WXXI AM News

legal

We welcome a panel of attorneys to discuss the primary, and sometimes hidden, legal questions at play in the Kavanaugh hearings. We find that when attorneys from all ideological backgrounds discuss the hearings, they tend to focus on things that the lay public does not.

We explore those issues with our guests:

  • Sharon Stiller, partner and director of the employment law practice at Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf & Carone, LLP
  • Chris Thomas, partner with Nixon Peabody
  • Melanie S. Wolk, Esq. partner at Trevett Cristo
  • Sharon Kelly Sayers, Esq., local attorney

The University at Buffalo has launched an Innocence and Justice Project, devoted to helping inmates who were wrongfully convicted have their convictions reversed. The project brings eight students into contact with the 440 motions from inmates; those inmates might be innocent, or they might have suffered a miscarriage of justice in some way.

We talk about the effort to bring more resources to inmates who don't have the means to fight their convictions. Our guests:

  • Kim Diana Connolly, director of the University at Buffalo School of Law's Advocacy Institute
  • Jon Getz '92, co-director of the University at Buffalo’s Innocence and Justice Project
  • Farina Mendelson '17, third year law student and participant in the University at Buffalo’s Innocence and Justice Project

A federal court has ruled that if an employer fires a worker for wearing his or her hair in dreadlocks, it's not racial discrimination. Did the court get it right?

The case centered on Chastity Jones, a woman who was offered a job with an insurance claims processing company, but had the offer rescinded because she wore dreadlocks. Jones said it was a form of discrimination. A judge decided that while firing based on skin color is not protected, firing based on hairstyle is protected; the judge said that race can not be changed, but hairstyle can be changed.

We discuss the case with our guests: 

Our legal roundtable will address a number of recent legal issues in the news. For starters: the Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of a man who posted threatening messages on Facebook. What does that mean for online threats and stalking? There's new legislation designed to protect what cheerleaders are paid, based on the Buffalo Jills story. Governor Cuomo's Wage Board is addressing the minimum wage for fast-food workers... but what, exactly, constitutes fast food? Our roundtable: