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Syracuse University College of Law Welcomes 13 LL.M. Students for Spring 2021

Posted on Friday 1/15/2021
College of Law

In January 2021, the College of Law welcomed a new group of 13 students enrolled in our Master of Laws (LL.M.) program. "Despite the continued barriers and uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, this new spring cohort includes foreign lawyers representing the legal systems of five countries," says Assistant Dean of International Programs Andrew S. Horsfall. "These students will join the 11 returning LL.M. students who began their studies in this past fall and spring, along with three visiting scholars."

The LL.M. cohort will maintain its wide reach across time zones and locations; with seven students located in Syracuse, another five located elsewhere in the Eastern Time Zone, and 12 located abroad in Brazil, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, India, and Mexico.

"Our LL.M. students will continue to receive outstanding academic advising from members of our law faculty, including professors Todd Berger, Chris Day, Doron Dorfman, Shubha Ghosh, Antonio Gidi, Margaret Harding, Arlene Kanter, Suzette Melendez, Robert Nassau, and Cora True-Frost," says Faculty Director of International Programs Arlene Kanter.

In addition, the LL.M. students and visiting scholars will receive advising support from International Programs Academic Coordinator Kate Shannon and LL.M. student mentors Audrey Fick, Mazaher Kaila, Kylie Mason, and Troy Parker.

LL.M. Students (Spring 2021 Cohort)

Sumayyah Alanazi (Saudi Arabia) obtained her LL.B. in 2015 from Al Jouf University in Saudi Arabia.  She is a member of the Saudi Bar Association. She intends to study intellectual property and technology law.

Amani Alosaimi (Saudi Arabia) obtained her LL.B. from Taif University in Saudi Arabia in 2013. Since graduating, she has held an internship at International Legal Systems in Taif before coming to Syracuse to study legal English at Syracuse University’s English Language Institute. Alosaimi intends to study corporate and family law.

Samuel Alvarenga Goncalves (Brazil) obtained his LL.B. from the University of Itaúna and a master of laws degree from Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paolo, both in Brazil. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Law from Brazil’s Federal University of Minas Gerais. Alvarenga Goncalves serves as a state prosecutor in the state of Rondônia where he specializes in public health matters. He intends to study class actions and civil procedure.

Eduardo Cândia (Brazil) earned his LL.B. from Dom Bosco Catholic University, in Brazil. He also holds masters and doctoral degrees in “Social Relations Law”, and is pursuing a PhD in Economic, Financial and Tax Law, all from the Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paolo.  Mr. Cândia has worked as a public prosecutor in Brazil for 17 years and has published law review articles and books. He plans to enroll in courses that will prepare him for the New York Bar Exam.

Hugo Carrasco Soulé López (Mexico) obtained an LL.B. and Ph.D. in Law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He is a professor of law at UNAM, where he teaches civil procedure, contracts, class actions, and health law. He has published law review articles and books. He is also in-house counsel for Johnson & Johnson. He plans to study constitutional law, civil procedure, and courses that will prepare him for the New York Bar Exam.

Israel Correa Da Costa (Brazil) obtained his LL.B. degree from Metodista University in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2016.  Since graduating, he has worked as a partner in his own firm where he practices consumer litigation. Costa will study business and corporate law, as well as courses to prepare him for the New York Bar Exam.

Milena de Oliveira Guimaraes (Brazil) holds an LL.B. from Maringá State University in Brazil. She also obtained masters and doctoral degrees from Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paolo. She is a professor and a lawyer in Brazil, where she most recently served as a law clerk in the criminal law court for the Brazilian State of Mato Grosso. Guimaraes will enroll in courses in Commercial Law, Torts, and Civil Procedure.

Ana Sylvia Espinoza (Mexico) is finishing her LL.B. at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and comes to us under a dual-degree program. She held an internship position at Baker McKenzie’s Mexico City office and for a private attorney. She plans to study tax law, corporate compliance, and international business transactions.

Zaiden Geraige Neto (Brazil) obtained his LL.B., Masters, and Ph.D. from Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paolo. He has also studied at Harvard University. Geraige Neto is an attorney at a hospital in Sao Paolo, where he handles contractual and litigation matters. He will study class actions and civil procedure.

Vitus Imo (Nigeria) obtained his LL.B. from Ebonyi State University in Abakaliki, Nigeria, in 2018. He also graduated from the Nigerian Law School in 2019. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association. Imo has worked in private practice since graduating and plans to enroll in courses that will prepare him for the New York State Bar Exam. 

Sajid Masih (Pakistan) obtained his LL.B. in the University of the Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan, in 2017. He has worked for a local branch of the police authority in his state. He has also been an active member of NGO PEACE Pakistan, an organization that focuses on education and human rights. Masih plans to enroll in courses that focus on human and civil rights.

Paola Ontiveros Vazquez (Mexico) obtained her LL.B., LL.M., and Ph.D. from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). As a professor of law, she has written extensively about mediation and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. She will enroll in courses that will expose her to mediation and negotiation practices in the United States.

Sebastian Valenzuela (Mexico) is finishing his LL.B. at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and comes to us under a dual-degree program. During his studies, he has worked as a legal assistant for a casino management company as well as with a federal court. He will study constitutional law, civil procedure, and administrative law.

Returning LL.M. Students

Ahmed Al Shattawi (Iraq) obtained his LL.B. from Al-Nahrain University in Baghdad, Iraq. Soon after his LL.B studies, he emigrated to the United States, settling in Syracuse, where he obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering and works for Anaran, a local engineering and technology company. He will focus on courses that will expose him to American business law and culture along with subjects tested on the New York Bar Exam.

Alanood Alhammad (Saudi Arabia) obtained her LL.B. from Al-Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh.  She worked at the Saleh Abdurhman Alatrum law office before coming to the US in 2019 to study Legal English. Alhammad plans to deepen her understanding of business law while enrolled in the LL.M. Program.

Saad Alqahtani (Saudi Arabia) obtained a LL.B. from King Saud University in Saudi Arabia in 2010. He has worked as a legal investigator in the Public Administration for Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Transportation in Riyadh since 2011. Alqahtani intends to pursue courses in labor law, international law, and criminal law.

Vein Barazi (Syria) completed her LL.B. at Damascus University in Syria in 2007.  She worked as a lawyer in Syria for six years before relocating to the US. In her practice, she focused on transactional law, civil litigation, and intellectual property. She will enroll in courses that will prepare her for the New York Bar Exam.

Fildous Hamid (Ghana) obtained both a diploma in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Administration from the University of Ghana. She also obtained an LL.B. from MountCrest University College in Ghana in 2018. Hamid is interested in labor law and international criminal law. She is currently living in Germany while her husband is there for work, and she plans to sit for the New York Bar Exam upon completion of her LL.M. degree. 

Karla Lellis (Brazil) obtained a LL.B. from the Metropolitan University of Santos in 2001. Before joining the LL.M. Program, she was living in Boston, MA, where she volunteered her time in an immigration and family law practice. She intends to take classes that will help prepare her for the New York State Bar Exam.

Lorena Martinez (Mexico) is finishing her LL.B. at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and comes to us under a dual-degree program. She served as a research assistant for the co-director of the World Trade Organization in Mexico where she focused on international commercial law. Martinez will enroll in tax law and arbitration courses.

Carolina Mendez de Leon (Dominican Republic) completed her LL.B. at Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic in 2015. Upon graduation, she worked as a case manager at R. Mendez & Associates in Santo Domingo. She intends to pursue courses in intellectual property, wills & trusts, corporate law, and bar-tested subjects.

Kwabena Mensah (Ghana) is the recipient of the J&K Wonderland Scholarship. He obtained three degrees from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana: a Bachelor of Arts in Religion, Human Values, and Philosophy; a Master of Arts in Communication Studies; and a bachelor of laws. He currently works as a broadcast journalist with an emphasis on telling the stories of persons with disabilities in Ghana. Mensah received the 2018 Ghana Journalists Award for Best New Reporter in 2018. He intends to study disability law, media law, and courses that will prepare him for the New York State Bar Exam.

Isaac Onyango (Kenya) is the recipient of the JAF Foundation Scholarship. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Nairobi in Kenya in 2016 and a postgraduate diploma from the Kenya School of Law in 2018. He is an advocate with the High Court of Kenya and has worked as a Human Rights Advocate and Strategist with the Down Syndrome Society of Kenya for the last three years. He will pursue courses in disability law and international human rights.

Ersi Qeva (Albania) obtained LL.B. and LL.M. degrees from the University of Tirana in Albania. He emigrated to the United States in 2015 with his wife and has been living in Albany, NY. He plans to study criminal law and take the New York State Bar Exam upon graduation.

Spring 2021 Visiting Researchers

Dr. Smitha Nizar is a Fulbright Post-Doctoral Visiting Scholar from India. In her post-doctoral research, she examines the need to align India’s national laws with the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and to uphold the basic rights for persons with disabilities. 

Hojin Choi is a 2016 alum of Syracuse University College of Law’s J.D. program. As a student, he participated in the LondonEx summer program, served as the Research Assistant to Professor Aviva Abramovsky, and pursued courses and internships in disability law. Upon graduation, Choi remained in Syracuse to pursue employment with the local disability rights community. He is currently pursuing research projects supervised by Professor Arlene Kanter as well as conducting research for the Burton Blatt Institute.

Mohammad Ali Akbari Shandiz (Iran) obtained his LL.B. and LL.M. from Tehran University’s School of Law, in Iran, in 2010 and 2013, respectively. He worked in Iran for several years as a researcher and lecturer. From 2016 to 2017, he was a Visiting Scholar at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, where he focused his efforts on a research project titled: The Approach of the U.S. Legal Regime to Protect Geolocation Data Privacy. He earned a second LL.M., with a focus on intellectual property law, from George Washington University’s School of Law in 2018. He is currently working to pursue a PhD at the University of Turin’s School of Law with a continued focus on intellectual property and geolocation data privacy issues. During his research visit, Shandiz will engage in the study and research of data privacy in autonomous vehicles under the guidance of Professor Shubha Ghosh.

Spring 2021 DCEx Program Includes Government, Nonprofit, Judicial, and Corporate Placements

Posted on Thursday 1/14/2021
College of Law

Continuing its strong track record of top experiential learning placements, the spring 2021 Washington, DC, Externship Program (DCEx) begins with nine students set to gain practical legal experience across government, nonprofit, judicial, and corporate organizations. 

"I am quite pleased with the quality of the positions," says Faculty Director of Externship Programs and DCEx Program Director Terry Turnipseed. "We have five participants at the US Department of Justice, including two in the Tax Division for the first time, as well as a student at the Securities and Exchange Commission, one at the Insured Retirement Institute, a tax/retirement trade association, and one working with the Hon. J. Jeremiah Mahoney L’69, Chief Administrative Law Judge at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development."

Turnipseed notes that all externship with be remote, except an in-house placement at Orbis Technologies, hosted by alumna Erin Lawless Miller L’10, Vice President of Corporate Business Services. 

Spring 2021 DCEx Placements

Federal Government

  • US Department of Justice, National Security Division
  • US Department of Justice, Office of Legal Policy
  • US Department of Justice, Tax Division
  • US Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland, Southern Division
  • Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Trading and Markets

Nonprofit Placements

  • Insured Retirement Institute

Corporate Placements

  • Orbis Technologies

Judicial Placements

  • The Hon. J. Jeremiah Mahoney L’69, Chief Administrative Law Judge, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Office of Hearings & Appeals

No Conviction? Professor William C. Banks Comments on Trump's Second Impeachment

Posted on Thursday 1/14/2021
William C. Banks

House impeaches Trump once more

(China Daily | Jan. 14, 2020) With the US Capitol secured by armed National Guard troops inside and out, the House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump for a historic second time, indicting him for "incitement of insurrection" in the storming of Congress a week ago.

As impeachment heads to the Senate, President-elect Joe Biden said he hoped the Senate can balance a second impeachment trial of Trump with "other urgent business" of the nation, which remains gripped by the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement released hours after the bipartisan House vote, Biden did not take a position on whether the Senate should convict Trump, but again condemned the violent attack on Capitol Hill ...

... William Banks, distinguished professor emeritus at the Syracuse University College of Law in New York, said the House vote on impeachment was not surprising.

"It underscores that he is the ONLY President in US history to be impeached two times. It is clearly a stain on his record and should underscore the view that his presidency was an aberration in the US," Banks told China Daily.

Some Republicans joined because Trump lost the election, he can't impact them directly in the future, and in addition, Trump's actions were far more grave and harmful this time around, Banks said.

"I predict no conviction in an eventual Senate trial, and with luck the Senate will relegate the trial to off hours so they can begin working on the Biden agenda," Banks said. "It should have little impact on the Biden administration" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Provides CNN With a First Amendment Explainer

Posted on Wednesday 1/13/2021
Roy Gutterman

The First Amendment doesn't guarantee you the rights you think it does

CNN | Jan. 12, 2021

Read the full article.

Scenario: You are banned from a social media platform.

This is not a First Amendment issue, though plenty of people think it is.

Scenario: You are fired from you job for something you say in public or online.

If you work for a private company, it's probably not a First Amendment issue.

Scenario: A university or public group cancels a speech or presentation by a controversial figure.

If it's a private institution, it's probably not a First Amendment issue. If it's a public institution, the lines can get blurry.

Scenario: You are arrested for saying something critical of the government.

Definitely a First Amendment issue. But, like pretty much everything in law, there are exceptions and nuances.

Scenario: Your comment or post is deleted on an online forum.

It's a private company, so it's not a First Amendment issue.

Scenario: You are arrested for recording police activities in public.

A First Amendment issue -- usually.

What speech isn't covered under the First Amendment?

  • Obscenity
  • Fighting words
  • Defamation
  • Child pornography
  • Perjury
  • Blackmail
  • Incitement to imminent lawless action
  • True threats
  • Solicitations to commit crimes
  • Plagiarism of copyrighted material

Professor William C. Banks Helps Explain Insurrection Act for USA Today

Posted on Tuesday 1/12/2021
William C. Banks

What is the Insurrection Act and how could Trump use it? Here's what to know

(USA Today | Jan. 11, 2021) False social media posts swirled late Sunday that President Donald Trump in the wake of the U.S. Capitol riots had invoked the Insurrection Act, a law that allows the president to deploy the military to quell rebellion.

Tweets sharing images of military personnel in Washington continued to spread Monday morning and became a trending term on Twitter. However, Trump has not invoked the law.

The law, which has existed in various forms since the time of George Washington and in its current state since the Civil War, allows the president to dispatch the military or federalize the National Guard in states that are unable to put down an insurrection or are defying federal law ...

... William Banks, a Syracuse University College of Law Board of Advisors Distinguished Professor, said that when thinking about the Insurrection Act, it's important to remember one of the most basic principles of the United States' founding: that the military not be involved in civilian affairs.

"The Insurrection Act lays into U.S. law an exception to that background principle," Banks said.

In most cases, a state would want to rely on National Guard troops in situations of unrest. The Insurrection Act is generally reserved for when "things are really bad," Banks said ...

... Hoffmeister and Banks said, however, there was no need for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act on Jan. 6. given the federal government's control of the district's National Guard and federal law enforcement. Invoking the Act would have further allowed Trump to send active-duty military to the district when he already in effect had control over its National Guard and federal police ...

Read the full article.

NBC News Asks Professor William C. Banks About National Guard and Protests

Posted on Monday 1/11/2021
William C. Banks

Who decides when there are helicopters? Experts weigh in on National Guard monitoring protests

(NBC News | Jan. 10, 2020) It was not lost on many Americans — including President-elect Joe Biden — that after a violent mob of President Donald Trump's supporters broke into the Capitol in Washington, D.C., the delayed use of National Guard troops was far different than it was during the Black Lives Matter protests last year.

In late May, governors called on 43,000 troops nationwide. The nation hasn’t deployed National Guard troops at a comparable scale since the civil rights movement of the 1960s. By comparison, on Wednesday, acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller approved the deployment of less than 6,200 National Guard troops ...

... But the use of National Guard units in June was “fundamentally exceptional and different from the way civilians and the military have ordinarily worked together,” said William Banks, emeritus professor of law at Syracuse University and co-author of "Soldiers on the Home Front," a book about the domestic deployment of U.S. military assets. He fears that the new use of military surveillance technology for domestic protesters presents deeply troubling implications. “The civilian-military relationship, which is critical to the success of our society, has broken down" ...

Read the full article.

Murski named partner

Posted on Monday 1/11/2021
Karina Murski

Manning Gross + Massenburg LLP (MG+M) is pleased to announce that it has elevated Karina E. Murski to partner effective Jan. 1, 2021. Murski's practice areas include toxic tort defense and general litigation. She has significant experience representing large corporations and insurance carriers in matters involving toxic tort, products liability, premises liability, public utilities law, labor law, insurance coverage, and commercial litigation. She received her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wyoming.

Cross forms new firm

Posted on Monday 1/11/2021
Tara N. Karch Cross

Tara N. Karch Cross ’02 formed a new firm, Addelman Cross & Baldwin, PC, with offices located at 5680 Main Street, Buffalo, NY. Areas of practice include Professional and Medical Malpractice, Trucking and Transportation, Insured and Self-Insured Litigation, Licensure Investigations and Board Actions, and Commercial Litigation. 

Professor Mark Nevitt Asks Four Questions About Capitol Hill Riot

Posted on Monday 1/11/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

Tragedy at the Capitol: Four Questions that Demand Answers

By Mark P. Nevitt 

(Just Security | Jan. 9, 2020) How can the U.S. Capitol, surrounded by one of the largest concentrations of law enforcement and national security personnel in the world, be so quickly overrun by Trump insurrectionists hell-bent on “stopping the steal,” halting our cherished democratic processes, and potentially harming lawmakers?

This tragedy and breach of the Capitol Building on Wednesday is a failure of leadership and planning at the highest levels. A full and comprehensive investigation will be conducted. And it is important not to jump too quickly to conclusions without having a full understanding of the events and decisions that took place that day and the days leading up to it. 

Nevertheless, several key questions and themes are beginning to emerge. These must be addressed prior to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. 

