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Full-Text Articles in Law

Legal Aid 1900 To 1930: What Happened To Law Reform?, Mark Spiegel Jun 2015

Legal Aid 1900 To 1930: What Happened To Law Reform?, Mark Spiegel

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This article offers a counter narrative to the conventional description of legal aid in the United States. By offering this counter narrative it focuses us on certain enduring difficulties that any legal aid or legal services program has to face if it wants to engage in reform efforts: problems of funding and problems of the social and historical context. Conventional wisdom has it that legal aid until the 1960s was largely devoted to individual cases and that it was not until the advent of federally-funded legal services that law reform and social change became part of the delivery of legal ...


Colonial Constitutionalism And Constitutional Law, Mary Sarah Bilder Sep 2008

Colonial Constitutionalism And Constitutional Law, Mary Sarah Bilder

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This essay reconsiders the transformation of colonial constitutionalism to Constitutional Law. The transformation of constitutional law does not map neatly onto the 1776 - 90 period. This essay argues that the transformation was less the result of the admittedly important invention of a written constitution than of three less apparent transformations. A first essential transformation in constitutionalism occurred long before 1776 when seventeenth-century colonists created a new conception of the written and published charter as the location of authority and liberties. A second essential transformation occurred only after 1790 when appeals in judicial cases began to be publicly reported in print ...


Idea Or Practice: A Brief Historiography Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder May 2008

Idea Or Practice: A Brief Historiography Of Judicial Review, Mary Sarah Bilder

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Judicial review may be the most publicly contested aspect of American constitutionalism. The conventional beliefs that judicial review should be understood as an idea and American constitutionalism studied as a new rationalistic, political science are largely due to the influential scholarship of Edward Corwin. This brief essay recovers the pre-Corwin discussion about the origins of judicial review to demonstrate the way in which the approach to judicial review as an idea has been, itself, historically constructed by scholarly inclination, disciplinary identification, and the availability of historical materials.


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.


Pedagogy Of The Suppressed: A Class On Race And The Death Penalty, Phyllis Goldfarb Mar 2007

Pedagogy Of The Suppressed: A Class On Race And The Death Penalty, Phyllis Goldfarb

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

What does it mean to contextualize legal doctrine and how does contextualization matter? This essay explores a general pedagogy of contextualization within the particular context of a class on race and the death penalty. Teaching the Supreme Court's infamous 1987 opinion in the case of McCleskey v. Kemp within its historical, doctrinal, cultural, and human contexts--rather than as a self-explanatory pronouncement--provides a deeper understanding of America's death penalty system, its connection to America's racial caste system, and the Supreme Court's role in each. These multiple contexts provide a foundation for comprehension and critique of values served ...


The Rise Of An Academic Doctorate In Law: Origins Through World War Ii, Gail J. Hupper Mar 2007

The Rise Of An Academic Doctorate In Law: Origins Through World War Ii, Gail J. Hupper

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The rise of the academic doctorate in law (a degree most U.S. scholars have either ignored or deprecated) is an important chapter in the story of law’s coming of age as an academic discipline in the first half of the 20th century. Drawing in part on continental European models, the architects of the degree shaped it into a vehicle for training a new class of law teachers, producing research into the nature and functioning of the legal system, and spreading emerging conceptions of law to a broader national audience. Notable among these conceptions were the “sociological jurisprudence” of ...


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 ...


The Legal Education Of A Patriot: Josiah Quincy Jr.'S Law Commonplace (1763), Daniel R. Coquillette Dec 2006

The Legal Education Of A Patriot: Josiah Quincy Jr.'S Law Commonplace (1763), Daniel R. Coquillette

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This article is based on the exciting discovery of a never before printed Law Commonplace, written by the 18th-century lawyer and patriot, Josiah Quincy, Junior. Quincy was co-counsel with Adams in the famous Boston Massacre Trial, a leader of Committee on Correspondence and the Sons of Liberty, and author of the first American law reports. His Law Commonplace provides an exceptional window into the political, racial and gender controversies of the evolving American legal system, and profoundly challenges our conventional views on the origin of American legal education. In certain areas, particularly jury trial, it also has present constitutional significance ...


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 ...


