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

Posted on Wednesday 4/18/2018
Michael Schwartz

Steering Committee Formed to Lead Disability Services Audit

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Monday 4/16/2018
Wivi Logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Thursday 4/12/2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Syria Update

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

Read more & listen to the segment here.

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

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

The Move Away From International Justice

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

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

Listen to the segment here.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Verdict: True

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

Fact Check:

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

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

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

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

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

The full article can be found here.

Keith Bybee Discusses Gerrymandering on WAER

Posted on Friday 4/6/2018
Keith Bybee

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

Listen to the segment here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole story here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole story here.

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

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

Trump Told He is Not a Criminal Target in Mueller Probe

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


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

Posted on Wednesday 4/4/2018
JDinteractive logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paula Johnson Co-Writes Brown vs. Board OpEd

Posted on Tuesday 4/3/2018
Paula Johnson

Plaintiff in Brown v. Board Never Stopped Fighting for Equality 

By Paula C. Johnson & Linda Carty

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole OpEd here.

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

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

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

Successor To Robert H. Jackson Speaks At Jackson Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the whole story here.

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

Posted on Monday 4/2/2018
Corri Zoli

Experts: Trump appointments signal more hawkish foreign policy

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

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

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

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

Read the full article here.

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

Posted on Friday 3/30/2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Thursday 3/29/2018
David Driesen

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

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

Posted on Wednesday 3/28/2018

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

College of Law to Host Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony

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

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

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

The event is free and open to the public.

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

Posted on Wednesday 3/28/2018
Keith Bybee

Central New Yorkers Weigh In on SCOTUS Gerrymandering Case

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

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

Read the full article here.

Maryland Gerrymander Case Offers Unique Test to High Court

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article here.

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

Posted on Tuesday 3/27/2018
Marty Feinman

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Tuesday 3/27/2018
Arlene Kanter

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

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

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

Greg Germain Discusses the Stormy Daniels Affair with The Huffington Post

Posted on Monday 3/26/2018
Gregory Germain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to read the article.

Olivia Fontana Named a OnVLP Pro Bono Champion

Posted on Monday 3/26/2018
Olivia Fontana

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

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

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

Corri Zoli Discusses North Korea Talks with CNY Central

Posted on Friday 3/23/2018
Corri Zoli

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

College of Law to Welcome Preet Bharara as 2018 Commencement Speaker

Posted on Friday 3/23/2018
Preet Bharara

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

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

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

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

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

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

Veterans Law Clinic Students Present to VA Decision Review Officer

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to read the whole story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Monday 3/19/2018
Matthew Wallace

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to the podcast here.

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

Posted on Thursday 3/15/2018
Lauryn Gouldin

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

By Kathleen Haley

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

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

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

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

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

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

Six words

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case outcomes

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Disentangling Flight Risk from Dangerousness”

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

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

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

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

Risk assessment tools

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

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

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


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

Posted on Wednesday 3/14/2018

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

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

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

For more information about the Forum on Aging, Disability, and Independence, visit: http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/activities/aging/agingdisabilityforum.aspx

For more information on the ABA study, visit: https://www.americanbar.org/news/abanews/aba-news-archives/2017/05/aba_launches_nationw.html

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

Posted on Tuesday 3/13/2018
Kevin Noble Maillard

The Many Colors of Matrimony

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

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

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

Read the full article here.

Webcast: Shubha Ghosh Speaks to Blockchain & Genomic Data Experts

Posted on Monday 3/12/2018
Shubha Ghosh

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Monday 3/12/2018

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

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

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

NYSSTLC Featured in FuzeHub Connections Blog

Posted on Thursday 3/8/2018
SoraLinks Logo

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

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

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

New Connections Open Doors to Solving Product Development Needs

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

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

Click here to read the whole story.

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

Posted on Tuesday 3/6/2018

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

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

INSCT Students Compete in the 2018 National Security Crisis Law Simulation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


AAJ Trial Team Wins Boston Regional, Advances to Finals

Posted on Monday 3/5/2018

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

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

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

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

Posted on Saturday 3/3/2018

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

Posted on Thursday 3/1/2018

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

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

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

Matthew Wallace Selected as Candidate for ABA Law Student at Large

Posted on Thursday 3/1/2018
Matthew Wallace

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

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

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

Matthew Wallace's Platform Statement

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

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

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

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

TIME Quotes Janis McDonald in Story on Lynching Cold Case

Posted on Wednesday 2/28/2018
Janis McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The full story can be read here.

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

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

Democrats Release Nunes Memo Rebuttal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shubha Ghosh Assists NLU-Delhi Team with National IP Survey

Posted on Monday 2/26/2018
Shubha Ghosh

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

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

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

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

College of Law Team Advances to the National Round of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition

Posted on Monday 2/26/2018
2L Donya Feizbakhsh, 3L Ryan Lefkowitz, and Brady O'Malley L'11.

It was a superb result for the College of Law team of 3L Ryan Lefkowitz and 2L Donya Feizbakhsh, which won the Manhattan Regional competition of the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition on the weekend on Feb. 24, 2018. The team, coached by Brady O'Malley L'11 (of Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet PC) advances to the National round in Washington, DC, in April. Feizbakhsh was awarded second best advocate for the region and Lefkowitz, the sixth best advocate.

A second College of Law team of 3Ls Aya Hoffman, Jonathan Maddalone, and Veronica Ramirez, coached by Professor Shannon Gardner, advanced to the semi-final round.

This year’s competition focuses on when and how courts should apply Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) to law-enforcement operations.  Thirty-two teams competed in the Manhattan Regional of the National Appellate Advocacy Competition this weekend and the top team from each region advances to the National Finals in Washington, DC.  Manhattan is an extremely competitive region and both teams demonstrated hard work and professionalism throughout their preparation and competition arguments.  Thank you coaches and congratulations to all our students.

LaunchPad and NYSSTLC Students Offer Tech Commercialization Office Hours

Posted on Friday 2/23/2018
Blackstone Launchpad

Blackstone LaunchPad has announced a new collaboration with the New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYSSTLC), a NYSTAR-sponsored resource at the College of Law available to New York State entities working on commercializing new technologies. NYSSTLC operates through the Technology Commercialization Law Program (TCLP).

College of Law students from TCLP will hold office hours at Blackstone LaunchPad at Bird Library to discuss patent searching strategies and to assist with conducting a patent search for Syracuse University students (although this service is not a substitute for IP patent counsel). Assistance is at no charge to students on a first-come, first-served basis or by appointment by emailing LaunchPad@syr.edu.

LaunchPad office hours are:

  • Feb. 28, 10 a.m. – noon
  • March 6, 3 - 5 p.m.
  • March 22, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • March 26, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • April 4, 10 a.m.– noon
  • April 10, 3 – 5 p.m.
  • April 19, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • April 23, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

On call will be a rotation of third-year tech commercialization students: Jennifer Hicks, Lindsey Round, Xiang Tony Qi, and Tom Carlon.

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

Posted on Wednesday 2/21/2018

Syracuse University College of Law will hold its tenth VALOR Day event on Saturday, March 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dineen Hall, 950 Irving Avenue, Syracuse. Local attorneys and professionals will provide free legal, financial, career, and counseling services for veterans, active duty service members, and their immediate families. Conceived by College of Law students, VALOR (Veterans’ Advocacy, Law and Outreach) Day is one of the many ways students give back to the community and those who serve our country.

Services available during VALOR Day include legal consultations with attorneys that specialize in veterans’ legal issues, family law, criminal law, estate and planning issues, and other related areas. Attendees can also have résumés critiqued and receive credit counseling. The event will include a veterans’ information fair with representatives from more than 10 veteran and government organizations on site to discuss their services. 

“College of Law students are proud to coordinate with the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County and host VALOR Day as a way to give back to the veteran and military communities,” said Cecilia Santostefano, a third-year law student and executive director of VISION. “We look forward to helping attendees find the right service providers and get the assistance they need. It is a very educational and rewarding experience for our student volunteers.”

VALOR Day is coordinated by VISION (Veterans Issues, Support Initiative and Outreach Network), a student-run College of Law organization. Since its inception in 2012, VALOR Day has assisted more than 280 veterans and their families by providing access directly to services they need the most.

Appointments made in advance are suggested, but not required. Free parking is available in the Stadium lot and the Irving Garage during VALOR Day. For more information or to arrange an appointment, contact VISION@law.syr.edu or call (315) 828-5001.

Emily Brown Shares an Interdisciplinary Approach to Climate Change with Architects

Posted on Wednesday 2/21/2018
Emily Brown lecturing to architecture students.

"Climate change is no longer a scientific issue. It is a legal and political one," explained Assistant Teaching Professor Emily Brown to a graduate architecture design studio on Feb. 15, 2018. "Or maybe—more likely—it simply cannot addressed by each discipline working independently of one another." Following up on the publication of Climate Comments, a website that translates climate change policy into plain language to inspire individuals to action, School of Architecture Professor Joseph Godlewski invited Brown to speak about interdisciplinary approaches to climate change and to describe the work law students and Newhouse undergraduates have done on the website. 

Godlewski teaches the graduate studio along with Professor Lori Brown. This semester the studio is focusing on the urban effects of climate change, particularly in tropical and sub-tropical regions, with a longer-term project involving designing a facility in St. Petersburg, Florida.

"I discussed some of the unique challenges and opportunities for architects when adapting to and combatting climate change, and since the graduate architecture class is traveling to St. Petersburg, I also looked at the initiatives there to try to combat and address the changing environment," says Brown, adding that as a lawyer she also raised with the architects the more mundane subject of risk. "I spoke about the potential likelihood of architects being sued for malpractice for failing to plan and design for changes in weather." 

Finally, keeping with the interdisciplinary, cross-campus theme of her talk, Brown invited the group to a half-day climate change symposium at the College of Law, planned for April 25, 2018, hosted by Professor Shubha Ghosh. 

The symposium will explore "Policy and Technology Responses to Climate Change" across two panels. The first—Technological Responses to Climate Change—will feature Zachary Liscow, Professor, Yale Law School; Eric Schiff, Professor and Department Chair, Department of Physics, Syracuse University; Edward Bogucz, Executive Director, Syracuse Center of Excellence for Environmental and Energy Systems; Joshua Sarnoff, Professor, DePaul College of Law; and David Popp, Carolyn Rapking Faculty Scholar in Public Administration and Policy, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Emily Brown will speak on the second panel—Legal and Policy Implementation—along with David Driesen, University Professor, College of Law; Dalindyebo Shabalala, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Dayton School of Law; and Keith Maskus, Professor of Economics, University of Colorado-Boulder. 

Bybee Discusses the Rules of Civility in PolitiFact Article

Posted on Tuesday 2/20/2018
Keith Bybee

George Washington’s lessons and the future of political civility

(Politifact | Feb 19, 2018) Five years ago, we published an article inspired by a visit to the restored colonial city of Williamsburg, Va., where we discovered a gem of a book: George Washington’s Rules of Civility.

Somewhat lightheartedly, we published "What Would George Do?" on President’s Day as a counterpoint to the incivility that had come to dominate his namesake city more than two centuries later.

In today’s bitter political climate, we thought we’d revisit these rules to see how much better or worse things have gotten ...

... Often, people learn the rules of civility growing up. But that can be tricky in the contemporary United States.

"You could say that etiquette is the original homeschooling," said Keith J. Bybee, a political scientist at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and author of How Civility Works. "In a static and homogenous society, one would expect homeschooling in civility to yield a consensus on the norms of appropriate public behavior. But the United States is not such a society."

In a country as dynamic and heterogeneous as ours, Bybee said, "people regularly learn different rules of civility at home. And even when they learn the same rules, there is no way to ensure that they agree on the application of those rules to concrete circumstances" ...

Read the whole article here

Shubha Ghosh's Scholarship Continues with Completed Manuscripts, Published Articles, a Planned Symposium, and More

Posted on Tuesday 2/20/2018
Shubha Ghosh

The intellectual property, patent law, antitrust, technology commercialization, and biotechnology scholarship of Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh continues in spring 2018 with a number of published and placed articles and chapters; presentations in Israel, Singapore, and Washington, DC; a planned workshop on trademarks and patents for entrepreneurs; and a half-day symposium on "Climate Change: Law, Policy, and Technology" at the College of Law.

Forthcoming Books

Transactional Intellectual Property: Cases and Materials (Fourth Edition). Carolina Academic Press.

The Exhaustion Doctrine: Comparative Law and Policy. Cambridge University Press.

Forthcoming Chapters & Articles

"Myriad, Post-Myriad: Algorithmic Medicine in Light of the Supreme Court Decision in Myriad," forthcoming in Science & Public Policy (Oxford University Press).

"Patents," forthcoming in the Oxford Research Handbook of Economics and Finance (Oxford University Press).

"Digital Antitrust," forthcoming in the Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Digital Technologies (Edward Elgar). 

"The Antitrust Logic of Biologics." University of Illinois Law Review 46 (2018) (an invited symposium on "biologics"). 

"A Court Divided," forthcoming in the Chicago-Kent Law Review (an invited response to Solicitor General Seth Waxman's article on the Federal Circuit and United States Supreme Court).

"A Dormant IP Clause?" forthcoming in the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law (an invited symposium on intellectual property and investor-state disputes).

Planned Events

"Trademark Law for Entrepreneurs and Start-Ups," a presentation by Craig Morris, US Patent and Trademark Office, at the Syracuse University College of Law and Syracuse Biotechnology Accelerator (March 28, 2018).

"Policy and Technology Responses to Climate Change," a half-day symposium at the College of Law, (April 25, 2018). 

  • Panel 1: Technological Responses to Climate Change, with Eric Schiff, Director, Department of Physics, Syracuse University; Edward Bogucz, Executive Director, Syracuse Center of Excellence for Environmental and Energy Systems; Joshua Sarnoff, Professor, DePaul College of Law; and David Popp, Carolyn Rapking Faculty Scholar in Public Administration and Policy, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
  • Panel 2: Legal and Policy Implementation, with Emily Brown, Assistant Teaching Professor, College of Law; David Driesen, University Professor, College of Law; Dalindyebo Shabalala, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Dayton School of Law; Keith Maskus, Professor of Economics, University of Colorado-Boulder. 

Past Presentations

"A Dormant IP-Clause" at Vanderbilt Law School (Jan. 25, 2018).

"Pharmaceutical Patent Law Developments" at National Law University, Delhi, India (Feb. 7, 2018).

"Fragmented Regulation: The Case of Net Neutrality" at Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat, India (Feb. 8, 2018).

"Biotechnology Patents and Data Mining" at National Law University, Delhi, India (Feb. 10, 2018).

Planned Presentations

"Digital Antitrust Roundtable" at the National Press Club, American Antitrust Institute (March 22, 2018).

"Research Methods in Intellectual Property Scholarship" at the Singapore Management University Faculty of Law (March 1, 2018).

"Comparative US-Japan Design Protection" at Singapore Management University Faculty of Law (March 1, 2018).

"Commercializing Traditional Knowledge: International Developments" at the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, Tel Aviv, Israel (May 1, 2018).

BBI Chairman Peter Blanck to discuss Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession at the University of Texas School of Law

Posted on Tuesday 2/20/2018
Peter Blanck

BBI Chairman Peter Blanck to discuss Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession at the University of Texas School of Law

March 26, 2018 11:45 am–1:15 pm

Location: University of Texas School of Law - 727 East Dean Keeton Street - Austin, TX 78705

William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law - TNH 3.126

Join us for a talk followed by a discussion with Peter Blanck, chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University.

In 2017, the American Bar Association launched a first-of-its kind nationwide longitudinal study, conducted by the Burton Blatt Institute, to identify biases encountered by disabled and LGBT+ lawyers in the legal profession, and to help develop and implement strategies to ameliorate such biases. This talk presents preliminary findings from this national study, based on responses from 1,000 lawyers across the United States. The initial findings suggest the need for continuing efforts to promote the full and equal participation of all diverse persons, including lawyers with disabilities and who are LGBT+, in the legal profession.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration required. Please RSVP here to reserve your spot and lunch.

Sponsored by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law and the Mithoff Pro Bono Program

About the Burton Blatt Institute

BBI reaches around the globe in its efforts to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities, with offices in Syracuse, NY, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, Georgia. BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, a pioneering disability rights scholar, to better the lives of people with disabilities. For more information about BBI and the dates and locations of the seminar series, visit: http://bbi.syr.edu.

Kevin Noble Maillard Pens "Black Panther" Article for The New York Times

Posted on Monday 2/19/2018
Kevin Noble Maillard

I Took 7th Graders to See "Black Panther." Here’s What They Said.

(The New York Times | Feb. 18, 2018) Seven seventh graders arrived at the theater, excited. There were braces and glasses, sneakers and hoodies, teasing and giggles — all the trappings of tweens. They clapped, whispered, squirmed and guffawed. They quite literally sat on the edge of their seats.

I had invited a handful of 12-year-olds from P.S. 282 in Brooklyn to an early screening of “Black Panther” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. (Disney donated the tickets and BAM provided a place to talk afterward.)

In 23 years as an educator specializing in the relationships of law, society and entertainment in the construction of racial norms and beliefs, I had been keenly following the hype surrounding “Black Panther” and the argument that the story of an African superhero would benefit black children’s self-esteem. There was even the #BlackPantherChallenge and there were crowdfunding campaigns to send youngsters around the country to see the movie.

But in all the talk, a crucial element was missing: the voices of black children. What did they actually think of the film, and how did it make them feel?

In a conference room after the screening, I asked the students to write down their reactions to the movie, whether about T’Challa, Black Panther himself; Wakanda, his fictional kingdom in Africa; or the women surrounding him, like Okoye, the bald leader of his all-female guards, the Dora Milaje, and Shuri, his technologist sister. Categorically the students gave the movie a thumbs up — especially Black Panther’s suit. But they also saw deeper meanings in the movie.

Here are excerpts, edited for length. To quote one student, “Spoiler alert!!!” Plot points are discussed.

Immediate Reaction

  • The film makes me want to start my own tribe and make my own inventions to help the world. It also makes me want to make my own Panther outfit. — Gabriela Myles
  • I want to go jump over a car and make a tribe as well because if Black Panther can do it, then I can as well. — Kayin Scrubbs
  • The movie makes me want to come back from the dead and take out people with my claws. — Marquez Celestin
  • [It makes me want to] protect my family, believe in myself, never give up on anything, and try to achieve my goals even if it leads to me dying. — Paris Bellinger ...

The full article can be read here

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Receives 2018 IRS Grant

Posted on Monday 2/19/2018
Professor Robert Nassau

The College of Law's Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), directed by Professor Robert G. Nassau, has again received the maximum allowable annual grant of $100,000 from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). LITC offers legal assistance to low income taxpayers who have controversies with the IRS and with New York State.

"The grant program, authorized by Section 7526 of the Internal Revenue Code, has existed since 1999," explains Nassau. "Since 2002, the College of Law has been among approximately 125 law schools, business schools, and non-profit agencies that receive matching grants each year for their work."

LITC offers law students an unparalleled opportunity to learn how to represent taxpayers. "Students learn basic tax procedure and applicable substantive tax law," says Nassau, "and they get to practice what they learn by representing clients in administrative proceedings before the IRS or by representing clients in judicial proceedings before the US Tax Court or Federal District Courts. Each semester, 10 student attorneys work in LITC under my direction." 

Tax controversies that the clinic and its students address include taxpayers who are being examined or audited; who have filed petitions with the US Tax Court or complaints with the Federal District Courts; and who are delinquent or who owe money to the IRS or New York State. 

Adds Nassau, "Since its inception, LITC has helped taxpayers recover more than $1.3 million and avoid or reduce tax liabilities of several million dollars more."

"Threat to Our Democracy": William Banks Quoted by the NY Daily News on Russian Election Meddling

Posted on Monday 2/19/2018
William C. Banks

H.R. McMaster says proof of Russian meddling in 2016 election is 'incontrovertible''

(New York Daily News | Feb. 17, 2018) President Trump’s own national security adviser thinks there’s “incontrovertible” evidence of Russian efforts to undermine American democracy.

H.R. McMaster’s blunt assessment Saturday — following an indictment charging more than a dozen Russians with illegal activity in the 2016 election — counters Trump’s claims that allegations of foreign efforts to sway the public in his favor were false.

“As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain,” McMaster told a Russian delegate at the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

Russian officials, meanwhile, dismissed the indictment as “just blabber.”

The country’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, brushed off charges from special counsel Robert Mueller that a troll farm with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin attempted to unlawfully influence the election ...

... The President appears more concerned with his election win not appearing tainted by outside help than with securing against America’s vulnerabilities, experts warned.

“These indictments remind us that the Mueller investigation has always first and foremost been about Russian interference in the election,” said William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School. “Just about everyone but the President has characterized their interference as a serious threat to our democracy.”

Mueller, tasked with investigating Russia’s efforts after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, is also looking at whether anyone in the Trump campaign coordinated with the Kremlin and whether or not the President has attempted to obstruct justice ...

The full article can be read here.

More Than 200 Local High School Students Participate in Diversity Law Day

Posted on Friday 2/16/2018
More Than 200 Local High School Students Participate in Diversity Law Day 2018

The College of Law's Office of Admissions and Financial Aid hosted Diversity Law Day on Feb. 16, 2018, an event co-sponsored by the New York State Bar Association, Law School Admission Council's DiscoverLaw, New York State Bar Association, and William Herbert Johnson Bar Association.  

“Diversity Law Day is part of the Diversity Matters initiative to expose high school students from various racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds to the field of law," says Denée Page, Assistant Dean of Enrollment Management, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. "This year we hosted even more area students than last year, with more than 200 students attending from Syracuse and Utica area high schools. We are so honored to host these students and allow them to hear from current law students and local attorneys about the importance of diversity and representation in the legal field.”

Diversity Law Day brought to Dineen Hall students from Henninger, Nottingham, Elmcrest, and Fowler high schools in Syracuse, as well as from LaFayette, Onondaga Nation, and Utica Proctor high schools. 

Before a networking lunch, the high school students heard from current Syracuse law students during a panel moderated by 2L Pthara Jeppe and then from young professionals in an Attorney Panel, moderated by Professor Suzette Melendez and featuring Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs LaVonda N. Reed, Professor Paula C. Johnson, Kayla Aria L'15, and Alphonse Williams L'17.

After lunch, there was Mock Trial Presentation in the Melanie Gray Ceremonial Courtroom by members of the Syracuse University Undergraduate Mock Trial Team. The high school students not only observed the trial, they participated as members of the jury. The day's closing remarks were given by Director of Externship Programs Kimberly Wolf Price L'03.

Arlene Kanter's Scholarship Continues with Five Placed Disability Law Chapters and Articles

Posted on Friday 2/16/2018
Professor Arlene Kanter

Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence Arlene Kanter has been productive while on her sabbatical away from the College of Law, beginning in June 2017 and taking her around the world. Currently a Lady Davis Fellow at Hebrew University Faculty of Law for the spring 2018 semester, Kanter has found time to catch up on her scholarship and writing, completing no less than five articles that have been recently published or are forthcoming in books and journals. Topics Kanter addresses include the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, inclusive education, the concept of personhood, and equal access to justice. 

Book Chapters

  • "The Failure of the United States to Ratify the CRPD." In Recognising Rights in Different Cultural Contexts: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Eds. K. Johnson and E. Kakoullis. Palgrave Macmillan (forthcoming 2018).
  • "Inclusive Education Under International Law." In The Right to Inclusive Education in International Human Rights Law. Eds. G. De Beco, S. Quinlivan, and J. Lord. Cambridge University Press (forthcoming 2018).
  • "Commentary on Article 35 of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities: Reports by State Parties." In A Commentary on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Eds. I. Bantekas, M. Stein, and D. Anastasiou. Oxford University Press (forthcoming 2018).

Law Review Articles

  • "The Fight for Personhood, Legal Capacity, and Equal Recognition Under Law for People with Disabilities in Israel and Beyond." 39 Cardozo L. Rev. 557-610 (December 2017).
  • "Ensuring Violence Against Women and Girls with Disabilities: Ensuring Access to Justice Under International Human Rights Law." Northeastern U. L. Rev.(Special Issue, forthcoming 2018). (With Carla Villarreal Lopez.)

