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Full-Text Articles in Law

Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells Dec 2006

Holding Charities Accountable: Some Thoughts From An Ex-Regulator, Catharine P. Wells

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This paper recounts a number of lessons learned in the course of serving as the Director of Public Charities for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It incorporates these lessons into a discussion of the proper analysis of charitable organizations. Should charities be analogized to for-profit firms or are they something that is essentially different? The paper argues that they lack many of the attributes of Coasian firms and that they should be considered as “consumption groups” that have different methods of accountability.


A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp Oct 2006

A Complete Property Right Amendment, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

The trend of the eminent domain reform and "Kelo plus" initiatives is toward a comprehensive Constitutional property right incorporating the elements of level of review, nature of government action, and extent of compensation. This article contains a draft amendment which reflects these concerns.


Price Discrimination With Contract Terms: The Lost Volume Problem, Barry E. Adler, Alan Schwartz Oct 2006

Price Discrimination With Contract Terms: The Lost Volume Problem, Barry E. Adler, Alan Schwartz

ExpressO

In a common commercial pattern, the seller of a standard product contracts with one buyer and then sells to another at the contract price after the initial buyer breaches. Sellers argue, and courts largely agree, that the seller could have served the contract buyer as well as the later buyer; hence, the seller is entitled to retain a down payment to the extent of, or sue to recover, the profit – price less cost – that it would have realized on the initial sale had that sale been completed. Some courts and many scholars disagree, arguing that resale of the contract product ...


The Flight From Arbitration: An Empirical Study Of Ex Ante Arbitration Clauses In Publicly-Held Companies’ Contracts, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey Miller Oct 2006

The Flight From Arbitration: An Empirical Study Of Ex Ante Arbitration Clauses In Publicly-Held Companies’ Contracts, Theodore Eisenberg, Geoffrey Miller

ExpressO

We study a data set of 2,858 contracts contained as exhibits in Form 8-K filings by reporting corporations over a six month period in 2002 for twelve types of contracts and a seven month period in 2002 for merger contracts. Because 8-K filings are required only for material events, these contracts likely are carefully negotiated by sophisticated parties who are well-informed about the contract terms. These contracts, therefore, provide evidence of efficient ex ante solutions to contracting problems. The vast majority of contracts did not require arbitration. Only about 11 percent of the contracts included binding arbitration clauses. The ...


Rent Concessions And Illegal Contract Penalties In Texas, James P. George Oct 2006

Rent Concessions And Illegal Contract Penalties In Texas, James P. George

ExpressO

This article discusses penalty damages in residential leases in Texas. The sales pitch is a rent concession which is later reimposed if the buyer breaches. In contracts where the reimposed penalty reimburses the seller well beyond the consideration anticipated in the normal performance of the agreement, the reimposed discount is an illegal penalty. These contracts are pervasive but for the most part go unchalllenged.


Rent Concessions, Reimposable Discounts, And The Return Of Medieval Contract Penalties, James P. George Sep 2006

Rent Concessions, Reimposable Discounts, And The Return Of Medieval Contract Penalties, James P. George

ExpressO

This article discusses penalty damages in consumer contracts. It focuses on rent concessions in apartment leases, and includes lesser discussions of deferred payments and interest in the purchase of cars, furniture and appliances. The sales pitch is a deferral or discount which is later reimposed if the buyer breaches, with some contracts keying on small breaches such as late payment. In contracts where the reimposed penalty reimburses the seller well beyond the consideration anticipated in the normal performance of the agreement, the reimposed discount is an illegal penalty. These contracts are pervasive but for the most part go unchalllenged.


Legal Consciousness And Contractual Obligations, Kojo Yelpaala Sep 2006

Legal Consciousness And Contractual Obligations, Kojo Yelpaala

ExpressO

The Article on “Legal Consciousness and Contractual Obligations” will explore and offer an explanation of the origins of the moral foundations for contractual obligations beyond conventional analysis. Building on themes and threads across many disciplines and theories, it seeks to identify and locate certain unities and common elements that explain human consciousness in exchange relations across cultures. The term contract is used in its non-technical and most inclusive sense to cover agreements, promises, undertakings and other forms of consensus whether or not supported by consideration. Viewed within this broad conceptual framework, where do human beings get the idea that they ...


