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Columbia Law School

1997

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Articles 1 - 30 of 46

Full-Text Articles in Law

Brave New World?: The Impact(S) Of The Internet On Modern Securities Regulation, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1997

Brave New World?: The Impact(S) Of The Internet On Modern Securities Regulation, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

It is now a trite commonplace that the advent of the Internet will in time revolutionize securities regulation. Merely the facts that the Internet has somewhere between thirty and sixty million users worldwide today (with an estimated ten to thirty million in the United States) and that some 800,000 U.S. investors already have online brokerage accounts establish that there is a potential global market that can be accessed at very low cost. But the magnitude of the market says little about what will be the character and effect of this approaching revolution.

Technological change is not a new ...


Old Chief V. United States: Stipulating Away Prosecutorial Accountability?, Daniel Richman Jan 1997

Old Chief V. United States: Stipulating Away Prosecutorial Accountability?, Daniel Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Earlier this year, in Old Chief v. United States, the Supreme Court finally resolved a circuit split on a nagging evidentiary issue: When a defendant charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm offers to satisfy one of the statute's elements by stipulating to the existence of a prior felony conviction, may the government decline the stipulation and prove the existence and the nature of that prior felony?

The question of evidence law resolved in Old Chief is not particularly earth-shattering. Indeed, while the Court divided five to four on the issue, neither Justice Souter's ...


What's Wrong With Sexual Harassment, Katherine M. Franke Jan 1997

What's Wrong With Sexual Harassment, Katherine M. Franke

Faculty Scholarship

In this article, Professor Franke asks and answers a seemingly simple question: why is sexual harassment a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? She argues that the link between sexual harassment and sex discrimination has been undertheorized b9 the Supreme Court. In the absence of a principled theory of the wrong of sexual harassment, Professor Franke argues that lower courts have developed a body of sexual harassment law that trivializes the legal norm against sex discrimination. After illustrating how the Supreme Court has not provided an adequate theory of sexual harassment as ...


The Evolution Of Adolescence: A Developmental Perspective On Juvenile Justice Reform, Elizabeth S. Scott, Thomas Grisso Jan 1997

The Evolution Of Adolescence: A Developmental Perspective On Juvenile Justice Reform, Elizabeth S. Scott, Thomas Grisso

Faculty Scholarship

The legal response to juvenile crime is undergoing revolutionary change, and its ultimate shape is uncertain. The traditional juvenile court, grounded in optimism about the potential for rehabilitation of young offenders, has long been the target of criticism, and even its defenders have been forced to acknowledge that it has failed to meet its objectives. Beginning in the late 1960s, when the Supreme Court introduced procedural regularity to delinquency proceedings in In re Gault, courts and legislatures began to slowly chip away at the foundations of the juvenile justice system. Recent developments have accelerated and intensified that process, as policy-makers ...


The Role Of Criminal Law In Policing Corporate Misconduct, Gerard E. Lynch Jan 1997

The Role Of Criminal Law In Policing Corporate Misconduct, Gerard E. Lynch

Faculty Scholarship

In the early 1990s, I spent a couple of years as Chief of the Criminal Division in the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. One of my principal responsibilities was to hear "appeals" from defense lawyers, usually, although not exclusively, in white collar crime cases. These lawyers felt that their clients should not be indicted, or that the plea offer they had received from the prosecutor in charge of the case was unduly severe. Sometimes their arguments were essentially factual contentions that the government had the wrong take on the evidence – that the ...


Cyberspace Sovereignty? – The Internet And The International System, Tim Wu Jan 1997

Cyberspace Sovereignty? – The Internet And The International System, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of the Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

By linking with the Internet, we don't mean absolute freedom of information. I think there is a general understanding about this. If you go through customs, you have to show your passport. It's the same with management of information. There is no contradiction at all between the development ...


