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Full-Text Articles in Law

Legislating Racial Fairness In Criminal Justice, Olatunde C.A. Johnson Dec 2006

Legislating Racial Fairness In Criminal Justice, Olatunde C.A. Johnson

Faculty Scholarship

Twenty years ago, in McCleskey v. Kemp, the Supreme Court rejected a capital defendant's claim that statistical evidence of racial discrimination in the administration of Georgia's death penalty system constituted a violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Yet, even as McCleskey effectively bars constitutional challenges to racial disparities in the criminal justice system where invidious bias is difficult to establish, the Court invites advocates to pursue legislation as a remedy to racial disparities. Indeed, the McCleskey Court offers as a rationale for its ruling the judiciary's institutional incompetence to remedy these disparities, holding that "McCleskey's ...


Dilution, Clarisa Long Jan 2006

Dilution, Clarisa Long

Faculty Scholarship

Ever since the creation of federal dilution law, legal commentators have expressed consternation about this variation of the trademark entitlement. Prior to the advent of this form of protection, the owner of a mark could recover for trademark infringement under the Lanham Act only if the commercial use of its mark by someone else caused consumer confusion. By contrast, dilution grants trademark holders an injunctive remedy for the use of their famous marks by another even when consumers are not confused. This Article explores how federal dilution law is actually being judicially enforced. To do so, it examines the enforcement ...


The Limits Of Courage And Principle, Jedediah S. Purdy Jan 2006

The Limits Of Courage And Principle, Jedediah S. Purdy

Faculty Scholarship

Michael Ignatieff, the director of the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, is not a lawyer. His work, however, treats issues of core concern to lawyers: nation-building, human rights, the ethics of warfare, and now, in his latest book, the proper relationship between liberty and security. The Lesser Evil is, in part, a book a legal scholar might have written: a normative framework for lawmaking in the face of the terror threat. It is also something more unusual: an exercise in an older type of jurisprudence. Ignatieff discusses law in the light of moral ...


The American Transformation Of Waste Doctrine: A Pluralist Interpretation, Jedediah S. Purdy Jan 2006

The American Transformation Of Waste Doctrine: A Pluralist Interpretation, Jedediah S. Purdy

Faculty Scholarship

This Article draws on an episode of nineteenth-century American doctrinal history to develop a pluralist approach to explaining changes in property law. It addresses the question: What causes ac­count for the development of property regimes across time? The courts' answer emerges from examination of nineteenth-century American reform of the law of waste, which governs the changes te­nants may make in the estates they occupy. A line of state supreme court cases, beginning in 1810, transformed the doctrine from the strict rule of English common law to a flexible standard. Economic analysis helps to explain the change; the full ...


Intellectual Property, Innovation, And Decentralized Decisions, Tim Wu Jan 2006

Intellectual Property, Innovation, And Decentralized Decisions, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

In 1945, Fredrick Hayek described the problem of economic development as "a problem of the utilization of knowledge not given to anyone in its totality." Hayek's insight has unexpected relevance for what has emerged as the central question in modern intellectual property and related fields: When might the assignment of property rights have anti-competitive consequences? The traditional, yet central, economic answer to this question emphasizes a tradeoff between incentives created by property grants and resulting higher prices and deadweight losses. Under this model intellectual property grants are desirable to the extent that they encourage new product development at a ...


The Architecture Of Inclusion: Advancing Workplace Equity In Higher Education, Susan P. Sturm Jan 2006

The Architecture Of Inclusion: Advancing Workplace Equity In Higher Education, Susan P. Sturm

Faculty Scholarship

This Article develops a paradigm for advancing workplace equality when the problems causing racial and gender under-participation are structural, and the legal environment surrounding diversity initiatives is uncertain. It first analyzes three key dilemmas that have limited the efficacy of prior diversity initiatives: limited capacity to institutionalize change, a legal minefield, and ineffective public accountability. It then offers three related ideas in service of advancing workplace equity through institutional transformation. Although its focus is on higher education, the Article develops an approach with more general applicability. First, it develops the norm of institutional citizenship as a justification and goal for ...


The Rose Theorem?, Michael Heller Jan 2006

The Rose Theorem?, Michael Heller

Faculty Scholarship

Law resists theorems. We have hypotheses, typologies, heuristics, and conundrums. But, until now, only one plausible theorem – and that we borrowed from economics. Could there be a second, the Rose Theorem?