These questions center around the difficulty in swiftly coordinating a response across overlapping federal, state, and local jurisdictions. Despite being surrounded by the nation’s vast national security and law enforcement apparatus, the U.S. Capitol response appears to have been plagued by and not taking the threat of right-wing extremism seriously. This was further exacerbated by different chains of command, overlapping legal authorities, and complex jurisdictional issue.

I highlight four initial questions to focus on:

  1. Was the District of Columbia National Guard properly deployed and resourced?
  2. What prevented other state National Guards from being expeditiously deployed?
  3. What role do other federal law enforcement have and why did the DC police have to play such a critical role in the Capitol’s defense?
  4. What other assets may have assisted?

Read the full article.

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Analyzes Free Speech vs. Sedition on Spectrum News

Posted on Friday 1/8/2021
Roy Gutterman

Where Does Freedom of Speech Begin and End as Protestors Arrested?

(Spectrum News | Jan. 7, 2021) Americans are still in disbelief as one of the most important buildings in the nation was overcome Wednesday with rioters.

What started off as a standard protest led to people climbing walls and breaking into the U.S. Capitol Building.

But where does free speech begin and end when it comes to a situation like this?

According to Professor Roy Gutterman, the First Amendment gives Americans the freedom to speak publicly, and protest issues they don’t agree with. But Gutterman, the director of Syracuse University’s Tully Center for Free Speech, said this was much more.

“Everyone has a right to [go to] Washington and protest and yell and scream and shout and petition the government and complain about public issues," he said. "What we saw yesterday went significantly beyond a traditional protest" ...

Read the full article

The Legal Standard for Free Speech & When Does It Turn Into Sedition?

(Spectrum Capital Tonight | Jan. 7, 2021) Roy Gutterman spends his days thinking about the First Amendment and freedom of speech. He should. He gets paid for it as the director of the Newhouse School's Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University.  

When asked about Wednesday’s mass insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, he said that, to his mind, it’s clear there were people who crossed the line from political protest into violence. However, he said, that “line” continues to evolve.

According to Gutterman, the current legal standard was first enshrined in a 1919 Supreme Court decision called Schenck v. U.S., which dealt with the distribution of 15K leaflets protesting the country’s involvement in WWI ...

Read the full article

Diverse Education Interviews Professor Nina Kohn About Online J.D./M.B.A. Program

Posted on Friday 1/8/2021
Nina Kohn

Syracuse University Launches Joint J.D./M.B.A. Degree Program

(Diverse Issues in Higher Education | Jan. 7, 2021) To increase access into the legal workforce, Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management and College of Law have collaborated to establish the first-of-its-kind joint online Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration degree program.

The launch of this program is an expansion of the school’s already implemented residential joint degree program in law and business administration. Syracuse also offers a separate online American Bar Association-accredited law degree, called JDinteractive, and M.B.A. programs.

“We wanted to take advantage of that synergy and bring that joint program that we have had residentially for decades to students online,” said Nina Kohn, a David M. Levy Professor of Law and faculty director of online education at the university’s College of Law. “It was a no brainer to do that once we had these two fully online degree programs combined for the joint degree" ...

Read the full article.

Student Attorneys Adapt to COVID-19 Changes by Representing Veterans at Virtual Board Hearings

Posted on Thursday 1/7/2021
3L Aly Kozma and 2L Shannon Cox

Amid changes dictated by the current global pandemic, student attorneys at the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic (VLC) are learning first-hand what it means to adapt and evolve to a new way of practicing law.

Student attorneys in the VLC assist veteran clients with benefits appeals through the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Many of these appeals are now reaching the Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA), the appellate body of the VA. Veterans often elect to have their hearing in front of a Veterans Law Judge, which traditionally required traveling to the VA Regional Office in Buffalo, NY, or making a special trip to Washington, DC.   

The BVA recently made significant changes in order to continue its mission of providing hearings and deciding appeals while keeping all parties safe from exposure to COVID-19. These changes involved conducting all hearings remotely and utilizing a virtual platform to hold tele-hearings.

Student attorneys preparing for these boards have found themselves counseling clients remotely, meeting with other students for virtual case presentation, rehearsing from various geographic locations, and effectively preparing their clients for the logistics of a new kind of legal proceeding.  

“Since the VA implemented these changes, the VLC has participated in seven virtual BVA hearings, and it already has several more docketed for the spring 2021 semester,” says Beth Kubala, VLC Executive Director. “Not only are these hearings providing valuable hands-on experiences for our student attorneys, they are gaining unique perspectives in how coronavirus has changed the practice of law. Our students will be prepared to practice in this new environment.”   

“The BVA hearing was an incredible opportunity to represent a veteran in need while also working with my peers on a complicated case,” says 2L Shannon Cox (pictured, top). “The experience taught me valuable lessons I will take with me into my future career.”   

“A hearing before a BVA judge is sometimes the only opportunity a veteran has to communicate with the VA beyond filling out a form or an application, their once chance to make their case in person," explains 3L Aly Kozma (pictured, bottom). "It was important to my partner Shannon Cox and I that we seized this opportunity to advocate for our client and that our client got to tell his story and feel his voice was heard. It was an extremely rewarding experience.”

Says 2L Chris Martz, “In addition to participating in BVA hearing, I was also allowed to be a part of cutting edge legal innovation in the shift to remote hearings. COVID-19 precautions have presented a major challenge to legal representation, but opportunity has presented itself as well. Attorneys and representatives can now advocate on behalf of their clients in any location, all across the US. We can now advocate for clients without having to uproot them from far and distant rural communities in order to access their VA benefits. The VLC has given me the opportunity to participate in the expansion of VA entitlement access to our honorable veterans and I am incredibly grateful.”

The VLC continues to assist veterans and their families with VA healthcare and disability benefits, compensation and pension applications, and discharge upgrades. Although the Center’s physical office in Dineen Hall is closed to the public, the staff is working regular business hours by phone, email, and video teleconference to continue to provide uninterrupted legal support and meet critical filing deadlines for the community’s veteran clients.

Similarly, VLC student attorneys continue to be fully engaged in seminar instruction, clinic work, and case rounds, fulfilling required clinic hours and assisting veteran clients. Regardless of whether teaching and classroom instruction is in person or online, student attorneys have seamlessly continued with coursework and client services. 

“While the mode of service delivery has changed, the quality of those services have not,” explains Kubala. “The VLC proudly continues to provide critical support to our community’s veterans during this unprecedented time.”

Toomey elected partner

Posted on Thursday 1/7/2021

Arnold & Porter is pleased to announce the election of Kevin M. Toomey as partner. Toomey is a member of the Financial Services practice and resident in the Washington, DC office.  He earned his JD from Syracuse University College of Law and received his BA from Colgate University.

Gallagher named partner

Posted on Thursday 1/7/2021
Brad Gallagher

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Brad Gallagher has been elevated to partner. Gallagher is a member of the Health Care and Health Care Controversies Teams and the White Collar & Government Investigations and Commercial Litigation Practice Areas. He is based in Albany.

Lawrence named partner

Posted on Thursday 1/7/2021
Brittany Lawrence

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Brittany E. Lawrence has been elevated to partner. Dwyer is a member of the Mass & Toxic Torts and Torts & Products Liability Defense Practice Areas. She is also a recruitment liaison for the firm’s Summer Associate Program and a member of the firm’s Diversity Leadership Team, Associate Integration Committee, and Women’s Forum. She is based in Buffalo.

Letter to Students from Dean Boise Regarding Events in Washington, DC, Jan. 6, 2021

Posted on Thursday 1/7/2021
Dean Craig M. Boise

Dear College of Law Students,

Each of you came to Syracuse to learn the law. You were no doubt driven by various conceptions of what the law means, whether our laws are just—or justly applied—or what a career in the law might look like for you. 

As your faculty, we pride ourselves on our knowledge of the law, and it is our role to help you learn it, interpret it, analyze it, apply it, and—yes—challenge it, even criticize it.

But yesterday’s violent storming of the Capitol by a mob angry with the outcome of the election illustrates more dramatically than any classroom instruction the most important function of the law—to serve as the framework for maintaining a peaceful, orderly and well-functioning society.  

Acts like those perpetrated on Jan. 6, 2021, not only are unprecedented in our country’s history, they also threaten the very roots of our democracy and chillingly demonstrate its fragility. 

Whatever your political persuasion, we can surely agree that the rule of law must always be paramount, that disagreements are to be resolved through democratic process, not violence, and that the periodic transfer of power must take place peacefully. A colleague reminded me yesterday of Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson’s statement in his concurring opinion in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer:

… [W]ith all its defects, delays and inconveniences, men have discovered no technique for long preserving free government except that the Executive be under the law, and that the law be made by parliamentary deliberations. Such institutions may be destined to pass away. But it is the duty of the Court to be last, not first, to give them up.

The events of January 6 remind us of the truths in this statement, that “free government” is not inevitable—it may “pass away”—and that the Courts, and we lawyers, as officers of the Courts, are afforded both the privilege and the profound responsibility of being the last defense against its demise.

Shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War, Frederick Douglass wrote that “nations are taught less by theories than by facts and events.” Take stock of the facts and events that have unfolded before you—yesterday and throughout this election process—and as you prepare to resume your studies this semester, know that you are being offered the most valuable lesson of your legal education.

Most importantly, I urge you to commit yourself in whatever way you are able to work toward preserving the framework of law that has secured the freedom we have for so long enjoyed.

Best regards,

Craig M. Boise
Dean and Professor of Law

Professor William C. Banks Comments on the Capitol Hill Riot

Posted on Thursday 1/7/2021
William C. Banks

SU Law Professor Saddened, Concerned About Democracy's Future

(Spectrum News | Jan. 7, 2021) Sadness: That’s how Syracuse University Law Professor Bill Banks felt when he watched a mob rush the Capitol on Wednesday. A group of people took extreme measures to vindicate a president who refuses to accept defeat, he said.

“It’s quite an ironic and disturbing spectacle to have the president of the United States engage in sedition," said Banks. "That is in violent, illegal attempts to overthrow the government of the United States.”

Capitol police were overwhelmed Wednesday afternoon. The logistics are still unknown.

Law enforcement in Washington, D.C., is unique because the Defense Department usurps the city’s power, said Banks. He says either the police misapprehended where the group was or they were underprepared.

“They simply didn’t have the numbers to stand up to the thousands of violent thugs who were using any means available to them to break into the building," said Banks ...

Read the full article

CNY Reactions to Washington D.C. Attack on Congress from Disgust to Anger to Blaming Trump

(WAER | Jan. 7, 2021) Reactions to the storming of the U.S. Capitol building by a large number of President Trump supporters Wednesday sparked some strong reactions from New York's Congressional delegation and political experts in Central New York ...

Syracuse University Professor William Banks, founder of the Institute for Security Policy and Law says the mob and its activities fall short of a coup attempt, though said it was appropriate for police to use force to quell rioting ...

Read the full story.

College of Law Faculty to Participate in Society of Socio-Economists Annual Meeting

Posted on Wednesday 1/6/2021

Several College of Law faculty members will be among the participants in the 2021 Society of Socio-Economists (SOS) Annual Meeting. Hosted by the College of Law and titled "Pressing Social Issues," the meeting will take place via Zoom on Jan. 10, 2021. 

The issues to be discussed include wealth and income distribution; race, gender, and class justice; environmental sustainability; inclusive capitalism; the economics of war and peace; corporate fiduciary duties, social responsibility, and governance; and the ethical dimensions of economic analysis.

Included among the featured participants are Syracuse University College of Law professors Robert Ashford, Christian Day, David Driesen, and Shubha Ghosh. The full program can be found at societyofsocio-economists.com.  

For more information, contact Professor Robert Ashford, Program Co-Chair for the AALS Section on Socio-Economics.

Professor Nina Kohn Assesses Elder Mediators in MarketWatch

Posted on Tuesday 1/5/2021
Nina Kohn

When siblings bicker over their aging parents’ care (and money), these people may help restore the peace

(MarketWatch | Dec. 25, 2020) You get along well with your siblings. There’s peace in the family most of the time. But when it comes to your aging parents’ health care or inheritance, all hell breaks loose.

Kind, decent people can dissolve into grabby, vengeful enemies when their parents are in decline. Brothers and sisters can turn against each other in uncharacteristically ...

Read the full article.

Professor Robin Paul Malloy Publishes on "Advancing Accessible Communities"

Posted on Tuesday 1/5/2021
Robin Paul Malloy
Advancing Accessible Communities. Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, 27:3 (2020).

Communities must be made accessible for people with disabilities and for people seeking to age in place, writes Professor Robin Paul Malloy in "Advancing Accessible Communities." 

Property, land use, real estate, housing, and zoning professionals must learn the requirements of our disability laws, and they must work with urban planners and disability rights professionals to make our communities safe and easy to navigate for everyone. 

Malloy's article explores the need for advancing accessibility while highlighting some of the key difficulties in achieving greater success. The article includes discussion of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Housing Act (FHA), and the Rehabilitation Act (RHA).

Read the article.

Preparedness, Planning, and Leadership: Professor William C. Banks Looks at Lessons Learned in 2020

Posted on Tuesday 1/5/2021
William C. Banks

Hope jostles with fear in US

(China Daily | Jan. 5. 2021) New leader on way, but wounds could take time to heal in polarized nation

The year 2020 has passed into history with a series of cascading events in the United States ranging from racism protests to a traumatic presidential election-all played out against the backdrop of a deadly pandemic.

The past year will make itself felt in 2021 as a more divided country grapples with twin health and economic crises.

The US casualties from the novel coronavirus, which the nation's scientists now believe first infected people there in mid-December 2019, had surged past 351,000 on the first days of 2021. That's roughly one of every 1,000 residents, the most in the world for a single nation.

But the pandemic wasn't the only event that shaped the year.

William Banks, distinguished professor emeritus at Syracuse University College of Law in New York, summed up 2020 in three phrases: COVID-19, racial justice and democracy threatened.

The pandemic will mark 2020 as equivalent to 1918, when a similar pandemic killed huge numbers of people, Banks said.

"The lessons learned hopefully are preparedness, planning, and leadership," he told China Daily. "The US lacked all three this year" ...

Read the full article.

Lingo named director in general counsel department

Posted on Monday 1/4/2021

Robinson Lingo will take on a director role in SRC’s general counsel department. In this new position, Lingo will oversee in-house and outside legal services for SRC and its subsidiaries and guide the international trade compliance team. Lingo has been with the company 8 years, most recently as senior manager, associate general counsel. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Syracuse University. He also received his MPA and J.D. in national security law from Syracuse University. Lingo is a Captain in the New York Army National Guard and volunteers with Eastern Hills Bible Church. 

Kaplan promoted to partner

Posted on Monday 1/4/2021
Michael Kaplan

Lowenstein Sandler LLP is pleased to announce that Michael Kaplan has been promoted to partner. Kaplan, member of the Business Litigation, Products Liability & Specialty Torts, and White Collar Criminal Defense groups, has significant experience in litigating all phases of bankruptcy matters and in fiduciary litigation, products liability, tort, and dram shop cases. He handles a wide array of civil litigation and appeals in both state and federal courts across the country and is experienced with U.S.-based and international arbitrations. In addition to his civil practice, Michael represents individuals and corporations in white collar criminal defense matters involving allegations of fraud and tax evasion. He conducts internal investigations and defends entities in investigations and civil proceedings brought by regulatory authorities. Michael earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Temple University. 

Slate Speaks to Professor Mark Nevitt About "Drowning" Internet Cables

Posted on Monday 1/4/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

Biden and the Underseas Cable Underworld

(Slate | Dec. 28, 2020) The internet is quite literally in deep trouble, with a potential apocalypse approaching more imminently than you may realize.

In about 15 years, the waters that are rising due to the effects of climate change could drown the more than 4,000 miles of underseas fiber optic cables that transmit the internet connections of everyone who lives in the U.S. and is hooked to the grid. 

You read that correctly: The already-underseas cables will drown. How does something drown if it’s already surviving (occasional shark attack notwithstanding) below water? Well, the cables themselves connect with buildings above sea level—often just barely above it—at both ends in order to bring these transmissions to land. If, and when, rising seas submerge the cable ends themselves, the networks will become unusable, with major consequences for national and international communication and security. 

According to CNN, as of 2019 there are more than 380 such cables in operation—and as Rhett Butler, a University of Hawaii professor who’s worked on both extreme weather monitoring and underseas cable reuse and redevelopment efforts for decades, told me, these cables carry at least 95 percent of internet traffic. As you can see in this map from the World Economic Forum, these cables cover an astounding portion of Earth, crisscrossing throughout the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and encircling the coasts of South America and Africa ...

... Mark Nevitt, an assistant professor at the Syracuse University College of Law (and Slate contributor), told me over email that this effort should be wrapped up as part of any major infrastructure initiative—meaning, yes, any Infrastructure Week should also address the internet. 

“Repairing and protecting our climate-exposed cables can and should be part of any concrete infrastructure legislation,” he wrote, citing Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan that “seeks to withstand the impacts of climate change” with investments in the grid, among other things. Of course, this would depend on Congress’ willingness to pass an ambitious package with such features ...

Read the full article.

Professor Corri Zoli Discusses Election Security on 7 Layers Podcast

Posted on Monday 1/4/2021
Corri Zoli

7 Layers Interview: Syracuse University's Dr. Corri Zoli on Election Security

SDX Central 7 Layers Podcast | Dec. 29, 2020


Connor Craven:

Our listeners might be wondering, how does that then lead into election security and where your expertise lies in that more specific aspect?

Corri Zoli:

So, it’s a great question, to try to connect the dots, draw lines of connection.

Some folks in my fields, so in the social sciences, political science, strategic studies, are looking at the way in which warfare is changing, and the contemporary moment and people have debates over where this occurs. Does it occur in the post 911 context? Is it a function of the 21st century? Is it a postmodern dynamic?

But in any case, we know that warfare is changing with the influx of emergent technologies, part of what we’re seeing is, we’re seeing the role of information, information saturation in conflict arenas.

Now, whether that’s warfare proper, like where you’re seeing actual information operations and campaigns in battle spaces. But it also occurs across all aspects of society, not just in the battlefield proper.

So, we’re seeing efforts on the part of states to do information operations, information campaigns, disinformation campaigns. This is the kind of discussion in the case of the 2016 election, but also in the 2020 U.S. presidential elections.

