Showing posts with label pedagogy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pedagogy. Show all posts

Friday, May 24, 2024

Global Law Classroom unites law students online

Law faculty around the world are organizing the Global Law Classroom to debut in the fall semester of 2024.

Global Law Classroom (GLC) brings together law students from participating countries via Zoom to study and discuss contemporary issues in comparative and international law. GLC started as a project of the European Legal Practice Integrated Studies program (ELPIS), under the EU Erasmus umbrella. 

The program was conceived and is coordinated by Melanie Reid, associate dean of faculty at the Duncan School of Law, Lincoln Memorial University. I've participated on the plenary faculty and as contributing faculty on the environmental law team and human rights team, developing academic modules in those areas. My students in three-credit-hour Comparative Law in the fall will participate in the GLC for one-third of their class-hours.

Besides human rights and environmental law, modules include criminal law, cybersecurity, anti-discrimination, and artificial intelligence, as well as an introduction to global lawyering and a negotiation exercise on climate risks.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Free torts textbook ready for academic year 2024-25


TORTZ: A Study of American Tort Law is complete and revised for the coming academic year 2024-25.

The two-volume textbook is posted for free download from SSRN (vol. 1, vol. 2), and available in hardcopy from Lulu.com at cost, about $30 per volume plus shipping.

This final iteration of the book now, for the first time, includes its final three chapters: (16) interference and business torts, (17) government liability and civil rights, and (18) tort alternatives.


TORTZ TABLE OF CONTENTS

Volume 1

Chapter 1: Introduction

A. Welcome
B. The Fundamental Problem
C. Parameters
D. Etymology and Vocabulary
E. “The Pound Progression”
F. Alternatives
G. Review

Chapter 2: Intentional Torts

A. Introduction
B. Assault

1. History
2. The Restatement of Torts
3. Subjective and Objective Testing
4. Modern Rule
5. Transferred Intent
6. Statutory Torts and Harassment

C. Battery

1. Modern Rule
2. The Eggshell Plaintiff
3. Knowledge of a Substantially Certain Result
4. Common Law Evolution and Battered Woman Syndrome

D. False Imprisonment

1. Modern Rule
2. Problems

E. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (IIED)

1. Dynamic Intent
2. Modern Rule
3. The “Heart Balm” Torts

F. Fraud

1. Fraud in Context
2. Modern Rule
3. Pleading Fraud
4. Exercise

G. The “Process” Torts

1. Innate Imprecision
2. Modern Rule
3. Majority Rejection of Malicious Civil Prosecution

H. “Prima Facie Tort”

1. Origin of Intentional Tort
2. Modern Rule

Chapter 3: Defenses to Intentional Torts 

A. Introduction
B. Defenses of Self, Other, and Property
C. The Spring Gun Case
D. Arrest Privilege and Merchant’s Privilege
E. Consent

1. Modern Rule
2. Scope of Consent
3. Medical Malpractice
4. Limits of Consent

F. Consent in Sport, or Recklessness

1. The Problem of Sport
2. Recklessness

Chapter 4: Negligence

A. Introduction
B. Modern Rule
C. Paradigmatic Cases
D. Historical and Theoretical Approaches to Negligence

1. Origin
2. Foreseeability
3. Custom
4. Augmented Standards
5. Economics

a. Introduction
b. “The Hand Formula”
c. Coase Theorem, Normativity, and Transaction Costs

6. Aristotelian Justice
7. Insurance and Loss-Spreading

E. Landowner Negligence, or Premises Liability

1. Theory of Duty and Standards of Breach
2. Common Law Tripartite Approach
3. Variations from the Unitary Approach in the Third Restatement
4. Applying the Framework, and Who Decides

F. Responsibility for Third-Party Conduct

1. Attenuated Causation, or “the Frances T.  Problem”: Negligence Liability in Creating Opportunity for a Criminal or Tortious Actor
2. Vicarious Liability and Attenuated Causation in the Employment Context: Respondeat Superior and “Direct” Negligence Theories

G. Statutory Torts and Negligence Per Se

1. Statutory Torts
2. Negligence Per Se

a. Introduction
b. Threshold Test
c. Three Mile Island

H. Medical Negligence
I. Spoliation of Evidence

1. Introduction
2. Minority Rule
3. Recognition or Non-Recognition of the Tort Approach
4. Majority Approach

J. Beyond Negligence

Chapter 5: Defenses to Negligence

A. Express Assumption of Risk (EAOR)
B. EAOR in Medical Negligence, and the Informed Consent Tort

1. Development of the Doctrine
2. The “Reasonable Patient” Standard
3. Modern Rule of Informed Consent
4. Causation in Informed Consent
5. Experimental Medicine

C. “Implied Assumption of Risk” (IAOR)

1. Everyday Life
2. Twentieth-Century Rule
3. Play and Sport
4. Work

D. Contributory Negligence

1. Twentieth-Century Rule
2. Complete Defense
3. Vitiation by “Last Clear Chance”

E. Comparative Fault
F. IAOR in the Age of Comparative Fault

1. The Demise of “IAOR”
2. Whither “Secondary Reasonable IAOR”?
3. Revisiting Mrs. Palsgraf at Gulfway General Hospital

G. Statutes of Limitations
H. Imputation of Negligence

Chapter 6: Subjective Standards

A. Introduction
B. Gender

1. The Reasonable Family
2. When Gender Matters

C. Youth

1. When Youth Matters
2. Attractive Nuisance
3. When Youth Doesn’t Matter

D. Mental Limitations

1. General Approach
2. Disputed Policy

Chapter 7: Strict Liability

A. Categorical Approach
B. Non-Natural Use of Land
C. Abnormally Dangerous Activities

1. Defining the Class
2. Modern Industry

D. Product Liability

1. Adoption of Strict Liability
2. Modern Norms
3. “Big Tobacco”
4. Frontiers of Product Liability

Chapter 8: Necessity

A. The Malleable Concept of Necessity
B. Necessity in Tort Law
C. Making Sense of Vincent
D. Necessity, the Liability Theory

Chapter 9: Damages

A. Introduction
B. Vocabulary of Damages
C. Theory of Damages
D. Calculation of Damages
E. Valuation of Intangibles
F. Remittitur
G. Wrongful Death and Survival Claims

1. Historical Common Law
2. Modern Statutory Framework

a. Lord Campbell’s Act and Wrongful Death
b. Survival of Action After Death of a Party

3. Problems of Application

H. “Wrongful Birth” and “Wrongful Life”
I. Punitive Damages

1. Introduction
2. Modern Rule
3. Pinpointing the Standard

J. Rethinking Death Compensation

Volume 2

Chapter 10: Res Ipsa Loquitur

A. Basic Rules of Proof
B. Res Ipsa Loquitur (RIL)

1. Modern Rule
2. Paradigmatic Fact Patterns

Chapter 11: Multiple Liabilities

A. Introduction
B. Alternative Liability
C. Joint and Ancillary Liability
D. Market-Share Liability Theory
E. Indemnification, Contribution, and Apportionment

