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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Rise Of Dispersed Ownership: The Role Of Law In The Separation Of Ownership And Control, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2000

The Rise Of Dispersed Ownership: The Role Of Law In The Separation Of Ownership And Control, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Deep and liquid securities markets appear to be an exception to a worldwide pattern in which concentrated ownership dominates dispersed ownership. Recent commentary has argued that a dispersed shareholder base is unlikely to develop in civil law countries and transitional economies for a variety of reasons, including (1) the absence of adequate legal protections for minority shareholders, (2) the inability of dispersed shareholders to hold control or pay an equivalent control premium to that which a prospective controlling shareholder will pay, and (3) the political vulnerability of dispersed shareholder ownership in left-leaning "social democracies". Nonetheless, this article finds that significant ...


Patterns Of Legal Change: Shareholder And Creditor Rights In Transition Economies, Katharina Pistor Jan 2000

Patterns Of Legal Change: Shareholder And Creditor Rights In Transition Economies, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyses changes in the legal protection of shareholder and creditor rights in 24 transition economies from 1990 to 1998. It documents differences in the initial conditions and a tendency towards convergence of formal legal rules as the result of extensive legal reforms. Convergence seems to be primarily the result of foreign technical assistance programs as well as of harmonisation requirements for countries wishing to join the European Union. The external supply of legal rules not withstanding, the pattern of legal reforms suggests that law reform has been primarily responsive, or lagging, rather than leading economic development. In comparison ...


Trends In The Supply And Demand For Environmental Lawyers, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2000

Trends In The Supply And Demand For Environmental Lawyers, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

The boom times for environmental lawyers were the late 1980s and the early 1990s. The June 1990 issue of Money magazine called environmental law a "fast-track career." Two or three years of experience with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a state environmental agency, the environmental units of the Justice Department, or a state attorney general's office were a ticket to a high-paying job in the private sector. Law students were clamoring to enter the field and law firms were scrambling to find experienced environmental lawyers, or to recycle newly underemployed antitrust lawyers into this burgeoning field.


Sticks And Snakes: Derivatives And Curtailing Aggressive Tax Planning, David M. Schizer Jan 2000

Sticks And Snakes: Derivatives And Curtailing Aggressive Tax Planning, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

The most important tax problem of recent months is the impact of aggressive tax planning on corporate tax revenue. The Secretary of the Treasury blames the "tax shelter industry," in which tax lawyers and investment bankers develop and market tax-motivated transactions. This Article analyzes aggressive tax planning, and recommends ways to impede it, in a context rife with opportunities for planning: the tax rules for complex financial instruments known as derivatives. While planning opportunities are prevalent elsewhere in the tax law as well, this Article focuses on derivatives because the problem is particularly acute – indeed, derivatives have been called "[tlhe ...


The President And Choices Not To Enforce, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2000

The President And Choices Not To Enforce, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

This paper was one of a number given in a panel on executive authority in a Duke Law School conference, "The Constitution Under Clinton: A Critical Assessment." As its title suggests, the principal subject of the panel was the President's authority, if any, to decline to implement statutes he regards as unconstitutional. The lead paper on the panel focused specifically on questions of the scope of the President's authority to engage in constitutional interpretation, relating that analysis to the role of the courts and their institutional responsibilities for decision of constitutional issues. This paper seeks to place this ...


The Political Parties And Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault Jan 2000

The Political Parties And Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

The major political parties have blown large and widening holes in federal campaign finance law. The most significant party practices – independent expenditures, soft money fundraising, and issue advocacy – map on to the fault lines central to the constitutional law of campaign finance – so that limiting these party activities raises important constitutional question. Indeed, in Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v FEC, a Supreme Court plurality determined that parties, like PACs, may engage in expenditures that are independent of their candidates and, thus, not subject to the limits on party contributions to candidates. So, too, several justices and some political scientists ...


Moral Pluck: Legal Ethics In Popular Culture, William H. Simon Jan 2000

Moral Pluck: Legal Ethics In Popular Culture, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Favorable portrayals of lawyers in popular culture tend to adopt a distinctive ethical perspective. This perspective departs radically from the premises of the elite moralism exemplified by the official ethics of the American bar and the arguments of the proponents of President Clinton's impeachment. While elite moralism is strongly authoritarian and categorical, popular culture exalts a quality that might be called Moral Pluck – a combination of resourcefulness and transgression in the service of basic but informal values. This essay traces the theme of Moral Pluck through three of the most prominent fictional portrayals of lawyers in recent years – the ...


