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Full-Text Articles in Law

Nonparty Interests In Contract Law, Omri Ben-Shahar, David A. Hoffman, Cathy Hwang Feb 2022

Nonparty Interests In Contract Law, Omri Ben-Shahar, David A. Hoffman, Cathy Hwang

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Contract law has one overarching goal: to advance the legitimate interests of the contracting parties. For the most part, scholars, judges, and parties embrace this party primacy norm, recognizing only a few exceptions, such as mandatory rules that bar enforcement of agreements that harm others. This Article describes a distinct species of previously unnoticed contract law rules that advance nonparty interests, which it calls “nonparty defaults."

In doing so, this Article makes three contributions to the contract law literature. First, it identifies nonparty defaults as a judicial technique. It shows how courts deviate from the party primary norm with surprising …


How Practices Make Principles, And How Principles Make Rules, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2022

How Practices Make Principles, And How Principles Make Rules, Mitchell N. Berman

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The most fundamental question in general jurisprudence concerns what makes it the case that the law has the content that it does. This article offers a novel answer. According to the theory it christens “principled positivism,” legal practices ground legal principles, and legal principles determine legal rules. This two-level account of the determination of legal content differs from Hart’s celebrated theory in two essential respects: in relaxing Hart’s requirement that fundamental legal notions depend for their existence on judicial consensus; and in assigning weighted contributory legal norms—“principles”—an essential role in the determination of legal rights, duties, powers, and permissions. Drawing …


The Criminogenic Effects Of Damaging Criminal Law’S Moral Credibility, Paul H. Robinson, Lindsay Holcomb Jan 2022

The Criminogenic Effects Of Damaging Criminal Law’S Moral Credibility, Paul H. Robinson, Lindsay Holcomb

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The criminal justice system’s reputation with the community can have a significant effect on the extent to which people are willing to comply with its demands and internalize its norms. In the context of criminal law, the empirical studies suggest that ordinary people expect the criminal justice system to do justice and avoid injustice, as they perceive it – what has been called “empirical desert” to distinguish it from the “deontological desert” of moral philosophers. The empirical studies and many real-world natural experiments suggest that a criminal justice system that regularly deviates from empirical desert loses moral credibility and thereby …


But What Is Personalized Law?, Sandra G. Mayson Jan 2022

But What Is Personalized Law?, Sandra G. Mayson

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In Personalized Law: Different Rules for Different People, Omri Ben-Shahar and Ariel Porat undertake to ground a burgeoning field of legal thought. The book imagines and thoughtfully assesses an array of personalized legal rules, including individualized speed limits, fines calibrated to income, and medical disclosure requirements responsive to individual health profiles. Throughout, though, the conceptual parameters of “personalized law” remain elusive. It is clear that personalized law involves more data, more machine-learning, and more direct communication to individuals. But it is not clear how deep these changes go. Are they incremental—just today’s law with better tech—or do they represent …


Team Production Revisited, William W. Bratton Jan 2021

Team Production Revisited, William W. Bratton

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This Article reconsiders Margaret Blair and Lynn Stout’s team production model of corporate law, offering a favorable evaluation. The model explains both the legal corporate entity and corporate governance institutions in microeconomic terms as the means to the end of encouraging investment, situating corporations within markets and subject to market constraints but simultaneously insisting that productive success requires that corporations remain independent of markets. The model also integrates the inherited framework of corporate law into an economically derived model of production, constructing a microeconomic description of large enterprises firmly rooted in corporate doctrine but neither focused on nor limited by …


How Medicalization Of Civil Rights Could Disappoint, Allison K. Hoffman Jul 2020

How Medicalization Of Civil Rights Could Disappoint, Allison K. Hoffman

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This essay reflects on Craig Konnoth’s recent Article, Medicalization and the New Civil Rights, which is a carefully crafted and thought-provoking description of the refashioning of civil rights claims into medical rights frameworks. He compellingly threads together many intellectual traditions—from antidiscrimination law to disability law to health law—to illustrate the pervasiveness of the phenomenon that he describes and why it might be productive as a tool to advance civil rights.

