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Faculty in the News Archives

ELIZABETH NOWICKI, a former Securities and Exchange Commission attorney who is a visiting professor teaching securities regulation at Cornell Law School this semester, was recently quoted in a Business Week article on the Reyes-Jensen case. During the trial, the attorney for Gregory Reyes, the former chief executive of Brocade Communications Systems Inc., is taking the defense that "there was no intent to commit securities fraud." In court papers the lawyer, Richard Marmaro, wrote that defendants accused of breaching securities rules cannot be imprisoned "if he proves that he had no knowledge of the rule." Professor Nowicki suggests that they might have a good defense. "The courts are likely to conclude they didn't have intent to deceive, manipulate or defraud because everybody was doing this and everybody thought it was legal," she said. "Because everybody was doing it, judges might find it was reasonable for everybody to think it was fine."

JULY 2006
CHARLES W. WOLFRAM, the Charles Frank Reavis Sr. professor of law, emeritus, and author of Modern Legal Ethics, was quoted in the Honolulu Advertiser and on a case involving Steve Case, former chair of AOL Time Warner Inc. and founder of Revolution LLC, who is facing two lawsuits accusing him of fraud and insider trading. The Grove Farm lawsuits filed in Hawaii turn on an alleged conflict of interest involving Case's father, Dan Case, an attorney who acted as his son's agent while his law firm, then called Case Bigelow & Lombardi, represented the seller, Grove Farm. The complaints claim that Dan Case and his firm helped freeze out other bidders and funneled information to Steve Case about competing offers, steering the sale to him at a sweetheart price of $26 million. "[Professor] Wolfram says Grove Farm couldn't waive the conflicts because they were so pervasive. The arrangement 'seems to have been calculated only to serve the interests of Stephen Case and not at all to serve the differing interests of Grove Farm and its shareholders,' Wolfram, an expert hired by the plaintiffs, wrote in February in a letter submitted to the court."

The Washington Post quoted STEPHEN YALE-LOEHR in an article on the Immigration Bill presently stalled in Congress. " 'The increasing criminalization of immigration law violations under either the Senate or the House bills raises many concerns from both a legal and a social policy perspective,' said Stephen Yale-Loehr, who teaches immigration law at Cornell Law School. Some of the consequences of the Senate bill that Yale-Loehr pointed to include the fact that employers could face time in jail for omitting information from an employee's immigration form."

The Austin American-Statesman quoted EDUARDO PEÑALVER, an associate law professor at Cornell University who previously taught property and land use at Yale Law School, in an article on decades old land claim issue. The case regards land previously owned by blacks that were run out of the county in 1912. Some of the properties then owned by black people prior to their “racial expulsion” have no records of the sale of the land. "[T]he sheer number of parcels for which no sales are recorded, and the horrific circumstances under which blacks fled, argue that some of the land was simply appropriated by whites. Professor Peñalver says the fact that some lands were sold is irrelevant. 'The white person who purchased the property may not be the person who's intimidating people into leaving, so it has to be looser than the classic theft scenario. But it sounds broadly equivalent to me in terms of the effect on the landowner.' When blacks lost their land, Forsyth County, about 35 miles from downtown Atlanta, was remote and rural. Today it is a bedroom community for Atlanta and land that once sold for hundreds of dollars is now worth millions."

April 2006:

USA Today quoted STEPHEN YALE-LOEHR in an article about U.S. companies violating immigration laws.  "Stephen Yale-Loehr, a Cornell Law School professor, says immigration laws already exist to crack down on 'employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers.' A Supreme Court ruling allowing the RICO lawsuits would provide more legal ammunition, he says."

The Financial Times also quoted STEPHEN YALE-LOEHR in an article on a class action lawsuit filed by legal Mohawk workers, claiming that the company conspired to depress their wages by hiring illegal immigrants. The suit claims the company conspired with outside recruiters to employ undocumented workers, including transporting them from the Texas border to the company's plant in Georgia. Steve Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law at Cornell University Law School, says the case "could set a precedent for the use of Rico in the immigration context and would certainly provide another arrow in the quiver of either private individuals or the government to use against companies that employ illegals."

