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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Hague Judgments Convention In The United States: A “Game Changer” Or A New Path To The Old Game?, Ronald A. Brand Jan 2021

The Hague Judgments Convention In The United States: A “Game Changer” Or A New Path To The Old Game?, Ronald A. Brand

Articles

The Hague Judgments Convention, completed on July 2, 2019, is built on a list of “jurisdictional filters” in Article 5(1), and grounds for non-recognition in Article 7. If one of the thirteen jurisdictional tests in Article 5(1) is satisfied, the judgment may circulate under the Convention, subject to the grounds for non-recognition found in Article 7. This approach to Convention structure is especially significant for countries considering ratification and implementation. A different structure was suggested in the initial Working Group stage of the Convention’s preparation which would have avoided the complexity of multiple rules of indirect jurisdiction ...


The Vulnerable Sovereign, Ronald A. Brand Jan 2021

The Vulnerable Sovereign, Ronald A. Brand

Articles

The connection between sovereignty and law is fundamental for both domestic (internal sovereignty) and the international (external sovereignty) purposes. As the dominant forms of government have evolved over time, so has the way in which we think about sovereignty. Consideration of the historical evolution of the concept of sovereignty offers insight into how we think of sovereignty today. A term that was born to represent the relationship between the governor and the governed has become a term that is used to represent the relationships between and among states in the global legal order. This article traces the history of the ...


Designing And Enforcing Preliminary Agreements, Albert H. Choi, George Triantis Feb 2020

Designing And Enforcing Preliminary Agreements, Albert H. Choi, George Triantis

Articles

Preliminary agreements—variously labeled as memoranda of understanding, letters of intent, term sheets, commitment letters, or agreements in principle—are common in complex business transactions. They document an incomplete set of terms that the parties have agreed upon, while anticipating further negotiation of the remaining provisions. They often create legal obligations, particularly a duty to negotiate in good faith. This duty has been the subject of a substantial number of judicial opinions over the past few decades and yet continues to be regarded as a confusing and unpredictable issue in contract law. Legal scholarship is hamstrung in its analysis of ...


Super-Statutory Contracting, Kristelia García Jan 2020

Super-Statutory Contracting, Kristelia García

Articles

The conventional wisdom is that property rules induce more—and more efficient—contracting, and that when faced with rigid property rules, intellectual property owners will contract into more flexible liability rules. A series of recent, private copyright deals show some intellectual property owners doing just the opposite: faced with statutory liability rules, they are contracting for more protection than that dictated by law, something this Article calls “super-statutory contracting”—either by opting for a stronger, more tailored liability rule, or by contracting into property rule protection. Through a series of deal analyses, this Article explores this counterintuitive phenomenon, and updates ...


Contracts And Covid-19, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2020

Contracts And Covid-19, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

No abstract provided.


Tools For Data Governance, Michael J. Madison Jan 2020

Tools For Data Governance, Michael J. Madison

Articles

This article describes the challenges of data governance in terms of the broader framework of knowledge commons governance, an institutional approach to governing shared knowledge, information, and data resources. Knowledge commons governance highlights the potential for effective community- and collective-based governance of knowledge resources. The article focuses on key concepts within the knowledge commons framework rather than on specific law and public policy questions, directing the attention of researchers and policymakers to critical inquiry regarding relevant social groups and relevant data “things.” Both concepts are key tools for effective data governance.


Provisional Measures In Aid Of Arbitration, Ronald A. Brand Jan 2020

Provisional Measures In Aid Of Arbitration, Ronald A. Brand

Articles

The success of the New York Convention has made arbitration a preferred means of dispute resolution for international commercial transactions. Success in arbitration often depends on the extent to which a party may, in advance, ensure that assets or evidence is secured in advance, or that the other party is required to take steps to secure the status quo. This makes the availability of provisional measures granted by either arbitral tribunals or by courts important to the arbitration process. In this chapter I consider the existing legal framework for such provisional measures in aid of arbitration. I give particular attention ...


