Joanna L. Grossman

Joanna L. Grossman is the Ellen K. Solender Endowed Chair in Women and Law at SMU Dedman School of Law.  She is an expert in sex discrimination law. Her most recent book, Nine to Five: How Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Continue to Define the American Workplace (Cambridge University Press 2016), is a lively and accessible introduction to the laws, policies, and practices that shape women’s lives at work. She also writes extensively on family law, especially on state regulation of marriage and parentage. She chronicles contemporary developments in parentage law in her blog, Are You My Mother?. She is also an author of Inside the Castle: Law and the Family in 20th Century America (Princeton University Press 2011), a comprehensive social history of family law. She is the co-author of Gender & Law: Theory Doctrine & Commentary (6th ed. 2013); the co-editor of Gender Equality: Dimensions of Women’s Equal Citizenship (Cambridge University Press 2009); and the co-editor of Family Law in New York (Carolina Academic Press 2015).

Columns by Joanna L. Grossman

Baby Mama: Appellate Court Declares Sherri Shepherd Is the Legal Mother of a Child Born to Her via Surrogate

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Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman comments on a recent decision by a Pennsylvania appellate court that Sherri Shepherd, despite her arguments to the contrary, is the legal mother of a child born via surrogate. Grossman describes the background of the case and the national patchwork of state laws on surrogacy and explains why the appellate court came to the correct conclusion as a matter of law.

Though Obsolete, the Civil Union Continues to Mystify Courts

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Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman discusses a decision by a New York trial court that illustrates the continuing confusion caused by the civil union, despite its obsolescence in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in favor of marriage equality. Grossman provides a brief history of the civil union and its demise and critiques the reasoning and conclusion arrived at by the trial court in this case.

Enactment of the Women’s Equality Agenda: A Fitting Bicentennial Birthday Gift for Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman discusses New York’s enactment of the Women’s Equality Agenda, which nearly coincides with the 200th birthday of women’s rights champion Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Grossman describes the history behind the Women’s Equality Act as well as the provisions it codifies.

A Leader with Few Followers: New York on Family Law

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Hofstra University law professors Joanna Grossman and Barbara Stark discuss a new law in New York that will reform alimony law and reverse a longstanding rule of marital property in that state. Grossman and Stark describe New York’s unusual family law history and explain how it arrived at this new law, which goes into effect in part this week.

When One Door Opens, Another Closes: Parentage Law After Obergefell v. Hodges

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Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman discusses the evolving landscape of parentage law after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. Grossman argues that while Obergefell has opened up some new paths to parentage for same-sex couples, it has also closed off others that had been created as workarounds in a restrictive marriage regime.

He Who Hesitated Lost: Unwed Father in Utah Forfeits Parental Rights

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Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman comments on a recent Utah case where an unwed father forfeited his rights to contest the adoption of his child by not filing a paternity action. Grossman points out that this result is the product of balancing interests of unwed fathers against those of the child, mothers seeking to place children for adoption, and adoptive parents.

Interstate Marriage Recognition: When History Meets the Supreme Court

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Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman discusses one aspect the same-sex marriage case that the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing today, Obergefell v. Hodges. Specifically, Grossman considers whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to recognize out-of-state marriages in the context of the history of interstate marriage recognition laws.

Afterbirth: The Supreme Court’s Ruling in Young v. UPS Leaves Many Questions Unanswered

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Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman and University of Pittsburg law professor Deborah Brake continue their discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Young v. UPS, in which the Court held that a pregnant UPS driver who was denied a light-duty accommodation that was routinely made available to other employees with similar lifting restrictions should have the opportunity to prove that the employer’s denial was discriminatory.

Forceps Delivery: The Supreme Court Narrowly Saves the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in Young v. UPS

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Hofstra University law professor Joanna Grossman and University of Pittsburg law professor Deborah Brake discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Young v. UPS, in which the Court resolved some issues over the scope of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. In a second column, Grossman and Brake will comment on the implications of the ruling on other aspects of employment discrimination law.