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Articles 1 - 12 of 12

Full-Text Articles in Law

Marriage As Monopoly: History, Tradition, Incrementalism, And The Marriage/Civil Union Distinction, Suzanne B. Goldberg Jan 2010

Marriage As Monopoly: History, Tradition, Incrementalism, And The Marriage/Civil Union Distinction, Suzanne B. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

History and tradition have taken a prominent place as favored rationales for the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Incrementalism likewise has been invoked to suggest that states can permissibly move “one step at a time” to redress the unequal status of same-sex couples, including by creating a civil union/marriage regime instead of providing marriage for all. Yet constitutional jurisprudence is clear that neither longevity nor tradition alone can justify the continuation of a discriminatory rule. This Article asks, then, what work these rationales perform in the marriage/civil union jurisprudence and debate, given their inadequacy from a doctrinal ...


A New Look At Patent Quality: Relating Patent Prosecution To Validity, Ronald J. Mann, Marian Underweiser Jan 2010

A New Look At Patent Quality: Relating Patent Prosecution To Validity, Ronald J. Mann, Marian Underweiser

Faculty Scholarship

The paper uses two hand-collected datasets to implement a novel research design for analyzing the precursors to patent quality. Operationalizing patent "quality" as legal validity, the paper analyzes the relation between Federal Circuit decisions on patent validity and three sets of data about the patents: quantitative features of the patents themselves, textual analysis of the patent documents, and data collected from the prosecution histories of the patents. The paper finds large and statistically significant relations between ex post validity and both textual features of the patents and ex ante aspects of the prosecution history (especially prior art submissions and the ...


Contract Interpretation Redux, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott Jan 2010

Contract Interpretation Redux, Alan Schwartz, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Contract interpretation remains the largest single source of contract litigation between business firms. In part this is because contract interpretation issues are difficult, but it also reflects a deep divide between textualist and contextualist theories of interpretation. While a strong majority of U.S. courts continue to follow the traditional, "formalist" approach to contract interpretation, some courts and most commentators prefer the "contextualist" interpretive principles that are reflected in the Uniform Commercial Code and the Second Restatement. In 2003, we published an article that set out a formalist theory of contract interpretation to govern agreements between business firms. We argued ...


Braiding: The Interaction Of Formal And Informal Contracting In Theory, Practice And Doctrine, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott Jan 2010

Braiding: The Interaction Of Formal And Informal Contracting In Theory, Practice And Doctrine, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This article studies the relationship between formal contract enforcement, where performance is encouraged by the prospect of judicial intervention, and informal enforcement, where performance is motivated by the threat of lost reputation and expected future dealings or a taste for reciprocity. The incomplete contracting literature treats the two strategies as separate phenomena. By contrast, a rich experimental literature considers whether the introduction of formal contracting and state enforcement “crowds out” or degrades the operation of informal contracting. Both literatures, however, focus too narrowly on formal contracts as a system of incentives for inducing parties to perform substantive actions, while assuming ...


Excuse Doctrine: The Eisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2010

Excuse Doctrine: The Eisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

The world is in a bit of a mess. Oil prices soared to more than $140 per barrel and within months plummeted to below $40. The pound fell from $2 to less than $1.40. Housing and stock prices crashed. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, and bailouts became newspaper staples. When things go awry like this, inevitably many people and firms regret having entered into contracts under more favorable circumstances. Many of them will be looking for ways to limit, or better yet, avoid the consequences. A preeminent contracts scholar, Melvin Eisenberg (2009), has provided them with considerable ammunition in a recent paper ...


Excuse Doctrine: The Eisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2010

Excuse Doctrine: The Eisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

The world is in a bit of a mess. Oil prices soared to more than $140 per barrel and within months plummeted to below $40. The pound fell from $2 to less than $1.40. Housing and stock prices crashed. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, and bailouts became newspaper staples. When things go awry like this, inevitably many people and firms regret having entered into contracts under more favorable circumstances. Many of them will be looking for ways to limit, or better yet, avoid the consequences. A preeminent contracts scholar, Melvin Eisenberg (2009), has provided them with considerable ammunition in a recent paper ...


