Category: Administrative Announcements

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Introducing Guest Blogger Jane Murphy

I am delighted to welcome Jane Murphy, the Laurence M. Katz Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore murphy copySchool of Law, who will be visiting with us this month.  Professor Murphy has published widely on family and children’s issues. Her articles have appeared in the in the Cornell Law Review, Notre Dame Law ReviewNorth Carolina Law Review, the ABA Family Law Quarterly and several other journals. She is also the co-author of two books on family conflict resolution. She is the recipient of numerous grants to conduct empirical research to improve the legal system, including a two-year domestic violence study funded by the National Institute for Justice.  She has also chaired the American Bar Association’s Committee on Clinical and Skills Education and regularly serves on ABA site accreditation teams for the law schools throughout the country. She is on the Editorial Board of the Family Court Review. She received the University System of Maryland’s 2004 Award for Faculty Excellence and was the first recipient of the University of Baltimore’s Presidential Faculty Award in 2004.

Professor Murphy is the recipient of numerous other awards including the 2015 Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland’s 25th Anniversary Honoree Partner Award, the 2011 Maryland Legal Aid Centennial Champion of Human Rights and Justice, The Daily Record‘s 2004 Leadership in Law Award and the 2003 Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award. In 1999, Murphy was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women, and, in 1996, received the law school’s Full-Time Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award.

Professor Murphy has lectured on comparative family law at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, the University of Sarajevo and Shandong University, China. In spring 2000, she was a visiting professor at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri. Murphy is a member of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and New York bars.

Her recent publications include:

Moving Family Dispute Resolution from the Court System to the Community, 75 Md. L. Rev. Endnotes 11 (2016)(co-authored with Jana Singer)

Divorced from Reality: Rethinking Family Dispute Resolution (NYU Press 2015) (with Jana Singer).

The Role of Political and Social Movements on Women’s Entry into the Legal Profession in Maryland: 1902 – 1918, in Finding Justice (Thompson/UVA Press 2015).

Family Mediation Theory and Practice (co-author with Robert Rubinson) (Lexis/Nexis 2nd Edition 2015)

Revitalizing the Adversary System in Family Law, 78 U.Cin. L. Rev. 891 (2010)

Resolving Family Conflicts (co-editor with Jana Singer) (Ashgate 2008)

Legal Images of Fatherhood: Welfare Reform, Child Support Enforcement, and Fatherless Children, 81 Notre Dame L. Rev. 118 (2005)

You can find her SSRN page here.

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Introducing Guest Blogger Jana B. Singer

JSinger copy 2I am delighted to introduce Professor Jana B. Singer who will be blogging with us this month.  Jana Singer is Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Frances King Carey School of Law.  She teaches courses on family law, contracts, constitutional law, and collaborative law and practice.  A 1981 graduate of Yale Law School, she has written widely on family and children’s issues and on family dispute resolution.  Her publications include Divorced From Reality: Rethinking Family Dispute Resolution (NYU Press, 2015) (with Jane Murphy) and Resolving Family Conflicts (Ashgate, 2008) (with Jane Murphy).  Professor Singer is a member of the American Law Institute and a past Chair of the Family and Juvenile Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools.  She currently serves on the editorial board of the Family Court Review and as President of the Divorce Roundtable, an interdisciplinary group of attorneys, judges, mediators and mental health professionals, dedicated to improving the process of divorce and parental separation for children and families.

Her recent publications include:

Divorced From Reality: Rethinking Family Dispute Resolution (with Jane C. Murphy) (New York University Press, 2015)

Divorce American Style: Review of Wendy Paris, Splitopia: Dispatches From Today’s Good Divorce, 50 Family Law Q. 139 (2016) (with Naomi Cahn)

Moving Family Dispute Resolution From The Court System to the Community, 75 Maryland L. Rev. Endnotes 9 (2016) (with Jane Murphy)

Bargaining in the Shadow of the Best Interests Standard: The Close Connection Between Substance and Process in Resolving Divorce-Related Parenting Disputes, 77 Law & Contemp. Prob. 177 (2014)

You can find her SSRN page here.

