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Law and Crypto— An Oxymoron?

Posted on Thursday 8/18/2022
Crypto and Law

In August, 2022, Syracuse University College of Law will offer an intensive, 2-credit course in Crypto & Digital Assets. Professor Jack Graves will formally serve as the course instructor but will make liberal use of cameos by a wide range of experts from both the private and public sectors, including SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce. This broad range of perspectives and expertise should be uniquely valuable in providing students with an appropriate analytical framework for taking on a variety of challenging legal issues arising in real-time in this rapidly evolving area of commercial law.

This essay by Professor Graves delivers an overview of the course content and a brief survey of the dynamic concepts and features of cryptocurrency and digital assets and their implications.

An Introduction to Bitcoin as the Proto- typical and Still Dominant Cryptocurrency

It all began with Bitcoin,1 a “peer-to-peer” version of electronic cash that would operate on a fully decentralized platform, without any need for intermediaries. Instead of relying on trusted intermediaries, the platform itself would supply the requisite trust by distributing copies of the public blockchain ledger to every node (individual computer) on this decentralized network. In effect, the digital chain of blocks on the ledger would function as the currency. This distributed public ledger would be made immutable (and therefore trusted) using cryptographic hashing functions. This would make it effectively impossible to change previous entries to the ledger without a majority of the CPU power of the nodes on the network participating (practically impossible and presumably against the interests of any majority as holders of a sizeable financial stake in the network).2

The idea of “law and crypto” is arguably oxymoronic at its core, as the early individuals who conceptualized, deployed, and nurtured the Bitcoin blockchain had little, if any, regard for any potentially applicable legal or regulatory structure. In fact, they were in large part motivated by dreams of creating an entirely autonomous, decentralized financial system that was independent of, and fully beyond the reach of, any government. Today, however, the newly emerging ecosystem of cryptocurrencies and digital assets has expanded far beyond that described by Satoshi Nakamoto in his famous 2009 white paper. While the Bitcoin protocol has largely remained true to its roots, as originally conceptualized, many of its digital offspring have significantly diverged in both concept and purpose. Virtually all, however, retain the basic idea, at least in principle, of employing digital blockchain technology to provide broader and more efficient accessibility to key elements of the global financial system.

Depending on what week it is, the total market capitalization of cryptocurrency and related digital assets is likely somewhere between 1 and 2 trillion US dollars (and reached closer to 3 trillion during late 2021). Somewhat over half of this total is, at any given time, represented by the two most popular cryptocurrencies—Bitcoin (the original) and Ether (or ETH), the coin of the Ethereum network, which tends to be used in a broader range of decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms beyond simple cryptocurrency trading. Of these two, Bitcoin’s market capitalization is a little more than double that of ETH, though the importance of ETH to DeFi broadly is particularly significant. ETH is also important for its efforts to change the way its blockchain is secured, as more fully addressed later in this essay.

Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us that Bitcoin and its progeny have developed in somewhat of a legal vacuum. After all, the original Bitcoin idea arguably had deep anti-government (or at least a lack of trust in government) libertarian roots, and its market capitalization was relatively insignificant until about five years ago, only really taking off in the past couple of years. As such, we are presented today with a unique opportunity to examine the development and application of a new and evolving field of law. What follows is a very brief (in the limited space available) survey of some of the major issues.

A Few Key Concepts and Definitions

We should first set out key concepts and definitions. The value of a Bitcoin is entirely a product of market forces. With no obvious objective value, it is determined solely by supply (which is growing but ultimately limited) and demand (in effect, whatever the market is willing to pay). When first introduced by Nakamoto, it was worth nothing in the absence of the first buyer. Since then, however, the value has risen generally and fluctuated significantly over time, with a high in excess of $65,000 per Bitcoin in late 2021 and a current price as of this writing of about $30,000. To date, Bitcoin has shown a tendency to fluctuate in value over time to an extent much greater than most traditional currencies.

“Altcoins” are cryptocurrencies with floating values other than Bitcoin. These include ETH and a few dozen other coins with significant market caps, as well as hundreds of less financially significant altcoins. In contrast to Bitcoin and Altcoins, “Stablecoins” are pegged to a specific currency (such as the US dollar). Stablecoins are not typically intended as investments themselves (as they should not vary in value) but are instead typically used to facilitate transactions in Bitcoin or Altcoins by removing price uncertainties from one side of the transaction. Perhaps the ultimate stablecoin is one issued by a national central bank.

Digital assets also include what are called non-fungible tokens, or “NFTs” (unlike “fungible” currencies, each NFT is unique). The potential use of NFTs to represent specific property interests is arguably limitless, but we’ll address a few examples a little later below. With these basic concepts in hand, we now turn to some of the legal issues presented.

Anonymity

From the outset, one of the key features of cryptocurrency has been the anonymity of its owner (much like physical cash). Such ownership is reflected in the public blockchain ledger by a public cryptographic key visible to anyone. However, a corresponding private key is necessary to access and transfer ownership of the cryptocurrency at issue. The visible public key itself provides no information linking it to the holder of the private key (as a practical matter, the owner). For example, the original Bitcoin mined by Nakamoto is identifiable in the earliest blocks of the Bitcoin chain. However, this public information provides no help in identifying the real Nakamoto, as these blocks remain untouched today (leaving many to wonder if Nakamoto is still alive, has lost the private key, or simply has chosen, at least to date, not to try to cash in on a rather sizeable fortune).

This feature made Bitcoin particularly attractive for illegal activity in which the anonymity of a sender or receiver of funds was crucial. Perhaps the most famous was the modern-day version of “Silk Road,” which operated on the dark net during the early Bitcoin years. Ransomware attacks also frequently demanded payment in Bitcoin based on its perceived lack of traceability.

