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Faculty News

for February, 2013

Prof. Painter Interviewed by MPR on Potential Bid for Best Buy

February 28, 2013

Professor Richard Painter was interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio for a story on the potential bid for Best Buy by its founder Richard Schulze. Painter said that such a bid could not be kept secret for very long because Mr. Schulze, who is already a major shareholder of Best Buy, would have to disclose his bid for the company under federal securities laws. According to the story, no such bid has been made to date.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Hill Quoted in Risk News on Rating Agencies

February 28, 2013

Professor Claire Hill was quoted in an article in Risk News, on the Global Association of Risk Professionals website. Hill was quoted on the possible implementation of a Franken Amendment-type regime for choosing rating agencies. Hill noted that while such a regime had great promise in making the big three agencies less focal, designing the regime would be exceedingly difficult.

Read Claire Hill's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter, Clint Eastwood and Republicans Submit Amicus Brief Asking Supreme Court to Strike Down Prop. 8

February 28, 2013

Professor Richard Painter, Clint Eastwood, and 131 other Republicans filed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down California's ban on same sex marriage in Proposition 8. Many of the other signatories had served in the George W. Bush White House with Painter or had served in Congress, as Governors or as key supporters of Republican candidates for elected office.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. McGeveran Interviewed on MPR on Criminal Privacy Prosecutions

February 28, 2013

Professor William McGeveran was interviewed on Minnesota Public Radio's "All Things Considered" show about criminal prosecutions against public employees who misuse government databases for personal purposes. There has been a rash of news stories and court cases about such abuses in Minnesota, but prosecutors dropped criminal charges against one accused employee Thursday, citing weaknesses in the underlying law. In the interview, McGeveran argued that improvements in agency policies, training, and database design would be more important reforms than strengthening criminal sanctions.

Read William McGeveran's Faculty Profile

Prof. Green Quoted in Star Tribune on Use of Firearms in Minnesota

February 26, 2013

Professor Jennifer Green was quoted in a Star Tribune article about the current use of firearms in Minnesota and Minnesota laws regarding permits to carry concealed weapons. Green remarked that the self-defense argument for gun ownership is not backed up by Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension statistics, which recorded just five instances of "justifiable" use of firearms since 2003.

Read Jennie Green's Faculty Profile

Prof. Goodwin Quoted in Voice of America on Adoption of Foreign Children

February 26, 2013

Professor Michele Goodwin was quoted in a Voice of America news article discussing the Russian ban on American adoptions and the challenges faced by adoptive parents of foreign children. Goodwin notes that many U.S. couples fail to appreciate the significant cultural barriers they may face when adopting a child from Russia. Additionally, high rates of alcohol abuse in Russia means that many of these children are exposed to alcohol in utero, often resulting in neurological and behavioral problems for which adoptive parents are unprepared. Goodwin stressed the need for better safeguards and support systems for these children and their adoptive parents.

Prof. Meili Delivers Lecture on Human Rights Treaties at Harvard Law School

February 26, 2013

Professor Stephen Meili discussed the ways that lawyers in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States utilize international human rights treaties in their advocacy on behalf of asylum-seekers and other refugees. His research is based on interviews with lawyers, as well as analysis of published asylum decisions over the past two decades, in all three countries. Meili's lecture was jointly sponsored by Harvard's Program on the Legal Profession and Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program. Meili's research is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Robina Foundation.

Read Steve Meili's Faculty Profile

Prof. Hancher Writes Section in Law and Language

February 21, 2013

Professor Michael Hancher wrote a section entitled "Reading and Writing the Law: Macaulay in India" in the book Law and Language, edited by Michael Freeman and Fiona Smith and published by Oxford University Press.

Read Michael Hancher's Faculty Profile

Prof. Sokol Discusses International Law Firm Expansion in Lexpert

February 20, 2013

Professor D. Daniel Sokol discussed global law firm expansion in the February 2013 issue of Lexpert, Canada's leading legal magazine. Sokol noted, "This is a critical moment for Canadian law firms, because it turns out that, to some degree at least, size matters." On global strategy he also mentioned, "The winners [among global law firms] will be the ones that integrate or at least get a head start on integration."

