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Texas A&M University School of Law

2016

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Designing And Improving A System Of Proactive Management-Based Regulation To Help Lawyers And Protect The Public, Susan Saab Fortney Dec 2016

Designing And Improving A System Of Proactive Management-Based Regulation To Help Lawyers And Protect The Public, Susan Saab Fortney

Faculty Scholarship

Increasingly, lawyers and decision-makers are recognizing the limitations and consequences of current approaches to attorney regulation. Inspired by developments in other countries, regulators in the United States and Canada have started the process of exploring innovative approaches, including proactive management-based regulation. The term, proactive-management regulation (PMBR), was first used by Professor Ted Schneyer to refer to a regulatory approach designed to promote ethical law practice by assisting lawyers with practice management.

The seed for PMBR was first planted in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW). It grew out of the legislation that allowed limited liability and non-lawyer ownership …


A Structural Etiology Of The U.S. Constitution, Charles Edward Andrew Lincoln Iv Dec 2016

A Structural Etiology Of The U.S. Constitution, Charles Edward Andrew Lincoln Iv

Student Scholarship

This article offers an interpretation of the problems addressed by and the eventual purpose of the United States government. Simultaneously, it seeks to analyze and explain the continued three-part structure of the United States federal government as outlined in the Constitution. Subsequently I define the three parts of the federal government—judiciary, executive, and legislative—as explained through the lens of the Platonic paradigm of (logos = word = law), (thymos = external driving spirit = executive), and (eros = general welfare = legislative) extrapolated from Plato’s dialogues.

First, the article establishes Plato’s theory of the three-part Platonic soul as a major …


Minding Ps And Qs: The Political And Policy Questions Framing Health Care Spending, William M. Sage Dec 2016

Minding Ps And Qs: The Political And Policy Questions Framing Health Care Spending, William M. Sage

Faculty Scholarship

Tracing the evolution of political conversations about health care spending and their relationship to the formation of policy is a valuable exercise. Health care spending is about science and ethics, markets and government, freedom and community. By the late 1980s the unique upward trajectory of post-Medicare U.S. health care spending had been established, recessions and tax cuts were eroding federal and state budgets, and efforts to harness market forces to serve policy goals were accelerating. From the initial writings on “managed competition,” through the failed Clinton health reform effort in the early 1990s, to the passage of the Affordable Care …


Inefficient Efficiency: Crying Over Spilled Water, Vanessa Casado-Pérez Dec 2016

Inefficient Efficiency: Crying Over Spilled Water, Vanessa Casado-Pérez

Faculty Scholarship

As the drought in Western states worsens, the agricultural sector is being criticized for failing to adopt technical responses, such as shifting to less water-demanding crops and state-of-the-art irrigation systems, in a timely manner. However, these responses can have the reverse effect: they can increase water consumption. Technological responses alone are insufficient to reduce water consumption if unaccompanied by changes in how the law defines and allocates water rights. This paper proposes a redefinition of water rights to ensure that changes in crops or irrigation techniques are socially efficient.

In the West, which uses the doctrine of prior appropriation to …


Legislative Exactions And Progressive Property, Timothy M. Mulvaney Dec 2016

Legislative Exactions And Progressive Property, Timothy M. Mulvaney

Faculty Scholarship

Exactions — a term used to describe certain conditions that are attached to land-use permits issued at the government’s discretion — ostensibly oblige property owners to internalize the costs of the expected infrastructural, environmental, and social harms resulting from development. This Article explores how proponents of progressive conceptions of property might respond to the open question of whether legislative exactions should be subject to the same level of judicial scrutiny to which administrative exactions are subject in constitutional takings cases. It identifies several first-order reasons to support the idea of immunizing legislative exactions from heightened takings scrutiny. However, it suggests …


Restoring Hope For Heirs Property Owners: The Uniform Partition Of Heirs Property Act, Thomas W. Mitchell Nov 2016

Restoring Hope For Heirs Property Owners: The Uniform Partition Of Heirs Property Act, Thomas W. Mitchell

