Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Empirical

Journal

Discipline
Institution
Publication Year
Publication

Articles 1 - 30 of 36

Full-Text Articles in Law

Are They All Textualists Now?, Austin Peters Mar 2024

Are They All Textualists Now?, Austin Peters

Northwestern University Law Review

Recent developments at the U.S. Supreme Court have rekindled debates over textualism. Missing from the conversation is a discussion of the courts that decide the vast majority of statutory interpretation cases in the United States—state courts. This Article uses supervised machine learning to conduct the first-ever empirical study of the statutory interpretation methods used by state supreme courts. In total, this study analyzes over 44,000 opinions from all fifty states from 1980 to 2019.

This Article establishes several key descriptive findings. First, since the 1980s, textualism has risen rapidly in state supreme court opinions. Second, this rise is primarily attributable …


Do Patents Drive Investment In Software?, James Hicks Mar 2024

Do Patents Drive Investment In Software?, James Hicks

Northwestern University Law Review

In the wake of a quartet of Supreme Court decisions which disrupted decades of settled law, the doctrine of patentable subject matter is in turmoil. Scholars, commentators, and jurists continue to disagree sharply over which kinds of invention should be patentable. In this debate, no technology has been more controversial than software. Advocates of software patents contend that denying protection would stymie innovation in a vital industry; skeptics argue that patents are a poor fit for software, and that the social costs of patents outweigh any plausible benefits. At the core of this disagreement is a basic problem: the debate …


The Supreme Court And Children, Aaron Tang Mar 2024

The Supreme Court And Children, Aaron Tang

Northwestern University Law Review

How do children fare at the Supreme Court? Empirical research on the question is sparse, but existing accounts suggest a disheartening answer. A 1996 study found that children lost more than half of their cases in the Court, and a pair of prominent scholars lamented twenty years later that “the losses in children’s rights cases” had “outpace[d] and overwhelm[ed] the victories.”

In this Article, I present evidence that complicates this understanding. Based on an original dataset comprising 262 Supreme Court decisions between 1953 and 2023, I find that children have prevailed in 62.6% of their cases. This win rate is …


Worthless Checks? Clemency, Compassionate Release, And The Finality Of Life Without Parole, Daniel Pascoe Mar 2024

Worthless Checks? Clemency, Compassionate Release, And The Finality Of Life Without Parole, Daniel Pascoe

Northwestern University Law Review

Life without parole (LWOP) sentences are politically popular in the United States because, on their face, they claim to hold prisoners incarcerated until they die, with zero prospect of release via the regularized channel of parole. However, this view is procedurally shortsighted. After parole there is generally another remedial option for lessening or abrogating punishment: executive clemency via pardons and commutations. Increasingly, U.S. legal jurisdictions also provide for the possibility of compassionate release for lifers, usually granted by a parole board.

On paper, pardon, commutation, and compassionate release are thus direct challenges to the claim that an LWOP sentence will …


Decisionmaking In Patent Cases At The Federal Circuit, Jason Reinecke Jan 2024

Decisionmaking In Patent Cases At The Federal Circuit, Jason Reinecke

Washington and Lee Law Review

This Article provides the results of an empirical study assessing the impact of panel composition in patent cases at the Federal Circuit. The dataset includes 2675 three-judge panel-level final written decisions and Rule 36 summary affirmances issued by the Federal Circuit between January 1, 2014 and May 31, 2021. The study informs the longstanding debate concerning whether the Federal Circuit is succeeding as a court with nationwide jurisdiction in patent cases and provides insight into judicial decisionmaking more broadly. And several results show that many of the worst fears that commentators have about the Federal Circuit appear overstated or untrue. …


#Metoo & The Courts: The Impact Of Social Movements On Federal Judicial Decisionmaking, Carol T. Li, Matthew E.K. Hall, Veronica Root Martinez Dec 2023

#Metoo & The Courts: The Impact Of Social Movements On Federal Judicial Decisionmaking, Carol T. Li, Matthew E.K. Hall, Veronica Root Martinez

