University of Washington School of Law
DISCOVERY is a podcast presented by the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, WA, featuring distinguished guests discussing today's biggest social, political and legal issues.
Episodes focus on a diverse mix of legal- and legal-adjacent topics through intimate conversations with experts, speakers and leaders from around the globe.
Todos los episodios
In 2020, the United States held its first presidential election in a pandemic. It was expected that nationwide voting by mail would cause issues, but few expected a partisan fight over access to voting during a pandemic. Elisabeth Frost is a partner at Perkins Coie, which has the oldest political law department in the country. She specializes in litigation that involves the political practice. On this episode, she discusses the election and the role lawyers must play in safeguarding American democracy in the immediate fight against voter suppression.
25 min 11 seg
Since George Floyd's murder this past summer, dozens of bills have been introduced at the Washington Legislature intending to increase accountability and transparency among police forces. ACLU of Washington attorney Enoka Herat has worked on many of them, including two landmark pieces of legislation that address police tactics and use of force. On this episode, she talks about the ways in which activism shaped the state's current legislative agenda, and she discusses roles lawyers play in abolishing police violence through work at the legislative level.
15 min 37 seg
Over the past four years, members of America's business community have taken increasingly stronger steps in opposition of divisive policies, actions and rhetoric of the Trump presidency. That footfall became heaviest following the 2020 election and Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Now with states across the country seeking to enact more restrictive voter suppression laws, Professor Jeffery Sonnenfeld discusses the history of corporate social responsibility in America and the sky-high expectations of corporations to serve as leaders for social change.
24 min 33 seg
Yakama Nation v. Klickitat County involves a dispute that dates back 150 years and encompasses issues central to Tribal sovereignty in Washington state. Revolving around the status of tract of land on the Yakama Reservation's southern boundary, the case calls in to play a legal framework that has been a pillar of U.S. Indian law for centuries. When you throw in a SCOTUS ruling with major potential implications, the conversation gets even more complicated. On a new episode of DISCOVERY, attorney Ethan Jones joins UW Law to discuss current issues, their history and potential outcomes as the case makes its way through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
19 min 56 seg
Data is one of the world's most valuable commodities, and every second companies are collecting lots of it. With so much information available, open data offers limitless opportunities to benefit the greater public. Figuring out how to license it effectively, however, has proved tricky. Steven Mortinger knows this particularly well: At IBM, he has been on the cutting edge of all things IP for decades. He discusses the current state of and potential futures for open data licensing in 2021 and beyond.
17 min 50 seg
Oregon Measure 109 is a landmark piece of legislation that creates a legal market for psilocybin-assisted therapy in the state — the first of its kind anywhere in the United States. On this episode, hear from Dave Kopilak, the law's primary drafter, who shares insights into what it takes to put together a successful ballot measure centered in such an uncharted field of the law.
26 min 13 seg
The Japanese American incarceration during World War II is a black eye on U.S. history. In the four decades that followed, activists and community leaders waged what was ultimately a successful campaign for redress and reparations on behalf of those who were sent to the internment camps. On this episode, Professor Margaret Chon discusses how the reparations campaign built on groundwork laid during the Civil Rights Movement, and she explores how the decadeslong drive informs today's fight for racial justice in America.
20 min 29 seg
California v. Texas is a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court that is the first major challenge to the Affordable Care Act since the appointment of the court's newest justice. Over the past decade, the ACA has been surprisingly resilient despite constant legal battles — and this one certainly won't be the last. Health law expert Joan Altman has been on the front lines in Washington since the law's earliest days. She sheds light on what went down at oral arguments and discusses what we can infer from the justices' commentary.
22 min 28 seg
Recent legislation and several key developments this past year are impacting the future of gaming on Tribal lands in Washington. HB 2638 is of particular significance, which last March legalized sports wagering at Tribal casinos. Rion Ramirez and David Trujillo have been at the negotiating table for years. They join to discuss the history of gaming on Tribal lands in Washington, how to build a solid foundation for new gaming programs, and what this landmark law means for Tribes across the state.
22 min 10 seg
Law students can be notoriously hard on themselves amid the pressure cooker that is law school. That stress, says Dr. Isaiah Pickens, manifests in a number of ways, including feelings of imposterism that can be hard to shake. 2020 certainly hasn't made the experience any easier, but Pickens asserts there are still important approaches that strengthen the mental muscles that foster resilience in the face of difficult challenges. He shares key learnings from his recent student-focused training hosted by UW Law.
