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Full-Text Articles in Law

Fiduciary Law And The Preservation Of Trust In Business Relationships, Brian J. Broughman, Elizabeth Pollman, D. Gordon Smith Aug 2020

Fiduciary Law And The Preservation Of Trust In Business Relationships, Brian J. Broughman, Elizabeth Pollman, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter explores the role of mandatory fiduciary obligations in preserving trust between business parties. Because contracts are inevitably incomplete, after investment there is always a risk of opportunism. While the parties could try to draft a more detailed agreement prohibiting various forms of opportunism, the very act of haggling over such protections may signal distrust, eliciting costly reactions (defensive measures/hedging/lack of intrinsic motivation) in the counterparty. In the absence of fiduciary protections, a vulnerable party may decide to forgo important protections against opportunism, not because such protections are suboptimal or hard to specify ex ante but because ...


Law As Scapegoat, Cary Coglianese Aug 2020

Law As Scapegoat, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Populist nationalist movements have been on the rise around the world in recent years. These movements have tapped into, and fueled, a deep anger among many members of the public. Especially in the face of stagnant or declining economic prospects—as well as expanding inequality—much anger has been directed at minorities and migrants. Politicians with authoritarian tendencies have sought to leverage such public anger by reinforcing tendencies to scapegoat others for their society’s problems. In this paper, I show that laws and regulations—like migrants—can be framed as “the other” too and made into scapegoats. With reference ...


Should Corporations Have A Purpose?, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon Aug 2020

Should Corporations Have A Purpose?, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The hot topic in corporate governance is the debate over corporate purpose and, in particular, whether corporations should shift their purpose from the pursuit of shareholder wealth to pursuing a broader conception of stakeholder or societal value. We argue that this debate has overlooked the critical predicate questions of whether a corporation should have a purpose at all and, if so, why,

We address these questions by examining the historical, legal and theoretical justifications for corporate purpose. We find that none of the three provides a basis for requiring a corporation to articulate a particular purpose or for a given ...


Appraisal Waivers, Jill E. Fisch Aug 2020

Appraisal Waivers, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A judicial determination of fair value in a private company can be a difficult and imprecise process. This difficulty coupled with variations in way mergers are negotiated and structured and the potential for conflicts of interest lend uncertainty to appraisal proceedings. As a result, corporate participants have powerful reasons to seek to limit the uncertainty associated with an appraisal proceeding ex ante. The response has been the growing use of shareholder agreements that limit appraisal rights.

Appraisal waivers also offer a potentially attractive solution to a somewhat different concern, the growth of appraisal litigation in publicly traded companies. As with ...


Private Ordering And The Role Of Shareholder Agreements, Jill E. Fisch Aug 2020

Private Ordering And The Role Of Shareholder Agreements, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Corporate law has embraced private ordering -- tailoring a firm’s corporate governance to meet its individual needs. Firms, particularly venture-capital backed start-ups, are increasingly adopting firm-specific governance provisions such as dual-class voting structures, arrangements to create stable shared control rights among a coalition of minority shareholders, and provisions that limit the permissible fora for shareholder litigation. Courts have broadly upheld these provisions as consistent with the contractual theory of the firm. Commentators too, while finding some governance provisions objectionable, nonetheless support a private ordering approach as facilitating innovation and enhancing efficiency.

Although most analyses of private ordering focus on provisions ...


The Aca’S Choice Problem, Allison K. Hoffman Aug 2020

The Aca’S Choice Problem, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in many ways a success. Millions more Americans now have access to health care, and the ACA catalyzed advances in health care delivery reform. Simultaneously, it has reinforced and bolstered a problem at the heart of American health policy and regulation: a love affair with choice. The ACA’s insurance reforms doubled down on the particularly American obsession with choice. This article describes three ways in which that doubling down is problematic for the future of US health policy. First, pragmatically, health policy theory predicts that choice among health plans will produce tangible benefits ...


