Tag Archives: Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Test

Andy Landeen joins Ryley Carlock

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite added attorney Andrea (Andy) Landeen to the firm’s Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy, Lending and Commercial Litigation practice groups, where she will continue her practice of representing lenders and other creditors in pre- and post-judgment litigation.

“We’re very excited about what Andy brings to the firm as well as our creditors’ rights and bankruptcy team,” said Scott Jenkins, Jr. who leads the firm’s lending, creditor’s rights and bankruptcy group.  “With Andy’s diverse experience, she will help us better serve our expanding client base.”

Prior to joining the firm, Andy also represented debtors in litigation in involving commercial real estate transactions arising from judicial and non-judicial foreclosures, as well as representing sub-contractors and materialmen in construction defect and/or mechanics’ lien dispute in both state and federal courts, and the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.

“I am so excited to join Ryley Carlock & Applewhite not only because of the culture of professionalism, teamwork and commitment to excellence for which the firm is known, but also because of the balanced approach and high regard this firm has towards its attorneys as well as its clients.  I look forward to working with my team and growing with the firm.”

Landeen attained her law degree, cum laude from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University and her undergraduate summa cum laude from Smith College.

privacy

How Personal Employment Information Is Shared And Sold

In today’s competitive business world, employers constantly are seeking ways to increase efficiency and reduce cost.  One obvious option in this effort is outsourcing, and employers certainly should be free to delegate functions to third-party vendors when it makes sense to do so.  But what are the implications when outsourcing requires an employer to share with a vendor private information about the employer’s workforce?

For attorneys who counsel either businesses or individuals, it’s important to know what rules and limitations apply to the increasingly popular trend of outsourcing employee verification services.  The issues associated with this trend are far-reaching and beg the question:  How can we better regulate and improve this beneficial type of outsourcing, for employers and employees alike?

The key to answering these questions begins with an understanding of the dual role credit reporting agencies play as database sponsors in the employee verification industry.  For example, in addition to compiling consumer credit scores, credit reporting giant Equifax also is in the business of compiling other information that is equally personal; namely, confidential details about workers’ current and former employment.  In fact, Equifax might even be selling information as personal as your compensation level, the name of your healthcare provider, whether you’ve ever filed for unemployment benefits, and your paystub history.

What is “The Work Number”

The Work Number, a subsidiary of Equifax, provides various financial and employment verification services.  The Work Number uses its ever-expanding database to confirm employment and income information for commercial verifiers, social service verifiers, and potential future employers.  The Work Number’s database currently contains the employment and salary records of over one-third of U.S. adults, and it includes detailed employee information about weekly paystubs, healthcare providers, medical and dental insurance, and unemployment compensation claims.

The Work Number built its database with the cooperation of thousands of U.S. businesses.  The Work Number markets itself to these willing participants as a means for busy human resource departments to outsource the time consuming task of verifying a range of information on former and current employees.  This service is so attractive that participating businesses actually pay for the ability to send The Work Number all employee information typically needed in the verification process.  The Work Number fields verification inquiries on the employer’s behalf, freeing up employer staff time for other tasks.

While providing employers with a valuable service, The Work Number simultaneously funnels this information it receives from its clients to its parent company, Equifax.  In turn, Equifax sells the information to third parties such as debt collectors, student loan issuers, and financial institutions.

Although Equifax’s sharing of the personal information garnered by The Work Number under in its role as a verification service provider is indisputable, the extent of such sharing is in question.  In an interview with NBC News, Equifax spokesman Timothy Klein denied that salary information is sold to debt collectors.[i]  Klein’s statement is in conflict, however, with Equifax CEO Richard Smith’s 2009 NYSE Magazine interview, in which he stated “[W]e can provide information about a debtor’s location, income, and employment.  That can help prioritize which accounts to pursue first.”[ii]

Because employer use of The Work Number has become so prevalent, the District of Columbia has issued new guidelines for low-income housing compliance, which include a provision governing the treatment of applicants whose employment and earnings can be verified only via The Work Number.[iii]  Likewise, the current Code of Mississippi Rules actually includes The Work Number’s email address, phone number, and website address in a statutory provision that instructs applicants for State-funded childcare on how to provide income and employment verification.[iv]  Considering The Work Number’s fast-paced growth and the privacy concerns it poses for consumers, it makes sense to consider what safeguards, if any, are in place to protect us.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

The most obvious consumer protection tool implicated by Equifax’s practices is The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  The FCRA regulates instances in which “consumer reports” or “investigative consumer reports” are requested from a “consumer reporting agency.”[v]  For purposes of the FCRA, a “consumer reporting agency” includes any entity that regularly assembles credit or other information about consumers and furnishes that information to third parties via any means of interstate commerce.[vi]  Thus, Equifax and The Work Number are considered consumer reporting agencies for purposes of the FCRA.  “Consumer reports” include any communication of a consumer’s personal characteristics which will serve as a factor establishing the consumer’s eligibility for credit or insurance or for employment purposes.[vii]  By contrast, “investigative consumer reports” include reports regarding the consumer’s personal characteristics gathered during personal interviews, but do not include specific factual information about the consumer’s credit record.[viii]  Due to the more personal nature of information contained in an investigative consumer report, stricter guidelines are in place regarding disclosure of investigative consumer reports compared to ordinary consumer reports.  To the extent Equifax and The Work Number provide third parties with consumers’ personal and financial information, Equifax and The Work Number furnish consumer reports.

There are three types of recipients of the information provided by Equifax and The Work Number: prospective employers, financial institutions and creditors, and third party purchasers.  The FCRA applies differently to each recipient type.

Prospective Employers

The Work Number markets itself as a means for prospective employers to verify employment information of job applicants.  Thus, as its core business, The Work Number provides sensitive information to prospective employers.  Because the FCRA applies whenever employers request consumer reports from a consumer reporting agency like The Work Number, the FCRA is implicated by The Work Number’s information transfers to prospective employers.

The FCRA addresses issues such as what types of employers can obtain consumer reports, how they must obtain the report, what they must do before taking adverse action in response to the report, and what they must do after taking adverse action.[ix]  The Work Number contends that FCRA guidelines are met when it provides prospective employers with employment information.  Such guidelines include providing job applicants with written notice that information obtained from a consumer report may be used when making decisions concerning their employment.[x]  This notice must appear in a document containing only this disclosure.[xi]  Additionally, the consumer must provide written authorization of the procurement of the report.[xii]  To the extent The Work Number provides employment verification to prospective employers and meets these guidelines, it is within its rights to do so.  What the FCRA fails to address, however, is how other information in The Work Number’s database, such as salary and insurance information, is used for non-employment purposes.

Financial Institutions and Creditors

In addition to providing potential employers with consumers’ employment information, The Work Number also concedes to providing creditors and financial institutions with employment information from its database.  In an interview with NBC News, Equifax spokesman Timothy Klein admitted that pay rate information is shared with third parties.[xiii]  These third parties typically include mortgage, auto, and financial services credit grantors.  Klein said The Work Number provides such information to financial institutions and credit grantors in compliance with the FCRA, but denied that salary information is sold to debt collectors.[xiv]  The Work Number asserts that consumers give such third parties the right to access this information at the time the consumer applies for credit.

Section 1681 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act states that generally, a consumer reporting agency, like Equifax or The Work Number, may only furnish a consumer report to such third parties when the consumer reporting agency has reason to believe the third party “intends to use the information in connection with a credit transaction involving the consumer … and involving the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of, the consumer.”[xv]  Even assuming Klein’s assertion is true that consumers grant these third parties access to such information, other provisions in the FCRA raise the question of whether this authorization is sufficient.  Subsection (c)(1)(A) of the FCRA requires that “the consumer authorize[e] the agency to provide such report to such person.”[xvi]  This language suggests that a much more personalized authorization transaction may be required than Klein alluded to in his statement.  Namely, it appears that the consumer must furnish the specific consumer reporting agency in question with authorization to provide the report to the specific financial institution or creditor requesting the report.  Interestingly, although in certain circumstances a consumer may authorize all reporting agencies to give all creditors this information by executing a general waiver at the time he or she applies for credit, another subsection of the FCRA indicates the consumer may have an additional line of defense.  Pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(B)(iii), a consumer may elect to have his name and address excluded from lists provided by consumer reporting agencies in connection with credit transactions not initiated by the consumer.[xvii]

Unfortunately, the rules delineating when reporting agencies like Equifax and The Work Number can give creditors and financial institutions other information from The Work Number’s database are unclear.  It is not clear when, how, and with regard to whom the consumer must provide authorization for a reporting agency to share this information.  However, given that consumers must be clearly notified in writing and provide authorization prior to issuance of a consumer report when such report will be used for employment purposes, a strong argument can be made that this same proactive and consumer oriented approach should apply to all sections of the FCRA.

