The Not-So-Simple Estate Plan of Breaking Bad’s Walter White

2014, Past Issues, Print, Volume 46 (2014) Issue 3 (Fall)
Trisha Farrow. On September 29, 2013, over ten million people viewed the series finale of AMC’s Emmy Award winning hit, Breaking Bad.1 The series followed Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher in New Mexico, and his family.2 When Walter is diagnosed with stage III lung cancer and is given less than two years to live, his desire to provide for his family after his death drives him to use his chemistry background to produce methamphetamine. By the end of the series he and his partner, Jesse Pinkman, are the largest methamphetamine producers in the southwestern United States. In the series finale, both the cancer and the police are closing in on Walter, and he is struggling to find a way to leave his methamphetamine fortune to his family without…
Read More

Reflections on the Changes in Indian Law, Federal Indian Policies and Conditions on Indian Reservations since the Late 1960s

2014, Past Issues, Print, Volume 46 (2014) Issue 3 (Fall)
Reid Peyton Chambers. I want to begin by thanking my longtime friend and colleague Bob Clinton for his too generous introduction, and to Bob and the faculty at the Law School for inviting me to give this lecture in honor of Judge Canby. I also want to thank my many friends and colleagues in the audience who have sat through water rights negotiations in Arizona with me over the past two decades for coming to listen to me once again, particularly in this context where I get to talk uninterrupted for an hour and they can only speak during the question period. Lastly, I want to thank Judge Canby for several things. First, for your continuing scholarship in Indian law during your busy and long tenure on the Ninth Circuit.…
Read More

Carpe Omnia: Civil Forfeiture in the War on Drugs and the War on Piracy

2014, Past Issues, Print, Volume 46 (2014) Issue 3 (Fall)
Annemarie Bridy. This article explores the evolution of the federal government’s civil asset forfeiture practices from the war on drugs in the 1980s and 1990s to the currently escalating war on intellectual property piracy. I argue that recent developments in the war on piracy provide strong proof that legislative reform of the federal civil forfeiture system in 2000, which was intended to make the system fairer to property owners and less prone to abuse by law enforcement agents, did not substantially succeed in achieving either goal. The constitutional problems that remain in the federal civil forfeiture system are most acute with respect to the ex parte seizure of property alleged to facilitate crime—so-called facilitation property. Within that category, Internet domain names allegedly tainted by copyright crime present unique problems. “Property”…
Read More

Complex Decision-Making and Cognitive Aging Call for Enhanced Protection of Seniors Contemplating Reverse Mortgages

2014, Past Issues, Print, Volume 46 (2014) Issue 1 (Spring)
Debra Pogrund Stark, Dr. Jessica M. Choplin, Dr. Joseph A. Mikels & Amber Schonbrun McDonnell. It was the best of loans, it was the worst of loans. For many seniors who are living on an inadequate fixed income with a home value that far exceeds any mortgage debt on it, a “reverse mortgage” might be a good method to address chronic cash shortages. Under this type of mortgage, the lender makes payments to the borrower that are not generally due until the senior passes away or moves from the home. Many seniors have expressed interest in this unique type of financing, and this number has grown exponentially in recent years, as there were ten times the number of seniors entering into reverse mortgages in 2007 as there were in 2001. But,…
Read More

Class Dismissed: Rethinking Socio-Economic Status and Higher Education Attainment

2014, Past Issues, Print, Volume 46 (2014) Issue 1 (Spring)
Omari Scott Simmons. Keeping higher education affordable and accessible for many Americans is an integral part of furthering the public good. Although legal scholars have given considerable attention to K–12 educational disparities as well as the constitutionality and fairness of admissions practices at selective higher education institutions, they have ignored significant barriers that limit higher education attainment for many low socio-economic status (SES) students. Similarly, the existing regulatory architecture, including federal, state, and institutional policies, inadequately addresses the higher education needs of low-SES students. This article responds to this significant gap in legal scholarship. Advancing higher education attainment for low-SES students presents a rare opportunity for the Obama administration to leave an enduring reform legacy much in the same way Roosevelt achieved with the GI Bill and Lincoln with the…
Read More

