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Vice Dean Keith Bybee Speaks About the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Case in the Daily Orange

Posted on Wednesday 11/23/2022
Vice Dean Keith Bybee

Syracuse University plans to continue to pursue diversity and equitable admissions through recruitment in the case the Supreme Court bans affirmative action in college admissions, an SU spokesperson told The Daily Orange in a written statement. The Court heard arguments in early November for two cases against Harvard College and the University of North Carolina, questioning the use of affirmative action and race consideration in admissions processes.

Vice Dean Keith Bybee said the implications of the court’s decisions, which will likely come in June 2023, will differ based on the court’s arguments. He said the court could decide to interpret the Equal Protection Clause and Title VI in the same way, or interpret and apply them differently. 

“You can think of this like a table with rows and columns. It depends what box we land in,” Bybee said. “How do we understand the language in this statute? Are we going to interpret it in such a way that allows for affirmative action or extremely restricted circumstances, or are we interpreting in some way that it’s a across the board prohibition on the use of race and ethnicity?”

‘What’s at Stake’: University Professor David Driesen Participates on Maxwell Panel Focused on U.S. Climate Legislation

Posted on Monday 11/21/2022
University Professor David Driesen

The U.S. Supreme Court reduced the power of the EPA to regulate carbon emissions in June. 

A panel at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs’ Center for Policy Research covered the decision’s implications along with the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, which increased credits for renewable energy sources and allocated funding toward electric transportation.

University Professor David Driesen participated on the panel, highlighting that the court stopped the EPA from enforcing regulations on coal-fired power plants. The agency initially attempted to reduce the industry’s emissions by 11 percent, but Driesen is unsure if the court will stop at the EPA’s original goal. “(The decision) might even be saying that there’s some number before that,” Driesen said.

Driesen is currently studying the impact of carbon pricing through his Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Ottawa, Canada.

College of Law Taps Adrienne Graves as Director of Alumni Relations

Posted on Wednesday 11/16/2022
Adrienne Graves, Director of Alumni Relations

Syracuse University College of Law has hired Adrienne Graves as its Director of Alumni Relations. Graves brings more than ten years of experience in higher education and alumni relations. Graves will lead the Office of Advancement and External Affairs’ alumni engagement work, with the goal of meaningfully engaging College of Law alumni and promoting philanthropic support of the College of Law’s mission. In her role, Graves will report to Assistant Dean of Advancement and External Affairs Sophie Dagenais and be responsible for maintaining and growing the College’s relationship with the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association (SULAA.)

“Adrienne’s extensive experience in alumni relations, her strong marketing and communications background, and her passion for Syracuse University’s mission and vision will help sustain our positive momentum, deepen the College’s bond with our alumni, and inform new pathways for engaging them meaningfully in service of our students who will follow in their footsteps,” says Dagenais.

Graves comes to the College of Law from Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies where she has held director-level roles in alumni relations and undergraduate recruitment.

“Our alumni play an essential role in shaping and executing on our mission.  I am thrilled to welcome Adrienne to our team and look forward to capitalizing on her proven track record as a relationship builder as we cultivate our greatest ambassadors,” says Dean Craig M. Boise.

Graves holds a bachelor's degree in in Communications; Public Relations and Advertising and a master's degree in Professional Education with a Higher Education Concentration from LeMoyne College.

Use Study Aids for Successful Exam Preparation

Posted on Monday 11/14/2022
​Law Students:  See our Study Aids webpage for access to many of the top legal study aids packages.  Students will find links to CALI lessons, the Aspen Learning Library, West Academic Study Aids and the LexisNexis Digital Library.

College of Law Hosts Veterans Day Ceremony

Posted on Wednesday 11/9/2022
The College of Law hosted a special Veterans Day Ceremony in the Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom

The College of Law hosted a special Veterans Day Ceremony in the Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom this week, sponsored by the Institute for Security Policy and Law, the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic, and the National Security Student Association.

The ceremony began with a welcome by 3L R.J. Naperkowski, followed by the presentation of the SU Army ROTC Color Guard and National Anthem sung by the Weedsport High School Chorus. The Honorable James E. Baker, Director of the Institute for Security Policy and Law, then offered opening remarks and for the main event of the ceremony, Lieutenant Colonel Julia Muedeking, Assistant Deputy General Counsel, Intelligence, International and Military Affairs, Office of the Air Force General Counsel served as the guest speaker. The event concluded with an Armed Forces Salute by the Weedsport High School Chorus and Taps.

College of Law Hosts the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims for Live Oral Arguments

Posted on Wednesday 11/9/2022
The College of Law hosted the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims

The College of Law hosted the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in the Melanie Gray Memorial Courtroom on Thursday, October 27.

Professor Elizabeth Kubala, Executive Director of the Betty & Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic, Vice Dean Keith Bybee, and Gregory Block, Clerk of the Court delivered opening remarks for the event. 

During the live oral argument, a three-judge panel held oral arguments on a current case, Encarnacion v. McDonough (No. 21-1411). The case involved the interpretation of federal regulations that guide adjudication of a widow’s entitlement to disability benefits.

Hosting the active court provided students, faculty and staff, alumni, and the local legal community with an opportunity to learn about veterans’ benefits, federal practice and administrative law.

As part of the CAVC visit, Court Judges also met with students to discuss judicial opinions and appellate advocacy. Professor Andrew Greenberg moderated the panel. Following this event, Block moderated a career panel including the attorneys from the VA's Office of General Counsel, the attorneys representing the appellant, and the judicial law clerks at the Court. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is a national court of record, established under Article I of the Constitution of the United States. The court has exclusive jurisdiction to provide judicial review of final decisions by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, an entity within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The court provides veterans an impartial judicial forum for review of administrative decisions by the Board of Veterans’ Appeals that are adverse to the veteran-appellant’s claim of entitlement to benefits for service-connected disabilities, survivor benefits, and other benefits such as education payments and waiver of indebtedness.

​3Ls Anna Skandalis and Elyse Maugeri Win the 11th Annual Bond, Schoeneck & King ADR Competition

Posted on Tuesday 11/8/2022
​3Ls Anna Skandalis and Elyse Maugeri Win the 11th Annual Bond, Schoeneck & King ADR Competition

The team of 3Ls Anna Skandalis and Elyse Maugeri won the 11th annual Bond, Schoeneck & King Alternative Dispute Resolution (BSK ADR) Competition, held in Dineen Hall. They prevailed over 3Ls Cameron Rustay and Peter Calleri. Calleri was also named Best Overall Advocate in the Final Round. 

Judging the final round were Brian Butler L'96, managing member of the Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC Syracuse office; Dean Craig M. Boise; Alan Epstein L'74, President and CEO of CI Renewables LLC, the parent of KDC Solar; and the Honorable Danielle Fogel L'04, Supreme Court Justice in the Fifth Judicial District. 

13 additional judges, including alumni and professors at the College of Law, judged the preliminary, quarterfinal, and semifinal rounds. Thank you to Professor Elizabeth August L’94, Brandon Bourg L’22, John Boyd II L’16, Dr. Maria Cudowska, Dean DiPilato, Dustin Dorsino L’21, Payne Horning L’21, David M. Katz L’17, Savanna Klinek, Amelia McLean-Robertson L’19, Elizabeth Morgan L’19, Donghoo Sohn, L.L.M ’13, and Maria Zumpano L’19.

Created in 2011, this annual competition continues to offer students at Syracuse Law the opportunity to grow as oral advocates and hone their experience in the world of negotiation. The competition gives students an opportunity to practice resolving clients’ conflicts through arbitration, mediation, and negotiation. Practitioners evaluate teams over the course of three days of preliminary rounds which culminate in a final round that is open to the public. 

This year’s final round problem involved a dispute between two parties in a name, image, and likeness (NIL) antitrust settlement. Sedona Prince is a 6’ 7” basketball player who currently plays for the University of Oregon. Up until the Supreme Court’s decision in National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Alston on June 21, 2021, Prince was not allowed to profit from her NIL as a high school or Division 1 collegiate athlete, regardless of her success during these years. Sedona has filed suit against the NCAA for antitrust violations and lost wages and revenue.

Professor Roy Gutterman L’00 Discusses Dominion Voting Systems Defamation Lawsuit with Yahoo! News

Posted on Monday 11/7/2022
Professor Roy Gutterman L’00

Election software company Dominion Voting Systems last year filed multiple defamation lawsuits against conservative news outlets, alleging the networks had parroted false claims that Dominion had switched millions of votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden. The eight defamation lawsuits are against various organizations and individuals including Fox News, Newsmax, One America News Network and attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

"Live news is challenging," said Professor Roy Gutterman L’00, Director of the Tully Center for Free Speech, in an article by Yahoo! News. "If this case ends up going in the plaintiff's side, I think news organizations that do live broadcasts might want to be careful with the things that they put on the air."

In order to win its cases, Dominion must prove actual malice and show the news organizations knowingly or recklessly disregarded the truth.

Vice Dean Keith Bybee Speaks About the Future of Biden’s Federal Court Legacy at Law 360

Posted on Monday 11/7/2022
Vice Dean Keith Bybee

A hallmark of the 80 federal judges confirmed so far during President Joe Biden's time in office is their diversity, both demographically and in career background. That imprint could change if Republicans take control of the U.S. Senate in the midterm elections this week.

According to Vice Dean Keith Bybee in this Law 360 article, "the outcome of the midterm elections is critical. Should Republicans take control of the Senate, we can expect a burst of confirmations to follow in the lame-duck Congress following the election, but then I think you would see Biden's confirmations in a Republican-controlled Senate grind to a halt."

Resistance from Republicans to nominees with different career backgrounds than previous federal judicial nominees, such as public defenders, is likely to change the types of nominees if the Senate flips, experts say.

University Professor David Driesen Writes “How the 14th Amendment can reinforce the Jan. 6 committee’s Trump subpoena”

Posted on Thursday 11/3/2022
University Professor David Driesen

In an opinion piece for The Hill, University Professor David Driesen writes “How the 14th Amendment can reinforce the Jan. 6 committee’s Trump subpoena.” 

On Oct. 13, the Jan. 6 committee voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump. In a previous subpoena of Trump in 2019 to obtain tax returns and information about his financial life, the Supreme Court held that Congress must justify a subpoena of a president’s information as serving a legislative purpose.  The court suggested that the congressional subpoena power might serve as a tool for harassing the president, which it needed to reign in.  

According to Driesen, the committee can greatly increase its chances of having the Supreme Court uphold the current subpoena if it justifies the subpoena as informing the congressional exercise of its power to exclude from office those who participate in or aid an insurrection under the 14th Amendment. 

