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Full-Text Articles in Law

Taxing Choices, Tessa R. Davis Apr 2022

Taxing Choices, Tessa R. Davis

Faculty Publications

Tax has a choice problem. At all stages of the making of tax, choice plays a role. Lawmakers consider how tax will impact the range and appeal of choices available to an individual. Scholars critique how tax may drive an individual toward or away from a given choice. Courts craft stories of how an individual had either free or deeply constrained choice, using their perception of the facts to guide their interpretation of tax law. And yet for all the seeming relevance of choice to tax, we have no clear definition of what we mean when we talk about choice …


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.


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 …


A Paradigm Shift In Comparative Institutional Governance: The Role Of Contract In Business Relationships And Cost/Benefit Analysis, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2021

A Paradigm Shift In Comparative Institutional Governance: The Role Of Contract In Business Relationships And Cost/Benefit Analysis, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

Stewart Macaulay’s research on the ways that Wisconsin manufacturers transact debunked the centrality of contract law by revealing a disinclination to consult contract documents or invoke legal sanctions. This research revolutionized contracts scholarship, highlighting that a contract, instead of being viewed as an inevitable necessity of exchange, should be viewed as one of many institutions that might be available to parties as a solution to problems and a method for facilitating exchange. Macaulay’s research further revealed that the cost of legal sanctions, the importance of maintaining business relationships, and the desire for informal solutions actually push parties to conclude that …


Statutes And The Common Law Of Contracts: A Shared Methodology, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2020

Statutes And The Common Law Of Contracts: A Shared Methodology, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

This chapter explores the intersection between, or the impact of, statutes on contract law, and compares the relative importance of, and intersections between, statutory and common law in contract.


Unicorn Stock Options - Golden Goose Or Trojan Horse?, Anat Alon-Beck Jan 2019

Unicorn Stock Options - Golden Goose Or Trojan Horse?, Anat Alon-Beck

Faculty Publications

Large privately held startups valued at $1 billion or more (“unicorns”) are dealing with employees’ conflicts of expectations due to the illiquidity of the shares of stock acquired upon exercise of their options.

Until about eight years ago, many talented workers chose to work for a startup company for a lower cash salary combined with a substantial stock option grant, and the dream of cashing out for a large sum of money after an initial public offering (“IPO”) of the startup’s stock.

Today, unicorns remain private for extended periods of time in part because they are often no longer dependent …


A Bargaining Dynamic Transaction Cost Approach To Understanding Framework Contracts, Juliet P. Kostritsky Jan 2018

A Bargaining Dynamic Transaction Cost Approach To Understanding Framework Contracts, Juliet P. Kostritsky

Faculty Publications

This Article takes a different approach. It draws on the literature of these scholars but suggests that another way to understand the arrangements parties enter into in a variety of settings to purchase or sell goods or to innovate on a product or drug can best be understood in terms of a bargaining dynamic that looks at how the private interests of the parties are turned into joint interests in the agreement reached. It is a mistake to talk about the form of a contract without first understanding the bargaining needs and positions of the parties and how those needs …


Frictions And The Persistence Of Inferior Contract Terms, Royce De R. Barondes Jan 2015

Frictions And The Persistence Of Inferior Contract Terms, Royce De R. Barondes

Faculty Publications

A rudimentary conceptualization of the development of ancillary contract terms would assert competition will result in terms that are joint-wealth-maximizing for merchants and customers. Building on developments in modeling frictions in markets, this article presents simple models of frictions in multi-period contracting as to ancillary contract terms. The modeling illustrates that, for plausible parameter estimates of frictions, combinations of switching costs and investigation costs may allow collectively inferior contract terms to persist in consumer transactions. The results are in harmony with recent evidence illustrating the infrequency with which consumers actually read contract terms. The modeling identifies circumstances where this opportunistic …


The Contractual Foundation Of Family-Business Law, Benjamin Means Jan 2014

The Contractual Foundation Of Family-Business Law, Benjamin Means

Faculty Publications

Most U.S. businesses are family owned, and yet the law governing business organizations does not account adequately for family relationships. Nor have legal scholars paid sufficient attention to family businesses. Instead, legal scholars operate within a contractarian model of business organization law, which holds that a firm is comprised of a nexus of contracts among economically rational actors. Intimate relationships appear irrelevant except insofar as they affect contractual choices. Indeed, strictly speaking, there is no such thing as family-business law.

