J.D. from Yale Law School (1990).

Nina Kohn Testifies to Senate Special Committee on Aging and Social Security Administration

Posted on Friday 5/4/2018
Nina A. Kohn

On April 18, 2018, College of Law Associate Dean for Research and Online Education and David M. Levy L'48 Professor of Law Nina A. Kohn testified in Washington, DC, on guardianship abuse and reform and financial decision-making for people with disabilities. 

During the morning, Kohn testified to Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on guardianship abuse at the invitation of Committee Chairman Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Ranking Member Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. At the hearing—titled “Abuse of Power: Exploitation of Older Americans by Guardians and Others They Trust”—Kohn discussed the need for guardianship reform and potential legislative responses. Kohn’s testimony included a discussion of the Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act (UGCOPAA), for which she served as Reporter. 

In the opening statement, Senator Collins framed the issue of guardianship abuse with heart-rending anecdotes from Nevada and Maine about the exploitation of elders at the hands of unscrupulous, court-appointed guardians. “Individuals can lose practically all of their civil rights when a guardian is ordered,” said Collins. “It is a legal appointment made by a court, and in many cases it is justified and protects the individual. But ... in some cases the guardian exploits the vulnerable person, and it is often very difficult to reverse the guardianship.” Currently, an estimated 1.5 million adults are under guardian care.

However, according to a Forbes summary of the proceedings, the panel of four experts told the committee members that “the vast majority of elder financial abuse by guardians can be prevented.” 

In her testimony, Kohn identified four fundamental problems with the current guardianship system in the United States:
Turning to reform of the system, Kohn noted that the 2017 Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act requires the US Attorney General to publish “model legislation relating to guardianship proceedings for the purpose of preventing elder abuse.” Kohn explained that such exemplary legislation now exists. The UGCOPAA, explained Kohn, clearly addresses the four problems she enumerated.

  • Some people who are subject to guardianship should not be.
  • Many people subject to guardianship are subject to more restrictive arrangements than they need.
  • A subset of guardians act in ways that violate the rights and insult the humanity of those they serve.
  • Existing systems and rules unintentionally create incentives that exacerbate these problems. 

Specifically, the Act:

  • Provides clear decision-making standards for guardians.
  • Incentivizes limited guardianships over full ones by making it easier to petition for a limited guardianship.
  • Limits the ability of unscrupulous guardians to drain assets by charging unreasonable fees.
  • Creates new mechanisms to monitor guardian behavior at minimal cost to the public, by leveraging persons interested in the welfare of the individual subject to guardianship. 

“In short, the Act provides a smart, fiscally responsible model for states,” Kohn said. “Its widespread enactment will bring about the reform necessary to curb guardianship abuse.”

Kohn also suggested to the committee that guardians be mandated to inform the courts when people under their care are able to make their own decisions again. As reported by Forbes, Kohn explained that many stroke victims, for instance, can quickly recover their decision-making ability. “A guardian should be appointed only when a person cannot make their own decisions and is at risk of harm without the aid of someone to oversee their affairs,” said Kohn. 

Watch the hearing and Kohn’s testimony here.

In the afternoon, Kohn testified to the Social Security Administration (SSA) at its National Disability Forum on “Financial Independence: Directing the Management of One’s Social Security Benefits.” At the session, Kohn discussed reform of the Representative Payee Program, a Social Security Administration initiative that provides financial management for beneficiaries who are unable to manage their Social Security or Supplemental Security Income payments.

Kohn’s testimony focused on the steps that can be taken to increase the likelihood that SSA appoints representative payees (individuals who manage Social Security benefits for another) for beneficiaries who need them, and not for those who do not. She discussed how parallel issues are addressed in the context of guardianship, as well as lessons the Administration could learn from UGCOPAA. 

For instance, Kohn urged the SSA to tie appointments of representative payees to beneficiaries’ functional needs and suggested how this might be facilitated. Moreover, Kohn recommended that better processes for termination of appointments and restoration of beneficiaries’ rights be created, and she discussed the relationship between surrogate appointments and supported decision-making and the role of person-centered decision-making standards.  

Christian Science Monitor Quotes Craig M. Boise on International Financial Transparency

Posted on Friday 5/4/2018
Craig M. Boise

Disclosure in the Caymans: Global walls of financial secrecy are falling

(Christian Science Monitor | May 3, 2018) In 1998, the Nigerian oil minister, Dan Etete, awarded the concession to oil block OPL245 to Malabu Oil and Gas – for $2 million, five days after the company was set up. It was later found that Mr. Etete was the real owner of Malabu, and that he had awarded himself the concession for a pittance: When it was sold 13 years later, he reportedly made $1.1 billion.

He is now facing corruption charges in Nigeria and in Italy.

In late 2007 and early 2008, a company in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) linked to Russian mobsters wired at least $900,000 to another BVI company owned by a Russian businessman who was later sanctioned by the United States for his ties to Syria's chemical weapons program.

These examples are just a hint of the the $8 trillion to $36 trillion estimated to be hidden away in the world’s financial system. Using shell companies and banks that keep their identities hidden, corrupt politicians, drug kingpins, tax evaders, and money launderers secretly park their money in countries far away from the prying eyes of law enforcement and tax officials. But an international push to make their identity public is gaining traction.

From Switzerland to the United States to Britain and the European Union, the shields of secrecy that have protected criminal transactions are beginning to fall like dominoes. While these moves don’t represent the beginning of the end of hiding assets overseas, they may represent the end of the beginning in a global movement toward new standards of transparency ...

... The BVI and the Caymans both criticized Britain’s move, with the former calling for a private registry and the latter talking of options including a potential legal challenge.

Both have moved to modernize and diversify their financial industries beyond setting up secret corporations. “Back in the ’50s and ’60s, people would fly in with briefcases full of cash,” says Craig Boise, a tax law professor and dean at Syracuse University who has spent years studying both tax havens. Still, the latest change “is likely to cause a pretty seismic shift in their business model.”

Read the full article here.

College of Law Hosts OCBA’s Law Day; 3L Conor Tallet Receives Law Clinic Award

Posted on Wednesday 5/2/2018
Professor Deborah Kenn and 3L Conor Tallet

The College of Law was proud to host the Onondaga County Bar Association’s (OCBA) annual Law Day event on May 1, 2018, in Dineen Hall. 

The keynote address on this year’s theme of the separation of powers was presented by Vice Dean Keith J. Bybee. Conor Tallet, a third year law student in the Criminal Defense Law Clinic, was honored with the College of Law Clinic Award, presented by Professor Deborah Kenn. The event concluded with a CLE session on “How Can We Be Better Within the Legal Profession on Issues of Diversity and Inclusion: A Continuing Process” that was presented by Teaching Professor and Director of the Children’s Rights and Family Law Clinic Suzette Meléndez.

The program also featured the presentation of bar association awards. Alumna Marion Hancock Fish L’80 received the Outstanding Service to the Bar Association award; Onondaga County Mock Trail winners from Fayetteville-Manlius High School were honored, and new OCBA officers and directors were sworn in. This latter group included alumni Crystal M. Doody L’05, Paula Mallory Engel L’93, Danielle M. Fogel L’04, Scott A. Lickstein L’80, and Sarah C. Reckess L’09.

Corri Zoli Offers Thoughts on Human Rights Training to US GAO

Posted on Wednesday 5/2/2018
Corri Zoli

Corri Zoli, Director of Research for the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, discussed human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL) training with the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) on April 19, 2018. 

Zoli was invited to a teleconference session by recent graduate James I. McCully L'17, G'17, now an Analyst in International Affairs and Trade at GAO. A joint J.D./M.P.A. student, while at Syracuse McCully was a research assistant to professors Robert Ashford and David Driesen and Lead Articles Editor for the Journal of International Law and Commerce.

Explained McCully, the GAO is in the process of responding to a mandate in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act to review human rights and IHL training provided by the departments of State and Defense to the security forces of foreign nations. 

