May 23, 2016
In its amicus brief in support of Chelsea Manning’s appeal of her conviction and sentence under the Espionage Act, the ACLU cites Professor Heidi Kitrosser’s 2008 article, Classified Information Leaks and Free Speech. Specifically, the ACLU cites Kitrosser’s work in support of the proposition that, “the Espionage Act, when applied with no consideration of the public interest in the speech, does not satisfy First Amendment requirements.”
May 20, 2016
In an op-ed in The Guardian US, Professor Myron Orfield writes about the state of American residential segregation in urban and suburban contexts, and how each plays into how school integration and racial disparities rise and fall. “Integrated areas have the greatest success eliminating racial disparities in education and economic opportunity,” writes Prof. Orfield, director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity. “While non-white people in integrated communities have seen improvements in education and employment, non-white residents of segregated urban communities are further behind than ever.” Prof. Orfield adds that, “Critical to stabilizing these suburbs is a renewed commitment to fair housing enforcement, including local stable-integration plans, equitable education policies and incentives that encourage newer, whiter and richer suburbs to build their fair share of affordable units.”
May 19, 2016
Professor Christopher Soper spoke to MPR News about the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis bankruptcy proceeding, which is currently pending in Minnesota federal bankrutpcy court. The Archdiocese will likely file a plan of reorganization in the next few weeks, and Soper discussed the role the Archdiocese’s insurance policies might play in crafting a bankruptcy plan of reorganization. Insurance policies are the likely source of the most substantial funding available to pay the Archdiocese’s largest creditor constituency—sexual abuse claimants. But the underlying liability on those policies is not yet resolved. Soper said: “The insurers might have a very valid defense to the Archdiocese claims on the policies,” and he discussed how the bankruptcy process might include a settlement between the Archdiocese and the insurers. Such a settlement would provide funding to pay abuse claimants and resolve future liability insurers might face on the policies.
Soper’s recent Collier Monograph, Insurance Issues in Bankruptcy, addresses similar issues that have arisen in prior church bankruptcies.
May 18, 2016
Alaska Dispatch News captured Professor Richard Painter’s appearance as an expert witness in a federal court trial held earlier this month in Alaska over the constitutionality of state laws limiting campaign contributions to elections for state office. “Elected officials should be dependent on voters. It’s the money that corrupts people—not voters,” said Prof. Painter. “Corruption is dependency. The candidate doing something he normally wouldn’t do because of money.”
May 18, 2016
Professor Stephen Meili was quoted in the Minneapolis Star Tribune in connection with an asylum application filed by the cousin of one of 43 Mexican college students who disappeared in 2014 while on their way to an anti-governmennt protest in Mexico City. Carlos Ramirez Morales, who was a student at the college and often participated in those protests, has resettled in Minnesota and is claiming asylum based on his fear of persecution should he be deported to Mexico. Since the disappearances, Morales has been outspoken in Mexico and elsewhere in demanding accountability for those responsible. Professor Meili, Director of the Law School’s Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, which represents asyum-seekers, noted that past physical harm is not a prerequisite for a successful asylum claim. He added that “[Morales] has made himself known to the authorities as someone who has a political opinion. The government knows who he is.”
National Law Journal Interviews Prof. Schwarcz About Student Performance Research Co-Authored with Dion Farganis ('17)May 12, 2016
The National Law Journal recently published an interview with Professor Daniel Schwarcz regarding a new draft article—co-authored with Dion Farganis (‘17)—showing that individualized feedback in a first-year doctrinal course improves students’ performance in other first year courses. In the interview, Prof. Schwarcz explained why the study has important implications for how law schools can train better lawyers and how he came to focus on this issue by seeking to understand how to better teach his own Contract Law class.
May 12, 2016
Professor William McGeveran, an expert in privacy and trademark law, has been quoted by multiple media outlets objecting to a proposed bill in the Minnesota Legislature, the “Personal Rights in Names Can Endure Act” — that is, the “PRINCE Act.” The bill, creating Minnesota’s first post-mortem publicity rights for celebrities, was proposed in response to the death of music legend and Minnesota icon Prince. Prof. McGeveran wrote an article on the Star Tribune opinion page raising concerns about the impact of the bill on individual speech and criticizing the speed with which the bill was moving during the chaotic end of the legislative session. Prof. McGeveran also testified against the bill at a hearing of the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee, and was interviewed by the Associated Press, MPR News, KSTP-TV and Fox 9 News.
May 10, 2016
Professor Judith T. Younger was quoted in various media including Associated Press, CBC, and BBC Radio 5 Alive about the status of the late Prince’s estate and the problems it faces. Prof. Younger also participated in a podcast with Hofstra University’s Mitchell Gans for Knowledge @ Wharton.
May 4, 2016
A new draft article—co-authored by Professor Daniel Schwarcz and Dion Farganis (‘17)—documents through statistically significant evidence that individualized feedback in one first-year doctrinal course improves students’ performance in other first year courses. “The Impact of Individualized Feedback on Law Student Performance” has been covered by numerous media outlets and blogs, including Above The Law, Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports, Concurring Opinions, The Faculty Lounge, and Tax Prof Blog, among others.
Unlike prior research on formative feedback in law schools, the paper exploits a natural experiment, which arises from the random assignment of students to first-year sections and the occasional grouping together of students into “double section” first-year class. The paper finds that, in double section classes, students in sections that have previously or concurrently had a class providing individualized feedback consistently outperform students in sections that have not received any such feedback. It also finds that the advantages of individualized feedback appear to be concentrated among lower-performing students at the Law School.
May 3, 2016
Professor Kevin Reitz was recently interviewed by reporter Sandy Hausman of WVTF Public Radio on “Crowded Prisons, Rare Parole: A 5-Part Series.” This series examines Virginia’s parole release practices: “It’s been more than 20 years since Virginia abolished parole, and over that time the prison population has grown to more than 30,000 people. Just over 10% of them committed crimes before the law changed, so they’re still eligible for parole, but few of them are getting out, and the state now spends more than a billion dollars a year on prisons and correctional programs.” “Crowded Prisons, Rare Parole: A 5-Part Series” also examines Virginia’s low rate of parole, questions parole hearings proceeding in private, asks why the parole board rarely paroles, looks at Virginia’s prison population, and concludes with a focus on drug offenses.
When discussing what might prevent parole board members from paroling an offender, Prof. Reitz says, “There is a feeling that if I [the parole board member] let this person out today and, God forbid, he or she goes on to do something terrible, then that’s on me [as a parole board member]. On the other hand, if I make the cautious decision and keep the person in, then there’s no risk to me. They [the parole board members] have a reasonably nice job, but if they make a mistake and let the wrong person out, that job could be gone tomorrow.”
Learn more about the Robina Institute’s research on parole release and revocation practices here.