SMU Law Review


SMU Law Review is the flagship journal of SMU Dedman School of law, publishing articles by prominent legal scholars and practitioners with international reach.

SMU Law Review is part of the SMU Law Review Association which also publishes the SMU Law Review Forum, the Journal of Air Law and Commerce, and the SMU Annual Texas Survey. Together, the Association’s student members publish four issues annually for the SMU Law Review. One issue each year is a Symposium issue focusing on timely legal topics. Recent Symposium issues have highlighted the role of artificial intelligence in a fair and just society, criminal justice reform, the right to die, and free speech under the First Amendment. Additionally, SMU Law Review publishes four to five Comments written by SMU Law Review Association’s student members. Serving as more than just a publication, the SMU Law Review also sponsors the annual SMU Corporate Counsel Symposium.

Before publishing as the SMU Law Review in 1992, the journal began in 1947 as Texas Law and Legislation and then as the Southwestern Law Journal in 1948.


Recent Articles in Volume 75, Issue 4 (2022)

The Flubs that Bind: Stare Decisis and the Problem of Indeliberate Doctrinal Misstatements in Appellate Opinions

By Richard Luedeman – Speak to enough lawyers (especially litigators) about their experiences grappling with binding appellate case law in their jurisdictions, and a significant number of them will complain about statements in appellate case law that patently contradict prior precedent, incorrectly articulate legal standards, or otherwise mangle the doctrine in an area. The image of courts as deliberative doctrine-producing machines ignores the reality that certain statements in judicial opinions might not have been carefully, deliberately constructed. Often, the result is harmless. But in some instances, doubt about the deliberateness of dubious doctrinal statements in judicial opinions can become an unavoidable problem for litigants and judges in future cases. Conventional lawyering tools—distinguishing cases factually or characterizing statements as dicta—are ill-suited to address language in judicial opinions that sets out generalizable doctrine (rather than fact-bound conclusions about a particular case) that is central to the court’s analysis and yet difficult or impossible to square with logic or with preexisting statements of the same doctrine. [...]

Bostock: A Clean Cut into the Gordian Knot of Causation

By Melissa Essary – Regardless of merit, most individual employment discrimination claims die a fast death at summary judgment. Judges apply the fine mesh net created by McDonnell Douglas v. Green, and most cases are caught in its trap. This dated, obfuscatory Supreme Court case creates a complex and flawed binary approach to causation: either discrimination or an innocent reason caused an adverse employment action. For decades, all three levels of the federal judiciary have wrestled with McDonnell Douglas, creating snarls and knots in construing causation. Because of this causal confusion, the ideal of equal opportunity in employment is on life-support. [...]

AI, Equity, and the IP Gap

By Daryl Lim – Artificial intelligence (AI) has helped determine vaccine recipients, prioritize emergency room admissions, and ascertain individual hires, sometimes doing so inequitably. As we emerge from the Pandemic, technological progress and efficiency demands continue to press all areas of the law, including intellectual property (IP) law, toward incorporating more AI into legal practice. This may be good when AI promotes economic and social justice in the IP system. However, AI may amplify inequity as biased developers create biased algorithms with biased inputs or rely on biased proxies. This Article argues that policymakers need to take a thoughtful and concerted approach to graft AI into IP law and practice if social justice principles of access, inclusion, and empowerment flow from their union. It explores what it looks like to obtain AI justice in the IP context and focuses on two areas where IP law impedes equitable AI-related outcomes. The first involves the civil rights concerns that stem from trade secrets blocking access and deflecting accountability in biased algorithms or data. The second concerns the patent and copyright doctrine biases perpetuating historical inequity in AI-augmented processes. The Article also ad- dresses how equity by design should look and provides a roadmap for implementing equity audits to mitigate bias. Finally, it briefly examines how AI would assist with adjudicating equitable IP law doctrines, which also tests the outer limits of what bounded AI processes can do. [...]


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Administrative Assistant
TaLibra Ferguson

Ellie Johnson

Elan Wilson

Managing Editor
Colin Hickl

Corporate Counsel Symposium Editors
Serene Zidan
Olivia Mae Vrielink



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Corporate Counsel Symposium

Journal of Air Law and Commerce

SMU Annual Texas Survey

SMU Law Review Forum

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