Law Events Calendar

Posted on Wednesday 11/2/2022

David Crane L’80 Speaks to AP News About Russian Profits from Stolen Ukrainian Grain

Posted on Wednesday 11/2/2022
Distinguished Scholar in Residence David Crane L’80

An investigation by The Associated Press and the PBS series “Frontline” has found the Laodicea, owned by Syria, is part of a sophisticated Russian-run smuggling operation that has used falsified manifests and seaborne subterfuge to steal Ukrainian grain worth at least $530 million — cash that has helped feed President Vladimir Putin’s war machine.

The Russian military has also attacked farms, grain silos and shipping facilities still under Ukrainian control with artillery and air strikes, destroying food, driving up prices and reducing the flow of grain from a country long known as the breadbasket of Europe. 

The Russians “have an absolute obligation to ensure that civilians are cared for and to not deprive them their ability of a livelihood and an ability to feed themselves,” said Distinguished Scholar in Residence David Crane L’80, a veteran prosecutor who has been involved in numerous international war crime investigations. “It’s just pure pillaging and looting, and that is also an actionable offense under international military law.”

Roy Gutterman Speaks About Defamation Cases and the Ruling Against Infowars Host Alex Jones in the Grid

Posted on Tuesday 11/1/2022
Professor Roy Gutterman L’00

The jury in a defamation lawsuit against Infowars Host Alex Jones has ordered him to pay $965 million in damages for what the plaintiffs’ attorney described as “defamation on a historic scale.” Once attorney fees are determined, Jones will owe more than $1 billion in lawsuits stemming from his broadcasts and public statements peddling lies about the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012. Jones claimed for years that the massacre was a false flag staged by the government. 

According to Professor Roy Gutterman L’00, Director of the Tully Center for Free Speech, these lawsuits may open the door for future victims of misinformation-based harassment to turn to the courts for relief.

“Most defamation cases really focus on an individual plaintiff,” said Gutterman. “So, in some ways, these lawsuits against Alex Jones and Infowars are kind of a novel way to rein in this new genre of conspiracy theory-related information.”

Professor Emeritus William Banks Provides Input to AP News on Debunked January 6 Claim About Former President Donald Trump

Posted on Tuesday 11/1/2022
Professor Emeritus William Banks

In a round-up of popular, but untrue, stories for the week, AP News debunks the claim that former President Donald Trump signed an order to deploy 20,000 National Guard troops before his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but was stopped by the House sergeant at arms, at the behest of Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Professor Emeritus William Banks explained that guard troops are generally controlled by governors, though they can be federalized. The claims “make no sense at all,” Banks added. “The House sergeant at arms, he or she is not in the chain of command. Nor is Nancy Pelosi.” 

While Trump was involved in discussions in the days prior to Jan. 6 about the National Guard response, he issued no such order before or during the rioting.

Professor Nina Kohn Speaks with KHN About How the Pandemic Prompted New State Laws for Nursing Home Residents

Posted on Friday 10/28/2022
Professor Nina Kohn

During the first 12 months of the pandemic, at least 34% of those killed by the virus were residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, even though they make up fewer than 1% of the American population, according to Kaiser Health News

“Part of what the pandemic did is to expose some of the underlying problems in nursing homes,” said Professor Nina Kohn. “This may present an opportunity to correct some of the long-standing problems and reduce some of the key risk factors for neglect and mistreatment.” 

According to a review of state legislation, 23 geographically and politically diverse states have passed more than 70 pandemic-related provisions affecting nursing home operations. States have set minimum staffing levels for nursing homes, expanded visitation, mandated access for residents to virtual communications, required full-time nurses at all times and infection control specialists, limited owners’ profits, increased room size, restricted room occupancy to two people and improved emergency response plans.

Professor Gregory Germain Offers Advice in “How Bad Credit Happens and What You Can Do About It”

Posted on Friday 10/28/2022
Professor Gregory Germain

How does your credit go bad? And what can you do about the problem after it arises?  

Professor Gregory Germain, Director of the Bankruptcy Clinic at the College of Law, was featured in an article by AmOne on what’s on a credit report, the effect of bankruptcy on your credit, what makes a credit score fluctuate, and more. 

“The only thing you can do as a consumer is avoid negative information on your credit report by carefully managing your debts and payments,” Germain said. “What happened in the past, if accurate, cannot be changed.”

Unfortunately, the ramifications of a poor credit history can spread far and wide throughout various areas of your life.

Professor Arlene Kanter Discusses Remote Work Opportunities for Disabled Workers with the NYT

Posted on Wednesday 10/26/2022
Professor Arlene Kanter

The strong late-pandemic labor market is giving a lift to a group often left on the margins of the economy: workers with disabilities. Companies’ newfound openness to remote work has led to opportunities for people whose disabilities make in-person work — and the taxing daily commute it requires — difficult or impossible, reports the New York Times.

In the past, employers often resisted offering remote work as an accommodation to disabled workers, and judges rarely required them to do so. But that may change now that so many companies were able to adapt to remote work in 2020, said Professor Arlene Kanter, Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program. 

“If other people can show that they can perform their work well at home, as they did during Covid, then people with disabilities, as a matter of accommodation, shouldn’t be denied that right,” Kanter said.

Professor Jenny Breen Moderates “Labor’s Revival: Unions and the Struggle for Racial and Economic Justice” Panel

Posted on Tuesday 10/25/2022
Labor’s Revival: Unions and the Struggle for Racial and Economic Justice Panel

After decades of decline, the U.S. labor movement is once again on the rise, as workers turn to collective action to push back against stagnant wages and unsafe working conditions. What will this 21st century labor movement look like? How are workers challenging corporate greed and divide-and-conquer tactics? 

A panel of prominent labor leaders met in Dineen Hall on Monday, October 24 to discuss these topics and the ongoing struggle for dignity and democracy at work in the 2022 Lender Center Conversation: Labor’s Revival: Unions and the Struggle for Racial and Economic Justice

Professor Jenny Breen moderated discussion, speaking with panelists including Jan Brisack, Organizer, Starbucks Workers United; Johnnie Kallas, Director, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations Labor Action Tracker; and Chris Smalls, President, Amazon Labor Union. 

According to coverage by Spectrum News and panelist’s expertise, unsafe working conditions, long hours and few breaks are just some of the reasons why workers choose to unionize. 

“I’ve seen workers get carried out on stretchers,” said Smalls. “When I see workers get inspired by the efforts that we’re doing, that continues to resonate with myself. I know that there’s a bigger purpose, and that’s what motivates me to continue going.”

Professor Roy Gutterman L’00 Writes Guest Opinion Article on Prince, SU Football and Justice Clarence Thomas

Posted on Monday 10/24/2022
Professor Roy Gutterman

Last week, Supreme Court justices heard arguments in a case about copyright infringement and an iconic photograph of the musician Prince that was manipulated by the artist Andy Warhol. Justice Clarence Thomas posed a hypothetical question about the “copyrightability” of a blown-up version of the Prince photo in orange and the slogan, “Go Orange.” 

In his preface to the question, he acknowledged that he was both a fan of Prince’s 1980s music and the Syracuse University Orange football team.

Professor Roy Gutterman L’00, Director of the Tully Center for Free Speech, wrote a guest opinion article featured on Syracuse.com about Thomas’s SU references. Of all the sports teams and college programs, how did Syracuse make it to the top of Thomas’s docket? Perhaps nobody will know for sure, Gutterman claims, later going into detail about Thomas’s 1991 commencement speech at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Podcast: Professor Todd Berger interviews CNN Senior Supreme Court Analyst Joan Biskupic

Posted on Wednesday 10/19/2022
Joan Biskupic

Professor Todd A. Berger, Director of the Advocacy Programs at Syracuse Law, sits down with CNN Senior Supreme Court Analyst Joan Biskupic as the Supreme Court starts its new term. Berger discusses hot topics facing the Court with the veteran reporter, including the Court's legitimacy crisis, the idea of court packing, and the legacy of Chief Justice John Roberts. 

 

Prof. Kanter and Yohannes Zewale LL.M. ’19 and Current S.J.D. Candidate Discuss Disability Rights and Citizenship on Panel

Posted on Monday 10/17/2022
Renewing Democratic Community: Disability Rights and Citizenship in the Modern Civil Rights Era Panel

Our understanding of citizenship can be transformed when viewed through the perspective of people with disabilities. How do disability rights fit into the modern Human Rights framework? Have universities become more accessible and if so for whom? Are disabled students fully included in higher education's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts? And how do disability rights in New York State and the United States compare to other countries? 

Professor Arlene Kanter, Founder and Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program (DLPP), and Yohannes Zewale LL.M. ’19 and current S.J.D. Candidate participated on the “Renewing Democratic Community: Disability Rights and Citizenship in the Modern Civil Rights Era” panel hosted by the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The panel discussed how promoting disability rights moves us closer to realizing the promise of full citizenship in democracies here and around the world. 

Led by Chris Faricy, Associate Professor of Political Science and the inaugural Hicker Family Professor in Renewing Democratic Community, additional panelists included Brian McLane, President of Paradigm Solutions; Beth Myers, Lawrence B. Taishoff Assistant Professor of Inclusive Higher Education; and Paula Possenti-Perez, Director for the Center for Disability Resources.

Carl T. Bogus to publish third book

Posted on Monday 10/17/2022
Carl T. Bogus

Carl T. Bogus's third book, Madison's Militia: The Hidden History of the Second Amendment, will be published by Oxford University Press in the spring. 

Myriah V. Jaworski joins Clark Hill

Posted on Friday 10/14/2022
Myriah V. Jaworski

Clark Hill announced today that it has added Myriah Jaworski to its Cybersecurity and Data Privacy practice group. Jaworski joins as a Member and will associate with West Coast offices to expand the group’s geographic reach. Jaworski, a former Department of Justice trial attorney and 2022 Law 360 Rising Star, specializes in privacy litigation, data breach defense, cyber subrogation, and commercial surveillance claims.  Jaworski is a Certified Information Privacy Professional, United States (CIPP/US) and a Certified Information Privacy Professional, Europe (CIPP/E) as certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). She earned her law degree from the Syracuse University College of Law in 2009. 

Professor Nina Kohn Writes “COVID-19 and the Problem of Multiple Sufficient Causes”

Posted on Friday 10/14/2022
Professor Nina Kohn

Professor Nina Kohn’s students often ask if an individual can be held liable for spreading COVID-19. Her Answer? “Well...maybe.” 

In an opinion article published in Bill of Health, the blog of the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School, Kohn explains how an oft-ignored legal doctrine may hold the key to establishing liability in COVID-19 cases. 

