Podcast category: Legal News

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2016: The Collision Between Religious Freedom and LGBT Rights

In this Special Report, Professor of Law Alan Brownstein sits in with Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti to discuss the legal intersection of religious freedoms and LGBT rights. The conversation opens with a brief recap of a recent denial of service case in which a Colorado baker refused to sell a wedding cake to a same sex couple. Then, Professor Brownstein dives deep into the complexity of the ensuing Supreme Court ruling and the legal concerns therein from both a constitutional and statutory standpoint. The conversation then shifts to a discussion examining the consequences that potential court rulings could have on the very fabric of American civil rights law.

Alan Brownstein is a professor emeritus at the University of California Davis School of Law. He received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the UC Davis School of Law and the Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award from the University of California Davis. He is a member of the American Law Institute and was an attorney in general litigation and corporate practice with the law firm of Tuttle & Taylor. Professor Brownstein graduated from Antioch College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Psychology and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2016: Cars, Cars, Cars

In this Special Report, Oregon Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Althea Cullen, California Department of Motor Vehicles Deputy Director and Chief Counsel Brian Soublet, Electronic Frontier Foundation Staff Attorney Kit Walsh, co-chair of Information Security Governance and Privacy at Troutman Sanders Mark Mao, and panel moderator and partner at Powell & Majestro P.L.L.C Anthony Majestro stop by to discuss their panel on the newest tech in motor vehicles. The conversation touches on the evolution of computers in cars and the challenges we now face regarding regulating vehicle safety, security, and privacy. From driverless cars and cyber security to global positioning systems and data collection, this episode ponders the obstacles facing lawyers as vehicular technology continues to advance.

Althea Cullen is the Special Report assistant attorney general at the Oregon Department of Justice. She served as the Consumer Outreach Director for three years and worked as a campaign director for the Oregon Public Interest Research Group.

Brian G. Soublet is the deputy director and chief counsel for the California Department of Motor Vehicles. He acquired his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley and received his J.D. from the University of San Francisco.

Kit Walsh is a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. She received her Bachelor of Science in neuroscience from MIT and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Hsiao (Mark) Mao is partner in the cybersecurity, information governance and privacy and business litigation practices of Troutman Sanders. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California (summa cum laude) and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Anthony J. Majestro is partner at Powell & Majestro P.L.L.C. He received his Bachelor of Science in Economics at West Virginia University (summa cum laude) and his J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center (cum laude).

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

The Flint Water Crisis

There is presently a public health crisis plaguing Flint, Michigan. Lead contamination in the water has led to a major public health danger. Back in 2014, Flint changed its water source from the treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water to the Flint River. Since then, Flint’s drinking water has had a host of problems.

This Flint River water then caused lead from aging pipes to seep into the water supply, causing extremely high levels of lead. Between 6,000 and 12,000 children have been exposed and they may experience a range of serious health problems. On January 21, 2016, the E.P.A. issued an emergency administrative order finding that “the city of Flint’s and the state of Michigan’s responses to the drinking water crisis in Flint have been inadequate to protect public health and that these failures continue.”

On Lawyer2Lawyer, hosts J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi join professor Peter Jacobson, professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan and professor Peter J. Henning from Wayne State University, as they take a look at the Flint water crisis, the violation of public health laws, liability, the impact on the Flint community and their health, litigation and long-term effect.

Professor Peter Jacobson is an attorney and health policy expert whose research focuses on public health law and public health systems and services. He is director of the Center for Law, Ethics, and Health.

Professor Peter Henning teaches courses in corporations, white collar crime, professional responsibility & the legal profession, criminal law, criminal procedure, criminal pretrial advocacy and securities litigation. Peter recently wrote an article on the Flint water crisis in the New York Times titled, “Assessment of Flint Water Crisis May Hinge on Stupidity vs. Criminality.”

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2016: Accommodating Religious Attire in the Workplace

Navigating workplace dress requirements can be challenging for candidates seeking employment in a work environment whose look policy is in conflict with their religious practices. How can new hires avoid these conflicts? What responsibilities do employers have in accommodating these employees? On this Special Report, trial attorney Siri Thanasombat with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, executive director Zahra Billoo of the Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and shareholder at Littler Mendelson P.C. Dionysia L. Johnson-Massie sit down with Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti to discuss their ABA Midyear panel on accommodating religious attire in the workplace.

Zahra Billoo is the executive director of the Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. She is also a co-founder of Project Feed and served as a board member of the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California Foundation. Zahra graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Sirithon (Siri) Thanasombat is a trial attorney with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission based in San Francisco. She received a degree in Sociology from U.C. Berkeley and her Master’s Degree from Princeton University. Siri received her law degree from New York University.

Dionysia L. Johnson-Massie is a shareholder at Littler Mendelson and was named by Savoy Magazine as one of the most influential black lawyers of 2015. She received a degree in Psychology from Yale University and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Special Reports

ABA Midyear Meeting 2016: Water and Drought in California

Digital Detectives hosts Sharon Nelson and John Simek stop by our table at the American Bar Association’s Meeting 2016 for a conversation about California’s water and drought issues with experts Meena Westford, Carolyn Angius, Elizabeth Clark, Heather Riley, and Michael Kiparsky. Together, they discuss the state’s 5 year water shortage and its impact on agriculture, forest fires, citizens, and , yes, the Delta Smelt.

