• Archive for September, 2014

    Weekly Faculty in the News, 9/26/14

    by  • September 26, 2014 • Faculty in the News • 0 Comments

    A roundup of faculty appearances in news sources and media from the last week, 9/18/14 to 9/26/14.

    9/18Steven Heyman and Christopher Schmidt were highlighted in a Chicago Daily Law Bulletin story on Heyman’s Constitution Day lecture at Chicago-Kent (“Law professor finds libertarian bent in some high court rulings, behind paywall”). A more in-depth version of the lecture is forthcoming in a West Virginia Law Review article titled “The Conservative-Libertarian Turn in First Amendment Jurisprudence.” Click here for photos and video of the event.

    9/18Richard Kling was mentioned in Chicago TribuneChicago Sun-Times, and Chicago Reader articles on drug dealer Jason Austin, whom U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow recently held responsible for the slayings of a Chicago police detective and his companion in 2008. Kling, who defended Austin, stated that an appeal is likely.

    9/19Nancy Marder was quoted in a New Orleans Times-Picayune article on proposed rules that would limit lawyer-juror contact in future trials in Louisiana’s Eastern District (“Tainted BP engineer’s trial could muzzle jurors in future cases”).

    9/23Kathy Baker authored an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune on the Ray Rice controversy and the NFL’s responsibility to victims of domestic abuse (behind paywall).

    9/23Christopher Buccafusco, along with colleague Chris Sprigman (NYU School of Law), authored an article for Slate magazine’s science section on the “economics of airplane seat reclining” (“Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space?”). Buccafusco and Sprigman presented original experimental data in the article.

    9/23Richard Warner appeared in an ABC7 Eyewitness News segment to comment on privacy issues surrounding a list accusing several University of Chicago students of sex crimes. Watch the video and read the article here.

    9/24Ryan Vogel was a guest on Politics Tonight to discuss developments in the U.S. airstrike campaign against ISIS targets. Watch the video here.

    9/24 – In an Atlantic article, Valerie Gutmann Koch, an expert in bioethics and human subjects research, disagreed with the claim that Facebook’s mood manipulation experiment might have been illegal.

    9/25Doug Godfrey and Richard Kling were quoted in a Chicago Sun-Times piece about Chicago lawyer Patrick Fitzgerald’s chances at replacing Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General (“Does Fitzgerald’s record make him AG front-runner or long shot?”).


    9/22 – At his blog The Walters Way, Adrian Walters mused about songs that exemplify particular contract cases (“Music for contracts”).

    Buccafusco on the Economics of Airplane Seat Reclining in Slate

    by  • September 24, 2014 • Faculty Commentary • 0 Comments

    Illustration by Robert Donnelly | Slate

    Professors Christopher Buccafusco and Chris Sprigman (NYU School of Law) recently co-authored a piece for Slate magazine’s science section on what they term the economics of airplane seat reclining. “Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space?” presents the findings from an experiment the pair ran to “measure how much people value the ability to recline compared to extra knee and laptop room.” Read an excerpt below:

    Not since the Battle of the Somme has such little space been the subject of such intense conflict.

    We refer to the fact that Americans are now punching each other on airplanes over 4 inches of space. Specifically, the 4 inches that a coach passenger gains—and that the passenger directly behind loses—when he reclines his seat a few degrees from vertical.

    For the recliner, those 4 inches can transform a hellish flight into something fractionally less awful. But it also works the other way around. The guy behind the recliner loses the same 4 inches, space that might otherwise accommodate knees or a laptop.

    It sounds trivial, and it is trivial, and we hope that everyone will agree that people who get in fights over airplane seats are idiots. But there are, apparently, more than a few idiots. Fistfights over the right to recline caused three flights to be diverted and forced to make unscheduled landings in a two-week period.

    Views on the “right to recline” are divided, but both sides tend toward intensity. Slate’s Dan Kois has said that people who recline their airplane seats are “pure evil” and that reclining should be banned. But a lot of the people commenting on Kois’ article say he has it backward, that if you buy the seat you have the “right” to recline, and that people who complain about reclining are a pack of whiners.

    We are split on this issue. Buccafusco doesn’t think that recliners are evil—but he does think they are misguided. Buccafusco suspects that recliners don’t get nearly enough pleasure from reclining to offset the suffering they’re inflicting. Sprigman’s intuitions are precisely the opposite. He enjoys reclining, doesn’t care if those in front of him do likewise, and maintains that people who complain about reclining need to get some perspective on what a real problem looks like.

    If we disagree about the merits of reclining, we agree at least that dispassionate economics is more likely than righteous moralism to get us some clarity about whose preferences should rule. Economics is fundamentally concerned with precisely the sorts of questions involved in the “right to recline” debate: who should get to control scarce resources when people are competing over them.


