Autonomous-Car Regulations: Lawmakers Are Ready To Let Go of the Steering Wheel


Earlier this fall, not long after Senate Republicans sank their ­party’s seven-year assault on Obamacare, the House of Representatives did something almost unthinkable in the era of Congressional inaction. Two-hundred-and-forty Republicans and 194 Democrats voted unanimously to approve a bill. That bill did not propose a pay raise for Congress or publicly suggest Kim Jong-un suck on a uranium rod. It was actual policy.

Citing the potential safety benefits and economic payoff of robocars, House members established an early framework for ­driverless-vehicle regulations. Or, more accurately, they established that, in the near term, the rules will be few and far between for such vehicles. When it comes to future regulations in this area, law­makers appear ready to let go of the steering wheel and hand over control to auto manufacturers and tech companies.

<Read More>

USC international law professor: Haley performance excellent for first big test in UN role


Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, now U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, was thrust in the international spotlight this week with the situation in North Korea.


University of South Carolina international law professor Joel Samuels told South Carolina Radio Network that he thinks she did well. “She has done a very good job of marshaling international support using diplomacy to bring together a collation on the security council,” said Samuels.

Samuels said the former governor did well given her lack of major diplomatic experience. “It’s been a very impressive show by her as a relatively new player on the international stage and as ambassador to the United Nations,” said Samuels.

<Read More>

US Little Rock at 60: how school segregation returned to the US


On 25 September 1957, nine African American teens in Little Rock, Arkansas, who just three weeks earlier had been blocked from taking their place at high school by members of the national guard, braved a hostile white crowd, climbed the school steps and were escorted to class by the US Army.

The Little Rock Nine, as they became known, were revered for shattering racial segregation in US schools. But 60 years on from the events of that day, racial separation in US schools remains.

While levels of segregation did drop between the late 1960s and 1980, they have steadily increased since then to the point that schools are about as segregated today as they were in the late 1960s.

<Read More>

Future President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom visits the School of Law

The University of South Carolina School of Law welcomed the future President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to campus on Sept. 18 for a three-day visit.  The Right Honourable Baroness Brenda Hale of Richmond DBE, the current deputy president of that court, was appointed in July 2017 as its first female president, a position she will assume in October. The position is the equivalent to Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In addition, Lady Hale is also the treasurer of Gray’s Inn, one of England’s four Inns of Court.

South Carolina Law’s partnership with Gray’s Inn spans 13 years, and it is the only law school in the United States to have a program in which American law students study inside a London Inn of Court. Each year, law professor Martin McWilliams accompanies students to London for a Maymester course at Gray’s Inn, allowing students and faculty rare access into one of the oldest legal systems in the world.

“Our partnership with Gray’s Inn is unprecedented for American law schools, and has given our students a unique experience, as well as extended their legal education in a way we could not teach them at home,” says McWilliams.

Lady Hale’s visit comes on the heels of another prominent justice’s visit to the School of Law. Just days before Lady Hale arrived in Columbia, the Honorable Samuel A. Alito, associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, delivered the keynote address at the dedication ceremony for its new building.

<Read More>

Bundy trial embodies everything dividing America today


It’s that time of year again: The Bundys are going to trial.

This fall, brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy and their father, Cliven, will face charges over a standoff with federal officials in a dispute over federal lands in Nevada.

Many are wondering if they’ll be let off the hook. The two Bundy brothers were acquitted in an October 2016 trial for a different standoff in Oregon. The jury’s “not guilty” verdict on conspiracy charges for the Oregon standoff struck much of the public as shockingly lenient.

As a law professor who researches rural land use and juries, I’ve found that both conflicts over public lands and jury decisions often bring up the same question: Who gets to decide what justice is in America?

