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Full-Text Articles in Law

Completing The Quantum Of Evidence, Edward K. Cheng Jan 2021

Completing The Quantum Of Evidence, Edward K. Cheng

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In "Evidentiary Irony and the Incomplete Rule of Completeness," Professors Daniel Capra and Liesa Richter comprehensively catalog the many shortcomings in current Federal Rule of Evidence 106 and craft a compelling reform proposal. Their proposal admirably solves the identified problems, keeps the rule reasonably succinct, and furthers the accuracy and fairness goals of the rules of evidence. In this Response, we focus on Capra & Richter's proposal to formally recognize a "trumping" power in Rule 106, which would allow an adverse party to offer a completing statement even if it would be "otherwise inadmissible under the rule against hearsay."


How And Why Did It Go So Wrong?: Theranos As A Legal Ethics Case Study, G. S. Hans Jan 2021

How And Why Did It Go So Wrong?: Theranos As A Legal Ethics Case Study, G. S. Hans

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Theranos saga encompasses many discrete areas of law. Reporting on Theranos, most notably John Carreyrou's Bad Blood, highlights the questionable ethical decisions that many of the attorneys involved made. The lessons attorneys and law students can learn from Bad Blood are highly complex. The Theranos story touches on multiple areas of professional responsibility, including competence, diligence, candor, conflicts, and liability. Thus, Theranos serves as a helpful tool to explore the limits of ethical lawyering for Professional Responsibility students. This Article discusses the author's experience with using Bad Blood as an extended case study in a new course ...


The Generalist Externship Seminar: A Unique Curricular Opportunity To Teach About The Legal Profession, Spring Miller Jan 2021

The Generalist Externship Seminar: A Unique Curricular Opportunity To Teach About The Legal Profession, Spring Miller

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This article explores the role that a generalist externship seminar can play in teaching law students about the legal profession - lawyers, the institutions in which they practice, and the markets for their services. After reviewing the evolution of the externship course and externship seminar in the legal curriculum, the article turns to a discussion of the absence of opportunities at most law schools for students to study and learn about the legal profession. It contends that the absence of serious attention to the profession in the curricula of most law schools does a disservice to law students, who need specific ...


Fedaccounts: Digital Dollars, Morgan Ricks, J. Crawford, L. Menand Jan 2021

Fedaccounts: Digital Dollars, Morgan Ricks, J. Crawford, L. Menand

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

We are entering a new monetary era. Central banks around the world- spurred by the development of privately controlled digital currencies as well as competition from other central banks-have been studying, building, and, in some cases, issuing central bank digital currency ("CBDC").

Although digital fiat currency is one of the hottest topics in macroeconomics and central banking today, the discussion has largely over- looked the most straightforward and appealing strategy for implementing a U.S. dollar-based CBDC: expanding access to bank accounts that the Federal Reserve already offers to a small, favored set of clients. These accounts consist of entries ...


Potus And Pot: Why The President Could Not Legalize Marijuana Through Executive Action, Robert Mikos Jan 2021

Potus And Pot: Why The President Could Not Legalize Marijuana Through Executive Action, Robert Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Could the President legalize marijuana, without waiting for Congress to act? The 2020 Presidential Election showed that this question is far from hypothetical. Seeking to capitalize on frustration with the slow pace of federal legislative reform, several presidential candidates promised they would bypass the logjam in Congress and legalize marijuana through executive action instead.

This Essay warns that such promises are both misguided and dangerous because they ignore statutory and constitutional constraints on the President’s authority to effect legal change. It explains why supporters of marijuana reform should be wary of legalizing the drug through executive action, even if ...


Clinical Fellowships, Faculty Hiring, And Community Values, G. S. Hans Jan 2021

Clinical Fellowships, Faculty Hiring, And Community Values, G. S. Hans

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Essay explores clinical hiring practices as an expression of community values. In particular, it discusses how lawyers become clinical faculty to reflect on whether and how prior clinical teaching experience should be assessed for entry-level clinical applicants in order to effectuate equity and inclusion within law schools and the clinical community. Publicly available data suggest that a majority of recent entry-level clinical faculty have prior clinical teaching experience as fellows or staff attorneys. What does this apparent hiring preference for prior teaching experience mean for the composition of the clinical community, especially with respect to equity and inclusion? As ...


Efficient Ethical Principles For Making Fatal Choices, W. Kip Viscusi Jan 2021

Efficient Ethical Principles For Making Fatal Choices, W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Resource allocations of all kinds inevitably encounter financial constraints, making it infeasible to make financially unbounded commitments. Such resource constraints arise in almost all health and safety risk contexts, which has led to a regulatory oversight process to ascertain whether the expected benefits of major regulations outweigh the costs. The economic approach to monetizing health and safety risks is well established and is based on the value of a statistical life (“VSL”). Government agencies use these values reflecting attitudes toward small changes in risk to monetize the largest benefit component of regulations--that dealing with mortality risks. This procedure consequently bases ...


Classaction.Gov, Amanda M. Rose Jan 2021

Classaction.Gov, Amanda M. Rose

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Essay proposes the creation of a federally run class action website and supporting administration (collectively, Classaction.gov) that would both operate a comprehensive research database on class actions and assume many of the notice and claims-processing functions performed by class action claims administrators today. Classaction.gov would bring long-demanded transparency to class actions and, through forces of legitimization and coordination, would substantially increase the rate of consumer participation in class action settlements. It also holds the key to mitigating other problems in class action practice, such as the inefficiencies and potential abuses associated with multiforum litigation, the limited success ...


Energy Federalism's Aim, Jim Rossi Jan 2021

Energy Federalism's Aim, Jim Rossi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The Federal Power Act (FPA) has endured for eighty-five years, in part because it does not embrace a single regulatory approach for the energy industry. Nor does the FPA favor a single approach to federal- ism: it delegates broad authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to regulate the wholesale sale and transmission of energy in interstate commerce, while leaving states considerable leeway to regulate not only retail rates but also power generation and distribution. The statute expanded federal authority over wholesale electric power sales, with the primary purpose of closing regulatory gaps in interstate energy markets.

For the ...


Regulation And The Geography Of Inequality, Ganesh Sitaraman, Christopher Serkin, Morgan Ricks Jan 2021

Regulation And The Geography Of Inequality, Ganesh Sitaraman, Christopher Serkin, Morgan Ricks

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

We live in an era of widening geographic inequality. Around the country, the spread between economically and culturally thriving places and those that are struggling has been increasing. "Superstar" cities like New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Atlanta continue to attract talent and grow, while the economies of other cities and rural areas are left behind. Troublingly, escalating geographic inequality in the United States has arrived hand in hand with serious economic, social, and political problems. Areas that are left behind have not only failed to keep up with their thriving peers; in many ways, they have stagnated and seen ...


The Research Patent, Sean B. Seymore Jan 2021

The Research Patent, Sean B. Seymore

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The patent system gives courts the discretion to tailor patentability standards flexibly across technologies to provide optimal incentives for innovation. For chemical inventions, the courts deem them unpatentable if the chemical lacks a practical, non-research-based use at the time patent protection is sought. The fear is that an early-stage patent on a research input would confer too much control over yet-unknown uses for the chemical, thereby potentially hindering downstream innovation. Yet, denying patents on research inputs can frustrate patent law's broad goal of protecting and promoting scientific and technological advances.

This Article addresses this problem by proposing a new ...


Supreme Court Reform And American Democracy, Ganesh Sitaraman, D. Epps Jan 2021

Supreme Court Reform And American Democracy, Ganesh Sitaraman, D. Epps

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In How to Save the Supreme Court, we identified the legitimacy challenge facing the Court, traced it to a set of structural flaws, and proposed novel reforms. Little more than a year later, the conversation around Supreme Court reform has only grown louder and more urgent. In this Essay, we continue that conversation by engaging with critics of our approach. The current crisis of the Supreme Court is, we argue, inextricable from the question of the Supreme Court’s proper role in our democracy. For those interested in reform, there are three distinct strategies for ensuring the Supreme Court maintains ...


A Fiduciary Judge's Guide To Awarding Fees In Class Actions, Brian T. Fitzpatrick Jan 2021

A Fiduciary Judge's Guide To Awarding Fees In Class Actions, Brian T. Fitzpatrick

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

It is often said that judges act as fiduciaries for the absent class members in class action litigation. If we take this seriously, how then should judges award fees to the lawyers who represent these class members? The answer is to award fees the same way rational class members would want if they could do it on their own. In this Essay, I draw on economic models and data from the market for legal representation of sophisticated clients to describe what these fee practices should look like. Although more data from sophisticated clients is no doubt needed, what we do ...


We Need A Cole Memorandum For Magic Mushrooms, Robert Mikos Jan 2021

We Need A Cole Memorandum For Magic Mushrooms, Robert Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In fall 2020, as the nation elected Joe Biden to be our Forty-Sixth President, Oregon voters also passed a noteworthy new drug law reform. Known as Measure 109, Oregon’s path-breaking law legalizes the use of psilocybin, a hallucinogenic substance found in magic mushrooms. Measure 109 is designed to unlock the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, which advocates tout as an effective and safe treatment for depression and other psychological conditions.

Given the burgeoning interest in psychedelics, many people are excited to see how Oregon’s psilocybin experiment pans out. But at this point, it remains unclear whether the experiment will ...


A World Of Difference? Law Enforcement, Genetic Data, And The Fourth Amendment, Christopher Slobogin, J. W. Hazel Jan 2021

A World Of Difference? Law Enforcement, Genetic Data, And The Fourth Amendment, Christopher Slobogin, J. W. Hazel

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Law enforcement agencies are increasingly turning to genetic databases as a way of solving crime, either through requesting the DNA profile of an identified suspect from a database or, more commonly, by matching crime scene DNA with DNA profiles in a database in an attempt to identify a suspect or a family member of a suspect. Neither of these efforts implicates the Fourth Amendment, because the Supreme Court has held that a Fourth Amendment "search" does not occur unless police infringe "expectations of privacy society is prepared to recognize as reasonable" and has construed that phrase narrowly, without reference to ...


Chevron Is A Phoenix, Lisa Bressman, Kevin Stack Jan 2021

Chevron Is A Phoenix, Lisa Bressman, Kevin Stack

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Judicial deference to agency interpretations of their own statutes is a foundational principle of the administrative state. It recognizes that Congress has the need and desire to delegate the details of regulatory policy to agencies rather than specify those details or default to judicial determinations. It also recognizes that interpretation under regulatory statutes is intertwined with implementation of those statutes. Prior to the famous decision in Chevron, the Supreme Court had long regarded judicial deference as a foundational principle of administrative law. It grew up with the administrative state alongside other foundational administrative law principles. In Chevron, the Court gave ...


The Political Economy Of The Removal Power, Ganesh Sitaraman Nov 2020

The Political Economy Of The Removal Power, Ganesh Sitaraman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, financial institutions targeted communities of color with expensive and risky subprime mortgage products. Hundreds of thousands of Black and Hispanic families were charged more for mortgages than their white counterparts or steered into expensive subprime loans, even though they qualified for cheaper prime loans. Over time, financial institutions like Countrywide pushed these "toxic" loans on more and more homeowners and expanded subprime lending throughout the country. When the music finally stopped in 2008, millions of families lost their jobs and their homes, and nearly $ii trillion in household wealth was ...


Federal Covid-19 Response Unlawfully Blocks State Public Health Efforts, Ellen Wright Clayton, Barbara J. Evans Oct 2020

Federal Covid-19 Response Unlawfully Blocks State Public Health Efforts, Ellen Wright Clayton, Barbara J. Evans

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The federal government recently used preemption unlawfully to prevent state public health efforts to protect vulnerable people from COVID-19.

As 1,000 current and former CDC epidemiologists noted in an open letter, the federal government has failed to use legal powers it does have to manage the crisis, leaving states to “invent their own differing systems” to manage COVID-19. We add that the federal government is now asserting emergency powers it does not have to disable state public health responses.

Early this month, Nevada officials halted the use of two rapid coronavirus tests that produced high false-positive rates when used ...


Primer On Risk Assessment For Legal Decision-Makers, Christopher Slobogin Sep 2020

Primer On Risk Assessment For Legal Decision-Makers, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This primer is addressed to judges, parole board members, and other legal decisionmakers who use or are considering using the results of risk assessment instruments (RAIs) in making determinations about post-conviction dispositions, as well as to legislators and executive officials responsible for authorizing such use. It is meant to help these decisionmakers determine whether a particular RAI is an appropriate basis for legal determinations and whether evaluators who rely on an RAI have done so properly. This primer does not take a position on whether RAIs should be integrated into the criminal process. Rather, it provides legal decision-makers with information ...


Reconciling Risk And Equality, Christopher Slobogin Jul 2020

Reconciling Risk And Equality, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

States have increasingly resorted to statistically-derived risk algorithms to determine when diversion from prison should occur, whether sentences should be enhanced, and the level of security and treatment a prisoner requires. The federal government has jumped on the bandwagon in a big way with the First Step Act, which mandated that a risk assessment instrument be developed to determine which prisoners can be released early on parole. Policymakers are turning to these algorithms because they are thought to be more accurate and less biased than judges and correctional officials, making them useful tools for reducing prison populations through identification of ...


Ecosystem Services And Federal Public Lands: A Quiet Revolution In Natural Resources Management, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman Apr 2020

Ecosystem Services And Federal Public Lands: A Quiet Revolution In Natural Resources Management, J.B. Ruhl, James Salzman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The major federal public land management agencies (the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Park Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, and Department of Defense) have increasingly adopted a language that did not exist twenty- five years ago-the language of ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are the range of benefits that ecological re- sources provide to humans, from water purification and pollination to carbon sequestration and wildlife habitat. The scientific discipline advancing the ecosystem services frame- work arose in the mid-1990s and quickly became a central strategy for fusing ecology and economics research. Despite its ascendance in research communities, the recognition and conservation ...


The Evolving Federal Response To State Marijuana, Robert Mikos Apr 2020

The Evolving Federal Response To State Marijuana, Robert Mikos

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The states have launched a revolution in marijuana policy, creating a wide gap between state and federal marijuana law. While nearly every state has legalized marijuana in at least some circumstances, federal law continues to ban the substance outright. Nonetheless, the federal response to state reforms has been anything but static during this revolution. This Essay, based on my Distinguished Speaker Lecture at Delaware Law School, examines how the federal response to state marijuana reforms has evolved over time, from War, to Partial Truce, and, next (possibly) to Capitulation. It also illuminates the ways in which this shifting federal response ...


Social Checks And Balances: A Private Fairness Doctrine, Michael P. Vandenbergh Apr 2020

Social Checks And Balances: A Private Fairness Doctrine, Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Essay proposes a private standards and certification system to induce media firms to provide more complete and accurate information. It argues that this new private governance system is a viable response to the channelized flow of information that is exacerbating political polarization in the United States. Specifically, this Essay proposes development of a new private fairness doctrine to replace the standard repealed by the Federal Communications Commission in 1987. A broad-based, multi-stakeholder organization could develop and implement this private fairness doctrine, and the certification process could harness market and social pressure to influence the practices of traditional and new ...


Patenting New Uses For Old Inventions, Sean B. Seymore Apr 2020

Patenting New Uses For Old Inventions, Sean B. Seymore

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

A bedrock principle of patent law is that old inventions cannot be patented. And a new use for an old invention does not render the old invention patentable. This is because patent law requires novelty--an invention must be new. But while a new use for an old invention does not make the old invention patentable, the new use itself might be patentable. In fact, new-use patents comprise a significant part of the patent landscape-particularly in pharmaceuticals, when drug companies obtain new-use patents to repurpose old drugs. This trend has fueled debates over follow-on innovation and patent quality. But there is ...


What Results Should Be Returned From Opportunistic Screening In Translational Research?, Colin M.E. Halverson, Sarah H. Jones, Laurie Novak, Christopher Simpson, Digna R. Velez Edwards, Sifang K. Zhao, Ellen W. Clayton Mar 2020

What Results Should Be Returned From Opportunistic Screening In Translational Research?, Colin M.E. Halverson, Sarah H. Jones, Laurie Novak, Christopher Simpson, Digna R. Velez Edwards, Sifang K. Zhao, Ellen W. Clayton

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Increasingly, patients without clinical indications are undergoing genomic tests. The purpose of this study was to assess their appreciation and comprehension of their test results and their clinicians’ reactions. We conducted 675 surveys with participants from the Vanderbilt Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) cohort. We interviewed 36 participants: 19 had received positive results, and 17 were self-identified racial minorities. Eleven clinicians who had patients who had participated in eMERGE were interviewed. A further 21 of these clinicians completed surveys. Participants spontaneously admitted to understanding little or none of the information returned to them from the eMERGE study. However, they ...


Returning Results In The Genomic Era: Initial Experiences Of The Emerge Network, Ellen W. Clayton, Georgia L. Wiesner, Alanna K. Rahm, Et Al. Mar 2020

Returning Results In The Genomic Era: Initial Experiences Of The Emerge Network, Ellen W. Clayton, Georgia L. Wiesner, Alanna K. Rahm, Et Al.

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

A goal of the 3rd phase of the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE3) Network was to examine the return of results (RoR) of actionable variants in more than 100 genes to consenting participants and their healthcare providers. Each of the 10 eMERGE sites developed plans for three essential elements of the RoR process: Disclosure to the participant, notification of the health care provider, and integration of results into the electronic health record (EHR). Procedures and protocols around these three elements were adapted as appropriate to individual site requirements and limitations. Detailed information about the RoR procedures at each site ...


Misaligned Lawmaking, Timothy Meyer Jan 2020

Misaligned Lawmaking, Timothy Meyer

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article makes three contributions. First, it introduces the Misalignment Thesis in the context of U.S. trade policy. The Misalignment Thesis is a descriptive claim about how the structure of a legislative bargain influences the long-term stability and effectiveness of that bargain. Second, the Article introduces the normative corollary to the Misalignment Thesis: if political stability hinges on respecting the legislative bargain, interdependent policies should be subject to renegotiation on the same timeline and implementation on the same terms. In light of this prescription, I offer three concrete proposals for aligning trade liberalization and trade adjustment assistance in order ...


Encomium For Karen Rothenberg, Ellen W. Clayton Jan 2020

Encomium For Karen Rothenberg, Ellen W. Clayton

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Karen is also a zealous advocate in the very best sense of the word. After Struewing's article appeared, she wrote an editorial that appeared in multiple newspapers arguing that women with these variants should not lose their insurance. She became deeply involved in the National Action Plan for Breast Cancer, a powerful grass roots organization. Additionally, she became involved at the National Institutes of Health and addressed, often in leadership roles, such issues to develop strategies to prevent genetic discrimination for individuals with variants that increased the risk of developing cancer, to create tools to obtain meaningful informed consent ...


Governing Cascade Failures In Complex Social-Ecological-Technological Systems: Framing Context, Strategies, And Challenges, J.B. Ruhl Jan 2020

Governing Cascade Failures In Complex Social-Ecological-Technological Systems: Framing Context, Strategies, And Challenges, J.B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Cascade failures are events in networked systems with interconnected components in which failure of one or a few parts triggers the failure of other parts, which triggers the failure of more parts, and so on. Cascade failures occur in a wide variety of familiar systems, such as electric power distribution grids, transportation systems, financial systems, and ecosystems. Cascade failures have plagued society for centuries. However, modern social-ecological-technological systems (SETS) have become vast, fast moving, and highly interconnected, exposing these systems to cascade failures of potentially global proportions, spreading at breathtaking speed, and imposing catastrophic harms. The increasing potential for cascade ...


The Specific Consumer Expectations Test For Product Defects, W. Kip Viscusi, Clayton J. Masterman Jan 2020

The Specific Consumer Expectations Test For Product Defects, W. Kip Viscusi, Clayton J. Masterman

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

The consumer expectations test in products liability law holds firms liable for producing goods that are more dangerous than the reasonable consumer would anticipate. But judicial experience in the majority of states that have utilized the consumer expectations test demonstrates that it is ambiguous and impossible to apply predictably. The test is ill-suited for regulating complex products or markets with heterogeneous consumers; moreover, the test requires courts to expend significant resources to identify consumers' ex ante beliefs about product risks, even when consumers lacked tangible beliefs about products at the time of purchase. The other major test that courts apply ...