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American Law Program

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Winter and Spring Session

JANUARY 13 – Vincenzo Senatore, "Will Covid-19 be a Force Majeure Event in Commercial Contracts? A Civil and Common Law Analysis"

Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 1 pm (EST) (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)



COVID-19’s major impact on commerce suggests a wave of commercial negotiation and litigation as parties seek to enforce or avoid contractual obligations.  Force majeure clauses of pre-COVID contracts quite possibly included no language clearly applicable to the current situation. The webinar will explore arguments in civil and common law systems to address suspension or termination of performance obligations in commercial contracts with language drafted in pre-pandemic times.

Vincenzo Senatore (CUA LL.M. 2010)

Vincenzo Senatore is a partner in the London office of Giambrone & Partners LLP.  He heads the London corporate and commercial department as well as the firm’s international criminal law practice. In 2019, European Legal Awards ranked Giambrone & Partners as one of the top Merger and Acquisition firms, and Top Legal, the most prestigious Italian legal ranking, named Giambrone & Partners as the Italian Law Firm of the Year in 2018. Vincenzo is an Italian-licensed Attorney, a qualified Solicitor in England and Wales, and recently was admitted as Counsel before the International Criminal Court at The Hague. He is regularly retained in high-value commercial litigation and large international arbitration matters.  His practice includes company law, debt recovery, corporate and general commercial agreements, and other business law matters. Mr. Senatore also represents international English-speaking clients in cross-border criminal matters in Italy. In 2015, he was a fellow at the Stanford University (CA) Center for Biomedical & Ethics, working on contentious issues arising from stem cell research related to biotechnological inventions. His work has been published in the prestigious journal NATURE Biotech. He is an editorial board member of the International Academy of Financial Consumers, located at the Sungkyunkwan University of Seoul (South Korea). He is a frequent conference presenter and media commentator on cross-border matters between the UK and Italy. Vincenzo received his law degree from the University of Naples, Federico II, (IT). Read more


Andrew F. Palmieri (CUA JD 1987), Board of Visitors Member, Partner, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, Washington, DC

JANUARY 27 – Geoffrey P. Watson, "International Law and the New Biden Administration"

Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 1 pm (EST) (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)



This webinar will focus on how President-Elect Biden's approach to international law possibly will differ from that of his predecessor.  Topics will include international environment law and the Paris Climate Accord; participation in human rights treaties and human rights bodies such as the UN Human Rights Council; pandemic-related cooperation with international health organizations such as the WHO; arms control (Iran, North Korea, Russia); international trade (China, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Brexit); legal aspects of US policy in the Mideast (Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc.); and treaty-making more generally.

Geoffrey P. Watson, Professor of Law and Director, Comparative and International Law Institute

Professor Watson’s research interests focus on public international law, legal aspects of the Middle East peace process, and the history of American law.  In addition to these areas, he has taught contacts, criminal law, constitutional law, international human rights law, comparative law, and comparative constitutional law.  Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Watson was an attorney-advisor for the U.S. Department of State specializing in international criminal law and legal aspects of U.S. policy in the Middle East.  He authored the Oxford University Press book, The Oslo Accords: International Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Accords.


dr hab. Izabela Kraśnicka, (IBTSLP 1998), Faculty of Law, University of Białystok, Poland

FEBRUARY 10 – Katarzyna Stryjniak, "European Union and United States Budget-Making: Process, Politics, and Policy in a COVID-Challenged World"

Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 1 pm (EST) (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)



The European Union’s next seven-year budget is more than €1.074 trillion ($ 1.270 trillion), and the EU has decided to also borrow an additional €750 billion fund ($887 billion) for a COVID Recovery Fund.  Contentious issues, including progress on climate change and linking funding to respect for EU rule-of-law, values have swirled around the negotiations for the 2021-2027 multi-annual budget cycle.

The webinar will orient participants to the roles the European Commission, Parliament, and Council play in the complex process of EU decision-making and budget approval and update them on the current state of play.  The webinar’s commenter will explore the American state of play as the US faces counterpart challenges.

Katarzyna Stryjniak (CUA LL.M. 2012)

Katarzyna Stryjniak is a Legal and Policy Officer in the Directorate General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, based in Brussels, Belgium. Her work focuses on the legal aspects of the European Union’s research and innovation programs. She also worked in the legal department of the Polish government agency National Center of Research and Development as well as at Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka in Warsaw, Poland, one of Poland’s largest law firms. Between 2012 and 2019 she was the JU-CUA LL.M. Program Coordinator. She received her law degree from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland in 2012 and joined the Warsaw bar in 2016. 


