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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


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

Complex "derivative" financial instruments are often used in aggressive tax planning. In response, the government has implemented mark-to-market type reforms, but only partially. Considered in isolation, these incremental reforms are likely to seem well advised in measuring income more accurately. However, there is an important "second best" cost, emphasized in this Article: the ability of well-advised taxpayers either to avoid the new rule or to turn it to their advantage (here called "defensive" and "offensive" planning options, respectively). This Article uses two case studies to identify how these effects arise and to suggest ways of combating them. The first case ...


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 deciding constitutional issues. This paper seeks to place this set ...


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 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

Rules governing letters of credit rest on the premise that they provide a highly certain method of payment to a seller of goods. Thus, the law and the terms of the letter of credit make the obligation of the issuer to provide payment to the seller independent of the purchaser's performance on the underlying contract. Hence, the issuer is obligated to pay the seller upon presentation of specified documents, without regard to the seller's actual compliance with the contract. In practice, however, most drafts on letters of credit in such transactions do not comply with the letter of ...


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 central task in developing a plausible normative theory of contract law is to specify the appropriate role of the state in regulating incomplete or relational contracts. Complete contracts (to the extent that they exist in the real world) are rarely, if ever, breached since by definition the pay-offs for every relevant action and the corresponding sanctions for non performance are prescribed in the contract. In the case of incomplete (or relational) contracts, however, parties have incentives to breach by exploiting gaps in the contract. Making the verifiable terms of the contract legally enforceable and regulating incompleteness in a consistent ...


Information Technology And The Increasing Efficacy Of Non-Legal Sanctions In Financing Transactions, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2000

Information Technology And The Increasing Efficacy Of Non-Legal Sanctions In Financing Transactions, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This paper investigates the effect of advances in information technology on the private institutions that businesses use to resolve information asymmetries in financing transactions. It discusses four separate effects. First, in some cases information technology will permit direct verification of the information, obviating the problem entirely; the paper discusses the example of the substitution of the debit card for the check, which provides an immediate payment that obviates the need for the merchant to consider whether payment will be forthcoming when the check is presented to the bank on which it is drawn. Second, the paper discusses how advances in ...


Economic Reasoning And The Framing Of Contract Law: Sale Of An Asset Of Uncertain Value, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2000

Economic Reasoning And The Framing Of Contract Law: Sale Of An Asset Of Uncertain Value, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

By analyzing two American contract law decisions, the paper illustrates the usefulness of economic analysis in framing the inquiry. The cases have a common feature, unrecognized by the courts: they both deal with the production and transfer of information regarding the sale of an asset of uncertain value. One involves the combination of an option and a lockup to encourage the buyer to produce information. The other involves contingent compensation to convey the seller's assurance of the quality of the assets. Once this is recognized, the outcomes are straightforward.


From Having Copies To Experiencing Works: The Development Of An Access Right In U.S. Copyright Law, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2000

From Having Copies To Experiencing Works: The Development Of An Access Right In U.S. Copyright Law, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This essay addresses how current U.S. copyright law responds to new forms of distribution of copyrighted works, through the emerging right to control digital access to copyrighted works, as set out in § 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. When the exploitation of works shifts from having copies to directly experiencing the content of the work, the author's ability to control access becomes crucial. Indeed, in the digital environment, without an access right, it is difficult to see how authors can maintain the exclusive Right to their Writings that the Constitution authorizes Congress to secure. Even if ...


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 ...


International Copyright: From A "Bundle" Of National Copyright Laws To A Supranational Code?, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2000

International Copyright: From A "Bundle" Of National Copyright Laws To A Supranational Code?, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, the number and content of substantive norms that international copyright treaties impose on member states have increased considerably. It is therefore appropriate to consider the extent to which those instruments have in effect created an international (or at least multinational) copyright code, as well as to inquire what role national copyright laws do and should have in an era not only of international copyright norms, but of international dissemination of copyrighted works. This Article first considers the displacement of national norms through the evolution of a de facto international copyright code, elaborated in multilateral instruments such as ...


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

This paper examines the influence of legal regulation on the social norms that shape marital behavior, focusing particularly on the interaction between legal reform and norm change in the past generation. Two categories of norms governed the spousal and parental roles in traditional marriage – commitment norms and gender norms. In regulating the spousal relationship, commitment norms functioned to promote cooperation and to allow the parties to make credible commitments, while gender norms encouraged spouses to subordinate the wife's interest to that of the husband. These norms, although analytically distinct, were intricately interwoven (or "bundled"), so that disaggregation became difficult ...


