Quotes in the News Media

The following is a sampling of some of Washington University School of Law faculty's wide-ranging expertise featured in the news media. Please note that some links to external news sources may no longer be available.  

August 2014

August 26: Professor Rebecca Dresser discussed the role of deception as a technique for scientific research in the Wall Street Journal: Whether deception is ethical comes down to whether the knowledge gained through deception justifies the trickery and ultimately is a matter of ethical judgment, says Rebecca Dresser, a professor of ethics in medicine at Washington University in St. Louis. But there also are ways to minimize the consequences of deception. It should be avoided if there are alternative ways to get that information. It also should be time-limited, in that participants ought to be told about the deception at the end of the study, Dr. Dresser says. Read more 

August 26: As Professor Mae Quinn pointed out in SBS.com’s Dateline (Australian Public Television), the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown apparently stemmed from an officer confronting two youth walking in the roadway. She explains how many police-youth interactions in the area are unfortunate examples of “criminalizing normal adolescent behaviors that aren't otherwise criminalized – except in communities of color.” View (minutes 2:41, 3:14, and 11:03)

August 26: Professor Neil Richards debated the use of dashcams for law enforcement in an interview with Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN. He explained that while cameras can be of some use, they have their limitations, and certainly aren’t a complete solution to the deep-seated problems of inequality, racism, and militarized policing that have contributed to the problems in Ferguson. View 

August 26:Professor Mae Quinn commented on aggressive “policing of youth in communities of color” in the Riverfront Times in connection with the release of a Statement of Concern by the St. Louis Advocacy Community. Forty-five advocates signed the statement expressing their support for, and solidarity with, the residents of Ferguson, and further calling for systemic change in the treatment of youth by local law enforcement. Read more 
Similar coverage ran in Missouri Lawyers Weekly and The Global Legal Post. 

August 25: Professor Kim Norwood published an op-ed on CNN.com on "Why I Fear for My Sons." Read more

August 25: Professor Kathleen Clark commented in JConline on potential conflict of interest issues surrounding the state of Indiana’s health care consultant: “If I were a taxpayer in Indiana, I would be concerned about whether the advice the government was receiving from her was tainted by her own financial interest and the financial interest of her other clients,” said Kathleen Clark, a professor at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis who specializes in government ethics. Read more 

August 22: Professor Neil Richards commented in the Associated Press and Washington Times on calls for law enforcement to use body cameras: “We live in a time when most people’s reaction to any problem is ‘clearly, if we have an app or some sort of a digital device, that will solve the problem,’” says Neil Richards, professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. Richards says the notion that body cameras might solve problems of police misconduct is “naive.” “The problem is that we can’t fix deep-seated social problems with a $10 gadget or with a million-dollar tank,” he says. Read more 

August 21: Professor John Inazu published an op-ed on CNN.com on “Are We Ferguson?” Read more 

August 20: Professor Adam Rosenzweig discussed tax inversion with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Will markets punish companies from being a Bermuda corporation because it follows British corporate law? Will [investors] be afraid these companies would be riskier because they are less regulated?” asked Adam H. Rosenzweig, a professor of international tax law at Washington University in St. Louis. “Ultimately it comes down to a business decision,” Mr. Rosenzweig said. “If you want to do business in Europe, then why not structure it as an inversion?” Read more 

August 19: Professor Peter Joy commented on the case against Darren Wilson in Newsweek: “It's a question of, 'Was it reasonable to act in the way the police officer did?' Being reasonable would be triggered by, 'Is there a reasonable risk of harm?'" Joy stressed that the ultimate verdict will depend on how the facts unfold. Read more 

August 19: Professor Peter Joy participated in an in-depth interview with Salon.com on some of the most pressing legal questions surrounding the investigation in Ferguson, including those concerning whether or not the police officer will be arrested. Read more 

August 19: Professor Gregory Magarian commented in Deutsche Welle (Germany’s international broadcaster) on efforts by Ferguson police to contain protestors in a designated area: "This is a technique that law enforcement in the U.S. has increasingly used over the past 10-15 years," said Gregory Magarian, a law professor and expert on free speech at Washington University in St Louis. "They're trying to corral protesters into a contained space to make the job of law enforcement easier." He also discussed the arrest of several journalists at the protest: "The only way that police are within their rights to detain journalists is if the police are dealing with an emergency situation," Magarian told DW, adding that in this sense, journalists are like anyone else. But none of the arrests of members of the press in Ferguson met those criteria, the law professor argued. "There are too many cases of police seeming to go after journalists not just while the journalists doing their job, but because they're doing their job." Read more 

August 18: Professor Peter Joy commented for the Associated Press and CBS News about the choice of prosecutor in the Ferguson case: Under Missouri law, it "would be highly, highly, highly unusual" for a prosecutor to step aside merely because of racial tensions in a high-profile case, said Peter Joy, a Washington University law professor who directs the school's Criminal Justice Clinic. In Missouri, "the buck stops with the head prosecutor" in each county, Joy said. Read more 
Professors Joy's comments also appeared in ABC News Channel 13 and the Canton Daily Ledger.

