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Media Mentions

  • On top of everything else, sexual assault hurts the survivors’ grades

    August 11, 2014

    An op-ed by Cari Simon [inaugural fellow, HLS Gender Violence Program]. The semester Deena* was raped, her grades plummeted: She received a “D” in one course and failed another. It was the classes requiring participation in which her grades suffered the most, as some days she was too terrified to leave her dorm room, especially after running into her assailant on campus…Diane Rosenfeld, my mentor and the director of Harvard Law School Gender Violence Program worked with Deena’s school to replace the “D” with a “Pass” and ensure the “F” was removed from her transcript. The change in GPA improved her confidence and allowed her to be eligible for her dream to study abroad.

  • Faced with Boko Haram’s brutality, ‘the best I can do is to share Goni’s story’ (Commentary)

    August 11, 2014

    An op-ed by Elizabeth Loftus [`16]. The news has been bleak, lately -- war in Gaza, conflict and tragedy in Ukraine, Ebola in West Africa. I think it is important during these times to remember that there are good people out there doing good things. It is with a heavy heart that I write to commemorate one of the best people, who died, as he lived, doing what was right. Last weekend, I learned that Boko Haram hit a target close to home. Boko Haram, an al-Qaida affiliated, militant Islamist group based in northern Nigeria has become increasingly active over the past few years. Recently, the organization gained international notoriety for perpetrating the kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls. Early this month, operatives entered Magdemé, the northern Cameroonian village on the Nigerian border where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 2010 to 2012. The attackers looted compounds and, when they reached Goni's home, they demanded his money and his family. Goni refused, telling the men that Boko Haram was not Muslim and that the group was hurting innocent people. They killed him.

  • More work needed to protect equal rights, say Margaret Brent Award honorees

    August 11, 2014

    Despite progress on many fronts for women in the legal profession, the still-steep path to equality was a recurring theme at the annual Margaret Brent Lawyers of Achievement Awards Luncheon at the ABA Annual Meeting. At the 24th annual presentations Sunday in Boston's Hynes Convention Center, evidence of gains being lost added urgency to the mission. The Margaret Brent Awards honor women who overcame significant hurdles in pursuing legal careers or who brought positive change that affected many others. And yet, ABA President James Silkenat said at the luncheon's outset, "many are still making hard choices between professional success and personal fulfillment." For example, award recipient Nancy Gertner, who retired from the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts bench three years ago, told the luncheon crowd of hundreds, "I left a job that I loved, as a judge, so that I could speak."

  • ‘We shouldn’t treat shootings like … natural disasters,’ ABA President Silkenat says

    August 11, 2014

    Two days before his term as ABA president comes to an end, James R. Silkenat made one more impassioned plea for action by the legal…

  • Children’s Bridge celebrates amid a changing adoption landscape

    August 11, 2014

    …There are various reasons why international adoption is changing rapidly, including the embrace of The Hague Protocol and, in some parts of the world, a backlash to international adoption. Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Bartholet, who is director of its child advocacy program, said some charities have played a role in declining international adoptions by lobbying developing countries to stop allowing international adoptions, saying the children are better off in their own countries. Bartholet disagrees. “If you look overall at the kids placed, overwhelmingly they do really well and end up with really good, loving and nurturing parents.” The alternative, she added, is often institutionalization, which is bad for children.

  • Westmoreland ganja farmers petition PM

    August 11, 2014

    The Westmoreland Hemp & Ganja Farmers Association has published a petition requesting that Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller free the parish from the ganja laws in the form of an authoritative "non-enforcement declaration" from Cabinet, which will allow the association to grow and trade, within the parish, free from prosecution. The petition, which was submitted by Triston Thompson, Paul Burke, Delano Seiveright and Fern and Charles Nesson, Harvard law professor, said the issuance of the prospective declaration of non-enforcement of ganja laws in Westmoreland would allow the association to "exemplify for all the parishes of Jamaica the responsible integration of cannabis culture into Jamaican society".