Equifax Information Sold to Third Parties

In addition to providing information to prospective employers, financial institutions, and creditors, Equifax also sells some of this information to interested third parties.  For example, Equifax heavily markets The Work Number’s services to student loan issurers.  Thanks to The Work Number’s information, student loan issuers have seen a 5.5% increase in Right Party Contact and a 7.3% increase in Collections Resolution.[xviii]  Additionally, Equifax provides information from The Work Number to financial firms.  In these transactions, the information is packaged as a “portfolio monitoring” service which allows financial firms to market their products to a specially selected group of consumers.  The Work Number’s information is also marketed to these firms as “proactive managing of risk.”  In this context, the firms analyze information from The Work Number for early warning signs about when someone might soon run into financial trouble.  The marketing campaign for these services touts “Using The Work Number to stay abreast of employment changes can expand your ability to mitigate risk while maximizing product and service potential.”[xix]

Strangely, the FCRA seemingly fails to address this type of information transfer at all.  While the FCRA provides guidelines for when a consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report, how and when a consumer report may be furnished for employment purposes, how and when a consumer report may be furnished in connection with credit or insurance transactions, and what added protections are afforded medical information, there is a lack of guidance regarding the sale of such information.  Nowhere does the FCRA expressly prohibit the sale of consumer information to third parties with a business interest in the information.  This is further complicated by the fact that Equifax owns The Work Number.  As a credit bureau, Equifax proceeds under the comparatively lax rules governing credit reporting agencies, which are distinct from those governing data brokers.  Thus, by virtue of Equifax’s affiliation with The Work Number, it can behave as a credit bureau, selling credit information to lenders.  The problem, however, is Equifax has access to a much greater wealth of consumer information than a credit bureau otherwise would, thanks to its affiliation with The Work Number.

The good news, however, is that the FCRA actually may address the problematic affiliation between Equifax and The Work Number.  Section 1681s-3 of the FCRA relates to affiliate sharing.[xx]  This section prohibits an entity that receives information which would be a consumer report from another entity under common ownership from using that information to make a solicitation for marketing purposes, unless the consumer is provided an opportunity to prohibit such solicitations after a clear disclosure has been made to the consumer explaining that information may be communicated amongst such entities for purposes of solicitation.[xxi]  However, even this provision of the FCRA might not be as helpful as it seems.  Although it may prohibit Equifax from using information it obtains from The Work Number to solicit business, that is only half the battle.  Equifax still could continue to sell the information it gathers by its own efforts to third parties.  The information might simply be less comprehensive.

Possible Solutions

In light of these revelations, the first question on many consumers’ minds is how to address this sharing or sale of private information, which appears to be lawful under the guidelines currently in place.

From an individual’s perspective, preventing sensitive information from ending up in The Work Number database seems like a futile proposition.  A job applicant, for example, could attempt to condition a prospective employment relationship on the employer’s agreement not to share any of the applicant’s personal or employment information.  However, given the current job market, most employees would have very little negotiating power, and most employers are unlikely to oblige, especially given the economy gained by utilizing The Work Number.  If an individual is unsuccessful in this negotiation, he or she can always turn down a job offer.  While doing so will keep the employee’s personal information safe for now, the applicant has cut off his nose to spite his face and remains unemployed.  It seems then that the only plausible way to regulate these information transfers is to address them before the consumer even gets involved.

