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

Law Commons

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

Articles 1 - 30 of 58

Full-Text Articles in Law

Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter Jan 2019

Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter

Faculty Scholarship

State civil courts struggle to handle the volume of cases before them. Litigants in these courts, most of whom are unrepresented, struggle to navigate the courts to solve their problems. This access-to-justice crisis has led to a range of reform efforts and solutions. One type of reform, court simplification, strives to reduce the complexity of procedures and information used by courts to help unrepresented litigants navigate the judicial system. These reforms mitigate but do not solve the symptoms of the larger underlying problem: state civil courts are struggling because they have been stuck with legal cases that arise from the ...


Reforming Institutions: The Judicial Function In Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, William H. Simon, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson Jan 2019

Reforming Institutions: The Judicial Function In Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, William H. Simon, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson

Faculty Scholarship

Public law litigation (PLL) is among the most important and controversial types of dispute that courts face. These civil class actions seek to reform public agencies such as police departments, prison systems, and child welfare agencies that have failed to meet basic statutory or constitutional obligations. They are controversial because critics assume that judicial intervention is categorically undemocratic or beyond judicial expertise.

This Article reveals flaws in these criticisms by comparing the judicial function in PLL to that in corporate bankruptcy, where the value and legitimacy of judicial intervention are better understood and more accepted. Our comparison shows that judicial ...


Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter Jan 2019

Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter

Faculty Scholarship

State civil courts struggle to handle the volume of cases before them. Litigants in these courts, most of whom are unrepresented, struggle to navigate the courts to solve their problems. This access-to-justice crisis has led to a range of reform efforts and solutions. One type of reform, court simplification, strives to reduce the complexity of procedures and information used by courts to help unrepresented litigants navigate the judicial system. These reforms mitigate but do not solve the symptoms of the larger underlying problem: state civil courts are struggling because they have been stuck with legal cases that arise from the ...


Comparative Approaches To Constitutional History, Jamal Greene, Yvonne Tew Jan 2018

Comparative Approaches To Constitutional History, Jamal Greene, Yvonne Tew

Faculty Scholarship

An historical approach to constitutional interpretation draws upon original intentions or understandings of the meaning or application of a constitutional provision. Comparing the ways in which courts in different jurisdictions use history is a complex exercise. In recent years, academic and judicial discussion of “originalism” has obscured both the global prevalence of resorting to historical materials as an interpretive resource and the impressive diversity of approaches courts may take to deploying those materials. This chapter seeks, in Section B, to develop a basic taxonomy of historical approaches. Section C explores in greater depth the practices of eight jurisdictions with constitutional ...


Separation Of Powers In Comparative Perspective: How Much Protection For The Rule Of Law?, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2018

Separation Of Powers In Comparative Perspective: How Much Protection For The Rule Of Law?, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Writing about separation of powers with particular attention to the contrasting American and British views at the time of Trump and Brexit has been challenging and illuminating. The essay takes as its third framework the constrained parliamentarianism Prof. Bruce Ackerman celebrated in his essay, The New Separation of Powers, 113 Harv. L. Rev. 633 (2000), and briefly considers its relative success in Australia, France, and Germany, and failure in Hungary and Poland, in achieving “separation of powers” universally understood ends, the prevention of autocracy and preservation of human freedoms. That courts and judges would not be political actors, that governments ...


Studying The "New" Civil Judges, Anna E. Carpenter, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark Jan 2018

Studying The "New" Civil Judges, Anna E. Carpenter, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark

Faculty Scholarship

We know very little about the people and institutions that make up the bulk of the United States civil justice system: state judges and state courts. Our understanding of civil justice is based primarily on federal litigation and the decisions of appellate judges. Staggeringly little legal scholarship focuses on state courts and judges. We simply do not know what most judges are doing in their day-to-day courtroom roles or in their roles as institutional actors and managers of civil justice infrastructure. We know little about the factors that shape and influence judicial practices, let alone the consequences of those practices ...


Studying The "New" Civil Judges, Anna E. Carpenter, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark Jan 2018

Studying The "New" Civil Judges, Anna E. Carpenter, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark

Faculty Scholarship

We know very little about the people and institutions that make up the bulk of the United States civil justice system: state judges and state courts. Our understanding of civil justice is based primarily on federal litigation and the decisions of appellate judges. Staggeringly little legal scholarship focuses on state courts and judges. We simply do not know what most judges are doing in their day-to-day courtroom roles or in their roles as institutional actors and managers of civil justice infrastructure. We know little about the factors that shape and influence judicial practices, let alone the consequences of those practices ...


