Barron appointed to higher-ed board
Professor David Barron ’94 was appointed to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education by Gov. Deval Patrick ’82. The board defines the mission and sets policy for the Massachusetts system of public higher education, including 15 community colleges, nine state universities and five UMass campuses. Barron most recently served in the Department of Justice as acting assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel.
Halley: Lifetime achievement award
The Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities named Professor Janet Halley the recipient of the James Boyd White Award. The recognition is given annually to professors who have demonstrated a distinguished body of work from a “humanistic” perspective. Halley is an expert on comparative family law, discrimination, law and literary theory, law and social theory, legal theory, and the regulation of sexuality.
Holder named 2012 Class Day speaker
U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. will be this year’s speaker for Class Day ceremonies on May 23. The 82nd attorney general of the U.S., Holder was nominated by President Barack Obama ’91 in 2008. From 1997 to 2001 Holder served as deputy attorney general, the first African-American named to that post.
WTO team wins North American regional
On March 3, the Harvard Law School WTO moot court team won the North America regional at the ELSA Moot Court Competition on WTO Law. This was the first year a team from HLS has competed. The team, which is made up of Danielle Bart ’13, Ashley Chung ’12, Michael Jacobson ’13, team captain, and Chris Yap ’12, with Professor Mark Wu as faculty adviser, will compete in the global finals in Montpellier, France, in May.
Gertner briefs on fair sentencing
Nancy Gertner, HLS professor of practice and a former judge of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, was counsel of record in an amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in Dorsey v. U.S. and Corey Hill v. U.S. The Court will determine whether the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which redressed some of the inequities in the sentencing of defendants in crack cocaine cases, applies to defendants who were sentenced after the law was enacted, but whose crimes were committed beforehand. The brief argues that Congress enacted the FSA to correct errors in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 and that it represents an acknowledgment that “sentencing under the prior law was unjust.”
Tie compensation to long-term results
Professor Lucian Bebchuk LL.M. ’80 S.J.D. ’84 testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection on Feb. 15. At a hearing titled “Pay for Performance: Incentive Compensation at Large Financial Institutions,” Bebchuk said: “Going forward, regulators should ensure that equity-based compensation, the principal form of compensation for senior executives, will be tied to long-term results. Such regulations would serve both financial stability and the long-term interest of shareholders.”
Martins delivered a major address at HLS
Brig. Gen. Mark Martins ’90, chief prosecutor at the Office of U.S. Military Commissions in the Department of Defense, delivered a major address at HLS on April 3 on “Legitimacy and the Limits of Command in Reformed Military Commissions.” He elaborated upon significant reforms that he has suggested should be made to the military commissions system beyond those undertaken in the Military Commissions Act of 2009.
Bids for Beads
The 19th Annual Public Interest Auction was held on April 5 at HLS. The Mardi Gras-themed event was titled “Carnival on the Charles: Bids for Beads.” The auction items, whose proceeds support Summer Public Interest Funding, included a Justice Souter bobblehead doll, a guided tour of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, lunch with Larry Summers and High Tea with Professor Carol Steiker ’86.
Do they look suspicious?
Several HLS students challenged the concept of racial and cultural profiling by posting images online of themselves in hoodies, in solidarity with Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black student who was shot and killed earlier this year in Sanford, Fla., by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Students attended a protest in Harvard Square and more than 100 gathered outside Langdell Library on March 26 for a vigil to remember Martin. The vigil, sponsored by the Black Law Students Association, included remarks by Dean Martha Minow and Clinical Professor Ronald Sullivan ’94.
Students victorious in freedom of speech cases
Students in HLS’s Cyberlaw Clinic were involved in an important victory for freedom of speech in two cases before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Commonwealth v. Barnes and Commonwealth v. Diorio, which involved WBUR’s OpenCourt project. The court’s decision, issued on March 14, follows a long line of precedent in holding that courts generally may not restrain media organizations or others that attend public court proceedings from reporting on proceedings. The Cyberlaw Clinic served as co-counsel to OpenCourt in both cases. Clinic students who contributed to case briefs included Alan Ezekiel ’13, Xiang Li ’13, Matt McDonell’13, and Tom Spencer ’13 and summer 2011 Cyberlaw Clinic intern and New York University School of Law student Ava McAlpin.
The Digital Public Library of America
We now have the ability to create the greatest library the world has ever known, and to bring it within clicking distance of virtually every person on earth—at least everyone on the Internet. The technology is available, but are the will and the funding? That was the question before participants at a Digital Public Library of America event, sponsored by Harvard Library Strategic Conversations, at HLS in March. In a talk during the event, HLS Professor John Palfrey ’01, also vice dean of library and information resources, said the basic principle behind the DPLA is to use modern technology to give everyone access to knowledge. Works in progress are focused on how to index and provide access to a wide range of content, working through issues of scope and audience, as well as financial, technical and legal considerations. The DPLA is currently hosted by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.