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2009

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Conflict Of Interest And Disqualification In The Federal Courts: Suggestions For Reform, Arthur D. Hellman Dec 2009

Conflict Of Interest And Disqualification In The Federal Courts: Suggestions For Reform, Arthur D. Hellman

Testimony

Although federal judges do not run for election, over the last three decades the process of nomination and confirmation has become politicized to a disturbing degree. There is a real danger that the judges will come to be perceived not as dispassionate servants of the law but as political actors who pursue political or ideological agendas. One consequence of these developments is likely to be increased scrutiny of judges’ responses to motions to recuse. Here as in other aspects of the operations of the judiciary, “just trust us” is no longer sufficient.

Two provisions of Title 28 of the United ...


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 ...


Insolvency And Biased Standards - The Case For Proportional Liability, Alexander Stremitzer, Avraham Tabbach Nov 2009

Insolvency And Biased Standards - The Case For Proportional Liability, Alexander Stremitzer, Avraham Tabbach

Faculty Scholarship Series

We analyze liability rules in a setting where injurers are potentially insolvent and where negligence standards may deviate from the socially optimal level. We show that proportional liability, which sets the measure of damages equal to the harm multiplied by the probability that it was caused by an injurer’s negligence, is preferable to other existing negligence-based rules. Moreover, proportional liability outperforms strict liability if the standard of due care is not set too low. Our analysis also suggests that courts should rely on statistical evidence and bar individualized causal claims that link the harm suffered by a plaintiff to ...


The Structural Case For Vertical Maximalism, Tara Leigh Grove Nov 2009

The Structural Case For Vertical Maximalism, Tara Leigh Grove

Faculty Publications

Many prominent jurists and scholars, including those with outlooks as diverse as Chief Justice John Roberts and Cass Sunstein, have recently advocated a “minimalist” approach to opinion writing at the Supreme Court. They assert that the Court should issue narrow, fact-bound decisions that do not resolve much beyond the case before it. I argue that minimalism, as employed by the current Supreme Court, is in tension with the structure of the Constitution. Article III and the Supremacy Clause, along with historical evidence from the Founding Era, suggest that the Constitution creates a hierarchical judiciary and gives the Court a “supreme ...


Constitutional Solipsism: Toward A Thick Doctrine Of Article Iii Duty; Or Why The Federal Circuits’ Nonprecedential Status Rules Are (Profoundly) Unconstitutional, Penelope J. Pether Oct 2009

Constitutional Solipsism: Toward A Thick Doctrine Of Article Iii Duty; Or Why The Federal Circuits’ Nonprecedential Status Rules Are (Profoundly) Unconstitutional, Penelope J. Pether

Working Paper Series

Constitutional Solipsism is the fourth in a series of articles on aspects of the private judging practices which have come to characterize the U.S. state and federal courts since the late 1950s. The first, Inequitable Injunctions: The Scandal of Private Judging in the U.S. Courts, 56 STAN. L. REV. 1435 (2004) gave a critical historical account of the development of the “practices of private judging” in U.S. Courts. Take a Letter, Your Honor: Outing the Judicial Epistemology of Hart v. Massanari, 62 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 1553 (2005), analyzed the development of a distinctive U.S. theory of precedent. Sorcerers, Not Apprentices: How Judicial Clerks and Staff Attorneys Impoverish U.S. Law, 39 ARIZ. ST. L.J. 1 (2007), documented the de facto delegation of the majority of Article III judicial power to inadequately supervised non-judicial actors, and the origins of nonprecedential status rules in the federal bench’s mistrust of the accuracy of the judging done in its name.

Constitutional Solipsism takes up the repeated suggestions by federal courts and organs of the Federal Judicial Conference that the circuits’ ubiquitous nonprecedential status rules are unconstitutional. Mapping, analyzing, and substantially supplementing scattered, thin, and inconclusive scholarly analyses, largely published in the wake of the decision in Anastasoff v. United States, 223 F.3d 898 (8th Cir. 2000), vacated en banc as moot, 235 F.3d 1054 (8th Cir. 2000), it is the first comprehensive analysis of the constitutionality question. In addition to considering previously unexplored yet salient constitutional doctrine, including the “fundamental interests” jurisprudence articulating the constitutional right of access to the courts, and non-delegation doctrine, the Article departs from predecessor scholarship by considering the rules in the contexts that they justify and enable: the delegation of Article III power to inadequately supervised adjuncts, and the abbreviated adjudicatory processes that arguably deny plenary appeals to the majority of federal appellants, substituting an unsafe certiorari process for appeals as of right.

