Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Adjunct Law Professor Reportedly Sexually Abuses Law Student

Adjunct Law Professors are people too and sometimes an adjunct may do bad things. An adjunct law professor at William Mitchell College of Law stands accused of of unzipping his pants and forcing a female law student to squeeze his penis. The law student reported the incident. Above the Law has all of the details.

All I can say is that I hope this is not true.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

July 31, 2012 in Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Help Wanted-Adjunct Law Professor To Teach First Amendment Class

Abraham Lincoln Law School in LA is looking for an adjunct law professor to teach a class on the First Amendment starting this October. A copy of the job announcement with instructions on how to apply is available by clicking Download Professor Advertisement - First Amendment 7-2012

If you live in the LA area and want to get your feet wet as an adjunct law professor, you may want to check this out.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

July 31, 2012 in Appointment Information, Adjunct | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 30, 2012

'Public' Tweets Are Subject to D.A.'s Subpoena, Judge Says

The case stems from the Occupy Wall Street protests. A copy of the July 2, 2012, New York Law Journal article discussiing this issue is available here.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

July 30, 2012 in Criminal Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Law School As A Buyers Market

Applications to law schools are down, way down. As a result, some schools are offering scholarships. An interesting June 25, 2012 National Law Journal article providing more details is available here.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein 

July 29, 2012 in Law Schools, Law Schools, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Disqualifying an individual who has intentionally made a false statement of any material fact in his or her application for public employment

 

United States v. Xavier Alvarez, USSC, Docket #11-310
Civil Service Law §50.4, in pertinent part, provides that “The state civil service department and municipal commissions may refuse to examine an applicant, or after examination to certify an eligible …
“(f) who has intentionally made a false statement of any material fact in his [or her] application; or
“(g) who has practiced, or attempted to practice, any deception or fraud in his [or her] application, in his examination, or in securing his [or her] eligibility or appointment….”

Are these provisions still valid in view of the Supreme Court's ruling in United States v Alverez concerning false speech that is protected by the First Amendment?

In a word, yes! 
In holding the Stolen Valor Act, 18 U.S.C. §704(b) “facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment,” Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, explained: “Permitting the government to decree [Alvarez's false claim that he had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor] to be a criminal offense, whether shouted from the rooftops or made in a barely audible whisper, would endorse govern­ment authority to compile a list of subjects about which false statements are punishable. *
That governmental power, said the majority, "has no clear limiting principle. Our constitutional tradition stands against the idea that we need Oceania’s Ministry of Truth. [See G. Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) (Centennial ed. 2003)]. Were this law to be sus­tained, there could be an endless list of subjects the Na­tional Government or the States could single out."
In contrast, Justice Kennedy pointed out that “Where false claims are made to effect a fraud or secure moneys or other valuable considerations, say offers of employment, it is well established that the Government may restrict speech without affronting the First Amendment,” citing Virginia Bd. of Pharmacy, 425 U. S., at 771** [emphasis supplied].
Thus it seems clear that the State Civil Service Department or a municipal civil service commission may lawfully disqualify an individual for public employment pursuant to Civil Service Law §50.4(f) and, or, §50.4(g), consistent with the due process provisions available to the applicant or employee.***.
* Justice Kennedy noted that “The statements [made by Alvarez] do not seem to have been made to secure employment or financial benefits or admission to privileges reserved for those who had earned the Medal.”
** In Virginia the Supreme Court held that “fraudulent speech generally falls outside the protections of the First Amendment.”
*** §50.4 provides that “ No person shall be disqualified pursuant to this subdivision unless he [or she] has been given a written statement of the reasons therefor and afforded an opportunity to make an explanation and to submit facts in opposition to such disqualification.
The Alvarez decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-210d4e9.pdf

 

Reprinted with permission New York Public Personnel Law

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

July 28, 2012 in Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 27, 2012

School Law Jobs

School Law Jobs
Job Title Employer Job Location
Associate General Counsel Sacramento County Office of Education Rancho Cordova, California
Special Education Attorneys Harbottle Law Group Orange County, California
Assistant General Counsel Atlanta Public Schools Atlanta, Georgia