<Read More>

School of Law offers free CLE credits with Legal IT Seminars

The School of Law Information Technology Department, along with the Technology Law Students Association (TLSA) and the University of South Carolina School of Law’s Student Bar Association (SBA) have joined together to present a regularly scheduled seminar series on Thursday mornings, on how technology affects the law. The series features guest lecturers who are prominent experts in various legal technology fields. The free seminars are held in the Judge Karen J. Williams Courtroom in the School of Law, and are open to both law students and members of the legal community.

October 12

Rethinking Trust and Verification: Uses for Blockchains in the Practice of Law:
Jack Pringle, Partner, Technology Lawyer and Information Privacy Professional at Adams and Reese LLP

All transactions, whether the transfer of funds, the sale of real and personal property, or otherwise, rely on trust and verification. And transactions traditionally require a bank, an escrow agent, or other trusted third party to ensure that trust and verification. But what if a technology system could replace the third-party’s role so that any two people could contract directly with one another? Blockchains (also called distributed ledger systems) may soon offer validation in a number of areas where lawyers practice, including financial transactions, proof and chain of title, and authentication of many types. Understanding the technology, or at least its potential, is important for those attorneys who take part in the process of authentication and verification. Approved for 1 hour CLE credit (177503).

October 26

Breach Response: Be Prepared or Face the Consequences
Karen Painter Randall — Partner, Chair — Cyber Security & Data Privacy Group, Connell Foley LLP

One can hardly turn on the news these days without hearing about the latest victim of a cyber-attack. The legal profession is not immune from the threat of a costly cyber breach. Cybersecurity is one of the biggest risks that law firms face today. Whether or not you are prepared to manage a security breach will determine the final outcome. Thus, this program will focus on the importance of being prepared to respond to a data breach quickly to mitigate legal, ethical, regulatory and reputational loss. Approved for 1 hour Ethics CLE credit (177668)

November 9

Cybersecurity at Warp Speed for the Legal Profession
Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., President and John Simek, Vice President, Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Lawyers have an ethical duty to be competent and to keep their client data confidential. Clients too want to keep their confidential data protected. Our presenters will cover:

  • Cybersecurity standards for small businesses
  • How to prevent data breaches using a combination of technology, policies and training
  • Secure computing when you’re on the road
  • Two factor authentication
  • Intrusion detection systems
  • Encryption
  • The new rules for strong passwords and password management
  • What you must do after a data breach and the components of an Incident Response Plan
  • Defending against — and recovering from — ransomware

US retail sales dipped 0.2 pct. in August as auto sales fell


Consumers cut back on their shopping in August by the largest amount in six months as declining auto sales offset gains in other areas.

Retail sales fell 0.2 percent last month after a 0.3 percent gain in July, the Commerce Department said Friday. It was the biggest one-month drop since an identical decline in February. Auto sales sank 1.6 percent, the most in seven months.

Excluding autos and gas, which tend to be volatile from month to month, sales dipped 0.1 percent in August after having risen 0.5 percent in July.


U.S. Issues New Self-Driving Car Safety Guidelines


The Trump administration on Tuesday unveiled updated safety guidelines for self-driving cars aimed at clearing barriers for automakers and tech companies wanting to get test vehicles on the road.

The new voluntary guidelines announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao update policies issued last fall by the Obama administration, which were also largely voluntary.

Chao emphasized that the guidelines aren’t meant to force automakers to use certain technology or meet stringent requirements. Instead, they’re designed to clarify what vehicle developers and states should consider as more test cars reach public roads.


Driverless cars on public highways? Go for it, Trump administration says


Go for it! In essence, that’s the Trump administration’s new directive on driverless-car development.

Under those guidelines, automakers and technology companies will be asked to voluntarily submit safety assessments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, but they don’t have to do it.

And states are being advised to use a light regulatory hand.

At a driverless-car test track in Ann Arbor, Mich., Transportation Secretary Elaine Chaopainted a near future of greater safety, fewer deaths, higher productivity and more time spent with loved ones as robots increasingly take over the tasks of driving and commuters are freed for other activities.