This response, however, offers several reasons why medicalization may not cure all that ails civil rights litigation’s pains and elaborates on the potential risks of overinvesting in medical rights-seeking. …


Rejoining Treaties, Jean Galbraith Jan 2020

Rejoining Treaties, Jean Galbraith

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Historical practice supports the conclusion that the President can unilaterally withdraw the United States from treaties which an earlier President joined with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate, at least as long as this withdrawal is consistent with international law. This Article considers a further question that to date is deeply underexplored. This is: does the original Senate resolution of advice and consent to a treaty remain effective even after a President has withdrawn the United States from a treaty? I argue that the answer to this question is yes, except in certain limited circumstances. This answer …


The Post-Chicago Antitrust Revolution: A Retrospective, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2020

The Post-Chicago Antitrust Revolution: A Retrospective, Christopher S. Yoo

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A symposium examining the contributions of the post-Chicago School provides an appropriate opportunity to offer some thoughts on both the past and the future of antitrust. This afterword reviews the excellent papers with an eye toward appreciating the contributions and limitations of both the Chicago School, in terms of promoting the consumer welfare standard and embracing price theory as the preferred mode of economic analysis, and the post-Chicago School, with its emphasis on game theory and firm-level strategic conduct. It then explores two emerging trends, specifically neo-Brandeisian advocacy for abandoning consumer welfare as the sole goal of antitrust and the …


Against The Received Wisdom: Why The Criminal Justice System Should Give Kids A Break, Stephen J. Morse Jul 2019

Against The Received Wisdom: Why The Criminal Justice System Should Give Kids A Break, Stephen J. Morse

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Professor Gideon Yaffe’s recent, intricately argued book, The Age of Culpability: Children and the Nature of Criminal Responsibility, argues against the nearly uniform position in both law and scholarship that the criminal justice system should give juveniles a break not because on average they have different capacities relevant to responsibility than adults, but because juveniles have little say about the criminal law, primarily because they do not have a vote. For Professor Yaffe, age has political rather than behavioral significance. The book has many excellent general analyses about responsibility, but all are in aid of the central thesis about …


Foreword: Abolition Constitutionalism, Dorothy E. Roberts Jan 2019

Foreword: Abolition Constitutionalism, Dorothy E. Roberts

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In this Foreword, I make the case for an abolition constitutionalism that attends to the theorizing of prison abolitionists. In Part I, I provide a summary of prison abolition theory and highlight its foundational tenets that engage with the institution of slavery and its eradication. I discuss how abolition theorists view the current prison industrial complex as originating in, though distinct from, racialized chattel slavery and the racial capitalist regime that relied on and sustained it, and their movement as completing the “unfinished liberation” sought by slavery abolitionists in the past. Part II considers whether the U.S. Constitution is an …


Rethinking Copyright And Personhood, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2019

Rethinking Copyright And Personhood, Christopher S. Yoo

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One of the primary theoretical justifications for copyright is the role that creative works play in helping develop an individual’s sense of personhood and self-actualization. Typically ascribed to the writings of Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, personhood-based theories of copyright serve as the foundation for the moral rights prominent in European copyright law and mandated by the leading intellectual property treaty, which give authors inalienable control over aspects of their works after they have been created. The conventional wisdom about the relationship between personhood and copyright suffers from two fatal flaws that have gone largely unappreciated. First, in …


Corporate Disobedience, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2019

Corporate Disobedience, Elizabeth Pollman

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Corporate law has long taken a dim view of corporate lawbreaking. Corporations can be chartered only for lawful activity. Contemporary case law characterizes intentional violations of law as a breach of the fiduciary duties of good faith and loyalty. While recognizing that rule breaking raises significant social and moral concerns, this Article suggests that corporate law and academic debate have overlooked important aspects of corporate disobedience. This Article provides an overview of corporate disobedience and illuminates the role that it has played in entrepreneurship and legal change. Corporations violate laws for a variety of reasons, including as part of efforts …


Sexual Consent And Disability, Jasmine E. Harris Jan 2018

Sexual Consent And Disability, Jasmine E. Harris

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Our nation is engaged in deep debate over sexual consent. But to date the discussion has overlooked sexual consent’s implications for a key demographic: people with mental disabilities, for whom the reported incidence of sexual violence is three times that of the nondisabled population. Even as popular debate overlooks the question of sexual consent for those with disabilities, contemporary legal scholars critique governmental overregulation of this area, arguing that it diminishes the agency and dignity of people with disabilities. Yet in defending their position, these scholars rely on empirical data from over twenty years ago, when disability and sexual assault …


Findlay Stark, Culpable Carelessness: Recklessness And Negligence In The Criminal Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Jan 2018

Findlay Stark, Culpable Carelessness: Recklessness And Negligence In The Criminal Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

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Culpable Carelessness by Findlay Stark is a careful and considered contribution to the 'punishment for negligence' debate. As well as providing a comprehensive overview of the doctrinal and theoretical aspects of recklessness and negligence in the criminal law, it also offers novel insights for scholars already steeped in these debates. An additional methodological strength is that Stark takes seriously the connection between theory and law, offering useful potential jury instructions on recklessness and negligence.


