Rank #1: Defending Brendan Dassey of “Making a Murderer”
Aug 17 2016
Rank #2: Law and Business of Cannabis: Regulation, Taxation, and Banking
Stoner jokes aside, cannabis is a truly budding industry. In this episode of Planet Lex, Daniel Rodriguez talks to Charlie Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs, and Dina Rollman, Chief Counsel at Green Thumb Industries, about the complexities of the marijuana industry, including how Illinois has set a precedent for regulatory programs, the banking challenges facing cultivators, and the battle for more research within the United States. They also discuss the role of lawyers within the cannabis business, and how they each got involved in this new and evolving industry.
Charlie Bachtell is the CEO of Cresco Labs, LLC. In this role, Bachtell ensures that Cresco is an industry leader, setting new standards for a progressive, transparent and reputable medical cannabis community.
Dina Rollman is GTI’s Chief Counsel – Compliance. In this role, she monitors and ensures full compliance with state and federal laws pertaining to GTI’s multi-state cultivation and dispensary operations.
Sep 20 2017
Rank #3: Facing the Challenges of the Global Legal Industry
The legal ecosystem is undergoing a massive transformation around the world, prompting some legal professionals to wonder if the industry is in a crisis. Others, though, argue that the legal community can start to fix problems within the industry by first recognizing them. As a prelude to Beyond Our Borders, a two-day summit on global legal innovation, host Daniel Rodriguez talks to Mark Cohen, the CEO of LegalMosaic, and Eva Bruch, Founder of AlterWork, about what’s broken within the legal industry around the world. Topics include the access to justice crisis, outdated performance metrics, and the rise of alternative business structures. They also discuss addressing these problems at the source by developing business management, technology, culture, and people skills at law schools.
May 16 2018
Rank #4: Chicago’s Gun Violence Epidemic
Gun violence in neighborhoods on Chicago’s south and west sides is a decades-long problem experiencing recently renewed media attention. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel B. Rodriguez talks to Zach Fardon, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, about the complexity of the problem, the root causes, and what can be done to address it. Their discussion touches on the distrust of law enforcement, the struggling public school system, and the role of federal law enforcement in providing aid to Chicago.
Former U.S. Attorney Zach Fardon is managing partner and head of litigation at King & Spalding's Chicago office and a partner in the Special Matters and Government Investigations practice.
Jun 20 2018
Rank #5: “Entrepreneurs Are the New Rock Stars”: A Conversation with J.B. Pritzker and Howard Tullman
Success after law school doesn’t always mean practicing law, and these two guests are renowned examples of how a legal education can offer an advantage in the business world, too. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez talks to J.B Pritzker, co-founder of the Pritzker Group and Illinois Democratic candidate for governor, and Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871 Chicago, about what it takes to pursue innovation in business. They discuss the five must-haves for an entrepreneurial mindset, how law degrees prove helpful in building a business, and a day in the life of 1871. They also dig into the startup tech scene in Chicago, a city abundant in community and support but with its own set of obstacles, and how education needs to change to keep up with technology.
J.B. Pritzker is a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and private business owner based in Chicago. He is a Democratic candidate in the 2018 Illinois gubernatorial race.
Howard Tullman is the CEO of 1871 and the Managing Partner for two early-stage venture capital funds, Chicago High Tech Investment Partners, LLC and G2T3V, LLC.
May 22 2017
Rank #6: What Hinders Innovation in the Legal Industry?
Committees have been formed, seminars have been taught, and conferences have been hosted — all in an effort to convince lawyers that new technology will save them time and money. Sometimes the message sticks; sometimes attorneys run in the opposite direction. But is it lawyers themselves or the industry's rules and culture that hinder innovation in legal tech? In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez talks to Bill Henderson about innovation in the legal industry, including the cultural and regulatory restraints that keep new technology from impacting the legal industry at large. They discuss the diffusion theory, which explores how innovative ideas percolate within a market; traditional practices in law firms that impede the adoption of new ideas; and the role of law schools in encouraging exploration.
Bill Henderson is the Stephen F. Burns Chair on the Legal Profession at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and a visiting professor at Northwestern Law.
Jan 17 2018
Rank #7: The #MeToo Movement Through a Legal Lens
What started out as a viral moment has grown into a movement that has resulted in both praise and controversy. But what are the legal considerations of the #MeToo movement? In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez talks to Laura Beth Nielsen and Deb Tuerkheimer about how the #MeToo movement differs from similar assault accusations in the past, the role President Trump may have played in the movement’s growth, and the impact the movement has had on public discussion surrounding sexual harassment and assault. They also look at the movement through the lens of the law, looking at what the law has to say about enablers and witnesses, the importance of modernizing the laws surrounding rape, and the adequacy of societal punishment.
Deborah Tuerkheimer is the Class of 1940 Research Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and an expert in criminal law, evidence, and feminist legal theory.
Laura Beth Nielsen is a research professor at the American Bar Foundation as well as a professor of sociology and director of the Center for Legal Studies at Northwestern University.
