Vol. LII No. 4

Hard Versus Soft Law in International Security

Abstract: The use and choice of hard and soft law in international governance has been the subject of ever-increasing scholarly interest. This law and social science literature has primarily assessed the relative strengths and weaknesses of hard- and soft-law instruments as alternatives for international governance, as well as how these instruments can be combined as […]

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Prosecutorial Nullification

Abstract: It is beyond peradventure that American prosecutors have plenary charging discretion in criminal cases; prosecutors with admissible proof beyond a reasonable doubt may nevertheless decline to seek a conviction. Such declinations are sometimes rooted in legitimate law enforcement rationales, such as the absence of sufficient enforcement resources. A prosecutor, however, might decline a meritorious […]

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The Judicial Role in Trademark Law

Abstract: This article considers the judicial role in developing trademark law. The issue is important because proposals for trademark reform often rest on expansive, but unexamined, conceptions of judicial authority. In thinking about trademark reform, we should broaden our perspective to include considerations of what we want from the law in general. Our answer to […]

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The Law of Reputation and the Interest of the Audience

Abstract: Although an individual has control over many of the statements, acts, and other biographical data points that are used to construct her reputation, she does not ultimately have control over the result of that reputational assessment, the pronouncement of which is a task reserved to others. Reputation is fundamentally a social concept; it does […]

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Initial Disclosures And Discovery Reform In The Wake Of Plausible Pleading Standards

Abstract: This Note advocates for the reform of the federal initial disclosure of documents rule. Plausible pleadings, mandated by Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, provide sufficient foundation to support increased use of initial disclosures as a means to reduce the costs of civil discovery. The Massachusetts Superior Court Business Litigation […]

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A Distinction Without A Difference? ERISA Preemption And The Untenable Differential Treatment Of Revocation-On-Divorce And Slayer Statutes

Abstract: The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) was enacted in large part to protect employee benefit plan participants. Yet ERISA’s broad preemption clause may actually thwart this goal in certain cases by imposing unexpected consequences on participants who die before appropriately updating their beneficiary designations. For instance, although many state laws presume […]

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Pullman Abstention In Preemption Cases

Abstract: The abstention doctrine articulated by the Supreme Court in 1941 in Railroad Commission of Texas v. Pullman Co. calls for federal courts to postpone asserting jurisdiction over federal constitutional challenges to state laws to permit state courts to resolve potentially dispositive ambiguities in those laws. In preemption cases, however, many courts have declined to […]

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