Congress Should Revisit the Fair Credit Reporting Act

The most effective means by which to provide much-needed regulatory reform is to take legislative action.  Specifically, Congress should revisit the FCRA, taking into consideration the flaws and gaps that Equifax is exploiting.  One approach could include amending the FCRA to require a consumer’s written authorization before such information is sold.  Specifically, implementing the same comprehensive authorization guidelines currently in place regarding consumer reports used for employment purposes could serve as a model.  Under this approach, the consumer reporting agency would need to provide consumers with clear, conspicuous written notice of the possible sale of their information prior to the information being sold.  Such notice would need to be in a stand-alone document, and the consumer’s response, either authorizing the sale or not authorizing the sale, would also need to be in writing.

Another possible approach includes implementing stricter rules governing the flow of consumer reports out of credit bureaus, perhaps mirroring the already stricter guidelines governing disclosure of investigative consumer reports.  Additionally, Congress could amend the FCRA to clearly delineate exactly what information can be included in consumer reports.  Part of the current problem appears to involve the crossover between the personal and employment related information contained in The Work Number’s database with the credit information expected to be in the hands of a credit bureau, like Equifax.

John Balitis is a director and attorney with the law firm of Fennemore Craig in Phoenix where he co-chairs the firm’s Labor Relations and Employment Practice Group.  He represents businesses in all aspects of employment law. Kristin Penunuri is a student at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.  She is a legal writing intern at Fennemore Craig in Phoenix.


[i] Bob Sullivan, Your Employer May Share Your Salary, and Equifax Might Sell That Data, The Red Tape Chronicles on NBC News.com (Jan. 30, 2013, 4:44 AM), available at http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/30/16762661-exclusive-your-employer-may-share-your-salary-and-equifax-might-sell-that-data?lite.

[ii] Id.

[iii] D.C. Mun. Regs., Title 14 § 5402 (2012).

[iv] Miss. Admin. Code, Title 18, Subtitle 7, Rule 2 § 102 (2012).

[v] Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 (2006).

[vi] Id. at § 1681a (2006).

[vii] Id.

[viii] Id.

[ix] Bob Sullivan, Your Employer May Share Your Salary, and Equifax Might Sell That Data, The Red Tape Chronicles on NBC News.com (Jan. 30, 2013, 4:44 AM), available at http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/30/16762661-exclusive-your-employer-may-share-your-salary-and-equifax-might-sell-that-data?lite.

[x] 15 U.S.C. § 1681b (2006).

[xi] Id.

[xii] Id.

[xiii] Sullivan, supra note 9.

[xiv] Id.

[xv] 15 U.S.C. § 1681b (2006).

[xvi] Id.

[xvii] Id.

[xviii] Bob Sullivan, Your Employer May Share Your Salary, and Equifax Might Sell That Data, The Red Tape Chronicles on NBC News.com (Jan. 30, 2013, 4:44 AM), available at http://redtape.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/30/16762661-exclusive-your-employer-may-share-your-salary-and-equifax-might-sell-that-data?lite.

[xix] Id.

[xx] 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-3 (2006).

[xxi] Id.

 

 

How To Learn More About Your Work Number

Consumers who want to know what, if any, information about them resides with The Work Number may do so by visiting The Work Number website (www.theworknumber.com) and requesting an Employment Data Report (“EDR”).  Processing this request involves logging in and completing an EDR request form that is available in .pdf format.  Alternatively, interested consumers may contact The Work Number by telephone at (866) 604-6570.

If an EDR contains information that is inaccurate or objectionable to the consumer, he or she may submit online comments via The Work Number website.  The website suggests that The Work Number will embed the comments so that they are visible to subscribers that obtain the consumer’s other information from The Work Number.

 

Brenda Thomson

Brenda Thomson – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Brenda ThomsonExecutive director, Arizona Humanities Council

Thomson, who joined the Arizona Humanities Council in 2010, has a background in executive management, fundraising, human resources, public speaking, community relations, and strategic planning. The Yale Law School graduate was director of The Center for Law Leadership and Management at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU and was executive director of the Maricopa County Bar Association.

Surprising fact: “When I went to college I dreamed of being a composer and songwriter. To this day I play the piano, write poems and songs, and most recently have written several children’s stories.”