Kanter's sabbatical began in June 2017 with a number of activities in Nairobi, Kenya, including conferences on Disability and Justice and Violence against Children and lectures at Kenyatta University and the University of Nairobi. In  August 2017, Kanter spent a month in Israel conducting research on the impact of new legally mandated support centers for students with disabilities in Israeli universities in conjunction with a team of researchers from Haifa University.

In the fall 2017 semester, Kanter was a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School before returning to Israel and the Hebrew University Faculty of Law. At Hebrew University, Kanter is teaching a course on International Human Rights and Comparative Disability Law to law students and students enrolled in the university’s new interdisciplinary Disability Studies program, which Kanter helped to develop. 

William C. Banks Discusses Manafort Money Laundering Case with Bloomberg Law

Posted on Friday 2/16/2018
William C. Banks

Judge Lashes Out at Lawyers in Manafort Laundering Case 

(Bloomberg Law | Feb. 15, 2018) William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses why the judge in Paul Manafort’s money-laundering case is complaining that there have been too many secret filings in the case. President Trump’s former 2016 campaign chairman and his deputy Rick Gates have been accused of failing to register as foreign agents for political consulting they did for Ukraine and pro-Russian politicians there. 

Plus, Greg Stohr, Bloomberg News Supreme Court reporter, discusses a group of Supreme Court justices who have emerged as consensus-builders in the court, even as partisan infight takes over much of Washington politics. They speak with Bloomberg’s June Grasso.

To listening to the audio, visit Bloomberg Law.

College of Law Welcomes Spring 2018 LL.M. Cohort

Posted on Thursday 2/15/2018
A group of College of Law LL.M. students, February 2018

In January 2018, the College of Law welcomed its newest cohort of LL.M. students. With interests ranging from international humanitarian law to sports law to commercial law, the seven new arrivals travelled to Syracuse from countries in Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Africa.

This spring cohort is comprised of four female students and three male students who range in experience from recent graduates of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) programs to experienced attorneys and solo practitioners. With this cohort, the College expands its global footprint, welcoming a student for the first time from Ecuador. Isabella Pazmino Vinueza is the recipient of a Partnerships Program for Education and Training (PAEC) Scholarship, co-sponsored by the College of Law and the Organization of American States. In addition to these seven new LL.M. students, 23 students from the Fall 2017 cohort have returned to complete their degrees.

"Special thanks and recognition to the College's Office of Enrollment Management and the Office of Information Technology for their support and collaborative efforts to pull off an admissions feat that was truly a team effort," says Assistant Dean of International Programs Andrew S. Horsfall. "The Office of International Programs is poised to have an exciting spring semester."

Horsfall notes that in the coming months, LL.M. students will participate in the College's annual Job Shadow Program—now in its third year—as well as the established International Scholar Lecture Series. "Numerous other activities and opportunities for engagement are being arranged with our community partners," adds Horsfall, "such as with Legal Services of Central New York and the Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment Center, as well as with alumni, including Board of Advisors Member Alan Epstein L’74." 

Spring 2018 LL.M. Cohort

Ayisha Ahmed Zakaria (Ghana): Ahmed Zakaria received her LL.B. from Lancaster University in Ghana in 2017, where she was an executive member of the law society. She also holds a degree in Business Administration from the Islamic University College in Ghana. Zakaria will pursue courses in international business transactions and corporate and commercial law.

Alanood Alhareer (Saudi Arabia): Alanood Alhareer obtained her LL.B. from Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2014. She lived in Long Beach, CA, studying English for the last year before arriving to Syracuse. Alhareer plans to focus her LL.M. studies on human rights.

Eghoese Ataga (Nigeria): Eghoese Ataga has an LL.B. from the University of Benin City in Nigeria. While pursuing this degree, he focused on intellectual property and copyright protections. He also operated a small private law firm handling small business matters before coming to the US to pursue his LL.M. degree. Ataga plans to focus his studies on business law.

Maysaa Ghanem (Syria): Maysaa Ghanem is the recipient of the Open Society Foundation’s Civil Society Leadership Award. She obtained her LL.B. from the University of Damascus, in Syria in 2007. She also holds an Associate’s Degree in Civil Engineering. She had a brief career as a civil engineer before transitioning into law. For the past six years, she has been employed as a lawyer with the central government of Syria. Ghanem will pursue courses in international human rights law, international law, and courses that expose her to the American legal system.

Daesu Ha (South Korea): Daesu Ha received his LL.B.  degree from Pusan National University in South Korea in 2017. Before deciding to pursue an LL.M. degree, he served as a solider in the Republic of Korea Marine Corps. Ha was also an elite athlete in South Korea, having won competitions in boxing, ju-jitsu, and martial arts.  He hopes to study sports law while in Syracuse with hopes to return to South Korea to work in the professional sports industry.

Isabella Pazmino Vinueza (Ecuador): Isabella Pazmino received her LL.B. at the Universidad de Especialidades Espiritu Santo in Ecuador in 2007. She is recipient of the PAEC Scholarship co-sponsored by the College of Law and the Organization of American States. Upon graduation, she worked in Guayaquil at a small law firm where she practiced corporate law.  In 2017, she opened her own firm and specialized in real estate transactions.  While pursuing her LL.M. degree, Ms. Pazmino intends to take courses that will prepare her for the New York State Bar Exam.  

Waleed Sherdil (Pakistan): Waleed Sherdil obtained his LL.B. from the University College of London’s External Program, in Karachi, Pakistan, in 2016.  Before arriving in Syracuse, he worked at Taimoor Law Associates where he focused on tax and corporate law matters. Before that, Sherdil worked as an associate at one of the top law firms in Karachi where he practiced civil law, family law, and criminal proceedings. He plans to take the New York State Bar Exam upon completing his LL.M. degree.

College of Law Announces the Launch of the Nation's First Live Online J.D. Program

Posted on Wednesday 2/14/2018
The Online JD

The American Bar Association has granted the Syracuse University College of Law a variance to offer a fully interactive online juris doctor program. The online J.D. program will be the first in the nation to combine real-time and self-paced online classes, on-campus residential classes, and experiential learning opportunities.

"By allowing students to engage in real-time online classes from anywhere, the online J.D. will make the College of Law's high-quality legal education accessible to students who cannot reasonably attend a fully residential program," says Craig M. Boise, Dean and Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law. "Designed to be a model for excellence in legal education in the 21st century, The Online J.D. will provide an opportunity for the College to expand the reach of its residential JD program and cement its national reputation for leadership in innovative approaches to legal education."

Developed by the College of Law's faculty with the leadership of Associate Dean for Research and Online Education Nina Kohn and Executive Director of Online Education Kathleen O'Connor, the online J.D. is scheduled to launch in January 2019. The program will be extraordinarily interactive. At least 50% of the online class time will be in "real-time," allowing professors and students to connect in a small class environment. Self-paced class sessions with interactive exercises will complement these live sessions. Students also will attend in-person courses on-campus and at satellite locations, have the opportunity to complete a legal externship before graduation, and participate in student organizations.

The online J.D. was subject to intense scrutiny and review by legal education experts before the College was granted the variance. Students in the online program will be taught by College of Law faculty, will be held to the same high admission and academic standards as students in the College's residential program, and will take all courses required by its residential J.D. program. 

"With this program, Syracuse is transforming legal education to better meet the needs of an evolving profession and today's students," says Boise. "I appreciate the continued support of alumni, faculty, staff, and the legal community as we develop the program and welcome a new group of talented students into the College of Law community."

For more information about the online J.D. program, visit theonlinejd.syr.edu

Shubha Ghosh Discusses Uber/Alphabet Self-Driving Car Suit with The Washington Post

Posted on Tuesday 2/13/2018
Shubha Ghosh

Uber CEO Plays It Safe in Risk-Loving Silicon Valley

(The Washington Post | Feb. 13, 2018) For nearly a year, Uber and Google's parent company, Alphabet, clashed over settling a lawsuit Alphabet filed against the ride-sharing company, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Uber chose to gamble for a victory in court rather than compromise, a choice that led to a high-stakes public trial last week.

Negotiations went right up to the trial itself. As recently as last week, Uber’s board had rejected a settlement offer.

Yet on Friday, just as journalists were settling into the packed courtroom after days of bruising testimony, Uber announced it was settling the case. The agreement gave Alphabet’s self-driving car business Waymo a stake worth $244 million in the world’s most valuable privately-held start-up — and the right to vet Uber's self-driving technology ...

.... In announcing the settlement to the lawsuit Friday morning, Khosrowshahi addressed Uber’s “friends at Alphabet.” Google’s parent company, in the lawsuit filed last February, had accused Uber of stealing its trade secrets and using them in its own self-driving car technology.

A loss would have been “devastating,” for Uber, valued at $72 billion according to its most recent round, said Shubha Ghosh, director of the Technology Commercialization Law Center at Syracuse University’s College of Law. Alphabet was seeking damages of $1 billion.

Khosrowshahi wasn’t willing to take the risk of losing the lawsuit. “A settlement leaves matters more ambiguous for Uber and gives the company some cover,” Ghosh said. Khosrowshahi doesn’t want to stay mired in fights that drag Uber down, say people who work with him. He has said he plans for Uber to have a public offering next year ...

Read the full article here

Colleagues at Adam Mickiewicz University Translate Robert Ashford Article on Binary Economics

Posted on Monday 2/12/2018
Ruch Prawniczy, Ekonomiczny i Socjologiczny

In a further collaboration between the College of Law and Adam Mickiewicz University Faculty of Law in Poznan, Poland Professors Robert Ashford and Maciej Dybowski have arranged for the Polish translation of "Broadening Capital Acquisition with the Earnings of Capital as a Means of Sustainable Growth and Environmental Sustainability," an article co-authored by Ashford. The article, translated by Krzysztofa Nędzyński and Iwona Grenda, has been published in Ruch Prawniczy, Ekonomiczny i Socjologiczny (the Journal of Law, Economics, and Sociology), and can be read at this link.

"The published translation of this article is evidence of both the international importance of a more inclusive approach to capitalism based on binary economics and also of the constructive collaboration that can result from the academic cooperation between our College and the Adam Mickiewicz Faculty of Law," says Ashford. 

The original article—by Robert Ashford, Ralph P. Hall, and Nicholas A. Ashford, —appeared in European Financial Review 70 (Oct/Nov 2012). A binary economics primer, "Broadening Capital Acquisition" explains how environmentally sustainable economic growth can be achieved through “an ownership-broadening system of corporate finance," that extends market opportunities to poor and middle-class people that enable them to "acquire capital with the earnings of capital" and thereby increase their earning capacity.

Nędzyński—the principal translator of "Koncepcja binary approach jako instrument kształtowania zrównoważonego wzrostu"—calls the article "a succinct introduction to binary economics." He continues, "Several years ago a friend sent me an article on binary economics. It was extremely intriguing but also dense. Then I read Binary Economics: The New Paradigm by Robert Ashford and Rodney Shakespeare. This was my 'eureka!' moment." Nędzyński says that moment launched his work to popularize binary economics in Poland. "It is one of the most important ideas my country needs to release its enormous human potential," he says. "I hope Professor Ashford's article is translated into many languages and widely read throughout the world."

Dybowski explains, "When Professor Tomasz Nieborak and I first visited Syracuse University in November 2016 to inaugurate the academic cooperation between the College of Law and the Adam Mickiewicz Faculty of Law, Professor Ashford introduced us to his conception of inclusive capitalism based on binary economics. We became excited about the theory, and immediately grasping its importance, we decided to do our best to introduce the Polish academic readers to Ashford’s ideas." To this end, Dybowski says the translation has been published in one of the oldest and most respected Polish academic journals. "It will definitely be important to academic, professional, and student readers in Poland," Dybowski says.

Julia Wingfield Wins 8th Annual Hancock Estabrook 1L Oral Advocacy Competition

Posted on Friday 2/9/2018
1L Julia Wingfield with Dean Craig M. Boise, Hon. Brenda Sannes, and Hon. Therese Wiley Dancks L'91.

