Faculty in the News

Faculty News

  • Prof. Cotter Cited in Federal Circuit Opinion

    June 7, 2018

    In Praxair Distribution, Inc. v. Mallinckrodt Hospital Products, Inc. (Fed. Cir. May 16, 2018), Judge Pauline Newman filed a concurring opinion quoting Professor Thomas Cotter’s 2007 article, “A Burkean Perspective on Patent Eligibility,” for its discussion of patent law’s “printed matter” doctrine.  According to the article, “[B]eginning in the mid-nineteenth century, the USPTO and the courts began rejecting applications claiming purportedly novel types of business forms under the ‘printed matter’ doctrine. By most accounts, the doctrine was intended to preserve the boundary between patent and copyright law.”

  • Prof. Kitrosser Quoted in Grand Forks Herald on Presidential Self-Pardons

    June 5, 2018

    Professor Heidi Kitrosser was quoted in an article in the Grand Forks Herald on the question of whether presidents have the constitutional power to issue pardons to themselves. The article cited her view that while the Constitution’s text does not explicitly reference self-pardons, such pardons run counter to principles evidenced throughout the Constitution’s text and structure, including the notion that the nation should be guided by “the rule of law rather than the whims and self-interests of individual men.” Overall, she explained that “the best argument—though, again, not one made explicit in the text—is that the President cannot legally pardon himself.”

  • Prof. Chan Discusses the Historical and Current Operation of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on MPR News

    June 5, 2018

    Professor Linus Chan joined MPR News to discuss how ICE has historically operated and what types of changes have been made since President Trump took office. Chan emphasized, among other things, a “change in [ICE’s] policy and discretion” and an effort “to inject fear … in order to create an extremely hostile environment.” Former acting head of U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Sandweg, also joined the discussion.

  • Prof. Meili Presents Research on the Constitutionalization of Asylum Law in Mexico at the Annual Congress of the Latin American Studies Association

    June 4, 2018

    Professor Stephen Meili presented a paper at the annual Congress of the Latin American Studies Association in Barcelona on the constitutionalization of asylum law in Mexico and its impact on refugees from Central America who are apprehended by Mexican authorities on their way to the United States. The paper was part of a panel on the constitutionalization of human rights law in Latin America that Prof. Meili organized and chaired at the Congress. Prof. Meili’s research on this subject includes an analysis of strategic litigation by refugee lawyers in Mexico who are utilizing recently adopted human rights provisions in the Mexican Constitution (including the right to asylum) to compel courts to take a constitutional approach to asylum law, which affords greater protections to refugees than those permitted under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. This topic is of particular importance in the current political environment, as Mexico has experienced a spike in asylum applications as a result of increased apprehensions of Central American refugees in Mexico, as well as the migration of many Venezuelan refugees to Mexico.

  • Prof. Ní Aoláin’s U.N. Report on Effects of French Anti-Terrorism Law Featured in Le Monde

    May 31, 2018

    A report to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights—authored by Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism—that analyzes the state of French anti-terrorism laws and how they might affect foundational human rights principles was featured in an article in Le Monde. “There is no doubt that the state may lawfully engage in restrictions to protect public order, but a clear tipping point to exceptionality arises when counter-terrorism measures engage profound, sustained and potentially disproportionate effects on the enjoyment of fundamental human rights and civil liberties,” wrote Ní Aoláin.

  • NPR Asks Prof. McGeveran About Location-Based Ads in Health Clinics

    May 29, 2018

    Professor William McGeveran, an expert on privacy law, was featured in a story on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered about location-based advertising that targets patients as they sit in health care facilities. Using a technique called geofencing, marketers can sense the whereabouts of your smart phone and transmit tailored messages through internet browsers and apps. Anti-abortion groups have solicited visitors to women’s health clinics through geofencing, and attorneys have advertised their services to emergency room patients. McGeveran explained that, while most people consider health information especially sensitive, the main federal health care privacy law, HIPAA, “applies to hospitals and clinics and doctors and insurance companies, not to these lawyers and the marketers working on their behalf.”

  • Prof. Vaaler Interviewed on Latest Report of Super Bowl LII Economic Impact

    May 29, 2018

    Professor Paul Vaaler was interviewed by KSTP-TV’s Tom Hauser on the reliability of economic impact estimates derived from a May 2018 report commissioned by the Twin Cities Super Bowl LII host committee and prepared by Rockport Analytics, a Pennsylvania-based economics consulting firm. Rockport estimated that hosting Super Bowl LII last February led to a net economic impact benefit to the state of Minnesota exceeding $400 million. Vaaler pointed out likely problems with the Rockport analysis that would decrease economic impact benefits substantially to the $50-100 million range. Neither the Rockport nor Vaaler estimates account for an additional $500 billion expenditure of Minnesota tax dollars to fund the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium, the site of the NFL championship game, and an essential element of the successful host-city bid.

  • Dean Jenkins’s Scholarship on the Philosophy of Philanthropy Cited in The Guardian

    May 25, 2018

    Dean Garry W. Jenkins’s scholarship on the changing philosophy and practices of philanthropy was cited in an article in The Guardian examining the growing trend of wealthy CEOs pledging to give away parts of their fortunes—often to help fix problems their companies caused. Discussing the rise of philanthropy being conducted in a business-like manner as a result of CEO involvement, Jenkins wrote that this has led many foundations to become “increasingly directive, controlling, metric-focused and business-oriented with respect to their interactions with grantee public charities, in an attempt to demonstrate that the work of the foundation is ‘strategic’ and ‘accountable.’” The article notes the concerns that Jenkins and other scholars have raised about the philosophy of philanthropy dominated by a CEO style and mindset that seeks to “save the world through business thinking and market methods.”

  • Prof. Cox in American Banker on Wells Fargo Settlement

    May 8, 2018

    Professor Prentiss Cox was quoted extensively in an article in American Banker (subscription required) about the recent settlement between the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and Wells Fargo Bank. Cox described concerns with the consumer compensation provisions in the agreement.

  • Prof. Cotter’s Article Cited in Trade Secret Damages Case

    May 7, 2018

    In a dissenting opinion filed in the May 3 decision of the New York Court of Appeals in E.J.Brooks Co. v. Cambridge Security Seals, 2018 WL 2048724, Judge Rowan Wilson cited an article co-authored by Professor Thomas Cotter. Discussing a disputed legal question concerning the appropriate measure of damages for trade secret misappropriation, Judge Wilson stated “the appropriate calculus for thefts of private goods should not constrain the calculus for thefts of public goods (see e.g., Roger Blair & Thomas Cotter, 39 Wm & Mary L Rev 1585, 1590 [1998] [“the optimal set of damages rules should preserve both the incentive structure of intellectual property law and the property-like character of intellectual property rights … in the absence of enforcement, information, and other transaction costs, these goals require at a minimum an award that renders the infringer no better off as a result of the infringement”]).

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