At the allegation stage of a research misconduct matter, it may not be known which of several scientists actually committed research misconduct (assuming anyone did), resulting in more than one scientist being named as a respondent. Often, an allegation will be made against the supervising scientist along with the junior scientists in the lab who are involved in the research. This is not inappropriate at the allegation stage; after all, allegations are just that – allegations. Continue Reading Research Misconduct – Guilt by Association

This article originally appeared in The Legal Intelligencer

In-House Counsel

Countdown FiveFor attorneys who routinely litigate matters adverse to federal and state government agencies, sometimes ­referred to as government and regulatory law, the trend has been easy to see. Over the last half century or so, the U.S. Supreme Court has gradually expanded the degree of deference traditionally afforded to the rules and adjudications of administrative ­agencies. This has included not only ­deference to legislative rules resting on legislatively conferred rulemaking powers, referred to as Chevron deference, but also to interpretive rules created by an agency based on its specialized role and expertise, referred to as Skidmore deference. Continue Reading Five Crucial Mistakes to Avoid During PA Administrative Litigation

This article was originally published by TheScientist on December 16, 2016.

It was not until the Supreme Court decided a case concerning marital contraception that the right to privacy became a legally cognizable interest sanctioned by the United States. In 1965, the landmark ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut (381 U.S. 479) held that, when one looks at the Bill of Rights, a natural extension is a right to privacy. Since that decision, courts and governments have sought to define the parameters of this right.  Continue Reading The Scientist’s Scarlet Letter

The rights due to a student under Title IX continue to evolve. Title IX prohibits discrimination based on “sex,” which historically has meant that biological male and female students are required to be treated as equals. Recently, a California federal court held that “sex” discrimination also includes discrimination based on a student’s sexual orientation. Videckis v. Pepperdine University, 150 F. 3d 1151 (U.S.C.D. Calif. 2015).  Continue Reading Impact on Transgender Students as the Meaning of “Sex” Discrimination Evolves Under Title IX

Often times, when a dispute first arises, even before litigation has begun, one or both sides will hire counsel to assist in trying to resolve the dispute. Even if counsel is not retained at that early stage, however, once litigation is instituted, in most cases neither party appears pro se. In many jurisdictions, a corporate party is not even permitted to appear pro se. Litigation then proceeds with opposing counsel handling all aspects (albeit in consultation with their clients).  Continue Reading Research Misconduct Cases: No Need to Fly Solo – Let a Lawyer Be Your Co-Pilot

In litigation, the issue du jour is the discovery of electronically stored information (“ESI”).  There are a whole host of issues, such as the particular form in which the ESI should be produced (pdf? native format?), whether data claimed to have been deleted can be restored, and whether the producing party has control of the production or whether the requesting party can send in its own technological team to copy the data. These are just a few of the ESI related issues that are generating much discussion – between parties and their counsel, among the Judiciary, and among the bar.

Continue Reading Discovery Versus Sequestration – Dealing with Complex Electronically Stored Information (ESI) in Research Misconduct Cases

Colleges and universities are under pressure from all sides to ensure that their policies and procedures for investigating and adjudicating complaints of sexual assault on campus are compliant with Title IX as well as basic notions of fairness and due process.

Continue Reading The Challenge Colleges and Universities Face When it Comes to Title IX

This article originally appeared in Corporate Counsel

Part One: The Changing Corporate Counsel Landscape

Gavel with Check List ClipboardIn this renewed era of individual responsibility for corporate malfeasance, corporate counsel would be well advised to help protect themselves from personal liability by taking six steps of their own when notified of allegations of wrongdoing within the company.

Continue Reading Part 2: Six Steps Corporate Counsel Must Take to Protect Themselves During Government Investigations

This article originally appeared in Corporate Counsel

internal-investigationFive years ago, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it had charged GlaxoSmithKline Vice President and Associate General Counsel Lauren Stevens with two counts of obstruction of justice and four counts of making false statements to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At issue were allegations that Stevens had sent a series of letters to the FDA denying that the company had promoted its drug Wellbutrin for off-label uses and that she failed to turn over evidence to the contrary, including various slides used by physicians paid by the company to promote the drug’s off-label use.  

Continue Reading Part 1: The Changing Corporate Counsel Landscape

misclassificationResearch misconduct inquiries and investigations are conducted by committees appointed by an institution’s research integrity officer. The committee members are typically scientists, not lawyers. Not only must they analyze the science in question, but they also must ensure that the institution meets all  of  its obligations under both the institution’s misconduct policy as well as federal regulations (if the research is federally funded.) Sometimes an institution will appoint committee members from outside the institution conducting the inquiry and investigation, but it is not required to do so.

Continue Reading The Process of Compiling Investigative Committees