Sunday, September 13, 2009

Still trying with ECOA

From: RDShatt
Sent: 9/2/2009 8:42:37 A.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: Has ECOA given any further consideration?

Dear Mr. Darcy,

I am continuing to propagate my contentions that ethics academics and other professionals ought to give greater consideration to the civil law liability system and how it promotes or may promote or does not promote ethical corporate behavior.

A great deal of attention has been paid to the criminal law. Given numerous common issues and questions raised by the criminal law and by civil law liability, an obvious next step in the quest of business ethicists should include looking at the civil law liability system. I have written and submitted to Business Ethics Quarterly an article that argues for that. My article title and synopsis are this:

WHITHER THE QUEST OF BUSINESS ETHICISTS?Criminal law has received much attention; civil law liability should too


The quest of business ethicists to promote ethical
corporate behavior expands, seemingly endlessly. Disagreements about what
is ethical and about how best to engender ethical behavior abound. Much
attention has been paid to how the criminal law should be applied to improve
corporate behavior. In the 1990’s the federal government initiated new
approaches; business ethicists have done extensive critical review of these; and
important questions are unresolved about how to apply the criminal law.
Civil law liability also affects corporate behavior and is a potential tool for
promoting good behavior, but ethicists have not devoted much attention to
it. Ostensibly the criminal law and civil law liability raise common
questions about how they can be employed most effectively to improve corporate
behavior. There is a significant difference that civil law liability has a
compensatory objective as well as a deterrence objective. Given the quest
of business ethicists, it is submitted that civil law liability is deserving of
much more investigation about how effective it is in improving corporate
behavior, and whether it can or should be changed to be more

The reason for this email to you is that I recently received notice of a class action lawsuit against Expedia, Inc., which is based in Washington State, and I have sent emails to the judge in the case (which emails can be found here). The emails indicate my contention that class actions such as the Expedia lawsuit undermine business ethics. As part of registering disapproval, I have initiated contact with business ethics academics in the Seattle area to see whether any will join with me in making my contentions to the court.

Needless to say, if the ECOA has given further consideration to my contentions, and if any director or staff member has reached views that are aligned with mine on the subject, I would be interested in contacting them to see if they would like to involve themselves with a submission to the judge in the Expedia case.

Thank you for your attention to this email.

Robert Shattuck

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