17 min 45 seg
When COVID-19 first gained a foothold in Washington, Taya Briley knew her world was about to be turned upside down. As executive vice president and general counsel of the WSHA, Briley is one of the Washington medical community's key leaders tasked with spearheading response efforts to the rapidly evolving legal issues raised by the virus. Working on behalf of the state's 114 community hospitals, Briley remains at the vanguard of the complex challenges hospitals must continue to navigate today. She joins DISCOVERY to share her experiences lawyering in the time of COVID-19.
19 min 40 seg
The one-two punch of COVID-19 and political efforts to undermine the voting process has made this U.S. presidential election unlike any other. Yet despite these challenges, mail-in and early voting are driving record turnout across the country. Now with the election just one week away, what if anything should voters be aware of as they head to polls? On the season three premiere of DISCOVERY presented by UW Law, Free Speech for People Legal Director Ron Fein dispels myths about, shares insights into and discusses reforms needed to improve access to the ballot box in 2020 and beyond.
17 min 9 seg
The Trump Administration has pursued one of the most aggressive deregulatory agendas since the Reagan years, leveraging a variety of political and legal tactics to do so. As the United States ramps up toward the 2020 election, University of Chicago Law School Professor Jonathan Masur details how the Trump Administration has used executive orders, cost-benefit analyses and the application of the Chevron deference principle to roll back regulations across American industries.
16 min 43 seg
Leading forensics expert Dr. Geoffrey Baird is no stranger to the courtroom. Over the years, he has been called upon regularly to share insights and analysis in some of the country's biggest, most high-profile cases. A litigator's abilities to effectively wield forensic evidence and present expert testimony can make or break a case, which is why Dr. Baird is also a frequent guest in UW Law classrooms. He discusses how law students can hone their skills and use forensics to their advantage in court.
28 min 21 seg
Jails and prisons are dangerous incubators of the COVID-19 virus, and incarcerated individuals constitute one of the country's most at-risk populations. This unprecedented reality has amplified discussions around incarceration in the United States, accelerating advocacy efforts as calls for reform get louder. La Rond Baker has spent her career in the legal profession spearheading civil rights and criminal justice initiatives in Washington. She joins to discuss the pandemic's disproportionate effects on prison populations, and she outlines potential impacts that could stretch beyond the virus' reach.
21 min 30 seg
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit gig economy workforces particularly hard, amplifying the vulnerabilities workers face when they lack the same financial and medical protections as other jobs. Now, these challenges are being taken up in court as contractors, freelancers, app-based workers and more struggle to get by in the midst of the crisis. On this episode, Orly Lobel — a labor law expert and University of San Diego School of Law professor of law — takes a deep dive into the gig economy in the time of COVID-19 and explores potential lasting solutions to the most pressing issues.
22 min 31 seg
Along her path from the classroom to the courthouse, Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis experienced the unique challenges and pressures people of color face in a field where individuals like herself remain vastly underrepresented. Today, the UW Law alumna brings those experiences to her new leadership role on the Washington Supreme Court after becoming the first Native American to serve on the state’s highest bench. On this episode of DISCOVERY presented by UW Law, Justice Montoya-Lewis shares her remarkable journey to her seat on Washington’s highest bench, and she discusses the issues — and opportunities — legal institutions face in becoming more diverse, equitable and inclusive.
28 min 7 seg
What can laws governing the natural world tell us about those that govern societies? According to Ted Sichelman: quite a bit. Employing a wealth of mathematical research, thought experiments and some truly mind-bending equations, the University of San Diego professor of law breaks down the ground-breaking quantitative measures he has developed to analyze legal systems. He goes on to outline the structural parallels between scientific and social laws, and how his findings apply to the real world. Get your calculators out for this one — you're going to need 'em.
20 min 20 seg
U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments provide a unique window into decision-making at the highest level. In fact, the ways justices argue may tell us more about potential outcomes than even the arguments themselves. Tonja Jacobi, Stanford Clinton Sr. and Zylpha Kilbride Clinton Research Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, has conducted years of empirical research in this space. On this episode, she illustrates how patterns of interruptions, speaking time — and more than a little "mansplaining" — among justices and attorneys inform predictions for the court's most consequential decisions.
20 min 20 seg
When was the last time you read every page of Senate bill, processed each word of a mortgage agreement, or even parsed through an app's terms and conditions? If you're inclined to scroll straight to "accept," you're not alone. And as law professor and author Wendy Wagner writes in a new book, this idea of information overload is purposefully baked into the foundation of America's most important institutions. On this episode of DISCOVERY, Wagner discusses examples from politics, science, finance and more to illustrate how comprehensibility of information — or lack thereof — negatively impacts consumers.
