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Full-Text Articles in Law

Money Norms, Julia Y. Lee Jan 2017

Money Norms, Julia Y. Lee

Journal Articles

Money norms present a fundamental contradiction. Norms embody the social sphere, a system of internalized values, unwritten rules, and shared expectations that informally govern human behavior. Money, on the other hand, evokes the economic sphere of markets, prices, and incentives. Existing legal scholarship keeps the two spheres distinct. Money is assumed to operate as a medium of exchange or as a tool for altering the payoffs of different actions. When used to make good behavior less costly and undesirable behavior more costly, money functions to incentivize, sanction, and deter. Although a rich literature on the expressive function of law exists ...


Sex, Videos, And Insurance: How Gawker Could Have Avoided Financial Responsibility For The $140 Million Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Verdict, Christopher French Jun 2016

Sex, Videos, And Insurance: How Gawker Could Have Avoided Financial Responsibility For The $140 Million Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Verdict, Christopher French

Journal Articles

On March 18, 2016, and March 22, 2016, a jury awarded Terry Bollea (a.k.a Hulk Hogan) a total of $140 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Gawker Media for posting less than two minutes of a video of Hulk Hogan having sex with his best friend’s wife. The award was based upon a finding that Gawker intentionally had invaded Hulk Hogan’s privacy by posting the video online. The case has been receiving extensive media coverage because it is a tawdry tale involving a celebrity, betrayal, adultery, sex, and the First Amendment. The case likely will ...


The Insurability Of Claims For Restitution, Christopher French May 2016

The Insurability Of Claims For Restitution, Christopher French

Journal Articles

Does and should a wrongdoer’s liability insurance cover an aggrieved party’s claim for restitution (e.g., a claim for the disgorgement of ill-gotten gains)? This article answers those questions. It does so by first answering the question of whether claims for restitution are covered under the terms of liability insurance policies. Then, after concluding that they are, it addresses the question of whether claims for restitution should be insurable as a matter of public policy and insurance law theory. There are long-standing legal and equitable principles that, on the one hand, dictate that a wrongdoer should not be ...


Insuring Floods: The Most Common And Devastating Natural Catastrophes In America, Christopher French Mar 2015

Insuring Floods: The Most Common And Devastating Natural Catastrophes In America, Christopher French

Journal Articles

Flooding is the most common natural catastrophe Americans face, accounting for 90% of all damage caused by natural catastrophes. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, for example, collectively caused over $160 billion in damage, but only approximately 10% of the Hurricane Katrina victims and 50% of the Hurricane Sandy victims had insurance to cover their flood losses. Consequently, both their homes and lives were left in ruins in the wake of the storms. Nationwide, only approximately 7% of homeowners have insurance that covers flood losses even though the risk of flooding is only increasing as coastal areas continue to be developed and ...


Trust And Social Commerce, Julia Y. Lee Jan 2015

Trust And Social Commerce, Julia Y. Lee

Journal Articles

Internet commerce has transformed the marketing of goods and services. The separation between point of sale and seller, and the presence of geographically dispersed sellers who do not engage in repeated transactions with the same customers challenge traditional mechanisms for building the trust required for commercial exchanges. In this changing environment, legal rules and institutions play a diminished role in building trust. Instead, new systems and methods are emerging to foster trust in one-shot commercial transactions in cyberspace.

The Article focuses on the rise of “social commerce,” a socio-economic phenomenon centered on the use of social media and other modes ...


Segmented Settlements Are Not The Answer: A Response To Professor Squire’S Article, How Collective Settlements Camouflage The Costs Of Shareholder Lawsuits, Christopher C. French Jan 2013

Segmented Settlements Are Not The Answer: A Response To Professor Squire’S Article, How Collective Settlements Camouflage The Costs Of Shareholder Lawsuits, Christopher C. French

Journal Articles

In his recent article, Professor Richard Squire offers a provocative theory in which he claims the underlying claimants in shareholder litigation against corporate policyholders are overcompensated due to what he describes as “cramdown” settlements, under which insurers are forced to settle due to the “duty to contribute” that arises under multi-layered directors and officers (“D&O”) insurance programs. He also offers a novel idea regarding how this problem could be fixed by what he refers to as “segmented” settlements in which each insurer and the policyholder would be allowed to settle separately and consider only its own interests in doing ...


Gaining Assurances, Julia Y. Lee Jan 2012

Gaining Assurances, Julia Y. Lee

Journal Articles

This Article explores alternative legal mechanisms for solving a type of coordination problem known as the Assurance Game. The traditional approach has been to focus on changing the expectations of the parties. This Article focuses on altering the underlying payoff structure — not through sanctions, but through risk-reducing mechanisms such as guarantees.

One type of risk-reducing mechanism is the conditional money-back guarantee. Conditional money-back guarantees operate in settings ranging from federal deposit insurance to daily deal websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial. In each of these, a promise is made to return an individual’s monetary contribution if an event or ...


Debunking The Myth That Insurance Coverage Is Not Available Or Allowed For Intentional Torts Or Damages, Christopher French Jan 2012

Debunking The Myth That Insurance Coverage Is Not Available Or Allowed For Intentional Torts Or Damages, Christopher French

Journal Articles

Over the years, a myth has developed that insurance coverage is not available or allowed for intentional injuries or damage. This myth has two primary bases: one, the “fortuity” doctrine, which provides that insurance should only cover losses that happen by chance; and two, public policy, which allegedly disfavors allowing insurance for intentional injuries or damage. This article dispels that myth. Many types of liability insurance policies expressly cover intentional torts including trademark infringement, copyright infringement, invasion of privacy, defamation, disparagement, and improper employment practices such as discrimination. In addition, punitive damages, which typically are awarded for intentional misconduct, are ...


Construction Defects: Are They “Occurrences”?, Chris French Jan 2011

Construction Defects: Are They “Occurrences”?, Chris French

Journal Articles

An issue in the area of insurance law that has been litigated frequently in recent years is whether construction defects are “occurrences” under Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) insurance policies. The courts have been divided in deciding the issue and in their approaches to analyzing the issue. This article addresses how the issue should be analyzed and concludes that construction defects are “occurrences”. The relevant rules of insurance policy interpretation dictate that construction defects are “occurrences”. Policy language should be interpreted in such a way as to fulfill the reasonable expectations of the policyholder when the policy is construed as a ...


Promoting Commercial Law Reform In Eastern Europe, Samuel Bufford Jan 2010

Promoting Commercial Law Reform In Eastern Europe, Samuel Bufford

Journal Articles

This article is my account of what I did in a decade of advising governments and teaching judicial seminars on commercial law matters in Central and Eastern Europe, beginning in 1991. This article contains my individual reflections on more than a dozen visits to developing countries in Central and Eastern Europe to advise governments and to educate their judges, and several visits of judges from some of those countries to the United States. In many ways, my experiences are typical of United States judges who have done the same kind of work in developing countries. In some ways, my experiences ...