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Full-Text Articles in Law

Privatization And Corporate Governance: The Lessons From Securities Market Failure, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1999

Privatization And Corporate Governance: The Lessons From Securities Market Failure, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyzes the comparative experiences of Poland and the Czech Republic with voucher privatization. Because of a number of similarities between these two transitional economies, it finds their comparative experience to provide a useful natural experiment, with the critical distinguishing variable being their different approaches to regulatory controls. However, while their experiences have been very different, their substantive corporate law was very similar. The true locus of regulatory differences appears then to have been the area of securities market regulation, where their approaches differed dramatically.

Re-examining the work of LaPorta, Lopez-de-Silanos, Shleifer & Vishny, this paper submits that (1) the homogenity of both common law systems and civil law systems has been overstated; (2) common law systems in particular differ ...


Does Venture Capital Require An Active Stock Market?, Ronald J. Gilson, Bernard S. Black Jan 1999

Does Venture Capital Require An Active Stock Market?, Ronald J. Gilson, Bernard S. Black

Faculty Scholarship

The United States has both an active venture capital industry and well-developed stock markets. Japan and Germany have neither. We argue here that this is no accident – that venture capital can flourish especially – and perhaps only – if the venture capitalist can exit from a successful portfolio company through an initial public offering (IPO), which requires an active stock market. Understanding the link between the stock market and the venture capital market requires understanding the contractual arrangements between entrepreneurs and venture capital providers especially the importance of exit by venture capitalists and the opportunity, present only if IPO exit is possible ...


A Government For Our Time? Business Improvement Districts And Urban Governance, Richard Briffault Jan 1999

A Government For Our Time? Business Improvement Districts And Urban Governance, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

The emergence and rapid spread of business improvement districts ("BIDs") is one of the most important recent developments in American cities. BIDs have been controversial, with both supporters and proponents viewing the districts as part of a trend toward the privatization of the public sector. By examining the legal and political structures that determine BID formation, functions, finances and governance, this Article determines that BIDs are not private entities but are, instead, a distinctive hybrid of public and private elements. Moreover, although the particular fusion of public and private institutions, values and concerns embodied in the BID is unique, Professor ...


Lifetime Employment: Labor Peace And The Evolution Of Japanese Corporate Governance, Ronald J. Gilson, Mark J. Roe Jan 1999

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 ...


The Supreme Court, Sexual Citizenship And The Idea Of Progress, Kendall Thomas Jan 1999

The Supreme Court, Sexual Citizenship And The Idea Of Progress, Kendall Thomas

Faculty Scholarship

Is American Progressive Constitutionalism dead ... yet? I propose to seek the beginnings of an answer to this question in the pages of a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court. I do feel obliged to say this, not because I am committed to a court-centered adjudicative conception of American constitutionalism; to the contrary. But rather, because the decision on which I want to focus seems to me to offer a rich resource for critical reflection on the idea of self-government whose connections to Progressive Constitutionalism give us our topic this afternoon.


Revaluing Restitution: From The Talmud To Postsocialism, Michael A. Heller, Christopher Serkin Jan 1999

Revaluing Restitution: From The Talmud To Postsocialism, Michael A. Heller, Christopher Serkin

Faculty Scholarship

Whatever happened to the study of restitution? Once a core private law subject along with property, torts, and contracts, restitution has receded from American legal scholarship. Few law professors teach the material, fewer still write in the area, and no one even agrees what the field comprises anymore. Hanoch threatens to reverse the tide and make restitution interesting again. The book takes commonplace words such as "value" and "gain" and shows how they embody a society's underlying normative principles. Variations across cultures in the law of unjust enrichment reflect differences in national understandings of sharing, property, and even personhood ...


