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1911 Triangle Factory Fire — Building Safety Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Dec 2016

1911 Triangle Factory Fire — Building Safety Codes, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

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Can a crime make our world better? Crimes are the worst of humanity’s wrongs but, oddly, they sometimes do more than anything else to improve our lives. As it turns out, it is often the outrageousness itself that does the work. Ordinary crimes are accepted as the background noise of our everyday existence but some crimes make people stop and take notice – because they are so outrageous, or so curious, or so heart-wrenching. These “trigger crimes” are the cases that this book is about.

They offer some incredible stories about how people, good and bad, change the world around …


Protecting One's Own Privacy In A Big Data Economy, Anita L. Allen Dec 2016

Protecting One's Own Privacy In A Big Data Economy, Anita L. Allen

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Big Data is the vast quantities of information amenable to large-scale collection, storage, and analysis. Using such data, companies and researchers can deploy complex algorithms and artificial intelligence technologies to reveal otherwise unascertained patterns, links, behaviors, trends, identities, and practical knowledge. The information that comprises Big Data arises from government and business practices, consumer transactions, and the digital applications sometimes referred to as the “Internet of Things.” Individuals invisibly contribute to Big Data whenever they live digital lifestyles or otherwise participate in the digital economy, such as when they shop with a credit card, get treated at a hospital, apply …


Open Source, Modular Platforms, And The Challenge Of Fragmentation, Christopher S. Yoo Nov 2016

Open Source, Modular Platforms, And The Challenge Of Fragmentation, Christopher S. Yoo

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Open source and modular platforms represent two powerful conceptual paradigms that have fundamentally transformed the software industry. While generally regarded complementary, the freedom inherent in open source rests in uneasy tension with the strict structural requirements required by modularity theory. In particular, third party providers can produce noncompliant components, and excessive experimentation can fragment the platform in ways that reduce its economic benefits for end users and app providers and force app providers to spend resources customizing their code for each variant. The classic solutions to these problems are to rely on some form of testing to ensure that the …


The Reduced Form Of Litigation Models And The Plaintiff's Win Rate, Jonah B. Gelbach Sep 2016

The Reduced Form Of Litigation Models And The Plaintiff's Win Rate, Jonah B. Gelbach

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In this paper I introduce what I call the reduced form approach to studying the plaintiff's win rate in litigation selection models. A reduced form comprises a joint distribution of plaintiff's and defendant's beliefs concerning the probability that the plaintiff would win in the event a dispute were litigated; a conditional win rate function that tells us the actual probability of a plaintiff win in the event of litigation, given the parties' subjective beliefs; and a litigation rule that provides the probability that a case will be litigated given the two parties' beliefs. I show how models with very different-looking …


Sovereignty Considerations And Social Change In The Wake Of India's Recent Sodomy Cases, Deepa Das Acevedo Sep 2016

Sovereignty Considerations And Social Change In The Wake Of India's Recent Sodomy Cases, Deepa Das Acevedo

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American constitutional law scholars have long questioned whether courts can really drive social reform, and this position remains largely unchallenged even in the wake of recent landmark decisions affecting the LGBT community. In contrast, court watchers in India — spurred by developments in a special type of legal action developed in the late 1970s known as “public interest litigation,” or “PIL” — have only recently begun questioning the judiciary’s ability to promote progressive social change. Indian scholarship on this point has veered between despair that PIL cases no longer reliably produce good outcomes for India’s most disadvantaged, and optimism that …


Neuroethics: Neurolaw, Stephen J. Morse Sep 2016

Neuroethics: Neurolaw, Stephen J. Morse

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This is a pre-copyedited version of a chapter in the Oxford Handbooks Online (Philosophy) edited by Sandy Goldberg. In altered form, it was published online in February, 2017 and can be found at the Oxford Handbooks Online website. The entry discusses whether the findings of the new neuroscience based largely on functional brain imaging raise new normative questions and entail normative conclusions for ethical and legal theory and practice. After reviewing the source of optimism about neuroscientific contributions and the current scientific status of neuroscience, it addresses a radical challenge neuroscience allegedly presents: whether neuroscience proves persons do not have …


