Faculty Notes

Mark Brandon will deliver a university lecture on Democracy and Democratic Theory at Virginia Tech on March 28, sponsored by the university's multidisciplinary Ph.D. program in Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought.

Rebecca Brown organized a conference for the Constitutional Law and Theory Program, co-sponsored with the American Constitution Society, on the issue of constitutional interpretation. The conference, held at the law school in October, attracted more than 30 leading scholars, judges and practitioners to discuss the theme, "Keeping Faith with the Constitution in Changing Times."

Ellen Wright Clayton, Rosalind E. Franklin Professor of Genetics and Health Policy, Professor of Law and Professor of Pediatrics, was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Professor Clayton is the second member of the Vanderbilt law faculty elected to the IOM; University Professor James F. Blumstein is also a member. Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute is recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on issues related to human health.

Jim Ely is the 2006 recipient of the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize, which honors career contributions to scholarship relating to property rights and the constitutional protection of property. Professor Ely was a featured speaker at the third annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference October 6 and 7 at William & Mary Law School.

Nita Farahany has earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at Duke University. Her dissertation, Rediscovering Criminal Responsibility through Behavioral Genetics, focused on the intersection between philosophy of biology and philosophy of law.

Tracey George and Chris Guthrie served as senior commentators at the Junior Empirical Legal Scholars Conference at Cornell Law School on September 9. Sponsored by Cornell Law School and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, the conference provides a forum for junior empirical scholars to present their work and to receive constructive feedback from senior empirical scholars.

Tracey George focused on the emergence of empirical legal scholarship as a leading field of legal academic study as the featured guest on the Empirical Legal Studies (ELS) blog in September. Professor George studies judicial behavior.

John Goldberg will deliver the Monsanto Lecture, an endowed annual lecture on tort theory, at the Valparaiso University School of Law in March 2007.

Larry Helfer and Michael Vandenbergh organized a roundtable that addressed the theme "Private Agreements and the Global Environment," at Vanderbilt Law School in September. The roundtable was co-sponsored by the Vanderbilt International Legal Studies Program, the Vanderbilt Regulatory Program, and the Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies. More than a dozen scholars in law, political science and economics from around the world attended the roundtable. The paper Professor Vandenbergh presented at the roundtable, "The New Wal-Mart Effect: The Role of Private Contracting in Global Governance," will be published in the April issue of the U.C.L.A. Law Review.

Alex Hurder was appointed to a third term on the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law by ABA President Karen Mathis. Professor Hurder helped plan and moderate the National Conference on Employment of Lawyers with Disabilities co-sponsored by the Commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C. in May 2006. Professor Hurder's article, "The Lawyer's Dilemma: to Be or Not to Be a Problem-Solving Negotiator," was accepted for publication in the Clinical Law Review.

Owen Jones is the 2006-07 Fed-Ex Research Professor of Law.

Richard Nagareda was awarded the Tarkington Chair of Teaching Excellence and delivered a lecture, entitled "FDA Preemption: When Tort Law Meets the Administrative State," on October 4. Professor Nagareda succeeded inaugural Tarkington Professor Tom McCoy as holder of the three-year appointment. Professor Nagareda organized a one-day workshop on new research in litigation and dispute resolution in which faculty members from Harvard, Notre Dame, NYU, and UCLA participated.

Mike Newton is continuing his work as advisor to the Judicial Chambers of the Iraqi High Tribunal. Professor Newton most recently traveled to Baghdad in December to advise the tribunal on the appeals filed on December 3 by Saddam Hussein and the other defendants as well as the prosecution appeal.

Bob Rasmussen has been granted a courtesy appointment to the faculty of the Owen Graduate School of Management.

Suzanna Sherry delivered the 2006 William Howard Taft Lecture at the University of Cincinnati Law School on November 9. In her lecture, "Democracy and the Death of Knowledge," Professor Sherry examined the now common, but "truly dangerous" belief that "knowledge should not be the province of experts, but should be produced by popular vote."

Randall Thomas and Bob Thompson organized and hosted a one-day Law & Business symposium that examined the role of investor activism - including hedge fund investors - in corporate decision-making at the law school on October 13.

Randall Thomas, the John S. Beasley II Professor of Law and Business and director of the Law and Business Program, has been named a Research Fellow of the European Corporate Governance Institute, an international scientific non-profit association based in Brussels, Belgium, that commissions, undertakes and disseminates impartial and objective research on corporate governance.

Michael Vandenbergh organized a roundtable that addressed the theme "Consumption, Law and the Environment" at Vanderbilt Law School in October. The roundtable was co-sponsored by the Law School's Regulatory Program, the Vanderbilt Center for the Study of Religion and Culture, and the Vanderbilt Center for Environmental Management Studies. More than a dozen leading scholars from law, the social sciences and humanities attended the roundtable.

W. Kip Viscusi has received the 2006 Ronald H. Coase Prize from the University of Chicago Law School for his article, "Recollection Bias and the Combat of Terrorism," co-authored with Richard Zeckhauser. The prize is for excellence in the study of law and economics, and the award is made on the basis of recommendations from the editors of the Journal of Law and Economics and the Journal of Legal Studies. Professor Viscusi was also named the Kentucky Economic Association's Distinguished Economist of the Year. He present the keynote address, "Public and Private Costs of Smoking," at the organization's annual conference in Lexington, Kentucky, on October 13.

The Journal of Risk and Uncertainty (JRU), which moved to Vanderbilt Law School along with Professor Viscusi, who is its founding editor, ranked third among business and finance journals and 11th among economics journals based on journal impact factors in the 2005 Journal Citation Reports' ranking of social science journals. The impact factor rankings are based on the number of times articles from the publication are cited in other scholarly works.

Christopher Yoo testified before the Federal Communications Commission regarding regulations governing media competition, especially how many television or radio stations a company can own in the same market. Professor Yoo and colleague Luke Froeb, the William C. and Margaret M. Oehmig Professor in Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise at Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management, said they believe new media ownership rules could be an important vehicle to keep the radio music industry across the country alive. They contend mergers will help the industry adapt to technological advances like Apple's iTunes, satellite radio and the Internet.

The Regulatory Program, co-directed by Professors Lisa Bressman and Michael Vandenbergh, and the Environmental Law Society cohosted a talk by Eric Schaeffer, Director, Environmental Integrity Project, Washington, DC, entitled "Environmental Enforcement in the New Congress." The program also co-hosted with the Center for Ethics and Earth and Environmental Sciences Department a series of four faculty panels commenting on the recent movie An Inconvenient Truth.