On July 22-23, Washington and Lee School of Law hosted a round table discussion of tax professors from the mid-Atlantic region. Professors from area law schools presented works-in-progress for comment and critique.
Participants included, Eric Chason (William and Mary), Michael Doran (University of Virginia), Michelle Drumbl (W&L), Brant Hellwig (W&L), Ruth Mason (University of Virginia), Gregg Polsky (University of North Carolina), and Ethan Yale (University of Virginia).
The event was sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center at W&L.
A recent article by Washington and Lee law professor Sam Calhoun has made the top-ten download list of several SSRN ejournals. The article, titled “Justice Lewis F. Powell’s Baffling Vote in Roe v. Wade,” explores Justice Powell’s vote with the majority in Roe v. Wade. Prof. Calhoun wrote the article for presentation at “Roe at 40 – The Controversy Continues,” a symposium hosted at W&L Law this fall.
The piece builds upon the unissued 1970 abortion opinion of Judge Henry J. Friendly, who, although personally pro-choice, concluded that the Fourteenth Amendment does not require abortion freedom. The article also presents research from the Powell Archives at Washington and Lee University School of Law. Here’s more from the abstract:
On its face, Powell’s Roe vote is perplexing due to its inconsistency with his stated philosophy of judicial restraint. Various explanations have been offered, including arguments that a constitutionally protected abortion right is justified (1) as a logical extension of Griswold v. Connecticut, which accorded privacy protection to contraceptive use within marriage; (2) by its “appeal to the future,” i.e., Roe merely expedited the result the country was already steadily approaching; and (3) by empathy for women facing unwanted pregnancies. None of these justifications satisfactorily aligns with Powell’s view of the judicial role. His vote therefore remains baffling.
Justice Powell’s deviation from his own declared principles of restraint is particularly problematic in the context of abortion, perhaps the most intractable legal, religious, moral, and public policy controversy of the last century. Not only did Roe, through an unjustifiably expansive conception of the judicial function, disarm one side politically in this hotly contested dispute, but in doing so the Court also endorsed the other side’s position in the underlying moral debate. Powell’s vote therefore regrettably, but unavoidably, tarnishes his legacy as a proponent of restraint.
Since being posted to SSRN, the article as appeared on a number of top-ten download lists, including for the following eJournals: LSN: Judges (Courts) (Topic); Law & Society: Family Law, Relations & Dispute Resolution; Women, Gender & the Law; LSN: Reproductive Rights (Topic); and Reproductive Justice, Law & Policy. The full article is available for download from SSRN.
On Thursday, July 10 and Friday, July 11, 2014, Washington and Lee law professor Christopher Bruner spoke at the annual conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE), “an international, inter-disciplinary organization with members in over 50 countries on five continents” representing disciplines including “economics, sociology, political science, management, psychology, law, history, and philosophy.”
On July 10, Professor Bruner discussed his recent book, Corporate Governance in the Common-Law World: The Political Foundations of Shareholder Power (Cambridge University Press, 2013), in which he develops a new comparative theory of corporate governance in common-law countries. On July 11, he presented his working paper on the role of small jurisdictions in cross-border corporate and financial services, “Market-Dominant Small Jurisdictions in a Globalizing Financial World.”
Read more about Professor Bruner’s scholarship here.
Washington and Lee law professors Russ Miller and Margaret Hu participated in a symposium billed as a “transatlantic dialogue on the NSA Affair amongst German and American scholars, former government officials, and commentators.” The two-day event was held at the University of Freiburg and co-sponsored by the University’s Centre for Security and Society and the German Law Journal.
Miller, who helped organize the symposium, has provided commentary on this issue since the NSA scandal broke last year and was the only American to offer testimony to a special committee of the German Parliament investigating the NSA activities. His presentation was titled “Privacy by Another Name? Deciphering the Differences in the German and American Struggle to Balance Liberty and Security.” Prof. Hu’s presentation was titled “Biometric Cyber Intelligence and Higher Order Cybersurveillance Risks.” A full listing of the symposium participants is available online.
The symposium received press coverage in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), one of Germany’s leading daily newspapers. The FAZ coverage is available here.
