What Western Business Law is Counter-Productive?

Share with your network

Our business law is very dense.  There is the common law: how you contract, what you do that creates liability, how you borrow money, how you hire and fire.

There is a large historical list of statutes and regulations by which government has cut into the common law: labor laws, anti-trust laws, securities laws, laws concerning sales or the granting of mortgages or liens on property, laws on how to resolve disputes, laws levying taxes — just to name a few.

There is also a rapidly growing list of statutes that are preceived to cut much more deeply into the historical fabric of how business operates:  SEC disclosure rules; the Dodd-Frank Act that regulates corporate management and financial markets; mandatory insurance coverages for employees; restrictions on hiring.  You can add your own favorites to this list.

I would like to end up with a list of law or legal principles that are thought to be indespensible to the operation of a market economy, sort of business law best practices.  And perhaps a list of things NOT to do in the business regulation field.

Would anyone like to suggest which list the following things should populate?

*Jury trials for business disputes

*Anti trust laws (there are of course many aspects to these)

*Minimum Wage and Hour standards

*Specific disclosure requirements to sell shares of stock to large institutions

*An ability of a company to declare bankruptcy and erase all its debts without (generally speaking) the management or shareholders having any liability

*A tax at the entity level of profits

I am not trying to be sensationalistic or provocative.  I suggest that there are some very fundamental elements of our business legal system that have evolved with their own internal logic and have reflected our social and economic histories, even our Constitution itself.  But, as a drill in logic, if you had a clean slate (I understand Russia is not quite a clean slate, but IF you had one), what if any basics would you consider discarding or very radically eliminating?

And, even with respect to our business laws (common law or statutory law) which are not so global or fundamental, do you have favorite “bad ideas in business law” that you would like to identify?

My thought for teaching: anyone can teach what “is.”  How about a taste of what “ought to be”?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *