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2010

Journal

Vanderbilt University Law School

Articles 1 - 30 of 92

Full-Text Articles in Law

Merging In The Shadow Of The Law: The Case For Consistent Judicial Efficiency Analysis, Jamie H. Moffitt Nov 2010

Merging In The Shadow Of The Law: The Case For Consistent Judicial Efficiency Analysis, Jamie H. Moffitt

Vanderbilt Law Review

This Article examines current judicial interpretation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act through the lens of negotiation theory. The research exposes a gap between how courts state they are analyzing efficiency claims in Section 7 Clayton Act enforcement actions and what they are actually doing. During periods of lax antitrust enforcement, this pattern is not readily visible, since almost all proposed merger and acquisition ("M&A") deals are approved. With a shift to more aggressive antitrust policy, however, it is critical that merger review include appropriate weighing of transaction-generated efficiencies-something missing from courts' current antitrust analysis. Although only a small …


The Pragmatic Incrementalism Of Common Law Intellectual Property, Shyamkrishna Balganesh Nov 2010

The Pragmatic Incrementalism Of Common Law Intellectual Property, Shyamkrishna Balganesh

Vanderbilt Law Review

Intellectual property is today thought to be principally of statutory origin. Discussions of the subject invariably revolve around a close scrutiny of the federal statutes involved. Indeed, the frequency with which Congress amends the patent and copyright statutes seems to leave little doubt that it alone determines intellectual property's precise content and coverage.' Nevertheless, there exists a rather robust body of state law that is almost entirely the creation of state courts and is directed at creating entitlements in information, ideas, expression, goodwill, one's image, and other related intangibles. These rights regimes are in turn collectively referred to as "common …


How To Kill The Scapegoat: Addressing Offshore Tax Evasion With A Special View To Switzerland, Niels Jensen Nov 2010

How To Kill The Scapegoat: Addressing Offshore Tax Evasion With A Special View To Switzerland, Niels Jensen

Vanderbilt Law Review

It began with headlines of nearly $20 billion in hidden assets, 52,000 secret bank accounts, confidential informants, court proceedings, and a $780 million fine.' The Union Bank of Switzerland ("UBS") controversy, with all its dramatic appeal, attracted international attention and brought taxation issues to the forefront of public debate. As the scope of tax evasion activities involving UBS began to unfold, U.S. authorities on numerous fronts mobilized against international tax haven abuse-a problem much broader in scope than the scandal at hand.

In order to attract foreign capital to their respective markets, many countries have enacted favorable tax laws with …


Admitting Guilt By Professing Innocence: When Sentence Enhancements Bases On "Alford" Pleas Are Unconstitutional, Anne D. Gooch Nov 2010

Admitting Guilt By Professing Innocence: When Sentence Enhancements Bases On "Alford" Pleas Are Unconstitutional, Anne D. Gooch

Vanderbilt Law Review

A few days before Christmas in 1994, in Vineland, New Jersey, Charles Apprendi, Jr. was drunk. At 2:04 a.m., he fired several shots from a .22 caliber gun into the home of an African-American family in his neighborhood. By 3:05 a.m., he had been arrested and had admitted that he was the shooter. Apprendi was interrogated for several hours after these events. At 6:04 a.m., he apparently stated that he committed the crime because the victims were black, but he later retracted this statement. Apprendi was indicted on twenty-three counts in connection with the shooting, and eventually pleaded guilty to …


Another Can Of "Crawford" Worms: Certificates Of Nonexistence Of Public Record And The Confrontation Clause, Keith Hollingshead-Cook Nov 2010

Another Can Of "Crawford" Worms: Certificates Of Nonexistence Of Public Record And The Confrontation Clause, Keith Hollingshead-Cook

Vanderbilt Law Review

The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that "[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right .. . to be confronted with the witnesses against him."' When the Supreme Court decided Crawford v. Washington in 2004, it established a new standard for assessing the scope of this right and determining when hearsay is admissible as trial evidence against a criminal defendant. Rather than basing decisions regarding a defendant's right to confrontation on a judicial inquiry into the reliability of a particular statement, an approach typified by the Court's earlier decision of Ohio v. …


