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Full-Text Articles in Law

Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Nov 2020

Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Michigan Law Review

This Article draws on novel data and presents the results of the first empirical analysis of how potentially salient characteristics of Court of Appeals judges influence class certification under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. We find that the ideological composition of the panel (measured by the party of the appointing president) has a very strong association with certification outcomes, with all-Democratic panels having dramatically higher rates of procertification outcomes than all-Republican panels—nearly triple in about the past twenty years. We also find that the presence of one African American on a panel, and the presence ...


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.


"Downright Indifference": Examining Unpublished Decisions In The Federal Courts Of Appeals, Merritt E. Mcalister Feb 2020

"Downright Indifference": Examining Unpublished Decisions In The Federal Courts Of Appeals, Merritt E. Mcalister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 Over the last fifty years, the so-called “unpublished decision” has overtaken the federal appellate courts in response to a caseload volume “crisis.”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The creation of the inferior unpublished decision also has created an inferior track of appellate justice for a class of appellants: indigent litigants.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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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.


Judging Judicial Elections, Michael S. Kang, Joanna M. Shepherd Apr 2016

Judging Judicial Elections, Michael S. Kang, Joanna M. Shepherd

Michigan Law Review

Melinda Gann Hall’s new book Attacking Judges: How Campaign Advertising Influences State Supreme Court Elections suggests what seems impossible to many of us—a powerful defense of today’s partisan judicial elections. As judicial races hit new levels of campaign spending and television advertising, there has been a flood of criticism about the increasing partisanship, negativity, and role of money. In view of the “corrosive effect of money on judicial election campaigns” and “attack advertising,” the American Bar Association (ABA) recommends against judicial elections, which are currently used to select roughly 90 percent of state judges. Justice O’Connor ...


Congress's International Legal Discourse, Kevin L. Cope May 2015

Congress's International Legal Discourse, Kevin L. Cope

Michigan Law Review

Despite Congress’s important role in enforcing U.S. international law obligations, the relevant existing literature largely ignores the branch. This omission may stem partly from the belief, common among both academics and lawyers, that Congress is generally unsympathetic to or ignorant of international law. Under this conventional wisdom, members of Congress would rarely if ever imply that international law norms should impact otherwise desirable domestic legislation. Using an original dataset comprising thirty years of legislative histories of pertinent federal statutes, this Article questions and tests that view. The evidence refutes the conventional wisdom. It shows instead that, in legislative ...


Stealth Advocacy Can (Sometimes) Change The World, Margo Schlanger Apr 2015

Stealth Advocacy Can (Sometimes) Change The World, Margo Schlanger

Michigan Law Review

Scholarship and popular writing about lawsuits seeking broad social change have been nearly as contentious as the litigation itself. In a normative mode, commentators on the right have long attacked change litigation as imperialist and ill informed, besides producing bad outcomes. Attacks from the left have likewise had both prescriptive and positive strands, arguing that civil rights litigation is “subordinating, legitimating, and alienating.” As one author recently summarized in this Law Review, these observers claim “that rights litigation is a waste of time, both because it is not actually successful in achieving social change and because it detracts attention and ...


Incomplete Wills, Adam J. Hirsch Jun 2013

Incomplete Wills, Adam J. Hirsch

Michigan Law Review

This Article explores the problems that arise when a will fails to dispose of an individual's entire estate, so that she dies partially testate and partially intestate. The questions then raised include (1) whether provisions contained in the will purporting to redefine the individual's intestate heirs should supersede the statutory designations of those heirs, (2) whether inter vivos gifts to heirs should qualify as advancements on the inheritances of those heirs under conditions of partial intestacy, and, most broadly, (3) whether courts should fill in the incomplete portion of an individual's estate plan by extrapolating from the ...


