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  • Columbia Law School : Home
    How did we get here and what can we expect from future elections held in the era of super PACs View more features Professor John C Coffee Jr to Chair Law School Conference on Insider Trading Law and Enforcement Bundesbank Board Member Andreas Dombret Provides Briefing on Europe s Sovereign Debt Crisis America s Voting Process is Flawed and Must Be Improved Writes Professor Nathaniel Persily Columbia Law School Professors Petition on Corporate Political Spending May Reach SEC Commissioners Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock 94 Elected Governor U S Ambassador Cameron Munter Joins Law School as Visiting Professor More News Resources for the Media Follow us on Twitter November 13 Reproductive Rights Advocacy in the U S and Abroad Multiple Strategies for Advancing Reproductive Rights in the U S and Latin America Attorneys will lead a discussion of their multi pronged work on reproductive rights advocacy and litigation in the U S and abroad Fall 2012 Queer Theory Workshop Immigration Citizenship Belonging Debt Deficits or Unemployment Identifying Real Threats to Growth Seminar to explore the intersection between the real and monetary or nominal economy It will address popular misconceptions surrounding the sustainability of government deficits national debt and the U S trade deficit November 14 November 15 Seventh Columbia International Investment Conference Reframing the Investor State Relationship From Criticism to Constructive Engagement The conference will foster a forward looking discussion towards policies for a mutually beneficial legal framework governing the investor state relationship November 15 Allegations of Corruption In International Arbitration What Standard of Proof and What Role for Public Policy The Vale Columbia Center and the Center for International Commercial and Investment Arbitration will host a lively debate November 16 The Past Present and Future of Insider Trading A 50th Anniversary Re Examination of Cady Roberts And The Revolution

    Original URL path: http://www.law.columbia.edu/ (2012-11-13)
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  • Columbia Law School : First Things First: Teaching Responsible Government Lawyering in Washington, D.C.
    in places where there may be no adversarial case We work to define what it means to help the President carry out the constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed We talk about the challenge of serving a hydra like client often comprised of a line manager the Attorney General the President the Executive Branch in its entirety and finally the public interest We examine what ethics rules and standards cover and yet what they leave out Through these discussions we are engaged in the difficult project of teaching and learning good judgment about government lawyering The absence of black letter answers does not imply a lack of concrete content Key ideas in our ethics course include Fidelity to the law requires participating in a community of interpretation In Legal Methods class on my first day as a student at Columbia Law School Professor Jane Ginsburg said that Law and law study are collaborative enterprises and if you try to do either one alone it is not going to work This is important advice especially for government lawyers Following disclosure of the Torture Memos issued by the Justice Department s Office of Legal Counsel the legal academy reminded government lawyers about the need for multiple layers of scrutiny and approval as well as reasoned written opinions in making final judgments of law Columbia s own Trevor Morrison has written about how process legal community and institutional identity can offer meaningful traction on government behavior in the White House Counsel s Office and in OLC It is essential to train our students to see themselves within the traditions of this collaborative approach to practice Rule based ethics amount to only one ingredient of good government culture is essential to an effective ethics regime Reforms motivated by the shaken sense of confidence in public life after Watergate led to extensive requirements for financial disclosure by people in government and a mandatory course in all law schools that tells future lawyers not to commingle their own funds with client money This is all well and good but hardly a place to stop Meaningful learning about ethics in government demands more than rule based training it calls for ongoing conversations about what ethics entail in practice Most students along with most government employees do not know about the Office of Government Ethics issued Standards of Ethical Conduct including their first axiom Public service is a public trust The standards are law but they are enforced only to the extent that agency leaders give content to them something Columbia Law School is training the future leaders in our program to do Ethical public administration needs to be modeled and mandated from the top down Leaders must demonstrate that it is okay to seek advice about ethics promote conversation about doing the right thing and convey an expectation that an entire agency makes these questions integral to all of its work We are equipping students to identify ethical issues and discuss them

