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Debate: Collaborative Environmental Law: Pro And Con, Eric W. Orts, Cary Coglianese Dec 2007

Debate: Collaborative Environmental Law: Pro And Con, Eric W. Orts, Cary Coglianese

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In this thoughtful and intricate cross-disciplinary debate, Professors Eric W. Orts, of Penn’s Wharton School, and Cary Coglianese, of Penn’s Law School, discuss the benefits and disadvantages of collaborative public policy decision making in the environmental context. It is no exaggeration to say that each year the world grows ever more aware of the nature of the environmental problems we face, and yet critical policy solutions continue to remain beyond the grasp of even the most interested parties. Professor Orts argues that it is time to embrace a different policymaking approach—that of collaborative environmental lawmaking. He argues that "the view …


Rays Of Sunlight In A Shadow “War”: Foia, The Abuses Of Anti-Terrorism, And The Strategy Of Transparency, Seth F. Kreimer Dec 2007

Rays Of Sunlight In A Shadow “War”: Foia, The Abuses Of Anti-Terrorism, And The Strategy Of Transparency, Seth F. Kreimer

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In the wake of the September 11 attacks, the “Global War on Terror” has marginalized the rule of law. From the dragnet detentions in the aftermath of the initial attacks, to novel and secretive surveillance authority under the Patriot Act, to the incarceration and torture of “enemy combatants,” the administration’s “war” has sought to establish zones of maneuver free of both legal constraint and of political oversight. In the first half decade of these efforts, the tripartite constitutional structure which is said to guard against executive usurpation remained largely quiescent. Opponents both inside and outside of the government turned instead …


The Questionable Use Of Custom In Intellectual Property, Jennifer E. Rothman Dec 2007

The Questionable Use Of Custom In Intellectual Property, Jennifer E. Rothman

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The treatment of customary practices has been widely debated in many areas of the law, but there has been virtually no discussion of how custom is and should be treated in the context of intellectual property (IP). Nevertheless, customs have a profound impact on both de facto and de jure IP law. The unarticulated incorporation of custom threatens to swallow up IP law, and replace it with industry-led IP regimes that give the public and other creators more limited rights to access and use intellectual property than were envisioned by the Constitution and Congress. This article presents a powerful critique …


Tradable Patent Rights, Ian Ayres, Gideon Parchomovsky Dec 2007

Tradable Patent Rights, Ian Ayres, Gideon Parchomovsky

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Patent thickets may inefficiently retard cumulative innovation. This paper explores two alternative mechanisms that may be used to weed out patent thickets. Both mechanisms are intended to reduce the number of patents in our society. The first mechanism we discuss is price based regulation of patents through a system of increasing renewal fees. The second and more innovative mechanism is quantity based regulation through the establishment of a system of Tradable Patent Rights. The formalization of tradable patent rights would essentially create a secondary market for patent permits in which patent protection will be bought and sold.


The Short And Puzzling Life Of The “Implicit Minority Discount” In Delaware Appraisal Law, Lawrence A. Hamermesh, Michael L. Wachter Nov 2007

The Short And Puzzling Life Of The “Implicit Minority Discount” In Delaware Appraisal Law, Lawrence A. Hamermesh, Michael L. Wachter

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The “implicit minority discount,” or IMD, is a fairly new concept in Delaware appraisal law. A review of the case law discussing the concept, however, reveals that it has emerged haphazardly and has not been fully tested against principles that are generally accepted in the financial community. While control share blocks are valued at a premium because of the particular rights and opportunities associated with control, these are elements of value that cannot fairly be viewed as belonging either to the corporation or its shareholders. In corporations with widely dispersed share holdings, the firm is subject to agency costs that …


The Origins Of Shared Intuitions Of Justice, Paul H. Robinson, Robert O. Kurzban, Owen D. Jones Nov 2007

The Origins Of Shared Intuitions Of Justice, Paul H. Robinson, Robert O. Kurzban, Owen D. Jones

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Contrary to the common wisdom among criminal law scholars, the empirical evidence reveals that people's intuitions of justice are often specific, nuanced, and widely shared. Indeed, with regard to the core harms and evils to which criminal law addresses itself – physical aggression, takings without consent, and deception in transactions – the shared intuitions are stunningly consistent, across cultures as well as demographics. It is puzzling that judgments of moral blameworthiness, which seem so complex and subjective, reflect such a remarkable consensus. What could explain this striking result? The authors theorize that one explanation may be an evolved predisposition toward …


