Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal Call For Papers

Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal has put out a call for papers. They are particularly interested in papers discussing the Affordable Care Act and the amendments to the ADA. For additonal information, download  Download Call for Articles

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

September 30, 2013 in Law Review Articles | Permalink | Comments (0)

Touro Law Review: Takings Symposium

Touro Law Review will host "The Takings Issue 40th Anniversary Symposium" on October 3 & 4 in Central Islip, NY.  For more information, click here.

Craig Estlinbaum

September 30, 2013 in Conferences, Faculty, Constitutional Law, Law Review Articles | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Discrimination and Criminal Background Checks

EEOC v Freeman, ____F.Supp.2d ____(D. Maryland August 9, 2013) is an important case. In a well written decision, the court rejects the EEOC claim that an employer violated Title VII by refusing to hire a minority applicant after a criminal background check was performed. 

This case contains an excellent review of disparate impact and was very critical of the statistical experts retained by the EEOC.

Law review commentary on this important issue would be most welcome.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

September 29, 2013 in Employment Discrimination, Law Review Ideas | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Symposium: Revenue Act of 1913

The New York Law School Law Review is hosting a symposium titled, "The 100th Anniversary of the Revenue Act of 1913: Marking a Century of Income Tax Law in the United States," to be held on the campus on October 4, 2013.  Edward Kleinbard (USC) is scheduled to deliver the keynote address.

Program and registration information is here.

Craig Estlinbaum

September 27, 2013 in Conferences, Faculty, Law Review Articles, Tax Law Information | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Layoffs Taboo, Japan Workers Are Sent to the Boredom Room

Sony, an employer of an individual for 32 years, consigned him to a room because they can’t get rid of him. Sony had eliminated his position at the Sony Sendai Technology Center, which in better times produced magnetic tapes for videos and cassettes. But the individual, now age 51 refused to take an early retirement offer from Sony in late 2010 — his prerogative under Japanese labor law.

So there he sits in what is called the “chasing-out room.” He spends his days there, with about 40 other holdouts.


Mitchell H. Rubinstein

September 25, 2013 in Misc., Non-Legal | Permalink | Comments (0)

Summer Law Review Review

Several law reviews did some catching up with summer releases.  Here are a few:

The SMU Law Review's Winter 2013 volume includes articles by Antonio Gidi on opt-out class members, Janet Freilich on patent law, John Kip Cornwell on Sexting, Christina Mulligan on freedom of the press, Jessica M. Eaglin on "Against Neorehabilitation," Ester K. Hong on the Confrontation Clause in post-conviction proceedings and Anhana Malhotra on "The Immigrant and Miranda."

The Summer 2013 Texas Tech Law Review includes, "Are Twombly & Iqbal Affecting Where Plaintiffs File?   A Study Comparing Removal Rates by State," by Jill Curry and Matthew Ward, "Oil and Gas Leases and Pooling: A Look Back and a Peek Ahead," by Bruce M. Kramer, "Viewing the 'Same Case or Controversy' of Supplemental Jurisdiction Through the Lens of the 'Common Nucleus of Operative Fact' of Pendent Jurisdiction," by Douglas D. McFarland, and "The Age of Allocation: The End of Pooling As We Know It," by Clifton B. Squibb.

Villanova Law Review, Volume 58, Number 4, includes the Norman J. Shachoy Symposium, "Assessing the CISG and Other International Endeavors to Unify International Contract Law:  Has the Time Come for a New Global Initiative to Harmonize and Unify International Trade?"

The most recent Harvard Environmental Law Review, Vol. 37, No. 2, includes the lead article, "Administrative Proxies for Judicial Review: Building Legitimacy from the Inside Out," by Emily Hammond and David L. Markell, and other articles by Alex L. Wang, Margot J. Pollans, Linda Breggin & D. Bruce Meyers, Jr., and Brendan C. Selby.  Links to the articles are available at the link.

The Indiana Health Law Review includes papers from the AALS Symposium "Imagining the Next Quarter Century of Health Care Law" with contributions by Gaia Bernstein (article link), Kristin Madison, Barbara J. Evans, Peter J. Hammer and Efthimios Parasidis.

The Spring 2013 Florida Coastal Law Review includes "Drafting Effective Noncompete Clauses and Other Restrictive Covenants: Considerations Across the United States," by Kyle B. Sill.

Volume 47, No. 3, New England Law Review includes the symposium, "Crisis in the Judiciary," with articles a Forward by Stewart D. Aaron and contributions byDaniel J. Hall & Lee Suskin, Dr. Roger E. Hartley, Donald Campbell, Marie D. Natoli, and Martha F. Davis.

The Summer 2013 George Mason Law Review includes the 16th Annual Antitrust Symposiumwith remarks by Jeffrey Rosen and articles by Frank Pasquale, Catherine Tucker, Adam Thierer, Allen P Grunes, and James C. Cooper. Links to the articles are available at the link

The Spring 2013 Harvard Journal of Law & Technology includes Standards of Proof in Civil Litigation: An Experiment from Patent Law by David L. Schwartz & Christopher B. Seaman, Trademarks as Search Engine Keywords: Much Ado About Something? by David J. Franklyn & David A. Hyman and Patent Privateers: Private Enforcement's Historical Survivors by John M. Golden.

The Summer 2013 Tennessee Law Review includes the symposium, "TVA v. Hill: The Greatest Little Story Never Told" with contributions by Becky L. Jacobs (Forward), Dr. David A. Etnier (Introduction), Zygmunt J. B. Plater, Patrick A. Parenteau, and Henry S. Mattice, Jr., and a panel discussion transcript.

The Washington University Journal of Law & Policy, Volume 42, includes the symposium, "Privilege Revealed: Past, Present and Future" with contributions by Stephanie M. Wildman, Arthur F. McEnvoy, Bela August Walker, Lisa C. Ikemoto, Meera E. Deo, Danielle Kie Hart, and Barbara J. Flagg.

Craig Estlinbaum

September 25, 2013 in Law Review Articles | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Law School Name Change in Fort Worth

The former Texas Wesleyan School of Law opened this Fall semester as the Texas A&M University School of Law.  Earlier this year, the Texas A&M System purchased the Texas Wesleyan School of Law for $73 million.  Clay Falls at has a story with video on the transition.

Craig Estlinbaum

September 24, 2013 in Law Schools, Misc., Law School | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Interesting Article About Adjunct Abuse

The Daily Gazette ran an interesting article on September 22, 2013 about adjunct abuse, here.  The article highlights the fact that adjuncts do not make a living wage. As the article states:

Over the past couple of decades, the number of contingent — or non-tenure track — faculty positions has increased dramatically throughout the U.S., while the number of full-time tenure track positions has fallen.

The trend prompted the American Association of University Professors to highlight the issue in its 2012-13 annual report, which notes “More than three out of every four instructional staff positions (76 percent) are filled on a contingent basis.” Between 1975 and 2011, part-time faculty appointments “increased in number by more than 300 percent,” while “the number of faculty members in full-time tenured or tenure-track positions grew by only 26 percent during the same period.”

“The move to contingent, part-time faculty represents a shift in higher education,” said Bret Benjamin, president of the University at Albany’s chapter of United University Professions, the union representing SUNY employees.

Benjamin said the organization is “getting more involved” in issues related to contingent faculty.

“The faculty who teach [as adjuncts] make a pittance,” Benjamin said. “They make $2,800 per course, and they are almost never hired to teach more than two courses. These are people with Ph.D.s, and they’re making $11,000 a year. I don’t think that’s a livable wage in Albany or anywhere else.

Hat Tip: Harvey Marlow

Mitchell H. Rubinstein 



September 23, 2013 in Adjunct Information in General, Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Supreme Court Links To Nowhere

Adam Liptak has an interesting essay in today's New York Times about ill-fated hyperlinks in online United States Supreme Court opinions and discusses possible solutions.

Craig Estlinbaum

September 23, 2013 in Legal News, Legal Research, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0)

Death of an Adjunct

Daniel Kovalik, senior associate general counsel of the United Steelworkers union, shared the story last week of the recent death of 25-year Duquesne adjunct professor Margaret Mary Vojtko in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  This story has also been featured on National Public Radio.

Hat Tip:  The Faculty Lounge.

Craig Estlinbaum

September 23, 2013 in Adjunct Information in General, Adjuncts in the News, Colleges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Retraining and progressive discipline deemed inappropriate penalties where correction officer was found guilty of using excessive force against an inmate

OATH Index Nos. 731/13 & 1000/13
OATH Administrative Law Judge Alessandra R. Zorgniotti recommended that a correction officer found guilty of using improper force on four occasions be terminated from his position.
The New York City Department of Correction alleged that the correction officer used excessive physical force in dealing with prison inmates such as choking inmates, punching inmates in the head, and slamming one inmate against a wall. Among the charges served on the correction officer was one that alleged that he hit an adult inmate with a radio. 
The correction officer was also charged with making false statements in interviews concerning his conduct. 
ALJ Zorgniotti found that the correction officer’s use of deadly force and his inability to appreciate the seriousness of his misconduct indicated that retraining and progressive discipline were inappropriate penalties.
Accordingly Judge Zorgniotti recommended the individual be dismissed from his position.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:

Reprinted by permission New York Public Personnel Law

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

September 22, 2013 in Arbitration Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Interesting Case on Employment Status of Volunteers

Are volunteers employees and subject to employment laws? Of course not. I wrote a law review article on this topic. But, what is a volunteer. 

A recent case which discusses some of these issues is Henderson-Jones v. Industrial Commission of Arizona, ___P.  3d___, 2013 WL 4475051 (Ariz. App. Div. 1, August 22, 2013).  Intersted readers may want to check this case out. The court also cited me. I always get a kick out of that.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein


September 19, 2013 in Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Louisiana Replaces Failed Charters with More Charters

Mike Deshotels writes here about Louisiana’s relentless drive to privatize public education. At a recent meeting of the state board of education, packed with supporters of Governor Bobby Jindal, the board continued to approve more charters to replace failing charters.

