Falk to Serve on Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s First Conviction Integrity Unit

Professor Patricia J. Falk

Professor Patricia J. Falk

C|M|LAW Professor Patricia J. Falk has been appointed to serve on Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty’s newly announced Conviction Integrity Unit.  Falk, along with the other members of the group, will review innocence claims made by felons convicted of crimes in Cuyahoga County.  In particular, the group will review applications from prison inmates, attorneys and felons who believe they were wrongly convicted. 

For a Plain Dealer article on the topic, as well as a link to the Prosecutor’s Office’s full policy on the topic,click here:

http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2014/04/new_conviction_integrity_unit.html

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Sagers Speaks on Apple Case in New York, Chicago, and Case Western Reserve University

Professor Chris Sagers

Professor Chris Sagers

In February, C|M|LAW’s James A. Thomas Distinguished Professor of Law Chris Sagers was invited to discuss his work on the Justice Department’s price-fixing lawsuit against Apple, United States v. Apple, Inc., before the Antitrust Section of the New York State Bar Association.  In January, he spoke about the case as a guest speaker before the Case Western Reserve University’s faculty of law.

Sagers will also speak on the topic again later this week as one of four speakers at the Loyola University of Chicago’s 2014 Consumer Antitrust Colloquium, one of the best attended annual conferences in antitrust.

Sagers has been quoted on the case frequently in the media, and has spoken on it several times previously.

 

 

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Robertson Writes in Crain’s on Ohio Supreme Court Oral Argument regarding Local Attempts to Regulate Zoning of Shale Wells

Professor Heidi Gorovitz Robertson

Professor Heidi Gorovitz Robertson

C|M|LAW Professor and Associate Dean Heidi Gorovitz Robertson published Awaiting the court’s word on validity of local zoning control of well locations, in Crain’s Cleveland Business’ Energy Report on April 4, 2014.  In this post, Robertson notes that many Ohio communities hope to exercise some control over the shale oil and gas activities that will take place within their jurisdictions. Monroe Falls, in particular, would prohibit drilling in residentially zoned space and impose some other local requirements.

If the Ohio Court of Appeals was the end of the line, Monroe Falls’ zoning ordinance would be dead in the water, along with other local efforts to enact similar ordinances affecting the location of wells.  But Monroe Falls appealed to the Supreme Court of Ohio  and on February 26, 2014, the  Court heard oral argument on two specific issues. First, it considered whether the state statutes concerning oil and gas drilling deprive municipalities such as Monroe Falls of their Ohio Constitutional home rule authority to enact and enforce zoning laws (such as prohibiting shale drilling in residential zones).  The second issue was whether Monroe Falls’ ordinances, some of which required oil and gas drillers to submit information to Monroe Falls conflict with the state’s oil and gas law when the driller has already secured a drilling permit from ODNR.

Ohio and the affected driller, Beck Energy, argued that if the court allows localities to create their own rules, even zoning rules, the practice would undermine the state’s ability to carry out the Legislature’s statutory directives.  Monroe Falls, however, argued that local land-use regulation could operate in harmony with the state’s control of drilling operations and would not, therefore be pre-empted by the state law.

A couple of justices expressed serious doubts that ODNR really has “sole and exclusive authority” to preclude all local oversight with no administrative appeal. At least one seemed bothered that the statute does not expressly state a preclusion for municipal zoning authority, whereas the Legislature has shown that it knows how to do this in other statutes.  Justice Paul Pfeifer focused on the fact that under Ohio’s oil and gas statute, a driller can appeal a denied drilling request to the state agency, but a landowner has no opportunity to appeal the state’s decision to grant a driller’s permit request.

Only a few of the justices spoke up substantially at the oral arguments. We’ll have to wait to hear from the others when the opinion is released.  In the meantime, localities across the state will be watching to learn whether they will be able to decide where shale oil and gas drilling may occur within their borders.

To read the full post in Crain’s, click here:

http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20140404/BLOGS05/140409906/awaiting-the-courts-word-on-validity-of-local-zoning-control-of-well

 

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Lewis Speaks at Columbia on Reproductive Technology and Parenting

Professor Browne Lewis

Professor Browne Lewis

On April 9, 2014, C|M|LAW’s Leon and Gloria Plevin Professor of Law Browne Lewis presented a lecture at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.  The lecture dealt with the of impact reproductive technology on legal parentage.  Professor Lewis discussed the factors courts consider when determining the legal mother of a child conceived as the result of a surrogacy arrangement.  She also explained the manner in which the court adjudicates the paternity of a man whose wife is artificially inseminated with donor sperm and with an anonymous sperm donor.  Lastly, she analyzed the public health consequences of creating designer children using reproductive technology.

In addition, Professor Lewis was recently elected to the AALS Women in Legal Education Archives Subcommittee.  This Committee is charged with reviewing the contents of the current archives; creating a mechanism to share the archival information with our members; adding oral histories and other additional data to the archives; and maintaining the Schlesinger Archives.

 

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Mika Writes on Increased Importance of Appearance of Contracts

Legal Writing Professor Karin Mika

Legal Writing Professor Karin Mika

C|M|LAW Legal Writing Professor Karin Mika recently published Visual clarity in contract drafting in Clarity, a journal published twice a year by Clarity-international, an international association promoting plain legal language.  The article discusses how the appearance of contracts (including font, paragraphing, and white space) contribute to the quality and user-friendly nature of the contract.  The article emphasizes how contracts must be usable instruments for those entering into a bargain and also suggests that people have become quicker readers so more visual cues are needed in written works to enhance people’s understanding of content.

Here is a link to the article:

http://clarity.shuttlepod.org/Resources/Documents/Clarity%2070..pdf

 

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Sterio Discusses the Future of the International Criminal Court at the ASIL Annual Meeting

C|M|LAW’s Calfee Halter & Griswold Professor Milena Sterio participated in a panel discussion entitled “The Future of the International Criminal Court,” on April 10, 2014, at the American Society of International Law Annual Meeting in Washington D.C..  Professor Sterio joined several other well-known panelists, including Judge Hans Peter Kaul of the International Criminal Court, Professor Jane Stromseth of Georgetown Law School (currently working in the Office of Global Criminal Justice in the State Department), and Professor Dire Tladi (University of Pretoria, South Africa).  The panel was conducted in a roundtable format, with the moderator, Professor David Kaye of UC Irvine School of Law asking “unscripted” questions.  The questions centered on the role of the Security Council referral in ICC investigations, the politics of the ICC, recent cases of the Yugoslavia and Rwanda tribunals, and the overall legacy of the ad hoc tribunals.

To see a “cable” about this event, published on the American Society of International Law website, click here:

http://www.asil.org/blogs/future-international-criminal-law

In addition, Professor Sterio wrote a brief book review, also in “cable” format, which was published on the same website a few days before the conference. The book related to maritime piracy.  To see the book review, click here:

http://www.asil.org/blogs/book-comment-law-and-practice-piracy-sea-european-and-international-perspectives-panos

 

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Kerber Helps Judge4Yourself Vet Judicial Candidates

C|M|LAW Legal Writing Professor Sandra Kerber participated in Judge4Yourself.com’s interviews of judicial candidates running in the May 6th, 2014 Ohio Primary Election.  Judge4Yourself.com’s ratings are made by four cooperating bar associations, with the help of dozens of experienced lawyers, including Professor Kerber.

To learn more about Judge4Yourself’s ratings, see http://www.judge4yourself.com/

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