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 2021 Schedule
Wednesday, September 29, 12:45–2:00 p.m.
As this month began, the Supreme Court's October Term 2021 was already shaping up to be incredibly consequential, with cases involving abortion, gun control, and immigration on the merits docket. Then came the 5-4 ruling declining to stay a Texas law that all but shuts down abortion in that state, highlighting the increasing centrality of—and controversy around—the Court's "shadow docket." Pending petitions will likely lead to justices to take additional hot-button cases for review. Panelists at this Forum—all close watchers of the Court, but from very different perspectives—will also discuss institutional aspects of the Court. For example, how monolithic is the 6-3 conservative majority? And why, according to SCOTUSblog statistics for last term, do male advocates before the Court outnumber females by nearly 4 to 1? What is the impact of expedited shadow docket review? Audience members may submit questions on the event registration form.
- Joan Biskupic, Legal Analyst, CNN; Author, The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of John Roberts (2019)
- Roman Martinez, Partner and member of Supreme Court & Appellate Practice, Latham & Watkins
- Troy McKenzie ’00, Professor of Law, NYU Law
- Melissa Murray, Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law, NYU Law (moderator)
Wednesday, October 13, 12:45–2:00 p.m.
“We, the investigators appointed to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, conclude that the Governor engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment under federal and New York State law. … We also conclude that the Executive Chamber’s culture—one filled with fear and intimidation, while at the same time normalizing the Governor’s frequent flirtations and gender-based comments—contributed to the conditions that allowed the sexual harassment to occur and persist. That culture also influenced the improper and inadequate ways in which the Executive Chamber has responded to allegations of harassment.”
Drawing on these findings and other reporting on allegations that ultimately prompted Governor Cuomo’s resignation, panelists at this Forum will discuss how workplaces—particularly those that hold themselves out as “demanding”—often also end up being demeaning. What leads to a workplace with this kind of culture? What are the tradeoffs for working to improve cultures from the inside versus calling out problems from the outside? Did the way things played out with Governor Cuomo represent a triumph or failing of #MeToo? What does a powerful, professional workplace of respect look like?
This program is co-hosted by the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network at NYU Law.
- Deborah Archer, Professor of Clinical Law and Co-Faculty Director, Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law, NYU Law; National Board President, ACLU (moderator)
- Christina Cauterucci, Senior Writer, Slate Magazine; Coverage includes “Andrew Cuomo’s Dinosaur Excuse”
- Debra S. Katz, Partner, Katz, Marshall & Banks; Practice concentrates on employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, and whistleblower claims
- Shelley Ross, President, The Cure Alliance; Former Executive Producer at ABC and CBS; Author of recent New York Times op-ed on sexual harassment
- Maria Vullo ’87, CEO, Vullo Advisory Services; Superintendent, New York State Department of Financial Services during Governor Cuomo’s administration (2016-2019)
Wednesday, November 3, 12:45–2:00 p.m.
Whether viewed from the perspective of copyright law, which values creativity, or First Amendment law, which prizes a robust marketplace of ideas and political discourse, memes matter. They are a paradigm of contemporary creativity, and a powerful form of contemporary speech, often with significant political consequences. Because of the fundamental role copying plays in their production and their reliance on the visual image, they are emblematic of current-day cultural expression. Indeed, memes herald a much larger shift that is underway in creativity across a range of areas, including music, dance, and visual art, making the issues memes present of increasing and widespread significance. At this Forum, Professors Amy Adler and Jeanne Fromer will draw on their combined expertise in the First Amendment, intellectual property, and art law to place a phenomenon of our digital era into a broader legal, historical, and cultural context. The discussion is based on their forthcoming article in the NYU Law Review.
Wednesday, November 10, 12:45–2:00 p.m.
At this Forum, Andrea Elliott, a Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times journalist will discuss her just-published book, Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City, which has been heralded as a ground-breaking chronicle of the role of race and wealth inequality in the United States today. The book follows Dasani, a girl growing up in Brooklyn, where her family deals with homelessness, the challenges of New York City’s education system, and the dysfunction of the child protection system. Weaving in the history of Dasani’s family, from the enslavement of her ancestors to the Great Migration north, Elliott documents the unbreakable bonds of a family and the government systems that seem to undermine them at every turn. Professionals intervened in this family’s life again and again. What lessons might be drawn from those interactions? Joshua Goldfein ’93, who represented Dasani’s family and has brought several class-action lawsuits against New York City on behalf of the homeless, will join the conversation, which will examine both the potential and the limitations of lawyers and journalists seeking to advance social justice. Chris Gottlieb ’97, co-director of NYU Law’s Family Defense Clinic, will moderate.
