Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 47

Full-Text Articles in Law

Foreword, Deborah W. Denno, Erica Valencia-Graham Apr 2024

Foreword, Deborah W. Denno, Erica Valencia-Graham

Fordham Law Review

This Foreword overviews an unprecedented Symposium on these wide ranging topics titled The New AI: The Legal and Ethical Implications of ChatGPT and Other Emerging Technologies. Hosted by the Fordham Law Review and cosponsored by Fordham University School of Law’s Neuroscience and Law Center on November 3, 2023, the Symposium brought together attorneys, judges, professors, and scientists to explore the opportunities and risks presented by AI, especially GenAI like ChatGPT. The discussion raised complex questions concerning AI sentience and personal privacy, as well as the future of legal ethics, education, and employment. Although the AI industry uniformly predicts ever more …


Educating Deal Lawyers For The Digital Age, Heather Hughes Apr 2024

Educating Deal Lawyers For The Digital Age, Heather Hughes

Fordham Law Review

Courses and programs that address law and emerging technologies are proliferating in U.S. law schools. Technology-related issues pervade the curriculum. This Essay presents two instances in which new technologies present challenges for deal lawyers. It explores how exposing students to closing opinions practice can prepare them to engage these challenges. Both examples involve common commercial contexts and lessons relevant to students of business associations and of the Uniform Commercial Code. The first, which deals with enforceability opinion letters, presents technical legal difficulties arising from recent developments in law and technology. The second, involving complex doctrines at the heart of financial …


Is A Ban On Non-Competes Supported By Empirical Evidence?, Sarah Oh Lam, Thomas Lenard, Scott Wallsten Dec 2023

Is A Ban On Non-Competes Supported By Empirical Evidence?, Sarah Oh Lam, Thomas Lenard, Scott Wallsten

Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has proposed a rule to declare virtually all non-compete agreements unfair methods of competition under Section 5 of the FTC Act and therefore, illegal. However, the empirical literature on non-compete agreements cited by the FTC in its Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) shows mixed results on earnings, job creation, firm formation, entrepreneurship, training, investment, and firm value. Evidence in other current studies also does not support an economy-wide ban. The FTC concludes that the proposed rule would yield net benefits even though by its own admission it lacks the information necessary to conduct a …


Independent Contractors & Noncompetition Covenants: A Modified Approach, Matthew J. Sandor Apr 2023

Independent Contractors & Noncompetition Covenants: A Modified Approach, Matthew J. Sandor

Fordham Law Review

This Note examines the way in which noncompetition covenants should be applied to independent contractors. An increasing portion of the American labor force is now employed outside the traditional employer-employee context. Today, nearly sixty million American workers are categorized as independent contractors, with many subject to noncompetition covenants that restrict their ability to participate in the labor market freely. In response to this dramatic change, state courts and legislatures have used a variety of approaches in enforcing noncompetes in the independent contractor context. These approaches run the gamut, with some states liberally construing noncompetes against independent contractors while others have …


Arbitration And Finra's Customer Code: A Tailored Approach To When A Forum Selection Clause May Supersede Finra Rule 12200, Peter Giovine Dec 2022

Arbitration And Finra's Customer Code: A Tailored Approach To When A Forum Selection Clause May Supersede Finra Rule 12200, Peter Giovine

Fordham Law Review

This Note examines a circuit split concerning whether forum selection clauses supersede Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Rule 12200, which requires FINRA members to arbitrate customer disputes upon the customer’s request. The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Ninth Circuits have upheld a waiver of the right to arbitrate even when arbitration is not explicitly mentioned in a forum selection clause. The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Fourth Circuits, on the other hand, have held that a forum selection clause that does not explicitly mention arbitration does not supersede FINRA Rule 12200. This Note explores …


Catching Up To A New Normal: The Effects Of Shifting Industry Standards On Contract Interpretation, Karen Chen May 2022

