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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Boyd School of Law Featured on FOX5 KVVU-TV

On Sept. 25, the Boyd School of Law was featured on FOX5 KVVU-TV for co-hosting, with the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution, Water Law in the West: A Panel Discussion with Patricia Mulroy.

The FOX5 story, Exiting water chief declares Lake Mead emergency, is available here

The event, which drew some 150 people, featured Patricia Mulroy, General Manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority; Jeffrey Kightlinger, General Manager of The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; and Michele Straube, Director of the Wallace Stegner Center Environmental Dispute Resolution Program of The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law.

The panel discussion focused on the challenges, obstacles and opportunities that will determine the fate of the Colorado River.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dean Dan Hamilton Featured on KNPR

Dan Hamilton is the Dean and Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

On Sept. 24, he was featured on KNPR's State of Nevada segment Boyd Law School Has A New Dean.

"We fared relatively well. Thanks to Dick Morgan, thanks to John White, thanks to Nancy Rapoport, we are on a great track and headed in the right direction. And we have several comparative advantages. We are the law school for the whole state, and we are able to keep our price competitive compared to our rivals and our competitors. We are very aggressive about placement, and we work with partners in the city and state to place our graduates, so our placement rate has remained strong. We are all struggling for jobs for our graduates, but our placement rate has remained strong. Our tuition has remained competitive. We have a terrific faculty and alumni base that does continue to draw people to the law school," he said during the interview.

Dean Hamilton researches and writes primarily on American property ideology and the legal and constitutional issues raised by the Civil War. He has written numerous articles and reviews on American legal history.

Student Bryn Esplin Featured in Las Vegas Review-Journal

Bryn Esplin is a 3L at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

On Sept. 23, she was featured in the Las Vegas Review-Journal article Brain center's internships offer insights into patients' needs.

Bryn is one of the first law students to be selected for an internship at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. She is also President of Boyd's Health Law Society, which is advised by Professor Stacey Tovino.

"I'm very interested in ethics and how the law interacts with health issues. It's an area that needs to be further explored," Bryn said in the article. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Patent Litigation in Nevada (Part 1)

By Marketa Trimble, Associate Professor of Law

In two recent blog posts I discussed patenting in Nevada – trends in the numbers of patents granted for inventions by Nevada inventors or by Nevada assignees (see here and here). In this and upcoming posts I will provide data on patent litigation in Nevada.

Figure 1 shows the numbers of all patent cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in 2000-2012. In this period the numbers of patent cases filed each year oscillated between 15 cases (filed in 2000) and 35 cases (filed in 2006). In 2012, 32 patent cases were filed in the Court.

Click on the charts to view larger versions.
The development in Nevada was spared the extreme spike in the numbers of cases that the U.S. patent litigation landscape experienced in 2012 when 5,421 patent cases were filed in all U.S. federal district courts. Figure 2 illustrates the sudden increase in the number of U.S. patent cases, which climbed in the past three years from 2,711 in 2010 and 3,533 in 2011 to 5,421 in 2012.

The spike in the number of patent cases filed in the United States in 2012 has been blamed on the activity of “patent trolls” – entities, also called “non-practicing entities” or “patent assertion entities,” that use questionable practices to enforce patents that they often did not obtain on their own inventions or their employees’ inventions but that the entities purchased from third parties. Some sources estimate that “patent trolls” filed as many as 62% of all patent cases in the United States in 2012 (see here). While the term “patent troll” has been used for several years, the phenomenon of entities accumulating patents on inventions invented by others and engaging in questionable enforcement practices has existed for decades. However, the prominence of “patent troll”-filed lawsuits in 2012 was unprecedented and generated a wave of intense interest in the problem among academics, research institutions, industry groups, Congress, and the White House (see, e.g., an article about the “anti-patent troll” bills before Congress here, a June 2013 White House report here, and an August 2013 CRS Report here).