 

July 27, 2012 in Lawyer Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Web Site Promoting Jobs With State Legislatures

Interesting web site maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The job link can be found here.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

Hat Tip: Legal Skills Prof Blog

July 26, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Courts will defer to an administrative decision made by an agency pursuant to its authority if it acted rationally within its area of expertise

 

Roberts v Gavin2012 NY Slip Op 05239, Appellate Division, First Department
Lillian Roberts, Executive Director of District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO [DC 37], petitioned Supreme Court seeking an order annulling the Personnel Review Board of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation [PRB] determination the Health and Hospitals Corporation [HHC] decision to restructure its layoff units in response to a recent financial crisis.
Supreme Court dismissed DC 37’s petition; the Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s ruling.
HHC, which initially had a single corporation-wide layoff unit that included all of its facilities throughout New York City, subsequently created smaller layoff units based on individual hospitals and health care facilities within HHC. In 2009, in response to financial pressures faced by the City, HHC again restructured its layoff units by creating eighteen additional, smaller, layoff units within the existing hospital and medical centers that had previously been designated as the layoff units. HHC then announced plans to either close or reduce staff at the clinics and programs designated as the new layoff unit, which would affect about 87 HHC employees.
After noting that Supreme Court “should not have dismissed the proceeding as time-barred,” the Appellate Division considered the merits of DC 37’s petition.
DC 37’s contended that PRB’s action was arbitrary and capricious. 
The Appellate Division said that an administrative body’s act or omission is arbitrary if it "is without sound basis in reason and is generally taken without regard to the facts," citing Pell v Board of Educ. of Union Free School Dist., 34 NY2d 222. In contrast, said the court, “Where a rational basis exists for an agency's action, a court may not substitute its judgment for that of the agency, and the agency's determination, acting pursuant to legal authority and within its area of expertise, is entitled to deference.”
The Appellate Division said that DC 37 failed to show that PRB's upholding HHC's creation of additional layoff units was arbitrary or capricious, or affected by an error of law, pointing out that HHC acted consistent with its past practice of designating hospital programs as layoff units.
Citing the relevant HHC Rules, which, in pertinent part, sets out HHC’s the authority to amend its own rules and regulations and which, in particular, provides that HHC "may by rule designate an individual facility or division of any facility of [HHC] as separate units for layoff or demotion under this rule," the court concluded that the HHC Rules explicitly grant HHC the discretion to designate programs and clinics of HHC facilities as layoff units. 
At the hearing, HHC explained that the closing of the clinic and hospital-based programs was necessary to provide continuity of patient care in light of the budget deficit crisis facing the City. And in its decision, PRB found that HHC's actions were predicated on budgetary deficits that required closure and/or consolidation of programs and clinics in order to minimize the impact on patient care. PRB's decision was consistent with its previous precedent that "a presumption of regularity exists in the establishment of separate layoff units, until it is demonstrated that the layoffs were not done in accordance with a rational plan" (PRB Decision No. 682 [May 27, 1992] [emphasis in original]).
Noting that "A public employer may abolish civil service positions for the purpose of economy or efficiency," the court rejected DC 37’s claim that the creation of the new layoff units violated the seniority and displacement rights of certain employees, commenting  “although some longtime employees may lose their jobs, and newer employees may not,” in the absence of any nonconclusory showing of bad faith, it declined to disturb HHC's determination establishing the additional layoff unit.
Recognizing that there may have been a different way for HHC to structure its layoff plan, the Appellate Division said that it could not say that the agency acted in an arbitrary or capricious manner as "a court's opinion that a particular outcome is not fair or is not in the interests of justice is not sufficient to overcome the deference to be afforded an agency acting rationally within its area of expertise" and declined to substitute its judgment as to how HHC “should implement personnel decisions when determining how best to provide health care to the people of New York City” as to do so “would be an unwarranted intrusion into the managerial prerogative of HHC, which acted within its rule-making authority.”
The decision is posted on the Internet at:

 

