Friday, February 23, 2018
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
International law scholar and lawyer David Caron, and longtime member of the Berkeley faculty, who became Dean of the law school at King's College, London some five years ago, has died. I will add links to memorial notices as they appear.
(Thanks to Dean Rowan for the pointer.)
UPDATE: A memorial notice from KCL.
These are non-clinical appointments that will take effect in 2018 (except where noted); I will move the list to the front at various intervals as new additions come in. (Recent additions are in bold.) Last year's list is here. Feel free to e-mail me with news of additions to this list.
*Kerry Abrams (immigration law, family law) from the University of Virginia to Duke University (to become Dean).
*Richard Albert (constitutional law, comparative constitutional law) from Boston College to the University of Texas, Austin (effective January 2018).
*Albertina Antognini (family law, property) from the University of Kentucky to the University of Arizona (untenured lateral).
*Joshua Blank (tax) from a professor of practice position at New York University to the University of California, Irvine.
*Binyamin Blum (legal history, evidence, criminal procedure) from Hebrew University, Jerusalem to the University of California Hastings (effective spring 2018) (untenured lateral).
*Jeremy Bock (intellectual property, civil procedure) from the University of Memphis to Tulane University (untenured lateral).
*William Boyd (environmental law, energy law) from the University of Colorado, Boulder to the University of California, Los Angeles.
*Samuel Bray (remedies, property, constitutional law) from the University of California, Los Angeles to the University of Notre Dame.
*Stewart Chang (family law, comparative law) from Whittier Law School to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
*Frank Rudy Cooper (criminal procedure, civil rights, race, gender & law) from Suffolk University to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
*Diane Desierto (public and private international law) from the University of Hawaii to the University of Notre Dame (School of International Affairs).
*Victor Fleischer (tax, corporate law) from the University of San Diego to the University of California, Irvine.
*Brandon Garrett (criminal procedure, civil rights) from the University of Virginia to Duke University.
*Andrew Gold (private law theory, fiduciary law, corporate) from DePaul University to Brooklyn Law School.
*Robert Jackson, Jr. (corporate law) from Columbia University to New York University (though he will be on leave initially while serving on the SEC).
*Kristin Johnson (financial markets, corporate) from Seton Hall University to Tulane University.
*Orin Kerr (criminal procedure, computer crime law) from George Washington University to the University of Southern California (effective January 2018).
*Rebecca Kysar (tax) from Brooklyn Law School to Fordham University.
*Jill Wieber Lens (torts, products liability, remedies) from Baylor University to the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville (effective January 2018).
*Sheldon Bernard Lyke, (property, trusts & estates, critical race theory) from Whittier Law School to Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law (untenured lateral)
*Justin McCrary (law & economics, empirical legal studies, corporate) from the University of California, Berkeley to Columbia University.
*Curtis Milhaupt (Japanese law, East Asian legal system comparative corporate governance) from Columbia University to Stanford University (effective January 2018).
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
...according to LSAC. This won't mean a 30% increase in applications, of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a 10% bump in total applicants this year. This year has already been the best year to be on the law teaching market in at least five years, and I expect if we do see an increase in qualified applicants to law schools, we will see an increase in hiring of new law teachers next year as well.
Monday, February 19, 2018
Blast from the past: Ellmann v. Leiter on (what was then a proposal for) requiring clinical/experiential education
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
This finding--by my colleagues Adam Chilton, Jonathan Masur and our Behavioral Law & Economics Fellow Kyle Rozema--is hardly surprising, given how out of their depth most law review editors are in figuring out what to publish. Maybe law reviews should advertise that year's ideological tilt of its Articles Editors?
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
A FB friend pointed out the remarkable pattern of recent years: women who began their careers as tenure-track law professors at the University of Virginia, and are now Deans of leading law schools. They are Kerry Abrams (newly appointed Dean at Duke), Risa Goluboff (Dean at UVA), Liz Magill (Dean at Stanford), and Jennifer Mnookin (Dean at UCLA). I guess other leading law schools will know where to look in their next Dean search!
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Private firms often withhold information or contest scientific knowledge when public revelation could lead to costly regulations or liability. This concealment leads to negative externalities and public harm.
