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Full-Text Articles in Law

Transsystemia – Are We Approaching A New Langdellian Moment? Is Mcgill Leading The Way?, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2006

Transsystemia – Are We Approaching A New Langdellian Moment? Is Mcgill Leading The Way?, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Late in the 19th century, as our economy was transformed into a truly national one, legal education was transformed by the adoption of a teaching technique – Langdell's Socratic Method – that succeeded in creating law graduates confident of their capacity to be professionals in ANY American common law jurisdiction – national lawyers even in the absence of a national common law. Today, as the economy is once again transforming, now internationally, lawyers have an equivalent need to be confident of their capacity to perform across national boundaries. The paper briefly describes the way in which McGill University's Faculty of Law ...


The World Trade Law Of Internet Filtering, Tim Wu Jan 2006

The World Trade Law Of Internet Filtering, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

In 1994, when most of the world's trading nations agreed to create the WTO, they also agreed to begin to liberalize trade in services. What no one fully realized at the time (and not all realize now) is that those decisions placed the WTO in the midst of internet regulation. Much internet content can be reached from anywhere, making nearly everyone on the internet a potential importer or exporter of services (and sometimes goods). Hence, almost by accident, the WTO has put itself in an oversight position for most of the national laws and practices that regulate the internet ...


Inducers And Authorisers: A Comparison Of The Us Supreme Court's Grokster Decision And The Australian Federal Court's Kazaa Ruling, Jane C. Ginsburg, Sam Ricketson Jan 2006

Inducers And Authorisers: A Comparison Of The Us Supreme Court's Grokster Decision And The Australian Federal Court's Kazaa Ruling, Jane C. Ginsburg, Sam Ricketson

Faculty Scholarship

On June 27, 2005, the US Supreme Court announced its much-awaited decision in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster Ltd. A few months after this, the Federal Court of Australia handed down its decision at first instance in relation to parallel litigation in that country concerning the KaZaa file sharing system. Both decisions repay careful consideration of the way in which the respective courts have addressed the relationship between the protection of authors' rights and the advent of new technologies, particularly in relation to peer-to-peer networks.

In the Grokster case, songwriters, record producers and motion picture producers alleged that two popular ...


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 ...


Reefer Madness: Broken Windows Policing And Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests In New York City, 1989-2000, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig Jan 2006

Reefer Madness: Broken Windows Policing And Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests In New York City, 1989-2000, Bernard E. Harcourt, Jens Ludwig

Faculty Scholarship

The pattern of misdemeanor marijuana arrests in New York City since the introduction of "broken windows" policing in 1994 is remarkable. By the year 2000, arrests on misdemeanor charges of smoking marijuana in public view (MPV) had reached 51,267 for the city, up 2,670 percent from 1,851 arrests in 1994. In 2000, misdemeanor MPV arrests accounted for 15 percent of all felony and misdemeanor arrests in New York City and 92 percent of total marijuana-related arrests in the State of New York. In addition, the pattern of arrests disproportionately targeted African-Americans and Hispanics.

In this paper, we ...


Overseer, Or "The Decider"? The President In Administrative Law, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2006

Overseer, Or "The Decider"? The President In Administrative Law, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

All will agree that the Constitution creates a unitary chief executive officer, the President, at the head of the government Congress defines to do the work its statutes detail. Disagreement arises over what his function entails. Once Congress has defined some element of government and specified its responsibilities, we know that the constitutional roles of both Congress and the courts are those of oversight of the agency and its assigned work, not the actual performance of that work. But is it the same for the President? When Congress confers authority on the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate various forms of ...


Public Attitudes About The Culpability And Punishment Of Young Offenders, Elizabeth S. Scott, N. Dickon Reppucci, Jill Antonishak, Jennifer T. Degennaro Jan 2006

Public Attitudes About The Culpability And Punishment Of Young Offenders, Elizabeth S. Scott, N. Dickon Reppucci, Jill Antonishak, Jennifer T. Degennaro

Faculty Scholarship

Conventional wisdom holds that the public supports harsh punishment of juvenile offenders, and politicians often argue that the public demands tough policies. But public opinion is usually gauged through simplistic polls, often conducted in the wake of highly publicized violent crimes by juveniles. This study seeks to probe public opinion about the culpability of young offenders as compared to adult counterparts through more nuanced and comprehensive measures in a neutral setting (i.e. not in response to a high profile crime or during a political campaign when the media focuses on the issue). The opinions of 788 community adults were ...


Credit Cards, Consumer Credit, And Bankruptcy, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

Credit Cards, Consumer Credit, And Bankruptcy, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyzes the effects of credit card use on broader economic indicators, specifically consumer credit, and consumer bankruptcy filings. Using aggregate nation-level data from Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, I find that credit card spending, lagged by 1-2 years, has a strong positive effect on consumer credit. Finally, I find a strong relation between credit card debt, lagged by 1-2 years, and bankruptcy, and a weaker relation between consumer credit, lagged by 1-2 years, and bankruptcy. The relations are robust across a variety of different lags and models that account for problems of multicollinearity ...


