Professor May Selected as Playwright for Talespinner Children’s Theatre 2015 Season

Talespinner Poster

Professor Robinson May has been selected as a playwright for Talespinner Children’s Theatre‘s 2015 season. Her play, “The Silent Princess,” is an adaptation of a Turkish folktale, and will run June 6-28, 2015. The 2015 season was announced at Talespinner’s annual Harlequinade Benefit on October 18.

Associate Dean Sundahl Comments on Antares Rocket Explosion

In an article appearing on the Canadian News Corporations’s website, Associate Dean Mark Sundahl commented on the recent explosion of Orbital Science’s Antares rocket as it lifted off on its way to the International Space Station to deliver cargo.  Sundahl discussed the potential repercussions of the launch failure on the broader commercial space industry.  The full article can be found here.

Professor Forte Presents in Columbus and Cincinnati at Federalist Lawyers’ Chapters

Professor David Forte delivered two different presentations during the month of October.  He presented at the Columbus Federalist Lawyers’ Chapter in Columbus, Ohio, on the topic of “Will ‘Heartbeat Bills’ Save Lives?”  And on October 15, he debated with Alphonse Gerhardstein on the topic of “Can States Require Abortion Clinics and Doctors to Have Transfer Agreements and Admitting Privileges?” at the Cincinnati Federalist Lawyers’ Chapter in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Professor Sterio Presents on Secession at International Law Weekend

Professor and Associate Dean Milena Sterio presented on a panel entitled “Self-Determination, Secession, and Non-Intervention in the Age of Crimea and Kosovo” on October 24, at the 2014 International Law Weekend, a premier conference in international law organized and sponsored by the American Branch of the International Law Association and the International Law Students’ Association.  The conference, as always, took place at the offices of the New York City Association of the Bar, and at Fordham Law School.

Professor Sterio’s remarks focused on the need to develop a new normative framework in international law on the subject of secession.  International law presently affords specific groups (“peoples”) the right to self-determination and remedial secession only in the decolonization/occupation context, but international law is neutral on the issue of secession for any groups outside these two paradigms.  Professor Sterio argued for the need to advance international law in order to develop specific criteria for secession, which would apply to secessionist struggles.

The other panelists, alongside Professor Sterio, included Professor Valerie Epps from Suffolk Law School, Professor Brad Roth from Wayne State Law School, and Professor John Cerone, a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh Law School and at the Flethcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Dean Boise Comments on WCPN Regarding Steris Corporation Plan to Acquire U.K. Company

Dean Craig Boise commented on October 14 in a news story on WCPN about Steris Corporation’s agreement to acquire U.K.-based Synergy Health Plc, which provides sterilization services.  The $1.9 billion deal would result in Steris’s re-incorporation in the United Kingdom in an inversion transaction aimed at shifting U.S.-taxed income offshore even though the company’s headquarters would remain in Ohio.  Dean Boise’s comments also appeared in an online story about the deal at ideastream.

Thomson-Reuters Publishes 2014 Edition of “Federal Land Use Law & Legislation” by Professor Weinsten and Brian Blaesser

Thomson-Reuters has just published the 2014 edition of Federal Land Use Law & Legislation, a one-volume treatise authored by C-M Law Professor Alan Weinstein and Brian Blaesser, an attorney in the Boston office of Robinson & Cole.  The 2014 edition covers several important recent developments in this field. These include:

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Brandt Revocable Trust et al v. United States, which involved the general question of whether the federal government retains a reversionary interest in a railroad’s right-of-way granted under the General Railroad Right–of–Way Act of 1875.  The issue had led to a split among the federal circuits.  The Court concluded the right-of-way granted to the railroad under the 1875 Act was an easement.  Thus, when a railroad abandoned the right-of-way, the underlying land became unburdened of the easement.  The Brandt Revocable Trust decision has potential relevance to the Rails-to-Trails Act which authorizes the conversion of abandoned railroad rights-of-way into recreational trails as can be seen from Justice Sotomayor’s dissent which predicted that the decision will lead to lawsuits challenging the conversion of former railbeds to recreational trails.