It is difficult to create precise statistics on “patent troll” activities because opinions tend to differ about which persons and entities should be labeled as “patent trolls.” Based on the opinions of various commentators about the nature of the activities of some of the plaintiffs filing patent suits in Nevada, Nevada has also been affected by “patent troll” activity; however, the effects in Nevada appear to be less severe than in the United States overall. In 2012, the year which has been considered so far as the peak of “patent troll” activity in the United States, four out of the 32 patent cases filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada were filed by entities that have been referred to by some commentators as “patent trolls.” In 2011, out of a total of 30 cases, five cases were filed in Nevada by entities referred to by some commentators as “patent trolls.” Of course, these numbers are only estimates; as has been pointed out, disagreements exist as to when the designation of “patent troll” is warranted.

The statistics for this post were derived from data provided by LexMachina, Inc.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Professor Eric Franklin Featured on UNLV News Center

Eric H. Franklin is the Director of the Community Economic Development Clinic and Associate Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

On Sept. 23, he was featured on the UNLV News Center in an article titled New Faces: Eric Franklin. The article is part of a UNLV News Center series that features new faculty and staff at the University.

"I am most excited to inspire Boyd graduates to affect positive change in the city. Las Vegas, in many ways, is at a critical juncture. We are in the midst of a nascent economic recovery, accompanied by a transformation of the downtown, and the rise in housing prices. It is important to ensure that this recovery is enjoyed by all Las Vegans, regardless of socio-economic status," Professor Franklin said in his profile.

The Community Economic Development Clinic, which launches in the fall of 2014, will represent nonprofits, small businesses, and community-based associations on transactional matters.

Professor Sylvia Lazos Provides Commentary on KNPR's State of Nevada

Sylvia Lazos is the Justice Myron Leavitt Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

On September 23, during KNPR's State of Nevada segment titled What's On Your Mind?, she and Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Glenn Cook provided commentary about general issues on listeners' minds.

"One of my concerns right now is we need to be having an ongoing conversation about education issues during the interim, not just during legislative session. Legislative session is insane in terms of how many issues we have to deal with seriously in just four or five months, and it's very difficult to be extremely thoughtful when everything is being thrown at you. So we really as a community have to be thinking about these issues during the interim," she said. 

Professor Lazos is a frequent op-ed contributor, and her expertise is sought by print and broadcast media on a wide range of subjects, including higher education, immigration, race relations, government, voting and initiatives.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dean Dan Hamilton Featured in Las Vegas Sun

Dan Hamilton is the Dean and Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

On Sept. 17, he was featured in the Las Vegas Sun article UNLV's new law dean ready to raise school's profile.

"Boyd is one of the great success stories of the past decade. We want to keep that rise, that momentum, going. We aspire for UNLV to be recognized as one of the top public law schools in the country. We want to take a great thing and make it even better," he said in the article.

Dean Hamilton researches and writes primarily on American property ideology and the legal and constitutional issues raised by the Civil War. He has written numerous articles and reviews on American legal history.

Professor Nancy Rapoport Featured in Several Media Outlets

Nancy B. Rapoport is the Gordon Silver Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

On Sept. 13, she was quoted in the CNN Money article Five years later, Lehman bankruptcy fees hit $2.2 billion.

"It was a really complicated case. It wasn't just that it was really big, but it was really big and had some novel issues," she said of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy case filed in September 2008.

On Sept. 7, she was featured in the article Staying happy in law school on the Legal Writing Prof Blog.

On Sept. 2, she was quoted in the National Jurist article 10 ways to stay happy while in law school.

In August, her article, Rethinking U.S. Legal Education: No More Same Old Same Old, was featured on the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning's website as the Article of the Month.

Professor Rapoport's specialties are bankruptcy ethics, ethics in governance, and the depiction of lawyers in popular culture.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Professor Rachel Anderson Featured in Bloomberg

Rachel Anderson is a Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

On Sept. 13, she was featured in the Bloomberg article Wynn Resorts Tightens Rules for Board Service, Meetings.

The article reads, "Companies may choose to designate specific courts where claims can be made, just as they sometimes require arbitration to settle disputes, Rachel J. Anderson, a law professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, said today in an interview."

Wynn Resorts designated a Clark County court as its main legal forum for disputes. 

Professor Anderson's research and teaching interests focus on business law, civil and human rights, empirical legal studies, and international law.

