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The Detroit News Speaks to Professor Nina Kohn About Voting & Michigan Nursing Homes

Tuesday 9/29/2020
Nina Kohn

COVID-19 restrictions threaten to curb voting at Michigan nursing homes

(The Detroit News | Sept. 28, 2020) In a non-pandemic year, Thursday would have marked the start of early voting and for political campaigns to visit Michigan nursing homes and assisted living centers to pitch their cause while voters listened with ballot in hand. 

But the coronavirus has changed that. The opportunities for candidates to campaign in nursing homes ahead of the Nov. 3 election are virtually non-existent.

The delivery of absentee ballots by clerk assistants or the help a family member might give in the voting process is limited amid visitation restrictions. 

And experts fear those restrictions could curb voting at Michigan's nursing homes and assisted living facilities, a development that injects more uncertainty into a key election where battles are being fought over absentee and mail-in ballots ...

... Many nursing home and assisted living residents rely on family to help in the voting process, especially if a resident has vision or muscular disabilities, said Nina Kohn, a law professor at Syracuse University and distinguished scholar in elder law at Yale Law.

“When family are limited in their ability to go into the nursing homes, they may not be able to provide that critical help,” Kohn said ...

Read the full article

AARP Interviews Professor Nina Kohn About Voting in Nursing Homes During a Pandemic

Thursday 9/24/2020
Nina Kohn

COVID-19 Threatens Voting in Nursing Homes as Election Approaches

(AARP | Sept. 23, 2020) In a normal election year, late summer and early fall would be a busy time for Annie Butzner. A retired nurse in Asheville, North Carolina, Butzner has for years traveled to nearby hospitals, assisted living facilities and nursing homes, helping patients and residents register to vote and request absentee ballots.

But this year the coronavirus pandemic has made that work more difficult. Butzner, 69, has had a hard time just getting into facilities to determine which residents need help registering and requesting ballots. “The fact that it's so hard to vote in care facilities is ridiculous,” she says. “All of the wisdom that these people have — it's just being wasted."

Butzner is part of a growing chorus of advocates, state officials and election experts worried about the voting roadblocks that COVID-19 presents to many of the nation's 1.3 million nursing home residents — and the specter that some won't be able to vote in this fall's general election. More than 800,000 other people live in other kinds of residential care communities, including assisted living facilities, and will likely also be affected.

"It's a bloody mess is what I would say,” Nina Kohn, a professor at the Syracuse University College of Law and a distinguished scholar in elder law at Yale Law School, says of the confusion around voting from nursing homes this year ...

Read the full article.

Osterweil named partner

Wednesday 9/23/2020
Adam Osterweil

Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC is pleased to announce Adam J. Osterweil has been named partner in the firm's Estate Planning & Administration Group. Adam J. Osterweil is a partner in the Estate Planning & Administration Group and is based in New York. Recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers, Mr. Osterweil focuses on estate, gift, and income tax planning, as well as estate and trust administration. Mr. Osterweil helps clients achieve their estate planning goals by drafting customized wills and trust agreements, providing insights based on his thorough knowledge of nuanced issues of trusts and estates laws. He also works with executors and trustees in all aspects of estate and trust administration. In addition, he advises public and private charitable organizations on establishing tax-efficient structures, securing tax-exempt status, and other related matters. 

Professor Michael Schwartz Discusses Disability Rights Initiatives on Uzbekistan TV

Tuesday 9/22/2020
Michael Schwartz

Disability rights expert Professor Michael Schwartz and Mirjahon Turdiev G'20, Vice Chairman of International Relations for the Association of Disabled People of Uzbekistan, appeared on national Uzbekistan TV recently to discuss the disability law clinic they have created at Tashkent State University, as well as efforts to establish a link between the College of Law and the state university. 

"The Uzbek Senate has just approved a new domestic law on disability, so the timing is right," explains Schwartz.  

Nursing Homes & Voting in a Pandemic: Professor Nina Kohn Joins NPR's 1A

Tuesday 9/22/2020
Nina Kohn

Block The Vote: Mail-In Voting And Disenfranchisement

(WAMU 1A | Sept. 21, 2020) In the first installment of our new series “Block the Vote,” we’re tackling mail-in voter disenfranchisement.

Cutting down on the number of people in enclosed spaces is absolutely vital during the pandemic. That’s why many plan to cast their ballot by mail.

But mail-in voting is not a panacea, and certain populations anticipate facing additional challenges this November — particularly, nursing home residents and Native Americans living on reservations ...


  • Jessica Huseman, Elections and Voting Rights Reporter, ProPublica
  • Jacqueline De León, Staff Attorney, Native American Rights Fund
  • Nina Kohn, Law Professor, Syracuse University; Distinguished Scholar in Elder Law, Yale Law School

Listen to the segment.

Professor Shubha Ghosh Reviews the "Territorial Discrepancy" of Intellectual Property Rights

Tuesday 9/22/2020
Shubha Ghosh
"Recognizing and Correcting a Discrepancy (Reviewing Marketa Trimble, The Territorial Discrepancy Between Intellectual Property Rights Infringement Claims and Remedies, 23 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 501)." JOTWELL (September 21, 2020).

Intellectual property rights are territorial. Infringement claims—of unauthorized copying, making, selling, using—involving patents, copyrights, trademarks, or trade secrets are extraterritorial. 

Courts are also territorial, and their jurisdictional reach often limited by geography. So, what happens when a successful intellectual property claimant seeks to remedy the wrong in the courts? How do extraterritorial harms map onto the territorial limits of courts and rights? 

In The Territorial Discrepancy Between Intellectual Property Rights Infringement Claims and Remedies, Professor Marketa Trimble offers a powerful analytic assessment of these issues, introducing new conceptual vocabulary and policy solutions. For innovativeness in framing and addressing an issue, Professor Trimble’s article is one that I like lots for the reasons I jot below ...

Read the full article.

Professor Roy Gutterman L’00: RBG Was a “Pioneer, a Champion for Equality”

Tuesday 9/22/2020
Roy Gutterman

Syracuse Law Professor Speaks on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Legacy, Politics Surrounding Her Replacement

(Spectrum Capital Tonight | Sept. 21, 2020) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a titan of jurisprudence and a feminist icon who fought for women’s rights and inspired memes (as well as a famous workout calendar), died on Friday at the age of 87.

“She was a pioneer, a champion for equality and women’s rights,” Syracuse University School of Law Professor Roy Gutterman told Capital Tonight. “Those are human rights; those are citizens’ rights. She fought for those issues before she was a justice and her jurisprudence followed through with that.”

Read the full article

Newhouse Free Speech Professor Reflects on Ginsburg Legacy in Communications, Rights

(WAER | Sept. 21, 2020) The Director of the Tully Free Speech Center at Syracuse University’s Newhouse school is remembering Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a person who held a firm grasp on hi-tech issues.  Roy Gutterman met Ginsburg on two occasions and observed her during oral arguments where she had an impact on media and media law.

“I remember in one of the broadcasts and decency cases she was asking about pretty pointed questions about the impact on FCC regulations dealing with profanity. You can tell she was favoring a different approach from the FCC.”

Listen to the segment.

SU Professor offers prospective on Ruth Bader Ginsburg's legacy

(CNYCentral | Sept. 19, 2020) Since the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there has been an outpouring of respect from both sides of the political aisle.

Head of the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University, Roy Gutterman, said Justice Ginsburg's work both on and away from America's highest court has opened doors for generations of women.

"These decisions really opened up many things that in twenty-first-century America we take for granted," Gutterman said. "I mean I would take for granted that more than 50% of a graduate class or a law class was female" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Mark Nevitt Discusses Climate-Related Disasters & Managed Retreat

Thursday 9/17/2020
Mark P. Nevitt

As Climate-Related Disasters Intensify, Retreat Emerges as Adaptation Strategy

(Kleinman Center Podcast | Sept. 15, 2020) When policymakers talk about adapting to climate change, they often focus on measures to reinforce towns and cities against natural disasters, such as the wildfires and flooding that have become more severe across the United States in recent years. Yet what is often more difficult to contemplate is the idea that some places may inevitably need to be abandoned. This idea of abandonment, or retreat from areas that are at great risk due to climate change, is understandably very difficult to think about. Retreat means leaving behind homes, and the possible disruption of communities and livelihoods. 

Mark Nevitt, associate professor of law at Syracuse University and a former legal counsel with the Department of Defense Regional Environmental Counsel in Norfolk, Virginia, explores how managed retreat ahead of likely disaster is itself a key climate adaptation strategy, and one which may ease, though not eliminate, the burden on impacted communities. Mark discusses his recent Kleinman Center-funded research into legal issues associated with climate adaptation, and how existing laws may present barriers to efforts to manage retreat from high risk areas.

Listen to the podcast.

Professor Corri Zoli Speaks to Vox About China and Iran Meddling in US Elections

Wednesday 9/16/2020
Corri Zoli

Are China and Iran meddling in US elections? It’s complicated.

(Vox | Sept. 15, 2020) This spring, the Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua posted a roughly two-minute video titled “Once Upon a Virus” on social media, including on official Chinese government accounts.

The video is in English and features Lego-like figures. One of the Statue of Liberty, representing America, and a warrior Lego representing China, with what looks like medical workers decked out in PPE, behind it...

... “There’s no question China’s the most technologically sophisticated for influence campaigns that reach beyond just elections,” Corri Zoli, associate teaching professor and director of research for the Institute for Security Policy and Law at Syracuse University, told me ...