The Role Of Personal Laws In Creating A “Second Sex”, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Indira Jaising Sep 2016

The Role Of Personal Laws In Creating A “Second Sex”, Rangita De Silva De Alwis, Indira Jaising

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The cultural construction of gender determines the role of women and girls within the family in many societies. Gendered notions of power in the family are often shrouded in religion and custom and find their deepest expression in Personal Laws. This essay examines the international law framework as it relates to personal laws and the commonality of narratives of litigators and plaintiffs in the cases from the three different personal law systems in India.


Justice Scalia’S Originalism And Formalism: The Rule Of Criminal Law As A Law Of Rules, Stephanos Bibas Aug 2016

Justice Scalia’S Originalism And Formalism: The Rule Of Criminal Law As A Law Of Rules, Stephanos Bibas

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Far too many reporters and pundits collapse law into politics, assuming that the left–right divide between Democratic and Republican appointees neatly explains politically liberal versus politically conservative outcomes at the Supreme Court. The late Justice Antonin Scalia defied such caricatures. His consistent judicial philosophy made him the leading exponent of originalism, textualism, and formalism in American law, and over the course of his three decades on the Court, he changed the terms of judicial debate. Now, as a result, supporters and critics alike start with the plain meaning of the statutory or constitutional text rather than loose appeals to legislative …


Hedge Fund Activism, Poison Pills, And The Jurisprudence Of Threat, William W. Bratton Aug 2016

Hedge Fund Activism, Poison Pills, And The Jurisprudence Of Threat, William W. Bratton

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This chapter reviews the single high profile case in which twentieth century antitakeover law has come to bear on management defense against a twenty-first century activist challenge—the Delaware Court of Chancery’s decision to sustain a low-threshold poison pill deployed against an activist in Third Point LLC v. Ruprecht. The decision implicated an important policy question: whether a twentieth century doctrine keyed to hostile takeovers and control transfers appropriately can be brought to bear in a twenty-first century governance context in which the challenger eschews control transfer and instead makes aggressive use of the shareholder franchise. Resolution of the question …


Who Cares How Congress Really Works?, Ryan David Doerfler Aug 2016

Who Cares How Congress Really Works?, Ryan David Doerfler

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Legislative intent is a fiction. Courts and scholars accept this by and large. As this Article shows, however, both are confused as to why, and, more importantly, as to what this entails.

This Article argues that the standard account of why legislative intent is a fiction—that Congress is a “they,” not an “it”—rests on an overly simplistic conception of shared agency. Drawing on contemporary work in philosophy of action, this Article contends that Congress as such has no intentions not because of difficulties in aggregating the intentions of individual members, but rather because Congress lacks the sort of delegatory structure …


How Being Right Can Risk Wrongs, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Aug 2016

How Being Right Can Risk Wrongs, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

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This is a chapter from the new book The Vigilante Echo. Previous chapters have made clear that some vigilantism can be morally justified where the government has failed in its promise under the social contract to protect and to do justice. But this chapter explains how even moral vigilante action can be problematic for the larger society. Vigilantes may try to do the right thing but are likely to lack the training and professional neutrality of police. They may be successful, but only on pushing the crime problem to an adjacent neighborhood. Because their open lawbreaking may seem admirable …


Shadow Vigilante Officials Manipulate And Distort To Force Justice From An Apparently Reluctant System, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Aug 2016

Shadow Vigilante Officials Manipulate And Distort To Force Justice From An Apparently Reluctant System, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

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The real danger of the vigilante impulse is not of hordes of citizens, frustrated by the system’s doctrines of disillusionment, rising up to take the law into their own hands. Frustration can spark a vigilante impulse but such classic aggressive vigilantism is not the typical response. More common is the expression of disillusionment in less brazen ways, by a more surreptitious undermining and distortion of the operation of the criminal justice system.

