Faculty News

Harvard economist Freeman headlining annual Warns-Render Labor & Employment Law Institute

Richard B. Freeman, the Herbert Ascherman Professor of Economics at Harvard University, is the keynote speaker for this year’s Warns-Render Labor & Employment Law Institute, set for June 11 and 12 at the Seelbach Hilton, 500 S. Fourth St., Louisville. His speech is titled “The Citizens’ Share: Employee Ownership in the Era of Robotization.”

The 32nd annual event’s theme this year is, “The Changing Landscape of Modern Employment.”

Freeman is currently serving as faculty co-director of the Labor and Worklife Program at the Harvard Law School, and is a Senior Research Fellow in Labour Markets at the London School of Economics' Centre for Economic Performance. He directs the Science and Engineering Workforce Project at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and is Co-Director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities.

Additionally, Professor Freeman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science. He received the Mincer Lifetime Achievement Prize from the Society of Labor Economics in 2006. In 2007 he was awarded the IZA Prize in Labor Economics. In 2011 he was appointed Frances Perkins Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Professor Freeman's research interests include the job market for scientists and engineers; the transformation of scientific ideas into innovations; Chinese labor markets; restructuring European welfare states, income distribution and equity in the marketplace; and forms of labor market representation and shared capitalism. Recent books include, What Workers Want (2007 2nd edition), What Workers Say: Employee Voice in the Anglo American World (2007), International Differences in the Business Practices & Productivity of Firms (2009), Science and Engineering Careers in the United States (2009), Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options (2010), and The Citizens Share: Putting Ownership Back Into Democracy (Yale Univ Press 2013).
Freeman agreed to the keynote earlier this year when he met Brandeis Professor Ariana Levinson during the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations Mid-Year Fellows Workshop.

Levinson calls him an “amazing mind in the world of economics.”

Other event highlights

In addition to Freeman, other speakers include Honorable Rebecca Pallmeyer, Federal Judge for the U.S.
District Court, Northern District of Illinois; Barry J. Kearney, Office of the General Counsel, National Labor Relations Board; Carolyn L. Wheeler, Office of the General Counsel, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Honorable Jonathan R. Weatherby, Administrative Law Judge, Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims; and Judge Ann Bailey Smith, Kentucky Circuit Court.

Also speaking will be Professors Christine Cooper from Loyola University Chicago; Marcia McCormick from St. Louis University Law School, Michael Z. Green, Texas A & M University School of Law, Alex B. Long, University of Tennessee College of Law and Ann McGinley, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Boyd School of Law.

Area attorneys are also offering up their time for the sessions, including Garry Adams, Clay Daniel Walton Adams PLC; James Noll, chair of the KBA Labor and Employment Law Section; Patricia Thomas Bittel, Employment Arbitrator; Ben Basil, Priddy, Cutler, Naake & Meade PLLC; Tyson Gorman, Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP; Lacey Napper, Frost Brown Todd LLC; Sherry Brown Keller, Fogle Keller Purdy, PLLC; Peter J. Naake, Priddy, Cutler, Naake & Meade PLLC; Paul Mollica, Outten & Golden; Douglas McSwain, Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP; J. Kent Gregory, Sterling G. Thompson Co.; Pam Q. Devata, Seyfarth Shaw LLP; and Geoffrey Andrews, founder and COO of Social Intelligence Corporation.

Brandeis School of Law Dean Susan Duncan will open the event Thursday morning. Also on Thursday, Judge Pallmeyer will participate in a live skills workshop, titled “Objection! Evidentiary Issues in Employment Litigation,” along with Professor Cooper, attorneys Basil, Gorman and Napper, and Brandeis students Aida Almasalkhi, Grace Chambers and Rebecca Reynolds.

Other session topics will include:

  • Arbitration of Employment Disputes - Issues and Awards
  • The ADA at 25
  • The ACA & Wellness Programs: Controlling Medical Costs While Dodging Expensive Employment Claims
  • NLRB Update
  • EEOC Update
  • Workers’ Compensation Update
  • The NLRA and the Evolving Workplace: Technological and Legal Issues
  • Employment Discrimination in the Legal Profession: A Question of Ethics?
  • Keeping Hiring Practices Legal: New Data Sources, Background

Professor Levinson said this year’s event should be of interest to a variety of audiences, including those in law, the HR community and the business community.

“HR professionals will benefit because we have high quality speakers from across the country speaking on concrete, up-to-date topics such as hiring using new data sources, new ADA updates, workers compensation, the ACA and wellness and more,” Levinson said.

The lineup also includes high ranking officials from the offices of the National Labor Review Board and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“You just don’t get this opportunity every day. We have national programming happening right here at home,” Levinson said.

CLE hours, keynote discount available

The event will offer 14 CLE hours from the Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio Bar Associations, including two hours satisfying the Kentucky ethics requirement.