The Ubit: Leveling An Uneven Playing Field Or Tilting A Level One?, Michael S. Knoll Oct 2007

The Ubit: Leveling An Uneven Playing Field Or Tilting A Level One?, Michael S. Knoll

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After grateful alumni acquired the Mueller Spaghetti Company on behalf of New York University, and the courts held that the university did not have to pay tax on the pasta maker’s income, Mueller’s competitors cried foul. Congress responded to their pleas and enacted the unrelated business income tax (UBIT). The UBIT subjects an otherwise tax-exempt entity, such as a charitable institution or a religious organization, to tax on its income from a trade or business that is not substantially related to the organization’s tax-exempt purpose. The UBIT is widely viewed as leveling the playing field between taxable for-profit businesses and …


Prejudgment Interest In International Arbitration, Jeffrey M. Colon, Michael S. Knoll Oct 2007

Prejudgment Interest In International Arbitration, Jeffrey M. Colon, Michael S. Knoll

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Tribunals in international arbitration are regularly asked by claimants to award prejudgment interest. Unless foreclosed by an agreement between the parties, there is widespread agreement prejudgment interest should put the claimant in the same position as it would have been had it not been injured by the respondent. However, there is little consensus how to calculate prejudgment interest in order to accomplish that purpose. In this Essay, we describe the proper method of calculating prejudgment interest based on sound financial principles. Using the paradigm that the respondent has forced the claimant to make an involuntary loan to the respondent, we …


Shareholder Litigation: The Accidental Elegance Of Aronson V. Lewis, David A. Skeel Jr. Oct 2007

Shareholder Litigation: The Accidental Elegance Of Aronson V. Lewis, David A. Skeel Jr.

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Unlike many key corporate law decisions, the 1984 Delaware Supreme Court decision in Aronson v. Lewis was not heralded by stories in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, nor in any other newspaper of note. Even now, few people other than corporate law experts are likely to recognize the name. Yet Aronson plays a pivotal role in many corporate law decisions that do get a lot more attention. Aronson established the parameters for filing derivative litigation against the directors of a corporation (or a third party, but derivative suits against third parties are now rare). A shareholder …


Face To Face With “It”: And Other Neglected Contexts Of Health Privacy, Anita L. Allen Oct 2007

Face To Face With “It”: And Other Neglected Contexts Of Health Privacy, Anita L. Allen

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“Illness has recently emerged from the obscurity of medical treatises and private diaries to acquire something like celebrity status,” Professor David Morris astutely observes. Great plagues and epidemics throughout history have won notoriety as collective disasters; and the Western world has made curiosities of an occasional “Elephant Man,” “Wild Boy,” or pair of enterprising “Siamese Twins.” People now reveal their illnesses and medical procedures in conversation, at work and on the internet. This paper explores the reasons why, despite the celebrity of disease and a new openness about health problems, privacy and confidentiality are still values in medicine.


Odious Debts Or Odious Regimes?, Patrick Bolton, David A. Skeel Jr. Oct 2007

Odious Debts Or Odious Regimes?, Patrick Bolton, David A. Skeel Jr.

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Current odious debt doctrine– using the term “doctrine” loosely, since it has never formally been adopted by a court or international decision maker– dates back to a 1927 treatise by a wandering Russian academic named Alexander Sack. Sack suggested that debt obligations are odious and therefore unenforceable if 1) they were incurred without the consent of the populace; 2) they did not benefit the populace; and 3) the lender knew or should have known about the absence of consent and benefit. The tripartite Sack definition, which quickly became the foundation of odious debt analysis, contemplates a debt-by-debt approach to questionable …


The Luck Of The Draw: Using Random Case Assignment To Investigate Attorney Ability, David S. Abrams, Albert H. Yoon Oct 2007

The Luck Of The Draw: Using Random Case Assignment To Investigate Attorney Ability, David S. Abrams, Albert H. Yoon