So there’s a way in which information now is playing a role in our security institutions, our security apparatus, that includes election security, and even election interference.


Yeah, I think you’ve connected those dots really well.

What are the defining traits to election security in your eyes, especially in the context you just gave? How can we secure our elections against these forms of almost modern warfare?


Yeah, I will definitely answer your question. I don’t know if I can give the most fulsome answer, but I’ll at least start the conversation off.

Just by way of context, so, there’s various ways in which we can talk about election interference. For instance, the FBI in the U.S. context, the FBI takes a look at foreign interference. That’s kind of one area where foreign actors whether they be formal states or non-state actors, or even hackers and others, individuals or organizations, there’s that level of foreign interference in elections. Which is a concern to most of the security, homeland security, and intelligence community inside the United States. 

But there are other forms of election interference that may be more significant even. And that includes questions of compelled speech, or bias in news reporting, inability to have open, fulsome discussions about policy merits or the merits of different candidates. So, we were in a different period historically, where the kind of big bad traditional threats to election security are not the only ones on the horizon.

You can also see, for instance, in the recent case, where the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC, and other parties in this case, I think it’s the New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, I believe started the suit off. There’s a growing set of parties who are interested now and suing Facebook, for potentially antitrust violations, monopoly concerns, and the implications of that suit has to do with privacy concerns. But also concerns about the power of social media being able to overly dominate the public sphere, the public discourse, right?

So we’re in a different moment where what we consider election interference, the number of potential actors, and factors of influence has really multiplied. So, it’s not just the traditional foreign interference as a potential warfare strategy, or intelligence strategy, or influence strategy. We’re beyond that now.

So that’s the context for thinking about what counts as some of the main prongs of election security. So what are the kind of elements, or the guarantees that make for election security?

It’s interesting because we have international standards on this, we have regional standards, like the EU puts out a ton of standards on this, the U.S. itself has its own state by state standards. That’s one of the interesting things about the U.S. system, is that states are the ones with the authority to kind of determine how election procedures and processes work ...

Listen to the podcast.

Several College of Law Faculty to Present at AALS Annual Meeting

Posted on Wednesday 12/16/2020
College of Law

Eight College of Law faculty members, including Dean Craig M. Boise, will moderate panels and present their research at the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting ("The Power of Words"), taking place Jan. 5-10, 2021. Among the topics Syracuse faculty will address are the effects of COVID-19 on legal education, mental health, people with disabilities, and national security; Brexit and European law; the future of the Americans with Disabilities Act; capital acquisition; and climate change law and policy.

Read the full AALS Annual Meeting program here.

College of Law Faculty Presentations

Professor Kristen Barnes (Chair, Section on European Law), "Comparing Data Protection Structures in the European Union and the United States" (Co-Moderator)

January 5 | 1:15 p.m.
Sections on European Law and Defamation and Privacy Joint Program

Professor Kristen Barnes (Chair, European Law Section), "EU Mixed Agreements Under Brexit, Refugee Women, and Gender Equality" (Moderator)

January 6 | 4:15 p.m.
Section on European Law: Works-in-Progress Panel

Professor Nina Kohn, "Intersectionality, Aging, and the Law"

January 6 | 2:45 p.m.
Section on Aging and the Law

Professor Nina Kohn, "Section on Law and Mental Disability" (Moderator)

January 7 | 1:15 p.m.
“This panel will examine the challenges and pitfalls of providing mental health services in the current moment.”

Professor Mark Nevitt, "Is Climate Change a National Emergency"

January 7 | 4:45 p.m.
Section on Environmental Law

Professor Arlene Kanter, "Times are Changing: The Right to Remote Work Under the Americans with Disabilities Act"

January 8 | 2:45 p.m.
AALS Hot Topic Program: "Disability and COVID-19: Lessons from Disability, Lessons from the Pandemic" (Moderated by Professor Doron Dorfman)

Professor Robert Ashford, "Ameliorating Wealth Concentration by Broadening Capital Acquisition with the Earnings of Capital"

January 8 | 1:15 p.m.
Section on Socio-Economics: “For Whose Benefit the Corporation? Perspectives on Shareholder and Stakeholder Primacy"

Dean Craig M. Boise, "The Future of Legal Education: Online Teaching Post-COVID-19”

January 8 | TBD
Dean's Forum

The Hon. James E. Baker, "National Security Implications of COVID-19"

January 9 | 11 a.m.
Addressing topics in the Journal of National Security Law & Policy special COVID-19 issue.

Professor Mark Nevitt, "Is Climate Change a National Emergency"

January 9 | 4:45 p.m.
Section on National Security Law

Free Speech or Sedition? Professor Jenny Breen Explains on Capital Tonight

Posted on Wednesday 12/16/2020
Jenny Breen

(Spectrum Capital Tonight | Dec. 15, 2020) After the Supreme Court dismissed the Texas attorney general’s attempt to block electors from four battleground states from voting in the Electoral College (and basically ended any chance that President Trump’s allies could overthrow the results of the election), the head of the Texas Republican Party suggested like-minded states should “form a union of states that will abide by the constitution."

It was the latest in a string of moments that unfolded around the election which some in the media have said borders on sedition.

But according to Jennifer Stepp Breen, an associate professor at the Syracuse University School of Law, simply calling for a revolution is not against the law.

“We have a federal criminal law defining seditious conspiracy, and that’s when a group of two or more people gather together to essentially overthrow the government, or prevent a government from enacting its laws,” Breen told Capital Tonight.

“The way that courts have defined the concept of seditious speech is that they want to see imminent lawless activity, so it’s not just saying things that are offensive to the Constitution. There must be something in addition to that," Breen said ...

Watch the interview.

Facebook Antitrust Suit: Professor Shubha Ghosh Comments to MarketWatch

Posted on Tuesday 12/15/2020
Shubha Ghosh

Facebook and antitrust: The effort to force spinoffs of Instagram and WhatsApp starts a long legal path

(MarketWatch | Dec. 10, 2020) Facebook Inc. may have to pay a steep price for two of its most important corporate purchases, but that may depend on how long regulators are willing to fight in court to make it happen.

The Federal Trade Commission and 48 attorneys general are suing Facebook FB, +0.23% over its mega-acquisitions of Instagram ($1 billion in 2012) and WhatsApp ($19 billion in 2014), and demanding that Facebook “unwind” the transactions. Federal and state officials are attempting to undo years-old deals that they claim violated antitrust laws even though the FTC investigated and approved them, a process that presages a very long legal fight.

“The Facebook suit is difficult because it seeks to undo an acquisition approved by the Obama administration,” says Shubha Ghosh, a law professor at Syracuse University. “The Facebook lawsuit will not be a simple one and will pose challenges for proving a violation and imposing a remedy” ...

Read the full article.

Syracuse University College of Law and Queen's University Belfast to Co-host New Transatlantic Negotiation Competition in March 2021

Posted on Monday 12/14/2020

The Transatlantic Negotiation Competition (TANC), a new mock trial competition created and hosted by Syracuse University College of Law and Queen's University Belfast, will be held virtually on March 19-20, 2021. The unique competition will feature an even number of American and European law schools competing against each other in a contest that simulates legal negotiations. Applications are now open for interested law schools.

Competition Details:

• Applications are due Jan. 8, 2021

• At least eight teams will be selected to compete. Competitors will be notified by Jan. 15, 2021

• The completion will take place on March 19-20, 2021 

• The competition will be in English

• Each round will be one hour in duration

• Teams may consist of four persons, but only two persons from each team are eligible to compete in each round 

“The competition gives law students on both sides of the Atlantic an opportunity to hone their negotiation and communication skills in a transnational setting, with particular emphasis on the importance of cross-cultural negotiation and communication in resolving disputes and facilitating client agreements,” says Professor Todd Berger, Director of Advocacy Programs at Syracuse University College of Law. 

“In each round of the competition, one team from the United States and one from Europe will face each other to resolve a series of problems presented in a particular factual scenario,” says Alexys Santos, President, and Kevin Marshall, Vice President, of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society at Queen's University Belfast School of Law. “The scenarios are not dependent on the law of a particular country and are the type commonly encountered in international business, trade, and political disputes.” 

Each simulation consists of a common set of facts known by all participants as well as confidential information known only to the participants representing a particular side. Teams may consist of four persons, but only two persons from each team are eligible to compete in each round. Each panel of evaluators will consist of three judges, with at least one judge from either Europe or the United States. 

To apply, please complete the application by Jan. 8, 2021. Teams selected for the competition will be notified by Jan.15, 2021. If selected, the participation fee is $100 or €85.00. 

Professor Shubha Ghosh Gives Keynote Address at AsLEA 2020

Posted on Monday 12/14/2020
Shubha Ghosh

Professor Shubha Ghosh presented the keynote lecture at the Asian Law and Economics Association (AsLEA) Annual Conference held in Malacca, Malaysia, on Dec. 12-13, 2020. Ghosh's lecture—"Antitrust in the Hipster Economy"— discusses the role of competition law in the high tech economy. The conference was organized by Professor Dennis Khong of Malaysian Multimedia University (MMU).

Watch the keynote address.

Professor Nina Kohn Joins Law.Com Twitter Chat on the Future of Legal Education

Posted on Friday 12/11/2020
Nina Kohn

"Commit to Making It Better": Forecasting the Future of Legal Education

(Law.com | Dec. 10, 2020) From the necessity of the bar exam to the likelihood of the return to pre-pandemic norms, the participants in Law.com's Dec. 8, 2020, Twitter chat on the future of legal education offered a frank discussion on where legal ed should (and shouldn't) be headed in the days to come.

In addition to Professor Nina Kohn, the chat included Daniel B. Rodriguez of Northwestern University, AALS President Darby Dickerson, and Law.com's Legal Education Editor Karen Sloan. 

Isolated and Vulnerable in Nursing Homes: Professor Nina Kohn Speaks to The Denver Post

Posted on Tuesday 12/8/2020
Nina Kohn

False-negative tests let COVID-19 into a rural Colorado hospital’s long-term care unit

(The Denver Post | Dec. 5, 2020) On an ordinary day in mid-November, someone woke up feeling fine and went to work at a small-town nursing home on Colorado’s Eastern Plains, as usual.

Two weeks later, all but four of the home’s residents had COVID-19.

Carrie Owens, administrator of Lincoln Community Hospital’s long-term care unit, said she doesn’t know which staff member carried the virus in without showing symptoms. Everyone came up negative on the rapid tests they took in the week before the first resident started feeling unwell, and they hadn’t allowed any visitors ...

... Nina Kohn, a professor specializing in elder law at Syracuse University, said some outbreaks could be avoided if nursing homes had consistent, full-time staff who work with only a few residents. 

Many caregivers work part-time in multiple facilities, so they can spread the virus widely before realizing they’re sick, she said. Lincoln Community Hospital’s nursing home doesn’t allow staff to work in multiple facilities.

The current set-up in most nursing homes has left residents isolated from those they need most — their families — but still vulnerable to catching the virus from rotating staff, Kohn said.

“Certainly nursing homes are very susceptible to COVID-19, but I don’t think we should see this as inevitable,” she said ...

Read the full article

Hon. James E. Baker Publishes The Centaur’s Dilemma: National Security Law for the Coming AI Revolution

Posted on Monday 12/7/2020
Hon. James E. Baker

Of all the areas that may benefit from artificial intelligence or be damaged by it, national security might be the most important. “Security risk will come first, as states—and perhaps other actors—race to develop and defend against the advantages of AI-enabled intelligence, weapons, and decision-making,” writes the Hon. James E. Baker, Director of the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law (SPL), in The Centaur’s Dilemma: National Security Law for the Coming AI Revolution, newly published by the Brookings Institution Press (Dec. 1, 2020).

Written in plain English, The Centaur’s Dilemma is written to help guide policymakers, lawyers, and technology experts as they deal with the legal, ethical, and practical questions that will arise when using AI to plan and carry out the actions required for the nation’s defense.

Baker, an expert in national security law and a professor at the Syracuse University College of Law and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, writes that having an AI advantage comes with risk: “Operators may not understand the technology they are using, including its limitations, its strengths, or its faults. They may not rely on it enough or they may rely on it too much.”

The US Department of Defense has sought to mitigate risk by requiring “a human in the loop.” "The Defense Department calls this a centaur model of employment," writes Baker, "but instead of being part-human and part-horse, this centaur is part-human and part-machine, the machine augmenting human capacity with the human seeking to understand and control the machine’s capabilities.”

Adopting a realistic approach in assessing how the law can be used, or even misused, to regulate this new technology, Baker covers—among other topics—national security process, constitutional law, the law of armed conflict, arms control, and academic and corporate ethics. Using his own background as Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, Baker examines potential points of contention and litigation in an area where the law is still evolving and might not yet provide clear and certain answers.

Reviewing the book, Avril Haines—an SPL Distinguished Fellow who was recently nominated by President-Elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. L'68 to the role of Director of National Intelligence—writes that “The Centaur’s Dilemma is a must-read for anyone interested in national security and technology. James Baker provides an extraordinary and timely roadmap for how to think about the intersection of the law and artificial intelligence. What is exceptional about this work is his focus on how to use the law as a tool for making wiser and more strategic decisions regarding the use of AI in national security."

Professor Doron Dorfman in The Penn Law Regulatory Review: Still Fighting Over the ADA

Posted on Monday 12/7/2020
Doron Dorfman

Thirty Years Later, Still Fighting Over the ADA

By Doron Dorfman & Thomas F. Burke

A federal judge for the Southern District of New York recently ruled that the city of New York violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to install audible devices at crosswalks. These devices tell blind and visually impaired people when it is safe to cross the streets, but the city had installed them in only 3.4 percent of intersections. The federal district court concluded that the city’s conduct amounted to an illegal denial of services and benefits by a public entity in violation of Title II of the ADA.

The decision comes 30 years after the U.S. Congress enacted the ADA. If the court’s interpretation of the ADA is sound, then New York City, and likely cities across the country, have been allowed to flout the ADA for more than three decades, with courts just now enforcing its requirements.

What took so long?

Compliance with the ADA’s accessibility requirements can never be taken for granted. The implementation of measures to ensure compliance with accessibility rules has been subpar, and examples of inaccessible spaces—both of state and local government and privately owned—abound. The enforcement of the ADA’s accessibility mandates has been left to individual litigants, typically after construction has been completed—a mechanism often portrayed in media as fraudulent and abusive “drive-by litigation.”

But more broadly, the meaning of the ADA, and the extent to which it guarantees equality for people with disabilities, have been subject to political and legal struggle almost from its inception. Continuing disputes over who deserves to be protected by the ADA and what it requires have resulted in a host of U.S. Supreme Court decisions, hundreds of pages of federal regulations, one major congressional revision, and a stream of lawsuits similar to the recent one from New York City.

This struggle over the meaning of the ADA might seem surprising in light of the law’s origins. The enactment of the ADA was surprisingly bipartisan, especially from the perspective of 2020 …

Read the full article.

Professor Shubha Ghosh on "Making Without Taking"

Posted on Monday 12/7/2020
Shubha Ghosh

Professor Shubha Ghosh recently addressed the 4th International Conference on New Frontiers of Sanskrit and Indic Knowledge, a production of the Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth, dedicated to "the preservation of Indian cultural heritage and its knowledge traditions through higher education." 

Ghosh lecture was included as part of Working Group III (New Knowledge Production and Indian Public Policy). Ghosh was joined in the Working Group by Dr. Sanjay Bapna of Morgan State University; Dr. Harsha Vardhana Singh of Tufts' Fletcher School; Anubha Sinha of the Centre for Internet and Society, Bengaluru; and Dr. Badri Narayanan of University of Washington.  

Watch the lecture.

Professor William C. Banks Explains Martial Law in UK's The Daily Express

Posted on Monday 12/7/2020
William C. Banks

US election re-run: Right-wing leader demands ANOTHER vote - with martial law in place

(The Daily Mirror (UK) | Dec. 5, 2020) Tom Zawistowski, leader of We The People Convention, is championing "limited martial law" to complement a re-run of the November election. He described Joe Biden as "an illegitimate president", adding: "We are not asking for the president to contest the current election results because they are so fraudulent no one can figure out which votes count and which ones don’t because that is exactly what the Democrat/Socialists wanted." 

These claims are disputed and numerous legal challenges put forward by US President Donald Trump have failed ...

... Speaking to Express.co.uk, professor William C. Banks of Syracuse University College of Law said: "There is no provision in the US for martial law, and it has not been declared by a US official since the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

"It is widely understood to be available only in the event of a complete breakdown of civil institutions" ...

Read the full article

Professor Doron Dorfman Publishes 2020 Israeli Municipal Accessibility Index

Posted on Friday 12/4/2020
Doron Dorfman

For the second year—in his capacity as an affiliated researcher at aChord-Social Psychology for Social Change—Professor Doron Dorfman has led a study on attitudes toward disability in Israel and the state of disabled Israelis.

Co-authored by Dorfman, Malkito Azene, and Dr. Yossi Hasson, the Municipal Accessibility Index in Israel 2020 is sponsored by The Ruderman Family Foundation, the Ted Arison Family Foundation, the Israeli Ministry of Justice Commission for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and JDC Israel.

"This research examines public opinion of the Israeli population toward people with disabilities along with perceptions of Israelis with disabilities and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic," explain the authors in their research abstract. "This is the fifth year this research has been conducted, [which allows] for a longitudinal analysis of trends and developments in Israeli public opinion."

Among their 2020 findings, the authors report that the research results continue a four-year trend of steady improvement in perceptions, emotions, and behavior toward people with disabilities. 

That positivity continued into the COVID-19 pandemic: "The analysis of the perceptions and experiences of people with disabilities with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate that during the first lockdown, there was a rise in the sense of community among both disabled and non-disabled Israelis."

However, the report also highlights continuing underemployment of people with disabilities, a situation exacerbated by the pandemic. "In regard to the labor market, only 49% of individuals with disabilities reported they were employed at the time of the survey ... compared with 69% of non-disabled respondents. More people with disabilities reported they were furloughed compared with non-disabled individuals (17% as opposed to 8%)."

"Taken together, the findings from this research showcase the complexity of looking at disability both from an 'inside view' (of people living with disabilities) and an 'outside view' (that of nondisabled individuals), specifically during times of crisis," note Dorfman and his co-authors. Their findings, they hope, will provide an empirical basis to develop laws and policies designed to promote the rights and well-being of Israelis with disabilities.

