Lectures & Conferences: 2014 - 2015


Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
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Annual Distinguished Lecture featuring Professor Heather K. Gerken

The Interlocking Gears of Rights and Structure: Why the Critics are Wrong About US v. Windsor

heather gerkenThursday, October 2, 2014
12:45 - 2 p.m.
Sumner M. Redstone Building

BU Law welcomes Heather K. Gerken, J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law at Yale Law School, as our 2014 Annual Distinguished Lecturer.

While most academics have celebrated the result in United States v. Windsor, which struck down a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, they’ve disliked the reasoning. As soon as the opinion was released, commentators immediately condemned Justice Kennedy as a muddle-head and started squabbling over whether Windsor was “really” a rights opinion or a federalism opinion.

Professor Gerken will argue that this rigid insistence on an either/or approach, however, misses the crucial truth undergirding Windsor: the ends of equality are served by both rights and structure. In the marriage equality debate—as with so many others—federalism and rights have served as interlocking gears moving us forward. Kennedy’s opinion might not have been a model of clarity, but at least it recognized that important fact. Windsor is neither an equality opinion nor a federalism opinion. It is both. And that is precisely as it should be. The lecture will be published in the Boston University Law Review.

Past Annual Distinguished Speakers include:

  • William N. Eskridge, Jr., Yale University
  • Martha Albertson Fineman, Emory University
  • Michael J. Sandel, Harvard University
  • Kim Lane Scheppele, Princeton University
  • Reva Siegel, Yale University
  • Dean Harold Koh, Yale Law School
  • Kathryn Abrams, UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Judith Resnik, Yale Law School
  • John J. Donohue III, Yale Law School
  • Frank I. Michelman, Harvard University
  • John C. Coffee, Columbia University
  • G. Edward White, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Lawrence Lessig, Harvard University
  • Martha Minow, Harvard Law School
  • Michael J. Trebilcock, New York University Law School
  • Robert C. Post, UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School
  • Saul Levmore, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Carol M. Rose, Yale Law School
  • Richard A. Epstein, University of Chicago
  • Joseph Raz, Oxford University
  • Catherine A. MacKinnon, University of Michigan
  • Cass R. Sunstein, University of Chicago
  • Robert W. Gordon, Stanford University
  • Richard A. Posner, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals

To register for this event, please click here.

Abuse of Mentally Ill Patients at Bridgewater State Hospital: How the Media Can Help Medicine and the Law Protect Patients

The Eleventh Annual Pike Lecture, Featuring Michael Rezendes

Thursday, October 16, 2014
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Room L-112
BU Medical Schoolmichael rezendes
72 East Concord Street
Boston, MA 02118

The eleventh annual Pike lecture will feature Michael Rezendes, Boston Globe reporter. He will review a year of investigative reporting on the state's prison for the mentally ill and explain how his reporting led to revelations of major abuses - and significant reforms.

Rezendes is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who has played a key role in many of the Globe’s most significant investigations, including those probing the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, financial corruption in the nation’s charitable foundations, and the plight of mentally ill state prisoners. As a member of the Globe’s Spotlight Team he shared a 2003 Pulitzer Prize for investigating the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Rezendes was the lead writer and lead reporter on the opening story in the Globe's 2002 series, revealing that top Catholic officials had veiled the abuses committed by the Rev. John J. Geoghan, a Boston priest who molested more than 100 children in six parishes over three decades. In addition, Rezendes broke the stories about similar cover-ups by Church officials in New York City and Tucson, Arizona. More recently, Rezendes has uncovered the widespread abuse of mental health patients at Bridgewater State Hospital, including the soaring use of isolation and restraints, and the death of a 23-year-old mental health patient who was killed while prison guards were placing him in four-point restraints.

To read Rezendes's articles about Bridgewater State Hospital, please click here and here.

The annual Pike Lecture on Health Law is held in honor of Boston University School of Law alumni Neal Pike (‘37), a distinguished lawyer and lifelong advocate for individuals with disabilities.

