Distinguished Guest Lecturer David Cay Johnston Discusses the Trump Business Fraud Ruling with Anderson Cooper

A New York judge ruled that former President Trump and his oldest sons are liable for fraud after providing false financial statements for roughly a decade.

Distinguished Guest Lecturer David Cay Johnston joined a panel of experts on Anderson Cooper 360. Johnston noted that “A key point made by the judge is that this is not about restitution, but disgorgement of ill-gotten gains.”

Professor Johnston speaks at the 8:45, 13:57, and 16:30 marks.

Professor Nina Kohn Co-authors “Biden’s nursing home staffing proposal is dangerously inadequate”

Professor Nina Kohn, along with Charlene Harrington, professor emeritus at the University of California San Francisco’s School of Nursing, and Lori Smetanka, executive director of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, have contributed the article “Biden’s nursing home staffing proposal is dangerously inadequate” in The Hill.

In the article, the authors outline dangerous gaps in the proposed nursing home staffing levels recently made by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). They note that “CMS has proposed that nursing homes only be required to provide three hours of staff time per resident per day. That’s far less than what many states with state-specific minimum staffing standards require. It’s only 73 percent of the 4.1 hours per day that a rigorous CMS study found is necessary to avoid neglect.” 

Professor Ghosh on New NY Invention Protection Law: “Won’t Stop Messy Lawsuits”

In speaking with Bloomberg Law for an article on the newly enacted New York State employee invention law, Professor Shubha Ghosh noted that “The litigation will continue and continue to be messy, and the statute gives the employees some backing, some support.”

The law empowering tech company employees to keep ownership of their side projects is poised for clarification by courts as they seek to balance intellectual property protection and an effort to draw workers to the state.

2L Tyriese Robinson Named as the Inaugural Recipient of the NDNY FCBA Hon. Norman A. Mordue ’66, L’71 Law Scholarship

The first recipient of a scholarship established in the honor of the Hon. Norman A. Mordue ’66, L’71 is 2L Tyriese Robinson.

The Northern District of New York (NDNY) Federal Court Bar Association (FCBA) Hon. Norman A. Mordue ’66, L’71 Law Scholarship provides a Syracuse University College of Law student with the means to pursue a legal education and follow in the footsteps of Judge Mordue, a decorated war hero who served as chief judge for the NDNY and taught trial practice at the College of Law as an adjunct professor. The NDNY FCBA established the scholarship after the passing of Judge Mordue in December 2022.

Robinson, a native of South Carolina, served in the U.S. Air Force.   He was a GeoBase Engineering Technician and Lead Honor Guard Trainer at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii After the Air Force, Robinson completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Clemson University where he served as a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Work-Study student, President of the Clemson Student Veterans Association, and in a number of volunteer roles across many campus initiatives.

After graduating from Clemson University, he selected Syracuse Law for his legal studies due to the University and College’s dedication to serving veterans.

“I decided to come to law school because I felt that there was tension between how my community viewed the law, and how the rest of the country viewed the law. I was already familiar with one aspect of the tension, so I decided to learn the other. I wanted to learn the law,” says Robinson.

At the College of Law, Robinson is a student attorney in the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic, a member of the Military and Veterans Law Society, and a volunteer with the Cold Case Justice Initiative.

Judge Mordue served as the senior U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of New York, where he was a judge from 1998 until his passing in December 2022. A 2022 recipient of the College’s Law Honors Award, Judge Mordue was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for actions during the Vietnam War as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

When informed that he was receiving the Mordue Scholarship, Robinson reflected, “The astonishing things that Judge Mordue has done, both in uniform and on the bench, inspire humility. To me, being selected as the inaugural recipient of this scholarship means that I must continue to strive for excellence in honor of Judge Mordue’s legacy. Judge Mordue’s scholarship will serve as a valuable resource so that I can not only graduate but graduate in a manner that upholds the dignity and reputation of Syracuse Law,” says Robinson. Upon graduation, Robinson plans to become a prosecutor.

The scholarship will be awarded during a tailgate celebration held at the College of Law Saturday morning before the Syracuse Orange takes on the Army West Point Black Knights in football at the JMA Wireless Dome on September 23.

Those interested in supporting the Mordue Scholarship, please visit the Mordue Scholarship web page.

Professor Paula Johnson Provides Insight into Law Enforcement’s Relationship with Communities of Color

Professor Paula Johnson, director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative, recently spoke with CNY Central in the wake of an Onondaga County Sheriff’s deputy’s fatal shooting of two Black teenagers.

Johnson said all communities should trust law enforcement because that’s who is called in the case of an emergency, but says when you keep on seeing these outcomes, some may find it harder to trust, “These are the kinds of things that give the community pause to say, ‘Does the law treat us differently?’”

