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One More Good Reason For In-Car Videotaping Of Traffic Stops: An Accurate Assessment Of "Consent", Robert L. White Jan 2012

One More Good Reason For In-Car Videotaping Of Traffic Stops: An Accurate Assessment Of "Consent", Robert L. White

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

There are a number of reasons why legislative reform mandating the use of in-car cameras in police cruisers would benefit the criminal justice system in Illinois. In-car cameras provide evidence for cases involving traffic violations or intoxicated motorists. They produce instantly available training materials. They also assist victims of police misconduct, as well as officers defending themselves against misconduct claims. This Comment looks to add to this list of benefits the role in-car cameras can play in assessing the validity of consents to search that officers obtain during traffic stops.


Playing With Fire: Proceeding Cautiously With Reforms To The Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, Nicholas Pietropaulo Jan 2012

Playing With Fire: Proceeding Cautiously With Reforms To The Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, Nicholas Pietropaulo

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

On January 1, 2012, the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act went into effect. It marked a significant change in how the state of Michigan treats the sale and use of “consumer fireworks.” Effectively, the new statute authorizes the sale and use of Roman Candles, bottle rockets, aerials, and other fireworks that had previously been banned. Almost immediately, challenges and complaints were raised. On one side, eight fireworks vendors challenged the constitutionality of one of the law’s provisions that required such vendors to purchase insurance at an arguably unreasonable rate. The court dismissed that case, holding that it could not be ...


Re-Thinking Health Insurance, Hans Biebl Jan 2012

Re-Thinking Health Insurance, Hans Biebl

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

In May 2009, while promoting the legislation that would become the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), President Obama said that rising health care costs threatened the balance sheets of both the federal government and private enterprise. He noted that any increase in health care spending consumes funds that “companies could be using to innovate and to grow, making it harder for them to compete around the world.” Despite the rancorous debate that surrounded this health care legislation and which culminated with the Supreme Court’s decision in National Federation of Independent Businesses, the PPACA was not a radical ...


Old Habits Die Hard: Disengaging From The Bluebook, Mark Garibyan Jan 2012

Old Habits Die Hard: Disengaging From The Bluebook, Mark Garibyan

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Incoming first-year law students dread many aspects of what lies ahead: the cold calls, the challenging course load, and the general stress that is associated with starting a new phase in one’s life. Most students, however, do not expect that the Bluebook—the citation system used ubiquitously throughout the legal landscape—will inflict “more pain” on them “than any other publication in legal history.” This pain might be a shock to many who are accustomed to the simpler systems utilized in other academic fields. A citation itself is, after all, merely a reference; it is “neither scholarship nor analysis ...


Compounding Reform: Reconsidering The Draft Safe Drug Compounding Act Of 2007 In Light Of The Ongoing Fungal Meningitis Outbreak, Colleen Nicholson Jan 2012

Compounding Reform: Reconsidering The Draft Safe Drug Compounding Act Of 2007 In Light Of The Ongoing Fungal Meningitis Outbreak, Colleen Nicholson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Compounding is the act of combining, mixing or altering ingredients to create a drug tailored to the needs of an individual patient, such as a child who needs a less potent dose, an elderly patient who has trouble swallowing, or an individual with a severe allergy to a drug component. Compounding pharmacies, which engage in large-scale drug compounding, have come under the microscope recently because of the ongoing deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis that began in 2012. Fungal meningitis “occurs when the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord are infected with a fungus.” The recent outbreak was caused ...


Judges! Stop Deferring To Class-Action Lawyers, Brian Wolfman Jan 2012

Judges! Stop Deferring To Class-Action Lawyers, Brian Wolfman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

I represent a national non-profit consumer rights organization, as an amicus, in a federal appeal challenging a district court’s approval of a class-action settlement of claims under the federal Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA). My client maintains that the district court erred in finding that the settlement was “fair, reasonable, and adequate,” which is the standard for class-action settlement approval under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In particular, we argue that the district court committed a reversible legal error when it deferred to the class-action lawyers’ recommendation to approve the settlement because, in those lawyers’ view, it was ...


