Fordham Law to Graduate First Doctoral Candidates

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In June, Foteini “Fay” Teloni and Jing Cao will become Fordham Law’s inaugural graduates of its Doctor of Juridical Science program.

Teloni’s research asks how recent amendments to the Bankruptcy Code—the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act—have changed the way that bankrupt corporations reorganize under Chapter 11, and what these changes mean for investors.

“What I found particularly intriguing in Chapter 11 was this ‘bargaining’ that takes place among all stakeholders involved and the delicate balances whose shift to the one or the other direction may have the effect of dictating the outcome of the reorganization case,” Teloni said.

Teloni grew up in Lamia, Greece. She received an undergraduate degree and an LL.M. in commercial law from the University of Athens. She left Greece in 2009 and matriculated at Fordham Law in its Master of Laws program. She received an LL.M. in Banking, Corporate, and Finance Law and has been conducting research in the field ever since.

Cao’s Ph.D. research on the death penalty piqued her interest in the rationale behind life without parole sentencing, an alternative to the death penalty. Her S.J.D. dissertation argues that though the practice can be justified, commutation is applied inconsistently and often arbitrarily. In the paper, Cao suggests both substantive and procedural limitations on grants of clemency that she argues would ensure fairness and openness in life without parole sentencing. Specifically, she proposes a system of guided discretion that would control the executive’s decision on whether to commute the sentence of a life without parole inmate.

“There are valid arguments against life without parole as a sentencing policy, but any reconsideration should come through legislative and judicial action that will apply across the board. It should not come by way of individualized commutation decisions,” Cao said.

After finishing her S.J.D., Cao will become a full-time professor at Chinese University of Politics and Law’s Evidence Institute, where she will begin teaching Evidence Law in spring 2016.

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