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What History Can Tell Us About The Future Of Insurance And Litigation After Covid-19, Kenneth S. Abraham, Tom Baker Dec 2021

What History Can Tell Us About The Future Of Insurance And Litigation After Covid-19, Kenneth S. Abraham, Tom Baker

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article, written for the annual Clifford Symposium on Tort Law and Social Policy, chronicles a series of developments in American history that profoundly influenced the course of insurance and insurance law, in order to predict the post-COVID-19 future of these fields. In each instance, there was a direct and decided cause-and-effect relationship between these developments and subsequent change in the world of insurance and insurance law. As important as the influence of COVID-19 is at present and probably will be in the future, in our view the COVID-19 pandemic will not be as significant an influence on insurance and ...


Antitrust Liability For False Advertising: A Response To Carrier & Tushnet, Susannah Gagnon, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Dec 2021

Antitrust Liability For False Advertising: A Response To Carrier & Tushnet, Susannah Gagnon, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This reply briefly considers when false advertising can give rise to antitrust liability. The biggest difference between tort and antitrust liability is that the latter requires harm to the market, which is critically dependent on actual consumer response. As a result, the biggest hurdle a private plaintiff faces in turning an act of false advertising into an antitrust offense is proof of causation – to what extent can a decline in purchase volume or other market rejection be specifically attributed to the defendant’s false claims? That requirement dooms the great majority of false advertising claims attacked as violations of the ...


Uncertainty > Risk: Lessons For Legal Thought From The Insurance Runoff Market, Tom Baker Jan 2021

Uncertainty > Risk: Lessons For Legal Thought From The Insurance Runoff Market, Tom Baker

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Insurance ideas inform legal thought: from tort law, to health law and financial services regulation, to theories of distributive justice. Within that thought, insurance is conceived as an ideal type in which insurers distribute determinable risks through contracts that fix the parties’ obligations in advance. This ideal type has normative appeal, among other reasons because it explains how tort law might achieve in practice the objectives of tort theory. This ideal type also supports a restrictive vision of liability-based regulation that opposes expansions and supports cutbacks, on the grounds that uncertainty poses an existential threat to insurance markets.

Prior work ...


Losing The Right To Assert You've Been Wronged: A Study In Conceptual Chaos?, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Jan 2020

Losing The Right To Assert You've Been Wronged: A Study In Conceptual Chaos?, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Doctrinally, both consent and estoppel seem to lack a conceptual core. If consent is the exercise of a normative power predicated on our autonomy interests, then sometimes what we call “consent” is not really consent. And if estoppel is about barring/stopping/hindering one’s ability to make a claim, but not about changing the underlying rights and duties themselves, then sometimes what courts deem to be estoppel is not really estoppel. Instead, consent has alternative normative groundings, and estoppel seems to be employed as the term by which courts can simply reach what they deem to be the fair ...


Autonomy, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein May 2019

Autonomy, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Personal autonomy is a constitutive element of all rights. It confers upon a rightholder the power to decide whether, and under what circumstances, to exercise her right. Every right infringement thus invariably involves a violation of its holder’s autonomy. The autonomy violation consists of the deprivation of a rightholder of a choice that was rightfully hers — the choice as to how to go about her life.

Harms resulting from the right’s infringement and from the autonomy violation are often readily distinguishable, as is the case when someone uses the property of a rightholder without securing her permission or ...


The Right Of Publicity's Intellectual Property Turn, Jennifer Rothman Apr 2019

The Right Of Publicity's Intellectual Property Turn, Jennifer Rothman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Article is adapted from a keynote lecture about my book, THE RIGHT OF PUBLICITY: PRIVACY REIMAGINED FOR A PUBLIC WORLD (Harvard Univ. Press 2018), delivered at Columbia Law School for its symposium, “Owning Personality: The Expanding Right of Publicity.” The book challenges the conventional historical and theoretical understanding of the right of publicity. By uncovering the history of the right of publicity’s development, the book reveals solutions to current clashes with free speech, individual liberty, and copyright law, as well as some opportunities for better protecting privacy in the digital age.

The lecture (as adapted for this Article ...


How Liability Insurers Protect Patients And Improve Safety, Tom Baker, Charles Silver Jan 2019

How Liability Insurers Protect Patients And Improve Safety, Tom Baker, Charles Silver

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Forty years after the publication of the first systematic study of adverse medical events, there is greater access to information about adverse medical events and increasingly widespread acceptance of the view that patient safety requires more than vigilance by well-intentioned medical professionals. In this essay, we describe some of the ways that medical liability insurance organizations contributed to this transformation, and we catalog the roles that those organizations play in promoting patient safety today. Whether liability insurance in fact discourages providers from improving safety or encourages them to protect patients from avoidable harms is an empirical question that a survey ...


Copyright As Market Prospect, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2018

Copyright As Market Prospect, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For many decades now, copyright jurisprudence and scholarship have looked to the common law of torts—principally trespass and negligence—in order to understand copyright’s structure of entitlement and liability. This focus on property- and harm-based torts has altogether ignored an area of tort law with significant import for our understanding of copyright law: tortious interference with a prospective economic advantage. This Article develops an understanding of copyright law using tortious interference with a prospect as a homology. Tortious interference with a prospect allows a plaintiff to recover when a defendant's volitional actions interfere with a potential economic ...


Could Official Climate Denial Revive The Common Law As A Regulatory Backstop?, Mark P. Nevitt, Robert Percival Jan 2018

Could Official Climate Denial Revive The Common Law As A Regulatory Backstop?, Mark P. Nevitt, Robert Percival

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Trump Administration is rapidly turning the clock back on climate policy and environmental regulation. Despite overwhelming, peer-reviewed scientific evidence, administration officials eager to promote greater use of fossil fuels are disregarding climate science. This Article argues that this massive and historic deregulation may spawn yet another wave of legal innovation as litigants, including states and their political subdivisions, return to the common law to protect the health of the planet. Prior to the emergence of the major federal environmental laws in the 1970s, the common law of nuisance gave rise to the earliest environmental decisions in U.S. history ...


A Dose Of Color, A Dose Of Reality: Contextualizing Intentional Tort Actions With Black Documentaries, Regina Austin Jan 2018

A Dose Of Color, A Dose Of Reality: Contextualizing Intentional Tort Actions With Black Documentaries, Regina Austin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article describes the way documentary films can provide important cultural context in the assessment of tort claims. This kind of contextual analysis exposes the social conditions that drive legal disputes. For example, in the case of Klayman v. Obama, Larry Klayman claimed that Black Lives Matter, among other defendants, was liable for various intentional torts (including intentional infliction of emotional distress) by fomenting hostility toward the police in black communities. The court dismissed the case but declined to hold Klayman liable for sanctions. One documentary film, I Am Not Your Negro, locates Klayman’s claims in a historical tradition ...


The Right Of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined For New York?, Jennifer Rothman Jan 2018

The Right Of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined For New York?, Jennifer Rothman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay is based on a featured lecture that I gave as part of the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal’s 2 symposium on a proposed right of publicity law in New York. The essay draws from my recent book, The Right of Publicity: Privacy Reimagined for a Public World, published by Harvard University Press. Insights from the book suggest that New York should not upend more than one hundred years of established privacy law in the state, nor jeopardize its citizens’ ownership over their own names, likenesses, and voices by replacing these privacy laws with a new and independent ...


Mutually Assured Protection Among Large U.S. Law Firms, Tom Baker, Rick Swedloff Jan 2017

Mutually Assured Protection Among Large U.S. Law Firms, Tom Baker, Rick Swedloff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Top law firms are notoriously competitive, fighting for prime clients and matters. But some of the most elite firms are also deeply cooperative, willingly sharing key details about their finances and strategy with their rivals. More surprisingly, they pay handsomely to do so. Nearly half of the AmLaw 100 and 200 belong to mutual insurance organizations that require member firms to provide capital; partner time; and important information about their governance, balance sheets, risk management, strategic plans, and malpractice liability. To answer why these firms do so when there are commercial insurers willing to provide coverage with fewer burdens, we ...


In Defense Of The Restatement Of Liability Insurance Law, Tom Baker, Kyle D. Logue Jan 2017

In Defense Of The Restatement Of Liability Insurance Law, Tom Baker, Kyle D. Logue

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For most non-contractual legal claims for damages that are brought against individuals or firms, there is some form of liability insurance coverage. The Restatement of the Law Liability Insurance is the American Law Institute’s first effort to “restate” the common law governing such liability insurance policies, and we are the reporters. In a recent essay funded by the insurance industry, Yale Law Professor George Priest launched a strident critique of the Restatement project, arguing that the rules adopted in the Restatement:

(a) are radically contrary to existing case law,

(b) have a naïve “pro-policyholder” bias that ignores basic economic ...


Causing Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2017

Causing Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Copyright protection attaches to an original work of expression the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible medium. Yet, modern copyright law contains no viable mechanism by which to examine whether someone is causally responsible for the creation and fixation of the work. Whenever the issue of causation arises, copyright law relies on its preexisting doctrinal devices to resolve the issue, in the process cloaking its intuitions about causation in altogether extraneous considerations. This Article argues that copyright law embodies an unstated, yet distinct theory of authorial causation, which connects the element of human agency to a work ...


