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Planet Lex: The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Podcast
33 minutes | Apr 21, 2021
A New Digital Infrastructure
The COVID pandemic precipitated a massive shift in digital infrastructure. Annelise Riles, the Executive Director of the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University, outlines her vision for the United States' role in global engagement, the future of transnational education, and addresses the growing skepticism of the costs of removing the human element.
33 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
A Safe, Fair, and Dignified Workplace
Nearly 35 years after Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson made sexual harassment unlawful, the EEOC reports that 85% of women have experienced sexual harassment at some point in their career. Tina Tchen, former chief of staff to Michelle Obama and president and CEO of Time’s Up Now and the Time’s Up Foundation, discusses how the law can actually impede progress in critical areas of workplace discrimination, and how businesses and government can more effectively move the needle.
37 minutes | Oct 27, 2020
COVID-19's Impact on the 2020 Election
The 2020 presidential election has already seen unprecedented changes to the process by which votes are cast, tallied, and reported, and, as a result, the U.S. has seen an increased amount of litigation surrounding the election. Michael Kang, the William G. and Virginia K. Karnes Research Professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, is a nationally recognized election law expert. He discusses COVID-19’s looming impact on the upcoming presidential election, the range of election-related litigation already in courts, and whether he thinks America will know election results on November 3.
37 minutes | Aug 19, 2020
New Light on the History of Commercial Fraud
Emily Kadens, legal historian with a particular focus on medieval and early modern history of commercial law and practice, shares her research on the origins of commercial fraud in England and dispels the myth of a golden age of commerce. Fraud is not a modern problem. In this episode of Northwestern Law’s Planet Lex, host Jim Speta is joined by Emily Kadens, Professor of Law, to discuss her new article New Light on Twyne’s Case, one of the oldest English cases still being cited by American courts. Through first-hand research and unprecedented access to Common Pleas writ rolls, she unearths some fascinating details about the complicated history of commercial fraud.
34 minutes | Jul 15, 2020
Anti-Discrimination Laws v. Religious Freedom
The United States has a long history of religious accommodation. But is it possible to exempt those who object to an anti-discrimination law without defeating the purpose of that law? Planet Lex host Jim Speta is joined in this episode by Andrew Koppelman, John Paul Stevens Professor of Law and author of Gay Rights Versus Religious Liberty: The Unnecessary Conflict, to discuss the intersection of religious freedom and anti-discrimination laws, the recent Supreme Court decision in Bostock v Clayton County, and the road forward in a free society where people radically disagree.
32 minutes | Jun 17, 2020
Juvenile Justice Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
A criminal record can be an economic life sentence for those attempting to re-enter society. The cost of one year of incarceration of a child exceeds that of a four-year university. Juvenile justice is one of many areas of the law struggling to adapt to COVID-19. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Jim Speta discusses the pandemic’s impact on incarceration with Julie L. Biehl, Clinical Professor of Law, who has served as Director of the Children and Family Justice Center since 2009. She outlines the Center's efforts to release juveniles from prison and speaks about her vision for the future of juvenile justice.
44 minutes | May 20, 2020
Law in the Time of Coronavirus
In the midst of a global pandemic, federal and state governments are tasked with addressing a public health emergency while steadfastly protecting civil liberties. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Vice Dean Jim Speta is joined by Daniel B. Rodriguez, Harold Washington Professor and former dean of Northwestern Law, to discuss the myriad (and ever-evolving) legal issues surrounding COVID-19. Rodriguez also discusses the “pop-up” course he created in order to teach the topic in real-time, and looks at the long-term ramifications that technology-enabled courts will have on the legal system.
