Podcast category: Legal News

On the Road

ABA Annual Meeting 2016: Law School and Writing Legal Dramas for Television

This time On the Road at the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting, host Sandy Gallant-Jones speaks with former federal prosecutor, producer, and author Jonathan Shapiro about his work writing legal dramas for television. Jonathan gives a brief synopsis of his legal background as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and talks about the path that led him to become of counsel at the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers. He reminisces about his early career, meeting his wife, Betsy Borns, and selling his first script to writer and producer David E. Kelley. The work of writers, he says, is to use their experience to create new material, and he discusses how this relates to his new book, “Deadly Force,” and his current show, “Goliath.” Jonathan closes the interview with an analysis of the high numbers of alcohol abuse among attorneys and his suggestions on how law schools can better teach students to form cogent persuasive arguments and revitalize the nobility and idealism of the legal profession.

Jonathan Shapiro has spent the last 16 years writing and producing some of television’s most iconic shows, including “The Blacklist,” “The Practice,” “Life” and “Boston Legal.” He has won an Emmy, Peabody, and Humanitas Award and also authored “Liars, Lawyers, and the Art of Storytelling” (ABA Publishing) and the novel “Deadly Force” (Ankerwycke Press). Prior to writing for television, Jonathan spent a decade as a federal prosecutor and as an adjunct law professor at Loyola Law School and the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law. He is a member and the former chairman of the California Commission on Government Economy and Efficiency, as well as the founder and director of the Public Counsel Emergency for Torture Victims. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Oxford University, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oriel College, and received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

On the Road

ABA Annual Meeting 2016: The Militarization of Law Enforcement

After the last year, many if not all Americans are focused on the relationship between law enforcement officials and the public, particularly in communities of color. A panel at the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting addressed the increasing militarization of law enforcement and considered forward-thinking proposals to address the problem. This time On The Road, Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti and ABA Law Student Division Chair Kareem Aref sit down with the panelists to further dive into this controversial issue. Rashidah Grinage from the Coalition of Police Accountability, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, former sheriff Dub Lawrence, and ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice Vice Chair Cathleen Yonahara discuss congressional involvement in local police departments’ access to military equipment and why they must legally use it (or lose it). They question police force training and suggest a bigger focus on de-escalation of life-threatening situations. Dub Lawrence then goes on to talk about changes in his 50 years of experience with law enforcement and the documentary made about the death of his son-in-law. The guests finish the interview by discussing the importance of discourse and Congress’ reform in reducing the problem of increased police militarization and public mistrust.

Kareem Aref is a law student at the University of California, Davis – School of Law. He is also chair of the American Bar Association Law Student Division.

Rashidah Grinage lives in Oakland, California, and is coordinator for the Coalition of Police Accountability. Previously, she was the director of PUEBLO: People United for a Better Life in Oakland. Rashidah has worked on police accountability since the mid 1990s.

Dub Lawrence is the former sheriff for Davis County, Utah. He founded the first SWAT team in Davis County in 1975 and has observed the things that have occurred in law enforcement since then from a civilian perspective, an elected official perspective, as a county sheriff, and as a law enforcement officer. In 2015, a documentary was released about the death of his son-in-law and other shootings related to an increase in violent SWAT team raids.

Jeff Adachi is the elected public defender of San Francisco, a pension reform advocate, and a former candidate for Mayor of San Francisco. As the only elected public defender in the state of California, Mr. Adachi oversees an office of 93 lawyers and 60 support staff who represent over 23,000 people each year charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses.

Cathleen Yonahara is an employment partner at Freeland Cooper & Foreman. She is also vice chair of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, the civil rights and equal opportunity committee of the ABA which sponsored this panel.

On the Road

ABA Annual Meeting 2016: America Votes

As this is an election year, many people (including lawyers) are paying closer attention to election and voting rights. So what’s trending in election law and what could these developments mean for the upcoming American election? In this On the Road report recorded at the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting, Joe Patrice interviews C. Robert Heath and Ben Griffith, contributing authors to the book “America Votes! A Guide to Modern Election Law and Voting Rights.” They begin by talking about Evenwel vs. Abbott, a case in which the Supreme Court allowed states to use total population, not those who can vote, when drawing legislative districts. They then address the state of voter identification cases and whether rigid voter ID laws have a significant impact on certain classes of people. Robert, Ben, and Joe finish by discussing political and racial gerrymandering, which is likely the root cause of the U.S. Congressional gridlock.

