Timing Brexit Right: Theresa May’s Great Political Challenge

Source: Andy Rain of EPA

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By Julian Jankowski

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, in her expressed pursuit for a hard Brexit, faces economic, legal, and political challenges in her endeavors to gain a hard Brexit deal.  Each of these challenges individually presents much difficulty, but together, these challenges appear daunting.  Nonetheless, these are challenges that can ultimately be overcome, and this Note proposes a way to overcome these challenges, and deliver a final deal to Queen Elizabeth II for royal assent.… Read the rest

Driving Solo: Solutions to the Current Patchwork of Legislation Concerning Automated Vehicles

Source: AP

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By Bryan Boccelli

This Note argues that states across the nation should expand upon and in some cases begin to introduce legislation in regards to self-driving vehicles. Although there are currently a handful of states that already have some form of regulation in effect regarding self-driving vehicles, the current patchwork of legislation is not very conducive for companies and entrepreneurs that wish to enter this market. This Note looks at a gradient system of automation as the basis for legislation that could potentially lead to greater investment from car manufactures in this area of technology. If adopted, a gradient system would mean that the automated vehicle would be subject to specific regulations based on a car’s level of automation. The more autonomous the car is, the more highly regulated it will become.… Read the rest

Is Your Bank Account Safe? Financial Institutions’ Bad Faith Malpractice

Source: Paul Hoppe at N.Y. Times

By Claire Chung

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This Note argues that a poisonous culture in the banking industry, to indiscriminately profit by cutting legal and ethical corners, led to the Wells Fargo scandal in 2016. Wells Fargo had wrongfully profited by incentivizing its employees to meet sales quotas by creating phony accounts using confidential customer information without consent. Although the employees acted alone, liability lies on the employer, Wells Fargo, under the theory of respondeat superior. In doing so, Wells Fargo violated unfair and deceptive financial practices law. Also the scandal raised the issue of whether the mandatory arbitration clause in a financial product purchase agreement should be enforced against consumers or not. This Note proposes a multifaceted solution to address the pandemic of bad faith banking practices.… Read the rest

Disclosure Dilemma: Is Disclosure to the Government Enough to Invoke the False Claims Act’s Public Disclosure Bar?

Source: Policy & Medicine

By Daniel Naydenov

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The federal government has a significant financial interest in the $3 trillion dollar health care industry. Due to limited administrative resources, the government’s biggest allies in the fight against health care fraud are individual whistleblowers who are able to file lawsuits under the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions and share in the recovery. The Act contains a public disclosure bar to prevent parasitic suits by opportunistic whistleblowers. This Note analyzes two contrasting decisions from the Sixth and Seventh Circuits interpreting who qualifies as the “public.” In both cases, the court was asked to determine whether a health care provider’s self-disclosure of misconduct to the federal government was sufficiently public to bar future suits. Ultimately, this Note argues that the Seventh Circuit’s interpretation is more persuasive and closer to striking the proper balance between incentivizing whistleblowers and inhibiting opportunism.… Read the rest

Is a 3-D Printed Object a Product?

Source: Gambody

By Joe Yeoman

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This Note argues that a 3-D printed object and its design file should be considered products, and thus potential defendants be held strictly liable for any defects. Based on the growing popularity of home-based 3-D printing, the potential harms that will arise from defective objects requires that action be taken now to define these objects and their design files as products. Currently, the American Law Institute (ALI) and their persuasive Restatements do not completely cover home-based 3-D printing. This Note examines what the ALI can do when releasing a new version of their Restatement of Torts. Additionally, this Note proposes a solution that will balance the need to help injured parties, while protecting innocent hobbyists.… Read the rest

Digital Millennium Copyright Act: Notice and Takedown on Fair Use

Source: Wikimedia Commons

By Niya Ge

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This Note argues that the current standard for monitoring the DMCA takedown process holds copyright holders to little accountability, allowing abuse of the process and disregarding whether the material was fair use or not. This Note navigates common abuses of the takedown process, from broad automatic algorithms, to issuing DMCA takedown notices to intentionally censor the targeted material. Although the current subjective standard for monitoring the legitimacy of suspect infringing materials requires copyright holders to consider fair use, it outlines no actual process or standard to do so, and creates no incentive for proper monitoring or accuracy. This Note argues that an objective standard would be more appropriate in curbing abuse instead of a subjective standard that incentivizes negligent monitoring.… Read the rest

Moving Forward from the FAMILY Act: Implications for Working Women, Business, and Contemporary Conditions of Caretaking Labor

Sources: The Next Web & Shutterstock

By Kelly Chen

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In response to the historical rise of women in the workforce, Congress asserted Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that aimed to preserve women’s employment status through mandating unpaid parental leave. While still in force today, the Act fails to adequately deliver its promise to resolve the difficult choice women face between work and family care. The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) unsuccessfully sought to provide a comprehensive, national paid parental leave program. This Note argues that a national paid leave program should be resurrected to ameliorate the gender disparity embedded in conditions of parental caretaking. The Note examines the historical development of the FAMILY Act through discussion of FMLA’s goals and limits. Additionally, the Note analyzes popular arguments put forth by the FAMILY Act’s supporters and critics and explains how the Act would … Read the rest

Consolidation in the Agricultural Manufacturing Industry: Does John Deere’s Proposed Buyout of Precision Planting Violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act?

Source: Harding Farms

By Ryan Harding

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In the fall of 2015, John Deere attempted to buy Precision Planting: a specialty manufacturer of precision planting equipment. The government objected to this sale under Section 7 of the Clayton Act. This Note will examine the technology of John Deere and Precision Planting and determine whether the acquisition of Precision Planting by Deere is legal. Finally, this Note will recommend that the government take further action to prevent continued consolidation in the agricultural manufacturing industry.… Read the rest

The Sharing Economy: Airbnb’s Discrimination Problem

Source: Airbnb

By Jason Shultz

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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 … Read the rest

Lack of Legal Duty to Fill Vacancies on the United States Export-Import Bank’s Board of Directors May Destroy Ex-Im Bank

Sources: Ex-Im Bank; CNN

By Michal Nowicki

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This Note examines whether the President of the United States has a statutory duty to nominate candidates to fill vacancies on the United States Export-Import Bank’s five-person Board of Directors. With only two of the five seats occupied, Ex-Im Bank’s Board of Directors cannot currently approve the financing of large export credit transactions, because at least three board members must be present to establish quorum for conducting official business. As a result, the Bank’s power is severely limited. Although this Note argues that President Trump is not legally obligated to fill Ex-Im Bank board vacancies, it offers an argument the Bank’s supporters can use to persuade President Trump to restore the agency to its full potential.… Read the rest