Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hearings to determine Columbia graduate students’ right to unionize

Carlos Alonso, dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences—which establishes policies and standards for all graduate programs at Columbia—testified at Wednesday’s National Labor Relations Board hearing to determine whether graduate students have the right to unionize.
Alonso’s testimony emphasized that graduate students’ responsibilities as teaching and research assistants are educational and different from the labor that other faculty and instructors perform.
Carlos Alonso, dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences testifies at the National Labor Relations Board hearing to determine whether graduate students have the right to unionize. Attorney Thomas Meiklejohn questioned Dean Carlos Alonso in front of hearing officer Audrey Eveillard at the Labor Relation Board offices at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan by Aggie Kenny

Monday, April 27, 2015

HARVEY MILLER: MARCH 1, 1933 - APRIL 27, 2015
Mr. Miller, who founded the bankruptcy practice at law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, died after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Friday, April 24, 2015

AM LAW The Global Lawyer: Back to the Future for Chevron in Ecuador by Michael Goldhaber
Artwork by Elizabeth Williams

Last March, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan concluded his 500-page opinion on the Ecuadorean litigation fraud against Chevron Corp. with a lament. We will never know, he wrote, whether the Ecuadorean plaintiffs had a legitimate claim against Chevron for pollution of the Amazon. The whole legal world nodded in agreement with the exception of one person: Judge Richard Wesley of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
On Monday, the plaintiffs and their U.S. lawyer in the Ecuador suit, Steven Donziger, asked the Second Circuit to overturn Kaplan's epic ruling, which labeled Donziger a fraud and enjoined the plaintiffs from collecting a $9.5 billion tort judgment handed down by an Ecuadorean court. [For the oral argument transcript, see here. For additional analysis, see my companion column, The Global Lawyer: Will Chevron Lose in the Second Circuit?]
"The court is ahead of me," confessed Olson.
Wesley explained that a court of equity, at least in Victorian England, had the power to order a retrial in its own courts of a foreign proceeding tainted by fraud. "If we had the [same] powers as Queen's Bench did," he mused, "we could order you to go to trial—and a trial that you once resisted mightily in the Southern District—and retry this case." The judge asked each lawyer in turn: "Would you consent to retrying this case?"
"I couldn't possibly do that," replied Olson for Chevron.
"We would have no objection to that," replied Donziger counsel Deepak Gupta of Gupta Beck.
"I must say you're in the wrong place—you should be in academe," replied professor Burt Neuborne for the Ecuadorean plaintiffs. "That's a very original idea."

Read more:

Michael Goldhaber Book  on the Chevron case:

Crude Awakening: Chevron in Ecuador (Kindle Single) 

JUDGE ROBERT PATTERSON (July 11, 1923 – April 21, 2015)

U.S. District Judge Robert P. Patterson Jr., 91, died Tuesday after nearly three decades on the bench in New York's Southern District. 

Illustration of Judge Patterson by Elizabeth Williams 
Judge Patterson’s father, a founder of what is now Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, was also a federal judge, getting appointed to the Southern District by President Herbert Hoover and then to the Second Circuit by President Franklin Roosevelt. Judge Patterson's father later served as U.S. secretary of war under President Harry Truman.

Patterson flew 45 missions for the U.S. Army, Air Corps United States during World War II as a navigator in B-17s and B-24 Liberators out of North Africa and England, rising to be a lead navigator and receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Following the war, Patterson graduated from Harvard College in 1947 and Columbia Law School in 1950, when he embarked on a long career with several stops along the way to his arrival in the Southern District in 1988.

Read more:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

CHICAGO TRIBUNE/AP: 4 terror plot suspects plead not guilty in NYC

Four men accused of plotting to send U.S. residents overseas to fight for the Islamic State group appeared in court together for the first time Wednesday to face federal terrorism charges. LINK ABOVE 
ISIS Four in Brooklyn Federal Court by Elizabeth Williams for the AP Left to Right
Akhror Saidakhmetov,  Abror Habibov, Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev and Dilkhayot Kasimov. Big changes for Saidakhmetov and Juraboev since their first arraignment, drawing below by Victor Juhasz. 
Akhror Saidakhmetov and Abdurasul Hasanovich Juraboev on Feb 25th. By Victor Juhasz