‘Constructing Truth’ Shows Students Criminal Law Spectrum


New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., four federal court judges, and an impressive array of legal practitioners and scholars will share insight into a wide breadth of issues during Professor Deborah Denno’s “Constructing Truth: Criminal Law in Flux” speaker series on Tuesdays this fall at Fordham Law.

Students in the Fordham Law Series on Advanced Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure will not only learn about today’s pressing criminal law questions but also converse with the experts pushing important policies forward.

“This seminar gives my students an opportunity to see a side of themselves they didn’t know existed,” said Denno, Arthur A. McGivney Professor of Law. “They really engage with the speakers, and they come out of this seminar seeing how capable they are.”

On Tuesday morning, Vance will speak about criminal justice issues facing the city, county, and beyond. Limited seating is available. Anyone interested in attending is asked to email Professor Denno.

Among the topics students will learn about this semester is Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin’s landmark ruling in Floyd v. City of New York, which said that the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies violated the constitutional rights of minorities. Scheindlin, formerly of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, will speak about the impact Floyd has had on policing in the three years since her ruling and the impact she hopes it will have in the future.

“I could talk about stop-and-frisk and talk about her case, but who better to discuss it than Shira Scheindlin, the judge who wrote the decision,” Denno said.

Other talks will focus on criminal justice and race, philosophy, statistics, and social science research. Denno highlighted a 2013 talk by Joshua R. Sanes, director of the Center for Brain Science at Harvard University, as an example of the give-and-take the seminar speeches inspire.

Following is a list of the series schedule:

Aug. 30 – New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. on Criminal Justice Issues
Cyrus Vance Jr., District Attorney, New York County

Sept. 6 – Betwixt and Between: The Murky World of Title IX, College Campus Sexual Assault, Criminal Law, and Due Process
Priya Chaudhry, Partner, Harris, St. Laurent & Chaudhry LLP

Sept. 13 – Sentencing Under the Federal Guidelines
Hon. John F. Keenan, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

Sept. 20 – Misdemeanorland
Issa Kohler-Hausmann, Associate Professor of Law, Yale Law School; Associate Professor of Sociology, Yale University

Sept. 27 – Digital Information, Courts, and the Fourth Amendment
Hon. Debra Ann Livingston, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; Paul J. Kellner Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Oct. 4 – Conspiracy as Contract
Laurent A. Sacharoff, Associate Professor, University of Arkansas School of Law

Oct. 11 – What is Punishment?
Michael T. Cahill, Co-Dean and Professor of Law, Rutgers Law School

Oct. 18 – Floyd and its Aftermath—Where We Were, Where We Are, Where We Hope to Be
Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin (Ret.), United States District Court for the Southern District; Member, JAMS Panel of Neutrals, NYC; Of Counsel, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

Oct. 25 – Innovation in Crime Fighting
Zachary Tumin, Deputy Commissioner, NYPD

Nov. 1 – Bail Notification: The Power of Community Bail Funds
Jocelyn Simonson, Associate Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School

Nov. 15 – Contemporary Armed Conflict and the Non-State Actor
Claire O. Finkelstein, Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy; Director, Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Nov. 29 – How Much are Judges to Blame for Mass Incarceration?
Hon. Jed S. Rakoff, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York


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