August 18: Professor Peter Joy commented in the Associated Press and Al Jazeera America about whether the St. Louis County Prosecutor would step aside in the Ferguson case: In other states where high-profile shootings have called impartiality into question, authorities have moved to bring in special state prosecutors. But this would be extremely unusual in Missouri, according to Washington University Law Professor Peter Joy who directs the school’s Criminal Justice Clinic. Joy told the AP that because prosecutors in Missouri are elected officials, “the buck stops with the prosecutor” in each county. Read more 

August 18: Professor Peter Joy discussed on the use of force in an interview that aired on ABC News with Diane Sawyer.

August 14: Professor John Inazu published an op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on “Let’s Talk About Race” Read more 

July 2014

July 27: Professor Hillary Sale talked with Bloomberg Business Week about the high cost of replacing a CEO. "When you have to do a turnaround, or you have a company that has issues, it can be more expensive to bring in a new CEO," Sale said. "They have more leverage in those moments." Read More 

July 24: Professor Rebecca Dresser commented in the Christian Science Monitor about the FDA's unwillingness to check the safety of chemicals used in executions. “What is safety in this case?” Dresser asked. “It means that it causes a quick and painless death. But [the FDA] doesn’t want to get into the business of reviewing that. They’ve been permitted to take that position so far.” Read More 

July 24: In an article distributed by Reuters about European law firms promoting their "tax inversion" services--an action in which a company takes over a smaller company in a country with a lower corporate tax rate to lower its tax burden--Professor Adam Rosenzwieg commented, "Potentially what's happening here is that there's a new toy out there and everyone wants a piece of it." The article was picked up by CNBC, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Irish Times, Morningstar, Newslocker, and other outlets. Read More 

July 12: An opinion piece in the Japan Times referred to Professor David Law's essay, "The Anatomy of a Conservative Court: Judicial Review in Japan," in a discussion of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's revisions of the country's constitution to achieve his political aims. Abe encountered little resistance from the Supreme Court because "justices are rigorously vetted throughout their careers,and any with liberal or unreliable inclinations are winnowed out," the Times wrote, paraphrasing Law. "In addition, judges are usually appointed close to mandatory retirement age, meaning high turnover and ongoing opportunities to tweak the composition of the court." Read More 

July 3: Professor David Law commented in Voice of America on the Myanmar Parliament's efforts to strip the military of veto power in that country (Burma). "If they [the government] don't have seats in the parliament then you run a different risk which is that the parliament does whatever the parliament wants to do, but that may just lead to a coup," he said. "So the question is how do you have a democracy while also not giving the military both the ability and the desire to overthrow whatever government you create?" Read More 

July 1: The National Journal quoted Professor Neil Richards' comments to the Christian Science Monitor regarding "revenge porn," the practice of posting compromising photos of a former partner, usually a woman, online. "The great problem legislatures are facing is that they really want to do good here . . . and are under pressure to act sweepingly and broadly," Richards said. "But the best thing to do is to act carefully, because you can regulate revenge porn in a way . . . that respects the ability of major [news outlets] to report the news." Read More 

July 1: An article in the New Republic about polarization in the Roberts Court despite the number of 9-0 rulings quoted Professor Lee Epstein directly and a 2012 study by her, William Landes, and the Hon. Richard Posner (both from the University of Chicago). “Decisions are unanimous when the ideological stakes are not large enough to lead a Justice who disagrees with the majority to dissent,” the study found. Added Epstein, “The unanimity this term, in my view, really reflects case selection. The fraction of civil liberties cases this term is significantly lower. And the more civil liberties cases, the less likely decisions are to be unanimous.” Read More 

July 1: Professor Lee Epstein was quoted and cited as the source of a chart showing 9-0 and 5-4 SCOTUS rulings from 1958 to 2013 in a New York Times article analyzing unanimity in the court's 2013 term. “The higher unanimity rate might reflect an increase in cases with low ideological stakes,” Epstein said. “This term, about 36 percent involved questions of rights and liberties, compared with 57 percent in the three previous terms.” Read More 

July 1: In NPR's "On Point" program, Professor Elizabeth Sepper discussed the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby ruling and the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA). “Whatever we think about the outcome, this opinion radically changes religious liberty law. It throws out every 1st Amendment case that we have," Sepper said. "We have had cases in which the court said when you enter into commercial life, you can’t impose your values on others, namely employees. Justice Alito says, ‘Wrong, the RFRA does allow business owners to do that. This precedent just doesn’t bind us any more.” Sepper added that "this should be viewed as a loss from the perspective of most Christians. Most women who would consider themselves Christian take contractpetives and don't view them as abortifacients, nor does the medical establishment." Listen Here 

July 1: Writing in Christianity Today, Professor John Inazu discusses McCullen v. Coakley, a 1st Amendment case in which SCOTUS unanimously protected free expression in public spaces outside of abortion clinics. Inazu contrasted McCullen to Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, which dealt with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, not the 1st Amendment. Further, Inazu says the court should have used McCullen v. Coakley to overturn Hill v. Colorado, a decision upholding a state law "that restricted expression outside of abortion clinics." "Hobby Lobby, like McCullen, is a win for religious liberty," Inazu writes. "But it is a narrow and in some ways precarious decision, subject to the whims of future legislators or a slight shift in the Court's current composition. And it is not a First Amendment decision. We should be glad for Hobby Lobby, but we shouldn't lose sight of the unanimous decision in McCullen, and its reminder that when it comes to the roots of our religious liberty, the First Amendment is what matters the most." Read More 

