Monday, April 24, 2017

Ousted Cincinatti Law Dean Jennifer Bard sues the university and the interim Provost

Blog Emperor Caron, who used to teach at Cincinnatti, has the complaint.

April 24, 2017 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Sunday, April 23, 2017

How sustainable is elite law firms' competitive advantage? (Michael Simkovic)

Elisabeth de Fontenay at Duke argues that elite law firms' expertise in sophisticated corporate transactions is self-sustaining and resistant to competition.  This is in part because firms with that do the lions share of negotiation and drafting for specific kinds of transactions create, manage and retain private information about the current market for terms.

April 23, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Friday, April 21, 2017

Judge rejects Whittier faculty's request for TRO on closure of law school

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lateral hires with tenure or on tenure-track, 2016-17

MOVING TO FRONT--ORIGINALLY POSTED AUGUST 1, 2016

These are non-clinical appointments that will take effect in 2017 (except where noted); I will move the list to the front at various intervals as new additions come in.   (Recent additions are in bold.)  Last year's list is here.

 

*Aviva Abramovsky (commercial law, insurance law, financial regulation, legal ethics) from Syracuse University to the University at Buffalo (to become Dean).

 

*Ifeoma Ajunwa (privacy, health law & policy, antidiscrimination law) from the University of District Columbia Clarke School of Law to Cornell University Industrial and Labor Relations (with a courtesy appointment in law as well) (untenured lateral).

 

*Erez Aloni (family law, contracts, law & sexuality) from Whittier Law School to Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia (untenured lateral). 

 

*Angela Banks (immigration law) from the College of William & Mary to Arizona State University.

 

*Natalie Banta (property, trusts & estates, tax) from Valparaiso University to Drake University (untenured lateral).

 

*Binyamin Blum (legal history, evidence, criminal procedure) from Hebrew University, Jerusalem to the University of California Hastings (starting in Spring 2018) (untenured lateral). 

 

*Eleanor Brown (property, immigration and migration law, law & development) from George Washington University to Pennsylvania State University, University Park. 

 

*Christopher Bruner (corporate law, securities regulation) from Washington & Lee University to the University of Georgia.

 

*Megan Carpenter (intellectual property) from Texas A&M University to the University of New Hampshire (to become Dean).

 

*Nicolas Cornell (contracts, law & philosophy) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania to the University of Michigan (law) (untenured lateral).

 

*Sharon Davies (criminal law & procedure) from Ohio State University to Spelman College (to become Provost).

 

*Darby Dickerson (higher education law & policy, litigation ethics) from Texas Tech University (where she is currently Dean) to John Marshall Law School, Chicago (to become Dean).

 

*Ben Edwards (corporate law, securities regulation, consumer financial protection) from Barry University to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (untenured lateral).

 

*Tonya Evans (intellectual property, entertainment law, trusts & estates) from Widener University Commonwealth to the University of New Hampshire.

 

*Sheila Foster (property, land use, environmental law & policy, local government) from Fordham University to Georgetown University (joint with Public Policy).

 

*Eric Franklin (corporate, contracts, economic & community development clinic) from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (untenured latereal).

 

*David Gamage (tax) from the University of California, Berkeley to Indiana University, Bloomington.

 

*Sarah Haan (corporate) from the University of Idaho to Washington & Lee University.

 

*Kevin Haeberle (corporate law, securities regulation) from University of South Carolina to the College of William & Mary (untenured lateral)

 

*Sam Halabi (health law) from the University of Tulsa to the University of Missouri, Columbia.

 

*David Hasen (tax) from the University of Colorado, Boulder to the University of Florida, Gainesville.

 

*Alison Hoffman (health law & policy) from the University of California, Los Angeles to the University of Pennsylvania.

 

*David Hoffman (contracts, law & psychology) from Temple University to the University of Pennsylvania.

 

*Nicole Huberfeld (health law, constitutional law) from the University of Kentucky to the School of Public Health, Boston University.

 

*Blake Hudson (environmental law, natural resources, land use) from Louisiana State University to the University of Houston.

 

*Lolita Buckner Inniss (property, legal history) from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law to Southern Methodist University.

 

*Margot Kaminski (law & technology, civil liberties, privacy law) from Ohio State University to University of Colorado, Boulder (untenured lateral).

 

*Kurt Lash (constitutional law) from the University of Illinois to the University of Richmond.

 

*Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky (torts, First Amendment) from the University of Florida to the University of Missouri, Columbia (to become Dean).

 

*Pamela Metzger (criminal law & procedure) from Tulane University to Southern Methodist University.

 

*Samuel Moyn (legal history, human rights) from Harvard University to Yale University.

