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(Baby) M Is For The Many Things: Why I Start With Baby M, Carol Sanger Jan 2000

(Baby) M Is For The Many Things: Why I Start With Baby M, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

For several years now I have begun my first-year contracts course with the 1988 New Jersey Supreme Court case In the Matter of Baby M. In this essay, I want to explain why. I offer the explanation in the spirit of modest proselytizing, recognizing that many of us already have a favored method or manner into the course: some introductory questions we pose before leaping into (or over) the introductions already provided by the editors of the many excellent casebooks available. But I have found that Baby M works extremely well in ways that others may want to consider. It ...


Patterns Of Legal Change: Shareholder And Creditor Rights In Transition Economies, Katharina Pistor Jan 2000

Patterns Of Legal Change: Shareholder And Creditor Rights In Transition Economies, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Scholarship

This paper analyses changes in the legal protection of shareholder and creditor rights in 24 transition economies from 1990 to 1998. It documents differences in the initial conditions and a tendency towards convergence of formal legal rules as the result of extensive legal reforms. Convergence seems to be primarily the result of foreign technical assistance programs as well as of harmonisation requirements for countries wishing to join the European Union. The external supply of legal rules not withstanding, the pattern of legal reforms suggests that law reform has been primarily responsive, or lagging, rather than leading economic development. In comparison ...


Sticks And Snakes: Derivatives And Curtailing Aggressive Tax Planning, David M. Schizer Jan 2000

Sticks And Snakes: Derivatives And Curtailing Aggressive Tax Planning, David M. Schizer

Faculty Scholarship

Complex "derivative" financial instruments are often used in aggressive tax planning. In response, the government has implemented mark-to-market type reforms, but only partially. Considered in isolation, these incremental reforms are likely to seem well advised in measuring income more accurately. However, there is an important "second best" cost, emphasized in this Article: the ability of well-advised taxpayers either to avoid the new rule or to turn it to their advantage (here called "defensive" and "offensive" planning options, respectively). This Article uses two case studies to identify how these effects arise and to suggest ways of combating them. The first case ...


Executives And Hedging: The Fragile Legal Foundation Of Incentive Compatibility, David M. Schizer Jan 2000

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

Faculty Scholarship

Options are granted to executives to inspire better performance by tying pay to the employer's stock price. Yet this incentive rationale no longer holds if executives can use the derivatives market to simulate a sale of their options, a practice known as hedging. This Article evaluates the effectiveness of existing legal constraints on hedging by executives, including limits derived from contract, securities and tax law. Although investment bankers have been searching for ways around these constraints, the bottom line is that, at least for now, executives are unable to hedge option grants: While contractual limits are rare, the securities ...


Judicial Auditing, Matthew L. Spitzer, Eric L. Talley Jan 2000

Judicial Auditing, Matthew L. Spitzer, Eric L. Talley

Faculty Scholarship

This paper presents a simple framework for analyzing a hierarchical system of judicial auditing. We concentrate on (what we perceive to be) the two principal reasons that courts and/or legislatures tend to scrutinize the decisions of lower echelon actors: imprecision and ideological bias. In comparing these two reasons, we illustrate how each may yield systematically distinct auditing and reversal behaviors. While auditing for imprecision tends to bring about evenhanded review/reversal, auditing for political bias tends to be contingent on the first mover's chosen action. Examples of these tendencies can be found in a number of legal applications ...


Trends In The Supply And Demand For Environmental Lawyers, Michael B. Gerrard Jan 2000

Trends In The Supply And Demand For Environmental Lawyers, Michael B. Gerrard

Faculty Scholarship

The boom times for environmental lawyers were the late 1980s and the early 1990s. The June 1990 issue of Money magazine called environmental law a "fast-track career." Two or three years of experience with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a state environmental agency, the environmental units of the Justice Department, or a state attorney general's office were a ticket to a high-paying job in the private sector. Law students were clamoring to enter the field and law firms were scrambling to find experienced environmental lawyers, or to recycle newly underemployed antitrust lawyers into this burgeoning field.


