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.

To request an interview, media should click here for more information.

2013 Media Hits

Campaign Donation Credit Encourages Some Political Participation

December 30, 2013

Professor Donald B. Tobin was quoted in a WCBE radio story about year-end political donations. Ohio, like some other states, offers a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for money given to candidates.

"We could have a political debate about whether this is good or bad. But I think that the people that are for it, are for it because it allows people to participate," he said. "Now, of course, the people who may take advantage of it may be more sophisticated taxpayers who know about tax credits."


Government Accountability Boardwalks a fine political line in state

December 28, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article in the Wisconsin State Journal about some politicians' efforts to eliminate the Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections in the state. Tokaji believes this would be a mistake.

“It’s worrisome that we see partisan politicians on the warpath against the GAB. Worrisome but not surprising,” Tokaji said. “Wisconsin has a better system. It’s independent. It’s a model.”


Federal judge rules Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages on death certificates

December 23, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in a story by the Cleveland Plain dealer about a recent ruling ordering the state of Ohio to recognize gay marriages on death certificates. Spindelman said the ruling might put the pressure on Ohio to completely recognize out-of-state gay marriages.

"It’s hard to see how the ruling remains limited to the context of death certificates for very long,” he said.


In Death Penalty’s Steady Decline, Some Experts See a Societal Shift

December 19, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article in the New York Times about the decline of the death penalty. According to the article, 80 death sentences were imposed in 2013 compared to 315 in 1994. Berman noted that the “a majority of states and people still favor using it for the most serious crimes," but also said many states' adoption of life without parole for severe offenders is  “the single most important factor in the decline in the death penalty in the last 15 years.”

 


In 2012, Fed Prisons Lost More Prisoners than They Gained

December 19, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article from the Wall Street Journal about federal prisons losing more prisoners than the number that came in. It's the first time in more than 10 years that's happened, but Berman said the downward trend might not be here to stay.

“As much as it’s valuable to say, ‘Hey we hit the top of the mountain and now we’re going to start a slow and steady decline,’ I don’t think there’s any reason to be confident in that,” he said.


Despite Doldrums in Deal Activity, a Few Highlights This Year

December 17, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times highlighting some of the most prominent business deals in 2013, including Twitter's I.P.O., the merger of US Airways and American Airways, and the Dell management buyout. Overall, David said it was a quiet year for business deals.

"The deal world remained muted this year in terms of big transactions and activity," he writes. "According to Dealogic, the number of announced takeovers in the United States so far this year was down about 22 percent, while volume was $1.1 trillion, up about 15 percent from last year but still below the level in the years before the financial crisis."


Ohio partisans battle over voting laws

December 15, 2013

Featured Expert: Edward B. Foley

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in article about the battle swirling around Ohio voting laws in an article from the Columbus Dispatch. While Foley said there are legitimate concerns that Republicans have used their power “for an effort to win an election and perhaps suppress turnout,” he also said the issue isn't clear cut.

 “Not every curtailment of early voting is suppression or voter disenfranchisement. Early voting doesn’t have to be five weeks long,” Foley said. “There could be nonpartisan justifications to cut back early voting, but you can’t tell if it’s valid if it’s done by an institution structured to favor one side.”


The 1980s were great years if you were law firm associates—but if you were clients, not so much

December 13, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Merritt was interviewed for a story for the ABA Journal on how the legal profession has changed in the last few decades.

"The law practice I knew in the 1980s was remarkably inefficient," Merritt said. "Highly paid associates proofread briefs, reviewed documents, and continuously reinvented the wheel. Clients of all types paid more for legal services than they should have; they had no other options." Increased competition in the present day means clients have more choices at lower rates—and the quality of the work isn't any worse, she writes. "Indeed, competition may have spurred some lawyers to provide higher quality services."


Mistaken Cell Phone Dial Ends Up in Lawsuit

December 9, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was interviewed by WBNS Channel 10 about the privacy over calls maken mistakenly and unknowingly, commonly known as "pocket dialing." The issue comes up in a federal lawsuit with the Cincinnati Airport Board.

"The question is what right to privacy do you have in an accidental phone call you make to somebody else?" Simmons said.

He says the law pertaining to privacy in communication is the 1968 Wiretapping Law, intended to keep third parties, like the government, from listening to your calls.

"That law is based on consent. The idea is if you call someone, you're consenting to the fact, implicitly, that they might record the call. Of course that's based on the assumption that you called them intentionally, and now we have a question where the call was not intentional."


Legal Experts Say Petition to Stop Arena Payments is Legit

December 9, 2013

Featured Expert: Dale A. Oesterle

Professor Dale Oesterle was interviewed by 89.7 NPR reporter Mandy Trimble for a potential ballot initiative that would force the city of Columbus to quit making payments on Nationwide Arena. More than 17,000 signatures were delivered to Franklin County election officials last week asking that the question be put to voters. The question is whether the move is lawful.

“Citizens can do this,” Oesterle said, adding that Columbus City Charter allows voters to put an initiative on the ballot to create a new ordinance. “This is an effort to put a new ordinance on the books which, in essence, effects the operation of an old ordinance that they disagree with. It’s very clever, actually.”


Gee to take unpaid leave from OSU to lead W.Va. University

December 6, 2013

Featured Expert: E. Gordon Gee

E. Gordon Gee was interviewed for an article in the Dayton Daily News on his decision to take an unpaid leave of absence from Ohio State to serve as interim president at West Virginia University., where he served as president  from 1981 to 1985.

“People I know and a state that I enjoy… There is a real pull for me,” Gee said.

During his absence, professor Deborah Merritt will serve as associate director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise within the OSU Glenn School for Public Affairs, which Gee established.


IRS Targets Money Transfers in Social-Welfare Politicking

December 5, 2013

Professor Daniel Tobin was interviewed for a story on NPR about the IRS targeting donations to social welfare groups that cannot be tracked. The worry is that donors are using these types of donations to transfer money to political organizations. Tracking the money, Tobin said, is next to impossible under the current system.

"I think in many ways that's the most interesting interesting part of the regulation," he said.


CVG leader's 'butt call' stirs privacy questions

December 5, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was interviewed for an article by the Cincinnati Enquirer about a lawsuit involving the legality of a "butt dial." The chairman of the board that oversees the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport accidently and unknowling called an administrative assistant, raising legal questions about what level of privacy a "butt call" merits. Simmons said the results of the case could have a large impact.

“There are major broad issues here that have implications for just about everyone,” said  Simmons. “What if you are going through a divorce and you are talking to your attorney or friend about the case and you accidentally dial your estranged spouse? What happens then?

“And with recording devices becoming more and more ubiquitous, this case could get to how we as citizens want our privacy protected when something like a butt dial happens.”


The downside of clear election laws

December 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Edward B. Foley

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in an article in the Washington Post about how the way election laws are written can affect whether they are held up by lawsuits. The best say to prevent this, Foley said, is to emphasize clarity.

“Put clarity at the top of the list of things to achieve, maybe before fairness or integrity or access or whatever, because litigators can’t fight over things that are clear,” he said, speaking on an election law panel during a multi-day conference hosted by the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures in Washington, D.C. “It’s amazing how much ambiguity kind of seeps into laws that is unintended.”


Smokers need not apply: CIGNA to Test Applicants for Tobacco Use

December 4, 2013

Featured Expert: L. Camille Hébert

Professor Camille Hebert was interviewed by Al Jazeera for a story about the compnay CIGNA preparing to insitute a policy that would test job applicants for smoking or chewing tobacco. Some states have laws protecting smokers leading some to believe the policy could face legal challenges.

"The question is whether you can engage in lawful activity off duty without your employer saying that you don't have a right to do so," Hebert said. "A nationwide company is going to have to tailor its policies to the particular states because there are states in which this would be unlawful."

 


Busy in Gray Areas of the Law in a Bid to Control a Rival

December 4, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for The New York Times about the broadband wireless company LightSquared and the battle being fought by Charlie Ergen and his company Dish Network for control of it. LightSquared filed for bankruptcy in May 2012 and although Dish is unable to acquire the debt as a "direct competitor," Ergen arranged for one of his other companies to acquire  $1 billion of LightSquared’s $1.75 billion in outstanding debt.

"Mr. Ergen has both profited and arranged for Dish to get the prize," Davidoff wrote. "Mr. Ergen has also shown what a great poker player he is, pushing boundaries and taking advantage of every gray area in the law."


Can A Secret Court Advance the Rule of Law?

November 30, 2013

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

Professor Peter Shane wrote an op-ed for Lawfare about new information released about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as a result of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declassifying information. Shane writes that FISC has to balance trying to be as transparent as possible while keeping state secrets private. 

"A real possibility exists that, as an institutional compromise, the FISC’s balancing act may accomplish something quite important," Shane writes. "As I have argued elsewhere, it is imperative as a matter of democratic, constitutional self-governance that the executive branch generally regard itself as bound by legislative delimitations of its powers. An executive branch that thinks its authority is limited only by its unilateral assessments of its inherent discretionary powers is far more likely to overreach than an executive that thinks itself beholden to legislative authorization. By helping to stabilize government surveillance practice within a statutory framework, even if creatively interpreted, the FISC may well be operationalizing that insight."


Pro&Con: Deal may help, but entire area must be de-nuked — including Israel

November 30, 2013

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John B. Quigley wrote an op-ed for South Coast Today about the deal struck between Iran and the "5 plus 1" powers concerning Iran's nuclear powers. Quigley said the deal is a step in the direction of Iran not developing a nuclear program. However, if the "5 plus 1" powers want to eliminate nuclear weapons in the Middle East, Quigley says the powers need to address Israel's nuclear weapons.

 "Pressuring Iran while giving Israel only a wink and a nod lends a political cast to the efforts of the '5 plus 1,'" Quigley writes. "They could achieve the moral high ground — and reduce the risk of Iran going nuclear — if they committed to seeking elimination of nuclear weapons in the entire Middle East."


Pro: Interim deal struck with Iran shows promise

November 30, 2013

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John B. Quigley wrote an op-ed for South Coast Today about the deal struck between Iran and the "5 plus 1" powers concerning Iran's nuclear powers. Quigley said the deal is a step in the direction of Iran not developing a nuclear program. However, if the "5 plus 1" powers want to eliminate nuclear weapons in the Middle East, Quigley says the powers need to address Israel's nuclear weapons.

"Pressuring Iran while giving Israel only a wink and a nod lends a political cast to the efforts of the '5 plus 1,'" Quigley writes. "They could achieve the moral high ground — and reduce the risk of Iran going nuclear — if they committed to seeking elimination of nuclear weapons in the entire Middle East."


Buyers market for law jobs in 2015?

November 29, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Jones Merritt's research was referenced in an article in the National Jurist about how the declining rate of law school applicants relates the the legal job market. The article presented different projections for when the amount of legal jobs will exceed the amount of law school graduates. Merritt projected that would come in about 2021.

“The Class of 2012 found only 30,453 full-time, long-term jobs that drew upon their law degrees (either by requiring bar admission or offering a JD advantage),” she wrote. “That number of jobs won’t satisfy even a very slimmed-down Class of 2018. Even if law school enrollment continues to drop 8% per year, a daunting prospect for law school budgets, we won’t be able to celebrate a match between graduates and jobs until the spring of 2020, when the Class of 2019 registers its employment results.”


IRS moves to curb tax-exempt groups' political activity

November 27, 2013

Professor Donald Tobin was quoted in a USA Today article about the IRS moving to limit the political activity of tax-exempt groups. No matter how much restriction the IRS puts on these types of groups, Tobin said they won't be able to make everyone happy.

"It's clear that the IRS is treading slowly into the waters, knowing that it's fraught with peril, and that they are starting to get ideas from people, which is exactly what they should be doing," said Tobin. "One of the big problems you had in this area is the IRS couldn't win. There are people like me who complain they haven't been enforcing enough. There are others who say they've been unfairly targeted."


To Apply or Not to Apply? That’s a Tough Question

November 27, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Merritt's blog was referenced by the Wall Street Journal in a post about whether students should apply for law school given the current climate in the legal job market. Merritt projects that class sizes at law schools will decline 8 percent a year from 2013 through 2017. Though this will lead to better overall job prospects, Merritt cautioned against too much optimism.

“Changes in the quality of law positions, however, may counterbalance any optimism bias. Staff attorneys, contract attorneys, and document reviewers have replaced many conventional associates,” writes Merritt.


Men’s Wearhouse Dusts Off the Pac-Man Defense

November 26, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the on-going negotiations between Men's Warehouse and  Jos. A. Bank Clothiers. Though Jos. A. Bank originally tried to buy out Men's Warehouse, Men's Warehouse flipped the script and offered to buy Jos. A Bank. Davidoff called the move a "Pac-Man defense."

"These negotiations will turn on which company is the better acquirer and which management team will prevail," Davidoff writes.


Risky Investment Vehicle With High Yields Gains Prominence

November 26, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the popularity growth of business development companies. Legislative restrictions have loosened on these companies over the years and they have averaged a high rate of return. However, Davidoff writes that these types of companies carry a significant amount of risk.

"If another financial crisis were to erupt, business development companies would be on the front line," he said. "These companies may also be subject to huge interest rate fluctuations in ways that make them even riskier than private equity funds. That’s one reason Finra says this is not for the average investor."


Steubenville Schools Head, Others Charged In Teen Rape Case

November 25, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was interviewed by NPR's WKSU for a story about the Steubenville rape case, in which five adults were indicted  this week. Simmons spoke on the role social media played in the indictment process.

"The social media pressure not only overcame the initial difficulty in the case of people not wanting to take it seriously, but also now it's led to indictments of other people who weren't being cooperative," he said.


The Federalization of Consumer Arbitration: Possible Solutions

November 22, 2013

Featured Expert: Sarah Rudolph Cole

Professor Sarah Rudolph Cole's abstract for her paper "The Federalization of Consumer Arbitration: Possible Solutions" was featured on Mediate.com. The paper focuses on how arbitration law has been interpreted by the Supreme Court and how that has affected the the role of the state.

"While state legislatures traditionally regulate contract law issues, the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the FAA has resulted in an anomalous situation in which federal law routinely trumps state laws attempting to reform arbitration," she writes.


Enquirer sues Judge Hunter for records

November 16, 2013

Featured Expert: Kimberly Jordan

Professor Kimberly Jordan was interviewed for an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer about a legal dispute over whether The Enquirer should have access to psychological reports of five teens involved in criminal cases. The reports were ordered in response to a judge's concern that the media coverage of the case was causing the teens psychological harm. After the reports were taken, The Enquirer was denied access to the proceedings of the trial, but the results of the reports were not shared with them. Jordan said that normally all parties in a case are granted access to case files.

"All parties to the case should be given copies of the case,” she said, referring specifically to a 1994 Ohio Supreme Court case.


Convoluted Language Makes Cooper Tire Deal Harder to Execute

November 15, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the upcoming difficulties in the deal between Cooper Tires and  Apollo Tyres Ltd. of India. Davidoff called the provisions "convoluted" and the language does not favor Cooper Tire.

"All in all, it still remains the case that Cooper Tire still has a lot of hoops to go through for $35 a share, and things just became a little more difficult," Davidoff writes.


U.S. ties with Israel blind us to opportunities for a just peace

November 14, 2013

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John B. Quigley wrote an op-ed for Janesville Gazette about whether America's relationship with Israel is hurting the peace process in the Middle East. In the piece, Quigley writes that by supporting Israel, "we are helping Israel do Palestine in."

"In truth, we should be dealing with Israel’s occupation of the West Bank not by bilateral negotiations but in the U.N. Security Council," he said. "If the negotiations are to have any chance of success, we must at least acknowledge the illegality of Israel’s settlements and of its occupation."


Herring, Obenshain dig in for a fight in tight Va. attorney general race as the lawyers move in

November 13, 2013

Featured Expert: Edward B. Foley

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in a article by The Washington Post regarding the race for Virginia attorney general. As of Wed., Sen. Mark R. Herring (D-Loudoun) led state Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) by 164 votes out of more than 2.2 million cast.

Electoral boards in each locality checked their numbers and decided whether provisional ballots should count. Statewide, 3,158 provisional ballots were cast, 493 of them in the Fairfax Government Center.

GOP attorney Miller Baker argued that the votes cannot be taken out now, and Foley agreed.

“Usually, once a ballot has been counted and mixed into the pool, you can’t really retract it,” Foley said.


In a Lemonade Stand, a Transformation of the Corporation

November 12, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about a new type of corporation that has a social cause, but is not necessarily a charity because it still aims to make a profit. Davidoff contends that this new type of corporation could potentially be more effective than the traditional nonprofit and uses the example of Make a Stand, a lemonade company that also strives to end child slavery, to illustrate his point.

"The question is whether Make a Stand uses this new corporate form to succeed and make more than it could for its cause than as a nonprofit," he writes. "If done right, this could not just raise money to end child slavery, but perhaps create a role model for nonprofits and all types of businesses."


The Case Against Too Much Independence on the Board

November 11, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times warning that independent directors for corporations may not be as beneficial as some people think. While companies with independent directors likely complybetter  with the law, Davidoff contends that having insider knowledge of a campany is still vital to making board decisions.

"The quest for super independence, though, means that boards are losing the inside expertise they may need to properly run the company," Davidoff writes. "Independent directors may be good in some measure, and no one wants to go back to the old days of crony boards. But perhaps it is time to temper the enthusiasm for all independent directors, all the time."


Criminal inequality and criminal justice: Current system in need of reform

November 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander's speech at the Access to Equal Justice Conference at the Washington University School of Law was referenced heavily in a staff editorial by Student Life, Washington University's student newspaper. In the piece, the staff agrees with Alexander that the current prison system is not effective and in need of major reform. According to the article, part of the problem is America's school system.

"According to Alexander and other scholars, the increasingly prison-like atmosphere of many schools—which includes underfunding, policing of hallways and overreliance on suspension and expulsion—introduces young people to a criminal justice system that prioritizes punishment over rehabilitation," the article reads.


What a Big Investment Says About BlackBerry’s Endgame

November 4, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about what a recently-announced $1 billion investment means for the future of Blackberry. Though Blackberry could go in a number of directions, the major takeaway from the deal is that it buys the company some time, Davidoff says.

"The best spin on this investment is that it buys BlackBerry more time for an overhaul (or perhaps to get a bidder to change its mind), while also positioning some of its major investors to protect themselves if the turnaround effort fails," he writes.

 


A Vote Goes Against Outsize Executive Pay, but It’s Hardly a Blow

November 1, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about Oracle's shareholders rejecting Lawrence J. Ellison’s $78.4 million pay package. Despite the vote, Davidoff writes that high executive pay is not going anywhere and to expect executives like Ellison to continue to cash in on big salaries and bonuses in the future.

"Come next year, Oracle will no doubt be paying its executives tens of millions, and the rest of corporate America will not be that far behind," Davidoff said. "And the biggest shareholders in the land won’t particularly care, even if they occasionally say they do."


Why Support For The Death Penalty In America Is Plunging

October 31, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was interviewed by Business Insider for an article about why the support for the death penalty in America is declining. Berman lays out a number of reasons, including the mistaken convictions and crime becoming a less salient issue in American politics. However, overall most Americans still support it.

“It remains the case that, even in a blue state,” Berman said, “there is still this general support for the death penalty at least on the books as kind of a symbolism of being tough on the worst offenders.”


Ohio court prohibits child's abuse statements

October 30, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was interviewed by the Associated Press for a stroy about an Ohio Supreme Court ruling that prohibited a child's statements in an abuse hearing. Simmons said the ruling could have an effect on future cases.

"It could make a big difference in these kinds of cases where you're relying on a child's testimony," he said.


Ohio law firms lined up for IRS employees

October 29, 2013

Professor Daniel Tobin was quoted in an article from the Associated Press about the IRS hiring lawyers to defend its employees in the case charging that the IRS targeted certain groups based on their political affiliation. For governmental organizations like the IRS, providing legal protections for employees is a necessity, Tobin said.

"No one would be willing to take these jobs at places like the IRS if the government wasn't willing to help protect them from legal suits like this," said Tobin


You will pay legal bills for workers sued in IRS scandal

October 29, 2013

Professor Daniel Tobin was interviewed for an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer about taxpayers paying the legal fees for the government employees involved in the scandal surrounding the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups. Tobin said taxpayers footing the bill is a common practice in these types of situations.

“No one would be willing to take these jobs at places like the IRS if the government wasn’t willing to help protect them from legal suits like this,” said Tobin. “While it doesn’t happen a lot that the government contracts with private counsel, in these kinds of cases, they almost have to.”


Texas court ruling won't have an immediate impact on Ohio's abortion laws, both sides say

October 29, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was interviewed for an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about the effect a Texas ruling on an abortion law will have in Ohio. The law, which placed restrictions on women seeking abortions, is similar to legislation in Ohio. However, Spindelman said it's "too soon to tell" if the ruling will have any effect on Ohio law. For one, Spindelman said the case will certainly be appealed.


Trepidation and Restrictions Leave Crowdfunding Rules Weak

October 29, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about crowdfunding methods and the ruled the SEC has to regulate them. Davidoff says that the rules governing crowdfunding do not carry much clout, despite it being risky investment.

"The S.E.C. has resisted crowdfunding and might not have ever gone along with any effort to endorse the practice," he writes. "But the agency is hamstrung, afraid to do what it could have to make crowdfunding work better for investors. That’s a shame generally, but maybe more so for the people who invest in these small companies and lose everything."


Experts: Warrant could have been pursued in Carlton County

October 28, 2013

Featured Expert: Joshua Dressler

Professor Joshua Dressler was quoted in an article by the Duluth News Tribune regarding the issue that Carlton County authorities obtained information illegally about alleged landfill embezzler Joanne Wappe and are therefore unable to act on it. Police were informed of the alleged crime in 2010 by an individual arrested for burglarizing her home.

Dressler gave his opinion on the case.

“Because the burglar is not an agent of the state, his burglary and criminality does not prevent the police from using the information they received from him,” he said. “Therefore, they should have gone to get a search warrant, and if they could have convinced the judge that the burglar’s information was reasonably reliable, they would have been able to secure a valid search warrant.”


No End in Sight for Engle Suits, Even With Liggett Deal

October 23, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a Law 360 article on how Liggett Group LLC's $110 million settlement in Florida's Engle litigation makes them the first of four major tobacco manufacturers to reach a global settlement in the litigation.

“Liggett is obviously a much smaller company, so it's dealing with a smaller universe of cases,” Berman said. “I also think Liggett has a history of acting differently and being more willing to settle these cases.”

 


Appeals Court Throws Out Confidential Arbitration in Delaware

October 23, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about a court decision about the legality of private arbitration in rhe state of Deleware. A federal appeals court ruled private arbitration illegal, but the state of Deleware could appeal the case.

"Delaware is likely to appeal because it does have grounds for a case and has nothing to lose at this point.," Davidoff writes. "Lucky for us, we’ll be able to see the entire thing play out in public, as is our constitutional right."


A Chance to End a Billion-Dollar Tax Break for Private Equity

October 22, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about a court case with enourmous tax implications for private equity firms. These types of companies currently are taxed at a capital gains rate of 20 percent intead of at an income rate of 39.6 percent, effectively saving some companies billions of dollars.

