Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Erbsen on Lahav on Procedural Design

Now on the Courts Law section of JOTWELL is Allan Erbsen’s essay, Sequential Progression of Dispute Resolution in Federal Courts. Allan reviews Alexandra Lahav’s recent article, Procedural Design.

 

 

 

November 7, 2017 in Federal Courts, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Recent Scholarship, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Supreme Court’s Post-Prudence Jurisprudence

Now up on the Vanderbilt Law Review’s website is my essay, Lost in Transplantation The Supreme Court’s Post-Prudence Jurisprudence, 70 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 289 (2017). It’s a response to Fred Smith’s article, Undemocratic Restraint, 70 Vand. L. Rev. 845 (2017).

 

 

October 26, 2017 in Federal Courts, Recent Scholarship, Standing, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Mullenix on Symeonides on Choice of Law and Forum Selection Clauses

Now on the Courts Law section of JOTWELL is Linda Mullenix’s essay, Enquiring Minds Want to Know: What Law Governs Forum Selection Clauses? Linda reviews Symeon Symeonides’ recent article, What Law Governs Forum Selection Clauses, which is forthcoming in the Louisiana Law Review.

 

 

 

October 12, 2017 in Recent Scholarship, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Walsh on Pfander and Birk (and Woolhandler) on Adversity and Article III

Now on the Courts Law section of JOTWELL is Kevin Walsh’s essay, Adversity and Non-Contentiousness. Kevin reviews two recent pieces by Jim Pfander and Daniel Birk, Adverse Interests and Article III: A Reply, 111 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1067 (2017), and Article III Judicial Power, the Adverse-Party Requirement, and Non-Contentious Jurisdiction, 124 Yale L.J. 1346 (2015), as well as Ann Woolhandler’s response to their arguments in Adverse Interests and Article III, 111 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1025 (2017).

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 29, 2017 in Federal Courts, Recent Scholarship, Standing, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Smith on Baude on Qualified Immunity

Now on the Courts Law section of JOTWELL is Fred Smith’s essay, The Trouble with Qualified Immunity. Fred reviews Will Baude’s recent article, Is Qualified Immunity Unlawful?, which is forthcoming in the California Law Review.

 

 

 

September 19, 2017 in Recent Scholarship, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Dodge & Dodson on Personal Jurisdiction over Aliens

Bill Dodge and Scott Dodson have posted on SSRN a draft of their article, Personal Jurisdiction and Aliens, which is forthcoming in the Michigan Law Review. Here’s the abstract:

The increasing prevalence of noncitizens in U.S. civil litigation raises a fundamental question for the doctrine of personal jurisdiction: how should the alienage status of a defendant affect personal jurisdiction? This fundamental question comes at a time of increasing Supreme Court focus on personal jurisdiction, in cases like Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court, Daimler AG v. Bauman, and J. McIntyre Machinery, Ltd. v. Nicastro. We aim to answer that question by offering a theory of alienage personal jurisdiction. Under this theory, alienage status broadens the geographic range for minimum contacts from a single state to the whole nation. This national-contacts test applies to personal jurisdiction over an alien defendant whether the cause of action is federal or state law, and whether the case is heard in federal or state court. We show that the test is both consistent with the Constitution and consonant with the practical realities of modern transnational litigation. We also explore the moderating influence of other doctrines, such as reasonableness, venue transfer, and forum non conveniens, on the expanded reach of our national-contacts test. In the end, we hope to articulate a more sensible and coherent doctrine of personal jurisdiction and alien defendants that will resonate with the Supreme Court.

 

 

August 30, 2017 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Seiner on the Supreme Court, Civil Procedure & Employment Law

Joe Seiner has just published The Supreme Court’s New Workplace (Cambridge University Press 2017). Here’s the description:

The US Supreme Court has systematically eroded the rights of minority workers through subtle changes in procedural law. This accessible book identifies and describes how the Supreme Court's new procedural requirements create legal obstacles for civil-rights litigants, thereby undermining their substantive rights. Seiner takes the next step of providing a framework that practitioners can use to navigate these murky waters, allowing workers a better chance of prevailing with their claims. Seiner clearly illustrates how to effectively use his framework, applying the proposed model to one emerging sector - the on-demand industry. Many minority workers now face pervasive discrimination in an uncertain legal environment. This book will serve as a roadmap for successful workplace litigation and a valuable resource for civil-rights research. It will also spark a debate among scholars, lawyers, and others in the legal community over the use of procedure to alter substantive worker rights.

