Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Prof. Glazier's Amicus Briefs in Military Commission Case Finds Influential Audience

As reported in an earlier post on Summary Judgments, Professor David Glazier has filed two amicus briefs in support of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the high-profile Guantanamo detainee. Now, the merits of the arguments contained in those briefs are addressed on LawFare.

Both amici address the unintended consequences of allowing the government to treat the existence of hostilities as a factual question subject to retrospective determination. They both argue that perceptions of the legitimacy of our military courts system affect the security of our armed forces. The RMAG amicus argues that reciprocity is a key determinant in ensuring the safety of US troops that are captured abroad, citing as evidence of the power of reciprocity and legitimacy the fact that 99% of U.S. war prisoners in Germany during World War II survived.

Dean Paul Hayden Continues Legacy of Prosser & Keeton on Torts

Few law books are as universally recognized for their impact on a subject area as “Prosser & Keeton on Torts.” Loyola Law School Interim Dean Paul T. Hayden is carrying on the legacy of the 1941 tome that has become an essential study aid for generations of law students and lawyers. Along with two co-authors, he recently published “Hornbook on Torts,” a 1,200-page book that provides a single-volume overview of the entire field of tort law that is the successor volume to Prosser & Keeton’s work.

Originally written by William Lloyd Prosser, iconic professor and longtime dean of Berkeley Law, and later joined by Page Keeton, dean of the University of Texas Law School, the last edition of that hornbook book came out in 1984. Hayden’s collaborator Dan B. Dobbs (himself a co-author of the 1984 Prosser & Keeton edition) produced the first new edition of its replacement (titled “The Law of Torts”) in 2000. Hayden began writing the annual supplements to that book several years later. A few years ago, Hayden, Dobbs and co-author Ellie Bublick decided it was high time for second edition, which hit shelves in early January 2016.
The impact and importance of the new book are not lost on Hayden. “The ‘Prosser & Keeton Torts Hornbook’ was one of the books I relied on heavily as a first-year law student 35 years ago,” said Hayden, the Thomas V. Girardi Professor of Consumer Protection Law. “It’s gratifying to be part of such a legacy.”

Hayden’s other works include the widely adopted casebooks “Ethical Lawyering: Legal and Professional Responsibilities in the Practice of Law,” “Torts and Compensation,” “Global Issues in Tort Law” and “The Law of Torts,” a four-volume treatise with annual supplements. But “Hornbook on Torts” possesses a unique value to Hayden.

“We hope that it will aid law students, professors, lawyers and judges as they navigate an area of law that is superficially simple but often mystifyingly complex and obtuse in application.”

Monday, January 4, 2016

Prof. Levenson Co-Authors Report Assessing Criminal Informant Practices in Orange County

Professor Laurie Levenson was part of a committee that today released the "Orange County's District Attorney Informant Policies and Practices Report" after reviewing the facts regarding informant use that ultimately prompted a judge to dismiss the entire OC District Attorney's Office from prosecuting the case of Scott Dekraai, who was charged with 2011 mass shooting in Seal Beach, Calif.

Wall Street Journal References Prof. Zimmerman's Amicus Brief in Class Action Battle

Professor Adam Zimmerman was one of two primary authors for an amicus brief written on behalf of top federal court, complex litigation and administrative law scholars from around the country. The brief advances arguments made in article written in the Columbia Law Review, The Agency Class Action, 112 Colum. L. Rev. 1992 (2012). It was referenced in a Wall Street Journal story about the case.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

DirecTV v. Imburgia

By Professor Hiro Aragaki
Originally published on Indisputably

On Monday, the Court handed down DirectTV v. Imburgia, which now succeeds AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011) as the latest substantive decision from the Court on Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preemption. The case is interesting for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it makes it increasingly clear that the core logic of FAA preemption is one of antidiscrimination.

DirecTV held that the California Court of Appeal’s construction of a condition precedent in the parties’ arbitration agreement was preempted by the FAA. Writing for the majority, Justice Breyer clearly believed that the California appellate court had gotten its own state’s law of contract construction wrong. But he conceded—as he had to—that a federal court cannot sit in judgment of a state court decision on state law. So it was not enough simply to say that the decision was irrational and just plain wrong (which it was in my opinion as a contracts professor). There had to be a reason why the decision conflicted with the FAA.

Monday, December 21, 2015

What I Want for Christmas is...

By Professor Katherine Pratt

This op-ed was originally published in the Dec. 24, 2009 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal. It is republished annually in keeping with season's spirit of giving

Nothing. Well, not exactly nothing--just nothing for me. What I really want for Christmas is for more holiday gift-givers to honor their family, friends and business contacts by making charitable contributions on their behalf instead of buying them material gifts. Members of my family recently exchanged the names of our favorite charities and agreed to make charitable contributions this year, in lieu of our usual Christmas gifts. Now I have started to think about how this could happen on a much larger scale.

Societal norms currently favor material gifts over charitable contributions to honor someone. A gift-giver often has no way of knowing whether friends, family, and business contacts would prefer a material gift or a charitable gift in their honor. Also, a gift-giver might be concerned about appearing cheap and selfish if she substitutes a tax deductible donation for a non-deductible material gift. When in doubt, gift-givers make the "safe" gift choice and give material presents. On the gift recipient's side, there typically is no easy, socially acceptable way of communicating to gift-givers a preference for a charitable contribution. This is especially true with respect to gifts for business associates, clients and professionals such as doctors.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Reflections on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

By Professor Ellen P. Aprill
Originally published on TaxProf Blog
A little more than two weeks have passed since Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg announced that they would give away 99% of their Facebook stock, currently valued at $45 billion, during their lives. This distance, albeit short, gives time to reflect back on what the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is and what it is not.

Early coverage, particularly headlines, suggested that Chan and Zuckerberg had made a current donation to charity. Facebook quickly worked to correct this erroneous impression. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative involves a transfer to Delaware LLC, a limited liability company, not a public charity or private foundation. For tax purposes, the transfer to the LLC is a tax nothing; it has no effect on the couple’s taxes. As Professor Michael Graetz stated Mr. Zuckerberg “has moved money from one of his pockets to another.” Chan and Zuckerberg have given nothing away yet.