Erie And Federal Criminal Courts, Wayne A. Logan Oct 2010

Erie And Federal Criminal Courts, Wayne A. Logan

Vanderbilt Law Review

State and federal courts have long engaged in intersystemic adjudication,' interpreting and applying the constitutions, lawS, and regulations of one another's governments. Perhaps the best known instance in the civil litigation realm occurs with federal diversity jurisdiction, where, as a result of Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins, federal courts resolve federal civil claims on the basis of state substantive laws.

With criminal laws, however, the phenomenon has been and remains less apparent. This is in significant part due to the principle that such laws embody sovereign normative preferences, susceptible to neither enforcement nor jurisprudential control by other governments. Nevertheless, some …


Trimming The "Judicial Oak": Rule 10b5-2(B)(1), Confidentiality Agreements, And The Proper Scope Of Insider Trading Liability, Ryan M. Davis Oct 2010

Trimming The "Judicial Oak": Rule 10b5-2(B)(1), Confidentiality Agreements, And The Proper Scope Of Insider Trading Liability, Ryan M. Davis

Vanderbilt Law Review

In recent years the Securities and Exchange Commission, commonly known as the SEC, has been involved in a number of high- profile suits that have attracted a good deal of media attention. Among those prosecuted by the Commission are hedge fund billionaire and Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, investment/Ponzi- scheme guru Bernie Madoff, television host and magazine publisher Martha Stewart, and colorful Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Although such notable suits may simply be the SEC's attempt to justify its own existence and role in the market it polices in light of the financial disasters of the past decade, these …


Shotgun Weddings: Director And Officer Fiduciary Duties In Government-Controlled And Partially-Nationalized Corporations, David M. Barnes Oct 2010

Shotgun Weddings: Director And Officer Fiduciary Duties In Government-Controlled And Partially-Nationalized Corporations, David M. Barnes

Vanderbilt Law Review

Corporate law considers the affairs of a corporation to be private activity. The prevailing concept of the firm is a nexus of private contract rights among participants in an economic enterprise. But for many U.S. auto and financial services corporations, the events of the fall of 2008 and the winter of 2009 turned this presumption on its head. The U.S. government's $700 billion bailout injected an alien actor-the United States Treasury-into this once-private enterprise. The bailout enabled the Treasury to take a direct equity stake in many of the nation's struggling auto and financial services corporations. In the fall of …


The Puzzle Of Brandeis, Privacy, And Speech, Neil M. Richards Oct 2010

The Puzzle Of Brandeis, Privacy, And Speech, Neil M. Richards

Vanderbilt Law Review

The Right to Privacy' and his dissent in Olmstead v. United States. In The Right to Privacy, Brandeis and Samuel Warren argued that intrusion into and public disclosure of private affairs by the press was deeply hurtful, and that the common law should be read to recognize a tort remedy for such violations. Their short article is considered by scholars to have established not just the privacy torts but the field of privacy law itself. Brandeis is also famous (though less so) for his Olmstead dissent-a document which introduced modern concepts of privacy into constitutional law, and ultimately led not …


Common Agency And The Public Corporation, Paul Rose Oct 2010

Common Agency And The Public Corporation, Paul Rose

Vanderbilt Law Review

Under the standard agency theory applied to corporate governance, active monitoring of manager-agents by empowered shareholder-principals will reduce agency costs created by management shirking and expropriation of private benefits. But while shareholder power may result in reduced managerial expropriation, an analysis of how that power is often exercised in public corporation governance reveals that it can also produce significant costs: influential shareholders may extract private benefits from the corporation, incur and impose lobbying expenses, and pressure corporations to adopt inapt corporate governance structures. These costs strain the simple principal-agent model on which shareholder empowerment is based. This Article offers an …


