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Full-Text Articles in Law

Copyright, Compromise And Legislative History, Jessica D. Litman Jan 1987

Copyright, Compromise And Legislative History, Jessica D. Litman

Articles

Copyright law gives authors a "property right." But what kind of property right? Indeed, a property right in what? The answers to these questions should be apparent from a perusal of title seventeen of the United States Code-the statute that confers the "property" right.' Courts, however, have apparently found title seventeen an unhelpful guide. For the most part, they look elsewhere for answers, relying primarily on prior courts' constructions of an earlier and very different statute on the same subject. 2


Redesigning The Spouse's Forced Share, John H. Langbein, Lawrence W. Waggoner Jan 1987

Redesigning The Spouse's Forced Share, John H. Langbein, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

American forced-share law underwent a major round of reform in the 1960s. The main objective was to prevent the decedent from engaging in "fraud on the widow's share," that is, using nominal inter vivos transfers to evade the surviving spouse's forced-share entitlement. In jurisdictions that follow the Uniform Probate Code of 1969 (UPC), that mischief has been eradicated. The UPC, which is discussed in some detail below, extends the forced-share entitlement to property that has been the subject of inter vivos transfer. In the present article we develop the view that the time has come for a further ...


Wait-And-See: The New American Uniform Act On Perpetuities, Lawrence W. Waggoner Jan 1987

Wait-And-See: The New American Uniform Act On Perpetuities, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

The wait-and-see version of perpetuity reform has gained a new champion in the United States. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws-the body responsible for promulgating uniform legislation, such as the Uniform Commercial Code, for recommended enactment by the federal states-recently approved a Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities. Shortly thereafter, the Uniform Act was endorsed by the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, the Board of Regents of the American College of Probate Counsel, and the Board of Governors of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.


The Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities, Lawrence W. Waggoner Jan 1986

The Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

When the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws recently approved the Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities, it may at long last have made perpetuity reform achievable in this country. Coming, as it does, on the heels of the 1981 promulgation of the Restatement (Second) of Property (Donative Transfers), which adopts the same general type of perpetuity reform, and having been unanimously endorsed by the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association, the Board of Regents of the American College of Probate Counsel, and the Board of Governors of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the Uniform ...


The 'Legalization' Of The Family: Toward A Policy Of Supportive Neutrality, David L. Chambers Jun 1985

The 'Legalization' Of The Family: Toward A Policy Of Supportive Neutrality, David L. Chambers

Articles

The word "legalization" has conflicting meanings. One, intended to sound the theme of this conference, conveys the notion of government regulation permeating some area of human activity. The other-as found, for example, in the phrase "the legalization of marijuana"-is a near opposite: the process of making legal or permissible that which. was previously forbidden, taking government out of that which it had previously controlled. The recent history of government's relationship to the family amply displays both sorts of legalization, both government's intrusion and its withdrawal, and reveals a paradoxical relation between the two-that as government frees people ...


The Bildisco Case And The Congressional Response, James J. White Jan 1984

The Bildisco Case And The Congressional Response, James J. White

Articles

Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Reform Act authorizes one in bankruptcy to "assume or reject any executory contract ...of the debtor." The most frequent use of the section arises when a lessee goes into Chapter 11 and decides either to reject its real estate lease with its lessor or, if the lease is at a favorable rental rate, to assume it and assign it to another. A less frequent but more controversial use of section 365 is to reject one's collective bargaining agreement with his employees.


Perpetuity Reform, Lawrence W. Waggoner Aug 1983

Perpetuity Reform, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

After years of debate, perpetuity reform is still controversial. To be sure, there is agreement among virtually all of the commentators and experts in the field that the Rule Against Perpetuities is in need of reform. The disagreement, on the surface, centers on the methods of reform to be employed. At least three basic methods have been advanced: (1) specific statutory repair of discrete problem areas; (2) reformation; and (3) wait-and-see. Each method has its sponsors, and each has in one form or another been adopted as part of the law of a few states. These methods are not mutually ...


The Emergence Of A General Reformation Doctrine For Wills, Lawrence W. Waggoner, John H. Langbein Jan 1983

The Emergence Of A General Reformation Doctrine For Wills, Lawrence W. Waggoner, John H. Langbein

Articles

In this article, which both summarizes and updates an extensively footnoted article published last year ("Reformation of Wills on the Ground of Mistake: Change of Direction in American Law?" 130 University of Pennsylvania Law Rmiew 521 (1982)), we report on this new case law and discuss the analytic framework that we think it suggests and requires.


