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After Philip Morris V. Williams: What Is Left Of The "Single-Digit" Ratio?, Anthony J. Sebok Jan 2008

After Philip Morris V. Williams: What Is Left Of The "Single-Digit" Ratio?, Anthony J. Sebok

Articles

This short essay was written for a symposium on The Future of Punitive Damages held at the Charleston School of Law in 2007. I argue that the ratio rule (that punitive damages that exceed a single digit ratio presumptively violate the Due Process Clause), introduced by the Supreme Court in Campbell, is unlikely to survive. I argue this for three reasons. First, many lower courts have found ways to conceal punitive damages awards that impose, in reality, ratios in the double-digits. Second, the refusal of the Court to reverse the plaintiffs punitive damages award in Williams under the ratio rule ...


Stoneridge Investment Partners V. Scientific-Atlanta: The Political Economy Of Securities Class Action Reform, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2008

Stoneridge Investment Partners V. Scientific-Atlanta: The Political Economy Of Securities Class Action Reform, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

I begin in Part II by explaining the wrong turn that the Court took in Basic. The Basic Court misunderstood the function of the reliance element and its relation to the question of damages. As a result, the securities class action regime established in Basic threatens draconian sanctions with limited deterrent benefit. Part III then summarizes the cases leading up to Stoneridge and analyzes the Court's reasoning in that case. In Stoneridge, like the decisions interpreting the reliance requirement of Rule 10b-5 that came before it, the Court emphasized policy implications. Sometimes policy implications are invoked to broaden the ...


Mandatory Arbitration: Why It's Better Than It Looks, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2008

Mandatory Arbitration: Why It's Better Than It Looks, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

"Mandatory arbitration" as used here means that employees must agree as a condition of employment to arbitrate all legal disputes with their employer, including statutory claims, rather than take them to court. The Supreme Court has upheld the validity of such agreements on the grounds that they merely provide for a change of forum and not a loss of substantive rights. Opponents contend this wrongfully deprives employees of the right to a jury trial and other statutory procedural benefits. Various empirical studies indicate, however, that employees similarly situated do about as well in arbitration as in court actions, or even ...


Requiem For Section 1983, Paul D. Reingold Jan 2008

Requiem For Section 1983, Paul D. Reingold

Articles

Section 1983 no longer serves as a remedial statute for the people most in need of its protection. Those who have suffered a violation of their civil rights at the hands of state authorities, but who cannot afford a lawyer because they have only modest damages or seek only equitable remedies, are foreclosed from relief because lawyers shun their cases. Today civil rights plaintiffs are treated the same as ordinary tort plaintiffs by the private bar: without high damages, civil rights plaintiffs are denied access to the courts because no one will represent them. Congress understood that civil rights laws ...


Operationalizing Deterrence Claims Management (In Hopsitals, A Large Retailer, And Jails And Prisons), Margo Schlanger Jan 2008

Operationalizing Deterrence Claims Management (In Hopsitals, A Large Retailer, And Jails And Prisons), Margo Schlanger

Articles

The theory that the prospect of liability for damages deters risky behavior has been developed in countless articles and books. The literature is far sparser, however, on how deterrence is operationalized. And prior work slights an equally important effect of damage actions, to incentivize claims management in addition to harm-reduction responses that are cost- rather than liabilityminimizing. This article works in the intersection of these two understudied areas, focusing on claims management steps taken by frequently sued organizations, and opening a window into the black box of deterrence to see how those steps may end up serving harm-reduction purposes as ...