Online Essays

Online Essays

Fair Housing, Unfair Housing

ABSTRACT The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, promulgated under the Obama administration and swiftly repealed under the Trump administration, was the most significant fair housing effort in decades. But for all its ambitions, the rule had a fundamental weakness. It was (intentionally) focused on process and not able to support prescriptive, readily-enforceable mandates to improve racial equity in housing. This Essay argues that this weakness stems from the open-ended meaning of “fair housing.” WithContinue reading “Fair Housing, Unfair Housing”

Plagiarism Pedagogy: Why Teaching Plagiarism Should be a Fundamental Part of Legal Education

As a practicing lawyer, if you aren’t plagiarizing, you’re committing malpractice. Litigators copy forms and arguments from winning briefs rather than bill their clients for reinventing the wheel. Transactional lawyers copy enforceable agreements to ensure their agreements are enforceable too. Partners routinely present documents prepared by associates (and sometimes even paralegals) as their own work. And judges are the most prolific plagiarists of all, copying briefs, opinions, treatises, and legal and nonlegal scholarship, adoptingContinue reading “Plagiarism Pedagogy: Why Teaching Plagiarism Should be a Fundamental Part of Legal Education”

Edwards v. M’Connel: Hiding Behind Legal Principles

Edwards v. M’Connel[i] is cited by a Tennessee state law treatise on res judicata, the legal principle stating that a prior court’s decision is conclusive on another if it was “between the same parties or their privies.”[ii] Edwards’ importance to legal studies and slavery studies is far-reaching. Edwards is an example of how judges reinforced slavery by presenting their decisions as if they were based on impartial legal principles. At best, judges were usingContinue reading “Edwards v. M’Connel: Hiding Behind Legal Principles”

A “Host” of Problems: Airbnbs in Cincinnati, Ohio

Use of condos for hosting Airbnbs has become increasingly popular, not only in places like the Bay Area and Southern California, but also in Midwestern cities like Cincinnati, Ohio. As of October 2017, the Cincinnati Business Journal estimates that there are at least 580 active Airbnb hosts in the metro area.[i] Several of the most popular units are located in Over-the-Rhine (OTR). In little over a decade, OTR has transformed from a neighborhood describedContinue reading “A “Host” of Problems: Airbnbs in Cincinnati, Ohio”

Say Goodbye to Shopping Malls: America’s Shift Towards Technology and Ease

Despite 94% of American consumers who say that they believe doing business within their local communities is important, 2017 ended with a staggering number of over 6,700 brick and mortar stores closing.[i] Famous brands such as Walgreens, Nike, and Footlocker have decided to eliminate physical locations and shift their sales to the online market. With online retailers such as Amazon providing e-commerce platforms for low cost products to be delivered—sometimes within a day—undifferentiated retailContinue reading “Say Goodbye to Shopping Malls: America’s Shift Towards Technology and Ease”

“Uber v. Drivers”: The Battle for Employee Classification

The peer-to-peer ridesharing industry has been booming since Uber first went live in San Francisco in 2010. Presently, Uber has spread to more than 700 cities worldwide,[i] and is estimated to have more than two million active drivers.[ii] The ease and popularity of Uber’s services have inspired a remarkable amount of competition: in the United States, companies like Lyft, Wingz, Summon, and Via have entered the peer-to-peer ridesharing market; internationally, Didi Chuxing, Haxi, Grab,Continue reading ““Uber v. Drivers”: The Battle for Employee Classification”

What Does it Mean to Discriminate “Because of . . . Sex”?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against their employees “because of . . . sex.”[i] In the half-century since the passage of Title VII, the definition of “sex” discrimination has broadened significantly. Originally, under the Act, “sex” referred just to biological sex.[ii] Eventually, this was expanded to include discrimination based on sex stereotyping and, more recently, gender identity.[iii] Despite dynamic changes in the area,Continue reading “What Does it Mean to Discriminate “Because of . . . Sex”?”


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