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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Texas Gulf Sulphur And The Genesis Of Corporate Liability Under Rule 10b-5, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson Oct 2018

Texas Gulf Sulphur And The Genesis Of Corporate Liability Under Rule 10b-5, Adam C. Pritchard, Robert B. Thompson

Articles

This Essay explores the seminal role played by SEC v. Texas Gulf Sulphur Co. in establishing Rule 10b-5’s use to create a remedy against corporations for misstatements made by their officers. The question of the corporation’s liability for private damages loomed large for the Second Circuit judges in Texas Gulf Sulphur, even though that question was not directly at issue in an SEC action for injunctive relief. The judges considered both, construing narrowly “in connection with the purchase or sale of any security,” and the requisite state of mind required for violating Rule 10b-5. We explore the choices ...


Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard Nov 2017

Piling On? An Empirical Study Of Parallel Derivative Suits, Stephen J. Choi, Jessica Erickson, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Using a sample of all companies named as defendants in securities class actions between July 1, 2005 and December 31, 2008, we study parallel suits relying on state corporate law arising out of the same allegations as the securities class actions. We test several ways that parallel suits may add value to a securities class action. Most parallel suits target cases involving obvious indicia of wrongdoing. Moreover, we find that although a modest percentage of parallel suits are filed first, over 80 percent are filed after a securities class action (termed “follow-on” parallel suits). We find that parallel suits and ...


In Defense Of The Restatement Of Liability Insurance Law, Tom Baker, Kyle D. Logue Apr 2017

In Defense Of The Restatement Of Liability Insurance Law, Tom Baker, Kyle D. Logue

Articles

The importance of liability law to the American system of justice, and to the US economy in general, are well known. Somewhat less well known, at least among non-lawyers, is the corresponding centrality of liability insurance. For most non-contractual legal claims for damages that are brought against individuals or firms, there is some form of liability insurance coverage. Such coverage, provided by state-regulated insurance companies, ranges from auto and homeowners’ policies (sold to consumers throughout the country) to commercial general liability policies (sold to businesses of all sizes) to professional liability policies of various sorts (including Directors and Officers coverage ...


Class Action Myopia, Maureen Carroll Feb 2016

Class Action Myopia, Maureen Carroll

Articles

Over the past two decades, courts and commentators have often treated the class action as though it were a monolith, limiting their analysis to the particular class form that joins together a large number of claims for monetary relief This Article argues that the myopic focus on the aggregated-damages class action has led to undertheorization of the other class-action subtypes, which serve far different purposes and have far different effects, and has allowed the ongoing backlash against the aggregated-damages class action to affect the other subtypes in an undifferentiated manner. The failure to confine this backlash to its intended target ...


Halliburton Ii: A Loser's History, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2015

Halliburton Ii: A Loser's History, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

The Supreme Court was presented with an opportunity to bring fundamental reform to securities class actions last term in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P John Fund, Inc.. The Court ducked that opportunity, passing the buck to Congress to undo the mess that the Court had created a quarter century prior in Basic Inc. v. Levinson. Congress's history in dealing with securities class actions suggests that reform is unlikely to come from the legislature anytime soon. The Securities and Exchange Commission appears to be satisfied with the status quo as well. With these institutional actors resisting reform, corporations and their ...


What Does Tort Law Do? What Can It Do?, Scott Hershovitz Jan 2012

What Does Tort Law Do? What Can It Do?, Scott Hershovitz

Articles

It’s not hard to describe what tort law does. As a first approximation, we might say that tort empowers those who suffer certain sorts of injuries or invasions to seek remedies from those who brought about those injuries or invasions. The challenge is to explain why tort does that, or to explain what tort is trying to do when it does that. After all, it is not obvious that we should have an institution specially concerned with the injuries and invasions that count as torts.


Is Tort Law A Form Of Institutionalized Revenge, Gabriel S. Mendlow Jan 2012

Is Tort Law A Form Of Institutionalized Revenge, Gabriel S. Mendlow

Articles

Viewed in a certain light, tort law serves primarily to give injury victims a means of imposing onerous burdens on their injurers. Through the remedy of injunction, tort law enables victims to restrict their injurers' freedom of action, and through the remedies of damages and restitution, tort law enables victims to deprive their injurers of money and other things of value. Moreover, tort law distinctively grants victims themselves the power to impose these burdens, rather than reserving prosecutorial discretion to the state. These features of tort law invite the charge that tort law is essentially a form of institutionalized revenge ...


Mandatory Arbitration: Why It's Better Than It Looks, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2008

Mandatory Arbitration: Why It's Better Than It Looks, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

"Mandatory arbitration" as used here means that employees must agree as a condition of employment to arbitrate all legal disputes with their employer, including statutory claims, rather than take them to court. The Supreme Court has upheld the validity of such agreements on the grounds that they merely provide for a change of forum and not a loss of substantive rights. Opponents contend this wrongfully deprives employees of the right to a jury trial and other statutory procedural benefits. Various empirical studies indicate, however, that employees similarly situated do about as well in arbitration as in court actions, or even ...


Stoneridge Investment Partners V. Scientific-Atlanta: The Political Economy Of Securities Class Action Reform, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2008

Stoneridge Investment Partners V. Scientific-Atlanta: The Political Economy Of Securities Class Action Reform, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

I begin in Part II by explaining the wrong turn that the Court took in Basic. The Basic Court misunderstood the function of the reliance element and its relation to the question of damages. As a result, the securities class action regime established in Basic threatens draconian sanctions with limited deterrent benefit. Part III then summarizes the cases leading up to Stoneridge and analyzes the Court's reasoning in that case. In Stoneridge, like the decisions interpreting the reliance requirement of Rule 10b-5 that came before it, the Court emphasized policy implications. Sometimes policy implications are invoked to broaden the ...


Operationalizing Deterrence Claims Management (In Hopsitals, A Large Retailer, And Jails And Prisons), Margo Schlanger Jan 2008

Operationalizing Deterrence Claims Management (In Hopsitals, A Large Retailer, And Jails And Prisons), Margo Schlanger

Articles

The theory that the prospect of liability for damages deters risky behavior has been developed in countless articles and books. The literature is far sparser, however, on how deterrence is operationalized. And prior work slights an equally important effect of damage actions, to incentivize claims management in addition to harm-reduction responses that are cost- rather than liabilityminimizing. This article works in the intersection of these two understudied areas, focusing on claims management steps taken by frequently sued organizations, and opening a window into the black box of deterrence to see how those steps may end up serving harm-reduction purposes as ...


Requiem For Section 1983, Paul D. Reingold Jan 2008

Requiem For Section 1983, Paul D. Reingold

Articles

Section 1983 no longer serves as a remedial statute for the people most in need of its protection. Those who have suffered a violation of their civil rights at the hands of state authorities, but who cannot afford a lawyer because they have only modest damages or seek only equitable remedies, are foreclosed from relief because lawyers shun their cases. Today civil rights plaintiffs are treated the same as ordinary tort plaintiffs by the private bar: without high damages, civil rights plaintiffs are denied access to the courts because no one will represent them. Congress understood that civil rights laws ...


Hedonic Damages, Hedonic Adaptation, And Disability, Samuel R. Bagenstos, Margo Schlanger Jan 2007

Hedonic Damages, Hedonic Adaptation, And Disability, Samuel R. Bagenstos, Margo Schlanger

Articles

A number of states recognize hedonic damages as a separate category of recovery in tort and tort-like actions. Others consider lost enjoyment of life as an aspect of what are sometimes termed "disability" damages-damages for physical or mental impairment. Many other states permit juries to take account of lost enjoyment of life in setting compensation for pain and suffering or other forms of general damages. In all these jurisdictions, disability has loomed large. And the (explicit or implicit) view of disability is often one of tragic dependency and helplessness. As we show in Part I below, lawyers seeking hedonic damages ...


Second Best Damage Action Deterrence, Margo Schlanger Jan 2006

Second Best Damage Action Deterrence, Margo Schlanger

Articles

Potential defendants faced with the prospect of tort or tort-like damage actions can reduce their liability exposure in a number of ways. Prior scholarship has dwelled primarily on the possibility that they may respond to the threat of liability by augmenting the amount of care they take.1 Defendants (I limit myself to defendants for simplicity) will increase their expenditures on care, so the theory goes, when those expenditures yield sufficient liability-reducing dividends; more care decreases liability exposure by simultaneously making it less likely that the actors will be found to have behaved tortiously in the event of an accident ...


Contracts Without Consent: Exploring A New Basis For Contractual Liability, Omri Ben-Shahar Jan 2004

Contracts Without Consent: Exploring A New Basis For Contractual Liability, Omri Ben-Shahar

Articles

This Essay explores an alternative to one of the pillars of contract law, that obligations arise only when there is "mutual assent "--when the parties reach consensus over the terms of the transaction. It explores a principle of "no-retraction," under which each party is obligated to terms it manifested and can retract only with some liability. In contrast to the all-or-nothing nature of the mutual assent regime, where preliminary forms of consent are either full-blown contracts or create no obligation, under the no-retraction regime, obligations emerge gradually, as the positions of the negotiating parties draw closer. Further, the no-retraction liability ...


A Taxing Settlement, Hanoch Dagan, James J. White Jan 2003

A Taxing Settlement, Hanoch Dagan, James J. White

Articles

The following essay is based on the talk "Government, Citizens, and Injurious Industries: A Case Study of the Tobacco Litigation," delivered by Hanoch Dagan last May to the Detroit Chapter of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists, and on the article "Governments, Citizens, and Injurious Industries," by Dagan and James J. White, '62, which appeared in 75.2 New York University Law Review 254-428 (May 2000). The authors hold conflicting view on the underlying issue of this topic: tobacco company product liability. Professor Dagan holds the position that tobacco companies are liable for harm done by their products ...