This event is open to the public.



Fundamentals of FInancial Services Compliance Keynote Address and Chief Compliance Officers Panel Discussion

martinOctober 21, 2014
2:45 pm - 5:00 pm
Metcalf Trustees Ballroom, One Silber Way

Martin Pfinsgraff, who serves as Senior Deputy Comptroller for Large Bank Supervision at the U.S. Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, will deliver the keynote address during the Fundamentals of Financial Services Compliance course, which is sponsored by BU Law's Graduate Program in Banking & Financial Law and The Clearing House Association. His talk will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Carol Hunly, executive vice president and chief compliance officer at Santander Bank; John Morton, senior vice president and chief compliance officer at Captial One; and Gillian Van Schaick, executive vice president and chief compliance officer at HSBC USA.

The keynote address and panel discusison are open to the public on a ticketed basis. Participants in the Fundamentanls of Financial Service Compliance course are guaranteed admittance. For more information, please email


BU Law Review Book Symposium On War Powers and the Constitution

A Symposium on Steve Griffin's Long Wars and the Constitution & Mariah Zeisberg's War Powers: The Politics of Constitutional Authority

Thursday, October 30, 2014
12:00 - 4:45 p.m.

Boston University School of Law
910 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston
(temporary faculty offices)

law review law review

Boston University School of Law is pleased to continue its series of symposia on significant recent books in law. The distinctive format is to pick two significant recent books that join issue on an important topic, to invite the author of each book to write an essay on the other book, and to invite several BU faculty to write an essay on one or both books. We then publish the pieces in Boston University Law Review.

The symposium will pair Stephen M. Griffin’s recent book, Long Wars and the Constitution (Harvard University Press, 2013) and Mariah Zeisberg’s new book, War Powers: The Politics of Constitutional Authority (Princeton University Press, 2013).

Stephen M. Griffin is Rutledge C. Clement, Jr. Professor in Constitutional Law at Tulane University Law School. He is also the author of American Constitutionalism: From Theory to Politics (Princeton University Press, 1996) and the co-editor of Constitutional Theory: Arguments and Perspectives (4th edition, Lexis 2014).

Mariah Zeisberg is Associate Professor in the University of Michigan Department of Political Science. War Powers: The Politics of Constitutional Authority was awarded the American Political Science Association’s Richard E. Neustadt Prize as the best book on executive politics published last year. She has written a number of articles in constitutional theory.

All—including not only professors, visiting scholars, law students, graduate students, and undergraduates but also alumni and members of the public—are welcome to attend. There is no registration fee, but if you plan to attend, please RSVP to Erin Lee, If you have academic questions about the program, please contact Professor James Fleming,


Killer Show: Litigation Strategies in the Aftermath of America’s Deadliest Rock Concert

The Annual Shapiro Lecture Featuring John Barylick

Monday, November 3, 2014
Talk: 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Reception: 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Room 211
Sumner M. Redstone Building
Boston University School of Law

765 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215John Berylick

On February 20, 2003 the deadliest rock concert in U.S. history occurred when a heavy-metal band, Great White, ignited pyrotechnics inside an overcrowded Rhode Island roadhouse called The Station. Within minutes, 100 persons were dead and hundreds more injured. Over the next seven years, criminal and civil actions arising from the fire would put Rhode Island's justice system to the test, as prosecutors and plaintiffs sought to hold responsible parties accountable.

BU Law Alum John Barylick is the attorney who represented victims in numerous wrongful death and personal injury cases arising from the Station nightclub fire. His work was instrumental in amassing 176 million dollars in settlements from persons and corporations responsible for the fire. Join us as he discusses his experiences litigating those groundbreaking cases.

The Max M. Shapiro Lecture, BU Law's principle endowed lectureship, serves as a tribute to the memory of Max Shapiro ('33), a lawyer who devoted his career to examining the place of legal ethics in trial advocacy.

Please click here to RSVP.


