January 2011 Archives

January 31, 2011

Today, as part of Loyola's weekly IP Theory Colloquium series, Georgetown University Law Center Professor Rebecca Tushnet will be presenting "Worth a Thousand Words: Copyright Law Outside the Text."

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January 31, 2011

Michael Waterstone

By Professor Michael Waterstone

This column was originally published in the Jan. 28 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

People with disabilities face many barriers to becoming lawyers. Applications to law school, which are primarily found online, may not be accessible to blind individuals. For law students with disabilities, a law school may disagree on what accommodations are required for law school exams. There are few clubs or support structures in law schools for these students, in part because their numbers are so few. This in turn, creates feelings of isolation and aloneness. After graduation, law students with disabilities can face invasive questions on their bar applications, such as inquiries as to treatment or counseling for mental, emotional or nervous disorders. These students have to spend significant amounts of their own money documenting their disabilities. Even after they become licensed, lawyers with disabilities report prejudice and stigma: More than half of lawyers with disabilities polled by the State Bar reported being denied employment opportunities because of their disabilities.

Although good data is hard to come by, one study found that only 7 percent of the members of the American Bar Association identified themselves as having a disability (far below the rate of disability prevalence in the general population). This is a problem for our profession. Laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act have brought more people with disabilities into the mainstream of American life, opening up new opportunities across the spectrum. This means that more of our clients have disabilities, and there are more issues relating to disability that are part of general legal issues. Lawyers with disabilities have a life experience that is crucial to working on these legal problems. 

Fortunately, a recent decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals helps clarify that the law requires fairness and equal treatment in at least one stage of this process. Stephanie Enyart, a law graduate who is blind, asked the National Conference of Bar Examiners if she could take the bar exam with assistive technology software. The Bar Examiners instead offered a reader, an audio CD and text magnification. Enyart sued and provided evidence, which the District Court accepted, that she would suffer eye fatigue, disorientation and nausea if she used the closed circuit television, and that the live reader and audio CD were insufficient to allow her to effectively comprehend and retain the exam content. The Bar Examiners took the position that these were sufficient because the options offered had worked for other individuals who are blind (and had worked for Enyart in the past before her eye condition had worsened). It believed that this was all they were legally required to do.

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January 27, 2011

Laurie Levenson By Professor Laurie Levenson

There has been much speculation over what charges Jared Loughner will face for his tragic shooting of 20 victims in Tucson on Jan. 8, 2011. So far, the federal authorities have filed only three charges for the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and attempted murder of her two aides. Loughner currently faces a life sentence and multiple 20-year sentences on these charges.

However, the big question is what additional charges the federal authorities will bring and whether both the Department of Justice and Arizona state authorities will seek the death penalty. It is good that the DOJ is taking time to sort this out. Federal authorities have limited jurisdiction to charge murder cases. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1114: "Whoever kills or attempts to kill any officer or employee of the United States ... while such officer or employee is engaged in or on account of the performance of official duties ..." is guilty of murder. There is an open question whether United States District Judge John Roll was engaged in his official duties when he dropped by the town hall to talk with Rep. Giffords.

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January 27, 2011

Boyle.jpgFr. Greg Boyle, S.J., executive director of Homeboy Industries, author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion and longtime advocate for the poor and marginalized, was the keynote speaker for Loyola Law School's 12th-annual celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. on Thursday, Jan. 20 in Loyola's Student Lounge. Watch a video clip of Fr. Boyle's speech.

Below is a copy of the introductory remarks provided by Professor Sam Pillsbury, Loyola's interfaith chaplain:

For 12 years we have been celebrating the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King at Loyola Law school by connecting his work and the movement he helped lead, with the world of law.

We are thrilled today to have as our speaker one whose life and work embodies the mission of Rev. King., Father Greg Boyle, Society of Jesus.

Father Boyle is a Los Angeles native. He comes from a big LA family, one of eight children. He is the product of Jesuit education, having graduated from Loyola High School, received a BA from Gonzaga and a Masters in English from our own LMU -- among his several advanced degrees.

Our speaker has long ministered to those on the margins, those without much money or power, and who receive little respect or regard from those with money and power. Serving at Dolores Mission Church in East Los Angeles in the 1980s, Father Greg found himself in the middle of some of the city's most violent conflicts. He engaged directly with the gangs of the city, work that inspired many years of effort to encourage young people to turn away from that violent and destructive alternative to real family and community. This led to the creation of Homeboy Industries, an extraordinary and nearly unique nonprofit devoted to restoring to society those who have been in gangs.

Fr. Boyle's ministry has taken him out into the streets and parks of Los Angeles, into apartments and homes, modest and not so modest, and it has taken him into those hard places that most of us hear about but do not actually see, into the detention halls and jails of Los Angeles and the prisons of California. In those hard places, Father G or just G as he is sometimes called, with his boyish smile and bright eyes, his jokes, and his simple concern, brings the warmth of compassion and the transforming power of connection.

But you might ask, what's all this stuff about a Catholic priest and gangs in LA have to do with Dr Martin Luther King who died in Memphis in 1968 supporting striking black garbage workers?

