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Neacsu Named Director of Law Library Services

Dr. Dana NeacsuDuquesne University's School of Law is pleased to welcome Dr. Dana Neacsu as the new Director of Law Library Services and Associate Professor of Legal Skills. She will lead the School of Law's Center for Legal Information and the Allegheny County Law Library.

Neacsu joins the School of Law after working at the Columbia Law School Library in New York, N.Y. She had worked there since 2000, serving in various roles including reference librarian, administrator, head of public services and most recently as supervisor of the inter-library loan services.

Prior to joining Columbia Law, Neacsu was a European civil law court judge and an assistant professor of law, and worked with the New York City Corporation Counsel's Office as an attorney.

Neacsu holds degrees from three countries: Romania, France and the United States. Her PhD is from The State University of New Jersey, her master of library science degree is from the City University of New York and her master of law degree is from Harvard Law School. Internationally, she earned her other degrees from Ecole de Droit et des Etudes Politiques in Caen, France, and Universitatea Bucuresti, Facultatea de Drept in Bucharest, Romania.

Duquesne Law Welcomes Visiting Assistant Professors

Dr. Linh DaiDr. Linh K. Dai joined the School of Law faculty this fall. She teaches in the areas of torts, human trafficking and international human rights. Her other teaching and scholarly interests include criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional law, and women and the law.
Dai has devoted her scholarships to advancing the rights of women and children in Asia. She has conducted extensive research on laws, power, exploitation and justice on women's and children's rights and gender equality in Asia. Her important work in these areas is a way to give power to those who do not have a voice.

Interested in diversity and service, Dai participated and served as an executive planning committee member for the Southeast-Southwest People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference and served as co-chair of the Law Student Writing Competition.
Mentoring is also important to Dai, who was chosen to be one of the Fellows in the Preparing Future Faculty Program. While an instructor at Northern Arizona University, Dai was nominated for the 2016 Teacher of the Year Award by faculty, staff and students.

Before joining Duquesne, Dai was a visiting assistant professor at St. Thomas University School of Law. She has also taught at McNeese State University, Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University. Dai earned a PhD from Arizona State University, a certificate in international humanitarian law, an LLM in law and government from American University, a concentration certificate in civil and constitutional rights, a specialization certificate in gender and the law, a JD from Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, an MPA from Hamline University, and a BA from Metropolitan State University.

Professor John Towers RiceJohn Towers Rice teaches corporations and also researches and presents on issues relating to business litigation, professional responsibility and non-discrimination law.

A native of Greenville, S.C., Rice graduated from Clemson University in 2008, and then earned his law degree with a concentration in advocacy and dispute resolution from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville College of Law in 2012. During law school, Rice competed on the Dean Jerome Price Evidence Moot Court Team and was one of 10 law graduates nominated to the Order of the Barristers, and the College of Law faculty recognized him with ALI-ABA Scholarship and Leadership Award.

Rice previously taught at the University of Tennessee College of Law and the University of Massachusetts School of Law. He also served as a law clerk for the Supreme Court of Tennessee and was in private practice where he focused on professional liability defense, commercial and business disputes, probate and fiduciary litigation, workplace investigations, and appellate practice. He is a member of the American Bar Association and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is admitted to the Tennessee and South Carolina bars, as well as the bars for the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Tennessee and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Oranburg to Explore Virtual Worlds with Hayek Fund for Scholars Award

Professor Seth OranburgSeth Oranburg, Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Business Essentials for Lawyers Micro-Credential program, received the Hayek Fund for Scholars Award from George Mason University's Institute for Humane Studies (IHS). The funds he received from the award were used to purchase virtual reality equipment and to hire a research assistant, second-year law student Tom Schierberl. Together, the two are going to explore virtual reality worlds in the context of the law.

"Although it may sound far out, virtual worlds are increasingly becoming a commercial reality; the gross domestic product of these words is already equal to that of Bulgaria's, and virtual economies are growing much faster than many real-world ones," Oranburg said. "I'm so pleased that IHS recognized the importance of this forward-looking research. As we move into an increasingly technology-driven future, it's important to consider how technological changes will impact our values, such as freedom, democracy and equality."
Virtual interactions can have interesting uses in law, according to Schierberl.

"Virtual reality gives us the opportunity to volumetrically record an interaction. Meaning, in the event of a contract dispute, we can play back the contract's formation in 3D to hear what was said, where it was said, where the persons were in relation to one another. The recording can be played while still in virtual reality-you can make the recording the size of a virtual apple or fill the entire virtual room," he said.

Schierberl finds the most interesting part of virtual worlds the manipulation of the recording to view the contract's formation from every individual person's perspective at the time of formation. "It is like a movie that lets you control the perspective, and that could be a great tool in contract interpretation going forward as virtual reality becomes more prominent," he said.

The duo is honored they received this award, and Oranburg is anticipating the good he will be able to do with it. "Exploring this uncharted commercial territory marks a turning pointing in my research agenda, and hopefully a leap forward for my career, but more importantly the IHS funding supports the notion that we should strive toward achieving the good in society even when that society exists in new-and even virtual-spaces."