Democratic Experimentalism, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon Jan 2017

Democratic Experimentalism, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

This essay, written for a volume surveying “contemporary legal thought”, provides an overview of Democratic Experimentalism, a perspective that draws on both pragmatist social theory and recent practical innovations in private and public organization. Normatively, Democratic Experimentalism aligns with process theories that emphasize the role of courts in vindicating entitlements through inducing, collaborating with, and policing institutions, rather than vindicating them directly through interpretive or policy-engineering techniques. It departs from some such theories, however, in emphasizing that practice must often take the form of continuous investigation and revision, rather than the adoption of definitive solutions already known to at least ...


Finance In The Courtroom: Appraising Its Growing Pains, Eric L. Talley Jan 2017

Finance In The Courtroom: Appraising Its Growing Pains, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This short essay provides an overview of the current state of finance in corporate law, emphasizing its role in a series of pending appraisal cases at the Delaware Supreme Court.


The Age Of Scalia, Jamal Greene Jan 2016

The Age Of Scalia, Jamal Greene

Faculty Scholarship

During periods of apparent social dissolution the traditionalists, the true believers, the defenders of the status quo, turn to the past with an interest quite as obsessive as that of the radicals, the reformers, and the revolutionaries. What the true believers look for, and find, is proof that, once upon a time, things were as we should like them to be: the laws of economics worked; the streams of legal doctrine ran sweet and pure; order, tranquility, and harmony governed our society. Their message is: turn back and all will be well.


Family Defense And The Disappearing Problem-Solving Court, Jane M. Spinak Jan 2016

Family Defense And The Disappearing Problem-Solving Court, Jane M. Spinak

Faculty Scholarship

Problem-solving courts began to flourish in the early 1990s, most notably as drug treatment courts. Family Court Treatment Parts (FCTPs) were developed in the late 1990s in New York State, fully embracing the three key components of the problem-solving drug court model: (1) an activist judge who helps to fashion, and then closely monitor, dispositions; (2) a team of lawyers, social workers, and court personnel who try to identify and then work toward commons goals with the family; and (3) frequent and meaningful court appearances by relevant parties. This team model has challenged attorneys for the parents (and sometimes the ...


A Cause Of Action, Anyone?: Federal Equity And The Preemption Of State Law, Henry Paul Monaghan Jan 2016

A Cause Of Action, Anyone?: Federal Equity And The Preemption Of State Law, Henry Paul Monaghan

Faculty Scholarship

I was not fortunate enough to have known Dan Meltzer well. I met Danny only a few times. We had only the thinnest of correspondence. Of his sterling reputation as a human being, I am of course fully aware. And I do know his work – all of it – thoroughly. On that point, a mountain of encomiums would iterate only a simple thought: Dan was the gold standard in federal courts scholarship. It is, therefore, a special honor to participate in a symposium to honor his memory.

In this very brief Essay, I focus on aspects of a topic on which ...


Appointments, Innovation, And The Judicial-Political Divide, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2015

Appointments, Innovation, And The Judicial-Political Divide, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

The federal appointments process is having its proverbial day in the sun. The appointment and removal of federal officers figured centrally in the Supreme Court’s two major recent separation-of powers decisions, Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board and National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning. The appointments process has featured even more prominently in the political sphere, figuring in a number of congressional-presidential confrontations. Such simultaneous top billing in the judicial and political spheres is hardly coincidental. After all, it was President Obama’s use of the Recess Appointments Clause in response to pro forma sessions ...


The Judiciary And Fiscal Crises: An Institutional Critique, Peter Conti-Brown, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2014

The Judiciary And Fiscal Crises: An Institutional Critique, Peter Conti-Brown, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars have long debated the role for courts with respect to governmental action that responds to crisis. Most of the crises analyzed, however, are exogenous to the political process; the courts’ role in response to politically endogenous crises has received less attention. We evaluate the role of the judiciary in a subset of those endogenous crises: the judicial treatment of governmental efforts to resolve the crisis facing underfunded public pensions. Assessing institutional competence schematically with reference to an institution’s democratic accountability and fact-finding ability, we argue that, where institutions function properly, judicial intervention in politically endogenous economic crises should ...


The Story Of Chevron: The Making Of An Accidental Landmark, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2014

The Story Of Chevron: The Making Of An Accidental Landmark, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. NRDC is one of the most famous cases in administrative law, but it was not regarded that way when it was decided. To the justices who heard the case, Chevron was a controversy about the validity of the "bubble" concept under the Clean Air Act, not about the standard of review of agency interpretations of statutes. Drawing on Justice Blackmun's papers, Professor Merrill shows that the Court was initially closely divided, but Justice Stevens' opinion won them over, with no one paying much attention to his innovations in the formulation of the standard ...