Reprinted by permission New York Public Personnel Law

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

July 25, 2012 in Public Sector Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Breaking News! U. of Illinois Law School Sanctioned By ABA For Misreporting Admissions Data

Finally, the ABA is attempting to do something. They just imposed a censure on U of Illinois Law School for intentionally misreporting LSAT admissions data. A copy of the full report is available here. In addition to a public censure, the sanctions include a requirement that the law school issue a public corrective statement;  a requirement that the law school hire a compliance monitor to report to the section’s accreditation committee on its admissions process and data for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years; a monetary penalty of $250,000; and termination of a section agreement that allowed the law school to conduct an early-admissions program. ABA New Journal Blog has additional information and a press release issued by the ABA is available here. 

I used the word finally because finally there is a recognition that numbers matter. The numbers matter because students rely on them. Whether we like US News and World Reports ranking or not, they are here to say and they use this data. 

Having said that, I am sorry to say that I do not think the ABA went far enough. This is a real serious violation. The ABA found that the Law School acted with intent. How many students relied to their determinent on this? What difference would this have made to financial aid awards to students. 

A much more reasonable penalty would include, in addition the above, placing the school on probation and making them reapply for full accredition in 3 years and in addition, to require that the school refund a substanial portion of the tutition to the students. Figuring out the amount would be difficult and somewhat arbitrary. I would start by figuring out how many students probably would have made a different choice of law schools. Take that number times it by the annual tuition for each of the 3 years and divide it amongest all the students. Now, that would have said a message.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

 

July 24, 2012 in Law Schools, Law Schools, News, Law Schools, Rankings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sherwin: The Legal Status of Equitable Remedies

Professor Emily L. Sherwin (Cornell) has posted, "Why In re Omegas Group Was Right: An Essay on the Legal Status of Equitable Rights" on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).  The essay is included in the Boston University Law Review's spring symposium titled "A Conference on Restitution and Unjust Enrichment.

Craig Estlinbaum

July 24, 2012 in Law Review Articles | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Federal Court Dismisses Fraud Case Against Cooley Law School

MacDonald, Jr. v. Thomas M. Cooley Law School, ____F.Supp.2d____(W.D. Mich. July 20, 2012), is the second case where a court has dimissed a fraud type of suit brought by former law students against a law school. The other case is  Gomez-Jimenez v. New York Law School, No. 65226/11 (NY Sup. Ct. Mar. 21, 2012), which we previously reported on. 

The claim was that the 2010 Employment Report and Salary Survey was fraudlent. In granting a motion to dismiss, the court explained:

                This Court agrees with Judge Schwietzer, a judge for the New York Supreme Court in a nearly                 identical case, for some of the reasons he discusses as to why reliance upon the two                 statistics would be unreasonable.  See Gomez-Jimenez v. New York Law Sch., Index                 No.652226/11, Seq. No. 002, Decision and Order (N.Y.S.Ct. Mar. 21, 2012) (Def.’s                 Supplemental Br. Ex. 1). This Court does not necessarily agree that college graduates The                 State of New York’s trial court. Case 1:11-cv-00831-GJQ  Doc #54 Filed 07/20/12 are                 particularly sophisticated in making career or business decisions.  Sometimes hope and                 dreams triumph over experience and common sense.  Nevertheless, it would be unreasonable                 for Plaintiffs to rely on two bare-bones statistics in deciding to attend a bottom-tier law                 school with the lowest admission standards in the country. In addition, “[i]t is widely                 accepted that American law schools,
                Cooley included, employ all sorts of legerdemain to boost employment rates in a                 contracting legal market” (Pls.’ Resp. at 5); once again, Plaintiffs state that they had other                 reasons to not rely upon the Employment Reports.  Furthermore, whether before or during                 Plaintiffs’ attendance at Cooley,it would have been unreasonable to continue to rely on the                 Employment Reports because of theeconomy’s massive downfall, which hit the legal business                 as hard as any.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

Hat Tip: TaxProf Blog

July 23, 2012 in Law Schools, Law Schools, News, Law Students, Lawyer Employment, Lawyers, Legal News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Bring Your Dog To Work

CNN ran an interesting story on July 23, 2012 about some employers who allow employees to bring their dogs to work, here. It discusses a survey by a managemet professor that concluded as follows:

                A sample of 76 employees were studied -- some brought their dogs to work, some didn't, and                 some didn't own dogs. The study found that while everyone started the day with low baseline                 levels of the stress hormone cortisol, those who didn't bring their dogs to work reported                 drastically higher levels of stress by the end of the working day.

