A Push for Personhood Under a New Guise: Arizona’s SB 1393

2019, Online, Past Issues, Volume 51 (2019) Issue 4 (Winter)
Emily Morehead. Ruby Torres’ breast cancer diagnosis not only changed the course of her life but also laid the foundation for recognizing embryonic personhood in Arizona. In June 2014, Torres, an Arizona attorney, discovered she had an aggressive form of breast cancer. Upon learning that cancer treatment could leave her infertile, Torres and her now ex-husband, John Joseph Terrell, decided to undergo in-vitro fertilization (“IVF”) treatment. Torres hoped IVF treatment would allow her to have biologically-related children down the road. Although Torres eventually beat her cancer and is now in remission, her marriage ended in a divorce and bitter dispute over what to do with the cryopreserved embryos. During Torres’ divorce proceedings in 2017, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Ronee Steiner faced the unprecedented question of how to deal with…
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“Don’t Force My Hand”: Gender and Social Class Variation in Relationship Negotiation

2019, Past Issues, Print, Volume 51 (2019) Issue 4 (Winter)
Amanda Jayne Miller & Sharon Sassler. Do the relationship processes leading to cohabitation and subsequent outcomes contribute to growing social class disparities in family behaviors? Our paper explores the role played by gender and class in relationship progression, from dating, to cohabiting, to talk of marriage and proposing. Data are from in-depth interviews with 122 service-class and middle-class cohabiting individuals (sixty-one couples). We find that men initiate dating and proposals far more often than do women, though gender equality is more evident in who raises the topic of cohabiting, and women are more likely than men to initiate discussions of marriage. Middle-class women express greater agency in forwarding relationships than their service-class counterparts, as they frequently raise the topic of marriage and establish the general pacing and time frame of…
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Beyond Property: The Other Legal Consequences of Informal Relationships

2019, Past Issues, Print, Volume 51 (2019) Issue 4 (Winter)
Kaiponanea T. Matsumura. It has often been said that there are three parties to every marriage: the two spouses and the state. This aphorism reminds us that the state has a strong interest in the marital relationship and that this interest is reflected in pervasive legal regulation. The parameters of informal relationships are not so clear. Partners may not always share the same understandings of the significance of their relationship, legal or otherwise, and the state is also somewhat noncommittal about its role. Although nearly all states allow partners to bring contract-based claims against each other when their relationships come to an end and a small handful will impose economic obligations on cohabitants whose relationships are sufficiently marriage-like, most informal relationships begin and end without significant state oversight. Full Article
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Race Matters in Research on Nonmarital Unions: A Response to Amanda Jayne Miller’s and Shannon Sassler’s “Don’t Force My Hand”: Gender and Social Class Variation in Relationship Negotiation

2019, Past Issues, Print, Volume 51 (2019) Issue 4 (Winter)
R.A. Lenhardt. At three-years old, I overheard my parents talking about one of my uncles. Chatterbox that I was, I promptly found that uncle after their conversation ended and apparently repeated much of what they said. It was not that my uncle—who did not appreciate what he heard from me at all—had done anything wrong. In fact, he had not done anything at all. And that, at least for my parents, was really the crux of the matter. It was early 1970. My uncle, a life-long New Yorker, had just become a first-time father. And, to their chagrin, he had not married the child’s mother. As it happens, his partner was no more interested in getting married than he. For my parents, however, that was almost beside the point. Like…
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Family Choices

2019, Past Issues, Print, Volume 51 (2019) Issue 4 (Winter)
Courtney G. Joslin. Families are changing. In the past, most adults in the U.S. were married, and almost all children were born to married persons. That is no longer the case. About half of all adults in the U.S. today are unmarried. Being unmarried, however, does not necessarily mean that the person lacks a family. As marriage rates have declined, cohabitation rates have increased. Today there are approximately 18 million adults in the U.S. who are living with nonmarital partners. These trends are likely to continue. Full Article
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Blackstonian Marriage, Gender, and Cohabitation