Washington and Lee Law Review Online

In late 2017, the #MeToo movement swept through the United States as individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life revealed their experiences with sexual abuse and sexual harassment. After the #MeToo movement, many scholars, advocates, and policymakers posited that the watershed moment would prompt changes in the ways in which sexual harassment cases were handled. This Article examines the impact the #MeToo movement has had on judicial decisionmaking. Our hypothesis is that the #MeToo movement’s increase in public awareness and political attention to experiences of sexual misconduct should lead to more pro-claimant voting in federal courts at the district …


The Applications Docket, Greg Goelzhauser Nov 2023

The Applications Docket, Greg Goelzhauser

Georgia Law Review

The Supreme Court’s applications docket, often misleadingly called the “shadow docket” or “emergency docket,” is controversial, complex, and poorly understood. Using original data spanning nearly two decades, I unravel the docket’s empirical foundations. Applications practice changed fundamentally in recent years. Contrary to conventional wisdom, dispositions declined on average, but this conceals divergent trends: among applications involving stays and injunctions, capital dispositions decreased while noncapital dispositions increased. Moreover, noncapital applications now comprise a larger share of the docket than capital applications. This shift enhances docket salience because, as I show, most capital applications are denied simultaneous to denying plenary review, while …


Onerous Disabilities And Burdens: An Empirical Study Of The Bar Examination’S Disparate Impact On Applicants From Communities Of Color, Scott Devito, Kelsey Hample, Erin Lain Oct 2023

Onerous Disabilities And Burdens: An Empirical Study Of The Bar Examination’S Disparate Impact On Applicants From Communities Of Color, Scott Devito, Kelsey Hample, Erin Lain

Pace Law Review

This Article provides the results of the most comprehensive and detailed analysis of the correlation between bar passage and race and ethnicity. It provides the first proof of racially disparate outcomes of the bar exam, both for first-time and ultimate bar passage, across jurisdictions and within law schools. Using data from 63 public law schools, we found that first-time bar examinees from Communities of Color underperform White examinees by, on average, 13.41 percentage points. While the gap closes when looking at ultimate bar passage, there is still a difference, on average, of 9.09 percentage points. The validity of these results …


The (Unnoticed) Revitalization Of The Doctrine Of Equivalents, Daryl Lim Apr 2022

The (Unnoticed) Revitalization Of The Doctrine Of Equivalents, Daryl Lim

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

Over the past century, few patent issues have been considered so often by the Supreme Court of the United States as the doctrine of equivalents (“DOE”). This judge-made rule deals with a question that lies at the heart of patent policy—what is the best way to define property rights in an invention? The doctrine gives patentees an opportunity to ensnare an accused device that does not literally infringe a patent claim if the accused device is substantially similar to each claim limitation. Patentees enjoy this advantage, but it comes at a cost to the public, who must face the …


Taking The Rule Of Law Seriously, Michele Cotton Feb 2022

Taking The Rule Of Law Seriously, Michele Cotton

University of Massachusetts Law Review

American legal scholars and jurists have given the rule of law their sustained attention, and the international community has treated it as an important measure of societal well-being. But still the rule of law is not taken seriously. For one thing, little effort has been made to craft a definition of the rule of law that is actually useful. And even when legal scholarship does try at empiricism that could illuminate the vitality of our rule of law, it generally starts from the wrong hypotheses and uses the wrong methods. It focuses on how to achieve “access to justice” and …


The Rise Of Plain Language Laws, Michael A. Blasie Feb 2022

The Rise Of Plain Language Laws, Michael A. Blasie

University of Miami Law Review

When lawmakers enacted 776 plain language laws across the United States, no one noticed. Apart from a handful, these laws went untracked and unstudied. Without study, large questions remain about these laws’ effects and utility, and about how they inform the adoption or rejection of plain language.
This Article creates a conceptual framework for plain language laws to set the stage for future empirical research and normative discussions on the value of plain language. It unveils the first nationwide empirical survey of plain language laws to reveal their locations, coverages, and standards. In doing so, the Article creates a systematic …


Crime And Punishment: An Empirical Study Of The Effects Of Racial Bias On Capital Sentencing Decisions, Matthew A. Gasperetti Feb 2022

