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Faculty News

for March, 2014

Prof. Cotter Quoted in Law360 on Patent Claim Construction

March 31, 2014

Professor Tom Cotter was quoted in a Law360 article on the Supreme Court's decision to grant cert in a case addressing whether the Federal Circuit should defer to factual determinations made by district court judges in construing patent claims. Cotter stated that this was an issue many people thought the Court eventually would review, adding that "if there is more deference to the district court judge's determination on the underlying factual issues that go into claims construction . . . we would have fewer reversals."

Read Tom Cotter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Wolf's Research Impacts U.S. & U.K. Policy on Genomics

March 31, 2014

Professor Susan Wolf's work on return of results and incidental findings has made significant new impacts. On March 31, the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council—the major funders of biomedical research in the U.K.—published a new "Framework on the Feedback of Health-Related Findings in Research." Its first cite is to NIH-supported work on these issues led by Wolf. The framework goes on to discuss her project's three-tier approach. This new framework will impact all research supported by the Wellcome Trust and MRC. On March 27, Wolf participated in a plenary panel on these issues at the annual meeting of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) in Nashville, where ACMG announced a major improvement in policy. The panel reexamined the controversial policy on incidental findings that ACMG had published a year ago. A Science piece by Wolf and two coauthors had criticized the ACMG approach for requiring analysis of 56 extra genes whenever clinical sequencing is performed, with no opt-out for patients. After Thursday's panel in Nashville, ACMG announced that its Board had decided to change ACMG policy to provide an opt-out to allow patient choice.

Read Susan M. Wolf's Faculty Profile

Prof. Moriearty Quoted in Star Tribune on Juvenile Sentencing

March 28, 2014

Professor Perry Moriearty was interviewed for and quoted in a Star Tribune article on the status of legislation to revise Minnesota's first-degree murder sentencing statute to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 decision in Miller v. Alabama.

Read Perry Moriearty's Faculty Profile

Prof. Goodwin Quoted in Star Tribune on Minnesota's Assisted-Suicide Law

March 19, 2014

Professor Michele Goodwin was quoted in a Star Tribune article about the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that declared part of the state's assisted-suicide law unconstitutional. The article stated: "University of Minnesota Prof. Michele Goodwin said the U.S. Supreme Court rarely rules in a way that could suppress an individual's right to speak. The courts will need to continue addressing new frontiers involving online speech and the First Amendment, she said. While it may be true that the new assisted-suicide law will make prosecutions more difficult, she noted there have only been six successful cases in Minnesota."

Prof. Cotter Quoted in Minnesota Lawyer on Job Prospects for IP Lawyers

March 18, 2014

Professor Thomas Cotter was quoted in a Minnesota Lawyer article on job prospects for IP lawyers. Cotter notes that "the number of annual patent applications has increased 60 percent since 2003," while "the number of people admitted to the patent bar has gone up at a much slower rate."

Read Tom Cotter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Cotter Quoted in Make-Up Artist Magazine on IP Rights in Make-Up and Tattoos

March 17, 2014

Professor Thomas Cotter was quoted in the April/May issue of Make-Up Artist Magazine in an article by Chris Koseluk on intellectual property rights in make-up designs and tattoos. Cotter, who coauthored a paper on the subject with Angela Mirabole in 2003, notes among other things that "There's a lot of ambiguity and that makes copyright litigation difficult to predict and expensive to pursue."

Read Tom Cotter's Faculty Profile

Prof. McGeveran Quoted in Star Tribune on Location Privacy

March 14, 2014

Professor William McGeveran, an expert on privacy and internet law, was quoted in the Star Tribune about the trend of families using smart phone apps to track loved ones' locations using GPS technology. Emphasizing the difference between consensual and nonconsensual tracking, he said, "Creepiness is about expectations."

Read William McGeveran's Faculty Profile

Prof. Murray Appointed to Training Working Group for Clemency Project 2014

March 13, 2014

Professor JaneAnne Murray has been appointed by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers a member of the Training Working Group for Clemency Project 2014, a joint initiative of the Obama administration and the nation's defense bar.

Read JaneAnne Murray's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter's Testimony on Lawyers' Ethics at Crown Court in London Featured in Financial Times

March 12, 2014

The Financial Times covered a hearing at the Crown Court in London, where Professor Richard Painter testified about professional conduct rules for U.S. attorneys representing clients in connection with foreign proceedings. The hearing followed an unsuccessful corporate bribery prosecution by the U.K. Serious Fraud Office and involved claims by the defendant that the Washington, D.C. law firm Akin Gump should pay part of the costs of defending the prosecution.