Explaining The Pattern Of Secured Credit, Ronald J. Mann Jan 1997

Explaining The Pattern Of Secured Credit, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Granting collateral to secure loans is a prominent feature of the U.S. economy, but, surprisingly, we do not understand how borrowers and lenders decide whether to engage in a secured or an unsecured transaction. In this Article, Professor Mann argues that existing theories of secured lending are inadequate because the theories' predictions have not been tested against empirical data. To understand the actual pattern of secured credit, Professor Mann interviewed more than twenty borrowers and lenders in various sectors of the economy. Based on the evidence gathered in these interviews, as well as on preexisting empirical studies, this Article ...


Contract Formation And Interpretation, Avery W. Katz Jan 1997

Contract Formation And Interpretation, Avery W. Katz

Faculty Scholarship

Much research in law and economics, following Coase's insight that the effects of a legal rule depend on the ability of those whom it governs to bargain around it, has undertaken to explain how substantive entitlements such as property rights influence the bargaining process. Perhaps more important than any substantive rights or duties in this regard, however, is the extensive body of contract doctrine that governs the procedural mechanics of exchange. The formal rules of contract formation, by attaching consequences to the various acts and omissions that bargainers can choose from in a negotiation, affect the parties' incentives to ...


"Prescriptive Equality": Two Steps Forward, Kent Greenawalt Jan 1997

"Prescriptive Equality": Two Steps Forward, Kent Greenawalt

Faculty Scholarship

In this Response to Professor Peters, Professor Greenawalt argues that prescriptive equality does have meaningful normative force. Prescriptive equality plays a reinforcing role when it agrees with nonegalitarian justice and is not incoherent when it pulls against nonegalitarian justice. Specifically, when one individual has been treated better than is required by nonegalitarian justice, a similarly situated and significantly related individual who is aware of that treatment may merit equivalent treatment because of widespread and deep-seated feelings about equality.


The Fine Art Of Judging: William T. Allen, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 1997

The Fine Art Of Judging: William T. Allen, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

I feel more than a little conflicted about writing to commemorate Bill Allen's completion of his term as Chancellor of Delaware. Economists understand the inefficiencies that result when private and public benefits diverge: people seek their advantage even though the public bears more than offsetting costs. That pretty well describes the dissonance I'm experiencing about this event. The benefit to me of gaining a good friend as a neighbor, and to the NYU Law School community from the addition of this remarkable man as a colleague and teacher, are dwarfed by the cost to the entire corporate law ...


The Rise Of Sublocal Structures In Urban Governance, Richard Briffault Jan 1997

The Rise Of Sublocal Structures In Urban Governance, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

The dominant law and economics model of local government, based on the work of Charles M. Tiebout, assumes that decentralization of power to local governments promotes the efficient delivery of public goods and services. In his seminal article, A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures, Tiebout contended that the existence of a large number of local governments in any given area permits a "market solution" to the question of how to determine the level and mix of government services that people desire. The multiplicity of local governments in an area means that, as long as each locality is free to adopt ...


The Folklore Of Investor Capitalism, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1997

The Folklore Of Investor Capitalism, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

Ideally, Thurman Arnold should review this book. In his The Folklore of American Capitalism, Arnold dissected the ideology and rationalizations by which the business community of an earlier day defended its legitimacy and perquisites. Michael Useem, a sociologist at the Wharton School, also has an interest in the ideology of the business community: how corporate managers view the new institutional investors, how they justify resistance, and the tensions and inconsistencies between their critiques of money managers and their own behavior. This is an underutilized perspective (which law and economics inherently tends to overlook), and Useem is at his best when ...


Legal Design And The Evolution Of Commercial Norms, Jody S. Kraus Jan 1997

Legal Design And The Evolution Of Commercial Norms, Jody S. Kraus

Faculty Scholarship

The Uniform Commercial Code determines the content of most commercial law default rules by incorporating common merchant practices. The success of this incorporation strategy depends on the likely efficiency of evolved commercial practices. In this Article, I use the best available theory of cultural evolution to analyze how and why commercial practices evolve. This analysis confirms that the incorporation strategy is far superior to a system in which lawmakers rely predominantly on individual analysis and experimentation to design commercial law. But the analysis also demonstrates that common commercial practices, and the laws incorporating them, are unlikely to be optimal, in ...


