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Full-Text Articles in Public Law and Legal Theory

Merrick Dodd And The Great Depression: A Few Historical Corrections, Charles R. T. O'Kelley Feb 2019

Merrick Dodd And The Great Depression: A Few Historical Corrections, Charles R. T. O'Kelley

Seattle University Law Review

Merrick Dodd is remembered primarily for his role as coprotagonist, with Adolf Berle, in the famous Berle–Dodd debate. Dodd’s contribution to that debate—For Whom are Corporate Managers Trustees?—has generally been interpreted as the inspiration for modern stakeholder theory. Berle’s contribution has generally been viewed as the foundation on which shareholder primacy rests. Both of these views have been clarified by the nuanced work of Bratton and Wachter. Oddly, while scholars have devoted a great deal of attention to Berle’s actual life story, there is almost no scholarship that sheds light on Merrick Dodd, the ...


Antitrust's Unconventional Politics, Daniel A. Crane Sep 2018

Antitrust's Unconventional Politics, Daniel A. Crane

Articles

Antitrust law stands at its most fluid and negotiable moment in a generation. The bipartisan consensus that antitrust should solely focus on economic efficiency and consumer welfare has quite suddenly come under attack from prominent voices calling for a dramatically enhanced role for antitrust law in mediating a variety of social, economic, and political friction points, including employment, wealth inequality, data privacy and security, and democratic values. To the bewilderment of many observers, the ascendant pressures for antitrust reforms are flowing from both wings of the political spectrum, throwing into confusion a conventional understanding that pro-antitrust sentiment tacked left and ...


Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley Jun 2017

Contracting Out Of The Fiduciary Duty Of Loyalty: An Empirical Analysis Of Corporate Opportunity Waivers, Gabriel Rauterberg, Eric Talley

Articles

For centuries, the duty of loyalty has been the hallowed centerpiece of fiduciary obligation, widely considered one of the few “mandatory” rules of corporate law. That view, however, is no longer true. Beginning in 2000, Delaware dramatically departed from tradition by granting incorporated entities a statutory right to waive a crucial part of the duty of loyalty: the corporate opportunities doctrine. Other states have since followed Delaware’s lead, similarly permitting firms to execute “corporate opportunity waivers.” Surprisingly, more than fifteen years into this reform experiment, no study has attempted to either systematically measure the corporate response to these reforms ...


Enterprise Without Entities, Andrew Verstein Jan 2017

Enterprise Without Entities, Andrew Verstein

Michigan Law Review

Scholars and practicing lawyers alike consider legal entities to be essential. Who can imagine running a large business without using a business organization, such as a corporation or partnership? This Article challenges conventional wisdom by showing that vast enterprises—with millions of customers paying trillions of dollars—often operate without any meaningful use of entities.

This Article introduces the reciprocal exchange, a type of insurance company that operates without any meaningful use of a legal entity. Instead of obtaining insurance from a common nexus of contract, customers directly insure one another through a dense web of bilateral agreements. While often ...


Using Proactive Legal Strategies For Corporate Environmental Sustainability, Gerlinde Berger-Walliser, Paul Shrivastava, Adam Sulkowski Oct 2016

Using Proactive Legal Strategies For Corporate Environmental Sustainability, Gerlinde Berger-Walliser, Paul Shrivastava, Adam Sulkowski

Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law

We argue that proactive law can help organizations be more sustainable. Toward that end, this Article first summarizes proactive law literature as it pertains to corporate sustainability. Next, it examines a series of cases on the pivotal nexus between proactive law and corporate sustainability. It then advances novel propositions that connect proactive law to central organizational design elements. The discussion traces further implications and suggests fruitful avenues for research and ways of using proactive law for firms to become more sustainable.


Disaggregating Corpus Christi: The Illiberal Implications Of Hobby Lobby's Right To Free Exercise, Katharine Jackson Sep 2016

Disaggregating Corpus Christi: The Illiberal Implications Of Hobby Lobby's Right To Free Exercise, Katharine Jackson

Katharine Jackson

This paper first examines and critiques the group rights to religious exercise derived from the three ontologies of the corporation suggested by different legal conceptions of corporate personhood often invoked by Courts. Finding the implicated groups rights inimical to individual religious freedom, the paper then presents an argument as to why a discourse of intra-corporate toleration and voluntariness does a better job at protecting religious liberty.