... And Iran definitely has cyber capabilities. But Zoli said, overall, they’re not sophisticated enough to have a truly enormous impact. “They don’t have the capabilities and they haven’t thought through a really multi-pronged strategy. They’re not going after, you know, these ancillary institutional sites to try to have a big impact on political decision-making" ...

... Zoli told me she sees the ODNI document as educational, not so much for what it tells us about what our adversaries are up to, but as a way to “raise the public’s awareness that these election interferences are common and consistent. And you need to be kind of on guard about them. And you need to harden your approach to them" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Shubha Ghosh to Present Paper on Copyright in Legal Materials at NFOIC Summit

Tuesday 9/15/2020
Shubha Ghosh

Professor Shubha Ghosh's paper "Liberating Government’s Materials: Removing Copyright Obstacles to Transparency" was a winning paper in a recent National Freedom of Information Summit Coalition (NFOIC) competition. Ghosh will present his work during the NFOIC virtual summit on Sept. 30, 2020, at 5 p.m. 

"My paper is an analysis of the recent US Supreme Court decision in State of Georgia v Public.Resources.org in which the Court held that the State could not hold a copyright in its authorized annotated code," explains Ghosh. "The paper explains the decision and examines how its reasoning extends to administrative and other government materials." 

Sports Law Expert John Wolohan Discusses College Athletics "Quasi-Bubbles" in WaPo

Friday 9/11/2020
John Wolohan

College football’s quasi bubbles have been disrupted with other students returning

(The Washington Post | Sept. 11, 2020) As sports in the United States worked to lift themselves out of an unprecedented shutdown, leagues developed similar strategies — all focused on confining athletes to a set of facilities and keeping them away from anyone who could disrupt the season by spreading the novel coronavirus. So far, it’s working. The NBA has staged a months-long marathon of games at Disney World. Women’s soccer played in Utah. Hockey set up outposts in Canada. Games have run smoothly and few players have contracted the virus.

College football longs for that same success and needs the season just as much to keep athletic departments financially afloat. But at the college level, players are, according to the NCAA, simply students. The association’s logic is that the same way some students help with economics research or study sociology, these students play football ...

... By keeping athletes on campus during the pandemic, while sending other students home, it is signaling that athletes fall into a separate category. “We’re making them different,” said Wolohan, the sports law professor, adding that he thinks this scenario could be used in an argument against the NCAA when trying to determine whether athletes should be considered employees ...

Read the full article.

Professor Mark Nevitt: On Environmental Law, Climate Change, & National Security Law

Friday 9/11/2020
Mark P. Nevitt

"On Environmental Law, Climate Change, & National Security Law." Harvard Environmental Law Review 44:2 (Fall 2020)

This article offers a new way to think about climate change. Two new climate change assessments—the 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment (“NCA”) and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Climate Change—prominently highlight climate change’s multifaceted national security risks. Indeed, not only is climate change an environmental problem, it also accelerates existing national security threats, acting as both a “threat accelerant” and “catalyst for conflict.” 

Further, climate change increases the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events while threatening nations’ territorial integrity and sovereignty through rising sea levels. It causes both internal displacement within nations and climate change refugees across national borders. Addressing this new climate–security nexus brings together two historically distinct areas of law: environmental law and national security law. 

As we properly conceptualize climate change as a security threat, environmental law and national security law, once considered separate and often in conflict, engage with each other in new and complex ways.

The first body of law, environmental and climate change law, largely values the protection and preservation of the human environment via a cooperative federalism model of environmental laws and policies. 

The second body of law, national security law, largely suspends environmental protections ex ante via myriad national security exemptions within existing environmental statutes. But in the climate–security context, what was once in conflict is increasingly aligned as we look to preserve our common future from all threats, properly defined.

If climate change is, indeed, correctly conceptualized as a security issue, how do these two bodies of law interact? Should a future President be afforded national security deference in addressing the threats posed by climate change? Is climate change potentially a national emergency? And if so, what actions can (or should) be taken?

This article first describes and analyzes climate change as a national security issue, providing an overview of our understanding of climate change, climate science, and climate change’s multifaceted security effects. Second, I analyze where environmental, climate change, and national security law increasingly intersect to include a discussion of relevant U.S. law.

Finally, I use one specific example—whether climate change is a national emergency—as a vehicle to highlight how these two areas of law interact in new and surprising ways.

Read the full article


Professors Shubha Ghosh and Lauryn Gouldin Appointed as Crandall Melvin Professors

Thursday 9/10/2020
College of Law

Recognizing their significant scholarship and thought-leadership, as well as their excellence in teaching, Dean Craig M. Boise has re-appointed Professor Shubha Ghosh as Crandall Melvin Professor of Law and appointed Professor Lauryn Gouldin as Crandall Melvin Associate Professor of Law, each for a five-year term. 

"We’re grateful for the professorship that the Merchants National Bank and Trust Company established in honor of the late Crandall Melvin Sr. L’1913, to support the work of College of Law faculty who produce impactful scholarship” says Dean Boise. “This year, consistent with the donor’s intent, I’m pleased to announce that two College of Law professors—leading voices in their respective fields—will receive this prestigious appointment.” Melvin was a former College of Law professor, World War I veteran, successful lawyer and banker, and a voting trustee of Syracuse University from 1934 to 1970. 

Shubha Ghosh, Crandall Melvin Professor of Law and Director of the Technology Commercialization Law Program and the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute, has held the Crandall professorship since 2016. 

Ghosh's latest projects include two books for Edward Elgar: Advanced Introduction to Law and Entrepreneurship—the manuscript for which has been submitted for publication in 2021—and Forgotten Intellectual Property Lore. He also has submitted a paper on patents for technology to aid the visually impaired to the Madagascar Conseil Institute Law Review for their special issue on “Technology and Intellectual Property”. 

Other current projects include a chapter on the custom fit movement, patent law, and Rawlsian social justice to be published in a book by Cambridge, as well as a chapter on a previously unknown treatise on patent law in colonial India for a book from Oxford. Following upon Crandall Melvin’s work as a professor of torts law, Ghosh will be completing revisions for the Fourth Edition of Acing Tort Law (West Academic) to be published in late 2021. 

Professor Lauryn Gouldin teaches constitutional criminal procedure, privacy law, evidence, constitutional law, and criminal justice reform. Focusing her research on the Fourth Amendment, judicial decision-making, and pretrial detention and bail reform, her most recent articles are “Reforming Pretrial Decision-Making” (Wake Forest Law Review, forthcoming 2020) and “Defining Flight Risk” (University of Chicago Law Review, 2018). Earlier this year, she was awarded a New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Grant.

Gouldin is also Associate Dean for Faculty Research and the Principal Investigator for the Syracuse Civics Initiative, a Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) grant initiative to build partnerships with local school districts and educators addressing the crisis of confidence in public institutions. Her teaching excellence has been recognized with a Syracuse University Meredith Professors Teaching Recognition Award, two College of Law Outstanding Faculty awards, and a Res Ipsa Loquitur Award, from the Class of 2018. 

Professor Kristen Barnes Named Associate Dean for Faculty Research

Thursday 9/10/2020
Kristen Barnes

Syracuse University College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise has named Professor Kristen Barnes—an expert in property and housing law, anti-discrimination, and civil rights—Associate Dean for Faculty Research. Barnes will take over the current Associate Dean, Professor Lauryn Gouldin, at the start of the spring 2021 semester.

A teacher of courses on property, housing law, and voting rights, Barnes is a widely published scholar whose articles on housing integration, anti-discrimination, voting, pensions, education, and other topics appear in premier law review journals, including Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy, Harvard Journal of Racial and Ethnic Justice, and Chicago-Kent Law Review. 

Barnes also has presented her work at numerous prestigious conferences, such as the American Society of International Law Midyear Meeting; Harvard Law School’s Institute of Global Law and Policy Conference; the Association of Law, Property, and Society Annual Conference; Loyola Law School’s Constitutional Colloquium; and Fordham Law School’s International and Comparative Urban Law Conference. From 2018 to 2020 she was a visiting scholar at the American Bar Foundation.

"As Associate Dean, Kristen will lead the College’s continued placement of faculty scholarship in top-tier law journals, bringing noted law experts to Dineen Hall to facilitate the exchange of ideas, encouraging grant-funded research projects, and broadening our faculty’s involvement with noted institutions around the world," says Dean Boise. "I thank Lauryn for her dedication to our research efforts during her term as Associate Dean and for helping to enhance the College’s intellectual output and establishing deeper scholarly relationships with our peers."

In her new role, Barnes will oversee The Faculty Colloquia, an ongoing showcase for cutting edge legal research featuring scholars from around the world, the College’s annual celebration of faculty publications, and "Lightning Round" research reviews. The Associate Dean also organizes presentations by high-profile speakers at College of Law events, including the annual United States Supreme Court Preview, held during Law Alumni Weekend in the fall.

Nina Kohn on NursingHome411: Why LTC Residents are Facing Heightened Voting Barriers this Election

Wednesday 9/9/2020
Nina Kohn

(NursingHome411.org | Sept. 8, 2020) The 2020 U.S. presidential election is fast approaching, but many long-term care residents, cut off from the outside world, may not get a vote. 

Professor Nina Kohn joins the show to discuss voting barriers in long-term care settings and explain why it’s imperative that residents’ voting rights are protected in this election. 

Kohn—David M. Levy Professor of Law at Syracuse University and Solomon Center Distinguished Elder Law Scholar at Yale University—also offers a few tips for families, ombudsmen, and advocates to help residents vote.

Listen to the podcast.