July 1: Professor Elizabeth Sepper was quoted in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article on the SCOTUS decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Calling the ruling an “anti-religious liberty decision,” she said that “corporations can impose their religious belief on employees. . . . It is discrimination for a health plan to meet all of men’s health needs and not meet women's.” Read More  

June 2014

June 30: In an article published by St. Louis Public Radio, Professors Greg Magarian, Ronald Levin, and John Inazu questioned the appearance of unanimity in the current SCOTUS. Though the court recently issued three unanimous decisions in a week, the three professors see evidence of a sharp divide among the justices. Magarian said, "[Chief Justice John] Roberts isn’t finding propositions that hold the court together. The court is just agreeing on outcomes. . . . Let’s not forget that a lot of important cases haven’t been unanimous. The landmark McCutcheon campaign finance case, like all the campaign finance decisions over the past 15 years (at least), is a bruising exercise in judicial politics." Levin called the Court’s opinions on recess appointments and abortion clinic buffer zones “poor examples of unanimity. The divisions between the court’s factions are very deep.” Inazu wondered “if [the unanimity] glosses over deeper divisions.” Read More 

June 26: The New York Times used 2013 data from Professor Lee Epstein for an article providing "A More Nuanced Breakdown of the Supreme Court." Read More 

June 25: Professor Peter Joy spoke with St. Louis Public Radio on the SCOTUS decision requiring warrants for most cell phone searches. "The court got the cell phone case right," he said. "Searching a cell phone after an arrest isn't any more justified than it would be for the police to decide to go to the arrestee's home and search the home without a warrant. The cell phone searches are no more than fishing expeditions. If there is probable cause to believe that there is specific evidence of a crime on the phone, then the police could obtain a search warrant. As the court points out, the information on the cell phone does not fit any of the existing exceptions to permitting a warrantless search." Read More 

June 23: In a monthly legal roundtable on KWMU St. Louis on the Air, Professor Ronald Levin discussed a SCOTUS ruling regarding the EPA's regulation of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. "The EPA gets to do most of what it wants to do, but at the same time the court is saying that there are limits," Levin said. "So if they want to expand teh statute and really deal with the issue any way they want they may have to go back to Congress." Listen Here 

 June 20: Professor Steve Legomsky commented on the immigration crisis on the Texas border, where thousands of children from Central America are overwhelming legal and other services as they flee to escape danger in their homelands. “I could easily imagine a significant number of these people showing credible fear,” Legomsky said, which, the Chicago Tribune notes, could lead to added delays since federal immigration courts are already backlogged" with asylum cases. “The administration is in a tough spot,” he added. Read More 

June 19: Professor Kathleen Clark spoke with the Indianapolis Star about an apparent conflict of interest and nepotism case that is now the subject of a federal inquiry. In the case, state work was outsourced to a firm that then directed tax dollars to startup companies run by the founder and chairman of the outsourced firm. Clark said that if ourtsourcing leads to inevitable conflicts of interest, "then that would suggest you shouldn't outsource it. It's not enough that the chair left the room while the decision was being made." Read More 

June 13: Professor Hillary Sale commented in the Star Tribune on Target Corp.'s weakened shareholder votes for retaining board members and the possibility of splitting the company's chairman and CEO roles. Of two board members receiving votes of approval in the “low 60 percent range,” Sale said, “In the world of shareholder votes, those are bad votes. I think they are definitely on notice.” Regarding the chairman and CEO roles, Sales said, “They are in the midst of a CEO search now. So if they want to make the change, it’s an easier change now than if they have a sitting CEO. . . . You don’t have to say to your current CEO: ‘Scoot over.’” Read More 

June 5: Professor Rebecca Dresser discussed her book, Malignant: Medical Ethicists Confront Cancer, and her own experiences with the disease in a San Diego Union-Times article about her talk at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. “Knowing about a life-threatening diagnosis may be better than not knowing, but it’s terrible knowledge. With it come impossible treatment choices,” she said. "For me, it was a choice between surgery — possibly more effective, but more likely to leave me unable to speak and swallow — and chemotherapy and radiation. I had no idea how to make this choice.” Read More 

May 2014 

May 28: Professor Neil Richards' commentary "Privacy Is not Dead--It's Inevitable" appeared on the Boston Review's blog. "As we move forward, it is essential that we figure out how to translate the values of free speech, privacy, due process, and equality into the new digital environment—what they mean in an era of big data and pervasive surveillance, and how to build them into the fabric of our digital society," Richards wrote. Read More 

 May 25: Professor Peter Joy commented in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story about defense attorneys who claim that "St. Louis prosecutors wait too long to drop bad cases." “When the prosecutor believes they have the wrong person, obviously they have an obligation not to go further,” Joy said. “We’re not supposed to be putting people we believe are innocent through trial. But the other question is, do you go forward when you believe you have insufficient evidence to get a conviction? In my opinion, they have an obligation not to go forward.” Read More 

May 24: Professor Kathleen Clark discussed the American system for rewarding "whistleblowers" compared to the absence of a reward system in Canada with Financial Post . “It sometimes takes a rogue to catch a rogue,” Clark said. "You don’t have to have completely clean hands to take advantage of American whistleblower programs established by the False Claims Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Read More 

