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Full-Text Articles in Law

Covid, Contracts, And Colleges, John K. Setear Feb 2024

Covid, Contracts, And Colleges, John K. Setear

West Virginia Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Teetotalling Winebibber: A Case Study For The International Sale Of Goods, Stephen M. Shrewsbury Feb 2024

The Teetotalling Winebibber: A Case Study For The International Sale Of Goods, Stephen M. Shrewsbury

Pace International Law Review

Case studies are very effective pedagogical tools available to business and legal educators. Hypothetical fact patterns provide instructors an additional advantage of being able to modify facts to target particular learning goals for students. This article presents a substantial case study and teaching notes for a hypothetical international sale of goods transaction. The facts presented will necessitate student research and examination of a wide range of legal issues related to contract negotiation and interpretation, shipping and related difficulties that might arise during contract execution, and issues related to disputes over the quality of goods. Questions in the study require students …


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.


An Old Bottle For The New Wine: Understanding The Duty Of Honest Performance Under The Objective Theory, Humphrey Yuan Jheng Feb 2024

An Old Bottle For The New Wine: Understanding The Duty Of Honest Performance Under The Objective Theory, Humphrey Yuan Jheng

Dalhousie Law Journal

Bhasin v Hrynew has many dimensions and potentially affects almost every aspect of Anglo-Canadian contract law. This article is limited to one aspect only: the duty of honest performance (“DHP”). My article attempts to show that the objective theory can provide a solid foundation and a different thinking framework for understanding and developing the DHP. If I am right, the DHP may be placed on a sound footing, independently of the organizing principle of good faith. Section I of this article traces the duty’s development from Bhasin to Callow. Section II argues that under the objective theory, reasonable expectations of …


The Acquisition Of Twitter: The Legal Interplay Between Elon Musk, Shareholders, Employees, And The Government, Florence Shu-Blankson Jan 2024

The Acquisition Of Twitter: The Legal Interplay Between Elon Musk, Shareholders, Employees, And The Government, Florence Shu-Blankson

University of Miami Business Law Review

This article examines the acquisition process of Twitter by Elon Musk. It will analyze the legal validity of Musk’s initial claims for rescinding his offer, as well as Twitter’s defense arguments. It will consider questions such as: Did Twitter cause a material adverse effect to its operations that would be a basis for Musk to avoid the deal? Did Musk run afoul of any regulatory requirements under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations? What impact did the ultimate sale of Twitter have on other stakeholders, such as corporate executives and non-executives, shareholders, employees. The …


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. …


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 …


Against Algorithmic Auer Deference, Chad Squitieri Jan 2024

Against Algorithmic Auer Deference, Chad Squitieri

Scholarly Articles

Smart contracts (i.e., electronic agreements written in computer code) can resolve contractual disputes instantaneously, without resorting to court. For workers and consumers—whose lack of bargaining power often requires them to accept pre-drafted contracts on a take-it-or-leave-it basis—reducing the role that courts play in resolving contractual disputes can be problematic. While courts could deploy traditional interpretive doctrines (e.g., contra proferentem) to interpret vague contract language against the drafter’s interests, smart contracts can be programmed to interpret contract language in the drafting party’s favor. Because the drafting party knows that they will have the ability to interpret vague language in their own …


Silencing Jorge Luis Borges The Wrongful Suppression Of The Di Giovanni Translations, Wes Henricksen Jan 2024

Silencing Jorge Luis Borges The Wrongful Suppression Of The Di Giovanni Translations, Wes Henricksen

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


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. …


Beyond Discrimination: Market Humiliation And Private Law, Hila Keren Jan 2024

Beyond Discrimination: Market Humiliation And Private Law, Hila Keren

University of Colorado Law Review

Market humiliation is a corrosive relational process to which the law repeatedly fails to respond due to the law’s heavy reliance on the discrimination paradigm. In this process, providers of market resources, from housing and work to goods and services, use their powers to reject or mistreat other market users due to their identities. They thus cause users severe harm and deprive them of dignified participation in the marketplace. The problem has recently reached a peak. The discussion in 303 Creative v. Elenis indicates that the Supreme Court might legitimize market humiliation by granting private providers broad free speech exemptions …


Using State And Local Governments’ Purchasing Power To Combat Wage Theft, Courtlyn G. Roser-Jones Jan 2024

Using State And Local Governments’ Purchasing Power To Combat Wage Theft, Courtlyn G. Roser-Jones

Washington and Lee Law Review

Regulatory efforts to curb wage theft are failing. And for good reason: these laws generally empower individual workers to pursue their rights when employers neglect to pay them what they are owed and deter employers with substantial penalties. But the vast majority of workers do not take formal action against their employers. So, when the penalties for committing wage theft are almost entirely triggered by claims workers do not bring, they do not deter employer behavior. Instead, because the likelihood of being penalized at all is so low, some employers make profit-maximizing decisions to commit wage theft on a large …


Similar Fact Evidence In Contractual Interpretation: Bhoomatidevi D/O Kishinchand Chugani Mrs Kavita Gope Mirwani V Nantakumar S/O V Ramachandra And Another [2023] Sghc 37, Calvin John Kaiwen Chirnside Jan 2024

Similar Fact Evidence In Contractual Interpretation: Bhoomatidevi D/O Kishinchand Chugani Mrs Kavita Gope Mirwani V Nantakumar S/O V Ramachandra And Another [2023] Sghc 37, Calvin John Kaiwen Chirnside

Research Collection Yong Pung How School Of Law

In the recent Singapore High Court case of Bhoomatidevi d/o Kishinchand Chugani Mrs Kavita Gope Mirwani v Nantakumar s/o v Ramachandra and another [2023] SGHC 37, the claimant argued, inter alia, that evidence of a prior contract between the first defendant and a third party should be admitted to prove that the defendant had entered into a loan agreement with her in his personal capacity. Justice Lee Seiu Kin dismissed her claim, applying s. 14 of the Evidence Act.


Contract-Wrapped Property, Danielle D'Onfro Jan 2024

Contract-Wrapped Property, Danielle D'Onfro

Scholarship@WashULaw

For nearly two centuries, the law has allowed servitudes that “run with” real property while consistently refusing to permit servitudes attached to personal property. That is, owners of land can establish new, specific requirements for the property that bind all future owners—but owners of chattels cannot. In recent decades, however, firms have increasingly begun relying on contract provisions that purport to bind future owners of chattels. These developments began in the context of software licensing, but they have started to migrate to chattels not encumbered by software. Courts encountering these provisions have mostly missed their significance, focusing instead on questions …