Prof. Schwarcz’s Research on Proxy Discrimination and Artificial Intelligence Featured in New York Times Opinion SectionApril 11, 2019
A recent article in the New York Times Opinion section, “A.I. Is Changing Insurance,” featured research from Professor Daniel Schwarcz’s article, Proxy Discrimination in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, which is forthcoming in the Iowa Law Review and co-authored with Professor Anya Prince of the University of Iowa College of Law. The law review article explores how Artificial Intelligence will fundamentally undermine the capacity of insurance anti-discrimination law to prevent “rational” but nonetheless problematic forms of discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of genetic information or health status. Linking to Professor Schwarcz’s article, the New York Times article illustrates the risk of such “proxy discrimination” in insurance by explaining that “an algorithm might (correctly) conclude that joining a Facebook group for a BRCA1 mutation is an indicator of high risk for a health insurance company. Even though actual genetic information—which is illegal to use—is never put into the system, the algorithmic black box ends up reproducing genetic discrimination.”
April 10, 2019
Professor Hill spoke at a session on “Behavioral Biases in Decision-Making” at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans 2019 Investments Institute. Hill explained and gave examples of biases that affect decision-making generally and financial decision-making in particular.
April 3, 2019
Professor Murray was quoted by Minnesota Public Radio about the actions that are required for prosecutors to prove the three charges—second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter—against former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who is facing trial in the shooting death of Australia native Justine Ruszczyk. “If Noor is convicted of intentional murder, the jury won’t even consider the other two charges against him,” said Murray. Murray was also asked about the strategic considerations involved in Noor’s decision whether to exercise his right to remain silent at his trial or to testify. “Assuming he’s able to testify in a compelling way and give a compelling narrative, he can evoke sympathy,” Murray said. “He can also convince the jury that the actions and deeds were justified in those moments leading up to her death.”
April 1, 2019
Minnesota Public Radio recently cited Professor Kitrosser’s views on the first amendment implications of public and press access restrictions in the upcoming murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor. As MPR reported, “Kitrosser said the judge’s restrictions raise First Amendment problems. Legal precedent assumes the press and general public may attend criminal trials like Noor’s, Kitrosser said, except under very narrow circumstances.” MPR also quoted Professor Kitrosser directly, to the effect that “‘the restrictions sound extreme enough that [affected news organizations] would have a good case that this raises First Amendment problems.’”
Prof. Turoski Invited as Distinguished Speaker and Lecturer at Several National Events on Intellectual Property LawMarch 25, 2019
Professor Christoper Turoski, Director of Patent Law Programs & Lecturer in Law, has spoken, lectured, and presented at various national events on intellectual property law, including as Distinguished Guest Lecturer at Macalaster College and at the University’s College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Sciences, and as a guest speaker at the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference.
March 8, 2019
Prof. Kristin Hickman has been credited with influencing the Treasury Department’s new policy statement revising longstanding tax administrative practices. Issued on Tuesday, the new policy statement announced shifts in how Treasury and the IRS would utilize temporary regulations and subregulatory guidance documents. Articles in Tax Notes and Politico attributed the shifts to Prof. Hickman’s service with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which in the past year has assumed responsibility for reviewing Treasury and IRS regulatory actions.
March 7, 2019
A March 6, 2019 article in Law360 titled Copyright Ruling Could Hinder USPTO’s High Court Fee Case discusses the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to grant certiorari in Iancu v. NantKwest Inc. The issue centers on Patent Act section 145, which allows disappointed patent applicants to demand a trial in U.S. District Court on the issue of whether the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) should have granted them a patent. The Supreme Court will decide whether the last sentence of section 145, which states that “All the expenses of the proceedings shall be paid by the applicant,” authorizes the court to award the USPTO its attorneys’ fees, regardless of whether it wins or loses the case. The article quotes Professor Tom Cotter as stating that, because the Court “took a narrow construction of the word ‘costs’ in the context of the Copyright Act,” in a different case handed down that same day, “it may suggest the court would take an equally narrow view of the term ‘expenses’ here.” Cotter also noted that because the American Rule, under which each party bears its own attorneys’ fees, is the general default rule, the Court might “conclude, as the Federal Circuit concluded, that if Congress meant for attorneys’ fees to be recovered, they would have made that more clear.”
March 4, 2019
The California Supreme Court cited the work of Professor Amy Monahan in Cal Fire Local 2881 v. California Public Employees’ Retirement System, a case addressing whether certain changes to public employee pensions enacted by the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 were legally permissible.
Prof. Ní Aoláin Co-Authors Op-Ed in The Washington Post About Saudi Arabia’s Counterterrorism EffortsFebruary 21, 2019
Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin co-authored an op-ed in The Washington Post with Bob Graham—former Democratic U.S. Senator from Florida who chaired the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-chaired the 9/11 commission—analyzing the nature of Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism efforts. Building on a report released by the Financial Action Task Force of the Group of Seven countries, Ní Aoláin and Graham emphasize the need for the country to focus more “on terrorism and demonstrated progress in prosecuting terrorism financing outside the region.” Professor Ní Aoláin currently serves as a U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.
February 13, 2019
Kelly Mitchell, executive director of the Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, testified in front of the Minnesota Legislature’s public safety and criminal justice reform finance and policy division on February 12th and 13th about Robina’s research on probation conditions and terms as lawmakers push for probation reform in Minnesota. KARE-11 featured the story on February 12th.