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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Deeds And The Determinacy Norm: Insights From Brandt And Other Cases On An Undesignated, Yet Ever-Present, Interpretive Method, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2015

Deeds And The Determinacy Norm: Insights From Brandt And Other Cases On An Undesignated, Yet Ever-Present, Interpretive Method, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

The land one holds is generally only as good as the property rights contained in the deed.
The rights contained in the deed are only as good as the ability to get those rights enforced.
And, the enforcement is only valuable if it recognizes a determinate meaning in the deeds from
the point of conveyance. This Article pens the term “determinacy norm” to explain a collection
of rules for the interpretation of deed terms that aim to make the meaning of deed terms determinate.
I contend that, in order to satisfy the determinacy norm for deed interpretation,
courts must (and ...


Dealing With Dirty Deeds: Matching Nemo Dat Preferences With Property Law Pragmatism, Donald J. Kochan Oct 2015

Dealing With Dirty Deeds: Matching Nemo Dat Preferences With Property Law Pragmatism, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

An organizing principle of the rule of law based on individualism and order is expressed by the Latin maxim nemo dat quod non habet – roughly translated to mean that one can only give what they have or one can only transfer what they own.  Yet when title disputes arise between two or more purchasers, we have accepted pragmatically that exceptions must be made to nemo dat and that, at times, we may have to, in essence, validate fraud and other dirty deeds.  The Article outlines the basic place of the nemo dat principle in our system of law, introduces the ...


Keepings, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2014

Keepings, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

Individuals usually prefer to keep what they own; property law develops around that assumption. Alternatively stated, we prefer to choose whether and how to part with what we own. Just as we hold affection and attachment for our memories, captured in the lyrics of the George Gershwin classic, so too do most individuals adopt a “they can’t take that away from me” approach to property ownership.

We often focus on the means of acquisition or transfer in property law. We look less often at the legal rules that support one’s ability to keep what one owns. Yet, it ...


A Framework For Understanding Property Regulation And Land Use Control From A Dynamic Perspective, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2014

A Framework For Understanding Property Regulation And Land Use Control From A Dynamic Perspective, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

Our land use control system operates across a variety of multidimensional and dynamic categories. Learning to navigate within and between these categories requires an appreciation for their interconnected, dynamic, and textured components and an awareness of alternative mechanisms for achieving one’s land use control preferences and one’s desired ends. Whether seeking to minimize controls as a property owner or attempting to place controls on the land uses of another, one should take time to understand the full ecology of the system. This Article looks at four broad categories of control: (1) no controls, or the state of nature ...


The Mask Of Virtue: Theories Of Aretaic Legislation In A Public Choice Perspective, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2013

The Mask Of Virtue: Theories Of Aretaic Legislation In A Public Choice Perspective, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

This Article is a first-of-its-kind application of public choice theory to recently developing theories of virtue jurisprudence. Particularly, this Article focuses on not-yet-developed theories of aretaic (or virtue-centered) legislation. This Article speculates what the contours of such theories might be and analyzes the production of such legislation through a public choice lens. Any virtue jurisprudence theory as applied to legislation would likely demand that the proper ends of legislation be deemed as “the promotion of human flourishing” and the same would constitute the test by which we would determine the legitimacy of any legislation. As noble as virtuous behavior, virtuous ...


Corporate Social Responsibility In A Remedy-Seeking Society: A Public Choice Perspective, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2013

Corporate Social Responsibility In A Remedy-Seeking Society: A Public Choice Perspective, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

Written for the Chapman Law Review Symposium on “What Can Law & Economics Teach Us About the Corporate Social Responsibility Debate?,” this Article applies the lessons of public choice theory to examine corporate social responsibility. The Article adopts a broad definition of corporate social responsibility activism to include both (1) those efforts that seek to convince corporations to voluntarily take into account corporate social responsibility in their own decision-making, and (2) the efforts to alter the legal landscape and expand legal obligations of corporations beyond traditional notions of harm and duty so as to force corporations to invest in interests other ...


The "Reason Giving" Lawyer: An Ethical, Practical, And Pedagogical Perspective, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2012

The "Reason Giving" Lawyer: An Ethical, Practical, And Pedagogical Perspective, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

Whether as a matter of duty or utility, lawyers give reasons for their actions all the time. In the various venues in which legal skills must be employed, reason giving is required in some, expected in others, desired in many, and useful in most. This Essay underscores the pervasiveness of reason giving in the practice of law and the consequent necessity of lawyers developing a skill at giving reasons. This Essay examines reason giving as an innate human characteristic related directly to our need for answers and our constant yearning to understand the answer to the question “why.” It briefly ...