 

*Alexandra Natapoff (criminal law & procedure) from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles to University of California, Irvine.

 

*Douglas NeJaime (family law, law & sexuality, constitutional law) from the University of California, Los Angeles to Yale University.

 

*Shu-Yi Oei (tax) from Tulane University to Boston College.

 

*Ruth Okediji (intellectual property, international intellectual property, innovation policy) from the University of Minnesota to Harvard University.

 

*David Orentlicher (health law) from Indiana University, Indianapolis to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

 

*Hari M. Osofsky (energy law, climate change, law & science) from the University of Minnesota to Pennsylvania State University, University Park (to become Dean).

 

*Alice Ristroph (criminal law & procedure, constitutional law, political theory) from Seton Hall University to Brooklyn Law School.

 

*Stephen Rushin (criminal law & procedure) from the University of Alabama to Loyola University, Chicago (untenured lateral).

 

*Victoria Sahani (alternative dispute resolution, international arbitration) from Washington & Lee University to Arizona State University.

 

*Michael Hunter Schwartz (legal education & pedagogy) from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock to McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific (to become Dean).

 

*Joshua Sellers (election law, constitutional law, legislation, civil procedure) from the University of Oklahoma, Norman to Arizona State University (untenured lateral).

 

*Michael Simkovic (bankruptcy, tax, corporate) from Seton Hall University to the University of Southern California.

 

*Brad Snyder (civil procedure, constitutional law, legal history) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison to Georgetown University.

 

*Matthew Tokson (criminal procedure, cyberlaw, intellectual property) from Northern Kentucky University to the University of Utah (untenured lateral).

 

*Franita Tolson (election law, constitutional law, employment discrimination) from Florida State University to the University of Southern California.

 

*Rebecca Tushnet (intellectual property, First Amendment) from Georgetown University to Harvard University.

 

*Ryan Vacca (intellectual property) from the University of Akron to the University of New Hampshire.

 

*Urska Velikonja (corporate, securities regulation) from Emory University to Georgetown University.

April 20, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Whittier in California to close its law school

This, I believe, is the first genuine closure of an ABA-accredited not-for-profit law school since the economic collapse of 2008 and the subsequent downturn in law school applications.

(Thanks to Rick Hasen for the pointer.)

UPDATE:  Whittier law faculty are suing to stop the closure of the school, basically on breach of contract grounds (the complaint takes the position that the faculty contracts incorporate the faculty handbook provisions on academic freedom and tenure, and that no financial exigency exists which would justify terminating their employment, that no educational reasons exist for doing so, and that faculty in any case have not been included in the decision-making process, as they should have been under the AAUP rules in the handbook).

April 19, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The 10 most cited health law scholars, 2010-2014 (Michael Simkovic)

Mark Hall and Glenn Cohen have extended Brian Leiter's approach to ranking faculty by scholarly citations (based on Sisk data) to the field of health law.

According to Hall and Cohen, the most cited health law scholars in 2010-2014 (inclusive) are:

Rank Name School Citations Approx. Age in 2017
1 Larry Gostin Georgetown 510     67
2 Mark A. Hall Wake Forest 480     62
3 David A. Hyman Georgetown 360     56
4 I. Glenn Cohen Harvard 320     39
5 John A. Robertson Texas 310     74
6 Mark Rothstein Louisville 300     68
6 Michelle M. Mello Stanford 300     46
6 Frank Pasquale Maryland 300     43
9 Lars Noah Florida 280     52
10 George J. Annas Boston U 270     72

 

The full ranking is available here.

April 18, 2017 in Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Law in Cyberspace, Of Academic Interest, Rankings, Weblogs | Permalink

Monday, April 17, 2017

UNC's Gene Nichol blasts politically motivated attack on Civil Rights Center, as well as university leadership

A searing indictment, and an embarrassment for the university and the state.

April 17, 2017 in Faculty News, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Friday, April 14, 2017

Former Berkeley Law Dean Choudhry settles lawsuits with Berkeley and with the secretary, Ms. Sorrell, who accused him of sexual harassment

The full settlement agreement with Berkeley is here:   Download Choudhry - Fully Executed SA

Briefly:  Prof. Choudhry will resign at the end of the 2017-18 academic year; he will pay $50,000 towards Ms. Sorrell's legal fees and $50,000 towards a designated charity; the university acknowledges that Prof. Choudhry was not found to have committed any sexual assault or to have acted with any sexual intent.  I am on the road, so if I've missed relevant details in my cursory review of the settlement, please e-mail me.

UPDATE:  I was astonished to see these statements from Ms. Sorell and her lawyer:

A woman who sued the University of California and the former dean of UC Berkeley's law school for sexual harassment is outraged that the school is allowing him to keep his tenured professorship, she announced Saturday...

