Yearly Archives: 2013

Attorneys Bettering the Community – Holiday Bags for the Homeless

ABC Holiday Bags for the Homeless
Thursday, December 12, 2013, 5:30-8:30pm

Classroom A, 198 McAllister Street

UC Hastings College of the Law


About the Event

On Thursday, December 12, 2013 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. at U.C. Hastings College of the Law (Room A), ABC volunteers (UC Hastings alumni and their family and friends) will get together for our 5th consecutive year to assemble and distribute holiday care packages to the homeless in the Tenderloin region of San Francisco. Each care package includes items such as a poncho, hat, gloves, scarf, fleece blanket, body lotion, chapstick, etc. Each year these care packages bring smiles to the faces of a lot of the homeless living on the street or in shelters in the immediate area.


We invite current UC Hastings students and alumni to bring their family and friends and join us! Volunteers will enjoy mulled wine, pizza and holiday cookies as we work to assemble and then distribute the care packages around the neighborhood. We are currently ordering all of the supplies for this year's event and really need donations, so please let your family, friends and employers know about this amazing opportunity to give to those in need during the holiday season! Tax-deductible donations can be made here:

Click here to see pictures from our past year's events.


Please RSVP to if you plan to volunteer.


About the Organization

ABC - Attorneys Bettering the Community- was started in November 2009 by five friends, all recent alumni from UC Hastings and Stanford law schools, searching for a way to connect with other attorneys while working to improve the communities in which they live. Our mission is to bring attorneys out of their offices and into their communities to assist those in need.

Our organization focuses on a wide range of community service projects and would love your suggestions. We are currently recruiting members. If you are a legal professional looking for a way to help out in your community and think you might be interested in joining our organization, send us an e-mail at so we can keep you informed about our group.

ABC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with headquarters in San Mateo County California (see our non-profit approval letter here)This means that all donations are tax deductible! 

Consortium Grand Rounds: Tobacco Industry Influence of the American Law Institute’s Restatement of Torts and Implications for Conflict of Interest Policies

The American Law Institute (ALI) is a prestigious and influential organization that creates treatises on the current state of the law, including “Restatements” of case law that guide judicial decisions and legislation. This paper uses previously secret tobacco industry documents made available as the result of state and federal litigation against the industry to describe how the tobacco companies, acting both indirectly through their trade organization, the Tobacco Institute, and directly using influential lawyers, quietly influenced the ALI’s writing of the Restatement (Second) of Torts to the substantial benefit of the tobacco industry. The ease of surreptitious access by the tobacco industry to the ALI calls into question the Institute’s independence, the preparation of major policy documents such as the Restatements, as well as the Institute’s ability to monitor and control conflicts of interest. The American Law Institute’s conflict of interest policies lag behind comparable organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and are insufficient to protect Institute projects from significant outside influence. Because of the undisclosed influence of the tobacco industry over the American Law Institute, courts and legislatures should not apply the principles embodied in the Restatement of Torts in cases against the tobacco companies for injuries suffered from tobacco use. Until the American Law Institute implements strong conflict of interest policies to ensure that the ALI becomes independent of private interest manipulation, courts and legislatures should not rely on Institute reports and recommendations as neutral scholarly summaries of the law to guide judicial and legislative decision making.

Refreshments will be provided so please RSVP here by Monday, November 11th. 

About the Speakers:

  • Stan Glantz, PhD - Dr. Glantz, the American Legacy Foundation Distinguished Professor of Tobacco Control, conducts research on a wide range of topics ranging from the health effects of secondhand smoke (with particular emphasis on the cardiovascular system) to the efficacy of different tobacco control policies. Dr. Glantz conducts research on a wide range of issues ranging from the effects of secondhand smoke on the heart through the reductions in heart attacks observed when smokefree policies are enacted, to how the tobacco industry fights tobacco control programs.
  • Richard Barnes, JD - Mr. Barnes has been involved in tobacco control for over 17 years, with the last 10 devoted to tobacco control policy research at UCSF. He has authored several articles using tobacco industry internal documents to expose its malfeasance.
  • Elizabeth Laposata, JD, MPH - Elizabeth Laposata (Lah-po-sah-tah) earned her biology and anthrpology degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, her Master of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences from Berkeley, and graduated from Hastings Law School in 2009. She has devoted her working life to public health policy working in childhood obesity and tobacco control policy during and right after law school. She then joined Stanton Glantz and Richard Barnes at the University of California, San Francisco's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education as a tobacco document researcher looking into how the tobacco industry worked to change state tort and initiative and referendum laws.  She has since moved on to Washington, DC and works at the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products as a policy analyst. The work being presented today is published in the Iowa Law Review under the title "Tobacco Industry Influence on the American Law Institute's Restatement of Torts and Implications for Its Conflict of Interest Policies."

National and International Strategies to Counter the Global Obesity Epidemic

Georgetown Professor (and past Visiting Professor at UC Hastings) Allyn Taylor, JD, LLM, JSD will discuss National and International Strategies to Counter the Global Obesity Epidemic. Please RSVP here.

About the Event:

It is widely recognized that the world is now in the midst of a globalized obesity epidemic.  Where obesity was once considered a public health concern confined to high-income countries, over the past quarter-century overweight and obesity has spread rapidly to low and middle-income countries. The massive growth in obesity is having an enormously significant impact on global health trends, placing people around the world at greater risk of a range of health problems, especially non-communicable diseases (NCDS), including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other chronic ailments. Today, NCDs are at the top of the global public health agenda with widespread calls for vastly strengthened national and international regulatory action. However, while there has been much discussion of alternative national and international strategies, there is a yawning gap in comprehensive research and analysis of existing national responses directed toward the drivers of obesity

The article presented during the first part of this colloquium, The Increasing Weight of Regulation: Countries Combat the Obesity Epidemic,* takes a much needed initial step to fill the existing research void by surveying recent trends in obesity-related legislation that has been adopted and implemented in countries worldwide. As the article describes, the last decade has seen an unprecedented evolution in the policy environment, with more countries, including both high and low-income states, implementing legal strategies to address the drivers of obesity. These legal strategies adopted in almost 60 countries include the deepening of existing legislation and widening of the scope of regulatory interventions.

 In response to rising public concern about global obesity trends, there have been a number of proposals in the last several years calling for new frameworks to address the obesity epidemic. These proposals can roughly be divided into three categories. First, some scholars as well as industry representatives have continued to urge for traditional voluntary approaches and strengthened partnerships between industry and governments. Second, a number of commentators have specifically called for a framework convention on obesity. Finally, a number of commentators, including civil society organizations, have proposed the elaboration of an international code of practice on the marketing of unhealthy food and non-alcoholic beverages to children.  During the second part of the colloquium, the attached article will be used as a foundation to provide a rigorous analysis of the pros and cons of these three proposals and to propose an alternative and innovative global regulatory strategy to address the rising global burden of NCDs.

* A. Taylor, E. Parento, L. Schmidt, The Increasing Weight of Regulation: Countries Combat the Obesity Epidemic (submitted for publication, August 2013).