Optimal Timing And Legal Decisionmaking: The Case Of The Liquidation Decision In Bankruptcy, Douglas G. Baird, Edward R. Morrison Jan 1999

Optimal Timing And Legal Decisionmaking: The Case Of The Liquidation Decision In Bankruptcy, Douglas G. Baird, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Until the firm is sold or a plan of reorganization is confirmed, Chapter 11 entrusts a judge with the decision of whether to keep a firm as a going concern or to shut it down. The judge revisits this liquidation decision multiple times. The key is to make the correct decision at the optimal time. This paper models this decision as the exercise of a real option and shows that it depends critically on particular types of information about the firm and its industry. Liquidations take place too soon if we merely compare the liquidation value of the assets with ...


Executives And Hedging: The Fragile Legal Foundation Of Incentive Compatibility, David M. Schizer Jan 1999

Executives And Hedging: The Fragile Legal Foundation Of Incentive Compatibility, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

In the capital markets, the 1990s have been the decade of executive stock options and the derivatives market. Legal scholars and economists have begun to realize that, in combination, these two trends raise a serious concern. Options are supposed to inspire better performance by tying pay to the stock price. Yet, what if an executive could use the derivatives market to simulate a sale of her option – a practice known as "hedging" – without violating her contract with the firm? The incentive justification for option grants would no longer hold.

This Article demonstrates that the tax law helps avert this consequence ...


Reforming Labor Law For The New Century, Lance Liebman Jan 1999

Reforming Labor Law For The New Century, Lance Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

The two articles that follow are the first published fruit of a conversation that was initiated in 1998 under the auspices of "Labor Law Reform for Developed Countries in the 21st Century," several years of conferences leading to the May 2000 Tokyo Conference of the International Industrial Relations Association. This project has had generous support from the Center for Global Partnership of the Japan Foundation and from the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law at Columbia Law School.

The participants have been labor law professors from Europe, Japan, and the United States. The group has focused its research and ...


The Legal And The Ethical In Legal Ethics: A Brief Rejoinder To Comments On The Practice Of Justice, William H. Simon Jan 1999

The Legal And The Ethical In Legal Ethics: A Brief Rejoinder To Comments On The Practice Of Justice, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

We have here, not the clash of opposites, but a series of family quarrels within what you might call the Party of Aspiration in legal ethics. My seven allies and I all favor lawyers' ethic of more complex judgment, and more responsibility to nonclients than the currently dominant one. The differences among us are not large from the broadest perspective, but they involve issues that are quite important to the elaboration of the sort of alternative ethic we would like to see.

I am enormously grateful for the care and attention the commentators have taken. They have frequently stated my ...


The Past, Present And Future Of Title Vi Of The Civil Rights Act As A Tool Of Environmental Justice, Michael B. Gerrard, Nicholas Johnson, Peggy Shepard, Melva J. Hayden, Sheila Foster, Elizabeth Georges Jan 1999

The Past, Present And Future Of Title Vi Of The Civil Rights Act As A Tool Of Environmental Justice, Michael B. Gerrard, Nicholas Johnson, Peggy Shepard, Melva J. Hayden, Sheila Foster, Elizabeth Georges

Faculty Scholarship

Mr. Michael Gerrard: I am going to try to do something a little unconventional. After hearing some remarks from Professor Johnson, I will try to start a dialogue. I have been requested to ask very tough questions of our panelists, so I will do that in the hope of drawing all of you in the audience into the dialogue. First, we will hear some remarks from Professor Nicholas Johnson of Fordham University School of Law.


Why Start-Ups ?, Joseph Bankman, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 1999

Why Start-Ups ?, Joseph Bankman, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

The prototypical start-up involves an employee leaving her job with an idea and selling a portion of that idea to a venture capitalist. In many respects, however, the idea should be worth more to the former employer. The former employer can be expected to have better information concerning the employee-entrepreneur and the technology, have opportunities to capture economies of scale and scope not available to a venture capital-backed start-up, and will receive more favorable tax treatment than the start-up should the innovation fail. In connection with an auction of the idea, the former employer should have both a more accurate ...


