- 50th Anniversary
- Online Edition
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- Donahue Lecture Series
One might think, at first glance, that the recognition of a Sixth Amendment right to have a jury rather than a judge determine relevant sentencing facts would put an end to the use of acquitted conduct. One would be wrong, however, at least so far. The federal appellate courts have been unanimous in holding that reliance on acquitted conduct to enhance an offender’s sentence is still permissible under the now-advisory Guidelines. While recent academic commentary has largely taken the opposing view on the constitutionality of acquitted conduct, there is currently little reason to believe that the courts will be persuaded to change their views on this issue any time soon.
[O]ne may wonder why now is an especially appropriate moment to reflect on the role of the federal courts in civil suits challenging military operations, even more so given the winding down of hostilities in Afghanistan and the settled nature of the judicial role in the Guantánamo habeas litigation. But the prompt for this paper lies in two developments that are relatively recent: the proliferation of the use of private military contractors to conduct traditional military functions (and the concomitant rise of civil suits challenging such conduct), and the blurring of conventional conceptions of the “battlefield” (and, as in the counter-piracy context, of the line between law enforcement and combat operations). For better or worse, these developments have been—and will likely continue to be—litigation-provoking, prompting an ever-growing array of courts to have to consider these same issues in an ever-growing array of contexts. Thus, this paper attempts to provide a more coherent and convincing explanation for when judicial reticence to intervene in such disputes is and is not appropriate, hopefully before the doctrine becomes completely unmoored from its analytical and normative justifications.
The CROWDFUND Act required the SEC to adopt rules to facilitate equity crowdfunding. Although the final rules do not go into effect until 180 days after publication in the Federal Register, preliminary observations can be made. Both the CROWDFUND Act and the SEC’s final rules impose restrictions for intermediaries, particularly for the newly introduced funding portals. These restrictions raise the question of whether or not the SEC’s rules create an appropriate balance between adequately protecting unaccredited investors and allowing funding portals to act as gatekeepers. The specific concern to investors in donating capital to these funding portals is that investments may be subject to fraud. Due to funding portals’ novelty, this Note pays special attention to funding portals in the context of the SEC’s final rules.
In light of presidents’ consistently requested and approved defense funding to Israel, the Supreme Court confirms in Zivotofsky that the Executive’s contemporary recognition power no longer harbors any significance. In Zivotofsky, while the Executive rightfully prevailed, each Justice refused to acknowledge the Executive’s hypocritical stance: presidents argue no country has sovereignty over Jerusalem, yet presidents continually provide military funding to Israel to further Israeli occupation and control of Jerusalem. For well over half of a century, the Executive has approved substantial military aid to Israel by signing into law congressionally-backed legislation to provide weapons and funding overseas. Therefore, as the Supreme Court does not address the Executive’s financial recognition of Israel, but rather states the Executive’s spoken recognition is at odds with Section 214(d) in Zivotofsky’s case, the Supreme Court reduces the recognition power to a frivolous formality, one with little tangible impact in the modern realm of foreign policy.
This Note will address the U.S. military funding at odds with the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Executive’s claim of neutrality is paramount and trumps the exercise of Section 214(d) as the United States must “speak with one voice” on the matter of Israeli-Palestinian foreign policy.
Holes in the bank’s D&O policy’s coverage are perilous. They may require the directors to pay out-of-pocket damages, and the FDIC may forego payment. One of the common gaps that exists in the D&O policy’s coverage is the Insured v. Insured (IvI) exclusion. Generally, the IvI exclusion excuses the insurer from payment when a claim is brought by, or on behalf of, an insured party against an insured party. This Note will consider the circumstances in which an IvI exclusion to a D&O policy may excuse an insurer from coverage when the FDIC brings claims against the directors of a failed bank.
In abiding by legislated law, judges must often implement mandatory sentences for some crimes, negating the ability of that judge to consider the inherently distinct characteristics of a minor offender. The United States Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama held the sentencing term of mandatory life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) unconstitutional for juvenile homicide offenders, classifying LWOP as “cruel and unusual punishment” when applied to juveniles under the Eighth Amendment. In turn, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC) took the position that mandatory and discretionary sentences of LWOP under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 265, Section 2 shall no longer apply to juveniles and violate Article 26 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights. As a result, individuals currently serving LWOP sentences following a homicide conviction as a juvenile are now eligible for parole if they have served a term of at least fifteen years. In issuing this historic relief, the SJC noted the broader protections afforded to citizens under Article 26, yet discussing its similarity to the Cruel and Unusual Punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment. The SJC, however, failed to parse why Article 26 offers these heightened protections, and in failing to do so the court erred in proscription of discretionary LWOP sentences for the most heinous of juvenile offenses.