                Those who had their dogs with them had low levels of stress throughout the day, and about half                 of that group felt that dogs were important to their productivity. Of the two groups without                 dogs, 80% felt that the dogs in the workplace had no negative effect on productivity.

As a dog lover, I think this is wonderful. When I was in college, students often brought their dogs to class and their were no major problems. Of course if someone has an allergy or if the dog bites someone, a problems can develop.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

 

July 23, 2012 in Misc., Legal, Misc., Non-Legal | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Alaska Supreme Court Issues Major Decision Recognizing Labor Union Privilege

Alaska Supreme Court

The Alaska Supreme Court recognized a union-relations privilege in Peterson v. State of Alaska, No. S-14233, ___P.3d___, 2012 WL 2947636  (Alaska, July 20, 2012), Download Peterson .The Court held that "[b]ased on the strong interest in confidential union-related communications and statutory protection against unfair labor practices, we hold [the state labor relations act] impliedly provides the State's union employees a union-relations privilege."  The reasoning employed by the Court - that "the proper functioning of [a] mandatory grievance and arbitration system . . . requires some protection for confidential communications made for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of grievance-related representative services to the employee" and that recognizing a privilege "harmonizes [the state labor relations act]'s strong public policy in favor of contractual resolution of labor disputes with the civil discovery rules" - should be useful in other states and in other settings where this issue frequently arises.

A copy of the decision can be found Download Peterson Alaska SC Recognizes Labor Union Privil. This is a major decision. It is my hope that other states will follow suit. I wrote a law review article on this topic a few years ago, Is a Full Labor Relations Evidentiary Privilege Developing?, 29 Berkeley Journal of Labor and Employment Law 221 (2008), available here

Though this decision arose in the public sector, there is no reason why this decision would not be applicable to private employers. The policies behind the Alaska statute and the NLRA are virtually identical and the policies and need for the recognition of this privilege are certainly identical. 

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

 

July 22, 2012 in Labor Law, Law Review Articles, Law Review Ideas | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Not every discharge for cause rises to the level of misconduct disqualifying a claimant from receiving unemployment insurance benefits

Matter of Donovan v. Commissioner of Labor, ____A.D.3d____(3d Dep't. June 28, 2012), is an important unemployment insurance decision which stands for the proposition that an employer may have cause to discharge an employee, yet the employee may be still eligible for unemployment. As the court explains:

Not every discharge for cause rises to the level of misconduct disqualifying a claimant from receiving unemployment insurance benefits (see Matter of Dunham [Commissioner of Labor], 68 AD3d 1328, 1329 [2009]; Matter of Passarelli [Yonkers Roscoe Co.—Sweeney], 226 AD2d 862 [1996]). While an employee's continued absenteeism, despite warnings, may be detrimental to an employer's interests or contrary to a reasonable work rule, termination of employment attributable to symptoms of a diagnosed medical condition will not constitute disqualifying misconduct (see Matter of Buyukcekmece [Abigail Kirsch at Tappan-Commissioner of Labor], 82 AD3d 1400, 1400 [2011]). The Board's resolution of this factual issue will be upheld if supported by substantial evidence (see id.).

