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Volume 64, Number 5 Category

Plea Bargaining, Discovery, and the Intractable Problem of Impeachment Disclosures

Oct. 26, 2011—In a criminal justice system where guilty pleas are the norm and trials the rare exception, the issue of how much discovery a defendant is entitled to before allocution has immense significance. This Article examines the scope of a prosecutor’s obligation to disclose impeachment information before a guilty plea. This question has polarized the criminal...

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Patently Impossible

Oct. 26, 2011—The quest to achieve the impossible fuels creativity, spawns new fields of inquiry, illuminates old ones, and extends the frontiers of knowledge. It is difficult, however, to obtain a patent for an invention which seems impossible, incredible, or conflicts with well-established scientific principles. The principal patentability hurdle is operability, which an inventor cannot overcome if...

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Breaching the Mortgage Contract: The Behavioral Economics of Strategic Default

Oct. 26, 2011—Underwater homeowners face a quandary: Should they make their monthly payments as promised or walk away and save money? Traditional economic analysis predicts that homeowners will strategically default (voluntarily enter foreclosure) when it is cheaper to do so than to keep paying down the mortgage debt. But this prediction ignores the moral calculus of default,...

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