Income Tax Discrimination And The Political And Economic Integration Of Europe, Alvin C. Warren, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2006

Income Tax Discrimination And The Political And Economic Integration Of Europe, Alvin C. Warren, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has invalidated many income tax law provisions of EU member states as violating the guarantees of the European constitutional treaties of freedom of movement for goods, services, persons, and capital. These decisions have not, however, been matched by significant European income tax legislation, because no European political institution has the power to enact such legislation without unanimous consent from the member states. Under the treaties, the member states have retained a veto power over income tax legislation. In this Article, we describe how the developing ECJ jurisprudence threatens the ability of ...


Innovation Through Intimidation: An Empirical Account Of Defamation Litigation In China, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 2006

Innovation Through Intimidation: An Empirical Account Of Defamation Litigation In China, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

This article examines 223 recent defamation cases in China. Empirical analysis of claims and outcomes reveals that defamation litigation is developing on two tracks. Track-one cases are brought by public officials, government and Communist Party entities, and corporations to restrict and silence the increasingly autonomous Chinese media. Track-two cases are brought by ordinary persons against the media – which remain an arm of the Party-state.

Conventional wisdom takes track-one suits as the paradigm and perceives defamation litigation in Chinese courts as yet another lever of state control over the media. Such developments correspond to the use of defamation law in other ...


Institutional Coordination And Sentencing Reform, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2006

Institutional Coordination And Sentencing Reform, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Generally, treatments of prosecutorial discretion in the sentencing context tend to focus on its challenge to horizontal equity and judicial discretion within sentencing regimes. The goal in this symposium piece is to reverse the arrow, and, using an internal executive perspective, start looking at how sentencing regimes and judicial enforcement of those regimes can be used as tools for the hierarchical control of line prosecutors. It first considers a problem arising out of ostensibly successful regulation within a prosecutor's offices - in this case, an effort to control plea bargaining in New Orleans. It then considers issues relating to regulation ...


Home Rule And Local Political Innovation, Richard Briffault Jan 2006

Home Rule And Local Political Innovation, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

As demonstrated by San Francisco's recent adoption of instant runoff voting and New York City's recent expansion of its program for funding candidates for municipal office, local governments around the country have been actively engaged in examining and revising electoral and governmental processes. These local initiatives include alternative voting systems, campaign finance reforms, conflicts of interest codes, term limits, and revisions to tax, budget and legislative procedures. These local innovations illustrate both the capacity of local governments to restructure basic features of their political organization and their interest in doing so. Local political innovations also test the scope ...


Remapping The Charitable Deduction, David Pozen Jan 2006

Remapping The Charitable Deduction, David Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

If charity begins at home, scholarship on the charitable deduction has stayed at home. In the vast legal literature, few authors have engaged the distinction between charitable contributions that are meant to be used within the United States and charitable contributions that are meant to be used abroad. Yet these two types of contributions are treated very differently in the Code and raise very different policy issues. As Americans' giving patterns and the U.S. nonprofit sector grow increasingly international, the distinction will only become more salient.

This Article offers the first exploration of how theories of the charitable deduction ...


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 ...


Why Have A Telecommunications Law? Anti-Discrimination Norms In Communications, Tim Wu Jan 2006

Why Have A Telecommunications Law? Anti-Discrimination Norms In Communications, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

This paper presents telecommunications law with a challenge: how much of the present Telecommunication's Acts objectives might be accomplished with a focus on a central anti-discrimination rule? The one-rule model provides one answer. This rule should be (1) a general norm that is technologically neutral, (2) in the form of an ex ante rule with ex poste remedies, and (3) anchored on a model of consumers' rights. The form of the rule recommended here is hardly radical. It is, rather, something of a restatement of the best of telecommunications practice based on decades of telecommunications experience. It borrows from ...


Adding Adequacy To Equity: The Evolving Legal Theory Of School Finance Reform, Richard Briffault Jan 2006

Adding Adequacy To Equity: The Evolving Legal Theory Of School Finance Reform, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

The law of school finance reform is conventionally described as consisting of three waves, each associated with a distinctive legal theory – a first wave based on federal equal protection arguments, a second equity wave based on state equal protection clauses, and a third adequacy wave based on state constitutional education articles. The asserted shift from equity to adequacy has been credited with the increasing success of school finance reform plaintiffs.

The wave metaphor and especially the differences between the second and third waves, however, have been sharply overstated – temporally, textually, in terms of litigation success, and as a matter of ...


Hoffman V. Red Owl Stores And The Myth Of Precontractual Reliance, Robert E. Scott Jan 2006

Hoffman V. Red Owl Stores And The Myth Of Precontractual Reliance, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Hoffman v. Red Owl Stores is one of the storied cases in modern contract law. The conventional wisdom is that Hoffman represents the emergence of a new legal rule imposing promissory estoppel liability for representations made during preliminary negotiations. Yet a review of contemporary case law shows that, in fact, courts require some form of agreement before they will grant recovery for early reliance. Hoffman's main legacy, therefore, has been as a trap for the unwary lawyer (and unhappy client) who unsuccessfully seek recovery for reliance on preliminary negotiations. This article asks how the court in Hoffman was able ...