Fill The Bench And Empty The Docket: Filibuster Reform For District Court Nominations, Jeremy Garson Jan 2012

Fill The Bench And Empty The Docket: Filibuster Reform For District Court Nominations, Jeremy Garson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Judges are, without question, vital to our justice system. They interpret, adapt, and apply the law. They resolve disputes for the parties to the case at issue and provide guidance to others in analogous situations. They are the gears that keep the wheels of justice moving. Unfortunately, in the case of our federal courts, many of these gears are missing. Eighty-three of our 874 federal judgeships are vacant, including thirty-four that have been declared “judicial emergencies.” Our Constitution vests the President with the power to nominate federal judges and the Senate with the power to confirm or reject them, and ...


Cruises, Class Actions, And The Court, David Korn, David Rosenberg Jan 2012

Cruises, Class Actions, And The Court, David Korn, David Rosenberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

As the Carnival Triumph debacle splashed across the national consciousness, lawyers shook their heads. Sensationalist news coverage exposed common knowledge in the legal community: cruise passengers have little recourse against carriers, and, as a result, they often bear the brunt of serious physical and financial injuries. Cruise lines, escaping legal accountability for their negligence, sail off undeterred from neglecting passenger safety on future voyages. While its previous decisions helped entrench this problem, a recently argued case presents the Supreme Court with another opportunity to address it.


Providing Capital For Law Firms In A Credit Crisis: Non-Lawyer Equity Ownership, Brett Novick Jan 2012

Providing Capital For Law Firms In A Credit Crisis: Non-Lawyer Equity Ownership, Brett Novick

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Last year, a New York federal district court dismissed a lawsuit by Jacoby & Meyers LLP attacking a New York law that prevents non-lawyers from owning an equity interest in law firms. On November 21, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit resuscitated the lawsuit, remanding the case to the district court and granting Jacoby & Meyers LLP leave to amend its complaint. Non-lawyers owning an equity interest in law firms is not a new idea, as countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom already allow it, and the United States should follow their example to a ...


Why American Express V. Italian Colors Does Not Matter And Coordinated Pursuit Of Aggregate Claims May Be A Viable Option After Concepcion, Gregory C. Cook Jan 2012

Why American Express V. Italian Colors Does Not Matter And Coordinated Pursuit Of Aggregate Claims May Be A Viable Option After Concepcion, Gregory C. Cook

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

This Comment suggests that the upcoming decision by the Supreme Court in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant will not change the class action landscape. While the plaintiff bar contends that certain public policy goals will be lost as a result of American Express and AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, this Comment argues that, in the correct circumstances, coordinated individual arbitrations can address at least some of these public policy goals and plaintiff counsel should focus on such coordination efforts (including, for instance, ethically recruiting actually-injured plaintiffs, the use of common plaintiff counsel, the use of common experts ...


Is Honor Tangible Property?, James Santiago Jan 2012

Is Honor Tangible Property?, James Santiago

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

United States Marine Corps Sergeant Dakota Meyer said, “When they told me that I would be receiving the Medal of Honor I told them that I didn’t want it, because I don’t feel like a hero.” This statement reflects the feelings of many real war heroes who deserve and are given recognition yet feel that they are unworthy of such accolades. Unfortunately, there are also individuals who want the recognition of being a war hero but lie about having served. Nevertheless, the First Amendment will continue to guarantee the freedom of speech of those who lie about unearned ...


The Tangled Thicket Of Health Care Reform: The Judicial System In Action, Gene Magidenko Jan 2012

The Tangled Thicket Of Health Care Reform: The Judicial System In Action, Gene Magidenko

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

On March 23, 2010, after a lengthy political debate on health care reform, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) into law. A week later, he signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which amended certain provisions of PPACA. But far from ending the intense national debate on the issue, these enactments opened a new front of battle in the federal courts that will almost certainly make its way to the United States Supreme Court. Much of this litigation focuses on § 1501 of PPACA, which contains the controversial individual mandate requiring every ...


