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Full-Text Articles in Law

Rethinking Party Autonomy In Trust Law, Stewart E. Sterk May 2023

Rethinking Party Autonomy In Trust Law, Stewart E. Sterk

Articles

No abstract provided.


Third-Party Releases Under The Bankruptcy Code After Purdue Pharma, Jeanne L. Schroeder, David G. Carlson Jan 2023

Third-Party Releases Under The Bankruptcy Code After Purdue Pharma, Jeanne L. Schroeder, David G. Carlson

Articles

The biggest bankruptcy case ever (as measured by unsecured claims against a debtor-in-possession) is In re Purdue Pharma, LLC. The bankruptcy court affirmed a plan discharging the Sackler family (equity owners and often officers of Purdue) of all “derivative” claims that belonged to the debtor-in-possession. The settlement was bought for a substantial sum payable over time by the Sacklers. A debtor-in-possession is the sole owner of a derivative claim and has the power to bind all the creditors to a settlement. Under the Bankruptcy Code, a plan discharging derivative claims is confirmable. In fact, as we will, show, a great …


Generalized Creditors And Particularized Creditors: Against A Unified Theory Of Standing In Bankruptcy, David G. Carlson, Jeanne L. Schroeder Oct 2022

Generalized Creditors And Particularized Creditors: Against A Unified Theory Of Standing In Bankruptcy, David G. Carlson, Jeanne L. Schroeder

Articles

Courts have struggled toward a unified theory to explain when the trustee has exclusive jurisdiction to sue a third party for harms done to a bankrupt debtor, and when creditors have exclusive jurisdiction to sue the third party. Courts have proclaimed that when every creditor can sue the third party, then none of them can, and the right belongs solely to the trustee. Creditor rights are “generalized.” If only a proper subset of creditors can sue the third party, then the trustee is not able to subrogate to the subset. Such creditors are “particularized.” This paper proclaims the test a …


Property Law For The Ages, Michael C. Pollack, Lior Jacob Strahilevitz Nov 2021

Property Law For The Ages, Michael C. Pollack, Lior Jacob Strahilevitz

Articles

Within the next forty years, the number of Americans over age sixty-five is projected to nearly double. This seismic demographic shift will necessitate a reckoning in several areas of law and policy, but property law is especially unprepared. Built primarily for young and middle-aged white men, the common law of property has been critiqued for decades for the ways in which it oppresses or simply leaves behind people based on their race, sex, Native heritage, and more. This Article contributes a new focus on property law’s treatment of people based on their advanced age. Burdened by higher relocation costs, more …


Dead Men (And Women) Should Tell Tales: Narrative, Intent, And The Construction Of Wills, Karen J. Sneddon Apr 2021

Dead Men (And Women) Should Tell Tales: Narrative, Intent, And The Construction Of Wills, Karen J. Sneddon

Articles

The will is one of the most personal legal documents that an individual may ever create. The will is written in first person, present tense. Yet most wills reveal little of the person, the personality, or the personal. The inclusion of the testator’s relationships with people, entities, and property does little to convey the testator’s wishes, hopes, or fears. Some may assert that as a formal legal document, the will should be impersonal and be built using standardized, formulaic phrasing. Not only does such position overstate the accuracy of standardized, formulaic phrasing, but such position also ignores the foundational principle …


Fraudulent Transfers: Void And Voidable, David G. Carlson Jan 2021

Fraudulent Transfers: Void And Voidable, David G. Carlson

Articles

This Article explores the civil procedure attendant to private fraudulent transfer litigation (primarily outside the context of bankruptcy). In such litigation, courts ponder whether fraudulent transfers are void or voidable. In fact, they are both simultaneously! According to the theory "at law," a fraudulent transfer is "void." That is, a creditor with a judgment could simply levy the property from a fraudulent grantee as if the grantee had no property rights. This Article questions the constitutional viability of this ancient attitude. Meanwhile, "equity" viewed the transfer as voidable. The grantee gets title, but the title might be set aside. The …


