Faculty in the News

Faculty News

  • Prof. Vaaler Interviewed by Associated Press on Likelihood of Another Super Bowl in Minnesota

    February 6, 2018

    Professor Paul M. Vaaler was interviewed by Associated Press reporter Amy Forliti about how the NFL decides on northern climate venues to host the Super Bowl. The NFL and specific franchises use the prospect of Super Bowl hosting to negotiate the construction of new football stadiums or the refurbishment of existing stadiums with public funds. Vaaler commented that another Super Bowl in Minneapolis was unlikely in the near term now that U.S. Bank Stadium is built and running. Other northern climate cities with NFL franchises and stadiums older than 15-20 years are more likely Super Bowl host candidates. 

    The article also appeared in The Washington Post, ABC News, ESPN, the Chicago Tribuneand NBC News.

  • Prof. Rozenshtein Quoted in New York Times About President Trump’s Attacks on Law Enforcement

    February 3, 2018

    Professor Alan Rozenshtein was quoted in a New York Times article on President Trump’s attacks on federal law enforcement, in particular the Department of Justice and the FBI, over the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Professor Rozenshtein noted, “It’s one thing for the president to criticize political appointees—although it is quite odd for him to criticize his own political appointees,” but that attacks on rank-and-file FBI employees was deeply disturbing.

  • Prof. McDonnell Quoted in Star Tribune Article on Medtronic Suit

    February 2, 2018

    Professor Brett McDonnell was quoted in a Star Tribune article on a securities class action suit against Medtronic. Medtronic shareholders have sued Medtronic claiming that the company inflated its stock value by secretly paying doctors to conceal problems associated with Infuse, a bone-growth product. The judge in the case recently certified the case as a class-action suit. In the Star Tribune article, McDonnell is quoted on the importance of class certification as a stage in a securities fraud suit. “If you don’t get a class certification, you’re done,” McDonnell said, “because it is not financially feasible to sue individually.”

  • Prof. Shen Publishes Super Bowl Op-Ed on Football and the Brain

    January 31, 2018

    Associate Professor Francis Shen published an op-ed in the Star Tribune defending the sport of football, and suggesting that we may be overestimating the risks of sports concussion. Shen wrote that we should fully inform athletes of the risks, but we shouldn’t take the game of football away from them. Prof. Shen is part of an interdisciplinary University of Minnesota Grand Challenges team working to improve brain health in youth sports in Minnesota.

  • Prof. Murray Interviewed on MPR About Prosecutor’s Decision to Convene a Grand Jury in Ruszczyk Killing

    January 25, 2018

    Prof. Murray was interviewed by Cathy Wurzer on MPR’s “The Takeaway” about Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s decision to convene a grand jury to help determine whether Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who shot Justine Ruszczyk, should be charged with a crime. Murray pointed out that the grand jury process gives Freeman additional investigative capabilities, including the power to subpoena witnesses. He could also secure a grant of immunity to ensure that witnesses cannot invoke their Fifth Amendment rights. Given that certain witnesses had apparently refused to participate in interviews with investigators, the grand jury opens up investigation paths that have previously been closed. Murray also noted that harnessing the grand jury was not inconsistent with Freeman’s promise to make the actual charging decision himself. There was no “legal impediment” to Freeman using the grand jury for investigative purposes while taking full responsibility himself for the final decision to charge. 

  • Prof. McGeveran on National Public Radio Discussing Aetna HIV Breach

    January 18, 2018

    Professor William McGeveran spoke on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition program about the $17 million settlement of a privacy lawsuit against Aetna. The company sent letters to HIV-positive members in envelopes with overly large transparent address windows that exposed their HIV status. McGeveran pointed out that, even with increased attention to cybersecurity, old-fashioned “analog” privacy mistakes remain a serious problem.

  • Prof. Chomsky Quoted on the 1862 Trials and Hanging of Dakota Fighters After the U.S.-Dakota War

    January 18, 2018

    An article in In These Times reported on the 330-mile trek by Dakota horseback riders who arrived in Mankato, Minnesota on December 26, 2017, from the Lower Brule Indian Reservation in South Dakota to honor the 38 Dakota men who were hanged there on December 26, 1862 in the largest mass execution in U.S. history. The hangings occurred after 392 trials conducted by military commission in the days following the end of the brief U.S.-Dakota War. Trials were brief, none of the accused were provided with legal representation, and much of the evidence was based on hearsay. “It was very unclear that there was authority to have this kind of trial,” said Chomsky. “They treated those individuals as essentially criminals. We were treating Confederate soldiers as prisoners of war, but we did not treat the Dakota as prisoners of war.” Curtis McKay of the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation read the names of all 40 men hanged, including two Dakota leaders executed at Fort Snelling in 1865. “I want you to hear the Dakota language,” said McKay. “To know that we’re still here.” Wilfred Keeble, chair of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, spoke, too, saying, “We’re here for the dream, the message—healing, reconciliation, cultural diversity.”

  • Prof. Shen’s Research Featured in Huffington Post Article

    January 18, 2018

    Professor Francis Shen’s research on sports concussions and the law was featured in a Huffington Post article discussing Minnesota’s efforts to be a leader in promoting brain health for youth athletes. Professor Shen, an expert in neuroscience and law, leads a University of Minnesota Grand Challenges grant on youth sports concussions, and teaches a seminar on Sports Concussions and the Law.

  • Prof. Cox Quoted in American Banker and MinnPost

    January 15, 2018

    Professor Prentiss Cox was quoted in an American Banker article about the recent freeze imposed on the collection of personal level data by Mick Mulvaney, new acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cox stated the freeze appeared to be a thinly veiled attempt to stop fraud enforcement.  

    Professor Cox was also quoted in a story in MinnPost about the race for Minnesota Attorney General. Cox provided context about the broad powers of the attorney general under state law. 

  • Prof. Murray Quoted in Star Tribune Article About Fraud Trial Involving Former Executives of Starkey Laboratories

    January 13, 2018

    Prof. JaneAnne Murray was quoted in an article in the Star Tribune discussing the upcoming criminal fraud trial involving executives of Starkey Laboratories. Murray noted that trials of high-level corporate executives are rare for several reasons, in part because such complex cases require a significant prosecutorial investment over several years, and in part because the potential sentencing exposure encourages guilty pleas. Moreover, until recently, D.O.J. charging policies did not prioritize prosecutions of individuals in cases of corporate wrongdoing. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates changed that policy in 2015 and Murray points out that the Starkey indictments came on the heels of that new policy. 

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