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Full-Text Articles in Law

Digital Market Perfection, Rory Van Loo Jan 2019

Digital Market Perfection, Rory Van Loo

Michigan Law Review

Google’s, Apple’s, and other companies’ automated assistants are increasingly serving as personal shoppers. These digital intermediaries will save us time by purchasing grocery items, transferring bank accounts, and subscribing to cable. The literature has only begun to hint at the paradigm shift needed to navigate the legal risks and rewards of this coming era of automated commerce. This Article begins to fill that gap by surveying legal battles related to contract exit, data access, and deception that will determine the extent to which automated assistants are able to help consumers to search and switch, potentially bringing tremendous societal benefits. Whereas …


Intellectual Property In Experience, Madhavi Sunder Jan 2018

Intellectual Property In Experience, Madhavi Sunder

Michigan Law Review

In today’s economy, consumers demand experiences. From Star Wars to Harry Potter, fans do not just want to watch or read about their favorite characters— they want to be them. They don the robes of Gryffindor, flick their wands, and drink the butterbeer. The owners of fantasy properties understand this, expanding their offerings from light sabers to the Galaxy’s Edge®, the new Disney Star Wars immersive theme park opening in 2019.Since Star Wars, Congress and the courts have abetted what is now a $262 billion-a-year industry in merchandising, fashioning “merchandising rights” appurtenant to copyrights and trademarks that give fantasy owners …


Installation Failure: How The Predominant Purpose Test Has Perpetuated Software’S Uncertain Legal Status Under The Uniform Commercial Code, Spencer Gottlieb Mar 2015

Installation Failure: How The Predominant Purpose Test Has Perpetuated Software’S Uncertain Legal Status Under The Uniform Commercial Code, Spencer Gottlieb

Michigan Law Review

Courts have struggled to uniformly classify software as a good or a service and have consequently failed to apply a consistent body of law in that domain. Instead, courts have relied on the predominant purpose test to determine whether the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) or common law should apply to a given software contract. This test, designed for traditional goods and services that do not share software’s complexity or rapid advancement, has perpetuated the uncertainty surrounding software’s legal status. This Note proposes that courts adopt the substantial software test as an alternative to the predominant purpose test. Under this proposal, …


Law-Enforcement Officers And Self-Help Repossession: A State-Action Approach, Aaron Loterstein May 2013

Law-Enforcement Officers And Self-Help Repossession: A State-Action Approach, Aaron Loterstein

Michigan Law Review

Repossession of secured collateral is a fundamental component of the consumer credit industry. The Uniform Commercial Code authorizes a secured party to engage in self-help repossession of secured collateral under section 9-609, so long as the repossession takes place without "breach of the peace." While that term is undefined, several courts have adopted a counterintuitive rule, holding that a law-enforcement officer's presence during a self-help repossession - regardless of purpose or level of involvement - creates a breach of the peace. The Official Comments to the Code have seemingly endorsed this position as well. This Note rejects the primary justifications …


Commerce, Jack M. Balkin Jan 2010

Commerce, Jack M. Balkin

Michigan Law Review

This Article applies the method of text and principle to an important problem in constitutional interpretation: the constitutional legitimacy of the modem regulatory state and its expansive definition of federal commerce power Some originalists argue that the modem state cannot be justified, while others accept existing precedents as a "pragmatic exception" to originalism. Nonoriginalists, in turn, point to these difficulties as a refutation of originalist premises. Contemporary originalist readings have tended to view the commerce power through modem eyes. Originalists defending narrow readings offederal power have identified "commerce" with the trade of commodities; originalists defending broad readings of federal power …


The Debt Dilemma, Katherine Porter Jan 2008

The Debt Dilemma, Katherine Porter

Michigan Law Review

Part I describes the nature of credit card spending and explores the usefulness of Mann's comparative approach to studying credit cards. Part II evaluates Mann's findings on the overall relationships between individual credit card transactions and aggregate levels of spending, borrowing, and bankruptcy. It also briefly analyzes the relationship between his findings and policy recommendations. Part III explores data on families who refrain from credit card use and struggle with serious financial distress. Part IV revisits Mann's policy recommendations in light of this new data. I conclude that implementing credit card reform would offer families only partial, albeit valuable, protection …


The Executive Role In Culturing Export Control Compliance, Matthew G. Morris Jun 2006