Numeracy and Legal Decision Making

2014, Past Issues, Print, Volume 46 (2014) Issue 1 (Spring)
Arden Rowell & Jessica Bregant. This Article presents an empirical study of how numeracy—or math skill—relates to legal decision making. We describe three findings. First, the study shows a surprisingly high level of math skill among law students, especially given the common folk wisdom that lawyers are bad at math. Second, although prior research in non-legal contexts has shown that people with low numeracy are particularly susceptible to cognitive bias, we detect no significant relationship between law students’ math skills and their susceptibility to bias or framing effects. Finally, and perhaps most strikingly, our findings show that the substance of legal analysis varies with math skill for at least some subset of cases. In particular, we find that law students with lower numeracy make decisions that are less consistent with…
Read More

How Affidavit of Merit Requirements are Ruining Arizona’s Medical Liability System

2014, Past Issues, Print, Volume 46 (2014) Issue 1 (Spring)
Mary Markle. The purpose of the civil justice system is to compensate those who were wrongfully injured and deter unreasonably risky behavior. More specifically, tort claims for medical malpractice aim to compensate patients who are injured due to negligent care and improve health care by deterring doctors from engaging in negligent care in the future. Despite these noble goals, the medical malpractice legal regime has come under attack in recent years. Opponents of the system claim medical malpractice cases are to blame for skyrocketing health care costs and a shortage of physicians. In response to these accusations, many state legislatures—including Arizona’s—have passed regulations to reform medical liability. Proponents of these regulations hope that limiting medical liability will lead to decreased insurance premiums, which will ultimately lead to lower health care costs and…
Read More

Principled Prevention

2014, Past Issues, Print, Volume 46 (2014) Issue 1 (Spring)
Timothy F. Malloy. Is an ounce of prevention really worth a pound of cure when it comes to the regulation of chemicals? If you believe the aspirational statements of legislators, regulators, public health scientists and others, the answer is a definite “yes.” Yet when you look at the structure of regulatory programs and actual practices on the ground, that ounce is hard to find. Chemical policy in the United States essentially relegates prevention of chemical exposures to voluntary programs and initiatives. Mainstream regulation focuses instead on managing exposures, largely relying on control technologies to capture or destroy emissions and discharges of hazardous chemicals. This article asks what a mainstream prevention-based regulatory system would look like. It presents a typology of prevention-based regulatory approaches and a set of principles for evaluating…
Read More

Whose Sovereignty? Tribal Citizenship, Federal Indian Law, and Globalization

2014, Past Issues, Print, Volume 46 (2014) Issue 1 (Spring)
Stacy L. Leeds & Erin S. Shirl. This Article is adapted from a speech given by Stacy Leeds at the Sixth Annual Canby Lecture Series held at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Stacy Leeds is the Dean of the University of Arkansas Law School, which recently launched a new Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative to complement their long-standing LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law. In her presentation, Dean Leeds draws on her experience both as an Indian Law professor and tribal judge to reflect on how tribal governments are viewed from the outside and how tribes might evolve the dialogue and interact with external audiences including other sovereigns across jurisdictional lines. Full Article
Read More

What’s Age Got to Do With It? Supreme Court Appointees and the Long Run Location of the Supreme Court Median Justice

2014, Print, Volume 46 (2014) Issue 1 (Spring)
Jonathan N. Katz & Matthew L. Spitzer. For approximately the past forty years, Republican Presidents have appointed younger Justices than have Democratic Presidents. Depending on how one does the accounting, the average age difference will vary, but will not go away. This Article posits that Republicans appointing younger justices than Democrats may have caused a rightward shift in the Supreme Court. We use computer simulations to show that if the trend continues the rightward shift will likely increase. We also produce some very rough estimates of the size of the ideological shift, contingent on the size of the age differential. In addition, we show that the Senate’s role in confirming nominated Justices has a significant moderating effect on the shift. Last, we consider the interaction between our results and the…
Read More