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One of the most challenging problems in legal scholarship is the measurement of attorney ability. Measuring attorney ability presents inherent challenges because the nonrandom pairing of attorney and client in most cases makes it difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish between attorney ability and case selection. Las Vegas felony case data, provided by the Clark County Office of the Public Defender in Nevada, offer a unique opportunity to compare attorney performance. The office assigns its incoming felony cases randomly among its pool of attorneys, thereby creating a natural experiment free from selection bias. We find substantial heterogeneity in attorney performance …


The Legal Periphery Of Dominant Firm Conduct, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Sep 2007

The Legal Periphery Of Dominant Firm Conduct, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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This essay explores two different but related problems and how U.S. antitrust law and EU competition law approach them. The first is the offense of attempt to monopolize, which concerns the acts that a firm that is not yet dominant might undertake in order to become dominant. The second is the offense of monopoly or dominant firm leveraging, which occurs when a firm uses its dominant position in one market to cause some kind of harm in a different market where it also does business.

The language of EU and U.S. provisions concerning dominant firms provokes one to think that …


Bribes V. Bombs: A Study In Coasean Warfare, Gideon Parchomovsky, Peter Siegelman Sep 2007

Bribes V. Bombs: A Study In Coasean Warfare, Gideon Parchomovsky, Peter Siegelman

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The use of bribes to co-opt an enemy’s forces can be a more effective way to wage war than the conventional use of force: Relative to bombs, bribes can save lives and resources, and preserve civic institutions. This essay evaluates the efficacy and normative desirability of selectively substituting bribes for bombs as a means of warfare. We show how inter-country disparities in wealth, differences in military strength, the organization of the bribing and recipient forces, uncertainty about the outcome of the conflict, and communications technology can contribute to the efficacy of bribes. We discuss methods for enforcing bargains struck between …


Distributive Injustice And Private Law, Aditi Bagchi Sep 2007

Distributive Injustice And Private Law, Aditi Bagchi

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Imperfect rights are not held against any single person, and when violated, they do not ground a claim for any particular quantum of redress. The right to an adequate income may be an imperfect right. Because imperfect rights have been asserted only as claims against the state, and because they do not lend themselves to constitutional adjudication, they have had little traction. In my paper, I will emphasize that any claim on the state is derivative from the right held as against other citizens. Even those who believe that individuals have perfect social rights against the state should concede an …


Separating Contract And Promise, Aditi Bagchi Sep 2007

Separating Contract And Promise, Aditi Bagchi

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Contract has been conceptualized as a species of promise. Treating contractual promise as a kind of promise highlights certain important aspects of contracting, but it also obscures essential differences between legally binding and everyday, or what I will call “private,” promises. The moral character of a private promise depends on the fact that it is not only freely made but also freely kept. Most contractual promises are not intended to have and (by definition) do not have this voluntary character. A promisor essentially opts out of the private practice of promising when she assigns to a third party the authority …


Is Open Source Software The New Lex Mercatoria?, Fabrizio Marrella, Christopher S. Yoo Aug 2007

Is Open Source Software The New Lex Mercatoria?, Fabrizio Marrella, Christopher S. Yoo

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Early Internet scholars proclaimed that the transnational nature of the Internet rendered it inherently unregulable by conventional governments. Instead, the Internet would be governed by customs and practices established by the end user community in a manner reminiscent of the lex mercatoria, which spontaneously emerged during medieval times to resolve international trade disputes independently and autonomously from national law. Subsequent events have revealed these claims to have been overly optimistic, as national governments have evinced both the inclination and the ability to exert influence, if not outright control, over the physical infrastructure, the domain name system, and the content flowing …


Well-Being, Inequality And Time: The Time-Slice Problem And Its Policy Implications, Matthew D. Adler Aug 2007

Well-Being, Inequality And Time: The Time-Slice Problem And Its Policy Implications, Matthew D. Adler

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Should equality be viewed from a lifetime or “sublifetime” perspective? In measuring the inequality of income, for example, should we measure the inequality of lifetime income or of annual income? In characterizing a tax as “progressive” or “regressive,” should we look to whether the annual tax burden increases with annual income, or instead to whether the lifetime tax burden increases with lifetime income? Should the overriding aim of anti-poverty programs be to reduce chronic poverty: being badly off for many years, because of low human capital or other long-run factors? Or is the moral claim of the impoverished person a …


What Can Antitrust Contribute To The Network Neutrality Debate?, Christopher S. Yoo Aug 2007