  • Andrew Crespo ’08 to join Harvard Law School Faculty

    August 5, 2014

    Andrew Manuel Crespo ’08, an expert in criminal law and criminal justice, will join the faculty of Harvard Law School in 2015 as an Assistant Professor of Law. Crespo is currently a staff attorney in the Trial Division of the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., where he represents defendants in jury trials and other proceedings in the criminal process, and also assists in the training of other criminal defense attorneys.

  • Bill aims to help sellers of foreclosure homes

    August 5, 2014

    Qiong Dai and her husband had an offer on their Southborough home and were ready to move into their new place in Wellesley when the sale collapsed two weeks ago. The problem: They had purchased their Southborough Colonial in a foreclosure sale in 2007, and the title to it was among the hundreds in Massachusetts muddied because of sloppy paperwork by previous lenders. That made the house hard to sell now…“Three years strikes me as a very short period of time,” said Max Weinstein, who works at the Jamaica Plain-based Legal Services Center, a Harvard Law School group that helps low-income clients. Weinstein said he fears that lenders will just keep troubled homeowners in limbo for three years — easily done, given the amount of time it takes to work through the foreclosure process — until the time to sue for the title expires.

  • Great for the Tea Party, bad for the people: How the 1 percent conquered Internet activism

    August 5, 2014

    Ten years ago, many political activists had high hopes for the Internet…From the world of academia, Harvard Law School professor Yochai Benkler argued that the Internet had enabled the rise of a new “networked public sphere” that was more open to diverse voices and less driven by big money, and that this new media system would nurture a politics that was more small-d democratic. Over the years, Benkler has pointed to a series of Net-driven successes, including the 2004 blogger-led boycott of Sinclair Broadcasting, the Diebold voting machine scandal, the many revelations published by WikiLeaks, and the grass-roots defeat of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) as proof of this power shift.

  • Meet the First Woman to Run a Major U.S. Pro Sports Union

    August 5, 2014

    “I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about breaking a glass ceiling,” says Michele Roberts, the new executive director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). She went ahead and shattered one anyway…“As a trial lawyer, you have to clarify minds, and change minds,” says Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree, who recruited Roberts to the public defender’s office. “She does the homework, and understands the arguments that need to be made. There won’t be a time when someone across the bargaining table doesn’t say, ‘Wow, I learned something.’”

  • The New SuperPAC That Spends Big So That Others Spend Less

    August 5, 2014

    A new SuperPAC aims to reduce the influence of big money in politics — and it's starting by raising millions of dollars, in part from wealthy donors…Lawrence Lessig: In 2016, we want to raise a substantially larger amount of money - could be 200 million, could be 800 million - so that we can win a Congress committed to fundamental reform in the way campaigns are funded.

  • Ex-SJC chief justice Margaret Marshall to get bar association award

    August 5, 2014

    The American Bar Association will honor Margaret Marshall, former chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court, with its Thurgood Marshall Award at its annual meeting in Boston. The award recognizes members of the legal profession for long-term contributions to advancing civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights in the United States.

  • Justice for MH17

    August 5, 2014

    When a catastrophic event like the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 occurs, there is an understandable demand for accountability…But the question stands: Where can justice be found?…Even if all these jurisdictional hurdles could be overcome and the ICC gets the chance to conduct an investigation, a successful prosecution is still far from inevitable. A prosecution would likely involve war crimes charges of murder and attacking civilians, says Alex Whiting, a professor of practice in international criminal law at Harvard. He adds, however, that this would require the prosecutor to prove the rebels "actually knew that they were targeting civilians."

  • History’s Double Standard

    August 5, 2014

    The Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and the Carol Pforzheimer Professor of Advanced Studies at the Radcliffe Institute, Annette Gordon-Reed has become the authority not only on the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings relationship but also on the legacy, sensibility, and politics of our brilliant yet hypocritical third president…who owned more than 100 slaves when he declared all men to be equal…My guest is now exploring the more up-to-date lineage of the Hemings family. She then plans a biography of Jefferson that will illuminate his life as a slaveholder. As cases of sexual scandal ensnaring our elected officials persist, Gordon-Reed’s investigative lens is ever relevant, as is her illumination of America’s moral complexity.

