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Friday, November 30, 2012

Free Havana (Club) – and Santiago de Cuba, Too!

By Jeffrey W. Stempel and Ann C. McGinley

As readers of last week's New York Times (see Damien Cave, Easing in Cuba Renews Debate on U.S. Embargo, N.Y. Times, Nov. 20, 2012, at A1, col. 2) have been reminded, the United States government's embargo of Cuba, long subject to question, has increasingly become viewed as wasteful and foolish, a relic of the Cold War era – and probably an unwise overreaction to Castro even then.1 But supporters of the embargo (described as a "blockade" by the Cubans themselves) remain sufficiently numerous and politically powerful that change seems unlikely, notwithstanding changes in the Cuban government’s attitude toward private enterprise and the looming exit of the Castro brothers from political leadership.2

Based on what we saw during a recent visit to Cuba with a group of American lawyers and law professors, the continuing U.S. support for the embargo is indeed unfortunate, unwise, and unnecessary. We are old enough to remember a time when a U.S. "hard line" toward Cuba may have made sense in light of the risks posed to the U.S. by an aggressive Soviet Union looking for satellite states during the Cold War. But the Soviet Union has been "dead" for more than 20 years and the time for either worrying about Soviet/Cuba military aggression or thinking that economic sanctions will bring a massive shift in Cuban government is long past.

We have no illusions regarding the Realpolitik of the Cuban Revolution or the occasional (perhaps even frequent) ruthlessness of the post-Revolution government. Too many alleged "counter-revolutionaries" died at the hands of firing squads to hold such illusions. But however blameworthy some of its methods may have been, the Revolution appears to remain strongly popular with the populace, even as that populace seeks greater economic prosperity, making now the ideal time for U.S. business to have greater access to Cuba (more on that in a minute). The Revolution appears to have delivered on its promises of providing universal education and health care to a country previously ignored and exploited by the elite. Although Cuba is poor, the vast majority of Cubans seems to see itself as better off than in the pre-Castro days when there was rampant corruption and wealth at the top of the socioeconomic scale but only a subsistence level existence for the bulk of the people.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Boyd Alum Publishes Article in ABI Journal

The Boyd School of Law is very pleased to announce that Matthew L. Knepper, a May 2012 Boyd graduate, published an article in the December/January 2013 issue of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal. The article is entitled, "Lipstick on a Pig: Disallowing Make-Whole Clauses on Unmatured Interest."

The ABI Journal is the flagship publication of the American Bankruptcy Institute. Established in 1982 and published ten times a year, the journal covers the entire range of insolvency issues, featuring timely articles written by some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the field.

Congratulations, Matthew!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Professor Kagan Featured on UNLV News Center

Professor Michael Kagan is featured on the UNLV News Center in an article titled "Out of the Lion's Den," focusing on how he explores the complicated issues behind the lives of refugees. The article is available here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Professor Nathanson on KNPR's State of Nevada

Professor Rebecca Nathanson on Nov. 19 spoke on KNPR's State of Nevada about the Kids' Court School, which recently earned a Bright Idea Award from Harvard University. The podcast is available here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Boyd Students Selected to Present at SAHMS Annual Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina

The Boyd School of Law is very pleased to announce that two students have been selected to make presentations at the Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science (SAHMS) Fifteenth Annual Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 21 through 23, 2013. The annual SAHMS meeting brings together scholars across the United States with expertise in fields that touch on the history of medicine and science.

John Niman, a third-year law student at Boyd, will present his paper, "Prosthetic Technology: From the Peg Leg to Human Enhancement." In his talk, Niman will survey past, present, and future prosthetic technology. While technology has advanced significantly from the peg leg of pirate lore, Niman will argue that we are now on the cusp of truly advanced prosthetics that will offer functionality superior to biological limbs.

Bryn Esplin, a second-year law student at Boyd, will present her paper entitled, "The Mind is the Final Frontier: Re-conceptualizing Mental Illness Through Science Fiction, Legislation and the Future of Neuroscience." During her talk, Esplin will explore conceptions of psychiatry and mental illness in the literary genre of Science Fiction from past to present, both antiquated and emergent legislation regarding health care and parity, and the promise of reconciling the persistent stigma of Cartesian Dualism through breakthroughs in neuroscience and technology.

Niman and Esplin will be accompanied to Charleston by Professor Stacey Tovino, who is also presenting at the conference. Tovino will present her paper entitled, "An American History of Health Privacy and Health Information Confidentiality Laws: 1880 to Present." During her talk, Tovino will explore the history of federal and state health information confidentiality laws from 1880 to the present. Although few pre-1880 laws identified a right of privacy distinct from the rights associated with private property, dozens of federal and state laws began identifying clear rights of health privacy and health information confidentiality in the medical and scientific contexts.

Congratulations, John and Bryn!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Professor Marouf in Stanford Law Review Online

Professor Marouf has published a timely essay, The Hunt for Noncitizen Voters, in Stanford Law Review Online (here).

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Nevada Copyright Litigation Landscape (Part 2)

In an effort to map the copyright litigation landscape in Nevada an earlier post on this blog provided the statistics for copyright cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in 2010, 2011, and 2012 (from January 1 to September 24, 2012). The two charts in the post show the landscape with and without the Righthaven cases - cases that were filed by a single plaintiff and that might be viewed as an anomaly in the copyright case filings for the District of Nevada.

The following two charts continue the mapping of the Nevada copyright litigation landscape by providing breakdowns for the data on copyright cases filed in the District, excluding Righthaven. The first chart shows the number of copyright cases by protected subject matter and covers calendar years 2010 and 2011 and the period between January 1 and September 19, 2012.

[Click on the chart to view a larger version.]

Among the cases are cases with ties to the local entertainment and casino industry; for example, the one case filed in 2012 that involves a dramatic work concerns the magic of Mr. Raymond Teller (of Penn & Teller; Teller v. Dogge, 2:12-cv-00591). However, cases do arise from outside the entertainment and casino industry; for example, the sculpture at issue in the two sculpture cases filed in 2010 and 2011 is the "High Scaler" sculpture - a memorial to some of the workers who built the Hoover Dam (Liguori et al v. Hansen et al., 2:10-cv-00384 and 2:11-cv-00492).

The following chart shows the statistics for copyright cases per law firm for law firms representing plaintiffs, and documents the variety of plaintiffs' attorneys filing copyright cases in the District. Most of the cases were filed by Lewis and Roca LLP (nine cases), Greenberg Traurig LLP (six cases), and Randazza Legal Group (five cases). The 24 cases filed by "other firms" are cases filed by firms that each filed only one copyright case in the District Court in the given period of time.

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

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October Issue of Boyd Briefs Released

The Boyd School of Law is very pleased to announce the release of Volume 1, Issue 3, of Boyd Briefs.

Issued on a monthly basis, Boyd Briefs provides information about the scholarly and other activities of Boyd faculty members during the previous month. Illustrative entries announce new faculty publications, the drafting of briefs and uniform legislation, submission to administrative agencies of comments on proposed regulations, Clinic victories, the organization and hosting of academic conferences, appointments and elections of Boyd faculty members to local, national, and international boards, offices, and societies, and other honors and awards.

The October 2012 issue of Boyd Briefs announces several new law review articles, panel presentations, and other faculty honors and awards. Congratulations, Boyd faculty members!

The Boyd Briefs archives may be accessed here.