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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dean Rapoport Places Latest Article in Gonzaga Law Review

The Boyd School of Law is pleased to announce that Interim Dean and Professor Nancy Rapoport placed her latest article, "Managing U.S. News & World Report - The Enron Way," in volume 48, issue 2, of the Gonzaga Law Review (forthcoming 2013).

Congratulations, Nancy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Nevada Copyright Litigation Landscape without Righthaven

The copyright litigation scene in Nevada recently garnered attention – in fact, world-wide notoriety – in expert intellectual property circles with a series of cases filed by the copyright holding company Righthaven LLC, which was pursuing infringement claims concerning copyrights to articles in the local daily newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal. A few legacies remain after Righthaven; one is the debate about the legitimacy of aggressive copyright enforcement by copyright holding companies instead of the original copyright holders, and another is the lesson that a transfer of a right to enforce copyright is not enough, by itself, to secure standing to sue for copyright infringement.

Another legacy of Righthaven is evident in the distorted statistics of copyright litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in 2010 and 2011. As Chart 1 below shows, the numbers of copyright cases filed in the court between 2000 and 2009 ranged between 18 and 46 cases, while in 2010 the number of copyright cases rose to an unprecedented 215 cases.

The change in the statistics caused by Righthaven is clear. Chart 2 compares the statistics for all copyright cases filed in the court with the statistics for copyright cases excluding Righthaven. The red columns are the copyright case numbers without Righthaven cases, and they document the fact that, following the surge of cases that coincided with the economic boom in Las Vegas that ended in 2007, case numbers, ex-Righthaven, returned to pre-2004 levels.

Righthaven also filed suits outside of Nevada; it sued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (57 cases in 2011) and in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina (one case in 2010). In Colorado Righthaven cases doubled the number of copyright cases filed in that district in 2011 as compared to 2008 and 2009 and quadrupled the number of cases as compared to 2010. However, in Colorado, in contrast with Nevada where there was a return to the status quo ante after Righthaven, Colorado continues with its expansion of activity in the copyright area as Malibu Media, LLC, has filed 44 suits in the district court in a period of less than nine months in 2012, from January 1 to September 24.

[The above charts were prepared based on data provided by Lex Machina, Inc.]

[Updated on November 2, 2012.]

Friday, September 14, 2012

Boyd to Host 'Academe Meets Bar' Event

The Boyd School of Law is very pleased to announce that it will host a first-of-its-kind 'Academe Meets Bar: 2012 Books By Boyd Faculty Members with Relevance to the Practicing Bar' event on November 1, 2012.

The event, which will offer 1.0 hours of continuing legal education (CLE), will feature talks by four Boyd faculty members, including Professor Linda Edwards, Professor Jeff Stempel, Professor Jean Sternlight, and Professor Marketa Trimble.

Professor Linda Edwards will discuss her recent book, Readings in Persuasion: Briefs That Changed the World. Professor Jeff Stempel will discuss his Fundamentals of Litigation Practice. Professor Jean Sternlight will discuss her recent book, Psychology for Lawyers: Understanding the Human Factors in Negotiation, Litigation, and Decision Making. Professor Marketa Trimble will discuss her recent book, Global Patents: Limits of Transnational Enforcement.

The event will take place on November 1, 2012, from 4:00 to 5:20 p.m. in the Thomas & Mack Moot Court Facility. The event is free and open to the public.

Boyd to Host Hastings Dean Frank Wu

The Boyd School of Law is very pleased to announce that its Faculty Enrichment Committee will host University of California Hastings Chancellor and Dean Frank H. Wu for a talk on Thursday, October 4, 2012.

Chancellor and Dean Wu's research and writing emphasizes issues of diversity and civic engagement. His works include Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, which was immediately reprinted in its hardcover edition, and Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment, which he co-authored under a grant from the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund. He has written on a professional basis for magazines and newspapers, including The Washington Post, National Law Journal, and Chronicle of Higher Education.

The first Asian American to serve as Dean at UC Hastings, Chancellor and Dean Wu previously taught for a decade at Howard University. He also has taught at the law schools of George Washington University, University of Maryland, Columbia University, University of Michigan, Peking University, as well as in the undergraduate programs of Johns Hopkins University and Deep Springs College. He served as Dean of Wayne State University Law School in his hometown of Detroit.

Chancellor and Dean Wu's talk on October 4 will address his latest book project as well as the state of legal education today.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Professor Edwards's Readings in Persuasion Published

The Boyd School of Law congratulates Professor Linda Edwards on the publication of her latest book, Readings in Persuasion: Briefs That Changed the World.

