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December 27, 2021

In Memoriam: Stephen D. Sugarman (1942-2021)

A leading scholar in two different fields--torts and education law--Professor Sugarman was a member of the Berkeley Law faculty since 1972.  I will add links to memorial notices as they appear.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 27, 2021 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

December 22, 2021

Merry Xmas from your lawyer

May be an image of text

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 22, 2021 in Legal Humor | Permalink

December 19, 2021

Univ of Illinois-Chicago has gone crazy: the latest on the Kilborn case

Last Friday, the university informed Professor Kilborn's lawyer that Professor Kilborn would be suspended from teaching this Spring at UIC's John Marshall Law School (although still paid, and still required to perform administrative duties) so that he can participate in rather time-intensive "re-education" programs:  Download 21; 12.16 from Alsterda

Professor Kilborn will be subjected to an 8-week indoctrination course--20 hours of coursework, required "self-reflection" (self-criticism?) papers for each of 5 modules, plus weekly 90-minute sessions with a trainer followed by three more weeks of vaguely described supplemental meetings with this trainer.  Since the trainer will provide "feedback regarding Professor Kilborn’s engagement and commitment to the goals of the program," disagreement or skepticism about the content of the program is presumably not welcome.

This is simply chilling.

(Prior coverage, including the debunking of the allegations of racial harassment against Kilborn.)

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 19, 2021 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

December 13, 2021

Faculty under 50 on the "most cited" lists (CORRECTED)

Lawprof Scott Dodson (Hastings) kindly shared a list of faculty under the age of 50 who have appeared on the "most-cited" lists for the period 2016-2020.   Law schools with three or more faculty on the "under 50" list are:  Chicago (7), Harvard (7), Yale (7), Georgetown (6), NYU (5), William & Mary (3).  On a per capita basis (as a percentage of the tenured faculty at each school), the top five schools are:

1.  University of Chicago (18%)

2.  Yale University (14%)

3.  College of William & Mary (11%)

4.  Harvard University (8%)

5.  Georgetown University (7%)

Persons Under 50 Appearing on the Most-Cited Lists
Name Institution Field
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson American Criminal Law
Amanda Frost American Immigration (partly)
Jennifer Chacon Berkeley Immigration
Angela Onwuachi-Willig Boston University Critical Theory (and partly Labor & Employment and Family Law)
Frank Pasquale Brooklyn Law & Tech
Anthony Casey Chicago Commercial Law
William Baude Chicago Constitutional Law
Aziz Huq Chicago Constitutional Law
Sonja Starr Chicago Criminal Law
Daniel Hemel Chicago Intellectual Property (partly) and Tax (partly)
Jonathan Masur Chicago Law & Econ (and partly Intellectual Property)
Lior Strahilevitz Chicago Property (partly)
Shyam Balganesh Columbia Intellectual Property
Jedidiah Purdy Columbia Property (partly)
Nancy Leong Denver Critical Theory
Brandon Garrett Duke Criminal Law
Ethan Leib Fordham Legislation/Statutory Interpretation (partly)
Joshua Wright George Mason Antitrust
Ilya Somin George Mason Immigration (partly)
Michael Abramowicz George Washington Law & Econ
Daniel Solove George Washington Law & Tech
Adam Levitin Georgetown Commercial Law
Michael Pardo Georgetown Evidence
Paul Ohm Georgetown Law & Tech
Josh Chafetz Georgetown Legislation/Statutory Interpretation
Anita Krishnakumar Georgetown Legislation/Statutory Interpretation
Brian Galle Georgetown Tax (partly)
Oren Bar-Gill Harvard Commercial Law
Nicholas Stephanopoulos Harvard Election Law
I. Glenn Cohen Harvard Health (and partly Family Law)
Rebecca Tushnet Harvard Intellectual Property
Matthew Stephenson Harvard Legislation/Statutory Interpretation (and partly Admin/Envi)
Jacob Gersen Harvard Legislation/Statutory Interpretation (partly)
Robert Sitkoff Harvard Property
Justin Levinson Hawaii Law & Social Science
David Gamage Indiana-Bloomington Tax
Justin Levitt Loyola LA Election Law (runner up)
Nicholas Bagley Michigan Health
Jill Hasday Minnesota Family Law
Daniel Schwarcz Minnesota Torts
Woodrow Hartzog Northweastern Law & Tech
Michael Kang Northwestern Election Law
Max Schanzenbach Northwestern Property
C. Scott Hemphill NYU Antitrust
Erin Murphy NYU Evidence
Melissa Murray NYU Family Law
Adam Cox NYU Immigration (and partly Election Law)
Jeanne Fromer NYU Intellectual Property
Christopher Walker Ohio State Admin/Envi
Cesar Garcia Hernandez Ohio State Immigration
David Hoffman Penn Law & Social Science (and partly Commercial Law)
Orly Lobel San Diego Labor & Employment (and partly Law & Tech)
Colleen Chien Santa Clara Intellectual Property
Michelle Mello Stanford Health
Lisa Larrimore Ouellette Stanford Intellectual Property
Stephen Vladeck Texas International Law & National Security
Scott Dodson UC Hastings Civil Procedure
Ryan Calo University of Washington Law & Tech
Michael Kagan UNLV Immigration
D. Daniel Sokol USC Antitrust
Edward Cheng Vanderbilt Evidence
Michael Livermore Virginia Admin/Envi
David Law Virginia Law & Social Science
Neil Richards Washington University Law & Tech
A. Benjamin Spencer William & Mary Civil Procedure (runner up)
Jeffrey Bellin William & Mary Evidence (partly)
Aaron-Andrew Bruhl William & Mary Legislation/Statutory Interpretation
Douglas Nejaime Yale Family Law
Christina Rodriguez Yale Immigration
Oona Hathaway Yale International Law & National Security
Samuel Moyn Yale Legal History
John Witt Yale Legal History
Abbe Gluck Yale Legislation/Statutory Interpretation (and partly Health)
Yair Listokin Yale Tax (partly)


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

December 8, 2021

In Memoriam: Leon Gabinet (1927-2021)

A longtime member of the Case Western law faculty, Professor Gabinet was still teaching tax law until about two months ago!   The Case Western memorial notice is here.