Many anonymous users of crypto are ultimately identified when they attempt to transfer or exchange anonymous cryptocurrency for other assets where the owner is identifiable on the other side of the transaction (much as the holder of “dirty” cash may be identified when attempting to deposit it into a bank account). The U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has been active in recent years in seeking to apply Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) laws to cryptocurrency transactions, with at least some degree of success.

FinCEN’s effectiveness has been challenged in at least two ways—one jurisdictional and one practical. Many cryptocurrency exchanges operate outside of the U.S. or operate only smaller more limited subsidiaries within the U.S., specifically to avoid U.S. regulation. Moreover, cryptocurrencies do not necessarily require institutional exchanges, as individuals can engage in transactions on the blockchain directly with “hard” wallets, or hardware that directly accesses the public blockchain ledger (the original anonymous means envisioned by Nakamoto). Regulatory oversight of these sorts of transactions is far more difficult until and unless the cryptocurrency is exchanged for assets through some sort of institution subject to AML or KYC rules. While institutional exchanges unquestionably facilitate the work of FinCEN, they also raise a variety of additional issues.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

While the original developers of Bitcoin had no need for institutional “exchanges,” most subsequent investors in Bitcoin were far more comfortable buying and selling coins through a trusted intermediary. Unfortunately, the first such major exchange, Mt. Gox, rather spectacularly failed in 2014, through some combination of theft, fraud, and/or mismanagement, highlighting at this very early stage the potential risks associated with third- party intermediaries in transferring and custodying digital assets.

In the U.S., these exchanges are potentially subject to the full range of securities laws, as broker-dealers of securities governed by the 1933 Securities Act and 1934 Exchange Act, as well as the 1940 Investment Company Act and Investment Advisors Act. However, cryptocurrency exchanges also raise additional issues. While a traditional securities trading institution is required to segregate client shares, thereby protecting them from claims by creditors of the institution, a cryptocurrency exchange does not do so. As a result, if an institutional exchange fails, its customers are essentially treated just like general creditors in bankruptcy. In effect, a typical cryptocurrency exchange is in some ways more like a bank than a stockbroker—but unlike a bank, the customer’s assets are not federally insured.

Today’s crypto investor can choose from a variety of exchanges, most of which have come a long way since the days of the Mt. Gox fiasco. Nevertheless, the means and methods for regulating cryptocurrency exchanges appear very much in their infancy and will undoubtedly evolve along with broader regulatory issues, including one of the most fundamental questions—is cryptocurrency a security?

Is Cryptocurrency a Security?

As originally envisioned, Bitcoin was arguably intended as a form of electronic currency—first and foremost intended as a form of payment or medium of exchange. Over time, however, Bitcoin has gained little traction in this respect (outside of its use in illicit transactions), at least in part because of its continuing fluctuation in value. While a variety of altcoins are specifically linked to transactional uses in an associated digital ecosystem, most buyers and sellers of Bitcoin today are almost certainly

engaged in investment activities with a reasonable expectation of profit, thereby likely satisfying at least two out of three elements of the traditional Howey test used to identify a security. The more difficult question, at least as applied to Bitcoin and ETH (the cryptocurrency used on the Ethereum blockchain), is whether they meet the third element—in effect, whether such reasonably expected profits will arise “solely from the efforts of the promoter or a third party.”

To understand this issue better, we need to consider the nature of a “decentralized” blockchain. Rather than sitting on a centralized server, the public blockchain ledger sits on thousands of individual computer nodes within a broad network. Everyone is responsible for it, but no one owns it. So, who is responsible for generating expected investment profits on a truly decentralized blockchain? Everyone? No one? And how should we apply the third element of Howey in this context? This is but one of the challenging questions presented in determining whether, how, or when to treat cryptocurrencies as securities—a subject on which there is a broad range of views within the SEC itself.

While Bitcoin and ETH arguably continue to adhere to the original decentralized model, many altcoins and other digital assets do not. Instead, they involve some sort of initial or ongoing promoter, whose efforts at least arguably drive any expected investment profits. In one of the earliest published opinions on the issue, the SEC found “The DAO,” an unincorporated organization, to have offered a security when selling DAO Tokens to its investors. Put simply, a generic “decentralized autonomous organization,” or DAO, is an organizational entity that functions entirely on a blockchain.4 This specific DAO (“The DAO”) was organized by a German corporation to run on the Ethereum blockchain, with investors spending ETH to purchase DAO Tokens. In this specific context, the SEC published a detailed report in which it had little difficulty finding DAO tokens to be securities based on reliance by investors on the efforts of the promoter and third parties to meet their profit expectations, thereby satisfying all three elements of the Howey test.5

Should any cryptocurrency that is not fully decentralized be deemed a security? Should a cryptocurrency be deemed a security even if it is fully decentralized? These are questions without clear and consistent answers from the SEC today (though we certainly have some thoughts from various Commissioners). Moreover, the idea of decentralization, in its purest sense, raises some additional interesting questions.

Other Issues with Decentralization

The above discussed SEC DAO report addressed an event that is better known by many as the “DAO hack.” Once The DAO had been fully funded (with ETH valued at about $10 million), an unknown “attacker” managed to divert $3.6 million worth of this ETH to a blockchain address controlled by the attacker. Because of the way The DAO was structured, however, these funds could not be moved on from this new address for 27 days. In deciding what to do about this “hack,” the Ethereum blockchain faced a fundamental question. One of the most basic concepts underlying Bitcoin and its progeny was the idea that transactions on the blockchain were to be immutable and non-reversible. In effect, code was to be law. Should the decentralized Ethereum blockchain violate this basic principle and essentially wipe clean the blocks containing the attack, thereby returning the blockchain to its pre-attack state? Ultimately, the majority of nodes on the network (remember, with decentralization, the majority at any given time rules absolutely) decided to wipe out all the blocks funding the DAO, thereby eliminating the effect of the attack and returning the ETH spent to the investors. However, the issue was sufficiently contentious to result in what is called a “hard fork,” effectively splitting the previously single chain into two independent forks— today called Ethereum or ETH (the majority) and Ethereum Classic or ETC (a minority adhering to basic principles and keeping the immutable original chain intact).