Are Literary Agents (Really) Fiduciaries?, Jacqueline Lipton Jul 2019

Are Literary Agents (Really) Fiduciaries?, Jacqueline Lipton

Articles

2018 was a big year for “bad agents” in the publishing world. In July, children’s literature agent Danielle Smith was exposed for lying to her clients about submissions and publication offers. In December, major literary agency Donadio & Olson, which represented a number of bestselling authors, including Chuck Palahnuik (Fight Club), filed for bankruptcy in the wake of an accounting scandal involving their bookkeeper, Darin Webb. Webb had embezzled over $3 million of client funds. Around the same time, Australian literary agent Selwa Anthony lost a battle in the New South Wales Supreme Court involving royalties she owed to her ...


From The Courtroom To The Classroom: How A Litigator Became A Transactional Drafting Professor, Amy Bauer Jan 2019

From The Courtroom To The Classroom: How A Litigator Became A Transactional Drafting Professor, Amy Bauer

Articles

No abstract provided.


The Case For American Muslim Arbitration, Rabea Benhalim Jan 2019

The Case For American Muslim Arbitration, Rabea Benhalim

Articles

This Article advocates for the creation of Muslim arbitral tribunals in the United States. These tribunals would better meet the needs of American Muslims, who currently bring their religious disputes to informal forums that lack transparency. Particularly problematic, these existing forums often apply legal precedent developed in majority-Muslim nations, without taking into consideration the changed circumstances of Muslim living as minorities in the United States. These interpretations of Islamic law can have especially negative impacts on women. American Muslim arbitration tribunals offer the potential to correct these inadequacies. Furthermore, a new arbitral system could better meet the needs of sophisticated ...


No-Hire Provisions In Mcdonald's Franchise Agreements, An Antitrust Violations Or Evidence Of Joint Employer?, Andrele Brutus St. Val Jan 2019

No-Hire Provisions In Mcdonald's Franchise Agreements, An Antitrust Violations Or Evidence Of Joint Employer?, Andrele Brutus St. Val

Articles

As the archetypical franchisor and industry leader, McDonald’s has come under much public and legal scrutiny in recent years for its business practices and its effects on low-wage and unskilled employees. Its no hire provision—which is a term included in its franchise agreements with franchisees that bars franchisees from hiring each others employees—has been found by economist to suppress wages and stagnate growth. This provision is being challenged under antitrust law while its employment practices are being disputed under labor law. McDonald’s is defending its business practices by presenting two seemingly contradictory defenses. This article explores ...


Ostrom Amongst The Machines: Blockchain As A Knowledge Commons, Herminio Bodon, Pedro Bustamante, Marcela Gomez, Prashabnt Krishnamurthy, Michael J. Madison, Ilia Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, Tymofiy Mylovanov, Martin B. H. Weiss Jan 2019

Ostrom Amongst The Machines: Blockchain As A Knowledge Commons, Herminio Bodon, Pedro Bustamante, Marcela Gomez, Prashabnt Krishnamurthy, Michael J. Madison, Ilia Murtazashvili, Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, Tymofiy Mylovanov, Martin B. H. Weiss

Articles

Blockchains are distributed ledger technologies that allow the recording of any data structure, including money, property titles, and contracts. In this paper, we suggest that Hayekian political economy is especially well suited to explain how blockchain emerged, but that Elinor Ostrom’s approach to commons governance is particularly useful to understand why blockchain anarchy is successful. Our central conclusions are that the blockchain can be thought of as a spontaneous order, as Hayek anticipated, as well as a knowledge commons, as Ostrom’s studies of self-governance anticipated.


Is Blockchain The Next Step In The Evolution Chain Of [Market] Intermediaries?, Marcela Gomez, Pedro Bustamante, Martin B. H. Weiss, Ilia Murtazashvili, Michael J. Madison, Wilson Law, Tymofiy Mylovanov, Herminio Bodon, Prashabnt Krishnamurthy Jan 2019

Is Blockchain The Next Step In The Evolution Chain Of [Market] Intermediaries?, Marcela Gomez, Pedro Bustamante, Martin B. H. Weiss, Ilia Murtazashvili, Michael J. Madison, Wilson Law, Tymofiy Mylovanov, Herminio Bodon, Prashabnt Krishnamurthy

Articles

The blockchain is a decentralized solution for handling transactions where we are concerned (among other aspects) with the accuracy and verification of transactions. One of its main promises is to eliminate the need for centralized entities or intermediaries and legal enforcement. Rather than trusting self-interested human intermediaries, the blockchain provides an alternative that relies on transparent computational protocols (Werbach 2018).

