Interviews

Race and Policing in Chicago: An Interview with Peter Pihos

June 6, 2017 Amir Perk 0

Summary: Peter Pihos is a lecturing fellow in the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University. He teaches Writing 101 and does research in race issues, history, and sociology. Other than inspiring his students in the classroom, Peter spends his time reading Homeric epics with his young children, fighting for social change, and maintaining a hilarious twitter and interesting blog, both of which can be found on his website: https://peterpihos.org/. Juris: How would you use [the findings from your dissertation Policing, Race, and Politics in Chicago] to advise policymakers in Chicago or other cities to grapple with institutional racism such as that which often appears in urban police forces? Peter Pihos: I’m not much for advice, but it seems like one thing is that it’s hard to understand stories of crime and policing apart from the broader story of political economy and really understanding where the jobs have gone and where […]

International Law

Apple’s Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich

June 1, 2017 Hunter Snowden 0

What do companies like Google and Apple have in common? They both love a “Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich.” As appetizing as that may sound, it is actually a form of legally-permitted tax avoidance. Through a combination of legal loopholes and financial border-hopping, Google and Apple have lowered their collective tax contribution by just under $20 billion in 2015 alone. Here’s how it works: Large companies like Google and Apple minimize their tax burdens by strategically funneling money into offshore tax havens through “shell companies” – corporate sub-entities used strictly as vehicles for transnational capital shifts. Take Apple, for example. “Apple Ireland,” a shell company owned by the U.S. tech giant, sells iPhones to another shell company, “Apple Netherlands,” which, in turn, sells the product to the customer. The Dutch franchise then collects revenue from the sale but pays as much as possible back to the Irish shell company […]

US Law

The Hero Republicans Needed: A Reflection on the Nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch

May 11, 2017 Aanan Henderson 0

On a particularly chilly Monday morning in March, the Senate Judiciary Committee began confirmation hearings for the Trump administration’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch. The hearings came at a perfect time for the Republican Party. After a failed healthcare bill, a series of blocked executive orders, and a highly contentious standstill on the federal budget, Gorsuch’s confirmation promised to be a win for a party that had so far struggled to make the tangible changes that the president promised during his 2016 campaign. During the confirmation, Senate Democrats did everything in their power to derail Gorsuch’s confirmation. But, as the hearings proceeded, the inevitability of confirmation became increasingly clear. During his hearing, Judge Gorsuch distanced himself from the president’s more controversial policies, insisting that he would not be a puppet of the Trump administration if placed on the Court. Prior to the hearings, Judge Gorsuch publicly criticized the president’s derision […]

International Law

Is Egypt Violating Its Own Freedom of the Press Laws?

May 10, 2017 Nora Hafez 0

Egypt has imprisoned more than 60 journalists, several of whom have not yet been brought to trial. Do these imprisonments violate Egyptian or international law? Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has been in office since 2014 when a military coup overthrew then-President Mohamed Morsi, member of the Muslim Brotherhood party. During his time as president, Morsi oversaw the ratification of a new Egyptian constitution, which sparked widespread controversy and often-violent protests. When El-Sisi assumed office, he sought to amend the constitution to placate demonstrators. El-Sisi was not intimately involved in the amendment process; instead he delegated the constitutional reforms to interim President Adly Mansour and a committee of ten legal experts. Although the constitutional referendum passed with an astonishing 98% voting yes, turnout was notably low. Reports of voter suppression and intimidation tactics employed by the Egyptian government began to circulate shortly before the referendum, drawing attention from international organizations […]

Pre-Law

The Business of Business Law: Pros and Cons of Dual Law-Business Degrees

May 8, 2017 Blaine Elias 0

Attention, all prospective law school students! If you are striving for a future career in business law, there are a variety of available paths. Common routes include: (1) J.D. programs that specialize in business law, (2) LL.M. programs for business law, and (3) dual enrollment in business and law school, otherwise known as a JD/MBA. Which option is considered “the best?” Which option is the most expensive? Which leads to the highest post-graduation salary? Below is a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the three most popular degree options for students interested in business law.   1. J.D. in Business Law Advantages Become a professional in law in a matter of three years (shortest duration out of all the other options) The most known and commonly required degrees for law professionals in North America JD-degree holders are eligible to take the bar exam in all states in the U.S. […]