A Brief Summary And Critique Of Criminal Liability Rules For Intoxicated Conduct, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2018

A Brief Summary And Critique Of Criminal Liability Rules For Intoxicated Conduct, Paul H. Robinson

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This essay provides an overview of the legal issues relating to intoxication, including the effect of voluntary intoxication in imputing to an offender a required offense culpable state of mind that he may not actually have had at the time of the offense; the effect of involuntary intoxication in providing a defense by negating a required offense culpability element or by satisfying the conditions of a general excuse; the legal effect of alcoholism or addiction in rendering intoxication involuntary; and the limitation on using alcoholism or addiction in this way if the offender can be judged to be reasonably responsible …


Arguing With Friends, William Baude, Ryan D. Doerfler Jan 2018

Arguing With Friends, William Baude, Ryan D. Doerfler

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It is a fact of life that judges sometimes disagree about the best outcome in appealed cases. The question is what they should make of this. The two purest possibilities are to shut out all other views, or else to let them all in, leading one to concede ambiguity and uncertainty in most if not all contested cases.

Drawing on the philosophical concepts of “peer disagreement” and “epistemic peerhood,” we argue that there is a better way. Judges ought to give significant weight to the views of others, but only when those others share the judge’s basic methodology or interpretive …


Petitioning And The Making Of The Administrative State, Maggie Blackhawk Jan 2018

Petitioning And The Making Of The Administrative State, Maggie Blackhawk

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The administrative state is suffering from a crisis of legitimacy. Many have questioned the legality of the myriad commissions, boards, and agencies through which much of our modern governance occurs. Scholars such as Jerry Mashaw, Theda Skocpol, and Michele Dauber, among others, have provided compelling institutional histories, illustrating that administrative lawmaking has roots in the early American republic. Others have attempted to assuage concerns through interpretive theory, arguing that the Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 implicitly amended our Constitution. Solutions offered thus far, however, have yet to provide a deeper understanding of the meaning and function of the administrative state …


Cooperative And Uncooperative Foreign Affairs Federalism, Jean Galbraith Jun 2017

Cooperative And Uncooperative Foreign Affairs Federalism, Jean Galbraith

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This book review argues for reorienting how we think about federalism in relation to foreign affairs. In considering state and local engagement in foreign affairs, legal scholars often focus on the opportunities and limits provided by constitutional law. Foreign Affairs Federalism: The Myth of National Exclusivity by Michael Glennon and Robert Sloane does precisely this in a thoughtful and well-crafted way. But while the backdrop constitutional principles studied by Glennon and Sloane are important, so too are other types of law that receive far less attention. International law, administrative law, particular statutory schemes, and state law can all affect how …


The Inevitability And Ubiquity Of Cycling In All Feasible Legal Regimes: A Formal Proof, Leo Katz, Alvaro Sandroni Jun 2017

The Inevitability And Ubiquity Of Cycling In All Feasible Legal Regimes: A Formal Proof, Leo Katz, Alvaro Sandroni

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Intransitive choices, or cycling, are generally held to be the mark of irrationality. When a set of rules engenders such choices, it is usually held to be irrational and in need of reform. In this article, we prove a series of theorems, demonstrating that all feasible legal regimes are going to be rife with cycling. Our first result, the legal cycling theorem, shows that unless a legal system meets some extremely restrictive conditions, it will lead to cycling. The discussion that follows, along with our second result, the combination theorem, shows exactly why these conditions are almost impossible to meet. …


Empowering Individual Plaintiffs, Alex Stein, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2017

Empowering Individual Plaintiffs, Alex Stein, Gideon Parchomovsky

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The individual plaintiff plays a critical—yet, underappreciated—role in our legal system. Only lawsuits that are brought by individual plaintiffs allow the law to achieve the twin goals of efficiency and fairness. The ability of individual plaintiffs to seek justice against those who wronged them deters wrongdoing, ex ante, and in those cases in which a wrong has been committed nevertheless, it guarantees the payment of compensation, ex post. No other form of litigation, including class actions and criminal prosecutions, or even compensation funds, can accomplish the same result. Yet, as we show in this Essay, in many key sectors of …


Modest Retributivism, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2016

Modest Retributivism, Mitchell N. Berman

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No abstract provided.