Shadow vigilantes, as they might be called, can affect the operation of the system in a host of important ways. For example, when people act as classic vigilantes …


A Study Of Social Security Disability Litigation In The Federal Courts, Jonah B. Gelbach, David Marcus Jul 2016

A Study Of Social Security Disability Litigation In The Federal Courts, Jonah B. Gelbach, David Marcus

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A person who has sought and failed to obtain disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (“the agency”) can appeal the agency’s decision to a federal district court. In 2015, nearly 20,000 such appeals were filed, comprising a significant part of the federal courts’ civil docket. Even though claims pass through multiple layers of internal agency review, many of them return from the federal courts for even more adjudication. Also, a claimant’s experience in the federal courts differs considerably from district to district around the country. District judges in Brooklyn decide these cases pursuant to one set of procedural rules …


Capturing Regulatory Reality: Stigler’S The Theory Of Economic Regulation, Christopher Carrigan, Cary Coglianese Jul 2016

Capturing Regulatory Reality: Stigler’S The Theory Of Economic Regulation, Christopher Carrigan, Cary Coglianese

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This paper offers a retrospective assessment of economist George Stigler’s classic article, The Theory of Economic Regulation. Stigler argued that regulation is a product that, just like any other product, is produced in a market, and that it can be acquired from the governmental “marketplace” by business firms to serve their private interests and create barriers to entry for potential competitors. He challenged the idea that regulation arises solely to serve the public interest and demonstrated that important political advantages held by businesses can contribute to industry capture of the regulatory process. Although his argument was largely based on …


Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese Jul 2016

Administrative Law: The U.S. And Beyond, Cary Coglianese

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Administrative law constrains and directs the behavior of officials in the many governmental bodies responsible for implementing legislation and handling governance responsibilities on a daily basis. This field of law consists of procedures for decision making by these administrative bodies, including rules about transparency and public participation. It also encompasses oversight practices provided by legislatures, courts, and elected executives. The way that administrative law affects the behavior of government officials holds important implications for the fulfillment of democratic principles as well as effective governance in society. This paper highlights salient political theory and legal issues fundamental to the U.S. administrative …


Actions Speak Louder Than Images: The Use Of Neuroscientific Evidence In Criminal Cases, Stephen J. Morse Jun 2016

Actions Speak Louder Than Images: The Use Of Neuroscientific Evidence In Criminal Cases, Stephen J. Morse

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This invited commentary for Journal of Law & the Biosciences considers four empirical studies previously published in the journal of the reception of neuroscientific evidence in criminal cases in the United States, Canada, England and Wales, and the Netherlands. There are conceded methodological problems with all, but the data are nonetheless instructive and suggestive. The thesis of the comment is that the courts are committing the same errors that have bedeviled the reception of psychiatric and psychological evidence. There is insufficient caution about the state of the science, and more importantly, there is insufficient understanding of the relevance of the …


Is The Government Fiscally Blind? An Empirical Examination Of The Effect Of The Compensation Requirement On Eminent-Domain Exercises, Ronit Levine-Schnur, Gideon Parchomovsky Jun 2016

Is The Government Fiscally Blind? An Empirical Examination Of The Effect Of The Compensation Requirement On Eminent-Domain Exercises, Ronit Levine-Schnur, Gideon Parchomovsky

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We empirically test the fiscal-illusion hypothesis in the takings context in Israel. Israeli law allows local governments to expropriate up to 40 percent of any parcel without compensation. In 2001, the Israeli Supreme Court created a carve out for takings of 100 percent, requiring full compensation in such cases. We analyze data for 3,140 takings cases in Tel Aviv between 1990 and 2014. There was no disproportionate share of takings of just under 40 percent. Nor was there a long-term drop in the share of 100 percent takings after 2001. Although a short-term drop in the share of 100 percent …


Foundling Fathers: (Non-)Marriage And Parental Rights In The Age Of Equality, Serena Mayeri Jun 2016

Foundling Fathers: (Non-)Marriage And Parental Rights In The Age Of Equality, Serena Mayeri

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The twentieth-century equality revolution established the principle of sex neutrality in the law of marriage and divorce and eased the most severe legal disabilities traditionally imposed upon nonmarital children. Formal equality under the law eluded nonmarital parents, however. Although unwed fathers won unprecedented legal rights and recognition in a series of Supreme Court cases decided in the 1970s and 1980s, they failed to achieve constitutional parity with mothers or with married and divorced fathers. This Article excavates nonmarital fathers’ quest for equal rights, until now a mere footnote in the history of constitutional equality law.