Professor Sylvia Lazos Quoted in Fronteras

Sylvia Lazos is the Justice Myron Leavitt Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

On Sept. 9, she was quoted in the Fronteras article 14 Schools, 1 Plan: Nevada's New Blueprint For ELL Education.

"It is by far not enough... it is still a high risk proposition because the needs are so great," she said, regarding the $40 million designated by the state to improve ELL education in the Clark County School District.

Professor Lazos is a frequent op-ed contributor, and her expertise is sought by print and broadcast media on a wide range of subjects, including higher education, immigration, race relations, government, voting and initiatives.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Public Interest Law Film Festival Featured in UNLV News Center Series

The 3rd annual Public Interest Law Film Festival - to be hosted by the Boyd School of Law on Sept. 19 and 20 - was featured on the UNLV News Center on Sept. 11 through a series of articles.

Elizabeth L. MacDowell - Director of the Family Justice Clinic, Associate Professor of Law, and Chair of this year's Film Festival committee - wrote "Film Festival Explores Economic Justice Issues," an overview of the event.

Professor of Law Ruben J. Garcia wrote "All-American Workplaces," providing insight on Shift Change, one of the films to be shown at the Film Festival. 

Francine J. Lipman, William S. Boyd Professor of Law, wrote "Tax Issues Can Be Fascinating," in which she discusses We're Not Broke, another film to be shown at the event. 

Associate Professor of Law Addie C. Rolnick wrote "Unraveling Unfair Work Practices," where she talks about Made in L.A., the third feature-length film to be shown at the Festival.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Patenting in Nevada (Part 2)

By Marketa Trimble, Associate Professor of Law

In my blog post last week about Patenting in Nevada (here) I reported statistics showing the steep growth in the numbers of utility and design patents (see definitions of the two types of patents here) granted for inventions by Nevada inventors or on applications by Nevada assignees. This post will put the Nevada numbers in the larger U.S. context.

Click on the chart to view a larger version.
The rapid growth in 1976-2012 in the numbers of utility and design patents granted for inventions by Nevada inventors or on applications by Nevada assignees shown in the previous post (here) is illustrated in Figure 1 by blue and green trend lines, while the red line follows the trend in the growth of all U.S. utility and design patents granted in the same period (in thousands of U.S. utility and design patents). The comparison of the trend lines in Figure 1 shows that the trend in the growth of the numbers of utility and design patents granted for inventions by Nevada inventors or on applications by Nevada assignees was much steeper than the overall trend in the growth of all U.S. utility and design patents. In 2012 about 13 times more utility and design patents were granted than in 1976 for inventions invented by or co-invented by at least one Nevada inventor (from 87 in 1976 to 1,135 in 2012), and about 66 times more utility and design patents were granted than in 1976 on applications owned by Nevada assignees at the time of the publication of the applications (from 20 in 1976 to 1,317 in 2012). For all U.S. utility and design patents about 3.7 times more utility and design patents were granted in 2012 than in 1976.

Click on the chart to view a larger version.
The positive trend in the numbers of utility and design patents granted for inventions by Nevada inventors or on applications by Nevada assignees evidences the dramatic increase in the absolute numbers of such patents in 1976-2012. However, it is important to view the numbers in the context of the overall growth that Nevada experienced in the past two decades in population and economy.

Figure 2 shows that when calculating utility patents per million inhabitants, the trend in the growth of the numbers of Nevada utility patents granted in 1992-2012 followed the overall U.S. trend but that the Nevada numbers of utility patents granted per million Nevada inhabitants were consistently lower than the U.S. national numbers. Figure 2 focuses on utility patents that are designated by the USPTO as having a Nevada origin, meaning utility patents that had a Nevada inventor listed on the patent application as the only inventor or as the first co-inventor. The number of Nevada utility patents per million Nevada inhabitants is compared to the number of U.S. utility patents (U.S. inventor only or the U.S. co-inventor listed first) per million U.S. inhabitants. In 2012, about 273 utility patents were granted per million Nevada inhabitants on applications in which a Nevada inventor was listed as the only inventor or the first co-inventor; in the same year, about 386 utility patents were granted per million U.S. inhabitants on applications in which a U.S. inventor (from any U.S. state or territory, including Nevada) was listed as the only inventor or the first co-inventor.

