D. Alex Robertson
93 Texas L. Rev. 505
In this age of electronic payments, the use of debit cards has nearly exceeded that of credit cards and checks combined. Despite this popularity, debit cards are still subject to legislation passed in the 1970s, leaving users open to expansive liability in the event of fraud. In this Note, Mr. Robertson analyzes the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, which currently governs debit card usage, and suggests major revisions to better reflect the current market. He concludes that new legislation is needed to best protect debit card users from losses associated with fraud.
R. Ryan Staine
93 Texas L. Rev. 521
As the world’s energy needs continue to increase, wind power is estimated to become a more prevalent source of renewable energy. However, there are many problems facing this emerging industry. In this Note, Mr. Staine analyzes how Texas, through the CREZ program, has tried to address one of these problems: transmitting wind generated power to customers. He evaluates the success of the CREZ program and provides suggestions for how it can be refined to further promote the wind power industry. Ultimately, Mr. Staine provides a framework for CREZ II, his proposed sequel to the original program.
William W. Bratton & Michael L. Wachter
93 Texas L. Rev. 1
The Delaware Chancery Court recently squared off against the investment banking world with two rulings that tie Revlon violations to banker conflicts of interest. In this article, Professors Bratton and Wachter address the controversy stemming from these rulings, offering a sustained look at the banker–client advisory relationship. They begin by giving a detailed explanation of what investment bankers do when a company is sold. They then use economic analysis and a legal framework to examine potential conflicts of interests between bankers and clients, followed by a hard look at the Delaware Chancery Court’s two recent decisions on these issues. They conclude by experimenting with and analyzing various legal regimes that could be used to regulate the banker–client relationship.
Scott R. Peppet
93 Texas L. Rev. 85
Electronic sensors are now ubiquitous in our smartphones, cars, homes, electric systems, health-care devices, fitness monitors, and workplaces. These connected sensor-based devices create new types and unprecedented quantities of detailed, high-quality information about our everyday actions, habits, personalities, and preferences. Much of this undoubtedly increases social welfare. But this “Internet of Things” raises new and difficult questions as well. In this article, Professor Peppet shows that four inherent aspects of sensor-based technologies create very real discrimination, privacy, security, and consent problems. He asks what discrimination—racial, economic, or otherwise—will the Internet of Things permit, and how should we constrain socially obnoxious manifestations? As the Internet of Things generates ever more massive and nuanced data sets about consumer behavior, how should we protect privacy? How can we deal with the reality that sensors are particularly vulnerable to security risks? How should the law treat—and how much should policy depend upon—consumer consent in a context in which true informed choice may be impossible? In this novel legal work, Professor Peppet describes the new connected world we are creating, addresses four interrelated problems, and proposes concrete first steps for a regulatory approach to the Internet of Things
A. Mechele Dickerson
93 Texas L. Rev. 179
Professor Dickerson reviews Richard R. W. Brooks and Carol M. Rose’s historical account of property covenants excluding nonwhites from white neighborhoods.
93 Texas L. Rev. 207
Professor Tushnet reviews Steven D. Smith’s examination of the dissolution of American consensus on religious freedom.
Katherine E. Kinsey
93 Texas L. Rev. 219
On January 8, 2013, Judge Shira Scheindlin granted a preliminary injunction in the case Ligon v. City of New York, effectively halting the New York Police Department’s controversial “stop-and-frisk” policy. The representatives for the Ligon plaintiffs were the usual civil rights organizations, but there was another organization that seemed out of place in this class action lawsuit, the Bronx Defenders. In this note, Ms. Kinsey examines the role that this nonprofit public defender office played in the Ligon litigation. She begins by discussing stop-and-frisk practices in New York City as well as the legal backdrop for the Ligon decision. She then analyzes the institutional role of public defenders in the United States justice system, including a brief history of public defense, a description of its current organizational models, and an introduction to the obstacles that public defenders face. She then explains the Bronx Defender’s role in the Ligon litigation and examines whether public defender offices should take part in further class action civil litigation.
Caitlin O. Young
93 Texas L. Rev. 257
As computer programmers create more advanced virtual reality environments, it is only a matter of time before trial lawyers begin to adapt these technological advances as tools for use in the courtroom. This increased use of immersive virtual environments (IVEs) as demonstrative evidence raises substantial legal questions. In this note, Ms. Young argues that IVEs are more than just another point in the historical progression in demonstrative evidence from mere black and white photographs. She provides a brief history of the evolution of demonstrative evidence and examines IVEs and how they differ from other computer animations. She analyzes additional issues that may arise from the use of IVEs in criminal trials, finally concluding that courts proceed cautiously in admitting IVEs due to their potentially prejudicial nature.
John M. Golden, Robert P. Merges & Pamela Samuelson
92 Texas L. Rev. 1757
The U.S. Supreme Court has officially declared that we now live in the “Information Age.” Intangible assets are estimated to account for nearly seventy five percent of the value of publicly traded companies. Innovation, a form of “information in action,” has been recognized as vital to economic growth. This increase in the importance of innovation and information has inevitably led to concern with intellectual property. Despite this concern, empirical evidence about how the IP regime operates and its potential for reform has been frustratingly sparse.
This introduction to the University of Texas School of Law Symposium on Evidence-Based IP discusses the progression of IP based research and scholarship to better set the stage for the discussion of a more empirically-based focus in IP related research.
John R. Allison, Mark A. Lemley & David L. Schwartz
92 Texas L. Rev. 1769
Sixteen years ago, John Allison and Mark Lemley published the first detailed empirical look at patent litigation. In this Article, with the help of Professor Schwartz, they update and expand the earlier study with a new hand-coded data set. They evaluate all substantive decisions rendered by any court in every patent case filed in 2008 and 2009—decisions made between 2009 and 2013. They consider not just patent validity but also infringement and unenforceability. Moreover, they relate the outcomes of those cases to a host of variables, including variables related to the parties, the patents, and the courts in which those cases were litigated. The result is a comprehensive picture of the outcomes of modern patent litigation, one that confirms conventional wisdom in some respects but upends it in others. In particular, they find a surprising amount of continuity in the basic outcomes of patent lawsuits over the past twenty years, despite rather dramatic changes in who brought patent suits during that time.