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Full-Text Articles in Law

Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells Dec 2006

Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This paper recounts a number of lessons learned in the course of serving as the Director of Public Charities for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It incorporates these lessons into a discussion of the proper analysis of charitable organizations. Should charities be analogized to for-profit firms or are they something that is essentially different? The paper argues that they lack many of the attributes of Coasian firms and that they should be considered as “consumption groups” that have different methods of accountability.


Privatization And The Law And Economics Of Political Advocacy, Alexander Volokh Nov 2006

Privatization And The Law And Economics Of Political Advocacy, Alexander Volokh

ExpressO

A common argument against privatization is that private providers, motivated by self-interest, will advocate changes in substantive policy. In this Article, I evaluate this argument, using, as a case study, the argument against prison privatization based on the possibility that the private prison industry will distort the criminal law by advocating incarceration.

This “political influence” argument applies at least as well to public provision: Government agencies, too, lobby for changes in substantive law. In the prison industry, for instance, it is unclear whether private firms advocate incarceration to any significant extent, but public guard unions are known to do so ...


A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp Oct 2006

A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

The trend of the eminent domain reform and "Kelo plus" initiatives is toward a comprehensive Constitutional property right incorporating the elements of level of review, nature of government action, and extent of compensation. This article contains a draft amendment which reflects these concerns.


Minding The Gaps: Fairness, Welfare, And The Constitutive Structure Of Distributive Assessment, Robert C. Hockett Sep 2006

Minding The Gaps: Fairness, Welfare, And The Constitutive Structure Of Distributive Assessment, Robert C. Hockett

Cornell Law Faculty Working Papers

Despite over a century’s disputation and attendant opportunity for clarification, the field of inquiry now loosely labeled “welfare economics” (WE) remains surprisingly prone to foundational confusions. The same holds of work done by many practitioners of WE’s influential offshoot, normative “law and economics” (LE).

A conspicuous contemporary case of confusion turns up in recent discussion concerning “fairness versus welfare.” The very naming of this putative dispute signals a crude category error. “Welfare” denotes a proposed object of distribution. “Fairness” describes and appropriate pattern of distribution. Welfare itself is distributed fairly or unfairly. “Fairness versus welfare” is analytically on ...


The Death Of The Doha Round. What Next For Services Trade?, Rafael Leal-Arcas Sep 2006

The Death Of The Doha Round. What Next For Services Trade?, Rafael Leal-Arcas

ExpressO

With the indefinite suspension of the WTO multilateral trade negotiations in July 2006 by WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, the world trading system must now find ways and means to unblock what is perceived as a danger to the world order. This article analyzes the legal and policy implications of the currently fatal Doha Round for the two main developed WTO Members, i.e., the U.S. and the EC, and the most relevant developing countries of the WTO. The specific focus of attention will be mainly on services trade. Thoughts on alternative ways to move forward in the multilateral trading ...


Corporations And The Lateral Obligations Of The Social Contract, Benedict Sheehy Sep 2006

Corporations And The Lateral Obligations Of The Social Contract, Benedict Sheehy

ExpressO

Social contract theorists suggest that society at some level is based on the idea that human people surrender freedom for the privilege of participating in society. That participation implicitly requires more than mere minimal compliance with law. Each human person’s contribution to society above the legal baseline, permits humans to create a society that is at least tolerable. Corporations as non-human act without regard for these supra-legal obligations which results in society suffering injustice. Corporate participation in society has become increasingly unjust and has done so to the extent that we may speak of living in a post-ethical world.


Corporations And Social Costs: The Wal-Mart Case Study, Benedict Sheehy Sep 2006

Corporations And Social Costs: The Wal-Mart Case Study, Benedict Sheehy

ExpressO

This article examines the role of the corporate vehicle in the creation of social costs. The article identifies some of the political commitments and philosophies behind the differing notions of corporations. Social costs are those activities which result from business activity and cause uncompensated harm to society. The founding contribution to the law and economics discussion by Ronald Coase is given a thorough treatment. The paper next, turns to the dominant explanation of corporate structure, namely the law and economics model developed expounded by Easterbrook and Fischel. It then applies the theoretical discussion in a case study of the world ...


Un-Fair Trade As Friendly Fire: The Australia-Usa Free Trade Agreement, Benedict Sheehy Sep 2006

Un-Fair Trade As Friendly Fire: The Australia-Usa Free Trade Agreement, Benedict Sheehy

ExpressO

Trade, economists and trade theorists advise, is a mutually beneficial exercise. Among this group, a particular set of advocates, claim that “Free Trade” is in the interest of all parties. As will be demonstrated, Free Trade is not truly “free” but an exercise of foreign policy and the implementation of policies favouring wealthy corporate interest groups. Free Trade is controlled by wealthy nations who have stacked the rules in favour of themselves, and in particular their corporate interests, and against the poor producers in poor nations. This control is used contrary to fairness, economic and ecological logic. Fair trade, by ...