Crime And Punishment: An Empirical Study Of The Effects Of Racial Bias On Capital Sentencing Decisions, Matthew A. Gasperetti

University of Miami Law Review

Racism has left an indelible stain on American history and remains a powerful social force that continues to shape crime and punishment in the contemporary United States. In this article, I discuss the socio-legal construction of race, explore how racism infected American culture, and trace the racist history of capital punishment from the Colonial Era to the present. After framing the death penalty in cultural and historical context, I report original empirical results from one of the largest studies (n = 3,284) of mock juror capital sentencing decisions published to date. My results show that mock jurors who self reported …


Market Power And Switching Costs: An Empirical Study Of Online Networking Market, Shin-Ru Cheng Oct 2021

Market Power And Switching Costs: An Empirical Study Of Online Networking Market, Shin-Ru Cheng

University of Cincinnati Law Review

In recent years, states have launched several antitrust investigations targeting digital platforms. A major difficulty in these investigations is demonstrating the extent of a digital platform’s market power. Market power is defined as the control of the output or the price without the loss of business to competitors. As will be explored in this Article, market power is a critical component in an antitrust analysis. On several occasions, courts have adopted the switching costs approach in their analysis of market power. According to this approach, market power may be inferred when the costs of switching from one supplier to another …


Can There Be Too Much Specialization? Specialization In Specialized Courts, Melissa F. Wasserman, Jonathan D. Slack Mar 2021

Can There Be Too Much Specialization? Specialization In Specialized Courts, Melissa F. Wasserman, Jonathan D. Slack

Northwestern University Law Review

While modern society has embraced specialization, the federal judiciary continues to prize the generalist jurist. This disconnect is at the core of the growing debate on the optimal level of specialization in the judiciary. To date, this discussion has largely revolved around the creation of specialized courts. Opinion specialization, however, provides an alternative, underappreciated method to infuse specialization into the judiciary. In contrast to specialized courts, opinion specialization is understudied and undertheorized.

This Article makes two contributions to the literature. First, this Article theorizes whether opinion specialization is a desirable practice. It argues that the practice’s costs and benefits are …


Qualified Immunity's Selection Effects, Joanna C. Schwartz Mar 2020

Qualified Immunity's Selection Effects, Joanna C. Schwartz

Northwestern University Law Review

The Supreme Court has described the “driving force” behind qualified immunity to be its power to dismiss “insubstantial” cases before discovery and trial. Yet in a prior study of 1,183 Section 1983 cases filed against law enforcement in five federal court districts around the country, I found that just seven (0.6%) were dismissed at the motion to dismiss stage and just thirty-one (2.6%) were dismissed at summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds. These findings undermine assumptions about the role qualified immunity plays in filed cases, but leave open the possibility that qualified immunity serves its intended role by screening out …


On Beauty And Policing, I. India Thusi Mar 2020

On Beauty And Policing, I. India Thusi

Northwestern University Law Review

“To protect and serve” is the motto of police departments from Los Angeles to Cape Town. When police officers deviate from the twin goals of protection and service, for example by using excessive force or by maintaining hostile relations with the community, scholars recommend more training, more oversight, or more resources in policing. However, police appear to be motivated by a superseding goal in the area of sex work policing. In some places, the policing of sex workers is connected to police officers’ perceptions of beauty, producing a hierarchy of desirable bodies as enforced by those sworn to protect and …


Testing Transparency, Brigham Daniels, Mark Buntaine, Tanner Bangerter Mar 2020

Testing Transparency, Brigham Daniels, Mark Buntaine, Tanner Bangerter

Northwestern University Law Review

In modern democracies, governmental transparency is thought to have great value. When it comes to addressing administrative corruption and mismanagement, many would agree with Justice Brandeis’s observation that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Beyond this, many credit transparency with enabling meaningful citizen participation.