College of Law, OCBA Launch Community Book Read for Racial Justice

Tuesday 9/8/2020
Just Mercy

Syracuse University College of Law and the Onondaga County Bar Association (OCBA), along with other community partners and the generous support of CNY private law firms, have launched a new educational series, titled "Race & Justice in Central New York”.

The inaugural event in the series is the “Racial Justice Community Book Read,” featuring discussion of Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. The College of Law Library at Dineen Hall on the Syracuse University campus is one of the sign up and book pick up locations for the series. Participants can register for the series and receive a complimentary copy of Just Mercy via the OCBA website. The book is also available through Onondaga County Public Libraries as a hard copy or audiobook.

Open to all members of the Central New York community, the book read discussions begin on Sept. 14, 2020. at 6 p.m. via Zoom and continue on a weekly basis until November 23 (there will be no discussion on September 28 in observance of Yom Kippur).

“The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and other unarmed Black people and people of color at the hands of law enforcement compelled the Bar Association and the College of Law to respond in ways that involved, informed, and collaborated across our community," Professor Paula Johnson, Co-Director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative and a project coordinator for Race & Justice in Central New York, told the Syracuse Post-Standard.

Just Mercy is the true story of how Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a nonprofit that provides legal representation to people who have been unfairly convicted or sentenced. It has been described as “a powerful true story about … the importance of confronting injustice.” 

One of the goals of Race & Justice in Central New York is to help people examine and better understand the structure of local and national legal systems and their impact on disparate outcomes for those in historically disenfranchised groups.

“Stevenson so effectively details the endemic racism, classism, and gender bias, that permeates the criminal justice system in the United States,” Johnson says. “He also provides windows where the imperative and possibilities for change exist. Members of all communities will find resonance in what Stevenson reveals, which can inform the necessary changes that must take place in their own locations.”

Beginning with the “Racial Justice Community Book Read,” the project hopes to raise awareness of how the Central New York community can address systemic racism and inequality. “Future series will look at electoral systems, decision making processes, inclusion/exclusion, disparities in distribution of public resources, and accountability by offices and office holders to all members of the community," adds Johnson.

Professor William C. Banks Speaks to Indus News About Legality of NSA Surveillance

Tuesday 9/8/2020
William C. Banks

Beth Kubala Appointed Civilian Aide to US Army Secretary

Tuesday 9/8/2020
Beth Kubala

College of Law Teaching Professor Beth Kubala was named one of six civilian aides to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) in a virtual ceremony last month.

On Aug. 18, 2020, at the Pentagon, Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy appointed Kubala, executive director of the Betty and Michael D. Wohl’s Veterans Legal Clinic, along with Joseph Toloa’ Ho Ching, II, of Pago Pago, American Samoa; Ken Keen, of Atlanta, Georgia; Mark K. Benton, of San Francisco, California; Michael Sablan, of Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; and John Phillips G’91, of Canton, Georgia. Phillips is a graduate of the Defense Comptrollership Program through the Whitman School of Management and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and is vice president and co-founder of Vetlanta.

McCarthy thanked them for their willingness to serve. “These are unprecedented times and the Army is fortunate to have you in the community interacting with civic leaders, educators and businesses,” said McCarthy. “We have found that there is a dramatic correlation with CASAs and an increase in recruitment. CASAs are a valuable asset in the community and help make a difference.”

CASAs, a vital part of the Army, promote good relations between the Army and the public and advise the secretary on regional issues.

Each state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories have one or more CASAs to provide vital links between the Army and the communities they serve. CASAs are usually business or civic leaders who possess a keen interest in the welfare of the Army and their communities.

CASAs serve a two-year term without compensation. Terms may be extended to a total of 10 years of service. The secretary may recognize a civilian aide as a CASA Emeritus after 10 years of distinguished service.

“As a proud member of the Syracuse community,” says Kubala, who served in the Army for 22 years culminating her military career at Fort Drum, New York, as a military judge. “I am extremely grateful and honored to have been selected by the secretary for this position. Military service runs in our family—my father and great-grandfather served in the Army. This position provides a platform to tell the Army story from my personal and professional perspectives. I’m fortunate to understand what it means to serve through my experiences as an Army officer, military spouse and military mom.”

As part of their role, CASAs can nominate students for the Army’s prestigious Minuteman Scholarship. The Minuteman Scholarship covers from three to four years of full tuition and fees at colleges and universities served by an Army ROTC program. Scholarship recipients also receive a monthly stipend of $420, and a yearly book allowance of $1,200.

“I am profoundly honored to represent Georgia (North) as a civilian aide to Secretary McCarthy,” said Phillips. “The strength, resiliency, and fortitude of our Army is remarkable! Our Army is the greatest Army and I am proud to be part of the team. Thank you for this opportunity to serve and for your belief in me.”


Professor David Driesen Discusses Airline Fees & COVID-19 in LA Times

Friday 9/4/2020
David Driesen

Airlines say they may have been money-grubbing fee junkies before, but no longer

(Los Angeles Times | Sept. 3, 2020) For anyone who believes airlines ding passengers with gratuitous fees for no better reason than because they can, America’s biggest carriers have an answer:


That appears to be the inescapable conclusion after United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines this week announced they’re permanently doing away with the whopping $200 fees they charged to change many bookings.

The carriers say they’re doing people a favor during the COVID-19 pandemic. They say they feel your pain ...

“With demand slack because of COVID, they must offer flexibility to get people to fly at all,” observed David Driesen, law professor at Syracuse University. “In other words, these fees are not raising revenue now, they are lowering it" ...

Read the full article.

Burton Blatt Institute Receives $4.3M to Lead National Center on Employment Policy for Persons with Disabilities

Thursday 9/3/2020
Burton Blatt Institute

The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University has received $4.3 million from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to lead a new national Rehabilitation Research Training Center (RRTC) on “Disability Inclusive Employment Policy.”

Given the adverse impacts of COVID-19—and with more than 50 million individuals nationwide having lost jobs—the RRTC will address current challenges to the employment and economic advancement of persons with disabilities.

“Today’s unprecedented health and economic challenges raised by the coronavirus pandemic require a comprehensive analysis of US employment policy for individuals with disabilities,” says University Professor Peter Blanck, BBI Chairman and Principal Investigator for the project. “The new RRTC examines the employment lifecycle in consideration of individual disabilities, race/ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other identities. It will examine national and local policies and programs to promote employment and economic advancement of people with disabilities.”

The RRTC’s agenda is led by diverse and influential members of the disability community. The Center also involves nationally recognized researchers from BBI, Harvard University, and Rutgers University, along with leading national policy and disability organizations such as the National Governors Association, Disability:IN, Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, Independent Living Research Utilization, Association for People Supporting Employment First, National Disability Institute, American Association of People with Disabilities, and others.

To inform policies and behavior, the RRTC team will target key audiences, including employers, service providers, policymakers, and people with disabilities and their families.

Blanck adds that the RRTC will “ambitiously look across the employment lifecycle, to enhance employment entry, economic outcomes, and career growth.” The five-year project will develop a post-COVID-19 policy framework to accelerate opportunities for employment, career pathways, entrepreneurship, and economic self-sufficiency for youth and adults across the spectrum of disability.

Update on the University Review of DPS by Former AG Loretta Lynch

Wednesday 9/2/2020
Kent Syverud

Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community:

In June, I shared with our community that I asked former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to conduct a review of Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety (DPS). Ms. Lynch, who served as U.S. attorney general under President Barack Obama, is respected for her expertise in police-community relations. I write to you today with an update on her work.

By the second week of September, Ms. Lynch and her team will provide preliminary recommendations to form a Public Safety Citizen Review Board that will hear, review and recommend actions regarding complaints made by University community members. That will be followed by a series of listening sessions between Ms. Lynch’s team and members of our community comprising students, faculty and staff, including DPS personnel. Listening sessions will be held virtually and, if health protocols allow, on campus. With those recommendations and input, we will establish the Review Board, whose members will be drawn from the University community. The listening sessions will also in part inform Ms. Lynch’s final independent review and recommendations.

In the coming weeks, you will receive more information from Ms. Lynch’s team about how to participate in these listening sessions. Creating a model where DPS’ focus is on public safety is our goal. Building trust between our community and DPS is an important part of our work in being a more just, equitable and welcoming community for all.


Chancellor Kent Syverud

Professor Shubha Ghosh Submits Public Interest Statement to Trade Commission

Tuesday 9/1/2020
Shubha Ghosh

Shubha Ghosh, Crandall Melvin Professor of Law, submitted a Public Interest Statement with the US International Trade Commission on Aug. 18, 2020. 

The Statement raises public interest and competition issues with the Initial Determinations of an Administrative Law Judge at the Commission under Section 1337 Chapter 19, which deals with customs duties, finding that Daewoong Pharmaceuticals had misappropriated Medytox’s trade secrets in developing and importing Nabota, a competing botulinum toxin ("Botox”) product. The judge also recommended a ban on imports of Nabota for the next decade.

Professor Ghosh’s statement raises questions about whether trade secrets were misappropriated. It also expressed concerns about the anti-competitive effects of the judge’s determinations. 

He writes, "[The] determination would transform Section 1337 into a pseudo-anti-dumping regime—where a company that has no rights to enforce the IP at issue nonetheless can obtain relief based merely on a product competing with it. Such a shift extinguishes competition without any public benefit from innovation, and thus is not appropriate.”

Professor Ghosh wrote and submitted the Statement pro bono in conjunction with the Washington, DC, law firms of Foster, Murphy, Altman & Nickel and Kobre & Kim.

