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Designing A State Court Small Claims Odr System: Hitting A Moving Target In New York During A Pandemic, David Allen Larson Jan 2021

Designing A State Court Small Claims Odr System: Hitting A Moving Target In New York During A Pandemic, David Allen Larson

Faculty Scholarship

When I began helping the New York State Unified Court System design a pilot online dispute resolution (“ODR”) system back in October 2016, I never imagined more than four years would pass before a system was implemented. One reason our journey was so long is because our target kept moving. After completing a detailed credit card debt collection ODR platform, we had to change direction before implementation and focus instead on small claims cases. Then like the rest of the world, we suddenly had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it took longer than anticipated, we achieved our goal ...


Judges And The Deregulation Of The Lawyer's Monopoly, Jessica K. Steinberg, Anna E. Carpenter, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark Jan 2021

Judges And The Deregulation Of The Lawyer's Monopoly, Jessica K. Steinberg, Anna E. Carpenter, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark

Faculty Scholarship

In a revolutionary moment for the legal profession, the deregulation of legal services is taking hold in many parts of the country. Utah and Arizona, for instance, are experimenting with new regulations that permit nonlawyer advocates to play an active role in assisting citizens who may not otherwise have access to legal services. In addition, amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct in both states, as well as those being contemplated in California, now allow nonlawyers to have a partnership stake in law firms, which may dramatically change the way capital for the delivery of legal services is raised as ...


The Past, Present, And Future Of The Restatement Of Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh, Jane C. Ginsburg Jan 2021

The Past, Present, And Future Of The Restatement Of Copyright, Shyamkrishna Balganesh, Jane C. Ginsburg

Faculty Scholarship

It is now six years since the American Law Institute (ALI) began work on its first ever Restatement of an area dominated by a federal statute: copyright law. To say that the Restatement of the Law, Copyright (hereinafter “Restatement”) has been controversial would be a gross understatement. Even in its inception, the ALI identified the project as an outlier, noting that it was likely to be seen as an “odd project” since copyright “is governed by a detailed federal statute.”1 Neither the oddity nor the novelty of the project, however, caused the ALI to slow its efforts to push ...


Jurisprudence—Merely Judgment: A Fallibilist Account Of The Rule Of Law, Bruce K. Miller Jan 2020

Jurisprudence—Merely Judgment: A Fallibilist Account Of The Rule Of Law, Bruce K. Miller

Faculty Scholarship

How should judges decide the cases presented to them? In our system the answer is, “according to law,” as opposed to the judges’ preferred outcomes. But for at least a century, skeptics have cast doubt on whether adjudication under law is possible. Judge Richard Posner, now retired from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, has, for example, argued that the indeterminacy of legal argument and the influence of judges’ predispositions show that it is not. Judge Posner thus recommends that judges give up on the rule of law in contested cases and instead candidly base their ...


Conceptualizing Legal Childhood In The Twenty-First Century, Clare Huntington, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2020

Conceptualizing Legal Childhood In The Twenty-First Century, Clare Huntington, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

The law governing children is complex, sometimes appearing almost incoherent. The relatively simple framework established in the Progressive era, in which parents had primary authority over children, subject to limited state oversight, has broken down over the past few decades. Lawmakers started granting children some adult rights and privileges, raising questions about their traditional status as vulnerable, dependent, and legally incompetent beings. As children emerged as legal persons, children’s rights advocates challenged the rationale for parental authority, contending that robust parental rights often harm children. And a wave of punitive reforms in response to juvenile crime in the 1990s ...


Victims’ Rights From A Restorative Perspective, Lara Bazelon, Bruce A. Green Jan 2020

Victims’ Rights From A Restorative Perspective, Lara Bazelon, Bruce A. Green

Faculty Scholarship

The criminal adjudicatory process is meant in part to help crime victims heal. But for some crime victims, the process is re-victimizing. For decades, efforts have been made to make the criminal process fairer and more humane for victims. For example, state and federal laws are now designed to keep victims informed, allow them to be heard at sentencing, and afford them monetary restitution. But these efforts, while important, have not persuaded crime victims to trust criminal process. For example, sexual assaults remain grossly under-reported and under-prosecuted. Less than 1 percent of sexual assault crimes result in a felony conviction ...