Unmarried fathers lacked a social …


The Bounds Of Executive Discretion In The Regulatory State, Cary Coglianese, Christopher S. Yoo Jun 2016

The Bounds Of Executive Discretion In The Regulatory State, Cary Coglianese, Christopher S. Yoo

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What are the proper bounds of executive discretion in the regulatory state, especially over administrative decisions not to take enforcement actions? This question, which, just by asking it, would seem to cast into some doubt the seemingly absolute discretion the executive branch has until now been thought to possess, has become the focal point of the latest debate to emerge over the U.S. Constitution’s separation of powers. That ever‐growing, heated debate is what motivated more than two dozen distinguished scholars to gather for a two‐day conference held late last year at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, a conference organized …


Defending A Mixed Economy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp May 2016

Defending A Mixed Economy, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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This essay reviews Jacob S. Hacker's and Paul Pierson's very engaging book, American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget what Made America Prosper (2016).


Uncontrolled Experiments From The Laboratories Of Democracy: Traditional Cash Welfare, Federalism, And Welfare Reform, Jonah B. Gelbach May 2016

Uncontrolled Experiments From The Laboratories Of Democracy: Traditional Cash Welfare, Federalism, And Welfare Reform, Jonah B. Gelbach

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In this chapter I discuss the history and basic incentive effects of two key U.S. cash assistance programs aimed at families with children. Starting roughly in the 1980s, critics of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program argued that the program -- designed largely to cut relatively small checks -- failed to end poverty or promote work. After years of federally provided waivers that allowed states to experiment with changes to their AFDC programs, the critics in 1996 won the outright elimination of AFDC. It was replaced by the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, over which …


Is The Philadelphia Wage Tax Unconstitutional? And If It Is, What Can And Should The City Do?, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason Apr 2016

Is The Philadelphia Wage Tax Unconstitutional? And If It Is, What Can And Should The City Do?, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason

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Philadelphia has a complex and antiquated tax system that has long been criticized for driving employers and jobs away from Philadelphia by making it expensive to conduct business in the City. The centerpiece of the Philadelphia tax system is the Philadelphia wage tax, which raised more than $1.6 billion in 2014. That tax has been challenged as unconstitutional in light of the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision in Wynne v. Comptroller of Maryland, which struck down a structurally similar Maryland tax. This Essay explains the constitutional challenge to the City wage tax, argues that the tax is unconstitutional, describes steps …


Law, Responsibility, And The Sciences Of The Brain/Mind, Stephen J. Morse Apr 2016

Law, Responsibility, And The Sciences Of The Brain/Mind, Stephen J. Morse

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This chapter is a submission to the Oxford Handbook of Law and the Regulation of Technology edited by Roger Brownsword. It considers whether the new sciences of the brain/mind, especially neuroscience and behavioral genetics, are likely to transform the law’s traditional concepts of the person, agency and responsibility. The chapter begins with a brief speculation about why so many people think these sciences will transform the law. After reviewing the law’s concepts, misguided challenges to them, and the achievements of the new sciences, the chapter confronts the claim that these sciences prove that we are really not agents and that …


Patent Exhaustion And Federalism: A Historical Note, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2016

Patent Exhaustion And Federalism: A Historical Note, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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This essay, written as a response to John F. Duffy and Richard Hynes, Statutory Domain and the Commercial Law of Intellectual Property, 102 VA. L. REV. 1 (2016), argues that the patent exhaustion (first sale) doctrine developed as a creature of federalism, intended to divide the line between the law of patents, which by that time had become exclusively federal, and the law of patented things, which were governed by the states. Late nineteenth and early twentieth century courts were explicit on the point, in decisions stretching from the 1850s well into the twentieth century.