May 23: Professor Neil Richards discussed Internet security in a story about a Jefferson County, Missouri, libel lawsuit. “Some people have this illusion of anonymity and it emboldens them to engage in activities using words that harm or attack,” Richards said. “People do have much more of an expectation of privacy using the Internet than is there.” Read More 

May 20: Professor Hillary Sale commented on former Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel's compensation and severance package, which a proxy statement shows was less than analysts expected and less than that of the preceding CEO, Robert Ulrich. “This is a whole lot smaller,” Sale said of Steinhafel's package in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “But on the other hand, [Ulrich's package] was really big. Part of what is going on here is that Target’s performance has been down.” Read More 

May 18: Professor Hillary Sale was featured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch's "Mound City Money" column on the "boardroom gender gap." Of a 2012 Credit Suisse study showing that companies with female board members outperform those with only male board members, she said, “You can’t say it’s causation, but the correlation is quite strong that more women on the board produces better outcomes.” Read More 

May 16: Professor Ronald Levin was quoted in a Bloomberg BNA story on the use of first-person oral testimony in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's public hearings on proposals to tighten regulations on workplace silica exposure. The story paraphrased Levin explaining that though "press coverage of the hearings was light and attendance was sparse, the testimony can still serve as a resource for political arguments." Levin told Bloomberg BNA that "the hearings serve an 'expressive function' in the rulemaking process rather than a technocratic one." Read More 

May 12: Professor John Inazu spoke with the Legal Broadcast Network about the Supreme Court of the United States' 5-4 ruling in The Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway. Inazu said the most surprising aspect of the ruling was that "all of the justices seemed to endorse some kind of legislative prayer" in town council meetings. The case also signaled the court’s movement away from an "endorsement" test toward a focus on "coercion." "That is where there is disagreement between the majority and the dissent," Inazu said. "But the majority doesn't do a great job of saying 'how coercive' would be 'too coercive.' Clearly there is some limit that would cause constitutional concern, but they don't say how much." Read More 

May 12: Professor Rebecca Dresser published an commentary piece in The Hastings Center Report on a proposal to allow advance directives that give people the power to refuse food and water if they experience severe dementia. "the proposal . . . could give a select group of individuals an avenue for exerting more control over their future care as dementia patients," she wrote. "From a broader policy perspective, however, the proposal offers little help. In our nation and others, a growing number of people are affected by dementia. People with dementia and their families struggle mightily, often making do without the support and resources that could vastly improve their quality of life. Besides the lack of adequate care and services, there is a lack of ethical and policy guidance on permissible end-of-life choices for dementia patients. A boutique approach like a stopping eating and drinking by advance directive does little to meet the broader ethical and policy need." Read More 

May 8: Professor Neil Richards published "The Promises and Pitfalls of Big Data," an opinion piece in Al-Jazeera America.  "Tech companies and government officials need to end their big data blame game and work together to develop once again a new ethics for a new age, so that our digital future will be better than our industrial past," he wrote. "Let’s impose the technologists’ demands on the government, and impose the government’s demands on the technologists."  Read More 

May 1: Professor Neil Richards discussed the First Amendment and proposed "revenge porn" laws with the Christian Science Monitor. "Revenge porn" involves nude or sexually explicit photos or videos that—while created with consent—are posted online when the relationship "turns sour," the newspaper writes. “All of these laws are going to be challenged under the First Amendment,” Richards said. “The great problem legislatures are facing is that they really want to do good here . . . and are under pressure to act sweepingly and broadly, but the best thing to do is to act carefully, because you can regulate revenge porn in a way . . .  that respects the ability of major [news outlets] to report the news.” Read More 

April 2014

April 25: Professor Kathleen Clark commented on a House ethics review of Texas Rep. Steve Stockman's campaign finances. "Congressman Stockman continues to kind of amaze me," Clark said. "He doesn't admit any responsibility for what happened in his campaign. Instead I see obfuscation." Read More 

April 24: Professor Pauline Kim was interviewed on NPR's "Tell Me More" about drug testing for welfare recipients. "The kinds of arguments I've heard in terms of supporting these types of testing programs are that they'll protect children and that they'll save the states money. I don't think there's any real clear evidence that drug testing programs achieve either of those purposes," Kim said. "And really my sense is these programs, to the extent that they're out there--and apparently they're becoming increasingly popular--they're really about symbolism. They're about government or particular public officials trying to take a stand about their views of illegal drug use. The problem is in the employment context, the courts have been pretty clear that symbolic stand is not a sufficient justification for drug testing that burdens someone's privacy rights." Read More 

April 23: In a preview of an upcoming appearance at the University of California San Diego, Professor Rebecca Dresser reflected on her motivation for writing her book Malignant: Medical Ethicists Confront Cancer. "Despite having more than a fair amount of experience talking about death and dying, I discovered I had conflicting values when trying to make my own treatment choices," the Digital Journal quoted from a press release. "I thought I knew what to expect, but it's so different when it's you and not someone else." Read More 

