Minnesota Law Review Headnotes 94:1 (December 2009)


The Minnesota Law Review is proud to announce the fall edition of our new online companion journal, Minnesota Law Review Headnotes. In addition to serving as the online archive of the Law Review‘s print articles, available in PDF format, Headnotes also features original, online-only Response articles in which prominent academics respond to the articles the Law Review publishes. Comment fields are available at the end of each Response, and readers are encouraged to provide feedback.

In this issue of Headnotes Responses:

Peter Lee (UC Davis School of Law) responds to Pamela Samuelson‘s article, Are Patents on Interfaces Impeding Interoperability?. In Innovating Between and Within Technological Paradigms: A Response to Samuelson, Professor Lee builds on Professor Samuelson’s article to emphasize that the social costs and benefits of interface patents are highly context-specific. Invoking the concept of “technological paradigms,” Professor Lee argues that strong interface patents can promote significant technological advances in contested industries, but that ex post policy interventions may be necessary to curtail patents on industry standards.

Donald P. Judges (University of Arkansas) and Stephen J. Cribari (University of Minnesota Law School) respond to Ted Sampsell-Jones‘s article, Making Defendants Speak. In Speaking of Silence: A Response to Making Defendants Speak, Professors Judges and Cribari concentrate on explaining why they do not share Professor Sampsell-Jones’s underlying antipathy to the Fifth Amendment right to silence at trial. That antipathy, also frequently expressed by other commentators, is reflected in the article’s proposed rejection of Griffin v. California’s prohibition regarding adverse inferences from the defendant’s assertion of that right. The modern right to silence at trial, while perhaps more robust than framing-era practice, has emerged in a criminal justice system the scope and intrusiveness of which itself greatly exceeds framing-era experience. Griffin’s no-adverse-inference rule, and the right to silence at trial it helps to effectuate, are components of an interrelated cluster of protections, the centerpiece of which is the right to counsel, that reinforce the “test the prosecution” and “anti-inquisitorial” nature of today’s system. While neither theoretically tidy nor practically perfect, those protections at least offer a modicum of dignity which the authors believe many persons would want to have when faced with a powerful adversary in a dehumanizing process. Finally, the authors briefly note why they believe the purported benefits from the reforms proposed in Making Defendants Speak are illusory.

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