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April 29, 2021

Texas House authorizes public universities in Rio Grande Valley and El Paso to establish up to two new law schools

The bill still has to get through the state Senate.  Texas established a new public law school at the University of North Texas (near Dallas), which began admitting students in 2014, but is only still provisionally accredited by the ABA.  Texas acquired an additional public law school when Texas A&M University acquired the former Texas Wesleyan law school (in the Dallas-Fort Worth area).  The only law school in West Texas is at Texas Tech University, so the case for a law school in El Paso is probably a good one.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 29, 2021 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 23, 2021

Report finds no clear evidence that judge's political objection to a faculty candidate at Toronto affected hiring decision...


...but the separate investigation of the judge continues.  (Earlier coverage.)

UPDATE:  Apparently, the investigation did not evaluate the credibility of the testimony collected, which may be a problem.

4/22/21 UPDATE:   The Canadian Association of University of Teachers clearly did not agree with the earlier investigations' finding, and has now censured the University of Toronto, which is a quite dramatic move.

AND ANOTHER:  Law professor Denise Reaume (Toronto) has shared this helpful account of what has transpired:

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) on April 22 imposed censure on the University of Toronto over its decision to terminate the candidacy of Dr. Valentina Azarova for the Directorship of the International Human Rights Program (IHRP) at the Faculty of Law. The consequences of censure are detailed here.


The University had tried to stave off censure by commissioning a report on the controversy from former Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell. The report was flawed by factual inaccuracy and misleading assertions. Widely criticized, it failed in the ambition to exonerate the administration. In some ways, it made matters worse.

The history: In September, 2020, then Dean of Law, Ed Iacobucci terminated the hiring process for the Director of the IHRP. Dr. Valentina Azarova was the unanimous and enthusiastic choice of the selection committee, but negotiations to finalize an offer to her were abruptly cut off after communications from a wealthy alumnus, donor, and sitting judge made plain that some donors would not tolerate the appointment of someone whose scholarship included study of Israeli conduct in the occupied Palestinian territories. Members of the search committee, and the Institute, resigned in protest. Complaints against the conduct of the alumnus—a sitting Federal judge—were lodged with the Canadian Judicial Council.


Cromwell was commissioned by the University to determine the basis for the Dean’s decision not to proceed with Azarova’s appointment. Cromwell declined to draw any inference that the Dean may have been improperly influenced in his decision. The University’s response trumpeted the report as vindication of (now former) Dean Iacobucci. This response has been now been echoed by the newly appointed Dean, Jutta Brunnée.  


Cromwell’s assessment was comically inept. Here is an executive summary of one critical analysis of his error-laded document; the full analysis is here. A slightly different take on the report is provided by Professor Joe Carens, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, U of T. And further insider perspective is provided by Professor Richard Moon, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor.


Cromwell does what he can to downplay the shocking attempt by a wealthy donor to derail a University appointment by treating it as a simple ‘heads up’ to university officials about the unacceptability of a hiring decision to members of the local Jewish pressure groups. My colleague Anver Emon provides a detailed analysis of this part of the report here.


Another dangerous aspect of Cromwell’s report is its peculiar handling of confidentiality and privacy issues arising out of these events. My colleague Ariel Katz provides a critique of this part of the report here.


All in all, the Cromwell report is a disaster for academic integrity and academic freedom. Censure is not imposed lightly by the Canadian Association of University Teachers. But this case is so egregious, and the Cromwell report so dangerous, that it is fully warranted here.   

ANOTHER (4/24/21):  Professor Reaume writes with some more developments:

Joe Carens has released his full critique of the Cromwell Report:


And, in the wake of the CAUT censure and the University’s response that the CAUT has no business opining on whether clinical staff deserve academic freedom protections,


Professor Kent Roach has resigned in protest as Chair of the Asper Centre for Constitutional Rights.


The Asper Centre is very active before the courts intervening on a range of rights issues.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 23, 2021 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 22, 2021

Five law professors elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences

They are:  Jose Alvarez (NYU), Kimberle Crenshaw (UCLA & Columbia), Gillian Lester (Dean, Columbia), Anup Malani (Chicago), and Angela Onwuachi-Willig (Dean, Boston University).

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 22, 2021 in Faculty News | Permalink

Academic freedom issues

Although I do blog about some of these issues here, usually when law faculty are involved, I cover the issue more thoroughly in the modern academy at my philosophy blog, for those who are interested.  You can bookmark that category for posts on academic freedom issues (and so you're spared philosophy-related news).

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 22, 2021 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Blast from the past: when Paul Campos had trouble with long division

Back in 2015.  Still a remarkable mistake.

ADDENDUM:  And here's the correct link to Campos's smear of Mike Simkovic (the link in the 2015 item is broken.)

