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Charity And Information: Correcting The Failure Of A Disjunctive Social Norm, Brian Broughman, Robert Cooter Jul 2010

Charity And Information: Correcting The Failure Of A Disjunctive Social Norm, Brian Broughman, Robert Cooter

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Charitable donations fund social goods that the state and markets undersupply. Despite widespread belief in the importance of private charity, most Americans donate little or nothing. Experiments in behavioral economics show that anonymity, not human nature, causes low contributions. Anonymity poses a particular challenge for charity because of the special character of the obligation. Charity is a disjunctive social norm, meaning the obligation is owed to "A or B or C or ...". Disclosure of each individual's aggregate conduct is necessary for the effectiveness of any disjunctive social norm. To revitalize charity we propose a public registry where each taxpayer …


The Multiple Common Law Roots Of Charitable Immunity: An Essay In Honor Of Richard Epstein's Contributions To Tort Law, Jill R. Horwitz Jan 2010

The Multiple Common Law Roots Of Charitable Immunity: An Essay In Honor Of Richard Epstein's Contributions To Tort Law, Jill R. Horwitz

Articles

Professor Epstein has long promoted replacing tort-based malpractice law with a new regime based on contracts. In Mortal Peril, he grounded his normative arguments in favor of such a shift in the positive, doctrinal history of charitable immunity law. In this essay, in three parts, I critique Professor Epstein’s suggestion that a faulty set of interpretations in charitable immunity law led to our current reliance on tort for malpractice claims. First, I offer an alternative interpretation to Professor Epstein’s claim that one group of 19th and early 20th century cases demonstrates a misguided effort to protect donor wishes. Rather, I …


The Attack On Nonprofit Status: A Charitable Assessment, James R. Hines Jr., Jill R. Horwitz, Austin Nichols Jan 2010

The Attack On Nonprofit Status: A Charitable Assessment, James R. Hines Jr., Jill R. Horwitz, Austin Nichols

Articles

American nonprofit organizations receive favorable tax treatment, including tax exemptions and tax-deductibility of contributions, in return for their devotion to charitable purposes and restrictions not to distribute profits. Recent efforts to extend some or all of these tax benefits to for-profit companies making social investments, including the creation of the new hybrid nonprofit/for-profit company form known as the Low-Profit Limited Liability Company, threaten to undermine the vitality of the nonprofit sector and the integrity of the tax system. Reform advocates maintain that the ability to compensate executives based on performance and to distribute profits when attractive investment opportunities are scarce …


Nonprofits And Narrative: Piers Plowman, Anthony Trollope, And Charities Law, Jill R. Horwitz Jan 2009

Nonprofits And Narrative: Piers Plowman, Anthony Trollope, And Charities Law, Jill R. Horwitz

Articles

What are the narrative possibilities for understanding nonprofit law? Given the porous barriers between nonprofit law and the literature about it, there are many. Here I consider two. First, nonprofit law and nonprofit literature are each enriched and made fully explicable by reference to the other. Nonprofit law has grown in parallel with literature. It may even be that important legal texts, texts about doing and being good, were imported directly from literary sources into law. Second, in writings ranging from sensational journalism to high literature, nonprofit laws and the scandals involving their violations have captured the public imagination for …


Letting Good Deeds Go Unpunished: Volunteer Immunity Laws And Tort Deterrence, Jill R. Horwitz, Joseph Mead Jan 2009

Letting Good Deeds Go Unpunished: Volunteer Immunity Laws And Tort Deterrence, Jill R. Horwitz, Joseph Mead

Articles

Does tort law deter risky behavior in individuals? We explore this question by examining the relationship between tort immunity and volunteering. During the 1980s and 1990s, nearly every state provided some degree of volunteer immunity. Congress followed with the 1997 Volunteer Protection Act. This article analyzes these acts, identifying three motivations for them: the chilling effects of tort liability, limits on liability insurance, and moral concerns. Using data from the Independent Survey’s Giving and Volunteering surveys, we then identify a large and positive correlation between immunity and volunteering. We next consider the implications of the findings for tort theory and …


Confidence In The Nonprofit Sector Through Sarbanes-Oxley-Style Reforms, Joseph Mead Mar 2008

Confidence In The Nonprofit Sector Through Sarbanes-Oxley-Style Reforms, Joseph Mead

Michigan Law Review

Over the past several years, the nonprofit sector suffered a series of highly visible scandals that shook the public's confidence in charitable organizations. Concerned politicians and nonprofit leaders responded with a variety of reforms inspired by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Note focuses on three such reforms: requiring nonprofit officers certify financial statements, mandating audits of nonprofits' financial statements, and imposing independent audit committees on nonprofit boards of directors. This Note argues that, contrary to the conclusions of many commentators, these reforms will provide a net benefit to the nonprofit sector by increasing donor confidence while imposing minimal costs.


