Archive for November, 2011

Prof. Miller on the German Law Journal

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Professor Russell A. Miller, the Ethan Allen Faculty Fellow, recently published his book, Comparative Law as Transnational Law: A Decade of the German Law Journal. Prof. Miller edited the collection of German Law Journal works with Peer C. Zumbansen, Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Canada.

The works compiled in the book are by scholars from around the world and form a richly contextual demonstration of the increasing encounters and tensions among legal cultures. In recognizing the lack of consensus on how to define transnational law, Miller and Zumbansen have carefully selected works that help readers to grasp the challenges of defining transnational law, and to appreciate the differing approaches towards it.

Some of the works, for example, maintain that the processes of transnationalization has created a space for a new, discrete corpus of law – a field in its own right that is the equal of public international law or conflict of laws. Others understand the perceived transnational phenomena to be illustrations of an emerging legal culture that no longer fits the traditional distinction between national and international jurisdictions. In offering different approaches to such an understanding of transnational law, these works also bring out the important consequences of a more global outlook in legal scholarship, legal practice, and legal education.

The book may be found at the Oxford University Press.

Faculty Profile: Erik Luna

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Erik LunaAs a new 1L entering Stanford Law School, Professor Erik Luna’s immediate intention was to become a corporate attorney, “…of all things,” he says now with a chuckle. Instead, under the guidance of masterful teachers in criminal law and procedure, he began a career of scholarship and practice in criminal justice that has taken him to positions in San Diego, Chicago, and Salt Lake City before his arrival at Washington and Lee in 2009.

Beyond the personal influence of mentors, Professor Luna discovered that criminal law is an intellectual exercise involving the philosophical and practical questions of where societies draw their ultimate boundaries for proscribed conduct, and addressing those who cross the line.

In addition, Luna finds the criminal justice system to be a fascinating tableau where lawyers acting as defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges pursue diverging and often conflicting values and goals. As a new graduate he experienced this first hand while working in the San Diego prosecutor’s office. However, he was drawn back into academia where he found a congenial atmosphere of rigorous analytical thought allowing for a deep and satisfying immersion in criminal law.

Professor Luna’s intense intellectual curiosity fuels his research interests in many areas of criminal law. These include Federal sentencing, the law of terrorism, the drug war, search and seizure law, prosecutorial discretion, and comparative and international criminal law. His scholarship is a forceful and prolific voice on these issues. His forthcoming works are impressive, including:

  • Robinson v. California: From Revolutionary Constitutional Doctrine to Modest Ban on Status Crimes, in Criminal Law Stories, (Robert Weisberg & Donna Coker eds., Foundation Press, in press 2011)
  • The Bin Laden Exception, 106 Northwestern University Law Review (2011) (solicited commentary on airport screening methods)
  • Spoiled Rotten Social Background, 2 Alabama Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law Review (forthcoming 2011) (symposium on “rotten social background” in criminal law)
  • The Law of Terrorism (casebook with W. McCormack, 3d ed. LexisNexis, forthcoming 2012)
  • Understanding the Law of Terrorism (supplement/treatise with W. McCormack, 3d ed. LexisNexis, forthcoming 2012)
  • Psychopathy and Sentencing, in Handbook on Psychopathy and Law (K. Kiehl & W. Sinnott-Armstrong eds., Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
  • Sense and Sensibility in Mandatory Minimum Sentencing, 23 Federal Sentencing Reporter 219 (2011) (solicited for special issue, with P. Cassell)
  • The Prosecutor in Transnational Perspective (edited volume with M. Wade, Oxford University Press, in press 2011)

A recent professional highlight was acting as a visiting professional in the Prosecutor’s office at the International Criminal Court at the Hague, Netherlands. Although there were many questions raised by this institution, he came away with a new appreciation for the efforts of the attorney’s there to hold accountable some of the worst offenders in the world.

Despite this long trail of scholarship and honors, Luna can still keep things in perspective. “My classes are cops and robbers,” he smiles, “how do you beat that?”