1. Active-Passive Indemnity
2. Contribution and Apportionment
3. Apportionment and the Effect of Settlement

F. Rules and Evolving Models in Liability and Enforcement
G. Review and Application of Models

Chapter 12: Attenuated Duty and Causation

A. Introduction
B. Negligence Per Se Redux

1. The Problem in Duty
2. The Problem in Causation
3. The Problem in Public Policy

C. Duty Relationships and Causation Timelines

1. Introduction
2. Frances T. Redux, or Intervening Criminal Acts
3. Mental Illness and Tarasoff Liability
4. Dram Shop and Social Host Liability
5. Rescue Doctrine and “the Fire Fighter Rule”

a. Inverse Rules of Duty
b. Application and Limits

6. Palsgraf: The Orbit and the Stream

a. The Classic Case
b. A Deeper Dig

D. Principles of Duty and Causation

1. Duty
2. Causation

a. The Story of Causation
b. Proximate Cause in the Second Restatement
c. Scope of Liability in the Third Restatement
d. Proximate Cause in the Third Restatement, and Holdover Rules
e. A Study of Transition: Doull v. Foster

E. The Outer Bounds of Tort Law

1. Balancing the Fundamental Elements
2. Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress (NIED)

a. Rule of No Liability
b. Bystanders and Borderline NIED

3. Economic Loss Rule

a. The Injury Requirement
b. Outer Limits of Tort Law
c. Loss in Product Liability and the Single Integrated Product Rule

Chapter 13: Affirmative Duty

A. Social Policy
B. The American Rule
C. Comparative Perspectives
D. Bystander Effect, or “Kitty Genovese Syndrome”

Chapter 14: Nuisance and Property Torts

A. Trespass and Conversion
B. Private Nuisance
C. Public Nuisance and the Distinction Between Private and Public
D. “Super Tort”

Chapter 15: Communication and Media Torts

A. Origin of “Media Torts”
B. Defamation

1. Framework and Rules
2. Defamation of Private Figures

a. Defamation Proof
b. Defamation Defense

3. Anti-SLAPP Defense
4. Section 230 Defense
5. Constitutional Defamation

a. Sea Change: New York Times Co. v. Sullivan
b. Extending Sullivan
c. Reconsidering Sullivan

C. Invasion of Privacy

1. Framework and Rules

a. Disclosure
b. Intrusion
c. False Light
d. Right of Publicity
e. Data Protection

2. Constitutional Privacy and False Light
3. Demonstrative Cases

a. Disclosure and Intrusion
b. Right of Publicity
c. Bollea v. Gawker Media

4. Data Protection, Common Law, and Evolving Recognition of Dignitary Harms

Chapter 16: Interference and Business Torts

A. Business Torts in General

1. Tort Taxonomy
2. The Broad Landscape
3. Civil RICO

B. Wrongful Termination
C. Tortious Interference

Chapter 17: Government Liability and Civil Rights

A. Sovereign Immunity

1. Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) and Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)
2. Text and History of the FTCA
3. Discretionary Function Immunity

B. Civil Rights

1. “Constitutional Tort”
2. Core Framework
3. Official Immunities
4. Climate Change

C. Qui Tam
D. Human Rights

1. Alien Tort Statute
2. Anti-Terrorism Laws

Chapter 18: Tort Alternatives

A. Worker Compensation

1. Introduction and History
2. Elements and Causation
3. Efficacy and Reform

B. Ad Hoc Compensation Funds

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Culp's critical perspectives endure in Chang lecture

Prof. Chang
Seattle Law

Professor Robert S. Chang delivered the inaugural Jerome M. Culp, Jr. Critical Theory Lecture at Duke Law School February 1.

Chang is professor of law and executive director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law. He spoke on, "How Do We Come to Participate in the Struggles of Those Who Are Not Us?" The lecture is posted at Panopto and on YouTube (embedded below, at bottom).

Chang traced contemporary racial differences in American history from the burning of Jamestown, Va., in the 17th century to the Civil War, Chinese exclusion laws, and, ultimately, the legal battle over affirmative action. Born in Korea, Chang's work emerges from ethnic perspective and personal experience growing up in small-town America.

My alma mater, Duke Law doesn't need me to do public relations. I mention the Chang lecture because of Professor Culp, for whom the lecture series is named. Culp was the first person of color to earn tenure at Duke Law, where he taught from 1985 until his death in 2004. He was, as Duke recounted, an internationally acclaimed critical theorist.

Culp also was my torts professor. As I tell students today, at that time, I didn't well understand Culp's MO. I suffered the common 1L affliction of wanting to know just what I needed to know. I yet saw law as learnable vocation, not profession, law school as mere trade school, not intellectual engagement with law and society. Culp didn't seem to be doing his part to make me a billboard attorney who could litigate a car accident.

I got past those hurdles. In time, I had the immeasurable good fortune of knowing Culp as a fellow academic. I came to understand that his 1L pedagogy was a cleverly subtle and seductive inculcation in critical theory. I came to appreciate him as one of my best law professors. His pedagogy powerfully shaped my approach to teaching torts, not to mention thinking about law and society in general. Culp is one of three academics to whom my Tortz textbook is dedicated.

The start of the Chang lecture video (from 2:05 to 7:50 at Panopto; YouTube cued and embedded below) features Professor Culp himself, some 20 years ago, complemented by affecting images, talking about his own life and how it motivated him to study and teach law.


To be clear, I'm not wholly in agreement with Chang on the merits of his talk, even if Culp might have been. Chang concludes that the U.S. Supreme Court decision contra affirmative action in 2023 represents an "intensification" of white racial identity and resurgent white supremacy. Chang's conclusion contains a kernel of concerning merit, but also provocatively overstates the matter.

I rather agree with what Professor Josh Blackman told an ABA program on viewpoint diversity at the Midyear Meeting in Louisville, Ky., last week: there has to be room to express a view of what the Fourteenth Amendment means, even if contra the acceptable "woke" ideology, without being branded "racist." 

Critical theory to me is, let's say, critical for exposing fault lines in our society that run contrary to our values and demand remediation. Accordingly, critical approaches form vital threads in my teaching.

But critical race theory does more harm than good when it muddies the distinction between malevolent racism and systemic inequality. And many adherents to critical theory (not necessarily Chang or Culp) go a dangerous measure further, encouraging generalizations about persons' intentions based on their skin color. I can't sign on to that.

Nevertheless, that some critical perspectives sit poorly with me doesn't mean we should avoid discussing them. Chang's lecture is a superb and coherent survey of race and American history with thought provoking implications for our time.