This had been an issue some members of Congress were interested in, but this case, which involves Sun Capital, could take the decision out of Congress' hands.

"it may now be that this battle to tax carried interest is not won or lost in the halls of Congress over high-minded concepts of fairness or equity, but rather in the halls of the I.R.S. by applying common sense presumptions that existed all along," Davidoff writes. "Washington, it’s your move."


‘The new Jim Crow’: Michelle Alexander explains how our prison system condemns many African Americans to second-class status

October 22, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander spoke at an event at Washington University in St. Louis on Nov. 1. She focused primarily on her book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, which argues that people of color are sent to jail more often and for longer periods of time than white people, despite statistics that show African Americans do not use or sell drugs at a higher rate.


Pro&Con: Israel can't afford to bomb Iran while Obama-Rouhani negotiate

October 19, 2013

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John B. Quigley wrote an op-ed for South Coast Today and Centre Daily Times examining Israel's view of the United States negotiating with Iran about its nuclear program. Quigley writes that Israel wants to pursue a military strike against Iran to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons, but is unable to do so while the United States tries to use diplomacy to address the issue.

"The sanctions in place on Iran in the nuclear standoff are doing tremendous damage to the people of Iran," Quigley writes. "One cannot punish a nation with economic sanctions without harming the population. A solution to the nuclear confrontation needs to be found — diplomacy is the right approach."


Where I Eat: Dale Oesterle

October 17, 2013

Featured Expert: Dale A. Oesterle

Professor Dale Oesterle participated in a Q-and-A with the Columbus Dispatch about some of his favorite places to eat around Columbus. One factor he cites as important when deciding where to eat is the friendliness of the owners.

" I find myself eating at places where I know and like the owners — where the owners are good people," Oesterle said. "That’s what matters to me."


When Another Speaker Stood Firm Against Obstructionists in His Own Party

October 15, 2013

Featured Expert: Edward B. Foley

Professor Edward Foley wrote an op-ed for Roll Call comparing the situation that current Speaker of the House John A. Boehner is in light of the coutnry nearing the debt cieling to a former speaker of the house who stood up to his party for the betterment of the country. In the 1876 Hayes-Tilden presidential election, the country was at a deadlock over the results of the election and how the new president would be chosen. Speaker of the House Samuel Randall chose Hayes to be the next president in opposition to many of the hard-liners in his own party. Foley writes that historians laud Randall's decision and it did not adversely affect his political career.

"The parallels between Randall’s situation and Boehner’s are not exact," Foley writes. "The current crisis concerns fiscal policy, not counting Electoral College votes. Still, Randall’s example is a useful reminder of how history rewards virtue, as we all await the ultimate resolution of Washington’s ferocious budget battles."


A Push to End Securities Fraud Lawsuits Gains Momentum

October 15, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the battle corporations are waging to make it more difficult to sue for fraud. The Supreme Court will soon decide whether to hear Erica P. John Fund v. Halliburton, which could go a long way in dictating future legislation about this issue.

" For good or bad — like so many other issues before the Supreme Court these days — the opponents need only one more vote to change everything." Davidoff writes.


In a Bid for Men’s Wearhouse, a Merger Battle With Modern Strategies

October 11, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about Men's Warehouse rejecting Jos. A. Bank's $2.3 billion takeover offer. Men' Warehouse made it clear that the company was not pleased with the offer, calling it  “opportunistic” and “subject to unacceptable risks and contingencies." Davidoff said that Men's Warehouse is holding their ground now, but in the long run the company is likely to settle on a deal.

"While Men’s Wearhouse is currently saying no, it may soon find itself pressured by the new shareholder forces in our capital markets," he writes.


Delaware Court Lifts Injunction on Activision Blizzard’s Deal With Vivendi

October 10, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff co-wrote a news story with Michael J. De La Merced for the New York Times about a Delaware Supreme Court ruling that removed an impediment in a deal between video game company Activision Blizzard and Vivendi. Activision Blizzard attempted to repurchase stock from Vivendi, but one of the company's stockholders said that Activision Blizzard’s certificate of incorporation required that shareholders vote on the matter. A lower court ruled in favor of the stockholder, but the Delaware Supreme Court unaminously reversed the decision.


The Hurdles Ahead for a Cooper Tire Deal

October 9, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the problems ahead in Apollo Tyres' proposed deal to buy Cooper Tires. The legal battle has begun between the two companies and some believe Apollo is the "minnow swallowing the whale."

"In past deals when targets have sued buyers to force them to close the deal, the parties have usually settled with a price renegotiation at best," Davidoff writes. "The litigation, then, can be viewed as a bargaining chip for Cooper to get the best deal possible if the transaction is renegotiated or terminated. But if Cooper’s goal is to complete the deal at the current buyout price, it has a long way to go, with many obstacles, before it can win that race."


In Twitter's I.P.O. Filing, Signs of Start-Up That Has Matured

October 8, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed piece for The New York Times regarding how Twitter's prospectus for an initial public offering was disclosed last week and it appears that the company did not push the boundaries with its filing.

"It’s not as if the criticism of the new rules that allowed the company to first file privately has gone away," Davidoff wrote. "Instead, the disclosure showed something refreshing for a young technology company these days: Twitter is acting like an adult."

 

 


Parking privatization, presidential search spark debate at Ohio State University Senate meeting

October 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Merritt was quoted in an article from The Lantern about a University Senate meeting. One of the issue discussed at the meeting was Ohio State's search for its next president. Merritt is a member of the Presidential Search Committee advisory subcommittee and spoke of the importance of keeping the list of candidates confidential.

“The attraction of presidential candidates today, everyone acknowledges across the county, has to be done in complete confidence,” Merritt said. “Top officials simply will not agree to be considered if there is public discussion about them. If they’re a sitting university president, they don’t want their Board of Trustees to know that they are possibly considering Ohio State.”


Ohio State professors discuss cyber security in light of National Security Agency program leaks

October 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Dakota S. Rudesill

Professor Dakota S. Rudesill was a panelist for a discussion about cyber security in light of recent revelations witht he NSA. Rudesill pointed out the existense of "secret law," which not even the court can hear both sides of.


Ohio State professors discuss cyber security in light of National Security Agency program leaks

October 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

Professor Peter Shane participated in a panelist discussion about cyber security in light of recent revelations about the NSA. In a Lantern article, it said Shane elaborated on the hotly contested issue on what type of information is "voluntarily given."

 


Apax Wins and Loses in rue21 Conundrum of Its Own Design

October 2, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the conundrum Apax is in because of the rue21 buyout. Apax has interests on both sides of the transaction and Davidoff says that raises some questions.

"If I were an investor in the new Apax funds, I would be wondering why I was buying out the old ones and how this conflict is affecting the decision-making," he writes. "I would also be thinking that perhaps it would just be better to do what the rest of us do — sell at arm’s length."


Apax Wins and Loses in rue21 Conundrum of Its Own Design

October 2, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about potential problems and conflicts of interest Apax created when the company's new investers essentially bought the company's share of rue21, a fashion retailer, from the company's older investers. Davidoff writes that the deal would have been fine if rue21 continued to prosper, but the retailer announced reduced sales shortly after the deal was made.

"There is already one lesson here," he wrote. "When a private equity firm stands on both sides of the transaction, there are bound to be problems. If I were an investor in the new Apax funds, I would be wondering why I was buying out the old ones and how this conflict is affecting the decision-making. I would also be thinking that perhaps it would just be better to do what the rest of us do — sell at arm’s length."


As J.C. Penney Flounders, a Lack of Control Becomes Evident

October 1, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed piece for The New York Times about how J. C. Penney has lost the confidence of the markets and how its share price has significantly dropped.

"The latest events at J. C. Penney provide a hard lesson: With today’s public company, it is sometimes difficult to be sure who is in control," Davidoff wrote.


How the Deal for Rue21 Could Fall Apart

September 30, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Tims about the possibility that the deal involving fashion retailer rue21 being acquired by Apax Partners could fall apart and the potential legal ramifications.

"The question is whether the banks or Apax want to risk their reputations for $100 million or more," he writes. "During the financial crisis, reputation didn’t go far. But perhaps things have changed."


Group wants to exclude severely mentally ill from death penalty

September 27, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article from the Columbus Dispatch about  whether the severely mentally ill should be exempted from the death penalty. The Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty submitted the recommendation to the General Assembly, but diagreement remains over what constitutes as a severe mental illness.

Berman awknowledged that problem, saying there is “gray area in the gray matter," but that he supported a “categorical exclusion” for the severely mentally ill.


Lax Rules Give U.S. Upper Hand in Tussle Over Alibaba I.P.O.

September 24, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for teh New York Times about the possibility that Chinese internet company Alibaba will go public. The company is looking into filing its initial public offering in New York rather than Hong Kong because the United State has less regulations on companies. The less stringent regulations have led to an increase in the number of IPO's in the United States, but Davidoff wonders if they are a good thing overall.

"The battle for Alibaba’s listing shows that as more big companies go global, the exchanges are going to be increasingly played off one another over which one has the better regulation for companies," he writes. "Unfortunately, this may be a race to the bottom — with the United States leading the way."


A Deal for BlackBerry That’s Not Yet a Deal

September 23, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times analyzing the a letter of intent for Fairfax Financial holdings to acquire Blackberry. Davidoff writes that the letter is by no means an obligation and that the lack of details in it reflect blackberry's desperate state.

"BlackBerry is taking a terrible risk here since the Fairfax deal has a real chance of collapsing and leaving BlackBerry’s committee and its shareholders with nothing. The board probably felt it had no choice," he wrote. "In other words, this is a 'deal' that still has more time to bake before it becomes a deal."


Judge Opens Lid on Deal Companies Would Prefer Stay Shut

September 20, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the possible implications of a judge preventing a deal between Vivendi and Activision Blizzard until the company shareholders can vote on the sale. The decision will delay the multi-billion dollar deal and potentially "blow up this transaction."

"It may well be that Activision appeals rather than risk a renegotiation with Vivendi," Davidoff writes. "The fact that an appeal hasn’t been filed yet or a quick shareholder vote already announced is evidence of the difficult conversation and hypothetical situations being played out now by the parties. It’s an $8 billion drama better than any video game, at least for deal junkies."


ABC 6 TOWN HALL: 'Stand Your Ground' Law Proposed in Ohio

September 17, 2013

Featured Expert: Joshua Dressler

Professor Joshua Dressler was interviewed for a piece by ABC 6 about proposed House Bill 203, which would expand the instances in which it is legal to use deadly force in self-defense. Dressler said Ohio law currently goes by something called "castle defense," which permits the use of deadly force in self-defense within a person's home or personal sanctuary.

"Basically, what 203 would do is make everywhere in the world equivalent to the castle," Dressler said.


OSUM has input on presidential search

September 17, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Merritt was quoted in an article from The Marion Star about Ohio State's presidential search. As a member of the presidential search subcommittee, Merritt went to the Ohio State's regional campus in Marion to seek out what qualities they sought in Ohio State's next president.

She said the university is “moving full steam ahead” during the search and that the university will not rush to make a decision. “It will last as long as it takes,” she said.


Dole Food’s Buyout in 2013 Looks a Lot Like One in 2003

September 17, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote a column for The New York Times discussing how the buyout of the Dole Food Company has many similarities to the one that occured in 2003.

David H. Murdock, the chief executive of Dole, has offered to acquire the company for $13.50 a share in the buyout,  after taking Dole private in a $2.5 billion deal in 2003. But eventually the company went public again, raising $446 million.

"The cast of characters seems to be a rerun of the 2003 buyout," Davidoff wrote. "For example, four of the directors on Dole’s seven-member board, including Mr. Murdock, were directors when the company was public the first time. Two of the directors are former or current executives of Dole, with more than a decade at the company."

 


OSU-Lima group gives input on presidential search

September 16, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deobrah J. Merrit was mentioned in am article from The Lima News about the ongoing search for Ohio State's next president. Merrit is part of the Advisory Subcommittee for the presidential search for The Ohio State University, which will create a profile of what the university is looking for in its next leader. In a visit to Ohio State's campus in Lima, Ohio, Merrit said the search will take most of the academic year and more than 700 people have already applied for the job.


Ohio State Presidential Search advisory subcommittee to finalize presidential profile

September 16, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Merritt was quoted in an article from The Lantern about Ohio State's search for its next president. Merritt is on Ohio State’s Presidential Search Advisory Subcommittee, which will present a presidential profile to the Board of Trustees.

“We don’t just want someone to manage where we are. We want someone who is a leader and will articulate a vision,” she said. “Although, we also talk in the profile about how that vision must be consistent with who we are and our particular strengths.”


Weil on Finance: Twitter’s IPO Plans and China’s Ghost Towns

September 13, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff's op-ed in the New York Times about Twitter's iniital public offering filing was quoted in a post from Bloomberg. Davidoff wrote that Twitter being able to keep information private during the filing process could be detrimental.

 “There might be value in having the regulator’s critique of a company’s IPO occurring more or less simultaneously in the public eye,” he writes. “And let’s face it: does anyone believe that Twitter would not have gone public if filing confidentiality had not been available?”


Lessons From the Dell Deal

September 12, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about Dell's buyout. In the piece he talks about the importance of the initial bidding, the benefits of shareholder activism, and the "perils" of management buyouts.

"The Dell board must be praised for trying to prevent Mr. Dell from using his position to gain an unfair advantage, something Mr. Dell amenably went along with," Davidoff writes. "But the question remains: Why can’t management simply run the company and make these gains for shareholders?"


Google’s Stock Settlement To Perpetuate Co-Founders’ Control

September 12, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff's op-ed in the New York Times was cited in an article from Value Walk. In the article, Davidoff questions the legality of Google's settlement out of court in which the company will issue nonvoting Class C shares to ensure that co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page maintain control of the company.

"Steven M. Davidoff of Dealbook points out the odd settlement would perpetuate the co-founders’ control and hence stretch the laws of corporate finance," the article says. "He feels the settlement doesn’t make clear what, if any, value it gives to Google shareholders."


Google’s Stock Settlement May Not Do Much for Shareholders

September 11, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about a lawsuit against Google centered about their plan to issue nonvoting Class C shares to ensure co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry maintain control of the company. Google's shareholders voted against the plan, but the company decided to pursue it anyway. The case was settled out of court, but Davidoff questions whether it's fair to the shareholders that Google's co-foudners can increase their control in the company without paying for it.

"In the end, the real issue is not whether Google’s co-founders can do this," Davidoff writes. "One would hope they wouldn’t without shareholder approval, but that is clearly an afterthought. Rather, the question is whether they can do this without having to paying for the privilege. That’s the real issue in this settlement, and it’s now in the judge’s hands."


An Initial Filing, in Fewer Than 140 Characters

September 11, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about Twitter providing scant details to go along with its initial public offering filing. The Jump-Start Our Business Start-ups or JOBS Act allows Twitter to keep many of the details from the public until 21 days the company’s Wall Street bankers start to pitch the planned offering to investors, In the article, Davidoff questions whether the JOBS Act should appy to well-known companies like Twitter.

"Let’s face it: does anyone believe that Twitter would not have gone public if filing confidentiality had not been available?" he writes. "In the end, the JOBS Act provision might help some real emerging growth companies, but the need to apply it so broadly is questionable."


A Trading Frenzy Over Oh-So-Hot LinkedIn Shares

September 10, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed in the The New York Times Dealbook about LinkedIn's recent sale of $1.2 billion worth of stock. In the piece, he questions whether the sale really benefits the company's shareholders or if it just helps feed a "trading frenzy."

"It is easy to say that the company can sell stock, so it should," he writes. "But it was that kind of behavior that got us into the tech bubble and the tremendous crash that came afterward. As Reuters Breakingviews wrote in praising LinkedIn for selling at such a high price, perhaps LinkedIn “will eventually reverse the trick and repurchase stock at a bargain-basement price. That is the real risk here. The stocks may be going up now, but if the past is anything on Wall Street, these big stock run-ups are too often accompanied by falls."


Accused Montana Newlywed Faces a Wide Range of Punishment

September 10, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman's Sentencing Law and Policy blog was referenced by the Wall Street Journal in an article about a woman accused of pushing her husband off a cliff. Berman says the woman, Jordan Linn Graham, could face 20 to 25 years if convicted of second-degree murder or 14 to 18 years if she pleas guilty.

"That said," writes Berman, "the defendant's prior lies about the crime could lead to an obstruction of justice enhancement." Graham admitted she had "lied about the death of her husband."


COMMENTARY: JOHN B. QUIGLEY Modern anti-war efforts focus on facts behind claims

September 7, 2013

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John B. Quigley wrote an op-ed piece for the Sunday Dispatch about how modern anti-war efforts, especially as they relate to Syria, are focused on examining facts and are less likely to blindly accept them.

"A new anti-war movement will be more sophisticated than in the past. In 2003, when Secretary of State Colin Powell gave the U.N. Security Council a package of false data about Iraq, the news media accepted it," Quigley writes. "Anti-war elements debunked Powell’s data within days, but that debunking did not reach the public at large. Now, as Secretary of State John Kerry recites new intelligence data to rationalize a missile strike in Syria, scrutiny is quick in coming."


Activists Ask Judge To Block Rule Allowing Voter Purge ‘Scare Letters’

September 6, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article on Talking Points Memo about the dispute of a rule that aims to remove names from voter rolls if an immigration database suggests they don't have the right to vote. Though Tokaji has not examined the case closely, he said the databases are not always accurate and could result in eligible voters being taken off voter rolls.

“There are just a lot of mistakes in these databases including voter registration rolls including mistyped addresses” or other basic information, Tokaji said.


However Congress votes on Syria, Obama can attack

September 4, 2013

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John. B. Quigley was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch article regarding President Barack Obama's rights to attack Syria with or without Congressional approval. Obama has made it clear that even if Congress does not approve, the Constitution gives him the power to execute a military strike. Quigley said the issue might not be that clear.

Quigley said the president is commander-in-chief, but he contends that “means you command them”after war is authorized by Congress. With Syria, Quigley said, “this is a bit of a stretch” to argue the president can launch on his own an attack “which doesn’t involve any threat to the United States.”


Tech Titans Without Checks and Balances

September 4, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff was quoted in a post on the The New York Times Dealbook about Silicon Valley giants like Google lacking the checks and balances of a typical public company.

“The gods of Silicon Valley have repeatedly sought to take the companies they founded public while retaining control as if they were still private,” Davidoff writes. “Recent events at Google and other technology companies show that perhaps this control may be bad not only for the companies but also for the founders, who are increasingly living in a world bereft of checks and balances.”


However Congress votes on Syria, Obama can attack

September 4, 2013

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John Quigley was quoted in an article by the Columbus Dispatch about President Barack Obama's rights to attack Syria. Without Congressional approval, Quigley said the president's powers are "very muddled," and that  is "a bit of a stretch” to argue the president can launch on his own an attack “which doesn’t involve any threat to the United States.”

 


Thorny Side Effects in Silicon Valley Tactic to Keep Control

September 3, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for The New York Times about the how "gods of Silicon Valley" are restricting the power of their shareholders. Technology companies are trending toward a dual-class structure that ensures executives like Mark Zuckerberg keep control of the company even if they sell some of their shares.

"The problem with this structure is that the shareholders’ voice of dissent is locked out," Davidoff writes. "And studies have shown that in general, this type of dual-class structure does not perform as well as traditional arrangements"


Chris Matthews: Laura Ingraham Wrong About Voter ID Laws Being Nondiscriminatory

September 1, 2013

Featured Expert: Edward B. Foley

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in an article on News Busters on voter ID laws in Georgia. Despite the law and the worries some had about its effects on the voter turnout for minorities, data show that voter turnout for minorities actually increased faster than the population.

“It hasn’t had the voter-suppressing effect that some people feared,” Foley said. Conversely, he said, rhetoric about voter fraud has largely proven to be a “scare tactic” with little basis in fact.


A Lesson for Boardroom Battles

August 30, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in which he examines how proxy access is affecting Taro Pharmaceutical Industries in Israel. Public companies in the United States opposed proxy access and ultimately succeeded in making sure it wasn't enacted. companies like Taro Pharmaceutical Industries provide a model of the potential ramifications of proxy access, Davidoff said.

"In the United States, proxy access is dead, but like zombies, regulatory ideas have a habit of being hard to kill," he writes. "If proxy access does re-emerge, we will have some 120 Israeli companies that are like Taro – listed in the United States but with Israeli governance – as an example."


The Morning Ledger: Dodd-Frank disclosures may be costly

August 28, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff's op-ed in the The New York Times Dealbook about the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act was linked by the Wall Street Journal. In the piece, Davidoff writes that a short section in the law that requires public companies to list their median salary next to their CEO's salary has little effect on corporate governance, is difficult to calculate and can cost millions of dollars.

 


A Simple Solution That Made a Hard Problem More Difficult

August 27, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed in the The New York Times Dealbook about a rule requiring companies to list their median salaries next to the salry of their chief executive. In the piece, Davidoff writes that the rule has little effect on corporate governance, is difficult to calculate and can cost millions of dollars.

"Easy-sounding fixes like more disclosure can sometimes have unintended and costly consequences," Davidoff writes. "There are also no easy answers to hard problems. This type of legislation appears to be more about being able to show that you are doing something, anything about a problem without actually fixing it."


Fewer Law School Applicants Due To Lack Of Jobs, High Tuition

August 26, 2013

Featured Expert: Alan C. Michaels

Dean alan Michaels was quoted in an article from WOSU about the declining enrollment for law schools. Michaels explained that teh recession played a big role in the declining enrollment for law schools across the country.

“There was a great recession of course starting in 2008, and that had a very large impact on the legal market. Demand for legal services which had had a very long period of very robust growth actually dropped,” he said.


States, Justice Department girding for battle over voting laws

August 23, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in a McClatchy Newspapers article that ran in the Miami Herald and other newspapers about states' voter identification laws and the federal lawsuits that could result. A lawsuit in Texas could make it difficult for Congress to pass revisions to the Voting Rights Act, many argue. The key to finding a solution will be strategic thinking, they say.

"I'm sure the Department of Justice will pick its spots carefully," Tokaji said. "These cases aren't easy."


Ohio State study: Smokers cost employers $6K more annually

August 20, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was interviewed by The Lantern for a story on his research regarding the comprehensive costs of employing a smoker versus a nonsmoker. According to the study, it costs employers almost $6,000 more to employ those who smoke versus those who do not.

“Companies with defined benefit pension systems may save some money due to the fact that smokers die earlier than non-smokers,” Berman said. “But the cost savings is very minimal.”


Experts: Abortion decision likely will stand

August 16, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in the Toledo Blade in an article about the likliehood that a new Ohio bill aimed at restricting abortions could overturn Roe v. Wade. Spindelman said that's unlikely.

 It could be used as a vehicle for overturning or cutting back on Roe against Wade, but the odds seem strongly against it,” Mr. Spindleman said. “Given existing precedence, a ban on post-heartbeat but pre-viability abortions is inconsistent with existing Supreme Court precedent. Therefore, in order for a post-heartbeat but pre-viability abortion ban to stand, the precedence would have to be modified or overturned.”
 


