Washington and Lee law professor Lyman Johnson was recently invited to contribute to the Business Law Prof Blog. Professor Johnson’s post, Hobby Lobby – A Landmark Corporate Law Decision, discusses the Supreme Court’s decision in the high profile Hobby Lobby case. It appeared on Wednesday, July 2, 2014.
The Court held that a closely-held business corporation was a “person” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), that such a for-profit corporation could indeed “exercise religion” under that Act, and that as applied to closely-held corporations the contraceptive mandate promulgated under the Affordable Care Act violated RFRA. Two days after the controversial decision, the sky has not fallen, although dire forecasts to that effect still abound. My post today makes a simple but basic point: quite apart from the decision’s implications for religious liberty in the corporate realm – no small thing, to be sure – and notwithstanding the still unfolding legal and political fallout,Hobby Lobby immediately became a landmark decision in which the Supreme Court spoke in unprecedented fashion to an issue going to the very foundation of corporate law, the question of corporate purpose.
Congratulations to Washington and Lee law professor Victoria Shannon! Professor Shannon’s forthcoming work Harmonizing Third-Party Litigation Funding Regulation is named among the top ten papers in the SSRN Negotiation & Dispute Resolution eJournal. The paper will appear in the Cardozo Law Review in the coming academic year.
From the abstract:
Third-party litigation funding is no longer a new phenomenon, but rather is a mainstay in global commerce and dispute resolution. Yet, many observers still consider the third-party litigation funding industry as a “wild west” due to a lack of regulation in many countries. Some of the countries that do have regulations suffer from a lack of uniformity, particularly countries with sub-national political divisions (e.g., states, provinces, territories, etc.) that have conflicting laws. The United States is an example of a country that has a confusing patchwork of laws on third-party litigation funding. This article proposes harmonizing the regulatory framework for third-party litigation funding in the United States by: (1) identifying the three categories of interactions – transactional, procedural, and ethical – that make up third-party litigation funding; (2) proposing areas for regulation within those three categories; and (3) linking those regulations together through cross-references to create a harmonized regulatory framework. This approach will weave a regulatory “safety net” of minimum standards for behaviors and interactions of the players in third-party litigation funding arrangements to ensure the integrity of the dispute resolution system.
Prof. Shannon Presents at the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) Annual Workshop and Joins the ITA Academic Council
On Thursday, June 19, 2014, Professor Victoria Shannon served as a panelist on a panel about third-party funding at the 26th Annual Workshop of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) in Dallas, TX. The workshop, entitled “Modern Enforcement of Arbitral Awards: ‘Show Me the Money,’” is widely recognized as the leading conference in the field.
Professor Shannon has also accepted an invitation to join the prestigious ITA Academic Council, made up of the top academics in the field of international arbitration from around the globe.
Washington and Lee law professor James Moliterno is currently featured by the California Bar Journal. The piece follows a presentation to California’s State Board of Trustees. Professor Moliterno spoke about how the profession has failed to evolve or respond to change such as advances in technology and a globalized economy.
Read the full article from the California Bar Journal: Law professor: Attorneys must evolve with changing times by Laura Ernde
Find more work from Professor Moliterno about the legal profession here.
Washington and Lee Law Professor Erik Luna recently presented his forthcoming work, Prosecutor King, at the Symposium on Prosecutorial Discretion. The Symposium was held on May 16, 2014 at Stanford Law School and hosted by the Stanford Journal of Criminal Law & Policy. Professor Luna’s work will be published in the journal’s inaugural edition.
Washington and Lee law professor Christopher Seaman presented at the Vanderbilt Intellectual Property Scholars Roundtable on April 24, 2014. Professor Seaman presented his forthcoming paper “The Case Against Federalizing Trade Secrecy“. His paper will appear in The Virginia Law Review.
From the abstract:
Trade secrecy is unique among the major intellectual property (IP) doctrines because it is governed primarily by state law. Recently, however, a number of influential actors — including legislators, academics, and organizations representing IP attorneys and owners — have proposed creating a private civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation under federal law. Proponents assert that federalizing trade secrecy would provide numerous benefits, including substantive uniformity, the availability of a federal forum for misappropriation litigation, and the creation of a unified national regime governing IP rights.
This Article engages in the first systematic critique of the claim that federalizing trade secrecy is normatively desirable. Ultimately, it concludes that there are multiple reasons for trade secrecy to remain primarily the province of state law, including preservation of states’ ability to engage in limited experimentation regarding the scope of trade secret protection and federalization’s potential negative impact on the disclosure of patent-eligible inventions. Finally, it proposes an alternative approach — a modest expansion of federal courts’ jurisdiction over state law trade secret claims — that can help address the issue of trade secret theft without requiring outright federalization.
On Thursday, April 24, 2014, Washington and Lee Law professor Lyman P.Q. Johnson speaks at University of St. Thomas at an event sponsored by the Veritas Institute. The conference is part of the “Higher Calling Series” and titled “Business as an Agent for Social Change: Social Entrepreneurship, Benefit Corporation, Curing Poverty“.
Professor Johnson will participate as a panelist in a conversation about social entrepreneurship and Benefit Corporations and the positive social role they play in contemporary society as well as possible unintended consequences such movements can have for business. Professor Johnson is joined by John McVea, Ph.D. of the University of St. Thomas, Elizabeth Babson of Drinker Biddle and Reath LLP, Haskell Murry of Belmont University and Michael Naughton, Ph.D. of the University of St. Thomas.