Category Archives: Talks & Conferences

Jotwell Conference

Legal Scholarship We Like,
and Why It Matters

University of Miami School of Law
November 7-8, 2014

JOTWELL, the Journal of Things We Like (Lots), is an online journal dedicated to celebrating and sharing the best scholarship relating to the law. To celebrate Jotwell’s 5th Birthday, we invite you to join us for conversations about what makes legal scholarship great and why it matters.

In the United States, the role of scholarship is under assault in contemporary conversations about law schools; meanwhile in many other countries legal scholars are routinely pressed to value their work according to metrics or with reference to fixed conceptions of the role of legal scholarship. We hope this conference will serve as an answer to those challenges, both in content and by example.

We invite pithy abstracts of proposed contributions, relating to one or more of the conference themes. Each of these themes provides an occasion for the discussion (and, as appropriate, defense) of the scholarly enterprise in the modern law school–not for taking the importance of scholarship for granted, but showing, with specificity, as we hope Jotwell itself does, what good work looks like and why it matters.

I. Improving the Craft: Writing Legal Scholarship

We invite discussion relating to the writing of legal scholarship.

1. What makes great legal scholarship? Contributions on this theme could either address the issue at a general level, or anchor their discussion by an analysis of a single exemplary work of legal scholarship. We are open to discussions of both content and craft.

2. Inevitably, not all books and articles will be “great”. What makes “good” legal scholarship? How do we achieve it?

II. Improving the Reach: Communicating and Sharing

Legal publishing is changing quickly, and the way that people both produce and consume legal scholarship seems likely to continue to evolve.

3. Who is (are) the audience(s) for legal scholarship?

4. How does legal scholarship find its audience(s)? Is there anything we as legal academics can or should do to help disseminate great and good scholarship? To what extent will the shift to online publication change how people edit, consume, and share scholarship, and how should we as authors and editors react?

III. Improving the World: Legal Scholarship and its Influence

Most broadly, we invite discussion of when and how legal scholarship matters.

5. What makes legal scholarship influential? Note that influence is not necessarily the same as “greatness”. Also, influence has many possible meanings, encompassing influence within or outside the academy.

6. Finally, we invite personal essays about influence: what scholarship, legal or otherwise, has been most influential for you as a legal scholar? What if anything can we as future authors learn from this?

Mechanics:

Jotwell publishes short reviews of recent scholarship relevant to the law, and we usually require brevity and a very contemporary focus. For this event, however, contributions may range over the past, the present, or the future, and proposed contributions can be as short as five pages, or as long as thirty.

We invite the submission of abstracts for proposed papers fitting one or more of the topics above. Your abstract should lay out your central idea, and state the anticipated length of the finished product.

Abstracts due by: May 20, 2014. Send your paper proposals (abstracts) via the JOTCONF 2014 EasyChair page at https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=jotconf2014.

If you do not have an EasyChair account you will need to register first – just click at the “sign up for an account” link at the login page and fill in the form. The system will send you an e-mail with the instructions how to finish the registration.

Responses by: June 13, 2014

Accepted Papers due: Oct 6, 2014

Conference: Nov. 7-8, 2014
University of Miami School of Law
Coral Gables, FL

Symposium contributions will be published on a special page at Jotwell.com. Authors will retain copyright. In keeping with Jotwell’s relentlessly low-budget methods, this will be a self-funding event. Your contributions are welcome even if you cannot attend in person.

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We Robot Happened

And it was A Happening. The papers were strong, and the presentations if anything stronger. David Post wins for best line of the 2-day conference, and I’ll link here to his video when we have it up in a few days. (Unedited video can be found at the livestream site)

Meanwhile, however, we had some media at and around the event:

I really think it was the best We Robot yet. I should recover soon.

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We Robot is Today & Tomorrow

We Robot 2014 is happening today and tomorrow. We have a great lineup of papers, all of which you can download and read from our Program page. There you can also see our schedule, and follow along on the livestream or via our own proprietary live video feed. Everything will be broadcast except the demos, which take place in different rooms.

The papers seem strong this year, so there’s plenty to read and think about.

I co-authored a paper this year on “self-defense against robots,” which is a fun topic. The paper is actually quite a basic application of tort law to robot issues – it’s one of those papers you write to lay a foundation for other papers. But as far as I know, no one else had written it, so I hope it is useful.

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Debating Surveillance Next Monday

click for larger image

Click above for a larger image. Key facts are that it’s Monday March 31st, 12:30-1:50pm in the SAC-Law School Multipurpose room. And they’ll feed you lunch!

Posted in Law: Privacy, Talks & Conferences | 1 Comment

Speaking at American University on Friday

I’ll be presenting my latest draft paper, now entitled Regulating Mass Surveillance as Privacy Pollution: Learning from Environmental Impact Statements at a faculty workshop at the American University Washington College of Law at lunch time on Friday. So I’m off to DC early Thursday morning.

This will likely be my last chance to learn what I may need to do to punch up the paper before I send it out to law reviews, which I plan to do very soon. I’ll post a link to a draft of it here once I’ve incorporated the next round of comments.

As far as sending papers to law reviews is concerned, I’ve actually been very spoiled: almost all my work for the past decade has been book chapters or conference papers, so I have not had to send them out en mass to law reviews the way most law professors do most of the time. In fact, the last time I sent a paper out to law reviews seems to be … in 2003. (Has it really been that long?) And in that case, I was even luckier, as that paper was picked up by the Harvard Law Review.

I really think this is the best paper I’ve written in many years; that of course doesn’t necessarily tell one much about where it will end up. It isn’t short (23,000 words and counting), which is unfashionable. And I think it has two ideas, which could make it unwieldy. The political feasibility of what I propose is certainly open to question. But I think it might be somewhat original.

