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Green releases 39th book

Friday 2/26/2021
Tim Green

Tim Green, a New York Times-bestselling author, former NFL defensive end, former Fox Sports broadcaster, and attorney with Barclay Damon LLP, has published his 39th book and the third book in his sports-based trilogy, Baseball Genius: Grand Slam, co-authored with Derek Jeter, available in stores and online now. In addition to being a bestselling author and retired defensive end with the Atlanta Falcons, Green is an attorney with Barclay Damon, where he has been integrally involved for the past 20 years in the development and growth of the firm's client base, particularly in energy, intellectual property, and national insurance coverage litigation. Green is recognized as a lead point of contact for the firm's largest energy and utility clients, including numerous Fortune 500 companies.

2L Hilda A. Frimpong Becomes the First Black Student to Lead Syracuse Law Review

Thursday 2/25/2021
Hilda A. Frimpong

Second-year law student Hilda A. Frimpong has been elected by her peers as the next Editor-in-Chief of Syracuse Law Review. When she assumes her duties for Volume 72 (2021-2022), Frimpong will be the first Black student to lead the Law Review since it began publishing in 1949.

"It is wonderfully timely to announce this news during Black History Month," says College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise. "February is a time to reflect on the lives and legacies of our Black College of Law community members and to contemplate and help activate the bright future of our students. Congratulations on your trailblazing accomplishment, Hilda. I look forward to learning about the plans you and your team have for Volume 72, and to reading the articles and notes you gather."

"This is wonderful news for Hilda Frimpong, Syracuse Law Review, and the College. I am proud to serve as the Law Review Advisor during this groundbreaking and overdue moment in its history," says Professor Robin Paul Malloy. "Law Review teaches leadership and professionalism, and Hilda's peers and professors knows these are qualities she has in abundance. Best of luck to Hilda and her newly elected Executive Board on next year's Volume 72." 

"I am honored to serve in this role because of the trust and support that my peers gave me by electing me Editor-in-Chief," says Frimpong, who is specializing in the law and technology program while at Syracuse Law. "I am honored to break down barriers as the first person of color and first Black woman in this role. I am proud that my expertise and unique perspective will be added to the legacy of Syracuse Law Review."

Referring to the College of Law's Black History Month 2021 project, which highlights the lives and legacies of its Black alumni, Frimpong says, "The posts remind me that I stand on the shoulders of many great women and men before me. I will continue our legacy of providing distinguished scholarly works to the legal community."

Addressing her pioneering role at Syracuse Law Review, Frimpong quotes Vice President Kamala Harris, who in January 2021 became the first woman and first person of color elected to her high office: "In the words of Vice President Harris, 'While I may be the first, I won’t be the last.' I want to inspire students who didn’t previously see themselves represented on Law Review to seek journal membership and to strive to build and strengthen our position as experts, and in turn our legacy."

Currently, Frimpong serves as an editorial staff member for Volume 71 of the Law Review, edited by 3L Nikkia Knudsen. Other second-year law students elected to the Volume 72 Executive Board are:

  • Managing Editor: Leita Powers
  • Form and Accuracy Editors: Elisabeth Dannan, Katy Morris, Kayla Pigeon, and Hayley Rousselle
  • Lead Articles Editors: Shannon Cox and Meghan Mueller
  • Senior Notes Editor: Emily Hildreth
  • Legal Pulse Editor: Morgan Steele
  • Business Editor: Lyndon Hall
  • Computer Editor: Shelby Petro
  • Alumni Editor: Ryan Marquette


Professor Nina Kohn: Netflix's "I Care a Lot" Should Worry You

Wednesday 2/24/2021
Nina Kohn

(The Hill | Feb. 24, 2021) A stranger knocks on the door. The older woman who answers the door is informed that the visitor is now her legal guardian and will make all decisions for her. Within days, the older woman has been placed in a nursing home and her home sold so that the stranger may profit.

It’s a perfect opening for a psychological thriller. In fact, it is the opening for Netflix’s new featured movie “I Care a Lot,” starring Rosamund Pike as Marla, a ruthlessly ambitious woman who has made a business out of exploiting older adults. Her method: petitioning a local court to appoint her as emergency guardian for older adults whom she alleges cannot make decisions for themselves.  

Unfortunately, the plot of “I Care a Lot” — despite its share of plot twists and theatrics — is not as far-fetched as it might seem ...

Read the full article.


Syracuse Sweeps National Trial Competition Regional for Second Year

Tuesday 2/23/2021
College of Law

Syracuse University College of Law has swept the National Trial Competition Region 2 tournament for the second year in a row. In doing so Syracuse sends two teams to the NTC national finals and takes home the New York State Bar Association Trial Lawyers Section Tiffany Cup for the third year in a row. 

Second-year law students Marina DeRosa and Amanda Nardozza won first place at the regional—which took place across Feb. 20-21, 2021, hosted by Fordham Law—while the team of 3Ls Joe Celotto and Christy O'Neil came in second. (Celotto and O'Neil were on Syracuse's 2019-2020 NTC regional winning teams.)

Syracuse students also were among individual award winners. De Rosa took home the award for Best Closing Argument and O'Neil won for Best Cross-Examination. 

"This is a historic result for Syracuse and an affirmation of the skill and dedication of our students, coaches, and all who support them," says Professor Todd Berger, Advocacy Program Director. "Last year's teams bested 20 other schools, and this year's team dispatched 18 other competitors. Many congratulations to Marina, Amanda, Joe, and Christy—we are so proud of your accomplishment. And thank you to coaches Joanne Van Dyke L'87 and Peter Hakes. Good luck to the teams at nationals!"

The 2020-2021 regional problem addressed a wrongful death action filed by plaintiff Kelly Taylor against Big City Electric Cooperative, Inc. Taylor's husband had died in a grass fire allegedly caused by sparks from a transformer pole belonging to Big City Electric. 

National Trial Competition Region 2 Winners
National Trial Competition Region 2 Winners

Hon. James E. Baker Featured on Ipse Dixit Podcast

Tuesday 2/23/2021
Hon. James E. Baker

Host Brian L. Frye and Institute for Security Policy and Law Director the Hon. James E. Baker discuss Baker's new book "The Centaur’s Dilemma: National Security Law for the Coming AI Revolution"(Brookings, 2021). 

Baker begins by explaining why he thinks artificial intelligence requires us to think about the relationship between people and machines in new ways. He describes some of the national security implications of artificial intelligence technology and its implementation. And he reflects on how policymakers should think about those questions.

Listen to the podcast.

Allyssa-Rae McGinn Wins Hancock Estabrook 1L Oral Advocacy Competition

Tuesday 2/23/2021
Alyssa-Rae McGinn

First-year law student Allyssa-Rae McGinn is the winner of the 11th Annual Hancock Estabrook 1L Oral Advocacy Competition, besting Caleb Gieger in the tournament's final round held via Zoom on Feb. 22, 2021.

McGinn becomes the first student in the College of Law's JDinteractive online law degree program to win the Hancock intramural tournament. She is also JDi representative to the College's Disability Law Society.

The final round was judged by the Hon. Mae A. D'Agostino L'80, the Hon. Therese Wiley Dancks L’80, and the Hon. Brenda K. Sannes, all judges for the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York; College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise; and Timothy P. Murphy L'89, Managing Partner, Hancock Estabrook LLP.

"Throughout the competition, the level of skill and advocacy on display was extremely impressive," says Professor Todd Berger, Advocacy Program Director. "Reaching the final round is an extremely impressive accomplishment, so many congratulations to our winner, Allyssa-Rae McGinn, and runner-up, Caleb Gieger. Thank you also to the student volunteers and distinguished judges for making our 11th Hancock Estabrook competition a great success."

