Category: Conferences


Fourth Annual Conglomerate Junior Scholars Workshop

Head on over to the ‘Glom, which is hosting the Fourth Annual Junior Scholars Workshop. One paper this week is about governance of VC-backed firms, and the lineup of commentators is terrific. I’ll be dropping by next week, to talk about James Park’s paper on materiality.

The JSW is always a substantive, interesting, conference, and one of the few “general interest” corporate law forums out there. Congratulations to Christine Hurt and her fellow bloggers, who have once put together a great event.


The Corporate Law Conference.

What and where is the major annual corporate law conference?

This weekend, the American Law & Economics Association is holding its annual meeting in New York at Columbia with a program featuring – depending on how you count – six or seven corporate and securities law sessions. But the majority of sessions are not on these topics; they focus, instead, on torts, litigation, property, labor, IP, &c.

The annual Canadian Law & Economics Association features a very similar format, as do regional associations (e.g., Midwest Law & Economics Association).

The AALS annual meeting has a session for corporate law and one for securities law – but, of course, they are only small components in an otherwise huge and ecumenical program. Something similar is true for the Law & Society Association.

Is there an enormous yet oddly shy corporate conference out there – or is this a curiously large gap in the academic calendar?

Computers, Freedom, and Privacy


I just wanted to announce that the preliminary program for the 2008 Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference (in New Haven, CT) has been announced. The theme this year is “Technology Policy ’08,” and it includes several topical panels for the election year:

Presidential Technology Policy: Priorities for the Next Executive

States as Incubators of Change

Activism and Education Using Social Networks

Network Neutrality: Beyond the Slogans

Discounted early bird registration closes this Friday, but general registration is open until 5/23. The conference is also looking for bloggers!

Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference

As a member of the Program Committee, I just wanted to post this announcement for CFP. This has been a great conference and I’m sure this year’s will be a terrific event. Note that the deadline for Panel, Tutorial, and Speaker proposals is March 21, 2008.


18th Annual CFP conference

May 20-23, 2008

Omni Hotel

New Haven, CT


This election year will be the first to address US technology policy in the information age as part of our national debate. Candidates have put forth positions about technology policy and have recognized that it has its own set of economic, political, and social concerns. In the areas of privacy, intellectual property, cybersecurity, telecommunications, and freedom of speech, an increasing number of issues once confined to experts now penetrate public conversation. Our decisions about technology policy are being made at a time when the architectures of our information and communication technologies are still being built. Debate about these issues needs to be better-informed in order for us to make policy choices in the public interest.

Open participation is invited for proposals on panels, tutorials, speaker suggestions, and birds of a feather sessions through the CFP: Technology Policy ’08 submission page. More details below.

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Missouri v. Holland, in Missouri

I spent the end of last week at the University if Missouri-Columbia, attending a great conference organized by Peggy McGuinness, on the (in)famous case of Missouri v. Holland. There, of course, Justice Holmes wrote for the Supreme Court, holding that Congress could enact legislation otherwise beyond its constitutional authority, in furtherance of a duly-enacted treaty obligation.

With a great line-up of panelists and a fascinating set of underlying issues to explore, we had what I thought was a fantastic day-and-a-half of discussion. In particular, and perhaps appropriately, we spent a substantial amount of time assessing the continuing significance of the decision, given the dramatic expansion of Commerce Clause authority since it was handed down in 1920. There is, of course, the “loaded-gun” notion that the very availability of the expansive authority invited by the decision constitutes a substantial threat. Likewise, one might question whether the Court’s decisions in Lopez and Morrison augur a potential revival of Missouri v. Holland as constitutional doctrine.

From my perspective, though, the most fascinating element of our discussions concerned the ways in which Missouri v. Holland might be significant, regardless of its jurisprudential force. I was struck, for example, by one participant’s recollection of an occasion on which U.S. treaty negotiators’ attempts to assert constitutionally grounded federalism constraints as a basis to resist a proposal by their foreign interlocutors were parried with invocations of Missouri v. Holland.

More broadly, I was interested to think about what continuing significance the decision has, for how we conceptualize the relationship of international, national, and state law. In the scheme of jurisdictional interaction exemplified by Missouri v. Holland, international law functions as a kind of trump card – an Ace available to the federal government to coerce state authorities. If Missouri no longer captures the political economy of U.S. federal-state relations, however, as I argue in my submission to the symposium, we might do well to reconsider that traditional conception of international law as a threat to state authority, and federalism more broadly.