The Executive Role In Culturing Export Control Compliance, Matthew G. Morris

Michigan Law Review

Part I argues that the nature of export control enforcement requires extensive self-governing behavior on the part of exporters and that enforcement should be directed toward that end. Part II examines several possible justifications for penalizing a business entity and concludes that deterrence and rehabilitation through education are the most viable, particularly in a self-regulating industry. Part III argues that examining the export compliance program is actually a necessary prerequisite to determining the general culpability required under the general factors, and on that basis alone cannot be relegated to a mitigating factor. Part IV argues that an emphasis on corporate …


The High Stakes Of Wto Reform, James Thuo Gathii May 2006

The High Stakes Of Wto Reform, James Thuo Gathii

Michigan Law Review

Behind the Scenes at the WTO definitively exposes how the trade negotiation process makes it possible for a few rich countries to dominate the trade agenda at the expense of all other countries. It is one of the first studies that authoritatively shows how trade negotiations have developed into "a game for high stakes, between unequally matched teams, where much of the game is played with few rules and no referee" (p. 50). The book attributes the deadlocked nature of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations and the recent disruptions of the World Trade Organization's ("WTO") ministerial meetings to …


The Hidden Roles Of Boilerplate And Standard-Form Contracts: Strategic Imposition Of Transaction Costs, Segmentation Of Consumers, And Anticompetitive Effects, David Gilo, Ariel Porat Mar 2006

The Hidden Roles Of Boilerplate And Standard-Form Contracts: Strategic Imposition Of Transaction Costs, Segmentation Of Consumers, And Anticompetitive Effects, David Gilo, Ariel Porat

Michigan Law Review

Standard-form contracts offered to consumers contain numerous terms and clauses, most of which are ancillary to the main terms of the transaction. We call these ancillary terms "boilerplate provisions." Since most consumers do not read boilerplate provisions or, if they do, find them hard to understand, courts are suspicious of boilerplate provisions and sometimes find them unenforceable under the doctrine of unconscionability. At times, courts conclude that harsh terms have not been accepted by consumers in the first place and therefore are not included in the contract, and on other occasions courts interpret boilerplate provisions in favor of consumers, applying …


Swancc'S Clear Statement: A Delimitation Of Congress's Commerce Clause Authority To Regulate Water Pollution, Matthew B. Baumgartner Aug 2005

Swancc'S Clear Statement: A Delimitation Of Congress's Commerce Clause Authority To Regulate Water Pollution, Matthew B. Baumgartner

Michigan Law Review

Perhaps the most controversial aspect of federal water pollution law is wetland regulation. Wetlands are typically marshy or swampy areas with hydrologic soils and vegetation. Their ecological value is widely recognized, but wetlands often stand in the way of lucrative commercial development projects. Thus, the battle over the validity of federal wetland regulation is a classic fight between environmentalists and industry. The wetlands controversy is also paradigmatic of the perpetual struggle to define the constitutional limits to federal regulation. The country's main water pollution control law, the Clean Water Act (CWA), purports to regulate all "navigable waters," which it defines …


Scylla Or Charybdis: Navigating The Jurisprudence Of Visual Clutter, M. Ryan Calo Jan 2005

Scylla Or Charybdis: Navigating The Jurisprudence Of Visual Clutter, M. Ryan Calo

Michigan Law Review

This Note argues that passing close to Discovery Network is the safest route - municipalities can still drastically reduce visual clutter by regulating commercial speech alone without violating the First Amendment. Part I looks at the onsite/offsite distinction, a singularly popular method of sign regulation, and concludes that this distinction runs squarely afoul of Metromedia. Part II looks at the once-accepted alternative route - the commercial/noncommercial distinction - and argues that this distinction does not run afoul of Discovery Network. Rather, a close reading of Discovery Network permits the regulation of exclusively commercial billboards where, as typically, they …


Private Commercial Law In The Cotton Industry: Creating Cooperation Through Rules, Norms, And Institutions, Lisa Bernstein Jun 2001

Private Commercial Law In The Cotton Industry: Creating Cooperation Through Rules, Norms, And Institutions, Lisa Bernstein