 

 

 

 

August 29, 2017 in Recent Scholarship, Supreme Court Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Leong on Mika on Gender Disparity of Supreme Court Advocates

Now on the Courts Law section of JOTWELL is Nancy Leong’s essay, On Gender Disparity and Dialogue. Nancy reviews Jennifer Mika’s recent article, The Noteworthy Absence of Women Advocates at the United States Supreme Court, 25 Amer. U. J. of Gender, Soc. Pol’y & Law 1 (2017).

 

 

 

 

June 22, 2017 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Levy on Grove on Judicial Independence

This week on the Courts Law section of JOTWELL is Marin Levy’s essay, Rethinking Judicial Independence. Marin review’s Tara Grove’s recent article, The Origins (and Fragility) of Judicial Independence, which is forthcoming in the Vanderbilt Law Review.

 

 

 

June 7, 2017 in Federal Courts, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Thomas on Wistrich and Rachlinski on Judges and Implicit Bias

This week on the Courts Law section of JOTWELL is Suja Thomas’s essay, What Judges Can Do About Implicit Bias. Suja reviews Andrew Wistrich & Jeffrey Rachlinski’s contribution to a new American Bar Association book entitled Ensuring Justice: Reducing Bias (Sarah Redfield ed., forthcoming 2017). Their chapter is Implicit Bias in Judicial Decision Making: How It Affects Judgment and What Judges Can Do About It.

 

 

 

 

May 24, 2017 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mulligan on Subrin & Main on State Adoption of FRCP Amendments

This week on the Courts Law section of JOTWELL is Lou Mulligan’s essay, But the Feds Do It That Way!

Lou reviews a recent article by Steve Subrin and Thom Main, Braking the Rules: Why State Courts Should Not Replicate Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, 67 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 501 (2016).

 

 

 

May 12, 2017 in Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Recent Scholarship, State Courts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Murray on Harmless Error Review (and a Response by Garrett)

Justin Murray has published A Contextual Approach to Harmless Error Review, 130 Harv. L. Rev. 1791 (2017). Here’s the abstract:

Harmless error review is profoundly important, but arguably broken, in the form that courts currently employ it in criminal cases. One significant reason for this brokenness lies in the dissonance between the reductionism of modern harmless error methodology and the diverse normative ambitions of criminal procedure. Nearly all harmless error rules used by courts today focus exclusively on whether the procedural error under review affected the result of a judicial proceeding. I refer to these rules as “result-based harmless error review.” The singular preoccupation of result-based harmless error review with the outputs of criminal processes stands in marked contrast with criminal procedure’s broader ethical vision, which also encompasses non-result-related interests such as providing defendants with space for autonomous decisionmaking, enforcing compliance with nondiscrimination norms, and making transparent the inner workings of criminal justice.

The vast scholarship relating to result-based harmless error review, though deeply critical of its current role in the administration of justice, has not put forward an alternative method of harmless error review that courts might realistically consider using. Commentators in this area have devoted much of their energy toward persuading courts to exempt large swaths of criminal procedure from harmless error review entirely and thus to require automatic reversal for errors involving exempted rules. Instead, courts have done just the opposite by subjecting an ever-expanding list of errors to harmless error review, and there is no reason to think this trend will abate in the foreseeable future.

I attempt in this Article to chart a different course. My proposal, called “contextual harmless error review,” has two essential features. First, it would assess harm in relation to the constellation of interests served by the particular procedural rule that was infringed and would not, as under existing law, automatically confine the harmless error inquiry to estimating the error’s effect on the outcome. Second, contextual harmless error review would examine whether the error harmed the interests identified in the first step of the analysis to a degree substantial enough to justify reversal.

Brandon Garrett has published a response, Patterns of Error, 130 Harv. L. Rev. F. 287 (2017).

