January 10, 2017

U of Oregon President Mike Schill (former Dean of U of Chicago and UCLA Law Schools) responds to commentary on Shurtz case

His response is here; it includes, implicitly, a rejoinder to the commentary by Eugene Volokh (UCLA).

January 10, 2017 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

January 09, 2017

Ten most downloaded American law professors on SSRN

With the start of a new year, here they are:

1.  Cass Sunstein (Harvard), 266,146 downloads of 232 papers (posting papers since 1996)

2.  Daniel Solove (George Washington), 263,111 downloads of 45 papers (remarkably, more than 60% of the downloads are due to a single paper!) (posting papers since 2001)

3.  Lucian Bebchuk (Harvard), 249,457 downloads of 174 papers (posting papers since 1996)

4.  Mark Lemley (Stanford), 188,578 downloads of 161 papers (posting papers since 1996)

5.  Bernard Black (Northwestern), 178,719 downloads of 155 papers (posting papers since 1996)

6.  Stephen Bainbridge (UCLA), 123,522 downloads of 98 papers (posting papers since 1997)

7.  Dan Kahan (Yale), 122,574 downloads of 69 papers (posting papers since 1996)

8.  Brian Leiter (Chicago), 122,416 downloads of 67 papers (posting papers since 2000)

9.  Orin Kerr (George Washington), 108,160 downloads of 54 papers (posting papers since 2002)

10. Eric Posner (Chicago), 105,954 downloads of 135 papers (posting papers since 1997)

January 9, 2017 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

January 03, 2017

I answer "Ten Questions"...

Oregon law professor criticizes university's response to Prof. Shurtz

December 22, 2016

Oregon law professor violated university's racial harassment policy...

...according to an investigation by outside counsel.  The report (available at the preceding link) ultimately turns on a Pickering balancing analysis, which like most such analyses could easily have come out the other way.

UPDATE:  Some additional context here.

ANOTHER:  Oregon law professor Shurtz objects to release of report, claiming errors and violations of confidentiality.  I suspect this matter is heading to court.

December 22, 2016 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

December 19, 2016

David Faigman named Dean at UC Hastings

He had been the Interim Dean, and seemed, at least to an outsider, the obvious choice for the permanent post.  He is also a leading evidence scholar.

December 19, 2016 in Faculty News | Permalink

December 14, 2016

Filler named Dean at Drexel

Congratulations to my occasional co-blogger here, Daniel Filler, who has been named the new Dean at Drexel.  Given his new responsibilities, we agreed it was time for Dan to retire from his occasional posting here, where he had mainly covered memorial notices.  In light of that, and in the interest of time, I will revert to my older practice of only posting memorial notices in cases where a law professor was likely to be nationally known. 

Congrats again to Prof. Filler!

December 14, 2016 in Faculty News | Permalink

December 06, 2016

A case study in SSRN downloads, or "Fuck" redux

 My former Texas colleague Mark Lemley (now at Stanford) kindly gave me permission to share this little story he posted on Facebook:

I have an article with the (admittedly extremely boring) title "Rethinking Assignor Estoppel" coming out in the Houston Law Review. It has been on SSRN for nine months. I have posted about it twice on Facebook and Twitter, and it has shown up in all the SSRN journals. In that nine months it has garnered 982 views and 172 SSRN downloads.


Late Friday afternoon, prompted by some friends teasing me for the boring headline, I posted the exact same article, with the exact same abstract, but with a new, click-baity title: Inventor Sued for Infringing His Own Patent. You Won't Believe What Happened Next. I did this in part as a joke, and in part as an unscientific test to see how susceptible law professors were to clickbait.


The answer is, quite susceptible indeed. In less than two hours on a Friday night the number of views for this "new" article surpassed the old one. In 26 hours, by late Saturday, more people had downloaded the new article than the old one, even though before downloading you are exposed to the same old boring abstract. And by the end of the weekend, the article had been viewed nearly six times as often as the original and downloaded three times as often as the original.


The article will soon appear in the Houston Law Review under its old, boring title. But it sure looks like titles matter.

This will remind long-time readers of the late Christopher Fairman's article "Fuck," an even bigger download sensation (see here, here, and here).  Of course, a download surge due to a "clickbait" title doesn't necessarily mean additional actual readers.

December 6, 2016 in Faculty News, Law in Cyberspace, Legal Humor, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 30, 2016

Girlfriend of accused hitman in Markel case indicted for first-degree murder

It seems clear the prosecutors expect either her or Garcia, the accused hitman, to cooperate, so that they can indict some of the Adelsons as well.  Meanwhile, I wonder what patients of the Adelsons' dental practice think?  I think I would have switched dentists some time back in this sordid affair.

November 30, 2016 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

November 29, 2016

A tangle of lawsuits at Brooklyn Law School