Competition Director 3L Shannon Armstrong explains that the case posed in the final round—Winston Schmidt v. Nick Miller—involved a fictional town's light decorating contest and the concept of an "attractive nuisance".

"Winston Schmidt wanted to win the decorating competition, so he built a tunnel of lights out of a carport wrapped in wire fencing and lights," explains Armstrong. "His neighbor, six-year-old Nick Miller, watched Winston create the light tunnel and was very excited to see the finished project."

When Miller asked his parents if he could visit the light display, his parents said no, given that it was the child's bedtime. "So Miller snuck out of his house. He then decided to climb the light tunnel, but he could not make it to the top and fell, seriously injuring himself." 

The issues before the court were whether the "state of Calangeles" should adopt an "attractive nuisance" doctrine and also whether the light tunnel was such a nuisance. Competition winner McGinn argued for the respondent, while Caleb Gieger argued for the petitioner. 

Professor Nina Kohn Discusses NY Nursing Homes' "Liability Shield"

Monday 2/22/2021
Nina Kohn

Professor Nina Kohn Discusses NY Nursing Homes' "Liability Shield"

De Blasio gives "credit" to Democrat for not backing down from governor

(PIX11 | Feb. 18, 2021) Mayor Bill deBlasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have been at political odds over many things, and now, de Blasio is siding with Queens Democrat Assemblymember Ron Kim in Kim's feud with the long-time chief executive of New York state.

Kim said Wednesday the governor threatened his career during an angry phone call last week, something Cuomo's staff denied ...

... Health department officials finally acknowledged more than 4,000 additional COVID deaths could be linked to nursing homes, bringing the total for all long-term care facility deaths to 15,000 or more.

There was also lobbying by the Greater New York Hospital Association to get a liability shield provision into the state budget last year, according to Professor Nina Kohn of Syracuse University.

"It protects the entire corporate chain, and it protects them from civil and criminal liability," Kohn noted. "It protects them from any liability for shortages in resources or staff."

"There has been a very modest amendment," Kohn said, resulting in the partial repeal of the liability shield ...

Read the full article.


WSYR Newsmakers Interviews Professor Roy Gutterman L'00

Monday 2/22/2021
Roy Gutterman

WSYR Newsmakers Interviews Roy Gutterman L'00

(WSYR | Feb. 19, 2021) Roy Gutterman L'00 is Director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. On Newsmakers, he discusses the First Amendment and Free Speech issues that became high profile during the second impeachment trial of former President Trump.

Watch the clip.

Cody Carbone L’16 Discusses Legislative Affairs with DCEx Students

Thursday 2/18/2021
Cody Carbone L'16

As part of the spring 2021 Washington, DC, Externship Program Cody Carbone L’16 spoke with College of Law DCEx students on February 8 about his work on Ernst & Young’s Federal Legislative Affairs Team. Carbone described his job as divided between acting as a voice for EY on Capitol Hill and communicating legislative updates to EY’s partners.

Carbone explained that he represents the firm and its partners through building relationships across Capitol Hill. He communicates EY’s policy viewpoints to these policymakers, which can range from issues in financial services, accounting, and agriculture, to emerging technology. 

In relaying to EY’s partners what is happening on Capitol Hill, Carbone must read 150-plus page laws, boiling them down to six bullet points for a briefing. He said that the skills in condensing material he gained in his Legal Communications and Research classes has helped him succeed in this aspect of his job. 

Carbone holds a J.D. from the College of Law as well as an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School. After passing the bar in July 2016, he began working at EY, a global professional services network considered one of the “Big Four” accounting firms. 

Carbone observed that EY has been fortunate not be impacted as much as other companies by the difficulties COVID-19 presents in terms of telework. The only major difficulty Carbone said he has faced is communicating with congressional and administrative members, especially new members. He mentioned how much harder it is to create a trusting and engaging relationship “over Zoom and a telephone than over beer and a steak.” However, besides that difficulty, he said that EY has adapted well to online work.

Carbone ended his presentation by giving the DCEx students advice to not be afraid of networking because it can be a very important tool in finding summer internships or post-graduation employment. Throughout law school, and even today, Carbone messaged College of Law alumni via LinkedIn. Starting a message with “I am a SUCOL student/alumni” will receive an positive response from any alumni, he said. The job-searching process can be stressful, he noted, but College of Law students should not be worried. “If you went to Syracuse and you graduated from SUCOL you will get a job, from my experience.” 

As a law student, Carbone was heavily involved in the Student Bar Association, eventually becoming SBA president during his 3L year. As an SBA member Carbone was able to set policy, vote on College of Law issues, and network. This confirmed to him that he wanted to work in policy and the government after graduation. During his 2L summer, Carbone worked as a summer associate at EY’s Office of Public Policy in Washington, DC. A few months into his 3L year, a full-time position opened up—and he got the job. 

Cody Carbone’s career provides students with an example of how a College of Law degree can advantage a graduate in any career. Although he is not representing clients at EY, Carbone nevertheless is interpreting complex laws and negotiating with Washington, DC, “politicos”—a job he is extremely well prepared for as a joint Syracuse Law/Maxwell School alumnus. 

SPL Researcher Matt Mittelsteadt Publishes AI Verification Report with CSET

Thursday 2/18/2021
Mechanisms to Ensure AI Arms Control Compliance

The rapid integration of artificial intelligence into military systems raises critical questions of ethics, design and safety. While many states and organizations have called for some form of “AI arms control,” few have discussed the technical details of verifying countries’ compliance with these regulations. 

In this peer-reviewed report—"Mechanisms to Ensure AI Arms Control Compliance"—Institute for Security Policy and Law AI Policy Research Fellow Matthew Mittelsteadt offers a starting point, defines the goals of “AI verification” and proposes several mechanisms to support arms inspections and continuous verification.

The report is part of a research partnership between SPL and the Center for Security and Emerging Technology investigating the legal, policy, and security impacts of emerging technology.

Mittelsteadt explains that his report defines “AI Verification” as the process of determining whether countries’ AI and AI systems comply with treaty obligations. “AI Verification Mechanisms” are tools that ensure regulatory compliance by discouraging or detecting the illicit use of AI by a system or illicit AI control over a system.

Despite the importance of AI verification, few practical verification mechanisms have been proposed to support most regulation in consideration. Without proper verification mechanisms, AI arms control will languish. 

To this end, Mittelsteadt's report seeks to jumpstart the regulatory conversation by proposing mechanisms of AI verification to support AI arms control.

Judge Watson elected Fort Bend Juvenile Board Chair

Wednesday 2/17/2021
Judge Teana Watson

Members of the Fort Bend County Juvenile Board unanimously elected Judge Teana Watson Chairwoman of the Board on Feb. 3. She is the first African-American and female to be elected as the Fort Bend Juvenile Board Chair. The juvenile board includes all of the sitting District, County Court at Law Judges and the County Judge. It serves as the board of directors of “Juvenile Justice” in Fort Bend County. 

Private Antitrust Suits? Professor Shubha Ghosh Talks to The Washington Times

Monday 2/15/2021
Shubha Ghosh

"More powerful than Standard Oil:" Small newspaper chain challenges Big Tech

(The Washington Times | Feb. 11, 2021) A small West Virginia newspaper chain’s antitrust lawsuit against Google and Facebook is blazing a trail, industry insiders say, for news outlets struggling to get out from under the thumb of Big Tech.

