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Full-Text Articles in Law

Expert Evidence, Samuel R. Gross Jan 1991

Expert Evidence, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

It seems that the use of expert witnesses in common law courts has always been troublesome. In his Treatise on the Law of Evidence, first published in 1848, Judge John Pitt Taylor describes several classes of witnesses whose testimony should be viewed with caution, including: enslaved people (which accounts for "the lamentable neglect of truth, which is evinced by most of the nations of India, by the subjects of the Czar, and by many of the peasantry in Ireland"); women (because they are more susceptible to "an innate vain love of the marvelous"); and "foreigners and others ... living out of ...


Commentary: Meeting The Financial Needs Of Children, David L. Chambers Jan 1991

Commentary: Meeting The Financial Needs Of Children, David L. Chambers

Articles

Those who drafted the equitable distribution statutes adopted in New York and elsewhere wanted to help assure women and children an acceptable level of financial well-being after divorce. Marsha Garrison has shown that divorcing couples rarely possess enough resources to attain financial well-being even when they live together as a couple, let alone when they live in two separate households. She has also shown that, even in the cases of couples with substantial assets, the broad and general language of the equitable distribution statute did not lead (and could not have been expected to lead) to consistent distributions that assured ...


Putting The Dormancy Doctrine Out Of Its Misery, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1991

Putting The Dormancy Doctrine Out Of Its Misery, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

Justice Antonin Scalia has put on the academic table the question of whether the doctrine of the dormant commerce clause should be abandoned. That is a significant contribution, for this is an issue that should be debated thoroughly. But Justice Scalia's campaign against the doctrine has been notably ambivalent. On the one hand, he argues that the doctrine lacks justification in constitutional text, history, and theory.1 On the other hand, assertedly feeling the pressure of stare decisis,2 he has gone along with, and even led, applications of the doctrine, although within narrow limits.3 In this essay ...


Improving The Procedure For Resolving Hearsay Issues, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1991

Improving The Procedure For Resolving Hearsay Issues, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

In this article, I propose two changes in the way hearsay issues are usually resolved. First, in some circumstances courts should divide the burdens of producing the declarant-for example, by imposing the physical burden on the proponent and the financial burden on the opponent. Second, no matter how the declarant is produced as a witness, she should ordinarily testify as part of the proponent's case, subject to cross-examination by the opponent. If the declarant does become a witness, the admissibility of her out-of-court statement should not be resolved until her current testimony about the underlying events is received.


Character Impeachment Evidence: Psycho-Bayesian (!?) Analysis And A Proposed Overhaul, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1991

Character Impeachment Evidence: Psycho-Bayesian (!?) Analysis And A Proposed Overhaul, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

Typically, arguments for restricting character impeachment evidence are based in part on the premise that prior crimes, at least violent crimes, generally indicate little about a person's veracity. The argument advanced here against character impeachment of criminal defendants does not rely on that premise; in fact, it accepts the premise that prior antisocial behavior, even not involving dishonesty, often does indicate a good deal about a person's general truthtelling inclination. A careful analysis of the situation of the accused on the witness stand-rather than an easy assumption about irrelevance-leads to this Article's broad conclusion that character impeachment ...


Of Outlaws, Christians, Horsemeat, And Writing: Uniform Laws And Saga Iceland, William I. Miller Jan 1991

Of Outlaws, Christians, Horsemeat, And Writing: Uniform Laws And Saga Iceland, William I. Miller

Articles

Our word law is a loanword from Old Norse.1 It makes its earliest appearances in Old English manuscripts in the late tenth century. At that time the Old English word for law was, believe it or not, æ, written as a digraph called "ash." Now most readers, myself included, tend to experience anxiety when we confront a ligatured vowel like ae and so we untie it as a prelude to getting rid of it altogether: we turn an aesthete2 into an aesthete before finally humiliating him (or her) as an esthete, all to resolve our nervousness. King Æthelred the ...


