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Full-Text Articles in Law

Limiting Overall Hospital Costs By Capping Out-Of-Network Rates, David Orentlicher, Kyra Morgan, Barak Richman Jan 2023

Limiting Overall Hospital Costs By Capping Out-Of-Network Rates, David Orentlicher, Kyra Morgan, Barak Richman

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Contract theory offers a simple and wildly effective solution to surprise bills: Hospital admissions contracts are contracts with open price terms, which contract law imputes with market rates. This solution not only obviated the costly, time-consuming, and complicated (and still unimplemented) legislative fix in the No Surprises Act, but it also is a superior solution since it introduces superior incentives to disclose, compete, and economize.

Using data from the Nevada Department of Health and Turquoise Health, this paper explores the theory and empirics of employing contract law's solution to hospital surprise bills and its superiority over other legislative interventions.


What Is The Meaning Of "Plain Meaning", Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2021

What Is The Meaning Of "Plain Meaning", Jeffrey W. Stempel

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The American approach to construing texts (statutes, regulations, contracts and documents generally) stresses decision through determining the “plain meaning” of the document based on the court’s reading of the text. Where the court finds plain meaning on the face of text, it generally refuses to consider additional contextual information or extrinsic evidence of meaning.

Notwithstanding its status as the dominant approach to interpretation, the plain meaning concept has not been well defined or operationalized. Despite judicial confidence in the plain meaning approach, courts have wisely been willing to sidestep it and eschew the rather clear facial meaning of text when …


Rejecting Word Worship: An Integrative Approach To Judicial Construction Of Insurance Policies, Jeffrey W. Stempel, Erik S. Knutsen Jan 2021

Rejecting Word Worship: An Integrative Approach To Judicial Construction Of Insurance Policies, Jeffrey W. Stempel, Erik S. Knutsen

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Litigation over insurance coverage is really a quest for meaning: Does the insurance policy cover the loss at issue? Construing the insurance policy, courts are attempting to give legal effect to what the document purports to command. But what were the intentions and expectations of insurer and insured? Do those intentions even matter? Or is only the written text of the policy relevant to the coverage result? Courts approaching these questions typically frame the interpretative choice as one of strict textualism versus a more contextual, functionalist approach.

In many, perhaps even most situations, text and context align to create an …


How To Make A Dead Armadillo: Consumer Contracts And The Perils Of Compromise, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2020

How To Make A Dead Armadillo: Consumer Contracts And The Perils Of Compromise, Jeffrey W. Stempel

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The ALI's proposed Restatement of the Law, Consumer Contracts ("RLCC") has managed to alarm both corporate America and consumer advocates, including half the nation's attorneys general. To some extent, the RLCC is yet another victim of the nation's increasing polarization and the rise of partisanship within the legal profession. But the RLCC suffers from self-inflicted wounds through questionable endorsement of problematic case law on contract formation as well as its goal of a well-intentioned but flawed "Grand Bargain" that arguably seized a middle ground disliked, for different reasons, by both consumer and business advocates. The RL CC stepped into this …


Notes From A Quiet Corner: User Concerns About Reinsurance Arbitration – And Attendant Lessons For Selection Of Dispute Resolution Forums And Methods, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2017

Notes From A Quiet Corner: User Concerns About Reinsurance Arbitration – And Attendant Lessons For Selection Of Dispute Resolution Forums And Methods, Jeffrey W. Stempel

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Arbitration between insurers and reinsurers – those who insure insurance companies – should logically run as smoothly as any arbitration process. Like the traditional commercial arbitration that drove enactment of the Federal Arbitration Act, reinsurance arbitration involves experienced actors in a confined industry in which the parties should be constructively aware of the rules, norms, customs and practices of the industry. But in spite of this, reinsurance arbitration experiences consistent problems of which the participants complain. This article reviews the complaints and exams possible solutions – including the possibility of arbitrating less and litigating more. Although these possible solutions would …