Readings in Persuasion: Briefs That Changed the World combines a nuanced treatment of legal writing topics -- such as rhetoric, voice, emotion, metaphor, and narrative -- with winning arguments from famous cases. Introductions and photographs reveal the compelling story behind each historical decision. Every chapter stands on its own, giving unlimited flexibility to teaching. Briefs and case decisions are available in their entirety on the book's own companion website.

Professor Edwards, who serves as the E.L. Cord Foundation Professor of Law, is a national leader in the field of legal writing, having been awarded the 2009 Thomas Blackwell Award for her lifetime achievements in and contributions to the field. She has published a number of articles and books in the areas of legal writing and property, and has served in a variety of capacities at the ABA and the American Association of Law Schools. Professor Edwards is a frequent speaker at national conferences and serves as a faculty member for the Persuasion Institute's Advanced Training Program in Narrative Construction, sponsored by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Public Interest Law Film Festival Begins Tomorrow

By Jeanne Price

The Boyd School of Law’s second annual Public Interest Law Film Festival begins tomorrow, September 13. This year’s festival features three films that highlight the role of lawyers who are committed to public service. Each of the three films examines the legitimacy of the justice system and the penalties it imposes through a different lens – the criminal justice system in Crime After Crime, policies on immigration in AbUSed: The Postville Raid, and tort reform in Hot Coffee.

The festival begins Thursday evening with a showing of Crime After Crime (winner of the Freedom of Expression Award from the National Board of Review and the Grand Prize at the San Antonio Film Festival). Filmmaker Yoav Potash will lead a discussion of the film following its showing.

Friday morning events include a discussion of the use of media in litigation, led by Boyd Professor Elizabeth MacDowell, and a showing of Hot Coffee, followed by a question and answer session facilitated by Boyd Professor Elaine Shoben. At lunch, a group of distinguished academics, legislators, and community activists convene to discuss the collateral consequences of criminal convictions.

On Friday afternoon Professor and Boyd alumna Angela Morrison leads a discussion following the showing of AbUSed: The Postville Raid.

The festival ends with a keynote speech by Justice Michael L. Douglas of the Nevada Supreme Court. Following Justice Douglas’ remarks, the Law School will host a reception in the Wiener-Rogers Law Library. All of the films celebrated in this year’s festival are part of the Law Library’s documentary film holdings, a collection of more than 2000 films that are used by faculty and students in teaching and scholarly activities.

The Law School is very grateful to the Festival's sponsors.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Professor Gordon to Serve as Lead Articles Editor of Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD

The Boyd School of Law is very pleased to announce that Professor Sara Gordon has been named by the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) to the position of Lead Articles Editor of Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD. Professor Gordon joins Boyd Professor Linda Berger, who also serves on JALWD's Editorial Board.

Professor Gordon joined the faculty in 2007, bringing expertise in Evidence Law, Community Property Law, and Lawyering Process. At Boyd, she teaches courses in Evidence, Community Property, First-Year Legal Writing, Legal Drafting, Pre-Trial Litigation, and Supreme Court.

Congratulations, Sara!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Professor Trimble Guest Blogs at Patently-O

The Boyd School of Law is very pleased to announce that Professor Marketa Trimble recently guest blogged at Patently-O, the nation's leading patent law blog. Her blog post is entitled, "Solvay v. Honeywell and an Alternative Route to a Central Patent Court in Europe."

As background, the Court of Justice of the European Communities ("ECJ") left some crucial questions unanswered when, in 2006, it clarified the rules of jurisdiction in the European Union ("EU") as they pertained to patent litigation. In her blog post, Professor Trimble explains that the recent judgment of the ECJ in Solvay v. Honeywell (C-616/10, July 12, 2012) provides some additional answers and, most importantly, suggests that there could be a new route open for a central patent court in Europe. According to Trimble, "A possibility that such a court could informally emerge deserves attention, particularly because of the protracted and complicated negotiations surrounding the creation of a centralized patent court system in Europe, which have generated significant skepticism about the viability of the project as presented by the EU institutions."

Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic to Host Panel Examining the Death Penalty

The Boyd School of Law is very pleased to announce that the Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic will host a panel entitled, "Nevada's Death Penalty: Can We Live Without It? The Future of the Death Penalty - Should It be Abolished?"

The panel, which was organized by the Nevada Coalition Against the Death Penalty and is co-sponsored by the Criminal Law Society, will be moderated by Professor Addie Rolnick (Boyd School of Law) and will include Howard Brooks (Clark County Public Defender), Alzora Jackson (Clark County Special Public Defender), Honorable Stephen Dahl (Retired Justice of the Peace, North Las Vegas Township), and Dan Edwards (Bishop at Episcopal Dioceses of Nevada).

The Panel will be held on September 24, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. in the Thomas & Mack Moot Court Facility.

