University of Pittsburgh
November 2, 2012

Pitt Law Professors Available to Comment on U.S. Supreme Court Cases To Be Argued Next Week Involving Securities Fraud, Class Certification, Criminal Conspiracies, and Double Jeopardy

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The following University of Pittsburgh School of Law faculty members are available to comment on several cases scheduled for argument next week before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Comcast v. Behrend

Jasmine B. Gonzales Rose, assistant professor of law and former lead law clerk for the Honorable Damon J. Keith, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, specializes in the intersection of procedural law and civil rights. She is available to comment on Comcast v. Behrend, a Third Circuit antitrust action involving questions of class certification, evidence, and class-wide damages.  

Gonzales Rose is particularly interested in the interaction of language rights, substantive and theoretical notions of citizenship, federalism, and principles of democracy in political and legal processes, especially in the jury system. Among her publications is “The Exclusion of Non-English Speaking Jurors: Remedying a Century of Denial of the Sixth Amendment in the Federal Courts of Puerto Rico,” which was published in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review in 2011 and which explores the constitutional implications of the Jury Selection and Service Act’s English language juror prerequisite as applied in the federal courts in Puerto Rico. 

Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds

Douglas M. Branson, the W. Edward Sell Professor of Business Law, is available to comment on Amgen Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, a case whose decision will affect the standards for class certification of securities fraud claims.

Branson specializes in corporate law and securities regulation. A prolific writer, he has authored or coauthored numerous articles and books, among them The Last Male Bastion: Gender and the CEO Suite in America’s Public Companies (Routledge Press, 2010), Understanding Corporate Law, 3rd edition (Matthew Bender, 2009), Cases and Materials on Business Organizations (Lexis Nexis, 2009), and No Seat at the Table: How Corporate Governance and Law Keep Women Out of the Boardroom (New York University Press, 2007).

Branson’s reputation as one of the country's most productive and thoughtful business law scholars has earned him an especially influential role in framing the American Law Institute's recommendations for corporate governance. 

Smith v. United States and Evans v. Michigan

David Harris, professor of law and associate dean for research, is available to comment on Smith v. United States and Evans v. Michigan. Smith involves narcotics and RICO conspiracy convictions and the burden of persuasion on the defense of withdrawal from a conspiracy. Evans concerns a double jeopardy clause issue that arose after a trial judge granted a midtrial-directed verdict of acquittal that was based on an error of law.

A Pitt School of Law Distinguished Faculty Scholar, Harris studies, writes about, and teaches police behavior and regulation, law enforcement, and national security issues and the law. He is a leading national authority on racial profiling. His 2002 book, Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work (The New Press) and his scholarly articles about traffic stops and stops and frisks have influenced the national debate on profiling and related topics. His 2005 book, Good Cops: The Case for Preventive Policing, uses case studies from around the country to demonstrate that citizens need not trade liberty for safety. In his latest book, Failed Evidence: Why Law Enforcement Resists Science (NYU Press, 2012), Harris examines why many police and prosecutorial agencies oppose replacing questionable investigative methods with science-based, empirically proven techniques.