Sectionalism, Slavery And The Threat Of War In Josiah Quincy Jr.’S 1773 Southern Journal, Daniel R. Coquillette Jun 2006

Sectionalism, Slavery And The Threat Of War In Josiah Quincy Jr.’S 1773 Southern Journal, Daniel R. Coquillette

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


The Legal Education Of A Patriot: Josiah Quincy Jr.'S Law Commonplace (1763), Daniel R. Coquillette May 2006

The Legal Education Of A Patriot: Josiah Quincy Jr.'S Law Commonplace (1763), Daniel R. Coquillette

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This article is based on the exciting discovery of a never before printed Law Commonplace, written by the 18th-century lawyer and patriot, Josiah Quincy, Junior. Quincy was co-counsel with Adams in the famous Boston Massacre Trial, a leader of Committee on Correspondence and the Sons of Liberty, and author of the first American law reports. His Law Commonplace provides an exceptional window into the political, racial and gender controversies of the evolving American legal system, and profoundly challenges our conventional views on the origin of American legal education. In certain areas, particularly jury trial, it also has present constitutional significance ...


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 ...


Dealing With Dumb And Dumber: The Continuing Mission Of Citizen Environmentalism, Zygmunt J.B. Plater May 2006

Dealing With Dumb And Dumber: The Continuing Mission Of Citizen Environmentalism, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Surveying the history of citizen environmentalism in the context of environmental law and politics over the past fifty years, this essay hypothesizes five different categories of corporate, governmental, political, and individual actions that deserve to be called “dumb,” and the societal lessons that have been or could be learned from each. If there is truth to the wistful aphorism that “we learn from our mistakes,” then our society is in position to learn a great deal about our world and how it works, which perhaps provides some ground for hope for the years to come. Environmentalism embodies fundamentally rational 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 ...


Heights Of Justice (Introduction And Front Matter), Lawrence A. Cunningham Dec 2005

Heights Of Justice (Introduction And Front Matter), Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this pioneering book, Boston College Law School’s Academic Dean, Lawrence Cunningham, arranges selected contributions of his faculty’s scholarship into a meditation upon justice. The book weaves a combination of theory and practice to articulate moral and ethical values that facilitate rational application of law. It envisions legal arrangements imbued with commitments of the Jesuit tradition, including the dignity of persons, the common good and compassion for the poor. This reflective collection of inquiry evokes a signature motif of the BC Law faculty in dozens of different legal subjects. Materials downloadable from this abstract consist of: Table of ...


Law And Accounting: Cases And Materials (Front Matter), Lawrence A. Cunningham Sep 2005

Law And Accounting: Cases And Materials (Front Matter), Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Accounting textbooks for law or business schools invariably provide secondary narrative presentations of materials in the authors’ own words. A better approach to learning this subject is to present thematically arranged original accounting pronouncements. In so designing this innovative book, readers appreciate how accounting is a tool that provides conceptual organization to economic exchange. The tool facilitates analyzing legal, business and public policy aspects of the transactions that accounting addresses. The original accounting standards, as well as SEC enforcement actions, presented in this book illuminate why transactions are pursued and related decisions made, economic aspects of transactions, and the conceptual ...


The Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture And The Empire (Excerpt), Mary Sarah Bilder Mar 2005

The Transatlantic Constitution: Colonial Legal Culture And The Empire (Excerpt), Mary Sarah Bilder

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Departing from traditional approaches to colonial legal history, Mary Sarah Bilder argues that American law and legal culture developed within the framework of an evolving, unwritten transatlantic constitution that lawyers, legislators, and litigants on both sides of the Atlantic understood. The central tenet of this constitution--that colonial laws and customs could not be repugnant to the laws of England but could diverge for local circumstances--shaped the legal development of the colonial world. Focusing on practices rather than doctrines, Bilder describes how the pragmatic and flexible conversation about this constitution shaped colonial law: the development of the legal profession; the place ...


Finance Theory And Accounting Fraud: Fantastic Futures Versus Conservative Histories, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jan 2005

Finance Theory And Accounting Fraud: Fantastic Futures Versus Conservative Histories, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Intellectual tension between the fields of finance and accounting may help to explain explosion of public company frauds. Finance theory diminishes the relevance of accounting information. Enron exploited this consequence while the SEC bought into it. After widespread frauds were exposed, Congress passed laws that address symptoms of finance's futurism, not disease. Laws essentially prohibit pro forma financial reporting and regulate the selective flow of futuristic information to financial analysts. Untouched is the underlying disease of regulatory mandates requiring extensive disclosure of forward-looking information. Until the 1970s, the SEC prudently prohibited such futuristic disclosure as inherently unreliable; assisted by ...


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 ...


