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"Newsweek" featured Elisabeth Haub School of Law distinguished fellow in criminal justice Mimi Rocah in "Trump is implicating Rudy Giuliani in the Ukraine bribery conspiracy"

12/02/2019

"Newsweek" featured Elisabeth Haub School of Law distinguished fellow in criminal justice Mimi Rocah in "Trump is implicating Rudy Giuliani in the Ukraine bribery conspiracy"

"If Trump is going to try to now put this whole Ukraine matter on him, Giuliani seems to be going along with that so far," Mimi Rocah, a former assistant U.S. attorney at the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and a distinguished fellow at Pace University's law school, told MSNBC.

...

"Giuliani is in this very precarious position for a lot of reasons," Rocah said on MSNBC.

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"Newsweek" featured Professor of Law Karl R. Rabago piece "America's Problems with Renewable Energy Can Be Solved by Building Way More Solar and Wind than We Need"

10/10/2019

"Newsweek" featured Professor of Law Karl R. Rabago piece "America's Problems with Renewable Energy Can Be Solved by Building Way More Solar and Wind than We Need"

The famous inventor Edwin Land said, "It's not that we need new ideas, but we need to stop having old ideas." He seemed to be telling us that solutions lie just beyond our old habits of thinking.

Cities, states and countries around the world are committing to clean energy economies that run on very high levels—even 100 percent—of renewable energy. In New York state alone, four competing bills target 50 percent to 100 percent renewables by or before 2040.

 

Realistically, only two renewable energy resources are large enough to meet these very high-penetration objectives on the supply side in the U.S.—solar (by far) and wind.

Both, however, are variable resources, driven by weather as well as daily and seasonal cycles. Therefore, they must be "firmed"—that is, capable of delivery power on demand—in order to replace fossil resources which can be dispatched as needed. Based on our research, we contend that this firm power transformation is not only possible, it is also affordable—if we stop having old ideas.

One entrenched, and very prevalent, idea—likely a result of historically high renewable energy prices—is that all the power generated by renewable resources must be sold as it is generated. The idea of discarding available wind or solar output is anathema, imposed on power producers when production from these sources exceeds what the grid can accept.

This old idea ignores a fundamental proposition: oversizing and proactively curtailing wind and solar. However counterintuitive, a study our colleagues and we conducted shows that these steps are the key to the least expensive path to an electric grid powered largely by solar and wind.

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"Newsweek" featured Lubin's clinical professor of Management Bruce Bachenheimer in "Uber's response to California Worker Bill is Legal Ploy That Denies Drivers Fair Deal"

09/17/2019

"Newsweek" featured Lubin's clinical professor of Management Bruce Bachenheimer in "Uber's response to California Worker Bill is Legal Ploy That Denies Drivers Fair Deal"

Uber's response to a landmark California bill seeking to strengthen benefits for workers in the gig economy is a "legal ploy," labor experts told Newsweek.

On Wednesday, the California Assembly passed AB5, a bill that would force a range of businesses to designate contractors, including ride-share drivers and food delivery workers, as employees and therefore offer them benefits. But ride-sharing company Uber responded to the legislation by claiming it would not reclassify its workers as employees — a move that necessitates claiming that its drivers are not a core component of its business. Lyft told Vox that it also did not plan to reclassify its workers. A Lyft spokesperson told Newsweek "our focus right now is on finding a new path forward and getting a deal done between us, Labor and the Governor."

"Claims that their workers aren't central to their business [are] broadly recognized as a legal ploy rather than an accurate description of their workforce," Erin Hatton, an expert on labor and labor movements at the University of Buffalo, told Newsweek.

The legislation, which Governor Gavin Newsom has said he intends to sign, codifies a test laid out in a California Supreme Court ruling last year. In order for a company to claim that a worker is a contractor, it must prove that the worker is a) free from the control and direction of the hirer b) the worker isn't performing work that is central to the company and c) the worker is engaged in an independently established trade.

Uber, which did not respond to Newsweek prior to publication, has said that it can pass the so-called ABC test to and claim its workers are contractors.

Valerio De Stefano, a professor of labor law at Belgium's University of Leuven, disagreed.

"Being able to decide your own hours is not the final criteria on which you decide whether somebody is an employee or not," de Stefano said. He described what Uber and Lyft are trying to accomplish with their efforts as "schemes that basically circumvent the law" by "using the workers as if they were their employees" — a model he said is "not a fair deal" for contractors.

Other states, including Massachusetts, Virginia and New Jersey, already have some form of ABC law in place, according to the Verge, and de Stefano said that other states would likely follow suit.