But even though transparency appears highly correlated with successful governance in developed democracies, assumptions about administrative transparency have remained empirically untested. Testing effects of transparency would prove particularly helpful in developing democracies where transparency norms have not taken hold or only have done so slowly. In these contexts, does administrative transparency really create the sorts of benefits …


Horizontal Directors, Yaron Nili Mar 2020

Horizontal Directors, Yaron Nili

Northwestern University Law Review

Directors wield increasing influence in corporate America, making pivotal decisions regarding corporate affairs and management. A robust literature recognizes directors’ important role and examines their incentives and performance. In particular, scholars have worried that “busy directors”—those who serve on multiple corporate boards—may face time constraints that affect their performance. Little attention, however, has been paid to directors who sit on the boards of multiple companies within the same industry. This Article terms them “horizontal directors” and spotlights, for the first time, the legal and policy issues they raise. The “horizontal” feature of directorships, a term often used in the antitrust …


How Actions Affirm: Reflections On The Question Of Affirmative Action, Doron Menashe Jan 2020

How Actions Affirm: Reflections On The Question Of Affirmative Action, Doron Menashe

Touro Law Review

No abstract provided.


Are Premarital Agreements Really Unfair?: An Empirical Study, Elizabeth R. Carter Dec 2019

Are Premarital Agreements Really Unfair?: An Empirical Study, Elizabeth R. Carter

Hofstra Law Review

Are premarital agreements categorically unfair? Critics of premarital agreements cling to the (unfounded) belief that premarital agreements are categorically one-sided, coercive, and designed to benefit the wealthier spouse -- usually the man. Courts, legislators, and scholars have too often relied on assumptions about premarital agreements without delving in to the facts. They have looked almost everywhere to support their views, except for the one place that really matters: the actual agreements. The result, predictably, is a paternalistic system predicated on a near religious belief that women who sign premarital agreements are uneducated, unsophisticated, economically dependent actors who need the state …


Contract Interpretation Enforcement Costs: An Empirical Study Of Textualism Versus Contextualism Conducted Via The West Key Number System, Joshua M. Silverstein Mar 2019

Contract Interpretation Enforcement Costs: An Empirical Study Of Textualism Versus Contextualism Conducted Via The West Key Number System, Joshua M. Silverstein

Hofstra Law Review

This Article sets forth an empirical study of a central issue in the judicial and academic debate over the optimal method of contract interpretation: Whether "textualism" or "contextualism" best minimizes contract enforcement costs. The study measured enforcement costs in twelve ways. Under each of those measures, there was no statistically significant difference in the level of interpretation litigation between textualist and contextualist regimes. Accordingly, the study finds no support for either the textualist hypothesis that contextualism has higher enforcement costs or the contextualist counter-hypothesis that textualism has higher enforcement costs.

The study herein was conducted via the West Key Number …


Man Up Or Go Home: Exploring Perceptions Of Women In Leadership, Abigail Perdue Jan 2017

Man Up Or Go Home: Exploring Perceptions Of Women In Leadership, Abigail Perdue

Marquette Law Review

Throughout history, women in positions of authority have often been perceived as violating well-established gender norms. Perhaps as a result, female leadership has often been viewed as a threat to male power and privilege and thus provoked resistance. Female leaders challenge longstanding sex stereotypes and patriarchal structures, subverting the identities of androcentric institutions and the people who comprise them. In so doing, they redefine notions of what it means to be a leader as well as what it means to be a woman. Cisgender male subordinates in particular may feel that their masculinity is under assault when they are placed …


The Future Of Empirical Legal Scholarship: Where Might We Go From Here?, Kathryn Zeiler Sep 2016

The Future Of Empirical Legal Scholarship: Where Might We Go From Here?, Kathryn Zeiler

Journal of Legal Education

No abstract provided.