September 17, 2013 in Current Affairs, Current Events | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Aspiration for another position with the employer not a property right

Gokaran Singh v District Council 37, et al. US Circuit Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit; 05-2255*
The Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's dismissal of Gokaran Singh’s complaint that he had been denied due process in connection with his alleged loss of property rights due him by his employer. The lower court had dismissed Singh's petition because, it held, Singh failed to demonstrate that he had been deprived of a cognizable property interest by his employer.
Singh’s complaint was based on his interest in obtaining employment in other positions within his Department, the New York City Department of Design & Construction, and his desire for an “exceptional performance” evaluation.
These objectives, said the court are “abstract need[s], desire[s] or unilateral expectation[s]” and do not satisfy the requirement that Singh demonstrate that he has been denied a property right.
* This summary order will not be published in the federal reporter and may not be cited as precedential authority to this or any other court, but may be called to the attention of this or any other court in a subsequent stage of this case, in a related case, or in any case for purposes of collateral estoppel or res judicata.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:

Reprinted by permission New York Public Personnel Law

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

September 15, 2013 in Constitutional Law, Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Winning the Lottery, but Keeping Your Job

 Two-thirds of Americans say they would continue working even if they won $10 million in the lottery, a Gallup survey finds.

Would you??

Mitchell H. Rubinstein


September 12, 2013 in Information | Permalink | Comments (1)

Un-Hired Ed: The Growing Adjunct Crisis

This commercial web site posted an interesting infographic about the abuse of adjunct professors in colleges and universities. It is full of shocking statistics which document just how little adjuncts earn and how colleges and universities could not run without us. 

Some of the more interesting statistics are that adjuncts make up 76% of college and university facilities and the average adjunct earns $8.90 per hour with no job security.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

Hat Tip:  Kyara Tobias

September 12, 2013 in Adjunct Information in General | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Public employee pensions account for about 3% of government spending

Public employee pensions account for about 3% of government spending
Source: New York State Teachers’ Retirement System

According to a February 2012 report by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA), “on the average, pension costs for state and municipal governments are just shy of 3% of total spending.”
The NASRA report noted that “State and local government pension benefits are paid not from general operating revenues, but from trust funds to which public retirees and their employers contributed while they were working. …On average, public pension programs remain a small part of state and local government spending.”

NASRA’s calculations were based on the most-recent data then available from the U.S. Census Bureau. (Read more)


Reprinted by permission New York Public Personnel Law

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

September 10, 2013 in Public Sector Labor Law, Recent Developments | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sixth Circuit 2-1 Finds Volunteer Firefighters ‘Employees' for FMLA Claim

Volunteer firefighters in Gibraltar, Mich., who receive a substantial hourly wage for responding to calls when they choose to do so are "employees" under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Sixth Circuit rules Aug. 15 (Mendel v. City of Gibraltar, 6th Cir., No. 12-1231, 8/15/13).

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

September 8, 2013 in Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

resigning one's employment to join a relocated spouse may, in certain circumstances, constitute good cause for leaving one's employment

Matter of Fuentes v Commissioner of Labor, ____A.D. 3d___(3d Dep't. July 25, 2013), is an interesting case because it discusses the fact that one can resign to join a relocated spouse, and still get unemployment. As the court explained:

Substantial evidence supports the decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board finding that claimant was disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits because he voluntarily left his employment as a machine operator without good cause based on personal reasons when continuing work was available (see Matter of Cole [Horan—Commissioner of Labor], 45 AD3d 1229, 1230 [2007]; Matter of Cisneros [Commissioner of Labor], 18 AD3d 1000, 1001 [2005]). While claimant asserts that his resignation was due to economic necessity caused by a periodic nonpermanent reduction in his work hours that had been agreed to by the employer and the union, the Board did not find this explanation credible (see Matter of Felix [Pepsi Cola Newburgh Bottling Co.—Commissioner of Labor], 14 AD3d 926, 927 [2005]). Instead, the Board noted that claimant's resignation letter acknowledged that his monthly expenses were being met and claimant also testified at the hearing that he was voluntarily sending money each week to his wife and children, who had moved to Florida. Although resigning one's employment to join a relocated spouse may, in certain circumstances, constitute good cause for leaving one's employment (see e.g. Matter of Stuber [Shanken Communications—Commissioner of Labor], 253 AD2d 972, 972 [1998]), here, claimant testified that his family had moved away over a year prior to his resignation and he would have remained working for the employer had his hours not been reduced. Accordingly, we find no basis to disturb the Board's decision that claimant did not demonstrate good cause to leave his [*2]employment (see Matter of Dawson [New York City Health & Hosps. Corp.—Commissioner of Labor], 30 AD3d 943, 944 [2006]).

September 4, 2013 in Education Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Victimless Sexual Harassment

Professor Charles Sullivan (Seton Hall) wrote an interesting blog posting on victimless sexual harassment where the harasser degrades woman in general, but not a particular individual. He cites to a NJ Supreme Court decision which found this conduct actionable. 

Law review commentary would be most welcome.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

September 2, 2013 in Employment Discrimination, Law Review Ideas | Permalink | Comments (0)