Relying principally on a critical reading of the leading inherent Article III power cases and authority on the powers “essential to the administration of justice,” and the constitutional logic of bodies of doctrine including fundamental interests and non-delegation doctrine, as well as on the limits on the circuits’ formal rulemaking power, Constitutional Solipsism concludes that the rules and the practices that underpin them are profoundly unconstitutional, because ultra vires Article III power. It goes on to argue both that the constitutional solipsism that characterizes the courts’ inherent power jurisprudence and their judging practices calls for a thick constitutionalist doctrine of judicial duty, and not just of power; and that the most recent developments in “post-9/11 constitutional” jurisprudence suggest the ripeness ...


Supreme Court Of The United States, October Term 2009 Preview, Update: October 26, 2009, Georgetown University Law Center, Supreme Court Institute Oct 2009

Supreme Court Of The United States, October Term 2009 Preview, Update: October 26, 2009, Georgetown University Law Center, Supreme Court Institute

Supreme Court Overviews

No abstract provided.


What Kinds Of Statutory Restrictions Are Jurisdictional?, Scott Dodson Oct 2009

What Kinds Of Statutory Restrictions Are Jurisdictional?, Scott Dodson

Faculty Publications

Section 411(a) of the Copyright Act of 1976 provides that “no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made.” In this case, a district court approved a class action settlement that purported to resolve both registered and unregistered copyright claims. The Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether that registration requirement is a limitation on federal court subject-matter jurisdiction.


In With The New, Out With The Old: Expanding The Scope Of Retroactive Amelioration, S. David Mitchell Oct 2009

In With The New, Out With The Old: Expanding The Scope Of Retroactive Amelioration, S. David Mitchell

Faculty Publications

The legislative decision to amend a statute and reduce a sentence but not to apply it retroactively to pending prosecutions or to finalized convictions is in accord with the principles of retroactivity, but contrary to legitimate goals of punishment, i.e. deterrence and retributivism. Genarlow Wilson, convicted at seventeen of aggravated child molestation, a felony, for consensual oral sex with a fifteen-year old classmate, was sentenced to a mandatory minimum of ten years. While his appeal was pending, the Georgia Legislature reclassified the conduct as a misdemeanor and reduced the sentence to a maximum of one year but decided not ...


Understanding Pleading Doctrine, A. Benjamin Spencer Oct 2009

Understanding Pleading Doctrine, A. Benjamin Spencer

Faculty Publications

Where does pleading doctrine, at the federal level, stand today? The Supreme Court's revision of general pleading standards in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly has not left courts and litigants with a clear or precise understanding of what it takes to state a claim that can survive a motion to dismiss. Claimants are required to show "plausible entitlement to relief" by offering enough facts "to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Translating those admonitions into predictable and consistent guidelines has proven illusory. This Article proposes a descriptive theory that explains the fundaments of contemporary pleading doctrine ...


An Empirical Analysis Of Reversal Rates In The Eighth Circuit During 2008, Robert E. Steinbuch Oct 2009

An Empirical Analysis Of Reversal Rates In The Eighth Circuit During 2008, Robert E. Steinbuch

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


In Defense Of Ideology: A Principled Approach To The Supreme Court Confirmation Process, Lori A. Ringhand Oct 2009

In Defense Of Ideology: A Principled Approach To The Supreme Court Confirmation Process, Lori A. Ringhand

Scholarly Works

In this paper, Professor Ringhand offers a principled defense of an ideological approach to the Supreme Court justice confirmation process. In constructing her argument, she does three things. First, she explores how the insights provided by recent empirical legal scholarship have created a need to re-think the role of the Supreme Court and, consequently, the process by which we select Supreme Court justices. In doing so, Professor Ringhand explains how these insights have called into question much of our conventional constitutional narrative, and how this failure of the conventional narrative has in turn undermined traditional objections to an ideologically-based confirmation ...


