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Featured Posts

Is Affirmative Action on the Way Out?

The latest Supreme Court decision in Fisher v. The University of Texas at Austin tightens the reins even further on race-based undergraduate admissions.

New Bill Increases Penalty for Child Trafficking in Connecticut

More than 130 children have been forced into sexual slavery in Connecticut in the last five years and the Connecticut legislator is doing something about it.

UConn Law Professor Speaks to Congress on Cybersecurity

While many lobby to limit the duty to disclose consumer data breaches, Dr. David Thaw warns against rewarding companies for bad investigations and eroding consumer protection.

Appeal from Second Circuit Striking Down Town Prayer

Congress has been opening with prayer since before the revolution, but in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the practice began in 1999 and may have been intended to favor one religion.

The Law Student's Guide to Creating a Strong Legal Resume

A legal resume has two parts: Education and Experience. Both can be added to and tweaked, without lying or exaggerating, and make you really stand out.

New Connecticut Law Limits Immigrants Turned over to ICE

This controversial new policy means that Connecticut authorities will only honor ICE detention requests for immigrants on terrorist watch lists, felons or those who meet other safety risks.

Law is a Personal Profession

Life has become less personal, but Law remains a personal profession and anyone can put themselves on the short list for a job by skipping email and applying in person.

How to Study in Your Car - Redeeming the Time

Whether you're driving or folding laundry, you can get ahead by listening to the right audiobooks and lectures. This article reviews of the best audio resources and explains how to get them.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

UConn Law Professor Testifies Before Congress on Cybersecurity

By Geoffrey J. Miller
Published in The Hartford Courant, Aug. 12, 2013.


Photo Credit: Dallas Business Journal
The U.S. House of Representatives recently invited six distinguished experts, including Professor David Thaw of the University of Connecticut School of Law, to give their opinions on a possible federal law that would govern when companies are required to notify consumers of data breaches. This is the fourth time in less than decade that such a law has been discussed.

When technology expands, the law slowly grows up around it. Often this results in what subcommittee chair Lee Terry (R-Nebraska) referred to as "a patchwork of state and territory-specific statutes...[that] tend to differ from each other in many ways."  This is the case for many laws governing the internet, including those that govern data breach notification requirements.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are currently forty-six state and four territorial breach notification laws; plus the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which applies only to medical information. Because a single online breach may affect consumers from all fifty states, it is easy to see how these different and sometimes contradicting laws can be a nightmare for companies who are faced with a security breach.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How to Have a Good Reputation in a World that Hates Lawyers

By Geoffrey J. Miller

It may not come as a surprise to hear that lawyers are not as esteemed as teachers and engineers, but according to Pew Research Center's latest poll, Americans believe that lawyers contribute less to society than every other major job category on the poll, including business executives.

This is a little sad when you consider how many lawyers dedicate their lives to improving society. Take, for example, India New England's 2012 woman of the year - Connecticut U.S. Attorney Krishna Patel. Patel has dedicated her life to ending child sex trafficking in the region. Or take Martha Stone - Executive Director and founder of Connecticut's Center for Children’s Advocacy. Not to mention that school segregation in the United States and slavery in England were both abolished by lawyers.


That said, lawyers have a long history of being disliked. As Abraham Lincoln put it:
There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest. I say vague, because when we consider to what extent confidence and honors are reposed in and conferred upon lawyers by the people, it appears improbable that their impression of dishonesty is very distinct and vivid. Yet the impression is common, almost universal.*
According to Pew Research Center, about one-in-five Americans (18%) say lawyers contribute a lot to society, about two-in-five (43%) say they make some contribution; and one third (34%) say that lawyers contribute not very much or nothing at all. This is not a new sentiment by any means, see this short television clip from 1992. The public's opinion of Journalists has also reached an all-time low, so by reporting on legal news, I probably run a high risk of being tarred and feathered in my driveway.

Lawyers are also seen as endless drains on the economy, increasing transaction costs and making everything more expensive. See The Cost of Accidents: A Legal and Economic Analysis, by Guido Calabresi. Many people also believe that lawyers make far more money than they really do. While a few lawyers make quite a lot starting out, the majority of new lawyers fall into the 50-60K range.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Connecticut Legalizes Mixed Martial Arts

By Geoffrey J. Miller

Photo Credit: Al Powers; ESPN.com
Despite noting that Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) was "not [his] cup of porridge," Connecticut Govenor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a new bill legalizing MMA competition throughout Connecticut. Previously MMA was limited to Indian Casino venues.  Lorenzo Fertitta, CEO of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), thanked Malloy for making Connecticut the forty-ninth state to allow MMA competitions.

A similar bill was introduced last year, but it died when Senate President Donald Williams and Majority Leader Martin Looney declined to put it up for a vote. This year's successful MMA bill was introduced in January by State Senator Andres Ayala and Representative Charles D. Clemons.  It passed in the house of Representatives with 117 votes of a possible 143.

Senator Ayala has been a particularly outspoken proponent of legalizing MMA.  He noted earlier this year that he would "work tirelessly for the remainder of the session to try and convince the leadership of the Senate that passing this bill...is the right thing to do and now is the time to do it.”