Faculty Scholarship

For well over 125 years, many Americans have lost their tenancy-in-common property involuntarily in various legal proceedings. For example, courts throughout this country have often resolved partition actions, a legal proceeding in which a tenant in common seeks to exit a tenancy in common, by ordering a forced, partition sale of the property even when these courts could have ordered a remedy that would have preserved the property rights of the tenants in common. Though partition sales have negatively impacted a broad cross section of people in this country, the sales have particularly impacted poor and disadvantaged African-Americans, Hispanics, white …


License Plate Reader Technology: Transportation Uses And Privacy Risks, Johanna Zmud, Jason Wagner, Maarit Moran, James P. George Nov 2016

License Plate Reader Technology: Transportation Uses And Privacy Risks, Johanna Zmud, Jason Wagner, Maarit Moran, James P. George

Faculty Scholarship

NCHRP Report/Task 136: License Plate Reader Technology: Transportation Uses and Privacy Risks, presents a review of transportation uses of license plate reader (LPR) technology, relevant regulatory and judicial cases, and current trends in public opinion. Detailed case studies were completed for five transportation uses to assess current context, benefits, and challenges. Guidance on strategies and practices is provided to guide transportation agencies in balancing between beneficial uses of LPR data and the protection of individual privacy. These best practices should be understood as the minimum aspirations for an agency’s policies, procedures, and controls. Due to the unique requirements of individual …


Process Without Procedure: National Security Letters And First Amendment Rights, Hannah Bloch-Wehba Oct 2016

Process Without Procedure: National Security Letters And First Amendment Rights, Hannah Bloch-Wehba

Faculty Scholarship

Each year, the FBI uses tens of thousands of NSLs to obtain “transactional records” related to telephone calls, emails, text messages, online forums, and other communicative activity. NSLs are usually accompanied by nondisclosure orders that prevent recipients from speaking about or acknowledging the requests. Although over 100,000 NSLs have been issued since 2001, there have been fewer than 10 known judicial challenges.

I argue that the absence of procedural safeguards within the NSL authority has created a de facto regime of automatic compliance with the requests, endangering First Amendment rights in the process. NSLs are explicitly directed at uncovering the …


Whole Other Story: Applying Narrative Mediation To The Immigration Beat, Carol Pauli Oct 2016

Whole Other Story: Applying Narrative Mediation To The Immigration Beat, Carol Pauli

Faculty Scholarship

If Donald Trump, kicking off his campaign for the White House, was saying “what everyone is thinking,” about illegal immigration, it must be that his message mirrored a narrative that already existed in the minds of his audience. That fearful story of criminals invading the U.S. borders has long been a dominant theme in the mainstream news immigration story. Like all news stories, this one focuses attention on some facts at the expense of others. Like many news stories, it draws its power from earlier, well-known tales — some as old as the Flood. This article recommends that the news …


Consumer Preferences For Performances Defaults, Franklin G. Snyder, Ann M. Mirabito Oct 2016

Consumer Preferences For Performances Defaults, Franklin G. Snyder, Ann M. Mirabito

Faculty Scholarship

Commercial law in the United States is designed to facilitate private transactions, and thus to enforce the presumed intent of the parties, who generally are free to negotiate the terms they choose. But these contracts inevitably have gaps, both because the parties cannot anticipate every situation that might arise from their relationship, and because negotiation is not costless. When courts are faced with these gaps in a litigation context, they supply default terms to fill them. These defaults usually are set to reflect what courts believe similar parties would have agreed to if they had addressed the issue. These "majoritarian" …


The Quest For A User-Friendly Copyright Regime In Hong Kong, Peter K. Yu Oct 2016

The Quest For A User-Friendly Copyright Regime In Hong Kong, Peter K. Yu

Faculty Scholarship

The quest for a user-friendly copyright regime began a decade ago when the Hong Kong government launched a public consultation on "Copyright Protection in the Digital Environment" in December 2006. Although this consultation initially sought to address Internet-related challenges, such as those caused by peer-to-peer file-sharing technology, the reform effort quickly evolved into a more comprehensive digital upgrade of the Hong Kong copyright regime.

A decade later, however, Hong Kong still has not yet amended its Copyright Ordinance. Thus far, three consultation exercises have been launched in December 2006, April 2008 and July 2013. Two bills have also been introduced …


Rejecting Charity: Why The Irs Denies Tax Exemption To 501(C)(3) Applicants, Terri Lynn Helge Oct 2016

Rejecting Charity: Why The Irs Denies Tax Exemption To 501(C)(3) Applicants, Terri Lynn Helge

Faculty Scholarship

New charitable organizations generally must file an application for exemption (Form 1023) and await approval from the Internal Revenue Service. Unfortunately, the criteria the Internal Revenue Service uses to evaluate applications has not always been transparent. If an application is approved, the Internal Revenue Service determination letter and the application for exemption are required to be made publicly available and can be requested from the Internal Revenue Service or the organization itself. Prior to 2004, in the case of denials, neither the application nor the Internal Revenue Service’s correspondence setting forth its rationale for the denial were made publicly available. …


The Uniform Commercial Code Survey: Introduction, Jennifer S. Martin, Colin P. Marks, Wayne Barnes Oct 2016

The Uniform Commercial Code Survey: Introduction, Jennifer S. Martin, Colin P. Marks, Wayne Barnes

Faculty Scholarship

The survey that follows highlights the most important developments of 2015 dealing with domestic and international sales of goods, personal property leases, payments, letters of credit, documents of title, investment securities, and secured transactions. Along with the usual descriptions of interesting judicial decisions in these areas, which are highlighted in the survey, there has also been important legislative progress. The 2010 amendments to U.C.C. Article 9 have been adopted in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Those revisions were summarized in the Introduction to the 2009 survey. Additionally, the 2012 amendments to U.C.C. Article 4A, which …


Alienage Classifications And The Denial Of Health Care To Dreamers, Fatma E. Marouf Oct 2016

Alienage Classifications And The Denial Of Health Care To Dreamers, Fatma E. Marouf

Faculty Scholarship

In the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), passed in 2010, Congress provided that only “lawfully present” individuals could obtain insurance through the Marketplaces established under the Act. Congress left it to the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) to define who is “lawfully present.” Initially, HHS included all individuals with deferred action status, which is an authorized period of stay but not a legal status. After President Obama announced a new policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) in June 2012, however, HHS amended its regulation specifically to exclude DACA recipients from the definition of “lawfully present.” The revised …


Correlative Obligation In Patent Law: The Role Of Public Good In Defining The Limits Of Patent Exclusivity, Srividhya Ragavan Oct 2016

Correlative Obligation In Patent Law: The Role Of Public Good In Defining The Limits Of Patent Exclusivity, Srividhya Ragavan

Faculty Scholarship

In light of the recent outrageous price-spiking of pharmaceuticals, this Article questions the underlying justifications for exclusive rights conferred by the grant of a patent. Traditionally, patents are defined as property rights granted to encourage desirable innovation. This definition is a misfit as treating patents as property rights does a poor job of defining the limits of the patent rights as well as the public benefit goals of the system. This misfit gradually caused an imbalance in the rights versus duties construct within patent law. After a thorough analysis of the historical and philosophical perspectives of patent exclusivity, this Article …


A Call For Strengthening The Role Of Comparative Legal Analysis In The United States, Irene Calboli Oct 2016

A Call For Strengthening The Role Of Comparative Legal Analysis In The United States, Irene Calboli

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay highlights the importance of comparative legal analysis with particular emphasis on the role that this methodology could play for intellectual property scholarship in the United States. In particular, this Essay suggests that U.S. scholars could consider turning with more frequency to comparative legal analysis as an additional methodology to use in their research. Yet, the objective of this Essay is not to suggest that U.S. scholars should engage in comparative legal analysis in lieu of other types of research methodologies. Instead, this Essay simply supports that comparative legal analysis could play a larger role compared to the one …


Use What You Choose: Applying Computational Methods To Genre Studies In Technical Communication, Brian N. Larson, William Hart-Davidon, Kenneth C. Walker, Douglas M. Walls, Ryan Omizo Sep 2016

Use What You Choose: Applying Computational Methods To Genre Studies In Technical Communication, Brian N. Larson, William Hart-Davidon, Kenneth C. Walker, Douglas M. Walls, Ryan Omizo

Faculty Scholarship

This paper reports on the results of an intensive application development workshop held in the summer of 2015 during which a group of thirteen researchers came together to explore the use of machine-learning algorithms in technical communication. To do this we analyzed Amazon.com consumer electronic product customer reviews to reevaluate a central concept in North American Genre Theory: stable genre structures arise from recurring social actions. We discovered evidence of genre hybridity in the signals of instructional genres embedded into customer reviews. Our paper discusses the creation of a prototype web application, "Use What You Choose" (UWYC), which sorts the …


Assumed Sane, Fatma Marouf Aug 2016

Assumed Sane, Fatma Marouf

Faculty Scholarship

In 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) held in Matter of G-G-S-that a noncitizen’s mental health status at the time of an offense is irrelevant to determining whether the offense is a “particularly serious crime” for immigration purposes. Since a “particularly serious crime” is a bar to asylum and withholding of removal, it can result in a noncitizen’s deportation to a country where he or she faces a serious risk of persecution. In deciding that immigration judges “are constrained by how mental health issues were addressed as part of the criminal proceedings,” the BIA failed to recognize the …


Notes From The Border: Writing Across The Administrative Law/Financial Regulation Divide, Robert B. Ahdieh Aug 2016

Notes From The Border: Writing Across The Administrative Law/Financial Regulation Divide, Robert B. Ahdieh

Faculty Scholarship

A central feature – if not the central feature – of legal scholarship today is analysis across divides.

It is surprising, then, how little has been written across the divide that separates administrative law and financial regulation. That is perhaps especially so, given the modest nature of the relevant divide: one that is intra- rather than interdisciplinary, one that operates within rather than across geographic boundaries, and one that involves no temporal dimension but operates entirely within current-day law.

For all the proximity in their interests, targets of study, and even analytical tools, however, scholars of administrative law and of …


Apple Pay, Bitcoin, And Consumers: The Abcs Of Future Public Payments Law, Mark Edwin Burge Aug 2016

Apple Pay, Bitcoin, And Consumers: The Abcs Of Future Public Payments Law, Mark Edwin Burge

Faculty Scholarship

As technology rolls out ongoing and competing streams of payments innovation, exemplified by Apple Pay (mobile payments) and Bitcoin (cryptocurrency), the law governing these payments appears hopelessly behind the curve. The patchwork of state, federal, and private legal rules seems more worthy of condemnation than emulation. This Article argues, however, that the legal and market developments of the last several decades in payment systems provide compelling evidence of the most realistic and socially beneficial future for payments law. The paradigm of a comprehensive public law regulatory scheme for payment systems, exemplified by Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial …


Transboundary Legal Perspective: International Water Law, Gabriel Eckstein Jul 2016

Transboundary Legal Perspective: International Water Law, Gabriel Eckstein

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter provides readers with an introduction to international law in general and international water law in particular. The chapter discusses the scope, principle tenets, procedural obligations, and sources of international water law, and delves into discussions about transboundary aquifers and joint institutional mechanisms. An appendix that provides exercises and discussion topics to help readers retain and apply important information.


Defining Sustainability In Nebraska’S Republican River Basin: The Lb 1057 Task Force, Anthony B. Schutz Jul 2016

Defining Sustainability In Nebraska’S Republican River Basin: The Lb 1057 Task Force, Anthony B. Schutz

Texas A&M Law Review

This symposium presents an opportunity to discuss agricultural sustainability. But we have little practical understanding of what agricultural sustainability really means. This is a common problem with sustainability efforts. This Article provides one example of this problem. But it also provides a story of how an effort at defining sustainability served as a catalyst for a group of stakeholders that wanted to make improvements in water management. Understood in this way, sustainability discussions can serve to overcome historic barriers to progress that so often arise with resource management problems, especially in the agricultural sector.