Congratulations to Julia Wingfield, who won the 8th Annual Hancock Estabrook 1L Oral Advocacy Competition on Feb 8., 2018, edging out Joseph Mallek. The final was delayed one day by a winter storm, but the problem at hand helped students, judges, and spectators think of spring. 3L Tom DeBernardis wrote an interesting problem about the risks one assumes as a spectator at a baseball game.

Following arguments, judges Hon. Brenda Sannes, Hon. Therese Wiley Dancks L'91, and Dean Craig M. Boise named the competition winner, Wingfield having argued on behalf of respondent the "Salt City Prowlers Baseball Club". 

In addition to DeBarnardis, the competition was organized by Moot Court Executive Director 3L Ryan Lefkowitz and Faculty Director of the Moot Court Honor Society Professor Kathleen O'Connor. Professor Richard Risman served as an evaluator, and Moot Court Honor Society members judged earlier rounds. 

The College of Law thanks Hancock Estabrook PLLC, who since 2013 has generously sponsored this important opportunity to introduce basic oral argument skills and the art of preparing and delivering an argument.

Alumni Discuss Financial Indices, Environmental Law, and Medical Malpractice With Externs

Posted on Friday 2/9/2018
Eileen Millett L'74

Externships offer College of Law students opportunities to gain real-world legal experience, explore different areas of the law, understand potential career paths, engage with alumni, and build professional networks. In late January and early February 2018, students heard from New York City and Central New York alumni about how the "Power of Orange" helped developed their successful careers. 

As part of the New York City Externship Program (NYCEx), Alex Matturri L’83, CEO of S&P Down Jones Indices, hosted externs in the beautiful 55 Water Street offices of S&P Global. Matturi, also the Founding Board Member of the Index Industry Association, provided students with an overview of financial indices, global indexing trends, the role of intellectual property licensing at S&P Dow Jones Indices, and a summary of his fascinating career path in asset management and the index industry.

In late January, Eileen Millett L’74, a Partner at Phillips Nizer, served as a guest lecturer for the NYCEx program, summarizing for the students the history and development of environmental law. Millett—a former general counsel in the Interstate Environmental Commission and former Staff Counsel to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation—then joined the students at the NYSBA Constance Baker Motley Diversity and Inclusion Symposium, where Director of Externship Programs Kim Wolf Price L’03 served as a panelist and conversation moderator. Millett and the externs also attended the Diversity in the Bar reception after the symposium.

The Central New York Externship Program (NYEx) spans from the cities of Rochester to Binghamton. These externs heard from Syracuse-based Michelle Billington L’13, Environmental Law Associate Attorney at Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, who spoke to the NYEx students about both her career in environmental law and the planning and effort that goes into developing a rewarding legal career. Paul Lyons L'09, an Associate at Bottar Law PLLC, discussed his practice in medical malpractice and personal injury law. He also talked with them about developing practical skills as a young attorney and about "finding your own voice".

Students Make Veterans Legal Clinic Presentation to Onondaga County Legislators

Posted on Thursday 2/8/2018
2L Joshua Caron, 3L Chris Genrich, Veterans Legal Clinic Director Yelena Duterte, Clinic Fellow Chantal Wentworth-Mullen

College of Law students 3L Chris Genrich and 2L Joshua Caron recently discussed the impact that the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic has made on the area’s veteran population to the Onondaga County Legislature. Onondaga County provided the Clinic with $50,000 of funding in 2018 to provide free legal representation in VA applications and appeals and disability upgrade applications. The Clinic has also added Chantal Wentworth-Mullen as a Fellow of the Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic a result of the funding from NY State, Onondaga County, and Oneida County.

Both Genrich and Caron are veterans (Army and Air Force, respectively), and Genrich will serve in Army JAG Corps upon graduation. 

The Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic is staffed by 19 College of Law students in the Spring 2018 session who have 90 active cases. 

Further, the College of Law will host its spring VALOR Day event on Saturday, March 3rd from 9am - 1pm where local attorneys, financial advisors, and a career services representative will be providing free legal, tax preparation, financial, career and counseling services for veterans, active duty service members and their immediate families at Dineen Hall.

Michael A. Schwartz Awarded Grant to Study Access to Justice for Deaf People in Northern Ireland

Posted on Tuesday 2/6/2018
Michael Schwartz

Associate Professor of Law Michael A. Schwartz has been awarded a grant of more than $200,000 to explore access to justice for deaf people, working in collaboration with the British Deaf Association, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Rowan University, NJ. This grant is part of approximately $1.5 million awarded to 10 research and pilot projects across the United Kingdom. The funding has been granted as part of the Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) program, led by disabled people and funded by the UK's Big Lottery Fund.

Schwartz is one of the principal researchers for the research initiative and will work on gathering, analyzing, and writing up the data. "While studying access to health care for deaf people in Northern Ireland as part of my 2015 Fulbright research project at Queen's University Belfast, I noticed a number of complaints about access to offices of solicitors and barristers where these professionals of the law refused to provide their deaf clients with a sign language interpreter," explains Schwartz. 

He says he realized this implicated Article 13 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995, Northern Ireland's domestic anti-discrimination law. "This realization served as the genesis for the movement, ultimately successful, to obtain funding to study and remedy the problem of effective communication and access to justice in Northern Ireland," Schwartz adds.

"The success of the process surrounding DRILL was the critical fact that the research was driven, identified, and delivered through our leadership and expertise for the first time at both a regional and national level," explains Tony O'Reilly, Northern Ireland DRILL National Advisory Group member. "Disabled people were the academics and the community and human rights activists at the heart of this innovative. We were not simply the subject of research but genuine equal partners in designing and delivering meaningful research outcomes to affect real change today.

Launched in 2015, DRILL is fully funded by the UK's Big Lottery Fund and delivered by Disability Action Northern Ireland, Disability Rights UK, Inclusion Scotland, and Disability Wales. DRILL is funding more than 30 research and pilot projects over a five-year period, all led by disabled people.  

NYSTAR Re-Designates the College of Law's Technology Commercialization Law Program as the New York State Science and Technology Law Center

Posted on Tuesday 2/6/2018

Empire State Development's Division of Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR) has re-designated Syracuse University College of Law's Technology Commercialization Law Program (TCLP) as the New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYSSTLC, or Law Center). Having served as the NYSTAR Law Center for four consecutive, three-year terms, TCLP's faculty and students will continue to support the state's economic development by helping entrepreneurs determine prospects for the success of new and emerging technology in the marketplace.  

The re-designation of the Law Center is a testament to the exceptional experience in technology commercialization strategy, intellectual property assessment, patent landscaping, technology licensing, R&D, technology transfer, and entrepreneurship education of the College of Law's technology commercialization and intellectual property faculty, led by Law Center Director M. Jack Rudnick and Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh. Supplementing this expertise is TCLP's cornerstone Technology Commercialization Research Center (LAW 815). Now in its 25th year, the Research Center allows students from the College and across campus to work with entrepreneurs, companies, universities and research centers throughout the state.

"I am extremely pleased that NYSTAR has granted the College of Law the coveted designation as the only New York State Science and Technology Commercialization Law Center (NYSSTLC)," says Craig M. Boise, Dean, Syracuse University College of Law. "NYSTAR's action is an explicit recognition of our faculty's strength in this area, as well as our students' hard work and creativity. Coupled with the College of Law's TCLP, NYSSTLC allows us to partner with industries across New York, to support economic development in the state, and to provide a law curriculum that is rich in hands-on, practical experience. Our innovative research and teaching in this area are—and will continue to be—attractive to prospective students interested in pursuing both traditional and non-traditional legal careers in the dynamic field of technology commercialization."

"Our network of NYSTAR-supported centers is crucial to New York State's innovation economy, providing assistance that helps companies transform concepts into realities," says Empire State Development President, CEO, and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. "The Science and Technology Law Center continues to offer unparalleled research and legal solutions for a range of businesses and sectors, and I congratulate the College of Law's faculty and students on their re-designation."

"We are excited and pleased to have been re-designated as the NYSSTLC. I believe the re-designation recognizes the unique skills and growth of TCLP staff, students, and researchers who do the work," says Rudnick. "Since 2004, we have earned an excellent reputation for helping startups, and I am not aware of any similar program or capability anywhere in New York State."

Since its initial NYSSTLC designation in 2004, the Law Center has accumulated an extensive body of research, educational materials, consulting services, high-quality academic offerings, and information forums-including conferences, webcasts, newsletters, and guidebooks-that promote economic growth in the state by helping to transform research and technology into business. 

Among services that the Law Center will continue to provide on behalf of NYSTAR, faculty and students will help to increase awareness and understanding of legal issues in commercialization, such as intellectual property protection; technology transfer; patents, copyrights, and trademarks; and licensing agreements. They also will advise state centers for advanced technology, centers of excellence, incubators, innovation hot spots, regional manufacturing extension partnership centers, and others on technology-related legal issues. 

The SU Law Center has expanded its services over the last five years to keep pace with the growth of tech startups in the state. During the most recent designation, NYSSTLC completed approximately 150 research projects at an average rate of 50 projects a year. According to Rudnick, the Law Center takes in clients from all over New York State seeking the assistance of the Law Center, Syracuse University's extended Innovation Ecosystem, and other organizations dedicated to tech startups. 

"Whether tech startup assistance is provided in Syracuse or some other region of the state, NYSSTLC often is involved," says Rudnick. "Our program also reaches out across the University's Innovation Ecosystem to engage the campus's tech startup community wherever possible. For instance, the Law Center has a long-standing relationship with Whitman's Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises program, and its students work as part of our teams. We have helped many entrepreneurs looking to develop their business and students looking to launch their careers, and we intend to continue."

Rudnick says his plans for the future are optimistic and expansive. "We are developing a special curriculum for non-legal students, offering transition services for individuals who want to make the move themselves from the lab to the market," he says. "Moreover, we plan to invigorate the network of tech commercialization clinics around the state, and we will expand our very popular guidebook series, adding more issues on topics relevant to innovation."

William C. Banks Expertise in Demand as FISA Court Remains in the News

Posted on Tuesday 2/6/2018
William C. Banks

William C. Banks, Director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), has long studied the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the FISA Court (or FISC), which was established under FISA in 1978. The FISA Court oversees requests, often by the FBI, for warrants to surveil foreign intelligence agents and, occasionally, US persons suspected of working with foreign agents.  

One such US person is former advisor to President Donald Trump, Carter Page, who is alleged to have long worked with Russia intelligence operatives and may have been under FISA warrant surveillance as early as 2014. The FISA warrants against Page, and the intelligence used to apply for those warrants, are in the national spotlight thanks to a memo largely written by Devin Nunes, Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, alleging that the FBI misled the FISA Court as to the partisan political nature of some of that intelligence. 

Media outlets, including The New York Times and WIRED, reached out to Banks to gauge his opinion on the Nunes allegations, to explain how the FISA process works, and to understand what this controversy means for the Trump presidency and the US intelligence community. 

House intelligence committee votes to release Democrats' intel memo (CNY Central | Feb. 5, 2018)

The fact that any of the information about the FISA order against Carter Page came out to begin with is "extraordinary," said William Banks, director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University.

"It's unfortunate that anything came out. It damaged the intelligence community and the Department of Justice and the FBI," he said. But he still supports the release of the Democratic memo in order to "balance the record."

Banks continued, "I think the intelligence community is completely aghast and abhors what's going on here, whether it's coming from the Democrats or the Republicans."

Devin Nunes Promises ‘Phase Two’ of Investigation (Bloomberg Radio | Feb. 5, 2018) 

William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses the so-called Nunes memo, which president Trump said over the weekend "totally" vindicated him of any collusion with Russia or obstruction of justice in special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation. 

Reading Between the Lines of the Devin Nunes Memo (WIRED | Feb. 2, 2018)

… “The dossier and Steele and all that—it’s cherrypicking a piece of what was probably a 50, or 60, or 100 page application,” says William C. Banks, founder of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University College of Law ...

How to Get a Wiretap to Spy on Americans, and Why That Matters Now (The New York Times | Jan. 30, 2018)

William C. Banks, a Syracuse University law professor who has studied the FISA Court, said that without reviewing all the documents involved in the surveillance request, it was impossible to judge the importance of how Mr. Steele was described. But he emphasized that the government had broad leeway in seeking FISA warrants.