Experts: Abortion decision likely will stand

August 16, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in a Toledo Blade article regarding the constitutionality of the new Ohio Heartbeat Bill. Many are questioning whether this new legislation could potentially lead to the overturning of the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade.

“In theory, it could. It could be used as a vehicle for overturning or cutting back on Roe against Wade, but the odds seem strongly against it,” Spindelman said. “Given existing precedence, a ban on post-heartbeat but pre-viability abortions is inconsistent with existing Supreme Court precedent. Therefore, in order for a post-heartbeat but pre-viability abortion ban to stand, the precedence would have to be modified or overturned.”


Experts: Abortion decision likely will stand

August 16, 2013

Featured Expert: Ruth Colker

Professor Ruth Colker was quoted in a Toledo Blade article regarding the constitutionality of the new Ohio Heartbeat Bill. Many are questioning whether this new legislation could potentially lead to the overturning of the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, although the decision was upheld in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

“In the Casey decision, the court reaffirmed Roe vs. Wade, and a pivotal member of that court was Justice Kennedy and Justice Kennedy is still on the court,” Colker said. “I think we can all agree there are four liberals on the court who would be inclined to reaffirm. Kennedy is No. 5, and he has not done anything to lead a reasonable person to doubt he would still reaffirm Roe."


On Wall Street, a financial plan thrives despite failure

August 16, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for The New York Times about how special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, are thriving despite a record of failure. He writes that SPACs, which are also known as blank check companies, are generally not as safe or rewarding as private equities and those involved tend to have varying levels of expertise. Despite this, there has been evidence that SPACs are continuing to prosper.

"SPACs have brought companies to market that do not appear to perform particularly well," Davidoff writes. "There have been some successes, including Burger King, which went public through a London-based SPAC, but the failures appear to far outnumber the successes. But Silver Eagle's IPO shows that these entities are thriving despite the record of failure. Silver Eagle is the fourth SPAC to go public this year."


Should U.S. cut aid to Egypt?

August 16, 2013

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John B. Quigley wrote an op-ed piece for The Philadelphia Inquirer about how U.S. military aid, which costs more than a billion dollars each year, should be cut amid the disturbance of peace in the Middle East.

"Congress should stop catering to military contractors and to Israel," Quigley writes. "It should end military aid to Egypt - and while it is at it, to Israel as well."


A Thriving Financial Product, Despite a Record of Failure

August 13, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for The New York Times Dealbook about special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, which raise money through an IPO and then search for a company to buy. He writes that SPACs have a history of failure, in some part due to supporters making bad decisions, as supporters don't necessarily have to have expertise in the field. He also writes that after the acquisition, companies tend to perform poorly, as some are brought into the market before they're ready.

"In other words, SPACs may persist, not because they are good for investors or the companies themselves, but because they are a sought-after financial product," Davidoff writes. "This may also be true for (SPAC) Silver Eagle, but for its sake, let’s hope that past performance is no indication of future results."


Two Powerful Signals of a Major Shift on Crime

August 12, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was interviewed by The New York Times for a story on two decisions made by a federal judge in New York and by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. The judge found that stop-and-frisk practices in New York were unconstitutional racial profiling while Holder said that federal prosecutors would no longer invoke the sentencing laws.

Alexander, who wrote the 2010 book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," said the two decisions gave her a sense of “cautious optimism.”

“For those of us who have become increasingly alarmed over the years at the millions of lives that have been wasted due to the drug war and the types of police tactics that have been deployed in the get-tough-on-crime movement, today’s announcements give us fresh hope that there is, in fact, a growing public consensus that the path that we, the nation, have been on for the past 40 years has been deeply misguided and has caused far more harm and suffering than it has prevented,” she said.


Jacksons' fate a question of time

August 11, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was quoted in a Chicago Tribune article about the impending sentencing of former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandi Jackson. The two both pleaded guilty to felonies involving a $750,000 spending spree with campaign money. Berman said he predicts Jesse Jackson Jr. will receive two years and Sandi Jackson will receive either six months or one year and one day. However he agrees with a statement made by the pair’s lawyers, which notes the intense media coverage of the scandal has “already punished Mr. Jackson and his family immeasurably.”

Berman said the Jacksons, not being "run-of-the-mill tax cheats," had endured stigma and loss of reputation, intangibles that need to be weighed against the public perception that unless felons get hard time, they've gotten off with a slap on the wrist.


Dr. Micah Berman, Ohio State University – The Cost of Hiring a Smoker

August 8, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was featured by NPR affiliate WAMC Northeast Public Radio about a study he spearheaded on the effects of hiring a smoker. In the study, Berman and his colleagues found that smokers, on average, cost their employers about $6,000 more than nonsmokers, due to a range of factors.

"We analyzed five factors: absenteeism, presenteeism, lost productivity due to smoking breaks, healthcare costs, and pension benefits," Berman said. "'Presenteeism' refers to lower on-the-job productivity due to a lack of attention – in this case, caused by short-term cycles of nicotine withdrawal. For each factor, we projected an annual cost using the best available data from previous studies."


Smokers cost your boss an extra $5,816 each

August 8, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman's work was cited in a Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about the additional cost for employers to hire smokers over nonsmokers. The study Berman spearheaded found that smokers cost an average of about $6,000 more annually than nonsmokers do.

The article states that his research estimates the largest cost for employers is related to work that does not get done when a smoker takes a smoke break. That cost alone is estimated to add $3,077 annually for each smoker compared to a nonsmoker.


The Cost of a Smoker: $5,816

August 7, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in The New York Times about a study he spearheaded, which found that smokers cost their employers an average of almost $6,000 more per year than nonsmokers. The additional costs came from smokers taking more breaks, more time off, and requiring more expensive health care to treat smoking-related ailments. Berman said while some companies are working to help their employees quit smoking, the country as a whole could be doing more to help.

“We certainly encourage businesses to provide smoking cessation programs. At least for large companies, it’s highly likely to save them money over time,” Berman said, adding, “We as a country, as communities, need to be making more efforts to address smoking systematically, not just through cessation but prevention."


Smokers cost their employers an extra $6,000 per year

August 7, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a Daily Mail article about a study he headed about the effects of smoking on an employee's productivity. The study found that, due to smoke breaks, increased average time off, lack of focus at work and more expensive health issues, smokers end up costing their employers an average of $6,000 more per year than nonsmokers. Berman said the research could influence companies' tobacco policies.

"This research should help businesses make better informed decisions about their tobacco policies," Berman said. "We constructed our calculations such that individual employers can plug in their own expenses to get more accurate estimates of their own costs."


In American Greetings Deal, Echoes of Larger Buyout for Dell

August 6, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for The New York Times Dealbook about two management-led buyouts: those of Dell and American Greetings. He connects the two deals with, "Both deals illustrate the rising tide of shareholder power, as well as the devilish issues that emerge when management tries to buy a public company." Davidoff writes that both deals are quite rare in a way.

"In both the Dell and American Greetings deals, we are seeing something quite rare: shareholders actually exercising their given power," Davidoff writes. "Yet if they succeed, the question becomes whether Dell’s or American Greeting’s shareholders will become the proverbial dog who caught the car, wondering what to do next."


Memorial Mass honors Catholic priest gunned down by Methodist minister in 1921

August 5, 2013

Featured Expert: Sharon L. Davies

Professor Sharon Davies was mentioned in an article in The Birmingham News about a memorial Mass for a Catholic priest, the Rev. James E. Coyle, who was shot by the Rev. Edwin Stephenson, who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Davies researched and wrote about the historic murder trial in her book ''Rising Road: A True Tale of Love, Race and Religion in America."


Dice Raw Bases "Jimmy's Back" LP On "The New Jim Crow" Book

August 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was mentioned in an article on hip-hop site DX regarding her book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness." The Roots affiliate Dice Raw is basing his upcoming album off her book, which covers several topics, such as the mass incarceration of Americans, especially African-Americans, the war on drugs, social consequences of various policies for “people of color” and how the labeling of people as felons traps them into a “second-class” life that is difficult to escape from.


Employers: Take care or pay up

August 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was cited in the Newark Advocate following a study he spearheaded about the effect of smoking on employees' productivity. The article focuses on businesses which are no longer willing to employ workers with expensive health needs, such as ailments brought on by smoking.

Berman's study found that smokers cost employers an average of nearly $6,000 more than nonsmokers do, in part because of added health costs from smoking-related problems.


California prisons: U.S. Supreme Court rejects state bid to avoid removal of more inmates

August 2, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was cited in a San Jose Mercury News article about overcrowding in California prisons.  On Friday the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Gov. Jerry Brown's administration's bid to stall a federal court demand that the state shed the inmates to resolve California's prison overcrowding crisis. The state is currently in a situation that would require the removal of 10,000 state prison inmates by the end of the year.

Berman said the Supreme Court's refusal to act immediately signals a majority of the justices are disinclined to intervene, perhaps a reason Scalia's dissent was so forceful.


Why Not Interrupting Castro Was A Wise Legal Decision

August 1, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was featured as a guest on NPR's Here & Now following the sentencing hearing of Ariel Castro, convicted rapist and kidnapper. Castro "got the last word" and was able to make a statement following his sentencing, which Berman said is just part of the legal process. In the statement, Castro said things like the sex in the West Cleveland house where he held three women captive for over a decade was consensual, that the women were not virgins when he kidnapped them as girls, that he was abused as a child and was sick. Berman said it's not unusual for a defendant to say things of that manner.

"(It happens) particularly in cases where an extreme sentence is already booked into the proceeding," Berman said. "And so there's nothing the defendant can lose by trying to, you know, sort of justify or say something outrageous. And they think and know to some extent this is their last chance on a public stage."

 


Analysis during Castro's sentencing

August 1, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was featured as a legal expert on CNN throughout the network's coverage of the sentencing hearing of Ariel Castro, the man convicted of kidnapping and holding hostage three Cleveland women.

“He does have a right to speak if he wants to,” Berman said. “It’s much more for his symbolic effect, not whether it will affect the sentencing.”


What is a credit score?

August 1, 2013

Featured Expert: Larry T. Garvin

Professor Larry Garvin was quoted in a CardHub article about the logistics and impact of credit scores. 

“Most consumers don’t have a clear idea how credit scores work and what on a credit report determines a credit score,” Garvin said. “I suspect most know that the two are related, but I also suspect most don’t know how. Probably most of this deficiency is due to weak financial literacy, with some due to weak literacy and some due to the sheer amount of information and disinformation that’s out on the Web or elsewhere.”



 


Air Products Faces Modern Form of Hostile Takeover

July 31, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for The New York Times Dealbook about the Wednesday announcement that William A. Ackman’s firm, Pershing Square Capital Management, had acquired a 9.8 percent stake worth $2.2 billion in Air Products and Chemicals. He referred to the deal as a "modern form of the hostile takeover:" the activist investor.

Davidoff writes, "This all means that the next few months will be occupied by talking about management changes and perhaps fruitful attempts to make nice. But in the background, Pershing Square will have the threat until October of nominating its own directors and starting a proxy contest. And make no mistake, Pershing Square has acted on this threat before."


With Fewer Barbarians at the Gate, Companies Face a New Pressure

July 30, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for The New York Times Dealbook about hostile takeovers. He writes that the year has consisted of only three hostile offers, and only 12 hostile bids all of last year. Davidoff writes that the hostile takeover, which companies have fought to kill for 30 years, is on a downturn because the market has changed.

"But today’s markets are more complicated. Activist investors search out undervalued companies, while institutional investors also do their part in aggressively pushing management for better stock performance. Simply put, the forces on companies to perform better appear to have worked, leaving fewer undervalued targets for hostile bidders," Davidoff writes. "Hostile takeovers have also become riskier. Not only boards, but shareholders at target companies are much more willing to say no if they feel a bid is underpriced."


Legal precedents don’t hint at fate of new abortion curbs in Ohio

July 30, 2013

Featured Expert: Ruth Colker

Professor Ruth Colker was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch article concerning a new abortion restriction in Ohio.

Colker traced through the logistics of a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Pennsylvania that challenged a similar restriction.



 


What Makes It Hard to Kick the Habit: Letter to the Editor

July 29, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman wrote a Letter to the Editor to The New York Times in response to an article the paper published about why smokers have trouble quitting. He notes that while the authors of the article blame "poor self-control in the face of immediate temptation," they forget about another factor that contributes to difficulty of quitting smoking: "the role of the tobacco industry in exploiting this widely shared character trait (poor self control)."

"For example, tobacco manufacturers pay retailers to locate large displays of tobacco products immediately behind the cash register," Berman writes. "Numerous studies have shown that these displays prompt impulse purchases and make it significantly harder for smokers to quit — which is why several other countries have prohibited these displays. Additionally, tobacco companies devote the majority of their advertising budgets to price discounts that offer short-term reward but long-term costs."


Legal Expert Believes Statehouse Holocaust Memorial Would Open “Pandora’s Box”

July 29, 2013

Featured Expert: David A. Goldberger

Professor David Goldberger weighed in on a 10TV article about a looming controversy over a Holocaust Memorial to be displayed at the Ohio Statehouse.
 

"It's opening up a Pandora's Box, no question about it," Goldberger said. "I envision disputes which are very divisive in the community over who has the right and who is being discriminated against."



 


Hedge Fund’s Suit on Fannie and Freddie May Spell Trouble for U.S.

July 29, 2013

Obama Can Fix the Race Gap in Sentencing Law

July 29, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman wrote an op-ed with Harlan Protass for Slate about the prospect of President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder correcting racial discrimination in sentencing law.

“If President Obama is genuinely committed to addressing racial disparities in the enforcement of our criminal laws, he can grant clemency today, and then make a sustained commitment to addressing these issues throughout his second term. If he fails to do so, he can, justifiably, be called our nation’s “Coward-in-Chief” where race is concerned,” Berman writes.



 


In NLRB Recess Appointments Case, Roberts Court Can Now Show It Knows How to Exercise Judicial Restraint

July 29, 2013

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

Professor Peter Shane wrote an article for Bloomberg concerning the prospect of  the case Noel Canning v. NLRB to be remanded, depending on the Senate’s decision to confirm a full complement of members for the
National Labor Relations Board.
 

Shane writes, “A Supreme Court that has deregulated corporate campaign spending, judicialized the Second Amendment, overturned both the Voting Rights and Defense of Marriage Acts, and cut from whole cloth pretty much every important holding in its resolution of the Obamacare challenges may be all too eager to play constitutional referee on recess appointments.”



 


In NLRB Recess Appointments Case, Roberts Court Can Now Show It Knows How to Exercise Judicial Restraint

July 29, 2013

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

Professor Peter Shane wrote an article for Bloomberg concerning the prospect of  the case Noel Canning v. NLRB to be remanded, depending on the Senate’s decision to confirm a full complement of members for the
National Labor Relations Board.
 

Shane writes, “A Supreme Court that has deregulated corporate campaign spending, judicialized the Second Amendment, overturned both the Voting Rights and Defense of Marriage Acts, and cut from whole cloth pretty much every important holding in its resolution of the Obamacare challenges may be all too eager to play constitutional referee on recess appointments.”



 


‘Democracy Now’ Interviews On Trayvon Martin Murder: Juror ‘Maddy,’ Michelle Alexander, Cornel West; Sanford, Fla. Protest

July 26, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was quoted by Voice of Detroit following an interview she did with Democracy Now. The story focuses on Trayvon Martin's murder and the case against George Zimmerman that followed. Alexander said biases deeply rooted into American society and its criminal justice system are responsible in part for Martin's death and Zimmerman's acquittal.

“The [Zimmerman mindset] that views black men and boys as a perpetual problem to be dealt with has infected our criminal justice system, infected our schools, has infected our politics in ways that have had disastrous consequences, birthing a prison system unprecedented in world history, and stripping millions of people of basic civil and human rights once they have been branded criminals and felons," Alexander said. "It’s this mindset that some of us, defined largely by race and class, are unworthy of our basic care and concern and can be dealt with harshly, written off with impunity.”


Statehouse Holocaust Memorial Causes Protest

July 24, 2013

Featured Expert: David A. Goldberger

Professor David Goldberger was featured on NBC4 about the proposed Holocaust Memorial planned to be built on the Ohio Statehouse lawn. Controversy has been brewing around the subject, as some oppose the memorial because of what they consider an overly religious symbol, the Star of David, being featured prominently on the design. Goldberg said allowing the memorial to feature the Star of David could open up a "Pandora's Box for the state of Ohio."

"It opens the door for other groups to say, 'We would like our symbol there.' Of course this memorial will be part of a broader display, so it is essentially secular," Goldberger said.

He said the state motto on the sidewalk in front of the Statehouse "In God All Things Are Possible" went through the courts and was ruled secular. Goldberger said the Holocaust Memorial could be ruled the same.


Choices Ahead for the Dell Board, but Not Much Time

July 24, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for The New York Times about Dell's final move, as founder Michael S. Dell and his partner, Silver Lake Partners, have "made their final move, raising their bid by 10 cents a share and calling it their 'best and final' proposal." Davidoff writes that "Mr. Dell has demanded that, in connection with this increased bid, the Dell board modify the voting rules on the deal." Davidoff writes that this would be a small change with big consequences, as approval for his bid would be easier.

"Mr. Dell and Silver Lake are seeking the approval of a majority of only unaffiliated shareholders voting at the meeting," Davidoff writes of Mr. Dell's proposal. "This would exclude shareholders who simply don’t show up to the meeting or don’t care to about the vote. The number of shareholders who don’t vote is likely to be lower in a controversial deal like this, but this is still likely to be a significant percentage of Dell’s shares."


Yahoo’s share buyback is legal, but timing is suspect

July 24, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for The Economic Times about Yahoo's share buyback. One of Yahoo's biggest investors, Daniel Loeb, and his hedge fund, Third Point, recently abandoed the company, and now Yahoo has agreed to buy 40 million shares back from Third Point at $1.16 billion. Davidoff writes that the share repurchase has a "whiff of greenmail."

"Greenmail is yet another relic of the 1980s that we'd rather forget, along with big hair," Davidoff writes. "Back then, companies would repurchase the stock of corporate raiders at a premium simply to make them go away. Greenmail was quite controversial, and some states banned the practice, though Delaware, where Yahoo and many other corporations are organized, did not."


Web’s Mad Men Fight Browser Makers Over Online Tracking

July 23, 2013

Professor Peter Swire was quoted in Bloomberg about how Internet users can avoid being tracked online. Swire, who co-chairs the Tracking Protection Working Group, a standards group attempting to create a universal definition for "Do Not Track" standards, said a lack of consensus on this standard could lead to "a technological arms race." By that, Swire means that advertisers could circumvent technology designed to block tracing a user’s clicks through cyberspace.

“There will be increased blocking from the user and browser side, and there’ll be increasingly sophisticated tracking from the advertising side,” he said.


Ring argued when appealing his conviction that the court should not have considered his legal campaign contributions as evidence he had corrupted public officials.

July 22, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article in The Daily Caller about President Barack Obama's address following the reaction to the verdict in George Zimmerman's trial. Zimmerman was acquitted after being charged with manslaughter and second degree murder for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Obama touched on the "history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws," but Berman said if Obama were serious about addressing these disparities, he should throw his support behind criminal sentencing reform.

“Criticism of mandatory minimums has been of significant focal point for minority communities and those who are broadly concerned that certain populations uniquely bear the brunt of the criminal sentencing structure,” Berman said.


A few shotgun shells landed a man 15 years in federal prison

July 21, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was quoted in The Chattanooga Times Free Press in an article about a man who was given a 15-year jail sentence for possessing shotgun shells because he was a previously convicted felon. As many felons don't know that possessing any sort of firearm can land them longer sentences if convicted for other crimes, advocacy group Families Against Mandatory Minimums wrote the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, which aims to make sure sentencing is fair. Berman has written in support of the Act.

"Unlike what we think happens too much -- defendants get off on a technicality -- the government is kind of throwing the book at this guy over a technicality," Berman said.


Sharon Davies commentary: Food stamps are vital to lifting people out of poverty

July 19, 2013

Featured Expert: Sharon L. Davies

Professor Sharon Davies wrote an op-ed for The Columbus Dispatch, discussing the importance of food stamps. Recently, Davies said, the House voted to unhitch the nation’s food stamp program (the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) from the farm bill, undoing the compromise that has long ensured the passage of both pieces of legislation. She wrote about her first-hand experience living in a family that struggles to support itself, as her mother only finished high school and her father stopped at sixth grade, making it difficult for them to find work. She wrote that help from outside sources were what kept her family afloat.

"But for the social safety nets that surrounded our family, I don’t know what would have become of us. There was a food pantry that supplied staples: powdered milk and instant potatoes. There was a fuel-assistance program that forgave a portion of the cost of the oil that warmed our Massachusetts home on the coldest winter nights. I was vaguely aware that a local dentist and a family doctor in town cared for us first and then permitted my mother to write checks when she “had it.” At Christmastime, my brothers and sisters and I would wait excitedly for a truck loaded with red-mesh stockings stuffed with oranges and trinkets. Like magic, it showed up in our town center year after year."


The battle over Ohio's internet cafes takes a nasty turn

July 19, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was featured by WKSU, an NPR affiliate, about a possible law that would effectively ban internet cafés in strip malls, former restaurants and mostly empty rows of storefronts. Tokaji said both supporters and opposers of the bill are protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as long as they don’t do anything criminal such as threaten or physically attack anyone.

“It’s no surprise that there are passionately held views on both sides of this issue. And this wouldn’t be the first time. The other issue that comes immediately to mind as ... a parallel is the issue of abortion, where we have often had people with very strong views trying to express those views.”


Supreme Court urged to review lobbyist’s conviction

July 19, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in The Hill about the appeal of a former associate of Jack Abramoff, Kevin Ring, who is arguing his conviction wrongly considered campaign contributions as evidence of bribery. A petition is going to the Supreme Court to argue his case. Ring argued when appealing his conviction earlier this year that the court should not have considered his legal campaign contributions as evidence he had corrupted public officials. Tokaji said there are some inconsistencies in the language of previous federal statues.

"This is a hard area to begin with. It's hard to draw clear lines in this area, but I think the Supreme Court could be clearer for what the standard for bribery and extortion should be," he said, adding that, with many cases nationwide caught on the ambiguity of a bribery definition, it would be a worthy case for the court to consider.

 


Debating, Yet Again, the Worth of Law School

July 18, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for The New York Times Dealbook about the true value of going to law school. A recent study reported that the average additional earning for law school graduates is $1 million, and the study has received backlash. Davidoff writes that the criticism is well-intentioned, as some are crying out on behalf of law school grads who haven't been able to find work. On the other hand, Davidoff writes that at least 75 percent of graduates easily exceed the amount of tuition paid.

"Still, no graduate program promises its graduates a job," he writes. "Just look at those offering doctorates in English. But even if 75 percent of students have an economic justification for law school, not everyone does. In this light, every potential student should do a real cost-benefit assessment in light of the law school tuition he or she will be paying."


Michelle Alexander: "Zimmerman Mindset" Endangers Young Black Lives with Poverty, Prison & Murder

July 17, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was featured on independent news hour Democracy Now, speaking on racism in the George Zimmerman trial. She said she believes Trayvon Martin's murder could have been avoided had he been born white, because Zimmerman would not have "stalked" him. She said the mindset that black males are all dangerous or up to no good is a dangerous one.

