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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Ethics Teacher's Bittersweet Revenge: Virtue And Risk Management, William H. Simon Jan 2006

The Ethics Teacher's Bittersweet Revenge: Virtue And Risk Management, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Insurance companies have come to play a role in professional responsibility compliance that rivals that of courts and disciplinary agencies. The insurers, however, depart from the judicial perspective of the traditional enforcement agencies. Instead, they take the risk management perspective that Anthony Alfieri describes.

I agree with Alfieri that risk management poses real dangers of cynicism and Babbittry. Nevertheless, I also see more upside than he does. The new perspective is valuable, not just as a strategy for attracting student attention, but as an antidote to real and basic deficiencies in mainstream ethics teaching and traditional professional practice. In this ...


After Confidentiiality: Rethinking The Professional Responsibilities Of The Business Lawyer, William H. Simon Jan 2006

After Confidentiiality: Rethinking The Professional Responsibilities Of The Business Lawyer, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Recent business scandals and the regulatory responses to them raise basic questions about the role of the business lawyer. Lawyers were major participants in Enron and in similar controversies over corporate disclosure. Lawyers have also been key players in the corporate tax shelter industry. In both instances, their conduct has prompted federal regulations that repudiate to an unprecedented degree the bar's traditional understanding of its structure and obligations.

The provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 mandating "up-the-ladder" reporting by public corporation counsel was the first federal statute in American history to regulate lawyers directly and broadly. The second ...


Controlling Shareholders And Corporate Governance: Complicating The Comparative Taxonomy, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2006

Controlling Shareholders And Corporate Governance: Complicating The Comparative Taxonomy, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

Corporate governance scholarship has shifted focus in recent years from hostile takeovers, which occur primarily in the widely held shareholder systems of the United States and the United Kingdom, to the comparative merits of the "controlling shareholder" systems that are the norm most everywhere else in the world. In this emerging debate, the simple dichotomy between controlling shareholder systems and widely held shareholder systems that has largely dominated the discourse is too coarse to allow a deeper understanding of the diversity of ownership structures in different national capital markets and their policy implications. In this Article, Professor Ronald Gilson seeks ...


Bankruptcy Reform And The "Sweat Box" Of Credit Card Debt, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

Bankruptcy Reform And The "Sweat Box" Of Credit Card Debt, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Those that backed the 2005 bankruptcy reform law argued that it would protect creditors from consumer abuse and lack of financial responsibility. The substantial increase in the number of bankruptcies over the last decade combined with the perception of system-wide abuse apparently convinced legislators from both political parties that the backers had a point. Thus, Congress enacted amendments to the Bankruptcy Code that – if effective – would fundamentally change the core policies underlying the consumer bankruptcy system in this country. The rhetoric surrounding the reform debates pressed the idea that if borrowers had to repay more of their debts, creditors would ...


After Confidentiality: Rethinking The Professional Responsibilities Of The Business Lawyer, William H. Simon Jan 2006

After Confidentiality: Rethinking The Professional Responsibilities Of The Business Lawyer, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

The legal profession has yet to deal with important challenges to the traditional image and practice of business lawyering raised by recent financial reporting and tax shelter scandals. Two issues are particularly important. The first is formalism – the doctrine that only the literal terms and not the underlying purpose of the law are binding. The second is managerialism – the doctrine that conflates the interests of the corporation with those of its managers. This essay argues that a plausible ethic of business lawyering requires a more thoroughgoing rejection of these doctrines than the bar has yet considered. It also suggests that ...


Capital Punishment And Capital Murder: Market Share And The Deterrent Effects Of The Death Penalty, Jeffrey Fagan, Franklin Zimring, Amanda Geller Jan 2006

Capital Punishment And Capital Murder: Market Share And The Deterrent Effects Of The Death Penalty, Jeffrey Fagan, Franklin Zimring, Amanda Geller

Faculty Scholarship

Both legal scholars and social scientists have leveraged new research evidence on the deterrent effects of the death penalty into calls for more executions that they claim will save lives and new rules to remove procedural roadblocks and hasten executions. However, the use of total intentional homicides to estimate deterrence is a recurring aggregation error in the death penalty debate in the U.S.: by studying whether executions and death sentences affect all homicides, these studies fail to identify a more plausible target of deterrence - namely, those homicides that are punishable by death. By broadening the targets of deterrence, these ...


Patents And Business Models For Software Firms, John R. Allison, Abe Dunn, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

Patents And Business Models For Software Firms, John R. Allison, Abe Dunn, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

We analyze the relation between patents and the different business models available to firms in the software industry. The paper builds on Cusumano's work defining the differences among firms that sell products, those that provide services, and the hybrid firms that fall between those polar categories. Combining data from five years of Software Magazine's Software 500 with data about the patenting practices of those software firms, we analyze the relation between the share of revenues derived from product sales and the firm's patenting practices. Accounting for size, R&D intensity, and sector-specific effects, the paper finds a ...


Network Neutrality: Competition, Innovation, And Nondiscriminatory Access, Tim Wu Jan 2006

Network Neutrality: Competition, Innovation, And Nondiscriminatory Access, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

The best proposals for network neutrality rules are simple. They ban abusive behavior like tollboothing and outright blocking and degradation. And they leave open legitimate network services that the Bells and Cable operators want to provide, such as offering cable television services and voice services along with a neutral internet offering. They are in line with a tradition of protecting consumer's rights on networks whose instinct is just this: let customers use the network as they please. No one wants to deny companies the right to charge for their services and charge consumers more if they use more. But ...


Bankruptcy Decisionmaking: An Empirical Study Of Continuation Bias In Small-Business Bankruptcies, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2006

Bankruptcy Decisionmaking: An Empirical Study Of Continuation Bias In Small-Business Bankruptcies, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Over half of all small businesses reorganizing under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code are ultimately liquidated. Little is known about this shutdown decision and about the factors that increase or reduce the amount of time a firm spends in bankruptcy. It is widely suspected, however, that the Chapter 11 process exhibits a "continuation bias," allowing non-viable firms to linger under the protection of the court. This paper tests for the presence of continuation bias in the docket of a typical bankruptcy court over the course of a calendar year. A variety of tests are employed, including the ...