Packing And Unpacking State Courts, Marin K. Levy Jan 2020

Packing And Unpacking State Courts, Marin K. Levy

Faculty Scholarship

When it comes to court packing, questions of “should” and “can” are inextricably intertwined. The conventional wisdom has long been that federal court packing is something the President and Congress simply cannot do. Even though the Constitution’s text does not directly prohibit expanding or contracting the size of courts for political gain, many have argued that there is a longstanding norm against doing so, stemming from a commitment to judicial independence and separation of powers. And so (the argument goes), even though the political branches might otherwise be tempted to add or subtract seats to change the Court’s ...


The Adjudication Business, Pamela K. Bookman Jan 2020

The Adjudication Business, Pamela K. Bookman

Faculty Scholarship

The recent proliferation of international commercial courts around the world is changing the global business of adjudication. The rise of these courts also challenges the traditional accounts of the competitive relationship between and among courts and arbitral tribunals for this business. London and New York have long been considered the forum of choice in international commercial contracts—whether parties opt for litigation or arbitration. More recently, however, English-language-friendly international commercial courts have been established in China (2018), Singapore (2015), Qatar (2009), Dubai (2004), the Netherlands (2019), Germany (2018), France (2010), and beyond.

The emerging scholarship addressing these new courts tends ...


May Class Counsel Also Represent Lead Plaintiffs?, Bruce A. Green, Andrew Kent Jan 2020

May Class Counsel Also Represent Lead Plaintiffs?, Bruce A. Green, Andrew Kent

Faculty Scholarship

For decades, courts and commentators have been aware that the potential for conflicting interests among the class representatives, class counsel, and absent class members is inherent in the class action device. Notwithstanding this realization and a substantial amount of scholarly and judicial commentary on class conflicts, one kind of conflict has not received due attention: the conflict that inevitably arises when class counsel also represents class members as individuals. We demonstrate that this conflict— so common to be almost invisible—arises from the very beginning of a putative class representation, and may create a fraught situation for a lawyer concurrently ...


Covid, Crisis And Courts, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark, Jessica K. Steinberg, Anna E. Carpenter Jan 2020

Covid, Crisis And Courts, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark, Jessica K. Steinberg, Anna E. Carpenter

Faculty Scholarship

Our country is in crisis. The inequality and oppression that lies deep in the roots and is woven in the branches of our lives has been laid bare by a virus. Relentless state violence against black people has pushed protestors to the streets. We hope that the legislative and executive branches will respond with policy change for those who struggle the most among us: rental assistance, affordable housing, quality public education, comprehensive health and mental health care. We fear that the crisis will fade and we will return to more of the same. Whatever lies on the other side of ...


Reign Of Error: District Courts Misreading The Supreme Court Over Rooker–Feldman Analysis, Thomas D. Rowe Jr., Edward L. Baskauskas Jan 2020

Reign Of Error: District Courts Misreading The Supreme Court Over Rooker–Feldman Analysis, Thomas D. Rowe Jr., Edward L. Baskauskas

Faculty Scholarship

Seventeen decisions in nine U.S. district courts from 2006 through 2019 have taken a demonstrably misgrounded starting point for Rooker–Feldman analysis. The cases have read language from a 2006 Supreme Court opinion, in which the Court quoted criteria stated by the lower court, as their guideline. But the Court summarily vacated the lower court’s judgment, and it had previously articulated, and has repeated, different criteria for federal courts to follow. The district-court decisions all appear to have reached correct results, but the mistake about criteria should be recognized and avoided as soon as possible before it creates ...


Beholding Law: Amadeo On The Argentine Constitution, Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus, Erin F. Delaney Jan 2020

Beholding Law: Amadeo On The Argentine Constitution, Christina D. Ponsa-Kraus, Erin F. Delaney

Faculty Scholarship

This essay introduces an online edition of Santos P. Amadeo’s Argentine Constitutional Law to be published by the Academia Puertorriqueña de Jurisprudencia y Legislación. Tracing the book to its origins in a paper Amadeo wrote for a seminar in comparative constitutional law at Columbia Law School in the 1930s, we discuss the intellectual context that gave rise to the book and assess its author’s methodological choices. We then examine one particular substantive choice: Whereas the paper specifically draws attention to the importance of understanding every form of political subdivision in a federalist system – identifying Argentina’s as the ...


