University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Monday, November 14, 2011 - 8:14pm

Professor David Harris discussed the large donations given to establish the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C., by companies that sell millions of dollars of public safety gear to police departments every year.  Professor Harris told USA Today that while many corporations make donations to public causes for the good will these gifts engender, large gifts by vendors of equipment to public entities calls for a degree of caution.   "The question is this: Are companies doing this out self-interest, to get a better hearing when it comes to selling a new product? You see this in a number of industries, but what's different here is that (public safety) involves public, taxpayer money. You want to make sure that there are appropriate safeguards in place."


Link to USA Today article

Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 8:33pm

Professor Pat Chew recently attended the Fall meeting of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in Washington, D.C.  Beginning in January, Professor Chew will begin the second year of her three-year appointment to the Executive Committee, which serves as the governing board for the AALS.  She also will serve as the Chair of the Audit and Investment Committee for the AALS.

Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 8:18pm

Professor Pat Chew presented at a symposium at Cardozo Law School in New York City on November 8.  The symposium was titled "Culture, Religion and Conflict Resolution: What's Identity and Faith Got To Do With It?"  Professor Chew spoke on disputes on end-of-life decision making in Asian-American cultures.

Brief conference description: link

Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 8:10pm

Professor Douglas M. Branson was the keynote speaker at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s 17th annual Business Lawyers' Institute, held in Philadelphia November 9-10.  He was the featured speaker at the opening plenary session, speaking about board of directors and senior management composition issues, including diversity.  The PBI has named the opening address the W. Edward Sell Memorial Lecture.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 8:54pm

Professor Anthony Infanti commented on the recent decision of the Internal Revenue Service to abide by a Tax Court case that allows a medical deduction for sex assignment surgery.  Professor Infanti's comments were carried by Time's "Moneyland."


Link to article here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 8:29pm

Professor John Burkoff commented on the statute under which Penn State officials are charged with failing to report child abuse to police.  The current version of the Pennsylvania statute requires that anyone who "comes into contact with a child" must report possible abuse; the version in effect in 2002, which would apply because that is when the crime is alleged to have taken place, said that only those who came into contact with a child in their professional capacity are obligated to report, making it harder to convict.  According to Professor Burkoff, the case presents unique questions in a university setting, and he is "quite certain" that it will lead to an appeal if there is a conviction.


Legal Intelligencer article link

Monday, November 7, 2011 - 8:44pm

Professor Bernard Hibbitts spoke on “Continental Lawyering” at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC on October 25. Speaking to an audience of DC Pitt alums and local Canadian Embassy staff, Professor Hibbitts discussed the historical migration patterns of American lawyers north into Canada and Canadian lawyers south into the United States from colonial times to the present day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 8:24pm

Professor Anthony Infanti was quoted in Tax Notes on the recent announcement that the Internal Revenue Service will follow a decision of the Tax Court.  The Tax Court decision, issued last year, determined that sex reassignment surgery qualified as a deductible medical expense.  Professor Infanti praised the action of the IRS.  "It correctly lays to rest an issue that should never have to have been litigated in the first place," he said.  


For a link to Professor Infanti's 2010 article on the Tax Court's case, click here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 8:17pm

Professor Anthony Infanti participated in a discussion at Pitt's Humanities Center on November 5 of the book "The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Diasporas and the Racialization of Intimacy" by David Eng (Professor of English and Asian American Studies at Penn). Professor Infanti was one of three invited to provide responses to the reading. The other responders were Benjamin Kahan, an Assistant Professor of English and Gender Studies at LSU who is a residential fellow at the Humanities Center this year, and Cathy Hannabach from Pitt's Women's Studies department.

Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 7:07pm

Professor John Burkoff on the resentencing of former State Senator Vince Fumo.  A resentencing has been ordered by an appellate court, and the prosecution has submitted incendiary emails Fumo has sent from a federal prison computer where he is incarcerated.  The emails show Fumo is utterly unrepentant and has vowed to exact revenge against those responsible for his conviction.  According to Professor Burkoff, this will certainly influence the judge.  "How can [the judge] not factor into any new sentence Fumo's apparent total lack of repentance and understanding of the gravity of his offenses? These e-mails are bound to cost the ex-senator greatly."


Tribune-Review article: link

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