Helping Victims of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault During COVID-19: “Syracuse Law Students Have Saved This Program”

Tuesday 9/1/2020

During a time when domestic violence is thought to have increased by as much as 20% due to COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantine orders, which essentially left victims trapped at home with their partners, Vera House was faced with a dilemma: staff and volunteers were overextended, clients were desperately in need of legal representation to draft petitions for orders of protection, and courthouses were shut down.

“Two fabulous law student externs, Ann Ciancia and Tyler Jeffries, had already been drafting petitions in person, and eagerly stepped in to assist remotely,” said Bryn Lovejoy-Grinnell, Director of the Legal Project at Vera House. Through Ciancia L’21, Jeffries L’21, and Eddie Zaremba L’20 and Mariah Almonte L’21, members of the College of Law’s Pro Bono Advisory Board, Vera House was able to recruit additional students to help draft petitions: Nadia Abed L’21, Georgia Amick L’22, Bukre Ayan L’20, Melissa Berouty L’21, Alexandria Corradi L’22, Emily Green L’20, Christopher Henley L.22, Madeline Sheffield L’20, and Christopher Waters L’22.

“These awesome students began taking one, two, or three, 3-hour shifts every week starting in May, and they have made all the difference for us in terms of being able to provide that support to clients,” said Lovejoy-Grinnell. “Syracuse law students have saved this program, bringing care, dedication, passion, commitment, and enthusiasm to this critically important core agency service.”

Syracuse University College of Law’s Pro Bono Program is a faculty and student-led collaborative effort between the College of Law and local attorneys who perform public interest work to provide professional engagement opportunities to students and to serve the community. Each class of College of Law students records approximately 6,000 accumulated pro bono hours.

This work provides invaluable legal services to some of the most vulnerable members of the community, and essential real-world learning opportunities and career paths for Orange lawyers in training.

Professor Nina Kohn on ABC News: COVID-19 Could "Systematically Disenfranchise" the Elderly

Tuesday 9/1/2020
Nina Kohn

Nursing home residents isolated by coronavirus now face looming challenge: Voting

(ABC News | Aug. 31, 2020) For residents of the Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads senior living center in Falls Church, Va., voting used to be just an elevator ride away.

The senior living community room once doubled as an official voting precinct. But this year, with heightened concerns about coronavirus locking down nursing homes around the nation, election officials were forced to move the polling location away -- leaving in its place uncertainty for the facility's approximately 500 residents ...

... “I think we should be clear that there is tremendous reason to be concerned that nursing home residents will be... systematically disenfranchised in this election,” said Nina Kohn, a law professor at Syracuse University who has studied the voting-rights of older adults.

“This is a train barreling down on the right to vote and the sooner people recognize it, the sooner we'll be in a position to intervene" ...

Read the full article.

Study Rooms for Individual Study

Monday 8/31/2020

​Dineen Hall and the Law Library have 17 individual study rooms which law students can book for up to 4 hours per day.  Due to the size of the rooms and social distancing requirements, the rooms are limited to just one individual student.  The Law Library classroom (Law Library 240E) is available for group study in 2 hour blocks when not booked for teaching.  The room accommodates 4 socially-distanced students.

Study rooms will be cleaned each night.  Students are advised to take wipes from the building's wipe dispensers to clean the table surface and chair arms upon entering a study room.

See our Study Room Availability page to book a study room.

Professor Mark Nevitt: Climate Change—A Threat to International Peace & Security?

Monday 8/31/2020
Mark Nevitt

(Opinio Juris | Aug. 29, 2020) Is the climate-security century upon us?  If so, what are the implications for international legal governance and institutions?  In his recent Opinio Juris essay, based on his provocative and meticulously researched article, Atmospheric InterventionProfessor Martin argues that the climate change crisis may well exert pressure for change on the governing jus ad bellum regime.  

Climate Change: A Destabilizing Physical and Legal Force

I am persuaded by Prof. Martin’s argument that the climate change crisis is likely to impact the international collective security system.  While his focus was on the jus ad bellum regime, he briefly discusses the role of the UN Security Council and other institutional structures.   My own work has focused on how the crisis will implicate the international institutions and governance structures that oversee the entire collective security system, particularly the UN Security Council.

In a forthcoming law review article, I argue that climate change will force us to look at international institutions and governance structures with fresh eyes as we struggle to prevent climate-exacerbated conflict and save island nations from possible climate-driven extinction.  In turn, the UN Security Council can and should play a substantive role in addressing the multi-faceted challenges that we face in our “climate security century.” 

Climate change demands both innovative governance solutions and a legal entrepreneurship mindset—using existing tools in new ways.   After all, climate change is an aptly named “super-wicked” problem—no one technological innovation or legal agreement is likely to solve it by itself.  As climate change’s risks are felt—not to mention the risk of “green swan” climate events that transcend any one risk model—we must proactively expand the climate governance aperture.  Call it the “all hands-on deck” approach to international climate governance.  In what follows, I acknowledge both the challenges to UN Security Council action on climate, while arguing that the Council should take three concrete steps to meet the climate security challenges …

Read the full article.

Professor Nina Kohn in The Hill: Older Adults Are Feeling the Heat, Literally

Monday 8/31/2020
Nina Kohn

(The Hill | Aug. 29, 2020) This August, California’s Death Valley National Park recorded what experts say may be the hottest temperature ever measured on Earth. Yet, it isn’t just deserts that are warming up. Across the country — including in northern states — communities are experiencing more hot days. 

Changing temperatures, like other forms of climate change, may seem universal — but their impacts are far from it. One group particularly susceptible to its effects are older adults. In part, this is because older bodies are less resilient to heat. Older adults are more likely than younger people to experience heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat-induced cardiovascular events such as strokes. Research suggests that strings of days with elevated temperatures — a key result of climate change — place particular stress on older adults’ cardiovascular systems, leading to increased risk of early death. 

But older adults face special risk from rising temperatures not simply because they are physically more vulnerable to heat. They also are vulnerable because their homes are often less well equipped to deal with heat extremes. Many have retired to sunbelt communities where temperatures are now spiking. Those who have remained in the homes they lived in when younger may find their residences are energy-inefficient — making the cost of cooling them unaffordable ...

Read the full article.

Professor Doron Dorfman: How an Unexpected Collaboration Led Utah to Amend its Discriminatory Triage Plan

Monday 8/31/2020
Doron Dorfman

(The Hill | Aug. 28, 2020) The disability community has a history of contention with the government over enforcing federal antidiscrimination mandates. 

Clashes have often erupted between the parties. In 1977, disabled activists occupied the San Francisco Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) building for 28 days to protest the delay in enacting regulations to help implement Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (the first federal disability antidiscrimination mandate). 

In 1990, dozens of activists left their wheelchairs behind, got down on their hands and knees and pulled themselves up the Capitol steps, a demonstration known as “The Capitol Crawl,” in an effort to get Congress to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In 2017, protests against the efforts to repeal Obamacare were rampant.

In 2020, however, disability rights organizations worked together with the federal government to resolve complaints about discriminatory health policies. This collaboration has been effective in ensuring equality for individuals with disabilities, possibly paving the way for new strategies to accomplish social change.  

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, medical facilities have been forced to update their plans for allocating scarce life-saving resources — specifically, ventilators — in situations where they may be overwhelmed with patients coming through the doors of their ERs …

Read the full article.

Lerner named to 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Friday 8/28/2020

Plunkett Cooney is pleased to announce that David Lerner, Partner: Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law attorneys was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2021.

Ryan named to Legal Services Corporation’s Leaders Council

Friday 8/28/2020

DLA Piper is pleased to announce that US Chair-elect Frank Ryan has been named to the Legal Services Corporation’s Leaders Council. The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is the country’s largest funder of civil legal aid programs for low-income people. . Frank is excited to continue his support of “expanding access to civil legal aid.” Frank Ryan is a member of DLA Piper's Executive Committee and Global Board and has been elected the next US Chair of DLA Piper. 

Professor Nina Kohn Discusses Nursing Homes, Voting, and COVID-19 on KCBS Radio

Friday 8/28/2020
Nina Kohn

Hundreds of Thousands of the Elderly May Not Be Able to Vote

(KCBS Radio | Aug. 27, 2020) With the election around the corner and the COVID-19 pandemic making it even more difficult for the elderly and immuno-compromised to get around, hundreds of thousands of nursing home residents may not be able to vote.

For more, KCBS Radio news anchor Margie Shafer spoke with Nina Kohn, Law Professor at Syracuse University specializing in Elder Law.

Listen to the segment.

Syracuse University College of Law Welcomes the LL.M. Class of 2021

Friday 8/28/2020
College of Law

On Aug. 18, 2020, the College of Law welcomed 10 Master of Laws in American Law students at a Convocation ceremony in Dineen Hall.

“Despite many barriers and uncertainties, this year’s LL.M. cohort includes foreign lawyers representing the legal systems of eight countries,” says Assistant Dean of International Programs Andrew S. Horsfall. “These students join eight returning LL.M. students who began their studies in the last academic year, along with two visiting scholars. I am pleased to announce that this year we add Albania to the ranks of countries represented by our master’s degree students and graduates.”

Due to global disruptions caused by the COVD-19 pandemic, the new LL.M. class will learn together across different locations and time zones: three students will be located in Syracuse, another three will study at other locations in the Eastern Time Zone, and four will be based abroad, in Mexico, Kenya, Germany, and Ghana.

“I look forward to another exciting year with our impressive new group of LL.M. students, diverse in both practice experience and professional interests,” says Professor Arlene Kanter, Faculty Director of International Programs. “As we navigate the challenge of learning during a global pandemic, our LL.M. students will continue to receive outstanding academic advising from members of our law faculty, as well as from our Office of International Programs team and our LL.M. student mentors: 3Ls Brianna Ferrante, Audrey Fick, Kylie Mason, Susan Mintz, and Troy Parker, as well as 2L Mazaher Kaila.”