Doug Reynolds, the founder and managing director of HD Media, filed the federal lawsuit without other news outlets.

More of this type of antitrust litigation seems certain, however, newspaper industry executives say ...

... “The private company can’t simply say, ‘I’m being harmed,’” said Shubha Ghosh, a law professor at Syracuse University. “You have to show harm to competition.”

Still, Mr. Ghosh envisioned some kind of class action litigation against Google and Facebook by various news media organizations that claim similar harm ...

Read the full article.

Professor Lauryn Gouldin Analyzes Illinois Bail Reform for NBC News

Monday 2/15/2021
Lauryn Gouldin

Did Illinois get bail reform right? Criminal justice advocates are optimistic

(NBC News | Feb. 15, 2021) When a Cook County court judge set Timothy Williams' bond at $10,000 for a traffic charge, he knew he would be going to jail. There was no way, even after gathering everything he had, that he could come up with that amount of money.

So for the next two months, still legally innocent, Williams, 34, waited in jail.

On the other side of the bars were his wife, Brittany Williams, their newborn and three other children — all under the age of 10. The couple had just started a small business and moved to a condominium in the suburbs outside of Chicago.

Not long after Williams’ incarceration, his wife began struggling. She wasn't able to manage both the new company and children, leading to the business’s eventual collapse. Without a steady income, she lost their home and had to move in with her sister-in-law. Timothy Williams was finally released after a judge lowered his bond to $5,000, which was paid for by the Chicago Community Bond Fund.

"It devastated our family," Brittany Williams, 30, said. "People don't understand how severe it is to put someone in jail just because they can't pay their way out. And it doesn't just hurt them; it hurts every person connected to them."

But the long-standing practice may come to an end as Illinois is expected to pass legislation that will fully end the use of money bond ...

... "When you set a price for release for people who are charged with a particular kind of offense, that immediately creates two different outcomes for people with money and people without money," said Lauryn Gouldin, a professor at Syracuse University College of Law. "In that way, it's just an automatic wealth-based detention system, not one based on risk."

Without a trial or verdict, these individuals wait in jail, sometimes for several months, losing jobs, homes and relationships in the process, she said. Gouldin added that it makes it more likely that these individuals will also plead guilty just to get out of jail ...

... While public safety seems to be the trigger word surrounding calls to roll back bail reform, maintaining a money system does not actually manage risk, Gouldin said.

In Chicago, where a large portion of the Illinois prison population resides, a 2020 study by researchers at Loyola University Chicago found that bail reform efforts in Cook County since 2017 have had no impact on new criminal activity or new violent criminal activity by those defendants released pretrial. In fact, the study found that the avoided bond costs actually saved defendants and their families more than $31.4 million in the six months after bail reform was implemented.

Similar outcomes were seen in Washington, D.C., where 98 percent of all people released in 2016 were not rearrested for a new violent crime pretrial.

“If you are setting a cash bail figure because the idea is to incentivize somebody to return to court, over time, for a large population of people, it's just become the reason that they are held in jail. It's not being used as any incentive anymore,” Gouldin noted. “And it can't ever really be an incentive about public safety risk. People don't refrain from committing crimes because they've paid a bail figure. They refrain from committing crimes because they don't want to be caught and punished" ...

Read the full article.

Professor William C. Banks Discusses Trump's Second Impeachment with China Daily

Thursday 2/11/2021
William C. Banks

Senators OK trial to impeach Trump

(China Daily | Feb. 11, 2021) Opening arguments in the historic second impeachment trial of former US president Donald Trump will start Wednesday after the Senate voted to approve its constitutionality, but a conviction will be "highly unlikely", experts say.

Six Republicans joined all the Democrats in the Senate to vote in favor of allowing the first trial of a former president to take place ...

... A Senate conviction requires a two-thirds majority, but it is highly unlikely that 67 senators will line up against the former president, according to William Banks, distinguished professor emeritus at the Syracuse University College of Law in New York.

"The main explanation for Republican senators' support is their belief or fear that Trump continues to control the national party and that many Republican voters do (believe that), too," Banks told China Daily ...

Read the full article.

Silver joins Schenck, Price, Smith & King

Tuesday 2/9/2021

Schenck, Price, Smith & King LLP today January 28, 2021 that five New Jersey attorneys, including Mark Silver, will join the Firm’s growing roster of high-profile attorneys as partners. Mark Silver’s practice spans a wide variety of legal concentrations. He regularly handles matters involving commercial disputes, product liability and pharmaceutical litigation, employment litigation, securities litigation, and white collar criminal matters. He has defended several major pharmaceutical manufacturers in a variety of complex lawsuits including mass tort claims and class actions in multi-district federal litigation.

WSJ Speaks to Professor William C. Banks About Second Impeachment Trial

Tuesday 2/9/2021
William C. Banks

Jamie Raskin Leads Democrats in Trump’s Second Impeachment Trial

(The Wall Street Journal | Feb. 7, 2021) Rep. Jamie Raskin faces an immediate challenge as the top prosecutor in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump : Many of the senators acting as jurors don’t think there should be one.

The Maryland Democrat was picked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) to serve as the lead impeachment manager in the Senate trial that starts Tuesday. The 58-year-old former constitutional-law professor will lead eight other Democrats in seeking to persuade the Senate to convict Mr. Trump of inciting an insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

In a legal brief last week, Mr. Raskin alleged that Mr. Trump “created a powder keg” in which hundreds of people “were prepared for violence at his direction.” Mr. Trump’s lawyers have argued that Mr. Trump didn’t engage in insurrection, saying that he had “exercised his First Amendment right under the Constitution to express his belief that the election results were suspect” and that he hadn’t incited violence ...

... Actions can be impeachable without being criminal offenses, and lawmakers have wide latitude in determining what rises to a “high crime or misdemeanor.” Under the criminal code, a 1969 Supreme Court ruling holds that the government can punish inflammatory speech only if it is both intended to incite and likely to incite “imminent lawless action.”

In a criminal case, a prosecutor would have to prove that Mr. Trump “could have reasonably foreseen that his incitement was likely to lead to all hell happening at the Capitol,” said William Banks, a law professor at Syracuse University ...

Read the full article.

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Speaks to AP, WaPo About Smartmatic Defamation Suit

Monday 2/8/2021
Roy Gutterman

Free speech expert Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 recently was quoted by Associated Press and Washington Post surrounding the defamation lawsuits by election technology company Smartmatic against Fox News, Rudy Guiliani, and Sidney Powell over their alleged election fraud accusations. 

Voting company sues Fox, Giuliani over election fraud claims

(AP | Feb. 4, 2021) ... The complaint also alleges that Fox hosts Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro also directly benefitted from their involvement in the conspiracy. The lawsuit alleges that Fox went along with the “well-orchestrated dance” due to pressure from newcomer outlets such as Newsmax and One America News, which were stealing away conservative, pro-Trump viewers.

Roy Gutterman, a media law professor at Syracuse University, said the lawsuit is compelling and based on specific examples and facts, not frivolous claims.

“This is a perfect example of why we have the law of defamation in first place,” said Gutterman, a former reporter ...

Read the full article.

Smartmatic files $2.7 billion defamation suit against Fox News over election fraud claims

(The Washington Post | Feb. 4, 2021) “This complaint establishes a compelling narrative in its 270-plus pages,” Roy Gutterman, who directs the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University, said in an email to The Washington Post. “It will certainly be interesting to see how the defendants frame their responses" ...

Read the full article.