Caremark And Esg, Perfect Together: A Practical Approach To Implementing An Integrated, Efficient, And Effective Caremark And Eesg Strategy, Leo E. Strine Jr., Kirby M. Smith, Reilly S. Steel Jul 2020

Caremark And Esg, Perfect Together: A Practical Approach To Implementing An Integrated, Efficient, And Effective Caremark And Eesg Strategy, Leo E. Strine Jr., Kirby M. Smith, Reilly S. Steel

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

With increased calls from investors, legislators, and academics for corporations to consider employee, environmental, social, and governance factors (“EESG”) when making decisions, boards and managers are struggling to situate EESG within their existing reporting and organizational structures. Building on an emerging literature connecting EESG with corporate compliance, this Essay argues that EESG is best understood as an extension of the board’s duty to implement and monitor a compliance program under Caremark. If a company decides to do more than the legal minimum, it will simultaneously satisfy legitimate demands for strong EESG programs and promote compliance with the law. Building ...


Synthetic Governance, Byung Hyun Anh, Jill E. Fisch, Panos N. Patatoukas, Steven Davidoff Solomon Jul 2020

Synthetic Governance, Byung Hyun Anh, Jill E. Fisch, Panos N. Patatoukas, Steven Davidoff Solomon

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Scholars, practitioners and policymakers continue to debate what constitutes “good” corporate governance. Academic efforts to evaluate the effect of governance provisions such as dual class voting structures, staggered boards of directors and separating the positions of CEO and Chairman of the Board, have produced inconsistent or inconclusive results. The consequence is that the debate over corporate governance is increasingly political and discordant.

We offer a way to address this debate. The rise of index-based investing provides a market-based alternative to governance regulation. Through the creation of bespoke governance index funds, asset managers can offer investors the opportunity to choose an ...


Implicit Communication And Enforcement Of Corporate Disclosure Regulation, Ashiq Ali, Michael T. Durney, Jill E. Fisch, Hoyoun Kyung Jul 2020

Implicit Communication And Enforcement Of Corporate Disclosure Regulation, Ashiq Ali, Michael T. Durney, Jill E. Fisch, Hoyoun Kyung

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This study examines the challenge of implicit communication -- qualitative statements, tone, and non-verbal cues -- to the effectiveness of enforcing corporate disclosure regulation. We use a Regulation Fair Disclosure (Reg FD) setting, given that the SEC adopted the regulation recognizing that managers can convey non-public information privately not just through explicit quantitative disclosures but also through implicit communication. In a high-profile enforcement action, however, the court focused on a literal examination of the manager’s language rather than his positive spin to conclude that the SEC had been “too demanding” in examining the manager’s statements and that its enforcement policy ...


Antitrust: What Counts As Consumer Welfare?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jul 2020

Antitrust: What Counts As Consumer Welfare?, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust’s consumer welfare principle is accepted in some form by the entire Supreme Court and the majority of other writers. However, it means different things to different people. For example, some members of the Supreme Court can simultaneously acknowledge the antitrust consumer welfare principle even as they approve practices that result in immediate, obvious, and substantial consumer harm. At the same time, however, a properly defined consumer welfare principle is essential if antitrust is to achieve its statutory purpose, which is to pursue practices that injure competition. The wish to make antitrust a more general social justice statute is ...


Pandemic Response As Border Politics, Michael R. Kenwick, Beth A. Simmons Jul 2020

Pandemic Response As Border Politics, Michael R. Kenwick, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Pandemics are imbued with the politics of bordering. For centuries, border closures and restrictions on foreign travelers have been the most persistent and pervasive means by which states have responded to global health crises. The ubiquity of these policies is not driven by any clear scientific consensus about their utility in the face of myriad pandemic threats. Instead, we show they are influenced by public opinion and preexisting commitments to invest in the symbols and structures of state efforts to control their borders, a concept we call border orientation. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, border orientation was already generally on ...


Understanding The Revenue Potential Of Tax Compliance Investment, Natasha Sarin, Lawrence H. Summers Jul 2020

Understanding The Revenue Potential Of Tax Compliance Investment, Natasha Sarin, Lawrence H. Summers

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In a July 2020 report, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that modest investments in the IRS would generate somewhere between $60 and $100 billion in additional revenue over a decade. This is qualitatively correct. But quantitatively, the revenue potential is much more significant than the CBO report suggests. We highlight five reasons for the CBO’s underestimation: 1) the scale of the investment in the IRS contemplated is modest and far short of sufficient even to return the IRS budget to 2011 levels; 2) the CBO contemplates a limited range of interventions, excluding entirely progress on information reporting and technological ...