The Government And Union Democracy, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1991

The Government And Union Democracy, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

The desirability of union democracy is generally regarded today as a self-evident proposition. In this Symposium Clyde Summers treats it as a "fundamental premise." But there have always been reputable scholars who would support the thesis, in greater or lesser degree, that "democracy is as inappropriate within the international headquarters of the UAW as it is in the front office of General Motors."


When Is There A Constitutional 'Right To Die'? When Is There No Constitutional 'Right To Live'?, Yale Kamisar Jan 1991

When Is There A Constitutional 'Right To Die'? When Is There No Constitutional 'Right To Live'?, Yale Kamisar

Articles

When I am invited to participate in conferences on the "right to die," I suspect that the organizers of such gatherings expect me to fill what might be called the " 'slippery slope' slot" on the program or, more generally, to articulate the "conservative" position on this controversial matter. These expectations are hardly surprising. The "right to die" is a euphemism for what almost everybody used to call a form of euthanasia-" passive" or "negative" or "indirect" euthanasia-and some thirty years ago, in the course of raising various objections to proposed euthanasia legislation, I advanced the "thin edge of the wedge ...


Comment On Preliminary Report On Freedom Of Expression And Campus Harassment Codes, Terrance Sandalow Jan 1991

Comment On Preliminary Report On Freedom Of Expression And Campus Harassment Codes, Terrance Sandalow

Articles

Campus harassment codes pose an unprecedented problem for the AAUP, not only because the issues of academic freedom they raise are novel, but also because the academic community is itself deeply divided over those issues. Historically, the major assaults upon academic freedom have come from outside the academy--from politicians, trustees, and donors who have sought to limit inquiry and restrict the expression of unpopular views. Ideas about academic freedom have been shaped in the course of repelling these assaults and in constructing barricades that will safeguard the freedoms to teach and to learn that are at the center of the ...


Who Should Live-Or Die? Who Should Decide?, Yale Kamisar Jan 1991

Who Should Live-Or Die? Who Should Decide?, Yale Kamisar

Articles

TRIAL asked Professor Kamisar questions on legal and ethical issues surrounding the right to die, a subject attracting increasing interest across the country and around the world.


Rethinking Alimony: Marital Decisions And Moral Discourse, Carl E. Schneider Jan 1991

Rethinking Alimony: Marital Decisions And Moral Discourse, Carl E. Schneider

Articles

The riddle of alimony is why one former spouse should have to support the other when no-fault divorce seems to establish the principle that marriage need not be for life and when governmental regulation of intimate relationships is conventionally condemned. Perhaps the most intelligent and probing recent attempt to solve that riddle is Ira Ellman's The Theory of Alimony. In this article, I have two purposes. The first is to ask some questions about Professor Ellman's admirable inquiry into this intricate and intractable problem. These questions are not intended to disprove "the theory." Professor Ellman has, at the ...


To Tell What We Know Or Wait For Godot?, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 1991

To Tell What We Know Or Wait For Godot?, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

Professor Elliott raises two questions about the American Psychological Association's practice of submitting amicus briefs to the courts. First, are our data sufficiently valid, consistent, and generalizable to be applicable to the real world issues? Second, are amicus briefs adequate to communicate scientific findings? The first of these is not a general question, but must be addressed anew each time the Association considers a new issue. An evaluation of the quality and sufficiency of scientific knowledge about racial discrimination, for example, tells us nothing at all about the quality and sufficiency of scientific knowledge about sexual abuse. "Are the ...


Getting To No: A Study Of Settlement Negotiations And The Selection Of Cases For Trial, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1991

Getting To No: A Study Of Settlement Negotiations And The Selection Of Cases For Trial, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

A trial is a failure. Although we celebrate it as the centerpiece of our system of justice, we know that trial is not only an uncommon method of resolving disputes, but a disfavored one. With some notable exceptions, lawyers, judges, and commentators agree that pretrial settlement is almost always cheaper, faster, and better than trial. Much of our civil procedure is justified by the desire to promote settlement and avoid trial. More important, the nature of our civil process drives parties to settle so as to avoid the costs, delays, and uncertainties of trial, and, in many cases, to agree ...


