Washington College of Law
     
Home Archive Volume 65 Volume 65, Issue 3
Volume 65, Issue 3
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: Keynote Address

By The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg | 65 Am. U. L. Rev. 525 (2016)

On February 12, 2016, the Washington College of Law celebrated the opening of its new Tenley Campus.  During the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, we were honored to receive a keynote address from Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Click here to view this Keynote Address

 
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Remarks: President Kerwin

By Dr. Cornelius “Neil” M. Kerwin | 65 Am. U. L. Rev. 529 (2016)

On February 12, 2016, the Washington College of Law celebrated the opening of its new Tenley Campus.  During the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, we were honored to receive an address from American University President Neil Kerwin. 

Click here to view these Remarks

 
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Remarks: Dean Grossman

By Claudio M. Grossman | 65 Am. U. L. Rev. 531 (2016) 

On February 12, 2016, the Washington College of Law celebrated the opening of its new Tenley Campus.  During the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, we were honored to receive an address from Washington College of Law Dean Claudio Grossman.  

Click here to view these Remarks

 
ESSAY: The Court and the Cannonball: An Inside Look

By Lee Levine and Stephen Wermiel | 65 Am. U. L. Rev. 607 (2016)

As lawsuits over the right of publicity proliferate among athletes and other celebrities, there is renewed interest, by litigants and judges alike, in the one decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that addresses a tort action arising from a “publicity” related claim, Zacchini v. Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Co.  Although the 1977 ruling is often cited as holding that the right of publicity tort survives constitutional scrutiny under the First Amendment, an examination of the case and of the Supreme Court Justices’ available papers shows that the Court did not view the case as presenting the type of claim that has become prevalent today.

The Zacchini case involved a human cannonball act in which a television station filmed and broadcast the entire fifteen-second performance of Hugo Zacchini being shot from a cannon to a landing pad.  The Supreme Court rejected the television station’s First Amendment defense that it had a right to broadcast the act on a newscast because the performance itself constituted a matter of public interest.

For the Supreme Court, the internal papers indicate the case was about the right of a performer/producer to control the display of his entire act.  The Court was not focused on the more contemporary claim that athletes, celebrities, and others have a right to control the use by anyone else, especially for commercial purposes, of their name or their visual image.  Nor did the Court’s ruling address the First Amendment issue raised in contemporary cases when a name or likeness is used in a creative work or other public communication.

Click here to view this Essay

As lawsuits over the right of publicity proliferate among athletes and other celebrities, there is renewed interest, by litigants and judges alike, in the one decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that addresses a tort action arising from a “publicity” related claim, Zacchini v. Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Co.  Although the 1977 ruling is often cited as holding that the right of publicity tort survives constitutional scrutiny under the First Amendment, an examination of the case and of the Supreme Court Justices’ available papers shows that the Court did not view the case as presenting the type of claim that has become prevalent today.

The Zacchini case involved a human cannonball act in which a television station filmed and broadcast the entire fifteen-second performance of Hugo Zacchini being shot from a cannon to a landing pad.  The Supreme Court rejected the television station’s First Amendment defense that it had a right to broadcast the act on a newscast because the performance itself constituted a matter of public interest.

For the Supreme Court, the internal papers indicate the case was about the right of a performer/producer to control the display of his entire act.  The Court was not focused on the more contemporary claim that athletes, celebrities, and others have a right to control the use by anyone else, especially for commercial purposes, of their name or their visual image.  Nor did the Court’s ruling address the First Amendment issue raised in contemporary cases when a name or likeness is used in a creative work or other public communication.
 
Juvenile Life Without Parole in Law and Practice: Chronicling the Rapid Change Underway

By John R. Mills, Anna M. Dorn, and Amelia Courtney Hritz | 65 Am. U. L. Rev. 535 (2016) 

This Article provides a comprehensive examination of juvenile life without parole (“JLWOP”) both as a policy and in practice.  Beginning in 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution restricts the reach of JLWOP sentences, first prohibiting it for non-homicide offenses, then proscribing its mandatory application for any offense, and, in 2016, clarifying that it may only be imposed in the rare instance in which a juvenile’s homicide demonstrates his or her “irreparable corruption.”  The legislative responses to these cases have been to either abandon or restrict JLWOP’s application.  These legislative changes undo aspects of the rapid expansion of harsh juvenile sentencing policies enacted across the country starting in the early-1990s and represent a trend away from using JLWOP sentences.

Read more...
 
COMMENT: Impermissive Counterclaims: Why Nonresident Plaintiffs Can Contest Personal Jurisdiction in Unrelated Countersuits

By Jon D. Bressler | 65 Am. U. L. Rev. 641 (2016) 

The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that fairness is the guiding principle in determining whether, by his activities, a defendant has submitted to personal jurisdiction in a particular forum.  However, this question has never been explicitly addressed with respect to unrelated counterclaims a defendant may bring against a plaintiff, where the plaintiff’s only connection to the forum is his litigation with the defendant.  While some have concluded that it would be fair to automatically subject a plaintiff to jurisdiction in the forum in which he chooses to sue, that conclusion is at odds with the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause and modern understandings of fair play.  This Comment, therefore, argues that an original nonresident plaintiff should have the right to contest personal jurisdiction when a defendant brings an unrelated counterclaim against him.

Click here to view this Comment

 
COMMENT: Sweat Makes the Green Grass Grow: The Precarious Future of Qatar’s Migrant Workers in the Run Up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Under The Kafala System and Recommendations for Effective Reform

By Paula Renkiewicz | 65 Am. U. L. Rev. 721 (2016)

Migrant labor in Qatar is increasing as Qatar makes preparations to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.  Under the kafala system, Qatar’s sponsorship system, migrant workers must seek sponsorship to enter Qatar and be eligible to work.  As it stands, the kafala system places tremendous power in the hands of sponsors, giving them control over a migrant’s freedom to change employment or leave the country.  This imbalance of power subjects migrants to various forms of exploitation and furnishes conditions fit for human trafficking.  Human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation represents a large proportion of human trafficking cases.  The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, is an international convention that requires a comprehensive international approach among state parties to prevent human trafficking, protect victims, and prosecute traffickers.  As a party, Qatar is required to uphold the UN Trafficking Protocol’s object and purpose.  This Comment argues that Qatar’s restrictive sponsorship system perpetuates human trafficking by exploiting migrant workers.  Qatar is violating its obligations under the UN Trafficking Protocol and, therefore, must reform its kafala system to comply with the Protocol’s mandates.  Given Qatar’s increasing reliance upon migrant labor for the 2022 World Cup preparations, Qatar must act promptly to protect the rights of migrant workers.

Click here to view this Comment

 
COMMENT: How Dramatic Shifts in Perceptions of Parenting Have Exposed Families, Free-Range or Otherwise, to State Intervention: A Common Law Tort Approach to Redefining Child Neglect

By David Manno | 65 Am. U. L. Rev. 675 (2016) 

Parenting norms have shifted dramatically in recent years, favoring overprotection over traditional notions of childhood independence.  This shift has permeated vague and overbroad legal standards governing child neglect, allowing parents to be held civilly and criminally liable despite the absence of harm to their children.  Indeed, parents who allow their children to remain unsupervised, whether as a lesson in independence or not, are at risk of removal based on subjective decision making processes that largely favor overprotection.  Because this shift conflates neglect with non-conformity, those who favor traditional notions of child-rearing are unlikely to implement their own parenting style out of fear of intervention.

Read more...