Wednesday, November 18, 2015

          Thinkers & Doers: Nov. 18, 2015

          UC Hastings community members in the news and making moves.
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          In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, heated debates are taking place around the world about how law enforcement officials can thwart terrorist plots infiltrating encryption apps available for consumer devices. In a Christian Science Monitor article, Professor Ahmed Ghappour advocates the need for investment so that law enforcement can improve their encryption technology investigative skills. In a separate op-ed for Just Security, Professor Ghappour discusses the possibility of the FBI employing “zero-day” exploits, “a hidden software bug for which no fix or patch exists,” to obtain evidence of criminal activity.

          Professor Rory Little lent his voice to the commentary surrounding the recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision on the California death penalty. “The petitioner in this case will not be executed any time soon because he will presumably file a petition in the California Supreme Court. And then the [court] will have to deal with this theory of arbitrariness and over long delays,” said Little in an article that aired on He was also cited in a story about the case in the San Jose Mercury News.

          What are the odds that other states will follow New York’s lead after its decision to ban daily fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings from accepting bets in the state? Professor Little predicted that NY’s decision will have national consequences in a recent San Francisco Gate article that also quoted California Attorney General Kamala Harris ’89

          Foreign Affairs magazine looked to China expert Professor Keith Hand for comment in a story about the country’s longstanding history of height bias against its people. China’s Napoleon Complex.

          Professor Ugo Mattei was recently in Italy promoting his new book, The Ecology of Law. Italian publication Trentino Corriere Alpi interviewed him in advance of his appearance at the University of Trento to discuss the book’s themes.

          Professor Dave Owen authored an amicus brief for a case involving gravel mining in the San Francisco Bay. The First Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal issued a decision that in large part adopted the arguments the brief raised. Professors David Takacs and Brian Gray also signed on as amici. 

          Newspaper monopolies? Healthcare provider monopolies? Regardless of the industry, UC Hastings professors have something to say on the subject of antitrust law. “Newspapers used to have monopoly power, but clearly, they don’t anymore,” remarked Adjunct Professor Sam Miller, discussing antitrust issues affecting the newspaper industry in an Orange County Register article about Tribune Publishing Co.’s $3 million offer to help bankrupt Freedom Communications auction the Register and another publication. And Professor Jaime King spoke to Modern Healthcare about two recently proposed mergers in the healthcare industry that have been the subject of congressional hearings.

          Professor Jill Bronfman recently went global close to home and lent her expertise to the “Privacy in the Internet of Things (IoT)” workshop at the Netherlands Consulate General in San Francisco, where she gave a presentation on privacy notice models for IoT user interfaces. 

          “The US-Israel relationship is based on military, strategic and security interests, not personalities, and it is changing,” commented Professor George Bisharat in a Middle East Eye story about Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent visit to the White House.

          Professor Geoffrey Hazard was quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer story about the continuing saga of a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice who resigned in the aftermath of an email porn scandal. In the latest developments, a judge who sits on the panel in charge of deciding whether the former justice should be sanctioned received some of the pornographic communications. “You can’t purport to be neutral in that circumstance,” commented Professor Hazard.

          “I’m a big fan of Professor Joan Williams at UC Hastings,” commented Laura Stein, Senior VP and General Counsel of The Clorox Company, on Professor Williams’ research into bias interruptors. Her scholarship on bias was also cited in an excerpt from a book of essays about Hillary Clinton that was reproduced by Fortune. On another note, Professor Williams and Professor Susan Lambert of the University of Chicago have just announced the second phase of the “Stable Schedules Study,” which will pilot scheduling policies and practices in 30 Gap stores in San Francisco and Chicago aimed at promoting stability for hourly workers.

          “It's a great model for a kind of problem solving advocacy that we don't see very often,” raves the Workplace Prof Blog about the Center for WorkLife Law’s new Pregnant@Work initiative, which provides resources for lawyers, pregnant women, healthcare providers and employers about accommodating pregnant women at work.

          Professor Radhika Rao joined preeminent scholars in law, ethics and science as a panelist at the 2015 Stem Cell Symposium at UC Irvine. This year’s theme, “The Challenge of Informed Consent in Times of Controversy,” examined human subject research protections in stem-cell clinical trials. Professor Rao’s panel included a group of experts who discussed the role of law in human research.

          “I know it is the right thing for me to dedicate my life to helping others,” says 2L Janice Stillman, a longtime advocate for children of incarcerated parents and a recipient of the Sonoma County Women in Law scholarship, in a profile that recently appeared in the Sonoma County Gazette.

          “For the first time, we have nationwide enforceable safety standards for fruits and vegetables consumed raw,” commented Sandra Eskin ‘84, director of food safety at the Pew Charitable Trusts, in a NY Times article about the FDA’s new rules that require food importers to ensure that the food they bring into the U.S. meets American safety standards.

          This week’s alumni moves include a judgeship, a city council seat and a bar association triple play. Diana Papan ’88 joins the ranks of alumni making a difference in local politics. She was just elected to the San Mateo City Council. Frank Ospino ‘84, who has served as the Orange County Public Defender since 2012, was just appointed by Governor Brown to a judgeship on the Orange County Superior Court. Andrew Houston ’07, Eric Casher ’06 and Vincent Brown ’10 are the newly elected president, vice president and treasurer, respectively, of the Charles Houston Bar Association in Oakland, CA.

          Casey Berman ’99, a tech executive and founder of, penned an advice column for Above the Law about young lawyers looking to leave the practice. In his piece, he gives a shout-out to his alma mater by citing Professor Joan Williams and the Center for WorkLife Law’s “Disruptive Innovation” study.

          Tal Winter’s ‘97 and Kate Cutler’s ‘98 glass bottles have a cult following and Hawaii has taken notice. The business partners and their company, BKR, are profiled in a recent edition of the Honolulu Pulse. For a recent UC Hastings profile on the pair, click here.

          A recent op-ed in the Red Bluff Daily News proposes naming the new Tehama County Courthouse after Clair Engle ’33. Engle served as the Tehama County DA for eight years before entering politics and serving as a U.S. congressman and senator. He died in 1964, about a month after voting in favor of the Civil Rights Act.


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          The Faculty Executive Committee adopted this policy in 2011 after consultation with individual faculty members.

          UC Hastings is committed to the principle that the pursuit of knowledge and the free expression of ideas is at the heart of the academic mission, whether in the classroom, in the selection of clinical projects and clients, and in research, scholarship, public presentations, and contributions to public fora. This is especially true when the ideas or subjects are unpopular or controversial in society, as orthodox ideas need no protection. No person or organization outside the academic community should be permitted to determine which ideas or projects may be explored, expressed, supported or endorsed. Read the full policy here.


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