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St. John's University School of Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

High Anxiety: Racism, The Law, And Legal Education, Elayne E. Greenberg Jan 2023

High Anxiety: Racism, The Law, And Legal Education, Elayne E. Greenberg

Faculty Publications

Conspicuously absent from the United States’ ongoing discourse about its racist history is a more honest discussion about the individual and personal stressors that are evoked in people when they talk about racism. What if they got it wrong? The fear of being cancelled - the public shaming for remarks that are deemed racist - has had a chilling effect on having meaningful conversations about racism. What lost opportunities!

This paper moves this discussion into the law school context. How might law schools rethink their law school curricula to more accurately represent the role systemic racism has played in shaping …


Humanizing Virtual Dispute Resolution, Elayne E. Greenberg Jan 2023

Humanizing Virtual Dispute Resolution, Elayne E. Greenberg

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

How might neutrals and advocates foster interpersonal dynamics when conducting arbitrations and mediations virtually, consistent with the ethical obligations of each profession and the ethical underpinnings of each process?

Virtual dispute resolution for commercial dispute resolution has become the new normal. Yet, the dispute resolution listserves are still peppered with posts from mediators and arbitrators who, although publicly extolling their own commitments to their impartiality and neutrality, are also simultaneously voicing their strong preferences for conducting their dispute resolution processes in person. According to these neutrals, they are unable to attain the same results when the process is conducted …


Hats For Sale: Efficiency, Economics, And Process Integrity, Elayne E. Greenberg Jan 2023

Hats For Sale: Efficiency, Economics, And Process Integrity, Elayne E. Greenberg

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

What are the ethical considerations for a mediator when a neutral is asked to be both the mediator and arbitrator on the same case? Some parties and their lawyers opt to select one neutral to serve as both the mediator and arbitrator on the same case, believing it will be a more efficient and cost-effective way to resolve their dispute. After all, the mediator already knows the facts of the case. Why waste time and money getting another neutral up to speed? This design choice, however, may collide with the mediator ethical mandates of party self-determination, neutral impartiality, confidentiality, …


The Exit Theory Of Judicial Appraisal, William J. Carney, Keith Sharfman Jan 2023

The Exit Theory Of Judicial Appraisal, William J. Carney, Keith Sharfman

Faculty Publications

For many years, we and other commentators have observed the problem with allowing judges wide discretion to fashion appraisal awards to dissenting shareholders based on widely divergent, expert valuation evidence submitted by the litigating parties. The results of this discretionary approach to valuation have been to make appraisal litigation less predictable and therefore more costly and likely. While this has been beneficial to professionals who profit from corporate valuation litigation, it has been harmful to shareholders, making deals costlier and less likely to be completed.

In this Article, we propose to end the problem of discretionary judicial valuation by tracing …


The Empty Promise Of The Fourth Amendment In The Family Regulation System, Anna Arons Jan 2023

The Empty Promise Of The Fourth Amendment In The Family Regulation System, Anna Arons

Faculty Publications

Each year, state agents search the homes of hundreds of thousands of families across the United States under the auspices of the family regulation system. Through these searches—required elements of investigations into allegations of child maltreatment in virtually every jurisdiction—state agents invade the home, the most protected space in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. Accordingly, federal courts agree that the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement applies to family regulation home searches. But almost universally, the abstract recognition of Fourth Amendment protections runs up against a concrete expectation on the ground that state actors should have easy and expansive access to families’ homes. Legislatures …


Didn’T I Cover That In Class? Low-Stakes Technique Of Quizzing To The Rescue, Robin A. Boyle Jan 2023

Didn’T I Cover That In Class? Low-Stakes Technique Of Quizzing To The Rescue, Robin A. Boyle

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

We all have had those moments when students’ papers do not reflect an important lesson covered in class. For instance, if teaching persuasive writing, you have likely instructed your students to use a full sentence for their point headings in their briefs, only to find phrases where sentences should have been used. Consequently, you find yourself making the same written comments on papers or verbal comments in conferences with students, beginning with, “As I had instructed in class…” In his groundbreaking book, Experiential Learning, researcher and theorist David Kolb introduced the concept of “deep learning,” which can remedy …


