Emory Law News Center

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

Moore 71L asks Gov. Deal to increase judicial diversity

Moore 71L asks Gov. Deal to increase judicial diversity

In an open letter published in the Daily Report to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, retired judge Thelma Wyatt Moore 71L, president of Advocacy for Action, Inc., asks him to consider increasing the diversity of the state Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Fulton County Superior Court when filling recent vacancies.

Holbrook: "Can you patent the shape of a cell phone?"

Holbrook: "Can you patent the shape of a cell phone?"

Emory Law Professor Tim Holbrook is a guest on the omny.fm show, "At Night with Dan Riendeau," where he discusses a landmark case in which the United States Supreme Court will soon decide to what degree the shape of a smart phone can be patented and how much an infringer will have to pay.

Volokh in the LA Times: California pension ruling probably won't stand

Volokh in the LA Times: California pension ruling probably won't stand

Decades of court decisions created the "California Rule," which guarantees government workers the pension that was in place on the day they were hired. But a California appeals court declared in August that public retirement plans were not "immutable" and could be reduced. Emory Law Associate Professor Alexander Volokh called the decision "a big change from what the doctrine has been so far" and expressed doubt that it would be upheld, in a Los Angeles Times story about the case.

Timothy R. Holbrook

Holbrook: How the court will decide design Apple v. Samsung

On Oct. 11, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the patent dispute between Apple and Samsung. "This is the first time the Supreme Court has addressed design patents in more than a century," Emory Law Professor Tim Holbrook writes for The Conversation. "This generally sleepy area of intellectual property has awoken. And, reading the tea leaves from the oral argument, it seems that Samsung will likely win at the Supreme Court." Holbrook joined a brief that says Samsung should not have to give up all the profits that resulted from swiping some of Apple's design features. "Based on how the oral argument went, I'd wager the Supreme Court thinks that outcome was wrong, too," he says.

Olens 83L named Kennesaw State University president

Olens 83L named Kennesaw State University president

On Oct. 12, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia named Sam Olens 83L president of Kennesaw State University. Olens assumes his new role on Nov. 1, 2016. He is currently Georgia's attorney general. "Sam Olens' two decades of public service and outstanding leadership qualities make him the right person to lead Kennesaw State University at the right time," said Board of Regents Chair Kessel Stelling, Jr.

Nash quoted in Politico on justices' recusal in 9/11 case

Nash quoted in Politico on justices' recusal in 9/11 case

After two U.S. Supreme Court judges recused themselves from a case involving post-9/11 detentions, Politico quoted Emory Law Professor Jonathan Nash on the issue. If only six justices hear the case, it could make it easier for conservatives to prevail since four of the justices still on the case are Republican appointees, the story says. Only four justices are needed to grant certiorari in a case. "It may be the conservatives voted for cert because they may actually have a chance to win," Nash said.

Jonathan R. Nash

Nash: Mcintosh could allow citizen challenge to executive overreach

"In August, in United States v. McIntosh, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that criminal defendants have standing to assert violation by the Department of Justice of a congressional appropriation rider as a basis for obtaining an injunction against the DOJ," Emory Law Professor Jonathan Nash writes for The Hill. "The ruling, grounded in the solid legal foundation of Supreme Court precedent, may provide a basis for Congress to allow private actors to challenge executive branch overreach."

Georgiev in Bloomberg: Board oversight more valuable than clawbacks

Georgiev in Bloomberg: Board oversight more valuable than clawbacks

Clawback policies have become the norm in the U.S., especially at larger companies. Wells Fargo's policy is triggered by financial restatements. The policy allows the bank to recover unvested stock awards where misconduct "might reasonably be expected to" cause "reputational or other harm." Emory Law Assistant Professor George S. Georgiev noted Wells Fargo only acted to enforce its clawback policy after public reaction to the issue became too loud to ignore. "I would favor more oversight by boards over additional complexity in compensation practices," he said. Additional complexity only makes it easier, and creates multiple opportunities, for executives to game the system, he said.

Trump's use of business losses a common tax tool, Brown says

Trump's use of business losses a common tax tool, Brown says

Revelations that Donald Trump may have used $916 million in losses to sidestep paying federal income taxes for nearly two decades doesn't demonstrate exceptionally crafty tax work, Professor Dorothy Brown, a scholar in tax policy, told the AJC. "It's basic," she said. While the system may be flawed, using such a loss is legal. "If there's a genius, it is not the guy who signed the return, but the person who prepared the return," Brown said.

Brown in The Atlantic: Should we be mad at Trump or the tax system?

Brown in The Atlantic: Should we be mad at Trump or the tax system?

The New York Times says in 1995, Donald Trump reported a nearly $1 billion loss from his businesses--a loss large enough to have potentially allowed him to earn an average of $50 million a year, tax-free, for 18 years. Trump appears to have done what many other rich Americans have done: hire cunning professionals to help them preserve their wealth and avoid taxes. As Professor Dorothy Brown puts it, "It's not criminal, but it's awful, it's unfair, it's unjust."