Catching Up To A New Normal: The Effects Of Shifting Industry Standards On Contract Interpretation, Karen Chen

Fordham Law Review

During the COVID-19 pandemic, industries around the world were forced to adapt to a new way of life dictated by rising public health concerns. The pandemic’s rapid spread left parties struggling to determine whether contractual performance would be excused or reinterpreted. Issues of prevailing industry standards arose and brought into question the point at which parties and courts should define these standards. While some parties argued that industry standards at the time of contract formation are determinative of performance, others claimed that their agreement referenced industry standards that had changed and that, therefore, their performance obligations had changed as well. …


Debunking The Standardized Nature Of Insurance Policies, Elizabeth Sousa Jan 2022

Debunking The Standardized Nature Of Insurance Policies, Elizabeth Sousa

Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

This article discredits the conventional view of insurance policies as standardized contracts that do not vary across insurance companies and policyholders. Contrary to this view, there are wide variations in policy language in both the admitted and non-admitted insurance markets. These deviations reduce the perceived benefit of insurance policies as standardized contracts intended to promote predictability and lower transaction costs for policyholders by focusing only on the most salient terms. Nowhere is this deviation more apparent than with Commercial General Liability (CGL) policies defendants are turning to in the current opioid litigation.

The opioid epidemic has been plaguing the United …


Lowering The Stakes Of The Employment Contract, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2022

Lowering The Stakes Of The Employment Contract, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

Every country has to make hard choices about the distribution of entitlements. But employers control the entitlements that individual Americans enjoy to a far greater extent than those in other rich democracies. In this Essay, I argue that, in the absence of the political consensus necessary to deliver state solutions to political questions, employers here are assigned an exaggerated role in employees’ lives. Government incentives for and directives to employers have become a strategy of political deflection. The effect has been to raise the stakes of employment well beyond the scope of those terms and conditions that relate to attracting …


Why The Corporation Locks In Financial Capital But The Partnership Does Not, Richard Squire Jan 2022

Why The Corporation Locks In Financial Capital But The Partnership Does Not, Richard Squire

Faculty Scholarship

Each partner in an at-will partnership can obtain a cash payout of his interest at any time. The corporation, by contrast, locks in shareholder capital, denying general payout rights to shareholders unless the charter states otherwise. What explains this difference? This Article argues that partner payout rights reduce the costs of two other characteristics of the partnership: the non-transferability of partner control rights, and the possibility for partnerships to be formed inadvertently. While these characteristics serve valuable functions, they can introduce a bilateral-monopoly problem and a special freezeout hazard unless each partner can force the firm to cash out his …


Would Reasonable People Endorse A ‘Content-Neutral’ Law Of Contract?, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2021

Would Reasonable People Endorse A ‘Content-Neutral’ Law Of Contract?, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

This essay raises two challenges to Peter Benson’s compelling new account of contract law. First, I argue that Benson’s use of the concept of reasonableness goes beyond the Rawlsian account to require that we impute to others a capacity to transcend their contingent circumstances in the context of contractual choice. In fact, our choices in contract are driven by external contingencies and it is only reasonable to take those constrains on other people’s choices into account. Second, I contest Benson’s related claim that contract law should be, and largely is, content-neutral. I argue to the contrary that the justice of …


Lying And Cheating, Or Self-Help And Civil-Disobedience?, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2020

Lying And Cheating, Or Self-Help And Civil-Disobedience?, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

May poor sellers lie to rich buyers? This article argues that, under limited circumstances, sellers may indeed have a license to lie about their goods. Where sellers are losers under unjust background institutions and they reasonably believe that buyers have more than they would under just institutions, lies that result in de minimum transfers can be regarded as a kind of self-help. More generally, what we owe each other in our interpersonal interactions depends on the institutional backdrop. Consumer contract law, including its enforcement regimes, should recognize the social and political contingency of sellers’ obligations to buyers. In other contexts, …


Interpreting Contracts In A Regulatory State, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2020

Interpreting Contracts In A Regulatory State, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

Some scholars would limit courts to the text of written agreements when interpreting contracts on the theory that parties meant what they said, and said what they meant. Other scholars would have courts take into account the factual context surrounding contract formation. Both sides of this debate assume that contract interpretation is largely limited to reconstructing contracting parties’ intentions.