A nephew of mine (as a matter of fact, a young man who is racially Korean and grew up in small-town America) recently suggested to me that adults of my (13th) generation can sometimes be wrong.

I'm considering the possibility.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

TORTZ volume 2 unpacks duty, causation, damages, introduces nuisance, defamation, privacy

Tortz volume 2 is now available for affordable purchase from Lulu.com and for free PDF download from SSRN.

Tortz volume 2 follows up volume 1 (Lulu, SSRN, The Savory Tort), published in 2023 and pending update this year. I am using Tortz volumes 1 and 2 with students in my American tort law classes in the United States and in Poland this academic year.

The two-volume Tortz textbook represents a survey study of American tort law suitable to American 1L students and foreign law students. In volume 1, the first eight chapters cover the fundamentals of the culpability spectrum from intentional torts to negligence to strict liability.

Volume 2 comprises chapters 9 to 15: (9) damages, (10) res ipsa loquitur, (11) multiple liabilities, (12) attenuated duty and causation, (13) affirmative duty, (14) nuisance and property torts, and (15) communication and media torts. 

Contemporary content in Tortz volume 2 includes exercises in pure several liability; treatment of opioid litigation in public nuisance law; recent criticism of New York Times v. Sullivan in defamation law; and exposure to common law developments in privacy law, such as the extension of fiduciary obligations to protect personal information.

Three final chapters will be added to Tortz volume 2 for a revised edition later in 2024: (16) interference and business torts, (17) government claims and liabilities, “constitutional tort,” and statutory tort, and (18) worker compensation and tort alternatives. Any teacher who would like to have copies of draft materials for these chapters in the spring is welcome to contact me.

Tortz is inspired by the teachings of Professor Marshall Shapo, a mentor to whom I am deeply indebted. Marshall passed away in November 2023.

My thanks to Professor Christopher Robinette, Southwestern Law School, who kindly noted the publication of Tortz volume 2 on TortsProf Blog even before I got to it here.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Professor Marshall Shapo leaves extraordinary legacy

Marshall S. Shapo
Northwestern photo by Jasmin Shah
Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha'olam, dayan ha-emet. 

A luminary in American legal education, a brilliant scholar in torts, and a dear mentor and friend, Professor Emeritus Marshall S. Shapo died Friday, at 87, in Chicagoland.

A professor at Northwestern University Law School for more than 40 years, most of his more-than-half-century academic career, Shapo was a prolific scholar and award-winning authority on torts and product liability law. In his books, articles, and teaching, Shapo saw tort law as inextricable from culture, politics, and society. Accordingly, he approached his subject matter holistically, embracing historical, economic, and critical perspectives as all essential, and none alone definitive, to understand the law.

It was that breadth of perspective that prompted me to adopt the second edition of Shapo's Tort and Injury Law as my textbook when I started teaching torts 20 years ago, in 2003. Reflective of Shapo's versatility of mind and insatiable curiosity, his pedagogy challenged students at once with writings in ancient philosophy and religion, and with theories of economics and feminism. References to the Torah appeared alongside excerpts from research in the latest interdisciplinary social science.

I reached out to Marshall in 2003 for guidance in using his book; I did not then suspect that he would become my extraordinary mentor. I was privileged to join Tort and Injury Law as a co-author for the third edition in 2006. My teaching today in torts, and in Tortz, is and forever will be a product of Shapo's worldview. His teaching lives on in my career and classes, and no doubt in the practices and lives of his generations of students and mentees, and theirs in turn.

Yet Tort and Injury Law was a only small part of Marshall's importance to me. Of incalculable value were his insights into academic life, his counsel, especially in times of hardship, and, so often, simply his enduring friendship. As relentlessly busy and productive as he always was, he called me periodically with no agenda, just to check in. However much I wished not to burden him with mundane ups and downs, he somehow, with the skill of a seasoned counselor, elicited my confessions. His humility and wisdom were invariably comforting. Never was there a frustration—a discontented student, a shortsighted colleague—that Shapo had not faced and hurdled already in his career: evidence that I, too, could land well on the other side.

Shapo above else modeled balance of work and life. His obituary honors his surviving wife, Helene—also an inspiring and renowned legal educator—sons, Benjamin and Nathaniel; and six grandchildren and great-grandson.

Appropriately, Shapo's family led off the obituary, before any mention of his career. Marshall himself placed his wife and sons at the top of his CV. Never did I have a catch-up conversation with Marshall in which he did not update me on their well-being. When speaking of grandchildren, he radiated with a joy that not even product liability litigation could evoke. All of his accomplishments and honors as a lawyer and educator meant nothing to him in comparison with his devotion to family.

Marshall, rest in peace.

The Shapo family invites memorial contributions to the American Parkinson's Disease Association, P.O. Box 61420, Staten Island, N.Y. 10306.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Curmudgeon speaks on decline of grammar, civilization

Deteriorating grammar and style conventions signal the crumbling of western civilization.

I'm a grammar-and-style curmudgeon, so take my declaration with a grain of salt. Still, I feel pretty confident about it.

When I was in journalism school, in what was then still called the "print" program, I and my cohort were allowed to make one technical mistake in a story without penalty. 

A freebie. One. Of whatever kind: spelling, grammar, style. After that, the grade plummeted precipitously. I tested the system with carelessness just once, and it was damage enough to deprive me of an A for the semester.

Nowadays I find I have to give student papers separate reads for technical and substance. There are so many technical problems in the average draft that I can't focus on the substance at the same time. I give separate grades for tech and substance, too, before I combine them in a formula weighted in favor of substance.

In fairness, most of my students did not go to journalism school. As American legal education is open to all majors, some students have not written since grade school. Our ranks include accounting majors who took only math-oriented tests in non-liberal arts bachelor's programs. (How is that even a thing?) Where they are on tech is not their fault, but a failure of American K16 education. My foreign students who speak English as a second language usually exhibit better tech skills than the average American 1L—notwithstanding telltale struggle with the confounding rules of definite and indefinite articles.

I'm proud of my daughter, who went to a public school that, exceptionally, emphasized writing. We chose where we live for the school. She didn't love the heavy writing emphasis at the time, and fair enough. But when she went to arts school for university, she was shocked by how poorly prepared her peers were in writing, including those who wished to build careers writing creatively for TV and film. Her skill in writing set her apart, as it continues to in the workforce.

Many students who struggle initially, to their credit, embrace my feedback, readily extrapolate appropriate rules, and greatly improve their writing. Some students masochistically seek out my writing tutelage because they know they've been cheated in their education and want to improve. Of course, a few resent and resist the feedback. The quality of legal writing in the everyday practice of law suggests that they're not wrong about where the norm falls. 

