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Faculty News

for August, 2012

Prof. Wolf Quoted in New York Times on Genetic Researchers Disclosing Unexpected Findings

August 25, 2012

Professor Susan Wolf was quoted in a New York Times article entitled "Genes Now Tell Doctors Secrets They Can't Utter." The article discusses the debate now raging over whether researchers should offer back to individual research participants unexpected findings of potential health importance. This debate over return of research results and incidental findings has been pioneered by the Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences. In a series of NIH-funded projects based at the Consortium and led by Wolf, national experts have mapped the issues and published groundbreaking recommendations. In the article, NIH Director Francis Collins calls this debate "one of the thorniest current challenges in clinical research."

Read Susan M. Wolf's Faculty Profile

Prof. Cotter Quoted in Thomson Reuters Article on Apple vs. Samsung IP Case

August 22, 2012

Professor Tom Cotter was quoted in a Thomson Reuters article entitled "Analysis: In Apple vs. Samsung, Alchemy of Damages Takes the Stage." The article details the very complicated case involving Apple Inc.'s intellectual property claims against Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Cotter was quoted saying, "In some ways we're in uncharted territory here." The article was also published in the Insurance Journal.

Read Tom Cotter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Goodwin Publishes Op-Ed on Rep. Akin's Comment on "Legitimate Rape"

August 21, 2012

Professor Michele Goodwin published an op-ed in a Chronicle of Higher Education blog entitled "'Legitimate Rape'—A Dangerous Fallacy," which discusses the recent comment made by Missouri politician Todd Akin that "legitimate rape" rarely results in pregnancy. Goodwin explains the dangerous implications of such a suggestion and how it fits into a broader war on women's reproductive rights and "marks an important opportunity to reflect on the political manipulation of women's reproduction." The article ties in Goodwin's other scholarship, including her forthcoming book, Policing the Womb: The New Cultural Politics of Reproduction (Cambridge University Press), which empirically details how a "predominantly male electorate is shaping the political and regulatory discourse on women's reproduction" and the negative consequences of this movement. These consequences include, among others, fetal protection laws that are vague, overly broad, and can be interpreted to criminalize any activity that could harm a fetus. Goodwin notes that this contemporary political movement to restrict women's reproductive rights is reminiscent of earlier eras, in which "socially unfit" women were forcibly sterilized by the state.

Prof. Carpenter Quoted in Pioneer Press on 1971 Same-Sex Marriage Case

August 16, 2012

Professor Dale Carpenter was quoted in a Pioneer Press article entitled "Gay Marriage Landmark? Minnesota Pastor Who Conducted 1971 Ceremony Thinks So," which details the country's arguably "first, same-sex couple to be married after having obtained a marriage license." Carpenter was quoted saying, "the legacy of their case hangs over the marriage amendment controversy. We're now facing an amendment to place in our constitution the very ban that they fought."

Read Dale Carpenter's Faculty Profile

Prof. McGeveran Comments on Video Privacy on Forbes.com

August 15, 2012

Professor William McGeveran was quoted in an article on Forbes.com about a court ruling that the federal Video Privacy Protection Act could apply to online streaming video as well as traditional VCR tapes or DVDs. McGeveran suggested that "frictionless sharing" functions of some sites like Hulu might violate the statute.

Read William McGeveran's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter Quoted in Op-Ed by Former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean

August 10, 2012

Professor Richard Painter was quoted extensively in an op-ed by former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean comparing the Penn State scandal to his own involvement in Watergate. Dean writes, "Richard Painter has done some remarkable work in analyzing what he calls 'the psychology of cover-ups.' Drawing on the work of Nobel Prize laureates Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, and their now classic 1979 essay 'Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision Under Risk,' Richard notes how persons who find themselves in 'loss frames' (or losing situations) are inclined to take greater risks to avoid even more loss, even when the risks are irrational, than others. In addition, the loss frame creates a 'cognitive bias toward concealment.' Richard thought that this might have happened to Nixon and others with Watergate. I can confirm without any doubt that he was correct: That was the case for us all."

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Monahan Addresses National Conference of State Legislatures

August 9, 2012

Professor Amy Monahan addressed the National Conference of State Legislatures at their 2012 Legislative Summit in Chicago. Monahan's remarks addressed the legal issues surrounding public pension plan reform. Her talk was also covered by Bloomberg BNA in an article entitled "Public Sector Roundup: Could Sequestration Really Happen?"

Read Amy B. Monahan's Faculty Profile

Prof. Kirtley Discusses Legal Protections for Student Journalists and for "Bad Speakers" at Conference

August 8, 2012

Professor Jane Kirtley participated in three sessions at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conference in Chicago. Kirtley appeared on two panels discussing using law and legal education to promote best practices and utilizing legal representation and resources at the Carnegie Media Law Task Force workshop, "Journalism Programs as News Providers: Legal and Other Protections." Kirtley was also the discussant for a refereed paper research session, "'Bad' Speakers & 'Bad' Speech: Libel, Prior Restraints and True Threats."

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Sokol Quoted in Wall Street Journal on Libor

August 8, 2012

Professor D. Daniel Sokol was quoted in the Wall Street Journal regarding collusion among Libor setting banks. Sokol, an antitrust expert, discussed the complexities of criminal antitrust, detection of wrongdoing and coordination across antitrust and other regulatory enforcers. Analyzing leniency from prosecution for cooperation with antitrust authorities he said, "you could well see situations" where a "bank gets immunity from criminal charges but one or more of its traders goes to jail for price-fixing."

Prof. Klass Quoted in Media on Environmental Law Cases

August 1, 2012

Professor Alex Klass was quoted in a Star Tribune article on the Minnesota Court of Appeals allowing a cell phone tower on the edge of the Boundary Waters wilderness. Klass and five other law professors have asked the state Supreme Court to review the case saying the court was wrong to allow this. Klass is also acting as the lawyer representing the law professor proposed amicus group. Klass was also quoted in another Star Tribune article on the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that pesticide that drifts onto an organic farm may constitute nuisance or negligence, but cannot support a claim of trespass to recover for damages to contaminated crops. Klass said, "They have to show the action was unreasonable in some way, and that's harder to prove." Klass was then quoted in a Bloomberg BNA Toxics Law Reporter article on the distinction between remedial costs and removal costs under the Minnesota superfund law with the court, for the first time, interpreting the law to say removal costs are more limited than remedial costs. Klass said, "It certainly potentially impacts the ability of private parties to recover cleanup costs. It is not a good development in terms of encouraging cleanup" of contaminated sites.

Read Alexandra Klass's Faculty Profile

Prof. Cotter to Serve as Vice Chair of ABA Committee

August 1, 2012

Professor Thomas Cotter will take office in August as Vice Chair of the American Bar Association Intellectual Property Section's Antitrust Interface with IP Rights Committee. Working together with Chair Carole Handler, Cotter will be focusing on topics such as the antitrust implications of pharmaceutical patent litigation settlements.

Read Tom Cotter's Faculty Profile