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Planet Lex: The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Podcast

Planet Lex is a series of conversations about the law, law and society, law and technology, and the future of legal education and practice. In other words, a bunch of interesting stuff about the law.
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Planet Lex: The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Podcast
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 14, 2016

The rise of legally focused technology has caused many attorneys to reflect on their current level of tech savvy and consider the improvements that future advancements might hold. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez speaks with Professor Richard Susskind about the impact new technologies will have on the legal profession and whether law schools are sufficiently training law students to be the pioneering attorneys of tomorrow.

Professor Richard Susskind OBE is an author, speaker, and independent adviser to major professional firms and to national governments. His main area of expertise is the future of professional service and, in particular, the way in which information technology and the Internet are changing the work of lawyers.

Nov 16, 2016

The increased media coverage of police shootings has coincided with the growing prominence of conversations about race and law enforcement. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez speaks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Assistant Professor of Law Destiny Peery about implicit bias, tensions between the police and the communities they serve, and how perceptions of race impact the legal system.

Destiny Peery is an Assistant Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Her teaching and research interests focus on law and psychology perspectives on criminal law, discrimination law, the use of social science as evidence, and race and law.

Oct 19, 2016

In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez speaks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law George C. Dix Professor in Constitutional Law John McGinnis and Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Larry Birnbaum about emergent technology and its effects on the law. Dan opens the interview by reminding everyone that it has been 10 years since the publication of Raymond Kurzweil’s book, “The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology,” and poses the question of exactly how close we are to the day when computer intelligence surpasses human intelligence. Larry shares his belief that the singularity is coming, though the time table is unknown. John agrees and states that the victory of IBM’s computer system Watson over its human competition on Jeopardy shows the accelerating technology and that software and connectivity are improving, in addition to hardware computation. Both guests analyze how this technology might significantly impact intermediary positions within the workforce and consider the implications on the practice of law. Larry concludes that there are many aspects to lawyering and that you have to break down those segments to figure out which will or will not be adversely affected. John does not anticipate emergent tech putting lawyers out of business in the near future, but does think it is the beginning of how society integrates some of that tech into the work that humans will still do and feels that we’ll see a long evolution of progress in this area. Both guests evaluate the ways in which tech innovation might improve overall equality in society. They close the interview with an analysis of how difficult it is for our regulatory structure to keep up with advancements in technology and the issues present in making the risks associated with these advancements understandable to people.

Sep 21, 2016

In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez speaks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Harry R. Horrow Professor in International Law Juliet Sorensen about the pervasiveness and regulation of corruption. Juliet defines public corruption as the abuse of public office for private gain and discusses the challenges of working within the various parameters of both civil causes of action and criminal law to regulate said corruption. Certain forms of malfeasance, like bribery, have been traditionally governed by criminal law while other forms like patronage and nepotism have been grounds for civil actions under the First Amendment but have generally been found not to be either federal, state, or local crimes. Juliet highlights that in a functioning democracy the safeguard against public officials who the electorate disapproves of is voting them out of office, however if corruption has pervaded a democracy to the extent that voting public officials out of office cannot be done in a free and fair way, then that is an impingement of human rights. She shares that many countries are unable or unwilling to regulate public corruption for a myriad of reasons, including limited resources and weak institutions, and that in some countries the culture of corruption is so pervasive that it becomes incredibly difficult to change. Juliet also analyzes the International Olympic Committee’s decision not to ban Russia from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and discusses how the McLaren Investigation Report on doping in Russia illustrates abuses of all levels of public office but not necessarily for monetary gain. She closes the interview with an investigation of how the emergency reconstruction phase after major extreme weather events can facilitate corruption and how we can combat this. Finally, she considers the severity of public corruption, domestically or internationally, against other major issues of social policy or criminal law enforcement.

Aug 17, 2016
Update: Brendan Dassey, nephew to Steven Avery, the primary defendant from the Making a Murderer series on Netflix had his conviction for murder, rape, and mutilation of a corpse overturned by U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin last Friday. This episode was recorded shortly before the development.
 
Many people have become familiar with the trial of Brendan Dassey through the 2015 Netflix television series “Making A Murderer.” His case raises a number of concerns regarding youth interrogations and the confessions.
 
In the debut episode of Planet Lex, host Dan Rodriguez speaks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Clinical Professor of Law Steven Drizin and Clinical Assistant Professor of Law Laura Nirider about youth interrogation, false confessions, and their representation of Brendan Dassey. Steve shares that he was contacted by a friend in the Wisconsin state appellate defenders office to represent Brendan. Because of the Wisconsin appellate process, they had to do two years of intensive investigation before filing their appeal with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Laura talks about their petition for a writ of habeas corpus asking the Wisconsin federal court to review Brendan’s interrogation confession, his original legal representation, and the way Wisconsin state courts handled Brendan’s case. They both provide insight on federal laws pertinent to the Dassey case and explain how the 5th Amendment protects all citizens from being coerced into giving a confession. They close the interview with an analysis of Brendan’s defense attorney Len Kachinsky’s duty of loyalty breach and the realities of false confessions that they hope people will take away from their legal work.
 
