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Full-Text Articles in Law

Beyond Section 230 Liability For Facebook, Nancy S. Kim Mar 2023

Beyond Section 230 Liability For Facebook, Nancy S. Kim

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

In October 2021, a former Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, publicly revealed that the company's internal research documented harms that its products caused some of its users. The company’s response was sadly predictable. It questioned the reliability of Haugen’s testimony, asserted its commitment to doing the right thing, and then diverted the public’s attention by changing its name to Meta. The company’s deny-and-distract tactics were, by now, all too familiar and provided few answers.

More than any other platform company, Facebook has found itself at the center of controversy. Its advertisement-supported business model relies upon user engagement which means that …


Integrating A Racial Capitalism Framework Into First-Year Contracts: A Pathway To Anti-Capitalist Lawyering, Chaumtoli Huq Jul 2022

Integrating A Racial Capitalism Framework Into First-Year Contracts: A Pathway To Anti-Capitalist Lawyering, Chaumtoli Huq

Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development

(Excerpt)

Nationwide protests against police brutality in the summer of 2020, coupled with the high rates of COVID-19 deaths among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), has brought to the foreground the role of the legal system in upholding structural racism and economic inequality. This renewed focus spotlighted our legal education: what are law schools doing as the institutions that educate future lawyers to be anti-racist, so they can, in turn, create a legal profession that is anti-racist? Being anti-racist is making conscious choices to fight racism in all its forms: individual, interpersonal, institutional, and structural. Being anti-racist also …


Changes To Material Adverse Effect Clauses Following Major Events: Evidence From Covid-19, Vincent Scala Jul 2022

Changes To Material Adverse Effect Clauses Following Major Events: Evidence From Covid-19, Vincent Scala

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

In November 2019, LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury goods company, announced plans to acquire Tiffany & Company, the prominent American jeweler. The transaction was reported to be worth more than $16 billion, which would have been the largest deal ever in the luxury goods industry. Following the announcement, LVMH’s chief executive officer stated that Tiffany would “thrive for centuries to come.” Nearly ten months later, the acquisition was in shambles as the parties squared off in a legal battle in the Delaware Court of Chancery. The companies were driven to litigation over anxieties about the …


Contract Law & Racial Inequality: A Primer, Danielle Kie Hart Jul 2022

Contract Law & Racial Inequality: A Primer, Danielle Kie Hart

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

America was founded on institutionally recognized and supported oppression, namely, slavery and conquest. So, the fact that the inequality spawned by this oppression continues to exist today should surprise absolutely no one. That said, the extent of the racialized social and economic inequality that pervades American society today is being exposed in horrifying and glaring detail, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

African Americans, the Latinx community, indigenous communities, and immigrants are at much greater risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19 because of now widely-acknowledged systemic health and social inequality and inequity. More specifically, in July …


Whiteness As Guilt: Attacking Critical Race Theory To Redeem The Racial Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow Jan 2022

Whiteness As Guilt: Attacking Critical Race Theory To Redeem The Racial Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow

Faculty Publications

The year of racial justice awakening following George Floyd’s 2020 murder have been accompanied by a rise in attacks on Black thought, including Critical Race Theory, led by far-right activists who are invested in maintenance of a white supremacist status quo in the United States. This Essay uses artist Kara Walker’s 2014 Sugar Sphinx to contextualize the critiques on Critical Race Theory and other manifestations of Black intellectualism as a campaign for perpetual absolution of white guilt, and even redemption of white supremacy, that is openly embraced by white nationalists but also secretly nourished—and cherished—by the white liberal elite.


Whiteness As Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow Jan 2022

Whiteness As Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow

Faculty Publications

2020 forced scholars, policymakers, and activists alike to grapple with the impact of “twin pandemics”—the COVID-19 pandemic, which has devastated Black and Indigenous communities, and the scourge of structural and physical state violence against those same communities—on American society. As atrocious acts of anti-Black violence and harassment by law enforcement officers and white civilians are captured on recording devices, the gap between Black people’s human and civil rights and their living conditions has become readily apparent. Less visible human rights abuses camouflaged as private commercial matters, and thus out of the reach of the state, are also increasingly exposed as …


Coming To Terms: Using Contract Theory To Understand The Detroit Water Shutoffs, Marissa Jackson Sow Jan 2021

Coming To Terms: Using Contract Theory To Understand The Detroit Water Shutoffs, Marissa Jackson Sow

Faculty Publications

After the City of Detroit underwent financial takeover and filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history in 2013, the city’s emergency manager encouraged mass water shutoffs as a way of making the city’s water utility a more attractive asset for sale— and for privatization—by ridding the water department of its association with bad debt. The sale never took place, but the water shutoff, too, became the largest ever in American history, with over 141,000 homes subjected to water disconnections over a period of over six years. The governor of the State of Michigan ordered that the shutoffs be temporarily …


