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 - 9:17pm
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
Arthur Hellman Talks with the National Law Journal about Legality of Travel Sponsorships for Federal Judges
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.
Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 9:09am
Prof. Rhonda Wasserman presented a paper, “Secret Class Action Settlements,” to the Pitt Law faculty on October 25, 2011. She will present the paper at an upcoming meeting of the Section of Litigation to be held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools in January 2012.
Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 9:04am
On October 21, 2011, Professor Ronald Brand moderated and spoke on a panel on “Private International Law in Action” at the International Law Weekend, sponsored by the American Branch of the International Law Association. Brand’s talk focused on recent developments in jurisdiction law in both the EU and the United States. Brand also took part in the ABILA annual meeting as a member of its Executive Committee.
ABILA Conference Program: link
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 8:27pm
Professor John Burkoff commented on the effect of a new court decision on the conviction of former UN chief weapons inspector Scott Ritter. Ritter, 50, was convicted in a Pennsylvania court of attempted online sexual contact with a minor; the person was an undercover police officer posing as a minor in an adult chat room. At his trial, prosecutors used records of two prior investigations of Ritter in New York state for similar behavior; Ritter was never charged or tried in those incidents. A New York court had sealed the records, but the Pennsylvania prosecutors convinced another judge to unseal the records and release them. A New York court has now said that unsealing those records was an error. But, according to Professor Burkoff, that may not help Ritter. Professor Burkoff told the Pocono Record that "Pennsylvania trials are governed by Pennsylvania law. Even if New York authorities screwed up under New York law, that is neither dispositive nor precedential in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania law controls, not New York law."
Pocono Record article: link
Haider Hamoudi Named a Non-Resident Senior Fellow of Boston University's Institute for Iraqi Studies
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 8:19pm
Professor Haider Ala Hamoudi has been named a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Institute of Iraqi Studies at Boston University. The Institute is part of Boston University's College of Arts and Sciences. Senior Fellows of the Institute are "established scholars whose work contributes significantly to understanding Iraq." The Institute's mission is "to enable, foster and encourage inter-disciplinary scholarship on contemporary Iraq, including but not limited to religious institutions and practices, politics, society, history and culture, as well Iraq’s regional and international relations."
Information on the Senior Fellows of the Institute of Iraqi Studies: link
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 4:06pm
The United States Senate has recently confirmed presidential nominations of 14 nominees to the federal courts. Pitt Law Professor Hellman tells the Wall Street Journal that, " It's good news, and it's long overdue." 88 vacancies still remain the federal judiciary.
Read the full article here.
Monday, October 24, 2011 - 9:32pm
On October 22, Professor Vivian Curran made a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. Professor Curran's talk was entitled, “Comparative Law in Cultural and Interdisciplinary Context.”
American Society of Comparative Law meeting information here.