Network Neutrality: Verizon V. Fcc, Anna S. Han Jan 2012

Network Neutrality: Verizon V. Fcc, Anna S. Han

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) is once again locking horns with the broadband behemoth, Verizon, over the issue of network neutrality. Although this conflict between the government and corporate giants is far from new, recent events have forced courts to give it close scrutiny. Given the explosive pace at which technology has expanded and permeated citizens’ daily lives, the judgments rendered have greater significance now than ever before.


The Latest 4th Amendment Privacy Conundrum: "Stingrays", Max Bulinksi Jan 2012

The Latest 4th Amendment Privacy Conundrum: "Stingrays", Max Bulinksi

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Wired is reporting renewed hubbub regarding statutory and Fourth Amendment protections of individuals’ privacy in the digital age. This time, it comes in the form of federal officers using a fake cellphone tower (called a “stingray”) to locate their suspect, Mr. Rigmaiden, by tracking the location of his cellphone. According to an affidavit submitted to the court, the stingray only captures the equivalent of header information – such as the phone or account number assigned to the aircard as well as dialing, routing and address information involved in the communication.


Signal Lost: Is A Gps Tracking System The Same As An Eyeball?, Eric Andrew Felleman Jan 2012

Signal Lost: Is A Gps Tracking System The Same As An Eyeball?, Eric Andrew Felleman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

On November 8th, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in United States v. Jones. One of the primary issues in the case is whether law enforcement personnel violated Mr. Jones' Fourth Amendment right to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures by using a GPS tracking device to monitor the location of his car without a warrant. The 7th Circuit and the 9th Circuit have both recently held that use of GPS tracking is not a search under the Fourth Amendment.


Efficiency-Wage Theory And Law Firm Pay, Dongyu "Eddie" Wang Jan 2012

Efficiency-Wage Theory And Law Firm Pay, Dongyu "Eddie" Wang

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Every first-year law student knows that Big Law pays $160,000 a year. In fact, this number is likely the biggest incentive for applying in the minds of most law-school hopefuls. Taking New York City as an example, a quick look at Vault’s salary data reveals that, indeed, the large majority of New York firms with available salary data pay first-year associates exactly $160,000.


Gentle Into That Good Night: Subsidy Expiration Provides A Lesson In Reform Through Inactions, Max Bulinksi Jan 2012

Gentle Into That Good Night: Subsidy Expiration Provides A Lesson In Reform Through Inactions, Max Bulinksi

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

After thirty years, Congress let the federal subsidy for corn-based ethanol expire on December 31, 2011. Although the influence of “Big Corn” is not as ubiquitously known as that of “Big Oil” or pharmaceuticals, the agricultural sector is consistently ranked among the top sectors for lobbying expenditures. This political clout is well demonstrated by the extent of the former subsidy. The ethanol subsidy has been in existence for the last thirty years and cost taxpayers roughly six billion dollars in each recent year.


Party's Over: Admissibility Of Post-Trial Juror Testimony Should Depend On The Nature Of The Conduct, Justin Gillett Jan 2012

Party's Over: Admissibility Of Post-Trial Juror Testimony Should Depend On The Nature Of The Conduct, Justin Gillett

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

What do you call a weeklong period in which you and a handful of acquaintances drink alcohol every day at lunch, sleep though the afternoons, smoke marijuana and ingest a couple lines of cocaine on occasion? You call it the time when a jury convicted Anthony Tanner and William Conover of conspiracy to defraud the United States and commit various acts of mail fraud. Under a current rule of evidence, which precludes juror testimony to impeach a verdict except on extraneous prejudicial information, juror intoxication is not an external influence about which jurors may testify. A new test for the ...