"I think it’s critically important that we not allow ourselves to get bogged down in the details of who said what when, but rather step back and consider what this Zimmerman mindset, a mindset that views a boy walking in his neighborhood carrying nothing but Skittles and iced tea as a threat, this mindset that views black men and boys as a perpetual problem to be dealt with," Alexander said. "This mindset has infected our criminal justice system, has infected our schools, has infected our politics, in ways that have had disastrous consequences, birthing a prison system unprecedented in world history and stripping millions of basic civil, human — millions of people of basic civil and human rights once they’ve been branded criminals and felons."


Racial profiling brings up same issue at Purdue

July 17, 2013

Featured Expert: Joshua Dressler

Professor Joshua Dressler was quoted in Purdue's The Exponent about Florida's Stand Your Ground Laws, which came into play in the trial of George Zimmerman. Dressler notes that the Stand Your Ground laws require a prosecutor to prove the defendant didn't act in self-defense, which can be tough.

“The statute itself places the burden of persuasion regarding self-defense on the prosecutor to prove that the defendant did not act in self-defense,” Dressler said. “In the past, in most states, if a defendant claimed self-defense, it was up to the defendant to prove he did act in self-defense.”


Trayvon Martin's Legacy Has Nothing to Do With Stand Your Ground

July 17, 2013

Featured Expert: Joshua Dressler

Professor Joshua Dressler was quoted in an article by Policy Mic about the Stand Your Ground Law in the wake of Trayvon Martin's murder and George Zimmerman's trial. Stand Your Ground Law allows the use of deadly force when "there is reasonable belief of an unlawful threat, without an obligation to retreat first." Dressler discussed the legal implications of the law.

"The statute itself places the burden of persuasion regarding self-defense on the prosecutor — to prove that the defendant did NOT act in self-defense," Dressler said.


Trayvon Martin’s Unpunished Shooting Death Among 100+ Extrajudicial Killings of Unarmed Blacks

July 17, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was featured on independent news hour Democracy Now about the mindset she says is responsible for the death or imprisonment of a mass number of black men. She said ending this mindset is crucial and will take commitment to acting as advocates for these men.

"Well, just that I think it’s critically important that we think beyond traditional forms of politics," Alexander said. "If we are serious about building a movement that will end the Zimmerman mindset, that will end mass incarceration and break our nation’s habit of treating black and brown men as disposable, it is going to take organizing, it’s going to take civil disobedience, it’s going to take a commitment to movement building far beyond the forms of traditional advocacy that have been so prevalent in recent decades."


What Happens if (or When) Edward Snowden Faces a Jury?

July 16, 2013

Featured Expert: Joshua Dressler

Professor Joshua Dressler was quoted by Pacific Standard about the George Zimmerman trial and verdict. Dressler comments on whether race was an influential factor in Zimmerman's decision to shoot Trayvon Martin, and notes that the question will likely never be answered.

"Race was never expressly raised, but it was still there lurking," Dressler said. "The question that the criminal trial didn’t answer, and probably couldn’t is whether, had Trayvon Martin had been white, Zimmerman would have grown suspicion and confronted the person so aggressively."


Ohio State names committee to search for Gee's replacement

July 16, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was mentioned in an article by The Columbus Dispatch about Ohio State's search process for a new president. Merritt has been selected to lead a 13-member advisory committee of faculty members, elected student leaders, staff and senior administrators. The committee will work with a selection subcommittee lead by Jeffrey Wadsworth to name the next president.


Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was mentioned in an article by The Columbus Dispatch about Ohio State's search process for a new president. Merritt has been selected to lead a 13-member advisory committee of faculty members, elected student leaders, staff

July 16, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was mentioned in an article by NBC4 about Ohio State's search process for a new president. Merritt has been selected to lead a 13-member advisory committee of faculty members, elected student leaders, staff and senior administrators. The committee will work with a selection subcommittee lead by Jeffrey Wadsworth to name the next president. The search is set to begin July 19.


Do Not Track standards group shoots down advertiser proposal

July 16, 2013

Professor Peter Swire was quoted in a CNET article about the Tracking Protection Working Group, which he chairs. The group's goal is to find a standard for Do Not Track signals. Swire and the group rejected a proposed standard from several advertising groups on the best way to let people tell Web site operators not to track their behavior.

The standards group was not fond of several aspects of the proposal including: A narrower definition of what it means to track users; a narrower definition of what it means to collect, retain, use, and share data; and reliance on a separate DAA opt-out mechanism if users wanted to disable targeted advertising as well as behavioral tracking.


Rallies against Zimmerman acquittal held across US

July 15, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was quoted by World Bulletin about racism in the trial of George Zimmerman. Alexander discussed the toxic mindset that harms the safety of innocent black men and boys. She said it is important for people to break away from the idea that black men and boys are consistently "up to no good."

"It is the Zimmerman mindset that must be found guilty – far more than the man himself," Alexander said. "It is a mindset that views black men and boys as nothing but a threat, good for nothing, up to no good no matter who they are or what they are doing. It is the Zimmerman mindset that has birthed a penal system unprecedented in world history, and relegated millions to a permanent undercaste."


‘Do Not Track’ Rules Come a Step Closer to an Agreement

July 15, 2013

Professor Peter Swire was quoted in an article by The New York Times about establishing a "Do Not Track" standard for the Internet. Users can turn on a Do Not Track signal, but Swire is a chairman of the Tracking Protection Working Group, which seeks to define exactly what that protects against.

“The public meaning of Do Not Track is to limit behavioral advertising,” Swire said.


Experts: Racism More Subtle Today

July 15, 2013

Featured Expert: Sharon L. Davies

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted in an NBC4 article about racism in America today in the context of the confrontation between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. She said Zimmerman's actions may have been brought on by an unconscious bias, as racism in America today is more subtle.

"We made it through the civil rights era and we think of those scenes as racism - that's what it looked like and we don't see that anymore," Davies said. "So we convince ourselves that race doesn't operate on the human mind but the reality is that race does shape judgments about individuals."


The Truth About Trayvon

July 15, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was quoted in The New York Times in an op-ed about the Trayvon Martin verdict. Alexander wrote a book titled "The New Jim Crow" about the injustice of a significantly higher amount of black men being imprisoned than anyone else.

The author writes, "And even the most casual observer recognizes the painful racial disparities in our prison population — the new Jim Crow, in the account of the legal scholar Michelle Alexander. Our prisons are full of young, black men for whom guilty beyond a reasonable doubt was easy enough to reach."


Legal Insights on the Zimmerman Verdict

July 14, 2013

Featured Expert: Joshua Dressler

Professor Joshua Dressler was quoted by the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog following George Zimmerman's "not guilty" verdict. Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter after he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year. Dressler said that the verdict was no surprise, but the trial left unanswered questions.

"Given the presumption of innocence and Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, which places an even greater burden of proof on the prosecutor, the acquittal was no surprise in light of the conflicting evidence," Dressler said. "Race was never expressly raised, but it was still there lurking. The question that the criminal trial didn’t answer, and probably couldn’t is whether, had Trayvon Martin had been white, Zimmerman would have grown suspicion and confronted the person so aggressively."


Lawmakers consider bipartisan sentencing reform

July 10, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was quoted in an article in The Daily Caller about adjusting the punishment for perpetrators of nonviolent crimes. He cites the example of drug-related charges, and says the Justice Safety Valve Act, which would give judges discretion to hand out lighter sentences if they feel the crime isn't severe, would restore some of the checks and balances of the American legal system.

“Just because the prosecutor is convinced you are a terrible SOB, that shouldn’t be enough,” Berman said. “They have to prove it to a jury and also convince a judge that the extreme sentence is appropriate. Mandatory minimums distort the system because they put this incredible power in the hands of the prosecutors.”

 


Ohio Constitutional Commission meets today

July 10, 2013

Featured Expert: Edward B. Foley

Professor Edward B. Foley was quoted in a WKSU NPR article about the voter-approved Constitutional Modernization Commission for Ohio, which began meeting this week. The bipartisan commission of 12 lawmakers and 20 citizen members will eventually hear about taxes, term limits, home rule, redistricting, elections of judges, and ballot campaigns launched by citizens, among many other issues surrounding possibe changes to the state constitution. Foley addressed one of the subcommittees.

"You’re really in a position to shape the posterity of this state," he said. "That’s the office that you hold as commissioners of this body. It is a very profound and important public trust that all of you on this Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission have.”


Why voter ID won’t save the GOP

July 10, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in a MSNBC article about voter identification laws. Last month’s Supreme Court ruling that weakened the Voting Rights Act has left voting-rights advocates and Democrats fearing that a possible of suppression tactics could keep poor and minority voters from the polls. However, Tokaji said there is little evidence implying that requiring an ID to vote will have a significant impact on voter turnout.

“The jury is still out on voter ID,” Tokaji said. “But its impact on turnout may not be as great as some opponents fear and some proponents probably hope.”


Professor calls war on drugs ‘abomination’

July 9, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander's book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" was cited by a Frost Illustrated article. The article focuses on andré douglas pond cummings (sic), professor of law and associate dean of the Indiana Tech Law School in Fort Wayne, who says the unbalance of incarceration rates between whites and blacks for drug crimes is not because one group is more inclined to do drugs, but because of a misguided drug war focusing on low-income minorities.

He cites Alexander's book, which focuses on the same topic, by saying, "The point I’m trying to make here, that Michelle Alexander makes in her book, is that we decided to wage the war in a specific way — in minority communities, not frat houses at colleges; not suburban, not suburbia. We decided to wage this war in poor communities, to incarcerate massively African American and Latino citizens."


Some Lawmakers Lament Policy In Budget

July 3, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in a WOSU article about the new Ohio state budget. The article focuses on the frustration for some that non-budget related policy items were included in the recently passed budget. Tokaji said critics have a way to fight back against the parts of the budget that are policy-only and not related to spending.

“If the legislature includes in the bill other provisions that make permanent changes to the law of the state of Ohio, then that ought to be subject to a referendum,” he said.


Entrapment? Ohio cops erect fake drug checkpoints to snare traffickers

July 2, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was featured in a radio interview with Voice of Russia about recently implemented fake drug checkpoints in Ohio. Actual drug checkpoints are not legal, but posting signs that drug checkpoints are coming up is legal. Simmons said the “checkpoints” are not entrapment, but can more accurately be defined as deception, because the police are not causing motorists to commit a crime, but they are deceiving them with the fake checkpoints.

“From the police point of view they’re trying to essentially smoke out the people who are guilty. They’re assuming the people who are guilty will act a certain way and innocent people will simply drive on by and say, ‘Oh, drug checkpoint, that doesn’t matter.’ So the police argument is you really don’t have to worry about these signs, this deception, unless you actually are carrying drugs in your car.”


Fake drug checkpoint in Mayfield Heights is legal, experts say

July 1, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted in Cleveland's The Plain Dealer about fake drug checkpoints recently installed in Mayfield Heights (Northeast Ohio). Officers aren't allowed to use checkpoints to search vehicles for drugs, so instead they have posted signs and gauge drivers' reactions to the signs. While some oppose the checkpoint as not being fair, Simmons said police are allowed to deceive people, thus the fake checkpoint was legal.

"They can lie to anybody," Simmons said.


Affirmative Action and Academic Diversity

July 1, 2013

Featured Expert: Ruth Colker

Professor Ruth Colker was featured as a guest on WOSU's All Sides with Ann Fisher, discussing the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case. She said the case brought up some important points for the future of affirmative action, and left some uncertainty as to what exactly is constitutional behavior for universities.

"There are some really important nuggets that I’m sure university officials are going to be looking at closely to make sure that their own plans are constitutional," Colker said. “Because the court did not merely affirm what the University of Texas did, so there’s still some uncertainty as to whether their plan is constitutional, that would lead some people to think that this area is ripe for further challenges.”


Ohio police set up fake drug checkpoint to fool motorists

July 1, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted by the RT news network about fake drug checkpoints being set up in Cleveland. Police are not legally allowed to set up actual drug checkpoints, but can set up signs advertising that there will be checkpoints. Instead of pulling over cars at random, police monitor the behavior of motorists after they see the signs, and if they seem suspicious, police can then pull them over.

While some oppose this tactic, Simmons says of the police, "They can lie to anybody."


Joseph Alutto assumes role as Ohio State interim president, despite unanswered questions

June 30, 2013

Featured Expert: E. Gordon Gee

Professor E. Gordon Gee was reported to begin teaching at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law following an approximately year-long sabbatical in an article in The Lantern. Gee announced his retirement from his position as president of Ohio State June 4, effective July 1.

Gee’s contract with the university stated he was to be granted “the permanent status of President Emeritus, with an appropriate stipend, secretary and office for a period of five years” if he chose to retire before the contract was up in 2017. The contract also said he has been granted tenure at the Moritz College of Law and the College of Education and Human Ecology.


Prop. 8 case was once seen as a Supreme Court long shot

June 28, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in a San Jose Mercury News article about the Supreme Court's decisions to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. He said that while the rulings do not legalize same sex marriage in all states, the Supreme Court's decisions are a step forward for such rulings to come in the future.

"At the end of the day, there was no setback, only advances," Spindelman said.


OSU Law Professor, Marc Spindelman, talks about the Supreme Court's rulings and their affect on Ohioans

June 27, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was a featured guest on the 94.7 fm radio station Sunny 95 morning show with Dino and Stacy, to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court's rulings on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act on Ohioans. While he said the legal status of same-sex marriage in Ohio has not changed following the rulings, the decisions are still important on a national scale.

“I think it’s important for folks to understand that part of what was surprising to some observers about yesterday’s decision, part of what makes it big news, and the big big news that it is, is that the basis upon which the court ruled in the case, the basis on which the court struck the Federal Defense of Marriage Act down was norms, or grounds, or ideals grounded in the Constitution of equal protection or equality.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision says that part of what made the Federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional was that the federal government didn’t have a good reason for treating marriages between same-sex couples, recognized by the state of New York, as just like traditional cross-sex marriages."


Ohio Gay Marriage Ban Continues, But DOMA Decision Looms Large

June 27, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in an article from 91.3 WYSO about the Supreme Court's decisions to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, and what these rulings mean for Ohioans. Spindelman said many observers probably assumed the Supreme Court would simply decide that rulings on marriages were to be left to the states, not the federal government. But, he said the decision wasn't so narrow, and can have a widespread effect, even in Ohio, where same-sex marriage is banned.

“In some respects the legal status of same-sex marriage in Ohio today is the same as it was yesterday and the day before. At the same time, the decision … gave and gives proponents of same-sex marriage a new tool by which to argue that same sex marriage is constitutionally required even at the state level,” Spindelman said.


OSU Professor on Gay Marriage

June 27, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was featured on ABC 6's program Good Day Columbus to discuss the impact of the Supreme Court's rulings against Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

“So far it doesn’t have any obvious, immediate impact in Ohio. So in Ohio, just like before, same sex marriage remains outlawed, both under the Ohio State constitution and also by statutes," Spindelman said.

He said the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Federal Defense of Marriage Act laid the groundwork, however, for the Supreme Court to make a future ruling in favor of same sex marriage. Spindelman added that the decision recognized the importance for children of same sex couples to feel like they’re just as valid as the children of cross sex couples.


Gay-marriage issue will shift to states after Supreme Court ruling

June 27, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted by The Columbus Dispatch in an article about the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, which banned same sex marriage in California. While there is no immediate effect in Ohio, Spindelman said the ruling appears to order the federal government to simply defer to states that allow same-sex marriage, the ruling’s broad language gives advocates of marriage equality a “powerful new tool” that might help them make the case against state bans of gay marriage.

The ruling “provides a new legal basis for saying state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional,” Spindelman said.


Mass incarceration’s tragic success

June 27, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was quoted in a Washington Post opinion piece which addressed the issue of a dramatic upsurge in the number of prisoners in the United States from 1979 to 2013. The author writes that "the social side effects of get-tough policies are coming under increasing scrutiny."

He says Alexander presses the case against a criminal justice system that sweeps up large numbers of young African Americans, sometimes for relatively minor drug offenses, places them in dangerous and dysfunctional institutions and then, upon release, denies them basic democratic rights. “Today,” Alexander said, “there are more African Americans under correctional control — in prison or jail, on probation or parole — than were enslaved in 1850.”


Justices ax portion of voting law

June 26, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in an article by The Columbus Dispatch about the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down a part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that requires some states to get federal approval before changing voting rules affecting minorities. Tokaji said the ruling may mean a rarely used portion of the law — Section 3, which allows courts to decide if new jurisdictions need Department of Justice permission to change their election laws —  now becomes more important.

“There’s a lot of pressure on Congress to protect the right to vote because this so obviously leaves the right to vote vulnerable,” Tokaji said.


Ohio Gay Rights Community Encouraged By Court Rulings

June 26, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted by NBC4 Columbus about what the Supreme Court's decisions to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 mean for gay rights. He said while Ohio still defines marriage as between a man and a woman, the Court's ruling was more far-reaching than he had anticipated.

"The basis for its (the court's) decision is grounded in principles of equality, that same sex relationships are just like their cross sex counterparts," Spindelman said. "And the reasoning, of course, not only applies to the federal defense of marriage act but to state bans on same sex marriage - that's the surprising part."


DOMA Decision Could Affect Ohio Marriage Laws in the Future

June 26, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted by ABC 6 Columbus about the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8, and what it could mean for Ohio in the future. He said the decision opens up the realm of possibility to challenge Ohio's defense of marriage statute and its constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Spindelman said the Court’s finding in the United States v. Windsor is significant because it hinges on equality, rather than states’ rights.

"The equal protection language of Windsor by its force appears to really call into serious question the validity of state prohibitions on same-sex marriage," he said.


Central Ohioans React To Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Decisions

June 26, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in a 10TV article about the Supreme Court rulings against the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8. He said the Court's decisions could affect other moves toward equality.

"The basis for today's decision is grounded in the equality concerns, these equal protection concerns," Spindelman said. "The court installed a motor in the decision that drives much beyond the Federal Defense of Marriage Act."


Ohio sorts out impact of same-sex marriage decisions

June 26, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted by The Plain Dealer in an article about what the Supreme Court's rulings on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act could mean for Ohio. He said the court's rejection of the Defense of Marriage law contained language that could fuel the arguments of both proponents and opponents of same-sex marriage.

While the court opinion said allowing same-sex marriage is a state decision, Spindelman said the equal protection argument the court used to overturn DOMA could "be mobilized in such a way as to cast doubt on the constitutionality of not only DOMA, but state bans on same sex marriage."


Ohio sorts out impact of same-sex marriage decisions

June 26, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted by Cleveland's The Plain Dealer in an article about the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the Federal Defense of Marriage Act as well as California's ban on same sex marriage. Spindelman said the court's rejection of the Defense of Marriage law contained language that will provide fodder to both proponents and opponents of same-sex marriage.

While the court opinion said allowing same-sex marriage is a state decision, Spindelman said the equal protection argument the court used to overturn DOMA could "be mobilized in such a way as to cast doubt on the constitutionality of not only DOMA, but state bans on same sex marriage."


Clearwire Deal Is a Lesson in High-Stakes Bidding

June 25, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook about the bidding for Clearwire communications corporation. He compares takeovers to a poker game, where billions of dollars are "in the pot." He writes that bids for Clearwire fluctuated between the originial bids from Sprint, to a competing bid from Dish, which eventually caused Sprint to up the ante of its bid.

Davidoff writes that the lessons to take away from the bidding for Clearwire is that majority shareholders have an initial advantage that they ought to take advantage of -- by finding higher bids or perhaps choosing not to sell. Additionally, he says not all shareholders are alike and that "the clearest lesson is that the price an investment bank and a board are willing to call fair is quite different from what someone is willing to pay."


Supreme Court sidesteps big affirmative-action ruling

June 25, 2013

Featured Expert: Sharon L. Davies

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted by The Columbus Dispatch about the recent Supreme Court decision to pass the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case to a lower appeals court. Davies said the decision strengthens the consideration of affirmative action.

“I think, if anything, what the court’s decision does today is, it reaffirms the pursuit … of race-conscious admissions practices,” Davies said.


The Intricate Endgame for Dell

June 25, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook about the battle for Dell and its shareholders' dwindling options.

He writes, "The battle for Dell is now really all about what Carl Icahn is up to. Mr. Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management have been working hard to come up with an alternative to the Michael Dell/Silver Lake bid. Despite the hard work, nothing has panned out. It truly appears that it is all a maneuver to extract more money for shareholders from the current buyers.

"In other words, it has become a giant game of chicken."


How the Supreme Court Fisher v. University of Texas Ruling on Affirmative Action Affects Ohio State University Admissions

June 24, 2013

Featured Expert: Sharon L. Davies

Professor Sharon Davies was quoted in an article by NPR affiliate State Impact. The article focuses on the impact of the 7-1 decision in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case regarding affirmative action. The decision did not offer a definite opinion on whether race is a valid point to use when considering students for admission, which Davies said was not ideal.

“It’s almost remarkable for how much it doesn’t do,” she said of the decision.


President-Congress showdown reaches high court

June 24, 2013

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

Professor Peter Shane was quoted by USA Today in an article about the power struggle between the White House and Congress over government appointments. The ultimate debate hinges on how the justices interpret two words in the Constitution: "the" and "happen." The recess appointments clause of the Constitution reads: "The president shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session."

Shane specializes in the separation of powers and says the D.C. Circuit judges are engaging in "semantic cherry-picking." While the Supreme Court may not be so rigid, he says, under Justice Antonin Scalia's influence it has been "unduly fetishist about these precise dictionary meanings."


Gay marriage in Supreme Court: Nation will be glued to Web awaiting rulings

June 23, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News in an article about the upcoming Supreme Court decisions challenging California's Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. The Supreme Court's decisions are just a step in the battle over gay marriage, however, which Spindelman touched on.

"If the measure of satisfaction is that (the rulings) will be the end of the conversation, then everybody is sure to be dissatisfied," Spindelman said.


Seeking death for Ariel Castro could be difficult for Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty

June 22, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was quoted in an article in Cleveland's The Plain Dealer about the possibility of Ariel Castro receiving the death penalty for allegedly forcing one of three women he held captive for nearly 10 years to have abortions. Berman said the prosecutor, Timothy J. McGinty, will need to consider whether seeking the death penalty, and turning the case into "more of a spectacle than it already is," provides "corresponding benefits."

According to the article, Berman and others agreed that McGinty's biggest hurdle would be persuading a jury to return an aggravated murder conviction based on accusations that Castro caused one of the women to have a miscarriage.


Law firms say they want ‘practice ready’ grads—but who are they actually hiring?

June 21, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was quoted by the American Bar Association Journal in an article on Washington & Lee University Law School's decision to emphasize practical skills in the 3L year. She said while "employers say they are eager to hire these better-trained, more rounded, more 'practice ready' lawyers—and they should be ... the statistics say otherwise." She pointed out that the school actually has worse employment outcome rates as of late, and suggested this could be because firms don't actually specifically request clinical experience when interviewing candidates.

"Law school clinicians have noted for years that legal employers rarely demand 'clinical experience' as a prerequisite for on-campus interviews," Merritt wrote. "Instead, their campus interviewing forms are more likely to list 'top ten percent' or 'law review.' Old habits die hard. Employers have maintained for the last few years that 'this time we really mean it when we ask for practical skills,' but maybe they don’t."


