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Articles 1 - 16 of 16

Full-Text Articles in Law

Private Enforcement, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang, Herbert Kritzer Oct 2013

Private Enforcement, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang, Herbert Kritzer

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Our aim in this Article is to advance understanding of private enforcement of statutory and administrative law in the United States and to raise questions that will be useful to those who are concerned with regulatory design in other countries. To that end, we briefly discuss aspects of American culture, history, and political institutions that reasonably can be thought to have contributed to the growth and subsequent development of private enforcement. We also set forth key elements of the general legal landscape in which decisions about private enforcement are made, aspects of which should be central to the choice of ...


Poisoning The Next Apple? The America Invents Act And Individual Inventors, David S. Abrams, R. Polk Wagner Mar 2013

Poisoning The Next Apple? The America Invents Act And Individual Inventors, David S. Abrams, R. Polk Wagner

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the most significant patent law reform effort in two generations, has a dark side: It seems likely to decrease the patenting behavior of small inventors, a category which occupies special significance in American innovation history. In this paper we empirically predict the effects of the major change in the law: a shift in the patent priority rules from the United States’ traditional “first-to-invent” system to the predominant “first-to-file” system. While there has been some theoretical work on this topic, we use the Canadian experience with a similar change as a natural experiment to shed the ...


Criminal (In)Justice And Democracy In America, Stephanos Bibas Mar 2013

Criminal (In)Justice And Democracy In America, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay responds to Nicola Lacey’s review of my recent book The Machinery of Criminal Justice (Oxford Univ. Press 2012). Lacey entirely overlooks the book’s fundamental distinction between making criminal justice policy wholesale and adjudicating deserved punishment at the retail level, in individual cases, which is quite consistent with keeping but tempering rules. She also undervalues America’s deep commitments to federalism, localism, and democratic self-government and overlooks the related problem of agency costs in criminal justice. Her top-down approach colors her desire to pursue equality judicially, to the exclusion of the political branches. Finally, Lacey denigrates the ...


The Reality Of Moral Imperatives In Liberal Religion, Howard Lesnick Jan 2013

The Reality Of Moral Imperatives In Liberal Religion, Howard Lesnick

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper uses a classic one-liner attributed to Dostoyoevski’s Ivan Karamozov, "Without God everything is permitted," to explore some differences between what I term traditional and liberal religion. The expansive connotations and implications of Ivan’s words are grounded in the historic association of wrongfulness and punishment, and in a reaction against the late modern challenge to the inexorability of that association, whether in liberal religion or in secular moral thought. The paper argues that, with its full import understood, Ivan’s claim begs critical questions of the meaning and source of compulsion and choice, and of knowledge and ...


Valid Rule Due Process Challenges: Bond V. United States And Erie’S Constitutional Source, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Jan 2013

Valid Rule Due Process Challenges: Bond V. United States And Erie’S Constitutional Source, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article begins by asking what constitutional provision is violated by the enforcement of law without a lawmaker. Taking a positivist view—i.e., that law does not exist without a lawmaker—it concludes that the problem of law without a lawmaker collapses into the problem of coercion without law. Coercion without law violates the Due Process Clause in an obvious way: it is deprivation of something “without … law.” The article then explores the existence of this form of substantive due process in American law, arguing that we find it in three somewhat surprising places: Lochner-era substantive due process ...


The Impact Of Codification On The Judicial Development Of Copyright, Christopher S. Yoo Jan 2013

The Impact Of Codification On The Judicial Development Of Copyright, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Despite the Supreme Court’s rejection of common law copyright in Wheaton v. Peters and the more specific codification by the Copyright Act of 1976, courts have continued to play an active role in determining the scope of copyright. Four areas of continuing judicial innovation include fair use, misuse, third-party liability, and the first sale doctrine. Some commentators have advocated broad judicial power to revise and overturn statutes. Such sweeping judicial power is hard to reconcile with the democratic commitment to legislative supremacy. At the other extreme are those that view codification as completely displacing courts’ authority to develop legal ...


Four Distinctions That Glanville Williams Did Not Make: The Practical Benefits Of Examining The Interrelation Among Criminal Law Doctrines, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2013

Four Distinctions That Glanville Williams Did Not Make: The Practical Benefits Of Examining The Interrelation Among Criminal Law Doctrines, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

While Glanville Williams was a pioneer in his time, he remained quite mainstream when it came to the framework for organizing criminal law doctrines. His books were influential and he could have helped reshaped that framework but was content to leave it as essentially that which evolved at common law, even though many improvements could have be made. For example, he was well aware of the justification-excuse distinction but rejected it as an organizing principle, not because he did not see the distinction as rational, but because he did not see it as having practical value.

This essay attempts to ...


Health Insurance, Employment, And The Human Genome: Genetic Discrimination And Biobanks In The United States, Eric A. Feldman, Chelsea Darnell Jan 2013

Health Insurance, Employment, And The Human Genome: Genetic Discrimination And Biobanks In The United States, Eric A. Feldman, Chelsea Darnell

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Does genetic information warrant special legal protection, and if so how should it be protected? This essay examines the most recent (and indeed only) significant effort by the US government to prohibit genetic discrimination, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). We argue that the legislation is unlikely to have the positive impact sought by advocates of genetic privacy and proponents of biobanks. In part, GINA disappoints because it does too little. Hailed by its promoters as “the first civil rights act of the 21st century,” GINA’s reach is in fact quite modest and its grasp even more so ...


A Good Enough Reason: Addiction, Agency And Criminal Responsibility, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2013

A Good Enough Reason: Addiction, Agency And Criminal Responsibility, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The article begins by contrasting medical and moral views of addiction and how such views influence responsibility and policy analysis. It suggests that since addiction always involves action and action can always be morally evaluated, we must independently decide whether addicts do not meet responsibility criteria rather than begging the question and deciding by the label of ‘disease’ or ‘moral weakness’. It then turns to the criteria for criminal responsibility and shows that the criteria for criminal responsibility, like the criteria for addiction, are all folk psychological. Therefore, any scientific information about addiction must be ‘translated’ into the law’s ...


Unenforceability, Lee Petherbridge Ph.D., Jason Rantanen, R. Polk Wagner Jan 2013

Unenforceability, Lee Petherbridge Ph.D., Jason Rantanen, R. Polk Wagner

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The patent doctrine of inequitable conduct—which allows a patent to be held unenforceable on the basis of misbehavior by the applicant during patent prosecution—has been the subject of intense criticism from the bench and bar alike. And yet to date there has been no systematic attempt to determine whether the doctrine is or is not working as theorized. This study fills that gap. We evaluate the performance of the inequitable conduct doctrine with a novel methodological approach: by empirically characterizing the differences between patents found unenforceable and several other types of patents (unlitigated, litigated, invalid, obvious, and underdisclosed ...


Natural Law & Lawlessness: Modern Lessons From Pirates, Lepers, Eskimos, And Survivors, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2013

Natural Law & Lawlessness: Modern Lessons From Pirates, Lepers, Eskimos, And Survivors, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The natural experiments of history present an opportunity to test Hobbes' view of government and law as the wellspring of social order. Groups have found themselves in a wide variety of situations in which no governmental law existed, from shipwrecks to gold mining camps to failed states. Yet the wide variety of situations show common patterns among the groups in their responses to their often difficult circumstances. Rather than survival of the fittest, a more common reaction is social cooperation and a commitment to fairness and justice, although both can be subverted in certain predictable ways. The absent-law situations also ...


Happiness Surveys And Public Policy: What’S The Use?, Matthew D. Adler Jan 2013

Happiness Surveys And Public Policy: What’S The Use?, Matthew D. Adler

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article provides a comprehensive, critical overview of proposals to use happiness surveys for steering public policy. Happiness or “subjective well-being” surveys ask individuals to rate their present happiness, life-satisfaction, affective state, etc. A massive literature now engages in such surveys or correlates survey responses with individual attributes. And, increasingly, scholars argue for the policy relevance of happiness data: in particular, as a basis for calculating aggregates such as “gross national happiness,” or for calculating monetary equivalents for non-market goods based on coefficients in a happiness equation.

But is individual well-being equivalent to happiness? The happiness literature tends to blur ...


An Ethical Duty To Protect One’S Own Information Privacy?, Anita L. Allen Jan 2013

An Ethical Duty To Protect One’S Own Information Privacy?, Anita L. Allen

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

People freely disclose vast quantities of personal and personally identifiable information. The central question of this Meador Lecture in Morality is whether they have a moral (or ethical) obligation (or duty) to withhold information about themselves or otherwise to protect information about themselves from disclosure. Moreover, could protecting one’s own information privacy be called for by important moral virtues, as well as obligations or duties? Safeguarding others’ privacy is widely understood to be a responsibility of government, business, and individuals. The “virtue” of fairness and the “duty” or “obligation” of respect for persons arguably ground other-regarding responsibilities of confidentiality ...


Managerial Judging And Substantive Law, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jan 2013

Managerial Judging And Substantive Law, Tobias Barrington Wolff

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The figure of the proactive jurist, involved in case management from the outset of the litigation and attentive throughout the proceedings to the impact of her decisions on settlement dynamics -- a managerial judge -- has displaced the passive umpire as the dominant paradigm in the federal district courts. Thus far, discussions of managerial judging have focused primarily upon values endogenous to the practice of judging. Procedural scholarship has paid little attention to the impact of the underlying substantive law on the parameters and conduct of complex proceedings.

In this Article, I examine the interface between substantive law and managerial judging. The ...


Abolition Of The Insanity Defense Violates Due Process, Stephen J. Morse, Richard J. Bonnie Jan 2013

Abolition Of The Insanity Defense Violates Due Process, Stephen J. Morse, Richard J. Bonnie

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article, which is based on and expands on an amicus brief the authors submitted to the United States Supreme Court, first provides the moral argument in favor of the insanity defense. It considers and rejects the most important moral counterargument and suggests that jurisdictions have considerable leeway in deciding what test best meets their legal and moral policies. The article then discusses why the two primary alternatives to the insanity defense, the negation of mens rea and considering mental disorder at sentencing, are insufficient to achieve the goal of responding justly to severely mentally disordered offenders. The last section ...


Provocateurs, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Jan 2013

Provocateurs, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

When a provocateur intentionally provokes a deadly affray, the law of self-defense holds that the provocateur may not use deadly force to defend himself. Why is this so?

Provocateurs are often seen as just one example of the problem of actio libera in causa, the causing of the conditions of one’s defense. This article rejects theories that maintain a one-size-fits-all approach to actio libera in causa, and argues that provocateurs need specific rules about why they forfeit their defensive rights. This article further claims that provocateurs need to be distinguished from their cousins, initial aggressors, as initial aggressors engage ...