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 22, 2021 in Faculty News | Permalink

April 21, 2021

Corporate Practice Commentator's 10 Best Articles of 2020

This and prior lists are available at the website of Professor Robert Thompson (Georgetown).  Here are the winners for 2020 (with academic affiliations, where authors have them):

Bartlett, Robert (Berkeley); Partnoy, Frank (Berkeley). The Misuse of Tobin's q.  73 Vand. L. Rev. 353-424 (2020).

Barzuza, Michal (Virginia); Curtis, Quinn (Virginia); Webber David H. (Boston University). Shareholder Value(s): Index Fund ESG Activism and the New Millennial Corporate Governance.  93 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1243-1322 (2020).

Cain, Matthew D. (Berkeley); Griffith, Sean J. (Fordham); Jackson, Jr., Robert J. (NYU); and Solomon, Steven Davidoff (Berkeley). Does Revlon Matter? An Empirical and Theoretical Study. 108 Cal. L. Rev. 1683-1731 (2020).

Ellias, Jared A. (UC Hastings); Stark, Robert J.  Bankruptcy Hardball. 108 Cal. L. Rev. 745-788 (2020).

Griffith, Sean J. (Fordham).  Deal Insurance: Representation and Warranty Insurance in Mergers and Acquisitions.  104 Minn. L. Rev. 1839-1920 (2020).

Hemphill, C. Scott (NYU); Kahan, Marcel (NYU). The Strategies of Anticompetitive Common Ownership.  129 Yale L. J. 1392- 1459 (2020).

Kahan, Marcel (NYU); Rock, Edward B. (NYU). Index Funds and Corporate Governance: Let Shareholders be Shareholders100 B.U. L. Rev. 1753 (2020).

Lipton, Ann M (Tulane). Not Everything Is about Investors: The Case for Mandatory Stakeholder Disclosure.  37 Yale J. on Reg. 499- 572 (2020).

Nili, Yaron (Wisconsin); Hwang, Cathy (Virginia). Shadow Governance. 108 Calif. L. Rev. 1097-1146 (2020).

Pollman, Elizabeth (Penn). Private Company Lies. 109 Geo. L.J. 353-403 (2020).

Subramanian, Guhan (Harvard); Zhao, Annie. Go-Shops Revisited. 133 Harv. L. Rev. 1215-1279 (2020).

Tuch, Andrew F (Wash U/St. Louis). Reassessing Self-Dealing: Between No Conflict and Fairness. 88 Fordham L. Rev. 939-998 (2019).


Posted by Brian Leiter on April 21, 2021 in Faculty News, Rankings | Permalink

April 19, 2021

Ex-Business School Dean who misreported data to US News rankings indicted for wire fraud

Wow.  Since USNews.com doesn't audit any of the self-reported data, perhaps this story will incentivize good behavior.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 19, 2021 in Rankings | Permalink

April 14, 2021

Amy Chua vs. Yale

This surely qualifies as an embarrassing spectacle.  (It comes on the heels of this and this.)

ADDENDUM:  In right-wing crazy land, they think this is all retaliation for Professor Chua's public support of Justice (then Judge) Kavanaugh (for whom Chua's daughter subsequently clerked).  Meanwhile, David Lat, who wisely bailed from the irrelevant Above the Law cesspool (which I'm surprised still exists--Lat was the only capable writer there), opines that Professors Chua and Rubenfeld may leave Yale after all these sanctions.  About their plans I have no knowledge, although I'm skeptical they would take the big step down required for such a move at this stage.

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 14, 2021 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

April 13, 2021

Presidential commission on reform of the Supreme Court includes many law professors

They are:  Michelle Adams (Cardozo); Kate Andrias (Michigan); Jack Balkin, Justin Driver, Heather Gerken, and Cristina Rodriguez (all Yale); William Baude, Alison LaCroix, and David Strauss (all Chicago); Elisa Boddie (Rutgers); Guy-Uriel Charles (Duke, soon moving to Harvard); Andrew Crespo, Richard Fallon, Jr., and Jack Goldsmith (all Harvard); Tara Leigh Grove (Alabama); Bert Huang and Olatunda Johnson (both Columbia); Michael Kang (Northwestern); Margaret Lemos and David Levi (both Duke); Trevor Morrison and Richard Pildes (both NYU); Caleb Nelson (Virginia); Michael Ramsey (San Diego), Kermit Roosevelt (Penn), Bertrall Ross (Berkeley), and Adam White (George Mason).

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 13, 2021 in Faculty News | Permalink

In Memoriam: Zipporah B. Wiseman (1930-2021)

An expert in commercial law and feminist legal theory, Professor Wiseman was a longtime member of the law faculty at the University of Texas, and also taught at Northeastern and Harvard.  The Texas memorial notice is here.

(Thanks to Steve Ratner for the pointer.)

Posted by Brian Leiter on April 13, 2021 in Memorial Notices | Permalink