University of Southern California

Volume 81, Number 4 (May, 2008)

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    Duty Wars
    Article by W. Jonathan Cardi & Michael D. Green

    The concept of duty in tort law remains in turmoil. Courts say and do things that seem wildly inconsistent, sometimes proclaiming the existence of a general duty of reasonable care and then, often in the same case, engaging in a full-scale inquiry into whether the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. Duty is often said to be categorical, and yet duty decisions sometimes appear to be narrowly dependent on the specific facts of the case at hand—although so far the duty inquiry has not turned on th...

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    Trading Votes for Reasoning: Covering in Judicial Opinions
    Article by Stephen J. Choi & G. Mitu Gulati

    Studies report that judges who are on panels with at least one other judge of a different political party (a “mixed panel”) tend to moderate their votes, particularly when cases involve politically charged subject matter. We examine whether this moderation in voting is the product of bargaining among mixed panel judges, where authoring judges, who might otherwise face a dissenting vote (or find themselves in dissent), trade their votes for the ability to craft the reasoning in a unanimous majori...

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    Protecting Privacy Expectations and Personal Documents in SEC Investigations
    Note by Abraham Tabaie

    Consider the following hypothetical: the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is investigating a corporation for stock option backdating by the corporation’s officers and directors, and possible criminal charges are looming. The implicated company fires an executive, and seals her office. All of the executive’s documents inside the office, including her personal documents, are subpoenaed by the SEC. In a modern world, both work related documents and purely personal documents are often left...

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    Brown v. Kamehameha Schools: An Instrumental Critique of Remedial Self-Segregation in Private Education
    Note by Donald A. Thompson

    The Kamehameha Schools are a series of private, nonprofit, nonsectarian campuses interspersed throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Founded in the late nineteenth century, they have operated continuously ever since, fulfilling their mission to provide a “good education in the common English branches, and also instruction in morals and in such useful knowledge as may tend to make good and industrious men and women.” With over five thousand students enrolled in kindergarten through grade twelve, the Ka...

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