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April, 2012

Costly Intellectual Property

Apr. 27, 2012—Though they derive from the same constitutional source of law, patents and copyrights vest very differently. Patents arise only after an applicant successfully navigates a cumbersome and expensive examination, while copyrights arise costlessly upon mere fixation of a work in a tangible medium of expression. Each of these vesting systems has drawn much criticism. Some...

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Extralegal Punishment Factors: A Study of Forgiveness, Hardship, Good Deeds, Apology, Remorse, and Other Such Discretionary Factors in Assessing Criminal Punishment

Apr. 27, 2012—The criminal law’s formal criteria for assessing punishment are typically contained in criminal codes, the rules of which fix an offender’s liability and the grade of the offense. A look at how the punishment decisionmaking process actually works, however, suggests that courts and other decisionmakers frequently go beyond the formal legal factors and take account...

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Loss Aversion and the Law

Apr. 27, 2012—Why is tort law much more developed than unjust enrichment law? Is there a reason for the very different legal treatment of governmental takings and governmental givings? Why are contract remedies structured around the four “interests” and why is the disgorgement interest only marginally protected? What might explain the much greater constitutional protection of civil...

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Siblings in Law

Apr. 27, 2012—Siblings in Law Legal regulation of the family focuses on two canonical relationships: marriage and parenthood. Courts, legislatures, and scholars routinely take family law’s concentration on just two family ties to be so commonsensical as to require no explicit discussion or explanation. Yet marriage and parenthood are not the only family relationships that can be...

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