Author Archives: Michael Froomkin

About Michael Froomkin

A. Michael Froomkin is the Laurie Silvers & Mitchell Rubenstein Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Recent work on technology law includes articles on AI and medicine, on drones, and many articles about law and the Internet, and on technology and privacy. He is the founder and editor of the online law review Jotwell, The Journal of Things We Like (Lots). He is a founder (2012) and sometime Chair of the We Robot conference, which returns to Coral Gables in 2019. He is on the Advisory Boards of several organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Electronic Privacy Information Center. Prof. Froomkin is a non-resident Fellow of the Yale Law School Information Society Project and a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, of the University of Miami Center for Computational Science. Professor Froomkin’s publications are listed at http://law.tm/#pubs. Before entering teaching, Prof. Froomkin practiced international arbitration law in the London office of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. He clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, and Chief Judge John F. Grady of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois. Prof. Froomkin received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as Articles Editor of both the Yale Law Journal and the Yale Journal of International Law. He has an M.Phil in History of International Relations from Cambridge University in England, which he obtained while on a Mellon Fellowship. His B.A. from Yale was in Economics and History, summa cum laude, phi beta kappa with Distinction in History.

UMiami Law Has a New Dean: David Yellen

White smoke

White Smoke over the Vatican

UM President Julio Frenk writes:

I am delighted to announce that David Yellen, a distinguished and accomplished educator, mentor, author, and innovator has been named the new dean of the School of Law.

Dean Yellen previously served as dean and professor of law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law from 2005 to 2016 and is currently the chief executive officer of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver, an independent research center that works nationally to improve access to justice and effectiveness of the civil justice system.

While under his leadership, the Loyola University Chicago School of Law was often cited as one of the most innovative law schools, instituting a master’s level degree track for non-lawyers and implementing distance learning for the Juris Doctor program long before the COVID-19 pandemic forced higher education institutions to accelerate remote and hybrid learning environments. David Yellen, who also served as dean of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, where he held the Max Schmertz Distinguished Professorship, was often listed among the 25 Most Influential People in Legal Education by National Jurist magazine.

Following his tenure at Loyola, he was named president of Marist College from 2016 to 2019, where he led the planning for a new medical school for the institution. Among other notable appointments, he has been the Reuschlein Distinguished Visiting Professor at Villanova University School of Law and twice served as a visiting professor at Cornell Law School.

Eminently qualified to lead the School of Law into our centennial and beyond, Dean Yellen, whose expertise is in criminal law, earned his Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Princeton University and graduated cum laude from Cornell Law School. He also served as counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. He will take the helm of the School of Law on July 1.

I want to extend my sincere thanks to former Notre Dame Law Dean Nell Jessup Newton for her exemplary service and leadership as interim dean of Miami Law since September 1, and also my grateful appreciation to Professor Stephen Schnably for providing his steady hand as acting dean of the School of Law during the transition to the appointment of Dean Newton.

The School of Law search committee, expeditiously led by Guillermo Prado, vice provost for faculty affairs and dean of the Graduate School, did extraordinary due diligence in its national search for our new dean at the School of Law. Their selfless commitment to this important work is much appreciated.

Please join me in welcoming Dean David Yellen and his wife, Leslie Richards-Yellen, to the U.

Posted in U.Miami | Leave a comment

Florida Conservative Justices Can’t Wait to Get on Anti-Abortion Bandwagon

Florida Supreme Court Building 2011Most maps of the state of abortion law in the US usually show Florida as a state where abortion will still be legal after the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. That’s because Florida State Supreme Court precedent holds that abortion is a right protected under the Florida Constitution.

Indeed, the Florida Constitution, unlike the US federal Constitution, explicitly protects an individual’s right to privacy (against the state, not against private parties, alas).

As recently as February 2017, a majority of Florida Supreme Court justices supported abortion. The court struck down a law that required a woman seeking an abortion to wait at least 24 hours between meeting with a doctor and obtaining the procedure.

Justice Barbara Pariente quoted her late colleague Justice Shaw’s statement from In re: TW that the state privacy provision “is clearly implicated in a woman’s decision of whether or not to continue her pregnancy.”

But don’t let that fool you. In contemporary Florida, your rights don’t mean much.

Not only is the hard-right, DeSantis-appointed, conservative majority on the Florida Supreme Court ready willing and able to cast precedent to the wind when they feel like it, but according to the usually reliable Florida Bulldog, the Justices have already started drafting memos on how to overrule the state abortion-rights decision even though there is currently no such case before the court.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Florida | Leave a comment

Top Ten Signs You Might be at a Republican Seder

Matzoh

© 2009 David R. Tribble, Licensed via CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

10. They refuse to answer the four questions without a subpoena.
9. They demand a recount of the ten plagues.
8. They defend not increasing the minimum wage on the grounds that according to Chad Gadya it still costs only two zuzzimto buy a goat.
7. The afikomen is hidden in the Caymen Islands.
6. They refuse to open the door for Elijah until they see his immigration papers.
5. They attack Moses for negotiating a deal with Pharoah because why would we negotiate with our enemies?
4. They don’t understand why the Egyptians didn’t cure the plagues with hydroxychloroquine.
3. They omit the parts about slavery from the Haggadah because it reminds them of Critical Race Theory.
2. They keep saying “when do we get to the miracle of the Jewish space lasers?”
And the number one sign that you might be at a Republican seder:
1. They end the seder by singing “Next year in Mar-a-Lago.”

Stolen from Digby, which itself offers an appropriately tangled pedigree.

Update:Steve Sheffey wrote me to claim authorship, and to say he has a newsletter.

Posted in Completely Different | Leave a comment

On Juneteenth as a Federal Holiday

I’m fine with making Juneteenth a federal holiday, I just hope it won’t become an excuse for not making Election Day a federal holiday. I can just imagine the arguments: We just made another holiday, that’s enough for new holidays for the nexty 20 years, they cost too much money, etc. etc.

And I think making it easier for people to vote is forward-looking in an important way; yes, the right commemoration can be both forward- and backward-looking, but I still think an election day holiday is more important.

Posted in Politics: US | 1 Comment

Big Win for EFF and Everyone

The 11th Circuit ruled on Friday that law, and critical annotations to it, cannot be copyrighted. This bit is particularly good:

The general rule that legislative codifications are uncopyrightable derives from an understanding of the nature of law and the basic idea that the People, as the reservoir of all sovereignty, are the source of our law. For purposes of the Copyright Act, this means that the People are the constructive authors of those official legal promulgations of government that represent an exercise of sovereign authority. And because they are the authors, the People are the owners of these works, meaning that the works are intrinsically public domain material and, therefore, uncopyrightable.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, of which I’m an Advisory Board member, represented Public.Resource.Org and continues to represent them in their ongoing struggle to open access to privately drafted standards incorporated by reference in statutes and regulations.

Posted in Law: IP | Leave a comment