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.

AMAZON PRIME TIME FOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

By: ANNA SASAKI

Vote counting is underway for the biggest push towards unionization of Amazon employees since the company’s founding in 1995. 6,000 workers in Bessemer, Alabama voted on a collective decision as to whether the warehouse employees should formally unionize and bargain for a contract with Amazon through the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union. The last attempt to unionize was in 2014 at an Amazon warehouse in Delaware, where the 30 workers ultimately turned it down. While the employees in Bessemer only represent a fraction of Amazon’s more than 500,000 front line workers, the decision to unionize will likely provide momentum for other Amazon employees to begin collectively bargaining.

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LIGHTS OUT FOR VARIABLE PRICING?

By: Tim Hamilton

In February 2021, Texas experienced extraordinary winter weather for four days. As a result of the freezing temperatures, Texans faced rolling blackouts across the state. Current reports estimate that over sixty percent of Texans lost power at some point during the winter storm. Public outrage was severe, and lawmakers vowed to pass new regulations to ensure the power supply will not be impacted by winter weather again. Other states will certainly study what went wrong in Texas to ensure their electric grid is able to withstand winter weather.

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BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA SEEK POSSIBLE REFUGE IN DELAWARE BANKRUPTCY COURTS

By: Monya Cohen

Due to the magnitude of sexual-abuse lawsuits filed by numerous Boy Scouts of America (“BSA”) adversaries, from both former and current Boy Scout members, BSA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year. BSA is an extremely complex organization with several different levels of business, including an array of local councils that have charters through the BSA that run the day-to-day operations of the organization. For that reason, BSA poses one of the most complex financial restructurings in history. BSA has an estimated 275 lawsuits pending in state and federal courts asserting abuse-related claims against them. In addition, there are more 1,400 survivors with “to-be-brought” claims, and as a result, drove BSA to file for bankruptcy to determine survivor’s damages, as well as keep the organization running without completely dissolving it

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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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