Current Issue

Indescendibility

03 Jul 2014 02:19am David Horton 

Supposedly, one of the most important sticks in the bundle of property rights is the power to transfer an asset after death. This Article explores objects and entitlements that defy this norm. Indescendibility-the inability to pass property by will, trust, or intestacy-lurks throughout the legal system, from constitutional provisions barring hereditary privileges, to statutes that prohibit decedents from bequeathing their valuable body parts, to the ancient but misty doctrine that certain claims do not survive the plaintiff, to more prosaic matters such as season tickets, taxi cab medallions, frequent-flier miles, and social media accounts. The Article first identifies the common policy underpinnings of these diverse rules. It compares the related issue of market inalienability-the phenomenon of property that can be given away but not sold-and concludes that indescendibility often serves unique objectives. In particular, forbidding posthumous transfer can avoid administrative costs and signaling problems. The Article then uses these insights to propose reforms to the descendibility of body parts, causes of action, and items made non-inheritable by contract.    

Circuit

Defining the Whistleblower Under Dodd-Frank: Who Decides?

12 Aug 2014 07:15pm Mystica M. Alexander 

The SEC and the Judiciary are at odds over whether an individual must report potential securities law violations directly to the SEC in order to qualify as a whistleblower under the Dodd-Frank Act. This Essay examines the statutory language at the heart of the conflict, the SEC regulation that potentially clarifies the scope of whistleblower protection, and the SEC's authority to interpret the Act. Ultimately, the author concludes that the SEC's expansive approach is more in line with the objectives of securities law enforcement.

The New "Human Equity" Transactions

26 Jun 2014 09:57am Shu-Yi Oei & Diane M. Ring 

Are we entering an era where investors can acquire an equity stake in an individual?  A new family of marketplace transactions provides individuals with financing for business, entrepreneurship, education, or diversification purposes in return for the individual's promise to pay a percentage of her income for a period of years. This Essay briefly discusses the legal, regulatory, and public policy issues these new transactions raise, and proposes an analytical approach to grappling with such issues.    

To Unseal or Not to Unseal: The Judiciary’s Role in Preventing Transparency in Electronic Surveillance Applications and Orders

03 Jun 2014 10:10pm Brian L. Owsley 

This essay addresses the issue of transparency in the judiciary regarding the sealing of applications for electronic surveillance.  Specifically, it concerns the experiences of a federal magistrate who attempted to unseal a number of surveillance applications and orders.    

 



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