Emory Law News Center

April 2016 In the News Archive | Emory University School of Law

Alexander Volokh

D.C. Circuit Court cites Volokh article in Amtrak opinion

Today, the D.C. U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed course in the Amtrak case, DOT v. Association of American Railroads. The court cites Associate Professor Alexander Volokh's Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy article, "The New Private-Regulation Skepticism: Due Process, Non-Delegation, and Antitrust Challenges." It resolves the case "pretty much exactly how I argued it should be resolved, both relying mostly on Due Process," Volokh writes for the Volokh Conspiracy.

Shepherd: Plaintiffs receive sliver of no-injury class action awards  

Shepherd: Plaintiffs receive sliver of no-injury class action awards  

"So-called no-injury class actions, in which class members can't show a clear-cut harm, primarily line the pockets of plaintiffs lawyers," Corporate Counsel says, citing Emory Law Professor Joanna Shepherd's recent empirical study. "As you'd expect, plaintiffs lawyers and defense lawyers have very different reactions to the study's findings," the story continues. "Although 60 percent of the total award may be available to class members, in reality they typically receive less than 9 percent of the total," Shepherd says.

Levine: New law modifies rules on grand jury investigations of deadly force

Levine: New law modifies rules on grand jury investigations of deadly force

A new Georgia law concerning testimony by police officers under investigation for use of deadly force makes strides toward ending what some say was an unfair advantage compared to other defendants whose cases are being considered by a grand jury. While officers may still make a statement, they now must answer questions by grand jurors and prosecutors, and cannot be present for the whole proceeding. Emory Law Associate Professor Kay Levine says some people are still worried about the close relationships between police and local prosecutors. "They are sometimes associated with being on the same team," she said. "There are people that feel like part of the problem here is that Georgia has a troubling history of cases involving police officers and violence."

McCoyd, Kessler discuss jury selection in highly charged cases

McCoyd, Kessler discuss jury selection in highly charged cases

Adjunct Professors Matthew McCoyd and Randall Kessler talked with WABE 90.1 about jury selection in the case of a father accused of leaving his 22-month-old son to die in a hot car. Jury selection in now in its third week. McCoyd, a former DeKalb Country district attorney, notes it's the only time attorneys can speak with jurors. "The lawyers are establishing their individual, personal credibility with the jurors when they're talking to them," McCoyd said. Kessler says lawyers are looking for nonverbal cues, too. "If they shudder. If the thought of this crime makes them wince and they can't even look you in the eye when talking about it, that might not be a good person for the defense," Kessler said.

In the Atlantic: Brown says, 'Not all money troubles are created equal'

In the Atlantic: Brown says, 'Not all money troubles are created equal'

Unforeseen events and financial missteps can wreck households. But for minorities, "it's far, far more likely," according to an Atlantic story. "Tax law is a political, a social, and an economic document. So of course there are going to be racial disparities," Professor Dorothy Brown said. "To say, 'the tax law is neutral' is just nonsense." One example is the "marriage penalty" which disproportionately affects black couples. Whites are also more likely to have access to pensions and other retirement plans, which help build tax-free wealth for later in life.

Holbrook on DOJ investigation of alleged LGBT abuse in Georgia prisons

Holbrook on DOJ investigation of alleged LGBT abuse in Georgia prisons

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating possible abuse of LGBT inmates in Georgia prisons, according to an 11 Alive report. "This is a great sign that this administration is concerned about the LGBT community, making sure they are protected--making sure they are treated as humans because they are," said Emory Law Professor Timothy Holbrook. LGBT prisoners may require greater protection, he adds. "Oftentimes [they] are even more vulnerable given either that they are perceived differently and may be assaulted more frequently," he said.

Wright 16L: From homeless single mother to law school graduate

Wright 16L: From homeless single mother to law school graduate

In May, Melonie Wright 16L will walk down the aisle to receive her law degree. But the story behind that deserves to be told, Yesha Callahan writes in The Root. Wright retells her journey from pre-K, to running track in college, then overcoming domestic violence. Now, she's preparing for Emory Law's diploma ceremony.

Goldfeder in CS Monitor: How new LGBT laws entrench separate worlds

Goldfeder in CS Monitor: How new LGBT laws entrench separate worlds

As Republican lawmakers continue to pass bills aimed at protecting the religious freedom of those opposed to same-sex marriage, a new separatist social vision is evolving, Harry Bruinius writes in the Christian Science Monitor. Those with "sincerely held religious beliefs," including businesses that provide public services, can separate themselves, or opt out of social obligations surrounding same-sex marriage. "People are getting further and further entrenched in their positions and digging lines in the sand in a way that isn't helpful to anyone," says Emory Law Senior Lecturer Mark Goldfeder. "And it's pretty terrible for our national culture."

Holbrook in WSJ: N.C. law affects more than bathrooms

Holbrook in WSJ: N.C. law affects more than bathrooms

An North Carolina law that halts antidiscrimination protections for LGBT citizens led to PayPal canceling its plans to open a large operations center in Charlotte. The governor says the law was meant to prevent transgender persons from using bathrooms of the opposite gender in schools and public restrooms. But the law goes much further, says Emory Law Professor Tim Holbrook, including the right to sue for wrongful termination on the basis of discrimination. "It effectively strips away any protection for the LGBT community across the state of North Carolina," he said, adding he is "cautiously optimistic" federal courts will eventually strike down the law.

N.C. should have learned from Indiana's anti-LGBT stance, Holbrook says

N.C. should have learned from Indiana's anti-LGBT stance, Holbrook says

Paypal had planned to open an operations center in Charlotte, N.C., and bring 400 jobs to the state. But after N.C. passed a law stipulating that transgender individuals must use restrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate, the company killed those plans. A Christian Science Monitor story referenced a CNN op-ed by Emory Law Professor Tim Holbrook, which notes a religious freedom law passed in Indiana last year cost the state about $60 million in tourist and convention revenue. "Both Georgia and North Carolina have marketed themselves as being good for business," Holbrook said. "Indiana apparently was not a big enough canary in the coal mine."