“Carter Page was doing business in Russia, talking to Russian diplomats who may have been involved in intelligence activities directed at the United States,” Mr. Banks said. “Game over. The standards are incredibly open-ended”  …

Communications Daily Speaks to Shubha Ghosh About 4th Circuit’s Cox Torrent Piracy Ruling

Posted on Monday 2/5/2018
Shubha Ghosh

4th Circuit’s Cox Torrent Piracy Ruling Not Seen Clearing Up Hazy DMCA Areas

(Communications Daily/Warren Communications | Feb. 2, 2018) The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday largely upholding a finding that Cox Communications was liable for willful contributory copyright infringement by ISP subscribers left unanswered questions about Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor issues, experts told us. 

The lower court and appellate rulings give some guidance on issues like what constitutes repeat infringement, though not as much as many hoped, said IP lawyer Rick Sanders of Aaron Sanders. About the only thing clear for ISPs is to make sure they follow their policies—something Cox was blasted for not doing, said Public Knowledge Senior Counsel John Bergmayer.

Cox said it was “pleased” with the 4th Circuit’s docket 16-1972 decision, which reaffirmed a lower court’s denial of a safe harbor defense for the cable operator and remanded the case for a new trial because of jury instruction errors. BMG didn’t comment ...

... Much of the new decision focused on a 2009 email from an executive overseeing the team that addressed subscriber violations, indicating the company’s “unwritten semi-policy” was to terminate customers for DMCA violations, then reactivate them with a clean slate. That “was odd and disturbing” and likely hard for Cox to shake off, said Syracuse University Technology Commercialization Law Center-Director Shubha Ghosh ...

Read the 4th Circuit ruling here.

"Cherrypicking": William C. Banks Weighs in on the Nunes Memo in WIRED

Posted on Sunday 2/4/2018
William C. Banks


(WIRED | Feb. 2, 2018) AFTER WEEKS OF Twitter users demanding Congress #ReleaseTheMemo, the House Intelligence Committee—chaired by Republican Devin Nunes— disclosed the contentious four-page report to the public Friday, after President Donald Trump signed off on its release. And while, as expected, the document alleges that federal law enforcement officials abused their surveillance powers in investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, national security experts see something very different. In fact, they see almost nothing at all—or at least not enough to make any definitive judgement calls.

As had been rumored, the memo details supposedly improper actions by law enforcement officials in seeking a warrant to wiretap Carter Page, one of Trump's campaign advisors. But understanding what the memo says—and, critically, doesn't say—requires familiarity with the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which governs requests made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, better known as FISA. Those who know the law best say the memo is largely bunk ...

... "The dossier and Steele and all that—it’s cherrypicking a piece of what was probably a 50, or 60, or 100 page application,” says William C. Banks, founder of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University College of Law

FISA applications also have to go through an in-depth protocol known as the "Woods Procedure," during which the intelligence community needs to verify every single fact. For example, if the application says a person was on a specific train at a specific time, the agent would need to show Department of Justice lawyers how they found out that information. There are other oversight mechanisms as well. For example, applications need to be first certified by the Director or Deputy Director of the FBI, as well as the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, or Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division. In other words, FISA warrants are reviewed at the highest levels, which is part of the reason Nunes' allegations are so explosive—they implicate multiple parties at the very top of the US intelligence apparatus ...

... "I can't recall any instance in 40 years when there's been a partisan leaning of a FISA court judge when their opinions have been released," says Banks ...

To read the full article, click here.

Distinguished Guest Lecturer Kurt Wimmer L’85 Discusses Data Security and Privacy Law with DCEx Students

Posted on Friday 2/2/2018
Wimmer speaks at DC Externship

On Monday, January 29th, the spring D.C. Externship Program participants had the opportunity to hear from Distinguished Guest Lecturer Kurt Wimmer L’85 who currently serves as a senior partner at Covington & Burling LLP. 

During the seminar, Wimmer described his path from Syracuse University College of Law to Covington and how his experiences in law school and beyond shaped his career. He encouraged participants to take chances on career opportunities that may place themselves outside of their comfort zone because of the incredible places it may take them. With this advice, he also discussed his work in data privacy, the First Amendment, and cybersecurity.

While at Covington, Wimmer recognized the field of cybersecurity would become increasingly imperative in the boom of the technological industry. By recognizing this early on, he was able to help his clients have an advantage on cybersecurity tools. Over time, disclosure prevention and containment became Wimmer’s primary focus with a client list that includes; Facebook, the National Football League, Microsoft, the National Hockey League, Samsung, and CBS. Today, Wimmer remains a leader in data security and privacy law. 

College of Law Celebrates Pro Bono Week

Posted on Friday 2/2/2018
Annual Pro Bono Week

The College of Law’s Pro Bono Advisory Board held its annual Pro Bono Week from January 29 to February 2. During the week, the Advisory Board held a panel discussion, pro bono fair, and conducted an educational campaign about pro bono service.

The panel discussion featured five Syracuse-area attorneys who are leaders in pro bono service. They discussed the importance of pro bono work to the community, to employers and the student’s personal and professional development. The panelists included: Liz Conger (Legal Services of CNY), Gregory Dewan (Hiscock Legal Aid Society), Jillian McGuire (Mackenzie Hughes), Samantha Aguam (Volunteer Lawyers Project), and Colleen Gibbons L’17 (Bousquet Holstein).

The student-run Pro Bono Advisory Board hosted a “Pro Bono Fair” to showcase 13 local pro bono opportunities, offered with the help of Volunteer Lawyers Project, Hiscock Legal Aid Society, and Legal Services of CNY.

In addition, an eye-catching educational campaign was prominently displayed on the College’s video message boards to further deliver the message of the importance of pro bono work.

Men's Health Magazine "Texts" Nina Kohn

Posted on Thursday 2/1/2018
Nina Kohn
Associate Dean for Research and Online Education and David M. Levy L'48 Professor of Law Nina Kohn was recently contacted by Men's Health magazine for its light-hearted but useful "Text a Lawyer" section. The question was about slip-and-falls on a person's property, an appropriate subject for a Syracuse law expert in the middle of winter ...

Text a Lawyer 

(January/February 2018)

Q: A guy just slipped on an ice patch 1n my drive­way. What do I do? 

A: Is he hurt? If so, take rea­sonable measures to help. It's the right thing and can protect you from liability. And if you're kind and fair, people are less likely to sue.

Q: Me again. Made sure he was okay. He banged his elbow. Maybe his back. Seems fine. Can he sue? 

A: Yes, but that doesn't mean he can win. Did you do something to cause the ice? Or was it hidden from view? 

Q: Nope, and nope. I got his number. Should I text him and say I'm sorry? 

A: Don't admit fault. Sounds like you're okay. You acted reasonably and doing the right thing is legally smart. And use salt next time, okay

The Founders, Co-Edited by David M. Crane, Charts the Creation of the World's First International Tribunals

Posted on Thursday 2/1/2018
Crane Founders Book

Never before have international chief prosecutors written in detail about the challenges they faced, but with the publication of The Founders—co-edited by David M. Crane L'80, Professor of Practice, Syracuse University College of Law; Leila Sadat of Washington University School of Law, St Louis, MO; and Michael P. Scharf of Case Western Reserve University School of Law, OH—comes the complex story of four individuals who created the world's first international tribunals and special courts.

A candid look at how the founding prosecutors sought justice for millions of victims, the backdrop to these tales are four of the most appalling conflicts of modern times: the Balkan wars in the former Yugoslavia (1991-2001), which included the Bosnian genocide and led to hundreds of thousands of casualties and displaced peoples; the 1994 mass slaughter of Tutsi in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority government; the Cambodian genocide (1975-1979), perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge; and crimes against humanity committed during the Sierra Leone Civil War (1991-2002). The crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during these conflicts spurred the creation of international tribunals designed to bring the perpetrators of unimaginable atrocities to justice. 

When Richard Goldstone, David M. Crane, Robert Petit, and Luis Moreno-Ocampo received their orders from the international community, each set out on a quest to build unique postconflict justice mechanisms and launch their first prosecutions. South African jurist Goldstone founded the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which indicted 161 individuals between 1997 and 2004. Crane was the Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2002 until 2005, indicting, among others, then-President of Liberia Charles Taylor for his role in crimes committed against Sierra Leoneans. (Incidentally, Crane was the first American to be named the chief prosecutor of an international war crimes tribunal since Justice Robert Jackson at Nuremberg, Germany, in 1945.)  The founder of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia was Canadian Robert Petit, who led the investigation and prosecution of five of the senior-most leaders of the Khmer Rouge. Lastly, Argentinian lawyer Luis Moreno-Ocampo is most famous for becoming the first Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. During his tenure, which began in 2003, Moreno-Ocampo opened investigations into crimes committed in Burundi, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Uganda, and Georgia. 

"As we worked on this book it occurred to me the extraordinary professional and personal risk we took in establishing these ground-breaking justice mechanisms. We all had successful careers when we literally received 'the call' asking us to stop our life trajectory and to take on a task with absolutely no certainty of success," says Crane, who continues to work on humanitarian and atrocity law issues at Syracuse University College of Law, including with the student-run Syrian Accountability Project. "We were in unchartered waters, yet we were drawn to the possibility of bringing justice to victims of horrific acts. This we did, and we took up the flaming sword of justice. It was an honor and a privilege to be asked to found these international courts."

With no blueprint and little precedent, each prosecutor became a pathfinder. The Founders offers behind-the-scenes, first-hand stories of these historic journeys, the challenges the prosecutors faced, the obstacles they overcame, and the successes they achieved. Contributions are made by the founders themselves, as well as former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Hans Corell, Leila Nadya Sadat, Michael Scharf, William Schabas, and David Scheffer. 

The Founders: Four Pioneering Individuals Who Launched the First Modern-Era International Criminal Tribunals
Edited by David M. Crane, Professor of Practice, Syracuse University College of Law; Leila Sadat, James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law, Washington University School of Law, St Louis, MO; and Michael P. Scharf, Dean, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, OH
Cambridge University Press, 2018
ISBN: 9781108439510

Table of Contents

Foreword: Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General

Part I. Putting It All in Context (Introduction: Hans Corell)

1. International Criminal Justice: The Journey from Politics to Law (Leila Nadya Sadat)

2. The Cornerstone: Robert H. Jackson and the Nuremberg Tribunal (Michael Scharf)

3. The Balkan Investigation (William Schabas)

Part II. The Founders

4. The International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (Richard Goldstone)

5. The Special Court for Sierra Leone (David M. Crane)

6. The International Criminal Court (Luis Moreno Ocampo)

7. Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (Robert Petit)

Part III. The Take Aways

8. Closing Perspectives (David Scheffer)

For This Fashion Technology Company, the Technology Commercialization Research Center is a Perfect Fit

Posted on Tuesday 1/30/2018
Law Lab Meeting

It is evident when sitting in on a meeting of the College of Law’s Technology Commercialization Research Center (LAW 815) that there’s a reciprocal relationship between clients seeking help from student researchers in order to commercialize a new technology and students who are accumulating critical experience in intellectual property assessment, patent protection, market landscaping, and other commercialization matters. 

Certainly, this was the case when the Research Center team met with entrepreneur Andrea Madho and software engineer Philip Manning G’98 in Dineen Hall on Jan. 16, 2018, to learn about a semester-long project the students will be conducting on behalf of Madho’s and Manning’s start-up fashion technology company, Lab141.

Now in its 25th year, the Research Center allows students from the College of Law and across campus to work on technology commercialization projects with entrepreneurs, companies, universities, and research centers from across New York State and to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world technology projects. This Research Center group is led by College of Law Adjunct Professor Dean Bell G’72, a former R&D engineer for 41 years at medical technology firm Welch Allyn who has been awarded nine US patents. Bell describes himself as the “coach” of the group of eight. His “quarterbacks” for the Lab141 project are Technology Commercialization Law Program (TCLP) senior research associates and 3Ls Annie Millar and Nick Jacobs, who is a joint J.D./M.B.A student.