On Dec. 3, 2020—which is International Day of People with Disabilities—The Jerusalem Post reported on the team's findings in two stories "People with disabilities disproportionately hurt by coronavirus pandemic" and "Israeli public's attitude towards disabled people improving."

Syracuse University, College of Law Sign Agreement with Uzbekistan Institutions to Assist Uzbek Disability Rights Capacity Building

Posted on Thursday 12/3/2020
College of Law

Syracuse University and the College of Law have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with three institutions from the Republic of Uzbekistan to strengthen academic ties with the republic, share expertise on disability rights, and collaborate to create a disability law clinic at Tashkent State University of Law.

Representing Syracuse University at the Dec. 3, 2020, signing ceremony—coinciding with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities—were Chancellor and President Kent Syverud; Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu; College of Law Dean and Professor of Law Craig M. Boise; Professor Arlene Kanter, College of Law Faculty Director of International Programs and Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program; and Professor Michael Schwartz, College of Law Director of the Disability Rights Clinic.

They were joined by Javlon Vakhabov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the U.S. and Canada; Adkham Bekmurodov, Director of the El-Yurt Umidi Foundation; Rahim Hakimov, Rector of Tashkent State University of Law; Evgeniy Kolenko, Head of the Academy of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan; and Mirjakhon Turdiev G’16, G’20, of Uzbekistan 24, Uzbekistan’s national media agency.

The collaboration among Syracuse University, the College of Law, and the Uzbekistan signatories provides an opportunity for College of Law disability rights experts to assist Uzbekistan as it builds capacity after the passage of a new law enumerating the rights of persons with disabilities, which complies with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The establishment of the disability law clinic at Tashkent State University of Law—with the assistance of Professor Schwartz and the College of Law Disability Rights Clinic—will contribute to the implementation of Uzbekistan’s new law, offering a structural and institutional mechanism between the law and citizens. The extension of the University’s and College’s scholarship and experience in the field of disability rights to Uzbekistan is a first not only for this nation but for the entire Central Asian region.

“As a global research University, Syracuse University is committed to international education and exchange on our campus and at sites around the world,” says Chancellor Syverud. “This partnership will strengthen ties between our universities and our nations. Working together, we will provide new opportunities for learning and exchange for faculty, students and legal scholars and practitioners.”

“Currently, the College of Law enjoys institutional relationships with more than two dozen foreign law schools and government agencies,” says Dean Boise. “The agreement we executed today marks our first in Uzbekistan. It will be one of our most robust partnerships, bringing together parties and interests across various strata of civil society, including academia, governmental and nonprofit organization partners.”

“I cannot overstate how thrilled I am to be working with my Uzbek colleagues at the Tashkent State University of Law, the Academy of the General Prosecutors of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and the El-Yurt Umidi Foundation, in their drive to establish a disability law clinic in Uzbekistan,” says Professor Schwartz. “The model we build will be a beacon of light and hope for people with disabilities in Uzbekistan and around the world.”

University alumnus Turdiev’s participation on the Internationalization Council and the Central Asia and Caucasus Student Union was integral to the development of the agreement, which was formulated after a 2019 visit to Syracuse by the Uzbek ambassador to discuss academic collaboration and after subsequent input by the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the US Department of State. The state department further underlined the importance of formalizing and building academic ties between the US and Uzbekistan in a Nov. 20, 2020, joint statement summarizing 2020’s Strategic Partnership Dialogue.

Syracuse University, College of Law, and Uzbek organizations signs an MOU, Dec. 3, 2020.
Syracuse University, College of Law, and Uzbek
organizations signs an MOU, Dec. 3, 2020.

Hon. Rodney Thompson named Presiding Judge

Posted on Thursday 12/3/2020

September 2020- Honorable Rodney Thompson named the new Presiding Judge of the Family Division for New Jersey Superior Court. Judge Thompson brings years of experience in the Family Division and municipal court to his new assignment.  He has led Mercer’s DV Working Group and has handled the CIC, FD and FV dockets.  He also formerly was  the Chief Judge of the Trenton Municipal Court, providing him with valuable administrative experience.

Professor Arlene Kanter: What a Day to Recognize People with Disabilities Should Mean to Us All

Posted on Thursday 12/3/2020
Arlene Kanter

By Professor Arlene Kanter

(Syracuse.com | Dec. 3, 2020) We are a divided country. But within this divided nation are over 60 million people who are demanding the same thing — the right to live among us. They are children and adults with disabilities.

The United Nations designated today, Dec. 3, as the International Day of People with Disabilities. It is a day for all of us to think about how we as a country, as local communities, and as individuals, support the rights of people with disabilities. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which seeks to extend the promise of the American dream to people with disabilities.

We still have a way to go.

The DeWitt Town Board recently approved the opening of small four-person home for adults with developmental disabilities. They did the right thing. But it was not easy. Some neighbors of the proposed home appeared before the board to oppose it — not because they had anything against people with disabilities, they claimed. They are worried about property values, increased traffic and safety.

People with disabilities and their families have heard this all before. There were the witches burned at the stakes, the “lunatics” locked in asylums, and during our own lifetimes, the “mentally retarded” who were sent away to institutions, out of sight and out of mind. The difference between then and now is that we have laws that ban such practices. Today, it is illegal to treat someone differently because of their disability — whether it is when they apply for a job, seek to enroll in college or try to move into your neighborhood ...

Read the full article.

Professor Nina Kohn Weighs In on New Jersey Long-Term Care During COVID-19

Posted on Thursday 12/3/2020
Nina Kohn

How NJ Can Stop The COVID Outbreaks In Long-Term Care Facilities

(Patch.com (Mendham-Chester, NJ) | Dec. 2, 2020) On Monday the Garden State imposed a new rapid testing mandate on long-term care facilities designed to help stem the spread of COVID-19 over the next two weeks. But one elder care expert says more needs to be done.

As of Wednesday, there were 342 active outbreaks and 2,967 positive residents and 3,435 positive staff members.

"COVID-19 could have been a wake-up call that it's time to get serious about holding facilities accountable for resident well-being," Syracuse University College of Law professor Nina Kohn said. "Instead, the public response has made the problem worse."

Kohn is a faculty affiliate with the Syracuse University Aging Studies Institute whose research focuses on elder law and the civil rights of older adults and persons with diminished cognitive ability. She is also a Distinguished Scholar in Elder Law at Yale Law School's Solomon Center for Health Law & Politics.

"The nursing home industry has successfully lobbied for policymakers to treat nursing homes as the victims of COVID-19 and not the vectors of it," Kohn said. "Consistent with these efforts, instead of ramping up enforcement, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services initially suspended most enforcement actions" ...

Read the full article.

"Preposterous:" Professor William C. Banks Speaks to Military Times on Calls for Martial Law

Posted on Wednesday 12/2/2020
William C. Banks

Calls for martial law and US military oversight of new presidential election draws criticism

(Military Times | Dec. 2, 2020) The idea that the U.S. military would oversee a new nationwide presidential election — ordered under martial law by President Donald Trump — is “insane in a year that we didn’t think could get anymore insane,” a defense official tells Military Times.

Yet retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn promoted that exact idea Tuesday evening when he tweeted a press release from an Ohio-based conservative political organization ...

... The idea is “preposterous,” said Bill Banks, a Syracuse University professor with expertise in constitutional and national security law.

“Apart from the fact that state and now federal investigators have found no evidence of election fraud that would change the election outcome, martial law has no place in the United States absent a complete breakdown of civil governing mechanisms,” he told Military Times.

Martial law, he added, “simply has the military in charge, subject only to military orders, not civilian law.”

It has not been invoked in the U.S. “since the attack on Pearl Harbor, and there is no likelihood or justification for martial law now,” said Banks. “Our civilian institutions have, in fact, revealed themselves to be resilient in responding to unprecedented partisan attacks on election administration and vote counting in state and local systems across the United States" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Mark Nevitt: Climate Change, National Security, & the New Commander-in-Chief

Posted on Wednesday 12/2/2020
Mark P. Nevitt

(Just Security | Dec. 2, 2020) President-elect Joe Biden is 50 days away from assuming office as commander-in-chief. He has committed to taking bold, historic action on climate change and has named climate change one of the four crises facing the United States. He has also pledged to integrate climate change into national security decision-making. This stands in stark contrast to the Trump administration, which questioned the underlying climate science and deleted “climate change” from the National Security Strategy.

At the same time, Biden may ultimately face a GOP Senate, depending on the outcome of the runoff elections in Georgia. This would strike a blow to his boldest climate ambitions—and may undermine the passage of comprehensive climate legislation. If this comes to pass, executive branch action will take on heightened importance. Regardless of any legislative effort, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other administrative agencies will likely reinstitute and strengthen Obama-era regulations to address climate change under existing legal authorities such as the Clean Air Act. But what are the president’s authorities as commander-in-chief to “combat” the national security threats posed by the climate crisis?

In addition to regulatory action under the Clean Air Act and similar authorities, Biden possesses broad constitutional authorities independent of Congress to address the climate-security impacts. I highlight four below, to include:

  1. appointing key personnel that prioritize climate change as a security issue;
  2. reducing our carbon emissions across the federal government;
  3. safeguarding critical national security infrastructure; and
  4. responding to climate-exacerbated conflicts and natural disasters at home and abroad.

Appointing Climate-Security Expertise: Personnel as Policy

First, the Constitution grants Biden broad, Article II appointment powers. His recent appointments of key personnel to national security positions—many of which do not require Senate advice and consent—highlight the growing merger between climate change’s impacts and our national security interests. For example, Biden just announced that former Secretary of State John Kerry will serve as the nation’s first special presidential envoy for climate change (the so-called “climate czar”). Kerry has unique climate experience. As a senator, he played a leadership role in the Senate’s last attempt at climate legislation in 2009. As secretary of state, he played a leadership role in the successful Paris Climate negotiations. Kerry’s new position, which does not require Senate confirmation, will also have a seat on the National Security Council—a historic first. This reflects a mature acknowledgment that climate change serves as both a “threat multiplier” and “catalyst for conflict” that requires integration across national security planning …

Read the full article.

Professor Nina Kohn Cited in #FreeBritney Article

Posted on Tuesday 12/1/2020
Nina Kohn

Britney Spears' conservatorship can be both totally legal and quite bad for her. Many are.

(NBC News Think | Nov. 14, 2020) Whether it's the #FreeBritney movement's interpretations of Britney Spears’ Instagram posts or news items about her father’s rapid-fire legal filings to stay her sole conservator — a status allowed to continue as of this week — the debate over who should control Spears’ money and daily existence will seemingly continue for some time.

Spears has some star-spangled support in either the bid for her freedom or even mere transparency about the conditions of her ongoing legal status and how she might emerge from it. Miley Cyrus, Ariel Winter, Ruby Rose, Paris Hilton, Cher, Kacey Musgraves, the American Civil Liberties Union and around 110,000 other people have publicly called for Spears’ release from the conservatorship. Apparently, they aren’t convinced by the Los Angeles Times investigation from last year that found no independent evidence that Spears or her financial holdings were being harmed by the arrangement ...

We do know that a good number of people under the control of conservatorships likely don’t need to be, and that even more don’t need full guardianship. In 2018, Syracuse law professor Nina Kohn testified as much to the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

An important part of Kohn’s testimony was that often even unintentional harm comes from these relationships: To strip a person of her agency can’t help but be abusive, even when fiduciaries are doing their jobs ...

Read the full article.

Bernstein's Unusual Approach: Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Speaks to The Washington Post

Posted on Monday 11/30/2020
Roy Gutterman

Carl Bernstein says 21 GOP senators contemptuous of Trump

(The Washington Post | Nov. 23, 2020) Former Watergate sleuth Carl Bernstein took to Twitter to list the names of 21 Republican senators who he says have “repeatedly expressed contempt” for Donald Trump and his fitness to be president.

Bernstein’s post was condemned Monday by some of those involved. It was an eyebrow-raising modern twist on journalism from the former Washington Post reporter who, with partner Bob Woodward in the 1970s, penned scoops that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon ...

... Roy Gutterman, a Syracuse University professor who specializes in journalism law and ethics, said Bernstein’s approach was unusual and noted the journalist’s frequent criticism of Trump.

“I don’t know if what he did today would fit the model of what he staked his reputation on, which was hard-core investigative reporting,” Gutterman said ...

Read the full article

Professor William C. Banks Discusses Presidential Transition on Lawyer 2 Lawyer

Posted on Monday 11/30/2020
William C. Banks

On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, host Craig Williams is joined by William C. Banks, professor and former interim dean from the Syracuse University College of Law and professor Leslie Gielow Jacobs, director of the McGeorge School of Law Capital Center for Law & Policy, as they explore the practical impacts of a delayed transfer of power from an uncooperative incumbent administration, both for the incoming administration and the American people. They’ll discuss what lessons we can learn from the past, and what options the Biden administration may have going forward.

The transition of presidential power is the process during which the president-elect of the United States prepares to take over the administration of the federal government of the United States from the incumbent president. The peaceful transition of government has long been a hallmark of American democracy.

In what has become an unfortunately common refrain, 2020 has proven different. For weeks following the election being called for Joe Biden, the Trump administration refused to begin the transition process. It was in these circumstances that this episode was recorded. However, since then, the General Services Administration has decided to release funds to the incoming Biden administration to facilitate a transition, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a smooth transition is here. 

The possible impact of the delays, continuing refusals to concede defeat, and ongoing litigation disputing the results in multiple swing states give rise to concerns regarding national security, the economy, and the government’s ability to properly address the effects of the Coronavirus.

Listen to the podcast.

Professor William C. Banks Optimistic About Successful Transition for Biden Despite Delays

Posted on Wednesday 11/25/2020
William C. Banks

(WAER | Nov. 24, 2020) A Syracuse University Law School Professor says President Elect Joe Biden won’t have a problem catching up three weeks after the election because his team has been preparing all along.  William Banks says Biden’s planning began when he clinched the democratic nomination last summer. He thinks the delay by the Trump Administration to share information to Biden will be “negligible to none.” However, he feels it comes with other costs.

“I feel a great deal has been lost symbolically and I believe our democratic institutions have been severely beat up by the bruising battles that have been fought for no good reason.”

Biden’s team can now engage in daily national security updates and classified briefings with the Trump Administration. Banks says Biden’s cabinet is filled with diversity and experience.

“Some of them are from the Obama administration, so of them much further back, like John Kerry who will be a cabinet-level official responsible for climate change.  It’s Kerry’s deep passion,” Banks said ...

Read the full story.

Dean Boise Thanksgiving Message 2020

Posted on Wednesday 11/25/2020

Innovation Law Center: Where Law, Technology and Business Intersect

Posted on Wednesday 11/25/2020
Viviana Bro

By Rob Enslin

When Jake Goldsmith ’15 was a biology major in the College of Arts and Sciences, he had no idea that he would parlay his education into the courtroom—and the boardroom. “There’s not much difference between science and law,” says the second-year law student at Syracuse University. “In both cases, I’m organizing data to be understood by others.”

Today, Goldsmith is a member of the University’s Innovation Law Center (ILC), where he is an aspiring intellectual property attorney. ILC not only gives Goldsmith hands-on legal training, but also enables him to help innovators, entrepreneurs and companies bring their ideas to life.

For more than 30 years, ILC has been a pioneer in technology commercialization law, which encompasses the legal, business and technical aspects of product development. In addition to offering a graduate-level practicum, ILC is the state’s only official science and technology law center and is a sought-after legal incubator.

Students like Goldsmith work with faculty experts at ILC, which advises more than 60 clients a year, ranging from startups and established companies to federal laboratories and other research institutions. Most clients, he says, seek out ILC for actionable research analysis about early-stage technologies. The center responds with a detailed landscape report covering the technology’s intellectual property rights, competition, marketplace and regularly environment.

Recent projects include an amphibious, all-terrain vehicle; a wind tunnel simulation-testing tool; a gas turbine for an unmanned aerial system; and an at-home catheterization and sterilization system.

“We help clients figure out what to do next,” says ILC director Jack Rudnick L’73. “If the technology is sound, we recommend they contact a patent attorney. If it isn’t, we encourage them to go back to the drawing board. Either way, ILC provides something of value at little or no cost.”

Adds Goldsmith: “We help clients understand what they don’t know.”

Viviana Bro, a third-year law student, is seen here with Patrick Riolo, who is pursuing both an MBA and a B.S. in bioengineering. ILC is open to students of all majors.
Viviana Bro, a third-year law student, is seen here with Patrick Riolo, who
is pursuing both an MBA and a B.S. in bioengineering. ILC is open to students
of all majors.

Success Breeds Success

Based in the College of Law, ILC is open to students of all majors. Most are second- or third-year law students, but Rudnick has noticed a surge in MBA candidates from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and graduate students from the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

One such participant is Patrick Riolo, who is pursuing both an MBA and a B.S. in bioengineering. He recently proved his interdisciplinary mettle by conducting marketing research for several ILC clients, including a major cybersecurity firm.

“ILC has changed how I view my audiences,” says Riolo, who appreciates the reciprocity between technology and the marketplace. “Here, I’m not writing for a professor or an imaginary judge—I’m writing for a real-world client who is emotionally invested in their product and understands the technology behind it. I like to put myself in their shoes and wonder how their invention might look to an angel investor or a venture capitalist.”

The first in the nation to apply scholarly legal analysis and experiential education to product commercialization, ILC has enjoyed a strong upward trajectory. Its designation as the New York State Science and Technology Law Center in 2004, followed by Rudnick’s arrival in 2013, has enhanced the state’s role as a global leader in drone, medical and infrastructure technologies.

“Success breeds success. We went from six to 60 clients almost overnight. Now we have more than 120,” says Rudnick, also a professor of practice in law. “I’m always thinking about how ILC students can benefit other students on campus and companies throughout the region.”

Ergo his emphasis on effective client management—asking the right questions at the right time to achieve clarity and understanding.

Viviana Bro, a third-year law student, discovered this during her first day on campus, when she met Rudnick at a student-faculty luncheon. Today, the senior researcher is among the program’s elite.

