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Full-Text Articles in Law

Capping Incentives, Capping Innovation, Courting Disaster: The Gulf Oil Spill And Arbitrary Limits On Civil Liability, Andrew Popper Dec 2010

Capping Incentives, Capping Innovation, Courting Disaster: The Gulf Oil Spill And Arbitrary Limits On Civil Liability, Andrew Popper

Andrew Popper

Abstract: Limiting liability by establishing an arbitrary cap on civil damages is bad public policy. Caps are antithetical to the interests of consumers and at odds with the national interest in creating incentives for better and safer products. Whether the caps are on non-economic loss, punitive damages, or set for specific activity, they undermine the civil justice system, deceiving juries and denying just and reasonable compensation for victims in a broad range of fields. This paper postulates that capped liability on damages for offshore oil spills may well have been an instrumental factor contributing to the recent Deepwater Horizon catastrophe ...


The Disutility Of Injustice, Paul H. Robinson, Geoffrey P. Goodwin, Michael Reisig Dec 2010

The Disutility Of Injustice, Paul H. Robinson, Geoffrey P. Goodwin, Michael Reisig

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

For more than half a century, the retributivists and the crime-control instrumentalists have seen themselves as being in an irresolvable conflict. Social science increasingly suggests, however, that this need not be so. Doing justice may be the most effective means of controlling crime. Perhaps partially in recognition of these developments, the American Law Institute's recent amendment to the Model Penal Code's "purposes" provision – the only amendment to the Model Code in the 47 years since its promulgation – adopts desert as the primary distributive principle for criminal liability and punishment. That shift to desert has prompted concerns by two ...


The Peculiar Challenges Posed By Latent Diseases Resulting From Mass Products, Donald G. Gifford Jul 2010

The Peculiar Challenges Posed By Latent Diseases Resulting From Mass Products, Donald G. Gifford

Donald G Gifford

Legal actions against manufacturers of products that cause latent diseases, such as asbestos products, cigarettes, lead-pigment, and Agent Orange, are the signature torts of our time. Yet within this rather important subset of tort liability, it is unlikely that the imposition of liability actually results in loss prevention. Three factors, present in varying combinations in the context of latent diseases resulting from product exposure, frustrate the deterrent impact of liability. First, an extended period of time—sometimes decades—passes between the time of the manufacturer’s distribution of the product and the imposition of liability. Second, the accident compensation system ...


Economics Perspective On The Exclusionary Rule And Deterrence, An, Michael D. Cicchini Apr 2010

Economics Perspective On The Exclusionary Rule And Deterrence, An, Michael D. Cicchini

Missouri Law Review

This Article will demonstrate that the exclusionary rule does not and cannot deter police misconduct. The reason is that the expected cost to the police of their own misconduct (p*C) is nearly always zero. More specifically, the probability that the evidence will be suppressed (p), even in cases of egregious police misconduct, is very close to zero. Additionally, even in the rare case that evidence is suppressed, the cost to the police of a lost conviction (C) is nearly always zero for several reasons: first, the police tend to value arrests, not convictions; second, even if they did value ...


12 Unnecessary Men: The Case For Eliminating Jury Trials In Drunk Driving Cases, Adam Gershowitz Feb 2010

12 Unnecessary Men: The Case For Eliminating Jury Trials In Drunk Driving Cases, Adam Gershowitz

Adam M. Gershowitz

Over the last few decades, states have imposed tougher punishments on drunk drivers. This article argues that increasing punishments is counterproductive. If legislatures are seeking to hold guilty offenders accountable and deter drunk driving, they should keep punishments low and instead abolish the right to jury trials. Under the petty offense doctrine, the Supreme Court has authorized states to abolish jury trials when defendants face a maximum sentence of six months' incarceration. Social science evidence has long demonstrated that judges are more likely to convict than juries, particularly in drunk driving cases. And researchers have also found that the certainty ...


The Need To Overrule Mapp V. Ohio, William T. Pizzi Feb 2010

The Need To Overrule Mapp V. Ohio, William T. Pizzi

William T. Pizzi

This Article argues that it is time to overrule Mapp v. Ohio. It contends, first of all, that a tough deterrent sanction is difficult to reconcile with a system where victims are increasingly seen to have a stake in criminal cases. Secondly, the Article maintains that a tough exclusionary sanction is also inappropriate given what police are asked to do on the street and the fact that concepts such as probable cause or reasonable suspicion are inevitably matters of judgment on which opinions will differ. Thirdly, the Article challenges one of the Court’s main epistemological assumptions, namely, the insistence ...


