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Faculty News

for January, 2013

Prof. Kirtley Praises Minnesota Supreme Court Libel Ruling in Star Tribune

January 30, 2013

Professor Jane Kirtley was quoted in a Star Tribune article about the Minnesota Supreme Court's ruling in McKee v. Laurion, a suit brought by a Duluth physician who claimed that a comment about him on a rate-your-doctor website defamed him. Justice Alan Page (’78) concluded that the comments, including a quotation referring to the doctor as "a real tool," were statements of opinion, not fact. Noting that the ruling stems from "an elementary principle of libel law," Kirtley dismissed assertions that the decision will permit false disparaging comments to be posted without liability. "I understand the rhetoric, but this is not a blank check for people to make false statements. Rather, it's an endorsement that statements of opinion are protected under the First Amendment," she said.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Profs. Hill and Painter NYT Op-Ed on Payment of SEC Fines Cited by Financial Times Op-ed

January 28, 2013

A Financial Times op-ed on applying the strengths of the traditional partnership model mentioned an earlier New York Times Dealbook op-ed by Professors Claire Hill and Richard Painter that proposed making bank executives personally liable for SEC fines as they would have been when investment banks were private partnerships.

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

Prof. Wolf Discusses Hospice on MPR

January 28, 2013

Professor Susan Wolf addressed the strengths and challenges of hospice on Minnesota Public Radio's Daily Circuit. Wolf has been working on end-of-life issues for close to 30 years. She served as principal author of the first comprehensive ethics guidelines on termination of life-sustaining treatment and care of the dying. In 2013, Oxford University Press will publish her book with two co-authors, The Hastings Center Guidelines for Decisions on Life-Sustaining Treatment and Care Near the End of Life (rev. & expanded 2d ed). For more on Wolf's forthcoming book, go to http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Medicine/Ethics/?view=usa&ci=9780199974559.

Read Susan M. Wolf's Faculty Profile

Prof. Orfield Quoted in Pioneer Press on St. Paul Housing Plan

January 26, 2013

Professor Myron Orfield was quoted in a Pioneer Press article entitled "U Lawyer Raises New Worry for Light-Rail Line: Segregation." The story quoted a letter Orfield wrote to the the Corridors of Opportunity Initiative in relations to their housing plan for St. Paul.

Read Myron Orfield's Faculty Profile

Prof. Hall Quoted on Law360 on FDA's Decision to Not Take Off-Label Ruling to Supreme Court

January 24, 2013

Professor Ralph Hall was quoted in a Law360 article, entitled "FDA Wise To Duck High Court Off-Label Ruling, Attorneys Say," regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent choice to not challenge the appeals court's December 3 ruling that a drug sales representative's truthful off-label promotion was protected by the First Amendment freedom of speech rights. Many agree that this decision by the FDA will avoid a Supreme Court battle that might have given drug-makers more room for off-label marketing. Hall was quoted saying, "What we're seeing here is the government taking a logical position and saying, 'This isn't the case to take to the Supreme Court, even if the Supreme Court would take it.'"

Prof. Meili Presents Findings at Oxford's Refugee Studies Centre

January 22, 2013

Professor Stephen Meili presented his research comparing the impact of human rights treaties on jurisprudence and practice in the United Kingdom and Canada at the University of Oxford Refugee Studies Centre (RSC). The presentation was part of the RSC's Work in Progress Seminar Series. Meili's research, which is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Robina Foundation, demonstrates that while human rights treaties have been increasingly helpful to asylum-seekers in the United Kingdom over the past decade, they have had much less positive impact on asylum claimants in Canada during the same period.

Read Steve Meili's Faculty Profile

Prof. Cox Quoted in American Medical News Article on Gay Therapy Suit

January 21, 2013

Professor Prentiss Cox was quoted in an American Medical News article regarding a New Jersey consumer fraud suit alleging that a particular gay therapy conversion program is a deceptive practice. Cox stated that the outcome of the suit is likely to turn on whether the effectiveness of the alleged therapy in changing sexual orientation was a matter of opinion or science.

