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2009

Cornell University Law School

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Articles 1 - 30 of 111

Full-Text Articles in Law

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Liability Survey: Inaccurate, Unfair, And Bad For Business, Theodore Eisenberg Dec 2009

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Liability Survey: Inaccurate, Unfair, And Bad For Business, Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce uses its Survey of State Liability to criticize judiciaries and seek legal change but no detailed evaluation of the survey’s quality exists. This article presents evidence that the survey is substantively inaccurate and methodologically flawed. It incorrectly characterizes state law; respondents provide less than 10 percent correct answers for objectively verifiable responses. It is internally inconsistent; a state threatened with judicial hellhole status ranked first in the survey while venues not on the list ranked lower. The absence of correlation between survey rankings and observable activity suggests that other factors drive the rankings. Two factors …


Untold Truths: The Exclusion Of Enforced Sterilizations From The Peruvian Truth Commission's Final Report, Jocelyn E. Getgen Nov 2009

Untold Truths: The Exclusion Of Enforced Sterilizations From The Peruvian Truth Commission's Final Report, Jocelyn E. Getgen

Cornell Law School Berger International Speaker Papers

This presentation argues that the exclusion of enforced sterilization cases from the Peruvian Truth Commission's investigation and Final Report effectively erases State responsibility and decreases the likelihood for justice and reparations for women victims-survivors of State-sponsored violence in Peru. In a context of deep cultural and economic divides and violent conflict, this presentation recounts how the State's Family Planning Program violated Peruvian women's reproductive rights by sterilizing low-income, indigenous Quechua-speaking women without informed consent. This presentation argues that these systematic reproductive injustices constitute an act of genocide, proposes an independent inquiry, and advocates for a more inclusive investigation and final …


Condemning Religion: Rluipa And The Politics Of Eminent Domain, Christopher Serkin, Nelson Tebbe Nov 2009

Condemning Religion: Rluipa And The Politics Of Eminent Domain, Christopher Serkin, Nelson Tebbe

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Should religious landowners enjoy special protection from eminent domain? A recent federal statute, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), compels courts to apply a compelling interest test to zoning and landmarking regulations that substantially burden religiously owned property. That provision has been controversial in itself, but today a new cutting-edge issue is emerging: whether the Act’s extraordinary protection should extend to condemnation as well. The matter has taken on added significance in the wake of Kelo, where the Supreme Court reaffirmed its expansive view of the eminent domain power. In this Article, we argue that RLUIPA should …


Attorneys’ Fees And Expenses In Class Action Settlements: 1993-2008, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller Oct 2009

Attorneys’ Fees And Expenses In Class Action Settlements: 1993-2008, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey P. Miller

Cornell Law Faculty Working Papers

We report on a comprehensive data base of eighteen years of published opinions (1993-2008, inclusive) on settlements in class action and shareholder derivative cases in both state and federal courts. An earlier study, covering1993-2002 , revealed a remarkable relationship between attorneys’ fees and the size of class recovery: regardless of the methodology for calculating fees ostensibly employed by the courts, the overwhelmingly important determinant of the fee was simply the size of the recovery obtained by the class. The present study, which nearly doubles the number of cases in the data base, powerfully confirms that relationship. Fees display the same …


Placeholders: Engaging The Hayekian Critique Of Financial Regulation, Annelise Riles Oct 2009

Placeholders: Engaging The Hayekian Critique Of Financial Regulation, Annelise Riles

Cornell Law Faculty Working Papers

Since Friedrich Hayek, debates about the proper relationship between the state and the market, and about the optimal design of regulatory institutions, often turn on assumptions about the workings of legal expertise — and in particular about the difference between public expertise (bureaucratic knowledge) and private expertise (private law). Hayek’s central argument, adopted uncritically by a wide array of policy-makers and academics across the political spectrum, is a temporal one: bureaucratic reasoning is inherently one step behind the market, and hence effective market planning is impossible. In contrast, Hayek argues, private ordering is superior because it is of the moment, …


Waste No Land: Property, Dignity And Growth In Urbanizing China, Eva M. Pils Oct 2009

Waste No Land: Property, Dignity And Growth In Urbanizing China, Eva M. Pils

Cornell Law Faculty Working Papers

The Chinese state does not allow rural collectives to sell land, but takes land from them and makes it available on the urban property market. While rural land rights are thus easily obliterated, the newly created urban rights in what used to be rural land enjoy legal protection. The state justifies these land takings by the need for urbanization and economic growth. The takings have resulted in an impressive contribution of the construction and property sector to state revenue and GDP growth, but also in unfairness toward peasants evicted from their land and homes. The example discussed here shows that …