3d Printing And Healthcare: Will Laws, Lawyers, And Companies Stand In The Way Of Patient Care?, Evan R. Youngstrom Apr 2016

3d Printing And Healthcare: Will Laws, Lawyers, And Companies Stand In The Way Of Patient Care?, Evan R. Youngstrom

Evan R. Youngstrom

Today, our society is on a precipice of significant advancement in healthcare because 3D printing will usher in the next generation of medicine. The next generation will be driven by customization, which will allow doctors to replace limbs and individualize drugs. However, the next generation will be without large pharmaceutical companies and their justifications for strong intellectual property rights. However, the current patent system (which is underpinned by a social tradeoff made from property incentives) is not flexible enough to cope with 3D printing’s rapid development. Very soon, the social tradeoff will no longer benefit society, so it must ...


Corporations In The Flow Of Culture, Greg Urban Mar 2016

Corporations In The Flow Of Culture, Greg Urban

Seattle University Law Review

As an anthropologist, coming out of three decades of research among indigenous Brazilian populations, I naturally saw modern for-profit business corporations as tribes—the collective bearers of adaptive cultural know-how. They appeared to me to be the entities housing the culture needed to produce commodities, to trade commodities on the open market, or both. I was also, of course, aware of the legal concept of the corporation as fictive person capable of owning property and having standing in court cases, which I thought of as akin to the anthropological corporation insofar as both recognized the group as social actor. However ...


What Might Replace The Modern Corporation? Uberization And The Web Page Enterprise, Gerald F. Davis Mar 2016

What Might Replace The Modern Corporation? Uberization And The Web Page Enterprise, Gerald F. Davis

Seattle University Law Review

The number of public corporations in the United States has been in decline for almost twenty years. Alternative forms of organization, from LLCs and benefit corporations to Linux and Wikipedia, provide robust competition to traditional corporations, while short-lived, project-based enterprises that assemble supply chains from available parts are increasingly cost effective. Yet our understanding of corporate governance has not kept pace with the new organization of the economy and we continue to treat the public corporation with dispersed ownership as the default form of doing business. Meanwhile, many of the corporations going public in recent years have abandoned traditional standards ...


The Theory Of Fields And Its Application To Corporate Governance, Neil Fligstein Mar 2016

The Theory Of Fields And Its Application To Corporate Governance, Neil Fligstein

Seattle University Law Review

My goal here is twofold. First, I want to introduce the theory of strategic action fields to the law audience. The main idea in field theory in sociology is that most social action occurs in social arenas where actors know one another and take one another into account in their action. Scholars use the field construct to make sense of how and why social orders emerge, reproduce, and transform. Underlying this formulation is the idea that a field is an ongoing game where actors have to understand what others are doing in order to frame their actions. Second, I want ...


Agency Theory As Prophecy: How Boards, Analysts, And Fund Managers Perform Their Roles, Jiwook Jung, Frank Dobbin Mar 2016

Agency Theory As Prophecy: How Boards, Analysts, And Fund Managers Perform Their Roles, Jiwook Jung, Frank Dobbin

Seattle University Law Review

In 1976, Michael Jensen and William Meckling published a paper reintroducing agency theory that explained how the modern corporation is structured to serve dispersed shareholders. They purported to describe the world as it exists but, in fact, they described a utopia, and their piece was read as a blueprint for that utopia. We take a page from the sociology of knowledge to argue that, in the modern world, economic theories function as prescriptions for behavior as much as they function as descriptions. Economists and management theorists often act as prophets rather than scientists, describing the world not as it is ...


Culture In Corporate Law Or: A Black Corporation, A Christian Corporation, And A Māori Corporation Walk Into A Bar . . ., Gwendolyn Gordon Mar 2016

Culture In Corporate Law Or: A Black Corporation, A Christian Corporation, And A Māori Corporation Walk Into A Bar . . ., Gwendolyn Gordon

Seattle University Law Review

Recent Supreme Court cases have entrenched a new image of corporate civic identity, assigning to the corporate person rights and abilities based upon the cultural characteristics, social ties, civic commitments, and internal lives of the human beings involved in it. This vision of the corporation is exemplified in recent cases implicating a corporate right to engage in political speech (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) and a right of corporations to be free of government interference regarding religious convictions (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.). Although much is being written about the soundness of the results in these cases and ...