Strategy And Force In The Liquidation Of Secured Debt, Ronald J. Mann Jan 1997

Strategy And Force In The Liquidation Of Secured Debt, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This article provides an empirical and theoretical study of the processes for the liquidation of secured debt. The empirical portion of the study includes an empirical base of 74 profiles of distressed secured loans randomly selected from the portfolios of three lenders (one finance company, one bank, and one insurance company). Those profiles include information on such topics as how the lenders decide which loans to terminate, what happens to the debtors after the lender decides to terminate the relationships, how successful the lenders are in obtaining repayment, and how much the process of termination costs.

The theoretical portion of ...


Lifetime Employment: Labor Peace And The Evolution Of Japanese Corporate Governance, Ronald J. Gilson, Mark J. Roe Jan 1997

Lifetime Employment: Labor Peace And The Evolution Of Japanese Corporate Governance, Ronald J. Gilson, Mark J. Roe

Faculty Scholarship

In Japan, large firms' relationships with their employees differ from those prevailing in large American firms. Large Japanese firms guarantee many employees lifetime employment, and the firms' boards consist of insider employees. Neither relationship is common in the United States. Japanese lifetime employment is said to encourage firms and employees to invest in human capital. We examine the reported benefits of the firm's promise of lifetime employment, but conclude that it is no more than peripheral to human capital investments. Rather, the 'dark' side of Japanese labor practice – constricting the external labor market – likely yielded the human capital benefits ...


Standard Form Contracts, Avery W. Katz Jan 1997

Standard Form Contracts, Avery W. Katz

Faculty Scholarship

Among legal commentators, standard form contracts have long been received with distrust, and the rules governing their interpretation have engendered considerable controversy. While economic analysis has little to say regarding the libertarian objection to standard form contracts or their relationship to personal autonomy, it can help evaluate their effects on efficiency and the distribution of the gains from trade. From such a perspective, standard forms should be analyzed like any other productive input, comparable to design, marketing, and technical support. Whether their use raises any special regulatory or policy concerns, therefore, depends on their implications for the standard litany of ...


An Economic Analysis Of The Guaranty Contract, Avery W. Katz Jan 1997

An Economic Analysis Of The Guaranty Contract, Avery W. Katz

Faculty Scholarship

Guaranty arrangements, in which one person stands as surety for a second person's obligation to a third, are ubiquitous in commercial transactions and in commercial law. In recent years, however, scholarly attention to the topic has been scant; and there is still no theoretical treatment of this body of law or practice from a economic policy perspective. This paper, accordingly, attempts to outline the basic economic logic underlying the guaranty relationship, and applies the results to a variety of specific issues in government policy and private planning. It poses and answers three main questions: First, why would a creditor ...


Private Ownership And Corporate Performance: Some Lessons From Transition Economies, Roman Frydman, Cheryl W. Gray, Marek P. Hessel, Andrzej Rapaczynski Jan 1997

Private Ownership And Corporate Performance: Some Lessons From Transition Economies, Roman Frydman, Cheryl W. Gray, Marek P. Hessel, Andrzej Rapaczynski

Faculty Scholarship

Data on mid-sized firms in three transition economies provide strong evidence that private ownership – for worker ownership – improves corporate performance. And the privatized firms' superior ability to generate revenues allows those firms to sustain or expand employment.

Using a large sample of data on mid-sized firms in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, Frydman, Gray, Hessel, and Rapacynski compare the performance of privatized and state firms in the environment of the postcommunist transition.

They find strong evidence that private ownership – for worker ownership – improves corporate performance. They find no evidence of the privatization shock that was supposed to afflict the ...