April 9: Professor Neil Richards was quoted in an Associated Press story, picked up by the Kansas City Star, Boston Globe, and other papers about Washington University Law School's partnership with Fordham Law School and other top law schools to develop a curriculum that helps middle-school students manage their "digital reputations."  "The challenge facing our society, and our schools, is how to take (advantage of) the benefits of these undeniably, life-improving technologies while minimizing the costs," Richards said. "It's important to teach your kids how to be in charge of technology, just like any other tool." In St. Louis, the curriculum is being tested only at the St. Michael School in Clayton, though the law schools hope to refine and expand the program to public schools soon. "By the time you put together a curriculum, it's out of date," he said. "Kids in middle school haven't heard of (the once popular music sharing website) Myspace. They aren't paying attention to PowerPoints and they're not using Facebook anymore." Read More 

April 5: Professor Rebecca Dresser was quoted in an Associated Press story, picked up by the Washington Times, on the secrecy surrounding execution drugs. Dresser commented on the evaluation of "quality control" in a "lack of transparency" environment. “Lethal injection is supposed to be a humane method of execution, so the risk is that by a lack of adequate quality control, the execution may not be humane,” Dresser said. “The ethical concern would be that they’re allowing unjustified pain or distress.” Read More 

March 2014

March 31: Professor Kathleen Clark was quoted in an Investors.com article about whistleblowers who receive significant financial rewards for reporting mismanagement or malfeasance. "Congress has been impressed with this model of enforcement," Clark said. "It's kind of a private-public partnership." About a case regarding JPMorgan Chase, which resulted in a $614 million settlement and a $63.8 million reward for the whistleblower, Clark said, "It's possible we'll see many more False Claims Act cases along the lines of the JPMorgan case, but it depends on how much fraud there was and whether there was a federal government nexus. I would anticipate many more whistleblower awards by the SEC under its Dodd-Frank program." Read More 

March 13: Professor Neil Richards was quoted in a New Scientist article about Google Flu Trends' failure to make accurate predictions of flu cases. Richards said the study offers insight into the power of technology companies with access to "big data," and the danger that comes with that power. "We now have technology companies with power that rivals the state in some respects, and which have much more of an impact on our daily lives," he said. "Now that data scientists have achieved a remarkable level of social power, I hope we'll see them recognising that with that power comes a great degree of professional responsibility, the same way doctors and lawyers and journalists do." Read More 

March 12: Professor Greg Magarian was quoted in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article about a ballot initiative that would allow voters to decide whether rights to hunt, fish, and parent should be affirmed in an amendment to the state constitution .“You’re not able to predict the problems or conflicts that may arise in the future,” Magarian said. “If you plan on amending the constitution by adding a new right, it’s wise to consider what other situations might arise where new rights you’re creating will conflict with existing rights.” Read More 

February 2014

February 26: The Riverfront Times quoted Professor Greg Magarian's comments on Missouri's SB 916, which would allow businesses to turn away gay and lesbian couples if doing so is perceived as an “attack” on the business owner’s “religious freedom." "Usually courts are very skittish about making pronouncements about religious liberty," said Magarian. "A lot of time they say, look, what the religious person says is a sincere religious belief, and we'll take their word for it." Magarian said the bill "is based on a particular kind of legislative animus, against same sex couples. That's a problem. If I were the Supreme Court or the legal authority in charge of figuring this out, I would strike it down."Read More 

February 19: The St. Louis American published an article on Professor Kim Norwood's book, Color Matters: Skin Tone Bias and the Myth of a Biracial America. “We live in a very colored world that is built upon a color caste system where dark people are relegated to life at the lowest levels of society,” Norwood said. “And the color caste is poised to become sharper, clearer and more impenetrable. We hope to add our voices to the call toward the eradication of this growing form of discrimination.” Read More 

February 12: Professor Greg Magarian was quoted in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch story about eight couples who are suing to have their marriages from other states recognized in Missouri. Magarian said their strategy of suing in state court makes sense. "Opponents can't say federal courts are meddling in state affairs," he noted. Read More 

February 5: Professor Kathleen Clark published an article on the Legal Ethics Forum blog about a new report that the NSA has been intercepting and monitoring communications between lawyers and their clients. "The real issue here is not whether the NSA has violated an evidentiary privilege," Clark wrote. "The real question is whether the NSA has violated the legal rights of clients and/or their lawyers." Read More 

February 3: Professor Rebecca Dresser was quoted in a Tampa Bay Times article about a case of assisted suicide in which a lethal dose of medication was given to a terminally ill man by his doctor, who was also his friend. Dresser commented on the need for professional boundaries between physicians and their patients. "The reason the boundaries are there is to protect patients and try to promote good, objective medical care," Dresser said. Read More 

January 2014

January 31: Professor Kathleen Clark spoke with Canadian Lawyer magazine about the impact U.S. whistleblowing rules, like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Dodd-Frank, is having on Canadian companies that operate or trade in the states. When cases initially went to OSHA, which didn't have the expertise to deal with financial fraud, the rules weren't as effective. But new, President Obama-appointed OSHA administrative law judges “are adopting legal principles and interpreting the law in a way that is frankly very favorable toward whistleblowers and quite a challenge for management.” In addition, whistleblowers are now entitled to 10-39 percent of the fines levied in cases. “That’s a game changer,” Clark said, adding that Dodd-Frank provides“broader and more vibrant protections” for whistleblowers. Read More 

