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.

2014 Media Hits

Scalia, Thomas and Ginsburg Align in Sentencing Dispute

October 14, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was quoted in a National Law Journal article over the Supreme Court's decision not to grant cert in Jones v. United States.  which asked the court to rule that in deciding on a sentence, federal judges should not be able to take into consideration conduct for which the defendant was acquitted.

"Anyone (like me) hoping that Justices Sotomayor and Kagan might end up being even more committed to defendants' procedural rights at sentencing has to be deeply troubled by their disinclination to provide a fourth vote for granting cert in Jones," Berman wrote.

 


Wasserman Schultz says state's ID law struck down by Supreme Court

October 14, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in a Politifact article on judicial rulings in Wisconsin and Texas on voter identification laws. Several Democratic candidates labeled the decision as "striking down" the laws, something Politifact called into question.

"It’s not accurate to say it was ‘struck down,’ but it’s understandable" given the New York Times headline and other media coverage, said Daniel P. Tokaji, an Ohio State University law professor and expert on election law.


Did Israel develop the doctrine behind Iraq invasion?

October 13, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John Quigley's 2013 book, The Six-Day War and Israeli Self-Defense, was reviewed by the Electronic Intifada.


Sex saga at firehouse a turnoff to women recruits?

October 12, 2014

Featured Expert: Martha Chamallas

Professor Martha Chamallas was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch article on a recent scandal at a city fire station and the possibility it could alienate women in the fire and police divisions.

“A highly sexualized culture sends a coercive message that, unless you play along and become part of this scene, you will not be accepted into this group and receive proper recognition,” she said. “It’s not that women don’t like sex or have affairs, but this type of environment often produces sexual harassment.”


Ohio is no battleground for House races

October 11, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in a USA Today article on the lack of tight congressional races in Ohio during the November 2014 election.

Ohio's current congressional lines represent "a perfect partisan gerrymander," said Daniel Tokaji, a law professor at Ohio State University who is an expert on redistricting. "It's quite possible that these districts will remain controlled by the party that controls them now for the remainder of the decade, through 2022."

"The implication for voters is that the general election is a mere formality," Tokaji said. "We know the results as soon as the primary is over. ... So there's very little interest, and there's very little incentive for people to actually vote."


Appeals court dissenters blister state's voter I.D. law

October 10, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on the Supreme Court's decision to block Wisconsin's voter ID law for the Nov. 4 election. The ruling was not a full decision by the Court, which still could take up the case in the future.

"I don't think this is an indication of how the court will rule on the merits," Tokaji said.


Courts Grapple With GOP-Backed Voting Limits

October 10, 2014

Featured Expert: Edward B. Foley

Professor Ned Foley was quoted in The Wall Street Journal on several recent court decisions on Republican-backed measure to tighten state voting rules. Courts are grappling with new legal questions raised by the recent state voting restrictions, and with the effect of a 2013 Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the Voting Rights Act in a case involving Shelby County, Ala.

“This is not the run-of-the-mill pre-election skirmishing,” said Ohio State University law professor Edward Foley. “What’s new is we’re seeing the voting wars play out in a post-Shelby County environment.”


Court Decisions Scramble Elections in Final Weeks

October 9, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in a National Law Journal article on the impact of several recent court decisions on voter identification and other voting procedures.

It's not all that unusual to have a number of lawsuits popping up near an election, according to Dan Tokaji, a law professor at Ohio State University. But "courts making very late changes to the rules" is out of the ordinary, he said.


Little change expected for Ohio's Congress seats

October 9, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in an Akron Legal News article on the polls showing that Ohio's 16 U.S. incumbent U.S. House members are all likely to retain their seats.

"This is one of those cases when the conventional wisdom is absolutely right," said Daniel Tokaji, an Ohio State University law professor who's an authority on elections and voting rights. Tokaji said he doesn't see much chance for unseating incumbents "absent some major unforeseeable developments."


Bexley Public Library to host civil rights gathering

October 8, 2014

Featured Expert: Sharon L. Davies

Professor Sharon Davies was mentioned in a Columbus Dispatch article on a civil rights event at the Bexley Library being held Oct. 23. Davies will speak at the event.


Ohio State coach who tackled fan might not have legal defense, despite lack of protocol

October 5, 2014

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted in an article on the possibility of legal action after a fan was tackled by a coach after running on to the field during a game at Ohio State.

“From a criminal law perspective, (Schlegel) is clearly not authorized to make an arrest.” Simmons said. “The person was committing a misdemeanor, not a felony. It’s not his job to potentially stop crime as it was for the security guards or for the police.” He added that a citizen doesn’t necessarily have the same defenses as police officers. “If the police officer had used force making the arrest, the police officer has a defense. A security guard has a defense,” Simmons said.

“There’s just no real defense that (Schlegel) was there to potentially enforce the law,” Simmons said.


Caught in the act? Videos of police can mislead

October 3, 2014

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted in a Daily Legal News article on the use of video when questioning police conduct.

"You might see a video and think that because you're seeing an actual sort of account of what happened, you know the whole story. And it's very rare that a video is actually going to be able to tell the whole story," said Ric Simmons, an Ohio State University professor of criminal law.


Reynoldsburg teachers, board talking after judge orders mediation

October 2, 2014

Featured Expert: Sarah Rudolph Cole

Professor Sarah Cole was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch article on the use of mediation to end the teacher's strike in Reynoldsburg.

While the court’s jurisdiction is limited to the dispute before it, the parties can talk about other issues during mediation, said Sarah Cole, a professor at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. She also directs the college’s program on dispute resolution.

“The judge wouldn’t have power to compel the union to participate in mediation,” she said. “The union willingly went along. It makes you wonder if they are just talking about the safety issue or the larger concern about the strike.”

“Maybe that’s what they are hoping,” Cole said. “The lawsuit is a way to get them to talk together.”


McCloud asks teachers, district to find a way to end strike

October 1, 2014

Featured Expert: Sarah Rudolph Cole

Professor Sarah Cole was quoted in a This Week newspaper article on the use of mediation in the Reynoldsburg School District teacher's strike.

According to Sarah Cole, a professor at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, the judge Holbrook does not have the power or jurisdiction to force mediation on the teachers’ contract, only the safety issue. However, she said ordering the two sides to discuss safety is a way to get both sides talking again.


Vote-Restriction Laws Line Up for Supreme Court Review

October 1, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in a National Law Journal article on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to curtail early voting in Ohio.

"The Ohio law is significantly different from others being questioned," said election law scholar Dan Tokaji of Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. "It has restrictions on early voting and same-day registration and voting. It's not a voter ID law. The other states all involve voter ID laws along with other restrictions."

The article also talked about voter identification laws and whether the Supreme Court would take up a new case.

"On Section 2, a stronger argument for clarification of the law can be made, but I'm not sure that issue is quite ripe for Supreme Court review yet," Tokaji said. "The contours of the legal standard under Section 2 on vote-denial claims, as opposed to vote-dilution claims, have yet to be refined. When it comes to voter ID and registration restrictions, there's some uncertainty as to the precise legal standard that should govern."

 


Supreme Court could weaken voting rights — again

October 1, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in an MSNBC piece on the Supreme Court's likelihood to take up one of the four major voting rights cases before the courts.

“I’m very worried that the Supreme Court will take a case on the merits, and write an opinion that drastically constricts the right to vote,” said Daniel Tokaji, an election law scholar at Ohio State University. “I think that is a very real danger, given the conservative composition of this court, which has shown itself to be no friend to voting rights.”


Future of Ohio’s Early Voting Period Uncertain After Supreme Court Stay

October 1, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Dan Tokaji was quoted in an Ideastream article on early voting in Ohio.

“I think there’s reason for voting rights supporters to be very worried,” Tokaji said. “This is not a court that has shown itself to be a friend of the right to vote. That was evident in last year’s decision from Shelby County, Alabama, which struck down a key component to the Voting Rights Act.  It seems to me that if the U.S. Supreme Court gets its hands on one of these cases, further cutbacks to the right to vote are likely.”


‘The New Jim Crow’ Author Michelle Alexander on the Crisis Facing Milwaukee’s Black Men

October 1, 2014

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander was featured in a Express Milwaukee article on a presentation she gave to 2,000 people in Wisconsin.

“There is nowhere, nowhere in the entire world where the crisis for black men in the criminal justice system is more acute” than in Milwaukee, Alexander said.


Pro&Con: Providing lethal aid will shatter ceasefire; add to death and destruction

September 26, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John Quigley wrote on op-ed that appeared in SouthCoastToday and the Deseret News about the president's decision to decline Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's request for lethal military aide to fight separatist elements in his country. He wrote that President Barack Obama was right to reject the request and that "giving Ukraine more lethal-type aid would risk fueling the hostilities in eastern Ukraine at a time when matters seem to be getting resolved."


