×    By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

The Future of Conservatorship: BBI’s Jonathan Martinis featured in Time, WaPo, PBS, and WGBH

Posted on Thursday 7/22/2021
Jonathan Martinis

(Time | June 25, 2021) “Every time we shine a little bit of light, things get easier for everyone after that. Britney’s not just shining a light, she’s a huge spotlight,” says Martinis. “So maybe just maybe the conversation changes a little bit and the culture changes a little bit. And we say before guardianship, what else can we do?” 

“It’s a cultural failure,” says Jonathan Martinis, senior director for law and policy at Syracuse University’s Burton Blatt Institute and a leading expert on alternatives to conservatorship.

Read the full article.

See also:

Professor Nina Kohn Discusses #FreeBritney with CBS News, Other Media

Posted on Wednesday 7/21/2021
Nina Kohn

What does Britney Spears need to do to end her conservatorship?

(CBS News | July 16, 2021) Britney Spears scored a major victory this week in the fight to end her conservatorship when a judge approved her bid to hire her own legal counsel for the first time since 2008. Spears, 39, has called the legal arrangement abusive and now faces the tough task of convincing the judge she no longer needs conservators to manage her career and finances ...

... The conservatorship was put into place in 2008, while Spears struggled with her mental health. In order for her to end it, she must prove she is capable of caring for herself, will be able to handle her wealth and will not be at risk if the arrangement is removed, said Nina Kohn, a law professor at Syracuse University who specializes in the civil rights of those with diminished mental capacity and elder law. 

"As a practical matter, what you're looking to show is that she can make decisions for herself," said Kohn. "Most of us don't make decisions in a vacuum. We look to other people we trust for help and support. So the fact that she might need support to make decisions doesn't mean that she can't make decisions for herself ...

Read the full article.

See also: 

Vaccines for Servicemembers? Professor Mark Nevitt Speaks to VOA News

Posted on Wednesday 7/21/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

Vaccine Mandates Prompt Sharp Legal Debate

(VOA News | July 17, 2021) With the rate of Americans fully vaccinated for COVID-19 stalling at close to 50%, a growing number of U.S. public schools, colleges and private companies have turned to a controversial legal tool to get more people immunized: vaccine mandates.

Nearly 600 colleges and universities will require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated before returning to campus in the fall, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, while some public school districts are mandating teachers and administrators to provide proof of vaccinations. Many private businesses have also announced vaccination requirements for employees.

With experts saying 70% or more of Americans need to be vaccinated or immune to COVID in order for the country to achieve "herd immunity," mandatory vaccination has emerged as a weapon in the fight against the deadly coronavirus variants ...

... President Joe Biden pledged that he would not make vaccinations mandatory in the military. However, that could change depending on circumstances, and he could waive an "informed consent requirement" for members of the military, according to Mark Nevitt of the Syracuse University College of Law ...

Read the full story.

Trump's Secret Subpoenas: Professor William C. Banks Discusses with Bloomberg Law

Posted on Thursday 7/15/2021
William C. Banks

Trump DOJ Secret Subpoenas Crossed Line

(Bloomberg Law | July 15, 2021) National security law expert William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University College of Law, discusses the controversy over revelations the Justice Department under former President Donald Trump had secretly subpoenaed records from House Democrats, former White House counsel Don McGahn and members of the media.

Listen to the podcast.

Britney Spears' Conservatorship Latest: Professor Nina Kohn Joins Morning Edition

Posted on Wednesday 7/14/2021
Nina Kohn

Britney Spears' Conservatorship Is Back In Court: Who's Who, And What They Want

(NPR Morning Edition | July 14, 2021) On Wednesday afternoon, Britney Spears' conservatorship case will be back in front of a judge at Los Angeles Superior Court. This is the first return to court after Spears herself spoke to the judge last month, pleading for her 13-year conservatorship to end.

Wednesday's hearing involves a host of parties. The list of what they are putting before Judge Brenda Penny is pretty long, and in some cases the participants are at distinct odds with each other. In a word: It's complicated. Here's a who's who of who's involved and what they're looking for in this court hearing ...

Listen to the segment.

Faculty, Staff Receive Center for Disability Resources Honors

Posted on Wednesday 7/14/2021
College of Law

Every year, the Center for Disability Resources (CDR) recognizes faculty and staff members who are nominated for their work in advocating for students and supporting the center in its mission to empower students, enhance equity, and provide a platform for innovation and inclusion.

In a year of a pandemic that created challenges for access, the center received 67 nominations—the highest ever—from students who wanted to acknowledge the faculty or staff member who made a difference in their academic lives.

Among the honorees are:

  • Professor Richard Risman, nominated for ensuring all students have the tools and skills needed to succeed and encouraging students through his actions and words.
  • Joel Whitney, Director of Information Technology, nominated for his willingness to work with students with accommodation needs at all hours.

Read the full nominations statements at the CDR Recognition Ceremony webpage.  

Bonhomme Richard Fire Inquiry: Professor Mark Nevitt Discusses with Military.com

Posted on Wednesday 7/14/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

One Year After the Bonhomme Richard Fire, Questions Remain Unanswered

(Military Times | July 12, 2021) ... There could be several reasons for the silence and delay, according to Mark Nevitt, a former aviator and judge advocate attorney in the Navy, who spoke with Military.com about the investigation. Nevitt is now a professor at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Aside from the usual privacy and national security redactions, Nevitt said that pending criminal charges can delay an investigation.

"If you have a recommendation that is related to training, to readiness, to how watch is done, you don't have the same sort of criminal law due process concerns associated if [you] charge a Navy sailor with a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice," he explained.

Nevitt also noted that the Navy may have already taken some administrative action, "which could be non-judicial punishment," away from the public eye.

"Firing people ... removing people from the watchstand, or having people administratively separated for some kind of underlying administrative misconduct" are all things that could have already occurred, he said.

"It seems likely to me that, if there is a formal court-martial, that would take place following the completion of the investigation and the endorsements by the [Pacific Fleet] commander," Nevitt said.

Jeff Houston, a spokesman for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, or NCIS, said that its investigation into the fire remains ongoing. Houston added that no charges have been filed at this time.

"Out of respect for the investigative process, NCIS does not comment on or confirm details relating to ongoing investigations," he said in a statement.

More broadly, Nevitt argues that the wait is understandable given the scope of the incident ...

Read the full article.

Professor Mark Nevitt Publishes "Is Climate Change a Threat to International Peace and Security?"

Posted on Wednesday 7/14/2021
Mark P. Nevitt
"Is Climate Change a Threat to International Peace and Security?" Michigan Journal of International Law, 42 (2021).

The climate-security century is here, writes Professor Mark Nevitt. Both the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the US Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA) recently sounded the alarm on climate change’s “super-wicked” and destabilizing security impacts. 

Scientists and security professionals alike reaffirm what we are witnessing with our own eyes: The earth is warming at a rapid rate; climate change affects international peace and security in complex ways; and the window for international climate action is slamming shut.

Disability's Workplace Minefields: Professor Doron Dorfman Speaks to Vice Media's Refinery29

Posted on Tuesday 7/13/2021
Doron Dorfman

My Disability Is Obvious In Job Interviews. Is That A Bad Thing?

(Refinery 29/Vice Media Group | July 13, 2021) “So… how does the winter weather affect you?” I sat across from the person interviewing me for a job I really wanted, totally unsure of how to respond.

It was the spring of 2016, and I had applied for more than 100 jobs in my chosen field of journalism. I was about to finish graduate school, and I knew that I needed to be as open and flexible as possible given the dearth of opportunities in media. I’m also physically disabled and wear a tracheostomy tube around my neck, which helps me breathe. My disability is visible; it’s usually one of the first things a person notices when they meet me ...

... So was the question I got from the editor-in-chief about winter weather fair game?

“I don’t think so, because it’s not a question about the type of accommodation for the interview or the job,” said Doron Dorfman, an associate professor at Syracuse University College of Law, who specializes in disability law and teaches employment discrimination. “I also don’t really see it as job-related or considered a business necessity. If it’s a desk job, why is the weather so important?” ...

... For some people, though, disclosing a disability is necessary for a job interview in order to request accommodations, Dorfman said. Employers can’t provide them if they don’t know. But those with invisible disabilities may be asked to submit documentation proving their disability status and need for accommodations — which can indirectly feed into what Dorfman called a “fear of the disability con,” or the ableist notion that disabled people are faking in order to gain some unfair advantage.

On the other hand, talking about disability can also help destigmatize it. Once I started honing my expertise as a disability reporter, I found it easier to talk about my own disability during job interviews because it helped me explain why my work was so strong: I had direct experience with the community I covered. Occasionally I’d get questions about my disability as it related to my career, but Dorfman said these were less likely to be an ADA violation given the context. They also hit differently than the winter-weather question, which made me uncomfortable and lowered my self-confidence ...

Read the full article.

South Korean Radio Asks Professor Mary Szto About Anti Asian Violence in the US

Posted on Tuesday 7/13/2021
Mary Szto

Professor Mary Szto was recently interviewed by the Seoul, Korea, radio station TBS eFM for a “This Morning with Henry Shinn” segment called “Overview of the History of Discrimination and Violence Against the Asian American Community.”

Listen to the podcast.

What Next for Britney's Conservatorship? Professor Nina Kohn Speaks to NPR

Posted on Tuesday 7/13/2021
Nina Kohn

Spears' Case Goes Back To Court—Here's What Could Be Next For Her Conservatorship

(NPR | July 12, 2021) Wednesday is set to be an important day in court for Britney Spears. Since her searing open testimony describing life under her conservatorship, there've been some big changes to her legal situation. A wealth management company, Bessemer Trust, which had been set to take over as co-conservator for Spears' estate, requested to resign. Her court-appointed attorney Sam Ingham also requested to resign, "effective upon the appointment of new court-appointed counsel." Her mother, Lynne Spears, has also requested that Britney Spears be allowed her own private lawyer ...

... Nina Kohn, a law professor at Syracuse University who specializes in elder law, says that the Spears case has exposed some of the national problems with guardianship and conservatorship, including "how difficult it can be to get your rights restored if you've been judged incapacitated," she says ...

... From there, Spears would have to show proof that she can take care of herself both personally and financially. Which is the hard part — for instance, how do you show you've been able to pay your bills when you haven't been allowed to pay your bills? Kohn says that states like California put the burden of proof on the individual. "And that's especially a problem because the person subject to conservatorship or guardianship is already disadvantaged by the bias and stigma created by the initial determination that they lack capacity," she said ...

Read the full article.

License to Steal? Professor Nina Kohn Discusses Power of Attorney Abuses with LAW360

Posted on Monday 7/12/2021
Nina Kohn

'More Art' Than Science: Incapacity Findings Prone To Abuse

(Law 360 | July 12, 2021) ... Power of attorney — a document by which a person can sign over the right to manage personal, health care, and financial decisions to an agent — is considered an important legal tool in life planning. It can go into effect immediately, or be "springing" — triggered by some event, like a finding of incapacity — as was the case with Halpin. A grantor can choose someone they know and trust and put some limitations on their powers, according to Nina Kohn.

"Powers of attorney can be a wonderful tool for promoting self-determination, for making sure people's affairs will be handled if they need help, and for avoiding guardianship," she said. "At the same time, they are extraordinarily powerful and can be a helpful tool for unscrupulous agents. The problems are so significant, some have referred to them as 'a license to steal'" ...

Read the full article

Peter K. Mattar joins William Mattar, P.C.

Posted on Monday 7/12/2021

William Mattar law offices is pleased to welcome William Mattar’s son, Peter Mattar, Esq., to the firm’s attorney staff. As a personal injury attorney, Peter will focus on helping people injured in motor vehicle accidents.   

Peter Mattar attended Binghamton University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law in 2021, where he graduated cum laude. He is admitted to practice law in New York.     

Just like his father, Peter Mattar is passionate about making a difference in the community and helping clients whose lives have been severely impacted after a car accident. He has watched the firm grow over the years and is able to step in with the passion for helping people that the firm is synonymous with. In speaking about why he decided to become a lawyer, Peter said, “Becoming a lawyer is in my blood. I have multiple lawyers in my family, and I’m a third-generation attorney. I grew up hearing stories from my family about how they helped their clients deal with very difficult issues. Those stories resonated with me. I became a lawyer so that I could continue that tradition of service.” 

Jade M. Rodriguez joins Barclay Damon

Posted on Monday 7/12/2021
Jade M. Rodriguez

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce Jade Rodriguez has been admitted to the New York State Bar. The former law clerk is now an associate at the firm. Rodriguez is a member of the Commercial Litigation and White Collar & Government Investigations Practice Areas. She graduated from Syracuse University College of Law, and her experience includes serving as a BellCornerstone, LLC legal analyst and a Securities Arbitration and Consumer law clinic student attorney. She is based in the firm’s Syracuse office.

Rising 3L Hayley Rousselle Takes Second Place in AEJMC Writing Competition

Posted on Monday 7/12/2021
Hayley Rouselle

Rising third year law student Hayley Rousselle has won second place in a writing competition organized by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Law and Policy Division, the accreditation group for communications and journalism schools and colleges. Rouselle will present her paper—“Social Media and the Economy of Hate.”—on an Aug. 4, 2021, panel during AEJMC's virtual conference.  

"Hayley wrote her paper for my Media Law 737 class last fall and we worked pretty closely getting it ready for the competition," says Professor Roy Gutterman L'00, Director of the Tully Center for Free Speech. "The law division has some of the top media law scholars in the country. The competition is pretty tight."

Rouselle explains that her paper addresses Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which grants social media companies immunity in making good faith efforts to regulate content on their platforms. 

"However, this legal norm does nothing to encourage transparent, consistent, or effective regulation of harmful content such as hate speech," Rouselle observes. "Instead, Section 230 has left social media companies in a position where they can go unchecked in profiting from the harmful content they often claim to prohibit." Her article examines how Congress can amend Section 230 to best incentivize social media companies to enforce their policies that prohibit hate speech.

Margaret Talt joins Barclay Damon

Posted on Monday 7/12/2021
Margaret E. Talt

Barclay Damon is pleased to announce Margaret Talt has been admitted to the New York State Bar. The former law clerk is now an associate at the firm. Talt is a member of the Real Estate and Financial Institutions & Lending Practice Areas. She graduated from Syracuse University College of Law, and her experience includes serving as a Barclay Damon summer associate and a DJ & JA Cirando, PLLC law clerk. She is based in the firm’s Syracuse office. 

Harvard Journal of Legislation Publishes Professor Nina Kohn's "Legislating Supported Decision-Making"

Posted on Friday 7/9/2021
Nina Kohn
"Legislating Supported Decision-Making." Harvard Journal of Legislation, Vol 58, No. 2 (2021)

Supported decision-making is a process by which individuals who might otherwise be unable to make their own decisions do so with help from others. It has the potential to transform the lives of individuals with cognitive and intellectual disabilities by enabling them to function as legal actors, and not merely legal subjects. 

Fueled by this promise, by mounting concerns about guardianship, and by rhetoric surrounding the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, states are rapidly adopting statutes that purport to enable and promote supported decision-making and advance the rights of persons with disabilities. 

Professor Nina Kohn's article shows how these statutes typically do neither. Rather, the statutes limit the rights of individuals with disabilities and place them at increased risk of exploitation. The article further shows that the wide gap between the concept of supported decision-making and its actual implementation in state legislation is the result of a confluence of political agendas, but that an alternative, person-centered approach is essential if supported decision-making is actually to empower individuals with disabilities. 

Finally, Kohn outlines five concrete legislative approaches states could adopt—separately or in combination—to encourage supported decision-making that will actually advance the rights of persons with disabilities and reduce restrictive guardianships.

