A New Direction for LLC Research in a Contractarian Legal Environment – Article by Sandra K. Miller

From Volume 76, Number 2 (January 2003)

This Article discusses a survey on limited liability companies (LLCs) to which 770 attorneys responded in California, Delaware, New York, and Pennsylvania. Of the 770 attorneys who responded in these states, Delaware respondents reported a higher rate of experience with disputes than respondents in New York and Pennsylvania, and reported a higher rate of lawsuits filed than the respondents from California, New York, and Pennsylvania who stated they had handled majority/minority disputes. The findings challenge the view that greater contractual flexibility will necessarily lead to a decrease in disputes and/or judicial intervention. Many respondents lacked a basic understanding of the LLC members’ statutory default buy-out rights, and only fourteen percent said their usual LLC agreement included the minority contractual protection of a dissolution for illegal, fraudulent, or oppressive majority conduct. The Article analyzes the survey results in light of recent LLC litigation, discusses the important role that courts can be expected to play in the articulation of standards of LLC member and manager conduct, and makes several policy recommendations regarding the course of future business entity education and research.



Private Justice – Article by Pamela H. Bucy

From Volume 76, Number 1 (November 2002)

New crimes require new thinking about regulation. Because of computerization and globalization, today’s world faces new crimes and new ways of committing old crimes. Because of the interconnectedness of our global financial markets, this evolving criminal activity has unprecedented power to wreak havoc on every aspect of modern life. Law enforcement has no choice but to respond effectively.

One aspect of this new thinking is revising our concept of crime. Complex, economic wrongdoing is difficult to categorize as criminal primarily because it is enormously difficult to prove the high level of mens rea traditionally and appropriately required in criminal law. Proving this requisite mental state by the heightened burden required in criminal cases is even more difficult. Moreover, even when proof of criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt is possible, conducting the investigation and proving a case by these standards is so expensive and time-intensive for both the executive and judicial branches that the costs often outweigh any benefit achieved. Lastly, imposing the criminal sanction of imprisonment on defendants whose wrongdoing, however destructive to society, may be malum prohibitum, is morally and practically questionable for a criminal justice system and is often economically inefficient.



Lurking in the Shadow: The Unseen Hand of Doctrine in Dispute Resolution – Article by Ray D. Madoff

From Volume 76, Number 1 (November 2002)

Mediation—the process through which a third party neutral assists parties in reaching their own agreement—has achieved a prominence in our legal system that belies its youth. Earlier in the twentieth century, the use of mediation was limited almost entirely to small disputes (which did not justify the expense of litigation) and labor disputes (which required quick resolution in order to avoid costly strikes and shutdowns.) By contrast, mediation today is touted for disputes of all sizes and in all areas of the law, including probate, family, commercial lending and business, criminal, employment discrimination, environmental, legal malpractice, medical malpractice, and maritime law. Indeed, such is the enthusiasm for mediation, that one is hard pressed to find a legal area in which mediation is not actively encouraged. Despite such broad encouragement, its success varies widely in different fields of law. While in some areas of law it has achieved dominance, in others its development has been far slower. Two areas where this disparity is particularly puzzling are divorce and will contests.



The Rehnquist Court, Structural Due Process, and Semisubstantive Constitutional Review – Article by Dan T. Coenen

From Volume 75, Number 6 (September 2002)DOWNLOAD PDF

In 1976, Professor Hans A. Linde published his pathbreaking paper, Due Process of Lawmaking. That article focused attention on a subject of subtlety and importance: To what extent should the processes by which laws are enacted affect their validity under seemingly substantive constitutional provisions like the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause? Anticipating a flurry of recent scholarship, Justice Linde took particular interest in whether the absence of legislative findings offered in support of an otherwise duly enacted law should bear upon that law’s constitutionality.

Drawing in part on Justice Linde’s work, Professor Laurence Tribe began in the same time frame to advocate a style of judicial review that combines both process-centered and substance-centered components. In doing so, he documented the pre-Rehnquist Court’s use of this technique in high-profile cases—such as New York Times Co. v. United States, Hampton v. Mow Sun Wong, and Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan—to invalidate statutes and rules. Professor Tribe also gave this approach to constitutional decisionmaking a name, calling it “structural due process.” For a variety of reasons, I prefer the more encompassing term “semisubstantive review.”



Using Legal Process to Fight Terrorism: Detentions, Military Commissions, International Tribunals, and the Rule of Law – Article by Laura A. Dickinson

From Volume 75, Number 6 (September 2002)

In response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the chorus of those arguing that international law cannot serve as an effective tool in the fight against terrorism has grown. In fact, one might say that September 11 has swelled the ranks of international relations realists, who view international law primarily as a cover for strategic interests and thereby as lacking any independent bite. According to this view, for the United States to comply with the letter of international law would be to don a straight-jacket that would hamper efforts to protect national and international security. Instead, because of the serious nature of the threat, ordinary rules should be bent, if acknowledged at all. This type of thinking has even spilled over into domestic law. Anyone who harps too much on the need for law at best is naive and at worst aids and abets terrorists.

This resurgent realism with respect to international law has taken several forms. Some have argued that the United States need not pay overly precise attention to international law in its military response to the attacks. Others have suggested that the detention of captured terrorism suspects is not, or should not be, governed by international law. And still others have suggested that the United States need not comply with the principles established under international law in prosecuting individual terrorists. I will focus here on the latter two arguments.