Friday, September 7, 2012

2L Bryn Esplin Receives Early Career Scholar in Neuroethics Award

The Boyd School of Law is very pleased to announced that second-year law student Bryn Esplin will present her work, "Identical Prescriptions, Disparate Treatment: Anticonvulsant Usage in Frontal Lobe Epilepsy and Bipolar I Disorder," at the International Neuroethics Conference ("Brain Matters 3: Values at the Crossroads of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Psychology") at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 24-25, 2012. Ms. Esplin also received the Early Career Scholar in Neuroethics Award for her submission.

Brain Matters 3 follows in the tradition of the two previous Brain Matters conferences in fostering further development in the field of Neuroethics. The primary themes of this year's conference include ethical dilemmmas in the treatment and research of conditions with neurological symptomatology without identifiable biological correlates/causes. Ms. Esplin's submission discusses advances in neuroscience and emergent legislation that affect the diagnosis and subsequent treatment of Frontal Lobe Epilepsy (FLE) and Bipolar I Disorder (BID). Focusing on Lamictal, an anticonvulsant, which is highly effective for both FLE and BID, Ms. Esplin's work shows how access to Lamictal as well as public perception of its consumers differ. Ms. Esplin concludes that, working in tandem, breakthroughs in neuroscience and legislative interventions can enhance understanding and access to care, helping to dismantle persistent stigma. Ms. Esplin's work is an outgrowth of a directed research project supervised by Professor Stacey Tovino.

Congratulations, Bryn!

Professor Bayer Places His Latest Article in the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal

The Boyd School of Law is very pleased to announce that Professor Peter Bayer has placed his latest law review article, "The Due Process Legality of the Individual Mandate: A Kantian Analysis, and Why It Matters," in the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal.

In his article, Professor Bayer argues that while the Supreme Court has ruled that the individual mandate provision within the Affordable Care Act is constitutional under Congress's power to tax, the true challenge yet to be judicially addressed is the mandate's legality under the Constitution's due process clauses. Professor Bayer uses Immanuel Kant's "dignity principle," which tacitly has been adopted by the courts, to show that the mandate does not violate personal liberty even though it requires unwilling persons to purchase unwanted health insurance from private carriers.

Congratulations, Peter!

Professor Gordon Places Her Latest Article in the Hastings Law Journal

The Boyd School of Law is very pleased to announce that Professor Sara Gordon placed her latest law review article, "Through the Eyes of Jurors: The Use of Cognitive Psychology in the Application of 'Plain Language' Jury Instructions," in the Hastings Law Journal.

"Through the Eyes of Jurors" examines the social science research on schema theory in order to advance our understanding of how "schemas," or the preexisting notions jurors have about the law, shape jurors’ use of jury instructions. "Through the Eyes of Jurors" is the first law journal article to look at all of the major cognitive psychology studies that examine how schemas continue to influence jurors' use of jury instructions, even when those jurors are given "plain-language" instructions.

There is, of course, a significant body of legal literature examining jurors’ use and understanding of jury instructions, and many scholars have recommended ways to improve juror comprehension of instructions. Professor Gordon's article takes that analysis a step further and argues that even when given "plain-language" jury instructions, jurors will still be influenced by their preconceived ideas of what the "law" is, or in other words, by the preexisting schemas they have for legal concepts. Furthermore, these schemas are often legally incorrect, and findings from the social sciences suggest that, even when given plain-language jury instructions with the correct legal standard, jurors may still apply these legally inappropriate schemas. Professor Gordon's article synthesizes the results and underlying theories of those findings in order to examine the impact these schemas have on jury decision-making, and on jurors' use of jury instructions, and to identify ways lawyers and judges can counteract inappropriate existing schemas and activate legally appropriate schemas before jurors are introduced to the facts they are expected to interpret. Specifically, Professor Gordon argues that courts should use principles of cognitive and educational psychology to develop jurors' schemas to more closely resemble that of the lawyers and judges in the case.

The abstract for "Through the Eyes of Jurors" is available for download from SSRN.

Professor Gordon joined the faculty in 2007, bringing expertise in Evidence Law, Community Property Law, and Lawyering Process. At Boyd, she teaches courses in First-Year Legal Writing, Legal Drafting, Pre-Trial Litigation, Supreme Court, Community Property, and Evidence.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Road Scholars (September 2012)

The Boyd School of Law is pleased to release the September 2012 issue of Road Scholars.

Road Scholars provides monthly information about the speaking engagements and conference participation of Boyd faculty members. During September 2012, Boyd faculty members will attend conferences and give invited talks, guest lectures, and panel presentations in Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, New York City, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Tempe.

The archives of Road Scholars may be accessed here.