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The Newsletter contains information on case studies and role plays to help you plan upcoming courses and professional development with actively engaging, participant-centered learning.
New Product: Margaret Hamburg and the FDA

In December 2011, long-standing tensions between the Food and Drug Administration and presidential cabinets came to a head: for the first time in its history, a cabinet member publicly ordered the FDA to retract a regulation when Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius overruled the FDA’s decision to dispense contraceptive pills over the counter to women under 17.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg stood behind her decision as “reflect[ive of] a body of scientific findings,” but Sibelius had a different appraisal of the same information: “I have concluded that the data [...] do not conclusively establish that Plan B One-Step should be made available over the counter for all girls of reproductive age.”

The incident was far more than a difference in scientific judgment. President Obama publicly backed Sibelius,saying “as the father of two daughters,” he wanted to see “common sense” applied to these regulations. They could not rule out the potential for misuse, he said, if birth control were sold to children “alongside bubble gum and batteries.” Read full article...
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Case Studies Program:

Reputation, Credibility, and the Goldstone Report (A)(B)

Cyrus Vance and Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Dilemmas in a High-Profile Investigation (A)(B)

Margaret Hamburg and the FDA
Leadership in International Conflict

When the United Nations published the Goldstone Report assessing the 2008 Israeli military strike in Gaza, it (and its main author, South African jurist Richard Goldstone) received a barrage—a landslide—a torrent—of criticism. Certainly, Goldstone did not set out to engender such a visceral response. So what went wrong? Was there some way Goldstone could have mitigated the negative impact, or was this mission doomed from the start? And if such missions are doomed, what does this say about the people willing to wade into the most intractable international conflicts? Are they misguided or courageous? These are some of the questions put to senior managers from governments around the globe at Harvard’s Kennedy School last August when Professor Philip Heymann debuted his new case study.  Read full article...

Problem Solving Workshop:

The Case of the Commissioner's Choice 

FREE: From Sony to SOPA: The Technology-Content Divide

The Copyright Wars

From Sony to SOPA: The Technology-Content Divide

When the Stop Online Piracy Act was introduced in the House of Representatives in the fall of 2011, the blogosphere erupted. Tech writers predicted a chilling effect on technology, legal experts feared a lack of due process, and open access advocates saw SOPA as censorship on par with the Chinese government. Wikipedia (and dozens of other websites) voluntarily blacked out for a day in protest of the legislation. Within a few months, the bill’s sponsors withdrew it from consideration. Certainly, the Internet helped to win this skirmish, as lightning-fast connections spread the word and consolidated opposition.

But the larger war between content creators and technologists has been fought since the invention of the printing press. Read full article...

Case Development Initiative:

The Demise of Howrey

Hewlett Packard and Mark Hurd (A), (B), (C), & (D)

Three Vignettes on Pricing of Professional Services

The Balancing Act of a General Counsel

Hewlett Packard and Mark Hurd

On June 29, 2010, Hewlett Packard’s (HP’s) celebrated CEO Mark Hurd handed over to HP’s general counsel, Michael Holston, a troubling letter he had received barely half an hour ago. The letter, from celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred, alleged that he had sexually harassed an HP consultant.

The (A) case in the series "Hewlett Packard and Mark Hurd" details the rise of Mark Hurd to his successful tenure as CEO of Hewlett Packard leading up to Hurd’s receipt of the letter. Updates in subsequent cases (B), (C), & (D) highlight the interactions between the general counsel (GC), the board, and the CEO and illustrate the business and ethical judgments that GCs encounter and must manage. Read full article...
For more information, or to discuss how to adapt our case studies for your academic or professional education needs, contact Lisa Brem, Case Studies Program Manager, at
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