Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 48

Full-Text Articles in Law

Corporate Law And The Rhetoric Of Choice, Kent Greenfield Feb 2009

Corporate Law And The Rhetoric Of Choice, Kent Greenfield

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Rhetorically, the notion of choice has always been a powerful one in politics and law. This essay is intended to offer a note of caution about its use. Despite its progressive hue of individual freedom, the rhetoric of choice increasingly tends to be a notion used to defend and uphold existing matrices of economic and social power. This is because the rhetoric of choice is an excellent way to support exiting power relationships. The assertion that people acting within such power relationships are simply choosing their current situation undermines efforts to change those relationships. The powerful stay powerful; the weak ...


Catholics In Public Life: Judges, Legislators, And Voters, Gregory A. Kalscheur S.J. Jun 2007

Catholics In Public Life: Judges, Legislators, And Voters, Gregory A. Kalscheur S.J.

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Does the desire to avoid culpable cooperation in moral evil make the conscientious Catholic judge unfit for judicial service in a constitutional system that will inevitably bring before the judge cases that implicate a host of issues as to which the Church offers moral teaching? Confused answers to this question reflect a larger confusion which often accompanies contemporary discussion of questions related to Catholic participation in public life. The confusion stems in large part from a failure to recognize that Catholics participate in public life in different ways that give them different sorts of public roles. This Essay tries to ...


Professional Ethics In Interdisciplinary Collaboratives: Zeal, Paternalism And Mandated Reporting, Alexis Anderson, Lynn Barenberg, Paul R. Tremblay Apr 2007

Professional Ethics In Interdisciplinary Collaboratives: Zeal, Paternalism And Mandated Reporting, Alexis Anderson, Lynn Barenberg, Paul R. Tremblay

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article, the authors, two clinical law teachers and a social worker teaching in the clinic, wrestle with some persistent questions that arise in cross-professional, interdisciplinary law practice. In the past decade much writing has praised the benefits of interdisciplinary legal practice, but many sympathetic skeptics have worried about the ethical implications of lawyers working with nonlawyers, such as social workers and mental health professionals. Those worries include the difference in advocacy stances between lawyers and other helping professionals, and the mandated reporting requirements that apply to helping professionals but usually not to lawyers. This Article addresses those concerns ...


A Prescription To Retire The Rhetoric Of "Principles-Based Systems" In Corporate Law, Securities Regulation And Accounting, Lawrence A. Cunningham Mar 2007

A Prescription To Retire The Rhetoric Of "Principles-Based Systems" In Corporate Law, Securities Regulation And Accounting, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article corrects widespread misconception about whether complex regulatory systems can be fairly described as either “rules-based” or “principles-based” (also called “standards-based”). Promiscuous use of these labels has proliferated in the years since the implosion of Enron Corp. While the concepts of rules and principles (or standards) are useful to classify individual provisions, they are not scalable to the level of complex regulatory systems. The Article uses examples from corporate law, securities regulation and accounting to illustrate this problematic phenomenon before turning to a series of possible explanations for the widespread use of these misleading labels. The piece contributes to ...


Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells Dec 2006

Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This paper recounts a number of lessons learned in the course of serving as the Director of Public Charities for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It incorporates these lessons into a discussion of the proper analysis of charitable organizations. Should charities be analogized to for-profit firms or are they something that is essentially different? The paper argues that they lack many of the attributes of Coasian firms and that they should be considered as “consumption groups” that have different methods of accountability.


The Legal Education Of A Patriot: Josiah Quincy Jr.'S Law Commonplace (1763), Daniel R. Coquillette Dec 2006

The Legal Education Of A Patriot: Josiah Quincy Jr.'S Law Commonplace (1763), Daniel R. Coquillette

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This article is based on the exciting discovery of a never before printed Law Commonplace, written by the 18th-century lawyer and patriot, Josiah Quincy, Junior. Quincy was co-counsel with Adams in the famous Boston Massacre Trial, a leader of Committee on Correspondence and the Sons of Liberty, and author of the first American law reports. His Law Commonplace provides an exceptional window into the political, racial and gender controversies of the evolving American legal system, and profoundly challenges our conventional views on the origin of American legal education. In certain areas, particularly jury trial, it also has present constitutional significance ...