Does Nonprofit Ownership Matter?, Jill R. Horwitz Jan 2007

Does Nonprofit Ownership Matter?, Jill R. Horwitz

Articles

In recent years, policymakers have increasingly questioned whether nonprofit institutions, particularly hospitals, merit tax exemption. They argue that nonprofit hospitals differ little from their for-profit counterparts in the provision of charity care and, therefore, should either lose their tax-exempt status or adhere to new, strict, and specific requirements to provide free services for the poor. In this Article, I present evidence that hospital ownership-whether it is for-profit, nonprofit, or government owned-has a significant effect on the mix of medical services it offers. Despite notoriously weak enforcement mechanisms, nonprofit hospitals act in the public interest by providing services that are unlikely …


The Common Law Power Of The Legislature: Insurer Conversions And Charitable Funds, Jill R. Horwitz, Marion R. Fremont-Smith Jan 2005

The Common Law Power Of The Legislature: Insurer Conversions And Charitable Funds, Jill R. Horwitz, Marion R. Fremont-Smith

Articles

New York's Empire Blue Ccoss and Blue Shield conversion from nonprofic cofor­ profic form has considerable legal significance. Three aspects of the conversion ma.ke checase unique: the role of the scace legislature in directing the disposicion of the conversion assets, che face chac it made itself che primary beneficiary of chose assets, and the actions of che scace attorney general defending the state rather than che public inceresc in che charitable assets. Drawing on several cenruries of common Law rejecting the Legislacive power to direct the disposition of charitable funds, chis article argues chat the legislature lacked power cocontrol che …


Why We Need The Independent Sector: The Behavior, Law, And Ethics Of Not-For-Profit Hospitals, Jill R. Horwitz Jan 2003

Why We Need The Independent Sector: The Behavior, Law, And Ethics Of Not-For-Profit Hospitals, Jill R. Horwitz

Articles

Among the major forms of corporate ownership, the not-for-profit ownership form is distinct in its behavior, legal constraints, and moral obligations. A new empirical analysis of the American hospital industry, using eleven years of data for all urban general hospitals in the country, shows that corporate form accounts for large differences in the provision of specific medical services. Not-for-profit hospitals systematically provide both private and public goods that are in the public interest, and that other forms fail to provide. Two hypotheses are proposed to account for the findings, one legal and one moral. While no causal claims are made, …


Gifts, Gafts And Gefts: The Income Tax Definition And Treatment Of Private And Charitable 'Gifts' And A Principled Policy Justification For The Exclusion Of Gifts From Income, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn Jan 2003

Gifts, Gafts And Gefts: The Income Tax Definition And Treatment Of Private And Charitable 'Gifts' And A Principled Policy Justification For The Exclusion Of Gifts From Income, Douglas A. Kahn, Jeffrey H. Kahn

Articles

Gifts have been given special treatment by the income tax laws since the first post-16th Amendment tax statute was adopted in 1913. The determination of how the income tax law should treat gifts raises a number of issues. For example: should gifts be given special treatment? If so, what should qualify as a gift? Should gifts to a private party be taxable to the donee? Should gifts to a private party be deductible by the donor? Should the donee's basis in a gift of property be determined by reference to the basis that the donor had, and should any modifications …


Does Charity Begin At Home? The Tax Status Of A Payment To An Individual As A Charitable Deduction, Michigan Law Review Apr 1985

Does Charity Begin At Home? The Tax Status Of A Payment To An Individual As A Charitable Deduction, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

In White v. United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed a district court decision and held that the taxpayers could deduct expenses they paid directly to their dependent son to support his missionary activities away from home. In Brinley v. Commissioner, the Tax Court sitting in Texas refused to follow the Tenth Circuit in White, and held that while the missionary son was entitled to deduct his personal expenses, the parents could not deduct their payment of the son's expenses.