Prof. Henning on Adolescent Behavior

November 8, 2011 2 comments

Kristin HenningIn the fifth installment of the Fall 2011 Faculty Workshop Series, sponsored by the Frances Lewis Law Center, Professor Kristin Henning, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic at Georgetown Law, came to speak yesterday about the draft of her article, Criminalizing Normal Adolescent Behavior in Communities of Color.

In the article, Prof. Henning discusses the growing number of criminal actions brought against youths who are engaging in normal adolescent delinquency. While the Supreme Court has recognized youth as a mitigating factor in the criminal justice system, juvenile justice policy appears to be shifting in the opposite direction – enforcing punitive responses rather than a rehabilitative response. She then discusses the disproportionate representation of youth of color in formal charging situations and how the broad discretion afforded to juvenile courts and the confidentiality of the proceedings provide few safeguards against bias and abuse. In the end, she attempts to tie all these concerns together and begin a conversation of how to reform the juvenile system for equal justice across all juveniles.

Many thanks to Professor Henning for visiting W&L and sharing her paper with the faculty.

Prof. Calhoun on Kermit Gosnell

November 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Samuel CalhounProfessor Samuel W. Calhoun recently published his article, Stopping Philadelphia Abortion Provider Kermit Gosnell and Preventing Others Like Him: An Outcome that Both Pro-Choicers and Pro-Lifers Should Support, in the Villanova Law Review (2012).

The article focuses on three of the atrocities committed by Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell: his shameful, destructive treatment of women; his brutal killing of born-alive infants; and his performance of illegal post-viability abortions. Prof. Calhoun argues that pro-choicers and pro-lifers alike should unite in condemning, stopping, and preventing these abuses. Women seeking abortions need the protection of medically appropriate health and safety regulations; a civilized society should not tolerate the killing of babies, viable or not, once they are born; and viable fetuses deserve meaningful legal protection. While he recognized that the wider abortion controversy is sure to continue, Prof. Calhoun feels that the combatants should join forces to achieve these three significant objectives.

The article can be found on SSRN here.

Prof. Johnson on Enduring Equity

November 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Professor Lyman P. Q. Johnson, the Robert O. Bently Professor of Law, had his article, Enduring Equity in the Close Corporation, 33 W. New Eng. L. Rev. 313 (2011), published in the Western New England Law Review.

The article commemorates the thirty-fifth anniversary of Wilkes v. Springside Nursing Home, Inc., 353 N.E.2d 657 (Mass. 1976). Prof. Johnson argues that the equitable fiduciary duties so central to Wilkes endure today in the close corporation precisely because equity, by its nature, is so exquisitely adaptive – under constantly changing circumstances − to the ongoing pursuit of a just ordering within the corporation. Unlike fixed legal rules – which are categorical, static, and do not take sufficient account of changes wrought by time or human arationality – equity is malleable and timely as it reckons with the flux and gray of business relationships. Consequently, equity continues to be necessary in modern corporate jurisprudence, even as it must continually elude law’s attempted subduction by rules. This argument is developed after the Article first places Wilkes in a larger milieu by highlighting similarities and differences between 1976 and the present, and sketching some facts about the city of Pittsfield, the nursing home industry, and the company itself – all of which changed.

The article can be found on SSRN here.

Prof. Moliterno on Law Schools

November 2, 2011 Leave a comment

James MoliternoProfessor James E. Moliterno, the Vincent Bradford Professor of Law at Washington and Lee, posted this morning on The National Law Journal’s Law School Review blog. The post was titled Time to “Do”, Not “Talk”.

In the post, Professor Moliterno discusses the downturn of the legal economy and the recent embarrassment by some law school’s reporting of employment data. His solution is to encourage transparency and to increase the value of legal education. For over 100 years, he argues, legal education has been more suited to produce law professors than practicing lawyers. Prof. Moliterno touches on the innovative change W&L has implemented in its experiential third-year curriculum. But his overall message is to “do something to make legal education better, and do it without destroying what legal education does well.”