Transforming The Allocation Of Deal Risk Through Reverse Termination Fees, Afra Afsharipour Oct 2010

Transforming The Allocation Of Deal Risk Through Reverse Termination Fees, Afra Afsharipour

Vanderbilt Law Review

Acquisition agreements are peppered with various provisions designed to mitigate, allocate, or address the ramifications of deal risk. The potential for deal risk is particularly pronounced in acquisition transactions involving public companies, which generally entail a significant interim period between the date of the signing of the acquisition agreement and the date of the completion of the transaction. Allocation of deal risk is a vital component of deals where millions, if not billions, of dollars are at stake for buyers and sellers, as well as their shareholders and stakeholders. Perhaps the most obvious deal risk is of one party abandoning …


"Workers Of God": The Holy See's Liability For Clerical Sexual Abuse, Jacob W. Neu Oct 2010

"Workers Of God": The Holy See's Liability For Clerical Sexual Abuse, Jacob W. Neu

Vanderbilt Law Review

In the 1970s, no Boston priest was more electrifying than Paul Richard Shanley. Ordained in 1960, he sought and received from his bishop, Boston cardinal Humberto Medeiros, a mission to minister to "sexual minorities" in 1970 and became a well-known Boston "street priest."' Wearing jeans and smoking Kool cigarettes, he gathered about him runaway gay teenagers and advocated fiercely for gay rights. Yet one of the boys drawn to him was the same one Shanley would be convicted of sexually abusing in 2005. In a civil suit seeking damages from the Archdiocese of Boston for its role in hiding Shanley's …


Taming The Derivative Works Right: A Modest Proposal For Reducing Overbreadth And Vagueness In Copyright, Christina Bohannon Jun 2010

Taming The Derivative Works Right: A Modest Proposal For Reducing Overbreadth And Vagueness In Copyright, Christina Bohannon

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

The Supreme Court recently decided United States v. Stevens, a case challenging the constitutionality of a federal statute that punishes commercial depictions of animal cruelty, such as videos of dog fights. Concluding that the statute prohibited a good deal of speech that was unrelated to eradicating illegal animal cruelty, the Court held that the statute was substantially overbroad and therefore invalid under the First Amendment.

This case and other First Amendment cases help to shed light on the problems of overbreadth and vagueness in copyright law, particularly the derivative works right. The copyright holder's derivative works right prohibits others from …


Breach Is For Suckers, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, David A. Hoffman May 2010

Breach Is For Suckers, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, David A. Hoffman

Vanderbilt Law Review

This Article presents results from three experiments offering evidence that parties see breach of contract as a form of exploitation that makes disappointed promisees into "Suckers." In psychology, being a sucker turns on a three-part definition: betrayal, inequity, and intention. We used web-based questionnaires to test the effect of each of the three factors separately. Our results support the hypothesis that when breach of contract cues an exploitation schema, people become angry, offended, and inclined to retaliate even when retaliation is costly. This theory offers a useful advance because it explains why victims of breach demand more than similarly situated …


Taking Great Cases: Lessons From The "Rosenberg" Case, Brad Snyder May 2010

Taking Great Cases: Lessons From The "Rosenberg" Case, Brad Snyder

Vanderbilt Law Review

The most watched case of the 1952 Supreme Court Term was not Brown v. Board of Education, but the case of convicted atomic spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Sentenced to death in April 1951 for passing atomic secrets to the Soviets, the Rosenbergs dominated the news and divided the country. Their case came at the height of Cold War America's obsession with Communism. Senator Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee were exposing alleged Communists in the federal government and Hollywood, and the U.S. military was fighting the Korean War to try to stop the spread of Communism abroad. …


Big Tobacco, Medicaid-Covered Smokers, And The Substance Of The Master Settlement Agreement, Gregory W. Traylor May 2010

Big Tobacco, Medicaid-Covered Smokers, And The Substance Of The Master Settlement Agreement, Gregory W. Traylor

