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: Taking a Closer Look at Free Speech
Whether it’s Milo Yiannopoulos being unable to speak at Berkeley or James Damore being fired for his Google memo, freedom of speech has repeatedly emerged as a topic of controversy, especially in terms of hate speech. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez talks to Marty Redish, a freedom of expression professor, about how the law defines free speech and the right of various institutions, like businesses and universities, to regulate speech. They also discuss what is and isn’t protected by the first amendment, including the defense of hate speech.
Martin H. Redish, the Louis and Harriet Ancel Professor of Law and Public Policy at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, teaches and writes on the subjects of federal jurisdiction, civil procedure, freedom of expression and constitutional law.
Dec 20 2017
Rank #4: Jury Process: How Juries Bring Legitimacy to Legal Proceedings
Many people complain when a jury summons arrives, but when they actually serve on a case they become quite invested in the process. But how can a group of lay people handle making such difficult and consequential decisions? In this episode of Planet Lex, host Jim Speta talks to Professor Shari Diamond about her research on jury process, including her finding that our trust in the jury system is not misplaced. Even in challenging and complex cases, juries typically work very hard to ensure a just outcome.
Shari Diamond is one of the foremost empirical researchers on jury process and legal decision-making, including the use of science by the courts.
Jan 16 2019
Rank #5: 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 #6: 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 #7: 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 #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: Sexual Misconduct on Campus
The issue of sexual assault on campuses and how to best combat these incidents is a highly debated topic among legal professionals. How should these crimes be handled and what can colleges do to protect their students?
In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez speaks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Professor of Law Deborah Tuerkheimer about campus sexual misconduct. Deborah shares that historically universities have not handled issues of sexual assault well and that the significance of the problem is still being assessed as we look at how institutions of higher education respond to these situations. She talks about the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter issued by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights on how campuses should handle sexual misconduct and provides insight into how the document represents a shift in the way the federal government approached the issue. Deborah explains what Title IX is and how it helped establish that sexual harassment can create a hostile environment. In addition to the civil and criminal systems, she discusses what campuses can do to help those affected by sexual misconduct and why disciplinary responsibilities fall squarely on campuses to ensure that affected students are able to continue their education. Deborah closes the interview with her perspective on what else the federal government can do to bring adequate attention to these issues and the impact that the “Dear Colleague” letter has had on our nation's campuses.
Deborah Tuerkheimer joined the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law faculty in 2014 after serving as a professor of law at DePaul University since 2009. Professor Tuerkheimer received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and her JD from Yale. She teaches and writes in the areas of criminal law, evidence, and feminist legal theory. Her book, “Flawed Convictions: ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’ and the Inertia of Injustice,” was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. She is also a co-author of the casebook “Feminist Jurisprudence: Cases and Materials” and the author of numerous articles on rape and domestic violence. After clerking for Alaska Supreme Court Justice Jay Rabinowitz, she served for five years as an assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office, where she specialized in domestic violence prosecution. Tuerkheimer was elected to the American Law Institute in 2015, an esteemed group of judges, lawyers, and legal scholars dedicated to the development of the law.
Aug 17 2016
Rank #10: 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 #11: Technological Advancements and The Law
In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez speaks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law George C. Dix Professor in Constitutional Law John McGinnis and Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Larry Birnbaum about emergent technology and its effects on the law. Dan opens the interview by reminding everyone that it has been 10 years since the publication of Raymond Kurzweil’s book, “The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology,” and poses the question of exactly how close we are to the day when computer intelligence surpasses human intelligence. Larry shares his belief that the singularity is coming, though the time table is unknown. John agrees and states that the victory of IBM’s computer system Watson over its human competition on Jeopardy shows the accelerating technology and that software and connectivity are improving, in addition to hardware computation. Both guests analyze how this technology might significantly impact intermediary positions within the workforce and consider the implications on the practice of law. Larry concludes that there are many aspects to lawyering and that you have to break down those segments to figure out which will or will not be adversely affected. John does not anticipate emergent tech putting lawyers out of business in the near future, but does think it is the beginning of how society integrates some of that tech into the work that humans will still do and feels that we’ll see a long evolution of progress in this area. Both guests evaluate the ways in which tech innovation might improve overall equality in society. They close the interview with an analysis of how difficult it is for our regulatory structure to keep up with advancements in technology and the issues present in making the risks associated with these advancements understandable to people.
Oct 19 2016
Rank #12: 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 #13: 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 #14: The Regulation of Public Corruption
In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez speaks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Harry R. Horrow Professor in International Law Juliet Sorensen about the pervasiveness and regulation of corruption. Juliet defines public corruption as the abuse of public office for private gain and discusses the challenges of working within the various parameters of both civil causes of action and criminal law to regulate said corruption. Certain forms of malfeasance, like bribery, have been traditionally governed by criminal law while other forms like patronage and nepotism have been grounds for civil actions under the First Amendment but have generally been found not to be either federal, state, or local crimes. Juliet highlights that in a functioning democracy the safeguard against public officials who the electorate disapproves of is voting them out of office, however if corruption has pervaded a democracy to the extent that voting public officials out of office cannot be done in a free and fair way, then that is an impingement of human rights. She shares that many countries are unable or unwilling to regulate public corruption for a myriad of reasons, including limited resources and weak institutions, and that in some countries the culture of corruption is so pervasive that it becomes incredibly difficult to change. Juliet also analyzes the International Olympic Committee’s decision not to ban Russia from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and discusses how the McLaren Investigation Report on doping in Russia illustrates abuses of all levels of public office but not necessarily for monetary gain. She closes the interview with an investigation of how the emergency reconstruction phase after major extreme weather events can facilitate corruption and how we can combat this. Finally, she considers the severity of public corruption, domestically or internationally, against other major issues of social policy or criminal law enforcement.
Sep 21 2016
Rank #15: Scott Turow on Where Law and Literature Collide
Bestselling author and lawyer Scott Turow has written 13 books, including the law school must-read One L, and Presumed Innocent, the novel credited with creating the legal fiction genre. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez talks to Scott about legal fiction, his career as a writer and lawyer, and the nature of legal education. They also touch on Scott’s work to reform capital punishment and the legal complexities of being an author in the age of technology.
Scott Turow is the author of 11 bestselling novels and two nonfiction books, including One L, about his experience as a law student.
Oct 18 2017