Advocacy, Citations, and Expert Testimony

Jacob Sherkow’s work on inter partes review proceedings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been featured in a special report on Bloomberg’s Life Sciences Law & Industry Report.

Ron Filler was listed as a contributor to the report on “Financial Regulation —  Complex and Fragmented Structure Could Be Streamlined to Improve Effectiveness,” issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”)

Richard Friedman won his most recent appeal in the Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division.  In New Jersey, an unpublished appellate decision is not binding but it is persuasive.

In the Matter of the Civil Commitment of D.M. provides a concise review of relevant law.  The decision also is “guided in part by W.H.” another of my appellate victories.

Michael Perlin is one of a group of federal courts and sentencing scholars who has signed on to an amicus brief on behalf of petitioner in Welsch v. United States, seeking retroactive application of Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), that had held that imposing an increased sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act’s residual clause violates due process (February 2016).

The Civil Rights Clinic, with Deborah Archer as Clinical Professor, filed a brief in the Fifth Circuit in Fairley, et al. v. Hattiesburg, Mississippi, et al. The case is a challenge under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act to Hattiesburg, Mississippi’s redistricting plan for its City Council wards. After a trial, the district court found for the defendants. In this appeal, the clinic is lead counsel for a group of Black Hattiesburg voters. Oral arguments will likely be at the end of the semester. Molly Mauck, Sherbune PaulNicole Mozee, and Togtokh Ganzorig co-authored the brief (February 2016).

Art Leonard and Carlin Meyer are part of a group of 106 labor and employment law professors nationwide who submitted a petition to the National Labor Relations Board asking the Board to engage in rule-making on the subject of “captive audience speeches” held by employers during NLRB-supervised secret ballot unionization votes. The petition suggests a rule under which employers would have to give the union equivalent time to address the workers if the employer maintains a rule banning union solicitation during work times. Violation of the equivalent-time rule could lead to setting aside the election result and running a new election. Another co-signer of the petition is former NYLS faculty colleague Seth Harris, who served as Deputy and Acting Secretary of Labor in the Obama Administration and is now a faculty member of the Cornell University Industrial & Labor Relations School (January 2016).

The NYLS Racial Justice Project filed an amicus curiae brief in the United States Supreme Court in the case of Fisher v. The University of Texas at Austin. The case is a challenge to UT Austin’s consideration of race as one factor of one component of its admissions program. One of the appellant’s primary arguments is that UT Austin should be foreclosed from considering race as part of its individualized, holistic review of candidates and instead rely solely on the Texas Top Ten Percent Plan to achieve a racially and ethnically diverse class.  The Racial Justice Project’s brief takes on the Texas Top Percent Plan, arguing that the Top Ten Percent Plan is only relatively successful because it relies on extreme racial segregation in Texas’ public schools and that it fails to achieve intra-racial diversity which is a critical component of UT Austin’s compelling interest in achieving a “diverse” student body. Deborah Archer is the Counsel of Record, and worked with Stephen Ellmann and Erika Wood. To read the brief, click here.

Deborah Archer and Erika Wood (through the Racial Justice Project and the Voting Rights and Civic Participation Project) submitted comments to the Census Bureau urging the Bureau to change the “usual residency” rule to count incarcerated people at their home address, rather than at the correctional facility where they are located on Census Day.

On June 18, Jacob Sherkow and Arti Rai of Duke University School of Law were invited to report to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary on the role of inter partes review proceedings—a type of administrative procedure to challenge patents at the PTO, rather than court—in connection with brand-generic pharmaceutical patent litigation. Using their own, original compiled data, they submitted a brief letter (attached) to the Committee. It has now been made public.

On June 11, Robert Blecker, by invitation, testified before the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee, urging potential revisions to Pennsylvania’s capital punishment statute, challenging the constitutionality of the Governor’s blanket reprieve, and detailing conditions inside prison for well-behaved convicted murderers serving life sentences. His testimony was the subject of an article in the Reading Eagle. Members of the Judiciary Committee also referred to it in a June 16 Committee meeting. A video of that meeting is available here, and the mentions are at the 11:24, 29:00, and 31:11 marks.

Andrew Scherer testified before the New York City Council Committee on Courts and Legal Services, in support of Intro 736, which amends the City Charter to establish an Office of Civil Justice. Click here to view his remarks.

Nadine Strossen joined in an amicus brief in Walker v Sons of Confederate Veterans, which was argued at the U.S. Supreme Court on March 23, 2015. Jim Simon and his Modern Supreme Court Class, along with Michelle Zierler, were in attendance and heard the arguments. They also met with Justice Breyer in his chambers.

Alan Appel ’76 was mentioned in a report on comments submitted to the IRS Commissioner by the American Bar Association’s Section on Taxation, requesting guidance on the tax status of certain expatriates. The report mentions that Alan reviewed the comments in his role as Council Director of the Section’s Committee on U.S. Activities of Foreigners and Tax Treaties. The comments were picked up in the Bloomberg BNA Daily Tax Report and Tax Notes Today.

Ari Waldman’s article, “Exceptions: The Criminal Law’s Illogical Approach to HIV-Related Aggravated Assaults,” was quoted in United States v. Gutierrez, a unanimous decision by the Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces, the military’s highest court. Ari’s work was also cited by amici on the case. The Court’s opinion is available here.

Peter Strauss, who serves on the board of End of Life Choices NY, helped draft the organization’s complaint in its recently filed lawsuit aimed at clarifying the ability of mentally competent, terminally ill New York State patients to obtain aid in dying from their physician if they find their dying process unbearable.

On February 5, 2015, Houman Shadab testified before the New Jersey Assembly’s Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance about digital currencies. Other witnesses included Brian Stoeckert ’04, Managing Director of CoinComply; Christian Martin, CEO and Co-Founder of TeraExchange; and Marco Santori, Counsel to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.



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