This Note will examine the relationship between the Legislature and state courts in sentencing criminally convicted juveniles. This Note will also seek to clarify perceptions as to the current state of the law behind the mandatory sentencing of minors; the concept of individualized assessment; and the disparities between trying an adult and, alternatively, a child under the age of eighteen. Finally, this Note will analyze the extended protections created under Article 26 and the SJC’s scrutiny of the Massachusetts General Court’s (MGC) sentencing schemes.
Until June 2015, there had been little legal action against the firms taking advantage of investors through high-frequency trading (HFT). The New York Attorney General (NY AG), Eric Schneiderman, brought the first big case under a little-known state law from the 1920s, the Martin Act, which grants the NY AG the power to regulate and investigate securities fraud. In efforts to boost investor confidence and ensure the markets work for the entire general public, Schneiderman hopes to stifle the fundamentally unfair situations that HFT has created at the expense of the rest of the market.
This Note aims to provide a useful overview of the development of the U.S. stock market and show how lawsuits, such as the one against Barclays, will shape the U.S. stock market’s future. Part II of this Note will present a detailed assessment of HFT, relevant SEC regulations, and a history of the Martin Act. Part III will discuss the current case against Barclays and how regulators should proceed in handling contemporary dark pool and HFT crises affecting the U.S. stock market and, in turn, its investors. This Note advocates for an approach that seeks a balance between a free market economy and clear regulations, so as to avoid further market exploitation.
Despite generic manufacturers’ forced reliance on brand-name warning labels, brand-name manufacturers are immune from liability for failure-to-warn or negligence claims arising from generic drugs. In a majority of jurisdictions—as long as the drug that caused the injury was generic—brand-name manufacturers escaped negative judgments, even though they played an integral role in the initial development of the drug and its warning label. On an issue of first impression, however, the California Court of Appeals in Conte v. Wyeth, Inc. rejected this traditional view and held that a brand-name manufacturer’s duty to warn extends to patients whose prescriptions are filled with the generic version of the drug. Following the decision, three other courts adopted this minority position that brand-name manufacturers can be liable for injuries caused by the generic version of their drug.
On November 13, 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a new rule that would make it nearly impossible for courts to follow that minority view. The new rule would allow generic drug manufacturers to update warning labels without waiting for the brand-name manufacturer to make changes. This change in policy will have widespread consequences, both positive and negative, for consumers and manufacturers alike, including quicker safety updates for pharmaceuticals. In November 2014, the FDA announced that it was delaying the finalized rule, which was to be published in December 2014, until the fall of 2015; by November 2015, instead of publishing the finalized rule, the FDA again delayed and stated it plans on issuing the final rule by July 2016.
This Note will explore the procedure for introducing new drugs and chronicle changes in manufacturers’ postmarket duties. It will also explain the proposed rule for making changes to a drug’s warning label. In Part II, this Note will examine how different courts handled liability issues between brand-name and generic drug manufacturers, and it will focus on the recent shift in liability to brand-name manufacturers for injuries caused by generic versions of their drugs. In Part III, this Note will analyze the proposed rule’s effects on consumers, prescribing physicians, and drug manufacturers. In conclusion, this Note will provide an overall impression of the proposed rule and further suggest that the FDA not finalize this rule as it is currently proposed.
“Buzzworthy,” “BYOD” (bring your own device), and “selfie” have been added to the free Oxford Dictionaries Online after each word has worked its way into common usage or even into the respected print Oxford Dictionary. “Friend” is no longer a mere noun or synonym for acquaintance, but instead, a verb to indicate adding an individual “to a list of friends or contacts on a social networking website.” For better or worse, social media impacts how individuals communicate and interact with one another, both online and in person and “[e]veryone is doing it.” In December 2014, a decade after its founding, Facebook had 1.39 billion monthly active users, 890 million daily active users, and over 1 billion active users of Facebook mobile products. Other popular social media websites—Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn— indicate widespread and growing usage of the sites and social media overall.
Besides their strong economic enticement, the hosts of “Bring Your Own Booze” (BYOB) parties may have inadvertently discovered a strong legal incentive for hosting this form of party, namely to escape civil liability. Individuals under the legal drinking age often exploit these parties, and the facts presented in Juliano v. Simpson exemplify these parties’ dangerous realties and the grave consequences of underage drinking. Presented with an empty house void of any adult supervision, nineteen-year-old Jessica Simpson hosted a party at her father’s home, where she permitted her underage friends to consume alcohol that they had procured before arriving. A few short hours later, an intoxicated guest crashed into a utility pole while driving home, consequently causing his passenger, Rachel Juliano, to sustain serious injuries. Despite Simpson’s criminal behavior, the Massachusetts’s Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) declined to broaden the scope of common-law, social-host liability and affirmed that Simpson was not civilly liable for Rachel’s injuries. By refusing to recognize a duty for social hosts who provide a location for underage drinking but not the actual alcohol, the court’s opinion ultimately exposed a troubling inconsistency in the legal system where the plaintiff is not awarded civil remedies despite the defendant’s criminal liability.