Additionally, re-certification credit hours can be earned toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR from the HR Certification Institute.
Registration is $395 ($50 additional if printed material is requested).

Anyone who is interested in attending Freeman’s keynote speech only can do so for $10.

There is also a 10-percent early bird rate for registrations done prior to May 4.

Registration for the 32nd Annual Warns-Render Labor & Employment Law Institute can be done online.

Program sponsors include:

  • Frost Brown Todd LLC
  • Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, PC
  • LG&E and KU Services Company
  • Priddy Cutler Naake & Meade PLLC
  • Stites & Harbison PLLC
  • Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP  







Professor McNeal appears on Huffington Post Live

Professor Laura McNeal appeared on Huffington Post Live this morning to continue the conversation on the shooting deaths of unarmed victims by police officers.

The segment follows Professor McNeal’s quotes in the San Francisco Chronicle over the weekend on the same topic. Huffington Post Live host Ricky Camilleri specifically explored the most recent incident in which Tulsa, Oklahoma, Reserve Police Officer Robert Bates shot and killed unarmed 44-year-old Eric Harris after mistaking his firearm for a Taser.

The host asked panelists why so few cops are prosecuted and why these incidents, including with citizen police officers, keep happening.

During the segment, Professor McNeal discussed concerns over volunteer police officer training, calling it “abbreviated.” She also talked about the special nature it takes to be a police officer.

“Just because you want to be a police officer doesn’t mean you have the disposition,” she said.
Professor McNeal said we need a better screening process for police officers, including ongoing psychological testing.

She added that there is also a lack of training on when to use deadly force.

"We not only need pre-screening, but also continuous training on when the use of excessive force is required and appropriate,” she said. “What we’re seeing are police officers who don’t have the disposition and frankly should not be police officers.”

Professor McNeal added that prosecution rates are low because “it’s hard for many Americans to believe police officers lie or engage in criminal behavior, so it takes indisputable evidence.”

Professor McNeal was joined by Cheryl Dorsey, retired LAPD sergeant and author of “The Creation of a Manifesto: Black & Blue;” Philip Stinson, a criminal justice professor at BGSU; and Jarrel Wade, a reporter for Tulsa World.

Professor Powell named Dean for Research for 2016

Brandeis School of Law Dean Susan Duncan has announced that Professor Cedric Powell has agreed to be the Dean for Research next year.

“Professor Powell's reputation nationally as an excellent scholar and his mentoring experience makes him a great choice,” said Dean Duncan.

Professor Powell has been a lead primary commentator/panelist for the annual John Mercer Langston Black Male Faculty Writing Workshops, and has also spearheaded the Charles Parrish Brother-to-Brother Initiative on campus, which helps recruit, retain and promote African American male staff, faculty and administrators.

Dean Duncan will work with Professor Powell to bring speakers to the law school on a variety of topics. Professor Powell succeeds Professor John Cross in this role.

Professor McNeal quoted in SF Chronicle about South Carolina police shooting

Professor Laura McNeal was quoted in an article that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle over the weekend, headlined “Video of police shooting isn’t a lock for criminal conviction.”

The article examines the North Charleston, South Carolina, incident on April 4 in which Police Office Michael T. Slager shot and killed Walter L. Scott while he fled from a traffic stop. Video of the incident was caught on a bystander’s cell phone and showed Slager firing off eight shots, four of which hit Scott in the back.

Slager, 33, has been arrested and charged with murder.

The San Francisco Chronicle article questions if video evidence is enough to convict Slager, pointing to previous incidents caught on video that did not yield such results, including last year’s fatal chokehold that killed Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, and the Rodney King case from 1991.

In the latter case, police officers testified that they were defending themselves from an aggressive King. Professor McNeal said that angle is unlikely to be used in the South Carolina case because Scott didn’t appear to pose a threat and was also unarmed.

“I’d be hard-pressed to find a jury that would not convict this officer of murder,” McNeal told the publication, adding that a jury might conclude that Slager didn’t have time to plan the killing and convict him of second-degree murder instead of premeditated first-degree murder.

Recent Bar Publications

Here's a roundup of recent law school related news from the Louisville and Kentucky Bar Associations.

