Election night madness: Who will emerge as Salt Lake City’s new leaders?

October 30, 2015

One thing the Salt Lake City mayoral race hasn’t been this year? Boring. Former legislator Jackie Biskupski and incumbent Ralph Becker are expected to be down to the wire when the polls close on Nov. 3—and a number of other political races are also hotly contested. How will the results shape a number of Utah public policy issues? Matthew Burbank, an associate professor of political science, and Tim Chambless, a professor of political science, are available for election night commentary as well as analysis on election results.

Matthew Burbank Phone: 801-581-6313 | Email:
Tim Chambless Phone: 801-209-0931| Email:

University of Utah law professor Amos Guiora available to speak about attacks in Israel from his home near Jerusalem

October 13, 2015

Continuing violence in Israel resulted in more bloodshed on Tuesday, with the country’s public security minister, Gilad Erdan, calling for new options to increase security —including blocking off Palestinian suburbs east of Jerusalem.

Amos Guiora, a law professor at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, is an expert on counter-terrorism and national security and can speak about the latest violence in Israel. Guiora lives part-time in Israel, and is currently at his home about 10 minutes outside of Jerusalem. He is available to speak with media day or night by phone or Skype about witnessing the latest round of terror in Israel, which includes several stabbings a day on the streets and upwards of 30 injured in four terrorist attacks today. He can provide local context about the scene, as well as academic expertise on developing conversations on changing security in the region in the wake of the attacks.

Guiora has written for the New York Times about his past involvement in prisoner release negotiations for Israel. He served 19 years in the Israel Defense Forces and was involved in the release of Palestinian prisoners in his role as a judge advocate general. Guiora can offer commentary on the question of security amid the latest attacks and continuing violence in Israel.

Phone: 216-470-6386 | Email: | Skype: AmosGuiora

School discipline and American Indian students

September 21, 2015

Washington County school administrators made headlines this week when they asked an American Indian student to cut his mohawk, a hairstyle that is part of the 7-year-old’s culture as a member of the Seneca Nation of Indians. The administrators later backed down from the request. The incident in Southern Utah, however, is emblematic of a larger school discipline problem in Utah, which researchers at the U’s S.J. Quinney College of Law’s Public Policy Clinic studied earlier this year. The research revealed that school disciplinary actions handed down to students at Utah public schools disproportionately impacts American Indian children over all other ethnicities enrolled in the state’s public education system. Researcher and law student Vanessa Walsh found that although American Indian students comprise the smallest student demographic in Utah, they have the largest percentage of students referred to law enforcement and arrested at schools. This means such students often become part of the “school-to-prison pipeline,” which is a system of practices by school and law enforcement that steer schoolchildren out of the classroom and into the juvenile justice system. Walsh is available to talk about her research. A summit to delve further into this topic is planned at the law school later this fall.
Phone: 801-910-1503 | Email:

S.J Quinney’s Amos Guiora to speak at Utah Global Forum on Aug. 26

August 21, 2015

Law professor Amos Guiora, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Sen. Jeff Flake (R. Az.) will speak at the Utah Global Forum, which will facilitate a dialogue on how businesses can expand beyond local borders and develop a strategy of expansion into the global marketplace through importing opportunities and service exports. The program brings together experts from across industry, all with a single objective: move Utah businesses to the global business stage to meet the challenges of today’s business environment.

Salt Palace Convention Center, 100 S. West Template, 9:45 a.m.

College of Law to launch mobile home park help line

August 21, 2015

Law students this fall will play a role in a new initiative at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. Students will staff the mobile home park help line, providing information to residents and owners of Mobile Home Parks about their rights and responsibilities under the Mobile Home Park Residency Act. Since mobile homes are so expensive to move, it is crucial that disputes within the park be resolved and evictions and loss of major investments be avoided. A small team of students will work with supervising attorneys and clinical program director Linda Smith. The help line will provide students with hands-on experience with the intersection of technology and the practice of law. The project is funded in part by a grant from the Utah State Legislature.

