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: 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 #4: 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 #5: 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 #6: 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 #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: “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 #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: 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 #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: Election Law and Gerrymandering
As the November midterm elections loom, issues of election law continue to have a significant impact on the voting process. In this episode of Planet Lex, new host Jim Speta, Vice Dean at Northwestern Law, talks to Professor Michael Kang about everything election law, from partisan gerrymandering and the constitutional issues involved in redistricting, to the effects of voter ID laws. They discuss how the different parties have used redistricting to gain an advantage, the urban/rural divide, and the role of state courts in the voting process.
Michael S. Kang is the William G. and Virginia K. Karnes Research Professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and a nationally recognized expert on campaign finance, voting rights, redistricting, judicial elections, and corporate governance.
Oct 17 2018
Rank #13: 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
Rank #14: The Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, and the Nuclear Option
The Supreme Court has faced a whirlwind of change and controversy over the last year, first with the death of Justice Scalia and then with election of President Trump and the actions of his Administration. In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez talks to Carter Phillips about the current state of the Supreme Court in 2017. Their discussion includes President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch, the Democrat Party opposition during this process, and the consequences of the nuclear option, whether it’s used or not. They conclude the episode with a brief discussion of the textbook Phillips co-authored with Northwestern Law faculty, Advanced Appellate Advocacy.
Carter G. Phillips is the chair of Sidley Austin LLP’s Executive Committee and was the managing partner of its Washington, D.C. office from 1995 to 2012. He has argued 75 cases before the Supreme Court since joining Sidley, more than any other lawyer while in private practice.
Mar 14 2017
Rank #15: A Look at the Presidency with Neil Eggleston and Newt Minow
The Trump administration is constantly in the news but what's going on behind the scenes? In this episode of Planet Lex, host Daniel Rodriguez talks to former White House Counsel Neil Eggleston and former FCC Chairman Newt Minow about their experiences working for past presidents and their concerns about the Trump administration. They discuss the way we elect our presidents, the failings of the media, and whether or not the government is currently experiencing a moment of constitutional crisis.
Newton Minow is senior counsel in Sidley Austin’s Chicago office. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed him chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2016.
Neil Eggleston is a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. He was White House counsel to President Obama from 2014 to 2017.
Nov 16 2017