After the filing of a bankruptcy petition, all pending civil actions involving the debtor are stayed pursuant to the automatic stay provision of 11 U.S.C. § 362. Creditors may seek relief by moving for the court to lift the automatic stay. An order granting stay-relief is considered a “final” order from the bankruptcy court and therefore appealable as of right pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 158(a); similarly, a majority of the federal courts of appeals recognize denials of stay-relief as final, appealable orders. In In re Atlas IT Export Corp., the First Circuit created a circuit split when it held it lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeal from a bankruptcy court’s denial of stay-relief because the bankruptcy court’s decision did not amount to a “final order.”
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was enacted to protect citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. In Maryland v. King, a case of first impression, the Supreme Court addressed the question of whether a warrantless search and seizure of an arrestee’s DNA would be afforded Fourth Amendment protection. The Court, utilizing a reasonableness balancing test, held that the government’s compelling interest of identifying criminals outweighed the arrestee’s right to privacy and found the search and seizure constitutional.
Sex offenders are some of the most hated and feared members of our society. This revulsion towards sex offenders is because they are considered more likely than other criminals to offend again. Accordingly, the public seeks to strengthen legislation that imposes harsher penalties upon them. While such proposed legislation is often used by politicians to garner popular support, the real impetus for change in sex offender legislation usually comes about after the commission of a few serious, high-profile sex crimes.
Sperm stealing—also known as the unauthorized use of sperm—comes in several forms, which fall in three categories: sperm stashing, nonconsensual sexual intercourse, and the improper use of artificial reproductive technology (ART). Sperm stashing usually occurs through a woman saving sperm from oral sexual relations or a used condom and using such sperm to inseminate herself. Sperm stealing through nonconsensual sexual intercourse includes rape and statutory rape that results in pregnancy. Improper use of ART includes a woman obtaining and becoming inseminated with a man’s sperm donation or implanted with fertilized pre-embryos created with his sperm without his consent. A handful of cases dealing with sperm stealing have made it on to court dockets. Most have been dismissed, others given the chance to make it to trial, and a clear minority have resulted in favorable verdicts for the man whose sperm was stolen. Cases that have achieved verdicts, however, are restricted to improper use of ART, creating a class system among the categories of sperm stealing. Typically, courts favor the policy of child welfare, ensuring the child has the support of two parents and making male rights to reproductive choice insignificant. In Massachusetts—a state that allowed recovery for a man whose fertilized pre-embryo was used by his estranged wife—a new set of child support guidelines took effect on August 1, 2013, greatly enforcing and emphasizing the policy to favor the welfare of the child at all costs. It prompts the inquiry of whether these policies may affect this preexisting case law.
K.M. ex rel. Bright v. Tustin Unified School District, 725 F.3d 1088 (9th Cir. 2013), cert. denied, 134 S. Ct. 1493, cert. denied sub nom. Poway Unified Sch. Dist. v. D.H. ex rel. K.H., 134 S. Ct. 1494 (2014)
The rights of deaf and hard-of-hearing students in public schools derive primarily from two federal laws: the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Title II of the ADA). The IDEA requires public school districts to provide disabled children, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Under IDEA, a FAPE necessitates the development and implementation of an individualized education plan (IEP) for each disabled child addressing his or her unique needs. Meanwhile, Title II of the ADA and its effective communications regulations prohibit public schools from discriminating against deaf and hard-of-hearing children and require schools to ensure that these students have access to effective communications. In K.M. ex rel. Bright v. Tustin Unified School District, the Ninth Circuit considered the interplay of these two laws and held that a public school’s provision of a FAPE to a hearing-disabled student (as required under IDEA) does not automatically mean that the school has complied with Title II of the ADA.
Consumers across the country cannot help but notice that the natural food industry has caught onto their preferences for “all natural” food. Natural food has developed into a thirty-seven billion dollar per year industry in response to consumers’ attraction to “all natural” products. A robust segment of the “all natural” trend are the anti-genetically modified organisms supporters. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are plants or animals that are created by genetic engineering (GE)—combining deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from different species to create combinations that cannot occur in nature. Anti-GMO advocates believe consumers have a right to know what is in the food products they are purchasing, including whether those products contain GMOs.
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees personal privacy by limiting the government’s ability to conduct searches and seizures in the absence of probable cause. When the government believes that an individual has been involved in criminal activity, a search warrant must be obtained from a judge before a search is conducted. In order to obtain a search warrant, the government must produce evidence that the search will likely reveal the existence of the alleged criminal activity, details concerning the place to be searched, and the things to be seized. In the context of electronic communications, such as email, upholding Fourth Amendment protection has become increasingly complex as the law has been slow to adapt to changes in technology.