The Instrumental Justice Of Private Law, Alan Calnan Jan 2010

The Instrumental Justice Of Private Law, Alan Calnan

Alan Calnan

Instrumentalists and deontologists have long battled for an exclusive theory of private law. The instrumentalists have argued that private law is merely a means to achieving any number of political or social ends. Deontologists, by contrast, have contended that the law seeks only the moral end of justice and cannot be used for anything else. In this article, I critique these extreme positions and offer an intermediate theory called “instrumental justice.” I show that the absolute instrumental view is elusive, illusory, and illiberal, while the absolute deontological view is incoherent, implausible, and in one critical respect, impossible. Instrumental justice avoids ...


Free Movement Of Judgments: Increasing Deterrence Of International Cartels Through Jurisdictional Reliance, Michal Gal Jan 2010

Free Movement Of Judgments: Increasing Deterrence Of International Cartels Through Jurisdictional Reliance, Michal Gal

Michal Gal

This article challenges the conventional wisdom that not much can be done under the existing atomistic system of antitrust enforcement to solve the problem of sub-optimal deterrence of international cartels. Low deterrence results from two main facts: first, international cartels are generally prosecuted by only a fraction of the jurisdictions harmed by them. Second, monetary sanctions imposed by those jurisdictions are generally based only on the harm incurred to their domestic markets. To solve this problem, this article proposes a novel legal tool that would enable countries to adopt and rely upon foreign findings of international hard-core cartels, provided that ...


Saving Lives Through Punitive Damages, W. Kip Viscusi, Joni Hersch Jan 2010

Saving Lives Through Punitive Damages, W. Kip Viscusi, Joni Hersch

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article proposes that the value of statistical life ("VSL ") be used to set the total damages amount needed for deterrence when punitive damages are warranted in wrongful death cases. The appropriate level of total damages should be achieved by adjusting the value of punitive damages. Compensatory damages should not be distorted to establish the total damages level needed for efficient deterrence. Attempts to introduce hedonic damages as a compensatory damages component, and proposals to use the VSL on a routine basis when setting compensatory damages awards, are misguided and will undermine the insurance and compensation functions of compensatory damages ...


A Distributive Theory Of Criminal Law, Aya Gruber Jan 2010

A Distributive Theory Of Criminal Law, Aya Gruber

Articles

In criminal law circles, the accepted wisdom is that there are two and only two true justifications of punishment-retributivism and utilitarianism. The multitude of moral claims about punishment may thus be reduced to two propositions: (1) punishment should be imposed because defendants deserve it, and (2) punishment should be imposed because it makes society safer. At the same time, most penal scholars notice the trend in criminal law to de-emphasize intent, centralize harm, and focus on victims, but they largely write off this trend as an irrational return to antiquated notions of vengeance. This Article asserts that there is in ...


The Ongoing Revolution In Punishment Theory: Doing Justice As Controlling Crime, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2010

The Ongoing Revolution In Punishment Theory: Doing Justice As Controlling Crime, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This lecture offers a broad review of current punishment theory debates and the alternative distributive principles for criminal liability and punishment that they suggest. This broader perspective attempts to explain in part the Model Penal Code's recent shift to reliance upon desert and accompanying limitation on the principles of deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation.


Instrumentalizing Jurors: An Argument Against The Fourth Amendment Exclusionary Rule, Todd E. Pettys Jan 2010

Instrumentalizing Jurors: An Argument Against The Fourth Amendment Exclusionary Rule, Todd E. Pettys

Fordham Urban Law Journal

In this symposium contribution, I contend that the application of the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule in cases tried by juries raises troubling moral issues that are not present when a judge adjudicates a case on his or her own. Specifically, I argue that the exclusionary rule infringes upon jurors’ deliberative autonomy by depriving them of available evidence that rationally bears upon their verdict and by instrumentalizing them in service to the Court’s deterrence objectives. After considering ways in which those moral problems could be at least partially mitigated, I contend that the best approach might be to abandon the ...


Moving Targets: Placing The Good Faith Doctrine In The Context Of Fragmented Policing, Hadar Aviram, Jeremy Seymour, Richard A. Leo Jan 2010

Moving Targets: Placing The Good Faith Doctrine In The Context Of Fragmented Policing, Hadar Aviram, Jeremy Seymour, Richard A. Leo

Fordham Urban Law Journal

The debate sparked by Herring v. United States is a microcosm of the quintessential debate about the scope of the Fourth Amendment’s exclusionary rule and ultimately the appropriate breadth of police authority and constitutional review by courts. Offering a new reading of the decision, this article argues that Herring reflects a healthy dosage of real politic and an acknowledgment that American policing is characterized by a fragmented, localized structure with little overview and control, and much reliance on local agencies. Part I presents the authors’ interpretation of Herring as a case hinging upon the question “who made the mistake ...