Any theorem must generalize, be falsifiable, and have predictive power. Law's theorems, however, seem to require three additional qualities: they emerge from tales of ordinary stuff; are named for, not by, their creators; and have no single authoritative form. For example, Ronald Coase wrote of ranchers and farmers. He has always shied away from the Theorem project. When later scholars formalized his parable, they created multiple and inconsistent ...


Bankruptcy Decisionmaking: An Empirical Study Of Continuation Bias In Small-Business Bankruptcies, Edward R. Morrison Jan 2006

Bankruptcy Decisionmaking: An Empirical Study Of Continuation Bias In Small-Business Bankruptcies, Edward R. Morrison

Faculty Scholarship

Over half of all small businesses reorganizing under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code are ultimately liquidated. Little is known about this shutdown decision and about the factors that increase or reduce the amount of time a firm spends in bankruptcy. It is widely suspected, however, that the Chapter 11 process exhibits a "continuation bias," allowing non-viable firms to linger under the protection of the court. This paper tests for the presence of continuation bias in the docket of a typical bankruptcy court over the course of a calendar year. A variety of tests are employed, including the ...


The Essential Role Of Securities Regulation, Zohar Goshen, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2006

The Essential Role Of Securities Regulation, Zohar Goshen, Gideon Parchomovsky

Faculty Scholarship

This Article posits that the essential role of securities regulation is to create a competitive market for sophisticated professional investors and analysts (information traders). The Article advances two related theses – one descriptive and the other normative. Descriptively, the Article demonstrates that securities regulation is specifically designed to facilitate and protect the work of information traders. Securities regulation may be divided into three broad categories: (i) disclosure duties; (ii) restrictions on fraud and manipulation; and (iii) restrictions on insider trading – each of which contributes to the creation of a vibrant market for information traders. Disclosure duties reduce information traders’ costs of ...


Infant Safe Haven Laws: Legislating In The Culture Of Life, Carol Sanger Jan 2006

Infant Safe Haven Laws: Legislating In The Culture Of Life, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

This Article analyzes the politics, implementation, and influence of Infant Safe Haven laws. These laws, enacted across the states in the early 2000s in response to much-publicized discoveries of dead and abandoned infants, provide for the legal abandonment of newborns. They offer new mothers immunity and anonymity in exchange for leaving their babies at designated Safe Havens. Yet despite widespread enactment, the laws have had relatively little impact on the phenomenon of infant abandonment. This Article explains why this is so, focusing particularly on a disconnect between the legislative scheme and the characteristics of neonaticidal mothers that makes the use ...


A Historical Guide To The Future Of Marriage For Same-Sex Couples, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2006

A Historical Guide To The Future Of Marriage For Same-Sex Couples, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

History and tradition have emerged, together, as contemporary flagship arguments for limiting marriage to different-sex couples. According to advocates of "traditional marriage," same-sex couples can be excluded from marriage today because marriage always has been reserved to male-female couples. Further, some contend, the restriction of marriage to different-sex couples has long been understood as necessary to provide channels to control naturally procreative (i.e., male-female) relationships.

However popular these claims might be in op-ed pieces and on talk radio, when they are made in the litigation context, the question is not whether they have rhetorical appeal but rather whether they ...


The New Biopolitics: Autonomy, Demography, And Nationhood, Jedediah S. Purdy Jan 2006

The New Biopolitics: Autonomy, Demography, And Nationhood, Jedediah S. Purdy

Faculty Scholarship

Political thinkers have long worried that freedom might be selfundermining, tending to erode the liberal rights and democratic politics that form its foundations. The argument has ancient and modern versions, versions of the political left and of the right. No doubt the only adequate answer is the sum of the answers to many particular questions: whether and when popular elections undermine liberal rights, how free markets enhance or undermine democracy, and so forth. In this article, I address an emerging problem in a central area of contemporary freedom: reproductive autonomy. I ask whether reproductive autonomy can undermine the political conditions ...