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Hickman's Article on Judicial Deference Cited by Federal District Court

March 12, 2014

Professor Kristin Hickman's work on the Skidmore doctrine of judicial deference to agency legal interpretations was cited in an opinion issued by Judge William Young of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in the case of Patel v. Johnson, Civil Action No. 12-12317-WGY. The case concerned a challenge against a decision of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Administrative Appeals Office to dismiss an immigrant worker visa petition. In his opinion, Judge Young cited Hickman's article with Matthew Krueger ('06), "In Search of the 'Modern' Skidmore Standard," 107 Columbia Law Review 1235 (2007), in describing the standard of review utilized to review a non-precedential opinion of the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office.

Read Kristin Hickman's Faculty Profile

Prof. Schwarcz Testifies to U.S. Senate Committee on Insurance Capital Standards

March 11, 2014

Professor Daniel Schwarcz testified to a U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection regarding the appropriate capital standards for certain insurers under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. His testimony was based largely on a forthcoming article titled "Regulating Systemic Risk in Insurance," which argues that insurance can be systemically risky and, for that reason, must be regulated, at least in part, at the federal level.

Read Daniel Schwarcz's Faculty Profile

Prof. Painter Quoted in Reuters on GM's Retention of Outside Law Firm to Investigate Product Safety Issues

March 10, 2014

Professor Richard Painter was quoted in a Reuters story on GM's decision to retain a prominent outside law firm to investigate alleged safety problems with many of its vehicles. Painter noted that GM's hiring a law firm with which it has a long-standing relationship may indicate that it is focusing on defense of product liability claims rather than on preparing a report that will fully be made available to the public. "If they want to send a message to shareholders that they have uncovered everything, they might hire an independent firm," Painter told Reuters. "But they may want to disclose just enough to keep shareholders informed, and keep other things private to keep legal defenses available to them."

Read Richard W. Painter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Moriearty Testifies Before Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee

March 7, 2014

Professor Perry Moriearty testified before the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee in support of a bill that would abolish life imprisonment without parole for juveniles convicted of homicide. Moriearty worked with a group of juvenile justice stakeholders in Minnesota to draft the bill, which also includes provisions to expand the use of police diversion and stays of adjudication for juveniles, increase eligibility for expungement, and minimize barriers to health and human services licensure.

Read Perry Moriearty's Faculty Profile

Prof. Cotter Quoted in Law360 Article on Apple-Samsung Case

March 6, 2014

Professor Thomas Cotter was quoted in a Law360 article following Judge Lucy Koh's denial of a permanent injunction in favor of Apple in one of the hotly-contested Apple v. Samsung smartphone patent infringement disputes. Cotter stated that "In future cases involving multi-feature products, it's going to be quite difficult to satisfy even th[e] weaker causal nexus standard" the court required as a condition to granting an injunction.

Read Tom Cotter's Faculty Profile

Prof. Kirtley Participates in Symposium on 50th Anniversary of New York Times v. Sullivan

March 6, 2014

Professor Jane Kirtley participated in the 2014 Breaux Symposium, "50 Years after New York Times v. Sullivan," at Louisiana State University, commemorating the anniversary of the Supreme Court case that constitutionalized libel law. Kirtley appeared on two panels, "Importance of New York Times v. Sullivan for Media and Law," and "Impact of New York Times v. Sullivan on Media Coverage of Politics and Government." Other panelists included former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, who held office during Hurricane Katrina, and James Goodale, former general counsel of the New York Times and 2013 Silha Lecturer. The symposium was co-sponsored by the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, the Manship School of Mass Communication, and the Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU.

Read Jane Kirtley's Faculty Profile

Prof. Hasday Answers WCCO's 'Good Question': "What Do Parents Legally Owe Their Kids?"

March 5, 2014

Professor Jill Hasday appeared in the "Good Question" segment on WCCO News, answering the question, "What Do Parents Legally Owe Their Kids?" "Basically, until your child is emancipated, you owe a duty to financially support them," Hasday said. "That doesn't mean fancy private school or any consumer good they can imagine. It means the basics."

Read Jill Hasday's Faculty Profile

Prof. Matheson Testifies Before Minnesota Legislature on Corporate Legislation

March 4, 2014

Professor John Matheson testified before the Minnesota House and Senate Judiciary Committees in support of a bill to amend the Minnesota Business Corporation Act. Various amendments are included in the bill, including provisions allowing cross-border conversions of business entities and pre-clearance of corporate filings with the Secretary of State's office. Matheson serves as the Official Reporter for the Minnesota Business Corporation Act.

Read John Matheson's Faculty Profile

Star Tribune Editorial Urges State Officials to Follow Prof. Orfield's Report

March 3, 2014

Professor Myron Orfield, Thomas Luce, and Will Stancil's recently released report on subsidized housing was featured in a Star Tribune editorial piece. The Editorial Board writes: "Officials charged with developing metro housing policies should pay attention to Orfield and his research. A balance of affordable housing in urban and suburban communities—with living-wage jobs, transportation options and strong schools throughout—would benefit the entire region."

Read Myron Orfield's Faculty Profile