Biggest challenge: “Achieving my goals in a world where African-American women attorneys and leaders are not often at the helm with decision-makers, and are frequently underestimated despite decades of accomplishments.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>

Test

Ryley Carlock Expands its Litigation Practice

Ryley Carlock & Applewhite has added Lisa Wahlin to the firm’s Litigation Practice Group.

“Lisa Wahlin’s practice is a great fit for our growing litigation group,” stated Managing Shareholder Rodolfo Parga. “Many of our governmental clients and their staff need legal assistance and Lisa brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to help guide them in their efforts.”

Wahlin joins an established Litigation Practice Group, that represents clients throughout the United States and internationally, offering legal counsel from start-up companies to mature businesses.

“I am passionate about working with government agencies and their employees and helping them to resolve claims and lawsuits in a manner that best serves the interests of the agency and the public,” stated Wahlin. “I am thrilled to join the distinguished lawyers at Ryley Carlock & Applewhite and committed to continuing to provide the highest level of service to my clients.”

Prior to joining the firm, Wahlin dedicated the first 16 years of her practice to public service, working for various government agencies as prosecutor, police legal advisor, and civil litigator. Since transitioning to private practice, she has continued to focus on defending and advising governmental entities in a variety of areas. In addition to her litigation experience, Lisa has served as a legal advisor to law enforcement agencies and was a frequent instructor on search and seizure and laws of arrest at the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy from 1999 to 2004. Lisa has also aided various government entities in responding to and litigating issues arising out of public records requests. Wahlin’s practice has also included insurance defense, emphasizing cases involving negligence, wrongful death and personal injury, and defamation.

Wahlin earned her law degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in 1991, and earned her undergraduate degree in Microbiology from Texas A & M University.

Dickinson_Karen_KRDIC_cropped_300

Karen Dickinson joins Polsinelli

National law firm Polsinelli has added Karen Dickinson to its Phoenix office. Dickinson has extensive experience negotiating and advising on complex international and e-commerce legal issues involving international contracting, joint ventures and alliances, software and intellectual property licensing, joint developments, trademark prosecution and licensing, and web development.

“I chose to move my practice to Polsinelli because the firm is dynamic and growing. Polsinelli’s extensive international and cross-border practice capabilities will be beneficial to my clients and to me. The firm’s bigger footprint and larger resource base are a great platform for companies interested in doing business internationally, and for companies outside the U.S. wanting to invest here,” said Dickinson.

Dickinson has experience as a senior manager of in house lawyers for a large U.S. multinational conglomerate where she negotiated multimillion dollar transactions in Europe, Canada, Japan and the People’s Republic of China. She has also been a partner in a start-up online business, and is a sought-after speaker on issues involving international business.

“Karen brings a valuable combination of legal savvy and hands-on business experience to the firm from working both within a Fortune 100 company and as an entrepreneur. Our clients will benefit from her ability to understand their business challenges as well as their legal needs,” said General Corporate Chair Jonathan Henderson.

“We are excited to have Karen join our team. She has the depth of experience and a commitment to clients to help them achieve success,” said Phoenix Office Managing Partner Ed Novak. “We’re growing the Phoenix office in key areas important to our clients.”

Dickinson is the chair of the Arizona District Export Council, a member of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) International Leadership Committee and a founding member of Arizona Women in International Trade. She earned her B.A., cum laude, from Duke University and her J.D., magna cum laude, from Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Upon graduation from law school she clerked for Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Dickinson was also a Fulbright Scholar during her career, studying European Union law at the University College London, and working with the global law firm of Allen & Overy in London.

The firm was recently recognized as the fastest-growing law firm in America over the past five years by The American Lawyer. This year, the firm moved to the 69th position from 78th in The National Law Journal’s ranking of the largest U.S. based law firms. The firm’s nationally recognized Health Care Practice is the fourth largest in the nation according to the American Health Lawyers Association. The American Lawyer Magazine featured Polsinelli in its June 2013 issue.

Jaclyn Foutz

Jaclyn Foutz Joins Andante Law Group

Andante Law Group of Daniel E. Garrison, PLLC announced that Jaclyn D. Foutz has joined the firm as an attorney.  Her practice is concentrated in commercial litigation, bankruptcy, reorganization and capital recovery.  She represents creditors in collection and enforcement matters, as well as in all facets of bankruptcy proceedings and advising clients on creditors’ rights.