23 min 56 seg
As Washington's 22nd governor, Gov. Christine Gregoire spent two terms grappling with questions around middle-income housing, transportation, workforce development and more, all over a time of unprecedented change in the Emerald State. Now as a private citizen, Gov. Gregoire continues to attack the same issues head on, leading a first-of-its-kind coalition comprising the leaders from the region's most influential corporations. On a very special episode of DISCOVERY, Gov. Gregoire takes a deep dive into the biggest challenges facing Seattle — and how the Pacific Northwest's top companies are coming together to address them.
25 min 51 seg
We live in an age when algorithmic decision-making impacts more of our lives than ever before, from college admissions and job offers to financial opportunities and more. But does relying on automation for these kinds of crucial decisions actually amplify, rather than eliminate, the implicit bias it is supposed to curb? Law and technology expert Ifeoma Ajunwa argues algorithmic decision-making can in fact hide bias under the veneer of objectivity — and gaps in current legal architecture foment the ability to do so. She joins DISCOVERY to explore present challenges and how viewing the issue through a legal lens provides opportunities for potential solutions.
18 min 36 seg
Service opportunities for public-interest-minded students may not seem abundant in the oft-adversarial legal field. But as organizer and UCLA Lecturer in Law Claudia Peña explains, private practice and other "rebellious lawyering" opportunities provide tremendous space to advance social justice both within and beyond the courtroom. Peña shares her own law school experiences and discusses how students can leverage opportunities outside the classroom to impact communities as lawyers, activists and leaders.
18 min 54 seg
The legal profession's demanding nature can take a toll on mental health for lawyers and students alike. Law school in particular presents its own unique stressors and challenges, and exams and classes often easily supersede self-care — sometimes with serious consequences. Self-care is easier said than done, Joe Bankman admits, but it goes hand in hand with success in the classroom and beyond. He joins to share practical strategies he has developed to help students manage mental health during law school.
12 min 48 seg
In 2016, the Russian government orchestrated vast disinformation campaigns that leveraged U.S. race relations to influence the presidential election. In the years since, how much has changed? More importantly, are we any better equipped to fight back heading into 2020? On this episode, Mutale Nkonde — who in addition to her work at Harvard is a public interest technologist and founder of nonprofit AI for the People — discusses the role race plays in election interference efforts. And with current disinformation campaigns already well underway, Mutale takes time to outline specific strategies for what we can do as voters to protect American democracy.
33 min 2 seg
Criminal convictions, including those for lower-level crimes, create collateral consequences that can last a lifetime, such as limitations on employment opportunities and the ability to find housing. For offenders in Washington, the process of vacating those convictions later in life has ranged from limited to near impossible. Until now. On this episode, Maria Jouravleva of the KCBA discusses a landmark law that provides a broader path to righting wrongs of the past in the hope of minimizing recidivism.
14 min 42 seg
Bias is an implicit element of the human condition whether we know it or not. But when it comes to discussing our own deep-seated notions about race, gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status, how do we put ego on the line and start to break down those barriers? K.J. Williams discusses why this topic is particularly important to unpack in the context of the legal field, and she offers insights for interrupting microaggressions in service of a more equitable and inclusive legal community.
18 min 11 seg
While the Hong Kong protests and Chinese censorship dominate the headlines, the U.S.-China trade war continues to send shockwaves through the global economy and is hitting Washingtonians particularly hard. On a special episode of DISCOVERY, Gov. Gary Locke joins to share his insights as 10th U.S. Ambassador to China in the Obama Administration. He discusses his experience working with the Chinese government, opportunities for deescalation, and what a prolonged conflict could mean for Washington state.
23 min 16 seg
At a time when the American democratic system is being tested and debated in new ways, IP law expert and litigator William LaMarca discusses why the patent system's statutory framework is a reflection of the Constitution's separation of powers at work in its purest form. On the season two premiere of DISCOVERY, William outlines key examples and dives into specific cases that illustrate how the patent system can be a model for American democracy in an increasingly polarized political climate.
15 min 6 seg
The First Amendment's free exercise clause is one of the most important lines in the U.S. Constitution that, when coupled with the establishment clause, constitutes the foundation of religious freedom in the United States. Throughout U.S. history, the application of the clause has changed dramatically, and for the past 29 years, these changes have had profound effects on the outcomes of a multitude of cases surrounding free exercise of religion. On this episode, Steven Collis discusses the history of free exercise in the United States alongside current cases that illustrate its evolution over time.
23 min 16 seg
One of the central ideas to the formation of the European Union is a concept known as free movement, which allows nationals of member countries to immigrate to and claim social services in other EU nations. But with Brexit, a rising tide of nationalism in areas across the continent and ongoing debates raging over immigration policy, the law is being tested in new ways. On this episode, Professor Dr. Ferdinand Wollenschläger, Chair for Public Law, European Law and Public Economic Law at the University of Augsburg, discusses the history of free movement and its place in today's biggest issues.