Washington and Lee law professor Josh Fairfield was a speaker at this year’s Digital Asset Transfer Authority annual conference in April. During the conference, Prof. Fairfield spoke on a panel addressing consumer protection and privacy along with Garrett Graff, Editor, The Washingtonian; Beriz Szoka, Founder and President, TechFreedom; Jody Westby, CEO Global Cyber Risk LLC; and Christina Tetreault, Staff Attorney at Consumers Union. A video of the presentation is available below:
Washington and Lee law professor Mark Drumbl was invited by the International Courts Center at the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Law to spend a week in residence in Denmark this June.
He spoke on the merits of the International Criminal Court at a panel organized at the Euroscience Open Forum 2014 Convention in Copenhagen with other speakers from Canada, Australia, and Denmark. The panel addressed questions of how best to deal with perpetrators of serious human rights abuses, including questions of whether international criminal trials served any meaningful deterrent purposes. This is an issue that Drumbl confronted in his book Atrocity, Punishment, and International Law. Drumbl also participated in a research round table held at iCourts.
A few days earlier, Drumbl participated in a two-day round table organized by the International Center for Transitional Justice, a prominent non-governmental organization, at its head office in New York. The roundtable addressed issues of the agency of child soldiers with a view to improving their rehabilitation, restoration, and citizenship following demilitarization and demobilization. Questions of agency and juvenile justice animated his 2012 book Reimagining Child Soldiers in International Law and Policy. This round table was deeply interdisciplinary in nature and drew from expertise in law and political science, but also public health, anthropology, psychology, and developmental studies.
On Thursday, July 3, 2014, Washington and Lee law professor Christopher Bruner participated in a panel discussion at the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival. Held at the Aspen Institute’s campus in Aspen, Colorado and co-sponsored by The Atlantic, the Aspen Ideas Festival gathers “leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times.” The panel discussion, titled “Seeking Business Leaders for the 21st Century,” was organized by the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program.
Washington and Lee law professor Lyman Johnson was recently invited to contribute to the Business Law Prof Blog. Professor Johnson’s post, Hobby Lobby – A Landmark Corporate Law Decision, discusses the Supreme Court’s decision in the high profile Hobby Lobby case. It appeared on Wednesday, July 2, 2014.
The Court held that a closely-held business corporation was a “person” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), that such a for-profit corporation could indeed “exercise religion” under that Act, and that as applied to closely-held corporations the contraceptive mandate promulgated under the Affordable Care Act violated RFRA. Two days after the controversial decision, the sky has not fallen, although dire forecasts to that effect still abound. My post today makes a simple but basic point: quite apart from the decision’s implications for religious liberty in the corporate realm – no small thing, to be sure – and notwithstanding the still unfolding legal and political fallout,Hobby Lobby immediately became a landmark decision in which the Supreme Court spoke in unprecedented fashion to an issue going to the very foundation of corporate law, the question of corporate purpose.
Congratulations to Washington and Lee law professor Victoria Shannon! Professor Shannon’s forthcoming work Harmonizing Third-Party Litigation Funding Regulation is named among the top ten papers in the SSRN Negotiation & Dispute Resolution eJournal. The paper will appear in the Cardozo Law Review in the coming academic year.
From the abstract:
Third-party litigation funding is no longer a new phenomenon, but rather is a mainstay in global commerce and dispute resolution. Yet, many observers still consider the third-party litigation funding industry as a “wild west” due to a lack of regulation in many countries. Some of the countries that do have regulations suffer from a lack of uniformity, particularly countries with sub-national political divisions (e.g., states, provinces, territories, etc.) that have conflicting laws. The United States is an example of a country that has a confusing patchwork of laws on third-party litigation funding. This article proposes harmonizing the regulatory framework for third-party litigation funding in the United States by: (1) identifying the three categories of interactions – transactional, procedural, and ethical – that make up third-party litigation funding; (2) proposing areas for regulation within those three categories; and (3) linking those regulations together through cross-references to create a harmonized regulatory framework. This approach will weave a regulatory “safety net” of minimum standards for behaviors and interactions of the players in third-party litigation funding arrangements to ensure the integrity of the dispute resolution system.
Washington and Lee law professor James Moliterno is currently featured by the California Bar Journal. The piece follows a presentation to California’s State Board of Trustees. Professor Moliterno spoke about how the profession has failed to evolve or respond to change such as advances in technology and a globalized economy.
Read the full article from the California Bar Journal: Law professor: Attorneys must evolve with changing times by Laura Ernde
Find more work from Professor Moliterno about the legal profession here.