University of Pittsburgh
September 11, 2008

Pitt's School of Law to Host Panel Discussion on Lesser-Known Supreme Court Constitutional Cases

Event held Sept 17 to commemorate Constitution Day
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh's School of Law will host a panel discussion titled "Important (But Little-Noticed) Supreme Court Constitutional Cases," at noon Sept. 17 in the Barco Law Building, Room 113, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland. The event will be a part of the University's Constitution Day activities.

Three distinguished Pitt law faculty members will discuss recent and pending cases in the U.S. Supreme Court that raise intriguing and significant issues of constitutional law. There will be a question-and-answer segment at the conclusion of the discussion. This event is free and open to the public.

Information regarding the three panelists follows:

Deborah L. Brake, professor of law, will preview "Fitzgerald v. Barnstable School" Committee, which the court will hear in the coming term. This case presents the question of whether Title IX precludes constitutional claims under the equal protection clause for sex discrimination in education. Brake is a nationally recognized expert on Title IX and gender equality in sports, and on gender discrimination more broadly. She recently coauthored a Supreme Court "amicus curiae" brief in "Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.", in which the Supreme Court rejected a continuing violation rule for challenging ongoing pay discrimination, and testified before Congress in support of the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to reverse that decision. She came to the Pitt law faculty from the National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C., where she litigated cases challenging sex discrimination in education, employment, housing, and prisons.

Andrew E. Taslitz, Welsh S. White Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law, will discuss the court's recent decision in "Virginia v. Moore," 128 S. Ct. 1598 (2008), which held that a state statute prohibiting arrest for a minor traffic offense was irrelevant to whether an arrest in violation of that statute, followed by a search uncovering cocaine, contravened the Fourth Amendment. Taslitz is visiting from the Howard University School of Law for the 2008-09 academic year. Before entering teaching, Taslitz worked both as a prosecutor in Philadelphia and as an associate at one of Philadelphia's largest and most public-interested-minded civil firms, Schnader, Harrison, Segal, and Lewis. His writings have particularly centered on search and seizure issues, wrongful convictions, sexual assault, hate crimes legislation, freedom of speech, the expressive function of law, statutory interpretation methods, and scientific and character evidence.

Rhonda Wasserman, professor of law, will discuss a decision from the court's recent term, "Taylor v. Sturgell," 128 S. Ct. 2161 (2008), which addresses the "day in court" ideal and the limits that the due process clause imposes on virtual representation. Wasserman has published articles on federal class action practice, state court jurisdiction, federal removal practice, and the use of preliminary injunctions for innovative purposes, in such journals as "Minnesota Law Review" and "Boston University Law Review." She has written a treatise on procedural due process. Before joining the Pitt law faculty in 1986, she practiced law with the New York firm of Shereff, Friedman, Hoffman & Goodman, where she handled corporate takeover and other business litigation. She is a former member of the board of directors of the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

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