Thursday, June 2, 2011
Wendy Gerwick Couture (pictured) and B. Clifford Gerwick III (University of Idaho College of Law and affiliation not provided to SSRN) has posted The Evolutionary Biology of Fungi and Fraud (John Marshall Law Journal, Vol. V, No. 1, 2011) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In this essay, the authors – a law professor and a plant biologist – offer a fresh perspective on the use of broad federal fraud statutes to combat fraud by drawing a comparison with the use of multi-site fungicides to combat plant disease. Multi-site fungicides are effective at preventing the evolution of resistant strains of fungi, but they are subject to increased regulatory scrutiny amid concerns about off-target toxicity. Similarly, broad fraud statutes serve as a stopgap to prevent the evolution of new types of fraud, but they are widely criticized as unduly vague and as interfering with the operation of specific fraud statutes. Plant biologists’ successful alternatives to multi-site fungicides inform the discussion of alternative ways to combat fraud that avoid the problems associated with broad fraud statutes.