About: Press Room

GGU Law Associate Dean and Professor Cynthia Chandler Receives Fay Stender Award for Outstanding Legal Advocacy for Disadvantaged Women

Associate Dean Cynthia Chandler was selected by California Women Lawyers to receive the prestigious Fay Stender Award for her advocacy for the rights of women in prison. She received the award at the State Bar Annual Meeting on October 8. According to California Women Lawyers, "The annual award is given to a feminist attorney who, like Fay Stender, is committed to the representation of women, disadvantaged groups and unpopular causes, and whose courage, zest for life and demonstrated ability to effect change as a single individual make her a role model for women attorneys." Dean Chandler joins ranks of prior winners such as Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and Drucilla Stender Ramey. The keynote speaker for the event was Amy Weaver, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Salesforce, Inc. To read more about Dean Chandler's world-changing work, click the link above.

The National Law Journal Names Patrick J. Coughlin M&A and Antitrust Trailblazer

The National Law Journal names Patrick Coughlin (JD '83) an Antitrust Trailblazer. Patrick, a partner at Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman Robbins LLP, has an impressive background in securities and antitrust, having served as lead counsel in securities cases like the famous Enron and Joe Camel cigarette ad cases. Recently, Patrick led the charge against major credit card companies in interchange fee litigation and "swipe fees" charged to consumers and the limited negotiating power merchants had in the matter. To read more, visit Patrick's GGU Law profile by clicking the link below, or to read about his recent honor, click the link above.

Sunnyvale: Neighbors sue to declare autistic boy a public nuisance

A neighborhood in Sunnyvale, CA is up in arms over the presence of an autistic child whom they claim is violent to the point of being a public nuisance. The plaintiffs in this case further claim that the presence of the child had a chilling effect on home prices in their area. With the judge issuing a preliminary injunction by the judge to block the child from "does not strike, assault, or batter anyone in the neighborhood or their personal property," the child and his family have relocated. Professor Stephen Rosenbaum, a staff attorney with the Women's Employment Rights Clinic (WERC) weighs in on the controversy, stating that this is a matter that should have been settled through mediation. To read more, click the link above.

How to Create a Less-Stressful Workplace

In our competitive environment, law firms and businesses are constantly seeking ways to become more efficient, more productive, and more profitable. Ironically, the stress associated with our fast-paced economy may be causing employees to lose their abilities to work productively. Professor Michele Neitz provides a framework for reducing stress in one's life and in one's workplace. To read more, click the link above.

Sea Level Rise, Saltwater Intrusion and Endangered Fisheries - Shifting Baselines for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan

As sea levels rise, salt water begins to intrude on endangered fisheries. Professor Paul Kibel provides a legal framework for change in shifting the baselines for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. -- Read more about this proposal by clicking the link above.

Margins & Missions... Not Moonshots: Pathways to Better U.S. Higher Education

Dean Rachel Van Cleave authors a chapter on how to recreate legal education for a modern audience in a book focused on saving higher education in the United States. The book, Margins & Missions... Not Moonshots: Pathways to a Better U.S. Higher Education, states that higher education institutions face unprecedented peril from a perfect storm of economic and demographic challenges. Declining enrollments, drastically reduced state and federal government funding, and excessive growth of support and administration costs have left many universities in a cash-strapped financial conundrum. In addition, student loan debt exceeds U.S. credit card debt and serious questions are being raised about the ROI (cost to value) of a college degree. To address these critical issues, over 30 diverse and prestigious thought leaders contribute innovative ideas to help re-imagine, re-engineer, and re-invent the business of higher education -- with a focus on the pragmatic, the achievable. -- Click the link above to learn more or to purchase the book.

Expanding Pride in Our Workplaces

As business leaders. we need to recognize that our policies, our workplace culture and our institutional ethos radically impact the lived experience of equality for our LGBT customers and employees. In a discriminatory world, passivity (i.e. just ensuring you don't actively discriminate) can easily send a mixed or unintended message. Even in progressive places like the San Francisco Bay Area, LGBT folks have an experience of discrimination and disfavor that shapes their expectations. -- To read more, click the link above

Symposium on Kerry v. Din: Kerry v. Din as a Troubling "Terrorism" and "National Security" Case

Professor Carrie Rosenbaum writes about the troubling U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Kerry v. Din, pointing to Justice Scalia and Kennedy's reliance on "...national security and hints at the 'political question doctrine' to justify secrecy and no process, or no meaningful process, particularly in the context of a deeply flawed statute..." To read more, click the link above.

What Happens When Law Students Unplug?

Dean Van Cleave interviews Professor Michele Neitz about her Disconnect Challenge 2015 event, where she and four students decided to limit, and schedule, their internet and mobile device use for several weeks. Checking the internet only three times a day, students and faculty found that their concentration and focus improved. To read more about the challenge and the benefits of disconnecting, click the link above.