Specifically, McCully's team asked Zoli, an expert in international law, about her observations and views on human rights and IHL training being provided to foreign security forces; her thoughts about the Leahy Laws, which prohibit the US from providing military assistance to foreign security forces that violate human rights; and what assessments, monitoring, and evaluation are most effective when reviewing and auditing this type of training. 

"Partisan Overtones": William C. Banks Discusses House Russia Report with WIRED

Posted on Monday 4/30/2018
William C. Banks


(WIRED | April 27, 2018) THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released an over 250-page report Friday outlining its months-long investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The full report, the key findings of which were published in March, finds that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia. But it shouldn't be held up as any sort of evidence of the president's innocence—even though Trump and his political allies have already begun to use it as such ...

... The Republicans did interview a number of key players in Trump's orbit, but their statements were mostly accepted as credible without much scrutiny. "The House 'investigation' as sketched in this report essentially boils down to asking Trump campaign officials whether they colluded with Russia, and declaring the case closed when they all said 'no,'" says Sanchez. Critically, they seem to have rejected numerous requests to subpoena documentary evidence that might call those accounts into question."

"The House investigation was beset by partisan overtones from the beginning. Representative Nunes, chair of the committee, took every opportunity to act as an apologist for the Trump White House and to dismiss both the seriousness of Russian intervention in the election and the possible involvement of Trump campaign personnel," says William C. Banks, the director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University College of Law ...

Read the full article here.

One Day at a Time: William C. Banks Examines Sessions' Role in Cohen Case on Bloomberg Law

Posted on Monday 4/30/2018
William C. Banks

William C. Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s decision not to recuse himself in the investigation into Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer. 

Sessions has recused himself from matters relating to the Mueller investigation because of his role in the Trump Campaign during the 2016 election. 

Banks' clip begins at 7m18s ...

College of Law hosts the “Technology & Policy Responses to Climate Disruption Symposium.”

Posted on Thursday 4/26/2018
Climate Disruption symposium - Emily Brown

The College of Law recently hosted the “Technology & Policy Responses to Climate Disruption Symposium.” Professors of science, engineering, economics, policy, and law discussed responses to the environmental and ecological challenges posed by climate disruption across two panels. 

College of Law speakers included University Professor David Driesen and Assistant Teaching Professor Emily Brown, joining professors from Syracuse University College of Arts & Sciences, College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Speakers from Yale Law School, DePaul Law School, Dayton Law School, and the University of Colorado – Boulder also participated in the event.

The symposium was organized and Moderated by Shubha Ghosh, JD, Ph.D., Crandall Melvin Professor of Law; Director, IP & Technology Commercialization Curricular Program.

Advanced Property Program Students Present the 6th Annual Continuing Education Program on Issues in Local Zoning to Onondaga County Officials

Posted on Tuesday 4/24/2018
Claire Engle, Troy Green, Conor Tallet, Professor Robin Paul Malloy, Sara Adams, Matthew Schachte

Five students from Professor Robin Paul Malloy’s Advanced Property Program recently presented the 6th Annual Continuing Education Program on Issues in Local Zoning to a group of Onondaga County zoning officials. In attendance to receive the training necessary to meet the New York State requirements for continuing education were 38 officials representing 11 different Towns. 

Students working under Professor Malloy’s supervision are approved to offer the State required zoning education program through the Town of DeWitt. Zoning Law topics covered included: Free Speech and the First Amendment; Urban Farming; New York's Padavan Law; Service and Emotional Support Animals; Article 78 Review; and Disability Law and Land Use. 

“The Continuing Education Program is an excellent example of a mutually beneficial partnership between the College of Law and the local community,” said Malloy. “Our students gain valuable legal knowledge researching the topics and experience presenting to local government officials. The zoning professionals gain the education needed to stay current with the ever-changing field of zoning laws.”

Student presenters were: Sara Adams, Claire Engle, Troy Green, Matthew Schachte, and Conor Tallet.

Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic Student Attorney Represents Client at Board of Veterans Appeals In Washington, DC

Posted on Monday 4/23/2018
Kelsea Carbajal

Kelsea Carbajal, a 2nd-year student in the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic, recently represented a Gulf War-era veteran before the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington, DC.

Carbajal made the opening argument, elicited testimony from her client in a direct examination, and actively discussed the law with the Veterans Law Judge. 

“When the Veterans Law Judge requested additional issues to be discussed, Kelsea was able to adjust her presentation on the spot and represented her client’s interests well,” said Yelena Duterte, Director of the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic.

The Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic provides veterans and their families with free legal representation in VA applications and appeals, and disability upgrade applications.  Students in the Clinic gain experience in research, drafting legal briefs, and conducting oral arguments on behalf of their clients. 

Michael Schwartz to Co-Chair University Disability Services Audit Steering Committee

Posted on Wednesday 4/18/2018
Michael Schwartz

Steering Committee Formed to Lead Disability Services Audit

(SU News | April 17, 2018) Syracuse University has announced a 16-member steering committee comprised of faculty, staff, and students to oversee a comprehensive audit of disability services across campus. The steering committee will be responsible for identifying a national consultant to conduct the audit, and working with the consultant to make recommendations to improve the campus experience for members of the community who are disabled.

The new committee, formed at the request of Chancellor Kent Syverud, will be co-chaired by Joanna Masingila, Dean of the School of Education, and Michael Schwartz, Associate Professor of Law.

Masingila and Schwartz will work with the committee to define its goals, scope and responsibilities. The committee will also soon begin its search for a national expert in disabilities-related work to conduct the audit of University policies. The audit will include evaluating Syracuse University’s processes and policies on student housing, academic and non-academic accommodations, medical leaves and other disability-related policies.

Joining Schwartz on the committee will be first-year law student Eddie Zaremba. Find the full list of committee members online.

All Signs Point to Success: Wivi & TCLP Collaborate to Drive an ASL Interpreter App to Market

Posted on Monday 4/16/2018
Wivi Logo

When entrepreneurs talk about “disruption,” they are typically referring to the disruptive potential of their technology. They hope, that is, that their invention might have the power to shake up a long-established market and become the next Airbnb or GoFundMe. But “disruption” for a Deaf or hard-of-hearing entrepreneur can have a much more negative connotation. 

Communicating with businesspeople in the hearing community—by working with American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter services for important meetings “at the speed of business”—can be such a significant barrier for the Deaf that it disrupts workflow, hinders accessibility, hurts innovation, and frustrates everyone involved.

But three Deaf entrepreneurs based in Sonoma, CA—Brandon Marin, Greyson Watkins, and Spencer Montan—are looking to remove this barrier to entrepreneurial success. They are attempting to disrupt the current ASL interpreter service market with an app that they hope will become as ubiquitous and easy-to-use in the Deaf community as Uber is for city passengers wishing to hail a ride. 

And to help Wivi Technologies get their new application—called Wivi—to market, Technology Commercialization Law Program (TCLP) students, supervised by College of Law Adjunct Professor Dominick Danna, have spent the spring 2018 semester developing important patent, intellectual property (IP), market, and regulatory landscapes. Marin, Watkins, and Montan recently discussed how Wivi came about, the new app, and the critical assistance TCLP students have provided their team. 

How did your team come together to work on this new technology?

We came together after working on another start-up company, Hz Innovations Inc, dba Wavio. All of us being Deaf, we use ASL as the primary form of communication. After numerous barriers in finding ASL interpreters due to the rapid pace of the start-up world, and such issues as last-minute changes with meetings, we began to be concerned with a major problem in accessibility for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community. We began to explore the need for Deaf people to have interpreters reserved in advance, having to pay for interpreting themselves, and not having the same flexibility in their lives as their hearing counterparts.

Organizing ASL interpreters sounds like a significant impediment not just for a Deaf or hard-of-hearing entrepreneur, but for any Deaf person …

Members of our team have diverse backgrounds—in computer security, business administration, and clinical psychology—but we all share the same vision of improving accessibility for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community. We strongly believe in our vision to empower Deaf people to communicate freely and become more independent. From this inspiration, we decided to create an entirely new interpreter platform—Wivi—hoping to make access to interpreters convenient, quick, and simple. Our end goal is to offer a new communication tool that Deaf and hard-of-hearing users can use when realizing their ideas or when entering new fields and collaborating, or competing, with hearing counterparts. Our platform encourages the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community’s ecosystem to flourish. 