Vanderbilt Law Review

In 1994, executives from "Big Tobacco"-industry leaders Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Brown and Williamson Tobacco, and Lorillard-appeared before Congress and denied that nicotine is addictive despite internal documents disclosing a long history of industry-wide awareness about the addictive nature of the drug. One executive even denied that smoking causes death despite the well- established scientific consensus to the contrary. Worse still, tobacco companies had consciously targeted children as young as fourteen-years-old in their advertising schemes. In an internal R.J. Reynolds memorandum to Vice President of Marketing C.A. Tucker, J.F. Hind wrote: "To ensure increased and longer-term growth for CAMEL FILTER, …


Arbitration Clauses In Ceo Employment Contracts: An Empirical And Theoretical Analysis, Randall Thomas, Erin O'Hara, Kenneth Martin May 2010

Arbitration Clauses In Ceo Employment Contracts: An Empirical And Theoretical Analysis, Randall Thomas, Erin O'Hara, Kenneth Martin

Vanderbilt Law Review

A bill currently pending in Congress would render unenforceable mandatory arbitration clauses in all employment contracts. Some perceive these provisions as employer efforts to deprive employees of important legal rights. Company CEOs are firm employees, and, unlike most other firm employees, they can actually negotiate their employment contracts, very often with attorney assistance. Moreover, many CEO employment contracts are publicly available, so they can be examined empirically. In this paper, we ask whether CEOs bargain to include binding arbitration provisions in their employment contracts. After exploring the theoretical arguments for and against including such provisions in these agreements, we use …


Street Shootings: Covert Photography And Public Privacy, Nancy D. Zeronda May 2010

Street Shootings: Covert Photography And Public Privacy, Nancy D. Zeronda

Vanderbilt Law Review

Street photographers, like snipers, pride themselves on stealth.' Camouflaged in nondescript clothing, they wander the streets undetectable, armed, and on the hunt. When they find their mark, they act quickly. As the famous twentieth-century street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson described: "The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box." While methods of "trapping prey" vary from shooter to shooter, the mission remains the same-staying as covert as possible and catching an unknowing subject in a candid pose. In …


The Untouchables: Private Military Contractors' Criminal Accountability Under The Ucmj, Katherin J. Chapman May 2010

The Untouchables: Private Military Contractors' Criminal Accountability Under The Ucmj, Katherin J. Chapman

Vanderbilt Law Review

September 16, 2007 has been called Baghdad's "Bloody Sunday."' On that scorching afternoon in Baghdad, Iraq, a team of Blackwater Worldwide private military contractors slew seventeen Iraqi civilianS and wounded twenty-seven others. A Blackwater spokesperson claimed that the civilian contractors reacted in response to an attack by enemy combatants and "heroically defended American lives." Despite such claims, U.S. soldiers who arrived at the scene within twenty-five minutes found no evidence of enemy activity and characterized the event as criminal. Despite such evidence and notwithstanding four potential sources of criminal law-international law, host-nation law, U.S. civilian law, and U.S. military law-these …


Optimizing Private Antitrust Enforcement, Daniel A. Crane Apr 2010

Optimizing Private Antitrust Enforcement, Daniel A. Crane

Vanderbilt Law Review

Private litigation is the predominant means of antitrust enforcement in the United States. Other jurisdictions around the world are increasingly implementing private enforcement models. Private enforcement is usually justified on either compensation or deterrence grounds. While the choice between these two goals matters, private litigation is not very effective at advancing either one. Compensation fails because the true economic victims of most antitrust violations are usually downstream consumers who are too numerous and remote to locate and compensate. Deterrence is ineffective because the time lag between the planning of the violation and the legal judgment day is usually so long …


Constitutionality Of Cyberbullying Laws: Keeping The Online Playground Safe For Both Teens And Free Speech, Alison V. King Apr 2010

Constitutionality Of Cyberbullying Laws: Keeping The Online Playground Safe For Both Teens And Free Speech, Alison V. King

