Wednesday, May 14, 2014

          Thinkers and Doers: May 14, 2014

          Professors Joan C. Williams, George Bisharat, Hadar Aviram, Ben Depoorter, Joseph Cotchett '64, Gary Lieberstein '79, Steven Block '85, Tom Kensok '87, Theresa Gee '88, Greg Lanier '88, Veronica McGregor '98, Shaye Diveley '01.

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          Professor Hadar Aviram will swim a 10-mile marathon to raise money for the General Assistance Advocacy Project (GAAP).

          Joan C. Williams

          Professor Joan Williams (@JoanCWilliams) was quoted in New Scientist magazine about sex discrimination in the workplace. The piece, “Be a Player, Hate the Game: Beating Sex Disrimination,” is in the May 2014 issue.

          Joan C. WilliamsWilliams talked about the “solid evidence” that shows that it is gender bias that is holding women back at work, she has put together a list of strategies they can use to deal with it.

          The article states: The scientific literature on gender bias doesn't make for a pleasant read, with study after study having found that women face unfair pressures in the workplace. After an exhaustive analysis, Williams determined that most of the bias women experience falls into one of four categories. Together, these biases can create an environment in which a woman is expected to repeatedly prove her worth, exhibit a specific blend of masculine and feminine behaviors, support her female colleagues and somehow avoid letting motherhood affect her working life at all.

          Once Williams had identified these patterns, she set about publicizing them. She began by setting up an online game of "gender bias bingo," in which players can check off behaviors they have experienced and send in their own stories of discrimination. "Within three days, I'd received over 400 emails," she says. Read the full piece here.

          George Bisharat

          George BisharatProfessor George Bisharat penned an opinion piece that was picked up by the Budapest Business Journal, among other outlets, about the reconciliation efforts afoot between Hamas and Fatah, which are struggling for governance control of Palestine.

          The talks are aimed at setting up a technocratic government, followed within six months by new parliamentary and presidential elections.
          “Most Palestinians, who correctly sensed that disunity only weakened the Palestinians as a whole (and thus served Israel’s interests), greeted the announcement with jubilation,” Bisharat wrote. Read the entire piece here.

          Hadar Aviram

          Professor Hadar Aviram (@aviramh) is swimming a 10-mile marathon in aid of GAAP, the General Assistance Advocacy Project, run by Gary Lewis ’11. GAAP provides walk-in legal assistance to local residents, and is staffed by dozens of volunteer law students from UC Hastings.

          Hadar Aviram“Supporting GAAP is supporting a cause near and dear to my heart. I work in the Tenderloin every day and see the contrast between the wealth and possibilities offered by new technology ventures and the everyday poverty and misery that old-time Tenderloin residents experience in their struggle to obtain the most basic necessities of life,” Aviram said. “The good people at GAAP put not only their expertise, but their heart and soul, into their important work, going above and beyond traditional lawyering work to help their clients obtain food, health care, and safe living environments.”

          Aviram is an Israeli-American open water marathon swimmer. She holds the unofficial world record for a solo lengthwise crossing of the Sea of Galilee (21km/13mi) in compliance with the Global Marathon Swimming Federation Rules. Her previous swims include 18 miles out of the Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, the 11-mile Portland Bridge Swim, the 3x10k Three Seas in Three Days, the 10km USMS Championship in 2012, nine successful Alcatraz crossings and other races around the world. Read more about her GAAP swim here.

          Ben Depoorter

          Professor Ben Depoorter was quoted in The New Yorker about the rash of copyright suits filed by websites specializing in erotica.

          The article reads: "Adult-film companies are not the only ones that face piracy made possible by Internet file-sharing, and the Fields weren’t the first Ben Depoorterto consider legal action. In 2003, the Recording Industry Association of America started suing thousands of people suspected of illegally sharing music, stopping only after piracy declined and legitimate sales rose. In a lawsuit in 2011, the production company Voltage Pictures accused about twenty-five thousand defendants of stealing its movie “The Hurt Locker”; after announcing that it had reached a series of settlements with accused thieves, it dropped the vast majority of cases."

