The Latham and Watkins Forum 2017-2018

The Forum, sponsored by Latham & Watkins, presents discussions on current events, legal and public policy issues, and intellectual ideas. The programs feature experts from within and outside the Law School, and time is generally allowed for questions from the audience.

Fall 2017

September 13

Supreme Court (P)review

When the Supreme Court convened for business last fall, it was down a justice and had few high-profile cases on its docket. Not so this year. Justice Neil Gorsuch will begin his first full term on the court, and a line-up of major cases await review. Among matters up for consideration: the Trump administration’s revised executive order on immigration (and two other significant immigration cases); the Cakeshop case (involving a baker who refused to create a cake for a same-sex marriage); warrantless seizure and search of cellphone records; mandatory-arbitration agreements in employment; and partisan gerrymandering. At this inaugural Latham & Watkins Forum—and our kick-off Forum for the new academic year--our panel of experts will discuss upcoming cases and look back at some of the rulings from last term. Come hear the discussion, and bring questions of your own.


Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent, New York Times
Michael McConnell, Professor and director of the Constitutional Law Center, Stanford Law School (moderator)
Melissa Arbus Sherry, Partner and member of the Supreme Court & Appellate Practice, Latham & Watkins
Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law, NYU Law


September 27

Latham & Watkins Forum - Government Lawyering in the Trump Administration

Serving as an attorney in the federal government has for decades been viewed by many as important, challenging, and noble work. Yet the idea of undertaking such work in the current political climate is giving some people pause. Government lawyers have found themselves in delicate positions, sometimes feeling they must choose between loyalty and the law. This has been the case for senior attorneys who are political appointees, but the pressures they face can cascade downward within an organization. While these concerns are not new in Washington, they are particularly perceptible now.  At this Forum, panelists who have held top posts as government lawyers will discuss the challenges of maintaining personal and professional integrity in a politicized environment, the pros and cons of pursuing federal positions over the next few years, and possible alternatives.


Preet Bharara, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, NYU LawUS Attorney, Southern District of New York (2009-2017) 
Anne Milgram, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, NYU Law; Attorney General of New Jersey (2007-2010)
Trevor Morrison, Dean and Professor of LawNYU Law; Associate White House Counsel (2009) (moderator)


October 18

National Security: The Role of Senior Advisers in the White House

To formulate national security policy—or respond to a crisis—presidents can turn to White House-based intelligence officers, military leaders, and foreign policy specialists. They also look to lawyers, both from the Office of White House Counsel and others serving as special advisers. For this Forum, Professor Ryan Goodman will moderate a discussion among three such lawyers with experience in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Among the questions to be explored: What sort of role do lawyers play in this setting? What do the panelists think White House lawyers and senior advisers are and should be wrestling with currently in areas such as counter-terrorism, North Korea, and the Russia investigation? How does a White House think about the legal and policy constraints it leaves for future administrations? Come hear the discussion, and bring questions of your own.


John B. Bellinger, IIIPartner, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer; Legal Adviser to Department of State (2005-2009); Senior Associate Counsel to the President and Legal Adviser to the National Security Council (2001-2005)
Ryan Goodman -- Professor, NYU Law; Special Counsel to the General Counsel, Department of Defense (2015-16); founding co-editor-in-chief of Just Security blog (moderator)
Lisa Monaco – Distinguished Senior Fellow and adjunct professor, NYU Law; Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (2013-2017); Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Department of Justice (2011-2013);
Kathryn Ruemmler, Partner and global Co-Chair of the White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice, Latham & Watkins; White House Counsel (2011-2014); Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice (2009-2011)


November 8

Latham & Watkins Forum - A New Vision for the 21st Century Prosecutor: Perspectives of Reform Leaders

Local elections over the past few years have ushered in a new generation of elected prosecutors committed to changing their office culture, enhancing accountability, and promoting a less punitive and more prevention-oriented approach to addressing crime. What does it mean to be a prosecutor who embraces this new criminal justice thinking?  How does a prosecutor who seeks to change entrenched practices go about doing so, and what challenges do they face? This program brings together two reform-minded criminal-justice practitioners—Marilyn J. Mosby, Baltimore’s chief prosecutor; and Larry Krasner, a candidate for that position in Philadelphia—as well as the head of Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP), a national organization dedicated to changing the field of prosecution and supporting elected prosecutors committed to moving away from past incarceration-driven practices. They will engage in a conversation about how to implement this new vision. There will also be discussion about FJP’s Summer Fellows program.


Larry Krasner, Democratic nominee for Philadelphia District Attorney

Miriam Krinsky, Executive Director, Fair and Just Prosecution
Marilyn J. Mosby, State's Attorney, Baltimore City, Maryland
Tony Thompson, Professor of Clinical Law; Faculty Director of the Center on Race, Inequality and the Law (moderator)


November 15

Latham & Watkins Forum - Reflections on Law, Business, Football, and More: A Conversation with Stephen M. Ross and Martin Edelman

Building on tax expertise he gained at NYU Law, Stephen M. Ross LLM '66 became a pioneer in the affordable housing business and then broadened into the development of a variety of major real estate projects. With the Hudson Yards project on Manhattan’s West Side, The Related Companies, which Ross founded and chairs, is now overseeing the largest private real estate development in US history and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center. Along the way, Ross has picked up a football team (the Miami Dolphins) and received numerous honors for his business, civic, and philanthropic activities. Ross’s longtime friend and adviser Martin Edelman has combined a sophisticated law practice with strategic counseling to an extraordinarily broad range of clients and entities, ranging from the US military and military families to business and government leaders in the Middle East and elsewhere around the globe. At this Forum, Dean Trevor Morrison will engage Ross and Edelman in a discussion about their careers, as well as important social and policy issues they currently contend with in real estate, sports, and domestic and global politics.


