Faculty in the News

Faculty News

  • Dean Jenkins Writes Op-Ed in MinnPost About the Path Forward to Justice in Wake of Tragic Killing of George Floyd

    June 3, 2020

    Garry W. Jenkins, Dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law, co-authored a joint commentary in MinnPost with Humphrey School of Public Affairs Dean Laura L. Bloomberg on the path forward to achieving justice for all after the tragic killing of George Floyd. “Despite the current pain and anger, we firmly believe that the path forward will require citizens to learn from each other and from experts, to talk honestly and openly, to listen with open minds, and, ultimately, to reshape existing policies, practices, and perspectives,” writes Jenkins and Bloomberg. “Minnesotans must channel our outrage into action and insist on a world in which safety and human rights are not dependent on one’s race or ethnicity.”

  • Prof. Frase Quoted in New York Times Regarding Legal Basis for Third-Degree Murder Charge Brought Against Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the Tragic Killing of George Floyd

    June 2, 2020

    Professor Richard Frase—co-director of the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice—was quoted in a New York Times article examining the legal basis for the third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges brought against former Minneapolis Police Office Derek Chauvin in the tragic killing of George Floyd. Frase noted that a first- or second-degree murder charge would require prosecutors to prove that Mr. Chauvin intended to kill Mr. Floyd. Frase added that the criminal complaint against Mr. Chauvin did not identify any specific motive for officers to kill Mr. Floyd, which essentially ruled out intentional murder charges; third degree murder does not require intent to kill, only an eminently dangerous act without regard for human life.

  • Prof. McDonnell Publishes Op-Ed on Business Liability During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    May 29, 2020

    Professor Brett McDonnell published an op-ed article titled “To Reopen the Economy, Businesses Need a ‘Safe Haven’ Protocol to Avoid Liability” in the Star Tribune on May 27, 2020. Co-written with Matt Bodie, a professor at the St. Louis University School of Law, the article addresses the current debate over waiving liability of businesses to their employees who are infected with the novel coronavirus at work. Republicans are demanding such a waiver as part of the next bill responding to the pandemic, while Democrats are opposed. McDonnell and Bodie argue that the fear of liability may indeed inhibit some businesses from re-opening, but that employees also justifiably fear employers opening up too quickly with inadequate safeguards.

    In response, the article suggests two potential safe harbors which would allow employers to avoid liability. One safe harbor would require OSHA to create a standard for businesses to follow to safeguard against infection. Employers which follow that standard would then be immune for liability. But McDonnell and Bodie argue that an alternative safe harbor would be even more effective. Businesses that adopt virus safety plans approved by their employees would be immune from liability if an employee got infected. The second safe harbor would be more flexible and tailored to the circumstances of individual businesses. Employee-approved virus safety plans would also draw upon the knowledge of employees, and help ensure that employees understand and comply with the plans.

  • Prof. Orfield Quoted in New York Times Discussion on George Floyd Killing and Civil Unrest

    May 29, 2020

    Quoted in a New York Times article on the protests that have erupted in Minneapolis as a result of the death of George Floyd, Professor Myron Orfield notes that increasing racial segregation may have contributed to civil unrest.

  • Prof. Vaaler Quoted in Article on Plight of Migrant Workers During Covid-19 Pandemic

    May 12, 2020

    TRT magazine (Istanbul) interviewed Professor Vaaler for an article on the health and economic stresses migrants are experiencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Professor Vaaler provides background on how the pandemic is decreasing migrant remittances to developing countries where remittances make up a substantial share of total GDP. 

  • Prof. Hickman Quoted By Bloomberg About CIC Services v. IRS Certiorari Grant

    May 5, 2020

    Professor Kristin Hickman was quoted in an article by Bloomberg, “Anti-Injunction Act Confusion Set for Resolution by High Court,” about the Supreme Court’s decision to grant certiorari in CIC Services LLC v. Internal Revenue Service.  The case concerns whether the Anti-Injunction Act, a provision in the Internal Revenue Code, bars pre-enforcement judicial review of tax rules and regulations.  Professor Hickman filed an amicus brief supporting the taxpayer’s petition for certiorari.  The article quoted Professor Hickman as observing that “the tax community will welcome clarification of the Anti-Injunction Act’s meaning in light of” other developments in the field.

     

  • Prof. Hickman Quoted By Tax Notes About CIC Services v. IRS Certiorari Grant

    May 5, 2020

    Professor Kristin Hickman was quoted in an article by Tax Notes, “Supreme Court Will Clarify Scope of Anti-Injunction Act,” concerning the Supreme Court’s decision to grant certiorari in CIC Services LLC v. Internal Revenue Service.  The case concerns whether the Anti-Injunction Act, a provision in the Internal Revenue Code, bars pre-enforcement judicial review of tax rules and regulations.  Professor Hickman filed an amicus brief supporting the taxpayer’s petition for certiorari.  The article quoted Professor Hickman as hoping that the Court “will take this opportunity to read the Anti-Injunction Act as allowing pre-enforcement review of tax regulatory actions and reaffirm its rejection from the Mayo Foundation case of tax exceptionalism from general administrative law requirements, doctrines, and norms.”  The article also quoted Professor Hickman as observing that, regardless, “the tax community will welcome clarification of the Anti-Injunction Act’s meaning”

  • Minnesota Lawyer Quotes Prof. Cotter on Supreme Court Trademark Law Decision

    April 30, 2020

    An article in Minnesota Lawyer (subscription required), titled “Profits More Available in Trademark Cases,” discusses the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group, Inc. The decision holds that willfulness is not an absolute requirement for an award of the infringer’s profits in a trademark infringement case. The article quotes Professor Tom Cotter, who states that “It will be easier for trademark owners to allege that the defendant has not only engaged in trademark infringement but potentially is liable for disgorging profits earned from the sale of allegedly infringing products,” and that “It will be more difficult for courts to dispose of these cases on a motion for summary judgement so more of them will go to trial. That raises the degree of uncertainty and the risk faced by defendants.”

  • Prof. Rozenshtein Quoted in The Atlantic About Government Surveillance to Fight Coronavirus

    April 22, 2020

    Professor Alan Rozenshtein was quoted in The Atlantic about increased government surveillance to fight coronavirus. He noted, “As someone who has been studying 9/11 and the U.S. response to it, I see this as the same kind of inflection point. I just don’t see us going back to normal ever again after this.” He also cautioned against the potential of surveillance programs to exceed their initial scope: “There really is such a thing as surveillance creep, and surveillance programs do tend to increase beyond their initial scope. Pandemics, like other emergencies, have often been these catalyst moments for the permanent expansion of the government. And the government does not tend to shrink after the moment has passed.”

  • Prof. Hasday’s Intimate Lies and the Law Reviewed in the Harvard Law Review

    April 15, 2020

    Professor Jill Hasday’s new book, Intimate Lies and the Law, was recently reviewed in the Harvard Law Review. Elizabeth Emens, the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, wrote the review.

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