Can you explain how your new ASL interpreter technology platform works?

After they have signed up, Wivi enables users to connect remotely to sign language interpreters within seconds from anywhere at any time. This platform will enable fluent, easy, in-person conversations between spoken English and ASL, using an interpreter via a mobile device. Wivi interpreters are paid by the minute, and our rate beats competitors due to our unique business model that eliminates the need for a traditional agency taking a cut of an interpreter’s pay. Our business model enables interpreters—after being approved by Wivi—to sign in and work from any enclosed, private space in the world with a stable network connection using their own mobile devices. By contrast, our competitors operate from their own agencies or they have mobile platforms that cannot be downloaded as an app, or that can only be used in limited settings, such by hospitals or government services. 

Your platform sounds as though it will liberate the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community from an imperfect, technologically deficient status quo …

Often, Deaf people have to request interpreters themselves when communicating with hearing counterparts. With Wivi, even hearing counterparts can request interpreters as easily as anyone, eliminating excessive paperwork, invoicing, and a lengthy process. Current interpreting agencies emphasize their services over user experience. We are making the user experience one of the central tenets of our business model. We value how our users interact with this technology, and we allow them to become vocal about how the app works and the quality of interpreters via seamless feedback experiences and rapid connection to our support team. And we clearly acknowledge that Wivi is 100% Deaf/disabled owned; currently, there is a severe lack of Deaf-owned businesses in the start-up world. 

It sounds as though user experience and competitive pricing for live interpreters were the market gaps that you identified …

On-demand interpreting services for live situations are scarce for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing. Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) is most accessible in hospitals, but it is often difficult to use in other spaces. Additionally, Deaf people often have to accommodate interpreters’ scheduling, pricing, and advanced reservations, as well as pay for their traveling expenses. Finally, the Deaf and hard-of-hearing often are obliged to comply with interpreting agencies’ rigid policies and regulations. We predict a future in which interpreters working through VRI is a widely accepted method of interpreting for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community and in which future generations of Deaf people increasingly use technology for accessibility. 

I guess this technology is going to change the conversation in more ways than one …

Engaging with interpreters via a remote connection and an intuitive app will change the way hearing people interact with Deaf people as well. Currently, hearing people often look at the interpreters rather than the Deaf person and speak to the interpreter rather than the Deaf person. 

How did you find out about the College of Law's Technology Commercialization Law Program (TCLP) and the services its student teams offer?

We are very fortunate to have the support of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Simone Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. They referred Hz Innovations to TCLP, and the Syracuse program helped us secure a patent for Wavio (US9870719B1, “Apparatus and method for wireless sound recognition to notify users of detected sounds") within five months. The student team’s recommendations and assistance enabled us to further strengthen our collaboration with TCLP and move toward navigating the patent, intellectual property (IP), and market landscape for our new technology, Wivi. 

What has been your experience working with the technology commercialization students?

The student team has provided exceptional and thorough patent, IP, and market research for Wivi Technologies. They followed through with strong recommendations, and they brought rich information and new possibilities about how our company can flourish. They answered the countless questions we had, and we truly loved their expertise and appreciated their honesty, especially when there were questions that ventured into gray areas. In terms of their professionalism, the students did an amazing job interviewing us and communicating about scheduling and the outline of the patent research. They were prompt, courteous, and built rapport with our team. We were most impressed by their ability to understand our diverse team of people who come from all walks of life. It is not often that we find people who truly try to understand Deaf people’s experiences. 

How important are patent, IP, market, and regulatory landscapes for a start-up technology like yours?

Understanding how startups’ products must navigate the patent, IP, market, and regulatory landscapes is of utmost importance at the early stage of commercialization. These landscapes promote and protect entrepreneurs’ inventions, encourage them to innovate new products, and help them to get the competitive edge they need. Patents do not “block” startups from achieving what they want to; they are simply there to tell what we “can’t” do. Thus, research and thorough understanding are absolutely essential. If the patentability is there, it is a must to enter the patent process in order to protect investors’ funds and minimize their risks. Successfully securing a patent can lead to an immediate increase in a startup’s valuation. Startups that understand how to navigate through all of this are proven to be thinking outside the box. But creativity and ability also play a big role in crunching down on the specifics of a product.  

As you continue to bring your Wivi technology to market, what are some of your next business steps?

We are currently focused on building our team and navigate through the waters of patents and IP protection. We are halfway to completing our first round of funding, and we aim to close the first round in June 2018 prior to the product launch. We also are preparing to complete app development and enter into beta testing with at least 100 Deaf consumers and 25 interpreters, then launch and target at least 1,000 users and 25 interpreters within the first quarter of launch. With the revenues coming in, we hope to expand our team, add new features to the platform, and power up our marketing efforts to acquire more consumers and interpreters to onboard the app and spread awareness among targeted customers. 

That’s an ambitious timeline. What are some of the challenges that you foresee?

It is crucial to pay attention to retention rate once we acquire customers, due to the rapid evolution of the mobile industry. Hence, we aim to build relationships with the interpreting industry and with our customers. Our team is dedicated to improving the quality of interpreting standard and user experience, so we would like to conduct international market research in the near future once we start to scale up our app, in order to support those countries that do not have VRI providers for their Deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens. More importantly, we are pursuing the support and investor funds that can help scale the platform quickly. 

Crisis Looming? William C. Banks Discusses Trump, Rosenstein, & Mueller on Bloomberg Law

Posted on Friday 4/13/2018
William C. Banks
Trump Considers Firing Rod Rosenstein

William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses reports that President Trump considered firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over his involvement in the raid of the offices of Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Listen to the clip here. (Bill Banks begins at 7m50s ...)

Leading International and Israeli Disability Authority, Professor Arie Rimmerman, Appointed BBI Senior International Fellow

Posted on Thursday 4/12/2018

Arie Rimmerman, the Richard Crossman Chair for Social Welfare & Planning and distinguished faculty member in the School of Social Work, Social Welfare and Health Studies at the University of Haifa in Israel, has been appointed a Senior Fellow at the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University.

The BBI Senior International Fellows program is for outstanding participants to collaborate with BBI researchers and to foster the interdisciplinary study and application of disability law and policy as it relates to the advancement of the social and economic independence of people with disabilities. “We are extremely honored to have Professor Rimmerman join us at BBI to collaborate in writing opportunities, and research grants on the interpretation and development of public policy and law related to persons with disabilities and their families,” says Syracuse University Professor and BBI Chairman Peter Blanck.

Rimmerman is an internationally known researcher in the areas of intellectual disabilities and disability studies. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters in Israel, Australia, Europe and the United States.  He is the author of three recent books by Cambridge University Press, Social Inclusion of People with Disabilities (2013), Family Policy and Disability (2015) and Disability and Community Living Policies (2017).  

Rimmerman is the Founder of the Israeli Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities, Rimmerman established graduate studies in this area in Israeli universities. Aside from his scientific contributions, he served as an advisor to ministers of labor and welfare, the ministries of defense and justice, and leads public committees related to people with developmental disabilities, veterans with disabilities and people with work-related disabilities. He is a recipient of a Fulbright Doctoral Student Fellowship (1979), the Lehman Award (1987), the William Trump Award (1998), the International Award of the American Association on Mental Retardation (1999) and the Burton Blatt Distinguished Leadership Award (2006).

Rimmerman holds a B.S.W. from the Tel Aviv University School of Social Work, an M.A. from the School of Social Work at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, and a Ph.D./D.S.W. from the School of Social Work at Adelphi University/Brandeis University.

For additional information on Professor Rimmerman and his activities, visit the BBI website.

