Judging Aggregate Settlement

David M. Jaros and Adam S. Zimmerman
While courts historically have taken a hands-off approach to settlement, judges across the legal spectrum have begun to intervene actively in “aggregate settlements”—repeated settlements between the same parties or institutions that resolve large groups of claims in a lockstep manner. In large-scale litigation, for example, courts have invented, without express authority, new “quasi-class action” doctrines to review the adequacy of massive settlements brokered by similar groups of attorneys. In recent…

Who Owns Human Capital?

Lily Kahng
This Article analyzes the tax law’s capital income preference through the lens of intellectual capital, an increasingly important driver of economic productivity whose value derives primarily from workers’ knowledge, experience and skills. The Article discusses how business owners increasingly are able to “propertize” labor into intellectual capital—to capture the returns on their workers’ labor by embedding it in intellectual property and to restrict workers’ ability to employ their skills and…

Bitproperty and Commercial Credit

Christopher K. Odinet
In the past several years, the growth of virtual property in today’s economy has been explosive. The everyday use of virtual assets, ranging from Twitter and Facebook to YouTube and virtual world accounts, is nearly absolute. Indeed, by one account, Americans check social media over seventeen times per day. Further, a growing number of savvy virtual entrepreneurs are reporting incomes in the six- and seven-figure range, derived solely from their…

Dying for Leave: How Societal Views on End-of-Life Care Pushed Ballard to Expand the Meaning of Care Under the Family and Medical Leave Act

Katherine Vaky
The Seventh Circuit’s recent decision in Ballard v. Chicago Park District shook employers and employment law attorneys to their core, forcing reevaluation of what it means to care for a family member with a serious medical condition under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Ballard, a former employee of the Chicago Park District, requested FMLA leave to take her terminally-ill mother on vacation to Las Vegas as part of…

Determining Ownership and Control of IPv4 Addresses

Benjamin Shantz
The creation of the Internet ushered in an era of unprecedented legal challenges as jurists and legislators struggled to keep up with rapidly evolving technology.1 Chief among these issues is whether certain types of intangible data, specifically Internet Protocol addresses2 (IP addresses), can be owned and treated as intangible property. The world has nearly exhausted its supply of unique IPv4 addresses and the property rights of individuals utilizing IPv4 addresses…