August 2011 Archives

August 25, 2011

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Visiting Professor of Law, Ronald J. Krotoszynski, Jr., the Director of Faculty Research & Professor of Law at the University of Alabama School of Law will present "The Unitary Executive and the Plural Judiciary: Reconsidering the Institutional Power and Authority of the Offices of the Chief Justice and the President" as part of the Faculty workshop series today, Thursday, August 25, 2011, from 11:45 to 1:00pm in the Courtroom of the '90s on the 2nd floor of the Girardi Advcocacy Center.

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August 23, 2011

westfaulcon2.jpg By Professor Kimberly West-Faulcon

This op-ed was published on Miller-McCune.com on August 22, 2011.

"Opinion: The widening circle of cheating scandals on standardized tests should fuel the movement to reduce the stakes these exams have on public education in the U.S.

Last week, Montana became the leader of what is likely to be a number of states that will rebel against the provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind law by refusing to raise test score targets as required by the law. Meanwhile, the list of states and cities plagued by allegations of cheating on standardized tests is likely to grow beyond Washington, Baltimore, Atlanta Pennsylvania and New Jersey. What are we to make of the Obama administration's willingness to waive some of the most extreme penalties under the No Child law but to only offer the rather hollow response of calling for enhanced "test security" to combat test cheating? Instead of a shocking anomaly, it seems that the egregious test cheating uncovered in Atlanta public schools last month may be more common than we as a nation want to believe."

Read the complete op-ed at Miller-McCune.com.

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August 18, 2011

Professor Dan Lazaroff, director of Loyola's Sports Law Institute, discussed the NBA lockout on Lawyer 2 Lawyer on the Legal Talk Network. Program synopsis:

NBA Lockout and Lawsuits

Coming off the heels of an NFL Lockout, the NBA officially locked out its players on July 1, 2011, when players and owners failed to agree on a new contract. Then, the NBA filed two claims against the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) before union players could file an anti-trust lawsuit against them. Attorneys and co-hosts Bob Ambrogi and J. Craig Williams welcome Professor Daniel E. Lazaroff, Director of the Loyola Sports Law Institute and Professor Gabriel A. Feldman, Director of the Tulane Sports Law Program, to discuss the legal and business issues surrounding the lockout. They take a look at the impact of the lockout on players, employees and fans and the fate of the 2011-2012 season.

Listen now

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August 16, 2011

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This op-ed was originally published by KCET.

By Visiting Associate Clinical Professor Jessica A. Levinson

Well, at least when it comes to picking the next leader of the free world. In a previous post, I queried, "When it Comes to Presidential Politics, Does California Even Matter?" Democrats count on (take for granted) the Golden State and its 55 electoral votes--one-fifth of the total votes needed to win the presidency. Candidates visit our state to raise money, but not much else. Presidential campaigns are won and lost in the battle ground states. California is decidedly not such a state.

Read the complete post at KCET.org.

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August 8, 2011

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This op-ed was originally published by KCET.

By Visiting Associate Clinical Professor Jessica A. Levinson

Doing absolutely nothing to help their already dismal public approval ratings, the state Assembly has refused requests--submitted under the Legislative Open Records Act--to release records of legislators' 2010 and 2011 budgets (money given to rank and file legislators by the leadership) and expenditures. Now The Sacramento Bee and Los Angeles Times are suing to obtain those records.

The newspapers argue that the budget and spending records document public resources used for public business, and should be released based on a constitutional right to access information about government activities.

The Assembly Rules Committee, on the other hand, claims that it need not release those documents because the records fall under exceptions to the Legislative Open Records Act for "correspondence of and to individual members of the Legislature and their staff," and "preliminary drafts, notes or legislative memoranda." An Assembly administrator has argued that the records of lawmakers' current budgets and spending could contain confidential personnel information. Basically, the Assembly Rules Committee claims that those documents, which detail use of public funds by public officials, are privileged.

Read the complete post at KCET.org.

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August 6, 2011

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Professor Ted Seto recently agreed to publish his article "Where Do Partners Come From?" in the Journal of Legal Education. The article was highlighted on the Wall Street Journal Law Blog and on Above the Law. The following is an abstract:

Which law schools produce the largest numbers of partners at national law firms? This article reports the results of a nationwide study of junior and mid-level partners at the 100 largest U.S. law firms. It identifies both the top 50 feeder schools to the National Law Journal 100 nationwide and the top 10 feeder schools to those same firms in each of the country's ten largest legal markets. U.S. News rank turns out to be an unreliable predictor of feeder school status. Hiring and partnering by the NLJ 100 are remarkably local; law school rank is much less important than location. Perhaps surprisingly, Georgetown emerges as Harvard's closest competitor for truly national status. (Any school that believes the author's count is inaccurate is requested to supply corrected information.)

Download the complete law review article on SSRN»

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August 4, 2011

This op-ed was originally published by KCET.levinson.jpg

By Visiting Associate Clinical Professor Jessica A. Levinson

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was recently hit with almost $42,000 in fines based on improper acceptance of free tickets to 34 events, including concerts, and cultural affairs and sporting events.

What is a mayor to do?

In Villaraigosa's case, create three separate legal defense funds for three separate investigations - one related to the L.A. Ethics Commission's inquiry, another related to a District Attorney examination, and a third related to the California Fair Political Practices Commission probe. The law allows office holders to create legal defense funds when they face charges or investigations stemming from their jobs as public officials.

Read the complete post at KCET.org.

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August 2, 2011

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By Professor Michael Waterstone

Thanks to Dan and Rick for inviting me to post on the recent opinion in AAPD v. Harris. As Dan notes, the wheels of justice have moved slowly on this case. The original district court opinion (from 2004) is in an earlier edition of my disability law casebook. It held that voting machines requiring voters with visual impairments to vote with third-party assistance violated Title II of the ADA. The Eleventh Circuit previously reversed the district court, holding that plaintiffs did not have a private right of action to enforce the ADA. This decision holds that voting machines are not a facility and therefore are not covered by one of the regulations implementing Title II of the ADA.

Plaintiffs made three specific claims under the ADA. This first is premised on the actual language of the statute. Title II of the ADA (the operative title here) provides that "no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity." Plaintiffs' argument is that inaccessible machines prevent them from participating in voting (a public program) in the same manner as citizens without disabilities.

Read the complete post on the Election Law Blog.

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August 1, 2011

Levenson2.jpg This op-ed was originally published by the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

By Professor Laurie L. Levenson and Laura LeFeuvre, 2L

One need only open the newspaper to see the flurry of recent charges against politicians throughout the country. While some of these charges involve professional malfeasance, others derive from sexual misconduct by the official. Of course, this certainly is not the first generation of politicians to be less than noble in their private lives. Sex scandals date back to the time of our Founding Fathers. Yet, there does seem to be something different about how we are responding to the recent sexual escapades of today's politicians. Not only have their sexual exploits forced them out of political office, but increasingly, they now face criminal charges.

America may have started as a Puritan nation, but our political leaders have been far from pure. DNA evidence indicates that Thomas Jefferson had an affair with and fathered the children of his slave Sally Hemings. Alexander Hamilton had an affair with Maria Reynolds and paid her husband hush money to continue the affair. Even George Washington supposedly wrote love letters to a certain Sally Fairfax, a friend of Martha Washington. While well known, their scandalous behavior has become but a footnote in the chronicles of American history.

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August 1, 2011

Doug NeJaimeAssociate Professor Doug NeJaime is participating in the Constitutional Redemption symposium, a dialogue on Jack Balkin's new book. Other participants include Jack Balkin (Yale), Melissa Murray (Berkeley), Bernadette Meyler (Cornell), Emily Zackin (Princeton), Joe Fishkin (Texas), Dan Solove (GW), Andrew Coan (Wisconsin) and Josh Chafetz (Cornell). The Concurring Opinions event is viewable online. Below is Professor NeJaime's opening post.

Jack Balkin's Constitutional Redemption: A Much-Needed Dose of Optimism

I want to thank Danielle Citron for inviting me to participate in this symposium. And I want to thank Jack Balkin for giving me the great honor of commenting on his wonderful book. In Constitutional Redemption, Balkin offers an important, insightful, and useful corrective to the pessimism that pervades a significant amount of legal scholarship on the left. His constitutional optimism suggests the potential and possibilities of constitutional mobilization.

Balkin's book offers incredible amounts of rich material. He provides a descriptive account of constitutional change, a normative vision of democratic culture, and an interpretative theory aimed at fulfilling the Constitution's promises. In showing how social movements believe in and agitate for constitutional redemption, Balkin redeems the Constitution for legal scholarship, reminding us that the Constitution serves both as a potent symbol of social change and as a vehicle for continued reform. In this commentary, I first want to focus on why I think Balkin's descriptive account is accurate by pointing to two essential moves I see him making. I then want to show Balkin's theory in action in the marriage equality context as a way to translate his analysis into a useful lesson for liberals and progressives.

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