2014 News Archive
faculty news and appearances
Larry Tasney’s duplex in North Quincy could soon be the last house standing on a stretch of Hunt Street that city leaders want to see flattened and turned into a parking lot behind North Quincy High School. Still refusing to sell his home, Tasney remains the last holdout.
The subject of the 31st annual debate was “Be it resolved: Corporations should not be considered people under the U.S. Constitution.”
Converse Inc. sued some of the nation’s biggest retailers and sneaker-makers Tuesday in a legal blitz to defend its iconic and enduringly popular Chuck Taylor shoes against a crowd of purported copycat competitors.
A nationwide study released this week reports that the Twin Cities was one of the areas in the country that saw the largest decline in charitable giving through the recession and early years of economic recovery.
Unpacking some boxes after a recent move from South Bend, Indiana, to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, I came across my confirmation stole, which I made in the spring of 1978.
The case of two men convicted of killing a woman in Chelsea is expected to come before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday, as justices weigh whether new DNA evidence merits a retrial after the men have spent more than 20 years behind bars.
Some analysts sorting through the tea leaves say the high court’s decision Monday not to take up a same-sex marriage case suggests that the four conservative justices could not be sure Justice Kennedy – the potential deciding vote – would join them.
(Reuters) - A friend of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect could not have lied to the FBI about visiting his dorm room and removing a backpack because he was too intoxicated by marijuana to remember what he did that day, his attorney said on Monday.
More than 26,000 civilians have been killed or injured this year in the conflict in Iraq, according to a new United Nations report, which details an array of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by the self-described Islamic State (IS).
How can we increase the flow of money to charitable organizations? With the anemic economic recovery and cuts in government funding, the need for donations is greater than ever, yet funding for charities has remained largely stagnant.
Boston College Law Professor Zygmunt Plater presented a TEDx Talk on his new book, THE SNAIL DARTER & THE DAM: How Pork-Barrel Politics Endangered a Little Fish and Killed a River (Yale University Press). The Supreme Court case—a classic David and Goliath scenario—was an ingenious, but doomed, attempt to save a Tennessee way of life.
Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement Thursday that he will resign signals an end to a turbulent tenure as the nation's top law-enforcement official and a potential reset for an administration looking to push through new laws on civil rights and sentencing reform next year.
“Be it resolved: Corporations should not be considered people under the U.S. Constitution" will occur on October 7 at 5:30 pm, and will be streamed live online.
BC Law is partnering with Tax Analysts to host a conference, Reforming Entity Taxation, at the Law School on Friday, October 10.
Patricia McCoy, a leading expert on issues of financial services regulation, has joined the Boston College Law School faculty as the inaugural Liberty Mutual Insurance Professor in property and casualty insurance law.
Boston College Professor of Law Sanford N. Katz examines the present state of family law in second edition release of Family Law in America, available now.
BC Law Professor Michael Cassidy has been appointed to a new Commission by Governor Devall Patrick to study the salary of state Assistant District Attorneys and Public Defenders.
(From the NY Times)--The three-way tug of war being hashed out in the discount retail industry just got a little bit more contentious.
Professor Ray Madoff, with faculty colleagues Brian Galle and Bill Bagley, will convene a conference later this month to bring together scholars, philanthropic leaders, and others to consider whether current rules governing philanthropy adequately support the public good.
The current spotlight on campus sexual assault will no doubt raise awareness among college students of their legal rights and obligations.
Proposals for an international deal to facilitate the resolution of systemic cross-border banking groups, driven by the US and UK regulators, are facing a rising tide of objections just as the crucial G20 summit in Australia approaches in November.
(From the Calgary Herald) Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Jim Prentice carved himself some wiggle room Sunday on term limits, suggesting his controversial pledge to restrict the number of years Alberta politicians hold office could be accomplished through internal party policy instead of legislation.
BOSTON, MA -- The Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court today announced the formation of a committee that will examine the jury selection process in the five Trial Court departments that conduct jury trials.
(From The Boston Globe) The United States is a very good place to be dead — better than almost anywhere else, legally speaking.
Professor Daniel Kanstroom has been appointed to a three-year term on the editorial board of the International Migration Review, an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal created to encourage and facilitate the study of all aspects of international migration.
(From The Washington Post) “Checked the tax code,” wrote a friend who’s engaged to a woman from a low-tax country.
(From the New York Times) When Chris Tittle meets new people and the topic turns to his work, he sometimes fishes in his pockets and produces a business card that reads “Abraham Lincoln.”
A federal judge's ruling that a former high school teacher who claimed she was fired for disparaging students in an online blog can't sue the district for violating her right to free speech is one of the first court decisions involving public employees and their online comments about the workplace, said Law Professor Mary-Rose Papandrea.