The Wall Street Journal quoted STEPHEN YALE-LOEHR in an article that looks at Professor Yale-Loehr's defense of a Princeton student, an illegal immigrant. "After exploring options, Steve Yale-Loehr, Mr. Padilla's attorney, decided to bet on a clause for 'extraordinary circumstances,' noting that Mr. Padilla was abandoned by his father, his mother was ill and the family was homeless, to justify why Mr. Padilla didn't file an application for status adjustment in a timely fashion -- 17 years ago. Regulations allow the immigration agency to accept a non-timely change of status application under certain circumstances. The petition requests that Mr. Padilla's expired tourist visa be changed to a student visa, which would allow him to go abroad and then return to the U.S. without penalty."

The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune quoted Dean STEWART J. SCHWAB in an article discussing the possibility of bankruptcy for U.S. car manufacturers and what, if anything the government should do about it. '' 'In the current climate, the government would be very reluctant to step in and protect one company in a much larger industry,' said Stewart J. Schwab, an expert in labor law and dean of Cornell Law School. 'They would have to wonder whether they are just helping the inefficient; that's not a good long-term strategy.' ''
The Chicago Sun-Times quoted Professor VALERIE P. HANS in an article looking at the jury trial of former Gov. George Ryan. The jury has deliberated for a month, and does not appear to be in a hurry to reach a verdict. The article quotes Professor Hans as saying: " … the jury probably does want to move on but realizes its commitment. 'Let's face it; they're in for the ride here,' Hans said. 'My guess is they're awfully committed.'"

March 2006:

The Chicago Tribune, discussing the dismissal of two jurors in the trial of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan for possibly lying on the juror questionnaires, quoted Professor VALERIE HANS. "[L]ying about the information 'is sufficient for removal'-and possibly prosecution-warned Cornell University Law professor Valerie Hans, a jury expert watching the Ryan trial, for which the juror questionnaire was 34 pages long. 'Of course, the more questions you ask, the greater the likelihood that a prospective juror can get in trouble,' she said."

STEWART J. SCHWAB, the Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law, was one of many Cornell Law faculty members contacted by media to talk about the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision on Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR). The following appeared in an article by Fox News: "'I think Chief Justice Roberts accurately concluded at the end of the opinion that the plaintiffs and the 3rd Circuit court were pushing the envelope on First Amendment doctrine,' said Stewart Schwab, dean of Cornell Law School. Cornell University filed an amicus brief supporting the law schools. Schwab said he was not surprised at the court's opinion, but defended the law schools' efforts to keep military recruiters off campus. '[Law schools] feel we have taken the lead on non-discriminatory policy for legal employers across the board,' Schwab said. 'Our students and faculty think this is an important principle ... that how good a lawyer one is has nothing to do with sexual orientation.'"

Professor STEVEN SHIFFRIN was quoted in a Catholic Courier article discussing the Catholic majority on the U.S. Supreme Court. "It's more likely that Bush chose Alito because he's conservative than because he's Catholic. Then again, the Bush administration knows Catholics are a swing vote, and in the last presidential election, some bishops' statements led voters to identify the Republican Party with Catholic values, Shiffrin said."

February 2006:

Professor JOHN BLUME, director of Cornell Law School's Death Penalty Project, was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News about his recent appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court. "John Blume, Holmes' attorney, said the jury, not the judge, should be 'the ultimate lie detector. That's the way 49 other states do it.' In the Holmes trial, he added, 'the judge (became) the jury' by pre-judging what evidence to believe."

ROGER CRAMTON, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law Emeritus, was quoted in a Duluth News Tribune article on lawyer jokes. "Roger Cramton, an emeritus law professor at Cornell Law School, says the two opposing images of lawyers have been prevalent in the public mind for centuries - the lawyer as shyster, or the lawyer as the defender of rights. · Of course, most lawyers are neither saints nor dedicated sinners," Cramton said in an e-mail interview."

Professor VALERIE HANS was quoted in a Wilmington Delaware News Journal article about similarities between two murders. "Alan Mackerley, a New Jersey school bus contractor was convicted of murdering his business rival, Frank Black, in Florida in February 1996, months before Tom Capano murdered his girlfriend Anne Marie Fahey.  Valerie Hans, a professor at Cornell Law School who was teaching at the University of Delaware when Capano went to trial, said the two cases 'couldn't be closer.' She said it is rare enough to see a single murder trial and conviction without a body but 'very, very unusual ... eerie' to have two murder cases in the same time frame with no body, a conviction and so many other details in common."