Child Welfare And Covid-19: An Unexpected Opportunity For Systemic Change, Jane M. Spinak Jan 2020

Child Welfare And Covid-19: An Unexpected Opportunity For Systemic Change, Jane M. Spinak

Faculty Scholarship

The COVID-19 pandemic has already wrecked greater havoc in poor neighborhoods of color, where pre-existing conditions exacerbate the disease’s spread. Crowded housing and homelessness, less access to health care and insurance, and underlying health conditions are all factors that worsen the chances of remaining healthy.Workers desperate for income continue to work without sufficient protective measures, moving in and out of these neighborhoods, putting themselves and their families at risk. During periods of greater disruption, tensions are heightened and violence more prevalent. Already some experts are warning of an onslaught of child maltreatment cases, citing earlier examples of spikes ...


Specialization Trend: Water Courts, Vanessa Casado-Pérez Mar 2019

Specialization Trend: Water Courts, Vanessa Casado-Pérez

Faculty Scholarship

Definition of property rights is not useful unless there is an enforcement system, either public or private, that backs it up. While the definition of property rights as a solution to the tragedy of the commons has been carefully analyzed in the literature, the enforcement piece has been somewhat overlooked. Water is becoming scarcer and conflict is rising. As a result, the need for an efficient and fair enforcement system is more necessary than ever due to climate change.

Given the complexity of water law and the backlog in the judicial system, introducing specialization in the resolution of water cases ...


Risk-Averse Contract Interpretation, Aditi Bagchi Jan 2019

Risk-Averse Contract Interpretation, Aditi Bagchi

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Early Childhood Development And The Replication Of Poverty, Clare Huntington Jan 2019

Early Childhood Development And The Replication Of Poverty, Clare Huntington

Faculty Scholarship

Traditional understandings of federalism suggest that states are likely to take varying approaches to important policy questions, particularly in areas as sensitive as family law. And indeed, there are patterns of convergence and divergence in state approaches to supporting early childhood development. Surprisingly, however, the divergences do not always follow predictable political lines. These similarities and differences raise a puzzle that deserves attention by scholars and advocates.

In the United States, differences in early childhood play a key role in replicating poverty. Clear evidence establishes that child development in the first five years of life lays essential groundwork for future ...


A Fiduciary Theory Of Prosecution, Bruce A. Green, Rebecca Roiphe Jan 2019

A Fiduciary Theory Of Prosecution, Bruce A. Green, Rebecca Roiphe

Faculty Scholarship

Scholars have failed to arrive at a unifying theory of prosecution, one that explains the complex role that prosecutors play in our democratic system. This Article draws on a developing body of legal scholarship on fiduciary theory to offer a new paradigm that grounds prosecutors’ obligations in their historical role as fiduciaries. Casting prosecutors as fiduciaries clarifies the prosecutor’s obligation to seek justice, focuses attention on the duties of care and loyalty, and prioritizes criminal justice considerations over other public policy interests in prosecutorial charging and plea-bargaining decisions. As fiduciaries, prosecutors are required to engage in an explicit deliberative ...


How Courts In Criminal Cases Respond To Childhood Trauma, Deborah W. Denno Jan 2019

How Courts In Criminal Cases Respond To Childhood Trauma, Deborah W. Denno

Faculty Scholarship

Neurobiological and epidemiological research suggests that abuse and adverse events experienced as a child can increase an adult’s risk of brain dysfunction associated with disorders related to criminality and violence. Much of this research is predictive, based on psychological evaluations of children; few studies have focused on whether or how criminal proceedings against adult defendants consider indicators of childhood trauma. This Article analyzes a subset of criminal cases pulled from an 800-case database created as part of an original, large-scale, empirical research project known as the Neuroscience Study. The 266 relevant cases are assessed to determine the extent to ...


Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter Jan 2019

Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter

Faculty Scholarship

State civil courts struggle to handle the volume of cases before them. Litigants in these courts, most of whom are unrepresented, struggle to navigate the courts to solve their problems. This access-to-justice crisis has led to a range of reform efforts and solutions. One type of reform, court simplification, strives to reduce the complexity of procedures and information used by courts to help unrepresented litigants navigate the judicial system. These reforms mitigate but do not solve the symptoms of the larger underlying problem: state civil courts are struggling because they have been stuck with legal cases that arise from the ...


Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter Jan 2019

Simplified Courts Can't Solve Inequality, Colleen F. Shanahan, Anna E. Carpenter

Faculty Scholarship

State civil courts struggle to handle the volume of cases before them. Litigants in these courts, most of whom are unrepresented, struggle to navigate the courts to solve their problems. This access-to-justice crisis has led to a range of reform efforts and solutions. One type of reform, court simplification, strives to reduce the complexity of procedures and information used by courts to help unrepresented litigants navigate the judicial system. These reforms mitigate but do not solve the symptoms of the larger underlying problem: state civil courts are struggling because they have been stuck with legal cases that arise from the ...


Reforming Institutions: The Judicial Function In Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, William H. Simon, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson Jan 2019

Reforming Institutions: The Judicial Function In Bankruptcy And Public Law Litigation, William H. Simon, Kathleen G. Noonan, Jonathan C. Lipson

Faculty Scholarship

Public law litigation (PLL) is among the most important and controversial types of dispute that courts face. These civil class actions seek to reform public agencies such as police departments, prison systems, and child welfare agencies that have failed to meet basic statutory or constitutional obligations. They are controversial because critics assume that judicial intervention is categorically undemocratic or beyond judicial expertise.

This Article reveals flaws in these criticisms by comparing the judicial function in PLL to that in corporate bankruptcy, where the value and legitimacy of judicial intervention are better understood and more accepted. Our comparison shows that judicial ...


#Sowhitemale - Federal Civil Rulemaking, Brooke D. Coleman Jan 2018

#Sowhitemale - Federal Civil Rulemaking, Brooke D. Coleman

Faculty Scholarship

116 out of 136. That is the number of white men who have served on the 82-year old committee responsible for creating and maintaining the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The tiny number of non-white, non-male committee members is disproportionate even in the context of the white-male-dominated legal profession. Were the rules simply a technical set of instructions made by a neutral set of experts, perhaps these numbers might not be as disturbing. But that is not the case. The Civil Rules embody normative judgments about the values that have primacy in our civil justice system, and the rulemakers—while ...


Obama's Conversion On Same-Sex Marriage: The Social Foundations Of Individual Rights, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2018

Obama's Conversion On Same-Sex Marriage: The Social Foundations Of Individual Rights, Robert L. Tsai

Faculty Scholarship

This essay explores how presidents who wish to seize a leadership role over the development of rights must tend to the social foundations of those rights. Broad cultural changes alone do not guarantee success, nor do they dictate the substance of constitutional ideas. Rather, presidential aides must actively re-characterize the social conditions in which rights are made, disseminated, and enforced. An administration must articulate a strategically plausible theory of a particular right, ensure there is cultural and institutional support for that right, and work to minimize blowback. Executive branch officials must seek to transform and popularize legal concepts while working ...


Crowdsourcing & Data Analytics: The New Settlement Tools, Christopher Robertson, Bernard Chao, David Yokum Jan 2018

Crowdsourcing & Data Analytics: The New Settlement Tools, Christopher Robertson, Bernard Chao, David Yokum

Faculty Scholarship

By protecting the right to a jury, the State and Federal Constitutions recognize the fundamental value of having civil and criminal disputes resolved by laypersons. However actual trials are relatively rare, in part because parties seek to avoid the risks and cost of trials, and courts seek to clear dockets efficiently. Even as settlement may be desirable, it is sometimes difficult to resolve a dispute. Parties naturally view their cases from different perspectives, and these perspectives often cause both sides to be overly optimistic, seeking unreasonably large or unreasonably small resolutions.

This article describes a novel method of incorporating layperson ...