It’s a neat trick for big American companies to avoid a heap of American taxes: stop being American.
Professor Michael Cassidy was on WBUR to discuss MA probation department corruption verdicts in federal district court.
The Top Women of Law event celebrates outstanding achievements made by exceptional women.
Massachusetts voters are split on Governor Deval Patrick’s plan to provide temporary shelter for up to 1,000 unaccompanied immigrant children on a state air base or military training installation, according to a new Boston Globe poll.
After more than a year of casting itself as the low-cost, online antidote to cable companies, Aereo now wants to be one of them—sort of.
AT MOST TRIALS in state and federal courts, the jury is a blank and muted canvass for lawyers to paint their cases on throughout the proceedings, its collective voice heard loud and clear only when the verdict is announced.
In 2010, then-candidate Rand Paul, a libertarian Republican running for the open U.S. Senate seat in Kentucky, told the editorial board of the Louisville Courier-Journal that he disagreed with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it prohibited private businesses like restaurants and hotels from discriminating against black people.
The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, where religious exemptions to the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act were extended to a private for-profit company, has produced jubilation among those who regarded the mandate as a grave threat to religious liberty and consternation from those who think access to no-cost contraception should be a fundamental component of health care for women.
We've been had. And so has Justice Anthony Kennedy.
The Supreme Court yesterday indicated that its Hobby Lobby decision would only apply in a narrow set of circumstances, but the court left the door open for private corporations with “sincerely held” religious beliefs to blatantly discriminate, according to legal experts.
BC Law professor Kent Greenfield discusses the 'Hobby Lobby' Supreme Court case involving religious freedom of corporations.
Few societies in modern history have been more invested in the social construct of race than the United States.
Professor of Law and Law Fund Research Scholar at Boston College Law School, and author of the 2011 book, The Myth of Choice: Personal Responsibility in a World of Limits, appears on New Zealand Radio.
Wisconsin-based machinery firms have drawn the interest of activist investors, but it isn't entirely clear whether hard-charging hedge funds will have their way in the 'badger state.'
The ripple effect of yesterday’s stunning U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the state’s 35-foot abortion clinic buffer zone will be felt from Beacon Hill to City Hall, as officials scramble to figure out how to replace the now-banned law and keep the peace, experts warned.
Troubling. That’s how one Fourth Amendment expert describes the manner in which search warrants were executed in a politically charged John Doe investigation into dozens of conservative groups.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler recently announced that the Commission had requested, and received, copies of interconnection agreements signed between Netflix and Internet service providers Comcast and Verizon.
The US Patent office rules Redskins trademark should be canceled.
Canada’s telecom regulator must soon decide whether to restrict billing practices associated with a handful of apps that let users stream live and on-demand television stations on their mobile devices.
Thirteen states have laws that allow the posthumous transfer of a person’s identity to their heirs or to the firms that represent them.
When my sons were younger, I used to long for a respite from the frenetic pace of parenting.
The proposed deal between Comcast and Time Warner could keep the companies from going the way of Blockbuster.
In my forthcoming article, Unfit For Duty: The Officer and Director Bar as Remedy for Fraud, I focus on an underutilized weapon in the SEC’s enforcement arsenal: the power to bar individuals from serving as officers or directors of public companies.
Last month, the Salem Power Plant shut down its coal-fired boilers for good. It was the last of the state’s so-called Filthy Five power plants, targeted by environmentalists for sending tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
Seven months after the highest court in Massachusetts ruled that it was cruel and unusual to keep murderers convicted as juveniles behind bars for the rest of their lives without the chance of release, the first batch of parole hearings have started to take place, drudging up a range of emotions for the family members of victims and calling into question what’s next if they actually leave prison.
The big media talk a lot about stalemate in Congress, but they are missing the real story. While representative democracy is dysfunctional, the Supreme Court has taken over with its own reactionary power grab.
The consequences of hostility to health-care reform are devastating for the poor, writes Libby Professor of Law and Theology Cathleen Kaveny in Commonweal.
Federal regulators will vote Thursday on proposed open Internet rules, a controversial process that has forced the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to tweak his plan amid a heated debate over “net neutrality.”
We Americans view U.S. citizenship as almost holy -- as holy as any secular status could be. The Supreme Court described the national sentiment in the 1967 case Afroyim v. Rusk: Our "citizenry is the country and the country is its citizenry."
(From the Providence Journal)--The cable company is one entity everyone likes to hate. Perhaps this knee-jerk animosity is to blame for the rush to condemn Comcast’s proposed $44 billion merger with Time Warner Cable.
What does the new plan mean for the tech industry and the economy?
Residents of Carbon Hill, Ala., and Delray Beach, Fla., may be among the first to bid farewell to traditional landline phone service.
