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Akron Law Café

Blogging As Vegetables, Not Dessert

By Stefan Published: August 28, 2011

Bradford on Crowdfunding and Federal Securities Law

By Stefan Published: August 25, 2011

My co-blogger over at the BLPB writes:

Crowdfunding the use of the Internet to raise money through small contributions from a large number of investors may cause a revolution in small-business financing. Through crowdfunding, smaller entrepreneurs, who traditionally have had great difficulty obtaining capital, have access to anyone in the world with a computer, Internet access, and spare cash to invest.... I consider the costs and benefits of crowdfunding and propose an exemption that would free crowdfunding from the regulatory requirements, but not the antifraud provisions, of the federal securities laws.

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New England Journal of Medicine Article on the First Amendment and Commercial Speech in the Public Health Context

By Wilson Huhn Published: August 19, 2011

On August 3, the New England Journal of Medicine published Higher First Amendment Hurdles for Public Health Regulation by Kevin Outterson.  This brief essay contains an excellent review of the commercial speech doctrine in general and the Supreme Court's recent decision in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc. in particular.

In a previous essay, 2010-2011 Supreme Court Term: Decision in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc.,  I wrote that my principal objection to the Court's decision is Sorrell is that it extends constitutional protection to commercial data mining.  Under Sorrell, any person including international business conglomerates now have a constitutional right under the First Amendment to troll for data about purchasing habits, including sensitive medical information.  This represents a vast expansion of the "commercial speech" doctrine.  Until the Sorrell decision was handed down, the purpose of the First Amendment in the commercial context was to protect the free flow of information to consumers.  It now appears that the Supreme Court understands the Constitution to guarantee the right of corporations to spy on American citizens.

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NEJM Article on Medical Malpractice Claims

By Wilson Huhn Published: August 18, 2011

Today the New England Journal of Medicine published three significant articles on law and medicine.  In today's post I review an article Malpractice Risk According to Physician Specialty by Anupam B. Jena, M.D., Ph.D., Seth Seabury, Ph.D., Darius Lakdawalla, Ph.D., and Amitabh Chandra, Ph.D.

The article's findings are consistent with other research studies such as the AMA Survey of Physicians and information from the National Practitioner Data Bank.  The study's findings and conclusions are also consistent with the understanding of attorneys who practice in this field.  Some of the relevant findings from the study:

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New! Akron Law Announces Creation of J.D./LL.M. Program

By Diana Published: August 15, 2011

The University of Akron School of Law announces the creation of a joint Juris Doctorate (J.D.) and Master of Laws (LL.M.) program in Intellectual Property.

 'The J.D./LL.M. in Intellectual Property (IP) program is a unique and efficient academic opportunity,' says Lauri Thorpe, assistant dean for Admissions.'Students may earn both the J.D. and the LL.M. in IP in three years (if full-time) or in four years (if part-time) including summers. Students earn 76 J.D. credits plus 12 IP credits at the J.D. level plus 12 IP credits at the LL.M. level for a total of 100 credits. This 100 credit hour requirement is only 12 more credits than our traditional 88 credit hour J.D. program. And there are some students who are also on track to also earn the M.B.A at the same time. It's a no-brainer for students interested in IP to earn the J.D./LL.M., which can create a competitive edge in this challenging job market while also saving precious tuition dollars and valuable time.'

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Love As Riot Control

By Stefan Published: August 13, 2011

Is the Law Autonomous?

By Stefan Published: August 11, 2011

Or simply a function of external interest group pressure?  More here.

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When was the last time you were bored?

By Stefan Published: August 6, 2011

Joel 2

By Wilson Huhn Published: August 6, 2011

Texas Governor Rick Perry's The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis invokes Joel 2.  Will he be true to it?

When our oldest son, as a baby, lay gravely ill in the hospital, and I sat near him at 2:00 am listening to the call-in show piped in through the overhead speakers, the radio host asked a trivia question challenging his listeners to complete a quote - "In the Bible," the host said, "it says 'Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy' - call in to finish the quote, identify the source, and win a prize."  My heart raced ahead of me as I ran down the darkened hall to the nurse's station.  They let me call in with the answer.  Joel 2:28-29 says:

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Digest of Motor Vehicle Laws

By Lynn Published: August 5, 2011

The Digest of Motor Laws is available at the AAA website.

'The AAA Digest of Motor Laws is an online compendium of laws and rules related to driving and owning a motor vehicle in the United States and Canada.

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House Briefs Against Same-Sex Marriage (2): Brief in Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment

By Wilson Huhn Published: August 5, 2011

As reported in yesterday's post, the House of Representatives has filed briefs in the case of Windsor v. United States in federal district court in New York.  Yesterday's post described the House's Answers to Interrogatories.   Today's post summarizes the House's Brief in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment.

The summary judgment brief filed by the House of Representatives is long on process but short on substance.  The House focuses nearly exclusively on the threshold question "Are same-sex couples a suspect class?"  It devotes almost no attention to the question, "Is there a legitimate reason for the federal government to deny recognition to same-sex marriages?"

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Perverse Corporate Oversight Incentives

By Stefan Published: August 4, 2011

House Briefs Against Same-Sex Marriage (1): Answers to Interrogatories

By Wilson Huhn Published: August 4, 2011

On August 1, 2011, lawyers for the House of Representatives filed briefs in support of the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.  Adam Bink at Prop 8 Trial Tracker has posted both briefs: one is a Response to Interrogatories and the other is a Brief in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment.  In this post I will analyze the House's response to the court's interrogatories.

On February 23, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner stating that President Barack Obama had determined that the Department of Justice would no longer defend the Federal Defense of Marriage Act in court.  As a consequence, the House of Representatives was invited to hire attorneys to make arguments in support of the law.

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A City Upon a Hill / A Lamp Unto Thy Feet

By Wilson Huhn Published: August 3, 2011

The Abu Dhabi Gallup Center has released a survey Muslim-Americans: Faith, Freedom, and the Future.  Like other studies of Muslims in America, it will be closely examined in the Muslim world.  It reminds us that America is still a land of promise.

The Gallup study compares the views of Muslim Americans to those of American Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Atheists.  The most important conclusion in the report is that despite the fact that nearly half of Muslim Americans report having personally experienced discrimination during the past year, Muslim Americans are more optimistic about the future than all other religious groups.  Kyle Leighton of Talking Points Memo explores this aspect of the report in Gallup Report: Muslim Americans See Hope In Their Economic Future.

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Budget Compromise

By Wilson Huhn Published: August 1, 2011

The debt limit compromise that was reached accomplishes very little by itself, but it sets the stage for serious budget negotiations going forward.

Katy O'Donnell of National Journal offers details about the agreement in The Deal, Point by Point.

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