Category: Administrative Announcements


Glad to Be Here

Thanks, Dan S., for the warm Concurring Opinions welcome! I’m happy to be here, writing whatever I want, I mean, advancing the intellectual legal dialectic of this most scholarly blog. Enough filler for now (no offense, Dan F.), more about contracts, employment, law and popular culture (and dinosaurs) to come.


Introducing Guest Blogger Miriam Cherry

cherry-miriam1a.jpgWe are delighted that Miriam Cherry will be joining us for a guest visit over the next few weeks.

This fall, Miriam will be joining McGeorge-University of the Pacific School of Law. She is currently a law professor at Cumberland Law School, and she is finishing a visit at Hofstra Law School. She received her B.A. from Dartmouth College, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. Miriam teaches business associations, employment law, and sales.

Prior to entering law teaching, Miriam clerked for Justice Roderick Ireland of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, and for Judge Gerald Heaney of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. She was a corporate attorney at Foley Hoag in Boston, and, in the wake of Enron and Worldcom, litigated accounting fraud cases on behalf of pension funds at Berman DeValerio & Pease, also in Boston.

Some of Miriam’s recent publications include: Whistling in the Dark? Corporate Fraud, Whistleblowers, and the Implications of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for Employment Law, 79 Wash. L. Rev. 1029 (2004); How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Cases): Gender Stereotypes and Sexual Harassment Since the Passage of Title VII, 22 Hofstra Labor & Employment L.J. 533 (2005) (invited symposium contribution); A Tyrannosaurus-Rex Aptly Named “Sue”: Using a Disputed Dinosaur to Teach Contract Defenses, 82 N.D. L. Rev. 295 (2005). She also has two forthcoming articles on the subject of information markets in the Nw. U. L. Rev. and Rutgers L. Rev., and two forthcoming articles on employment topics in the U.C. Davis L. Rev. and the Berkeley J. of Labor & Employment Law. More publications are at Miriam’s SSRN page.

I was going to write that one of Miriam’s claims to fame is that she has penned the only law review article with “Tyrannosaurus” in the title, but surprisingly there are two other articles. Who would have thought that there are three law review articles about Tyrannosaurus Rex? You learn something new every day.


Michelle Anderson’s New Deanship

CUNY.jpgThere is terrific news to report. Our current guest blogger, Michelle Anderson, was just appointed as the new dean of CUNY Law School. This news is proof that if you blog at Concurring Opinions, great things will happen to you. From the CUNY Law School press release:

Prominent legal scholar Michelle J. Anderson, Esq. has been appointed by the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York as Dean of the CUNY School of Law, effective July 1, 2006.

An academic leader with a passion for social justice, Professor Anderson is a graduate of Yale Law School where she was Notes Editor of the Yale Law Journal and Editor of the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism. A member of the faculty of Villanova University School of Law since 1998, she has taught criminal law, criminal procedure, children and the law, and feminist legal theory and received top rankings as a classroom teacher. . . .

Professor Anderson is one of the nation’s leading scholars on the legal aspects of sexual assault. Widely published, her articles have appeared in the University of Southern California Law Review, George Washington Law Review, University of Illinois Law Review, and Boston University Law Review, among other journals. Recently, in Commonwealth v. King, a case involving the admission of a first complaint of child sexual abuse, the Massachusetts Supreme Court, the state’s highest appellate court, cited two of Professor Anderson’s published pieces. . . .

Opened in 1983, CUNY School of Law, located in Flushing, Queens, is the only law school which, from its inception, has defined its mission as training law students for public service. In addition to its unique educational mission, the Law School takes pride in its national leadership in clinical education, its affordable cost, and its distinction as the nation’s most diverse law school. The School is a national leader in progressive legal education with the highest rate of placement of graduates in public interest and public service careers.


Hat tip: As usual, Brian Leiter had the breaking news. In fact, he probably knows whether you’re moving before you do.


