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Full-Text Articles in Jurisprudence

Conflicted Counselors: Retaliation Protections For Attorney-Whistleblowers In An Inconsistent Regulatory Regime, Jennifer M. Pacella Aug 2015

Conflicted Counselors: Retaliation Protections For Attorney-Whistleblowers In An Inconsistent Regulatory Regime, Jennifer M. Pacella

Jennifer M. Pacella, Esq.

Attorneys, especially in-house counsel, are subject to retaliation by employers in much the same way as traditional whistleblowers, often experiencing retaliation and loss of livelihood for reporting instances of wrongdoing about their clients. Although attorney-whistleblowing undoubtedly invokes ethical concerns, attorneys who “appear and practice” before the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) are required by federal law to act as internal whistleblowers under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) and report evidence of material violations of the law within the organizations that they represent. An attorney’s failure to comply with these obligations will result in SEC-imposed civil penalties and disciplinary action. Recent ...


Do We Know How To Punish?, Benjamin L. Apt Jul 2015

Do We Know How To Punish?, Benjamin L. Apt

Benjamin L. Apt

A number of current theories attempt to explain the purpose and need for criminal punishment. All of them depend on some sort of normative basis in justifying why the state may penalize people found guilty of crimes. Yet each of these theories lacks an epistemological foundation; none of them explains how we can know what form punishments should take. The article analyses the epistemological gaps in the predominant theories of punishment: retributivism, including limited-retributivism; and consequentialism in its various versions, ranging from deterrence to the reparative theories such as restorative justice and rehabilitation. It demonstrates that the common putative epistemological ...


A Government Of Laws Not Of Precedents 1776-1876: The Google Challenge To Common Law Myth, James Maxeiner Jan 2015

A Government Of Laws Not Of Precedents 1776-1876: The Google Challenge To Common Law Myth, James Maxeiner

James R Maxeiner

Conventional wisdom holds that the United States is a common law country of precedents where, until the 20th century (the “Age of Statutes”), statutes had little role. Digitization by Google and others of previously hard to find legal works of the 19th century challenges this common law myth. At the Centennial in 1876 Americans celebrated that “The great fact in the progress of American jurisprudence … is its tendency towards organic statute law and towards the systematizing of law; in other words, towards written constitutions and codification.” This article tests the claim of the Centennial Writers of 1876 and finds it ...


Discretion Abused: Reinterpreting The Appellate Standard Of Review For Hearsay, Matthew J. Peterson Apr 2014

Discretion Abused: Reinterpreting The Appellate Standard Of Review For Hearsay, Matthew J. Peterson

Matthew J. Peterson

Matthew J. Peterson, Discretion Abused: Reinterpreting the Appellate Standard of Review for Hearsay

Abstract:

The decision by a federal a court to exclude or admit hearsay can be crucial to the case of either party. Despite this prospective impact, the federal courts of appeal currently defer to district courts’ expertise by reviewing a district court’s decision to admit or exclude hearsay for an abuse of discretion. Such deference often insulates district courts’ incorrect interpretation of the rule against hearsay and the improper application of the exclusions and exceptions to the rule from appellate reversal.

Lowering the standard of review ...


Behavioral International Law, Tomer Broude Feb 2014

Behavioral International Law, Tomer Broude

Tomer Broude

Economic analysis and rational choice have in the last decade made significant inroads into the study of international law and institutions, relying upon standard assumptions of perfect rationality of states and decision-makers. This approach is inadequate, both empirically and in its tendency towards outdated formulations of political theory. This article presents an alternative behavioral approach that provides new hypotheses addressing problems in international law while introducing empirically grounded concepts of real, observed rationality. First, I address methodological objections to behavioral analysis of international law: the focus of behavioral research on the individual; the empirical foundations of behavioral economics; and behavioral ...


The Evolution Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act; Changing Interpretations Of The Dmca And Future Implications For Copyright Holders, Hillary A. Henderson Jan 2014

The Evolution Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act; Changing Interpretations Of The Dmca And Future Implications For Copyright Holders, Hillary A. Henderson

Hillary A Henderson

Copyright law rewards an artificial monopoly to individual authors for their creations. This reward is based on the belief that, by granting authors the exclusive right to reproduce their works, they receive an incentive and means to create, which in turn advances the welfare of the general public by “promoting the progress of science and useful arts.” Copyright protection subsists . . . in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device . . . . In no ...


Valuing Our Discordant Constitutional Discourse: Autonomous-Text Constitutionalism And The Jewish Legal Tradition, Shlomo C. Pill Aug 2013

Valuing Our Discordant Constitutional Discourse: Autonomous-Text Constitutionalism And The Jewish Legal Tradition, Shlomo C. Pill

Shlomo C. Pill

This paper considers the viability of autonomous-text constitutionalism, a constitutional interpretive and adjudicative theory based on Hans Georg-Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics. As the paper explains, this theory is premised on the subjectivity of all interpretive activity; it admits the legitimacy of a wide spectrum of reasonable interpretations of the Constitution, each given their unique character by the dialectical merging of experiential horizons between the fixed text and individual interpreter. This theory embraces a plurality of constitutional meanings in theory, limited by the need for unity in national spheres of constitutional practice. Such practical certainty is achieved by our empowering judicial ...