Wisconsin Public Radio Interviews David M. Crane for Its "Syria Update"

Posted on Thursday 4/12/2018
David M. Crane

Syria Update

(WPR Morning Show | April 12, 2018) President Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday to issue a warning to Russia—and the world—of a possible military strike by the US. This messages comes on the heels of reports earlier this week of a suspected chemical attack in Syria's rebel-held town of Douma. Join us for a look at the latest details surrounding this possible military action and push back from Russia before we turn to a (insert guest description) to look at the humanitarian concerns about the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Read more & listen to the segment here.

David M. Crane Talks with WUNC About the Future of International Justice

Posted on Wednesday 4/11/2018
David M. Crane

The Move Away From International Justice

(WUNC | April 10, 2018) In the 1990s, officials founded five criminal tribunals to seek international justice: four temporary bodies in Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Cambodia, and the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. The first four were put in place to handle specific civil war crimes. Since then, the issue of international criminal justice has faded.

Host Frank Stasio talks to David Crane about why international justice is hard to achieve. He’s the founding chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. He’s also the co-editor of “The Founders: Four Pioneering Individuals Who Launched The First Modern-Era International Criminal Tribunals” (Cambridge University Press/2018). Crane talks about geopolitical changes that have diminished the political will to prosecute international human rights violations. He also discusses his book and how the five criminal tribunals were founded ...

Listen to the segment here.

College of Law Team Finishes in the Final Four of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition

Posted on Monday 4/9/2018
3L Ryan Lefkowitz and 2L Donya Feizbakhsh

One of the College of Law's National Appellate Advocacy Competition Teams participated in the competition’s national round held April 5-7, 2018, in Washington, DC. Coached by alumnus Brady O’Malley L’11, the team of 3L Ryan Lefkowitz and 2L Donya Feizbakhsh finished in the top four of more than 180 teams, ending its run in the semi-final round of the four-day competition.  

The team also won third place for Best Brief in the national competition, and Lefkowitz was recognized among the competition’s best advocates. Earlier, the team won the Manhattan Regional Competition advancing to nationals. At the Manhattan Regional, judges named the team members among the Manhattan Region’s best advocates: Feizbakhsh was named second best advocate, and Lefkowitz was named sixth best. 

Title 32: William C. Banks Explains Uses of the National Guard to

Posted on Monday 4/9/2018
William C. Banks


( | April 6, 2018) California Rep. Ted Lieu said in a tweet early Thursday that governors may legally refuse President Donald Trump’s request to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Because @POTUS is using Title 32 authority–instead of federalizing the Guard under Title 10–this is a REQUEST for state Governors to send troops,” said the tweet.

Verdict: True

Trump’s memorandum requires the consent of governors to send National Guard troops to the border. If governors refuse, he could try different legal tools to deploy the Guard.

Fact Check:

Lieu sent the tweet after Trump signed a memorandum Wednesday requesting the use of the National Guard to help fight drug trafficking, illegal immigration and gang activity at the border. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown also said Wednesday that if Trump asked her to deploy Oregon National Guard troops to the border, she would refuse ...

... While Title 32 does not give the president full command of Guard troops, it allows for more flexibility in the type of work that the forces may do. “The benefit of the Title 32 status from the perspective of the feds is those soldiers are not constrained by the Posse Comitatus Act,” William Banks, a law professor at Syracuse University and director of the college’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits military participation in civilian law enforcement activities. Title 32 provides an exception to that rule, but Title 10 does not.

If a governor refuses to deploy the National Guard, Trump may use other strategies to legally utilize those troops at the border. George Mason University Law Professor Timothy M. MacArthur and Managing Attorney Leigh M. Winstead of the Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic said that the simplest solution would be to limit the work that the troops do so that he can utilize Title 10 instead ...

... Banks said that while it is legal, deploying the National Guard to the border raises some tactical issues. “People in military uniforms generally don’t enforce the law … there’s just a cultural aversion to that,” he said. “Even if these men and women have the legal authority to do some things beyond what they were trained to do, there could be some challenges in operationalizing orders" ...

The full article can be found here.

Keith Bybee Discusses Gerrymandering on WAER

Posted on Friday 4/6/2018
Keith Bybee

Vice Dean Keith Bybee, the Paul E. and Hon. Joanne F. Alper ’72 Judiciary Studies Professor in the College of Law and political science professor in the Maxwell School, was interviewed by WAER about gerrymandering and voting districts.

Listen to the segment here.

Cora True-Frost Presents Papers on International Law, Human Rights

Posted on Thursday 4/5/2018
Cora True-Frost

On March 9, 2018, Associate Professor of Law Cora True-Frost presented the paper “Fragmented Bodies, Disabled Lives” at the Women in International Law Workshop, hosted by the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana College of Law. True-Frost joined colleagues from Duke University School of Law, American University Washington College of Law, Boston College Law School, and elsewhere. 

On April 4, the topic of True-Frost's paper was “When the UN Addresses the 'Conditions Conducive to Terrorism,' What Happens to Human Rights?” presented as part of the Seton Hall Law School Faculty Colloquium series.

William C. Banks Explains What the US Military Can & Can’t Do on the US-Mexican Border

Posted on Thursday 4/5/2018
William C. Banks

New details on Trump’s troop deployments to the Mexican border

(Military Times | April 4, 2018) President Donald Trump is ordering U.S. troops to the southern U.S. border, but the move does not appear to be as unusual as the White House first billed it this week.

The Pentagon and White House on Wednesday walked back President Donald Trump promise to handle border security “militarily,” saying the proposed moves will be restricted to National Guard personnel and be similar to past operations in Southern states ...

... If the Guard is deployed as it has been in the past, there would be little those troops could do to stop crime along the border, said William Banks, author of “Soldiers on the Home Front: The Domestic Role of the American Military” and director at the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University’s College of Law.

The Posse Comitatus Act prevents the federal government from using federal troops to conduct local law enforcement on U.S. soil. Banks called it the backbone of colonists’ grievances when the United States declared independence from England.

“The phrase is known by every Private 1st Class in the U.S. military,” Banks said.

It’s also why National Guard forces are under state control, Banks said. The president could federalize the National Guard in an extreme situation, such as when Bush requested that the Guard forces responding to Hurricane Katrina be placed under federal control.

But even then, guardsmen would not have the authority to participate in law enforcement, such as preventing an illegal crossing or conducting a drug interdiction, he said.

There are exceptions, Banks said. Title 32 of the Code of Federal Regulations, section 185.4 provides National Guard troops “immediate response authority” — the ability to defend themselves if they are under immediate threat.

There is also a broader, short-term “emergency authority,” which allows the forces to take control “in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances" ...

Read the whole story here.

Pentagon hustles to jump in line with Trump's border directive

(AFP | April 4, 2018) Pentagon planners scrambled Wednesday to find ways to support President Donald Trump's surprise edict that he would send "the military" to guard America's southern border.

The commander-in-chief's seemingly off-the-cuff directive blindsided officials Tuesday, when Trump said the military would guard the frontier until "we can have a wall and proper security."

It took hours for the White House to clarify that Trump's plan involved mobilizing the National Guard, and not active-duty troops, but Defense Department officials kept looking for other ways to bolster border security ...

... Syracuse University professor William Banks, who has written a book about the domestic role of the American military, said the Pentagon might find it simplest to offer support other than regular troops, such as logistical or intelligence support to the civilian agencies on the border.

"It would be extraordinary to have so-called boots on the ground involved in enforcing (immigration) laws," Banks told AFP.

"The president would need a legal authorization to carry out that mission. I doubt that he could get it" ...

Read the whole story here.

William C. Banks Analyzes the Latest in the Manafort Case with Bloomberg Law

Posted on Wednesday 4/4/2018
William C. Banks

Trump Told He is Not a Criminal Target in Mueller Probe

(Bloomberg Law | April 4, 2018) William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses reports that Robert Mueller told attorneys for President Trump that the president is not being considered as a criminal target. The news comes as President Trump’s legal team thins, revealing potential gaps in Trumps defense team. He speaks with Bloomberg’s June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s “Politics, Policy, Power and Law.”

