University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 8:42pm

Assistant Professor Charles C. Jalloh has just published a comment on the International Criminal Court Decision on the Authorization of an Investigation in Kenya in the American Journal of International Law, July 2011, Volume 105, Number 3 at pp. 540-547.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 8:34pm

Professor John Burkoff commented on the guilty pleas entered by aides to the former Pennsylvania Speaker of the House.  Professor Burkoff explained that with a guilty plea, the prosecution gets a certain conviction and conserves it resources for other cases.  It also usually gets cooperating witnesses it can call against the remaining defendants.  In exchange, defendants typically get lighter sentences on reduced charges.


Link to the article here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 - 8:23pm

Professor John Burkoff discussed the decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to allow telecasts of arguments.  Arguments will be taped and not broadcast live.  Professor Burkoff supports the idea.  "There are cameras everywhere. You're being watched on the street. I think that there is a generational tilt toward more openness, and cameras in the courtroom is essentially inevitable."

Link to the article here.  


Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 7:46pm

Professor Vivian Curran participated in a workshop on August  7 and 8 on “Intercultural Legal Competence” in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  The workshop was organized by the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law Global Center for Business and Development.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 8:09am

Professors Ronald Brand and Harry Flechtner taught in the 2011 Institute in Commercial Law and Dispute Resolution in Zagreb and Zadar, Croatia, in July.  This is the second year for the unique summer program operated as a joint venture of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, the University of Zagreb Faculty of Law, and the Touro Law Center.  Students received an overview of international business transactions, a week of instruction in substantive international commercial law, and a week of coverage of international commercial arbitration.  They then prepared and presented written and oral submissions in an arbitration setting.  This year, Brand provided part of the IBT coverage, and Flechtner provided the coverage of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.  One-third of the students were from law schools outside the United States, providing a strong element of diversity in the classroom, which included instruction by eight professors from four different law schools.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 8:06am

On Friday, August 5, 2011, Assistant Professor Charles C. Jalloh gave a talk to permanent and visiting faculty at the Institute for International and Comparative Law at the University of Pretoria Faculty of Law in South Africa. The paper, which was drafted while he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the same institute, was entitled Prosecuting those "Who Bear the Greatest Responsibility": The Experiences of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. It will be published next year.

Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 7:54am

Professor Rhonda Wasserman co-drafted an amici curiae brief, urging  the United States Supreme Court to grant a petition for a writ of certiorari in the case of Adar v. Smith, No. 11-46.   The case involves the refusal of the State of Louisiana to issue a revised birth certificate to a Louisiana-born child who was adopted by an unmarried gay couple in New York.  The brief contends that Louisiana’s refusal violates the Equal Protection and Full Faith and Credit Clauses of the United States Constitution.  Professor Wasserman worked on the brief with Professor Joan Hollinger of UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall) School of Law, Professor Courtney Joslin of  UC Davis School of Law,  Jonathan Damon, Esq., an attorney with Dewey & LeBoeuf, and Cathy Sakimura, Esq., an attorney with the National Center for Lesbian Rights.  Twenty-four other prominent professors of family law, conflict of laws, and constitutional law and drafters of several Uniform Acts addressing family law matters signed onto the brief.


The brief can be downloaded by clicking on the pdf download link on the right side of the screen, near the bottom.


To read more about the Adar case, click here.

Monday, August 8, 2011 - 3:49pm

William Luneburg, Jr., Pitt Law professor specializing in environmental law, talks about the impact of, and opposition to, the recently proposed EPA and Army Corps of Engineers guidance that would determine whether those entities can regulate particular headwater sites.  


Read the full article here.  

Monday, August 8, 2011 - 3:47pm

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Law Professor Anthony Infanti tells the Post-Gazette that without access to marriage and only limited recognition under city registries, Pennsylvania same-sex couples must take other steps to formalize their relationships. 


Read the full article here.  

Monday, August 8, 2011 - 7:52am

Professor Jasmine Gonzales Rose has published "The Exclusion of Non-English-Speaking Jurors: Remedying a Century of Denial of the Sixth Amendment in the Federal Courts of Puerto Rico," 46 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 497 (Summer 2011). 

Abstract of the article:


This Article explores the constitutional implications of the Jury Selection and Service Act's English language juror prerequisite, as applied in the federal courts in Puerto Rico. The language requirement results in the exclusion of approximately 90% of the age-eligible population of Puerto Rico from federal jury service and disproportionately excludes Puerto Ricans of color and the poor. I argue that application of the language requirement in Puerto Rico violates monolingual Spanish speakers' fundamental Sixth Amendment right to a jury selected from a fair cross section of the community in federal criminal proceedings. I also examine the English language juror prerequisite under the Puerto Rican Federal Relations Act and offer a new test to determine the local applicability of not just this language requirement, but all federal statutes to Puerto Rico. This examination is contextualized in the U.S. Supreme Court's Insular Cases and extraterritorial application of the Constitution, as well as the intrinsically linked relationship between language, political status, and citizenship in Puerto Rico. Ultimately, I advocate for the implementation of a juror language accommodation program modeled after the New Mexico state courts.

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