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Full-Text Articles in Law

Reconciling Risk And Equality, Christopher Slobogin Jul 2020

Reconciling Risk And Equality, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

States have increasingly resorted to statistically-derived risk algorithms to determine when diversion from prison should occur, whether sentences should be enhanced, and the level of security and treatment a prisoner requires. The federal government has jumped on the bandwagon in a big way with the First Step Act, which mandated that a risk assessment instrument be developed to determine which prisoners can be released early on parole. Policymakers are turning to these algorithms because they are thought to be more accurate and less biased than judges and correctional officials, making them useful tools for reducing prison populations through identification of ...


Ecosystem Services And Federal Public Lands: A Quiet Revolution In Natural Resources Management, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman Apr 2020

Ecosystem Services And Federal Public Lands: A Quiet Revolution In Natural Resources Management, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The major federal public land management agencies (the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Park Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, and Department of Defense) have increasingly adopted a language that did not exist twenty- five years ago-the language of ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are the range of benefits that ecological re- sources provide to humans, from water purification and pollination to carbon sequestration and wildlife habitat. The scientific discipline advancing the ecosystem services frame- work arose in the mid-1990s and quickly became a central strategy for fusing ecology and economics research. Despite its ascendance in research communities, the recognition and conservation ...


Patenting New Uses For Old Inventions, Sean B. Seymore Apr 2020

Patenting New Uses For Old Inventions, Sean B. Seymore

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

A bedrock principle of patent law is that old inventions cannot be patented. And a new use for an old invention does not render the old invention patentable. This is because patent law requires novelty--an invention must be new. But while a new use for an old invention does not make the old invention patentable, the new use itself might be patentable. In fact, new-use patents comprise a significant part of the patent landscape-particularly in pharmaceuticals, when drug companies obtain new-use patents to repurpose old drugs. This trend has fueled debates over follow-on innovation and patent quality. But there is ...


The Evolving Federal Response To State Marijuana, Robert Mikos Apr 2020

The Evolving Federal Response To State Marijuana, Robert Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The states have launched a revolution in marijuana policy, creating a wide gap between state and federal marijuana law. While nearly every state has legalized marijuana in at least some circumstances, federal law continues to ban the substance outright. Nonetheless, the federal response to state reforms has been anything but static during this revolution. This Essay, based on my Distinguished Speaker Lecture at Delaware Law School, examines how the federal response to state marijuana reforms has evolved over time, from War, to Partial Truce, and, next (possibly) to Capitulation. It also illuminates the ways in which this shifting federal response ...


Social Checks And Balances: A Private Fairness Doctrine, Michael P. Vandenbergh Apr 2020

Social Checks And Balances: A Private Fairness Doctrine, Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Essay proposes a private standards and certification system to induce media firms to provide more complete and accurate information. It argues that this new private governance system is a viable response to the channelized flow of information that is exacerbating political polarization in the United States. Specifically, this Essay proposes development of a new private fairness doctrine to replace the standard repealed by the Federal Communications Commission in 1987. A broad-based, multi-stakeholder organization could develop and implement this private fairness doctrine, and the certification process could harness market and social pressure to influence the practices of traditional and new ...


What Results Should Be Returned From Opportunistic Screening In Translational Research?, Colin M.E. Halverson, Sarah H. Jones, Laurie Novak, Christopher Simpson, Digna R. Velez Edwards, Sifang K. Zhao, Ellen W. Clayton Mar 2020

What Results Should Be Returned From Opportunistic Screening In Translational Research?, Colin M.E. Halverson, Sarah H. Jones, Laurie Novak, Christopher Simpson, Digna R. Velez Edwards, Sifang K. Zhao, Ellen W. Clayton

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Increasingly, patients without clinical indications are undergoing genomic tests. The purpose of this study was to assess their appreciation and comprehension of their test results and their clinicians’ reactions. We conducted 675 surveys with participants from the Vanderbilt Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) cohort. We interviewed 36 participants: 19 had received positive results, and 17 were self-identified racial minorities. Eleven clinicians who had patients who had participated in eMERGE were interviewed. A further 21 of these clinicians completed surveys. Participants spontaneously admitted to understanding little or none of the information returned to them from the eMERGE study. However, they ...