The Twentieth Century, Daniel R. Coquillette Mar 2004

The Twentieth Century, Daniel R. Coquillette

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

All self-respecting legal history is supposed to end by the twentieth century. As we approach our own lives, experience and training—and those events that we have actually witnessed—we allegedly lose that "objectivity" which makes the "science" of history itself possible. Certainly, there is no point in burdening the reader with the "original" materials, including cases and statutes, that make up the bulk of any legal education. But there are good reasons to reflect on our own legal century from an "historical perspective."


"The Purer Fountains": Bacon And Legal Education, Daniel R. Coquillette Mar 2004

"The Purer Fountains": Bacon And Legal Education, Daniel R. Coquillette

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Today, the classical underpinnings of American legal education are under intense critical review. The dominant pedagogy, the case book and the Socratic method, were established by Christopher Columbus Langdell (1806-1906) at Harvard Law School more than a century ago. Together with Langdell's first year curriculum, which was exclusively focused on Anglo-American common law doctrine, and his emphasis on a competitive, anonymous graded meritocracy, this system still exercises an incredible grip on elite American law schools. But Langdell's 19th Century model has now been challenged by many rivals, including critical legal studies, law and economics empiricism, global curriculums, and ...


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.


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 ...


The Legal History Of The Twentieth Century, Daniel R. Coquillette Jul 2003

The Legal History Of The Twentieth Century, Daniel R. Coquillette

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

No abstract provided.


Law And The Fourth Estate: Endangered Nature, The Press, And The Dicey Game Of Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 2002

Law And The Fourth Estate: Endangered Nature, The Press, And The Dicey Game Of Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Building upon the story line of a current book project on the Tellico Dam case, this Essay explores a challenging reality of modern public interest lawyering – the critical role of public perceptions and of the Press’s role in shaping them. Most public interest attorneys come to realize that their lawyering must move simultaneously on two different tracks that determine outcomes – law and public opinion. This double task can be difficult and sometimes impossible. Both tracks require the organization and presentation of facts, but the two contexts can be quite different. A legal case requires proof of each technical element ...


Environmental Law In The Political Ecosystem - Coping With The Reality Of Politics, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 2002

Environmental Law In The Political Ecosystem - Coping With The Reality Of Politics, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Essay, the proposition the author draws from the narrative of the endangered species litigation is derivatively Aristotelian – that we must consciously, actively, and explicitly integrate an informed consideration of human politics into what we teach and do in environmental law. The proposition is not that we should steep ourselves in party politics, although there are interesting observations aplenty that could be made on the direct consequences that the two major parties (and occassionally their wistful smaller incarnations) have on the evolution of environmental law. The proposition offered here operates at two different levels: practical politics and political overview ...


Baker V. State And The Promise Of The New Judicial Federalism, Charles H. Baron, Lawrence Friedman Dec 2001

Baker V. State And The Promise Of The New Judicial Federalism, Charles H. Baron, Lawrence Friedman

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In Baker v. State, the Supreme Court of Vermont ruled that the state constitution’s Common Benefits Clause prohibits the exclusion of same-sex couples from the benefits and protections of marriage. Baker has been praised by constitutional scholars as a prototypical example of the New Judicial Federalism. The authors agree, asserting that the decision sets a standard for constitutional discourse by dint of the manner in which each of the opinions connects and responds to the others, pulls together arguments from other state and federal constitutional authorities, and provides a clear basis for subsequent development of constitutional principle. This Article ...


The Place Of Workers In Corporate Law, Kent Greenfield Jan 2001

The Place Of Workers In Corporate Law, Kent Greenfield

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This article critiques the low place of workers within corporate law doctrine. Corporate law, as it is traditionally taught, is primarily about shareholders, boards of directors, and managers, and the relationships among them. This is despite the fact that workers provide an essential input to a corporation's productive activities, and that the success of the business enterprise quite often turns on the success of the relationship between the corporation and those who are employed by it. Black letter corporate law requires directors to place the interests of shareholders above the interests of all other "stakeholders," including workers. This article ...


Why Pragmatism Works For Me, Catharine P. Wells Nov 2000

Why Pragmatism Works For Me, Catharine P. Wells

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article the author explores the growth of her interest in pragmatic legal theory. Pragmatism is often portrayed as a kind of black hole in the philosophical universe. It is defined not by the weight of its theories but instead by the counterweight of its anti-theoretical teachings. Whatever the reason, pragmatism’s lack of adherents has resulted in a number of misconceptions about its limitations. Among them are: (1) Pragmatism is banal in the sense that it only tells us to continue with our common sense practices (2) Pragmatism is relativistic in that it reduces everything to viewpoint and ...