“I came here because of ILC, whose entrepreneurial environment reminds me of the West Coast,” says Bro, a veteran of California’s semiconductor industry. “The program has taught me that a lawyer can be a fundamental partner or ally instead of someone who always says ‘no.’”

Bro’s projects also reflect ILC’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. The Chilean-born scholar recalls working with three entrepreneurs on an app that connects people who are deaf and hard of hearing to American Sign Language interpreter services. “Today, the app is widely available,” she says. “We hope it becomes as ubiquitous and easy-to-use in the deaf community as Uber is for city passengers wishing to hail a ride.”

Supporting an Innovation Ecosystem

David Eilers ’80, who teaches part-time in ILC, says the program’s success is measured in different ways. “Sometimes, the best thing we can do for a client is deliver bad news, saving them millions of dollars down the road. Other times, we’re able to hand them off to a good patent attorney or an investor who helps get their product off the ground.”

An adjunct professor in management and law, Eilers credits ILC for staying nimble amid an uncertain global economy. The key to ILC’s longevity, he surmises, is being different things to different people.

“If you’re a client from New York state, we can serve you as the Science and Technology Law Center. If you’re from out of state or overseas, we can work with you as a tech incubator, with no territorial restrictions,” says Eilers, who also teaches in the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps program. “Thanks to support from Empire State Development [New York’s chief economic development agency], we can do pro bono or low-bono work and pay our students.”

Eilers is struck by the similarity between scientific and legal literacy. “Just as there’s a hypothesis to prove in the scientific method, there’s a business thesis needing to be attacked through a rigorous discovery process. Good data is key.”

Nowhere is this more evident than in Central New York, where ILC enjoys longstanding relationships with Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries, the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental Energy Systems, the Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering, and the CNY Biotech Accelerator.

“Some of our most gratifying projects are those conceived and cultivated in our own backyard,” says Rudnick, recalling a recent collaboration with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry involving tissue engineering. “We want to make New York state and the world a better place to live.”


Professor Shubha Ghosh Featured in MCI Law Review Special IP Issue

Posted on Tuesday 11/24/2020
Shubha Ghosh

Professor Shubha Ghosh's article “Identifying Technologies for Assisting the Visually-Impaired: Law and Development with a Human Needs Focus” is featured in MCI Law Review (Revue de MCI) 91, the leading legal magazine of Madagascar covering legal, development, and investment issues in the republic.

Alumna Noro Michelle Rafenomanjato LL.M. '19 is Director of the Intellectual Property Department at the MCI Law Firm, the publisher of the law review.

MCI Law Review 91
MCI Law Review 91

Goldstein receives Grunin Price

Posted on Monday 11/23/2020

NYU Law recently recognized David A. Goldstein with the 2020 Grunin Prize for Law and Social Entrepreneurship from NYU Law. The Grunin Prize recognizes lawyers for their role in developing innovative solutions to advance the fields of social entrepreneurship and impact investing, and David was part of the winning team at the law firm Goldstein Hall. He is Managing Partner of the firm.

Professor Peter Blanck Publishes on "Workplace Accommodations for Lawyers with Disabilities and Lawyers Who Identify as LGBTQ+"

Posted on Monday 11/23/2020
Peter Blanck
"Diversity and Inclusion in the American Legal Profession: Workplace Accommodations for Lawyers with Disabilities and Lawyers Who Identify as LGBTQ+." Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation (2020). (With Fitore Hyseni & Fatma Altunkol Wise.)

This article focuses on workplace accommodations, with findings that: “Disabled lawyers, older women lawyers, older racial/ethnic minority lawyers, and LGBQ minority lawyers have relatively low odds of having requests granted. The results highlight the need to consider intersectional identities in the accommodation process.”


Workplace accommodations, vital for employees with disabilities, promote diversity and inclusion efforts in organizations. This article examines who requests accommodations and who is more likely to have requests granted. We investigate the roles of individual characteristics and their intersection, including disability, sexual orientation, gender, race/ethnicity, and age. 


Using data from a national survey of U.S. lawyers, we estimate the odds of requesting accommodations and having the requests approved. We also estimate differences in odds according to individual characteristics, adjusting for control variables. 


Personal identity factors, such as disability status, gender, and age, predict requests for accommodations. Odds of requesting accommodations were higher for women and people with disabilities as compared to men and those without disabilities, but lower for older individuals. Odds of requesting accommodations were higher for an older population segment—older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) lawyers—than for younger lawyers. Accommodations were granted differentially to individuals with multiple marginalized identities. Counter to predictions, being a person with a disability is negatively associated with having an accommodation granted. Older lawyers generally have higher odds of having accommodations granted, but odds for groups such as women and racial/ethnic minorities decline with age. LGBQ lawyers who are racial minorities have lower odds than White LGBQ lawyers of having their accommodations granted. Longer tenure increases the odds of requesting accommodations. Working for a private organization decreases the odds; working for a large organization generally increases the odds. 


Those most needing accommodations, such as lawyers with disabilities and women, are more likely to request accommodations. Disabled lawyers, older women lawyers, older racial/ethnic minority lawyers, and LGBQ minority lawyers have relatively low odds of having requests granted. The results highlight the need to consider intersectional identities in the accommodation process.

Professor Gregory Germain Weighs in on Shoppingtown Mall Bankruptcy

Posted on Friday 11/20/2020
Professor Gregory Germain

“You can’t live forever in bankruptcy,” says Professor Gregory Germain as he weighs in on taxpayers in Onondaga County paying millions of dollars to a company that owes them millions of back tax dollars for the Shoppingtown Mall property. View the CNY Central story here.

Professor Shubha Ghosh Addresses the American Center in Moscow on "Igniting Innovative Start-Ups"

Posted on Thursday 11/19/2020
Shubha Ghosh

November 16-22 is Global Entrepreneurship Week — a week-long festival that celebrates and cultivates national and global entrepreneurship ecosystems. To mark Global Entrepreneurship Week and to connect, inspire, and help Russian students, start-ups and entrepreneurs, the American Center in Moscow invited Dr. Shubha Ghosh to lecture on "Igniting Innovative Start-Ups" on Nov. 18, 2020.

"Our new technological world allows possibilities for entrepreneurial activity," explains Ghosh. "Internet connection ignites these possibilities. The law can provide the fuel for furthering one’s entrepreneurial goals. At the same time, we need recognize the cooperative necessities in competitive markets. The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated this constructive push both in the search for a vaccine and therapies and in confronting the lockdown. Human ingenuity thrives even as new technologies allow for the trans-human through biotechnology and artificial intelligence."

Watch the lecture.

WSYR News Profiles Father-Daughter Duo Scott and Lauren Deutsch

Posted on Thursday 11/19/2020
Scott and Lauren Deutsch

Father-daughter duo tackles law school together at Syracuse University

(WSYR | Nov. 18, 2020) It’s not unusual for someone to attend the same school as their parent or even study the same degree, but how about doing all of that at the exact same time?

It’s been the reality for one father-daughter duo taking on Syracuse University’s College of Law together.

“It’s not embarrassing to go to school with your parent,” said Lauren Deutsch.

For Lauren and her father, Scott, it’s actually pretty cool.

Scott always wanted to go to law school, but after years in the military, his dream faded. That is until he found the JDinteractive (JDi) program at Syracuse University, a fully online law degree program.

“It was a perfect opportunity to accomplish a very old goal,” said Scott ...

Watch the segment.

Scott and Lauren Deutsch
Scott and Lauren Deutsch

Politico Interviews Professor Shubha Ghosh About Botox Trade Battle

Posted on Thursday 11/19/2020
Shubha Ghosh

ITC to decide Botox trade secret battle

(Politico | Nov. 18, 2020) If Abbvie’s Allergan gets its way, the biggest threat to its blockbuster wrinkle remover Botox — Evolus’s Jeuveau — will be banned from the U.S. for the next 10 years.

Allergan and its Korean partner Medytox have asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban Jeuveau — manufactured by Korea’s Daewoong Pharmaceuticals and sold in the U.S. by Evolus — because of trade secret theft. According to their complaint, Daewoong obtained the bacteria Medytox uses to develop Botox from a former Medytox employee, a claim both Daewoong and the former employee deny. But an ITC administrative law judge ruled in favor of Allergan and Medytox in July, recommending a 10-year ban on Jeuveau ...

... The ITC’s process has two advantages over litigating in federal court: its proceedings operate on a tight schedule, the average case takes only 18 months, and there is only one possible remedy — infringing goods are blocked from entering the U.S.

“These exclusion orders are pretty strong,” said Shubha Ghosh, a professor of antitrust and intellectual property at the Syracuse University College of Law. “They are essentially confiscating the goods at the border.”

If the ITC issues an exclusion order, companies have one potential escape hatch: the president can overrule the trade agency’s decision. Since 2005, the president has delegated authority for ITC decisions to the U.S. Trade Representative ...

... Syracuse’s Ghosh, who also submitted a statement to the ITC, said the decision invites “monopolists to buy their way into ITC cases in order to prevent their foreign competitors from competing with them.”

“The idea behind the exclusion order is to keep infringing goods out, not just keep goods out,” said Ghosh, whose program focuses on helping entrepreneurs, start-ups and universities commercialize their innovations. “The ITC needs to look at what the consumer harm” of its decision could be ...

Read the full article.

Professor Doron Dorfman Publishes on Urban Accessibility in Fordham Urban Law Journal

Posted on Wednesday 11/18/2020
Doron Dorfman
The Professionalization of Urban Accessibility. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 47 (2020). (With Mariela Yabo.)

Part of a symposium on Urban Cities & Accessibility, Doron Dorfman and Mariela Yabo explore how different US cities enforce disability access laws and the role local government plays in enforcing compliance. 

"It’s a paper that combines issues of federalism, compliance, local governance, and planning and zoning law," says Dorfman. 

DHS Senior Executive Matthew L. Kronisch Joins the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law as Distinguished Fellow in Residence

Posted on Monday 11/16/2020
Matt Kronisch

The Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law (SPL) is pleased to welcome Matthew L. Kronisch as a Distinguished Fellow-in-Residence. Kronisch is the first ever Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the General Counsel Senior Executive assigned to an academic institution under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act. The IPA provides a mechanism through which the government and academic institutions can benefit from the mutual exchange of the expertise and experience of their employees. 

Kronisch currently serves at DHS as Associate General Counsel for Intelligence. As a Distinguished Fellow in Residence, Kronisch will conduct research and teach a seminar focused on the policy and law of homeland intelligence, as well as serving as an intelligence community career advisor for the Syracuse University Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence. His scholarship will address lessons learned during the first 20 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and how those lessons might be applied to DHS and the intelligence function in a democratic society.

“We are delighted that Matt will be joining our team,” says SPL Director the Hon. James E. Baker. “As a career public servant, Matt has been at the intersection and front lines of liberty and security since DHS was established. This is a remarkable run by a remarkable public servant—no wonder President Barack Obama awarded Matt a Presidential Rank Award in 2011 for his work applying law and democratic values to the function of domestic security and intelligence.”

Continues Judge Baker, “Matt not only has a great deal to teach our students, through his writing he will have an opportunity to articulate to a larger audience his vision for the future of DHS and its intelligence mission as we enter the 20th anniversary since 9/11.”

Before establishing the intelligence law practice at DHS and serving as Senior Legal Advisor to each of DHS’ chief intelligence officers, Kronisch developed intelligence oversight policy for the US Department of Defense military services and defense agencies, and he served as an active duty US Navy Judge Advocate, including assignments advising on special warfare and counter-narcotics operations.

White appointed to Syracuse's Common Council

Posted on Monday 11/16/2020

Syracuse Common Council appoints its part-time lawyer, Ronnie White, as new councilor. White is a solo practitioner who previously worked for Mackenzie Hughes law firm and for Onondaga County’s law department. He has a law degree from Syracuse University.

Remote Services

Posted on Friday 11/13/2020

The primary contact for the Law Library remains our Reference Department, which can be contacted through email:  reference@law.syr.edu, phone: 315-443-9572, text: 315-516-8661, and Zoom.  We can also schedule a Zoom session with you.  These access points are monitored Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm.  Outside of these hours, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Borrowing Books
If you want to check out a book from the print collection, email circ@law.syr.edu with the book's title and call number from the Library Catalog.  Library staff will retrieve the book and ship it to you via UPS.  This service is also available for books owned by other campus libraries: simply email circ@law.syr.edu.

Scan and Send
We are able to provide scanned copies of print materials on a limited basis.  Details will vary based on the length of the requested item, so send scan requests to reference@law.syr.edu.

Renewing Books
Please use the self-renewal feature built in to the library catalog at https://catalog.syr.edu/vwebv/login.  Although we will not charge overdue fines this semester, please renew your books anyway so that they show up in the library catalog as still borrowed, or "not available". 

Returning Books
If you have books checked out, please email circ@law.syr.edu when you are ready to return them, and we will send you a UPS shipping label so you can send the books back to us.


Professor Peter Blanck Guest Edits Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation Special ADA@30 Issue

Posted on Friday 11/13/2020
Peter Blanck

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 was ambitious federal legislation designed to promote employment inclusion, along with increased civic and social opportunity in other areas of daily life, by reducing attitudinal and structural barriers for people with disabilities. At the heart of this drive for inclusion was the ADA’s workplace accommodation principle. Today, the accommodation principle means using remote work options, as well as flexible hours and individualized reasonable adjustments to tasks and technologies, to enable full and equal economic participation across the spectrum of disabilities.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the ADA, the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation (JOOR) is proud to present a special section of articles guest edited by Peter Blanck, University Professor in the College of Law and chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute. On Sept. 1, Blanck became principal investigator of the new Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Inclusive Employment Policy, funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). NIDILRR is a center within the Administration for Community Living in the Department of Health and Human Services.

The special JOOR series provides historical and contemporary perspectives on emergent issues involving people with disabilities who have the capacity and interest to work. Unfortunately, many are still unable to participate in the economic mainstream even with the availability of workplace accommodations such as remote work and individualized adjustments.

The articles highlight emerging research, policy and law on the future of employment and the accommodation principle for people with disabilities, envisioning a potential future of full disability-inclusive employment.

To read the articles in full, visit the following links:

Professor Shubha Ghosh Weighs In on EU Antitrust Charges Against Amazon

Posted on Wednesday 11/11/2020
Shubha Ghosh

Amazon’s EU troubles could be warm-up act for more regulatory actions vs. Big Tech

(Marketwatch | Nov. 10, 2020) Antitrust charges by the European Union against Amazon.com Inc. could portend a slew of actions against Big Tech in the U.S. — including, perhaps — Amazon.

The e-commerce giant Amazon received a statement of objection “with preliminary conclusions that Amazon illegally distorted competition in online retail markets,” Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner overseeing competition and digital policy, said at a news conference Tuesday ...

... “The EU’s claims against Amazon rest on an innovative theory about data,” said Shubha Ghosh, director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute law professor. “Misuse of data is not thought of as the concern of competition law, but here the regulator’s theory rests on abuse of dominance in using a valuable resource in contemporary electronic commerce: private consumer data.”

“Whether the U.S. will follow suit depends on how bold a Biden Justice Department might be,” Ghosh said ...

Read the full article.

Access To Rivals' Data Drives EC Amazon Antitrust Case

(Law360 | Nov. 10, 2020) Law360 (November 10, 2020, 8:48 PM EST) -- Long-standing complaints that Amazon misuses its access to third-party seller information in its dual roles as retail platform and as retailer came to a head Tuesday in European Union allegations that could prove an important test of how competition enforcers on both sides of the Atlantic treat online platforms' access to vast stores of data ...

... The specific allegations against Amazon are in some ways unique to that company because of its access to the business information of potential rivals, according to Shubha Ghosh, head of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute at Syracuse University College of Law. While antitrust professionals have spent years discussing the prospects for accusing companies of violating antitrust laws through algorithms that automatically adjust pricing based on public information about competitors, the allegations against Amazon are based on its access to nonpublic data.

"And so that puts Amazon in a unique position" in its ability to maintain and abuse its dominance, Ghosh said. "It's as if you know what your competitor was going to do" ...

Read the full article.

Introducing the Barclay Damon 1L Diversity Initiatives Program

Posted on Wednesday 11/11/2020
College of Law

The Barclay Damon LLP Diversity Student Mentor Program seeks to foster mentorship for students of diverse experiences, viewpoints, and backgrounds with practicing attorneys from the Syracuse, NY, office of Barclay Damon. 

This is an opportunity to start making the first active steps towards career goals (no matter your preferred practice).

The Diversity Student Mentor Program matches attorneys to students for a full semester (Spring 2021 semester).

1L students from a historically underrepresented group within the legal profession are eligible to apply. Again, this program will take place during the Spring 2021 semester.

The deadline to submit mentor applications is Nov. 23, 2020 at 4 pm. They can be returned to Kelly Brandt at ktbrant@law.syr.edu.

Sinsabaugh named Rising Star of Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 11/10/2020
Brian Sinsabaugh

Brian T. Sinsabaugh (Mineola), an associate in the Land Use and Zoning Practice Groups at Certilman Balin and based in the Hauppauge office, was named to the 2020 New York Metro Rising Stars list of Super Lawyers. He handles an array of matters including land use and zoning and contracts and lease agreements. Mr. Sinsabaugh earned his Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law. From Clarkson University’s School of Business, he earned his Master of Business Administration and his Bachelor of Science with a major in International Business Management. 

Burns named Pro Bono All-Star

Posted on Tuesday 11/10/2020
Christopher Burns

Henson Efron is pleased to announce attorney, Christopher Burns, has been honored by the Minnesota State Bar Association for his consistent commitment to pro bono service. In 2012, the MSBA created the North Star Lawyer Program as a way to recognize members who provided 50 or more hours of pro bono service in a given calendar year. In conjunction with Pro Bono Week 2020 (October 26-30), the MSBA created a new designation – Pro Bono All-Stars – to acknowledge members who have participated for seven or more years. Christopher has been designated a North Star Lawyer since the program’s inception. His contributions exemplify the Firm’s commitment to our community. 

A Higher Calling: Hon. James E. Baker Reflects on Veterans Day

Posted on Tuesday 11/10/2020
Hon. James E. Baker
The Hon. James E. Baker has always known that he was meant for a life of public service. Growing up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he was raised—as his mother once told him—to be a teacher. But he had other plans.