In Ohio, Black Youth Won’t Let Another Police Shooting Fade Into The Background

September 25, 2014

Featured Expert: Amna Akbar

Professor Amna Akbar was quoted in an article on ThinkProgress about the "John Crawford Pilgrimage,” a walk for the 22-year-old black man who was shot and killed by police in an Ohio Walmart for carrying a BB gun he picked up from the store shelves. She said what stood out about one of the main groups behind the peaceful march, which started at the Walmart where Crawford was shot and ended at the local courthouse, the Ohio Student Association, was the group's call for organization and action, in addition to their outrage.

“When I saw they were doing that I thought these young people are really organized," Akbar said. She added that they understood Crawford's death occurred within a “broader political context” and linked the frequency of black deaths not just to police reform, but to other issues like student debt, the school-to-prison pipeline, and violence and deportation of immigrant families.


Why Are So Many People Getting Sentenced to Death in Houston?

September 24, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman was quoted in a National Journal article looking at why Texas's Harris County has given the death sentence to, and executed, the most people of any county in the nation. Berman said population plays a role in those numbers, but not just because of the sheer amount of crimes committed. By having more homicides on their docket, he said prosecutors in larger areas can cherry-pick the cases most likely to turn back a capital sentence and pursue those ones aggressively.

"Certain prosecutors, particularly in certain regions, will develop expertise, not just in an ability to secure a capital verdict … but to know how to pick a jury that is more death-inclined," Berman said. "No prosecutor likes to lose a case...They would especially by frustrated to put all this energy in pursuing a death sentence and have it come back as a life sentence. You sort of take a gulp and ask yourself, 'Wow, is that sort of case right for the death penalty?' "


As Election Nears, Voting Laws Still Unclear In Some States

September 24, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article that appeared on KQED and North Country Public Radio about the lack of clarity in several states surrounding voting laws that are currently being challenged in the courts just weeks before early voting is set to open. Some of those voting law issues include courts in Texas and Wisconsin considering challenges to voter ID requirements, a North Carolina court deciding whether limits on early voting should stay in place, and a federal appeals court panel in Ohio upholding a decision to extend early voting in the state.

"Voters and elections officials need to know what the rules of the game are going to be several weeks before the election," Tokaji said. "In the event of a close election, this could be a real mess."
 


Professor: US Airstrikes in Syria Require Damascus' Consent to Be Lawful

September 23, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John Quigley was quoted in an article from RIA Novosti about the U.S. airstrikes against ISIS insurgent positions in Syria. He said in order to be lawful, the U.S. would need the consent of the Syrian government to carry out the mission.

"ISIS has carried out significant violations of human rights in the territory it has captured in Syria and Iraq. Hopefully the government of Syria, the government of Iraq, the United States and other states can work together to return civil government to the territories ISIS controls," Quigley  said.


15-year mandatory minimum federal sentence for possessing shotgun shells (no shotgun) almost 20 years after past felonies

September 11, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Doug Berman and his blog were mentioned in a blog post on the Washington Post website discussing the denial of an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, asking that an inmate's sentence for possessing seven shot gun shells as a convicted felon be overturned. The man claimed his sentence of 15 years imprisonment was unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment as the gravity of his offense was low  compared to the harshness of his sentence, and unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment as he lacked notice that he could not posses the ammunition, which he came into possession of while helping a neighbor sell her late husband’s possessions.


Opinion: Address mass incarceration, save black communities

August 1, 2014

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, is discussed in this NJ.com article.

"(Alexander) argues, with considerable evidence, that mass incarceration — the U.S. confines 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, though it has only five percent of the world’s population — is, indeed, an effort to prevent black men from full participation in American society, as was Jim Crow a century ago."


Ukraine’s ceasefire

June 25, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John Quigley appeared on RT’s Cross Talk with Peter Lavelle to discuss the ceasefire declared between the Ukrainian government and separatists living in the eastern part of the country. As talks between the two parties continue, Quigley said it would be helpful if the two sides could come to an understanding that would assure the Russian speaking people of the area that they would have some control over their own political status.

“They need to do something real in order to assure the Russian speakers in Eastern Ukraine that they’re situation is going to be acceptable and that they will have some kind of control over their own political status,” he said. “When I was involved, this was 20 years ago, with the Ukraine on behalf of the OSCE, that’s where we were headed. Crimea got some autonomy, it didn’t get as much as I thought it needed, and what I was proposing at that time, and what I think might be helpful now, is to have that autonomy with some kind of international oversight, that is you would have something set up under the constitution of Ukraine, but if the autonomy of the eastern region is infringed upon in some way, there would be recourse that could be taken at the international level.”


Supreme Court Tinkering With Securities Class Actions

June 23, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed in The New York Times DealBook on the Supreme Court decision in Halliburton Company v. Erica P. John Fund Inc. A case, he said, some saw as a potential end to the ability of shareholders to sue companies for securities fraud.

“The opinion shows that the Supreme Court seems to love to tinker with the securities laws, but it continues to refuse to kill the business,” he wrote. “The justices decided that the current state of play was sensible. They refused to overrule the decision made in the Basic case. They noted that markets may not be totally efficient, but what was going on here was 'not a binary, yes or no question.' Instead, the issue was whether the company’s price had been affected.The court thus refused to overrule the decision, allowing the fraud on the market theory to stand."


Scott Walker case shows growing closeness between politicians and wealthy allies

June 23, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article in The Washington Post about an investigation into allegations Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker illegally coordinated fundraising efforts with outside conservative groups during his campaign. State and federal laws restrict candidates from sharing political strategy with outside organizations. Tokaji noted, however, it is sometimes difficult, based on the current laws, to prove what is coordination and what is simply cooperation between the parties.

“They are trying to do as much as they can to cooperate without illegally coordinating — which, in truth, is not that difficult to do, because the line for what counts as coordination is a particularly high bar,” he said.

 


Illegal coordination not 'politics as usual,' observers say

June 21, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article in the Chippewa Herald about allegations that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign secretly coordinated its efforts with so-called “issue ad” groups, revealing how candidates might attempt to rely on unaccountable third-party groups to help them get elected.

“I don’t think it’s fair to characterize this as ‘politics as usual.’ This is something extraordinary, if the allegations are true,” he said. “Cooperation is common. Illegal coordination is pretty rare. And it’s hard to prove.”


Citizens United Made American Politics a Sham

June 19, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji’s report “The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections,” was the topic of an article on Ring of Fire, which discussed how the research behind the book showed the solution to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, to disallow official campaigns to coordinate with independent groups, was not a true solution to the problem the ruling itself created.

“Overall, the report paints a bleak picture of practically explicit coordination between campaigns and PACs. It is exactly what everyone feared and exactly what the Supreme Court pretended it was preventing,” the article stated.


Heart of John Doe dispute: Evolving campaign rules

June 19, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the John Doe investigation of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his allies over allegations that they violated campaign finance law by illegally coordinating fundraising efforts with outside groups. Tokaji said coordination is illegal for good reason – it "raises the specter of corruption," and the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the purpose of preventing the exchange of cash for political favors.

"There are laws against coordination" he said. "We're not the Wild West yet." Until that happens — and he said it might be the way the Supreme Court is going — "laws must be enforced."


Ohio Report Looks at the Inside Influence of Soft Money in Politics

June 19, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article on the Public News Service about his book “The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections.” Tokaji said while his research did not find any illegal coordination between campaigns and outside organizations, it did show that the law governing such interactions is being carefully sidestepped.

“We didn't find evidence of illegal coordination, but we did find a high degree of cooperation,” he said. “There are lots of ways that outside groups and candidates signal to one another without breaching the legal line."


Study Examines Role Of Citizens United Ruling On Politics

June 19, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji spoke with WCBE, central Ohio’s NPR station, about his book “The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections,” which examines the real-world impact outside spending is having on elections and politics since the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling, which allows more political spending by corporations and unions.


How ‘Citizens United’ changed the game — in politicos’ own words

June 18, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was mentioned in an article on MSNBC about his report “The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections,” which found that the explosion of outside spending in congressional campaigns since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has led to “dramatic changes in the political landscape.”


New Report Highlights Need for "Coordination" Reform Post-Citizens United

June 18, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji’s report “The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections,” was mentioned in a commentary piece in Roll Call, that discussed why campaign coordination regulation needs to be reformed following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.


Cost of campaigns outpace college tuition

June 18, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was mentioned in an article in the Dayton Daily News about his research in the report “The New Soft Money: Outside Spending in Congressional Elections,” which found a greater cash flow into congressional campaigns has led to an increased polarization in Washington and an inability of Congress to reach compromises.


A Merger in a Race With Congress

June 16, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed in The New York Times DealBook on Medtronic’s desire to acquire Covidie. A deal, he said, that could allow the company to reincorporate in Ireland but maintain its headquarters in Minneapolis, lowering Medtronic’s tax rate and allowing it to access its $12 billion in cash held abroad without paying United States taxes.