The Place Of Victims In The Theory Of Retribution, George P. Fletcher Jan 1999

The Place Of Victims In The Theory Of Retribution, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

Remarkably, the theory of criminal law has developed without paying much attention to the place of victims in the analysis of responsibility or in the rationale for punishment. You can read a first-rate book like Michael Moore's recent Placing Blame and not find a single reference to the relevance of victims in imposing liability and punishment. In the last several decades we have witnessed notable strides toward attending to the rights and interests of crime victims, but these concerns have yet to intrude upon the discussion of the central issues of wrongdoing, blame, and punishment.

Admittedly, victims and their ...


Disenfranchisement As Punishment: Reflections On The Racial Uses Of Infamia, George P. Fletcher Jan 1999

Disenfranchisement As Punishment: Reflections On The Racial Uses Of Infamia, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

The practice of disenfranchising felons, though decreasing, is still widespread. In this Article, Professor George Fletcher reflects on the use of disenfranchisement as punishment, the lack of a convincing theoretical justification for it, and its disproportionate impact on the African.American community. Fletcher presents a number of powerful arguments against the constitutionality of the practice, but he emphasizes that there is a deeper problem with disenfranchisement as punishment: It reinforces the branding of felons as an "untouchable" class and thus helps to prevent their effective reintegration into our society.


Randolph W. Thrower Lecture: Your Tax Dollars At Work: Why U.S. Tax Law Needs To Be Changed, Michael J. Graetz Jan 1999

Randolph W. Thrower Lecture: Your Tax Dollars At Work: Why U.S. Tax Law Needs To Be Changed, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

I focus here on prospects for tax reform. Things are quiet, politically, on the tax reform front. The Republicans in 1999 are talking about an across-theboard tax cut less extensive than Ronald Reagan's tax cut of 1981. On February 1, 1999, President Clinton, in his budget proposals, offered thirty-eight "targeted" tax reduction proposals and seventy-four tax increase proposals. It took the Treasury Department 197 closely typed, single-spaced pages to describe the proposals. We do not appear to be on the verge of major tax simplification.


Economic Development, Legality, And The Transplant Effect, Katharina Pistor, Daniel Berkowitz, Jean-Francois Richard Jan 1999

Economic Development, Legality, And The Transplant Effect, Katharina Pistor, Daniel Berkowitz, Jean-Francois Richard

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyzes the determinants of effective legal institutions (legality) and their impact on economic development today using data from 49 countries. We show that the way the law was initially transplanted and received is a more important determinant than the supply of law from a particular legal family (i.e. English, French, German, or Scandinavian). Countries that have developed legal orders internally, adapted the transplanted law to local conditions, and/or had a population that was already familiar with basic legal principles of the transplanted law have more effective legality than "transplant effect" countries that received foreign law without ...


Reforming Social Security: A Practical And Workable System Of Personal Retirement Accounts, Fred T. Goldberg, Michael J. Graetz Jan 1999

Reforming Social Security: A Practical And Workable System Of Personal Retirement Accounts, Fred T. Goldberg, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

This paper details a method for implementing personal retirement accounts (PRAs) as a part of Social Security reform. The approach described here answers the following questions: how funds are collected and credited to each participants' retirement account; how money is invested; and how funds are distributed to retirees. It is designed to accommodate a variety of answers to a wide range of important policy questions; to minimize administrative costs and distribute those costs in a fair and reasonable way; to minimize the burden on employers, especially small employees who do not now maintain a qualified retirement plan; and to meet ...


Virtuous Lying: A Critique Of Quasi-Categorical Moralism, William H. Simon Jan 1999

Virtuous Lying: A Critique Of Quasi-Categorical Moralism, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Popular and professional moralists have a tendency to over-condemn lying. This Article is a critique of that tendency and the more general outlook it exemplifies, which I call Quasi-Categorical Moralism. I begin with an illustration from my own experience of morally appropriate lying that is condemned by the legal profession's ethics norms. I proceed to a critical examination of the arguments against lying in what is perhaps the best known contemporary work on professional ethics – Sissela Bok's Lying. I then explore the more sympathetic treatment of lying in a broad range of literary and philosophical works typically ignored ...


