Vanderbilt Law Review

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This Article offers an alternative analysis of the doctrine articulated by the Supreme Court in Dotterweich and Park and its subsequent application by the Ninth Circuit. In the course of so doing, it suggests that Professor Abrams has lost sight of the public welfare offense model that provided the analytical framework within which the cases were decided and that his postulates may thus be faulted as lacking in context. The analysis in this Article demonstrates that the responsible share standard of liability has, from the outset, incorporated the requirement of an act or omission to act and that of causation as well, and that these two elements of liability, when considered together with administrative enforcement policy, should assuage apprehension regarding the possible unfairness of holding corporate officers strictly liable for violations of the Act. This Article also suggests that the food and drug cases have important implications regarding the system of delegation upon which corporate officers find it essential to rely.