“I came to the conclusion at a young age that anybody who had the educational opportunities I was given had an obligation to perform public service,” says Judge Baker, a professor in Syracuse University’s College of Law and director of the Institute for Security Policy and Law. “Teaching is public service, but I embraced the concept of the citizen-soldier.”

Baker joined the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 18 after spotting several recruitment brochures on the floor of the college post office. “I was looking for the hardest thing I could do and found it on the floor of the post office,” he says. He started his military career as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps and subsequently joined the staff of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. He was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, a federal civilian court that hears military justice appeals, for 15 years before retiring in 2015.

It was Sen. Moynihan who urged him to go to law school, an idea that Baker initially wasn’t crazy about but eventually warmed to. “I do love the concept of rule of law. I want to live in a democracy and in a country that's governed by law. Having the opportunity to support and defend the Constitution, I think, is as high a calling as you can have as a lawyer,” says Baker, who is partial to all corps such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. “It is also the oath that service members take defining their ultimate duty: ‘to support and defend the Constitution.’”

Baker has taught at several law schools around the country and says Syracuse University’s commitment to veterans is one of the things that distinguishes the school. He says he encountered only a single veteran on the faculty of the other law schools where he taught. “College campuses tend not to be places where there's a lot of military experience, and one of Syracuse's strengths is that they value and embrace that experience,” he explains. “In academics, we recognize diversity as an educational value and a democratic principle. The military is the most diverse institution I have ever been associated with, which is likely one reason it puts so much emphasis on character, commitment and competence as virtues—not where you are from, your school or who your parents are.”

One of the ways the College of Law has been particularly helpful to active duty students is through its online law degree JDinteractive, Baker says. Many of the program’s students are active duty service members, veterans or military-connected. “Syracuse University and the College of Law provided the platform for these students, who otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to attend law school.”

As the Orange community celebrates Veterans Day, Baker reflects on those who have served a greater good. “I always think about the people who served who didn’t come home. They hold a special place for all of us on Veterans Day.” Three years ago, Baker started a tradition of the law school holding its own Veterans Day commemoration. “I wanted to make sure that, even at a university like Syracuse that genuinely values military service, its law school also made that connection and celebrated this mission of supporting and defending the Constitution.”


Hon. James E. Baker salutes after graduating from the Marine Officer Candidates School.
Hon. James E. Baker salutes after graduating from the Marine Officer Candidates School.

The Father-Daughter Duo Taking on the College of Law

Posted on Monday 11/9/2020
Scott and Lauren Deutsch

It’s common for children to follow in a parent’s footsteps by attending their alma mater. But attending the same law school at the same time is much more unique. At the College of Law, father-daughter duo Scott and Lauren Deutsch are making pursuing a J.D. a family activity.

“We’re not just a 1L and 2L—we’re father and daughter,” says Scott, who is in his second year of his studies in the JDinteractive (JDi) program, Syracuse’s fully online law degree program. “I finally have someone to talk to who has done law school recently, and it’s my dad,” says Lauren, who is new to campus this fall and working on her first semester of classes.

While they’re pursuing law degrees at different points in their lives, both Scott and Lauren have been interested in law for quite some time. Scott is a veteran of the U.S. Army, retiring as a captain after serving both as enlisted and an officer.

With specialties in accounting and finance, Scott’s career in the Army brought him and his family all over the world, from Fort Bragg in North Carolina to Landstuhl, Germany and beyond. “I enjoyed my time in the military and appreciate the close-knit group of people,” Scott says about his experience. “The Army taught me the art of task management and instilled discipline in me. I was afforded the opportunity to take on various levels of responsibility at a very young age that a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to do.”

Still, attending law school was always at the back of his mind. When he learned about the flexibility offered through the JDi program, and with his two daughters in high school and college, he decided it was time to go for it.

For Lauren, the path to law school was more direct. She entered her undergraduate studies at University of Florida knowing that she wanted to pursue law and came to the College of Law this fall, just a few months after graduating. Coming from a military family, Lauren spent a lot of her childhood traveling and even moved to Germany right before her senior year of high school—a place she hadn’t lived since elementary school. “Moving around as a kid opened my appreciation for other cultures,” she says. “It also taught me stability, as you don’t know stable ground until you’ve had to move a lot.”

And when the time came for Lauren to apply for law schools, Scott was already in the middle of his first year at the College of Law. “He told me how welcoming the school was,” Lauren says. “I want to be at a school where everyone is welcome, where the diversity is enormous, and I’ve found that here.” When she finally arrived on campus, she felt immediately at home. “Walking into the law school and the courtroom, I felt like I was living my “Legally Blonde” Elle Woods fantasy,” she says. “I realized this is exactly what I’m meant to do.”

As the daughter of a veteran, Lauren appreciates Syracuse’s commitment to veterans, military service members and their families. “My dad risked his life to give me the freedom to do what I’m doing today, and I appreciate the fact that Syracuse really cherishes its veterans and the dependents of veterans,” she says. For Scott, he sees this commitment embodied in the new National Veterans Resource Center. “It’s a major point of pride and you see why veterans are drawn to campus,” he says. “How can you not be proud? As a student, how can you walk by the building without an incredible sense of pride that this university supports and embraces veterans?”


Scott, Lauren, and Risa Deutsch during a campus visit.
Scott, Lauren, and Risa Deutsch during a campus visit.

Joseph R. Biden Jr. L’68 Becomes First Syracuse University Alumnus Elected President

Posted on Saturday 11/7/2020
Joseph R. Biden Jr. L'68

Joseph R. Biden Jr. L’68 today became the 46th president of the United States. Biden, who received a juris doctor from the College of Law in 1968, is the first Syracuse University alumnus to hold the highest office in the country.

President-elect Biden has returned to the University on many occasions, including to speak at the College of Law Commencement in 1994, 2002, 2006 and 2016. He was also the University’s Commencement speaker and received an honorary degree in 2009.

Biden has frequently spoken about his fondness for the University and the College of Law and their loyalty to him. “The type of loyalty that this school has extended to me is truly rare and genuinely welcoming,” he said during his 2016 address. “It was the same for my son, Beau, who loved Syracuse as well.” Biden’s late son, Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III, was a 1994 graduate of the College of Law.

In May, as part of Syracuse University’s recognition of the Class of 2020, Biden congratulated the new graduates—a class graduating amid an unprecedented global pandemic. “We have a real opportunity to come out of this crisis stronger than we’ve ever been. And this Class of 2020, you’re going to be a big part of that,” Biden said. “I can’t wait to see what you all accomplish. We need you. Go Orange!”

President-elect Biden received the University’s Chancellor’s Medal in 1974; the Law Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2003; and the George Arents Pioneer Medal, the University’s highest alumni award, in 2005. In 2018, he was honored with a prestigious Syracuse Law Honors Award from the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association and the College of Law. The award is conferred on alumni and friends of the college for extraordinary career accomplishments and service to the college, Syracuse University, the legal profession and society as a whole.


Joseph R. Biden L'68
Joseph R. Biden L'68

Professor Mark Nevitt in Newsweek: A Biden Presidency Would Be a Chance for Climate Legislation

Posted on Friday 11/6/2020
Mark P. Nevitt

Joe Biden Says U.S. Will Rejoin Paris Agreement on His First Day As President to Reverse Trump's Environmental Damage

(Newsweek | Nov. 5, 2020) Joe Biden has said the U.S. will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement on the same day he becomes president, should he win the election.

"Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement," he tweeted. "And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it."

This will be the first step for Biden in his undertaking of the mammoth task of undoing four years worth of environmental deregulation ...

... Mark P. Nevitt, associate professor of law at Syracuse University who specializes in climate change law and policy, previously told Newsweek that a Biden win would represent the "first real chance" of climate change legislation for many years.

"Congress last attempted a comprehensive climate legislation package in 2009, but this died in the Senate," he said. "The Obama Administration was forced to rely upon executive action, but these actions can be rescinded by future administrations. Climate legislation would be viewed as a legacy item—not unlike Obama's Affordable Care Act.

"We will also see the U.S. re-enter the world stage on climate change. The U.S. is the world's largest historical emitter of greenhouse gas emissions and the second-largest annual emitter behind China. The world needs U.S. leadership and innovation on the climate stage" ...

Read the full article

Vice Dean Keith Bybee Discusses Election Civility with WSYR

Posted on Friday 11/6/2020
Keith Bybee

Dealing with the differences: How to handle political polarization

(WSYR | Nov. 5, 2020) With the polarization of politics we’re seeing across the country, the topic is hard to avoid. But for those times it does come up with friends or family, what do you do?

Keith Bybee, a political professor and the Vice Dean of the University College of Law, has researched this topic extensively. When it comes to politics, Bybee said it comes down to one thing, civility.

“I think what’s important to realize about civility is it’s all a matter of display. It’s a matter of showing people respect. You don’t have to like everybody,” Bybee said.

The problem with that is many people have different ideas of what respectable behavior should look like. It all comes back to how you were raised, Bybee said ...

Read the full article.

Professor Jenny Breen Discusses Potential Election Lawsuits with WAER, SF Chronicle

Posted on Thursday 11/5/2020
Jenny Breen

SU Law Professors Ponder What Legal Action Might Arise From Presidential Election Results

(WAER | Nov. 4, 2020) Syracuse University law professors are considering what legal issues might arise in the aftermath of Tuesday’s presidential election results and the ongoing ballot count.  The tighter outcome almost guarantees litigation from either side, which is distressing to associate professor Jenny Breen.

"There is a sense that the massive influx of lawyers into an election process is often a sign that something is broken or that something is not ideal.  It always makes me kind of depressed when there's a lot of litigation."

Breen says there are other important roles for lawyers to play, such as volunteering to be a poll watcher, poll worker, or to advocate for voter access ...

Listen to the segment.

Will Trump's legal challenge succeed at the Supreme Court? Here’s what experts say

(San Francisco Chronicle | Nov. 4, 2020) President Trump’s campaign returned to the Supreme Court on Wednesday to try to block further counting of absentee ballots in Pennsylvania, saying the votes there “may well determine the next president of the United States.” The campaign sued in Michigan to halt vote-counting, claiming it had been denied proper access to sites where ballots were opened and tallied. Other suits challenged absentee-ballot processing in Nevada’s largest county, and late-arriving ballots in a Georgia county.

But legal observers aren’t expecting judicial intervention on any of the cases, even from the most conservative Supreme Court in many decades ...

... The Trump campaign’s post-election lawsuit in Michigan, challenging the continued counting of ballots in selected counties, “should be giving us flashbacks to 2000,” said Jenny Breen, an associate law professor at Syracuse University. She said she expects the campaign to ask state courts, and ultimately the Supreme Court, to disqualify some ballots that have already been counted.

But unlike 2000, Breen said, Trump’s campaign has not yet cited any state in which disputed votes could change the outcome of the election ...

Read the full article.

Nicolas included in Best Lawyers

Posted on Thursday 11/5/2020

Jackson Walker is pleased to announce that Emilio B. Nicolas has been selected for inclusion in the 2021 The Best Lawyers in America. 

Hon. James E. Baker: Obedience to Orders, Lawful Orders, and the Military’s Constitutional Compact

Posted on Tuesday 11/3/2020
Hon. James E. Baker

(Just Security | Nov. 2, 2020) An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath:

“I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”


During the height of the Watergate scandal in 1974 Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger is said to have become so concerned about President Nixon’s emotional state that he instructed the military chain of command that any orders conveyed directly by the President to the military should be re-routed through him to determine if they should be followed.  Schlesinger was particularly concerned about orders pertaining to nuclear command and The Trump Administration, which is to say President Trump, has renewed interest in the subject of nuclear command and control and more generally the question of lawful orders.  

In 2017, the then Commander of U.S. Strategic Command was asked about the scenarios in which he might advise, or even push back against, the President in a discussion on nuclear matters.  General John E. Hyten, who now serves as the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, responded:

I think some people think we’re stupid. We’re not stupid people. We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility how do you not think about it? And so – but what people forget is this is a military mission and a military function. And since the day I joined the service, 36 years ago, every year I get trained in a law of armed conflict. And the law of armed conflict has certain principles and necessities, distinction, proportionality, unnecessary suffering. All those things are defined. And we get, you know, for 20 years it was the William Calley thing that we were trained on because if you execute an unlawful order you will go to jail. You could go to jail for the rest of your life. It applies to nuclear weapons. It applies to small arms. It applies to small unit tactic. It applies to everything and we apply it as we go through it. It’s not that difficult. And the way the process works – if you want to get the details later, I’ll go into the details later. The way the process works is this simple: I provide advice to the President. He’ll tell me what to do and if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen?

Moderator: You say no.

General Hyten: I’m going to say, Mr. President, it’s illegal. And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say what would be legal? And we’ll come up with options of a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is. And that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated.

More recently, the clearing of protesters in Lafayette Square, the advent of protest movements across the country following the death of George Floyd, and statements by President Trump about the electoral process have prompted questions about when and in what contexts the President may lawfully order U.S. Armed Forces, regular, reserve, or National Guard, into domestic and civil contexts.

President Trump’s tweets, some about military matters, also prompt consideration of what exactly is an order, does it have to take a particular form, and when is a statement by the President a military order?  These are urgent questions the answers to which ought to be known not only to the Commander in Chief, but also to the military commanders and units under his ultimate constitutional command.  The American public, which reveres the Armed Forces, in part because of their apolitical adherence to law, should know as well so that it can make informed judgments about whether to send its sons and daughters into the Armed Forces and determine whether the military’s leadership is supporting and defending the Constitution and America’s constitutional values and traditions.

However, although the question of lawful orders may be cast and debated with a particular president in mind, or through a partisan lens, questions about lawful orders are recurring and arise in daily national security contexts across administrations as well as everyday military life ...

Read the full article.

Professor Mark Nevitt: How Will the Presidential Candidates Approach Arctic Policy?

Posted on Monday 11/2/2020
Mark P. Nevitt

Biden versus Trump: How a new president will affect the Arctic

(High North News | Oct. 30, 2020) With the US election just days away, anxiety is mounting about whether Republican incumbent  Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Joe Biden will come away victorious. The stakes have never been higher for the Arctic, say environmental scholars and regional experts ...

... Mark Nevitt, an associate professor at the Syracuse University College of Law, agrees that a Biden administration would handle the issue of climate change more effectively.

“It is critically important. We need to work with the leading climate scientists to understand the pace of climate change, permafrost melting, and its impact on local and Indigenous communities”, he says in an email to High North News.

“From a climate science perspective, a future President Biden will emphasize placing resources into better understanding the Arctic’s changing climate. Much like Obama. He has an ambitious, $2 trillion dollar “Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution & Environmental Justice” that is the most-forward looking climate plan of any presidential nominee in history. The Arctic is heavily mentioned and discussed in this context,” he says ...

Read the full article.

Professor William C. Banks Mulls Election Scenarios in Medium and AP

Posted on Monday 11/2/2020
William C. Banks

Will There Be Blood?

(Medium | Oct. 26, 2020) In his inaugural address four years ago, President Donald Trump declared a crusade against the “carnage” he said his predecessors had wrought on the nation, lining their own pockets while creating a nation of “forgotten men and women.” Five hours later, fired up and triumphant, Trump filed for re-election, the earliest incumbent to do so in memory. So it was that Trump set the stage for what a lot of people thought was him governing, but in effect has been the most foreboding, nerve-frazzling — and by far the longest — re-election campaign in modern U.S. history.

Just a week away from its climax, some of the country’s most sober voices say one cost of Trump’s term-long barrage of grievance and accusation is the possibility of civil unrest on and after Election Day. There is always the chance that fraught tempers will dissipate, either by luck or a landslide one way or the other that imposes a forceful quiet on the contest. But, with an animated Trump issuing daily allegations of a sinister plot to unseat him, and supporters of both sides apprehensive of how far the other is prepared to go to win, the fear is that Americans will erupt in the worst political violence since Jim Crow ...

... William Banks, a law professor at Syracuse University, said the president’s actions reflect mere “Trumpian rhetoric, played to maximum volume for his base.” Perhaps, though we won’t know until we see his reaction should he be defeated next Tuesday ...

Read the full article.

An Election Day Role For National Guard? Maybe, But Limited

(AP | Oct. 30, 2020) Federal laws and long-standing custom generally leave the U.S. military out of the election process. But President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated warnings about widespread voting irregularities have raised questions about a possible military role.

If any element of the military were to get involved, it would likely be the National Guard under state control. These citizen soldiers could help state or local law enforcement with any major election-related violence. But the Guard’s more likely roles will be less visible — filling in as poll workers, out of uniform, and providing cybersecurity expertise in monitoring potential intrusions into election systems ...

... William Banks, professor at Syracuse University College of Law, said that sending uniformed troops to the polls, including the Guard, would be unwise.

“The overriding point is that we don’t want the military involved in our civilian affairs. It just cuts against the grain of our history, our conditions, our values, our laws," he said ...

Read the full article.

Professor Nina Kohn on WHEC: Nursing Home Residents Are Being Disenfranchised

Posted on Monday 11/2/2020
Nina Kohn

Nursing home residents face voting challenges during pandemic

(WHEC Rochester, NY | Oct. 29, 2020) At 94, Mary Insalaco has voted in every presidential election dating back to the 1940s. And despite being isolated in a nursing home, she wasn't about to let that stop her this year.

"That's one thing I've always believed in. Your vote counts. Even though it's one, it counts. They add up," Insalaco said.

Mary is used to voting in person. But because of COVID-19 restrictions, she can't really leave the Jewish Home. So her daughter, Carol Britt, came here with Mary's mail-in ballot. They talked through the glass during a window visit and discussed how Mary wanted to vote.

"Today she's going to put her signature on it that this is her choice," Britt said, holding Mary's ballot.

"My daughter brought me my papers here, I signed them, filled them out with her and gave it back to her and got my little voting sticker and I proudly wore it," Insalaco said.

Mary's fortunate to have family nearby to assist her. But for many nursing home residents, that's not the case. And that has some advocates worried about the roadblocks facing seniors as we approach Election Day.

"So it's very much like we have a train barreling down the track and the brakes are not working," Nina Kohn said.

Kohn is a law professor at Syracuse University and a scholar in elder law.

