Faculty in the News

Ohio State law professors are sought out for their expertise by a number of news media outlets and blogs with large audiences. Topics range from the death penalty to voter ID laws to artificial insemination – and our faculty members’ quotes and analysis can be found everywhere from small-town and national newspapers to radio broadcasts to cable news programs. The following is a selection of media coverage for Moritz College of Law faculty.

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Recent Media Coverage

Local woman sues 5 businesses over ADA violation claims

April 9, 2017

Featured Expert: Ruth Colker

Professor Ruth Colker was quoted in a Times Herald-Record article about a quadriplegic woman who is suing five local businesses claiming that they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Among her claims: inaccessible soap and paper towel dispensers and exposed hot drain pipes under sinks at several restaurants.

“These accessibility rules are not especially onerous—they’re common-sense stuff like making sure a hot pipe is covered under a sink so someone in a wheelchair doesn’t get burned, which isn’t trivial,” Colker said. “But businesses have been sitting on their hands for 27 years [since the ADA was passed in 1990].”

The ADA was designed with lawsuits in mind as the primary means of enforcement, Colker added, noting that without damages, fee reimbursements would be an attorney’s only incentive to take an ADA-related case.

“The statute has not been a cash cow. It’s difficult to make a living doing ADA work,” she said. “Courts are often hostile to the underlying claims, and there are not a lot of people out there handing out a business card saying they do this for a living.”
 


Jury convicts gambler Billy Walters of insider trading

April 7, 2017

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was featured in an ESPN article about William Walters, a Las Vegas sports gambler who was found guilty of insider trading charges, including 10 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud, and wire fraud. According to prosecutors, Walters made more than $40 million illegally between 2008 and 2015.

Walters will likely face a sentencing guideline range upwards of 10 years in prison, Berman told ESPN.
 


Northern Kentucky University wants federal judge booted from sexual assault case

April 7, 2017

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in WCPO about a sexual assault case in which a student at Northern Kentucky University is accusing the university of mishandling her rape allegations.

 

According to the university, the firm representing the unnamed woman hired the grandson of U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman while the case was still pending. Citing a potential conflict of interest, the university wants Bertelsman disqualified from overseeing the case.

 

"The simple story is that judges not only have an obligation to avoid actual conflict of interest but also to avoid the perception," Berman said. "The prospect that a lawyer in a case has hired a judge's grandson raises red flags."


SCOTUSblog: Thursday round-up

April 6, 2017

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman’s Sentencing Law and Policy blog—in particular, a post about Dean v. United States—was mentioned in SCOTUSblog. In its decision, the court held that trial courts are permitted to consider mandatory minimums for possessing firearms when sentencing a defendant for an underlying drug offense. “Dean seems to me to be a substantive ruling that applies retroactively,” Berman writes, adding it is likely that there will “be many more than just a handful of ‘Dean resentencing’ efforts.”


Metro Toledo water panel to eye facilitator proposal

April 6, 2017

Featured Expert: Sarah Rudolph Cole

Professor Sarah Cole was mentioned in article by The Toledo Blade detailing how leaders from Toledo, Ohio and eight other neighboring communities are considering hiring a mediator to help form a regional water authority.

Local representatives have spent months debating how to equalize water rates and how to include input from the eight other communities that depend on the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant (owned by the city of Toledo). Officials are also concerned about the safety of the plant following a 2014 incident in which toxic algae rendered water from the plant unfit to drink.

Cole is being considered as a possible mediator.


Metro Toledo water panel to eye facilitator proposal

April 6, 2017

Featured Expert: Joseph B. Stulberg

Professor Joseph B. Stulberg was mentioned in article by The Toledo Blade detailing how leaders from Toledo, Ohio and eight other neighboring communities are considering hiring a mediator to help form a regional water authority.

Local representatives have spent months debating how to equalize water rates and how to include input from the eight other communities that depend on the Collins Park Water Treatment Plant (owned by the city of Toledo). Officials are also concerned about the safety of the plant following a 2014 incident in which toxic algae rendered water from the plant unfit to drink.

Stulberg is being considered as a possible mediator.
 


Brian Golsby enters not-guilty plea in connection to Reagan Tokes’ murder

April 3, 2017

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted in NBC4 about the role GPS monitors play in discouraging parolees to commit other offenses.

GPS coordinates from an ankle monitor worn by Brian Golsby (the man accused of the rape, kidnapping, and murder of Ohio State University student Reagan Tokes) link Golsby to the scene of the crime. According to Simmons, GPS monitors are only so effective in preventing such serious crimes from occurring.

“There is no way to watch him 100 percent of the time and that would also raise certain concerns if the government is watching people all of the time,” Simmons said. “There are Fourth Amendment concerns about that—whether or not that’s going to be an overly broad search. The GPS is not going to be able to tell you what he’s doing when he’s out. Again, you can restrict his movements—put him under house arrest so he can’t leave, but that’s a different level of restriction than GPS.”
 


Justices to Consider Trump Request to Delay Water Case

March 29, 2017

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

Professor Peter Shane was quoted in The National Law Journal regarding a request to the U.S. Supreme Court from the Trump administration to indefinitely delay briefing on a critical issue in challenges against the Waters of the United States rule.

In February, an executive order signed by President Donald Trump directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to revise the Waters of the United States rule, a mandate from the Obama administration that increased environmental protections across the country’s waterways. Organizations who challenged the Waters of the United States rule, including the American Farm Bureau, National Association of Home Builders, and National Mining Association, all object to the Trump administration’s request to delay resolution of the issue.

“The idea that you should hold up a little while we figure out what we’re doing is not so appealing here,” Shane said. “They certainly will regard as sincere the Trump administration’s representation that they are rethinking these rules with an eye to rescinding them. In the case of the Clean Power Plan, the executive order makes clear what the president would prefer. But it does sort of cut both ways.”


Throwing more money at the military won't solve anything

March 24, 2017

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

An op-ed written by Professor John Quigley was syndicated through the Tribune News Service.

Quigley criticizes President Donald Trump’s federal budget blueprint, specifically, how the budget carves out one of the largest increases in national defense spending in the country’s history.

“The budget explains that the increase in military spending will be balanced by cuts in other programs, many of them domestic. Nancy Pelosi, who leads the Democrats in the House of Representatives, says that the projected boost in military spending would cause ‘far-reaching and long-lasting damage to our ability to meet the needs of the American people,’” Quigley writes. “Donald Trump was pressured by critics to stop being a businessman when he took the oath of office. Maybe those critics were wrong. Maybe President Trump needs to put his business hat back on.”

 


Talking with the taxman about pot

March 21, 2017

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was quoted in the Financial Times about the conflicts between marijuana dispensaries and federal tax laws.

Marijuana is legal in a handful of states, yet U.S. tax code prohibits businesses involved with “trafficking in controlled substances” (like licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, for instance), from taking any tax deductions common to most businesses. The code, which went into effect before medical marijuana was first legalized in California in 1996, is threatening dispensaries like Harborside Health Center, a dispensary in Oakland California with millions of dollars in sales. Now under audit by the IRS, the dispensary is taking legal action to avoid going out of business. 

“It’s a hard slog in any setting to best the government on its interpretation of how tax laws ought to be applied,” Berman said. “It’s going to be a particularly hard slog on something that is still federally prohibited.”