The Center for Law, Health and Society represents the culmination of research, educational and community outreach initiatives developed in the health law field at Georgia State University. For more information about the center, visit clhs.law.gsu.edu.


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Prof. Todres Quoted in ABA Article Calling for US to Ratify Convention on the Rights of the Child

todres finalWith Somalia and South Sudan ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 2015, the United States is the last of the 197 United Nations member states that has not yet ratified the CRC. Despite being involved in the original negotiations to develop it under President Ronald Reagan’s administration and President Bill Clinton signing it, and despite ratifying optional protocols on human trafficking and the role of children in armed conflict, the U.S. government has not yet moved forward on ratifying the CRC.

The American Bar Association and its Center for Children and the Law have long supported ratification of the CRC. The ABA House of Delegates adopted a recommendation in 1991 supporting ratification of the CRC in principle. In 2014 the ABA renewed efforts, calling on the President Barrack Obama’s administration to submit the CRC to the Senate for consideration.

Advocates of the CRC feel the time is right to push again for ratification. Opponents argue that this treaty could infringe on parental rights, and that treaties more generally threaten American sovereignty. Professor Jonathan Todres, quoted in the March issue of the ABA Journal‘s article “ABA adds its voice to calls for the U.S. to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” said that the CRC has been used as an unfortunate political pawn to the detriment of children in need. However, “[t]he language of the treaty and evidence from other countries’ implementation of the CRC demonstrate that the CRC can be a wonderful tool that supports children and their families,” he said.

Jonathan Todres is a professor of law at Georgia State University College of Law and a member of the Center for Law, Health & Society. His research focuses on a range of issues related to children’s rights and child well-being, including child trafficking and related forms of exploitation.

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Prof. Lytton on Kosher Certification of Restaurants in New York City

lytton finalNearly 300 restaurants in New York City are under kosher supervision, most of them by the Orthodox Union. In 2004, New York State’s kosher fraud law was struck down as unconstitutional, increasing reliance on private certifiers to assure the kosher integrity of restaurant food.

In its March 6 article, “Rabbis with Blowtorches: The Business of Kosher Restaurants,” Crain’s New York Business quoted Professor Timothy Lytton, the author of Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food (Harvard University Press 2013). Lytton asserts that “five organizations control 80% of the [kosher certification] business, with the [Orthodox Union] dominating the field.” The article speculated that the Orthodox Union “likely generates about $80 million in revenue annually.…Only about 10% of that comes from restaurant certification, for which it typically charges $1,300 a month.”

Timothy D. Lytton is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law and a member of the Center for Law, Health & Society. His research examines health and safety regulation with a focus on food policy. He is the author of Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food (Harvard U. Press 2013) and is currently writing a book on the U.S. food safety system.

 


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Prof. Zettler quoted on FDA and Amarin settlement

zettler finalThe FDA has long prohibited companies from promoting their drugs for uses that the FDA has not approved, known as “off-label uses.”  Last year, Amarin Corp. sued the FDA after the agency blocked its efforts to promote its fish oil pills for off-label uses, arguing that the firm’s claims were protected by the First Amendment.  This week STAT News reported on a first-of-its-kind settlement between the FDA and Amarin, which expressly allows Amarin to promote its fish oil drug for off-label uses so long as the promotion is not false or misleading.  In the article, Professor Patti Zettler explained that this agreement does not change the rules for how other companies may market their drugs, but it “might give companies some ammunition to negotiate with FDA and say they should be allowed to do the same thing.”

Patricia J. Zettler is an associate professor at Georgia State University College of Law and a member of the Center for Law, Health & Society. She was a former attorney with the Food and Drug Administration. Zettler’s research focuses on the regulation of medicine, biotechnology, and biomedical research, as well as food and drug policy.


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Job Opening — Clinical Supervising Attorney, HeLP Legal Services Clinic

Georgia State Law currently seeks qualified applicants to fill the position of Clinical Supervising Attorney (#1600328) in the HeLP Legal Services Clinic. The Clinical Supervising Attorney will assist clinic faculty in expanding enrollment in the clinic and in delivering interprofessional education programs to law students, professional students enrolled in graduate programs in medicine, nursing, public health, and social work, and to health care professionals working at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The scope of responsibilities for this position include these essential duties, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Work with clients through the Health Law Partnership (HeLP) in a variety of civil legal problems affecting children’s health, including addressing poor housing conditions, access to public benefits, family stability, access to healthcare, obtaining disability benefits, and accessing a free and appropriate public education.
  • Work with law and other health-related graduate students on client cases, including client intake, case consultations, and court preparation and proceedings, and on educational programming associated with HeLP.
  • Assist in teaching the class component of the HeLP Legal Services Clinic including training regarding the laws, regulations, and the social, economic, and environmental factors that impact health and the role such factors play in contributing to health disparities and health inequality among racial and ethnic minorities and low-income individuals.  Also directly supervise law students.
  • Assist in the documentation of cases and outcomes of cases handled by HeLP; coordinate the provisions, evaluation, and documentation of interprofessional education sessions described above; work with the independent program evaluator for HeLP and GSU law faculty on the research and evaluation components of HeLP.
  • Perform other professional duties as needed or requested.