Returning Results In The Genomic Era: Initial Experiences Of The Emerge Network, Ellen W. Clayton, Georgia L. Wiesner, Alanna K. Rahm, Et Al. Mar 2020

Returning Results In The Genomic Era: Initial Experiences Of The Emerge Network, Ellen W. Clayton, Georgia L. Wiesner, Alanna K. Rahm, Et Al.

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

A goal of the 3rd phase of the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE3) Network was to examine the return of results (RoR) of actionable variants in more than 100 genes to consenting participants and their healthcare providers. Each of the 10 eMERGE sites developed plans for three essential elements of the RoR process: Disclosure to the participant, notification of the health care provider, and integration of results into the electronic health record (EHR). Procedures and protocols around these three elements were adapted as appropriate to individual site requirements and limitations. Detailed information about the RoR procedures at each site ...


Misaligned Lawmaking, Timothy Meyer Jan 2020

Misaligned Lawmaking, Timothy Meyer

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article makes three contributions. First, it introduces the Misalignment Thesis in the context of U.S. trade policy. The Misalignment Thesis is a descriptive claim about how the structure of a legislative bargain influences the long-term stability and effectiveness of that bargain. Second, the Article introduces the normative corollary to the Misalignment Thesis: if political stability hinges on respecting the legislative bargain, interdependent policies should be subject to renegotiation on the same timeline and implementation on the same terms. In light of this prescription, I offer three concrete proposals for aligning trade liberalization and trade adjustment assistance in order ...


Encomium For Karen Rothenberg, Ellen W. Clayton Jan 2020

Encomium For Karen Rothenberg, Ellen W. Clayton

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Karen is also a zealous advocate in the very best sense of the word. After Struewing's article appeared, she wrote an editorial that appeared in multiple newspapers arguing that women with these variants should not lose their insurance. She became deeply involved in the National Action Plan for Breast Cancer, a powerful grass roots organization. Additionally, she became involved at the National Institutes of Health and addressed, often in leadership roles, such issues to develop strategies to prevent genetic discrimination for individuals with variants that increased the risk of developing cancer, to create tools to obtain meaningful informed consent ...


Unjust Timing Limitations In Genetic Malpractice, Ellen W. Clayton, Gary Marchant, Bonnie Leroy, Lauren Clatch Jan 2020

Unjust Timing Limitations In Genetic Malpractice, Ellen W. Clayton, Gary Marchant, Bonnie Leroy, Lauren Clatch

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

As genomic data are increasingly being collected and applied in clinical care, physicians, laboratories, and other health care providers are more frequently being sued for alleged medical malpractice or negligence. Because the genetic underpinnings of an existing or future health condition may not be immediately apparent, such cases sometimes raise unique timing issues involving the applicable statute of limitations, statute of repose, or statutory notification requirements. Although these timing limitations on when a lawsuit can be brought have important policy rationales and justifications, such as helping to protect providers from open-ended liability, their application to genetic liability cases may sometimes ...


Governing Cascade Failures In Complex Social-Ecological-Technological Systems: Framing Context, Strategies, And Challenges, J.B. Ruhl Jan 2020

Governing Cascade Failures In Complex Social-Ecological-Technological Systems: Framing Context, Strategies, And Challenges, J.B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Cascade failures are events in networked systems with interconnected components in which failure of one or a few parts triggers the failure of other parts, which triggers the failure of more parts, and so on. Cascade failures occur in a wide variety of familiar systems, such as electric power distribution grids, transportation systems, financial systems, and ecosystems. Cascade failures have plagued society for centuries. However, modern social-ecological-technological systems (SETS) have become vast, fast moving, and highly interconnected, exposing these systems to cascade failures of potentially global proportions, spreading at breathtaking speed, and imposing catastrophic harms. The increasing potential for cascade ...


The Specific Consumer Expectations Test For Product Defects, W. Kip Viscusi, Clayton J. Masterman Jan 2020

The Specific Consumer Expectations Test For Product Defects, W. Kip Viscusi, Clayton J. Masterman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The consumer expectations test in products liability law holds firms liable for producing goods that are more dangerous than the reasonable consumer would anticipate. But judicial experience in the majority of states that have utilized the consumer expectations test demonstrates that it is ambiguous and impossible to apply predictably. The test is ill-suited for regulating complex products or markets with heterogeneous consumers; moreover, the test requires courts to expend significant resources to identify consumers' ex ante beliefs about product risks, even when consumers lacked tangible beliefs about products at the time of purchase. The other major test that courts apply ...