Milton Handler: Teacher, Lance Liebman Jan 2000

Milton Handler: Teacher, Lance Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

I did not know Milton Handler until he was eighty-eight years old.Of course I knew of him. I had lived near the world of Philip Areeda and Steve Breyer, antitrust experts who knew very well that Milton had begun the study of competition law; had been in that founding generation of activist law scholars who implemented the realist vision by expanding the canon of common law courses – contracts, torts, property – to statutory and regulatory fields such as taxation, regulated industries, labor law, and corporations.


An Institutional Emphasis, Lance Liebman Jan 2000

An Institutional Emphasis, Lance Liebman

Faculty Scholarship

Professor Schwartz is an important scholar of the interface between the difficult moral concept of privacy and the new information technologies. Someday a book will tell the story of modem history through the lens of privacy: village lives well known to neighbors; the claims of the national state (taxes, military service); the social welfare state; and the possibilities and dangers of modem biology. As Paul Schwartz has written, DNA and other tools can tell us a great deal about ourselves and can improve our lives; they can also tell employers, drug companies, prospective in-laws, and the police things we prefer ...


Critical Approaches To Property Institutions, Michael A. Heller Jan 2000

Critical Approaches To Property Institutions, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

Private property is a rather elusive concept. Any kid knows what it means for something to be mine or yours, but grownup legal theorists get flustered when they try to pin down the term. Typically they, actually we, turn to a familiar analytic toolkit: including, for example, Blackstone's image of private property as "sole and despotic dominion"; Hardin's metaphor of the "tragedy of the commons"; and, more generally, the division of ownership into a trilogy of private, commons, and state forms. While each analytic tool has a distinguished pedigree and certain present usefulness, each also imposes a cost ...


Corporate Governance Lessons From Russian Enterprise Fiascoes, Merritt B. Fox, Michael A. Heller Jan 2000

Corporate Governance Lessons From Russian Enterprise Fiascoes, Merritt B. Fox, Michael A. Heller

Faculty Scholarship

This Article draws on a rich array of deviant behavior in Russian enterprises to craft lessons for corporate governance theory. First, Professors Fox and Heller define corporate governance by looking to the economic functions of the firm. Based on this definition, they develop a typology that comprehensively shows all the channels through which bad corporate governance can inflict damage on a country's real economy. Second, they explain the causes of Russian enterprise fiascoes by looking to the particular initial conditions prevailing at privatization – untenable firm boundaries and insider allocation of firm shares – and the bargaining dynamics that have followed ...


Kosovo And The Great Air Power Debate, Daniel L. Byman, Matthew C. Waxman Jan 2000

Kosovo And The Great Air Power Debate, Daniel L. Byman, Matthew C. Waxman

Faculty Scholarship

The following section provides an overview of how to think about air power and coercion, addressing several key limits of the current literature. We next examine NATO goals in Kosovo and the mixed success eventually achieved. Using that baseline, we explore various explanations for Belgrade's eventual capitulation and clarify how air power's role in each of them should be understood; we leave aside the issue of whether coercion was a proper strategy for addressing the Balkan crisis and focus instead on how to assess air power as a tool of that strategy. We conclude with recommendations for recasting ...


Capital Attrition: Error Rates In Capital Cases, 1973-1995, James S. Liebman, Jeffery Fagan, Valerie West, Jonathan Lloyd Jan 2000

Capital Attrition: Error Rates In Capital Cases, 1973-1995, James S. Liebman, Jeffery Fagan, Valerie West, Jonathan Lloyd

Faculty Scholarship

Americans seem to be of two minds about the death penalty. In the last several years, the overall number of executions has risen steeply, reaching a fifty year high this year. Although two-thirds of the public support the penalty, this figure represents a sharp decline from the four-fifths of the population that endorsed the death penalty only six years ago, leaving support for capital punishment at a twenty year low. When life without parole is offered as an alternative, support for the penalty drops even more – often below a majority. Grants of executive clemency reached a twenty year high in ...