While the Ethereum hard fork is now ancient history in crypto terms, the issue is very much alive today in an arguably even more extreme form. When dealing with a blockchain, should the chain in fact be “irreversible,” as initially recognized by a majority of nodes on the decentralized network? If not, who, if anyone, should have the right to reverse a transaction, thereby arguably depriving someone with rights reflected in the blockchain, without due process? The decentralized Juno blockchain community recently voted to deprive a very large user of tokens (worth millions of dollars) that the community believed the user should not have received but had been conveyed to the user based on the blockchain code, as written. Should code be law as to the blockchain record? If not, should a majority be allowed to rewrite the record without due process? And if a community member is deprived of property, who is legally liable?

In theory, a decentralized autonomous organization (a DAO, here used generically) is an unincorporated organization. To the extent the purpose of the DAO is in some fashion to make and share profits, this likely means the DAO is a general partnership under most U.S. state law—a result with which most DAO members would likely be quite unhappy upon realizing the extent of their individual liability. In fact, most DAO members likely assume their unincorporated autonomous organization operates beyond state laws governing entity formation. Again, the law is just beginning to grapple with the issue. Vermont and Wyoming have each enacted legislation allowing a DAO to register as an LLC, which could help address a variety of the existing challenges. However, many DAO’s remain unregistered, and most states have yet to address the issue.

Is Cryptocurrency a Commodity— In Effect, Digital Gold?

Many within the trade have argued that cryptocurrency should be regulated as a commodity, rather than a security, analogizing it to “digital gold.” In fact, the analogies to gold, as a stable store of value and hedge against inflation-driven devaluation of fiat currencies can be traced to Bitcoin’s earliest days. While attractive on its face, the approach is not without challenges.

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulates the sale of commodity futures (derivatives of the commodities themselves), rather than current sales of commodities. As such, the CFTC would provide little, if any, regulatory oversight with respect to current sales of cryptocurrency. Of course, this may be part of the attraction for the crypto trade, as market regulation would be far more limited under the CFTC than the SEC. However, there are also practical conceptual challenges in analogizing cryptocurrency to digital gold.

To date, the values of Bitcoin, specifically, and cryptocurrencies, generally, have behaved very little like gold or silver, often thought of as stable stores of value. Whatever one may think of the value of a cryptocurrency—and these views range from worthless to almost infinite—market values have demonstrated extraordinary fluctuation and have tended, generally, to track the most speculative of traditional equity investments, thereby lending little if any stability to the broader financial market. The “digital gold” concept also raises additional issues related to its mining.

Mining as the Basis for Crypto Security and Its Environmental Achilles Heel

While Bitcoin remains the most significant cryptocurrency, by far, it arguably has a serious problem with its basic security mechanism—mining. New blocks are added to the blockchain containing new transactions (about 1 block every 10 minutes on the Bitcoin blockchain) when a digital miner solves a very difficult iterative math problem (it gets harder as miners’ computers get faster). Once solved, published, and accepted by a majority of the network, the blockchain record is essentially immutable, and the miner is rewarded with Bitcoins (the basic model is very much driven by libertarian financial incentives). However, because the financial incentives motivate the use of more and faster computer power in the quest for new coins, and the iterative math problem gets harder as the computers trying to solve it get faster, the Bitcoin carbon footprint is enormous and will keep growing indefinitely.

China has banned cryptocurrency, at least in part due to the mining issue, and many other countries have expressed concerns over its growing environmental impact. As a result, numerous new altcoins have moved from using “proof of work,” or PoW (the original Bitcoin mining concept) to “proof of stake,” or PoS (an alternative means of securing the content of the blockchain that uses far less energy). While Bitcoin and the Ethereum chain still rely on PoW, the Ethereum chain is attempting to move to PoS, but the success of this move remains unclear at this time. There is no indication to date of any intent to modify the Bitcoin blockchain to move it away from the original PoW model.

Stablecoins That Are Not

So far, we’ve largely focused on Bitcoin and altcoins that also fluctuate in value (arguably making them better potential candidates for investment than for payment mechanisms). Stablecoins are fundamentally different in that they are primarily intended as a means of exchange to facilitate payment. For this purpose, fluctuations in value are generally detrimental, so stablecoins are “pegged” to a fiat, or government-issued, currency, such as the US dollar. Of course, a stablecoin could be issued directly by a national government.

While China has banned private cryptocurrencies, it was one of the first countries to institute a national digital currency (a Central Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC) with the adoption of the “digital yuan.” The U.S. government has also suggested, in various statements and official publications, the potential for a government-issued CBDC. Potential options for use of a U.S.- issued CBDC might include large wholesale (e.g., central bank) transactions, retail (e.g., business-to-consumer) transactions, or both. In any event, a government-issued CBDC would be supported in much the same manner as any other government- issued fiat currency.

Privately issued stablecoins present additional opportunities and additional potential risks. In the absence of any current US issued CBDC, multiple private stablecoins have been issued and pegged to the US dollar. In theory, each of these is supported by sufficient assets (often including some combination of crypto and government currencies) to maintain the value of the currency at $1 U.S. per coin. While a handful of coins have emerged with sufficient market capitalization to be useful in fulfilling the role of a stable medium of exchanging more volatile digital assets, regulators have expressed concerns over the stability of the coins in the event of significant market stress. Indeed, we recently witnessed the spectacular crash of one of these preeminent stablecoins, the TerraUSD.

