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Full-Text Articles in Law

Class Actions, Statutes Of Limitations And Repose, And Federal Common Law, Stephen B. Burbank, Tobias Barrington Wolff Dec 2018

Class Actions, Statutes Of Limitations And Repose, And Federal Common Law, Stephen B. Burbank, Tobias Barrington Wolff

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After more than three decades during which it gave the issue scant attention, the Supreme Court has again made the American Pipe doctrine an active part of its docket. American Pipe addresses the tolling of statutes of limitations in federal class action litigation. When plaintiffs file a putative class action in federal court and class certification is denied, absent members of the putative class may wish to pursue their claims in some kind of further proceeding. If the statute of limitations would otherwise have expired while the class certification issue was being resolved, these claimants may need the benefit of …


The Securities Law Implications Of Financial Illiteracy, Lisa Fairfax Oct 2018

The Securities Law Implications Of Financial Illiteracy, Lisa Fairfax

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Every financial literacy study conducted over the last few decades concurs: Americans, including American investors, are financially illiterate. This Article argues that America’s financial illiteracy poses a significant, widespread, and long-term challenge for our federal securities regime because that regime is premised almost entirely on disclosure as the best form of investor protection and, by extension, on investors’ ability to understand disclosure. By advancing a typology of investors and their disclosure needs, this Article further argues that we may have significantly underestimated the extent of the financial illiteracy problem based on at least two flawed assumptions. First, we have presumed …


Judicious Imprisonment, Gregory Jay Hall Sep 2018

Judicious Imprisonment, Gregory Jay Hall

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Starting August 21, 2018, Americans incarcerated across the United States have been striking back — non-violently. Inmates with jobs are protesting slave-like wages through worker strikes and sit-ins. Inmates also call for an end to racial disparities and an increase in rehabilitation programs. Even more surprisingly, many inmates have begun hunger strikes. Inmates are protesting the numerous ills of prisons: overcrowding, inadequate health care, abysmal mental health care contributing to inmate suicide, violence, disenfranchisement of inmates, and more. While recent reforms have slightly decreased mass incarceration, the current White House administration could likely reverse this trend. President Donald Trump’s and …


The Tao Of The Dao: Taxing An Entity That Lives On A Blockchain, David J. Shakow Aug 2018

The Tao Of The Dao: Taxing An Entity That Lives On A Blockchain, David J. Shakow

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In this report, Shakow explains how a decentralized autonomous organization functions and interacts with the U.S. tax system and presents the many tax issues that these structures raise. The possibility of using smart contracts to allow an entity to operate totally autonomously on a blockchain platform seems attractive. However, little thought has been given to how such an entity can comply with the requirements of a tax system. The DAO, the first major attempt to create such an organization, failed because of a programming error. If successful examples proliferate in the future, tax authorities will face significant problems in getting …


The Salience Theory Of Consumer Financial Regulation, Natasha Sarin Aug 2018

The Salience Theory Of Consumer Financial Regulation, Natasha Sarin

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Prior to the financial crisis, banks’ fee income was their fastest-growing source of revenue. This revenue was often generated through nefarious bank practices (e.g., ordering overdraft transactions for maximal fees). The crisis focused popular attention on the extent to which current regulatory tools failed consumers in these markets, and policymakers responded: A new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was tasked with monitoring consumer finance products, and some of the earliest post-crisis financial reforms sought to lower consumer costs. This Article is the first to empirically evaluate the success of the consumer finance reform agenda by considering three recent price regulations: a …


Was The Amt Effectively Repealed?, Reed Shuldiner Apr 2018

Was The Amt Effectively Repealed?, Reed Shuldiner

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The individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) was a much disliked feature of the tax law prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Yet, despite repeated promises to repeal the AMT as part of tax reform, the TCJA dropped AMT repeal in favor of increasing the AMT exemption and its phaseout threshold. The question raised by this development is whether the AMT changes should be viewed as yet another stop-gap tweak of the AMT or whether the changes should be viewed as returning the AMT to its roots as a tax on high-income taxpayers using excessive loopholes. In this …


Hipster Antitrust: New Bottles, Same Old W(H)Ine?, Christopher S. Yoo Apr 2018

Hipster Antitrust: New Bottles, Same Old W(H)Ine?, Christopher S. Yoo

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Although the debate over hipster antitrust is often portrayed as something new, experienced observers recognize it as a replay of an old argument that was resolved by the global consensus that antitrust should focus on consumer welfare rather than on the size of firms, the levels of industry concentration, and other considerations. Moreover, the history of the Federal Trade Commission’s Section 5 authority to prevent unfair methods of competition stands as a reminder of the dangers of allowing enforcement policy to be guided by vague and uncertain standards.