Just -- everything. It's a continuation of the same story, the same struggle, fueled by the same faith. It's all about the same struggle to build what King called the beloved community.

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January 27, 2011

Loyola Law School hosted "Torture in a Time of War: Legal Remedies and Ramifications," an exploration of litigation and human-rights issues that can arise from wartime atrocities, from 12-1 pm on Thursday, Jan. 13 on its downtown L.A. campus. The discussion touched on possible criminal and civil remedies available in instances such as the abuses that took place at Iraq's now-infamous Abu Ghraib Prison. Portraits drawn from the lives of former Abu Ghraib detainees, soon to go on exhibit at the Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), will serve as a launching point for the discussion.

The panelists were Professor David Glazier, a former U.S. Navy surface warfare officer and expert on the rights of military detainees; Rosemary Healy, a former human rights attorney at Burke O'Neill PLLC who worked on class action suits against private security corporations like Blackwater Worldwide; and Carolyn Peter, director of the Laband Art Gallery.

The panel discussion coincides with the opening of "Bearing Witness: Daniel Heyman," an exhibit featuring the work of Heyman and writer Nick Flynn, who sat in on the interviews of dozens of former Abu Ghraib detainees. The exhibit will run from Jan. 15 to March 13 on the LMU campus. Related events include "Immigration to the U.S.: Legal Challenges," to be held from 12-1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at Loyola Law School. The event will feature Associate Professor Kathleen Kim, an immigration law expert, and Peter, who will introduce a series of portraits of new immigrants as a take-off point for the talk.

Watch the video. (Requires RealPlayer. Free download available).

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January 27, 2011

Today, as part of Loyola's Faculty Workshop Series, Loyola Law School Professor Karl Manheim will be presenting "Do Health Insurance Violate the Takings Clause?"

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January 24, 2011

Seal_small_webversion.jpgThe scholarship of several Loyola Law School faculty members has recently had an impact on courts and policymakers. Associate Professor Kathleen Kim's article, The Trafficked Worker as Private Attorney General, 2009 Univ. Chi. Leg. F. 247 (2009) was cited in Hernandez v. Attisha, a 2010 U.S. District Court case, to support a broad interpretation of the 2008 amendments to the civil provision of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Senator Charles Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, last week released his review of tax issues raised by six media-based ministries. A staff memo out of Senator Charles Grassley's office on a review of tax issues raised by media-based ministries cites Professor Ellen Aprill's article Parsonage and Tax Policy: Rethinking the Exclusion, including referencing her model statutory language. The National Taxpayer Advocate's 2010 Annual Report to Congress (12/31/10) cites Professor Ted Seto's article, The Unintended Tax Advantages of Gay Marriage, in a section identifying the taxation of gay marriage and other formally recognized same-sex relationships as one of our tax system's "most serious problems." And Professor Rick Hasen is a member of the American Bar Association's Task Force on Federal Lobbying Laws, which just released a report entitled "Lobbying Law in the Spotlight: Challenges and Proposed Improvements."

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January 24, 2011

Tax Notes recently spoke to Professors Jennifer Kowal, Katie Pratt and Ted Seto for an article on the 10th anniversary of Loyola's graduate tax program. The story discusses the steps the program is taking to respond to changes in the legal market, as well as issues in tax policy.

Read the entire article on TaxProfBlog.

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January 24, 2011

The Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review is publishing its inaugural Supreme Court issue in Volume 44 Issue 3 (Spring 2011). The issue will focus on the Court's 2009-2010 Term, with both professorial and student-written articles examining the Court's cases from this Term.

The issue is dedicated to Justice John Paul Stevens, and will include tribute letters and essays from approximately a dozen of Justice Stevens's former law clerks, many of whom are now law professors or serve within the Justice Department. President Bill Clinton, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are also publishing tribute letters to Justice Stevens in this issue. Justice Stevens himself is including a short thank-you note for the dedication.

In addition to articles written by Professor William Araiza of Brooklyn Law School, Professor Matt Vega of Faulkner University School of Law and a foreword by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, the Law Review's inaugural Supreme Court issue also includes student-written Case Comments analyzing nearly twenty cases from the Court's 2009-2010 Term. The Law Review students thoroughly discuss both higher-profile and lower-profile cases from this Term, examining the Court's reasoning, analyzing strengths and weaknesses, and discussing the impact such cases will have going forward.

For further inquiries or a subscription to the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, please contact llr@lls.edu.

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January 23, 2011

CesareRomano2.jpgBy Professor Cesare Romano and Elizabeth Burleson

Professor Cesare Romano recently blogged from the Conference of the Parties of the Climate Change Convention and Kyoto Protocol in Cancún. His posts included "Climate change conference: Will Cancún deliver?" and "Do states have human rights?" This post is an excerpt from his piece in the American Society of International Law's Insights.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, held from Nov. 29 to Dec. 11, 2010, in Cancún, Mexico, relaunched the United Nation's multilateral facilitation role. Delegates agreed to aspects of a global framework to help developing countries curb their carbon output and cope with the effects of climate change, but they postponed the harder question of precisely how industrialized and major emerging economies will share the task of making deeper greenhouse-gas emission cuts.

Read the complete post.

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