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Full-Text Articles in Law

Online Disinhibited Contracts, Wayne R. Barnes Feb 2024

Online Disinhibited Contracts, Wayne R. Barnes

Pepperdine Law Review

There have been at least two dominant forces at work in the realm of consumer contracting over the past several decades. One has been the rise and domination of the standard form contract (whereby merchants contract with consumers via the use of standardized, boilerplate terms and conditions that consumers do not read or understand). The second force has been the rise of e-commerce and the purchase of goods and services via websites and other online platforms, and the use of “wrap” formation methodology (whereby merchants obtain consumer assent to the online terms and conditions via the consumer’s informal click, scroll, …


No Need To Reinvent The Wheel: The Positive Relationship Between Green Technology And Patient Enforcement, Addison S. Fowler Feb 2024

No Need To Reinvent The Wheel: The Positive Relationship Between Green Technology And Patient Enforcement, Addison S. Fowler

Villanova Environmental Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Not-So-Smartphone Disclosures, Jeff Sovern, Nahal Heydari Feb 2024

Not-So-Smartphone Disclosures, Jeff Sovern, Nahal Heydari

Arkansas Law Review

The consumer credit market, and particularly the credit card market, lacks perfect competition. Though usury laws and regulation of charges are germane to our findings, this Article focuses largely on disclosure. Specifically, we examine whether consumers understand the disclosures mandated for credit cards in the medium in which many consumers now engage in financial transactions. This Article proceeds as follows: Part I presents some basics on consumer protections for credit cards. Part II reviews the literature concerning disclosures on smartphones. Part III discusses our methodology. Part IV reports our findings. Part V suggests some normative implications.


Next-Generation Data Governance, Kimberly A. Houser, John W. Bagby Feb 2024

Next-Generation Data Governance, Kimberly A. Houser, John W. Bagby

Duke Law & Technology Review

The proliferation of sensors, electronic payments, click-stream data, location-tracking, biometric feeds, and smart home devices, creates an incredibly profitable market for both personal and non-personal data. It is also leading to an amplification of harm to those from or about whom the data is collected. Because federal law provides inadequate protection for data subjects, there are growing calls for organizations to implement data governance solutions. Unfortunately, in the U.S., the concept of data governance has not progressed beyond the management and monetization of data. Many organizations operate under an outdated paradigm which fails to consider the impact of data use …


Commercially Reasonable Sales In The 21st Century, David Gray Carlson Feb 2024

Commercially Reasonable Sales In The 21st Century, David Gray Carlson

Ohio Northern University Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Angel Wears Prada, The Devil Buys It On The Realreal: Expanding Trademark Rights Beyond The First Sale Doctrine, Junajoy Vinoya Frianeza Jan 2024

The Angel Wears Prada, The Devil Buys It On The Realreal: Expanding Trademark Rights Beyond The First Sale Doctrine, Junajoy Vinoya Frianeza

Pepperdine Law Review

Luxury brands derive their goodwill from the high-class exclusivity and first-rate quality signified in their trademarks. The Trademark Act of 1946, commonly known as the Lanham Act, grants trademark holders the right to control use of their mark. However, under common law, the first sale doctrine restricts trademark protection after holders authorize the initial sale of their trademarked product. Such limitation particularly jeopardizes the luxury industry as trademark holders ultimately bear the loss of goodwill when counterfeit luxury goods enter the market due to the negligence of resellers. This Comment illustrates how blockchain authentication offers all luxury industry participants—the brands, …


Shareholder Primacy Versus Shareholder Accountability, William W. Bratton Jan 2024

Shareholder Primacy Versus Shareholder Accountability, William W. Bratton

Seattle University Law Review

When corporations inflict injuries in the course of business, shareholders wielding environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) principles can, and now sometimes do, intervene to correct the matter. In the emerging fact pattern, corporate social accountability expands out of its historic collectivized frame to become an internal subject matter—a corporate governance topic. As a result, shareholder accountability surfaces as a policy question for the first time. The Big Three index fund managers, BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street, responded to the accountability question with ESG activism. In so doing, they defected against corporate legal theory’s central tenet, shareholder primacy. Shareholder primacy builds …