Fraying The Knot: Marital Property, Probate, And Practical Problems With Tribal Bans, Suzianne D. Painter-Thorne Apr 2020

Fraying The Knot: Marital Property, Probate, And Practical Problems With Tribal Bans, Suzianne D. Painter-Thorne

Articles

In the summer of 2015, marriage equality advocates celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which struck down state prohibitions on same-sex marriage.The Court found that “[t]he right of same-sex couples to marry . . . is part of the liberty promised by the Fourteenth Amendment.” Two years earlier, the Court had struck down parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), finding that the federal government could not discriminate against same-sex married partners. With these two decisions, the Court ensured that the marriages of same-sex couples would be recognized by the federal government and in …


Giving Back A Fraudulent Transfer: A Defense To Liability?, David G. Carlson Jan 2020

Giving Back A Fraudulent Transfer: A Defense To Liability?, David G. Carlson

Articles

In Whitlock v. Lowe (In re Deberry) (5th Cir. 2019), the Fifth Circuit court of appeals found it obvious that if a transferee gives back fraudulently transferred funds (which the debtor then dissipates), the transferee has a complete defense to liability to the transferor’s bankruptcy trustee. This puts the Fifth Circuit at odds with the Sixth and Seventh Circuits, where the prepetition give-back counted as no defense. This article concludes that a more nuanced position should mediate between these extremes, based on an “innocent donee” defense retrieved from Nineteenth Century precedent. The article emphasizes that if bad faith transferees for …


What Can The Apple Teach The Orange? Lessons U.S. Land Trusts Can Learn From The National Trust In The U.K., Jessica Owley, Lauren Gwin, Sally K. Fairfax Oct 2019

What Can The Apple Teach The Orange? Lessons U.S. Land Trusts Can Learn From The National Trust In The U.K., Jessica Owley, Lauren Gwin, Sally K. Fairfax

Articles

The National Trust in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland is one of the oldest and most revered private land conservation organizations in the world. While the private land conservation movements in the United States and the United Kingdom began at a similar time and with similar tools, conservation attitudes and methods in the two countries diverged. Today, the National Trust dominates land conservation in the U.K. while the strength of the U.S. movement is the energy of over 1,500 smaller organizations operating at different scales across the country. Despite the differences, this project looks to the National Trust in England …


E-Notice And Comment On Due Process, Sergio J. Campos Sep 2019

E-Notice And Comment On Due Process, Sergio J. Campos

Articles

No abstract provided.


Strengthening The Passivity Default, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox Jun 2019

Strengthening The Passivity Default, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox

Articles

In The Prudence of Passivity, Bryon Harmon and Laura Fisher (hereafter HF) argue that "passive management become the default approach for the investment of trust funds, to be abandoned only when circumstances specifically dictate the use of active management."' In this comment we argue that their thesis could be strengthened (i) by more clearly distinguishing between default law and default investment practices, (ii) by more clearly articulating their favored altering rules.


Alpha Duties: The Search For Excess Returns And Appropriate Fiduciary Duties, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox Mar 2019

Alpha Duties: The Search For Excess Returns And Appropriate Fiduciary Duties, Ian Ayres, Edward Fox

Articles

Modern finance theory and investment practice have shifted toward “passive investing.” The current consensus is that most savers should invest in mutual funds or ETFs that are (i) well-diversified, (ii) low-cost, and (iii) expose their portfolios to age-appropriate stock market risk. The law governing trustees, investment advisers, broker–dealers, 401(k) plan managers, and other investment fiduciaries has evolved to push them gently toward this consensus. But these laws still provide broad scope for fiduciaries to recommend that clients invest instead in specific assets that they believe will produce “alpha” by outperforming the market. Seeking alpha comes at a cost, however, in …


Voice, Strength, And No-Contest Clauses, Karen J. Sneddon Jan 2019

Voice, Strength, And No-Contest Clauses, Karen J. Sneddon

Articles

The will is a unilateral written disposition of probate property to be effective upon the will-maker's death. To have any legal effect, however, the will-maker's family, beneficiaries, and personal representatives, along with the probate court, need to implement the will provisions. To buttress the strength of the will, the language of the will is definitive, certain, and strong. But when the will relies upon standardized language, the voice of the will-maker is flattened or even non-existent. The absence of the willmaker's voice may jeopardize the legal effect of the will.