Entry-Level Employment Falls Again, And It’s Possible That Law Schools Have No Clue What To Do About It

June 20, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was quoted by legal blog Above the Law about the decline in entry-level employment rates among recent law graduates. Merritt comments on the underwhelming results from Washington & Lee’s experiential learning 3L curriculum, despite legal employers' claims they want to employ graduates with practical experience.

Of a few reasons she mentions for why this may be so, Merritt says "employers may care about experience, but want to see that experience in the area for which they’re hiring" and that "the students themselves may have developed higher or more specialized career ambitions than their peers at other schools."


Massachusetts ruling could invite more tobacco suits

June 18, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a Reuters article about a recent Massachusetts court has ruling that cigarettes' addictive qualities do not give cigarette makers "special protection" from product liability claims. Berman says that while tobacco companies have spent years arguing that cigarettes' addictive qualities are what truly make them cigarettes, this decision rejects that claim. The result of the ruling is that nearly all cigarettes sold in the state could be declared defective, Berman said.

"It's incredibly significant," Berman said of the decision. "There are not many courts out there who have found that there is an available alternative design to cigarettes."


Johnson: Disenfranchising felons hits minorities hardest

June 15, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was quoted in an Athens Banner-Herald article from her book "The New Jim Crow." The article focuses on the disenfranchisement of felons in states like Virginia, where more than seven percent of the adult population cannot vote due to felony charges. In Virginia, Gov. Robert McDonnell is taking steps to restore the right to vote to nonviolent felons.

Alexander's book calls on the idea that disenfranchising felons affects minorities most. She calls voting-rights restoration processes a “bureaucratic maze” that is “cumbersome, confusing and onerous.”


Will ruling on criminal sentencing trickle down to states?

June 14, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in a Legal News article about this week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that reversed the sentencing of a defendant because it constituted ex post facto punishment. In a 5-4 decision, the court decided that sentencing a criminal defendant under later guidelines that provide for a higher sentence than those in effect at the time he committed his crimes violates the Ex Post Facto Clause. Berman said the court's ruling could have a lasting effect on sentencing laws.

“Sentencing laws are often changing. It can have lots of echo effects,” Berman said. He continued, “There’s no doubt that this somewhat robust approach to ex post facto may motivate more people to assert that a change in rules affects them, but the opinion is narrow enough and focused on the federal sentencing system, (and) I doubt it will be easy for many defendants to get any mileage out of it."


Lawyers Scrutinize Constitutionality of Surveillance Programs

June 14, 2013

Professor Peter Swire was quoted by the Blog of Legal Times following a panel discussion he participated in, focusing on the two recently revealed government surveillance programs. In the discussion, the panelists agreed that many of the current laws and court precedents concerning electronic surveillance were outdated.

Swire said there were not enough civil liberties voices to counter bureaucratic pressure not to change the current system. "It takes a level of pressure that's really enormous," he said.


The Management Buyout Path of Less Resistance

June 12, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook about management buyouts. He uses the example of the Dole Food Company, which David Murdock, chairman and chief executive of Dole Food, is attempting to make private. Davidoff writes that while management buyouts are subject to easy criticism, there is a set of best practices to be used to manage the inherent conflicts present in such buyouts.

"These controls include the creation of a special committee of independent directors with independent advisers, a go-shop provision to allow the company to seek other offers once the deal is announced and a provision that the transaction be approved by a majority of the shareholders not part of the buyout group to ensure that independent shareholders can veto the deal," Davidoff writes. "The central idea behind all of these is to empower boards and shareholders to say no and negotiate a deal with management on terms the company would get from other bidders."
 


Public Safety or Privacy Intrusion?

June 12, 2013

Professor Peter Swire was featured as a guest on Al Jazeera's Inside Story Americas to discuss Edward Snowden's revelations about the U.S. National Security agency's Internet and telephone monitoring program. He discussed that in the 1970s, illegal acts were found in "almost every major intelligence agency" but he hopes we have a lot of safeguards in place we didn't have then. He added that secrecy, however, is "back again in a very bad way."

"The 1974 Privacy Act said ‘no secret government data bases’ and we sure seem to have strayed from that," Swire said. "So we have a huge need to have a public debate and I hope it’s not cut off too much by the claims of secrecy.”

He added that a concerning aspect of lack of privacy is that, in an instance like this, "anybody who’s ever had a phone call with Snowden or an email or a text right now is on a suspect list, because now he’s a person of interest. So they’re one hop away. The people they’ve contacted are two hops away; they’re probably on suspect lists. And it shows how just by living your life and maybe having some people who are controversial, or that know people who are controversial, you can be brought into a zone of suspicion."


A Year Later, the Missed Opportunity of the JOBS Act

June 11, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook about the Jump-Start Our Business Startups Act, or the JOBS Act, and why it was a missed opportunity to truly spur more I.P.O.’s. Davidoff writes that the JOBS act was not as effective as it could've been, as "Dealogic recorded an average of 33 I.P.O.’s per quarter in the year before the JOBS Act versus 31 I.P.O.’s per quarter in the year after."

"The act was intended to help spur a moribund market in small I.P.O.’s.," Davidoff said. "But for offerings that raised less than $100 million, there were actually fewer after the JOBS Act. According to Dealogic, there were an average of 15 such I.P.O.’s per quarter in the year before the new law versus an average of 13 per quarter the year after."


Smokers Cost Employers $6,000 a Year

June 11, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted by Fox Business in an article about a study he led. The study sought to find the effects of smoking on employees' productivity levels, and found that smokers are more costly to employ than nonsmokers - to the tune of about $5,800 per year.

“The idea is that people who are smokers have some level of reduced productivity, because they are essentially going through the cycle of withdrawal from nicotine, which causes distraction throughout the course of the day,” says Berman.
 


ABA Punts Decision to Delay Law School Jobs Reporting

June 10, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was quoted in a National Law Journal article about the possibility of moving back the collection of law school grads' jobs data by one month. The current date for schools to report their employment numbers is currently Feb. 15, and if the American Bar Association approves the new date, schools would have until March 15 to report their numbers. Merritt applauded the move to delay the reporting date.

"Measuring employment outcomes is important for schools, students, prospective students, graduates, and scholars who study the legal market," Merritt wrote on the Law School Café blog. "Any change from the current date requires careful evaluation — and, given the value of comparing outcomes over time, should have to overcome a strong presumption against change."


The Secret Thing That Can Cost You a Job

June 10, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a Men's Health article about a study he led on the effects of smoking on employees' productivity. The study found that on average, employers spend about $5,800 more on smokers than nonsmokers annually. In the article, Berman acknowledges that smokers can seem undesirable to employers, but one shouldn't lie about whether one smokes to get hired.

"If asked, don’t lie—it can be grounds for getting fired down the road, Berman says. Instead, ask if your company offers a smoking cessation program. It shows you’re dedicated to your health—a positive attribute that any boss will respect—plus, many businesses have started to help employees kick the habit because it saves them money, Berman says."


IRS scandal could lead to better defining of nonprofit campaign rules

June 9, 2013

Professor Donald Tobin was quoted in an article from the Lancaster Eagle Gazette about the scandal charging the IRS with targeting certain groups based on political affiliation. Though it's easy for the IRS to decipher whether most groups are tax-exempt or not, there is a growing gray area.

“For most of these groups, it’s not a problem at all,” Tobin said. “It’s when the organizations are trying to engage in this mix of political activity and social welfare, right in the middle of a campaign, it becomes very difficult.”


George Zimmerman Trial Over Trayvon Martin Killing to Start

June 9, 2013

Featured Expert: Joshua Dressler

Professor Joshua Dressler was quoted in The Wall Street Journal in an article about George Zimmerman's murder trial, which is set to begin more than a year after he shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. The case originally called attention to the so-called stand-your-ground laws (Florida's was enacted in 2005), which "removed a person's duty to try to flee in the face of danger before resorting to deadly force," according to the article.

Under the Florida law, people who claim to have killed in self-defense can seek a court to decide — before any trial — that they acted legally. But Zimmerman's lawyers chose against that option and intend to present his case directly to a jury.

"From a legal perspective, it will now be a traditional self-defense case," Dressler said. The law doesn't require Mr. Zimmerman to show his life was ever in real danger, only that he believed it to be, Dressler said.


IRS scandal could lead to better defining of nonprofit campaign rules

June 9, 2013

Professor Donald Tobin was quoted in a Lancaster Eagle Gazette article about the need to clear up certain rules in the Internal Revenue Service in order to more accurately determine if groups can be classified as social welfare groups. He said that while most groups are easily classified into the 501(c)(4) tax-exempt category, changes throughout the years have created some more difficult decisions for the IRS. He said when groups want to engage in political activity near an election, things get tricky.

In the article, Tobin said experts have been calling for improvements to the 501(c)(4) rules for a decade because there has been abuse by entities filing for the exemption. In addition, he said the IRS has shown it has been reluctant to enforce the rules and incompetent when it tried to do so.

“We need to figure out a way to fix it so people’s faith in non-partisan enforcement in our tax laws is restored while there’s a means of assuring that those provisions are not being abused,” he said.


Elan Finds Creative ‘Poison Pill’ to Defend Against a Hostile Bid

June 6, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook about Irish company Elan, a developer of drugs and drug-delivery systems, which is attempting to fight off Royalty Pharma’s $6.4 billion hostile bid. Since the company is based in Ireland and its stocks are listed in Ireland, its primary regulator is the Irish Takeover Panel. Davidoff writes that this means a bid for Elan will play out much differently than a bid for a company in the U.S. would. He explains that takeover defenses are often prohibited in Ireland, making it difficult for Elan to fight off Royalty Pharma's bid.

"Elan’s main defense has been instead to make what others have called “poison pill” acquisitions, or deals that, in essence, act like a poison pill to make the company more expensive and thereby discouraging a hostile takeover," Davidoff writes.


US Supreme Court rules police can take DNA samples upon arrest

June 5, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was interviewed by The Voice of Russia about the Supreme Court's ruling that police may take routine DNA cheek swabs from suspects who have been arrested but not yet convicted of a crime. The decision comes in the wake of the Maryland v. King case, in which a man was charged with rape in 2009 when DNA taken following his arrest matched DNA from a 2003 rape case. According to Supreme Court judges, taking a DNA sample using a swab of the cheek is “like fingerprinting and photographing.”

Simmons said the ruling could lead to an expansion of the use of DNA testing in crime control.

"I think if it leads to a greater amount of DNA testing of not just felony arrests but all arrestees I think it could be the beginning of something historic which would a broad expansion of the use of DNA in crime control," he said. "I think that there’s nothing in the Supreme Court decision that will limit this DNA testing to felonies and so I think states, which are always under pressure to find new ways to track down criminals will quickly adopt the method of using DNA to test all arrestees, people who are arrested for any kind of crime. And the DNA database itself is becoming larger and likely to become more true as more states engage in this procedure."


Smoking Workers Cost Employers $6,000 More a Year

June 5, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a Newsmax article about a study he headed regarding the increased annual amount smokers cost their employers over nonsmokers. The study found that on average, smokers cost their employers about $5,800 more than nonsmokers per year due to increased days off, more health issues, and smoke breaks. In the paper, Berman and his colleagues discuss the many costs, beyond just financial costs, that come from smoking.

"It is important to remember that the costs imposed by tobacco use are not simply financial costs," the researchers write. "It is not possible to put a price on the lost lives and the human suffering caused by smoking.

"The desire to help one's employees lead healthier and longer lives should provide an additional impetus for employers to work towards eliminating tobacco from the workplace."


Smoking is very costly for employers

June 5, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was cited in an article on Examiner.com for the study he spearheaded, which found that on average smokers cost their employers about $5,800 more yearly than nonsmokers. The study took into account smoke breaks, a higher number of health issues in smokers, and an average higher number of sick days taken by smokers. Berman said the cost of employing smokers goes beyond monetary concerns.

"Employees who smoke impose significant excess costs on private employers." Berman said. "It is important to remember that the costs imposed by tobacco use are not simply financial costs. It is not possible to put a price on the lost lives and the human suffering caused by smoking. The desire to help one's employees lead healthier and longer lives should provide an additional impetus for employers to work towards eliminating tobacco from the workplace."


That Employee Who Smokes Costs The Boss $5,800 A Year

June 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted by NPR about a study he led, which revealed that on average, employees who smoke cost their employers $5,800 more than nonsmokers. Berman and his team calculated how much money companies lose to smokers who take frequent smoke breaks, require more medical attention than nonsmokers, and take more sick days or are just less productive. The article suggests that some employers are taking hard looks at the cost of employing smokers as they try to cut health insurance costs, with some refusing to hire people who say they smoke.

"I'm not sure what impact that is going to have on people making decisions starting to smoke or quitting," Berman said of efforts to put the financial hurt on smokers. "Most people start to smoke when they're minors" — not a time when they're thinking about future health insurance premiums. Quitting, he said, "is extremely difficult and usually takes a lot of attempts to be successful."


Smoker hiring costs US firms $6000 a head

June 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman's study on the cost of smokers to their employers was quoted in Perth Now, an Australian newspaper. Berman led the study, which discovered that through smoke breaks, increased need for medical attention, and an increase in sick days taken, smokers cost their employees an average of $5,800 more than nonsmokers.

The paper discusses the trend that numerous employers in the US have begun charging smokers higher premiums for health insurance or declaring they will only hire non-smokers. Some have even threatened to fire employees who do not quit smoking within a given time, it added.

"Without an accurate estimate of smoking-related costs, such policies may seem arbitrary or unreasonable," the paper said. "A well-reasoned estimate allows companies to more fairly analyse the costs and benefits of such 'tobacco-free workforce' policies."


Hiring a smoker costs a boss an extra $6,000 a year, study finds

June 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in The Columbus Dispatch about the study he led, which found that smokers cost employers an average of about $5,800 more than nonsmokers. The study took into account the increased number of sick days smokers take, medical attention they need, and smoke breaks they take frequently. Berman said even while smokers are at their desks, they might not be productive due to feelings of nicotine withdrawl.

“Even if people are at work, they’re essentially going through nicotine withdrawal,” Berman said. “It actually causes a measurable reduction in productivity.”


Smokers Cost Employers Nearly $6,000 More Annually: Study

June 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a Huffington Post article about a study he led, which found that employers spend an average of about $5,800 more on smokers than nonsmokers. Although nearly half of large companies have instituted wellness programs for employees, a majority of them are centered around factors like weight, cholesterol and blood pressure, rather than smoking, the article says.The study took into account smoke breaks, frequent health needs, and days off. Berman said the lack of focus on nicotine consumption is a mistake, but one that can be explained by the "sensitive and challenging nature" of the addiction.

"I think it can be easier to focus on other issues," he said. "You can encourage people to work out more without necessarily singling them out."


Smokers Cost Employers Thousands More Than Nonsmokers

June 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in Health magazine following the release of a study he spearheaded about the increased amount smokers cost their companies compared to nonsmokers. The study found that, on average, employees who smoke cost employers about $5,800 more annually than nonsmokers. In the study, Berman and his team suggest employers might want to put policies regarding tobacco in the workplace into place.

“It is important to remember that the costs imposed by tobacco use are not simply financial costs. It is not possible to put a price on the lost lives and the human suffering caused by smoking,” Berman’s team wrote. “The desire to help one’s employees lead healthier and longer lives should provide an additional impetus for employers to work towards eliminating tobacco from the workplace.”


Smoking Employees Cost Added $6k Annually

June 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a story by NetNewsLedger, a Canadian website, about a study he spearheaded. The study found that smokers, on average, cost about $5,800 more to employ than nonsmokers, when taking into account smoke breaks, an increased number of days taken off, and an increased number of health issues. Berman said for these reasons and others, some employers have policies against hiring smokers.

“Most of the places that have policies against hiring smokers are coming at it not just from a cost perspective but from a wellness perspective,” Berman said. "It’s definitely not just a cost issue, but employers should be informed about what the costs are when they are considering these policies.”

 


Hiring a smoker costs US firms $6,000 a head

June 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman's study on the increased amount smokers cost their employers compared to nonsmokers was quoted by Thailand newspaper Bangkok Post. The study found that, on average, smokers cost their employers about $5,800 more than nonsmokers, due to smoke breaks, increased health problems, and a higher average number of days taken off. In the paper, Berman and his team discuss steps employers have made to combat this, including charging smokers higher premiums for health insurance or declaring they will only hire non-smokers.

"Without an accurate estimate of smoking-related costs, such policies may seem arbitrary or unreasonable," the paper said. "A well-reasoned estimate allows companies to more fairly analyse the costs and benefits of such 'tobacco-free workforce' policies."


Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, Other Nonprofits Juggle Definitions Of Political Activity

June 4, 2013

Professor Donald Tobin was quoted by the Huffington Post in an article about nonprofits which are under scrutinization after claiming to be social welfare groups despite involvement in political activity. The article touches on the idea that there are varied definitions of what political activity actually is, and what must be reported by these groups.

The article says the IRS rules -- the ones that matter for purposes of tax-exempt status -- lay out a more expansive, and more subjective, range of relevant political activity. To downplay their own campaign efforts, groups like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS like to point publicly to only that political activity that falls under the Federal Election Commission's narrower, more circumscribed definition.

"The question is what definition are they using to determine whether their activity is political intervention," Tobin said.


F.B.I. Pick Could Offer Look Into World of Ray Dalio

June 4, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook about President Barack Obama's planned FBI nominee, James Comey, and the hedge fund he worked for beginning in 2010. Davidoff writes that the hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, which is the largest hedge fund in the world, has a curious policy of "radical honesty," put into place by founder Ray Dalio.

Dalio's way of running the company involves the implementation of 210 principles which he wrote out into a 123-page manifesto. Some of the "principes" include bits on firing employees who don't have a fit at the company, not trying to please everyone, and "designing your machine to achieve your goals." Davidoff said these principles might be laughable but they are policy at Bridgewater, and seem to bring the company and its employees success. He writes that perhaps if Comey is in fact nominated to the FBI, he might want to publicize his opinion on hedge funds and why he worked at Bridgewater.


Smokers Cost Employers More Than Nonsmokers

June 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in a HealthDay News article following the release of findings from the study he spearheaded about the cost of employing smokers. The study found that low productivity due to more missed work days costs employers, on average, $517 annually for each employee that smokes. Meanwhile, reduced productivity related to nicotine addiction costs $462 annually per smoker, smoking breaks cost $3,077 a year per smoker and excess health care expenses cost $2,056 annually per smoker. Because smokers are more likely to die at a younger age than nonsmokers, the researchers also took into account that annual pension costs were an average of $296 less for each employee who smoked.

Berman noted that employers should consider the health risks employees who smoke face when debating tobacco-free policies.

"It is important to remember that the costs imposed by tobacco use are not simply financial costs. It is not possible to put a price on the lost lives and the human suffering caused by smoking," Berman's team wrote. "The desire to help one's employees lead healthier and longer lives should provide an additional impetus for employers to work towards eliminating tobacco from the workplace."


Your Cigarette-Smoking Coworker Costs $5,800 Extra Each Year

June 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was cited in Business Insider in an aricle about a study he spearheaded, which investigated the cost of hiring a smoker over a nonsmoker. The study found that smokers, on average, cost their employers about $5,800 more than nonsmokers.

According to the study, on average there's about a $517 loss from increased absenteeism, a $462 loss of productivity related to nicotine addiction, a $3,077 loss due to smoke breaks, and $2,056 in extra health care costs.

The article was reprinted in the San Francisco Chronicle.


£4,000 a year: The cost to employers of smokers' cigarette breaks, illness cover and health care costs

June 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman's study on the effects of smoking on employees' productivity was quoted in an article in The Independent. The study found that due to lack of productivity and increased smoke breaks, smokers cost their employers about $5,800 more annually than nonsmokers. The article cites Berman and his team's research.

“Employees who smoke impose significant excess costs on private employers. The results of this study may help inform employer decisions about tobacco-related policies,” the researchers said.


U.S. businesses pay about $6,000 extra for workers who smoke

June 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman's research was cited in a United Press International article. The study Berman led foucsed on whether smokers were less productive or more costly to their employers. The study found that on average smokers cost their employers about $5,800 more than nonsmokers.

Smoking breaks accounted for the highest cost in lost productivity, followed by healthcare expenses exceeding insurance costs for non-smokers, Berman said. He added that the analysis used studies that measured costs for private-sector employers, but the findings would likely apply in the public sector as well.


Ohio State Moritz College of Law ranked in top 50 of US law schools for graduate employment

June 3, 2013

Featured Expert: Alan C. Michaels

The Lantern published a story about The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law's top-50 ranking in graduate employment by "Above the Law," a commercial law blog. Moritz was named No. 46 on the list. The story features Mortiz's focus on individual attention on its law students, and its programs such as the Moritz Corporate Fellowship Program, which make the school stand out.


Smoking employees cost $6,000 a year more, study finds

June 3, 2013

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman was quoted in an NBC News article about a study he led, which found that smokers, on average, cost their employers about $5,800 more than nonsmokers. The study combined the cost of smokers' frequent smoke breaks and sick days as well as their more frequent need for medical attention. The study touched on the fact that some employers are less willing to hire smokers than nonsmokers, or hire them at a reduced pay rate.

“Employers try to correct for the idea that smokers cost more by paying them somewhat less. Even when we adjusted for that – smokers still cost more,” he said.


Shrinking scandal

May 31, 2013

Professor Donald Tobin was quoted in a Toledo Blade editorial about the "shrinking scandal" revolving around the Internal Revenue Service. The editorial focuses on the fact that while there was an uproar of opposition when news broke that the IRS was monitoring certain social welfare groups, the IRS actually should have been conducting these investigations. Many of the groups in question had strong political ties.

Tobin said although some of the IRS's methods were questionable, it is understandable that some of the groups were flagged for review.

“While some of the IRS questions may have been over-broad, you can look at some of these groups and understand why these questions were being asked,” he said.
 


China’s Pork Deal May Hinge on the Risk for an Uproar

May 30, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook about a potential deal between the United States' Smithfield Foods and Shuanghui International of China. Davidoff writes that the deal is the largest Chinese acquisition of an American company, so it is bound to receive intense scrutiny. It is also an issue of national security, and is therefore under review.

"The review is likely to cover three categories," Davidoff writes. "First, it is likely to look at any contracts Smithfield has to supply pork to the military or other security agencies. Second, it is likely to examine any special technology like farm-rearing techniques that might be transferred to China. Finally and perhaps most relevant, there is the food supply chain itself and whether Shuanghui will be in a position to disrupt the United States’ food supply — or at least the supply of pork."


Ohio Supreme Court Decision Opens Door to Reducing Benefits, Rights of Online School Teachers

May 29, 2013

Featured Expert: Charles E. Wilson

Professor Charlie Wilson was quoted in an NPR story about a Supreme Court decision that declared online school teachers may be treated more like independent contractors than school teachers. The decision could allow the schools to save on the costs of pension contributions and other employee benefits such as family and medical leave, Wilson said. And it could leave some of Ohio’s more than 1,000 online school teachers without access to benefits and rights that traditional school teachers have.