Daniel E. Garrison, Managing Partner of Andante Law Group stated,  “We are pleased to have Ms. Foutz join our firm.  She is a very talented litigation and bankruptcy attorney who will compliment our firm’s corporate restructuring, business bankruptcy, loan workouts and enforcement, and commercial litigation practice.

Prior to joining the Andante Law Group, Ms. Foutz was with Ballard Spahr LLP in Phoenix.  She began her legal career clerking for Justice Andrew Hurwitz at the Arizona Supreme Court.  Before re-entering private law practice, Ms. Foutz founded and was General Counsel to the Human Tribe Project, a patient support and fundraising website.

She earned her BS from the University of Arizona in 2000 and her JD in 2005 from Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.  She is licensed in both state and federal courts in Arizona and U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

AB's Top Lawyer's List, AZ Business Magazine Mar/Apr 2011

Delta Dental names Director of Legal Affairs

Delta Dental of Arizona is pleased to announce the hiring of Anne Bishop as the dental insurance company’s Director of Legal Affairs and Compliance.

“We are thrilled to welcome Anne to the Delta Dental team,” said Allan Allford, CEO for Delta Dental of Arizona. “Her expertise in health care law will be an asset as we prepare for the launch of private dental exchanges and other aspects of the Affordable Care Act.”

A magna cum laude graduate of Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, she has extensive commercial and healthcare litigation experience. Prior to joining Delta Dental, Bishop served as an associate attorney for Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. in Phoenix, where she focused on health care services, health care transactions, compliance and regulatory matters.

Bishop’s expertise includes seven years of experience analyzing and researching legal issues in healthcare, advising clients on HIPAA and other healthcare compliance issues, and coordinating intra-company fraud investigations. In addition, Bishop spent nearly 14 years with the National Security Agency, where she received more than a dozen awards for outstanding performance and exceptional contributions to the intelligence community. Bishop also holds a bachelor of arts in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania.

Brown_Katie_BROWN5_240 - 4x5

Sports Commission names new leader

The Phoenix Regional Sports Commission (PRSC) has named Katie Brown as its new president and executive director.

Brown joins PRSC after serving as secretary, general counsel and a member of the PRSC Executive Board for the last six months, and serving as a board member for the past two years. She is a licensed attorney with more than a decade of diverse experience in athletic administration, with expertise in sports law, operations, fundraising and NCAA compliance.

“We are pleased to name Katie to this position,” said PRSC Board Chairman Garry Hays.  “Her experience and passion for sports will help her lead the Commission and its mission: grassroots sports tourism, youth athletic development and driving economic impact into the Phoenix community.”

Prior to joining PRSC, Brown served as an associate attorney for Polsinelli Shughart, PC in Phoenix, representing both individuals and companies in complex commercial litigation, contract negotiations and business transactions.  During her tenure, Brown was recognized by Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in 2012 and 2013.  Before that, she worked in the legal department at Mesa Airlines, Inc.  Her sports career includes ties to the athletic departments at both Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, for which she served as the Director of Women’s Basketball Operations and Camp Director.  She was also previously the Assistant Director of Football Operations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Brown earned her juris doctorate in 2008 from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in Tempe.  While pursuing her degree, Brown served as president and Symposium chairman of the Sports and Entertainment Law Student Association, for which she organized various events discussing the legal issues that arise in sports, including an annual symposium that featured prominent sports executives from around the Valley.  She is a 2000 graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance.  She was also a track and field athlete, and earned All-Conference honors both on the track and in the classroom.  She earned a master’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science with an emphasis in Sport Administration in 2003 from the University of North Carolina at

Chapel Hill.  While at the University of North Carolina, Brown received a research grant from the National Association of Basketball Coaches to complete her thesis, titled “An Analysis of the 2002 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Bracketing Procedures.” For this research she was awarded the 2003 John E. Billing Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award, and the research was discussed in Athletic Business magazine.

A native of Tucson, Brown was a three-sport varsity athlete at Catalina Foothills High School in track and field, basketball and tennis.  She currently resides in Phoenix.