Remote Services

Thursday 2/4/2021

The primary contact for the Law Library remains our Reference Department, which can be contacted through email:  reference@law.syr.edu, phone: 315-443-9572, text: 315-516-8661.  We can also schedule a Zoom session with you.  These access points are monitored Mon-Thurs: 9am-8pm; Fri & Sun: 9am-5pm.  Outside of these hours, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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

Curbside Pick-up
If you are a student studying remotely in the Syracuse area, you can now schedule a curbside pick-up, outdoors on Irving Ave., of the books you've checked out. Email circ@law.syr.edu with the book's title and call number from the Library Catalog, and indicate that you want to pick it up curbside.  Library staff will retrieve the book and email you to schedule a curbside pick-up on Irving Avenue.  When picking up curbside, please do not exit your vehicle.  Keep your mask on, and we will deliver your items to your car.

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

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

Returning Books
If you have books checked out, please email circ@law.syr.edu when you are ready to return them.  We will send you a UPS shipping label so you can send the books back to us, or we can schedule a curbside drop-off on Irving Ave.


Professor Joseph Warburton: Business Development Companies Are Risky Investments for Consumers

Wednesday 2/3/2021
Joseph Warburton

New research by Professor A. Joseph Warburton, Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law and Professor of Finance at Syracuse University Martin J. Whitman School of Management, shows that consumer investments in Business Development Companies (BDCs) are at risk. The paper—“Venture Capital for Retail Investors”—was published in The Business Lawyer (Vol. 76, No. 1), a leading peer-reviewed business law journal.

A BDC is a type of investment company that finances small and growing American businesses. After raising capital in public markets, BDCs then fund companies considered too small or risky by traditional lenders. Many BDCs are open to retail investors and offer an alternative to private venture capital firms that are often out of reach. BDCs are favored by Congress, which excused them from key provisions of the regulations that govern mutual funds and other investment companies. BDCs are allowed, for example, to incur greater leverage through borrowed money.

Warburton’s research shows that BDCs live up to their reputation for paying high dividend yields to their investors and that their total returns—stock returns plus dividends—appear to match or beat the benchmark indices.

These high yields mean that BDCs are attractive to those seeking income in today’s low interest rate market, particularly among retirees or those about to retire. However, the study also finds that BDCs are risky investments. The average BDC incurs substantially greater risk than the market benchmarks and significantly underperforms the benchmarks once you take into account the extra risk.

“BDCs are highly leveraged and their performance is volatile. On a risk-adjusted basis, publicly traded BDCs significantly underperform the benchmarks, trailing by more than four to six percentage points per year, on average, over time,” says Warburton. “In other words, the typical BDC does not appropriately compensate investors for their risk. Investors would be better off putting their money in an index fund tracking high-yield bonds or leveraged loans.”

The performance of BDCs was significantly impacted by the COVID pandemic and subsequent market adjustment, explains Warburton. During March 2020, shares of publicly-traded BDCs declined by over three times as much as the benchmarks, on average.

“Many BDCs employ leverage, which amplifies broader market movements,” Warburton adds. “In addition, BDCs invest in small and mid-size businesses that were hit hard by the pandemic-induced shutdowns.”

BDC Performance Graph
BDC Performance Graph

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

While Congress has championed BDCs as a way for small and mid-size businesses to obtain financing and grow, it has not analyzed whether BDCs are worthwhile investments for the public. Warburton recommends that “retail investors and their financial advisors should consider the paper’s findings before investing in publicly traded BDCs.

So, while their high dividend yields are attractive, BDCs are risky investment vehicles that can significantly underperform once you adjust for their greater risk-taking. “If you want to add a BDC to your portfolio, be sure to consider its track record because performance varies by BDC,” advises Warburton. “Avoid BDCs with a history of negative risk-adjusted performance.”

"Security Needs to Be a Priority:" Professor Corri Zoli in GovExec.com

Monday 2/1/2021
Corri Zoli

Law Enforcement Alert to Potential Violence at Federal Facilities

(Government Executive | Jan. 29, 2021) Federal law enforcement personnel are “operating with increased readiness” in the wake of a Homeland Security Department alert warning that elected officials and government facilities are potential targets for violence, a department spokesperson said Thursday evening. 

Three weeks after the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol, the acting Homeland Security secretary issued a bulletin on Wednesday saying that domestic violent extremists “motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force have plotted and on occasion carried out attacks against government facilities … DHS is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some [domestic violent extremists] may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021, breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., to target elected officials and government facilities" ...

... Corri Zoli, Associate Teaching Professor at Syracuse University Law School and Director of Research for the Institute for Security Policy and Law, said it’s important to send the message that security needs to be a priority for all federal facilities—not just the U.S. Capitol and for members of Congress. “We have plenty of law enforcement tools to consistently prosecute attacks against federal facilities" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Nina Kohn to AP: NYS Nursing Homes Have a Bad Incentive

Monday 2/1/2021
Nina Kohn

AG Slams NY's Legal Shield for Nursing Homes, Hospitals

(AP | Jan. 29, 2021) New York's attorney general has joined calls for the state to loosen a partial immunity from lawsuits and criminal prosecutions it had granted to nursing homes at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring.

In a report issued Thursday, Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, documented how a number of homes failed to follow proper infection-control protocols as the virus raged.

Patients with COVID-19 were mingled in some homes with residents who didn't yet have the virus. Staff members weren't properly screened for illness. Some homes made sick employees keep coming to work, even though they could potentially infect others on the job. Others maintained dangerously low staffing levels that endangered residents, the report found ...

... Syracuse University College of Law professor Nina Kohn said the state’s current law does protect nursing homes in ways that might encourage bad choices about staffing and patient protections.

“If they’re not going to be held accountable for harm to residents and they’re going to be paid either way, you’ll have a certain percentage of facilities who made the business decision to engage in practices that unreasonably endanger the resident,” Kohn said.

“They’re accepting residents in many cases knowing they have staffing shortages, knowing they’re not equipped to meet their needs,” she added ...

Read the full article

Hon. James E. Baker Interviewed on New Books Network

Thursday 1/28/2021
James E. Baker

The Centaur's Dilemma: US National Security Law for the Coming AI Revolution

By Kyle Beadle | New Books Network

From facial recognition to online shopping, artificial intelligence has become the backbone of the internet and has led to an unprecedented extraction and utilization of personal data. As a result, AI has rapidly outpaced existing free speech, privacy, and national security law.

In The Centaur’s Dilemma: National Security Law for the Coming AI Revolution (Brookings Institute Press, 2020), Judge James E. Baker deploys his extensive experience in national security law to argue for AI regulation through legislation ...

Listen to the interview

"A Crip Reckoning" to Reflect on the 30th Anniversary of the ADA

Thursday 1/28/2021
Burton Blatt Institute

Burton Blatt Institute’s (BBI) Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach (OIPO) series (Dis)courses: Interdisciplinary Disability Dialogues continues on Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET with “A Crip Reckoning: Reflections on the ADA@30.”

Join a distinguished panel of thought leaders and scholar-activists for a discussion of ableism, cultural change, equity, creativity and intersectionality in the context of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The event is free and open to the public. Zoom participants will have the opportunity to pose questions to the panel after the discussion.