While labor advocates have cheered the law, others have raised concerns that it could be damaging to the flexible schedules of contractor work and thereby limit worker freedom. The legislation will likely have wide-ranging impacts, affecting companies far beyond Lyft and Uber, leading some experts to raise questions about how to improve regulation without being overbearing.

"Is clamping down on this hurting progress and the evolution of the market?" Bruce Bachenheimer, a clinical professor of Management at Pace University said to Newsweek.

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"Newsweek" featured Pace University's Elisabeth Haub School of Law's Distinguished Criminal Justice Fellow Mimi Rocah in "William Barr Accused of Making It Seem Like He Doesn't Oversee Bureau of Prisons after Epstein's Death"

08/14/2019

"Newsweek" featured Pace University's Elisabeth Haub School of Law's Distinguished Criminal Justice Fellow Mimi Rocah in "William Barr Accused of Making It Seem Like He Doesn't Oversee Bureau of Prisons after Epstein's Death"

Epstein was being held at MCC while he was awaiting trial, and as part of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the New York facility is overseen by Barr and the Justice Department. Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, where Epstein was charged with child sex trafficking last month, suggested the attorney general was blurring those lines.

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"Newsweek" featured Pace University's Elisabeth Haub School of Law criminal justice fellow Mimi Rocah in "Legal Experts Have 'Zero Confidence' in William Barr After Report He Won't Recuse Himself From Jeffrey Epstein Case"

07/10/2019

"Newsweek" featured Pace University's Elisabeth Haub School of Law criminal justice fellow Mimi Rocah in "Legal Experts Have 'Zero Confidence' in William Barr After Report He Won't Recuse Himself From Jeffrey Epstein Case"

Legal experts have raised concerns over a report that Attorney General William Barr will not recuse himself from a new case against billionaire and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

Barr decided Tuesday against recusing himself, after assessing the situation with career ethics officials at the Department of Justice, an anonymous department official told media outlets including Bloomberg and CNN. Barr said yesterday that he had removed himself from the case as Epstein in the past retained attorneys from the law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where Barr previously worked as counsel.

However, Barr will remain recused from any retrospective review of the Justice Department's decision more than a decade ago that allowed Epstein, who faced allegations of federal sex trafficking offenses in Florida, to avoid federal charges.

Epstein's case has drawn even great scrutiny because Trump's Labor Secretary Alex Acosta was the top federal prosecutor in Miami and approved the controversial deal letting Epstein plead guilty to two state charges of soliciting a prostitute. Epstein served 13 months in a prison in Florida but was released to conduct business most days.

Among former federal prosecutors alarmed at the reports that Barr would not recuse himself is Mimi Rocah, who served as an assistant attorney in the Southern District of New York.

"The line being drawn here makes no sense. This is very concerning," tweeted Rocah, who also serves as an NBC News and MSNBC legal analyst.

In an opinion piece published in the Daily Beast Monday, Rocah wrote that Barr could run interference in the new Epstein case because he is the head of the whole Justice Department, including the Southern District of New York, which she said is playfully called the "Sovereign" district.

"While it pains me to say this, given Barr's conduct in the past acting more as a defense attorney for Trump than an overseer of justice, I am concerned that Barr might interfere if he thought that Epstein might implicate Trump, who was friends with Epstein," Rocah wrote.

Rocah noted that Barr in his confirmation hearings said he might recuse himself from matters relating to Epstein because of the Kirkland & Ellis affiliation. "Now would be a good time to know if Barr followed through on that," Rocah wrote.

Trump met Epstein in the late 1980s and in 2002 called him a "terrific guy" and said "he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side." On Tuesday, Trump said he had not spoken to Epstein in about 15 years after a falling out and said he was "not a fan" of the hedge fund manager. Trump added that Acosta has been "just an excellent secretary of labor" and that he will be looking "very closely" at Epstein's first case.

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"Newsweek" featured Pace University's Clinical Associate Professor of History Maria Iacullo-Bird in "Why Prohibition failed"

01/17/2019

"Newsweek" featured Pace University's Clinical Associate Professor of History Maria Iacullo-Bird in "Why Prohibition failed"

On January 16, 1919, Congress announced that in one year’s time, the United States would go dry. According to the 18th Amendment, ratified on that day, the manufacture, sale or transportation of “intoxicating liquors” would be prohibited in the United States. The era of Prohibition had begun.

“In looking at the Prohibition reformers, there was very much an idealism that infused them. They believed that by eliminating alcohol, you would then have this improved society,” Professor Maria Iacullo-Bird told Newsweek. Iacullo-Bird is a Clinical Associate Professor of History at Pace University and serves as the Arts and Humanities Chair for the Council on Undergraduate Research.