Of Prosecutors And Special Prosecutors: An Organizational Perspective, Geoffrey Moulton, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2000

Of Prosecutors And Special Prosecutors: An Organizational Perspective, Geoffrey Moulton, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

The Independent Counsel statute, designed to restore public trust in the impartial administration of criminal justice after Watergate, ultimately fueled rather than quieted the perception that partisan politics drives the investigation of high-ranking government officials. Following the enormous controversy surrounding the investigation conducted by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, Congress allowed the statute to sunset. This article assesses and seeks to refute both the standard objections to the now-expired statute and the arguments in favor of a new and improved version. It rejects as false the so-called “discretion dilemma” – the idea that we must choose between under zealous investigation by regular ...


(Baby) M Is For The Many Things: Why I Start With Baby M, Carol Sanger Jan 2000

(Baby) M Is For The Many Things: Why I Start With Baby M, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

For several years now I have begun my first-year contracts course with the 1988 New Jersey Supreme Court case In the Matter of Baby M. In this essay, I want to explain why. I offer the explanation in the spirit of modest proselytizing, recognizing that many of us already have a favored method or manner into the course: some introductory questions we pose before leaping into (or over) the introductions already provided by the editors of the many excellent casebooks available. But I have found that Baby M works extremely well in ways that others may want to consider. It ...


The President And Choices Not To Enforce, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2000

The President And Choices Not To Enforce, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

This paper was one of a number given in a panel on executive authority in a Duke Law School conference, "The Constitution Under Clinton: A Critical Assessment." As its title suggests, the principal subject of the panel was the President's authority, if any, to decline to implement statutes he regards as unconstitutional. The lead paper on the panel focused specifically on questions of the scope of the President's authority to engage in constitutional interpretation, relating that analysis to the role of the courts and their institutional responsibilities for deciding constitutional issues. This paper seeks to place this set ...


The President And Choices Not To Enforce, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2000

The President And Choices Not To Enforce, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

This paper was one of a number given in a panel on executive authority in a Duke Law School conference, "The Constitution Under Clinton: A Critical Assessment." As its title suggests, the principal subject of the panel was the President's authority, if any, to decline to implement statutes he regards as unconstitutional. The lead paper on the panel focused specifically on questions of the scope of the President's authority to engage in constitutional interpretation, relating that analysis to the role of the courts and their institutional responsibilities for decision of constitutional issues. This paper seeks to place this ...


The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2000

The Role Of Letters Of Credit In Payment Transactions, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

Rules governing letters of credit rest on the premise that they provide a highly certain method of payment to a seller of goods. Thus, the law and the terms of the letter of credit make the obligation of the issuer to provide payment to the seller independent of the purchaser's performance on the underlying contract. Hence, the issuer is obligated to pay the seller upon presentation of specified documents, without regard to the seller's actual compliance with the contract. In practice, however, most drafts on letters of credit in such transactions do not comply with the letter of ...


Information Technology And The Increasing Efficacy Of Non-Legal Sanctions In Financing Transactions, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2000

Information Technology And The Increasing Efficacy Of Non-Legal Sanctions In Financing Transactions, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This paper investigates the effect of advances in information technology on the private institutions that businesses use to resolve information asymmetries in financing transactions. It discusses four separate effects. First, in some cases information technology will permit direct verification of the information, obviating the problem entirely; the paper discusses the example of the substitution of the debit card for the check, which provides an immediate payment that obviates the need for the merchant to consider whether payment will be forthcoming when the check is presented to the bank on which it is drawn. Second, the paper discusses how advances in ...


