Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Friday, November 29, 2013

Interesting Facts About Phd Programs

Kyara from Online-from, a commmercial site, wrote to inform us about an interesting  infographic Doctorate Degrees: Are They Worth It?

This infographic is full of statisical information about jobs and salaries. I found that the most interesting section outlined the youngest people who were awarded this disagree. One person was even awarded this degree at age 13!

Mitchell H. Rubinstein


November 29, 2013 in College Professors, Colleges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Adjunct and Student Learning: Mixed Messages

From Coleen Flaherty at Inside Higher Ed:

Most of the existing research on the employment of adjunct faculty and student success shows a negative relationship, not because adjuncts are bad teachers but because their working conditions prevent them from being as effective as they could be. But earlier this fall, a much-cited study disputed by some, showed the opposite: that students actually may learn more from adjunct faculty members -- at least at research universities that can afford to pay part-timers well and that may discourage tenure-track faculty members from focusing on teaching. Now, a preliminary study is mixing up the literature once again, concluding that employment of adjunct faculty has no impact on student success in community colleges.

Full article here.

Craig Estlinbaum

November 27, 2013 in Adjunct Information in General, Colleges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Harvard Law Review's Supreme Court Issue

Harvard Law Review has released its Annual Supreme Court Review.  This is the table of contents:

  • Forward, Equality Divided, by Reva B Siegel (Yale);
  • Comment, Beyond the Discrimination Model on Voting, by Samuel Issacharoff (NYU);
  • Comment, Windsor and Brown: Marriage Equality and Racial Equality, by Michael J. Klarman (Harvard);
  • Comment, License, Registration, Cheek Swab: DNA Testing and the Divided Court, by Erin Murphy (NYU).

The issue also includes the section on the Term's leading cases plus court statistics.  This is a link to the issue. There are also links at the HLR website to online responses to the Isaacharoff, Klarman and Murphy comments as well.

Craig Estlinbaum

November 26, 2013 in Law Review Articles, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Title VII Claim Survives Where Plaintiff Called a Skinny Bitch

A school bus driver who allegedly was fired for complaining that co-workers spread false rumors that she engaged in extramarital affairs and called her names such as “skinny bitch” and “whore” can pursue a retaliation claim under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Billings v. Sw. Allen Cnty. Sch., ___F.Supp. 2d ___(N.D. Ind. 10-17-13).

November 24, 2013 in Employment Discrimination | Permalink | Comments (1)

Important Case on FMLA Eligibility

Mcardle v. Town of Dracut, ____F.3d____(1st Cir. Oct.9, 2013), Download Mcardle 1st Cir 2013 Teacher FMLA eligibilityis an important FMLA case. The case concerns FMLA eligibility. Specifically, the court held that a teacher did not work the required number of hours to be eligible for coverage. Of note, however, is that the court seemed willing to count prep time and work at home, such as grading papers.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

November 24, 2013 in FMLA | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Job openings available on New York State’s JOBS EXPRESS website

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced more than 82,000 positions are currently listed on New York State’s Jobs Expresswebsite.

Jobs Express connects job seekers to openings in each Region of the state and currently lists an average of 51,000 new jobs each month statewide. The Jobs Express website takes thousands of jobs posted by employers and sorts them by Region to help job seekers evaluate what industries are growing in their area and find out what opportunities are available in specific economic sectors.

Statewide, the highest numbers of available jobs are in the fields of: Sales and Related positions; Management; Office, Clerical and Secretarial; Computer and Mathematical; and Healthcare Practitioner and Technical.

Certain areas of the State, however, offer employment opportunities in additional fields. In the North Country Region, for example, businesses are listing more than 2,100 open positions on Jobs Express with the highest number of available jobs in the fields of: Farming, Fishing and Forestry; Sales and Related positions; Healthcare Practitioner and Technical; Office, Clerical and Secretarial; and Transportation and Material Moving.

Job seekers and employers interested in learning more should visit the Jobs Express website at

Reprinted with permission New York Public Personnel Law

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

November 20, 2013 in Misc., Non-Legal | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Facebook and Judges

In a recent Texas Court of Appeals decision, the court found that a mere Facebook friendship does not amount to a lack of impartiality by judge. The case is Youkers v. State, 2013 WL 2077196 (Tex. App.—Dallas May 15, 2013). In that case, the assault victim’s father was Facebook friends with the judge presiding over the trial.

Certainly, a Facebook friendship with a judge raises an eyebrown of suspension and it would seem that the better practice would be for judges to recuse themselves from such cases.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein


Craig Estlinbaum also ran an excellent story about this case, here. 