The preferred candidate should possess the following highly desirable qualifications:

  • Juris Doctor (J.D.), licensed to practice in the State of Georgia with three year experience representing clients;
  • Experience teaching;
  • Experience in health care, such as nursing, public health or social work;
  • Experience in education law; and
  • Proficiency in Spanish.

To view the full position details and apply, visit the Georgia State University employment website and search  requisition #16000328 under staff opportunities.

HeLP-Partners2The Health Law Partnership is a medical-legal partnership among Georgia State University College of Law, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Atlanta Legal Aid Society. Through this community collaboration, health care providers and lawyers address the multiple social and economic conditions that affect the health of low-income children. One of HeLP’s core components is interdisciplinary education of graduate and professional students through the HeLP Legal Services Clinic at Georgia State Law.


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Professor Todres Blogs About Children’s Rights and Access to Quality Childcare

todres finalEmphasizing that early childhood is a crucial developmental stage in a child’s life, Professor Jonathan Todres urges that “waiting until children enter the public sphere (by starting school) before attending to children’s rights runs the risk of leaving millions of children at a disadvantage.” In his March 2 blog, “Supporting Families’ Efforts to Advance Children’s Rights and Well-Being,” Todres addresses the struggle many working families face in finding affordable, safe, and education-rich childcare for children younger than school age.  In support of the recently introduced Child C.A.R.E. Act, which helps guarantee access to high-quality child care to low-income families, Todres argues that guaranteeing access to high-quality child care “would simultaneously help advance children’s development while alleviating employment and other economic pressures on working parents.” More on the Child C.A.R.E. Act bill may be found here.

Jonathan Todres is a professor of law at Georgia State University College of Law and a member of the Center for Law, Health & Society. His research focuses on a range of issues related to children’s rights and child well-being, including child trafficking and related forms of exploitation.

 


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Prof. Lytton Speaks on Recent Food Safety Lawsuits

lytton finalIn recent years, the public has increasingly become aware of foodborne illnesses resulting from manufacturers’ and chain restaurants’ poor food safety practices. Most recently, in fall 2015, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. had to temporarily close numerous of its restaurants, coast to coast, as a result of Salmonella, norovirus, and E. coli outbreaks linked to its restaurants. The outbreaks sickened over 500 people. In addition to consumer civil lawsuits, the U.S. Department of Justice has stepped in to investigate. If DOJ decides to move forward with the case, prosecution may lead to criminal liability, both for the company, as a whole, and for the executives, individually. Although DOJ has had the legal power to prosecute similar cases to this extent in the past, recent policy changes, including the guidance from the 2015 Yates Memo, have prompted stricter rules and more forceful investigations.

Professor Timothy Lytton commented on the issue in Corporate Counsel’s March 1 article “Food Scare: Chipotle’s Woes Highlight Supply Chain Risks for Execs.” Lytton states: “what happens in the evolution of public policies is that there are certain focusing events, things that for some reason or another capture people’s attention and create pressure for policy change.” The two events he identifies as drivers for the policy change is the 2008 Virginia-based Peanut Corporation of America’s salmonella outbreak, where 714 people became ill and nine people died, and the 2011 Jensen Farm’s listeria outbreak, where 147 people became ill and thirty-three people died. He further notes, however, that although DOJ has great legal leeway to bring individual prosecutions, their resources are limited. As such, DOJ tends to focus its prosecution “in cases where there are repeated violation and apparent refusal to clean up the process…or where they consider there to be gross negligence.”

Timothy D. Lytton is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law and a member of the Center for Law, Health & Society. His research examines health and safety regulation with a focus on food policy. He is the author of Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food (Harvard U. Press 2013) and is currently writing a book on the U.S. food safety system.


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Prof. Lytton Quoted in the LA Times on Privacy Concerns Behind Apple’s Refusal to Hack Into iPhone of San Bernardino Shooter

lytton finalSince December’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, federal investigators have been pressuring Apple to write a code that would hack the iPhone that belonged to one of the deceased shooters. The government has an interest in unlocking the phone’s passcode, believing there to be possible intelligence of ISIS or clues to finding additional terrorists. The concern for privacy rights and autonomy has fueled the argument against Apple creating the hack code, however. As Ted Olsen, Apple’s attorney, argues, demanding the company to recreate a code, effectively “changing” its product, surpasses the line and opens the door to invading in others’ privacy.

The Los Angeles Times quoted Professor Timothy Lytton in its Feb. 23 article “Car Makers Had to Install Air Bags; Shouldn’t Apple Have to Hack Its iPhone?”  Professor Lytton explained that “Apple is arguing that the cellphone is a private space and that the user’s privacy would be infringed.” He furthered argued that “[t]he government is asking for a modification of a product that implicates an important right. Your phone is a private sphere of substance, just like your bedroom.”

Timothy D. Lytton is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law and a member of the Center for Law, Health & Society.  His expertise is in the public policy implications of tort litigation. Lytton is the editor of Suing the Gun Industry: A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts (2005).