The Death Of The Doha Round. What Next For Services Trade?, Rafael Leal-Arcas Sep 2006

The Death Of The Doha Round. What Next For Services Trade?, Rafael Leal-Arcas

ExpressO

With the indefinite suspension of the WTO multilateral trade negotiations in July 2006 by WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, the world trading system must now find ways and means to unblock what is perceived as a danger to the world order. This article analyzes the legal and policy implications of the currently fatal Doha Round for the two main developed WTO Members, i.e., the U.S. and the EC, and the most relevant developing countries of the WTO. The specific focus of attention will be mainly on services trade. Thoughts on alternative ways to move forward in the multilateral trading ...


Corporations And The Lateral Obligations Of The Social Contract, Benedict Sheehy Sep 2006

Corporations And The Lateral Obligations Of The Social Contract, Benedict Sheehy

ExpressO

Social contract theorists suggest that society at some level is based on the idea that human people surrender freedom for the privilege of participating in society. That participation implicitly requires more than mere minimal compliance with law. Each human person’s contribution to society above the legal baseline, permits humans to create a society that is at least tolerable. Corporations as non-human act without regard for these supra-legal obligations which results in society suffering injustice. Corporate participation in society has become increasingly unjust and has done so to the extent that we may speak of living in a post-ethical world.


Re-Thinking Securities Regulation: A Comparative Study Of Asx, Nyse, And Sgx , Benedict Sheehy Sep 2006

Re-Thinking Securities Regulation: A Comparative Study Of Asx, Nyse, And Sgx , Benedict Sheehy

ExpressO

This article approaches the issue of securities regulation starting with an examination of the nature and role of markets and financial markets. It next outlines the various arguments for and against regulation, and then looks at approaches taken by markets and their regulators. The approaches are government regulation, self-regulation and co-regulation, and the structural changes via demutualization and corporate governance. With this background, it turns to examine how these approaches have played out in the markets themselves. The article surveys the regulatory aspects of the ASX, NYSE and the SGX, and reviews the regulatory and financial performance of the markets ...


Explaining The Value Of Transactional Lawyering, Steven L. Schwarcz Aug 2006

Explaining The Value Of Transactional Lawyering, Steven L. Schwarcz

ExpressO

This article attempts, empirically, to explain the value that lawyers add when acting as counsel to parties in business transactions. Contrary to existing scholarship, which is based mostly on theory, this article shows that transactional lawyers add value primarily by reducing regulatory costs, thereby challenging the reigning models of transactional lawyers as “transaction cost engineers” and “reputational intermediaries.” This new model not only helps inform contract theory but also reveals a profoundly different vision than existing models for the future of legal education and the profession.


Why Do We Know What We Know? Reevaluating The Economic Case Against Pre-Contractual Disclosure Duties And For Break-Up Fees, Barak Medina, Ofer Grosskopf Aug 2006

Why Do We Know What We Know? Reevaluating The Economic Case Against Pre-Contractual Disclosure Duties And For Break-Up Fees, Barak Medina, Ofer Grosskopf

ExpressO

The economic analysis of contract law offers influential arguments against pre-contractual disclosure duties and for break-up fees, based on the presumption that pre-contractual duties are (or should be) set to provide sufficient incentives to optimally invest in acquiring information at the negotiation stage. We suggest, however, that the existing analysis is flawed, since it overlooks an important incentive for investing in information gathering.

According to the conventional wisdom, a negotiating party will be motivated to invest resources in information gathering only on the basis of its expectation to extract the contractual surplus that the investment may generate. As a result ...