Just spend a few hours in the briefs at any courthouse, and you'll see what I mean. When I started teaching legal writing in 1998, I went to the courthouse in Little Rock, Arkansas, to compile some model practice documents for my students' reference. I found almost nothing I could hold up as exemplary. That was disappointing but educational.

As my reputation precedes me, my 1L students sometimes worry over whether I'll knock them down for grammar on final exams. I won't, I tell them, unless a misusage creates ambiguity or otherwise impedes the reader's understanding. That does happen. But even I have now and then mistyped a "your" instead of "you're" when writing under time pressure, phonetic ideation direct to fingers. Timed exams are not research papers or practice documents.

UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh wrote ably for Reason earlier this week on the use of "they" as a singular pronoun. Like his academic legal writing, his Academic Legal Writing is superb, and I routinely recommend it. Like he, apparently, I have long counseled students on ways to avoid singular constructions that invite the problem of generic gendered pronouns. When working over the text doesn't work—sometimes, the difference between singular and plural is required by legal precision—I recommend "he or she," however cumbersome.

Nowadays the problem of singular "they" bleeds into the issue of gender identity. I am sympathetic with how that "they" emerged amid the failure of "ze" or another creative alternative. When that "they" is used, it is treated grammatically as a plural, even if the person is singular. I'm not here opining on that issue. Professor Volokh gave the best advice, anyway: essentially, know your audience.

I give students the same advice generally. Maybe the judge in your case was an accounting major and will be satisfied as long as you can string sentences together into recognizable paragraphs. But maybe your judge is a curmudgeon. If a student needs a better reason to know the rules than because they're the rules, then it serves to know that it might pay, literally, to be highly fluent in the lingua franca.

I've been thinking about this not only because of Professor Volokh's item, but because I returned to my home state of Rhode Island last week to be confronted with two curiosities on newspaper fronts at my local grocery store.  Here's the Barrington Times of August 13:

Barrington Times, Aug. 16,  2023: "'None of these fields are getting rest.'"

This headline is not necessarily wrong, for a couple of reasons. But it gave me pause, frozen for a time in the grocery store portico.

The conventional wisdom is that the word "none" is a contraction of "not one." So, like "one," usually, "none" should take a singular subject. The line should be, then, "None of these fields is getting rest."

At the same time, what we might call "linguistic originalists" point to a long history of English-language usage tolerating both singular and plural treatment of "none." The rule oft recited today is that "none" should be treated as a plural when it reads as "not any," or when the range of things to which it refers is plural. So if the subject of the headline is "not any of these fields," then "are" is suitable.

I find that rule profoundly unhelpful, because there is no real difference between "not one" and "not any."  "Not one" almost invariably refers to a range of multiple candidates. Many sources on grammar give examples in which plural usage pertains to the subject structure "none of [them/these/etc.]," but that's not a sensible distinction either. The headline statement here is wholly equivalent to "none is getting rest," were the line to appear in a context in which the adjectival phrase "of these fields" were unnecessary for clarity.

Other sources use a flexible rule in which the writer chooses based on emphasis. Treating the subject as singular emphasizes the singularity. That's hardly a rule. But if it pertained, I would contend that the above usage is wrong. For if one field were rested at any given time, there would be no newsworthy assertion that a new field is needed.

I recognize, too, by the way, that the headline is a quote. According to my old-school journalistic rules, a quote can be changed to make it grammatically correct, as long as the grammatical error is not salient to the story. The theory behind the rule is that the ethic of truthfulness yields to the principle of doing no harm (embarrassment) to persons identified in stories. At some point, that approach presents policy challenges around dialect, cultural vernacular, and education policy. But none of those reasons here would preclude changing the quote.

Regardless of where one comes down on the Barrington Times headline, I contend that the treatment of "none" as plural is now widely reflexive. And legal writers do themselves a forensic disservice by failing to consider the choice. If "not one" is the salient concept, then the treatment should be singular. A writer in argument, especially, might be served best by the singular, or even by regressing "none" to its ancestor: for example, "Not one of the bystanders was capable of aiding the plaintiff" is a more potent declaration than "none were," because the former usage emphasizes the existence of multiple counterfactuals.

Here's another front page, from The Rhode Island Wave:

The Rhode Island Wave, Aug. 2023: "Liquor World: Now Open In It's Newest Location."

The subhede on this ad reads: "Now Open / In It's Newest Location."

This is an easy one, and it's definitely wrong. "It's" is a contraction for "it is." The headline does not say, "In It Is Newest Location." The "it's" is rather a possessive and should be "its."

I recognize that the Wave is a free advertiser, and the copy in question appears (horrifically, atop the front page) in an ad. In my book, which, we've established, is unrelentingly curmudgeonly, that doesn't let the editor off the hook. (Just ask The New York Times.) The fact that the Wave is a free advertiser might, though, explain the quality of the journalistic editing.

I see "its"/"it's" errors all the time. It's disheartening. I get that "it's" is initially confusing, because, especially in formal writing, we are accustomed to apostrophes appearing in possessives more often than in contractions. But then you learn the rule, you turn six, and life moves on.

At risk of exceptionalism, I believe that the American model of law as graduate education, open to a full range of undergraduate majors, is a strength of the American legal system. Our bar is populated by a gratifying diversity of knowledge bases, skill sets, and life experiences that are little known in the five-year LL.B. model.

At the same time, and as long as our four-year higher ed system permits disciplinary focus to the exclusion of liberal arts, we in legal education bear a burden to teach American law students how to speak and write in what is for most of them their native tongue.

Monday, June 12, 2023

TORTZ volume 1 now available to print on demand

I'm pleased to announce the publication of TORTZ: A Study of American Tort Law, volume 1 of 2.

Hard copies can be printed at Lulu.com for just $30 plus shipping. A free PDF can be downloaded from SSRN.

Eight chapters cover the fundamentals of the culpability spectrum from intentional torts to negligence to strict liability. After two pilot deployments of content, in 2021 and 2022, this book will be my 1L students' Torts I textbook in fall 2023.

I anticipate publication of volume 2 in 2024.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Comparative law class explores death, migration, more

Publicdomainvectors.org

Law students in my comparative law class examined a range of compelling issues this spring, including medical aid in dying, immigration reform, sexual assault and violence against women, and restorative justice in Islamic law; and we benefited from Zoom guests, who joined from Afghanistan, Belgium, Poland, and America.

Teaching comparative law is a distinctive joy, as I have opined previously, because always there is more to learn. The subject gives students with wide-ranging passions an opportunity to explore previously untapped veins of research. Everyone in the class, including me, shares in the riches that are surfaced.

I owe gratitude to special guests who joined our class via Zoom to enrich our understanding and skills.

