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  • The Restructuring of the Relationship Between Shareholders and the Corporate Entity: Reflections on Berle and Means

    Porrata-Doria, Rafael A., Jr. (1989)
    This Article is an examination and reassessment of Professors Berle and Means' seminal theory of the nature of the relationship between a/corporation, its shareholders, and its management. Because of its importance to modern corporate law,' this relationship is examined in the context of two recent corporate antitakeover defensive techniques: the creation of super common stock, and management's deliberate discrimination against suspected hostile shareholders.
  • The Philadelphia Story: The Rhetoric of School Reform

    DeJarnatt, Susan L. (2004)
    The words empower, accountability, and failure permeate the debate over public education, in the media, in political statements, and in the language of legal authority. This article examines how those words were used in the particular experience of Philadelphia, often described as the largest school reform effort in the history of public education. In 2001 and 2002, Philadelphia became a key battleground for the debate on education as the public school system was taken over by the state government and the governor proposed privatizing the entire school district. The arguments for privatization focused on the claimed failure of the schools and asserted that private management would provide accountability. The article examines the contrast between the reality and the rhetoric animating the debate. It analyzes the use of high-stakes testing as the sole determinant of failure; the likely effect of private management on the levels of accountability, particularly in light of the Philadelphia system's experience to date with the relative lack of accountability of charter schools, and evaluates the claims that privatization would empower parents. It concludes that the rhetoric of reform was used to try to individualize education with the goal of marketizing schooling to the detriment of more democratic reform ideas.
  • Law Talk: Speaking, Writing, and Entering the Discourse of Law

    DeJarnatt, Susan L. (2002)
    The author suggests talking about the legal writing process with first-year legal research and writing students, as they are learning and actively writing, and advocates for students' experiencing "being the audience" of legal writing, as part of their education. This Article reviews three academic schools of thought regarding the relationship between speech and writing. This Article argues for change in the typical legal writing pedagogy, meaning more student interaction and teacher intervention, to effectively enable students to engage in discourse communities of law.
  • Preparing for Globalized Law Practice: The Need to Include International and Comparative Law in the Legal Writing Curriculum

    DeJarnatt, Susan L.; Rahdert, Mark C. (2011)
    Many American legal scholars have chronicled the growing importance of international and comparative legal principles in understanding and resolving contemporary legal issues. Others have asserted that the practice of law itself is becoming global, although few have attempted to demonstrate the globalization of legal practice in any systematic way. Claims about the globalization of law have led in turn to proposals for the globalization of the law school curriculum. Innovative legal educators have advanced a variety of creative proposals for incorporating more attention to global legal issues in the course work of law students. But this scholarship includes relatively little discussion about the globalization of Legal Research and Writing (LRW), the course in which most students acquire the basic tools they use to learn law on their own. While some LRW professors have pioneered the inclusion of foreign and international perspectives in their courses, few have done so in a consistent and thoroughgoing way. This article endeavors to address this omission by arguing in favor of including a comparative and international perspective in the standard LRW curriculum. We argue that the empirical and normative premises which lie behind proposals for globalizing the law curriculum also support exposure to research and advocacy involving foreign and international law as part of the basic “toolkit” of skills that all students learn through LRW instruction. Without introducing a global perspective in LRW, the other changes in the law school curriculum will have limited impact. With an introduction to the sources and methods of using international and comparative law in LRW, however, students will be equipped to integrate global and domestic components into their analysis of a wide range of legal subjects, making the global perspective mainstream. To address the lack of empirical evidence concerning globalization in practice, the article presents a survey of the approximately 10,000 members of the Philadelphia Bar Association regarding the extent to which they encounter foreign and international law issues in practice. The article describes the survey and reports its results. They support the conclusion that lawyers in a wide range of domestic practices regularly confront the need to know something about international and foreign law. Even when they represent fairly “ordinary” clients in what can be characterized as “typical” legal matters, they routinely encounter situations where they need to research questions of foreign or international law, and to incorporate the results of that research into their work product. Building on these theoretical arguments and empirical observations, the article concludes by describing an experimental attempt to incorporate international and foreign law into a traditional first year LRW course. It discusses some of the challenges involved in working international and foreign legal issues into a domestic legal problem, and how those challenges were addressed in context. It also provides guidance and suggestions for possible LRW problem development, based in part on ideas derived from our survey responses.
  • A Legal Mandate That Authorizers Consider Fiscal and Other Impacts of Charter School Expansion

    DeJarnatt, Susan L. (2019)
    Pennsylvania’s Constitution mandates that the Commonwealth provide “for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public education to serve the needs of the Commonwealth.” Pennsylvania decided to add charter schools to this system in 1997, a decision that, like all legislation, must be considered in light of this constitutional commitment to public education and to its role in preparing the Commonwealth’s students for their participation in democracy. Charter schools cost money and the vast bulk of that money comes directly out of the budgets of Pennsylvania school districts. Pennsylvania spent nearly $1.7 billion on charter schools in 2016-2017. Pennsylvania also underfunds its school districts. It ranks 46 out of 50 states for the state contribution to education funding and has the dubious honor of having the largest gap in the country between highly funded districts and poorly funded ones. Those districts also have the responsibilities of authorizing new charter schools, exercising oversight over existing schools, and determining whether to renew or revoke charters. Some charter proponents argue that Pennsylvania’s Charter School Law bars school districts from giving any consideration to the financial impact on districts when they authorize or renew charter schools. This belief conflicts with the plain language of the Charter School Law and its legislative history, and is not supported by court decisions. It rests on a few decisions of the Charter Appeals Board (CAB) which have misinterpreted the language and intent of the Charter School Law. Not one opinion from the Pennsylvania appellate courts has held that authorizers are forbidden from any consideration of financial impact. Balancing the needs and interests of all of the stakeholders in the public education system—students, families, teachers, support staff, administrators, schools—both traditional and charter, tax payers, retirees, and communities—is an enormous challenge. Charter schools are part of that public education system. But requiring school districts to completely ignore the financial impact of their decisions about charter growth cannot be the response to that challenge. If charters must be granted and renewed without any consideration of their financial impact on the school system as a whole, Pennsylvania will be even further impaired in its ability to meet its constitutional obligations. Thus, authorizers not only may consider financial impact, they must do so.

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