Although Madho is a client rather than a teacher, her approach showed that she was eager to share her years of experience in business development, marketing, and strategic and financial consulting with the young researchers. As she told the students, “All my skills in public relations, technology, and raising money, I'm now using myself as an entrepreneur."

The same is true for Madho’s skills in pitching an idea. At the core of this kick-off session was a deft, 10-slide “pitch deck” that she has been using to describe the idea behind Lab141 to stakeholders. Madho’s presentation begins with an honest description of her own travails finding clothes, especially designer and professional clothes, to fit her “short, plus-sized, high-waisted body type.” 

As Madho explained, “Both men and women have problems finding clothes to fit. Even men have told me they are too short, too tall, too big, too lopsided, or their arms too long for off-the-rack clothes.” Because “regular” height, as far as women’s clothing is concerned, is 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 8 inches, most women are considered “specialty size,” with 67% of women deemed plus-sized and 56% either "tall" or "petite". Today, the ubiquitous dress size code that goes from 0 to 14 is so arbitrary as to be meaningless, observed Madho. “We want to have no sizes ever!”

But whereas men at least can get suits and shirts made-to-measure at a traditional tailor, non-regular-sized women have few options when it comes to the designer and professional clothes market. Lab141’s solution is to offer advanced, technology-based manufacturing so that designers, retailers, and brands can offer ready-to-wear, made-to-measure garments direct to the consumer. As the company’s tag-line states, Lab141 offers consumers “luxury made-to-fit clothes in 48 hours.” 

"Rather than create a brand for a certain body type,” explained Madho, “we chose to tackle made-to-measure clothes from a technological standpoint." It’s then that Madho stands up, in order to show—rather than tell—the students what she means. She is wearing a wrap dress designed by their alpha customer that fits her perfectly. That’s because, she explained, it has been measured, mapped, and cut to her exact body measurements and fit preferences.

Her dress and a description of how it was fitted can been found on Lab141’s website. That site will be where consumers can purchase new designer clothes offered in a made-to-fit format. Madho says Lab141 plans to initially offer one designer piece per week. Because of the fast turnaround, a consumer sends in a slate of specific measurements first and then Lab141 uses those measurements to cut the dress to order, having already received patterns and fabric from the designer at the company’s Syracuse, NY, manufacturing location. After the order is fulfilled, the consumer can buy their purchase from the website. 

To buy a bespoke item, Madho says the consumer can measure herself with a good old fashioned tape measure, or use an online measuring app, or purchase Lab141's proprietary Fiteema system, a wearable measuring garment that Lab141 also will sell on its website. The brainchild of Manning, a former software engineer for Procter & Gamble, Fiteema uses embedded technology to measure many parts of the body useful for fitting clothes, such as neckline, waist position, slope of the shoulder, curve of the back, and so on. “Fitting and cutting clothes is all about Bezier curves and mapping the body,” Madho observed. “There's a lot of math and science involved in 'redimensioning' clothes to fit a body exactly."

Lab141’s technological approach to clothes manufacturing offers many advantages for designers who partner with Madho and Manning. They include access to a lucrative market of consumers of all body types, a more transparent supply chain, reduced inventory, and digital, analytical reports about fit and preference that can be shared with designers. All in all, explained Madho, Lab141 offers a better way for clothes designers to make money from an untapped market in an industry in which margins are small. 

For their part, this cohort of LAW 815 students will perform several important business startup tasks for Lab141 as it continues to assess its chances of success in a competitive market. “We will offer a patent landscape, competitor analysis, market landscape, and trademark review,” explained Annie Millar. “The last one will be interesting because there's been a number of design trademark issues in the clothing industry in the last year.” 

“Working with clients such as Madho and Manning provides the TCLP students with a unique and exceptional experiential learning opportunity,” notes Bell. “This research experience and knowledge of entrepreneurship and tech commercialization often translates into successful careers. The clients benefit from unbiased, independent, thorough research and assessment of an emerging invention by very talented, multidiscipline students.”

Lab141 joins a long list of clients who have benefitted from the industriousness and skill of Research Center students in the last 25 years. That list includes projects on behalf of medical device, green building, and biotechnology companies and emerging technologies as varied as microelectromechanical systems, silicon membranes, smart windows, and the handling of metadata. In fact, TCLP—which in addition to the Research Center also directs the NYSTAR-designated New York State Science and Technology Law Center—has expanded its services over the last five years to keep pace with the growth of tech startups in the state. 

Robin Paul Malloy Publishes Land Use and Zoning Casebook

Posted on Tuesday 1/30/2018
Malloy Land Use Casebook

E.I. White Chair and Distinguished Professor of Law and Kauffman Professor of Entreprenuership and Innovation Robin Paul Malloy has published Land Use and Zoning Law: Planning for Accessible Communities (Carolina Academic Press), the first land use and zoning law casebook to comprehensively integrate issues of accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The casebook systematically addresses the complexities of aging in place and of disability in the context of local land regulation. This integrated approach is important, explains Malloy, because as many as 30% of American families have a family member with a mobility impairment and because mobility impairments increase with age.   

"Making communities accessible requires attention to design, planning, and zoning," writes Malloy. "We not only need to remove physical barriers to access, we need to address the coordination of permissible uses, including the location of such uses as group homes, senior housing, drug rehabilitation centers, and medical marijuana dispensaries." 

Malloy notes that as these uses often raise conflicts with current property owners, consequently discussions of accessibility must go beyond design matters and focus on the coordination of uses within a community.

Land Use and Zoning Law: Planning for Accessible Communities
Robin Paul Malloy
Carolina Academic Press, 2018.
476 pp
ISBN 978-1-61163-784-7
eISBN 978-1-53100-866-6

"Game Over": William C. Banks Discusses FISA, Wiretapping, & Carter Page With The New York Times

Posted on Tuesday 1/30/2018
William C. Banks

How to Get a Wiretap to Spy on Americans, and Why That Matters Now

(The New York Times | Jan. 30, 2018) A fight over a classified memo written by Republican staffers on the House Intelligence Committee, which portrays as scandal-draped the early stages of the Justice Department investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia, is heightening interest in legal issues about intelligence wiretap applications.

On Monday, the committee, which is led by Representative Devin Nunes of California, voted along party lines to set in motion a process to soon make the memo public under an obscure House rule, while rejecting a request to simultaneously disseminate a rebuttal memo produced by the committee’s Democrats.

According to people who have read it, the Republicans’ memo describes what they portray as an abuse of government surveillance powers. It centers on a classified wiretap application the government submitted to a judge in the fall of 2016 that targeted Carter Page, a onetime Trump campaign official who had traveled to Russia in July 2016 and was preparing to return there that December, along with renewal applications.

What is a FISA wiretap?

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, signed into law in 1978, requires the government, when eavesdropping on communications on domestic soil for national security purposes, to obtain permission from a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The judge must agree that the target is probably an agent of a foreign power and will probably use the specific email accounts or phone numbers that the Justice Department wants to wiretap ...

... David Kris, who ran the Justice Department’s National Security Division early in the Obama administration and helped write a book about FISA, says that when the department submits material from sources to the court, “it should also include information that would cast material doubt on their credibility — sources often come with bias or baggage of one sort or another.”

But, he said, “there is no requirement for elaborate accounting: Courts routinely accept and uphold affidavits that generally describe a source’s shortcomings” without every specific detail.

William C. Banks, a Syracuse University law professor who has studied the FISA Court, said that without reviewing all the documents involved in the surveillance request, it was impossible to judge the importance of how Mr. Steele was described. But he emphasized that the government had broad leeway in seeking FISA warrants.

“Carter Page was doing business in Russia, talking to Russian diplomats who may have been involved in intelligence activities directed at the United States,” Mr. Banks said. “Game over. The standards are incredibly open-ended" ...

To read the full article, click here

3L Kimberly Grinberg Prepares for an International Conference on US-Mexico Drug Policy

Posted on Friday 1/26/2018
3L Kimberly Grinberg Prepares for an International Conference on US-Mexico Drug Policy

Third-year law students are busy enough in the spring semester, preparing for final exams, studying for the bar exam, lining up job interviews, and looking ahead to Commencement. But in the middle of this crowded schedule, 3L Kimberly Grinberg, a joint J.D./M.A.I.R. candidate, is preparing for a major international conference on US/Mexico drug policy, treaties, and cross-border security in San Diego, CA. There, she will rub shoulders with reporters from The Washington Post and The New York Times, representatives of major think tanks, and officials from the US, Mexico, and the state of California.

"National security and drug policy are very important areas of law," observes Grinberg. "This conference focuses on re-examining security strategies between the US and Mexico in the context of increasing violence in Mexico and persistent drug use in the US."

The conference-Rethinking the War on Drugs and US-Mexico Security Cooperation-will take place on Feb. 9, 2018, at the Center for US-Mexican Studies at the University of California-San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. Among the experts who will be evaluating the status of cross-border security cooperation and proposing solutions for policymakers will be former Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs Professor Rafael Fernández de Castro, now at UC-San Diego; Dan Restrepo, Former White House Advisor on Latin America; and two former directors of the Mexican intelligence agency. 

Grinberg has been invited to speak on the roundtable "Latin American Drug Markets and the US Opioid Addiction Crisis" with Joshua Partlow of The Washington Post; José Díaz Briseño of Mexican newspaper Reforma; Gretchen Burns-Bergman of Moms United to End the War on Drugs; and Cecilia Farfán Méndez of UC-San Diego. "I have been asked to discuss, specifically, the relationship between Mexico's drug markets and the current US opioid crisis from a legal perspective."

If it seems as though Grinberg is ahead of the curve when it comes to her chosen area of interest and her career plans, that is because she has been examining drug policy since she started college. "This was the direction I wanted to go in," she recalls. "In college, I started a chapter of Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, where I focused on public education efforts surrounding drug-related issues." 

At the Maxwell School, Fernández de Castro nurtured Grinberg's commitment to strategizing solutions to the world drug problem and eventually invited her to the San Diego conference. As a law student, Grinberg was mentored by Associate Professor of Law Tara Helfman. "My College of Law experience was a primary reason I was invited," Grinberg continues. "While interning at the US Attorney's Office, I worked on narcotics prosecutions. As a student defense attorney, I represented clients accused of drug crimes in the in-house clinic. I also completed an internship at the International Drug Policy Consortium, a London-based NGO network during my 2L summer." 

These hands-on experiences have given Grinberg the knowledge base to share the stage with other experts, publish articles on federal and international drug policy, and present to local government officials on medical marijuana regulation in the context of zoning laws. 

It should come as no surprise that Grinberg is in high demand in the job market. She already has an offer from the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office to work as an Assistant Prosecutor, and Helfman has encouraged her to apply for a Fulbright Scholarship, to continue her studies at the University of London-Queen Mary College. 

"At job interviews, I am always asked what the solution is to the world drug problem," explains Grinberg. She says that she is in no position to posit a single theory that will solve the issue. "But I do know that international drug control suffers when it is informed by myths and fear."

Grinberg says that currently the global focus is on interdiction efforts, which sacrifices the benefits that a public health-based approach could bring to the problem. "Persons who use drugs deserve policies that will support their existence and rights. During interviews, I state that I think the best way to begin to address the harms related to drug misuse is to interrogate the current policies critically and look at evidence-based solutions rather than fear-based ones." 

“An Amorphous Concept”: William C. Banks Weighs In on Executive Privilege in The Washington Times

Posted on Friday 1/26/2018
William Banks

(From the The Washington Times | Jan. 25, 2018) The White House’s increasingly aggressive threat to invoke executive privilege to keep current and former aides from answering questions in the competing Russian election meddling probes could work in the short term but set up President Trump for some bigger headaches down the road.

While a constitutional battle over what advice and conversations a president can effectively wall off may delay congressional probes and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in the short term, legal analysts warn that the strategy risks dragging the toxic politics of the controversy into the heart of the midterm elections, which are just 10 months away.

With Mr. Mueller’s investigation, particularly, inching ever closer to a confrontation with Mr. Trump, legal scholars are divided over how Mr. Mueller may try to counter a potential White House claim of executive privilege and how quickly the courts can mediate any disputes.

“Executive privilege is an amorphous concept,” said William Banks, a professor at the Syracuse University College of Law and a former special counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It has never been tested the way it could soon be tested.”