Financial Contracts And The New Bankruptcy Code: Insulating Markets From Bankrupt Debtors And Bankruptcy Judges, Edward R. Morrison, Joerg Riegel Jan 2006

Financial Contracts And The New Bankruptcy Code: Insulating Markets From Bankrupt Debtors And Bankruptcy Judges, Edward R. Morrison, Joerg Riegel

Faculty Scholarship

The reforms of 2005 yield important but subtle changes in the Bankruptcy Code's treatment of financial contracts. They might appear only to eliminate longstanding uncertainty surrounding the protections available to financial contract counterparties, especially counterparties to repurchase transactions and other derivative contracts. But the ambit of the reforms is much broader. The expanded definitions – especially the definition of "swap agreement" – are now so broad that nearly every derivative contract is subject to the Code's protection. Instead of protecting particular counterparties to particular transactions, the Code now protects any counterparty to any derivative contract. Entire markets have been insulated ...


Taxes That Work: A Simple American Plan, Michael J. Graetz Jan 2006

Taxes That Work: A Simple American Plan, Michael J. Graetz

Faculty Scholarship

In November 2005, the President's Advisory Panel on Tax Reform, appointed by President Bush to suggest options for reforming and simplifying the federal tax code, unanimously recommended two alternative plans: a "simplified income tax" (SIT) and a "growth and investment tax" (GIT). The two plans shared much in common. For example, both would: (1) Reduce the top marginal tax rate-to 33% under the SIT plan and 30% under GIT plan; (2) eliminate the alternative minimum tax (AMT); (3) replace the earned income tax credit (EITC) and refundable child credits with a "work credit"; (4) replace personal exemptions, the standard ...


Public Preferences For Rehabilitation Versus Incarceration Of Juvenile Offenders: Evidence From A Contingent Valuation Survey, Daniel S. Nagin, Alex R. Piquero, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg Jan 2006

Public Preferences For Rehabilitation Versus Incarceration Of Juvenile Offenders: Evidence From A Contingent Valuation Survey, Daniel S. Nagin, Alex R. Piquero, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg

Faculty Scholarship

Research Summary:
Accurately gauging the public's support for alternative responses to juvenile offending is important, because policy makers often justify expenditures for punitive juvenile justice reforms on the basis of popular demand for tougher policies. In this study, we assess public support for both punitively and nonpunitively oriented juvenile justice policies by measuring respondents' willingness to pay for various policy proposals. We employ a methodology known as "contingent valuation" (CV) that permits the comparison of respondents' willingness to pay (WTP) for competing policy alternatives. Specifically, we compare CV-based estimates for the public's WTP for two distinctively different responses ...


Institutional Coordination And Sentencing Reform, Daniel C. Richman Jan 2006

Institutional Coordination And Sentencing Reform, Daniel C. Richman

Faculty Scholarship

Deciding how much time a person should spend in prison for a serious crime is an inherently moral and political act. And it is certainly coldhearted and philosophically problematic to view sentencing as just an agency problem with criminal defendants as objects of a system in which prison terms are simply outputs. So I will not even try to justify resorting to a narrow institutional perspective as a normative matter. But, for better or worse, those political actors with the greatest influence on sentencing regimes have to think in aggregate terms. While there is considerable normative appeal to the idea ...


Defining The Constitutional Question In Partisan Gerrymandering, Richard Briffault Jan 2006

Defining The Constitutional Question In Partisan Gerrymandering, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

In Vieth v. Jubelirer, a narrow majority of the Supreme Court determined that, at least for the moment, partisan gerrymandering is nonjusticiable. Yet, strikingly, all nine members of the Court also agreed that, justiciable or not, partisan gerrymanders raise a constitutional question, and some gerrymanders are unconstitutional. However, the Court gave little attention to just why gerrymandering might be unconstitutional. The justices bounced back and forth between justiciability and the standards for proving gerrymandering without considering what constitutional harm gerrymandering poses. This Article considers the question of why partisan gerrymandering might be unconstitutional. It finds four constitutional arguments against gerrymandering ...


The Law And Economics Of Preliminary Agreements, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott Jan 2006

The Law And Economics Of Preliminary Agreements, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Contract law encourages parties to make relation-specific investments by enforcing the contracts the parties make, and by denying liability when the parties had failed to agree. For decades, the law has had difficulty with cases where parties sink costs in the pursuit of projects under agreements that are too incomplete to enforce, and where one of the parties prefers to exit rather than pursue the contemplated project. The issue whether to award the disappointed party any remedy has divided a large number of courts over many years. The judicial uncertainty arises, we claim, because the questions why parties make such ...


