Friday, September 17, 2010

Teaching and technology

361px-BigRedSmile_A_new_Computer.svg The New York Times has a series of really thoughtful and interesting short essays on different aspects of technology and the relationship technology has to teaching and learning. As you'll likely be able to tell from at least some of the titles, the common theme is that technology can be a tool for some kinds of things, but it can't actually cause the learning or replace the work that the learner does.

There's a lot of great and thought provoking material in there that will serve us as teachers well for a long time, unaffected by the rapid rate of change that rules technology itself.


September 17, 2010 in Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Call for Proposals for SEALS Discussion Group on Arbitration of Employment Claims

Sealslogo Ariana Levinson (Louisville) sends us a Call for Proposals for the 2011 Annual Meeting, Southeastern Association of Law Schools (July 24, 2011 - July 30, 2011) for a Discussion Group on Arbitration of Employment Claims: Should It Stay or Should It Go?

Here is the description of the discussion group:

One topic that continues to be hotly debated in the employment law field is whether an employer should be able to waive an employee’s right to go to court on a statutory claim, and if so, under what circumstances.  This discussion group will focus on issues raised by the Arbitration Fairness Act and recent or pending Supreme Court decisions, such as Stolt-Nielsen, Rent-A-Center, Granite Rock, Pyett, and Concepcion.  Discussion of related topics is welcome.  Each discussant will post a short abstract on the SEALS web page in advance of the conference to provide other discussants and audience participants an idea of the range of ideas held by the discussants. 

This discussion group will be moderated by Professor Ariana Levinson, Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville.  Confirmed participants are:  Rick Bales (Northern Kentucky), Thomas Burch (Florida State), Andrea Doneff (John Marshall, Atlanta), Theodore Eisenberg (Cornell), Michael Green (Texas Wesleyan), Jay Grenig (Marquette), Becky Jacobs (Tennessee), Ariana Levinson (Louisville), Marcia McCormick (St. Louis University), Margaret Moses (Loyola Chicago), Kathryn Sabbeth (North Carolina), Charles Shanor (Emory), Ron Turner (Houston), and Stephen Ware (Kansas). 

Individuals wishing to join the group and present a paper are asked to submit a brief proposal, identifying the topic on which they would like to speak and the general position they will take. 

Proposals should be submitted jointly to Professors Levinson and Michael Green at, respectively, and Proposals should be submitted by October 6.  Abstracts will then be requested from those individuals whose proposals are accepted and should be submitted no later than June 17, 2011. 


September 17, 2010 in Conferences & Colloquia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Goldberg on LawProf Legend Clyde Summers

GoldbergM300x266Faculty_de.ashx From Mary Dudziak at the Legal History Blog:

Present at the Creation: Clyde W. Summers and the Field of Union Democracy Law has just been posted by Michael J. Goldberg, Widener University - School of Law.  It appears in the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal (2010).  Here's the abstract:

This article describes and analyzes the contributions of Professor Clyde W. Summers to the development of union democracy law in the United States and his contributions to the movement dedicated to bringing more democratic practices to American unions. The first part of the article evaluates Summers' writings on the importance of democracy in the labor movement. The second part describes Summers' work as both a scholar and public policy activist shaping the law of union democracy, including his critical role in the drafting of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959. The final part of the article examines Summers contributions to the creation of a movement, embodied in the Association for Union Democracy, to promote democratic unionism. It also describes his continuing efforts, through his scholarship and his advocacy, to implement and further develop the field of law he helped to create.


September 16, 2010 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Student Writing Competition

Quill American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law and
College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
Annual Law Student Writing Competition

The American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law and the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers have announced that they have together established a joint Annual Law Student Writing Competition beginning in 2011.  Students at accredited U.S. law schools are eligible to enter.  Entries may address any aspect of public or private sector labor and/or employment law relevant to the American labor and employment bar.  Three prizes will be awarded by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers:  First Place:  $1500, Second Place:  $1000, Third Place:  $500.  The first-place winning article will be published in the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law and its author will be a guest at the annual CLE program of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and honored at the Annual Induction Dinner of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.  The deadline for submission of articles is 5 p.m. CDT on May 15, 2011.  Here are the full competition rules.


September 16, 2010 in Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Class Action Sex Discrim Case Filed Agains Goldman Sachs

Gs  Above the Law has the details:

Three female ex-employees of Goldman Sachs  accuse the venerable bank of maintaining an “outdated corporate culture” that discriminates against women in terms of pay and promotions. The [plaintiffs] seek class-action certification for a class consisting of all female managing directors, vice presidents and associates in the last six years.  The lawsuit alleges that women are underrepresented in GS management, making up just 14 percent of partners, 17 percent of managing directors, and 29 percent of vice presidents.