  • Sylvia Lissens, a Ph.D. candidate and teaching assistant in comparative law, joined from KU Leuven in Belgium to talk about EU law-making and share a European legal perspective.
  • Ugo S. Stornaiolo Silva, an Ecuadorean lawyer and LL.M. candidate, joined from Jagiellonian University in Poland, to talk about Ecuadorean constitutional law and share a Latin American legal perspective.
  • A Dutch friend (whose name I withhold for his security), a humanitarian aid worker, joined from Kabul, Afghanistan, to talk about aid delivery within domestic legal constraints in the Middle East.
  • Misty Peltz-Steele, a law librarian (and my generous wife), joined from Roger Williams University Law School in Rhode Island to orient students on foreign, comparative, and international legal research.

Next year, I'll be on a break from teaching comparative law, as I tackle two sections of 1L torts. Fortunately, to tide me over, I have a raft of ambitious and thoughtfully developed student research projects on which to ruminate, including the following. I thank our guests and especially thank my students for a rewarding semester.

Sarah Barnes, Dignified Death: A Comparative Analysis of Medical Aid in Dying Between the United States and the Netherlands.  Medical aid in dying (MAID), also known as physician assisted suicide, has been a growing concept globally for several decades. The ethical, moral, and legal issues surrounding the practice have caused some jurisdictions to proceed with caution and others to abandon it completely. While creating processes and procedures around MAID can be complicated and daunting, a few countries have managed to successfully implement a system in which their citizens can participate. The following compares and analyzes two jurisdictions, the United States and the Netherlands, that have managed to provide this practice and allow those who are eligible a way to die with dignity.

Morgan Dunham, Implementing Change: A Call for a Point-Based Immigration System in the United States. As the United States attempts to compete on a global scale with other economic powers, the ability of countries to attract foreign workers to their shores permanently is placed under a microscope. While immigration is a controversial issue across the globe, it is also a growing reality. This paper examines the U.S. employment-based immigration system in comparison with the employment-based hybrid system of the Commonwealth of Australia, focusing on its use of a point-based merit system in screening applicants. In addition, this paper examines attempts by legislators in each country to incorporate elements of the other system to improve efficiency. Through an overview of each country’s paths to legal permanent residency, zones of convergence are analyzed to better highlight the benefits and limitations of each system. 

Jordan Lambdin, "Call Them by Their True Names": Comparing the United States Violence Against Women Act to Chile's Femicide Laws. Violence against women is linked to legal and social institutions, as well as cultural value systems. This project compares the legal systems and codes relating to violence against women in the United States (U.S.) and Chile. The objective of this project is to compare the similarities and differences between the U.S. approach to criminalize domestic violence and Chile’s femicide criminalizing code, namely the lack of a femicide/intimate partner homicide definition or criminalizing statute. This project aims to explain the different U.S. and Chilean cultural and legal responses to criminalizing violence against women. Both systems are part of a global culture of violence against women that aims to physically and culturally destroy women as a group. The result is the repeated destruction and death of many thousands of women.

Sara Zaman, What is a Sexual Offense?: A Legal Comparison Between Pakistan and the United States. Sexual offenses are fairly defined in the same manner across countries. The passage of Pakistan’s Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act of 2006 played a key role in defining sexual assault against women after the Hudood Ordinance of 1979 received severe criticism from the Pakistani population and human rights groups. Likewise, in the United States, the Model Penal Code draft of 1962 also provided a definition of sexual assault. The two documents have striking similarities despite the fact that they were written thousands of miles apart by very distinct cultures. However, the differences are still noted. The laws of both Pakistan and the United States can be improved by comparing and contrasting these two documents and incorporating the necessary and important provisions that they may lack.

[Name withheld for political sensitivity,] Restorative Justice Theory: Iran and USA.  This paper explores the forms of punishment and mitigation related to criminal acts in Iranian and American criminal law, with a predominant focus on the restorative justice theory. The purpose of this paper is to form a comparative analysis between the Restorative Justice theory in Iran and the United States. This paper will touch on subjects such as, why Iran and the United States moved towards to restorative justice theory, how their criminal courts framework function, a comparative analysis of the act of excusing the guilty party in criminal cases between the lawful frameworks and the comparison of Qisas in Iran and restorative justice theory in the U.S. Finally, I will highlight the similarities and differences between the restorative justice theory in Iran and the United States. This paper hopes to clarify the United States construct of justice lacks the critical components of mercy and compassion which are essential towards the attainment of a fair and equitable justice system.  As a guidance for progressing, the U.S. should look at the Iranian criminal justice system as an example of how to provide a fair and just system.

Flags from Flagpedia.net.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

OER saves students money, but printing is too pricey

Markus Büsges (leomaria design)
für Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Open educational resources (OER) are all the rage in higher education, but the cost of hard copies for students remains a problem.

At a panel on OER at a UMass Dartmouth teaching and learning conference in January, I had the privilege of talking about my experience using Tortz, my own textbook for 1L Torts (chapters 1-7 online, remainder in development and coming soon). Ace librarian Emma Wood kindly invited me to co-pontificate with Professor Elisabeth Buck and Dean Shannon Jenkins on a panel, "The Price is Wrong: Lowering Textbook Costs with OER and Other Innovations." Wood is co-author, with law librarian Misty Peltz-Steele (my wife), of Open Your Casebooks Please: Identifying Alternatives to Langdell's Legacy (on this blog).

My campus is pushing for OER, and for good reason. We all know how exorbitant book costs have become for students. And academic authors are hardly beneficiaries of the proceeds. The first book I joined as a co-author in 2006, for 1L Torts, bore a sale price in the neighborhood of $100. I received $1 to $2 per book (and gave to charity the dollars generated by my own students). My students for the last two years have paid nothing for Tortz.  Besides the cost savings, I get to teach from materials I wrote, compiled, and edited, so I know the content and how to use it better than I could anyone else's.

My students' book for 1L Property this past academic year cost $313. It's an excellent book, and I'm not knocking the professor who chose it. Developing my own materials for a foundational course is a labor-intensive project that I felt I could tackle only with the freedom, afforded by tenure, to set my own agenda, and some 20 years' experience teaching torts. At that, I've benefited and borrowed heavily from the pedagogy of a treasured mentor, Professor Marshall Shapo. Without the opportunity to have invested in Tortz, I'd be using a pricey commercial book, too.

A necessary aside: Technically speaking, my book is not OER, because I retain copyright. By definition, I'm told by higher education officials, "OER" must be made available upon a Creative Commons license, or released into the public domain. That's an irrevocable commitment. I'm not willing to do that. In my experience working with higher education institutions around the world, I have found that some out there would seize on freely available intellectual property while profiting handsomely from students desperate for opportunity. In such a case, I would rather negotiate a license and decide myself what to do with any proceeds. I freely licensed Tortz to my own students for the last two years. This is an interesting problem, but for another time.

So Tortz has been working out well. But now I'm looking at a roadblock: hard copies.