Here, claimant's excessive absences provided the employer with a legitimate reason for terminating her employment. Under the circumstances presented, however, the Board could reasonably conclude that claimant's behavior did not rise to the level of disqualifying misconduct. Claimant testified that she suffered from panic attacks causing her absences on July 1, 2 and 13, 2009 and provided the employer with a doctor's note confirming this diagnosis (compare Matter of Amunah [Commissioner of Labor], 60 AD3d 1216, 1217 [2009], lv denied 13 NY3d 706 [2009]). Moreover, claimant testified that she always called in to inform the employer of her absences in accordance with the employer's policy. In view of the foregoing, substantial evidence supports the Board's finding that claimant did not engage in disqualifying misconduct, and we decline to disturb its decision.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

July 21, 2012 in Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 20, 2012

School Law Jobs

School Law Jobs
Job Title Employer Job Location
Associate General Counsel Sacramento County Office of Education Rancho Cordova, California
Special Education Attorneys Harbottle Law Group Orange County, California
Assistant General Counsel Atlanta Public Schools Atlanta, Georgia

 

July 20, 2012 in Lawyer Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Continuation on leave of absence from a teaching position upon permanent appointment to a classified service position critical to educator’s right to reinstatement to the teaching position

 

Fehlhaber v Board of Educ. of Utica City School Dist., 2012 NY Slip Op 04904, Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Craig S. Fehlhaber was initially employed by the Utica City School District as a tenured teacher. In 1997 the district appointed Fehlhaber as "Clerk of the Works" and later as Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds.
In 2010 the Board abolished the position of Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds and Fehlhaber asked to be "bump" vertically into the position of Maintenance Foreman or, in the alternative, to resume a teaching position. The Board denied both of these requests and Fehlhaber filed an Article 78 petition seeking a court order directing the Board to place him in one of those positions. Supreme Court dismissed his petition and Fehlhaber appealed..
Initially the Appellate Division resolved a procedural issue.
Supreme Court had ruled that Fehlhaber had failed to file a timely notice of claim. However, the Appellate Division agreed with Fehlhaber that “no notice of claim was required” in this instance.
Although, said the court, Education Law §3813(1) mandates that a notice of claim be filed when a claim is asserted against a board of education, "the notice of claim requirement is inapplicable to cases which seek to vindicate tenure rights which are legal rights guaranteed by State law and in the public interest," citing Cowan v Board of Educ. of Brentwood Union Free School Dist., 99 AD2d 831 and other decisions.
That said, the Appellate Division held that Supreme Court had properly dismissed the petition on the merits. Although Fehlhabercontended that he was entitled to a vertical "bump" into the position of Maintenance Foreman pursuant to Civil Service Law §80(6), the court noted that the record established that the Utica Municipal Civil Service Commission, after consulting with the New York State Civil Service Commission, said that "[i]n order for the rights of bumping' to exist, the [Fehlhaber] would have to demonstrate a legal entitlement to that bumping right.”
The Utica Commission, however, determined that Fehlhaber did not have any such bumping right. 
Here, said the court, in a case concerning an employee's bumping rights under the Civil Service Law, Matter of Hughes v Doherty, 5 NY3d 100, the Court of Appeals ruled that "judicial review of [the Commission's] classification system and determinations are limited to whether there was a rational basis for the agency's conclusion.... Unless the [Commission's] determinations were arbitrary or capricious, a court should not undermine its actions."
As the Appellate Division found that Fehlhaber failed to establish that the Commission's determination was arbitrary or capricious, or that there was no rational basis for its determination, it sustained the Supreme Court’s dismissal of his Article 78 petition on the merits.
Fehlhaber had raised an alternative theory  -- that he is merely on a leave of absence* from his tenured teaching position and was thus entitled to be reinstated to that position. The Appellate Division said that it agreed with Supreme Court that “[Fehlhaber] voluntarily abandoned his teaching position and thereby relinquished his tenure rights, at the latest, upon leaving the position for which the leave of absence was approved.”
Although it is well settled that "[t]he burden of proving abandonment is upon the [Board] and must be established by clear and convincing evidence that the [educator], by a voluntary and deliberate act, intended to relinquish [his or] her teaching position and forfeit [his or] her tenure rights," in this instance the Board granted Fehlhaber a leave of absence in 1997 "[t]o assume duties as Clerk of the Works."
When Fehlhaber left the Clerk of the Works position in 2002, he received a permanent appointment to the position of Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, a position in the classified service, and he failed to seek reinstatement as a teacher or an extension of his leave of absence when he received that permanent appointment.