Congress, Article Iv, And Interstate Relations, Gillian E. Metzger Jan 2006

Congress, Article Iv, And Interstate Relations, Gillian E. Metzger

Faculty Scholarship

Article IV imposes prohibitions on interstate discrimination that are central to our status as a single nation, yet the Constitution also grants Congress broad power over interstate relations. This leads to the questions of whether Congress has power to authorize states to engage in conduct that otherwise would violate Article IV, and more generally of how we should conceive of Congress' role in the interstate relations context, what is sometimes called the horizontal dimension of federalism. These questions are of growing practical relevance, given recently enacted or proposed measures – the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is the most prominent example ...


Optimal Liability For Terrorism, Darius N. Lakdawalla, Eric L. Talley Jan 2006

Optimal Liability For Terrorism, Darius N. Lakdawalla, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyzes the normative role for civil liability in aligning terrorism precaution incentives, when the perpetrators of terrorism are unreachable by courts or regulators. We consider the strategic interaction among targets, subsidiary victims, and terrorists within a sequential, game-theoretic model. The model reveals that, while an "optimal" liability regime indeed exists, its features appear at odds with conventional legal templates. For example, it frequently prescribes damages payments from seemingly unlikely defendants, directing them to seemingly unlikely plaintiffs. The challenge of introducing such a regime using existing tort law doctrines, therefore, is likely to be prohibitive. Instead, we argue, efficient ...


The Cost Of Norms: Tax Effects Of Tacit Understandings, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2006

The Cost Of Norms: Tax Effects Of Tacit Understandings, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

Most human interactions take place in reliance on tacit understandings, customary practices, and other legally unenforceable agreements. A considerable literature studying these informal arrangements (commonly referred to as social norms) has a decidedly positive flavor, arguing that many, if not most, of these norms are welfare-enhancing. This Article looks at the less-appreciated darker side of social norms. It combines the analysis of the modern sophisticated tax planning techniques with the existing empirical studies of commercial relationships to reveal a disturbing connection. By relying on tacit understandings rather than express contractual terms, many taxpayers shift some of their tax liabilities to ...


Embracing Chance: Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2006

Embracing Chance: Post-Modern Meditations On Punishment, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Since the modern era, the discourse of punishment has cycled through three sets of questions. The first, born of the Enlightenment itself, asked: On what ground does the sovereign have the right to punish? Nietzsche most forcefully, but others as well, argued that the question itself begged its own answer. The right to punish, they suggested, is what defines sovereignty, and as such, can never serve to limit sovereign power. With the birth of the social sciences, this skepticism gave rise to a second set of questions: What then is the true function of punishment? What is it that we ...


A Case For Civil Marriage, Carol Sanger Jan 2006

A Case For Civil Marriage, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

There has been a frenzy of legislative activity aimed at nailing down the legal definition of marriage to make sure that there will be no more nonsense about same-sex monograms or same-sex marriage applications. In an effort to slow down the frenzy, and to encourage those within the academy to think harder about the on-going problem of what to do about marriage, Professor Edward Stein has posed a straightforward question: Should civil marriage simply be abolished? In this mini-symposium, Professors Edward Zelinsky and Daniel Crane have provided two answers to his question: yes and yes.

Although I am a Contract ...


Constitutional Tipping Points: Civil Rights, Social Change, And Fact-Based Adjudication, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2006

Constitutional Tipping Points: Civil Rights, Social Change, And Fact-Based Adjudication, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

This Article offers an account of how courts respond to social change, with a specific focus on the process by which courts "tip" from one understanding of a social group and its constitutional claims to another. Adjudication of equal protection and due process claims, in particular, requires courts to make normative judgments regarding the effect of traits such as race, sex, sexual orientation, or mental retardation on group members' status and capacity. Yet, Professor Goldberg argues, courts commonly approach decisionmaking by focusing only on the "facts" about a social group, an approach that she terms "fact-based adjudication." Professor Goldberg critiques ...


The Regulation Of Labor And The Relevance Of Legal Origin, David E. Pozen Jan 2006

The Regulation Of Labor And The Relevance Of Legal Origin, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

This paper critiques The Regulation of Labor, an empirical study recently published by Juan C. Botero, Simeon Djankov, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer in the Quarterly Journal of Economics. The Regulation of Labor extends these authors' comparative research to the realm of employment, collective-relations, and social-security laws, and finds that legal origin is a stronger predictor of all of these than political or economic variables, with common law associated with the lowest levels of regulation. While these findings are suggestive and help deepen the case for regulatory complementarity, the methodological weaknesses are severe. This paper explores the ...