Karen A. Tramontano, (CUA JD 1982), Chief Executive Officer, Blue Star Strategies, Washington, DC

FEBRUARY 24 – Heidi Mandanis Schooner, "How Well Did the Post-2008 Financial Crisis Regime Prepare the World for the COVID-19 Pandemic?"

Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 1 pm (EST) (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)



Ten years ago, Congress considered the lessons of the 2008 financial crises and passed the Dodd-Frank Act in an effort to strengthen the U.S. financial system to withstand future threats. Reforms elsewhere in the world were implemented with the same goal in mind. This webinar will consider how these reforms prepared financial systems for the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, this session will consider how the pandemic will shape the future of financial regulation, especially with regard to the priorities of the Biden Administration.

Heidi Mandanis Schooner, Professor of Law

Professor Schooner’s writing focuses on challenges in regulating the financial services industry.  She co-authored Global Bank Regulation: Principles and Policies.  She teaches courses in regulating financial institutions, corporations, contracts, and commercial law.  Prior to joining the faculty, she worked for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a bank holding company, and in private practice. Read more


Michał Bobrzyński, (JU-CUA ALP 2005, Harvard LL.M. 2009), Partner, Greenberg Traurig, Warsaw, Poland

MARCH 2 – Cara H. Drinan, "The War on Kids: Progress and the Path Forward on Juvenile Justice"

Tuesday, March 2, 2021, 1 pm (EST) (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)



Professor Drinan will draw on her Oxford University Press book, The War on Kids: How American Juvenile Justice Lost Its Way, to talk about how the US invented the juvenile court model at the end of the 19th Century, exported it globally, and then abandoned it domestically to become the most punitive nation in the world regarding justice-involved youth. She then will focus on new directions in which the US could and should go.

Cara H. Drinan, Professor of Law and Director of Faculty Research

Professor Cara H. Drinan is a nationally recognized expert on the right to counsel, juvenile sentencing, and criminal justice reform.  Drinan, who teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, and criminal justice reform, among other courses, also serves as the law school’s Director of Faculty Research.  Her own research focuses on access to counsel, sentencing, and youth in the criminal justice system.  Since 2017, when she published her first book on juvenile sentencing in America, The War on Kids:  How American Juvenile Justice Lost Its Way (Oxford Univ. Press), she has been advocating nationwide for juvenile justice and sentencing reform. Read more


prof. dr hab. Włodzimierz Wróbel, Chair of Criminal Law, Jagiellonian University, and Polish Supreme Court Justice

MARCH 24 – Gaspar Kot, "Sustainable Investment – The New Heart of EU Financial Market Regulation"

Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 2 pm (EDT) (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)



With increasing concern for global climate change and following the 2015 Paris Agreement obligations, the European Union adopted the Regulation on Sustainability-Related Disclosures in the Financial Services Sector (SFDR), which will take effect beginning March 10, 2021. The SFDR, along with draft regulatory technical standards and the EU’s Taxonomy Regulation, require from financial market participants to incorporate sustainability considerations in their governance frameworks as well as the preparation of disclosures and reporting to investors about environmental, social, and governance factors. The EU sustainable investment regime reaches US entities offering investment funds and financial services to European clients. The EU General Data Protection Regulation sent shock waves across the Atlantic and required many US lawyers and businesses to quickly become expert in GDPR requirements. The EU’s ESG requirements are likely to have a similar dramatic border-crossing impact. 

Gaspar Kot (CUA LL.M. 2012)

Gaspar Kot is a markets, products, and structuring lawyer for UBS, the Swiss investment bank and financial services company with worldwide offices including more than 5000 employees in Poland. Mr. Kot heads the Asset Management stream of the legal department in the UBS Krakow office.  He also is the CUA-JU LL.M. Program coordinator in Poland. Mr. Kot received his law degree from Jagiellonian University and is a member of the attorneys-at-law bar. Currently, he is a PhD student at Jagiellonian University.


Chris Concannon, (CUA JD 1994), President & Chief Operating Officer, MarketAxess, New York City, NY

APRIL 14 – Katarzyna Wolska-Wrona, "Approaches to Combating Gender-Based Violence: The Council of Europe Istanbul Convention and a US Perspective"

Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 1:00 pm EDT (DC), 7 pm GMT+2 (Poland)

Katarzyna Wolska-Wrona (CUA LL.M. 2005)

Katarzyna Wolska-Wrona has worked on the European Union decision-making process and protection of fundamental right concerning gender-based violence since 2009. She was a member of the Polish government’s delegation to the Ad Hoc Committee for preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (CAHVIO). In 2012–2014, she was the Poland’s legal expert responsible for coordination of the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention). In her career in Polish public administration, she has worked in the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Chancellery of the Prime Minister. From 2018- 2020, she was a Seconded National Expert for the European Institute for Gender Equality  (EIGE) in Vilnius, Lithuania, working in the gender-based violence program.  Her master’s degree in law is from Warsaw University.

APRIL 27 – Mary Graw Leary, "#MeToo and #Black Lives Matter: Conflicting Objectives or Opportunities for Advancement of Shared Priorities?"

Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 1 pm EDT (DC), 7 pm GMT+2 (Poland)

Mary Graw Leary, Professor of Law

Professor Leary is a national and international expert in criminal law and procedure, victimization, exploitation, human trafficking, missing persons, technology, and Fourth Amendment (search and seizure) law and teaches related courses.  She is the lead author of Perspectives on Missing Persons Cases (Carolina Academic Press).  She has testified before the Senate and House and currently is Chair of the Victim Advisory Group for the United States Sentencing Commission.  Prior to joining the CUA faculty, Professor Leary was a federal and state prosecutor and worked primarily on abuse and exploitation of children and women, child pornography, sex trafficking, and family violence cases.

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MAY 12 – Regina T. Jefferson, "Examining United States Retirement Savings Policy through the Lens of International Human Rights Principles"

Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 1 pm EDT (DC), 7 pm GMT+2 (Poland)

Regina T. Jefferson, Professor of Law

Professor Jefferson is a nationally recognized expert in pension law, employee benefits, and tax law and teaches courses in those areas.  In 2015, she was appointed by President Obama to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s Advisory Committee and is now serving a second term.  She has testified before the U.S. Congress and briefed congressional staff on employee benefits and tax topics.  She has served as Dean of the Law School as well as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

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JUNE 2 – Wictor Furman, "European and US Perspectives on Investment Fund Regulation"

Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 1 pm (EDT) (DC), 7 pm GMT+2 (Poland)

Wictor Furman (CUA LL.M. 2009)

Wictor Furman is a Stockholm-based lawyer specializing primarily in the banking and finance industry and real estate sectors. He is in his own firm after having worked previously at the Magnusson and Harvest law firms in Stockholm as well as for two major Scandinavian banks. His practice includes regulatory and legal matters, dispute resolution, and transactions for clients including fund companies, securities firms, credit institutions, insurance mediators, and real estate investors. He has co-authored articles on financial regulation in the Swedish law journal Ny Juridik.  Mr. Furman completed his law degree at the Stockholm University in 2008 and was admitted to the Swedish Bar Association in 2015. 

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Archives – Fall and Winter Session

OCTOBER 21 – Marc Liebscher, "Wirecard, Europe’s Enron? – Auditor Liability to Investors in Corporate Fraud"

Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 1 pm EDT (DC), 7 pm GMT+2 (Poland)


Marc Liebscher, Ph.D., (CUA LL.M. 2006), Berlin Germany

Dr. Marc Liebscher specializes in banking, capital markets, and insolvency law, in particular the judicial representation of institutional and retail investors. He has organized and successfully litigated numerous mass actions by investors before German courts. Dr. Liebscher frequently is appointed to creditor committees in corporate insolvencies to process legal and economic issues regarding corporate and group transactions and by courts to chair general meetings regarding disputes between minority and majority shareholders.  He is a member of the expert group of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBV) on collective redress. He also has served as an expert to the German Bundestag on matters including capital market legislation and the introduction of class actions into German Civil Procedure Law, affecting matters like the Volkswagen diesel engine scandal.   He is spokesperson for the Berlin Bar Association’s working group on banking and capital market law and an appointed member of the Justice working group of Transparency International, Germany. Dr. Liebscher has written numerous publications on banking, insolvency, and capital market law and trains senior investigators of the Federal Criminal Police Office in financial and capital market matters.  