Brett Davidsen: "Are they being disenfranchised?"

Kohn: "In many cases, yes. A resident of a nursing home needs substantial assistance typically to be able to vote and when that assistance isn't forthcoming, as a practical matter, they won't be able to vote" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Peter Blanck: Absentee Ballots Should Be Accessible, Especially During COVID-19

Posted on Friday 10/30/2020
Peter Blanck

An accessible absentee ballot is crucial for blind and disabled Iowa voters, advocates say — especially in COVID-19 era

(Ames Tribune | Oct. 9, 2020) Don Wirth has been legally blind for 25 years. At 70 years old, he's at higher risk for COVID-19, so instead of going to the polls and using an accessible voting machine, he voted absentee during the primaries. His wife filled out the paper ballot for him.

“I have great confidence that she's going to fill it out the way I want her to,” Wirth, of Ames, said. 

But Wirth knows not all blind or otherwise disabled people have a loved one they can trust to help cast their vote. And, he believes, no Iowan should be forced to surrender their privacy to exercise their constitutional right. 

“Why shouldn’t we have the same access that sighted people do when there are solutions out there that are readily available?” Wirth said ...

... Peter Blanck, a law professor at Syracuse University, disagrees. Blanck has written multiple books on the ADA, served on various federal disability commissions and edits the Cambridge Disability Law and Policy Series.

“Title II of the ADA requires state and local governments to provide meaningful and equal access to all the services that they provide,” Blanck said. “A reasonable accommodation would not have to be approved through the Legislature because that’s required under (federal) law" ...

Read the full article

October 2020: Progress on Campus Commitments

Posted on Friday 10/30/2020

THURSDAY, OCT. 29, 2020

Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community:

I begin today’s monthly update on our Campus Commitments with an important reminder to participate in the Campus Climate Pulse Survey. If you have already participated, thank you for taking the time to share your concerns and recommendations about how this university is doing in terms of equity, diversity, accessibility and inclusion.

If you have not yet completed the survey, please take time to answer the questions. Here’s how to complete the survey:


  • MySlice Portal: Click on the “Share Your SU Experience” button.
  • Syr.edu Email: Click the survey link included in the weekly emails sent to you on Tuesdays from Damon A. Williams.

Faculty and Staff:

  • Syr.edu Email: Click the survey link included in the weekly emails sent to you on Wednesdays from Damon A. Williams.

The survey will be live through tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 30. Your responses are critical to helping the University understand the diverse experiences of students, faculty and staff and how to foster an environment that is welcoming for all.

We continue to progress on our commitments to our #NotAgainSU students, international students, Jewish students and Indigenous students. Here are updates to the Campus Commitments through Sept. 30:

  • In the University’s expansion of funding for need-based and culturally based scholarships by $5 million, a total of $4.1 million has been raised so far. The following are included in the funding that has been raised.
o   An initiative is underway to grow the Our Time Has Come scholarship endowment from $5 million to $10 million. Through donor gifts, the fund has increased to $7.1 million since spring 2020.

o   In addition to the Kessler Presidential Scholars Program award of $1 million, the University has also received $1 million for the Lotman Book Award. Both of these funds are directed at first-generation students.

  • The fall 2020 cohort of resident advisors has a range of fluency in a second language. Thirty percent are fluent or proficient in a second language, other than English, and 8 percent are fluent or proficient in three languages, including English. At least one student is fluent or proficient in one of 16 different languages.
  • Academic scholarships for international students, which have been provided to incoming students for the past seven years, continue to be awarded. Invest in Success Scholarships have been awarded to international students this year, for the third year in a row. The Syracuse University Greater China Scholarship has also awarded scholarships this year, for a third year. A goal has been established to grow the Greater China Scholarship fund from $250,000 to $1 million in the current campaign.
  • Syracuse Hillel and the STOP Bias program have partnered to develop an anti-Semitism education and prevention training. A run-through of the final presentation of the anti-Semitism training was held on Sept. 9. Twenty-five students will be able to participate in the pilot session.
  • Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and her team held virtual town halls last week to receive feedback on a proposed framework for the University’s Public Safety Community Review Board, and an update will be provided soon.
  • Earlier this month, University leadership committed to addressing concerns put forth by Indigenous students, totaling seven new commitments. Those commitments are in progress, and updates will be shared in upcoming messages.

Other notable events and progress toward our goals over the past month have included the following.

  • A community discussion was held with Ibram X. Kendi, Ph.D., one of America’s foremost historians and leading anti-racist voices, about critical social issues on Oct. 21. The event was presented by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Hendricks Chapel and The Lender Center for Social Justice.
  • The University announced a permanent installation on campus that acknowledges its relationship with the Onondaga Nation. The University is working with the Indigenous Students at Syracuse (ISAS), Native Student Program, Ongwehonwe Alumni Association and Haudenosaunee/Indigenous alumni representatives on this special recognition.

We are making strides; we are making a positive difference. Again, please take the Campus Climate Pulse Survey, which will help in efforts to elevate our shared work toward ensuring an equitable campus experience for all.


Keith A. Alford
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

USA Today Interviews Professor Nina Kohn About Voters with Disabilities

Posted on Thursday 10/29/2020
Nina Kohn

How the pandemic has affected voters with disabilities – roughly one-sixth of the US electorate

(USA Today | Pct. 29, 2020) Penny Shaw, 77, who lives in a long-term care facility in Braintree, Massachusetts, normally votes at a polling place she can get to easily in her electric wheelchair. This year, Shaw had to come up with a new plan.

Braintree officials changed polling place locations because of the pandemic, and Shaw worried that her severe muscle weakness from Guillain-Barre syndrome would prevent her from getting to the nearest site. She couldn’t get election officials on the phone to confirm the new location, and she has trouble using a computer. So, she requested an absentee ballot and took it to a post office six blocks away.

“Better to be safe than sorry,” she said. “I don’t want to not vote.”

Shaw’s situation is emblematic of the new difficulties the pandemic has created for voters with disabilities – even as many of them are benefitting from the relaxation of rules regarding who can cast an absentee ballot ...

Nina A. Kohn, law professor at Syracuse University and a distinguished scholar in elder law at Yale Law School, said in a phone interview that while laws like the Voting Rights Act and directives like the one from CMS may outline how voters with disabilities must be accommodated, there are often impediments.

“As a practical matter, how do they obtain that assistance?” she said. “With COVID, many individuals don’t have access to family members and friends who would provide that assistance. In congregate care settings, how to they obtain a mail-in ballot? In many states, they have to request a ballot. How do they obtain that request? Not all have access to the internet. Or they may have muscular problems that make it hard to maneuver around a computer" ...

Read the full article

Professor Mark Nevitt on Pentagon Labyrinth: What’s the Military’s Role in a Contested Election?

Posted on Wednesday 10/28/2020
Mark P. Nevitt

What’s the Military’s Role in a Contested Election?

(POGO Pentagon Labyrinth | Oct. 27, 2020) We are on the eve of what could be a contentious and disputed election, and a turbulent transition. Given the possibility that we will not know who the winner is for some time after November 3, there are increased concerns about domestic disturbances and violence.

This is prompting many to openly discuss the military’s role in such a scenario. The Military Times recently published an article titled “How the president could invoke martial law.” Several legal scholars have also weighed in on the issue in the past few months.

One is Mark Nevitt, a professor of constitutional law, national security law, environmental law, and climate change law at Syracuse University College of Law. He has a solid military background as well. He started his career as a Naval aviator flying the S-3 Viking; he flew over a thousand hours and had approximately 300 carrier landings. When the Navy retired the S-3s, it sent Mark to Georgetown Law. He spent the rest of his career as a Navy judge advocate general before retiring in 2017 to join academia.

Listen to the segment.

Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Ushered in the Drone Age?

Posted on Tuesday 10/27/2020
Viviana Bro

By 3L Viviana Bro

COVID-19 has impacted every area of our lives. COVID-19 may have accelerated the incorporation of unmanned aerial vehicles, otherwise known as drones, into our daily lives. Examples include law enforcement activities, assisting in search and rescue operations, inspecting pipelines and infrastructure, photographing real estate, surveying land, disaster assistance, news gathering, and recreational.

Even though the benefits of drone integration seem palpable and extensive, concerns that drone technology may impact and erode privacy and property right have yet to be resolved in the United States. Drones are authorized via remote control by a pilot on the ground and are generally restricted from operating beyond the pilot’s line of sight, over people, above 400 feet, and within certain distances of an airport.

In “Geospatial World,” Mukesh Sharma reports that drone use during the pandemic has been widespread in parts of China and Europe where drones fitted with loudspeakers broadcast coronavirus-related messages and information. The Chinese government deployed drones with infrared cameras to read people’s temperature as they stood on apartment balconies. Some governments deployed drones to enforce COVID-19 restrictions such as forbidden social gatherings that fueled infection dissemination. In the United States and abroad, drones have been used to deliver medical supplies, household goods, and food.

Drone involvement in containing the virus through benign utilitarian missions has contributed to a positive image. Arguably, pre-pandemic drone apprehension is dissipating as drone pervasiveness in the public’s consciousness has increased during lock-downs.

However, many worry that drone proliferation is starting to erode some historical rights. For instance, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has stated that 49 U.S.C grants them the right to create comprehensive regulations for “the use of the navigable airspace … to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of [that] airspace.” (Unmanned Aircraft Systems: Current Jurisdictional, Property, and Privacy Legal Issues Regarding the Commercial and Recreational Use of Drones, GAO U.S. Government Accountability Office, Sept. 2020). In the GAO report, the Department of Transportation has clarified that the term “navigable airspace” “… includes zero feet (‘the blades of grass’) as the minimum altitude of flight for UAS.”

This understanding clashes with property rights in airspace. Under ancient common law doctrine, property rights in airspace extended to the periphery of the universe (GAO Report). In the 1946 landmark United States v. Causby decision, the U.S. Supreme Court analyzed the concept of ownership of airspace above private property. The Court concluded that landowners have “exclusive control of the immediate reaches of the enveloping atmosphere,” and that they own “at least as much of the space above the ground as they can occupy or use in connection with the land.”

Under the authority to control the navigable airspace, the FAA has granted drones freedom of operation from the ground and up to 400 feet. This authorization, some claim, is incongruent with landowners’ property rights in airspace. To initiate a discussion and bring some uniformity about “the states’ ability to take action against operators of drones who violate existing trespass, privacy and negligence laws,” the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) took the lead in drafting the “Uniform Tort Law Relating to Drones Act” (GAO Report).

According to Brian Wynne and Gary Shapiro in  New Approach to State Drone Laws Balances Privacy and Innovation article, stakeholders flatly rejected the first 2018 version because it presented a “one-sided, unworkable, 200-foot ‘line in the sky’ approach.” The 2019 version has not fared much better. While proponents of this Act perceive it as a compromise between the rights of landowners’ property rights and the drone industry, vociferous critics see is a “radical departure” from current property rights (GAO Report).

While the debate rages in the U.S., other nations, whose views on privacy and property rights differ radically from ours, are moving forward with the development and utilization of drone technology. As a result, these countries are amassing and mining vast amounts of data from their citizens. Some claim that the exploitation of these data allows these countries to make extraordinary scientific leaps, which the United States cannot realize under current notions of privacy and property rights (In the Age of AI, Frontline film, Dec. 2019).

As the pandemic slowly retreats and we emerge from a penumbra of uncertainty, some anticipate a more benign attitude toward drone technology will emerge. A new outlook could enable proponents and opponents to arrive at legislation that makes sense in an increasingly technological world. Three companies (Amazon, UPS, and Wing from Google) have obtained special permissions to deliver beyond visual line of sight. Amazon was granted two patents covering a technology to provide surveillance services via drones, with a “virtual fence” around the property being surveilled.

Balancing privacy and property rights with the social and economic benefits that drones bring is a difficult task. But it must be done because drones are here to stay, whether we like them or not.

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00: The Right to Vote Is "The Essence of a Democratic Society." Exercise It.

Posted on Monday 10/26/2020
Roy Gutterman

(Syracuse Post-Standard | Oct. 22, 2020) Four years ago, more than 130 million Americans voted in the presidential election. Through the swirling chaos of this year’s election, experts predict an even more robust voter turnout.

So far, two weeks before the election, 25 million have already voted, largely attributed to both the heightened interest in the election and the Covid-19 crisis. Locally, early voting opens on Saturday at six locations throughout Onondaga County. Whether it is braving lines and social contact at a polling places on Nov. 3, or casting an absentee ballot by mail, will you be one of those voters?

Though much of the attention is focused on the presidential election, and for good reason, there are congressional and state legislative races and local elections on the ballots. The “down-ticket” races and issues may lack the glitz, glamour and gore of the national election but they still play an important role in the democracy and governmental operations. The lower-ticket races determine everything from the composition of Congress to your local government officials, as well as special ballot issues.

The right to vote has been a hard-fought right that embodies the most basic part of the democratic system: choosing the people and officials who will design, set and enforce laws and public policy, and defining what our society stands for. The right to self-governance through public participation — voting — is so vital, the Constitution and a body of federal and state laws ensure and protect the right to vote ...

Read the full article.

Professor William C. Banks Helps Military Times Explain Martial Law

Posted on Monday 10/26/2020
William C. Banks

How the president could invoke martial law

(Military Times | Oct. 23, 2020) Throughout 2020, America has faced a global pandemic, civil unrest after the death of George Floyd and a contentious election. As a result, an influx of fear about the possibility of the invocation of martial law or unchecked military intervention is circulating around the internet among scholars and civilians alike.

“The fear is certainly understandable, because as I’m sure you know, martial law isn’t described or confined or limited, proscribed in any way by the Constitution or laws,” Bill Banks, a Syracuse professor with an expertise in constitutional and national security law, told Military Times. “If someone has declared martial law, they’re essentially saying that they are the law."

What is ‘martial law’

In short, martial law can be imposed when civil rule fails, temporarily being replaced with military authority in a time of crisis. Though rare, there have been a number of notable U.S. cases where martial law came into play, including in times of war, natural disaster and civic dispute — of which there has been no shortage in 2020.

While no precise definition of martial law exists, a precedent for it exists wherein, “certain civil liberties may be suspended, such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom of association, and freedom of movement. And the writ of habeas corpus [the right to a trial before imprisonment] may be suspended," according to documents from JRANK, an online legal encyclopedia ...

Read the full article.

2Ls Penny Quinteros and Margaret Santandreu Win 2020 BSK Competition

Posted on Friday 10/23/2020
BSK Competition Finalists 2020

Congratulations to 2Ls Penny Quinteros and Margaret Santandreu, winners of the 2020 Bond, Schoeneck & King Alternative Dispute Resolution (BSK ADR) Competition. More than 70 watched the final on Zoom, with Quinteros and Santandreu prevailing over the team of 3L Kylie Mason and Shannon Wagner. 

For their final case, argued on Oct. 22, 2020, students negotiated the validity of a sales agreement for a horse, Beautiful Pegasus, after he was stolen from the farm where he was being cared for prior to delivery. Teams had to identify who would be held liable for the theft, and they advocated for a full reimbursement or specific performance.

Third year, second year, LL.M., and JDinteractive online law degree program students took part in the competition. At the final, Mason was named Best Advocate, while Quinteros becomes the first JDinteractive student to win a College of Law intracollegiate advocacy competition. 

"Despite the challenges that a virtual competition brings, students put their creativity to the test and vigorously advocated for their clients," says 3L Frances M. Rivera Reyes, BSK ADR Negotiation Competition Director. "Without a doubt, we have some incredibly talented advocates in our school."

Final judges were The Hon. Joanne F. Alper '72, a retired judge for the Circuit Court of the Seventh Circuit of Virginia; James L. Sonneborn, of Bousquet Holstein PLLC; and Brian Butler L'96, a managing member for Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC.

BSK ADR 2020 Competition Finalists
BSK ADR 2020 Competition Finalists

Professor Shubha Ghosh Analyzes Google Antitrust Suit with Indus News

Posted on Thursday 10/22/2020
Shubha Ghosh

(Indus News | Oct. 22, 2020) The US government has sued tech-giant Google, accusing it of illegally protecting its dominant position in the market through deals signed with big companies like Apple. Dr. Shubha Ghosh shares his views on the issue ...

Watch the segment

Institute for Security Policy and Law Experts Featured in JNSLP COVID-19 Special Issue

Posted on Thursday 10/22/2020

As the novel coronavirus swept the globe in late 2019 and early 2020, a full-blown pandemic quickly and significantly affected the United States. The public health crisis worsened in the winter and spring of 2020, and it soon became clear that national security institutions and processes were being tested, sometimes in new and unique ways.

This is the background of a special COVID-19 issue of the Journal of National Security Policy and Law, edited by Professor Emeritus William C. Banks: "A stunningly good collection of short articles surveying and detailing many of the most vexing legal and policy problems associated with the pandemic," Banks explains.  

"The articles have been written by internationally recognized subject matter experts who have experience in government, the courts, the cyber domain, public health, human rights, international organizations, domestic military policy and policing, journalism, and several other disciplines," Banks adds. "Some of the articles take a granular look at aspects of the pandemic, while others widen the lens to look at such issues as leadership."

Among the articles, Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law Director the Hon. James. E. Baker discusses "Leadership in a Time of Pandemic" in the journal's lead article, as well as the importance of using the Defense Production Act to its fullest extent during a health crisis.

In his article, Professor Mark P. Nevitt evaluates the responses of different branches of the military and argues that the current public health crisis could be an opportunity to reevaluate the governance of domestic military operations

The Special Issue groups its articles into categories. The first focuses on who is in charge. A second grouping examines pandemic responses from the perspectives of health, privacy, military, and emergency law. A third concerns information from the perspectives of transparency and journalism. A final section includes an important comparative and international law perspective on cybersecurity and the pandemic.

Hunsicker selected for Super Lawyer

Posted on Thursday 10/22/2020
Jaime J. Hunsicker

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Jaime J. Hunsicker has been selected as an “Upstate New York Super Lawyer – Rising Star” for 2020.  Ms. Hunsicker is Counsel in the Elder Law & Special Needs, Tax and Trusts & Estates Practices. Ms. Hunsicker assists clients with trusts, estate planning and retirement planning matters.     

