Faculty scholarship and activities
Professor; Associate Director, Institute for Dispute Resolution
- “Toyota, Tiger – Here’s how to apologize” (March 3, TheStreet.com)
Cohen explained what makes an effective apology in the world of corporate business. “Apologizing is a humbling step that gives the people you’ve offended some power over you,” says Jonathan Cohen, a law professor at University of Florida who studies the legal aspects of apologies. “There’s a particular drama that comes when it’s very powerful people who are taking that step in the public eye.” “The biggest mistake people typically make is waiting too long to apologize, meaning they do it reactively once the issue has broken out, almost like a type of damage control,” Cohen says. “The best way when corporations discover a problem is to proactively accept responsibility for the problem.”
Legal Skills Professor
“Broward judge accused of inappropriate relationship with prosecutor” (March 4, Sun Sentinel)
Dekle explained that the numerous phone calls and text messages exchanged between the judge and prosecutor could cause concern and gives an appearance of impropriety. “That’s a lot of talking. They certainly created a situation that would cause someone to ask questions,” said Bob Dekle, a University of Florida law professor. “Whether they were talking about the case or not they were engaging in activity that could cause concern to the people on the other side, it’s called an appearance of impropriety.”
“McCollum tarred by bogus claim” (March 7, Miami Herald/St. Pete Times)
Dilley said it was a stretch to describe AG Bill McCollum’s votes as an attack on Social Security. Patricia Dilley, a University of Florida law professor who helped write Social Security legislation in the 1980s, said it was a stretch to describe the votes in such stark terms. “There is not a vote in here directly to dismantle Social Security,” she said.
- Presented “The Dormant Commerce Clause and Water Export” at the American Bar Aassociation 28th Annual Water Law Conference, San Diego, Feb. 19.
Professor; Stephen C. O’Connell Chair
- Presented “Anonymity in Cyberspace at the University of North Carolina School of Law” in February
- Moderated two panel discussions at UF’s Music Law conference
- Spoke on a panel discussing Janet Adelman’s Blood Relations at “Convergences and Conversions: The Merchant of Venice Into the 21st Century” on March 2
- Presented “Anonymity in Cyberspace at the University of Missouri Law School” on March 5
- Has been guest blogging for PrawsfsBlawg since January
Emeritus Professor; Alumni Research Scholar
“UPDATE: With Crist an hour away, Spence-Jones has big day in court” (Feb. 26, Miami New Times)
Little described the constitutionality of Gov. Crist’s decision to suspend City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones after she was charged with grand theft. Joe Little, a constitutional law professor at the University of Florida, calls the governor’s actions “baloney.” “The constitution is discreet and specific and it’s indicted,” he said. “If this woman has only been informed, then the governor’s constitutional powers haven’t been triggered.”At the last hearing, where Bedard’s request for an emergency injunction was denied, judge Victoria Platzer may have revealed a glimpse of her own views. “In state court,” she said. “An indictment means you go before a grand jury. Informed means charges are brought.”
Professor; Director of Center for Governmental Responsibility; Dean Emeritus
- March 9, 53 media hits regarding the death of Sea World whale trainer and the fight to prevent the release of the video of her death. Hits include USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Palm Beach Post, Orlando Sentinel (original article), Gainesville Sun, ABC and NBC news.
UF Research Foundation Professor
- Presented “Resolution of Conflict Among Districts and Other Recent Developments in the Law of Evidence” on March 4 at Topics in Evidence 2010
- “Fraud partners, including Cape Coral police chief’s son, admit guilt” (March 4, 2010, Ft. Myers News-Press)
Seigel explained that people in a position of public trust may face harsher punishment for their crimes. Stephen Petrovich and the others who pleaded Wednesday may face harsher punishment because they were in a position of public trust as police officers or licensed real estate professionals, said Michael Seigel, a law professor at the University of Florida and former first assistant U.S. attorney in charge of Fort Myers. But, he said, that’s only if they used their positions to help them participate in the crime. Also, Seigel said, “whenever you see somebody who’s in that position (who breaks the law), that just raises your hackles as a prosecutor. You’d be more likely to prosecute that person.”
- Presented “Trust & Transparency: Promoting Efficient Corporate Disclosure Through Fiduciary-Based Discourse” at Case Western Reserve Law School
“Monsanto 7-state probe threatens profit from 93% soybean share” (March 10, Bloomberg BusinessWeek)
Sokol provided insight into state and federal antitrust litigation against Monsanto. The five states known to be part of the inquiry accounted for almost 39%, or $31 billion, of U.S. corn and soybeans last year, based on U.S. Department of Agriculture data. A state- level investigation, on top of the federal one, “can lengthen the lawsuit and potential settlements, and it can increase uncertainty and costs for Monsanto,” said Daniel Sokol, a law professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville who edits a blog on antitrust and competition policy.
“Florida jails limit inmate mail to postcards only” (March 1, Fox News/Associated Press/Boston Herald/Lakeland Ledger/NW Florida Daily News/Gainesville Sun, News Press, Ocala Star Banner)
Stinneford explained that case law may be on the side of jails as they restrict mail to postcards only. This restriction means correction officers can spend more time monitoring the inmates instead of opening mail. Case law may be on the jails’ side, said John F. Stinneford, assistant professor of law at the University of Florida. Stinneford said courts have found similar jail restrictions Constitutional if they represents a legitimate government interest. “Obviously, there are certain types of communication the prisoners won’t be able to receive via postcard,” Stinneford said. “But I’m not sure that is going to be a big enough of a problem to overcome.