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Full-Text Articles in Law

Medical Harm Without Negligence, Valerie Gutmann Koch Dec 2022

Medical Harm Without Negligence, Valerie Gutmann Koch

Fordham Law Review

In December 2019, seven women from one family underwent highly invasive surgeries based on genetic test results that indicated that each were at significant risk of developing cancer by age seventy. Subsequently, after procedures that (among other things) permanently scarred and disfigured their bodies and ended their chances of having biological children, they learned that their particular mutation was not, in fact, pathogenic.

This Article focuses on a previously under-recognized problem: what happens when a patient’s previously classified pathogenic variant is downgraded to uncertain (or even benign) status? Intuitively, it might seem that the genetic testing company, the surgeons, or …


Second-Best Free Exercise, Christopher C. Lund Dec 2022

Second-Best Free Exercise, Christopher C. Lund

Fordham Law Review

The future of the Free Exercise Clause is up in the air. Thirty years ago, in Employment Division v. Smith, the Supreme Court held the Free Exercise Clause only protected against religious discrimination and did not require exemptions from neutral and generally applicable laws.

Yet despite having an official rule against religious exemptions, the Roberts Court has somehow managed to give religious exemptions in case after case. This illustrates Smith’s waning power—the case has become more of an obstacle for courts to work around than a precedent for courts to obey. But these victories have also come to …


Within A City's Limits: A Local Government's Power To Hold Police Officers Accountable, Josselin Aldana Dec 2022

Within A City's Limits: A Local Government's Power To Hold Police Officers Accountable, Josselin Aldana

Fordham Law Review

When a person’s constitutional rights are violated by a public official, such as a police officer, who acts under color of law, the official can invoke a qualified immunity defense that immunizes the official unless it is clearly established that such action is unlawful. Over the years, the qualified immunity doctrine has developed into a shield that makes it difficult for aggrieved individuals to recover when they are harmed. As a result of nationwide focus on police brutality, four states—Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Mexico—have modified the use of qualified immunity as a defense in state courts for individuals harmed …


The Prison Mailbox Rule: Can Represented Incarcerated Litigants Benefit?, Nico Corti Dec 2022

The Prison Mailbox Rule: Can Represented Incarcerated Litigants Benefit?, Nico Corti

Fordham Law Review

In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court created the “Prison Mailbox Rule,” which assesses the timeliness of incarcerated litigants’ filings based on the day they hand them to prison authorities. The rule reduces the structural barriers to filing while imprisoned. Although Houston v. Lack highlighted the unique challenges that pro se incarcerated litigants face, the Prison Mailbox Rule’s subsequent federal codifications did not limit its benefits to pro se litigants, despite purportedly “reflecting” the Houston decision. Federal circuit courts of appeal today are split on whether represented people in prison can benefit from the Prison Mailbox Rule, leaving both litigants and …


Closing The Door On Permanent Incorrigibility: Juvenile Life Without Parole After Jones V. Mississippi, Juliet Liu Dec 2022

Closing The Door On Permanent Incorrigibility: Juvenile Life Without Parole After Jones V. Mississippi, Juliet Liu

Fordham Law Review

In April 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Jones v. Mississippi, its latest opinion in a line of cases addressing when, if ever, a child should be sentenced to life in prison with no hope of parole or release. Although Jones purported to resolve division among lower courts over the findings that a sentencing court must make about a child defendant’s character and prospects for reform and rehabilitation, the decision will likely lead to further disagreement among courts.

This Note argues that although the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence has protected children from harsh sentences, it has also opened a Pandora’s …


Let's Get Real: Weak Artificial Intelligence Has Free Speech Rights, James B. Garvey Dec 2022

Let's Get Real: Weak Artificial Intelligence Has Free Speech Rights, James B. Garvey

Fordham Law Review

The right to free speech is a strongly protected constitutional right under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court significantly expanded free speech protections for corporations in Citizens United v. FEC. This case prompted the question: could other nonhuman actors also be eligible for free speech protection under the First Amendment? This inquiry is no longer a mere intellectual exercise: sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) may soon be capable of producing speech. As such, there are novel and complex questions surrounding the application of the First Amendment to AI. Some commentators argue that AI …


Arbitration And Finra's Customer Code: A Tailored Approach To When A Forum Selection Clause May Supersede Finra Rule 12200, Peter Giovine Dec 2022

