Faculty Forum: August 2017

Faculty Forum is a monthly feature written by Teri Baxter highlighting the achievements of faculty at UT Law including publications in academia and the media, speaking engagements, interviews, awards, and other accomplishments. 

Professor Eric Franklin Amarante was quoted in the Business Insider article “People who donate to white supremacist groups can get a tax break because the IRS considers many of them ‘educational.’” The article cites to Professor Amarante’s upcoming article in the Emory Law Review Online, in which he proposes “limiting the definition of ‘educational’ activities to mean ‘traditional schools, distance-learning organizations,’ and ‘museums, zoos, planetariums, symphony orchestras, and other similar organizations.’”

Professor Amarante’s article with Professors Lori D. Johnson and Jeanne Frazier Price titled Research Instruction and Resources in the Transactional Skills Classroom: Approaches to Incorporating Research Instruction into Transactional Skills Courses, 8 Tenn. J. Bus. L. 635 (2016), was praised by the Legal Skills Prof Blog as “an excellent article about teaching research in transactional courses. In fact, it has a lot of good advice about teaching transactional classes in general.”

Professor Wendy Bach’s article, Tracing the Roots of the Criminalization of Poverty, (reviewing Elizabeth Hinton, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (2016)) was published on Jotwell.

The book Rebooting Justice: More Technology, Fewer Lawyers, and The Future of Law by Professors Ben Barton and Stephanos Bibas (U. Penn.) received a very favorable review in the New York Times. The book offers “historic perspective and startling data regarding the obstacles faced by average citizens in navigating our courts.” The article’s author notes that “[o]ne of the biggest surprises of this enlightening and well-written book is that its authors are highly regarded law professors, with extensive experience not only as academics but as practitioners. . . . Mr. Barton and Mr. Bibas have used their deep knowledge of the culture, history and institutions involved to identify which specific functions can be at least as effectively performed by laymen or technology. They also demonstrate how corresponding adjustments to the roles still played by full-fledged lawyers — most notably, judges — should enable the system to generate more justice with fewer lawyers.”

Professor Zack Buck was interviewed and participated in “This Week in Health Law: Back to School Special,” hosted by Professors Nic Terry and Frank Pasquale. Professor Buck, along with  fellow “TWIHL All-Stars” Erin Fuse Brown and Jessica Roberts, discussed topics including state health laws in the time of Trump, price and cost issues, ERISA, MIPS, a fraud and abuse case to watch, and genetic “property” statutes.

Professor Michael Higdon’s article Constitutional Parenthood will be published in volume 103 of the Iowa Law Review.

Professor Becky Jacobs recently published Gendered Lived Experiences in Urban Cape Town: Urban Infrastructure as Equal Opportunity, Social Justice, and Crime Prevention, 1 J. of Com. Urban L. & Pol’y 131 (2017) and Mandatory ADR Notice Requirements: Gender Themes and Intentionality in Policy Discourse, 22 Harv. Neg. L. Rev. (Fall 2016). Her article: Title IX’s Field of (Unrealistic?) Dreams: If You Build It, Will They Come?, will be published in the next issue of the Tennessee Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice.

Earlier this summer, Professor Lucy Jewel was interviewed for the Knoxville Mercury article “Tennessee legislators craft a campus free-speech law that actually protects free speech.” Professor Jewel noted that the Campus Free Speech Protection Act “would forbid the university itself from denying money to student organizations like Sex Week but wouldn’t prevent the Legislature from doing so.” While Professor Jewel said that “she thinks the new law is politically neutral and provides a good statement of academic freedom” she noted that some believe that the Legislature is meddling in affairs the university should manage.

Professor Bill Mercer was recently a guest on the New Book Network podcast speaking about his book Diminishing the Bill of Rights.

Professor Tom Plank’s article, Security Interests in Deposit Accounts, Securities Accounts and Commodity Accounts: Correcting Article 9’s Confusion of Contract and Property, 69 Oklahoma Law Review 339-97 (2017), was published last month.

Professor Gary Pulsinelli presented his paper Geographicide at the Intellectual Property Scholar’s Conference, held this year at Cardozo School of Law.

Of Coups and the Constitution by Professor Glenn Reynolds was one of SSRN’s Weekly Top 5 Papers. He was invited to write a post to share with the SSRN community his thoughts about the catalyst for the paper, its impact on his work, or how he sees the topic evolving in the future to engage readers more broadly and deeply. In the post, Professor Reynolds noted that “[t]he idea for this piece started back when [he] read Charles Dunlap’s 1992 piece ‘Reflections on the Coup of 2012,’ which was published in Parameters, the journal of the Army War College.”