Redefining Roles And Duties Of The Transactional Lawyer: A Narrative Approach, Lori D. Johnson Jan 2017

Redefining Roles And Duties Of The Transactional Lawyer: A Narrative Approach, Lori D. Johnson

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Today’s transactional lawyers perform myriad tasks for their clients, including structuring, drafting, conceptualizing, negotiating, and executing the complex, risky, and often cutting-edge transactions their clients bring to the table. On the other side of that table, often sits another team of sophisticated transactional lawyers. These opposing counsel are armed for battle over every nuance, every word, every representation, every deliverable, and every obligation their client is poised to undertake or agree to. Therefore, modern transactional lawyers must behave as advocates and explore new modes of persuasion. As a response, scholars have begun to propose that transactional lawyers employ methods of …


Contracting Trademark Fame?, Leah Chan Grinvald Jan 2016

Contracting Trademark Fame?, Leah Chan Grinvald

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Contracts abound in today's highly digitized society. Did you snap a pic and upload it to Instagram? You entered into a contract. Did you check your friends' statuses on Facebook? Yep, you also entered into a contract. Did you know you entered into a contract or even if you were aware of this fact, did you know the terms to which you agreed? Probably not. But despite this, we are all obligated by these contracts, so long as we are somehow made aware that we could read the terms at some point if we had the inclination to do so. …


The Ethics Of Non-Traditional Contract Drafting, Lori D. Johnson Jan 2016

The Ethics Of Non-Traditional Contract Drafting, Lori D. Johnson

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A new generation of contract drafters faces increasing commentary advising them to change traditional contract terms into plain language constructions. Yet, traditional, tested terms have consistent meanings, and when these meanings benefit client objectives, advocates should consider retaining them. This article posits that failing to do so can impact a lawyer’s ethical obligations. Specifically, an attorney’s duties of competence, allocation of authority, diligence, and communication under the Model Rules of Professional Conduct require careful thought about modernizing tested contract terms. These duties require the ethical drafter to research whether the use of a traditional, tested term advances a client goal …


Hurrah For The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Consumer Arbitration As A Poster Child For Regulation, Jean R. Sternlight Jan 2016

Hurrah For The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Consumer Arbitration As A Poster Child For Regulation, Jean R. Sternlight

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Drawing on economic, psychological and philosophical considerations, this Essay considers whether consumers should be "free" to "agree" to contractually trade their opportunity to litigate in a class action for the opportunity to bring an arbitration claim against a company. The Essay suggests that by looking at the CFPB's regulation through these three lenses, one sees that the regulation is desirable—even a poster child—for the potential value of regulation when market forces are not sufficient to protect individual or public interests.


Opinion & Dissent: Magic Words, Lori D. Johnson Jan 2016

Opinion & Dissent: Magic Words, Lori D. Johnson

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No abstract provided.


Say The Magic Word: A Rhetorical Analysis Of Contract Drafting Choices, Lori D. Johnson Jan 2015

Say The Magic Word: A Rhetorical Analysis Of Contract Drafting Choices, Lori D. Johnson

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Drafters of complex contracts often face a thorny dilemma – determining whether to retain “magic words” included in form documents, especially when considering the advice of current contract style scholars advocating for the removal of all traditional contract prose. But the drafter need not remove all terms that serve as elegant shorthand for more convoluted legal concepts, particularly where the inclusion of the term advances client interests. The application of rhetorical criticism – the analysis of methods of communicating ideas – to drafters’ use of the term “time is of the essence” sheds light on the dominant motivations of drafters …


Enhancing The Socially Instrumental Role Of Insurance: The Opportunity And Challenge Presented By The Ali Restatement Position On Breach Of The Duty To Defend, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2015

Enhancing The Socially Instrumental Role Of Insurance: The Opportunity And Challenge Presented By The Ali Restatement Position On Breach Of The Duty To Defend, Jeffrey W. Stempel