Comparative Approaches To Constitutional History, Jamal Greene, Yvonne Tew Jan 2018

Comparative Approaches To Constitutional History, Jamal Greene, Yvonne Tew

Faculty Scholarship

An historical approach to constitutional interpretation draws upon original intentions or understandings of the meaning or application of a constitutional provision. Comparing the ways in which courts in different jurisdictions use history is a complex exercise. In recent years, academic and judicial discussion of “originalism” has obscured both the global prevalence of resorting to historical materials as an interpretive resource and the impressive diversity of approaches courts may take to deploying those materials. This chapter seeks, in Section B, to develop a basic taxonomy of historical approaches. Section C explores in greater depth the practices of eight jurisdictions with constitutional ...


Studying The "New" Civil Judges, Anna E. Carpenter, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark Jan 2018

Studying The "New" Civil Judges, Anna E. Carpenter, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark

Faculty Scholarship

We know very little about the people and institutions that make up the bulk of the United States civil justice system: state judges and state courts. Our understanding of civil justice is based primarily on federal litigation and the decisions of appellate judges. Staggeringly little legal scholarship focuses on state courts and judges. We simply do not know what most judges are doing in their day-to-day courtroom roles or in their roles as institutional actors and managers of civil justice infrastructure. We know little about the factors that shape and influence judicial practices, let alone the consequences of those practices ...


Studying The "New" Civil Judges, Anna E. Carpenter, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark Jan 2018

Studying The "New" Civil Judges, Anna E. Carpenter, Jessica K. Steinberg, Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark

Faculty Scholarship

We know very little about the people and institutions that make up the bulk of the United States civil justice system: state judges and state courts. Our understanding of civil justice is based primarily on federal litigation and the decisions of appellate judges. Staggeringly little legal scholarship focuses on state courts and judges. We simply do not know what most judges are doing in their day-to-day courtroom roles or in their roles as institutional actors and managers of civil justice infrastructure. We know little about the factors that shape and influence judicial practices, let alone the consequences of those practices ...


Separation Of Powers In Comparative Perspective: How Much Protection For The Rule Of Law?, Peter L. Strauss Jan 2018

Separation Of Powers In Comparative Perspective: How Much Protection For The Rule Of Law?, Peter L. Strauss

Faculty Scholarship

Writing about separation of powers with particular attention to the contrasting American and British views at the time of Trump and Brexit has been challenging and illuminating. The essay takes as its third framework the constrained parliamentarianism Prof. Bruce Ackerman celebrated in his essay, The New Separation of Powers, 113 Harv. L. Rev. 633 (2000), and briefly considers its relative success in Australia, France, and Germany, and failure in Hungary and Poland, in achieving “separation of powers” universally understood ends, the prevention of autocracy and preservation of human freedoms. That courts and judges would not be political actors, that governments ...


To Speak With One Voice: The Political Effects Of Centralizing The International Legal Defense Of The State, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez Nov 2017

To Speak With One Voice: The Political Effects Of Centralizing The International Legal Defense Of The State, Guillermo J. Garcia Sanchez

Faculty Scholarship

When a government official defends a case before an international court, whose interest should he/she be representing? In today’s era of expanding international treaties that give standing to individual claimants, international courts review the actions of different government actors through the yardsticks of international law. The state is not unitary; alleged victims can bring international claims against various government entities including the executive, the legislature, the administrative branch, and the judiciary. Yet, the international legal defense of government actions is in the hands of the executive power. This paper focuses on the consequences of this centralization for inter-branch ...


Can Nfl Players Obtain Judicial Review Of Arbitration Decisions On The Merits When A Typical Hourly Union Worker Cannot Obtain This Unusual Court Access?, Michael Z. Green, Kyle T. Carney Sep 2017

Can Nfl Players Obtain Judicial Review Of Arbitration Decisions On The Merits When A Typical Hourly Union Worker Cannot Obtain This Unusual Court Access?, Michael Z. Green, Kyle T. Carney

Faculty Scholarship

Several recent court cases, brought on behalf of National Football League (NFL) players by their union, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), have increased media and public attention to the challenges of labor arbitrator decisions in federal courts. The Supreme Court has established a body of federal common law that places a high premium on deferring to labor arbitrator decisions and counseling against judges deciding the merits of disputes covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). A recent trend suggests federal judges have ignored this body of law and analyzed the merits of labor arbitration decisions in the NFL setting.

NFL ...