Law Quarterly

Plausibility Standards and the Limitation of Access to Courts

Jan
03

If there is one thing to be found from the American people’s view of law as embedded in popular culture, it is the common phrase “I’ll sue you”. Most of the time it is taken lightly, and not perceived as a legitimate threat backed by a person prepared to go to court. This is perhaps a reflection of the difficulties in translating abstract justice to the expensive and time-consuming remedies offered by our already backed up judicial system. For the few occasions that we ever need to resort to formal legal action, however, it is always reassuring that there is such a recourse open to us. On the other hand, a judicial system works efficiently when it effectively screens out cases that are trivial. That is what ruling in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly (2007) sought to accomplish, and in Ashcroft v. Iqbal (2009) the screening process was made to be even stricter. These two Supreme Court cases are two of the most cited because of the effect they had on procedural law, and we will examine how exactly they did this. (more…)

The Problem of Judicial Efficiency

Sep
27

Jurisprudence has long obeyed the criteria of fidelity to body of law incorporating statutes, precedents, and of course the Constitution. The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) of 1925 was enacted in response to widespread judicial hostility to arbitration, a process by which parties refer, usually voluntarily, their disputes to be resolved informally by a third party based on the arguments and evidence they present. This has led to disagreements in recent years over whether arbitration as specified in consumer contracts are enforceable, finding its way to the Supreme Court. The issue itself isn’t arbitration, but what it entails- class-action waivers. The decisions in the cases are part of a larger trend towards judicial efficiency through arbitration and the transformation of class-action suits. (more…)

Dangerous Precedents for the Future of Internet Usage

Sep
27

The Silk Road was an online peer-to-peer, reputation-based online market. It differed from standard shopping websites like Ebay and Amazon in that it was created to run through the TOR network, and transactions on the site were conducted in an anonymous cryptocurrency; Bitcoin. The combination of these two aspects, as well as other encryption measures taken by the site’s creator, made all sales on The Silk Road completely anonymous and thus untraceable by law enforcement. This allowed for the proliferation of illicit sales on the website, which sold everything from drugs to hacking services to fake IDs. The anonymity of the website allowed both buyers and sellers to operate beyond the scope of the law and so naturally, the FBI shut it down and had its creator arrested. (more…)