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Full-Text Articles in Law

Racial Disparity In Federal Criminal Sentences, M. Marit Rehavi, Sonja B. Starr Dec 2014

Racial Disparity In Federal Criminal Sentences, M. Marit Rehavi, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

Using rich data linking federal cases from arrest through to sentencing, we find that initial case and defendant characteristics, including arrest offense and criminal history, can explain most of the large raw racial disparity in federal sentences, but significant gaps remain. Across the distribution, blacks receive sentences that are almost 10 percent longer than those of comparable whites arrested for the same crimes. Most of this disparity can be explained by prosecutors’ initial charging decisions, particularly the filing of charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences. Ceteris paribus, the odds of black arrestees facing such a charge are 1.75 times higher than …


Sex Offender Law And The Geography Of Victimization, Amanda Y. Agan, J. J. Prescott Dec 2014

Sex Offender Law And The Geography Of Victimization, Amanda Y. Agan, J. J. Prescott

Articles

Sex offender laws that target recidivism (e.g., community notification and residency restriction regimes) are premised—at least in part—on the idea that sex offender proximity and victimization risk are positively correlated. We examine this relationship by combining past and current address information of registered sex offenders (RSOs) with crime data from Baltimore County, Maryland, to study how crime rates vary across neighborhoods with different concentrations of resident RSOs. Contrary to the assumptions of policymakers and the public, we find that, all else equal, reported sex offense victimization risk is generally (although not uniformly) lower in neighborhoods where more RSOs live. To …


Supreme Court Institute Annual Report, 2013-2014, Georgetown University Law Center, Supreme Court Institute May 2014

Supreme Court Institute Annual Report, 2013-2014, Georgetown University Law Center, Supreme Court Institute

SCI Papers & Reports

During the 2013-2014 academic year–corresponding to the U.S. Supreme Court’s October Term (OT) 2013–the Supreme Court Institute (SCI) provided moot courts for advocates in 96% of the cases heard by the Court this Term, offered a variety of programs related to the Supreme Court, and further integrated the moot court program into the education of Georgetown Law students. A list of all SCI moot courts held in OT 2013–arranged by argument sitting and date of moot and including the name and affiliation of each advocate and the number of student observers–follows the narrative portion of this report.


Overstating The Satisfaction Of Lawyers, David L. Chambers Apr 2014

Overstating The Satisfaction Of Lawyers, David L. Chambers

Articles

Recent literature commonly reports US lawyers as disheartened and discontented, but more than two dozen statistically based studies report that the great majority of lawyers put themselves on the satisfied side of scales of job satisfaction. The claim of this article is that, in three ways, these statistically based studies convey an overly rosy impression of lawyers’ attitudes: first, that many of those who put themselves above midpoints on satisfaction scales are barely more positive than negative about their careers and often have profound ambivalence about their work; second, that surveys conducted at a single point in time necessarily fail …


Copyright Update For The 2014 Nevada Bar Intellectual Property Law Conference, Marketa Trimble Jan 2014

Copyright Update For The 2014 Nevada Bar Intellectual Property Law Conference, Marketa Trimble

Boyd Briefs / Road Scholars

Professor Marketa Trimble presented these materials at the Nevada Bar Intellectual Property Law Section's annual Intellectual Property Law Conference, held on November 14, 2014 at the William S. Boyd School of Law.

The presentation provided attendees with a "year-in-review" update on copyright law, covering the time period of October 2013 to October 2014. Nevada copyright litigation statistics, summaries of important copyright cases, and discussion of pending copyright legislation were included in the presentation.


Supreme Court Of The United States, October Term 2014 Preview, Georgetown University Law Center, Supreme Court Institute Jan 2014

Supreme Court Of The United States, October Term 2014 Preview, Georgetown University Law Center, Supreme Court Institute

Supreme Court Overviews

No abstract provided.


