Dyal-Chand Says Sharing is a Path to Business Success in Collaborative Capitalism in American Cities: Reforming Urban Market Regulations

Dyal-Chand7.02.18 — In many American cities, the urban cores still suffer. Poverty and unemployment remain endemic, despite policy initiatives aimed at systemic solutions. In Collaborative Capitalism in American Cities: Reforming Urban Market Regulations (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Professor Rashmi Dyal-Chand focuses on how businesses in some urban cores are succeeding despite the challenges.

Using three examples of urban collaborative capitalism, Dyal-Chand extrapolates a set of lessons about sharing. She argues that sharing can fuel business development and growth. Sharing among businesses can be critical for their economic survival. Sharing can also produce a particularly stable form of economic growth by giving economic stability to employees.

“Sharing can allow American businesses to remain competitive while returning more wealth to their workers, and this more collaborative approach can help solve the problems of urban underdevelopment and poverty,” said Dyal-Chand, who served as an associate general counsel of The Community Builders, Inc., a nonprofit affordable housing developer, prior to joining academia.

Dyal-Chand’s book has already been lauded for its insights. According to Joseph William Singer, Bussey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and author of No Freedom Without Regulation: The Hidden Lesson of the Subprime Crisis, the book is, “An eye-opening exploration of how cooperation might temper the harshness of economic competition and reverse our slide into inequality while restoring a measure of economic stability to the many who have lost it in recent years.”

Second Edition of Professor Martha Davis’ Human Rights Advocacy in the United States Now Available

Martha Davis4.24.18 —The second edition of Professor Martha Davis’ co-authored book, Human Rights Advocacy in the United States, has been released by West Academic Publishing. First published in 2014, it is the only law school casebook devoted to human rights advocacy in the United States.

“Understanding human rights tools is more important than ever to U.S. legal advocates,” said Davis, a human rights and social justice expert who has co-edited two other books, Global Urban Justice: The Rise of Human Rights Cities and Bringing Human Rights Home, and is the author of Brutal Need: Lawyers and the Welfare Rights Movement, 1960-1973. “From water quality in Flint, Michigan, to issues of federalism, human rights norms form a backdrop that domestic advocates cannot afford to ignore,” she added.

The book illuminates a range of both hot topics and persistent theoretical and doctrinal issues while equipping students to thoughtfully engage these tools in their own practice of law, including immigration, rights of indigenous peoples, counterterrorism and human rights, disparities in access to health care, and the right to housing, while also exploring fundamental issues of federalism, sovereignty, judicial review and legal ethics.

The second edition is updated to reflect the current US political landscape as well as the enduring value of the human rights framework. New examples focus on lead contamination of drinking water and disparities in access to health care. The second edition explores how, even in the midst of seismic shifts in US politics, human rights continue to offer a powerful normative frame of individual rights and government obligations, as well as important strategies to complement more traditional litigation and advocacy approaches.

Adler Calls for LGBT Movement to Change Course in New Book, Gay Priori

Libby Adler4.27.18 —Many legal issues that greatly impact the lives of the LGBT community’s most marginalized members — especially those who are transgender, homeless, underage or non-white — often go unnoticed, argues Professor Libby Adler in her new book, Gay Priori: A Queer Critical Legal Studies Approach to Law Reform (Duke University Press). Adler is calling for the LGBT community, which she says currently focuses on a narrow array of reform objectives — namely, same-sex marriage, antidiscrimination protections and hate crimes statutes — to change directions, with a focus on better meeting the needs of all LGBT people.

“This current approach is too narrow,” says Adler, a member of the Northeastern University School of Law faculty who has written extensively on sexuality, gender, family and children. “The emphasis on equal rights flattens LGBT identities, perpetuates the uneven distribution of resources such as safety, housing, health and wealth, and limits the capacity for advocates to imagine change.”

To combat these effects, Adler says resources must be used to advocate for changes to low-profile legal conditions in such areas as foster care, contract law, shelter regulation and police discretion. A shift in perspective, Adler contends, will serve to open up a new world of reform possibilities.

For more information, and to order the book directly from Duke University Press at a 30 percent discount, please visit dukeupress.edu/gay-priori and enter the coupon code E18ADLER during checkout.

Hartzog Calls for Reframing Privacy Law in New Book, Privacy’s Blueprint

Woody Hartzog3.27.18 — Every day, internet users interact with technologies designed to undermine their privacy. Social media apps, surveillance technologies and the internet of things are all built in ways that make it hard to guard personal information. And the law says this is okay because it is up to users to protect themselves — even when the odds are deliberately stacked against them.

In Privacy’s Blueprint: The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies, Professor Woodrow Hartzog pushes back against this state of affairs, arguing that the law should require software and hardware makers to respect privacy in the design of their products. “This is a book about the technology design decisions that affect our privacy,” says Hartzog, who is a professor of law and computer science. “It’s about going beyond scrutinizing what gets done with our personal information and confronting the designs that enable privacy violations. And it’s about how everyone — companies, lawmakers, advocates, educators, and users — can contribute to and interact with the design of privacy-relevant technologies.”

Current legal doctrine treats technology as though it were value-neutral: only the user decides whether it functions for good or ill. But this is not so. As Hartzog explains, popular digital tools are designed to expose people and manipulate users into disclosing personal information.

Against the often self-serving optimism of Silicon Valley and the inertia of tech evangelism, Hartzog contends that privacy gains will come from better rules for products, not users. The current model of regulating use fosters exploitation. Privacy’s Blueprint aims to correct this by developing the theoretical underpinnings of a new kind of privacy law responsive to the way people actually perceive and use digital technologies. The law can demand encryption. It can prohibit malicious interfaces that deceive users and leave them vulnerable. It can require safeguards against abuses of biometric surveillance. It can, in short, make the technology itself worthy of our trust.

Meltsner Publishes New Book on Civil Rights

Michael Meltsner11.15.17 — Matthews Distinguished University Professor Mike Meltsner has published a new book, With Passion: An Activist Lawyer’s Journey (Twelve Tables Press, 2018). Meltsner, who grew up in a Depression-battered family tangled by a mortal secret, tells the improbable story of an unsung hero of the civil rights movement who thought of himself as a “miscast” lawyer, but ended up defending peaceful protesters, representing Mohammad Ali, suing Robert Moses, counseling Lenny Bruce, bringing the case that integrated hundreds of Southern hospitals, and was named “the principal architect of the death penalty abolition movement in the United States” by the City University of New York (CUNY) upon awarding him an honorary degree.

More than a meditation on often-frustrating legal efforts to fight inequality and racism, Meltsner’s memoir vividly recounts the life of a New York kid, struggling to make sense of coming of age amid the tumult of vast demographic and cultural changes in the city. Hired by Thurgood Marshall, Meltsner argued major civil rights cases for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

“The story of the civil rights legal campaigns of the mid-20th century has been well told, but on two fronts, Mike Meltsner’s sublimely written memoir recasts the familiar narrative,” said University Distinguished Professor Margaret Burnham, head of the law school’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project. “Exploring the respective roles of litigation and community advocacy, this civil rights pioneer explains how organizations like the NAACP Legal Defense Fund made the critical shift from the mostly race-based docket of the 1950s and early ’60s to one focusing on poverty, particularly in the criminal justice arena. And few books about the lawyering craft do a better job of conveying the peculiar artistry that emerges from the conjoiner of intellectual prowess, deep knowledge, strategic vision and emotional intensity. Like bright blossoms on a gritty New York City tree, Meltsner’s cases offer thrills, surprise and most importantly, hope. Beautiful stories exquisitely told.”

Meltsner turned his attention to academia in 1970, co-founding the clinical program at Columbia Law School, and then serving as dean of Northeastern University School of Law from 1979 until 1984. Meltsner’s books include a memoir, The Making of a Civil Rights Lawyer; Cruel and Unusual: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment; Public Interest Advocacy; Reflections on Clinical Legal Education; and Short Takes, a novel. His 2011 play, “In Our Name: A Play of the Torture Years,” has been performed in New York and Boston to great acclaim. Among his many awards are a Guggenheim and an American Academy of Berlin Prize Fellowship.