Protecting One's Own Privacy In A Big Data Economy, Anita L. Allen Dec 2016

Protecting One's Own Privacy In A Big Data Economy, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Big Data is the vast quantities of information amenable to large-scale collection, storage, and analysis. Using such data, companies and researchers can deploy complex algorithms and artificial intelligence technologies to reveal otherwise unascertained patterns, links, behaviors, trends, identities, and practical knowledge. The information that comprises Big Data arises from government and business practices, consumer transactions, and the digital applications sometimes referred to as the “Internet of Things.” Individuals invisibly contribute to Big Data whenever they live digital lifestyles or otherwise participate in the digital economy, such as when they shop with a credit card, get treated at a hospital, apply ...


A Curious Motion: The Uncertain Role Of Anti-Slapp Statutes In Federal Courts, Markus A. Brazill Jan 2016

A Curious Motion: The Uncertain Role Of Anti-Slapp Statutes In Federal Courts, Markus A. Brazill

Prize Winning Papers

No abstract provided.


The Constitutionalization Of Indian Private Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2016

The Constitutionalization Of Indian Private Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In this Essay, I examine the interaction between Indian constitutional law and Indian tort law. Using the context of the Indian Supreme Court’s dramatic expansion of its fundamental rights jurisprudence over the last three decades, I argue that while the Court’s conscious and systematic effort to transcend the public law/private law divide and incorporate concepts and mechanisms from the latter into the former might have produced a few immediate and highly salient benefits for the public law side of the system, its long terms effects on India’s private law edifice have been devastating. The Court’s ...


Everything’S Bigger In Texas: Except The Medmal Settlements, Tom Baker, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick Jan 2016

Everything’S Bigger In Texas: Except The Medmal Settlements, Tom Baker, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Recent work using Texas closed claim data finds that physicians are rarely required to use personal assets in medical malpractice settlements even when plaintiffs secure judgments above the physician's insurance limits. In equilibrium, this should lead physicians to purchase less insurance. Qualitative research on the behavior of plaintiffs suggests that there is a norm under which plaintiffs agree not to pursue personal assets as long as defendants are not grossly underinsured. This norm operates as a soft constraint on physicians. All other things equal, while physicians want to lower their coverage, they do not want to violate the norm ...


Medicare Secondary Payer And Settlement Delay, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick Jul 2015

Medicare Secondary Payer And Settlement Delay, Eric Helland, Jonathan Klick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Medicare Secondary Payer Act of 1980 and its subsequent amendments require that insurers and self-insured companies report settlements, awards, and judgments that involve a Medicare beneficiary to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The parties then may be required to compensate CMS for its conditional payments. In a simple settlement model, this makes settlement less likely. Also, the reporting delays and uncertainty regarding the size of these conditional payments are likely to further frustrate the settlement process. We provide results, using data from a large insurer, showing that, on average, implementation of the MSP reporting amendments led to ...


Federal Securities Fraud Litigation As A Lawmaking Partnership, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2015

Federal Securities Fraud Litigation As A Lawmaking Partnership, Jill E. Fisch

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In its most recent Halliburton II decision, the Supreme Court rejected an effort to overrule its prior decision in Basic Inc. v. Levinson. The Court reasoned that adherence to Basic was warranted by principles of stare decisis that operate with “special force” in the context of statutory interpretation. This Article offers an alternative justification for adhering to Basic—the collaboration between the Court and Congress that has led to the development of the private class action for federal securities fraud. The Article characterizes this collaboration as a lawmaking partnership and argues that such a partnership offers distinctive lawmaking advantages.

Halliburton ...


Fractured Markets And Legal Institutions, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2015

Fractured Markets And Legal Institutions, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article considers how we can improve legal outcomes of conflicts that occur in very small arenas. The conflicts can be of many kinds, including a nuisance dispute between neighbors, an impending collision between two moving vehicles, a joint decision between spouses about whether or on what terms to continue their marriage, or a disagreement between managers and shareholders within a firm.

The prevailing literature typically refers to these small environments as “markets.” Thinking of them as markets, however, averts our attention from larger environments that should be considered but that often do not function well as private markets. For ...


Liability Insurer Data As A Window On Lawyers’ Professional Liability, Tom Baker, Rick Swedloff Jan 2015

Liability Insurer Data As A Window On Lawyers’ Professional Liability, Tom Baker, Rick Swedloff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Using the best publicly available data on lawyers’ liability claims and insurance – from the largest insurer of large law firms in the U.S., the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Professional Liability, and a summary of large claims from a leading insurance broker–this article reports the frequency of lawyers’ liability claims, the distribution and cost of claims by type of practice, the disposition of claims, and lawyers liability insurance premiums from the early 1980s to 2013. Notable findings include remarkable stability over thirty years in the distribution of claims by area of practice among both small and ...


Compensating The Victims Of Japan’S 3-11 Fukushima Disaster, Eric A. Feldman Jan 2015

Compensating The Victims Of Japan’S 3-11 Fukushima Disaster, Eric A. Feldman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Japan’s March 2011 triple disaster—first a large earthquake, followed by a massive tsunami and a nuclear meltdown—caused a devastating loss of life, damaged and destroyed property, and left hundreds of thousands of people homeless, hurt, and in need. This article looks at the effort to address the financial needs of the victims of the 3/11 disaster by examining the role of public and private actors in providing compensation, describing the types of groups and individuals for whom compensation is available, and analyzing the range of institutions through which compensation has been allocated. The story is in ...


Catalogs, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein Mar 2014

Catalogs, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

It is a virtual axiom in the world of law that legal norms come in two prototypes: rules and standards. The accepted lore suggests that rules should be formulated to regulate recurrent and frequent behaviors, whose contours can be defined with sufficient precision. Standards, by contrast, should be employed to address complex, variegated, behaviors that require the weighing of multiple variables. Rules rely on an ex ante perspective and are therefore considered the domain of the legislator; standards embody a preference for ex post, ad-hoc, analysis and are therefore considered the domain of courts. The rules/standards dichotomy has become ...


Confused Culpability, Contrived Causation, And The Collapse Of Tort Theory, Larry Alexander, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Jan 2014

Confused Culpability, Contrived Causation, And The Collapse Of Tort Theory, Larry Alexander, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

What justifies tort law? Once we identify a domain that is central to if not co-extensive with “torts,” we will find that it consists of a motley collection of doctrines that are impossible to justify under any recognizable and attractive normative principles.


The Law And Economics Of Liability Insurance: A Theoretical And Empirical Review, Tom Baker, Peter Siegelman Jan 2013

The Law And Economics Of Liability Insurance: A Theoretical And Empirical Review, Tom Baker, Peter Siegelman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

We survey the theoretical and empirical literature on the law and economics of liability insurance. The canonical Shavell model predicts that, despite the presence of some ex ante moral hazard (care-reduction by insureds), liability insurance will generally raise welfare because its risk-spreading gains will likely be larger than its adverse effects on precautionary activities. We discuss the numerous features of liability insurance contracts that are designed to reduce ex ante moral hazard, and examine the evidence of their effects. Most studies conclude that these features work reasonably well, so that liability insurance probably does not generate substantial ex ante moral ...


Fukushima: Catastrophe, Compensation, And Justice In Japan, Eric Feldman Jan 2013

Fukushima: Catastrophe, Compensation, And Justice In Japan, Eric Feldman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Well before the Fukushima disaster of March 11, 2011, governments in the developed world struggled with victim compensation in cases of environmental contamination, harms caused by pharmaceutical products, terrorist attacks, and more. All of those are important precedents to Fukushima, but none of them approach the breadth of harms resulting from the triple disaster of huge earthquake, massive tsunami, and nuclear meltdown now known in Japan as 3/11. With close to 20,000 people dead or missing, one million homes fully destroyed or seriously damaged, and 100,000 people displaced, getting those whose lives were affected by the events ...


Natural Law, Slavery, And The Right To Privacy Tort, Anita L. Allen Dec 2012

Natural Law, Slavery, And The Right To Privacy Tort, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In 1905 the Supreme Court of Georgia became the first state high court to recognize a freestanding “right to privacy” tort in the common law. The landmark case was Pavesich v. New England Life Insurance Co. Must it be a cause for deep jurisprudential concern that the common law right to privacy in wide currency today originated in Pavesich’s explicit judicial interpretation of the requirements of natural law? Must it be an additional worry that the court which originated the common law privacy right asserted that a free white man whose photograph is published without his consent in a ...


The Inalienable Right Of Publicity, Jennifer Rothman Nov 2012

The Inalienable Right Of Publicity, Jennifer Rothman

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article challenges the conventional wisdom that the right of publicity is universally and uncontroversially alienable. Courts and scholars have routinely described the right as a freely transferable property right, akin to patents or copyrights. Despite such broad claims of unfettered alienability, courts have limited the transferability of publicity rights in a variety of instances. No one has developed a robust account of why such limits should exist or what their contours should be. This article remedies this omission and concludes that the right of publicity must have significantly limited alienability to protect the rights of individuals to control the ...


The Obligatory Structure Of Copyright Law: Unbundling The Wrong Of Copying, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2012

The Obligatory Structure Of Copyright Law: Unbundling The Wrong Of Copying, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.