Contract Rights Under The I-864 Affidavit Of Support: Seventh Circuit's Reasoning Binds Courts' Hands In A Shifting Landscape For Public Charge Doctrine, John T. Burger Jan 2020

Contract Rights Under The I-864 Affidavit Of Support: Seventh Circuit's Reasoning Binds Courts' Hands In A Shifting Landscape For Public Charge Doctrine, John T. Burger

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

Courts are currently split on the issue of whether a mitigation of damages defense is available to sponsors to the Affidavit. Leading cases, including Liu, rely upon the unique nature of the form to assert that such defenses are precluded. This Note will argue that the I-864 should be treated under the same principles as a typical common-law contract. Part I of this Note will trace the history of the I-864 form, primarily focusing on the legislation and case law rendering the form an enforceable contract. Part II will discuss Liu v. Mund, focusing extensively on the United States …


If It Is Broken, You Should Not Fix It: The Threat Fair Repair Legislation Poses To The Manufacturer And The Consumer, Marissa Macaneney Nov 2018

If It Is Broken, You Should Not Fix It: The Threat Fair Repair Legislation Poses To The Manufacturer And The Consumer, Marissa Macaneney

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

This Note argues that fair repair legislation is not fair for manufacturers, and suggests that legislators look to a solution that has proved workable in an analogous context in the automobile repair industry. Part I outlines the history of the electronic device repair market and discusses the proposed state legislation. It concludes that federal copyright law is insufficient, current state proposals are flawed, and that a different solution is necessary. Part II will discuss alternate solutions in the automobile industry, legislation tailored to the agriculture industry, and recent concessions by a well-known manufacturer. Part III will propose a standardized …


Redefining Roles And Duties Of The Transactional Lawyer: A Narrative Approach, Lori D. Johnson Jun 2018

Redefining Roles And Duties Of The Transactional Lawyer: A Narrative Approach, Lori D. Johnson

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

This Article posits that narrative theory can assist the transactional lawyer in walking this tightrope effectively and ethically.

Specifically, this Article proceeds to show that the use of narrative techniques, specifically those proposed by Walter Fisher, can assist transactional lawyers: (1) in understanding their clients’ goals more fully; (2) in more effectively advancing their clients’ goals through persuasion; and (3) in creating complete, holistic documents to govern the proposed deal. As such, the appropriate use of narrative techniques and understanding of narrative theory can enhance the skills of transactional lawyers, and improve client outcomes.

This Article proceeds in three …


Dangerous Or Benign Legal Fictions, Cognitive Biases, And Consent In Contract Law, Chunlin Leonhard Jan 2018

Dangerous Or Benign Legal Fictions, Cognitive Biases, And Consent In Contract Law, Chunlin Leonhard

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

Building on existing scholarship on legal fictions and empirical psychological research about human decision making processes, this Article offers a systematic approach to distinguishing a dangerous legal fiction from a benign one.

This Article begins by summarizing scholarly discussions about legal fictions in general, courts’ typical uses of legal fiction, and more general concerns with legal fictions. Part II of the Article summarizes scientific findings about how humans think and what our common cognitive biases are. It then explains how findings regarding the human decision-making process may shed light on why certain legal fictions can be dangerous. This Section …


Student Protests And Academic Freedom In An Age Of #Blacklivesmatter, Philip Lee Jan 2018

Student Protests And Academic Freedom In An Age Of #Blacklivesmatter, Philip Lee

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

Student activism has been part of the fabric of American higher education since the eighteenth century. Indeed, some scholars have called it "as American as apple pie." From Harvard's "Great Butter Rebellion" in 1766 when students pushed for better food to the multicultural movement of today when students have demanded increased diversity in student, staff, faculty, and curriculum, students have long pressed to have their voices heard. Continuing in this tradition, we now live in an age of student activists who, by organizing through social media, are getting more people involved in political conversations and causes than would otherwise …


Property And Contracts In Church Law, Reverend Jordan Hite Sep 2017

Property And Contracts In Church Law, Reverend Jordan Hite

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


Contract Law As A Viable Alternative To Problems Of Informed Consent, Martin L. Norton Apr 2017

Contract Law As A Viable Alternative To Problems Of Informed Consent, Martin L. Norton

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


The Sharing Economy And The Edges Of Contract Law: Comparing U.S. And U.K. Approaches, Miriam A. Cherry Jan 2017

The Sharing Economy And The Edges Of Contract Law: Comparing U.S. And U.K. Approaches, Miriam A. Cherry

