Current Law Journal Content
Washington & Lee Law School
  Current Law Journal Content
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  American Business Law Journal
  Volume 37, Issue 4, 2000
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  • Articles
  • The Incremental Strengthening of First Amendment protection for Commercial Speech: Lessons from Greater New Orleans Broadcasting
        Arlen W. Langvardt
        p.587                                                                                      +cite        
        About twenty-five years have passed since the United States Supreme Court extended First Amendment protection to commercial speech. This article traces the history of First Amendment protection for commercial speech, culminating in an in-depth examination of Greater New Orleans Broadcasting Ass'n v. United States. The article considers ways in which the incremental approach chosen by Justice Stevens strengthened First Amendment protection for commercial speech, and it explores possible future changes in commercial speech jurisprudence.
  • Employment-at-Will: The Impending Death of a Doctrine
        Deborah A. Ballam
        p.653                                                                                      +cite        
        This article explores the issue of the future of the employment-at-will doctrine. Statutory exceptions began eroding this doctrine during the mid-twentieth century. The most significant erosion started in 1959 with the development of the wrongful discharge tort. First recognized when an at-will employee was fired for refusing to do an illegal act as ordered by his supervisor, wrongful discharge then was expanded to include terminations for performing required public duties, for exercising job-related legal rights, and for whistle-blowing. This article explores the history of the development of the tort of wrongful discharge as well as recent developments that further limit employers' freedom to fire at-will employees. The article concludes with a prediction about what will be the next stage in the employment-at-will doctrine.
  • Cruise Lines and Consumers: Troubled Waters
        Debra D. Burke
        p.689                                                                                      +cite        
        The cruise industry represents the fastest growing segment of the leisure travel industry. This article examines the legal obstacles faced by plaintiffs who try to litigate consumer complaints against cruise lines. First, the article discusses the passenger contract and the enforceability of forum selection clauses and time limitation clauses under maritime law. Second, the article addresses the issue of whether or not state deceptive trade practices acts are preempted by federal admiralty law. Last, the article concludes that sound arguments may be made in favor of accommodating state consumer protection legislation in the context of general maritime law.

  • Commentary
  • Six Forces and the Legal Environment of Business: The Relative Value of Business Law among Business School Core Courses
        George J. Siedel
        p.717                                                                                      +cite        
        Regular review and revision of the core curriculum has become commonplace within business schools. This article presents and analyzes data from 902 senior managers attending executive programs at the University of Michigan. The data indicates that, among ten core business school subjects, law ranks third in value to these senior managers. The paper includes commentary on six forces that account for this high ranking. Two forces that were dominant in the 1970s and 1980s, regulation and litigation, are perceived by many managers as obstacles to business success. The four forces that have emerged in recent years—globalization, entrepreneurship, technology, and compliance—are more positive in that they enable firms to compete successfully in the global world of business.