“The doctrine could enable plaintiffs with COVID-19-related claims to establish causation despite multiple sources of COVID-19 exposure,” Kohn says. “But if liability is not permitted to attach where one sufficient cause is ‘innocent’ — an approach seriously being considered for the Restatement Third of Torts — we should expect more COVID-19 claims to go off the rails despite clear evidence of wrongdoing.”

College of Law Co-Sponsors Raise the Age Summit

Posted on Friday 10/14/2022
Raise the Age Summit

The College of Law co-sponsored the Raise the Age Summit this week in conjunction with the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission and the New York State Unified Court System Office for Justice Initiatives. 

Panelists and keynote speakers examined the impact of the Raise the Age legislation on the courts, youth, and community. Passed in 2017, the Raise the Age bill increased the age of criminal responsibility in the state of New York to 18 years of age. New York was previously one of only two states that automatically prosecuted 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. The focus of the summit centered around how this new legislation impacts key stakeholders, including district attorneys, defense counsels, judges, and attorneys for the child. 

“These issues concern all of us, including legal professionals and the broader community. Assessing the law at this juncture is timely and requires that we ask important questions to inform our decision making to guide our actions on juvenile justice and juvenile offenders. We must know empirically and experientially if the law is reaching its objectives, and if it applies equitably across racial, ethnic, gender and other diverse backgrounds,” says Professor Paula Johnson, a member of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission who also moderated the first panel of the day, The Prosecutorial Perspective and Raise the Age Legislation: Where Do We Go from Here?

Thanks to Professor Johnson for organizing this learning opportunity for students, faculty, and guests, and to the over 30 speakers who offered their perspectives and input throughout the day.

Associate Dean Suzette Meléndez Speaks on DEI Panel at the 2022 Associate Dean Conference at the Texas A&M School of Law

Posted on Friday 10/14/2022
Associate Dean Suzette Melendez

Associate Dean Suzette Meléndez participated on a panel at the 2022 Associate Dean Conference at the Texas A&M School of Law earlier this month. Meléndez’s panel addressed issues related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, including the recent addition of ABA Standard 303(c), which requires law schools to provide education to law students on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism.  

Additional sessions at the conference included panels on bar passage, professionalism and leadership, online and hybrid JD programs, rankings, and advice for those who want to become a law dean.

College of Law’s Criminal Defense Clinic Offers Hands-On Experience to Students for More Than 50 Years

Posted on Monday 10/10/2022
College of Law's Criminal Defense Clinic

The College of Law’s Criminal Defense Clinic has been helping students gain practical experience in the courtroom and hone their craft since 1971. 

The CDC represents low-income individuals pro-bono throughout Onondaga County, working mainly on civil matters such as shoplifting, vandalism and traffic violations. Students involved in the clinic said the experience has made them realize the impact of their work. Always under faculty supervision, they learn how to negotiate plea agreements, conduct legal research, and analyze the criminal justice system as a whole.

Members of the clinic typically discuss their cases with Gary Pieples, the director of the CDC and a teaching professor at SU. They then travel to one of several courts to meet with their clients prior to appearing before the judge.

Read on for student stories from the CDC in the Daily Orange.

2Ls Patrick Farrell and Alexander Shaw Win the 2022 Mackenzie Hughes LLP Edmund H. Lewis Appellate Advocacy Competition

Posted on Friday 10/7/2022
Sarah Bucker (Competition Director), Patrick Farrell, Alexander Shaw, and Professor Lauryn Gouldin

Second-year students Patrick Farrell and Alexander Shaw took home first place in the 51st Mackenzie Hughes LLP Edmund H. Lewis Appellate Advocacy Competition. The pair also won Best Brief, and Farrell was awarded Best Advocate. 3Ls Carlos Negron and Matthew Calogero reached the finals and placed second. 

"Congratulations to both Patrick and Alexander on their advocacy performance and a clean sweep of awards!" says Professor Todd A. Berger, Director of Advocacy Programs. "I’m proud of all of our competitors for all their hard work, preparation, and dedication to this year’s competition.”

Sponsored by Syracuse law firm Mackenzie Hughes LLP, this competition is open to two-person teams consisting of second and third-year Syracuse law students. The competition is named for the Hon. Edmund H. Lewis L'1909, a distinguished alumnus of Syracuse University College of Law, a partner at Mackenzie Hughes, and a Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. Each year, volunteer judges evaluate the teams’ written appellate briefs as well as oral argument performance through multiple rounds. 

This year's final round judges included: John F. Boyd II L’16, Court Attorney, Fifth Judicial District of New York; Lauryn P. Gouldin, Laura J. & L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence

2022–2025 & Crandall Melvin Professor of Law; David Katz L’17, Litigator, Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet, P.C.; and Thomas M. Leith, Appellate Attorney, Hiscock Legal Aid Society.

16 additional judges, including alumni and professors at the College of Law, judged the preliminary, quarterfinal, and semifinal rounds. Thank you to Professor Courtney Abbott-Hill L’09, Craig Atlas, Piotr Banasiak, Professor Emily Brown L’09, Peter Calleri, Josh Cotter L’09, Carly Dziekan, Professor Roy Gutterman L’00, David Katz L’17, Professor Aliza Milner, Professor Gary Pieples, Brandan Ray, Michael Paul Ringwood, Professor Richard Risman, Neil Smith L’02, and Professor Monica Todd.

This year’s problem involved the epicenter of the opioid epidemic in the State of West Hampshire, now second only to West Virginia in the opioid overdose death rate. Following the rapid rise in opioid overdoses in 2017, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), acting in coordination with the Burlington Sheriff’s Department, initiated an investigation into the illicit distribution of prescription opioids to West Hampshire and New Hampshire. The August 2017 search identified Brittney Cooper as an individual with an alarming number of opioid prescriptions. Cooper was charged with fraudulently obtaining several prescriptions for OxyContin and Percocet and distributing the opioids to individuals throughout West Hampshire and New Hampshire, across states, under 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1).

In pretrial motions, Cooper filed a motion to suppress the prescription drug records acquired from the Database. She argued that the DEA and Burlington Sheriff’s Department violated her Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures because she had a reasonable expectation of privacy in her prescription drug records. The District Court denied the motion, holding that Cooper had no reasonable expectation of privacy because these records are held by a third party (the state government) and because the prescription drug industry is highly regulated. The case is currently pending before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Questions before the court are first whether an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy in prescription drug records held in state databases of controlled substance prescriptions under the Fourth Amendment, and also whether the database search was a valid administrative and special needs search, waiving the probable cause and warrant requirements.

College of Law Unveils the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society 1967-Today Exhibit Case Permanent Collection

Posted on Wednesday 10/5/2022
College of Law Unveils the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society 1967-Today Exhibit Case Permanent Collection

Dean Craig M. Boise unveiled the College of Law’s new dynamic Advocacy Honor Society permanent collection display during Law Alumni Weekend, thanks to the generosity of Hancock Estabrook LLP.

History in the making, the new exhibit case showcases key artifacts and memorabilia of the College’s triumphant advocacy competition teams over the years, unveiling the rich and evolving narrative of the College’s legendary advocacy program. The permanent collection contains artifacts from the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society over the years, from 1967 through present day.

Todd Berger, Director of Advocacy Programs, opened the dedication with a few words about the program and its students over the years. Timothy Murphy L’89, Managing Partner at Hancock Estabrook, provided remarks on behalf of the firm celebrating the decades of success of the advocacy programs and its relationship with the College of Law.

College of Law Creates the Eleanor Theodore L'52 Memorial Law Scholarship Fund and Names Lecture Hall in Her Honor

Posted on Tuesday 10/4/2022
Eleanor Theodore L'52 Memorial Law Scholarship Fund and Lecture Hall

As he prepared to deliver this year’s annual State of the College Address, Syracuse University College of Law Dean Craig Boise was thinking about both place and time.  Moments before, he had officially dedicated the lecture hall where he was standing in the name of Eleanor Theodore L’52. He was thinking about her legacy and gift to future generations of law students who would study there. 

“Today, we honor a woman who graduated more than a half-century ago, the only woman in the Class of 1952,” said Boise.  Eleanor Theodore, who also earned her undergraduate degree from Syracuse University in 1949, passed away last year at the age of 92.  Her estate gift to the College of Law will create the Eleanor Theodore Memorial Law Scholarship Fund to support scholarships for deserving and promising students.

The amount of the gift was not revealed, reflecting the wishes of the donor, her lifelong modesty, and her desire to serve others without fanfare.  “Eleanor was an introvert,” says Mike Bandoblu L’11, Theodore’s close friend, accountant, and executor of her estate. “She was a private person, but she always put others first.  The first word that comes to mind in describing Eleanor is ‘selflessness.’” 

During the dedication ceremony, Boise recalled Theodore’s career of service over nearly four decades in the Department of Law for the City of Syracuse.  As assistant corporation counsel, she provided legal advice to mayors, city departments, the council, the planning commission. and others. 

“You name it—whatever happened in Syracuse, Eleanor probably had a hand in it, working through multiple administrations and transitions, and helping to build and protect the city she loved,” said Boise.  According to a profile of Theodore published in Syracuse Law Magazine (Fall 2007), she was the first woman in the history of the city’s law department and its only female attorney during her first decade there.  She served for 37 years, under 5 mayors and 11 corporation counsels.

“Her education at the College of Law was important to her.  She often told people that.  What she learned here built a future for her and allowed her to live a life of service,” said Boise.  “By putting her name on this lecture hall, we hope our students will remember the woman who was modest in demeanor but fierce in her commitment to serving others and the College of Law.”  

In opening the program, J.D. Candidate, Class of 2024, and President of the College’s Women’s Law Students Association Julie Yang said “The Women’s Law Students Association is committed to empowering women and advancing women in legal education and the legal profession. Our mission is to advocate for gender equity and women's causes while creating lasting relationships with our mentors and alumnae.  It is fitting therefore that we should join in this morning’s unveiling, in celebration of a woman who was truly a trailblazer.  I know I speak for all of my colleagues when I say that we will remember this day with great admiration and inspiration.”

In the State of the College address following the dedication, Boise noted that the College remains strong, in large part due to the generosity of alumni and friends.  In 2021-22, the College exceeded fundraising goals by 40%, with $6 million raised from 1600 donors, allowing the College “to attract the best and brightest and offer them appropriate financial aid to help make their career dreams a reality.”

Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett (Ret.) Speaks to Politico About Biden’s Comments Regarding a Potential Attack on Taiwan

Posted on Tuesday 10/4/2022
Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett (Ret.), Deputy Director of Syracuse University’s Institute for Security Policy and Law

In an interview for CBS’ 60 Minutes in mid-September, President Joe Biden said the U.S. military would defend Taiwan “if in fact there was an unprecedented attack” on the self-governing island. While Biden didn’t define what an unprecedented attack on Taiwan would look like, his comments marked the fourth time since August 2021 that he has stated that the U.S. would militarily defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion attempt.