Axios Asks Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 for Comment on Trump's Social Media Lawsuits

Posted on Thursday 7/8/2021
Roy Gutterman

Experts say Trump's social media lawsuits are likely doomed

(Axios | July 8, 2021) Legal experts and First Amendment scholars say former President Donald Trump's class-action lawsuits announced Wednesday against Facebook, Twitter, Google, and their CEOs are unlikely to go far ...

... The central argument made by the plaintiff is that social media platforms are "state actors," and thus should be bound by the First Amendment's free speech protections. First Amendment experts quickly dismissed the claim as destined to fail.

"The First Amendment simply protects citizens from government censorship," said Syracuse University associate professor Roy Gutterman. "Social media platforms exercise great power, but they are not a branch of government" ...

... The bottom line: "This is not the first time social media companies have been faced with these arguments, and in the past, they have won,” said Gutterman.

Read the full article.

Britney Spears' Conservatorship: The New Yorker Speaks with BBI's Jonathan Martinis

Posted on Wednesday 7/7/2021
Jonathan Martinis

Britney Spears’s Conservatorship Nightmare

(The New Yorker | July 3, 2021) On June 22nd, Britney Spears’s management team started getting nervous. Spears, who is thirty-nine, has spent the past thirteen years living under a conservatorship, a legal structure in which a person’s personal, economic, and legal decision-making power is ceded to others. Called a guardianship in most states, the arrangement is intended for people who cannot take care of themselves. Since the establishment of Spears’s conservatorship, she has released four albums, headlined a global tour that grossed a hundred and thirty-one million dollars, and performed for four years in a hit Las Vegas residency. Yet her conservators, who include her father, Jamie Spears, have controlled her spending, communications, and personal decisions ...

... According to Jonathan Martinis, the senior director for law and policy at [the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University], one of the most dangerous aspects of guardianships is the way that they prevent people from getting their own legal counsel. “The rights at stake in guardianship are analogous to the rights at stake in criminal cases,” Martinis said. “Britney could have been found holding an axe and a severed head, saying ‘I did it,’ and she still would’ve had the right to an attorney. So, under guardianship, you don’t have the same rights as an axe murderer" ...

... The idea that Spears needs this conservatorship to function is, to some degree, self-reinforcing. In that respect, experts said, her case is common. Martinis, the disability-rights lawyer, said that many guardianships can prove inescapable, which is why they are vulnerable to abuse. In the extreme cases, he said, “the strategy is isolate, medicate, liquidate. You isolate them, medicate them to keep them quiet, liquidate the assets.” If a conservatee functions well under conservatorship, it can be framed as proof of the arrangement’s necessity; if a conservatee struggles under conservatorship, the same conclusion can be drawn. 

And if a conservatee gets out, and stumbles into crisis or manipulation—a likelihood increased by time spent formally disempowered—this, too, might reinforce the argument for their prior legal restraints. “Our mistakes make us who we are, and teach us who we can be,” Martinis said. “Without bad choices, we can’t be wholly human. And with the best of intentions, we say to people with disabilities: we’ll keep you from ever making a mistake.” He added, “Should Britney get out, just watch. The first mistake she makes, fingers will wag, and people will say this would never have happened if she were under guardianship" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Greg Germain Addresses NYS Marijuana Laws with Syracuse.com

Posted on Tuesday 7/6/2021
Greg Germain

Can you give marijuana as a gift under NY’s legal pot law?

(syracuse.com | July 2, 2021) A watch. Jewelry. A gift card. Dinner out.

A joint?

With recreational marijuana now legal in New York, some of you have been wondering whether you can wrap your weed up and give it to your friends and family as a gift for their birthdays, to thank them for babysitting or just for being generally nice people.

What about a business or vendor at an event that wants to give out free samples? ...

... Anyone with a cannabis license is specifically barred from making any gifts, said Greg Germain, a professor at Syracuse University’s College of Law. They’re also not allowed to sell marijuana to people they know are going to redistribute it as a gift.

It’s possible the gift issue could be addressed at some point by New York’s Cannabis Control Board, which will have broad power to set rules and regulations on legal marijuana, Germain wrote in an email ...

Read the full article.

Professor Suzette Meléndez Named Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion

Posted on Tuesday 7/6/2021
Suzette Meléndez

Dean Craig M. Boise has appointed Professor Suzette Meléndez as Syracuse University College of Law’s new Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion. In this position, Professor Meléndez will work with Dean Boise and across the entire College to lead ongoing efforts to foster an inclusive learning community that seeks to address and eradicate racism and other forms of discrimination, that values and builds on Syracuse Law’s diversity, and that equips law students with the cultural competence necessary to function effectively and ethically in 21st century legal practice.

In doing so, Professor Meléndez will draw and continue upon her work as Chair of the Committee on Inclusion Initiatives, which in light of its permanence and composition will now be known as the Inclusion Council. The Inclusion Council will continue to meet regularly to evaluate the climate at the College of Law and to make recommendations for actions to create and sustain an inclusive learning community. 

Most recently, the Inclusion Council, together with the Curriculum Committee, chaired by Professor Paula Johnson, has advanced Syracuse Law’s new three-pronged Cultural Competency Curriculum; provided a series of professional development opportunities and resources for our faculty, staff, and students; and advocated for the creation of the Hon. Sandra L. Townes, L’76 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Resource Center. The Council’s work has also represented the law school’s investment in anti-discriminatory initiatives across campus.

In addition to her new duties, Professor Meléndez will continue her teaching in the area of Family Law.

Professor David Driesen's New Book Analyzes "The Specter of Dictatorship"

Posted on Friday 7/2/2021
The Specter of Dictatorship
The Specter of Dictatorship: Judicial Enabling of Presidential Power (Stanford UP, 2021) 

In The Specter of Dictatorship, University Professor David Driesen analyzes the chief executive's role in the democratic decline of Hungary, Poland, and Turkey and argues that an insufficiently constrained presidency is one of the most important systemic threats to democracy. 

Driesen urges the United States to learn from the mistakes of these failing democracies. Their experiences suggest, Driesen shows, that the US Supreme Court must eschew its reliance on and expansion of the "unitary executive theory" and apply a less deferential approach to presidential authority, invoked to protect national security and combat emergencies, than it has in recent years. 

Ultimately, Driesen argues that concern about loss of democracy should play a major role in jurisprudence, because loss of democracy can prove irreversible. As autocracy spreads throughout the world, maintaining our democracy has become an urgent matter.

Abstract: Chapter 5—The Specter of Dictatorship: Poland, Hungary and Turkey

This chapter, the heart of the book, examines the role of executive power in undermining democracy in Poland, Hungary, and Turkey. 

In all three cases, creation of centralized control over the executive branch of government paved the way for autocracy, leading to politicized use of prosecution to undermine political opponents, shrinking of the media available to dissenters, and tilting the electoral playing field. 

This analysis focuses primarily on centralization of control over prosecution, media authorities, and electoral commissions. In Hungary and Turkey, abuse of emergency powers accelerated the establishment of autocracy.

These countries' autocrats eroded democracy with the support of a political party enjoying the support of at least a substantial minority of voters. Party members in Parliament helped destroy democracy by voting in lockstep fashion to support "reforms" undermining independent agencies and prosecutorial independence.

Carly J. Cazer joins Hodgson Russ LLP

Posted on Friday 7/2/2021

Hodgson Russ is pleased to announce that Carly J. Cazer has joined the firm’s Buffalo office as an associate. A member of the Trusts & Estates Practice, Carly assists clients on a wide range of estates and trusts matters including planning for complex estates, tax planning, and counseling fiduciaries and beneficiaries on estate and trust administration, including contested matters. Carly earned her BA at Emerson College and her JD at Syracuse University’s College of Law. During law school, she served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jonathan W. Feldman in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. She also spent two years in the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veteran’s Legal Clinic as a student attorney where she represented veterans seeking to obtain VA benefits, and appeared before the Court of Federal Claims where she defended a client’s claim against the Department of Justice.

Philippe Solages nominated to NYS Court of Claims

Posted on Friday 7/2/2021
Philippe Solages

Philippe Solages, Law/MPA 2000, was nominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo to the New York State Court of Claims on May 25, 2021.  Philippe Solages was confirmed by the New York State Senate as a Judge to the New York State Court of Claims on June 8, 2021. Solages is a 2000 graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law.  Philippe Solages is also a 2000 graduate of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.  While at the Maxwell School, Philippe earned a Master of Public Administration degree.   

Tyson E. Hubbard named Top Lawyer

Posted on Friday 7/2/2021
Tyson E. Hubbard

Downey Brand, a prominent law firm with offices in Sacramento, San Francisco, Stockton, and Reno, is delighted to announce that Tyson E. Hubbard was named a Top Lawyer by Sacramento Magazine for his work in Estate Planning & Probate. Hubbard, a partner with the firm, is an experienced litigator who focuses on trust and estate disputes. Tyson's clients rely upon him to steer an efficient and effective path. He draws from more than a decade of litigation experience across a wide range of matters, as well as from his personal experience as a trustee of a family trust.

WaPo Speaks to Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 About Dismissal of Dominion Lawsuit

Posted on Thursday 7/1/2021
Roy Gutterman

Trump allies ask judge to dismiss lawsuits over false claims that Dominion voting machines were rigged

(The Washington Post | June 24, 2021) President Donald Trump’s former lawyers and allies urged a federal judge in Washington on Thursday to throw out a trio of billion-dollar defamation lawsuits filed by Dominion Voting Systems over false claims that the company’s technology was used to rig the 2020 presidential election.

Dominion says the falsehoods spread by former Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudolph W. Giuliani, in addition to MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell, amounted to a “viral disinformation campaign” that damaged the company’s reputation and its business and led to death threats against employees ...

... Whether the lawsuits are successful will hinge in part on Dominion’s ability to show that false statements, which Dominion says were presented as fact, harmed the company and that the three were acting with “actual malice” in making their remarks. The high burden is on Dominion to demonstrate that Trump’s allies knew their statements were false or made with a “reckless disregard for the truth.”

That is not an easy standard to meet, according to Roy Gutterman, a First Amendment expert and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University’s law school.

“It’s more than just being irresponsible. It’s really ignoring information,” he said ...

Read the full article.

Professor Shubha Ghosh Addresses "Universities as Engines of Development"

Posted on Tuesday 6/29/2021
Shubha Ghosh
"Universities as Engines of Development," Law and Development Review (forthcoming 2021).

The Bayh–Dole Act was enacted in the United States in 1980 to promote economic development and growth at regional and national levels. A key engine is research generated within universities. 

Professor Shubha Ghosh addresses the question of how universities can serve as engines of development. Drawing on Cooter and Shaeffer’s work on law and development, specifically what they call the double trust problem, this article shows how the Bayh–Dole Act was justified as resolving the double trust problem arising from lack of property rights in university research.

This article presents the argument that this goal of the Bayh–Dole Act ignores how universities solve another dimension of the double trust problem, namely the generation of human capital. 

Ghosh examines the theoretical justifications for the Bayh–Dole Act and universities and the empirical policy literature assessing university patenting and commercialization in the United States, South Africa, and India.

Professor David Driesen: Justices' FHFA Ruling Is Small Step in a Dangerous Direction

Posted on Tuesday 6/29/2021
David Driesen

(Law 360 | June 24, 2021) In Collins v. Yellen, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated for-cause removal protection for the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. In doing so, it sidestepped statutory restrictions on lawsuits brought by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shareholders and encouraged private parties to bring litigation aimed at weakening the independence of federal agencies.

President Joe Biden immediately took advantage of the ruling by dismissing the director of the FHFA, a Trump administration holdover.[1]

This litigation, however, appears unlikely to produce any relief to the government-sponsored enterprises' shareholders, who had brought suit. They had challenged the FHFA's third amendment to its preferred stock purchase agreement, which required the GSEs to pay surplus profits to the U.S. Department of the Treasury rather than private shareholders in light of the Treasury Department's previous bailouts of the GSEs.

By the time of oral argument, the director — now removed — had invalidated the third amendment.

A Very Liberal Approach to Justiciability

The Supreme Court has evinced a great deal of interest in deciding removal issues in recent years, allowing ideological plaintiffs and real ones to challenge for-cause removal protection even in cases where the president has not sought to remove the director of an agency, and where no case or controversy exists between the principal parties.

Indeed, both in Collins and its immediate predecessor, Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,[2] the court appointed an amicus to litigate the merits of the controversy, because the named parties were not adverse to each other with respect to the merits …

Read the full article.

The Field Is Set for the 2021 Syracuse National Trial Competition

Posted on Monday 6/28/2021
College of Law

Syracuse University College of Law is pleased to announce that the field is set for the Third Annual Syracuse National Trial Competition, which will take place completely online from Oct. 14-17, 2021. 

SNTC is an invitational tournament open to all ABA-accredited law schools. Twenty-four schools have been selected to compete based on the quality of a school’s advocacy program and on wide geographic diversity. 

The schools are:

  • American University Washington College of Law
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University
  • Fordham University School of Law
  • George Washington University Law School
  • Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law
  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  • Pepperdine Caruso School of Law
  • Samford University Cumberland School of Law
  • St. John’s School of Law
  • St. Mary’s University School of Law
  • Suffolk University Law School
  • Temple University Beasley School of Law
  • UCLA School of Law
  • University at Buffalo School of Law
  • University of Akron School of Law
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law
  • University of California, Hastings School of Law
  • University of Illinois Chicago School of Law
  • University of Illinois College of Law
  • University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
  • University of South Carolina School of Law
  • Washington University School of Law
  • Western State College of Law at Westcliff University

The tournament provides students with the opportunity to develop and display the skills of a trial lawyer. Students will conduct opening statements, direct and cross-examinations, and closing arguments. The advocates will be judged by distinguished members of the bench and bar from all over the country. Individual awards will be given for top student performances.

More details can be found at the SNTC webpage.

For more information, contact the tournament directors, Joanne Van Dyke (315.383.3344 or mjvesq@aol.com) or Todd Berger (315.443.4582 or taberger@law.syr.edu).

Professor Doron Dorfman Reviews "Disability Admin: The Invisible Costs of Being Disabled"

Posted on Monday 6/28/2021
Doron Dorfman

The Everyday Struggles of Disability Law

Reviewing Elizabeth F. Emens, Disability Admin: The Invisible Costs of Being Disabled 105 Minn. L. Rev. 2329 (2021).

(Jotwell | June 28, 2021) Recently, researchers and advocates have brought to light the extra financial costs of living with disabilities, or as some have called it the “crip tax.” They showcase the expenditures disabled people make because they have a disability, which are usually invested in necessities such as assistive technology, household accessibility renovation, service animal maintenance, or the purchase of special food due to dietary restrictions. These expenses are particularly onerous as this population has historically faced major barriers to entering and staying in the workforce, in addition to earning lower wages on average compared to their non-disabled peers.

In her excellent new article, Disability Admin: The Invisible Costs of Being Disabled, Liz Emens makes an important contribution to this discourse about the “taxes” imposed on individuals with disabilities. Emens exposes and conceptualizes other significant, yet non-financial, costs imposed on individuals with disabilities as they move through the non-disabled world. These costs are borne out of the incredible amount of time and mental energy people with disabilities exert on a daily basis while engaging with mundane tasks (like repeatedly explaining their needs to strangers, filling endless amount of forms, or constantly rearranging their routes so that they would be accessible), red tape, and the advocacy needed to exercise their rights. This is a type of labor which Emens calls “disability admin,” and is an extension of her work on “life admin.”

Weaving together original interview data, classic and contemporary texts in disability studies, case law, and even a description of an art installation, Emens richly describes the admin work disabled people are forced to engage in. She divides this labor into three categories: medical admin, benefit admin, and anti-discrimination admin.

While all of us experience the pitfalls of the managed-care health system to some degree, with its constant burden of navigating referrals, appointments, and documentation, such requirements have a disproportionate impact on many disabled individuals, who are legally required to constantly prove their status. While encounters with the healthcare system are also commonplace among non-disabled people, other experiences that Emens describes, such as applying for public benefits or being dependent on an inaccessible public transportation system, may be less familiar to non-disabled persons. Emens’s piece makes a persuasive argument that, when judges examine the “reasonableness” of disability accommodations in the workplace and in educational settings using a cost-benefit analysis or when they discuss whether a federally funded service is “readily accessible,” disability admin must be taken into account ...