Contemporary Practice Of The United States Relating To International Law (114:3 Am J Int'l L), Jean Galbraith Jul 2020

Contemporary Practice Of The United States Relating To International Law (114:3 Am J Int'l L), Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article is reproduced with permission from the July 2020 issue of the American Journal of International Law © 2020 American Society of International Law. All rights reserved.


How Medicalization Of Civil Rights Could Disappoint, Allison K. Hoffman Jul 2020

How Medicalization Of Civil Rights Could Disappoint, Allison K. Hoffman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay reflects on Craig Konnoth’s recent Article, Medicalization and the New Civil Rights, which is a carefully crafted and thought-provoking description of the refashioning of civil rights claims into medical rights frameworks. He compellingly threads together many intellectual traditions—from antidiscrimination law to disability law to health law—to illustrate the pervasiveness of the phenomenon that he describes and why it might be productive as a tool to advance civil rights.

This response, however, offers several reasons why medicalization may not cure all that ails civil rights litigation’s pains and elaborates on the potential risks of overinvesting ...


The Challenge Of Regulatory Excellence, Cary Coglianese Jun 2020

The Challenge Of Regulatory Excellence, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Regulation is a high-stakes enterprise marked by tremendous challenges and relentless public pressure. Regulators are expected to protect the public from harms associated with economic activity and technological change without unduly impeding economic growth or efficiency. Regulators today also face new demands, such as adapting to rapidly changing and complex financial instruments, the emergence of the sharing economy, and the potential hazards of synthetic biology and other innovations. Faced with these challenges, regulators need a lodestar for what constitutes high-quality regulation and guidance on how to improve their organizations’ performance. In the book Achieving Regulatory Excellence, leading regulatory experts across ...


The Social Cost Of Contract, David A. Hoffman, Cathy Hwang Jun 2020

The Social Cost Of Contract, David A. Hoffman, Cathy Hwang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

When private parties perform contracts, the public bears some of the costs. But what happens when society confronts unexpected contractual risks? During the COVID-19 pandemic, completing particular contracts—such as following through with weddings, conferences, and other large gatherings—will greatly increase the risk of rapidly spreading disease. A close reading of past cases illustrates that when social hazards sharply increase after formation, courts have sometimes rejected, reformed, and reinterpreted contracts so that parties who breach to reduce external harms are not left holding the bag.

This Essay builds on that observation in making two contributions. Theoretically, it characterizes contracts ...


The Use Of Technical Experts In Software Copyright Cases: Rectifying The Ninth Circuit’S “Nutty” Rule, Shyamkrishna Balganesh, Peter Menell Jun 2020

The Use Of Technical Experts In Software Copyright Cases: Rectifying The Ninth Circuit’S “Nutty” Rule, Shyamkrishna Balganesh, Peter Menell

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Courts have long been skeptical about the use of expert witnesses in copyright cases. More than four decades ago, and before Congress extended copyright law to protect computer software, the Ninth Circuit in Krofft Television Prods., Inc. v. McDonald’s Corp., ruled that expert testimony was inadmissible to determine whether Mayor McCheese and the merry band of McDonaldland characters infringed copyright protection for Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo and the other imaginative H.R. Pufnstuf costumed characters. Since the emergence of software copyright infringement cases in the 1980s, substantially all software copyright cases have permitted expert witnesses to aid juries in understanding ...


When Standards Collide With Intellectual Property: Teaching About Standard Setting Organizations, Technology, And Microsoft V. Motorola, Cynthia L. Dahl Jun 2020

When Standards Collide With Intellectual Property: Teaching About Standard Setting Organizations, Technology, And Microsoft V. Motorola, Cynthia L. Dahl

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Technology lawyers, intellectual property (IP) lawyers, or even any corporate lawyer with technology clients must understand standard essential patents (SEPs) and how their licensing works to effectively counsel their clients. Whether the client’s technology is adopted into a voluntary standard or not may be the most important factor in determining whether the company succeeds or is left behind in the market. Yet even though understanding SEPs is critical to a technology or IP practice, voluntary standards and specifically SEPs are generally not taught in law school.