Strategery's Refuge, Christopher W. Seeds Oct 2009

Strategery's Refuge, Christopher W. Seeds

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

By popular account, the Supreme Court’s recent decisions on effective assistance of counsel in capital sentencing—aggressive critiques of counsel’s failure to investigate and present mitigating evidence—initiate an era of improved oversight of the quality of legal representation in death penalty cases. One would expect the new and improved jurisprudence to curb post hoc efforts by trial counsel to disguise incomplete trial preparation as a tactical decision, a practice that has long undercut the Strickland doctrine. But the shelters for post hoc rationalizations—the refuges for “strategery”—remain. Surveying decisions of the federal courts of appeals since the turn of the century, this …


Regulate Otc Derivatives By Deregulating Them, Lynn A. Stout Oct 2009

Regulate Otc Derivatives By Deregulating Them, Lynn A. Stout

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

When credit markets froze up in the fall of 2008, many economists pronounced the crisis inexplicable and unforeseeable. Lawyers who specialize in financial regulation, and especially the small cadre who specialize in derivatives regulation, knew better.That's because the roots of the catastrophe lay not in changes in the markets, but changes in the law. In particular, the credit crisis can be traced to Congress's 2000 passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which radically altered the traditional legal approach to financial derivatives.

This shift in the legal treatment of financial derivatives has brought the banking system to its knees. The …


Solar Rights, Sara C. Bronin Oct 2009

Solar Rights, Sara C. Bronin

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The rights to access and to harness the rays of the sun - solar rights - are extremely valuable. These rights can determine whether and how an individual can take advantage of the sun’s light, warmth, or energy, and they can have significant economic consequences. Accordingly, for at least two thousand years, people have attempted to assign solar rights in a fair and efficient manner. In the United States, attempts to assign solar rights have fallen short. A quarter century ago, numerous American legal scholars debated this deficiency. They agreed that this country lacked a coherent legal framework for the …


Regulate Otc Derivatives By Deregulating Them: Response To Comments, Lynn A. Stout Oct 2009

Regulate Otc Derivatives By Deregulating Them: Response To Comments, Lynn A. Stout

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Response to comments by Jean Helwege, Peter Wallison, and Craig Pirrong on the author's article, "Regulate OTC Derivatives By Deregulating Them." Article predates the author's affiliation with Cornell Law School.


Hope In The Law, Annelise Riles Oct 2009

Hope In The Law, Annelise Riles

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Justice In Time, Robert C. Hockett Sep 2009

Justice In Time, Robert C. Hockett

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Challenges raised by the subject of intergenerational justice seem often to be thought almost uniquely intractable. In particular, apparent conflicts between the core values of impartiality and efficiency raised by a large and still growing number of intertemporal impossibility results derived by Koopmans, Diamond, Basu & Mitra, and others have been taken to foreclose fruitful policy assessment done with a view to the distant future.

This Essay aims to dispel the sense of bewilderment, pessimism and attendant paralysis that afflicts intertemporal justice assessment. It works toward that end by demonstrating that the most vexing puzzles raised by questions of intergenerational …


To Whom Do We Refer When We Speak Of Obligations To "Future Generations"? Reproductive Rights And The Intergenerational Community, Sherry F. Colb Sep 2009

To Whom Do We Refer When We Speak Of Obligations To "Future Generations"? Reproductive Rights And The Intergenerational Community, Sherry F. Colb

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This Article argues that an analysis of reproductive rights in the context of future generations yields three insights. First, potential people (who may or may not come into being) do not-by any prevailing approach to morality-have a right to be created by us. They may therefore be ethically "prevented" from coming into existence with what I call the "Offspring Selection Interest" ("OSI"). Second, the OSI is often conflated with the distinct reproductive rights interest in protecting one's body against unwanted intrusion, the "Bodily Integrity Interest" ("BII"), with resulting confusion for reproductive rights discourse. And third, once we distinguish the OSI …


The Aspirational Constitution, Michael C. Dorf Sep 2009

The Aspirational Constitution, Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Maybe Dick Speidel Was Right About Court Adjustment, Robert A. Hillman Sep 2009

Maybe Dick Speidel Was Right About Court Adjustment, Robert A. Hillman

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In a symposium to honor Professor Richard Speidel, a giant in the field of contract and commercial law for over four decades, this contribution argues that Speidel may have been correct in asserting that, in limited circumstances, court adjustment of disrupted long-term contracts makes sense. I assert that nothing courts have decided or writers have analyzed since the ALCOA case proves that court adjustment is wrong-headed. But, as with so many policy issues, we may never identify the "best" judicial approach to disrupted long-term contracts because resolution depends on too many variables and unknowns.