Vanderbilt Law Review

The Internet is a blessing and a curse. Along with the manifold benefits the Internet provides-electronic research, instantaneous news, social networking, online shopping, to name a few-comes a host of dangers: online harassment and cyberbullying, hacking, voyeurism, identity theft, phishing, and perhaps still more perils that have yet to appear. The Internet creates a virtual world that can result in very real consequences for people's lives. This creates a challenge for parents, schools, and policymakers attempting to keep pace with rapidly developing technologies and to provide adequate protections for children. The even greater challenge, however, is to balance these vital …


Assisted Suicide, Morality, And Law: Why Prohibiting Assisted Suicide Violates The Establishment Clause, Edward Rubin Apr 2010

Assisted Suicide, Morality, And Law: Why Prohibiting Assisted Suicide Violates The Establishment Clause, Edward Rubin

Vanderbilt Law Review

This Article argues that general prohibitions against assisted suicide violate the Establishment Clause because they support a particular and religiously based moral position. Many laws overlap with religious proscriptions, of course. The conclusion that laws against assisted suicide are unconstitutional because of their religious origin is based on the specific historical context of these laws within our existing culture. Over the course of Western civilization, attitudes about suicide have oscillated from positive approbation in many Greek and Roman sources, to outright and unalterable opposition by Christian writers, to acceptance and limited approval by contemporary secular thinkers and health practitioners. At …


Cleaning Up Punitive Damages: A Statutory Solution For Unguided Punitive-Damages Awards In Maritime Cases, Richard A. Chastain Apr 2010

Cleaning Up Punitive Damages: A Statutory Solution For Unguided Punitive-Damages Awards In Maritime Cases, Richard A. Chastain

Vanderbilt Law Review

Intentionally destroying property-boundary markers by sawing down the posts.' Causing environmental disasters. Fraudulently refusing to settle insurance claims within coverage limits. Bad-faith dealing in big oil contracts. Hiding mild weather damage to new vehicles. Creating and marketing cigarettes while knowing about their carcinogenic risks. Contributing to automobile accidents. No, these are not items on some nefarious villain's to-do list. These are all examples of cases where courts have awarded punitive damages against the tortfeasors on top of their compensatory liability. While each tort is unquestionably wrong, some certainly appear more wrong than others.

In recent years, punitive damages have become …


The Future Of Agency Independence, Lisa S. Bressman, Robert B. Thompson Apr 2010

The Future Of Agency Independence, Lisa S. Bressman, Robert B. Thompson

Vanderbilt Law Review

Independent agencies have long been viewed as different from executive-branch agencies because the President lacks authority to fire their leaders for political reasons, such as failure to follow administration policy. In this Article, we identify mechanisms that make independent agencies increasingly responsive to presidential preferences. We find these mechanisms in a context where independent agencies traditionally have dominated: financial policy. In legislative proposals for securing market stability, we point to statutorily mandated collaboration on policy between the Federal Reserve Board and the Secretary of the Treasury. In administration practices for improving securities regulation, we focus on White House coordination of, …


Facilitating Wage Theft: How Courts Use Procedural Rules To Undermine Substantive Rights Of Low-Wage Workers, Nantiya Ruan Apr 2010

Facilitating Wage Theft: How Courts Use Procedural Rules To Undermine Substantive Rights Of Low-Wage Workers, Nantiya Ruan

Vanderbilt Law Review

This Article examines this rising phenomenon by first outlining the pressing societal need for collective litigation to ensure In race and sex discrimination class actions, if a defendant employer makes a Rule 68 offer of judgment to the named plaintiffs, courts routinely refuse to dismiss the class claims. In stark contrast, in collective actions for failure to pay lawful wages, if a defendant employer makes a Rule 68 offer of judgment, courts will often dismiss the entire collective action as having been mooted by the named plaintiffs' recovery. The outcome of such a dichotomy is that low-wage workers are increasingly …


Statewide Capital Punishment: The Case For Eliminating Counties' Role In The Death Penalty, Adam M. Gershowitz Mar 2010

