Faculty scholarship and activities

Published: October 11th, 2010

Category: News

Mary Jane Angelo
ProfessorMary Jane Angelo presented “Environmental Practice Before Administrative Law Judges: A Federal/State Comparison” at the ABA Environment, Energy and Resources Meeting in New Orleans, LA. 

Alyson Flournoy
Professor of Law,
Director, Environmental & Land Use Law Program
Flournoy coordinated and served as editor for a report that was released recently on regulatory failures in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and how to avoid future catastrophes. The report – “Regulatory Blowout: How Regulatory Failures Made the BP Disaster Possible and How the System Can Be Fixed to Avoid a Recurrence” – was written under the auspices of the Center for Progressive Reform and can be found here.

“Study shows BP oil spill could have been prevented by regulation” (Sept. 30, 2010, Inhabitat.com)

The oil spill regulations report coordinated and edited by Flournoy was used as the basis for this article, which presents some of the report’s findings.

From the article:
“‘BP is responsible for this disaster, without question,’ said study co-author Alyson Flournoy, CPR Member Scholar and law professor at the University of Florida. ‘But the Minerals Management Service’s permissive approach to its regulatory responsibilities together with inadequate legislative mandates for safety and environmental protection, and Congress’s inadequate funding of MMS created an environment that allowed BP to take shortcuts with safety, with disastrous results.'”

“Greater oversight from feds needed to avoid another BP oil spill” (October 4, 2010, The Examiner)

Flournoy was interviewed about the CPR study that was released last week about the ideas presented in the study.

An excerpt from the interview:
“So, to another point cited in the report, why in the world is the big business of oil so cozy with those who regulate the industry? And while CPR is calling for changes now, why didn’t they occur sooner?”
“Flournoy laughed heartily. It seemed so obvious, and yet she said ‘the sad fact is when you read the current statute that governs drilling for oil and gas — our public natural resources — there is very, very little attention to health, safety or environmental protection …And over time that helped to create an environment with a weak agency with little or inadequate funding and lack of a mandate to protect the public, and the environment became a captive of industry and dependent on industry. So now, it is abundantly and sadly, tragically obvious that we need this kind of independence.'”

Fletcher N. Baldwin, Jr.
Emeritus Professor
Baldwin is currently on a three-week lecture series on the subject of international financial crimes and money laundering at Beijing University and the University of Shanghai.

Nancy Dowd
David H. Levin Chair in Family Law and Director, Center on Children & Families
Dowd just received reprints for her recently published article, “The “F” Factor: Fineman as Method and Substance” for a colloquim celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project, 59 Emory Law Journal 1191 (2010).

Shani King
Associate Professor

King presented “The Ethics of Representing Children” with adjunct professor Gabriela Ruiz to the Children’s Legal Services Grantees Conference, a statewide conference of children’s legal services advocates. The intent was to explore some of the complex ethical issues that arise in the legal representation of children.

Lyrissa Lidsky
Stephen C. O’Connell Chair
“Deltona ‘gigolo’ says his online ads are legal” (Oct. 4, 2010, Daytona Beach News-Journal)

Lidsky commented on an article about online ads on websites like Craigslist.org and Backpage.org where escort services are advertised. Although Craigslist.org has banned the ads, Backpage.com has not; and they are not screening the ads.

From the article:
“Lyrissa Lidsky, a professor of law at the University of Florida, said commercial speech proposing a transaction gets less protection than other types of speech.”
“‘(An ad) has to be lawful. It has to propose a lawful transaction,’ she said. ‘It seems to me if these are transparently ads for illegal activities, then the First Amendment protection is not there.'”
“The question of what liability media outlets incur when publishing ads suggestive of illegal behavior remains open, Lidsky said, pointing to two pre-Internet cases involving the magazine Soldier of Fortune. In the 1980s, the magazine published classified ads for mercenaries that led to two cases that resulted in murders.”

Joseph Little
Emeritus Professor
Law shields Volusia from beach-driving suits” (Oct. 3, 2010, The Daytona Beach News-Journal)

Little comments in this article that examines cases where pedestrians have been hit or killed by cars driving on the beach in Volusia County, and why there have been few cases of the county facing lawsuits because of it. One main reason is the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which in Florida, extends to planning-level decisions, but not operational-level actions.

From the article:
“‘Whether or not to put up a traffic light at a particular intersection is a planning-level decision,’ explained Joseph Little, emeritus professor at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. ‘Once you put it up and, say, the light burns out, and the city fails to replace the light … and a crash occurs, that would be operational.'”
“Ironically, Little pointed out, those signs [the county has recently put on the beach] could actually make the county liable.”
“‘If you put up a sign that people begin to rely upon, and someone knocks it down, and the county doesn’t put it back up again in a reasonable amount of time … there could be certain risks,’ he said.”

Jon Mills
Dean Emeritus Director, Center for Governmental Responsibility
Rutgers University case highlights how advancing technology can easily be misused” (Oct. 4, 2010, Orlando Sentinel)

Mills commented on privacy in the digital age in an article that looks at technology and the law in relation to the case of the Rutgers University student who committed suicide.

From the article:
“‘The core problem is the technology has gotten so far ahead of our culture that we don’t realize collectively the impact,’ said Jon Mills, a law professor at the University of Florida, and nationally known expert on privacy. ‘It’s so easy to intrude … that intrusions are going to happen. We have to both realize that and we have to learn to punish too.'”
“Mills and prosecutors weren’t aware of any proposals to toughen the law in Florida.”

Winston Nagan
Samuel T. Dell Research Scholar Professor of Law Founding Director, Institute for Human Rights and Peace Development
Marco Rubio’s Tea Party: A blank check” (Oct. 6, 2010, The Gainesville Sun)

Nagan contributed an op-ed article where he criticized Republican senatorial candidate Marco Rubio’s seeming lack of fresh ideas or willingness to express his position on issues. Nagan also criticized the Tea Party movement, citing racist motivations and misguided ideas about governance.

From the article:
“In the hope of finding something fresh in Rubio’s ideas, alas, I listened as he recited some old hackneyed phrases from the GOP headquarters in Washington. He was incredibly disappointing. So I wonder what it is that has energized the Tea Party community in their ardent support of him. I take three of the points he has made and try to show that candidate Rubio has almost no sense of what’s going on.”

Gabriela Ruiz
Adjunct Professor
Ruiz presented “The Ethics of Representing Children” with Professor Shani King to the Children’s Legal Services Grantees Conference, a statewide conference of children’s legal services advocates. The intent was to explore some of the complex ethical issues that arise in the legal representation of children.

Michael Seigel
“Lawmakers seek to close corruption loophole” (Oct. 1, 2010, Security Management)

Seigel’s testimony during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing regarding the Supreme Court’s decision in Skilling v. United States was referenced in an article examining the case. The hearing was to discuss legislation regarding honest services mail and wire fraud.

From the article:
“Michael L. Seigel, University of Florida Research Foundation Professor of Law, agreed with Breuer, but also noted that Congress should make the new law specific in establishing what conduct would be illegal. Such precise language is necessary, said Seigel, to prevent erroneous interpretation.”

Michael Siebecker
Associate Professor
Recently presented “Corporate Social Responsibility and a New Discourse Theory of the Firm” at the EABIS 9th Annual Colloquium on Corporate Responsibility and Emerging Markets at St. Petersburg State University Graduate School of Management (Russia).

He also presented “Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law: An Alternative Career Path for Lawyers” for the Corporate and Securities Litigation Group and Association of Law & Business at the Levin College of Law.