Step Zero After City Of Arlington, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2014

Step Zero After City Of Arlington, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

The thirty-year history of Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. is a story of triumph in the courts and frustration on the part of administrative law scholars. Chevron's appeal for the courts rests in significant part on its ease of application as a decisional device. Questions about the validity of an agency's interpretation of a statute are reduced to two inquiries: whether the statute itself provides a clear answer and, if not, whether the agency's answer is a reasonable one. The framework can be applied to virtually any statutory interpretation question resolved ...


Correcting Criminal Justice Through Collective Experience Rigorously Examined, James S. Liebman, David Mattern Jan 2014

Correcting Criminal Justice Through Collective Experience Rigorously Examined, James S. Liebman, David Mattern

Faculty Scholarship

Federal and state law confers broad discretion on courts to administer the criminal laws, impose powerful penalties, and leave serious criminal behavior unpunished. Each time an appellate court reviews a criminal verdict, it performs an important systemic function of regulating the exercise of that power. Trial courts do the same when, for example, they admit or exclude evidence generated by government investigators. For decades, judicial decisions of this sort have been guided by case law made during the Supreme Court's Criminal Procedure Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that the rule-bound, essentially bureaucratic ...


Trusting The Courts: Redressing The State Court Funding Crisis, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2014

Trusting The Courts: Redressing The State Court Funding Crisis, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, state courts have suffered serious funding reductions that have threatened their ability to resolve criminal and civil cases in a timely fashion. Proposals for addressing this state court funding crisis have emphasized public education and the creation of coalitions to influence state legislatures. These strategies are unlikely to succeed, however, and new institutional arrangements are necessary. Dedicated state trust funds using specific state revenue sources to fund courts offer the most promise for adequate and stable state court funding.


Trusting The Courts: Redressing The State Court Funding Crisis, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2014

Trusting The Courts: Redressing The State Court Funding Crisis, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, state courts have suffered serious funding reductions that have threatened their ability to resolve criminal and civil cases in a timely fashion. Proposals for addressing this state court funding crisis have emphasized public education and the creation of coalitions to influence state legislatures. These strategies are unlikely to succeed, however, and new institutional arrangements are necessary. Dedicated state trust funds using specific state revenue sources to fund courts offer the most promise for adequate and stable state court funding.


Contract And Innovation: The Limited Role Of Generalist Courts In The Evolution Of Novel Contractual Forms, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott Jan 2013

Contract And Innovation: The Limited Role Of Generalist Courts In The Evolution Of Novel Contractual Forms, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

In developing a contractual response to changes in the economic environment, parties choose the method by which their innovation will be adapted to the particulars of their context. These choices are driven centrally by the thickness of the relevant market – the number of actors who see themselves as facing similar circumstances – and the uncertainty related to that market. In turn, the parties' choice of method will shape how generalist courts can best support the parties' innovation and the novel regimes they envision. In this Article, we argue that contractual innovation does not come to courts incrementally, but instead reaches courts ...


Significant Entanglements: A Framework For The Civil Consequences Of Criminal Convictions, Colleen F. Shanahan Jan 2012

Significant Entanglements: A Framework For The Civil Consequences Of Criminal Convictions, Colleen F. Shanahan

Faculty Scholarship

A significant and growing portion of the U.S. population is or has recently been in prison. Nearly all of these individuals will face significant obstacles as they struggle to reintegrate into society. A key source of these obstacles is the complex, sometimes unknown, and often harmful collection of civil consequences that flow from a criminal conviction. As the number and severity of these consequences have grown, courts, policymakers, and scholars have struggled with how to identify and understand them, how to communicate them to defendants and the public, and how to treat them in the criminal and civil processes ...


Courthouse Iconography And Chayesian Judical Practice, William H. Simon Jan 2012

Courthouse Iconography And Chayesian Judical Practice, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

This contribution to a symposium on Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis’s Representing Justice considers what courthouse imagery and design might be appropriate for “Chayesian” judicial practice. The imagery and design that Resnik and Curtis examine largely connotes traditional litigation – lawsuits that are bi-polar, retrospective, and self-contained. However, judicial practice is increasingly Chayesian – concerned with forward-looking efforts to coordinate multipolar problems with sprawling party structures. Traditional iconography is inadequate to Chayesian practice because it celebrates equilibrium and communicates information about cases one-by-one. By contrast, Chayesian intervention often induces productive disequilibrium and it can only be made transparent through expression that ...


Malpractice Mobs: Medical Dispute Resolution In China, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2012

Malpractice Mobs: Medical Dispute Resolution In China, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

China has experienced a surge in medical disputes in recent years, on the streets and in the courts. Many disputes result in violence. Quantitative and qualitative empirical evidence of medical malpractice litigation and medical disputes in China reveals a dynamic in which the formal legal system operates in the shadow of protest and violence. The threat of violence leads hospitals to settle claims for more than would be available in court and also influences how judges handle cases that do wind up in court. The detailed evidence regarding medical disputes presented in this article adds depth to existing understanding of ...


