Professor Daniel Schwarcz testified to a U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection regarding the appropriate capital standards for certain insurers under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. His testimony was based largely on a forthcoming article titled "Regulating Systemic Risk in Insurance," which argues that insurance can be systemically risky and, for that reason, must be regulated, at least in part, at the federal level.
Professor Kristin Hickman's work on the Skidmore doctrine of judicial deference to agency legal interpretations was cited in an opinion issued by Judge William Young of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in the case of Patel v. Johnson, Civil Action No. 12-12317-WGY. The case concerned a challenge against a decision of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Administrative Appeals Office to dismiss an immigrant worker visa petition. In his opinion, Judge Young cited Hickman's article with Matthew Krueger (’06), "In Search of the 'Modern' Skidmore Standard," published in the Columbia Law Review in 2007.
Professor Perry Moriearty testified before the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee in support of a bill that would abolish life imprisonment without parole for juveniles convicted of homicide. Moriearty worked with a group of juvenile justice stakeholders in Minnesota to draft the bill, which also includes provisions to expand the use of police diversion and stays of adjudication for juveniles, increase eligibility for expungement, and minimize barriers to health and human services licensure.
Professor John Matheson testified before the Minnesota House and Senate Judiciary Committees in support of a bill to amend the Minnesota Business Corporation Act. Various amendments are included in the bill, including provisions allowing cross-border conversions of business entities and pre-clearance of corporate filings with the Secretary of State's office. Matheson serves as the Official Reporter for the Minnesota Business Corporation Act.
Professor Richard Painter testified before a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Government Oversight Committee on the Department of Justice (DOJ) ongoing investigation of allegations that the IRS singled out conservative groups for additional tax scrutiny. Painter discussed a range of issues, including whether the IRS is an appropriate gatekeeper for our campaign finance system and whether the DOJ should have taken additional steps to assign leadership of the investigation to a DOJ lawyer without ties to either political party.
Professor Mark Kappelhoff prosecuted two defendants in a federal sex trafficking case in his role as an appointed Special Assistant United States Attorney with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota. Both defendants pleaded guilty to engaging in a sex trafficking conspiracy, and on February 11, 2014, they were sentenced before U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank.
National Institutes of Health-funded research led by Professor Susan Wolf, along with Professors Gloria Peterson (Mayo Clinic College of Medicine) and Barbara Koenig (University of California, San Francisco), is featured in the Jan. 24 issue of Science magazine. An article titled "Divulging DNA Secrets of Dead Stirs Debate" explores the cutting-edge issues raised when a participant in genetic research dies, leaving behind health data that may be important to family members. Wolf, Peterson, and Koenig are leading a five-year project using empirical, analytic, and normative methods to study these issues and generate recommendations. Click here for more on this project.
Professor Barry Feld's book Kids, Cops, and Confessions: Inside the Interrogation Room was highlighted in research sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF stated: "The findings, published in Kids, Cops, and Confessions: Inside the Interrogation Room (New York University Press 2013), will aid police departments, juvenile and criminal defense attorneys, state legislatures and judicial law-reform commissions in developing better policies to regulate interrogation practices and provide social scientists with a template to repeat the study in other jurisdictions." The book was also reviewed by Daniel S. Medwed of Northeastern University School of Law and by Dawn Maynen of Indiana University.
On Dec. 2, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth District heard an oral argument in the case of Doe v. Nestle, brought on behalf of three children allegedly forced to perform slave labor on cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast. During the argument, the judges extensively discussed an amicus brief filed by a group of 15 scholars of the post-WWII Nuremberg war crimes tribunals, one of whom is Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin of the Law School. Professor Jennifer Green served as counsel of record on the brief, which argued that the precedents set during the Nuremberg trials regarding corporations' responsibility for criminal acts should be adhered to in Doe v. Nestle as well.
Dale Carpenter, the Earl R. Larson Professor of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law, has been chosen to receive a 2014 University of Minnesota Graduate and Professional Teaching Award. This award, given to no more than eight University of Minnesota professors each year, recognizes outstanding contributions to post-baccalaureate, graduate, and professional education. Carpenter is the second member of the Law School faculty to receive the award; the other is Professor John Matheson, who won it in 2008.
The Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost has announced that associate professor Francis X. Shen has been named a 2014-2016 McKnight Land-Grant Professor. Shen is one of just eight University of Minnesota faculty members to be so honored. The two-year professorships include research grants of $25,000 in each year, to be used for expenditures related to the recipient's research and scholarship.
Professors Amy Monahan and Susan Wolf have been elected to the American Law Institute (ALI), the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and improve the law. The ALI drafts, discusses, revises and publishes Restatements of the Law, model statutes and principles of law that are enormously influential in the courts and legislatures, as well as in legal scholarship and education. The institute's elected membership of lawyers, judges and law professors is limited to 3,000. The total membership of more than 4,300 includes ex officio members, honorary members and life members (those elected members who have attained more than 25 years of service). Twenty-two University of Minnesota Law School faculty are members of the ALI.
Professor Jill Hasday appeared in the "Good Question" segment on WCCO-TV News on March 5, answering the question "What do parents legally owe their kids?" "Basically, until your child is emancipated, you owe a duty to financially support them," Hasday said. "That doesn't mean fancy private school or any consumer good they can imagine. It means the basics."
Professor Oren Gross was a guest on WCCO News Radio's The Chad Hartman Show, discussing drones and their use in contemporary warfare. The interview preceded Gross's Feb. 11 Irving Younger Professorship in Law Reappointment Lecture, entitled "The New Way of War: Is There a Duty to Use Drones?"
Professor Michele Goodwin's op-ed on fetal protection laws was featured on Salon.com on Jan. 31. The article highlighted the case of Texas hospital officials' refusal to remove 33-year-old Marlise Muñoz, who was declared brain dead, from life support because of her pregnancy. Goodwin noted that a recent court ruling ordered John Peter Smith Hospital to take Munoz off life support in accordance with her family's wishes, and her body was disconnected from machines on Sunday, Jan. 26. "The tragedy of Muñoz's case," Goodwin wrote, "is that it fits a terrible pattern of state interventions in women's pregnancies." Her article referenced other cases across the nation where pregnant women have suffered civil liberty infringements. Goodwin's forthcoming book, Policing The Womb, also takes up these issues.
Professor Alexandra Klass was interviewed on Minnesota Public Radio regarding the public comment period on the controversial Polymet copper-nickel mine proposed for northern Minnesota. It would be the first mine of its kind in the state, and many regulators, other experts, and the public raised concerns regarding water pollution and other environmental harms generally associated with such mines. The public comments period was conducted in January by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and various federal agencies under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act.
On Dec. 26, 2013, Professor Dale Carpenter spoke on public radio's The Takeaway program on "Same-Sex Marriage in 2013 and Beyond." Carpenter examined the state of same-sex marriage rights as 2013 drew to a close and looked ahead to what to expect in 2014.
Professor Bill McGeveran was interviewed in mid-December 2013 by WCCO-TV and KARE 11 about the data breach incident involving Target Corp. "Target is actually particularly sophisticated in information technology, and credit card information is usually the most secure at any merchant like Target, so this was probably bad luck or a really good hacker," said McGeveran.