By the second half of …


Conviction Review Units: A National Perspective, John Hollway Apr 2016

Conviction Review Units: A National Perspective, John Hollway

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Over the past 25 years, Americans have become increasingly aware of a vast array of mistakes in the administration of justice, including wrongful convictions, situations where innocent individuals have been convicted and incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. The most prevalent institutional response by prosecutors to address post-conviction fact-based claims of actual innocence is the Conviction Review Unit (CRU), sometimes called the Conviction Integrity Unit. Since the creation of the first CRU in the mid-2000s, more than 25 such units have been announced across the country; more than half of these have been created in the past 24 months. …


Antitrust Balancing, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Apr 2016

Antitrust Balancing, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Antitrust litigation often confronts situations where effects point in both directions. Judges sometimes describe the process of evaluating these factors as “balancing.” In its e-Books decision the Second Circuit believed that the need to balance is what justifies application of the rule of reason. In Microsoft the D.C. Circuit stated that “courts routinely apply a…balancing approach” under which “the plaintiff must demonstrate that the anticompetitive harm…outweighs the procompetitive benefit.” But then it decided the case without balancing anything.

The term “balancing” is a very poor label for what courts actually do in these cases. Balancing requires that two offsetting effects …


Occam's Phaser: Making Proportional Discovery (Finally) Work In Litigation By Requiring Phased Discovery, Michael Thomas Murphy Apr 2016

Occam's Phaser: Making Proportional Discovery (Finally) Work In Litigation By Requiring Phased Discovery, Michael Thomas Murphy

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This is an article about solving the problem of expensive electronic discovery in litigation by simply learning the most important facts first. Judges and parties often complain that the scope of information included in fact discovery in civil litigation is overinclusive and disproportionate to size of the dispute, resulting in overly expensive costs. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure recently changed again to further emphasize the use of “proportional” limits in discovery, but provide little practical mechanism for parties, lawyers, and judges to make discovery “right-sized.” This Article proposes that parties should be required to “phase” discovery by first setting …


A Two-Step Plan For Puerto Rico, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr. Mar 2016

A Two-Step Plan For Puerto Rico, Clayton P. Gillette, David A. Skeel Jr.

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Few still believe that Puerto Rico is capable of meeting all of its financial obligations and continuing to provide basic services. The territory is already in default, and conditions are rapidly deteriorating. Is there a way forward? We think there is. In this short article, we outline a two-part plan for correcting Puerto Rico’s most urgent fiscal and financial problems.

The first step is to create an independent financial control board that has authority over Puerto Rico’s budgets and related issues. Notwithstanding concerns that an externally imposed financial control board (FCB) may interfere with the decision making processes of democratically …


Can The International Criminal Court Deter Atrocity?, Hyeran Jo, Beth A. Simmons Mar 2016

Can The International Criminal Court Deter Atrocity?, Hyeran Jo, Beth A. Simmons

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Whether and how violence can be controlled to spare innocent lives is a central issue in international relations. The most ambitious effort to date has been the International Criminal Court (ICC), designed to enhance security and safety by preventing egregious human rights abuses and deterring international crimes. We offer the first systematic assessment of the ICC's deterrent effects for both state and nonstate actors. Although no institution can deter all actors, the ICC can deter some governments and those rebel groups that seek legitimacy. We find support for this conditional impact of the ICC cross-nationally. Our work has implications for …


Antitrust And Information Technologies, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Mar 2016

Antitrust And Information Technologies, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Technological change strongly affects the use of information to facilitate anticompetitive practices. The effects result mainly from digitization and the many products and processes that it enables. These technologies of information also account for a significant portion of the difficulties that antitrust law encounters when its addresses intellectual property rights. In addition, changes in the technologies of information affect the structures of certain products, in the process either increasing or decreasing the potential for competitive harm.

For example, digital technology affects the way firms exercise market power, but it also imposes serious measurement difficulties. The digital revolution has occurred in …