Get Out: Structural Racism And Academic Terror, Renee Nicole Allen Jan 2023

Get Out: Structural Racism And Academic Terror, Renee Nicole Allen

Faculty Publications

Released in 2017, Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed film Get Out explores the horrors of racism. The film’s plot involves the murder and appropriation of Black bodies for the benefit of wealthy, white people. After luring Black people to their country home, a white family uses hypnosis to paralyze victims and send them to the Sunken Place where screams go unheard. Black bodies are auctioned off to the highest bidder; the winner’s brain is transplanted into the prized Black body. Black victims are rendered passengers in their own bodies so that white inhabitants can obtain physical advantages and immortality.

Like Get …


Mysterizing Religion, Marc O. Degirolami Jan 2023

Mysterizing Religion, Marc O. Degirolami

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

A mystery of faith is a truth of religion that escapes human understanding. The mysteries of religion are not truths that human beings happen not to know, or truths that they could know with sufficient study and application, but instead truths that they cannot know in the nature of things. In the Letter to the Colossians, St. Paul writes that as a Christian apostle, his holy office is to “bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past.” Note that Paul does not say that his task is to make …


Of Systems Thinking And Straw Men, Kate Klonick Jan 2023

Of Systems Thinking And Straw Men, Kate Klonick

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

In Content Moderation as Systems Thinking, Professor Evelyn Douek, as the title suggests, endorses an approach to the people, rules, and processes governing online speech as one not of anecdote and doctrine but of systems thinking. She constructs this concept as a novel and superior understanding of the problems of online-speech governance as compared to those existent in what she calls the “standard [scholarly] picture of content moderation.” This standard picture of content moderation — which is roughly five years old — is “outdated and incomplete,” she argues. It is preoccupied with anecdotal, high-profile adjudications in which platforms …


Swimming With Broad Strokes: Publishing And Presenting Beyond The Lw Discipline, Robin Boyle Laisure, Stephen Paskey Apr 2022

Swimming With Broad Strokes: Publishing And Presenting Beyond The Lw Discipline, Robin Boyle Laisure, Stephen Paskey

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

In our greater skills community, we share ideas, borrow and tweak theories from other disciplines, and create new approaches. It is understandable how our community may expand pedagogy to the brim of legal writing or explore topics outside of the field. Skills professors are, by nature, a creative collective who teach from the heart and enjoy writing and thinking. Our publishing pursuits can be boundless.

Both Authors of this Article share mutual experiences of dipping our toes in a pond beyond the legal writing continent. Our writing experiences have influenced our teaching, bringing these broader perspectives to our legal …


The Roots Of Collapse: Imposing Constitutional Governance, Catherine Baylin Duryea Jan 2022

The Roots Of Collapse: Imposing Constitutional Governance, Catherine Baylin Duryea

Faculty Publications

The foundational assumption of constitutional governance poses a conundrum for contemporary state-builders: a constitution heavily influenced by foreigners does not represent the views of the governed. Can a modern state-building effort foster democratic institutions when the new government reflects foreign? Nowhere was this tension more apparent than in Afghanistan, where the United States and the United Nations were heavily involved in drafting the 2004 Constitution. They shaped the process from the initial framework to the final, frenzied approval. Foreigners were engaged at both the procedural level—determining how the negotiations would occur and who would participate—and at the substantive level—providing input …


The Obligations And Regulatory Challenges Of Online Broker-Dealers And Trading Platforms, Christine Lazaro, Teresa J. Verges Jan 2022

The Obligations And Regulatory Challenges Of Online Broker-Dealers And Trading Platforms, Christine Lazaro, Teresa J. Verges

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

Investing has been evolving for decades. On “Mayday” in 1975, the SEC abolished fixed commissions, changing the face of the brokerage industry. A few months later, Charles Schwab opened its first offices, and discount brokerages were born. By the mid-1980s, there were over 600 discount brokers operating. By 1990, discount brokerage firms captured just under than 10% of the market, although Charles Schwab captured 40% of the discount brokerage market. Throughout the 1990s, new firms entered the market, including E*Trade and AmeriTrade. Online trading became more prevalent; by 1999 25% of all trades occurred online. The term “day trader” …


An Unintended Abolition: Family Regulation During The Covid-19 Crisis, Anna Arons Jan 2022

An Unintended Abolition: Family Regulation During The Covid-19 Crisis, Anna Arons

Faculty Publications

In a typical year, New York City’s vast family regulation system, fueled by an army of mandated reporters, investigates tens of thousands of reports of child neglect and abuse, policing almost exclusively poor Black and Latinx families even as the government provides those families extremely limited support. When the City shut down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this system shrunk in almost every conceivable way as mandated reporters retreated, caseworkers adopted less intrusive investigatory tactics, and family courts constrained their operations. The number of reports fell, the number of cases filed in court fell, and the number of …


Mobilizing Universalism: The Origins Of Human Rights, Catherine Baylin Duryea Jan 2022

Mobilizing Universalism: The Origins Of Human Rights, Catherine Baylin Duryea

Faculty Publications

Human rights law claims to be universal, setting rights apart from paradigms based on shared religion, culture, or nationality. This claim of universality was a significant factor in the proliferation of human rights NGOs in the 1970s and remains an important source of legitimacy. The universality of human rights has been challenged and contested since they were first discussed at the United Nations (UN). Today, much of the debate centers around the origins of human rights-particularly whether they arose out of Western traditions or whether they have more global roots. For too long, discussions about universality have ignored the practice …


The Unstoppable Spread Of English In The Global University, Rosemary C. Salomone Jan 2022

The Unstoppable Spread Of English In The Global University, Rosemary C. Salomone

Faculty Publications

As English has spread across higher education worldwide, it has generated ongoing debate and a wealth of scholarship raising academic and national concerns, but with little, if any, pause or retreat on policies and practices. This article examines that puzzling disconnect within the broader framework of the rise of English as the dominant lingua franca, its historical grounding, its social and economic implications, and its diverse course within Europe and postcolonial countries.


Zooming In On Neutrals’ Implicit ‘Isms, Elayne E. Greenberg Jan 2022

Zooming In On Neutrals’ Implicit ‘Isms, Elayne E. Greenberg

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

Video conferencing, extolled for its economic and efficiency benefits, has now become an accepted option in the “new normal” of dispute resolution practice. Consequently, our professional discussions about video conferencing have advanced from sharing the mechanics of “how to” conduct an arbitration or mediation on Zoom to more nuanced explorations about the appropriate use of video conferencing. This column contributes to this exploration by questioning how dispute resolution processes conducted via video conferencing might trigger the implicit biases of arbitrators and mediators and compromise a neutral’s ethical obligation to be impartial. When a neutral conducts their dispute resolution processes …


Blinding Justice And Video Conferencing?, Elayne E. Greenberg Jan 2022

Blinding Justice And Video Conferencing?, Elayne E. Greenberg

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

How might dispute resolution processes for civil matters conducted on video conferencing be designed to reduce racial justice inequities and increase Black participants’ sense of procedural justice? In March 2020, responding to Covid-19 pandemic health concerns, all in-person, court-connected, and private dispute resolution processes shifted to video conferencing. Proponents of video conferencing have long touted how video conferencing would increase access to justice by providing an efficient, cost-effective, and time-saving alternative to in-person appearances. An unexplored question in March 2020 was how video conferencing would affect racial justice inequities. Black individuals and other marginalized groups were already disproportionately suffering …


The New Thoreaus, Mark L. Movsesian Jan 2022

The New Thoreaus, Mark L. Movsesian

Faculty Publications

Fifty years ago, in Wisconsin v. Yoder, the Supreme Court famously indicated that “religion” denotes a communal rather than a purely individual phenomenon. An organized group like the Amish would qualify as religious, the Court wrote, but a solitary seeker like the nineteenth century transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau would not. At the time, the question was mostly peripheral; hardly any Americans claimed to have their own, personal religions that would make it difficult for them to comply with civil law. In the intervening decades, though, American religion has changed. One-fifth of us—roughly sixty-six million people—now claim, like Thoreau, to …