Ad says Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to send medical pot users to prison

June 15, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article in the Miami Herald about a Florida advertisement attacking U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her recent vote against a medical marijuana amendment. The ad, sponsored by Americans for Safe Access, a group that supports medical marijuana, claimed “Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz thinks it’s OK for medical marijuana patients to go to federal prison.” Berman told the paper, however, that he had never heard of a medical marijuana patient being sent to prison.

“I know of no patient-only person sent to federal prison for use of marijuana,” he said.


Obama should not align with India’s new leader

June 13, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John Quigley wrote an op-ed that appeared in The Californian and Gazettextra on why the U.S. should not align with India’s new leader. During the recent electoral campaign, which brought the Bharatiya Janata Party to power, one regional BJP leader said anyone who voted against Narendra Modi, the BJP candidate for prime minister, would have to leave India and go to Pakistan. Quigley said a statement like that coming from a BJP regional leader has worried India’s 140 million Muslims now that Modi has won the election and taken office.

"If the Obama administration becomes overly cozy with Modi, Obama will be seen as anti-Muslim. Given the bad rap America has on that score, after our wars of the past decade, we don’t need to provide Muslims another reason not to like us. We risk bringing on ourselves more violence. Moreover, embracing Modi could give him the political space to keep India’s Muslims down,” he wrote. “The Obama administration should step cautiously. We have to have good relations with India. It is a country of 1.2 billion. But we have to let Modi know we are watching him.”


In Tough Market, Investment Banks Seek Shelter or Get Out

June 12, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed that appeared in The New York Times and The Economic Times on how the world of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other big investment banks is changing.


Hillshire Stuck Between the Terms of 2 Deal Offers

June 11, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed in The New York Times Dealbook on Hillshire Brands recent financial dealings, including the recommendation that the company’s shareholders approve a $4.3 billion acquisition of Pinnacle Foods, whilst Tyson Foods purportedly submitted a winning bid of $7.7 billion to acquire Hillshire Brands – a deal the company had yet to accept or endorse.


Judge restores Ohio’s last three days of early voting

June 11, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article on MSNBC about a judicial order in the 2012 case of Obama for America v. Husted for Ohio to restore the last three days of early voting leading up to an election. District Court Judge Peter Economus ordered Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to “set uniform and suitable in-person early voting hours for the three days preceding all future elections,” after Husted reportedly issued a directive to cut early voting on the weekend and Monday right before the election. Tokaji said the ruling implicitly goes after Husted for trying to use his authority to benefit the GOP.

“I view this order as calling shenanigans on Secretary of State Husted,” he said. “What’s motivated courts in a lot of these cases has been a perception that the manipulation of early voting rules is motivated by partisan gain. And that is certainly the subtext of today’s ruling.”


Constitutional law experts disagree on Supreme Court's JobsOhio ruling

June 10, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer about the Ohio Supreme Court justices’ disagreement on whether or not the constitutionality of JobsOhio can be challenged in court again. The court held in a 5-2 opinion that Progress Ohio and two Democrats lacked standing to challenge the law creating the initiative. Tokaji said while the majority opinion states others could still challenge JobsOhio, it also suggests no one will be able to after this opinion.

"The majority seems to think that someone could sue, but it's not obvious from this opinion who that would be," he said. "It sets a worrisome precedent if the legislature knows it won't be held to account for laws it passes.”


Philly Fight Holds 12th Annual Prison Health Care Summit

June 9, 2014

Featured Expert: Michelle Alexander

Professor Michelle Alexander’s expertise as a civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar was mentioned in an article on EDGE about the Philadelphia FIGHT event, "Beyond the Walls: The 12th Annual Prison Health and Reentry Summit," which looked at ways to tackle the problem of incarceration and return to the community. Professor Alexander was the keynote speaker at the event, which was held during the city’s 20th Annual AIDS Education Month.


Ohio Supreme Court to hear arguments on traffic cameras

June 9, 2014

Featured Expert: Ric Simmons

Professor Ric Simmons was quoted in an article in the Youngstown Vindicator and on WLWT Cincinnati about arguments made before the Ohio Supreme Court on the growing legal challenges surrounding the use of traffic cameras. Motorists filed two law suits against Dayton suburbs in June claiming the use of camera enforcement violates the constitutional right to due process and bypasses the courts. Simmons said it is a power balance issue, and that the test of cities’ executive powers against judicial authority could produce “a long-ranging decision,” and lead to new legislation.

“The battle will go on,” Simmons said.


Companies can spend millions on security measures to keep executives safe

June 6, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff was quoted in an article in The Washington Post about the price some companies pay for personal security of their top executives. One company was said to have spent $1.3 million in a single year protecting its chief executive officer, while another was said to have spent nearly $1.5 million for similar services. Davidoff described the practice as a “loophole” that deprives the federal government of tax revenue, and said it should be closed.

“Clearly it’s being exploited to allow executives to get perks,” he said. “If they want to give their executives those perks, fine, but they shouldn’t be subsidized by the federal government.”


InfiLaw temporarily suspends license application to buy Charleston School of Law

June 4, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff’s New York Times column on Infilaw’s bid to purchase and run the Charleston School of Law was mentioned in an article in the ABA Journal following the company’s request to suspend the offer.

“The controversy over the potential sale ‘may just boil down to snobbery and who should be allowed to attend law school,’” the article quoted Davidoff as writing. “The school was established to turn a profit and to provide a second law school in South Carolina to feed graduates into local jobs, he says. ‘Lost among the dispute is the fact that a lower-tier law school like Charleston—whoever owns it—can not only produce capable graduates but help students start careers they couldn’t have without a law degree.’”


Hillshire Must Decide Whether to Be Target or Suitor

June 4, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed in The New York Times on Hillshire Brands acquisition of Pinnacle Foods as two other companies made competing bids to purchase Hillshire for more than $6 billion, with the contingency that the deal with Pinnacle fall through.


Potential Sale of Law School Raises Debate Over Who Should Profit

June 3, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed in The New York Times on the debate over who should profit from the potential sale of the Charleston Law School in Charleston, S.C.


Jackson Jr. eligible for halfway house in about 3 months

June 3, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article in the Chicago Tribune about former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s eligibility to be placed in a half-way house beginning Sept. 20 after serving part of his sentence for misusing approximately $750,000 from his campaign war chest on personal goods, in a federal prison camp in Alabama. Berman said the case exemplifies the tension between the government’s quest for truth in sentencing and its desire to hasten an inmate’s rehabilitation and re-entry into society.

“The theory is, we want to avoid having him leave the Bureau of Prison gates with a bus ticket, saying, ‘Good luck,’” he said.


SPECIAL REPORT: Suarez's legal battle begins Monday

June 1, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article in the Canton Repository about the start of a criminal case against Benjamin D. Suarez, owner of Suarez Corporation Industries, over allegations he violated federal election laws by funneling more than $200,000 to two political candidates in 2011 and 2012. Tokaji said the indictment accuses Suarez of going to “great lengths” to circumvent election law.

“The prosecution’s message I suspect ... in general will be, ‘Follow the money trail,’ and if the money trail leads from the corporation (and to other people) and winds up in a campaign’s coffer, they’ll point to that as evidence that these other people were conduits and federal law was broken,” he said.


Fine Legal Point Poses Challenge to Appraisal Rights

May 30, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote a column in The New York Times on how a fine legal point brought before the court could pose a challenge to the multimillion-dollar appraisal proceedings involving the $1.6 billion buyout of Ancestry.com.


Are Restraining Orders an Answer to Mass Violence?

May 27, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman’s blog was mentioned in an article in the Wall Street Journal about a paper written by Mary Fan, a law professor at the University of Washington, after he posted a copy of it to his website. The article suggests that one way to curtail the number of murder-suicides across the nation is to have more restraining-orders issued against those who have been identified as having violent histories, especially those with histories of domestic violence. Such a measure would then allow for a forced disarming of those potentially violent individuals.


As Information Flows, S.E.C. Faces Difficulty Bottling It Up

May 27, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote a column in The New York Times on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s efforts to ensure equal access to information through a rule known as Regulation FD.


Lethal injection issues driving states to revisit older methods

May 24, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article in The Journal Gazette about the recent tissues several states have had with lethal injections, and the move some are making to go back to earlier forms of execution, like the electric chair. Berman said a new law in Tennessee, which would allow the state to use electrocution against any current or future death-row inmate if lethal injection drugs become unavailable, could be part of an effort to force death-row inmates challenging lethal injection to back off.

“It might be the design that, ‘Hey, if you fight against this hard enough and say we can't use lethal injection, fine, we'll strap your guy in the chair,'” Berman said. “Maybe that will move the needle on the willingness of the defense bar in Tennessee to be as aggressive in complaining about what they see as problematic with lethal injection.”


How will the courts avoid the next execution disaster?

May 24, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted on MSNCB about a recent string of botched lethal injection executions that have raised doubts for some that states will continue to be able to carry out capital punishment fairly and without complications. Berman said as a result judges may become more cautious when they see 11th hour appeals from death row prisoners, not wanting to allow another incident like what happened in Oklahoma to happen again. He added that the next few executions may be critical in testing out that theory, and will be heavily scrutinized.

“In the wake of Lockett, there is this persistently problematic feeling that states are unable to go through with executions without having problems,” he said. “A part of calming down or getting back to normal will be judges and prosecutors less likely to seek execution dates.”


A Ruling’s Chilling Effect on Corporate Litigation

May 23, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote a column in The New York Times on the Delaware Supreme Court’s response to a question from the federal district court on whether or not a private company can amend its bylaws to adopt a provision that makes the loser in any shareholder litigation pay the other side’s fees.


Battle Over Darden Leaves Little Room for Compromise

May 20, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed in The New York Times on the announcement that Darden, who owns the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains, plans to sell Red Lobster for $2.1 billion to Golden Gate Capital.


The Curious Incident of Pfizer’s ‘Final’ Offer for AstraZeneca

May 19, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote a column in The New York Times on Pfizer’s final offer of $119 billion to purchase AstraZeneca.


Deal for Zales May Be Done In by Bank of America’s Conflicts

May 16, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote a column in The New York Times on opposition to Signet’s $1.4 billion acquisition of the Zale Corporation.


Can Uber Achieve $10B Plus Valuation?

May 16, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff appeared on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance” to discuss the ride-share service Uber and tech valuations.


Shareholders Find Strange Treasures in Jewelry Merger

May 16, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff was quoted in a column on Bloomberg View about a potential conflict of interest in Signet Jewelers' agreement to purchase the Zale Corporation.

“Bank of America represented Zale in the transaction. At the time of its retention, Bank of America advised Zale that it had ‘limited prior relationships and no conflicts with Signet,’” he said. “But Bank of America apparently delivered an unsolicited presentation to Signet on Oct. 7, 2013, in which it promoted an acquisition of Zale by Signet at a price range of $17 to $21 a share. This was the day after the first day that Signet reached out to Zale about an acquisition. A member of the Bank of America team that made that presentation was also subsequently on Bank of America’s Zale team.”


No One’s Looking at Alibaba Risk: Davidoff

May 16, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff appeared on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance” to discuss the hype surrounding Alibaba’s IPO.


Bosses can dictate politics in Ohio workplaces, but usually choose not to

May 15, 2014

Featured Expert: L. Camille Hébert

Professor L. Camille Hébert was quoted in an article on WKSU about the legality of private sector employers forcing employees to display or proclaim political endorsements at work, whether they support a certain candidate or not. Hébert said while it is legal for employers to have workers wear t-shirts or appear at political events, there have been cases where employees fired for refusing to comply with such requests have taken legal action against them for it.

“You could have the argument that discharging someone for their political beliefs -- or their failure to adopt the employer’s political beliefs -- would be a violation of public policy. But generally those claims haven’t been very successful in Ohio.”


Panel tries to clear smoke from issue of legalizing pot

May 14, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in article in the Columbus Dispatch about a panel discussion that took place in the Ohio Supreme Court chambers on the ins and outs of marijuana legalization. Berman, one of three experts who participated in the discussion, said several states are looking at easing the door open to marijuana by legalizing “Charlotte’s Oil,” an extract containing marijuana components found helpful in relieving seizures in children.

As more states legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use — there are 21 now, with campaigns expected in a half-dozen others — it becomes “awfully hard to defend the status quo,” Berman said.


To Guide the Merger Giants, Strong Hands Are Needed

May 13, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote a column in The New York Times on the merger of the Publicis Groupe and the Omnicom Group.


PRO: Administration was scrupulously even-handed

May 8, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John Quigley wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Olean Times Herald on the most recent peace talks in the Middle East. Quigley gave credit to Secretary of State John Kerry for remaining fair and even-handed during negotiations between Israel and Palestine, but in the end, he said, the negotiations set peace back, rather than advanced it.

“As Kerry doubtless knew, (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu was not serious about a peace agreement from the start. He has always opposed negotiations, preferring instead to take Palestine territory by accretion. Kerry’s nine-month gambit may have been an effort at peace, but the reality of it was collusion in Israel’s efforts to block peace.”


The Problem With the Smart Lawyering Behind Alibaba's IPO

May 7, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff’s New York Times column on the potential legal issues surrounding the initial public offering of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited was mentioned in an article published by American Legal Media discussing the same topic.


WASTE WATCH: Costly Court Cases in Conflict

May 7, 2014

Featured Expert: Christopher M. Fairman

Ohio State Associate Dean Christopher Fairman spoke with a Columbus, Ohio television news station on the topic of judges and the disclosure of financial conflicts. All judges are required to report certain financial information, but many times, details about gifts, income and investments are blacked out. That means if the conflict is caught months or in some cases, years later, it becomes costly.

"Few of us know who these judges are or know about the things that economically influence their interest," he said.


Judges are following sentencing guidelines less than half the time (in a good way)

May 7, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article on Vox about a recent increase in the amount of judges issuing sentences below the typical sentencing guidelines. Berman said the news isn't so much that judges are departing from the guidelines, but how often they are the ones suggesting the lower sentence.

“A few more judges were willing to impose below-guideline sentences in a few more federal cases in the wake of Attorney General Eric Holder's big early August speech to the ABA lamenting excessive use of incarceration in the United States. When the US Attorney General says ‘too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason,’ I surely hope federal judges are listening and thinking even harder about whether to follow harsh guidelines that tend to recommend pretty long prison sentences in most cases,” he said


Alibaba Investors Will Buy a Risky Corporate Structure

May 6, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote a column in The New York Times on the risky corporate structure of Alibaba, where investors are unable to have title to most of the company’s Chinese assets due to Chinese prohibitions on foreign ownership.


Is the Voting Rights Act making a comeback?

May 6, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in a story on MSNBC about the Voting Rights Act after a federal judge in Wisconsin used the VRA to strike down the state’s voter ID law earlier this year, ruling that it violated Section 2 of the act, which bars racial discrimination in voting.

“I think it’s exactly what the federal courts should be doing,” he said. “When partisan politicians go too far to restrict the right to vote in an effort to serve their own ends, courts aren’t likely to look on that kindly.”


A Truce at Sotheby’s After a Costly and Avoidable Battle

May 5, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote a column in The New York Times on the end of Sotheby’s costly legal battle with Daniel S. Loeb’s Third Point.


What Your CEO Is Reading: Broken Infrastructure; CEO Pay

May 2, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff’s New York Times column on Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s $214 million pay package was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal in a piece titled “What Your CEO Is Reading.” The article quoted Davidoff as saying Mayer’s pay had grown, not due to rising revenues, but rather from her company’s 24 percent stake in “Chinese Internet behemoth” Alibaba Group.

“’The example of Ms. Mayer highlights the absurdities of executive compensation based on stock prices,’ he writes, and demands an opportunity to rethink all stock compensation plans as a way to motivate CEOs. ‘Instead, executives can simply be paid in cash based on their effort,’ he concludes. ‘A novel concept to be sure,’” the article quoted Davidoff as saying.


Maybe It's Time to Stop Letting States Experiment with Secret Death Drugs

May 2, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article in Vice about the botched execution of Oklahoma convicted murderer Clayton Lockett. Berman said as pharmaceutical companies try to distance themselves from the production of lethal injection drugs, corrections departments across the nation are scrambling to come up with alternatives to the now hard to come by drugs they once used.

“The medical community has been particularly eager to oppose using medical means to help figure out how to do these executions efficiently and effectively. So corrections departments and state officials are trying to come up with these alternatives without any medical expertise,” he said.


Yahoo Chief’s Pay Tied to Another Company’s Performance

April 30, 2014

In a New York Times column, Steven Davidoff wrote about how Marissa Mayer hit it big in the executive compensation lottery.

 


The Quirk That Bolsters Allergan’s Defense

April 29, 2014

Steven Davidoff Solomon wrote in this New York Times column: "In the $45.6 billion takeover battle for Allergan, there has been much speculation about what will be the next steps.

But a quirk in Allergan’s governing documents about who can replace removed directors may halt the pursuer, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and its ally, William A. Ackman’s Pershing Square, in their tracks."


Koch brothers money contributes to both TV ad campaigns in N.C. Supreme Court race

April 28, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

A June 28, 2013 blog post by Professor Douglas Berman was cited in an article about TV ads in a N.C. Supreme Court race. Click here to read the blog post.

 


US weighs clemency for nonviolent inmates jailed for 10 years

April 23, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Douglas Berman, a sentencing law expert at Ohio State University, was quoted in an Associated Press article on the Justice Department's revamped clemency process directed at low-level felons imprisoned for at least 10 years who have clean records while in custody.

