University of Pittsburgh

Faculty News

Monday, May 16, 2011 - 3:16pm

Associate Professor of Legal Writing Ben Bratman presented at the Second Annual Empire State Legal Writing Conference, held at St. John’s University School of Law on Friday, May 13, 2011. The presentation was entitled Would A Court Enforce What I Just Drafted? Introducing First-Year Students to “Preventive Law” and Raising the Stakes on the Inter-Office Memo.  From the conference program:

Professor Bratman discusses his integrated sequence of assignments designed to introduce first-year students to client interviewing, negotiations, drafting, and related skills in a context of seeking to prevent litigation. The sequence culminates in an inter-office memo in which students assess the quality of their own preventive work by predicting whether a court would enforce a contractual clause that they drafted.

Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 11:17am

A DUI case that involved a bike rider has resulted in an unsual court hearing in which two officers ended up testifying against each other.  Pitt Law Professor John Burkoff offered his thoughts on the dispute to the Pittsburgh City Paper.  Read the full article here

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 4:14pm

Pitt Law’s Innovation Practice Institute and Carnegie Mellon University recently hosted Investing in Innovation: Astrobotic Technology and Pittsburgh’s Quest for the Moon.


The event celebrated Pittsburgh’s potential to become an industry hub for planetary robotics and space commercialization, and featured Astrobotic Technology, Inc., a Carnegie Mellon spin-off space delivery company with a mission to enable the commercialization and exploration of the Moon and other planetary bodies.


The IPI plans to continue to host a series of Investing in Innovation conversations.  Read more about the first event here in the Pittsburgh Business Times. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 8:48pm

Professor David Harris discussed the state of police/community relations in Pittsburgh in the wake of the decision by the U.S. Department of Justice not to prosecute the three police officers involved in the beating of CAPA High School student Jordan Miles.  Professor Harris told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that relations between police officers and African Americans in the city have become dangerously polarized, and that this constitutes a genuine danger to public safety.  "If you want to have real, sustained gains in public safety, the police must do it along with community support," Professor Harris said.  "What we're facing is a real crisis of confidence and trust. That is something that can only be repaired by rebuilding that trust."

Link to Post-Gazette article

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 9:09pm

Professor Haider Hamoudi has made several appearances in the media in the last two days.  On Tuesday, May 3, Professor Hamoudi was a guest on Robert Mangino's talk show on KDKA AM in Pittsburgh, discussing the death of bin Laden, the appeal and orthdoxy of his views within Islam, and the application of "shari'a law" in U.S. courts.  Professor Hamoudi took questions on these and other subjects from the host and callers.  On Wednesday, May 4, Professor Hamoudi appeared on KDKA TV, discussing the Obama Administration's decision not to release photographs of bin Laden's body.


Link to Story on KDKA TV

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 9:03pm

Professor Deborah Brake was a featured speaker at the annual NCAA Gender Equity Forum, held May 1-3, 2011, in Bethesda, Maryland.  Professor’s Brake workshop was titled, “Retaliation: Protecting Complainants and Avoiding Lawsuits.”  


Link to 2011 Gender Equity Forum Agenda 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 4:59pm

The University of Pittsburgh School of Law, with the assistance and support of the Pennsylvania Securities Commission, has created a Securities Arbitration Clinic.


Alice Stewart, Adjunct Professor of Law, is one of three supervising attorneys who will oversee the clinic which offers free legal representation to small investors who cannot afford legal representation. The clinic is in the process of establishing an on-going clinical/educational program, which will provide quality legal representation to small investors.


Read the full article in the Pittsburgh Business Times here

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 10:37pm

Linda Tashbook, Foreign and International Law Librarian at Pitt Law's Barco Law Library, will receive a 2011 Pennsylvania Bar Association's Pro Bono Award.  The Bar Association will recognize Ms. Tashbook for her provision of free legal services to homeless individuals and persons with mental illness, and for her Homeless Law Blog, which had more than 15,000 searches in the year 2010. 


Link to Homeless Law Blog

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 9:49am

Professor Haider Ala Hamoudi told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the death of Osama bin Laden had significance not appreciated by everyone.  For example,  many Americans may not realize that al-Qaida and its affiliated organizations killed more Muslims than Westerners.  Professor Hamoudi also called bin Laden's interpretation of Islam far outside the mainstream of Islamic thought and scholarship both historically and in contemporary terms.  Bin Laden was "someone who knowingly and consciously goes against a broad, centuries-long tradition of Islamic law ... and tries to derive his arguments based on a very contentious reading of some of the earliest texts," he said.

Link to article

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 12:29pm

Professor David Harris told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the use of the wrong address on a search warrant in a current federal criminal fraud case is "a live issue" that could conceivably result in the suppression of evidence.  In the ongoing prosecution of Gregory Podlucky, federal agents executed a search warrant for Podlucky's home.   However, the warrant gave an incorrect address for the home; the address in the warrant was a vacant lot, located at least 1,000 feet from the home, on a different street.  Nevertheless, the agents used the warrant to conduct the search at the defendant's home, the address of which was not given in the warrant.  While these types of motions are difficult to win, Professor Harris said the motion certainly made a colorable argument.  The U.S. Supreme Court has found that warrants must include "enough information so that a reasonable police officer can determine where he or she is supposed to go and search," Professor Harris said.



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