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Can Simple Mechanism Design Results Be Used To Implement The Proportionality Standard In Discovery?, Jonah B. Gelbach Sep 2015

Can Simple Mechanism Design Results Be Used To Implement The Proportionality Standard In Discovery?, Jonah B. Gelbach

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I point out that the Coase theorem suggests there should not be wasteful discovery, in the sense that the value to the requester is less than the cost to the responder. I use a toy model to show that a sufficiently informed court could design a mechanism under which the Coasean prediction is borne out. I then suggest that the actual information available to courts is too little to effect this mechanism, and I consider alternatives. In discussing mechanisms intended to avoid wasteful discovery where courts have limited information, I emphasize the role of normative considerations.


Scott V. Harris And The Future Of Summary Judgment, Tobias Barrington Wolff Jul 2015

Scott V. Harris And The Future Of Summary Judgment, Tobias Barrington Wolff

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The Supreme Court’s decision in Scott v. Harris has quickly become a staple in many Civil Procedure courses, and small wonder. The cinematic high-speed car chase complete with dash-cam video and the Court’s controversial treatment of that video evidence seem tailor-made for classroom discussion. As is often true with instant classics, however, splashy first impressions can mask a more complex state of affairs. At the heart of Scott v. Harris lies the potential for a radical doctrinal reformation: a shift in the core summary judgment standard undertaken to justify a massive expansion of interlocutory appellate jurisdiction in qualified immunity cases. …


Predatory Pricing Under The Areeda-Turner Test, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Mar 2015

Predatory Pricing Under The Areeda-Turner Test, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Few works of legal scholarship have had the impact enjoyed by Areeda and Turner's 1975 article on predatory pricing. Proof of predatory pricing under the Areeda-Turner test requires two things. The plaintiff must show a market structure such that the predator could rationally foresee "recouping the losses through higher profits earned in the absence of competition." This requirement, typically called "recoupment," requires the plaintiff to show that, looking from the beginning of the predation campaign, the predator can reasonably anticipate that the costs of predation will be more than offset by the present value of a future period of monopoly …


Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2015

Judge Posner’S Simple Law, Mitchell N. Berman

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The world is complex, Richard Posner observes in his most recent book, Reflections on Judging. It follows that, to resolve real-world disputes sensibly, judges must be astute students of the world’s complexity. The problem, he says, is that, thanks to disposition, training, and professional incentives, they aren’t. Worse than that, the legal system generates its own complexity precisely to enable judges “to avoid rather than meet and overcome the challenge of complexity” that the world delivers. Reflections concerns how judges needlessly complexify inherently simple law, and how this complexification can be corrected.

Posner’s diagnoses and prescriptions range widely—from the Bluebook …


Proportionality And The Social Benefits Of Discovery: Out Of Sight And Out Of Mind?, Stephen B. Burbank Jan 2015

Proportionality And The Social Benefits Of Discovery: Out Of Sight And Out Of Mind?, Stephen B. Burbank

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In this short essay, based on remarks delivered at the 2015 meeting of the AALS Section of Litigation, I use a recent paper by Gelbach and Kobayashi to highlight the risk that, in assessing the proportionality of proposed discovery under the 2015 amendments to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, federal judges will privilege costs over benefits, and private over public interests. The risk arises from the temptation to focus on (1) the interests of those who are present to the detriment of the interests of those who are absent (“the availability heuristic”), and (2) variables that …


Corporate Law Doctrine And The Legacy Of American Legal Realism, Edward B. Rock Jan 2015

Corporate Law Doctrine And The Legacy Of American Legal Realism, Edward B. Rock

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In this contribution to a symposium on "Legal Realism and Legal Doctrine," I examine the role that jurisprudence plays in corporate law doctrine. Through an examination of paired cases from the United States and United Kingdom, I offer a case study of the contrasting influence on corporate law judging of American Legal Realism versus traditional U.K. Doctrinalism.