The Legal Construction Of Childhood, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2000

The Legal Construction Of Childhood, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Two features of the legal regulation of childhood seem troublesome, but ultimately contribute to sensible policies in most contexts. First, the boundary between childhood and adulthood varies in different policy domains, through a regime of age grading under which elementary school students are deemed adults for some legal purposes, while, for other purposes, college students are children. Second, the transitional stage of adolescence is virtually invisible, because, for most purposes, law makers employ binary categories, classifying adolescents as either children or as adults. This framework – a series of legislative bright line rules, arrayed around a presumptive age of majority – generally ...


Trade Secrets And Mutual Investments, Gillian L. Lester, Eric L. Talley Jan 2000

Trade Secrets And Mutual Investments, Gillian L. Lester, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This paper employs an optimal contracting framework to study the question of how courts should adjudicate disputes over valuable trade secrets (such as customer lists). We focus principally on contexts where trade secrets are formed endogenously, through specific, non-contractible investments that could potentially come from either employers or employees (or both). Within such contexts, we argue, an "optimal" trade secret law diverges in many important respects from existing doctrine. In particular, an optimal doctrine would (1) expressly consider the parties' relative skills at making value enhancing investments rather than the mere existence of a valuable informational asset; (2) tend to ...


The Case For Formalism In Relational Contract, Robert E. Scott Jan 2000

The Case For Formalism In Relational Contract, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

The distinguished scholars who gathered last year to honor Ian Macneil and to reflect on his contributions to the understanding of contract and contract law represent diverse methodologies, and they approach the vexing problems raised by relational contracts from different normative perspectives. But on one point, I daresay, they all agree: the central task in developing a plausible normative theory of contract law is to specify the appropriate role of the state in regulating incomplete contracts. Complete contracts (to the extent that they exist in the real world) are rarely, if ever, breached since by definition the payoffs for every ...


(Baby) M Is For The Many Things: Why I Start With Baby M, Carol Sanger Jan 2000

(Baby) M Is For The Many Things: Why I Start With Baby M, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

For several years now I have begun my first-year contracts course with the 1988 New Jersey Supreme Court case In the Matter of Baby M. In this essay, I want to explain why. I offer the explanation in the spirit of modest proselytizing, recognizing that many of us already have a favored method or manner into the course: some introductory questions we pose before leaping into (or over) the introductions already provided by the editors of the many excellent casebooks available. But I have found that Baby M works extremely well in ways that others may want to consider. It ...


The Nature And Function Of Criminal Theory, George P. Fletcher Jan 2000

The Nature And Function Of Criminal Theory, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

The practice of teaching and writing in the field of criminal law has changed dramatically in the last half-century. In the United States and England, and to a lesser extent in other English-speaking countries, we have witnessed a turn toward theoretical inquires of a greater depth and variety than had existed previously in the history of Anglo-American law. The subjects of this new literature include the nature and rationale of punishment; the theory of justification and of excuse, that is, of wrongdoing and responsibility; the relevance of consequences to the gravity of offenses (the problem of moral luck); and the ...


The Limits Of Behavioral Theories Of Law And Social Norms, Robert E. Scott Jan 2000

The Limits Of Behavioral Theories Of Law And Social Norms, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

The law influences the behavior of its citizens in various ways. Well understood are the direct effects of legal rules. By imposing sanctions or granting subsidies, the law either expands or contracts the horizon of opportunities within which individuals can satisfy their preferences. In this way, society can give incentives for desirable behavior. The direct effects of legal rules on individual behavior have been a fruitful source of inquiry for analysts using the techniques of law and economics. Modeling the incentive effects of legal rules provides a useful predictive tool for positive theory and normative critique. Indeed, the tools of ...


Social Norms And The Legal Regulation Of Marriage, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2000

Social Norms And The Legal Regulation Of Marriage, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Americans have interesting and somewhat puzzling attitudes about the state's role in defining and enforcing family obligations. Most people view lasting marriage as an important part of their life plans and take the commitment of marriage very seriously. Yet any legal initiative designed to reinforce that commitment generates controversy and is viewed with suspicion in many quarters. For example, covenant marriage statutes, which offer couples entering marriage the option of undertaking a modest marital commitment, are seen by many observers as coercive and regressive measures rather than ameliorating reforms.

The law tends to reflect – and perhaps contributes to – this ...


The Landscape Of Constitutional Property, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2000

The Landscape Of Constitutional Property, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

The Constitution contains two clauses that protect persons against governmental interference with their property. The Due Process Clause provides that "No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." The Takings Clause adds, "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." Both provisions appear to impose a threshold condition that a claimant have some "property" at stake before the protections associated with the Clause apply. Thus, under the Due Process Clause, it would seem that a claimant must have an interest in "property" (or in "life" or "liberty") before we ...