The Unfinished Business Of Dodd-Frank: Reforming The Mortgage Contract, Christopher K. Odinet Jul 2016

The Unfinished Business Of Dodd-Frank: Reforming The Mortgage Contract, Christopher K. Odinet

Faculty Scholarship

The standard residential mortgage contract is due for a reappraisal. The goals of Dodd-Frank and the CFPB are geared toward creating better stability in the residential mortgage market, in part, by mandating more robust underwriting. This is achieved chiefly through the ability-to-repay rules and the “qualified mortgage” safe harbor, which call for very conservative underwriting criteria to be applied to new mortgage loans. And lenders are whole-heartedly embracing these criteria in their loan originations — in the fourth quarter of 2015 over 98% of all new residential loans were qualified mortgages, thus resulting in a new wave of credit-worthy homeowners …


Session 2: The U.S. Perspective, Peter K. Yu, Allan Adler, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, Mickey Osterreicher, Michael Wolfe, Aurelia J. Schultz Jul 2016

Session 2: The U.S. Perspective, Peter K. Yu, Allan Adler, Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, Mickey Osterreicher, Michael Wolfe, Aurelia J. Schultz

Faculty Scholarship

This panel provides an overview of the current state of protection of moral rights in the United States, including discussion of the “patchwork” approach of federal and state laws, as well as judicial opinions.


2015–2016 Texas A&M Law Review Masthead Jul 2016

2015–2016 Texas A&M Law Review Masthead

Texas A&M Law Review

2015–2016 Texas A&M Law Review Masthead


Table Of Contents Jul 2016

Table Of Contents

Texas A&M Law Review

Table of Contents


Anthropocene Agricultural Law, James Ming Chen Jul 2016

Anthropocene Agricultural Law, James Ming Chen

Texas A&M Law Review

This Essay takes stock of humanity’s arguably illusory victory over its old Malthusian foe. Having staved off imminent starvation, wealthy consumers in the United States and other developed nations are now free to focus their legal and political energy on the expressive aspects of food. Such bagatelles come at the price of ignoring deeper threats to the ecological and economic underpinnings of agricultural production. Had we world enough and time, food as ornament would be no crime. The onset of the Anthropocene, however, demands more serious attention to older, more venerable sources of concern. Resource exhaustion and evolutionary biology remain …


Magistrate Judges, Settlement, And Procedural Justice, Nancy A. Welsh Jul 2016

Magistrate Judges, Settlement, And Procedural Justice, Nancy A. Welsh

Faculty Scholarship

This Article begins, in Part I, with an overview of magistrate judges’ history and role generally, including a discussion of the mechanism of “blind consent” that must be undertaken before a magistrate judge may conduct a trial. Part I then turns to magistrate judges’ role in settlement and ADR, outlines the procedural and ethical rules governing judges’ role in settlement, and highlights research revealing lawyers’ concerns regarding judges’ role in settlement. In Part II, the Article provides a brief overview of mediation in the federal courts and considers the relationship between judge-hosted settlement sessions and mediation. With this background regarding …


Strategic Decision Making In Dual Ptab And District Court Proceedings, Saurabh Vishnubhakat, Arti K. Rai, Jay P. Kesan Jun 2016

Strategic Decision Making In Dual Ptab And District Court Proceedings, Saurabh Vishnubhakat, Arti K. Rai, Jay P. Kesan

Faculty Scholarship

The post-grant review proceedings set up at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent and Trial Appeal Board by the America Invents Act of 2011 have transformed the relationship between Article III patent litigation and the administrative state. Not surprisingly, such dramatic change has itself yielded additional litigation possibilities: Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee, a case addressing divergence between the manner in which the PTAB and Article III courts construe patent claims, will soon be decided at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Of the three major new PTAB proceedings, two have proven to be popular as well as controversial: inter partes …


Pension De-Risking, Paul M. Secunda, Brendan S. Maher Jun 2016

Pension De-Risking, Paul M. Secunda, Brendan S. Maher

Faculty Scholarship

The United States is facing a retirement crisis, in significant part because defined benefit pension plans have been replaced by defined contribution retirement plans that, whatever their theoretical merit, have left significant numbers of workers unprepared for retirement. A troubling example of the continuing movement away from defined benefit plans is a new phenomenon euphemistically called “pension de-risking.”

Recent years have been marked by high-profile companies engaging in various actions designed to reduce the company’s exposure to pension funding risk (hence the term “pension de-risking”). Some de-risking strategies convert a federally-guaranteed pension into a more risky private annuity. Other approaches …