The Hundred-Years War: The Ongoing Battle Between Courts And Agencies Over The Right To Interpret Federal Law, Nancy M. Modesitt Oct 2009

The Hundred-Years War: The Ongoing Battle Between Courts And Agencies Over The Right To Interpret Federal Law, Nancy M. Modesitt

All Faculty Scholarship

Since the Supreme Court’s 1984 Chevron decision, the primary responsibility for interpreting federal statutes has increasingly resided with federal agencies in the first instance rather than with the federal courts. In 2005, the Court reinforced this approach by deciding National Telecommunications Ass'n v. Brand X Internet Services, which legitimized the agency practice of interpreting federal statutes in a manner contrary to the federal courts' established interpretation, so long as the agency interpretation is entitled to deference under the well-established Chevron standard. In essence, agencies are free to disregard federal court precedent in these circumstances. This Article analyzes the ...


The Stockley Verdict: An Explainer, Chad Flanders Sep 2009

The Stockley Verdict: An Explainer, Chad Flanders

All Faculty Scholarship

The purpose o f this document is to help explain some o f the existing Missouri law that Judge Wilson used in his opinion. It does not take a side on the opinion itself. At the end o f the day, the decision Judge Wilson made was based on his call on various disputed factual questions. The law was not, for the most part, at issue. I attempt only to describe the legal framework within with Judge Wilson decided the case; not to support or to criticize his verdict. Each person will ultimately have to make his or her own ...


Supreme Court Of The United States, October Term 2009 Preview, Georgetown University Law Center, Supreme Court Institute, Amanda M. Boote Sep 2009

Supreme Court Of The United States, October Term 2009 Preview, Georgetown University Law Center, Supreme Court Institute, Amanda M. Boote

Supreme Court Overviews

No abstract provided.


The Legality And Practicality Of Remote Witness Testimony, Fredric Lederer Sep 2009

The Legality And Practicality Of Remote Witness Testimony, Fredric Lederer

Popular Media

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.


Remarks, More Remarks And A Grounds Of Decision: One Judgment Too Many? Tt Durai V Public Prosecutor, Unreported Magistrate's Appeal, S. Chandra Mohan Sep 2009

Remarks, More Remarks And A Grounds Of Decision: One Judgment Too Many? Tt Durai V Public Prosecutor, Unreported Magistrate's Appeal, S. Chandra Mohan

Research Collection School Of Law

In May 2008, the High Court dismissed the appeal of former NKF CEO, T T Durai, against his conviction and sentence. What is little known is that one of Durai's six grounds of appeal was in fact upheld. The appellate judge subsequently devoted nine out of 12 paragraphs of his four-page Grounds of Decision, to explain is reasons for doing so. Although this ruling did not affect the final outcome of the Durai appeal, it has to some extent helped to settle a question that has vexed criminal law practitioners in recent years. This concerns the legality and propriety ...


Private Litigation In A Public Law Sphere:The Standard Of Review In Investor-State Arbitrations, William W. Burke-White, Andreas Von Staden Aug 2009

Private Litigation In A Public Law Sphere:The Standard Of Review In Investor-State Arbitrations, William W. Burke-White, Andreas Von Staden

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

International arbitration and, particularly, investor-state arbitration is rapidly shifting to include disputes of a public law nature. Yet, arbitral tribunals continue to apply standards of review derived from the private law origins of international arbitration, have not recognized the new public law context of these disputes, and have failed to develop a coherent jurisprudence with regard to the applicable standard for reviewing a state's public regulatory activities. This problematic approach is evidenced by a recent series of cases brought by foreign investors against Argentina challenging the economic recovery program launched after a massive financial collapse and has called into ...


Stages Of Judgment Citizen Court Experiment Report, Courtney Breese Aug 2009

Stages Of Judgment Citizen Court Experiment Report, Courtney Breese

Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration Publications

Over the past several years, the Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution and Public Collaboration (MODR) has worked with the Kettering Foundation to establish a Public Policy Institute (PPI) for public deliberation at the University of Massachusetts Boston. In June 2008, the Kettering Foundation invited MODR to join other research partners across the country in a research experiment influenced by Daniel Yankelovich‟s Seven Stages of Public Understanding. The purpose of this experiment is to test how effectively a citizen court process model communicates public opinion on contentious public policy issues to public officials and the media.