The Political Parties And Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault Jan 2000

The Political Parties And Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

Recent campaign finance innovations of the major political parties have blown large and widening holes in federal campaign finance regulation. The relationship between parties and candidates also challenges the basic doctrinal categories of campaign finance law. The Constitution permits regulation of campaign finances to deal with the danger of corruption. But some judges and commentators have argued that the parties present no danger of corruption. This Article finds that, although parties play a positive role in funding campaigns, certain party practices raise the specter of corruption in the constitutional sense. Moreover, due to the close connection between parties and candidates ...


Class Action Accountability: Reconciling Exit, Voice, And Loyalty In Representative Litigation, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2000

Class Action Accountability: Reconciling Exit, Voice, And Loyalty In Representative Litigation, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

In two recent and highly technical decisions – Amchem Products v. Windsor and Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp. – the Supreme Court has recognized that a serious potential for collusion exists in class actions and has outlined a concept of "class cohesion" as the rationale that legitimizes representative litigation. Although agreeing that a legitimacy principle is needed, Professor Coffee doubts that "class cohesion" can bear that weight, either as a normative theory of representation or as an economic solution for the agency cost and collective action problems that arise in representative litigation. He warns that an expansive interpretation of "class cohesion" could produce ...


The Overproduction Of Death, James S. Liebman Jan 2000

The Overproduction Of Death, James S. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

In this Article, Professor Liebman concludes that trial actors have strong incentives to – and do – overproduce death sentences, condemning to death men and women who, under state substantive law, do not deserve that penalty. Because trial-level procedural rights do not weaken these incentives or constrain the overproduction that results, it falls to post-trial procedural review – which is ill-suited to the task and fails to feed back needed information to the trial level – to identify the many substantive mistakes made at capital trials. This system is difficult to reform because it benefits both pro-death penalty trial actors (who generate more death ...


A Legal Giant Is Dead, Henry Paul Monaghan Jan 2000

A Legal Giant Is Dead, Henry Paul Monaghan

Faculty Scholarship

Herbert Wechsler died at his home on April 26, 2000. Two days later, the New York Times obituary's headline announced the passing of a "legal giant," a richly merited appellation. Herbert Wechsler was, I believe, the greatest academic figure in the history of Columbia Law School. At the height of his career, Herb stood at the top of three academic fields: criminal law, constitutional law, and federal jurisdiction. His achievements were, moreover, not confined to Columbia, the faculty of which he joined in 1933 after having served as law clerk to Justice Harlan Fiske Stone. From 1944 to 1946 ...


Executives And Hedging: The Fragile Legal Foundation Of Incentive Compatibility, David M. Schizer Jan 2000

Executives And Hedging: The Fragile Legal Foundation Of Incentive Compatibility, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

Options are granted to executives to inspire better performance by tying pay to the employer's stock price. Yet this incentive rationale no longer holds if executives can use the derivatives market to simulate a sale of their options, a practice known as hedging. This Article evaluates the effectiveness of existing legal constraints on hedging by executives, including limits derived from contract, securities and tax law. Although investment bankers have been searching for ways around these constraints, the bottom line is that, at least for now, executives are unable to hedge option grants: While contractual limits are rare, the securities ...


Informality As A Bilateral Assurance Mechanism: Comments On Ronald Mann's The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Avery W. Katz Jan 2000

Informality As A Bilateral Assurance Mechanism: Comments On Ronald Mann's The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Avery W. Katz

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Europe's Evolving Regulatory Strategy For Gmos – The Issue Of Consistency With Wto Law: Of Kine And Brine, Robert Howse, Petros C. Mavroidis Jan 2000

Europe's Evolving Regulatory Strategy For Gmos – The Issue Of Consistency With Wto Law: Of Kine And Brine, Robert Howse, Petros C. Mavroidis

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay deals with one question: If challenged, how would regulatory restrictions on genetically modified organisms ("GMOs") be judged by a World Trade Organization ("WTO") adjudicating body. Many of the controversies about the effect of WTO law on domestic regulation have been influenced by the view that the law as it stands may well impede the ability of governments to regulate new and uncertain risks to health and the environment. The result in the Beef Hormones case ("Hormones case") is often cited for this proposition. In this Essay we aim to show that, contrary to an increasingly widespread popular perception ...


In Search Of Best Efforts: Reinterpreting Bloor V. Falstaff, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2000

In Search Of Best Efforts: Reinterpreting Bloor V. Falstaff, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

When contracting parties cannot quite define their obligations, they often resort to placeholder language, like "best efforts." They (and their counsel) likely have little idea of what they might mean, but, so long as they avoid litigation, it will not matter much. But "best efforts" clauses are on occasion litigated, and courts must read content into them. In Bloor v. Falstaff, a casebook favorite, the court held that Falstaff s lackluster promotional efforts for Ballantine beer violated its best efforts covenant. So far as I can tell, no commentators have questioned this outcome. Indeed, some commentators have found Falstaff s ...


Environmental Justice And Natural Areas Protection Trends & Insight, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2000

Environmental Justice And Natural Areas Protection Trends & Insight, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

There are 3,119,963 square miles in the continental United States. That sounds like plenty of space to put just about anything. However, when the facility seeking a home is environmentally controversial, finding even one square mile can seem almost impossible.

This country is now in its third major era in making siting decisions. The first era – unconstrained siting – lasted until the late 1960s. Then began the second era – protecting natural areas. In the early 1990s, we embarked upon a third era – environmental justice. The growing tensions between protecting natural areas and achieving environmental justice suggest that we should ...


The Uses Of History In Struggles For Racial Justice: Colonizing The Past And Managing Memory, Katherine M. Franke Jan 2000

The Uses Of History In Struggles For Racial Justice: Colonizing The Past And Managing Memory, Katherine M. Franke

Faculty Scholarship

In this Commentary, Professor Katherine Franke offers an analysis on Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic's California's Racial History and Constitutional Rationales for Race-Conscious Decision Making in Higher Education and Rebecca Tsosie's Sacred Obligations: Intercultural Justice and the Discourse of Treaty Rights. These two Articles, she observes, deploy history for the purposes of justifying certain contemporary normative claims on behalf of peoples of color: affirmative action in higher education for Delgado and Stefancic, and sovereignty rights for native peoples in Tsosie's case. Franke explores the manner in which stories of past conquest and discrimination contribute to contemporary ...


Of Prosecutors And Special Prosecutors: An Organizational Perspective, H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr., Daniel Richman Jan 2000

Of Prosecutors And Special Prosecutors: An Organizational Perspective, H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr., Daniel Richman

Faculty Scholarship

The Independent Counsel (IC) statute, designed to restore public trust in the impartial administration of criminal justice after Watergate, ultimately fueled rather than quieted the perception that partisan politics drives the investigation of high-ranking government officials. Congress, in an inspiring display of bipartisanship, bid it a muted farewell. The statute's fate was sealed by the enormous controversy surrounding the investigation conducted by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr.

Although Start did not bring criminal charges against President Clinton, his office went pretty far in that direction, committing considerable enforcement resources to that end, bringing criminal charges against people believed to have ...


Transparent Adjudication And Social Science Research In Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Tracey L. Meares, Bernard Harcourt Jan 2000

Transparent Adjudication And Social Science Research In Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Tracey L. Meares, Bernard Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The October 1999 Term was a year of consolidation in the law of police investigations in constitutional criminal procedure. In four short and compact opinions – three supported by sizeable majorities and three written by the Chief Justice – the Supreme Court synthesized and consolidated its criminal procedure jurisprudence, and offered clear guidance to law enforcement officers and private citizens alike. Miranda warnings are required by the Fifth Amendment, and the police must continue to "Mirandize" citizens before conducting any custodial interrogations. Reasonable suspicion under the Fourth Amendment calls for a totality-of-the-circumstances test, and a citizen's flight from the police in ...


Localism And Regionalism, Richard Briffault Jan 2000

Localism And Regionalism, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

Localism and regionalism are normally seen as contrasting, indeed conflicting, conceptions of metropolitan area governance. Localism in this context refers to the view that the existing system of a large number of relatively small governments wielding power over such critical matters as local land use regulation, local taxation, and the financing of local public services ought to be preserved. The meaning of regionalism is less clearly defined and proposals for regional governance vary widely, but most advocates of regionalism would shift some authority from local governments, restrict local autonomy, or, at the very least, constrain the ability of local governments ...


The President And Choices Not To Enforce, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2000

The President And Choices Not To Enforce, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

The executive branch is often called upon to assess how a particular statute it is charged to administer fits within the larger framework of the law. Professor Dawn Johnsen's thoughtful analysis addresses an important subset of these challenges: situations in which the President believes a particular statute is inconsistent with one or another provision of the Constitution and, therefore, should not be enforced. My purpose here is to explore the context of executive non-enforcement more broadly, in a way that may help in understanding the particular problem she addresses.

Issues of constitutional structure and function are among the most ...


The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2000

The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Common justifications for the use of the letter of credit fail to explain its widespread use. The classic explanation claims that the letter of credit provides an effective assurance of payment from a financially responsible third party. In that story, the seller – a Taiwanese clothing manufacturer, for example – fears that the overseas buyer – Wal-Mart – will refuse to pay once the goods have been shipped. Cross-border transactions magnify the concern, because the difficulties of litigating in a distant forum will hinder the manufacturer's efforts to force the distant buyer to pay. The manufacturer-seller solves that problem by obtaining a letter ...