Legal Studies Research Paper Series

  • Andrew Chin, Gregory Herschlag and Jonathan MattinglyIn recent years, the U.S. mathematical community has been directing unprecedented attention to the problem of partisan gerrymandering, aided by computational advances and spurred by litigation challenging the spate of extreme partisan redistricting that followed the 2010 census. As North Carolina scholars who have been involved in the landmark Rucho v. Common Cause litigation, we have written this Article with the threefold aim of explaining how the expert analysis of North Carolina's congressional map was performed, how it was used to substantiate the plaintiffs' claims at trial and on remand, and crucially, how it […]
  • Holning LauCourts have played an integral part in advancing the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities in many parts of Asia. For example, Taiwan’s highest court ruled in 2017 that it was unconstitutional to exclude same-sex couples from marriage. As a result, in 2019, Taiwan became the first jurisdiction in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. Among judicial decisions from Asia, Taiwan’s marriage ruling has gone the furthest in affirming same-sex relationships, but it is not alone in vindicating the rights of gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals. Courts in Asia have also advanced transgender rights. For example, building […]
  • Eric L. MullerLoyalty and disloyalty were central concepts in the wartime imprisonment of Japanese Americans. A presumption of disloyalty landed Japanese Americans in concentration camps and then an inquest into loyalty and disloyalty determined who would be granted permission to depart from camp and who would be driven into a deeper incarceration called “segregation.” This article narrates the story of a single man’s shattering experience with the government’s mechanism for loyalty screening. It illustrates the incoherence of a security program built around loyalty, the blindness of those who administered it, and its devastating impact on Japanese Americans’ lives.
  • John F. CoyleDisputes relating to contract interpretation are frequently conceptualized as one-and-done affairs. The court will adopt what it considers to be a reasonable interpretation of the contract, rule in favor of one of the parties, and decide the case. Neither the judge nor the litigants tend to think overmuch about how the decision will affect other contract users going forward. In cases where the language being interpreted is contract boilerplate, however, past interpretive decisions will inevitably affect future ones. Just as a butterfly flapping its wings in Tokyo can change the weather in London, so too can a judicial […]
  • Richard S. SaverThe Physician Payments Sunshine Act (“Sunshine Act”), enacted to address financial conflicts in health care, is the first comprehensive federal legislation mandating public reporting of payments between drug companies, device manufacturers, and medicine. This article analyzes the Sunshine Act’s uneven record, exploring how the law serves as an intriguing example of the uncertain case for transparency regulation in health care. The Sunshine Act’s bumpy rollout demonstrates that commanding transparency through legislation can be arduous because of considerable implementation challenges. Capturing all the relevant information about financial relationships and reporting it with sufficient contextual and comparative data has proven […]
  • O.J. SalinasAs more and more states transition to the Uniform Bar Exam as their state licensing exam, law schools throughout the country continue to examine ways to improve the academic and professional success of their students. This article discusses some of the curricular changes that the University of North Carolina School of Law has implemented to promote the academic and professional success of its students. These curricular changes have given students opportunities to practice and enhance their legal writing, analytical, and test-taking skills, and they have produced positive bar exam results for the law school and a positive experience for […]
  • John F. Coyle, Robin Effron and Maggie GardnerWhen a plaintiff wishes to commence an action against a non-resident foreign defendant in an American forum, it may need to serve that defendant with process abroad. The Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (Hague Service Convention) provides a mechanism for achieving that goal. Under terms of this treaty—which has been ratified by 75 nations—each signatory is required to maintain a central authority that will serve process upon local defendants at the request of U.S. plaintiffs. In practice, however, the act of serving process […]
  • John F. CoyleThis book chapter explores the role played by public policy in the private international law of the United States in the twenty-first century. It first discusses the meaning of the term “public policy” and explores the role that concept plays in the choice-of-law and enforcement-of-judgments contexts. It then highlights the role that public policy plays in traditional and modern approaches to choice of law and provides an overview of recent anti-foreign-law legislation enacted by U.S. states. The chapter next offers a detailed discussion of how public policy informs the private international law analysis in seven specific areas — […]