Applications Open for JDinteractive, the College of Law’s Online Law Degree Program

Posted on Wednesday 4/4/2018
JDinteractive logo

Syracuse University College of Law is now accepting applications for its groundbreaking online J.D. program through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). The deadline for applications for the program's first cohort of students is Nov. 15, 2018, for matriculation in January 2019.  

The new program—called JDinteractive—is the first fully interactive online J.D. program to be accredited by the American Bar Association. The online law degree program is designed to be a flexible option for talented and ambitious students who cannot relocate to a residential program because of work or family commitments. 

"JDinteractive allows the College of Law to make our rigorous juris doctor program accessible to students who cannot reasonably attend a fully residential program," explains Associate Dean for Research and Online Education Nina Kohn, who helped design the program. "The program is designed to prepare students to succeed in a dynamic legal profession, and JDinteractive students will earn the same degree as our residential J.D. students.” 

Taught by College of Law faculty to the same high standards as the residential J.D. program, JDinteractive is a year-round, 10-semester course of study designed to be completed over three years and three months, with students taking an average of nine credits per semester. Online students take the same required courses as residential students, select among elective courses, and are provided hands-on experiential learning and skills-building classes. To accommodate the schedules of students with work or other commitments, evening and weekend classes are offered.

A hallmark of the program is that more than half of JDinteractive class time will take place in “real-time," with online students and professors interacting and engaging with content just as students do in residential classes. Self-paced class sessions with interactive exercises complement these live sessions. Students also attend in-person, short-residency courses on campus and at satellite locations, and they will have the opportunity to participate in student organizations and to complete a guided legal externship—gaining critical practical legal experience—before graduation. 

Admissions standards and requirements for JDinteractive are equivalent to those in the College of Law's residential program. To apply, prospective students should first create a "Future J.D. Student" account at Once the account has been created, applicants may then register to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and complete the application process. Questions about JDinteractive can be directed to or 315.443.1962. More information about the program can be found at

Paula Johnson Co-Writes Brown vs. Board OpEd

Posted on Tuesday 4/3/2018
Paula Johnson

Plaintiff in Brown v. Board Never Stopped Fighting for Equality 

By Paula C. Johnson & Linda Carty

( | April 3, 2018) In 2004, we had the privilege of welcoming Linda Brown Thompson to Syracuse University as the SU and Syracuse communities commemorated the 50th anniversary of the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education. Now, sadly, we write to commemorate Brown Thompson and mourn her passing last week. 

As a child, Brown was the named plaintiff in the historic lawsuit that outlawed racial segregation in public schools in the United States. We feel that at this moment in U.S. history, when we are witnessing rapid institutionalization of the rollback of civil rights gains, from the right to vote without intimidation to the right for equal educational opportunities for all, and the attempts by too many national leaders to return this country to that dark era of racial apartheid and injustice, it is time to celebrate what Brown Thompson meant to the civil rights movement.

Brown Thompson and her sister came to Syracuse in April 2004 to speak at the conference "Brown through the Ages: A 50-Year Commemoration of Brown v. Board of Education." Despite her iconic status, she was remarkably humble as she shared the experiences that led her family to join the lawsuit that collectively became known as Brown v. Board. Linda Brown was born in Topeka, Kansas. When she entered elementary school, she was forced to walk seven blocks across railroad tracks and take a bus to a school several miles away, despite the fact that an elementary school was located just four blocks from her home.

The situation in Topeka was replicated across the United States. In 1950, the NAACP sought African-American parents to challenge the system of racial segregation in public schools in a class action lawsuit. Rev. Oliver Brown's daughter's experience and the parents' determination to fight segregation put them at the forefront of the legal action. Linda was in the third grade at the time. There were 12 other plaintiffs in the lawsuit, from Virginia, South Carolina, Delaware and Washington, D.C. In 1954, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court declared that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." It overturned the infamous 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case, which had upheld the doctrine of "separate but equal" in public accommodations and other societal institutions and facilities.

The case was widely heralded by communities of color. However, it also instantly was met with racist recalcitrance. Some school districts, notably in Virginia and other Southern states, closed their public schools rather than integrate them. The Brown decision was the gauntlet that demanded an end to inequality, disparate treatment and unequal resources for schoolchildren of color. Brown ushered in more community activism, court cases and legislation that outlawed discriminatory practices, not only in education, but also opening up a broad spectrum of public and private societal institutions …

Read the whole OpEd here.

Paula C. Johnson is Professor of Law & Co-Director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative. Linda Carty is Associate Professor in the Department of African American Studies. They are members of the Democratizing Knowledge Collective at Syracuse University.

David M. Crane Discusses International Law Career at Robert H. Jackson Center

Posted on Tuesday 4/3/2018
David M. Crane

Successor To Robert H. Jackson Speaks At Jackson Center

(The Post-Journal | April 3, 2018) Inside the Robert H. Jackson Center on Monday sat David Crane, the first American chief prosecutor in an international war crimes tribunal since Robert H. Jackson, himself, during the Nuremberg Trial. Crane, former chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, indicted and later convicted Charles Taylor, president of Liberia, marking the first time a head of state was held accountable for war crimes.

“No one is above the law,” Crane said regarding the legacy of the Sierra Leone tribunal.

Crane’s mandate as chief prosecutor was to prosecute those who bore the greatest responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity that were committed during the decade-long Sierra Leone Civil War.

Crane also recently released a book titled The Founders: Four Pioneering Individuals Who Launched The First Modern-Era International Criminal Tribunals. The book, written primarily by Crane, features first-hand accounts of the creation of four separate tribunals that brought justice to places such as Rwanda, Cambodia, Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone.

Greg Peterson, director of the Robert H. Jackson Center, conducted the interview and noted that Crane created a lot of precedents regarding international war crime tribunals. Peterson described Crane’s new book, “The Founders,” as a detailed history of the “four foremost prosecutors since Jackson.”

The four prosecutors included in the book include Crane, Richard Goldstone, Robert Peit and Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

“He is in a high echelon of prosecutors,” Peterson said of Crane. “We’re thrilled that he’s here.”

Crane recently announced he would be retiring from his alma matter the Syracuse University College of Law where he taught as a professor of practice since 2006. While there, he taught international law, international humanitarian law, military law and national security law.

Prior to the public interview, a four minute video was played that showed segments from Taylor’s indictment.

“The path will be strewn with the bones of the dead, the moans of the mutilated, the cries of agony of the tortured echoing down to the valley of death,” Crane began his opening statement during the tribunal.

Crane said during the interview that he was personally attacked by other heads of state in Africa because of the indictment. After being indicted, Taylor was later sentenced to 50 years of imprisonment ...

Read the whole story here.

Bad Cop: Corri Zoli Analyzes Trump’s John Bolton Appointment with Newsday

Posted on Monday 4/2/2018
Corri Zoli

Experts: Trump appointments signal more hawkish foreign policy

(Newsday | April 1, 2018) President Donald Trump’s decision to replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster with former UN Ambassador John Bolton and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo signals the commander-in-chief is moving toward a more hawkish approach on foreign policy matters, say national security and foreign affairs experts.

The president’s move to surround himself with two figureheads with a reputation for choosing military intervention over diplomacy comes as he prepares to meet with North Korea for denuclearization talks, and as he continues to voice his displeasure with the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran ...

Corri Zoli, director of research at Syracuse University’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, said in selecting Bolton, Trump is probably attempting to have a “bad cop” in place ahead of his discussions with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

“I would say he’s chosen Bolton very much thinking about North Korea . . . so he can have a bad cop . . . so that Bolton can be the real hardliner in the discussions, so that Trump can negotiate on even terms, so the president can play the pure negotiator role,” Zoli said ...

Read the full article here.

University Professor David Driesen comments on Health & Human Services' Delay in Posting Comments on Faith Rules

Posted on Friday 3/30/2018

University Professor David Driesen comments in Modern Healthcare on Health & Human Services' Delay in Posting Comments on Faith Rules.