In this paper, we delve into this broker-less claim and analyze whether the blockchain needs an intermediary to allow for widespread access to its functionality and whether the blockchain itself is an intermediary. The latter would turn the blockchain into ...


Online Dispute Resolution, Ronald A. Brand Jan 2019

Online Dispute Resolution, Ronald A. Brand

Articles

This chapter was prepared from a presentation given by the author at the 2019 Summer School in Transnational Commercial Law & Technology, jointly sponsored by the University of Verona School of Law and the Center for International Legal Education (CILE) of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. In the paper, I review online dispute resolution (ODR) by considering the following five questions, which I believe help to develop a better understanding of both the concept and the legal framework surrounding it:

A. What is ODR?

B. Who does ODR?

C. What is the legal framework for ODR?

D. What are ...


The Cisg: Applicable Law And Applicable Forums, Ronald A. Brand Jan 2019

The Cisg: Applicable Law And Applicable Forums, Ronald A. Brand

Articles

Despite being in effect for over thirty years, a debate continues on whether the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) has been a success. With 89 Contracting States, it clearly is widely accepted. At the same time, empirical studies show that private parties regularly opt out of its application. It has served as a model for domestic sales law, and as an important educational tool. But has it been a success? In this article I consider that question, and suggests that the scorecard is not yet complete; and that it will perhaps take significantly ...


Harry Flechtner--A True Teacher/Scholar, With Rhythm, Ronald A. Brand Jan 2019

Harry Flechtner--A True Teacher/Scholar, With Rhythm, Ronald A. Brand

Articles

This is a tribute to Professor Emeritus Harry Flechtner upon his retirement from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Professor Flechtner was a leading scholar on the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), a stellar teacher, a musician who used that skill in the classroom as well as the Vienna Konzerthaus, and a genuinely nice person.


Is The License Still The Product?, Robert W. Gomulkiewicz Jan 2018

Is The License Still The Product?, Robert W. Gomulkiewicz

Articles

The Supreme Court rejected the use of patent law to enforce conditional sales contracts in Impression Products v. Lexmark. The case appears to be just another step in the Supreme Court’s ongoing campaign to reset the Federal Circuit’s patent law jurisprudence. However, the decision casts a shadow on cases from all federal circuits that have enforced software licenses for more than 20 years and potentially imperils the business models on which software developers rely to create innovative products and to bring those products to market in a variety of useful ways.

For over two decades, we could say ...


The Evolution Of Entrepreneurial Finance: A New Typology, J. Brad Bernthal Jan 2018

The Evolution Of Entrepreneurial Finance: A New Typology, J. Brad Bernthal

Articles

There has been an explosion in new types of startup finance instruments. Whereas twenty years ago preferred stock dominated the field, startup companies and investors now use at least eight different instruments—six of which have only become widely used in the last decade. Legal scholars have yet to reflect upon the proliferation of instrument types in the aggregate. Notably missing is a way to organize instruments into a common framework that highlights their similarities and differences.

This Article makes four contributions. First, it catalogues the variety of startup investment forms. I describe novel instruments, such as revenue-based financing, which ...


A Case Of Motivated Cultural Cognition: China's Normative Arbitration Of International Business Disputes, Pat K. Chew Jan 2018

A Case Of Motivated Cultural Cognition: China's Normative Arbitration Of International Business Disputes, Pat K. Chew

Articles

The centuries-old conception of judges and arbitrators as highly predictable and objective is being dismantled. In its place, a much more textured, complicated, and challenging understanding of legal decision-making is being constructed. New research on “Motivated Cognition” demonstrates that judges and arbitrators are more human than mechanical, pouring themselves – and the cultural and institutional contexts within which they act – into their decision making. This article extends the emerging model of Motivated Cultural Cognition, a form of Motivated Cognition, to the global stage, investigating arbitration of business disputes between two world-powers: United States and China. Through a first-of-its-kind empirical study of ...