Kurt Campbell, the U.S. National Security Council’s Indo-Pacific coordinator, later explained that Biden’s remarks speak for themselves, and he believes U.S. policy regarding a potential attack on Taiwan has been consistent, is unchanged, and will continue.

Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett (Ret.), Deputy Director of Syracuse University’s Institute for Security Policy and Law, discussed both references in Politico, saying “Call it a two-pronged approach in terms of the administration statements and the President’s speech on this … to increase the deterrent effect on China and enable us to keep tensions at a somewhat reduced level.”

Professor Emeritus William Banks Comments on Allegations Against Trump White House in the Bloomberg Law Podcast

Posted on Tuesday 10/4/2022
Professor Emiritus William Banks

In the Bloomberg Law Podcast, Professor Emeritus William Banks discusses the Senate Judiciary Committee investigating allegations that the Trump Justice Department demanded that critics of the president be prosecuted, revealed in a new book by a former Manhattan US Attorney. 

The segment on the allegations begins at 13:05 and Bank’s weighs in at 14:08

The pressure placed by the Trump White House was highly inappropriate, Banks explains, “but it was not necessarily unlawful.”

Professor Arlene Kanter Calls for More Accessible Housing in Baltimore in the Baltimore Banner

Posted on Monday 10/3/2022
Professor Arlene Kanter

Paul Dixson, a wheelchair user and resident of a mixed-income community development in Northeast Baltimore, has been stuck inside his home for the majority of the past three years due to the lack of an accessibility ramp. Dixson uses housing choice vouchers for his rent, a federally-funded program that helps low-income families and people with disabilities rent private housing. Advocates say the program can help break the cycle of poverty and encourage socioeconomic mobility. But Dixson’s case shows how the system can also fail people with disabilities. 

The vouchers are “problematic if they are not useful,” said Professor Arlene Kanter, founder and director of the Syracuse University College of Law Disability Law and Policy Program, in the Baltimore Banter

Unlike public housing for low-income residents, private developments don’t have a set percentage of units that need to be accessible, with doorways and rooms that fit a wheelchair and ramps in the entrance. Kanter explains it is a problem if there is a shortage of accessible housing in the private market that is adequate to the tenant’s disability, saying “we want more accessible housing in this country.”

The demand for voucher-eligible housing is bigger than what housing authorities have to offer, so the options are slim for those who have disabilities in an area like Baltimore.

Koert A. Wehberg interviewed by Equal Justice Works

Posted on Friday 9/30/2022

Equal Justice Works included Koert in their alumni interview series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EFrHAhYgV0

Staci Dennis-Taylor L’14 and Lisa Peebles L’92 Lead Panel on the Challenges Facing Criminal Justice

Posted on Thursday 9/29/2022
Challenges Facing Criminal Justice Panel

As a part of Orange Central 2022, Staci Dennis-Taylor L'14, Senior Assistant District Attorney at the Chief of Municipal Courts Bureau, and Lisa Peebles L'92, Federal Public Defender at the Northern District of New York, returned to the College of Law for a panel on “the Challenges Facing Criminal Justice.” 

An audience of alumni and students gathered to hear from Dennis-Taylor and Peebles about the challenges facing criminal justice practitioners from their work experiences and perspectives over the years. College of Law Professor Paula Johnson moderated the discussion.

Brian Rich joins Commercial Litigation Practice Area

Posted on Wednesday 9/28/2022
Brian D. Rich

September 22, 2022—Barclay Damon announces Brian Rich, partner, has joined Barclay Damon’s Commercial Litigation and Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Areas. His primary office location is New Haven.

Rich has over two decades of experience trying bench and jury trials to conclusion in both state and federal courts. He regularly represents some of the world’s largest banks and financial institutions as well as local and regional clients in a variety of business and commercial disputes, including contract claims, real estate litigation, contested commercial and residential foreclosure actions, mortgage resolution, unfair business practices actions, and fraud and lender liability claims.

Rich said, “I’m excited to join a firm with such an accomplished bench of attorneys. I’m most looking forward to helping the Commercial Litigation and Restructuring, Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Areas grow and offer more services to their clients as well as cross-selling my experience with attorneys in other offices and practice areas.”

Brian Whiteley, Commercial Litigation Practice Group leader, said, “Brian adds considerable depth to the firm’s commercial litigation and restructuring, bankruptcy, and creditors’ rights work. Our firm is known for having particularly skilled litigators, and Brian’s experience is commensurate not only with the needs and expectations of the firm’s clients but also with the firm’s strategic growth plan.”

Lizz Acee, managing director of the firm’s major market offices in Boston, New Haven, and New York City, said, “With the addition of Brian, Barclay Damon’s major market offices have experienced a combined 25 percent increase in attorneys over the past year. This is part of our continued, strategic effort to expand the services we offer clients both across our platform and on a national scale. We’re thrilled to add Brian to the firm.” 

Heidi Levine-Sorkin installed as President of WBA

Posted on Wednesday 9/28/2022

After a 30 year career as a government attorney focusing on environmental legislation, Heidi retired from the Town of North Hempstead in Dec 2018. Refocusing her passions to advance the profession, she joined the Suffolk County Women's Bar Association and was installed as its President in June 2022. In addition, she remains active in Suffolk County Region Hadassah serving on the Attorneys and Judges Council as well as Vice President of Programing. She is proud to announce the recent graduation of her youngest daughter, Naomi, from the University of Delaware and the engagement of her older daughter, Rebecca (a 2013 Syracuse grad), with a planned Fall '24 wedding.

Rick Shearer joins Dentons

Posted on Wednesday 9/28/2022

Commercial litigator Richard Shearer joined the world’s largest law firm this week. Dentons has added to its partner tally with the appointment on 5 September of commercial litigator Richard Shearer as a partner in the firm’s Kansas City office. Shearer made his move after more than 10 years with Shook Hardy & Bacon, also in Kansas City, where he represented claimants and defendants in complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts throughout the United States, as well as in arbitral proceedings. As a trial lawyer, Shearer has acted in numerous cases and has substantial experience litigating breach of contract claims, fraud matters, joint venture and partnership disputes, professional negligence claims and insurance coverage disputes. He handles all aspects of litigation, including developing and establishing pre-trial and trial strategy, engaging in dispositive motions, taking and defending critical depositions, coordinating responses to subpoenas, preparing and executing discovery, and engaging in discovery motions. His past clients come from a broad range of sectors, including technology, media, design and construction, finance, insurance, manufacturing and professional services.

Chiara M. Carni joins Goldberg Segalla

Posted on Wednesday 9/28/2022

Goldberg Segalla added Chiara M. Carni to the firm’s Intellectual Property group in Manhattan. Carni was previously with the Innovation Law Center in Syracuse.

Carni counsels and defends clients in a range of intellectual property issues including trademark registration, copyright disputes and other litigation matters. With a background in innovation research, she draws on her experience reporting on and evaluating clients’ patentability potential for inventions such as medical devices, computer software, and copolymers. Carni earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law.

3L Jorge Estacio Represents the College of Law at the ABA Business Law Section’s Annual Meeting

Posted on Tuesday 9/27/2022
3L Jorge Estacio, second from right, at the ABA Business Law Section's Annual Meeting

3L Jorge Estacio recently met with senior government officials, big law partners, and judges from around the world at the ABA Business Law Section's Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Estacio works at the Innovation Law Center as a Special Projects Consultant researching and writing reports covering intellectual property, freedom to operate, and marketing information for clients.  He is also a student attorney in the Transactional Law Clinic.

Sabastian Piedmont named Managing Partner

Posted on Tuesday 9/27/2022

Mr. Piedmont joined Tully Rinckey in the summer of 2021 as an associate attorney and climbed the ranks to become the Managing Partner of Tully Rinckey’s Syracuse office in the spring of 2022. 

Daniel P. Moses joins Hinckley Allen

Posted on Tuesday 9/27/2022

Hinckley Allen this week welcomes attorney Daniel P. Moses to the firm's Boston office, expanding its construction and public contracts practice group. Dan has worked most recently as Senior Contracts Manager at The Weitz Company where he evaluated and managed risks associated with contract administration for all West Coast projects – including Hawaii and Guam – for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, among other notable experience. 

Distinguished Visiting Lecturer David Cay Johnston discusses NYAG Letitia James’ lawsuit against former president Donald Trump with Anderson Cooper

Posted on Thursday 9/22/2022
David Cay Johnston

Distinguished Visiting Lecturer David Cay Johnston was on the Anderson Cooper 360 podcast discussing New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit against former president Donald Trump and the Trump Organization. Johnston confirmed that the accusation in the lawsuit “lines up perfectly” with the former President’s actions throughout his life. The segment on the lawsuit starts at 17:44 and Johnston weighs in starting at 18:40.

Professor Shubha Ghosh Speaks on Panel for International Gaming: Laws and Regulations Around Games in the Digital Era

Posted on Wednesday 9/21/2022
Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh

In early September 2022, Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh served as a guest panelist at a conference on International Gaming: Laws and Regulations Around Games in the Digital Era. Durham Law School, England, and InGAME International hosted the two-day conference, exploring the dynamic of gaming and the legal/regulatory framework at both national and international levels, from an interdisciplinary perspective. 

Ghosh virtually participated on a panel discussing competition law and the regulatory framework of games, specifically speaking about platforms, game development, and competition law. 

The abstract listing for his topic references the ongoing antitrust dispute between Apple and Epic Games and highlights critical issues in game development and dissemination. Contractual restrictions that prevent game developers from distributing their games through direct dissemination to users raise questions of limits on competition. Although these restrictions are justified through the risk taken by platform creators (such as Apple through its App Store), this business justification ignores other aspects of the market for games: the needs of end users and the talents of programmers. Ghosh analyzed the dispute between Apple and Epic and the district court's decision in favor of Apple, currently on appeal.

Professor Lauryn Gouldin Addresses New IL Law and “Safe-T Act” with AP News

Posted on Wednesday 9/21/2022
Professor Lauryn Gouldin

On January 1, 2023, Illinois will become the first state to test out a new law ending cash bail, or payments imposed by a judge, as a condition of a person’s release pending trial. This law is a part of the “Safe-T Act”, a wide-ranging criminal justice bill Illinois lawmakers passed in 2021. 

Professor Lauryn Gouldin addressed the new law with AP News, explaining that it doesn’t create a new classification of “non-detainable” offenses. Suspects can still be jailed pretrial if they are considered a public safety risk or likely to flee to avoid criminal prosecution.