Faculty Publications

Technology and the rise of the on-demand or sharing economy have created new and diverse structures for how businesses operate and how work is conducted. Some of these matters are intermediated by contract, but in other situations, contract law may be unhelpful. For example, contract law does little to resolve worker classification problems on new platforms, such as ridesharing applications. Other forms of online work create even more complex problems, such as when work is disguised as an innocuous task like entering a code or answering a question, or when work is gamified and hidden as a leisure activity. Other …


Gambling Contract Not Violative Of Public Policy Oct 2016

Gambling Contract Not Violative Of Public Policy

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


Infancy, Statutes Of Fraud And Limitations Apr 2016

Infancy, Statutes Of Fraud And Limitations

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


The Justice Element Of Promissory Estoppel, Orit Gan Nov 2015

The Justice Element Of Promissory Estoppel, Orit Gan

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

The contribution of this Article is threefold. First, it critiques the current case law for ignoring and neglecting the justice element of promissory estoppel. This goes against the specific wording of section 90 of the Restatement (Second) of Contracts and also against promissory estoppel’s rationale and purpose. Contrary to this approach, this Article suggests a robust justice element based on a theory of distributive justice.

Second, a more robust justice element will make the doctrine of promissory estoppel more meaningful. This will result in better protecting reliance, furthering trust and cooperation among parties, empowering disadvantaged parties, and making the …


Payment Systems, Consumer Tragedy, And Ineffective Remedies, Marc L. Roark Oct 2015

Payment Systems, Consumer Tragedy, And Ineffective Remedies, Marc L. Roark

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

This Article engages how those social considerations interact with commercial contracting principles and payments policies to recommend an over-arching narrative of fairness. At the core is the desire to create balance amongst the competing interests, while recognizing the role that risk and access should play in defining the legal remedies available to consumers. To do so, the Article attempts to understand the competing interests represented by different constituents of SVPs, including consumers and merchants. In particular, the Article attempts to tell a story of two different types of consumers. The first is one whom we might not care much …


Revival Or Revolution: U.S. Trust's Role In The Contracts Clause Circuit Split, Michael Cataldo Oct 2015

Revival Or Revolution: U.S. Trust's Role In The Contracts Clause Circuit Split, Michael Cataldo

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

This Note argues that U.S. Trust's Contracts Clause test created ambiguities that have spawned varying and conflicting approaches in the circuits. This Note also argues that U.S. Trust's failure to advance the Framers' original intent and departure from precedent has created the doctrinal disagreement that feeds the circuit split. Part I presents the history of the Contracts Clause from the Constitutional Convention up to the decision in U.S. Trust. Part II emphasizes the negative consequences of U.S. Trust's novel approach by detailing the varying approaches the circuits have taken in applying the ambiguous dual standards set out in …


Due Date: Enforcing Surrogacy Promises In The Best Interest Of The Child, Browne C. Lewis Oct 2015

Due Date: Enforcing Surrogacy Promises In The Best Interest Of The Child, Browne C. Lewis

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

This Article is not meant to debate whether surrogacy contracts should be legal. The purpose of this Article is to address situations where the surrogate reneges on her promise and attempts to keep the child. In particular, this Article deals with the adjudication of maternity after the surrogate has breached the agreement by failing to turn the child over to the intended parent or parents. This Article is divided into four parts. Part I discusses the current ways courts resolve breaches of surrogacy contracts. Part II evaluates the appropriateness of legal remedies like damages and specific performance when a …


A Contract Theory Of Academic Freedom, Philip Lee Jan 2015

A Contract Theory Of Academic Freedom, Philip Lee

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

Academic freedom is central to the core role of professors in a free society. Yet, current First Amendment protections exist to protect academic institutions, not the academics themselves. For example, in Urofsky v. Gilmore, six professors employed by various public colleges and universities in Virginia challenged a law restricting state employees from accessing sexually explicit material on computers owned or leased by the state. The professors claimed, in part, that such a restriction was in violation of their First Amendment academic freedom rights to conduct scholarly research. The Fourth Circuit upheld the law and noted that “to the …


Learning Contracts Through Current Events: Lawrence Cunningham’S Contracts In The Real World: Stories Of Popular Contracts And Why They Matter, Miriam A. Cherry Jan 2013

Learning Contracts Through Current Events: Lawrence Cunningham’S Contracts In The Real World: Stories Of Popular Contracts And Why They Matter, Miriam A. Cherry

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

In his recent book published by Cambridge University Press, Professor Lawrence Cunningham explores the nuances of contract law through current events. His decision to use the contracts of modern-day singers, actors, and entertainers to illustrate contract law principles is an inspired choice that will appeal to today’s law students. The book guides the reader down the well-trodden path of classic contract doctrines and applies those classics in modern, celebrity-laden contexts. In this regard, the book reads like an updated version of Marvin Chirelstein’s classic contracts primer— an easy-to-read and clearly written commentary. Cunningham’s version adds rollicking celebrity stories to …


The Implied Covenant Of Good Faith In Contract Interpretation And Gap-Filling: Reviling A Revered Relic, Harold Dubroff Feb 2012

The Implied Covenant Of Good Faith In Contract Interpretation And Gap-Filling: Reviling A Revered Relic, Harold Dubroff

St. John's Law Review

No abstract provided.