The Concept Of Objectivity In The Uk Supreme Court Through A Comparative Looking Glass, Vito Breda Jul 2013

The Concept Of Objectivity In The Uk Supreme Court Through A Comparative Looking Glass, Vito Breda

Vito Breda

This essay reports on the result of hermeneutical research entitled Objectivity in the UK Judicial Discourse. The concept of objectivity generates a plurality of analysis. For instance, in legal theory, MacCormick suggests the possibility of an objective interpretation of cases. Objectivity in the UK Judicial Discourse focuses on the interpretation of the concept by common law judges. In particular, the project sought to map out the cluster of interpretations (and arguments derived therefrom) on the concept of objectivity by the House of Lords and the UK Supreme Court. The result of the study shows that within UK law there is ...


Holmes And The Common Law: A Jury's Duty, Matthew P. Cline Mar 2013

Holmes And The Common Law: A Jury's Duty, Matthew P. Cline

Matthew P Cline

The notion of a small group of peers whose responsibility it is to play a part in determining the outcome of a trial is central to the common conception of the American legal system. Memorialized in the Constitution of the United States as a fundamental right, and in the national consciousness as the proud, if begrudged, duty of all citizens, juries are often discussed, but perhaps not always understood. Whatever misunderstandings have come to be, certainly many of them sprang from the juxtaposition of jury and judge. Why do we have both? How are their responsibilities divided? Who truly decides ...


At&T V. Concepcion: The Problem Of A False Majority, Lisa Tripp, Evan R. Hanson Mar 2013

At&T V. Concepcion: The Problem Of A False Majority, Lisa Tripp, Evan R. Hanson

Lisa Tripp

The Supreme Court’s 2011 decision in AT&T v. Concepcion is the first case where the Supreme Court explores the interplay between state law unconscionability doctrine and the vast preemptive power of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Although it is considered by many to be a landmark decision which has the potential for greatly expanding the already impressive preemptive power of the FAA, something is amiss with Concepcion.

AT&T v. Concepcion is ostensibly a 5-4 majority decision with a concurring opinion. However, the differences in the majority and concurring opinions are so profound that it appears that Justice Thomas actually concurred in the judgment only, even though he joined the putative majority opinion. This raises serious philosophical questions about jurisprudence, what is necessary to create a rule of law in the American legal system, and the precedential value of Concepcion itself.

Justice Thomas joined the majority opinion and provided the fifth vote, but wrote a concurring opinion that explicitly rejected the legal reasoning of the majority opinion in its entirety. The putative majority opinion authored by Justice Scalia allows that unconscionability can be a valid defense to the enforcement of an agreement to arbitrate, but in Concepcion, allowing California to apply its unconscionability doctrine (the Discover Bank rule) would frustrate the purposes and objectives of Congress in enacting the FAA. For these reasons the Scalia opinion found the law was preempted.

Justice Thomas, in contrast, does not believe that unconscionability can ever be a basis to invalidate an agreement to arbitrate and he reaffirmed his emphatic position articulated in Wyeth v. Levine that “[t]his Court’s entire body of purposes and objectives preemption jurisprudence is inherently flawed. The cases improperly rely on legislative history, broad atextual notions of congressional purpose, and even congressional inaction in order to pre-empt state law.”

Justice Thomas’s conclusion that the law was preempted turned on the text of the statute which he interprets as not allowing unconscionability-based defenses to preemption. Justice Thomas has reaffirmed his rejection of purposes and objectives preemption in cases decided after Concepcion. This means, looking at the substance of the opinions, that there are but four votes for the deciding rationale articulated in the Scalia opinion and there is not a single common denominator that the Scalia and Thomas opinions share, except that they agree on the result.

The Concepcion Court is, in substance, equally divided. Four members found that California’s unconscionability doctrine frustrated the purposes and objectives of the FAA, four in the dissent thought the law did not frustrate the purposes and objectives of the FAA, and one found that the purposes and objectives of Congress were immaterial to the resolution of the case.

How should lower courts react to an equally divided court in this situation? Does a Justice’s decision to join an opinion create a governing rule of law under these unusual circumstances? Can governing rules of law be created in the absence of a majority for the deciding rationale? Is a Justice’s labeling of an opinion as a regular concurrence dispositive or does its substance dictate the precedential value it is given?

