Sagers Quoted in Wall Street Journal

Chris Sagers, the James A. Thomas Professor of Law, was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article covering chipmaker Broadcom’s pending acquisition of enterprise software firm VMWare. As Sagers explained, the deal would not be the type usually challenged in antitrust law because it is “vertical,” meaning that the merging parties are not currently direct competitors. However, he also explained that the deal is very large and involves very concentrated markets that pose real risks of anticompetitive exclusion. He also pointed out that the Federal Trade Commission challenged a not dissimilar deal last year, and so predicted that challenge to this one seems possible.

Professor Kalir Publishes Op-Ed on Leaked Dobbs Opinion

Professor Doron Kalir has published an op-ed on, titled, “Why Alito’s Roe v. Wade draft is the court’s most Trumpian opinion ever.” The opinion identifies five themes that, in Professor Kalir’s view, make the opinion “the most Trumpian opinion to ever leave the high court.”

Kalir Discusses Timing of the Dobbs Opinion Release

Professor Doron Kalir was featured in a Fox News article titled, “Will the Supreme Court release a Roe v. Wade decision this week?” Professor Kalir explained that it was extremely unlikely that the Dobbs opinion would be released today, noting that there are almost certainly dissenting opinions currently being drafted. He also noted that some justices in the majority may push for changes in the tone or language of the majority opinion.

Professor Sterio Speaks at Oxford Kashmir Forum About Self-Determination

Professor Milena Sterio delivered a guest lecture to the Oxford Kashmir Forum on May 10, on the topic of “The Right to Self-Determination.”  The Forum is an 8-week online course on “International Human Rights Law and Kashmir: Prospects and Challenges” hosted at Oxford University (United Kingdom).  More information about the Forum is available here:

Professor Sterio Moderates Event on European Democracy

Professor Milena Sterio moderated an event on May 4 on the “State of European Democracy,” hosted and organized by The City Club of Cleveland.  The conversation centered around autocratic tendencies in some European countries, such as Hungary and Poland, and the impact of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine on such autocratic tendencies.  

Professor Sterio Speaks About Ukraine

Professor Milena Sterio participated as a panelist in an event entitled “Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War” on May 5.  The event was part of Tri-C’s Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies program’s Crisis in Ukraine series.  Professor Sterio’s remarks focused on accountability for those who commit gender based and sexual violence crimes in international armed conflict.

Professor Sterio also moderated a panel discussion on May 6, on the topic of “The Future of the Peace Process in Ukraine.” The panel discussion was organized by the Public International Law and Policy Group and featured the following speakers: Bohdan Vivitsky, U.S. Department of Justice and former Resident Legal Avisor at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine; Victor Rud, expert on Russia/Ukraine/U.S. relations; Professor Paul Williams, American University Washington College of Law; and Ambassador Sven Alkalaj, Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations.

Professor Kalir Interviewed on Roe v. Wade

Professor Doron Kalir was interviewed both by Business Insider and Newsweek about Justice Alito’s Draft Opinion aiming to overrule Roe v. Wade. 

In the Business Insider article, Professor Kalir stated that “Never before has the court overruled itself in such an egregious tone and in such a contemptuous manner.” On the question of stare decisis, he noted that “If every day the Supreme Court can overrule itself, then you don’t know what the law is.”

In the lengthy Newsweek interview, Professor Kalir discussed the immediate changes that will follow Roe being overturned, the possibility of a federal ban on abortion, the possibility of restrictions on persons traveling to obtain an abortion, and other related issues.

In the lengthy Newsweek interview, Professor Kalir discussed the immediate changes that will follow Roe being overturned, the possibility of a federal ban on abortion, the possibility of restrictions on persons traveling to obtain an abortion, and other related issues.

Appellate Practice Clinic Secures Another Win with the Sixth Circuit; Extends Winning Streak to Four

The Cleveland-Marshall Appellate Practice Clinic, directed by Professor Doron Kalir, has secured a fourth straight victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The Clinic was appointed to represent Liston Watson on appeal.

In the district court, Mr. Watson entered into a plea agreement providing for a maximum 30-year sentence. At the sentencing hearing, however, the district court imposed a sentence of 30 years and one day, based on the court’s belief that the additional day was legally required. 

On appeal, the Clinic argued that Mr. Watson’s plea agreement was breached and that his lawyer’s failure to object constituted ineffective assistance of counsel. To prevail, the Clinic had to show that (a) the plea agreement was breached; (b) that sentencing counsel provided ineffective assistance by not objecting to the breach at the time it occurred; (c) that appellate counsel also provided ineffective assistance of counsel, by not raising the issue properly on direct appeal; and (d) that Watson could overcome the procedural default that prevented him from raising those issues below.

The Clinic submitted a comprehensive Opening Brief exploring each of these points. The government, in return, submitted a 40-page brief contesting each point separately. The Clinic then submitted a longer-than-usual Reply Brief, explaining why the government was wrong at every turn.

Clinic students Dominic Neville, Anthonia Ogbechie, Renee Pickel, and Bianca N. Smith assisted Professor Kalir in in researching and drafting of the Opening Brief. (The Reply Brief was submitted in July). 

Professor Kalir argued the case before the Sixth Circuit, and clinic students Katheryn Hach, Nicole Johnson, and Marty DiMichele provided crucial assistance in preparation for Oral Argument, and in reviewing and drafting of the later round of briefs. 

Following the Judges’ remarks on Oral Argument, the government conceded the error, acknowledging that the sentence of 30 years plus one day violated the terms of Mr. Watson’s plea agreement. It then filed a motion asking the Appellate Court to vacate the decision below. Following another round of shorter briefs, the Court issued its opinion, granting Watson’s Motion to Vacate his sentence, and remanding the case to the district court to allow him to withdraw his guilty plea. 

Professor Matthew Green, former Professor Joseph Mead, and Associate Dean Jonathan Witmer-Rich assisted by conducting practice oral arguments with Professor Kalir and the Clinic students. 

Professor Kalir served as Counsel of Record.  

Professor Sagers Quoted on Musk Twitter Acquisition

Chris Sagers, the James A. Thomas Professor of Law, was quoted in Bloomberg this week in coverage of Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social media platform Twitter. Asked about antitrust aspects of the deal, Sagers explained that federal enforcers would not likely challenge the deal on antitrust grounds. As he explained, neither Musk nor his affiliates appear to own assets that currently compete with Twitter. Moreover, the speech and content concerns that have most troubled critics likely won’t be perceived as antitrust problems.