Faculty in the News

Faculty News

  • Prof. McGeveran Critiques Local Politician’s Trademark Filing

    August 14, 2018

    Professor William McGeveran, an expert in trademark law, was quoted in a Star Tribune article explaining some trademark law fundamentals. The story concerned efforts by a local policitian to register a trademark for “WedgeLive,” which is already the name of a local blog that had criticized her. “That’s not how this works,” McGeveran said. “That’s not how any of this works.” He said the blogger retained the trademark rights by using the name long before the politician filed a registration application. McGeveran told the newspaper, “First day of trademark class, I tell students: What creates trademark rights is using the name. Not registration. Registration’s a piece of paper.”

  • Prof. Klass Quoted in Energywire Article on Lawsuits over East Coast Natural Gas Pipelines

    August 13, 2018

    Professor Alexandra Klass was quoted in an article in Energywire reporting on recent victories in federal appellate courts by environmental groups and landowners challenging a range of federal environmental permits issued for controversial East Coast Natural gas pipelines.

  • Prof. Shen Named to National Institutes of Health Neuroethics Subgroup

    August 13, 2018

    At the request of Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Associate Professor Francis Shen has joined the Neuroethics Subgroup of the Advisory Committee to the Director for the BRAIN Initiative Working Group 2.0. The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. Professor Shen, who teaches a Law and Neuroscience course at the Law School, will provide expert advice on the legal and ethical implications of advances in brain science. At the Law School, Professor Shen directs a Neurolaw Lab and leads a University Grand Challenges grant on improving brain health in Minnesota youth sports.

  • Prof. Carbone Quoted in New York Times Article on Culture and Political Divide Over Age Women Have Children

    August 4, 2018

    Professor June Carbone was quoted by the New York Times on Aug. 4, 2018 in an article on how the age at which women have children constitutes a cultural and political divide. The article addresses issues that Professor Carbone covered at length in her 2010 book, Red Families v. Blue Families, with Naomi Cahn, which examined how differences in family formation practices correspond to growing political polarization in the United States and to legal differences at the state level in the legal regulation of the family.

  • Prof. Murray in Bloomberg News Article About President Trump’s Use of His Clemency Process

    July 31, 2018

    Professor Murray, whose Clemency Project at the Law School submitted 35 clemency petitions under the clemency process instituted by President Obama, was quoted in an in-depth piece at Bloomberg News about President Trump’s use of his clemency process. The Law School’s project has eight clemency applications pending before President Trump. “There are different paradigms for presidential clemency. [Some presidents] focused it on particular categories of people [and] some used it to close a political chapter and create a clean slate going forward,” said Murray, giving the example of Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon following his resignation over Watergate. “But most have used it in an ad hoc way,” Murray maintained, concluding that it’s “too soon to make sweeping statements about President Trump’s strategy (if any) in using his pardon power.”

  • Prof. Befort Cited by California Supreme Court

    July 24, 2018

    In Dynamex Operations v. Superior Court, 416 P.3d 1 (2018), the California Supreme Court adopted a new test for determining employee status that will extend regulatory protection to a greater number of workers. In its opinion, the court cited Professor Befort’s scholarship to support the proposition that the prior legal standard for determining employee/independent contractor status “invites employers to structure their relationships in whatever manner best evades liability.”

  • Prof. Murray Interviewed on MPR Regarding Lawsuit Filed by Family of Police Shooting Victim, Justine Damond-Ruszcyk

    July 24, 2018

    Professor Murray was interviewed by MPR’s Matt Sepic regarding the civil lawsuit filed on July 23, 2018, by the family of Justine Damond-Ruszcyk, shot by Hennepin County police officer, Mohamed Noor, on July 17, 2018. Murray pointed out that the lawsuit could work to Noor’s benefit in two ways. First, the jury could view the civil lawsuit as an alternative mechanism to give redress to the victim’s family, allowing them to treat Noor more leniently in any verdict they deliver. Second, the lawsuit’s focus on police procedures, culture, and training could convince jurors that Noor is not as culpable as prosecutors allege. He has been charged with 3rd degree murder, which requires that the defendant acted with “depraved indifference,” a mental state equivalent to random shooting at a passing train.

  • Prof. Klass Quoted in Outside Magazine on Sen. Mike Lee’s Bill to Stop National Monument Designations in Utah

    July 22, 2018

    Professor Alexandra B. Klass was quoted in an Outside Magazine article about Sen. Mike Lee’s bill to prevent new national monument designations in Utah.

  • Father of Prof. Murray’s Clemency Project Client Writes Op-Ed in Des Moines Register on Her Behalf  

    July 19, 2018

    John Owen, the father of Mary Anne Locke, a non-violent, low-level client of Professor JaneAnne Murray’s Clemency Project at the Law School, has written an eloquent plea for mercy on her behalf. Highlighting President Lincoln’s liberal use of his clemency power, he describes his family’s anguish at seeing her sentenced to 19.5 years for her subordinate role in a drug conspiracy that would have likely resulted in 1/4 of that sentence in most other districts in the U.S. He notes that Ms. Locke was represented in her two clemency petitions (before President Obama and President Trump, respectively) by the Law School’s Clemency Project, and, while a life-long Republican, expresses his appreciation to President Obama for bringing executive clemency back to its roots (“to address systemic unfairness, while also acknowledging the humanity of each person behind bars”). He notes that he is “also buoyed by [President] Trump’s recent clemency decisions, and his pronouncements that he plans to use it even more expansively.” He concludes: “But nothing beats a legislative solution that grants my daughter—and the thousands of prisoners like her—a “second look” at the severity and fairness of their sentence, in a public proceeding, with a judge and an advocate. I want a chance to say in open court how much I love and believe in her, and her children similarly want a chance to say publicly how much they want her back in their lives.”

  • Prof. Klass Publishes Op-Ed in Duluth News Tribune on Lawsuits Challenging Interior Department’s Decision to Renew Federal Leases for Controversial Copper-Nickel Mine Project Near the Boundary Waters

    July 17, 2018

    Professor Alexandra Klass and Professor Sandi Zellmer at the University of Montana School of Law published an op-ed in the Duluth News Tribune discussing recent lawsuits challenging the U.S. Department of the Interior’s renewal of leases for a controversial copper-nickel mine proposed by Twin Metals near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

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