Faculty News

Professor Rothstein moderating Individuals with Disabilities panel

Professor Laura Rothstein will moderate a panel of individuals with disabilities, titled “A View from the Inside,” on April 1 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Chao Auditorium.

The panel is part of a four-day program titled “Embracing Disability for an Inclusive Campus,” presented by the Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality. It is being co-sponsored by the Health Sciences Center Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Disability Resource Center.

The event begins March 30 with a presentation on how to create accessible courses. Sessions will be held on both the Belknap Campus and at the Health Sciences Center.

For more information or to register, visit Louisville.edu/disability/codre.

Professor McNeal speaking at ASU's School-to-Prison Pipeline event

Professor Laura McNeal has been invited to speak at Arizona State University's "School-to-Prison Pipeline in Indian County" symposium and town hall meeting. The event is Friday in ASU's The Great Hall.

Professor McNeal's talk is titled: “Managing Our Blind Spot, The Role of Implicit Bias and the School-to-Prison Pipeline.” She will be discussing her research conducted through the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School regarding how to minimize the effects of implicit bias in school disciplinary referrals.

"This work is important to me because I strongly believe that we have a responsibility to ensure that every child has the opportunity to fulfill their potential and receive a high quality education. The bottom line is when children are not in school due to suspensions for non-violent offenses, such as using disrespectful language against a teacher, they are not learning," she said. "It is time to stop criminalizing normal adolescent behavior because it is denying our children the future they deserve by funneling them into the juvenile and criminal justice system."


Professor Giesel's attorney-client privilege article published in Lawyerist

Professor Grace Giesel's article, titled "The Difference Between Confidentiality and the Attorney-Client Privilege," was published on Lawyerist.com last week.

In it, Professor Giesel writes how the ethical concept of the duty of confidentiality and the evidence concept of the attorney-client privilege are often confused. 

"As a general matter, both the duty of confidentiality and the attorney-client privilege encourage clients to trust his or her lawyers," she writes. "In contrast, the evidentiary principle of the attorney-client privilege is usually a creature of common law." 

Professor Giesel cites the judicial opinion in United States v. United States Shoe Machine Corp. as the typical definition of the latter.

Read her full article online

Professor Arnold participates on roundtable panel with Prince Charles

On March 20, Brandeis Professor Tony Arnold participated on a Health and the Environment Roundtable discussion panel with Prince Charles of Wales during his visit to Louisville with Duchess Camilla.

Their visit included the Harmony and Health Summit, which featured global, national and local leaders, as well as Professor Arnold’s roundtable, which was on the connections between health and the environment.

“The Roundtable was held in a tent at the Big Four Bridge, a location that illustrates the opportunities that our region has to improve both human health and our care for the natural environment,” said Arnold, who participated as part of his role as Chair of the University of Louisville’s interdisciplinary Center for Land Use and Environmental Responsibility, interdisciplinary scholar at the Brandeis School of Law and the Department of Urban and Public Affairs, and vice chair of the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy-Kentucky Chapter.

He spoke specifically about the need to think about the resilience of interconnected ecological, social and institutional systems, making a case for the importance of equity or justice, participatory governance and laws addressing health-environment interconnections.

The Roundtable was co-sponsored by the Institute for Healthy Air, Water, and Soil and by the Louisville Sustainability Council.
Other participants from Brandeis and the University of Louisville included:

  • Tom FitzGerald, Executive Director of the Kentucky Resources Council and an adjunct in environmental and energy law at the Brandeis School of Law for the past 27 years.
  • Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar of UofL’s Institute of Molecular Cardiology
  • Dr. Mahendra Sunkara, Director of the University of Louisville's Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research, also participated in the Health and the Environment Roundtable.
Photo by Al Cross, Kentucky Health News.

Proposition 8 attorney to visit Brandeis School of Law prior to Kentucky Author Forum

University of Louisville Kentucky Author Forum will present David Boies, author of "Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality" on March 24 at The Kentucky Center.

David Boies is a distinguished American trial lawyer who has litigated some of the highest profile cases in recent history. Redeeming the Dream offers a dramatic and up-close account of his arguments, and ultimate triumph, in the landmark Supreme Court case which struck down Proposition 8, reinstating the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians in California.

Prior to his public event, Brandeis students will have the opportunity to observe a Q&A at the law school, moderated by Professor Sam Marcosson. It will take place at 1 p.m. in Room 275.

Also, from 12:15-4 p.m. that day, The Kentucky Center will host free screenings of the one-hour documentary "The Case Against 8," a behind-the-scenes look inside the historic case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage. Seating is first come, first served.

The events open to the public include:

  • 5 p.m. - Carmichael's Book Sale - Wine & Cheese provided by Brown-Forman
  • 6 p.m. - David Boies will be interviewed by Jeffrey Toobin, prominent legal journalist, staff writer for The New Yorker, senior analyst for CNN
  • 7 p.m.- Q & A with the audience

Tickets for the evening forum are on sale now at the Kentucky Center Box Office or Drive-Through on Main Street, 502-584-7777/ www.kentuckycenter.org.

Because of the tremendous response to this event, Kentucky Author Forum has arranged for additional general seating in the North Lobby Theater at The Kentucky Center.  The interview will be shown in this location on a wide screen, with live audio feed from the Bomhard Theater, courtesy of KET.

The University of Louisville Kentucky Author Forum series is produced by Mary Moss Greenebaum, and is sponsored by the University of Louisville, Brown-Forman and The Humana Foundation. 

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Law school deans place friendly wager to kick off March Madness

The University of Louisville Men's Basketball Team will tipoff its NCAA tournament run Friday against the Anteaters of UC-Irvine. The Cardinals are a No. 4 seed, while UC-Irvine is a 13 seed.