Capital Punishment And Capital Murder: Market Share And The Deterrent Effects Of The Death Penalty, Jeffrey Fagan, Franklin Zimring, Amanda Geller Jan 2006

Capital Punishment And Capital Murder: Market Share And The Deterrent Effects Of The Death Penalty, Jeffrey Fagan, Franklin Zimring, Amanda Geller

Faculty Scholarship

The modem debate on deterrence and capital punishment, now in its fourth decade, was launched by two closely timed events. The first was the 1976 United States Supreme Court decision in Gregg v. Georgia, which restored capital punishment after its brief constitutional ban following Furman v. Georgia in 1972. In 1975, Professor Isaac Ehrlich published an influential article saying that during the 1950s and 1960s, each execution averted eight murders. Although Ehrlich's article was a highly technical study prepared for an audience of economists, its influence went well beyond the economics profession. Ehrlich's work was cited favorably in ...


Home Rule And Local Political Innovation, Richard Briffault Jan 2006

Home Rule And Local Political Innovation, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

As demonstrated by San Francisco's recent adoption of instant runoff voting and New York City's recent expansion of its program for funding candidates for municipal office, local governments around the country have been actively engaged in examining and revising electoral and governmental processes. These local initiatives include alternative voting systems, campaign finance reforms, conflicts of interest codes, term limits, and revisions to tax, budget and legislative procedures. These local innovations illustrate both the capacity of local governments to restructure basic features of their political organization and their interest in doing so. Local political innovations also test the scope ...


Social Contagion Of Violence, Jeffrey Fagan, Deanna L. Wilkinson, Garth Davies Jan 2006

Social Contagion Of Violence, Jeffrey Fagan, Deanna L. Wilkinson, Garth Davies

Faculty Scholarship

Since 1968, violence and other crimes in New York City have followed a pattern of recurring epidemics. There have been three consecutive and contiguous cycles characterized by sharp increases in homicides and assaults to an elevated rate followed by equally steep declines to levels near the previous starting point. The most recent epidemic, from 1985-96, had the sharpest rise and steepest decline of the three epidemics. Popular explanations of the current epidemic fail to account for both the rise and fall of the decline, or for the repetitive pattern of these epidemics. In this article, we use public health data ...


The Cost Of Norms: Tax Effects Of Tacit Understandings, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2006

The Cost Of Norms: Tax Effects Of Tacit Understandings, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

Most human interactions take place in reliance on tacit understandings, customary practices, and other legally unenforceable agreements. A considerable literature studying these informal arrangements (commonly referred to as social norms) has a decidedly positive flavor, arguing that many, if not most, of these norms are welfare-enhancing. This Article looks at the less-appreciated darker side of social norms. It combines the analysis of the modern sophisticated tax planning techniques with the existing empirical studies of commercial relationships to reveal a disturbing connection. By relying on tacit understandings rather than express contractual terms, many taxpayers shift some of their tax liabilities to ...


Aggravating Youth: Roper V Simmons And Age Discrimination, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2006

Aggravating Youth: Roper V Simmons And Age Discrimination, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

In Roper v. Simmons, the Supreme Court confronted a difficult question: Given that being younger than eighteen is merely a proxy for diminished culpability, why not let jurors decide whether youth mitigates the culpability of an individual sixteen- or seventeen-year-old offender? The Court's subtle answer draws on psychological literature about the differences between juveniles and adults, but ultimately depends as much on concerns about the mind of the adult juror as on the distinctive traits of juveniles. Read in its best light, Kennedy's opinion seems to turn on the insight that while age-based classifications are rational – they are ...


The Sympathetic Discriminator: Mental Illness, Hedonic Costs, And The Ada, Elizabeth F. Emens Jan 2006

The Sympathetic Discriminator: Mental Illness, Hedonic Costs, And The Ada, Elizabeth F. Emens

Faculty Scholarship

Social discrimination against people with mental illness is widespread. Treating people differently on the basis of mental illness does not provoke the same moral outrage as that inspired by differential treatment on the basis of race, sex, or even physical disability. Indeed, many people would freely admit preferring someone who does not have a mental illness as a neighbor, dinner party guest, parent, partner, or person in the next seat on the subway. Moreover, more than ten years after the Americans with Disabilities Act (the "ADA" or "Act") expressly prohibited private employers from discriminating on the basis of mental, as ...