The 'New' Exclusionary Rule Debate: From 'Still Preoccupied With 1985' To 'Virtual Deterrence', Donald A. Dripps Jan 2010

The 'New' Exclusionary Rule Debate: From 'Still Preoccupied With 1985' To 'Virtual Deterrence', Donald A. Dripps

Fordham Urban Law Journal

The justices of the Supreme Court have drawn new battle lines over the exclusionary rule. In Hudson v. Michigan, 547 U.S. 586 (2006), a five-justice majority, over a strong dissent, went out of the way to renew familiar criticisms of the rule. Just this January, in Herring v. United States, 129 S.Ct. 695 (2009), the justices again divided five to four. This time the dissenters raised the ante, by arguing that the Court's cost-benefit approach to applying the rule is misguided. For the first time since Justice Brennan left the Court, some of the justices appealed to ...


Coordinating Sanctions In Torts, Kyle D. Logue Jan 2010

Coordinating Sanctions In Torts, Kyle D. Logue

Articles

This Article begins with the standard Law and Economics account of tort law as a regulatory tool or system of deterrence, that is, as a means of giving regulated parties the optimal ex ante incentives to minimize the costs of accidents. Building on this fairly standard (albeit not universally accepted) picture of tort law, the Article asks the question how tort law should adjust, if at all, to coordinate with already existing non-tort systems of regulation. Thus, if a particular activity is already subject to extensive agency-based regulation (whether in the form of command-and-control requirements or in the form of ...


Saving Lives Through Punitive Damages, Joni Hersch, W. Kip Viscusi Jan 2010

Saving Lives Through Punitive Damages, Joni Hersch, W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

This Article proposes that the value of statistical life ("VSL ") be used to set the total damages amount needed for deterrence when punitive damages are warranted in wrongful death cases. The appropriate level of total damages should be achieved by adjusting the value of punitive damages. Compensatory damages should not be distorted to establish the total damages level needed for efficient deterrence. Attempts to introduce hedonic damages as a compensatory damages component, and proposals to use the VSL on a routine basis when setting compensatory damages awards, are misguided and will undermine the insurance and compensation functions of compensatory damages ...


Judging Cruelty, Meghan J. Ryan Jan 2010

Judging Cruelty, Meghan J. Ryan

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

he wisdom of the death penalty has recently come under attack in a number of states. This raises the question of whether states’ retreat from the death penalty, or other punishments, will pressure other states - either politically or constitutionally - to similarly abandon the punishment. Politically, states may succumb to the trend of discontinuing a punishment. Constitutionally, states may be forced to surrender the punishment if it is considered cruel, and, as a result of a large number of states renouncing it, the punishment also becomes unusual. If a punishment is thus found to be both cruel and unusual, it will ...


American Punitive Damages Vs. Compensatory Damages In Promoting Enforcement In Democratic Nations Of Civil Judgments To Deter State-Sponsors Of Terrorism, Jeffrey F. Addicott Jan 2010

American Punitive Damages Vs. Compensatory Damages In Promoting Enforcement In Democratic Nations Of Civil Judgments To Deter State-Sponsors Of Terrorism, Jeffrey F. Addicott

Faculty Articles

The primary consequence of the attacks on 9/11 on the U.S. was a fundamental legal shift in the approach that the U.S. has taken when confronting terrorism and the States that support them. The new challenge of the post 9/11 approach focused on ways to effectively combat not only terrorist organizations but also the States that sponsor them. This new thinking demands that Western democracies adopt an internationally based functional legal methodology that can deter rogue States from sponsoring terrorism.

Civil litigation against States that sponsor or support terrorism is a potential legal tool which could ...


Optimizing Private Antitrust Enforcement, Daniel A. Crane Jan 2010

Optimizing Private Antitrust Enforcement, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

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 ...


Nuclear Containment For The Twenty-First Century; A Mandatory Nuclear Forensics Data Bank, Jack Garvey Dec 2009

Nuclear Containment For The Twenty-First Century; A Mandatory Nuclear Forensics Data Bank, Jack Garvey

Jack I Garvey

This article is a response to the challenge of nuclear non-proliferation for the 21st century. It describes the new landscape of nuclear risk and explains the role that the extraordinary developments in nuclear forensics science can play in generating an expansive deterrence to improve nuclear security by governments, and diminish the nuclear risk presented by terrorists and other non-state actors. Exploring the potential of nuclear forensics science, it provides the analysis to understand why that potential is not being realized. The article then proposes, as a practical and achievable foundation for a new and expansive deterrence, the establishment of an ...