The "Original Intent" Of U.S. International Taxation, Michael J. Graetz, Michael M. O'Hear Jan 1997

The "Original Intent" Of U.S. International Taxation, Michael J. Graetz, Michael M. O'Hear

Faculty Scholarship

The Sixteenth Amendment took effect on February 25, 1913, permitting Congress to tax income "from whatever source derived," and on October 3rd of that year, Congress approved a tax on the net income of individuals and corporations. The United States regime for taxing international income took shape soon thereafter, during the decade 1919-1928. In the Revenue Act of 1918, the United States enacted, for the first time anywhere in the world, a credit against U.S. income for taxes paid by a U.S. citizen or resident to any foreign government on income earned outside the United States. The Revenue ...


Does Public Choice Theory Justify Judicial Activism After All?, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1997

Does Public Choice Theory Justify Judicial Activism After All?, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Some legal scholars have argued that public choice theory justifies certain kinds of judicial activism. Others have said it does not. Given the present state of the debate, it would appear that those finding no necessary support for judicial activism have the stronger argument. I will suggest, however, that if we tweak the analysis a little further, it may turn out that public choice theory provides limited support for judicial activism after all.


Provisional Relief In Transnational Litigation, George A. Bermann Jan 1997

Provisional Relief In Transnational Litigation, George A. Bermann

Faculty Scholarship

In this article, Professor Bermann identifies and analyzes the principal problems raised by the rapidly growing phenomenon of transnational provisional relief National courts are facing serious challenges in organizing such interventions, but as yet lack a sufficiently comprehensive framework of analysis. The author begins with the clarifying distinction that provisional relief may be transnational either because of its significant effects abroad or because it lends support to protective measures ordered by foreign courts, and draws on the experiences of U.S. and foreign courts in determining the costs of both granting and withholding provisional relief He concludes that, despite the ...


International Aspects Of Fundamental Tax Reconstructing: Practice Or Principle, Michael J. Graetz Jan 1997

International Aspects Of Fundamental Tax Reconstructing: Practice Or Principle, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

The globalization of economic activity, including the expansion of international trade, the amazing ability of international capital markets to transfer capital rapidly across borders, and the movement in Europe toward greater economic unification, have made it more difficult for nations independently to fashion tax laws that properly balance their own equity, economic efficiency and simplicity goals. This is what makes this conference to analyze the international aspects of recent proposals to replace the federal income tax with some form of consumption tax, with particular emphasis on the Nunn-Domenici "USA" tax and the Armey-Shelby flat tax ("flat tax"), so important. As ...


Recent Legislation: Constitutional Law – Congress Imposes New Restrictions On Use Of Funds By The Legal Services Corporation – Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions And Appropriations Act Of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321, Benjamin L. Liebman Jan 1997

Recent Legislation: Constitutional Law – Congress Imposes New Restrictions On Use Of Funds By The Legal Services Corporation – Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions And Appropriations Act Of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321, Benjamin L. Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

Fierce political battles have raged about the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) for much of its twenty-three year history. Critics have attacked LSC for pursuing a "radical agenda" and for "engaging in dubious litigation that is of no real benefit to poor people," while supporters have termed LSC "the one program in the entire war on poverty that made a difference" and have decried the "campaign to deny the right of legal representation to the poor." Last year, in the Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996 (OCRAA), Congress reduced LSC funding by thirty percent – to $278 million in fiscal ...


Deregulatory Takings, Breach Of The Regulatory Contract, And The Telecommunications Act Of 1996, William J. Baumol, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1997

Deregulatory Takings, Breach Of The Regulatory Contract, And The Telecommunications Act Of 1996, William J. Baumol, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

Professors Baumol and Merrill reply to Deregulatory Takings and Breach of the Regulatory Contract, published last year in this Review, which argued that the price incumbents may charge potential competitors for bottleneck facilities under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 should be based not on forward-looking costs but on historical costs. Professors Baumol and Merrill contend that pricing with reference to historical costs would depart from the principles called for by economic analysis for efficient pricing and they further argue that neither the Takings Clause nor the regulatory contract precludes the use of forward-looking costs in setting prices. If a taking ...