Transsystemia – Are We Approaching A New Langdellian Moment? Is Mcgill Leading The Way?, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2006

Transsystemia – Are We Approaching A New Langdellian Moment? Is Mcgill Leading The Way?, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Late in the 19th century, as our economy was transformed into a truly national one, legal education was transformed by the adoption of a teaching technique – Langdell's Socratic Method – that succeeded in creating law graduates confident of their capacity to be professionals in ANY American common law jurisdiction – national lawyers even in the absence of a national common law. Today, as the economy is once again transforming, now internationally, lawyers have an equivalent need to be confident of their capacity to perform across national boundaries. The paper briefly describes the way in which McGill University's Faculty of Law ...


Inducers And Authorisers: A Comparison Of The Us Supreme Court's Grokster Decision And The Australian Federal Court's Kazaa Ruling, Jane C. Ginsburg, Sam Ricketson Jan 2006

Inducers And Authorisers: A Comparison Of The Us Supreme Court's Grokster Decision And The Australian Federal Court's Kazaa Ruling, Jane C. Ginsburg, Sam Ricketson

Faculty Scholarship

On June 27, 2005, the US Supreme Court announced its much-awaited decision in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster Ltd. A few months after this, the Federal Court of Australia handed down its decision at first instance in relation to parallel litigation in that country concerning the KaZaa file sharing system. Both decisions repay careful consideration of the way in which the respective courts have addressed the relationship between the protection of authors' rights and the advent of new technologies, particularly in relation to peer-to-peer networks.

In the Grokster case, songwriters, record producers and motion picture producers alleged that two popular ...


Reforming The Securities Class Action: An Essay On Deterrence And Its Implementation, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 2006

Reforming The Securities Class Action: An Essay On Deterrence And Its Implementation, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

The securities class action cannot be justified in terms of compensation, but only in terms of deterrence. Currently, the damages recovered through private enforcement dwarf the financial penalties levied by public enforcement. Yet, the evidence is clear that corporate officers and insiders rarely contribute to securities class action settlements, with the settlement funds coming instead from the corporation and its insurers. As a result, the cost of such actions in the aggregate falls on largely diversified shareholders. Such a system is akin to punishing the victims of burglary for their negligence in suffering a burglary and does little to deter ...


Hoffman V. Red Owl Stores And The Myth Of Precontractual Reliance, Robert E. Scott Jan 2006

Hoffman V. Red Owl Stores And The Myth Of Precontractual Reliance, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Hoffman v. Red Owl Stores is one of the storied cases in modern contract law. The conventional wisdom is that Hoffman represents the emergence of a new legal rule imposing promissory estoppel liability for representations made during preliminary negotiations. Yet a review of contemporary case law shows that, in fact, courts require some form of agreement before they will grant recovery for early reliance. Hoffman's main legacy, therefore, has been as a trap for the unwary lawyer (and unhappy client) who unsuccessfully seek recovery for reliance on preliminary negotiations. This article asks how the court in Hoffman was able ...


The Supreme Court, The Solicitor General, And Bankruptcy: Bfp V. Resolution Trust Corporation, Ronald J. Mann Jan 2006

The Supreme Court, The Solicitor General, And Bankruptcy: Bfp V. Resolution Trust Corporation, Ronald J. Mann

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter tells the story behind BFP v. Resolution Trust Corporation. I see BFP as a case that pitted relatively plain statutory language supporting the debtor-in-possession against policy interests supporting a secured creditor. I argue that an important explanation for the Supreme Court's decision to favor policy over the language of the statute was its perception of a need to protect the availability of non-bankruptcy remedies for secured creditors. Accordingly, I situate my discussion of BFP in the context of the role that the federal government has played in the Supreme Court's cases interpreting the Bankruptcy Code. In ...


Public Attitudes About The Culpability And Punishment Of Young Offenders, Elizabeth S. Scott, N. Dickon Reppucci, Jill Antonishak, Jennifer T. Degennaro Jan 2006

Public Attitudes About The Culpability And Punishment Of Young Offenders, Elizabeth S. Scott, N. Dickon Reppucci, Jill Antonishak, Jennifer T. Degennaro

Faculty Scholarship

Conventional wisdom holds that the public supports harsh punishment of juvenile offenders, and politicians often argue that the public demands tough policies. But public opinion is usually gauged through simplistic polls, often conducted in the wake of highly publicized violent crimes by juveniles. This study seeks to probe public opinion about the culpability of young offenders as compared to adult counterparts through more nuanced and comprehensive measures in a neutral setting (i.e. not in response to a high profile crime or during a political campaign when the media focuses on the issue). The opinions of 788 community adults were ...