Public Primacy In Corporate Law, Dorothy S. Lund Jan 2024

Public Primacy In Corporate Law, Dorothy S. Lund

Seattle University Law Review

This Article explores the malleability of agency theory by showing that it could be used to justify a “public primacy” standard for corporate law that would direct fiduciaries to promote the value of the corporation for the benefit of the public. Employing agency theory to describe the relationship between corporate management and the broader public sheds light on aspects of firm behavior, as well as the nature of state contracting with corporations. It also provides a lodestar for a possible future evolution of corporate law and governance: minimize the agency costs created by the divergence of interests between management and …


Corporate Law In The Global South: Heterodox Stakeholderism, Mariana Pargendler Jan 2024

Corporate Law In The Global South: Heterodox Stakeholderism, Mariana Pargendler

Seattle University Law Review

How do the corporate laws of Global South jurisdictions differ from their Global North counterparts? Prevailing stereotypes depict the corporate laws of developing countries as either antiquated or plagued by problems of enforcement and misfit despite formal convergence. This Article offers a different view by showing how Global South jurisdictions have pioneered heterodox stakeholder approaches in corporate law, such as the erosion of limited liability for purposes of stakeholder protection in Brazil and India, the adoption of mandatory corporate social responsibility in Indonesia and India, and the large-scale program of Black corporate ownership and empowerment in South Africa, among many …


Robo-Voting: Does Delegated Proxy Voting Pose A Challenge For Shareholder Democracy?, John Matsusaka, Chong Shu Jan 2024

Robo-Voting: Does Delegated Proxy Voting Pose A Challenge For Shareholder Democracy?, John Matsusaka, Chong Shu

Seattle University Law Review

Robo-voting is the practice by an investment fund of mechanically voting in corporate elections according to the advice of its proxy advisor— in effect fully delegating its voting decision to its advisor. We examined over 65 million votes cast during the period 2008–2021 by 14,582 mutual funds to describe and quantify the prevalence of robo-voting. Overall, 33% of mutual funds robo-voted in 2021: 22% with ISS, 4% with Glass Lewis, and six percent with the recommendations of the issuer’s management. The fraction of funds that robo-voted increased until around 2013 and then stabilized at the current level. Despite the sizable …


The Esg Information System, Stavros Gadinis, Amelia Miazad Jan 2024

The Esg Information System, Stavros Gadinis, Amelia Miazad

Seattle University Law Review

The mounting focus on ESG has forced internal corporate decision-making into the spotlight. Investors are eager to support companies in innovative “green” technologies and scrutinize companies’ transition plans. Activists are targeting boards whose decisions appear too timid or insufficiently explained. Consumers and employees are incorporating companies sustainability credentials in their purchasing and employment decisions. These actors are asking companies for better information, higher quality reports, and granular data. In response, companies are producing lengthy sustainability reports, adopting ambitious purpose statements, and touting their sustainability credentials. Understandably, concerns about greenwashing and accountability abound, and policymakers are preparing for action.

In this …


Stakeholder Governance On The Ground (And In The Sky), Stephen Johnson, Frank Partnoy Jan 2024

Stakeholder Governance On The Ground (And In The Sky), Stephen Johnson, Frank Partnoy

Seattle University Law Review

Professor Frank Partnoy: This is a marvelous gathering, and it is all due to Chuck O’Kelley and the special gentleness, openness, and creativity that he brings to this symposium. For more than a decade, he has been open to new and creative ways to discuss important issues surrounding business law and Adolf Berle’s legacy. We also are grateful to Dorothy Lund for co-organizing this gathering.