* 4 NYCRR 5.2, Leaves of Absence applies to classified service employees of the State in the service as the employer. Subdivision (c) provides as follows: (c) Successive leaves of absence. Where a leave of absence without pay has been granted for a period which aggregates two years, or more if extended pursuant to subdivision (b) of this section, a further leave of absence without pay shall not be granted unless the employee returns to his position and serves continuously therein for six months immediately preceding the subsequent leave of absence. Many local civil service commissions have adopted a similar rule.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:
Reprinted by permission New York Public Personnel Law
Mitchell H. Rubinstein

 

July 19, 2012 in Public Sector Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Supremes Grant Cert In Case Involving Faragher Affirmative Defense

Ball v. Vance is the name of the case. 

Issue: Whether the “supervisor” liability rule established by Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth (i) applies to harassment by those whom the employer vests with authority to direct and oversee their victim’s daily work, or (ii) is limited to those harassers who have the power to “hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer, or discipline” their victim.

This is an important case to watch. For any of my students still looking for a paper topic, this is a great one.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

July 18, 2012 in Employment Discrimination, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0)

10th Circuit holds claim of institutional racism was insufficient to prove pretext for employee’s termination, and rejects cat’s paw theory of liability

10caseal

Jaramillo v. Adams Cnty. Sch. Dist. 14, ___F.3d___(10th Cir. Jun. 12, 2012), is an interesting case. The 10th Circuit held that a former elementary school principal has failed to prove that a Colorado school district discriminated against her on the basis of race/ethnicity when it terminated her for insubordination. The court concluded that the former principal had failed to met her burden of proving that the employer's reason for terminating her was a pretext for racial/ethnic discrimination. The court also rejected her attempt to raise the “cat’s paw” theory of liability based on the superintendent’s alleged discriminatory animus.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

 

July 18, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Brian Leiter's Law School Scholarly Impact Rankings- Why???

Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings-Scholarly Impact was just published. Here. Additional information and a description of other contributors can be found Here

With respect to Brian and his colleagues hard work, this ranking illustrates to me what is wrong with law schools today. How important is scholarly impact to students? How important is it to lawyers in general? The answer is that most scholarship today simply is not important at all because of its focus on legal theory. Practical scholarship is frowned upon by the full-time professorate. Amazing isn't it?

A much more relevant, measurement would be to see which schools and scholars are most cited by courts. It should not be about being cited by other professors. That is exactly what this ranking system measures and that is exactly what is wrong with law schools today. 

These rankings are also biased towards more elite law schools. This is because other professors are more likely to cite an article in Chicago Law Review than New York Law Review. You see, they all want to be published in the University of Chicago Law Review because of that schools US News ranking.  Also, if you cite a professor, he is likely to cite you back. So much for quality. 

TaxProf Blog and others often look to these rankings. Prospective law students are likely to look at these rankings. But, what do they mean? Are they any better than U.S. News and World Reports??

It is time for law professors to start recognizing that it is the students who pay their salaries. Law schools need to employ professors with practical experience to teach law students. Those professors in turn, will produce practical scholarship which can be used by courts and the practicing bar. 

Don't get me wrong. I believe scholarship has an important place in the academy. I myself have published 16 articles and am working on a book. But, the focus should be on practice, not theory. Unfortunately, law schools today are literally backwards. 

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

July 17, 2012 in Law Schools, Rankings | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Madonna Faces Public Insult Lawsuit in France

From The Guardian (links added):

A recent concert in Paris has proven to have fallout for Madonna who is expected to be sued by France's Front National party for screening a video with an image of right wing politician Marine Le Pen with a swastika superimposed on her face.

The public insult cause of action in France made news recently when a French court convicted a government minister of the offense in May, fining him five euros for referring to ferry operators as crooks.

Le Pen had warned Madonna against using the image in France prior to the show, so Madonna likely made a calculated risk at her show in Paris last Saturday when she defied the warning.  The story, however, is another reminder that rights Americans take for granted, like the right to free speech, generally extend only as far as our borders.

Craig Estlinbaum

 

July 17, 2012 in Current Affairs, First Amendment, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)