2019, Past Issues, Print, Volume 51 (2019) Issue 4 (Winter)
Naomi Cahn & June Carbone. In Blumenthal v. Brewer, the Illinois Supreme Court held that it would not enforce an alleged agreement between a nonmarital couple that centered on their relationship. The National Center for Lesbian Rights argued that the court’s holding punished people who entered into a nonmarital relationship. Nancy Polikoff found the opinion “shocking.” Albertina Antognini suggests that nonmarriage cases refusing to enforce such agreements harm women. These accusations also reflect concern that Blumenthal-type results are designed to encourage marriage and penalize others. Full Article
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Echoes of Nonmarriage

2019, Past Issues, Print, Volume 51 (2019) Issue 4 (Winter)
Ayelet Blecher-Prigat. This Article aims to draw attention to the dynamic interrelationship between nonmarriage and marriage in which the principles, values, and rhetoric used in laws that relate to nonmarital intimate relationships infiltrate the traditional laws governing marriage. The Article argues that the laws governing nonmarriage affect the legal institution of marriage inasmuch as the laws governing marriage affect how nonmarital relationships are treated under the law. To demonstrate this dynamic interrelationship and influence, the Article uses observations drawn from the extensive Israeli legal experience with nonmarital relationships. Nonetheless, it advances a theoretical claim about the interrelationship between the laws of nonmarriage and of marriage that is relevant in general, including in the U.S. context. Full Article
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How U.S. Family Law Might Deal with Spousal Relationships of Three (or More) People

2019, Past Issues, Print, Volume 51 (2019) Issue 4 (Winter)
Edward Stein. For much of this nation’s history, the vast majority of people have believed that being married to more than one person at the same time is deeply problematic. Further, polygamous marriage has never been legal in the United States. Despite this, some people have been in plural or group relationships and some of these people have wished to gain legal recognition for these relationships. The arguments for recognizing such relationships are persuasive, but the prospects for legalization of polygamous marriage seem slim in the near future. This Article offers a suggestion of how the law of domestic relations might deal with such relationships, focusing on same-sex “triads.” The proposal is that domestic partnership or civil union laws, which remain on the books in some jurisdictions, but are now…
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Trademark Licensing: A Once Concerning Mechanism for Transfer Faces New Certainty Under Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC

2019, Online, Past Issues, Volume 51 (2019) Issue 3 (Fall)
Hilary Weaver. Long-term trademark licensing agreements are inherently risky transactions for licensees. Consider the risks facing a hypothetical business owner who licenses rights in the trademark of an up-and-coming business under a long-term, exclusive licensing agreement. If the licensed trademark loses popularity over time, the license’s value could plummet and cause the licensee to suffer a financial loss. On the other hand, if the licensor’s brand becomes exponentially more popular, market demand for products under the licensed mark could increase and generate large profits for the licensee. Under the latter scenario, securing long-term rights under the licensing agreement could even empower the licensee to feel comfortable hiring additional employees, leasing a larger manufacturing space, or making other long-term investments in reliance upon the continued use of the mark. Full Article
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Burnt Lands, Dry Lakes, and Empty Pockets: Emergency Water Takings and Wildfires

2019, Past Issues, Print, Volume 51 (2019) Issue 3 (Fall)
Alexander Ronchetti. After weeks of endless meetings and memos, Doc finally arrived at his family’s upstate farm for some rest and relaxation. After settling in, he grabbed a chair and walked down the path to the lake where his family stored the farm’s water supply. On the drive up, Doc had heard about the wildfires that were moving their way across the state, but he had paid no attention to them because the fires were reportedly still hundreds of miles away and outside his water basin. After a little while he started smelling smoke and hearing helicopters in the distance. Alarmed, he looked up and saw that a wildfire was heading his way. Suddenly, over the tree line, a U.S. Forest Service helicopter rapidly approached and then stopped, hovering directly…
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