Law, Media, & Environmental Policy: A Fundamental Linkage In Sustainable Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Sep 2006

Law, Media, & Environmental Policy: A Fundamental Linkage In Sustainable Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The functional linkages between law and media have long been signficant in shaping American democratic governance. Over the past thirty-five years, environmental analysis has similarly become essential to shaping international and domestic governmental policy. Environmentalism—focusing as it does on realistic interconnected accounting of the full potential negative consequences as well as benefits of proposed actions, policies, and programs, over the long term as well as the short term, with careful consideration of all realistic alternatives— provides a legal perspective important for societal sustainability. Because environmental values and norms are often in tension with established industrial interests that resist public ...


The Story Of Nlrb V. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co.: The High Cost Of Solidarity, Thomas C. Kohler, Julius G. Getman Aug 2006

The Story Of Nlrb V. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co.: The High Cost Of Solidarity, Thomas C. Kohler, Julius G. Getman

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In 1938, in NLRB v. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co., the Supreme Court offered one of its earliest interpretations of the National Labor Relations Act. Although the Court’s holding provided that employers may not discriminate against employees for their union activity when the strike is over and workers are reinstated, dicta in the opinion also provided that under the NLRA employers enjoy an unrestricted right to replace strikers. In the 70 years since the Court’s announcement, scholars remain baffled by the contradictions presented by the “Mackay doctrine”—a rule that forbids employers from discharging legally protected strikers while, at ...


The Transatlantic Gmo Dispute Against The European Communities: Some Preliminary Thoughts, David A. Wirth Jul 2006

The Transatlantic Gmo Dispute Against The European Communities: Some Preliminary Thoughts, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Any day now, a World Trade Organization panel is expected to rule in a dispute between the U.S. and the EU concerning market access for genetically-engineered foods and crops. This piece, written before the release of the WTO panel's report, analyzes novel systemic issues concerning the impact of WTO law on regulatory design, at both the national and international levels, that are raised by this dispute. These include (1) the application of WTO disciplines to regulatory schemes that require prior governmental approval to protect the environment and public health from newly-introduced products and substances; (2) the role of ...


The Gratuities Debate And Campaign Reform – How Strong Is The Link?, George D. Brown May 2006

The Gratuities Debate And Campaign Reform – How Strong Is The Link?, George D. Brown

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The federal gratuities statute, 18 USC § 201(c), continues to be a source of confusion and contention. The confusion stems largely from problems of draftsmanship within the statute, as well as uncertainty concerning the relationship of the gratuities offense to bribery. Both offenses are contained in the same statute; the former is often seen as a lesser-included offense variety of the latter. The controversy stems from broader concerns about whether the receipt of gratuities by public officials, even from those they regulate, should be a crime. The argument that such conduct should not be criminalized can be traced to, and ...


Dealing With Dumb And Dumber: The Continuing Mission Of Citizen Environmentalism, Zygmunt J.B. Plater May 2006

Dealing With Dumb And Dumber: The Continuing Mission Of Citizen Environmentalism, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Surveying the history of citizen environmentalism in the context of environmental law and politics over the past fifty years, this essay hypothesizes five different categories of corporate, governmental, political, and individual actions that deserve to be called “dumb,” and the societal lessons that have been or could be learned from each. If there is truth to the wistful aphorism that “we learn from our mistakes,” then our society is in position to learn a great deal about our world and how it works, which perhaps provides some ground for hope for the years to come. Environmentalism embodies fundamentally rational and ...


The Notion Of Solidarity And The Secret History Of American Labor Law, Thomas C. Kohler Apr 2006

The Notion Of Solidarity And The Secret History Of American Labor Law, Thomas C. Kohler

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

“Solidarity,” a term not overly familiar to Americans, sometimes seems to have as many meanings as it has users. The concept became incorporated into American thought during the 19th and 20th century waves of Catholic and Jewish immigration. It provides a European vision of communitarian social order that competes with the “unencumbered self”—America’s unique brand of individualism. Among philosophers, politicians, religious thinkers, and social activists, solidarity theory sought to redefine the then-prevailing views of social bonds. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the American labor movement, which espouses as its core values the principles of unity and ...


