In the News

International Criminal Court has spent $1 billion but managed only two convictions in 10 years

John Yoo quoted in The Washington Times, Nov. 15, 2015

During the Sunday talk, the terrorist attacks in Paris were fresh on everyone’s mind. Mr. Yoo used the horrific events Friday to note that peace and human rights never have been fulfilled through a European-style system like the ICC. “The greatest protector of human rights has been the United States and the United States military,” he said.

Campus researchers find flaws in Indian government’s response to sexual violence

Roxanna Altholz quoted in The Daily Californian, Nov. 15, 2015

“The goal of the report is trying to put together puzzle pieces,” said Roxanna Altholz.

9th Circuit panel reverses judge’s decision declaring state death penalty unconstitutional

Franklin Zimring and Jesse Choper interviewed by Daily Journal, (registration required), Nov. 13, 2015

Zimring noted that the effort was not for naught, as its “legacy in relationship to death penalty politics is likely to be substantial.” While all previous attempts to “slow down the death penalty” had been procedural and incremental, this case was a “big picture, comprehensive attack,” he said.

“If I were a 9th Circuit judge, I’d have done the same thing,” said Jesse H. Choper. … “While the systemic delays may ultimately be unconstitutional, only the United States Supreme Court can say so.”

Who will forge the rules in the South China Sea?

Henry Scheiber quoted in Marketplace, Nov. 13, 2015

There’s a lot on the line over whose rules prevail, according to Harry Scheiber, director of UC Berkeley’s Law of the Sea Institute. “It’s possible that there is a vast economic benefit not just in control of fisheries and food security, but there’s also the possibility of enormous—the word incalculable is sometimes used—potential resources of oil and gas in that area.”

The war on campus sexual assault goes digital

Keith Hiatt quoted in The New York Times, Nov. 13, 2015

The site asks students to submit just one piece of identifying information to match their attackers: a link to the assailant’s Facebook page. … “That almost builds in a deterrent to reporting,” says Keith Hiatt, the director of the technology program at the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. “You start to envision the consequences that could arise from reporting.”

After the one-child policy: What happens to China’s family-planning bureaucracy?

Stanley Lubman writes for The Wall Street Journal, China Real Time blog, Nov. 12, 2015

The need for a sweeping birth-planning apparatus will remain, even if the scope of its impact—including forcing abortions and sterilizations, and the imposition of ruinous fines and punishments—may be lessened.

House Judiciary Committee hears concerns from Silicon Valley about copyright law

Brianna Schofield cited in Techdirt, Nov. 10, 2015

Brianna Schofield, from Berkeley, pointed to research showing that companies that actually review DMCA takedowns are now rejecting between 40 and 60% of them as bogus takedowns, designed to censor content, rather than legitimate copyright claims.

How much to pay a director? There’s no clear answer

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, Nov. 10, 2015

Director pay is one area in which pay for performance may not even be the best idea. It could give directors incentive to encourage a company to take outsize risks. Since directors are usually protected from the downside and unlikely to be held liable, missteps might end up hurting shareholders.

University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe’s very telling resignation speech

Ian Haney López interviewed for The Washington Post, Nov. 10, 2015

“The university president fails to understand the circumstances the students are contending with and essentially dismisses them or, until his resignation, his obligation to listen to them and address them because the students did not ask nicely, they were not dressed in their Sunday best.”

Ex-officer convicted in Matthew Ajibade case allowed to serve time on weekends

Andrea Roth quoted in The Guardian, Nov. 9, 2015

“It is the type of creative sentence that in one sense seems a great reform move because it allows people to serve time while keeping their jobs, thus promoting re-entry and life stability,” said Andrea Roth. … “One would hope, however, that all defendants, and not just sheriff’s deputies, would get the benefit of such creative sentencing practices.”

Uber case drives SF judge into spotlight

Steven Davidoff Solomon quoted in The Recorder (registration required), Nov. 6, 2015

“He is giving plaintiffs the benefit of the doubt in almost every circumstance,” Solomon said.

Rite Aid and Walgreens in murky deal to clear antitrust hurdle

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, Nov. 6, 2015

Walgreens is required to make certain dispositions, but we don’t know what they are. This is arguably material information, and the failure to publicly disclose it seems to me to be skirting the line on the securities law requirements.

Using TiVo? Your personal choices may be going straight to advertisers

James Dempsey quoted in Los Angeles Times, Nov. 6, 2015

“The Holy Grail of TV advertising has been to figure out who’s watching and match it with their behavior,” said James Dempsey. … “This seems to do that.”

Clash of former clients puts Orrick in hot spot

Bruce Budner quoted in The Recorder (registration required), Nov. 4, 2015

Large firm conflict systems usually involve inputting “a pretty robust set of information” to make sure firms don’t “unwittingly take on conflicting representations,” Budner added. “But there’s no perfect system for detecting every conflict.”

Why are Asian-Americans such loyal democrats?

Taeku Lee quoted in The New York Times, Nov. 4, 2015

“Today’s Asian Americans are not only liberal on the expected issues like health care reform, immigration reform, and educational reform, but they also seem to espouse liberal views across a wide range of unexpected issue areas like environmental politics, affirmative action, and the like.”

Shareholders vote with their dollars to have less of a say

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, Nov. 4, 2015

The same shareholders who repeatedly assert that they care about corporate governance and are for a shareholder voice do not seem to care about that voice at the initial offering stage. Perhaps this says a lot about how much shareholders value their vote, and it may be very little.

Regulators unbundle some attractions of mergers

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, Nov. 3, 2015

The S.E.C. will now require that when a company is acquired by or acquires another company, there must be a separate vote for each corporate governance change put in place by the deal.

Getting the Ph.D. was the easy part

Mary Ann Mason cited in Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 30, 2015

Mary Ann Mason of the University of California at Berkeley has written extensively about the trials faced by postdoctoral (and professorial) mothers. She notes that women pay a baby penalty. Men don’t. In fact, they often get a baby boost.

A drug case in Washington tests global reach of victims’ rights law

Roxanna Altholz quoted in The National Law Journal, Oct. 30, 2015

“The defendant in this case is an extraordinarily unique individual. This is not a run-of-the-mill drug conspiracy case,” she said. Giraldo-Serna “committed the most atrocious crimes that you can imagine.”

Ruling in Rural/Metro case could affect all Wall St. banks

Steven Davidoff Solomon writes for The New York Times, Oct. 30, 2015

Rural/Metro was the first case in which a court held an investment bank liable for monetary damages. … The case has turned into a referendum on when banks should be held liable for misdeeds and whether Delaware courts are too harsh on banks.