The Supreme Court ruling opens the door for Ohio's online schools to declare their employees as contractors, Wilson said.

“They’re treating them like if the ESC hired them to replace their sidewalks,” rather than teach, he said of the decision. Wilson is also president of the Ohio School Boards Association.


The IRS targeting of conservative groups: There's more to the story

May 28, 2013

Professor Donald Tobin was interviewed on WTOP, a radio station in Washington, D.C., about the Internal Revenue Service's investigation into some social welfare groups flagged for possible heightened political involvement. Tobin said the investigation into some of these groups was justified based on their political activity, but the IRS went wrong by using partisan criteria to flag groups for further investigation.

"The key is the IRS shouldn’t be singling out groups for a partisan purpose. They shouldn’t be using a partisan criteria. But it also shouldn’t be avoiding the enforcement of the law," Tobin said. "And so what we needed was a non-partisan process that examined organizations, because there were a lot of organizations that were pushing the envelope regarding whether they were properly social welfare organizations."


A Hotel Company Is Hobbled by a Deal Struck in Bad Times

May 28, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook about the Morgans Hotel Group's private investment in public equity, or PIPE, deal from 2009. At the time, the company was struggling, but Davidoff writes that it was not out of other options. While the company didn't have to strike such an unfavorable deal, Davidoff writes, it chose to strike a PIPE deal with Yucaipa, an investment firm that would make a $72 million infusion into Morgans.

In exchange, Yucaipa received preferred securities and warrants to acquire as many as 12.5 million shares of Morgans Hotel, and if Morgans' debt remained unpaid, the interest payments will increase to 10 percent in 2014 and 20 percent in 2016. Now, Yucaipa owns 27.9 percent of Morgans and its appointment to the board runs the company. Davidoff warns against companies striking such deals because it can leave the company in quite the unfavorable position once an investor begins to take over.


Groups Targeted by I.R.S. Tested Rules on Politics

May 27, 2013

Professor Donald Tobin was quoted in a front-page New York Times article about groups scrutinized by the Internal Revenue Service because of political activity. While some groups lamented they were being investigated unfairly, the article sheds light on the fact that some of these groups were actually devoting a significant amount of their resources to supporting a political agenda. Tax experts and former IRS officials said these activities would provide a legitimate basis for flagging them for closer review, as Tobin notes in the article.

“Money is not the only thing that matters,” said Tobin, a former lawyer with the Justice Department’s tax division. “While some of the I.R.S. questions may have been overbroad, you can look at some of these groups and understand why these questions were being asked.”


Some tea-party groups examined by the IRS indeed crossed the line

May 27, 2013

Professor Donald Tobin was cited in a Washington Post article about the Internal Revenue Service investigations into certain groups seeking tax-exempt status. While the IRS was initally criticized for its investigation into these groups, upon further consideration it has become clear that some of them were involved in overt political activity. Tobin backs up the point that some groups can be linked to activity that would lead for them to be flagged for closer review.

“Money is not the only thing that matters,” said Tobin, a former lawyer with the Justice Department’s tax division. “While some of the I.R.S. questions may have been overbroad, you can look at some of these groups and understand why these questions were being asked.”


Experts Question Death Penalty in Cleveland Case

May 26, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was quoted in an Associated Press article about whether a prosecutor can find success bringing death penalty charges against a man accused of kidnapping three women and forcing one of them into miscarriages through starvation and beatings. Experts have been presenting mixed opinions based on whether there is sufficient evidence to prove the man, Ariel Castro, caused these miscarriages. Ohio previously changed its laws to include the unlawful termination of a pregnancy among possible aggravated murder charges, said Berman, a death penalty expert.

"Ergo, Castro, at least as the facts have been described and developed, would seem to be the poster child for the worst of the worst unlawful pregnancy terminator," Berman said.

The article was printed by several news sources including The Washington Post, USA Today, ABC News, and The Canton Repository.


Matthew T. Mangino: Unprecedented pursuit of the death penalty

May 24, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an opinion piece in the Daily Review Atlas about the case involving the Cleveland man who kidnapped and raped three women over the course of about a decade. The article touches on the possibility of charging the man with aggravated murder for the alleged death of the unborn fetuses of the victims. Berman said it will be hard "to prove and establish" the death penalty on pregnancy termination.

The allegations and attempt to convict the man are unprecedented, Berman said.

“Nobody has ever been prosecuted (in) a full-fledged death penalty case based on pregnancy termination all the way through,” Berman said.


With civil unions, Bisbee, Ariz., joins gay-rights revolt against red states

May 22, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in a Christian Science Monitor article about Bisbee, a town in Arizona, and its attempt in securing gay rights. The story was reprinted by other outlets including Yahoo! News. Bisbee is one of several cities across the country that is attempting to legalize civil unions, even if the state does not have such a law. Spindelman said the laws' success will depend largely on how wide the gaps between cities and states are and whether courts are willing to reconcile the two sets of laws.

In Michigan, for instance, the Supreme Court interpreted the state's marriage amendment to prohibit same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships. So "there was less room for local governments and sub-state entities like universities to act," Spindelman said.


Illinois Law Takes Aim At Social Media-Aided Flash Mobs

May 21, 2013

Professor Peter Swire was quoted in an article in Motherboard, an online magazine, about the 1986 law that governs the collection of data from cellphones. In Illinois, there has been an increase of using cellphones to organize "flash mobs" that often consist of large groups of people gathering to rob people or cause chaos. Illinois governor Pat Quinn has signed a bill that would double the maximum penalty for using social media or phones to organize these kinds of gatherings, as well as allow law enforcement to legally demand information from Internet Service Providers without a warrant. The law from 1986 prevents such action.

However, Swire says the law might be outdated.

“It didn’t take into account what the modern cellphone has — your location, the content of communications that are easily readable, including Facebook posts, chats, texts and all that stuff,” he said.


Constitution USA with Peter Sagal: Created Equal

May 21, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was featured as a guest on Peter Sagal's Constitution USA in a segment titled "Created Equal." The segment focuses on the 14th Amendment and whether certain groups of people are being denied rights guaranteed under that amendment. Alexander argues that citizens with criminal records are treated unfairly, as they are unable in some cases to find employment, housing, and even to secure food stamps when needed.

Alexander said by denying criminals and felons their fundamental rights, a new second-class status is being created.

"In the United States today if you have been labeled a criminal or a felon you are deemed ineligible for many of the basic civil and human rights that were supposedly won in the civil rights movement and that so many of us take for granted," she said. "If we're going to be of, by, and for the people it should include each and every one of us."


With His Magic Touch, Buffett May Be Irreplaceable for Berkshire

May 21, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook about Warren Buffet and his company, Berkshire Hathaway. Davidoff writes that Buffet has an extraordinary gift for sealing excellent deals, which the company might find hard to replace after the 82-year-old chief executive and dealmaker is gone. "The ability to make acquisitions on favorable terms is a testament to Mr. Buffett’s personality and skills as a deal maker," Davidoff writes. "It also highlights an almost unsolvable problem for his company, Berkshire Hathaway, and its shareholders."

Davidoff gives an example of a recent deal Buffet secured for the company.

"The bottom line is that the bankers’ disclosure shows that the amount that 3G and Berkshire paid was below that of many other deals in the food industry," Davidoff writes. "Mr. Buffett is getting 55 percent of Heinz plus an interest payment of $700 million a year. This is an extraordinarily good deal."


How Did The IRS Get The Job Of Vetting Political Activity?

May 20, 2013

Professor Donald Tobin was interviewed by the Boston NPR station on its show Here & Now about the Internal Revenue Service's investigation into groups classified as social welfare organizations (marked by the 501(c)(4) tax classification). The IRS was in search of groups that are not focusing primarly on the social welfare of the country, but have a strong political advocacy facet. Political advocacy groups might want to be classified as 501(c)(4) organizations because under that classification they do not have to disclose their donors.

"The key is if you are going to be engaged in candidate-type advocacy, and if you're going to intervene in elections and engage in election advocacy, we want disclosure of who your donors are," Tobin said.

“What groups are trying to do here is avoid having to disclose,” Tobin continued. “By earning the classification of social welfare, they’re avoiding the campaign disclosure that’s required for political organizations. So that’s really the underpinning of why we have this mess of the IRS having to get in and investigate and figure out whether an organization is political or not.”


Ohio Republicans Push Law To Penalize Colleges For Helping Students Vote

May 17, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in a Talking Points Memo article about a bill proposed by Ohio Republicans that would restrict Ohio public universities from providing residency documents to students used to help them vote. Ohio law requires voters to have lived in Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before an election, while public schools require students to have "gone to an Ohio high school or have a parent or spouse who lives or is employed in the state prior to enrollment," the story says.

Essentially, if the law passes, schools giving out-of-state students documents to prove residency in Ohio 30 days before an election, the schools would also have to consider the out-of-state students as Ohio residents and charge them the same tuition price as in-state students. Tokaji said the law is a blatant attempt at voter repression by Republicans and called it "shameful."

“The way that they’ve written this bill makes it clear that its only purpose is to suppress student voting,” he said. “What I’d say to the Republican Party is this is not only a shameful strategy, but it’s a stupid strategy because, you know, the Republican Party already has a signifcant problem with young voters. They’re on the verge of losing a generation of voters. Their path to victory is not to suppress the student vote, but to win the student vote.”


Mayor Asks Gun Executive to Give ‘Smart Guns’ a Chance

May 16, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article about the possibility of "smart guns" being developed. These are guns that could only be fired by their owner. Berman suggests a contest to create an effective version of the gun, which he says could save lives.

"More broadly, I think the development of a safer ‘smart gun’ could and should be spurred by some kind of ‘Project X’ private funding scheme through a university or think tank … I suspect just a few millions dollars as a “smart gun” prize (only a fraction of what is being poured into gun policy lobby shops and PACs) could go a very long way to moving forward and ultimately saving innocent lives."


A Fine Line Between Social and Political

May 16, 2013

Professor Donald Tobin was quoted in a New York Times article about the law regarding investigation by the Internal Revenue Service into social welfare groups. The article circulates on Section 501(c)(4) groups (tax-exempt social welfare groups classified as having no political affiliation), which are defined by the tax code as “civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.” However, a 1960 law states that these groups can intervene in politics as long as their primary focus is on social welfare.

Tobin argues that the tax law actually defines political advocacy much more broadly, “using a facts and circumstances” test that political ads placed by Section 501(c)(4) groups would fail.


Ask the Experts: If I Could Make One Change to the Tax Code, I Would…

May 16, 2013

Featured Expert: Stephanie Hoffer

Professor Stephanie Hoffer was quoted in an article on expert credit card information website Card Hub about what she would change in the Internal Revenue Code if her only goal was stabilization of the economy. Hoffer said an area she sees trouble in is debt investment in business. She said the government encourages borrowing from a business standpoint because foreign investors who loan money to U.S. businesses receive more favorable treatment than those who make equity investments and receive divends from stock in companies.

"I can think of no reason why the government should encourage borrowing for borrowing’s sake. United States businesses’ heavy reliance on creditors means that businesses are at risk whenever credit markets become tight," Hoffer said. "When these borrowers default on their loans en masse, the credit market contracts, leaving debt-reliant businesses in a bad position."


EXCLUSIVE: Voter fraud, or just errors?

May 15, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in a Cincinnati Enquirer article about whether citizens who cast two ballots in elections have committed voter fraud. Some citizens under investigation say they were confused about the process or worried their original votes, often sent via absentee ballot, wouldn't count. Tokaji said there is often a valid reason someone would cast an absentee ballot and then a provisional one at a voting location.

“It’s certainly not a crime or intentional double voting,” he said. “Officials are not supposed to count provisional ballots if an absentee ballot has been cast.”

Submitting both “doesn’t come close to voting fraud,” he said. “The burden is on the board of elections to make sure two votes don’t count.”


How IRS Review of U.S. Nonprofits Erupted Into Scandal

May 14, 2013

Professor Donald Tobin was quoted in a Bloomberg Businessweek article about a scandal caused by the Internal Revenue Service’s review of political nonprofit groups. IRS employees had used keywords such as "patriot" and "Tea Party" to flag groups for extra scrutiny. In March 2010 a surge in Tea Party activism had led groups to form across the country, and some applied to the IRS to become 501(c)(4) organizations or social welfare groups.

Tobin said the benefits of 501(c)(4) status mean that the IRS can’t simply look at the organization’s stated purpose.

“You’re trying to get behind what people are saying and make sure what people are saying is really the truth,” he said. “That can seem very invasive but at some point it needs some kind of information about the group to determine whether it’s valid or it’s not.”


Furor could result in less IRS scrutiny of political advocacy groups

May 14, 2013

Professor Donald Tobin was quoted in an NBC News article about the Internal Revenue Service's scrutiny on certain types of independent advocacy groups. Such groups were flagged by the IRS for further investigation for if they had names such as "Tea Party."

Tobin, an expert on how tax laws apply to political activity, explained that “the IRS is always in a very precarious position” in trying to enforce rules on 501(c)(4) organizations since “whenever a group is being investigated, it may complain that it is being done for political reasons.”

He went on, explaining that “the IRS needs some way of culling through the mass of information that they get” in order to figure out which groups need further scrutiny. “The IRS does need some sorting device.” But, he said, “I wish the IRS had looked for a neutral term like ‘party’ rather than ‘Tea Party.’”


Dispute at JPMorgan Grows, for All the Wrong Reasons

May 14, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook over whether to split the jobs of chief executive and chairman at JPMorgan Chase. He called the dispute "silly" and "unimportant." One side of the argument alleges that the company would become more valuable if the positions were split, which Davidoff called a valid point based on the idea that "a separate chairman gives voice to the board by having someone who can stand up to the chief executive." But he said ulitmately it is unclear what the effect would be in this case because all companies are different.

He said if a change is made it shouldn't be about sending a message to the current chief executive and chairman Jamie Dimon or about banks being too big. If this is the case, Davidoff writes, the issue should be brought up by shareholders more directly. In the end, though, he says the fight is silly and unlikely to make an impact.


Why Might the Cleveland Kidnapper Get Charged With Murder?

May 13, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in a National Journal article about the case prosecutors have against Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro should they pursue murder charges against him. Prosecutors intend to charge Castro with murder for killing unborn fetuses in at least one of his three kidnapping victims. Berman said the way Ohio law is worded, there will not be a new precedent set for abortion, as aggravated murder law to be used against Castro is very specific to the crime he'd be accused of committing.

“As long as we don’t let the advocates take over the debate, we should be able to sort this out without any profound consequences to any other area of the law,” he said.


Tommy talks to Doug Berman about Ariel Castro

May 13, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was interviewed by Tommy Tucker of New Orleans' WWL AM870 about the possibility of Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro receiving the death penalty if charged with the unlawful termination of the pregnancies of one of his victims. Berman discussed the fact that Ohio law considers the death penalty in aggravated murder cases. He said if Castro is charged with aggravated murder, the death penalty could be his sentence, but right now those charges are just a possible outcome.

"The Ohio legislature has specifically provided that (aggravated murder is) a charge that can be brought not only for causing the death of a person but also for the, and this is the key language, unlawful termination of a pregnancy. And I think the key to sorting this out, and again it may seem like lawyer technicalities, not logic, is that term ‘unlawful,’" Berman said. "What Ohio has done, and I think it’s permissible for them to do this, is to say that when it’s an unlawful termination of a pregnancy, then that’s considered comparable to causing the death of a person, and as a result all the same homicide charges that would possibly be there when you unlawfully kill a person also apply when you unlawfully terminate a pregnancy."


Murder case against Cleveland kidnapping suspect tough to prove

May 11, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted in a Reuters article about the possibiliy of the Cleveland man who kidnapped 3 women and held them hostage for nearly a decade being charged with homicide for the death of the victims' unborn fetuses. The story appeared in the Chicago Tribune and other publications.

He said he thinks prosecutors could have a case.

"Frankly, I think it could fly. It seems like they have the witnesses they need to establish this. The legal requirements for murder are set out here so I am not surprised they are doing this," Simmons said.


Update on Cleveland kidnapping case

May 10, 2013

Featured Expert: Katherine Hunt Federle

Professor Katherine Federle was interviewed by San Francisco talk radio show host Gil Gross about the Cleveland kidnapping case. She discussed the validity of possible homocide charges being brought upon Ariel Castro. Castro has been charged with kidnapping and holding captive three women for about a decade. Prosecutors have announced that they plan to bring murder charges upon him for the death of the unborn fetuses of at least one of the abducted women.


The Challenge of Proving Fetal Homicide in the Cleveland Kidnapping Case

May 10, 2013

Featured Expert: Katherine Hunt Federle

Professor Katherine Hunt Federle was quoted in a TIME Magazine article about the possibiliy of the Cleveland kidnapper being charged with homicide for the death of unborn fetuses carried by the victims.

Proving such a case, according  Federle, a criminal law professor at Ohio State University, typically requires expert medical testimony based on physical examinations of the woman who miscarried and the fetus itself. Prosecutors would have to first prove that the pregnancies occurred and then that Castro’s action caused them to end in miscarriage.

“There is generally a rule that you have to have some evidence that a homicide was committed, so the mere testimony of the women may not be sufficient,” says Federle. “If you think about people who have been kidnapped or placed under stress, depending on what’s happened to them, their psychological states may be poor. Repeated interviews might enable a defense lawyer down the road to suggest that these women may not have actually recalled this information, that it was suggested to them. Everybody wants to be careful about this because their key witnesses are these three women.”


 


CoAS hosts ‘New Jim Crow’ author

May 10, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was quoted in an article in The Triangle, the student newspaper at Drexel University, about her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Her book focuses on the targeting of black men during and following the war on drugs.

“I’m now interested in supporting people who are engaging in activism and organizing in their community. I’m praying that people will continue to do community organizing and advocacy in ending the drug war and abolishing all these forms of racial discrimination on these people who just got out of prison. … It’s possible. It just requires people in all of these communities saying, ‘We no longer want to send people to jail for minor drug offenses. We want to have rehabilitation. We want a public-health approach, not a cruel justice approach,’” Alexander said.


Could Ariel Castro be tried for murder? Case would be unprecedented

May 10, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in a Christian Science Monitor article about the possibiliy of Cleveland man Ariel Castro, who kidnapped 3 women and held them hostage for nearly a decade, being charged with homicide for causing the death of a victim's unborn fetuses.

He said the prosecutors might be trying to coax a guilty plea from Castro.

“This kind of huffing and puffing does a nice job in convincing the public the prosecutors are taking this very seriously, and it makes it very easy for them to say to Castro it’s time to plead guilty for something that will put you in prison for the rest of your life,” he said.


College still worth it

May 10, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was quoted in a Toledo Blade editorial about whether attending college is still worth it. The editorial brings up the point that college is a worthy alternative to ending up imprisoned or unemployed.

Alexander compared the amount of black men who currently are or have been imprisoned to the number of the same demographic enslaved before the Civil War.

“More African-American men are in prison, or jail, on probation, or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” she said.


Ohio prosecutors face hurdles in Ariel Castro death penalty pursuit

May 10, 2013

Featured Expert: Katherine Hunt Federle

Professor Katherine Federle was quoted in The Guardian about the ability for prosecutors to prove whether Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro caused multiple miscarriages in his victims who he held hostage for nearly a decade.

She said the case will depend on the evidence available.

"We don't know what evidence the FBI and police have managed to assemble, so it's difficult to assess the case they will bring. But it could be quite a challenge for them to prove that the defendant was the cause of the terminations," Federle said.


A Saner Approach to Sentencing

May 8, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman co-authored an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal about the Justice Safety Act of 2013, which aims to address mandatory-minimum sentencing laws and prison overcrowding.

"Though good political rhetoric, mandatory-minimum sentencing laws have proven to be bad policy. They transfer enormous power to prosecutors - who choose the charges to bring - and federal judges regularly complain of being required to impose excessively long prison terms to nonviolent offenders. These laws also fueled a federal-prison population explosion - with its consequent financial costs, ruined lives and broken families."


3 voting bills to get day in court

May 8, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in a Trib Total Media article about a bill that would allow citizens to vote up to 15 days before Election Day. Proponents of the bill support it for being more conducive to modern life, allowing voters more of a chance to cast their ballots. Tokaji touched on the idea that same-day registration could be a key element to increasing voter turnout as well, while he said not all politicians would support that idea.

“Some politicians don't want more people voting,” he said. “Generally speaking, more Republicans oppose (same-day registration) because they worry that it will have a more beneficial impact on Democrats, but actually the evidence doesn't show that to be the case either.

“It'll help whichever party is able to better mobilize their voters,” Tokaji said.


Hasty Deal to Save Chrysler in Depths of Crisis Returns to Haunt

May 7, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook regarding the deal made to save Chrysler in 2009. He discusses the various beneficiaries from the deal, including Fiat, the Treasury Department, the Canadian government, and the majority share that went to  the union workers’ health care trust. His focus is on the calculation errors that resulted in a $6 billion difference in value as seen from Fiat and the now-profitable Chrysler's sides. Now a deal looms to sort out the payout to the health care trust, which depends on the value of the company.


Berman and Protass: A Saner Approach to Sentencing

May 7, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman, along with Harlan Protass, a criminal defense lawyer, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about an approach to sentencing that they makes common sense, something the current system is lacking. Evidence for this, they say is that the effort has gained bipartisan support.

"There are few topics on which leading Democratic and Republican voices agree these days. But the recently introduced Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013—which would authorize federal judges to impose prison terms below statutory mandatory minimums in some cases—represents a new bipartisan effort at addressing America's overcrowded prisons and bloated budget," they write.


Gay Catholic-school teacher's firing raises questions

May 5, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in a story in The Columbus Dispatch about the constitutional questions surrounding the firing of Carla Hale, a Catholic school teacher who was fired after her mother's obituary listed Hale as having a partner. Hale has filed complaints with her local teachers union and the city's Community Relations Commission, saying her March firing was discriminatory. But it's unclear whether the city attorney would prosecute on those grounds, and Ohio and federal anti-discrimination laws do not cover sexual orientation.

“(The legal question) sits on important and deeper sets of not just city-ordinance rules but deeper constitutional rules,” Spindelman said. “Those clashes of deep principle, which often get worked out as constitutional decisions, are what’s underlying here.”

 


Will Accused Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Get the Death Penalty?

May 3, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was featured as a guest on Legal Talk Network’s Lawyer 2 Lawyer program, where he discussed the trial and prosecution of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. One point Berman touched on was that although the death penalty is not a sentencing option in Massachusetts, where Tsarnaev would likely go on trial, a change of venue could bring the trial to a more death penalty friendly state.

“Here if the venue was changed, then at least there’s a good possibility it could go to a state which is more pro-death penalty than is Massachusetts,” Berman said. “Just because Massachusetts doesn’t have the death penalty doesn’t mean that there aren’t people here who don’t favor it. So it’s not like you’re not going to find sentiment for it here in Massachusetts even though it’s not a possibility at the state level as a sentencing option.”


California prisons: Gov. Jerry Brown offers plan for overcrowding crisis 'under protest'

May 3, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in a San Jose Mercury News article about California Governor Jerry Brown's attempt to find a solution for overcrowding in California prisons. Following an order by federal judges, Brown submitted a plan to reduce the prison population by about 10,000 inmates in the next year.