The Role Of Secured Credit In Small-Business Lending, Ronald J. Mann Jan 1997

The Role Of Secured Credit In Small-Business Lending, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

The traditional perspective holds that large firms in our economy use unsecured credit and small firms use secured credit. Existing scholarship, however, has provided little explanation of that pattern. In a recent article, I attributed the use of unsecured credit by large firms to the limited capacity of secured credit to lower the lending costs of creditworthy companies. This article uses data from a dozen interviews with small-business bankers to explain the small-business half of that lending pattern. To the extent smallbusiness lenders require secured credit, they do so largely for one significant benefit: secured credit allows small-business lenders to ...


Strategy And Force In The Liquidation Of Secured Debt, Ronald J. Mann Jan 1997

Strategy And Force In The Liquidation Of Secured Debt, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

The question of why parties use secured debt is one of the most fundamental questions in commercial finance. The commonplace answer focuses on force: A grant of collateral to a lender enhances the lender's ability to collect its debt by enhancing the lender's ability to take possession of the collateral by force and sell it to satisfy the debt. That perspective draws considerable support from the design of the major legal institutions that support secured debt: Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and the less uniform state laws regarding real estate mortgages.

Both of those institutions are ...


Homosexuals, Torts, And Dangerous Things, Katherine M. Franke Jan 1997

Homosexuals, Torts, And Dangerous Things, Katherine M. Franke

Faculty Scholarship

Negligent, intentional, and strict liability torts. From a canonical standpoint, whatever else one might teach, it is not a first-year torts course if these three concepts are not covered. Torts has a canon, even a Restatement. Yet a canon evolves only after some criteria of value has been established such that privileged texts can be identified according to some authoritative standard. In other words, a canon is the result of a process by which a rule of recognition identifies authoritative texts.

At what point can we say that torts became a field and an intact legal subject, the canon of ...


The Bylaw Battlefield: Can Institutions Change The Outcome Of Corporate Control Contests?, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1997

The Bylaw Battlefield: Can Institutions Change The Outcome Of Corporate Control Contests?, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

What, if anything, can institutional investors do to influence the course and outcome of corporate control contests? The traditional answer was relatively little. To be sure, institutions could tender their shares in a tender offer or vote in a proxy contest to oust the incumbent board, but such a role was essentially reactive and contingent. It required that an offer actually be made before institutions could respond on an after-the-fact basis. Similarly, institutions have occasionally conducted precatory proxy campaigns calling upon the board to redeem its poison pill, but management was free to ignore these requests (and has done so).


Extraterritoriality And Multiterritorality In Copyright Infringement, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 1997

Extraterritoriality And Multiterritorality In Copyright Infringement, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

Extraterritorial application of U.S. law, as Professor Curtis Bradley demonstrates, is highly suspect, if not illegitimate, unless clearly authorized by Congress. The apparently “extraterritorial” character of much recent copyright litigation has led some U.S. courts to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction or on grounds of forum non conveniens when the cases present offshore points of attachment. As copyright commerce becomes increasingly international, some of these dismissals may be unwarranted. They also may be incorrect in their refusal to apply U.S. law or retain U.S. jurisdiction over the parties: the decisions may be too quick ...


The "Battle Of The Forms": Fairness, Efficiency, And The Best-Shot Rule, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 1997

The "Battle Of The Forms": Fairness, Efficiency, And The Best-Shot Rule, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

After the parties agree to a sale, the buyer sends a purchase order with one set of boilerplate terms on the reverse side; the seller responds with an acknowledgment and invoice with another set of boilerplate terms. Do they have a contract? If so, on what terms? This so-called "battle of the forms" has given rise to a great outpouring of scholarship and a legislative solution widely perceived as inartfully drafted and generally unsatisfactory. In particular, the Code solution has been criticized because it attempted to solve both the formation and interpretation problems with one rule. The Uniform Commercial Code ...