Arbitration And Finra's Customer Code: A Tailored Approach To When A Forum Selection Clause May Supersede Finra Rule 12200, Peter Giovine

Fordham Law Review

This Note examines a circuit split concerning whether forum selection clauses supersede Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Rule 12200, which requires FINRA members to arbitrate customer disputes upon the customer’s request. The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuits have upheld a waiver of the right to arbitrate even when arbitration is not explicitly mentioned in a forum selection clause. The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Fourth Circuits, on the other hand, have held that a forum selection clause that does not explicitly mention arbitration does not supersede FINRA Rule 12200. This Note explores …


Due Process Alignment In Mass Restructurings, Sergio Campos, Samir D. Parikh Nov 2022

Due Process Alignment In Mass Restructurings, Sergio Campos, Samir D. Parikh

Fordham Law Review

Mass tort defendants have recently begun exiting multidistrict litigation by filing for bankruptcy. This new strategy ushers defendants into a far more hospitable forum that offers accelerated resolution of all state and federal claims held by both current and future victims. Bankruptcy’s structural, procedural, and substantive benefits also provide defendants with unique optionality.

Bankruptcy’s resolution promise is alluring, but the process relies on a very large assumption: that future victims can be compelled to relinquish property rights in their cause of action against the corporate defendant and others without consent or notice. Bankruptcy builds an entire resolution structure on the …


Aggregation And Abuse: Mass Torts In Bankruptcy, Edward J. Janger Nov 2022

Aggregation And Abuse: Mass Torts In Bankruptcy, Edward J. Janger

Fordham Law Review

Bankruptcy courts have become the favored forum for large corporate defendants who seek global resolution of mass tort liability claims. Whether this forum choice benefits the victims of those mass torts or facilitates their exploitation is unclear. The features of bankruptcy law that have made bankruptcy court attractive to defendants can be efficiency enhancing, but they can also be used opportunistically and beyond their proper scope. As a result, their use must be subject to safeguards. The good news is that, where torts of the debtor itself are concerned, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code already contains the necessary tools. This Essay …


Unfair, Abusive, And Unlawful: Protecting Debtors And Society From Unrestrained Bank Account Garnishment, Kevin Green Nov 2022

Unfair, Abusive, And Unlawful: Protecting Debtors And Society From Unrestrained Bank Account Garnishment, Kevin Green

Fordham Law Review

In the span of a generation, consumer credit has reshaped the financial lives of millions of Americans. Today, some seventy million Americans have a debt in collections, and creditors file millions of actions annually to secure repayment of these loans. Despite the rapid expansion of consumer debt, the Consumer Credit Protection Act, the only federal law limiting garnishment, has not been updated since its enactment in 1968. Moreover, courts have narrowly construed its provisions to permit creditors to empty a debtor’s bank account to repay a delinquent debt.

To afford debtors the basic protections of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, …


Dissonance And Distress In Bankruptcy And Mass Torts, Andrew D. Bradt, Zachary D. Clopton, D. Theodore Rave Nov 2022

Dissonance And Distress In Bankruptcy And Mass Torts, Andrew D. Bradt, Zachary D. Clopton, D. Theodore Rave

Fordham Law Review

This Essay reviews the highly successful Fordham Law Review symposium entitled Mass Torts Evolve: The Intersection of Aggregate Litigation and Bankruptcy, held in 2022. The symposium brought together judges, scholars, and practitioners who work on multidistrict litigation (MDL), bankruptcy, or both. The symposium was successful because it brought these groups into conversation at a time when high-profile mass tort defendants are increasingly turning to bankruptcy to escape MDL, while others involved in the MDL process seek to keep them in. The symposium was also successful—and distressing, in our view—because it highlighted disturbing trends in complex litigation.