The Constitutionalization Of Indian Private Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Jan 2016

The Constitutionalization Of Indian Private Law, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

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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 fusion of constitutional law and …


The Role Of Support In Sexual Decision-Making For People With Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities, Jasmine E. Harris Jan 2016

The Role Of Support In Sexual Decision-Making For People With Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities, Jasmine E. Harris

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In response to Alexander Boni-Saenz, Sexuality and Incapacity, 76 Ohio St. L.J. 1201 (2015).

This Response analyzes three aspects of Boni-Saenz’s cognition-plus test. First, I position his normative and prescriptive proposals within an existing, robust conversation regarding legal capacity, SDM, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Scholars of international human rights law offer valuable insights on challenges of redefining legal capacity and implementing SDM. Advocates continue to debate and contest SDM as a practical, administrable, and measurable alternative. Second, I identify potential normative implications of incorporating SDM into domestic law, specifically for …


Line Drawing In Corporate Rights Determinations, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2016

Line Drawing In Corporate Rights Determinations, Elizabeth Pollman

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This essay was written for the 21st Annual Clifford Symposium: The Supreme Court, Business, and Civil Justice. The essay argues that existing lines drawn between corporations may be a useful starting place for analyzing the rights of corporations, but caution must be used because the lines drawn in other areas were done for various policy reasons in different contexts that may not map onto the corporate rights determination. Attention should be paid to the specific characteristics of corporations that are relevant to the right at stake and the basis for extending protection. The key contribution of this essay is to …


Constitutionalizing Corporate Law, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2016

Constitutionalizing Corporate Law, Elizabeth Pollman

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The Supreme Court has recently decided some of the most important and controversial cases involving the federal rights of corporations in over two hundred years of jurisprudence. In rulings ranging from corporate political spending to religious liberty rights, the Court has dramatically expanded the zone in which corporations can act free from regulation. This Article argues these decisions represent a doctrinal shift, even from previous cases granting rights to corporations. The modern corporate rights doctrine has put unprecedented weight on state corporate law to act as a mechanism for resolving disputes among corporate participants regarding the expressive and religious activity …


Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2015

Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman

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The world is complex, Richard Posner observes in his most recent book, Reflections on Judging. It follows that, to resolve real-world disputes sensibly, judges must be astute students of the world’s complexity. The problem, he says, is that, thanks to disposition, training, and professional incentives, they aren’t. Worse than that, the legal system generates its own complexity precisely to enable judges “to avoid rather than meet and overcome the challenge of complexity” that the world delivers. Reflections concerns how judges needlessly complexify inherently simple law, and how this complexification can be corrected.

Posner’s diagnoses and prescriptions range widely—from the Bluebook …


Of Weevils And Witches: What Can We Learn From The Ghost Of Responsibility Past, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Jan 2015

Of Weevils And Witches: What Can We Learn From The Ghost Of Responsibility Past, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

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No abstract provided.


The Derivative Nature Of Corporate Constitutional Rights, Margaret M. Blair, Elizabeth Pollman Jan 2015

The Derivative Nature Of Corporate Constitutional Rights, Margaret M. Blair, Elizabeth Pollman

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This Article engages the two hundred year history of corporate constitutional rights jurisprudence to show that the Supreme Court has long accorded rights to corporations based on the rationale that corporations represent associations of people from whom such rights are derived. The Article draws on the history of business corporations in America to argue that the Court’s characterization of corporations as associations made sense throughout most of the nineteenth century. By the late nineteenth century, however, when the Court was deciding several key cases involving corporate rights, this associational view was already becoming a poor fit for some corporations. The …


Abuse Of Property Right Without Political Foundations: A Response To Katz, Mitchell N. Berman Aug 2014

Abuse Of Property Right Without Political Foundations: A Response To Katz, Mitchell N. Berman

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In an article recently published in the Yale Law Journal, Larissa Katz defends a heterodox principle of abuse of property right pursuant to which an owner abuses her rights with respect to a thing she owns if she makes an otherwise permitted decision about how to use that thing just in order to harm others, either out of spite, or for leverage. Katz grounds that principle in a novel theory of the political foundations of the institution of property ownership. This essay argues that Katz’s political theory is implausible, but that this should not doom her preferred principle of …


Catalogs, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein Mar 2014

Catalogs, Gideon Parchomovsky, Alex Stein

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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 a …