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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thinkers & Doers: Jan. 30, 2014

Professors David Levine, Leo Martinez, George Bisharat, Provost Elizabeth L. Hillman, Lecturer in Law Richard Zitrin, John Tonaki '85, Gene Rodrigues '88, Carol Ciochon '92, Gary Watt '97.
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Professor David Levine conducts a media interview on "the beach."

David Levine

The news trucks parked outside UC Hastings this week wanted to hear Civil Procedure Professor David Levine’s take on the city’s liability for a 16-year-old girl run over by a fire truck after the crash of an Asiana airliner at San Francisco International Airport. The girl, a passenger, was allegedly ejected from the plane.

Levine also weighed in on the suit filed against Uber by the family of a 6-year-old pedestrian struck and killed by a car driven by an Uber driver.

Regarding the Asiana crash, Levine told USA Today: "If you believe the city's report, damages are going to be zero. If you believe the coroner, the family is entitled to millions." Read more here.

Levine spoke with several news outlets, including ABC7, KQED and KTVU, about the lawsuit against Uber, the San Francisco rideshare company. Levine said the litigation is a test case for the gray area of rideshare liability. “This is a perfect example of why we need a little regulation in this area, why leaving this to the wild wild west is probably not such a good idea,” said Levine.

Levine also said he would advise anyone to not drive for, or use rideshare services until the gray areas are more black and white.
“To save a few dollars you could ruin your life with this kind of system,” cautioned Levine. Read more here. Listen to the KQED Forum program on the Uber litigation here.

Leo Martinez

Leo MartinezProfessor Leo Martinez was interviewed by JD Journal about the ABA’s recent report from its Task Force on the Future of Education, which found that law schools are too pricey and too much alike. Martinez, Task Force member and immediate past president of the Association of American Law Schools, said that while there was a broad consensus among task force members in many areas, legal educators did not always see eye-to-eye with practitioners and judges.

“Part of the difficulty is that many of the practitioners are thinking about the law schools of 20 or 30 years ago, and they don’t appreciate the changes that have occurred since then,” Martinez added.

“It’s not an accident that we have the best legal education system in the world, and some of these standards are what helped get us there,” he said. “We should be examining whether or not the standards are achieving their purpose, not just looking at what we can eliminate.” Read more here.

George Bisharat

George BisharatProfessor George Bisharat published an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune on the effectiveness of boycotts in the Middle East. Bisharat writes: “Is there a double standard here? Perhaps. Consider Iran, sanctioned up, down, and sideways, by the U.N., and virtually every level of government in the U.S., down to Beverly Hills, Calif., for possibly aspiring to have the nuclear arms that Israel already has by the score. Or Iraq, which occupied Kuwait in 1990, and upon its refusal to withdraw, was forcibly ejected by a broad international coalition of forces within seven months.“ Read more here.

Elizabeth L. Hillman

Elizabeth L. HillmanProvost and Academic Dean Elizabeth L. Hillman was quoted in the Navy Times about the roles commanders play in the investigation and prosecution of sexual assaults in the military. Hillman was the lone dissenter on a subcommittee considering the issue.

“Although commanders must lead the way in changing military culture, they are neither essential nor well-suited for their current role in the legal process of criminal prosecution,” Hillman said. “An impartial and independent military justice system that operates beyond the grasp of command control would help restore faith that military service remains an honorable, viable choice for all.” Read more here.

Richard Zitrin

Richard ZitrinLecturer in Law Richard Zitrin spoke with the San Jose Mercury News about the California Supreme Court’s decision denying journalistic fabricator Stephen Glass admission to the State Bar of California. Zitrin said Glass may not have attracted Bar opposition if he were an ordinary applicant.

"I have no trouble with the Supreme Court saying we're not convinced about this guy and we have a duty to protect the public," Zitrin said. "My concern rests ... with the State Bar's lack of evenhandedness in the way it deals with high-publicity and regular cases. It shouldn't matter if the applicant is famous, notorious or unknown." Read more here.

John Tonaki

Hawaii State Public Defender John Tonaki ’85 has been shortlisted for a seat on the Hawaii Supreme Court.

Gene Rodrigues

Gene Rodrigues ’88 was named Vice President of ICF International, a leading provider of consulting services and technology solutions to government and commercial clients.

Carl Ciochon

Carl Ciochon ‘92, a partner with Wendel Rosen, was elected to the board of City CarShare.

Gary Watt

Gary Watt ’97 was chosen as the Appellate Attorney of the Year by Corporate INTL Magazine. He is a partner with Archer Norris in Walnut Creek and directs the Hastings Appellate Project.

--Jan. 30, 2014

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