Podcast category: Legal News

Planet Lex: The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Podcast

Integrating the Law and STEM Focused Multidisciplinary Education

The increasing societal shift toward a more global marketplace encourages many graduates to seek a multidisciplinary education. How does learning skills from various fields help students in the workplace and what value can legal knowledge add?

In this episode of Planet Lex, host Dan Rodriguez talks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law J. Landis Martin Professor of Law & Business Emerson Tiller and Clinical Associate Professor of Law Director Leslie Oster about the new Master of Science in Law Program. Emerson shares that the goal of the program is to train individuals who come from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) backgrounds, in the ways that law can integrate the more technical aspects of business management and innovation. Leslie discusses the program’s objectives to help the students be more nimble in their problem solving and empower them with the tools to analyze issues more holistically. She also emphasizes that students who understand multiple disciplines and how they interact will be able to offer unique perspectives relative to their peers and coworkers. Emerson evaluates the benefits of having business people and entrepreneurs intermingling with law students on campus, and they both discuss how the program has attracted a 50% male to female gender balance. They close the interview with a discussion of the opportunities this program presents their graduates and how interested individuals with STEM backgrounds can enter the program.

Emerson H. Tiller joined the Northwestern University faculty in 2003 as a professor of law with a courtesy appointment at the Kellogg School of Management as professor of business law. Prior to joining the Northwestern faculty, Professor Tiller was a professor at the University of Texas, Graduate School of Business, where he also directed the Center for Business, Technology and Law. His research has primarily focused on empirical and theoretical analyses of political forces in regulatory and judicial decision-making.

Leslie Oster is a clinical associate professor of law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.  Before coming to Northwestern in 2012, Leslie worked in a variety of administrative and academic positions in legal education. She was the dean of students at Berkeley’s law school for 11 years and also held positions as special assistant to the dean at the University of San Diego School of Law and assistant dean for strategic planning at the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught a variety of skills classes and classes on the courts, as an instructor at University of California, Hastings College of the Law, director of legal writing at University of California, Berkeley, director of lawyering skills at the University of San Diego, and a senior lecturer at University of Texas at Austin. Prior to her career in legal education, Leslie worked as a city attorney and clerked in the California Courts of Appeal. She received her law and undergraduate degrees from University of California, Berkeley. At Northwestern, Leslie is teaching medical innovation and working on new academic initiatives, including the Master of Science in Law degree, a one year master’s degree for STEM-trained students.

Planet Lex: The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Podcast

The Evolution of Copyright in Music

New technology has greatly lowered the barrier of entry into the music industry for new artists looking to release recordings and distribute their music. How have these emergent technologies affected copyright law and, subsequently, the salaries of working musicians?

In this episode of Planet Lex, host Dan Rodriguez talks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Professor of Law Searle Research Fellow Peter DiCola about music copyright law and how new technology has affected the industry. Peter speaks briefly about his professional history and opens the interview with an explanation of copyright law. He then analyzes how early technology, like the piano roll and the phonograph, challenged notions of whether and how composers should get paid and provides examples of how these questions are still relevant today. Peter then discusses the formation of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and provides insight into how the Copyright Royalty Board determines the price satellite radio and webcasting services should pay for the use of sound recordings. He evaluates the differences in how Congress established licenses for webcasting vs. on-demand internet radio and compares the varying restrictions for each. Peter closes the interview with a discussion of songwriter income reduction and whether the societal devaluation of music even permits these artists to work in the industry full time today.

Peter DiCola is a Searle Research Fellow professor of law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. In his work, DiCola uses empirical methods and applied economic models to study intellectual property law, media regulation, and their intersection. He received his JD and his PhD in economics from the University of Michigan. His research has centered on the music industry and related industries. In graduate school, he worked with the non-profit Future of Music Coalition on many research projects and he continues to serve on its board of directors. His current work focuses on copyright law’s regime for digital sampling and deregulation in the radio industry.

Planet Lex: The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Podcast

Defending Brendan Dassey of “Making a Murderer”

Many people have become familiar with the trial of Brendan Dassey through the 2015 Netflix television series “Making A Murderer.” His case raises a number of concerns regarding youth interrogations and the confessions.

