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Full-Text Articles in Legal Profession

The Effects Of Holistic Defense On Criminal Justice Outcomes, James Anderson, Maya Buenaventura, Paul Heaton Nov 2018

The Effects Of Holistic Defense On Criminal Justice Outcomes, James Anderson, Maya Buenaventura, Paul Heaton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


The Modigliani-Miller Theorem At 60: The Long-Overlooked Legal Applications Of Finance’S Foundational Theorem, Michael S. Knoll Oct 2017

The Modigliani-Miller Theorem At 60: The Long-Overlooked Legal Applications Of Finance’S Foundational Theorem, Michael S. Knoll

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

2018 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Franco Modigliani and Merton Miller’s The Cost of Capital, Corporation Finance, and the Theory of Investment. Widely hailed as the foundation of modern finance, their article, which purports to demonstrate that a firm’s value is independent of its capital structure, is little known by lawyers, including legal academics. That is unfortunate because the Modigliani-Miller capital structure irrelevancy proposition (when inverted) provides a framework that can be extremely useful to legal academics, practicing attorneys and judges.


Perfectly Frank: A Reflection On Quality Lawyering In Honor Of R. Franklin Balotti, Leo E. Strine Jr., James J. Hanks Jr., John F. Olson, A. Gilchrist Sparks, E. Norman Veasey, Gregory P. Williams Apr 2017

Perfectly Frank: A Reflection On Quality Lawyering In Honor Of R. Franklin Balotti, Leo E. Strine Jr., James J. Hanks Jr., John F. Olson, A. Gilchrist Sparks, E. Norman Veasey, Gregory P. Williams

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay honoring the late R. Franklin Balotti focuses upon certain of the key attributes necessary to practice business law effectively and ethically. Among these attributes are a strong work ethic, the integrity to stand behind your own advice and candidly admit when things do not go according to plan, empathy for how others will view your client’s actions and the ability to communicate that perception to your client, the confidence to change the pace of a transaction when a slow down or time out is warranted, and the ability to have some fun and laugh (even at yourself ...


Mutually Assured Protection Among Large U.S. Law Firms, Tom Baker, Rick Swedloff Jan 2017

Mutually Assured Protection Among Large U.S. Law Firms, Tom Baker, Rick Swedloff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Top law firms are notoriously competitive, fighting for prime clients and matters. But some of the most elite firms are also deeply cooperative, willingly sharing key details about their finances and strategy with their rivals. More surprisingly, they pay handsomely to do so. Nearly half of the AmLaw 100 and 200 belong to mutual insurance organizations that require member firms to provide capital; partner time; and important information about their governance, balance sheets, risk management, strategic plans, and malpractice liability. To answer why these firms do so when there are commercial insurers willing to provide coverage with fewer burdens, we ...


Just And Speedy: On Civil Discovery Sanctions For Luddite Lawyers, Michael Thomas Murphy Jan 2017

Just And Speedy: On Civil Discovery Sanctions For Luddite Lawyers, Michael Thomas Murphy

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article presents a theoretical model by which a judge could impose civil sanctions on an attorney - relying in part on Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure - for that attorney’s failure to utilize time- and expense-saving technology.

Rule 1 now charges all participants in the legal system to ensure the “just, speedy and inexpensive” resolution of disputes. In today’s litigation environment, a lawyer managing a case in discovery needs robust technological competence to meet that charge. However, the legal industry is slow to adopt technology, favoring “tried and true” methods over efficiency. This conflict is ...


What Gideon Did, Sara Mayeux Jan 2016

What Gideon Did, Sara Mayeux

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Many accounts of Gideon v. Wainwright’s legacy focus on what Gideon did not do—its doctrinal and practical limits. For constitutional theorists, Gideon imposed a preexisting national consensus upon a few “outlier” states, and therefore did not represent a dramatic doctrinal shift. For criminal procedure scholars, advocates, and journalists, Gideon has failed, in practice, to guarantee meaningful legal help for poor people charged with crimes.

Drawing on original historical research, this Article instead chronicles what Gideon did—the doctrinal and institutional changes it inspired between 1963 and the early 1970s. Gideon shifted the legal profession’s policy consensus on ...


Designing Plea Bargaining From The Ground Up: Accuracy And Fairness Without Trials As Backstops, Stephanos Bibas Jan 2016

Designing Plea Bargaining From The Ground Up: Accuracy And Fairness Without Trials As Backstops, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

American criminal procedure developed on the assumption that grand juries and petit jury trials were the ultimate safeguards of fair procedures and accurate outcomes. But now that plea bargaining has all but supplanted juries, we need to think through what safeguards our plea-bargaining system should be built around. This Symposium Article sketches out principles for redesigning our plea-bargaining system from the ground up around safeguards. Part I explores the causes of factual, moral, and legal inaccuracies in guilty pleas. To prevent and remedy these inaccuracies, it proposes a combination of quasi-inquisitorial safeguards, more vigorous criminal defense, and better normative evaluation ...


Improving Lawyers’ Judgment: Is Mediation Training De-Biasing?, Douglas N. Frenkel, James H. Stark Oct 2015

Improving Lawyers’ Judgment: Is Mediation Training De-Biasing?, Douglas N. Frenkel, James H. Stark

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

When people are placed in a partisan role or otherwise have an objective they seek to accomplish, they are prone to pervasive cognitive and motivational biases. These judgmental distortions can affect what people believe and wish to find out, the predictions they make, the strategic decisions they employ, and what they think is fair. A classic example is confirmation bias, which can cause its victims to seek and interpret information in ways that are consistent with their pre-existing views or the goals they aim to achieve. Studies consistently show that experts as well as laypeople are prone to such biases ...


Liability Insurer Data As A Window On Lawyers’ Professional Liability, Tom Baker, Rick Swedloff Jan 2015

Liability Insurer Data As A Window On Lawyers’ Professional Liability, Tom Baker, Rick Swedloff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Using the best publicly available data on lawyers’ liability claims and insurance – from the largest insurer of large law firms in the U.S., the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Professional Liability, and a summary of large claims from a leading insurance broker–this article reports the frequency of lawyers’ liability claims, the distribution and cost of claims by type of practice, the disposition of claims, and lawyers liability insurance premiums from the early 1980s to 2013. Notable findings include remarkable stability over thirty years in the distribution of claims by area of practice among both small and ...


Making "Friends" With The #Ethics Rules: Avoiding Pitfalls In Professional Social Media Use, Cynthia Laury Dahl Jan 2015

Making "Friends" With The #Ethics Rules: Avoiding Pitfalls In Professional Social Media Use, Cynthia Laury Dahl

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Lawyers’ professional use of social media is widespread and a critical component to running a successful practice. Yet some common uses of social media easily – and often innocently -- violate the professional rules of ethics. The American Bar Association recently passed amendments to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to include topics related to social media use, but the amendments still do not address all issues. Likewise, advisory opinions of state and local bar associations and court opinions give scant and sometimes contradictory advice about when a use does or does not violate a Rule. This essay discusses four topics at ...


Confronting The Peppercorn Settlement In Merger Litigation: An Empirical Analysis And A Proposal For Reform, Jill E. Fisch, Sean J. Griffith, Steven M. Davidoff Jan 2015

Confronting The Peppercorn Settlement In Merger Litigation: An Empirical Analysis And A Proposal For Reform, Jill E. Fisch, Sean J. Griffith, Steven M. Davidoff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Shareholder litigation challenging corporate mergers is ubiquitous, with the likelihood of a shareholder suit exceeding 90%. The value of this litigation, however, is questionable. The vast majority of merger cases settle for nothing more than supplemental disclosures in the merger proxy statement. The attorneys that bring these lawsuits are compensated for their efforts with a court-awarded fee. This leads critics to charge that merger litigation benefits only the lawyers who bring the claims, not the shareholders they represent. In response, defenders of merger litigation argue that the lawsuits serve a useful oversight function and that the improved disclosures that result ...


Beyond Gilson: The Art Of Business Lawyering, Praveen Kosuri Jan 2015

Beyond Gilson: The Art Of Business Lawyering, Praveen Kosuri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Thirty years ago, Ronald Gilson asked the question, “what do business lawyers really do?” Since that time legal scholars have continued to grapple with that question and the implicit question of how business lawyers add value to their clients. This article revisits the question again but with a more expansive perspective on the role of business lawyer and what constitutes value to clients.

Gilson put forth the theory of business lawyers as transaction cost engineers. Years later, Karl Okamoto introduced the concept of deal lawyer as reputational intermediary. Steven Schwarcz attempted to isolate the role of business lawyer from other ...


Roadblocks To Access To Justice: Reforming Ethical Rules To Meet The Special Needs Of Low-Income Clients, Louis S. Rulli Jan 2014

Roadblocks To Access To Justice: Reforming Ethical Rules To Meet The Special Needs Of Low-Income Clients, Louis S. Rulli

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The nation’s growing justice gap has left the poor with far too little access to legal representation, even in the most serious of civil matters. With poverty rates approaching their highest levels in the last fifty years, the poor struggle to hold on to their homes, their jobs, and their families, frequently overmatched by superior resources and an abundance of opposing lawyers representing corporations, government, and well-heeled interests. Non-profit lawyers struggle to provide limited assistance to the poor in high volume, community settings, or in courtroom corridors and on telephone hot lines. It is in these non-traditional settings that ...