Read the full article

Syracuse Law Announces 2021 Alumni of Color Awards Recipients

Posted on Monday 6/28/2021
College of Law

On Sept. 25, 2021, Syracuse University College of Law and the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association Inclusion Network will celebrate the distinguished achievements of three alumni at the College’s Fourth Annual Syracuse Law Alumni of Color Awards Ceremony during Law Alumni Weekend. The ceremony will take place on at 5:30 p.m. in Dineen Hall.

The Black Law Students Association Legacy Award recognizes an alum’s extraordinary contributions to the legal profession, legal education, the legal system, or social justice through activism, leadership in diversity and equality, and support and mentorship of colleagues, students, and members of the community.

Congratulations to the Hon. Rodney Thompson L’93, Presiding Judge of the Family Division, New Jersey Superior Court for being selected to receive the 2021 BLSA Legacy Award, in recognition of his service on the bench; as a public defender in Trenton, New Jersey; and as a tireless advocate for families and youth, as Chair of Mercer County’s Domestic Violence Working Group and Co-Chair of the Youth Services Commission and Council on Juvenile Justice System Improvement.

The Latin American Law Students Association Legacy Award celebrates the significant contributions of alumni to their communities, the level of excellence they have achieved in their fields, and their leadership toward—and commitment to—overcoming the underrepresentation of Latinas/os/x in the legal profession.

This year’s recipient is the Hon. Ramón E. Rivera L’94, New York State Court of Claims, for his service to immigration, labor, and employment law as a partner of Mackenzie Hughes LLP and for his public service as a justice on the New York State Court of Claims, which he joined in 2021 having been nominated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The Asian Pacific Island Legacy of Excellence Award recognizes an alum’s demonstrated service to the API community, distinguished accomplishment in their chosen field, and track record of empowering and inspiring members of the API community through work or mentorship.

Congratulations to Seuk Joon Lee L’99, Senior Foreign Counsel, Yulchon (South Korea), for working for more than 21 years across economic, trade, antitrust, and business agencies; for his excellence in the legal profession as Vice Chair of the Antirust Practice at international law firm Yulchon, where he addresses antitrust, medicine and pharmaceuticals, broadcasting, telecommunications, and air transportation; and for his steadfast support of the College of Law and its Korean Law Alumni Association.

Read the recipients' full biographies at this webpage. To learn more about all 2021 Law Alumni Weekend programs and to register, visit alumniweekend.law.syr.edu.

Syracuse Law Announces 2021 Law Honors Awards Recipients

Posted on Friday 6/25/2021
College of Law

On Sept. 24, 2021, Syracuse University College of Law and the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association will celebrate the achievements of four alumni and one professor at the College’s annual Syracuse Law Honors Awards Ceremony during Law Alumni Weekend. The ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. in Dineen Hall, to be followed by the College of Law Alumni Awards Reception.

This year's recipients have distinguished themselves for their service to the University and College of Law, their communities, and the legal profession.

Congratulations to the honorees:

  • Laurence G. Bousquet L’80 for his distinguished practice of law and extraordinary service to the Central New York community.
  • Joanna Geraghty L’97, G’97 for her long and esteemed career in the airline industry serving as an admired executive and a trailblazer in a traditionally male-dominated industry, boldly leading one of the largest airlines in the United States.
  • Melanie Gray L'81 for her distinctive career, community leadership, and commitment to public service, with emphasis on the arts, education, and empowerment of women and for giving ardent, generous, and unbroken support to the College of Law and to Syracuse University as an inaugural member of the College of Law Board of Advisors and a Life Trustee of the University.
  • Professor Paula C. Johnson for her distinguished service to the College of Law as teacher and mentor and for her successful advocacy, as Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative, in seeking justice for the victims of racially motivated murders committed during the civil rights era and beyond.
  • Carey Ng L’02, G’02 for his nearly two decades of service to the College of Law as a steadfast supporter of its mission, mentor, volunteer moot court judge and advisor, long-time member and President of the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association, and member of the Board of Directors of SU's Alumni Association—all while holding down a career as a successful New York prosecutor.

Read the recipients' full biographies at this webpage. To learn more about all 2021 Law Alumni Weekend programs and to register, visit alumniweekend.law.syr.edu.

"Heartbreaking Saga": Professor Nina Kohn Speaks to The Hill About Britney Spears' Conservatorship

Posted on Friday 6/25/2021
Nina Kohn

Britney Spears case casts harsh light on conservatorships

(The Hill | June 24, 2021) Britney Spears's cries for help in court have cast a critical light on conservatorships, as the public has become both more aware and more sensitive to mental health struggles. But her explosive claims Wednesday have also reignited a national conversation on freedom, dignity and how much is too much when it comes to legal intervention.

Spears spoke out publicly for the first time about her "abusive" 13-year conservatorship during a status hearing before a Los Angeles Superior Court judge. The "Stronger" singer — whose father, Jamie Spears, has headed up her conservatorship since 2008 following her very public mental health and substance abuse battles — said she's been left "traumatized" by it ...

"I think conservatorship often happens behind closed doors, and people don't understand what it is or how significant an impact it can have on a person's life," said Nina Kohn, a Syracuse University law professor and a distinguished scholar in elder law at Yale Law School. "Seeing a young woman with so much talent in this position really makes people question what is this institution and why is it being applied, in a way that can both lead to some misunderstandings about the process and potentially some insights about what might be wrong with it" ...

... Kohn, who has advocated for the reform of conservatorship and guardianship laws, said this week's striking court showdown could help spur changes nationwide. But that would only happen, she said, if "the public could understand that what we're seeing here is a potentially predictable result of current laws and understood that there are really simple, straightforward changes that could be made to substantially reduce the risk."

"We need to make it harder for conservators to be appointed [and] easier for conservatorships or guardianships ... to be terminated. And we need to substantially narrow the scope of conservatorships or guardianships that are granted," she said ...

... Kohn predicts that the entertainer and mother of two's attorney will soon petition the court to terminate the conservatorship, or narrow the scope of the conservator's powers "given that [she] clearly articulated that's what she wants."

"I am hopeful that the Spears’s case will spark meaningful law reform by exposing the very real costs of over-broad guardianships and conservatorships — and the unnecessary difficulty faced by those who seek to terminate or modify them," Kohn said. "So maybe some good can come out of this heartbreaking saga."

Read the full article.

Professor Jenny Breen: SCOTUS' Latest Anti-Labor Ruling Goes Far Beyond Farm Workers

Posted on Friday 6/25/2021
Jenny Breen

The US Supreme Court's Latest Anti-Labor Ruling Goes Far Beyond Farm Workers

(Common Dreams | June 24, 2021) In a ruling handed down Wednesday in Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, the Supreme Court decided that agricultural workers do not have a right to meet with union organizers at their place of work. 

The surprise of the opinion was less in the outcome itself, coming as it did from the most anti-labor Supreme Court in modern memory, than in the stunning rationale provided by the Court. 

In short, the decision further expands the Court's protection of near-absolute property rights for employers in an opinion that threatens to undermine not only labor union regulations like the one at issue here, but any government regulation that impacts the right of an owner to exclude someone from their property. The potential consequences of this decision are enormous.

The regulation at issue permitted labor unions to enter the property of agricultural employers during non-working hours and were not permitted to interfere with the actual work of the agricultural employer. The regulations include an explicit statement that it is the policy of the state of California to encourage the right of agricultural employees to organize and recognizes the more challenging context of organizing agricultural workers in particular, who are often seasonal employees working in remote locations. 

Given these challenges, in order to make real their right to self-organization just like other workers, agricultural workers, the regulation stated, have the right to meet with union organizers at their place of work.

The Court's decision held that this regulation is unconstitutional because it "takes" the employer's property without paying the employer "just compensation," as required by the Fifth Amendment. 

Though we typically think of "takings" cases as involving the actual, physical seizure of property (think of the infamous 2005 opinion Kelo v. City of New London, in which the city condemned private property for use by a private developer), takings cases also include a broader range of government activities that we broadly call "regulatory takings" cases. 

These are cases in which a government regulation affects private property, but in ways that are different than a physical taking. Regulatory takings cases are typically governed by the fact-intensive balancing test laid out in the Supreme Court's 1978 decision Penn Central Transportation Company v. New York City ...

Read the full article.

Sarah A. Steckler joins Warshaw Burstein

Posted on Thursday 6/24/2021
Sarah A. Steckler

Warshaw Burstein, LLP, a full-service law firm in New York City, on May 20, 2021 announced Sarah A. Steckler has joined the firm as a partner in the Trusts and Estates and Fertility Law groups. She will also launch an Elder Law Practice with Peter L. Lese, Partner and Chair of the firm’s Trusts and Estates Group.

"Absolutist Views of Common Law Rights:" Professor Jenny Breen Analyzes SCOTUS' Cedar Point Nursery Decision

Posted on Thursday 6/24/2021
Jenny Breen

Right-Wing SCOTUS Majority Rules Union Organizing on Farms Violates Landowners' Rights

(Common Dreams | June 23, 2021) The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday dealt a significant blow to the rights of agricultural workers to organize, ruling 6-3 that a California regulation granting union representatives access to farms amounted to an uncompensated government taking of farm owners' private property ...

The decision "expands the category of per se physical takings," said Jenny Breen, associate professor of law at Syracuse University, setting a judicial precedent with potentially profound consequences.

As Breen explained in an email to Common Dreams:

Government regulations that affect property rights are typically analyzed using a fact-oriented balancing test established by the court in the 1978 case Penn Central v. NYC. Instead of applying that test to the facts of this case, the court applied a separate line of cases regarding per se physical takings of private property by the government. That decision is perplexing given the obvious fact that the government did not physically take the property of the agricultural employers in the case, but merely gave agricultural employees the right to meet with union organizers at their place of work (during non-working times and in ways that did not interfere with work). The court applies the physical, per se takings line of cases because it concludes that the regulation "amounts to a simple appropriation of private property" because it limited the employers' "right to exclude" ...

... Justice Stephen Breyer, in a dissenting opinion—which was joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor—warned that "the majority's conclusion threatens to make many ordinary forms of regulation unusually complex or impractical."

Those concerns were shared by Breen, who criticized the high court for continuing "to assume that employers have nearly unfettered private property rights that are unaffected by the presence of workers on their property."

"One of the parties in this case, for example, employed between 1,800 to 3,000 employees," Breen told Common Dreams. "The rights of those workers to have access to union organizers—the basis of the regulation in the first place—played no role in the court's decision today."

She continued:

Employers continue to wield property rights as forms of their "sole and despotic dominion" (in the words of Blackstone, quoted approvingly by the court) over their employees, with no meaningful check by the court. It is truly incredible that the court interprets a regulation impacting a workplace employing thousands of workers in the same manner it would interpret a regulation impacting your backyard. There is no justification for such an extreme commitment to ignoring reality. 

Furthermore, Breen added, the court's interpretation of constitutional language, which she said "imports absolutist views of common law rights," jeopardizes the legality of long-standing regulations protecting occupational health and safety. 

"This decision does not bode well for the fate of labor regulations—or any other government regulations that could conceivably impact private property rights—in future cases to reach this court," said Breen, who warned of a return to the Lochner era, a pre-New Deal period when the Supreme Court routinely shot down regulations and defended employers' right to exploit workers without state interference.

Read the full article.

Professor Mark Nevitt: NATO’s Renewed Focus on Climate Change & Security—What You Need to Know

Posted on Wednesday 6/23/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

(Just Security | June 23, 2021) Last week, the 30 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member States released two important security documents: the Brussels Summit Communiqué as well as a Climate Change and Security Action Plan. The Communiqué reaffirmed NATO’s pledge to its founding document, the 1951 Washington Treaty and stated that it is “firmly committed” to the treaty’s critical Article 5 collective self-defense provision. Article 5 bonds each NATO member together, explicitly stating that an attack against one ally is considered an attack against all allies. This Communique represented a welcome departure from the former Administration’s approach to NATO, which failed to even reaffirm the United States’ historic commitment to Article 5.

In addition, the Communiqué also reinvigorated NATO’s approach to climate change, characterizing climate as a security “threat multiplier” and “one of the defining challenges of our times.” In doing so, the Communiqué endorsed NATO’s new Action Plan on Climate Change and Security, which was released the same day. This pithy but powerful plan — just three pages – expressly acknowledges climate change’s role in state political fragility, conflict, displacement, and migration. It also specified four specific action items to keep an eye on:
NATO’s Climate Action Plan reinforces NATO’s commitment to prepare for the climate-security century. As I have previously argued, the future will increasingly be shaped by climate change’s destabilizing impacts — a vision now clearly shared by all 30 NATO members. NATO’s Brussels Communiqué and Climate Action Plan represent welcome, forward-looking steps on climate change. NATO’s focus on climate change is also completely aligned with President Biden’s Interim National Security Strategy, a key, strategic-level national security planning document where “climate” is mentioned 27 times.

  1. Awareness: Increase climate awareness among allies via an annual Climate Change and Security Impact Assessment.
  2. AdaptationAdapt to climate change by incorporating climate change considerations into its work on many areas to include defense planning, training and exercises, and disaster response.
  3. Mitigation: Mitigate NATO’s contribution of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by developing a novel “mapping and analytical methodology” for GHG emissions from military activities and installations.
  4. Outreach: Enhance outreach with a broad swath of climate-partners to include international and regional organizations, the United Nations, EU, academia, and industry.

Despite these bold pronouncements, questions remain on translating NATO’s bold, strategic climate initiatives into action. As NATO implements the Action Plan, I highlight three questions to help focus our collective attention.

1. How Does the NATO Climate Plan Translate into NATO Arctic Operations?

While the NATO Climate Plan does not explicitly mention the Arctic (a missed opportunity, in my opinion), the Plan should nevertheless signal a shift in NATO’s approach to the rapidly changing Arctic operational environment. Due to climate change, scientists estimate that the Arctic is warming 2-3 times faster than the rest of the world. That pace appears to be accelerating, due to a pernicious feedback melting loop. There even remains the possibility of an ice-free Arctic summer by 2035. This massive melt is opening new navigational trade routes for civilian and military vessels through the Northwest Passage (through Canada) and the Northern Sea Route (along the Russian coastline). Vessels are now increasingly able to transit once impenetrable waterways and are beginning to assess the risks of other historic routes, such as the crowded — and sometimes blocked — Suez Canal. Climate change is also renewing the possibility of natural resource extraction on each Arctic coastal state’s continental shelf. An estimated 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and 30 percent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas lies on the Arctic seabed …

Read the full article.

Disability External Review Concludes with Phase Two Recommendations

Posted on Wednesday 6/23/2021
Syracuse University

Syracuse University’s Disability External Review Committee has submitted its final report to Chancellor Kent Syverud, who has indicated his support for the implementation of the committee’s Phase Two recommendations beginning immediately. Due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee, chaired by Joanna Masingila, dean of the School of Education, and Michael Schwartz, associate professor of law in the College of Law, elected to present the recommendations in phases. Phase One recommendations were approved in September 2020 and implementation is well underway.

The committee, formed at the Chancellor’s request in April 2018, was composed of faculty, staff and students and issued its report and recommendations following the completion of a comprehensive review by an external contractor with deep expertise in the field. The audit examined the experiences of people with disabilities and University policies in the areas of academic support, student experience, administrative services, governance, organizational structure, policies and processes, culture and technology services.

“I have reviewed the report carefully and am impressed with the scope, thoroughness and constructive manner in which these recommendations are presented,” says Chancellor Syverud. “I want to thank Dean Masingila and Professor Schwartz for their leadership and the entire committee for their perseverance. They were asked to complete a difficult and broad scope of work. Furthermore, the pandemic disrupted operations just when the committee was finishing its work. I am grateful for the committee’s service and their delivery of a high-quality, valuable report that will be of great benefit to the University.”