Reply: Clawback To The Future, Miriam A. Cherry, Jarrod Wong Jan 2010

Reply: Clawback To The Future, Miriam A. Cherry, Jarrod Wong

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

In Clawbacks: Prospective Contract Measures in an Era of Excessive Executive Compensation and Ponzi Schemes (the “Article”), we undertook the task of proposing a doctrine of clawbacks that would not only furnish a framework for analyzing the term more systematically, but would also describe the ways the doctrine would relate to established rules of contract law. With his response, In the Shadow of the Omnipresent Claw: In Response to Professors Cherry & Wong (the “Response”), Michael Macchiarola has provided us with an opportunity to articulate these thoughts on the doctrine of clawbacks further, and for that opportunity and his …


How To Critique & Grade Contract Drafting Assignments, Robin A. Boyle, Sue Payne, David Epstein Jan 2009

How To Critique & Grade Contract Drafting Assignments, Robin A. Boyle, Sue Payne, David Epstein

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

I have to give this disclaimer. I am high grader when it comes to contract drafting. So even though my presentation is on critiquing and grading, truthfully it’s more about critiquing for me. I will get into that in a minute. My name is Robin Boyle, and I teach at St. John’s University School of Law. First, my background. I was an evening student at Fordham and worked in law firms during the day in both litigation and corporate practices. By the time I graduated, I worked at a large law firm, which I had summered at and then …


Williston As Conservative-Pragmatist, Mark L. Movsesian Jan 2007

Williston As Conservative-Pragmatist, Mark L. Movsesian

Faculty Publications

In her pathbreaking article, "Restatement and Reform: A New Perspective on the Origins of the American Law Institute, Professor N.E.H. Hull rejects the conventional wisdom about the conservative, even reactionary, character of the First Restatements. The truth, she argues, is more subtle. The Restatements, and the larger ALI project of which they were a part, reflect the "'progressive-pragmatic"' worldview of the law professors most responsible for their creation. These professors were reformers. They rejected the formalism of earlier generations; for them, law was not a conceptual system but a practical tool for promoting beneficial social goals. They tempered their zeal …


Formalism In American Contract Law: Classical And Contemporary, Mark L. Movsesian Jan 2006

Formalism In American Contract Law: Classical And Contemporary, Mark L. Movsesian

Faculty Publications

It is a universally acknowledged truth that we live in a formalist era—at least when it comes to American contract law. Much more than the jurisprudence of a generation ago, today's cutting-edge work in American contract scholarship values the formalist virtues of bright-line rules, objective interpretation, and party autonomy. Policing bargains for substantive fairness seems more and more an outdated notion. Courts, it is thought, should refrain from interfering with market exchanges. Private arbitration has displaced courts in the context of many traditional contract disputes. Even adhesion contracts find their defenders, much to the chagrin of communitarian scholars.

This is …


Rediscovering Williston, Mark L. Movsesian Jan 2005

Rediscovering Williston, Mark L. Movsesian

Faculty Publications

This Article is an intellectual history of classical contracts scholar Samuel Williston. Professor Movsesian argues that the conventional account of Williston's jurisprudence presents an incomplete and distorted picture. While much of Williston's work can strike a contemporary reader as arid and conceptual, there are strong elements of pragmatism as well. Williston insists that doctrine be justified in terms of real-world consequences, maintains that rules can have only presumptive force, and offers institutional explanations for judicial restraint. As a result, his scholarship shares more in common with today's new formalism than commonly supposed. Even the under-theorized quality of Williston's scholarship—to contemporary …


Two Cheers For Freedom Of Contract, Mark L. Movsesian Jan 2002

Two Cheers For Freedom Of Contract, Mark L. Movsesian

Faculty Publications

Once, they say, freedom of contract reigned in American law. Parties could make agreements on a wide variety of subjects and choose the terms they wished. Courts would refrain from questioning the substance of bargains and would ensure only that parties had observed the proper formalities. In interpretation, objectivity was paramount. Courts would seek to ascertain, not what the parties had intended, but what a reasonable observer would understand the parties' words to mean. Contract law was a series of abstractions informed by individual autonomy and judicial deference.

This world, a classical paradise of doctrines with sharp corners, began to …