Specialist judges in both systems, aided by specialist lawyers, clearly identify and understand the core policy issues involved in a dispute and arrive at sensible results. Adjusting for differences in background law and institutions, it seems likely that the disputes would ultimately be …


Federal Securities Fraud Litigation As A Lawmaking Partnership, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2015

Federal Securities Fraud Litigation As A Lawmaking Partnership, Jill E. Fisch

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In its most recent Halliburton II decision, the Supreme Court rejected an effort to overrule its prior decision in Basic Inc. v. Levinson. The Court reasoned that adherence to Basic was warranted by principles of stare decisis that operate with “special force” in the context of statutory interpretation. This Article offers an alternative justification for adhering to Basic—the collaboration between the Court and Congress that has led to the development of the private class action for federal securities fraud. The Article characterizes this collaboration as a lawmaking partnership and argues that such a partnership offers distinctive lawmaking advantages. …


Inventing The Classical Constitution, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2015

Inventing The Classical Constitution, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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One recurring call over a century of American constitutional thought is for return to a "classical" understanding of American federal and state Constitutions. "Classical" does not necessarily mean "originalist" or "interpretivist." Some classical views, such as the attempt to revitalize Lochner-style economic due process, find little support in the text of the federal Constitution or any of the contemporary state constitutions. Rather, constitutional meaning is thought to lie in a background link between constitution formation and classical statecraft. The core theory rests on the assumption of a social contract to which everyone in some initial position agreed. Like any contract, …


Federal Court Rulemaking And Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2015

Federal Court Rulemaking And Litigation Reform: An Institutional Approach, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

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The purpose of this article is to advance understanding of the role that federal court rulemaking has played in litigation reform. For that purpose, we created original data sets that include (1) information about every member of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules who served from 1960 to 2013, and (2) every proposal for amending the Federal Rules that the Advisory Committee approved for consideration by the Standing Committee during the same period and that had implications for private enforcement. We show that, beginning in 1971, when a succession of Chief Justices appointed by Republican Presidents have chosen committee members, …


From Chrysler And General Motors To Detroit, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2015

From Chrysler And General Motors To Detroit, David A. Skeel Jr.

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In the past five years, three of the most remarkable bankruptcy cases in American history have come out of Detroit: the bankruptcies of Chrysler and General Motors in 2009, and of Detroit itself in 2012. The principal objective of this Article is simply to show that the Grand Bargain at the heart of the Detroit bankruptcy is the direct offspring of the bankruptcy sale transactions that were used to restructure Chrysler and GM. The proponents of Detroit’s “Grand Bargain” never would have dreamed up the transaction were it not for the federal government-engineered carmaker bankruptcies. The Article’s second objective, based …


The Rise And Fall And Resurrection Of American Criminal Codes, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2015

The Rise And Fall And Resurrection Of American Criminal Codes, Paul H. Robinson

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This brief essay summarizes the virtues of the modern American codification movement of the 1960s and 70s, putting it in a larger global context, then describes how these once-enviable codes have been systematically degraded with thoughtless amendments, a process of degradation that is accelerating each year. After exploring the political dynamics that promote such degradation, the essay suggests the principles and procedures for fixing the current codes and, more importantly, structural changes to the process that could avoid the restart of degradation in the future.


Bait And Switch: Why United States V. Morrison Is Wrong About Section Five, Kermit Roosevelt Iii Jan 2015

Bait And Switch: Why United States V. Morrison Is Wrong About Section Five, Kermit Roosevelt Iii

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As the title suggests, the article examines Morrison’s creation of the rule that the Section Five power cannot be used to regulate private individuals. This is one of the most meaningful and, thus far, durable constraints that the Court has placed on federal power. It is the more surprising, then, that it turns out to be based on essentially nothing at all. The Morrison Court asserted that its rule was derived by—indeed, “controlled by”—precedent, but a closer reading of the Reconstruction-era decisions it cites shows that this is simply not the case. An independent evaluation of the rule against regulation …


Progressive Legal Thought, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2015

Progressive Legal Thought, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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A widely accepted model of American legal history is that "classical" legal thought, which dominated much of the nineteenth century, was displaced by "progressive" legal thought, which survived through the New Deal and in some form to this day. Within its domain, this was a revolution nearly on a par with Copernicus or Newton. This paradigm has been adopted by both progressive liberals who defend this revolution and by classical liberals who lament it.