    Original URL path: http://www.law.columbia.edu/media_inquiries/news_events/2012/november2012/shenkman-ethics-course (2012-11-13)
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  • Columbia Law School : The Thoughts Read 'Round the World
    offers its content in 11 languages to any newspaper regardless of ability to pay The subscriptions of larger more financially stable papers in developed countries help subsidize those of less established content providers in developing countries A huge proportion of our member papers pay nothing or something symbolic said Rapaczynski Daniel G Ross Professor of Law The goal is simple he said To raise the level of political and economic discussions in newspapers and online publications by bringing in more expert opinion We are taking away from journalists the dominant role of commenting on events To do so Project Syndicate relies on opinion makers from around the world all of whom despite their brilliance are rather heavily edited Rapaczynski said with a chuckle Our specialty is to locate the right people and to midwife their thoughts he explained We help experts express their thoughts and we help people understand the world around them Project Syndicate writers weigh in from nearly every continent But Rapaczynski and his colleagues have commissioned content closer to home too including pieces written by Jeffrey D Sachs Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University Joseph E Stiglitz a Columbia University Nobel Prize winning professor Jagdish Bhagwati a Columbia University Professor George P Fletcher the Cardozo Professor of Jurisprudence at the Law School and Edmund S Phelps another Nobel Prize winning Columbia professor Rapaczynski and two other co founders Roman Frydman a New York University Professor of Economics and Kenneth Murphy a former editor at The Economist began what would become Project Syndicate in the mid 1990s The project started as quarterly economic reports distributed to Eastern European newspapers and then evolved into a column syndication service Well into their second decade Rapaczynski Frydman and Murphy continue to serve on the project s editorial board But though they helped create one of the world s largest opinion providers the founders very rarely write for Project Syndicate themselves preferring instead to bring in outside talent That s fine with Rapaczynski who has plenty to keep him challenged at the Law School which he joined in 1982 He teaches torts antitrust and constitutional law and also writes on institutional economics and political philosophy When he s not working with students or writing for law reviews Rapaczynski works with Project Syndicate columnists on their pieces Besides Rapaczynski s office in the United States Project Syndicate also has a Prague office which handles most of the logistics for the content provider But the organization is informal and run on a shoestring Rapaczynski said Several years ago he traveled to Prague to celebrate the project s 10th anniversary When he got there he and other staffers realized it was actually their ninth The distinction hardly mattered Rapaczynski feels there s plenty to celebrate We think Project Syndicate is the most important source of opinion commentaries in the world he said Columbia Law School founded in 1858 stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society

    Original URL path: http://www.law.columbia.edu/media_inquiries/news_events/2012/october2012/rapaczynski-project-syndicate (2012-11-13)
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  • Columbia Law School : New Course on Government Secrecy Debuts at Columbia Law School
    controversial program suspected terrorists were transferred secretly to countries without prohibitions on torture for interrogation Pozen also plans to set up discussions at the Law School with real world practitioners such as a former special assistant to the president and is helping organize a public event in December that will feature prominent journalists who cover the national security beat Hesaid he hopes students in his class will be inspired to think critically about the claims made by executive branch secret keepers and open government advocates alike One of Columbia Law School s best assets is a faculty with experience inside government and Pozen adds even more strength and new dimensions there said Professor Matthew C Waxman the faculty co chair of the Roger Hertog Program on Law and National Security Besides its obvious relevance to current hot button national security issues the secrecy course goes to our constitutional foundations including the role of an informed electorate and a free press In his current research Pozen has turned his attention to government leaks Despite recent high profile examples including the prosecution of Pfc Bradley Manning who is accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks fewer than a dozen prosecutions have been brought against leakers to the press since 1917 when the Espionage Act was passed Meanwhile newspapers regularly publish information from unnamed government sources Pozen is drafting an article thatseeks to shed light on the government s relative tolerance of leaks by providing a new account of why there is so little criminal enforcement in this area and of the informal disciplinary mechanisms that have developed in place of such enforcement Leaking has long been the subject of popular and scholarly fascination and yet our understanding of the phenomenon is poor Pozen said adding that much of the legal literature focuses on First Amendment questions without delving into broader structural or functional issues I hope to advance our understanding of how classified information leaks are regulated within government and to connect some of these insights to larger debates over executive power Later this semester Pozen will present his paper to the faculty at Duke University School of Law He is also sharing his expertise with students beyond Columbia Law School speaking about national security and leaks at several other universities including Fordham Harvard and Princeton In addition to national security and constitutional law Pozen s areas of expertise include international and foreign affairs law and nonprofit organizations Pozen earned his law degree from Yale Law School in 2007 Before he joined the State Department in 2010 he clerked for U S Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and for Judge Merrick B Garland of the U S Court of Appeals for the D C Circuit It is a great honor to join the Columbia Law School faculty and I am thrilled to be here Pozen said I am particularly excited to join such a dynamic and diverse public law group Columbia Law School founded in 1858 stands at the forefront of