Notes On The Difficulty Of Studying The Corporation, Marina Welker Mar 2016

Notes On The Difficulty Of Studying The Corporation, Marina Welker

Seattle University Law Review

In the award-winning documentary The Corporation, public intellectuals and activists characterize corporations as “externalizing machines,” “doom machines,” “persons with no moral conscience,” and “monsters trying to devour as much profit as possible at anyone’s expense.” In other footage, people on the street personify corporations: “General Electric: a kind old man with lots of stories;” “Nike: young, energetic;” “Microsoft: aggressive;” “McDonald’s: young, outgoing, enthusiastic;” “Monsanto: immaculately dressed;” “Disney: goofy;” “The Body Shop: deceptive.” The documentary, like screenwriter and legal scholar Joel Bakan’s book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, imparts dissonant messages about corporations. On ...


Gandhi’S Prophecy: Corporate Violence And A Mindful Law For Bhopal, Nehal A. Patel Dec 2015

Gandhi’S Prophecy: Corporate Violence And A Mindful Law For Bhopal, Nehal A. Patel

Nehal A. Patel

AbstractOver thirty years have passed since the Bhopal chemical disaster began,and in that time scholars of corporate social responsibility (CSR) havediscussed and debated several frameworks for improving corporate responseto social and environmental problems. However, CSR discourse rarelydelves into the fundamental architecture of legal thought that oftenbuttresses corporate dominance in the global economy. Moreover, CSRdiscourse does little to challenge the ontological and epistemologicalassumptions that form the foundation for modern economics and the role ofcorporations in the world.I explore methods of transforming CSR by employing the thought ofMohandas Gandhi. I pay particular attention to Gandhi’s critique ofindustrialization and principle ...


Insuring Floods: The Most Common And Devastating Natural Catastrophes In America, Christopher French Mar 2015

Insuring Floods: The Most Common And Devastating Natural Catastrophes In America, Christopher French

Journal Articles

Flooding is the most common natural catastrophe Americans face, accounting for 90% of all damage caused by natural catastrophes. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, for example, collectively caused over $160 billion in damage, but only approximately 10% of the Hurricane Katrina victims and 50% of the Hurricane Sandy victims had insurance to cover their flood losses. Consequently, both their homes and lives were left in ruins in the wake of the storms. Nationwide, only approximately 7% of homeowners have insurance that covers flood losses even though the risk of flooding is only increasing as coastal areas continue to be developed and ...


Insuring Floods: The Most Common And Devastating Natural Catastrophies In America, Christopher French Feb 2015

Insuring Floods: The Most Common And Devastating Natural Catastrophies In America, Christopher French

Christopher C. French

Flooding is the most common natural catastrophe Americans face, accounting for 90% of all damage caused by natural catastrophes. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, for example, collectively caused over $160 billion in damage, but only approximately 10% of the Hurricane Katrina victims and 50% of the Hurricane Sandy victims had insurance to cover their flood losses. Consequently, both their homes and lives were left in ruins in the wake of the storms. Nationwide, only approximately 7% of homeowners have insurance that covers flood losses even though the risk of flooding is only increasing as coastal areas continue to be developed and ...


Through The Lens Of Innovation, Mirit Eyal-Cohen Feb 2015

Through The Lens Of Innovation, Mirit Eyal-Cohen

Mirit Eyal-Cohen

The legal system constantly follows the footsteps of innovation and attempts to discourage its migration overseas. Yet, present legal rules that inform and explain entrepreneurial circumstances lack a core understanding of the concept of innovation. By its nature, law imposes order. It provides rules, remedies, and classifications that direct behavior in a consistent manner. Innovation turns on the contrary. It entails making creative judgments about the unknown. It involves adapting to disarray. It thrives on deviations as opposed to traditional causation. This Article argues that these differences matter. It demonstrates that current laws lock entrepreneurs into inefficient legal routes. Using ...


Law, Fugitive Capital, And Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation, Walter J. Kendall Lll Feb 2015

Law, Fugitive Capital, And Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation, Walter J. Kendall Lll

Walter J. Kendall lll

No abstract provided.