A Jury Of One: Opinion Formation, Conformity, And Dissent On Juries, Nicole L. Waters, Valerie P. Hans Sep 2009

A Jury Of One: Opinion Formation, Conformity, And Dissent On Juries, Nicole L. Waters, Valerie P. Hans

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Approximately 6 percent of criminal juries hang. But, how many dissenters carry the jury, hang the jury, or conform to the majority’s wishes? This article examines the formation of individual verdict preferences, the impact of deliberation, and the role of the dissenter using data from nearly 3,500 jurors who decided felony cases. Jurors were asked: “If it were entirely up to you as a one-person jury, what would your verdict have been in this case?” Over one-third of jurors, privately, would have voted against their jury’s decision. Analyses identify the characteristics of jurors who dissent, and distinguish dissenters who hang …


Attempt, Conspiracy, And Incitement To Commit Genocide, Jens David Ohlin Aug 2009

Attempt, Conspiracy, And Incitement To Commit Genocide, Jens David Ohlin

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In these brief commentaries to the U.N. Genocide Convention, I explore three criminal law modes of liability as they apply to the international crime of genocide. Part I analyzes attempt to commit genocide and uncovers a basic tension over whether attempt refers to the genocide itself (the chapeau) or the underlying offense (such as killing). Part I concludes that the tension stems from the fact that the crime of genocide itself is already inchoate in nature, since the legal requirements for the crime do not require an actual, completed genocide, in the common-sense understanding of the term, but only a …


Enhancing Enforcement Of Economic, Social And Cultural Rights Using Indicators: A Focus On The Right To Education In The Icescr, Sital Kalantry, Joycelyn E. Getgen, Steven Arrigg Koh Jul 2009

Enhancing Enforcement Of Economic, Social And Cultural Rights Using Indicators: A Focus On The Right To Education In The Icescr, Sital Kalantry, Joycelyn E. Getgen, Steven Arrigg Koh

Cornell Law Faculty Working Papers

Nearly fifteen years ago, Audrey R. Chapman emphasized the importance of ascertaining violations of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) as a means to enhance its enforcement. Today, the violations approach is even more salient given the recent adoption of the ICESCR’s Optional Protocol, a powerful tool to hold States parties accountable for violations.

Indicators are essential tools for assessing violations of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs) because they are often the best way to measure progressive realization. Proposed guidelines on using indicators give guidance on the content of States parties reports to treaty monitoring …


Joint Criminal Confusion, Jens David Ohlin Jul 2009

Joint Criminal Confusion, Jens David Ohlin

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Article 25 on individual criminal responsibility has generated more conflicting interpretations than any other provision in the Rome Statute. Part of the problem is that it is impossible to construct a coherent and nonredundant interpretation of Article 25(3)(d) on group complicity. Because of unfortunate drafting, both the required contribution and the required mental element are impossible to discern from the inscrutable language. As a result, it is nearly impossible to devise a holistic interpretation of Article 25(3)(d) that fits together with the rest of Article 25 and Article 30 on mental elements. One possible solution is to repair Article 25 …


The Quiet Metamorphosis: How Derivatives Changed The "Business Of Banking", Saule T. Omarova Jul 2009

The Quiet Metamorphosis: How Derivatives Changed The "Business Of Banking", Saule T. Omarova

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In the wake of an unprecedented global financial crisis, one of the fundamental questions preoccupying policymakers and students of financial regulation worldwide is "How did we get here?" This Article uncovers and analyzes an important part of our recent regulatory history, which provides a key to understanding some of the deeper, hidden causes of the crisis but whose significance legal scholars have so far failed to appreciate.

The Article examines interpretive letters issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the primary regulator of federally chartered U.S. banks, interpreting the National Bank Act of 1863 to allow …


Back To A Future: Reversing Keith Simpson's Death Sentence And Making Peace With The Victim's Family Through Post-Conviction Investigation, John H. Blume, Sheri Lynn Johnson Jul 2009

Back To A Future: Reversing Keith Simpson's Death Sentence And Making Peace With The Victim's Family Through Post-Conviction Investigation, John H. Blume, Sheri Lynn Johnson

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In 1993, Keith Simpson was arrested for the murder of Joe Harrison; in 2006, he was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole in 2022. Between those two events, Simpson was sentenced to death, had his death sentence vacated by the post-conviction relief court, reached a plea agreement with the victim's family and the new Solicitor, saw the agreement invalidated when the Attorney General's office overrode the family and the Solicitor by appealing the post-conviction court's decision, lost the lower court's decision to an appellate reversal, and won a cross-appeal for a new trial. You just never know. You …


Executive Branch Contempt Of Congress, Josh Chafetz Jul 2009

Executive Branch Contempt Of Congress, Josh Chafetz

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

After former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten refused to comply with subpoenas issued by a congressional committee investigating the firing of a number of United States Attorneys, the House of Representatives voted in 2008 to hold them in contempt. The House then chose a curious method of enforcing its contempt citation: it filed a federal lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment that Miers and Bolten were in contempt of Congress and an injunction ordering them to comply with the subpoenas. The district court ruled for the House, although that ruling was subsequently stayed …


Litigation Realities Redux, Kevin M. Clermont Jul 2009

Litigation Realities Redux, Kevin M. Clermont

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Both summarizing recent empirical work and presenting new observations on each of the six phases of a civil lawsuit (forum, pretrial, settlement, trial, judgment, and appeal), the author stresses the needs for and benefits from understanding and using empirical methods in the study of the adjudicatory system's operation.