LL.M. Class of 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Lorena Martinez (Mexico): Lorena Martinez received an LL.B. from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in 2020. As an undergraduate, she served as a research assistant for the co-director of the World Trade Organization in Mexico where she focused on international commercial law. Martinez will pursue courses that will prepare her for the New York Bar Exam while enrolled in the LL.M. Program.

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

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

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

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

Visiting Researchers 2020-2021

Smitha Nazir (India)

Dr. Smitha Nizar is a Fulbright Post-Doctoral Visiting Scholar from India. In her post-doctoral research, she examines the need to align India’s national laws with the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and to uphold the basic rights for persons with disabilities. She is pursuing research supervised by Professor Arlene Kanter. Her previous study, The Contradiction in Disability Law: Selective Abortions and Rights (Oxford University Press, 2016), has highlighted the contradicting legal order on disability-selective abortion which is discriminatory and in violation of the international law, e.g. the UNCRPD.

While India’s laws prohibit sex selection, this attempt at equality does not include disability-selective abortions. According to the study, prenatal tests and disability-selective abortion exposes the prejudiced medical and social stance and how the law favors it. Dr. Nizar’s study also reveals how disability-selective abortion is inconsistent with the UNCRPD and its life-affirming paradigm. A pioneer in this area, this research will benefit India and the United States by urging the respective law makers to revisit the specific laws.

Before her research visit to Syracuse, Dr. Nizar was teaching and practicing law in India. She volunteers her time as the Legal Officer of a disability rehabilitation organization, where children with disabilities are supported and educated from the very early stages of life. She dreams for a world where disability is accepted as a general human condition, to treat persons with disabilities as all others. She works to achieve her mission, “Towards Equality for Disability.”

Hojin Choi L’16 (South Korea)

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

Professor Nina Kohn to ProPublica: Nursing Homes Have Duty to Facilitate Residents’ Voting Rights

Thursday 8/27/2020
Nina Kohn

Hundreds of Thousands of Nursing Home Residents May Not Be Able to Vote in November Because of the Pandemic

(ProPublica | Aug. 26, 2020) ... Under federal law, nursing homes have a duty to facilitate residents’ rights, including voting, said Nina Kohn. But even before the pandemic, compliance was spotty. From 2018 through 2019, Medicare documented complaints from at least 55 U.S. nursing homes in which residents said they weren’t given the opportunity to vote or were unable to get help casting a ballot. But nursing home inspectors categorized the vast majority of these complaints as low severity, meaning they were seen as inflicting little or no actual harm.

As a result, fines for violating residents’ voting rights are rare. Nursing home inspectors, Kohn said, do not take such violations seriously. “What you have is a system where the deprivation of our fundamental civil liberties never arises as being classified as real harm,” she said. “You’ve got a whole category of violations where there are virtually no consequences" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Mark Nevitt: Climate Adaptation—How Do We "Manage" Managed Retreat?

Wednesday 8/26/2020
Mark Nevitt

Climate change will increasingly require both homeowners and policymakers to accept the sobering reality that we must move away from our most vulnerable communities.


During my 20 years in the U.S. military, any mention of the word “retreat” would initially be met with furrowed brows, heavy sighs, and consternation. After all, retreat conjures negative images of defeat and loss to the enemy. Similarly, climate change is an overpowering “enemy” force that threatens coastal communities.

Climate change will increasingly require both homeowners and policymakers to accept the sobering reality that we must move away from our most vulnerable communities. This will require difficult, heart-wrenching, climate adaptation decisions. 

Retreat is an emotionally fraught choice, but often the best option. By one estimate, building sea walls for coastal communities will cost U.S. taxpayers in excess of $400 billion—we simply cannot “accommodate our way” out of climate change.  

But rather than seeing retreat as a failure, we must reconceptualize climate change—driven managed retreat for what it presents: a sensible, albeit difficult option that offers fresh opportunities. It represents a mature evolution and acknowledgement of climate change’s true costs, risks, and threats (Siders 2019). But how do we “manage” managed retreat? And what are the legal barriers in doing so?

We are entering the climate–security century as climate change massively destabilizes the physical environment (Nevitt 2015). To meet this physical destabilization, existing laws, regulations, and policies—all designed for a more stable environment—are similarly ripe for destabilization. As we better understand climate change’s “super-wicked” effects, federal, state, and local governments must look with fresh eyes at the full menu of climate adaptation policies and regulatory tools at our disposal (Lazarus 2009) ...

Read the full report.

Professor David Driesen: How Private Companies Could Step Up to Help Save our Election

Wednesday 8/26/2020
David Driesen

By David M. Drisen, Eric W. Orts, and George Aposporos 

(The Hill | Aug. 25, 2020)  “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” This unofficial motto of the United States Postal Service leaves out the possibility of both viral plague and gross mismanagement — problems we face today.

Private business firms should volunteer to help to overcome these challenges to ensure fair and free elections in November.

Many voters in many states will rely on the U.S. mails to meet the legal requirement of providing “prompt, reliable, and efficient services” and deliver their mail-in votes on time. Yet the Trump administration has signaled an intention to slow down the mail and to restrict the ability of many citizens to vote. Most recently, President Trump stated that he opposed funding the Postal Service because he desires to undermine mail-in voting. Our polarized Congress is not likely to provide a solution.

We propose that business, acting in conjunction with the states, can save our election.

Amazon, FedEx, UPS, and perhaps other companies should offer to provide voters, states, and electoral commissions with delivery services to facilitate mail-in and absentee balloting for free — or for the current normal postage rate. Because these firms offer tracking services, they may offer a further check on alleged fraud problems and satisfy demands for a record of the date sent or deposited, which some states require …

Read the full article.

Syracuse University College of Law Welcomes New Students at its 2020 Convocation

Wednesday 8/26/2020
College of Law

On Aug. 18, 2020, Syracuse University College of Law welcomed 242 new students at an online Convocation ceremony, including 158 in the residential juris doctor program (Class of 2023); 75 in JDinteractive, the College's online law degree program (Class of 2024); and 10 who pursuing a Master of Laws in American Law (Class of 2021).

The students heard from Syracuse University Chancellor and President Kent Syverud, College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise, and New York State Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay L'95.

Welcoming the students, Chancellor Syverud, also a faculty member in the College of Law, referred to changes to the 2020 fall semester made in response to the coronavirus pandemic: “Your first semester as a Syracuse law student will be very different from students who came before you. But different does not mean your experience will be any less rich or rewarding.”

Dean Boise thanked the students for their patience and fortitude as the College adjusted throughout the summer to a new residential and remote hybrid learning model in order to safeguard health and wellness. He assured the students that “there will be no deviation in our determination to prepare you for a rapidly shifting legal, political, and societal landscape.”

“The past few months have felt like the 1918 flu pandemic, the 1929 economic crash, the civil unrest of the late 1960s, and the cold war combined. If ever there was a pivotal moment in history, it’s this moment,” Dean Boise continued. “And, yet, at this moment each of you is embarking on a legal education. I ask you to consider why you are here. What will you make of this moment? What will this time of global uncertainty do to you, or for you? How will you fortify your own character, your moral and ethical base? How can learning the law enable you to drive change, in your own life and circumstances, but also more broadly, in the world around you?”

Leader Barclay told the students that they “have the good fortune of being in a place that celebrates diversity of thought, fosters collaboration, enthusiastically provides guidance, and rewards work ethic necessary to adapt and achieve.”

“Your time at Syracuse will be incredible,” Leader Barclay added, “but your learning doesn’t stop here. Now is the time to establish the skills and habits that help you solve the problems and rise to the challenges that wait for you. As we see in the world today, those skills have never been more important.”

Dean Boise also offered an overview of the incoming classes. Demonstrating the College’s strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, 65 incoming students identify as persons of color; there is a roughly even mix of students identifying as male and female; there are 61 first-generation students; and 32 students are either active duty military members veterans, or military-affiliated. 

Together the J.D. incoming classes represent 39 states, including the District of Columbia, and four different nations in addition to the United States: Canada, China, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. 

Whereas the average age of the residential J.D. class is 24, the average age of JDinteractive students is 35, illustrating the continued attraction to this program for non-traditional students and those seeking to supplement credentials or change careers. In July, the American Bar Association granted Syracuse permission to expand enrollment in JDi in order to meet increasing demand for a high quality, flexible online law degree program that meets the family, work, and other needs of non-traditional law students. 

As of Aug. 24, 2020, the LSAT and GPA median scores for all incoming juris doctor students once again are strong. The median LSAT score (155) improves by one point, and the median GPA score for the incoming J.D. students improves from 3.33 (2019 matriculation) to 3.53. 

Forty-seven students begin their law studies already holding higher degrees, including master's in business, criminology, economics, education, fine art, political science, physiology, and psychology. There are two M.D.s, and four students hold Ph.Ds, in neuroscience, chemistry, chemical engineering, and cultural anthropology. 

This year’s LL.M. class of 10 foreign lawyers represents the legal systems of eight countries. For the first time, a student from Albania matriculates, while other master's degree students come from the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.  

These lawyers begin their studies with a wide range of interests and practice experience, in business and commercial law, disability law, labor law, intellectual property, international criminal law, and human rights.  

Bottar included in Best Lawyers

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Michael A. Bottar recognized by Best Lawyers® as a 2021 Syracuse "Lawyer of the Year."

Recognized as 2021 Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Amber L. Lawyer, ’17 Graduate: Corporate Law and Mergers and Acquisitions Law was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch. 