Issue Advocacy: Redrawing The Elections/Politics Line, Richard Briffault Jan 1999

Issue Advocacy: Redrawing The Elections/Politics Line, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

In the closing weeks of the 1996 election, Montana's airwaves were flooded with the following television advertisement:

Who is Bill Yellowtail? He preaches family values, but he took a swing at his wife. Yellowtail's explanation? He 'only slapped her,' but her nose was broken. He talks law and order, but is himself a convicted criminal. And though he talks about protecting children, Yellowtail failed to make his own child support payments, then voted against child support enforcement. Call Bill Yellowtail and tell him we don't approve of his wrongful behavior. Call (406) 443-3620.

The anti-Yellowtail ad, financed ...


The Legal Infrastructure Of High Technology Industrial Districts: Silicon Valley, Route 128, And Covenants Not To Compete, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 1999

The Legal Infrastructure Of High Technology Industrial Districts: Silicon Valley, Route 128, And Covenants Not To Compete, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, scholars and policymakers have rediscovered the concept of industrial districts – spatial concentrations of firms in the same industry or related industries. In this Article, Professor Gilson examines te relationship between high-technology industrial districts and legal infrastructure by comparing the legal regimes of California's Silicon Valley and Massachusetts's Route 128. He contends that legal rides governing employee mobility influence the dynamics of high technology industrial districts by either encouraging rapid employee movement between employers and to startups, as in Silicon Valley, or discouraging such movement, as in Route 128. Because California does not enforce post-employment covenants ...


Precedential Cascades: An Appraisal, Eric Talley Jan 1999

Precedential Cascades: An Appraisal, Eric Talley

Faculty Scholarship

About a half century ago, a handful of social scientists began to formalize what was to become the analytical heart of neoclassical economics. Under the broad rubric of "general equilibrium theory," these scholars demonstrated (in varying degrees of mathematical sophistication) the longstanding intuition behind the so-called "invisible hand": that is, that competitive markets could convert apparent disarray and fragmentation into order and harmony. More explicitly, general equilibrium theory demonstrated how a decentralized collection of self-interested individuals could, through competitive market transactions, allocate scarce goods and services in a socially efficient manner. An equally powerful corollary attended this central insight: that ...


In God's Image: The Religious Imperative Of Equality Under Law, George P. Fletcher Jan 1999

In God's Image: The Religious Imperative Of Equality Under Law, George P. Fletcher

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay argues that the principle of equality under law is best grounded in a holistic view of human dignity. Rejecting modem attempts to justify equality by reducing humanity to a particular actual characteristic, it articulates a religious imperative to treat people equally by drawing on biblical as well as modern philosophical sources. The principle "all men are created equal," as celebrated in the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg Address, draws on this holistic understanding of humanity. This admittedly romantic approach to equality generates a critique of contemporary Supreme Court doctrine, including the prevailing approaches to strict scrutiny, affirmative action ...


Application-Centered Internet Analysis, Tim Wu Jan 1999

Application-Centered Internet Analysis, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

Much Internet scholarship tends to analyze the Internet at an inappropriate level of abstraction; focusing on the Internet as one "medium," when – by design – nearly all of the significant facts for certain questions are to be found at the level of the application and its associated protocols. The article suggests that application-centered thinking makes a better tool for the hard Internet questions, such as First Amendment questions (such as filtering) and questions of private ordering.


Secured Credit And Software Financing, Ronald J. Mann Jan 1999

Secured Credit And Software Financing, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Although software is one of the most important assets many businesses hold, almost nothing has been written about the dynamics of software financing. Under a conventional view of secured financing, the difficulties of liquidating software would limit its value as collateral for secured loans. But the actual transactions belie that view, because lenders advance billions of dollars in asset-based software loans each year.

Part I of the article describes the legal and practical difficulties that make it so impractical for a lender to liquidate software-related collateral: the uncertainty about where to file; the requirement that the borrower deposit the source ...