The Fed’S New Model Of Supervision For “Large Complex Banking Organizations”: Coordinated Risk-Based Supervision Of Financial Multinationals For International Financial Stability, Cynthia C. Lichtenstein Jan 2006

The Fed’S New Model Of Supervision For “Large Complex Banking Organizations”: Coordinated Risk-Based Supervision Of Financial Multinationals For International Financial Stability, Cynthia C. Lichtenstein

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Large internationally active financial institutions, in particular multinational banks, have the capacity to create profound disturbances in the globalized financial markets in the event of failure. For that reason, these entities are supervised and examined in a manner that is completely different than the ordinary business corporation. This piece describes the new methodology that has been developed by the United States' central bank, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or "the Fed" for short, since 1995, for examining what the Fed calls "large complex banking organizations" or LBCOs and indicates how the system in fact carries out ...


Heights Of Justice (Introduction And Front Matter), Lawrence A. Cunningham Dec 2005

Heights Of Justice (Introduction And Front Matter), Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this pioneering book, Boston College Law School’s Academic Dean, Lawrence Cunningham, arranges selected contributions of his faculty’s scholarship into a meditation upon justice. The book weaves a combination of theory and practice to articulate moral and ethical values that facilitate rational application of law. It envisions legal arrangements imbued with commitments of the Jesuit tradition, including the dignity of persons, the common good and compassion for the poor. This reflective collection of inquiry evokes a signature motif of the BC Law faculty in dozens of different legal subjects. Materials downloadable from this abstract consist of: Table of ...


Who Owns The Local Church? A Pressing Issue For Dioceses In Bankruptcy, Catharine P. Wells Nov 2005

Who Owns The Local Church? A Pressing Issue For Dioceses In Bankruptcy, Catharine P. Wells

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The recent bankruptcies of Catholic Dioceses are unprecedented. For the first time, Bankruptcy Courts must deal with the difficult question of who owns the parish church. In this paper, I will explore two possible sources of confusion about this question. The first is the non- commercial, charitable nature of the Church. The second is its organizational complexity. Resolving the confusion requires a familiarity with various different sources of law including charities law, bankruptcy law, trust law, and Canon Law. In this paper I address this issue by: 1. discussing why the equities and policies that govern charitable bankruptcies are different ...


A Bridle, A Prod And A Big Stick: An Evaluation Of Class Actions, Shareholder Proposals And The Ultra Vires Doctrine As Methods For Controlling Corporate Behavior, Adam Sulkowski, Kent Greenfield Jun 2005

A Bridle, A Prod And A Big Stick: An Evaluation Of Class Actions, Shareholder Proposals And The Ultra Vires Doctrine As Methods For Controlling Corporate Behavior, Adam Sulkowski, Kent Greenfield

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Written for the recent conference at St. John’s University Law School on “People of Color, Women, and the Public Corporation,” this paper evaluates recently applied methods of influencing corporate behavior on employment practices and recommends that a dormant legal doctrine be revitalized and added to the “tool box” of activists and concerned shareholders. The methods of influencing corporate behavior that are evaluated include class action lawsuits and shareholder proposals to amend corporate policy. In both contexts, there are procedural hurdles to achieving success. Even when success is achieved, there are limits to the actual changes in organizational behavior that ...


Globalization And The Theory Of International Law, Frank J. Garcia Jun 2005

Globalization And The Theory Of International Law, Frank J. Garcia

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The dominant modern account of the social basis of international law has been the "society of states" model. In this view, to the extent that international law constructs an ordered social space (a claim which has been contested since Hobbes if not before), it is a social space in which states are the actors. This view has had a profound effect on international law. For example, the doctrine of state responsibility classically understands international harms to individuals within a framework of harm to a state's rights. Normatively, to the extent justice is considered an operational concept in international law ...


A Dream Deferred, Ruth-Arlene W Howe Jan 2005

A Dream Deferred, Ruth-Arlene W Howe

Boston College Law School Lectures and Presentations

Presentation at the MLK Annual Unity Breakfast, Boston College, January 19, 2005.