The stress of broader financial market downturns in May 2022 caused the TerraUSD to lose its peg (fall below $1 U.S.), which quickly led to a digital version of an old-fashioned bank run in the days before federal deposit insurance. Once started, confidence fell in an ever-accelerating death spiral until the TerraUSD stablecoin and its associated Luna altcoin (intended, at least in part, to provide support for the stablecoin) were essentially worthless.

Stablecoins undoubtedly fulfill a key transactional role as a digital means of payment or exchange, and there may be roles for both public and privately issued coins. However, the TerraUSD collapse provides an obvious example of the need for some sort of regulation in this area if stablecoins are to fulfill their intended transactional roles.

Non-fungible tokens are fundamentally different from coins, which are essentially fungible. One Bitcoin or ETH is functionally equivalent to another. In contrast, each NFT is, at least in theory, unique. An obvious example is digital art, where a single specific NFT controls ownership of a single specific piece of digital art. This raises some obvious legal questions as to the law governing such personal property. Should the law treat digital art like tangible physical works of art, or should we solely apply intellectual property rules? And what about digital real estate in virtual realities beyond the physical one?

Yuga Labs, the entity behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT, recently engaged in a sizeable sale of “Otherside” (a virtual space in the Metaverse) property, offering virtual deeds in Otherside in exchange for Ape Coins (an altcoin minted by Yuga Labs).7 While these transactions focused on the virtual metaverse, the value of digital assets exchanged was in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Are deeds to virtual land in Otherside governed solely by code on the relevant blockchain, or does traditional real property law have a role to play in the metaverse? Or do we need to take entirely new and different approaches to applying law to the virtual world?

Responsible Development of Digital Assets

As the reader will likely note, it is challenging to capture even a brief overview of “the Law and Crypto” in a short piece like this, and there is an increasingly urgent need to begin to address the issues raised

in this survey, and many more. Earlier this year, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets,8 essentially encouraging regulators and market participants to work together in a manner both encouraging innovation and protecting consumers. Achieving both will be no small order, but acknowledging the need is undoubtedly a significant step in the right direction.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has characterized the current transactional environment involving digital assets as akin to “the Wild West,” which is likely true to a large extent. Others have suggested that perhaps this Wild West environment is helpful in promoting innovation. At the end of the day, however, even the Wild West was largely tamed over time, and the shape of the process of understanding and regulating digital assets while simultaneously promoting responsible innovation will undoubtedly be an interesting one for those of us in its midst. ■

1. While Bitcoin itself borrowed from a variety of earlier ideas, the first version of what we now think of as cryptocurrency initially appeared in a white paper published in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto (a pseudonym—the real author or authors remain anonymous). See Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, at https://bitcoin.org/ bitcoin.pdf.

2. A detailed explanation of the blockchain technology upon which Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is built is beyond the scope of this article. However, an excellent video explanation can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBC-nXj3Ng4&t=2s.

3 SEC v. W.J. Howey Co., 328 US 293 (1946).

4 The use of various DAOs, generally, is quite common, for example, in association with the Ethereum blockchain.

5 For a fuller explanation, see Securities and Exchange Commission, Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Release No. 81207 / July 2017, Report of Investigation Pursuant to Section 21(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934: The DAO. Available at: https://www.sec.gov/litigation/investreport/34-81207.pdf.

6 The blockchain code had functioned as written, but had been flawed, and this flaw was exploited by the attacker.

7 See https://cryptobriefing.com/yuga-labs-otherside-nft-sales-break-310m/.

8   See https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2022/03/09/executive-order-on-ensuring-responsible-development-of-digital-assets/

Brian Rich joins Commercial Litigation Practice Area

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heidi Levine-Sorkin installed as President of WBA

Posted on Wednesday 9/28/2022

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

Rick Shearer joins Dentons

Posted on Wednesday 9/28/2022

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

Chiara M. Carni joins Goldberg Segalla

Posted on Wednesday 9/28/2022

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

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

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

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

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

Sabastian Piedmont named Managing Partner

Posted on Tuesday 9/27/2022

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

Daniel P. Moses joins Hinckley Allen

Posted on Tuesday 9/27/2022

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

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

Posted on Thursday 9/22/2022
David Cay Johnston

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Wednesday 9/21/2022
Professor Lauryn Gouldin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See more details in SU Today.

Emily P. Beekman Beekman listed in Best Lawyers

Posted on Monday 9/19/2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted on Monday 9/12/2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  

Overview of Incoming J.D. Students*

Class size: 241

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

LSAT Scores

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

Undergraduate GPA (uGPA)**

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

Higher Degrees

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

Diversity

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

Military-Affiliated

  • Veterans/Active Duty: 25****

Geography

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

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

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

*Statistics are as of August 17, 2022

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

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

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

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

Posted on Monday 9/12/2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, reference SU News.

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

Posted on Friday 9/9/2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

International Law Society Hosts Re-Launch Event for 2022

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

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

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

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

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

College of Law Alumni Welcome the JDinteractive Class of 2026

Posted on Thursday 9/8/2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Panel 4 moderated by Kathleen O’Connor, Teaching Professor 

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

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

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

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

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

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

SU Libraries Commit to Federal Documents Preservation

Posted on Saturday 9/3/2022

In a Daily Orange news article, the Law Library lauds the SU Libraries on becoming a Preservation Steward with the Federal Depository Library Program.  Future print volumes of the U.S. Code and the U.S. Statutes at Large will be preserved.

“The commitment to the preservation of original documents is the hallmark of a university committed to research excellence,” said Robert Weiner, the law library’s electronic services librarian.  

“Federal documents represent United States history and it’s important that these records are preserved,” Weiner said. “It takes multiple entities to commit to preservation to ensure that some catastrophic event does not wipe out what might be only one or two last surviving copies.”