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The American Law Institute (ALI), in its current draft of the Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance , has adopted the position that a liability insurer in breach of its duty to defend, but not acting in bad faith, forfeits the right to dispute coverage of the resulting judgment or reasonable, noncollusive settlement in a lawsuit. The ALI view is the minority rule in the courts in that most make bad faith a prerequisite for loss of a coverage defense but presumably will spur re-examination of the issue in many states. Unsurprisingly, insurers have opposed the ALI position with …


Rediscovering The Sawyer Solution: Bundling Risk For Protection And Profit, Jeffrey W. Stempel Oct 2013

Rediscovering The Sawyer Solution: Bundling Risk For Protection And Profit, Jeffrey W. Stempel

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No abstract provided.


Effective Contract Drafting: Indentifying The Building Blocks Of Contracts, Lori D. Johnson Jan 2013

Effective Contract Drafting: Indentifying The Building Blocks Of Contracts, Lori D. Johnson

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No abstract provided.


Mandating Precontractual Disclosure, Eric H. Franklin Jan 2013

Mandating Precontractual Disclosure, Eric H. Franklin

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Parties negotiating an arm's-length contract are generally not required to disclose facts to one another. Although this default rule is supported by both centuries of common law and freedom of contract principles, courts and legislatures treat certain transactions differently. This is particularly true in circumstances in which the default rule results in an unacceptable harm suffered by a broad group of persons. In such cases, lawmakers have acted to impose precontractual disclosure obligations. These decisions and statutes are largely reactive: A harm is identified in a certain transaction's precontractual period and disclosure is mandated to rectify the harm. These reactive …


Stoney Road Out Of Eden: The Struggle To Recover Insurance For Armenian Genocide Deaths And Its Implications For The Future Of State Authority, Contract Rights, And Human Rights, Jeffrey W. Stempel, Sarig Armenian, David Mcclure Jan 2012

Stoney Road Out Of Eden: The Struggle To Recover Insurance For Armenian Genocide Deaths And Its Implications For The Future Of State Authority, Contract Rights, And Human Rights, Jeffrey W. Stempel, Sarig Armenian, David Mcclure

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The Armenian Genocide during the waning days of the Ottoman Empire continues to represent one of history’s underappreciated atrocities. Comparatively few people even know about the 1.5 million deaths or the government-sponsored extermination attempt that provided Hitler with a blueprint for the Nazi Holocaust. Unlike the Holocaust, however, there was never any accounting demanded of those responsible for the Armenian Genocide. In the aftermath of both tragedies, insurers seized upon the resulting disarray and victimization to deny life insurance benefits owed as a result of the killings. American-based litigation to vindicate rights under the Armenian polices faced substantial legal and …


Thoughts On The Divergence Of Promise And Contract, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2011

Thoughts On The Divergence Of Promise And Contract, Ian C. Bartrum

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This essay offers some brief thoughts on Seana Shiffrin‘s recent work regarding the divergence of contractual and promissory norms. The author conclude that Shiffrin does not do enough to separate and account for the different consequentalist and deontological justifications underlying each institution, and does not do enough to explain how promises give rise to the “moral” duties she posits. The author suggest, instead, that the divergence between contract and promise is justified by the different roles each institution plays in our lives, and that, in fact, keeping strictly promissory duties outside the scope of state coercion actually facilitates a strong …


The Insurance Policy As Statute, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2010

The Insurance Policy As Statute, Jeffrey W. Stempel

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Insurance policies are classified as a subspecies of contract. Although the taxonomy is correct, rigid adherence to this classification system limits the legal system's ability to deal with some of the most problematic and frequently litigated questions of insurance coverage. Restricting conception of insurance policies to the contract model unduly limits analysis of the meaning and function of the policies. In addition, restricting characterization of insurance as a matter of “contract” does not necessarily produce swift, inexpensive, efficient, or uniform decisions (to say nothing about accuracy, justice, or fairness). Within contract law, scholars, and courts differ over the respective primacy …


