Frances Lewis Law Center

Faculty News

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Professor Sam Calhoun’s Article a Top Ten SSRN Download

A new article by Washington and Lee law professor Sam Calhoun, published in the Washington and Lee Law Review Online, is a top ten download on SSRN. The article, “If Separation of Church and State Doesn’t Demand Separating Religion from Politics, Does Christian Doctrine Require It?,” is a response to several reactions to Prof. Calhoun’s … Continue reading Professor Sam Calhoun’s Article a Top Ten SSRN Download

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Professor Mark Drumbl Lectures in Cambridge and The Hague

Mark Drumbl gave a public lecture at Cambridge University on January 18, 2019. He presented his research on the war crime of intentional destruction of cultural property. Audio of the lecture is available here. Publication of this project is forthcoming in the Journal of International Criminal Justice. Drumbl begins in Timbuktu, Mali, where in 2012 … Continue reading Professor Mark Drumbl Lectures in Cambridge and The Hague

Monday, October 29, 2018

Professor Mark Drumbl gives lectures in Australia, Kenya, Czech Republic

Mark Drumbl taught an intensive course on ‘Victims, International Law, and Mass Atrocity’ at Monash University in Melbourne Australia in August 2018. While there, he also had a chance to visit Griffith University in Brisbane Australia where he participated in a book launch and also gave a talk on a recent project he has begun … Continue reading Professor Mark Drumbl gives lectures in Australia, Kenya, Czech Republic

Monday, October 29, 2018

Professor Michelle Drumbl Presents on Taxpayer Rights

Washington and Lee law professor and Tax Clinic director Michelle Drumbl presented at Temple Law School on Oct. 26 as part of the Temple Law Review symposium, “Taxpayer Rights in the United States: All the Angles.” Prof. Drumbl appeared on the panel “Operationalizing Taxpayer Rights: IRS Efforts and Experiences of Lawyers Who Represent Clients Pro … Continue reading Professor Michelle Drumbl Presents on Taxpayer Rights

Friday, October 05, 2018

Professor Chris Seaman Presents Empirical Review of Trade Secret Litigation to Philadelphia IP Law Association

Washington and Lee Law Professor Chris Seaman presented an empirical review on trade secret litigation in federal court under the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 to the Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association (PIPLA) at on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.  Professor Seaman’s empirical research on trade secret litigation (with co-author David Levine) was recently published … Continue reading Professor Chris Seaman Presents Empirical Review of Trade Secret Litigation to Philadelphia IP Law Association

Recent Publications

Sarah C. Haan

Facebook and the Identity Business

Facebook revealed in September 2017 that Russian-linked groups had waged a disinformation campaign on its platform to influence the 2016 election. The news caused public outcry and led to a series of self-regulating responses from Facebook and other social media companies. In a new work-in-progress, I will examine Facebook’s regulation of political speech and, more broadly, what it means for political discourse to be regulated through private ordering by a global, profit-seeking, public company. My conclusions are different from those of some other scholars, in part because I give sharp focus to Facebook as a business actor.

Sarah C. Haan

Facebook's Alternative Facts

In this short essay, I argue that Facebook’s adoption of the alternative-facts frame potentially contributes to the divisiveness that has made social media misinformation a powerful digital tool. Facebook’s choice to present information as “facts” and “alternative facts” endorses a binary system in which all information can be divided between moral or tribal categories—“bad” versus “good” speech, as Sandberg put it in her testimony to Congress. As we will see, Facebook’s related-articles strategy adopts this binary construction, offering a both-sides News Feed that encourages users to view information as cleaving along natural moral or political divisions.

Nora V. Demleitner

Is Supervised Release Tolled Retrospective to the Start of an Unrelated Detention if the Defendant Is Credited with Time Served upon Sentencing for the New Offense?

The district court sentenced Jason Mont for violating his supervised release conditions after a state conviction and sentence that credited him for time in pretrial detention served while he was on supervised release. Mont challenges the court’s exercise of jurisdiction, arguing that 18 U.S.C. § 3624(e) does not permit the court to reach backward to find that supervised release was tolled once he received credit for his pretrial detention at sentencing. Petitioner and respondent disagree about the interpretation of the language and structure of Section 3624(e). While the government relies heavily on the purpose of supervised release, petitioner notes that the district court could have prevented its jurisdiction from lapsing had it issued a summons or warrant prior to the end of his supervised release, as indicated in 18 U.S.C. § 3583(i). Such summons or warrant would have allowed the court to hold the violations hearing even after supervised release ended.

Michal Buchhandler-Raphael

Drugs, Dignity and Danger: Human Dignity as a Constitutional Constraint to Limit Overcriminalization

This Article proposes a constitutional constraint to limit criminalization of victimless crimes and, particularly, to alleviate the pressures on the criminal justice system emanating from its continuous “war on drugs.” To accomplish this goal, the Article explores the concept of human dignity, a fundamental right yet to be invoked in the context of substantive criminal law. The U.S. Supreme Court’s jurisprudence invokes conflicting accounts of human dignity: liberty as dignity, on the one hand, and communitarian virtue as dignity, on the other. However, the Court has not yet developed a workable mechanism to reconcile these competing concepts in cases where they directly clash. This Article proposes guidelines for balancing these contrasting interests and then applies them to drug crimes, illustrating that adopting such guidelines would result in constraining the scope of substantive criminal law.

Michal Buchhandler-Raphael

Fear-Based Provocation

This Article offers three major contributions to challenge existing view of provocation: first, it considers psychological research that found that fear, similarly to anger, may also significantly interfere with individuals’ decision making processes by disturbing rational judgment, therefore sometimes leading to lethal aggression. Second, drawing on this research, this Article argues that provocation doctrine should be reconstructed to also include a fear-based prong. Third, recognizing fear-based provocation calls for rejecting the loss of control paradigm that currently dominates judges’ and jurors’ perception of the defense. In its place, this Article advocates focusing on the fearful defendant’s fear of violence threatened by the deceased that caused a significant impairment in the defendant’s thought processes, resulting in obscured judgment and reasoning. The reconstructed defense would also include an objective component, under which, the defendant would have to prove that a person of ordinary disposition would also experience such emotion and respond rashly without exercising reason and judgment.