Read the full article.

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00: Free Press Under Attack

Posted on Monday 6/21/2021
Roy Gutterman

A Review of Attacks on the Press and a Justice’s Dissent

(Divided We Fall | June 17, 2021) When news broke this May that the Department of Justice had secretly obtained telephone records and email data belonging to CNN’s Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr, it set off more alarms that press freedom has been under attack.

The recent revelation builds on earlier reports that the DOJ under President Trump also obtained records from Washington Post reporters. These incursions into the sacred art of newsgathering happened in 2017. As shocking as this is, the revelations do not come as a surprise. President Trump had openly attacked the press before, during, and after his presidency.

Before this, most of Trump’s anti-press sentiment – which included casting the press he did not like as “the enemy of the people” – was simply vitriolic rhetoric. The surreptitious and illegal surveillance of the press mirrors the actions of dictators and authoritarian rulers. It also harkens back to a Nixonian enemies list, which included many journalists.

Beyond his rhetoric, during his presidency, Trump attempted to silence book authors with restraining orders and other litigation. His pre-presidency penchant for libel lawsuits, unsuccessful ones at that, were bad but not as concrete as the invasions of the newsgathering process made under color of government authority.

In fairness, the Obama administration aggressively sought to investigate and prosecute leakers, subpoenaing similar information from the Associated Press in 2013. However, after that scandal, the DOJ revised its policies in subpoenas against the press.

The Tightrope of the Press and Law Enforcement

Law enforcement authorities argue that in some circumstances, they may have to seek critical, sensitive information from media sources. These extremely narrow settings would pertain to serious national security investigations or, as the Supreme Court ruled in 1972, matters before federal grand juries.

The case, Branzburg v. Hayes (1972), was a consolidated set of cases testing the boundaries of the reporter’s privilege, the doctrine that would allow a reporter to avoid testifying in court or turning over information related to confidentiality that those reporters granted to their sources.

Branzburg emerged in the early 1970s and was an important precedent following a decade of cases from the 1960s defining the importance of the First Amendment and the press …

Read the full article.

Rising 3L Aaron Strom Awarded Peggy Browning Fellowship for Labor Law

Posted on Thursday 6/17/2021
Aaron Strom

After a highly competitive application process, rising third year law student Aaron Strom has been awarded a prestigious Peggy Browning Fellowship, which will allow him to work at Los Angeles Black Worker Center in Los Angeles, CA. 

Almost 700 applicants competed for 2021 fellowship awards, with Strom's among more than 80 public interest labor law fellowships given nationwide. Peggy Browning Fellows are distinguished students who have not only excelled in law school but also have demonstrated their commitment to workers’ rights through their previous educational, work, volunteer, and personal experiences.

Strom was born and raised in Central Florida where his family has lived for six generations as farmers, educators, mail carriers, and construction workers. Strom received his bachelor’s degree in History with a concentration on US Political History from Liberty University, which granted him access to work as a political organizer and researcher with a variety of campaigns and movements. 

While doing this work Strom says he became interested in the nexus of legal, social, and economic justice issues and this—plus his historical perspective and family working class lineage—was the impetus for his pursuit of a law degree, with a focus on labor law, public interest, and workers' rights. 

The Peggy Browning Fund is a not-for-profit organization established in memory of Margaret A. Browning, a prominent union-side attorney who was a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from 1994 until 1997. Peggy Browning Fellowships provide law students with unique, diverse and challenging work experiences fighting for social and economic justice.

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Speaks to Fox 5 (NY) About Trump Facebook Ban

Posted on Thursday 6/17/2021
Roy Gutterman

Professor Roy Gutterman, Director of the Tully Center for Free Speech, was interviewed about the Donald Trump Facebook ban on June 4, 2021.

Watch the video.

Prof. Roy Gutterman on FOX5 New York from Syracuse University News on Vimeo.

Professor Michael Schwartz Awarded CUSE Grant to Study Australian Indigenous Deaf Community

Posted on Wednesday 6/16/2021
Michael Schwartz

Professor Michael Schwartz has been awarded a Syracuse University Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) grant to study the experiences of the Indigenous Deaf Australian community as its members interact with the criminal justice system in Australia. 

"Little is known about the interaction between the Indigenous Deaf community of Australia and that nation's criminal justice system," says Schwartz, outlining his research project, titled "Indigenous Access to the Criminal Justice System in Australia: The Experiences of Deaf Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples." "Bringing a critical disability studies lens to the challenges and opportunities of providing effective communication access to Indigenous Deaf people—whether witness, victim, or perpetrator—is long needed."

Schwartz says that the project team—including Dr. Karen Soldatic of Western Sydney University, Australia, and Dr. Brent C. Elder of Rowan University, New Jersey—will use qualitative and quantitative research methods to examine the experiences of this community to help improve access to the criminal justice system. 

"This work will entail qualitative interviews with not only Indigenous Deaf people but also community activists, scholars, researchers, and other key stakeholders in criminal justice," adds Schwartz, a long-time practicing lawyer and experienced sociologist whose research addresses Deaf communities throughout the world. 

Professor William C. Banks Speaks to Bloomberg Law About Secret DOJ Subpoenas

Posted on Wednesday 6/16/2021
William C. Banks

Trump DOJ Secret Subpoenas Crossed Line

(Bloomberg Law | June 15, 2021) National security law expert William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University College of Law, discusses the controversy over revelations the Justice Department under former President Donald Trump had secretly subpoenaed records from House Democrats, former White House counsel Don McGahn and members of the media.

Listen to the podcast.

Professor Kevin Noble Maillard Speaks to USA Today on "Loving Day"

Posted on Tuesday 6/15/2021
Kevin Noble Maillard

Loving Day: A look at interracial marriage 54 years after Supreme Court decision

(USA Today | June 12, 2021) Police knocked at the door of Mildred and Richard Loving in 1958. Their crime: They had just been married.

The two were arrested and eventually banished from Virginia for violating the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, the foundation of interracial marriage bans in 16 states. Mildred was Black and Native American; Richard was white.

That night led to an almost decade-long legal battle that culminated in 1967 when the Supreme Court declared laws banning interracial marriages to be unconstitutional.

Decades later, Loving Day is celebrated on June 12, the anniversary of the historic Loving v. Virginia decision. But while Loving v. Virginia was a huge legal leap forward, other barriers still continue for interracial relationships. Experts say that interracial relationships, while often used to measure racial progress, give an incomplete picture.

“Statistics on interracial relationships and marriages are not a barometer of the racial progress in our country,” said Kevin Noble Maillard, a law professor at Syracuse University in New York and co-author of “Loving v. Virginia in a Post-Racial World: Rethinking Race, Sex, and Marriage.”

“It’s so much more complicated than that," he added.

Since the Loving decision, there has been a steady increase in the number of interracial marriages and families. In 2015, 17% of U.S. newlyweds had a spouse of a different race or ethnicity, compared to 3% in 1967, Pew Research Center reported. One in 5 Americans will identify as two or more races by 2050, The Center for American Progress projects.

“But do people still largely choose their own? Yeah,” Maillard said.

White people are least likely to marry someone of a different race, according to a 2017 analysis by the Pew Research Center. Still, Maillard said most conversations on interracial marriages today center around relationships between a white person and a person of color, rather than those between two people of color of different ethnicities ...

Read the full story.

Syracuse Law’s Tyler Jefferies L’21 to Participate in the 2021 Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition

Posted on Monday 6/14/2021

For the fifth time in six years, a student from the College of Law has been invited to participate in the prestigious Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition held by Baylor Law. Tyler Jefferies L’21 is the College of Law’s 2021 representative, with rising 3L Marina De Rosa serving as the second chair.

Jefferies was recently honored with the 2021 Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society Executive Director Award. She and her teammate, Alex Eaton L’21, won the intramural 2021 Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition.

In 2020, Jefferies was part of a Syracuse Law team that advanced from the regional National Trial Competition and captured the New York State Bar Association’s Tiffany Cup. She also was a member of the team that reached the quarterfinals of the inaugural Syracuse National Trial Competition and participated in the National Online Trial Competition. Last year, Jefferies served as the College’s second chair in the Top Gun Competition.

De Rosa is the recipient of the 2021 Lee S. Michaels Advocate of the Year Award. This year, her team won the National Trial Competition Region 2 competition, retaining the Tiffany Cup, and De Rosa won the Best Closing Argument award. She is a Student Fellow of the Syracuse Civics Initiative.

Professor Doron Dorfman Named a 2021 Health Law Scholar

Posted on Monday 6/14/2021
Doron Dorfman

Professor Doron Dorman, an expert in health law and disability law, has been named one of four 2021 Health Law Scholars by the American Society of Law Medicine and Ethics (ASLME) and St. Louis University Law School. Dorfman will present his ongoing research project on what he terms “the paradoxical legal treatment of preventive medicine” at the annual Health Law Scholars Workshop Scholars Weekend at St. Louis Law School in September 2021.

The Health Law Scholars Workshop is a prestigious and selective forum in which emerging health law and bioethics scholars are selected to present works-in-progress and receive in-depth critique from experienced scholars in the field. The workshop draws health law and bioethics scholars from across the country, inviting senior faculty from a variety of law schools and disciplines to review the works-in-progress.

Dorfman's interdisciplinary research uses doctrinal analysis and social science methodology to explore how stigma informs the legal treatment of disempowered communities in the areas of health care, public health, and bioethics. His scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in the Boston College Law Review, Illinois Law Review, UC Irvine Law Review, Law & Society Review, Journal of Health Politics, Policy & Law, and Law & Social Inquiry. His expert commentary has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today.

Professor Shubha Ghosh Publishes Chapter in OUP "Handbook of Intellectual Property Research"

Posted on Thursday 6/10/2021
Handbook of Intellectual Property Research

Professor Shubha Ghosh, Director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute, is among the contributors to Oxford University Press's Handbook of Intellectual Property Research: Lenses, Methods, and Perspectives (2021), edited by Irene Calboli and Maria Lillà Montagnani. Ghosh's chapter—"Consequentialist Thinking and Economic Analysis in Intellectual Property"—appears in Part III, "Intersections Between Intellectual Property Law and (Social) Science."

The handbook offers a comprehensive overview of the methods and approaches that can be used as guidelines to address and develop scholarly research questions related to IP law. 

In particular, this volume provides a useful resource that can be used by IP researchers who are interested in expanding their expertise in a specific research method or seek to acquire an understanding of alternative lenses that could be applied to their research. 

The book is one of the largest compilations, to date, of existing methods and approaches from different lenses, perspectives, and experiences from a diverse group of scholars who derive from a wide range of countries, backgrounds, and legal traditions. 

Law Students Receive Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence Downey Scholarships

Posted on Wednesday 6/9/2021
Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence

Rising 3Ls Abigail Neuviller ’19, Penny Quinteros, and Meghan Steenburgh G’97, and rising 2L Miriam Mokhemar, are among a group of 13 undergraduate, graduate, and law students awarded Downey Scholarships by the Syracuse University Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (SU ICCAE). The $1,500 award recognizes academic excellence, commitment to public service and potential to bring diverse and distinctive backgrounds and experiences to the US Intelligence Community (IC).

As a designated US Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence, Syracuse University is part of the congressionally mandated program funded by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which partners with universities to increase the diversity of the US intelligence workforce. The ICCAE offers undergraduate and graduate students unique coursework, as well as programmatic and training opportunities to prepare for careers in any of the 17 IC agencies.

The Downey Scholarship is named for John “Jack” Downey, who was one of the first CIA paramilitary officers who distinguished himself under duress. In 1952, while on a clandestine mission during the Korean War, Downey’s aircraft was shot down in Manchuria, and he was imprisoned in China for 21 years. Downey, who later became a Superior Court judge, earned the Distinguished Intelligence Cross, the CIA’s highest award for valor.

Recipients of the Downey Scholarship must be enrolled in, or be in the process of enrolling in, the Syracuse ICCAE program. Students can use the award stipend toward any need they have; many use the funding for travel related to their academic interests, conferences and expanding their skills.

“Downey Scholars are high-achieving students, interested in learning more about the diversity and importance of the work being done among the various Intelligence Community agencies—and how they might contribute one day,” says Carol Faulkner, Chair of the Downey Scholars Selection Committee and Professor of History and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Maxwell School. “These students have a wide range of backgrounds and skills and a deep commitment to better understanding our world and the forces that shape it. The committee is pleased to honor their dedication and recognize their scholarship with the Downey Scholars Award.”

The students who received the award are:
Other benefits for students who receive the Downey Scholarship include taking part in mentoring incoming SU ICCAE students to guide them through the program; opportunities for leadership development, internships and co-op programs within the IC; and induction into the SU ICCAE program, with recognition certificates from the IC.

  • Courtney Blankenship, graduate student, international relations, security studies, Middle Eastern studies, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
  • Justin Gluska, sophomore, computer science, College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Jonathan Hogg, graduate student, forensic science, College of Arts and Science
  • Fiona Leary, graduate student, international relations, Maxwell School
  • Miriam Mokhemar, College of Law
  • Abigail Neuviller ’19, graduate student, public administration, Maxwell School, and College of Law
  • Penny Quinteros, College of Law
  • Grace Sainsbury, sophomore, international relations, College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell School
  • Ashtha Singh, sophomore, citizenship and civic engagement and international relations, College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell School, and a member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program
  • Meghan Steenburgh G’97, College of Law
  • Madeline Tadeux, sophomore, biochemistry and forensic science, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Amber Vandepoele, junior, biochemistry and forensic science, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Emily Vecchi, graduate student, forensic science, College of Arts and Sciences

Along with Faulkner, members on the interdisciplinary SU ICCAE Downey Scholars Selection Committee are Kristen Aust, Director of Career Advising, College of Arts and Sciences; Michael Marciano, Research Assistant Professor, Forensic Science, College of Arts and Sciences; Gladys McCormick, Associate Professor, History, Jay and Debe Moskowitz Endowed Chair in Mexico-US Relations and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Maxwell School; and Robert Murrett, Professor of Practice, Public Administration and International Affairs, Maxwell School, and Deputy Director of the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law.


Ronald K. Weiner named president of MAJ

Posted on Wednesday 6/9/2021

On June 1, 2021, Attorney Ronald K. Weiner began his tenure as the 69th President of the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ). Weiner’s one-year term runs from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022. Steve Pontoni, MAJ Executive Director, made the announcement. “I am incredibly honored that my fellow trial lawyers have entrusted me with the task of guiding MAJ as the 69th president of our organization,” Weiner stated. “This is the proudest moment of my legal career.” Weiner, a partner at Lipton Law Center, PC, in Southfield, handles cases involving medical malpractice, nursing home neglect and automobile/no-fault. He joined MAJ in 1996 and has served as an officer in the association for the past four years. Weiner also co-moderates MAJ’s annual Seminar in the Snow in Bellaire, Mich. 

Stacy M. Young promoted to Senior Counsel

Posted on Wednesday 6/9/2021

Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman is pleased to announce the promotion of Stacy Young, an alumna of Syracuse University School of Law, to Senior Counsel effective June 1, 2021. Senior counsel is a promotion given to select associates who have consistently demonstrated strong legal skills and case handling ability, maintain excellent client relationships, and serve as contributing members of the WSHB team. Please join us in congratulating Stacy on this accomplishment!

Mike Flynn and Military Law: Professor Mark Nevitt Speaks to The Washington Post

Posted on Monday 6/7/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

Why the Pentagon isn’t heeding calls to prosecute Michael Flynn under military law

(The Washington Post | June 5, 2021) When Michael Flynn, a retired three-star general, appeared to back calls for a coup last week, critics accused him of defying military deference to civilian authority, a tenet that is central to the ethos of the armed forces.