Judges in 2009 ordered the state to reduce its inmate population to about 110,000 inmates at its 33 prisons, well below highs that have reached 160,000 in the past. The Supreme Court upheld those orders in 2010, although in a sharply divided 5-4 decision. Legal experts say that close vote may indicate some justices would be receptive to Brown's appeal, but predict the court may be reluctant to jump into the prison controversy again.

"Because it's fact-specific and always evolving, I'd be surprised if they take it again," Berman said.


Should Prosecutors Insist on Death for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev?

May 2, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in the National Journal in an article discussing whether prosecutors ought to insist Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev receive the death penalty. Defense attorney Judy Clarke, who is known for helping clients avoid execution, recently joined Tsarnaev's team.

Berman said he isn’t so sure the government won’t want to strike a bargain if Clarke begins to punch holes in its case and threatens to turn a trial (and the inevitable appeals) into a lengthy spectacle. “The prosecution’s case is as good right now as it is ever going to be,” he said, “and the defense is just getting revved up.”

Berman said the case raises the question, “Whose interest can and should a prosecutor be thinking about serving: the interests of the United States of America, whatever that means? The interests of the citizens of Boston? What does it mean to serve justice?”


Fired gay teacher disputes bishops claims she violated contract

May 1, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted by WOSU in a story about Carla Hale, a Catholic school teacher who was fired after her mother's obituary listed Hale's partner. Hale is filing complaints with a teachers union and the city of Columbus, alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Spindelman said it will be important to her case to show the diocese was selective in enforcing employment rules stated in her contract with the school.

“(To) point out that there was something that was inconsistent about the applicability of the rules that marks this decision in Ms. Hale’s case as distinctive or special in ways that the law ought to recognize,” Spindelman said.


Carla Hale speaks on her controversial firing at Watterson School

May 1, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was a featured guest on All Sides with Ann Fisher on WOSU recently to discuss the firing of Carla Hale. A Catholic high school let her go after an obituary for Hale's mother mentioned Hale's own partner in the list of surviving family members. Hale, who also appeared on the show with Spindelman, is filing complaints with a teachers union and the city of Columbus, alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.


"Technology, Turbulence and Trends" will be Focus of National Conference Of The Society of Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals

April 30, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff is set to speak at The 67th National Conference of the Society of Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals July 13 at the Saturday brunch. The PR Newswire released a story about the conference, which is set to run July 10-13 in Seattle.

The conferences' theme for 2013 is Governance | wired, focusing on the key ways social media and technology trends affect business professionals. The conference will include panels featuring legal, regulatory, and governance issues as well as breakout sessions aimed at private, public, and nonprofit entities.


In Venture Capital Deals, Not Every Founder Will Be a Zuckerberg

April 30, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook about the importance of founders negotiating their rights when they decide to allow venture capitalists to invest in their businesses. He discusses that many companies, such as Bloodhound, who have venture capitalists as investors can often lose out (by millions in this particular case) even if the company is sold. This is because venture capitalists often demand preferred shares, getting their payouts before founders and employees.

Davidoff stresses the importance of negotiating greater control rights to ensure founders also make money off the sale of their businesses. He says that studies have found that founders who do this end up receiving on average $3.7 million more.


Turkey and Israel Determined To Leave 'Mavi Marmara' Behind

April 29, 2013

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John Quigley's letter to the editor of the New York Times was quoted in an article in Al Monitor regarding Turkey's attempt to leave the "Mavi Marmara" incident behind it. “The fact of Comoros registration opens up an additional avenue of recourse, whether or not compensation is arranged,” Quigley wrote. “The International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over acts committed on board a vessel flagged in a state that is party to the court’s statute. Turkey is not a party, but Comoros is. So the killings potentially fall within the court’s jurisdiction as war crimes, which would not be true had the Mavi Marmara been Turkish-flagged."


End mass incarceration; the time is now

April 29, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Era of Colorblindness, was cited in a column on OpEdNews.com


In M&A Litigation, Attorneys' Fees Under Attack?

April 26, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff's research was cited in an article in Corporate Counsel regarding attorney fees.


Recourse and the Flotilla Raid

April 25, 2013

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John Quigley wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Times regarding an article about the "Mavi Marmara" incident. "The article refers to possible compensation for the killings. But it mistakenly calls the Mavi Marmara Turkish-flagged. The Mavi Marmara had once been Turkish-flagged, but by the time of the incident it had been reflagged in Comoros," he wrote.


Balancing State and Federal Roles in Boston Bomber Case

April 24, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was quoted in an article from Stateline about the possibility of a death sentence for Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Massachusetts is not a death penalty state, but Berman said that does not necessarily mean the federal government won't pursue it.

“But it’s well established that the federal government and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are separate sovereigns and each side has the right to vindicate its interest,” Berman said. 


How to Prevent the ‘Do Not Track’ Arms Race

April 24, 2013

Professor Peter Swire wrote a column for Wired magazine regarding the national controversy around the "do not track" debates. "Without effective targeting and tracking, ad revenue could plummet and lead to the shuttering of many popular websites that rely on third party ads as their primary source of revenue. Those who buy and sell behavioral advertising and retargeting point out that advertising revenue supports the diverse array of free content available on the internet," he wrote.


Balancing the State and Federal Roles in Boston Bomber Case

April 24, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article in Stateline regarding the punishment faced by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston bombing suspect. Tsarnaev faces federal charges that include the death penalty despite the law being repealed in the state of Massachusetts in the 1980s. "So far, no Massachusetts authorities have publicly objected to a potential death sentence, but the case does raise federalism questions," said Berman.


District says teacher was not fired for sexual orientation

April 24, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was interviewed by NBC 4 for a story about a Bishop Watterson physical education teacher who was fired from the Catholic high school after an obituary listed her spouse to be another woman. The former teacher has filed a discrimination complaint with the city of Columbus, and Spindelman said the case has several markers that could make it possible to reach the Ohio Supreme Court.

"Often times, anti-discrimination laws contain provisions that say these rules are general rules of applicability that prohibit discrimination on various basis, but if there's a particular type of religious reason or justification for the discrimination, then the anti-discrimination rule might not apply," Spindelman said.


District Says Teacher Was Not Fired For Sexual Orientation

April 24, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman appeared on NBC4 news to talk about the possible court case surrounding Carla Hale, a former Bishop Watterson High School physical education teacher who was fired for what was referred to as "her written spousal relationship." "Often times, anti-discrimination laws contain provisions that say these rules are general rules of applicability that prohibit discrimination on various basis, but if there's a particular type of religious reason or justification for the discrimination, then the anti-discrimination may not apply," said Spindelman.


Sen. Jay Rockefeller Blasts Ad Industry In Senate Hearing Over Do Not Track

April 24, 2013

Professor Peter Swire's column in Wired magazine was cited in an article on AdAge.com about negotiations regarding the Do Not Track efforts. "In a Wired opinion piece published today, Mr. Swire, professor of law at the Moritz College of Law of the Ohio State University, wrote, "A negotiated Do Not Track standard offers the best way to avoid the arms race: It would allow individual users to indicate whether they wish to have personalized ads based on their surfing habits," the article read.


Flawed Bidding Process Leaves Dell at a Loss

April 23, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook about the lack of a bidding war over Dell. "The fizzled bidding for Dell is a result of the board’s extreme reliance on a process known as a go-shop and how it ran the initial sale. If this episode does not change the way companies sell themselves, perhaps it should," he wrote.


Michelle Alexander: 'The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness'

April 23, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander appeared on Minnesota Public Radio to speak about her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Era of Colorblindness.


What’s at Stake in the Fight Over a REIT

April 18, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook regarding the risks involved in the fight over real estate investment trust, CommonWealth REIT. "It’s not pretty, and it’s all a result of CommonWealth’s claim that all its disputes with shareholders must be arbitrated. In some ways, the contest for CommonWealth is a fairly normal hostile bid with heated rhetoric, lots of litigation and managers who have grown rich from operating the company and who do not appear to want to go quietly," he wrote.


Local Runner Gives FBI Videos She Took During Boston Marathon

April 17, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted on ABC 6 News about evidence regarding the Boston marathon bombings. "They're going to find fragments of items that were used in the bombing and that might trace to a certain store but what they need is human intelligence somebody who heard somebody talking who heard someone doing something suspicious beforehand," said Simmons.


Disbarred again, Chesley fighting for legal life

April 17, 2013

Featured Expert: Arthur F. Greenbaum

Professor Art Greenbaum was quoted in an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer regarding the prosecution of Cincinnati attorney, Stan Chesley who is accused of unethical law practices and improperly keeping $7.5 million dollars in clients' fees. If, as Chesley’s letters indicate, he wants to challenge the reciprocity agreements between Kentucky and other states including Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, it won’t be easy, he said.


Can Disciplining Bank Boards Help Drive Reforms?

April 17, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff's April 5 New York Times DealBook op-ed was cited in an article on Knowledge@Wharton Today regarding the role of bank directors.


Tax of today has long history on file

April 15, 2013

Associate Dean Donald Tobin was cited in an article in the Columbus Disptach about the history of income-tax.


The Big Thaw: Scholars, experts, address policy, governance and climate change in the Arctic

April 15, 2013

Featured Expert: Cinnamon Carlarne

Professor Cinnamon Carlarne will be speaking at an environmental and climate change law conference at the University of Buffalo on April 18 and 19, according to the University of Buffalo News Center.


Matthew T. Mangino: The trial penalty

April 12, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas A. Berman was quoted in a column on PostStarNews.com regarding the difficulties convicted criminals face by going to trial. Berman wrote recently that "if the Department of Justice was truly concerned about unwarranted sentencing disparity in financial fraud cases … (rather than with) … defendants who have the temerity to exercise their trial rights … then federal prosecutors ought to consider supporting Ms. Morgan's sentencing appeal.”


Town hall on same-sex marriage

April 11, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was interviewed by ABC 6/FOX 28 about Ohio's shifting views of same-sex marriage. "The views and the values of the people of the state of Ohio play an important role in shaping those values and representing which way the winds of change may or may not be blowing."


OSU law professor calls rape defendant's win 'remarkable'

April 11, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Merritt was quoted in an article in the Zainesville Times Recorder about the Harry Brown rape case, in which the defendant chose to represent himself. “I don’t think this is a trend, but it does show it’s becoming more common to see people doing this themselves,” Merritt said.


What We Think: End War on Drugs

April 11, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander's book, "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," was cited in an op-ed by the Southern Florida Times regarding the role race plays in the "war on drugs."


Enlocked Appoints Peter Swire, Privacy and Cybersecurity Expert, as Advisory Board Member

April 10, 2013

Professor Peter Swire has been named the C. William O’Neill Professor of Law at the Ohio State University, a Senior Fellow at the Future of Privacy Forum and the Center for American Progress, and Policy Fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology, to Enlocked's advisory board, effective immediately, according to the San Fransisco Chronicle.


Poor response to Northwestern voter drive mirrors youth response nationwide

April 10, 2013

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

Professor Peter Shane was quoted in an article in Medill Reports on the low voting response from college students at Northwestern University. "I think younger people may have a greater skepticism about the potential impact of their vote,” he said.


Steubenville Investigation Continues

April 9, 2013

Featured Expert: Sarah Rudolph Cole

Professor Sarah Rudolph Cole spoke with CTV News about the role parents may have played in the Steubenville rape case and how Ohio laws would affect them.


Views changing on gay marriage issue

April 9, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman spoke with ABC 6/FOX 28 about the gay marriage cases being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. "Some of this is about the future that is given to the next generation, and some of this is about the role of the next generation in claiming the future for themselves."


In the Markets, at Least, Fannie and Freddie Still Astound

April 9, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times regarding the stock trading among Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. "The government changed them from commercial entities with a goal of making money for stockholders into quasi-public service companies intended to help the housing mortgage market function," he wrote.


The Steubenville Rape Case Is Back — Are Parents at Party Houses to Blame?

April 8, 2013

Featured Expert: Sarah Rudolph Cole

Professor Sarah Rudolph Cole was quoted in an article in The Atlantic Wire regarding the role of parents in the Steubenville rape case. Sarah Rudolph Cole told The Atlantic Wire Monday that the "bottom line is that you can be sued for these things, but liability will likely turn on whether it was foreseeable that a drunken minor would, more likely than not, cause physical harm to another person."


Climate experts at UB for Arctic conference

April 8, 2013

Featured Expert: Cinnamon Carlarne

Professor Cinnamon Carlarne will discuss "Global Climate Change Negotiations Then and Now: Adaptation and Diversification in a Warming World" at the University of Buffalo for Arctic conference, according to Buffalo Law Journal.


Ohio State student gives $250,000 to create legal services program for veterans

April 7, 2013

Featured Expert: Alan C. Michaels

The Captain Jonathan D Grassbaugh Veterans Project was announced at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law on April 5. Jenna Grassbaugh, his widow, is giving the school $250,000 for the project that will offer military veterans free legal services. "Yes, people say that it’s like cutting away my safety net, but I don’t look at it that way. He would have wanted me to do this,” she said.


Little Accountability for Directors, Despite Poor Performance

April 5, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the lack of accountability with board directors in companies.

"As it stands, directors have more to fear about getting old than about doing a lousy job," he writes. "For those who ascribe to kindergarten principles, this is disheartening. These principles would say that if you do something wrong, there should be consequences. But these basic rules we all are taught in childhood don’t appear to apply in the boardroom."


Health Plan Foundations: How Well Are They Spending the Money?

April 5, 2013

Featured Expert: Garry W. Jenkins

Professor Garry Jenkins's research article, "Incorporation: Choice, Uniformity and Reform of Non Profit State Law," was cited in an article in the Managed Care Magazine regarding health plan foundations. Jenkins' said, "In virtually every jurisdiction, the attorney general represents the state and public interest in protecting charitable assets by overseeing not-for-profit corporations, either by statutory provision or common law," according to the magazine article.


Hedge Funds up the Ante for a Stronger Board

April 5, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff spoke to the Bloomberg Television "Market Makers" on "the practice of hedge funds paying the board members they back" and how companies can justify the amount of money given to elected board directors. "These are not ordinary directors...these are directors who are going to come in, change the company, change how they work...and we want to reward them for the extra work they're doing," he said of the mentality of the hedge funds.


New program to help vets returning after combat

April 5, 2013

Featured Expert: Alan C. Michaels

Fox 28 Columbus covered The Captain Jonathan D Grassbaugh Veterans Project announcement at The Ohio
State University Moritz College of Law. The project is designed to provide free legal services to military veterans.
 


New program to help vets returning from combat

April 5, 2013

Featured Expert: Alan C. Michaels

ABC 6 On Your Side covered The Captain Jonathan D Grassbaugh Veterans Project announcement at The Ohio
State University Moritz College of Law. The project is designed to provide free legal services to military veterans.


New veterans project

April 5, 2013

Featured Expert: Alan C. Michaels

NBC 4 covered The Captain Jonathan D Grassbaugh Veterans Project announcement at The Ohio
State University Moritz College of Law. The project is designed to provide free legal services to military veterans.


Ohio State to offer legal help for veterans

April 5, 2013

Featured Expert: Alan C. Michaels

The Captain Jonathan D Grassbaugh Veterans Project was announced at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. The project will aid military veterans with free legal services according to a news brief from the Associated Press, which also was published in the San Francisco Chronicle, 10TV.com, The Repository, The Denver Post, Hamilton Journal News, Top News Today and Fox 27 Youngstown.


Dean Henry: Conflict? No comment

April 2, 2013

Featured Expert: Arthur F. Greenbaum

Professor Arthur Greenbaum was quoted in the Sandusky Register about a possible conflict of interest for special prosecutor Dean Henry who is representing different parties in related cases. "“I don’t have enough facts to be able to state whether this is conflict of interest,” Greenbaum said. “But this would certainly seem like one.”


Ohio man who killed 6-month-old girl seeks mercy

April 2, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was quoted in The Washington Post regarding the execution of Steven Smith who killed a six-month-old child. Berman claimed that Smith's lawyers will have an "uphill battle" because of the additional rape charge. "But if the lawyers for this defendant can legitimately assert that the evidence doesn't show or support that this was an intentional killing, not only is it appropriate to bring this up at clemency, I think they're obliged, representing their client appropriately, to stress this point," Berman said.


Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2013/04/02/2704203/ohio-man-who-sexually-assaulted.html#storylink=cpy

Obama seems more intent on placating Netanyahu than brokering peace

April 1, 2013

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John B. Quigley wrote an op-ed for the Centre Daily Times regarding President Obama's priority level in the Middle East. "Obama to his credit did call on his Israeli audience to put themselves in the position of the Palestine population — under the thumb of a foreign army. But nothing he said suggests a path to peace, or that he is making a serious effort," he wrote.


Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2013/04/01/3561729/obama-seems-more-intent-on-placating.html#storylink=

Gay Marriage Argument Made In High Court On Tuesday; Ohioans React

March 26, 2013

Featured Expert: Ruth Colker

Professor Ruth Colker was quoted in an article on 10TV.com regarding the Supreme Court case on gay marriage rights. "I think the gay rights community wants a victory, but I think reasonable people disagree on the whether the broadest victory is always the best," said Colker. "I don't think anybody likes the courts telling them what to do."
 


Scalia Leads Supreme Court To Reject Search By Drug-Sniffing Dog

March 26, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted in an article in Forbes regarding the Supreme Court decision to deem a dog-sniffing search of property illegal to obtain a search warrant. “Physical trespass as a form of government surveillance is falling by the wayside,” said Ric Simmons, who teaches criminal procedure at the Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. “Soon enough we will have drones that can follow cars. This decision doesn’t address that situation, or satellites, or going through third parties like OnStar to track a suspect.”


Delaware's greatest (M&A litigation) hits, via Vice Chancellor Parsons

March 26, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff's statistics were cited in an article on News and Insight regarding M&A litigation in Delaware's courts.


Local Family Waits for Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

March 26, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman spoke with NBC 4's Nadia Bashir prior to the U.S. Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in two same-sex marriage cases. “It’s significant because it may reflect a kind of bellwether change in the status and views about same-sex marriage across the country," he said, referring to a pending referendum in Ohio.


Gay marriage and Supreme Court: Justice Anthony Kennedy at center of Proposition 8, federal cases

March 25, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in an article in the Mercury News regarding the Supreme Court case on gay marriage. "A common refrain is that the Supreme Court should only issue decisions that are durable," said Spindelman. "It looks like the winds of change are moving in one direction now. But it still might be too soon for the court."


Clarity on gay marriage coming soon from court

March 24, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in an article in the Columbus Dispatch about the role of the Supreme Court in deciding the legality of same-sex marriage. "Spindelman said the justices will have to decide between the notion that 'we live in a democratic society in which the will of the majority is the rule' and the concept that 'constitutional rights are not subject to popular vote.'"


The Difficult Choices Ahead for the Dell Board

March 24, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook about the choices ahead for Dell now that some preliminary bids are in. "Under this agreement, the parties agreed to a 'go-shop' period. In this case, the 'go-shop' provides for a 45-day period during which the Dell board can freely solicit and speak to other bidders," he wrote.


Gay marriage at a crossroads in California

March 24, 2013

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman


Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in an article by The Desert Sun regarding the court cases on gay marriage in California. Judge Vaughn Walker overturned Proposition 8 in California and there is a chance that the United States Supreme Court could do the same. “That remains a very viable possibility,” said Spindelman..., referring to the Prop. 8 case. “It’s very interesting because it’s very deep inside baseball.” The Prop. 8 case would only be able to legalize marriage in California.



 


‘Critical Conversations’ examines the role race plays in incarceration

March 23, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander's speech was quoted in an article in The Advocate recapping a lecture she recently gave at Louisiana State University. "The mass incarceration of colored poor people is the most pressing social issue of our time,” she said. “Today, we have a new regime of racial and social control.”


Documentary Explores Controversial Arrest of Black Scholar

March 22, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander's involvement in a documentary about the controversial arrest of a black scholar was cited in an article in the Newark Patch.


University hosts State of the State Conference

March 22, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was quoted in an article in The BG News recapping the State of the State Conference she attended at Bowling Green University. "“There are more African American adults in prison or jail, on probation or parole, than were enslaved in 1850,” she said.


Stanley Chesley, Sidley, Paul Hastings: Business of Law

March 22, 2013

Featured Expert: Arthur F. Greenbaum

Professor Arthur Greenbaum was quoted in an article from the Bloomberg News Service regarding the case of Stanley Chesley. "Yesterday’s ruling is by no means the end to Chesley’s saga. Ohio, where his office is located, has reciprocity rules that require sanctions similar to those imposed by another state. Arthur Greenbaum, a professor at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, said in an e-mail that the 'Ohio Supreme Court uses the provision frequently.'"


In Ohio case, social media is a double-edged sword

March 19, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted in an article from the Huffington Post about the role social media is playing in the Steubenville rape case.

"What happens in basements and at drunken parties used to stay there," said Simmons. But the huge role that social media played in the Ohio case, and the vast amount of evidence it created, he says, "brings these things out into the open. People are starting to talk about it, and people are starting to realize how the law treats this kind of behavior."


Social media a double-edged sword in Ohio case

March 19, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted in an article by the Associated Press regarding the sentencing of two Steubenville high school football players for raping a drunk 16-year-old girl. "What happens in basements and at drunken parties used to stay there," says Simmons. But the huge role that social media played in the Ohio case, and the vast amount of evidence it created, he says, "brings these things out into the open. People are starting to talk about it, and people are starting to realize how the law treats this kind of behavior."


Verdict Reached In Steubenville Rape Case

March 19, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted in an article in the Canyon News regarding the verdict of the Steubenville rape case and the likelihood that more charges will be filed against those who may have known about the felony. “That’s a law that’s rarely used in any state,” Simmons said. “But certainly rarely used in Ohio just because it’s very hard to prove that someone actually knew a felony was occurring. If [people at the party] heard secondhand or people were telling jokes and so on about this, I think it would be really hard to meet the standard required for the state of mind to say that someone actually knew that a crime occurred.”

 


Widow’s gift to help veterans, and herself

March 19, 2013

Featured Expert: Alan C. Michaels

Dean Alan Michaels was quoted in an article in the Columbus Dispatch about one of Moritz's widowed law students who started a fund in honor of her late Army husband to financially support veterans attending law school. “She’s awe-inspiring,” said Michaels, who was deeply moved by her gift. “It makes you want this (project) to be fantastic and to really make the difference that we’re hoping it will.”


Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Arizona Voter ID Law

March 18, 2013

Featured Expert: Edward B. Foley

Professor Edward Foley was quoted in an article on ABCnewsradioonline.com regarding the Supreme Court case challenging the Arizona voter ID law. "The case is intrinsically important,” says Foley, “because it asks whether a state can add a requirement to prove U.S. citizenship at the time of voter registration, beyond what the federal government requires under the NVRA”.


Parents of Steubenville Rape Victim Want 'Everything Over'

March 18, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted in an article on ABC News regarding the failure of others involved in the Steubenville rape case to come forward with information. "There is an Ohio law that makes it a crime not to report a felony, like rape, but the law is rarely used. 'That's a law that's rarely used in any state, I would believe, but certainly rarely used in Ohio just because it's very hard to prove that someone actually knew a felony was occurring,' attorney and professor Ric Simmons told ABCNews.com. 'We also don't usually prosecute crimes of omission. Not doing something is not usually illegal.'"