Sponsored by University Lectures and the Syracuse University Office of Diversity and Inclusion—and moderated by BBI OIPO Director and University Professor Stephen Kuusisto—“A Crip Reckoning: Reflections on the ADA@30” will welcome the following writers, activists, educators, innovators and disability advocates:

  • LeDerick Horne—a poet, speaker and advocate who uses his gift for spoken-word poetry as the gateway to larger discussions on equal opportunity, pride, self-determination, and hope for people with disabilities.
  • Naomi Ortiz—a writer, poet, facilitator and visual artist whose work focuses on self-care for activists, disability justice, intersectional organizing and relationship with place.
  • Pratik Patel—the director of information technology access for the City University of New York and owner of EZFire Enterprises LLC, which consults on a variety of technology projects on accessibility for people with disabilities.
  • David James (DJ) Savarese—an author, public speaker, “artful activist” and “practicing optimist,” who works to make self-determined lives a reality for non-traditionally speaking people
  • Alice Wong (she/her)—a disabled activist, media maker, consultant and founder/director of the Disability Visibility Project, an online community dedicated to creating, sharing and amplifying disability media and culture.

Copies of panelists’ selected texts are available for purchase via the Syracuse University Bookstore. To register for “A Crip Reckoning” and to request accommodations, visit the webinar registration page. The event will be recorded, and an accessible video will be shared via the BBI OIPO webpage.

Teams Announced for the Inaugural Transatlantic Negotiation Competition

Thursday 1/28/2021

Syracuse University College of Law and Queen’s University Belfast School of Law, co-hosts of the Transatlantic Negotiation Competition, have set the field for the inaugural competition to be held virtually March 19 and 20, 2021.

Europe and Asia

• Bucerius Law School (Hamburg, Germany) 

• Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary) 

• Jagiellonian University (Kraków, Poland) 

• Newcastle University Law School (Newcastle upon Tyne, England) 

• Queen's University Belfast (Belfast, Northern Ireland) 

• Queen Mary, University of London (London, England) 

• Symbiosis Law School (Hyderabad, India) 

• University of Florence (Florence, Italy) 

• University of Vienna (Vienna, Austria) 

United States

• Baylor Law School (Waco, TX) 

• Chapman University, Fowler School of Law (Orange, CA) 

• Fordham University School of Law (New York, NY) 

• Georgetown University, Law Center (Washington, DC) 

• Pace Law School (White Plains, NY) 

• Suffolk Law School (Boston, MA) 

• Syracuse University College of Law (Syracuse, NY) 

• University of Houston Law Center (Houston, TX) 

“The global response to this unique competition was very strong, with nine outstanding institutions representing seven countries that will be competing against some of the top American law schools,” says Professor Todd Berger, Director of Advocacy Programs, Syracuse University College of Law. “We want to thank the evaluators and judges who will have the difficult task of deciding the outcomes of the competitions. Best wishes to all the competing teams.”

The competition gives law students on both sides of the Atlantic an opportunity to hone their negotiation and communication skills in a transnational setting, with particular emphasis on the importance of cross-cultural negotiation and communication in resolving disputes and facilitating client agreements.

In each round of the competition, one team from the United States and one from Europe will face each other to resolve a series of problems presented in a particular factual scenario. The scenarios are not dependent on the law of a particular country, and they are the type commonly encountered in international business, trade, and political disputes.

“Collaborating with Syracuse University College of Law on the competition is a rewarding experience for the students at both institutions. The organizational, teamwork, and international relations skills learned are in demand in the legal profession,” says Alexys Santos, President of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society at Queen’s University Belfast School of Law. “Participants in the competition will hone their negotiation skills and expand their cross-cultural experiences,” says Kevin Marshall, Vice President of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society at Queen’s University Belfast School of Law.

For more information, click here.

Dixon appointed Public Administrator

Wednesday 1/27/2021

Cressida Dixon has been appointed to serve as public administrator for Monroe County, NY, the first female attorney to serve in the role here.

Implications of Van Buren v. United States and the Reach of the CFAA

Wednesday 1/27/2021
Sehseh Sanan

Implications of Van Buren v. United States and the Reach of the CFAA

By 3L Sehseh Sanan

The United States Supreme Court recently heard arguments on the reach of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The case, Van Buren v. United States considers the CFAA’s definition of “exceeding authorized access.” It is the first time the Supreme Court has reviewed the CFAA, which was enacted in 1986 to address hacking but which has been amended a number of times since.

The Court’s decision may have implications for computer use policies in a variety of business situations involving employee and licensee access to computers and databases.

The CFAA aims to penalize anyone who intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or who exceeds authorized access and obtains information stored on that computer.

18 U.S. Code § 1030(a) states:

(a) Whoever—

(2) Intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains—

(A) information contained in a financial record of a financial institution, or of a card issuer as defined in section 1602(n) [1] of title 15, or contained in a file of a consumer reporting agency on a consumer, as such terms are defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.);

(B) information from any department or agency of the United States; or

(C) information from any protected computer;

(6) the term “exceeds authorized access” means to access a computer with authorization and to use such access to obtain or alter information in the computer that the access-er is not entitled so to obtain or alter…

With the text of the statute in mind, Van Buren addresses the CFAA by asking whether a person who is authorized to access information on a computer for certain purposes violates Section 1030(a)(2) of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act if he/she accesses the same information for an improper purpose.

Nathan Van Buren was a police officer in Georgia who utilized a police database to search license plates in exchange for money, and not in the course of his employment.

Van Buren argued the federal CFAA statute is meant to prevent computer hacking and unauthorized use of electronic systems, and it applies only if the defendant obtains information that he was under no circumstances entitled to obtain. 

Under Van Buren’s argument, the CFAA was not intended to and should not penalize defendants under federal criminal law when they are authorized to access a computer or database but use it in an unauthorized way.

The government’s argument hinges on the inclusion of “so” in the clause “is not entitled so to obtain or alter” in the definition of “exceeds authorized access.” If the Court accepts the government’s argument, then investigations, prosecutions, and sanctions under the CFAA will broaden significantly.

What does this case mean for entrepreneurs? Businesses that depend on employee and licensee access to computer processes and databases may need to carefully review computer access policies and provide adequate guidance to employees and licensees.

Examples of potential areas of prosecution include:

  • Using a database of customer information to provide customer information to someone outside the company.
  • Accessing a licensed database and using the information for other unauthorized purposes.
  • Using a work computer to download personal programs.
  • An employee modifying system files that are not in the scope of their job.
  • Making files public that are supposed to be private.
  • An employee utilizing a password that does not belong to them.
  • An employee utilizing their own password to access information that is prohibited by computer use policies, confidentiality agreements, and employment contracts.
  • An employee using a work computer to download trade secrets in order to compete against their employer.

However the Court decides the decision is likely to influence computer-based businesses, including users such cybersecurity experts, journalists, and researchers who may have difficulty accessing information.

If the Court rules in favor of the government’s prosecution under CFAA, the scope of what is considered a computer crime will broaden, and the control exerted over users will increase. On the other hand, if the Court does not support the application of CFAA to unauthorized uses of information, there are concerns that privacy rights will decrease.

"A Lot of Substance:" Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Reviews Dominion Lawsuit for Reuters

Wednesday 1/27/2021
Roy Gutterman

Giuliani faces tough test in Dominion's $1.3B defamation suit - legal experts

(Reuters | Jan. 25, 2021) Legal experts say an initial review of the defamation suit filed by voting machine company Dominion against Rudy Giuliani indicates a carefully documented, detailed case that has a good chance of moving ahead in court. Giuliani called the suit, which seeks $1.3 billion in damages, an "act of intimidation," and says he may counter sue.

Watch the clip.