 

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Hiring Committee Announcement

Professor Heather Elliott kindly passed on word related to Alabama University School of Law’s hiring goals for the year. Alabama seeks to fill entry-level/junior-lateral tenure-track positions for the 2017-2018 academic year. Candidates must have outstanding academic credentials, including a J.D. from an accredited law school or an equivalent degree (such as a Ph.D. in a related field). Entry-level candidates should demonstrate potential for strong teaching and scholarship; junior-lateral candidates should have an established record of excellent teaching and distinguished scholarship. Although positions are not necessarily limited by subject, applications from those who study and teach commercial law (including contracts and sales) or torts (including products liability) are especially welcome; business law, family law, and insurance law are also areas of interest. The school welcomes applications from candidates who approach scholarship from a variety of perspectives and methods (including quantitative or qualitative empiricism, formal mode ling, or historical or philosophical analysis). The University of Alabama embraces diversity in its faculty, students, and staff, and we welcome applications from those who would add to the diversity of our academic community. Salary, benefits, and research support will be nationally competitive. All applications are confidential to the extent permitted by state and federal law, and interested applicants should apply at facultyjobs.ua.edu; the positions remain open until filled. Questions should be directed to Professor Heather Elliott, Chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee (facappts@law.ua.edu). The University of Alabama is an Equal Employment/Equal Educational Opportunity Institution. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status, and will not be discriminated against because of their protected status. Applicants to and employees of this institution are protected under federal law from discrimination on several bases.

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Introducing Holning Lau

Lau Headshot copyI am delighted to welcome Holning Lau, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Development at the University of North Carolina School of Law, who will be blogging with us this month.  Professor Lau’s current research examines international and comparative approaches to issues of gender and sexuality. He is working on projects that focus on the European Union (supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme), Hong Kong (supported by a grant from the University of Hong Kong), and South Africa (supported by competitive grants from UNC). He is also putting final touches on an essay that draws on his own experiences with fatherhood to examine public policy proposals concerning parenting, including proposals for the United States to adopt Nordic-style laws that govern workplace parental leaves.

Prior to joining the faculty at UNC, Prof. Lau was an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the LGBT Rights Fellowship Program at Hofstra University School of Law. Before that, he was a Fellow at UCLA’s Williams Institute. He has also held visiting fellowships at the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Comparative and Public Law.

His selected publications include:

You can find his Google Scholar page here, and his SSRN page here.

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Introducing Guest Blogger Nancy E. Dowd

dowd-nancyI am delighted to welcome Professor Nancy E. Dowd who will be joining us for a guest visit this month.  Professor Dowd holds the David H. Levin Chair in Family Law at the University of Florida, Levin College of Law.  Professor Dowd’s research focuses on social justice issues connected to family law, and therefore touches on not only family law but also juvenile law, constitutional law, race and gender analysis, and social change theories. She is currently engaged in research and writing about a developmental model of equality and focusing on the life course of African American boys from birth to age 18.  Two of Professor Dowd’s most recent books focus on the radical reform needed in the juvenile justice system.  Justice for Kids: Keeping Kids Out of the Juvenile Justice System (NYU Press 2011) brings together activists and scholars to articulate ways to keep kids out of the juvenile justice system, by diversion into other more helpful and supportive resolutions.  A New Juvenile Justice System: Total Reform for a Broken System (NYU Press 2015) articulates the vision of a new youth justice system focused on child well being and public safety. Her other recent book is The Man Question: Male Privilege and Subordination (NYU Press 2010), in which she explores masculinities theories as a means to expand gender analysis and also incorporate other hierarchies that affect gender, particularly race and class.

