The good folks at the Administrative Conference asked that I pass along the following information about a request for research proposals. For those who may not know, the Administrative Conference is a small federal agency that conducts applied research on (and on behalf of) federal agencies. The current request (here, and desceribed below) involves research on federal court review of social security disability decisions.
"The Administrative Conference seeks proposals for a comprehensive study of the Social Security Administration’s litigation in the federal courts involving social security disability claims. The study should provide an independent analysis of the role of courts in reviewing SSA disability decisions and consider measures that SSA could take to reduce the number of cases remanded to it by courts. It should also address significant observed variances among federal courts in decisional outcomes, case management and other procedures for social security cases, the timing of review, and judicial application of agency policies and procedures. Proposals are due by October 31, 2014 and should be submitted in conformance with the attached Request for Proposals to Stephanie Tatham, at: email@example.com"
Stephanie Tatham (Admin. Confr.), the contact person, notes that: "We really need a scholar who is comfortable with empirical research because for the last five years there have been more than 12,000 annual dispositions of social security cases in federal district courts. We are able to provide the consultant with access to disposition data from the Federal Court Cases: Integrated Data Base (unfortunately without judge information). We also will have data from the Social Security Administration on bases for judicial remand identified by their analysts. Given this data, it is an unprecedented research opportunity. Of course, some supplemental research will also be necessary."
At the request of conference organizer Mátyás Bencze (Debrecen--Law [Hungary]), I am delighted to note the following conference call for papers.
A conference on How To Measure the Quality of Judicial Reasoning, co-sponsored by the Law School of University of Debrecen and the HAS Centre for Social Sciences Institute for Legal Studies, will take place on 28-29 November 2014, at the University of Debrecen, School of Law, Debrecen, Hungary.
Conference aim: "In the past two decades various ‘external’ (public trust, satisfaction, affordability and accessibility etc) and ‘internal’ or ‘formal’ (timeliness, fairness of judicial process, independence and accountability of courts) benchmarks have been worked out for the assessment of the quality of judicial activity. The question remains, however, whether we can measure the quality of the actual judicial reasoning at all.
The purpose of the first day of the conference is to build a network of colleagues throughout Europe in order to launch a major research project on the topic. The Debrecen conference would be the first in a series of events in the coming years."
More conference information is found here as well as information on paper proposals which are due by 30 September 2014.
I am pleased to note the arrival of JELS' most recent issue, 11:3 (Sept. 2014). I am particularly pleased to note that this issue maintains JELS' perfect on-time publication record. The diverse set of papers in this issue ranges from the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act to defensive medicine.
The second annual Roundtable on Empirical Methods in Intellectual Property, co-hosted by Chicago-Kent and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, will take place in Chicago, IL, on 19-20 September 2014.
The Roundtable seeks to give scholars engaging in empirical and experimental studies of IP a chance to receive feedback on their work at an early stage in their research. Accordingly, the Roundtable will be limited to a small cohort of scholars discussing projects that are still in their developmental stages. Projects that will have substantially begun data collection by the time of the Roundtable are inappropriate. Pilot data collection is, however, appropriate.
Those interested in proposing research projects will find specific application information here. Please note that applications are due by 1 August 2014.
I'm happy to report that Penn State's Dickinson School of Law has received formal approval from the ABA to operate two independent and fully accredited law schools: Penn State Law at University Park and Dickinson Law in Carlisle, PA. From the press release:
"Degrees and diplomas from the two law schools will be in the name of The Dickinson School of Law of The Pennsylvania State University but will clearly reflect their independent and separately accredited status. Both campuses will refer to their affiliation with Penn State, but in general the Carlisle campus will be known as Dickinson Law and the University Park campus will be known as Penn State Law."
One take on the future of the two institutions in the wake of the split is here.
Kudos to interim dean Jim Hauck and his team for shepherding this through.
The migration (exodus?) of ELSers into administrative roles continues. In case you haven't heard by now, this fall Professor Andrew Martin, currently of Washington University, will assume the position of Dean of the College of Literature, Sciences, and Arts at the University of Michigan. Andrew is an accomplished scholar and administrator, and a good friend of (and occasional guest-blogger at) the ELS Blog. Congratulations, Andrew!
I am delighted by the news that noted ELS scholar (and, by way of full disclosure, co-author, friend, and colleague) Andy Morriss was just named Dean at the Texas A&M School of Law. As Brian Leiter (Chicago) notes, this is a huge "hiring coup" for A&M.
While best known as the leading archive of social science data, one of the ICPSR's lesser-appreciated assets includes its summer programs/workshops. For more than 50 years, the ICPSR has conducted a range (90+) of courses/seminars/workshops, principally based at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor campus, that spans the arc of quantitative methods as well as a diverse array of social scientific fields. Workshop formats vary as well, ranging from 3-5 day courses to 4-week offerings. These offerings can be invaluable for graduate (and undergraduate) students as well as faculty.