Miami Law Experts in the News: Wet-Foot/Dry-Foot, Revenge Porn, Musical Free Speech, and Qualcomm Antitrust

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U.S. Policy Change for Cuban Émigrés Sparks Debate I Wall Street Journal

In recent years, the U.S reopened its embassy in Havana and has resumed direct flights by U.S. airlines to the island.

The policy’s “initial goal was to sap Cuba of its best and brightest and thereby weaken the [Fidel] Castro regime,” said David Abraham, a professor of immigration and citizenship law at the University of Miami School of Law, referring to Cuba’s former dictator who died last year.

“But if anything,” Mr. Abraham said, “it may have helped shore up the Cuban regime because people left instead of fighting for change.”

Elimination of ‘Wet-Foot, Dry-Foot’ Policy Will Have Impact on Immigration Law Firms I American Lawyer Media

Elimination of the so-called "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy that gave Cuban immigrants an automatic path to citizenship once they reached U.S. shores will deal a heavy blow to many small and solo immigration law firms in South Florida and other places where many Cubans live.

For many immigration attorneys in South Florida, "this is an earthquake," said David Abraham, a professor of immigration and citizenship law at the University of Miami School of Law.

"It's going to change one of the mainstays of the local profession. It's definitely not good for that segment of the bar, which has specialized in Cuban Adjustment," Abraham said, referring to the law that gave Cubans the right to remain in the U.S. legally. "There's going to be fewer [clients] and the conditions of the work are going to be much hurried and the law's not going to lean in your favor as it has for the last 30 years."

Conversations With a Hacker I BBC World Service

Mary Anne Franks, law professor at the University of Miami and policy director of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, joins to discuss U.S. revenge porn laws. (14:14)

Miami Beach tells restaurant sax player to can it. Owner says: ‘Free speech!’ I The Miami Herald

Federal courts have recognized music, including instrumental music, as a protected form of expression. While governments generally have the right to regulate how loud music can be, they run the risk of censorship when they regulate what kind of music can be played, said Caroline Mala Corbin, a First Amendment expert who teaches at University of Miami School of Law.

So banning a sax while allowing piano likely crosses the line.

“If you’re regulating based on the content of the music, it is highly unlikely [the law] would survive in court,” Corbin said. “Had they just regulated the volume, it probably would survive.”

Qualcomm Strong-Armed Apply Into Buying Its Chips, US Gov SaysForbes

Experts say the government will have a difficult time proving its case. The FTC has "to prove Qualcomm has a monopoly and that they licensed their patents in an anticompetitive way, which means unreasonably," said Daniel Ravicher, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law. "Both of those will be tough, as 'reasonableness' is typically dictated by the marketplace, not government bureaucrats."

CONTACT: Catharine Skipp at 305-284-9810 or cskipp@law.miami.edu