For the past two years, I have taught Torts I and II only to small night classes, and I've provided them with hard copies of the text. I made the hard copies on our faculty copiers, and the numbers were small enough not to be of concern for our budget. But beginning in the fall, I'll have two sections of torts, day and night, anticipating 70 or so students. That's too many prints to fold hard copies into the office budget.

I need my students to have hard copies for many reasons. The first issue is comprehension. For me, a reader of a certain age, I still have trouble absorbing content from a screen as well as from a page. When it's important for me to get it, I print a hard copy to read. Many of my law students, of all ages, but especially non-traditional and part-time students, share my preference. When I did a peer teaching observation for my colleague in property law, I saw students using both online and hard-copy versions of the $313 book. A hard-copy user told me that she uses the online version, but still needs to highlight and "engage with the text" to process the content on the first go.

A second issue arises in the exam. I prefer to give my 1L students an open-materials but closed-universe exam. I find that a closed-book exam tests more memorization than analytical skill, while an open-universe exam tests principally resistance to distraction. Regardless, it's my pedagogical choice. The problem is that the exam software we use locks students out of all computer access besides the exam. For any materials they're allowed to have, namely, the book, they need to have an old-fashioned hard copy.

So how to put hard copies in 70 students' hands without re-introducing the cost problem?

As is typical, my university has a contract with a bookstore operator, and book sales are supposed to go through the bookstore. The bookstore uses a contractor for printing. The contractor, XanEdu, after weeks of calculation, priced my book for the fall semester only: a ready-made PDF of 619 pages with basic RGB screen (not photo-quality) color, at $238 per print. That's a non-starter.

Printing at Office Depot would cost just a bit more than that. My university no longer has a print center, but I think its prices when there was one were comparable to retail.

A print-on-demand company, Lulu, was founded by Red Hat tech entrepreneur Bob Young, who became frustrated with the traditional publishing industry when he wanted to tell his own story. Lulu priced out at just $27 per book, which definitely makes one wonder what's going on at XanEdu. Lulu charges about $12 to ship, USPS Priority, but that takes up to 11 business days, which is far too long for students to order only once school starts. Also, it's not clear to me whether I can offer print on demand consistently with the university's bookstore contract. The bookstore has not answered my query as to what the mark-up would be to pre-order copies in bulk from Lulu.

I've kicked the issue upstairs, so to speak, to the law school administration. The associate dean promised to take the question up more stairs, to the university. Budgeting is above my pay grade, after all. I'd like to see the university support OER by volunteering to eat the printing costs. If I'm pleasantly surprised, I'll let you know. It's more likely the university will offer to deduct the costs from my pay.

Anyway, I am excited about OER, or freely licensed "OER," as a game changer for me to be more effective in the classroom. I appreciate that my university supports the OER initiative at least in spirit, and I am grateful to have been included in Emma Wood's thought-provoking discussion with Professor Buck and Dean Jenkins.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Rule of law depends at least in part on how we teach

Differences in legal education between civil law countries and the United States—and analogous divergence in priorities in the American law school classroom—might have ramifications for the rule of law.

Prof. Vernon Palmer leads an Obligations I class.
Tulane Public Relations via Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0
Legal education in the United States and in the civil law countries of Europe are famously different. The American model is identified with case law, the Socratic method, and inductive reasoning. The civil law model is identified with code, lecture, and deductive logic.

Both sides have plusses and minuses, and that might be why, in recent decades, we see signs of change and convergence. American legal education has sought to marginalize the traditional model to one strategy on a menu of effective pedagogies. Meanwhile, many schools in Europe have sought increasingly to import the "Paper Chase" style of classroom engagement.

Teaching periodically in Poland for more than 15 years, I've found students delightfully receptive to the classroom experience that U.S. law students take for granted. I'm inclined to conclude, generalizing of course, that the way U.S. law professors interact with students has the potential to contribute valuably to education in Europe, where lecture still predominates. My U.S. students tend better than their European counterparts to develop forensic skills and to use analogical reasoning.

At the same time, I have found, generalizing again, that my students in Europe are better versed than their American counterparts in the history and philosophy of law. Their understanding of context is informed by a storied Latin vocabulary. They are better able to convert memorized knowledge to application.

There is no doubt that the way law schools teach has an impact on how lawyers work and think about the law. What's less clear is the extent to which this impact represents a normative social advantage—for example, better preparing lawyers to protect human rights and uphold the rule of law.

In recent years, Europe has been struggling with rule-of-law crises in central and eastern Europe. In particular, populist movements embodied in the Duda and Orbán regimes in Poland and Hungary have given rise to disputes over judicial independence. In a similar vein, the Romanian legislature enacted judicial reforms in the late 2010s. 

Ostensibly, the Romanian reforms were implemented to combat corruption. But that's not how Brussels saw it. The reforms wound up before European Union courts, culminating in judgments in 2021 and in 2022. The 2021 judgment of the Grand Chamber has been well regarded as outlining a progressive tolerance for the development of the rule of law while affirming EU supremacy ("primacy") in constitutional law for matters within the union prerogative.

Unfortunately, Romanian resistance to that supremacy caused the Grand Chamber to revisit the problem last year. Notwithstanding the proceedings in European courts, pro-reform domestic authorities and the constitutional court of Romania had upheld the reforms. Authorities moreover asserted that lower court judges could be subject to discipline for testing Romanian constitutional court rulings against the requirements of EU law.

The Grand Chamber held in 2022 that "ordinary courts of a Member State" must be permitted "to examine the compatibility with EU law of national legislation which the constitutional court of that Member State has found to be consistent with a national constitutional provision that requires compliance with the principle of the primacy of EU law"; and that domestic judges may not be disciplined for "departing from case-law of the constitutional court of the Member State concerned that is incompatible with the principle of the primacy of EU law."

At the meeting of the General Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law (IACL) in Asunción, Paraguay, in October, a panel on rule of law examined national reports from 16 countries, including the United States, Poland, Hungary, and Romania. I found especially compelling remarks by the rapporteur for Romania. (I'm sorry that I did not get the rapporteur's name; it does not appear in the composite issue report.)

Law professors everywhere, laudably, want their students to be prepared for any job, the rapporteur said. But European students feel they're trained as if to become judges. Roman heritage, Roman law, he said, is sacred. Motivated to prepare students to do legal reasoning, he said, European law professors train students that there is "only one correct meaning," "one true meaning" of a text, and the students, in turn, "become very formalistic." 

Often, he said, judges then "miss the point" by "applying law automatically." And that was the problem, he opined, with the Romanian constitutional court in upholding the judicial reforms. The court reasoned, he explained, that because rule of law exists in both the Romanian constitution and EU treaties, the court "blindly" concluded that Romanian law comports with EU law. "False," he said; "it's the way in which we teach."