Inmate Litigation, Margo Schlanger Jan 2003

Inmate Litigation, Margo Schlanger

Articles

In 1995, prison and jail inmates brought about 40,000 new lawsuits in federal court nearly a fifth of the federal civil docket. Court records evidence a success rate for inmate plaintiffs under fifteen percent. These statistics highlight two qualities long associated with the inmate docket: its volume and the low rate of plaintiffs' success. Then, in 1996, Congress enacted the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), which dramatically altered the litigation landscape, restricting inmates' access to federal court in a variety of ways. This Article examines inmate litigation before and after the PLRA. Looking first at the litigation process itself ...


Who Cares?, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2002

Who Cares?, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Jim Cox and Randall Thomas have identified an interesting phenomenon in their contribution to this symposium: institutional investors seem to be systematically "leaving money on the table" in securities fraud class actions. For someone who approaches legal questions from an economic perspective, the initial response to this claim is disbelief. As the joke goes, economists do not bend over to pick up twenty-dollar bills on the street. The economist knows that the twenty dollars must be an illusion. In a world of rational actors, someone else already would have picked up that twenty-dollar bill, so the effort spent bending over ...


Reverberations From The Collision Of Tort And Warranty (Products Liability Law Symposium In Memory Of Professor Gary T. Schwartz), James J. White Jan 2002

Reverberations From The Collision Of Tort And Warranty (Products Liability Law Symposium In Memory Of Professor Gary T. Schwartz), James J. White

Articles

In his famous Stanford Law Review article, When Worlds Collide,' Professor Marc Franklin foretold the troubles for American law in the impending collision of the tort of strict liability with the warranty of merchantability.2 We daily suffer the reverberations from that collision as courts struggle with the proper application of strict tort liability and breach of warranty in products liability cases. Lawyers who have not studied Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.) are surprised to learn that virtually every buyer who has a strict tort claim for an injury caused by a defective product also ...


Governments, Citizens, And Injurious Industries, Hanoch Dagan, James J. White Jan 2000

Governments, Citizens, And Injurious Industries, Hanoch Dagan, James J. White

Articles

In this Article, Professors Hanoch Dagan and James White study the most recent challenge raised by mass torts litigation: the interference of governments with the bilateral relationship between citizens and injurious industries. Using the tobacco settlement as their case study, Dagan and White explore the important benefits and the grave dangers of recognizing governments' entitlement to reimbursement for costs they have incurred in preventing or ameliorating their citizens' injuries. They further demonstrate that the current law can help capture these benefits and guard against the entailing risks, showing how subrogation law can serve as the legal foundation of the governments ...


The Secrecy Interest In Contract Law, Omri Ben-Shahar, Lisa Bernstein Jan 2000

The Secrecy Interest In Contract Law, Omri Ben-Shahar, Lisa Bernstein

Articles

A long and distinguished line of law-and-economics articles has established that in many circumstances fully compensatory expectation damages are a desirable remedy for breach of contract because they induce both efficient performance and efficient breach. The expectation measure, which seeks to put the breached-against party in the position she would have been in had the contract been performed, has, therefore, rightly been chosen as the dominant contract default rule. It does a far better job of regulating breach-or-perform incentives than its leading competitors-the restitution measure, the reliance measure, and specific performance. This Essay does not directly take issue with the ...


An Essay On Texas V. Lesage, Christina B. Whitman Jan 2000

An Essay On Texas V. Lesage, Christina B. Whitman

Articles

When I was invited to participate in this symposium, I was asked to discuss whether the causation defense developed in Mt. Healthy City School District Board of Education v. Doyle applied to cases challenging state action under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. As I argue below, it seems clear that Mt. Healthy does apply to equal protection cases. The Supreme Court explicitly so held last November in Texas v. Lesage. But the implications of Lesage go beyond questions of causation. The opinion suggests that the Court may be rethinking (or ignoring) its promise in Carey v. Piphus ...


Markets As Monitors: A Proposal To Replace Class Actions With Exchanges As Securities Fraud Enforcers, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 1999

Markets As Monitors: A Proposal To Replace Class Actions With Exchanges As Securities Fraud Enforcers, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Fraud in the securities markets has been a focus of legislative reform in recent years. Corporations-especially those in the high-technology industry-have complained that they are being unfairly targeted by plaintiffs' lawyers in class action securities fraud lawsuits. The corporations' complaints led to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("Reform Act"). The Reform Act attempted to reduce meritless litigation against corporate issuers by erecting a series of procedural barriers to the filing of securities class actions. Plaintiffs' attorneys warned that the Reform Act and the resulting decrease in securities class actions would leave corporate fraud unchecked and deprive defrauded ...