    Original URL path: http://www.law.columbia.edu/media_inquiries/news_events/2012/october2012/pozen-secrecy-course (2012-11-13)
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  • Columbia Law School : The 2012 Presidential Election: Setting the Stage for a New "Hanging Chad"?
    victory by Al Franken over Norm Coleman Absentee ballots also created problems in the 2000 Florida recount and during an earlier mayoral race in Miami While many debate whether new voter identification laws in some states will curtail election fraud at polling places Persily posits that the error rates are much higher and potential for fraud is greater with absentee ballots particularly since they are becoming a permanent fixture of our system By the 2016 presidential election he predicts half of Americans will be voting early or by submitting absentee ballots Persily has written scores of articles on subjects ranging from redistricting to voting rights to campaign finance reform Six of his papers have been cited by U S Supreme Court justices in their opinions Voter Identification Laws Killing a Fly with a Bazooka In an article written together with Harvard political scientist Stephen Ansolabehere Persily opposed voter identification laws While some believe that the laws serve to bolster the public s faith in fair elections Persily and Ansoloabehere argued that photo ID requirements bear little correlation to the public s beliefs about the incidence of fraud They said that the possible relation of such beliefs to participation appears even more tenuous There is fraud and there is some voter impersonation fraud but you re trying to kill a fly with a bazooka with these kinds of laws Persily said in a recent interview with ABC News Last week during an appearance on National Public Radio s Tell Me More to discuss the implications of Pennsylvania s voter ID law Persily argued that the law could prevent thousands of people from having their votes counted because they do not have the required documentation It is not rocket science or brain surgery to get an ID but the question is how burdensome it should be to vote he told NPR These are not literacy tests and they are not explicit poll taxes in the way that they were say 50 years ago in the South but it is one more hindrance that would prevent some people from turning out to vote Compliance With Voting Laws A Local Issue In the end however Persily argues that the focus on more stringent voter ID laws and increased absentee ballots are distractions The more pressing problem concerns election administration We pay a lot of attention to voter ID and absentee ballot laws as well as some of the early voting issues he says But we still entrust management of our polling places to relatively untrained volunteers The cash strapped counties in charge of running elections cannot do what s necessary to comply with all the byzantine laws that constrain them Persily is in favor of national rules greater standardization and a public database for voting results by precinct I d like to see some kind of national election authority that works he said The Federal Elections Commission given its frequently deadlocked votes is designed to fail and should be replaced New Media Changing the

    Original URL path: http://www.law.columbia.edu/media_inquiries/news_events/2012/august2012/persily-voter-issues (2012-11-13)
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  • Columbia Law School : Master Mediator: Professor’s Innovative Work Shines Spotlight on the Art of Mediation
    by members of the Chickasaw Nation and taught a weeklong mediation course in Brazil for prosecutors public defenders and judges Her session at the United Nations earlier this month was her second since 2011 My goal is for people to see Columbia Law School as an innovator in the field of mediation she said Carter directs the Mediation Clinic founded in 1992 by Clinical Professor of Law Carol B Liebman While participating in the clinic students mediate actual disputes in a wide variety of government and private settings Shawn K Watts 12 a Cherokee student in Carter s Fall 2011 Mediation Clinic helped come up with the idea for the Native American peacekeeping course Now an associate at Sheppard Mullin Richter Hampton he said the clinic provided an invaluable chance to get hands on experience This is different than being in a class he said We were taking real cases with real people whose lives were different after we walked out either because we could help them or because we couldn t Liebman who retired from teaching the clinic two years ago and now serves as founding director said Carter is doing a fabulous job raising the profile of the Law School s mediation curriculum In addition to its mediation offerings the Law School s ADR program boasts courses on the basics of negotiation dealmaking transnational arbitration and World Trade Organization dispute settlements It also hosts myriad conferences seminars workshops and symposiums The idea behind the program is to teach people to look beyond litigation and attempt to resolve disputes outside the courtroom While a student at Columbia Law School less than 10 years ago Carter enrolled in the Mediation Clinic on the recommendation of a friend and she ultimately served as a teaching assistant under Liebman The experience changed the trajectory of her career but it took her a while to shift away from pursuing trial work Following graduation from the Law School Carter worked as a litigation associate at Cravath Swaine Moore In one prospective representation a famous artist came to the firm distraught over a dispute with a longtime collaborator At the first meeting the partner in charge rattled off a list of potential claims the artist could bring but Carter felt the woman wanted something more I could see on her face that we were not giving her what she needed Carter recalled What she really needed was a process that would allow her to sit down with this person and figure out something that was going to let their project go forward Carter eventually decided that she preferred mediation and negotiation to litigation and changed career paths Now she tries to teach her students at the Law School the United Nations Brazil and elsewhere that for parties in opposition the act of sitting down together can be hugely beneficial I really believe that people know best how to solve their own problems she said My job is to help create a process that allows them