Punishment, Deterrence And Social Control: The Paradox Of Punishment In Minority Communities, Jeffrey Fagan, Tracey L. Meares Jan 2000

Punishment, Deterrence And Social Control: The Paradox Of Punishment In Minority Communities, Jeffrey Fagan, Tracey L. Meares

Faculty Scholarship

Since the early 1970s, the number of individuals in jails and state and federal prisons has grown exponentially. Today, nearly 2 million people are currently incarcerated in state and federal prisons and local jails. The growth of imprisonment has been borne disproportionately by African-American and Hispanic men from poor communities in urban areas. Rising incarceration should have greatly reduced the crime rate. After all, incapacitated offenders were no longer free to rob, assault, steal, or commit other crimes. However, no large scale reduction in crime was detected until the mid-1990's. The failure of crime rates to decline commensurately with ...


Globalizing Corporate Governance: Convergence Of Form Or Function, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2000

Globalizing Corporate Governance: Convergence Of Form Or Function, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

This paper examines the interplay between selection-driven functional adaptivity on the one hand, and formal institutional persistence or path dependency on the other, that will determine whether such corporate governance convergence as we observe will be formal or functional. Five combinations of formal and functional covergence are considered:1) purely functional convergence, as with the displacement of inefficient management; 2) the use of formal tools to catalyze the breakdown of formal barriers to functional convergence as with the elimination of tax on the sale of cross holdings; 3) the need for elements of both formal and functional convergence as with ...


Discretion In Long-Term Open Quantity Contracts: Reining In Good Faith, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2000

Discretion In Long-Term Open Quantity Contracts: Reining In Good Faith, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

The UCC and common law have used "good faith" to interpret long-term, open quantity contracts in a manner which ignores the parties' allocation of discretion. With no theory to guide them, courts have rewritten contracts to say, in effect, that a seller agrees to keep running his factory at a loss in order to generate waste (the waste removal company being the purchaser under the long-term contract) or that a buyer in a long-term requirements contract has promised to never run its facility at full capacity. Commentators have routinely accepted these interpretations without recognizing the peculiar features of this default ...


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 ...


Unocal Fifteen Years Later (And What We Can Do About It), Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2000

Unocal Fifteen Years Later (And What We Can Do About It), Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

The coincidence of the new millennium and the fifteenth anniversary of the Delaware Supreme Court's announcement of a new approach to takeover law provides an appropriate occasion to step back and evaluate a remarkable experiment in corporate law - the Delaware Supreme Court's development of an intermediate standard for evaluating defensive tactics. I will argue that Unocal has developed into an unexplained and, I think, inexplicable preference that control contests be resolved through elections rather than market transactions. In doing so, I will highlight the remarkable struggle between the Chancery Court and the Supreme Court for Unocal's soul ...


Copyright Use And Excuse On The Internet, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2000

Copyright Use And Excuse On The Internet, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

1998 ended with voluminous copyright legislation, pompously titled the "Digital Millennium Copyright Act" ["DMCA"], and intended to equip the copyright law to meet the challenges of online digital exploitation of works of authorship. 1999 and 2000 have brought some of the ensuing confrontations between copyright owners and Internet entrepreneurs to the courts. The evolving caselaw affords an initial opportunity to assess whether the copyright law as abundantly amended can indeed respond to digital networks, or whether the rapid development of the Internet inevitably outstrips Congress' and the courts' attempts to keep pace. This Article addresses recent Internet-related controversies concerning technological ...


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. In recent years, the social norms literature has shown that law can also have indirect effects on incentives. By empowering neighbors and other citizens to use public ridicule as an enforcement technique, these laws can influence behavior by imposing informal sanctions, such as shaming. Similarly, these laws ...


The Liberal Commons, Hanoch Dagan, Michael Heller Jan 2000

The Liberal Commons, Hanoch Dagan, Michael Heller

Faculty Scholarship

Must we choose between the benefits of cooperative use of scarce resources and our liberal commitments to autonomy and exit? No. Law can mediate community and liberty? a theory of the liberal commons provides the bridge that reconciles these two seemingly contradictory imperatives. Liberal commons institutions enable a limited group of people to capture the economic and social benefits from cooperation, while also ensuring autonomy to individuals through a secure right to exit. This Article shows how current theories obscure the most salient tradeoffs in managing commons resources; details the liberal commons model comprising the decision-making spheres of individual dominion ...