Professor Dowd served as the Director of the Center on Children and Families at the University of Florida, Levin College of Law until 2015, and in that role focused on issues of juvenile justice, social justice, non-traditional families, gay and lesbian rights, and collaboration with the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations on issues of race and families. While director, she was also involved with successful grants that established the Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Clinic led by Professor Teresa Drake, a groundbreaking collaboration between law and medicine to establish a cutting edge clinic. That work has exposed the importance of trauma informed scholarship and service, and feeds back into Professor Dowd’s current scholarship as well.

Her other recent publications include:

  • A Developmental Equality Model for the Best Interests of Children, in Implementing Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Best Interests, Welfare and Well-Being (Elaine E. Sutherland & Lesley Anne Barnes Macfarlane, eds., Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2016)
  • Collaborative Law at Divorce in the United States, in “Le ragioni degli altri”. Mediazione e famiglia tra conflitto e dialogo: una prospettiva comparatistica ed interdisciplinare (“The reasons of the others.” Mediation and family between conflict and dialogue: a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective) (Elena Urso ed. 2014).
  • Unfinished Equality: The Case of Black Boys, 2 Ind. J.L. & Soc. Equality 36 (2013)
  • What Men? The Essentialist Error of The “End of Men,” 93 B.U. L. Rev. 1203
  • Asking the Man Question: Masculinities Analysis and Feminist Theory, in Exploring Masculinities: Feminist Legal Theory Reflections (Michael Thomson & Martha Fineman eds., Ashgate 2013)
  • Sperm, Testosterone, Masculinities, and Fatherhood, 13 Nev. L.J. 101 (2013)
  • Fatherhood and Equality: Reconfiguring Masculinities, XLV Suffolk U. L. Rev. 1049 (2012)
  • Masculinities and Law: Feminist Legal Theory Meets Masculinities Theory (with Nancy Levit & Ann McGinley), in Masculinities and Law: A Multidimensional Approach (Frank Rudy Cooper & Ann McGinley eds., New York University Press, 2012)

You can find her ssrn page here

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B Corps for Bankers

Claire Hill and Richard Painter’s new Better Bankers, Better Banks aims to find a way forward by looking backward – and by casting a few sidelong glances as well. It is valuable for what it has to say about the view in all directions.

Begin from where we are – the point from which Hill and Painter would like to see forward movement. Where we are now is a world in which, even seven years out from the crash of ’08, banking scandal is near boring in its ubiquity. From Libor in 2012 to Euribor, forex, commodity and precious metal cornering thereafter, the story of financial markets of late seems an unending parade of horribles.

How do we get out of this seeming cesspool? Here is where Hill and Painter look backward and sideways.

First let’s look back. Time was when ‘bankers’ – Hill and Painter employ the term broadly to cover all folk who hold ‘other folks’ money’ – invested not only our money, but their money too. By organizing as general partnerships whose partners were jointly and severally liable for losses, they kept, as the current idiom has it, ‘skin in the game.’ This of course aligned their interests with client and institutional interests – to some extent, anyway. (Names like ‘Jay Gould’ should remind us that ‘some extent’ wasn’t the ‘full extent.’) And so there were limits on how much by way of other folks’ money the bankers were likely to fritter away.

Now let’s look sideways. There appears to be growing consensus, in the face of such scandals as those just rehearsed, that our regulatory and law enforcement regimes’ penchant for penalizing banks rather than bankers just isn’t cutting it. Compared to the gains to be had from wrongful behavior unlikely to be caught, even five or twelve billion dollar settlements between banks and their regulators are chump change. Oughtn’t we, then, focus our efforts upon the human agents through whom the banks act? After all, five billion – or five years in jail – are more likely to pinch if you’re human.

Hill and Painter like what they see in both directions. They find limitations, however, in how effective the enforcement of finance-regulatory provisions can be. These, they believe, are just too easy to game – a fact that might partly account for regulators’ going after the banks rather than the bankers in the first place. Why not, then, take yet another sidelong glance in another direction – that of contemporary moves to simulate better regulation through private ordering? Are there not means, for example, of appealing to socially responsible investors by committing to operate as a socially responsible business – e.g., as a ‘B Corp’ or ‘Benefit Corp’?