Professor Glenn Reynolds has contracted with Encounter Books for a project tentatively entitled “Citadel of the Front-Row Kids:  The Judiciary’s Role In America’s Class War.”  It will be in their Broadside series of short books, and should be published sometime in 2018.

Professor Dean Rivkin made a CLE presentation at the ETLAW meeting earlier this month. The title was: “Child Advocacy in Juvenile Justice and Education: Advocating School Inclusion and Accountability, Litigating School Exclusion.” The talk centered on the legal issues in the advocacy campaign conducted for the past eight years by the students and lawyers in the Education Law Practicum. This campaign, which involved hundreds of individual cases coupled with law reform projects challenging harmful systemic practices, has focused on dismantling the “school-to-prison-pipeline” in Knox County and the State.

Professor Rivkin also spoke at the opening plenary of the Tennessee Association of Legal Services Equal Justice University statewide conference in Murfreesboro, Tenn. His topic was juvenile justice reform in Tennessee and his thesis was that jurisdiction over status (unruly) offense (some 20,000 cases each year) should be phased out of the State’s juvenile courts. Professor Rivkin emphasized that juvenile justice advocacy was an integral party of poverty law.

Professor Greg Stein’s article, Chinese Real Estate Law and the Law and Development Theory: Comparing Law and Practice, was reviewed favorably in the July issue of the journal Probate & Property.  The review noted that the article “provides readers with an important understanding of the law and practice of real estate law in China.”  Stein’s article appeared originally at 25 Florida State Journal of Transnational Law & Policy 1 (2016).

Professor Maurice Stucke was recently quoted in two articles.  The first, “Stucke: US should follow Europe’s lead on privacyappeared in the Global Competition Review online. Professor Stucke argued that “[t]he US should look to the evolution of thought and practice in Europe regarding the intersection of privacy and competition laws.”

The second article, published by The Nation, is titled “A Mark Zuckerberg Presidency Isn’t Ridiculous—It’s Terrifying” and notes that Zuckerberg is CEO of Facebook, which the author says is “responsible for the largest and most brazen data-collection project in human history.”  Professor Stucke explained that “[s]imply by using the site, people bolster Facebook’s behavioral algorithms and thereby further expose themselves to targeting by advertisers and other entities. Stucke says that as it collected this data, Facebook became first too big to compete with and then too big to avoid, so that socially connected people have little choice but to use the site. And by checking the box at the bottom of Facebook’s byzantine terms-of-service agreement, they ‘consent’ to give away huge amounts of information about themselves.”

Professor Valorie Vojdik was part of the New Vol Welcome Panel, a mandatory meeting of new incoming freshmen at UT held at the Thompson-Boling Arena.  The panel consisted of Professor Vojdik, Associate Deans of Students Danny Glassman and Cynthia Polk-Johnson, and students, and was moderated by Dr. Vince Carilli, our new Vice Chancellor for Student Life. The panel discussed Free Speech, Diversity, and Inclusion. Professor Vojdik spoke on the First Amendment and Free Speech on Campus and the new Campus Free Speech Protection Law passed by the Tennessee legislature this summer.

At the Law and Society annual meeting, Professor Val Vojdik was part of an International Research Collaboration on Gender and the Middle East and Northern Africa Region which received funding to bring international scholars from Morocco and Palestine. Her presentation was “Theorizing Gender Based Persecution of Men and Boys in the MENA Region Under Asylum Law.”

Professor Vojdik wrote the introduction for the first symposium volume (1 out of 2) of the Tennessee Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice, entitled “Forging the Path Forward: Critical Conversations from Title IX: History, Legacy, and Controversy.

As a member of the Tennessee State Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights, Professor Vojdik helped plan the recent public hearing in Nashville examining the civil rights implications of Tennessee’s civil forfeiture law.

Professor Penny White has recently submitted and published two short articles in professional journals.  Her article entitled “Evidence Errors to Avoid” was published in the spring edition of the Trial Lawyer.  Her article on judicial independence will be published in the fall edition of the Judges Journal, a national publication for state court judges.