Professor Cora True-Frost G’01, L’01 Spearheads and Leads Important International Disability Law and Theory Discussions with European Scholars and Legal Practitioners

Bond, Schoeneck & King Distinguished Professor Cora True-Frost G’01, L’01, along with Professor Jan Grue at the University of Oslo, conceptualized and received a grant to convene leading European disability scholars to present and discuss work on the timely topic: Unburdening Access and Inclusion: European Tribunals, International Disability Law: from Disability Studies to Studying Ableism.”  Funding for the workshop was provided by PluriCourts – Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Role of the Judiciary in the Global Order at the University of Oslo. This workshop was an outcome of Professor True-Frost’s 2022 Fulbright Scholarship at PluriCourts.

Presenters discussed themes including the shift from the medical to social model of disability, the need to shift from disability studies to studying ableism; positive and negative rights in international disability law; and European legal doctrine regarding accessibility, capacity, and reasonable accommodation. Professor True-Frost presented her draft work ‘Unburdening Access: Clarifying Accessibility, Reasonable Accommodation and Anti-Discrimination Rights before the ECHR.”

Professor True-Frost also taught a course on international disability law to European lawyers and judges at the European University Institute Academy of European Law as part of the Summer Human Rights Seminar at the Academy of European Law in Florence, Italy.  The course, “Equality Before the Law: The Difference Disability Makes”, encouraged students to analyze the ways in which the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) interacts with and sometimes conflicts with conceptions of equality in international human rights law.  The course provided a doctrinal and theoretical assessment of major issues pertinent to the substance of disability equality through two central case study inquiries: 1) who has legal capacity before the law, and 2) who is able to exercise a fundamental liberty of movement within their community, their home country, and the global community.

PluriCourts workshop.
Participants in the Summer Human Rights Seminar at the Academy of European Law

Professor Kat Macfarlane Provides Guidance on a Sensitive Question About Workplace Accommodations

In a recent New York Times Magazine The Ethicis column, a reader submitted a question: My Disabled Colleague Is Struggling at Work. Am I Responsible for Her Care?

Professor Kat Macfarlane, director of the College of Law’s Disability Law and Policy Program, provided some insight and guidance in helping to answer the question. Macfarlane notes that “that people with disabilities may hold on to a position because they need the health care benefits that come with it.” The response says “Managers would do well to consult with your colleague to figure out ways of accommodating her limitations without imposing a hardship on other employees.”

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Craig M. Boise to Conclude Tenure as College of Law Dean at End of Academic Year

When Craig M. Boise stepped into his role as dean of the College of Law in the spring of 2016, he described his vision to create “a sustainable law school that leverages the knowledge, skill and imagination of its faculty and staff to expand legal education in innovative ways.” Seven years later, Boise is announcing his decision to step down as dean at the end of the 2023-24 academic year with that vision achieved. The college is on strong financial and academic footing with new, innovative programs, partnerships and modalities, and students and graduates performing at high levels during and after their legal education. Following a sabbatical, Boise will return to the College of Law to teach, mentor and continue his work as a legal scholar. Information on the search effort to identify Boise’s successor is forthcoming.

“Craig’s impact has been transformative,” says Gretchen Ritter, vice chancellor, provost and chief academic officer. “Under his leadership, the College of Law has been exceptionally strong in research, which is not traditional for law schools, and it has been innovative and entrepreneurial, particularly as it relates to evolving the legal education space to meet the needs of today’s students, increasing accessibility and opening doors to those who may come from post-traditional pathways. Craig has been an outstanding leader, partner and innovator and will leave behind an incredible success on which to be built.”

Boise came to Syracuse University from Cleveland State University College of Law during a period of great stress in legal education when there were substantially fewer law school applicants and a soft legal job market.

“Craig saw these challenges as opportunities,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud. “He knew that law schools that could quickly pivot and creatively figure out ways to develop collaborative, interdisciplinary, novel and relevant course offerings and degrees would stand out competitively and attract talented students and faculty. With the launching of the JDinteractive online J.D. program and other innovations in legal education, enhancing the college’s fiscal stability and expanding experiential learning and international program opportunities, Craig has propelled the College of Law to new heights. I look forward to his continued contributions to Syracuse University as a legal scholar and colleague.”

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Professor Kat Macfarlane Co-authors “A Categorical No to Categorical Accommodation Denials Related to COVID-19?” Essay

Professor Kat Macfarlane, director of the College of Law’s Disability Law and Policy Program, and Professor Irina Manta, Founding Director of the Center for Intellectual Property Law at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, have co-authored an essay on COVID-19 accommodations denials.

At the Bill of Health blog, Macfarlane and Manta write that post-2021, faculty and students with disabilities’ requests for accommodations to teach or attend classes remotely have not been met. The essay examines Oross v. Kutztown University where the plaintiff requested remote teaching and office hours accommodations due to health reasons. They were denied by the defendant and deposition testimony revealed that university staff had developed form language used to deny all remote teaching requests by Kutztown University faculty.

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment in Oross’s favor as to his Rehabilitation Act claims for intentional disability discrimination and failure to accommodate.

The authors conclude that “In any case, the Oross decision represents a victory for individualized assessment, and a rejection of categorical bans on COVID-19 accommodations. Universities should heed the case’s warning and halt any pro forma denials.”