Episode 32: Yaron Nili and Side Letter Governance
Professor Nili is an expert in corporate law, governance, and business. His new article “Side Letter Governance” is forthcoming in the Washington University Law Review. The article is coauthored with Elisabeth de Fontenay at Duke University School of Law. This newest article focuses on a standard but difficult to study practice in private equity known as “side letters.” The article examines how side letters have evolved and how they are viewed in the industry now and what role they play in dealing with investors. The article also contributes new data and insights to the literature by collecting data on how side letters are currently employed and provides readers with recommendations for improving existing inefficient bargaining equilibriums.
Profs Nili (@ynili) and de Fontenay personally read over 250 side letters and coded them in an Excel sheet and categorized them. The letters span over 30 years and the professors were able to glean new insights from their analysis of the letters.
Episode 31: Elizabeth Manriquez and the UW Law School Digital Repository
A podcast episode with Elizabeth Manriquez (Law Repository), Head of Reference & Scholarly Services at the University of Wisconsin Law Library.
This podcast celebrates the fifth anniversary of the launch of the UW Law School Digital Repository. It discusses how it was developed, how it works, and featured research collections housed within it.
Elizabeth (@librarianliz2) begins by talking about her history with the repository and her interest in scholarly communications and repositories.
She then moves to talk about the UW Law School Digital Repository. It’s unique because it’s based in an open-source platform (Omeka) and UW is one of the only law schools that has this. Because of this, we are able to accept more cultural heritage type projects rather than just faculty scholarship. For example, the Bhopal collection (papers, news clippings, materials about the Bhopal incident in India collected by Law Professor Emeritus Marc Galanter).
Elizabeth then describes the repository team and their roles and some of the newest collections in the repository including the Herman Goldstein Collection.
Episode 30: Richard Monette and Brackeen v. Haaland
Prof. Monette has a conversation with Kris about the recent (Nov. 2022) Supreme Court case Brackeen v. Haaland, which focused on the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978’s placement preferences. The issue was whether its placement preferences, which currently disfavor non-Indian adoptive families in child placement proceedings involving an “Indian child” disfavor those children and whether they discriminate on the basis of race in violation of the U.S. Constitution and whether those placement preferences exceed Congress’s Article I authority by invading the arena of child placement.
Prof. Monette begins by relating his family and tribal history- he went to law school because he wanted to teach and educate on Indian affairs. It is an issue close to his heart as he grew up on the reservation and has many family members residing there currently.
He goes through the various issues and aspects in this case and discusses how they relate to prior federal Indian law cases, as well as explaining each.
Episode 29: Nina Varsava, Precedent, Reliance, and Dobbs
The article examines treatment of stare decisis in the Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs majority opinion focusing on its approach to reliance. The article argues that the justices’ refusal to recognize the reliance interest at stake is inconsistent with the Court’s previously prevailing stare decisis doctrine and is also mistaken as a matter of first principles, undermining basic rule of law values.
Prof. Varsava also discusses her background and how she got interested in studying stare decisis- she completed a multidisciplinary PhD along with her JD and focused on the topic. She also had first hand experience with precedent in working as a state Supreme Court clerk.
The new paper talks about reliance interests in stare decisis and Prof. Varsava explains how this is important for society- people can rely on the decisions as stable expectations. When courts overturn these decisions, it throws off expectations and people can no longer rely on these important decisions.
When a court like SCOTUS decides whether to overturn a case like Roe (which they did in Dobbs), they have to weigh the reliance factor and how much people have been relying on this precedent.
Prof. Varsava then goes into detail on the Dobbs situation and the reliance interests involved in the case.
Episode 28: Nyamagaga Gondwe and the Tax-Invisible Labor Problem
Prof. Gondwe (@NyamagagaRachel) discusses her forthcoming article, “The Tax-Invisible Labor Problem: Care, Work, Kinship, and Income Security Programs in the IRC.”
Prof. Gondwe talks about how income security programs fail to recognize non-market care labor that is primarily undertaken by women. These financial assistance programs have increasingly shifted to require evidence of labor market participation as a criteria for eligibility and this failure to recognize the in-home care work puts an even greater strain on women’s economic lives. Prof. Gondwe relies on several texts in the article including “All Our Kin” by Carol Stack (1970) and “From Here to Equality” by William Darity & A. Kirsten Mullen (2020).
Episode 27: Robert Yablon and Gerrylaundering
A remotely-recorded podcast interview with Associate Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Director of the State Democracy Research Initiative at the University of Wisconsin Law School Robert Yablon (SSRN; Law Repository).
Prof. Yablon (@RobYablon) discusses his newest article, “Gerrylaundering”, recently published in the NYU Law Review. This article introduces the concept of “gerrylaundering” in order to best describe voting district mapmakers’ best efforts to lock in their favorable position by preserving key elements of their existing maps. The article then applies the new term to the existing redistricting discourse to describe how people in power can use this strategy to cement their hold on power in a less radical manner than outright gerrymandering.
Prof. Yablon also discusses how he became interested in this topic and how it’s relevant to Wisconsin, as well as how he came up with the concept of “gerrylaundering” and how it relates to and is different from gerrymandering. He also gives a brief history of gerrymandering. He finishes up the discussion by talking about the techniques that mapmakers use in “gerrylaundering” and comparing them to gerrymandering efforts.
Episode 26: Mark Sidel and Restriction of NGOs
Prof. Sidel begins by describing his professional experience and interest in nonprofits and philanthropic organizations- he originally worked with the Ford Foundation before becoming a law professor. He helped lead the program in China, Vietnam, and India/South Asia in the early-mid 1990s.
Prof. Sidel’s academic interests have also focused on Asia and NGOs (non-governmental organizations). He gives an explanation of NGOs and common terms related to NGOs before beginning the discussion of two of his recent articles on the increasing tendency of governments to restrict foreign investments, grants, and donations to nonprofit and philanthropic organizations in those countries.
Both of these papers (“Overseas NGOs and Foundations and Covid in China“; “Securitizing Overseas Nonprofit Work in China: Five Years of the Overseas NGO Law Framework and Its New Application to Academic Institutions“) focus on these policies in China but also touch on other countries and provide a review of the implications of these policies.