Legal Entities As Transferable Bundles Of Contracts, Kenneth Ayotte, Henry Hansmann Mar 2013

Legal Entities As Transferable Bundles Of Contracts, Kenneth Ayotte, Henry Hansmann

Michigan Law Review

The large, modern business corporation is frequently organized as a complex cluster of hundreds of corporate subsidiaries under the common control of a single corporate parent. Our Article provides new theory and supportive evidence to help explain this structure. We focus, in particular on the advantages of subsidiary entities in providing the option to transfer some or all of the firm's contractual rights and obligations in the future. The theory not only sheds light on corporate subsidiaries but also illuminates a basic function of all types of legal entities, from partnerships to nonprofit corporations. We show that when, as ...


Securities Class Actions And Bankrupt Companies, James J. Park Feb 2013

Securities Class Actions And Bankrupt Companies, James J. Park

Michigan Law Review

Securities class actions are often criticized as wasteful strike suits that target temporary fluctuations in the stock prices of otherwise healthy companies. The securities class actions brought by investors of Enron and WorldCom, companies that fell into bankruptcy in the wake of fraud, resulted in the recovery of billions of dollars in permanent shareholder losses and provide a powerful counterexample to this critique. An issuer's bankruptcy may affect how judges and parties perceive securities class actions and their merits, yet little is known about the subset of cases where the company is bankrupt. This is the first extensive empirical ...


The Most-Cited Law Review Articles Of All Time, Fred R. Shapiro, Michelle Pearse Jun 2012

The Most-Cited Law Review Articles Of All Time, Fred R. Shapiro, Michelle Pearse

Michigan Law Review

This Essay updates two well-known earlier studies (dated 1985 and 1996) by the first coauthor setting forth lists of the most-cited law review articles. New research tools from the HeinOnline and Web of Science databases now allow lists to be compiled that are more thorough and more accurate than anything previously possible. Tables printed here present the 100 most-cited legal articles of all time, the 100 most-cited articles of the last twenty years, and some additional rankings. Characteristics of the top-ranked publications, authors, and law schools are analyzed as are trends in schools of legal thought. Data from the all-time ...


Ideology 'All The Way Down'? An Empirical Study Of Establishment Clause Decisions In The Federal Courts, Gregory C. Sisk, Michael Heise May 2012

Ideology 'All The Way Down'? An Empirical Study Of Establishment Clause Decisions In The Federal Courts, Gregory C. Sisk, Michael Heise

Michigan Law Review

As part of our ongoing empirical examination of religious liberty decisions in the lower federal courts, we studied Establishment Clause rulings by federal court of appeals and district court judges from 1996 through 2005. The powerful role of political factors in Establishment Clause decisions appears undeniable and substantial, whether celebrated as the proper integration of political and moral reasoning into constitutional judging, shrugged off as mere realism about judges being motivated to promote their political attitudes, or deprecated as a troubling departure from the aspirational ideal of neutral and impartial judging. In the context of Church and State cases in ...


Federalism And Criminal Law: What The Feds Can Learn From The States, Rachel E. Barkow Jan 2011

Federalism And Criminal Law: What The Feds Can Learn From The States, Rachel E. Barkow

Michigan Law Review

Criminal law enforcement in the United States is multijurisdictional. Local, state, and federal prosecutors all possess the power to bring criminal charges. An enduring question of criminal law is how authority should be allocated among these levels of government. In trying to gain traction on the question of when crime should be handled at the federal level and when it should be left to local authorities, courts and scholars have taken a range of approaches. Oddly, one place that commentators have not looked for guidance on how to handle the issue of law enforcement allocation is within the states themselves ...


Owning Mark(Et)S, Mark A. Lemley, Mark P. Mckenna Nov 2010

Owning Mark(Et)S, Mark A. Lemley, Mark P. Mckenna

Michigan Law Review

Trademark owners regularly rely on claims that the defendant is "free riding" on their mark by making money using that mark, money the trademark owners say should belong to them. We analyze those free-riding claims and find them wanting. The empirical data shows that defendants in unrelated markets can benefit from using a well-known mark, but that neither mark owners nor consumers suffer any injury from that use. A legal claim that a defendant is unjustly benefiting by using a plaintiff's mark is hollow unless it is accompanied by a theory of why that benefit should rightly belong to ...


Free Speech Federalism, Adam Winkler Nov 2009

Free Speech Federalism, Adam Winkler

Michigan Law Review

For decades, constitutional doctrine has held that the Constitution's guarantee of freedom of speech applies equally to laws adopted by the federal, state, and local governments. Nevertheless, the identity of the government actor behind a law may be a significant, if unrecognized, factor in free speech cases. This Article reports the results of a comprehensive study of core free speech cases decided by the federal courts over a 14-year period. The study finds that speech-restrictive laws adopted by the federal government are far more likely to be upheld than similar laws adopted by state and local governments. Courts applying ...


The Success Of Chapter 11: A Challenge To The Critics, Elizabeth Warren, Jay Lawrence Westbrook Jan 2009

The Success Of Chapter 11: A Challenge To The Critics, Elizabeth Warren, Jay Lawrence Westbrook

Michigan Law Review

Although Chapter 11 has served as a model for bankruptcy reform around the world, the conventional wisdom has been that it is characterized by a relatively low success rate and endless delay. The data from large samples of Chapter 11 cases filed in 1994 and 2002 demonstrate that this characterization is wrong. Nearly all troubled companies choose Chapter 11 over Chapter 7 liquidation, which means that the system serves a critical screening function to eliminate hopeless cases relatively quickly. Almost half the unsuccessful cases were jettisoned within six months and almost eighty percent were gone within a year The cases ...


Bankruptcy Vérité, Lynn M. Lopucki, Joseph W. Doherty Feb 2008

Bankruptcy Vérité, Lynn M. Lopucki, Joseph W. Doherty

Michigan Law Review

In the empirical study we report in Bankruptcy Fire Sales, we compared the recoveries from the going-concern bankruptcy sales of twenty-five large, public companies with the recoveries from the bankruptcy reorganizations of thirty large, public companies. We found that, controlling for the asset size of the company and its presale or pre-reorganization earnings ("EBITDA"), reorganization recoveries were more than double sale recovenes. We are honored that Professor James J. White has chosen to comment on our study. White is an eloquent defender of the status quo, pulls no punches, and always has something interesting to say. Bankruptcy Noir is no ...


Bankruptcy Fire Sales, Lynn M. Lopucki, Joseph W. Doherty Oct 2007

Bankruptcy Fire Sales, Lynn M. Lopucki, Joseph W. Doherty

Michigan Law Review

For more than two decades, scholars working from an economic perspective have criticized the bankruptcy reorganization process and sought to replace it with market mechanisms. In 2002, Professors Douglas G. Baird and Robert K. Rasmussen asserted in The End of Bankruptcy that improvements in the market for large public companies had rendered reorganization obsolete. Going concern value could be captured through sale. This Article reports the results of an empirical study comparing the recoveries in bankruptcy sales of large public companies in the period 2000 through 2004 with the recoveries in bankruptcy reorganizations during the same period. Controlling for company ...


Legitimacy, Selectivity, And The Disunitary Executive: A Reply To Sally Katzen, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Michael P. Vandenbergh May 2007

Legitimacy, Selectivity, And The Disunitary Executive: A Reply To Sally Katzen, Lisa Schultz Bressman, Michael P. Vandenbergh

Michigan Law Review

This reply addresses the thoughtful comments that former OIRA Administrator Sally Katzen has provided on our Article, Inside the Administrative State: A Critical Look at the Practice of Presidential Control. Our Article is the first to investigate the agency perspective on White House involvement in agency rule-making. We interviewed 30 of the 35 top political officials in the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") during the George H.W. Bush ("Bush I") and the William J. Clinton Administrations during 1989-2001. Prior to our study, empirical studies of White House involvement in agency rule-making had focused almost exclusively on the White House side ...


