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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

The Fire Rises: Refining The Pennsylvania Fireworks Law So That Fewer People Get Burned, Sean P. Kraus Apr 2019

The Fire Rises: Refining The Pennsylvania Fireworks Law So That Fewer People Get Burned, Sean P. Kraus

Dickinson Law Review

On October 30, 2017, the General Assembly of Pennsylvania passed an act that repealed the state’s fireworks law, which had prohibited the sale of most fireworks to Pennsylvanian consumers for nearly 80 years. The law’s replacement generally permits Pennsylvanians over 18 years old to purchase, possess, and use “Consumer Fireworks.” Bottle rockets, firecrackers, Roman candles, and aerial shells are now available to amateur celebrants for holidays like Independence Day and New Year’s Eve. The law also regulates a category of larger “Display Fireworks,” sets standards for fireworks vendors, and introduces a 12-percent excise tax on fireworks sales ...


Berle X: Berle And His World: An Homage To William W. Bratton, Charles R. T. O'Kelley Feb 2019

Berle X: Berle And His World: An Homage To William W. Bratton, Charles R. T. O'Kelley

Seattle University Law Review

An introduction to the Berle X symposium, honoring William W. (Bill) Bratton.


Made For This Moment: The Enduring Relevance Of Adolf Berle’S Belief In A Global New Deal, Leo E. Strine Jr. Feb 2019

Made For This Moment: The Enduring Relevance Of Adolf Berle’S Belief In A Global New Deal, Leo E. Strine Jr.

Seattle University Law Review

At a time when the insecurity of working people in the United States and Europe is being exploited by nativist forces, the concept of a global New Deal is more relevant than ever. But, instead of a global New Deal, the predominant force in international trade in recent decades has been spreading pre-New Deal, laissez-faire approaches to markets, without extending with equal vigor the regulations essential to providing ordinary people economic security. Adolf Berle recognized that if the economy did not work for all, the worst impulses in humanity could be exploited by demagogues and authoritarians, having seen this first ...


Looking Forward In A Failing World: Adolf A. Berle, Jr., The United States, And Global Order In The Interwar Years, Jessica Wang Feb 2019

Looking Forward In A Failing World: Adolf A. Berle, Jr., The United States, And Global Order In The Interwar Years, Jessica Wang

Seattle University Law Review

This essay explores Berle’s understanding of American power and its relationship to global order in the era between the First and Second World Wars. I first survey the history of progressive internationalism in the 1920s in order to situate Berle’s approach to U.S. foreign relations and global affairs, before proceeding to a close examination of Berle’s immediate response to the aftermath of World War I, and then his foreign policy activities as part of the Roosevelt administration in the late 1930s and early 1940s. My analysis focuses in particular on his public efforts to promote a ...


Quasi Governments And Inchoate Law: Berle’S Vision Of Limits On Corporate Power, Elizabeth Pollman Feb 2019

Quasi Governments And Inchoate Law: Berle’S Vision Of Limits On Corporate Power, Elizabeth Pollman

Seattle University Law Review

This Berle X Symposium essay gives prominence to distinguished corporate law scholar Adolf A. Berle, Jr. and his key writings of the 1950s and 1960s. Berle is most famous for his work decades earlier, in the 1930s, with Gardiner Means on the topic of the separation of ownership and control, and for his great debate of corporate social responsibility with E. Merrick Dodd. Yet the world was inching closer to our contemporary one in terms of both business and technology in Berle’s later years and his work from this period deserves attention.


Democracy In America At Work: The History Of Labor’S Vote In Corporate Governance, Ewan Mcgaughey Feb 2019

Democracy In America At Work: The History Of Labor’S Vote In Corporate Governance, Ewan Mcgaughey

Seattle University Law Review

Can there be democracy in America at work? The historical division between democracy in politics and hierarchy in the economy is under strain. Hierarchical interests in the economy are shifting their model of power into politics, and yet a commitment to revive the law is resurgent. Central examples are the proposed Accountable Capitalism Act, Reward Work Act, Workplace Democracy Acts, and Employees’ Pension Security Acts. They would create a right for employees to elect 40% of directors on $1 billion company boards, a right for employees to elect one-third of directors on other listed company boards and require one-half employee ...


Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review Feb 2019

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review

Seattle University Law Review

No abstract provided.


On The Origins Of The Modern Corporation And Private Property, Bernard C. Beaudreau Feb 2019

On The Origins Of The Modern Corporation And Private Property, Bernard C. Beaudreau

Seattle University Law Review

The Modern Corporation and Private Property (MCPP) by Adolf A. Berle Jr. and Gardiner Means, published in 1932, is undisputedly the most influential work ever written in the field of corporate governance. In a nutshell, Berle and Means argued that corporate control had been usurped by a new class of managers, the result of which included (1) shareholder loss of control (a basic property right), (2) questionable corporate objectives and behavior, and (3) the potential breakdown of the market mechanism. In this paper, I examine the origins of MCPP, paying particular attention to the authors’ underlying motives. I argue that ...


Technological And Institutional Crossroads: The Life And Times Of Adolf A. Berle Jr., Bernard C. Beaudreau Feb 2019

Technological And Institutional Crossroads: The Life And Times Of Adolf A. Berle Jr., Bernard C. Beaudreau

Seattle University Law Review

In this paper, I examine the life and times of Adolf A. Berle Jr., perhaps the most influential scholar in the field of corporate governance. Specifically, I examine his contribution in light of the technological and institutional changes that occurred in the late nineteenth century—changes that were germane to his thinking and understanding of corporate governance. I argue that, despite his perspicacity, he failed to appreciate the changing role of corporate officers—that is, from that of fiduciary agent to that of visionary, founder, and essential element in corporate success. Put differently, in the early twentieth century, the key ...


“In Time Of Stress, A Civilization Pauses To Take Stock Of Itself”: Adolf A. Berle And The Modern Corporation From The New Era To 1933, Mark Hendrickson Feb 2019

“In Time Of Stress, A Civilization Pauses To Take Stock Of Itself”: Adolf A. Berle And The Modern Corporation From The New Era To 1933, Mark Hendrickson

Seattle University Law Review

This Article demonstrates three things. First, an examination of Berle’s work and thinking in this critical period reveals the ways in which public problems and the need to “know capitalism,” to borrow a phrase from Mary Furner, converged in the post-WWI era in remarkable and unprecedented ways that would shape New Deal and post-New Deal politics and policy. Berle’s gift for synthesizing evidence and constructing narratives that explained complex events were particularly well suited to this era that prized the expert. Second, identifying a problem and developing a persuasive narrative is one thing, but finding solutions is another ...


The ‘Berle And Means Corporation’ In Historical Perspective, Eric Hilt Feb 2019

The ‘Berle And Means Corporation’ In Historical Perspective, Eric Hilt

Seattle University Law Review

This Article presents new evidence on the evolution of the business corporation in America and on the emergence of what is commonly termed the “Berle and Means corporation.” Drawing on a wide range of sources, I investigate three major historical claims of The Modern Corporation: that large corporations had displaced small ones by the early twentieth century; that the quasi-public corporations of the 1930s were much larger than the public corporations of the nineteenth century; and that ownership was separated from control to a much greater extent in the 1930s compared to the nineteenth century. I address each of these ...


The Rise And Fall (?) Of The Berle–Means Corporation, Brian R. Cheffins Feb 2019

The Rise And Fall (?) Of The Berle–Means Corporation, Brian R. Cheffins

Seattle University Law Review

This Article forms part of the proceedings of the 10th Annual Berle Symposium (2018), which focused on Adolf Berle and the world he influenced. He and Gardiner Means documented in The Modern Corporation and Private Property (1932) what they said was a separation of ownership and control in major American business enterprises. Berle and Means became sufficiently closely associated with the separation of ownership and control pattern for the large American public firm to be christened subsequently the “Berle–Means corporation.” This Article focuses on the “rise” of the Berle–Means corporation, considering in so doing why ownership became divorced ...