Classical legal thought is generally identified with efforts to systematize legal rules along lines that had become familiar in the natural sciences. This methodology involved not …


Choice Of Law In Fraudulent Joinder Litigation, Walter Simons Jan 2015

Choice Of Law In Fraudulent Joinder Litigation, Walter Simons

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What Should Restatement (Fourth) Say About Treaty Interpretation?, Jean Galbraith Jan 2015

What Should Restatement (Fourth) Say About Treaty Interpretation?, Jean Galbraith

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Restatement (Second) and Restatement (Third) of Foreign Relations Law took notably different approaches to treaty interpretation, reflecting intervening changes in the legal landscape. This symposium contribution identifies five developments in international and domestic law since Restatement (Third). It then considers their import for the forthcoming Restatement (Fourth). Most importantly, it argues that Restatement (Fourth) should fully incorporate two articles on treaty interpretation from the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties into its black-letter provisions. Since the time of Restatement (Third), these articles have become central to international practice on treaty interpretation, and the principles they set forth are …


Brulotte'S Web, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2015

Brulotte'S Web, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment held that stare decisis required the Supreme Court to adhere to the half century old, much criticized rule in Brulotte v. Thys. Justice Douglas' Brulotte opinion concluded that license agreements requiring royalties measured by use of a patent after its expiration are unenforceable per se. The court need not inquire into market power nor anticompetitive effects, effects on innovation, and it may not accept any defense. Congress can change the rule if it wants to, but has resisted many invitations to do so.

Under Brulotte a hybrid license on patents and trade secrets requires a royalty …


The Moral Vigilante And Her Cousins In The Shadows, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2015

The Moral Vigilante And Her Cousins In The Shadows, Paul H. Robinson

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By definition, vigilantes cannot be legally justified – if they satisfied a justification defense, for example, they would not be law-breakers – but they may well be morally justified, if their aim is to provide the order and justice that the criminal justice system has failed to provide in a breach of the social contract. Yet, even moral vigilantism is detrimental to society and ought to be avoided, ideally not by prosecuting moral vigilantism but by avoiding the creation of situations that would call for it. Unfortunately, the U.S. criminal justice system has adopted a wide range of criminal law …


Marital Supremacy And The Constitution Of The Nonmarital Family, Serena Mayeri Jan 2015

Marital Supremacy And The Constitution Of The Nonmarital Family, Serena Mayeri

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Despite a transformative half century of social change, marital status still matters. The marriage equality movement has drawn attention to the many benefits conferred in law by marriage at a time when the “marriage gap” between affluent and poor Americans widens and rates of nonmarital childbearing soar. This Essay explores the contested history of marital supremacy—the legal privileging of marriage—through the lens of the “illegitimacy” cases of the 1960s and 1970s. Often remembered as a triumph for nonmarital families, these decisions defined the constitutional harm of illegitimacy classifications as the unjust punishment of innocent children for the “sins” of their …


Can We Learn Anything About Pleading Changes From Existing Data?, Jonah B. Gelbach Jan 2015

Can We Learn Anything About Pleading Changes From Existing Data?, Jonah B. Gelbach

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In light of the gateway role that the pleading standard can play in our civil litigation system, measuring the empirical effects of pleading policy changes embodied in the Supreme Court's controversial Twombly and Iqbal cases is important. In my earlier paper, Locking the Doors to Discovery, I argued that in doing so, special care is required in formulating the object of empirical study. Taking party behavior seriously, as Locking the Doors does, leads to empirical results suggesting that Twombly and Iqbal have had substantial effects among cases that face Rule 12(b)(6) motions post-Iqbal. This paper responds to …