Speaking at a QAnon-themed conference in Texas, Flynn was asked why a coup similar to one that occurred in Myanmar could not happen in the United States. Flynn, President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, has remained a vocal supporter of the former president and the false assertion he won a second term in office.

“I mean, it should happen here,” Flynn responded to the questioner, a man who identified himself as a Marine. “No reason.”

While Flynn subsequently disavowed any support for a coup on social media, saying his words had been misrepresented by the media, the comments intensified calls from some lawmakers and other critics for the military to prosecute the former officer, who receives a military pension, for sedition ...

... According to Mark Nevitt, a former military lawyer who teaches law at Syracuse University, most of the instances in which the military had used the UCMJ to hold retirees accountable have had a “clear military nexus,” for example when an incident occurs on a military base or involves a military victim ...

Read the full article.

John M. Caster Obituary

Posted on Friday 6/4/2021

John Michael Caster passed away Jan. 4, 2021. Mike was a survivor. Brain stem tumor in '82, stroke '92, bladder cancer '09, brain surgery '11. Although his body increasingly failed him, the spark in his bright blue eyes never faded until he passed away Jan. 4. He received a B.S. in physics; minor in philosophy from Hobart and his J.D. from Syracuse College of Law. He is survived by wife Jan and his "kiddos" - Amy, Bryan, Rory and Andy. 

Chantal Wentworth-Mullin Publishes on the VA and Technology in Michigan Bar Journal

Posted on Friday 6/4/2021
Chantal Wentworth-Mullin
"Technology Marches Ahead at VA: Is It Leaving Some Veterans and Advocates Behind?" Michigan Bar Journal, vol. 100, no. 5. 

On the modernization landing page of its website, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states that “modernization is delivering a stronger future by transforming VA into a high-performing organization that is simplifying operations and empowering employees to deliver superior customer service, while enabling veterans to more easily access the high-quality care and benefits they have earned.”

With the VA modernization goal in mind, Chantal Wentworth-Mullin's article focuses on existing and emerging technology within the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA); electronic access to veterans’ claim files; VA use of artificial intelligence optical reading technologies; the direct upload process; and virtual hearings. 

Many of the changes VA has implemented have provided greater efficiency for veterans and their families; for others, they have created roadblocks to advocacy ...

Professor Nina Kohn: Long-Term Care After COVID—A Roadmap for Law Reform

Posted on Friday 6/4/2021
Nina Kohn

(Bill of Health/Harvard Law Petrie-Flom Center | June 2, 2021) Between May 2020 and January 2021, 94 percent of U.S. nursing homes experienced at least one COVID-19 outbreak. And nursing home residents — isolated from family and friends, dependent on staff often tasked with providing care to far more residents than feasible, and sometimes crowded into rooms with three or more people — succumbed the virus at record rates. By March 2021, nursing home residents accounted for a quarter of all U.S. COVID-19-related deaths.

The poor conditions in nursing homes that have been exposed by the pandemic are symptomatic of long-standing problems in the industry.

Fortunately, as I discuss in-depth in a new essay in the Georgetown Law Journal Online, there are a series of practical reforms that could readily improve the quality of nursing home care, in large part by changing the incentives for nursing home providers.

A key problem exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic is the danger of chronic understaffing in nursing homes. Low staffing levels — and especially low levels of nursing staff — predict facilities’ inabilities to control COVID-19 outbreaks and avoid fatalities.

The dangers of understaffing were an open secret long before the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, researchers had shown that most facilities lacked the staff necessary to avoid systemic neglect. Likewise, pre-pandemic nursing homes’ inspection reports provided ample evidence of facilities lacking the staff needed to care for residents (such as those needed to help residents eat without choking, maintain mobility, or simply stay cleanProPublica’s database of nursing home inspection reports, for example, turns up scores of cases of residents with maggot-infested wounds and skin in the two years preceding the pandemic) …

Read the full article.

Professors Berger and Gouldin Promoted to Rank of Professor

Posted on Thursday 6/3/2021
College of Law

Dean Craig M. Boise announces that, with the concurrence of Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud and the University Board of Trustees, professors Todd Berger and Lauryn Gouldin have been promoted to the rank of Professor.

Professor Berger joined the College of Law faculty in 2012. His scholarship addresses criminal law and procedure, as well as the intersection of trial advocacy and attorney ethics. Berger also serves as Director of Advocacy Programs. Under his direction, the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society competition teams continue an impressive run of results on the regional and national scale. 

The program currently is the 11th-ranked Trial Advocacy program in the nation (U.S. News & World Report) and in the top 10 in the nation as ranked by the Trial Competition Performance Ranking. Students have competed in four of the last five Top Gun National Mock Trial Competitions and Syracuse Law has won the New York State Bar Association’s Tiffany Cup for the past three years. Professor Berger also has overseen the creation of three Syracuse-hosted advocacy competitions: the Syracuse National Trial Competition, the Transatlantic Negotiation Competition, and the National Disability Law Appellate Competition. 

Berger received Syracuse University’s Meredith Teaching Recognition Award in 2017 and has twice been honored with the College of Law's Res Ipsa Loquitur Award, by the graduating classes of 2015 and 2020. 

Professor Gouldin teaches criminal procedure, criminal law, evidence, constitutional law, and criminal justice reform. Her scholarship focuses on the Fourth Amendment, pretrial detention and bail reform, and judicial decision-making. Her articles have appeared in the University of Chicago Law Review, BYU Law Review, Denver Law Review, Fordham International Law Journal, and the American Criminal Law Review, among others. Gouldin also leads the Syracuse Civics Initiative, which supports civics education for young people, especially in under-resourced schools.  

Gouldin received a Meredith Teaching Recognition Award in 2015. In 2014 and 2015, the College's Student Bar Association presented Gouldin with its Outstanding Faculty Award, and the Class of 2018 awarded her the College's Res Ipsa Loquitur Award. 

Professor Todd Berger
Professor Todd Berger
Professor Lauryn Gouldin
Professor Lauryn Gouldin

Carla M. Palumbo elected President of NY Bar Foundation

Posted on Thursday 6/3/2021

The New York Bar Foundation has announced that Carla M. Palumbo has been elected president for the Foundation. Palumbo will begin her term as the president of the Foundation’s Board of Directors effective June 1 and will serve a term of up to three years. She has served on the board for 15 years and has been active on the Foundation’s grants review, nominating, and personnel committees, while also serving as vice president since 2018. Palumbo has been a Fellow of the Foundation since 2004 and is currently in the Cardozo Circle of Giving. Palumbo has served as President and CEO of the Legal Aid Society of Rochester since 2014 and recently celebrated her 37th anniversary with the organization, where she began as a staff attorney in 1984. 

Professor Nina Kohn: Summit Recommendation Will “Fundamentally Reshape Guardianship Practice in the US”

Posted on Thursday 6/3/2021
Nina Kohn

Guardianship—the process by which a court appoints a surrogate decision-maker for a person found unable to make decisions for themselves—has been the subject of recent extensive criticism, in part because of the #FreeBrittany movement related to singer Britney Spears’ conservatorship case.

Across May 10-14, the National Guardianship Network held its Fourth National Guardianship Summit, hosted by Syracuse University College of Law and the Syracuse Law Review. The nation’s leading experts in guardianship and its alternatives convened to chart an agenda for reforming guardianship law and practice. They adopted several innovative recommendations, including the abolition of plenary (unlimited) guardianship.

The Summit’s full list of recommendations are available on Syracuse Law’s website. They subsequently will be published—alongside the articles prepared to inform the Summit’s deliberations—in a future issue of the Law Review.

“Summit participants were voting delegates from national organizations focused on disability rights, elder law, and guardianship, as well as a diverse group of observers, including more than a dozen international advocates and scholars,” says Professor Nina Kohn, a specialist in guardianship and conservatorship and one of the experts who organized the Summit. “Participants debated and voted on a series of concrete recommendations that will serve to guide policy in the coming decade.”

Recommendations adopted by the Summit are groundbreaking, observes Kohn, including the abolition of plenary guardianship. “The Summit recommended that states instead require all guardianships to be tailored to the individual’s specific situation,” says Kohn. “If adopted, this approach will fundamentally reshape guardianship practice in the United States. Most guardianships currently in place are plenary, stripping those who are subject to them all rights that can possibly be stripped under state law.”

Adds Kohn, “As with the 2013 Third Summit, the 2021 Fourth Summit proved to be a consensus conference that has adopted a far-reaching set of recommendations for guardian standards, as well as additional recommendations for action by courts, legislatures, and other entities.”

Aaron Records joins Bousquet Holstein PLLC

Posted on Thursday 6/3/2021
Aaron Records

Bousquet Holstein PLLC is pleased to announce that Aaron C. Records has joined Bousquet Holstein PLLC.  Records has joined Bousquet Holstein as an Associate Attorney in the firm’s Brownfield’s Practice Group. Aaron will guide clients in preparing and filing claims for the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) tax credits, as well as defending their claims through the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s (“DTF”) desk audit and full examination processes. Originally from New Hampshire, Aaron earned his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Creative Writing from Colby-Sawyer College. Aaron spent one semester abroad as a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He earned his law degree at Syracuse University College of Law where he served on the Pro Bono Advisory Board, contributed to the Syrian Accountability Project, and was the Editor-in-Chief of Impunity Watch and the Journal of Global Rights and Organizations. After graduating from law school, Aaron worked as an associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s New York City office in their State and Local Tax Income and Franchise department, assisting large clients with both income tax consulting and compliance services. Aaron currently resides in Syracuse with his family.

Francisco Palao-Ricketts joins Goodwin

Posted on Wednesday 6/2/2021

Global law firm Goodwin announced June 1st that Cisco Palao-Ricketts joined the firm's ERISA and Executive Compensation practice as partner in the Silicon Valley office. Palao-Ricketts handles the full range of executive compensation and benefits matters, with a particular focus on the executive compensation and benefits aspects of M&A, IPOs, and SPAC transactions. He is experienced in advising startup, emerging growth, and public companies regarding compensation and employee benefit issues. In his prior role, Palao-Ricketts co-led a global law firm’s U.S. Executive Compensation and Benefits practice. 

Professor Nina Kohn Writes in The Hill: It's Time to Care About Home Care

Posted on Wednesday 6/2/2021
Professor Nina Kohn

In an opinion article published in The Hill, Professor Nina Kohn reacts to the potential positive impact on Medicaid-covered home and community-based services (HCBS) outlined in President Biden's American Jobs Plan.

Kohn summarizes, "Biden’s proposed $400 billion investment in home and community-based care is consistent with what we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic: Long-term care should not require institutionalization. Politicians have an opportunity to show that they learned that lesson by expanding access to home and community-based care and investing in the essential workers who provide it." 

Professor Paula Johnson Speaks with KCBS on the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre

Posted on Tuesday 6/1/2021
Professor Paula Johnson

Professor Paula Johnson recently spoke with KCBS (San Francisco, CA) on the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. When asked what the Tulsa Race Massacre shows us about the historical erasure of violence against Black people, Johnson said, “Even as something as horrific as the Tulsa Race Massacre we will go to great lengths to bury the history so that it isn’t known, not only by contemporary generations but by subsequent generations and that is the very strength and enduring legacy of white supremacy.”

Memorial Day: A Student Veteran's Perspective

Posted on Monday 5/31/2021
Scott Deutsch with daughter Lauren Deutsch L'23

By 2L Scott Deutsch
Budget Analyst, USSOCOM

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. On Memorial Day, stores offer sales, banks and businesses are closed, and everyone celebrates a long weekend. However, if not for the brave men and women who died in battle, our nation would not enjoy these privileges. Instead of saying we “celebrate” on Memorial Day, I like to say we “remember.” On Memorial Day, instead of thanking veterans for their service, it’s more appropriate to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Memorial Day is a day to remember those brave men and women who gave their lives defending our freedom, including mine.   

Many military-connected students walk the corridors of Dineen Hall. Syracuse University College of Law enjoys a robust population of active duty students, student veterans, military family members, and students aspiring to join the service. Because of this dynamic, many of our fellow students have lost a family member or friend.

I began my Army career by walking into an Army recruiting office in 1990. I had the distinct honor and pleasure to serve alongside many incredible men and women. I had many mentors and formed strong bonds with my fellow soldiers, who I considered family. One of those soldiers was Major Henry Ofeciar. Major Ofeciar had a smile that lit up a room, was a driven and motivating individual, and an incredible leader. He took the time to personally mentor and guide me in my profession. In late August 2007, I learned that Major Ofeciar was killed in combat when enemy forces using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades attacked his unit in Afghanistan. I still grieve his death today.

Every year, my Memorial Day begins with me remembering Major Ofeciar. I remember him, his service, his family, and the many other service members who lost their lives in defense of our freedom and way of life. While I appreciate when people thank me for my service, please save “thank you for your service” for November 11—Veterans Day—when we honor all veterans for their service. This Memorial Day, take and offer a moment of reflection and instead say, "We remember."

Amy Disel Allman receives award

Posted on Friday 5/28/2021

Amy Disel Allman, Director of Advocacy for Virginia Legal Aid Society (VLAS), Managing Attorney of the VLAS Foreclosure Prevention & Consumer Protection Project, and VLAS representative within the ACES Justice Project of the Virginia Legal Aid Community, has received the Virginia State Bar 2021 Legal Aid Award honoring excellence in legal aid society work. Allman was nominated by David B. Neumeyer, executive director of the Virginia Legal Aid Society, who noted that Allman “..has been a strong advocate and program leader since she began work for VLAS in 2008, but she has accelerated her impact since the start of the pandemic.”

Ekin Senlet recognized by Chambers

Posted on Thursday 5/27/2021
Ekin Senlet

Chambers listed Ekin Senlet, Partner at Barclay Damon, as a notable practitioner in Energy: State Regulatory & Wholesale Electric Market. She was ranked for the first time this year. 

Elizabeth Snyder joins Maynard Cooper & Gale

Posted on Thursday 5/27/2021
Elizabeth Snyder

Maynard Cooper & Gale (Maynard) is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Snyder has joined the Firm’s Cybersecurity & Privacy Practice office in its New York office.Snyder is an experienced lawyer who assists clients across a broad industry spectrum with privacy obligations, including those under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). She helps clients navigate the changing compliance and regulatory requirements in the United States and internationally. Snyder also leverages her due diligence experience to provide privacy, security, and intellectual property subject matter expertise in merger and acquisition negotiations.

Dean Craig M. Boise Appointed as Representative to Syracuse University Board of Trustees

Posted on Wednesday 5/26/2021
Dean Craig M. Boise

(SU News | May 25, 2021) Craig Boise, dean of the College of Law, has been named dean representative to the Board of Trustees by Chancellor Kent Syverud. Lori Brown, professor of architecture, and director of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the School of Architecture, has been named faculty representative to the board by the provost, in consultation with the University Senate Academic Affairs Committee. Both Boise and Brown will serve two-year terms.

In addition, new student representatives to the board have also been named, including David Bruen ’23, undergraduate in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and president of the Student Association; and Yousr Dhaouadi ’17, doctoral student in the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and president of the Graduate Student Organization.

These representatives of the campus community bring diverse backgrounds and insights to the Board and its various committees and will be vital voices in helping the University implement strategic objectives in support of its mission and vision.

Craig M. Boise

Boise came to Syracuse University in 2016 as dean of the College of Law and professor of law, bringing extensive experience in academic leadership and a passion for innovation in legal education. In his years as dean here and at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall School of Law, he established one of the nation’s two largest hybrid online J.D. programs, the first online joint J.D./MBA program, one of the earliest master of legal studies programs for non-lawyers, the nation’s first law school-based incubator for solo practitioners, and a “risk-free” J.D. program granting a master’s degree in law to students who elect not to pursue a law career after successfully completing their first year of law school.