He said it represented a ``very meaningful change in both tone and attitude'' from the days when clemency was seen as a power that carried `all political risk, no political reward.'''  


Despite US/EU Support for Kiev, Economic Divorce Between Ukraine and Russia is Unrealistic

April 23, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with John Quigley, Professor emeritus of international law at Ohio State University, who discusses the escalating crisis in Ukraine, the threat of civil war, Russian intervention and a new Cold War.


Supreme Court Likely Decides Ohio Campaign Speech Law: Analyst

April 23, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel P. Tokaji spoke with Voice of Russia about campaign speech and Probable Cause determinations:

"The question that is immediately before the [Supreme] Court is whether this matter can be heard at all by a Federal court," Tokaji said. "If the answer to that question is yes then we will proceed to see litigation over the question of whether the underlying statute is constitutional under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution."

 


OPINION: US-Russia Cooperation Mutually Beneficial, Unlikely to Stall

April 23, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

US-Russia cooperation is mutually beneficial for both countries and neither side is ready to put bilateral relations at stake over the Ukrainian crisis, Professor Emeritus John Quigley told RIA Novosti in an interview.  

“The United States is getting a great advantage out of certain aspects of the relationship with Russia. I don’t think Obama wants to forego those advantages. And Russia gets advantages as well, so for both it is advantageous to maintain a good relationship,” he said.


Allergan Bid Charts New Territory in Takeovers

April 22, 2014

Steven Davidoff Solomon wrote in this New York Times column on Allergan:

"The $45.6 billion unsolicited offer for Allergan by Valeant Pharmaceuticals and William A. Ackman’s hedge fund is many things, including bold, novel and mega in all ways. It is a new twist in the struggle between companies and shareholder activists, and could ignite a furious battle not just for Allergan but over the laws governing takeovers and activism."


After ‘McCutcheon,' Soft Money Next on Chopping Block?

April 22, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

In the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, 2014 BL 89958, U.S., No. 12-536, 4/2/14, Professor Daniel Tokaji told Bloomberg BNA that while it is “technically true” that McCutcheon didn't invalidate restrictions on soft money, the decision “makes it more likely that the soft money ban will be struck down in a future case.”


Supreme Court to Consider Challenge to Law Against Lying in Elections

April 21, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article on whether two conservative groups could pursue a free-speech challenge to an Ohio false-statements law that, if allowed, would advance a broader push against state laws making it illegal to lie about a political candidate or ballot initiative.

He said: "It almost never comes to a criminal prosecution, but that doesn't mean there's no chilling effect on speech."


U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Arguments In Argentina Debt Case

April 21, 2014

Steven Davidoff was featured on a radio program discussing Argentina's teetering economy.

He said, " If we started enforcing judgments against other countries, they might do the same against us and you'd end up in a mini war."


Levine on Wall Street: What Is Insider Trading?

April 21, 2014

Steven M. Davidoff's New York Times column on poison pills was referenced in a Bloomberg article on the same topic:

"Here is Steven Davidoff at DealBook, who also seems a little skeptical. There's a hearing in Delaware court next week:

'The question now is whether the judge in the matter, Vice Chancellor Donald F. Parsons Jr., upholds the old law or decides to rule the pill illegal and create new laws to deal with the new phenomenon of shareholder activism. It is truly the corporate question of our time.'"


Formed to halt Soviet expansion, NATO now useless

April 21, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

John B. Quigley, in an Intelligencer article, wrote:

"In the small Baltic country of Estonia, the easternmost county, called Ida-Viru, has a population of 150,000. Of these 150,000, only 20 percent are ethnic Estonians, while upward of 70 percent are Russian.

Suppose the following were to happen in Ida-Viru County. A referendum is held, asking whether the population wants to pull out of Estonia and join Russia. The referendum passes. The county government asks Russia to send troops. The Russian army enters and occupies the county."


Hollywood's Highest Paid Executives: Who Made Bank, Who Sank in 2013

April 21, 2014

Steven M. Davidoff was quoted in TheWrap's annual executive compensation survey. The media industry's top executives reaped the benefits of a strong 2013 when companies like Fox, Disney and CBS all saw their stocks climb by double digits.

“Sumner has paid Philippe and Les Moonves exorbitant amounts, and done it on the basis of paying ‘above average,'” Davidoff said. "But every year they move the average higher. It's a classic case study in excessive executive compensation.”


John B. Quigley: Formed to halt expansion, but useless in current crisis

April 19, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John B. Quigley, in a column that ran in The Gulf Today, wrote:

"In the small Baltic country of Estonia, the easternmost county, called Ida-Viru, has a population of 150,000. Of these 150,000, only 20 per cent are ethnic Estonians, while upward of 70 per cent are Russian. Suppose the following were to happen in Ida-Viru County. A referendum is held, asking whether the population wants to pull out of Estonia and join Russia. The referendum passes. The county government asks Russia to send troops. The Russian army enters and occupies the county. Estonia, whose army can deploy no more than 700 soldiers, charges Russia with aggression. President Barack Obama announces that the United States will engage Russia militarily to defend Estonia."
 


Poison Pill’s Relevance in the Age of Shareholder Activism

April 18, 2014

Steven Davidoff wrote in a New York Times column about Sotheby’s:

"When we look back 20 years from now, the lawsuit by Daniel S. Loeb and his Third Point hedge fund against Sotheby’s may well be the tipping point in how far companies can go to defend themselves against shareholder activists."


What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?

April 18, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

John Quigley was interviewed by the Real News Network about Russia's role in Eastern Ukraine. He noted that the building occupations and protests in cities like Donestk looked like local initiatives, and are markedly less violent than some of those during the Euromaiden protests.

 


Pro: Formed to halt Soviet expansion, NATO useless in current crisis

April 17, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

In an op-ed that ran in GazetteXtra, Professor John B. Quigley addressed the question, "Should the U.S. consider withdrawing from NATO?"


Ohio case before U.S. Supreme Court could decide whether states can criminalize campaign lies

April 17, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Daniel Tokaji was quoted in a Plain Dealer article on an Ohio law that criminalizes deliberate lies about political candidates in a high-profile case that could overturn campaign speech restrictions around the nation.

He said: "One of the big things to look for at argument is whether or not the justices tip their hands much on the merits, or confine themselves to the standing issues."

 


Asking Tough Questions About the Corporate Monitor Boom

April 16, 2014

Are corporate monitors engaged in a boondoggle business? The American Lawyer cited a New York Times column by Steven M. Davidoff, suggesting that they are.

 


Legal advocates aren’t holding their breath on Obama’s clemency push

April 16, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman's Sentencing Law and Policy blog was quoted in an Al Jazeera America article on the White House's historic drive to grant clemency to federal prisoners serving outdated and unfair sentences.


In Corporate Monitor, a Well-Paying Job but Unknown Results

April 16, 2014

"In the insider trading case against SAC Capital Advisors, federal prosecutors have given a particularly nice gift to a former federal prosecutor, Bart M. Schwartz,” Steven M. Davidoff wrote in his Deal Professor column. Mr. Schwartz, who is now the chairman of the consulting firm Guidepost Solutions, was appointed SAC’s independent compliance consultant as a condition of SAC’s guilty plea to insider trading charges, which was accepted by a federal judge.

 


Obama grants clemency to correct a sentence extended by a court typo

April 15, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman told the Los Angeles Times that  commutations often carry messages. “Every commutation now, because they are so rare, is fraught with messages,” Berman said. “How people will perceive and interpret the message is a big question."


New Maryland Law Dean is Tax, Campaign Law Expert

April 15, 2014

Donald Tobin will be the next dean of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

 


University of Maryland law school names new dean

April 14, 2014

The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law named an Ohio State University law professor as dean.

Donald B. Tobin will replace Phoebe Haddon, who will return to the law school's faculty. Haddon announced in June she would step down as dean at the end of this year school year. She has been in the role for five years.
 


http://www.oea.umaryland.edu/communications/news/?ViewStatus=FullArticle&articleDetail=22561

April 14, 2014

Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), has named Donald B. Tobin, JD, dean of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Tobin succeeds Phoebe A. Haddon, JD, LLM, who will step down as dean at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year.
 


Netanyahu: Corporate media is responsible for Israeli crony capitalism

April 11, 2014

A column by Steven M. Davidoff in the New York Times was quoted in a Haaretz article entitled "Netanyahu: Corporate media is responsible for Israeli crony capitalism."


Dems, GOP bicker over political contributions disclosure

April 10, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

“We’re going to see more and more outside money flooding into our campaigns in Ohio. The dam is already broken,” Daniel P. Tokaji told the Columbus Dispatch, regarding a GOP move that would further loosen restrictions on corporate political contributions in Ohio.