Reefer Madness At The FDA

marijuana-leaf.jpgOne of the most troubling behaviors of the current administration is its repeated willingness to manipulate the distribution of empirical data with which it disagrees. From global warming to crime, the government seems more interested in promoting its policy preferences than transparently reporting the results of the research it performs or supports. The administration has a legitimate right to advocate for its positions. But if it wants to argue that marijuana ought to be illegal, as the FDA did last week in its Inter-Agency Advisory Regarding Claims That Smoked Marijuana Is A Medicine, it seems to me the better policy – both from an honesty and a credibility point of view – is to concede the facts that cut against you, and make your case anyway. In its press release last week, the FDA asserted that:

A past evaluation by several Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), concluded that no sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States.

True as this may be, a 1999 review of studies by the National Institute of Medicine suggests that marijuana offers potential therapeutic value for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation. Also, it notes that “until a non-smoked, rapid-onset cannabanoid drug delivery system becomes available…there is no clear alternative” to smoking. Why can’t the administration concede the existence of this data review by another federal agency?

It seems to me that the administration is driven by a decision, ex ante, that marijuana ought to be illegal. If it were truly interested in investigating the utility of the drug, it wouldn’t make serious research into its value exceedingly difficult. So the federal government ignores data suggesting the value of marijuana. It makes it hard to generate more research on marijuana. And it is therefore able to rail against the many states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. There are reasons to believe that, if the government allowed the debate to flourish – by sharing data that does exist and promoting the production of new data – its position might become weaker. But if marijuana is in fact effective as a medicine, perhaps the FDA should legalize it. And if the government’s real argument is something other than efficacy – that it is very likely to be misued, for example, or that its increased availability will lead to a rise in DUI cases – then it should make that case instead.

In some respects, this approach to policy debate reminds me of an argument made by death penalty opponents who argue that the death penalty is bad policy because it is expensive. But why is it expensive? Because opponents litigate these cases very aggressively. There are many good reasons why some people may oppose the death penalty. But it seems to me that when the people complaining about the cost of capital punishment are the people generating this expense, one should at least be skeptical. I’m not denying that the expense argument might mask a a deeper claim: perhaps these cases are so expensive, and require so many appeals, because the state fails to provide excellent counsel in the first instance. But if this is true, wouldn’t a more logical solution to the cost problem be a requirement that states spend money on quality counsel up front, to save in the long haul? In the end, the real claim underneath cost is fairness: the quality of a person’s lawyer should not determine whether he receives a death sentence. That may not “sell” as well to certain voters, but it is the more honest argument.

As for reefer, when government is making the arguments, I think we have a right to expect honesty. The FDA’s dubious pronouncement appears driven primarily by the administration’s emotional hatred of marijuana. Personally, I’d prefer FDA decisions to be grounded in evidence-based research rather than simply madness.


Introducing Guest Blogger Michelle Anderson

anderson-michelle1a.jpgMichelle J. Anderson is a law professor at Villanova University School of Law, where she teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, children and the law, and feminist legal theory. She attended the University of California at Santa Cruz and Yale Law School, where she was Notes Editor on the Yale Law Journal. After law school, Michelle clerked for Judge William A. Norris on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Michelle has been a Fellow and Visiting Professor in the Appellate Litigation Program and the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and a Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Michelle’s scholarly focus is rape law. Recent publications include: Negotiating Sex, 78 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1401 (2005), The Legacy of the Prompt Complaint Requirement, Corroboration Requirement, and Cautionary Instructions on Campus Sexual Assault, 84 B.U. L. Rev. 945 (2004), Marital Immunity, Intimate Relationships, and Improper Inferences: A New Law on Sexual Offenses by Intimates, 54 Hastings L.J. 1464 (2003), and From Chastity Requirement to Sexuality License: Sexual Consent and a New Rape Shield Law, 70 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 51 (2002). For more publications, visit Michelle’s SSRN page.

Michelle co-chairs the Pennsylvania Assessment Team of the American Bar Association’s Death Penalty Moratorium Project. She is also a member of the Board of Directors and Policy Chair for the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence.