The Civil Rights Act of 1964 at Fifty: Past, Present, and Future

martin luther king and lyndon johnsonFriday, November 14 - Saturday, November 15, 2014
George Sherman Student Union Building
775 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
Event web page

This conference marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by bringing together a distinguished, interdisciplinary group of scholars to address fundamental questions about the past, present and future of this historic act. The conference will invite historical consideration of the relationship among social movements, activism and law reform.

Because the 1964 Act served as a template for subsequent civil rights laws, the conference will examine the evolution of prohibited classifications over time through amendments to the Act, judicial decisions and additional civil rights legislation. Speakers will address the problems that public agencies and private plaintiffs have confronted in proving discrimination under the 1964 Act and subsequent civil rights laws, and will consider contemporary challenges in addressing inequality.

The papers and proceedings will be published in Boston University Law Review.

For more information on the conference, please view the event web page or contact Professor Linda McClain.

This event is free and open to the public. To register, please click here.


Treasury's War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare featuring Juan Zarate, Senior Adviser, Transnational Threats Project and Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Program

Juan ZarateSpring 2015

Over the past decade, America has quietly and successfully waged a new kind of war against the financial networks of terrorist groups, rogue regimes, proliferators, and criminal syndicates. Juan Zarate—a former senior Treasury and White House official—was part of the small group of officials who dedicated themselves to leveraging financial power and influence globally to undermine America’s enemies. The result was a dramatic redefinition of financial warfare and the role of the Treasury department—one that utilized all of Treasury's power, influence, and relationships to dismantle illicit financial networks, stop terrorism, and influence geopolitics.

While making use of all of the tactics that government had developed over centuries, from sanctions to quiet diplomacy, Zarate and his colleagues also partnered with the private sector, creating an international financial environment in which the banks’ and multinational companies’ bottom lines dovetailed directly with national security interests, with the goal of isolating rogues from the legitimate financial system. Their approach soon became—and remains—central in navigating all the critical geopolitical challenges facing the United States, including terrorism, proliferation, and rogue regimes in North Korea, Iran, and Syria.

Treasury's War is the story of how these tactics were developed and brought to bear on some of the most dangerous and elusive criminal and rogue enterprises around the globe. Zarate gives us an insider’s view of one of the most potent yet least-examined strategies in the war on terror and American national security, and forecasts its future impact on our security and safety. It is a vitally important chapter in our nation’s history of warfare; one that, in many ways, is still being written. Zarate warns that other nations and organizations are beginning to learn these tactics. “The financial wars are coming,” he writes. “It is time to redesign a national economic security to prepare for them.”

Additional details will be posted as soon as they are available. This lecture is sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs and the National Security Law Society.



bioIP 2015 Faculty Workshop: Call for Abstracts

Thursday, May 7, 2015
Sumner M. Redstone Building

The American Society for Law, Medicine & Ethics (ASLME) is pleased to announce the first annual bioIP Faculty Workshop at Boston University School of Law.

The workshop will offer a unique opportunity for three junior scholars (in their first decade of teaching) to present their work in progress for in-depth critique and commentary by respected senior scholars in the field.

Topics for the workshop are at the intersection of biotechnology/life sciences/FDA and IP (hence, bioIP), broadly defined. A review committee will select papers for the workshop in a blind process. Papers should present an original thesis and contribute to scholarly literature. The workshop will not review published work.

Scholars with less than 10 years of teaching experience interested in having their papers reviewed should submit an abstract (up to 750 words) of the proposed paper (without identifying details) along with a CV to Ted Hutchinson, executive director of the ASMLE at by October 1, 2014. Selected abstracts will be announced later in Fall 2014 with the full draft papers due by April 1, 2015. The organizers will cover reasonable travel and lodging expenses. VAPs and fellows are eligible for the workshop.

The workshop committee consists of faculty from Boston University School of Law, Georgia State University College of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, and the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

For questions, please email Kevin Outterson,


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