This article aims to address this deficiency and create more practice-ready law school ...


Unwritten Rules And The New Contract Paradigm, David A. Skeel Jr. May 2020

Unwritten Rules And The New Contract Paradigm, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In a recent essay—part of a larger book project-- Douglas Baird contends that the standard accounts of the history of corporate reorganization miss an essential feature: the extent to which both current and prior practice have been governed by unwritten rules (such as full disclosure and the opportunity for each party to participate in the negotiations) that “are well-known to insiders, but largely invisible to those on the outside.” According to Professor Baird, the unwritten rules, not bankruptcy’s distribution provisions or other features of the Bankruptcy Code, are the essence of corporate reorganization.

This essay is a short ...


Deploying Machine Learning For A Sustainable Future, Cary Coglianese May 2020

Deploying Machine Learning For A Sustainable Future, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

To meet the environmental challenges of a warming planet and an increasingly complex, high tech economy, government must become smarter about how it makes policies and deploys its limited resources. It specifically needs to build a robust capacity to analyze large volumes of environmental and economic data by using machine-learning algorithms to improve regulatory oversight, monitoring, and decision-making. Three challenges can be expected to drive the need for algorithmic environmental governance: more problems, less funding, and growing public demands. This paper explains why algorithmic governance will prove pivotal in meeting these challenges, but it also presents four likely obstacles that ...


Indoctrination And Social Influence As A Defense To Crime: Are We Responsible For Who We Are?, Paul H. Robinson, Lindsay Holcomb May 2020

Indoctrination And Social Influence As A Defense To Crime: Are We Responsible For Who We Are?, Paul H. Robinson, Lindsay Holcomb

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A patriotic POW is brainwashed by his North Korean captors into refusing repatriation and undertaking treasonous anti-American propaganda for the communist regime. Despite the general abhorrence of treason in time of war, the American public opposes criminal liability for such indoctrinated soldiers, yet existing criminal law provides no defense or mitigation because, at the time of the offense, the indoctrinated offender suffers no cognitive or control dysfunction, no mental or emotional impairment, and no external or internal compulsion. Rather, he was acting purely in the exercise of free of will, albeit based upon beliefs and values that he had not ...


Long-Term Care Policy After Covid-19 — Solving The Nursing Home Crisis, Rachel M. Werner, Allison K. Hoffman, Norma B. Coe May 2020

Long-Term Care Policy After Covid-19 — Solving The Nursing Home Crisis, Rachel M. Werner, Allison K. Hoffman, Norma B. Coe

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Nursing homes have been caught in the crosshairs of the coronavirus pandemic. As of early May 2020, Covid-19 had claimed the lives of more than 28,000 nursing home residents and staff in the United States. But U.S. nursing homes were unstable even before Covid-19 hit. The tragedy unfolding in nursing homes is the result of decades of neglect of long-term care policy.

Beyond the pandemic, we will have to transform the way we pay for and provide long-term care. First, Medicaid programs need to invest considerably more in care in all settings, including home-based settings as Medicaid shifts ...


Commercial Law Intersections, Giuliano Castellano, Andrea Tosato Apr 2020

Commercial Law Intersections, Giuliano Castellano, Andrea Tosato

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Commercial law is not a single, monolithic entity. It has grown into a dense thicket of subject-specific branches that govern a broad range of transactions and corporate actions. When one of these events falls concurrently within the purview of two or more of these commercial law branches - such as corporate law, intellectual property law, secured transactions law, conduct and prudential regulation - an overlap materializes. We refer to this legal phenomenon as a commercial law intersection (CLI). Some notable examples of transactions that feature CLIs include bank loans secured by shares, supply chain financing arrangements, patent cross-licensing, and blockchain-based initial coin ...