Whiteness As Guilt: Attacking Critical Race Theory To Redeem The Racial Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow Jan 2022

Whiteness As Guilt: Attacking Critical Race Theory To Redeem The Racial Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow

Faculty Publications

The year of racial justice awakening following George Floyd’s 2020 murder have been accompanied by a rise in attacks on Black thought, including Critical Race Theory, led by far-right activists who are invested in maintenance of a white supremacist status quo in the United States. This Essay uses artist Kara Walker’s 2014 Sugar Sphinx to contextualize the critiques on Critical Race Theory and other manifestations of Black intellectualism as a campaign for perpetual absolution of white guilt, and even redemption of white supremacy, that is openly embraced by white nationalists but also secretly nourished—and cherished—by the white liberal elite.


Pandora’S Loot Box, Sheldon Evans Jan 2022

Pandora’S Loot Box, Sheldon Evans

Faculty Publications

The emerging trend of loot boxes in video game platforms continues to expand the shifting boundaries between the real and virtual world and presents unique insights into the impact each world should have on the other. Borrowing their design from the gambling industry, loot boxes operate as a hybrid between slot machines and trading cards. A consumer pays real-world money to buy a virtual box without knowing its contents. Upon opening the box, the consumer receives a virtual good that may be of great value, but more commonly is of little or no value.

This Article contributes a novel theory …


Reverse Confusion And The Justification Of Trademark Protection, Jeremy N. Sheff Jan 2022

Reverse Confusion And The Justification Of Trademark Protection, Jeremy N. Sheff

Faculty Publications

Theories of private law are dominated by welfarist normative frameworks, and trademark law is no exception. One such framework—the “search costs” theory associated with the Chicago School of law and economics—has long been the primary accepted justification for trademark rights. However, this theory fails to account for numerous features of actual trademark doctrine, as earlier scholarship has shown. This Article demonstrates how one underexamined area of trademark law—reverse confusion liability— is a similarly poor fit with the predictions and prescriptions of conventional economic theory. Plausible economic theories of trademark rights would either refuse to impose liability in reverse confusion cases …


The New Disestablishments, Marc O. Degirolami Jan 2022

The New Disestablishments, Marc O. Degirolami

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

The individual has the autonomy of choice respecting matters of sex, gender, and procreation. The findings of science as established by the knowledge class, together with the policy preferences of that class in this domain, should be imposed on everyone. These propositions reflect two central creeds of what this Article calls the "new establishment." They, or statements like them, are the basis for policies across the nation touching many walks of life, from business to education, media, advertising, science, healthcare and medicine, and more.

Whether these propositions constitute a "religious" establishment turns out to be an irrelevant distraction. To …


The Emergency Next Time, Noa Ben-Asher Jan 2022

The Emergency Next Time, Noa Ben-Asher

Faculty Publications

This Article offers a new conceptual framework to understand the connection between law and violence in emergencies. It is by now well-established that governments often commit state violence in times of national security crisis by implementing excessive emergency measures. The Article calls this type of legal violence “Emergency-Affirming Violence.” But Emergency Violence can also be committed through governmental non-action. This type of violence, which this Article calls, “Emergency-Denying Violence,” has manifested in the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Article offers a taxonomy to better understand the phenomenon of Emergency Violence. Using 9/11 and COVID-19 as examples, the Article proposes …


Countering The Big Lie: The Role Of The Courts In The Post Truth World, Edward D. Cavanagh Jan 2022

Countering The Big Lie: The Role Of The Courts In The Post Truth World, Edward D. Cavanagh

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

This Essay analyzes the role of the courts in handling Trump’s election lie. It argues that the courts were certainly correct in giving short shrift to Trump’s lawsuits, but further that the courts should have done more than simply dismiss Trump’s claims. Had the courts aggressively utilized existing tools to identify and punish prosecution of baseless claims, including Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the courts’ inherent powers to control proceedings before them, the Trump election lie might well have been put to rest immediately before it could take root among die-hard Trump supporters. This …


The Unintended Consequence Of Settlement Fever And The Rule Of Law, Elayne E. Greenberg Jan 2022

The Unintended Consequence Of Settlement Fever And The Rule Of Law, Elayne E. Greenberg

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

Welcome to the final column of a three-part series about how settlement fever has influenced our justice system as it evolves into settlement-centric culture. This column will focus on how the rule of law, once touted as the primary benchmark of justice, has now taken a secondary role to private ordering when shaping some negotiated and mediated settlements.