Copyright's Topography: An Empirical Study Of Copyright Litigation, Christopher A. Cotropia, James Gibson Jan 2014

Copyright's Topography: An Empirical Study Of Copyright Litigation, Christopher A. Cotropia, James Gibson

Law Faculty Publications

One of the most important ways to measure the impact of copyright law is through empirical examination of actual copyright infringement cases. Yet scholars have universally overlooked this rich source of data. This study fills that gap through a comprehensive empirical analysis of copyright infringement litigation, examining the pleadings, motions, and dockets from more than nine hundred copyright lawsuits filed from 2005 through 2008. The data we collect allow us to examine a wide variety of copyright issues, such as the rate of settlements versus judgments; the incidence of litigation between major media companies, small firms, and individuals; the kinds …


Machine Learning And Law, Harry Surden Jan 2014

Machine Learning And Law, Harry Surden

Publications

This Article explores the application of machine learning techniques within the practice of law. Broadly speaking “machine learning” refers to computer algorithms that have the ability to “learn” or improve in performance over time on some task. In general, machine learning algorithms are designed to detect patterns in data and then apply these patterns going forward to new data in order to automate particular tasks. Outside of law, machine learning techniques have been successfully applied to automate tasks that were once thought to necessitate human intelligence — for example language translation, fraud-detection, driving automobiles, facial recognition, and data-mining. If performing …


Foreigners In U.S. Patent Litigation: An Empirical Study Of Patent Cases Filed In Nine U.S. Federal District Courts In 2004, 2009, And 2012, Marketa Trimble Jan 2014

Foreigners In U.S. Patent Litigation: An Empirical Study Of Patent Cases Filed In Nine U.S. Federal District Courts In 2004, 2009, And 2012, Marketa Trimble

Scholarly Works

One of the greatest challenges facing patent holders is the enforcement of their rights against foreign (non-U.S.) infringers. Jurisdictional rules can prevent patent holders from filing patent infringement suits where they have the greatest likelihood of success in enforcement, such as where the infringer is located, has his seat, or holds his assets; instead, patent holders must file lawsuits in the country where the infringed patent was issued. But filing a patent lawsuit in a U.S. court against a non-U.S. infringer may be subject to various difficulties associated with the fact that U.S. substantive patent law (particularly as regards its …


Evidence-Based Sentencing And The Scientific Rationalization Of Discrimination, Sonja B. Starr Jan 2014

Evidence-Based Sentencing And The Scientific Rationalization Of Discrimination, Sonja B. Starr

Articles

This Article critiques, on legal and empirical grounds, the growing trend of basing criminal sentences on actuarial recidivism risk prediction instruments that include demographic and socioeconomic variables. I argue that this practice violates the Equal Protection Clause and is bad policy: an explicit embrace of otherwise- condemned discrimination, sanitized by scientific language. To demonstrate that this practice raises serious constitutional concerns, I comprehensively review the relevant case law, much of which has been ignored by existing literature. To demonstrate that the policy is not justified by countervailing state interests, I review the empirical evidence underlying the instruments. I show that …


Effects Of Clergy Reporting Laws On Child Maltreatment Report Rates, Frank E. Vandervort, Vincent J. Palusci Jan 2014

Effects Of Clergy Reporting Laws On Child Maltreatment Report Rates, Frank E. Vandervort, Vincent J. Palusci

Articles

Child maltreatment (CM) reporting laws and policies have an important role in the identification, treatment, and prevention of CM in the United States (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [US DHHS], 2012). Abuse by a member of the clergy “is not only a personal and emotional betrayal, but [also] a spiritual betrayal, with secrecy amplified by the unprecedented and systemic cover-up committed by the Church hierarchy” (Coyne, 2011, p. 15). Recent controversies have resulted in the consideration of changes in mandated U.S. reporting laws that include increasing requirements for clergy and extension to additional professions (Freeh, Sporkin, & Sullivan, …


Rate Of False Conviction Of Criminal Defendants Who Are Sentenced To Death, Samuel R. Gross, Barbara O'Brien, Chen Hu, Edward H. Kennedy Jan 2014

Rate Of False Conviction Of Criminal Defendants Who Are Sentenced To Death, Samuel R. Gross, Barbara O'Brien, Chen Hu, Edward H. Kennedy

Articles

The rate of erroneous conviction of innocent criminal defendants is often described as not merely unknown but unknowable. There is no systematic method to determine the accuracy of a criminal conviction; if there were, these errors would not occur in the first place. As a result, very few false convictions are ever discovered, and those that are discovered are not representative of the group as a whole. In the United States, however, a high proportion of false convictions that do come to light and produce exonerations are concentrated among the tiny minority of cases in which defendants are sentenced to …