The two sides will clash if Mr. Mueller moves to subpoena testimony from the president or if Mr. Trump voluntarily agrees to an interview — a development that could happen as early as next month.

Executive privilege protects the confidentiality of presidential decision-making by allowing the president, and at times his staff, to keep certain information from the courts, Congress and the public. The concept is not mentioned in the Constitution, but since the presidency of George Washington the concept has emerged from the founders’ doctrine of a separation of powers giving the executive, legislative and judicial branches their separate spheres ... MORE

DCEx Spring Semester Kicks Off with Distinguished Guest Lecturer Tara Helfman Speaking on Her Role at the Department of Justice

Posted on Thursday 1/25/2018
DCEx Spring Semester Kicks Off with Distinguished Guest Lecturer Tara Helfman Speaking on Her Role at the DoJ

Kicking off the Spring 2018 semester, the Syracuse Law DC Externship Program (DCEx) held its first seminar with Distinguished Guest Lecturer and College of Law Associate Professor Tara Helfman at the US Department of Justice, where she currently serves as Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. During the seminar, students also heard from Sean Keveney, acting Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Section, where he described his role as a litigator for the Department of Justice.

The session with Helfman and Keveney concluded with a brief Q&A session in the Civil Rights Division Conference Room, a historic space that once served as the personal office of former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Students asked Keveney about his recent case that was highlighted in a Rolling Stone article and about Helfman’s path to a career in public service. Helfman discussed what she hopes to accomplish during the term of her appointment, and the challenges she has faced thus far working on issues that are frequently at the center of our nation’s most important political and cultural controversies. She explained how the principles of professionalism, service, and commitment to the rule of law have guided her and her colleagues in the Civil Rights Division. The Division is charged with enforcing the Constitution and federal civil rights laws to protect all Americans from discrimination and bias. 

Concluding the seminar, the participants enjoyed a private tour of the Robert F. Kennedy Main Building. During the tour, students encountered the history of the justice department through its art and architecture, which are rich in symbolism and ideals. Helfman spoke about the significance of these ideals for DOJ attorneys and staff, emphasizing that while policy may change principles do not. 

William C. Banks Updates Bloomberg on Jeff Sessions Meeting with Robert Mueller

Posted on Wednesday 1/24/2018
William Banks

William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. This week, reports emerged that prosecutors working for Mueller spoke with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, making him the first Trump cabinet official to be interviewed by Mueller. He speaks with Bloomberg’s June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s "Politics, Policy, Power and Law."


Kim Wolf Price to Participate in NYSBA’s 2018 Diversity and Inclusion Symposium

Posted on Friday 1/19/2018
Kim Wold Price

Kim Wolf Price, Director of Externship Programs, will participate in the New York State Bar Association’s 2018 Constance Baker Motley Symposium, held during the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion’s Annual Meeting on Jan. 22, 2018, in New York City.

Joining Wolf Price on the panel will be former NYSBA Diversity Trailblazer Awardees Tracy Richelle High and Christopher Auguste, as well as Gennaro Savastano, President of Le-GaL (the LGBT Bar of Greater New York). The Symposium will be moderated by Sandra Buchanan, Chair of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

The College of Law’s NYCEx students also will attend the symposium and the 2018 Diversity Trailblazer Award Ceremony and Diversity Reception.

NYCEx Kicks-off Inaugural Semester with Distinguished Guest Lecturer Richard M. Jones L’95

Posted on Thursday 1/18/2018
Richard M. Jones L'95

On Jan. 10, 2018, the Syracuse College of Law Spring 2018 NYCEx Program externs met with Richard M. Jones L'95, a retired non-commissioned officer in the US Army, College of Law Honors Graduate, and current Senior Vice President, General Tax Counsel, and Chief Veteran Officer for CBS Corporation.

The externs heard advice that will not only help them with their future careers as attorneys but with their lives as well. Jones's advice to the students in large part highlighted the life and many failures of President Abraham Lincoln. He spoke on the importance of never giving up and how failures end up being a large part of our success. He focused on what the externs could do to become better attorneys and how they should always strive to be better. Jones also answered questions regarding the transition from military life to civilian life as well as creating work-life balance. 

The externs also heard from Justin Constantine, a retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel and a Georgetown University-educated lawyer who sustained a gunshot wound to the head and survived while serving in Iraq. Constantine is currently a motivational speaker, and the externs said they were very inspired by his story and his advice. He reminded the students that everyone is going through a struggle that you may not know about and it is important to be mindful of that. He also spoke about importance of good communication and of giving people an outlet in order to speak their mind. 

—Alexandra Daniels 3L

Shubha Ghosh Joins Amicus Brief in California Copyright Case Brought by The Turtles

Posted on Thursday 1/18/2018
Shubha Ghosh

Crandall Melvin Professor of Law Shubha Ghosh has joined an amici curiae brief[PDF] filed with the Supreme Court of the State of California addressing a copyright case brought by members of the 1960s rock group The Turtles. The brief is led by the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, with Ghosh joining other scholars "who research, write, or teach about intellectual property and its intersections with free expression.” 

As David Oxenford describes in his summary of the case, Flo & Eddie—two performers in The Turtles—originally brought lawsuits in 2013 against streaming music services, such as Sirius XM and Pandora, claiming that there is a state law public performance right in pre-1972 sound recordings and that the band therefore should be compensated for its performances on those services.  

Those pre-1972 recordings are not covered under federal copyright law, so Flo & Eddie brought state law actions to enforce a purported performance right in these recordings, explains Oxenford, even though no such right had been enforced against any music service in the 45 years since federal copyright law began to cover all new US sound recordings.

In California, Flo & Eddie are relying on a general statutory grant of property rights in pre-1972 sound recordings to conclude that this broad grant includes a performance right. The performers filed similar lawsuits in New York and Florida without success. In February 2017, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York accepted a ruling by the state Court of Appeals that New York common law does not protect the public performance of songs made before 1972. In October 2017, the Florida Supreme Court also concluded that the state doesn't recognize any copyrights in pre-1972 music recordings.

“The brief involves this ongoing litigation brought by Flo & Eddie Inc. against streaming music services," says Ghosh. "In 2016, the Court of Appeals of New York held against Flo & Eddie, ruling that state copyright law did not protect their right to public performance. Flo & Eddie brought a concurrent lawsuit in federal court in California on similar issues as in New York. Since the group’s claims raised state law questions, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit certified these state law questions to the California Supreme Court for resolution before a federal suit continues. This practice is standard for complex issues of state and federal law.”

Ghosh explains that The Turtles' claims are based in copyright law, which is properly a matter of federal law. However, the case's central complication continues to be the fact that federal copyright law did not recognize copyright protection for sound recordings until 1972. “Before that date, copyright protection for sound recordings was a matter of state law, which could vary from state to state, and The Turtles’ work being streamed dates before 1972.” The band's most famous 1960s hits include “Happy Together” (1967) and a cover of Bob Dylan's “It Ain't Me Babe” (1965). 

The amici curiae brief examines the narrow legal issue of what exactly are the rights of a copyright owner under state law. “In the federal court litigation in the Ninth Circuit, The Turtles made the argument that they had ‘exclusive ownership’ under state law and were not subject to the details of federal copyright law,” observes Ghosh. “The district court agreed, and now the highest court in California has to examine the state law issues to resolve the question.”

The brief makes the point that the district court adopted too broad a reading of state copyright law. “The court’s reading of state law conflicts with the protections under federal copyright law for free speech and for the promotion of progress in creating new businesses and means of creating and distributing music, such as Pandora and Sirius,” says Ghosh. If the California Supreme Court agrees with the federal court, then Sirius, Pandora, and similar streaming sites could be shut down by the California federal court. “This would create a conflict with the New York ruling and a possible review by the US Supreme Court,” concludes Ghosh. 

Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic Receives $50,000 Grant from New York State to Provide Legal Services to Veterans

Posted on Wednesday 1/17/2018
Director Yelena Duterte Meets with Students

The College of Law’s Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic has received a $50,000 grant from New York State Division of Veterans Affairs to provide legal services to veterans and their families and to train law students to be advocates for veterans. 

The Clinic also will conduct educational outreach to attorneys in Central New York to broaden the network of legal professionals that can provide specialized pro bono services to veterans. 

“Through the grant, we’ll be able to reach more veterans and their families with access to life-changing services and benefits they have earned. College of Law students receive hands-on practical experience for their legal careers as they become the next generation of legal advocates for veterans,” says Yelena Duterte, Director, Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic, and Associate Teaching Professor. “In addition, by helping practicing attorneys learn how to handle the nuances of veterans law, we are increasing the number of competent attorneys able to assist veterans.”

The Wohl Family Veterans Legal Clinic provides veterans and their families with free representation in VA applications and appeals and disability upgrade applications. The grant runs through 2018 with an option to renew for two additional years.

Christian C. Day Speaks to The New York Times About the Bitcoin Bubble

Posted on Tuesday 1/16/2018
Chris Day

Blockchain or Blockheads? Bitcoin Mania Mints Believers and Skeptics

By John Schwartz

(The New York Times | Jan. 12, 2017) Sometimes life shows you what absurd really is. This is one of those times. I’m talking about the phenomenon known as Bitcoin, a monetary system based on computation, complex algorithms and — let’s face it — communal delusion.

You’ve probably heard about this funny money, digital tokens that can be sent securely from computer to computer, with records kept through an online accounting system known as blockchain. (My colleague Nathaniel Popper has been writing great stuff about it.)

Millions of people now have accounts with Coinbase, the leading marketplace for digital currencies. And the rush into the market has helped push prices up. At the beginning of last year, you could pick up a Bitcoin (not literally, because they’re virtual, DUH) for about a thousand bucks. Its gyrations briefly brought its price near $20,000, according to Blockchain.info, which tracks such things.

So what’s the problem?

Let me answer that question with a question: What do you know about tulips? Yes, I am referring to the Dutch tulip craze back in the 17th century, and the speculative bubble that preceded the stock market crash of 1929, and the dot-com boom and crash that started in the late 1990s. Remember that last one, when learned analysts told us that advancing technology had eliminated the business cycle?

Good times. No bubble is too big to burst.

But hey, no regrets! Carpe Bitcoin! (But not literally.)

Signs of a bubble seem to be everywhere in the Bitcoin world today. Companies are trying to cash in by sprinkling themselves with a little Bitcoin fairy dust. Take the company called Long Island Iced Tea, which makes, you know, tea. The price of its shares nearly doubled one day last month after it announced that it would change its name to “Long Blockchain Corp.” The company’s announcement claimed it would “pursue opportunities” in blockchain technology. Which makes it sound as if some of those teas they brew are highly caffeinated. Or that people are indulging in that other kind of Long Island Iced Tea.

I called Christian Day, a professor at Syracuse University law school who has written about bubbles and panics. He said that comparing Bitcoin to the tulip craze was unfair to tulips: “The Dutch were not as crazy as they’ve been portrayed.”

For one thing, the tulip bulbs were real, he said, and the hybrids that were the subject of speculation could be extremely valuable. What’s more, much of the trading was done by people who knew their horticulture. With the modern techno-tulips, he said, “I don’t think there’s anything there" ...

Read more at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/12/business/blockchain-blockheads-bitcoin-mania.html

"The Foundation of Intelligence Gathering": Bloomberg Discusses FISA Act Extension with William C. Banks

Posted on Friday 1/12/2018
William Banks

William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses the House’s passage of an extension to the Foreign intelligence Surveillance Act, otherwise known as FISA, which has seen unsteady support from the President, who says he now supports the warrantless spying bill. He speaks with Bloomberg’s June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s "Politics, Policy, Power and Law."


Mary Helen McNeal Awarded Grant to Research Restorative Justice for Elder Abuse

Posted on Thursday 1/11/2018
Mary Helen McNeal

The Borchard Foundation Center for Law and Aging has awarded Professor Mary Helen McNeal a grant to assist her interdisciplinary research project entitled “Exploring Restorative Justice as a Remedy for Elder Abuse and Exploitation.” 