Linda Smith | Phone: 801-581-4077 | Email:

Human sex trafficking

July 31, 2015

The U.S. State Department this week released its annual report on human trafficking, outlining human rights abuses of people forced into sex work. This year’s report included a section on slavery in the global supply chains of agriculture, fishing and aquaculture. Law professor Erika George has researched trafficking—a subject the law school will be sponsoring an event on later this year. She is available for comment on the recently released report, as well as a vote in Congress this week on a federal law that would model California’s transparency mandate for supply chains.
Phone: 801-581-7358 | Email:

Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment

June 26, 2015

A draft copy of Pope Francis’ much-anticipated encyclical on the environment has been gaining much attention worldwide this week. The document calls for urgent action to protect the Earth and fight global warming, a trend the pope declares is a result of the burning of fossil fuels and human activity. The document outlines Francis’ viewpoint on the scientific and moral reasons for protecting the environment. It states low-income people in the world suffer the most from air pollution and toxic dumping. Law professor Lincoln Davies can offer a local perspective on this developing news story and is available for interview. He previously organized a summit on religion, faith and the environment. A recognized expert in energy law and policy, Davies’ research spans a broad array of energy topics, including renewables and alternative energy, carbon capture and sequestration, nuclear power, utility law and regulatory and technology innovation.
Phone: 801-581-7338 | Email:

New digital collection at S.J. Quinney College of Law library

June 12, 2015

The S.J. Quinney Law Library Digital Collections Department at the U this week announced a new collection, the Jefferson B. Fordham (1905-1994) Digital Collection. The collection contains letters, speeches, articles and photographs, generously donated by the Fordham family. Fordham, a vocal supporter of individual rights and racial equality, dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s law school from 1952 until 1970, and professor of law at the U for more than 19 years, was a beloved member of the U’s law school community. The collection is designed to honor his memory as a dedicated educator and civil servant for generations to come. For more information, contact Valeri Craigle, associate librarian at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.
Phone: 801-585-5475 | Email:

The expiration of the Patriot Act and adoption of the USA Freedom Act: What does it mean?

June 12, 2015

The U.S. government temporarily had fewer avenues to investigate terrorism after the Senate let provisions of the Patriot Act expire at the beginning of June. Some saw the expirations as a national security risk, while others, who champion privacy, saw the expirations as a victory. Three provisions of the law expired, including the National Security Agency’s bulk data collection program, which let the NSA collect telephone metadata on people and store it for five years. Law enforcement also can’t get roving wiretaps to track terror suspects who change phones, and must now get warrants for each device they want to wiretap. The third provision that has expired is one that allowed so-called “lone wolf” terror suspects to be tracked if they weren’t part of a terror group such as the Islamic State group. But the expirations didn’t last long: The Senate this week met and passed the USA Freedom Act, which restored some surveillance measures. Shima Baradaran, an associate professor of law, can offer legal commentary about the laws and what they mean.
Phone: 801-587-8754 | Email:

Conflict minerals, companies and Congo

June 5, 2015

On June 1, companies across the U.S. will provide reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission documenting whether the products they manufacture contain minerals mined in Congo. It’s only the second time in history companies will file the disclosures. The issue of conflict minerals is gaining steam worldwide. In recent weeks, the European Union Parliament passed draft regulations related to cracking down on companies that use minerals in their products mined from Congo as a way to work toward improving human rights conditions in the war-torn region. An emerging voice in the conflict mineral debate is that of U’s S.J. Quinney College of Law professor Jeff Schwartz, who is scheduled to publish an article in the Harvard Business Law Review this fall. The article examines the inaugural data submitted by companies to the SEC—and whether the disclosures helped with supply chain transparency. Schwartz is available to discuss his research and current happenings related to the worldwide discussions about conflict minerals.
Phone: 801-581-3773 | Email: