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Courthouse Steps: Moore v. Texas - Podcast

Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
Kent S. Scheidegger December 02, 2016

On November 29, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Moore v. Texas. This case involves the death penalty and the intellectually disabled. Specifically, whether in capital cases it violates the Eighth Amendment and the High Court’s prior rulings in Hall v. Florida and Atkins v. Virginia to preclude the application of current medical standards and require older medical standards to determine the intellectual disability of a criminal defendant.

Featuring:

  • Kent S. Scheidegger, Legal Director & General Counsel, Criminal Justice Legal Foundation

The Siege of Aleppo and War Crimes - Podcast

International & National Security Law Practice Group Podcast
Laurie R. Blank, Michael A. Newton December 02, 2016

For months, Syrian and Russian warplanes have bombed Aleppo, killing and wounding residents. Russian officials have referred to the siege as “diplomacy backed by force.”  The US Ambassador to the UN has called it “barbarism.”  The US and France have called for a War Crimes investigation, but any meaningful action at the UN has been blocked by Russia’s place on the Security Council.  In this Teleforum, two distinguished professors with extensive practical experience examined the status of the siege under the Law of Armed Conflict and International Humanitarian Law.

Featuring:

  • Prof. Laurie R. Blank, Clinical Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law
  • Michael A. Newton, Professor of the Practice of Law Director, Vanderbilt-in-Venice Program, Vanderbilt University Law School

 

Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 12-1-16 featuring Zvi Rosen
Zvi Rosen December 01, 2016

On October 31, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. Varsity Brands, Inc. designs and manufactures clothing and accessories for use in various athletic activities, including cheerleading. Design concepts for the clothing incorporate many elements but do not consider the functionality of the final clothing. Varsity received copyright registration for the two-dimensional artwork of the designs at issue in this case, which were very similar to ones that Star Athletica, LLC was advertising. Varsity sued Star and alleged, among other claims, that Star violated the Copyright Act. Star countered that Varsity had made fraudulent representations to the Copyright Office. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment. Star argued that Varsity did not have valid copyrights because the designs were for “useful articles” and cannot be separated from the uniforms themselves, all of which tends to make an article ineligible for copyright. Varsity argued that the copyrights were valid and had been infringed. The district court granted summary judgment for Star and held that the designs were integral to the functionality of the uniform. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed, however, and held that the uniforms Varsity designed were copyrightable.

The question now before the U.S. Supreme Court asks what the appropriate test is to determine when a feature of a useful article is protectable under section 101 of the Copyright Act.

To discuss the case, we have Zvi Rosen, who is an adjunct professor at New York Law School.

Joint Employment Update - Podcast

Labor & Employment Law Practice Group Podcast
Ronald E. Meisburg November 30, 2016

Ronald Meisburg, former National Labor Relations Board Member and General Counsel, joined us to discuss recent updates to joint employment law. Joint Employment is defined under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act as a form of employment that “exists when an employee is employed by two (or more) employers such that the employers are responsible, both individually and jointly, to the employee for compliance with a statute.”

This issue has risen to the forefront of labor law as President Obama’s Department of Labor has become more aggressive in his last year and as businesses grapple with the coming of a new administration.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Ronald Meisburg, Special Counsel, Hunton & Williams

Are Religious Healthcare Systems “Churches”?

Short video featuring Eric Rassbach
Eric Rassbach November 30, 2016

What are the limits of what constitutes a “church” under ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act? Eric Rassbach, Deputy General Counsel for The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, explains the upcoming Supreme Court Case, Dignity Health v. Rollins. The “Dignity Case” highlights the ambiguity of the definition of “church-established enterprises,” such as the health care systems of religious organizations, and how they are impacted by the parameters of what constitutes religious exercise.