The authors’ argue that the Supreme Court provided the answer to these questions over 100 years ago in Hertz v. Woodman:

Under the precedents of this court, and, as seems justified by reason as well as by authority, an affirmance by an equally divided court is, as between the parties, a conclusive determination and adjudication of the matter adjudged; but the principles of law involved not having been agreed upon by a majority of the court sitting prevents the case from becoming an authority for the determination of other cases, either in this or in inferior courts.

Under any rational reading of the opinions, there can be no doubt that “the principles of law involved [have not] been agreed upon by a majority of the court sitting” and this should “prevent[] the case from becoming authority for the determination of other cases, either in [the Supreme Court] or in inferior courts ...


Timeless Trial Strategies And Tactics: Lessons From The Classic Claus Von Bülow Case, Daniel M. Braun Feb 2013

Timeless Trial Strategies And Tactics: Lessons From The Classic Claus Von Bülow Case, Daniel M. Braun

Daniel M Braun

In this new Millennium -- an era of increasingly complex cases -- it is critical that lawyers keep a keen eye on trial strategy and tactics. Although scientific evidence today is more sophisticated than ever, the art of effectively engaging people and personalities remains prime. Scientific data must be contextualized and presented in absorbable ways, and attorneys need to ensure not only that they correctly understand jurors, judges, witnesses, and accused persons, but also that they find the means to make their arguments truly resonate if they are to formulate an effective case and ultimately realize justice. A decades-old case is highly ...


The Risky Interplay Of Tort And Criminal Law: Punitive Damages, Daniel M. Braun Jan 2013

The Risky Interplay Of Tort And Criminal Law: Punitive Damages, Daniel M. Braun

Daniel M Braun

The rise of modern mass tort litigation in the U.S. has transformed punitive damages into something of a “hot button” issue. Since the size of punitive damage awards grew so dramatically in the past half century, this private law remedy has begun to involve issues of constitutional rights that traditionally pertained to criminal proceedings. This has created a risky interplay between tort and criminal law, and courts have thus been trying to find ways to properly manage punitive damage awards. The once rapidly expanding universe of punitive damages is therefore beginning to contract. There remain, however, very serious difficulties ...


University Of Baltimore Symposium Report: Debut Of “The Matthew Fogg Symposia On The Vitality Of Stare Decisis In America”, Zena D. Crenshaw-Logal Jan 2012

University Of Baltimore Symposium Report: Debut Of “The Matthew Fogg Symposia On The Vitality Of Stare Decisis In America”, Zena D. Crenshaw-Logal

Zena Denise Crenshaw-Logal

On the first of each two day symposium of the Fogg symposia, lawyers representing NGOs in the civil rights, judicial reform, and whistleblower advocacy fields are to share relevant work of featured legal scholars in lay terms; relate the underlying principles to real life cases; and propose appropriate reform efforts. Four (4) of the scholars spend the next day relating their featured articles to views on the vitality of stare decisis. Specifically, the combined panels of public interest attorneys and law professors consider whether compliance with the doctrine is reasonably assured in America given the: 1. considerable discretion vested in ...


The Hollowness Of The Harm Principle, Steven D. Smith Dec 2011

The Hollowness Of The Harm Principle, Steven D. Smith

Steven D. Smith

Among the various instruments in the toolbox of liberalism, the so-called “harm principle,” presented as the central thesis of John Stuart Mill’s classic On Liberty, has been one of the most popular. The harm principle has been widely embraced and invoked in both academic and popular debate about a variety of issues ranging from obscenity to drug regulation to abortion to same-sex marriage, and its influence is discernible in legal arguments and judicial opinions as well. Despite the principle’s apparent irresistibility, this essay argues that the principle is hollow. It is an empty vessel, alluring but without any ...


Collective Choice, Justin Schwartz Jan 2011

Collective Choice, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

This short nontechnical article reviews the Arrow Impossibility Theorem and its implications for rational democratic decisionmaking. In the 1950s, economist Kenneth J. Arrow proved that no method for producing a unique social choice involving at least three choices and three actors could satisfy four seemingly obvious constraints that are practically constitutive of democratic decisionmaking. Any such method must violate such a constraint and risks leading to disturbingly irrational results such and Condorcet cycling. I explain the theorem in plain, nonmathematical language, and discuss the history, range, and prospects of avoiding what seems like a fundamental theoretical challenge to the possibility ...


Law As Largess: Shifting Paradigms Of Law For The Poor, Deborah M. Weissman Dec 2002

Law As Largess: Shifting Paradigms Of Law For The Poor, Deborah M. Weissman

Deborah M. Weissman

The article examines the tension between the principles of the Rule of Law and cultural norms of self-sufficiency. It begins by reviewing the principles of the Rule of Law as an ideal, the pursuit of which has led to historical efforts to meet the legal needs of the poor. It then examines recent legal events including federal statutory changes, three Supreme Court cases, and a federal circuit court case which have limited legal resources for those who cannot pay. The article then examines these developments in the context of a sea-change in the political environment of the nation, coinciding with ...