Contracts Ex Machina, Kevin Werbach, Nicolas Cornell Nov 2017

Contracts Ex Machina, Kevin Werbach, Nicolas Cornell

Articles

Smart contracts are self-executing digital transactions using decentralized cryptographic mechanisms for enforcement. They were theorized more than twenty years ago, but the recent development of Bitcoin and blockchain technologies has rekindled excitement about their potential among technologists and industry. Startup companies and major enterprises alike are now developing smart contract solutions for an array of markets, purporting to offer a digital bypass around traditional contract law. For legal scholars, smart contracts pose a significant question: Do smart contracts offer a superior solution to the problems that contract law addresses? In this article, we aim to understand both the potential and ...


Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley Jun 2017

Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley

Articles

For centuries, the duty of loyalty has been the hallowed centerpiece of fiduciary obligation, widely considered one of the few “mandatory” rules of corporate law. That view, however, is no longer true. Beginning in 2000, Delaware dramatically departed from tradition by granting incorporated entities a statutory right to waive a crucial part of the duty of loyalty: the corporate opportunities doctrine. Other states have since followed Delaware’s lead, similarly permitting firms to execute “corporate opportunity waivers.” Surprisingly, more than fifteen years into this reform experiment, no study has attempted to either systematically measure the corporate response to these reforms ...


Who Needs Contracts? Generalized Exchange Within Investment Accelerators, Brad Bernthal Jan 2017

Who Needs Contracts? Generalized Exchange Within Investment Accelerators, Brad Bernthal

Articles

This Article investigates why an expert volunteers on behalf of startups that participate in a novel type of small venture capital (“VC”) fund known as a mentor-driven investment accelerator (“MDIA”). A MDIA organizes a pool of seasoned individuals – called “mentors” – to help new companies. An obvi- ous organizational strategy would be to contract with mentors. Mentors in- stead voluntarily assist. Legal studies of norm-based exchanges do not explain what this Article calls the “mentorship conundrum”—i.e., the puzzling moti- vation of a mentor to volunteer within otherwise for-profit environments. This Article is the first to bridge the insights of ...


"Make Him An Offer He Can't Refuse"-- Mezzanatto Waivers As Lynchpin Of Prosecutorial Overreach, Christopher B. Mueller Jan 2017

"Make Him An Offer He Can't Refuse"-- Mezzanatto Waivers As Lynchpin Of Prosecutorial Overreach, Christopher B. Mueller

Articles

Plea bargaining is the dominant means of disposing of criminal charges in the United States, in both state and federal courts. This administrative mechanism has become a system that is grossly abusive of individual rights, leading to many well-known maladies of the criminal justice system, which include overcharging, overincarceration, convictions on charges that would likely fail at trial, and even conviction of “factually innocent” persons. Instrumental in the abuses of plea bargaining is the so-called Mezzanatto waiver, which takes its name from a 1995 Supreme Court decision that approved the practice of getting defendants to agree that anything they say ...


Ip Things As Boundary Objects: The Case Of The Copyright Work, Michael J. Madison Jan 2017

Ip Things As Boundary Objects: The Case Of The Copyright Work, Michael J. Madison

Articles

My goal is to explore the meanings and functions of the objects of intellectual property: the work of authorship (or copyright work) in copyright, the invention in patent, and the mark and the sign in trademark. This paper takes up the example of the copyright work.

It is usually argued that the central challenge in understanding the work is to develop a sensible method for appreciating its boundaries. Those boundaries, conventionally understood as the metaphorical "metes and bounds" of the work, might be established by deferring to the intention of the author, or by searching for authorship (creativity or originality ...