The new law states, “Detention only shall be imposed when it is determined that the defendant poses a specific, real and present threat to a person, or has a high likelihood of willful flight.”

Special Screening of Samantha Cheng’s Documentary: Honor and Duty: The Mississippi Delta Chinese

Posted on Tuesday 9/20/2022
Samantha Cheng’s Documentary: Honor and Duty: The Mississippi Delta Chinese

Syracuse University students, friends, and faculty members gathered for a special screening of Journalist/Filmmaker Samantha Cheng's Documentary "Honor & Duty: The Mississippi Delta Chinese" on Friday, Sept. 16 at the National Veteran's Resource Center.

Attendees enjoyed a reception before moving to the auditorium for an introduction to the Mississippi Delta, the viewing of the documentary, and a Q&A hosted by Cheng. Focusing on the story of the Chinese who were recruited to work in the Mississippi Delta after the Civil War, the documentary explores how the community steadily grew in the early part of the 20th century. Despite the Chinese Exclusion Acts (1882-1943), which barred both immigration and citizenship for Chinese, more than 22,000 Chinese and Chinese Americans served in WWII. Among the Mississippi Delta Chinese, 132 served in the Army, 24 in the Air Force, 19 in the Navy and two in the Marines. These unsung heroes discuss their lives before, during and after the war. 

Cheng came to Syracuse at the invitation of Professor Mary Szto, who teaches Asian Americans and the Law at the College of Law. Szto and Cheng were childhood friends in the Chinese American church in New York City that Szto’s father founded, but were only reunited this year after losing touch for several decades. 

According to Szto, Cheng’s work in telling the story of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) veterans dovetails with the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)’s groundbreaking research on current AAPI veterans in their transition from service to civilian life. Szto says these stories and research are critical to addressing current anti-Asian and other racial violence in the U.S., and growing global tensions. 

See more details in SU Today.

Emily P. Beekman Beekman listed in Best Lawyers

Posted on Monday 9/19/2022

Emily P. Beekman, of Lincoln, Massachusetts, was included in the 2023 edition of the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ for her work in Elder Law, Litigation – Trusts and Estates, and Trusts and Estates.  She was first listed in 2021. Beekman is an associate in Mirick O’Connell’s the Trusts and Estates Group.  The focus of her practice is estate planning, estate and trust administration, and tax planning.  

Family Law Society Hosts “Conversation with Family Law Practitioners” for Students

Posted on Thursday 9/15/2022
Conversation with Family Law Practitioners

In a “Conversation with Family Law Practitioners” hosted by the Family Law Society, students gathered over lunch for an opportunity to hear from and ask questions to local family law judges, attorneys, and referees. Thank you to our alums and local professionals, including Hon. Julie Cecile L’91, Family Court Judge; Mary John, Attorney, Volunteer Lawyers Project; Kimberly Pedone L’93, Family Court Referee; Lourdes Rosario, Family Court Referee; Ronnie White Jr. L’13, Attorney, Law Office of Ronnie White; and Heather Youngman, Attorney, Nave Law, for your words of wisdom and advice.

Visiting Professor Michal Krotoszyński Presents “From ‘Legal Impossibilism’ to the Rule of Law Crisis"

Posted on Wednesday 9/14/2022
Visiting Professor Michal Krotoszyński

Visiting Professor Michal Krotoszyński from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland presented a lecture to College of Law students last week, “From ‘Legal Impossibilism’ to the Rule of Law Crisis: Transitional Justice and Polish Counter-Constitutionalism.” 

Since 2015, Poland’s Law and Justice political party has significantly altered the composition of the Polish Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and the National Council of Judiciary; and expanded the power of executive branch in relation to the courts. This process – commonly referred to as a period of ‘anti-constitutional populist backsliding’ (Sadurski 2014) – also has a transitional justice dimension. Krotoszynski posits that the cornerstone of this counter-constitutionalism is a myth of ‘legal impossibilism’: a belief in strict constitutional constraints supposedly stopping the parliamentary majority from introducing crucial reforms, including transitional justice measures.

Syracuse University College of Law Welcomes New Students at its 2022 Convocation

Posted on Monday 9/12/2022

On Aug. 15, 2022, Syracuse University College of Law welcomed 241 new students at its Opening Convocation ceremony held at the National Veterans Resource Center on the Syracuse University campus. The NVRC represents SU’s steadfast and long-standing commitment to cultivate and lead innovative academic, government, and community collaborations positioned to empower those who have served in defense of the United States.

The new student body includes 144 students in the residential juris doctor program (Class of 2025); 95 students in the online JDinteractive program (Class of 2026); 22 LL.M. students from eight different countries (Class of 2023), three S.J.D. students from Brazil and India (Class of 2025), four visiting scholars, three semester exchange students, and three international students in the two-year J.D. program. 

The students heard from Syracuse University Chancellor and President Kent Syverud, College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise, and the Honorable Nazak Nikakhtar L’02, G’02, Partner at Wiley Rein LLP, Chair of the firm’s National Security practice, and Co-Chair of the Foreign Investment practice (CFIUS/Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States). Nikakhtar specializes in international trade national security law, global competition policy, and supply chain resilience.  

As we emerge from the global pandemic, returning to old norms and learning to live with new ones, Chancellor Syverud highlighted the historical fact that “only once in American history has one school had its graduates serving simultaneously as the local mayor, the state’s governor, its member of Congress, and as President of the United States. That school is Syracuse University in 2022. And, for the first time, this University is simultaneously welcoming four new Tillman Scholars – three of them College of Law students. The Tillman Scholarship is the most prestigious scholarship award for US service members, veterans, and military spouses. Our large number of Tillman Scholars, like our large enrollment of veterans in this college, reflects our University’s tradition and mission to be the best University in the nation for veterans and military-connected students.”

Addressing the students, Dean Boise advised, “Now is an appropriate space to reflect on your ’future moment.’ For there are many unprecedented challenges -- and opportunities -- that await your bright minds, sharp skills, and deep sense of justice: climate change and human security, threats to public health and community wellness, justice for communities of color, and the rights of vulnerable populations, the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II, and its impact on our planet and our nation, supply chain challenges and global trade imbalances, and the respect for the rule of law and democracy abroad and here at home. And, of course, the challenges and opportunities that come with economic prosperity, innovation, and technological advances, such as artificial intelligence and drones.

“Our faculty are leading experts in these topics … and more! They, and the laws that impact them, will come alive for you in the classroom. I know, that at Syracuse Law, we will inspire you, prepare you, and help you gather and hone the tools to shape lives and change the world. That is our commitment to you, because we know that’s why you are here.”

The class of incoming J.D. students has an undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.55 for the 50th percentile, which is the highest seen at the College of Law in over 10 years. The 75th percentile GPA of 3.75 and 25th percentile GPA of 3.21 are also higher than the incoming class of 2021. The incoming class is comprised of 25 veterans/active duty military members, 10 more than the incoming class of 2021.

Nikakhtar offered words of encouragement from the perspective of a graduate, saying, “Syracuse will give you a wonderful, top-notch education. It will train you to master the law, it will teach you how to write persuasively, think analytically, and it will teach you grit. Embrace it. You will have good days and challenging days and they will all pass. Learn, learn as much as you can, because one day you will draw from the information you’ve acquired over these few years. 

“Whether you want to be law partners, professors, judges, politicians, career diplomats, business executives, stay at home parents, or part-time anything. Whatever you want to be, you will develop important building blocks here. The foundation of modern democracy is based on the American legal system, and it is the greatest legal system in the world. It may not be perfect, but when you learn it, you can fix it. Fundamentally, the knowledge of law is one of many things that will enrich you as a person. And it’s something that will stay with you forever.” 

  

Overview of Incoming J.D. Students*

Class size: 241

  • J.D. Residential: 144
  • JDinteractive: 95
  • J.D. Residential Transfer: 2 
  • J.D. Two-Year: 2

LSAT Scores

  • 75th: 160
  • 50th: 157
  • 25th: 154

Undergraduate GPA (uGPA)**

  • 75th: 3.75
  • 50th: 3.55***
  • 25th: 3.21

Higher Degrees

  • Master’s Degrees: 47, including in business, education, and nursing
  • Ph.D.s: 4
  • 1 Doctorate of Nursing
  • M.D.s: 4

Diversity

  • Average Age: 28
  • Gender: 100 male, 133 female
  • Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC): 31% (75 students)
  • First-Generation Students: 67

Military-Affiliated

  • Veterans/Active Duty: 25****

Geography

  • States Represented: 33
  • Countries Represented Other than US: 10 (the Northern Mariana Islands, and ten other nations: Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, Germany, Greece, India, Saint Lucia, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates)

Overview of Incoming LL.M. and S.J.D Students

  • 22 new LL.M students from 8 different countries: Brazil, China, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, and Pakistan
  • 3 S.J.D. students from Brazil and India, one of whom is an alum of the LL.M. program
  • 3 exchange students from the University of Florence and the University of Rome (Tor Vergata), Italy
  • 4 visiting scholars from Brazil, Poland and South Korea

*Statistics are as of August 17, 2022

**The Undergraduate GPA numbers are all higher in 2022 compared to 2021 numbers

***A median GPA of 3.55 is the highest average in over 10 years

****10 more Veterans than the incoming class of 2021

Alumni Return to Campus to Enrich 2022 Orientation and Summer Residency Programs

Posted on Monday 9/12/2022

Thank you to alums and friends who took time out of their schedules to participate in our August Orientation and JDi Residency programs.  The line-up included:

  • In a Fireside Chat moderated by Assistant Dean of Career Services Lily Hughes, Nazak Nikakhtar L’02, G’02 discussed her career path and the opportunities that led her to current post. 
  • Kim Wolf Price L’03 and Stephanie H. Fedorka L'17 led a panel on “DEI in Practice”.
  • Michael Kiklis L’93 and his business partner, Kimani Clark, visited students at the Innovation Law Center (ILC) and shared their wisdom and words of advice with the incoming JDinteractive (JDi) class. 
  • Katherine Martin L’99, Managing Director at Rock Creek Global Advisors LLC moderated a discussion with SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce as the keynote event of the Crypto and Digital Assets Class.
  • Leadership Greater Syracuse Representative Ronnie White L’13, SULAA Board President Colleen Gibbons L’17, President and CEO of Visit Syracuse Danny Liedka, Volunteer Lawyers Project of CNY Representatives Mary John and Adam Martin L’20, and Onondaga County Bar Association Executive Director Jeff Unaitis welcomed the incoming classes and shared the many ways in which students can get involved in our Syracuse community.
  • Four panels of alumni welcomed the JDi Class of 2026, offering advice on law school and work/school balance and exchanging stories of their journeys.