Lafferty included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America Ones to Watch

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Riane F. Lafferty, 14’ Graduate: Labor and Employment Law – Management and Litigation – Labor and Employment was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America Ones to Watch.

Jacobson included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America Ones to Watch

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Nicholas Jacobson, ’14 Graduate: Labor and Employment Law – Management was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America Ones to Watch.

Tice included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Sunny I. Tice, ’10 Graduate: Real Estate Law was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America Ones to Watch.

Galbato included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Suzanne O. Galbato, ’98 Graduate: Commercial Litigation was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America.

Harshbarger included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Laura H. Harshbarger, ’97 Graduate: Education Law; Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; and Litigation – Labor and Employment was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

McGuire included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that George R. McGuire, ’96 Graduate: Litigation – Intellectual Property; Litigation – Patent; and Patent Law was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America.

Laudadio included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Brian Laudadio, ’96 Graduate: Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Labor and Employment; and Litigation – Municipal was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America.

Butler included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Brian J. Butler, ’96 Graduate: Commercial Litigation was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America.

Champion included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Gregory J. Champion, ’91 Graduate: Corporate Law was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America.

Schwab included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Martin A. Schwab, ’90 Graduate: Trusts and Estates was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America.

Reichel included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that • Paul W. Reichel, ’90 Graduate: Tax Law was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America.

Daley included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Stephen C. Daley, ’87 Graduate: Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America.

Brown included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Dennis C. Brown, ’84 Graduate: Litigation and Controversy – Tax; and Tax Law was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America.

Fernandez included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Hermes Fernandez, ’81 Graduate: Administrative/Regulatory Law; and Health Care Law was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America.

D'Ambrosio included in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Nicholas J. D'Ambrosio, Jr., ’80 Graduate: Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; and Litigation – Labor and Employment was selected for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America.

Brown named Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year"

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Dennis C. Brown has been named the 2021 Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year" for Tax Law in Naples. Dennis 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. 

Dixon named Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year"

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Cressida A. Dixon has been named the 2021 Best Lawyers in America "Lawyer of the Year" for Trusts and Estates in Rochester. Cressida 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. 

Stack listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Gerry Stack: Tax Law, of their Syracuse, NY office, was listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

McAuliffe listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Kevin McAuliffe: Project Finance Law, of their Syracuse, NY office, was listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

Leja listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Andrew Leja: Environmental Law, of their Syracuse, NY office, was listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

French listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Dan French: Criminal Defense: White-Collar, of their Syracuse, NY office, was listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

Barclay listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Will Barclay: Corporate Law, of their Syracuse, NY office, was listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

Alcott listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Lee Alcott: Commercial Litigation, of their Syracuse, NY office, was listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

Scarfone listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America

Tuesday 8/25/2020

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Nick Scarfone: Tax Law, of their Rochester, NY office, was listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America.  

Rusher sworn in as Immigration Judge

Tuesday 8/25/2020
Marna Rusher

Attorney General Barr appointed Marna M. Rusher to begin hearing cases in January 2020. Judge Rusher earned a Bachelor of Science in 1972 from the University of Bridgeport and a Juris Doctor in 2001 from the University of Syracuse, School of Law. From 2007 to 2019, she served as an assistant chief counsel, Office of Chief Counsel, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, in Boston. From 2005 to 2007, she was a civil litigation associate for Murphy & Riley P.C. From 2002 to 2005, she served as an assistant district attorney, in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Judge Rusher is a member of the Massachusetts State Bar.

Cook included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021

Tuesday 8/25/2020
Richard Cook

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Richard W. Cook has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021.  Mr. Cook is a partner at the Firm and leader of the Banking & Finance Practice and a member of the Corporate Practice.  

Corcoran included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021

Tuesday 8/25/2020
John Corcoran

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that John F. Corcoran has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021.  Mr. Corcoran is the leader of the Firm’s Education and Municipal Practices, and formerly served as Chair of the Labor & Employment Department.  

Meagher included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021

Tuesday 8/25/2020
Walter Meagher

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Walter L. Meagher, Jr. has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021.  Mr. Meagher is a partner in the Litigation Practice and has over 40 years of experience in the areas of personal injury, premises liability, automobile liability, construction accidents, and products liability litigation. He is a former Managing Partner of the Firm.  

Veterans Legal Clinic Students Participate in National Boot Camp

Tuesday 8/25/2020
National Boot Camp for Clinics Serving Veterans

Basic Combat Training—colloquially known as “Boot Camp”—is an introduction to military service, where new recruits learn the traditions, tactics, and methods of becoming a soldier. On Aug. 21, 2020, more than 20 student attorneys from the Betty D. and Michael Wohl Veteran’s Legal Clinic (VLC) joined other law students, professors, and practitioners from across the nation to learn about advocating for veterans at the first “National Boot Camp for Clinics Serving Veterans.” 

Pre-clinic boot camps are a tradition among veterans legal clinics, designed to expose new student attorneys to the nuances of military culture, to the general process of applying for benefits though the Department of Veterans Affairs, and to current laws and regulations effective client counseling. 

Recognizing that many clinics would be operating remotely again in the fall, the National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium (NLSVCC) explored innovative ways to collectively provide meaningful training in a virtual format. The idea of a National Boot Camp resonated with clinical practitioners, and planning took place throughout the summer, culminating in the August 21 program. 

The Hon. Margaret Bartley, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, welcomed all attendees and thanked the new student attorneys for making sure veterans receive the best possible legal representation. 

Programming included experts in advocating for service-connected disabilities, a panel of recent clinic students, a practitioner’s view on moral injury and post-traumatic stress, and a panel of military veterans, who provided insight into the various services and military culture. In addition to the National Boot Camp, veterans law practitioners prepared video resources that will be available throughout the year for continued learning opportunities.

Chantal Wentworth-Mullin, VLC Managing Director and NLSVCC Board Member, and Matt Bulriss, VLC Staff Attorney, were both involved in the planning and execution of the Boot Camp and also prepared a video resource for attorneys on evidence gathering.

“It was really great to see so many dedicated professionals give us their time toward such an important issue,” said 2L Christopher G. Martz, a US Navy veteran. “From the complexities of navigating through the VA disability process to the simple issue of language and how to talk to your client, everything was made simple and digestible. I am confident this experience will play a vital role in improving my ability to advocate for my clients.”

Ernie Sawyer, a student in the College of Law’s JDinteractive program, attended virtually from San Antonio, TX. He said, “The procedural and appellate nature of veteran's law couples nicely with the distributed nature of JDi. The VLC handles federal law cases for individuals seeking benefits and this experience is applicable in every jurisdiction a student could potentially practice in. It is also refreshing to see an expansive network of lawyers in this field of law working together to benefit all clients instead of being adversarial.”


Murphy included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021

Tuesday 8/25/2020
Timothy Murphy

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Timothy P. Murphy has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021.  Mr. Murphy is the Firm’s Managing Partner and a member of the Executive Committee. 

Pierce included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021

Tuesday 8/25/2020
Alan Pierce

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Alan J. Pierce has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021.  Mr. Pierce is a partner in the Litigation Practice and Leader of the Appellate Practice.  Mr. Pierce concentrates his practice in the areas of appellate practice, insurance coverage, defamation and civil and commercial litigation.

Mancuso included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021

Tuesday 8/25/2020
Joseph Mancuso

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Joseph T. Mancuso has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021.  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. 

Powers included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021

Tuesday 8/25/2020
John Powers

• Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that John G. Powers has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021 and as a 2021 The Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year” in the Syracuse, New York metropolitan area for Products Liability Litigation – Defendants.  Mr. Powers is a Partner in the Litigation Practice and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.     

Shaw included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2020

Tuesday 8/25/2020
Steve Shaw

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Steven R. Shaw has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021.  Mr. Shaw is a partner in the Firm’s Real Estate Practice and has served as a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.  He focuses his practice on commercial real estate sales and purchases.  

George became Of Counsel to Cooper, Erving & Savage, LLP

Tuesday 8/25/2020
Carolyn George

Carolyn George recently became of counsel to Cooper, Erving & Savage, LLP here in Albany, NY when the senior partner in her former firm retired. This firm is believed to be the 2nd oldest in the country, started in 1785 here in Albany. She practices personal injury, municipal defense. and insurance coverage. 

Currier joins Pierce Atwood LLP

Tuesday 8/25/2020
Christopher Currier

Christopher Currier, recently joined Pierce Atwood LLP as a Partner in the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group.

Berman included in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021

Tuesday 8/25/2020
Daniel Berman

Hancock Estabrook, LLP is proud to announce that Daniel B. Berman has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for 2021.  Mr. Berman is a partner in the Firm’s Litigation Practice, and formerly served as Chair of the Litigation Department.  He has more than 35 years of experience litigating cases throughout New York State.  

Cominolli named in Rising Stars

Tuesday 8/25/2020

​Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Liz Cominolli: IP, Syracuse, NY office, was named in 2020 Upstate New York Rising Stars. 

Bennett named in Rising Stars

Tuesday 8/25/2020

​Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Teresa Bennett: Business Lit, Syracuse, NY office, was named in 2020 Upstate New York Rising Stars. 