Judge Says He Will Strike Down Ohio's Ban On Recognizing Gay Marriages From Other States

April 4, 2014

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman appeared on Columbus, Ohio's WBNS-10TV to discuss a major ruling in the fight over same-sex marriage.

"It's real movement in the direction of equal recognition and equality rights for same-sex couples and same-sex marriages under law," he said.


No reasons to compare Russia’s actions in Crimea and Nazi Germany’s expansion back in 1930s - law professor

April 4, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

The Voice of Russia talked to Professor emeritus of international law John Quigley about Russia’s actions in Crimea.


Workplace discrimination, harassment charges down in Ohio

March 30, 2014

Featured Expert: L. Camille Hébert

Professor Camille Hébert was quoted on an OSU Lantern article about a decrease in workplace discrimination and harassment charges in Ohio workplaces in 2013.

“The charges are not going to capture the extent of harassment that occurs in the workplace because a relatively small amount of people actually file charges,” said Hébert, who specializes in areas including sexual harassment, employment discrimination and labor and employment. “Empirical evidence actually shows that most people who are harassed don’t even make an informal complaint.”


U.S. drug war slowly shifts fire away from low-level users

March 30, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Four decades after the federal government declared war on narcotics, the prevailing tough-on-drugs mentality is giving way to a more nuanced view, one that emphasizes treatment and health nearly as much as courtrooms and law enforcement, according to addiction specialists and other experts.

Professor Douglas Berman, quoted in this Washington Post article, called the new landscape a strategic shift rather than a “retreat” from the anti-drug war. “We are retrenching,’’ he said, “and coming to the view that if we deploy our forces more effectively, that will allow us to win this war and take a healthier approach.’’


Eminent Domain Attorneys Negotiate Favorable Settlements for More Than 100 Landowners Affected by Sunoco Pipeline

March 25, 2014

Featured Expert: Michael Braunstein

More than 100 cases were recently settled between Ohio landowners and Sunoco Logistics Partners, a pipeline company constructing a new underground petroleum pipeline that will transport refined oil products. The landowners who all own property in the Ohio counties of Seneca, Ashland, Wayne and Huron, turned to eminent domain attorney Michael Braunstein, a professor emeritus at The Ohio State University, to negotiate both easements and compensation on their behalf.   


Ruling Highlights Unequal Treatment in Penalizing Corporate Wrongdoers

March 18, 2014

A case involving the sale of the Rural/Metro Corporation shows how Delaware law helps directors avoid penalties for misconduct, Steven Davidoff wrote in this Deal Professor column.


In Corporate Monitor, a Well-Paying Job but Unknown Results

March 15, 2014

In his New York Times Deal Professor column, Steven M. Davidoff wrote, "In the insider trading case against SAC Capital Advisors, federal prosecutors have given a particularly nice gift to a former federal prosecutor, Bart M. Schwartz. Mr. Schwartz, who is now the chairman of the consulting firm Guidepost Solutions, was appointed SAC’s independent compliance consultant and is charged with assessing the firm’s future trading practices."


Proposed Ohio laws mark step backwards for people with disabilities: Ruth Colker

March 6, 2014

Featured Expert: Ruth Colker

In a Plain Dealer op-ed, Professor Ruth Colker weighed in on two measures proposed by the Ohio Legislature - House Bill 333 and Amended House Bill 334.

She wrote: "In the current legislative session, the Ohio legislature has proposed measures that would represent a move backwards from historic advancements for individuals with disabilities."


Appraisal Rights the Latest Tool for Yield-Hungry Hedge Funds

March 5, 2014

Steven M. Davidoff's "Deal Professor" column was cited in an American Lawyer article on hedge funds:

"Davidoff explored the trend in his Wednesday “Deal Professor” column by zeroing in on last year’s management buyout of Dole Foods. In the months since the $13.50-per-share purchase price eked out shareholder approval with 50.9 percent of the vote, hedge funds Fortress Investment Group, Hudson Bay Capital Management, Magnetar Capital and Merion Capital Group have combined to buy up about 14 million Dole shares, Davidoff writes. Those funds, Davidoff notes, are now using their appraisal rights to try to get more money out of their investment—and are doing the same at such other companies as Ancestry.com, Dell and BMC Software."


Broad language in religious freedom bill could have prompted discriminatory behavior, particularly against gays, legal experts say

February 28, 2014

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in a Plain Dealer article on a bill aimed at protecting religious freedoms and its potential impact on same-sex couples. He said:

"Although it’s certainly true that measures could be defended ... the standard that it imposes is sufficiently powerful, is sufficiently onerous, in practice it’s easy to imagine how and why those who have the concerns about it have those concerns.”


Icahn Re-Writes Activist Playbook on eBay: Davidoff

February 28, 2014

Steven M. Davidoff examined billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s attempt to affect change at eBay and his claims of a conflict of interest by board members on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”


A Buyout Offer That Raises Questions of Board Fairness and Duty

February 25, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the American Financial Group trying to buy out minority shareholder National Interstate Corporation. Davidoff writes that the American Financial Group is making a myriad of mistakes in their attempt.

"If you happen to control a public company and want to buy out the remaining shareholders, avoid the mistakes made by the American Financial Group in its attempt to squeeze out the minority at the National Interstate Corporation," he writes.


With Yanukovych No Longer President, Who Is Coming To Power In Ukraine?

February 25, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John Quigley discussed the internal rivalries for power taking place within Ukraine and the history of its relations with Russia.


Argentina Takes Its Debt Case to the U.S. Supreme Court

February 25, 2014

Steven M. Davidoff wrote in a New York Times column on Argentina's debt crisis:

"Argentina has now staked the future of its debt, and perhaps its financial fate, with the United States Supreme Court. Yes, you read that right. Argentina wants the nine justices to weigh in on a case involving its obligations to holders of its government bonds and to resolve the mess created by a handful of federal judges."


Let Ukrainians Determine Their Own Fate

February 21, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John Quigley wrote an op-ed for the Moscow Times about Ukraine's role in its future. International powers haven't hesitated to get involved, but Quigley writes that the decision should be made by the people of Ukraine.

"The ultimate choice must not be taken out of the hands of the population," he said. "Outside involvement should be directed at facilitating an outcome that is acceptable to the domestic parties."


The Final Battle for a REIT May Be Drawing Near

February 21, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about Corvex Management and Related Fund Management's battle to control Commonwealth REIT. Barry M. Portnoy and his son, Adam D. Portnoy, who currently manage the company, have employed a variety of tactics to prevent this from happening, An upcoming vote will have large ramifications, Davidoff writes.

"The vote on March 20 is a milestone, but if the Portnoys lose and CommonWealth’s directors are unseated, it is at best only the beginning of the end for CommonWealth shareholders as they continue to wait for the Portnoys to decide the shareholders’ fate," he said.


Ohio treasurer receives OK to host town halls

February 20, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article from the Associated Press about an attorney general opinion that allows the Ohio treasurer to conduct telephone town halls using public money. The opinion will likely have broad ramifications for the upcoming elections, Tokaji said.

“As a practical matter, while that legal advice is certainly right, very serious concerns can arise about whether these are really intended to inform Ohio constituents about the operations of his office or if they’re campaign events,” he said.


Shame Is a Powerful Deterrent

February 19, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman participated in a debate for the opinion pages of the New York Times about ways to potentially lower the number of accidents. Berman pointed out that increasing the severity of punishment does not always lead to deterrence. Instead, he suggested shaming as a possible alternative method. 

"Shaming has an established pedigree; it was widely used in colonial America," he said. "More recently, academics have debated the potential virtues and vices of modern shaming — often after a judge has ordered a shoplifter to wear a sign saying “I am a thief.” Because we have rarely tried to make traffic offenders “pay” for their crimes through prominent use of shaming, I cannot confidently predict it would be more effective. But given the challenges in trying to capture the attention and obedience of busy New York City drivers, it is worthwhile to consider creative alternative punishment schemes."


Voters’ Bill of Rights blocked in Ohio

February 19, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article from MSNBC about the battle in Ohio to create a "Voter's Bill of Rights." Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, along with other Republicans, opposes the movement, but Tokaji believes the objections are largely unfounded.

“The cited portions of the petition accurately state current Ohio law.,” said Tokaji via email. “In my view, the AG’s letter is really a reach.”


Gay-rights suit may alter parents on birth records

February 18, 2014

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was interviewed for an article in the Columbus Dispatch regarding a lawsuit filed in federal court in Cincinnati seeking to challenge the state's decision to prohibit listing both members of same-sex couples on birth certificates.

Spindelman said the lawsuit is probably designed to “chip away at the prohibitions on same-sex marriage in an incremental way.”

He added: “Can you treat same-sex couples lawfully married in another jurisdiction differently than a cross-sex couple for the same purposes? It seems to puts a leaden thumb on the scales in the favor of cross-sex couples.”


Gay-rights suit may alter parents on birth records

February 18, 2014

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch article about a gay-rights law suit that seeks to give same-sex couples the right to put both names on their child's birth certificate.

