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Queues in Law

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The Pacific Telegraph Act of 1860 created a “first in, first out” principle (“FIFO”). FIFO is an allocation method in which resources are distributed to interested parties based on their order of entry. Although this allocation scheme is present in the law and best exemplified by the Uniform Commercial Code and the infamous property case Pierson v. Post, legal scholarship has never fully analyzed it. This Article intends to fill that gap by assessing FIFO’s role in resource allocation, its prevalence in the law, and setting forth a theoretical framework for evaluating its rules.



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