Professor of Practice David M. Crane L’80 Announces Retirement from the College of Law

Posted on Friday 3/30/2018
David M. Crane

After teaching as a Professor of Practice at his alma mater since 2006, David M. Crane L’80 has announced that he will retire from the College of Law in August 2018. Crane taught international criminal law, international humanitarian law, military law, and national security law. As a faculty member of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, he developed interdisciplinary projects and courses with colleagues from across the University, including, most recently, a groundbreaking course on media and atrocities with Professor Ken Harper of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

At the College, Crane founded Impunity Watch, an online student-run law review and public service blog, and the Syrian Accountability Project (SAP), an internationally recognized effort among students, activists, journalists, and non-governmental organizations to document war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Syrian Civil War.

“It has been a pleasure teaching at my alma mater,” says Crane. “The hundreds—perhaps thousands—of students I have taught and placed in jobs or at other universities has inspired me and excited me in ways I never imagined. I hope I gave them a spark to go out in the world and make a difference."

“For the past 12 years, David Crane has taught many hundreds of students about the paramount importance of the rule of law, the scourge of impunity, and that ordinary human beings—especially those who are the victims of atrocities visited upon them by the powerful—must always be the focus of justice,” says College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “I know that our students have been honored to work for Impunity Watch and the Syrian Accountability Project and that they were often spellbound in the classroom by David’s stories from his days in the military and working for the Special Court for Sierra Leone."

Before Crane joined the College of Law faculty, from 2002 to 2005, he was the founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), appointed to that position by Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. Serving as a UN Undersecretary-General, Crane’s mandate was to prosecute those who bore the greatest responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during Sierra Leone’s civil war in the 1990s. Among those he indicted was Liberian President Charles Taylor, the first sitting African head of state to be held accountable in this way. Taylor was found guilty in April 2012 of all 11 charges levied by the SCSL, and he was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Crane’s UN appointment was preceded by more than 30 years in the US federal government. Crane held numerous positions, including Director of the Office of Intelligence Review; Assistant General Counsel of the Defense Intelligence Agency; an appointment to the US Senior Executive Service; and Waldemar A. Solf Professor of International Law at the US Army Judge Advocate General’s School. Among Crane’s most lasting legacies are the desk books he edited for publication by the JAG School: The Law of War, Operational Law, Counterintelligence Coordination, Legal Aspects of Future War, and Cases and Materials on Intelligence Law.

During his College of Law appointment, Crane continued to work toward justice for victims humanitarian law violations—most notably in Syria—often with the help of his students. In 2014, Crane co-authored the “Caesar Report” that detailed the systematic killing of thousands of people in Syria and testified about the reportat the UN Security Council. Crane also has testified to the US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs and its Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations on the Syria crisis and related human security and humanitarian issues. In 2016, Crane helped to draft a UN resolution “to establish a special team to ‘collect, consolidate, preserve and analyze evidence’ as well as to prepare cases on war crimes and human rights abuses committed during the conflict in Syria.” Subsequently, he assisted the UN in setting up the independent justice mechanism mandated by the resolution.

For the past six years, College of Law and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs students have assisted Crane’s efforts toward justice for the people of Syria. In particular, the student-led Syrian Accountability Project has documented humanitarian crimes committed by all sides during the Syrian Civil War. They have catalogued that information—relative to applicable bodies of international law, such as the Geneva Conventions, the Rome Statute, and Syrian Penal Law—in an extensive conflict narrative, crime base matrix, and in several white papers. The aim of SAP’s work is to guide a future prosecution team toward the administration of postconflict justice for Syrians. In 2016, the Syrian Accountability Project was praised by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) on the floor of the US House of Representatives for its work gathering evidence of atrocities.

Crane’s other recent public service work includes chairing the board of the Robert H. Jackson Center and the creation of the center’s annual International Humanitarian Law Dialogs; the founding of I Am Syria, a non-profit media and educational campaign that seeks to educate the world about the Syrian conflict; an appointed to the Sri Lankan Advisory Council to the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons; membership on the US Institute of Peace Fragility Study Group; and, in 2017, work on behalf of Qatar decrying the embargo of that nation by other Middle East states. Also in 2017, Crane joined other distinguished legal and public policy experts on the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture, a non-profit, non-governmental organization created to address the state’s role in CIA torture and rendition during the War on Terror.

Crane has received numerous accolades and awards for his service to international law and human rights, including honorary degrees from his alma mater Ohio University and from Case Western Reserve University. Crane has been awarded a Medal of Merit from Ohio University, a Distinguished Service Award from Syracuse University College of Law, and a George Arents Pioneer Medal from Syracuse University. Among Crane’s other awards are the Intelligence Community Gold Seal Medallion, the US Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, a Legion of Merit award from the US Armed Forces, and an Eclipse Award from the Center for Victims of Torture. Crane was made an honorary Paramount Chief by the Civil Society Organizations of Sierra Leone, and in 2006, he was given a key to the City of Highland Park, IL, where he attended high school.

Crane recently published The Founders, the complex and compelling story of his and his three fellow international prosecutors’ efforts to set up the world’s first international tribunals and special courts.

Crane’s experience investigating and prosecuting some of the world’s most appalling crimes and his expertise in humanitarian law has led to many media inquiries over the years by the world’s foremost news outlets. For instance, he has appeared as an expert on NBC’s The Wanted, a 2009 six-part series focusing on international justice; on the BBC’s documentary Mad Dog: Gadaffi’s Secret World in 2014; and in a lengthy 2016 profile in Der Spiegel in the wake of the release of the SAP white paper “Through a Window Darkly.”

The day after the release of the “Caesar Report” in 2014—first announced by The Guardian—worldwide media rushed to seek comment from Crane. “In the eyes of the media, David Crane L’80 is a wanted man,” explained SU News in its coverage. “[Crane] spent much of the day on Tuesday in a small TV studio located in Newhouse. From there, he spoke to reporters around the world … In one afternoon, he completed interviews with Sky News, CBC, the BBC, Al Jazeera, NPR, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. That was before taking a break at 5 p.m. to teach class.”

DCEx Students Learn About the Consumer Product Safety Commission and its Recall Process from Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle L’94

Posted on Thursday 3/29/2018
Ann Marie Buerkle L'94

On March 26, the DCEx students heard from Acting Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Ann Marie Buerkle L’94, regarding the history of the agency, its policies, and procedures, including its recall process, and were presented with two case studies of actual recalls coordinated by the CPSC. 

In her remarks, Chairman Buerkle emphasized the special nature of an independent US federal regulatory agency and the important role the CPSC plays in protecting consumers against unreasonable risks of injury from consumer products through education, enacting voluntary and mandatory safety standards, regulation, and enforcement. Chairman Buerkle stressed the importance of working with industry to create voluntary standards that can best protect consumers from hazardous products and explained how the recall process works to create the most positive outcome for consumers and industry.

The Chairman presented the students with two recent, high profile recalls coordinated by the CPSC. She compared and contrasted the recalls of hoverboards and the Samsung Note 7 smartphones, detailing the incidents leading up to the recalls, the CPSC response to those incidents, and the recall process that took place following the incidents. Chairman Buerkle even provided the students a look into what a burnt hoverboard and batteries look like. 

Before being named Acting Chairman of the CPSC in 2017, Chairman Buerkle started her career as a trauma nurse when she graduated from St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1972. In 1977, she graduated from Le Moyne College with a B.S. and in 1994, Chairman Buerkle graduated with a Juris Doctorate degree from Syracuse University College of Law. For 13 years, Chairman Buerkle worked as an Assistant New York State Attorney General, representing the State of New York on behalf of Upstate Medical Center and then in 2011, Chairman Buerkle was elected to serve the people of Upstate New York’s 25th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2013, she was appointed by President Barack Obama as a Commissioner to the CPSC and in July 2017, she was nominated to be the permanent Chairman of the CPSC and to another 7-year term on the Commission.

David Driesen Discusses John Paul Stevens’ Recommendation to Repeal the Second Amendment

Posted on Thursday 3/29/2018
David Driesen

Syracuse University Law Professor David Driesen discusses on CNYCentral the provisions of whether or not the Second Amendment should be repealed, a suggestion recently made by retired US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

University Professor David Driesen discusses former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ op/ed on the Second Amendment.