What Can Antitrust Contribute To The Network Neutrality Debate?, Christopher S. Yoo

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Over the course of the last year, policymakers have begun to consider whether antitrust can play a constructive role in the network neutrality debate. A review of both the theory and the practice of antitrust suggests that it does have something to contribute. As an initial matter, antitrust underscores that standardization and interoperability are not always beneficial and provides a framework for determining the optimal level of standardization. In addition, the economic literature and legal doctrine on vertical exclusion reveal how compelling network neutrality could reduce static efficiency and show how mandating network neutrality could impair dynamic efficiency by deterring …


Diabetes Treatments And Moral Hazard, Jonathan Klick, Thomas Stratmann Aug 2007

Diabetes Treatments And Moral Hazard, Jonathan Klick, Thomas Stratmann

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In the face of rising rates of diabetes, many states have passed laws requiring health insurance plans to cover medical treatments for the disease. Although supporters of the mandates expect them to improve the health of diabetics, the mandates have the potential to generate a moral hazard to the extent that medical treatments might displace individual behavioral improvements. Another possibility is that the mandates do little to improve insurance coverage for most individuals, as previous research on benefit mandates has suggested that mandates often duplicate what plans already cover. To examine the effects of these mandates, we employ a triple-differences …


The American Model Penal Code: A Brief Overview, Paul H. Robinson, Markus D. Dubber Jul 2007

The American Model Penal Code: A Brief Overview, Paul H. Robinson, Markus D. Dubber

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If there can be said to be an "American criminal code," the Model Penal Code is it. Nonetheless, there remains an enormous diversity among the fifty-two American penal codes, including some that have never adopted a modern code format or structure. Yet, even within the minority of states without a modern code, the Model Penal Code has great influence, as courts regularly rely upon it to fashion the law that the state's criminal code fails to provide. In this essay we provide a brief introduction to this historic document, its history and its content. Available for download at http://ssrn.com/abstract=661165


Concordance & Conflict In Intuitions Of Justice, Paul H. Robinson, Robert O. Kurzban Jun 2007

Concordance & Conflict In Intuitions Of Justice, Paul H. Robinson, Robert O. Kurzban

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The common wisdom among criminal law theorists and policy makers is that the notion of desert is vague and the subject to wide disagreement. Yet the empirical evidence in available studies, including new studies reported here, paints a dramatically different picture. While moral philosophers may disagree on some aspects of moral blameworthiness, people's intuitions of justice are commonly specific, nuanced, and widely shared. Indeed, with regard to the core harms and evils to which criminal law addresses itself – physical aggression, takings without consent, and deception in transactions – people's shared intuitions cut across demographics and cultures. The findings raise …


Why De Minimis?, Matthew D. Adler Jun 2007

Why De Minimis?, Matthew D. Adler

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De minimis cutoffs are a familiar feature of risk regulation. This includes the quantitative “individual risk” thresholds for fatality risks employed in many contexts by EPA, FDA, and other agencies, such as the 1-in-1 million lifetime cancer risk cutoff; extreme event cutoffs for addressing natural hazards, such as the 100-year-flood or 475-year-earthquake; de minimis failure probabilities for built structures; the exclusion of low-probability causal models; and other policymaking criteria. All these tests have a common structure, as I show in the Article. A de minimis test, broadly defined, tells the decisionmaker to determine whether the probability of some outcome is …


Introduction To Regulation And Regulatory Processes, Cary Coglianese, Robert Kagan Jun 2007

Introduction To Regulation And Regulatory Processes, Cary Coglianese, Robert Kagan

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Regulation of business activity is nearly as old as law itself. In the last century, though, the use of regulation by modern governments has grown markedly in both volume and significance, to the point where nearly every facet of today’s economy is subject to some form of regulation. When successful, regulation can deliver important benefits to society; however, regulation can also impose undue costs on the economy and, when designed or implemented poorly, fail to meet public needs at all. Given the importance of sound regulation to society, its study by scholars of law and social science is also of …


Super Size Me And The Conundrum Of Race/Ethnicity, Gender, And Class For The Contemporary Law-Genre Documentary Filmmaker, Regina Austin Jun 2007

Super Size Me And The Conundrum Of Race/Ethnicity, Gender, And Class For The Contemporary Law-Genre Documentary Filmmaker, Regina Austin