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

Posted on Thursday 9/1/2022
Professor David Driesen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John G. Powers selected for Best Lawyers

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

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

Timothy P. Murphy selected for Best Lawyers

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

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

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

Posted on Wednesday 8/31/2022
Beheshta Rasekh

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

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

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

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

Christopher J. Burns selected for Best Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022

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

Danielle P. Katz selected to Rising Stars

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

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

Kayla A. Arias selected to Rising Stars

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

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

Michael J. Sciotti selected to Super Lawyers

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

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

Buster Melvin selected to Super Lawyers

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

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

Christopher J. Harrigan selected to Super Lawyers

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

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

Jeffrey A. Dove selected to Super Lawyers

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

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

Richard R. Capozza selected to Super Lawyers

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

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

Robert A. Barrett selected to Super Lawyers

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

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

Brittany E. Lawrence selected to Rising Stars

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

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

James P. Domagalski selected to Super Lawyers

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

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

William C. Foster selected to Super Lawyers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dustin W. Osborne selected for Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022

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

Aaron Schiffrik selected for Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022

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

Patrick B. Naylon selected for Super Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022

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

Joshua S. Werbeck elected to serve on Board of Managers

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

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

Julia J. Martin elected to serve on Board of Managers

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

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

David A. Lerner Lerner selected for Best Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022

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

Daniel B. Berman selected for Best Lawyers

Posted on Tuesday 8/30/2022

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

Richard W. Cook selected for Best Lawyers

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

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

John F. Corcoran included in Best Lawyers

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

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

Joseph T. Mancuso selected for Best Lawyers

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

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

Yan C. Bennett appointed Visiting Presidential Professor

Posted on Monday 8/29/2022

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

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

Posted on Monday 8/29/2022
Professor Beth Kubala

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

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

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

Posted on Wednesday 8/24/2022
Professor Paula Johnson

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

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

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

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

Risks Lurk in Popular Retail Investment Products

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mutual Fund Borrowing Poses Risk to Investors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

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

Posted on Tuesday 8/23/2022
Professor Daniel Traficonte

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

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

A brief Q&A with Professor Traficonte:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paul Vellano Jr. listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Gerry Stack listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Lynn Smith listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Michael Sciotti listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Jack Rudnick listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Kevin Roe listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Alexandra Locke listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Buster Melvin listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Kevin McAuliffe listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Peter Hubbard listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Chris Harrigan listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Chris Harrigan has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Commercial Litigation; Litigation - Labor and Employment.

Bill Gilberti listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Dan French listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Dan French has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Criminal Defense: White-Collar.

Jeff Dove listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Marcy Robinson Dembs listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Marcy Robinson Dembs has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Trusts and Estates. 

Fran Ciardullo listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Fran Ciardullo has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Health Care Law. 

Rick Capozza listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Robert Barrer listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Robert Barrer has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Commercial Litigation. 

Will Barclay listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

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

Nick Scarfone listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Nick Scarfine has been listed in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Tax Law. 

Lee Alcot listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Lee Alcott has been listed in the 2023 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America - Commercial Litigation. 

Jim Domagalski listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon LLP is pleased to announce that Jim Domagalski has been included in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America: Commercial Litigation; Construction Law; Litigation - Labor and Employment. 

Bill Foster listed in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Barclay Damon LLP is pleased to announce that Bill Foster has been included in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America: Insurance Law; Product Liability Litigation - Defendents. 

Dennis C. Brown named "Lawyer of the Year"

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022
Dennis C. Brown

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Dennis C. Brown has been named the 2023 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America for Tax Law in Fort Myers, Florida. Brown was previously named “Lawyer of the Year” for Tax Law in 2013 and 2016. Only one lawyer in any practice area in a city is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.” 

Brown concentrates on trust and estate planning for high net worth individuals and families. He utilizes a wide range of sophisticated techniques to protect assets, minimize taxes and provide practical approaches to accomplish his clients’ long term financial security and wealth transfer goals. Brown is experienced in designing compensation plans, handling mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations and international transactions. He also works with closely held business clients to develop tax-efficient estate plans including family compensation planning, ownership transition planning, management succession planning and liquidation planning.

Cressida A. Dixon named "Lawyer of the Year"

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022
Cressida A. Dixon

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Cressida A. Dixon has been named the 2023 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America for Trusts and Estates in Rochester, New York. Dixon was previously named “Lawyer of the Year” for Trust and Estates in 2021. Only one lawyer in any practice area in a city is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.” 

Dixon counsels high-net-worth individuals and family groups in sophisticated wealth and estate planning; estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxation; income taxation of estates and trusts; and succession planning for closely held and family businesses. Her clients range from successful entrepreneurs and corporate executives to multigenerational families and their entities. She works closely with clients at every stage of wealth planning to implement tax efficient wealth transfer and preservation strategies that are customized in order to achieve their business, personal and philanthropic goals.

Hermes A. Fernandez named "Lawyer of the Year"

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022
Hermes A. Fernandez

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Hermes Fernandez has been named the 2023 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America for Administrative/Regulatory Law in Albany, New York. Fernandez was previously named “Lawyer of the Year” for Health Care Law in 2013 and 2020. Only one lawyer in any practice area in a city is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.” 

Fernandez is co-chair of the firm's health care practice. He practices primarily in the areas of health law, administrative and regulatory law, related litigation and governmental representation. Fernandez has handled numerous matters in health care fraud and abuse in the courts and in administrative hearings and represents providers before and against the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and the HHS Office of Inspector General, the Office of Professional Medical Conduct and the Office of Professional Disclosure.