September 16, 2010 in Employment Discrimination | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New ADA Regulations for Titles II and III

Doj Many thanks to Richard Diaz (Blank Rome in Philly) for alerting us that the official text of the new ADA regulations (to Titles II and III) was published in today's Federal Register.  I haven't yet had a chance to review the new regs, but here they are.  We're still waiting on the regs to Title I.


September 15, 2010 in Beltway Developments, Disability, Employment Discrimination | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Working Mother's 100 Best Companies 2010

Working mother 2010Working Mother magazine has issued its annual list of the 100 best companies to work for. This marks the list's twenty-fifth anniversary. The list is compiled based on things like the workplace profile, benefits, women’s issues and advancement, child care, flexible work, paid time off and leaves, company culture, and work-life programs. The website also has a feature on companies that are best for women of color. While four law firms made the list, only one university did. And while most of the evaluations seem tilted towards the upper levels of the pay scale, some of the companies also seem to be good places for women in low wage work.


September 15, 2010 in Worklife Issues, Workplace Trends | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AFL-CIO Fellowship Opportunity

Afl The AFL-CIO Legal Department is offering a one-year fellowship beginning in September 2011.  It's perfect for students graduating in May 2011.  Here's the application information.

The AFL-CIO Fellow will work with lawyers in the AFL-CIO Legal Department and with other union lawyers around the country on a wide range of activities. The Fellow will assist experienced lawyers working on cases and regulatory matters that affect the labor movement and the rights of workers. The AFL-CIO’s litigation caseload includes cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, the NLRB, and a small number of state appellate suits. In addition, the AFL-CIO Legal Department frequently presents the views of the labor movement on federal regulatory initiatives affecting workers. Whenever possible, the Fellow will be given the opportunity to participate in meetings with union lawyers and to attend oral arguments. The AFL-CIO Fellow will also participate in Lawyers Coordinating Committee activities, including preparation for attorney conferences, outreach to new labor lawyers and law students, and regular opportunities to attend LCC meetings and conferences.

The fellowship salary is in the range of $55,000 to $70,000 depending on experience. Benefits include excellent medical and dental insurance plus paid vacation. 


September 15, 2010 in Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Measuring Success

SmileyA new study released earlier this year by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers (both from the Wharton School and both affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research and other thinktanks), which is currently under review for publication provides an interesting picture of racial and gender progress since the 1970s. The study, Subjective and Objective Indicators of Racial Progress, notes that very little progress has been made to close the racial gap in wealth and income in the last thirty-five years, but significant progress has been made in closing the gap in happiness in that time period.

From the study,

Our contribution in this paper is to carefully document trends over several decades in subjective well-being by race in the United States, collecting evidence across a wide array of datasets covering various demographic groups, time periods, and measures of subjective well-being. To preview our findings, section II shows that blacks in the United States were much less happy in the 1970s than would be predicted by objective differences in life circumstances. We next show that over recent decades, blacks have become happier, both absolutely and relative to whites. Blacks continue to report lower levels of happiness compared to whites, but the gap has been systematically closing. In section III we show that this fact is robust to accounting for trends in incarceration (potentially missing data) and to exploring other data sets and measures of subjective well-being. In section IV, we consider who has received the greatest gains in happiness among blacks and how that has contributed to the closing of the racial gap. In this section we also explore the relationship between income and happiness by race and we take a look at other measures of well-being.

It is possible, as this NY Times article suggests, that the aggregate increase in happiness is attributable in part to the decline in overt racism people may encounter in their day-to-day lives. In fact, the study's abstract states that gains in happiness are concentrated in women and both sexes living in the South, groups that have likely seen the most change in attitudes in their own communities.

There's still plenty of room for improvement, though, as the continued existence of a significant gap in subjective feelings of well being and the continued existence of the persistent and significant gap in objective measures of well being demonstrate. And although subjective feelings of well being are certainly an important improvement, until there is objective equality, we will not have reached a state where race no longer matters.


September 15, 2010 in Commentary, Employment Discrimination, Worklife Issues, Workplace Trends | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Jump-Starting Scholarship

Write Good advice, from the Chronicle of Higher Education, on jump-starting scholarship.  Hat tip: Carol Bredemeyer.


September 15, 2010 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spurned Dean Candidate Files Discrimination Claim

W Dan Filler reported at Brian Leiter's Law School Reports Friday on a discrimination claim brought by a rejected dean candidate at University of Windsor Law School.  The Montreal Gazette explains that Professor Emily Carasco has filed a formal complaint of discrimination to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and is asking the Tribunal

to suspend the search for a new law dean on campus, arguing that she was denied the position through racism, sexism and a false allegation of plagiarism....  [Carasco] was one of two candidates shortlisted for the top law-school job -- before the university decided in the spring not to appoint either as dean, and to start the search anew.  She [wants the Tribunal] to force the University of Windsor to appoint her the dean of law for a five-year renewable term.

