Author: John Chapin

A Bug or a Feature?: Exclusive State-Court Jurisdiction Over Federal Questions

Essay

On August 5th, 2017, while enjoying the thrills and frills of a Six Flags theme park, Hugo and Sharon Soto used their debit cards to purchase food five separate times during their outing. After processing each payment for their food purchases, Six Flags issued them a receipt that contained all twelve digits of their debit card number. The Sotos sued in state court on behalf of themselves and a putative class arguing that these receipts violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), which prohibits the printing of more than the last five digits of a credit or debit card number on an electronically printed receipt. The Sotos argued that their injury consisted of the chance that the receipts that they had thrown away could compromise their payment card information; however, they did not allege that their credit or debit card information had actually been compromised.

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The Fiction of NFTs and Copyright Infringement

Uncategorized

In 2021, Non-Fungible Token (NFT) art sales reached over $22 billion. NFTs are unique digital assets that are recorded on a blockchain. The...

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Pandemic Pressures on Faculty

Essay

Academics are incredibly privileged. They are paid relatively well to read, think, write, teach, learn, and provide service to their...

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Getting from Points A to Points B: Wayfinding, Public Accommodations, and the ADA

Essay

“To effectuate its sweeping purpose, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) forbids discrimination against disabled individuals in major areas of public life,” including public accommodations. The thesis of this Essay is that, under the ADA, public accommodations must be prepared to facilitate independent wayfinding to ensure access to, and effective communication inside, the relevant environment. While there is currently no case law which accepts or rejects this contention, I argue that the statutory and regulatory text requires this interpretation, and that wayfinding fits neatly within the textual structure. Moreover, existing relevant ADA case law tends to support this thesis.

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Probate Lending: Data from San Francisco

Essay

Recently, “probate lenders” have started to advance cash to heirs and beneficiaries in return for part of their interest in a pending...

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Just Cause, Not Just Because: a Pro-Worker Reform for the Employment Landscape

Essay

The at-will doctrine permits employers to terminate employees at any time for any reason—or no reason at all—so long as it is not an...

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Breaking Up Big Tech: Lessons From AT&T

Comment

It’s no secret that antitrust law is having its moment in the sun—and technology is the target. In recent years, Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed breaking up the “Big Tech” companies as part of her presidential campaign platform, and former Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim spoke passionately about addressing competition issues in the technology industry in his parting speech. Constituents and politicians on both sides of the aisle are in favor of breaking up Big Tech companies, making this an issue with bipartisan support.

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The Road to Transportation Justice: Reframing Auto Safety in the SUV Age

Comment

For the past fifty years, a singular focus on consumer protection has persistently prevented auto-safety regulators from addressing serious...

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Plainly Incompetent: How Qualified Immunity Became an Exculpatory Doctrine of Police Excessive Force

Article

Recent instances of law enforcement killing community members and ensuing social movements have increased public attention on the issue of...

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Interest-Based Incorporation: Statutory Realism Exploring Federalism, Delegation, and Democratic Design

Article

Statutory interpretation is a unique legal field that appreciates fiction as much as fact. For years, judges and scholars have acknowledged that canons of interpretation are often based on erudite assumptions of how Congress drafts federal statutes. But a recent surge in legal realism has shown just how erroneous many of these assumptions are. Scholars have created a robust study of congressional practices that challenge many formalist canons of interpretation that are divorced from how Congress thinks about, drafts, and enacts federal statutes. This conversation, however, has yet to confront statutory incorporation, which describes when Congress incorporates state law into federal statutes. Statutory incorporation is one of the most common legislative tools employed by Congress and has been used to enact hundreds of federal statutes that affect liberty and property rights across multiple areas of law. Traditional analyses of statutory incorporation argue that it allows Congress to achieve goals of federalism and/or delegation, both of which empower state governments to shape federal policies. But this traditional narrative falls short when held up to the scrutiny of statutory realism.

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