Click on the chart to view a larger version.
Figure 3 shows that even when the numbers of utility patents are calculated per billion dollar GDP, the trend in the numbers of Nevada utility patents followed the national trend in 1997-2012 but that the numbers of utility patents granted per billion dollar Nevada GDP were also consistently lower than the U.S. national numbers. In 2012, about 5.6 utility patents were granted per billion dollar Nevada GDP on applications in which a Nevada inventor was listed as the only inventor or the first co-inventor; the same year, about 9.3 utility patents were granted per billion dollar U.S. GDP on applications in which a U.S. inventor (from any U.S. state or territory, including Nevada) was listed as the only inventor or the first co-inventor.

While Nevada should be proud of its steep growth in the absolute numbers of utility and design patents granted on applications by at least one Nevada inventor or Nevada assignee (see Figure 1 above and figures in the previous post here), it lags behind the nation when its numbers of utility patents granted on inventions by local inventors per million inhabitants and per billion dollar GDP are compared to the per million inhabitant and per billion dollar GDP U.S. national numbers.

The statistics for this post were derived from the following sources:
USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database
Calendar Year Patent Statistics
Historical National Population Estimates (July 1, 1900 to July 1, 1999)
U.S. Census Bureau, Population
Economic Research, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Friday, September 6, 2013

Professor Jean Sternlight's Book Reviewed in Dispute Resolution Magazine

Jean Sternlight is the Michael and Sonja Saltman Professor of Law and the Director of the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at the UNLV Boyd School of Law.

Recently, her book - Psychology for Lawyers: Understanding the Human Factors in Negotiation, Litigation and Decision Making - which she co-wrote with University of Illinois' Jennifer Robbennolt, was positively reviewed in the Dispute Resolution Magazine by Willamette University's Richard Birke.

Birke begins the review by saying, "Psychology for Lawyers is a great book. Whether you are a transactional lawyer, a litigator, a managing partner or a mediator, you owe it to yourself to buy it, read it and build its lessons into your practice. Authors Jennifer Robbennolt and Jean Sternlight have produced a book that is thorough and readable, based in theory yet imminently practical, and as entertaining as it is educational."

Sternlight is nationally and internationally recognized for her scholarship and law reform activities in the field of dispute resolution.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Patenting in Nevada (Part 1)

By Marketa Trimble, Associate Professor of Law

Last year on the UNLV Law Blog I presented statistics concerning copyright litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada (here and here); this year I will look at patents and patent litigation in Nevada.

In 2012 the attention on copyright litigation in Nevada arose from a series of copyright infringement cases filed by Righthaven LLC; this year patent protection is the subject of a nationwide public debate as a result of the culmination of the problems with “patent trolls” – entities, sometimes referred to as “non-practicing entities” or “patent assertion entities,” whose predatory patent enforcement practices have burdened U.S. businesses for a number of years (see the June 2013 White House Report “Patent Assertion and U.S. Innovation” here).

The U.S. patent system also deserves attention this year for two other reasons: First, in March the long-discussed reform of the U.S. patent system became fully operational; among other changes, the reform changed the system of priority so that a patent is now granted to the inventor who first files a patent application in the U.S. Patent Office (previously, the first inventor would be granted a patent). Second, statistics suggest the beginning of a new era in which U.S. inventive activity will be exposed to increased competition from other countries. In 2008-2012, for the first time in U.S. history, more U.S. patents were granted in single calendar years on applications of non-U.S. inventors than on applications of U.S. inventors (based on the first inventor listed on an application; see the USPTO statistics here).

Patenting in Nevada has undergone tremendous growth in the past 40 years. Figures 1 and 2 below show the rapidly increasing numbers in 1976 – 2012 of U.S. utility and design patents granted for inventions by inventors and assignees from Nevada. Figure 1 shows the numbers of patents granted for inventions that were invented by a Nevada inventor or a group of inventors that included at least one inventor from Nevada. The numbers of patents granted for inventions by Nevada inventors grew from 87 in 1976 to 1,135 in 2012. Figure 2 shows the numbers of patents granted on applications by Nevada assignees – individuals or entities in Nevada who owned a patent application at the time of its publication; those numbers grew from only 20 in 1976 to 1,317 in 2012. 