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According to director Morgan Spurlock, the idea for "Super Size Me," the hugely popular documentary that explored the health impact of fast food, originated from a news report about Pelman v. McDonald’s, one of the fast food obesity cases. Over the course of his month-long McDonald’s binge, Spurlock became the literal embodiment of fast-food’s ill-effects on the seemingly generic American adult physique. Spurlock’s take on the subject, however, ignores the circumstances that contributed to the overweight conditions of the Pelman plaintiffs who were two black adolescent females who ate their fast food in the Bronx. One of them was homeless …


Of Equal Wrongs And Half Rights, Gideon Parchomovsky, Peter Siegelman, Steven Thel Jun 2007

Of Equal Wrongs And Half Rights, Gideon Parchomovsky, Peter Siegelman, Steven Thel

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With a tiny handful of exceptions, common law jurisprudence is predicated on a “winner-take-all” principle: the plaintiff either gets the entire entitlement at issue or collects nothing at all. Cases that split an entitlement between the two parties are exceedingly rare. While there may be sound reasons for this all-or-nothing rule, we argue in this Article that the law should prefer equal division of an entitlement in a limited but important set of property, tort and contracts cases. The common element in such cases is a windfall, a gain or loss that occurs despite the fact that no ex ante …


Medical Malpractice Reform And Physicians In High-Risk Specialties, Jonathan Klick, Thomas Stratmann Jun 2007

Medical Malpractice Reform And Physicians In High-Risk Specialties, Jonathan Klick, Thomas Stratmann

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If medical malpractice reform affects the supply of physicians, the effects will be concentrated in specialties facing high liability exposure. Many doctors are likely to be indifferent regarding reform, because their likelihood of being sued is low. This difference can be exploited to isolate the causal effect of medical malpractice reform on the supply of doctors in high-risk specialties, by using doctors in low-risk specialties as a contemporaneous within-state control group. Using this triple-differences design to control for unobserved effects that correlate with the passage of medical malpractice reform, we show that only caps on noneconomic damages have a statistically …


The Effect Of Joint And Several Liability Under Superfund On Brownfields, Howard F. Chang, Hilary A. Sigman May 2007

The Effect Of Joint And Several Liability Under Superfund On Brownfields, Howard F. Chang, Hilary A. Sigman

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In response to claims that the threat of environmental liability under the Superfund law deters the acquisition of potentially contaminated sites (or "brownfields") for redevelopment, the federal government has adopted programs to protect purchasers from liability. This protection may be unwarranted, however, if sellers can simply adjust property prices downward to compensate buyers for this liability. We present a model of joint and several liability under Superfund that allows us to distinguish four different reasons that this liability may discourage the purchase of brownfields. The previous literature has overlooked the effects that we identify, which all arise because a sale …


Where's The Beef: A Few Words About Paying For Performance In Bankruptcy, Jonathan C. Lipson May 2007

Where's The Beef: A Few Words About Paying For Performance In Bankruptcy, Jonathan C. Lipson

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This brief essay responds to Yair Listokin’s article, “Paying for Performance in Bankruptcy: Why CEOs Should Be Compensated with Debt,” 155 U. PA. L. REV. 777 (2007). Professor Listokin argues that we should give official creditors’ committees the power to pay management of reorganizing debtors with corporate debt. This, he argues, would properly align their incentives with those who are most likely affected, the “residual claimant” unsecured creditors. Although Professor Listokin’s proposal is a welcome addition to our literature on corporate reorganization, this essay points out several basic problems with it: • First, nothing currently prevents parties from doing this …


Hedge Funds In Corporate Governance And Corporate Control, Marcel Kahan, Edward B. Rock May 2007

Hedge Funds In Corporate Governance And Corporate Control, Marcel Kahan, Edward B. Rock

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Hedge funds have become critical players in both corporate governance and corporate control. In this article, we document and examine the nature of hedge fund activism, how and why it differs from activism by traditional institutional investors, and its implications for corporate governance and regulatory reform. We argue that hedge fund activism differs from activism by traditional institutions in several ways: it is directed at significant changes in individual companies (rather than small, systemic changes), it entails higher costs, and it is strategic and ex ante (rather than intermittent and ex post). The reasons for these differences may lie in …