Posted on Wednesday 3/28/2018

University Professor David Driesen discusses former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ op/ed on the Second Amendment with CNY Central. Watch the interview here.

College of Law to Host Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony

Posted on Wednesday 3/28/2018
Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom

The College of Law will host a US Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony on Monday, April 9, 2018, at 1 p.m. in the Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom in Dineen Hall. 

More than 50 new citizens will take their Oath of Allegiance before the Hon. Thérèse Wiley Dancks, US Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of New York, and 1991 graduate of the College of Law. A number of active duty US servicemen and women will realize their citizenship at this ceremony. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and US Representative John Katko (NY-24) will be in attendance. The ceremony will be followed by a reception in Dineen Hall.

The event is free and open to the public.

A "Houdini Escape": Keith Bybee Discusses the Maryland Gerrymander Case

Posted on Wednesday 3/28/2018
Keith Bybee

Central New Yorkers Weigh In on SCOTUS Gerrymandering Case

(Spectrum News | March 28, 2018) The Supreme Court of the United States ruling on Benisek v. Lamone could have an impact on how voting districts are drawn throughout the country. And, it all boils down to gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is the practice of drawing the lines of the district in order to favor one group over another,” said SU Judiciary Studies Professor Keith Bybee. The case taken up Wednesday concerns a district in Maryland that was redrawn by Democrats after the 2010 Census. The concern over this particular district is that it was drawn in a way to punish Republicans for having controlled the district for the past 20 years,” Bybee said ...

Read the full article here.

Maryland Gerrymander Case Offers Unique Test to High Court

(Courthouse News | March 27, 2018) The Supreme Court will dive into partisan gerrymandering Wednesday for the second time in less than six months, as a group of Maryland Republicans attempt to show that state lawmakers redrew their congressional district to punish their political affiliation.

The Maryland Legislature redrew its 6th Congressional District in 2011, dragging the boundaries of the historically Republican district down into reliably liberal Montgomery County. Even though the recent census did not mandate a large shift in population, the new map shuffled more than 66,000 registered Republican out of the district while ushering in 24,000 registered Democrats.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, the Republican who represented the Sixth District since 1991, lost his seat by 21 points in the first election after the redraw, having won the previous election by 28 points. Led by O. John Benisek, a group of Republicans challenged the redistricting on the basis of their First Amendment rights to association ...

... First, and perhaps most notably, the Maryland case rests on the First Amendment, with the plaintiffs claiming the way the Maryland Legislature redrew the 6th Congressional District infringed on their rights to speech and association by punishing them for their voting history.

The plaintiffs in Wisconsin, who are Democrats, claimed on the other hand that their state’s map violated the Constitution’s equal-protection clause.

The Maryland plaintiffs argue that, by framing partisan gerrymandering through the First Amendment, judges can rely on their ample precedent for assessing when state law tramples such rights to determine when a gerrymander has gone too far.

The First Amendment framework also means the Maryland plaintiffs do not inundate the justices with the stream of social-science metrics cited by the Wisconsin plaintiffs as proof that their map unfairly advantaged Republicans.

Keith Bybee, vice dean of the Syracuse University College of Law, said abandoning these metrics, which Chief Justice John Roberts referred to as “gobbledygook” at the Wisconsin arguments in October, in favor of a more generalized First Amendment claim could be key to nailing down the justices.

“They’re just trying to do this whole Houdini escape-type of move,” Bybee said. “I don’t even have to get into the different metrics of proportionality or disproportionality or wasted votes or any of that stuff. If I can just show that you drew this district to punish Republicans, then that’s a violation of the free-speech rights and association rights of Republicans, and it shifts the burden onto the state to prove that they weren’t.”

But the state warns the court adopting the Republicans’ framework for partisan gerrymandering would lead to an avalanche of challenges to individual congressional districts throughout the country, without providing a reliable method for determining which to strike and which to uphold ...

Read the full article here.

NYCEx Externs Hear from Juvenile Law Practitioner Martin Feinman L'83

Posted on Tuesday 3/27/2018
Marty Feinman

Law alumnus Martin Feinman L’83—attorney-in-charge for the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice in Brooklyn, NY—was the guest lecturer for a NYCEx seminar on March 5, 2018.

Professor Margaret Harding led the seminar in which Feinman discussed the juvenile system and the differences between Family and Criminal Court. He led the participants through a step-by-step example of a juvenile case from start to finish. He also highlighted some changes that need to be made to the system and what the needs of the juvenile system are and how they differ from the adult criminal system.

One of the recurring themes of Feinman’s seminar was a discussion regarding Raise the Age, legislation that has recently passed in New York State. This statute will bring the state in line with the majority of the country when it comes to raising the age of criminal responsibility. Feinman spoke about the benefits and challenges of the legislation.

After Feinman, the externs heard from two other alumnae, Caroline Miller L’11 and Dalya Bordman L’17, who also work at Legal Aid and who said how fulfilling and rewarding is the work that they do for the Juvenile Rights Practice. The alumnae spoke about the importance of listening to your client even when your client is a young child.

Arlene Kanter Explores Whether "Human Rights Treaties Make a Difference" at International Law Forum

Posted on Tuesday 3/27/2018
Arlene Kanter

Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence and Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program Arlene S. Kanter spoke at the International Law Forum of the Hebrew University Faculty of Law on March 27, 2018. The title of her talk was "Do Human Rights Treaties Make a Difference: The Case for the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities." 

In this talk, Professor Kanter discussed the role of human rights treaties, generally, and refuted recent scholarship that claims such treaties have no impact on domestic practices. With examples from her research in various countries, Kanter's paper argues that the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) is having an impact on the development of domestic laws with respect to inclusive education, legal capacity, the rights of women, and the integration of people with disabilities within society.

The International Law Forum is an academic center at Hebrew University devoted to the more effective development of international law and policy, by supporting experts and scholars in the field. Since its establishment in 2004, the Forum has provided a forum through which research, review, public debate, and the dissemination of international law issues is pursued. 

Greg Germain Discusses the Stormy Daniels Affair with The Huffington Post

Posted on Monday 3/26/2018
Gregory Germain

The Most Scandalous Part Of The Stormy Daniels Story Isn’t The Sex

(The Huffington Post | 23 March, 2018) It’s tempting to get swept up in the salacious details of President Donald Trump’s (alleged) sexual antics. 

The possibility of a sex tape or, God forbid, Trump nudity isn’t actually what matters about his (alleged) extramarital affairs with former adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, and former model Karen McDougal. Those affairs (allegedly) took place over a decade ago, when Trump was simply a reality TV star. That he may have cheated on his wife isn’t surprising, given what we know about the president.

What’s important here is the way Trump and his circle of enablers went about trying to cover up these (alleged) affairs, while Trump himself was seeking the top political office in the country. 

Trump’s personal lawyer and his allies at the National Enquirer used nondisclosure agreements to silence these women, taking a page from the corporate playbook.

NDAs are already far too common in the business world, used to paper over a host of misdeeds, most crucially sexual harassment and discrimination. Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is perhaps the most egregious abuser of NDAs, which allowed him to harass and assault women for decades. 

To be clear, Clifford and McDougal both say they had consensual relationships with Trump ...

... If these women win in court, it will likely be because of the way their contracts were negotiated ― particularly Clifford’s, which was written with pseudonyms. Clifford is referred to as Peggy Peterson (PP) and Trump as David Dennison (DD). DD never signed the thing, which is the primary argument Clifford is using to try to invalidate the contract.

“It’s a weird document,” said Greg Germain, a professor at Syracuse University College of Law, noting the pseudonyms and a few other factors that are out of the ordinary about the deal. He also said that Cohen’s explanation for the deal ― he paid Clifford $130,000 with his own money and claims that Trump was unaware ― makes no sense. 

“The lawyer saying he’s acting on Trump’s behalf but didn’t tell him,” Germain said. “I don’t know where he thinks that’s going" ...