This Article argues that the over-reliance on "time-tested" formulaic language …


Probate Funding And The Litigation Funding Debate, Jeremy Kidd Jan 2019

Probate Funding And The Litigation Funding Debate, Jeremy Kidd

Articles

Third-party funding of legal claims is becoming more common, and increasingly more controversial. Whether in the legislative arena or in the courts, the fight over whether and how independent parties might provide funding to litigants has become heated. The fight now threatens to spill over into the probate realm, where funders have begun purchasing probate rights from putative heirs. These probate funding transactions share many characteristics with broader litigation funding but also differ in important respects. The meager existing literature tends to address the issue in a pre-biased and methodologically unsound way, making it impossible to properly assess the nature …


How Neuroscience Technology Is Changing Our Understanding Of Brain Injury, Vegetative States And The Law, Glenn R. Butterton Jan 2019

How Neuroscience Technology Is Changing Our Understanding Of Brain Injury, Vegetative States And The Law, Glenn R. Butterton

Articles

The author examines clinical studies that use neuroscience technology to study patients in Vegetative States. The studies indicate that some of the patients are, in fact, conscious. The author suggests that this finding is a matter of considerable practical importance for the drafting and execution of end-of-life protocols such as Advance Directives and Living Wills. He recommends that statutes, and other guidance used by patients, caregivers, medical institutions, family members and others to draft and interpret such Directives and Wills, be revised or amended to take account of these results.


Janus As A Client: Ethical Obligations When Your Client Plays Two Roles In One Fiduciary Estate, Karen Boxx, Philip N. Jones Jan 2019

Janus As A Client: Ethical Obligations When Your Client Plays Two Roles In One Fiduciary Estate, Karen Boxx, Philip N. Jones

Articles

Is it possible for an attorney to have a conflict of interest when the attorney represents a trustee who is also a beneficiary of the trust? Is that situation similar to having two clients? What if the trustee is not only a beneficiary, but also a claimant against the trust? Since the trustee has three roles to play, is that situation similar to an attorney having three clients? The issue presented by these potential conflicts was one of the most vexing for the drafters of the Fifth Edition of the ACTEC Commentaries. The range of possible approaches goes from a …


Clarifying The “Probate Lending” Debate: A Response To Professors Horton And Chandrasekher, Jeremy Kidd Jan 2018

Clarifying The “Probate Lending” Debate: A Response To Professors Horton And Chandrasekher, Jeremy Kidd

Articles

The debate over third-party funding of legal claims just got more interesting. The debate already had plot twists, such as free-market scholars lining up in opposition to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and alongside proplaintiff scholars who they oppose in tort reform debates. Now add to the mix a recent paper by Professors Horton and Chandrasekher that introduced an entirely new angle to the debate: funding of probate disputes. Now that this parallel area of funding has been identified, comparing and contrasting probate funding with litigation funding should illuminate the incentives that funders/recipients face in both scenarios. By pointing out …


Fraudulent Conveyances Masquerading As Asset Protection Trusts, James J. White Jan 2018

Fraudulent Conveyances Masquerading As Asset Protection Trusts, James J. White

Articles

Viewed with a dispassionate but slightly skeptical eye, transfers to asset protection trusts are fraudulent conveyances pure and simple. I think so and the evidence points that way.

The asset protection trust is a simulacrum of the well-known and thoroughly conventional mode of holding assets for a “beneficiary” by a “trustee” under the terms of an elaborate document. Trusts, of course, are widely used in estate planning and elsewhere in circumstances where one person, the settlor, wishes to make assets available to another on the settlor’s terms; a parent might use a trust to put aside assets for a minor …


Medicaid Planning In Idaho, John A. Miller Jan 2016

Medicaid Planning In Idaho, John A. Miller

Articles

No abstract provided.