Case Reviews

Beck v. McDonald: Standing Requirements in Consumer Data Breach Suits

May 2, 2017 Haley Amster 0

Cybersecurity and consumer data breaches pose a real and continuing concern, as theft of sensitive information leaves its victims vulnerable to incidents of identity fraud. However, court precedent has shown a reluctance to hear any cases that cannot prove “certainly impending” harm from such theft. The Supreme Court’s decision in Clapper v. Amnesty has guided later court decisions on these issues. In Clapper, plaintiffs sued to have the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 declared unconstitutional. The plaintiffs claimed that the U.S. government was likely to use FISA to seize their communications with third parties overseas, who would have shared sensitive information with the plaintiffs’ attorneys. The Court found that the plaintiffs failed to meet Article III standing requirements to bring their lawsuit in court, as the court was not certain that the government would intercept any of the plaintiffs’ communications, and any risk of future harm was too […]

Case Reviews

Murr v. Wisconsin: Will the Takings Clause be Redefined?

April 29, 2017 Audrey Kornkven 0

On March 20th, 2017, the United States Supreme Court heard a case that addressed a familiar issue: property rights. Though many people may consider property rights a clearly defined issue, Murr v. Wisconsin would highlight just how vague much of the law surrounding ownership and takings is. This case involves a family, the Murrs, who inherited two lots from their parents: one with a home, and one without. One would think that, because these lots deeded and taxed individually, they would be treated as separate properties. Taxation is a legal, regulatory action. Common sense indicates that all other legal, regulatory action would follow similar procedures. Back in 2004, the four Murr children decided to sell the open lot, which was originally intended to be an investment. Thanks to a zoning ordinance, they were unable to build on the lot or to sell it individually. This new ordinance treated the two […]

Interviews

The Duke Innocence Project: An Interview with Shannon Welch

April 24, 2017 Jason Brovich 1

Summary: Shannon Welch is a third-year law student at Duke Law School. She has worked with the Coalition Against Gendered Violence, the Clemency Project, The Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy, and the Duke Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic. Currently, Welch serves as Executive Director for the Innocence Project at Duke Law. Last week, Juris sat down with her to discuss that initiative. Juris: Could you tell me a little bit about your educational background? Welch: I’m from Washington, D.C. and I went to undergrad at Wesleyan University up in Middletown, Connecticut –The Wesleyan. I was an American History and American Government double major. We don’t really have a pre-law major at Wesleyan, so I took a few legal courses – Constitutional Law and Civil Rights – and that started piquing my interest in law. I interned at the US Attorney’s Office in DC in my sophomore year, and I […]

International Law

Gender Equity in India: The “Religion Gap” in Divorce Law

April 21, 2017 Rachel Sereix 0

Indian family law is characterized by the granting of different rights to different religious groups. Although changes have been made to lessen the disparity in gender representation within the law for women, these changes have been primarily directed at Muslim rather than Hindu women. Group-specific family law disproportionately affords Hindu women with fewer rights and limits the policy progress that can be made. Laws concerning Muslim alimonies and divorces have been amended to allow women more rights and cultural accommodations. In 1986, the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Divorce Act secured the ability of divorced Muslim women to collect money from former husbands. The Act invalidated the Supreme Court ruling in Ahmed Khan v Shah Bano Begum, which held that only Muslim women who have not remarried can claim financial compensation. Under the Act, former husbands are required to pay divorced women enough to financially maintain her current lifestyle […]

Pre-Law

The Poison of a Pre-Law Major: Evaluating Undergraduate Pre-Law Experience

April 19, 2017 Emily Fechner 0

The quandary of a strong undergraduate major for law school plagues undergraduates nationwide. The archaic pre-law major, once the perfect preparation for law school, appears now out of fashion for students desiring a competitive edge for law school applications. With this in mind, many undergraduates turn to the American Bar Association for advice on the ideal preparatory major; they do so to no avail, as “the ABA does not recommend any undergraduate majors or group of courses to prepare for a legal education.” It is understandable that students desire advice on which courses would best prepare them for the rigor of law school. While the pre-law track covers material taught in these graduate classes, it seems that preparation is now secondary to an interesting or unconventional major. There are several reasons for this shift in preferred undergraduate majors. The 2015-2016 LSAT data attests that the highest percentage of enrolled law […]