Donor-advised funds are an increasingly popular, and controversial, form of charity. Law Professor Ray Madoff weighed in on American Public Media's "Marketplace."
Newton, MA--Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick L. Ireland recently convened a roundtable discussion with the deans of Massachusetts' law schools and the SJC Justices to discuss legal education.
Newton, MA--Professor Daniel Lyons discussed the Aereo Supreme Court case with both WRKO Radio in Boston and "The Blaze" TV.
(From This Week in Law Podcast)--Professor Lyons discusses some of the thornier issues in net neutrality and current events including the fallout of the Verizon v. FCC decision on the This Week in Law Podcast.
(From Forbes.com)--Buried deep in House Ways & Means Committee Chair Dave Camp’s tax reform plan is a proposal to require donor-advised funds to distribute contributions within five years.
Newton, MA - Professor Plater discusses endangered species cases, the snail darter controversy, and how he used the Endangered Species Act to argue and win the Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill case before the Supreme Court, preserving the habitat of a tiny, three-inch fish.
Newton, MA--BC Law Professor Mark Brodin was a featured speaker at the recent panel discussion "The Shape of Judicial Power" where he presented a paper "Screening Out Unwanted Calls: The Manipulation of Standing Doctrine."
(From CNN)--As the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, it's tempting to believe the battle over the law is over. But people are still clashing over it -- what it means, how long should it last and whether it discriminates against whites. According to Professor Kent Greenfield, the Roberts court is already chipping away at the legal architecture of the Civil Rights Act.
(From This Week in Law Podcast)--Professor Lyons discusses internet law, antitrust law, and net neutrality on the This Week in Law Podcast.
(From the Boston Globe)--R. Michael Cassidy, a former prosecutor who is now a Boston College Law School professor, said Middlesex DA Marian Ryan’s decision to continue prosecuting cases while preparing for a competitive primary could be good for morale in the district attorney’s office.
Newton, MA--BC Law Professor Mark Brodin was a featured speaker at the recent panel discussion "Affirmative Action in Education: How It Began and Where We Are Today."
(From the Boston Globe)--Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and the NCAA power-conference “student-athlete” share a common trait. They’re all mythical creatures.
Newton, MA--Professor Robert Bloom discusses how Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's attorneys can use evidence connecting his brother to the FBI during his trial in the Boston Herald.
(From Forbes)--Among the less-than-pleasant surprises to be found in House Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Dave Camp’s generally thoughtful and constructive tax reform proposal is one targeting donor-advised funds (DAFs).
(From The American Prospect)--If businesses are allowed to discriminate citing religious beliefs, then get ready to see some ugly throwbacks to pre-Civil Rights Era America.
WASHINGTON -- Should a nominee for the Supreme Court or Cabinet secretary be considered a "candidate" for federal office under tax law?
(From WGBH)--Two years after upholding the ACA's individual mandate, the Supreme Court will now hear challenges to the law's contraception requirement. Law Professor Kent Greenfield discussed the topic of religious freedom vs. public health as a guest on WGBH News.
(From WRKO Radio)--Professor Daniel Lyons helps break down the Netflix-Comcast deal.
(From the New York Times)--This week, the owners of two secular, for-profit corporations will ask the Supreme Court to take a radical turn and allow them to impose their religious views on their employees — by refusing to permit them contraceptive coverage as required under the Affordable Care Act.
(From Communications Daily)--Law professors on the panel agreed that FCC action on net neutrality under Section 706 of the Communications Act carries a huge number of potential "land mines" for the agency to navigate.
(From Business Law Prof Blog)--A hearing in the Delaware Court of Chancery highlights the question raised in my earlier post of institutional shareholder activism and provides a timely example of one brand of shareholder activism: issue activism.
(From TaxProf Blog)--In Occupy the Tax Code: Using the Estate Tax to Reduce Inequality and Spur Economic Growth, 40 Pepp. L Rev. 1255 (2013), Jim Repetti and I reviewed the economic literature that presents significant empirical evidence that inequality hurts economic growth.
(From the Free State Foundation)--Last week, the blogosphere was abuzz with the news that Netflix and Comcast had signed a "mutually beneficial interconnection agreement."
(From the Boston Globe)--The best way to ensure corporations are positive influences in an economy, much less a society, is to construct a framework of financial, workplace, and environmental regulation. In other words, corporate conscience alone is no shield from bad behavior or a sufficient prompt for good, writes Law School Professor Kent Greenfield.
(From the Chronicle of Philanthropy)--The House is taking aim at nonprofit financial practices with an eye toward putting more gifts directly to work for charities. It would slap a tax on nonprofits that pay employees $1-million or more and would require gifts to donor-advised funds to be deployed to charities within five years.
Newton, MA--BC Law Professor David Wirth was invited to be a presenter at the recent Renaissance Weekend in Laguna Niguel, California.