This Article lays the foundation for a law of family business by expanding the contractarian model: a firm includes not …


Cyber Commodification, Miriam A. Cherry Jan 2013

Cyber Commodification, Miriam A. Cherry

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

Last year, the Huffington Post blog found itself involved in a contentious legal dispute with its unpaid bloggers about the commodification of its content. The Huffington Post features many posts that are straight-ahead news reports; other posts have featured more ideological content aimed at a liberal audience. Leading up to the 2008 election, many Huffington Post bloggers wrote accounts critical of then-President George W. Bush, specifically his administration’s treatment of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners, while others wrote to assist fellow Democratic voters become more familiar with the primary candidates. Regardless of one’s personal political leanings, the website attracted a …


Venture Capital And Preferred Stock, Charles R. Korsmo Jan 2013

Venture Capital And Preferred Stock, Charles R. Korsmo

Faculty Publications

Preferred stock has always posed something of a puzzle. Straddling the line between debt and equity, preferred stock has long existed in a shadowland between the realms of contract law on the one hand, and corporate law on the other. Depending on the situation, preferred stockholders have sometimes been entitled to the protection of corporate law fiduciary duties, and sometimes been left to lie in the contractual bed they have made. Historically, what little scholarship exists on preferred stock has consisted largely of calls for greater fiduciary protections for preferred stockholders. Preferred stock has taken on increased importance in recent …


Penumbral Academic Freedom: Interpreting The Tenure Contract In A Time Of Constitutional Impotence, Richard J. Peltz-Steele Jan 2010

Penumbral Academic Freedom: Interpreting The Tenure Contract In A Time Of Constitutional Impotence, Richard J. Peltz-Steele

Faculty Publications

This article recounts the deficiencies of constitutional law and common tenure contract language - the latter based on the 1940 Statement of Principles of the American Association of University Professors - in protecting the academic freedom of faculty on the modern university campus. The article proposes an Interpretation of that common language, accompanied by Illustrations, aiming to describe the penumbras of academic freedom - faculty rights and responsibilities that surround and emanate from the three traditional pillars of teaching, research, and service - that are within the scope of the tenure contract but not explicitly described by it, and therefore …


Embracing Unconscionability’S Safety Net Function, Amy J. Schmitz Oct 2008

Embracing Unconscionability’S Safety Net Function, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

Despite courts' and commentators' denial of morality and focus on efficiency in contract law, fairness and flexibility have remained the bedrocks of the unconscionability doctrine. This Article therefore departs from the popular formalist critiques of unconscionability that urge for the doctrine's demise or constraint based on claims that its flexibility and lack of clear definition threaten efficiency in contract law. Contrary to this formalist trend, this Article proposes that unconscionability is necessarily flexible and contextual in order to serve its historical and philosophical function of protecting core human values. Unconscionability is not frivolous gloss on classical contract law. Instead, it …


Curing Consumer Warranty Woes Through Regulated Arbitration, Amy J. Schmitz Oct 2008

Curing Consumer Warranty Woes Through Regulated Arbitration, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

This article proposes legislative procedural reforms accounting for the realities of consumer arbitration that have threatened and denied consumers' access to remedies for companies' violations of public, or statutory, warranty remedies under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (MMWA). Furthermore, the Article proposes to clarify and expand the MMWA's current dispute resolution template in order to resolve judicial disagreement regarding the template's application and foster beneficial use of finding arbitration. Accordingly, this is not a call to ban all pre-dispute arbitration clauses in consumer contracts, but is instead an invitation for more politically palatable reforms that preserve both companies' savings and consumers' …


Intellectual Property Rights In An Attorney’S Work Product, Ralph D. Clifford Jan 2008

Intellectual Property Rights In An Attorney’S Work Product, Ralph D. Clifford

Faculty Publications

This paper addresses the main intellectual property consequences of practicing law and whether attorneys can prevent others from using their work-product. The article does not assume that the reader is an expert in intellectual property law; instead, it is designed to answer the types of questions practitioners have about their rights.