C. Robert Heath is an attorney with Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta where he practices complex governmental litigation and counseling, election law and voting rights, open government and ethics, and many other areas of law. Robert has written and presented extensively about the topic of electoral law.

Ben Griffith is the principal of Griffith Law Firm in Oxford, Missouri. He focuses his practice on federal and state civil litigation, with emphasis on voting rights and election law, civil rights, public sector insurance coverage, and environmental law.

On the Road

ABA Annual Meeting 2016: The Current State of the Supreme Court

This time On the Road at the 2016 ABA Annual Meeting, host Joe Patrice talks with Rachel Moran, Dean Emerita and Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor of Law, and Nicole Austin-Hillery, Director and Counsel of The Brennan Center’s Washington, D.C. office, about the current state of the Supreme Court. Rachel reviews the gap left by Justice Scalia’s passing and states that she’s not sure if there is a clear heir to his seat but there are several justices who are aligned with him philosophically and jurisprudentially. Nicole notes that there seems to be a “lightness” to the current court without Scalia and that the justices appear to now share more of the decision making and influence in terms of the cases. The persistence of this climate, Nicole continues, really depends on who fills the vacant seat since the justices’ personalities have a huge bearing on the Court’s tenor and operation. Both guests contemplate Chief Judge Merrick Garland’s presumptive confirmation to the Supreme Court and the potential larger implications of Justice Sotomayor’s written dissent in the Utah v. Strieff case. They close the interview with a discussion of Justice Kennedy’s recent, uncharacteristic vote on affirmative action and upcoming court cases that attorneys should be on the lookout for.

Rachel F. Moran is Dean Emerita and Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law. She received her A.B. in psychology with honors and with distinction from Stanford University and her J.D. from Yale Law School. Following law school, she clerked for Chief Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and worked for the San Francisco firm of Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe. Prior to her appointment at UCLA, Professor Moran was the Robert D. and Leslie-Kay Raven Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law.

Nicole Austin-Hillery is the first director and counsel of The Brennan Center’s Washington, D.C. office and serves as the organization’s chief liaison to Congress and the Administration. She practiced with the law firm of Mehri & Skalet, PLLC as part of the firm’s civil rights employment class action practice and as the George N. Lindsay Civil Rights Law Fellow at the national office of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, D.C. Nicole is a graduate of the Howard University School of Law and Carnegie Mellon University.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

The Legal Issues Surrounding Pokémon Go

The Pokémon Go App developed by Niantic is the latest craze sweeping the world. The location-based augmented reality mobile game/app produced 15 million downloads in just the first week. The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world.

Unfortunately, this popular app has caused some trouble amongst gamers and has created a big threat to public safety. Trespassing on property, muggings, driving distracted, walking into traffic, and falling from cliffs are just some of the incidents stemming from the use of this app. In addition, businesses are attracting customers by adding fantasy characters to their stores, so the implications for liability have increased.

On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, hosts J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi join professor Adam Thimmesch, an assistant professor of law at the University of Nebraska College of Law and attorney Brian Wassom from the firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP as they discuss the Pokémon Go App. They look at the very real legal implications surrounding this popular app, incorporating reality into a fantasy world, and whether Pokémon Go is here to stay or simply a passing fad.

Professor Adam Thimmesch is an assistant professor of law at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Adam focuses his research on the impact of modern technology and markets on existing legal doctrines, with a particular emphasis on tax policy and the regulation of interstate commerce

Attorney Brian Wassom is from the firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP. Brian is the leader of the firm’s social, mobile and emerging media industry group and is a litigator with 15 years of experience focusing his practice on intellectual property matters related to copyright, trademark, trade dress, and publicity rights. He also handles many other types of complex commercial litigation cases, including invasion of privacy, defamation, false and deceptive advertising, data security, and product liability issues.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

Thinking Like a Lawyer - Above the Law

Law Firm Salary Extravaganza

Law firms all across the country fell all over themselves last month to hike associate salaries. Elie and Joe chat with Professor Bill Henderson of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, an expert in legal industry economics, to discuss what just happened and where the industry goes from here. Spoiler: he’s not sure everyone should have given out those raises…

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.

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.

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