The Coming Curtailment Of Compulsory Child Support, David L. Chambers Aug 1982

The Coming Curtailment Of Compulsory Child Support, David L. Chambers

Articles

Absent parents ought to contribute to the support of their minor children and states can appropriately invoke the force of law to compel them to do so. Stated so generally, even absent parents behind in their payments would probably agree. Since so many others agree as well, and since the numbers of single-parent children have mushroomed, systems of governmentally compelled support in this country have grown enormously. By the early part of the next century, if current laws remain in force and current population trends continue, most of America's children on any given day will be entitled to support ...


Closely Held Stocks—Deferral And Financing Of Estate Tax Costs Through Sections 303 And 6166, Douglas A. Kahn Jan 1982

Closely Held Stocks—Deferral And Financing Of Estate Tax Costs Through Sections 303 And 6166, Douglas A. Kahn

Articles

The enactment of the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 (hereinafter referred to as "the 1981 Act") will reduce both the impact of federal wealth transfer taxes and the number of persons still subject to them. Nevertheless, even after the 1981 Act takes full effect, a category of persons remains for whom wealth transfer taxes will constitute a meaningful burden and whose estates face a liquidity problem in satisfying the estate tax liability. The focus of this article is on two statutory techniques: redemptions of stock pursuant to section 3031 and deferral of estate tax payments under section 6166.2 ...


Reformation Of Wills On The Ground Of Mistake: Change Of Direction In American Law?, John H. Langbein, Lawrence W. Waggoner Jan 1982

Reformation Of Wills On The Ground Of Mistake: Change Of Direction In American Law?, John H. Langbein, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

Although it has been "axiomatic" that our courts do not entertain suits to reform wills on the ground of mistake, appellate courts in California, New Jersey, and New York have decided cases within the last five years that may presage the abandonment of the ancient "no-reformation" rule. The new cases do not purport to make this fundamental doctrinal change, although the California Court of Appeal in Estate of Taff and the New Jersey Supreme Court in Engle v. Siegel did expressly disclaim a related rule, sometimes called the "plain meaning" rule. That rule, which hereafter we will call the "no-extrinsic-evidence ...


The Regulation Of Labor Unions, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1982

The Regulation Of Labor Unions, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

This year completes exactly a half century in the federalization and codification of American labor law. Before that the regulation of both the internal affairs and external relations of labor organizations was left largely to the individual states, usually through the application of common or nonstatutory law by the courts. One major exception was the railroad industry, whose patent importance to interstate commerce made it an acceptable subject for federal legislation like the Railway Labor Act.


Accelerated Depreciation—Tax Expenditure Or Proper Allowance For Measuring Net Income?, Douglas A. Kahn Jan 1979

Accelerated Depreciation—Tax Expenditure Or Proper Allowance For Measuring Net Income?, Douglas A. Kahn

Articles

Since the 1950s, it has become fashionable to attack various provisions of the Internal Revenue Code by calling them "subsidies" rather than "proper" means of measuring taxable income. These "subsidies" through Code provisions have come to be referred to as "tax expenditures," a term coined by Professor Stanley Surrey in a speech he made as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Tax Policy on November 15, 1967. In that speech, Professor Surrey stated that our tax system often deliberately departs "from accepted concepts of net income," so that by granting exemptions, deductions, and credits that are not appropriate to an ...


Juvenile Obscenity Statutes: A Proposal And Analysis, Jerold H. Israel, Rita Ann Burns Jan 1976

Juvenile Obscenity Statutes: A Proposal And Analysis, Jerold H. Israel, Rita Ann Burns

Articles

The article that follows is based largely upon a Study Report on juvenile obscenity statutes prepared for the Michigan Law Revision Commission. The objectives of the Report were (1) to analyze the various issues presented in drafting a juvenile obscenity provision, (2) to survey the treatment of those issues in statutes adopted by various states and statutes proposed by several distinguished commissions, and (3) to propose a comprehensive model statute that offers a choice of alternative provisions on key areas of controversy. Certain limitations placed upon the scope of the Report (and this article) should be noted. First, we were ...