MODR agreed to join ...


Civil Partnership: Your Questions Answered - A Comprehensive Analysis Of The Civil Partnership Bill, Fergus Ryan Aug 2009

Civil Partnership: Your Questions Answered - A Comprehensive Analysis Of The Civil Partnership Bill, Fergus Ryan

Reports

The Civil Partnership Bill 2009 arguably represents the most momentous change in Irish Family Law in a generation. The Bill proposes a substantial new legal status for registered same-sex partners, as well as important changes to the law as it relates to cohabitants. This report addresses the provisions of the Bill as initiated, analysing the potential impact of the Bill in clear and accessible language. The Report also highlights potential difficulties with the Bill, and suggests possible enhancements to the Bill as initiated.


Imbree V Mcneilly: A View From Singapore, Yihan Goh Jul 2009

Imbree V Mcneilly: A View From Singapore, Yihan Goh

Research Collection School Of Law

In Imbree v. McNeilly, the High Court of Australia ruled that a learner driver is no longer to be held to the standard of a reasonable but unqualified (and inexperienced) driver in negligence claims. It is the modest aim of this case note to show that Imbree, while a decision on a narrow point, in fact hints at a larger difficulty in the ascertainment of the standard of care in individual cases. It is in this context that it will be suggested that, when the time comes for Singapore courts to consider the applicability of Imbree, this difficulty should be ...


Xilinx And The Arm's-Length Standard, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Jun 2009

Xilinx And The Arm's-Length Standard, Reuven S. Avi-Yonah

Articles

On May 7 the Ninth Circuit decided Xilinx v. Commissioner. By a 2-1 majority, the panel reversed the Tax Court and held that costs of employee stock options must be included in the pool of costs subject to a tax-sharing agreement. The Xilinx decision is important for three reasons. First, cost sharing is probably the key element in current transfer pricing law because it is the principal way in which profits from intangibles get shifted from the United States to low-tax jurisdictions. Moreover, informed observers agree that the allocation of income from intangibles is the most important problem in transfer ...


Sunshine In Litigation Act Of 2009: Hearing Before The Subcomm. On Commercial And Administrative Law Of The H. Comm. On The Judiciary, 111th Cong., June 4, 2009 (Statement Of Sherman L. Cohn, Prof. Of Law, Geo. U. L. Center), Sherman L. Cohn Jun 2009

Sunshine In Litigation Act Of 2009: Hearing Before The Subcomm. On Commercial And Administrative Law Of The H. Comm. On The Judiciary, 111th Cong., June 4, 2009 (Statement Of Sherman L. Cohn, Prof. Of Law, Geo. U. L. Center), Sherman L. Cohn

Testimony Before Congress

I urge that the issue before the Congress in the proposed “Sunshine in Litigation Act of 2009” is really one of social values and a choice to be made among various values and that that is a substantive matter rather than a mere matter of procedure. It is a choice among values that Congress, the legislative arm of the federal government, is charged with making and in this case should make.


Impeaching A Federal Judge: Some Lessons From History, Arthur D. Hellman Jun 2009

Impeaching A Federal Judge: Some Lessons From History, Arthur D. Hellman

Testimony

In August 2014, Federal District Judge Mark Fuller was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor battery after his wife called 911 from an Atlanta hotel room and told the operator, “He’s beating on me.” Judge Fuller has agreed to enter a pre-trial diversion program; if he completes the program, the criminal case against him will be dismissed. But Judge Fuller may face other consequences. The Acting Chief Judge of the Eleventh Circuit has initiated proceedings under the federal judicial misconduct statute. And some members of Congress and editorial writers have said that if Judge Fuller does not resign from ...


Wyeth V. Levine And Its Implications, Brian Wolfman May 2009

Wyeth V. Levine And Its Implications, Brian Wolfman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Wyeth v. Levine sharply limited the availability of implied preemption as a defense in pharmaceutical cases. In this Analysis & Perspective, attorney Brian Wolfman discusses the decision and its implications for prescription drug litigation as well as litigation in other areas that are regulated by the federal government.

After Wyeth, Wolfman says, a defendant in a prescription drug case must demonstrate a ‘‘tight fit between the labeling change proposed by the manufacturer (and rejected by the FDA) and the labeling change that the plaintiff contends would have prevented her injuries.’’ Moreover, he says ...