NSF Invests in the College of Law’s Innovation Law Center Through Five-Year, $15 Million Grant

Posted on Friday 9/9/2022
College of Law Innovation Law Center

The Innovation Law Center at Syracuse University College of Law has been selected as a part of a $15 million, five-year investment by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The investment is designed to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in STEM programs in rural, economically underserved regions. Syracuse University joins nine other colleges in the newly awarded grant, NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps): Interior Northeast Region Hub (IN I-Corps). The grant will help the ILC continue to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

The grant captures activities taking place across the Syracuse University campus, including at the College of Law’s Innovation Law Center; the College of Engineering and Computer Science and its Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering; and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management.

Gretchen Ritter, vice chancellor, provost and chief academic officer, says the University is excited to partner with the NSF and other colleges to boost entrepreneurism and contribute academic programming and curriculum development in that field.

For more information, reference SU News.

Syracuse University Hosts Highest Number of Army ROTC Educational Delay Program Cadets in the Country

Posted on Friday 9/9/2022

The College of Law proudly has among its student body three Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) students – Ray Scarlatta L’23, Anthony “Ben” Emmi L’23 and David Trombly L’24 — who are part of the U.S. Army’s Educational Delay (Ed Delay) program. All three were selected from a pool of 20,000 cadets to be among 130 Ed Delay cadets nationwide. This competitive nationwide program delays active-duty service for cadets while they attend law school. The College of Law has the most Ed Delay cadets of any law school in the country.

The Ed Delay program is designed as a pathway for ROTC cadets into the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps, the military justice and military law branch of the U.S. Army. During their third year of law school, cadets compete for selection into the JAG Corps. Selection for Ed Delay does not guarantee selection for the JAG Corps, but does greatly increase a student’s chances.

“Many ROTC cadets learn about the JAG Corps and seek out the opportunity to attend law school right after their undergraduate studies instead of commissioning directly onto active duty in another branch. Then the students next explore what law school would best prepare them for the JAG Corps. We are so proud that the Syracuse University College of Law has become a school of choice for Army Ed Delay students,” says Beth Kubala, executive director of the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic at the College of Law. 

“Here at the College of Law we have several faculty members with JAG experience and coursework that allows students to focus on national security law. Couple that legal education and mentoring with the university’s support network for military-connected students and our ability to prepare these students to serve as military lawyers is unmatched.”

Read more about each of the ROTC students and the Army Educational Delay Program in SU News.

LA Times Compares Vietnam and Afghanistan Wars, with Input from Retired Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett

Posted on Friday 9/9/2022
Retired Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett

Vietnam and Afghanistan were America’s two longest wars. Despite a number of similarities, including mistakes made and disastrous denouements that spelled defeat for the U.S., each conflict had entirely different impacts on U.S. society, culture and politics, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Retired Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett, Deputy Director of the SU Institute for Security Policy and Law, explains, “the sheer size and scale of the U.S. military deployment, the number of casualties and the backing of the enemy in Vietnam, were greater than anything we ever saw in Afghanistan.” 

More than a generation ago, the specter of Vietnam cascaded into numerous corners of U.S. daily life. It spawned a widespread, history-altering protest movement that in turn triggered political shifts. It even left a mark on film, television, song, and other features of American culture. Afghanistan did not have the same influence. Although significant political and humanitarian fallout came from the war in Afghanistan, Vietnam’s impacts were wider, deeper, and broader. 

International Law Society Hosts Re-Launch Event for 2022

Posted on Thursday 9/8/2022
International Law Society Hosts Re-Launch Event for 2022

The International Law Society (ILS) hosted a re-launch event on Sept. 1, 2022 to kick-off the fall semester.

Dean Craig Boise offered opening remarks for the event, advising students, “Whether you are an American student or a student of one of the more than 30 countries represented in our student body, learn from each other, and remember that each of you has something to contribute to all of you. There is no better platform for these learning exchanges than the College of Law’s International Law Society.”

Lotta Lampela LL.M.’22, President of the International Law Society, moderated the event which featured an overview of Syracuse Law’s international programs by Andrew Horsfall L’10, Assistant Dean of International Programs. Joining virtually from Norway from her Fulbright program, Professor Cora True-Frost L’01 spoke to students as the ILS faculty advisor. Associate Dean for Faculty Research Kristen Barnes was joined virtually by Professor Todd Berger and Professor Laurie Hobart G’16 to speak about the international aspects of American Law. Professor Arlene Kanter also discussed the upcoming International Law Weekend.

ILS students enjoyed a reception and networking after hearing from the evening’s speakers.

College of Law Alumni Welcome the JDinteractive Class of 2026

Posted on Thursday 9/8/2022

Four panels of College of Law alumni welcomed the JDinteractive Class of 2026 during Orientation week, offering advice on law school and work/school balance and exchanging stories of their journeys.  We thank all our alums and friends who shared their experiences with the incoming classes.

Panel 1 moderated by Lily Hughes, Asst. Dean of Career Services 

  • Chris Audet L’11 
  • Staci Dennis-Taylor L’14 
  • Brittany Jones L’14 
  • Kristen Smith L’05  

Panel 2 moderated by Elizabeth Kubala, Teaching Professor, Executive Director of the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic 

  • Andrew Bobrek L’07 
  • Jason Fiegel L’22 
  • Everett Gillison L’85 
  • Hope Engel L’86 
  • Maria Zumpano L’19 

Panel 3 moderated by Shannon Gardner, Assoc. Dean for Online Education 

  • Peter Carmen L’91 
  • Tiffany Love L’22 
  • Nazak Nikakhtar L’02 
  • Hon. Ramon Rivera L’94 

Panel 4 moderated by Kathleen O’Connor, Teaching Professor 

  • Ronnie White L’ 13 
  • Kara Krueger L’11 
  • Edward (Buster) Melvin L’96 
  • Ted Townsend L’10 
  • Hon. Danielle Fogel L’04 

Assistant Dean Lily Yan Hughes Featured as Expert in Wallet Hub’s “2022's Hardest-Working States in America”

Posted on Wednesday 9/7/2022
Assistant Dean of Career Services Lily Y. Hughes

Americans are hard workers, putting in an average of 1,791 hours per year as of 2021, according to the World Economic Forum. While the hard work ethic of Americans has inspired the creation of many successful businesses, overworking can take a harsh toll on workers. 

In an “Ask the Experts” section, Assistant Dean of Career Services Lily Yan Hughes offers insight to Wallet Hub on both productivity and the conditions of workers in the current economic environment.  

“To stay competitive in a still robust job market environment where workers continue to have leverage and multiple choices, wages will need to and will move closer to a true increase,” Hughes said. “However, because price increases are implemented almost instantaneously, versus increases in wages, these increases will lag in timing.”

Professor David Driesen Comments on Supreme Court Decision in West Virginia v. EPA with Climate Wire

Posted on Thursday 9/1/2022
Professor David Driesen

Professor David Driesen, along with a number of other legal observers, spoke with Climate Wire about the Supreme Court’s landmark climate decision last month in West Virginia v. EPA, asserting that it clips agency authority and constrains how lawmakers can address planet-warming emissions.

The majority’s ruling did not reference the Clean Air Act’s goals of protecting public health and welfare. According to Driesen, “the court is supposed to enforce the law that’s on the books, even if it’s old, until Congress decides to change it. It abandoned that principle.”

Going forward, Driesen also believes that the ruling ties the hands of lawmakers who typically draft legislation in broad terms to give agencies greater flexibility to address issues that Congress could not anticipate at the time the law was finalized. “They can’t protect themselves from the whims of future courts,” he said. “In terms of the [ruling’s] effect on regulation, generally, it’s way beyond the power sector. West Virginia is saying the courts can do anything they want anytime they don’t like the result.”

University of Oslo, Pluricourts Welcomes Fulbright Scholar Cora True-Frost G’01, L’01

Posted on Thursday 9/1/2022
Cora True-Frost G’01, L’01, Bond, Schoeneck and King Distinguished Professor in the College of Law

Cora True-Frost G’01, L’01, Bond, Schoeneck and King Distinguished Professor in the College of Law, was selected by the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Program to join the University of Oslo, Pluricourts as a Fulbright Scholar for the next six months.  

The University of Oslo, Pluricourts welcomed True-Frost in August 2022, where she will conduct her research and scholarship on European Tribunals and International Disability Law: Definitions, Discrimination, and Involuntary Detention. 

“I very much welcome the opportunity to closely engage CJEU and ECtHR decisions in conversation with the community of many scholars working on Pluricourts’ international tribunals research in Norway,” said True-Frost, “and would plan to make research trips, as needed, to Geneva, Luxembourg and Strasbourg.” 

More details about True-Frost’s research can be found in Syracuse University News.

John G. Powers selected for Best Lawyers

Posted on Thursday 9/1/2022
John G. Powers

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that John G. Powers has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2023.  Mr. Powers is a Partner in the Litigation Practice and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.   He routinely appears in federal and state courts, as well as arbitration, on complicated civil matters to advocate for the interests and causes of his clients, which include municipalities, business corporations, universities, and individuals.  

Timothy P. Murphy selected for Best Lawyers

Posted on Thursday 9/1/2022
Timothy P. Murphy

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Timothy P. Murphy has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2023.  Mr. Murphy is the Firm’s Managing Partner and a member of the Executive Committee. Mr. Murphy has over 30 years of experience representing clients in product liability, motor vehicle, construction accident, medical malpractice, negligence, premises liability, toxic tort, and commercial cases in State and Federal Court.

Beheshta Rasekh L’22 Awarded the Hiscock Legal Aid Society’s Afghan Legal Fellowship

Posted on Wednesday 8/31/2022
Beheshta Rasekh

The Hiscock Legal Aid (HLA) Society awarded Beheshta Rasekh LL.M’22 the Afghan Legal Fellowship for the coming year. As part of the Fellowship, Rasekh will provide legal counsel and representation to Afghan clients seeking lawful status in the United States.

“Beheshta arrived at Syracuse and began her LL.M. studies very soon after the Taliban re-took control of Afghanistan, originally planning to return to her country and serve her people, but unaware of the sudden political changes in her nation. She has continually excelled against these great odds and this latest achievement offers further demonstration of the dedication, talent, and potential of this amazing woman,” said Andrew Horsfall, Assistant Dean of International Programs.

Rasekh was one of two Fulbright students from Afghanistan and received two CALI awards for academic excellence, presented to the student with the highest grade in the class, in her Evidence Law and International Business Transactions courses. In the summer of 2022, she began working for the City of Syracuse with Leah Witmer L’10, Chief Administrative Law Judge. She will begin her Fellowship this fall and work for the HLA through September 2023. 