Sciotti named in Super Lawyers

Tuesday 8/25/2020

​Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Michael Sciotti: Employment Lit: Defense, Syracuse, NY office, was named in 2020 Upstate New York Super Lawyers and he was listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

Melvin named in Super Lawyers

Tuesday 8/25/2020

​Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Buster Melvin: Employment & Labor, Syracuse, NY office, was named in 2020 Upstate New York Super Lawyers and he was listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

Harrigan named in Super Lawyers

Tuesday 8/25/2020

​Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Chris Harrigan: Employment & Labor, Syracuse, NY office, was named in 2020 Upstate New York Super Lawyers and he was listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

Dove named in Super Lawyers

Tuesday 8/25/2020

​Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Jeff Dove: Bankruptcy: Business, Syracuse, NY office, was named in 2020 Upstate New York Super Lawyers and he was listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

Robinson Dembs named in Super Lawyers

Tuesday 8/25/2020

​Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Marcy Robinson Dembs: Estate & Probate, Syracuse, NY office, was named in 2020 Upstate New York Super Lawyers and she was listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

Barrer named in Super Lawyers

Tuesday 8/25/2020

​Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Robert Barrer: Prof. Liability: Defense, Syracuse, NY office, was named in 2020 Upstate New York Super Lawyers and he was listed in 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

Lawrence named in Rising Stars

Tuesday 8/25/2020

​Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Brittany Lawrence: Business Lit, Rochester, NY office, was named in 2020 Upstate New York Rising Stars. 

Professor Paula Johnson Appointed to Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission

Tuesday 8/25/2020
Paula Johnson

Professor Paula Johnson, Co-Director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative, has been appointed the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, which educates and advises decision-makers throughout the New York court system on issues affecting both employees and litigants of color and which implements recommendations developed to address those issues. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, the Commission's members also include judges, lawyers, and court administrators. All members are appointed by the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, a post currently held by the Hon. Janet DiFiore.

In addition to CCJI-related project and courses, Johnson teaches courses on criminal law, criminal procedure, race and law, voting rights, professional responsibility, as well as a seminar on women in the criminal justice system. Her scholarship and activism focus on matters of race, gender, sexuality, criminal law, international human rights, diversity, and access to higher education.

Among its initiatives, the Commission develops programs to improve the perception of fairness within the court system and to ensure equal justice in New York State. The Commission also is charged with promoting diversity on the bench in state and federal courts in New York. To this end, it has created a Judicial Mentoring Program, which pairs attorneys of color who are interested in becoming judges with judge mentors who can guide them through the election or appointment process. Interested attorneys are encouraged to review and fill out this form.


Abelson named in Super Lawyers

Tuesday 8/25/2020

​Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Gary Abelson: PI - General: Defense, Rochester, NY office, was named in 2020 Upstate New York Super Lawyers. 

Domagalski named in Super Lawyers

Tuesday 8/25/2020

​Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Jim Domagalski: Business Lit, Buffalo, NY office, was named in 2020 Upstate New York Super Lawyers and he was listed in the 2021 Best Lawyers in America. 

Foster named in Super Lawyers

Tuesday 8/25/2020

​Barclay Damon is pleased to announce that Bill Foster: PI - Products: Defense, Albany, NY office, was named in 2020 Upstate New York Super Lawyers. 

Professor Arlene Kanter Moderates Fulbright Panel on the Americans with Disabilities Act

Friday 8/21/2020
Arlene Kanter

Professor Arlene Kanter, Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence and Director of the Disability Law & Policy Program, recently moderated a 90-minute panel discussion in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. A part of the Fulbright Impact in the Field Panel Series, the discussion convened more than 300 alumni scholars with disabilities, accessibility and inclusion advocates, and legal experts to explain, reflect on, and envision the future of the ADA’s impact in the United States and around the world. Topics of conversation included contemporary issues in the disability rights movement, accessibility and inclusion in an international context, and the experiences of scholars abroad.

Watch the recorded panel discussion here.

Professor Corri Zoli: Assumptions About Identity-Based Voting Behavior Aren’t Always True

Friday 8/21/2020
Corri Zoli

(The Juggernaught | August 18, 2020) In the days after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden selected Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) – the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent to be named to a presidential ticket in the United States – news outlets reported that Indian Americans were celebrating Biden’s choice.

Yet, even though over 50% of Indian Americans surveyed in 2018 by AAPI Data, an organization that produces demographic data and policy research on Asian American and Pacific Islanders, held favorable opinions of Harris, Harris’s vice-presidential nomination has stirred more complicated feelings among Gen Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) and millennial (those born between 1981 and 1996) South Asians. At the same time that many acknowledge Harris as one of many firsts, they’re more likely to be progressive and less forgiving of Harris’s record as California attorney general …

 Experts are divided over whether Harris’s Indian heritage will make a difference in gaining votes.

Corri Zoli, associate teaching professor and director of research at the Syracuse University College of Law’s Institute for Security Policy and Law, said that many assumptions about identity-based voting behavior don’t necessarily hold.

“In the case of the Obama administration, there was a very emphatic vote by the African American community…but I don’t think that voting behavior translates across different identity categories,” Zoli said. “If you think about the 2016 election…Clinton was very disappointed because she felt like women did not come out in increased numbers for her.”

Read the full article.

Riggi recognized as Ones to Watch

Thursday 8/20/2020

​Bottar Law PLLC is proud to announce attorney Samantha Riggi was recognized in the inaugural edition of Best Lawyers® "Ones to Watch" for plaintiffs medical malpractice and plaintiffs personal injury.

Professor Nina Kohn: COVID-19 May Threaten the Voting Rights of Nursing Home Residents

Thursday 8/20/2020
Nina Kohn

(MarketWatch | August 20, 2020) For months, the pandemic has curtailed nursing home residents’ freedom of movement and visits with family and friends. Now, it is threatening their ability to vote.

The 2.2 million residents of U.S. nursing homes and residential care facilities have been among the most vulnerable during the pandemic. But facility lockdowns, combined with COVID-driven revisions of voting procedures, mean that some residents may not get to the ballot box, researchers and election officials say.

It is “a really open question to what extent people in long-term care institutions are going to be able to participate in our election in November,” says Nina Kohn, a law professor at Syracuse University who has studied facility residents’ voting-rights issues. Living in a long-term care facility, however, “in no way restricts your right to vote,” she says. Under federal law, facilities participating in Medicare or Medicaid must honor residents’ rights as citizens.

Safeguarding residents’ voting rights “is of utmost importance,” industry group American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living said in a statement. Providers “will do everything possible to ensure residents can get the information and materials they need to participate in the election, while also staying safe from COVID.”

Read the full story here.

Carpenter receives elder law award

Thursday 8/20/2020
Henry Carpenter

Syracuse University College of Law class of 1984 alum Henry A. Carpenter II recently received the Pennsylvania Bar Association Excellence in Elder Law Award. The award recognizes an individual who has made superior efforts in the field of elder law, significant contributions to the elder law bar and noteworthy service to the elderly. 

Professor Shubha Ghosh's Article Celebrates 30 Years of The Antitrust Revolution

Monday 8/17/2020
Shubha Ghosh

In "A Revolution Ignored," Professor Shubha Ghosh explores the diverse range of methodologies the research volume The Antitrust Revolution brings together, urging courts and advocates to pay more attention to the series. The article appears in the journal The Antitrust Bulletin.

 "Kwoka and White’s volumes have served teachers, researchers, and antitrust attorneys equally well," Ghosh writes. "Its chapters work effectively in a law classroom to expose students to sensible economic analysis. Without a fail, contributors have shared important research findings at the intersection of legal reasoning and economic analysis. Antitrust attorneys find in the chapters useful guidance on how to frame economically minded legal theories and to present the relevant economic evidence."

The Antitrust Revolution, edited by John E. Kwoka and Lawrence J. White, first published in 1989 by Oxford University Press, is now in its 7th edition.

Read the full article.

BBI, Syracuse University Libraries Partner with Disability Writer, Scholar, and Activist Kenny Fries on a Canada Council for the Arts Grant

Thursday 8/13/2020
Kenny Fries

Kenny Fries, a world-renowned poet, memoirist and disability arts leader and a professor in the creative writing master’s of fine arts degree program at Goddard College, will partner with the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI), Syracuse University Libraries, and Wordgathering: A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature on a Canada Council for the Arts Grant.

As a component of his three-year, multi-project grant, Fries will curate and edit "Disability Futures in the Arts," a series of 15 essays by disabled artists to be published by Wordgathering. A leading accessible online literary publication for disability arts, Wordgathering is produced by BBI’s Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach and Syracuse University Libraries.

The subjects of “Disability Futures in the Arts” will relate to disabled artists’ personal practices, including disability representation, historical and contemporary role models, and important events in disability arts. Wordgathering will publish the series in December 2020, 2021-22, and 2022-23. Wiener has appointed Fries Wordgathering’s Special Guest Editor for 2020-2023.

“Kenny Fries is one of the leading disability arts scholars and supporters who has dedicated his life to bringing attention to disabled artists,” says Diane Wiener, Research Professor and Associate Director of BBI’s Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach and Editor-in-Chief of Wordgathering. “His ‘Disability Futures in the Arts’ series will provide important historical documentation of the successes and challenges experienced by contemporary disabled artists and writers, as well as embolden mentorship, advance empowerment, and create archival work.”

Fries says he intends to use his privilege as a pioneer in disability arts to foster an enduring connection between generations of disabled artists. Collectively, these projects funded by the Canada Council for the Arts will not only fill historical and cultural gaps but also look at the historical and contemporary importance of disability culture.

"This reflection has become a more urgent goal as the current coronavirus pandemic has brought to the surface the vulnerability of those who live with disabilities caused by the lack of knowledge and misunderstanding of disabled lives,” adds Fries.