Boise is a member of the ABA’s Council for the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, the official accrediting body for U.S. law schools, and was recently appointed to the Advisory Council of the newly formed ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium, where he will help lead efforts that promote better policing practices throughout the United States. Prior to his academic career, Boise practiced international and corporate tax law. He earned an LL.M degree in tax law from New York University, a J.D. degree from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in political science summa cum laude from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Boise will serve the first year of his two-year term as dean representative during the 2021-22 academic year. He will participate, ex officio, on the Board of Trustees' Academic Affairs Committee, and report to the board at Executive Committee and full board meetings ...

Read the full story.

Apple v. Epic: Professor Shubha Ghosh Reviews Case with Yahoo Finance

Posted on Tuesday 5/25/2021
Shubha Ghosh

Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust trial nears conclusion

(Yahoo Finance | May 24, 2021) The Apple VS. Epic Games courtroom battle is expected to end today. Syracuse University Professor of Law and Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute Director Shubha Ghosh joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss.

AKIKO FUJITA: Lawyers for Apple and Epic Games presenting their closing arguments in court today. A final ruling in the case isn't expected for weeks, but the questions raised in the courtroom could have broader implications for other antitrust cases into the tech giant. Let's bring in Shubha Ghosh, Syracuse University professor of law and Intellectual Property Law Institute director there. Shubha, it's good to talk to you.

The key questions for Apple, of course, going into this was whether, in fact, they'd abused their position in the market in terms of setting up those policies within the App Store, charging some of those commissions. We heard Tim Cook over on Friday say that a lot of this really was about to protect the privacy of users. How do you think this case shapes up right now for Apple, as we round out the closing arguments today?

SHUBHA GHOSH: Yeah, I think it's always a very difficult case for the plaintiffs in antitrust. I think there are some complicated issues here about whether Apple is a monopolist, whether there are alternatives for consumers, and also a question about what exactly is the competitive harm that Epic is complaining about, and how the court can remedy it. I'm not as convinced about the privacy arguments, whether that's really beneficial to Apple, or may even be relevant to the final outcome of the case.

AKIKO FUJITA: How high was the bar for Epic Games going into the case, in terms of proving Apple's monopoly? And do you think the lawyers were able to present a case that met it?

SHUBHA GHOSH: I think, you know, Epic's strategy, it seemed to me, was to basically focus on the platform, to focus on the gaming platform through the App Store, while Apple is trying to argue that there are lots of other alternatives to the Apple Store in order to get access to Epic Games. So it's a fairly high burden, in terms of really trying to characterize this market and in terms of how consumers buy these games and to really convince the court—and this is a bench trial, not a jury trial—that the relevant market is the one for the App Store, rather than a broader market for games ...

Read the full story.

Wendy A. Kinsella appointed judge

Posted on Monday 5/24/2021

Chief Judge Debra Ann Livingston of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit announced today that the Court of Appeals will appoint Wendy A. Kinsella as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of New York in Syracuse. Chief Judge Livingston stated, “Wendy Kinsella is a great addition to an excellent court. We are thrilled to welcome her to the bankruptcy court in the Northern District and look forward to working with her. This is a happy day.” Ms. Kinsella is a partner and the leader of the Financial Restructuring, Bankruptcy, and Creditors’ Rights practice group at Harris Beach PLLC. Kinsella will officially assume her duties on June 7 in a private ceremony. 

Syracuse Law and the National Disabled Law Students Association Announce Inaugural National Disability Law Appellate Competition

Posted on Monday 5/24/2021
College of Law

Syracuse University College of Law and the National Disabled Law Students Association (NDLSA) will co-host the inaugural National Disability Law Appellate Competition (NDLAC), to be held virtually March 25-27, 2022.

This new advocacy competition will feature a minimum of 12 teams from law schools across the United States. The competition problem will cover a significant and timely legal issue in disability law and will consist of an appellate brief writing component and an oral argument component. Syracuse Law’s Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society and the Disability Law Society are co-sponsors of the competition.

“NDLAC is the first national appellate advocacy competition to focus exclusively on disability law. It will enable students to develop their oral advocacy skills while simultaneously navigating a challenging important area of disability law,” says Professor Michael Schwartz, Director of Syracuse Law’s Disability Rights Clinic. “The competition will replicate a realistic appellate court setting by exposing students to actual judges and lawyers who are familiar with appellate practice.”

Each team may be comprised of two or three students. Teams will be assigned to represent either the petitioner or respondent and will write an appellate brief on behalf of that assigned party. During the preliminary rounds, each team will argue on behalf of each party. The highest-scoring teams will then move on to the quarterfinal round, the semifinal round, and ultimately the final round where a winning team will be decided.

“The College of Law encourages law students from across the country to participate in this new, first-of-its-kind advocacy competition—and to be part of history!” says Professor Todd Berger, Faculty Director of Advocacy Programs at Syracuse Law. “Breaking new ground in advocacy competition, I’m pleased to add NDLAC to Syracuse Law’s two other national and international tournaments, the Syracuse National Trial Competition and the Transatlantic Negotiation Competition.”

For information, visit the NDLAC webpage. Applications will open in August 2021.

Seven Alumni Join Dean Boise on Inaugural WNY Daily Record Power 50 List

Posted on Wednesday 5/19/2021
Power 50

"When we decided to launch our Power List series, we knew it would be a difficult task to select just 50 power players in the Western New York legal community for our inaugural Power 50 list," write the editors of the WNY Daily Record. "We are pleased with the makeup of this list of leaders."

The 2021 WNY Power 50 List includes lawyers who are running law firms or regional offices, judges, civil legal services leaders, law school deans, bar association directors, and more.

Joining Dean Craig M. Boise on the list of leaders are Carla M. Palumbo L’82, Hon. James P. Murphy L’84, Anna E. Lynch L’86, Sandra J. Doorley L’88, Brian J. Butler L’96, Cressida A. Dixon L’96, and Jared C. Lusk L’98. Biographies of—and Q&As with—Power 50 leaders can be found here.  

"We are optimistic that the people and organizations listed will play a large role in helping Western New York recover from the pandemic," the editors add. 

Chantal Wentworth-Mullin Appointed to NYSBA Committee on Veterans

Posted on Tuesday 5/18/2021
Chantal Wentworth-Mullin

Chantal Wentworth-Mullin, Managing Director of the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic, has been appointed to the New York State Bar Association Committee on Veterans by T. Andrew Brown, NYSBA President-Elect. She begins her term on June 1, 2021.

As a member of the committee, Wentworth-Mullin will assist her colleagues—including co-chairs Art Cody of the Veteran Advocate Project and Jessica Parker of Credit Suisse—in program development, advocacy, and strategic collaborations that address the legal issues and needs of military servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

“I am very excited and honored to have another avenue through which I am able to assist Veterans in New York State," says Wentworth-Mullin. 

WRVO Interviews Professor Mary Szto About Rise in Anti-Asian Violence

Posted on Friday 5/14/2021
Mary Szto

Increase in violence hits close to home for Asian Americans in CNY

(WRVO | May 13, 2021) ... Syracuse University College of Law professor Mary Szto said the recent rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans is part of a pattern dating back to the 19th century. 

"Unfortunately, almost as soon they started to arrive in larger numbers, they were mistreated, they were murdered, they were blamed for economic downturns and for disease, so we're basically re-living what happened in the 1800s," said Szto.

Professor Szto said to break the cycle, there has to be a reckoning on many levels. First, she would like to see an apology from the government regarding past mistreatment of Asian Americans. Also, she said the government, schools, religious institutions, and families need to develop a unified message that discrimination is not acceptable. 

"The taunting that people do as children has turned into verbal assaults that we see during the pandemic. We see video clips of adults harassing Asians in restaurants and saying 'go back to where you came from. You don't belong here. You brought the virus here,'" said Szto ...

Read the full story.

Apple Vs. Epic: Professor Shubha Ghosh Speaks to South Korean Media

Posted on Thursday 5/13/2021
Shubha Ghosh

(eFM This Morning | May 12, 2021) Analysis on the recent court battle between Apple and Epic Games with Professor Shubha Ghosh, Director of Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute. 

Listen to the podcast

Dafni Kiritsis '97 Joins Syracuse Law as Director of Externships and Career Services

Posted on Tuesday 5/11/2021
Dafni Kiritsis '97

Syracuse University College of Law is pleased to announce that Dafni Kiritsis has accepted the position of Director of Externships and Career Services. Reporting to the Assistant Dean of Career Services, Kiritsis will help to build and implement programs and services for the Office of Career Services and lead the College's growing Externship Program. Kiritsis begins in her new post on June 15, 2021.

Kiritsis joins Syracuse Law from Syracuse University’s Office of Human Resources, where she most recently held the position of Senior Human Resources Business Partner, serving the HR needs of University business, finance, and administrative services and as an HR liaison to the College of Law.

Before joining the University, Kiritsis was an attorney in the US Department of Veterans Affairs Office of District Counsel. Before that role, she practiced law at Green & Seifter Attorneys PLLC, now Bousquet Holstein PLLC. Kiritsis received her J.D. from Albany Law School of Union University and her B.A. from Syracuse University.

"Syracuse Law prides itself on our robust Externship Program and pro bono and clerkship placements, all part of our applied learning-focused curriculum," says Dean Craig M. Boise. "An excellent fit for the position of Director of Externships and Career Services, our students will benefit greatly from Dafni's extensive law and human resources background. I look forward to working with Dafni on the continued expansion of our Externship Program into new markets and on innovative academic offerings, such as Third Year Away."

Professor Roy Gutterman: Assaults on Press Freedom Endanger Democracy

Posted on Tuesday 5/11/2021
Roy Gutterman

(Syracuse.com | April 30, 2021) In 1991, a group of international journalists and press freedom advocates convened in Windhoek, Namibia, to forge a declaration for press freedom for media, governments and citizens around the world.

The Declaration of Windhoek on Promoting and Independent and Pluralistic African Press incorporated the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 19, which calls for press freedom around the world. The Windhoek Declaration has been annually memorialized through UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day, recognized on May 3.

Among its 19 declarations, it calls for “… the establishment, maintenance and fostering of an independent, pluralistic and free press is essential to the development and maintenance of democracy in a nation, and for economic development.”

The world was a different place 30 years ago. The fall of the Soviet Union fostered emerging democracies throughout Eastern Europe and democratic movements grew in Africa and parts of Asia. The internet had not yet gone commercial so ordinary citizens could log on to send and receive vast amounts of information from all corners of the world. Newspapers were still printing and CNN was reaching its apex as one of the world’s most prominent news outlets ...

Read the full story

Virginia C. Robbins Joins Syracuse Law as Interim Assistant Dean of Career Services

Posted on Monday 5/10/2021
Ginny Robbins

Syracuse University College of Law is pleased to announce that Virginia C. Robbins has joined the College in the position of Interim Assistant Dean of Career Services. As Interim Assistant Dean, Robbins will develop programs and services to support and advise students as they embark on their career journeys and assist employers and alumni seeking to engage and hire Syracuse Law talent. Robbins began in her new post on May 1, 2021.

Until recently of counsel at Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, Robbins retired as a member of the law firm in December 2018. During her tenure, Robbins chaired Bond's environmental and energy practice (2000-2016), advising clients on state and federal regulatory compliance issues, particularly in the areas of air and water pollution control and solid and hazardous waste management.

Robbins served on Bond's management committee from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2014 to 2015. She has been listed in Best Lawyers in America (Environmental Issues) for more than 10 years, and she has served in the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources and the New York State Bar Association Environmental and Energy Law Section (Chair, 2004-2005). She is Founding Chair of the Central New York Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association (1995-1996) and a Board Member and Past President (2005-2007) of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Foundation Inc. Robbins holds a B.A. from Rutgers University; a J.D. from Rutgers Law School (with honors); and an M.A. from Middlebury College.

"We are excited that Ginny has chosen to serve the College of Law in this capacity," says Dean Craig M. Boise. "Her substantial track record as a lawyer and field builder, her people and mentoring skills, and her vast network of resources will serve us and our students well." 

Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse Law Review Host Fourth National Guardianship Summit

Posted on Monday 5/10/2021
College of Law

Convened by the National Guardianship Network and hosted by Syracuse University College of Law and Syracuse Law Review, the Fourth National Guardianship Summit takes place virtually across May 10-14, 2021. Participants will discuss the current state of the nation’s guardianship system and develop recommendations for future reform, with the summit organized around the theme of "Maximizing Autonomy and Ensuring Accountability".

"Syracuse Law is truly honored to host the Fourth Summit. This invitation-only event brings together the nation’s leading experts in  guardianship and alternatives to guardianship, as well as international observers," says Nina A. Kohn, David M. Levy Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Online Education. "Participants will work together through a series of working groups and structured discussions to create a consensus agenda for the next decade’s law reform in this area." 

This Fourth Summit is the first such summit held since 2011. In that time, the United States has undergone dramatic demographic shifts in aging and disability populations; continued reform of state guardianship law; a new uniform guardianship act (for which Professor Kohn acted as Reporter); and the evolution of the concept of supported decision-making as an autonomy-increasing alternative to guardianship.

Nevertheless, reports of financial exploitation and abuse by guardians, as well as limited resources to track and monitor their activity, continue to make headlines.

The Fourth Summit will address many of these issues, with discussions of guardianship abuse, limited guardianship and conservatorship, protective arrangements in lieu of guardianship, supported decision-making, judicial accountability, monitoring of guardians, and more. The full agenda can be read here

Syracuse Law Review is excited to co-host this important event,” says 2L Hilda Frimpong, incoming Law Review Editor-in-Chief. “My editorial team and I will publish many of the summit’s presented papers in a forthcoming volume. It is an amazing opportunity to be involved in such critical reform conversation while still in law school and to know that the resulting volume will be a go-to resource for guardianship reform for years to come.”  

In addition to Frimpong, the following law students will serve as working group co-hosts throughout the week: 3Ls Ki-jana Crawford and Nikkia Knudsen; 2Ls Elizabeth Dannan, Leita Powers, and Grace Sullivan; and 1Ls Penelope Boettiger and Isaac Kelvin Onyango.

Professor Shannon Gardner Receives Meredith Teaching Recognition Award for Continuing Excellence

Posted on Monday 5/10/2021
Shannon Gardner

Teaching Professor Shannon Gardner has been awarded a Syracuse University 2021-2022 Meredith Teaching Recognition Award for Continuing Excellence in Teaching, recognizing her contributions to teaching and learning, on the recommendation of a committee of Meredith Professors, previous Teaching Recognition Awardees, and student representatives. The award is one of the highest teaching honors bestowed by the University.

Twice honored by LL.M. students with the Lex Lucet Mundum Award (in 2017 and 2019), Gardner has served as a member of the faculty since 2010. She teaches legal writing classes in Syracuse Law's J.D. and JDinteractive programs, and Introduction to the American Legal System in the Masters of Law in American Law (LL.M.) program. As part of the LL.M. program, Gardner has taught and presented at conferences around the world.

Before joining Syracuse Law, Professor Gardner was a practicing attorney for 15 years, including 11 years as a federal criminal prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

Each year, Syracuse University bestows two Teaching Recognition Awards for Continuing Excellence to tenured, non-tenure-track, adjunct, and part-time professors with five or more years teaching experience at the University. Teaching Recognition Award for Continuing Excellence recipients receive $10,000 for further professional development.

The Climate Challenge: Professor Mark Nevitt Interviewed by Yale Climate Connections

Posted on Monday 5/10/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

Revitalized U.S. urgency on climate change and national security

(Yale Climate Connections | May 7, 2021) "An urgent national security threat.”

That’s the phrase U.S. Director of National intelligence Avril Haines used in describing climate change at the White House Climate Summit on Earth Day a few weeks ago.

It’s the kind of language that national security interests have applied previously, but not since the Trump administration took office on January 20, 2017, and soon put the kibosh on such talk. Conversations about climate change and national security continued under the Trump presidency, but not so much in the open, and certainly not with the imprimatur of the Oval Office ...

... While climate change and global security for some time have been a topic of policy deliberations, the Global Trends 2040 report brings climate change to the forefront more than any of its predecessors had done. 

“It’s a pretty clear-eyed objective report,” [Professor Mark] Nevitt said. “There’s five different themes on the first few pages. And climate change is right there with the global challenges, right there with technology, disruption, disease, financial crisis" ... 

... Nevitt noted that he is pleased the report digs into areas like attribution science which is used to understand the role climate change plays in shaping weather events, and also explores the importance of feedback loops. “That’s sort of the cutting edge of climate science that’s being integrated into an intelligence document,” He said. “That shows me that there’s a real active engagement, it’s not passive.”

Nevitt’s only qualm? He is concerned the report may be overly optimistic about how much the international community can agree on a critical point: quickly reducing, and perhaps also eliminating, greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent exceeding 1.5°C of warming even earlier than the report expects ...

Read the full story.

Watch: Commencement Exercises for the Classes of 2020 and 2021

Posted on Friday 5/7/2021
College of Law

Congratulations Graduates! YOU DID IT!!

What They Said

Dean Boise: "You are ready to make life changing shifts, and to meet extraordinary challenges head on. Yes, you will take the lead, and inspire greatness. You will widen our focus. I am excited for the future."

Commencement Speaker Joanna Geraghty L'97, President & COO, JetBlue Airways: "The rule of law can never have enough friends across the globe, where it can appear to be under siege at different times and in different circumstances. Syracuse taught you that, be a friend to the rule of law wherever and whenever you come across it—and you will." 

Troy D. Parker, President, Class of 2021: "We understood that the skills we were mastering in the College of Law would elevate us to a position of power within society, whether we seek it now or not. We had the skills to effectuate change in our communities across the country."

Fildous Hamid, LL.M. Representative, Class of 2021: "I believe education is the only catalyst of change and it lies in us to use what we have learned here in our various professions to effect change and make the world a better place for the generations to come."

Message from Dean Boise: New College of Law Cultural Competency Developments

Posted on Friday 5/7/2021
College of Law

Dear College of Law Community,

As we approach the end of yet another academic year and promote a new class of graduates into the field, I’d like to share with you two important developments in our efforts to achieve a more inclusive College of Law community.

Our commitment to fostering a campus community that is free from discrimination and that embraces the diversity of its community members is rooted in the belief that multiple points of view and different life experiences, ethnicities, cultures, and belief systems are essential to academic excellence and to your successful navigation of the world of legal practice upon graduation.

First, in the fall of 2020 I asked our faculty’s Curriculum Committee, led by Professor Paula Johnson, to develop a recommendation to the faculty as to the adoption of a required course for all College of Law students addressing issues related to race and ethnicity, historical racism, cultural competence, and implicit bias, or, in the alternative, a series of modules on these topics that would be embedded in several different, existing courses.  

In developing its recommendation, I asked that the Committee consult broadly with all student groups as well as with the College of Law’s Committee on Inclusion Initiatives, led by Professor Suzette Melendez.

At our April 2021 faculty meetings, the Curriculum Committee and the Committee on Inclusion Initiatives reported out on their work and recommended a three-pronged Cultural Competency Curriculum. This new curriculum will be launched this fall and will be applicable to all students beginning with the Class of 2024

The new curriculum consists of:

  • A Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) primer module for Orientation and JDi Residencies, to be launched this August and followed throughout the year by a variety of diversity-related programs and activities in which both students and faculty may participate.
  • A 1L DEI Summer Initiative to develop, under the guidance of faculty, DEI themes and materials that will become part of courses taught throughout the 1L curriculum, beginning this August.
  • A new graduation requirement, applicable to all students beginning with the Class of 2024, which may be satisfied by selecting a cultural competency-related course from a list of several existing courses as well as new courses to be developed. In connection with imposing this new requirement, I have asked our faculty to review and assess all graduation requirements to ensure that College of Law students are afforded a meaningful set of elective courses from which to choose subject matter that is of interest to them.

I am grateful to the Curriculum Committee and the Committee on Inclusion Initiatives, and to all our faculty, for their work in devising the College of Law’s new Cultural Competency Curriculum.  I look forward to sharing more about each of the components over the summer and through the fall. 

Second, I am also proud to announce the establishment of the new Hon. Sandra L. Townes, L’76 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Student Resource Center that will open this fall  on the second floor of the library. Named for the pioneering jurist and educator, the Resource Center will be a space for students and faculty to convene and curate resources for sharing, experiencing, and actualizing diversity and inclusion at the College of Law and in our profession.

Please continue to follow the progress of our work together to advance, to model, and to experience Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, by visiting our Diversity and Inclusion web pages

Best regards,

Craig M. Boise
Dean and Professor of Law

Syracuse Law Announces the Hon. Sandra L. Townes L’76 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Resource Center

Posted on Wednesday 5/5/2021
College of Law

Syracuse University College of Law announces the creation of the Hon. Sandra L. Townes L’76 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Resource Center. Named for the late jurist and educator who was the first Black woman appointed as a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York, the Student Resource Center will open in Fall 2021, located in the Susan K. Reardon L’76 Room in Dineen Hall's Law Library. 

"Our College is committed to fostering a learning community that celebrates the diversity of its community members, rooted in the belief that understanding different life experiences, ethnicities, cultures, and belief systems are essential to legal and academic excellence," says Dean Craig M. Boise. "Projects such as this ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion is a core value not just in vision but in practice. The Student Resource Center will be a space for students and faculty to convene and curate resources for sharing, experiencing, and actualizing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College and in our profession." 

"The Law Library is delighted to be the home of the Hon. Sandra L. Townes L’76 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Resource Center," says Jan Fleckenstein L’11, Associate Teaching Professor and Director of the Law Library. "The Law Library is central to teaching and scholarship in the College of Law, and the Student Resource Center is the next step in fulfilling our mission to support law students as they grapple with issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the law and in society." 

"We envision the center to both serve as a space to promote diversity and cultural competence and a safe space for minority students to engage with one another," says 2L Mazaher Kaila, BLSA President. "The Student Resource Center will begin as an extended library space where students can access computers, printers, white boards, and books, as well as hold discussions and plan events. Our vision is for this Center eventually to offer student advising, mental health support, support for students with disabilities, and trainings and other tools essential for reaching diversity and inclusion goals." 

Kaila explains the idea for the Student Resource Center grew out of student responses to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, in May 2020. "My Executive Board and I felt we had to speak up for people like us and other minorities at the College of law," she says. "We were fueled, angry, upset, and overall hurting."

As part of its action, BLSA launched a Black Table Talk series, a dialogue platform for students to engage issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. After the second meeting, and with support from BLSA's national chapter, "we were able to decide and agree that a Resource center would directly benefit minority students because it would give us a sense of inclusion and spread awareness," says Kaila. After further student meetings, BLSA met with the College of Law Administration to develop plans.

“Preliminary steps are being taken to build out and furnish the Student Resource Center, and College of Law staff will seek student input through BLSA about room arrangements and selections for print and electronic collections so that everything can be in place when students arrive in August 2021," says Fleckenstein. "Selection of materials will start in early summer 2021 and continue with ongoing requests and suggestions by students.”

2L Ryan Marquette Receives SVO 2021 Best for Vets Award

Posted on Wednesday 5/5/2021
Ryan Marquette

At its recent awards ceremony, second-year law student Ryan Marquette has received the Student Veterans Organization's Best for Vets Award. 

Marquette is currently pursuing a J.D. from the College of Law and a Master’s of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He serves in two leadership positions at Syracuse Law: President of Veterans’ Issues, Support Initiative, and Outreach Network (VISION) and President of the National Security Student Association. 

The Best for Vets Award is presented to the student veteran who has done the most to help student veterans succeed both on and off campus and has gone far above and beyond for his fellow students.


2L Ryan Marquette poses with the 2021 best for Vets Award.
2L Ryan Marquette poses with the 2021 best for Vets Award.

"A Specialized Society?" Professor Mark Nevitt Discusses Monitoring Military for Domestic Extremists in The Washington Post

Posted on Wednesday 5/5/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

The Pentagon wants to take a harder line on domestic extremism. How far can it go?

(The Washington Post | May 5, 2021) Pentagon officials are considering new restrictions on service members’ interactions with far-right groups, part of the military’s reckoning with extremism, but the measures could trigger legal challenges from critics who say they would violate First Amendment rights.

Under a review launched by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Defense Department officials are reexamining rules governing troops’ affiliations with anti-government and white supremacist movements, ties that currently are permissible in limited circumstances.

Austin, who has pledged zero tolerance for extremism, ordered the review after the events of Jan. 6, when rioters including a few dozen veterans — and a handful of current service members — stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the presidential election results ...

... Mark Nevitt, a former Navy lawyer who teaches at the Syracuse University College of Law, pointed to other cases in which courts have characterized the military as a “specialized society separate from society.”

“Federal courts will likely provide a healthy dose of deference to the military if challenged, particularly if the military can link the new definition to the underlying military mission and good order and discipline,” he said ...

Read the full article.

Professor Greg Germain Comments to CBS News on NRA Bankruptcy Case

Posted on Wednesday 5/5/2021
Greg Germain

Justice Department Objects to National Rifle Association's bankruptcy plan

(CBS News | May 4, 2021) The U.S. Department of Justice is objecting to the National Rifle Association's bankruptcy plan, pointing to what the agency says is mismanagement of funds by leaders of the gun advocacy organization. 

Lisa Lambert, assistant U.S. Trustee in the DOJ's Trustee Office, said Monday during the NRA's bankruptcy case in Texas that the group's longtime CEO, Wayne LaPierre, used NRA funds for his own purposes and failed to properly safeguarded the group's financial records ...

... The judge overseeing the case is likely to appoint an examiner to review whether the NRA had cause to file for Chapter 11, said Gregory Germain, a bankruptcy expert and law professor at Syracuse University. 

"That's the safest thing for the bankruptcy court to do," Germain said. "But it's going to slow things down because everybody is going to be waiting for the examiners' report."

Read the full article.

The Washington Post Speaks to Professor Shubha Ghosh About Apple Anti-Trust Case

Posted on Tuesday 5/4/2021
Shubha Ghosh

Apple takes its fight with Epic Games over the App Store to court

(The Washington Post | May 3, 2021) “Fortnite” maker Epic Games and Apple kicked off their three-week trial Monday in a courtroom battle that could have far reaching implications for the iPhone maker’s business model and U.S. antitrust law.

In opening statements in a federal courthouse in Oakland, Calif., Epic painted Apple as a monopolist that concocted a plan to lure software developers and customers into iOS, its mobile operating system, and then lock them in with onerous and restrictive rules.

Apple painted Epic as an opportunist looking to cut costs with a court case that could destroy iOS and endanger consumers by forcing allowing harmful and malicious apps onto their phones ...

... “At some level, this is a run of the mill antitrust case, in the sense that the issues are fairly standard,” said Shubha Ghosh, a law professor at Syracuse University who focuses on antitrust issues. “Though the facts are unique, and the potential outcome could be very interesting for tech companies like Apple" ...

Read the full story.

"The current climate is certainly one where antitrust is on the rise and there is a concern with bigness as well as issues of price and distribution," said Shubha Ghosh, director of Syracuse University's Intellectual Property Law Institute. "Even though this just involves video games, it could have implications for other platform-based markets and companies like Amazon."

Hon James E. Baker: A DPA for the 21st Century

Posted on Friday 4/30/2021
Hon. James E. Baker

Some commentators say the field of artificial intelligence is ungovernable. It covers many fields and capabilities, they note, and involves a breadth of private and academic actors, many working in secrecy to protect intellectual property and profit potentials. But it is an overstatement to call AI ungovernable.

Several existing laws and executive orders give various agencies and elected officials tools to regulate the national security development of AI, as does the Constitution. Policymakers should become familiar with these tools, examine their strengths and shortcomings, and become involved in efforts to modify and improve the AI governance architecture. As with other “ungovernable” areas, like nonproliferation, where there are also myriad actors and challenges, we can design an effective governance architecture if we are purposeful about doing so. This paper considers one of the most important potential tools in this effort, the Defense Production Act (DPA); however, it would be a more effective tool if updated and used to its full effect.

AI development depends on hardware, data, talent, algorithms, and computational capacity.1 Thus, any law that can (1) help ensure an adequate supply of these assets and in appropriate form; and (2) prioritize the use of these assets to achieve national security policy objectives is an important national security tool. That is not to say the DPA’s full authority should be used at this time. Extraordinary tools, such as the DPA’s allocation authority, might more appropriately be used at a moment of emergency, for example, in time of conflict or should another nation achieve an AI breakout creating decisive security advantage.

Thus, at this time, the most important function a debate about the use of the DPA for AI purposes can serve is to shape and condition expectations and understandings about the role such authorities should, or could, play, as well as to identify essential legislative gaps so that we do not learn of these gaps (and are not hesitant to use the authority we have) when the authority is needed. However, in less dramatic manner, the DPA’s other authorities might well be used, or more fully used at this time to shore up America’s AI supply line, as illustrated with the examples below.

While obscure to the public, the DPA got a burst of national attention in early 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic began overwhelming U.S. hospitals, first in New York City and then elsewhere. In the absence of federal leadership, in March 2020 national security specialists familiar with the DPA urged its full use to mobilize the nation’s capacity to provide medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) to address COVID-19.

In April 2020, as the spreading virus was depleting national supplies of ventilators and PPE for health workers, President Donald Trump generated headlines by invoking the DPA, ostensibly to compel businesses to manufacture such equipment. A second order authorized the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to “use any and all authority available” under the DPA to acquire N95 respirator masks from 3M. By mid-July, however, CNN noted that “the Trump administration has made only sparing use of its authorities [under DPA], leaving front-line workers in dire need of supplies like masks, gowns and gloves.”2

The Trump Administration did eventually use the DPA during the second half of 2020 to prioritize contracts (eighteen times to channel raw materials to the manufacture of vaccines and therapeutics) and to incentivize the production of medical supplies like testing swabs; however, the DPA was never used to full effect, nor in a strategic and transparent manner.

In contrast, as a candidate for the White House, President Biden promised full use of the DPA to put the United States on a “war time” footing to meet COVID supply chain challenges. Since assuming office, the Biden Administration has used the DPA, and other laws, to address bottlenecks in the supply chain for components needed for vaccine manufacture and to prioritize supply contracts to allow Merck to assist in making Johnson & Johnson vaccines. In addition, the Biden Administration has used Title III financing authorities to incentivize the building of factories and supply lines for COVID tests and rubber plants for medical gloves.

What is significant here, is not just that the Biden Administration used the DPA to provide vaccine capacity to plug supply chain gaps, it did so after the president-elect and then president conditioned industry for its use in this manner and directed the federal government to lean into the law. It also made “friendly” use of the DPA, identifying needs in consultation and partnership with industry, with a focus on the result rather than the means. These are lessons worth noting in the AI context going forward. With COVID, as with AI, the legal policy question is not whether and how to use the DPA to accomplish a task but how to use the full range of available law effectively, purposefully to meet the nation’s needs, and in a manner consistent with our values. With COVID, it turned out, the DPA was one of several laws that could be used to harness America’s industrial capacity to address the pandemic.

The government’s handling of the pandemic is a topic for another day. The point here is that the mere mention of the DPA’s potential clout reinforced the view, in some people’s eyes at least, that the law is a vehicle to “nationalize” industry, a “commandeering” authority, which empowers the government to take over and run the nation’s defense industries. This fed into an already existing narrative about government regulation and opposition from the Chamber of Commerce.

In fact, as this paper shows, the DPA contains many different authorities, some narrow and others potentially broad in scope. It is important for policymakers to understand that the DPA is not limited to military equipment and actions, and its powers are not solely addressed to, or limited to, “commandeering.” Rather, the law establishes a national mobilization capacity to bring the industrial might of the U.S. to bear on broader national security challenges, including technology challenges and public health challenges. Thus, the DPA is both a potential macro tool and a micro tool. Its application to artificial intelligence can be substantial.