Indeed there are, and though they do not discuss these new business forms, Hill and Painter valuably adapt, in effect, the idea behind them to financial firms. Herewith the authors’ novel suggestion to introduce a practice of what they call ‘Covenant Banking.’ The idea is for financial firms whose owners or managers are comfortable with the idea to undertake ‘skin in the game’ commitments on the part of their managers. Managers would voluntarily assume some liability for losses, thereby partly replicating the ancien regime of pre-corporate partnership banking. Investors could then choose between what kinds of institutions through which they invest – the more risk-averse perhaps working through covenant banks, the more risk-cavalier working through today’s more familiar casinoish firms.

It would be hard not to like this proposal. What’s not to like? Like recent proposals for Wall Street voluntarily to maintain ‘naughty lists‘ of bankers who have gotten themselves into trouble, it imposes nothing, yet offers something – the prospect of ‘better bankers,’ hence ‘better banks,’ for at least some investors. It simply expands the field of choice, and who in these times doesn’t like choice?

If I have any reservations about Hill and Painter’s proposal or their brief in its favor, they have to do with the prospect of some people’s possibly taking the authors to claim or to promise more than they actually intend.

To begin with, we should note that wrongs such as those alleged in connection with Libor, Euribor, forex, and commodity and precious metal cornering are not wrongs of excessive risk-taking. They are wrongs of sheer fraud and manipulation. It isn’t the case that ‘skin in the game’ on the part of the relevant fraudsters in these cases ‘would’ have helped; the ‘skin’ seems to have been at the core of the ‘game’ from the start, and was indeed part of the problem – the fraudsters profited precisely by illicitly betting their own money on what they controlled. Hill and Painter, then, should not be taken to be targeting this form of market abuse through their proposal.

A distinct but related point has to do with the lead-up, not to 2012 and after, but to 2008. It is still common to hear that year’s cataclysm blamed upon venal behavior or ‘excessive risk-taking’ by ‘bankers.’ And such behavior clearly occurred – it always does. But a very strong case can be made – I think I and others have made it – that the principal causes of 2008 were more radical than mere vice or recklessness on the part of some bankers. They are endemic to capitalism itself absent serious and sustained effort on the part of the polity to distribute capital’s returns – or capital itself – far more equitably than we’d managed before 1929 or between 1970 and 2008. ‘Better bankers’ would certainly be better than worse bankers; better still would be better distributions of that with which bankers bank.

Finally, there is a danger in underselling what proper law enforcement, adequately funded and staffed, can do where finance-regulation is concerned. When Wall Street contributes more to political campaigns than most other industries, when DOJ officials openly admit to having feared to prosecute bankers for fear of rattling markets, and when regulators like the CFTC and the SEC are chronically understaffed and underfunded, we should be skeptical of suggestions that ‘gameability’ of the rules is the sole – or even principal – reason for old fashioned law enforcement’s not having eradicated rulebreaking by financiers. Indeed, as Hill and Painter themselves note, a rule change at the NYSE in 1970 played a critical role in the move from partnership to incorporated form among Wall Street investment banks. If that is so, could a legal re-imposition of some variant of the old rule not itself make for ‘better bankers’?

None of these caveats should be taken as more than what they are – mere caveats. There is much, much to be learned from a reading of Hill and Painter, and much is quite plausibly promised by their Covenant Banking. And since, as before noted, their proposal is made in effect to the banks rather than the polity, it seems to be all upside, no down. Let, then, those bankers intrigued by the Hill/Painter proposal give it a go. One might even imagine some funds offering their services in A and B flavors, so to speak – in Covenant and Noncovenant forms. In such case consistently better performance by one kind over the other might in future foment a stampede to the winning kind, and with it a privately worked transformation.