“Syracuse University is engaging with disability across its campus. The arts are vital to this. Along with the work of Wordgathering, we’re launching a new online creative writing program for high school students with disabilities. Co-hosted by the Downtown Writer’s Center of the Syracuse YMCA and the Burton Blatt Institute, these workshops will be taught by distinguished disabled writers. There’s a lot more good news to come!” says Stephen Kuusisto, University Professor and Director of BBI’s Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach.

"Just When You Think It Can't Get Worse": Professor Nina Kohn Speaks to Chicago Reader

Thursday 8/13/2020
Nina Kohn

Zip codes with nursing homes and Brown and Black populations have been hardest hit by COVID-19

(Chicago Reader | July 30, 2020) The neighborhood of South Lawndale, aka Little Village, home to the recent power plant smokestack disaster, can add one more trophy to its showcase of immiseration: 149 residents in 60623 have died because of COVID, more fatalities than in any other Illinois zip code.

No COVID deaths were reported in the North Shore enclave of Glencoe, where the median home price is $885,000 and the median income is $162,460. And in Streeterville, the Loop, and University Village, just one to four people have died from COVID. Indeed, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports no COVID deaths for 1,732 Illinois zip codes. One hundred and eighty-three zip codes have only one to four deaths from COVID. Twenty-four of these are in Cook County, where being rich, white, and avoiding congregate care vastly improve your chances of surviving the pandemic ...

... Syracuse University College of Law professor Nina Kohn published criticism of nursing home and hospital immunity orders in Illinois and elsewhere. Alerted recently to 2020-35 and its renewals, Kohn wrote in an e-mail, "Just when you think it can't get worse, you see that what Illinois did was simultaneously suspend substantial portions of both the public system for protecting residents and the private system for protecting residents."

Kohn added, "I think section 2 of 2020-35's suspension of timely investigation of complaints (other than those of abuse and neglect) is particularly concerning. The Governor is essentially giving the agency the freedom not to respond to even serious known problems" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Peter Blanck Joins Webinar on "The Future of Accessibility and Law"

Thursday 8/13/2020
Peter Blanck

(LSAC.org | Aug. 11, 2020) As we continue to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we invite you to view a recording of a webinar we cohosted earlier this year on the future of accessibility and law. The discussion focused on some of the challenges that law school students with disabilities are facing during COVID-19 and how the legal education community is working to address them.

How can law schools ensure that candidates and students with disabilities are getting a fair chance and reasonable accommodations at all times, including this especially unsettling time amid the COVID-19 pandemic?

To explore this topic, LSAC CEO Kellye Testy and iLaw President Ken Randall hosted an episode of “Live with Kellye & Ken” that focused on the future of accessibility and law. Panelists included Dean Michael Waterstone of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles; Dean Ronald Weich of the University of Baltimore School of Law; Professor Peter Blanck, also chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University College of Law; and Leanne Shank, LSAC’s senior vice president for legal and corporate affairs and general counsel.

Among the highlights of this one-hour discussion was a look at some of the challenges facing law students with disabilities. Blanck, who has done tremendous work in this area throughout his career, shared the results of a 2020 study showing that in addition to the implicit (and explicit) bias experienced by lawyers across their careers, many also experience high levels of stress and mental health issues. 

The COVID-19 crisis, however, provides an opportunity for us to embrace a “new normal” where telecommuting, both in law school and in the legal profession, becomes more accepted; this could open the door for law schools to accommodate students for whom traveling to campus is difficult or impossible. 

Overall, Blanck proposes an extension of the traditional thinking regarding disability accommodations — one that includes a flexible approach that allows everyone to participate. Organizations using that approach tend to have greater employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity.

Read the full article.

“The Perfect Experiential Opportunity:” 2L Ryan Marquette Reflects on the Summer Legal Clinic

Wednesday 8/12/2020
2L Ryan M. Marquette

By 2L Ryan M. Marquette

The summer 2020 legal clinic at Syracuse University College of Law provided me the perfect experiential opportunity as a rising 2L law student. As if the first year of law school was not difficult enough, we were thrown into a world of uncertainty with the outbreak of COVID-19 in the spring semester. As a member of the New York Army National Guard, I unexpectedly found myself working every weekend and through spring break, as part of New York’s military response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like most of my peers, the status of my summer internship was unknown. Furthermore, I wanted to answer the call to duty and serve my community as a National Guardsman through the summer months. Facing all this uncertainty, the opportunity to participate in Syracuse’s summer legal clinic proved to be an ideal solution to gain valuable legal experience.

I quickly realized that the clinics provide real-world opportunities to represent actual clients, to develop case management skills, to learn interviewing and negotiation techniques, and to reflect about the type of lawyer I plan to become.  

In other words, the legal clinic combines the benefits of work experience and course credits. As a student pursing a joint law degree with a Master’s in Public Administration (M.P.A.), the four clinic course credits certainly intrigued me. The J.D./M.P.A. is a tremendous opportunity, but taking courses deemed essential for New York State’s Bar Exam and the M.P.A. make it difficult for me to take specialist electives. For me, those electives are the national security law courses offered by the Institute for Security Policy and Law (SPL). But now that I am four credits ahead of schedule, I have room in my course schedule to take SPL courses.

A unique benefit of the summer clinic is that students practice in the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic (VLC), Criminal Defense Clinic (CDC), and Children’s Rights & Family Law Clinic (CRC), instead of the “single clinic focus” offered during the fall and spring semesters.

This diversity of casework broadened my perspective as an aspiring attorney. Working for these clinics, I conducted client intake, client counseling, received a complaint, filed an answer and counterclaim, worked on a claim for US Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, and even represented defendants in the Syracuse City Court.

All of this experience occurred while still working full-time in the New York Army National Guard. Was it easy to balance both requirements? No—but what has been in 2020?! Luckily, professors Elizabeth Kubala (VLC), Suzette Melendez (CRC), and Gary Pieples (CDC) provided predictability to the schedule that allowed me to complete the work in my personal time while maintaining set touch points for class, case rounds, and appointments with clients.

I even participated in projects with other student attorneys despite being spread geographically across the nation.

Don’t be concerned about participating in a legal clinic remotely or online! The clinic staff led by Vikki Missotti introduced us to new clinic processes and procedures put in place during the pandemic.

For instance, all of our classes and appointments were conducted over Zoom, with guest speakers joining for valuable discussions. Assignments and course material were provided through email and Blackboard. Client files were accessible through a virtual private network (VPN) and a remote desktop application. With the click of a few buttons, the law office environment is sitting on your desktop.

While we are still unsure if the current pandemic will continue into summer 2021, we do know that College of Law legal clinics will be functioning and serving our community no matter what. I recommend that a student consider participating in the summer legal clinic so you can receive the “profession-ready” legal experience that prepares you for your legal career!


Professor Nina Kohn Testifies at NYS COVID-19 Joint Public Hearing

Tuesday 8/11/2020
Nina Kohn

Elder law expert Professor Nina Kohn testified at a Joint Public Hearing on Residential Health Care Facilities and COVID-19 in Upstate New York. Presided over by members of both the New York State senate and assembly, the hearing took place online on Oct. 10, 2020.   

Describing the purpose of the joint hearing, Syracuse-based NYS Sen. Rachel May of Senate Standing Committee on Aging said, "The loss of life among nursing home residents in New York and nationwide has been one of the greatest tragedies of this pandemic. We are holding these hearings in order to get answers for the grieving families and to insure that policies are in place moving forward to prevent further tragedy, while also defending the rights and the quality of life of those who depend on long-term care.

Kohn's testimony focused on policies and practices that make residents of residential care facilities particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, as well as policies that could improve their well-being going forward. 

Among current practices that have increased state residential care residents' exposure to the pandemic's impacts, Kohn addressed staffing levels at nursing homes; lack of oversight and accountability for facilities, especially around infection control; isolation of residents and how to combat that challenge in a pandemic; and under-funding of home and community-based care, which has caused an over-reliance on congregate care. 

Read Kohn's full testimony.

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 to CNN: Georgia Students Were Akin to Whistleblowers

Tuesday 8/11/2020
Roy Gutterman

Free speech experts call on public schools to not penalize students for sharing images of maskless classmates

(CNN | Aug. 8, 2020) As scores of American children return to classrooms under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, free speech experts have bristled at the sight of a public school punishing a student for practicing her right to free speech by sharing a photo of classmates not wearing masks and not social distancing on campus.

This issue became a flashpoint this week after sophomore Hannah Watters was disciplined for posting a photo on Twitter showing many of her fellow North Paulding High School classmates in Dallas, Georgia not wearing masks while walking down a crowded hallway. The photo was posted on Twitter at the end of dismissal, Hannah said ...

... The freedom of speech protection afforded by the First Amendment applies to people of any age and, thanks to the Supreme Court, that unequivocally includes students.

The Supreme Court has famously ruled that students do not shed their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse gate, and that holds true today as much as it did in 1969, said Roy Gutterman, an attorney and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University's Newhouse School.

In the case of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District, the Supreme Court ruled in 1969 that Iowa public school officials had violated the First Amendment rights of several students after suspending them for wearing black armbands protesting the US involvement in Vietnam, according to the Middle Tennessee State University Free Speech Center's website.

The court determined that school officials could not censor student expression unless they can reasonably predict that the expression would cause a substantial disruption of school activities, the center said.

When it comes to cell phones and whether they are a disruption, administrators can impose reasonable restrictions such as not using them during school hours but a principal cannot legally control what students post on social media off campus or after hours, though these attempts are seen from time to time, Gutterman said.

"It would be unreasonable to punish students who are exposing misbehavior or other problems during this public health crisis. If a student exposes something like this, the student is more akin to a whistleblower or public critic and should be praised rather than punished," Gutterman added.

Read the full article.