Introducing Guest Blogger Laura Heymann

heymann1a.jpgWe are delighted that Laura Heymann will be joining us as a guest for the next few weeks. Laura is currently a law professor at the College of William & Mary’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she joined the faculty in 2005 and teaches in the fields of intellectual property and torts. Before joining the W&M faculty, she was the inaugural Frank H. Marks Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Administrative Fellow in the Intellectual Property Law Program at The George Washington University Law School. She’s also served as an assistant general counsel at America Online, Inc.; as an associate at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C.; and as a law clerk to the Hon. Patricia M. Wald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Some of Laura’s publications include: Inducement as Contributory Copyright Infringement: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., 37 International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law 31 (2006) and The Birth of the Authornym: Authorship, Pseudonymity, and Trademark Law, 80 Notre Dame Law Review 1377 (2005).

A Fond Farewell

I just wanted to thank the ConOp crew–the Dans, Kaimi, & Dave–for letting me guest-blog here. It’s been great trying to write for a wider audience. I admire how the “wisdom of crowds” in the comment section can lead to some real synergies–either via correcting errors (thanks to Maryland Conservatarian for challenging all progressive shibboleths!) or just aggregating knowledge (and here I’ll highlight the many commenters on my post on publishing student work…their opinions may well be more valuable than the post itself). I should also thank Alfredo Perez of Political Theory Daily Review, an absolute must-read metablog , which often led me to the stories I commented on over the past month.

Leaving is somewhat sweet (no more pressure to say something unconventional!), but also bitter (given that there’s so much more to say!). I wish I’d had time to comment on the literary form of blogging (a topic suggested by Clay Shirky’s insightful commentary on Elizabeth Spiers’ pioneering work in the genre here), blogging as social science, improving law teaching (there certainly should be great wisdom in crowds here, as Peter Schuck suggests), and Eric Goldman’s and James Grimmelmann’s work on search engines (a topic that’s fascinated me for some time). But that just sets the agenda for my visit to PrawfsBlawg in May. Hopefully I’ll see you then!


Introducing Guest Blogger Melissa Waters

waters-melissa.jpgWe are delighted to have Melissa Waters join us as a guest blogger over the next several weeks. Melissa is a law professor at Washington & Lee Law School, where she teaches international law, foreign relations law, civil procedure, and conflicts of law. She received both her J.D. and her B.A. from Yale University, and did graduate work at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. Prior to entering law teaching, Professor Waters was a law clerk to Judge Morris S. Arnold on the Eighth Circuit, and a litigator at Williams & Connolly in Washington, DC.

From 2000-2001, she worked at the U.S. Department of State as Senior Advisor to Harold Hongju Koh, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights & Labor. She also served as a consultant to the Soros Foundation Open Society Institute, and as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve Law School.

Her current research focuses on the role of domestic courts as mediators between the domestic and international legal regimes, and on the impact of transnational judicial dialogue on the development of international legal norms. She also consults on human rights training and rule of law programs worldwide, focusing most recently on human rights training programs for judges from Iraq and from Central Asia.

Her recent publications include: Mediating Norms and Identity: The Role of Transnational Judicial Dialogue in Creating and Enforcing International Law, 93 Georgetown Law Journal 487 (2005); Justice Scalia on the Use of Foreign Law in Constitutional Interpretation: Undirectional Monologue or Co-Constructive Dialogue, 12 Tulsa J. Comp. & Int’l L. 149 (2004) (symposium); Common Law Courts in an Age of Equity Procedure: Redefining Appellate Review for the Mass Tort Era, 80 N.C. L. Rev. 527 (2002).


Adieu and Thanks

Its been a pleasure guest-blogging for the past month, and an honor to get to write on a site whose posts I’ve been reading since the beginning. All good things must come to an end, though. Or at least, sort an end: this guest-blogging is apparently addictive! In a week or two, you will find me at the international law blog Opinio Juris, which is the kind of thing you might like, if, as they say, you like that kind of thing. And after that, having hit for the guest-blogger cycle, I will look forward to returning to a consumption-based, rather than provision-based, approach to digital content.