Consideration Of 'Contracting Culture' In Enforcing Arbitration Provisions, Amy J. Schmitz Oct 2007

Consideration Of 'Contracting Culture' In Enforcing Arbitration Provisions, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

The Federal Arbitration Act mandates strict and uniform enforcement of standardized pre-dispute arbitration provisions. This may not be proper, however, in light of the importance of context with respect to these provisions. This Article therefore seeks to remind courts of the importance of exchange context by proposing a "contracting culture" continuum for enforcing these arbitration provisions that acknowledges the impacts of these provisions in a particular communal context. "Contracting culture" encompasses economic and non-economic relational factors that impact dispute resolution agreements, but go beyond common conceptions of "culture" focused on ethnicity, nationality, or religion. It also explores beyond the primary …


What's Love Got To Do With It?: The Corporations Model Of Marriage In The Same-Sex Marriage Debate, Jeremiah A. Ho Jan 2007

What's Love Got To Do With It?: The Corporations Model Of Marriage In The Same-Sex Marriage Debate, Jeremiah A. Ho

Faculty Publications

The time may come, far in the future, when contracts and arrangements between persons of the same sex who abide together will be recognized and enforced under state law. When that time comes, property rights and perhaps even mutual obligations of support may well be held to flow from such relationships. But in my opinion, even such a substantial change in the prevailing mores would not reach the point where such relationships would be characterized as "marriages". At most, they would become personal relationships having some, but not all, of the legal attributes of marriage. And even when and if …


Waiver Or Modification: That Is The Question, Michael G. Hillinger Jan 2006

Waiver Or Modification: That Is The Question, Michael G. Hillinger

Faculty Publications

The elusive distinction between waiver and contract modification has reared its head in Massachusetts. What's the difference? A party who "waives" a contract term can retract the waiver in the absence of the other party's detrimental reliance, whereas a party cannot unilaterally retract a contract modification. Stating the legal consequences that flow from each event is easy. Figuring out which event has occurred is not.


Refreshing Contractual Analysis Of Adr Agreements By Curing Bipolar Avoidance Of Modern Common Law, Amy J. Schmitz Oct 2004

Refreshing Contractual Analysis Of Adr Agreements By Curing Bipolar Avoidance Of Modern Common Law, Amy J. Schmitz

Faculty Publications

Law governing enforcement of ADR agreement not governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) has been uncertain, and often aimless. This Article therefore calls for clarification of this law, through development of a modern contractual approach for enforcing these non-FAA ADR procedures. Although courts may look to the FAA as a resource for evaluating and developing an enforcement approach, they also should employ modern contract and remedy tools that are more adaptive than the Act's summary enforcement because it allow courts to consider contextual, relational, and equitable factors when determining application of specific enforcement remedies. This allows courts to apply …


Distilling The Essence Of Contract Terms: An Anti-Antiformalist Approach To Contract And Employment Law, Rafael Gely Oct 2001

Distilling The Essence Of Contract Terms: An Anti-Antiformalist Approach To Contract And Employment Law, Rafael Gely

Faculty Publications

A look at the development of labor and employment law in the U.S. reveals one astonishing principle. There is an underlying assumption that employers own the time and activities of employees, and thus any change in the allocation of rights between employers and employees has to be justified against the “interference” with the rights of employers. For example, whenever legislation has been introduced intended to protect workers' rights, employers have argued that such protections will interfere with the right of employers to control their employees. This argument has been successfully made many times, and it has, I argue, shaped the …


Section 365 In The Consumer Context: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Michael G. Hillinger, Ingrid Michelsen Hillinger Jan 1999

Section 365 In The Consumer Context: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Michael G. Hillinger, Ingrid Michelsen Hillinger

Faculty Publications

The § 365 consumer debtor case law has a further complication. Much of it arises in the context of the last great bankruptcy frontier, Chapter 13. Until recently, Chapter 11 has occupied the minds and hearts of courts and attorneys. Not any more. And, as attorneys and courts take a closer, harder look at Chapter 13, it is no longer possible to describe it as a “streamlined creditors-can’t-vote Chapter 11”. Chapter 13 is unique, presenting its very own quandaries, not the least of which is how its provisions and § 365 interact. We live in interesting times.