“Can you treat same-sex couples lawfully married in another jurisdiction differently than a cross-sex couple for the same purposes?" Spindelman asks. "It seems to puts a leaden thumb on the scales in the favor of cross-sex couples.”


Outrage Over Wall St. Pay, but Shrugs for Silicon Valley?

February 18, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about a perceived double-standard in public outcry between compensation on Wall Street and compensation on Silicon Valley. Davidoff argues that excess is scoffed at on Wall Street, but celebrated in Silicon Valley with no real rationale.

"Wall Street bashing ignores the fact that it is finance that produces the money for tech start-ups," he writes. "Finance may not be the sexy part of life, but it is integral to success, as much as good roads or telecommunications. And yes, finance has had its problems — but so does Silicon Valley."


Judge cited Ohio obscenity law in approving prosecutor's request to destroy rape case evidence

February 9, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article from the Associated Press about the destruction of evidence in an Ohio rape and murder case. The destruction could be justified, Berman said, because harm that could occur if the material became public.

"You preserve any of this stuff, who knows not only who get their hands on it, but who knows who is eager to misuse this material for whatever potential criminal purpose," he said.


Ohio parents fight law over girl's forced chemo

February 8, 2014

Featured Expert: Marc Spindelman

Professor Marc Spindelman was quoted in an article from the Associated Press about a court case involving the health care of an 11-year-old girl with cancer. Believing the chemotherapy treatment was killing their daughter, the parents tried to withdraw her from the treatment, but the court appointed a guardian to have her continue the treatment. The family is appealing under the Ohio Health Care Freedom Amendment, which prohibits any law from forcing Ohioans to participate in "a health care system." Spindelman said the case is not so clear, however.

"It's not clear the health care amendment helps clarify the issue," he said. "It's not a slam dunk."


Cleveland's victory in Supreme Court reinforces home rule, but it's not a breakthrough for cities, expert says

February 4, 2014

Featured Expert: Christopher J. Walker

Professor Chistopher Walker was quoted in an article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer about a recent ruling in the Ohio Supreme Court. Some believe the ruling is a breakthrough for home rule powers, but legal experts, including Walker, do not think the ruling will have much of an effect.

”Is it a win for the city?” he asked. ”You could imagine a different world where the court just said ‘Hey, once the state announces a law in any general area, the cities cannot have any role,’ “


Plaintiff? Is That Really Necessary In A Class Action?

February 4, 2014

A study conducted by Steven Davidoff, along with Notre Dame's Matthew D. Cain, was referenced in an article from Forbes about the myriad of lawsuits involved in business deals.

"This study of M&A litigation by Steven M. Davidoff of Ohio State University and Notre Dame’s Matthew D. Cain found that public-company mergers over $100 million last year drew an average of 6.9 lawsuits each," the article said. "The median fee in those cases was $845,000."


In Yearlong Clash Over Herbalife, Innuendo Trumps Clarity

February 4, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about Herbalife and the $1 billion short William A. Ackman put on the company after calling it a pyramid scheme. Whether that is true or not, Davidoff says, unfortunately is not what's important.

"The huge swings in Herbalife’s stock price over such news expose a sad truth about Wall Street. Truth doesn’t sometimes matter very much. Instead, as Herb Greenberg at TheStreet.com has written, where the trade will go in the short term is more important," writes Davidoff


Suarez Corp. leader vows to remain fighter against all legal challenges

February 2, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article from the Akron Beacon-Journal about the multi-million dollar lawsuit against Benjamin Suarez, who is accused of making illegal campaign contributions. Tokaji said it's tough to know exactly what the government's case consists of.

“It’s hard to say. If they’ve got witnesses, especially those in the company who will testify to what the government claims was going on, and there isn’t any evidence to contradict that testimony, then the government would seem to have a strong case,” Tokaji said.


Ohio State’s new president called a strong choice

January 31, 2014

Featured Expert: Deborah Jones Merritt

Professor Deborah Jones Merritt was quoted in an article from the Columbus Dispatch about Ohio State's selection of Michael Drake to be its next president. Merritt led the 13-member advisory panel of the search committee and said she and the committee are thrilled with the results.

“Dr. Drake is an inclusive leader,” she said. “He is an acclaimed scholar. Perhaps most of all, he cares deeply about faculty, staff and students and the whole community.”


Examining the Timing of J.C. Penney’s Poison Pill Change

January 28, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about JC Penny changing its poison pill to 4.9 percent from 10 percent. The reason for the change, Davidoff says, is tax rules.

"J.C. Penney can justify the low trigger because of tax rules that are even more complex than normal," he writes. "When a company accumulates losses, called net operating losses or NOLs, these have value. If the company returns to profitability, it can use them for up to 20 years to offset future gains and avoid paying tax. In some cases, the NOLs can actually be transferred to other parties."


Answers to a Puzzling Deal at Alibaba Remain in the Shadows

January 28, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about Chinese Internet giant Alibaba's recent purchase of Hong Kong-listed company Citic 21CN. The reasons behind the purchase are not clear and Alibaba does not appear in a hurry to let people know. But as the company moves toward a public listing, Davidoff writes that the company will probably have to be more forthcoming in the future. 

"Once Alibaba does go public, it no longer has the luxury of being coy about its actions, no matter how small," he said. "That’s the price you pay for being in the limelight, up among the technology giants of the world."


New legal help for juvenile sex and labor trafficking victims

January 23, 2014

Featured Expert: Kimberly Jordan

Kimberly Jordan was interviewed for an article for the Youngstown Daily regarding the Moritz College of Law's Justice for Children Clinic, as well as legal fellowship that provides the opportunity to help juveniles who are survivors of sex or labor trafficking.

Jordan, who is director of the Justice for Children Project, explains the overall goal of the program.

 “These survivors can be difficult to find and our hope is to provide legal assistance to help free them permanently from their abusers,” said Jordan.


How Colleges Are Preparing Students for a Country Where Pot Is Legal

January 23, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article from The Atlantic about how colleges are preparing their students for a future where marijuana might be legal. Berman designed a seminar class about the law surrounding marijuana because of the salience the issue has gained in this country. He especially saw the significance in California's attempt to legalize marijuana.

“I came to the conclusion, whether accurately or not, when California had its legalization initiative in 2010, that if that were to be passed it would be something of landmark significance. And it was something that struck me that wasn’t getting the attention it deserved,” Berman said.


What’s Behind Time Warner Cable’s Response to Charter’s Offer

January 23, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about Charter Communications’ $37.8 billion offer to buy Time Warner Cable. Time Warner's response said that it would be receptive to an offer that valued its company for about $10 billion more. The response was all about subtlety, Davidoff writes.

"Time Warner Cable is posturing, both to set up a defense and to nudge Charter away from making a full-on hostile bid," he writes.

 


Should politicians have the right to lie? U.S. Supreme Court could decide in Ohio case

January 22, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in an article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer about an upcoming Supreme Court Case that could decided the legality of lying about a political opponent. The case, which stems from an Ohio election dispute, could have large ramifications, Tokaji said.

"The litigation “could ultimately become a really important case on false campaign speech and whether it can be regulated,” he said.


Search for the ‘Next Big Thing’ Yields Soaring Valuations

January 21, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about Google's $3.2 billion deal for Nest Labs, which makes smart thermostats. Davidoff explores valuations in the tech industry, saying sometimes it's mutually beneficial for tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook to pay more for a company than its worth. The worry is that similar buying practices were seen during the internet bubble more than a decade ago.

"Everyone wins, at least until these great concepts don’t pan out and the bubble pumped up by these prices bursts," Davidoff writes. "Let’s hope this is not what we are seeing again, but it’s hard not to be worried. Silicon Valley has no incentive to stop the valuation madness."


Judge Who Retired After Racist Email Sent Hundreds Of Others, Investigation Finds

January 21, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman's sentencing blog was quoted in a ThinkProgress.org article about a former Montana judge, Richard Cebull, who was discovered to have sent racist and sexist emails from his work email. After a group of judges reviewed his cases, no signs of bias in his rulings were uncovered. However, Berman said defendants Judge Cebull sentenced should look into it further.

“In my view,” he said, “any defendant (especially any female or minority defendant) still sitting in federal prison unhappy with a past sentencing decision made by Judge Cebull could and should use this new report to at least request a focused review of any of his specific sentencing outcomes.”


Supreme Court takes up limits of child porn victim restitution in case involving East Texan

January 20, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article from the Dallas Morning News about a child pornography case involving a man in Texas. The Supreme Court will rule on whether the man, Doyle Paroline, will have to pay the victims for pain and suffering.

“There are so many fulcrums on which this case could tip, and which of those will be the focal point of arguments and ultimately the court’s decision is very hard to predict,” said Berman.