The Dynamic Impact Of Periodic Review On Women’S Rights, Cosette D. Creamer, Beth A. Simmons Feb 2018

The Dynamic Impact Of Periodic Review On Women’S Rights, Cosette D. Creamer, Beth A. Simmons

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Human rights treaty bodies have been frequently criticized as useless and the regime’s self-reporting procedure widely viewed as a whitewash. Yet very little research explores what, if any, influence this periodic review process has on governments’ implementation of and compliance with treaty obligations. We argue oversight committees may play an important role in improving rights on the ground by providing information for international and primarily domestic audiences. This paper examines the cumulative effects on women’s rights of self-reporting and oversight review, using original data on the history of state reporting to and review by the Committee on the Elimination of …


Dual Residents: A Sur-Reply To Zelinsky, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason Jan 2018

Dual Residents: A Sur-Reply To Zelinsky, Michael S. Knoll, Ruth Mason

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In this article, we respond to Professor Zelinsky’s criticism of our arguments regarding the constitutionality of New York’s tax residence rule. We argue that the Supreme Court’s decision in Wynne requires reconsideration of the New York Court of Appeal’s decision in Tamagni.


Statutory Rape, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams Jan 2018

Statutory Rape, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams

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It is common for criminal law scholars from outside the United States to discuss the “American rule” and compare it to the rule of other countries. As this volume makes clear, however, there is no such thing as an “American rule.” Because each of the states, plus the District of Columbia and the federal system, have their own criminal law, there are fifty-two American criminal codes.

American criminal law scholars know this, of course, but they too commonly speak of the “general rule” as if it reflects some consensus or near consensus position among the states. But the truth is …


Distributive Principles Of Criminal Law, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams Jan 2018

Distributive Principles Of Criminal Law, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams

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This first chapter from the recently published book Mapping American Criminal Law: Variations across the 50 States documents the alternative distributive principles for criminal liability and punishment — desert, deterrence, incapacitation of the dangerous — that are officially recognized by law in each of the American states. The chapter contains two maps visually coded to display important differences: the first map shows which states have adopted desert, deterrence, or incapacitation as a distributive principle, while the second map shows which form of desert is adopted in those jurisdictions that recognize desert. Like all 38 chapters in the book, which covers …


Mental Disorder And Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2018

Mental Disorder And Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Morse

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This paper is a chapter that will appear in REFORMING CRIMINAL JUSTICE: A REPORT OF THE ACADEMY FOR JUSTICE BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SCHOLARSHIP AND REFORM (Erik Luna ed., Academy for Justice 2018). The criminal law treats some people with severe mental disorders doctrinally and practically differently at virtually every stage of the criminal justice process, beginning with potential incompetence to stand trial and ending with the question of competence to be executed, and such people have special needs when they are in the system. This chapter begins by exploring the fundamental mental health information necessary to make informed judgements …


Planning For Excellence: Insights From An International Review Of Regulators' Strategic Plans, Adam M. Finkel, Daniel Walters, Angus Corbett Jan 2018

Planning For Excellence: Insights From An International Review Of Regulators' Strategic Plans, Adam M. Finkel, Daniel Walters, Angus Corbett

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What constitutes regulatory excellence? Answering this question is an indispensable first step for any public regulatory agency that is measuring, striving towards, and, ultimately, achieving excellence. One useful way to answer this question would be to draw on the broader literature on regulatory design, enforcement, and management. But, perhaps a more authentic way would be to look at how regulators themselves define excellence. However, we actually know remarkably little about how the regulatory officials who are immersed in the task of regulation conceive of their own success.

In this Article, we investigate regulators’ definitions of regulatory excellence by drawing on …


Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman Jan 2018

Our Principled Constitution, Mitchell N. Berman

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Suppose that one of us contends, and the other denies, that transgender persons have constitutional rights to be treated in accord with their gender identity. It appears that we are disagreeing about “what the law is.” And, most probably, we disagree about what the law is on this matter because we disagree about what generally makes it the case that our constitutional law is this rather than that.

