Reuben Guttman

  • July 13, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Reuben Guttman, Founding Member, Guttman, Buschner & Brooks PLLC

    In this era of electronic information, a large part of what we do or think is recorded in real time through emails, tweets, cell phone photographs, videos and Facebook. If electronic information can be secured through document requests, subpoenas or civil investigative demands, there may be little more to learn from direct witness examination other than testing theories, authenticating records and getting a better sense of the personalities that are the subject of the investigation. While this was not the paradigm for the Watergate investigation of yesteryear – occurring at a time when there were no emails or even an internet – it is the paradigm for the current investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

    And so, on June 11, 2017, Donald Trump Jr. released an email chain that Senate and Department of Justice investigators will undoubtedly learn about anyway. Why did he do it unprompted? Perhaps it was out of panic. Perhaps he thought that releasing some emails would cause investigators to refrain from seeking all of his emails through a subpoena. Or perhaps it was a manifestation of the self-destructive impulses that also prompt his father’s unpredictable conduct.

    A review of the few emails that Mr. Trump Jr. disclosed allows us to envision how investigators might use them.

  • June 30, 2017
    Guest Post

    *This piece originally appeared on The Global Legal Post's blog on June 30, 2017

    by Reuben Guttman, Partner, Guttman, Buschner, & Brooks

    Legal academics are sniffy about practitioners who teach. But, says Reuben Guttman, this outdated view does a disservice to the legal profession.

    Scholarship means academic study or achievement. It is word without rigid limitations except perhaps when it comes to law schools which more and more are interpreting the word “scholarship” to mean theoretical endeavor not directly connected to the practice of law. This may seem odd but it is quite true. Today the word "scholarship" seems, in part, used as a pretext to discriminate against those whose academic endeavours favour the actual practice of law. Surprisingly, those whose work entails writing case books, legal treatises, or teaching classes on trial advocacy, are not what law school insiders call scholars. This means they are not favoured for tenure track positions or prestigious chairs. Sometimes they are relegated to the title of "professor of practice," which means that their endeavors are so connected to actual legal work that they cannot just be known as a professor.

  • February 19, 2016

    by Nanya Springer 

    In The Huffington Post, ACS President Caroline Fredrickson urges the U.S. Senate to fulfill its constitutional duty and “give fair and prompt consideration” to any Supreme Court nominee.

    ACS Director of Strategic Engagement Jill Dash comments to Paul Waldman in The Washington Post about the improbability that a new Supreme Court would immediately overturn high-profile decisions. “The four more liberal justices currently on the Court take precedent and stare decisis seriously,” adds ACS Issue Brief author Samuel Bagenstos.

    Perry Cooper at Bloomberg BNA says class actions may see a Renaissance in the near future and notes ACS Board member Erwin Chemerinsky’s prediction that Spokeo Inc. v. Robins will result in a 4-4 split decision.

    In the Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review, Caroline Poplin examines the pharmaceutical industry’s misuse of First Amendment doctrine, and ACS Board member Reuben Guttman, with Paul J. Zwier, examines wrongful marketing and pricing practices.

  • May 19, 2015
    Guest Post

    by Reuben Guttman, partner, Guttman, Buschner & Brooks, PLLC; Guttman is a member of the ACS Board of Directors.

    *This piece originally appeared on The Global Legal Post.

    When the United States Supreme Court issued its decisions in Bell Atlantic Corp v Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) and Ashcroft v Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), there was sea change in the standard by which judges evaluated lawsuits to determine their sufficiency to withstand a motion to dismiss. Rather than merely placing a defendant on notice of a claim, the Court established a new standard. Plaintiffs must allege facts allowing a court to find that a claim is plausible. In reviewing the allegations of the complaint, courts are challenged to weed out conclusory statements and base their analysis on only the factual pleadings of the Complaint.

    Naturally, Iqbal and Twombly have raised serious access to justice issues for plaintiffs who must muster the facts without an opportunity to gather evidence through discovery. The “plausibility” standard is of course entirely subjective; what is plausible to one judge based on his or her life’s journeys may not be plausible to another. And with the challenge to plead facts, plaintiffs are undoubtedly encouraged to put the “kitchen sink” into their complaints and plead complaints that are exponentially larger than those of yesteryear.  

    With all of the problems caused by Iqbal and Twombly, there is a nugget of gold that can be snatched as a teaching lesson. The notion that litigants are instructed to make their cases based on facts and not conclusions or hyperbole, is a solid concept.  

  • May 19, 2015

    by Caroline Cox

    Liza Featherstone offers five short-term solutions to the problems of nail salon workers in Jacobin Magazine.

    At The Global Legal Post, ACS Board of Directors member Reuben Guttman considers the importance of whistleblowers. 

    Erwin Chemerinsky argues in the Los Angeles Times that California should accept the Uniform Bar Exam.

    At SCOTUSblog, Lyle Denniston provides analysis of the narrow ruling in City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan that leaves questions about limits on police use of force.

    In The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf refutes arguments in favor of the NSA surveillance program.

    Omer Aziz looks at the Boston marathon bombings trial and criticizes the frequent use of the death penalty in the United States at Salon.