In other words, the Romanian judges assessed black-letter law for comportment with black-letter law without digging beneath the surface. They were ill equipped, or declined, to look beyond formalism to test the law functionally. Moreover, by shielding the constitutional court's analysis from further interrogation in the lower courts, top jurists were excessively insistent on the exclusivity of their prerogative: one true meaning.

I don't know enough about the situation in Romania to assess the merits of the Romanian position, or the EU position, or the perspective of the rapporteur. But I was intrigued by his parting thought:

"I'm astonished," the rapporteur said, that "in the United States, you practically criticize law professors that they don't tell you the true meaning. It would be a pity to change that."

As I wrote recently, law professors in the United States are under great pressure to abandon traditional teaching methods in favor of bar prep and skills readiness. Law schools such as mine place little value on policy, theory, and moral deliberation, but prize memorized law and practice skills. The latter are valuable, to be sure. But it's the former that make law a profession and not mere occupation. 

Prioritization of occupational objectives pressures professors to abandon the traditional teaching strategies of the American model. Cases give way to code, or rules. Inductive reasoning gives way to deduction. Socratic dialog gives way to PowerPoint outlines, recall games, and lectures. This is convergence of a sort. It's not a good sort.

I don't contend that the traditional model of legal education in the United States is superior to other models. Nor would I enshrine the case method to the exclusion of a multitude of teaching strategies. But American legal education in the 20th century excelled at preparing lawyers to turn problems over and examine them through many lenses.

If we do our job right, law professors create a space for creativity to thrive. That creativity defines law as a profession. And only as professionals can lawyers safeguard the rule of law.

It would be a pity to change that.

Me and my mate Octavio Sosa in Paraguay. A first-year engineering student, he plays a mean guitar.
RJ Peltz-Steele CC BY-NC-SA 4.0


 

Friday, July 8, 2022

Student comparative law research spans sport, schools, drugs, recidivism, regs, copyright, crypto


He who learns teaches.

widely cited as an Ethiopian or African proverb, the statement has parallels in other cultures and is sometimes paired with the Latin "qui docet discit," "he who teaches learns"


Image by Gordon Johnson via Pixabay

Because we are reasonable people, we can all agree that Torts is the most important course in law school.

Comparative Law, however, takes the cake as the best course to teach. That's because one can teach it without exhaustive knowledge of the doctrinal subject matter. For no one knows the law of every jurisdiction in the world.

Thus, for me and my co-teacher, a supremely skilled embedded librarian, Comparative Law is a never-ending opportunity to learn from our students. And our students in spring 2022, as in past semesters, had plenty to teach us.

This is a selection of the ambitious paper topics that our Comparative Law students tackled in the spring.

United States, Vietnam. Firaas Z. Akbar, Free Enterprise Versus Freedom to Enterprise: A Comparative Analysis of Entrepreneurship Rights in the United States and Vietnam. Despite pronounced cultural and ideological differences between the republics of the United States and Vietnam, one of the goals shared by both societies is promoting entrepreneurship among their citizens. While not explicitly provided by the U.S. Constitution, free enterprise has impliedly been read into its language through a series of judicial decisions since the nation's founding, within a legal system where courts are bound to follow precedent. Vietnam enshrined a broad right to entrepreneurship into its constitution as part of an effort to transition to a more market-friendly economy. Yet constitutionalism under Vietnam's civil law system works differently, where rights require legislative substantiation to take effect. This analysis explores how Vietnam gives effect to this right and compares this model of promoting entrepreneurship to the U.S. approach.

United Kingdom (pre-/post- Brexit), Switzerland. Alessandro Balbo Forero, The Impact of Brexit on Football. There has been much debate and discussion regarding the UK exit from the European Union in 2020. Brexit had an impact on the sports industry as a whole, leading to debate and discussion by legal sport scholars on football, in particular, the English Premier League (EPL), and whether Brexit is good or bad. The unrestricted movement of players across the European Union is the catalyst for competition and player power. Prior to Brexit, players enjoyed the freedom of movement between EU Member States when their contracts expired. The current Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) requirements established after Brexit restrict player movement, and, thus, players are no longer able to sign with teams in the UK without first satisfying specific requirements that are tied to their respective countries' FIFA rankings. Although players are able to appeal to an exception panel, it is still not guaranteed to be granted a GBE. The Swiss model of player immigration would provide the UK with the best of both worlds. Brexit would still be in place, thus enjoying the benefits along with it, like unrestricted EU broadcasting regulations, and players would enjoy the freedom of movement once granted by the European Court of Justice in the Bosman ruling. The Swiss model satisfies both the FA and EPL, because highly qualified, homegrown players would continue to be produced while maintaining the multicultural, global product that is the EPL.

United States, England. Elizabeth Cabral-Townson, Using a Comparative Analysis of Special Education Disputes in the United States and England to Develop a Model that Better Serves Schools and Families.  Every country with a formal public education system has a responsibility to meet the needs of all enrolled students, including those with disabilities. Many countries have developed laws or regulations that describe their special education processes and procedures. In some instances, parents and school districts disagree about what a student with a disability requires to make progress in school. In these instances, there are several different dispute resolution techniques that can be an efficient way to resolve issues. Both the United States and England have developed laws and regulations specifically related to special education disputes. There are both similarities and differences to how the United States and England handle special education disputes, and elements from each country may be used to develop a more universal model. A preferred approach may be a consistently used three-tiered system that ensures the timely resolution of special education disputes using no-cost or low-cost options.

United States, Norway. Emma Clune, Prison Education as Means to Reduce Recidivism: A Comparative Analysis of the Effects of Prison Education Programs and Principles of Punishment in Norway and the United States. Access to prison education programs differs greatly between the United States and Norway. In the United States, prison education programs are not widely accessible due to issues such as lack of funding and resources. The programs that are available do not often prepare incarcerated persons for workplace environments after release. In Norway, where education is viewed as a fundamental right, all inmates are eligible to participate in education programs, and every prison facility provides access to academic and vocational programming. Norwegian prison education programs operate based on the "principle of normality," the idea that life inside prison should emulate life after release.  Research confirms that participation in educational programming while incarcerated reduces an offender's likelihood of recidivating by improving the offender's mental health and increasing the likelihood of employment after release. Emulating Norway's prison education programs and adopting the principles of Norway's penal system could be a means to reduce high recidivism rates and ultimately decrease the rapidly growing prison population in the United States.

United States, Canada. Judith Patricia Cruz Caballero, A Comparative Analysis of Refugee Law in the United States and Canada. The United States and Canada are world-leading nations for their international law policies. Refugees are a group of the population displaced from their home country due to war, discrimination, or violence. The United Nations created the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees to create a better humanitarian world. However, as the refugee crisis continue to increase over the next few years, the refugee policies of host nations will impact the support refugees receive. This paper examines refugees' procedures, immigration processes, and funding structures provided to refugees in both countries. In addition, the paper aims to compare each
nation's method of handling refugees in a time of international crisis. Finally, after analyzing each nation's policy areas, the paper provides recommendations to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of refugee response in the United States and Canada.