Founded in 1949, HLA is a non-profit agency located in Syracuse serving as a primary provider of legal services to low-income individuals in Central New York. HLA promotes the right of every person to equal justice under the law by providing high-quality legal assistance to individuals and families in need. 

Christopher J. Burns selected for Best Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022

Henson Efron is pleased to announce that Christopher Burns - Elder Law, Litigation - Trusts and Estates, Trusts and Estates is being honored as a Best Lawyer in America 2023 edition. 

Danielle P. Katz selected to Rising Stars

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Danielle P. Katz

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Danielle Katz: Business/Corp has been selected to the 2022 Upstate New York Rising Stars list.

Kayla A. Arias selected to Rising Stars

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Kayla A. Arias

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Kayla A. Arias: Business Lit has been selected to the 2022 Upstate New York Rising Stars list.

Michael J. Sciotti selected to Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Michael J. Sciotti

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Michael Sciotti: Employment & labor has been selected to the 2022 Upstate New York Super Lawyers list.

Buster Melvin selected to Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Edward G. Melvin II

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Buster Melvin: Employment & Labor has been selected to the 2022 Upstate New York Super Lawyers list.

Christopher J. Harrigan selected to Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Christopher J. Harrigan

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Chris Harrigan: Employment Lit: Defense has been selected to the 2022 Upstate New York Super Lawyers list.

Jeffrey A. Dove selected to Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Jeffrey A. Dove

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Jeff Dove: Bankruptcy: Business has been selected to the 2022 Upstate New York Super Lawyers list.

Richard R. Capozza selected to Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Richard R. Capozza

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Rick Capozza: Environmental has been selected to the 2022 Upstate New York Super Lawyers list.

Robert A. Barrett selected to Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Robert A. Barrer

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Robert Barrer: Prof. Liability: Defense has been selected to the 2022 Upstate New York Super Lawyers list.

Brittany E. Lawrence selected to Rising Stars

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Brittany E. Lawrence

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Brittany Lawrence: Business Lit has been selected to the 2022 Upstate New York Rising Stars list.

James P. Domagalski selected to Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
James P. Domagalski

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Jim Domagalski: Business Lit has been selected to the 2022 Upstate New York Super Lawyers list.

William C. Foster selected to Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
William C. Foster

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Bill Foster: PI - Products: Defense, has been selected to the 2022 Upstate New York Super Lawyers list.

ICEF Monitor Highlights Assistant Dean Andrew Horsfall’s Research on International Exchange Rates

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Assistant Dean of International Programs Andrew Horsfall

An exceptionally strong American dollar is making it more expensive for students in many key emerging markets to afford traveling to and studying in the United States. Students who only months ago might not have needed a scholarship or to work while studying are finding themselves in a precarious new position.

Assistant Dean of International Programs Andrew Horsfall L'10 has been tracking international-exchange rates twice a year since 2014. As per reporting in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Horsfall discovered in his most recent study (in March 2022) that students from 19 of the 23 countries he tracks would spend more in their home currency to pay their tuition costs than six months earlier.

Horsfall suggests possible interventions for educators to consider taking beyond increasing scholarships in this ICEF Monitor article.

Dustin W. Osborne selected for Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022

Goldberg Segalla is pleased to announce that Dustin W. Osborne was selected for inclusion in the 2022 Upstate New York edition of Super Lawyers for Worker's Compensation.

Aaron Schiffrik selected for Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022

Goldberg Segalla is pleased to announce that Aaron Schiffrik was selected for inclusion in the 2022 Upstate New York edition of Super Lawyers for Civil Litigation: Defense. 

Patrick B. Naylon selected for Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022

Goldberg Segalla is pleased to announce that Patrick B. Naylon was selected for inclusion in the 2022 Upstate New York edition of Super Lawyers for Civil Litigation: Defense. 

Joshua S. Werbeck elected to serve on Board of Managers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Joshua S. Werbeck

Bousquet Holstein PLLC is pleased to announce that attorney Joshua S. Werbeck has been elected by its members to serve on the firm's Board of Managers. Joshua S. Werbeck joined Bousquet Holstein in 2010.  He was elected as a Member of the firm in 2016.   He is a member of the firm's Real Estate, Business, and Liquor Licensing and Compliance Practice Groups.  In his real estate practice, Josh represents individuals, businesses, and non-profits, including developers, lenders, homeowners associations, and condominium boards.  In business matters, Josh works with business owners and leaders in general business, transactional, and employment matters.  In liquor licensing, Josh has experience representing restaurants, bars, wineries, breweries, universities, hotels, grocery stores, and other venues on all aspects of liquor licensing, including initial applications to the State Liquor Authority, corporate changes, alterations, compliance matters, and disciplinary proceedings.  Prior to joining the firm, Josh participated in the firm's Summer Associate Program in 2009.  Josh was recognized with the Central New York Business Journal’s 2016 “Forty Under 40” award.  He has been a Super Lawyers Rising Star for several years.  He was a member of the Leadership Greater Syracuse Class of 2017.  Josh served on the Board of Directors for Sarah's Guest House, Inc. in Syracuse for several years, including service as President of the Board.  Josh is a 2010 cum laude graduate of Syracuse University College of Law and earned his Bachelor of Arts from Siena College graduating magna cum laude in 2007.

Julia J. Martin elected to serve on Board of Managers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Julia J. Martin

Bousquet Holstein PLLC is pleased to announce that attorney Julia J. Martin has been elected by its members to serve on the firm's Board of Managers. Julia joined the firm in 2009 and is a member of the firm's Brownfield Practice Group. She was elected as a Member of the firm in 2019. Julia advises clients on a broad range of tax and business matters, from planning and compliance, through the audit process, to controversy and litigation. Julia’s practice focuses on corporate income, franchise, gross receipts, sales and use, and personal income taxes.  In particular, Julia focuses her practice on economic development tax incentive programs such as New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), Opportunity Zones, and others. Julia works with clients to understand the impact of various tax incentive programs and how various programs can work together to support development.  Julia analyzes project financial information and remedial alternatives to help clients seek the full allowable amount of available credits under applicable law, guides clients and their accountants through the process to claim the credits, and successfully navigates audits on those claims. She is Member at Large of the New York State Bar Association Environmental & Energy Law Section Executive Committee and Brownfields Task Force. Julia is also a member of the Central New York Women’s Bar Association and previously served as President and Treasurer of that group.  Julia also serves on the Board of Trustees of Syracuse Stage.  Prior to joining the firm, Julia participated in the firm's Summer Associate Program in 2008. She earned her Juris Doctor in 2009 from Syracuse University College of Law, and her Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University in 2006.

David A. Lerner Lerner selected for Best Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022

Plunkett Cooney is pleased to announce David A. Lerner (Partner) was selected for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law. 

Daniel B. Berman selected for Best Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Daniel B. Berman has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2023.  Mr. Berman is a partner in the Firm’s Litigation Practice, with more than 35 years of experience litigating cases throughout New York State.  His practice is focused on the litigation and resolution of business and professional disputes for clients ranging from global banking institutions to individuals operating local small businesses.

Richard W. Cook selected for Best Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Richard W. Cook

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Richard W. Cook has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2023 and voted the 2023 "Lawyer of the Year" for in Banking and Finance Law in Syracuse.  Mr. Cook is a partner at the Firm and leader of the Banking & Finance Practice and a member of the Corporate Practice.  

John F. Corcoran included in Best Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
John F. Corcoran

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that John F. Corcoran has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2023.  Mr. Corcoran is the leader of the Firm’s Education and Municipal Practices.  He has extensive experience representing management in labor and employment litigation with an emphasis on the public sector, collective bargaining as the employer’s chief negotiator, labor arbitrations, education law and municipal law, including fire service matters.

Joseph T. Mancuso selected for Best Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022
Joseph T. Mancuso

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Joseph T. Mancuso has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2023.  Mr. Mancuso is a partner in the Banking & Finance and Corporate Practices. He is a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.  Mr. Mancuso represents clients on matters involving business formations, mergers and acquisitions, contract negotiations, commercial transactions, and other general corporate matters.

Yan C. Bennett appointed Visiting Presidential Professor

Posted on Monday 8/29/2022

For academic year 2022-23, Yan Bennett has been appointed as Visiting Presidential Professor at Illinois State University where she is teaching 21st Century U.S. Diplomacy and the History of American Diplomacy. At the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, she continues to teach the United Nations and Global Security as well as Law and Diplomacy. In both these classes, she has the opportunity to educate students on American constitutional law, international law, and the law of international organizations. She is also pleased to announce two new publications, "China’s inward and outward facing identities: post-COVID challenges for China and the international rules-based order," in COVID-19 and Foreign Aid and "Xi Jinping Thought: Political Philosophy or Totalizing Paradigm," in China Under Xi Jinping: An Interdisciplinary Assessment. This year, she has published a few short articles, including "China's Real Ambitions for the South Pacific" for ASPI's The Strategist, "Implications of China's Pacific Dream for the United States, Australia, and Allies" in the Journal of Political Risk and "China's Governance and Leadership" in the Journal of Asian Studies. Bennett continues to work at Princeton University as Assistant Director to the Paul and Marcia Wythes Center on Contemporary China.

Professor Beth Kubala Discusses Potential Hurdles in Implementing the PACT Act in The Hill

Posted on Monday 8/29/2022
Professor Beth Kubala

Veterans clinched a victory after President Biden signed a bill called the Sgt. First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act that would expand medical coverage for former service members with exposure to toxins. After a long-fought battle, their work is far from over. Ret. Army Lt. Col. and Professor Beth Kubala, Director of the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic (VLC), provides comments on the potential hurdles veterans may face through the implementation of the PACT Act in The Hill.

“There should be an immediate call to action for veterans to file their claims for the VA to process those claims expeditiously, and for the VA hospitals and benefits system to be ready for an influx of patients,” said Kubala. “The VA is a large federal entity, and it handles medical care, benefits, and a whole host of resources for our nation’s veterans. And I think implementation of the PACT is going to have to cause the VA to mobilize all the parts of its agency to support a smooth implementation of this.”

Professor Paula Johnson Calls for Justice in Daily News Opinion Piece About Emmett Till’s Murder

Posted on Wednesday 8/24/2022
Professor Paula Johnson

Emmett Till is gone, but the quest for justice lives on. Professor Paula Johnson, co-director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative at Syracuse University, offered insight in an opinion piece published in the Daily News about the 1955 murder of Till and the acquittal of Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam by an all-white male jury. 

“The Fifth Amendment double jeopardy clause was the only thing that stood between them and another trial for his death,” explains Johnson. “That means that no one has been held legally responsible for the death of Emmett Till — which was such a notorious, and open and unabashed crime in this nation’s history — that to the extent that people who were involved and never had to answer for it are still alive, then there really is no reason why they should not be held to answer.”