Highlights from the LBA's April 2015 Bar Briefs:

  • Dean Susan Duncan's April column features "The Brandeis Connection to SCOTUS' Same-Sex Marriage Decision" and "Brandeis Students Gain 'Real Life' Experiences Through College of Business Partnership" (pages 6 & 9).
  • Professor Kurt Metzmeier writes about "Homing in on the Home-Rule Rules: Researching Kentucky Municipal and County Law" (page 17)
Highlights from the LBA's March 2015 Bar Briefs:
  • "Behind the Bench: Judge Jennifer H. Leibson, Jefferson District Court, Division 5" features Professor Leibson's daughter (page 4).
  • Professors Mark Rothstein, JoAnne Sweeny, and Russ Weaver are spotlighted in "Technology and Privacy - 50 years after Griswold v Connecticut" for their work on privacy issues (page 6).
  • The Dean's column also includes, "Laboratory for Democracy and Citizenship and the 2015 Brandeis Medal Recipient" (page 6).
Highlights from the LBA's February 2015 Bar Briefs:
  • In her monthly column, Dean Duncan reports about the Inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Summit and announces that Arthur Miller has been named the 2015 Brandeis Medalist. Lastly, Professors Laura McNeal and Cedric Powell are spotlighted in "Brandeis Professors Add to Ferguson Discussion" (page 6).
  • Photos of the Louisville Law School community are featured in "Bench & Bar Social" (pages 12-13).
  • "Diversity and Disability Discrimination: Impact on the Legal Profession" by Professor Laura Rothstein (pages 18-19)
Highlights from the Kentucky Bar Association's March 2015 Bench & Bar (Vol 79, No 2):
  • "Batson v. Kentucky: A Retrospective" by Professor Justin Walker (pages 10-13)
  • "Young Lawyers Called to Public Service" may be of interest to Louisville Law students (pages 18-21).
  • "Data Breach and the Kentucky Lawyer" by Professor Michael Losavio, UofL Justice Administration
  • The bi-monthly UofL column features an introduction to two incoming Louisville Law faculty, Goldburn P. Maynard and Justin Walker. Also included is an announcement about Daniel Cameron, '11, being named Senator McConnell's Legal Counsel (pages 49-50).
  • Several graduates are featured in "On the Move" (pages 70-77).
  • Robert Franklin Cooper Jr., '38, is honored "In Memoriam". He lived to be 101 years old  (page 78).
Both publications are available at the Law Library.  

Professor Smith headed to China for two IP presentations

Professor Lars Smith will be in China from April 16-21 to give two presentations, including:

  • A speech on U.S. Regulation of Bitcoins at the 2015 IPR Nanhu Forum, International Conference on “Building a Powerful IPR Country” and
  • A lecture at China University of Political Science and Law on U.S. Trademark Law.
The Nanhu Forum is a national conference on intellectual property sponsored by the university where Smith did his Fulbright in 2011, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law. The conference alternates each other year between Wuhan, China, where Zhongnan is located, and another host city. This year, the conference is being held in Nanjing, at the IP School of Nanjing University of Science and Technology.

The second item is a lecture being hosted by the China University of Political Science and Law. Smith was invited to give a lecture on U.S. Trademark law by Dr. Nan Zhang, a Chinese IP scholar.

Additionally, Professor Smith spoke at the 2015 IP Scholars Roundtable at Drake University Law School in March.

Professor McNeal to speak at LSAC’s Diversity Retention Conference

Professor Laura McNeal has been invited to speak at the Law School Admissions Council’s Diversity Retention Conference on Wednesday in Las Vegas. She will speak about why diversity is critical to legal education, as well as ways to increase the diversity pipeline at law schools.
“It’s important that the legal field is representative of society. In order to best serve our clients, we have to understand the importance of diversity and the role we can play in minimizing bias and ensuring everyone has equal representation, regardless of race, gender, economic status, religion or sexual orientation,” Professor McNeal said.

More information is available on the LSAC website.

Professor Arnold to speak at MIT’s interdisciplinary water symposium

Professor Tony Arnold has been invited to speak at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a panel for an interdisciplinary water symposium titled, “Redefining Water Challenges.”
The symposium is co-sponsored by water programs at MIT and Tufts University and will focus on new interdisciplinary research collaborations. The symposium will be held May 1-2 on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass.  

Additionally, Professor Arnold is co-author of an article that has been accepted for publication by Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, which is ranked No. 3 in the world in the field of environmental science and No. 6 in the world in the field of ecology. The article is titled ""Barriers and Bridges to the Integration of Social-Ecological Resilience and Law."

It is the product of an interdisciplinary collaboration among 11 environmental scientists and legal scholars.  

SSRN Legal Studies Research Paper Series, Vol 9, No 2

The March issue of our SSRN Research Paper series features publications from some of our outstanding female scholars, including Professors Abrams, Fischer, Rothstein, and Sweeny.

Professor Powell to speak on structural inequality, schools and post-racial determinism

Professor Cedric Powell will speak on a panel April 17 at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, as part of the "Freedom From Fear: On Black Childhood and Other Dangers" event.

This event is a continuation of a panel held in November at the University of Kentucky, where Professor Powell also presented.

His topic for the Portland panel is, "The Dangers of Neutrality: Structural Inequality, Schools, and Post-Racial Determinism."