The Law, Marketing And Behavioral Economics Of Consumer Rebates, Matthew A. Edwards Aug 2006

The Law, Marketing And Behavioral Economics Of Consumer Rebates, Matthew A. Edwards

ExpressO

This paper deals with mail-in consumer rebates — a significant, yet controversial marketing practices that has generated thousands of consumer complaints, inspired countless articles in major periodicals, and begun to attract the interest of state and federal legislators. The paper first aims to provide an understanding of the purposes of consumer rebate offerings. It then surveys the main categories of consumer rebate complaints, including that firms impose onerous rebate redemption requirements and that they fail to pay rebate rewards in a timely manner. The paper draws on recent marketing, psychological and behavioral economics research to address the potent claim that rebates ...


Commercial Law In The Cracks Of Judicial Federalism, Donald J. Smythe Aug 2006

Commercial Law In The Cracks Of Judicial Federalism, Donald J. Smythe

ExpressO

Almost seventy years after the Supreme Court sought to rationalize the American system of judicial federalism in Erie, sales law remains trapped in a pattern more reminiscent of the Swift v. Tyson era. The extraordinarily wide separation of powers in the NCCUSL-ALI uniform law-making process has entrenched Article 2 of the UCC in the status quo. Concurrently, an imbalance between the federal and state courts in the American system of judicial federalism has conferred an unusually wide range of discretion over state commercial law on the federal courts. Ironically, therefore, state sales statutes are being reinterpreted and revised by the ...


The Story Of Nlrb V. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co.: The High Cost Of Solidarity, Thomas C. Kohler, Julius G. Getman Aug 2006

The Story Of Nlrb V. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co.: The High Cost Of Solidarity, Thomas C. Kohler, Julius G. Getman

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In 1938, in NLRB v. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co., the Supreme Court offered one of its earliest interpretations of the National Labor Relations Act. Although the Court’s holding provided that employers may not discriminate against employees for their union activity when the strike is over and workers are reinstated, dicta in the opinion also provided that under the NLRA employers enjoy an unrestricted right to replace strikers. In the 70 years since the Court’s announcement, scholars remain baffled by the contradictions presented by the “Mackay doctrine”—a rule that forbids employers from discharging legally protected strikers while, at ...


Ringing The Bell On The Nyse: Might A Nonprofit Stock Exchange Have Been Efficient?, Stephen F. Diamond Jul 2006

Ringing The Bell On The Nyse: Might A Nonprofit Stock Exchange Have Been Efficient?, Stephen F. Diamond

ExpressO

Abstract

This spring the New York Stock Exchange, Inc. (Exchange or NYSE) completed an historic restructuring. On March 7, 2006, the NYSE completed its merger with Archipelago Holdings Inc. (Archipelago), a publicly traded electronic trading platform. As a result, the old NYSE itself became the New York Stock Exchange LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of NYSE Group, Inc. (NYSE Group). The former members, or seat holders, of the NYSE received one of three forms of consideration: all cash, all stock in NYSE Group, or a package of cash and stock. The NYSE Group then allowed those former members to offer ...


Greed And Pride In International Bankruptcy: The Problems And Proposed Solutions To “Local Interests”, John A. E. Pottow Jul 2006

Greed And Pride In International Bankruptcy: The Problems And Proposed Solutions To “Local Interests”, John A. E. Pottow

Law & Economics Working Papers Archive: 2003-2009

From just-enacted (2005) chapter 15 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to the U.K. Enterprise Act of 2002, legislative reforms to international bankruptcy are on the rise. One of the thorniest issues facing scholars and policymakers alike in these efforts is what to do with the nettlesome problem of “local interests.” What exactly are these “local interests,” and what is it that we are we trying to protect? Literature to date has been elusive in pinning this down and has offered, for the most part, only undifferentiated anxiety that an international bankruptcy regime may impinge undesirably upon “local concerns ...


The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham Jun 2006

The Common Law As An Iterative Process: A Preliminary Inquiry, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The common law often is casually referred to as an iterative process without much attention given to the detailed attributes such processes exhibit. This Article explores this characterization, uncovering how common law as an iterative process is one of endless repetition that is simultaneously stable and dynamic, self-similar but evolving, complex yet simple. These attributes constrain the systemic significance of judicial discretion and also confirm the wisdom of traditional approaches to studying and learning law. As an iterative system, common law exhibits what physicists call sensitive dependence on initial conditions. This generates a path dependency from which it may be ...


Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp Jun 2006

Bond Repudiation, Tax Codes, The Appropriations Process And Restitution Post-Eminent Domain Reform, John H. Ryskamp

ExpressO

This brief comment suggests where the anti-eminent domain movement might be heading next.


Managing Risk On A $25 Million Bet: Venture Capital, Agency Costs, And The False Dichotomy Of The Corporation, Robert P. Bartlett Iii May 2006

Managing Risk On A $25 Million Bet: Venture Capital, Agency Costs, And The False Dichotomy Of The Corporation, Robert P. Bartlett Iii

ExpressO

An implicit dichotomy of the corporation exists in legal scholarship. On one side of the dichotomy rests the publicly-held corporation suffering from a significant conflict of interest between its managers and dispersed shareholders; on the other side, the closely-held corporation plagued by inter-shareholder conflict.

This Article argues that understanding the agency problems that can exist within a firm demands a rejection of this traditional dichotomy and the theories of the firm built upon it. Using venture capital finance, this Article demonstrates for the first time how this dichotomy obscures how all firms - public and private - often face the same agency ...


Final Offer Arbitration In The New Era Of Major League Baseball, Spencer B. Gordon May 2006

Final Offer Arbitration In The New Era Of Major League Baseball, Spencer B. Gordon

ExpressO

This article provides a comprehensive analysis of the economic, athletic, and social impact of final offer salary arbitration in Major League Baseball (“MLB”). The article delves into the motivations, fluctuations, and evolution of the player-owner relationship and free agency. The commentary then focuses on the distinguishing features and intricacies of final offer arbitration. Although salary arbitration in the context of Major League Baseball is a topic oft discussed in the law review setting, the analysis rarely reaches the level exhibited in this article. Moreover, most articles on the subject were written between 1996 and 2000 when the 1994 players’ strike ...


Language, Deals And Standards: The Future Of Xml Contracts, Lawrence A. Cunningham May 2006

Language, Deals And Standards: The Future Of Xml Contracts, Lawrence A. Cunningham

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

eXtensible Markup Language (XML) structures information in documentary systems ranging from financial reports to medical records and business contracts. XML standards for specific applications are developed spontaneously by self-appointed technologists or entrepreneurs. XML’s social and economic stakes are considerable, especially when developed for the private law of contracts. XML can reduce transaction costs but also limit the range of contractual expression and redefine the nature of law practice. So reliance on spontaneous development may be sub-optimal and identification of a more formal public standard setting model necessary. To exploit XML’s advantages while minimizing risks, this Article envisions creating ...


Incomplete Contracts In A Complete Contract World, Scott A. Baker, Kimberly D. Krawiec Apr 2006

Incomplete Contracts In A Complete Contract World, Scott A. Baker, Kimberly D. Krawiec

ExpressO

This paper considers the role that contract doctrine should play in facilitating optimal investment in contractual relationships. All contracts are incomplete in the sense that they do not specify the optimal actions for the buyer and seller in every future contingency. This incompleteness can lead to both under and over-investment in resources specifically targeted to the needs of the other contracting party. To solve these investment problems, economists and legal scholars have looked to complicated contractual solutions and the ownership of assets.

This Article offers another solution: contract doctrine. Specifically, we propose a contractual default rule applicable to all contract ...


Commodification And Contract Formation: Placing The Consideration Doctrine On Stronger Foundations, David S. Gamage Mar 2006

Commodification And Contract Formation: Placing The Consideration Doctrine On Stronger Foundations, David S. Gamage

ExpressO

Under the traditional consideration doctrine, a promise is only legally enforceable if it is made in exchange for something of value. This doctrine lies at the heart of contract law, yet it lacks a sound theoretical justification – a fact that has confounded generations of scholars and created a mess of case law.

