Archive for August, 2012

August 27, 2012

Sovern on Shopping for Mortgages

Professor Jeff Sovern had a letter in yesterday’s New York Times calling for greater consumer counseling for borrowers. You can find the letter here.

August 24, 2012

Cunningham on Law School Marketing Materials

Associate Dean Larry Cunningham has a new paper on SSRN called The Effect of Law School Marketing Materials on U.S. News and World Report Rankings. Here is the abstract:

In the last few years, law schools have inundated each other with glossy brochures, postcards, magazines, and other marketing materials in an attempt to influence their “peer assessment scores” in the annual U.S. News and World Report rankings. This article describes a study that attempted to determine whether law schools’ print marketing efforts to one another have an impact on their U.S. News rankings data. From June to December 2011, the author’s school collected and coded all of the materials it had received from schools, including materials that it itself had sent to others. In total, 427 unique pieces of marketing were received from 125 of the 191 schools that were the subjects of this study. They varied considerably in size, format, content, and audience. A number of statistical tests were conducted to compare a school’s marketing efforts with its overall rank, overall score, peer assessment score, and tier, along with any change in those variables from the 2011 rankings to the 2012 ones. The results showed that there was some correlation between a school’s marketing efforts and its U.S. News data. Schools that sent marketing materials had, on average, higher tier placement and peer assessment scores; however, there was not a significant change in year-to-year rankings variables. The number of pieces a school sent during the study period was, for the most part, not significant. On the other hand, the number of pages in its materials was correlated with a number of U.S. News variables. Schools that sent longer, magazine-type publications geared towards a specific audience had higher U.S. News scores and also showed a slight improvement in their overall score between the two years of rankings data in this study. However, it is possible that a co-variate, such as institutional financial resources, may be causing the results. Additional study is needed to determine whether marketing materials have a longer-term effect on U.S. News ranking variables that cannot be captured in a one year study.

The study (which is available here) has already garnered some media attention, including this piece in the National Law Journal.

August 17, 2012

Nelson on Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law

Professor Janai Nelson was quoted yesterday in the Philadelphia Inquirer concerning the recent decision upholding Pennsylvania’s voter identification law. Here is the link. You can find Janai’s comments on page 3.

August 17, 2012

Sovern Comments on Differential Consumer Pricing

Professor Jeff Sovern had a letter in yesterday’s New York Times concerning the increasingly frequent practice of charging different consumers different prices. You can find it here.

August 16, 2012

Franz Kafka and Lawrence Joseph

The Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Review recently published an article entitled “Franz Kafka, Lawrence Joseph, and the Possibilities of Jurisprudential Literature.” The author, Patrick J. Glen, offers this conclusion about the two writers:

This Article… has offered a harmonious and complementary reading of two giants in the contemporary law and literature discourse, Franz Kafka and Lawrence Joseph. The work of these authors offer complementary perspectives of the legal system–Kafka’s from the point of view of the litigant, Joseph’s from within the system… Moving away from traditional conceptions of jurisprudence, Kafka and Joseph offer a realist, practical account of the nature and derivations of law in contemporary practice… Literary jurisprudence offers a better way to directly and truthfully address the nature of law in its twenty-first century manifestations. Moreover, the narrative form is likely to get one closer to the truth of legal experience than are the traditional approaches of academic jurisprudence… In this sense, literary jurisprudence, despite its fictional form, may offer a more realistic account of contemporary legal practice than academic writing, and thus provide a solid basis from which improvements in law could be proposed.

You can find the full article here.

August 16, 2012

Larry Cunningham on Times Square Shooting

Associate Dean Larry Cunningham was quoted in a New York Times article yesterday entitled, “Police Sought Cellphones for Video of Times Square Shooting.” Here is the link.

August 16, 2012

Di Lorenzo on Real Estate Financing

Professor Vincent Di Lorenzo has contributed a chapter to a book, Community, Home and, Identity,that is edited by Michael Diamond of Georgetown and Terry Turnipseed of Syracuse and is being published by Ashgate. The chapter written by Vincent Di Lorenzo is “Evolving Ethical Standards in Property Law: A Study of Regulatory Perspectives toward Home Mortgage Lending Transactions.” Here is the abstract:

This chapter examines the ethical viewpoint of Congress and the federal bank regulatory agencies toward consumer protection in the mortgage market. On one level this is an analysis of whether regulators have properly effectuated the intention of Congress. On another level it is an exploration of the ethical perspective manifest in congressional decisions. The conclusion drawn is that over the last thirty years Congress repeatedly prohibited mortgage practices and products that subjected consumers to significant financial injury (loss) when it found that consumers were unable to effectively protect themselves against such injury.  This reflected an ethical viewpoint in U.S. society, namely that business entities should not profit by inflicting significant financial injury on vulnerable individuals.  Such a viewpoint, and justification for legal intervention, mirrors the viewpoint and the justification for embrace of consumer protections in residential landlord-tenant transactions (warranty of habitability) and in some residential real estate transactions (warranty of quality). As a result of this ethical viewpoint U.S. law has, to a significant degree, rejected caveat emptor as a governing principle in consumer oriented real estate transactions. Much has been written of this change in landlord-tenant law, and in the law governing sales of new homes. This chapter documents the same change has occurred in real estate financing, the third major type of real estate transaction that consumers encounter.

August 8, 2012

Larry Cunningham on Twitter Subpoenas

Associate Dean Larry Cunningham was quoted in today’s New York Times about law enforcement efforts to obtain access to social media data. The story involved New York investigators who subpoenaed Twitter for information to help them identify the individual who threatened to carry out an attack on a Broadway theater currently running Mike Tyson’s one-man show.  You can find the article here.

Larry also appeared earlier today on CBS This Morning to discuss the same topic. You can find that interview here.

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