 

"This is just one more example of UC refusing to take sexual harassment seriously and once again offering a soft landing even after a finding of harassment," Sorrell's attorney, Leslie F. Levy, said Saturday.

One of Prof. Choudhry's attorneys wrote to me: "You will be interested to know that Ms. Sorrell and her lawyers have had our agreement with UC for over a month and had no objection."   But put that to one side:   this reaction to the settlement is insane.  Prof. Choudhry has given up his tenured position, and given up his salary effective July 1; he gets the "title" for another year, but is on an unpaid "sabbatical" [sic].  That is supposed to be evidence that Berkeley offered the accused a "soft landing"?  What exactly does the plaintiff want here? 

Everyone I have heard from speaks very highly of Ms. Sorrell, who was undoubtedfly subjected to wrongful treatment, even if it was done, as Berkeley admits, without sexual intent; so I fear she has here been given very bad advice by her attorney at this point, who is presumably responsible for this absurd and vindictive pronouncement.

ANOTHER:  Ms. Sorrell and her attorney got a payout of $1.7 million from Berkeley as part of their settlement.  That's an astonishing number when you recall that, e.g., Steven Salaita, wrongfully fired from a tenured position by the University of Illinois and his attorneys got only $850,000 a few years ago.  The exraordinarily large settlement also makes the vindictive comments about Choudhry all the more striking.

April 14, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

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

They are:  Heather Gerken (the new Dean at Yale), George Triantis (Stanford), James Whitman (Yale), Tim Wu (Columbia), and Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard).

April 12, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

February Bar Exam, Florida results

The big winners were graduates of Florida International University and the University of Miami.

April 12, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest, Rankings | Permalink

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

USNews.com adds GRE scores to ranking formula

Bill Henderson (Indiana) comments.  (I'm more skeptical than Henderson appears to be that the adoption of GRE by Harvard had anything to do with rankings, though.  Harvard's US News problem has to do with its size, and nothing else--if it were even half the size it is, it would be #1 every year.  But being more than twice the size of Yale, Stanford, and Chicago means it is punished in the per capita expenditures measure because of economies of scale.)

Isn't it a bit nutty that law school admissions in the United States are run by a guy who works for a ranking website?

April 11, 2017 in Rankings | Permalink

Friday, April 7, 2017

The latest from LSAC on applicants

"As of 3/31/17, there are 319,072 applications submitted by 47,916 applicants for the 2017–2018 academic year. Applicants are down 1.9% and applications are up 0.3% from 2016–2017.  Last year at this time, we had 87% of the preliminary final applicant count."

April 7, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Thursday, April 6, 2017

More on Judge Gorsuch, plagiarism, and Oxford

Leslie Green, who holds one of the two statutory (i.e., university-wide) Chairs in Philosophy of Law at Oxford, has now expanded on his thoughts about the Gorsuch plagiarism case and the claims of John Finnis (who held a personal chair in legal philosophy, but is now emeritus).  (Earlier posts here and here.)

April 6, 2017 in Jurisprudence, Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

On Judge Gorsuch's plagiarism

In fact, plagiarism is not, contrary to John Finnis, normal practice at Oxford.  This also is irrelevant to his nomination, but the Judge should acknowledge the error.

April 5, 2017 in Jurisprudence, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

Monday, April 3, 2017

Touchy originalists!

Mary Bilder (Boston College) wrote an opinion piece for the Boston Globe about originalism and Judge Gorsuch.  This elicited the following astonishing reply from originalist Larry Solum (Georgetown) on his usually benign and informative Legal Theory Blog.  Some of the questions might have made sense were Solum the referee for a scholarly article making some of these claims; as a response to an op-ed, they are almost comical overreactions.  Take just Solum's first intervention:

Question One: You wrote the following:

Today, most originalists contend that a judge should abide by the text’s “original public meaning” — a term of art that originalist scholars have written thousands of pages trying to explain.

What is the basis for the page count?  Which articles by which originalists scholars are you discussing?  I am very familiar with the theoretical literature on original public meaning, but if this claim is correct there is a large body of work that I have missed entirely.

The basis for the "page count"?  Seriously?  One can look just at Solum's own SSRN page to find at least 400 pages of writing on this topic.  And that's just one author.  Add in Randy Barnett, Keith Whittington, the late Justice Scalia, John McGinnis, Michael Rappaport, Larry Alexander, Will Baude, and Stephen Sachs, and "thousands" seems like a plausible off-the-cuff estimate.  But why quibble about nonsense like this?

I would advise Prof. Bilder to let these questions pass in silence.

UPDATE:  Prof. Solum replies here; I will give him the final word on this matter!