Law, Media, & Environmental Policy: A Fundamental Linkage In Sustainable Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Sep 2006

Law, Media, & Environmental Policy: A Fundamental Linkage In Sustainable Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The functional linkages between law and media have long been signficant in shaping American democratic governance. Over the past thirty-five years, environmental analysis has similarly become essential to shaping international and domestic governmental policy. Environmentalism—focusing as it does on realistic interconnected accounting of the full potential negative consequences as well as benefits of proposed actions, policies, and programs, over the long term as well as the short term, with careful consideration of all realistic alternatives— provides a legal perspective important for societal sustainability. Because environmental values and norms are often in tension with established industrial interests that resist public ...


Recent Defined Benefit Pension Reform: Reasons And Results, Daniel B. Klaff Aug 2006

Recent Defined Benefit Pension Reform: Reasons And Results, Daniel B. Klaff

ExpressO

In the face of corporate bankruptcies, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) assures workers that their defined benefit pensions will be protected. It is this fact which has motivated recent reform of the PBGC and the overarching defined benefit plan system by Congress. This paper explores those reforms by addressing the reasons for and results of the most recent reform which had as its primary aim restoring the fiscal solvency of the PBGC. The paper challenges popular accounts of the reform process while examining the results of such reform for important stakeholders without resorting to an overly technical discussion of ...


The Story Of Nlrb V. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co.: The High Cost Of Solidarity, Thomas C. Kohler, Julius G. Getman Aug 2006

The Story Of Nlrb V. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co.: The High Cost Of Solidarity, Thomas C. Kohler, Julius G. Getman

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In 1938, in NLRB v. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co., the Supreme Court offered one of its earliest interpretations of the National Labor Relations Act. Although the Court’s holding provided that employers may not discriminate against employees for their union activity when the strike is over and workers are reinstated, dicta in the opinion also provided that under the NLRA employers enjoy an unrestricted right to replace strikers. In the 70 years since the Court’s announcement, scholars remain baffled by the contradictions presented by the “Mackay doctrine”—a rule that forbids employers from discharging legally protected strikers while, at ...


The Transatlantic Gmo Dispute Against The European Communities: Some Preliminary Thoughts, David A. Wirth Jul 2006

The Transatlantic Gmo Dispute Against The European Communities: Some Preliminary Thoughts, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Any day now, a World Trade Organization panel is expected to rule in a dispute between the U.S. and the EU concerning market access for genetically-engineered foods and crops. This piece, written before the release of the WTO panel's report, analyzes novel systemic issues concerning the impact of WTO law on regulatory design, at both the national and international levels, that are raised by this dispute. These include (1) the application of WTO disciplines to regulatory schemes that require prior governmental approval to protect the environment and public health from newly-introduced products and substances; (2) the role of ...


Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp Jun 2006

Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

This brief comment suggests where the anti-eminent domain movement might be heading next.


Review Essay: Radicals In Robes , Dru Stevenson May 2006

Review Essay: Radicals In Robes , Dru Stevenson

ExpressO

This essay reviews and critiques Cass Sunstein’s new book entitled Radicals in Robes. After a discussion of Sunstein’s (somewhat misleading) rhetorical nomenclature, this essay argues that Sunstein’s proposed “minimalist” methodology in constitutional jurisprudence is beneficial, but not for the reasons Sunstein suggests. Sunstein alternatively justifies judicial restraint or incrementalism on epistemological self-doubt (cautiousness being an outgrowth of uncertainty) and his fear that accomplishments by Progressives in the last century will be undone by conservative judges in the present. Constitutional incrementalism is more convincingly justified on classical economic grounds. While affirming Sunstein’s overall thesis, this essay offers ...


The Gratuities Debate And Campaign Reform – How Strong Is The Link?, George D. Brown May 2006

The Gratuities Debate And Campaign Reform – How Strong Is The Link?, George D. Brown

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The federal gratuities statute, 18 USC § 201(c), continues to be a source of confusion and contention. The confusion stems largely from problems of draftsmanship within the statute, as well as uncertainty concerning the relationship of the gratuities offense to bribery. Both offenses are contained in the same statute; the former is often seen as a lesser-included offense variety of the latter. The controversy stems from broader concerns about whether the receipt of gratuities by public officials, even from those they regulate, should be a crime. The argument that such conduct should not be criminalized can be traced to, and ...


The Notion Of Solidarity And The Secret History Of American Labor Law, Thomas C. Kohler Apr 2006

The Notion Of Solidarity And The Secret History Of American Labor Law, Thomas C. Kohler

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

“Solidarity,” a term not overly familiar to Americans, sometimes seems to have as many meanings as it has users. The concept became incorporated into American thought during the 19th and 20th century waves of Catholic and Jewish immigration. It provides a European vision of communitarian social order that competes with the “unencumbered self”—America’s unique brand of individualism. Among philosophers, politicians, religious thinkers, and social activists, solidarity theory sought to redefine the then-prevailing views of social bonds. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the American labor movement, which espouses as its core values the principles of unity and ...


