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Empirical studies

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Federal Forum Provisions And The Internal Affairs Doctrine, Dhruv Aggarwal, Albert H. Choi, Ofer Eldar Aug 2020

Federal Forum Provisions And The Internal Affairs Doctrine, Dhruv Aggarwal, Albert H. Choi, Ofer Eldar

Articles

A key question at the intersection of state and federal law is whether corpo- rations can use their charters or bylaws to restrict securities litigation to federal court. In December 2018, the Delaware Chancery Court answered this question in the negative in the landmark decision Sciabacucchi v. Salzberg. The court invalidated “federal forum provisions” (“FFPs”) that allow companies to select federal district courts as the exclusive venue for claims brought under the Secur- ities Act of 1933 (“1933 Act”). The decision held that the internal affairs doc- trine, which is the bedrock of U.S. corporate law, does not permit ...


Ordinary People And The Rationalization Of Wrongdoing, Janice Nadler May 2020

Ordinary People And The Rationalization Of Wrongdoing, Janice Nadler

Michigan Law Review

Review of Yuval Feldman's The Law of Good People: Challenging States' Ability to Regulate Human Behavior.


Understanding Violent-Crime Recidivism, J.J. Prescott, Benjamin Pyle, Sonja B. Starr May 2020

Understanding Violent-Crime Recidivism, J.J. Prescott, Benjamin Pyle, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

People convicted of violent crimes constitute a majority of the imprisoned population but are generally ignored by existing policies aimed at reducing mass incarceration. Serious efforts to shrink the large footprint of the prison system will need to recognize this fact. This point is especially pressing at the time of this writing, as states and the federal system consider large-scale prison releases motivated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those convicted of violent crimes constitute a large majority of older prisoners, who are extremely vulnerable to the spread of the virus behind bars. Excluding them from protective measures will deeply undermine those ...


Expungement Of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study, J.J. Prescott, Sonja B. Starr May 2020

Expungement Of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study, J.J. Prescott, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

Laws permitting the expungement of criminal convictions are a key component of modern criminal justice reform efforts and have been the subject of a recent upsurge in legislative activity. This debate has been almost entirely devoid of evidence about the laws’ effects, in part because the necessary data (such as sealed records themselves) have been unavailable. We were able to obtain access to de-identified data that overcome that problem, and we use it to carry out a comprehensive statewide study of expungement recipients and comparable nonrecipients in Michigan. We offer three key sets of empirical findings. First, among those legally ...


"Downright Indifference": Examining Unpublished Decisions In The Federal Courts Of Appeals, Merritt E. Mcalister Feb 2020

"Downright Indifference": Examining Unpublished Decisions In The Federal Courts Of Appeals, Merritt E. Mcalister

Michigan Law Review

Nearly 90 percent of the work of the federal courts of appeals looks nothing like the opinions law students read in casebooks. Over the last fifty years, the so-called “unpublished decision” has overtaken the federal appellate courts in response to a caseload volume “crisis.” These are often short, perfunctory decisions that make no law; they are, one federal judge said, “not safe for human consumption.”

The creation of the inferior unpublished decision also has created an inferior track of appellate justice for a class of appellants: indigent litigants. The federal appellate courts routinely shunt indigent appeals to a second-tier appellate ...


Golden Parachutes And The Limits Of Shareholder Value, Albert H. Choi, Andrew C.W. Lund, Robert Schonlau Jan 2020

Golden Parachutes And The Limits Of Shareholder Value, Albert H. Choi, Andrew C.W. Lund, Robert Schonlau

Articles

With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, Congress attempted to constrain change-in-control payments (also known as “golden parachutes”) by giving shareholders the right to approve or disapprove such payments on an advisory basis. This Essay is the first to empirically examine the experience with the Say-on-Golden-Parachute (“SOGP”) vote. We find that unlike shareholder votes on proposed mergers, there is a significant amount of variation with respect to votes on golden parachutes. Notwithstanding the variation, however, the SOGP voting regime is likely ineffective in controlling golden parachute (“GP”) compensation. First, proxy advisors seem ...