Berle And Corporation Finance: Everything Old Is New Again, Frank Partnoy Feb 2019

Berle And Corporation Finance: Everything Old Is New Again, Frank Partnoy

Seattle University Law Review

In this essay, I want to illustrate how Adolf A. Berle Jr.’s Studies in the Law of Corporation Finance1 was prescient about the kinds of financial innovation that are central to today’s markets. For scholars who are not familiar with this publication, Corporation Finance is a compilation of edited versions of several of Berle’s articles, along with some new material, most of which is focused on 1920s corporate practice. My primary goal here is simply to shine a light on this work and to memorialize for scholars the key passages that echo many of today’s challenges ...


Merrick Dodd And The Great Depression: A Few Historical Corrections, Charles R. T. O'Kelley Feb 2019

Merrick Dodd And The Great Depression: A Few Historical Corrections, Charles R. T. O'Kelley

Seattle University Law Review

Merrick Dodd is remembered primarily for his role as coprotagonist, with Adolf Berle, in the famous Berle–Dodd debate. Dodd’s contribution to that debate—For Whom are Corporate Managers Trustees?—has generally been interpreted as the inspiration for modern stakeholder theory. Berle’s contribution has generally been viewed as the foundation on which shareholder primacy rests. Both of these views have been clarified by the nuanced work of Bratton and Wachter. Oddly, while scholars have devoted a great deal of attention to Berle’s actual life story, there is almost no scholarship that sheds light on Merrick Dodd, the ...


Berle And Means’S The Modern Corporation And Private Property: The Military Roots Of A Stakeholder Model Of Corporate Governance, Andrew Smith, Kevin D. Tennent, Jason Russell Feb 2019

Berle And Means’S The Modern Corporation And Private Property: The Military Roots Of A Stakeholder Model Of Corporate Governance, Andrew Smith, Kevin D. Tennent, Jason Russell

Seattle University Law Review

The Modern Corporation and Private Property by Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means (1932) remains one of the most cited works in management studies. Our paper shows that Berle and Means espoused a stakeholder theory of corporate governance that challenged the then-hegemonic idea that the sole purpose of a corporation is to create value for the shareholders. We argue that Berle and Means’s support for stakeholder theory can be associated with their earlier service in the U.S. military, an organization which then inculcated an ethos of public service in its members. Our paper, which is based on archival research ...


Corporate Lessons For Public Governance: The Origins And Activities Of The National Budget Committee, 1919–1923, Jesse Tarbert Feb 2019

Corporate Lessons For Public Governance: The Origins And Activities Of The National Budget Committee, 1919–1923, Jesse Tarbert

Seattle University Law Review

There is a peculiar disconnect between the way specialists view the 1920s and the way the decade is understood by non-specialists and the general public. Casual observers tend to view the 1920s as a conservative or reactionary interlude between the watershed reform periods of the Progressive Era and New Deal. Although many scholars have abandoned the traditional view of the 1920s, their work has not yet penetrated the generalizations of non-specialists. Even readers familiar with specialist accounts portraying the New Era as the age of “corporate liberalism” or the “Associative State” tend to view these concepts as just another way ...


The Modern Corporation And Private Property Revisited: Gardiner Means And The Administered Price, William W. Bratton Feb 2019

The Modern Corporation And Private Property Revisited: Gardiner Means And The Administered Price, William W. Bratton

Seattle University Law Review

This essay casts additional light on The Modern Corporation’s corporatist precincts, shifting attention to the book’s junior coauthor, Gardiner C. Means. Means is accurately remembered as the generator of Book I’s statistical showings—the description of deepening corporate concentration and widening separation of ownership and control. He is otherwise more notable for his absence than his presence in today’s discussions of The Modern Corporation. This essay fills this gap, describing the junior coauthor’s central concern—a theory of administered prices set out in a Ph.D. dissertation Means submitted to the Harvard economics department after ...