Thinking Like Thinkers: Is The Art And Discipline Of An "Attitude Of Suspended Conclusion" Lost On Lawyers?, Donald J. Kochan Aug 2011

Thinking Like Thinkers: Is The Art And Discipline Of An "Attitude Of Suspended Conclusion" Lost On Lawyers?, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

In his 1910 book, How We Think, John Dewey proclaimed that “the most important factor in the training of good mental habits consists in acquainting the attitude of suspended conclusion. . .” This Article explores that insight and describes its meaning and significance in the enterprise of thinking generally and its importance in law school education specifically. It posits that the law would be best served if lawyers think like thinkers and adopt an attitude of suspended conclusion in their problem solving affairs. Only when conclusion is suspended is there space for the exploration of the subject at hand. The thinker must ...


Legal Mechanization Of Corporate Social Responsibility Through Alien Tort Statute Litigation: A Response To Professor Branson With Some Supplemental Thoughts, Donald J. Kochan Jul 2011

Legal Mechanization Of Corporate Social Responsibility Through Alien Tort Statute Litigation: A Response To Professor Branson With Some Supplemental Thoughts, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

This Response argues that as ATS jurisprudence “matures” or becomes more sophisticated, the legitimate limits of the law regress. The further expansion within the corporate defendant pool – attempting to pin liability on parent, great grandparent corporations and up to the top – raises the stakes and complexity of ATS litigation. The corporate social responsibility discussion raises three principal issues about how a moral corporation lives its life: how a corporation chooses its self-interest versus the interests of others, when and how it should help others if control decisions may harm the shareholder owners, and how far the corporation must affirmatively go ...


On Equality: The Anti-Interference Principle, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2010

On Equality: The Anti-Interference Principle, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

This Essay introduces the “Anti-Interference Principle” – a new term on the meaning of equality, or at least one not yet so-named in the equality lexicon – as a necessary foundation for achieving the goal of true equality. Equality has a long-standing place in the discussion of politics and jurisprudence and remains a struggle of definition today. Rather than rehash the mass of scholarship, this Essay seeks to summarize the general equality concept, and propose that the legal discourse on equality center on a requirement that governmental power must protect and respect equal treatment and opportunity, unconstrained, not equal outcomes. It argues ...


While Effusive, "Conclusory" Is Still Quite Elusive: The Story Of A Word, Iqbal, And A Perplexing Lexical Inquiry Of Supreme Importance, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2010

While Effusive, "Conclusory" Is Still Quite Elusive: The Story Of A Word, Iqbal, And A Perplexing Lexical Inquiry Of Supreme Importance, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

The meaning of the word “conclusory” seems really, quite elusory. Conclusory is a widespread, common, and effusive word in the modern legal lexicon. Yet you would not necessarily know that by looking through many dictionaries. “Conclusory” has been a late comer to the pages of most dictionaries. Even today, not all dictionaries include the word “conclusory”, those that do have only recently adopted it, and the small number of available dictionary definitions seem to struggle to capture the word’s usage in the legal world. Yet the word “conclusory” has taken center stage in the procedural plays of civil litigation ...


Ripe Standing Vines And The Jurisprudential Tasting Of Matured Legal Wines – And Law & Bananas: Property And Public Choice In The Permitting Process, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2008

Ripe Standing Vines And The Jurisprudential Tasting Of Matured Legal Wines – And Law & Bananas: Property And Public Choice In The Permitting Process, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

From produce to wine, we only consume things when they are ready. The courts are no different. That concept of “readiness” is how courts address cases and controversies as well. Justiciability doctrines, particularly ripeness, have a particularly important role in takings challenges to permitting decisions. The courts largely hold that a single permit denial does not give them enough information to evaluate whether the denial is in violation of law. As a result of this jurisprudential reality, regulators with discretion have an incentive to use their power to extract rents from those that need their permission. Non-justiciability of permit denials ...


Much Ado About Pluralities: Pride And Precedent Amidst The Cacophy Of Concurrences, And Re-Percolation After Rapanos, Donald J. Kochan, Melissa M. Berry, Matthew J. Parlow Dec 2007

Much Ado About Pluralities: Pride And Precedent Amidst The Cacophy Of Concurrences, And Re-Percolation After Rapanos, Donald J. Kochan, Melissa M. Berry, Matthew J. Parlow

Donald J. Kochan

Conflicts created by concurrences and pluralities in court decisions create confusion in law and lower court interpretation. Rule of law values require that individuals be able to identify controlling legal principles. That task is complicated when pluralities and concurrences contribute to the vagueness or uncertainty that leaves us wondering what the controlling rule is or attempting to predict what it will evolve to become. The rule of law is at least handicapped when continuity or confidence or confusion infuse our understanding of the applicable rules. This Article uses the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States ...


Boyakasha, Fist To Fist: Respect And The Philosophical Link With Reciprocity In International Law And Human Rights, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2005

Boyakasha, Fist To Fist: Respect And The Philosophical Link With Reciprocity In International Law And Human Rights, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

From Grotius to Hobbes to Locke to an unconventional modern pop-culture manifestation in Ali G, the concept of “respect” has always been understood as important in human interaction and human agreements. The concept of mutual understanding and obligation pervades human interaction, and, for purposes of this Article, international relations. Almost all basic principles in English, United States, and other country’s laws that value human and individual rights have based, over time, the development of their laws on the philosophical principle of respect. So much of common and statutory law is designed to enforce respect for others. The principle question ...