In the debut episode of Planet Lex, host Dan Rodriguez speaks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Clinical Professor of Law Steven Drizin and Clinical Assistant Professor of Law Laura Nirider about youth interrogation, false confessions, and their representation of Brendan Dassey. Steve shares that he was contacted by a friend in the Wisconsin state appellate defenders office to represent Brendan. Because of the Wisconsin appellate process, they had to do two years of intensive investigation before filing their appeal with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Laura talks about their petition for a writ of habeas corpus asking the Wisconsin federal court to review Brendan’s interrogation confession, his original legal representation, and the way Wisconsin state courts handled Brendan’s case. They both provide insight on federal laws pertinent to the Dassey case and explain how the 5th Amendment protects all citizens from being coerced into giving a confession. They close the interview with an analysis of Brendan’s defense attorney Len Kachinsky’s duty of loyalty breach and the realities of false confessions that they hope people will take away from their legal work.

Steven Drizin is a clinical professor of law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law where he has been on the faculty since 1991. He is also the assistant dean of the Bluhm Legal Clinic. He served as the legal director of the clinic’s renowned Center on Wrongful Convictions from March 2005 to September 2013. At the center, Professor Drizin’s research interests involve the study of false confessions, and his policy work focuses on supporting efforts around the country to require law enforcement agencies to electronically record custodial interrogations.

Laura Nirider is a clinical assistant professor of law and co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth (CWCY) at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in Chicago. Nirider represents individuals who were wrongfully convicted of crimes when they were children or teenagers. Her clients have included Brendan Dassey, whose case was profiled in the Netflix Global series “Making a Murderer,” and Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three, whose case was profiled in the documentary “West of Memphis.”

ABA Journal: Modern Law Library

How a 1980s lynching case helped bring down the Klan

On the morning of March 21, 1981, the body of 19-year-old Michael Donald was found hanging from a tree in Mobile, Alabama. The years that followed saw the conviction of his two killers and a civil case brought by Donald’s mother which bankrupted the largest Klan organization in the United States.

In this episode of The Modern Law Library, we speak with Laurence Leamer about his new book on the case, The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle that Brought Down the Klan. He shares details about how and why Donald was killed, what became of his killers, and how the case also brought Morris Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center into greater national prominence.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

The Supreme Court End of Term Wrap-Up

On June 27th, the Supreme Court wrapped up its term with some standout cases. Immigration, affirmative action, abortion clinic restrictions, guns and domestic violence, and public corruption are only a few cases that have ended an eventful and, at some times, controversial Supreme Court term. These cases alongside a vacant seat on the Supreme Court have made this term an interesting one to say the least.

On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, hosts J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi join Tony Mauro, Supreme Court correspondent for the National Law Journal and Suzanna Sherry, the Herman O. Loewenstein professor of law at Vanderbilt University Law School, as they discuss the Supreme Court’s end of term. They will take a look back at the standout cases, the last cases before the term ended, the impact of the loss of Justice Scalia and one less justice, and look forward to the start of next term in October.

Tony Mauro is the Supreme Court correspondent for the National Law Journal. Tony has covered the Supreme Court for over 30 years. During his tenure, Tony has also written about the First Amendment and food, reviewing restaurants for various publications. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife, Kathy Cullinan, and his daughter, Emily Mauro, lives nearby in Arlington.

Suzanna Sherry is the Herman O. Loewenstein professor of law at Vanderbilt University Law School. Her writing focuses primarily on constitutional law and procedures and doctrines of the federal courts, including the Supreme Court. She is the author of seven books, including four textbooks, and more than 75 articles. She received her A.B. from Middlebury College and her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

ABA Law Student Podcast

Pairing Legal Activism with Restorative Justice

Even though research shows that African American males are no more likely to use or sell drugs than Caucasian males, in at least 15 states they are admitted to prison on drug charges at rates 20 to 57 times higher. Some law students are drawn to pursue legal careers with the goal of bringing positive change to these and other statistics and to impact the criminal justice system on a neighborhood level. What can law students do to learn more about what restorative justice means and help to build a better criminal justice system professionally?