This Note supports the result in Brinley and argues that the …


Irs Denials Of Charitable Status: A Social Welfare Organization Problem, Michigan Law Review Dec 1983

Irs Denials Of Charitable Status: A Social Welfare Organization Problem, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

This Note argues that the courts and the Service should recognize social welfare organizations as charitable and, consequently, contributions to such organizations should be tax deductible. Part I describes the Service's position and sets forth the statutory arguments supporting it. Part II raises two objections to the Service's position: (1) the distinction between social welfare organizations and charitable organizations lacks an adequate statutory justification, and (2) this distinction produces unpredictable and arbitrary results. Part III proposes that all social welfare organizations be accorded charitable status under subsection 50l(c)(3). This proposal would eliminate the arbitrary results now reached by the Service, …


Delegation Of Investment Powers By Charitable Trustees, Richard B. Urda Jr. Jan 1974

Delegation Of Investment Powers By Charitable Trustees, Richard B. Urda Jr.

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Over the past few years the activities of philanthropic organizations have been undergoing considerable critical scrutiny. Congressional committees, private commissions, and individuals have extensively analyzed institutionalized charity. An area of particular concern involves problems created by the investment policies of charitable organizations. One investment problem that has not received much attention, however, is the plight of the natural person trustee of a charitable trust who, in general, is legally prohibited from delegating his responsibility for investment of trust funds. Almost one-third of all charitable foundations take the legal form of trusts. Of the foundations organized as charitable trusts, over 60 …


Perpetuities And Other Restraints: A Study Of The Michigan Statutes And Decisions Relating To Perpetuities And Other Devices Which Fetter The Alienability Of Property, Against The Background Of The Laws Of England And Other American Jurisdictions, William F. Frachter Jan 1954

Perpetuities And Other Restraints: A Study Of The Michigan Statutes And Decisions Relating To Perpetuities And Other Devices Which Fetter The Alienability Of Property, Against The Background Of The Laws Of England And Other American Jurisdictions, William F. Frachter

Michigan Legal Studies Series

The central theme of this study comprises the judicial and legislative rules developed to restrict attempts by men of property to endow their families in perpetuity, usually with land, in such manner that each successive living generation can neither part with the property nor prevent unborn generations from succeeding to it. Part One deals with attempts to accomplish this object by bestowing the whole title on each living generation but denying each such generation the power to dispose of the property or to prevent its· descent to the next generation. In this part the principal restrictive rules are judicial, the …


Wills-Assertion Of Rights Under Mortmain Statute As Violation Of No-Contest Clause, William K. Davenport Feb 1952

Wills-Assertion Of Rights Under Mortmain Statute As Violation Of No-Contest Clause, William K. Davenport

Michigan Law Review

An action was brought by an executor for construction of a will, made five months before testator's death, which attempted to make bequests to various charities. The bequests were "invalid" under the terms of the Ohio mortmain statute because the will was executed less than a year before death. A no-contest clause in the will declared that any person attacking it in any way would be barred from any beneficial interest, but there was no gift over in the event of such a contest. The charitable gifts were in the residuary clause, and there was no substitutionary gift in the …


Tax Exempt Charitable Corporations: Revenue Act Of 1950, Maurice Finkelstein Jan 1952

Tax Exempt Charitable Corporations: Revenue Act Of 1950, Maurice Finkelstein

Michigan Law Review

In 1895 Joseph Choate, a distinguished leader of the American Bar, arguing before the Supreme Court of the United States said: "The Act of Congress [the income tax law] which we are impugning before you is communistic in its purposes and tendencies, and is defended here upon principles as communistic, socialistic-what shall I call them -populistic as ever have been addressed to any political assembly in the world. . . . I have thought that one of the fundamental objects of all civilized government was the preservation of the rights of private property. "

While the great advocate no doubt …


Wills-An Exception To The Pennsylvania Mortmain Statute, Robert H. Frick Dec 1949

Wills-An Exception To The Pennsylvania Mortmain Statute, Robert H. Frick

Michigan Law Review

Testatrix and her husband entered into an agreement that the survivor should devise property owned by them as tenants by the entireties to charities of the Catholic Church. Ten years later, testatrix, who had survived her husband, executed a will in accordance with the agreement, and died within thirty days thereafter. The lower court held that the bequest was not invalid under the Pennsylvania statute voiding religious or charitable bequests made within thirty days of death. On appeal, held, affirmed. Where a valid contract to make a will antedates the testator's death by more than the statutory period, the …


Trusts.....Charitable Accumulations-Provision For Indefinite Accumulation, John A. Huston S.Ed. May 1947

Trusts.....Charitable Accumulations-Provision For Indefinite Accumulation, John A. Huston S.Ed.

