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Full-Text Articles in Law

Law And Lawyers In The U.S.: The Hero-Villain Dichotomy, Judith A. Mcmorrow Jan 2010

Law And Lawyers In The U.S.: The Hero-Villain Dichotomy, Judith A. Mcmorrow

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Lawyers in U.S. culture are often presented in either an extremely positive or extremely negative light. Although popular culture exaggerates and oversimplifies the 'good v. bad' dynamic of lawyers, this dichotomy provides important insights into the role attorneys play in the U.S. legal system, the boundaries of legal ethics, and the extent to which the U.S. legal system is relied upon to address our society's great moral and social dilemmas.


Border Searches In The Age Of Terrorism, Robert M. Bloom Feb 2009

Border Searches In The Age Of Terrorism, Robert M. Bloom

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This article will first explore the history of border searches. It will look to the reorganization of the border enforcement apparatus resulting from 9/11 as well as the intersection of the Fourth Amendment and border searches generally. Then, it will analyze the Supreme Court's last statement on border searches in the Flores-Montano27 decision, including what impact this decision has had on the lower courts. Finally, the article will focus on Fourth Amendment cases involving terrorism concerns after 9/11, as a means of drawing some conclusions about the effect the emerging emphasis on terrorism and national security concerns ...


Political Judges And Popular Justice: A Conservative Victory Or A Conservative Dilemma?, George D. Brown Oct 2007

Political Judges And Popular Justice: A Conservative Victory Or A Conservative Dilemma?, George D. Brown

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Most of the judges in America are elected. Yet the institution of the elected judiciary is in trouble, perhaps in crisis. The pressures of campaigning, particularly raising money, have produced an intensity of electioneering that many observers see as damaging to the institution itself. In an extraordinary development, four justices of the Supreme Court recently expressed concern over possible loss of trust in state judicial systems. Yet mechanisms that states have put in place to strike a balance between the accountability values of an elected judiciary and rule of law values of unbiased adjudication are increasingly invalidated by the federal ...


Professional Ethics In Interdisciplinary Collaboratives: Zeal, Paternalism And Mandated Reporting, Alexis Anderson, Lynn Barenberg, Paul R. Tremblay Apr 2007

Professional Ethics In Interdisciplinary Collaboratives: Zeal, Paternalism And Mandated Reporting, Alexis Anderson, Lynn Barenberg, Paul R. Tremblay

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article, the authors, two clinical law teachers and a social worker teaching in the clinic, wrestle with some persistent questions that arise in cross-professional, interdisciplinary law practice. In the past decade much writing has praised the benefits of interdisciplinary legal practice, but many sympathetic skeptics have worried about the ethical implications of lawyers working with nonlawyers, such as social workers and mental health professionals. Those worries include the difference in advocacy stances between lawyers and other helping professionals, and the mandated reporting requirements that apply to helping professionals but usually not to lawyers. This Article addresses those concerns ...


Why We Have Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder Apr 2007

Why We Have Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This paper accompanies Mary Sarah Bilder, The Corporate Origins of Judicial Review , 116 Yale L.J. 502 (2006), in which the author argues that the origins of judicial review lie not in the expansion of judicial power but rather in the prior practice of commitment to limited legislative authority.


Restitution For Wrongs And The Restatement (Third) Of The Law Of Restitution, James S. Rogers Apr 2007

Restitution For Wrongs And The Restatement (Third) Of The Law Of Restitution, James S. Rogers

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The law of restitution has been the forgotten step-child of American private law for many decades. The American Law Institute’s current project to produce a new restatement of the law of restitution holds the promise of bringing the subject to the foreground and removing some of the confusion that many lawyers and judges feel in approaching the topic. One of the important issues that must be addressed in any comprehensive treatment of the law of restitution is how to treat those areas where the possibility of recovery based on the unjust enrichment principle overlaps with recovery based on the ...