 

 

 

May 11, 2017 in Federal Courts, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Illinois Law Review Online Symposium on Trump’s First 100 Days

Here is the link.

 

 

 

May 3, 2017 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Platt on Administrative Summary Judgment

Alex Platt has posted on SSRN a draft of his article, Unstacking the Deck: Administrative Summary Judgment and Political Control, which will be published in the Yale Journal of Law & Regulation. Here’s the abstract:

The Administrative Procedure Act’s provisions on formal adjudication give individuals charged in administrative enforcement actions the right to an in-person oral hearing. But not always. Agency prosecutors can circumvent formal hearing procedures without the consent of the defendant by resolving cases on “administrative summary judgment.” A 1971 Harvard Law Review Article endorsed this procedure as a way for agency prosecutors to avoid “futile” hearings, and courts have upheld it based on the same technocratic approach. Yet administrative procedure is not merely an instrument to be expertly calibrated by administrators; it is a mechanism of political control. When Congress assigns enforcement of a given program to a formal adjudication regime, it is exercising its authority to “stack the deck,” giving defendants access to elaborate procedural protections and limiting or channeling the enforcement program. Administrative summary judgment “unstacks the deck” – it unwinds Congress’s procedural controls and allows an agency to recalibrate its enforcement priorities.

At the Securities and Exchange Commission, many administrative proceedings are now resolved on “summary disposition” without any in-person hearing. The recent expansion of summary dispositions has facilitated a broad shift in the agency’s enforcement priorities towards easy-to-prosecute offenses, enabling the agency to show Congress a “record number of enforcement actions” year after year. That figure has (apparently) significant political value, but does not indicate anything about the effectiveness of the SEC’s enforcement program.

Setting enforcement priorities is a critical function for agencies like the SEC that are charged with enforcing a vast and complex array of legal obligations but which have resources to pursue only a relatively small number of possible violations. Securities scholars have long debated the SEC’s enforcement priorities, but have overlooked the role administrative adjudication procedure plays in shaping those priorities – as both a vehicle for Congressional control and administrative rebellion.

 

 

 

April 27, 2017 in Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Thornburg on Hoffman on Pleading

Now on the Courts Law section of JOTWELL is Beth Thornburg’s essay, A Well-Pleaded Argument. Beth reviews Lonny Hoffman’s recent piece, Plausible Theory, Implausible Conclusions, 83 U. Chicago L. Rev. Online 143 (2016).

 

 

 

April 24, 2017 in Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Recent Scholarship, Twombly/Iqbal, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Morley on Spokeo, Standing & the Quasi-Hohfeldian Plaintiff

Michael Morley has posted on SSRN a draft of his essay, Spokeo: The Quasi-Hohfeldian Plaintiff and the Non-Federal Federal Question. Here’s the abstract:

In Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, the Supreme Court held that, to have a justiciable claim in federal court under a federal statute, a plaintiff must show that it suffered a “particularized” and “concrete” injury. Even when Congress creates a cause of action, Article III requires federal courts to ensure that the plaintiff has suffered a sufficiently concrete injury before exercising jurisdiction over its claim. 

Spokeo requires us to re-think the traditional dichotomy between Hohfeldian plaintiffs, who have suffered concrete and particularized injury, and non-Hohfeldian (or ideological) plaintiffs, who have suffered no such harm. The case requires recognition of a third category: the quasi-Hohfeldian plaintiff, who has suffered a particularized injury because its statutory rights were violated, but no concrete harm because the violation caused no real damage. At first blush, Spokeo appears to bar quasi-Hohfeldian plaintiffs from federal court. Congress can easily allow federal courts to exercise jurisdiction over their claims, however, simply by statutorily redesignating such plaintiffs as relators, relabeling statutory damages as civil fines, and recharacterizing private rights of action as qui tam claims brought on behalf of the Government.