Professor Michael Schwartz: Lawyers Should Provide Sign Language Interpreters for Deaf Clients

Tuesday 1/26/2021
Michael Schwartz

(syracuse.com | Jan. 26, 2021) I’m a lawyer, and I’m Deaf. I write to compliment Attorney William Mattar for his television advertising of his firm’s legal services. Mattar’s ads are funny, endearing and most importantly, they are open captioned and therefore accessible for Deaf and hard of hearing viewers. The ads demonstrate Mattar’s inclusion of, and respect for, members of this community.

Under federal law, television commercials less than five minutes in length are not required to be captioned, so despite not being compelled by law to caption his commercials, Mattar is to be applauded for doing the right thing.

Not only are they accessible, Mattar’s commercials offer a model to legal providers who wish to advertise their services on television. His ads humanize him. He is shown in various contexts familiar to the viewers: a bowling alley where he gets only two points on a roll of the ball; a bar where he tells a joke that falls flat; watching TV with his mother; and writing a check in his office that brings smiles to his clients ...

Read the full article.

1L Matthew Yanez Chosen for Prestigious AAPD Summer Internship

Tuesday 1/26/2021
1L Matthew Yanez

First-year law student Matthew Yanez, recipient of a Dean's Scholarship and a JK Wonderland Scholarship, has been chosen to be an American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) summer intern.

"This is a prestigious summer internship that receives hundreds of applications each year from undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities from all academic fields within the US," explains Professor Arlene Kanter, Director of the Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program. "Only a fraction of those students are selected each year."

AAPD Summer Interns work in congressional offices, federal agencies, and disability organizations. "However, the benefits of the Fellowship continue beyond the summer, as some of the most accomplished leaders in the disability field in the US are former AAPD interns," says Kanter. "It was my pleasure to recommend Matthew, who joins other DLPP alumni who have interned at AAPD, including most recently Lauren Galloway L’19, a 2017 AAPD Summer Intern."

Yanez is a young disability advocate who is determined to create an inclusive and equitable world for all. Before law school, he worked with several non-profit groups, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the National Association of the Deaf, and Arc of the United States.

In addition to his J.D., Yanez hopes to pursue a joint master of public affairs degree at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Policy. In an interview in the College of Law alumni magazine, Yanez said he hopes his degrees will give him the tools he needs to help dismantle and eradicate injustices that people of color, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations face.

Flanagan included in Irish Legal 100

Monday 1/25/2021

Timothy J. Flanagan G'75 L'78, a partner in Cullen Dykman's Litigation Department, has been included in the Irish Legal 100 for 2020 which is put together by the Irish Voice. Fellow honorees include Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00: The Challenges in Putting a Price Tag On Free Speech

Friday 1/22/2021
Roy Gutterman

(Law 360 | Jan. 19, 2021) Nominal damages might not be something many lawyers really think about. They are just that, nominal—a small, inconsequential, symbolic amount awarded to a plaintiff acknowledging that they suffered a harm, but no significant monetary loss.

It might be even more surprising that this question of something as basic as nominal damages reached the US Supreme Court in a case testing free speech rights. 

Yet, this was the issue argued last week at the court in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski.

Maybe there is even something ironic that nominal damages were the centerpiece of Supreme Court arguments over something as grand as First Amendment rights and speech about something as vast as religion.

Many First Amendment free speech cases are often proxies for an underlying issue—civil rights, war protests, campaign finance and other hot-button issues. 

Here, the nominal damages argument finds itself wrapped up in the case of two college students—Chike Uzuegbunam and Joseph Bradford—who wanted to let the world, or at least a small sliver of the world at Georgia Gwinnett College, know about their evangelical Christian beliefs.

The school had a policy in place that required speakers to secure permission to speak or distribute materials on campus in a designated free speech zone. 

Uzuegbunam had his permit and his religious material ready for the sharing when campus police shut him down, claiming someone complained about his presence, threatening him with a disorderly conduct charge and potential punishment. Because of the threat of punishment, which the officer implied could result in discipline or even expulsion, Uzuegbunam packed up and left.

Then, he engaged the Alliance Defending Freedom and went to court ...

Read the full article.

Fashion Looks to Paris (Agreement): Professor Mark Nevitt Speaks to WWD

Friday 1/22/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

What Rejoining the Paris Agreement Signals to Fashion

(WWD | Jan. 21, 2021) While the U.S. rejoining the Paris Agreement is just the beginning of a bold rush into environmental stewardship, the action should not be overlooked because of the message it signals to fashion.

Why does this brush of the penstroke matter?

A Cross-Industry Sustainability Push

“Rejoining the Paris Agreement is a signal to the world that the U.S. ‘is back’ on the international climate stage,” said Mark Nevitt, an associate professor of law and expert in environmental and climate change law at Syracuse University’s College of Law. “The U.S. is the world’s largest historical greenhouse gas emitter, and U.S. leadership is crucial for making international climate progress and reducing our emissions. As the Senate is 50-50 and there is a slim Democratic majority in the House, passing bold climate legislation will be challenging.”

It is a 30-day process that began Wednesday for the U.S. to officially rejoin the agreement, but the process of undoing previous environmental rollbacks and rewriting law to realize the bold pledge of making the country carbon-neutral by 2050 is more daunting.

Nevitt believes the Environmental Protection Agency will be the main lever under the Biden-Harris administration “to push [Biden’s] environmental agenda,” both in communication and action. And as for the largely unregulated and highly polluting fashion industry, Nevitt foresees it in the mix of broader industry overhaul.

“I think there will be more focus on all industries that contribute to climate change, to include fashion. Look for the new Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Michael Regan, to push broad sustainability policies across the U.S. economy. For fashion, this will likely highlight the need to reuse clothing, streamlining supply chains to reduce the carbon footprint,” he said. “While only so much can be done by law or regulation, look for a broad push via public communications on sustainability across all industries, to include fashion and its environmental impact" ...

Read the full article

Criminalizing Speech? Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Talks to CNN

Thursday 1/21/2021
Roy Gutterman

Violence at Capitol and beyond reignites a debate over America's long-held defense of extremist speech

(CNN | Jan. 19, 2021) With most Americans hoping this week's expected inauguration protests look nothing like the Capitol siege, questions emerge about unrestrained free expression, long championed by First Amendment theorists as a benefit to society, no matter how ugly and hateful.

The optics may be disturbing, especially so soon after the riot, with the potential of protesters -- many of like mind with those who stormed the Capitol -- screaming, or worse, at troops and police standing guard outside the razor wire-topped fences surrounding the Capitol.

Is allowing this type of expression "good" for America? An old First Amendment theory -- known as the safety valve -- says it is, that permitting groups to express themselves releases pressure, ensuring objectionable ideas aren't driven underground where they might boil over into violence.

Permitting free speech, including hate and extremist speech, is often cast as a universal boon, reinforced in idioms such as, "Sunlight is the best disinfectant" and "I don't agree with what you say, but I'll defend your right to say it" ...

... Roy Gutterman, director of Syracuse University's Tully Center for Free Speech, worries, he said: Once you start criminalizing speech, where does it end?

"Europe and Germany and France, they have different histories and obviously their laws have criminalized certain speech that we would legally accept here," he said. "The categories of speech that we criminalize are really specific and narrow, and narrow for a reason. I'm not sure a new category of illegal hate speech would really comport with the First Amendment, and maybe I'm being naive" ...

Read the full article.

South China Morning Post Taps Professor Corri Zoli for Inauguration Comment

Thursday 1/21/2021
Corri Zoli

Biden inauguration: new US president pledges to unify a tense, divided nation while fighting a pandemic

(South China Morning Post | Jan. 21, 2021) Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, taking on the daunting task of trying to heal a nation that has been battered over the last year by a pandemic, economic malaise, political violence and incessant attacks on America’s democratic institutions by the man he is succeeding, Donald Trump.

