Chicago's Best Ideas

Chicago's Best Ideas: Saul Levmore, "How Does Law Work? Concentration and Distribution Strategies"

Date: 
10.21.2014
Location: 
Law School, Room II

Two of the best ideas of the last half-century describe strategies for using legal remedies to solve social problems. One is the concentration of liability on a well-situated problem solver, or “least cost-avoider,” who can always contract out the work to be done (thus reflecting Chicago’s Very Best and Biggest Idea, the Coase Theorem).

Faculty: 
Saul Levmore

M. Todd Henderson, "Do Judges Follow the Law?"

In a naïve model of judging, Congress writes statutes, which courts know about and then slavishly apply. But a Chicago lawyer might doubt this model, believing judges are maximizing something other than compliance with the law.

Participating faculty: 
M. Todd Henderson

M. Todd Henderson, "Do Judges Follow the Law?"

In a naïve model of judging, Congress writes statutes, which courts know about and then slavishly apply. But a Chicago lawyer might doubt this model, believing judges are maximizing something other than compliance with the law.

David Strauss, "Does the Constitution Always Mean What It Says?"

The U.S. Constitution is "the supreme Law of the Land." Of course some of its provisions are vague and must be interpreted. But when the Constitution says something clearly, we follow it. Don't we?

Participating faculty: 
David A. Strauss

Lior Strahilevitz, "Personalizing Default Rules and Disclosure with Big Data"

The laws of intestacy are the same for men and women even though preferences for how one's estate should be divided differ by gender. Peanut-allergic octogenarian men and gluten-allergic pregnant women see the same warnings on consumer products even though they are interested in seeing information that is much better tailored to them.

Participating faculty: 
Lior Strahilevitz

Lior Strahilevitz, "Personalizing Default Rules and Disclosure with Big Data"

The laws of intestacy are the same for men and women even though preferences for how one's estate should be divided differ by gender. Peanut-allergic octogenarian men and gluten-allergic pregnant women see the same warnings on consumer products even though they are interested in seeing information that is much better tailored to them.

Tom Ginsburg, Jonathan Masur, and Richard McAdams, "Temporary Law: The Case of Smoking Bans"

Libertarians often assert that regulation is unnecessary because the market will meet any existing consumer demand. The issue of smoking in bars is a paradigmatic context in which this argument arises. Libertarians argue that bar patrons (and employees) are free to patronize or work in whichever bars they choose.

Participating faculty: 
Tom Ginsburg
Participating faculty: 
Jonathan Masur
Participating faculty: 
Richard H. McAdams

Chicago's Best Ideas: Professor M. Todd Henderson, "Do Judges Follow the Law?"

Date: 
04.15.2014
Location: 
Room II

In a naïve model of judging, Congress writes statutes, which courts know about and then slavishly apply. But a Chicago lawyer might doubt this model, believing judges are maximizing something other than compliance with the law.

Faculty: 
M. Todd Henderson

Emily Buss, "Court Reform in the Juvenile Justice System"

Over 100 years ago, Chicago led the way in establishing separate courts for young people who committed crimes.  These Juvenile Courts, soon in operation in every state, had two interrelated aims:  The first was to separate adolescent offenders from adult criminals.

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