In this episode of the ABA Law Student Podcast host Fabiani Duarte invites guest host Amanda Joy Washington to sit down with organizer, law student, and activist Ruby-Beth Buitekant to discuss restorative justice and the Black Lives Matter movement. Ruby-Beth opens by sharing some of her early work experience with the Center for Court Innovation, through the Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets program, and discusses the transformative effects the program has had on her Crown Heights, Brooklyn neighborhood. She then explores the concept that humans should be free of state and interpersonal violence, an approach that is the basis for a lot of her work. The group then analyzes the use of disruption as a tactic in activism and ponder the statement “All Lives Matter” that has arisen in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Ruby-Beth then wraps up the discussion with some information on how law students can get more involved in, and learn more about, restorative justice.

Ruby-Beth Buitekant is a law student, organizer, and activist attending City University School of Law in New York City. Buitekant bases her work on the radical idea that humans should be free from state and interpersonal violence. This summer she will be working with the Center For Constitutional Rights as part of their Ella Baker Summer Internship Program.

ABA Law Student Podcast

Ending Mass Incarceration Through Restorative Justice

A big motivator for some individuals to attend law school is the ability to positively influence the communities from which they come. However, what assistance can a lawyer provide for their neighborhood if they feel the community is being unfairly targeted by law enforcement? How can members of the profession have a positive effect on incarceration rates through the application of restorative justice techniques?

In this episode of the ABA Law Student Podcast, host Fabiani Duarte, along with guest host Andrew Scott and guest attorney Sarah Walton, take a look at mass incarceration in our criminal justice system and how restorative justice concepts could be applied. Sarah begins the interview by explaining her self-proclaimed moniker as a “free range attorney and abolitionist” and gives some insights into what those labels mean to her. She then talks about her work to help reduce the number of incarcerations through programs like pre-arrest diversion and some restorative justice tactics that law enforcement can implement to ensure the safety of all parties involved. The group then takes a moment to reflect on the disparate effects that The War on Drugs has had on low income communities and how new harm-reductive approaches to drug policing can improve public safety. Sarah then wraps up the discussion with an analysis of the stigma citizens returning from incarceration face in their communities and the things that law students can do, like attending court proceedings, to support members of their communities.

Sarah Walton, Esq. is a 1989 graduate of the New York University School of Law. She graduated from Earlham College in 1981 with an interdisciplinary major in human development and social relations. She is a former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maine and is co-author of Maine Law Enforcement Officer’s Manual. For ten years, she was professor of criminal justice and justice studies at the University of Maine at Augusta. Since September 2012 she has resided in Georgia where she assists individuals, community groups, and governmental agencies in working to increase public trust in the criminal justice system and to enhance the safety of everyone in the community, including law enforcement officers. She is Director of Policy and Community Outreach for the Parental Empowerment Institute, where she is working to bring a pre-booking diversion program to DeKalb County in metro Atlanta.

ABA Law Student Podcast

Applying Restorative Justice Concepts to Capital Cases

When it comes to a capital case, prosecuting or defending an individual whose life rests on the verdict can be a personal struggle. How does a lawyer cope with the loss of a client and what restorative justice options can they seek in lieu of the death penalty?

In this episode of the ABA Law Student Podcast, host Fabiani Duarte and guest host Linsey Addington speak with Professor Sarah Gerwig Moore and Dr. Melissa Browning about the death penalty and ways restorative justice concepts can be used in capital cases. Sarah and Melissa begin by listing a few concepts and common misconceptions, such as the cost to the taxpayer for executing an inmate, that they believe should be considered when approaching the death penalty debate. Dr. Browning then goes into detail about how she learned about the Kelly Gissendaner case and what inspired her to get involved in seeking parole for Gissendaner. Professor Moore also gives some insight into her experience of being lead counsel seeking clemency for a death row inmate named Josh Bishop and explains the type of relationships lawyers can develop with these clients. The group then considers processes within the criminal justice system where restorative justice concepts can be applied and how these concepts, like seeking life without the possibility of parole, can reduce death row executions and promote communal well being.

