Prof. Eric Freedman Comments on Gov. Fallin's Executive Order to Proceed With Executions

April 24th, 2014

Oklahoma court lifts stay of executions, heading off confrontation with governor
By Katie Fretland
The Guardian
April 23, 2014

Excerpt:

The day before [Clayton] Lockett’s planned execution, the Oklahoma supreme court on Monday indefinitely delayed his and [Charles] Warner’s executions while they challenged the constitutionality of a law that keeps secret the source of the state’s execution drugs. The state's highest court stepped in after two weeks of legal tussles in which it and the court of criminal appeals both said they did not have the authority to grant a stay.

On Tuesday the office of the attorney general, Scott Pruitt, asked the state supreme court to rehear the case, arguing the court had caused chaos for the bifurcated appeals system of the state. The supreme court denied that petition 6 to 3 on Tuesday, essentially rejecting Pruitt’s questioning of the court’s jurisdiction.

Fallin then stepped in with an executive order, telling Pruitt’s office to file papers with the Oklahoma court of criminal appeals that would give her a blueprint as to how to implement the execution order. ...

Eric M Freedman, a constitutional law expert at Hofstra University, said Fallin’s order was “pure political posturing”.

“The probability that the state will succeed in carrying out the executions in defiance of the stays entered by the Oklahoma supreme court hovers between zilch and zero,” he said.

Read the full story.

Prof. Barbara Stark Invited to Speak at AALS 'Transnational Perspectives on Equality Law' Workshop

April 22nd, 2014

Professor Barbara Stark was invited to present the paper “What Is International Antidiscrimination Law and Why Does It Still Matter?” at the Association of American Law Schools mid-year workshop on “Transnational Perspectives on Equality Law” in June 2014.

The invitation arose when Professor Stark queried the first line of the workshop announcement, “Antidiscrimination law is an American invention that has spread all around the world.” She wrote the organizers to question the odd omission of international law, pointing out that the American civil rights movement was part of — and inspired by — a broader, global human rights/anti-colonial movement.

She noted further that it was not just a matter of giving credit where credit was due; framing antidiscrimination law as an American invention preempts consideration of the economic inequality that has been a focus of international human rights, and conspicuously absent from American law.

In response, the organizers invited Professor Stark to present a paper at the workshop.

Prof. Barbara Stark's 'State Responsibility for Gender Stereotyping' Published in The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice

April 22nd, 2014

Professor Barbara Stark’s article “State Responsibility for Gender Stereotyping” has been published in The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, Vol. 17, 2014.

The article explains why anti-stereotyping is insufficient, what else is needed and why the Constitution cannot be relied upon to provide it.

It also explains why the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW or Women’s Convention) is far more promising.

The article concludes that CEDAW’s bar on stereotyping is not only better for women than the Constitution’s grant of equal protection, but better for men as well.

Read Professor Stark’s article.

Professor Irina Manta's 'Judging Similarity' Highlighted by Legal Theory Blog

April 14th, 2014

Professor Irina Manta’s co-authored paper “Judging Similarity” (with Shyamkrishna Balganesh and Tess Wilkinson‐Ryan) was highlighted as “highly recommended” by the Legal Theory Blog on March 17, 2014.

Read the full blog post.

Read Professor Manta’s paper.

Professor Daniel Greenwood Comments on Findings of SEC Review of Private Equity Firms

April 8th, 2014

Bogus Private-Equity Fees Said Found at 200 Firms by SEC
By Bloomberg Businessweek
April 7, 2014

Excerpt:

A majority of private-equity firms inflate fees and expenses charged to companies in which they hold stakes, according to an internal review by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, raising the prospect of a wave of sanctions by the agency.

More than half of about 400 private-equity firms that SEC staff have examined have charged unjustified fees and expenses without notifying investors, according to a person with knowledge of the SEC’s findings who asked not to be named because the results aren’t public. While some of the problems appear to have resulted from error, some may have been deliberate, the person said. ...