Constitutional theory should provide guidance. It should endeavor to explain what gives our constitutional rules the contents that they have, or what makes true constitutional propositions true. Call any such account a …


Bias In, Bias Out, Sandra G. Mayson Jan 2018

Bias In, Bias Out, Sandra G. Mayson

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Police, prosecutors, judges, and other criminal justice actors increasingly use algorithmic risk assessment to estimate the likelihood that a person will commit future crime. As many scholars have noted, these algorithms tend to have disparate racial impacts. In response, critics advocate three strategies of resistance: (1) the exclusion of input factors that correlate closely with race; (2) adjustments to algorithmic design to equalize predictions across racial lines; and (3) rejection of algorithmic methods altogether.

This Article’s central claim is that these strategies are at best superficial and at worst counterproductive because the source of racial inequality in risk assessment lies …


Exclusionary Megacities, Wendell Pritchett, Shitong Qiao Jan 2018

Exclusionary Megacities, Wendell Pritchett, Shitong Qiao

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Human beings should live in places where they are most productive, and megacities, where information, innovation and opportunities congregate, would be the optimal choice. Yet megacities in both China and the U.S. are excluding people by limiting housing supply. Why, despite their many differences, is the same type of exclusion happening in both Chinese and U.S. megacities? Urban law and policy scholars argue that Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) homeowners are taking over megacities in the U.S. and hindering housing development therein. They pin their hopes on an efficient growth machine that makes sure “above all, nothing gets in the way of building.” …


Baby M Turns 30: The Law And Policy Of Surrogate Motherhood, Eric A. Feldman Jan 2018

Baby M Turns 30: The Law And Policy Of Surrogate Motherhood, Eric A. Feldman

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This article marks the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s Baby M decision by offering a critical analysis of surrogacy policy in the United States. Despite fundamental changes in both science and society since the case was decided, state courts and legislatures remain bitterly divided on the legality of surrogacy. In arguing for a more uniform, permissive legal posture toward surrogacy, the article addresses five central debates in the surrogacy literature.

First, should the legal system accommodate those seeking conception through surrogacy, or should it prohibit such arrangements? Second, if surrogacy is permitted, what steps can be …


Improving Regulatory Analysis At Independent Agencies, Cary Coglianese Jan 2018

Improving Regulatory Analysis At Independent Agencies, Cary Coglianese

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Each year, independent regulatory agencies—such as the Federal Communications Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Securities and Exchange Commission—issue highly consequential regulations. When they issue their regulations, however, they do not have to meet the same requirements for analysis that apply to other agencies. Consequently, courts, policymakers, and scholars have voiced serious reservations about a general lack of high-quality prospective analysis of new regulations at independent agencies. These agencies’ track records with retrospective analysis of their existing regulations raise similar concerns. In this article, I approach the quality of regulatory analysis at independent agencies as a policy problem, assessing the current …


The Behavioral Economics Of Multilevel Marketing, Heidi H. Liu Jan 2018

The Behavioral Economics Of Multilevel Marketing, Heidi H. Liu

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Multilevel marketing companies (MLMs) - sales organizations that compensate independent consultants based on the sales and recruitment of other consultants - form a significant part of the American economy. Yet, MLMs provide little information to regulators and potential participants regarding potentially material information. Although MLMs are often compared to pyramid schemes, consultants argue that participation in a MLM allows them to make money outside of the traditional full-time labor force. This paper examines the law, economics, and psychology of MLMs, suggesting that MLMs may draw on prospective consultants' cognitive biases in persuading consultants to join and continue a MLM. Consultants …


On The Disparate Treatment Of Business And Personal Salt Payments, Michael S. Knoll Jan 2018

On The Disparate Treatment Of Business And Personal Salt Payments, Michael S. Knoll

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1, would eliminate the federal income tax deduction for nonbusiness state and local taxes while maintaining the deduction for business state and local taxes. That disparate treatment has generated a storm of negative commentary. In this short essay, I consider whether the federal tax law should allow a deduction for business state and local taxes assuming that there is no deduction for nonbusiness state and local taxes. I argue that investors and businesses, including pass-through businesses, should be allowed to deduct state and local property and sales taxes, but not general income taxes.