Why 'Thinking Like a Lawyer' is Good for Business

Are lawyers good for business? Dean Rachel Van Cleave writes about the benefits of hiring law school graduates, and attorneys, for one's business, particularly for management roles. Her article, which appears in the San Francisco Business Times, explains the value that a JD brings, including risk management, communications, and more. Read the story by clicking the link above.

Must Judges Follow Children’s Wishes Over Their Custody?

Must judges follow children's wishes over their custody in divorce proceedings? A new article by Professor Benedetta Durami discusses this increasingly common scenario, determining that "allowing children to voice their preferences in family disputes is beneficial for all parties involved." -- Click the link above to learn more.

'Flexibility' will Lead to Overfishing

Depleted fish stocks in California have serious environmental implications. Professor Zeke Grader explains the history of fishing laws as he prepares to fight HR1335, which is before the House of Representatives, which would "gut its key provisions, trading long-term sustainability for ephemeral short-term gains." Read more about Professor Zeke Grader's attempts to defend the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which protects our fisheries by clicking the link above.

Mindful Mentoring of Corporate Leaders

Dean Rachel Van Cleave writes about corporate compensation and the utility of mindful mentorship for C-level executives as both a means of enticing new leaders, and as a means of ensuring positive, ongoing leadership. Click the link above to read the full article.

Despite Drought, Demo Crews Douse Candlestick Park Rubble With Drinking Water

Professor Helen Kang, who advocated for the environmentally safe demolition of Candlestick Park, learns that the wrecking crew has been using thousands of gallons of clean drinking water a day to simply hose down dust. Finding the waste in face of an ongoing drought of significant proportion, Professor Kang weighs in on the situation alongside other water use advocates. To read more, click the link above.

When Family Meets Business: The Challenge of Work/Life Balance

Professor Michele Benedetta Neitz writes about the struggles of work/life balance in today's law firms, using several illustrations of do's/don'ts for law firm management. Her story begins with a law firm that used work/life balance as the punch line of an April Fool's Day joke, which led to a great deal of irritation amongst the firm's employees. After explaining the challenges of achieving a work/life balance, Professor Neitz moves on to how such balance can be achieved, providing illuminating examples of firms that have made it a reality through an innovative approach. To read more, click the link above.

Uber and Lyft Face Legal Test

Uber & Lyft, arguably at the center of the "sharing economy," are embroiled in lawsuits over whether their drivers are employees or independent contractors. The court's ruling could make or break the companies, forcing them to change their business model, which in turn could make the ride sharing companies too expensive to compete with local cab companies. Read more about the debate, and the lawsuits, by clicking the link above.

The Pressures on Today's Students

Dean Rachel Van Cleave writes a letter to the editor about two prior articles that spoke to how we ought to treat our country's students. One article assumed that we ought to allow some students to fail in order to allow others to succeed, while the other reviewed student culture in Palo Alto where failure is not considered an option. Dean Van Cleave argues that there is a middle ground, where we teach our students resilience and grit, while supporting them and helping them to learn from our failures, and from their own. To read the full article, click the link above.

State Supreme Court Will Revisit Rest Break Payment Issue

Professor Hina Shah, Director of the Women's Employment Rights Clinic (WERC), recently weighed in on whether workers should be compensated for their mandatory rest breaks. The CA Supreme Court recently decided to hear an appeal brought by security guards hoping to be paid for their rest breaks. According to Matthew Blake at the Daily Journal, "That opinion came just weeks after the state Supreme Court ruled for a separate class of security guards in Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, 217 Cal.App.4th 851 (Cal. App. 2nd Dist., July 3, 2013), a strikingly similar dispute over rest break payment. Justice Carol Corrigan found 'on-call hours constituted compensable hours worked' because the guards remained under the employer's control.'The justices found that remaining available to work is work,' said Hina B. Shah, a professor at Golden Gate University School of Law who filed an amicus brief for the security guards in Mendiola. 'I'm confident that Mendiola will help clarify the court's framing work for reversing Augustus.'" To read the full story, click the link above.

Ready for Marriage? Evaluating the Supreme Court's Oberfell Arguments Like a Pro

"Oral argument binds no judge. Even when the Justice meet in conference later this week to discuss the case and "vote," the opinions expressed at that point remain preliminary and nonbinding. A Justice can change her or his mind; it's happened in the past and will again. Nevertheless, oral argument does give us some indications of how each Justice is leaning on the day the Court hears the case and it can highlight the elements of the parties' arguments that a particular Justice is unconvinced of or persuadable on. So, what should you listen for when you listen to the oral argument recording? What should you look for in the same-day transcript? What questions or comments from the Justices indicate -- might indicate -- that the conventional wisdom is right or wrong to expect a victory for marriage equality?" Click the link above to find out what you should be looking for.