A Reality Check On An Empirical Study: Comments On "Inside The Administrative State", Sally Katzen May 2007

A Reality Check On An Empirical Study: Comments On "Inside The Administrative State", Sally Katzen

Michigan Law Review

Presidential control is the term used for the process (or some would say, the model) by which agency decision-making (more particularly, rulemaking) is brought under the direction of the president to "render such decision- making accountable and effective." Until now scholars, who have generally endorsed both the theory and the practice of the process, have written from the perspective of those who exercise presidential control - those at the White House or the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs ("OIRA"). In a recent article in the Michigan Law Review, Lisa Schultz Bressman and Michael Vandenbergh ("the authors") decided to study presidential ...


Deterrence Versus Brutalization: Capital Punishment's Differing Impacts Among States, Joanna M. Shepherd Nov 2005

Deterrence Versus Brutalization: Capital Punishment's Differing Impacts Among States, Joanna M. Shepherd

Michigan Law Review

Policymakers' false beliefs about capital punishment's universal deterrent effect may have caused many people to die needlessly. If deterrence is capital punishment's purpose then, in the majority of states where executions do not deter crime, executions kill convicts uselessly. Moreover, in the many states where the brutalization effect outweighs the deterrent effect, executions not only kill convicts needlessly but also induce the additional murders of many innocent people. After Part II discusses capital punishment's recent history in the United States, Part III reviews the conflict in recent studies on capital punishment and deterrence. Part IV explores differences ...


Theory Wars In The Conflict Of Laws, Louise Weinberg May 2005

Theory Wars In The Conflict Of Laws, Louise Weinberg

Michigan Law Review

Fifty years ago, at the height of modernism in all things, there was a great revolution in American choice-of-law theory. You cannot understand what is going on in the field of conflict of laws today without coming to grips with this central fact. With this revolution, the old formalistic way of choosing law was dethroned, and has occupied a humble position on the sidelines ever since. Yet there has been no lasting peace. The American conflicts revolution is still happening, and poor results are still frustrating good intentions. Now comes Dean Symeon Symeonides, the author of the choice of- law ...


Stories About Miranda, George C. Thomas Iii Jan 2004

Stories About Miranda, George C. Thomas Iii

Michigan Law Review

It is no exaggeration to say that Yale Kamisar was present at the creation of Miranda v. Arizona. To be sure, the seeds of Miranda had been sown in earlier cases, particularly Escobedo v. Illinois, but Escobedo was a Sixth Amendment right to counsel case. Professor Kamisar first saw the potential for extending the theory of Escob edo to the Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination. Escob edo theorized that a healthy criminal justice system requires that the accused know their rights and are encouraged to exercise them. The Escobedo Court read history to teach that no system of criminal ...


The Future Of Enterprise Organizations, Eric W. Orts May 1998

The Future Of Enterprise Organizations, Eric W. Orts

Michigan Law Review

Both the law and business schools at the University of Michigan offer a basic course in Enterprise Organization. This tradition owes to the influence of Professor Alfred Conard, one of the leading scholars of his generation, who taught during most of his career at the University of Michigan Law School. The tradition persists in part because Enterprise Organization suggests an appropriately broad view of its topic, unlike more common course titles such as Corporations or Business Associations. We live in a world populated not only by people but also the organized legal entities we create. Business firms and nonprofit organizations ...


Juror Delinquency In Criminal Trials In America, 1796-1996, Nancy J. King Aug 1996

Juror Delinquency In Criminal Trials In America, 1796-1996, Nancy J. King

Michigan Law Review

This article examines two aspects of the jury system that have attracted far less attention from scholars than from the popular press: avoidance of jury duty by some citizens, and misconduct while serving by others. Contemporary reports of juror shortages and jury dodging portray a system in crisis. Coverage of recent high-profile cases suggests that misconduct by jurors who do serve is common. In the trial of Damian Williams and Henry Watson for the beating of Reginald Denny, a juror was kicked off for failing to deliberate; Exxon, Charles Keating, and the man accused of murdering Michael Jordan's father ...