Ohio teens guilty of rape, but town's ordeal isn't over

March 17, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted in an article in the Los Angeles Times regarding the two Steubenville high school students convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl. Simmons was surprised at the lack of understanding by high school students of what defines "rape."  "I think that this is, unfortunately, a pretty common view," he said. "I hope it'll be less common after this case."


Opinion: Steubenville case shows how the rules have changed

March 17, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons wrote a commentary for CNN.com about the two Steubenville high school teens convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl. "The law has evolved as societal norms have changed. Lots of sexual conduct occurs when one or both participants are intoxicated to some extent. The question that the law needs to answer -- but at times struggles to answer -- is at what point one person's intoxication is so severe that she (or he, in theory) is legally unable to give meaningful consent," he wrote.


Girl takes a stand in Steubenville rape trial

March 16, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons appeared on the NBC Nightly News to give his insight regarding the rape case of two Steubenville high school football players.


The Cautionary Instruction: The trial penalty

March 15, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette regarding the idea of the "trial penalty." "Ohio State University Law Professor Douglas A. Berman wrote recently that if the Department of Justice was truly concerned about unwarranted sentencing disparity in financial fraud cases… (rather than with)…defendants who have the temerity to exercise their trial rights…then federal prosecutors ought to consider supporting Ms. Morgan's sentencing appeal. Marian Morgan and her husband John were arrested for a $28 million Ponzi scheme. John plea bargained for 10 years. Marian went to trial and got a 35 year sentence," the article read.


Michelle Alexander speaks on racially disproportionate U.S. prison system

March 14, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was quoted in an article in The Daily Reveille about a lecture she gave at Louisiana State University. "There is no denying that we’ve created a vast new system of racial and social control that was not imagined when Dr. King was assassinated,” Alexander said.


Web browsers consider limiting how much they track users

March 14, 2013

Professor Peter Swire was quoted in an article in the Washington Post regarding Internet privacy and tracking devices built into certain web browsers. “We’re at the risk of an arms race here,” said Swire, a Clinton administration privacy expert who is now an Ohio State University law professor. “This could break the Internet. It interferes with existing browsing models, and it puts bigger pressure on users to take escalating steps to protect their privacy.”


As rape trial opens, prosecutor says girl was "too impaired to say no'

March 13, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was on NBC's Today Show and provided insight into a rape case going to trial in Stuebenville, OH. "The defense doesn't have to prove anything. It is the prosecutor that has to prove that she did not consent," Simmons said.


U.S. Chamber Report Highlights Benefits of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Rulemaking Process

March 13, 2013

Featured Expert: Paul Rose

Professor Paul Rose's report titled "The Importance of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Financial Regulation" was quoted in an article in The Financial. "Financial regulators, especially in the context of Dodd-Frank, can and should ground their rulemaking in robust cost-benefit analysis in order to arrive at more rational decision-making and efficient regulatory action as well as to promote good governance and democratic accountability,” wrote Rose and (Christopher) Walker in the report. “The SEC’s experience with cost-benefit analysis, both in court and also in practice, provides an important lesson for other financial regulators."


U.S. Chamber Report Highlights Benefits of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Rulemaking Process

March 13, 2013

Featured Expert: Christopher J. Walker

Professor Christopher Walker's report titled "The Importance of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Financial Regulation" was quoted in an article in The Financial. "Financial regulators, especially in the context of Dodd-Frank, can and should ground their rulemaking in robust cost-benefit analysis in order to arrive at more rational decision-making and efficient regulatory action as well as to promote good governance and democratic accountability,” wrote (Paul) Rose and Walker in the report. “The SEC’s experience with cost-benefit analysis, both in court and also in practice, provides an important lesson for other financial regulators."


In Spinoffs, a Chance to Jettison Liabilities

March 12, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook regarding the dangers of companies producing "spinoffs;" citing Time Warner as a most recent example. "...the new Time doesn’t even have a leader to guide it through this difficult transition. Any leadership is going to have to execute a turnaround with limited resources and in the public glare..." he wrote.


Ohio State University Law Professor Stirs Up Controversy About Police Honesty

March 11, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was cited in a 10TV.com news article regarding her opinion published in the New York Times regarding police officers who lie. "Alexander said told 10 Investigates via phone that she “appreciates the great work and sacrifice of many police officers,” but that justice needs to be aware that some officers are dishonest," wrote 10TV.


Sequester As Opportunity? Simple Ways To Cut Prison Spending, Maybe Avoid Furloughs

March 11, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman's blog "Sentencing Law and Policy," was quoted in an op-ed on Forbes.com reviewing a post in which he wrote about cutting spending on prisons. "Douglas A. Berman, a law professor at Ohio State University, makes the succinct argument that the ominous-sounding sequester could provide an opportunity to 'improve the administration of justice and save money if [the Department of Justice] and [Bureau of Prisons] and others would use existing statutory mechanisms to reduce federal prison populations and costs,'" the article read.


Deals Now Make Sense, Not Just Money

March 11, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times Room for Debate regarding companies' reasons for making big deals and acquisitions. "Today's deals are more about building up than cashing in," Davidoff wrote.


For Icahn, a Game of Chicken With Dell’s Board

March 7, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook regarding the role of Carl C. Ichan in the buyout of Dell. "If the board does not implement his proposed dividend recapitalization, Mr. Icahn then indicated that Dell should commit to hold its annual meeting at the same time shareholders vote on the deal. Mr. Icahn then generously promised to run his own slate of directors to replace the current board," wrote Davidoff.


Ohio Senate Bill 36 takes aim at federal gun laws

March 5, 2013

Featured Expert: Ruth Colker

Professor Ruth Colker was quoted in an article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer about a new Ohio bill that aims to  make it illegal in the state for agencies to enforce any new federal gun bans or registries. Colker said that even if the bill is signed into law, it will not stop the federal government from enforcing its own laws.

"You don't use a legislative route to prevent the enforcement of a federal statute," Colker said. "That's not an option. This is clearly, 100 percent unconstitutional."


In Herbalife ‘Short War,’ Hedge Funds Miss the Target

March 5, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook regarding the interest of hedge fund billionares in the company, Herbalife. "As a result, the debate over Herbalife has been reduced to the level of a junior high school feud as it becomes about traders trash-talking each other," wrote Davidoff.


Ohio Senate Bill 36 takes aim at federal gun laws

March 4, 2013

Featured Expert: Ruth Colker

Professor Ruth Colker was quoted in a Cleveland Plain Dealer article about Ohio Senate Bill 36, which proposes that local, state, federal or international agents who attempt to enforce new federal gun regulations in Ohio would be charged with first-degree felonies under state law. "You don't use a legislative route to prevent the enforcement of a federal statute," Colker said. "That's not an option. This is clearly, 100 percent unconstitutional."


In Wall St. Tax, a Simple Idea but Unintended Consequences

February 26, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook about the dangerous consequences caused by a financial transaction tax. "Some say that a financial transaction tax is a cost-free way to kill many a bird with one stone — raising revenue, preventing financial crashes and making markets safer. But advocates of this neat idea conveniently ignore the century of less-than-successful experience with this tax, including New York State’s own failed attempt," he wrote.


John Quigley | Our presence in unstable places encourages extremist elements

February 24, 2013

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John Quigley wrote an op-ed for the Centre Daily Times about the United States' role in extremist attitudes in the Middle East and northern Africa. "Our intervention in Libya brought an attack on a consulate we set up in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, resulting in the deaths of four U.S. officials," he claimed.


Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2013/02/25/3515261/john-quigley-our-presence-in-unstable.html#storylink=c

Black Male Incarceration Adds to Social Woes Predicted in Moynihan Report

February 24, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was quoted in an article by Diverse Education regarding the mass incarceration of black men and how it is affecting society as a whole. "In the years since the Moynihan Report, we’ve made a profound choice. Rather than good schools, we have built high-tech prisons. Rather than create good jobs and invest in the communities that need it most, we have embarked upon an unprecedented race to incarcerate that has left millions of Americans locked up and locked out,” she said.


Conference to tackle lobbying and campaign finance

February 21, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in an article by the University at Buffalo The State University of New York regarding the Campaign Finance Conference. "The regulation of lobbying is a cutting-edge issue in the law of elections and politics,” said Tokaji. “Election Law Journal is excited to have the opportunity to publish papers on lobbying and campaign finance by leading scholars from around the country."


Deal Between Office Depot and OfficeMax Not Quite Ready for Release

February 20, 2013

Professor Steven M. Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook regarding the merging of OfficeMax and Office Depot and the problems associated with it. "The earnings — and the details of the deal — were apparently released too early. Office Depot had a conference call for its earnings scheduled for next week. OfficeMax was set to report its financials on Thursday," he wrote.


Can Do-Not-Track Still Be Salvaged?

February 20, 2013

Professor Peter Swire was quoted in an article by The Daily Online Examiner about the progress of the "do-not-track" efforts. "There are positive things from Boston," he said. "The tone was professional and positive. At some earlier meetings, there had been personal attacks and a difficult tone. In Boston, people worked hard on the substance, and they did so in a professional way."

 


Anonymous Takes On State Department, More Banks

February 19, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was cited in an article by Information Week Security regarding the hacking on the United States government by the Anonymous hactivist collective. "I would like to believe our government is functional enough to find some other way to get this out officially," Berman told the Journal. "I don't want to be the only reporter of record for all this material."


Jackson may lose federal pension

February 19, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article in the Chicago Tribune regarding the federal investigation of former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. "His exposure — the most he could properly get if the judge decides to throw the book at him — clearly is at least five years," Berman said, "and it may be significantly more."


‘Currency War’ Is Less a Battle Than a Debate on Economic Policy

February 19, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for DealBook New York Times about what the term "currency war" really means. "It is really a debate about how industrialized countries will grow out of their economic malaise, and even the term 'currency war' is being misused," he wrote.


Buffett’s Kind of Deal

February 15, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for DealBook New York Times regarding the recent acquisition of H.J. Heinz by Warren E. Buffet. "Warren E. Buffett is known for picking public targets, setting his price and the targets agreeing without much bargaining to be acquired. In those deals, once Mr. Buffett showed up, the companies appeared to lose interest in finding any other bidders," he wrote.


After ‘Anonymous’ Attack, Sentencing Body Seeks Blogger’s Help

February 14, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman is known nationally as an expert on sentencing law, which is precisely why the U.S. Sentencing Commission asked him for a favor in the wake of its own website being dismantled by hackers. Would Berman mind publishing the commission's new report on federal sentencing on his own blog?

The story was covered by The Wall Street Journal, which included Berman's own thoughts on the topic: “I would like to believe our government is functional enough to find some other way to get this out officially,” Berman said. “I don’t want to be the only reporter of record for all this material.”


Racial Gap in Men's Sentencing

February 14, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted by The Wall Street Journal in a story about a new sentencing guidelines report released by the U.S. Sentencing Commission that found prison sentences of black men were nearly 20 percent longer than those of white men for similar crimes in recent years.

"It's not surprising that the commission that's in charge of both monitoring and amending the guidelines has a general affinity for the guidelines," Berman said.


Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI demands a close look at rules of modern papal election

February 13, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in a journal article in the Election Law Journal about the possible election law questions that surfaced with the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. ""The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI brings into the public spotlight the longest-standing system for conducting elections for the head of any institution on earth. Professor Baumgartner's article offers a lively and accessible summary of the development of the rules for papal elections, a must read for anyone interested in this important topic," he said.


Unusual Moves in Confronting Apple’s Huge Pile of Cash

February 12, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook on the problems Apple is running into with its rapidly accumulating money pile. "The money just sits there, not earning much in an environment of extremely low interest rates. And the problem is only getting worse. Apple is accumulating money at an enormous rate — more than $23 billion in the last quarter alone," he wrote.


How Dell Tried to Avoid Potential Buyout Pitfalls

February 8, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times DealBook on the provisions Dell has put in place in it's acquisition agreement. "All told, while the full facts still need to be disclosed, it appears that Dell has gone out of its way to address problems that have arisen in previous management buyouts," he wrote.


Justice Department Faces Uphill Battle in Proving S.& P. Fraud

February 5, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff co-authored an article with Peter Henning for The New York Times White Collar Watch as the Deal Professor.

In the article, which regarded the Justice Department’s civil complaint toward Standard & Poor’s, Davidoff and Henning wrote:

“By accusing S.& P. of fraud, the Justice Department may be able to undermine any First Amendment claim by the company. The protections afforded by the Constitution do not extend to statements made as part of a fraudulent scheme. By charging that the ratings were designed to help the company generate new business, the government may block S.& P. from having the complaint dismissed before trial.”


Reasons to Be Suspicious of Buyouts Led by Management

February 5, 2013

As the Deal Professor, Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an article for The New York Times DealBook, regarding management-led buyouts.

Threading through examples of such buyouts, Davidoff wrote: “Take J. Crew, whose buyout group included the company’s chief executive, Millard Drexler. At the last minute, his bidding group dropped the price it was willing to pay by $2 a share. The J. Crew board still went ahead with the deal, probably because the directors felt they had no choice.”


Security cameras multiply, raising privacy concerns

January 29, 2013

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted in The Columbus Dispatch about the increase in security cameras and its effect on privacy. “If you’re in a place where you can be observed by police, you can put cameras there instead,” Simmons said.


Security cameras multiply, raising privacy concerns

January 29, 2013

Professor Peter Swire weighed in on an article in  The Columbus Dispatch about the increase in security cameras and its effect on privacy.

Swire said limits should be put on how lawmakers utilize security cameras. “(It’s) not a good idea to connect all the cameras and let the cops see everyone, everywhere,” he said.


Dramatic Chart Shows Just How Unpopular Law School Has Become

January 29, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Business Insider referenced Professor Deborah Jones Merritt’s research in an article about a drop in law school applicants. The article noted Merritt’s research showed “at the present rate, there will be between 53,000 and 54,000 for the current academic year. That’s fewer applicants than US law schools have seen in the past three decades.”


Lessons for Entrepreneurs in Rubble of a Collapsed Deal

January 29, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff, as the Deal Professor, wrote an article for The New York Times DealBook, which centered on lessons to be learned from Goldman Sach’s legal dispute with Dragon Systems. One of which to specifically learn from, he wrote, was to “know your advisers.”

“It is perhaps no coincidence that this suit was brought in 2009 — in the wake of the financial crisis, when Goldman’s unpopularity made it a good time to sue,” Davidoff wrote. “These claims would go to a jury, and Goldman was hardly the most sympathetic defendant. But bashing Goldman or any other bank goes only so far when the hard truth spells otherwise.”


Behind the Cover Story: Emily Bazelon on Pornography and Punishment

January 28, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was referenced in The New York Times in an article based on an interview with Emily Bazelon, who wrote a cover article for The New York Times Magazine about victims of child pornography seeking restitution from those who looked at them.

Bazelon said it was one of Berman’s blog posts that first turned her onto the topic.


Avoiding law school in droves

January 28, 2013

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was mentioned in The National Law Journal in an article about a drop in law school applicants. The article noted Merritt’s research on the topic showed “at no time during the past 30 years had the applicant totals slipped below 60,000.”

Merritt told the Journal: “I was pretty surprised when I looked back and saw the prospective applicant levels would bring us back to 1983. … There’s a general sense people have that applications are cyclical, but I don’t see any way for a quick rebound here.”

The article was also referenced by ABA Journal and Connecticut Law Tribune.


GOP’s electoral vote scheme likely illegal in Virginia

January 25, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji weighed in on an article in MSNBC about a possible scheme in Virginia to rig the Electoral College in favor of Republicans.

“I think there’s a very strong argument to be made that this change has a retrogressive effect on African-American voters in particular and perhaps Latino voters as well,” Tokaji said.


Kasich rejects calls for Terhar’s ouster

January 24, 2013

Featured Expert: David A. Goldberger

Professor David Goldberger was quoted by The Columbus Dispatch in an article about controversy surrounding a Facebook post by State Board of Education President Debe Terhar. Terhar’s post related President Barack Obama’s call for gun control to Adolf Hitler’s policies.

“The First Amendment protects her right to hold her personal beliefs. But a public official who harbors those kinds of views is really right on the margin of whether she should be in public office,” Goldberger said.


Can we talk calmly about Obama's 'Executive Orders'?

January 23, 2013

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

Professor Peter M. Shane was quoted by The Atlantic for a blog post he wrote, which also was republished by The Huffington Post and the American Constitution Society, about the action President Barack Obama took pertaining to gun violence.

"What executive orders cannot do is impose obligations or restrictions on the public, unless Congress, through legislation, has expressly or implicitly conferred authority on the President to do so. It is worth noting that none of President Obama's executive orders on gun violence do any such things," Shane wrote.

 


Ohio State football: Getting in the ’Shoe likely to cost more

January 23, 2013

Featured Expert: Charles E. Wilson

Professor Charlie Wilson was featured in an article in The Columbus Dispatch, which regarded Ohio State’s Athletic Council recommending an increase in football ticket prices.

Wilson, who is also the council's chairman, said, “Until the final thing is decided upon and submitted to the board of trustees for consideration, I think it’d be premature at this point to begin to speculate exactly what will be the recommendation. … The hope is to keep student tickets prices as low as possible.”

The article was also referenced by the Bleacher Report.


Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Appeal in Jobs Funding Case

January 23, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in a Bloomberg article, which centered on the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision on whether a nonprofit, ProgressOhio.org Inc., “is eligible to challenge the use of state liquor profits to fund a private economic-development program backed by Governor John Kasich.”

“For those who are worried about public accountability and the spending of public dollars, this is potentially quite significant,” Tokaji said. “The court is making a very subjective and contestable judgment about what is important and what’s not.”


Ohio State ponders 12% hike in ticket prices

January 23, 2013

Featured Expert: Charles E. Wilson

Professor Charles Wilson was quoted in an article in the Toledo Blade about the prospect of The Ohio State University raising football ticket prices.

Wilson, who is also Athletic Council chairman, said: “We don't have the luxury that some athletic departments have of going to the university [for money], and I don't want that ever to happen. … It’s never happened. Our athletic department has always been self-sustaining, and if I have anything to do with it, it always will be. That’s why sometimes you have to cover your expenses to maintain 36 sports programs.”


Gun debate spurs epidemic of constitutional ignorance

January 23, 2013

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

Professor Peter Shane was quoted in an Athens News article which centered on President Barack Obama’s executive orders on gun control.

"What executive orders cannot do is impose obligations or restrictions on the public, unless Congress, through legislation, has expressly or implicitly conferred authority on the president to do so. It is worth noting that none of President Obama's executive orders on gun violence do any such things,” Shane said. "In short, none of these memorandums requires the public to do anything, expands the powers of the federal executive, or evokes even remotely the ghost of George III."


Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Appeal in Jobs Funding Case

January 23, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Bloomberg quoted Professor Daniel Tokaji in an article about the possibility of the Ohio Supreme Court ruling that a nonprofit, ProgressOhio.org Inc., is eligible to utilize state liquor profits to fund a private economic-development program.

“For those who are worried about public accountability and the spending of public dollars, this is potentially quite significant,” Tokaji said.


Ohio State Mulling Substantial Football Ticket Price Hikes, Introduction of Premium Game Pricing

January 22, 2013

Featured Expert: Charles E. Wilson

Professor Charlie Wilson weighed in on an Eleven Warriors article about the prospect of Ohio State raising its football ticket prices.

“These ticket prices are getting pretty high for folks right out of college,” said Wilson, who is also chairman of Ohio State’s Athletic Council. “You lose your alums at some point if you start pricing them out of the market. One day they’re going to be old alums with money.”


Reports Reveal Financial Challenges, but Few Solutions

January 22, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff, as the Deal Professor, wrote an article for The New York Times DealBook. In the article, which centered on the World Economic Forum and its influence on JPMorgan Chase and the Federal Reserve, Davidoff wrote:

“The World Economic Forum and its leaders appear to be moving on, but if the financial titans gathered there are really going to fight off the small but growing number of critics who are calling for the breakup of the big banks or even more likely a stronger Volcker Rule, they should put forth an alternative or an explanation for why these blowups keep occurring. The forum would seem to be an ideal place to do it.”


Author to speak at UT on the 'new Jim Crow'

January 18, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was the topic of a Knoxville News Sentinel article announcing she was slated to speak at the University of Tennessee about her book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.


Vanderbilt to celebrate MLK Day with service activities, keynote address

January 15, 2013

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander will deliver the keynote address at Vanderbilt University's annual event commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Judge rejects Donahoe’s request to withdraw from marijuana case

January 15, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was mentioned in a Helena Independent Record article about a federal judge refusing to remove a defense attorney from a marijuana case. The attorney said he requested removal after reading one of Berman’s blog posts on the case.


Mug Shot Websites Face Lawsuit Alleging Violations Of Arrestee Publicity Rights

January 14, 2013

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in an article in The Huffington Post regarding the legality of websites which publish mug shots of those found "not guilty." "The websites probably have a First Amendment right to publish the mug shots because this is lawfully obtained public information," he said. "The practice of requiring payment to have them removed is unsavory, but probably not illegal."


MT: Attorney Asks to Withdraw from Chris Williams Case

January 9, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in The Daily Chronic in an article about the defense attorney for former Montana medical marijuana dispensary operator Chris Williams. The attorney filed a motion to withdraw from the case less than a month before sentencing, and said he believes Berman's blog may have caused his client to question his likelihood of success in the case.

In a Jan. 2 blog post, “Plead Guilty or Go to Prison for Life,” Berman wrote about the case, criticizing prosecutors for dropping 75 percent of the charges after conviction and wrote that the attorney allowed Williams to be “coerced by the threat of an extreme (and I think unconstitutional) sentence into giving up his appeal rights.”

“Prosecutors here are not merely nullifying many jury convictions, but they are doing so only after essentially blackmailing the defendant to give up his rights to contest his other convictions on appeal,” Berman wrote.


Donahoe asks to withdraw from Chris Williams marijuana case

January 9, 2013

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article in the Billings Gazette regarding the case of Christopher Williams' marijuana conviction. "I’m a full-time law professor at Ohio State, and I don’t know if I could (represent Williams) if I wanted to,” Berman said. “But the legal issues are very interesting and that’s what’s drawn my attention to the case.”


Tech giants brace for more scrutiny from regulators

January 4, 2013

Professor Peter Swire was quoted in an article in The New York Times regarding Internet security laws. “Now that the election is over, Silicon Valley companies each are thinking through their strategy for the second Obama administration,” said Swire. “The FTC will have a new Democratic chairman. A priority for tech companies will be to discern the new chair’s own priorities.”


Ackman, Herbalife and Celebrity Short-Sellers

January 1, 2013

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote a column for the New York Times DealBook regarding the power of celebrity investors like William A. Ackman. "There is a culture of worship around Mr. Ackman and a small circle of hedge fund deities like Mr. Einhorn, John A. Paulson of Paulson & Company and even Steven A. Cohen at a somewhat tarnished SAC Capital Advisors. When one of them says or does something, it quickly reverberates in the market," Davidoff wrote.