Laura H. Harshbarger named "Lawyer of the Year"

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022
Laura H. Harshbarger

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Laura H. Harshbarger has been named the 2023 “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America for Employment Law – Management in Syracuse, New York. Harshbarger was previously named “Lawyer of the Year” for  Employment Law – Management in 2014 and 2017, and in 2019 for Labor Law – Management. Only one lawyer in any practice area in a city is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.” 

Harshbarger counsels employers engaged in a wide variety of industries, including higher education, public school education, manufacturing, service and financial sectors, nonprofits and health care. With a practice that includes all aspects of labor and employment law, Laura counsels employers with respect to day-to-day human resources management. Harshbarger also advises colleges and universities with respect to Title IX, accommodating students with disabilities pursuant to Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and represents colleges and universities in Office for Civil Rights investigations.

Jessica R. Caterina elevated to Counsel

Posted on Monday 8/22/2022

Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP is pleased to announce that Jessica R. Caterina has been named Counsel.

Managing Partner Jeffrey Eilender said ““We are pleased to elevate Jessica to counsel in recognition of her substantial contributions to the firm.  With her stellar qualities as a forceful advocate and thoughtful advisor Jessica bolsters our already formidable counsel ranks.”

Jessica has over a decade of experience litigating complex civil and commercial disputes in both state and federal court. She is highly skilled in all phases of litigation, from pre-claim investigation through appeal, including managing discovery, taking and defending depositions, writing and arguing motions, and putting up and crossing witnesses at trial. Prior to joining Schlam Stone & Dolan, Jessica was an associate with Arnold & Porter LLP for more than eight years, and clerked for the Honorable Theodore A. McKee, then-Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Since joining Schlam Stone & Dolan, Jessica has served as lead counsel in a number of high-profile and high-stakes matters, including an arbitration hearing which spanned the course of six months, and which resulted in a favorable result for the Firm’s client.

College of Law Orientation Week 2022

Posted on Friday 8/19/2022
College of Law Orientation 2022

We are wrapping up Orientation Week 2022 at the College of Law, consisting of a week-long line-up of events for our incoming JD Residential, JDinteractive, LL.M. And S.J.D. students! A few highlights from the week are as follows.

On Monday Aug. 15, 2022, the College of Law welcomed 241 new students at its Opening Convocation ceremony held for the first time in the National Veterans Resource Center on the Syracuse University campus.

Hon. Nazak Nikakhtar L’02 G’02 served as the Opening Convocation speaker. Currently a Partner at Wiley Rein LLP, Chair of the firm’s National Security practice, and Co-Chair of the Foreign Investment practice (CFIUS/Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States), Nikakhtar specializes in international trade national security law, global competition policy, and supply chain resilience. 

Later that afternoon in a Fireside Chat moderated by Assistant Dean of Career Services Lily Hughes, Nikakhtar offered words of advice and wisdom to incoming J.D. Residential students as she discussed her career path and opportunities that led her to where she is today. 

On day two, students enjoyed a reception in Dineen Hall to learn more about opportunities available at the College of Law and within the Syracuse area, which will become home for our residential students in the coming years!

Speakers included College of Law Assistant Director of Development Fritz Diddle, Student Bar Association Representative 3L Jessica Senzer, President of Visit Syracuse Danny Liedka, Leadership, Greater Syracuse Representative Ronnie White L’13, and Interim Executive Director of the Volunteer Lawyers Project of CNY Mary John. Also in attendance were SULAA Board President Colleen Gibbons L’17, Executive Director of the Onondaga County Bar Association Jeff Unaitis and Volunteer Lawyers Project of CNY Representative Adam Martin L’20.

Day three of Orientation started with a welcome breakfast in the library, where students learned how the library can support their success during their time in law school! After lunch and a meeting with the Career Services team, representatives from Vera House presented to the students.

Diversity. Equity. Inclusion. Belonging. These words can be used to focus on identifying, learning about, and correcting historical, destructive behaviors and laws within our society. But how do they impact law practice? Managing a law firm? Being a student? On Thursday, speakers from Bond, Schoeneck & King including Kim Wolf Price, Attorney, Professional Development and Diversity Officer, Peter Jones, Partner, and Stephanie H. Fedorka L'17, Associate, held a panel on “DEI in Practice” to discuss these topics and more with new students.

The College of Law also welcomed Michael Kiklis L’93 and his business partner, Kimani Clark, to visit students at the Innovation Law Center (ILC) and share wisdom and words of advice with the incoming JDinteractive (JDi) class. First, Kiklis and Clark met with summer ILC students over lunch to discuss their new patent law firm, Kiklis and Clark, PLLC, and share anecdotes from Kiklis’s time spent working in the program. After the lunch, Gerling hosted a discussion with Kiklis and Clark for JDi students taking a class on Cryptocurrency.

Wrapping up Orientation week, the College of Law welcomed back to campus JDi students for the Advanced Legal Topics residency course, Crypto and Digital Assets. Taught by Professor Jack Graves, the course will cover many of the dynamic concepts of cryptocurrency and digital assets and their legal and regulatory implications. Professor Graves authored an essay for the course, linked here, and will be the featured article in the College’s 2022 Yearbook magazine. This new course is one of the Advanced Legal Topics residencies required for graduation.

A central event in Professor Jack Graves’ Crypto and Digital Assets JDi residency was a virtual discussion with SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, moderated by Katherine Martin L’99, Managing Director at Rock Creek Global Advisors LLC. The Gray Ceremonial Courtroom was packed with students participating in the JDi residencies along with the entering JD residential, LL.M., and S.J.D. cohorts. The College thanks Commissioner Peirce for her time and Katherine for moderating the timely and thought-provoking discussion. 

It has been so great welcoming our new students to Dineen Hall and the College of Law this week. A special thank you to all of our alums, guests, and speakers for contributing to such a dynamic and thought-provoking line-up of events.

Wishing all of the classes the best of luck as the fall semester begins on Monday. It is going to be a fantastic year!