Finance Theory And Accounting Fraud: Fantastic Futures Versus Conservative Histories, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jan 2005

Finance Theory And Accounting Fraud: Fantastic Futures Versus Conservative Histories, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Intellectual tension between the fields of finance and accounting may help to explain explosion of public company frauds. Finance theory diminishes the relevance of accounting information. Enron exploited this consequence while the SEC bought into it. After widespread frauds were exposed, Congress passed laws that address symptoms of finance's futurism, not disease. Laws essentially prohibit pro forma financial reporting and regulate the selective flow of futuristic information to financial analysts. Untouched is the underlying disease of regulatory mandates requiring extensive disclosure of forward-looking information. Until the 1970s, the SEC prudently prohibited such futuristic disclosure as inherently unreliable; assisted by ...


A New Product For The State Corporation Law Market: Audit Committee Certifications, Lawrence A. Cunningham Mar 2004

A New Product For The State Corporation Law Market: Audit Committee Certifications, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Audit committees of corporate boards of directors are central to corporate governance for many corporations. Their effectiveness in supervising financial managers and overseeing the financial reporting process is important to promote reliable financial statements. This centrality suggests that it is likewise important for investors and others to have a basis for justifiable confidence in audit committee effectiveness. At present, there is no such mechanism. This Article explains why, considers a way states can provide it and assesses as low the likelihood that states will do so. In the swirling corporate governance reforms led by SOX, the SEC, SROs and PCAOB ...


The Apogee Of The Commodity, Anthony P. Farley Jan 2004

The Apogee Of The Commodity, Anthony P. Farley

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Slavery is death. The body of this death is white-over-black, white-over-black only, and that continually. The body of this death is eternal and therefore with us still. Slavery is white-over-black, segregation is white-over-black, neosegregation is white-over-black, and all of it is death. White-over-black is the death that it is the slave’s calling to produce. The slave produces this death through its juridical prayers for equality of right. The slave perfects its own slavery in this manner. Rights cannot be equal. There are always ambiguities. The ambiguities are always available for a white-over-black reading. The fact of white-over-black, of the ...


Beyond Special And Differential Treatment, Frank J. Garcia Jan 2004

Beyond Special And Differential Treatment, Frank J. Garcia

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Developing country concern over awed special and differential treatment (S&D) provisions has already contributed to the failed Seattle and Cancún WTO Ministerial Meetings. In order to succeed, the current WTO Doha Development Round must go beyond simply reforming existing S&D provisions, important as that is. Developing countries must re-focus WTO trade and development policy around the twin goals of development and fairness. Developing countries need a comprehensive agreement on S&D clarifying that development, not trade liberalization, is the number one economic policy goal of developing countries, and that fairness, not charity, is the basis for development. Such an agreement should also establish adequate domestic policy space for minimally-distorting development policies; create binding and unconditional preferential market access; provide adequate time to implement complex new trade agreements; create truly “precise, effective and operational” S&D provisions; and adequately fund technical assistance.


Endangered Species Act Lessons Over 30 Years, And The Legacy Of The Snail Darter, A Small Fish In A Pork Barrel, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 2004

Endangered Species Act Lessons Over 30 Years, And The Legacy Of The Snail Darter, A Small Fish In A Pork Barrel, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Why is it – amidst the flood of environmental statutes that poured into the law books and national consciousness in the remarkable decade of the 1970s – that the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) stands out as quite uniquely different? This Essay briefly surveys the ESA’s differentness, its special political context, the citizen suit of great notoriety that fired up the ESA’s political hotseat back in 1975, and what has changed and what has not in the years since that first eco-legal outburst.


Criminalizing The Undocumented: Ironic Boundaries Of The Post-September 11th ‘Pale Of Law.’, Daniel Kanstroom Jan 2004

Criminalizing The Undocumented: Ironic Boundaries Of The Post-September 11th ‘Pale Of Law.’, Daniel Kanstroom

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The general hypothesis put forth in this Article is that well-accepted historical matrices are increasingly inadequate to address the complex issues raised by various U.S. government practices in the so-called “war on terrorism.” The Article describes certain stresses that have recently built upon two major legal dichotomies: the citizen/non-citizen and criminal/civil lines. Professor Kanstroom reviews the use of the citizen/non-citizen dichotomies as part of the post-September 11th enforcement regime and considers the increasing convergence between the immigration and criminal justice systems. Professor Kanstroom concludes by suggesting the potential emergence of a disturbing new legal system, which ...