(From WNPR)--Each year, 1.4 million of the nation’s eleven- to 17-year-olds enter the juvenile justice system. Of these boys and girls, some 71,000 are sent to incarceration facilities, where they may remain for several months in seclusion from the outside world.
(From the Boston Globe)--The federal judgeship in Massachusetts is set to undergo the most sweeping makeover it has seen in 20 years, as new appointees fill four open seats and other veteran judges take more of a back-seat role in deciding many of the area’s most high-profile cases.
(From the Boston Herald)--Another heavy hitter was added to accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s defense team yesterday, and a legal expert said the judge is trying to even the playing field, while a victim says “enough is enough.”
(From CCTV)--Brian JM Quinn, Associate Professor, Boston College Law School discusses the legal and economic implications to the merging between the top U.S. cable companies.
(From the Boston Globe)--Joshua Messier was having a schizophrenic attack, then died as Bridgewater state prison guards subdued him. The medical examiner called it homicide, then changed her mind. No one has been prosecuted, or even reprimanded, for the death of a young man in state care.
Newton, MA--Professor Brian Quinn was interviewed about the proposed merger of the two largest U.S. cable companies by Fox Business News and the Boston Herald.
Newton, MA--Professor Robert Bloom discussed the trial date of accused Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev with Reuters and the Boston Herald.
(From WBUR) — A legal battle continues Wednesday morning in Suffolk Superior Court between The New York Post and two Boston-area men who are suing the newspaper because they say it falsely portrayed them as suspects in last April’s marathon bombing.
(From the Huffington Post)--These days everyone, no matter her political stripe, apparently despises U.S. immigration law. It's either too enforcement-heavy or too soft; too cruel or too generous to immigrants. But can we pause for a moment to talk about another, very basic problem?
Newton, MA--BC Law professors Kent Greenfield, Renee Jones and Brian Quinn have joined a group of corporate law scholars as signatories on a brief filed with the US Supreme Court
(From Maine Public Broadcasting)--He's only in seventh grade, but 13-year-old Oliver Wahlstrom is already a standout varsity hockey player at North Yarmouth Academy. In fact, he's so good that he recently became the youngest player ever to commit to an NCAA hockey team.
(Frome New York Times)--SANFORD, Fla. — Before Haley Berg was done with middle school, she had the numbers for 16 college soccer coaches programmed into the iPhone she protected with a Justin Bieber case.
Jan 22 (Reuters) - Time Warner Cable is borrowing a tactic from a three-year-old takeover battle as it seeks to fend off Charter Communications Inc's $37.3 billion unsolicited bid.
(From the Boston Globe)--THERE WERE signs in the recently released Chronicle of Higher Education report on college and university presidents’ paychecks that higher education is gaining a sense of limits.
(From the Huffington Post)--Years ago, when I worked for a non-profit representing detained indigent immigrants, a particular immigration judge often called our office when the government sought to deport an apparently mentally ill person.
(From Wall Street Journal Law Blog)--While striking down federal laws mandating equal treatment of Internet traffic, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit left the Federal Communications Commission with some some wiggle room to regulate Internet providers.
(From Commonwealth Magazine)--From the tiny town of Colrain at the Vermont border to the siren-pierced streets of Boston, state and local police have shot and killed 73 people across Massachusetts over the last 12 years. The deadliest year was 2013, when 12 people were killed. Every completed killing investigation found the police were justified in using deadly force; only three of the cases were presented to a grand jury or judicial inquest to determine if a crime was committed.
(From the Chronicle of Philanthropy)--Donor-advised funds are in the process of taking over the charitable landscape. While giving to most charities has remained largely flat in recent years, contributions to donor-advised funds are growing at eye-popping double-digit rates.
(From US News)--Wireless carriers have used different pricing methods as a way to differentiate themselves from their competition. Although consumers benefit when companies experiment with new, different, and more efficient ways to meet consumer demand, new pricing methods will face FCC scrutiny if they are considered to be anticompetitive behavior.
(From ACS blog)--Most cases on the Supreme Court’s docket in any given year are not the likes of Windsor, Shelby County, or Fisher. Those get the headlines, of course, and rightly so. But most of of the Court’s caseload is dedicated to answering various arcane questions in eddies of the U.S. Code.
(From Free State Foundation)--Verizon's pending appeal of the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality order presents one of the most significant legal questions in modern telecommunications policy: whether, and to what extent, the Commission can regulate Internet activity.
(From Chronicle of Higher Education)--When defending compensation of $1-million and more for college presidents, trustees and university officials often repeat a simple refrain: Attracting the best talent costs money.
(NECN) - It's the time of year when many pull out their wallets and donate to charities - but there's a growing problem for traditional local charities of so-called donor advised funds.