Continue reading

April 13, 2017 in Federal Courts, Recent Scholarship, Standing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Rave on MDL Closure Provisions

Teddy Rave has posted on SSRN his article, Closure Provisions in MDL Settlements, 85 Fordham L. Rev. 2175 (2017). Here’s the abstract:

Closure has value in mass litigation. Defendants often insist on it as a condition of settlement, and plaintiffs who can deliver it may be able to command a premium. But in multidistrict litigation (MDL), which currently makes up over one-third of the federal docket, closure depends on individual claimants deciding to participate in a global settlement. Accordingly, MDL settlement designers often include terms designed to encourage claimants to opt in to the settlement and discourage them from continuing to litigate. Some of these terms have been criticized as unduly coercive and as benefiting the negotiating parties — the defendant and the lead lawyers for the plaintiffs — at claimants’ expense. But closure strategies vary widely and operate on claimants in complex ways. This Article examines closure provisions in recent publicly available MDL settlements. It creates a taxonomy of closure strategies, exploring how they work to ensure claimant participation and how they affect claimant choice and welfare. And it closes with a call for MDL judges to take a more active role in supervising and evaluating the terms of global settlements in MDLs.

 

 

 

 

April 12, 2017 in MDLs, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Gold on Clientless Lawyers

Russell Gold has posted on SSRN his article, “Clientless” Lawyers, 92 Wash. L. Rev. 87 (2017). Here’s the abstract:

Class counsel and prosecutors have a lot more in common than scholars realize. These lawyers have clients, but their clients are diffuse and lack a formal decisionmaking structure. Because of the nature of their clients, class counsel and prosecutors have to make decisions for their clients that one would ordinarily expect clients to make — and indeed that legal ethics rules would expressly require clients to make in other contexts — such as decisions concerning objectives of representation or whether to settle or plead guilty. Both complex litigation and criminal law scholars recognize that these lawyers’ self-interests diverge from their clients’ interests. But the complex litigation and criminal law literatures discuss the ensuing accountability problem solely in their own spheres. This article considers the insights about accountability that complex litigation can learn from criminal law.

More specifically, the article argues that although there are real differences between the two systems, these differences do not justify the completely different approaches to accountability that the two contexts employ. Rather, the comparison suggests that internal checks within class counsel’s firm, between plaintiffs’ firms, or between third-party funders and class counsel can improve accountability, much as internal checks improve accountability within some prosecutors’ offices.

 

 

 

 

 

April 7, 2017 in Class Actions, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Pfander on Morley on Erie and Federal Equity

Now on the Courts Law section of JOTWELL is Jim Pfander’s essay, Erie and Equity. Jim reviews Michael Morley’s recent article, The Federal Equity Power.

 

 

 

 

April 6, 2017 in Federal Courts, Recent Scholarship, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Engstrom on Retaliatory RICO and Tort Litigation

Nora Freeman Engstrom has posted on SSRN her article, Retaliatory RICO and the Puzzle of Fraudulent Claiming, 115 Mich. L. Rev. 639 (2017). Here’s the abstract:

Over the past century, the allegation that the tort liability system incentivizes legal extortion and is chock-full of fraudulent claims has dominated public discussion and prompted lawmakers to ever-more-creatively curtail individuals’ incentives and opportunities to seek redress. Unsatisfied with these conventional efforts, in recent years, at least a dozen corporate defendants have "discovered” a new fraud-fighting tool. They’ve started filing retaliatory RICO suits against plaintiffs and their lawyers and experts, alleging that the initiation of certain nonmeritorious litigation constitutes racketeering activity—while tort reform advocates have applauded these efforts and exhorted more “courageous” companies to follow suit.

Curiously, though, all of this has taken place against a virtual empirical void. Is the tort liability system actually brimming with fraudulent claims? No one knows. There has been no serious attempt to analyze when, how often, or under what conditions fraudulent claiming proliferates. Similarly, tort reformers support RICO’s use because, they say, conventional mechanisms to deter fraud fall short. But are conventional mechanisms insufficient? Hard to say, as there is no comprehensive inventory of the myriad formal and informal mechanisms already in use; nor do we have even a vague sense of how those mechanisms actually operate. Further, though courts have started to green-light retaliatory RICO actions, no one has carefully analyzed whether these suits are, on balance, beneficial. Indeed, few have so much as surfaced relevant risks. Addressing these questions, this Article attempts to bring overdue attention to a problem central to the tort system’s operation and integrity.

 

 

 

 

March 29, 2017 in Class Actions, Mass Torts, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)