The Better Part Of Valor: The Real Id Act, Discretion, And The “Rule” Of Immigration Law, Daniel Kanstroom Feb 2007

The Better Part Of Valor: The Real Id Act, Discretion, And The “Rule” Of Immigration Law, Daniel Kanstroom

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This article considers the problems raised by a federal law--the “REAL ID Act”--that seeks to preclude judicial review of discretionary immigration law decisions. Discretion, the flexible shock absorber of the administrative state, must be respected by our legal system. However, as Justice Felix Frankfurter once wrote, discretion is, “only to be respected when it is conscious of the traditions which surround it and of the limits which an informed conscience sets to its exercise.” The article suggests that judicial construction of the REAL ID Act will plumb the deep meaning of this qualification. The new law states, essentially, that ...


The Corporate Origins Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder Dec 2006

The Corporate Origins Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article argues that the origins of judicial review lie in corporate law. Diverging from standard historical accounts that locate the origins in theories of fundamental law or in the American structure of government, the Article argues that judicial review was the continuation of a longstanding English practice of constraining corporate ordinances by requiring that they be not repugnant to the laws of the nation. This practice of limiting legislation under the standard of repugnancy to the laws of England became applicable to American colonial law. The history of this repugnancy practice explains why the Framers of the Constitution presumed ...


Character And Context: What Virtue Theory Can Teach Us About A Prosecutor's Ethical Duty To "Seek Justice.", R. Michael Cassidy Nov 2006

Character And Context: What Virtue Theory Can Teach Us About A Prosecutor's Ethical Duty To "Seek Justice.", R. Michael Cassidy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

A critical issue facing the criminal justice system today is how best to promote ethical behavior by public prosecutors. The legal profession has left much of a prosecutor’s day-to-day activity unregulated, in favor of a general, catch-all admonition to “seek justice.” In this article the author argues that professional norms are truly functional only if those working with a given ethical framework recognize the system’s implicit dependence on character. A code of professional conduct in which this dependence is not recognized is both contentless and corrupting. Building on the ethics of Aristotle and modern philosophers Alasdair MacIntyre and ...


Reconsidering Spousal Privileges After Crawford, R. Michael Cassidy Nov 2006

Reconsidering Spousal Privileges After Crawford, R. Michael Cassidy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this article the author explores how domestic violence prevention efforts have been adversely impacted by the Supreme Court’s new “testimonial” approach to the confrontation clause. Examining the Court’s trilogy of cases from Crawford to Davis and Hammon, the author argues that the introduction of certain forms of hearsay in criminal cases has been drastically limited by the court’s new originalist approach to the Sixth Amendment. The author explains how state spousal privilege statutes often present a significant barrier to obtaining live testimony from victims of domestic violence. The author then argues that state legislatures should reconsider ...


The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jun 2006

The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The common law often is casually referred to as an iterative process without much attention given to the detailed attributes such processes exhibit. This Article explores this characterization, uncovering how common law as an iterative process is one of endless repetition that is simultaneously stable and dynamic, self-similar but evolving, complex yet simple. These attributes constrain the systemic significance of judicial discretion and also confirm the wisdom of traditional approaches to studying and learning law. As an iterative system, common law exhibits what physicists call sensitive dependence on initial conditions. This generates a path dependency from which it may be ...


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 ...


Private Standards In Public Law: Copyright, Lawmaking And The Case Of Accounting, Lawrence A. Cunningham Mar 2005

Private Standards In Public Law: Copyright, Lawmaking And The Case Of Accounting, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Government increasingly leverages its regulatory function by embodying in law standards that are promulgated and copyrighted by non-governmental organizations. Departures from such standards expose citizens to criminal, civil and administrative sanctions, yet private actors generate, control and limit access to them. Despite governmental ambitions, no one is responsible for evaluating the legitimacy of this approach and no framework exists to facilitate analysis. This Article contributes an analytical framework and, for the federal government, nominates the Director of the Federal Register to implement it. Analysis is animated using among the oldest and broadest examples of this pervasive but stealthy phenomenon: embodiment ...