This Essay makes …


Covid-19 Aggregate Litigation: The Search For The Upstream Wrongdoer, Robert H. Klonoff Nov 2022

Covid-19 Aggregate Litigation: The Search For The Upstream Wrongdoer, Robert H. Klonoff

Fordham Law Review

The COVID-19 pandemic has generated many suits—including thousands of class actions—in which plaintiffs claim that defendants caused economic or health-related harm. Although the COVID-19 context may have led many plaintiffs’ lawyers to believe that the cases would be received with great sympathy, courts thus far have been very cautious, focusing closely—as they do in non-COVID cases—on whether the defendant has breached clear contractual commitments or has engaged in tortious or other wrongdoing. If anything, courts have been more skeptical and cautious in the COVID-19 context, recognizing that everyone has suffered due to the pandemic and that, in many instances, defendants …


The New Mass Torts Bargain, Samir D. Parikh Nov 2022

The New Mass Torts Bargain, Samir D. Parikh

Fordham Law Review

Mass torts create a unique scale of harm and liabilities. Corporate tortfeasors are desperate to settle claims but condition settlement on the resolution of substantially all claims at a known price—commonly referred to as a global settlement. Without this, corporate tortfeasors are willing to continue with protracted and fragmented litigation across jurisdictions. Global settlements can be elusive in these cases. Mass torts are oftentimes characterized by heterogeneous victim groups that include both current victims and future victims—individuals whose harm has not yet manifested and may not do so for years. Despite this incongruence, future-victim claims must be aggregated as part …


The Constitutional Problem Of Nondebtor Releases In Bankruptcy, Adam J. Levitin Nov 2022

The Constitutional Problem Of Nondebtor Releases In Bankruptcy, Adam J. Levitin

Fordham Law Review

In recent years, nondebtor releases have become a common feature of big-case Chapter 11 bankruptcy practice. Nondebtor releases involve the release of creditor claims against third-party nondebtors pursuant to a bankruptcy plan confirmation order. Some nondebtor releases are consensual, meaning that they are done with the assent of the releasing creditor, but some are not.

This Essay argues that all nonconsensual nondebtor releases in bankruptcy are unconstitutional. The constitutional infirmities of nondebtor releases are layered: all non debtor releases—consensual or nonconsensual—are outside the scope of Congress’s authority under an original understanding of the Bankruptcy Clause; all nonconsensual nondebtor releases are …


Beyond Window Dressing: Public Participation For Marginalized Communities In The Datafied Society, Michele Estrin Gilman Nov 2022

Beyond Window Dressing: Public Participation For Marginalized Communities In The Datafied Society, Michele Estrin Gilman

Fordham Law Review

We live in a datafied society in which our personal data is being constantly harvested, analyzed, and sold by public and private entities, and yet we have little control over our data and little voice in how it is used. In light of the impacts of algorithmic decision-making systems—including those that run on machine learning and artificial intelligence—there are increasing calls to integrate public participation into the adoption, design, and oversight of these tech tools. Stakeholder input is particularly crucial for members of marginalized groups, who bear the disproportionate harms of data-centric technologies. Yet, recent calls for public participation have …


The Value In Secrecy, Camilla A. Hrdy Nov 2022

The Value In Secrecy, Camilla A. Hrdy

Fordham Law Review

Trade secret law is seen as the most inclusive of intellectual property regimes. So long as information can be kept secret, the wisdom goes, it can be protected under trade secret law, even if patent and copyright protections are unavailable. But keeping it a secret does not magically transform information into a trade secret. The information must also derive economic value from being kept secret from others. This elusive statutory requirement—called “independent economic value”—might at first glance seem redundant, especially in the context of litigation. After all, if information had no value, why would the plaintiff have bothered to keep …


Discretionary Denial Of Inter Partes Review And The Patent Trial And Appeal Board, Xinni Cai Nov 2022

Discretionary Denial Of Inter Partes Review And The Patent Trial And Appeal Board, Xinni Cai

Fordham Law Review

The inter partes review (IPR) is an administrative procedure conducted by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), an adjudicative body within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). IPR provides an opportunity for third parties to challenge a patent’s validity after it has already been granted. A petitioner can file a petition with the PTAB to “institute” IPR. If the review is instituted, the PTAB considers the evidence presented and issues a final written decision, either holding the patent valid or striking it down as invalid. Although IPR was introduced as an alternative to litigation, it is often used …


The Digital First Sale Doctrine In A Blockchain World: Nfts And The Temporary Reproduction Exception, Chelsea Lim Nov 2022

The Digital First Sale Doctrine In A Blockchain World: Nfts And The Temporary Reproduction Exception, Chelsea Lim

Fordham Law Review

In 2021, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) exploded in popularity. Representing over sixty million dollars in sales, NFTs are currently being bought and sold in almost every industry, in the form of exclusive videos in the sports industry and digital paintings in the art industry. NFTs are digital certificates that use blockchain technology to verify authenticity and proof of ownership. Through NFTs’ non-fungible and immutable characteristics, owners are able to create scarcity for and authenticity in digital copies of their works, replicating the tangible experience of owning a physical, limited-edition item. NFTs have also been able to promote a unique secondary marketplace, …