This assumption is mistaken. Since the overturning of Lochner v New York, contracting parties no longer have exclusive authority over contracts. State authority to regulate contract came at the expense of unbridled private authority. A more limited conception of contracting …


Third-Party Bankruptcy Releases: An Analysis Of Consent Through The Lenses Of Due Process And Contract Law, Dorothy Coco Oct 2019

Third-Party Bankruptcy Releases: An Analysis Of Consent Through The Lenses Of Due Process And Contract Law, Dorothy Coco

Fordham Law Review

Bankruptcy courts disagree on the use of third-party releases in Chapter 11 bankruptcy plans, the different factors that circuit courts consider when deciding whether to approve a third-party release, and the impact of the various consent definitions on whether a release is or should be binding on the creditor. Affirmative consent, “deemed consent,” and silence are important elements in this discussion. Both contract law and due process provide lenses to evaluate consent definitions to determine whether nondebtor third-party releases should bind certain creditor groups. This Note proposes a solution that follows an affirmative consent approach to protect against due process …


Decoding Smart Contracts: Technology, Legitimacy, & Legislative Uniformity, Jared Arcari Jan 2019

Decoding Smart Contracts: Technology, Legitimacy, & Legislative Uniformity, Jared Arcari

Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

Blockchain technology is increasingly permeating the everyday lives of countless people. Applications of the cutting-edge technology range from secured banking to tracking mortgage titles. A particular blockchain technology, dubbed “smart contracts,” has the potential to revolutionize how individuals and companies securely contract with each other. Smart contracts, however, are not widely employed, mainly because potential users are uncertain of their enforceability as contracts under existing state contract laws. Similar skepticism slowed the acceptance of electronic signatures in the late 1990s, but was resolved ultimately through a model uniform act recognizing electronic signatures’ effectiveness across interstate borders. This Note proposes a …


Contract Creep, Tal Kastner, Ethan J. Leib Jan 2019

Contract Creep, Tal Kastner, Ethan J. Leib

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars and judges think they can address the multiple purposes and values of contract law by developing different doctrinal regimes for different transaction types. They think if we develop one track of contract doctrine for sophisticated parties and another for consumers, we can build a better world of contract: protecting private ordering for sophisticated parties and protecting consumers’ needs all at once. Given the growing enthusiasm for laying down these separate tracks and developing their infrastructures, this Article brings a necessary reality check to this endeavor by highlighting for scholars and judges how doctrine in contract law functions in fact: …


Voluntary Obligation And Contract, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2019

Voluntary Obligation And Contract, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

Absent mistake or misrepresentation, most scholars assume that parties who agree to contract do so voluntarily. Scholars tend further to regard that choice as an important exercise in moral agency. Hanoch Dagan and Michael Heller are right to question the quality of our choices. Where the fundamental contours of the transaction are legally determined, parties have little opportunity to exercise autonomous choice over the terms on which they deal with others. To the extent that our choices in contract do not reflect our individual moral constitutions — our values, virtues, vices, the set of reasons we reject and the set …


Lady Justice Cannot Hear Your Prayers, Deborah Ogali Dec 2018

Lady Justice Cannot Hear Your Prayers, Deborah Ogali

Fordham Law Review

The Islamic finance industry continues to grow quickly as the appetite for everything, from Sharia-compliant home mortgages and car loans to sophisticated financial products, increases. This growth has triggered an interest in sukuk, bond-like financial instruments. And while the international market for sukuk has long been dominated by foreign issuers and English law, the attraction of a niche market compatible with U.S. federal and international securities laws may propel increased participation by U.S. issuers and investors who wish to transact under U.S. federal and state laws. As with all Islamic financial products, sukuk transactions inherently pose a Sharia compliance risk. …


