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Current Issue : 2008 Fall

Federal Judges Add to Seminar Offerings

Brooklyn Law School's proximity to the federal courts has long enabled the school to draw federal judges to the classroom. U.S. District Court Judge Carol Amon, of the Eastern District of New York, will teach a new Sentencing Law Seminar, which examines the complexities and challenges presented by the federal sentencing system.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian Cogan, also of the Eastern District of New York, offers the Strategic Applications of Federal Jurisdiction Seminar, an advanced seminar in civil procedure that gives students interested in complex litigation an intensive experience analyzing the strategies lawyers use to place their cases.

And U. S. District Court Judge Eric Vitaliano of the Eastern District is teaching a Legislative Process Seminar. Students in this seminar explore legal issues that arise in the legislative branch, including the role of lobbyists, ethical constraints on legislators, campaign finance regulation, and privileges granted to legislators. The course also addresses how different perspectives on the legislative process might influence the philosophies of judges in their roles as statutory interpreters.

IP and Technology Courses Grow to Meet Demand

Brooklyn Law School is emerging as a leader in intellectual property and technology. New courses designed to build skills in those areas are in high demand with students.

Jason Mazzone, an associate professor at Brooklyn Law School with expertise in both constitutional law and intellectual property, is teaching an Intellectual Property Law Colloquium for the first time this fall. The colloquium offers students the opportunity to engage with cutting-edge scholarship on issues of copyright, trademark, and patent law. Structured around a series of weekly guest speakers who present papers, the class requires that students read the papers in advance, prepare questions, and participate actively in the discussion. Other Brooklyn Law School professors have used the colloquium format, including Professors Edward Cheng, Christopher Serkin, David Reiss, and Associate Dean Solan.


Victoria Cheng '09 and Julia Levin '09 (left to right) lead a class discussion on corporate social responsibility in Professor Brakman Reiser's For-Profit/Nonprofit Boundary Seminar.

Mazzone says the idea for the new course grew from another IP seminar he taught last year that addressed how the old rules of intellectual property law apply to the new forms of data that have appeared in the digital age. "There is a great demand for IP courses here," he notes. "We built the colloquium on the success of the last course."

He says that the format of the IP Law Colloquium is more like a faculty workshop than a typical law course, and that presenters and students alike have responded to the course with overwhelming enthusiasm. "These are students who have an IP background, so the conversations about the papers have been great," Mazzone says. He is even co-authoring his next law review article with Matthew Moore '09, a student from the colloquium. Scheduled to be published in late 2008 in the Washburn Law Journal, the article, "The Secret Life of Patents," critiques the role of trade secrets law in the digital age.

Other new courses are being offered to satisfy student demand for IP courses. Newly hired Assistant Professor Derek Bambauer is teaching a course on Internet law and a seminar on topics in intellectual property. Bambauer, a former principal systems engineer at Lotus Development Corp., spent two years as a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, where he received his J.D. Associate Professor of Clinical Law Jonathan Askin, who also began teaching this fall, is offering a telecommunications law course and a clinic called Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy (BLIP), a unique course that functions like a law firm representing Internet, new media, communications, and other tech entrepreneurs and innovators on both business and policy advocacy. Askin, with more than a decade of experience as a practicing attorney in the communications industry in both the public and private sectors, played a key role in the technology task force of President-elect Barak Obama's campaign. Two partners at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Leslie Gordon Fagen and Andrew G. Gordon, are teaching Litigating an IP Case, in which students follow the evolution of a trademark litigation in federal court from inception to the eve of settlement or trial. In the spring semester, two partners from Baker Botts, Gary Butter and Eliot Williams, will teach Litigating a Patent Case, which is similarly structured.

“There is a great demand for IP courses here. We built the colloquium on the success of the last course.”
— Professor Jason Mazzone