Legislative Regulation Of Searches And Seizures: The Michigan Proposals, Jerold H. Israel Dec 1974

Legislative Regulation Of Searches And Seizures: The Michigan Proposals, Jerold H. Israel

Articles

IN March 1971, the Michigan Bar Commissioners appointed a twenty-five-member committee with a directive "to promulgate a recommended revision of the Code of Criminal Procedure codifying existing statutory and case law provisions which, in the judgment of the Committee, should be retained and adding thereto such provisions as the Committee, in its judgment, deems warranted; and to incorporate such recommendations into proposed legislation for submission to the Legislature."' The committee membership included judges, prosecutors, legislators, criminal defense lawyers, law school professors, and representatives of Michigan police and corrections agencies.2 Judge Horace Gilmore served as Chairman, and I served as ...


A Guide To The Estate And Gift Tax Amendments Of 1970, Douglas A. Kahn Jan 1971

A Guide To The Estate And Gift Tax Amendments Of 1970, Douglas A. Kahn

Articles

The Excise, Estate, and Gift Tax Adjustment Act of 1970 [Pub. L. No. 91-614 (Dec. 31, 1970) made a number of amendments to the federal estate and gift tax laws. The estate tax laws were amended to shorten the period of time for filing estate tax returns and for the alternate valuation date and for several related items. In addition, for income tax purposes, the holding period of property that was included in a decedent's gross estate and that was acquired from the decedent was altered; and fiduciaries were granted additional means of obtaining a discharge of their personal ...


The Process Of Penal Law Reform—A Look At The Proposed Michigan Revised Criminal Code, Jerold H. Israel Jan 1968

The Process Of Penal Law Reform—A Look At The Proposed Michigan Revised Criminal Code, Jerold H. Israel

Articles

T HE subject of this symposium, the proposed Michigan Revised Criminal Code (Proposed Code),' is the product of a three-year study by a Joint Committee of the State Bar. The study was undertaken pursuant to a 1964 resolution of the State Bar Commissioners calling for a "complete revision of the criminal code to redefine crimes and penalties."'2 The Joint Committee is an extraordinarily large group, being composed of members of both the standing Criminal Jurisprudence Committee and the Special Code Revision Committee.' Its membership reflects great diversity in viewpoint and professional interests, including not only prosecutors, defense attorneys and ...


Some Petty Complaints About Article Three, James J. White Jan 1967

Some Petty Complaints About Article Three, James J. White

Articles

IN many ways Article Three of the Uniform Commercial Code (Code) is like a huge machine assembled by a mad inventor and comprised of assorted sprockets, gears, levers, pulleys, and belts. Few thoroughly understand all of the jobs which this machine is to perform; and a search through the reported cases suggests that the machine is either performing so efficiently that it commits no mistakes worth litigating or it is not performing at all. In their study of the intricacies of Article Three, law students resemble persons climbing about on the machine-pulling its levers, testing its belts and pulleys, and ...


Perpetuity Statutes, Edwin C. Goddard Jan 1923

Perpetuity Statutes, Edwin C. Goddard

Articles

THE common law of perpetuities is one of the most interesting examples of almost pure judicial legislation. De Donis, The Statutes of Uses and of Wills, but gave wider scope to the development by the courts of rules of law to thwart the attempt of the great landowners to tie up their landed estates in their families in perpetuity. One body of rules to this end limited restraints upon alienation, another the creation of future interests vesting at too remote a period. Restriction of restraints upon alienation, and the rule against perpetuities, these two were developed for the same end ...


Declaratory Judgments, Edson R. Sunderland Jan 1922

Declaratory Judgments, Edson R. Sunderland

Articles

The subject of declaratory judgments has received a great deal of attention in the United States during the last few years, and the interest aroused has resulted in the enactment of statutes in a considerable number of states authorizing courts to declare the rights of parties in cases where relief of the conventional sort is inadequate, inconvenient or impossible. Such judgments may now be obtained in California, St I92I, ch. 463; Connecticut, P. A. 1921, ch. 258; Florida, Laws 1919, No. 75; Hawaii, Laws 1921, Act 162; Kansas, Laws 1921, cl. 168; New Jersey, Laws 1915, ch. 116, Sec. 7 ...


The Proposed Michigan Judicature Act, Edson R. Sunderland Jan 1915

The Proposed Michigan Judicature Act, Edson R. Sunderland

Articles

The Michigan Legislature, at its last session, passed an act (No. 286, Public Acts of 1913) providing for the appointment of a Commission to revise and consolidate the laws of the State relating to procedure. The Governor appointed Alva M. Cummins, J. Clyde Watt, and Mark W. Stevens as members of this commission, and the result of their labors has just appeared in the form of a proposed bill regulating the entire subject of procedure in all the courts of the State. The bill is a long one, embracing 565 printed pages, but it is much less voluminous than the ...