Forbidden Friending: A Framework For Assessing The Reasonableness Of Nonsolicitation Agreements And Determining What Constitutes A Breach On Social Media, Erin Brendel Mathews Dec 2018

Forbidden Friending: A Framework For Assessing The Reasonableness Of Nonsolicitation Agreements And Determining What Constitutes A Breach On Social Media, Erin Brendel Mathews

Fordham Law Review

Social media has changed the way people conduct their day-to-day lives, both socially and professionally. Prior to the proliferation of social media, it was easier for people to keep their work lives and social lives separate if they so wished. What social media has caused people to do in recent years is to blend their personal and professional personas into one. People can choose to fill their LinkedIn connections with both their clients and their college classmates, they can be Facebook friends with their coworkers right along with their neighbors, and they can utilize social media sites to market themselves …


The Political Morality Of Convergence In Contract, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2018

The Political Morality Of Convergence In Contract, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

One of the most interesting recent developments in contract law has been an academic and political effort to integrate private law. The proposed Common European Sales Law was ultimately withdrawn, and a series of setbacks, including the British referendum to exit the EU, has recast the politics of convergence. But it remains an objective for many European scholars. This essay considers the wisdom of convergence on a single law of transactions from the perspective of philosophical contract theory. The essay proceeds by disaggregating the rights at stake in contract law. It characterises the formal right to contract and describes its …


Contract And The Problem Of Fickle People, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2018

Contract And The Problem Of Fickle People, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


How Well Do We Treat Each Other In Contract?, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2018

How Well Do We Treat Each Other In Contract?, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

One of the important contributions of Nathan Oman’s new book is to draw focus onto the quality of the relationships enabled by contract. He claims that contract, by supporting markets, cultivates certain virtues; helps facilitate cooperation among people with diverse commitments; and produces the wealth that may fuel interpersonal and social justice. These claims are all plausible, though subject to individual challenge. However, there is an alternative story to tell about the kinds of relationships that arise from markets i.e., a story about domination. The experience of domination is driven in part by the necessity, inequality, and competition enjoined by …


Venture Capital Contract Design: An Empirical Analysis Of The Connection Between Bargaining Power And Venture Financing Contract Terms, Spencer Williams Dec 2017

Venture Capital Contract Design: An Empirical Analysis Of The Connection Between Bargaining Power And Venture Financing Contract Terms, Spencer Williams

Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

This Article presents an empirical analysis of the connection between bargaining power and contract design using an original dataset of over 5,500 equity and debt venture financings from 2004–2015. Using the total supply of venture capital in the U.S. as a measure of relative bargaining power between entrepreneurs and investors, this Article finds that venture capital supply has a statistically significant relationship with price and non-price terms in both equity and debt financings. These results contradict one of three theoretical accounts of bargaining power and support the other two.


Sound The Alarm: Limitations Of Liability In Alarm Service Contracts, Joshua N. Cohen Nov 2016

Sound The Alarm: Limitations Of Liability In Alarm Service Contracts, Joshua N. Cohen

Fordham Law Review

Home and business owners increasingly rely on alarm systems to protect against theft and property damage. When a burglary or fire occurs and an alarm service customer discovers that the alarm company negligently failed to call the police or fire department, the customer understandably would expect redress for the company’s failure to provide its service. Many customers would be surprised, though, to discover that an alarm company’s liability is often contractually limited to a relatively token amount unrelated to the cost of the service, even when the alarm company is negligent. Some states view these limitations of liability as exculpatory …


Bondholders And Financially Stressed Municipalities, Clayton P. Gillette Feb 2016

Bondholders And Financially Stressed Municipalities, Clayton P. Gillette

Fordham Urban Law Journal

No abstract provided.