The private-equity model lends itself to potential abuse because it’s so opaque, according to Daniel Greenwood, a law professor at Hofstra University in New York and author of a 2008 paper entitled “Looting: The Puzzle of Private Equity.” The attraction of the funds is that the managers have broad discretion, which also means that investors have a hard time knowing what the managers are doing, he said.

“The SEC and SEC enforcement can now see problems that probably existed all along and probably were actionable all along, but there was nobody to bring the action,” Greenwood said. “The big change has got to be the disclosure.”

Read the full story.

Professor Monroe Freedman's 'How Can You Represent Those People?' Lauded in Jotwell Review

April 7th, 2014

The book How Can You Represent Those People?, edited by Professor Monroe Freedman (with Abbe Smith), is identified as one of the best works of recent scholarship relating to the legal profession in a review in Jotwell published on April 4, 2014.

In concluding his review, Professor W. Bradley of Cornell Law School writes, “It is difficult to come away from the book feeling anything other than intense gratitude and admiration for the lawyers who are called to be criminal defenders.”

Read the full review.

Professor Ronald Colombo Comments on FINRA Securities Arbitration Scandal

April 2nd, 2014

Should Dozens of FINRA Arbitration Cases be Reopened?
By Andrew Welsch
On Wall Street
April 1, 2014

Excerpt:

The fairness of FINRA’s arbitration process is being called into question as lawyers and clients consider legal action to obtain new hearings or revisit decisions amid allegations that a former arbitrator lied about being an attorney.

James H. Frank, the former arbitrator, who, according to FINRA, falsely claimed to be a lawyer, oversaw more than 30 cases involving more than $15 million in claims while working with the regulatory agency and its predecessor, the NASD. Those involved in cases that Frank oversaw during his 15-year tenure say they feel they were treated unfairly. ...

Legal experts say it’s not clear whether these cases can be reopened, since the statute for limitations on vacating a decision is 90 days. FINRA arbitration awards are rarely, if ever, vacated after the statute of limitations has passed, experts say. ...

Ronald J. Colombo, a professor at Hofstra University School of Law who also regularly serves as a FINRA arbitrator, does not expect the cases to be reopened based on Frank having falsified his credentials.

“I don't think it can be argued that his lying about his credentials would have affected these rulings, especially since FINRA does allow non-lawyers to serve as arbitrators,” says Colombo, who prior to 2006 supervised regulatory inquiries at Morgan Stanley. “I think that’s going to be very difficult to argue.”

Read the full article.

Professor Irina Manta's 'Judging Similarity' Selected for American Law and Economics Association Annual Meeting

April 1st, 2014

Professor Irina Manta’s co-authored article “Judging Similarity” has been selected from among over 400 submissions to be presented at the American Law and Economics Association (ALEA) Annual Meeting at the University of Chicago Law School in May 2014.

View the conference website.

Read Professor Manta’s article.

Professor Norman Silber Publishes 'The CFPB and Payday Lending: New Agency/Old Problem'

March 31st, 2014

The invited article “The CFPB and Payday Lending: New Agency/Old Problem” by Professor Norman Silber (with Larry Kirsch and Robert N. Mayer) has been published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs, Vol. 48, 2014.

The article highlights the policy, legal and institutional issues raised during the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s decision-making process about how to regulate the payday loan industry.

Read Professor Silber’s article.

Professor Susan Fortney Reviews 'Lawyers in Practice: Ethical Decision Making in Context' in Legal Ethics

March 31st, 2014

Susan Fortney, the Howard Lichtenstein Distinguished Professor of Legal Ethics, published a solicited book review, in Legal Ethics, the preeminent international legal ethics publication.

Her review of the book Lawyers in Practice: Ethical Decision Making in Context, by Leslie Levin and Lyn Mather, is titled “A Mirror and Window for Understanding Ethics of Law Practice.”

Read Professor Fortney’s review.