  • Honduran man waits for asylum after 12-year fight

    August 5, 2014

    When he arrived at the Texas border, Celvyn Mejia Romero was a scared 10-year-old, with a machete scar and memories of a murdered uncle as reminders of why he'd embarked on a long, perilous journey from Honduras…"He explained the harm he had suffered but he couldn't really explain the underlying reasons," John Willshire-Carrera, co-managing director of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic at Greater Boston Legal Services, says of his client…"The process has become more responsive to children's needs ...," says Nancy Kelly, the Boston clinic's co-managing director. "On the other hand, a series of decisions have been made which seem to be making it harder for children who, in our opinion, are true refugees from getting relief because of the way gang-related harm is viewed."

  • Appeals court upholds Obamacare tax as constitutional

    August 5, 2014

    Despite including a tax, Obamacare doesn’t violate the Constitution’s requirement that all tax bills originate in the House of Representatives, a key appeals court said Tuesday in a ruling that gives the Obama administration a health care win before the courts…Legal scholars say origination clause challenges, historically, have been a tough sell in the courts. Indeed, it is “very rarely litigated,” said I. Glenn Cohen, a health expert at Harvard Law School who said “it has only been considered by the U.S. Supreme Court a handful of times.”

  • Barack Obama could curb corporate ‘inversions’ on his own: Ex-US official

    August 5, 2014

    President Barack Obama could act without congressional approval to limit a key incentive for US corporations to move their tax domiciles abroad in so-called "inversion" deals, a former senior US Treasury Department official said on Monday. By invoking a 1969 tax law, Obama could bypass congressional gridlock and restrict foreign tax-domiciled U.S companies from using inter-company loans and interest deductions to cut their US tax bills, said Stephen Shay, former deputy assistant Treasury secretary for international tax affairs in the Obama administration.

  • Lew Can Use Tax Rule to Slow Inversions, Ex-Official Says

    August 5, 2014

    The U.S. Treasury Department should use immediate stopgap regulations to make offshore transactions known as corporate inversions less lucrative, said the department’s former top international tax lawyer. The administration can unilaterally limit inverted companies from taking interest deductions in the U.S. or from accessing their foreign cash without paying U.S. taxes, Stephen Shay said in an interview and in an article published today in Tax Notes. “If you take away the incentives, a large portion of these deals would not happen because they are indeed tax-motivated,” said Shay, who left the Obama administration in 2011 and is now a professor at Harvard Law School.

  • Mayday PAC’s Campaign to Get Money out of Politics

    August 5, 2014

    Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig discusses money in politics and his crowdfunded PAC’s election strategy. He speaks on ‘Market Makers.”

  • Spending Big to Fight Big Donors in Campaigns

    August 5, 2014

    An unlikely alliance of liberal intellectuals, big donors and Republican strategists has hit on a solution to the influence of big money in politics: even more money. Starting Monday, the recently formed Mayday “super PAC” began a $12 million advertising campaign to help elect lawmakers of both parties who support proposals to diminish the influence of big donors. The PAC is the most ambitious effort yet to turn dismay over supersize contributions into a winning political issue. “Inside-the-Beltway people don’t think this issue matters, they don’t think voters vote on the basis of this issue, and they advise their politicians not to talk about it,” said Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Harvard Law School with ties to Silicon Valley who is a founder of the Mayday PAC with Mark McKinnon, a former adviser to President George W. Bush. “We think this issue does matter, and we want to prove it.”

  • Judges Block Abortion Curb in Mississippi

    August 5, 2014

    A federal appeals panel on Tuesday blocked a Mississippi law that would have shut the sole abortion clinic in the state by requiring its doctors to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals, something they had been unable to do…Laurence H. Tribe, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard, said that the principle of state responsibility enunciated by the circuit court “is deeply established and fully entrenched.” “It goes not only to the issue of reproductive freedom but to the very character of the federal union,” he said.