Netherlands, Colorado. Ryan Gulley, Comparing the Legalization of Drugs in the Netherlands and Colorado: Recommendations for the Future. This paper compares the similarities and differences between the recent implementation of changes regarding drug use within the legal systems of the country of the Netherlands and the state of Colorado. The paper begins with a brief introduction to both systems. Following the introduction is a brief history of the criminalization of drugs within the two systems, as well as the reason for the changes that have been made in response. The current landscape of the legal systems will then be laid out, including where society stands today. I then examine the effects of those changes. The paper concludes by providing recommendations based on the lessons learned from the changes that were made in both areas.

United States, European Union. Austin Gutierrez, SOPA & PIPA vs. Article 17 "Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market." This paper compares the failed U.S. legislation, the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), to the currently enacted Directive (EU) 2019/790, Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, with a focus on Article 17. This paper goes through the history and then the past and current critiques of each legislation. This paper then creates a hypothetical bill using methodologies from both legislations. This paper has discovered that the current critics of U.S. online piracy protection believe that the U.S. should legislate in favor of website blocking. The EU critics believe that the authorization requirement establishes a mandatory requirement of general monitoring, which may be too much of a request from the website owners. In conclusion, this paper decides that it is in the best interest of the United States to let other nations develop and test online piracy protection while protecting current copyright holders through the use of website blocking for piracy focused websites. 

United States, China, Germany. Christopher Hampton, Comparative Analysis of Crypto Assets/Blockchain Regulation Between PRC & Germany to Form a Spectrum Based Guide for Impending U.S. Regulations. Crypto-assets and blockchain technology have created an array of regulatory responses globally, most of which address the risks associated with illicit activities, consumer protection, and financial stability. The choice of fitting crypto into traditional frameworks, modifying existing regimes, or forming bespoke regulations to address these risks inherently creates strategic variations across the board. However, this range of approaches creates a guiding spectrum for late movers, namely the United States, to survey during impending crypto-asset deliberations. By synthesizing Germany's and China's leading, yet antithetical, approaches to the same priorities, this paper reveals both sides of the spectrum (i.e., acceptance v. full ban), details how the respective strategies address the given concerns, and weighs perceived strengths and weaknesses of their enactments. Further, upon consideration of the United States' current regulatory uncertainty and objectives, recommendations are proffered in promotion of sustainable growth and innovation for the industry. Although the collective knowledge necessary for proper regulations is not solely within this analysis, adequate and sustainable decisions can only be made through considerations as equally expansive and flexible as the emerging industry of focus. Similarly limited, policymakers would be prudent to include market participants in their deliberations and promote international teamwork. Ultimately, regulatory clarity is necessary in any regard for the industry to truly evolve, though the path of evolution depends heavily on U.S. decisions. 

Germany, Russia.  Nicholas Hansen, A Comparative Examination of Environmental Regulatory Policy Models in the Federal Republic of Germany and the Russian Federation. Regulation of the economic activities of any sovereign nation can be foundational in determinations of status, power, and recognition in modern geopolitics. In modern environmental regulation theory, two primary characterizations of economic regulations are found. This analysis compares the use of "process-integrated" environmental policy, to the use of "end-of-pipe" environmental policy, and their relative benefits and hindrances. Process-integrated regulatory policy involves a more direct intervention in production processes and business action, whereas end-of-pipe regulatory policy involves the establishment of penalties for businesses that exceed their allotted carbon output, and violate industrial or automotive emission laws.  These policies have disparate impacts on the economic health of the sovereignties in which they are employed, differing levels of legal security for businesses operating in these sovereignties, and these impacts have been modeled and cataloged in this article.

This author posits that the time-frame around which either model is implemented, and the substantive form of these model regulations have an indirect impact on the long-term economic growth and propensity for foreign investment.  This hypothesis is most principally demonstrated by a comparative examination of the "process-integrated" model presently in use by the Federal Republic of Germany, and the "end-of-pipe" model presently in use by the Russian Federation. This article seeks to explain the characterization of the German and Russian regulatory models as an "end-of-pipe" or "process integrated" model and the statistical and legal evidence that supports this conclusion. In addition, Explanations of the German and Russian environmental regulation and their relative impact on the economic health and growth of their respective sovereignties are given.

Israel, Palestine. Rachel Kilgallen, The Unique Legal Systems of Israeli Settlements. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world's most enduring conflicts, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip reaching 55 years. Within Israeli settlements, where Israelis and Palestinians must coexist, an abounding number of controversies have arisen. One such controversy revolves around the legal system adopted within these settlements. Upon Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza (along with the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights) in June 1967, the Israeli military immediately established military courts in both territories in order to try offenses harming security and public order. Technically speaking, Israeli military and civilian courts hold "concurrent" jurisdiction to try Israelis for offenses related to security. The policy for the last four decades, however, has been to refrain from prosecuting Israeli civilians in the military system, despite critiques that doing so constitutes partial annexation of occupied territory. The result is that Israeli and Palestinian neighbors accused of committing the very same crimes in the very same territory are arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced in drastically different systems—each featuring staggeringly disparate levels of due process protections. The International community seems to be in concurrence that Israel's actions regarding its settlements violate international law on many levels. At this point in time, all measures taken against Israel, in consequence, have been in vain. The longstanding conflict between Israel and Palestine endures.

United States, Germany. Samantha Rapping, The Psychological Toll of Being Prosecuted as an Adult: A Comparative Analysis of Juvenile Prosecution and Incarceration in the United States and Germany. The United States has one of the most complex criminal justice systems, which significantly differs from other systems in the world, specifically Germany. One prominent difference between these two countries is how they handle juvenile offenders. The United States focuses merely on punishment and incapacitation, whereas Germany focuses on education and rehabilitation. As a result of the harsh treatment that juvenile offenders endure, such as frequent sexual and physical abuse, their mental health severely plummets. Juveniles are at a higher risk for suicide, depression, and anxiety. As a consequence, juvenile offenders are likely to re-offend post-release. Germany’s recidivism rates are extremely low as a result of the educational approaches and opportunities that are available to juvenile inmates such as therapy, metalworking, farming, etc. The positive reinforcement that occurs while juveniles are incarcerated leads to an increase in a juvenile inmates overall attitude and positive outlook for the future. The United States should adopt Germany's educational approach to its juvenile offenders.


Students: If you spy any errors here, don't hesitate to contact me for correction. If you were in this class and I failed to include you here, that's because I don't have an abstract from you. Please send one, and I'll be happy to add it.

Publishers and employers: Contact me if I can help put you in touch with any of these promising law students, some of whom are now recent grads!

Flags from Flagpedia.net.