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AALS and Markelfest happy hour

For those of you attending AALS in New York this week, Prawfsblawg is hosting a MarkelFest! Happy Hour from 8:30 p.m.-?? on Thursday (Jan. 7) at Bridges in the Hilton (entrance on the 54th Street side). This will be on the public side of the bar. Please come join us to meet our readers, remember Dan, and carry on the social tradition that he enjoyed so much.

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Privatization: The American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy Meeting

For readers attending AALS (or who live in the New York area), good news: the annual conference of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy, on “Privatization,” is being held in conjunction with the annual meeting of AALS on January 6, 2016, in New York. It will take place in the Riverside Ballroom, Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. Here is the program. The conference features prominent scholars in law, political science, and philosophy. Registration is not required.

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Introducing Guest Blogger Jenny-Brooke Condon

I am delighted to welcome Professor Jenny-Brooke Condon who will be joining us for a guest visit this month. Professor Condon is an Associatecondon-jenny-brooke-lg_1 Professor of Law in the Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall Law School where she directs the Equal Justice Clinic. Her research and practice interests are in the areas of human rights, immigration law, prisoners’ rights, and constitutional law.

Professor Condon was a lead attorney in Matter of A-T, a challenge to the denial of asylum to a victim of female genital mutilation, which in conjunction with a national advocacy effort, resulted in a precedential decision by the Attorney General establishing that victims of gender-based violence are entitled to equal treatment under the asylum laws. Through the Equal Justice Clinic, she also litigated an equal protection challenge to the denial of state-funded healthcare benefits to low-income, lawful permanent residents on the basis of their alienage status before the New Jersey Supreme Court. Currently the clinic is counsel in matters addressing conditions for prisoners at a county jail, the death penalty in Alabama, public access to information regarding private prison contractors’ influence on immigration detention policy, and the deaths of migrants along the southern border.

Prior to rejoining the Seton Hall Law School faculty in 2010, Professor Condon was a John J. Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law at Gibbons P.C. where she engaged in a wide range of public interest litigation within New Jersey and nationally. During her fellowship, Professor Condon co-counseled with the ACLU in Freedom of Information Act litigation compelling the disclosure of the Office of Legal Counsel’s so-called “torture memos,” which purported to authorize the abuse of prisoners detained abroad; successfully advocated on behalf of a local citizen’s group to defend a municipal gun control ordinance in the New Jersey Supreme Court; and contributed to the criminal defense of Ali al-Marri, the last remaining enemy combatant held on U.S. soil. Her work as a Gibbons Fellow also addressed such issues as marriage equality, police misconduct, and capital punishment. As a clinical teaching fellow and Visiting Professor at Seton Hall Law from 2005-2008, Professor Condon represented numerous survivors of torture, trafficking, and domestic violence in successful claims for asylum and other immigration relief. She also helped supervise a civil litigation clinic focused on the revitalization of urban communities plagued by foreclosure and predatory lending.

In 2008, Professor Condon organized and led Seton Hall’s annual delegation of students and faculty to L’École Supérieure Catholique de Droit de Jérémie in Haiti and was a member of the delegation in 2007. Following graduation from law school, Professor Condon served as a law clerk to the Honorable Barry T. Albin, Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court. She then served as the Litigation Director for the World Organization for Human Rights in Washington, D.C. Professor Condon graduated from Seton Hall Law School magna cum laude, where she was a Chancellor Scholar, was inducted into the Order of the Coif, and served as an editor of the Law Review.

Her publications include:

The Preempting of Equal Protection for Immigrations, ____ Wash. & Lee L. Rev. ____ (forthcoming 2015)

 Illegal Secrets, 91 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1099 (2014)

 Extraterritorial Interrogation: The Porous Border Between Torture and U.S. Criminal Trials, 60 Rutgers L. Rev. 3 (2008)

You can find her ssrn page here.