The Pros And Cons Of Politically Reversible 'Semisubstantive' Constitutional Rules, Dan T. Coenen May 2009

The Pros And Cons Of Politically Reversible 'Semisubstantive' Constitutional Rules, Dan T. Coenen

Scholarly Works

Most observers of constitutional adjudication believe that it works in an all-or-nothing way. On this view, the substance of challenged rules is of decisive importance, so that political decision makers may resuscitate invalidated laws only by way of constitutional amendment. This conception of constitutional law is incomplete. In fact, courts often use so-called “semisubstantive” doctrines that focus on the processes that nonjudicial officials have used in adopting constitutionally problematic rules. When a court strikes down a rule by using a motive-centered or legislative-findings doctrine, for example, political decision makers may revive that very rule without need for a constitutional amendment ...


Unlawful Detainer Pilot Program, Administrative Office Of The Courts Apr 2009

Unlawful Detainer Pilot Program, Administrative Office Of The Courts

California Agencies

Under the general framework of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act (Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11570–11587), one of the key provisions of the pilot program is the additional authority granted to city attorneys and city prosecutors to file unlawful detainer (UD) actions against any tenants who are engaged in illegal drug activities. By establishing this program, the Legislature hoped that city attorneys would be able to deal with drug nuisance problems in the community more effectively if property owners, out of safety concerns or other considerations, are unwilling to file unlawful detainer actions to evict offending tenants.

In 2004, AB 2523 added additional protections for tenants and expanded the reach of the pilot program, including extending the pilot program for five more years until January 1, 2010; adding the cities of Oakland and San Diego to the pilot program; and requiring the cities participating in the pilot program to track and report cases in which either the unlawful detainer action was withdrawn or the tenant prevailed, as well as cases in which the eviction notice was erroneously sent to the tenant.

In 2007, AB 1013 expanded the authority of city attorneys and city prosecutors to file unlawful detainer actions against any tenant who commits an offense involving the unlawful possession or use of illegal weapons or ...


Personal Autonomy And Vacatur After Hall Street, Richard C. Reuben Apr 2009

Personal Autonomy And Vacatur After Hall Street, Richard C. Reuben

Faculty Publications

This article analyzes the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Hall Street Associates v. Mattel, Inc., 128 S.Ct. 1396 (2008), in which the Court said that arbitration parties may not contract for substantive judicial review of arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act. The article contends that Hall Street Associates was rightly decided as a matter of dispute resolution process characteristics and values theory because it preserves arbitration’s central virtue of finality. It further argues that the Court’s insistence on the exclusivity of the FAA’s statutory grounds for vacatur should spell the ...


Meta-Theory Of International Criminal Procedure: Vindicating The Rule Of Law, Jens David Ohlin Apr 2009

Meta-Theory Of International Criminal Procedure: Vindicating The Rule Of Law, Jens David Ohlin

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

International criminal procedure is in a second phase of development, moving beyond the common law/civil law dichotomy and searching for its sui generis theory. The standard line is that international criminal procedure has an instrumental value: it services the general goals of international criminal justice and allows punishment for violations of substantive international criminal law. However, international criminal procedure also has an important and often overlooked intrinsic value not reducible to its instrumental value: it vindicates the Rule of Law. This vindication is performed by adjudicating allegations of criminal violations that occurred during periods of anarchy characterized by the ...


Defining Family: Naming, Orientation, And Redemption In The Case Of Terri Schiavo, M. Chad Mcbride, Karen L. Taas, Paige W. Toller Apr 2009

Defining Family: Naming, Orientation, And Redemption In The Case Of Terri Schiavo, M. Chad Mcbride, Karen L. Taas, Paige W. Toller

Communication Faculty Publications

This paper undertakes a detailed analysis of the Terri Schiavo case as it was covered in popular media. Drawing on Burkean theory, we argue a critical issue in the case was a struggle between Terri's parents and husband to be seen as the more legitimate family in order to determine the duration and extent of Terri 's medical care. We discuss how the private debate over Terri's health and the decision to remove her feeding tube entered into the public scenes of legal and political action. This shift to the public scene represented problems for the parties directly ...