Michigan Law Review

The cotton industry has almost entirely opted out of the public legal system, replacing it with one of the oldest and most complex systems of private commercial law. Most contracts for the purchase andsale of domestic cotton, between merchants or between merchants andmills, are neither consummated under the Uniform Commercial Code("Code") nor interpreted and enforced in court when disputes arise. Rather, most such contracts are concluded under one of several privately drafted sets of contract default rules and are subject to arbitration in one of several merchant tribunals. Similarly, most international sales of cotton are governed neither by state-supplied legal …


Should The Law Ignore Commercial Norms? A Comment On The Bernstein Conjuncture And Its Relevance For Contract Law Theory And Reform, Jason Scott Johnston Jun 2001

Should The Law Ignore Commercial Norms? A Comment On The Bernstein Conjuncture And Its Relevance For Contract Law Theory And Reform, Jason Scott Johnston

Michigan Law Review

Professor Bernstein's study of the interaction between private law and norms in the cotton industry is the latest installment in her ongoing investigation into the relationship between law and norms in trades ranging from the diamond market to grain and feed markets. Her incredibly detailed and thorough exploration of private lawmaking and commercial norms - and their interaction - stands as one of the most significant contributions to contract and commercial law scholarship made in the last half-century. The cotton industry study upon which I focus in this Comment not only reports fascinating findings about dispute resolution practices, but also …


Rejection Versus Termination: A Sublessee's Rights In A Lease Rejected In A Bankruptcy Proceeding Under 11 U.S.C. § 365(D)(4), Vivek Sankaran Feb 2001

Rejection Versus Termination: A Sublessee's Rights In A Lease Rejected In A Bankruptcy Proceeding Under 11 U.S.C. § 365(D)(4), Vivek Sankaran

Michigan Law Review

When a party files for bankruptcy under chapter 11 of the United States Code, the court typically appoints a trustee to handle all of the party's financial obligations. The trustee's responsibilities include investigating the financial condition of the debtor, the operation of the business, the desirability of continuing the business, and any other matter relevant to the disposition of the bankrupt estate. If a bankrupt party holds a commercial lease, the trustee possesses two options for dealing with the lease. One option is to reject the lease, which ends the bankrupt party's obligation to adhere to the provisions of the …


The Sound Of One Form Battling: Comments On Daniel Keating's 'Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action', Richard Craswell Jan 2000

The Sound Of One Form Battling: Comments On Daniel Keating's 'Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action', Richard Craswell

Michigan Law Review

Daniel Keating has provided a thoughtful and useful study of the way that businesses form contracts. In particular, he has given us a good deal of data concerning the problem known as the "battle of the forms." Commercial lawyers have, of course, been wrangling over this problem for decades, so it is no small accomplishment to be able to offer a useful contribution. In Part I below, I describe more precisely just what Keating's data does and does not illuminate. Parts II and III then focus on a particular contracting practice that Keating has identified: the practice of getting both …


Private Order Under Dysfunctional Public Order, John Mcmillan, Christopher Woodruff Jan 2000

Private Order Under Dysfunctional Public Order, John Mcmillan, Christopher Woodruff

Michigan Law Review

Businesspeople need contractual assurance. Most transactions are less straightforward than a cash sale of an easily identifiable item. Buyers need assurance of the quality of what they are purchasing, and sellers need assurance that bills will be paid. The legal system may not always be available to provide contractual assurance - and when the law is dysfunctional, private order might arise in its place. Many developing and transition economies have dysfunctional legal systems, either because the laws do not exist or because the machinery for enforcing them is inadequate. In such countries, bilateral relationships, communal norms, trade associations, or market …


Enforcing Contracts In Dysfunctional Legal Systems: The Close Relationship Between Public And Private Orders: A Repy To Mcmillan And Woodruff, Ariel Porat Jan 2000

Enforcing Contracts In Dysfunctional Legal Systems: The Close Relationship Between Public And Private Orders: A Repy To Mcmillan And Woodruff, Ariel Porat

Michigan Law Review

When the public order is dysfunctional, a private order for enforcing contracts will develop. In the absence of courts, transactors will seek ways to secure performance without recourse to legal sanctions. Social and economic sanctions imposed on the party in breach, whether by the aggrieved party or by the economic and social community in which both parties operate, replace legal sanctions. These sanctions sometimes arise within a private order functioning spontaneously, as when ongoing contractual relationships prevail between the parties, or when a close-knit economic or social community exists in which information concerning breaches of contract flows freely. In other …