Of Atkins And Men: Deviations From Clinical Definitions Of Mental Retardation In Death Penalty Cases, John H. Blume, Sheri Johnson, Christopher W. Seeds Jul 2009

Of Atkins And Men: Deviations From Clinical Definitions Of Mental Retardation In Death Penalty Cases, John H. Blume, Sheri Johnson, Christopher W. Seeds

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Under Atkins v. Virginia, the Eighth Amendment exempts from execution individuals who meet the clinical definitions of mental retardation set forth by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the American Psychiatric Association. Both define mental retardation as significantly subaverage intellectual functioning accompanied by significant limitations in adaptive functioning, originating before the age of 18. Since Atkins, most jurisdictions have adopted definitions of mental retardation that conform to those definitions. But some states, looking often to stereotypes of persons with mental retardation, apply exclusion criteria that deviate from and are more restrictive than the accepted scientific and clinical …


Risks, Rules, And Institutions: A Process For Reforming Financial Regulation, Saule T. Omarova, Adam Feibelman Jul 2009

Risks, Rules, And Institutions: A Process For Reforming Financial Regulation, Saule T. Omarova, Adam Feibelman

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

It is fair to say that reforming the regulation of the financial sector is currently one of the most hotly debated issues on the policymaking agenda. Proposals for such reform are proliferating, and the official sector appears committed to adopting at least some meaningful reforms in the near-term. Broadly speaking, this movement toward regulatory reform emphasizes the need for structural reforms, outlines specific rules and regulations targeting primarily the perceived causes of the current crisis, and is carried along by a strong sense of the moment. Rather than add to the body of institutional and substantive proposals, this Article articulates …


Ecj Review Of Member State Measures For Compliance With Fundamental Rights, John J. Barceló Iii Jun 2009

Ecj Review Of Member State Measures For Compliance With Fundamental Rights, John J. Barceló Iii

Cornell Law Faculty Working Papers

This essay explores the avenues through which a European-level system of fundamental rights might be effectively enforced against EU Member State measures. The parallel concept in the U.S. occurred when, starting in 1938, the U.S. Supreme Court began ruling that different distinct guarantees in the Federal Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution controlled State government measures. In the EU, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) could conceivably follow a similar line of development within the EU system, or, on the other hand, the European Court for Human Rights (ECtHR) could play that role. This essay explores these options and …


Obama And The New Age Of Reform, Aziz Rana Jun 2009

Obama And The New Age Of Reform, Aziz Rana

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


The Market For Contracts, Geoffrey P. Miller, Theodore Eisenberg May 2009

The Market For Contracts, Geoffrey P. Miller, Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Recent empirical work has established that New York supplies the law and forum in nearly half the material commercial contracts of public firms. In this respect New York plays a role for commercial contracts analogous to the role played by Delaware with respect to corporate charters. Is the revealed preference for New York law and forum merely the result of choices made by the contracting parties, or does New York actively compete for this business? This paper describes ways in which New York seeks to attract and retain corporate contracts in competition with other potential providers of law and forum. …


Saving Facebook, James Grimmelmann May 2009

Saving Facebook, James Grimmelmann

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This Article provides the first comprehensive analysis of the law and policy of privacy on social network sites, using Facebook as its principal example. It explains how Facebook users socialize on the site, why they misunderstand the risks involved, and how their privacy suffers as a result. Facebook offers a socially compelling platform that also facilitates peer-to-peer privacy violations: users harming each others' privacy interests. These two facts are inextricably linked; people use Facebook with the goal of sharing some information about themselves. Policymakers cannot make Facebook completely safe, but they can help people use it safely.

The Article makes …


Land Virtues, Eduardo M. Peñalver May 2009

Land Virtues, Eduardo M. Peñalver

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This article has two goals. First, I explore some of the descriptive and normative shortcomings of traditional law and economics discussions of the ownership and use of land. These market-centered approaches struggle in different ways with features of land that distinguish it from other "commodities." The complexity of land - its intrinsic complexity, but even more importantly the complex ways in which human beings interact with it - undermines the notion that owners will focus on a single value, such as wealth, in making decisions about their land. Adding to the equation land's "memory," by which I mean the combined …