Michigan Law Review

Testatrix left real and personal property in trust with directions that one half of the income should be paid to nine designated charities and that the other half should be "invested and reinvested . . . for the preservation of the . . . Memorial Fund in perpetuity." In a suit for instructions filed by the executor and the trustee, held, reversing the decision below, the trust is void as a private trust created to endure longer than the period limited by the rule against perpetuities. The dominant purpose of the testatrix, as revealed in the provision for accumulation, …


Wills - Charitable Trusts - Doctrine Of Approximation - Accumulation, Malcolm L. Denise Feb 1937

Wills - Charitable Trusts - Doctrine Of Approximation - Accumulation, Malcolm L. Denise

Michigan Law Review

By his will of 1915 the testator, after providing for several legacies, left the residue of his estate to trustees, to expend the income therefrom in establishing and providing a home for the worthy aged poor of Waterbury, in the memory of his deceased wife. The income was not sufficient adequately to carry out this direction, the fund amounting to around $30,000 at the time of testator's death in 1920, and the trustees petitioned the court for instructions. Held, there being a general charitable intent, the fund should be administered cy pres by the court to relieve the aged …


Trust Estates To Accumulate Income Jan 1931

Trust Estates To Accumulate Income

Michigan Law Review

Testator left his realty in trust to apply the net income, after the payment of certain expenses, eighty percent to the use of a charity and certain persons. the other twenty percent to a sinking fund "to restore, replace or make major improvements or additions to the buildings and improvements" of that realty. The income from the accumulated fund was to be paid to the charity; the principal expended at such times as the trustees deemed necessary. It was claimed the provision for this fund constituted an unlawful direction to accumulate income. Held: that income applied to the replacement of …


Damage Liability Of Charitable Institutions, Carl Zollman Feb 1921

Damage Liability Of Charitable Institutions, Carl Zollman

Michigan Law Review

The question of the liability of charitable institutions to actions for damages presents great difficulties. This is not due how- -ever to a lack of cases. The question has peculiarly "engaged the attention of the bench and bar of the country. The problem has been scrutinized from every conceivable viewpoint. The arguments for and against have well nigh been exhausted, and little, if anything, new remains to be advanced".' In their opinions the courts have frequently gone back to certain English cases disregarding the points decided but stressing certain dicta which have been uttered by the judges which decided them. …


The Liability Of Charitable Corporations For The Torts Of Their Servants, Harry B. Hutchins Jan 1907

The Liability Of Charitable Corporations For The Torts Of Their Servants, Harry B. Hutchins

Articles

The Liability of Charitable Corporations for the Torts of their Servants.--This question was discussed quite fully in the last number of the REVIEW, pp. 552-559, under the title Liability of Hospitals for the Negligence of their Physicians and Nurses, particular attention being given to the reasons underlying the doctrine that charitable corporations are not liable for the negligence of their servants, provided proper care has been exercised in their selection, and to the limitations within which that doctrine should be confined. It was concluded that the true reason for the doctrine is not to be found, as many cases apparently …


The Cy-Pres Doctrine, Harry B. Hutchins Jan 1906

The Cy-Pres Doctrine, Harry B. Hutchins

Articles

The CY-Pres Doctrine.-The court of chancery of New Jersey in the recent case of Brow et al. v. Condit et al. (Sept. 30, 1905), 61 Atl. Rep. 1055, refused to apply this doctrine under the following circumstances: The will of one Susan M. Corson, bearing date July 7, 1897, disposed of her residuary estate "to the Hospital Fund for Sick Seamen at Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, care of Mr. John M. Wood, chaplain." It appears that neither at the time of the making of the will nor at any time thereafter was there a fund in existence at or …