Sony, Tort Doctrines, And The Puzzle Of Peer-To-Peer, Alfred C. Yen Feb 2005

Sony, Tort Doctrines, And The Puzzle Of Peer-To-Peer, Alfred C. Yen

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article analyzes and reconstructs the law of third party copyright liability as it applies to providers of peer-to-peer technology. By doing so, the Article accomplishes three things. First, it identifies doctrinal tension between broad third party copyright liability endorsed by lower courts and the Supreme Court’s skepticism of such liability as expressed in Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios. Second, it describes how existing interpretations of the law fail to direct judicial attention to important considerations that ought to influence the third party copyright liability of peer-to-peer providers. Third, it uses concepts borrowed from common law ...


Under Attack: The Public's Right To Know And The War On Terror, Mary-Rose Papandrea Jan 2005

Under Attack: The Public's Right To Know And The War On Terror, Mary-Rose Papandrea

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Since the September 11 attacks, courts have been reluctant to uphold the public’s right to obtain government information through the Freedom of Information Act and the First Amendment right of access. Given the doctrinal and statutory confusion plaguing both FOIA and the First Amendment right of access since their inception, and the judiciary’s historic tendency to defer to the Executive in matters implicating national security, recent appellate decisions rejecting right to know claims may seem unsurprising. But a closer reading of these cases reveals that the judiciary’s failure to uphold the public’s right to government transparency ...


Catholic Judges In Capital Cases, John H. Garvey, Amy Coney Barrett Jan 2005

Catholic Judges In Capital Cases, John H. Garvey, Amy Coney Barrett

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The Catholic Church’s opposition to the death penalty places Catholic judges in a moral and legal bind. While these judges are obliged by oath, professional commitment, and the demands of citizenship to enforce the death penalty, they are also obliged to adhere to their church’s teaching on moral matters. Although the legal system has a solution for this dilemma by allowing the recusal of judges whose convictions keep them from doing their job, Catholic judges will want to sit whenever possible without acting immorally. However, litigants and the general public are entitled to impartial justice, which may be ...


The (F)Utility Of Rules: Regulating Attorney Conduct In Federal Court Practice, Judith A. Mcmorrow Sep 2004

The (F)Utility Of Rules: Regulating Attorney Conduct In Federal Court Practice, Judith A. Mcmorrow

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The problem is often decried: out-of-control attorneys, opportunists, cowboys, self-dealers, and overzealous prosecutors abusing the litigation process either for self-serving ends or from ideological zeal. But one person’s opportunist, cowboy, or self-dealer is another person’s zealous advocate. Lawyers want and need guidance on how to resolve issues that have competing claims to right behavior. The first place many lawyers look to find appropriate guidance are rules of ethics. Lawyers practicing in federal courts will find the search for rules particularly confusing. Unlike the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure, federal courts do not operate with uniform ethics ...


Review Of ""The Penalty Is Death:" U.S. Newspaper Coverage Of Women's Executions" By Marlin Shipman., Phyllis Goldfarb Aug 2004

Review Of ""The Penalty Is Death:" U.S. Newspaper Coverage Of Women's Executions" By Marlin Shipman., Phyllis Goldfarb

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


Textualism And Tax Shelters, Noel B. Cunningham, James R. Repetti Apr 2004

Textualism And Tax Shelters, Noel B. Cunningham, James R. Repetti

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

A substantial debate about the approaches employed by courts to interpret statutes and regulations has developed during the last decade. Some have argued that the search for a statute's meaning and purpose should focus on the text, itself, and should not include consulting legislative history. In contrast, others have argued that it is difficult to determine the meaning of a statute without consulting legislative history to determine the legislature's purpose for the statute. The debate about the appropriate method for interpreting statutes underlies a crisis in the administration of tax law. The recent proliferation of tax shelters has ...


