Under most general liability insurance policies, an insurance company has a duty to defend the insured against any suit where there is a potential for coverage; the commitment to defend is described in the policy as a “right and duty” of the insurer. At the same time, the investigation and settlement of suits are left to the judgment of the insurer, which “may” undertake these efforts “at [its] discretion.” From the obligation to defend where there is a potential for coverage, a complex body of law has emerged whereby insureds seek to impose liability upon insurers for failing to settle an underlying case where liability and damages are reasonably clear, and the insured faces an excess verdict.
The world is a much different place than it was just a few months ago due to the omnipresence of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. Businesses have opened, closed, reopened, and reclosed. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, residents and businesses have urgently looked to government officials for guidance and hope. And while Commonwealth officials have performed steadfastly in combatting the scourge of COVID-19, their practice of governing by multiple overlapping government orders, guidance, other sorts of regulatory actions, and even quasi- or non-binding recommendations has been confusing, delayed, contradictory, or otherwise insufficient at times. This Commentary discusses the lightning speed at which policy has been developed in Pennsylvania to combat COVID-19, the lack of recourse to which Pennsylvania constituents have been entitled during the ongoing pandemic, and the issues raised by continuous, constant, and silent implied changes to Pennsylvania COVID-19 compliance requirements.
Before April of 2018, in mere moments a person could log onto the internet and find a bevy of advertisements for underage, sex-trafficked girls, and then point, click, and purchase a fifteen-year-old girl for cyber-sex acts, or for in-person sex acts. Sex trafficking does not happen only on the dark web. It does not happen only in a foreign country. Sex trafficking happens daily right here in the United States. And, prior to April of 2018, ordering sex online was as easy as ordering anything else online. Law enforcement could not effectively prosecute the overwhelming number of bad actors advertising online and, therefore, could not effectively help ensnared and exploited victims. In a letter to Congress, the National Association of Attorneys General requested an amendment to a statute that blocked such prosecutions by affording broad immunity to internet service providers: the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) § 230.
For much of our nation’s history, the power to draw congressional districts has rested exclusively with the states’ legislators, and in a majority of states, the legislature retains that authority. When dividing the state into congressional districts, map makers are bound by strict equal population requirements.
Blockchain is the new buzzword of not just the technology industry, but seemingly the entire world. Most people associate blockchain with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The uses of blockchain technology go far beyond the cryptocurrency world and can benefit many different industries. This Commentary examines how permissioned blockchain and smart contracts benefit the intellectual property (“IP”) industry. The use of smart contracts would increase IP holders, and potential buyers or licensees, establish and enforce IP agreements, and track licensing agreements for IP deals.
What is the effect of a criminal defendant’s death while an appeal challenging a conviction is pending? At one point, both federal and state courts provided a fairly uniform answer: death pending appeal required that the judgment of conviction be vacated and the indictment dismissed. In other words, courts generally treated the defendant “as if he or she had never been charged.” Because the defendant’s death discontinued all proceedings ab initio (from the beginning), this common law doctrine came to be known as abatement ab initio.
This Comment will address suicide encouragement as a distinct homicide offense and propose a doctrinal framework for establishing causation based on the doctrine of undue influence in inheritance law. It also argues that causing suicide statutes, which proscribe causing another’s suicide through force, duress, deception, or coercion, are best fitted for prosecuting suicide encouragement cases like Carter.
The United States is currently facing a public health emergency: the opioid epidemic. Synthetic opioids—primarily illicitly manufactured fentanyl (“IMF”) and its analogues—were involved in nearly 30,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017. Fentanyl and its analogues are so potent that, in addition to causing widespread death among direct users, these substances have injured law enforcement and first responders in the line of duty and have previously been deployed in settings that have yielded mass casualties in the context of chemical warfare. Given these details, this commentary presents a theory for how traffickers of IMF and its analogues could be prosecuted not only under the Controlled Substances Act—the federal law typically applied to such circumstances—but also under state and federal laws regulating chemical weapons.
One of the most important and complex issues facing the criminal justice system is the decision of whether or not to allow a defendant to be released via pretrial bail. On one hand, the defendants deemed dangerous and those with a higher risk of not appearing in court have more reason to be detained pretrial while low level criminals with minor offenses may not necessarily need to be detained. Ultimately, society is harmed and the criminal justice system is hindered when defendants are incorrectly released pretrial. Alternatively, when there are defendants detained when no risk is present, there are not only serious moral and public policy implications, but also constitutional ones. This is why a court’s ability to correctly and accurately make decisions to release or detain defendants is not only important, but vital.
“The regulatory scheme envisioned in the [Federal Trade Commission] Act for the slower-paced antitrust problem was not ideally suited for the faster moving advertising field, in which speed in enforcement might become of the essence.” – Ira M. Millstein.
The argument adopted by Millstein—that the Federal Trade Commission is ill-suited to assume a regulatory role in the fast-developing advertising field—deserves particular focus in today’s social media-driven world. As the role of advertisers adapts to a world of rapid technological growth, Federal Trade Commission regulations regarding advertisements fail to keep up.
In 2017, hackers obtained the names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, and addresses of 143 million Americans during the Equifax data breach. In 2013, every Yahoo account was hacked. As more personal data is stored on Internet-connected devices, more personal data will be accessed in harmful, unexpected and unwanted ways. While enhancing cybersecurity measures is an important step towards protection, total digital security will never be possible, so there must be sufficient legal remedies in place as well.
The recent rise of state statutes and policies that discipline disruptive student protestors raises a host of important, yet largely unaddressed, constitutional questions. This Commentary seeks to identify the constitutional issues raised by such disciplinary systems, in addition to making three principal contentions. First, this Commentary argues that any state disciplinary policy that subjects disruptive student protestors to punishment must not be unconstitutionally overbroad. Second, and by contrast, state disciplinary statutes or policies must specify what is prohibited and what is allowed to avoid chilling the expression of constitutionally protected speech. Third, this Commentary normatively contends that a carefully crafted disciplinary sanction regime may encourage civic activism as students will feel more comfortable expressing their views when they know which conduct is clearly permitted and which is subject to discipline. Speakers may also find confidence in voicing their perspectives to an audience subject to a disciplinary regime which punishes overly disruptive speech and behavior. In short, a disciplinary sanction regime, accompanied by defined terminology, may further the significant government interest in promoting a sort of marketplace, where students are exposed to a variety of different ideas, and where contrarian points of view are freely expressed on campus.
The freedom of speech is the right to express opinions and ideas without the fear of punishment and censorship. However, while this may be an essential right there are certain forms of speech that are restricted in the United States and Europe. Within the U.S., the freedom of expression is protected through the First Amendment and a stronger emphasis is placed on maintaining the freedom of expression by implementing a more categorical approach to regulating free speech, specifically categorizing and restricting speech that is deemed to be unprotected. In contrast, through Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“ECHR”), Europe employs a broader approach to restricting speech, balancing the value of the speech against its societal costs so that only the collective view of accepted speech is protected. This commentary explores the distinction between these two standards and analyses their benefits in protecting free speech as well as their possible detriments in chilling it. Part I examines the more categorical approach that the U.S. implements in restricting free speech, focusing on three main forms of unprotected speech: those that incite imminent danger, true threats, and fighting words. Part II explores Europe’s more broad approach to protecting free speech and how it focuses on enforcing what is societally acceptable. Part III analyses the benefits and detriments of both standards, deducing which standard allows for the most discourse that would enable a better cultivation of valuable speech.
The Uniform Asset-Preservation Orders Act: Quieting The Alarms With Lessons From Abroad
The Supreme Court Delivers an Epic Blow to Employees Seeking Strength in Numbers: The Consequences of Compelling Workers to Waive Their Right to Class Action Suits in Favor of Individual Arbitration
Interrogatory Practice Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure: What is the Basis for the Speculative and Argumentative Objections?
Corey LaBrutto and Jason Kanterman
Reviewing the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s Whistleblower Protection Plan: Added Protections for Whistleblowers
Sean Fulton and Jason S. Kanterman
DOES THE DRAFT RESTATEMENT OF THE LAW OF LIABILITY INSURANCE WRONGLY ELEVATE PROOF AND OVERVALUE LEGAL UNCERTAINTY? YES, GIVEN THE FORESEEABLE RISK INSURERS MAY MORE OFTEN DECLINE THE DUTY TO DEFEND AS A RESULT
A PLEA FOR CONSTITUTIONAL BALANCE
Stephen M. Feldman
AN APPRECIATION OF PRACTITIONER KIM MARRKAND’S THOUGHTFUL ARTICLE, AND A GENTLE FORENSIC SUGGESTION TO PROFESSOR ABRAHAM, HAY, MARTINEZ, AND THOMAS REGARDING THE RLLI’S SECTION 24 AND A LIABILITY INSURER’S EXPOSURE TO EXTRACONTRACTUAL, BAD FAITH LIABILITY
Dennis J. Wall
FINDING ROOM IN THE CRIMINAL LAW FOR THE DESUETUDE PRINCIPLE
Paul J. Larkin, Jr., Esq.
PAVING THE WAY FOR LEGALIZED SPORTS GAMBLING
WHY PADILLA DOES NOT APPLY RETROACTIVELY IN NEW JERSEY: UNDERSTANDING THE “NEW RULE” FOR ADVISING NON-CITIZEN DEFENDANTS ABOUT THE DEPORTATION CONSEQUENCES OF PLEADING GUILTY — STATE V. GAITAN
Allison L. Eiselen
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN UNINTENTIONAL INTESTACY AND URBAN POVERTY
Reid Kress Weisbord
BOOK REVIEW – FRIENDLY FIRE – HENRY FRIENDLY: GREATEST JUDGE OF HIS ERA. BY DAVID M. DORSEN. CAMBRIDGE, MASS.: THE BELKNAP PRESS OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2012. Pp. 498. $35.00
Reviewed by Jonah J. Horwitz
THE SUPREME COURT TO CLASS ACTION ARBITRATION: DROP DEAD
Arnold Shep Cohen