Steven Drizin is a clinical professor of law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law where he has been on the faculty since 1991. He is also the assistant dean of the Bluhm Legal Clinic. He served as the legal director of the clinic's renowned Center on Wrongful Convictions from March 2005 to September 2013. At the center, Professor Drizin's research interests involve the study of false confessions, and his policy work focuses on supporting efforts around the country to require law enforcement agencies to electronically record custodial interrogations.
 
Laura Nirider is a clinical assistant professor of law and co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth (CWCY) at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Nirider represents individuals who were wrongfully convicted of crimes when they were children or teenagers. Her clients have included Brendan Dassey, whose case was profiled in the Netflix Global series “Making a Murderer,” and Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three, whose case was profiled in the documentary “West of Memphis.”
 
If you want more “Making a Murderer”, check out the most recent Lawyer 2 Lawyer episode, Inside “Making a Murderer” and the Steven Avery Trial to listen to Dean Strang, Steven Avery’s former defense attorney, and Peter Linton-Smith, who covered the trial, discuss the case and the show.

 

Aug 17, 2016

The issue of sexual assault on campuses and how to best combat these incidents is a highly debated topic among legal professionals. How should these crimes be handled and what can colleges do to protect their students?

In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez speaks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Professor of Law Deborah Tuerkheimer about campus sexual misconduct. Deborah shares that historically universities have not handled issues of sexual assault well and that the significance of the problem is still being assessed as we look at how institutions of higher education respond to these situations. She talks about the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter issued by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights on how campuses should handle sexual misconduct and provides insight into how the document represents a shift in the way the federal government approached the issue. Deborah explains what Title IX is and how it helped establish that sexual harassment can create a hostile environment. In addition to the civil and criminal systems, she discusses what campuses can do to help those affected by sexual misconduct and why disciplinary responsibilities fall squarely on campuses to ensure that affected students are able to continue their education. Deborah closes the interview with her perspective on what else the federal government can do to bring adequate attention to these issues and the impact that the “Dear Colleague” letter has had on our nation's campuses.

Deborah Tuerkheimer joined the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law faculty in 2014 after serving as a professor of law at DePaul University since 2009. Professor Tuerkheimer received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and her JD from Yale. She teaches and writes in the areas of criminal law, evidence, and feminist legal theory. Her book, “Flawed Convictions: ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’ and the Inertia of Injustice,” was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. She is also a co-author of the casebook “Feminist Jurisprudence: Cases and Materials” and the author of numerous articles on rape and domestic violence. After clerking for Alaska Supreme Court Justice Jay Rabinowitz, she served for five years as an assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office, where she specialized in domestic violence prosecution. Tuerkheimer was elected to the American Law Institute in 2015, an esteemed group of judges, lawyers, and legal scholars dedicated to the development of the law.

Jul 15, 2016

The increasing societal shift toward a more global marketplace encourages many graduates to seek a multidisciplinary education. How does learning skills from various fields help students in the workplace and what value can legal knowledge add?

In this episode of Planet Lex, host Dan Rodriguez talks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law J. Landis Martin Professor of Law & Business Emerson Tiller and Clinical Associate Professor of Law Director Leslie Oster about the new Master of Science in Law Program. Emerson shares that the goal of the program is to train individuals who come from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) backgrounds, in the ways that law can integrate the more technical aspects of business management and innovation. Leslie discusses the program’s objectives to help the students be more nimble in their problem solving and empower them with the tools to analyze issues more holistically. She also emphasizes that students who understand multiple disciplines and how they interact will be able to offer unique perspectives relative to their peers and coworkers. Emerson evaluates the benefits of having business people and entrepreneurs intermingling with law students on campus, and they both discuss how the program has attracted a 50% male to female gender balance. They close the interview with a discussion of the opportunities this program presents their graduates and how interested individuals with STEM backgrounds can enter the program.

Jul 15, 2016

New technology has greatly lowered the barrier of entry into the music industry for new artists looking to release recordings and distribute their music. How have these emergent technologies affected copyright law and, subsequently, the salaries of working musicians?

In this episode of Planet Lex, host Dan Rodriguez talks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Professor of Law Searle Research Fellow Peter DiCola about music copyright law and how new technology has affected the industry. Peter speaks briefly about his professional history and opens the interview with an explanation of copyright law. He then analyzes how early technology, like the piano roll and the phonograph, challenged notions of whether and how composers should get paid and provides examples of how these questions are still relevant today. Peter then discusses the formation of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and provides insight into how the Copyright Royalty Board determines the price satellite radio and webcasting services should pay for the use of sound recordings. He evaluates the differences in how Congress established licenses for webcasting vs. on-demand internet radio and compares the varying restrictions for each. Peter closes the interview with a discussion of songwriter income reduction and whether the societal devaluation of music even permits these artists to work in the industry full time today.

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