- Andrea Elliott, Investigative Reporter, New York Times
- Joshua Goldfein ’93, Staff Attorney, Homeless Rights Project, The Legal Aid Society
- Chris Gottlieb ’97, Co-Director, Family Defense Clinic, NYU School of Law (moderator)
Spring 2022 Schedule
Wednesday, February 9, 12:45–2:00 p.m.
As an institution that famously has no power over purse or sword, the US Supreme Court is particularly reliant on public confidence. But confirmation battles in in recent decades have routinely led to claims that the Court’s independence and integrity are being compromised by politics. Last April, Joseph Biden established a Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States, charging it with analyzing “the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform.” With Justice Breyer’s recent announcement that he will be retiring, debate over the Court and selection of its members has once again been thrust into the headlines. At this Forum, members of President Biden’s commission, which delivered its report in December, will assess the Court’s institutional standing and a range of measures that have been proposed to address it.
- Bob Bauer, Professor of Practice and Distinguished Scholar in Residence, NYU Law
- Olatunde Johnson, Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
- Caroline Fredrickson, Distinguished Visitor from Practice, Georgetown University Law Center; Senior Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice, NYU Law
- David Levi, Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
- Trevor Morrison, Dean
Eric M. and Laurie B. Roth Professor of Law, NYU Law (moderator)
- Richard Pildes, Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law, NYU Law
Thursday, February 24, 12:00–1:15 p.m.
In the face of Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s borders and the risk of expanded conflict in Europe, a panel of leading experts and former US diplomats will examine the current state of play, the domestic and international law issues involved, and the larger geopolitical and historical context of the crisis. Cohosted by the NYU Law Forum, the Reiss Center on Law and Security, and Just Security, the discussion will address key questions about the resilience of European security and NATO, the stakes for the major parties involved, and the tools available to the United States and its allies to address the risks.
- Dan Baer, Acting Director, Europe Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; former US Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, US Department of State
- Tess Bridgeman ’10, Senior Fellow & Visiting Scholar, Reiss Center on Law and Security; Co-Editor-in-Chief, Just Security; former Deputy Legal Advisor, National Security Council, Special Assistant to President Obama and Associate Counsel to the President
- Daniel Fried, Weiser Family Distinguished Fellow, the Atlantic Council; former Coordinator for Sanctions Policy, US Department of State; former Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, US Department of State; former US Ambassador to Poland
- Rose Gottemoeller, Steven C. Házy Lecturer, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University; former Deputy Secretary General of NATO; former Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, US Department of State
- Moderator: Viola Gienger, Washington Senior Editor, Just Security; Research Scholar, NYU School of Law; former Senior Editor/Writer, US Institute of Peace; former Pentagon and State Department Reporter, Bloomberg News
Thursday, March 3, 3:45–5:00 p.m.
ProPublica recently published a series of articles showing that many of the wealthiest Americans pay little or nothing in taxes. In some years, the series reported, the likes of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Michael Bloomberg didn’t pay a penny in federal income tax. This pointedly raises the question of whether our approach to taxing the rich—particularly the superrich focused on by ProPublica—is right as a matter of fairness and revenue policy. Politicians and policymakers have put forth a number of proposals that would impose higher taxes on the wealthy. At this Forum, a panel of expert will unpack the issues underlying this situation and discuss the pros and cons of ideas put forth to address it.
- Jesse Eisinger, Senior Editor and Reporter, ProPublica
- Ray Madoff ’84 LLM ’86, Professor, Boston College Law School
- Tabetha Peavey, Attorney Advisor, Tax Law Center, NYU School of Law
- Michael Strain, Director of Economic Policy Studies and Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Wednesday, April 6, 12:45–2:00 p.m.
What is an NFT, and why are people talking about them? In this Forum, Professors Amy Adler and Chris Sprigman—joined by Mitchell F. Chan, an artist and leading NFT innovator—will look at what NFTs do, and just as importantly, what they don’t do. They’ll discuss a number of recent NFT controversies and examine the role that NFTs are beginning to play in art markets. They will also review the intellectual property law, as well as other legal and social issues raised by NFTs, and venture some early predictions about whether NFTs will have enduring importance—and, if so, why. Professor Barton Beebe will moderate.
- Amy Adler, Emily Kempin Professor of Law, NYU Law
- Barton Beebe, John M. Desmarais Professor of Intellectual Property Law, NYU Law (moderator)
- Mitchell F. Chan, Artist
- Christopher Jon Sprigman, Murray and Kathleen Bring Professor of Law, NYU Law