Law, Religion, And The Covid Crisis, Mark L. Movsesian Jan 2022

Law, Religion, And The Covid Crisis, Mark L. Movsesian

Faculty Publications

This essay explores judicial responses to legal restrictions on worship during the COVID-19 pandemic and draws two lessons, one comparative and one relating specifically to U.S. law. As a comparative matter, courts across the globe have approached the problem in essentially the same way, through intuition and balancing. This has been the case regardless of what formal test applies, the proportionality test outside the United States, which expressly calls for judges to weigh the relative costs and benefits of a restriction, or the Employment Division v. Smith test inside the United States, which rejects judicial line-drawing and balancing in favor …


Whiteness As Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow Jan 2022

Whiteness As Contract, Marissa Jackson Sow

Faculty Publications

2020 forced scholars, policymakers, and activists alike to grapple with the impact of “twin pandemics”—the COVID-19 pandemic, which has devastated Black and Indigenous communities, and the scourge of structural and physical state violence against those same communities—on American society. As atrocious acts of anti-Black violence and harassment by law enforcement officers and white civilians are captured on recording devices, the gap between Black people’s human and civil rights and their living conditions has become readily apparent. Less visible human rights abuses camouflaged as private commercial matters, and thus out of the reach of the state, are also increasingly exposed as …


Establishment’S Political Priority To Free Exercise, Marc O. Degirolami Jan 2022

Establishment’S Political Priority To Free Exercise, Marc O. Degirolami

Faculty Publications

Americans are beset by disagreement about the First Amendment. Progressive scholars are attacking the venerable liberal view that First Amendment rights must not be constricted to secure communal, political benefits. To prioritize free speech rights, they say, reflects an unjust inflation of individual interest over our common political commitments. These disagreements afflict the Religion Clauses as well. Critics claim that religious exemption has become more important than the values of disestablishment that define the polity. Free exercise exemption, they argue, has subordinated establishment.

This Article contests these views. The fundamental rules and norms constituting the political regime—what the Article calls …


Interest-Based Incorporation: Statutory Realism Exploring Federalism, Delegation, And Democratic Design, Sheldon Evans Jan 2022

Interest-Based Incorporation: Statutory Realism Exploring Federalism, Delegation, And Democratic Design, Sheldon Evans

Faculty Publications

Statutory interpretation is a unique legal field that appreciates fiction as much as fact. For years, judges and scholars have acknowledged that canons of interpretation are often based on erudite assumptions of how Congress drafts federal statutes. But a recent surge in legal realism has shown just how erroneous many of these assumptions are. Scholars have created a robust study of congressional practices that challenge many formalist canons of interpretation that are divorced from how Congress thinks about, drafts, and enacts federal statutes. This conversation, however, has yet to confront statutory incorporation, which describes when Congress incorporates state law into …


Employment Status For "Essential Workers": The Case For Gig Worker Parity, Miriam A. Cherry Jan 2022

Employment Status For "Essential Workers": The Case For Gig Worker Parity, Miriam A. Cherry

Faculty Publications

The continuing misclassification of gig workers as independent contractors has been problematic for over a decade. Several misconceptions have contributed to this marginalization of on-demand workers: technology that often obscures the work that is being performed; the view that platform work is a side hustle; or that platform work exists only for customer convenience or frivolous requests. During the coronavirus pandemic these myths about gig work were turned upside down as on-demand workers were recognized for their efforts and labeled essential workers. With that recognition came newly-awarded benefits, like pandemic unemployment assistance and paid sick leave. As such, the events …