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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Tenuous Case For Conscience, Steven D. Smith Sep 2004

The Tenuous Case For Conscience, Steven D. Smith

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

If there is any single theme that has provided the foundation of modern liberalism and has infused our more specific constitutional commitments to freedom of religion and freedom of speech, that theme is probably “freedom of conscience.” But some observers also perceive a progressive cheapening of conscience– even a sort of degradation. Such criticisms suggest the need for a contemporary rethinking of conscience. When we reverently invoke “conscience,” do we have any idea what we are talking about? Or are we just exploiting a venerable theme for rhetorical purposes without any clear sense of what “conscience” is or why it ...


Facilitating Auditing’S New Early Warning System: Control Disclosure, Auditor Liability And Safe Harbors, Lawrence A. Cunningham Apr 2004

Facilitating Auditing’S New Early Warning System: Control Disclosure, Auditor Liability And Safe Harbors, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article considers the interplay between new auditing standards governing audits of internal control over financial reporting and pre-existing legal standards governing auditor liability for audit failure. The interplay produces skewed liability incentives that, if unadjusted, threaten to impair the objective of this new control-audit regime. The regime’s objective is, in part, to provide an early warning to financial statement users when current financial statements are reliable but control weaknesses indicate material risk of a company’s future inability to produce reliable financial statements. To be meaningful, auditor disclosure of material weaknesses and potential effects is necessary. While liability ...


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 ...


An Uncertain Risk And An Uncertain Future: Assessing The Legal Implications Of Mercury Amalgram Fillings., Mary Ann Chirba, Carolyn M. Welshhans Jan 2004

An Uncertain Risk And An Uncertain Future: Assessing The Legal Implications Of Mercury Amalgram Fillings., Mary Ann Chirba, Carolyn M. Welshhans

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Trying to buy a mercury thermometer at the local pharmacy these days will result in a deluge of information regarding the risks of mercury and the proper disposal protocol for mercury thermometers as hazardous waste. Yet, inquiring about the risks of placing mercury in one’s mouth, in the form of a dental filling, is likely to meet with resounding assurances of safety from the dental profession. While such comforting disclaimers are meant to ease patient concerns, many continue to worry about the safety of dental mercury. This article will begin by describing the many safety concerns that surround the ...


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.