The Indian Securities Fraud Class Action: Is Class Arbitration The Answer?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Randall S. Thomas Jan 2020

The Indian Securities Fraud Class Action: Is Class Arbitration The Answer?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Randall S. Thomas

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In 2013, India enacted one of the most robust private enforcement regimes for securities fraud violations in the world. Unlike in most other countries, Indian shareholders can now initiate securities fraud lawsuits on their own, represent all other defrauded shareholders unless those shareholders affirmatively opt out, and collect money damages for the entire class. The only thing missing is a better financing mechanism: unlike the United States, Canada, and Australia, India does not permit contingency fees, so class action lawyers cannot front the costs of litigation in exchange for collecting a percentage of what they recover. On the other hand ...


Anticipating Accommodation, Jennifer B. Shinall Jan 2020

Anticipating Accommodation, Jennifer B. Shinall

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In theory, a reasonable accommodation mandate can remedy worker marginalization by requiring employers to make small adjustments in the workplace that have big payoffs for employees. But in reality, a reasonable accommodation mandate may be an empty promise. Reasonable accommodation is the hallmark feature of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA "), yet decades of empirical studies indicate that wage and employment outcomes of disabled individuals have not improved--and may have even worsened--since the Act's passage. Economists have been quick to blame the reasonable accommodation mandate for the ADA's failure, but they have lacked sufficient data to discern both ...


Money, Private Law, And Macroeconomic Disasters, Morgan Ricks Jan 2020

Money, Private Law, And Macroeconomic Disasters, Morgan Ricks

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Last year, Ben Bernanke published a blockbuster paper whose importance to the emerging field of law and macroeconomics would be hard to overstate. Titled The Real Effects of Disrupted Credit: Evidence from the Global Financial Crisis,' the paper gets to a vital threshold question for financial stability policy: through what channel or channels do financial crises crush the real economy? Bernanke pits what he calls the "household leverage" narrative of the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 against what he calls the "financial fragility" narrative. His empirical analysis comes down firmly on the side of the latter narrative. In this ...


Unraveling Williams V. Illinois, Edward K. Cheng, Cara C. Mannion Jan 2020

Unraveling Williams V. Illinois, Edward K. Cheng, Cara C. Mannion

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Essay addresses one of the key evidentiary problems facing courts today: the treatment of forensic reports under the Confrontation Clause. Forensics are a staple of modern criminal trials, yet what restrictions the Confrontation Clause places on forensic reports is entirely unclear. The Supreme Court’s latest decision on the issue, Williams v. Illinois, sowed widespread confusion among lower courts and commentators, and during the 2018 Term, Justices Gorsuch and Kagan dissented to the denial of certiorari in Stuart v. Alabama, a case that would have revisited (and hopefully clarified) Williams.

Our Essay dispels the confusion in Williams v. Illinois ...


Deal Breakage In Domestic And Cross-Border Mergers, Morgan Ricks Jan 2020

Deal Breakage In Domestic And Cross-Border Mergers, Morgan Ricks

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article presents a newly constructed mergers and acquisitions (M&A) data set that can support detailed analysis of deal outcomes, including deal breakage. The main novelty of the data set is a detailed classification scheme for characterizing deal outcomes, using information drawn from public announcements and news reports. The data set also includes a number of variables, hand gathered from press releases and merger agreements, that are unavailable in existing data sets in reliable form, or at all. The data set consists of all definitive, signed M&A transactions involving US public company targets with a deal value of ...


Deregulation And Private Enforcement, Brian T. Fitzpatrick Jan 2020

Deregulation And Private Enforcement, Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Many conservatives oppose much of the administrative state. But many also oppose much of our private enforcement regime. This raises the questions of whether conservatives believe the marketplace should be policed at all, and if so, who exactly should do that policing? In this Essay, based on my new book, The Conservative Case for Class Actions, I take a deep dive into conservative principles to try to answer these questions. I conclude that almost all conservatives believe the marketplace needs at least some legal constraints, and I argue that ex post, private enforcement is superior to the alternatives. Not only ...