Sovereignty And The American Courts At The Cocktail Party Of International Law: The Dangers Of Domestic Invocations Of Foreign And International Law, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2005

Sovereignty And The American Courts At The Cocktail Party Of International Law: The Dangers Of Domestic Invocations Of Foreign And International Law, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

With increasing frequency and heightened debate, United States courts have been citing foreign and “international” law as authority for domestic decisions. This trend is inappropriate, undemocratic, and dangerous. The trend touches on fundamental concepts of sovereignty, democracy, the judicial role, and overall issues of effective governance. There are multiple problems with the judiciary’s reliance on extraterritorial and extra-constitutional foreign or international sources to guide their decisions. Perhaps the most fundamental flaw is its interference with rule of law values. To borrow from Judge Harold Levanthal, the use of international sources in judicial decision-making might be described as “the equivalent ...


The Unconstitutionality Of Class-Based Statutory Limitations On Presidential Nominations: Can A Man Head The Women's Bureau At The Department Of Labor?, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2004

The Unconstitutionality Of Class-Based Statutory Limitations On Presidential Nominations: Can A Man Head The Women's Bureau At The Department Of Labor?, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

Can a man be the Director of the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor? According to Congress, the answer is no. Congress has stated by statute that a woman must be the nominee to head the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor. The key questions are: (1) even if it makes sense on policy grounds, is it constitutional? and (2) if we accept such a statutory limitation power what are the potential precedential consequences for other appointment matters? This Article’s case study is particularly relevant today, examining just how far Congress can go to limit ...


The Political Economy Of The Production Of Customary International Law: The Role Of Non-Governmental Organizations, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2003

The Political Economy Of The Production Of Customary International Law: The Role Of Non-Governmental Organizations, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

Increasingly, United States courts are recognizing various treaties, as well as declarations, proclamations, conventions, resolutions, programmes, protocols, and similar forms of inter- or multi-national “legislation” as evidence of a body of “customary international law” enforceable in domestic courts, particularly in the area of tort liability. These “legislative” documents, which this Article refers to as customary international law outputs, are seen by some courts as evidence of jus cogens norms that bind not only nations and state actors, but also private individuals. The most obvious evidence of this trend is in the proliferation of lawsuits against corporations with ties to the ...


State Laws And The Independent Judiciary: An Analysis Of The Effects Of The Seventeenth Amendment On The Number Of Supreme Court Cases Holding State Laws Unconstitutional, Donald J. Kochan Dec 2002

State Laws And The Independent Judiciary: An Analysis Of The Effects Of The Seventeenth Amendment On The Number Of Supreme Court Cases Holding State Laws Unconstitutional, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

In recent years, the Seventeenth Amendment has been the subject of legal scholarship, congressional hearings and debate, Supreme Court opinions, popular press articles and commentary, state legislative efforts aimed at repeal, and activist repeal movements. To date, the literature on the effects of the Seventeenth Amendment has focused almost exclusively on the effects on the political production of legislation and competition between legislative bodies. Very little attention has been given to the potential adverse effects of the Seventeenth Amendment on the relationship between state legislatures and the federal courts. This Article seeks to fill part of that literature gap, applying ...


Constitutional Structure As A Limitation On The Scope Of The "Law Of Nations" In The Alien Tort Claims Act, Donald J. Kochan Dec 1997

Constitutional Structure As A Limitation On The Scope Of The "Law Of Nations" In The Alien Tort Claims Act, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

Jurisdiction matters. Outside of the set of jurisdictional constraints, the judiciary is at sea; it poses a threat to the separation of powers and risks becoming a dangerous and domineering branch. Jurisdictional limitations serve a particularly important function when the judiciary is dealing with issues of international law. Since much of international law concerns foreign relations, the province of the executive and, in part, the legislature, the danger that the judiciary will act in a policy-making role or will frustrate the functions of the political branches is especially great. The Framers of the Constitution were particularly concerned with constructing a ...


"Public Use" And The Independent Judiciary: Condemnation In An Interest-Group Perspective, Donald J. Kochan Dec 1997

"Public Use" And The Independent Judiciary: Condemnation In An Interest-Group Perspective, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

This Article reexamines the doctrine of public use under the Takings Clause and its ability to impede takings for private use through an application of public choice theory. It argues that the judicial validation of interest-group capture of the condemnation power through a relaxed public use standard in Takings Clause review can be explained by interest group politics and public choice theory and by institutional tendencies inherent in the independent judiciary. Legislators can sell the eminent domain power to special interests for almost any use, promising durability in the deal given the low probability that the judiciary will invalidate it ...