January 25: Professor Cheryl Block's 2011 book Overt and Covert Bailouts: Developing an Effective Public Policy was quoted in a Washington Post column that seeks to clarify the meaning of the term "bailout." “[A] bailout is a form of government assistance or intervention specifically designed or intended to assist enterprises facing financial distress and to prevent enterprise failure,” Block wrote. The writer then paraphrases Block's book, noting that while "bailouts are a form of government subsidy. . . . not all subsidies are bailouts." He then discusses three "subsidies" that Block wrote are not "bailouts." Read More 

January 22: In a Boston Review blog posting, Professor Neil Richards gave his interpretation of President Barack Obama's surveillance reforms. "While the future of Obama’s reforms is murky, the future of the American people with respect to surveillance is obvious: we know that as members of a free society, it is up to us to be vigilant in preserving our rights, and we know that will become harder to do as our digital powers expand," Richards wrote. "That is why Obama’s speech could not have come at a better time. We are at a critical point in the history of our civil liberties, and the obligation is now on all of us to ensure that we craft permanent legal reform that is effective in protecting our civil liberties." Read More 

January 17: Professor Neil Richards was quoted internationally regarding President Barack Obama's pending response to Edward Snowden's revelations regarding the NSA's spying actions and capabilities. "I think what we are likely to see is less reform than civil libertarians would like, and more of a reform than the security services would like," Richards said in articles appearing in The Australian, China Dailyand The Times of Oman(The Times of Oman not available electronically.) Read More (Australia), Read More (China)

January 14: The Street published Professor Greg Magarian's comments about the difficult position the U.S. Attorney's Office could be in if New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo succeeds in passing executive action to allow hospitals to dispense medical mariuana. The action could mean that those hospitals might be subject to federal prosecution if they violate the limits of the state law. "If the office says that they won't pursue prosecutions, then they look soft on crime. If they say they will pursue prosecutions, then they're starting a fight with the governor," Magarian wrote in an email. "Either way, what they end up doing will probably depend on policy determinations higher up in the Justice Department." Read More 

January 14: Associate Dean for International & Graduate Programs Mike Koby was quoted in a U.S. News & World Report Online Education article about online LL.M. programs. "There are a lot of experienced lawyers overseas who can't leave their job," Koby said. "If the opportunity to come to the U.S. has passed you by, this is the option." Koby also pointed out that many international students are already lawyers in their home countries. Read More 

January 10: Professor Neil Richards was quoted in a Law360 article on a case in which a health clinic was not held liable for a nurse who gossiped about a patient's sexually transmitted disease. “Even if we're mostly concerned about rules that are good for business in the long run, what's good for business is trust — and rules that impose liability for breaches create incentives for better policies,” Richards said. “The right perspective to take is to take the long view and ask if the law is creating the right kinds of incentives for business to impose policies prospectively—before these breaches happen.” Read More 

 January 8: Professor Andrew Tuch wrote an article on the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation's blog based on his paper "Financial Conglomerates and Chinese Walls," which examines "the effectiveness of Chinese walls, or information barriers, in preventing financial conglomerates from misusing non-public information in their trading and other activities." The article argues that "financial conglomerates' Chinese walls fail in important contexts, allowing firms to trade using non-public information they garner from their clients." The article is forthcoming in the Journal of Corporation Law. Read More 

January 7: In a UPI article, Professor Rebecca Dresser commented on the tragic case of a California girl who was declared "brain dead" following a "complex tonsillectomy." In the article, she was paraphrased as saying that "Once cessation of brain activity is confirmed, there is no recovery." The article stated that "Dresser served on a 2008 presidential bioethics counsel that confirmed "whole-brain death" as legal death." Read More 

January 5: Professor Neil Richards commented on the case of Jill Kelley, a woman who became associated with the Gen. Petraeus sex scandal after she reported receiving threatening emails from another woman who was later identified as the general's mistress. “This case shows that privacy is really important and that the legal rules we have are not tailored for modern technology,” said Richards. “I think it shows also how so many questions that we deal with on an everyday basis, from government to criminal investigations, all deal with the issue of privacy.” Read More 

December 2013

December 30: Professor Rebecca Dresser commented on the tragic case of a California girl who was declared "brain dead" following a "complex tonsillectomy." “As long as the medical consensus is that the patient meets the standards of whole brain death, then that patient is legally dead and there’s no obligation to treat a dead body,” Dresser said. Dresser added that it is “completely understandable that given the circumstances of her brain injury that there would be suspicion about the hospital attempting a coverup” and that “certainly delaying for some period in order to verify that the patient meets the standards of whole brain death or legal death” was warranted. But “whole brain death is death. It’s not a different state from other kinds of death. That’s the consensus view” of a December 2008 white paper by the President’s Council on Bioethics. Dresser served on that council. Read More  

December 17: Professor John Inazu appeared on St. Louis on the Air (KWMU radio) to discuss the case Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and other legal issues. Of Hobby Lobby, Inazu said, “It’s a fascinating case because it blends two areas, religion and healthcare, and raises a number of issues on all sides. . . . The fact that it’s a for-profit business bringing these challenges is a pretty new thing. . . . If you say that Exxon or Boeing are not able to make religions claims, what do you do with a small, family owned Bible manufacturer, for example?” Read More  