Opening The Red Door To Chinese Arbitrations: An Empirical Analysis Of Cietac Cases (1990-2000), Pat K. Chew Jan 2017

Opening The Red Door To Chinese Arbitrations: An Empirical Analysis Of Cietac Cases (1990-2000), Pat K. Chew

Articles

This article reveals evidence-based details of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) arbitral proceedings (1990-2000), allowing unprecedented insights into Chinese international business arbitration. It begins by confirming the prominence of Chinese foreign trade and foreign investment in the global economy and CIETAC’s critical role in securing that prominence. Among other results, the empirical study of CIETAC awards finds: (i) the parties were of diverse nationalities, most commonly with disputes between a Chinese party and a foreign party; and (ii) the majority of cases were sales and trade disputes, although a sizable number were investment/joint venture ...


A Complainant-Oriented Approach To Unconscionability And Contract Law, Nicholas Cornell Jun 2016

A Complainant-Oriented Approach To Unconscionability And Contract Law, Nicholas Cornell

Articles

This Article draws attention to a conceptual point that has been overlooked in recent discussions about the theoretical foundations of contract law. I argue that, rather than enforcing the obligations of promises, contract law concerns complaints against promissory wrongs. This conceptual distinction is easy to miss. If one assumes that complaints arise whenever an obligation has been violated, then the distinction does not seem meaningful. I show, however, that an obligation can be breached without giving rise to a valid complaint. This Article illustrates the importance of this conceptual distinction by focusing first on the doctrine of substantive unconscionability. I ...


Understanding Noncompetition Agreements: The 2014 Noncompete Survey Project, J. J. Prescott, Norman D. Bishara, Evan Starr Apr 2016

Understanding Noncompetition Agreements: The 2014 Noncompete Survey Project, J. J. Prescott, Norman D. Bishara, Evan Starr

Articles

In recent years, scholars and policymakers have devoted considerable attention to the potential consequences of employment noncompetition agreements and to whether legislatures ought to reform the laws that govern the enforcement of these controversial contractual provisions. Unfortunately, much of this interest—and the content of proposed reforms—derives from anecdotal tales of burdensome noncompetes among low-wage workers and from scholarship that is either limited to slivers of the population (across all studies, less than 1%) or relies on strong assumptions about the incidence of noncompetition agreements. Better understanding of the use of noncompetes and effective noncompetition law reform requires a ...


With Marriage On The Decline And Cohabitation On The Rise, What About Marital Rights For Unmarried Partners?, Lawrence W. Waggoner Oct 2015

With Marriage On The Decline And Cohabitation On The Rise, What About Marital Rights For Unmarried Partners?, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

This article draws attention to a cultural shift in the formation of families that has been and is taking place in this country and in the developed world. Part I uses recent government data to trace the decline of marriage and the rise of cohabitation in the United States. Between 2000 and 2010, the population grew by 9.71 %, but the husband and wife households only grew by 3.7%, while the unmarried couple households grew by 41.4%. A counter-intuitive finding is that the early 21st century data show little correlation between the marriage rate and economic conditions. Because ...


Mandatory Arbitration In Consumer Finance And Investor Contracts, Michael S. Barr Oct 2015

Mandatory Arbitration In Consumer Finance And Investor Contracts, Michael S. Barr

Articles

Mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses are pervasive in consumer financial and investor contracts—for credit cards, bank accounts, auto loans, broker-dealer services, and many others. These clauses often ill serve households. Consumers are typically presented with contracts on a “take it or leave it” basis, with no ability to negotiate over terms. Arbitration provisions are often not clearly disclosed, and in any event are not salient for consumers, who do not focus on the importance of the provision in the event that a dispute over the contract later arises, and who may misforecast the likelihood of being in such a dispute ...


Robots In The Home: What Will We Have Agreed To?, Margot E. Kaminski Jan 2015

Robots In The Home: What Will We Have Agreed To?, Margot E. Kaminski

Articles

A new technology can expose the cracks in legal doctrine. Sometimes a technology resists analogy. Sometimes, through analogies, it reveals inconsistencies in the law, or basic flaws in framing, or in the fit between different parts of the legal system. This Essay addresses robots in the home, and what they reveal about U.S. privacy law. Household robots might not themselves uproot U.S. privacy law, but they will reveal its inconsistencies, and show where it is most likely to fracture. Just as drones are serving as a legislative “privacy catalyst” — encouraging the enactment of new privacy laws as people ...