Faculty scholarship and activities

Published: February 8th, 2010

Category: News

Jonathan Cohen
Professor; Associate Director, Institute for Dispute Resolution

  • “An attempt to revive the lost art of apology” (Jan. 30, 2010, New York Times)
    Cohen explained that an accident involving a senator’s daughter was the impetus for legislation that allows people to say they are “sorry” without worry of law suits for admission of guilt. In fact, it was a traffic accident in the 1970s that led politicians to try to resolve some of these problems. According to Jonathan R. Cohen, a law professor at the University of Florida, a Massachusetts state senator’s daughter was killed while riding her bicycle, and the driver who hit her never apologized. The father couldn’t believe that the driver had never expressed contrition, Professor Cohen said, and was told that the driver had dared not risk even saying “I’m sorry,” because it could have been seen as an admission in the litigation surrounding the girl’s death. When the state senator retired, he worked with his successor to introduce and win passage of legislation that allowed a “safe harbor” for people to offer “benevolent gestures expressing sympathy or a general sense of benevolence,” said Professor Cohen, who has written extensively on the intersection of law and apologies Now, a majority of states have enacted “I’m sorry” laws — some that address just medical malpractice, while others apply to all civil cases.
 Mark Fenster
Associate Dean for Faculty Development; UF Research Foundation Professor

  • “Jesse Ventura takes the soaring interest in conspiracy theory to TV – and viewers are flocking to it” (Jan. 30, AlterNet)
    Fenster explains that those who pursue conspiracy theories are often highly educated and have an above-average income. “As conspiracy theories get more complex, and particularly for people who are more actively engaged in it, it is an intellectual enterprise which requires a good amount of reading and concentration skills,” says Mark Fenster, a law professor at the University of Florida and the author of Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture. “You see a lot of people who have received high levels of institutional education. For this reason, conspiracy theorists may well be of somewhat higher than average income level and wealth.”
 Alyson Flournoy
Professor; Director of Environmental and Land Use Law Program; Alumni Research Scholar

 Joe Little
Emeritus Professor; Alumni Research Scholar

  • “Lauderdale chief explains Rothstein relationship” (Feb. 1, South Florida Times)
    Little told the SF Times that public entities should provide training on the proper procedures for filing for gifts etc. so that the public does not become suspicious regarding the actions of public officials. “Public entities should provide training, including refresher courses,” said Joseph W. Little, a professor at the University of Florida’s Levin School of Law who has taught ethics and government employment in the United States and abroad. “The absence of them, however, should not be deemed to be an excuse for violating laws, if any were violated.” Little, a constitutional scholar who served as a Gainesville city commissioner from 1972 to 1978, said he understands why Adderley’s actions could raise suspicions in the community. “My opinion of public opinion, for whatever mine is worth, is that the public would be suspicious and uneasy,’’ Little said in an email to the South Florida Times. “The morale of the department would be damaged if the chief had attempted to inculcate a strong sense of public trust. Otherwise, the ‘public morals’ of the department would likely follow those demonstrated or perceived to be in those of the chief.” Little added: “The chief’s ‘filing of paperwork’ should not be the end of the matter. The city commission should take care to have an investigation conducted by the official to whom the chief answers.’’
 William Page
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Marshall M. Criser Eminent Scholar in Electronic Communications and Administrative Law; Professor

  • “Marvel superheroes could pose antitrust risk for Disney, Universal” (Feb. 1, Orlando Sentinel)
    Page provided his prospective regarding possible antitrust violations as Marvel superheros are integrated into Disney and Universal. “This looks like a ‘fix-it-first’ attempt to avoid any appearance that there’s price collusion going on. That’s what the concern would be if I were an antitrust enforcer,” said William Page, a senior associate dean at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law and a former attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division. The Marvel licensing contract, Page noted, creates “a direct avenue of potential communication between competitors in the theme-park market.”
 Juan Perea
Cone Wagner Nugent Johnson, Hazouri and Roth Professor

  • Made a presentation on the social construction of the civil rights movement and the implications of its construction at the Mid-Atlantic People of Color Conference at the University of Virginia Law School this past weekend.
 Michael Seigel
UF Research Foundation Professor

  • “Engineering firm is under investigation” (Feb. 1, Highlands Today/Tampa Tribune)
    Seigel explained that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act generally prohibits making improper payments or bribes to foreign officials. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act generally prohibits making improper payments or bribes to foreign officials, Mike Siegel, a University of Florida law professor and federal prosecutor, told the Tribune.
  • “Plea deal hinted in Sarasota’s Nadel Ponzi-scheme case” (Feb. 6, Bradenton Herald Tribune)
    Seigel explains that a plea deal to settle criminal charges in the Nadel Ponzi scheme is in the works. “They are clearly signaling to the judge that there is going to be an agreement, a plea,” said University of Florida law professor Michael Seigel, who was a lead assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida.
  • “Origins of Manuel case are unknown” (Feb. 8, Florida Times Union)
    Seigel says it is rare to see a successful entrapment defense because most defendants have a criminal record. Professor Mike Seigel of the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law said it’s rare to see a successful entrapment defense because most defendants have a criminal record. Manuel’s record was clean. Coupling that with his financial trouble, Seigel said, the $60,000 in bribes “would have been a pretty large inducement under the circumstances. It very well might have been a winning entrapment defense.”