Significant Entanglements: A Framework For The Civil Consequences Of Criminal Convictions, Colleen F. Shanahan Jan 2011

Significant Entanglements: A Framework For The Civil Consequences Of Criminal Convictions, Colleen F. Shanahan

Faculty Scholarship

A significant and growing portion of our population is in or has recently been in prison. Nearly all members of this population will face significant obstacles as they struggle to reintegrate into society. A key source of these obstacles is the complex, sometimes unknown, and often harmful collection of civil consequences that flow from a criminal conviction. As the number and severity of these consequences have grown, courts, policymakers, and scholars have struggled with how to identify and understand them, how to communicate them to defendants and the public, and how to treat them in the criminal and civil processes ...


Lightened Scrutiny, Bert I. Huang Jan 2011

Lightened Scrutiny, Bert I. Huang

Faculty Scholarship

The current anxiety over judicial vacancies is not new. For decades, judges and scholars have debated the difficulties of having too few judges for too many cases in the federal courts. At risk, it is said, are cherished and important process values. Often left unsaid is a further possibility: that not only process, but also the outcomes of cases, might be at stake. This Article advances the conversation by illustrating how judicial overload might entail sacrifices of first-order importance.

I present here empirical evidence suggesting a causal link between judicial burdens and the outcomes of appeals. Starting in 2002, a ...


A Conversation About Problem-Solving Courts: Take 2, Jane M. Spinak Jan 2010

A Conversation About Problem-Solving Courts: Take 2, Jane M. Spinak

Faculty Scholarship

The University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class symposium on problem-solving courts surfaced a wide array of issues on the meaning and practices of these courts. My prepared remarks at the symposium addressed the first issue discussed in this article: the potential disparate impact of problem-solving courts on minority families who are disproportionately affected by these court processes. The second part of the article draws on the discussion during the symposium to reflect on the difficulty supporters and critics of the problem-solving court movement have in talking and listening to each other.


Delegation And Judicial Review, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 2010

Delegation And Judicial Review, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

One of the subthemes in the delegation debate concerns the importance of judicial review. The Supreme Court has often upheld broad delegations to administrative actors and in so doing has pointed out that judicial review is available to safeguard citizens from the abuse of unconstrained government power. Broad delegations of power to executive actors are constitutionally permissible, the Court has suggested, in significant part because courts stand ready to assure citizens that the executive will discharge its discretion in a manner consistent with Congress's mandate and in a fashion that otherwise satisfies the requirements of reasoned decision making.

Administrative ...


On Uncertainty, Ambiguity, And Contractual Conditions, Eric L. Talley Jan 2009

On Uncertainty, Ambiguity, And Contractual Conditions, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This article uses the recent Delaware Chancery Court case of Hexion v. Huntsman as a template for motivating thoughts about how contract law should interpret contractual conditions in general – and "material adverse event" provisions in particular – within environments of extreme ambiguity (as opposed to risk). Although ambiguity and aversion thereto bear some facial similarities to risk and risk aversion, an optimal contractual allocation of uncertainty does not always track the optimal allocation of risk. After establishing these intuitions as a conceptual proposition, I endeavor to test them empirically, using a unique data set of 528 actual material adverse event provisions ...


Reforming Family Court: Getting It Right Between Rhetoric And Reality, Jane M. Spinak Jan 2009

Reforming Family Court: Getting It Right Between Rhetoric And Reality, Jane M. Spinak

Faculty Scholarship

Family Court reform efforts in recent years have expanded the court’s jurisdiction and supervisory authority while heralding the Family Court judge as the leader of a team of professionals who are solving the problems that bring families to court. This article challenges that reform paradigm by asking a series of questions about the way in which we talk about – rather than analyze – this court reform movement: What do we say about the reform work we do, and to what degree is what we say accurate? How does the way in which we talk about Family Court reform implicate our ...


Facial And As-Applied Challenges Under The Roberts Court, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2009

Facial And As-Applied Challenges Under The Roberts Court, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

One recurring theme of the Roberts Court's jurisprudence to date is its resistance to facial constitutional challenges and preference for as-applied litigation. On a number of occasions the Court has rejected facial constitutional challenges while reserving the possibility that narrower as-applied claims might succeed. According to the Court, such as-applied claims are "the basic building blocks of constitutional adjudication." This preference for as-applied over facial challenges has surfaced with some frequency, across terms and in contexts involving different constitutional rights, at times garnering support from all the Justices. Moreover, the Roberts Court has advocated the as-applied approach in contexts ...