“All Lawyers Are Somewhat Suspect”: Adolf A. Berle And The Modern Legal Profession, Harwell Wells Feb 2019

“All Lawyers Are Somewhat Suspect”: Adolf A. Berle And The Modern Legal Profession, Harwell Wells

Seattle University Law Review

Adolf A. Berle was perhaps the preeminent scholar of the modern corporation. He was also an occasional scholar of the modern legal profession. This Article surveys his writings on the legal profession from the 1930s to the 1960s, from the sharp criticisms he leveled at lawyers, particularly corporate lawyers, during the Great Depression, to his sunnier account of the lawyer’s role in the postwar era. I argue that Berle’s views were shaped both by the reformist tradition he inherited from Louis Brandeis and his writings on the corporation, which left him convinced that the fate of the legal ...


Adolf Berle During The New Deal: The Brain Truster As An Intellectual Jobber, Robert B. Thompson Feb 2019

Adolf Berle During The New Deal: The Brain Truster As An Intellectual Jobber, Robert B. Thompson

Seattle University Law Review

Adolf Berle’s ideas have attained a remarkable longevity in corporate law with an influence exceeding that of any other twentieth century law professor. Participants in the now ten Berle symposia often have framed the discussion of his career as an intellectual history, usually built around the powerful transformative effect of The Modern Corporation and Private Property (MCPP). Yet this approach is insufficient to explain large parts of Berle’s professional career, including what Berle did during the twelve years of the Roosevelt Administration that immediately followed MCPP. This Article offers an alternative focus that better accounts for the career ...


Collected Lectures And Talks On Corporate Law, Legal Theory, History, Finance, And Governance, William W. Bratton Feb 2019

Collected Lectures And Talks On Corporate Law, Legal Theory, History, Finance, And Governance, William W. Bratton

Seattle University Law Review

A collection of eighteen speeches and lectures, from 2003 to 2018, discussing and expanding on the writings and theories of Adolf Berle and Gardiner Means.


Whistleblowers—A Case Study In The Regulatory Cycle For Financial Services, Ronald H. Filler, Jerry W. Markham Jun 2018

Whistleblowers—A Case Study In The Regulatory Cycle For Financial Services, Ronald H. Filler, Jerry W. Markham

Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission were directed by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank) to create whistleblower protection programs that reward informants with massive bounty payments. At the time of its passage, the Dodd-Frank Act was a highly controversial statute that was passed on partisan lines. Its whistleblowing authority was one of its “most contentious provisions.” As the result of the 2016 elections, the Dodd-Frank Act has come under renewed attack in Congress and by the new Trump administration. The stage is being set for possible repeal of ...


Navigating The New York Courts With The Assistance Of A Non-Lawyer, Fern Fisher Apr 2018

Navigating The New York Courts With The Assistance Of A Non-Lawyer, Fern Fisher

Dickinson Law Review

This Article discusses a program implemented by the New York State Unified Court System in order to address the justice gap for unrepresented litigants. Part I of this Article discusses the process behind creating the New York Navigator’s Program (discussed in more detail Part II), a program designed to help non-lawyer “Navigators” to assist unrepresented litigants in a limited capacity when the litigants appear before different types of state courts. The Navigators must complete training before they are able to assist the litigants. This program has been well received, as Part IV discusses, and has helped more and more ...


Progressive Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

Progressive Antitrust, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Several American political candidates and administrations have both run and served under the “progressive” banner for more than a century, right through the 2016 election season. For the most part these have pursued interventionist antitrust policies, reflecting a belief that markets are fragile and in need of repair, that certain interest groups require greater protection, or in some cases that antitrust policy is an extended arm of regulation. This paper argues that most of this progressive antitrust policy was misconceived, including that reflected in the 2016 antitrust plank of the Democratic Party. The progressive state is best served by a ...


Reasonable Patent Exhaustion, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

Reasonable Patent Exhaustion, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A lengthy tug of war between the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals may have ended when the Supreme Court held that the sale of a patented article exhausts the patentee seller’s rights to enforce restrictions on that article through patent infringement suits. Further, reversing the Federal Circuit, the parties cannot bargain around this rule through the seller’s specification of conditions stated at the time of sale, no matter how clear. No inquiry need be made into the patentee’s market power, anticompetitive effects, or other types of harms, whether enforcement of the condition is ...


Foreword: Bankruptcy’S New And Old Frontiers, William W. Bratton, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2018

Foreword: Bankruptcy’S New And Old Frontiers, William W. Bratton, David A. Skeel Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Symposium marks the fortieth anniversary of the enactment of the 1978 Bankruptcy Code (the “1978 Code” or the “Code”) with an extended look at seismic changes that currently are reshaping Chapter 11 reorganization. Today’s typical Chapter 11 case looks radically different than did the typical case in the Code’s early years. In those days, Chapter 11 afforded debtors a cozy haven. Most everything that mattered occurred within the context of the formal proceeding, where the debtor enjoyed agenda control, a leisurely timetable, and judicial solicitude. The safe haven steadily disappeared over time, displaced by a range of ...


Constructive Ambiguity And Judicial Development Of Insider Trading, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2018

Constructive Ambiguity And Judicial Development Of Insider Trading, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Texas Gulf Sulphur decision began what has become a fifty-year project of developing U.S. insider trading regulation through judicial lawmaking. During the course of that project, the courts developed a complex, fraud-based approach to determining the scope of liability. The approach has led, in many cases, to doctrinal uncertainty, a result that is reflected in the recent decisions in Newman, Salman, and Martoma.

n the face of this uncertainty, many commentators have called for a legislative solution. This article argues, however, that the true challenge of insider trading regulation is a lack of consensus about the appropriate scope ...


The Rule Of Reason, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

The Rule Of Reason, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Antitrust’s rule of reason was born out of a thirty-year (1897-1927) division among Supreme Court Justices about the proper way to assess multi-firm restraints on competition. By the late 1920s the basic contours of the rule for restraints among competitors was roughly established. Antitrust policy toward vertical restraints remained much more unstable, however, largely because their effects were so poorly understood.

This article provides a litigation field guide for antitrust claims under the rule of reason – or more precisely, for situations when application of the rule of reason is likely. At the time pleadings are drafted and even up ...


Dorothy Moser Medlin Papers - Accession 1049, Dorothy Moser Medlin Jan 2018

Dorothy Moser Medlin Papers - Accession 1049, Dorothy Moser Medlin

Manuscript Collection

(The Dorothy Moser Medlin Papers are currently in processing.)

This collection contains most of the records of Dorothy Medlin’s work and correspondence and also includes reference materials, notes, microfilm, photographic negatives related both to her professional and personal life. Additions include a FLES Handbook, co-authored by Dorothy Medlin and a decorative mirror belonging to Dorothy Medlin.

Major series in this collection include: some original 18th century writings and ephemera and primary source material of André Morellet, extensive collection of secondary material on André Morellet's writings and translations, Winthrop related files, literary manuscripts and notes by Dorothy Medlin (1966-2011 ...


Innovation Diffusion In The Legal Industry, William D. Henderson Jan 2018

Innovation Diffusion In The Legal Industry, William D. Henderson

Dickinson Law Review

This article is adapted from a series of blog posts originally found in my recently-started blog entitled Legal Evolution. The foundational material set forth in this article (and in those blog posts) applies to the legal services market insights gained from disciplines other than law. This article begins by setting forth the well-established theory of an “innovation diffusion curve” and the research that has identified the factors that affect the rate of adoption of innovations. This article identifies why innovation in the legal services market is desirable and applies to the legal services field insights drawn from this research in ...


Adolf Berle During The New Deal: The Brain Truster As An Intellectual Jobber, Robert Thompson Jan 2018

Adolf Berle During The New Deal: The Brain Truster As An Intellectual Jobber, Robert Thompson

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Thirty-seven year old law professor Adolf Berle had a career year in 1932. His book published that year, The Modern Corporation and Private Property (written with Gardiner Means), framed the fundamental twentieth century change in understanding modern corporations. Berle’s exchange with Merrick Dodd on the purpose of the corporation that played out that spring on the pages of the Harvard Law Review launched a still fierce debate over the role of shareholders and other stakeholders. His service as a brain truster for Franklin Roosevelt during the fall election gave voice to the transformative economic policies of the New Deal ...