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Faculty News

for June, 2011

Prof. McGeveran Testifies Before MN Campaign Finance Board

June 30, 2011

Professor William McGeveran testified before the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board about proposed disclosure rules for contributions to ballot question campaigns. McGeveran, who specializes in internet and privacy law and has written about disclosure in election law, warned of resulting privacy costs. He told the Board, "When blind dates Google you, when employers conduct background checks, when advertisers target sales pitches, when neighbors visit websites that mash up campaign finance records with maps, they discover your political beliefs." Although the proposed rules had been opposed primarily by backers of an upcoming ballot initiative to ban gay marriage, McGeveran said he supported gay marriage and urged the Board to consider the structure of disclosure independently from "hot political topics."

Read William McGeveran's Faculty Profile

Prof. Monahan Quoted in Wall Street Journal on State Pension Rulings

June 30, 2011

Professor Amy Monahan was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article examining recent state court rulings on public employee pension reforms. The rulings, in Colorado and Minnesota, allow states to modify cost-of-living adjustments for current retirees. Monahan said the rulings "will really have an impact on what other state legislatures choose to do."

Read Amy B. Monahan's Faculty Profile

Prof. Goodwin on WVON Radio Station to Discuss Eugenics

June 28, 2011

Professor Michele Goodwin was a featured guest on WVON Radio Station to speak about efforts in North Carolina to recognize the victims of the state's eugenics program. The show highlighted Goodwin's work on reproductive justice issues, and spotlighted her book, Black Markets: The Supply and Demand of Body Parts. Goodwin took calls and explained the legacy of eugenics in the United States and in Germany.

Prof. Kirtley Discusses Supreme Court Verdict in Violent Video Games Case

June 27, 2011

Professor Jane Kirtley appeared on Fox 9 News at 9 to discuss the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, which struck down a California statute banning the sale of violent video games to minors. Kirtley explained that the opinion by Justice Scalia recognized that depictions of violence in fairy tales and cartoons have always been accessible to children, but that California "was asking the Court to create a new area of speech that isn't protected by the Constitution."

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Morrison Writes Opinion Piece on Shutdown Funding

June 24, 2011

Professor Fred Morrison published an opinion piece for the Star Tribune entitled, "Shutdown Funding Explained." "In a nutshell, the Minnesota Constitution provides that no money can be spent without a legislative appropriation (Article 11, Section 1)," Morrison wrote. "The provision seems absolute, but as with most things, it's not that simple."

Read Fred Morrison's Faculty Profile

Prof. Hall on WCCO Radio on Generic Drug Label Lawsuit

June 23, 2011

Professor Ralph Hall was a guest on WCCO News Radio with Michele Tafoya to talk about a generic drug label lawsuit being brought to the Supreme Court. Hall spoke on the intersection of product liability law and FDA regulations. Listen to the interview here.

Read Ralph Hall's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter Testifies at House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Hearing

June 21, 2011

Professor Richard Painter was called to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at a hearing that covered the Hatch Act and political activity inside the White House, where Painter served as chief ethics lawyer from 2005-2007. He recommended that Congress enact new legislation sharply curtailing the range of permissible partisan political activity by White House staff.

Read Painter's testimony here.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter Quoted on Donor Meeting at White House

June 20, 2011

Professor Richard Painter was quoted in a Politico story about a White House event in the Blue Room for Wall Street donors. Painter expressed concern that this type of political event is contrary to the spirit of the Hatch Act which prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political work in an official capacity.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Kirtley Discusses Craigslist Libel Case

June 18, 2011

Professor Jane Kirtley was quoted in a Star Tribune story about a dissatisfied customer who was sued for libel after she criticized a contractor's work and accused him of operating without a license on Craigslist. Kirtley observed that the default judgment entered, which was less than the contractor had sought, may have reflected the judge's desire to balance freedom of speech with reputation, noting that most readers take online comments "with a grain of salt." On June 20, Kirtley discussed the case on the Michele Tafoya Show on WCCO Radio.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter Quoted in LA Times on Jon Huntsman's Campaign Decency

June 18, 2011

Professor Richard Painter was quoted in the Los Angeles Times on the propriety of former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman staying in his post while his supporters organized a potential presidential campaign. Painter said that because the Hatch Act prohibits executive branch employees from running for political office, Huntsman should have asked his supporters to stand down until he quit his post as ambassador.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Kirtley Questions Constitutionality of Takedown Order

June 17, 2011

Professor Jane Kirtley was quoted in Minnesota Lawyer concerning the pending appeal of a District Court judge's order that a blog be taken down because it violates a restraining order against harassment of the blogger's former girlfriend. In the article, "Minnesota Court of Appeals will Consider Blogger's Right to Free Speech," Kirtley said that in the United States, courts generally do not grant injunctive relief in libel and invasion of privacy cases, and that such orders are particularly ineffectual on the Internet. "For better or for worse, [the girlfriend's] remedy is in a civil action for damages," Kirtley said.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Goodwin Featured on Freakonomics.com on Organ Donation

June 15, 2011

Professor Michele Goodwin's scholarship on organ transplantation, which asks whether introducing markets into that procurement regime will ease the organ shortage, was featured on Freakonomics.com. In a piece entitled "How to Best Incentivize Organ Donations?" by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, authors of the highly acclaimed economics book, Freakonomics, the writers conduct a poll based on Goodwin's prior policy recommendations.