What Happens When The Green New Deal Meets The Old Green Laws?, J. B. Ruhl Jan 2020

What Happens When The Green New Deal Meets The Old Green Laws?, J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The multi-faceted infrastructure goals of the Green New Deal will be impossible to achieve in the desired time frames if the existing federal, state, and local siting and environmental protection statutory regimes are applied. Business, labor, property rights, environmental protection, and social justice interests will use them to grind the Green New Deal to a snail's pace. Using the renewable energy transition as the infrastructure case study, this Essay is a call to arms for the need to design New Green Laws for the Green New Deal. Part I briefly summarizes what we are learning about the pace and ...


The Indian Securities Fraud Class Action: Is Class Arbitration The Answer?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Randall S. Thomas Jan 2020

The Indian Securities Fraud Class Action: Is Class Arbitration The Answer?, Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Randall S. Thomas

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In 2013, India enacted one of the most robust private enforcement regimes for securities fraud violations in the world. Unlike in most other countries, Indian shareholders can now initiate securities fraud lawsuits on their own, represent all other defrauded shareholders unless those shareholders affirmatively opt out, and collect money damages for the entire class. The only thing missing is a better financing mechanism: unlike the United States, Canada, and Australia, India does not permit contingency fees, so class action lawyers cannot front the costs of litigation in exchange for collecting a percentage of what they recover. On the other hand ...


The Machine As Author, Daniel J. Gervais Jan 2020

The Machine As Author, Daniel J. Gervais

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Machines are increasingly good at emulating humans and laying siege to what has been a strictly human outpost: intellectual creativity.

At this juncture, we cannot know with certainty how high machines will reach on the creativity ladder when compared to, or measured against, their human counterparts, but we do know this. They are far enough already to force us to ask a genuinely hard and complex question, one that intellectual property (“IP”) scholars and courts will need to answer soon; namely, whether copyrights should be granted to productions made not by humans but by machines.

This Article’s specific objective ...


Beyond Green Infrastructure--Integrating The Ecosystem Services Framework Into Urban Planning Law And Policy, J. B. Ruhl Jan 2020

Beyond Green Infrastructure--Integrating The Ecosystem Services Framework Into Urban Planning Law And Policy, J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Despite the heavy emphasis in legal scholarship on federal and state governance of environmental policy, cities have had their champions as well. Legal scholars who stand out as having defined a position for local governance in the environmental domain include John Nolan, Jamison Colburn, Keith Hirokawa, Tony Arnold, and, on any such list, Julian Juergensmeyer. Indeed, in the United States and many other nations, cities have been leaders in many of the looming issues of environmental policy, including those with global dimensions, like climate change mitigation, and surely those with local focus, like climate change adaptation. In the United States ...


(What We Talk About When We Talk About) Judicial Temperament, Terry A. Maroney Jan 2020

(What We Talk About When We Talk About) Judicial Temperament, Terry A. Maroney

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Judicial temperament is simultaneously the thing we think all judges must have and the thing that no one can quite put a finger on. Extant accounts are scattered and thin, and either present a laundry list of desirable judicial qualities without articulating what (if anything) unifies the list or treat temperament as a fundamentally mysterious quality that a judge either does or does not have. Resting so much—selection, evaluation, discipline, even removal—on such an indeterminate concept is intellectually and practically intolerable. Polarized debates over Justice Kavanaugh’s fitness to sit on the Supreme Court made clear just how ...


The Case For A Federal Criminal Court System (And Sentencing Reform), Christopher Slobogin Jan 2020

The Case For A Federal Criminal Court System (And Sentencing Reform), Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In their article in this issue, Professors Peter Menell and Ryan Vacca describe a federal court docket that is overloaded and unable to process cases efficiently. As they depict it, justice in the federal courts is either delayed or denied, disparity in legal outcomes among circuits is increasing, and the Supreme Court is falling farther and farther behind in resolving circuit splits. While these problems have been around for a while, Menell and Vacca argue they are getting worse and will only continue to worsen if radical action is not taken. Their article provides enough of a factual record to ...