“A World Of Steel-Eyed Death”: An Empirical Evaluation Of The Failure Of The Strickland Standard To Ensure Adequate Counsel To Defendants With Mental Disabilities Facing The Death Penalty, Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon, Sarah Chatt Jan 2020

“A World Of Steel-Eyed Death”: An Empirical Evaluation Of The Failure Of The Strickland Standard To Ensure Adequate Counsel To Defendants With Mental Disabilities Facing The Death Penalty, Michael L. Perlin, Talia Roitberg Harmon, Sarah Chatt

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

First, we discuss the background of the development of counsel adequacy in death penalty cases. Next, we look carefully at Strickland, and the subsequent Supreme Court cases that appear—on the surface—to bolster it in this context. We then consider multiple jurisprudential filters that we believe must be taken seriously if this area of the law is to be given any authentic meaning. Next, we will examine and interpret the data that we have developed. Finally, we will look at this entire area of law through the filter of therapeutic jurisprudence, and then explain why and how the charade ...


Fcpa Enforcement Against U.S. And Non-U.S. Companies, Michael S. Diamant, Christopher W.H. Sullivan, Jason H. Smith May 2019

Fcpa Enforcement Against U.S. And Non-U.S. Companies, Michael S. Diamant, Christopher W.H. Sullivan, Jason H. Smith

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

This Article explores how U.S. authorities have enforced the FCPA against non-U.S. companies and tests the perception that the FCPA disproportionately impacts U.S. businesses. After briefly discussing the FCPA, its enforcement, and its reach, this Article examines corporate FCPA enforcement activity since the statute’s enactment in 1977. It finds that foreign firms have actually fared worse under the FCPA despite the fact that DOJ and the SEC have brought more enforcement actions against domestic companies in absolute terms. The average cost of resolving an FCPA enforcement action to non-U.S. corporations of resolving an FCPA enforcement ...


Prosecutorial Discretion And Environmental Crime Redux: Charging Trends, Aggravating Factors, And Individual Outcome Data For 2005-2014, David M. Uhlmann May 2019

Prosecutorial Discretion And Environmental Crime Redux: Charging Trends, Aggravating Factors, And Individual Outcome Data For 2005-2014, David M. Uhlmann

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

In a 2014 article entitled “Prosecutorial Discretion and Environmental Crime,” I presented empirical data developed by student researchers participating in the Environmental Crimes Project at the University of Michigan Law School. My 2014 article reported that 96 percent of defendants investigated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and charged with federal environmental crimes from 2005 through 2010 engaged in conduct that involved at least one of the aggravating factors identified in my previous scholarship, namely significant harm, deceptive or misleading conduct, operating outside the regulatory system, and repetitive violations. On that basis, I concluded that prosecutors charged violations that ...


Small Crimes, Big Injustices, Stephanos Bibas Apr 2019

Small Crimes, Big Injustices, Stephanos Bibas

Michigan Law Review

Review of Alexandra Natapoff's Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal.


Moral Diversity And Efficient Breach, Matthew A. Seligman Mar 2019

Moral Diversity And Efficient Breach, Matthew A. Seligman

Michigan Law Review

Most people think it is morally wrong to breach a contract. But sophisticated commercial parties, like large corporations, have no objection to breaching contracts and paying the price in damages when doing so is in their self-interest. The literature has ignored the profound legal, economic, and normative implications of that asymmetry between individuals’ and firms’ approaches to breach. To individuals, a contract is a promise that cannot be broken regardless of the financial stakes. For example, millions of homeowners refused to breach their mortgage contracts in the aftermath of the housing crisis even though doing so could have saved them ...


Policing, Danger Narratives, And Routine Traffic Stops, Jordan Blair Woods Feb 2019

Policing, Danger Narratives, And Routine Traffic Stops, Jordan Blair Woods

Michigan Law Review

This Article presents findings from the largest and most comprehensive study to date on violence against the police during traffic stops. Every year, police officers conduct tens of millions of traffic stops. Many of these stops are entirely unremarkable—so much so that they may be fairly described as routine. Nonetheless, the narrative that routine traffic stops are fraught with grave and unpredictable danger to the police permeates police training and animates Fourth Amendment doctrine. This Article challenges this dominant danger narrative and its centrality within key institutions that regulate the police.

The presented study is the first to offer ...


Targeting Poverty In The Courts: Improving The Measurement Of Ability To Pay Fines, Meghan M. O'Neil, J.J. Prescott Jan 2019

Targeting Poverty In The Courts: Improving The Measurement Of Ability To Pay Fines, Meghan M. O'Neil, J.J. Prescott

Articles

Ability-to-pay determinations are essential when governments use money-based alternative sanctions, like fines, to enforce laws. One longstanding difficulty in the U.S. has been the extreme lack of guidance on how courts are to determine a litigant’s ability to pay. The result has been a seat-of-the-pants approach that is inefficient and inaccurate, and, as a consequence, very socially costly. Fortunately, online platform technology presents a promising avenue for reform. In particular, platform technology offers the potential to increase litigant access, reduce costs, and ensure consistent and fair treatment—all of which should lead to more accurate sanctions. We use ...


The Elephant In The Room: Helping Delaware Courts Develop Law To End Systemic Short-Term Bias In Corporate Decision-Making, Kenneth Mcneil, Keith Johnson Oct 2018

The Elephant In The Room: Helping Delaware Courts Develop Law To End Systemic Short-Term Bias In Corporate Decision-Making, Kenneth Mcneil, Keith Johnson

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

Short-termism in corporate decision-making is as problematic for long-term investors as relying on a three-mile radar on a supertanker. It is totally inadequate for handling the long-term risks and opportunities faced by the modern corporation. Yet recent empirical research shows that up to 85% of the S&P 1500 have no long-term planning. This is costing pension funds and other long-term investors dearly. For instance, the small minority of companies that do long-term planning and risk management had a long-term profitability that was 81% higher than their peers during the 2001–2014 period—with less stock volatility that costs investors ...


Jury Selection In The Weeds: Whither The Democratic Shore?, Jeffrey Abramson Oct 2018

Jury Selection In The Weeds: Whither The Democratic Shore?, Jeffrey Abramson

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article reports on four federal jury challenges in which the trial judge or defendants retained the author to provide research on jury selection plans. The research shows a persistent and substantial loss of representation for African Americans and Hispanics on federal juries, even though no intentional discrimination took place. Problems with undeliverable jury summonses, as well as failure to respond to summonses, were the main causes of departures from the ideal of cross-sectional jury selection. However, a cramped understanding of what it takes for a defendant to prove that minority jurors were systematically excluded, as required by Duren v ...


Access To Justice In The United Nations Human Rights Committee, Vera Shikhelman Oct 2018

Access To Justice In The United Nations Human Rights Committee, Vera Shikhelman

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Article has two main purposes. The first is to describe and evaluate empirically the right of individuals to access the HRC under the OP in light of the special goals of this procedure as perceived by the different stakeholders. The second is to recommend ways to improve individuals’ access to the HRC and thereby to international justice in general. In order to address the first question, the Article uses a mixed-methods approach—a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods.


Change, Creation, And Unpredictability In Statutory Interpretation: Interpretive Canon Use In The Roberts Court's First Decade, Nina A. Mendelson Oct 2018

Change, Creation, And Unpredictability In Statutory Interpretation: Interpretive Canon Use In The Roberts Court's First Decade, Nina A. Mendelson

Michigan Law Review

In resolving questions of statutory meaning, the lion’s share of Roberts Court opinions considers and applies at least one interpretive canon, whether the rule against surplusage or the presumption against state law preemption. This is part of a decades-long turn toward textualist statutory interpretation in the Supreme Court. Commentators have debated how to justify canons, since they are judicially created rules that reside outside the statutory text. Earlier studies have cast substantial doubt on whether these canons can be justified as capturing congressional practices or preferences; commentators have accordingly turned toward second-order justifications, arguing that canons usefully make interpretation ...


Assessing Access-To-Justice Outreach Strategies, J. J. Prescott Jan 2018

Assessing Access-To-Justice Outreach Strategies, J. J. Prescott

Articles

The need for prospective beneficiaries to “take up” new programs is a common stumbling block for otherwise well-designed legal and policy innovations. I examine the take-up problem in the context of publicly provided court services and test the effectiveness of various outreach strategies that announce a newly available online court access platform. I study individuals with minor arrest warrants whose distrust of courts may dampen any take-up response. I partnered with a court to quasi-randomly assign outreach approaches to a cohort of individuals and find that outreach improves take-up, that the type of outreach matters, and that online platform access ...


Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard Nov 2017

Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Using a sample of all companies named as defendants in securities class actions between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008, we study parallel suits relying on state corporate law arising out of the same allegations as the securities class actions. We test several ways that parallel suits may add value to a securities class action. Most parallel suits target cases involving obvious indicia of wrongdoing. Moreover, we find that although a modest percentage of parallel suits are filed first, over 80 percent are filed after a securities class action (termed “follow-on” parallel suits). We find that parallel suits and ...


Trump's "Big-League" Tax Reform: Assessing The Impact Of Corporate Tax Changes, Ryan J. Clements Nov 2017

Trump's "Big-League" Tax Reform: Assessing The Impact Of Corporate Tax Changes, Ryan J. Clements

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

This Article reviews and assesses corporate tax reforms advocated by President Donald Trump during his presidential campaign and signed into law since taking office (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017), in light of economic theory and the Modigliani-Miller Irrelevance Theorem. The Ar-ticle argues that companies will adapt polcies in light of new taxation mea-sures, thereby impacting the effectiveness of reform. In support of this conclusion, the Article surveys two empirical studies—one in relation to the repatriation efforts of President Bush’s Homeland Investment Act and an-other in relation to unexpected changes to the taxation of Canadian income ...


Improving Access To Justice In State Courts With Platform Technology, J. J. Prescott Nov 2017

Improving Access To Justice In State Courts With Platform Technology, J. J. Prescott

Articles

Access to justice often equates to access to state courts, and for millions of Americans, using state courts to resolve their disputes—often with the government—is a real challenge. Reforms are regularly proposed in the hopes of improving the situation (e.g., better legal aid), but until recently a significant part of the problem has been structural. Using state courts today for all but the simplest of legal transactions entails at the very least traveling to a courthouse and meeting with a decision maker in person and in a one-on-one setting. Even minimally effective access, therefore, requires time, transportation ...


Chevron In The Circuit Courts, Kent Barnett, Christopher J. Walker Oct 2017

Chevron In The Circuit Courts, Kent Barnett, Christopher J. Walker

Michigan Law Review

This Article presents findings from the most comprehensive empirical study to date on how the federal courts of appeals have applied Chevrondeference— the doctrine under which courts defer to a federal agency’s reasonable interpretation of an ambiguous statute that it administers. Based on 1,558 agency interpretations the circuit courts reviewed from 2003 through 2013 (where they cited Chevron), we found that the circuit courts overall upheld 71% of interpretations and applied Chevrondeference 77% of the time. But there was nearly a twenty-five-percentage-point difference in agency-win rates when the circuit courts applied Chevrondeference than when they ...


The 2016-17 Survey Of Applied Legal Education, Robert R. Kuehn, David A. Santacroce, Margaret Reuter, Sue Schechter Sep 2017

The 2016-17 Survey Of Applied Legal Education, Robert R. Kuehn, David A. Santacroce, Margaret Reuter, Sue Schechter

Other Publications

This report summarizes the results of the Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education’s (CSALE) 2016-17 Survey of Applied Legal Education. The 2016-17 Survey was CSALE’s fourth triennial survey of law clinic and field placement (i.e., externship) courses and educators. The results provide insight into the state of applied legal education in areas like program design, capacity, administration, funding, and pedagogy, and the role of applied legal education and educators in the legal academy. Law schools, legal educators, scholars, and oversight agencies rely on CSALE’s data. They do so with the summary results provided here ...


