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Thursday, January 02, 2014

Thinkers & Doers: Jan. 2, 2014

Professors Joan Williams, Rory Little, Jeff Lefstin, Visiting Professor Zachary Price, R. Steven Lapham '79, James Wagstaffe '80, Jeff Adachi '85.
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Jeff Adachi '85, San Francisco Public Defender

Joan C. Williams

Distinguished Professor Joan C. Williams spoke with The Atlantic about why men, like women, who take leave to care for family members see their long-term earnings decrease. Recent studies that highlight this effect question whether it makes sense to encourage men to take paternity leave, Joan C. Williamsaccording to the article.

Williams, director for the Center of WorkLife Law at UC Hastings, suggested that inflexible, all-or-nothing workplaces drive women out of breadwinner roles and men out of caregiver roles, further entrenching a 1950s-style job market, in which the ideal worker is expected to be totally committed to a career with few obligations at home. Read more here.

Williams’ forthcoming book, “What Works for Women at Work,” with Rachel Dempsey, was named as among the top 10 books on leadership in the Washington Post. Called a “guide for mastering office politics as a woman,” Williams’ and Dempsey’s book combines years of research with interviews with 127 successful women about the specific challenges women face in the workplace and how to combat them. The book is from NYU Press. Read more here.

Zachary Price

Visiting Professor Zachary Price’s scholarship was referenced in a recent column by George Will in the Washington Post. Will argued in the opinion piece that President Obama has abused his discretion of power. Price has a law review article forthcoming in the Vanderbilt Law Review on “Enforcement Discretion and Executive Duty." Read more here.

R. Steven Lapham '79

Steven LaphamGov. Brown appointed R. Steven Lapham ’79, a top federal prosecutor in Sacramento who was among those to prosecute Unabomber Theodore John “Ted” Kaczynski, to the state bench in Sacramento County. Lapham has served as an assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District, since 1984. He was chief of the Special Prosecutions Unit since 2010. Read the Sacramento Bee profile of his career here.

James Wagstaffe '80

James WagstaffeJames Wagstaffe '80 was successful in persuading the California Supreme Court to admit undocumented immigrant Sergio Garcia as a member of the State Bar of California. Wagstaffe represented the state bar. The court ruled Jan. 2, 2014. 

"The Supreme Court, which could have issued a short memorandum simply following the legislative lead, issued a full, 32-page, unanimous opinion saying at bottom: 'We conclude there is no state law or state public policy that would justify precluding undocumented immigrants, as a class, from obtaining a law license in California.' It's a good lesson that becoming a lawyer should be based on the content of one’s character and not by characteristics of race, religion, national ancestry or immigration status," Wagstaffe said.

Jeff Adachi '85

Jeff Adachi ’85, San Francisco’s elected Public Defender, was featured in San Francisco magazine for his profilic and often hilarious PR operation. Adachi and his staff, including press secretary Tamara Aparton, manage to conjure, by turn, Dashiell Hammett, Armistead Maupin, and the Onion. “We know for a fact “that the district attorney reads every one of them,” Aparton said. Read more here.

Nota Bene:

  • Professor Rory Little weighed in on Justice Samuel Alito’s criticism of former chief federal judge Vaughn Walker for his handling of the Prop. 8 marriage equality case. Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle here.
  • Professor Jeffrey Lefstin spoke to the ABA Journal about the attempt by YogaGlo to patent the method by which it films classes. Lefstin said the application was “slightly dubious. ” Filming an exercise class from a first-person perspective with a clear line of sight has been done for decades, Lefstin says. “If you ask any photographer, they’d tell you it’s ‘obvious to anyone with ordinary skill in the art,’ ” which is the patent law standard. Plus, any earlier filming like that constitutes potential prior art, which would also preclude a patent. Read more from the ABA Journal here.

--January 2, 2014

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