Predictability Of Arbitrators' Reliance On External Authority?, Paige M. Skiba, A. Levinson, E. O'Hara O'Connor Jan 2020

Predictability Of Arbitrators' Reliance On External Authority?, Paige M. Skiba, A. Levinson, E. O'Hara O'Connor

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Should arbitrators consider authority-such as statutes or case law-external to the collective bargaining agreement when deciding labor grievances? Do they rely on such external authority? If so, do they do so in particular circumstances or in certain types of cases? To provide more insight on this often-debated issue, we have amassed a new data set of hundreds of labor arbitration awards spanning a decade. In contrast to previous research, we find that the overwhelming majority of awards do not cite to any external authority (statutes, administrative authorities, case law, or secondary sources). Yet, only a small fraction of awards explicitly ...


The Gap-Filling Role Of Private Environmental Governance, Jim Rossi, Michael P. Vandenbergh Jan 2020

The Gap-Filling Role Of Private Environmental Governance, Jim Rossi, Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Private environmental governance provides new tools that can fill gaps in government regulatory regimes. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a valuable case study for testing the efficacy of private environmental governance because it is one of the largest utility carbon emitters and is largely insulated from near-term federal and state government pressure to reduce emissions. TVA is not on a trajectory to achieve the decarbonization targets necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, but private governance initiatives can motivate TVA to accelerate its decarbonization process. TVA's securities filings acknowledge that it faces material threats on the ...


Fintech And International Financial Regulation, Yesha Yadav Jan 2020

Fintech And International Financial Regulation, Yesha Yadav

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article shows that fintech exacerbates the difficulties of standard setting in international financial regulation. Earlier work introduced the "Innovation Trilemma" (the Trilemma). When seeking to balance the goals of achieving market integrity and innovation through clear and simple rulemaking, regulators can-at best-achieve only two out of these three objectives. Fintech's unique characteristics- a reliance on automation and artificial intelligence, novel types of big data, as well as the use of disintermediating financial supply chains comprising a mix of traditional firms as well as technology specialists and newcomers-complicates the application of the Trilemma. Rulemaking struggles to achieve needed clarity ...


The Law And Practice Of Shareholder Inspection Rights: A Comparative Analysis Of China And The United States, Randall S. Thomas, Robin Hui Huang Jan 2020

The Law And Practice Of Shareholder Inspection Rights: A Comparative Analysis Of China And The United States, Randall S. Thomas, Robin Hui Huang

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Shareholder inspection rights allow a shareholder to access the relevant documents of the company in which they hold an interest, so as to address the problem of information asymmetry and reduce the agency costs inherent in the corporate structure. While Chinese corporate governance and American corporate governance face different sets of agency cost problems, this Article shows that shareholder inspection rights play an important role in both China and the United States. On the books, while shareholder inspection rights in both countries are broadly similar, there are some important differences on issues such as the proper purpose requirement. The empirical ...


Has The "M" Word Been Framed? Marijuana, Cannabis And Public Opinion, Robert A. Mikos, Cindy D. Kam Oct 2019

Has The "M" Word Been Framed? Marijuana, Cannabis And Public Opinion, Robert A. Mikos, Cindy D. Kam

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Over the past two decades, a growing cadre of US states has legalized the drug commonly known as “marijuana.” But even as more states legalize the drug, proponents of reform have begun to shun the term “marijuana” in favor of the term “cannabis.” Arguing that the “M” word has been tainted and may thus dampen public support for legalization, policy advocates have championed “cannabis” as an alternative and more neutral name for the drug. Importantly, however, no one has tested whether calling the drug “cannabis” as opposed to “marijuana” actually has any effect on public opinion. Using an original survey ...


The Supreme Court And Refugees At The Southern Border: 5 Questions Answered, Karla Mckanders Oct 2019

The Supreme Court And Refugees At The Southern Border: 5 Questions Answered, Karla Mckanders

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

I sat in a small room in Tijuana, Mexico with a 13-year-old indigenous Mayan Guatemalan girl.

She left Guatemala after a cartel murdered her friend and threatened to rape her. Her mother wanted her to live and believed the only way for her to survive was to send her daughter alone to the U.S., to apply for asylum Now she was alone and stuck in Mexico. Every morning, the Guatemalan girl, along with other asylum seekers, would frantically gather at the Tijuana-U.S. border where they waited to hear their name or their number called so the Mexican government ...