Rethinking The Uniformity Norm In Commercial Law: Optimal Institutional Design For Regulating Incomplete Contracts, Robert E. Scott Jan 1999

Rethinking The Uniformity Norm In Commercial Law: Optimal Institutional Design For Regulating Incomplete Contracts, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This paper begins with the claim that the state's primary role in uniformly enforcing commercial contracts is to regulate incomplete contracts efficiently. This role requires the state to perform two interdependent but conceptually distinct functions. The first is an interpretive function – the task of correctly (and uniformly) interpreting the meaning of the contract terms chosen by parties to allocate contract risk. The second is a standardizing function – the task of creating broadly suitable default rules or assigning standard meanings to widely used contract terms. Correct interpretation argues for a "textualist" or plain meaning interpretation of the express terms used ...


In Defense Of The Incorporation Strategy, Jody S. Kraus, Steven D. Walt Jan 1999

In Defense Of The Incorporation Strategy, Jody S. Kraus, Steven D. Walt

Faculty Scholarship

Contract law must provide rules for interpreting the meaning of express terms and default rules for filling contractual gaps. Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code provides the same response to both demands: It incorporates the norms of commercial practice. This "incorporation strategy" has recently come under attack. Although the incorporation strategy for gap-filling seems to have survived criticism, the incorporation strategy for interpretation remains heavily criticized. Critics charge that the expected rate of interpretive error under an incorporationist interpretive regime is so excessive that almost any plain meaning regime would be preferable.

The attack on the incorporation strategy for ...


The Limits Of Discipline: Ownership And Hard Budget Constraints In The Transition Economies, Roman Frydman, Cheryl W. Gray, Marek P. Hessel, Andrzej Rapaczynski Jan 1999

The Limits Of Discipline: Ownership And Hard Budget Constraints In The Transition Economies, Roman Frydman, Cheryl W. Gray, Marek P. Hessel, Andrzej Rapaczynski

Faculty Scholarship

This paper, based on a large sample of mid-sized manufacturing firms in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, argues that the imposition of financial discipline is not sufficient to remedy ownership and governance-related deficiencies of corporate performance. The study offers three main conclusions. First, we find that state enterprises represent a higher credit risk both because of their inferior economic performance and because of their lesser willingness or propensity to meet their payment obligations. Second, the brunt of the state firms' lower creditworthiness is borne by their state creditors, as state enterprises deflect the higher risk away from private creditors ...


The Boundaries Of Private Property, Michael A. Heller Jan 1999

The Boundaries Of Private Property, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

If your house and fields are worth more separately, divide them; if you want to leave a ring to your child now and grandchild later, split the ownership in a trust. The American law of property encourages owners to subdivide resources freely. Hidden within the law, however, is a boundary principle that limits the right to subdivide private property into wasteful fragments. While people often create wealth when they break up and recombine property in novel ways, owners may make mistakes, or their self-interest may clash with social welfare. Property law responds with diverse doctrines that prevent and abolish excessive ...


Beyond The Independent Counsel: Evaluating The Options, Thomas W. Merrill Jan 1999

Beyond The Independent Counsel: Evaluating The Options, Thomas W. Merrill

Faculty Scholarship

The Independent Counsel Act expires on June 30, 1999. Should it be extended? Extended with modifications? Radically reformed? Or should it be allowed to sunset with nothing put in its place? To answer these questions, we need to address some more fundamental questions: (1) Do we truly need an independent office to investigate alleged wrongdoing by high-ranking officers of the executive branch? (2) If so, what are the options for the organizational structure of such an office? (3) By what criteria should the different institutional options be evaluated? (4) Under these criteria, which option represents the best, or perhaps more ...


An Economic Analysis Of The Guaranty Contract, Avery W. Katz Jan 1999

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 no one has systematically analyzed this body of law and practice from an economic policy perspective. Accordingly, this Article 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 prefer to ...