The Form Of Summons Under The Recent Michigan Judicature Act, W. Gordon Stoner Jan 1915

The Form Of Summons Under The Recent Michigan Judicature Act, W. Gordon Stoner

Articles

It would be rather remarkable if in revising such a large portion of the statutes as was undertaken by the Commission on Revision and Consolidation of Statutes of the State of Michigan, appointed in 1913, which reported to the legislature the recently enacted Judicature Act (Public Acts of Michigan, 1915, § 314), some ambiguity or uncertainty were not to appear in the revision. The Judicature Act is no exception to the general rule, as the lawyer who attempts to begin suit by summons under it will discover at the very outset.


Divorce Laws And The Increase Of Divorce, Evans Holbrook Jan 1910

Divorce Laws And The Increase Of Divorce, Evans Holbrook

Articles

Along with the condemnation of the divorce evil has gone a very general disposition to condemn our divorce laws as being responsible for the evil. The committee on resolutions of the Congress on Uniform Divorce Laws in its report to the Congress at its adjourned session in Philadelphia, November 13, 1906, speaks of the "many evils engendered by the lax and unphilosophic system prevailing in many of the states."3 On this phase of the question also our late president gave his views in his special message to Congress on January 30, 1905, in the following words: "There is a ...


Constitutionality Of Legislation Designating Time And Manner Of Payment Of Wages, Ralph W. Aigler Jan 1910

Constitutionality Of Legislation Designating Time And Manner Of Payment Of Wages, Ralph W. Aigler

Articles

Not infrequently the legislatures of various states have deemed it advisable to provide by law for the time and manner of payment of wages of men engaged in certain designated employments; and these laws have been the cause of considerable litigation. Their validity has been challenged mainly on the ground of deprivation of property without due process of law and denial of the equal protection of the law, the contention being that the refusal of the privilege of contracting for the manner and time of payment is a deprivation of liberty and property, and the classification of men in certain ...


The Constitutionality Of The Federal Corporation Tax, Ralph W. Aigler Jan 1910

The Constitutionality Of The Federal Corporation Tax, Ralph W. Aigler

Articles

During the special session of Congress held the past summer there was enacted as an amendment to the new Tariff Law what is generally known as the Federal Corporation Tax.1 At the time of its consideration in Congress and since its enactment there has been considerable discussion regarding the constitutionality of the measure, and no little doubt has been expressed as to its validity.


A Proposed National Incorporation Law, Horace Lafayette Wilgus Jan 1904

A Proposed National Incorporation Law, Horace Lafayette Wilgus

Articles

In an article in the February number of this magazine1 the writer discussed the need of a national incorporation law. The following is proposed as such; its object is to set forth what, perhaps, may be possible under such a law; what some will think necessary or desirable; what some will think unnecessary and undesirable; and what others will undoubtedly think is all wrong, if not vicious. Whatever view is taken the writer's purpose will be accomplished if consideration and discussion of the proper details of such a law, are provoked. There are two classes who desire a national ...


The Limits To Legislative Power In The Passage Of Curative Laws, Thomas M. Cooley Dec 1880

The Limits To Legislative Power In The Passage Of Curative Laws, Thomas M. Cooley

Articles

There has always been some regret that, when the Federal judiciary was called upon to interpret and apply the prohibition in the Constitution of ex post facto laws,1 it did not reach the condlusion that retrospective laws were forbidden, as well where they applied to civil rights as when they concerned criminal liabilities or penalties. The famous twenty-ninth chapter of the great charter placed the protection of liberty and property upon the same basis, and the power to reach the one by indirection is subject to the same objections in principle, that could be urged against the power to ...


Effect Of A Change In The Law Upon Rights Of Actions And Defences, Thomas M. Cooley Dec 1876

Effect Of A Change In The Law Upon Rights Of Actions And Defences, Thomas M. Cooley

Articles

A very interesting and important question frequently is, what effect has been produced upon a right of action, or upon a previously existing defence to an action, by a change in the law effected by statute after the right has accrued, or the cause of action has arisen, to which the defence was applicable. The question is encountered in a great variety of cases, and is sufficiently important to be considered under the several heads where the cases seem to range themselves. This is done imperfectly below.