In a 21-minute inaugural address that sought to unify a tense and divided America, President Biden called on the country to “lower the temperature” or else risk destroying itself ...

... Corri Zoli, a professor at Syracuse University’s law school and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, said that Biden in his speech had “answered several concerns and criticisms well—he disarmed concerns that unity was a fantasy or dream”.

“He referenced the depth of his commitment to the nation (Constitution, etc.) by using Lincoln’s commitment ‘by his very soul’ to the Emancipation Proclamation—important for those who worry Biden is not up to the task,” she said by email ...

Read the full article.

The Legal Examiner Talks to Professor William C. Banks About Domestic Terrorism Cases

Wednesday 1/20/2021
William C. Banks

Domestic terrorism prosecutions reach all-time high

(The Legal Examiner | Jan. 19, 2021) The insurrection attempt by a mob on the nation’s capitol may be part of a larger trend of increasing incidents of right-wing domestic terrorism. 

“I think it’s not a one-off,” said William C. Banks, law professor at Syracuse University College of Law.  “We’re in a very critical period right now that might even abate or reverse itself. I’m hopeful that it will. I think we’re going to have to see.”

Banks said he hopes the leadership of Joe Biden’s administration will have a “more calming effect” than President Trump. 

Last year saw the highest number of domestic terrorism prosecutions brought by the federal government around the country in the 25 years since government tracking of these cases began, according to a report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. Banks is not affiliated with TRAC.

In all, U.S. Attorneys’ offices brought 183 domestic terrorism cases in 2020, compared with 90 in 2019, 63 in 2018 and 69 in 2017, according to the TRAC report, which used data the clearinghouse obtained through litigation ...

Read the full article.

College of Law Adds Vincent H. Cohen '92, L'95 to Its Board of Advisors

Tuesday 1/19/2021
Vincent Cohen Jr. '92, L'95

Syracuse University College of Law is pleased to announce the addition of Vincent H. Cohen '92, L'95—Partner at Dechert LLP, based in Washington, DC—to its Board of Advisors. Cohen is widely recognized and honored for his work in high-stakes litigation and investigations, representing global industry leaders in the technology, finance, and defense sectors. Also a member of the Syracuse University Board of Trustees, he embodies the talent, leadership, and public service found throughout the College's diverse alumni community. 

“Vince Cohen's service to the University, College, his community, and our nation is exemplary. His strong advocacy in matters of leadership, diversity, equality, equity, and ethics will serve us well,” says Dean Craig M. Boise. "I look forward to Vince’s invaluable counsel as we continue to innovate our curriculum, expand our reach, and prepare our students for a fast-evolving legal profession." 

“Vince has been lauded by his peers—and by the University and College of Law—as a standout leader and rising star in the legal profession, one whose legal and business acumen, client focus, and public service will be guiding lights for Syracuse law students,” says Board of Advisors Chair Robert M. Hallenbeck L’83. “I know I speak for the rest of the Board of Advisors when I say we are excited to get to work with Vincent and to propel our College forward.” 

“I welcome this opportunity to deepen my commitment to Syracuse University and the College of Law and to add my perspectives—including those I bring from the SU Office of Multicultural Advancement's Advisory Council—to Dean Boise’s and the Board’s initiatives. In my leadership role at Dechert, and through my clients, I have a front-row seat to how the legal profession and our business sectors are fast evolving, and I look forward to helping Syracuse continue to lead the way in adapting to these changes,” says Cohen. “Syracuse is a special place for me and my family. My father was an undergraduate and law school graduate, and my mother is from the city of Syracuse; it is where my parents met. It is an honor to serve my alma mater and to strengthen my bonds with this community.”

Before joining Dechert’s 125-strong White Collar team five years ago, Cohen was Acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia (2015-2016), the largest US attorney’s office in the nation. From 2010-2015, he served as the office’s Principal Assistant US Attorney. Last year, he was elected to Dechert’s Global Policy Committee, a 14-member body that oversees the firm’s 26 offices worldwide. Since joining Dechert, Cohen has chaired the Black Lawyers Alliance, a firm affinity group, 

Cohen has received the Presidential Star Award from the National Bar Association for his contributions in the field of law. He also has received the Director’s Award from the US Secret Service and a Public Service and Humanitarian Award from Walker Memorial Baptist Church for his work in ensuring equal justice for the people of Washington, DC. 

He has served as general counsel and remains an active member of 100 Black Men of America Inc. (Greater Washington), an organization focused on improving the quality of life of minority youth in the nation's capital. As an educator, Cohen is a trial advocacy instructor at Harvard Law School's Trial Advocacy Workshop and a frequent lecturer at Syracuse, Georgetown, and Harvard law schools.

Cohen is consistently recognized by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in white-collar crime and government investigations for the District of Columbia, and he is listed by Legal 500 US for corporate investigations and white-collar criminal defense. He was recently recognized by the Washingtonian Magazine as a Top Lawyer in Washington, DC. 

Among other citations, Cohen was named as one of Savoy Magazine's Most Influential Black Lawyers in America; one of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America by Lawdragon. The Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) named Cohen a Rainmaker, describing him as “an exceptional diverse attorney whose business acumen and dedication to proactive client development set him apart as a leader in the legal profession.” In 2020, he was named one of Profiles in Diversity Journal’s first-ever Black Leaders Worth Watching and in 2018 the publication honored him with the 2018 Diversity Leader Award for his commitment to diversity. 

In addition to his service on the University Board of Trustees, Cohen—a former member of the Syracuse University men's basketball team—serves on the Board's Athletics and Finance committees and the Office of Multicultural Advancement's Advisory Council. He is a former member of the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association Board of Directors and received an inaugural Syracuse Law Honors Award from the College in 2015. In 2008, he accepted the Chancellor’s Citation for Distinguished Alumni Achievement in Law.

To honor his late father—Vincent Cohen Sr. ’57, L’60—Cohen has endowed an Our Time Has Come Scholarship for Syracuse Black and Latino students through the Office of Multicultural Advancement. The elder Cohen was an All-American and Syracuse Men’s Basketball All-Century Team basketball player who became a successful corporate attorney in Washington, DC, and who received the George Arents Pioneer Medal in 1986, the University's highest alumni honor. 

Professor Shubha Ghosh Reviews Trump's Twitter Ban on KatieCouric.com

Tuesday 1/19/2021
Shubha Ghosh

Did President Trump’s Ban From Twitter Violate Free Speech? These Experts Say Not Exactly

(KatieCouric.com | Jan. 14, 2021) Major tech platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, have either permanently banned or restricted President Donald Trump from their platforms in response to his inflammatory rhetoric that culminated in a mob of his supporters storming the U.S. Capitol last week in an effort to block certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

The moves were aimed at preventing further efforts to incite violence and followed months of the president’s unfounded claims of voter fraud and refusal to concede his election loss. As the president denies that he played a role in the violence that led to his second impeachment, both he and his allies have decried these actions, claiming censorship and a violation of their First Amendment rights. 

Syracuse University law professor Shubha Ghosh pushed back against these assertions, saying private companies — no matter how large — don’t have to comply with the First Amendment because it is meant to protect people from being silenced by the government.

“It’s no different than any other private business refusing service to somebody,” Ghosh, who specializes in antitrust law, said. “So if somebody goes into a grocery store or a movie theater or a bar and starts acting in an unruly way, let’s say, the private establishment is within its rights to have them be barred or to have them thrown out of the establishment" ...

Read the full article.

