Thursday, September 7, 2006
The FTC and DOJ have come out against Assembly Bil 5596 in New York, which proposes expanding the scope of unauthorized practice of law to include certain real estate practices that are currently provided by non-attorneys. In their joint comment, the two agencies stated that "the proposed legislation's expansion of the definition of the practice of law unnecessarily limits competition between attorneys and non-attorneys." The agencies also warn about consumer harm.
Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Max Huffman, who teaches law at The University of Cincinnati Law School, has posted a thoughtful article on SSRN which addresses the question of the Empagran exception, allowing extraterritorial application of US antitrust law to conduct outside the US that affects US commerce. Professor Huffman's article concludes that the scope of this exception should be understood within the framework of antitrust standing doctrine, as developed in Associated General Contractors.
Also of interest is Alan J. Meese, professor of law at William & Mary Law School, has published another fascinating article that brings transaction cost analysis to bear on how we understand competition in antitrust law: Market Failure and Non-Standard Contracting: How the Ghost of Perfect Competition Still Haunts Antitrust, 1(1) Journal of Competition Law and Economics 21-95 (2005). Professor Meese touches on a theme of deep interest to me: how models of competition shape our understanding of markets and legal regimes. This issue is particularly important for intellectual property law, an idea I am developing in a current piece on natural monopoly, deregulation and intellectual property reform. Also, some of Professor Meese's ideas overlap quite nicely with a piece by Professor Jeffrey Harrison on market power that is forthcoming in the SMU Law Review (and on which I comment). But more on this last set of articles in a later post.