          Depoorter told the magazine that there is no U.S. government enforcement agency tasked with policing copyright infringement; the law is designed primarily for private civil lawsuits, like the ones that Malibu Media has filed. But some judges may question whether the company’s motive is to make money or to deter piracy, he said: “If you’re filing three lawsuits per day, that very much looks like an abusive model. Some judges may say this looks like a business model. On the other hand, infringement is infringement.” Read the full article here.

          Joseph Cotchett

          Joseph Cotchett ’64 spoke with the Associated Press about complaints that Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla blocked access to Martins Beach.

          Joseph CotchettKhosla testified he couldn’t remember seeing certain documents, including one from a judge saying he would need approval to close off access to the beach, which can now only be reached from the ocean.

          "I get 500 to 1,000 pages of documents a week. I'm not trying to be unreasonable, that is what my life is like," Khosla testified, according to KTVU-TV.

          The beach is near Half Moon Bay, about 35 miles south of San Francisco.

          "I was dumbfounded at the lack of ability to explain or remember," the plaintiff attorney Cotchett told KTVU in response to Khosla's testimony. Cotchett is representing the Surfrider Foundation in its efforts to reopen the beach. Read more about the case from the San Jose Mercury News here. A longer piece about the dispute, in San Francisco magazine, is here.

          Gary Lieberstein, Tom Kensok

          Tom Kensok ’87 is trying to unseat longtime Napa County District Attorney Gary Lieberstein ’79, who is running for a fifth term.

          Lieberstein, a prosecutor in Napa for nearly three decades, has received the endorsement of most elected officials in Napa County. Kensok, a veteran prosecutor in Contra Costa County, has received the support of all the law enforcement unions in Napa County, including the Napa County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Napa Police Officers’ Association. Read more from the Napa Valley Register here.

          Steven Block

          Steven Block ’85 was named a partner at Lazer, Aptheker, Rosella & Yedid. Block practices in the areas of trusts and estates and taxation. He is also a Certified Public Accountant. Read more here.

          Theresa Gee

          Theresa GeeTheresa Gee ’88, counsel at O’Melveny & Myers, will speak at the Knowledge Group’s webcast July 11, 2014. The program is entitled “408(b)2 and 404(a) Fee Disclosure: New Compliance Challenges in 2014.” She joined the firm from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor, where she was a Deputy Associate Solicitor in the division responsible for ERISA litigation and advice. See additional details on the program here.

          Greg Lanier

          Greg Lanier ’88 was quoted in numerous news outlets, including Bloomberg and the Washington Post, about Oracle’s efforts to reinstate a $1.3 billion verdict against SAP.

          Greg LanierLanier, SAP’s lawyer argued against reinstating the $1.3 billion or sending the case back to the trial court. Lanier said the U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton was right to reduce the jury’s verdict because jurors were “inflamed by a lot of evidence of theft.” Lanier argues that the jury based its verdict on what SAP would have paid Oracle if SAP properly licensed Oracle’s software. But SAP argues that’s an incorrect way to calculate damages because Oracle would never have licensed its software to a fierce rival like SAP. Read more here.

          Veronica McGregor

          Veronica McGregor ’98 moved her corporate practice to Hogan Lovells, along with Nathaniel Gallon. McGregor focuses her practice on virtual and crypto currency payments, mCommerce, stored value systems, Internet eCommerce attorney, mobile payments, consumer lending, anti-money laundering compliance, privacy, technology licensing and credit/debit networks.

          “We are very excited to welcome Nate and Veronica to the corporate team,” Stuart Stein, the Global Co-head of the Hogan Lovells Corporate practice group, said. “Having two partners of this caliber join our strong corporate practice in Northern California is a powerful signal to the market of our commitment to Northern California, and the advantages of our global platform and client base. We will continue to expand with high quality colleagues who can support and grow our practice in our strategic priorities.”

          Shaye Diveley

          Shaye Diveley ’01 has joined the Meyers Nave Land Use and Environmental Practice Group. She litigates and counsels on issues related to water quality, endangered species, land use and related issues. She previously was at Morrison & Foerster.

          Read more Thinkers & Doers here. Know someone who should be in Thinkers & Doers? Send your story tips here.

          --May 14, 2014

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