Criminalizing The Undocumented: Ironic Boundaries Of The Post-September 11th ‘Pale Of Law.’, Daniel Kanstroom Jan 2004

Criminalizing The Undocumented: Ironic Boundaries Of The Post-September 11th ‘Pale Of Law.’, Daniel Kanstroom

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The general hypothesis put forth in this Article is that well-accepted historical matrices are increasingly inadequate to address the complex issues raised by various U.S. government practices in the so-called “war on terrorism.” The Article describes certain stresses that have recently built upon two major legal dichotomies: the citizen/non-citizen and criminal/civil lines. Professor Kanstroom reviews the use of the citizen/non-citizen dichotomies as part of the post-September 11th enforcement regime and considers the increasing convergence between the immigration and criminal justice systems. Professor Kanstroom concludes by suggesting the potential emergence of a disturbing new legal system, which ...


Toward A More Independent Grand Jury: Recasting And Enforcing The Prosecutor’S Duty To Disclose Exculpatory Evidence, R. Michael Cassidy Jan 2000

Toward A More Independent Grand Jury: Recasting And Enforcing The Prosecutor’S Duty To Disclose Exculpatory Evidence, R. Michael Cassidy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article analyzes the Supreme Court’s decision in Williams, in which the Court struck down an attempt by the Tenth Circuit to impose an obligation on federal prosecutors to disclose substantial exculpatory evidence to the grand jury. The author discusses the contours of this case and the ethical underpinnings of a prosecutor’s disclosure obligations before the grand jury, and sets forth a new framework for consideration of such issues.


Copyright Opinions And Aesthetic Theory, Alfred C. Yen Jan 1998

Copyright Opinions And Aesthetic Theory, Alfred C. Yen

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article the author contends that judges should be conscious of aesthetics when deciding copyright cases. However, given the inherent ambiguity of aesthetics and the supposedly objective rules and principles that govern judicial opinions, courts implicitly assume a sharp divide between aesthetic reasoning and legal reasoning. Additionally, because aesthetic choices by judges could potentially be deemed government censorship, the two are further considered incompatible. The author argues, however, that this distinction is illusory in that a truly open-minded copyright jurisprudence requires explicit awareness of aesthetics. This argument is supported firstly by a description of four major movements from aesthetic ...


The Origin Of The Appeal In America, Mary Sarah Bilder Jul 1997

The Origin Of The Appeal In America, Mary Sarah Bilder

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The appeal has been treated by academics as a mere legal procedure, possessing no particular significance. Indeed, for many years, legal scholars accepted the influential arguments of Professors Julius Goebel and Roscoe Pound that the appearance of the appeal in early American courts arose either from confusion about English common law legal procedures or was the result of colonial adaptation of English justice-of-the-peace practices. Professor Bilder challenges this conventional explanation of the origin of the appeal by locating the early American colonists within a transatlantic Western European legal culture. Professor Bilder's Article draws on recent work in cultural history ...


Should Federalism Shield Corruption?—Mail Fraud, State Law And Post-Lopez Analysis, George D. Brown Jan 1997

Should Federalism Shield Corruption?—Mail Fraud, State Law And Post-Lopez Analysis, George D. Brown

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article, Professor Brown examines the issues that federal prosecutions of state and local officials pose. The analysis focuses on prosecutions under the mail fraud statute and considers the general debate over the proper scope of federal criminal law. Professor Brodin addresses the question of whether a re-examination of mail fraud would focus on constitutional or statutory issues and by utilizing the Supreme Court case United States v. Lopez examines the question of internal limits on the mail fraud statute.