The Phoenix Regional Sports Commission is a non-profit organization created in 1988 to “Enrich Our Community Through Sports.”  The Commission currently collaborates with hundreds of partners to help fulfill this mission, bringing national and international sporting events to the state, assisting in the promotion of existing events and Arizona sports teams, and developing youth sports programs throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area.  In 1999, it assumed oversight of the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2012, the Grand Canyon State Games.

For more information about the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission call (602) 258-6272 or visit www.phoenixsports.org.

jon-kyl

ASU names Kyl Distinguished Fellow, Scholar

Former United States Senator Jon Kyl has accepted a part-time appointment at Arizona State University as Distinguished Fellow in Public Service in the ASU College of Public Programs and as O’Connor Distinguished Scholar of Law and Public Service in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.

The Senate’s former No. 2 Republican leader will work primarily in Washington, D.C. and will begin this new role with ASU immediately.   Recognized in 2010 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine, Kyl was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994 and retired at the end of his third term In January of this year.  Before serving the Senate, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987 to 1995 and earlier worked as a lawyer and lobbyist in Phoenix.

Kyl, who received his bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Arizona, recently joined Covington & Burling, the largest law firm in the nation’s capitol.

“Jon Kyl has long been one of the nation’s most important political leaders,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow.  “He has taken a thoughtful approach to important issues and has been a statesman at time when statesmanship was sometimes lacking.  ASU students will benefit greatly from his experience and perspective.”

At ASU he will teach classes and convene discussion groups on a range of issues, including immigration reform, sequestration and the debt ceiling, tax and entitlement reform, and national security and foreign policy.  Other topics will involve internal Congressional issues such as the role of politics and compromise, party discipline, lobbying and why Congress is so contentious.

“ASU has made tremendous progress in the last decade,” said Kyl. ”I am excited to work in such a dynamic environment. Twenty six years in Congress taught me a lot, and much of it is not quite what the textbooks teach.  Hopefully, I can impart some ‘real life’ lessons about our national government and major policy issues to students at ASU.”

“We are delighted that Senator Kyl will be joining us as O’Connor Distinguished Scholar of Law and Public Service,” said Douglas Sylvester, dean of the O’Connor College of Law.  “He is one of Arizona’s most respected and experienced public servants, and we are looking forward to the invaluable perspective he will bring our students and our law school community through his years of distinguished leadership and government service.”

Added Dean Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Programs, “What a great opportunity for ASU to learn from a legislator who has been a key player on issues that affect every Arizonan.

“At a time when the political process is widely disparaged, ASU students who already are drawn to public service will get the chance to see how one person can make a difference by following the path to elective office.  Senator Kyl has shown himself equally passionate about opening students’ eyes to the realities of policy making in Washington and the substantive issues, like water policy and immigration, that will shape the future of Arizona.”

Frank Long

Greenberg Traurig Attorney will Teach Trademarks Law at ASU

Frank G. Long, an Of Counsel in the Phoenix office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, will serve as a Faculty Associate at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, where he will return to teach the course in Trademarks and Unfair Competition Law.

The course curriculum focuses on the specific principles and practice of protecting trade identity under U.S. trademark and unfair competition laws. Long, who works on transactions and litigation involving intellectual property rights law and e-commerce, enjoys the opportunity to share his gained knowledge with students as they are beginning their legal careers.

“Greenberg Traurig encourages its attorneys to become involved in the community, and we are proud that Frank has consistently directed his experience and legal skills towards educating Arizona’s future lawyers,” said John Cummerford, Co-Managing Shareholder of Greenberg Traurig’s Phoenix office.

Long, Of Counsel in the firm’s Intellectual Property & Technology group, is an active member of the legal and civic community in Phoenix. He advises clients in matters related to trademarks, trade dress, false advertising, copyright, cybersquatting and trade secrets. Long assists clients with the development of strategies for the protection of intellectual property rights and trademarks. He has a wide range of experience in the management of worldwide intellectual property rights, as well as transactions involving merchandising and licensing agreements for intellectual property rights and transfers of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and domain names. In addition to his law practice, Long serves as Vice President of the Arizona State Parks Foundation, where he is a charter member of the Board of Directors.

asu

ASU faculty exemplars earn highest honor as Regents’ Professors

Three Arizona State University professors have been named Regents’ Professors for their extraordinary contributions in the classroom and in their fields of expertise.

