Mercer Law Symposium on Legal Narratives this Friday

The editors of the Mercer Law Review have invited me to present my work on Ronald Coase, cattle trespass, and nuisance law at their Annual Symposium, which is scheduled to take place this Friday, October 7, 2022. (See the full schedule below.) The symposium is open to all and will be “live-streamed” for free, but you must register here. P.S.: My panel will take place in the early afternoon, starting at 12:45 PM Eastern, and my co-panelists include my colleague and friend Cathren Page (Mercer), who will speak on the problem of “post-truthism,” as well as Matt Saleh (Cornell), who will address the following fascinating question: How do law’s narratives construct one of its central objects: the human body? For my part, my talk will be devoted to one of the most famous legal narratives of all time: Ronald Coase’s cattle-trespass parable in his landmark paper “The Problem of Social Cost.” (The tentative title of my talk is “Coase’s Parable“.)

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EJW, Volume 19, Issue 2

The latest issue of Econ Journal Watch is available here. Among the many items in this new volume that caught my attention was this Erroneous Erratum section, which begins as follows: “Previously, Stephen Walker criticized an article in Journal of Accounting Research (here and here). Now the authors [of that JAR article], Yang Bao, Bin Ke, Bin Li, Y. Julia Yu, and Jie Zhang, have issued an Erratum in JAR, citing Walker’s critiques. Walker takes a hard look and calls on JAR to do an investigation into research misconduct.” For my part, instead of calling for another toothless investigation, what if we imposed legal liability for research fraud, an idea I proposed back in 2015?!

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Music Monday: 2’21”

That is the duration of this catchy but lesser-known Rolling Stones track from their 1981 album “Tattoo You“:

Below is the “remastered” version (same length):

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This day in legal history: the original bill of rights

On this day (October 2) in 1789, President George Washington sent copies of 12 newly-proposed constitutional amendments to the legislatures of the States for their ratification. (The Congress had approved these first 12 amendments on September 28, 1789.) Only the last ten of these amendments, however, which are now known as the “Bill of Rights”, were ratified by the requisite number of States. One of the two unratified amendments is reprinted below:

After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.

Had this amendment been ratified, we could have had more than 6,000 representatives today, compared to the 435 we currently have! (More details about this unratified amendment are available here.)

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Call for Papers: Smith, Ferguson, and Witherspoon @ 300, St Andrews, 18-21 July, 2023

In conjunction with the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, the Institute for the Study of Scottish Philosophy, and the International Adam …

Call for Papers: Smith, Ferguson, and Witherspoon @ 300, St Andrews, 18-21 July, 2023
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Friday funnies: Sydney man announces he will quit drinking by 2050

The full tongue-in-cheek story is available here. Alternative title, with apologies to Tyler Cowen: “Small steps toward a much better world“?!

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Memo to the World Meteorological Organization

Hurricanes can be destructive and dangerous, so why not name these storms after unpopular or disgraced or failed politicians like the ones pictured below? Alas, that wouldn’t be fair to the hurricanes! (The MWO is the body that assigns names to tropical storms and hurricanes.)

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Today in legal history: the demise of flogging at sea

On this day (September 28) in 1850, President Millard Filmore signed the 1851 naval appropriations bill, which abolished flogging as a form of punishment in the US Navy. Here, however, is a defense of flogging. See also this short essay on “flogging at sea“.

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The Mozart of Modality

That is the title of this City Journal obituary of the North American philosopher and logician Saul A. Kripke, who died earlier this month at the age of 81 and whose most influential work were his 1970 lectures on “Naming and Necessity” (published in 1980 and available here). Among other things, I learned that the great Kripke (like H. L. A. Hart, another intellectual giant of the 20th century) never earned a doctorate.

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Monday music video: Jai Wolf

Alternative title: love in outer space

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