From the Faculty Director – Public health: A critical issue being addressed by LSI

Gary Marchant

Gary Marchant

Few if any issues are more critical to our societal well-being than public health. We face an ever-growing number of threats, new and old, to our public health, whether it is unhealthy diets and poor nutrition, infectious diseases, environmental insults, water and other resource shortages or risky behaviors. Until very recently, the responsibility for addressing these public health risks was the exclusive domain of medical experts trained in public health, epidemiology, traditional medicine and related fields. Today, though, the legal system plays a central and growing role in protecting public health. Consider the following examples in the news this month where law is front and center in public health controversies:

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Center names new executive director

Josh Abbott

Josh Abbott

Joshua Abbott, a former Washington, D.C., attorney whose interests and background are in science, economics and regulatory policy, has been named Executive Director of the Center for Law, Science & Innovation.

Abbott joined the Center, the first and largest academic center focused on the intersection of law and science, in January. He previously practiced law at Wiley Rein LLP, representing telecommunications and information technology clients, conducting class-action antitrust litigation, and advising clients on legislative, regulatory and policy trends in various technology sectors.

“Josh brings enormous expertise, energy and talent to the Center,” said ASU Regents’ Professor Gary Marchant, the Center’s Faculty Director. “I expect to see a significant ramp-up in the activities and profile of the Center with Josh on board. From the information and communications technology issues that Josh was working on in his law firm, to nanotechnology regulation, personalized medicine, sustainability, public health and intellectual property, the issues that the Center are working on need the type of attention and renewed emphasis that Josh will bring to the job.”

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Faculty Feature – James G. Hodge Jr.

James G. Hodge, Jr.

James G. Hodge Jr.

James G. Hodge Jr., an eminent scholar in public health law and policy, whose work focuses on emergency legal preparedness, public health information privacy law and ethics, legal issues of communicable disease control and health care reform, joined the College of Law in 2009.

Hodge is the ASU Lincoln Professor of Health Law and Ethics and Founding Director of the College of Law’s Public Health Law and Policy Program, which is housed in the Center for Law, Science & Innovation. Hodge is a Center Faculty Fellow, and he teaches courses in Health Law and Policy, Public Health Law and Ethics, and Global Health Law and Policy.

“There is no better time in history to be teaching these issues of health law and policy from a national or global perspective,” Hodge said. “For years, we’ve debated how to rebuild health care and public health systems that are broken or underperforming. Now, we’re on the threshold of major reforms to correct decades of ad hoc fixes and attempts to improve the system.”

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Alumni Spotlight – Jalayne Arias

Jalayne Arias

Jalayne Arias

After Jalayne Arias completed law school in 2008, she practiced law at Steptoe & Johnson, LLP, for a year. However, as a self-proclaimed lover of learning, she realized she missed the classroom and academic research.

Now, Arias is a fellow in the Cleveland Fellowship in Advanced Bioethics at the Cleveland Clinic and pursuing an academic career.

“My fellowship focuses on the ethical issues in medicine,” she said. “It is quite instrumental — allowing me to specialize in neuroethics and to develop myself as a future scholar.”

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Student Profile – Siena Smith

Siena Smith

Siena Smith

Third-year law student Siena Smith will graduate in May, earning a certificate in Law, Science and Innovation.

Smith grew up debating health policy issues around the dinner table since both of her parents work in medicine, and has known she’s wanted to work in the health field since she was young. She thought law would be a good way to achieve her goal.

“Making health work better for people is something that is really interesting to me,” Smith said.

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LSI to host Arizona Solar Summit

AZ Solar SummitThe College of Law will host this spring the second Arizona Solar Summit, which will explore current barriers to solar expansion in the Southwest and delve into the challenges that seem to be standing in the way of a robust solar build-out. The conference will be at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix on March 26-27.

Tickets are $75 or $125 for attorneys seeking CLE. To register, visit law.asu.edu/SolarSummit2012.

Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, will deliver the keynote address, on how the federal government is working with southern states to develop its solar potential. The conference will have a special focus on how state actors can work together with federal agencies in developing a solar future for the Southwest. A “Solar CEOs Roundtable,” during which the leaders of some of America’s top solar companies will discuss the major issues facing their industry.

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National health law professors conference headed to ASU

The 35th annual Health Law Professors Conference, sponsored by the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, will be held at the College of Law from June 7-9. More than 80 institutions from all over the country, including ASU, will be represented.

“It’s really broad based, taking viewpoints and ideas from a wide range of fields that all fit into the idea of health law,” said Daniel Orenstein, Fellow and Faculty Associate in the law school’s Public Health Law and Policy Program.

The conference agenda has not been released yet, but Orenstein said they’ve received a wide variety of submissions for topics to be presented. They include health law, public health law, global health law, health reform, technology and teaching methods.

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