Click here to read the article.

Olivia Fontana Named a OnVLP Pro Bono Champion

Posted on Monday 3/26/2018
Olivia Fontana

The Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County (OnVLP) will honor 2L Olivia Fontana on April 19, 2018, at an awards ceremony at the CNY Philanthropy Center in Syracuse, NY. Along with other VLP volunteers and community partners, Fontana has been named a 2018 Pro Bono Champion. 

"Olivia has been our extern since the Fall. She has gone way above and beyond the duty of a usual extern, really stepping up to keep our reentry program going strong during one of our staff attorney's parental leave," says VLP Executive Director Sally Fisher Curran. "She is an outstanding, professional, and consistent worker here at OnVLP."

OnVLP's mission is to expand access to justice by identifying and meeting the civil legal services needs of low income people in Onondaga County through increasing pro bono participation in the legal community. Founded in 1991 by the Onondaga County Bar Association, OnVLP provide legal services in areas such as immigration, veterans affairs, LGBTQ issues, eviction defense, and family and divorce matters. 

Corri Zoli Discusses North Korea Talks with CNY Central

Posted on Friday 3/23/2018
Corri Zoli

Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism Director of Research Corri Zoli spoke to Syracuse-area channels 3/5 on March 9, 2018, about the overtures between the United States and North Korea on the subject of nuclear weapons. Zoli called them "interesting developments" that we should approach with a "healthy dose of skepticism" given North Korea's broken promises in the past ... 

College of Law to Welcome Preet Bharara as 2018 Commencement Speaker

Posted on Friday 3/23/2018
Preet Bharara

Syracuse University College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise has announced that Preet Bharara, former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, will be the speaker at the Commencement of the Class of 2018 on May 11, 2018, at 11 a.m. in the Carrier Dome, Syracuse University. Bharara appears thanks to the generosity of a College of Law alumnus.

“Hosting a commencement speaker of Mr. Bharara’s caliber is a point of pride for the College of Law and a unique opportunity for our students to hear from one of the leading advocates for justice in our time,” says Dean Boise. “I know Mr. Bharara is thrilled to join us for commencement this year, and we look forward to hearing a memorable and inspiring Commencement address.”

As US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Bharara earned a strong reputation for his attentive and successful campaign against public corruption and Wall Street crimes, and he was known as a "crusader prosecutor" and the "Sheriff of Wall Street." 

From 2009 to 2017, Bharara prosecuted nearly 100 Wall Street executives; reached historic settlements with the four largest banks in the United States; closed multibillion-dollar hedge funds for illegal activities; and conducted corruption investigations of high profile officials in both the Democratic and Republican parties.

In 2012, Bharara was featured in TIME magazine's list of the "100 Most Influential People in the World," and The New York Times called him one of the nation's "most aggressive and outspoken prosecutors." Currently, he hosts Stay Tuned with Preet, a popular podcast series about justice and fairness.

"I look forward to visiting Syracuse and to meeting and addressing the graduating College of Law Class of 2018," says Bharara. "Now more than ever our nation, founded on and nurtured by the rule of law, requires lawyers and public servants who understand and respect our laws and who are willing to uphold them when confronted by corruption, injustice, and impunity. I have every confidence that the graduating Class of 2018 understands and is ready to accept its place in history as protectors of democracy."

Veterans Law Clinic Students Present to VA Decision Review Officer

Posted on Friday 3/23/2018
VLC students present to DRO in Buffalo, NY.

On March 21, 2018, 3L Cecilia Santostefano and 2L Katie Becker, from the College of Law's Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic (VLC), each argued a case before the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Buffalo Regional Office’s Decision Review Officer (DRO). 

In the hearings, the students made opening statements, performed direct examination of the clients and witnesses, and made closing arguments. Although no decisions were made at the hearing, the DRO commended both students on their thorough presentations and on keeping the clients to the relevant fact and disputes at issue.

Says Yelena Duterte, VLC Director, “I was particularly impressed by Cecilia and Katie’s command of the issues and facts. These cases can be dense, but the students laid the groundwork for the clients to tell their stories and give the DRO a better understanding of the client’s claim for disability benefits. Win or lose, the clients had quality representation by both of these law students.” 


Cora True-Frost Explains Extradition in Story About Binghamton University Murder Case

Posted on Thursday 3/22/2018
C. Cora True-Frost

How international law affects Orlando Tercero's extradition in Haley Anderson's murder

(USA Today/PressConnects | March 22, 2018) Pursuing a case against Orlando Tercero, the suspect in Binghamton University nursing student Haley Anderson's murder, has centered on a question of whether he would be returned to the U.S., after fleeing to Nicaragua.  

Although Tercero, 22, holds dual citizenship, Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell has voiced confidence in the extradition process.

During a Saturday news conference a week after Anderson, 22, was killed, Cornwell said an arrest warrant had been issued and Tercero formally faces a second-degree murder charge, with legal procedures in motion to bring him from Nicaragua. No timeline has been given for how long extradition could take.

International legal issues can rely on reciprocity and reputation between the different countries, according to Cora True-Frost, an associate professor at Syracuse University College of Law.

Murder is "very clearly" an extraditable offense under a U.S./Nicaragua treaty that took effect in 1907, she said, but the treaty also doesn't require either country to extradite one of its own citizens. 

“When you have the murder of a U.S. citizen by a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, you have a very strong case for extraditing the individual," said True-Frost, an international law expert who is not involved in the Tercero case.

"The U.S. and Nicaragua aren't going to go to war about something like this," she said, "but it's in a country's best interest to extradite in a matter like this."

Click here to read the whole story

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

Posted on Tuesday 3/20/2018
Group photo of International Tax Law students, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Monday 3/19/2018
Matthew Wallace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Friday 3/16/2018
William C. Banks

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

Listen to the podcast here.

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

Posted on Thursday 3/15/2018
Lauryn Gouldin

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

By Kathleen Haley

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

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

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

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

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

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

Six words

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case outcomes

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Disentangling Flight Risk from Dangerousness”

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

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

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

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

Risk assessment tools

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

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

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

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

Posted on Wednesday 3/14/2018

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

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

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

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

For more information on the ABA study, visit:

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

Posted on Tuesday 3/13/2018
Kevin Noble Maillard

The Many Colors of Matrimony

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

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

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

Read the full article here.

Webcast: Shubha Ghosh Speaks to Blockchain & Genomic Data Experts

Posted on Monday 3/12/2018
Shubha Ghosh

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Monday 3/12/2018

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

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

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

NYSSTLC Featured in FuzeHub Connections Blog

Posted on Thursday 3/8/2018
SoraLinks Logo

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

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

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

New Connections Open Doors to Solving Product Development Needs

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

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

Click here to read the whole story.

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

Posted on Tuesday 3/6/2018

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

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

INSCT Students Compete in the 2018 National Security Crisis Law Simulation

Posted on Tuesday 3/6/2018
Students at the 2018 National Security Crisis Law Simulation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Monday 3/5/2018
Arlene Kanter Speaks at Bar-Ilan University.

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

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

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

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

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

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


AAJ Trial Team Wins Boston Regional, Advances to Finals

Posted on Monday 3/5/2018

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

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

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

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

Posted on Saturday 3/3/2018

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

Posted on Thursday 3/1/2018

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

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

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

Matthew Wallace Selected as Candidate for ABA Law Student at Large

Posted on Thursday 3/1/2018
Matthew Wallace

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

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

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

Matthew Wallace's Platform Statement

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

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

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

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

TIME Quotes Janis McDonald in Story on Lynching Cold Case

Posted on Wednesday 2/28/2018
Janis McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The full story can be read here.

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

Posted on Tuesday 2/27/2018
William C. Banks

Democrats Release Nunes Memo Rebuttal

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

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

Posted on Monday 2/26/2018
DXEx Seminar with Dennis Polio

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

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

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

Shubha Ghosh Assists NLU-Delhi Team with National IP Survey

Posted on Monday 2/26/2018
Shubha Ghosh

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

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

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

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