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Volume 65
COMMENT: The Road to Prison is Paved with Bad Evaluations: The Case for Functional Behavioral Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans

By Stephanie M. Poucher │ 65 Am. U. L. Rev.  471 (2015)

In 1997, Congress amended the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) to include provisions meant to assist school districts in educating students with behavioral needs.  These amendments required schools to use functional behavioral assessments (“FBA”) and behavior intervention plans (“BIP”) under certain circumstances. Congress did not, however, include a definition of or substantive requirements for either system of behavior management. As a result, although BIPs and FBAs are now federally mandated requirements, and it is clear that disregarding behavioral issues is a denial of a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”), the IDEA’s adjudicative standard, there is no clear consensus as to whether a student with behavioral needs must have an FBA or a BIP or what either must include.  The IDEA’s lack of guidance has resulted in inconsistent and often contradictory court rulings, and the lack of specific definitions and procedures has allowed schools to develop purportedly legal but substantively deficient behavior evaluations and intervention plans for special needs students.

COMMENT: A Spoof of Justice: Double Jeopardy Implications for Convictions of Both Spoofing and Commodities Fraud for the Same Transaction

By Abram Olchyk | 65 Am. U. L. Rev. 239 (2015)


To the fastest go the spoils. The rise of automated algorithmic trading has transformed the American stock market into an institution prioritizing speed above all else. The relative chaos implicit in light-speed trading obscures the view of regulators, providing an enterprising new breed of traders ample opportunity to manipulate the market. The most recent scheme garnering the attention of state and federal agencies is known as spoofing, where a trader initiates a precise pattern of trades to lure in buyers or sellers—thereby raising or lowering the value of the commodity—trading on the distortion, then cancelling the baited trades before they fully execute.

COMMENT: They[’ve] Got Eyes In The Sky: How The Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act Governs Body Camera Use In Public Schools

By Sarah Pierce West | 65 Am. U. L. Rev. 1533 (2016)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is the premier federal law that protects student privacy rights in public schools.  In the face of increasing technology, courts have struggled to determine what information qualifies as a student’s “education record” protected under FERPA.  Body cameras are being increasingly utilized throughout the country.  School districts have contemplated using body cameras within schools, and some districts could soon allow school administrators to use them in disciplinary proceedings against students.  This Comment argues that FERPA should govern the use of body camera footage within public schools, and that such footage should qualify as an education record due to its wealth of personally identifiable information and its use by school personnel.  This Comment also discusses the incompatibility of certain state open records laws with FERPA and concludes that disclosure of the body camera education records will depend on individual jurisdictional interpretations of FERPA as binding law. 

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2015 Veterans Law Decisions of the Federal Circuit

By Paul M. Schoenhard | 65 Am. U. L. Rev. 1059 (2016)

In 2015, the number of precedential opinions issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit regarding veterans affairs remained low, and again the Federal Circuit’s focus remained predominantly on matters of procedure and jurisdiction rather than substantive veterans benefits law. Significantly, only one of the Federal Circuit’s twelve precedential opinions in this area represents a decision in favor of a veteran.

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COMMENT: Impermissive Counterclaims: Why Nonresident Plaintiffs Can Contest Personal Jurisdiction in Unrelated Countersuits

By Jon D. Bressler | 65 Am. U. L. Rev. 641 (2016) 

The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held that fairness is the guiding principle in determining whether, by his activities, a defendant has submitted to personal jurisdiction in a particular forum.  However, this question has never been explicitly addressed with respect to unrelated counterclaims a defendant may bring against a plaintiff, where the plaintiff’s only connection to the forum is his litigation with the defendant.  While some have concluded that it would be fair to automatically subject a plaintiff to jurisdiction in the forum in which he chooses to sue, that conclusion is at odds with the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause and modern understandings of fair play.  This Comment, therefore, argues that an original nonresident plaintiff should have the right to contest personal jurisdiction when a defendant brings an unrelated counterclaim against him.

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