Comments On Proposed Treasury Regulations Defining Terms Relating To Marital Status, Anthony C. Infanti, The American Bar Association Dec 2015

Comments On Proposed Treasury Regulations Defining Terms Relating To Marital Status, Anthony C. Infanti, The American Bar Association

Articles

These comments respond to proposed Treasury Regulations defining terms relating to marital status in the Internal Revenue Code following the Supreme Court's decision in the Windsor and Obergefell cases. The comments applaud the Internal Revenue Service for reading gendered terms relating to marital status in a gender-neutral fashion. For a number of reasons, however, the comments recommend that the final regulations omit the proposed rule for determining an individual’s marital status and, in its place, codify the current deference to local law in determining marital status for federal tax purposes. Most importantly, the comments further recommend that the final regulations …


How The Ali's Restatement Third Of Property Is Influencing The Law Of Trusts And Estates, Lawrence W. Waggoner May 2015

How The Ali's Restatement Third Of Property Is Influencing The Law Of Trusts And Estates, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

Restatements, once limited to restating existing law, are now substantially devoted to law reform. The ALI's website states its law-reform policy thus: "The American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law." In 2014, the Brooklyn Law Review published a symposium issue on Restatements of the Law. A paper in that symposium argued against the ALI's law-reform policy. The authors specifically speculated that the reformist rather than restatist character of the recently completed Restatement (Third) of Property: Wills and Other Donative Transfers (Property Restatement) has "very …


Not Your Mother's Will: Gender, Language, And Wills, Karen J. Sneddon Jan 2015

Not Your Mother's Will: Gender, Language, And Wills, Karen J. Sneddon

Articles

“Boys will be boys, but girls must be young ladies” is an echoing patriarchal refrain from the past. Formal equality has not produced equality in all areas, as demonstrated by the continuing wage gap. Gender bias lingers and can be identified in language. This Article focuses on Wills, one of the oldest forms of legal documents, to explore the intersection of gender and language. With conceptual antecedents in pre-history, written Wills found in Ancient Egyptian tombs embody the core characteristics of modern Wills. The past endows the drafting and implementation of Wills with a wealth of traditions and experiences. The …


Correcting The Record Regarding Therestatement Of Property’S Slayer Rulein The Brooklyn Law Review’Ssymposium Issue On Restatements, Lawrence W. Waggoner, John H. Langbein Jan 2015

Correcting The Record Regarding Therestatement Of Property’S Slayer Rulein The Brooklyn Law Review’Ssymposium Issue On Restatements, Lawrence W. Waggoner, John H. Langbein

Articles

In 2014, the Brooklyn Law Review published a symposium issue on Restatements of the Law. The organizer of the symposium, Professor Anita Bernstein, did not afford an opportunity for Restatement reporters to comment on the articles. The organizer did invite the Director of the American Law Institute, Lance Liebman, to contribute an essay commenting on the symposium as a whole. Liebman’s essay—unintentionally no doubt—misstated the position that we took in formulating the slayer rule for the Restatement (Third) of Property: Wills and Other Donative Transfers. Liebman’s misstatement—that we recommended that the Institute adopt a rule allowing a murderer to inherit …


Revisiting The Revolution: Reintegrating The Wealth Transmission System, Melanie B. Leslie, Stewart E. Sterk Jan 2015

Revisiting The Revolution: Reintegrating The Wealth Transmission System, Melanie B. Leslie, Stewart E. Sterk

Articles

Thirty years ago, John Langbein published "The Nonprobate Revolution and the Future of Succession." The article celebrated testators' newfound ability to avoid the expense and delay of the probate court system by holding assets in a variety of non-probate devices, such as retirement and bank accounts with beneficiary designations and revocable trusts. Langbein high-lighted problems the revolution might generate and predicted how they might be resolved. Since then, significant problems have indeed developed. First, wills law doctrines designed to effectuate intent of testators have not been universally extended to non-probate transfers. Second, the fragmentation of the wealth transmission process has …


Medicaid Planning For Long-Term Care: California Style, John A. Miller Jan 2015

Medicaid Planning For Long-Term Care: California Style, John A. Miller

Articles

No abstract provided.


