Leon and Gloria Plevin Professor of Law Browne Lewis presented a paper at the ABA Section on International Law Spring Meeting in New York. Professor Lewis discussed the ways in which advances in assisted reproductive technology have caused babies to be treated like commodities. She pointed out that courts resolve custody disputes involving children conceived “naturally” relying on family law principles. However, when the disputes involve children conceived using reproductive technologies, courts usually apply contract law without considering the best interests of the child. For example, an Ohio woman filed a breach of warranty case instead of a negligence case when a sperm bank fertilized her eggs with sperm from the wrong donor.
Professor Patricia Falk’s article, Husbands Who Drug and Rape Their Wives: The Injustice of the Marital Exemption in Ohio’s Sexual Offenses, has been published in 36 Women’s Rights Law Reporter (Rutgers School of Law Newark) at 265-309 (Spring/Summer 2015).
Heidi Gorovitz Robertson, C|M|Law’s Steven W. Percy Distinguished Professor of Law, served as Advising Scholar, and was also quoted in the story Rig the System, Pt. 2 – Fair Fight for a Fair Court, by Jonathan Hirsch, on The Life of the Law podcast. It is available here: http://www.lifeofthelaw.org/2016/04/rig-the-system/ The Life of the Law is funded by the Open Society Foundations, the Law and Society Association, the Proteus Fund, the Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.
Professor John Plecnik was quoted in Tax Notes on April 15, on the debate on whether tax return preparers are preying on low-income taxpayers by taking too much of their earned income tax credits in fees.
Professor Plecnik’s quote is reproduced below:
But John T. Plecnik of Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law said the return preparation companies play a part in diminishing the EITC’s value. “Fraud is one issue with the plan, but capture is another,” he said. “Tax return preparers indisputably capture a large share of refundable credits, like the EITC, for themselves.”
“If we fail to deliver the dual benefit and incentive of the EITC to the working poor, there is no point to the expenditure,” he added.
The full article is available here: Tax Notes, Plecnik, April 14, 2016
Professor and Associate Dean Milena Sterio published a blog post entitled “The Rights of Juvenile Suspects under International Law” on Rights! blog. In this post, Professor Sterio discusses rights that juvenile suspects have, upon becoming a subject of any criminal proceeding, under international human rights law. The post is available here.
Rights! is an academic blog devoted to the discussion of human rights law and practice, based out of the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation.
Professor and Associate Dean Milena Sterio presented at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City on April 14, at a conference entitled “Puerto Rico, the Debt Crisis, and Self-Determination: Exploring Paths to Decolonization.” Professor Sterio presented on the topic of “Self-Determination: The Legal Framework.” The conference was organized and co-sponsored by the The Institute For Multicultural Communications Cooperation and Development, Inc. and The Center For International Human Rights, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Heidi Gorovitz Robertson, Steven W. Percy Distinguished Professor of Law, has accepted an offer of publication for her article, When States’ Legislation and Constitutions Collide with Angry Locals: Shale Oil and Gas Development and its Many Masters. This article will be published in Volume 41 of the William and Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, in the Fall 2016 issue.
Professor John Plecnik was quoted in Tax Notes twice during March 2016, once in an article which was published on March 11 and the second time in an article published on March 17. Professor Plecnik’s quotes are available below:
WAYS AND MEANS BILLS TARGET TAX CREDIT FRAUD, ACA OVERPAYMENTS, March 11:
The proposed change in H.R. 4722 may not be the most effective approach to stopping fraud, according to John T. Plecnik of Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, who said the approach is only “a half measure.”
“The earned income tax credit already requires a valid Social Security number, and its error rate remains unacceptably high and the subject of great controversy,” Plecnik told Tax Analysts. “In response, Congress and the IRS have created new tax penalties, increased the severity of those penalties, and applied those penalties more frequently.”
But Plecnik said those penalties wouldn’t be necessary if the IRS were to verify fully the eligibility of taxpayers claiming refundable credits before paying them out. “Although it would inevitably delay tax refunds, verification before payment would save the public billions of dollars and discourage fraud without imposing draconian bans or penalties on taxpayers,” he said.
WAYS AND MEANS FAVORABLY REPORTS CONTROVERSIAL CHILD CREDIT BILL, March 17:
To John T. Plecnik of Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, the child credit bill is “a half measure” because the earned income tax credit, which already requires a valid SSN, remains subject to erroneous claims and fraud that have led to new and more severe penalties created by Congress and the IRS.
The two article are available here:
Professor and Associate Dean Milena Sterio has been named Director on the Board of Directors of the Public International Law and Policy Group, a Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental organization whose mission is to provide free legal assistance to states and governments involved in peace negotiations, to draft post-conflict constitutions, and to assist in prosecuting war criminals. Professor Sterio had previously served as a consultant to the PILPG, on various projects related to maritime piracy prosecutions, and on a project related to the documentation of human rights abuses in South Sudan.
Professor Geier was quoted extensively in a March 2016 article published in The Bottom Line, a Canadian accounting journal (Jeff Buckstein, U.S. Top Court Rejects “Jock Tax” Appeal). The article explored the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of Cleveland’s certiorari petition in two Ohio Supreme Court cases: Hillenmeyer v. Cleveland Board of Revenue and Saturday v. Cleveland Board of Revenue. Hillenmeyer held that the “games played” method that Cleveland used to allocate the income of professional football players playing the Browns in Cleveland for purposes of Cleveland’s 2% income tax was unconstitutional because that method effectively taxed players on income earned outside Cleveland. Virtually all other municipalities use the “duty days” method, under which a smaller portion of each player’s annual football salaries could be taxed by Cleveland. Without a split in the circuits, Geier thought it not surprising that the U.S. Supreme Court did not grant cert. The article quoted her as saying, “I do think that Cleveland overreached and, in particular, that this illustrates a problem when we don’t have a uniform method among various taxing jurisdictions to tax the same slice of income.” Geier also noted that individuals generally are not taxed by Cleveland unless they spend at least 12 days (increased to 20 in 2016) in Cleveland. “For example, if a CEO comes to Cleveland and closes a deal and spends only a week here, Cleveland cannot tax any portion of the CEO’s wages for that year, even though some of it was earned in Cleveland.” But professional athletes and entertainers cannot benefit from this threshold and can be taxed on income earned in Cleveland from even a single game or concert.
The article is available below:
(This article originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of The Bottom Line. Any other use requires further permission requests.)