Prof. Painter's Article Cited in Story on Securities and Exchange Commission Case

June 13, 2011

Professor Richard Painter's Harvard Law Review article, "The Dodd-Frank Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Provision: Was it Effective, Needed or Sufficient?" was cited in a Thomson Reuters story on the Securities and Exchange Commission's securities fraud case against former Goldman Sachs executive Fabrice Tourre.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter Quoted on Battle Over Prop 8 Judge's Same-Sex Relationship

June 12, 2011

Professor Richard Painter was quoted in a San Jose Mercury News story about a motion to disqualify Judge Vaughn Walker from the California Proposition 8 case because the judge is gay. Painter said that the motion lacked merit.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Stein Guest on WCCO's Minnesota Law on the Uniform Law Commission

June 11, 2011

Professor Robert Stein was a featured guest on WCCO's Minnesota Law, presented by Moss & Barnett. Stein spoke with hosts Tom Shroyer and Kevin Busch on the Uniform Law Commission (also known as the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws). Click here to listen to the show.

Read Robert Stein's Faculty Profile

Profs. Kirtley and Cribari Participate in CLE Seminar on Legal Issues Arising from Social Media Use

June 10, 2011

Professors Jane Kirtley and Stephen Cribari participated in a CLE seminar entitled "In Trouble Online: Social Media and the Law" held at Thomson-West in Eagan, MN. Kirtley moderated the seminar and also discussed libel, privacy and other torts with Minneapolis attorney Mark Anfinson. Cribari lectured on Fourth Amendment issues.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Kirtley Comments on Impact of Social Media in Child Custody Dispute

June 9, 2011

Professor Jane Kirtley was quoted in an Associated Press story about a North Carolina child custody dispute which has attracted international attention on Twitter and Facebook after the mother claimed on her blog that she was denied custody because she has cancer. However, the judge's ruling indicates that the case is more complex than the social media "buzz" suggests. Kirtley warned that the publicity is a harbinger of things to come as litigants become more savvy in the use of social media. "I'm a little bit astonished at the naivete" of those using social media, she said. "People assume that everything posted there is true."

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Hall Speaks at MSBA Health Law Institute

June 9, 2011

Professor Ralph Hall spoke at the Minnesota State Bar Association's 2011 Health Law Institute. He was on a panel entitled "Recent Changes in FDA, DOJ and OIG Enforcement Initiatives and Prosecutions Related to the Medical Device and Pharma Industries."

Read Ralph Hall's Faculty Profile

Prof. Cotter Quoted on Noncompete Agreements

June 8, 2011

Professor Thomas Cotter was quoted in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota Argus Leader in a story concerning a lawsuit between Marco, Inc. and Advanced Systems, Inc. involving alleged violations of employee noncompete agreements and of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Cotter stated that noncompete agreements are a common way for employers to try to protect their interests in trade secrets and other confidential information, but that in most states, a noncompete is enforceable only if the court deems it to be reasonable.

Read Tom Cotter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Kirtley Receives Popovich Award from Minnesota SPJ

June 7, 2011

Professor Jane Kirtley was honored for her service to the First Amendment and the public's right to know by the Minnesota Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists at the annual Page One Awards, where she received the Peter S. Popovich Award for Freedom of Information. "There isn't one single event or action, but rather her impressive body of work, throughout her career" that was recognized by the SPJ board, Minnesota SPJ President Sarah Bauer said. The award is named after a former Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Kirtley Lectures on Freedom of the Press in Azerbaijan and Armenia

June 7, 2011

Professor Jane Kirtley went on a two-week speaking tour of Azerbaijan and Armenia, sponsored by the U.S. State Department. She delivered public lectures in Baku, Yerevan, and Gyumri, and met with editors, bloggers, media lawyers, government officials, human rights advocates and academics, discussing issues including civil and criminal defamation and insult laws, privacy, and the transition from analog to digital broadcasting in Armenia and its impact on media pluralism. At a meeting of the Azerbaijan Press Council, where she introduced her Media Law Handbook, Kirtley said, "Journalists should not fear going to jail for something they write."

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter Quoted in USA Today on the John Edwards Case

June 6, 2011

Professor Richard Painter was quoted in a USA Today story on the indictment of former presidential candidate John Edwards for election law violations. Painter pointed out that the prosecution's theory, that a supporter's payments to Edwards' mistress were a campaign contribution, is "a stretch." Painter also observed that the more serious concern is unregulated and often unreported expenditures on "issue advertising" and other communications during elections.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Bergman to Participate on Antitrust Panel

June 6, 2011

Counsel in Residence Howard Bergman will be one of three panelists in a teleconference on July 14. "Antitrust Liability for False, Misleading or Deceptive Conduct" will help prepare attorneys to mitigate the antitrust risks and liabilities associated with conduct deemed deceptive and exclusionary. The panel will identify practices that violate Section 2 of the Sherman Act, reviewing case law and economic issues in the current antitrust regulatory climate.

Prof. Goodwin Writes on Rape as a Vicious Side-Effect of War

June 3, 2011

Professor Michele Goodwin, a weekly contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education magazine, wrote about rape, sexual exploitation, and virginity tests in her column. Goodwin noted that rape and sexual violence against women is an often overlooked side-effect of war, which undermines democracy and citizen trust.