The following year, the 18th Amendment was strengthened by the passage of the National Prohibition Act, also known as the Volstead Act. It defined what the government would label as “intoxicating liquors” as any liquid containing "one-half of 1 per centum or more of alcohol by volume.” The Volstead Act enabled the government at both the Federal and state level to enforce the policy of Prohibition.

To understand how Prohibition came to be, Iacullo-Bird pointed out the crucial push from movements beginning in the 19th century, such as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League.

“It becomes part of the movement for reform, in what we would call antebellum America, before the Civil War, you see the emergence of temperance,” Iacullo-Bird said.

Through religious groups, the temperance movement arose, taking a critical view of alcoholic consumption. Some members of temperance groups blamed drinking for what they perceived as the downslide of American society, particularly traditional family life.

“The very shrewd, strategic efforts of the Anti-Saloon League, really see an alliance also with other groups in society, who are intent on reform,” Iacullo-Bird explained.

Prohibition proponents gained further momentum through ties with the populist and progressive movements, which had expanded throughout the nation by the early 20th century. While the central aim of reform movements active prior to Prohibition were varied, they shared a common purpose.

“Throughout the whole strain of this, going back even to the 1800s, there’s this notion of perfectibility—how to help people be better, and of course then bring that perfectibility to American society,” Iacullo-Bird said.

Iacullo-Bird attributed the failure of Prohibition to a number of critical missteps.

First, though the Volstead Act enabled both the Federal and state governments to enforce the policy of Prohibition, the level to which each state carried out these policies varied wildly.

Parts of the country where the temperance movement enjoyed a stronghold, and where Prohibition laws were already on the books, such as Oklahoma and Kansas, largely maintained the social order that was in place before the implementation of Prohibition on the Federal level. For other states, however, the policy proved to be a major shift to the status quo.

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"Newsweek" featured Pace Haub Law School Professor Mimi Rocah in "Donald Trump-Paul Manafort Legal Arrangement Was Straight Out Of a 'Mafia' Case Says Former Federal Prosecutor"

11/29/2018

"Newsweek" featured Pace Haub Law School Professor Mimi Rocah in "Donald Trump-Paul Manafort Legal Arrangement Was Straight Out Of a 'Mafia' Case Says Former Federal Prosecutor"

The information exchange deal between the lawyers of President Donald Trump and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was a type of legal activity seen in organized crime cases, according to a former federal prosecutor on Wednesday.

Mimi Rocah, who served as an assistant U.S. attorney for New York’s Southern District before becoming Pace Law School’s distinguished fellow in criminal justice, compared the joint defense agreement to “conduct in Mafia cases.” Rocah served the Southern District for over 16 years and led several organized crime cases and was the head of the district’s organized crime and racketeering unit.

“I saw this conduct in Mafia cases. At a minimum, it’s unethical and not normal. I would want to know more before concluding (as the article does) that this ‘violated no laws,’” Rocah tweeted.

Rocha later clarified that she learned the arrangement was not technically unethical, but again stressed the need for more context to properly assess.

“Clarifying something based on comments from several white collar defense lawyers I know & respect: a cooperator's lawyer sharing certain information with a subject or target's lawyer is not per se unethical. It depends again on the facts: context, what was said, promised, etc.,” she said.

Rocah was responding to a New York Times report published Tuesday about Manafort’s attorney, Kevin Downing, briefing Trump’s lawyers, like Rudy Giuliani, about what special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators were speaking to Manafort about. The briefings occurred after Manafort had reached a plea agreement with Mueller, according to the report.

The arrangement reportedly angered Mueller’s team and may have led to a new filing this week against Manafort accusing him of lying to investigators again and voiding his cooperation deal. It’s unclear exactly what the special counsel’s office believes Manafort has lied about since he started cooperating earlier this year, but Mueller’s team are expected to issue a new filing before Manafort is sentenced.

“He wants Manafort to incriminate Trump,” Giuliani told The Times.

Manafort’s attorney reportedly told Trump’s team that the special counsel often asked if the president knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting set up by his son, Donald Jr., with the intent of gaining political opposition research on Hillary Clinton from Kremlin-linked Russians.

The president himself appeared Tuesday to allude to some inside information about what the special counsel was investigating while accusing Mueller of treating people “viciously” and “ruining lives.”

“The Phony Witch Hunt continues, but Mueller and his gang of Angry Dems are only looking at one side, not the other. Wait until it comes out how horribly & viciously they are treating people, ruining lives for them refusing to lie. Mueller is a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue.…” Trump tweeted.

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