A Comparative Empirical Study Of Negotiation In Criminal Proceedings Between Brazil And The United States Of America, Ricardo Gueiros Bernardes Dias Jan 2016

A Comparative Empirical Study Of Negotiation In Criminal Proceedings Between Brazil And The United States Of America, Ricardo Gueiros Bernardes Dias

University of Baltimore Journal of International Law

The present research aims to understand the law in regards to the types of negotiations performed under the law of criminal procedure and to understand how the discursive practice of lawyers can organize social practices from a comparative empirical perspective of Brazil and the United States of America. Thus, the research comparatively investigates the institutional processes for the establishment of truth before the bodies of the judicial branch in Brazil (metropolitan region of Vitória, ES-Brazil) and in the U.S. (California, San Francisco) and focuses on their differences in their criminal negotiation in the special criminal courts and the institution of …


Expired Patents, Saurabh Vishnubhakat Apr 2015

Expired Patents, Saurabh Vishnubhakat

Catholic University Law Review

This article presents a comprehensive empirical description of the public domain of technologies that have recently passed out of patent protection. From a new dataset of over 300,000 patents that expired during 2008–2012, the study examines technological, geographical, and procedural traits of newly public inventions as a basis for exploring the social value associated with their competitive use. Moreover, comparing these inventions to inventions newly patented during the same period enables more specific discussion of how the balance of innovation in the United States continues to change.


Much Ado About Nothing? A Critical Examination Of Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Dennis Roderick, Susan T. Krumholz Dec 2014

Much Ado About Nothing? A Critical Examination Of Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Dennis Roderick, Susan T. Krumholz

University of Massachusetts Law Review

In the decades since the 1970s there have been several movements designed to impact or alter the workings of the legal system. The most lasting and widespread of these movements has been the development and systemic incorporation of mediation or Alternative Dispute Resolution, especially in the arena of family law but also impacting community disagreements, a variety of commercial disputes, and civil cases in general. However mediation did not significantly impact the practice of criminal law. Rapid growth in the number of individuals being processed through the criminal courts during the 1980s and 1990s shifted the focus to the criminal …


The Stricter Standard: An Empirical Assessment Of Daubert’S Effect On Civil Defendants, Andrew Jurs, Scott Devito Jan 2013

The Stricter Standard: An Empirical Assessment Of Daubert’S Effect On Civil Defendants, Andrew Jurs, Scott Devito

Catholic University Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Saucier Qualified Immunity Experiment: An Empirical Analysis, Nancy Leong Feb 2012

The Saucier Qualified Immunity Experiment: An Empirical Analysis, Nancy Leong

Pepperdine Law Review

This paper provides an empirical analysis of the impact of the approach to qualified immunity that the Supreme Court first suggested in Siegert v. Gilley and later made mandatory in Saucier v. Katz. That approach dictates that lower courts should resolve constitutional issues prior to deciding whether a government official is shielded from liability by qualified immunity. A primary justification for this sequencing approach is the notion that where courts decide that constitutional law is not clearly established, and thus qualified immunity is available, future defendants can also escape liability for the same behavior. But the empirical analysis provided in …


The Rise And Fall Of The Miranda Warnings In Popular Culture, Ronald Steiner, Rebecca Bauer, Rohit Talwar Jan 2011

The Rise And Fall Of The Miranda Warnings In Popular Culture, Ronald Steiner, Rebecca Bauer, Rohit Talwar

Cleveland State Law Review

While Dickerson's rationale is certainly correct in presuming that those over thirty have already learned about the Miranda warning from decades of television, younger generations only have today's Miranda-less programming on which to form their assumptions about law enforcement. Miranda can still be found on television, but its presence has severely diminished over the years. If this trend continues, how will America's current youth internalize the Miranda warning in the way older generations have? Near-universal awareness of Miranda is an artifact of a shared popular culture in which the repetition of the warnings was pervasive and inescapable. But how can …


Context Of Ideology: Law, Politics, And Empirical Legal Scholarship, The, Carolyn Shapiro Jan 2010

Context Of Ideology: Law, Politics, And Empirical Legal Scholarship, The, Carolyn Shapiro

Missouri Law Review

In their confirmation hearings, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Sotomayor both articulated a vision of the neutral judge who decides cases without resort to personal perspectives or opinions, in short, without ideology. At the other extreme, the dominant model ofjudicial decisionmaking in political science has long been the attitudinal model, which posits that the Justices' votes can be explained primarily as expressions of their personal policy preferences, with little or no role for law, legal reasoning, or legal doctrine. Many traditional legal scholars have criticized such scholarship for its insistence on the primacy of ideology in judicial decisionmaking, even as …