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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Second-Class Class Action: How Courts Thwart Wage Rights By Misapplying Class Action Rules, Scott A. Moss, Nantiya Ruan Jan 2012

The Second-Class Class Action: How Courts Thwart Wage Rights By Misapplying Class Action Rules, Scott A. Moss, Nantiya Ruan

Articles

Courts apply to wage rights cases an aggressive scrutiny that not only disadvantages low-wage workers, but is fundamentally incorrect on the law. Rule 23 class actions automatically cover all potential members if the court grants plaintiffs' class certification motion. But for certain employment rights cases--mainly wage claims but also age discrimination and gender equal pay claims--29 U.S. C. § 216(b) allows not class actions but "collective actions" covering just those opting in affirmatively. Yet courts in collective actions assume a gatekeeper role just as they do in Rule 23 class actions, disallowing many actions by requiring a certification motion ...


The Persistence Of Proximate Cause: How Legal Doctrine Thrives On Skepticism, Jessie Allen Jan 2012

The Persistence Of Proximate Cause: How Legal Doctrine Thrives On Skepticism, Jessie Allen

Articles

This Article starts with a puzzle: Why is the doctrinal approach to “proximate cause” so resilient despite longstanding criticism? Proximate cause is a particularly extreme example of doctrine that limps along despite near universal consensus that it cannot actually determine legal outcomes. Why doesn’t that widely recognized indeterminacy disable proximate cause as a decision-making device? To address this puzzle, I pick up a cue from the legal realists, a group of skeptical lawyers, law professors, and judges, who, in the 1920s and 1930s, compared legal doctrine to ritual magic. I take that comparison seriously, perhaps more seriously, and definitely ...


The Realism Of Race In Judicial Decision Making: An Empirical Analysis Of Plaintiffs' Race And Judges' Race, Pat K. Chew, Robert E. Kelley Jan 2012

The Realism Of Race In Judicial Decision Making: An Empirical Analysis Of Plaintiffs' Race And Judges' Race, Pat K. Chew, Robert E. Kelley

Articles

American society is becoming increasingly diverse. At the same time, the federal judiciary continues to be predominantly White. What difference does this make? This article offers an empirical answer to that question through an extensive study of workplace racial harassment cases. It finds that judges of different races reach different conclusions, with non-African American judges less likely to hold for the plaintiffs. It also finds that plaintiffs of different races fare differently, with African Americans the most likely to lose and Hispanics the most likely to be successful. Finally, countering the formalism model’s tenet that judges are color-blind, the ...