The Case For Formalism In Relational Contract, Robert E. Scott Jan 2000

The Case For Formalism In Relational Contract, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

The central task in developing a plausible normative theory of contract law is to specify the appropriate role of the state in regulating incomplete or relational contracts. Complete contracts (to the extent that they exist in the real world) are rarely, if ever, breached since by definition the pay-offs for every relevant action and the corresponding sanctions for non performance are prescribed in the contract. In the case of incomplete (or relational) contracts, however, parties have incentives to breach by exploiting gaps in the contract. Making the verifiable terms of the contract legally enforceable and regulating incompleteness in a consistent ...


Economic Reasoning And The Framing Of Contract Law: Sale Of An Asset Of Uncertain Value, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2000

Economic Reasoning And The Framing Of Contract Law: Sale Of An Asset Of Uncertain Value, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

By analyzing two American contract law decisions, the paper illustrates the usefulness of economic analysis in framing the inquiry. The cases have a common feature, unrecognized by the courts: they both deal with the production and transfer of information regarding the sale of an asset of uncertain value. One involves the combination of an option and a lockup to encourage the buyer to produce information. The other involves contingent compensation to convey the seller's assurance of the quality of the assets. Once this is recognized, the outcomes are straightforward.


From Having Copies To Experiencing Works: The Development Of An Access Right In U.S. Copyright Law, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2000

From Having Copies To Experiencing Works: The Development Of An Access Right In U.S. Copyright Law, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

This essay addresses how current U.S. copyright law responds to new forms of distribution of copyrighted works, through the emerging right to control digital access to copyrighted works, as set out in § 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. When the exploitation of works shifts from having copies to directly experiencing the content of the work, the author's ability to control access becomes crucial. Indeed, in the digital environment, without an access right, it is difficult to see how authors can maintain the exclusive Right to their Writings that the Constitution authorizes Congress to secure. Even if ...


International Copyright: From A "Bundle" Of National Copyright Laws To A Supranational Code?, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2000

International Copyright: From A "Bundle" Of National Copyright Laws To A Supranational Code?, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

In recent years, the number and content of substantive norms that international copyright treaties impose on member states have increased considerably. It is therefore appropriate to consider the extent to which those instruments have in effect created an international (or at least multinational) copyright code, as well as to inquire what role national copyright laws do and should have in an era not only of international copyright norms, but of international dissemination of copyrighted works. This Article first considers the displacement of national norms through the evolution of a de facto international copyright code, elaborated in multilateral instruments such as ...


Punishment, Deterrence And Social Control: The Paradox Of Punishment In Minority Communities, Jeffrey Fagan, Tracey L. Meares Jan 2000

Punishment, Deterrence And Social Control: The Paradox Of Punishment In Minority Communities, Jeffrey Fagan, Tracey L. Meares

Faculty Scholarship

Since the early 1970s, the number of individuals in jails and state and federal prisons has grown exponentially. Today, nearly 2 million people are currently incarcerated in state and federal prisons and local jails. The growth of imprisonment has been borne disproportionately by African-American and Hispanic men from poor communities in urban areas. Rising incarceration should have greatly reduced the crime rate. After all, incapacitated offenders were no longer free to rob, assault, steal, or commit other crimes. However, no large scale reduction in crime was detected until the mid-1990's. The failure of crime rates to decline commensurately with ...


The Political Parties And Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault Jan 2000

The Political Parties And Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

The major political parties have blown large and widening holes in federal campaign finance law. The most significant party practices – independent expenditures, soft money fundraising, and issue advocacy – map on to the fault lines central to the constitutional law of campaign finance – so that limiting these party activities raises important constitutional question. Indeed, in Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v FEC, a Supreme Court plurality determined that parties, like PACs, may engage in expenditures that are independent of their candidates and, thus, not subject to the limits on party contributions to candidates. So, too, several justices and some political scientists ...


