George Mason in the News

Posted: December 8, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason recently received.

Thursday, Nov. 30, Journal Record (Oklahoma City)

Services Try to Connect Lawyers and Clients

“Online matching services have produced dates and mates for millions of men and women across the country – can they also produce good clients and good cases for lawyers? A growing number of companies believe there is profit to be made in ‘online legal matching,’ and many lawyers are willing to give them a shot. Ronald D. Rotunda, a professor at George Mason University School of Law, believes that lawyer matching services give rise to several ethical questions. ‘The rule is, normally, you can’t split legal fees with a non-lawyer,’ he said. ‘And these are non-lawyers.’”

Thursday, Nov. 30, Washington Post

Smoothing a Path to Involuntary Treatment

“On a Monday morning this month, 10 mentally ill people were brought to Inova Fairfax Hospital for hearings to determine if they should be hospitalized. But because Fairfax County had no independent evaluator available to assess them, eight were released without receiving treatment. Fairfax has since lined up enough psychologists to resolve the situation. But a month-long shortage of independent psychiatrists and psychologists in Fairfax has led the Virginia Association of Community Services Boards to push for a law that would allow mental health professionals from the local boards, or CSBs, to perform the evaluations when no one else is available. John C. Whitbeck Jr., a lawyer who oversees a George Mason University law school clinic that represents the families of the mentally ill, said, ‘This is not just a legal issue, but a public health and public safety issue as well.’”

Saturday, Dec. 2, Moment Magazine

How Jew-Friendly Persia Became Anti-Semitic Iran

“Abdol Hossein Sardari didn’t look like a hero. But when Paris fell to Hitler in June 1940, the 30-year-old Muslim – a dapper man with a receding hairline – took it upon himself to save Jews trapped inside Nazi-occupied France. This attitude stands in marked contrast to the vitriolic Islamic Republic of Iran led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that we hear and read about today. Rachel Meer, a Jewish Iranian expatriate who lives on the upper west side of Manhattan, remembers her father telling her the story of how, during World War II, he helped Jews pass through Iran. ‘He purchased a huge army tent to protect these refugees,’ she says. ‘When he married my mother, the Jews traveling through were invited to the wedding.’ Later, when great numbers of Iraqi Jews left their homes for the newly born state of Israel, they too were granted passage, says Shaul Bakhash, a veteran Mideast analyst at George Mason University in Virginia. ‘Iran was one of the few countries that did not charge the Zionist organization for this permission.’”

Sunday, Dec. 3, Washington Post

New St. Mary’s Sheriff to Use Crime Statistics Tool

“Despite the contrast, the county’s incoming sheriff – set to be sworn in tomorrow – plans to bring a New York-style crime-fighting tool into the Sheriff’s Office. Its name sounds like jargon, which befits its data-driven philosophy. ‘I’m excited about the potential for Compstat,’ Sheriff-elect Tim Cameron said in an interview Friday, referring to the new program. Compstat has swept through big-city police departments in recent years and now is used in some variety by an estimated six in 10 agencies across the country with more than 100 officers. A Compstat expert, George Mason University Professor Stephen Mastrofski, cautioned that Compstat will not automatically lead to lower crime rates. Mastrofski said some cities have found deploying officers to ‘hot spots’ to be challenging. He posed this example: A city pulls beat officers from the downtown, central business district and temporarily assigns them to a different area.”

Monday, Dec. 4, Barron’s

Go Fish – The Tragedy of the Commons Can Occur at Sea, and on Wall Street

“The latest environmental tragedy is playing at your local fish market. By 2048 or so, overfishing and a combination of related ecological abuses will exhaust commercial stocks of seafood. We have this on the authority of an article in a recent issue of Science magazine, in which a group of ecologists and economists reported on their study of fishing data. It’s not overfishing that will destroy all the fish. Mass destruction is simply the natural economic result of ordinary fishing. In some circles this is known as the tragedy of the commons, after the medieval village common where all residents of the village had an equal right to graze their sheep and none of them had a responsibility to manage the common resource. The natural result: overgrazing. Villagers profit by grazing as many sheep as they can, as quickly as they can, before anyone else can bring sheep to the common pasture. We recently encountered a treatise in economic science that suggests that many investors are in the same predicament as medieval villagers, Canadian cod fishermen and Chesapeake oystermen. The mutual-fund industry is something of a commons, says D. Bruce Johnsen of the George Mason University School of Law. He sees the skill of stock-picking as a scarce resource that will be exploited to the limit, like the oysters that must be dredged, the fish that must be fished or the grass that must be eaten before someone else gets to them.”

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