November 17, 2013 in Judges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Service as an independent contractor does not count in qualifying for unemployment insurance benefits

Matter of Tkachyshyn (Commissioner of Labor), 2013 NY Slip Op 06057, Appellate Division, Third Department
Volodymyr I. Tkachyshyn, a substitute teacher and math tutor, filed three claims for unemployment insurance benefits.
Although initially deemed eligible for benefits in each instance, following Appellate Division’s decision in Leazard v TestQuest, Inc., 74 AD3d 1414, the Department of Labor issued revised decisions finding that earnings in connection with tutoring services through TestQuest, Inc. was not covered employment for the purposes of qualifying for unemployment insurance benefits “given that tutors such as [Tkachyshyn] were independent contractors.”
The Appellate Division commented that in “TestQuest, Inc. tutors such as claimant were deemed by this Court to be independent contractors … which decision is conclusive and binding upon all such persons employed by TestQuest, Inc.,” citing Labor Law §620[1][b].* Thus, said the court, those earnings cannot qualify for inclusion as remuneration in the base periods to determine eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits.**
As the record establishes that Tkachyshyn did not have sufficient covered earnings to file a valid original claim pursuant to Labor Law §527 in either his base period or alternate base period for any of the three claims, the Appellate Division found that substantial evidence supports the Board's decision and dismissed his appeal.
* §620[1][b] of the Labor Law, in pertinent part, provides that the hearing officer’s “decision shall not be deemed limited in its effect to the immediate claimant making the claim for benefits but shall be deemed a general determination of such questions with respect to all those employed by such person or employer for all the purposes of this article, and such decision shall be conclusive and binding upon the claimant and such person or employer…”.
** The Appellate Division noted that “notwithstanding the absence of any fault on the part of Tkachyshyn, he was charged with a recoverable overpayment of federal emergency unemployment compensation funds. Whether Tkachyshyn was eligible for a waiver of recoverability of those benefits was referred back to the Department of Labor and was not at issue on this appeal.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:

Reprinted by permission New York Public Personnel Law

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

November 14, 2013 in Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Off-duty misconduct

2013 NY Slip Op 06085, Appellate Division, First Department
The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly’s dismissal of a police officer found guilty of discharging his weapon “in the direction of his former girlfriend during an altercation” while off-duty. The court said that there was substantial evidence to support the Commissioner’s finding.
In addition, the Appellate Division noted that the officer was also found guilty of the charges that he was “out of residence while on sick report” and provided false information concerning his absence based on his guilty plea to the allegations.
The police officer’s argument that the hearing officer “improperly placed the burden of proof on him” was rejected by the court as the record indicated that Department satisfied its burden of proving that the officer had committed the acts charged and the hearing officer determined that the officer’s testimony did not rebut the Department’s evidence. 
Citing Featherstone v Franco, 95 NY2d 550, the court said that the penalty of termination did not shock its sense of fairness.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:

Reprinted with permission New York Public Personnel Law

Mitchell H. Rubinstein


November 12, 2013 in Arbitration Law, Public Sector Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Boston U. Law Review: America’s Political Dysfunction

Boston University Law Review is hosting a symposium, "America’s Political Dysfunction: Constitutional Connections, Causes, Cures" on November 15-16.  Danielle Citron at Concurring Opinions has a comprehensive symposium preview, including the conference schedule here.

Craig Estlinbaum

November 9, 2013 in Conferences, Faculty | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 8, 2013

On Professors on Wikipedia

Anna Samoilenko and Taha Yasseri's study, "The Distorted Mirror of Wikipedia: a Quantitative Analysis of Wikipedi Coverage of Academics" is posted at the Cornell University Library.  Robinson Meyer has commentary on the paper on The Atlantic.  He writes:

Does your professor have their own Wikipedia page? Well congratulations!, a new study finds. That probably doesn’t mean anything important.

The Oxford University study, submitted for review to EPJ Data Science* late last week, found no meaningful correlation between an academic having their own entry on Wikipedia and being productive or prolific in their field. It also didn’t find a correlation between any major measure of Wikipedia success—the length of an entry, say, or the number of edits to that entry—and an academic’s prolificness.

In short, a scientist having their own Wikipedia entry means—to use a technical term—diddly squat.

Hardly surprising, when you think about it.

Craig Estlinbaum

November 8, 2013 in College Professors, Technology | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board is bound by the disciplinary hearing officer's "factual findings” and his conclusion that the employee had been insubordinate in determining if the individual’s behavior constituted disqualifying misconduct