After this, there’s another paper in the pipeline on a very different topic. It’s good to think that I’m over the productivity hiccup caused by my aortic dissection almost exactly four years ago. Coincidentally, I had been scheduled to fly to DC on Feb. 12, 2010, the day I collapsed, but the conference I was planning to attend was snowed out. Had I gone, my aorta likely would have burst in the air, or I would have likely not gone to a hospital quickly enough had it happened in DC. In either scenario, I’d be dead as once it bursts you have less than an hour to be treated or it’s curtains.

So I guess I’m hoping it is the 2003 history, and not the 2010 history, that repeats itself.

Posted in Personal, Talks & Conferences | 2 Comments

Terrific We Robot 2014 Program

Registration is now open for We Robot 2014, April 4-5 here at U. Miami. Tickets are free, but seats are limited.

We have a terrific program planned:

Friday, April 4th

8:00 am Check-in and Breakfast

8:30 am Introductions
Welcome and Introduction of Sponsors
A Few Words from Our Sponsors
Introductory Remarks: A. Michael Froomkin, Program Chair

8:45 am Regulating The Loop
Meg Leta Ambrose, Communication, Culture, and Technology, Georgetown University
Discussant: Elizabeth Grossman, Microsoft Corp.

10:00 am Break

10:15 am Rethinking Models of Responsibility for Semi-Autonomous Robots
Jason Millar, Philosophy, Carleton University
Discussant: Peter Asaro, School of Media Studies, The New School for Public Engagement, Stanford Law School, International Committee for Robot Arms Control

11:30 am Break

11:45 am Robots as Labor Creating Devices: Robotic Technologies and the Expansion of the Second Shift
Ann Bartow, Pace Law School
Discussant: Jodi Forlizzi, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

1:00 pm Lunch

2:00 pm Panel on Robots and Social Justice
Moderator: Kate Darling, MIT Media Lab

  • The Canny Valley: Law, Ethics, and the Design of Robots Increasingly Able to Mimic and Invite Affection
    Kenneth Anderson, Washington College of Law, American University, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University, The Brookings Institution
  • Consumer Cloud Robotics and the Fair Information Practice Principles: The Policy Risks and Opportunities Ahead
    Kris Hauser, Computer Science and Informatics, Indiana University
    Andrew A. Proia, Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research, Indiana University
    Drew T. Simshaw, Center for Law, Ethics, and Applied Research in Health Information, Indiana University
  • Professional Ethics for HRI Research, Development, and Marketing
    Laurel D. Riek, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Notre Dame
    Don Howard, Philosophy, University of Notre Dame
  • Robots in School: Disability and the Promise (or Specter?) of Radical Educational Equality
    Aaron Jay Saiger, Fordham University School of Law

3:45 pm Break

4:00 pm Parallel Demonstrations

  • TeleRobotics
    Howard Jay Chizeck, Electrical Engineering & Bioengineering, University of Washington
  • Automated Algorithmic Software Trading Robots: Sousveillance, and Continuous Cloud Sync Audit Trails
    Avi Rushinek, University of Miami School of Business
    Sara Rushinek University of Miami School of Business

5:00 pm Survey: “So, What do YOU think a robot is?” A short quiz for the audience.
Bill Smart, Mechanical Engineering, Oregon State University

5:30 pm Reception

7:00 pm Birds of a Feather Sessions
@ Local restaurants


Saturday, April 5th

8:00 am Check-in and Breakfast

8:30 am Chief Justice John Roberts is a Robot
Ian Kerr, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Medicine & Department of Philosophy, University of Ottawa
Carissima Mathen, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
Discussant: Jack Balkin, Yale Law School

9:45 am Break

10:00 am When Robot Eyes Are Watching You: The Law & Policy of Automated Communications Surveillance
Kevin Bankston, New America Foundation
Amie Stepanovich, Electronic Privacy Information Center
Discussant: Neil Richards, Washington University School of Law

11:15 am Break

11:30 am Robotics and the New Cyberlaw
Ryan Calo, University of Washington School of Law
Discussant: David Post, Beasley School of Law, Temple University

12:45 pm Lunch

1:45 pm Prison of Our Own Making: An Expanded View of Automated Law Enforcement
Col. Lisa A. Shay, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, United States Military Academy
Woodrow Hartzog, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University
Col. John C. Nelson, English & Philosophy, United States Military Academy
Col. Gregory Conti, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science & Information Technology Operations Center, United States Military Academy
Discussant: Mary Anne Franks, University of Miami School of Law

3:00 pm Break

3:15 pm Panel on Domestic Drones
Moderator: Dan Siciliano, Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford Law School

  • Robots, Micro-Airspaces, and the Future of “Public Space”
    Peter Asaro, New School for Public Engagement, Stanford Law School, International Committee for Robot Arms Control
  • Risk, Product Liability Trends, Triggers, and Insurance in Commercial Aerial Robots
    David K. Breyer, Digital Risk Resources
    Donna A. Dulo, U.S. Department of Defense
    Gale A. Townsley, Severson & Werson PC
    Stephen S. Wu, Cooke Kobrick & Wu LLP
  • A Legal Framework for the Safe and Resilient Operation of Autonomous Aerial Robots
    Cameron R. Cloar, Nixon Peabody LLP
    Donna A. Dulo, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Self-Defense Against Robots
    A. Michael Froomkin, University of Miami School of Law
    Zak Colangelo, University of Miami School of Law

4:45 pm Final Remarks

Posted in Robots, Talks & Conferences | 1 Comment

Great List of Accepted Papers for We Robot 2014

I’m really proud of the great list of We Robot 2014 Accepted Papers.
I think this year’s conference is going to be the best one yet!

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