(Thanks to Erik Jensen for the pointer.)

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 8, 2021 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

December 6, 2021

More on the Temple Dean, US News rankings, and fraud

Sam Buell (Duke), a former federal prosecutor and criminal law expert, writes:

I was amused by your post about Porat and Temple.  Last year on the exam in my Corporate Crime course I gave the students the Porat indictment and asked them to analyze the case.  No winning defense available, of course, but many of the students rightly explored the possibility of using the issue of USN’s many opacities and faults as a complicating argument, either on the issue of materiality or on the issue of intent to defraud.  (Almost every corporate crime involves some kind of private or public regulatory body which can be blamed for not doing its job and essentially creating the opportunity for the criminality.)  I also asked the students to analyze the question of whether a prosecutor should consider charging Temple or at least requiring them to enter into some kind of settlement with remedial measures.  Lots to say there.

On your point about charging USN, maybe I should have asked that too (though I would have needed to give the students a lot more background facts).  That’s a tougher hill to climb.  USN as a supposed publication has no special duty with regard to its consumers, so failure to disclose fully how it makes its sausage can’t be a basis for a fraud case, especially not criminally.  One would have to point to an affirmative misrepresentation about their rankings process (or perhaps a concealed change in methodology that renders prior standing representations misleading).  Maybe there is such evidence?  I don’t know but haven’t seen it.  There is a potential analogy here to the credit rating agencies (S&P et al) who have, at least until very recently, been highly successful in getting courts to see them as akin to the media and merely sellers of opinions, rather than the quasi-regulators that they effectively have become.  Their role in the MBS market and its collapse is a familiar story to all of us now.


You might be interested in a case I include in chapter 2 of my textbook (downloadable for free at https://buelloncorporatecrime.com) that is civil not criminal, but involves post-financial crisis claims by students against New York Law School for misrepresentations about employment data.  The court dismissed the fraud claims, on a similar lack of duty analysis, finding no actual lies.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 6, 2021 in Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

December 2, 2021

More thoughts from Simon Lazarus (Yale Law '67) on the latest developments at Yale Law School

Mr. Lazarus (whose earlier and widely noted remarks on the "Trap House Affair" are here) kindly shared his recent assessment of developments since (including the lawsuit noted previously):  Download 12.1.2021 Trap House update (003).  An excerpt:

I write this update to assess several significant new developments. Of these, the most noted but not necessarily the most significant is Dean Heather Gerken’s Statement of November 17, her third formal pronouncement on the affair. While she broke new ground in publicly admitting serious errors that did not adequately “conform to our values,” she did not resolve the most critical issue, namely, whether she will remove the two Law School administrators who committed the egregious violations of due process and academic freedom acknowledged in the statement. Only with that further step will  Dean Gerken’s mea culpas lead to meaningful change in the life of the Law School....

[On November 15], [t]wo Yale law students, an African-American female and a Korean-American male, filed in a Connecticut federal district court a complaint alleging that “Two Yale Law School deans, along with Yale Law School’s Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, worked together in an attempt to blackball two students of color from job opportunities as retaliation for refusing to lie to support the University’s investigation into a professor of color.”  (The professor is Amy Chua, with whom Gerken and her staff had a longstanding and intense dispute over her approach to counseling students in her home.) This new allegation, and the supporting factual allegations detailed in the complaint, could suggest a pattern: the same administrators involved in the Trap House matter, Cosgrove and Eldik, deploying career-threatening pressure tactics similar to the threats caught on Trent Colbert’s I-phone, likewise to coerce students into signing statements that the students believed to be unjustified or outright false.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 2, 2021 in Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

December 1, 2021

Academic Freedom Alliance weighs in on case of Professor Kilborn at Illinois/Chicago John Marshall Law School

As well they should!   Since the law school is clearly out of control, the UIC higher administration needs to step in!

UPDATE:  Keith Whittington (Princeton) points out to me that the Administration has "stepped in," to defend the witch hunt!  The statement simply repeats the allegations that were dispatched by Professor Koppelman in his CHE article.  The chilling effect of all this at the University of Illinois at Chicago (not just the law school) will be immense, now that the Administration has put faculty on notice that any stray remarks that are plainly neither harasasing nor discriminatory can trigger official investigations and sanctions.

Posted by Brian Leiter on December 1, 2021 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Former Temple Business School Dean convicted of wire fraud for "cooking the books" in data reported to USNews.com

Story here.  I was struck by this quote from the prosecutor:

“The hope is that this case sends a message to other college and university administrators that there are real consequences to making representations that students and applicants rely on,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark B. Dubnoff said. “So many people turn to these rankings … to help them make informed decisions of where to go to college, graduate school, and it’s important that people are honest and fully truthful with the representations they make.”

You'll note who is missing in this sermon from the prosecutor:  the editors of USNews.com, who don't audit the self-reported data, and who then stir it into a stew of arbitrarily weighted factors to produce a ranking that misleads students and applicants, leading them to make misinformed decisions.   I guess the wire fraud statutes don't cover this kind of "fraud" on the public.


Posted by Brian Leiter on December 1, 2021 in Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice, Rankings | Permalink