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Faculty News

for January, 2007

Hill quoted in Risk Magazine

January 30, 2007

Professor Claire Hill was quoted in the January issue of Risk Magazine in an article entitled "A Ratings Quandary." The article concerned recently-enacted legislation that will increase the number of rating agencies that receive an SEC designation; Professor Hill noted that the increase in agencies should make for more vigorous competition among them.

Read Claire Hill's Faculty Profile

Kirtley Quoted in NYT on Libby Leak Case

January 30, 2007

Prof. Jane Kirtley was quoted in the New York Times about former New York Times reporter Judith Miller testifying in the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Prof. Kirtley characterized Ms. Miller's compelled testimony as a "nightmare scenario" constituting an attack on press freedom and independence.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Feld Cited by District and Appellate Courts

January 22, 2007

Two court cases addressing the use of prior juvenile convictions to enhance adult sentences (People v Nguyen and People v. Massoni) have cited Barry Feld’s article, “The Constitutional Tension Between Apprendi and McKeiver: Sentence Enhancements Based on Delinquency Convictions and the Quality of Justice in Juvenile Courts.” The Supreme Court’s Apprendi (2000) decision expanded the constitutional role and importance of the jury in criminal sentencing. Because most states deny juveniles the right to a jury trial, both federal circuits and state courts have split over the constitutionality of using delinquency convictions to enhance adult criminal sentences. In Nguyen, the Court recognized that an increasing number of state courts have adopted the view that Apprendi bars the use of juvenile adjudications to enhance adult sentences.

Read Barry Feld's Faculty Profile

Professor Kirtley Quoted in Edmonton Journal

January 22, 2007

Professor Jane Kirtley was quoted in an article concerning U.S. media coverage of the Robert Pickton murder trial in British Columbia. Although more than 300 media were expected to cover the Pickton trial, cameras are not allowed in the New Westminster, B.C., courtroom. Without footage from inside the courtroom, Kirtley and others believe the foreign media will move on.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Professor Kudrle appointed to the Freeman Chair

January 18, 2007

Robert Kudrle, Affiliated Professor of Public Affairs and Law, has been appointed to the Orville and Jane Freeman Chair in International Trade and Investment Policy at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. The Freeman Center identifies and analyzes the major challenges of an increasingly interdependent global economy.

Read Robert Kudrle's Faculty Profile

Karkkainen selected as Institute on Env't Fellow

January 12, 2007

Congratulations to Professor Brad Karkkainen for being selected as one of the Founding Fellows of the Institute on the Environment for a two-year term. The Institute is part of the University's Strategic Positioning plan. Qualifications for fellows included individuals who are leading multi-disciplinary environmental scholars.

Read Brad Karkkainen's Faculty Profile

Cotter Quoted in Washington Times Re Patents

January 10, 2007

On January 10, Professor Cotter was quoted in a Washington Times article about patent licensees. The article discusses the Supreme Court's opinion in MedImmune, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., which was handed down January 9. The case presented the issue of whether a patent licensee may file a declaratory judgment action while the license remains in force. The Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision, ruled that the licensee may do so, thus reversing the judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The article presents views from a number of observers regarding the practical implications of the ruling, e.g., will it result in more invalid patents being invalidated, will it inhibit licensing opportunities, will it give rise to much more litigation. In the interest of full disclosure, in July, Professor Cotter filed an amicus brief on behalf of nine law and business school professors, urging the Court to adopt the opposite view.

Read Tom Cotter's Faculty Profile

Younger in Feminist Biographical Encyclopedia

January 8, 2007

Professor Judith T. Younger was included in the new biographical encyclopedia, "Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975." The book, edited by Barbara Love, documents the founders and leaders of the second wave of the feminist movement. Professor Younger is included, in part, for her role in drafting a national model for divorce reform, the National Organization for Women's Responsible Divorce Bill (originally called the Equal Rights Divorce Bill).

Read Judith T. Younger's Faculty Profile

Befort in Top 10 of SSRN Downloads

January 7, 2007

Stephen Befort's paper entitled, "The Perfect Storm of Retirement Security: Fixing the Three-Legged Stool of Social Security, Pensions, and Personal Savings" was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for "Law School Research Papers - Legal Studies." Congratulations, Professor Befort!

Read Stephen Befort's Faculty Profile

Stras Interviewed by Washington Post Re Sup. Ct.

January 7, 2007

Professor Stras was interviewed about the Supreme Court's shrinking plenary docket for a January 7, 2006 article in the Washington Post. In recent Terms, the Supreme Court's plenary docket has reached levels not seen since before the Civil War. Professor Stras was quoted regarding his research on the grant rates of various Justices, which demonstrates that changes in personnel on the Court accounts for much of the decrease in the number of cases on the plenary docket. Among other things, Professor Stras is quoted as saying that "the downward trend could continue if Justice John Paul Stevens, 86, is the next to leave. Stevens also was above average in voting to take cases."

Gross's Research Highlighted at NUS Conference

January 5, 2007

From January 4-6, the National University of Singapore (NUS) is hosting a conference on Professor Oren Gross's work, entitled "Terrorism and the Rule of Law: Legal Theory in Times of Crisis." Leading US and European law professors will attend, including Mark Tushnet, Terry Nardin, Kent Roach, Simon Chesterman, William Scheuerman, and Colm Campbell. The conference focuses on the on-going debate between Oren Gross and David Dyzenhaus of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law regarding legality and extra-legality in the times of crisis. For more information, click “here.”

Read Oren Gross's Faculty Profile

Wolf Discussed Medical Stories of 2006 on MPR

January 4, 2007

Professor Susan Wolf (Law School, Medical School, and Center for Bioethics) was a guest with Professor Jonathan Ravdin (Medical School) on Minnesota Public Radio’s Mid-Morning Show with Keri Miller on Thursday, January 4 at 10 a.m., discussing major medical stories in 2006. Included in their discussion was the Hurricane Katrina euthanasia prosecution, the Abigail Alliance litigation over access to experimental drugs, the drop in breast cancer cases, breakthroughs in genetics, and the ongoing debate over stem cell research.

Read Susan M. Wolf's Faculty Profile

Orfield Tapped for Regionalism Expertise

January 2, 2007

Professor Myron Orfield, Executive Director of the Institute on Race & Poverty, will lead a “community forum” focusing on regional cooperation hosted by YorkCounts on January 24th. YorkCounts is a broad coalition that aims to improve the quality of life in York County, Pennsylvania. The forum is part of a broader project aimed at stopping the slide of distressed municipalities and school districts in York County. Orfield also recently met with Hudson, Ohio Mayor William Currin and a task force of other Ohio mayors and city managers to detail the advantages of “regional economic development” for distressed areas in Northeast Ohio. Professor Orfield discussed the benefits reaped locally when the Minnesota legislature passed a groundbreaking regional wealth-sharing plan. Regional planning in Ohio could lower taxes and allow for improved residential services.

Read Myron Orfield's Faculty Profile