    Vogel Guest Contributes to Just Security

    by  • September 18, 2014 • Faculty Commentary, Scholarship • 0 Comments

    The law blog Just Security, an online forum for analysis of U.S. national security law and policy, has recently added Visiting Assistant Professor Ryan Vogel as a guest contributor. Prof. Vogel’s author profile and posts can be found here: http://justsecurity.org/author/vogelryan.

    In his first post, Prof. Vogel responds to comments and questions raised about a new Department of Defense detainee directive for which he led the drafting process. Read an excerpt below:

    Over the past couple weeks, Steve Vladeck, Gabor Rona, and Marty Lederman have posted comments and raised some questions about the new Department of Defense (DoD) detainee directive (DoDD 2310.01E).  Before leaving government service this past summer, I led the drafting and coordination process for DoDD 2310.01E and welcome the opportunity to address questions regarding this important document.  Before responding to some of the specific comments and questions, perhaps some background on DoD directives may be appropriate.

    DoD directives are intended for a practical audience and for general application.  They are not written for specific conflicts or to resolve academic issues.  And they are policy documents as opposed to statements on the law.  This should not in any way diminish their importance, however.  Because organizations across DoD have real-world equities in the subject matter, there is a significant amount of negotiation and compromise associated with their creation.

    Less substantive, but equally relevant for purposes of this discussion, DoD directives come with expiration dates to ensure they remain relevant (the 2006 version of the detainee directive was due to be updated in 2011).  DoDD 2310.01E could have been simply reissued with minimal changes, as the 2006 version was consistent with the law and U.S. policy.  Instead, under the leadership of William K. Lietzau, then the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Rule of Law and Detainee Policy, DoD took additional time to ensure significant policy developments made in detention over the past eight years were captured by the new document.  This required extensive discussion and coordination within the Department, to include the Military Services, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and the DoD Office of the General Counsel, as well as various other law of war experts both within and outside the government.

    As a result, this new detainee directive is dramatically different from its predecessor, mandating, as a policy matter, those practices and lessons learned over the prior decade.  Some of the more notable changes include: expanded humane treatment provisions and added emphasis by moving them into the main body from the attachments section; clarification regarding the general process for handling detainees from point of capture or assumption of custody until final transfer, repatriation, or release; expansion of the policies related to the transfer, repatriation, and release of detainees, including applicable humane treatment and security assurances; references to Article 75 of Additional Protocol I and Articles 4-6 of Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 as applicable detention principles (even though the United States is party to neither Protocol); and, most significantly, a new policy requirement to conduct detainee review processes, used to ascertain the status and continued necessity of detention for individuals detained by DoD under the law of armed conflict.

    The goal for DoDD 2310.01E is to provide its intended audience with principled, credible, and sustainable detention policies that address the most significant facets of detention operations, yet allow room for appropriate flexibility in implementation.

    Click here to read the rest of this post at Just Security, where Prof. Vogel responds to specific questions.

    Heyman Delivers Constitution Day Lecture

    by  • September 17, 2014 • Faculty Workshops/ Conferences, Multimedia, Scholarship • 0 Comments

    Heyman Constitution Day

    Earlier today, professor and leading First Amendment scholar Steven Heyman delivered Chicago-Kent’s Constitution Day lecture on “Conservative Libertarianism and the Transformation of First Amendment Jurisprudence.” Professor Christopher Schmidt, director of Chicago-Kent’s Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States, offered a brief response. The event was presented by the Chicago-Kent student chapter of the American Constitution Society.

    View the video of the lecture below:

    A more in-depth version of Prof. Heyman’s lecture will be published in a forthcoming West Virginia Law Review article titled “The Conservative-Libertarian Turn in First Amendment Jurisprudence.” See an abstract of the article below, and download from SSRN here.

    Conservative constitutional jurisprudence in the United States has an important libertarian dimension. In recent years, a conservative majority of the Supreme Court has strengthened the constitutional protections for property rights, recognized an individual right to own firearms, imposed limits on the welfare state and the powers of the federal government, cut back on affirmative action, and held that closely held corporations have a right to religious liberty that permits them to deny contraceptive coverage to their female employees. This libertarian streak can also be seen in decisions on freedom of speech and association. In several leading cases, conservative judges have used the First Amendment in a libertarian manner to invalidate regulations that reflected liberal or progressive values. For example, these judges have rejected efforts to limit the role of money in election campaigns, struck down restrictions on hate speech and pornography, expanded protection for religious speech within public schools and universities, and held that the right to free association takes precedence over state civil rights laws that bar discrimination based on sexual orientation. 