Statewide Capital Punishment: The Case For Eliminating Counties' Role In The Death Penalty, Adam M. Gershowitz

Vanderbilt Law Review

The State of Texas is known as the capital of capital punishment.' But is that reputation deserved? In a way, yes. Texas sends more people to death row than any other state, and it executes them far faster. However, in another way, it is incorrect to suggest that "the State" of Texas is a prolific user of capital punishment. Death penalty cases are prosecuted by counties, not the state, and a majority of Texas's counties have never imposed the death penalty. In fact, only a handful of Texas's 254 counties regularly seek the death penalty. Many other states have a …


Bringing It All Back Home: Establishing A Coherent Constitutional Framework For The Re-Regulation Of Homeschooling, Timothy B. Waddell Mar 2010

Bringing It All Back Home: Establishing A Coherent Constitutional Framework For The Re-Regulation Of Homeschooling, Timothy B. Waddell

Vanderbilt Law Review

Bobby and Esther Riddle, the Supreme Court of West Virginia conceded, "did an excellent job" teaching their children, Jill and Tim- possibly better than the public schools could do."' Like many fundamentalist parents, the Riddles believed the Bible required them personally to teach their children, protect them from heresy and worldly influence, and resist government intrusions that could imperil their eternal salvation. Moreover, they believed they had constitutional rights to do so. Jill and Tim Riddle studied the same subjects as public schoolchildren, but their studies were interwoven with religious lessons based upon their parents' idiosyncratic view of Christian doctrine. …


Preempting Discrimination: Lessons From The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, Jessica L. Roberts Mar 2010

Preempting Discrimination: Lessons From The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, Jessica L. Roberts

Vanderbilt Law Review

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act ("GINA'), enacted in May 2008, protects individuals against discrimination by insurance companies and employers on the basis of genetic information. GINA is not only the first civil rights law of the new millennium, but it is also the first preemptive antidiscrimination statute in American history. Traditionally, Congress has passed retrospective antidiscrimination legislation, reacting to existing discriminatory regimes. However, little evidence indicates that genetic-information discrimination is currently taking place on a significant scale. Thus, unlike the laws of the twentieth century, GINA attempts to eliminate a new brand of discrimination before it takes hold. This Article …


Order At The End Of Life: Establishing A Clear And Fair Mechanism For The Resolution Of Futility Disputes, Ashley Bassel Mar 2010

Order At The End Of Life: Establishing A Clear And Fair Mechanism For The Resolution Of Futility Disputes, Ashley Bassel

Vanderbilt Law Review

On January 22, 2008, Ruben Betancourt was admitted to Trinitas Regional Medical Center in New Jersey for surgery for malignant thymoma, a cancer of the thymus gland (a small organ underneath the breastbone).' Following surgery, the patient developed brain damage due to lack of oxygen and, as a result, lapsed into unconsciousness. For the next five months, Mr. Betancourt was admitted to various medical facilities and readmitted finally to Trinitas in July 2008 for renal failure. For six more months, the unconscious patient remained in the hospital on an artificial ventilator, receiving renal dialysis and nutrition through tube feeding.

The …


The Consequences Of Congress's Choice Of Delegate: Judicial And Agency Interpretations Of Title Vii, Margaret H. Lemos Mar 2010

The Consequences Of Congress's Choice Of Delegate: Judicial And Agency Interpretations Of Title Vii, Margaret H. Lemos

Vanderbilt Law Review

Although Congress delegates lawmaking authority to both courts and agencies, we know remarkably little about the determinants-and even less about the consequences-of the choice between judicial and administrative process. The few scholars who have sought to understand the choice of delegate have used formal modeling to illuminate various aspects of the decision from the perspective of the enacting Congress. That approach yields useful insight into the likely preferences of rational legislators, but tells us nothing about how (or whether) those preferences play out in the behavior of courts and agencies. Without such knowledge, we have no way of testing the …