OSU Law School Fights To Raise Awareness On Human Trafficking

January 19, 2014

Featured Expert: Kimberly Jordan

Professor Kimberly Jordan was interviewed for a story by NBC4 about human trafficking in Ohio and a series of events The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law is putting on starting the week of Jan. 20 to raise awareness for human trafficking. Jordan, the director of Justice for Children, is taking a leading role in the events at Moritz.

"Juveniles often feel that their voice is not being heard in the legal system," she said. "And so we really want to seek to build that relationship with them and see they can get the assistance and help that they need."


Unclear Future for Executions After Ohio's Longest

January 19, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in a story from the Associated Press about new legal questions arising after an Ohio inmate was executed using a new method, but took 26 minutes to die. It is unclear if the man, Dennis McGuire, went through any pain, but McGuire's children are calling it torture. Berman said it remains to be seen how the courts will view the situation.

"How much will Ohio care, how much will the rest of the country care, that it seems that what we now have discovered is Ohio is using a method that gets the job done, but looks ugly," Berman said. "We don't know if it actually was ugly. We just know that it looked ugly."


Family, experts: Ohio execution snafu points to flaws in lethal injection

January 19, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article by CNN about an Ohio inmate's execution, in which the man appeared to struggle and be in pain. Whether he was actually in pain is unclear, but the family plans to file a lawsuit against the state. Berman said the suit would be "groundbreaking," and "a nice political statement," but Berman did not believe the family had the legal standing needed to file it.


In Ohio, all sides join to fight trafficking

January 18, 2014

Featured Expert: Kimberly Jordan

Professor Kimberly Jordan wrote a letter to the editor for the Columbus Dispatch about the gathering at the Ohio Statehouse for Ohio’s fifth annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Jordan, who is the director of the Justice for Children Project, said she was proud to see the bipartisan support for the event.

"Someone forced into a life of prostitution and assault demands our support and collaboration," she writes. "Congratulations to Ohio, for showing these women that we hear their voices and will continue the fight for victims everywhere. I am proud to stand with them."


After a Prolonged Execution in Ohio, Questions Over ‘Cruel and Unusual’

January 17, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was interviewed for a New York Times story regarding the prolonged execution of Dennis B. McGuire in Ohio. McGuire experienced a 25 minute execution with a new and untested combination of drugs.

Now his family is looking to bring the case to court to prevent others from having to go through the same thing.

In response to their decision to file suit, Berman said they would have to prove “by a preponderance of the evidence that he suffered unnecessary pain.”

“By my lights, this is a very hard lawsuit to prevail,” he added. “But who knows?”


Apollo’s Rush to Get the Chuck E. Cheese Deal Done

January 17, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about Apollo's attempt to acquire CEC Entertainment, the parent company of Chuck E. Cheese. Apollo appears to be in a rush to complete the deal because of a number of provisions in the contract limiting CEC Entertainment's options to sell and clauses that would speed up the process. Davidoff said the market is not yet sure how to react.

"Will this all work? Chuck E. Cheese’s shares closed on Thursday at $54.75 a share, higher than the offer price of $54 a share, so the market is not sure who will capture the chain and its mouse-like mascot," he writes.


Overhaul of Israel’s Economy Offers Lessons for United States

January 17, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York times about the overhaul in Israel's economy and whether the United States can learn anything from it. Both countries have large income disparity between the rich and poor, but Davidoff says it remains to be seen whether the two economies and political systems are similar enough to draw any real conclusions.

"Still, while we await the outcome of Israel’s great experiment, it is clear that where there is the perception that harm is being done and where there is the will to change, a democracy can overcome even the most powerful corporate lobbyists. In Israel, at least," he writes.


Prolonged execution renews debate over death by lethal injection

January 17, 2014

Featured Expert: Douglas A. Berman

Professor Douglas Berman was quoted in an article from the Los Angeles Times about an Ohio inmate's prolonged execution, in which he appeared to struggle and be in pain before dying. Whether the inmate was actually in pain is unclear, but his family is filing a lawsuit against the state. Now, states like Ohio are looking for alternative options.

"We have seen fewer and fewer executions every year, in large part because of these problems," said Berman. "Maybe states will give up and say we'll try firing squads and hanging again. But then there's a question about whether courts will allow that."

 


Nader, an Adversary of Capitalism, Now Fights as an Investor

January 14, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about a conversation he had with Ralph Nader, who told Davidoff that he fights for shareholder writes and is an “adversary of corporate capitalism." Nader believes the key is getting shareholders organized and to speak as one. Davidoff isn't sure he agrees.

"I’m skeptical, because I think that bringing together the mutual funds and the pension and hedge funds will result in too many different agendas, let alone agreement on Mr. Nader’s goals," he writes. "But it is intriguing that Mr. Nader, the man who at one point was General Motors’ greatest foe, is now so aligned with many of the forces of Wall Street who are pushing for more shareholder control."


When Ignorance Is an Excellent Excuse

January 13, 2014

Featured Expert: Joshua Dressler

Professor Joshua Dressler was interviewed for a story in the National Review regarding the 40,000 new laws (state, federal, and local) that will go into effect this year, according to media reports. With this increase, overcriminalization has become an issue and laws that carry criminal penalties have rapidly increased.

Another issue Dressler said, is that “many modern statutes are exceedingly intricate” and “even a person with a clear moral compass is frequently unable to determine accurately whether conduct is prohibited.”


Trials a rarity in Ohio, U.S.

January 13, 2014

Featured Expert: Joshua Dressler

Professor Joshua Dressler was quoted in a Columbus Dispatch article regarding the fact that the number  of trials by juries or judges is dropping. Statistics show that only 2.5 percent of criminal cases in Ohio and 2.1 percent in Franklin County were resolved by going to trial in 2012.

Dressler said he believes that average citizens are misinformed by television shows and the media about the reality of the numbers.

“What the general public knows is Law and Order, where everything seems to go to trial,” he said. “It’s just not so.”


The Myth of the Anti-Government Constitution

January 11, 2014

Featured Expert: Peter M. Shane

Professor Peter Shane wrote an op-ed for The Atlantic about the Supreme Court Case National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, a case about recess appointments. Shane argues the Constitution was intended to emphasize the president's role to make appointments over the Senate's role to confirm them. Confirmation, he said, was intended to prevent corruption.

"Protecting the Senate’s confirmation role at the expense of the president’s appointments responsibility turns the constitutional design on its head," Shane writes.


Corporate Takeover? In 2013, a Lawsuit Almost Always Followed

January 10, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about the growing amount of litigation in corporate takeovers. In 2013, more than 97 percent of takeovers involved litigation with the average price costing around $500,000. Sometimes, Davidoff said, the litigation is baseless.

"Many of these lawsuits have no merit, but there are a number of suits that do address real wrongdoing and should be encouraged," he writes. "But any change may be a long way off. The current system benefits plaintiffs’ lawyers but also defense lawyers who earn quite a bit defending these cases. It is also a boon to buyers, who are no longer liable for future claims from shareholders. This is not a bad insurance policy for $500,000 or so."


The Meaning for Businesses in Delaware’s Judicial Nomination

January 8, 2014

Professor Steven Davidoff wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about Judge Leo E. Strine Jr.'s nomination to be Delaware's next chief judge. Judge Strine was the head of the Chancery Court in Delaware,  the nation’s leading court for litigation of business disputes. Though Judge Strine has generally leaned pro-business, Davidoff does not think much will change in the Chancery Court in his absence.

"Don’t expect huge changes," he writes. "In short, the business of Delaware will continue to be doing what it does best, business."


5 most vital foreign policy moves for the US in 2014

January 5, 2014

Featured Expert: John B. Quigley

Professor John B. Quigley wrote an op-ed for the Courier Journal about foreign policy moves he believes the United States needs to make in 2014. Among the moves is to declare victory in the “war on terror," and bring home the 60,000 troops in Europe.


Keep GAB strong and independent

January 5, 2014

Featured Expert: Daniel P. Tokaji

Professor Daniel Tokaji was quoted in a staff editorial in the Wisconsin State Journal about the Government Accountability Board. The board, which is made up of former judges and is nonpartisan, is being audited and the editorial staff believes some politicians are looking for a reason to "undermine" it. Tokaji believes this would be a bad idea.

“The GAB is a national model,” he said, “and it would be a tragedy and a travesty if it were eliminated.”

 


Dr. Micah Berman, Ohio State University – Social Butterfly

January 3, 2014

Featured Expert: Micah Berman

Professor Micah Berman spoke to WAMC Northeast Public radio about the extra money smokers cost their employers. Berman conducted a study analyzing five factors:  absenteeism, presenteeism, lost productivity due to smoking breaks, healthcare costs, and pension benefits.

“Overall, we estimated that each year, an employee who smokes costs an employer an average of $5,816 more than an employee who has never smoked.  We caution that this is a rough indicator of excess costs and that costs may vary significantly depending upon the industry, the specific employees, and numerous other factors.”