2013 NY Slip Op 05942, Appellate Division, Third Department
A school custodian [Employee] was served with disciplinary charges pursuant to Civil Service Law §75 alleging that he was guilty of misconduct, incompetence and insubordination. The disciplinary hearing officer found Employee guilty of charges of misconduct and insubordination involving numerous incidents, including Employee’s sleeping while on duty and Employee’s “using vacation days” without giving proper notice or obtaining authorization to do so.
The hearing officer also determined that Employee was guilty of misconduct and insubordination with respect to his behavior after being served with the initial disciplinary charges and specifications brought against him by “verbally abusing his supervisor and failing to immediately leave the premises after being directed to do so.”*
Noting that Employee had violated an earlier "last chance" agreement specifying that dismissal was appropriate if he engaged in any future misconduct, the hearing officer recommended that Employee be terminated from his position.
The appointing authority adopted the hearing officer’s findings and recommendation and dismissed Employee from his position.
Employee applied for unemployment insurance benefits. The Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board determined that Employee's behavior “did not rise to the level of disqualifying misconduct" and awarded him unemployment insurance benefits.The employer appealed the Board’s decision.
The Appellate Division reversed the Board’s ruling, explaining that although the Board was free to make "independent additional factual findings" and draw its own independent conclusion as to whether Employee's behavior rose to the level of disqualifying misconduct for purposes of entitlement to unemployment insurance benefits, it was also bound by the disciplinary hearing officer's "factual findings” with respect to Employee’s conduct and the hearing officer's conclusion that Employee was guilty of insubordination.
As the Board failed to consider whether some of the established instances of misbehavior constituted disqualifying misconduct, and improperly contradicted other factual findings of the disciplinary hearing officer, the Appellate Division remanded the matter to the Board “so that it may reconsider” its ruling consistent with the court’s decision.
* Presumably the initial disciplinary charges served on Employee were amended or supplemented to reflect these additional allegations of misconduct.
The decision is posted on the Internet at:

Reprinted with permission New York Public Personnel Law

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

November 7, 2013 in Employment Law | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 4, 2013

7th Issues A Major Decision Concerning Union Release Time


In Titan Tire Corp. v. United Steel Workers (Nov. 1, 2013), the Seventh Circuit held that an arbitration award requiring the company to honor a contract provision requiring the payment of the full-time union salaries of covered employees who took leave to hold local union office was void as against public policy because it required payments that violate LMRA § 302.  Expressly disagreeing with the Third Circuit's decision in Caterpillar, Inv. v. UAW, 107 F.3d 1052 (3d Cir. 1997), the Seventh Circuit concluded that the level of compensation paid to the local officers under the terms of the collectively bargained union leave provision was so incommensurate with the officers' former employment at Titan as to not come within the 302(c)(1) for payments made "by reason of" former employment.  Chief Judge Wood, joined by two other circuit judges, dissented from denial of rehearing en banc.

A copy of the decision is available to be downloaded by clicking  Download Titan Tire v. United Steel Workers

This decision is 49 pages long and full of cites. Law review commentary on this important topic would be most welcome.


Mitchell H. Rubinstein

November 4, 2013 in Law Review Ideas, Unions | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Important Conference National Center of Collective Bargaining April 6-April 8

The National Center of Collective Bargaining is having its annual conference April 6-8. I have been to this conference and it is excellent. This year, there are excellent speakers and it includes information contingent faculty. Readers and researchers may find this of interest.

Update: A copy of the progam is available by clicking  Download 41st Annual National Conference--Preliminary Program

Mitchell Rubinstein

Hat Tip: William Herbert

November 3, 2013 in Adjunct Information in General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 1, 2013

New in Law Reviews

The Summer 2013 University of Chicago Law Review has "Tortfest," by J. Shahar Dillbury (Alabama); "Judging the Flood of Litigation," by Marin K. Levy (Duke); "Unbundling Constitutionality," by Richard Primus (Michigan); and "When Nudges Fail: Slippery Defaults," by Lauren E. Willis (Loyola LA, visiting Harvard).

The Spring 2013 Brooklyn Law Review has "The Great and Mighty Tax Law: How the Roberts Court Has Reduced Contitutional Scrutiny of Taxes and Tax Expenditures," by Linda Sugin (Fordham); "Beyond Blood and Borders: Finding Meaning in Birthright Citizenship," by D. Carolina Nunez (Brigham Young); "Harmonizing the Affordable Care Act with the Three Main National Systems for Healthcare Quality Improvement: The Tort, Licensure and Hospital Peer Review Hearings Systems," by Katharine Van Tassel (Akron); and "Software Patents and/or Software Development," by Wendy Seltzer.

The most recent Akron Law Review (Vol. 46, No. 4) includes "Symposium: The Next Generation of Envoirnmental and Natural Resources Law:  What Has Changed in Forty Years and What Needs To Change as a Result." 

The August 2013 Buffalo Law Review includes, "Hollow Spaces," by Charles H. Brower, II (Wayne State); "Shareholder Derivative Litigation's Historical and Normative Foundations," by Ann M. Scarlett (Saint Louis); and "So You Want to Have a Second Child?  Second Child Bias and the Justification-Suppression Model of Prejudice in Family Responsibilities Discrimination," by Kyle C. Velte (Denver).

Craig Estlinbaum

November 1, 2013 in Law Review Articles | Permalink | Comments (0)