Professor Sarah Gerwig-Moore‘s teaching and scholarship interests center around constitutional criminal law, appellate and post-conviction practice and procedure, and experiential public service learning. Since joining the Mercer faculty in 2006, she has created and now teaches the Habeas Project, the only pro bono effort in Georgia to offer representation in non-capital post-conviction cases. She received her BA, summa cum laude, from Mercer University, her Master of Theological Studies from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, and her JD from Emory University School of Law.

Dr. Melissa Browning is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Contextual Ministry at Mercer University. Dr. Browning is a community-based participatory action researcher and Christian ethicist. Browning’s recent academic work has focused on ethnographic research in East Africa. Browning is also an anti-death penalty activist and the organizer of the Kelly on My Mind Collective. Dr. Browning received her Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from Loyola University Chicago (2011). She also holds an M.Div. in Global Missions from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University (2002) and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Gardner-Webb University (1999).

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

Orlando Shooting and Gun Laws

On June 12, 2016, tragedy struck at Pulse, a popular nightclub within the LGBT community in Orlando, Florida, after a gunman, Omar Mateen fatally shot 49 people and injured 53. This tragedy is one of  the deadliest mass shootings in the United States and the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11. In a Father’s Day address, President Obama said gun violence was “preventable” and too common. “It’s unconscionable that we allow easy access to weapons of war in these places,”  he said.  And just yesterday, a divided Senate voted down 4 gun control measures.

So what needs to change when it comes to gun laws, all while protecting the Second Amendment? And can bipartisan gun legislation curb gun violence and prevent future mass shootings?

In this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, hosts J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi join attorney Steven W. Dulan, first vice chair of the Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners and Arkadi Gerney, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, as they take a look at gun laws and the tragedy in Orlando. They will talk reaction, the gun control debate, the Second Amendment, Florida gun laws and potential legislation.

Attorney Steven W. Dulan is first vice chair of the Michigan Coalition of Responsible Gun Owners. MCRGO is the largest state-based firearms advocacy organization in America and its mission is to promote safe use and ownership of firearms through education, litigation, and legislation. Steve has appeared on various media outlets to discuss gun ownership, including CNN (with Christiane Amanpour and Piers Morgan), FOX and Friends, NPR, and HuffPost Live.

Attorney Arkadi Gerney is senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he focuses on crime and gun policy. Arkadi previously worked as special advisor and first deputy criminal justice coordinator to former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, where he managed Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a national coalition that Mayor Bloomberg co-chairs. During four and a half years in the New York City mayor’s office, Gerney oversaw the coalition’s growth to more than 600 mayors, led successful campaigns to influence federal legislation, partnered with Walmart to develop a landmark gun seller code of conduct, and led New York City’s undercover investigation of out-of-state gun shows.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

Special Reports

2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: The Public Interest Law Division

In this Special Report, Florida Bar Public Interest Law Section incoming chair Sarah Sullivan talks with Legal Talk Network Executive Producer Laurence Colletti about her division, the joys of serving the public, and the challenges this type of law practice can bring. Sarah shares that her division is comprised mostly of legal aid practitioners who work for restricted or unrestricted legal aid programs, law professors, clinical professors, and managers of nonprofits. She also reveals that the kind of law that they practice consists mostly of housing law, family law, veteran work, disability work, nonprofit work, and that the common goal of serving the people unifies them all. Sarah provides insight into her work as a clinical professor at the Florida Coastal School of Law and presents a brief explanation of the services that her students provide through the experiential law firm run by the school. She closes the interview with a few reasons attorneys should join her division and some examples of the most rewarding cases she has experienced through her practice of law.

Sarah Sullivan is The Florida Bar Public Interest Law Section incoming chair. Professor Sullivan worked as a staff attorney from 1997-2001 and a senior staff Attorney with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. from 2005-July 2009. As a senior staff attorney, Professor Sullivan created a regional legal services project in Northeast Florida serving individuals with developmental disabilities. The project defends disabled individuals against denials, terminations or reductions of their essential services. In 2001, Professor Sullivan represented the South Carolina Department of Social Services in abuse and neglect cases before the Charleston County Family Court. While in Charleston, Professor Sullivan collaborated with the judiciary, pro bono lawyers, and social service agencies to create South Carolina’s first family recovery court for drug-dependent parents and their children. She currently leads the Disability and Public Benefits Clinic at Florida Coastal.

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