    This article, which was presented as the third annual C. Edwin Baker Lecture for Liberty, Equality, and Democracy at the West Virginia University College of Law, explores this trend in First Amendment jurisprudence. After providing an overview of the conservative-libertarian approach to the Constitution, the article describes how this approach has been applied in cases on free speech and association. The article then criticizes this First Amendment approach on several grounds. First, it draws too close a connection between free speech and property rights. In this way, it represents a partial revival of Lochner¬-era jurisprudence – a development that Baker strongly criticized throughout his career. Second, the conservative-libertarian view affords too much protection to speech that injures, abuses, or degrades other people. Third, the judges who hold this view tend to be social conservatives as well as libertarians, and deep problems arise in situations where these two aspects of conservative thought conflict with one another. Fourth, the conservative-libertarian approach fails to satisfy its own demand for ideological neutrality. And finally, by granting the government broad authority to restrict speech within public institutions, that approach tends to deny protection to those individuals who are most vulnerable to state control, including prisoners, public employees, and those who serve in the military.

    The root problem is that the conservative-libertarian approach is based on an excessively narrow and one-sided conception of the self – a view that stresses the ways in which we are separate and independent individuals, but that fails to fully recognize that we are also social beings who find an important part of our identity and value in social relationships and participation in community. We need to develop an approach to the First Amendment that is based on a broader and richer conception of the self, the society, and the nature of constitutional liberty. The article concludes by outlining such an approach, which it calls a liberal humanist theory of the First Amendment. On this view, the law should be allowed to impose reasonable restrictions on hate speech and pornography, as well as on the ability of wealthy individuals and corporations to influence elections. Freedom of association should not necessarily permit groups to exclude individuals on invidious grounds such as sexual orientation. The Justices have been right, however, to hold that public educational institutions generally must accord equal treatment to religious speakers.

    Live Blog of SCIPR 2014

    by  • September 12, 2014 • Faculty Workshops/ Conferences • 0 Comments

    Highlights from today’s Supreme Court IP Review will be coming soon. In the meantime, visit law professor and conference participant Rebecca Tushnet’s blog for a detailed review of today’s sessions. Find individual session posts below:

    Session 1: Octane Fitness v. Icon Health & Fitness Inc. and Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Management System

    Session 2: Limelight Networks v. Akamai Technologies and Medtronic v. Mirowski Family Ventures, LLC

    Session 3: Petrella v. MGM

    Session 4: ABC, Inc., v. Aereo, Inc.

    Keynote Lecture by David Kappos: “Stalemate or Statesmen? What Is Needed to Move Forward Constructively with the Balancing of America’s IP System”

    Session 5: Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank and Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments

    Session 6: Lexmark Int’l v. Static Control Components and POM Wonderful v. Coca-Cola

    Concluding sessions: Supreme Court Analytics on the Past Term and Preview of Upcoming Term

    SCIPR 2014 Video Preview

    by  • September 12, 2014 • Faculty Commentary, Multimedia • 0 Comments

    Today IIT Chicago-Kent hosts the Supreme Court IP Review (SCIPR), a conference designed to provide intellectual property practitioners, jurists, legal academics and law students with a review of IP cases from the U.S. Supreme Court’s previous Term, a preview of cases on the docket for the upcoming Term, and a discussion of cert. petitions to watch. Click here to watch a video of Professors Ed Lee and David Schwartz recapping the oral arguments in 10 IP cases from the October 2013 Term, which will be highlighted at the conference.

    Staudt Teaches Practice and Professionalism Course

    by  • September 10, 2014 • Faculty in the News, Scholarship • 0 Comments

    By Alexander Rabanal, Access to Justice Fellow at Chicago-Kent’s Center for Access to Justice & Technology


    Take a look around; the practice of law is changing. This change has been driven by emerging technological innovations and the demand for cost-maximizing legal solutions. E-discovery, electronic communications, and document assembly and recognition software are changing the way large law firms are doing business and how much those firms are charging for services. Clients are increasingly unwilling to pay for the services of inexperienced attorneys or for work that could be done by a computer or paralegal. Additionally, the demand for routine legal documents has led to commodification and has opened the door for non-lawyers to perform services that lawyers traditionally perform.

    What ethical challenges emerge out of this new space? How can lawyers traverse this changing landscape that may soon represent the new orthodoxy of legal practice? This fall, Professor Ronald W. Staudt is offering a new course, Practice & Professionalism, that grounds students in the rules of legal professionalism, focusing on how lawyers can meet their ethical obligations when using emerging technology and interacting with clients who are demanding more for less.

    Not only will students learn those rules, but they will do so in a setting that simulates the collaborative work environment the students will experience as lawyers. This structure also facilitates the students’ ability to gain valuable experience by working on real-life projects. On the first day of class, students were placed into “law firm” teams, in which they will produce and present a business plan for a new legal practice. The students will again work in teams later in the semester as they prepare and present a grant proposal to obtain funding for a legal aid organization.


    From left: guest segment leader Nancy Roberts Linder, Adjunct Professor Will Hornsby, and Professor Staudt.

    Students will also benefit from the esteemed group of national and regional experts whom Professor Staudt has assembled for both course development and classroom instruction. These experts enrich the course through their diverse experience, spanning large law firms to legal aid organizations. Adjunct Professor Will Hornsby, Staff Counsel for the ABA Division of Legal Services, will co-teach the class and is an expert on legal professionalism. Segment leaders include Nancy Roberts Linder from Chapman Cutler, Andrew Baker from Seyfarth Shaw, and Dave Bonebrake of the Legal Services Corporation. Valuable contributions have also been made by IIT Chicago-Kent faculty and staff, including Professors Kathy Baker and Sarah Harding; Maureen Aidasani, Director of Expriential Learning; and Dean Susan Lewers.

    The course fulfills IIT Chicago-Kent students’ general graduation requirement of taking a course in professional responsibility. It is also a required class for the Praxis Certificate.

    2014 Constitution Day Events at Chicago-Kent

    by  • September 9, 2014 • Faculty Workshops/ Conferences • 0 Comments

    Chicago-Kent will hold two events next week in celebration of Constitution Day (Wednesday, September 17), the date delegates to the Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787 to sign the completed United States Constitution. Read the full press release here, and see event details below:

    “The Press, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution”: Constitution Day Commemoration

    Monday, September 15, 4:00 PM

    “The Press, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution” is the subject of a panel discussion to commemorate Constitution Day. Panelists include Professor Sonja West of the University of Georgia School of Law, Professor RonNell Andersen Jones of Brigham Young University Law School, and Dahlia Lithwick of Slate. Chicago-Kent professor and Illinois Solicitor General Carolyn Shapiro will moderate.

    The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. The 2014 Constitution Day program is co-sponsored by the Jack Miller Center (JMC) and IIT Chicago-Kent’s Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States (ISCOTUS).

    Location: IIT Downtown Campus – Chicago-Kent College of Law, Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Courtroom

    Contact: Professor Christopher Schmidt

    *Photo clockwise from top left: Professor RonNell Andersen Jones of Brigham Young University Law School, Dahlia Lithwick of Slate magazine, and Professor Sonja West of the University of Georgia School of Law will speak at IIT Chicago-Kent’s 2014 Constitution Day celebration. IIT Chicago-Kent Professor Carolyn Shapiro (bottom left), who is on leave to serve as Illinois solicitor general, will moderate the discussion.

    Constitution Day Lecture: “Conservative Libertarianism and the Transformation of First Amendment Jurisprudence”

    Wednesday, September 17, 3:00 PM

    IIT Chicago­Kent professor and leading First Amendment scholar Steven J. Heyman will explore the impact of conservative libertarian ideology on the First Amendment. Professor Heyman’s lecture will be followed by a brief response by Professor Christopher Schmidt, director of IIT Chicago-Kent’s Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States, and an open audience discussion. Food and refreshments will be provided.

    The event is free and open to the public (RSVP here) and is presented by the Chicago Lawyer Chapter and the Chicago-Kent College of Law Student Chapter of the American Constitution Society.

    Location: IIT Downtown Campus – Chicago-Kent College of Law, Room 520

    Contact: Peter Cheun, American Constitution Society

    Weekly Faculty in the News, 9/4/14

    by  • September 4, 2014 • Faculty in the News • 0 Comments

    A roundup of faculty appearances in news sources and media from the last week, 8/27/14 to 9/4/14.

    8/27Mary Rose Strubbe, 1981 alumna, professor of Legal Research and Writing, and assistant director of the Institute for Law and Workplace at Chicago-Kent, was elected a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

    8/27Maureen Aidasani joined the Chicago-Kent faculty earlier this summer as director of experiential learning. Read the full press release here.

    8/29 – The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin published an extensive profile of Chicago-Kent, highlighting its superb research and writing program, its emphasis on practical skills and experiential learning (found, for example, in the Praxis Program and clinics), and its prestigious intellectual property program (“Doing the write thing at IIT Chicago-Kent”).


    8/27 – At his blog, Nahmod Law, Sheldon Nahmod added another post to his series on how the DeShaney v. Winnebago County Supreme Court decision has fared in circuit courts.

    9/1Richard Wright’s article Moore on Causation and Responsibility: Metaphysics or Intuition? was highlighted on Lawrence Solum’s Legal Theory Blog.

    For more information, contact Gwendolyn Osborne, Director of Public Affairs, (312) 906-5251.