"The grant will be used to fund a law student Research Assistant, as well as Dr. Maria T. Brown, an Assistant Research Professor in the Aging Studies Institute and faculty member in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics,” explains McNeal. "We will conduct qualitative interviews, produce a summary of relevant literature, and host a presentation of our findings for local services providers and interested University faculty."

This project grows out of an ongoing collaboration between McNeal, Brown, and the Restorative Principles Working Group, a local coalition whose long-term goal is to implement a pilot project in Onondaga County and, potentially, Oswego County, in Central New York.

"Climate Comments" Website Translates Complex Climate Change Policy into Plain Language

Posted on Wednesday 1/10/2018
Emily Brown

"Climate Comments," a website designed to make accessible complex environmental regulations and proposals and to inspire individuals to participate in public policy decisions about climate change that affect their lives, has been published by Assistant Teaching Professor Emily Brown. Developed with a Syracuse University Campus as a Laboratory for Sustainability (CALS) grant, the site currently explores the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP).

The site not only encourages individuals to learn about climate change regulations and proposals, it facilitates interacting with them via regulations.gov and provides examples of comments both for and against new proposals. The comment period for the CPP repeal proposal ends on Jan. 16, 2018.

The CALS grant enabled Brown to work with three law student research assistants and four undergraduates from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications to review climate change regulations and to distill proposed rules into accessible summaries on the website. These short, plain English policy analyses also are being shared via Twitter (@Climate_Comment) and Facebook (facebook.com/ClimateComments) a social media campaign that aims to harness the potential of college student engagement in public policy debates surrounding climate change rule-making. 

On the website, the law students and undergraduates have summarized pertinent information about critical climate change policies put forward by previous administrations and now under review by President Donald J. Trump. The CPP—developed by the Obama Administration—aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power generation by 32% by 2030, but the current administration is proposing to repeal CPP in its entirety. 

Another regulation under review is the Clean Air Act, one of the most comprehensive air quality laws in the world that was first enacted in 1963 and that has been through several amendments. The Trump Administration proposes to return to an interpretation that limits emission-reduction measures applied to individual sources rather than whole industries. Also on the website is a summary of the 2009 EPA "Endangerment Finding,” which was a result of the Massachusetts v. EPA (2007) Supreme Court decision holding that greenhouse gases (GHGs) are pollutants under the CAA and that current and projected levels of six GHGs threaten the health and human welfare of current and future generations.

Brown’s project was one of five selected by the University during the latest round of CALS funding, which called for projects that address climate disruption and that offer an opportunity for communication and outreach to the campus and wider community. Funding for CALS grants comes from the Syracuse University Climate Action Plan. As energy efficiency efforts have been implemented on the Syracuse campus in recent years, so some of the savings have gone into this research fund. The selection committee was drawn from an advisory group of faculty from all University schools and colleges.

William C. Banks Analyzes Republican Complaints Against Author of the “Steele Dossier” on Bloomberg Law

Posted on Tuesday 1/9/2018
William C. Banks

(Jan. 8, 2018) William C. Banks, a professor at Syracuse University Law School, discusses attacks by House Republicans against the FBI and the Russia investigation as GOP lawmakers try to prepare the party for the 2018 midterm elections. He spoke with Bloomberg’s June Grasso on Bloomberg Radio’s “Politics, Policy, Power and Law.”


Arlene Kanter Speaks on International Disability Rights at Northeastern Law

Posted on Monday 1/8/2018

Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence and Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program Arlene S. Kanter presented her talk “Gendering International Disability Rights” at a Nov. 17, 2017, Northeastern University School of Law symposium entitled “International Law, Local Justice: Human Rights Transformed.” The symposium honored Northeastern Law Professor Hope Lewis, an expert in human rights and women's rights law, who passed away in December 2016.  

“I chose this topic because in 2012 Professor Lewis and Stephanie Ortoleva wrote ‘Forgotten Sisters, Violence Against Women with Disabilities,’ an article that greatly influenced my own work in human rights and disability, particularly my work on violence against girls and women with disabilities,” explains Kanter.

Since 2014, Kanter has worked with Handicap International on a project to raise international awareness about violence against girls and women with disabilities. In 2015, HI produced a report, co-authored by Kanter, entitled “Making It Work Initiative on General and disability Inclusion: Advancing Equity for Women and Girls with Disabilities"[PDF]. Kanter has presented this report to the UN Committee on the Status of Women and at the Conference of State Parties of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

In her talk at the Northeastern Law symposium, Kanter discussed the role of international human rights law in protecting women and girls with disabilities from violence and highlighted work that needs to be done in this area since such laws have been inadequate to end such violence.

“In my presentation, I drew on research that my former students, Milanoi Koiyiet (LL.M. ’15) and Carla Villarreal Lopez (LL.M. ’17) conducted concerning the treatment of women and girls with disabilities who are subjected to violence in their home countries of Kenya and Peru, respectively,” Kanter explains.

Kanter has accepted an invitation from the Symposium conveners to contribute to a special issue of the Northeastern University Law Review honoring Hope Lewis and her work in the area of human rights law. Her article, co-authored with Villarreal Lopez, is forthcoming.

Currently on sabbatical from the College of Law, Kanter was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School for the fall semester, and she is currently a Lady Davis Fellow at Hebrew University Faculty of Law for the spring semester. At Hebrew University, Kanter will teach a course on International Human Rights and Comparative Disability Law to law students and students enrolled in Hebrew University’s new interdisciplinary Disability Studies program, which Kanter helped to develop. During her sabbatical year, Kanter also will complete several scholarly articles and begin a new book on international human rights treaties and disability law.

Associated Press Speaks to Arlene Kanter About Unusual ADA Case

Posted on Monday 1/8/2018
Arlene Kanter

Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence and Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program Arlene S. Kanter spoke with the Associated Press on Jan. 7, 2018, about the story of a Maine teenager with autism and a rare neurological syndrome that affects his ability to speak whose parents want him to carry a recording device to school "to ensure he’s being treated properly when they aren’t watching."

This case will be heard in the 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. "It pits the student’s parents against his southern Maine school district, which says the recording device would infringe on other students’ privacy rights."

Kanter told the AP she believes the family has a strong case:

"The Americans with Disabilities Act requires schools make accommodations unless doing so would pose an undue burden or fundamentally alter their program. The family here is not asking, for example, the school to spend extra money or move him to another class, Kanter said.

'From what I’ve seen, there wasn’t any showing that it was an undue burden,' Kanter said" ...

To read the whole story.

"Some Kind of Oversight": William C. Banks Discusses FISA Section 702 and its Reauthorization with Bloomberg Law

Posted on Sunday 12/24/2017
William Banks

William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University School of Law, discusses whether or not Congress will vote to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008-and specifically Section 702—which allows the NSA to collect emails and other communications from U.S. companies while pursuing overseas foreign targets. He speaks with Bloomberg’s Michael Best on Bloomberg Radio’s "Politics, Policy, Power and Law."


Making the Unthinkable Understandable

Posted on Friday 12/22/2017
Professor David Crane Addresses the Crowd

Uncovering and communicating the truths about human conflict, human suffering, and human rights violations is a complicated but vitally important task that often falls to those who write the “first rough draft of history”—that is, journalists operating on the front lines of conflict zones or under cover.

Training communicators to make sense of atrocity and humanitarian disaster was the motivation behind Media and Atrocities, an interdisciplinary course offered for the first time this semester at Syracuse University. The course was co-taught by David Crane, Professor of Practice at the Syracuse University College of Law and member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, and Ken Harper, Associate Professor of Multimedia Photography and Design at the Newhouse School and director of the Newhouse Center for Global Engagement.

The course examines the critical roles that law, policy, and communications play in ensuring truth-telling and securing justice for victims of atrocity, often by providing international law organizations with the raw information they require to bring humanitarian law violators to justice. Harper says he and Crane believe it’s the first university course of its kind.

“These students will become young professionals who are trained to seek and present information on atrocities, genocide, disaster … basically, making the unthinkable understandable,” says Harper.

Among the required readings were “A Problem from Hell” by Samantha Power and “A Long Way Gone” by Ishmael Beah. Several non-fiction films were also recommended, including “Restrepo: Injured Boy” and “Jim: The James Foley Story,” as well as fictional films such as “Blood Diamond,” “Bridge on the River Kwai,” and “Judgement at Nuremberg.”

Special guests—including Ploughshares Fund president Joseph Cirincione, CNN senior UN correspondent Richard Roth, and Physicians for Human Rights researcher Christine Mehta ’11—participated in class discussions via Skype.

Course content was constantly shifting, Harper says, “adapting to the reality the world presents.”

Students in the course included both undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of programs across campus, such as international relations, broadcast and digital journalism, public affairs, photography, and law. They began the semester by examining the meaning and history of atrocity, reviewing legal developments over the past century, and learning about the modern international criminal law system.

Most of the semester was spent building a mock postconflict justice tribunal for Syria. Students chose various roles—such as prosecutor, journalist, public relations officer, or activist—and carried out a series of practical exercises in preparation for the final exercise, held on the last day of class: a press conference called by the mock tribunal’s chief prosecutor (played by Crane) announcing an indictment against Syrian President Bhashr Hafez Al-Assad.

Students also set up a public relations office; organized a PR plan; staged a news broadcast; and developed a coordination plan for NGOs working in Syria, as well as a model for the organizations to work together into the future.

Zach Krahmer, who is earning a master’s degree in photography from the Newhouse School and an executive master’s degree in international relations from the Maxwell School, says he chose to enroll in the class because he is interested in conflict resolution and has worked with communities that have experienced trauma. “I wanted to think critically about the way we produce and consume media that involves atrocities, and the responsibility that implies,” he says.

He notes a particular assignment that had him and his classmates explore the ways social media have been used in various campaigns, with the resulting presentations touching on everything from the Colombian plebiscite to Buddhist extremist groups in Myanmar to Assad. “I was surprised by the innumerable ways that perceptions of events had been manipulated by tactful use of media,” he says.

Krahmer, along with fellow students Katie Conti and Maggie Mabie ’16, acted as Crane’s media team for the mock tribunal. They staged the public release of an indictment against a sitting head of state; wrote, edited and delivered a press release; and crafted the chief prosecutor’s press briefing. “It was valuable to experience the deliberation that goes into crafting public messages such as these,” he says. Mabie, who earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the Newhouse School and is now a joint J.D./M.P.A. student in the College of Law and the Maxwell School, says the final exercise was one of the most powerful parts of the class. “Everyone treated the simulation as if it were real.”

Following the class, Krahmer says, “I have a greater appreciation for the way media can be leveraged by different actors to achieve their goals.”

Crane knows intimately how important good journalism and good public relations are to the success of postconflict justice. As the founding chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone—an international war crimes tribunal set up after a devastating civil war—Crane held frequent press conferences and town hall meetings with ordinary citizens seeking justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity, helping them to engage with a lengthy and esoteric process and to accept its findings.

Today, Crane and his law students in the College of Law’s Syrian Accountability Project (SAP) rely on ground reports from reporters, photojournalists, and others in the field. SAP is an internationally recognized, cooperative effort to document war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Syrian Civil War. The students log reports of crimes in their “Crime Matrix,” which is filed with international clients such as the United Nations and International Criminal Court. The intent is that the Crime Matrix will help form the basis of a prosecution of those most responsible for humanitarian crimes after the conflict ends.

Crane and Harper have collaborated on several recent SAP projects, including the event Running for Cover and the white papers “Looking Through the Window Darkly”; “Covered in Dust, Veiled by Shadows”; “Idlib Left Breathless”; and “Report on the Yazidi Genocide.”

“In a conflict zone, the free press is often another victim of tyrants and unscrupulous warriors, and journalists must do their work in extremely dangerous conditions. Certainly, Ken and I know first-hand the difficulties reporters face when documenting human suffering, and the Syrian Accountability Project has recorded many crimes against journalists during that conflict,” says Crane. “Nevertheless, throughout the world there are brave reporters who risk their lives, not only filing reports so the world can witness atrocity but also acting as advocates for those who have no voice. In this course, Ken and I worked together from different disciplines to instill a sense of the responsibility communicators in war zones have, how their work can bring hope and eventually justice to the afflicted, and the importance of professionalism in extreme conditions.”