This paper argues that the failure of traditional justifications for the doctrine comes from two mistaken assumptions. First, previous scholars have assumed that anyone can back a promise with nominal consideration if they wish to do so. We show how social norms against commodification limit the availability of ...


Overvalued Equity And The Case For An Asymmetric Insider Trading Regime, Thomas A. Lambert Mar 2006

Overvalued Equity And The Case For An Asymmetric Insider Trading Regime, Thomas A. Lambert

ExpressO

The forty-year debate over whether insider trading should be regulated has generally proceeded in all-or-nothing terms: Either all insider trading should be permitted (subject only to private restrictions imposed by issuers themselves), or none should. This Article argues for an asymmetric insider trading policy under which insider trading that decreases the price of an overvalued stock is generally permitted, but insider trading that increases the price of an undervalued stock is generally prohibited. Concluding that the net investor benefits of price-decreasing insider trading exceed those of price-enhancing insider trading, the Article argues that an asymmetric insider trading regime likely represents ...


The Secret Is Out: Patent Law Preempts Mass Market License Terms Barring Reverse Engineering For Interoperability Purposes, Daniel Laster Feb 2006

The Secret Is Out: Patent Law Preempts Mass Market License Terms Barring Reverse Engineering For Interoperability Purposes, Daniel Laster

ExpressO

As patent protection has emerged to protect software, courts and commentators have mistakenly focused on copyright law and overlooked the centrality of patent preemption to limit contract law where a mass market license which prohibits reverse engineering (RE) for purposes of developing interoperable products leads to patent-like protection. Review of copyright fair use cases on RE and Congress’s policy favoring RE for interoperability purposes in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act reinforce the case for patent preemption. Also, the fundamental freedom to RE embodied in state trade secret law, coupled with federal patent and copyright law and policies, cumulatively should ...


“It’S The [Tort System], Stupid:” Consumer Deductibles; How To More Equitably Distribute The Risks Of Medical Malpractice And Adequately Compensate Victims Without Statutory Damage Caps., Bradford Luke Ledbetter Feb 2006

“It’S The [Tort System], Stupid:” Consumer Deductibles; How To More Equitably Distribute The Risks Of Medical Malpractice And Adequately Compensate Victims Without Statutory Damage Caps., Bradford Luke Ledbetter

ExpressO

No abstract provided.


Regulating Contract Formation: Precontractual Reliance, Sunk Costs, And Market Structure, Ofer Grosskopf, Barak Medina Feb 2006

Regulating Contract Formation: Precontractual Reliance, Sunk Costs, And Market Structure, Ofer Grosskopf, Barak Medina

ExpressO

This Article challenges the plausibility of the prospect of underinvestment in precontractual reliance (PCR). We argue that a negotiating party is motivated to invest in PCR not only through her expectation to extract the benefits that the investment yields (Added-Value Motivation), but also through the effect of the investment on her position vis-à-vis her competitors (Competition-Based Motivation). We demonstrate that under plausible assumptions, when a negotiating party operates in a relatively competitive market, the Competition-Based Motivation is frequently sufficient to induce optimal PCR, even without appropriate contractual provisions or legal intervention.

We suggest several normative implications. First, legal intervention that ...


The Elasticity Of Contract, Martha M. Ertman Jan 2006

The Elasticity Of Contract, Martha M. Ertman

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


It’S Not About The Money: The Role Of Preferences, Cognitive Biases And Heuristics Among Professional Athletes, Michael Mccann Jan 2006

It’S Not About The Money: The Role Of Preferences, Cognitive Biases And Heuristics Among Professional Athletes, Michael Mccann

Law Faculty Scholarship

Professional athletes are often regarded as selfish, greedy, and out-of-touch with regular people. They hire agents who are vilified for negotiating employment contracts that occasionally yield compensation in excess of national gross domestic products. Professional athletes are thus commonly assumed to most value economic remuneration, rather than the love of the game or some other intangible, romanticized inclination.

Lending credibility to this intuition is the rational actor model, a law and economic precept which presupposes that when individuals are presented with a set of choices, they rationally weigh costs and benefits, and select the course of action that maximizes their ...