Martin Edelman, Senior of Counsel, Paul Hastings
Stephen M. Ross '66, Chairman, The Related Companies
Trevor Morrison, Dean and Eric M. and Laurie B. Roth Professor of Law (moderator)


Spring 2018

January 24

#MeToo: Assessing a Movement in the Making

When the New York Times published its expose detailing decades of alleged sexual harassment and assault by Harvey Weinstein, it led to a cascade of similar accusations against other men and gave rise to the #MeToo movement. If, as some say, the movement marks a turning point for feminism, it is worth exploring how this came about, and where it might be headed. Does the power of a hashtag (and news reporting) highlight longstanding inadequacies of law in this area? Are employment attorneys and HR officials offering any different kind of advice in the wake of recent events? And what concerns does the movement raise--about due process for those accused of misconduct, about professional mentorship, and about sexuality and romance? At this Forum, legal scholars and practitioners will examine these issues, and more.

As always at Forums, time will be left for questions from the audience. If you would like to submit a question in advance of the discussion--anonymously or not--please write your question on a note card, place it in an envelope, and leave the envelope with Janou Hooykaas on the fifth floor in Vanderbilt Hall (outside Professor Daryl Levinson's office). Please do so by no later than noon on January 23. There may not be time to get to all questions.


Amy Adler, Emily Kempin Professor of Law, NYU School of Law
Linda Inscoe, Partner and Co-chair of the Employment Law Practice, Latham & Watkins
Melissa Murray, Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law (in residence at NYU School of Law) (moderator)
Marjorie Berman, Partner, Krantz & Berman


February 7

The New Tax Bill: Key Provisions, (Questionable) Assumptions, and Likely (Unintended) Consequences

The new tax bill is perhaps among the most consequential pieces of domestic legislation enacted in the last several decades, and will have significant effects on how business is done in the United States and abroad, on both federal and state government revenues, and on the distribution of resources.  In this session, a panel of four NYU Law faculty members who are among the leading experts on the bill will explain its major provisions and outline their concerns.  Topics will include the kinds of tax games that will likely proliferate, effects on income inequality and economic growth, state reactions, international ramifications, and more. The panelists (listed below) comprise four of the 13 tax law professors who co-authored a widely disseminated and cited analysis of the new tax law, titled “The Games They Will Play: Tax Games, Roadblocks, and Glitches Under the New Legislation.”


Lily Batchelder, Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law (@lilybatch)
David Kamin '09, Professor of Law (@davidckamin) (moderator)
Mitchell Kane, Gerald L. Wallace Professor of Taxation
Daniel Shaviro, Wayne Perry Professor of Taxation (@DanielShaviro; Start Making Sense blog)


February 21

Accountability in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Worries over “black box” systems, especially those involving machine learning and artificial intelligence, have spurred renewed efforts to increase transparency and accountability for public agencies adopting new technologies. From criminal justice to housing to education to health care, governments around the world are experimenting with and deploying automated decision systems in almost every aspect of their work, often without any accountability framework in place. Recently, the New York City Council passed the first general algorithmic-accountability legislation in the country. At the same time, the European Union has been moving forward on its own data accountability regime in the new General Data Protection Regulation. But what does it mean to hold a machine accountable? And how does this differ from the methods we currently use in law to hold humans accountable? How do traditional notions of fairness, due process, or equal protection play out within these new approaches? This Forum will bring together leading thinkers with a range of professional perspectives to discuss these issues—and answer audience questions.


Jason Schultz, Professor of Clinical Law, NYU School of Law, and Research Lead for Law & Policy at AI Now Institute @ NYU (moderator)
Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, Justice of the California Supreme Court
Rachel Goodman, Staff Attorney with the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program
Rashida Richardson, Legislative Counsel of the NYCLU


March 21

Is it Time for Regulators to Rein in Big Tech?

Consider these stats from a recent Wall Street Journal article: Google drives 89% of internet search; Facebook or one of its products is used by 95% of young adults on the internet; Google and Facebook receive 63% of online ad spending; Amazon accounts for 75% of e-book sales and 44% of all online commerce; Google and Apple operating systems run on 99% of mobile phones; Apple and Microsoft supply 95% of desktop operating systems. The market dominance of these companies—dubbed the “Frightful Five” by New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo—has prompted calls in the United States and elsewhere for more aggressive antitrust enforcement. Are these companies misusing their power, thereby stifling new market entrants and innovation? And do these companies present other concerns that ought to prompt government intervention, given their central role as disseminators of news (real and fake) and collectors of vast troves of personal data about users? At this Forum, experts in competition law, consumer protection, and technology will discuss these questions and more.


Scott Hemphill, Professor of Law, NYU Law (moderator)
Florencia Marotta-Wurgler, Professor of Law, NYU Law
Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia Law School


April 11

How Copyright Law Crafts the Contours of Technological Innovation and Design

When we think of the origin story for innovations and new technologies, we often imagine “eureka” moments of scientific insight or fancy startup demos pitched to VC funders. But more often than we’d like to admit, legal rules and restraints drive what engineers can and can’t build and which new platforms rise or fall. At this forum, Jason Schultz, professor of clinical law and co-director of the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy, will moderate a discussion on the ways in which copyright law has shaped Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley, and what the future holds as copyright law continues to adapt to an increasingly complex and global networked environment.


Samantha Fink Hedrick ’19, Cyberlaw Committee Co-chair, IPELS
Jason Schultz, Professor of Clinical Law, NYU Law
Fred von Lohmann, Former Director of Copyright, Google
Michael Weinberg, IP & General Counsel, Shapeways