From Mock Trial to Real World Court, GGU Center Preps Litigators

This story by Lawdragon, an online legal news publication, features Professor Wes Porter, and the GGU Law Litigation Center. Professor Porter has been the Director of the Litigation Center for six years, where he has championed a shift in legal education toward practical skills training. Under his guidance, students train rigorously in essential lawyering skills. This, coupled with continuous feedback in order to foster rapid improvement, a factor missing in traditional legal education, have earned GGU Law an A+ grade from The National Jurist in Practical Skills Training, an area of education deemed essential by the ABA for all future attorneys. To read the feature story, and to learn more about GGU Law's Litigation Center, click the link above.

GGU Law's WERC Earns Honorable Mention

The Women's Employment Rights Clinic of Golden Gate University School of Law (WERC) received an honorable mention in this year's Clinical Legal Education Awards (CLEA) for Best Public Interest Case or Project. WERC serves as legal counsel to the California Domestic Worker Coalition ("Coalition"), providing technical and legal advice to the Coalition. The Coalition consists of eight California based worker center organizations. The Coalition sponsored several bills to end the unfair treatment of domestic workers in California and to create industry-wide standards. On September 26, 2013, California's governor signed into law AB 241, the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. The bill extends overtime to approximately 100,000 domestic workers who spend a significant amount of time caring for children, elderly and people with disabilities. It is one of the greatest expansion of overtime in California since the 1970s. Drawing on their expertise in representing domestic workers, WERC provided critical legal analysis to the Coalition on existing rights, gaps in coverage and advice and counseling on strategic decisions. WERC faculty and students drafted bill language based on the Coalition's priorities, helped with messaging, trained Coalition members on the law, reviewed worker hearing testimony, submitted written analysis on the impact of proposed changes and met with legislators and the Governor's staff. WERC brought a client-centered approach to legislative advocacy, providing a framework and structure for the role that lawyers play in grassroots advocacy in empowering the members of the coalition to be leaders in their own campaigns. WERC was an integral part of the community-based, worker-led legislative campaign that is linked to a national movement for transforming rights for domestic workers. For more information, click the link above.

Farmers in Court Over Fears That Effort to Save Fish is Upending Their Water Rights

Professor Paul Kibel explains the combined effects of the CA drought and farmers water use on native fish populations. This environmental drama has developed into a power struggle that has found itself in the Third District Court of Appeal, as the future of California water rights are questioned in the name of protecting endangered fish. DailyJournal subscribers may click the link above to read more.

Prof. Wes Porter Named ACE Fellow

Professor Wes Porter was named as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow for the 2015-2016 academic year. He is one of 47 professors and deans nation-wide to earn this distinction this year. According to ACE President, Molly Corbett Broad, "over those five decades nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated, with more than 300 Fellows having served as chief executive officers of colleges or universities and more than 1,300 having served as provosts, vice presidents and deans. "Professor Porter is law professor at GGU Law where he is also the director of the school's reputable Litigation Center. He has created nationally recognized programs at the law school and National Jurist Magazine recently recognized GGU Law with an A+ rating in practical training, with a ranking of #12 in the nation. Before joining the academy, Professor Wes Porter served as a trial attorney in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate Generals Corps (JAG), an Assistant U.S. Attorney and a Senior Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he was awarded the Assistant Attorney General Award for Distinguished Service. His scholarship focuses on injustices in criminal law, evidence and procedure from the perspective of the accused and he has emerged as a leading advocate for legal education reform and practical skills training across the curriculum. Click the link above to read the full article an to learn more about ACE.

Viewpoint: Assessing the Legacy of 'Pao v. Kleiner Perkins'

Dean Rachel Van Cleave examines Pao v. Kleiner Perkins, evaluating both our justice system and what makes a case a "landmark." Finally, she explains what some of the lasting effects of this case may be. Click the link above to read the full article.

Adjunct Prof. Longfelder on Gender Discrimination

Adjunct Professor Michal Longfelder weighs in on Pao v. Kleiner Perkins, a gender discrimination suit that recently concluded and is awaiting a verdict. Ellen Pao was hired at Kleiner Perksins, a venture capital firm well-known in Silicon Valley, as a junior partner venture capitalist and Chief of Staff for the John Doerr, the company's head investor. John Doerr was widely seen as a mentor to Ellen Pao. However, during Pao's time at Kleiner Perkins, she alleges she was discriminated against due to her gender, which ultimately resulted in her termination. The CBS interview, which includes Adjunct Professor Michal Longfelder is available by clicking on the link in the title above.