The Dallas Morning Star referred to Professor STEPHEN YALE-LOEHR in an article that discussed the fact that employers who hire illegal laborers may face racketeering lawsuits from their employees. The article stated that immigration attorneys believe that the U.S. Supreme  Court may need to untangle conflicting circuit court  rulings on RICO in immigration cases. "'Since the circuits are split, it is a natural sort of case to resolve the split,' said Stephen Yale-Loehr, a Cornell Law School professor who's following the cases."

Reuters quoted Professor STEPHEN YALE-LOEHR in an article discussing whether the tradition role of the U.S. in providing asylum has become eroded. “ ‘Over the last several years, more and more hurdles have been imposed on people seeking asylum,’ said Stephen Yale-Loehr who teaches immigration law at Cornell University Law School.” The article went on to discuss the number of asylum cases being heard by some 215 immigration judges who work for the Department of Justice.  “Some judges are well known for rejecting virtually every case that appears before them, said Cornell University's Yale-Loehr.”

The Boston Globe quoted Professor VALERIE P. HANS in an article discussing the assertion by Kenneth Lay’s attorneys that there are no unbiased jurors in Houston, home of Mr. Lay’s former company, Enron. “Valerie Hans, a psychologist, Cornell Law School professor, and coauthor of the 1986 book Judging the Jury, believes our current concern with bias has grown into something that's ‘really at odds with common sense. There's this bizarre notion now of impartiality, that one can't learn anything about an event and still be impartial,’ she says.”

The Houston Chronicle quoted Professor JAMES A. HENDERSON JR. in an article on the Senate’s debate regarding asbestos (the Cornyn Amendment to S.852). The article stated that the amendment is consistent with Professor Henderson’s studies and writing on asbestos litigation: “The past two years have witnessed a surprising and encouraging series of turnarounds in asbestos litigation in a number of states, many of them in jurisdictions that earlier had achieved the worst reputations for tolerating, and even encouraging, abuses ... In short, one can argue that the states have, indeed, turned a corner in the ongoing process of eliminating abuses in asbestos litigation.” The article stated, “Professor Henderson's conclusions illustrate the great potential for success represented by Senator Cornyn's amendment.”

January, 2006:

The North Carolina House of Representatives is currently studying
issues of ethics and governmental reform. At a recent committee meeting, one of the presenters referred to an article by Professor CYNTHIA FARINA, "Keeping Faith: Government Ethics and Government Ethics Regulation," (Published in volume 45 of the Administrative Law Review in the Summer of 1993). Additionally, one of the members of the House of Representatives asked if the article could post the article on the NC General Assembly's website.

Professor VALERIE P. HANS, an expert on jury behavior, was quoted in a Houston Chronicle article on the jury selection for the Enron Case. One of the defendants, Kenneth Lay, has insisted he did nothing wrong at Enron and unwittingly left the finances to a crooked subordinate. Professor Hans's comment on this was that "The upstanding-corporate-citizen story is an alternative that people are familiar with."

The Potomac News quotes Professor STEPHEN YALE-LOEHR, who teaches immigration law at Cornell Law School, in an article discussing whether the U.S. is losing its ability to provide asylum for refugees. Professor Yale-Loehr pointed out that part of the problem is inadequate staffing. In the article he reports that 215 immigration judges handled 350,000 immigration and asylum cases in 2005. "Some of the judges are good, some are not, but all of them are busy," Yale-Loehr said.

In an article by the Reuters News Service on controversy over asbestos litigation, PROFESSOR JAMES A. HENDERSON JR. was quoted on state and national responses: "Professor Henderson says the states may be reversing 'asbestos litigation madness'. Their reforms 'would seem to make it especially difficult to justify sweeping federal proposals to replace tort law in whole or in part with a compensation-based no-fault system,' he said in an article this month in Mealey's Litigation Report."

Professor THEODORE EISENBERG was mentioned in a article discussing jury selection in New Orleans for the latest Vioxx trial. The article quoted a study by Professor Eisenberg that looked at the statistics of urban jury verdicts in product liability cases.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Professor ROGER C. CRAMTON, in his role as former dean of Cornell Law School, on the role of clinical education in law schools.