May 2012

NPR/WHYY Article Highlights Professor Barry F. Furrow’s Commentary on Fracking Law

Professor Barry R. Furrow’s comments on a new law restricting a doctor’s ability to inquire about a patient’s exposure to certain drilling chemicals, were featured in a April 20 article on StateImpact, a Pennsylvania environmental news initiative of NPR, WHYY and WITF (Harrisburg).

The new law, which requires drillers to provide the state with a list of chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing, with the exception of chemicals the energy companies deem “trade secrets,” prevents doctors from discussing the toxins with patients and public health officials, Furrow said. Furrow argued that the law restricted doctors too much. A big problem is that the law is so vague, taking “public health out of the picture,” which makes doctors nervous, Furrow claimed.

Dean Daniel Filler Discusses the Effect of News Headlines on Jurors in WHYY Online

WHYY online featured commentary by Senior Associate Dean and Professor Daniel Filler in a May 7 article discussing the Philadelphia Archdiocese child sex abuse trial.

As the media focus on the case concerning allegations that 37 active priests were involved in sexual abuse or misconduct intensifies, the WHYY article questioned whether the headlines could lead to juror bias. Filler commented on just how difficult it is to insulate jurors from news headlines. "It's not only a difficult task, it's pretty close to an impossible task," Filler said. Filler added that, if a headline causes bias in the mind of one juror, that bias could trickle down and affect other jurors unless it is brought to the attention of a judge or court officer.

Health Care Case Before Supreme Court Showcases Faculty Expertise

April 18, 2012 — When the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments at the epicenter of the debate over the Affordable Care Act, Professor Robert Field was in the courtroom to cover them for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

An expert on health care reform, Field was in the courtroom to cover a pivotal day of arguments on March 27, on behalf of the Inquirer. His article summarizing the first day of arguments can be found here.

Field will continue to cover the case as it unfolds for the Inquirer and a number of other news outlets.