Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Corporate Counsel reports on IP Sacntions in Ukraine

The article below is a reposting of a Corporate Counsel article. Read the original article here.

The Obama administration has apparently decided Ukraine has enough on its plate dealing with Russia and won’t have to also cope with intellectual property trade sanctions imposed by the United States. The U.S. Trade Representative, which designated Ukraine a “priority foreign country” last year, said it would not take any action against the country for now.
“In light of the current political situation in Ukraine, no action under Section 301(b) is appropriate at this time,” the USTR said in its notice in the Federal Register.
This month the Russian Federation seized military and strategic locations within Crimea and officially annexed the region, which had been part of Ukraine. Russian troops are now also lined up along its border with Ukraine.
Section 301 refers to part of the Trade Act that requires the USTR to each year identify countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights or fair and equitable market access to U.S. companies that rely on IP protection. Most of those identified are placed on a “Watchlist” or “Priority Watchlist” in the USTR’s Special 301 Report, which is published annually on April 30.
But the USTR can also designate “Priority Foreign Countries.” It reserves this label for nations it determines have “the most onerous or egregious acts, policies, or practices” and whose intellectual property policies and practices have “the greatest adverse impact” on U.S. trade. This designation is rarely used, but in 2013 the USTR assigned that designation to Ukraine. It was the first time in seven years that a country was listed in that category. The USTR placed a total of 40 countries on its two 2013 watchlists [PDF].
The USTR provided specific grounds for putting Ukraine in its harshest category last year, including the use of infringing software by Ukrainian government agencies and its online infringement of copyright and related rights. It also said it had not seen any improvement since issues were raised in previous years.
“The 2013 Special 301 review found Ukraine distinct from other trading partners both in its persistent failure to meet its commitments to improve IPR protection, including commitments in an Action Plan negotiated with the United States in 2010, and in the degree of deterioration in IPR protection, enforcement, and market access for persons relying on IPR in Ukraine,” the USTR wrote in its Special 301 report last year. “Ukraine’s actions or inactions are causing significant damage to these industries reliant on those IPR in Ukraine’s market, and in other markets as well."
Since announcing the designation last year, the USTR said officials from the U.S. and Ukraine have held “constructive discussions.” But U.S. concerns, the agency said, “were not resolved.”
“The Trade Representative has determined … that the acts, policies, and practices subject to investigation are unreasonable and burden or restrict U.S. Commerce,” the USTR’s March 13 notice in the Federal Register said.
But it added that in light of Ukraine’s current political situation, it would not take any action “at this time” and looks forward to further engagement with the Ukrainian government “at an appropriate time.”

Read more:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Leila Mooney, Diversity Officer to the ABA Section of International Law joins our Rule of Law Course

The School of Law Welcomed Leila Mooney to the classroom today to lead a discussion on the importance of the Rule of Law.

Leila's impressive background is highlighted here. She is the editor of "Promoting the Rule of Law: A Practitioner's Guide to Key Issues and Developments," published by the American Bar Association Section of International Law (ABASIL) and currently serves as ABASIL's Diversity Officer.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

UA School of Law Continues to Climb in National Rankings

The U.S. News & World Report 2015 law school rankings are out. The University of Arkansas School of Law is ranked in the top tier of law schools for the sixth consecutive year, increasing 7 points over last year.  It is now tied for 61st place overall and 33rd among public law schools. It has moved up 47 places in the overall ranking since 2008, and 12 places in the public ranking since 2011.

“Our outstanding career placement and bar passage rates speak to the quality education our students receive,” said Stacy Leeds,  Dean of the School of Law. “Our national standing and low tuition reinforce our reputation as one of the best values in legal education.”

The U.S. News ranks law schools based on a peer assessment score, an assessment by lawyers and judges, the student/faculty ratio, bar exam passage rates, post-graduation employment rates, and other measures.

Two other graduate programs at the University of Arkansas showed impressive gains in the rankings in U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 edition of Best Graduate Schools.

The College of Education and Health Professions’ graduate education programs moved up nearly 50 places in the overall rankings; the Sam M. Walton College of Business M.B.A. program moved up 11 places in the rankings, but even more notable, it continued to lead the nation in the number of full-time Master of Business Administration graduates employed at graduation.

“This progress in the recognition of University of Arkansas graduate programs is very impressive, and truly a mark of the hard work that is being done on our campus,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “Strong graduate school programs are one of the hallmarks of any great public research university, and these rankings are proof that we are steadily moving toward our goal, to be recognized as a Top 50 public research university.”

Achieving the Top 50 goal would mean that the University of Arkansas ranks among the top 8 percent of all public research universities in America.

"This is a testament to the entire university's commitment to graduate education," said Todd Shields, dean of the Graduate School and International Education. "Programs in three distinct areas are climbing at significant rates, which happens only through the hard work of many people. Deans Smith, Leeds and Jones should be very proud of the accomplishments shown here."

The full University of Arkansas Press release is available on UA Newswire.

Accelerated JD Program now accepting applications via LSAC

Application season for the Accelerated JD for Foreign-Trained Lawyers Program is well under way, and more efficient than ever thanks to the incorporation of LSAC as an application option. Applicants may now submit their materials directly to the UA School of Law, or, through their existing LSAC account.

Our application process is simple and straightforward. We do not charge an application fee, nor do we require an LSAT score. Applicants may apply online via the Law School Admission Council, or by submitting the documents below following the instructions found here.
  • Evaluated Transcripts from all institutions attended (even if a degree was not received) through AACRAO. Applicants must submit a course by course evaluation, not a basic evaluation;
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency (see requirements below);
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae (CV);
  • Two letters of recommendation (we suggest that at least one letter be from a member of the applicant’s law faculty and that at least one be from a judge or practicing lawyer); and
  • A personal statement explaining your background, interest in studying law in the United States, and career goals.
For more information, contact us at

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Maryna Kavaleuskaya: Advocating for the rule of law in Belarus

Today, Maryna Kavaleuskaya joined our Rule of Law Colloquium taught by Professor Christopher Kelley via Skype to talk about practicing human rights law in Belarus and the crisis in Ukraine.

A Harvard Law Record article about Maryna is available here.  Maryna lives in Washington, D.C. with her son and husband, who is completing his master degree at Georgetown. Last December, she co-taught negotiation at the European Humanities University, a Belarusian university "in exile" in Vilnius, Lithuania with Professor Kelley. Her presentation was fascinating and well received.

Among other topics, Maryna discussed the nearly insurmountable challenges she faced during her representation of a jailed presidential challenger as a young Belarusian lawyer.

Maryna also provided an excellent synopsis of the current situation in Crimea and reiterated the importance of Rule of Law. A short video discussing the appearance of armed soldiers in Crimea is below.

Rule of Law in Ukraine

The video and article below are a reposting from Voice of America (VOA). In it, Mlada, a Ukrainian law student, talks about her desire for the rule of law in Ukraine.