The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2000

The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Ronald J. Mann

Michigan Law Review

Common justifications for the use of the letter of credit fail to explain its widespread use. The classic explanation claims that the letter of credit provides an effective assurance of payment from a financially responsible third party. In that story, the seller - a Taiwanese clothing manufacturer, for example - fears that the overseas buyer - Wal-Mart - will refuse to pay once the goods have been shipped. Cross-border transactions magnify the concern, because the difficulties of litigating in a distant forum will hinder the manufacturer's efforts to force the distant buyer to pay. The manufacturer-seller solves that problem by …


Letters Of Credit As Signals: Comments On Ronald Mann's 'The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions', Clayton P. Gillette Jan 2000

Letters Of Credit As Signals: Comments On Ronald Mann's 'The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions', Clayton P. Gillette

Michigan Law Review

Why would buyers and sellers transact with each other through a third party that charges a significant fee for its services and that typically is authorized to make payment notwithstanding noncompliance with the very prerequisites that it has been engaged to monitor? This is the puzzle that Ronald Mann's provocative and nuanced article purports to explain. Under the traditional story about the esoteric world of letters of credit, these transactions allow distant buyers and sellers to circumvent obstacles that would otherwise frustrate long-distance transactions. The traditional story explains that these credits induce buyers to approve payment prior to receiving conforming …


Reconciling The Old Theory And The New Evidence: Comments On Ronald Mann's 'The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions', Jacob I. Corré Jan 2000

Reconciling The Old Theory And The New Evidence: Comments On Ronald Mann's 'The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions', Jacob I. Corré

Michigan Law Review

Ronald Mann's thorough research and rigorous analysis provide compelling evidence that the commercial letter of credit does not further the fundamental purpose traditionally associated with it. Equally persuasive are his hypotheses about the functions that letters of credit actually serve in the real world. The objective statistics are startling. An overwhelming majority of letter of credit seller-beneficiaries make at least initial presentations to issuing or correspondent banks that by the express terms of the letter of credit do not entitle the seller to payment. Without a waiver from its customer, the issuing bank is legally entitled to, and surely will …


Informality As A Bilateral Assurance Mechanism: Comments On Ronald Mann's 'The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions', Avery Wiener Katz Jan 2000

Informality As A Bilateral Assurance Mechanism: Comments On Ronald Mann's 'The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions', Avery Wiener Katz

Michigan Law Review

Ronald Mann's study of documentary defects in the presentation of commercial letters of credit is a valuable contribution to the commercial law literature in at least three respects. First, it offers a detailed and thorough empirical survey of an important though specialized aspect of commercial practice. Mann collected and coded a data sample of 500 randomly selected letter-of-credit transactions, personally evaluating each transaction to determine whether the documentary presentation by the beneficiary of the letter of credit (i.e., the seller) complied with the letter's formal terms. Then, for each case in which he found one or more documentary defects, Mann …


Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action, Daniel Keating Jan 2000

Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action, Daniel Keating

Michigan Law Review

Like many commercial law professors, I have long been fascinated with the workings of the Uniform Commercial Code's section 2-207, the "battle of the forms" provision. There are two features of that section, one internal and one external, that make it such an intriguing statute to ponder. The internal source of fascination with section 2-207 is that it provides a classic model for teaching students about the intricacies of statutory construction. There is probably no other provision within U.C.C. Article 2 that provides more confusion to law students and more challenge to the instructor than does section 2-207. There is …


Commercial Norms And The Fine Art Of The Small Con: Comments On Daniel Keating's 'Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action', Douglas G. Baird Jan 2000

Commercial Norms And The Fine Art Of The Small Con: Comments On Daniel Keating's 'Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action', Douglas G. Baird

Michigan Law Review

The standard battle-of-the-forms story, often rehearsed in the classroom, is one in which merchants try to take advantage of their contracting opposites. A seller wants to escape the obligations that come with implied terms and seeks to disclaim them in its acknowledgment form. Its buyers do not realize they have been had until after the goods fail. Only then do they read the seller's form and discover that they are without remedy. Conspicuously absent in Dan Keating's fine article, however, is any evidence that supports this story. Some of his merchants talk about putting favorable terms in their forms, but …


The Limits Of Empiricism: What Facts Tell Us: Comments On Daniel Keating's 'Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action', Dennis Patterson Jan 2000

The Limits Of Empiricism: What Facts Tell Us: Comments On Daniel Keating's 'Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action', Dennis Patterson