April 3, 2017 in Faculty News, Legal Humor, Of Academic Interest, Professional Advice | Permalink

Sunday, April 2, 2017

New York Times Reporter Elizabeth Olson Claims That Professors Earning Less than First Year Associates are Paid like Law Firm Partners (Michael Simkovic)

New York Times reporter Elizabeth Olson recently complained that the Dean of the University of Cincinnati College of Law was suspended after attempting to slash faculty compensation (“Cincinnati Law Dean Is Put on Leave After Proposing Ways to Cut Budget”).  According to Olson, “law schools like Cincinnati [pay hefty] six-figure professor salaries that are meant to match partner-level wages.” 

Olson goes on to cite the compensation of the current and former Dean of the law school.  This makes about as much sense as citing newspaper executive compensation in a discussion about reducing pay for beat reporters.

Data from 2015—the latest readily publicly available—shows that law professors at Cincinnati earned total compensation averaging $133,000.  A few professors earned less than six figures. Only one faculty member—a former dean and one of the most senior members of the faculty—earned more than $180,000.  Including only Full Professors—the most senior, accomplished faculty members who have obtained tenure and typically have between seven and forty years of work experience—brings average total compensation to $154,000 per year.

As Olson herself reported less than a year ago, first year associates at large law firms earn base salaries of $180,000 per year, not counting substantial bonuses and excellent benefits.  With a few years of experience, elite law firm associates’ total compensation including bonus can exceed $300,000.  Law firm partners at the largest 200 firms can earn hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per year according to the American Lawyer, and often receive large pensions after retirement.

Continue reading

April 2, 2017 in Advice for Academic Job Seekers, Guest Blogger: Michael Simkovic, Legal Profession, Ludicrous Hyperbole Watch, Weblogs | Permalink

Friday, March 31, 2017

Bureau of Labor Statistics: another strong year for legal employment and incomes

Details here.

March 31, 2017 in Legal Profession, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

"Justifying Academic Freedom: John Stuart Mill and Herbert Marcuse Revisited"

A new draft paper that may be of interest to some readers; the abstract:

I argue that the core of genuinely academic freedom ought to be freedom in research and teaching, subject to disciplinary standards of expertise. I discuss the law in the United States, Germany, and England, and express doubts about the American view that distinctively academic freedom ought to encompass "extramural" speech on matters of public importance (speakers should be protected from employment repercussions for such speech, but not because of their freedom qua academics).

I treat freedom of academic expression as a subset of general freedom of expression, focusing on the Millian argument that freedom of expression maximizes discovery of the truth, one regularly invoked by defenders of academic freedom. Marcuse argued against Mill (in 1965) that "indiscriminate" toleration of expression would not maximize discovery of the truth. I show that Marcuse agreed with Mill that free expression is only truth- and utility-maximizing if certain background conditions obtain: thus Mill argues that the British colony in India would be better off with "benevolent despotism" than Millian liberty of expression, given that its inhabitants purportedly lacked the maturity and education requisite for expression to be utility-maximizing. Marcuse agrees with Mill that the background conditions are essential, but has an empirical disagreement with him about what those are and when they obtain: Mill finds them wanting in colonial India, Marcuse finds them wanting in capitalist America.

Perhaps surprisingly, Marcuse believes that "indiscriminate" toleration of expression should be the norm governing academic discussions, despite his doubts about the utility-maximizing value of free expression in capitalist America. Why think that? Here is a reason: where disciplinary standards of expertise govern debate, the discovery of truth really is more likely, but only under conditions of "indiscriminate" freedom of argument, i.e., academic freedom. This freedom is not truly "indiscriminate": its boundaries are set by disciplinary competence, which raises an additional question I try to address.

In sum, the libertarians (Mill and Popper) and the Marxists (Marcuse) can agree that academic freedom is justified, at least when universities are genuine sites of scientific expertise and open debate.

March 31, 2017 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Next Dean at Berkeley?

Candidates include (at least) Erwin Chemerinsky (UC Irvine), Laura Gomez (UCLA), and Kimberly Yuracko (Northwestern).

March 30, 2017 in Faculty News | Permalink

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

"Naturalism in Legal Philosophy" revised and updated at Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP)

It's also now co-authored with Max Etchemendy, our Law & Philosophy Fellow this year at Chicago.  SEP is a uniquely excellent on-line resource; I commend it to readers looking for high-level introductions to almost any topic in philosophy.

March 29, 2017 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Who is paying the defense attorney fees for one of the accused in the Markel murder?

The state wants to know, the defense lawyers don't want to say.  Anyone know how unusual such requests are and what the rules are in Florida governing disclosure?

March 28, 2017 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink | Comments (0)