The Insurance Policy As Social Instrument And Social Institution, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2010

The Insurance Policy As Social Instrument And Social Institution, Jeffrey W. Stempel

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Insurance policies are classified as a species of contract. Although this characterization is correct, it is unduly narrow if used as the exclusive lens for assessing insurance policies, which are not merely contracts but also are designed to perform particular risk management, deterrence, and compensation functions important to economic and social ordering. Recognizing this has significant implications regarding the manner in which insurance policies are construed in coverage disputes and suggests that policy construction can be improved by not only performing traditional contract analysis of disputed policies but also by appreciating the particular function of the insurance policy in question …


Misclassifying The Insurance Policy: The Unforced Errors Of Unilateral Contract Characterization, Hazel G. Beh, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2010

Misclassifying The Insurance Policy: The Unforced Errors Of Unilateral Contract Characterization, Hazel G. Beh, Jeffrey W. Stempel

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Insurance policies are traditionally classified as unilateral or “reverse-unilateral” contracts, a characterization we find largely incorrect, with problematic consequences for adjudication of insurance coverage disputes. In addition to the general difficulties attending the unilateral classification, the concept as applied to insurance policies is not only unhelpful but incorrect. Insurance policies are more accurately viewed as bilateral contracts. In addition, the unilateral characterization of insurance policies introduces error and inconsistency into the litigation of insurance controversies. In particular, the unilateral view tends toward excessive formalism and focus on so-called “conditions” precedent to coverage, eschewing material breach analysis and encouraging needless forfeitures …


The Insurance Policy As Thing, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2009

The Insurance Policy As Thing, Jeffrey W. Stempel

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Insurance policies are a type of contract. But characterizing them only as contracts misses much of the richness of the insurance arrangement, policyholder-insurer relations, and the degree to which insurance policies, which are heavily standardized, are designed to perform a particular function. Because of their mass standardization and deployment to address particular risk management issues, insurance policies are in many respects like products or chattels. Insurers and the insurance trade press in fact frequently speak of a line of insurance "products" or a new "product" being introduced to address an emerging risk. Appreciating this aspect of the insurance policy can …


Mandating Minimum Quality In Mass Arbitration, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2008

Mandating Minimum Quality In Mass Arbitration, Jeffrey W. Stempel

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The Supreme Court's decision in McMahon and its progeny has led many businesses and employers to embrace what was once deemed a localized, industry-specific practice. The "new" or "mass arbitration" only mildly resembles the traditional system employed by niches in industry for settling commercial matters among commercial actors. While the "old" system involved parties who were relatively equal in bargaining power and knowledge, these systems for mass arbitration lack a freely entered bargain and resemble more closely, contracts of adhesion. Privatized arbitration resolves issues of both statutory and substantive law, and there is a strong argument, given the inexperience of …


After The Battle Of The Forms, Francis J. Mootz Iii Jan 2008

After The Battle Of The Forms, Francis J. Mootz Iii

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Commercial parties continue to fight the battle of the forms, but electronic contracting is quickly rendering this practice obsolete. In this article I assess the legal landscape for commercial parties after the battle of the forms. In Section I, I briefly describe the (relatively) settled law under U.C.C. § 2-207. I then describe how these rules permit commercial parties to erect a force-field to protect themselves from being subjected to unwanted terms, and the developments in web-based contracting and recent case law applying contract formation principles to electronic contracting. Finally, I discuss how the growth of electronic contracting will eliminate …


Incidental Findings: A Common Law Approach, Stacey A. Tovino Jan 2008

Incidental Findings: A Common Law Approach, Stacey A. Tovino

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Federal regulations governing human subjects research do not address key questions raised by incidental neuroimaging findings, including the scope of a researcher’s disclosure with respect to the possibility of incidental findings and the question whether a researcher has an affirmative legal duty to seek, detect, and report incidental findings. The scope of researcher duties may, however, be mapped with reference to common law doctrine, including fiduciary, tort, contract, and bailment theories of liability.


