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Faculty News

for December, 2009

Provost Sullivan Contributes to Huffington Post Blog on "The Obama Paradox"

December 17, 2009

Provost E. Thomas Sullivan contributed to a Dec. 14, 2009, blog posting with Brian Atwood on HuffingtonPost.com, entitled "In Defense of War to Advance Peace: The Obama Paradox." The posting focused on the war in Afghanistan, and President Obama's recent speech on it. The posting discussed the high standards of the "just war" doctrine, including the relationship between "just cause" and the proportional use of force. As long as there is just cause, appropriate levels of military action are justifiable, the posting argued.

Prof. Painter's Letter to the Editor on Lobbyist and Ethics in NYT

December 15, 2009

Professor Richard Painter's letter to the editor in response to a recent New York Times editorial about lobbyists being upset with the White House ethics counsel because the president has barred registered lobbyist from government advisory boards, was published in the NYT. Painter stated, "From my experience as White House ethics counsel under President George W. Bush, I know that allowing lobbyists on government boards gives them an inside advantage they should not have. Lobbyists contribute generously to political campaigns and get their clients to contribute. They then lobby strenuously for these board positions, where they promote clients' interests over the public interest. The president and his ethics counsel are right finally to take action to stop a practice that to all observers but the lobbyists themselves is an obvious abuse."

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Levinson Profiled in Religious Studies Article

December 15, 2009

Professor Bernard Levinson was recently profiled in an article in Perspectives: The Magazine of the Program in Religious Studies. Levinson is an affiliated faculty member of the University of Minnesota Law School and a professor in the university's department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, where he holds the Berman Family Chair in Jewish Studies and Hebrew Bible.

The article discusses Levinson's extensive scholarship, including his 2008 book, Legal Revision and Religious Renewal in Ancient Israel, in which Levinson argues that the Bible can be a valuable tool for examining American Law.

Read Bernard M. Levinson's Faculty Profile

Prof. Cox on MPR and in StarTribune and PioneerPress

December 13, 2009

Professor Prentiss Cox was quoted in Twin Cities media on a variety of topics in the last three weeks. Cox was quoted in a November 25, 2009 front page article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about pre-acquired account marketing, a subject on which he recently testified before the U. S. Senate Commerce Committee.

On December 8, 2009, Cox was part of a Minnesota Public Radio newscast about the purchase of homes in north Minneapolis by the City of Minneapolis.

On December 11, 2009, Cox appeared in a story in the Pioneer Press about mortgage escrow theft.

Read Prentiss Cox's Faculty Profile

Continued Interest in Hill-Painter Proposal

December 8, 2009

Professors Claire Hill and Richard Painter's ideas about making investment bank executives take some form of personal liability for losses are catching the eye of business writers and bloggers. On Dec. 4, 2009, the NYT blog "The Deal Professor" featured Hill and Painter's article, "Berle's Vision Beyond Shareholder Interest: Why Investment Bankers Should Have (Some) Personal Liability," forthcoming in the University of Seattle Law Review. Subsequently, Alain Sherter wrote in his Dec. 7 bNet Financial Services blog that "Two University of Minnesota law professors have a neat—and commonsensical—way to treat Wall Street for its gambling addiction" (http://industry.bnet.com/financial-services/10005339/how-to-beat-wall-street-at-its-own-game).

Seneca Doane wrote in her blog, Daily Kos, that "Hill and Painter provide an eye-opening insight into how we could make a big dent in the problem of overcompensating financial services executives" (www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/7/811812/-Law-profs-figure-out-two-ways-to-leash-the-bankers). Doane is so on-board with Hill and Painter's proposal that she encourages her readers to write to Congress and the President to make it into reality.

Read Claire Hill's Faculty Profile
Read Richard Painter's Faculty Profile

Profs. Hill and Painter Featured in NYT's "The Deal Professor" blog

December 4, 2009

An article by Professors Claire Hill and Richard Painter, "Berle's Vision Beyond Shareholder Interest: Why Investment Bankers Should Have (Some) Personal Liability," forthcoming in the University of Seattle Law Review, is cited as putting forth "an exciting idea concerning financial institution pay" in the December 4 issue of the New York Times. Professor Steven M. Davidoff of the University of Connecticut School of Law, writing as The Deal Professor in "A Windfall Profits Tax for Goldman Sachs?," discusses the "supersized" year-end bonus payments of Goldman Sachs executives and the role the federal government played in the organization's profit-making during the financial crisis. Davidoff comments that the Hill-Painter proposal "mimics the partnership structure and ties investment bankers to the firm, giving them real responsibility for its future" and says their idea and others like it "should be thoughtfully examined." Hill and Painter's abstract can be seen at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1510443.

Read Claire Hill's Faculty Profile
Read Richard Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Klass Interviewed on NBC KARE 11 News Regarding Solar Panels

December 3, 2009

Professor Alexandra Klass was interviewed on NBC KARE 11 News with regard to a story on a homeowner in Burnsville, MN who wants to install solar panels on his home to save energy but has been prohibited from doing so by his homeowners' association for "aesthetic reasons." Some states, like CA, have prohibited homeowners' associations from banning solar panels but Minnesota has not yet enacted such a law. The story highlights how the traditional authority of homeowners' association to regulate aesthetic issues is now coming into conflict with state and local policies regarding energy efficiency and climate change.

Read Alexandra Klass's Faculty Profile