Regents’ Professor is the highest faculty honor awarded at ASU, conferred on faculty who have made pioneering contributions in their areas of expertise, who have achieved a sustained level of distinction, and who enjoy national and international recognition for these accomplishments.

Honored with the distinction of Regents Professors in 2012 are:

•  Ron Adrian, professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, is a pioneer in the field of fluid mechanics, winning essentially every major award within the field. In addition to being elected to the National Academy of Engineering, he is a fellow of the America Physical Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics among others.

Adrian has made major contributions to the study of turbulent flows (chaotic or unstable eddying motion in a fluid) through his groundbreaking experiments, by his development of new instrumentation for studies of turbulence, and capitalizing on the understanding gained by these measurements to advance theories and models of fluid flows. He has created advanced experimental and mathematical methods that have revealed new aspects of turbulent flow and inspired novel lines of research in the fluid mechanics community.

Adrian’s research has resulted in seminal contributions to the development of diagnostics used to measure turbulent flows and to mathematical models used to understand and predict their underlying structure. Most labs today that specialize in fluid mechanics use systems based on his work. Adrian’s research has been cited more than 8,000 times and has resulted in eight patents, new technologies and many students and researchers who have benefited from his mentorship. Almost all of the 35 doctoral students mentored by Adrian have moved into prominent positions in academia, the national labs and industry. Others have used their education in turbulence to pursue interesting careers outside of engineering, including international banking and Oscar Award winning independent film production.

•  Sudhir Kumar, Biodesign Institute Center for Evolutionary Medicine & Informatics and School of Life Sciences foundation professor, has developed many methods and tools that are indispensable in the genomic medicine, evolutionary biology and functional genomics fields. In addition to being president of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, he is an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow.

Kumar is a renowned expert in the evolutionary bioinformatics field who developed MEGA (Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis), a software package that provides evolutionary analysis of gene sequences across individuals, populations and species, with colleagues Koichiro Tamura and Masatoshi Nei. The software has been downloaded more than 750,000 times and papers documenting this analysis infrastructure are among the mostly highly cited in biology and computer science literature with six papers cited more than 42,000 times.

Kumar inspires the next generation of scientists through inquiry-based biology and informatics classes such as “Introduction to Comparative Genomics” that offers students a hands-on approach using real-world examples of evolutionary genomics concepts and approaches and relevant applications in biomedicine. He has mentored 17 postdoctoral associates/research scientists, many of whom have gone on to successful positions in academia or the private sector.

Kumar is working on a new field of “phylomedicine” where evolutionary knowledge and powerful bioinformatics tools are used to identify the underlying genetic basis for many human diseases, providing a step toward individualized medicine. Recognition of his achievements also includes: Arizona Governor’s Celebration of Innovation finalist (twice); ASU Faculty Exemplar; and the Innovation Award in Functional Genomics.

• Rebecca Tsosie, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law professor, is one of the most highly regarded scholars of Indian law in the world, authoring more than 40 law review articles and book chapters during the past 15 years. She is co-author of the nation’s leading treatise on Indian law, “Indian Law: Native Nations and the Federal System.” Her work is widely cited and she has contributed chapters to almost every leading volume on American Indian law published since 2001.

Among the many awards she has been granted include the Native Nations Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UCLA School of Law. She is a past recipient of the American Bar Association’s 2002 Spirit of Excellence award and she was honored as Professor of the Year in 2009 at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. The University of Oregon awarded her its inaugural Oregon Tribes Professor of Law position.

As executive director of the ASU Indian Legal Program for 15 years, Tsosie was instrumental in transforming the program into one of the nation’s best and she helped in the formation of the law schools master’s degree program in Indian Law. A graduate student mentor, she also serves on many law school and university committees and she aided in the formation of the Indian Legal Clinic that was recently awarded the President’s Award for Social Embeddedness.

As a valued member of the American Indian community, she is a Supreme Court justice for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and San Carlos Apache Tribe. She is also engaged in public education efforts and training Indian law attorneys.