Corporate Judgement Proofing: A Response To Lynn Lopucki's 'The Death Of Liability', James J. White Jan 1998

Corporate Judgement Proofing: A Response To Lynn Lopucki's 'The Death Of Liability', James J. White

Articles

In "The Death of Liability" Professor Lynn M. LoPucki argues that American businesses are rendering themselves judgment proof.- Using the metaphor of a poker game, Professor LoPucki claims American businesses are increasingly able to participate in the poker game without putting "chips in the pot." He argues that it has become easier for American companies to play the game without having chips in the pot because of the ease with which a modern debtor can grant secured credit, because of the growth of the peculiar form of sale known as asset securitization, because foreign havens for secreting assets are now ...


Why Civil Cases Go To Trial: Strategic Bargaining And The Desire For Vindication, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1997

Why Civil Cases Go To Trial: Strategic Bargaining And The Desire For Vindication, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

When negotiations break down and a dispute cannot be settled, attorneys commonly blame their adversaries, often questioning their ethics or their judgment. After interviewing many attorneys, we have come to believe much of the criticism is directed at strategic moves in negotiation. But strategic ploys are not the only reason dispute resolution fails. Rather, our research also suggest that a genuine desire for vindication through trial or other formal process may be very significant in some types of cases where bargaining breaks down.


Going To Trial: A Rare Throw Of The Die, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1997

Going To Trial: A Rare Throw Of The Die, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

If it is true, as we often hear, that we are one of the most litigious societies on earth, it is because of our propensity to sue, not our affinity for trials. Of the hundreds of thousands of civil lawsuits that are filed each year in America, the great majority are settled; of those that are not settled, most are ultimately dismissed by the plaintiffs or by the courts; only a few percent are tried to a jury or a judge. This is no accident. We prefer settlements and have designed a system of civil justice that embodies and expresses ...


The Cathedral' At Twenty-Five: Citations And Impressions, James E. Krier, Stewart J. Schwab Jan 1997

The Cathedral' At Twenty-Five: Citations And Impressions, James E. Krier, Stewart J. Schwab

Articles

It was twenty-five years ago that Guido Calabresi and Douglas Melamed published their article on property rules, liability rules, and inalienability' Calabresi, then a law professor, later a dean, is now a federal judge. Melamed, formerly a student of Calabresi's, is now a seasoned Washington attorney. Their article-which, thanks to its subtitle, we shall call The Cathedral-has had a remarkable influence on our own thinking, as we tried to show in a recent paper2 This is not the place to rehash what we said then, but a summary might be in order. First, we demonstrated that the conventional wisdom ...


Emphasizing The Constitutional In Constitutional Torts (Symposium On Section 1983), Christina B. Whitman Jan 1997

Emphasizing The Constitutional In Constitutional Torts (Symposium On Section 1983), Christina B. Whitman

Articles

It has been surprisingly difficult to extricate constitutional litigation from torts. In this Article I would like to resist once more' the idea that tort doctrines and tort categories provide a useful model for constitutional decision-making. When it comes to deciding the merits of a constitutional claim, torts is a distraction. That is the case whether torts serves as a positive model for the constitutional cause of action or as an alternative to be shunned. As part of this argument, I also question the claim2 that Monroe v. Pape,3 the 1961 case that opened the door for damages relief ...


Form Contracts Under Revised Article 2 (Symposium: Consumer Protection And The Uniform Commercial Code), James J. White Jan 1997

Form Contracts Under Revised Article 2 (Symposium: Consumer Protection And The Uniform Commercial Code), James J. White

Articles

The current draft of section 2-206 in Revised Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code ("UCC") entitled "Consumer Contract: Standard Form"1 presents a unique and threatening challenge to the drafters of consumer form contracts. In earlier drafts, one part of the section applied to both to commercial contracts and consumer contracts. It required that "one manifest assent" to any form contract, commercial or consumer, in order for it to be binding.2 Bowing to commercial opposition in the most recent version, the drafters have omitted all reference to commercial contracts. As the section stands, it applies only to consumer ...


Don't Try: Civil Jury Verdicts In A System Geared To Settlement, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud Jan 1996

Don't Try: Civil Jury Verdicts In A System Geared To Settlement, Samuel R. Gross, Kent D. Syverud

Articles

If it is true, as we often hear, that we are one of the most litigious societies on earth, it is because of our propensity to sue, not our affinity for trials. Of the hundreds of thousands of civil lawsuits that are filed each year in America, the great majority are settled; of those that are not settled, most are ultimately dismissed by the plaintiffs or by the courts; only a few percent are tried to a jury or a judge. This is no accident. We prefer settlements and have designed a system of civil justice that embodies and expresses ...