Reforming The Tax Code: A Tale Of Two Purposes And Paralysis, Gene Magidenko Jan 2012

Reforming The Tax Code: A Tale Of Two Purposes And Paralysis, Gene Magidenko

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Though the presidential election of 2012 is still some time away, national politics have been in the thick of one for several months now. One of the top issues being debated is the tax code. Most agree that the tax code should be simplified, but to say that the proposals to do this are various is an understatement. This perennial question of reform has been a fixture of the national debate for a long time, so little of what can be said about it is particularly novel. All the same, a brief overview of the purposes behind our system of ...


Argh, Matey! The Faux-Pas Of The Sopa (Stop Online Piracy Act), Anna S. Han Jan 2012

Argh, Matey! The Faux-Pas Of The Sopa (Stop Online Piracy Act), Anna S. Han

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Earlier, I posted about a network neutrality case, Verizon v. FCC, which could have far-reaching consequences for the Internet industry. Another concerted attempt to regulate the Internet, disguised in the form of a piracy protection bill, recently came before the House Judiciary Committee and garnered widespread disapproval. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of twelve co-sponsors introduced the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (“SOPA”) on October 26, 2011, which punishes websites that are accused of facilitating copyright infringement. Although touted by its supporters as a weapon against foreign sites that steal and sell American inventions, SOPA is problematic because ...


The Facebook Ipo's Face-Off With Dual Class Stock Structure, Anna S. Han Jan 2012

The Facebook Ipo's Face-Off With Dual Class Stock Structure, Anna S. Han

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

The Facebook initial public offering (“Facebook IPO”) is premised on a dual class stock structure, which the media criticizes as a circumvention of regulations designed to protect shareholders. I argue that Facebook’s use of dual class stock not only is likely to benefit its shareholders, but also follows in the footsteps of seasoned, influential companies like Google.


Steps To Alleviating Violence Against Women On Tribal Lands, Anjum Unwala Jan 2012

Steps To Alleviating Violence Against Women On Tribal Lands, Anjum Unwala

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

One in three Native American women has been raped or has experienced an attempted rape. Federal officials also failed to prosecute 75% of the alleged sex crimes against women and children living under tribal authority. The Senate bill to reauthorize the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) could provide appropriate recourse for Native American women who are victims of sexual assault. This bill (S. 1925), introduced in 2011, would grant tribal courts the ability to prosecute non-Indians who have sexually assaulted their Native American spouses and domestic partners. Congress has quickly reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act twice before. But ...


Every High Has A Low: A Pragmatic Approach To The War On Drugs, Mark Garibyan Jan 2012

Every High Has A Low: A Pragmatic Approach To The War On Drugs, Mark Garibyan

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

One of the lasting vestiges of Richard Nixon’s presidency is the infamous “War on Drugs,” a forty-year-old effort aimed at curtailing “illicit drug consumption and transactions in America.” Although the goal behind the policy—a reduction in the rate of substance abuse—may be altruistic, the War on Drugs has dismally failed to achieve its goals and has exacerbated existing problems. Specifically, laws dealing with crack cocaine result in a “heavily disproportionate impact on black defendants;” in 2008 “blacks comprised 79.8 percent of those convicted for crack cocaine-related offenses,” whereas “whites comprised only 10.4 percent.” More generally ...


Notice Is Not Enough: Why Tila Requires More Than A Letter Of Intent, Levi Smith Jan 2012

Notice Is Not Enough: Why Tila Requires More Than A Letter Of Intent, Levi Smith

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

The federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA) provides borrowers with protections and remedies against certain actions by lenders. TILA allows, in some circumstances, a borrower to rescind a loan from a lender within a three-year period from when the loan is made. However, a circuit split has developed regarding how the right to rescind must be exercised. Of the circuits that have considered this question, some require a lawsuit to be filed within the three-year period to rescind the loan. Other circuits have held that providing notice of the intent to rescind the loan within the three-year period is sufficient ...


The Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania's Antiquated And Oft-Abused Occupation Tax: A Call For Abolition, Edmund W. Appleton Jan 2012

The Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania's Antiquated And Oft-Abused Occupation Tax: A Call For Abolition, Edmund W. Appleton

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Under Pennsylvania law, counties, cities, boroughs, first-class townships, municipalities, and school districts can levy an occupation tax. An occupation tax taxes an individual based on the individual’s occupation, which, historically, was considered to be a form of transferable property. Not only is the occupation tax based on an outdated model of employment practices, but it is also a source of abuse and inequity. Consequently, the occupation tax should be abolished in favor of other more just taxation models.


Access To Medicaid: Recognizing Rights To Ensure Access To Care And Services, Colleen Nicholson Jan 2012

Access To Medicaid: Recognizing Rights To Ensure Access To Care And Services, Colleen Nicholson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

The Supreme Court has defined Medicaid as “a cooperative federal-state program through which the Federal Government provides financial assistance to States so that they may furnish medical care to needy individuals.” In June 2012, the Court found the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) Medicaid expansion unconstitutional. The Court took issue with the threat to withhold all of a state’s Medicaid funding if they did not comply with the expansion, finding it coercive and a fundamental shift in the Medicaid paradigm. However, Medicaid in its current form may not always be effective at providing beneficiaries with timely ...


The Need To Prevent Employers From Accessing Private Social Network Profiles, Brett Novick Jan 2012

The Need To Prevent Employers From Accessing Private Social Network Profiles, Brett Novick

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

In March 2012, social network privacy became a conversation topic after news reports of the story of Justin Bassett, a job applicant who withdrew his application in the middle of an interview when the interviewer asked him for the username and password of his private Facebook account. Although the issue has received much attention from the public and media, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has stated that it has no interest in prosecuting employers for asking for social networking account information. Fortunately, legislation that would make it illegal for employers to ask for the username and passwords for social networking ...


The Future Of School Integration: Socioeconomic Diversity As An Education Reform Strategy, Edited By Richard D. Kahlenberg (Century Foundation 2012), 397 Pages, Eloise Pasachoff Jan 2012

The Future Of School Integration: Socioeconomic Diversity As An Education Reform Strategy, Edited By Richard D. Kahlenberg (Century Foundation 2012), 397 Pages, Eloise Pasachoff

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

The last decade has seen a quiet but steady expansion of interest in using socioeconomic diversity in schools to improve educational outcomes. Ten years ago, only a few school districts around the country used formal strategies to integrate their schools along class lines. Today, over eighty school districts around the United States, together educating around four million students, ensure that poor children are taught alongside middle-class and wealthier children through a variety of voluntary integration programs. The message of The Future of School Integration: Socioeconomic Diversity as an Education Reform Strategy, the important new book edited by Richard Kahlenberg, is ...


Energy Subsidies, Market Distortion, And A Free Market Alternative, Hans Biebl Jan 2012

Energy Subsidies, Market Distortion, And A Free Market Alternative, Hans Biebl

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

Gas and coal are cheap. They are cheap because the U.S. government subsidizes their production. The result is that the marketplace does not recognize the true cost of fossil fuels. Without the subsidies, Americans—for the first time in nearly a hundred years—would experience the cost of unsubsidized fossil fuels. In a newly competitive marketplace, renewable sources of energy would be in a better position to compete. Without gas and coal subsidies, clean energy producers, who have not been able to compete with the low price of fossil fuels, might be more willing to invest in “clean, renewable ...


Technology Convergence And Federalism: The Case Of Voip Regulation, Daniel A. Lyons Jan 2012

Technology Convergence And Federalism: The Case Of Voip Regulation, Daniel A. Lyons

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Caveat

The Vermont Supreme Court may soon consider whether federal law permits the Public Service Board to regulate certain voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) services. Across the Hudson, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently sought to bar the New York Public Service Commission from adopting similar regulations. And these states are not alone: from Maine to Florida, several states are considering whether their jurisdiction over traditional telephone service encompasses this new technology, through which nearly one-third of American landline households receive telephone service. If so, nationwide VoIP providers could face up to fifty new legal regimes with which they must comply before offering service. If not ...