Programs and projects are currently in the works to bring relief to the Golden State, but for now conservation is having the biggest impact. Agencies across California are beginning to coordinate their efforts in what is known as closing the water cycle. Simply put, their future collaborations will be synchronized to create a more efficient and comprehensive water distribution system at lower cost.

Tune in to learn more about First in Time, First in Right, curtailments, aquifers vs. surface water, the Delta Smelt, and more.

Meena Westford is the special projects manager for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Carolyn Angius is an associate planner & research analyst at the governor’s office of planning and research in Sacramento, California.

Elizabeth Clark is an attorney at Allen Matkins in the San Francisco office where she practices extensively in real estate law on projects including industrial, municipal, retail, renewable energy developments.

Heather Riley is a partner at Allen Matkins in the San Diego office where she practices in land use and environmental issues. She has extensive experience with the California Environmental Quality Act and also represents clients with matters in water and endangered species law.

Michael Kiparsky is the director for the Wheeler Water Institute for Water Law and Policy at University of Berkeley School of Law

In-House Legal

Yahoo GC Ron Bell on Privacy vs. Security

In this episode of In-House Legal, Yahoo General Counsel Ron Bell joins host Randy Milch for a conversation about national security vs. online privacy. For companies that provide access to online content worldwide there can be a fine line between freedom of expression and unlawful content. Just because something is legal in the U.S. does not mean that it’s allowed in other countries. And furthermore, if something is lawful does that mean a company has to provide access to it?

In addition to providing access to content, Randy asks Ron about his path to Yahoo, which had some interesting stops along the way. Originally starting as an associate at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in Illinois, Ron set his sites on Silicon Valley fairly early in his career. Without being licensed in California or even an available position to apply for, Ron asked for a meeting at Apple Computer, Inc. As it turned out, a position opened during his visit and he was hired shortly after. Tune in to hear more about his story and what it takes to ascend to the top.

Ron Bell is the general counsel, secretary, and vice president at Yahoo. Prior to that, he served as deputy general counsel for several regions of the company as well as other legal positions as he advanced through the ranks. Before beginning his career at Yahoo, Ron served as senior corporate counsel at Apple Computer, Inc. and as an associate at the law firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

New Rulings for Juvenile Life Sentences by the Supreme Court

On January 25, 2016, in a 6-3 opinion written by Justice Kennedy, the Supreme Court ruled that those sentenced as juveniles to mandatory life imprisonment for murder, “should have a chance to be resentenced or argue for parole.”

This ruling plays off of the 2012 decision in Miller v. Alabama, which struck down mandatory life terms without parole for juveniles. This now must be applied retroactively and could affect at least 1,000 inmates in similar situations across the country.

In this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, host Bob Ambrogi joins Emily C. Keller, a supervising attorney at Juvenile Law Center, and professor Christopher Slobogin from Vanderbilt Law School as they look at the recent Supreme Court decision, inside Montgomery v. Louisiana and Miller v. Alabama, the impact on past and future cases involving juveniles, the decision’s impact on the families of victims and juvenile justice reform.

Emily C. Keller engages in litigation and policy efforts to improve the child welfare and justice systems, including efforts to eliminate juvenile life without parole. Emily served as co-counsel for Henry Montgomery in Montgomery v. Louisiana before the U.S. Supreme Court and co-authored an amicus brief in Miller v. Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 case banning mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles. Emily has also submitted amicus briefs in cases around the country challenging the imposition of life without parole and other extreme sentences on juvenile offenders.

Professor Christopher Slobogin occupies the Milton Underwood Chair at Vanderbilt Law School, where he directs the criminal justice program. He has authored several books, including Juveniles at Risk: A Plea for Preventive Justice, published by Oxford University Press.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

President Obama’s Executive Order to Reduce Gun Violence

On January 5, 2016, President Obama announced he would be taking executive action to reduce gun violence. Surrounded by families of the Sandy Hook tragedy and other mass killings, he vowed to not allow guns to get in the wrong hands. In the past decade, more than 100,000 people have died as a result of gun violence. So, will the President’s recent action impact gun control or will all remain the same?

In this episode of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, host Bob Ambrogi joins David B. Kopel, adjunct professor of advanced constitutional law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence as they take a look at this executive order on guns, “smart guns”, state laws, public reaction, and the impact this executive order could have on gun violence.

David B. Kopel is research director of the Independence Institute, a public policy research organization in Golden, Colorado, and is an associate policy analyst with the Cato Institute, in Washington, D.C. Kopel is one of several contributors to The Volokh Conspiracy, a group weblog of law professors, which is part of the Washington Post. In 2008, he appeared before the United States Supreme Court as part of the team presenting the oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller.

Laura Cutilletta oversees the Law Center’s state firearms legislation project which involves tracking and analyzing firearms legislation in all 50 states. She also shares responsibility for the Law Center’s work providing information, research, and analysis to the media, public officials, and activists seeking legal solutions to gun violence.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

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