 December 10: Lecturer in Law and Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic (IEC) Attorney Elizabeth Hubertz was quoted in an MSNBC article on the case EPA v. EME Homer City Generation LP, currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. The IEC filed an amicus brief on behalf of pollution scientists in the case, which involves a challenge to the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) that seeks to protect the health of citizens of downwind states by placing limits on air pollution that crosses state lines. The DC Circuit struck down CSAPR, saying that states should only have to reduce air emissions for neighboring states. “The DC Circuit’s opinion was a simple answer to a complicated question,” Hubertz said. “We think it’s all but impossible to comply with the DC Circuit's red lines and still take into account how air pollution actually works.” The article also used an "air pollution transport" map, which was part of the brief, to illustrate the complexity of cross-boundary air pollution. Read More 

December 7: The New York Times published a letter to the editor by Walter D. Coles Professor of Law Emeritus Merton Bernstein regarding a column which argued that additional safety measures result in lower wages for workers. "We should remember that employers have a financial stake in work safety that goes well beyond the cost of providing it," Bernstein wrote. "They hire people because they need their work. When injury or illness causes an absence, it is often difficult or impossible to arrange for a replacement for a worker, especially on short notice. . . . Absences adversely affect production and the bottom line." Read More 

December 6: Professor Elizabeth Sepper was quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article about the SCOTUS' anticipated ruling on corporate objections to the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act. "The Supreme Court case has implications far beyond health coverage," the paper wrote, paraphrasing Sepper. "The entire regulatory state hangs in the balance here," Sepper added. Read More 

December 4: Professor David Law was named in an Associated Press/Washington Post article as the leader of a group training session for members of Burma's (Myanmar's) pariliament seeking to reform that country's constitution. Read More 

December 4: Vice Provost Adrienne Davis presented a paper on pet inheritance at Duke University. The Duke Chronicle quoted Davis commenting on people who get upset in inheritance funds are left to pets rather than children. “The outrage is not unlike the way people get upset about other forms of irregular intimacy such as gay marriage or polygamy,” Davis said. Read More 

December 1: Professor Elizabeth Sepper spoke with Fox 2 News' Charles Jaco about Hobby Lobby's claim that it should not have to provide contraception coverage to its employees. "This is important for two reasons," Sepper said. "First, the idea that a secular, for-profit corporation--not a 'mom-and-pop store'--can have religious  beliefs is unprecedented in our Constitutional history. Second, religion is a form of 'social insurance' and we have seen religioius employees object to contraceptive mandates, but they routinely lose. The fact that courts are now starting to buy that argument is disturbing." View Video  

November 2013

November 25: The Houston Chronicle asked Professor  Kathleen Clark  to review a financial statement by U.S. Congressman Steve Stockman. Clark told the paper that the federal disclosure form, which was submitted two years late, left out information Stockman should have included.  The paper said that Clark noted that "Stockman, who has an accounting degree, reported more than required about his wife's income. But he omitted his own business relationships, bank accounts and the value of any businesses." "Did anyone review this? Has the House Ethics Committee followed up? It just seems very odd. I would have a lot of questions for him," said Clark. "There are many things about the disclosure that I don't understand."  Read More  

November 21: In an Associated Press story that appeared in numerous new outlets across Missouri, Professor  Peter Joy  commented on the state's new execution method. "The courts at this point have given Missouri a green light to proceed with executions that are scheduled," said Joy. "And barring either specific appeals related to some of the planned executions that may deal with issues unrelated to the execution protocol or courts revisiting the issue of the execution protocol that is now being used, basically there's green light and the door is open, and I anticipate more executions." Read More 

November 1: Professor Hillary Sale commented on the SEC's rules for "crowdfunding"--allowing small investors to fund startup companies through the Internet without going through the agency's costly registration process. Countering an Oakland, CA, lawyer who things the rules are unwieldy, Sale said, “I think they worked hard to strike a balance between investor protection and access to funding.” Read More 

October 2013

October 28: The St. Louis American quoted Professor Kim Norwood in an article on the recent program recognizing the 65th anniversary of Shelley v. Kraemer and the legacy of Margaret Bush Wilson. Norwood explained that Wilson's father was the real estate broker who had sold the Shelleys, an African American family, their home in the Lewis Place subdivision. Wilson had the opportunity to watch "seasoned civil rights lawyers" preparing the Shelley's case. “She told me that exposure to those lawyers cast the mold of the kind of lawyer she wanted to be,” Norwood said of Wilson. Read More 

 October 28: The ABA Journal quoted Professor Peter Joy in an article about the Virginia Supreme Court’s ruling in Hunter v. Virginia State Bar. The case involved an attorney who posted information about his successful cases on his blog; the court ruled the postings were “commercial speech subject to regulation.”  “In effect, the Virginia Supreme Court has created a public records or public knowledge exception to client confidentiality, which erodes the duty of loyalty lawyers owe current and former clients,” Joy said. “Now lawyers can embarrass and humiliate former clients with impunity as long as they use confidential information that is in the public records. The court’s ruling is in direct contradiction with the rules of professional conduct.” Read More 

October 22: Professor  Pauline Kim  was paraphrased several times in a Wall Street Journal article about an employer's ability to monitor its employees' use of company cars, phones, and computers. "There is a thin patchwork of state laws and legal precedent involving worker monitoring," the article cites Kim as saying. Kim also commented on the "high bars to clear" for "workers who object to their employer's surveillance." Read More 

