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Above and Beyond

Selected faculty publications and presentations

Barbara Aldave has been appointed Vice-Chair of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee of the ABA Section of International Law for 2011- 12.

Carl Bjerre has recently participated in the first two meetings of a UNIDROIT study group that is developing transnational principles for the close-out netting of financial instruments, held at UNIDROIT’s headquarters in Rome. The sharply restricted group of participants includes representatives of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, European Central Bank, and ISDA (International Swaps and Derivatives Association), professors from the London School of Economics and the University of Tokyo, and representatives from Brazil, France, the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation. Close-out netting is a commercial law technique related to setoff that is particularly important for over-the-counter or exchange-traded financial instruments such as interest-rate or credit default swaps, securities contracts and commodities positions. UNIDROIT, the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, is an independent intergovernmental organization having 63 member nations which modernizes and internationally harmonizes matters of commercial or other private law.

Stuart Chinn and Michelle McKinley are launching the Law, Culture, and Humanities Initiative. The Initiative was created to facilitate, support and encourage symposia, lectures, scholarship and faculty discussion on the relationship between law and other humanistic disciplines. It will provide opportunities for faculty to integrate humanistic-based studies with the study of law, and to explore the increasingly diverse and rich scholarship in areas that include (but are not limited to) legal history, law and literature, law and anthropology, and law and philosophy. In addition to speakers and colloquia, the Initiative will form small cohorts of scholars working on similar themes, who also have writing projects that are at an advanced stage.

Michael Fakhri attended the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) annual conference held in Portland, June 19-22. This conference consisted of high-level political and commercial leaders from the U.S. and Canada dedicated to increasing the economic well-being and quality of life for all citizens of the Pacific Northwest region. The PNWER conference is designed to improve cooperation and communication between member jurisdictions as well as between the public and private sector.

In March, Susan Gary was elected a Regent of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a national organization of approximately 2,600 practitioners and academics elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, and competence and experience as trust and estate counselors. The Regents are the governing body of ACTEC. In addition, the Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy recently published Gary’s article “Is It Prudent to Be Responsible? The Legal Rules for Charities That Engage in Socially Responsible Investing and Mission Investing,” 6 NW. J.L. & SOC. POL’Y 106 (2011).

On March 26, Ibrahim Gassama published an op-ed in The Oregonian newspaper entitled “A Welcome Turn to Pragmatism in International Diplomacy.” The column commented on the Obama administration’s response to the recent Middle East uprisings.

Leslie Harris presented a paper entitled “Voluntary Acknowledgments of Parentage for All Parents” at American University Law School’s conference “The New ‘Illegitimacy’: Revisiting Why Parentage Should Not Depend on Marriage” on March 25-26. She was one of 17 scholars from the U.S. and Canada invited to speak at the conference, which was cosponsored by the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

In February, Mohsen Manesh’s 2009 article, “Legal Asymmetry and the End of Corporate Law,” 34 DEL. J. CORP. L. 465, was quoted and cited by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Litwin v. Blackstone Group L.P., 634 F.3d 706 (2d Cir. 2011). In his article, Manesh argues that publicly-traded LLCs and limited partnerships are, as a practical matter, indistinguishable from their corporate counterparts. In Litwin, the Second Circuit cites Manesh’s 2009 article in rejecting the argument that the defendant limited partnership should be subject to a different standard under the securities disclosure laws than a traditional public corporation.

Professor Roberta Mann’s recent articles have focused on the coordination of state and federal tax incentives for renewable energy and on the consequences of encouraging renewable energy without planning for water concerns. Her essay, Federal, State and Local Tax Policies for Climate Change: Coordination or Cross-Purpose, was published in the Lewis & Clark Law Review (15 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 369 (2011)). Her article, Like Water for Energy: the Water-Energy Nexus Through the Lens of Tax Policy, was published in the Colorado Law Review (82 Colo. L. Rev. 505 (2011)). Mann also co-authored (with her research assistant, E. Margaret Rowe) the “taxation” chapter in The Law of Clean Energy: Efficiency and Renewables, edited by Michael Gerrard, of Columbia Law School.

Michelle McKinley presented the paper, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Black): Legal and Cultural Constructions of Race and Nation in Colonial Latin America,” at “We Must First Take Account” conference held April 1-2, 2011, at University of Michigan Law School.

On July 19, Eric Priest was interviewed for and quoted in a Wall Street Journal article titled “Baidu, Record Labels in Deal: Chinese Firm Will Pay Royalties to Offer Licensed Copies of Songs on Its Site,” discussing the market in China for licensed, copyrighted music following a deal between China’s largest internet search engine and international major record labels.

Nancy Shurtz‘s abstract entitled “Market Instruments and Green Building Practices: How the Great Recession is Reshaping Environmental Policy in the Western United States” has been accepted at the 12th Global Conference on Environmental Taxation to be held October 20-21, 2011, in Madrid, Spain.

Merle Weiner was invited to meet with the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Assistant Legal Advisor for Private International Law regarding the United States’ response to a potential protocol to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Mary Wood was an invited speaker at the 8th annual four-day AREDAY Summit held August 17-21, 2011, in Aspen, CO. Wood spoke on her sovereign trust approach to global climate policy. Founded in 2004 as a one-day renewable energy expo, American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) is now one of the most important renewable energy technology and policy summits in the United States.

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