Social Norms And The Legal Regulation Of Marriage, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2000

Social Norms And The Legal Regulation Of Marriage, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This paper examines the influence of legal regulation on the social norms that shape marital behavior, focusing particularly on the interaction between legal reform and norm change in the past generation. Two categories of norms governed the spousal and parental roles in traditional marriage – commitment norms and gender norms. In regulating the spousal relationship, commitment norms functioned to promote cooperation and to allow the parties to make credible commitments, while gender norms encouraged spouses to subordinate the wife's interest to that of the husband. These norms, although analytically distinct, were intricately interwoven (or "bundled"), so that disaggregation became difficult ...


Globalizing Corporate Governance: Convergence Of Form Or Function, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2000

Globalizing Corporate Governance: Convergence Of Form Or Function, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

This paper examines the interplay between selection-driven functional adaptivity on the one hand, and formal institutional persistence or path dependency on the other, that will determine whether such corporate governance convergence as we observe will be formal or functional. Five combinations of formal and functional covergence are considered:1) purely functional convergence, as with the displacement of inefficient management; 2) the use of formal tools to catalyze the breakdown of formal barriers to functional convergence as with the elimination of tax on the sale of cross holdings; 3) the need for elements of both formal and functional convergence as with ...


After The "Social Meaning Turn": Implications For Research Design And Methods Of Proof In Contemporary Criminal Law Policy Analysis, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2000

After The "Social Meaning Turn": Implications For Research Design And Methods Of Proof In Contemporary Criminal Law Policy Analysis, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

The social norm movement in criminal justice has received a lot of attention in academic and public policy circles. This essay critically examines social norm writings and explores some of the implications for methods of proof and research design in the social sciences. In the process, the essay offers an alternative theoretical approach. This alternative focuses on the multiple ways in which the social meaning of practices (such as juvenile gun possession, gang membership, or disorderly conduct) and the social meaning of policing techniques (such as juvenile snitching policies, youth curfews, or order-maintenance policing) may shape us as contemporary subjects ...


A Broken System: Error Rates In Capital Cases, 1973-1995, James S. Liebman, Jeffrey Fagan, Valerie West Jan 2000

A Broken System: Error Rates In Capital Cases, 1973-1995, James S. Liebman, Jeffrey Fagan, Valerie West

Faculty Scholarship

There is a growing bipartisan consensus that flaws in America's death-penalty system have reached crisis proportions. Many fear that capital trials put people on death row who don't belong there. Others say capital appeals take too long. This report – the first statistical study ever undertaken of modern American capital appeals (4,578 of them in state capital cases between 1973 and 1995) – suggests that both claims are correct.

Capital sentences do spend a long time under judicial review. As this study documents, however, judicial review takes so long precisely because American capital sentences are so persistently and systematically ...


Discretion In Long-Term Open Quantity Contracts: Reining In Good Faith, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2000

Discretion In Long-Term Open Quantity Contracts: Reining In Good Faith, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

The UCC and common law have used "good faith" to interpret long-term, open quantity contracts in a manner which ignores the parties' allocation of discretion. With no theory to guide them, courts have rewritten contracts to say, in effect, that a seller agrees to keep running his factory at a loss in order to generate waste (the waste removal company being the purchaser under the long-term contract) or that a buyer in a long-term requirements contract has promised to never run its facility at full capacity. Commentators have routinely accepted these interpretations without recognizing the peculiar features of this default ...


Unocal Fifteen Years Later (And What We Can Do About It), Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2000

Unocal Fifteen Years Later (And What We Can Do About It), Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

The coincidence of the new millennium and the fifteenth anniversary of the Delaware Supreme Court's announcement of a new approach to takeover law provides an appropriate occasion to step back and evaluate a remarkable experiment in corporate law - the Delaware Supreme Court's development of an intermediate standard for evaluating defensive tactics. I will argue that Unocal has developed into an unexplained and, I think, inexplicable preference that control contests be resolved through elections rather than market transactions. In doing so, I will highlight the remarkable struggle between the Chancery Court and the Supreme Court for Unocal's soul ...