Click on the charts to view larger versions.
The steep growth in the absolute numbers of patents granted for inventions by Nevada inventors and on applications by Nevada assignees implies a dramatically increased need for legal services in Nevada in the area of patent law. Graduates of the William S. Boyd School of Law are among the practitioners who provide such services in Nevada, and among the many talented students who enroll in Boyd are numerous prospective patent practitioners. In addition to students interested in transactional and litigation work in the intellectual property area, Boyd also has students interested in patent prosecution work – in the last five years Boyd enrolled five to eight students each year with engineering or science bachelor degrees that will likely make the students eligible to sit for the Patent Bar (the USPTO Examination for Registration to Practice in Patent Cases); some of the students have taken the Patent Bar during their law studies at Boyd. The engineering and science undergraduate majors represented among Boyd students in the past five years have been, for example, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, chemistry, and biology. There have also been Boyd students with engineering and science graduate degrees; for example a doctorate in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in toxicology.

My next blog will place the Nevada patent statistics in a nationwide context by comparing national numbers to the numbers of utility and design patents granted for inventions by Nevada inventors or on applications by Nevada assignees.

The statistics for this post were derived from the following sources:
Elizabeth Jost, Admissions & Records Assistant, Boyd Admissions Office
USPTO Patent Full-Text and Image Database

Professor Ruben Garcia Featured on KNPR Regarding University Forum Lecture

Ruben J. Garcia is a Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

On Sept. 5, he was featured on KNPR's State of Nevada in a segment titled Boosting Marginal Workers. In the segment, Professor Garcia discussed some of the labor law issues he will address during tonight's University Forum lecture, titled Marginal Workers: The Politics of Workplace Reform. The event, which begins at 7:30 p.m. inside the Marjorie Barrick Museum, is free and open to the public.

During the KNPR segment, when asked who the most marginal workers are, Professor Garcia responded, "Immigrant workers, which make up a large share of the workforce. They also, by definition, are not voting; and so they have that lack of political power. They have to participate politically often through unions or other civic organizations. So that is a place in which I think that you see a lot of violations of labor law."

In addition to KNPR, the Las-Vegas Review-Journal and Desert Companion recently featured Professor Garcia's University Forum lecture.

A recognized expert in the field of labor and employment law, Professor Garcia teaches Labor Law, Employment Law, Constitutional Law, and Professional Responsibility at the Boyd School of Law. He has been quoted in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal, among others, and has appeared on national and local radio and television programs.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Professor Lydia Nussbaum Featured on UNLV News Center

Lydia Nussbaum is Director of the Strasser Mediation Clinic, Associate Director of the Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution, and Associate Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

On Sept. 4, she was featured on the UNLV News Center in an article titled New Faces: Lydia Nussbaum. The article is part of a UNLV News Center series that features new faculty and staff at the University.

"Educating students and the community, serving as a resource for the wider UNLV campus, providing mediation and arbitration services to individuals in and around Las Vegas, and bringing together scholars and practitioners to think through some of the most pressing issues of the day -- these are all things that the Saltman Center does and is precisely the kind of work that I want to do," Nussbaum said in her profile.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Dean Dan Hamilton Writes Column for Nevada Lawyer

Dan Hamilton is the Dean and Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

For the August 2013 issue of Nevada Lawyer, the State Bar of Nevada's magazine, Hamilton wrote the Dean's Column. In it, he talks about the current challenges facing legal education, Boyd's success over the past 15 years, and what it will take to get even better moving forward.

"We have a record of making great faculty hires and we need to make more. We recruit great students and we need to recruit more... in an increasingly competitive environment. Our students work with our professional staff and faculty and alumni to find jobs, and we need to make sure Boyd graduates keep getting what they come to law school for: good jobs and satisfying legal careers," he wrote in the column.