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

Friday 1/15/2021
College of Law

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

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

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

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

LL.M. Students (Spring 2021 Cohort)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Returning LL.M. Students

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring 2021 Visiting Researchers

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

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

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

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

Thursday 1/14/2021
College of Law

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

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

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

Spring 2021 DCEx Placements

Federal Government

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

Nonprofit Placements

  • Insured Retirement Institute

Corporate Placements

  • Orbis Technologies

Judicial Placements

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

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

Thursday 1/14/2021
William C. Banks

House impeaches Trump once more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article.

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

Wednesday 1/13/2021
Roy Gutterman

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

CNN | Jan. 12, 2021

Read the full article.

Scenario: You are banned from a social media platform.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A First Amendment issue -- usually.

What speech isn't covered under the First Amendment?

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

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

Tuesday 1/12/2021
William C. Banks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article.

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

Monday 1/11/2021
William C. Banks

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

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

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

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

Read the full article.

Murski named partner

Monday 1/11/2021
Karina Murski

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

Cross forms new firm

Monday 1/11/2021
Tara N. Karch Cross

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

Professor Mark Nevitt Asks Four Questions About Capitol Hill Riot

Monday 1/11/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

Tragedy at the Capitol: Four Questions that Demand Answers

By Mark P. Nevitt 

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

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

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

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

I highlight four initial questions to focus on:

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

Read the full article.

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

Friday 1/8/2021
Roy Gutterman

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article

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

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

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

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

Read the full article

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

Friday 1/8/2021
Nina Kohn

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

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

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

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

Read the full article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Toomey elected partner

Thursday 1/7/2021

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

Gallagher named partner

Thursday 1/7/2021
Brad Gallagher

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

Lawrence named partner

Thursday 1/7/2021
Brittany Lawrence

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

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

Thursday 1/7/2021
Dean Craig M. Boise

Dear College of Law Students,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best regards,

Craig M. Boise
Dean and Professor of Law

Professor William C. Banks Comments on the Capitol Hill Riot

Thursday 1/7/2021
William C. Banks

SU Law Professor Saddened, Concerned About Democracy's Future

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article

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

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

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

Read the full story.

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

Wednesday 1/6/2021

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

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

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

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

Professor Nina Kohn Assesses Elder Mediators in MarketWatch

Tuesday 1/5/2021
Nina Kohn

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

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

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

Read the full article.

Professor Robin Paul Malloy Publishes on "Advancing Accessible Communities"

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

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

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

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

Read the article.

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

Tuesday 1/5/2021
William C. Banks

Hope jostles with fear in US

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article.

Lingo named director in general counsel department

Monday 1/4/2021

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

Kaplan promoted to partner

Monday 1/4/2021
Michael Kaplan

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

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

Monday 1/4/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

Biden and the Underseas Cable Underworld

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article.

Professor Corri Zoli Discusses Election Security on 7 Layers Podcast

Monday 1/4/2021
Corri Zoli

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

SDX Central 7 Layers Podcast | Dec. 29, 2020


Connor Craven:

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

Corri Zoli:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to the podcast.

Several College of Law Faculty to Present at AALS Annual Meeting

Wednesday 12/16/2020
College of Law

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

Read the full AALS Annual Meeting program here.

College of Law Faculty Presentations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 8 | TBD
Dean's Forum

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 12/16/2020
Jenny Breen

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

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

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

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

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

Watch the interview.

Facebook Antitrust Suit: Professor Shubha Ghosh Comments to MarketWatch

Tuesday 12/15/2020
Shubha Ghosh

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

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

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

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

Read the full article.

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

Monday 12/14/2020

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

Competition Details:

• Applications are due Jan. 8, 2021

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

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

• The competition will be in English

• Each round will be one hour in duration

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

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

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

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

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

Professor Shubha Ghosh Gives Keynote Address at AsLEA 2020

Monday 12/14/2020
Shubha Ghosh

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

Watch the keynote address.

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

Friday 12/11/2020
Nina Kohn

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 12/8/2020
Nina Kohn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday 12/7/2020
Doron Dorfman

Thirty Years Later, Still Fighting Over the ADA

By Doron Dorfman & Thomas F. Burke

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

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

What took so long?

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

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

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

Read the full article.

Professor Shubha Ghosh on "Making Without Taking"

Monday 12/7/2020
Shubha Ghosh

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

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

Watch the lecture.

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

Monday 12/7/2020
William C. Banks

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article

Professor Doron Dorfman Publishes 2020 Israeli Municipal Accessibility Index

Friday 12/4/2020
Doron Dorfman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 12/3/2020
College of Law

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hon. Rodney Thompson named Presiding Judge

Thursday 12/3/2020

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

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

Thursday 12/3/2020
Arlene Kanter

By Professor Arlene Kanter

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

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

We still have a way to go.

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

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

Read the full article.

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

Thursday 12/3/2020
Nina Kohn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article.

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

Wednesday 12/2/2020
William C. Banks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article.

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

Wednesday 12/2/2020
Mark P. Nevitt

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

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

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

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

Appointing Climate-Security Expertise: Personnel as Policy

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

Read the full article.

Professor Nina Kohn Cited in #FreeBritney Article

Tuesday 12/1/2020
Nina Kohn

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article.

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

Monday 11/30/2020
Roy Gutterman

Carl Bernstein says 21 GOP senators contemptuous of Trump

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

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

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

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

Read the full article

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

Monday 11/30/2020
William C. Banks

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

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

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

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

Listen to the podcast.

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

Wednesday 11/25/2020
William C. Banks

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

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

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

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

Read the full story.

Dean Boise Thanksgiving Message 2020

Wednesday 11/25/2020

Innovation Law Center: Where Law, Technology and Business Intersect

Wednesday 11/25/2020
Viviana Bro

By Rob Enslin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Success Breeds Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supporting an Innovation Ecosystem

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

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

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

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

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

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


Professor Shubha Ghosh Featured in MCI Law Review Special IP Issue

Tuesday 11/24/2020
Shubha Ghosh

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

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

MCI Law Review 91
MCI Law Review 91

Goldstein receives Grunin Price

Monday 11/23/2020

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

Professor Gregory Germain Weighs in on Shoppingtown Mall Bankruptcy

Friday 11/20/2020
Professor Gregory Germain

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

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

Thursday 11/19/2020
Shubha Ghosh

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

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

Watch the lecture.

WSYR News Profiles Father-Daughter Duo Scott and Lauren Deutsch

Thursday 11/19/2020
Scott and Lauren Deutsch

Father-daughter duo tackles law school together at Syracuse University

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch the segment.

Scott and Lauren Deutsch
Scott and Lauren Deutsch

Politico Interviews Professor Shubha Ghosh About Botox Trade Battle

Thursday 11/19/2020
Shubha Ghosh

ITC to decide Botox trade secret battle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article.

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

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

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

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

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

Monday 11/16/2020
Matt Kronisch

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

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

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

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

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

White appointed to Syracuse's Common Council

Monday 11/16/2020

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

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

Friday 11/13/2020
Peter Blanck

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

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

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

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

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

Professor Shubha Ghosh Weighs In on EU Antitrust Charges Against Amazon

Wednesday 11/11/2020
Shubha Ghosh

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full article.

Access To Rivals' Data Drives EC Amazon Antitrust Case

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

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

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

Read the full article.

Introducing the Barclay Damon 1L Diversity Initiatives Program

Wednesday 11/11/2020
College of Law

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

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

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

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

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

Sinsabaugh named Rising Star of Super Lawyers

Tuesday 11/10/2020
Brian Sinsabaugh

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