43 minutes | Mar 17, 2020
Leading Edge of Legal: How In-House Attorneys Navigate Issues in High Profile Startups
In this special live recording of Planet Lex at Northwestern’s San Francisco campus, host Jim Speta talks with Myra Pasek, general counsel at Ouster, and Pete Cline, associate director of legal at Twitter, about their experiences working in-house at start-ups and high-profile tech companies, including Tesla, Impossible Foods, Ouster, and Twitter. The guests share their unique paths from big law to Silicon Valley and offer insights on the cutting-edge legal issues and challenges that arise in tech and entrepreneurial ventures
37 minutes | Dec 18, 2019
Solitary Confinement: Calling for Change in American Prisons
Incarceration is the primary form of criminal punishment in the US today, and approximately 80,000 American prisoners are in some form of solitary confinement. What exactly does this look like in our prison system, and what are the effects of solitary confinement on individuals? Does this type of treatment violate prisoners’ constitutional rights? In this edition of Planet Lex, host Jim Speta talks with David Shapiro and Daniel Greenfield, members of the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center at Northwestern’s Bluhm Legal Clinic, about their research and efforts to end prolonged solitary confinement in American prisons. David M. Shapiro is the director of the Supreme Court and Appellate Program of the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center. Daniel M. Greenfield joined the MacArthur Justice Center as the Solitary Confinement Appellate Litigation Fellow in March 2017.
33 minutes | Nov 13, 2019
Innovation & Trends in Intellectual Property & Patent Law
Northwestern Law’s intellectual property and patent law scholars are truly leaders in their field. In this edition of Planet Lex, host Jim Speta welcomes Laura Pedraza-Fariña and David Schwartz to discuss the study of innovation and the law in an era of rapid technological change. The guests share their individual paths to intellectual property and patent law and offer insights on how patents affect innovation. They also discuss their current research projects and outline the unique advantages of pursuing their scholarship with an interdisciplinary team. Laura Pedraza-Fariña is an assistant professor of law and a faculty affiliate of the science in human culture program at Northwestern University. David Schwartz is a professor of law and associate dean of research and intellectual life at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.
34 minutes | Sep 18, 2019
The Bluhm Legal Clinic: Celebrating 50 Years of Clinical Legal Education
As Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic approaches its 50th anniversary, Planet Lex host Vice Dean Jim Speta talks with Thomas Geraghty, the Clinic’s director from 1976-2017, about the clinic’s beginnings and how it evolved into what it is today. Geraghty shares how engaging students directly in the practice of law provides vital training and makes legal education more meaningful. They also discuss Geraghty’s work bringing clinical education to law schools around the world and the new innovations coming to this area of legal education.
32 minutes | Aug 14, 2019
Fairness and Equality: The Current Landscape of Antidiscrimination Law
If fairness doesn’t always mean treating everyone the same, then what does it really mean? In this edition of Northwestern Law’s Planet Lex, host Vice Dean Jim Speta is joined by Kimberly Yuracko, Dean and Judd and Mary Morris Leighton Professor of Law, to discuss her extensive research on gender equity. Speta and Yuracko survey current social issues and discuss how laws surrounding these matters are changing. They also examine gender equity in the legal profession, and discuss the responsibility of law schools and law firms to create a more equitable profession, especially at the top.
24 minutes | Jun 19, 2019
Law and Sports: A Conversation with Jerry Reinsdorf
When it comes to sports, the legal landscape is constantly evolving, and this episode’s guest knows that better than anyone. Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago White Sox, has been a franchise owner for over 25 years and has seen his sports teams through a number of critical changes. The Northwestern Law alum joins host Jim Speta to talk about going from law student to franchise owner, the impact of the law and technology on the future of sports, cheering on Jackie Robinson, and why he and his teams prioritize giving back.
27 minutes | May 9, 2019
Seeking Asylum: Reality at the US / Mexico Border
Late last year, all anyone could seem to talk about was the migrant caravan approaching the U.S./Mexico border. Yet, despite all the coverage and conversations, very few people understand the legal and social complexities facing those seeking asylum. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Jim Speta talks with Professor Uzoamaka Emeka Nzelibe about her work representing unaccompanied minors seeking asylum as well as her recent trip to the U.S./Mexico border with volunteer students and staff to provide assistance to those seeking asylum. Uzoamaka Emeka Nzelibe is a clinical associate professor of law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and a staff attorney with the Children and Family Justice Center of the Bluhm Legal Clinic.
32 minutes | Mar 20, 2019
The Implications of Biometrics in Privacy Law
How much should people care about privacy? And what’s at stake when it comes to tracking biometrics? In this episode of Planet Lex, host Jim Speta talks to Matthew Kugler about his research into consumer sentiment around biometric tracking. They discuss the landscape of privacy law and its current trends, and Professor Kugler explains the methods and findings of his recent research. They also talk about the various ways biometric information is (and can be) acquired and used, and the implications of this in the future of privacy law. Matthew Kugler is an assistant professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.