The Neomercantilist Fallacy And The Contextual Reality Of The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Philip Nichols Feb 2015

The Neomercantilist Fallacy And The Contextual Reality Of The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Philip Nichols

Philip M. Nichols

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is domestic legislation and should be analyzed as such. This article addresses a persistent failure in analysis of the Act, by scholars and policymakers alike. Many discussions of the Act approach it from a neomercantilist perspective. This approach contains three flaws. First, whereas neomercantilism envisions manipulation of the market to give advantage to national champion industries, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was adopted for the purpose of strengthening and enhancing the integrity of the global market. A neomercantilist perspective is contrary to the purpose of the Act. Second, this article shows that neomercantilism fundamentally misunderstands ...


Nothing To Do With Personhood: Corporate Constitutional Rights And The Principle Of Confiscation, Paul Kens Dr. Feb 2015

Nothing To Do With Personhood: Corporate Constitutional Rights And The Principle Of Confiscation, Paul Kens Dr.

Paul Kens Dr.

In its 2010 decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission the Supreme Court overruled a federal statute that limited a corporation’s ability to pay for political advertising out of its general treasury funds. Those limits, it ruled, violated the corporation’s right to freedom of speech. The case has since become notorious for the widely held belief that, in doing so, the Court declared that corporations are “persons,” possessing the same constitutional rights as flesh and blood human beings. Four years later the Court seemed to expand on this conclusion when it ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that ...


Legal And Institutional Remedies For Middle East States Wishing To Develop And Increase Foreign Direct Investment, Griffin Weaver Sep 2014

Legal And Institutional Remedies For Middle East States Wishing To Develop And Increase Foreign Direct Investment, Griffin Weaver

Griffin Weaver

The cost to overhaul a legal system is astronomical. For example, before and after the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1980’s several states received billions of dollars in loans to help change their “legal systems” and make them more western friendly. A couple of these states were West Germany and Japan, which received roughly 1.5 billion and 2.4 billion USD in loans. Considering most of this money was given in the 1950’s, the value today is probably three times or more those amounts. Without this aid both states would have been unable to make ...


The Evolution Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act; Changing Interpretations Of The Dmca And Future Implications For Copyright Holders, Hillary A. Henderson Jan 2014

The Evolution Of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act; Changing Interpretations Of The Dmca And Future Implications For Copyright Holders, Hillary A. Henderson

Hillary A Henderson

Copyright law rewards an artificial monopoly to individual authors for their creations. This reward is based on the belief that, by granting authors the exclusive right to reproduce their works, they receive an incentive and means to create, which in turn advances the welfare of the general public by “promoting the progress of science and useful arts.” Copyright protection subsists . . . in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device . . . . In no ...


Crossing The Fault Line In Corporate Criminal Law, Amy Sepinwall Dec 2013

Crossing The Fault Line In Corporate Criminal Law, Amy Sepinwall

Amy J. Sepinwall

Why is it that so few bankers have been prosecuted and punished in the wake of the financial meltdown? Pundits are quick to point to inadequate funding for addressing financial crime or, more cynically, the revolving door between government regulatory agencies and Wall Street. But the ultimate answer may be at once more banal and more dispiriting, lying as it does at the very foundations of our criminal law.

The conception of responsibility underpinning much of our criminal law contemplates the individual in isolation from others. As a result, our criminal law has tremendous difficulty tracking culpability in organizational contexts ...


The Commons, Capitalism, And The Constitution, George Skouras Oct 2013

The Commons, Capitalism, And The Constitution, George Skouras

George Skouras

Thesis Summary: the erosion of the Commons in the United States has contributed to the deterioration of community and uprooting of people in order to meet the dynamic demands of capitalism. This article suggests countervailing measures to help remedy the situation.


Csr And Law As Alternative Regulatory Systems, Benedict Sheehy Feb 2013

Csr And Law As Alternative Regulatory Systems, Benedict Sheehy

Benedict Sheehy

Abstract: CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is an increasingly important area of corporate and legal concern. In addition to problems defining the meaning of the term and understanding the implications for, there is a lack of understanding how it can, does and should interact with law. This paper answers this gap using a method used in the sociology of law, systems theory. The paper argues that CSR can be understood as a response to social costs and law’s apparent failure to curb those costs. It focuses the examination on social costs generated by large industrial organisations and how they are ...