  1. Ben Buchanan, “The AI Triad and What It Means for National Security Strategy” (Center for Security and Emerging Technology, August 2020), https://cset.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/CSET-AI-Triad-Report.pdfFootnote Link
  2. Priscilla Alvarez, Curt Devine, Drew Griffin, and Kristen Holmes, “Trump administration’s delayed use of 1950s law leads to critical supplies shortages,” CNN, July 14, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/13/politics/delayed-use-defense-production-act-ppe-shortages/index.htmlFootnote Link

"Systemic Neglect": MarketWatch Speaks to Professor Nina Kohn About Nursing Home Reform

Posted on Friday 4/30/2021
Nina Kohn

Nursing-home reform efforts hit roadblocks

(MarketWatch | April 30, 2021) Private-equity firms have been prime targets in long-term-care reform proposals emerging during the COVID-19 crisis. But efforts to overhaul the industry are hitting a snag: that it’s tough to regulate nursing-home owners, operators and related parties when many of them remain in the shadows.

A report set to be released Friday by the Roosevelt Institute, a New York think tank, underscores the problem. Arguing that private-equity firms focus on extracting profits to the detriment of patient care, the report calls on Congress to ban these firms from buying nursing homes and to require those that currently operate facilities to divest from them within five years ...

... But many other researchers say the aim should not be to banish private equity or any other type of nursing-home owner but to hold all industry players to the same, high standards. To tackle concerns about operators putting profits over patients, regulators could make nursing homes less attractive to investors that aim to make a quick buck by skimping on staffing and patient care. That could mean mandating a certain number of staffing hours per resident day and requiring that facilities spend a threshold percentage of federal funds on resident care, says Nina Kohn, a professor at the Syracuse University College of Law.

With those changes, “you’re not simply limiting your focus to private equity,” Kohn says. “You’re really trying to get at the underlying problem, which is that nursing-home owners can make a profit — substantial profit — by deliberately deciding to engage in systemic neglect."

Read the full article.

Professor Shubha Ghosh Weighs In on Consumer Protection and Recovery Act in Consumer Affairs

Posted on Thursday 4/29/2021
Shubha Ghosh

Congressional leaders look to reverse SCOTUS decision limiting the FTC

(Consumer Affairs | April 29, 2021) U.S. lawmakers are attempting to flip last week’s Supreme Court decision that takes away the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) ability to provide restitution to defrauded consumers. If the new ruling sticks, the FTC’s only avenue to compensate customers who have fallen victim to deceptive business practices would come in the form of injunctions, not money.

Three Representatives -- Frank Pallone Jr., (D-NJ), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) -- are leading the fight. Cárdenas has submitted a proposed bill called the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act that would give the FTC more power to provide restitution to fraud victims ...

... While reversing a Supreme Court decision sounds like a daunting task, Professor Shubha Ghosh from the Syracuse University College of Law told ConsumerAffairs that it’s not unusual for Congress to amend legislation to overrule a Court’s reading of a statute. In fact, the Court’s decision essentially invited Congress to rework the legislation, and this could make consumer protections even stronger.

"As for consumer impact in the long run, if Congress responds as indicated, it can strengthen the power of the FTC to fight for consumers,” Ghosh said ...

Read the full story.

Rachel Stanley Nguyen L’07 Discusses Tax Policy and the Lobbying Sector with DCEx Students

Posted on Wednesday 4/28/2021
Rachel Stanley Nguyen L'07

Rachel Stanley Nguyen L’07, Assistant Vice President for Government Relations at Principal Financial Group, has spent more than a decade on a compelling journey toward her current role in the tax policy, tax reform, and Capitol Hill lobbying sector.

Holding an L.L.M. in Taxation from New York University, in addition to her J.D. from Syracuse Law, Stanley Nguyen has served since 2015 in her current government relations role with Principal Financial Group, a Fortune 500 company providing financial and insurance services.

The spring 2021 DCEx cohort met with Stanley Nguyen on April 29, 2021, during the program’s final seminar of the semester. She started her career overview with her experiences at the College of Law, where she realized her passion for tax law and engaging the tax code.  

After Syracuse Law, Stanley Nguyen enrolled at New York University, where she received a broad lessons in tax law and policy while focusing on narrow issues, such as the implications of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). After completing her LL.M., Stanley Nguyen joined Syracuse-based Bond, Schoeneck & King as an associate working on tax matters, particularly in the retirement context.

After a year at BSK, Stanley Nguyen turned toward a career on Capitol Hill. She told the DCEx students how she networked and built connections in Washington, which led to her first DC-based job at Bloomberg BNA, now called Bloomberg Industry Group, serving as an editor on state tax matters.

Stanley Nguyen then went to work as a legislative director and tax counsel for Ron Kind, a former Congressman from Wisconsin’s third district. She discussed her opportunities in this role to draft tax reform legislation, and she emphasized how critical it was for her future lobbying work to develop Capitol Hill relationships during this experience.

Stanley Nguyen then explored the nuances of government relations, the different contexts in which lobbying is performed, and lobbying dynamics in the nation’s capital. She also discussed the unique nature of the lobbying industry during COVID-19, and the steps a lobbyist must take to enter and advance in this arena.

As students learned, Stanley Nguyen’s career is a template for pursuing work on Capitol Hill, and it illustrates that lobbying is an option for any attorney with a passion for a particular area of law, a desire to network, and an interest in shaping policies that become laws.

As Stanley Nguyen explained, these combined interests have led her to a rewarding career.

Professor Nina Kohn Pens OpEd in The Washington Post on Long-Term Care Reform

Posted on Wednesday 4/28/2021
Nina Kohn

Covid awakened Americans to a nursing home crisis. Now comes the hard part.

(The Washington Post | April 28, 2021) During the worst days of the coronavirus pandemic, the conditions in the United States’ nursing homes were horrific. Nursing home residents account for less than half-of-1-percent of the U.S. population but roughly a quarter of the deaths related to covid-19.

Bodies piled up in makeshift morgues, staff who tested positive for the coronavirus were encouraged to come to work, and understaffing left residents helpless and alone. In a western New York home, with roughly 120 residents, for instance, a nursing assistant reported being — one day in March 2020, as the crisis mounted — the only person on duty.

The problems in America’s nursing homes won’t go away even if we wrestle covid-19 into submission, however. The pandemic exposed long-standing problems in the nursing home industry that stem from chronic understaffing and underspending on care for residents — problems often motivated by owners who place profit-seeking above their residents’ welfare. Spurred by the covid-19 tragedies, some federal and state lawmakers have proposed (and, in some cases, passed) laws designed to improve the quality of nursing home care. It’s a promising start, but much work remains ...

Read the full article.

Elaina Marino joins Addelman Cross & Baldwin, PC

Posted on Tuesday 4/27/2021
Elaina Marino

Addelman Cross & Baldwin, PC (Buffalo, NY) is pleased to announce the addition of Elaina Marino ‘19 as an associate. Ms. Marino’s areas of practice include Professional and Medical Malpractice, Trucking and Transportation, Municipal Law, Insured and Self-Insured Litigation, and Commercial Litigation.  Ms. Marino received her B.A. from State University of New York at Geneseo in 2016 and her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law in 2019.

Amber L. Lawyer named Deputy Chair

Posted on Tuesday 4/27/2021

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Amber Lawyer (J.D., Syracuse University College of Law, 2017) will become deputy chair of its Cybersecurity and Data Privacy practice.  Lawyer advises clients on cybersecurity and data privacy compliance issues, including state, federal and international cybersecurity and data privacy laws. She conducts technology and software contract review, data protection risk management assessments, privacy and cybersecurity diligence review for mergers and acquisitions, policy drafting, trainings, data audit and compliance reviews. She also advises her clients on response to data subject requests and complaints, security incidents and data breaches under various state, federal, and international cybersecurity laws including NY SHIELD Act. Lawyer has broad experience with various data privacy regimes including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and maintains a certification as a CIPP/E (Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe) attorney.

“We need to be more ambitious": Professor Nina Kohn Speaks to Syracuse.com About Nursing Home Vaccines

Posted on Monday 4/26/2021
Nina Kohn

Not enough CNY nursing home workers get Covid-19 shots; ‘We are in race against time’

(Syracuse.com | April 22, 2021) Nearly 40% of Central New York nursing home employees are still not vaccinated against Covid-19, four months after the government made them a top priority in its massive vaccine roll-out.

While 87% of Central New York nursing home residents have been vaccinated, only 64% of staffers have gotten shots, according to the state Health Department. Fewer than one-third of staffers at some homes in the region have been vaccinated.

The wide gap in vaccination rates is worrisome because employees often unwittingly bring the virus to work and could expose vulnerable residents to another deadly outbreak ...

... Nina Kohn, a Syracuse University law professor and expert in elder law, believes nursing homes should make staff vaccinations mandatory, subject to religious and medical exemptions.

“We need to be more ambitious about this,” she said ...

Read the full article.

Professor Paula Johnson Speaks to Spectrum News on Chauvin Verdict

Posted on Monday 4/26/2021
Paula Johnson

(Spectrum News | April 20, 2021) Professor Paula Johnson: "I think that this will be a chastening moment. Officer Chauvin doesn't represent all law enforcement officers, but we do have systemic issues within law enforcement."

Watch the clip.

Prof. Paula Johnson interviewed by Spectrum News from Syracuse University News on Vimeo.

College of Law Presents on Zoning Law to Onondaga County Officials

Posted on Monday 4/26/2021
College of Law

On April 17, 2021, 61 local planning and zoning officials from Onondaga County participated in the Ninth Annual Update on Zoning Law, hearing from College of Law faculty, alumni, and students on Article 78 Review of Variances, Non-Conforming Uses, Fair Housing, and Disability Law for Zoning.

Presenters included Professor Robin Paul Malloy, E.I. White Chair and Distinguished Professor of Law and Kauffman Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation; alumnus Chris Baiamonte L'19 of Wladis Law Firm; and 2L Wendy Carter. Sally Santangelo, Executive Director of CNY Fair Housing, joined the College of Law team. 

Carter's talk addressed Article 78 Review. "Wendy's presentation was part of our programing for Advanced Property Studies in the planning and zoning area," explains Professor Malloy. "The granting of variances and special use permits is one of the major areas of concern for local zoning officials.  

"Before starting law school, I worked in housing development for more than 10 years. I was always fascinated by the land use approval process, but I never understood the law behind it," says Carter. "When I saw the announcement that Professor Malloy was seeking students to complete a research project that culminates in a presentation to local zoning officials, I was interested right away. The project was a great opportunity for me to learn more about planning and zoning law, and to work one-on-one with a professor with extensive expertise in the area. Professor Malloy provided input about how to focus my research, as well as guidance on how to create a presentation that would be useful for those who have to implement the law on a day-to-day basis."

Added Carter, "There was a lot of great discussion following the presentations, and participants shared local planning challenges and creative solutions. I plan to practice in the housing and real estate development field, so this experience is very relevant to my future work." 

Professor Shubha Ghosh Addresses Google and Evolving Copyright Law with Law360

Posted on Friday 4/23/2021
Shubha Ghosh

Google Just Won a Big Copyright Case. It Isn't the First Time.

(Law360 | April 22, 2021) Google's recent victory over Oracle at the U.S. Supreme Court was just the latest in a string of landmark copyright rulings won by the tech giant that have, for better or worse, made it easier to reuse and share material on the internet.

Handed down earlier this month, the high court's decision said Google had made fair use of Oracle's Java software language in building the Android operating system. Allowing Oracle to enforce its rights, the court said, would serve as "a lock limiting the future creativity of new programs" ...

... But whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, the cases litigated — and often won — by Google have played a major part in helping copyright law "evolve in the context of new digital environments," said Shubha Ghosh, a professor of intellectual property law at Syracuse University College of Law.

"Google has the resources and the vision to expand digital horizons and to meet legal opposition," Ghosh said. "It is a bold engineering company that is willing to defend its legal position as it develops new products and markets in the digital environment" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Lauryn Gouldin: Why Is There Over-Policing for Low-Level Offenses?

Posted on Friday 4/23/2021
Lauryn Gouldin

(The Hill | April 23, 2021) Even as the country breathes a small sigh of relief that Derek Chauvin will be held accountable for killing George Floyd, police violence continues to dominate national headlines. One fundamental question arises in many of these cases: why do we police low-level offenses in ways that too often lead to death, serious injury and lasting community trauma? All of us (should) value liberty and, of course, life over these minor harms. 

Daunte Wright’s expired registration and dangling air fresheners are not worth the time, cost and risk of a traffic stop. Neither are allegedly missing license plates (Caron Nazario) or failing to signal a lane change (Sandra Bland). The same can be said for street stops for jaywalking during a winter storm (Rodney Reese) or selling untaxed cigarettes (Eric Garner) that ripen into arrests. 

So what explains the routine over-enforcement of these nickel-and-dime offenses? One part of the answer can be found in two Supreme Court cases that will celebrate milestone anniversaries in the coming weeks. Together, Whren v. United States and Atwater v. City of Lago Vista permit police to use stops and custodial arrests for low-level offenses to get information about more serious crimes. Officers are likely empowered by Whren to act on their racial biases and incentivized by Atwater to make unnecessary arrests. Those decisions demand reconsideration if the court is going to play its constitutionally required role to protect fundamental liberty rights. Otherwise, the court will continue to seem irrelevant to urgent national conversations about how to protect Black and brown communities from the police. 

For officers, pretext stops can be a means to another end: Officers who have enough suspicion for a minor crime can stop a person in the hope that they might unearth weapons, drugs or other evidence of more significant crime. This is highly problematic because officers frequently lack the suspicion that would be necessary under the Constitution to gather this information …

Read the full article.

Emergency Powers and Policing: Professor William C. Banks Talks to Rewire

Posted on Thursday 4/22/2021
William C. Banks

How Emergency Powers Pave the Way for Police Brutality at Protests

(Rewire | April 21, 2021) When curfew hit at 8 p.m. on April 13 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, it felt like someone had flipped a switch.

Reporters on the ground say the protest outside the police department had been peaceful, full of speeches and songs. 

But the environment quickly changed as law enforcement began to use more aggressive tactics, firing less-lethal rounds, tear gas and flash grenades at protesters in an attempt to disperse the protest ...

... In 1878, The Posse Comitatus Act was passed to prevent the federal military from engaging in law enforcement activity. There was a desire for the military and law enforcement to be separate entities.

"They're supposed to keep the peace, prevent disturbances, quell disorder, but not enforce the law. That's for the cops," said William Banks, professor emeritus at the Syracuse University College of Law.

But states aren't burdened by that restriction.

"If the governor wishes, depending on how the state law is written, National Guard forces could enforce the curfew or engage in a search or make an arrest of an individual who's violating the law," Banks said.

In the past 20 years, the lines have further blurred. That's because military-grade force doesn't just come from the military. 

Since 1997, federal programs have transferred surplus military equipment to local police departments. Police departments often respond to protests in full tactical military gear, with gas masks, shields and armored vehicles. 

For instance, as NPR reported, St. Paul suburb Cottage Grove's police department alone acquired $1 million in military gear during the Trump administration. The department received 39 bayonets in December 2019.

"That kind of a force, particularly if it's made distant from the people by virtue of the equipment that they use and the paraphernalia that they wear, and the rules of engagement that follow, they're no longer being responsive to the people," Banks said ...

Read the full article.

Santos Vargas elected as Chair of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors

Posted on Wednesday 4/21/2021
Santos Vargas

Santos Vargas was selected chair-elect of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors during the board’s quarterly meeting held April 16. Vargas, a shareholder at Davis & Santos in San Antonio, will take office in June and will  serve as chair until June 2022.