Professor Lolita Buckner Inniss Publishes Blog Post on Recent Rape Allegations Against Bill Cosby

Professor Lolita Buckner Inniss published a blog post entitled “Clarence Thomas, Bill Cosby, and the Absence of Memory” on her blog, Ain’t I a Feminist Legal Scholar Too? (“a blog that explores the relationship between blackness, feminism and feminist legal scholarship”).

In this post, Professor Inniss discusses the “absence of memory” regarding allegations of sexual misconduct against prominent public figures, such as Clarence Thomas and Bill Cosby, and concludes much more needs to be done to ensure the protection of women’s rights in the work place and elsewhere.

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Sagers Publishes on Federal Trade Commission Loss in Big Drug Merger

Professor Chris Sagers, with co-author Rick Brunell, General Counsel of the American Antitrust Institute, published a new article in the widely read Antitrust Bulletin.  Their article, ​”FTC v. Lundbeck:  Is Anything in Antitrust Obvious, Like, Ever?,” 59 Antitrust Bull. 557 (2014), considers the Federal Trade Commission’s 2011 loss in antitrust challenge to the acquisition by Lundbeck, a drug maker, of a drug to treat a heart defect in premature babies.  Because the drug was one of only two such drugs in existence, and Lundbeck already owned the other, the deal was effectively a merger to monopoly, and almost immediately following it Lundbeck increased the price of both drugs by more than 1400%.  The Commission nevertheless lost the case.  Brunell and Sagers discuss how that could have happened, why it should not have, and what the Commission’s loss says about the state of competition policy.
Brunell and Sagers also filed an amicus brief in the Lundbeck litigation on behalf of the Commission. Sagers previously blogged about the case here (and that post was quoted by FTC Commissioner Thomas Rosch here).
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Professor Geier Publishes New Tax Law Textbook with CALI eLangdell Press

Professor Deborah Geier has published “U.S. Federal Income Taxation of Individuals,” a new textbook for use in the first Federal Income Tax course, with CALI’s eLangdell Press. She declined expressions of interest from the legacy legal publishers in favor of making the textbook available as a free download over the internet in an effort to eliminate or reduce student cost. This first (2014) edition is available only in pdf format, but the 2015 edition (forthcoming in late December or early January after Congress acts on pending legislation) will also be available in ePub format for iPads and Mobi format for Kindles (for free), with an at-cost, print-on-demand alternative for those who like a hard copy. To download the book, click here.

In addition to eliminating (or lowering) student cost, this mode of publication will permit Professor Geier to quickly and fully update the book each December or early January, incorporating expiring provisions, inflation adjustments for the coming calendar year, new Treasury Regulations, etc., in time for use in the spring semester, an approach that avoids cumbersome new editions or annual supplements. This publication method also makes the textbook suitable for use as a free study aid for students whose professors adopt another textbook, as this textbook walks the student through the law with many more fact patterns and examples than do many other textbooks. Finally, having the textbook easily accessible to foreign students enrolled in a course examining the U.S. Federal income taxation of individuals is important to Professor Geier, and having the textbook available as a free internet download succeeds well in that regard.

This textbook is not intended to be an exhaustive treatise; rather, it is intended to be far more useful than that for beginning tax law students by equipping the novice not merely with unmoored detail but rather with a rich blueprint that illuminates the deeper structural framework on which that detail hangs (sometimes crookedly). Chapter 1 outlines the conceptual meaning of the term “income” for uniquely tax purposes (as opposed to financial accounting or trust law purposes, for example) and examines the Internal Revenue Code provisions that translate this larger conceptual construct into positive law. Chapter 2 explores various forms of consumption taxation because the modern Internal Revenue Code is best perceived as a hybrid income-consumption tax that also contains many provisions—for wise or unwise nontax policy reasons—that are inconsistent with both forms of taxation. Chapter 3 then provides students with the story of how we got to where we are today, important context about the distribution of the tax burden, the budget, and economic trends, as well as material on ethical debates, economic theories, and politics as they affect taxation.

Armed with this larger blueprint, students are then in a much better position to see how the myriad pieces that follow throughout the remaining 19 chapters fit into this bigger picture, whether comfortably or uncomfortably. For example, they are in a better position to appreciate how applying the income tax rules for debt to a debt-financed investment afforded more favorable consumption tax treatment creates tax arbitrage problems. Congress and the courts then must combat these tax shelter opportunities (sometimes ineffectively) with both statutory and common law weapons. Stated another way, students are in a better position to appreciate how the tax system can sometimes be used to generate (or combat) unfair and economically inefficient rent-seeking behavior. The underlying conceptual framework, context, and ethical and economic theories provided early on are then referenced throughout the book, providing the common thread with respect to every topic studied.

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Professor Sterio Publishes Blog Post Discussing Mauritian Court’s Acquittal of Twelve Piracy Suspects

Professor and Associate Dean Milena Sterio published a blog post on both Intlawgrrls and Communis Hostis Omnium, two academic blogs where she routinely publishes posts and serves as editor, on the recent Mauritius Intermediate Court acquittal of twelve piracy suspects.

The piracy suspects had been arrested by a joint EU naval force and transferred to Mauritius for prosecution in January 2013.  This piracy case was the first piracy prosecution in Mauritius, and Professor Sterio argued that the acquittal was unfortunate politically and unsound legally.  Professor Sterio has already been consulted by the Mauritian prosecutor who served as main prosecutor in this case, Ms. Reshma Bikaary, on appellate strategies (Ms. Bikaary has already lodged an appeal).  Professor Sterio had met Ms. Bikaary during her 2012 visit to Mauritius; since then, Professor Sterio has routinely consulted with Ms. Bikaary and her colleagues about best practices in prosecuting Somali piracy suspects.

The blog post is available here and here.

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Professor Sundahl Quoted in California Lawyer on the Need to Clarify Property Rights in Space

Associate Dean and Professor Mark Sundahl was quoted in the October issue of California Lawyer regarding the need to clarify the right of companies to assert ownership over natural resources extracted from asteroids and other celestial bodies.  At least two companies, Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, are currently intending to mine precious metals from near-Earth asteroids.  NASA is also planning to capture an asteroid and place it into orbit around the Moon in order to test technology for the redirection and mining of asteroids.  An excerpt from the article follows.  The full article, entitled Yours, Mine and Ours, can be found here.

“You can’t ask for property rights, because those are prohibited,” says Mark Sundahl, associate dean and professor at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. “So instead, you might ask for the right of noninterference.” But Sundahl adds, “At some point, we’re going to have to address the ownership of natural resources. A company like Planetary Resources isn’t going to invest billions of dollars prospecting for precious metals on an asteroid without clear legal title to ownership.”

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Professor Falk Speaks at 40th Anniversary of the Law-Psychology Program at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Professor Patricia J. Falk was invited to a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the inception of the Law-Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, which took place on October 24.  She earned her J.D. in 1983 and her Ph.D. (focusing on Social Psychology) in 1988.  Professor Falk spoke on a panel entitled “Empirical Research” with fellow alumni of the program.

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Professor Chang Presents at Global Law School in Delhi, India; Lectures During the Summer

Professor Angelin Chang presented on September 16 at the Centre for IPR Studies at Jindal Global Law School in Delhi, India.  Her presentation was entitled “Copyright Issues Facing Musicians: A Practical Overview.”

During the summer, Professor Chang taught in the Great Lakes Sports and Entertainment Law Academy, and she also participated in the Law and Economics Center Institute in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

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