Read Prentiss Cox's Faculty Profile

Prof. Wolf Lectures in Israel for Ministry of Health & European Network on Rare Diseases

January 14, 2013

Professor Susan Wolf lectured in Tel Aviv at the invitation of the Israeli Ministry of Health and E-Rare, the European Research Area Network for Research on Rare Diseases. E-Rare is funded by the European Commission, and involves 16 research funding agencies and ministries from 12 European (or associated) member states. Wolf's lecture was part of a workshop on "Ethical Aspects of Exome and Whole Genome Sequencing Studies." She was invited to lecture on whether to offer back to research participants incidental findings and individual research results of potential importance to their health. This contentious question has been the focus of a series of projects that Wolf has led funded by NIH and now the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more on those projects, visit http://lawvalue.umn.edu/grants_research/home.html.

Read Susan M. Wolf's Faculty Profile

Prof. Feld Quoted in Star Tribune on Sentencing Juveniles

January 11, 2013

Professor Barry Feld was quoted extensively in a Star Tribune article on the impact of recent Supreme Court decisions on sentencing juveniles. The Court prohibited states from imposing a mandatory life without parole sentence on juveniles convicted of Murder 1. The issue arose in the context of a retrial of a 17-year-old girl convicted of Murder 1 for infanticide. Because Minnesota criminal law provides only for a mandatory sentence, Feld predicted that the legislature would have to revise the Murder 1 sentencing provisions to allow judges to conduct an individualized assessment of a juvenile's reduced culpability and to consider youthfulness as a mitigating factor in sentencing.

Read Barry Feld's Faculty Profile

Prof. Orfield, Thomas Luce Author Study on Open Enrollment

January 11, 2013

The Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity has released "Open Enrollment and Racial Segregation in the Twin Cities: 2000-2010," a new study of the Metro area's 69 school districts, written by Professor Myron Orfield, director of the Institute and Thomas Luce, Ph.D., the Institute's research director. It provides evidence that Minnesota's Open Enrollment program increases racial segregation in area schools. The study and its findings are discussed in MinnPost, and Orfield was interviewed on Minnesota Public Radio.

Read Myron Orfield's Faculty Profile

Prof. Cox Quoted in Star Tribune on Mortgage Rules

January 10, 2013

Professor Prentiss Cox was extensively quoted in a Star Tribune article about new rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The rules implemented limits on mortgage lending enacted as part of the Dodd Frank financial reform law. The rules clarified that lenders could not make a mortgage loan to a homeowner without confirming the homeowner's ability to pay. Cox stated that rules providing a safe harbor for "prime" loan transactions but not for high cost loans was a reasonable compromise between competing policy goals.

Read Prentiss Cox's Faculty Profile

Prof. Kirtley Quoted in Pioneer Press on Sheriff's Deputy's Confiscation of Video Recording

January 8, 2013

Professor Jane Kirtley discussed a recent incident involving the confiscation of a bystander's video recording of Ramsey County sheriff's deputies in a public place in a Pioneer Press article. "I wish the police around the country would get the memo on these situations," Kirtley said. "Somebody needs to explain to them that under U.S. law, making video recordings of something that's happening in public is legal." She added that law enforcement officials have no expectation of privacy when they are performing duties in public.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Cribari's Poem 'No Man's Land' Receives Praise

January 4, 2013

Professor Stephen Cribari's poem "No Man's Land" received a commendation in the Pendle War Poetry competition in November 2012, was published in its book War Poems, and was twice read over the radio and selected as "Best War Poem of 2012" on Preston FM's "Best Kept Secrets...In Conversation" show. To listen to the poem, go to www.bestkeptsecrets.biz/2013/01/listen-again-hear-all-best-bits-from.html and click on the fifth item.