Contra Proferentem And The Role Of The Jury In Contract Interpretation, Ethan J. Leib, Steve Thel Jan 2015

Contra Proferentem And The Role Of The Jury In Contract Interpretation, Ethan J. Leib, Steve Thel

Faculty Scholarship

Revisiting Bill Whitford’s work on the role of the jury in contract interpretation and his work on consumer form contracting inspired us to take a careful look at a doctrine of contract interpretation that is usually thought to help consumers in interpretive battles with those who draft their contracts unilaterally. But we found that contra proferentem -- the canon that requires construing or interpreting a contract against the drafter when ambiguities arise -- is more confusing than we expected. What we have done here is lay out some of the complexities of the doctrine, focusing on its broader application outside …


Inherit The Cloud: The Role Of Private Contracts In Distributing Or Deleting Digital Assets At Death, Natalie M. Banta Nov 2014

Inherit The Cloud: The Role Of Private Contracts In Distributing Or Deleting Digital Assets At Death, Natalie M. Banta

Fordham Law Review

We live in a world permeated with technology. Through our online accounts we write emails, we store pictures, videos, and documents, we pay bills and conduct financial transactions, we buy digital books and music, and we manage loyalty programs. Digital assets have quickly replaced physical letters, pictures, books, compact discs, and documents stored in filing cabinets and shoeboxes. The emergence of digital assets raises pressing questions regarding the treatment of digital assets at an account holder’s death. Unlike digital assets’ physical counterparts, an account holder does not control the ultimate fate of digital assets. Instead, digital assets are controlled by …


Intentions, Compliance, And Fiduciary Obligations, Stephen R. Galoob, Ethan J. Leib Jan 2014

Intentions, Compliance, And Fiduciary Obligations, Stephen R. Galoob, Ethan J. Leib

Faculty Scholarship

This essay investigates the structure of fiduciary obligations, specifically the obligation of loyalty. Fiduciary obligations differ from promissory obligations with respect to the possibility of “accidental compliance.” Promissory obligations can be satis- fied through behavior that conforms to a promise, even if that behavior is done for inappropriate reasons. By contrast, fiduciary loyalty necessarily has an intentional dimension, one that prevents satisfaction through accidental compliance. The intentional dimension of fiduciary loyalty is best described by what we call the “shaping” account. This account both explains the conscientiousness that loyalty demands and improves on other accounts of the intentional dimension of …


It's Time For A Good Hard Look In The Mirror: The Corporate Law Example, John A. Barrett, Jr. Jan 2012

It's Time For A Good Hard Look In The Mirror: The Corporate Law Example, John A. Barrett, Jr.

Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

This Article asserts that the move from the industrial age to the

information age represents a fundamental change to our society on

such a widespread basis that the legal order must reexamine the

premises about how our society functions, assessing whether

foundational elements of U.S. Common Law remain valid. This

Article first confronts briefly the continuing acceptance of certain

foundational premises in contract and intellectual property law,

illustrating that such premises are no longer supported by the

realities of modern society. With fundamental change challenging

multiple areas of law in the information age, this problem is worthy

of widespread inquiry …


The Statutory Ucc: Interpretative License And Duty Under Article 2, Nicholas J. Johnson Jan 2012

The Statutory Ucc: Interpretative License And Duty Under Article 2, Nicholas J. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Must Licenses Be Contracts? Consent And Notice In Intellectual Property, Mark R. Patterson Jan 2012

Must Licenses Be Contracts? Consent And Notice In Intellectual Property, Mark R. Patterson

Faculty Scholarship

Intellectual property owners often seek to provide access to their patented or copyrighted works while at the same time imposing restrictions on that access. One example of this approach is “field-of-use” licensing in patent law, which permits licensees to use the patented invention but only in certain ways. Another is open-source licensing in copyright law, where copyright owners typically require licensees that incorporate open-source software in other products to license those other products on an open-source basis as well. Surprisingly, though, the legal requirements for granting restricted access are unclear. The source of the lack of clarity is the ill-defined …