Shining A Light On Rattley: The Troublesome Diligent Search Standard Undercutting New York's Freedom Of Information Law, Isaac A. Krier Nov 2022

Shining A Light On Rattley: The Troublesome Diligent Search Standard Undercutting New York's Freedom Of Information Law, Isaac A. Krier

Fordham Law Review

New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) provides citizens with access to the documents, statistics, and information relied on by New York State government agencies. Modeled after the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), New York legislators designed the state’s “sunshine law” to promote transparency and accountability through a presumption of disclosure by requiring agencies to make all records available to the public except those specifically exempted by statute. But state agencies often rely on a separate, unceremonious reason to deny FOIL requests—they cannot find the documents. FOIL requires an agency to certify that it performed a diligent records search …


Infringement Or Identification?: Nominative Fair Use And The Resale Of Luxury Goods, Jordan Phelan Nov 2022

Infringement Or Identification?: Nominative Fair Use And The Resale Of Luxury Goods, Jordan Phelan

Fordham Law Review

The market for luxury resale is booming and is predicted to continue its massive growth. Luxury resellers typically market and describe goods using the luxury brand’s trademarks, including the brand name and logos. Luxury brands utilize their market power to “bully” smaller resellers and often take issue with third parties using their trademarks in any context, even when the use of the mark does not encroach on the luxury brand’s share of the market. However, the doctrine of nominative fair use allows the use of a brand’s trademark when referring to that brand’s goods. An alleged infringer will be found …


The Collateral Effects Of Criminal Orders Of Protection On Parent Defendants In Cases Of Intimate Partner Violence, Isabelle Leipziger Oct 2022

The Collateral Effects Of Criminal Orders Of Protection On Parent Defendants In Cases Of Intimate Partner Violence, Isabelle Leipziger

Fordham Law Review

Intimate partner violence is a serious public health problem that affects people from all cultures, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Although courts have historically refused to get involved due to the intimate and private nature of these offenses, widespread reforms have led to some judicial intervention. Through the issuance of criminal orders of protection, courts have alleviated some of the difficulties associated with prosecuting cases of intimate partner violence and have provided immediate protection for victims. However, criminal orders of protection also pose significant challenges for defendants who live and co-parent with their accuser.

In New York, issuance of these orders …


The Impermissibility Of Police Deception In Juvenile Interrogations, Gina Kim Oct 2022

The Impermissibility Of Police Deception In Juvenile Interrogations, Gina Kim

Fordham Law Review

Although perjury is a criminal offense in all states and a felony in many, law enforcement may routinely lie to suspects during interrogations. This widespread, judicially authorized practice consists of interrogators making false promises of leniency that the suspect will receive a lighter sentence in exchange for a confession, and making misrepresentations about the evidence against the suspect. Police deception in interrogations becomes even more problematic when used against juvenile suspects because the psychological vulnerability of minors may lead them to succumb to deceptive pressures and even to falsely confess.

This Note explores the debate surrounding the use of police …


Sentencing After Stash Houses: Addressing Manipulation Of The Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Elizabeth Foy Gudgel Oct 2022

Sentencing After Stash Houses: Addressing Manipulation Of The Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Elizabeth Foy Gudgel

Fordham Law Review

In the realm of undercover work, law enforcement has broad discretion to define the contours of a criminal offense. Due to quantity-based provisions in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, federal agents or their informants may coerce an individual into a higher sentencing range by escalating their behavior to align with mandatory minimums or quantifiable offense levels. Because this type of offense is police-initiated, law enforcement has discretion to select the individuals subject to these tactics and influence their eventual sentences. The defenses of sentencing entrapment and sentencing manipulation are meant to combat this discretion. However, these defenses are rarely invoked successfully …


Second Service: 28 U.S.C. § 1448 And State Court Service Of Process After Removal, Leigh Forsyth Oct 2022

Second Service: 28 U.S.C. § 1448 And State Court Service Of Process After Removal, Leigh Forsyth