October 16: Professor Hillary Sale was quoted in a Bloomberg News story about Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White’s announcement that a report regarding an “overhaul . . . of company-filing rules” to reduce “information overload” for investors will be released soon. "Not every individual investor reads every report a company issues, but individual investors rarely move the market," Sale said. "People who make the largest buy-and-sell decisions are either activist investors or hedge funds or institutional investors, and they do read and digest this information and use it. The other group of people who use this are the analysts who make buy-and-sell and hold recommendations. It's true they could go get information in lot of places, but maybe it makes sense to have it there, once a year, where you can have it there all at once. The 10-K is the place where you go to get the big picture." Read More  

15 October: Professor  Adam Rosenzweig penned an op-ed piece on the debt ceiling crisis, proposing that the Supreme Court step in to solve the stalemate. "In an ideal world the political branches would solve the debt ceiling crisis on their own, recognizing that honoring the federal debt is a core commitment of the country. . . . But if the political branches can’t, or won’t, honor these commitments, the federal courts should," Rosenzweid said. "If both Congress and the president knew that failing to raise the debt ceiling would invite five justices of the Supreme Court to choose how to fund the government, the odds of a stalemate would likely reduce dramatically." Read More 

12 October: Professor  Andrew Martin's  2012 study (with Lee Epstein, University of Southern California) of judicial activism in the Roberts' court's first five years was cited in a New York Times article, "How Activist Is the Supreme Court?" “In a nutshell, liberal justices tend to invalidate conservative laws and conservative justices, liberal laws,” Martin and Epstein wrote. Read More 

11 October: Techcrunch quoted Professor Neil Richards about the dismissal of a class-action suit against Google concerning its Internet tracking technology that enables the placement of targeted ads. “Other than the vague threat of an Orwellian dystopia, as a society we don’t really know why surveillance is bad,” Richards said. Read More  

10 October: An op-ed on the blog The Global Legal Post by attorney Reuben Guttman praised a demonstration of @WashULaw by Professor Michael Koby at the recent International Bar Association Conference in Boston. "Where US law schools’ overseas endeavors can be high cost and risky, the Washington University strategy is premised on the Skype technology which brings students to St. Louis - or Boston - without boarding an airplane. Whether other law schools will follow the Washington University lead remains a question. But here in Boston where Harvard has reigned as king of legal training, Washington University is leaving its mark," Guttman wrote. Read More 

6 October: Professor Elizabeth Sepper was quoted in Kansas City InfoZine discussing "corporate personhood," the theory that corporations can use moral standards to get around the law: “If for-profit employers are unconstitutionally burdened by regulation of health insurance, they’ll be able to dispute other mandated benefits on religious grounds — from sexually transmitted infection counseling and testing to vaccination to depression screening,” Sepper said. “It’s just a short step from deciding for-profit, secular employers can deny employees insurance for contraception to allowing them to get rid of employees for simply using contraception.” Read More  

5 October: In an Associated Press article that appeared in several newspapers, Professor  Neil Richards  commneted on the decalmatioan suit filed by Jack Clark against former St. Louis Cardinal Andrew Pujols. Clark has accused Pujols of uisng sterioids as a Cardinal. Richards called the case “So hard to win,” explaining that Pujols has to show that Clark's comments demonstrate "actual malice" by lying or showing disregard of the truth. “Mere negligence is not enough,” Richards said. Read More 

September 2013

24 September: The Huffington Post quoted Professor Neil Richards's (co-authored with Jonathan H. Kingonline article in the Stanford Law Review, "Three Paradoxes of Big Data." The Huffington Post article addressing "The Cost of Identity in the Personal Data Economy" quoted Richards and King: "Whereas the important right to privacy harkens from the right to be left alone, the right to identity originates from the right to free choice about who we are. Such influence over our individual and collective identities risks eroding the vigor and quality of our democracy. If we lack the power to individually say who 'I am,' if filters and nudges and personalized recommendations undermine our intellectual choices, we will have become identified but lose our identities as we have defined and cherished them in the past." Read More 

17 September: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch quoted Professor Hillary Sale in an article on the JOBS Act, which allows companies with revenue less than $1 billion annually to take more time before disclosing their initial public offering documents. Of Twitter, which will have until three weeks prior to its IPO to disclose its documents, Sale said, “Those institutional buyers will still have access to the information and will still have opportunity to think about it.” Read More 

12 September: Time magazine quoted Professor Greg Magarian on Missouri's and other states' efforts to prohibit enforcement of federal gun statutes. “To some extent, those laws can be seen as a kind of civil disobedience, a form of dramatized protest saying the federal government shouldn’t be doing what it’s going,” says Gregory Magrarian, an expert in constitutional law at Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. “Sometimes nullification statutes are symbolic in their intent.” Read More  

11 September: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch quoted an environmental engineer with the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic on the possibility that Missouri will upgrade its water protection laws to meet federal Clean Water Act standards. “It’s a major step in the right direction,” said environmetal engineer Peter Goode. The clinic is providing legal counsel to the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, which has sued twice to make the EPA step in and enforce the standards. Read More 

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