Describing Without Circumscribing: Questioning The Construction Of Gender In The Discourse Of Intimate Violence, Phyllis Goldfarb Mar 1996

Describing Without Circumscribing: Questioning The Construction Of Gender In The Discourse Of Intimate Violence, Phyllis Goldfarb

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article, Professor Goldfarb examines the construction of gender roles in the discourse on intimate violence. The Article argues that this discourse assumes that male violence against female intimates represents the problems of battering in its entirety. In doing so, the discourse renders invisible the battering that occurs outside this discourse, most notably battering within same-sex relationships. The Article focuses on how the gender assumptions in the domestic violence discourse affected the representation of the Framingham Eight, a group of women who killed their batterers and were incarcerated in the women’s prison in Framingham, Massachusetts. These women petitioned ...


Environmental Law As A Mirror Of The Future: Civic Values Confronting Market Force Dynamics In A Time Of Counter-Revolution, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1996

Environmental Law As A Mirror Of The Future: Civic Values Confronting Market Force Dynamics In A Time Of Counter-Revolution, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This essay explores the legislative assaults currently faced by environmental law, as the powerful market forces that gained at least temporary congressional ascendancy in Novemeber 1994 attempt to roll back legal doctrines and structures evolved in thirty years of bipartisan development. The "counter revolutionary" tumult of the 104th Congress reflects a basic confrontation - between the powerful human nature dynamics of market forces and society's need for enforceable civic values that transcend short-term profit expediencies. Environmental law, reflecting a paradigm shift in how we perceive the world, has emerged over the past three decades as one of the primary realms ...


Judicial Integrity: A Call For Its Re-Emergence In The Adjudication Of Criminal Cases, Robert M. Bloom Jan 1993

Judicial Integrity: A Call For Its Re-Emergence In The Adjudication Of Criminal Cases, Robert M. Bloom

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

A court can invalidate or rectify certain kinds of offensive official action on the grounds of judicial integrity. In the past, it has served as a check on overzealous law enforcement agents whose actions so seriously impaired due process principles that they shocked the bench’s conscience. The principle not only preserves the judiciary as a symbol of lawfulness and justice, but it also insulates the courts from becoming aligned with illegal actors and their bad acts. The 1992 case of U.S. v. Alvarez-Machain, however, may have signaled a departure from past practices. This article reviews current Supreme Court ...


Accuracy, Efficiency, And Accountability In The Litigation Process – The Case For The Fact Verdict, Mark S. Brodin Jan 1990

Accuracy, Efficiency, And Accountability In The Litigation Process – The Case For The Fact Verdict, Mark S. Brodin

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Although the jury trial is regarded as a lynchpin of the American concept of justice, ambivalence about the institution persists, particularly in the context of civil litigation. Some question whether the civil jury is an inefficient anachronism. This article argues that many of the concerns raised about civil juries in general are really concerns about the routine use of the general verdict, an institution that merges the jury’s fact finding function and its role as an applier of law. The article argues that in many instances, replacing a general verdict with a special verdict would allow the jury to ...


Situated Decisionmaking, Catharine P. Wells Jan 1990

Situated Decisionmaking, Catharine P. Wells

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The purpose of this Article is to examine the concerns that surround situated judging and the central questions to which they give rise: How can a situated judge render a just decision? On its face, the question appears to be both decisive and unanswerable. Upon deeper examination, however, we can see that the question relies upon a doubtful set of presuppositions about situated decision-making. In the course of this Article, the author seeks to defend the pragmatic analysis of legal decision-making by casting doubt upon these assumptions. Part II develops two contrasting models of normative decision-making that represent the purported ...


The Concept Of Person In The Law, Charles H. Baron Apr 1985

The Concept Of Person In The Law, Charles H. Baron

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The focus of the abortion debate in the United States tends to be on whether and at what stage a fetus is a person. I believe this tendency has been unfortunate and counterproductive. Instead of advancing dialogue between opposing sides, such a focus seems to have stunted it, leaving advocates in the sort of “I did not!” – “You did too!” impasse we remember from childhood. Also reminiscent of that childhood scene has been the vain attempt to break the impasse by appeal to a higher authority. Thus, the pro-choice forces hoped they had proved the pro-life forces “wrong” by having ...