Professor Mark Nevitt in Just Security: Reforming the Insurrection Act

Posted on Wednesday 10/21/2020
Mark P. Nevitt

(Just Security | Oct. 20) When can the president deploy the federal military on American soil? What are the legal and regulatory restraints in doing so? Throughout the current administration, these fundamental questions of civil-military relations and democratic governance have only grown in importance. This is due, in large part, to the rupture of longstanding norms.  Salient examples include the significantly expanded deployment of military troops to the U.S.-Mexican border as well as the use or threatened use of state and federal military forces (many unidentified) in response to protests this summer in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.  

The violent clearing of peaceful protestors from Lafayette Square Park on June 1 by both non-military and military forces brought the issue of domestic military operations to American living rooms—as did the President threatening minutes earlier to invoke the Insurrection Act and send active duty military forces into American cities.

The governance stakes are simply too high to rely upon now-violated norms. Congress should reinvigorate its constitutional role in governing domestic military operations and provide bright legal lines addressing the president’s authority to deploy the military domestically.

In this essay and the one to follow, I highlight four legal authorities governing domestic use of military force that are ripe for clarification and congressional action. This essay concerns the Insurrection Act, and my second essay will address the Posse Comitatus Act, Section 502(f) of Title 32 of the U.S. Code, and military operations in the nation’s capital ...

MarketWatch Discusses Google Antitrust Suit with Professor Shubha Ghosh

Posted on Wednesday 10/21/2020
Shubha Ghosh

(MarketWatch | Oct. 20, 2020) The Justice Department formally charged Alphabet Inc.’s Google with antitrust violations Tuesday, the first major action against Big Tech for its staggering market power and valuations.

“Google is a monopolist in the general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising markets,” according to the Justice Department’s complaint, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday morning. “Google aggressively uses its monopoly positions, and the money that flows from them, to continuously foreclose rivals and protect its monopolies.”

Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen said Tuesday morning that Google GOOG GOOGL was charged with violating the Sherman Act with its search and search-advertising businesses after a 16-month investigation ...

... The Justice complaint does not portend an onslaught of legislation against tech companies but could signal consumer-protection laws down the line, Shubha Ghosh, a law professor specializing in tech issues at Syracuse University, told MarketWatch ...

Read the full article.

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Challenges Recent "Censorship" by Social Media

Posted on Wednesday 10/21/2020
Roy Gutterman

(WAER | Oct. 16, 2020) A Syracuse University Newhouse Professor is questioning decisions by Facebook and Twitter to limit access to an article that contained unverified sources and information about Joe Biden’s son.  

“Regardless of how you feel about the story, its sourcing, or even the politics behind it, it’s not a favored practice for many of us to have other people decide what we can and can’t read or view.” said Roy Gutterman, the Director of the Tully Center for Free Speech. “I’m kind of disappointed to see that this article was going to be blocked. I’m always in favor of letting consumers and citizens make judgements on their own" ...

Listen to the segment.

College of Law Adds Sandra Wolk Gelb L'92 to Its Board of Advisors

Posted on Tuesday 10/20/2020
Sandra Wolk Gelb

The College of Law is pleased to announce the addition of Rochester, NY-based real estate attorney Sandra Wolk Gelb L'92 to its Board of Advisors, an appointment that continues the College's commitment to reflect on its Board the diverse talent and leadership represented by its alumni community. 

“With nearly 30 years in real estate law, as well as business, bankruptcy, and higher education law, Sandra Wolk Gelb brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the Board of Advisors,” says Dean Craig M. Boise. “I look forward to working closely with Sandra as we continue to promote and deliver a first-class 21st-century legal education together. With Sandra’s accession to the Board, we deepen our connection to Rochester, a legal community of significant importance to our College and from which we draw a significant number of student applicants. In fact, we like to think of Syracuse as Rochester’s law school.”

“Sandra's extensive personal and professional connections to Syracuse University, the College of Law, the University of Rochester, and the city of Rochester will benefit our students as the College strengthens its ties to our neighboring city and its legal community, where more than 575 of our alumni live and work,” says Board of Advisors Chair Robert M. Hallenbeck L’83. “Along with the rest of the Board, I welcome Sandra wholeheartedly to our team and look forward to our collaboration.”

Admitted to the New York bar in 1993 and to the US District Court Western District of New York and US Supreme Court bars in 1997, Gelb practiced law at Chamberlain, D’Amanda, Oppenheimer and Greenfield from 1994 until 2015. She also has worked at the City of Rochester Corporation Council's Office, the Trustees’ Office of the Western District of New York US Bankruptcy Court, and the University of Rochester Legal Department. 

Gelb is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association Real Estate Section, and she serves on the Parent Council and the Network Leadership Cabinet for the University of Rochester, where she is a George Eastman Circle Member. Before attending the College of Law, Gelb graduated from the University of Rochester, cum laude, in 1989. 

Gelb and her family have long-standing ties to the College of Law and Syracuse University. Her grandfather, Robert Miller, graduated from the College of Law in 1929; her father, Allan Wolk, took degrees from the College of Law and the Whitman School of Management in 1960; and her uncle, the Hon. Michael Miller, graduated from the College of Law in 1963. Her mother, Joan (Miller) Wolk, is a 1957 graduate of the Syracuse University School of Education. 

Professor Nina Kohn in The Hill: When It Comes to Healthy Aging—Location, Location, Location

Posted on Monday 10/19/2020
Nina Kohn

(The Hill | Oct. 19, 2020) Where we age shapes how we age. What neighborhood we live in can predict everything from life expectancy to likelihood of having a limb amputated to whether we spend our last years in a nursing home.  

The swath of devastation COVID-19 is cutting through communities is the latest evidence. Even in the same city, older adults in neighborhoods with high concentrations of Black and Latino people are at greater risk of dying from COVID-19 than those in majority-white neighborhoods. Those in nursing homes are more likely to contract and die from COVID-19 than their community-dwelling peers. This is not only because of their underlying medical conditions. It’s also because, as research suggests, institutionalization is itself a risk factor for COVID-19.   

Location matters because it determines access to health-enhancing resources and exposure to health hazards. Racially discriminatory zoning and housing market practices have led to communities of color having higher concentrations of health hazards and reduced access to health-enhancing resources, such as greenspacesaccessible health care providers and healthy food. A shortage of providers and hospital closures has left many in rural communities without access to nearby doctors. Individuals living in areas prone to natural disasters face life-long consequences of severe weather events — because of the trauma they inflict on individuals (especially those of lower socio-economic status) and the toll they take on community infrastructure and resources …

Read the full op-ed.

See also:

COVID Restrictions Threaten to Disenfranchise Nursing Home Voters (NBC 4 New York | Oct. 16, 2020)

"The more complex the procedures are for getting a ballot and returning a ballot, the more likely this population is going to be disenfranchised," Kohn said. "I think we should be very concerned that many nursing home residents and assisted living residents won't be able to vote."

Professor Corri Zoli Joins HDIAC Podcast to Discuss Culture and Civil-Military Relations

Posted on Monday 10/19/2020
Corri Zoli

The Homeland Defense and Security Information Analysis Center (HDIAC) is a Department of Defense Information Analysis Center sponsored by the Defense Technical Information Center.

Rethinking Culture in the Context of Civil-Military Relations: Part 1 of 3

This podcast is the first in a multi-part series discussing the impact of culture in the context of civil-military relations. In this episode, Dr. Corri Zoli and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs’ Dr. Robert Rubinstein explore definitions of culture and discuss how different organizational cultures have led the U.S. military and humanitarian groups to pursue divergent on-the-ground security strategies in conflict zones.

Rethinking Culture in the Context of Civil-Military Relations: Part 2 of 3

In Part 2 of Rethinking Culture in the Context of Civil-Military Relations, Dr. Rubinstein and Dr. Zoli discuss the strategic effectiveness of DoD efforts to engage culturally in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as debate enduring questions regarding these efforts’ processes and outcomes.

Rethinking Culture in the Context of Civil-Military Relations: Part 3 of 3

In the third installment of Rethinking Culture in the Context of Civil-Military Relations, Dr. Zoli and Dr. Rubinstein continue the conversation around different cultural models of risk and security and discuss the broader impacts of taking a militarized approach to security abroad. 

King included in Upstate New York Super Lawyers

Posted on Friday 10/16/2020
Mary C. King

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Mary C. King has been selected for inclusion in “Upstate New York Super Lawyers” for 2020.  Ms. King is a partner in the Trusts & Estates, Elder Law & Special Needs, and Family Business Succession Planning Practices.  

Hancock-Fish included in Super Lawyers 2020

Posted on Friday 10/16/2020
Marion Hancock-Fish

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Marion H. Fish has been selected for inclusion in “Upstate New York Super Lawyers” for 2020.  Ms. Fish is a partner in the Trusts & Estates, Family Business Succession Planning, Tax, Corporate and Elder Law & Special Needs Practices. 

Dean Craig M. Boise Joins Governing Advisory Council of New ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium

Posted on Thursday 10/15/2020
Dean Craig M. Boise

Syracuse University College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise has been appointed to a 10-member Advisory Council that will govern the newly formed Legal Education Police Practices Consortium, created by the American Bar Association in collaboration with law schools across the country.

As a member of the Advisory Council, Dean Boise will help lead Consortium efforts to leverage expertise across the ABA and among collaborating law schools to develop projects that promote better police practices throughout the United States. To date, 52 law schools—including the College of Law—have agreed to participate in the Consortium for the next five years.

"I am proud that Syracuse is a founding participant in the ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium. As a former police officer and commissioner on the Cleveland, OH, Community Police Commission, I care deeply about building positive community/police relations,” says Dean Boise. “Syracuse is fully committed to helping the Consortium use the combined power of the Bar Associations and law schools to effect meaningful change to police practices that have for too long victimized communities of color and other marginalized groups.”

Boise adds, "The Consortium also will provide our law students with meaningful opportunities to contribute to  the imperative work of police reform locally and nationally."

“The ABA has the ability to bring together diverse groups to address these problems and the duty to act to help bring racial equality to our criminal justice system,” says ABA President Patricia Lee Refo. “The Consortium will engage law students and legal experts from around the country in studying and forming solutions to help improve policing practices in our communities.”

The Consortium is housed within the ABA Criminal Justice Section. It aims to achieve widespread adoption of model police practices; advancement of racial equity in the criminal justice system; elimination of tactics that are racially motivated or have a disparate impact based on race; engagement with police departments and local, state, and national leaders; support for scholarship addressing police reform; promotion of public commentary and advocacy; and creation of model curricula for law schools related to the Consortium’s initiatives.

Kurt Wimmer L’85 Discusses Privacy, Data Protection, and Cybersecurity

Posted on Wednesday 10/14/2020
Kurt Wimmer L'85

By 3L John Mercurio

On Oct. 6, 2020, Kurt Wimmer L’85, Chair of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group (US) at Covington & Burling LLP, visited with students from Professor Lauryn Gouldin’s Privacy Law, Professor Keli Perrin’s Cybersecurity Law and Policy, and Professor Patrick Rao’s Corporate Compliance Law classes.

Wimmer covered a wide variety of privacy law topics, including the development of privacy law in countries around the world; the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) within and outside of the European Union; and emerging changes and proposals regarding privacy law in the United States. 

Wimmer explained that the GDPR has played a major role in guiding the development of privacy and data protection law around globe, but countries are also cognizant of the need to tailor privacy laws to their own needs. He highlighted India as an example of a country currently designing its own system of privacy and data protection laws, and he suggested that their initiative may motivate other countries to follow suit.

In the US, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has carved out its own role in privacy law and data protection matters by utilizing its ability to punish deceptive acts or practices, explained Wimmer. However, he clarified that the FTC lacks rule-making authority in this arena and that some individuals within the privacy law sector support the creation of an agency directly responsible for data protection in the US.

Wimmer’s extensive knowledge of data protection and cybersecurity law provided students an essential glimpse into the life of a privacy law attorney. He provided invaluable advice for those interested in pursuing legal careers focused on this growing area of the law.

Kurt Wimmer L'85 speaks to Syracuse law students in october 2020.
Kurt Wimmer L'85 speaks to Syracuse law students in October 2020.

Professor Nina Kohn in WaPo: Coronavirus Might Keep Nursing Homes Residents from Voting

Posted on Wednesday 10/14/2020
Nina Kohn

Coronavirus isolated nursing home residents—Now it might keep them from voting

By Professor Nina Kohn

(The Washington Post | Oct. 14, 2020) It has been a brutal year for residents of nursing homes. More than 40 percent of coronavirus deaths are associated with long-term care facilities. Forced isolation, including bans on family visits, has led to a secondary epidemic of loneliness and neglect. Now, nursing home residents face yet another indignity: the prospect that they will be unable to vote in the presidential election.

Nursing home residents have always faced challenges voting — because of limited mobility, physical infirmity and the restrictive reality of institutional life. But there were many ways to get help: Residents who were mobile and had access to transportation could vote at general polling places, families could freely visit to help residents vote by mail, and, in some states, election officials conducted voting in nursing homes. Now, the novel coronavirus has changed much of that: In-person voting risks infection, and visitors who might help with mail-in voting are barred from many homes. Short-staffed and still concentrating on other challenges posed by the pandemic, facilities do not seem ready to step up.

“Facilities throughout the state have made little or no efforts to assist residents” to vote by mail in “what may be the most important election in their lifetimes,” representatives of a dozen community advocacy groups wrote to Pennsylvania health officials late last month …

Read the full article.

Professor Nina Kohn in TIME: A Perfect Storm of Disenfranchisement in Nursing Homes

Posted on Tuesday 10/13/2020
Nina Kohn

Nursing Home Residents Struggle to Vote Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

(TIME | Oct. 13, 2020) Ivan Lakos was born in Hungary and came to the United States in 1951 as a displaced person after World War II. He became a citizen after about five years and has voted consistently ever since. But this year, with COVID-19 cases again on the rise in the U.S., the 96-year-old worried whether he’d be able to continue that tradition.

Lakos lives in a skilled nursing home at the Carol Woods Retirement Community in North Carolina, which is home to roughly 500 residents and usually hosts its own polling place with volunteers on hand to help residents fill out ballots and navigate voting machines. But this year, that isn’t an option for him. To protect against COVID-19, the facility has restricted its activities and is currently banning visitors inside the buildings. For Lakos—and roughly 2.2 million other people like him who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities across the country—that presents a significant barrier to enfranchisement.

“We’re really concerned about folks who are in nursing homes and residential facilities,” says Michelle Bishop, voting rights specialist at the National Disability Rights Network. “A lot of the ways that we relied on getting the ballot to people who lived in nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been eliminated by the pandemic: ...

... In Louisiana and North Carolina, where Lakos lives, state laws prevent residential care facility workers from helping with ballots at all. Kohn at Syracuse says this goes against the Voting Rights Act, but when a North Carolina resident sued the state over the issue this summer, a federal court found only that voter’s rights had been violated and that the ban on assistance could continue.

Even in places where staff can assist, plenty of challenges remain. Many nursing home residents have some level of memory loss or mental impairment, and while this does not mean they lose their right to vote, it may cause staff to make arbitrary judgments about who gets to vote. Some states also bar facility staff from answering questions about candidates’ platforms to avoid influencing residents, and others require an official witness in an attempt to target voter fraud that largely does not exist.

“When states create procedural barriers to voting, many people aren’t able to comply. And nursing home residents and long term care residents more broadly, are populations of people who are often not going to be able to clear those hurdles,” says Kohn. “It really is a perfect storm for disenfranchising nursing home residents" ...

Read the full article.

Syracuse University Bay Area Alumni Join Roundtable Discussion on "Leadership in a New Diverse Dynamic"

Posted on Friday 10/9/2020
Dean Craig M. Boise

Syracuse University's San Francisco Regional Council held a virtual roundtable on "Leadership in a New Diverse Dynamic" for Bay Area alumni on Oct. 6, 2020. Regional Council Co-Chair Peter Su L’94, Chief IP Officer of Moley Robotics and Co-Founding Partner of Radlo & Su, moderated what he called a "dream team" panel comprising University Trustee Elliott Portnoy ’86, Global CEO, Dentons; Kathi Vidal ’92, Managing Partner, Silicon Valley Office, Winston & Strawn LLP; and Craig M. Boise, Dean and Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law.

Su convened the roundtable at a "key moment for leaders to articulate their visions and to set their organizations on the right path."

The roundtable explored how the "new dynamics" of diversity are evolving organizations, universities, law firms, and the economy, and how disruptive forces are challenging universities and the legal profession in particular. Panelists agreed on the imperative of diversity and inclusion as an essential component of a thriving economy and discussed what key policies could unite the United States after the November 2020 election.

"The issues of diversity and leadership in this new dynamic are very much at the heart of SU's initiatives for 2020 and beyond," observed SU Trustee Portnoy, who leads the one of the world's largest law firms, operating in 75 countries. "As a University, we have navigated our share of campus leadership opportunities and challenges, and we continue to redouble our efforts to create an inclusive and diverse environment on campus and to use our reach and resources to really improve communities around the world."

Acknowledging systemic challenges for leadership in the 21st century, Vidal—a nationally recognized IP litigator and federal circuit strategist—observed that "as we re-shape, we need to look to all our leaders, and we need to look at potential, not just past experience." She noted that at Winston & Strawn, an international law firm with nearly 1,000 attorneys, “We all value diversity and inclusion, but being aligned in values is not enough. We really have to work through action and be accountable for results.”

Dean Boise called attention to the "tremendous pipeline issue" when it comes to fostering leadership diversity. "That goes back to a systemic problem in society—we have hollowed out the middle class, particularly the Black middle class, and there's been a stagnation of wages for decades now." Nevertheless, he continued, across industries organizational and procedural changes continue to put values of equity into practice. “At the College of Law, I’ve made diversity a preferred qualification for hiring staff and faculty. That places the focus on diversity and inclusion within our process.”

Addressing national unity after a tumultuous 2020, Portnoy said change must start “with leadership at the highest level listening with a more empathetic ear and focusing intently on the needs of communities of color that have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, including their health care, economics, housing, and employment."

At the conclusion of the moderated discussion, Syracuse University alumni leaders in the audience—which included captains of industry in technology, trade, banking, law, and medicine—engaged the panelists during a Q&A session that focused on the practice of diversifying leadership in law firms and boardrooms.