Convergence And Its Critics: What Are The Preconditions To The Separation Of Ownership And Control?, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2000

Convergence And Its Critics: What Are The Preconditions To The Separation Of Ownership And Control?, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Recent commentary has argued that deep and liquid securities markets and a dispersed shareholder base are 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 shareholder, (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 movement in the direction of dispersed ownership has occurred and is accelerating across Europe. To ...


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 ...


Sales And Elections As Methods For Transferring Corporate Control, Ronald J. Gilson, Alan Schwartz Jan 2000

Sales And Elections As Methods For Transferring Corporate Control, Ronald J. Gilson, Alan Schwartz

Faculty Scholarship

Under standard accounts of corporate governance, capital markets play a significant role in monitoring management performance and, where appropriate, replacing management whose performance does not measure up. Recent case law in Delaware, however, appears to have altered dramatically the mechanisms through which the market for corporate control must operate. In particular, the interaction of the poison pill and the Delaware Supreme Court's development of the legal standard governing defensive tactics in response to tender offers have resulted in a decided, but as yet unexplained, preference for control changes mediated by means of an election rather than by a market ...


The Direction Of Corporate Law: The Scholars' Perspective, John C. Coffee Jr., Richard A. Booth, R. Franklin Balotti, David C. Mcbride, Edward P. Welch Jan 2000

The Direction Of Corporate Law: The Scholars' Perspective, John C. Coffee Jr., Richard A. Booth, R. Franklin Balotti, David C. Mcbride, Edward P. Welch

Faculty Scholarship

MR. BALOTTI: Good afternoon. My name is Frank Balotti and I've been asked to be the moderator for this afternoon's program. And one of the privileges that I get is to introduce the panel and to call them up to speak in some kind of order, I hope. And I hope that you and the audience will participate by asking questions towards the end of our panel and get involved in the discussion which we hope to promote.

The topic for this afternoon's panel is a scholar's approach to corporation law. And we are fortunate to ...


Ratcheting Labor Standards: Regulation For Continuous Improvement In The Global Workplace, Charles F. Sabel, Dara O'Rourke, Archon Fung Jan 2000

Ratcheting Labor Standards: Regulation For Continuous Improvement In The Global Workplace, Charles F. Sabel, Dara O'Rourke, Archon Fung

Faculty Scholarship

It is a brute fact of contemporary globalization – unmistakable as activists and journalists catalog scandal after scandal – that the very transformations making possible higher quality, cheaper products often lead to unacceptable conditions of work: brutal use of child labor, dangerous environments, punishingly long days, starvation wages, discrimination, suppression of expression and association. In all quarters, the question is not whether to address these conditions, but how.

That question, however, admits no easy answers. Globalization itself has freed capital from many of its former constraints – national workplace standards, collective bargaining, and supervisory state agencies and courts – designed to humanize working conditions ...


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 ...


After The "Social Meaning Turn": Implications For Research Design And Methods Of Proof In Contemporary Criminal Law Policy Analysis, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2000

After The "Social Meaning Turn": Implications For Research Design And Methods Of Proof In Contemporary Criminal Law Policy Analysis, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The social norm movement in criminal justice has received a lot of attention in academic and public policy circles. This essay critically examines social norm writings and explores some of the implications for methods of proof and research design in the social sciences. In the process, the essay offers an alternative theoretical approach. This alternative focuses on the multiple ways in which the social meaning of practices (such as juvenile gun possession, gang membership, or disorderly conduct) and the social meaning of policing techniques (such as juvenile snitching policies, youth curfews, or order-maintenance policing) may shape us as contemporary subjects ...


A Broken System: Error Rates In Capital Cases, 1973-1995, James S. Liebman, Jeffrey Fagan, Valerie West Jan 2000

A Broken System: Error Rates In Capital Cases, 1973-1995, James S. Liebman, Jeffrey Fagan, Valerie West

Faculty Scholarship

There is a growing bipartisan consensus that flaws in America's death-penalty system have reached crisis proportions. Many fear that capital trials put people on death row who don't belong there. Others say capital appeals take too long. This report – the first statistical study ever undertaken of modern American capital appeals (4,578 of them in state capital cases between 1973 and 1995) – suggests that both claims are correct.

Capital sentences do spend a long time under judicial review. As this study documents, however, judicial review takes so long precisely because American capital sentences are so persistently and systematically ...


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 ...


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

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

Faculty Scholarship

The Independent Counsel 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. Following the enormous controversy surrounding the investigation conducted by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, Congress allowed the statute to sunset. This article assesses and seeks to refute both the standard objections to the now-expired statute and the arguments in favor of a new and improved version. It rejects as false the so-called “discretion dilemma” – the idea that we must choose between under zealous investigation by regular ...