Neoliberalism And The Law: How Historical Materialism Can Illuminate Recent Governmental And Judicial Decision Making, Justin Schwartz Jan 2013

Neoliberalism And The Law: How Historical Materialism Can Illuminate Recent Governmental And Judicial Decision Making, Justin Schwartz

Justin Schwartz

Neoliberalism can be understood as the deregulation of the economy from political control by deliberate action or inaction of the state. As such it is both constituted by the law and deeply affects it. I show how the methods of historical materialism can illuminate this phenomenon in all three branches of the the U.S. government. Considering the example the global financial crisis of 2007-08 that began with the housing bubble developing from trade in unregulated and overvalued mortgage backed securities, I show how the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which established a firewall between commercial and investment banking, allowed ...


After Privacy: The Rise Of Facebook, The Fall Of Wikileaks, And Singapore’S Personal Data Protection Act 2012, Simon Chesterman Dec 2012

After Privacy: The Rise Of Facebook, The Fall Of Wikileaks, And Singapore’S Personal Data Protection Act 2012, Simon Chesterman

Simon Chesterman

This article discusses the changing ways in which information is produced, stored, and shared — exemplified by the rise of social-networking sites like Facebook and controversies over the activities of WikiLeaks — and the implications for privacy and data protection. Legal protections of privacy have always been reactive, but the coherence of any legal regime has also been undermined by the lack of a strong theory of what privacy is. There is more promise in the narrower field of data protection. Singapore, which does not recognise a right to privacy, has positioned itself as an e-commerce hub but had no law on ...


The Private Sector’S Pivotal Role In Combating Human Trafficking, Jonathan Todres Feb 2012

The Private Sector’S Pivotal Role In Combating Human Trafficking, Jonathan Todres

Jonathan Todres

Human trafficking is big business, with industry estimates running in the billions of dollars annually. Much of that profit accrues to traffickers, illegal profiteers, and organized crime groups. However, the private sector-including legitimate businesses and industries-also reaps economic benefits, directly and indirectly, from the trafficking and related exploitation of persons. Despite these economic realities, the dominant approach to combating human trafficking has been to rely almost exclusively on governments and social services organizations to do the job. Little has been asked of the private sector. Two important bills-one adopted by the State of California and the otherintroduced in the U ...


The Practical Soul Of Business Ethics: The Corporate Manager's Dilemma And The Social Teaching Of The Catholic Church, Leo L. Clarke, Bruce P. Frohnen, Edward C. Lyons Sep 2011

The Practical Soul Of Business Ethics: The Corporate Manager's Dilemma And The Social Teaching Of The Catholic Church, Leo L. Clarke, Bruce P. Frohnen, Edward C. Lyons

Edward C. Lyons

This Article focuses on and attempts to dispel an overly narrow view of the moral responsibilities of corporations and their managers. Many businessmen and lawyers, relying on prevailing approaches to business ethics, labor under the misperception that the moral ladder in the business world has only one rung: "Be honest." Americans, however, should, can and do expect more from the managers of our large corporations, and virtually every Fortune 100 company publicly espouses a "social responsibility" far exceeding mere honesty. Further, as is demonstrated, American jurisprudence is consistent with those expectations. This Article's thesis is that Catholic Social Teaching ...


Legal Mechanization Of Corporate Social Responsibility Through Alien Tort Statute Litigation: A Response To Professor Branson With Some Supplemental Thoughts, Donald J. Kochan Jul 2011

Legal Mechanization Of Corporate Social Responsibility Through Alien Tort Statute Litigation: A Response To Professor Branson With Some Supplemental Thoughts, Donald J. Kochan

Donald J. Kochan

This Response argues that as ATS jurisprudence “matures” or becomes more sophisticated, the legitimate limits of the law regress. The further expansion within the corporate defendant pool – attempting to pin liability on parent, great grandparent corporations and up to the top – raises the stakes and complexity of ATS litigation. The corporate social responsibility discussion raises three principal issues about how a moral corporation lives its life: how a corporation chooses its self-interest versus the interests of others, when and how it should help others if control decisions may harm the shareholder owners, and how far the corporation must affirmatively go ...