In the spring, Professor White spoke at the Clifford Symposium hosted by DePaul University College of Law.  The symposium topic was “Dark Money and Judicial Elections.” The DePaul Law Review will publish her article, The Other Costs of Judicial Elections, in its upcoming edition.  The article posits that the costs of judicial elections extend beyond diminished respect for the integrity of the justice system and permeate the justice system at its core

Professor White has also provided a series of judicial and legal education programs. She taught three courses during the recent South Carolina Judicial Conference held at Sage Valley, South Carolina. The courses included Forensic and Scientific Evidence; the Judge’s Gatekeeper Function; and Electronic Evidence. At the National Judicial College’s Handling Capital Cases program, Professor White presented several sessions on federal death penalty jurisprudence to state-court judges from all across the country. At the National Judicial College’s Evidence in a Courtroom Setting class, a week-long course, Professor White presented the modules on framework, role of the judge in the evidentiary process, witnesses, impeachment hearsay, and confrontation.  For the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Judges, Professor White taught a half-day program on opinion testimony.

At the annual conference of the Tennessee District Public Defenders, Professor White presented two programs, one on defending in an electronic world and the other on developing case theories and themes. For the Knoxville Bar Association, Professor White provided a lunch and learn program on Evidence Errors to Avoid. For the Rutherford County Bar Association in Murfreesboro, Professor White presented a program on Evidentiary Innovations and for the John Marshall Chapter of the American Inns of Court, Professor White presented a program on electronic evidence.   Professor White spoke on the topic of “Working with (and Against) Experts” at the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers William P. Redick Jr. Capital Defense Seminar in Chattanooga.

SEALS Participation:

Professor Brad Areheart co-chairs and coordinates the annual Prospective Law Teachers Workshop at SEALS. The three-day workshop helps prepare aspiring law professors for the meat market and the official programming this year included: an introductory reception; mock interviews; mock job talks; a “speed dating” CV review session; and a closing reception. This year, the Workshop had 12 workshoppers and over 100 unique faculty volunteers.

Professor Areheart also organized, moderated, and spoke on a panel entitled “Navigating the Hiring Market.” In addition, he was a commentator on a paper about pregnancy discrimination for the “New and Existing Voices in Labor and Employment Law.”

Professor Zack Buck was a Panelist on “Health Reform After the 2016 Presidential Election,” and a Discussant for the Discussion Group: “Recent Developments in Health Law and Public Health Ethics.”

Professor Joan Heminway spoke on a panel as part of the New Scholars Workshop entitled “Inside the Mind of the Outside Reviewer” and served as a Moderator for the Discussion Group: “Three Felonies a Day?: Is There a Problem of White-Collar Overcriminalization?” She was a Discussant in the Discussion Groups: “Environmental Protection and the Green Economy;” “Sustainability Cross-Disciplinarity: Collaborating Across Colleges and Campuses;” “Corporate and Financial Reform in the Trump Administration;” and “Entrepreneurship Initiatives in Poor Communities: Economic Inclusion or Exclusion?” In addition, Professor Heminway was a reviewer for prospective scholar job talks and CVs, and mentored a new scholar who workshopped a paper.

Professor Amy Hess spoke at the Trust and Estates Workshop entitled “Beyond the Socratic Method,” which was about using various non-traditional teaching techniques in the basic Trusts & Estates class as well as Estate & Gift Tax and related courses. She discussed the differences between using in-class simulations and the live client experience of students in the Wills Clinic.  Professor Hess also moderated one of the New Scholars Workshops entitled “Getting Out There” that discussed how to define one’s research agenda, the pro and cons of going to conferences, how to become known to seasoned scholars in one’s field, blogging, cyber-security, and other issues facing new scholars.

Professor Becky Jacobs was the Discussion Group Co-Organizer and Co-Moderator for “Sustainability Cross-Disciplinarity: Collaborating Across Colleges and Campuses” and the Original Organizer and Participant for the Prospective Law Teacher Workshop. Professor Jacobs was also a Participant in the Discussion Groups: “Environmental Protection and the Green Economy” and the “Workshop on Alternative Dispute Resolution – Mediation.

Professor Lucy Jewel participated on a panel entitled “Social Justice Begins at Home: The Pursuit of Full Citizenship for All Members of the Legal Academy.” On the panel, she provided a historical overview of the professional identities of law professors and attitudes toward legal skills teaching, as they have evolved over the years.

Professor Alex Long was part of the Workshop on Labor and Employment Law, Discussion Group: “Trends and Developments in Anti-Retaliation Law.”

Professor Val Vojdik participated in a roundtable discussion of “Current Issues in LGBTQ Law,” and was a mentor for a junior professor at the New Scholars Gender and Law panel.