Fordham Law Review

28 U.S.C. § 1448 governs the requirements of process after removal, providing that when defendants are not completely or perfectly served prior to removal, plaintiffs may complete such process or service, or new process may be issued in the same manner as in cases originally filed in the district court. There remains an open question as to whether state court service issued prior to removal, but served after removal, retains its efficacy in federal court under § 1448. This open question has led to divergent interpretations among district courts, with differing consequences. As of this Note’s publication, at least twenty-seven …


Does Brady Apply To Supervised Release Revocation Hearings?, Alex Breindel Oct 2022

Does Brady Apply To Supervised Release Revocation Hearings?, Alex Breindel

Fordham Law Review

Many federal offenders face a term of supervised release upon leaving prison. The successor to the federal parole system, supervised release places conditions upon individuals’ freedom. Violation of a condition may result in revocation of release and reimprisonment. To revoke release, the government must prove to a judge by a preponderance of the evidence that a violation occurred. At this proceeding, known as a “revocation hearing,” the individual may contest the alleged violation and present their own evidence.

Under Brady v. Maryland and its progeny, due process requires the government to disclose material exculpatory evidence to criminal defendants. This Note …


Decarceration's Inside Partners, Seema Tahir Saifee Oct 2022

Decarceration's Inside Partners, Seema Tahir Saifee

Fordham Law Review

This Article examines a hidden phenomenon in criminal punishment. People in prison, during their incarceration, have made important—and sometimes extraordinary—strides toward reducing prison populations. In fact, stakeholders in many corners, from policy makers to researchers to abolitionists, have harnessed legal and conceptual strategies generated inside the walls to pursue decarceral strategies outside the walls. Despite this outside use of inside moves, legal scholarship has directed little attention to theorizing the potential of looking to people on the inside as partners in the long-term project of meaningfully reducing prison populations, or “decarceration.”

Building on the change-making agency and revolutionary ideation inside …


Police Vehicle Searches And Racial Profiling: An Empirical Study, Griffin Edwards, Stephen Rushin Oct 2022

Police Vehicle Searches And Racial Profiling: An Empirical Study, Griffin Edwards, Stephen Rushin

Fordham Law Review

In 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court held in New York v. Belton that police officers could lawfully search virtually anywhere in a vehicle without a warrant after the arrest of any occupant in the vehicle. Then, in 2009, the Court reversed course in Arizona v. Gant, holding that police could only engage in vehicle searches after such arrests in a smaller number of extenuating circumstances. This series of cases became a flash point for the broader debate about the regulation of policing. Law enforcement groups argued that administratively complex rules, like those established in Gant, risk officer safety. …


Chilling Parental Rights, Meghan M. Boone May 2022

Chilling Parental Rights, Meghan M. Boone

Fordham Law Review

Despite this clear lack of consensus as to what constitutes ideal parenting, state actors have increasingly intervened in families when they feel that a particular parenting choice is wrong. These interventions increasingly occur through the use of criminal law and punishment.5 This criminalization extends beyond prosecutions for what would traditionally be considered abuse or neglect to a wide range of parenting choices that do not rise to this level. Although many scholars have critiqued this criminalization of parenting, the focus of these critiques has centered on the harm to the families that are actually criminalized and on how a disproportionate …


Fertility, Immigration, And Public Support For Parenting, Eleanor Brown, Naomi Cahn, June Carbone May 2022

Fertility, Immigration, And Public Support For Parenting, Eleanor Brown, Naomi Cahn, June Carbone

Fordham Law Review

As this Essay shows, the fertility discourse of the last half century deals with the profound effects that come from the transformation of the economy and the place of modern families within it. Discussions of race and class have been an important—and, often, pernicious—part of a transformation in family values, as the upper-middle-class efforts to channel ever greater investment into children have increased economic inequality and contributed to racial, ideological, and gender division. We see the convergence in fertility rates as an indication that, at a practical level, a much larger part of the country is embracing the new family …


Multi-Parent Families, Real And Imagined, Courtney G. Joslin, Douglas Nejaime May 2022

Multi-Parent Families, Real And Imagined, Courtney G. Joslin, Douglas Nejaime

Fordham Law Review

This piece is the first in a series on functional parenthood growing out of an empirical study of all electronically available cases from the last forty years decided under functional parent doctrines, including cases that feature more than two parental figures.20 Our goal is to provide a more empirically grounded understanding of the circumstances under which a child may have functional parents, including situations in which a child has more than two parents, and an accurate assessment of the range of factual contexts in which courts may be asked to adjudicate the issue. We supply a more comprehensive and detailed …