15 min 37 seg
While it is generally understood how intellectual property law applies to businesses, entrepreneurs, creatives and the like, IP in fact has played foundational roles in a profusion of landmark cases addressing the country's biggest sociopolitical issues. On this episode, Jessica Silbey, professor of law at Northeastern University and co-director of the school's Center for Law, Innovation and Creativity, challenges traditional notions of the field, discusses impacts of the digital age, and spotlights key cases that illustrate why IP law is woven through the very fabric of American democracy.
20 min 13 seg
Every year, thousands of individuals around the globe up and vanish without a trace — and it's Bernard Duhaime's job to help find them. As head of one of the United Nations' most unique working groups, Duhaime has worked on more than 57,000 cases in which activists, journalists, opposition leaders and more fell victim to state-sponsored disappearances. While the work leads to many dead ends and painful outcomes, the successes represent tireless efforts of local organizations and the ferocious strength of the families who never gave up searching for their loved ones. On this episode, find out what it's like to be the one whose job it is to find ghosts.
12 min 25 seg
Section 2 of the 14th Amendment is one of the U.S. Constitution's most important evolutions. While it has never been enforced, this particular section gets to the very heart of voting rights in the United States — and its history constitutes a compelling story all its own. On this episode, Franita Tolson, Professor of Law at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, joins to tell that story. She breaks down the importance of understanding these critical passages, and she sheds light on how they inform the biggest debates around ballot access issues as America barrels toward 2020.
18 min 14 seg
The international coffee trade is a $200 billion industry that is growing bigger by the day. But with demand projected to double over the next decade, inequities in the supply chain and a rapidly changing climate are rattling its foundation as farmers struggle to make a living wage. On this episode of DISCOVERY, Hilary Haddigan shares insights into tenuous situations in coffee-growing regions around the world through her experience as chief of mission effectiveness for global nonprofit Heifer International.
15 min 37 seg
The dynamic between the United States and China is one of the world's most important relationships, and around the globe, conflicts between the two superpowers are stoking the flames of a growing—and increasingly dangerous—rivalry. Professor Lyle J. Goldstein is the founding director of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the Naval War College and a leading voice on U.S.-China relations. He joins DISCOVERY to talk about the potential flashpoints and the urgency for leaders on both sides of the Pacific to approach key issues in new ways.
21 min 46 seg
Since 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court has undergone a period of unprecedented change, and the events of the past two years are likely to be felt for generations to come. On this episode of DISCOVERY, we welcome a very special guest: Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and one of the nation's most influential voices on all things Supreme Court. A prolific constitutional scholar who has argued many cases before the highest court in the land, Dean Chemerinsky sits down to discuss its future and the role young lawyers will need to play to restore balance to a decidedly unbalanced judicial landscape.
18 min 19 seg
The judiciary is designed to be a check on the executive and legislative powers in the United States. But what if this isn't always the case? On the first episode of DISCOVERY, author and American University Professor of Law Robert Tsai unpacks the concept of judicial complicity, outlining strategies for when and how to hold judges accountable for decisions that can rattle the very foundation of American democracy.
12 min 5 seg
In the early morning hours of Dec. 4, 1969, FBI agents raided the apartment where Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton was sleeping and shot him dead. Years later, a Chicago Police Department detective by the name of Jon Burge charged up a small electric box that would soon be used to torture hundreds of black men. The connection: Flint Taylor, author, attorney and founding partner of the People's Law Office. As litigator in the cases central to these events, he has spent his career seeking justice for those involved. On this episode of DISCOVERY, Taylor details the harrowing sagas of the Hampton murders and the infamous CPD torture ring.
20 min 49 seg
The world feels more divided than ever, and in the age of social media, 24-hour cable news and polarizing political rhetoric, it can feel impossible to talk to each other about the biggest issues of our time. Ken Cloke is changing that narrative. As founder of the Center for Dispute Resolution, he has worked with myriad clients at the individual and corporate levels to facilitate conversations around society's most divisive topics. On this episode, he discusses how people can find ways to come together at a critical juncture in our history.
13 min 44 seg
Whether you're a barista, barrister or baseball player, most everyone experiences a negative work environment at some point in his, her or their career. And given the average person will spend some 90,000 hours in the workplace over a lifetime, a toxic culture can be downright destructive to employees. Dr. Rhea Settles witnessed this firsthand in multiple levels of the education system, inspiring her to found The Civility Zone. On this episode, she shares what she's learned from her work with clients and offers practical solutions to foster a workplace culture based on respect and – you guessed it – civility.
17 min 19 seg