To celebrate the matchup, Brandeis Dean Susan Duncan and UC-Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky have agreed to a friendly wager. If the Cards win, Dean Chemerinsky, a prominent constitutional law scholar, has agreed to give a speech at Brandeis (and to supply a bottle of California wine).

If the Anteaters pull off the upset, Dean Duncan will be speaking in Irvine and ponying up a bottle of Kentucky Bourbon.

May the best team win (Go Cards!)

Brandeis visiting professor suggests revoking tax-exempt status for racist fraternities

David J. Herzig, visiting professor at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and professor of law at Valparaiso University, recently opined that fraternities and sororities that display racism should be revoked of their tax exemption.

His latest piece was published last week in Slate in response to the video that went viral showing members of the University of Oklahoma chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon singing a racist chant.

According to Herzig and co-author Samuel D. Brunson, a law professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, universities and Greek organizations are only addressing these problems on an ad hoc basis, or whenever an incident is exposed.

"Unless universities, fraternities, and sororities address the problem head on, next pledge season we will likely be presented with another incident of this same kind of injustice,” they wrote. “By granting a tax-exemption to the fraternity, we, as a society, are subsidizing actions we purport to despise.”

Herzig and Brunson, both tax law professors, believe the tax law “may be able to help nudge these (Greek) organizations (which are granted tax-exempt status) to either integrate or clearly signal their discriminatory tendency.”

Read their entire article at Slate.com.

Professor Hall chosen to present at Conference on Governance of Emerging Technologies

Professor Tim Hall has been chosen to participate at the 3rd Annual Conference on Governance of Emerging Technologies: Law, Policy, and Ethics, to be held May 26-28 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Hall's presentation will focus on the burgeoning market in health and fitness data trackers and their technical capabilities, which enable the collection, aggregation and mining of vast amounts of individual, identifiable health data.

Hall will discuss how the law is not keeping pace with this technological innovation. Because these data are being collected outside of a traditional physician/patient relationship, they are not governed by HIPAA privacy regulations.  As others have discussed, however, data collected outside of HIPAA-regulated relationships may significantly overlap data from regulated sources, creating serious risks of disclosure or discovery of sensitive personal health information.

He will also analyze the terms of the “Terms of Service” agreements offered to consumers by the manufacturers of wearable devices and mobile applications.

Hall's objective with this research is to gain an understanding of the role and potential limits of private contract law as a channel for regulation of personal health and fitness data; development of a set of “best practices” recommendations for contracts governing the relationship between device and app manufacturers and users; and/or recommendations for legislative or administrative action to replace or set limits on the scope of such private contracts.

Professor Powell a panelist for program on racial disparities

Professor Cedric Powell will be a panelist for an interdisciplinary program for UofL students on April 3 titled, “From Parkland to Ferguson: The Persistence of Racial Disparities.” This program was originally scheduled for March 6.

It will begin with 10-minute presentations about community-engaged work on aspects of the topic. A structured conversation follows to consider how various disciplinary efforts might lead to more effective collaborations, publications and positive community outcomes.

Powell joins fellow panelists, Vicki Hines-Martin, from the School of Nursing; David Owen, from the Department of Philosophy; and Monnica Williams, a licensed clinical psychologist.

The program is April 3 from 1-2:30 p.m. in Room 101 of the Clinical and Translational Research Building on the Health Sciences Campus. A light lunch will be served.

Professor Abrams adds name to amicus brief for SCOTUS same-sex marriage case

Professor Jamie Abrams is one of 74 family law scholars who signed an amicus brief for the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6th Circuit same-sex marriage case, expected to start in April. The signatories argue against the same-sex marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

Abrams said the brief includes residual research and writing support provided by Brandeis students from the underlying 6th Circuit brief last summer.

Below is a summary of the brief signed by Abrams:

Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee ban same-sex couples from marriage and deny recognition to marriages that same-sex couples enter into elsewhere (“marriage bans”). In defending the marriage bans, these states and their amici (collectively “ban defenders”) rely on two primary arguments: first, that a core, defining element of marriage is the possibility of biological, unassisted procreation; and second, that the “optimal” setting for raising children is a home with their married, biological mothers and fathers. But the family laws that govern marital and parental relationships in these very states, as well as in the rest of the country, tell a different story.

No state has ever limited marriage to couples who can demonstrate that they have procreative capacity and desire. Instead, in these four states and elsewhere, the state family laws that govern marriage recognize that couples marry for many reasons, including public acknowledgement of their private choice to share their lives with someone they love and to enter a legally binding union that confers hundreds of mutual rights and obligations. These rights and obligations help the couple care for each other, as well as their children (if any), regardless of how those children were conceived.

State family laws that govern the parent-child relationship also refute the “optimal parenting” argument. These laws do not privilege parenting by biological parents who parent in “gender differentiated” ways over other forms of parenting. States afford full parental rights to legal parents who have no biological or genetic ties to a child. In many circumstances, a biological or genetic tie is neither necessary nor sufficient to establish a legal parent-child relationship. State family laws also reject once prevalent notions that a parent’s sex or gender is legally relevant to determinations of a child’s best interests.

Moreover, states exclude no other couples from marriage based on a belief that they will provide
a suboptimal setting for raising children. Finally, state family laws recognize that it is unconstitutional to punish children to influence the behavior of adults. Yet the marriage bans do just this. They deprive the children of same-sex couples of valuable governmental, social, and personal benefits in the name of incentivizing others to be “ideal” parents or to have more children.

The marriage bans cannot stand.