CABLJ Forum

The Corporate and Business Law Journal Forum is a companion to the Corporate and Business Law Journal. It features short responses to scholarship and comments on legal news.

We welcome submissions from professors, practitioners, judges, legislators, and law students. Submissions should be a minimum of 500 words. Each submission is subject to similar editorial standards as the articles published in the Journal.

SHIFTING TIDES: HOW THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT OF 2021 PROVIDES FUNDING FOR THE BUSINESS SECTOR

By: Grace Diamond

President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (“Act”) into law in early March 2021 promising impactful relief for many Americans from the coronavirus pandemic. The Act provides fourteen hundred dollar checks and an extension of unemployment benefits to eligible Americans. More substantially, the Act provides tens of billions of dollars of aid for businesses. But who is actually covered, how does this relief Bill differ from prior pieces of legislation and what does it mean for business owners across the country? Essentially, this Act, unlike its predecessors, is narrowly tailored towards specific industries and begins phasing out generally available relief funding for the business sector.

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PRUNEYARD AND THE “REVOLVING DOOR”:THE GROWING CASE TO HOLD BIG TECH COMPANIES LIABLE FOR ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH

By: Parker Jackson

It is well known that the First Amendment protects the freedom of speech. Many understand that traditionally the prohibition on abridging freedom of speech applied only to the federal government (“Congress shall make no law…”). Some are familiar with the 14th Amendment and its doctrine of incorporation, which imposed most of the restraints of the Bill of Rights on the states. Few, however, know that the Supreme Court has held that the ban on abridging the freedom of speech can sometimes extend to private actors as well.

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TECH COMPANY’S BATTLE ANOTHER SYMPTOM OF COVID-19 AS STATES LOOK TO RECOUP LOSSES

By: JACE RILEY

Maryland recently overruled the Governor’s veto to enact a gross receipts tax on digital advertisement revenue to help earn back some of the lost profits due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, tech companies are quickly challenging the tax as unconstitutional. While Maryland’s tax specifically targets digital advertisements, states across the country are looking at many ways to make back some of the lost revenues stemming from the virus.

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FORCE MAJEURE EVENTS IN THE AGE OF THE CORONAVIRUS

By: Mahak Sodhi

What happens if disaster hits and you are unable to perform your promised obligations under a contract? This is the exact type of situation where a party could trigger a force majeure clause. Where unforeseen circumstances occur that cause agreed upon terms of a contract to become substantially taxing, challenging, or more costly to perform, a force majeure provision can save a party from being required to pay damages. As well, so long as parties contracted to include a force majeure clause, the parties can utilize it to excuse performance in that contract.

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So, You decided to Spread Disinformation and now You’re Being Sued

By: ALEXANDER RUDOLPH

To say that the 2020 election cycle was tumultuous, would be like referring to the Cuban Missile Criss as stressful. Amidst the myriad of election lawsuits and disinformation scandals that threatened American democracy over the past year has arisen a new question; how far can someone go when advocating issues of national importance without crossing a line? What duties, if any, do broadcasters really have in verifying claims that were also made in court? While all of those will likely remain open legal questions, by examining the largest defamation suit to come out of the 2020 election we can better understand the new scrutiny facing lawyers and broadcasters alike, and hopefully that knowledge will serve to caution others from emulating this behavior in the future.

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BEYOND BUSINESS: INDIGENOUS RIGHTS AND THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE

By: Liliana Elliott

Since its inception in 2008, the Keystone Pipeline has been fraught with controversy. For some Indigenous peoples, environmental activists, and farmers the construction of the pipeline was a call for action. While for others, the pipeline was an exciting step towards economic growth and energy advancement. TC Canada and ConocoPhillips own Keystone XL, an expansion of the Keystone pipeline, which was created to transport 83,000 barrels of crude oil from Canada to Nebraska and eventually to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

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Combating COVID-19:How the Biden Administration Plans to Use the Defense Production Act to Boost N95 Mask, COVID-19 Vaccine, and healthcare Supply Production

By: Abigail Olson

The Defense Production Act (DPA), a Korean War era law, gives certain powers to the President of the United States to compel companies to produce goods and prioritize government contracts in times of emergency. While the DPA is often invoked to address natural disasters or defense concerns, the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the supply chains of necessary equipment for healthcare workers, particularly N95 masks, have caused both the former and current administration to grapple with how to use this power to combat the health crisis. Additionally, rolling out the vaccine to ensure every American has access to preventative immunization is a new challenge that requires collaboration between the federal government and private industry.

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DARK CLOUDS ON THE HORIZON FOR BIG TECH: PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN INHERITS A CULTURAL MOVEMENT CALLING FOR INCREASED ANTITRUST ENFORCEMENT AGAINST TECH MONOPOLISTS

By: William Bassoff

As the next president of the United States, Joe Biden will have a great deal of influence over his administration’s antitrust enforcement. Antitrust enforcement against tech companies’ perceived market power is an increasingly popular idea in the United States. During the current presidency, the Department of Justice and eleven state Attorneys General have brought a civil antitrust suit against Google. Democratic committee members on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust recommended sweeping changes to US antitrust laws in order to prosecute Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook – perceived tech monopolists. This places the United States in a historic moment for antitrust law, with both political parties clamoring for increased antitrust enforcement against tech giants.

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