Monthly Archives: August 2015

Duke Project On Law And Markets

lead-lawmarketsA few years back, I put up a few posts discussing a new initiative we were trying out at my school, called the Duke Project on Custom and Law. As I said at the time:

We’re trying out something new at Duke next (2011-12) academic year that I wanted to float by Lounge readers. . . .

The plan is to have a continuing academic dialogue at the law school that is broad enough to include large segments of the faculty (ideally, all of it) and, eventually, other folks on campus as well. I think that the goal is to encourage conversation, collaboration, and cross-pollination among as much of our immediate community as possible. In order to do that we need a topic that is relevant to many people’s scholarship across fields, obviously.

We’ve chosen the relationship between custom and law. Sometimes custom informs the law, sometimes it is antagonistic to law, and sometimes it actually is the law. The year-long dialogue will explore these differing relationships between custom and law.

In hindsight, I think that we accomplished some of those goals better than others, but had sufficient success that our Dean has approved a new project for the 2015-16 academic year, The Duke Project on Law and Markets. This year’s project will be led by my colleague, Joseph Blocher, and me. Like the Custom and Law Project that precedes it, the Law and Markets Project will include a summer reading group (see here for a reading list), a full year of workshops dedicated to law and markets (see here for the fall schedule), a student seminar (course description here), and will culminate in a symposium and volume (this one will be published by Law & Contemporary Problems, a quarterly, interdisciplinary, faculty-edited publication of Duke Law School).

Needless to say, I’m very excited about this lineup of speakers and topics and about the project more generally. Although I was interested in Custom and Law and enjoyed that Project, those of you who know me know that I am much more passionate about law and markets! Our PR folks have circulated a lengthy news article describing the Project in some detail, for those who are interested. From the article:

About 30 faculty members took part in the project’s first event on June 1, a discussion of a controversial 1970 article on blood donation, which argued that a system based on altruism is superior to a market-based system regulated by self-interest. “We had a very lively, two-hour discussion,” said Blocher. “It was a great kick-off.”

I’ll post updates about the Project as the year progresses. For now, I’ll just post the speaker schedule, along with an invitation for area Loungers to join us for speakers or topics that interest you. Just let me or Joseph know of your interest, and we’ll keep you in the loop.

The Duke Project on Law and Markets 2015-2016 Faculty Workshop Series will feature the following scholars:

Sept. 9, 2015, 3:45 p.m., Room 4046

Guy-Uriel Charles, Charles S. Rhyne Professor of Law and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty & Research, Duke University School of Law

Representative scholarship: Corruption Temptation, 102 California Law Review 25 (2014)

Margaret H. Lemos, Robert G. Seaks LL.B. ’34 Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law

Representative Scholarship: For-Profit Public Enforcement, 127 Harvard Law Review 853 (2014) (with Max Minzner)

Sept. 23, 2015, 3:45 p.m., Room 4046

Kara W. Swanson, Professor of Law, Northeastern University

Representative scholarship: Banking on the Body The Market in Blood, Milk, and Sperm in Modern America, (Harvard University Press, 2014)

October 7, 2015, 3:45 p.m., Room 4046

Jason F. Brennan, Associate Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business; Associate Professor of Philosophy, at Georgetown University

Representative scholarship: Markets without Limits, with Peter Jaworski (Routledge Press, 2015)

October 21, 2015, 3:45 p.m., Room 4046

Lawrence A. Zelenak, Pamela B. Gann Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law

Representative Scholarship: Custom and the Rule of Law in the Administration of the Income Tax, 62 Duke Law Journal 829 (2012)

November 4, 2015, 3:45 p.m., Room 4046

Jon D. Michaels, Professor of Law, UCLA

Representative scholarship: Running Government Like a Business…Then and Now, 128 Harvard Law Review 1152 (2015).

November 18, 2015, 3:45 p.m., Room 4046

Gillian E. Metzger, Stanley H. Fuld Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Representative Scholarship: Privatization As Delegation, 103 Columbia Law Review 1367 (2003). Excerpted in Modern Constitutional Theory: A Reader (John H. Garvey, T. Alexander Aleinikoff, & Daniel A. Farber, eds. 2004) To download click here

December 2, 2015, 3:45 p.m., Room 4046

Mario Macis, Assistant Professor, The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

Representative scholarship: Will There Be Blood? Incentives and Displacement Effects in Pro-Social Behavior, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 2012, 4 (1): 186-223 (with Nicola Lacetera and Robert Slonim)

Related Posts: 

Duke Project on Custom and Law

More Law And Custom

Law and Custom Today and Tomorrow

Custom, Contract, and Kidney Exchange

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“Feeble Even By Normal Litigation Standards”

It seems that Ashby Jones opened the floodgates with his recent Wall Street Journal article on Kamakahi v. ASRM, the antitrust suit challenging the ethical guidelines on egg donor compensation promulgated by the American Society For Reproductive Medicine as an illegal price fixing agreement in violation of the Sherman Act. Since that article appeared, other news sources have picked up on the suit.

At Slate, for example, Eric Posner argues that the plaintiffs are not donors, but sellers, and deserve a fair price for their services. Says Posner: “Price-fixers always offer an excuse for their behavior, but these arguments [raised by the defense] are feeble even by normal litigation standards.”

And yesterday, the Legal Broadcast Network ran a video on the case, in which I argue that, were it not for the unusual nature of the product/service at issue, there would be little question that the pricing guidelines were an illegal, per se violation of the Sherman Act. The print version is here, but you can watch the video below.

Related posts:


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