    Original URL path: http://www.law.columbia.edu/media_inquiries/news_events/2012/october2012/carter-mediation-clinic (2012-11-13)
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  • Columbia Law School : Experts and Diplomats Hold Productive Discussion on Legal Disputes in the South China Sea
    answers to these questions but they also disagreed over the order in which the questions should be answered Several speakers including Oxman and Bethlehem raised the question of whether the claims over the islands and over the maritime spaces might be dealt with separately and perhaps in a different order to facilitate negotiations and avoid a stalemate The question of who owns the islands is particularly contentious The question of what the islands are is less in dispute but has great significance for the maritime claims that control over the land may generate For example under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea UNCLOS an island that is capable of sustaining human habitation and economic life of its own generates a more substantial bundle of maritime rights to the surrounding sea including a claim to a 200 mile exclusive economic zone than would a rock that lacks such characteristics and only is entitled to a surrounding 12 mile territorial sea Lathrop observed that addressing the second question first establishing what the relevant land masses are and the maritime claims to which they are entitled might help diffuse the core disagreements over ownership Henry Bensurto Jr the chief of mission at the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs Of the panelists from the disputing countries Bensurto was the most outspoken in support of disaggregating the questions He suggested the parties should start with the lowest common denominator Analogizing the disputes over sovereignty to an infectious disease Bensurto urged that these disputes might in the short term be put aside and that the claimants should look to relevant maritime law to narrow the scope of the disputes Bensurto also characterized the Chinese claims as the most expansive and expressed the view that if these claims are accepted as the starting point of negotiations then the dispute is much larger than it needs to be The Chinese panelist disagreed arguing against the separation of questions of maritime territory from questions of sovereignty Zhou articulated the Chinese position that it has long had historical claims to sovereignty over the area that pre date China s accession to the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea He suggested that this was the basis for China s claim to the so called nine dash line by which China asserts sovereignty over much of the South China Sea In response Ambassador Le of Vietnam countered that historical claims have little validity in modern international law Otherwise Le noted Rome and Mongolia would have sovereignty over much of Europe The participants from Vietnam and the Philippines both rejected the suggestion that the nine dash line had any basis in international law Le emphasized that while Vietnam is supportive of joint exploration of some areas a joint exploration is unacceptable in areas that are near the Vietnamese coast Going forward Le hoped that the countries might be able to conclude a Code of Conduct among Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN member states and China

    Original URL path: http://www.law.columbia.edu/media_inquiries/news_events/2012/november2012/south-china-sea (2012-11-13)
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  • Columbia Law School Magazine
    Professor Hans Smit 58 LL B gathered recently at Columbia Law School to commemorate the towering figure in the field of international arbitration and comparative law who passed away earlier this year Alumni Breakfast Series Draws Graduates for Timely Talks The Columbia Law School Association kicked off its 2011 12 Alumni Breakfast Series this past winter with presentations by prominent graduates and faculty on subjects including taxation enforcement of securities laws and international arbitration More Search Browse this issue Join the Conversation It is never okay to tread on human rights and civil liberties here in the More It is never okay to tread on human rights and civil liberties here in the states against citizens unless perhaps they are enemy combatants I believe that when we witness our government having to create a great deal of dance in order to justify what must have been illegal actions on their part to begin with then it would stand to reason for themselves and for the American public that they settle and do the intelligent thing bow out of losing battles or ones that promise to become public embarrassments and end up costing good tax payer dollars all because pride Yes secrecy may be most necessary but again certain rules of engagement apply differently when we operate on foreign soil than the rules we must uphold when we operate on American soil For our own government to grossly break these rules against her own people is a colossal disgrace to everything that the American people stand for our way of life and our very lifeblood our belief and reliance on our United States Constitution DocHollidaye on Bring the Noise If the prosecutors and other parts of the justice system would be held More If the prosecutors and other parts of the justice system would be held liable financially and with jail time for their negligence the system would improve The death penalty cases are the tip of the iceberg where the whole system from police lawyers prosecutors jurors judges and real appeals of facts would be addressed There is overcrimilization of youth lack of real probation blatant perjury and it goes on and on There are three sides to a trial the defence the prosecutor and the truth Mel on Investigating an Execution Most of my legal career was with the State of NY first as an assistant More Most of my legal career was with the State of NY first as an assistant attorney general and later as a principal law clerk in the Court of Claims I defended claims brought under the Unjust Conviction and Imprisonment Act and assisted judges in their adjudication Even where judges are fair prosecutors behave ethically witnesses do not deliberately lie and defense counsel is competent mistakes are made and innocent persons are convicted This is as good a reason as any to abolish capital punishment Robert S Hammer 64 on Investigating an Execution National security law seems to be the practice of legally

    Original URL path: http://www.law.columbia.edu/magazine (2012-11-13)
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