Michigan Law Review

The conventional legal academic wisdom about empiricism is that empirical information is by-and-large a good thing, that we need more of it, and that empirical analysis is preferable to many scholarly alternatives now on offer in the law review literature. I do not dispute the proposition that, all things considered, empirical information is a good thing. What I question is the notion that empirical information necessarily leads to knowledge. Put differently, it is one thing to marshal the facts, and another to know what to make of the facts. I shall raise these points both in a general way and …


On The Use Of Practitioner Surveys In Commercial Law Research: Comments On Daniel Keating's 'Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action', Avery Wiener Katz Jan 2000

On The Use Of Practitioner Surveys In Commercial Law Research: Comments On Daniel Keating's 'Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action', Avery Wiener Katz

Michigan Law Review

As Daniel Keating's principal article attests, the literature on U.C.C. section 2-207 and the "battle of the forms" is both vast and intricate. 1 That fact, together with the distinguished array of commentators assembled here, makes it unlikely that I will be able to say anything substantially original on that subject. Accordingly, in the spirit of this overall symposium, I will focus the bulk of my remarks not on the substantive issues raised by Keating's article, but on his methodology. In particular, I will suggest that Keating's empirical method - the free-form, oral interview conducted personally by the principal researcher …


Exit And Voice In The Age Of Globalization, Eyal Benvenisti Jan 1999

Exit And Voice In The Age Of Globalization, Eyal Benvenisti

Michigan Law Review

The "globalization" of commerce provides ever-growing opportunities for producers, employers, and service providers to shop the globe for more amenable jurisdictions. While they enjoy a "race to the top," an international "race to the bottom," spawned by decreasing relocation costs, threatens to compromise the achievements of the welfare state and lower standards of consumer protection. National governments, weakened by competition that entails leaner budgets, find it increasingly difficult to cooperate in the appropriation of crucial shared natural resources, seriously endangering these assets while damaging the environment. Not only does the growing global competition create both efficiency losses and social-welfare problems, …


Lawyers, Law, And Contract Formation: Comments On Daniel Keating's 'Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action', Robert K. Rasumssen Jan 1999

Lawyers, Law, And Contract Formation: Comments On Daniel Keating's 'Exploring The Battle Of The Forms In Action', Robert K. Rasumssen

Michigan Law Review

Attempting to infuse the austerity of theory with a dose of reality, an intrepid group of legal scholars has left the security of the office and ventured into the work-a-day world of commercial practices. The information that they have gathered and are sharing with the rest of us is furthering our understanding of the interaction between commercial law and commercial practice. Embedded in much of the research they have generated is the not-so-flattering conclusion that law professors suffer from a self-serving bias. Those of us in the academy engage in the assumption, often unstated or even unacknowledged, that the law …


"A Government Of Limited And Enumerated Powers": In Defense Of United States V. Lopez, Steven G. Calabresi Dec 1995

"A Government Of Limited And Enumerated Powers": In Defense Of United States V. Lopez, Steven G. Calabresi

Michigan Law Review

The Supreme Court's recent decision in United States v. Lopez marks a revolutionary and long overdue revival of the doctrine that the federal government is one of limited and enumerated powers. After being "asleep at the constitutional switch" for more than fifty years, the Court's decision to invalidate an Act of Congress on the ground that it exceeded the commerce power must be recognized as an extraordinary event. Even if Lopez produces no progeny and is soon overruled, the opinion has shattered forever the notion that, after fifty years of Commerce Clause precedent, we can never go back to the …


Commerce!, Deborah Jones Merritt Dec 1995

Commerce!, Deborah Jones Merritt

Michigan Law Review

In this article, I explore the Supreme Court's new definition of "Commerce ... among the several States."9 In Part I, I examine three new principles that Lopez announces and that could significantly rework the Court's Commerce Clause jurisprudence. Part II, however, shows that these principles must be understood in the context of almost a dozen factors narrowing the Supreme Court's Lopez decision. Part II also demonstrates that the lower courts have understood the contextual uniqueness of Lopez and already have distinguished the decision in upholding more than half a dozen broad exercises of congressional authority. Part III then shows that …


Foreword, Louis H. Pollak Dec 1995

Foreword, Louis H. Pollak

Michigan Law Review

Introduction to the Symposium Reflections on United States v. Lopez