Puzzling Through Burke, Donald J. Herzog Jan 1991

Puzzling Through Burke, Donald J. Herzog

Articles

Here's an utterly innocent question: What was Edmund Burke up to, anyway? What does all that quirky brilliance, all that majestically tangled prose, amount to? If Burke is a source of profound political wisdom, as generations of conservatives have tirelessly assured us, what does he have to say? If he's an important political theorist - and I don't think we should allow the conventionally received canon, no more sacrosanct than our teachers' reading lists, to determine our judgment on such matters - what is his theory?


Authority And Responsibility: The Jurisprudence Of Deference, Joseph Vining Jan 1991

Authority And Responsibility: The Jurisprudence Of Deference, Joseph Vining

Articles

he connection between authority and responsibility is such that the one cannot be thought of without the other. In legal method, close reading and rereading of a text marks it as an authoritative text; the presupposition of mind which is necessary to close reading is presupposition of a responsible mind. In the working of institutions that embody authority, the disposition to follow the decisions and statements of a person responsible for a matter inevitably rests upon a presupposition that the decisions and statements followed are those of the responsible person. As that presupposition fades with bureaucratization of decision and writing ...


William J. Pierce, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1991

William J. Pierce, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Bill Pierce gets things done. When I became Dean of this Law School in mid-1971, Bill had already been on the job as Associate Dean for several months. My predecessor, Frank Allen, upon learning that Bill would be my choice for that position, had decided to appoint him immediately. There was no sense, Frank explained, in postponing the opportunity for the Law School to take advantage of Bill's formidable practical talents. I soon learned what that meant.


William J. Pierce, Lawrence W. Waggoner Jan 1991

William J. Pierce, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

Betty and Bill Pierce sit next to my wife, Lynne, and me at Michigan football games. But you know what? As often as not, neither Betty nor Bill is there. They are in Denver, or Atlanta, or Chicago, or Philadelphia, or Washington, or Boston, or Los Angeles, or some other city where one or more drafting committees of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (the Conference) are meeting. Betty and Bill have been doing this at least since 1969, when Bill became the executive director of the Conference. Before taking that position, he had served as the ...


The Multiple-Marriage Society And Spousal Rights Under The Revised Uniform Probate Code, Lawrence W. Waggoner Jan 1991

The Multiple-Marriage Society And Spousal Rights Under The Revised Uniform Probate Code, Lawrence W. Waggoner

Articles

Nearly everyone knows about the transformation of the American family that has taken place over the last couple of decades. The changes, from the latter half of the 1970s into the present, comprise one of the great events of our age. Articles on one aspect or another of the phenomenon frequent the popular press, and a special edition of Newsweek was recently devoted to the topic.' The traditional "Leave It To Beaver" family no longer prevails in American society. To be sure, families consisting of a wage-earning husband, a homemaking and child-rearing wife, and their two joint children still exist ...


Ex Proprio Vigore, James J. White Jan 1991

Ex Proprio Vigore, James J. White

Articles

The National Conference of the Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) is a legislature in every way but one. It drafts uniform acts, debates them, passes them, and promulgates them, but that passage and promulgation do not make these uniform acts law over any citizen of any state. These acts become the law of the various states only ex proprio vigore - only if their own vitality influences the legislators of the various states to pass them.


Absolute Priority And New Value, James J. White Jan 1991

Absolute Priority And New Value, James J. White

Articles

This paper is based on a lecture given on December 6, 1990 ast the Second Annual Robert E. Krinock Lecture. The absolute priority rule is a specific application of the broader doctrine that reorganization plans must be "fair and equitable." Both have their origins in the railroad reorganization cases of the early 20th century. The general doctrine is now codified in section 1129(b)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code and the rule is codified in subsection 1129(b)(2)(B)(ii) which provides that the debtor must pay a nonconsenting class of unsecured creditors in full or "the holder of ...