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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review Sep 2019

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review

Seattle University Law Review

No abstract provided.


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.


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 ...


“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 ...


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 ...


“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 ...


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.


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 ...


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.


Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review Feb 2019

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review

Seattle University Law Review

No abstract provided.


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 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 ...


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 ...


The English East India Company And The Modern Corporation: Legacies, Lessons, And Limitations, Philip J. Stern Mar 2016

The English East India Company And The Modern Corporation: Legacies, Lessons, And Limitations, Philip J. Stern

Seattle University Law Review

The English East India Company was first chartered in 1600, endured until the late nineteenth century, and, in a clever act of corporate resurrection, has even recently returned as a global, upmarket retail outlet selling fine foods and commemorative coins. It has also endured in the popular imagination and culture, churning out heroes and villains alike in film, television, and video games. The script writer for a forthcoming BBC miniseries, in which the East India Company stars as the prime antagonist, even noted recently that the Company was like “the CIA, the NSA, and the biggest, baddest multinational corporation on ...


The Washington 2004 Gubernatorial Election Crisis: The Necessity Of Restoring Public Confidence In The Electoral Process, Joaquin G. Avila Jan 2005

The Washington 2004 Gubernatorial Election Crisis: The Necessity Of Restoring Public Confidence In The Electoral Process, Joaquin G. Avila

Seattle University Law Review

This Article details the plethora of problems associated with Washington State's 2004 gubernatorial election and explores the proposed electoral reforms in light of prior threats to the electoral process. The Article postulates that electoral reforms in the administration of elections also present an important opportunity to provide minority communities with greater access to the political process. Part II of this Article begins with a history ofvoting discrimination in the United States. This history provides a context to the 2004 gubernatorial election in Washington. In addition, this history provides an important background context for assessing whether reforms in the administration ...


Revisiting Granite Falls:Why The Seattle Monorail Project Requires Re-Examination Of Washington's Prohibition On Taxation Without Representation, Matthew Senechal Jan 2005

Revisiting Granite Falls:Why The Seattle Monorail Project Requires Re-Examination Of Washington's Prohibition On Taxation Without Representation, Matthew Senechal

Seattle University Law Review

The composition and actions of the un-elected Seattle Monorail Project (SMP) Board raise the question of whether the Washington State Constitution permits the legislature to delegate its taxing power to municipal corporations governed by unelected boards. Stated differently, the SMP Board and its actions present the question of whether the Washington State Constitution requires that local taxes be imposed only by officials who are elected by, and accountable to, the electorate burdened by the tax. While Washington's Constitution, political structures, and legal doctrine are designed to prevent "taxation without representation," the recent case of Granite Falls Library Facility Area ...


Voting Rights At A Crossroads: Return To The Past Or An Opportunity For The Future, Barbara Arnwine Jan 2005

Voting Rights At A Crossroads: Return To The Past Or An Opportunity For The Future, Barbara Arnwine

Seattle University Law Review

This keynote address for the 2005 Symposium: Where's My Vote? Lessons Learned from Washington State's Gubernatorial Election was presented by Barbara Arnwine. The focus of the presentation was on "Voting Rights at a Crossroad: Return to the Past or an Opportunity for the Future?" To students who are on the career path to becoming practitioners of law, and to attorneys and law professors, no role is more important than enhancing democracy. Ms. Arnwine's speech addresses the topics of voting rights from a national perspective highlighting the most pressing challenges. In addressing this theme, four areas of voting ...


Death By A Thousand Signatures: The Rise Of Restrictive Ballot Access Laws And The Decline Of Electoral Competition In The United States, Oliver Hall Jan 2005

Death By A Thousand Signatures: The Rise Of Restrictive Ballot Access Laws And The Decline Of Electoral Competition In The United States, Oliver Hall

Seattle University Law Review

This Article explores one instance of the countermajoritarian problem in American democracy: how to protect the rights of minor parties and independent candidates participating in an electoral system dominated by two major parties. In particular, this Article focuses on the effect of modern ballot access laws on candidates' rights, arguing that courts ought to treat these laws as a presumptively impermissible form of "collusion in restraint of democracy." Although the article borrows the language of antitrust law, this argument is rooted in core constitutional principles and rights guaranteed under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Nevertheless, the analogy to antitrust law ...


Internet Voting With Initiatives And Referendums: Stumbling Towards Direct Democracy, Rebekah K. Browder Jan 2005

Internet Voting With Initiatives And Referendums: Stumbling Towards Direct Democracy, Rebekah K. Browder

Seattle University Law Review

Imagine that it is Tuesday, November 4, 2008, and you realize that you have not yet voted for the candidate that you want to be President of the United States. The polls close at 7 p.m., and it is already 6:45 p.m. Instead of rushing off to the nearest polling place, you simply go to your computer, log in, fill out a ballot, and email your ballot to your designated polling website. The whole process takes fewer than ten minutes, and you have done your civic duty. Leading proponents of Internet voting point to five possible benefits ...


The Emergence Of Critical Social Theory In American Jurisprudence: An Introduction To Professor Rosenberg's Perspective, Harlan S. Abrahams Jan 1980

The Emergence Of Critical Social Theory In American Jurisprudence: An Introduction To Professor Rosenberg's Perspective, Harlan S. Abrahams

Seattle University Law Review

Norman Rosenberg's treatment of Thomas Cooley, liberal jurisprudence, and the law of libel exemplifies both a difficulty with and an opportunity for traditional law review scholarship. The difficulty arises from the failure of many legal writers to identify and explain the jurisprudential perspectives that define their substantive approach. This problem is particularly acute when, as in Professor Rosenberg's article, the jurisprudential perspective deviates from the mainstream. The opportunity lies in bringing the problem of perspective out of the closet and legitimating its critical treatment as an integral element of all legal scholarship.


Thomas M. Cooley, Liberal Jurisprudence, And The Law Of Libel, 1868-1884, Norman L. Rosenberg Jan 1980

Thomas M. Cooley, Liberal Jurisprudence, And The Law Of Libel, 1868-1884, Norman L. Rosenberg

Seattle University Law Review

During the past two decades, and especially since 1970, there has been a steadily growing interest in American legal history, including the work of nineteenth-century legal figures, including Thomas M.Cooley. Most scholars once dismissed Cooley as a simplistic apologist for laissez faire economics and late nineteenth-century capitalism. Recently, however, legal and constitutional historians have realized that his legal thought was much more complex. In part, this article seeks to extend recent work on Cooley and to examine his ideas and judicial opinions on freedom of expression and the law of libel. Cooley's views about free expression, defamation law ...


The Implicit Teaching Of Utopian Speculations: Rousseau's Contribution To The Natural Law Tradition, Thomas E. Carbonneau Jan 1979

The Implicit Teaching Of Utopian Speculations: Rousseau's Contribution To The Natural Law Tradition, Thomas E. Carbonneau

Seattle University Law Review

Legal philosophers, especially of the positivist variety, traditionally have assumed that the proponents of natural law theory present too facile an answer to the vexed question of whether an unjust law can be said to exist when it is duly sanctioned by legal and political authority. If not disappointed by the answer itself, they have been most unhappy with the explanation that accompanies it and, indeed, are prepared to challenge the very foundations of a theory of law which pays so little heed—either empirically or in terms of pure logic—to the actual operations of existing legal systems. Kant ...