Journalists turn to Albany Law School professors for their expertise and insight into a wide variety of legal issues. Here are select quotes from April 2009:
"She's saying, ‘I hope you don't contest the will, and if you do contest the will, you're going to get penalized by me,'" said Ira M. Bloom, a professor at Albany Law School who specializes in trusts and estates law. New York Times - "Fight for Astor estate mirrors battle 50 years ago" - 4/25/09
"These things don't happen accidentally," said Vincent Bonventre, an Albany Law School professor and former clerk at the Court who follows its decisions carefully. "It happened almost immediately after Pataki was condemning the Court for being too liberal and it has continued ever since." New York Law Journal - "Chief Judge to review why court accepts few criminal appeals" - 4/22/09
The U.S. and the EU recently reached agreement with Kenya that piracy suspects can be transferred for trial in Kenyan courts. The pirate who was involved in the Maersk Alabama hijacking was probably sent to the U.S. because of the high-profile nature of the incident, according to analysts including James Gathii, an international-law professor at Albany Law School in New York.Bloomberg News Service - "Sea Piracy Almost Doubles as Somalia Attacks Surge" - 4/21/09
In another friend of the court brief, Raymond Brescia, a professor at Albany Law School, examined the historical record of student search cases. "Given our historical traditions of treatment of students in school, this is way beyond the pale. Such a strip search never would have been conceivable in a one-room schoolhouse of 1835," he says. He added, "There are no reported cases out there of a teacher seeking these powers." The Christian Science Monitor - "Strip searches in middle school? Top court to decide." - 4/20/09
The model code is something of a hybrid of the judicial and attorney codes because administrative law judges themselves often straddle both legal disciplines, according to Patricia Salkin, a professor at Albany Law School and chairwoman of the committee on Attorneys in Public Service, from which the ALJ subcommittee was formed.
"It seems so simple that it's almost incomprehensible that the model code has not existed in New York up till now," Salkin told the House of Delegates prior to its adoption of the model rules. "Even a child would ask when learning a new game, 'How do you play and what are the rules?'"New York Law Journal - "Bar group creates model code for New York's administrative law judges" - 4/14/09
"This is a case where the evidence of holding hostage an American citizen was available for the whole world to see," says James Gathii, an international-law professor at Albany Law School in New York and an expert on the Kenya justice system.
Professor Gathii says the Kenya court system is up to the challenge of prosecuting suspected pirates, but he says he believes strong public interest will result in a US trial.
"The problem the Department of Justice and Department of Defense might fear is the fact that a trial in the United States - unlike in Kenya - would mean the defendant would have high-flying attorneys who are likely to raise all sorts of defense motions and arguments about evidence," he says. The Christian Science Monitor - "Where will captured Somali pirate get justice?" - 4/13/09
The current case would be the first involving Somali pirates in which U.S. law would apply. The U.S. has reached a memorandum of understanding with Kenya to prosecute Somali pirates.
"Because there is no legal system in Somalia," said James Thou Gathii, a law professor at Albany Law School, "they were looking for neighboring countries to take up the slack because Somalia couldn't do it." Ten Somali pirates captured by the U.S. Navy in 2006 were each sentenced to seven years in prison, said Mr. Gathii, who recently wrote a law review article about Kenyan courts handling these cases. Washington Times - "FBI lends team for talks with pirates" - 4/10/09
Self-defense cases often are atypical courtroom fights, said Laurie Shanks, a law professor at Albany Law School. "In a case where you have someone who didn't do anything wrong, you often hear the term 'innocent victim,'" said Shanks, who is not connected to the Greece case but has read news accounts. "In this case, the victim isn't innocent. If he'd been home at 3 o'clock in the morning, he wouldn't have gotten shot. If he was breaking into cars, then he was committing a crime." Shanks said the legal issue then "becomes whether it was an overreaction on the part of the other citizen."Rochester Democrat and Chronicle - "Self-defense claim in Greece shooting is legal gray area" - 4/9/09