In June of 2022, new evidence arose revealing the name of Carolyn Bryant Donham on the arrest warrant. Donham was the wife of Roy Bryant who accused Till of making “ugly remarks” to her while she was at work. The warrant reads that police couldn’t find her in the county and a sheriff said he did not bother to serve the warrant because she had two young children at home. While Roy Bryant and Milam are now deceased, Donham is 88 years old and is living in Kentucky.

“A 14-year-old Black youth’s life had been taken because of some alleged insult to a white woman and she isn’t held accountable for that because she has children?” Johnson asks. “Well Mamie Till-Mobley had a child as well, and we see what happened to him.”

Risks Lurk in Popular Retail Investment Products

Posted on Wednesday 8/24/2022
Professor A. Joseph Warburton

As part of his ongoing scholarship, Professor A. Joseph Warburton examines investment products that are popular with the public. Warburton’s most recent research into two investment products finds that both contain risks that are not transparent to investors and come mainly in the form of embedded financial leverage or borrowed money that these investment products take on, putting investors’ money at risk.

In his Business Lawyer feature below, Warburton analyzes business development companies (BDCs), a type of investment company popular today among retail investors and retirees because of the high dividends BDCs pay. But because of leverage, BDCs incur more risk than the market benchmarks and significantly underperform once you account for that extra risk.

An earlier article in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies co-written with Michael Simkovic of the University of Southern California, shines a light on a surprising degree of borrowing activity by the everyday mutual funds

 

Business Development Companies: Venture Capital for Retail Investors | 76 Business Lawyer 69 (January 2021)

A BDC is a type of investment company that finances small and growing American businesses. After raising capital in public markets, BDCs then fund companies considered too small or risky by traditional lenders. Many BDCs are open to retail investors and offer an alternative to private venture capital firms that are often out of reach. Investors are attracted to BDCs because of their potential to pay out high income, but the rewards come with risks.

BDCs are favored by Congress, which excused these types of companies from key provisions of the regulations that govern other investment companies. BDCs are allowed, for example, to incur greater leverage through borrowed money. The more capital BDCs can obtain from investors, according to Congress, the more BDCs can finance small and growing enterprises, thereby promoting job creation and economic growth. BDCs have largely stepped into a role that banks have vacated, becoming an important component of the financial system for small and midsize businesses. While Congress has championed BDCs as a way for small and midsize businesses to obtain financing and grow, it has not analyzed hard evidence on how BDCs perform for the investing public, as this article does.

This article is the first academic study to examine the BDC comprehensively. Why has the literature overlooked BDCs? One reason is the complexity of the regulatory framework. Another reason is the lack of available data. Warburton’s research and findings address both obstacles.

Through his research, Warburton explores the history of BDCs and their purpose. He dissects the laws that govern BDCs – which are neither exempt from the Investment Company Act of 1940 nor fully regulated by it. In order to fulfill their mission of assisting emergingenterprises, BDCs are highly restricted in their investments and activities. The Investment Company Act requires that BDCs finance primarily private or small public companies, which restricts their assets to illiquid or thinly traded securities. To promote the growth of BDCs (and the growth of companies in which they invest), key provisions of the Act are applied to BDCs in a relaxed manner. The rules permit BDCs to engage more freely in leverage and related- party transactions than other investment companies.

Next, Warburton’s research shows an empirical analysis of BDCs using a unique dataset built from hand-collected information from BDC filings. The figure below displays the number of BDCs in existence, by year, for all BDCs and publicly traded BDCs, revealing that BDC formation has come in two major waves: 2004–06 and 2011–15.

Number of BDCs in existence by Year
Number of BDCs in existence by Year

Today, there are more than 50 BDCs that are exchange-traded and available to retail investors. In addition, dozens of BDCs are public but not exchange-traded, and others that are private.

Looking at the performance of publicly traded BDCs over a 21- year period, the research shows that BDCs live up to their reputation for high income, with the typical BDC yielding about 10%. Moreover, the total returns (stock returns plus dividends) of BDCs appear to match or beat the benchmark indices (high-yield bonds and leveraged loans). However, BDCs incur substantially greater risk than the benchmarks. BDCs are permitted to be highly leveraged, nearly all BDCs employ leverage, and their performance is highly volatile. On a risk-adjusted basis, the typical BDC significantly underperforms the benchmarks, trailing by four to six percentage points per year.

During the March 2020 market crash at the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, shares of publicly traded BDCs declined by over three times as much as the benchmarks, on average.

Performance During COVID shock; BDCs v. Risky Fixed Income
Performance During COVID shock; BDCs v. Risky Fixed Income

The figure above shows the performance of $10,000 invested in an index of publicly traded BDCs during 2020, compared to the two market benchmarks (high yield bonds and leveraged loans). The $10,000 investment in BDCs was worth $9,115 at the end of 2020, versus $10,711 if invested in high yield bonds and $10,312 if invested in leveraged loans. BDCs were also more volatile over the year than the benchmarks, which themselves are among the riskiest parts of the fixed income market.

Warburton advises retail investors and their financial advisors to consider the findings of this research before investing in publicly traded BDCs. Before adding a BDC to your portfolio, be sure to consider its track record and avoid BDCs with a history of negative risk-adjusted performance.

Mutual Fund Borrowing Poses Risk to Investors

Reprinted from the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation | A. Joseph Warburton and Michael Simkovic (University of Southern California), January 3, 2020

Millions of Americans rely on mutual fund investments to pay for their retirement, but mutual funds contain hidden, previously underappreciated risks.

Warburton and Simkovic’s new study published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, “Mutual Fund Borrowing Poses Risks to Investors”, provides evidence that mutual funds borrow in an attempt to improve their performance. Those attempts not only fail to boost average returns, they also increase the volatility of returns, potentially creating serious problems for those who need to withdraw their money at a time when the market is down.

The Investment Company Act of 1940 permits mutual funds to have a capital structure that is up to one-third debt. Warburton and Simkovic’s paper is the first to study the performance of open-end funds that exploit their statutory borrowing authority.

Through their research, the team constructed a database using information contained in annual filings of open-end domestic equity funds covering 17 years from 2000 to 2016. They discovered that a surprising number of funds—18 percent— bulked up at some point by borrowing money for leverage. These borrowing funds underperform their non-borrowing peers by 62 basis points per year on a total return basis, while also incurring greater risk. After

accounting for risk, borrowers underperform by 48 to 72 basis points annually. The research explains that funds often borrow in an unsuccessful effort to juice performance after having lagged in the mutual fund rankings.

 Mutual funds that borrow are plain-vanilla mutual funds, not exotic investment vehicles often associated with leverage, such as alternative funds and levered index funds. By contrast, Warburton and Simkovic found that funds that use derivatives and other financial instruments perform about as well as unleveraged mutual funds, before and after adjusting for risk, and with less volatility. This suggests that many mutual funds use derivatives to hedge risk rather than as a substitute for leverage through the capital structure.

Concerned about leverage, regulators have recently been examining funds’ use of derivatives, but that focus may be too narrow as borrowing also presents a risk to investors. The SEC has recently proposed new rules on the use and reporting of derivatives by registered investment companies. According to their research, Warburton and Simkovic suggest that regulators would benefit from collecting further data on mutual fund borrowing, to provide greater transparency into mutual fund capital structure.

Conclusion:

Professor Warburton advises individuals to investigate leverage before putting money into any investment product. Although this can require digging into the fund’s annual report, a phone call to the fund might be sufficient. The effort is worthwhile in the end. Funds that borrow money for leverage carry extra risk. He adds, “If you decide that you are ok with that extra risk, then be sure to consider the fund’s track record. Avoid funds with a history of negative risk-adjusted performance when using leverage.” 

College of Law Deepens Law and Technology Faculty with Professor Daniel Traficonte

Posted on Tuesday 8/23/2022
Professor Daniel Traficonte

The College of Law has added Daniel Traficonte as Associate Professor and a faculty affiliate of Syracuse University’s Autonomous Systems Policy Institute. In the previous academic year, Professor Traficonte was a Teaching Fellow at Sciences Po Paris, France. 

He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and completed his Ph.D. in Political Economy at MIT, where he was also a research associate on the University’s Work of the Future Task Force. His research sits at the intersection of law, political economy, and innovation, with a particular focus on patents and the role of federal R&D programs and university research in shaping science and technology. He has published his scholarship in the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review as well as the Cardozo Law Review.

A brief Q&A with Professor Traficonte:

Why did you decide to teach law? What courses will you be teaching?

I think teaching law is all about helping students to develop new ways of thinking, which is really gratifying for me as an instructor. In other disciplines, there’s often a pre-set body of material that students have to master, but in law school I think it’s really more about learning to “think like a lawyer” and hone specific ways of analyzing problems. When I taught law-related classes in the past, the most rewarding part was seeing students come away with some of these new tools. This year I’ll be teaching property and patents and trade secrets, and then adding a course on law and technology starting my second year.

What is the most important aspect of the law that students should know?

I think law students should know how the law can change and what lawyers can do to change it. I think many people encounter the law as this mystifying, rigid system that we’re all subject to and have very little say in. But the law is

indeterminate and constantly evolving, and there are so many points of intervention—through direct advocacy, policy work, and other forms of law-related work—that lawyers can take advantage of and use to push the law in directions we want it to go.

What interests do you have outside of teaching and the law?

I’m originally from New England and am a pretty outdoorsy person—I like hiking and biking in the summer and fall, and I also surf in the winter (with a very thick wetsuit) when the waves are good on the East Coast. I like reading sci-fi books and have a habit of endlessly rewatching movies from the 90s. But I spend most of my free time these days hanging out with my wife and our new dog, Ollie.

What are you most looking forward to this year as you join the College of Law?

I’m thrilled to be joining the College of Law this year and exchanging ideas with all my new colleagues and students. As a big college basketball fan, I’m also excited to go to my first game at the Dome!

Paul Vellano Jr. listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Paul Vellano Jr. has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Banking and Finance Law; Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law. 

Gerry Stack listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Gerry Stack has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Corporate Law; Tax Law.

Lynn Smith listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Lynn Smith has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Corporate Law. 

Michael Sciotti listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Michael Sciotti has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment. 

Jack Rudnick listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Jack Rudnick has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Corporate Law.

Kevin Roe listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Kevin Roe has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Environmental Law.

Alexandra Locke listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Alexandra Locke has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Banking and Finance Law.

Buster Melvin listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Buster Melvin has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Labor and Employment.

Kevin McAuliffe listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Kevin McAuliffe has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Project Finance Law.

Peter Hubbard listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Peter Hubbard has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Banking and Finance Law; Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.