SMU Law Review Forum


The SMU Law Review Forum is the online counterpart to SMU Law Review, the flagship journal at SMU Dedman School of Law. The Forum specializes in short-form, timely articles that are reviewed and published on an ongoing basis and with an accelerated schedule. 

The SMU Law Review Forum started seventy-two years after SMU Law Review’s first publication in 1947 and serves as a new format for authors to engage in timely debate on important legal issues. As SMU Law Review’s online counterpart, the Forum provides another platform for professors, practitioners, judges, legal scholars, and students to explore the implications of recent legal decisions, events, and trends. The Forum strives to publish contemporary scholarship and elevate the work of diverse individuals whose identities, viewpoints, and ideas have often been underrepresented in the legal field. 

All editing is done by student members of the board of editors and the staff of the SMU Law Review Association. The Association also publishes the SMU Law Review, the Journal of Air Law and Commerce, and the SMU Annual Texas Survey.

Recent Articles and Comments in Volume 77 (2024)

Unconscionability and Poverty

By Mark G. Kelman – Matthew Desmond made the claim in Evicted, his powerful work on housing insecurity, that those concerned with alleviating poverty should focus not merely on ensuring that poor people have higher disposable incomes, but on countering the exploitative price gouging that depresses the value of whatever income they have. This suggests the possibility that it might be a worthwhile anti-poverty strategy for courts to use the unconscionability doctrine to regulate exploitative contracts.

Three main issues follow from considering this possibility: (1) Do the poor actually pay more for goods of the same quality? (2) If they indeed pay more, do they do so because prices are exploitative? How should we define an exploitative price, and how can we identify that any particular group of buyers is indeed exploited? (3) Could courts seeking to make use of the unconscionability doctrine realistically identify cases in which poor people generally are overcharged, or will courts successfully invoke the doctrine to challenge unwarranted prices only when the price a particular seller charges exceeds some benchmark (e.g., the price charged before an emergency or the price charged to other buyers in highly similar transactions)? [...]

Section 363 Sales and Their Blind Faith in the Markets (Comment)

By Jacob DeSelms – Airlines tend to go bankrupt. In fact, all the so-called legacy carriers have gone bankrupt at one time or another. What leads these airlines into financial distress varies from case to case. Sometimes they are overrun by costs, and other times they lack sufficient demand. The concern of this paper, though, is not why airlines file bankruptcy—it is assumed that, from time to time, airlines will face financial distress and will require the protection of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code (the Code). Instead, this paper will examine how large firms such as airlines are navigating bankruptcies today. [...]

Protect Trans Kids: A Call to Action (Comment)

By Suzi Goebel – The last several years have seen an increasing number of attacks on marginalized groups in the United States, including people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Most recently, some state legislatures have focused their efforts on preventing transgender youth from accessing gender-affirming medical care. Despite a virtually unanimous consensus on the importance and benefits of gender-affirming care, many conservative politicians have taken aim at vulnerable children, standing in the way of potentially life-saving treatment and accusing their families and doctors of child abuse. Laws preventing transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming care are just one battle in the larger war on individual liberty interests, bodily autonomy, and health care privacy. Already, anti-trans laws written under the pretext of protecting minors are being expanded to detransition transgender adults and criminalize the very existence of transgender people. At the same time, pregnant people around the country are losing their reproductive rights and access to safe and legal abortions. These are both part of a concerted effort to wedge the unjust influence of oppressive state governments into two of the most intimate social and legal relationships: the relationship between a child and their parent, and the relationship between a patient and their doctor. [...]

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Journal Coordinator
Lisa Ponce

Mikey Sanders

Forum Executive Editor
Bradley Kucera

Forum Assistant Executive Editor
Madelyn Gerrald


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Related links 

Journal of Air Law and Commerce

SMU Annual Texas Survey

SMU Law Review

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