The Court’s grant of cert in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, involving a church’s challenge to sign regulations in Gilbert, Arizona that the church claims disfavor its temporary directional signs based on their content. We note that the decision in Reed will likely resolve a split in the federal Circuit Courts of Appeal as to the correct view of what comprises content-based, as opposed to content-neutral, sign regulations.

The Court’s decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v U.S. EPA to strike down EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted from stationary sources.  The Court held that while its 2007 decision in  Massachusetts v. EPA decision affirmed EPA’s ability to regulate GHG emissions as “air pollutants,” the decision did not necessarily apply to the specific category of air pollutants regulated by the “Prevention of Significant Deterioration” (PDS) provisions under the Clean Air Act (CAA).  The Court found that EPA’s 2010 “Tailoring Rule” providing for a phased implementation of GHG permitting requirements based on source emission levels, was an impermissible interpretation of its authority under the CAA, because it would “bring about an enormous and transformative expansion in EPA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.”

Professor Sterio Presents at Central States Conference

Professor and Associate Dean Milena Sterio presented at the Central States Law Schools’ Association Annual Meeting at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.  Professor Sterio’s presentation was entitled “Prosecuting Juvenile Piracy Suspects: The Legal Framework.”

In her presentation, Professor Sterio explored international human rights obligations of states to treat juvenile suspects differently in the context of juvenile piracy suspects’ prosecutions.  Professor Sterio concluded that juvenile piracy suspects should not be caught and released, but that instead, prosecuting nations should ensure that they are incarcerated separately from the adult prison population, that they are prosecuted according to relevant juvenile justice standards, and that, if they are convicted, their punishment is implemented with a view toward their rehabilitation.  Professor Sterio is currently writing a book on this topic, which is under contract with Routledge and due in 2015.

Professor Lewis Presents at Central States Conference

Professor Browne Lewis presented at the Central States Law Schools Association Conference at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on October 10, 2014.   Professor Lewis discussed the property law implications of permitting human oocyte cryopreservation. 
Professor Lewis explored the manner in which the law would categorize the frozen oocytes.  If the oocytes were treated like excised cells, the woman would have no ownership interested in them once she permitted them to be removed from her body.  Another option would be for the law to treat the woman’s oocytes like organs.  Consequently, a woman would have only a limited ownership interested in her oocytes.  The law could deal with oocytes in the same way that it deals with embryos.  Since embryos have the potential of personhood, the suppliers of the genetic material are not viewed as owners.  Instead, those persons are deemed to have decision-making authority over the embryos that may be restricted by law.  Finally, the law could treat a woman’s oocytes in the same manner that it treats a man’s sperm.  Therefore, the woman would have the ability to sell or donate her oocytes without governmental interference.

Professor Robertson Writes on Local Efforts to Ban Fracking on Crain’s Cleveland

Professor Heidi Gorovitz Robertson published a new blog post on Crain’s Cleveland Business’ Energy Report entitled “Community Bill of Rights attempts to use rights-based charter amendments to ban drilling” on October 10.  In this post, Professor Robertson analyzes the recent efforts by some citizens from the Village of Gates Mills  to pass a “Community Bill of Rights” which would alter the village’s charter and include an outright ban on development of hydrocarbons. The post is available here.

Professor Weinstein Presents at National Signage Research Conference

Professor Alan Weinstein spoke on October 9 at the National Signage Research Conference at the University of Cincinnati. Professor Weinstein was part of a panel presentation, “Reassessing the Importance of Sign Law in the Planning Law Curriculum,” with Eric Strauss, Professor of Urban & Regional Planning and Director of Graduate Programs in the School of Planning, Design and Construction at Michigan State, and Dawn Jourdan, Associate Professor and Director of the Regional & City Planning Program at the University of Oklahoma.

In their presentation, the panelists argued that there is a mismatch between the importance accorded to sign regulation in most planning law courses and the importance sign regulation has in planning practice at the local government level. Each panelist then demonstrated how each has integrated sign regulation  into the planning law course and concluded with a discussion that compared and contrasted their various approaches.