Timely Permanency Or Unnecessary Removal?: Tips For Advocates For Children Who Spend Less Than 30 Days In Foster Care, Christopher Church, Monique Mitchell, Vivek Sankaran Jun 2017

Timely Permanency Or Unnecessary Removal?: Tips For Advocates For Children Who Spend Less Than 30 Days In Foster Care, Christopher Church, Monique Mitchell, Vivek Sankaran

Articles

Removal and placement in foster care is child welfare’s most severe intervention, contemplated as “a last resort rather than the first.” Federal law, with an overarching goal of preventing unnecessary removals, bolsters this principle by requiring juvenile and family courts to carefully oversee the removal of children to foster care. Expansive research reminds the field that removal, while often necessary, is not a benign intervention. Physically, legally, and emotionally separating children from their parent(s) can traumatize children in lasting ways. Yet review of federal data concerning children in foster care reveal a troubling narrative: each year, tens of ...


Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley Jun 2017

Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley

Articles

For centuries, the duty of loyalty has been the hallowed centerpiece of fiduciary obligation, widely considered one of the few “mandatory” rules of corporate law. That view, however, is no longer true. Beginning in 2000, Delaware dramatically departed from tradition by granting incorporated entities a statutory right to waive a crucial part of the duty of loyalty: the corporate opportunities doctrine. Other states have since followed Delaware’s lead, similarly permitting firms to execute “corporate opportunity waivers.” Surprisingly, more than fifteen years into this reform experiment, no study has attempted to either systematically measure the corporate response to these reforms ...


Factors In Fairness And Emotion In Online Case Resolution Systems, Youyang Hou, Cliff Lampe, Maximilian Bulinski, J. J. Prescott May 2017

Factors In Fairness And Emotion In Online Case Resolution Systems, Youyang Hou, Cliff Lampe, Maximilian Bulinski, J. J. Prescott

Articles

Courts are increasingly adopting online information and communication technology, creating a need to consider the potential consequences of these tools for the justice system. Using survey responses from 209 litigants who had recently used an online case resolution system, we investigate factors that influenced litigants’ experiences of fairness and emotional feelings toward court officials. Our results show that ease of using the online case resolution system, the outcome of the case, and a litigant’s perceptions of procedural justice are positively associated both with whether the litigant views the process as fair and whether the litigant ultimately feels positive emotions ...


Finance And Growth: The Legal And Regulatory Implications Of The Role Of The Public Equity Market In The United States, Ezra Wasserman Mitchell Apr 2017

Finance And Growth: The Legal And Regulatory Implications Of The Role Of The Public Equity Market In The United States, Ezra Wasserman Mitchell

Michigan Business & Entrepreneurial Law Review

The important study of the relationship between finance and economic growth has exploded over the past two decades. One of the most significant open questions is the role of the public equity market in stimulating growth and the channels it follows if it does. This paper examines that question from an economic, legal, and historical perspective, especially with regard to its regulatory and corporate governance implications. The US market is my focus.

In contrast to most studies, I follow both economic history and the actual flow of funds in addition to empirics and theory to conclude that the public equity ...


Digging Into The Foundations Of Evidence Law, David H. Kaye Apr 2017

Digging Into The Foundations Of Evidence Law, David H. Kaye

Michigan Law Review

Review of The Psychological Foundations of Evidence Law by Michael J. Saks and Barbara A. Spellman.


Race And Wrongful Convictions In The United States, Samuel R. Gross, Maurice Possley, Klara Stephens Mar 2017

Race And Wrongful Convictions In The United States, Samuel R. Gross, Maurice Possley, Klara Stephens

Other Publications

African Americans are only 13% of the American population but a majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated. They constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations (as of October 2016), and the great majority of more than 1,800 additional innocent defendants who were framed and convicted of crimes in 15 large-scale police scandals and later cleared in “group exonerations.” We see this racial disparity for all major crime categories, but we examine it in this report in the context of the three types of crime that produce the ...


Short Fall Arguments In Court: A Probabilistic Analysis, Maria Cuellar Mar 2017

Short Fall Arguments In Court: A Probabilistic Analysis, Maria Cuellar

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

A discussion about how statistical arguments are used in court, specifically in cases of Abusive Head Trauma in which the defendant has claimed that an accidental short fall, and not shaking or child abuse, has caused the child’s injuries.