In introducing Stephen Johnson, I am reminded of a previous Berle, where Chuck allowed me some time to present the initial thoughts that led to my book, WAIT: The Art and Science of Delay. Part …


Franchising Law In The United States Between Theory And Practice: Heads Up For Foreign Investors, Radwa Elsaman Jan 2024

Franchising Law In The United States Between Theory And Practice: Heads Up For Foreign Investors, Radwa Elsaman

Touro Law Review

As a dynamic vehicle for fostering investment opportunities, both domestically and internationally, franchising spans a diverse array of industrial sectors, encompassing both goods and services. The United States plays a highly influential role in global franchise industry promotion, with a vast majority of International Franchise Association members representing American companies. Present data underscores that franchising has extended its reach to virtually every sector of the American economy. Notably, the United States stands among just four common law nations that have established dedicated franchise legislation, operating at both state and federal levels. This framework includes provisions for pre-sale disclosure, registration of …


Stakeholder Capitalism’S Greatest Challenge: Reshaping A Public Consensus To Govern A Global Economy, Leo E. Strine Jr., Michael Klain Jan 2024

Stakeholder Capitalism’S Greatest Challenge: Reshaping A Public Consensus To Govern A Global Economy, Leo E. Strine Jr., Michael Klain

Seattle University Law Review

The Berle XIV: Developing a 21st Century Corporate Governance Model Conference asks whether there is a viable 21st Century Stakeholder Governance model. In our conference keynote article, we argue that to answer that question yes requires restoring—to use Berle’s term—a “public consensus” throughout the global economy in favor of the balanced model of New Deal capitalism, within which corporations could operate in a way good for all their stakeholders and society, that Berle himself supported.

The world now faces problems caused in large part by the enormous international power of corporations and the institutional investors who dominate their governance. These …


Delegated Corporate Voting And The Deliberative Franchise, Sarah C. Haan Jan 2024

Delegated Corporate Voting And The Deliberative Franchise, Sarah C. Haan

Seattle University Law Review

Starting in the 1930s with the earliest version of the proxy rules, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has gradually increased the proportion of “instructed” votes on the shareholder’s proxy card until, for the first time in 2022, it required a fully instructed proxy card. This evolution effectively shifted the exercise of the shareholder’s vote from the shareholders’ meeting to the vote delegation that occurs when the share-holder fills out the proxy card. The point in the electoral process when the binding voting choice is communicated is now the execution of the proxy card (assuming the shareholder completes the card …


A Different Approach To Agency Theory And Implications For Esg, Jonathan Bonham, Amoray Riggs-Cragun Jan 2024

A Different Approach To Agency Theory And Implications For Esg, Jonathan Bonham, Amoray Riggs-Cragun

Seattle University Law Review

In conventional agency theory, the agent is modeled as exerting unobservable “effort” that influences the distribution over outcomes the principal cares about. Recent papers instead allow the agent to choose the entire distribution, an assumption that better describes the extensive and flexible control that CEOs have over firm outcomes. Under this assumption, the optimal contract rewards the agent directly for outcomes the principal cares about, rather than for what those outcomes reveal about the agent’s effort. This article briefly summarizes this new agency model and discusses its implications for contracting on ESG activities.


Stakeholder Governance As Governance By Stakeholders, Brett Mcdonnell Jan 2024

Stakeholder Governance As Governance By Stakeholders, Brett Mcdonnell

Seattle University Law Review

Much debate within corporate governance today centers on the proper role of corporate stakeholders, such as employees, customers, creditors, suppliers, and local communities. Scholars and reformers advocate for greater attention to stakeholder interests under a variety of banners, including ESG, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and stakeholder governance. So far, that advocacy focuses almost entirely on arguing for an expanded understanding of corporate purpose. It argues that corporate governance should be for various stakeholders, not shareholders alone.

This Article examines and approves of that broadened understanding of corporate purpose. However, it argues that we should understand stakeholder governance as extending well …


The Need For Corporate Guardrails In U.S. Industrial Policy, Lenore Palladino Jan 2024

The Need For Corporate Guardrails In U.S. Industrial Policy, Lenore Palladino

Seattle University Law Review

U.S. politicians are actively “marketcrafting”: the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act collectively mark a new moment of robust industrial policy. However, these policies are necessarily layered on top of decades of shareholder primacy in corporate governance, in which corporate and financial leaders have prioritized using corporate profits to increase the wealth of shareholders. The Administration and Congress have an opportunity to use industrial policy to encourage a broader reorientation of U.S. businesses away from extractive shareholder primacy and toward innovation and productivity. This Article examines discrete opportunities within the …


Capitalism Stakeholderism, Christina Parajon Skinner Jan 2024

Capitalism Stakeholderism, Christina Parajon Skinner

Seattle University Law Review

Today’s corporate governance debates are replete with discussion of how best to operationalize so-called stakeholder capitalism—that is, a version of capitalism that considers the interests of employees, communities, suppliers, and the environment alongside (if not before) a company’s shareholders. So much focus has been dedicated to the question of capitalism’s reform that few have questioned a key underlying premise of stakeholder capitalism: that is, that competitive capitalism does not serve these various constituencies and groups. This Essay presents a different view and argues that capitalism is, in fact, the ultimate form of stakeholderism. As such, the Essay urges that the …


Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review Jan 2024

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review

Seattle University Law Review

Table of Contents


The Structure Of Corporate Law Revolutions, William Savitt Jan 2024

The Structure Of Corporate Law Revolutions, William Savitt

Seattle University Law Review

Since, call it 1970, corporate law has operated under a dominant conception of governance that identifies profit-maximization for stockholder benefit as the purpose of the corporation. Milton Friedman’s essay The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits, published in September of that year, provides a handy, if admittedly imprecise, marker for the coronation of the shareholder-primacy paradigm. In the decades that followed, corporate law scholars pursued an ever-narrowing research agenda with the purpose and effect of confirming the shareholder-primacy paradigm. Corporate jurisprudence followed a similar path, slowly at first and later accelerating, to discover in the precedents and …


The Limits Of Corporate Governance, Cathy Hwang, Emily Winston Jan 2024

The Limits Of Corporate Governance, Cathy Hwang, Emily Winston

Seattle University Law Review

What is the purpose of the corporation? For decades, the answer was clear: to put shareholders’ interests first. In many cases, this theory of shareholder primacy also became synonymous with the imperative to maximize shareholder wealth. In the world where shareholder primacy was a north star, courts, scholars, and policymakers had relatively little to fight about: most debates were minor skirmishes about exactly how to maximize shareholder wealth.

Part I of this Essay discusses the shortcomings of shareholder primacy and stakeholder governance, arguing that neither of these modes of governance provides an adequate framework for incentivizing corporations to do good. …


Emerging Technology's Unfamiliarity With Commercial Law, Carla L. Reyes Jan 2024

Emerging Technology's Unfamiliarity With Commercial Law, Carla L. Reyes

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Over the course of a three-year, collaborative process that was open to the public, the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) and the American Law Institute (ALI) undertook a project to revise the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) to account for the impact of emerging technologies on commercial transactions. The amendments, approved jointly by the ULC and ALI in July 2022, touch on aspects of the entire UCC, but one change has inspired ire and attracted national media attention: a proposed revision to the definition of “money.” The 2022 UCC Amendments alter the definition of “money” to account for the introduction of central …


Controlling Moral Hazard In Limited Liability With The Consumer Sales Practices Act, Nathaniel Vargas Gallegos Jan 2024

Controlling Moral Hazard In Limited Liability With The Consumer Sales Practices Act, Nathaniel Vargas Gallegos

Journal of Legislation

The few states that have passed the Model Consumer Sales Practices Act have common definitions and case law regarding the definition of a “supplier.” This definition is broad enough to include managers of companies in limited liability entities in the states that have adopted the model act. The practicality is that business principals, owners, and managers can be held personally liable for deceptive practices under the state acts. But this is not a piercing of the corporate veil or of the limited-liability company. This Article is meant to accomplish four purposes: (1) exhibit the origins of the act, (2) show …


Beyond Trade Secrecy: Confidentiality Agreements That Act Like Noncompetes, Camilla A. Hrdy, Christopher B. Seaman Jan 2024

Beyond Trade Secrecy: Confidentiality Agreements That Act Like Noncompetes, Camilla A. Hrdy, Christopher B. Seaman

Scholarly Articles

There is a substantial literature on noncompete agreements and their adverse impact on employee mobility and innovation. But a far more common restraint in employment contracts has been underexplored: confidentiality agreements, sometimes called nondisclosure agreements (NDAs). A confidentiality agreement is not a blanket prohibition on competition. Rather, it is simply a promise not to use or disclose specific information. Confidentiality agreements encompass trade secrets, as defined by state and federal laws, but confidentiality agreements almost always go beyond trade secrecy, encompassing any information the employer imparted to the employee in confidence.

Despite widespread use, confidentiality agreements have received little attention. …


Reducing Food Scarcity: The Benefits Of Urban Farming, S.A. Claudell, Emilio Mejia Dec 2023

Reducing Food Scarcity: The Benefits Of Urban Farming, S.A. Claudell, Emilio Mejia

Journal of Nonprofit Innovation

Urban farming can enhance the lives of communities and help reduce food scarcity. This paper presents a conceptual prototype of an efficient urban farming community that can be scaled for a single apartment building or an entire community across all global geoeconomics regions, including densely populated cities and rural, developing towns and communities. When deployed in coordination with smart crop choices, local farm support, and efficient transportation then the result isn’t just sustainability, but also increasing fresh produce accessibility, optimizing nutritional value, eliminating the use of ‘forever chemicals’, reducing transportation costs, and fostering global environmental benefits.

Imagine Doris, who is …


Pooling And Exchanging Competitively Sensitive Information Among Rivals: Absolutely Illegal Not Just Unreasonable, Peter C. Carstensen, Annkathrin Marschall Dec 2023

Pooling And Exchanging Competitively Sensitive Information Among Rivals: Absolutely Illegal Not Just Unreasonable, Peter C. Carstensen, Annkathrin Marschall

University of Cincinnati Law Review

An agreement to exchange competitive sensitive information among rivalrous competitors usually results from an intent to inhibit or restrict the discretion of those firms to engage in competition. Basic economic logic about competition leads to that conclusion. Hence, such an exchange is in itself a naked agreement in restraint of trade without legal justification. Currently, case law requires a more convoluted and irrelevant inquiry into market definition and market power before a court can condemn such agreements. This is the result of ambiguous Supreme Court decisions as well as the recognition that in a few instances there are plausible arguments …


Smart Money For The People: Using Financial Innovation And Technology To Promote Esg, Frank Emmert Dec 2023

Smart Money For The People: Using Financial Innovation And Technology To Promote Esg, Frank Emmert

Duke Law & Technology Review

Traditional fiat currencies managed by governments and central banks have had negative impacts on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Central banks in mature democracies pursue policies that prioritize economic growth and high employment. However, these policies often lead to inflation, eroding the savings and pension funds of average citizens and encouraging risky behavior by banks and entrepreneurs. The pursuit of endless growth is socially and environmentally unsustainable. Leaders in developing countries and dictatorships use expansive monetary policy to maintain their positions, further exacerbating the situation. Convertible fiat currencies moving across borders in untraceable transactions evade regulation and taxation, with …


Implied Warranty Claims Under The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act: Resolving Fifty Years Of Uncertainty, Stephen E. Friedman Dec 2023

Implied Warranty Claims Under The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act: Resolving Fifty Years Of Uncertainty, Stephen E. Friedman

Pace Law Review

This Article addresses whether Congress intended for consumers to bring implied warranty claims on consumer products under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act in all instances or only when a defective product is covered by a written warranty. The question, unresolved almost fifty years after the Act’s passage, is of great practical importance because consumers who bring claims under the Act are eligible for attorneys’ fees and other potential advantages not available to plaintiffs bringing warranty claims under state law. This Article analyzes the two current approaches courts have taken to address the issue: a broad approach where consumers can bring a …


Fintech Lending In India: Taking Stock Of Implications For Privacy And Autonomy, Vidushi Marda, Amber Sinha Dec 2023

Fintech Lending In India: Taking Stock Of Implications For Privacy And Autonomy, Vidushi Marda, Amber Sinha

Indian Journal of Law and Technology

In the last five years, the Fintech sector has thrived in India, with Machine Learning (ML) driven credit scoring based on alternative data, emerging as a growing segment. The credit scoring industry in India needs to be viewed in light of a careful examination of rights, inclusion, appropriate safeguards and discrimination, currently missing from the discourse and practices. In this paper, we explain how ML-based credit scoring works, and the regulatory and commercial factors that have enabled and impeded its growth in India. Through legal and technological analysis, richened by insights from qualitative interviews with entrepreneurs and practitioners, we provide …