Feb 21 2018
Rank #8: The Implications of Biometrics in Privacy Law
How much should people care about privacy? And what’s at stake when it comes to tracking biometrics? In this episode of Planet Lex, host Jim Speta talks to Matthew Kugler about his research into consumer sentiment around biometric tracking. They discuss the landscape of privacy law and its current trends, and Professor Kugler explains the methods and findings of his recent research. They also talk about the various ways biometric information is (and can be) acquired and used, and the implications of this in the future of privacy law.
Matthew Kugler is an assistant professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.
Mar 20 2019
Rank #9: The Future Impact of Technology on the Legal Profession
The rise of legally focused technology has caused many attorneys to reflect on their current level of tech savvy and consider the improvements that future advancements might hold. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez speaks with Professor Richard Susskind about the impact new technologies will have on the legal profession and whether law schools are sufficiently training law students to be the pioneering attorneys of tomorrow.
Professor Richard Susskind OBE is an author, speaker, and independent adviser to major professional firms and to national governments. His main area of expertise is the future of professional service and, in particular, the way in which information technology and the Internet are changing the work of lawyers.
Dec 14 2016
Rank #10: Should We Reform the Supreme Court?
With Brett Kavanaugh’s ongoing confirmation battle, the Supreme Court and the partisan polarization of the nomination process has been fresh in the minds of many. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel B. Rodriguez talks to Tonja Jacobi and Sarah Schrup about major issues facing the Supreme Court and the implications they have on our democracy. They discuss possible reforms, like term limits and court packing, as well as topics like oral advocacy and the tendency for female justices to be interrupted more often when making arguments.
Editor’s Note: This podcast was recorded on August 14, before the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings began and before Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations were public.
Tonja Jacobi is a professor of law at Northwestern Pritzker Law School where her research focuses on judicial politics, behavior, and strategy.
Sarah Schrup is the founder and director of Northwestern's Appellate Advocacy Center, which includes the Federal Appellate Clinic and the Supreme Court Clinic.
Sep 19 2018
Rank #11: Reforming the Chicago Police Department
The violence that grips the streets of Chicago has been the subject of news outlets and even the President’s tweets, but what is actually being done to address the issue? In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel B. Rodriguez talks to Alexa Van Brunt, an attorney on the MacArthur Justice Center, about police brutality and bias in Chicago and the draft consent decree to reform the Chicago Police Department. They discuss the Justice Department’s report on police misconduct during the Obama Administration, how new policies might impact law enforcement, and the challenges of reform. They also talk about the MacArthur Justice Center’s role in combating police misconduct in Chicago.
Alexa Van Brunt serves as a clinical associate professor at Northwestern Law and an attorney on the MacArthur Justice Center team where she works on key cases, including litigating on behalf of victims of the Jon Burge police torture scandal and other police misconduct.
Aug 15 2018
Rank #12: Cities, States and The Trump Administration: Clashes of Federal and Local Government
There are looming conflicts between the Trump administration and local governments on a number of issues, including (but not limited to) sanctuary cities and climate change laws. In this episode of Planet Lex, Daniel Rodriguez discusses these hot-button topics with Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law David Dana and Associate Professor of Law Nadav Shoked. Together they discuss the current state of sanctuary cities, response to the Trump administration pulling out of the Paris accord, and the ongoing clash between federal authorities and state and local government.
Nadav Shoked joined the Northwestern faculty in 2012 as an Assistant Professor of Law. His work focuses on the law and theory of property, local government law, and American legal history.
As Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law at Northwestern University, David Dana is a leading scholar in the fields of environmental law, property, land use, and professional responsibility.
Aug 16 2017
Rank #13: How the Government is Handling Online Privacy and Cybersecurity
The speed of technological developments and change is so rapid that the government can’t craft corresponding rules and regulations fast enough. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez talks to Northwestern Law Professor Jim Speta about net neutrality, online privacy, cybersecurity, and how the government is handling these growing issues. Their discussion dives into the new net neutrality legislation and how the new chair of the FCC will affect this and future regulation.
Jim Speta is a member of the faculty at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and International Initiatives. His research interests include telecommunications and Internet policy, antitrust, administrative law, and market organization.
Apr 24 2017
Rank #14: Law Enforcement and Implicit Bias
The increased media coverage of police shootings has coincided with the growing prominence of conversations about race and law enforcement. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez speaks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Assistant Professor of Law Destiny Peery about implicit bias, tensions between the police and the communities they serve, and how perceptions of race impact the legal system.
Destiny Peery is an Assistant Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Her teaching and research interests focus on law and psychology perspectives on criminal law, discrimination law, the use of social science as evidence, and race and law.
Nov 16 2016
Rank #15: Seeking Asylum: Reality at the US / Mexico Border
Late last year, all anyone could seem to talk about was the migrant caravan approaching the U.S./Mexico border. Yet, despite all the coverage and conversations, very few people understand the legal and social complexities facing those seeking asylum. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Jim Speta talks with Professor Uzoamaka Emeka Nzelibe about her work representing unaccompanied minors seeking asylum as well as her recent trip to the U.S./Mexico border with volunteer students and staff to provide assistance to those seeking asylum.
Uzoamaka Emeka Nzelibe is a clinical associate professor of law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and a staff attorney with the Children and Family Justice Center of the Bluhm Legal Clinic.
May 09 2019