This summer’s super-bankruptcy of fintech WIRECARD AG is considered Germany’s largest corporate scandal since World War II and sent investors, markets, auditors, supervisory bodies, and politics into shock. Although investigations necessary to fully understand how the obscure Munich fintech made its way into the country’s most prestigious DAX30 stock-index will take years, the most important features of this Enron 2.0 are known.

This webinar will introduce the WIRECARD scandal focusing particularly on the shortcomings of the appointed auditors Ernst & Young (EY), failures of the supervisory body, and improvements needed in the regulatory scheme in Germany and the European Union.

OCTOBER 28 – Sarah H. Duggin, "Why Compliance Matters – The Increasing Significance of the Compliance and Ethics Function in Global Corporations"

Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 2 pm EDT (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)


Sarah H. Duggin, Professor of Law and Director, Compliance, Investigations, and Corporate Responsibility Program

Prior to coming to CUA, Professor Duggin was Vice President and General Counsel of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak).  She also had served as Chief Counsel of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and General Counsel of the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and litigated complex civil and criminal matters as a lawyer and partner at Williams & Connolly, a noted Washington litigation firm.  She teaches and writes in the areas of corporate, compliance, constitutional and professional responsibility law.  


The 1991 U.S. Organizational Sentencing Guidelines signaled a major shift in U.S. criminal law toward holding entities, as well as individuals, liable for criminal conduct.  The Guidelines established the existence of an effective compliance program as a mitigating factor at sentencing, and, five years later, Delaware's landmark decision in the Caremark litigation focused attention on the potential liability of corporate directors for failure to implement corporate compliance measures.  The Enron, Worldcom and other corporate scandals of the early 2000s made it clear that effective compliance and ethics functions are integral to contemporary businesses, and Chief Compliance and Ethics officers began taking their places in the C-suites of major corporations,  Professor Duggin will explore the role that the compliance and ethics functions play in today’s business world, discuss how the CUA Program that she directs is part of a national curricular shift to expand offerings in this rapidly growing field, and consider the role of compliance and investigations in corporate responsibility.

Read More o Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 2 pm EDT (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)

NOVEMBER 19 – Roger Colinvaux, "Nonprofits in Crisis: Changes to Giving Rules and Politicization"

Thursday, November 19, 2020, 1 pm (EST) (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)


Roger Colinvaux, Professor of Law and Director, Law and Public Policy Program

Professor Colinvaux teaches courses in Federal Income Tax, Property, Legislation, Nonprofits, and Civil Rights. From 2001-2008, Professor Colinvaux was Counsel at the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation in the U.S. Congress with responsibility for nonprofit tax legislation. Professor Colinvaux’s scholarship focuses on the nonprofit sector. He has testified about nonprofit tax reform before the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, advised the White House and the Treasury Department, and served as an advisor to the Urban Institute, the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law at NYU, and the Independent Sector. 


Nonprofits are the backbone of civil society in the US with more than 1.3 million charities providing health care, education, religion, and social services. Yet while the pandemic has highlighted the importance of charities in American life, it has also exposed a sector at the edge of crisis: tax incentives for charitable giving are failing, philanthropy is becoming ever more plutocratic, and norms are eroding that could push charities more directly into the political sphere, undermining their nonpartisan nature. This webinar will provide an overview of the state of the charitable sector in the US, with a focus on charitable giving incentives and political activity.

Read More o Thursday, November 19, 2020, 1 pm (EST) (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)

NOVEMBER 24 – Wojciech Jarosiński, "The Cloud – A New Legal Frontier"

Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 1 pm (EST) (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)


Wojciech Jarosiński, (CUA LL.M. 2011), Warsaw, Poland

Wojciech Jarosiński is a partner at the Maruta Wachta law firm in Warsaw, Poland. He heads the dispute resolution practice group where he has led or supervised more than 200 technology litigations with a combined value of more than two billion USD and advised on execution of technology projects of the same magnitude. The Lawyer magazine (UK) has ranked Maruta Wachta as the Best Specialist Law Firm in Europe (2018), Best Polish Law Firm (2019), and Best Law Firm in Central Europe (2019). The most prestigious Polish legal ranking (Rzeczpospolita Daily) named Mr. Jarosiński  the top dispute resolution lawyer in Poland in both 2018 and 2019 and ranked the practice group he leads in the top five for dispute resolution in 2017, 2018, and 2019. National Jurist magazine (US) featured him in Who's Who of Foreign Attorneys in the fall of 2019.  Mr. Jarosiński received his law degree from Jagiellonian University and is a member of the advocates’ bar. In addition to law practice, he created and manages Vertical Shot Expeditions, which offers photography workshops in remote locations from the Arctic to the Antarctic. 


