Spring 2012 Law Briefs
Santa Clara Law Associate Professor Beth Van Schaack (above) is an internationally recognized expert in international law, with experience in international criminal law, international humanitarian law/law of armed conflict, and transitional justice. She was formerly executive director and staff attorney at the Center for Justice and Accountability, an international human rights law group.
Santa Clara Law Professor Appointed to U.S. State Department Office of Global Criminal Justice
Santa Clara Law professor of international law Beth Van Schaack has been selected to serve as deputy to U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues Stephen Rapp, in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Criminal Justice. Van Schaack has taken a leave of absence from her teaching duties to fulfill her new appointment, which will last up to two years.
In her new role, she will be assisting Rapp in helping to formulate U.S. responses to atrocities committed throughout the world, working closely with international tribunals, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and foreign governments to ensure accountability for international crimes according to international human rights principles. She will also help the office in its role advising governments on implementing other forms of transitional justice, such as truth commissions and commissions of inquiry.
“Beth’s considerable skills as a lawyer, her knowledge and expertise in the areas of human rights and international criminal law, and her judgment and professionalism make her an ideal candidate for this State Department appointment,” said Santa Clara University School of Law Dean Donald Polden. “We look forward to welcoming her back once her appointment concludes.”
Van Schaack is an internationally recognized expert in international law, with experience in international criminal law, international humanitarian law/law of armed conflict, and transitional justice. She has advised prosecutors of international crimes committed in Uganda and Cambodia, and was formerly executive director and staff attorney at the Center for Justice and Accountability, an international human-rights law group. She has served as an observer or NGO delegate and attended sessions of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as meetings of other United Nations bodies. In 2002, she was on the defense team for John Walker Lindh, the American convicted of joining the Taliban.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and her J.D. from Yale Law School. She clerked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and was an Open Society Institute Justice Fellow. At Santa Clara Law Professor Appointed to U.S. State Department Office of Global Criminal Justice SCU, she hosted an annual workshop in international humanitarian law along with the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Her new boss, Ambassador Rapp, is the former chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, where he initiated the prosecution of former President of Liberia, Charles Taylor. Prior to that, he prosecuted cases arising out of the Rwandan genocide as a senior trial counsel for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
More Faculty News
Assistant Professor of Law Colleen Chien was quoted in a Reuters story that ran in over 50 sites or publications worldwide, about how Facebook was the target of opportunistic patent lawsuits just before its massive filing for an initial public stock offering. In addition, her commentary appeared in 148 publications and websites after she talked to Reuters and the San Jose Mercury News about the patent lawsuit Yahoo brought against Facebook.
Santa Clara Law Professor Eric Goldman was shortlisted as an “IP Thought Leader” nominee by Managing Intellectual Property for their 2012 IP awards. The shortlists are compiled by a team of researchers in New York based on information gained over several months. Managing Intellectual Property is the leading global resource for IP news and analysis. He wrote a recent article in Ars Technica about a defamation case involving Wikipedia (visit us online for a link). In addition, Goldman was quoted in numerous tech-law stories, including a widely reprinted Bloomberg story about Google’s ability to combat malware on its Android phone apps, and an ABC News story about two Kentucky women who allege their reputations were destroyed by online attacks. He was also quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Warren’s Washington Internet Daily, CNET, and Above the Law about SOPA; InformationWeek about Oracle’s rejection of a $272 million SAP award over copyright infringement; and National Law Journal, about who owns a person’s Twitter account.
Professor Tyler Ochoa filed an amicus brief in a U.S. Supreme Court case involving foreign copyrights, Golan v. Holder. The brief provided an historical perspective about whether Congress’s first copyright statute in 1790 removed any works from the public domain.
Professor Margaret Russell was cited in more than 100 stories about the Prop. 8 case, via articles in the Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, ABC News, The Atlantic Monthly, Bay Citizen, and Newsradio95.com. She also was quoted in a widely reprinted San Jose Mercury News article about allegations that a police officer arresting a woman also posted a risqué photo of her on her Facebook page from her cell phone.
Professor Alan Scheflin, a national leader on the topic of mind and behavior control, was mentioned in a lengthy CNN story about efforts by Sirhan Sirhan’s defense lawyers to get a new trial based on research by Scheflin, and an alleged newly discovered tape recording of the 1968 shooting of Robert F. Kennedy. The story was picked up in more than 60 additional sites or publications.
Professor David Sloss’s book, International Law in the U.S. Supreme Court, has been awarded a Certificate of Merit by the American Society of International Law. His award goes to a work of “high technical craftsmanship and utility to practicing lawyers and scholars.” The award was presented in March at the annual meeting of the society.
Moot Court Teams Advance
An honors moot court team of Santa Clara Law students won a prestigious trademark moot court competition in San Francisco, and advanced to the finals of the Saul Lefkowitz Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C. Second year Santa Clara Law students Jacob Vigil (left) and Christopher Creech (right) took first place in the regional competition in February. The team was coached by Jeremiah Armstrong ’07 (center), an associate at McDermott, Will & Emery.
To read more student news, visit law.scu.edu/life/studentspotlight.cfm
Congratulations to the Santa Clara Law alumni who were finalists and winners in the 2012 Bay Area Best Corporate Counsel Awards, sponsored by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal and the San Francisco Business Times.
by Larry Sokoloff ’92 | Photos by Nancy Martin
Sam O’Rourke ’99
O’Rourke has had a front-row seat at Facebook in the history of the Menlo Park-based company. He was one of Facebook’s first lawyers when he was hired in 2008. He has overseen the growth of the company’s patent portfolio from dozens a year to hundreds. O’Rourke, who surfs in Santa Cruz in his free time, has also been a key player in Facebook’s victories over major spammers, including a $711 million judgment against one.
Andrew Vu ’93
Vu co-founded the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California, one of the largest minority bar associations in the country. “We’ve awarded our first fellow to serve the indigent Asian community in San Francisco,” Vu said. “That’s a legacy we’re proud to leave.” Vu is also known for his work as an advocate in the Asian American and gay communities.
Frank Nguyen ’94
During Nguyen’s tenure at Intuitive, the medical device company has grown from $91 million in annual revenues to over $1.7 billion. He has closed multiple deals, including Intuitive’s acquisition of Novare. He joined Intuitive in 2004, coming from an IP post at Macrovision. Nguyen attended the School of Law while working part-time at General Electric. “I was an engineer for eight years, and I felt that the legal profession would open more doors for me,” he said.
Simao “Sim” Avila ’83
Avila has worked on labor issues for many years, including a stint at the National Labor Relations Board in Puerto Rico. He oversees all of Kaiser’s employment issues, including claims of discrimination, and compliance with affirmative action laws and policies. He serves on the Kaiser Permanente diversity committee, and is a volunteer for the California Minority Counsel Program. He also lectures on negotiations and ADR at Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley.
Suzan Miller ’89
Miller has worked in-house at Intel Corp. since 1991. On top of her regular legal duties, she has dedicated countless hours to Intel’s diversity efforts. She serves as the executive sponsor of Intel’s Diversity Management Review Committee, is part of Intel’s Network of Executive Women Extend Our Reach Program (which focuses on working with future leaders within the company), and helps lead a pro bono program.
Riley Russell ’88
Riley is considered a pioneer in the computer entertainment industry, cutting his teeth at Sega of America in their games business. With Sony’s PlayStation, he plays a leading role in a company that reaches into homes worldwide. He helped develop the industry’s privacy standards and its rating system, which organizes games into age-appropriate categories based on violence and content. “For a lawyer, it has been an amazing career,” he said.