Professor Emeritus William Banks Writes an Op-Ed Article on the Role of NATO in Cyberattacks and the Russian War in Ukraine

Posted on Thursday 8/18/2022
Professor Emiritus William Banks

Professor Emeritus William Banks published an op-ed article in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs about “Cyberattacks and the Russian War in Ukraine: The Role of NATO and Risks of Escalation.”

The Russian war against Ukraine has so far included only occasional and incidental cyberattacks. Banks believes that as Russia’s losses in the conventional war mount and the impact of sanctions and Western military aid to Ukraine take a toll, Russia may escalate cyber intrusions even in NATO States in retaliation for their support of Ukraine. International law provides unclear guardrails for cyber conflict, and the potential for NATO involvement in an escalatory conflict with Russia is growing. 

“As the escalatory dynamics evolve, there is a clear legal basis for NATO using cyber or other means in support of Ukraine,” Banks explains. “Because Russia has attacked Ukraine, if Ukraine authorities request NATO participation in the collective self-defense of Ukraine, the use of force in response to Russian armed attacks comports with international law.”

Mark Silver selected by The Product Liability Lawyers

Posted on Thursday 8/18/2022
Mark K. Silver

Schenck Price Smith & King LLP Partner Mark Silver (Class of 2000) has been selected by The Product Liability Lawyers (www.productliability-lawyers.com) as the one recommended attorney in their guide in New Jersey for 2022/23.  The Product Liability Lawyers undertakes a lengthy nomination, research and selection process of leading product liability attorneys across the country and invited Mark to be featured in their guide as the exclusive advisor in New Jersey for the next 12 months. 

Robert Kawecki joins Bousquet Holstein

Posted on Thursday 8/18/2022
Robert J. Kawecki

Bousquet Holstein PLLC is pleased to welcome Associate Attorney Robert J. Kawecki to the firm's Ithaca office.

Robert has joined the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group focusing his practice on residential real estate sales and purchases. Robert works with clients through the complexities and common pitfalls of residential real estate transactions and helps guide them through the process to close their transaction in a timely and satisfactory manner.

Robert graduated cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law in 2019, where he also earned the College's Estate Planning Certificate. During his time at Syracuse Law, Robert gained valuable practical experience through the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, as well as the Central New York Externship Program with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York. He earned his B.A. in Political Science and American History, cum laude, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016. 

Originally from North Carolina, Robert now lives in Lansing, just outside Ithaca, NY. 

Professor Nina Kohn Speaks to WWNYTY Channel 7 News About Wrongful Conviction Lawsuit

Posted on Wednesday 8/17/2022
Professor Nina Kohn

Professor Nina Kohn offered expertise to WWNYTY Channel 7 News in a segment about a man, Christopher Swem, who is preparing to sue the state of New York after spending nearly three years behind bars for a Watertown murder, only to be found not guilty of the crime.

Swem is seeking compensation for an unjust conviction, wrongful imprisonment, emotional distress, and damage to his reputation. Kohn explains that winning a wrongful lawsuit conviction can be difficult, especially because prosecutors and law enforcement officers are generally protected. 

“One protection,” Kohn said, “is by making the elements that you need to show if you’re suing them, really difficult to show. The other protection is what is known as qualified immunity.”

Negotiation Competition Finals - TONIGHT!

Posted on Tuesday 8/16/2022
College of Law Logo

We are at the conclusion of our Negotiation Competition Finals and invite you to watch as Natalie Bravo faces Steven Peters to negotiate a solution to a nation’s airline difficulty!

The finals will be live tonight at 7:30 p.m. EDT. 

Here is a link to the viewing room. 

We hope to see you all there! 

E-subscriptions to the NY Times & Wall Street Journal available

Posted on Monday 8/15/2022

All SU faculty, students, and staff can sign-up for no charge digital subscriptions to the New York Times & Wall Street Journal.  Sign-up using your syr.edu account.

See the SU Libraries guides on the NY Times and WSJ for details on subscriptions and instructions on how to establish your free accounts.

2022 College of Law Orientation Zoom Link

Posted on Monday 8/15/2022
The Hon. Nazak Nikakhtar

It’s Orientation week at the College of Law! 2022 Opening Convocation will take place at 4:00 – 5:15 p.m. at the National Veterans Resource Center for incoming students. 

Those who cannot attend in person may watch via Zoom here:  https://syracuseuniversity.zoom.us/j/93863117259

Hon. Nazak Nikakhtar L’02 G’02 will be our Opening Convocation speaker. Currently a Partner at Wiley Rein LLP, Chair of the firm’s National Security practice, and Co-Chair of the Foreign Investment practice (CFIUS/Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States), Nikakhtar specializes in international trade national security law, global competition policy, and supply chain resilience.

Be sure to tune in!

Alum John Elmore L’84 Discusses Legal Representation of Buffalo Mass Shooting Victims' Families

Posted on Thursday 8/11/2022
John Elmore L'84

College of Law alum John Elmore L’84 was profiled by the Washington Post on his legal representation of families of victims of the Buffalo mass shooting along with a fascinating look at his life and contributions to the city of Buffalo. This includes his direct experience in the first FBI-documented high school shooting that happened at his high school in Olean, NY.

An excerpt from the Washington Post:

“How many of these attacks have we had just since Buffalo?” asked one pastor, as they sat together inside a church the shooter had reportedly visited and scouted as a potential target days before the attack at Tops.

“At least three off the top of my head,” an anti-gun activist said.

“It’s rinse-repeat, and that’s been going on for what, a decade?”

“Forty-seven years,” Elmore said. The other men turned to look at him. They’d met several times to address gun trafficking and endemic gun violence in Buffalo, but Elmore had never told them exactly how he’d come to care.

“During my senior year, the first FBI-documented high school shooting happened at my school in Olean,” he said. “The shooter was actually a classmate of mine. He lived right down the block.”

“You’re kidding. I’ve never even heard of it,” the pastor said, so Elmore began to tell them about Anthony Barbaro, and how he’d sneaked into the high school during winter vacation on Dec. 30, 1974, shot and killed a janitor on the third floor, and then broken into the empty student council room that offered the best view of the surrounding neighborhood.

The College of Law featured John in the 2020 Stories Book.

Law Students: Group Study Rooms Available

Posted on Wednesday 8/10/2022

​Law students can book Law Library & Dineen Hall group study rooms online. Use our Floor 1 kiosk or any mobile device to connect to our web reservation system.

Students can reserve up to 4 hours of group study room use per day.  Reservations can be made 7 days in advance.  Study rooms are intended for use by groups of two or more students.  Rooms are available 24/7 during the academic year.  

ABA Law Student Podcast Interviews Professor Todd Berger on Court Packing

Posted on Tuesday 8/9/2022
Professor Todd Berger

Arguably, a Supreme Court justice confirmation is the greatest prize in American law and politics, perhaps more so than the presidency. In consequence, SCOTUS nominations tend to lend themselves to manipulation and tactical moves, especially prevalent in the current political climate.

ABA Law Student Podcast host 3L Meg Steenburgh welcomes Professor Todd Berger to discuss the concept of court packing, its connotations and implications, and how it could potentially bring balance to the Supreme Court. 

“I think when people think of the phrase ‘court packing’, there’s this idea that it is one party attempting to try and accomplish something that serves their political ends. I think there are ways to think of court packing in a way that the composition of the court can be changed to rebalance it in a way that ensures less domination of the court by one particular political party. And maybe more fairness and balance in how the court is making its decisions. I wouldn’t really call that later part court packing, although it certainly could involve the adding of justices to expand the court beyond its current size of nine.”

Steenburgh and Berger also discuss the report generated by Biden’s Presidential Commission on SCOTUS, and whether their findings offer any clarity on potential reforms in the Court.

Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett (Ret.) Featured on CNN Regarding China’s Reaction to Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit

Posted on Monday 8/8/2022
Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett (Ret.), Deputy Director of Syracuse University’s Institute for Security Policy and Law

Vice Adm. Robert B. Murrett (Ret.), Deputy Director of Syracuse University’s Institute for Security Policy and Law, spoke on CNN’s Erin Burnett Outfront program about China’s reaction to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan. 

After Pelosi’s visit, China sent 21 warplanes into Taiwan’s defense zone, summoned the ambassador to the U.S. for discussions, and committed a number of cyber-attacks. When asked if this might escalate further, Murrett explained, “I would hope this would be a measured response by China, which we expected based on Speaker Pelosi’s visit, but that cooler heads will prevail on their side. There will be some exercise activity that will probably take place for the next few days or so and perhaps the cyber intrusions. But it will be limited in scope and a measured response to what is happening there, largely a response for domestic consumption. I don’t think we want to underestimate the extent to which so much of this is for the Chinese public, especially the Senior Government Officials.”

China’s Ministry of Defense claims that Pelosi knowingly and maliciously provoked and created a crisis between the U.S. and China. 

Considering the claim came from the Ministry of Defense did not come from the Foreign Minister of President Xi, Murrett said, “those are the kind of things you’d expect to come from a Defense Minister, which are different in character than what you’d hear from somebody else in government. I’m hopeful that this won’t be viewed as a crisis, and will settle down here in short order, hopefully within the next couple of days as Speaker Pelosi goes onto visit other countries that are good friends of ours in East Asia.”

Professor William Banks Speaks About Targeted Missile Strike on Zawahiri in BBC News

Posted on Monday 8/8/2022
Professor William Banks

On July 31, the United States killed long-time al-Quaeda boss Ayman al-Zawahiri in a targeted missile strike on the balcony of a downtown Kabul compound, reports BBC News. While the U.S. has faced criticism for strikes and targeting errors that have killed civilians in the past, this strike was deliberate with a drone-fired Hellfire missile. Zawahiri’s wife and daughter remained unscathed inside the same building.

Professor William Banks, an expert on targeted killings and the founder of the College of Law’s Institute for Security Policy and Law (now the Syracuse University Security and Policy Law Institute), said that officials would have had to balance the risk of civilian deaths with the value of the target. The Zawahiri strike, he added, "sounds like a model application" of the process.

"It sounds like they were very careful and deliberate in this instance to find him in a location and at a time when they could hit just him and not harm any other person," Banks said.

University Professor Peter Blanck Comments on the 32nd Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Posted on Monday 8/8/2022
Burton Blatt Institute

Over the last 32 years, since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990, progress has been measured by how quickly universities and institutions have moved from compliance with the law to the creation of a truly inclusive culture.

In recognition of the anniversary of the ADA, University Professor Peter Blanck, Chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute, discussed how inclusion and accessibility fit into the diversity commitment of Syracuse University in SU News.

“It is now a crucial time to recommit to the principles of the ADA for full participation, independent living and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities,” said Blanck.

Recently, the Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted Syracuse University as one of the first universities in the nation to create a disability cultural center. In the article, “In Fight Against Ableism, Disabled Students Build Centers of Their Own,” the authors noted that such centers “help students find a sense of self and belonging” and “foster a sense of community, promote activism and disability justice.”

Louis Jim joins Brooklyn Law School

Posted on Thursday 8/4/2022

Louis ​Jim, a 2010 graduated of Syracuse University College of Law joined Brooklyn Law School as an Assistant Professor of Legal Writing July 1, 2022. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor of Law at Albany Law School, where he earned the Friend of the Class Award in 2021 and the Justina Cintron Perino Award in 2020 for service and dedication to the Moot Court Program.