September 14, 2012
Is Boyz II Men v. Aaron Rodgers the New Lucy v. Zehmer?
Last night, the Green Bay Packers redeemed themselves against the Chicago Bears after a disappointing Week 1 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. However, the Packers' quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, still has not redeemed himself after allegedly backing out on a bet with Nathan Morris of the R&B group, Boyz II Men. The terms of their original deal reportedly were as follows: (i) Boyz II Men agreed to perform the national anthem before the Packers' week 1 game with the 49ers at Lambeau Field; and (ii) in exchange, Aaron Rodgers agreed to wear a 49ers jersey but only if the Packers lost to the 49ers. (Even though Boyz II Men were part of the "East Coast Family" of the 1990s, they're apparently fans of a West Coast NFL team, the San Francisco 49ers. But I digress.) Sounds like a pretty straightforward promise to perform in exchange for a promise to perform subject to a condition precedent, right? Well, Boyz II Men performed, and the 49ers won, but... Aaron Rodgers has not worn the 49ers jersey. Cue the Twittersphere and TMZ. Rodgers, like Zehmer, claims that his jersey-wearing promise was a joke. In this interview clip, Rodgers says, "It was a [unintelligible] joke between friends" that's been "blown out of proportion." Morris claims it was a serious deal, tweeting after the game that he "was pressing the jersey now." However, Boyz II Men also suggested they will give Aaron Rodgers more time to perform. If not, anyone want to represent them against Rodgers? Or is this the End of the Road for this matter?
[Heidi R. Anderson]
September 13, 2012
CSLSA Conference: Submission Deadline Approaching
Annual Scholarship Conference
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
The Central States Law Schools Association 2012 Scholarship Conference will be held October 19 and 20, 2012 at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, in Cleveland, Ohio. We invite law faculty from across the country to submit proposals to present papers or works in progress.
The purpose of CSLSA is to foster scholarly exchanges among law faculty across legal disciplines. The annual CSLSA conference is a forum for legal scholars, especially more junior scholars, to present working papers or finished articles on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment. More mature scholars have an opportunity to test new ideas in a less formal setting than is generally available for their work.
To allow scheduling of the conference, please send an abstract of no more than 500 words to Secretary Missy Lonegrass at Missy.Lonegrass@law.lsu.edu by September 22, 2012. Any late submissions will be considered on a space available basis only.
For those who are interested, the CSLSA mentorship program pairs interested junior scholars with more senior mentors in their fields of expertise to provide feedback on their presentations or papers. To participate in the mentorship program as either a mentor or mentee, please contact Vice-President Elizabeth Young at email@example.com.
In keeping with tradition, CSLSA is able to pay for one night’s lodging for presenters from member schools. If a school is interested in joining CSLSA and has not received an invoice, please contact Treasurer Carolyn Dessin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about CSLSA, visit our website at http://cslsa.us/.
September 12, 2012
Student's Claims Against Dental School Brushed Aside
The Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) dismissed Sung Yeun Park, citing her lack of professionalism, failing grades, and breach of confidentiality rules. Park sought readmission through a suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging breach of contract, as well as equal protection and due process violations. The district court dismissed Park’s claims for failure to state a claim, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed in Park v. Indiana University School of Dentistry.
Park alleged that IUSD breached its contract with her by failing to follow the dismissal procedures found in IUSD’s Student Handbook and Codes of Conduct, making her claim similar to those in the more successful Georgia case, Barnes v. Board of Regents, about which we recently blogged. While the Seventh Circuit expressed some skepticism that there was an implied contract between IUSD and its students, Indiana courts in any case take a deferential approach to educational institutions' processes for student discipline. The court noted that “literal adherence to internal rules will not be required where the dismissal rests upon expert judgments as to academic or professional standards.” The faculty at IUSD determined that Park “failed to progress in her professional development and failed to demonstrate fitness to practice” at the level deemed to be required. Because there was no indication that the decision was made in bad faith, the Seventh Circuit refused to second-guess the judgment of the administration, thereby determining Park had no claim for breach of contract.
Her due process argument amounted to a claim that her constitutional rights were violated because the IUSD had not followed the appropriate procedures, but her the Court found that her contractual interest is protected by state contracts law, not the federal constitution. Nor did the Court accept Park's claim that her inability to pursue her chosen career path constituted a substantive due process violation. The complaint contained insufficient allegations to state an equal protection claim.
The Seventh Circuit suggested that Park's claims could also have been dismissed on sovereign immunity grounds, but IUSD for some reason waived that defense by not raising it.
[Christina Phillips and JT]
New in Print
Robert Force, The Regal-Beloit Decision: What, if Anything, Would Happen to the Legal Regime for Multimodal Transport in the United States if It Adopted the Rotterdam Rules, 36 Tul. Mar. L.J. 685 (2012)
Joseph G. Grasso and Elisabeth A. Pimentel, Interpretation and Enforceability of Indemnity Provisions in Maritime Contracts: We Really Do Have to Ask, Is It Salty Enough? 24 U.S.F. Mar. L.J. 375 (2011-12)
Benjamin West Janke and Francois-Xavier Licari. Enforcing Punitive Damage Wwards in France after Fountaine Pajot, 60 Am. J. Comp. L. 775 (2012)
Cecile Legros, Relations between the Rotterdam Rules and the Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Road, 36 Tul. Mar. L.J. 725 (2012)
Guy Manchuk, Armed Guards, Marine Insurance, and the Implied Warranty of Legality, 24 U.S.F. Mar. L.J. 309 (2011-12).
Jon D. Michaels, Private Military Firms, the American Precedent, and the Arab Spring. 48 Stan. J. Int'l L. 277 (2012)
Suzanna Sherry, Hogs Get Slaughtered at the Supreme Court, 2011 Sup. Ct. Rev. 1.
Rick Strange and Thomas Fahring, Rights of First Refusal and Package Oil and Gas Transactions. 53 S. Tex. L. Rev. 29 (2011)
D. Rhidian Thomas, Multimodalism and Through Tansport--Language, Concepts, and Categories. 36 Tul. Mar. L.J. 761 (2012)
September 11, 2012
Weekly Top Tens from the Social Science Research Network
September 10, 2012
Contracts Limerick of the Week: Angel v. Murray
The Kunz & Chomsky casebook contains a bounty of new cases that provide interesting perspectivs on contracts doctrine. Angel v. Murray is a vehicle for exploring the doctine of prior consideration/contract modification.
The City of Newport entered into a five-year contract with Maher for refuse collection, with a contract price of $137,000/year. Three years in, Maher requested an additional $10,000/year on the ground that the city had added 400 new dwelling units, which was unexpected, since the city had been growing at a rate of 20-25 new units per year. Under R.2d § 89, the case seems a no brainer. The modification is "fair and equitable in view of circumstances not anticipated by the parties at the time the contract was made."
The case would be more interesting if Mr. Maher were actually named Mr. Soprano and we had suspicions about the real reasons for the increase in the payments. We can imagine that such a Mr. Maher might defend himself as follows:
As Maher explained at Da Bing!
Waste management’s really our t’ing
It costs some cannoli
To dump your e coli;
‘Dis isn’t about buyin’ bling.
I thought I was done writing Limericks, but then I switched to the Kunz & Chomsky casebook and got inspired. In short,