By Elizabeth Rice
Download full note here.
Federal employees are required to adhere to ethical standards of conduct, including eliminating conflicts of interest that may arise from their business and financial assets. In their roles as federal employees, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner continue to hold business and financial assets that may result in conflicts of interest in the course of their duties. This note provides a general background about federal conflicts of interest, including the process of divestiture federal employees must follow. It then examines more closely the problematic assets of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and the ways in which they may manage these assets so as to avoid conflicts of interest.… Read the rest
By Bryan Boccelli
Download full note here.
By Jason Shultz
Download full note here.
Racial discrimination is a systemic issue deeply rooted in American society. One company within the sharing economy cannot possibly change the behavior of the individual hosts that are essentially landlords. This Note examines how Airbnb hopes to achieve an inclusive community for its users, how the new policies will affect hosts and guests, as well as Airbnb as a corporation, and how the traditional Fair Housing Act applies to Airbnb’s hosts. Finally, this analysis will illustrate how Airbnb’s new focus on inclusion will impact the sharing economy as a whole. Airbnb needs to work with the government to change the current exceptions that allow certain landlords to discriminate against classes of people. These changes include both eliminating the exceptions and reclassifying how landlords are treated under government regulations. By working with lawmakers and other sharing economy companies, Airbnb can make a large impact … Read the rest
Some people refer to it as the City of Dreams. The Big Apple. The Melting Pot. The Capital of the World. Or the City that Never Sleeps. Regardless of the chosen alias or nickname, there is one universal truth about New York, New York. That is—that it sure isn’t cheap! In fact, some would say that it’s outrageously expensive! So for all the accolades and attractions that have rightfully earned the city its share of global admirers, there exists a rather large barricade for those wishing to experience the city. A former candidate for mayor in New York City ran under the appropriately coined political party known as—“The rent is TOO damn high.”[i] The average rent for an apartment in NYC? $3,017 a month.[ii] The average cost of purchasing a Manhattan apartment? $1.425 million.[iii] The average cost of a hotel stay in the city? A hair under … Read the rest
“The sacred rights of property are to be guarded at every point. I call them sacred, because, if they are unprotected, all other rights become worthless or visionary.” Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, 1852.
Security in ones’ property has been a fundamental tenant of our society since its inception. The Fifth Amendment enumerates this vital right and has served as a refuge against the government unjustly interfering with individual property rights for centuries. But, as judicial interpretation develops over time, a startling trend has emerged that could profoundly shape the future of the taking of private lands by the government. The landmark case of Kelo v. City of New London marked a radical shift in what could be construed as a legitimate taking based on a state’s police power. (1) This ruling has resulted in many states drafting new legislation in an attempt to temper the controversial ruling. (2) … Read the rest
We are constantly changing the fundamental character of property ownership in this country. Nowhere is this more evident than in the real property arena. As the past few years have shown us, real estate has morphed from a long-term, stable investment to become a hugely derivative enterprise, which has diversified and become interconnected with other sectors of the economy as never before. The argument has been made that real estate has lost its original character and that it has become commoditized. Regardless of one’s position on this question it is clear that because of this continual transformation, takings law is constantly pressured to look at situations where the new concept of economic devaluation of property must be reconciled with the traditional notion of the bundle of sticks, and the state’s inability to render that bundle obsolete by legislative action, without compensation. Herein lies the basic regulatory takings … Read the rest
The current financial crisis ushered in by the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market has shaken the foundations of our financial markets, exposed numerous Ponzi schemes, most infamously that of Bernard Madoff, and resulted in a tremendous increase in home foreclosures and bankruptcies. In many of the current bankruptcy cases the line between a fraudulent conveyance and a legitimate transfer can make a difference of millions of dollars for the legitimate creditors. In the realm of real estate, this situation has placed on the courts the burden of deciding which is more important: fair and equitable distribution of assets among creditors, or the historical distinctions between fraudulent conveyance law and foreclosure law.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s a trend emerged whereby Bankruptcy courts began to allow homeowners who had become insolvent to avoid sales of foreclosed properties that occurred as early as 1 year before … Read the rest
When thinking about judicial activism, the first thing that comes to mind often is the Supreme Court of the United States making decisions regarding civil rights. However, judges expand the law and create exceptions thereto in many fields and at many levels. The purpose of this article is not to question whether judicial activism exists, or even whether or not it is proper to practice it. Instead, this article considers one instance of activism in an everyday legal situation and then analyzes a series of judicial approaches and considers the ramifications of each.
A trial judge in Illinois once ordered an unnecessary evidentiary hearing, noting that he would “err on the side of caution… and allow [the case] to go forward” hoping that “some day, [he would] be enlightened by the Appellate Court… [as to] whether there can ever be an exception to the application of … Read the rest
Foreclosures have taken on a new significance in the last few years as a result of the financial crisis. This has the led the finer points of the foreclosure proceedings to become extremely important for many lenders, and for many borrowers in default. One potentially important practice is the oft-rumored, but rarely documented routine of certain judges to simply refuse to grant any deficiency judgments in personal foreclosures. Cases have been brought before higher courts across the country, leading to judges being rebuked for ill-advised activism in refusing to properly entertain requests for deficiency judgments.  In light of the record number of foreclosures taking place in the last two years , a lack of deficiency judgments may prove to have a significant effect on banks and may lead to a change in the practices of many banks. The purpose of this article is to question what effects … Read the rest