University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Sunday, November 6, 2011 - 6:58pm

Professor John Burkoff commented on the allegations of child sexual abuse and a failure to report the abuse, involving officials at Penn State University.  "Whether those accused are guilty or innocent, this is a sad day for Penn State University," Professor Burkoff said. "It's a lot of mud to be thrown at an institution. This involves people in (Penn State's) chain of command."

Tribune-Review article link


Friday, November 4, 2011 - 9:23am

David Harris, a University of Pittsburgh professor of law, will testify at 10 a.m. Nov. 4 in a hearing before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. The hearing, titled “Twenty-first Century Law Enforcement: How Smart Policing Targets Criminal Behavior,” will take place in Room 2141 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

 

Harris, Distinguished Faculty Scholar and associate dean for research at Pitt, is among four experts on law enforcement from around the country to testify. Harris was invited to testify by Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, the ranking member of the House Committee on the Judiciary.

 

“For our police to do the best job they can, they have to be smart on crime, not just tough on crime,” Harris said. “Being smart means using intelligence, and that means cultivating strong relationships and real partnerships with the communities police serve, because the best source of intelligence is the members of the community.”

 

Author of Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work (The New Press, 2002), Harris also noted that practices like racial and ethnic profiling that break down these bonds must be discouraged. “Being smart means using all of your assets, and a supportive community is the most important asset police can have,” he said.

 

Profiles in Injustice led to federal efforts to address profiling and to legislation and voluntary efforts in more than half the states and hundreds of police departments. Harris also is the author of Good Cops: The Case for Preventive Policing (The New Press, 2005), which uses case studies from around the country to show that citizens need not trade liberty for safety: They can be safe from criminals and terrorists without sacrificing their civil rights if law enforcement uses strategies based on prevention.

 

Harris does professional training for law enforcement officers, judges, and attorneys throughout the nation and internationally and with public officials and citizens’ groups locally and nationally to improve police services and public safety.

 

To view the hearing notice, click here.    

 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - 9:28pm

The third quarter issue of Directors & Boards featured a profile of Professor Douglas Branson as a corporate governance scholar and as the W. Edward Sell Chair in Business Law at the University of Pittsburgh.  The issue also contained an excerpt from one of Professor Branson’s recent books, The Last Male Bastion – Gender and the CEO Suite at America’s Public Companies.  The excerpt was entitled “Susan Ivey Made It Happen for Women.”

 

Current Issue of Directors & Boards: link

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - 9:15pm

Professor David Harris commented on proposed changes to Pennsylvania's death penalty statute that would bring it in line with U.S. Supreme Court law on the execution of the mentally disabled.  The Supreme Court created new law on the subject some years back, but Pennsylvania has yet to update its law.  Professor Harris said that "[a] s long as the state is not imposing the death penalty on anyone that might qualify as mentally disabled, [the lack of guidelines] isn’t a problem. But as soon as they get close to doing something like that, it becomes a problem.”

 

Link to Essential Public Radio story

Monday, October 31, 2011 - 9:27pm

Professor Deborah Brake participated in the Sixth Annual Seton Hall Employment and Labor Law Scholars’ Forum held on October 28-29, 2011, at Seton Hall Law School in Newark, New Jersey.  Professor Brake was an invited senior scholar and presented commentary on scholarship by Junior Faculty at the Forum.

Monday, October 31, 2011 - 9:23pm

Professor Larry Frolik was a presenter at the University of Michigan Law School that hosted the conference “The Uniform Probate Code: Remaking of American Succession Law” on October 21, 2011.  Frolik’s talk, “The Uniform Probate Code Substituted Judgment Standard for Guardian Decisions:  A Proposal for Reform” will be published (his co-author is Professor Linda Whitton) in the Michigan Journal of Law Reform.

 

On October 22, 2011, Frolik was a featured speaker at Temple Law School Symposium on “Aging in the United States: The Next Civil Rights Movement?”  Frolik’s talk was entitled “Guardianship: The Need to Balance Protection with the Individual’s Right of Autonomy.”

Monday, October 31, 2011 - 9:17pm

On Saturday, October 29, 2011, Professor Lu-in Wang spoke at the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the American Association of University Women, on “Not So Few, but …: Women in Law,” comparing and contrasting the progress of women in legal education and the legal profession with women’s progress as reported in the 2009 AAUW report, “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.”

Monday, October 31, 2011 - 9:03pm

Professor David Harris commented on a case in which a judge withdrew a defendant's guilty plea and incarcerated him, without having the defendant's lawyer present.  After the defendant pled guilty in an agreed-upon plea bargain with prosecutors, the defendant's attorney left the courtroom while the defendant underwent post-plea processing.  When court personnel overheard the defendant muttering his dissatisfaction, the judge brought the defendant forward and asked him if he had any complaint.  The defendant recounted some reasons for his unhappiness with the case.  Without calling for the defendant's lawyer to return to the courtroom, the judge withdrew the defendant's plea and revoked his bond, putting him in jail, even though the defendant had not been held in custody before the plea, and the plea deal had not called for incarceration.  Professor Harris told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that many defendants pleading guilty express "buyer's remorse," but that this was no reason to withdraw a plea, and that any such action certainly call for the presence of the man's attorney. "The judge, obviously, knew [the defendant] was represented, yet...made no effort to get his attorney back there," Professor Harris said. 

 

Post-Gazette article link

Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 8:58pm

Professor David Harris commented on the U.S. Attorney David Hickton's civil rights roundtable.  In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Professor Harris explained how he helped form the group, drawing on similar efforts in other cities that he studied and wrote about in his book, "Good Cops: The Case for Preventive Policing" (2005).  According to Professor Harris, after the police beating of CAPA High School honor student Jordan Miles and the decision not to prosecute the officers involved, "I had frankly never seen [police-community relations in Pittsburgh] as bad as this, at least since the consent decree" in 1997, when the Pittsburgh Police Bureau agreed to Department of Justice oversight.  The U.S. Attorney's roundtable approach, Harris said, is an initiative that can turn things in a positive direction.


Link to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article

Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 9:13am

The National Law Journal recently investigated travel funding for federal appellate judges – most of whom do travel – and found that the majority have sponsorship dollars supporting that travel. Judges are required to disclose most travel reimbursements from private sources and those financial disclosure reports, which are not readily available to the public, were obtained by The National Law Journal through a request made under the Ethics in Government Act to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

 

Professor Hellman discussed with the National Law Journal the important factors involved in determining the ethicality or legality surrounding these sponsorships.  Read the full article here.  

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