Here’s what’s next: Utah Law faculty discuss innovative legal research in new video series

Feb 26, 2024 | Belonging & Access

Five members of our Utah Law faculty discuss the cutting-edge research they're conducting—and the pressing societal questions they're working to answer—in our brand-new video series. Find out what each professor is working on in their spotlights below.

How legal rules shape death and dying in the United States: Associate Professor Daniel Aaron

Associate Professor Daniel Aaron researches the legal and social trends that explain the fall in American life expectancy, which includes studying breakdowns in regulatory and legal systems that contribute to American mortality and wrestling with how to repair them. Aaron has published articles on the intersection of food and drug law, administrative law, tort and multidistrict litigation, tobacco, racial inequity, corporate power, and regulatory capture. He is currently working with Professor Tammi Etheridge at Washington & Lee on mass tort litigation, an empirical project of Supreme Court cases about death, and more theoretical work on the way judges and lawmakers invoke death to justify legal decisions.

Cultural awareness and identity performance in the legal profession: Clinical Professor Leslie Culver

Clinical Professor Leslie Culver teaches law students to develop their legal writing, research, and oral advocacy skills through an elevated lens of identity formation. Her research agenda is driven by her Christian faith in equality and doctrinally lies at the intersection of race and ethnicity discourse and social science disciplines. She focuses more narrowly on the reality of identity strategies for traditionally marginalized groups and more broadly on “conscious identity performance” and cultural awareness—and how they overlap in every individual and prevent access toward diversity, inclusion, and equity within the legal profession. Professor Culver has presented and published widely in this area and is passionate about empowering all her students to be culturally conscious attorneys in this racial era through expansive identity performance tools. Her scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Nevada Law Journal, San Diego Law Review, the Journal of Legal Education, and the Journal of Gender & Justice.

The role of bystanders and enablers of sexual assault: Professor Amos Guiora

Professor Amos Guiora has spent the past 10 years researching, writing, and lecturing on the question of bystanders (originally in the Holocaust), which resulted in his books, The Crime of Complicity: The Bystander in the Holocaust and Armies of Enablers: Survivor Stories of Complicity and Betrayal in Sexual Assaults. Professor Guiora’s most recent article, Holding Enablers of Child Sexual Abuse Accountable: The Case of Jeremy Bell, addresses the role of enablers in sexual assault of children. He has also written a book about the Jeremy Bell case that will be published in 2024. Professor Guiora directs the SJ Quinney College of Law Bystander Initiative.

Achieving autonomy for people with intellectual disabilities: Professor Leslie Francis

Professor Leslie Francis is the Alfred C. Emery professor of law and a professor of philosophy. She also holds adjunct appointments within the University of Utah's health and political science departments. She regularly provides pro bono representation for people who are the subject of guardianship petitions through a special program of the Utah State Bar and state courts. Professor Francis's books include States of Health: Federalism and Bioethics (co-authored with John Francis; forthcoming in 2024 from Oxford University Press); Sustaining Surveillance: The Importance of Information for Public Health (co-authored with John Francis; Springer, 2021), The Patient as Victim and Vector: Ethics and Infectious Disease (co-authored with Battin, Jacobson, & Smith; Oxford University Press, 2010; reissued with a new preface 2021) and Privacy: What Everyone Needs to Know (co-authored with John Francis; Oxford, 2017). She is the author of many papers in the areas of disability law and ethics, privacy and data use, justice, and bioethics.

Judge-shopping in U.S. courts: Professor Jonas Anderson

Professor Jonas Anderson teaches patent law, intellectual property, trade secrets, civil procedure, and property. His research primarily focuses on patent law, with an emphasis on patent litigation. Professor Anderson's articles have appeared in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Duke Law Journal, the Northwestern University Law Review, the Vanderbilt Law Review, and the Boston College Law Review. His academic articles have been cited by a variety of sources, including the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and The New York Times. Professor Anderson has recently testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on the problematic nature of district courts competing for patent cases.