Reforming The Taxation Of Derivatives – An Overview, Alex Raskolnikov Jan 2010

Reforming The Taxation Of Derivatives – An Overview, Alex Raskolnikov

Faculty Scholarship

This brief essay outlines three benchmarks for evaluating alternative ways of taxing capital income, summarizes anticipatory, retroactive, and accrual-based proposals for reforming the taxation of derivatives, and offers guidelines for evaluating more limited reforms. It is intended as an introduction to key concepts, tensions, and ideas for reforming the taxation of financial instruments.


Origin Myths, Contracts, And The Hunt For Pari Passu, Mark C. Weidemaier, Robert E. Scott, G. Mitu Gulati Jan 2010

Origin Myths, Contracts, And The Hunt For Pari Passu, Mark C. Weidemaier, Robert E. Scott, G. Mitu Gulati

Faculty Scholarship

Sovereign loans involve complex but largely standardized contracts, and these include some terms that no one understands. Lawyers often account for the existence of these terms through origin myths. Focusing on one contract term, the pari passu clause, this article explores two puzzling aspects of these myths. First, it demonstrates that the myths are inaccurate as to both the clause’s origin and the role of lawyers in contract drafting. Second, the myths often are unflattering, inaccurately portraying lawyers as engaged in little more than rote copying. The article probes this disjunction between the myths and lawyers’ actual practices and ...


After Frustration: Three Cheers For Chandler V. Webster, Victor P. Goldberg Jan 2010

After Frustration: Three Cheers For Chandler V. Webster, Victor P. Goldberg

Faculty Scholarship

Performance of a contract can be excused by a number of circumstances, notably impossibility, impracticability, and frustration. When performance is excused there remains the question of how to treat any payments or expenditures that were made prior to the occurrence of the contract-frustrating event. In Chandler v. Webster, the English courts decided over a century ago that the parties should be left where they were at the time of the frustrating event. Forty years later that holding was overturned so that now recovery might be had both for restitution of payments made prior to the event and for expenditures made ...


Contract, Uncertainty And Innovation, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott Jan 2010

Contract, Uncertainty And Innovation, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

Contract today increasingly links entrepreneurial innovations to the efforts and finance necessary to transform ideas into value. In this Chapter, we describe the match between a form of contract that "braids" formal and informal contractual elements in novel ways and the process by which innovation is pursued. It is hardly surprising that these innovative forms of contract have emerged first in markets, and that the common law, and the theory of contract, then play catch-up. Between the time contracting practice adapts to the demands of innovation and the time contract doctrine adapts to the demands of practice, law acts as ...


"The Sole Right ... Shall Return To The Authors": Anglo-American Authors' Reversion Rights From The Statute Of Anne To Contemporary U.S. Copyright, Lionel Bently, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2010

"The Sole Right ... Shall Return To The Authors": Anglo-American Authors' Reversion Rights From The Statute Of Anne To Contemporary U.S. Copyright, Lionel Bently, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

The rise in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries of a professional class of writers stimulated authors' demands for better remuneration from their writings. The increase in authors who sought to live from their work, rather than from patronage or personal fortune, likely provided at least one impulse for the author-protective provisions of the 1710 Statute of Anne. Under the regime of printing privileges that preceded the Statute of Anne, authors generally received from publisher-booksellers a one-time payment, made when the authors surrendered their manuscripts for publication. Authors whose works enjoyed particularly high demand might negotiate additional payments for new editions ...


Braiding: The Interaction Of Formal And Informal Contracting In Theory, Practice, And Doctrine, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott Jan 2010

Braiding: The Interaction Of Formal And Informal Contracting In Theory, Practice, And Doctrine, Ronald J. Gilson, Charles F. Sabel, Robert E. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This Article studies the relationship between formal and informal contract enforcement. The theoretical literature treats the two strategies as separate phenomena. By contrast, a rich experimental literature considers whether the introduction of formal contracting and state enforcement "crowds out" the operation of informal contracting. Both literatures focus too narrowly on how formal contracts create incentives for parties to perfom substantive actions, while assuming that informal enforcement depends on preexisting levels of trust. As a result, current scholarship misses the relationship between formal and informal contract mechanisms that characterizes contemporary contracting in practice. Parties respond to rising uncertainty by writing contracts ...