Prof. Hill Comments on Rating Agencies in NYT Room for Debate Forum

February 19, 2013

In a New York Times Room for Debate forum on rating agency reform, Professor Claire Hill argued that reducing the salience of rating agencies is an important goal of reform. The recent lawsuit against S.&P. may be helpful in keeping in public view some of S.&P.'s less than exemplary business practices, perhaps making reliance on them less accepted among market participants.

Read Claire Hill's Faculty Profile

Prof. Cotter Publishes Patent Book

February 19, 2013

Professor Thomas Cotter's newly released book Comparative Patent Remedies: A Legal and Economic Analysis (Oxford University Press, 2013) provides a critical and comparative analysis of patent enforcement in the United States and other major patent systems including Japan, the EU, Canada, Australia, China, South Korea, Taiwan and India. Cotter shows how different countries respond to similar issues and suggests how economic analysis can assist in adapting current practice to the needs of the modern world.

Read Tom Cotter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Wolf to Speak at Stanford on Return of Results in Genomic Research

February 19, 2013

Professor Susan Wolf will speak at Stanford Law School on February 19 on the debate over return of research results and incidental findings to individuals participating in genetic and genomic research. Wolf's presentation will focus on the cutting-edge issues posed by large-scale genomic research involving biobanks and archived data sets. This has been the focus of several NIH-funded projects on which Wolf has served as principal investigator, as well as a current Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award.

Read Susan M. Wolf's Faculty Profile

Prof. Goodwin Gives 'Constitutional Battlefronts' Lecture at Harvard Petrie-Flom Center

February 18, 2013

Professor Michele Goodwin gave a lecture at the Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard University on her forthcoming article "Fetal Protection Laws: Moral Panic and the New Constitutional Battlefront." Goodwin's lecture and article examine criminal regulations of pregnancy through "maternal conduct laws" and "fetal protection laws." Goodwin posits that these laws are arbitrarily enforced, rely on faulty moral norms and justifications, and are at odds with Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment values.

Prof. Cooper Speaks at Saint Louis University Teaching Symposium

February 15, 2013

Professor Laura J. Cooper participated in a symposium at Saint Louis University entitled "Teaching Employment and Labor Law." Cooper's presentation, "The Capstone Course in Labor and Employment Law: A Comprehensive Immersion Simulation Integrating Law, Lawyering Skills, and Professionalism," described her innovative course developed with a national advisory panel to respond to the call of the Carnegie Report for courses that realistically prepare students for the practice of law. Cooper's presentation will be published in the Saint Louis University Law Journal.

Read Laura Cooper's Faculty Profile

Prof. Meili Presents Research on U.K. Refugee Law at Oxford University

February 14, 2013

Professor Stephen Meili presented his preliminary findings on the impact of human rights treaties on asylum jurisprudence and practice in the United Kingdom at Oxford University's Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS). The U.K. portion of Meili's research is part of a larger study of whether human rights treaties help or hurt asylum-seekers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Among Meili's conclusions is that the impact of such treaties depends on whether they have been incorporated into domestic law, either through a formal process or less formal means such as judicial precedent. Meili's research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Robina Foundation.

Read Steve Meili's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter Interviewed by WNYC Radio on Menendez Scandal

February 11, 2013

Professor Richard Painter was interviewed by WNYC radio about allegations that New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez broke Senate ethics rules in free travel he received from, and favors he did for, a campaign donor, Doctor Salomon Melgen. Painter pointed out that House and Senate rules only address some of the ethics problems that arise with campaign donors and that members who cannot follow even those rules should leave.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Hall Quoted in Star Tribune on FDA Regulation of Medical Devices

February 9, 2013

Professor Ralph Hall was extensively quoted in a Star Tribune article relating to FDA regulation of medical devices. Hall discussed various FDA initiatives to encourage innovation.

Prof. Painter Interviewed by WNYC Radio on Ethics Investigation of Senator Menendez

February 8, 2013

Professor Richard Painter was interviewed by WNYC radio about the Senate Ethics Committee investigation of allegations that Senator Menendez (D NJ) failed to disclose trips to the Dominican Republic on a private jet belonging to a donor. Painter said that such inquiries should focus not only on potential violations of Senate or House rules, but also on broader influence of campaign donors. "I am concerned that the ethics rules on travel and related matters can be window dressing to make the House and Senate look good when we have a very serious problem with the corruption of our political system with campaign money," he said.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Sokol Quoted in Reuters on Antitrust Impact of Beer Merger

February 6, 2013

Professor D. Daniel Sokol provided analysis in a Reuters article for the Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust strategy to block the merger between Anheiser Busch Inbev and Grupo Modelo. Sokol explained, "The DOJ finally understands a winning strategy for mergers... There are some bad documents in this case. Bad documents are worth 10 economists in court."

