Sunday, October 21, 2007

Carrillo on Popular Legal Culture in the Work of Lawrence Friedman

Jo Carrillo has published an article titled, "Links and Choices: Popular Legal Culture in the Work of Lawrence M. Friedman," 17 S. Cal. Interdisc. L. J. 1 (2007). Here is the abstract:

In 1989, Lawrence M. Friedman published Law, Lawyers and Popular Culture. Based in part on James Willard Hurst’s idea that markets create a social aggregate of behavior that shapes law, Friedman’s article offered one of the earliest arguments for the use of popular culture as a source of material for the study of law. According to Friedman, popular legal culture (a social aggregate of opinion about law) was both shaped by law and had the power to shape law. Thus, legal culture (opinions people hold about law), popular culture (mass generated opinions, norms and values held by people), and popular legal culture (mass generated opinions, norms, and values about law and lawyers)—because they represented public opinion—could provide a rich trove of information about how law is regarded by consumers of the legal system. But, Friedman warned, accessing this information required more than just a claim of influence; it required a social theory. To that end, Friedman proposed a three-pronged social theory for the study of law and popular culture. His theory turned on three ideas: (1) explanations about law exist both inside and outside the legal system; (2) boundaries of law are porous and permeable to exchanged information; and (3) law is a dependent variable in a greater social system of other dependent variables. This paper considers Friedman’s social theory and places it into a broader context of scholarship on the same topic.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Kennedy Talk Postponed

The talk by Harvard Professor David Kennedy has been postponed. A new date has not yet been set.

Monday, October 15, 2007

David Kennedy to Speak at Hastings

David Kennedy, Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law at Harvard, will be speaking on Thursday, Nov. 1 from 2.30-4 in Room J on his new book, "Of War and Law." Professor Kennedy is the first in a new series of Global Lectures presented by the International Programs Office and the Hastings International and Comparative Law Society.

Professor Kennedy is a prolific and controversial scholar in the field of international law, and his new book published by Princeton University Press argues for a radically neo-realist approach to the laws of war.

Professor Kennedy's research uses interdisciplinary materials from sociology and social theory, economics and history to explore issues of global governance, development policy and the nature of professional expertise. He is particularly interested in the politics of the transnational regime for economic policy making. Kennedy has been particularly committed to developing new voices from the third world and among women in international affairs.

Prof. Kennedy served as Chair of the Graduate Committee and Faculty Director of Graduate and International Legal Studies from 1991-1997. He has advised a number of educational institutions on their law and graduate programs, including Brown University, the University of Quebec Lavalle and the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Professor Kennedy has lectured at numerous universities and institutes, and has been a Visiting Professor at New York University in 1999, at the University of Paris (X) in 1995-1998, 2001-2002, and 2005-2006; at the University of Toronto in 1998 and 1999 and at the University of Paris (II) in the spring of 1998. He was a Visiting Scholar at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 2000-2001.

Professor Kennedy is the author of a number of books, including "The Canon of American Jurisprudence." He was just named Vice-President of Brown University in charge of their International Programs. He will leave Harvard in January for his new post.

There will be a book signing and a reception following Professor Kennedy's lecture.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Field on Form and Substance in Subchapter K

Heather Field has just published an article entitled, "Fiction, Form, and Substance in Subchapter K: Taxing Partnership Mergers, Divisions, and Incorporations," 44 San Diego L. Rev. 259 (2007). Here is the abstract:

The tax consequences of substantively equivalent partnership mergers, divisions and incorporations can vary dramatically depending on the form of the transaction. This disparate treatment arises because the tax analysis of these partnership transactions inconsistently adheres to the “form” of the transaction and limits the use of legal “fictions.” This part-form, part-fiction approach distorts parties’ incentives about whether and how to undertake such transactions and can make the transactions less efficient, all without materially advancing other policy goals. This result is exacerbated by non-tax business exigencies that restrict parties’ abilities to implement certain transaction forms and by the increase in “formless” transactions. In order to treat substantively equivalent transactions similarly, this Article proposes the adoption of a uniform regime in which the tax consequences of partnership mergers, divisions, and incorporations are determined based on one of three legal fictions elected by the parties, regardless of the form in which the transaction is implemented. The proposed approach not only remedies the problem of disparate treatment and addresses the policy concerns raised by the existing part-form, part-fiction regime, but also rationalizes the use of form and fiction in the tax analysis of substantively equivalent partnership transactions.

Here is the link:

Friday, October 5, 2007

Leib on Friendship and Public Policy

Ethan Leib has just published an essay in Policy Review titled, "Friends & the Law: Can Public Policy Support the Institution of Friendship?". Here is Ethan's description of the essay: "As you might imagine, this essay is a 'popularized' and unfootnoted attempt to rehearse arguments I have tried to make in 'Friendship & the Law' <> and (with Dan Markel and Jen Collins) in 'Criminal Justice and the Challenge of Family Ties.' <> So if you have found yourself unable to slug through the hard-core academic versions of these arguments, you might just enjoy the exposure in this easily-digestible form. But even for the six of you that have made your way through the academic versions, I have tried to supplement some of my thinking in this later essay."