Vanquishing Copyright Pirates And Patent Trolls: The Divergent Evolution Of Copyright And Patent Laws, Robert E. Thomas Mar 2006

Vanquishing Copyright Pirates And Patent Trolls: The Divergent Evolution Of Copyright And Patent Laws, Robert E. Thomas

ExpressO

In the last decade copyright law has followed an almost linear path of increasing legal protections for copyright holders’ battle against digital piracy. By contrast, proposed changes in patent law are decidedly anti-patent holder due to efforts to battle patent trolls – companies that acquire and use patent portfolios to extract payoffs from technology companies. Patent law reform faces a far more contentious path and will likely lose several of its most significant provisions. This paper analyzes efforts to change the laws of copyright and patent using James Q. Wilson’s theory of regulation. With little concerted opposition, copyright law has ...


Buried Online: State Laws That Limit E-Commerce In Caskets, Jerry Ellig, Asheesh Agarwal Mar 2006

Buried Online: State Laws That Limit E-Commerce In Caskets, Jerry Ellig, Asheesh Agarwal

ExpressO

Consumers seeking to purchase caskets online could benefit from the Supreme Court’s 2005 decision that states cannot discriminate against interstate direct wine shipment. Federal courts have reached conflicting conclusions when asked whether state laws requiring casket sellers to be licensed funeral directors violate the U.S. Constitution’s Due Process Clause. In Powers v. Harris, the 10th Circuit even offered an unprecedented ruling that economic protectionism is a legitimate state interest that can justify otherwise unconstitutional policies. In Granholm v. Heald, however, the Supreme Court declared that discriminatory barriers to interstate wine shipment must be justified by a legitimate ...


Legislative Threats, Guy Halfteck Mar 2006

Legislative Threats, Guy Halfteck

ExpressO

The Article presents a theory of legislative threats that pierces the fundamental concept of the legal system as a regulatory institution and more generally as a mechanism of social governance. It examines ten case studies that demonstrate the use of legislative threats in diverse areas of law and social policy. Conceptually, legislative threats encompass a variety of threats that legislators exert on firms and financial institutions, organizations and institutional shareholders, professions and industrial sectors, universities and public institutions, federal agencies, and possibly even U.S. states, according to which legislators will exercise their legislative mandate and enact adverse legislation in ...


Regulatory Status Of Voip In The Post-Brand X World, Jerry Ellig Mar 2006

Regulatory Status Of Voip In The Post-Brand X World, Jerry Ellig

ExpressO

During the past several years, the Federal Communications Commission has engaged in a series of rulemakings to determine the regulatory status of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The Supreme Court’s Brand X decision clarifies that even if the FCC’s determination conflicts with that of a court, the FCC’s judgment holds sway as long as the decision is reasonable. We believe that VoIP should be classified as an information service, rather than a telecommunications service, for several reasons. First, the Internet Protocol nature of VoIP technology means that it functions like an information service, rather than a telecommunications ...


“It’S The [Tort System], Stupid:” Consumer Deductibles; How To More Equitably Distribute The Risks Of Medical Malpractice And Adequately Compensate Victims Without Statutory Damage Caps., Bradford Luke Ledbetter Feb 2006

“It’S The [Tort System], Stupid:” Consumer Deductibles; How To More Equitably Distribute The Risks Of Medical Malpractice And Adequately Compensate Victims Without Statutory Damage Caps., Bradford Luke Ledbetter

ExpressO

No abstract provided.


Legislation And Legitimation: Congress And Insider Trading In The 1980s, Thomas W. Joo Feb 2006

Legislation And Legitimation: Congress And Insider Trading In The 1980s, Thomas W. Joo

ExpressO

Legislation and Legitimation:

Congress and Insider Trading in the 1980s

Abstract

Orthodox corporate law-and-economics holds that American corporate and securities regulation has evolved inexorably toward economic efficiency. That position is difficult to square with the fact that regulation is the product of government actors and institutions. Indeed, the rational behavior assumptions of law-and-economics suggest that those actors and institutions would tend to place their own self-interest ahead of economic efficiency. This article provides anecdotal evidence of such self-interest at work. Based on an analysis of legislative history—primarily Congressional hearings—this article argues that Congress had little interest in the ...


The "Bad Man" Goes To Washington: The Effect Of Political Influence On Corporate Duty, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2006

The "Bad Man" Goes To Washington: The Effect Of Political Influence On Corporate Duty, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Fed’S New Model Of Supervision For “Large Complex Banking Organizations”: Coordinated Risk-Based Supervision Of Financial Multinationals For International Financial Stability, Cynthia C. Lichtenstein Jan 2006

The Fed’S New Model Of Supervision For “Large Complex Banking Organizations”: Coordinated Risk-Based Supervision Of Financial Multinationals For International Financial Stability, Cynthia C. Lichtenstein

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Large internationally active financial institutions, in particular multinational banks, have the capacity to create profound disturbances in the globalized financial markets in the event of failure. For that reason, these entities are supervised and examined in a manner that is completely different than the ordinary business corporation. This piece describes the new methodology that has been developed by the United States' central bank, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System or "the Fed" for short, since 1995, for examining what the Fed calls "large complex banking organizations" or LBCOs and indicates how the system in fact carries out ...