Category: Administrative Announcements


Introducing Guest Blogger David Zaring

zaring2.jpgWe are very happy to announce that David Zaring will be joining us as a guest these next few weeks. David is a professor of law at Washington & Lee University School of Law. Prior to joining Washington & Lee, David was a professor in New York University School of Law’s lawyering program. He worked at the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division, was Special Counsel at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and clerked for Hon. Judith Rogers, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Hon. Wm. Matthew Byrne, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

David teaches administrative law and international trade, and he writes in domestic and international administrative law. Recent publications include: Best Practices, 81 NYU L. Rev. (forthcoming 2006); Informal Procedure, Hard and Soft, in International Administration, 5 Chi. Int’l L.J. 547 (2005); National Rulemaking Through Trial Courts: The Big Case and Institutional Reform, 51 UCLA L. Rev. 1015 (2004). Additionally, David has two more forthcoming works: The Use of Foreign Decisions by Federal Courts: An Empirical Analysis, 3 J. Emp. Leg. Stud. (forthcoming 2006); What’s Next for Networks, 2 Ann. Rev. of L. & Soc. Sci. (forthcoming 2006) (with Anne-Marie Slaughter).

Please give David a warm welcome!


Introducing Guest Blogger Frank Pasquale

pasquale.jpgWe are delighted that Frank Pasquale will be joining us for a guest stint over the next several weeks. Frank is a professor of law at Seton Hall Law School. He holds a BA from Harvard, an M.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University (as a Marshall Scholar), and a JD from Yale Law School. Prior to joining the Seton Hall faculty, Frank clerked for the Honorable Judge Kermit Lipez of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, served as a fellow at the Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property in Lima, Peru, and was an attorney at Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC. Frank focuses his scholarship on intellectual property and health law, and he has a broad-ranging interdisciplinary approach that draws from economics, philosophy, and social science.

His recent scholarship includes, Toward an Ecology of Intellectual Property, forthcoming in the Yale J. Law & Tech. (Fall 2005); Breaking the Vicious Circularity: Sony’s Contribution to the Fair Use Doctrine, 55 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 777 (2005); Beyond Napster: Using Antitrust Law to Advance and Enhance Online Music Distribution, 8 B.U. J. Sci. & Tech. L. 451 (2002) (with Kimberlee Weatherall and Matthew Fagin); and Two Concepts of Immortality: Reframing Public Debate on Stem Cell Research, 14 Yale J.L. & Human. 73 (2002). His recent works-in-progress include Rankings, Reductionism, and Responsibility (about search engine regulation) and The Law and Economics of Information Overload Externalities.

We’re very excited to have Frank join us as a guest!


Dan Filler Signs on the Dotted Line

I’m delighted to report that Dan Filler has agreed to stay on permanently here at Concurring Opinions. He probably doesn’t fully appreciate the fact that he has just signed away his life for nearly nothing in return. He’ll spend eons of time producing content for the blog and get no financial rewards or otherwise.

But his loss is our gain. We think that Dan is a terrific blogger, and he’ll continue to add greatly to this site. We couldn’t be more pleased. Welcome aboard, Dan!


Shameless Plug

blow.jpgAs multiple teasers in this space have hinted, I’ve been working on an article about vivid commercial lies and boasts. That article is now out to the law reviews, under the heading: The Best Puffery Article Ever. Given the title,further description seems sort of unwise, but for the curious, perhaps an abstract would be in order:

This Article provides the first extensive legal treatment of an important defense in the law of fraud and contracts: “puffery.” Legal authorities commonly say they make decisions about whether defendants should be able to utter exaggerated, optimistic, lies based on conclusions about buyer behavior, concluding that consumers do not rely on such speech. However, as the Article shows, such conclusions are proxies for a deeper analytical question: does the speech encourage or discourage a type of consumption activity that the court deems welfare maximizing.

The Article presents a novel constitutional analysis of puffery doctrine that focuses on the meaning of “misleading” speech, a term of art at the heart of the Supreme Court’s contested and still evolving commercial speech jurisprudence. Missing from that jurisprudence is a satisfactory account of how consumers and investors react to speech that is not literally false but which has false implications. I present such an account, focused on the incentives and capabilities of sellers to exploit buyers’ cognitive vulnerabilities. I draw on economic, marketing, psychology and consumption literatures.

I conclude by offering a novel liability proposal. Because legal authorities are incapable of satisfactorily drawing a line between harmful and innocuous puffery, the law should make sellers presumptively liable if their speech contains exaggerated, but vague boasts. This approach would place the onus on sellers to balance the costs and benefits of puffery, and thus lead both to more satisfying doctrine and a more optimal level of fraud.

I’ll be putting a draft up on SSRN shortly. And, now, I can return to my regular quota of blogging!


The end is near, and so I face my final curtain

Many thanks to the regular crew at CO, particularly Dan and Dave, for inviting me to comment this past month. I have had a wonderful time and look forward to returning. Thanks also to the many readers who have taken the time to contact me, comment on my posts, or simply to read them. It is wonderful to be part of the electronic community of legal scholars, students, and the interested public, and I am indebted to those who asked me to take a role. Best wishes, and please continue to call and e-mail.



Light Blogging This Week

I’ll be blogging lightly this week, if at all, as I work to finish two projects with near term deadlines. A litte more near term, perhaps, now that I’ve read Christine’s window post.

In the meantime, our readers may be interested to read this new Linda Beale post on Prawfs, and subsequent reader comments, that seem to be grappling with the question: “must blog posts be short and collegial to be good?”


Good Morning!

First of all, thanks to Dan, Dave & Kaimi for inviting me to visit for a short while. I gave Dan a picture that featured my whole family (I’m the female in the green shirt) because Kate Litvak once told me that I should rent out my adorable children to political candidates. The mid-term elections are coming up, so would-be Senators or Govs (no Reps, please) can feel free to explore the possibilities. Have seersucker short pants, will travel.

My blog home is Conglomerate, and I post over there on things corporate and things not-so corporate with Gordon Smith and Vic Fleischer. This week, we have Lisa Fairfax taking our blog for a spin, so go over and check it out. The main corporate topic that has my attention this month is the Enron trial in Houston, which is just starting Week #2 this morning. I will keep all of my Enron thoughts over at the Glom, but as you can see from last week (here, here and here), my thoughts runneth over. That being said, I’m looking forward to stretching my legs over here and blogging a little off-topic for a change. I teach a couple of classes today at my day job at Marquette, but I’ll be back to chat a little later.


Introducing Guest Blogger Christine Hurt

christine-hurt1a.jpgWe are delighted that Christine Hurt will be joining us as a guest for the next few weeks. Christine is a regular blogger at the Conglomerate, a terrific blog about law and business. She’s currently a law professor at Marquette Law School, and she’ll be moving this fall to teach at the University of Illinois Law School.

Christine teaches Business Associations, Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Finance, Torts, and a seminar on the Ethics of Business.

Prior to becoming a law professor, Christine practiced corporate law in Houston, Texas at Baker Botts, LLP and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP. She also served as the Director of Legal Research and Writing at the University of Houston Law Center for four years.

Christine has written a number of articles, including: Moral Hazard and the Initial Public Offering, 25 Cardozo L. Rev. 711 (2005); Counselor, Gatekeeper, Shareholder, Thief: Why Attorneys Who Invest in Their Clients in a Post-Enron World Are ‘Selling Out,’ Not ‘Buying In, 64 Ohio St. L.J. 897 (2005); and Network Effects and Legal Citation: How Antitrust Theory Predicts Who Will Build a Better Bluebook Mousetrap in the Age of Electronic Mice, 87 Iowa L. Rev. 1257 (2002).

She has two new articles which will be published shortly: Regulating Public Morals and Private Markets: Online Securities Trading, Internet Gambling and the Speculation Paradox, forthcoming B.U. L. Rev. (2005); What Google Can’t Tell Us About Internet Auctions (And What It Can), forthcoming U. Toledo L. Rev.

Please give Christine a warm welcome.