Felony Murder, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams Jan 2018

Felony Murder, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams

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It is common for criminal law scholars from outside the United States to discuss the “American rule” and compare it to the rule of other countries. As this volume makes clear, however, there is no such thing as an “American rule.” Because each of the states, plus the District of Columbia and the federal system, have their own criminal law, there are fifty-two American criminal codes.

American criminal law scholars know this, of course, but they too commonly speak of the “general rule” as if it reflects some consensus or near consensus position among the states. But the truth is …


The Empty Idea Of “Equality Of Creditors”, David A. Skeel Jr. Jan 2018

The Empty Idea Of “Equality Of Creditors”, David A. Skeel Jr.

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For two hundred years, the equality of creditors norm—the idea that similarly situated creditors should be treated similarly—has been widely viewed as the most important principle in American bankruptcy law, rivaled only by our commitment to a fresh start for honest but unfortunate debtors. I argue in this Article that the accolades are misplaced. Although the equality norm once was a rough proxy for legitimate concerns, such as curbing self-dealing, it no longer plays this role. Nor does it serve any other beneficial purpose.

Part I of this Article traces the historical emergence and evolution of the equality norm, first …


Governance By Contract: The Implications For Corporate Bylaws, Jill E. Fisch Jan 2018

Governance By Contract: The Implications For Corporate Bylaws, Jill E. Fisch

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Boards and shareholders are increasing using charter and bylaw provisions to customize their corporate governance. Recent examples include forum selection bylaws, majority voting bylaws and advance notice bylaws. Relying on the contractual conception of the corporation, Delaware courts have accorded substantial deference to board-adopted bylaw provisions, even those that limit shareholder rights.

This Article challenges the rationale for deference under the contractual approach. With respect to corporate bylaws, the Article demonstrates that shareholder power to adopt and amend the bylaws is, under Delaware law, more limited than the board’s power to do so. As a result, shareholders cannot effectively constrain …


Antitrust And The Design Of Production, Herbert J. Hovenkamp Jan 2018

Antitrust And The Design Of Production, Herbert J. Hovenkamp

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Both economics and antitrust policy have traditionally distinguished “production” from “distribution.” The former is concerned with how products are designed and built, the latter with how they are placed into the hands of consumers. Nothing in the language of the antitrust laws suggests much concern with production as such. Although courts do not view it that way, even per se unlawful naked price fixing among rivals is a restraint on distribution rather than production. Naked price fixing assumes a product that has already been designed and built, and the important cartel decision is what should be each firm’s output, or …


Insanity Defense, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams Jan 2018

Insanity Defense, Paul H. Robinson, Tyler Scot Williams

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It is common for criminal law scholars from outside the United States to discuss the “American rule” and compare it to the rule of other countries. As this volume makes clear, however, there is no such thing as an “American rule.” Because each of the states, plus the District of Columbia and the federal system, have their own criminal law, there are fifty-two American criminal codes.

American criminal law scholars know this, of course, but they too commonly speak of the “general rule” as if it reflects some consensus or near consensus position among the states. But the truth is …


Reforming The Pentagon: Reflections On How Everything Became War And The Military Became Everything, Mark P. Nevitt Jan 2018

Reforming The Pentagon: Reflections On How Everything Became War And The Military Became Everything, Mark P. Nevitt

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What best explains how “Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything?”— the provocative title of a recent book by Professor Rosa Brooks of Georgetown Law. In this Essay, I turn to the Department of Defense’s (DoD) unique agency design as the vehicle to address this question. Specifically, I first describe and analyze the role that the 1947 National Security Act and 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act play in incentivizing organizational behavior within the DoD. These two Acts have broad implications for national security governance. Relatedly, I address the consequences of these two core national security laws, focusing on the …


Optimizing Regulation For An Optimizing Economy, Cary Coglianese Jan 2018

Optimizing Regulation For An Optimizing Economy, Cary Coglianese

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Much economic activity in the United States today emanates from technological advances that optimize through contextualization. Innovations as varied as Airbnb and Uber, fintech firms, and precision medicine are transforming major sectors in the economy by customizing goods and services as well as refining matches between available resources and interested buyers. The technological advances that make up the optimizing economy create new challenges for government oversight of the economy. Traditionally, government has overseen economic activity through general regulations that aim to treat all individuals equally; however, in the optimizing economy, business is moving in the direction of greater individualization, not …