The Relationship Between Defense Counsel, Policyholders, And Insurers: Nevada Rides Yellow Cab Toward "Two-Client" Model Of Tripartite Relationship. Are Cumis Counsel And Malpractice Claims By Insurers Next?, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2007

The Relationship Between Defense Counsel, Policyholders, And Insurers: Nevada Rides Yellow Cab Toward "Two-Client" Model Of Tripartite Relationship. Are Cumis Counsel And Malpractice Claims By Insurers Next?, Jeffrey W. Stempel

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It happens constantly in civil litigation. An insurance company hires a lawyer to defend its policyholder from a third party’s claim of injury. But just who is the lawyer’s “client?” Is it the policyholder who is the named defendant in the case and is “represented” in court proceedings? Or is it the insurer who, in most cases, selected the attorney, pays the attorney, supervises the litigation, and has (by the terms of the liability insurance policy) the right to settle the case, even over the objections of the policyholder? Ordinarily, the liability insurer has both the duty to defend a …


Uniform Commercial Code Survey: Sales, Keith A. Rowley, Carolyn L. Dessin, Larry T. Garvin, Robyn L. Meadows Jan 2007

Uniform Commercial Code Survey: Sales, Keith A. Rowley, Carolyn L. Dessin, Larry T. Garvin, Robyn L. Meadows

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2006 Uniform Commercial Code Survey: Sales


Colloquy, Transactional Economics: Victor Goldberg’S Framing Contract Law, Keith A. Rowley, Mark P. Gergen, Victor Goldberg, Stewart Mcaulay Jan 2007

Colloquy, Transactional Economics: Victor Goldberg’S Framing Contract Law, Keith A. Rowley, Mark P. Gergen, Victor Goldberg, Stewart Mcaulay

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Panel discussion among law faculty who teach contracts of 2007 book authored by Victor Goldberg, which suggests that an economic approach to contract interpretation is appropriate.


To Err Is Human, Keith A. Rowley Jan 2006

To Err Is Human, Keith A. Rowley

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This essay reviews Allan Farnsworth's final book, Alleviating Mistakes: Reversal and Forgiveness for Flawed Perceptions (Oxford U. Press 2004). There are many kinds of mistakes. One kind - a rational, well-intended decision or act that results in unanticipated, negative consequences - was the principal subject of Allan Farnsworth's previous foray into the realm of contractual angst: Changing Your Mind: The Law of Regretted Decisions (Yale U. Press 1998). Another kind - the subject of this book - is a mistake caused by an inaccurate, incomplete, or incompetent mental state at the time of an act or decision that results in …


Uniform Commercial Code Survey: Sales, Keith A. Rowley, Carolyn L. Dessin, Larry T. Garvin, Robyn L. Meadows Jan 2006

Uniform Commercial Code Survey: Sales, Keith A. Rowley, Carolyn L. Dessin, Larry T. Garvin, Robyn L. Meadows

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2005 Uniform Commercial Code Survey: Sales


The Often Imitated, But Not Yet Duplicated, Revised Uniform Commercial Code Article 1, Keith A. Rowley Jan 2006

The Often Imitated, But Not Yet Duplicated, Revised Uniform Commercial Code Article 1, Keith A. Rowley

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Unlike Revised Uniform Commercial Code Article 9 (1999), which every state and the District of Columbia enacted within roughly two years of its promulgation, states have been slower to warm to Revised UCC Article 1 (2001). Nearly seven years after the American Law Institute and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law promulgated it, thirty-three states have enacted their own versions of Revised UCC Article 1. None of the thirty-three has enacted the uniform version in its entirety. All thirty-three enacting states have rejected the uniform choice-of-law provision (§ 1-301) in favor of retaining language based on pre-Revised …