Prof. Kirtley Quoted in The Guardian on Newspapers' Decisions to Withhold Stories on Secret Drone Base

February 6, 2013

Professor Jane Kirtley discussed decisions by the Washington Post and New York Times to withhold, then to disclose, details about a secret U.S. drone base in Saudi Arabia. She described how under the First Amendment, "the default position is to publish," but that newspapers struggle over whether they should seek input from the government before publishing classified information when national security is alleged to be an issue. "The problem with dealing with national security is that it is so amorphous. Journalists are trained to be skeptical of these types of assertions," she said. Referring to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Near v. Minnesota, she added, "The repercussions are not always obvious, compared to, for instance, movement of ground troops in a war zone."

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Hill Quoted on Lawsuit against S&P

February 4, 2013

Professor Claire Hill was quoted in several media outlets on the U.S. Justice Department lawsuit against Standard & Poor. Read the articles and her quotes here:
New York Post
Hill was also interviewed on the subject for Australian radio.

Read Claire Hill's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter Quoted in Indianapolis Star on Ethics in Indiana DOT Official Case

February 4, 2013

Professor Richard Painter was quoted in two Indianapolis Star articles about a high-ranking Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) official whose mother was hired to work in the INDOT office he supervised, and whose family sold a substantial of farmland to the state. Click here to read "INDOT Official Troy Woodruff Benefited from His and His Family's Sales of Land Along I-69 Route." Click here to read "Ethicists Question Secrecy in I-69 Land Sales."

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Sokol Quoted on Beer Merger on CNNMoney

February 4, 2013

Professor D. Daniel Sokol, a specialist in antitrust, was quoted on CNNMoney on the implications of the Department of Justice's antitrust case to block the merger of Anheiser Busch InBev with Grupo Modello. Sokol provided an analysis of the government's complaint and the context of recent litigated antitrust cases. "What wins in court is when you have bad documents and a story to tell a judge," Sokol said. "They seem to have nailed that."

Prof. Painter Quoted in Star Tribune on NRA's Influence

February 4, 2013

Professor Richard Painter was quoted in a Star Tribune article on the NRA's efforts to defeat gun control legislation in Minnesota. Painter, a former White House counsel in the George W. Bush administration, observed that the NRA has vast resources that it can use in Minnesota to pursue its agenda. "They may be fairly quiet until you raise an issue they're concerned about," he said. "They tend to be a sleeping giant."

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Sokol Discusses Beer Merger in Wall Street Journal

February 3, 2013

Professor D. Daniel Sokol was quoted in the Wall Street Journal on the antitrust implications of the DOJ challenge against the proposed Anheuser-Busch InBev's deal to acquire Grupo Modelo. Sokol noted shifts in antitrust case law and how this impacted the DOJ litigation strategy. He stated, "The Justice Department has learned very well what works in court... If you can tell a story about a firm constraining prices, that's a good story to tell a judge." Sokol also discussed market definition issues.

Prof. Sokol Addresses Price Fixing in Libor in Thomson Reuters Article

February 1, 2013

Professor D. Daniel Sokol discussed the implications of the ongoing Libor investigations for financial institutions in a Thomson Reuters article. He analyzed the possibility of banks settling wrongdoing in a group versus one at a time.

Prof. Kirtley Not Surprised by Minnesota's C+ Grade on Transparency Report Card

February 1, 2013

In the Pioneer Press Friday Opinuendo column, Professor Jane Kirtley commented that Minnesota's C+ grade in the 2013 50-State Transparency Report Card issued by the Sunshine Review was not surprising, because it reflects the "collision of open government and access to records -- personal privacy." She noted that under Minnesota data practices law, government officials have a greater incentive to withhold rather than disclose records, and that lack of training and support exacerbate the problem.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile