Category Archives: Scholarship

Presenting “Identity Entrepreneurs” at the Yale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum

I really enjoyed presenting my article “Identity Entrepreneurs,” forthcoming in the California Law Review, at the Yale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum this week. The format consisted of a twenty-minute presentation by the junior scholar, followed by feedback by one or two senior commenters and then general commentary. I believe there were twelve papers presented and I was so impressed and inspired by each of them. I was honored to have my work selected for this conference.

Here’s a photo of me presenting, and one of all the junior scholars after our final dinner.

2016 Junior Faculty Forum 2016 Junior Faculty Forum Group

Presenting “Communication in Cyberspace” to the Colorado Women’s Bar Association

Really enjoyed speaking at the Colorado Women’s Bar Association Annual Convention with my former student Joanne Morando, now a prosecutor for Mesa County! We presented the research discussed in our co-written article on cyberharassment, “Communication in Cyberspace,” published in the North Carolina Law Review.

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“Identity Entrepreneurs” Selected for Yale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum

I am pleased to share that my article “Identity Entrepreneurs,” which is forthcoming in the California Law Review later this year, was selected for presentation the Yale/Stanford/Harvard Junior Faculty Forum. This year the Forum will take place in at Yale Law School on June 26-27. I’m excited to attend and to share my work with top scholars in my field, as well as to meet the other junior scholars whose papers were selected. You can find more information about the Forum here.

“The New Public Accommodations”: forthcoming in Georgetown Law Journal

Very pleased to announce that my article “The New Public Accommodations,” coauthored with Aaron Belzer, will be published in the Georgetown Law Journal in 2017. The piece discusses race discrimination in the sharing economy; all feedback is warmly welcome.

Justin Pidot: “Tie Votes in the Supreme Court”

In light of Justice Scalia’s recent passing, check out my University of Denver colleague Justin Pidot‘s brand new paper on SSRN, “Tie Votes in the Supreme Court.” Justin gives us some empirical data on 4-4 splits in the Supreme Court and argues that the court should dismiss cases as improvidently granted if the result would be a tie.

New on SSRN: “The New Public Accommodations”

A full draft of my article “The New Public Accommodations,” coauthored with Aaron Belzer, is now available on SSRN. Here’s the abstract:

The sharing economy raises important new questions about public accommodation laws. Such laws originally were enacted to prohibit establishments open to the public—for example, hotels, restaurants, taxi services, and retail businesses—from discriminating on the basis of characteristics such as race, color, religion, and national origin. Sharing economy businesses are functional substitutes for these traditional public accommodations. Yet existing public accommodation laws are not always a good fit for the unique features of the sharing economy.

This Article is the first to argue that public accommodation laws must evolve to address race discrimination in the sharing economy. Available evidence suggests that, in many circumstances, race discrimination affects the sharing economy in much the same way it affects the traditional economy. Sharing economy businesses use online platforms to connect providers of goods and services (drivers; landlords) with users of those goods and services (passengers; renters). These platforms often make race visible to both providers and users by requiring that they create profiles that include names, photographs, and other information. Such profiles may trigger conscious and unconscious bias and result in discrimination even if the parties never meet in person. Moreover, sharing economy businesses encourage or even require providers to rate users. Rating systems aggregate biases, and users who are members of disfavored racial categories may begin to receive worse service, or, eventually, to be denied service altogether.

This Article examines existing public accommodation laws—Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 42 U.S.C. § 1982, and the Fair Housing Act—and concludes that they hold considerable promise for remedying discrimination in the sharing economy. Nonetheless, the sharing economy presents new issues that existing laws do not entirely address. To the extent that sharing economy businesses perform the same function as traditional public accommodations yet escape existing laws, we argue that those laws should be amended and briefly describe the form the new laws should take.

Feedback is very much welcome–please feel free to contact either me or Aaron.

Negative Identity

My latest article is now out in the Southern California Law Review! You can download the final version here.

The piece is about identities defined by the absence of something that much of society thinks is important — for example, lack of religion, sexual desire, partnership, and children. I consider the existing protection that federal and state laws provide for atheists, asexuals, single people, and people with no children. I then consider whether such antidiscrimination  protection is warranted, and whether it should be expanded.

In Progress: The New Public Accommodations

I’m still taking a break from blogging while I continue to try to fully resolve my hand issues. I have, however, posted a short summary of my work in progress relating to race discrimination in the sharing economy on SSRN. The piece is called “The New Public Accommodations.” Feedback is welcome, and if you would like to see a longer draft in progress — one I’m not quite ready to post publicly — please feel free to email me.

The RightsCast, Ep. 12, Pt. 2: Charlotte Garden, “Meta Rights”

I released this last week and just realized I forgot to post it on the blog. Part 2 of Charlotte Garden’s discussion of her article “Meta Rights.”

Due to the holiday this weekend, there will be no new episode of The RightsCast this week. It will return next week.

Diversity Within the International Arbitration Community

Last week my former professor Deborah Rhode published a piece in the Washington Post about the lack of diversity in the legal profession, particularly in the most “elite” or “prestigious” jobs. Now, lead author Susan Franck (Washington & Lee) and several collaborators have published an important complement examining original empirical data relating to diversity among adjudicators and counsel in international arbitration proceedings.

Although the “invisible college” of those involved in international arbitration is difficult to define, the researchers created an original data set using registrants for the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) and examined diversity across several demographic categories. Among many interesting findings, their research revealed that only 17.6% of arbitrators were women, the average age of both counsel and adjudicators was 48,  and arbitrators  from the developed world were overrepresented relative to those from the developing world.

I particularly appreciated the article’s focus on the importance of diversity to perceived legitimacy and, ultimately, the functioning of the international arbitration system as a whole. International arbitration occurs because states consent to it, and such consent would be less likely if the identity of arbitrators led states to lose confidence in the process. As the authors explain: “States permit and honor arbitration proceedings, in part, because of their perceived utility; should those courts or legislatures believe that ICA is illegitimate or problematic, they retain the capacity to re-absorb those cases into judicial dockets.”

The article is available here. From the abstract:

As diversity can affect the perceived legitimacy of a state’s dispute resolution system and the quality of judicial decisions, diversity levels in the national bench and bar have been an area of transnational concern. By contrast, little is known about diversity of adjudicators and counsel in international arbitration. With a lack of accurate, complete, and publicly available data about international arbitrators and practitioners, speculation about membership in the “invisible college” of international arbitration abounds. Using data from a survey of attendees at the prestigious and elite biennial Congress of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration permitted one glimpse into the membership of the international arbitration community. Although defining the international arbitration community is challenging, rather than leave the “invisible college” unexamined, this Article offers one systematic glimpse into the global elites of international arbitration using data from 413 subjects who served as counsel and 262 who acted as arbitrators (including 67 investment treaty arbitrators). The median international arbitrator was a fifty-three year old man who was a national of a developed state reporting ten arbitral appointments; and the median counsel was a forty-six year old man who was a national of a developed state and had served as counsel in fifteen arbitrations.

In addition: (1) 17.6% of the arbitrators were women, and there was a significant age difference such that male arbitrators were approximately ten years older than women; (2) for those acting as international arbitrators, we could not identify a significant difference in the number of appointments women and men obtained; (3) depending upon how development status was defined, developing world arbitrators accounted for fifteen to twenty percent of arbitrators; and (4) for all measures used to analyze development status, arbitrators from the developing world received a statistically lower number of appointments than their developed world counterparts.

Recognizing the data revealed diversity in international arbitration is a complex phenomenon, the data nevertheless supported, rather than disproved, claims that international arbitration is a relatively homogenous group. Acknowledging that international arbitration may improve over time and diversity issues challenge other forms of dispute resolution, diversity levels in international arbitration were somewhat lower than in several national court systems but were generally reflective of diversity levels in other international courts and tribunals. The international arbitration community seems aware of the distortions. For all subjects, 57.5% either somewhat or strongly agreed that international arbitration experiences challenges related to gender, nationality, or age. Younger subjects and women were statistically more likely to identify such challenges as compared to older or male subjects; but subjects from states outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) were less likely to identify challenges when compared to their OECD counterparts. Replication is necessary as the results may reflect a limited historical baseline of international arbitration global elites.

Given the self-identified concerns and the symbolic legitimacy of broader representation, the international arbitration community may wish to explore factors inhibiting full utilization of untapped talent and facilitate aims of procedural, and potentially distributive, justice. Structural and incremental strategies could then promote a sustainable international arbitration system for the future.