But what if private firms’ superior knowledge and self-interest could be harnessed to reveal information about risks and accelerate the implementation of safety regulations?
In Limited Liability and the Known Unknown, I argue that firms that desire limited liability for their investors should be forced to pay what they believe limited liability is worth. This would have several salutary effects. Firms’ choice between unlimited liability and higher taxes would reveal important information about internal risk assessments, reduce public-private information asymmetries, and accelerate the application of scientific knowledge to personal and public health.
Limited liability is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, limited liability may help overcome investors' risk aversion and facilitate capital formation and economic growth. On the other hand, limited liability is widely believed to contribute to excessive risk taking and externalization of losses to the public. The externalization problem can be mitigated imperfectly through existing mechanisms such as regulation, mandatory insurance, and minimum capital requirements. These mechanisms could be more effective if information asymmetries between industry and policymakers could be reduced. Private businesses will typically have better information about industry-specific risks than policymakers.
A charge for limited liability entities-resembling a corporate income tax but calibrated to risk levels-could have two salutary effects. First, a well-calibrated limited liability tax could help compensate the public fisc for risks and reduce externalization. Second, a limited liability tax could force private industry actors to reveal information to policy-makers and regulators, thereby dynamically improving the public response to externalization risk.
Charging firms for limited liability will lead private firms to sort themselves by riskiness and reveal information to policymakers. Policymakers will then be able to focus their attention on the industries that have collectively self-identified as high risk and develop more finely tailored regulatory responses. Because the benefits of making the proper election are fully internalized by individual firms, whereas the costs of future regulation or limited liability tax changes will be borne collectively by industries, firms will be un-likely to strategically mislead policymakers in their elections. By helping to reveal private information and focus regulators' attention, a limited liability tax could accelerate the pace at which policymakers learn and therefore the pace at which regulations improve.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
House Republicans propose to open floodgates to federal funding of low-quality for-profit, online degrees (Michael Simkovic)
House Republicans recently proposed to increase federal funding for the worst performing parts of higher education and reduce federal funding for the best performing parts.
For-profit ("proprietary") brick-and-mortar and online educational programs tend to have low rates of student completion, relatively poor employment outcomes, and relatively high student loan default rates compared to private non-profit and public institutions. For-profits' typically poor outcomes may be at least in part because for-profit programs typically spend far more on sales and marketing than traditional non-profit programs. This leaves fewer resources available for instruction and support services for students, or research that can help build an institutional reputation and connections with employers. Paying profits out to investors also drains cash and limits how much can be spent on instruction in any given year.* Short-term programs at for-profits are the only category of higher educational institution that have been shown by peer reviewed research to increase their prices without increasing educational quality upon gaining eligibility for federal aid.
Default rates of for-profit programs used to be even worse in relative terms, before rules were implemented to deny eligibility for federal student loans to the worst performing for-profit institutions.
A new House bill sponsored exclusively by Republicans, H.R. 4508,** threatens to open the floodgates to federal funding for for-profit and online education of dubious quality. According to the CBO, the bill would:
"Amend or repeal restrictions on institutional eligibility for federal student aid for certain types of schools, the largest of which would repeal the definition of distance education and eliminate the cap on the percentage of revenues that proprietary schools can receive from the Department of Education. . . .
Distance Education. H.R. 4508 would repeal the current-law requirement that online programs provide students with regular, substantive interaction with faculty. CBO expects that if programs do not need to meet that criterion they could more easily expand and scale up, resulting in higher enrollment. . . .
Short-Term Programs. Current law requires programs to offer at least 600 clock hours of instruction for students to be eligible for Pell grants. To be eligible for student loans, a program must offer at least 300 hours and have a student completion and placement rate of at least 70 percent. . . . H.R. 4508 would extend aid eligibility to students in short-term programs [and] there would no longer be any requirements about placement rates. . . .
Gainful Employment. In October 2014, the Department of Education published final rules related to gainful employment, setting benchmarks related to student income and federal loan debt that had to be met by programs at proprietary institutions...H.R. 4508 would repeal . . . gainful employment [rules]."
Indeed, it will be much easier to expand enrollment without the need to spend any money providing students "regular, substantive interaction with faculty," who can answer student questions, connect them with employers, or teach them.
Monday, February 5, 2018
I was sorry to learn of the death of my former colleague Robert W. Hamilton, longtime member of the UT Austin law faculty and author of many well-known and widely used texts related to corporate law. (Professor Hamilton took his law degree from Chicago, though well before my time needless to say.) Although we did not share scholarly interests, we shared many enjoyable barbecue lunches over the years; he was, indeed, a warm and gracious colleague. There is a very nice memorial notice from the local newspaper here.
(Thanks to Michael Churgin for letting me know.)
Friday, February 2, 2018
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
In light of the current interest in the general topic, many readers will find Professor Sadurski's knowledgeable discussion of the situation in Poland illuminating and instructive.
(Thanks to Tomasz Gizbert-Studnicki for calling it to my attention.)
Monday, January 29, 2018
Professors Rostron & Levit asked me to share the following about their useful guide:
We just updated our charts about law journal submissions, expedites, and rankings from different sources for the Spring 2018 submission season covering the 203 main journals of each law school.
A couple of the highlights from this round of revisions are:
First, again the chart includes information from the handful of journals that posted on their websites that they are not accepting submissions right now and what dates they say they'll resume accepting submissions.
Second, while 62 law reviews still prefer or require submission through ExpressO, 31 schools (up from 27 at this time last year) now require Scholastica as the exclusive avenue for submissions, with 31 more preferring or strongly preferring it, and 28 accepting articles submitted through either ExpressO or Scholastica. Thirteen schools now have their own online web portals. And one school each accepts articles on Twitter and bepress, while two accept submissions through Lex Opus.
The first chart contains information about each journal’s preferences about methods for submitting articles (e.g., e-mail, ExpressO, Scholastica, or regular mail), as well as special formatting requirements and how to request an expedited review. The second chart contains rankings information from U.S. News and World Report as well as data from Washington & Lee’s law review website.
Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews and Journals: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1019029
We’d welcome you to forward the link to anyone who you think might find it useful. We appreciate any feedback you might have.
All the best,
Allen and Nancy
Professor Allen Rostron
Associate Dean for Students and William R. Jacques Constitutional Law Scholar and Professor of Law
Professor Nancy Levit
Interim Associate Dean for Faculty and Curators' Distinguished Professor and Edward D. Ellison Professor of Law
I do think the W&L data is pure noise, since it does not control for volume of publication.
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Retired attorney Bruce Craig would welcome hearing from law professors interested in the following issue (you may reach Mr. Craig at brucecrai-at-gmail-dot-com):
As a former assistant attorney general (Wis.) I litigated against a number of pyramid schemes starting in 1968 and ending, for all practical purposes, in 1979 when the FTC ruled in favor of Amway. Now retired, living in New York, and still involved with this issue to a limited extent.
Since 1979, and Reagan, Amway has become a $9 billion/yr world-wide operation, the overall industry's annual revenues about $150 billion. Qualified estimates indicate that the loss ratio of participants in these operations exceeds 95%.
Not only has this made the pyramid owners billionaires but, as a direct result, it has also funded a political and governmental machine that has fundamentally suppressed any meaningful enforcement or legislative oversight. This is primarily the result of the victims of these schemes being politically invisible to both sides of the aisle and ignored on the basis they didn't work hard enough. Victims seldom file complaints as they feel they were part of an illegal process and involved family members and friends.
The press has primarily focused on disputes between Wall Street titans and not on the ethical and legal underpinnings which have enabled this to happen. Unfortunately, it appears the legal academia has not examined this as well.
At present, there is no formal legal distinction between pyramid schemes and "Multi-Level Marketing", with limited enforcement only after the fact. This phenomenon has enabled those not yet sued to claim they are legal MLM and not illegal pyramid schemes.
Given the significant and continuing massive losses, incurred by those mostly in the lower part of the middle class. This note is to inquire whether legal scholars might be interested in exploring the issue. From a philosophical standpoint I've noticed that the investment and financial communities seem to ignore the underlying damage caused by those listed on the NYSE.
This is far beyond my competence, but I offered to share this with the community of legal scholars and legal theorists, some of whom might be able to help.