Lost In Transplantation: Modern Principles Of Secured Transactions Law As Legal Transplants, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Apr 2020

Lost In Transplantation: Modern Principles Of Secured Transactions Law As Legal Transplants, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This manuscript will appear as a chapter in a forthcoming edited volume published by Hart Publishing, Secured Transactions Law in Asia: Principles, Perspectives and Reform (Louise Gullifer & Dora Neo eds., forthcoming 2020). It focuses on a set of principles (Modern Principles) that secured transactions law for personal property should follow. These Modern Principles are based on UCC Article 9 and its many progeny, including the UNCITRAL Model Law on Secured Transactions. The chapter situates the Modern principles in the context of the transplantation of law from one legal system to another. It draws in particular on Alan Watson’s pathbreaking ...


An Essay On Pluralism In Financial Market Infrastructure Design: The Case Of Securities Holding In The United States, Charles W. Mooney Jr. Apr 2020

An Essay On Pluralism In Financial Market Infrastructure Design: The Case Of Securities Holding In The United States, Charles W. Mooney Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay will appear as a chapter in a forthcoming edited volume published by Oxford University Press. It builds on the earlier article, Beyond Intermediation: A New (FinTech) Model for Securities Holding Infrastructures, 22 U. Pa. J. Bus. L. 386 (2020), which argues that serious consideration should be given to modifications of the deeply intermediated securities holding systems in the United States and elsewhere. Many of the costs and risks imposed by the intermediated holding systems fall within the domain of the regulation of securities markets (internal costs), such as impairments of shareholder voting and bondholder claims against issuers. Others ...


House Judiciary Inquiry Into Competition In Digital Markets: Statement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2020

House Judiciary Inquiry Into Competition In Digital Markets: Statement, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This is a response to a query from the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, requesting my views about the adequacy of existing antitrust policy in digital markets.

The statutory text of the United States antitrust laws is very broad, condemning all anticompetitive restraints on trade, monopolization, and mergers and interbrand contractual exclusion whose effect “may be substantially to lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly.” Federal judicial interpretation is much narrower, however, for several reasons. One is the residue of a reaction against excessive antitrust enforcement in the 1970s and earlier. However, since that time ...


Contemporary Practice Of The United States Relating To International Law (114:2 Am J Int'l L), Jean Galbraith Apr 2020

Contemporary Practice Of The United States Relating To International Law (114:2 Am J Int'l L), Jean Galbraith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article is reproduced with permission from the April 2020 issue of the American Journal of International Law © 2020 American Society of International Law. All rights reserved.


A New (Republican) Litigation State?, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Mar 2020

A New (Republican) Litigation State?, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

It is a commonplace in American politics that Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to favor access to courts to enforce individual rights with lawsuits. In this article we show that conventional wisdom, long true, no longer reflects party agendas in Congress. We report the results of an empirical examination of bills containing private rights of action with pro-plaintiff fee-shifting provisions that were introduced in Congress from 1989 through 2018. The last eight years of our data document escalating Republican-party support for proposals to create individual rights enforceable by private lawsuits, mobilized with attorney’s fee awards. By 2015-18 ...


Solving The Congressional Review Act’S Conundrum, Cary Coglianese Mar 2020

Solving The Congressional Review Act’S Conundrum, Cary Coglianese

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Congress routinely enacts statutes mandating that federal agencies adopt specific regulations. For example, when Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, it required the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to adopt a regulation compelling energy companies to disclose payments they make to governmental entities. Although this disclosure regulation is specifically required by the Dodd-Frank Act, it is also a regulation subject to disapproval by Congress under a process outlined in a separate statute known as the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

In 2017, Congress passed a joint resolution disapproving the SEC’s disclosure rule under ...


Steiner V. Utah: Designing A Constitutional Remedy, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason Mar 2020

Steiner V. Utah: Designing A Constitutional Remedy, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In an earlier article, we argued that the Utah Supreme Court failed to follow and correctly apply clear U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Steiner v. Utah when the Utah high court held that an internally inconsistent and discriminatory state tax regime did not violate the dormant commerce clause. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court recently declined certiorari in Steiner, but the issue is unlikely to go away. Not every state high court will defy the U.S. Supreme Court by refusing to apply the dormant commerce clause, and so the Court will sooner or later likely find itself facing conflicting interpretations ...