Dan Filler has more information in a post today.  He explains:

[I]t turns out that Professor Carasco has had an ongoing contentious relationship with her home institution.  In particular, in the late 1980's, she batt[le]d the university over pay imbalances for women faculty.  She documented this fight in A Case of Double Jeopardy: Race and Gender, published in a 1992 issue of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law.  (She may not have won many friends on the Windsor faculty by implying that her application for Associate Dean, in 1990, was unjustly rejected because she fought for racial and gender justice.  And that the faculty is filled with liberals who don't recognize their own bias.)  In 1998-99 she applied for promotion to full professor.  Her application was opposed by the Faculty of Law.  Upon appeal to the University Committee on Promotion, the decision was reversed and her application was granted.  In 2007, she successfully convinced a divided faculty to end its practice of cancel[]ing classes for the Jewish High Holidays - arguing that although the faculty couldn't end the statutory preference for Christian holidays, it oughtn't give preference to Judaism over other religions.  (In this particular battle, she was strongly opposed by Professor Richard Moon - the person she alleges tanked her deanship battle by pointing to prior claims of plag[i]arism.)


September 14, 2010 in Employment Discrimination | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Recently Published Scholarship: Missouri L. Rev.

Mulogosmall Wendy Greene (Cumberland) writes to let us know about a recent colloquium issue, and rather than re-invent the wheel, I'll just post the text of Wendy's email:

I am not sure if you have posted information about Natasha Martin’s recently published article, “Pretext in Peril” in the Missouri Law Review, but if not I wanted to provide the citation information to her wonderful, “must read” article! The citation is: 75 MO. L. REV. 313 (2010). (You might remember that Natasha presented an earlier draft of this piece at the Annual Labor and Employment Colloquium year before last.) Also, her article is a part of a colloquium issue to which Trina Jones, Ann McGinley, and I provided responses.

The titles and citations of the responses are as follows:

  • D. Wendy Greene, “Pretext Without Context”,  75 MO. L. REV. 403 (2010) (*I examine Ash v. Tyson Foods, Inc. and the use of “boy” in race discrimination cases*).
  • Trina Jones, “Anti-Discrimination Law in Peril?”, 75 MO. L. REV. 423 (2010).
  • Ann C. McGinley, “Discrimination Redefined”, 75 MO. L. REV. 443 (2010).

September 14, 2010 in Conferences & Colloquia, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Drummonds & Secunda Cited in Schaumber Dissent

Secunda Drummonds Congratulations to Henry Drummonds and Paul Secunda, who have the honor of being cited in one of NLRB Member Peter Schaumber’s last dissenting opinions.  [Paul points out that he and Henry are cited "as pointy-headed academics who know nothing".  I'd be proud to be cited in a Schaumber dissent.]  The case is Independence Residences, 355 NLRB No. 153, 2010 WL 3428537:

Fn. 23 - The majority's opinion in effect implements a “New Federalism” doctrine advocated by some in academia to limit the scope of Federal preemption and to encourage states to be more proactive in passing legislation protective of union organizational activities because the federal protective scheme under the Act has allegedly failed to do the job. See, e.g., Henry H. Drummonds, Beyond the Employee Free Choice Act: Unleashing the States in Labor - Management Relations Policy, 19 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Policy 83 (2009), and Paul M. Secunda, The Ironic Necessity for State Protection of Workers, 157 U. Pa. L. Rev. 29, 29 (2008). Of course, as applied to the Act and controlling Supreme Court precedent, the doctrine is no more valid than the nullification doctrine rejected long ago during the Jacksonian presidency. We do not suggest that state and local authorities would act in deliberate defiance of Federal law, although we obviously take notice that Sec. 211-a is the third such piece of legislation the Board has been called upon to examine in recent years. Our primary concern is that local authorities will be encouraged to pass legislation based on a restrictive, and ultimately incorrect view, of the scope of Brown and the preemption doctrine. That concern is certainly heightened by our colleagues' unwillingness to do no more than “assume” preemption, and their adoption of a highly deferential standard that permits such legislation to directly impact Board elections.

September 13, 2010 in Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Marquette Law Review Symposium - Promoting Employee Voice in the New American Economy

MarquetteThe Marquette Law Review Symposium this year will be on a labor and employment law topic that I have had the pleasure of organizing as part of Marquette's Labor and Employment Law Program.   The event will be on Friday, October 1, 2010 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the beautiful, new Eckstein Hall Law School building at 1215 Michigan Ave, Milwaukee, WI.