23 minutes | Jan 16, 2019
Jury Process: How Juries Bring Legitimacy to Legal Proceedings
Many people complain when a jury summons arrives, but when they actually serve on a case they become quite invested in the process. But how can a group of lay people handle making such difficult and consequential decisions? In this episode of Planet Lex, host Jim Speta talks to Professor Shari Diamond about her research on jury process, including her finding that our trust in the jury system is not misplaced. Even in challenging and complex cases, juries typically work very hard to ensure a just outcome. Shari Diamond is one of the foremost empirical researchers on jury process and legal decision-making, including the use of science by the courts.
34 minutes | Dec 19, 2018
Making a Murderer: How Brendan Dassey’s Case is Making a Difference
When cases like Brendan Dassey’s are examined, many see a pressing need to rethink the definition of coercion and the law of voluntariness, especially in cases involving minors. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Jim Speta talks to Northwestern Law professors, Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth attorneys, and Netflix stars Steven Drizin and Laura Nirider about false confessions and the legal proceedings covered in the second season of “Making a Murderer.” They catch us up on what has happened in the Brendan Dassey case since season one and talk about the further options available to him as he continues to seek release. Steve and Laura also talk about the involvement of Northwestern Law’s clinical students in cases like Brendan’s, as well as their efforts to protect vulnerable juveniles by educating law enforcement on appropriate interrogation practices with children.
32 minutes | Nov 14, 2018
The Intersection of Media and Law
President Trump and other politicians have painted the media as the “enemy of the people” -- purveyors of fake news who use their platform as a means to defame others. But really, what are the legal requirements of the media when reporting news? In this episode of Planet Lex, host Jim Speta talks to Northwestern Law alumnae Kate Shaw and Megan Murphy about their experience as lawyers in the media. They discuss the many legal issues facing journalists and pundits, and whether more law is needed to manage these matters. They also give tips on how to cultivate an ideologically diverse media diet and discuss the impact of social media on news. Megan Murphy is an award-winning journalist and commentator whose 20-year career has spanned multiple countries and events, from the 2016 presidential campaign to the global financial crisis. She most recently served as editor-in-chief of Bloomberg Businessweek. Before starting her career in journalism, Murphy was securities lawyer at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, CA. She currently lives in London. Kate Shaw is a Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School and the Co-Director of the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy. Before joining Cardozo, she worked in the White House Counsel’s Office for the the Obama Administration. She clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Kate is a legal and Supreme Court analyst for ABC News.
31 minutes | Oct 17, 2018
Election Law and Gerrymandering
As the November midterm elections loom, issues of election law continue to have a significant impact on the voting process. In this episode of Planet Lex, new host Jim Speta, Vice Dean at Northwestern Law, talks to Professor Michael Kang about everything election law, from partisan gerrymandering and the constitutional issues involved in redistricting, to the effects of voter ID laws. They discuss how the different parties have used redistricting to gain an advantage, the urban/rural divide, and the role of state courts in the voting process. Michael S. Kang is the William G. and Virginia K. Karnes Research Professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and a nationally recognized expert on campaign finance, voting rights, redistricting, judicial elections, and corporate governance.
52 minutes | Sep 19, 2018
Should We Reform the Supreme Court?
With Brett Kavanaugh’s ongoing confirmation battle, the Supreme Court and the partisan polarization of the nomination process has been fresh in the minds of many. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel B. Rodriguez talks to Tonja Jacobi and Sarah Schrup about major issues facing the Supreme Court and the implications they have on our democracy. They discuss possible reforms, like term limits and court packing, as well as topics like oral advocacy and the tendency for female justices to be interrupted more often when making arguments. Editor’s Note: This podcast was recorded on August 14, before the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings began and before Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations were public. Tonja Jacobi is a professor of law at Northwestern Pritzker Law School where her research focuses on judicial politics, behavior, and strategy. Sarah Schrup is the founder and director of Northwestern's Appellate Advocacy Center, which includes the Federal Appellate Clinic and the Supreme Court Clinic.
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