Rethinking Summary Judgment Empirics: The Life Of The Parties, Jonah B. Gelbach Jan 2014

Rethinking Summary Judgment Empirics: The Life Of The Parties, Jonah B. Gelbach

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Gideon And The Effective Assistance Of Counsel: The Rhetoric And The Reality, David Rudovsky Jan 2014

Gideon And The Effective Assistance Of Counsel: The Rhetoric And The Reality, David Rudovsky

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

There is general agreement that the “promise” of Gideon has been systematically denied to large numbers of criminal defendants. In some cases, no counsel is provided; in many others, excessive caseloads and lack of resources prevent appointed counsel from providing effective assistance. Public defenders are forced to violate their ethical obligations by excessive case assignments that make it impossible for them to practice law in accordance with professional standards, to say nothing of Sixth Amendment commands. This worsening situation is caused by the failure of governmental bodies to properly fund indigent defense services and by the refusal of courts to ...


No Alternative: Resolving Disputes Japanese Style, Eric Feldman Jan 2014

No Alternative: Resolving Disputes Japanese Style, Eric Feldman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article critiques the simple black/white categorisation of mainstream versus alternative dispute resolution, and argues that what is needed is a cartography of dispute resolution institutions that maps the full range of approaches and traces their interaction. It sketches the first lines of such a map by describing two examples of conflict resolution in Japan. Neither can justly be called “alternative”, yet neither fits the mould of what might be called mainstream or classical dispute resolution. One, judicial settlement, focuses on process; the other, compensating victims of the Fukushima disaster, engages a specific event. Together, they help to illustrate ...


The Duties Of Non-Judicial Actors In Ensuring Competent Negotiation, Stephanos Bibas Jul 2013

The Duties Of Non-Judicial Actors In Ensuring Competent Negotiation, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay, written for a symposium at Duquesne Law School entitled Plea Bargaining After Lafler and Frye, offers thoughts on how lawyers could learn from doctors’ experience in catching and preventing medical errors and aviation experts’ learning from airplane crashes and near misses. It also expresses skepticism about the efficacy of judges’ ex post review of ineffective assistance of counsel, but holds out more hope that public-defender organizations, bar associations, probation officers, sentencing judges, sentencing commissions, and line and supervisory prosecutors can do much more to prevent misunderstanding and remedy ineffective bargaining advice in the first place.


Shrinking Gideon And Expanding Alternatives To Lawyers, Stephanos Bibas Apr 2013

Shrinking Gideon And Expanding Alternatives To Lawyers, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay, written as part of a symposium at Washington and Lee Law School entitled Gideon at 50: Reassessing the Right to Counsel, argues that the standard academic dream of expanding the right to counsel to all criminal and major civil cases has proven to be an unattainable mirage. We have been spreading resources too thin, in the process slighting the core cases such as capital and other serious felonies that are the most complex and need the most time and money. Moreover, our legal system is overengineered, making the law too complex and legal services too expensive for the ...


Bulk Misdemeanor Justice, Stephanos Bibas Feb 2013

Bulk Misdemeanor Justice, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This short essay responds to Alexandra Natapoff’s article Misdemeanors, which shines a much-needed spotlight on the mass production of criminal justice and injustice in millions of low-level cases. The prime culprit in Natapoff’s story is the hidden, informal discretion that police officers enjoy to arrest, charge, and effect convictions, abetted by prosecutors’ and judges’ abdication and defense counsel’s absence or impotence. The roots of the problem she identifies, I argue, go all the way down to the system’s professionalization and mechanization. Given the magnitude of the problem, Natapoff’s solutions are surprisingly half-hearted, masking the deeper ...


They Were Meant For Each Other: Proffessor Edward Cooper And The Rules Enabling Act, Anthony J. Scirica, Mark R. Kravitz, David F. Levi, Lee H. Rosenthal Jan 2013

They Were Meant For Each Other: Proffessor Edward Cooper And The Rules Enabling Act, Anthony J. Scirica, Mark R. Kravitz, David F. Levi, Lee H. Rosenthal

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


A Market For Justice: A First Empirical Look At Third Party Litigation Funding, David S. Abrams, Daniel L. Chen Jan 2013

A Market For Justice: A First Empirical Look At Third Party Litigation Funding, David S. Abrams, Daniel L. Chen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The alienability of legal claims holds the promise of increasing access to justice and fostering development of the law. While much theoretical work points to this possibility, no empirical work has investigated the claims, largely due to the rarity of trading in legal claims in modern systems of law. In this paper we take the first step toward empirically testing some of these theoretical claims using data from Australia. We find some evidence that third-party funding corresponds to an increase in litigation and court caseloads. Cases with third-party funders are more prominent than comparable ones. While third-party funding may have ...


Thinking, Big And Small, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2013

Thinking, Big And Small, Stephen B. Burbank

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Mission: Impossible, Mission: Accomplished Or Mission: Underway? A Survey And Analysis Of Current Trends In Professionalism Education In American Law Schools, Alison Kehner, Mary Ann Robinson Oct 2012

Mission: Impossible, Mission: Accomplished Or Mission: Underway? A Survey And Analysis Of Current Trends In Professionalism Education In American Law Schools, Alison Kehner, Mary Ann Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article identifies common characteristics of effective professionalism instruction to provide guidance in how to design innovative professionalism instruction. After introducing the topic in Part I, Part II of this Article describes the origins and development of the professionalism education movement in American Law schools. Part III of this Article explains our methods for collecting information and identifies and summarizes the predominant trends, and provides examples of noteworthy programs or initiatives. Part IV concludes by describing our method for assessing successful programs and identifying the characteristics of effective professionalism instruction.


In Memorium: Bernard Wolfman, Michael A. Fitts Jun 2012

In Memorium: Bernard Wolfman, Michael A. Fitts

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Facebook Fallacies, Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr. Jan 2012

Facebook Fallacies, Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr.

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Law's Aspirations, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Jan 2012

Law's Aspirations, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


“Impact” In 3d—Maximizing Impact Through Transactional Clinics, Praveen Kosuri Nov 2011

“Impact” In 3d—Maximizing Impact Through Transactional Clinics, Praveen Kosuri

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In speaking about “impact” clinical legal education, it is almost always exclusively as litigation—innocence projects, representing Guantanamo detainees, human rights concerns, environmental issues. Though these clinical efforts target different societal ills, all try to use the legal system as a catalyst for change. Rarely do clinicians invoke the word “impact” in the same manner in discussing transactional legal work much less transactional clinics. Yet transactional clinics can and do perform impact work. This article describes the current landscape of transactional clinics, the distinct evolution of community economic development clinics from small business and organizations clinics and argues that both ...


Sacrificing Quantity For Quality: Better Focusing Prosecutors' Scarce Resources, Stephanos Bibas Apr 2011

Sacrificing Quantity For Quality: Better Focusing Prosecutors' Scarce Resources, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This short essay responds to Adam Gershowitz’s and Laura Killinger’s article The State (Never) Rests: How Excessive Prosecutorial Caseloads Harm Criminal Defendants. The authors rightly argue that prosecutorial overwork harms justice in any number of ways: it delays cases, frustrates victims, makes it harder to spot and free innocent defendants, and impedes lowering punishments for sympathetic defendants. The root problem, however, is less about underfunding than about skewed priorities and metrics of success. Too often, prosecutors do not think strategically about using their discretion to proactively set priorities and focus on system-wide tradeoffs. Throwing money at the problem ...


The Pitfalls Of Professionalized Prosecution: A Response To Josh Bowers's "Legal Guilt, Normative Innocence, And The Equitable Decision Not To Prosecute", Stephanos Bibas Jan 2011

The Pitfalls Of Professionalized Prosecution: A Response To Josh Bowers's "Legal Guilt, Normative Innocence, And The Equitable Decision Not To Prosecute", Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This short essay responds to Josh Bowers’ article Legal Guilt, Normative Innocence, and the Equitable Decision Not to Prosecute. While most scholars focus on the most visible injustices in the most serious cases, Bowers rightly notes that this sliver of serious felonies is dwarfed by the mountain of minor, low-visibility misdemeanors and violations. Prosecutors are reasonably good at classifying crimes based on legal guilt and administrative criteria, but are far worse at weighing all the particulars and exercising equitable discretion. Our consistent faith in prosecutors’ expertise, Bowers argues, is not only misguided but backwards; we should value outsiders’ fresh perspectives ...


Redefining Human Rights Lawyering Through The Lens Of Critical Theory: Lessons For Pedagogy And Practice, Carol Bettinger-Lopez, Davida Finger, Meetali Jain, Jonel Newman, Sarah Paoletti Jan 2011

Redefining Human Rights Lawyering Through The Lens Of Critical Theory: Lessons For Pedagogy And Practice, Carol Bettinger-Lopez, Davida Finger, Meetali Jain, Jonel Newman, Sarah Paoletti

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.