I received an e-mail from Katherine A. Macfarlane, Teaching Fellow and Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center. She has kindly allowed me to reprint it and I do so below. But first, Katherine’s work shows that academic research can materially assist the rest of us. I hope she continues her great work.
The e-mail reads as follow, and note, please, the text that I have highlighted in red:
Dear Judge Kopf,
In light of your recent blog post, I thought you might be interested in my attached article, posted on SSRN in August, and accepted for publication in the Michigan Journal of Race & Law in September. It’s about the SDNY’s related cases rule and its role in stop-and-frisk litigation. Curiously, three of the non-legal sources I cited to–an article by Jeffrey Toobin in the New Yorker, an article by Joe Goldstein in the New York Times, and an article by Mark Hamblett in the New York Law Journal–were also cited by the Second Circuit in its recent order kicking Judge Scheindlin off the stop-and-frisk cases. The “appearance of impartiality” idea also pops up in my article. This is either an incredible coincidence, or else, a clerk read my SSRN post. Either way, I hope you find my article of interest.
The Second Circuit’s decision to reassign the cases makes no sense to me, as Judge Scheindlin merely followed the local rules. As to whether the local rules invite manipulation of the case assignment process is an entirely different question that my article attempts to tackle.
Katherine A. Macfarlane
Teaching Fellow and Assistant Professor of Professional Practice
LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center