Environmental Law In The Political Ecosystem - Coping With The Reality Of Politics, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 2002

Environmental Law In The Political Ecosystem - Coping With The Reality Of Politics, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Essay, the proposition the author draws from the narrative of the endangered species litigation is derivatively Aristotelian – that we must consciously, actively, and explicitly integrate an informed consideration of human politics into what we teach and do in environmental law. The proposition is not that we should steep ourselves in party politics, although there are interesting observations aplenty that could be made on the direct consequences that the two major parties (and occassionally their wistful smaller incarnations) have on the evolution of environmental law. The proposition offered here operates at two different levels: practical politics and political overview ...


Baker V. State And The Promise Of The New Judicial Federalism, Charles H. Baron, Lawrence Friedman Dec 2001

Baker V. State And The Promise Of The New Judicial Federalism, Charles H. Baron, Lawrence Friedman

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In Baker v. State, the Supreme Court of Vermont ruled that the state constitution’s Common Benefits Clause prohibits the exclusion of same-sex couples from the benefits and protections of marriage. Baker has been praised by constitutional scholars as a prototypical example of the New Judicial Federalism. The authors agree, asserting that the decision sets a standard for constitutional discourse by dint of the manner in which each of the opinions connects and responds to the others, pulls together arguments from other state and federal constitutional authorities, and provides a clear basis for subsequent development of constitutional principle. This Article ...


Deportation And Justice: A Constitutional Dialogue, Daniel Kanstroom Jul 2000

Deportation And Justice: A Constitutional Dialogue, Daniel Kanstroom

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Recent statutory changes to the United States immigration law have resulted in a large increase in the number of lawful permanent resident noncitizens who are deported because of prior criminal conduct. Now, deportation is often a virtually automatic consequence of conviction for an increasingly minor array of crimes including possessory drug offenses and shoplifting. Under current statutory law, permanent resident noncitizens may be deported for crimes that were not grounds for deportation when they were committed and there may be no possibiilty of mercy or humanitarian relief. This Dialogue explores arguments for and against this system. Specifically, it examines the ...


Toward A More Independent Grand Jury: Recasting And Enforcing The Prosecutor’S Duty To Disclose Exculpatory Evidence, R. Michael Cassidy Jan 2000

Toward A More Independent Grand Jury: Recasting And Enforcing The Prosecutor’S Duty To Disclose Exculpatory Evidence, R. Michael Cassidy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article analyzes the Supreme Court’s decision in Williams, in which the Court struck down an attempt by the Tenth Circuit to impose an obligation on federal prosecutors to disclose substantial exculpatory evidence to the grand jury. The author discusses the contours of this case and the ethical underpinnings of a prosecutor’s disclosure obligations before the grand jury, and sets forth a new framework for consideration of such issues.


Emerging Models For Alternatives To Marriage, Sanford N. Katz Jan 2000

Emerging Models For Alternatives To Marriage, Sanford N. Katz

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Perhaps one of the most important changes in family law in the past thirty years has been the inclusion of certain kinds of friendships in the range of relationships from which rights and responsibilities can flow. Domestic partnership laws, a phenomenon of the 1990s, may be seen as a natural development from the judicial recognition of contract cohabitation and the legislative and judicial response to same-sex couples who, unable to meet statutory requirements for marriage, have sought official recognition of their relationships. This essay discusses an aspect of certain kinds of domestic partnership laws-their formal requirements and the extent to ...


The Three Economies: An Essay In Honor Of Joseph Sax, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jun 1998

The Three Economies: An Essay In Honor Of Joseph Sax, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

How does one evaluate the important public values and impacts of things that do not have a market price and then integrate them into the fabric of our system of social governance? That question lies within most or all of Joseph Sax's work over the years. The first part of this article represents an attempt to distill some of Joseph Sax's intellectual dimensions, beyond those already chronicled in the comments of other contributors to this symposium, with some linked themes and observations drawn from Sax beyond his writings. The second part, instigated by several of Sax's articles ...