The name of the program is: Promoting Employee Voice in the New American Economy and features, among other prominent speakers, Professor Kenneth Dau-Schmidt, the Willard and Margaret Carl Professor of Labor and Employment Law at Indiana University – Bloomington, Maurer School of Law.

All are welcome. There is no fee for this conference, but registration is required.  Please reserve your spot by September 23, 2010 by filling out and sending in this this form.

Here is the schedule with speakers:

8:15 -Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00-9:30 - Welcome

Principal Paper: Promoting Employee Voice in the A merican Economy: A Call for Comprehensive Reform

Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, Willard and Margaret Carl Professor of Labor and Employment Law
Indiana University – Bloomington, Maurer School of Law

Responses and Critiques: Lessons From History

Moderator: Paul M. Secunda, Associate Professor of Law
Marquette University Law School

Laura J. Cooper, J. Stewart and Mario Thomas McClendon Professor in Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution, University of Minnesota Law School

Aditi Bagchi, Assistant Professor of Law
University of Pennsylvania Law School

Responses and Critiques: Lessons from the Public Sector

Moderator: Phoebe W. Williams, Associate Professor of Law
Marquette University Law School

Ann C. Hodges, Professor of Law
University of Richmond School of Law

Joseph E. Slater, Eugene N. Balk Professor of Law and Values
University of Toledo College of Law

Responses and Critiques: Ideological Insights

Moderator: Jay E. Grenig, Professor of Law
Marquette University Law School

Richard Michael Fischl, Professor of Law
University of Connecticut School of Law

Scott A. Moss, Associate Professor of Law
University of Colorado School of Law

Rebuttal and Closing Remarks

Questions? Write me at or call me at 414.288.6497.


September 13, 2010 in Conferences & Colloquia, Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Secunda & Hirsch Mastering Employment Discrimination Law

Mastering edCongratulations to our own Paul Secunda and Jeff Hirsch, whose new book, Mastering Employment Discrimination Law is now available for order. From the detailed table of contents, table of cases, and forward (all here), it looks like a great resource. From Carolina Academic Press,

Mastering Employment Discrimination Law seeks to strike a balance between comprehensiveness and selectivity. It provides both the procedural and substantive material needed to succeed in practice, in the classroom, and on final examinations, without overwhelming the reader with details that are unduly esoteric or tangential.

The book begins first with coverage and jurisdiction issues surrounding employment discrimination law. It then turns to federal and state procedural topics surrounding the filing of administrative charges of discrimination and civil lawsuits. Finally, the book addresses comprehensively the substantive aspects of Title VII, ADEA, ADA (including the new ADAAA), Equal Pay Act, and the Civil Rights Acts, covering topics such as disparate treatment discrimination (including single- and mixed-motive claims, as well as the BFOQ defense), disparate impact discrimination, and related issues, such as remedies, attorney fees, and settlements.

If you are teaching Employment Discrimination and would like an examination copy, here is the link to request one. Great work, guys!


September 13, 2010 in Books, Employment Discrimination, Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Harpur to Queensland-Beirne

HarpurCongratulations to Paul Harpur, currently at Griffith University (Australia), who has just accepted a University of Queensland Post Doctorate Research Fellowship based in the TC Beirne School of Law.  His project is entitled From Ratification to Implementation: The Disability Human Rights Paradigm and the Right to Work in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  This is a topic especially topical in Australia, where Sydney's Ron McCallum AO is serving as the Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


September 13, 2010 in Faculty Moves, Faculty News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Using Social Networking Evidence in Workers' Comp Cases

Duhl Gregory M. Duhl (William Mitchell) & Jaclyn S. Millner (Fitch, Johnson, Larson & Held) have just posted on SSRN their article (forthcoming 31 Pace L. Rev.) Social Networking and Workers’ Compensation Law at the Crossroads.  Here's an excerpt from the abstract:
... In this article, we examine how social networking has influenced workers’ compensation law, looking at, in particular, the intersection of professional responsibility, discovery, privacy, and evidence with social networking in state workers’ compensation systems.... The flexible and self-contained structure of workers’ compensation systems provides an ideal backdrop against which to examine how information from social networking sites can be used as evidence to resolve civil disputes.

A state’s workers’ compensation system should use the rules that have traditionally applied to non-electronic information as a starting point to address issues arising from lawyers gathering and introducing into evidence information stored on social networking sites. At the same time, because of the efficiency of workers’ compensation law and the large discretion vested in its judges, workers’ compensation systems have the potential to be laboratories for new technologies and how they can be used in the resolution of disputes, both inside and outside of workers’ compensation.

September 13, 2010 in Scholarship, Workplace Safety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)