Until recently, the cloud was mainly storage for surplus holiday photos. Today, the cloud plays a vital role in commerce: allowing businesses to thrive in geographically distant markets, limiting operational costs, and enabling workplace flexibility for employees. These applications, though, bring sleepless nights for judges who try to apply existing law to a new reality.

This webinar will begin with a brief introduction to the cloud’s basics: where the cloud is located, what is stored there, and whether it is even possible to avoid the cloud in today’s business world. Then, the session will move to opportunities for lawyers to guide their clients through cloud regulations—highlighting the importance of legal education in cross-border legal concepts. Finally, the webinar will consider dispute resolution regarding cloud-based services. The webinar will consider Zoom, Apple Mail, Amazon Web Services, Oracle, and many other popular services as well as the Court of Justice of the European Union Schrems II decision and the US Cloud Act. 

DECEMBER 2 – Justyna Regan & Douglas Bonner, "Data Privacy in the US: Where We Stand Today and Predictions for the Future"

Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 1 pm (EST) (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)


Justyna Regan (Balcarczyk), Ph.D., (CUA LL.M. 2005), Chicago, Illinois

Justyna Regan practices in the Chicago office of Miller Canfield, specializing in European, US, and multinational business law, data privacy, intellectual property with particular expertise in software licensing, and cross-border defamation.  She has master of law, Ph.D., and habilitation degrees from the University of Wrocław in Poland. She also received a Fulbright Advanced Research Award for study at Chicago Kent College of Law and was a Visiting Fellow at the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg, Germany. She is the Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Cyber Law and Data Privacy Committee. She is admitted to the bar in Illinois and Poland. When in Poland, she worked for Studnicki Pleszka Cwiakalski Górski (SPCG), a major Polish firm.

Douglas G. Bonner (CUA JD 1983), Board of Visitors Member, Partner, Potomac Law Group, Washington DC

Douglas Bonner has more than 25 years of experience representing wireline and wireless providers, cable television, Voice over Internet Protocol providers, and broadcast companies in regulatory matters before the United States Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, Department of Commerce National Telecommunication and Information Administration, Department of Transportation National Highway Safety Administration, and other federal agencies, and in state regulatory proceedings, as well as in telecommunications-related litigation.  His practice has focused in part on privacy and data security issues under US law and helping clients comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation. He was Co-Chair of the Federal Communications Bar Association’s Privacy and Data Security Committee for three years and has been recognized by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in Telecom, Broadcast and Satellite. He is a 1983 JD graduate of the Columbus School of Law of The Catholic University Law School and a member of the law school’s Board of Visitors. For more biographical information, see


In 2016, some US companies were stunned to realize that they were subject the European Union’s General Data Protect Regulation and could face the GDPR’s hefty fines.  Until then, US privacy law mainly comprised industry-specific laws protecting health-related or financial data. Now, individual American states have begun to act, but their differing requirements subject companies to a patchwork of inconsistent and sometimes conflicting legal regimes. The session will highlight difficulties in the current situation and consider the prospects for a US federal data privacy law that would preempt state law and provide a single regulatory scheme.

DECEMBER 9 – Megan M. La Belle, "Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property"

Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 1 pm (EST) (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)


Megan M. La Belle, Professor of Law and Co-Director, Law and Technology Institute

Professor La Belle teaches and writes about intellectual property, civil procedure, federal courts, and administrative law.  Prior to joining the faculty, Professor La Belle focused on intellectual property and complex civil litigation matters with the prestigious Los Angeles firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson.  Her scholarship engages topics in patent law as well as civil procedure and administrative law.


The field of artificial intelligence or "AI" is rapidly advancing and has the potential to radically change society from an economic and cultural perspective. This program will explore how intellectual property law and policy in the U.S. and other parts of the world will influence AI innovation and technology in the coming years. 

Read More o Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 1 pm (EST) (DC), 7 pm GMT+1 (Poland)