The Creeping Federalization Of Wealth-Transfer Law, Lawrence W. Waggoner Jul 2014

The Creeping Federalization Of Wealth-Transfer Law, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

This article appears in a symposium issue published by the Vanderbilt Law Review on The Role of Federal Law in Private Wealth Transfer. Federal authorities have little experience in making law that governs wealth transfers, because that function is traditionally within the province of state law. Although state wealth-transfer law has undergone significant modernization over the last few decades, all three branches of the federal government—legislative, judicial, and executive—have increasingly gone their own way. Lack of experience and, in many cases, lack of knowledge on the part of federal authorities have not dissuaded them from undermining well-considered state law. The …


Memento Mori: Deaths And Wills, Karen J. Sneddon Jan 2014

Memento Mori: Deaths And Wills, Karen J. Sneddon

Articles

Death. The mere mention of the word sends a shiver down the spine or provokes a nervous giggle. Modern reactions to death range from avoidance, as shown by the abundance of death euphemisms, to fascination, as shown by the number of movies and television shows centered on death, including Twilight's vampires and The Walking Dead's zombies. Estate planning is the legal environment in which a person con.fronts his or her mortality and participates in the formulation of his or her legacy. Contextualizing the experience as a memento mori experience promotes the function of the estate planning process, specifically …


A Critical Research Agenda For Wills, Trusts And Estates, Bridget J. Crawford, Anthony C. Infanti Jan 2014

A Critical Research Agenda For Wills, Trusts And Estates, Bridget J. Crawford, Anthony C. Infanti

Articles

The law of wills, trusts, and estates could benefit from consideration of its development and impact on people of color; women of all colors; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals; low-income and poor individuals; the disabled; and nontraditional families. One can measure the law’s commitment to justice and equality by understanding the impact on these historically disempowered groups of the laws of intestacy, spousal rights, child protection, will formalities, will contests, and will construction; the creation, operation and construction of trusts; fiduciary administration; creditors’ rights; asset protection; nonprobate transfers; planning for incapacity and death; and wealth transfer taxation. This essay …


Rethinking Erisa's Promise Of Income Security In A World Of 401(K) Plans, Lawrence A. Frolik Jan 2014

Rethinking Erisa's Promise Of Income Security In A World Of 401(K) Plans, Lawrence A. Frolik

Articles

This article discusses the evolution of retirement income funds from defined benefit packages to 401(k) and IRA accounts and how the changing dynamic has reshaped the way retirees think about post-retirement income. The article outlines the mechanics of 401(k) accounts and rollover IRAs in the post-retirement period and presents questions about the ability of retirees to successfully address the complex issues relating to investment choices including, what entity they entrust their savings to, the volume and source of distributions, and long-term sufficiency planning. The article suggests that an increase in the use of annuities may help to resolve some of …


Shakespeare In The Classroom: How An Annual Student Production Of King Lear Adds Dimension To Teaching Trusts And Estates, Karen E. Boxx Jan 2014

Shakespeare In The Classroom: How An Annual Student Production Of King Lear Adds Dimension To Teaching Trusts And Estates, Karen E. Boxx

Articles

I always begin the first day of my Trusts and Estates course by discussing the reasons for taking the class. While I note that some students may take the class to help in passing the bar exam or because family members have already asked them to draft wills, my list of reasons instead include: (1) exposure to the fiduciary relationship; (2) the real life ethical dilemmas faced by the lawyers; (3) learning to read and interpret state statutes; and (4) consideration of how law responds to societal changes and governs human relationships. This last reason is critical: Trusts and Estates …