Criminal Law Conversations

Professors Paul Robinson (Penn. Law School) and Kimberly Ferzan (Rutgers-Camden School of Law) invite criminal law scholars from around the world to contribute to a peer-engaged project of criminal law “conversations” to be published collectively as a book. Concise “core” papers not to exceed 5000 words (approximately ten single-spaced pages) presenting a theory or position will each be followed by a number of short comments (normally no more than 800 words – approximately two pages or less), with a final reply to the comments by the original core paper author.

The goal of Criminal Law Conversations (CLC) is to promote thoughtful critiques of important issues. Too often opposing advocates talk past each other. CLC’s web-based virtual “conversations” are designed to help opponents join issue. The website is not a blog but rather a vehicle for nominating and organizing the project’s topics and contributors.

The selection of core texts will be made by the criminal law scholarly community at large, as people express interest in the topics on which they would like to comment. All scholars are invited to submit nominations for the subject of a “core text” based on either previously published articles or new material. All are also invited to submit comments on any one or more of the nominated core texts.

The book collection will be assembled by late 2009. Oxford University Press has expressed an interest in publishing the volume. In addition, there will be a permanent CLC website that contains core texts and commentaries not included in the published volume. The permanent website also will allow the future submission of comments on the published volume’s contents, and may be used to produce subsequent collections.

The selection of core texts and responses will be coordinated by the CLC webpage.


Event on Online Reputation and Legal Practice

Carolyn Elefant (a blogger who blogs at Legal Blog Watch and MyShingle) has organized the following event for next Thursday, January 24th:

Practicing Law in the E-Court of Public Opinion: How the Internet Can Make or Break a Lawyer’s or Law Firm’s Reputation and What You Can Do about It

In the Internet Age, lawyers and firms are subject to unprecedented public scrutiny. Popular websites like Above the Law provides gossip and behind the scenes news from large law firms, while Avvo allows clients to post their opinions about their attorneys. You’ll hear how the web can affect lawyers’ reputations, for better or for worse, identify ways to respond to threats to reputation and use the Internet to your advantage and learn about relevant legal concepts like First Amendment, libel and privacy law that relate to your ability to protect your reputation. We’ll have a panel of nationally recognized speakers as well as law firm marketing personnel (TBD) who will offer practical tips on guarding and promoting your reputation on line.


David Lat, Editor in Chief,

Mark Britton, CEO, President, Co-founder,

Andrew Mirsky, Mirsky & Company Law Offices

Jonathan Frieden, Principal, Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C.

Moderator: Carolyn Elefant, Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant,

Date /Time: Thursday, January 24, 2008 /12:00 pm – 2:00 pm (Please bring your lunch.)

Location: D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1250 H Street NW (Metro Center)

More information, including how to register, is available at Carolyn’s blog.


The Future of Federal Courts

In an earlier post, I offered some modest praise of the AALS annual meeting, as a potential venue for legal scholars to explore topics of interest beyond their core research areas. In between my efforts to actualize that theory at the recent annual meeting, though, I also attended several sessions of quite direct interest.

Among the latter, one of my favorites was a panel organized by the Section on Federal Courts, on The Federal Courts and the International System. Besides Ernie Young, who served as moderator, the panel included A.J. Bellia, Curt Bradley, Henry Monaghan, and Trevor Morrison, as well as Sarah Cleveland, who was invited to speak for the “international law” crowd. (As Sarah pointed out, Curt is also an international law scholar, if not the designated internationalist that day.)

Much of the discussion focused on the many intersections of international law and federal jurisdiction in recent years, including the succession of enemy combatant/military commission cases, the Supreme Court’s OT 2005 decision in Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon, and its impending decision in the fascinating case of Medellin v. Texas – a complex intertwining of international and federal courts law that only a law professor could dream up, and even then, only as an exam question. Naturally, the nature of customary international law as federal or state law was discussed as well, if only for a bit.

At Ernie’s prompting, though, the panelists also took up – in sometimes heated discussion – the necessary and appropriate content of the standard Federal Courts course, given the self-evident “internationalization” of the federal courts. To what extent, the panel explored, do international law, international courts, and international questions belong in the Federal Courts canon? Naturally, the Hart and Wechsler casebook – arguably the keeper of that canon – was a focal point for much of this discussion.

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Call for Papers: CILS Conference on Civil Society and the Governance of Multimodal Communication

My colleague, Michael Rustad, asked me to announce a conference on The Internet: Governance and the Law, “Civil Society and the Governance of Multimodal Communication,” to be held at McGill University, MONTRÉAL, Canada, October 26-29, 2008. Here is the call for paper abstracts:

The Center for International Legal Studies in cooperation with McGill University and the Suffolk School of Law invites abstracts for papers on the role of civil society in the formulation, adoption and implementation of policies, regulations and laws affecting multimodal communication by governments and international organizations. At the conclusion of the Geneva phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), civil society was called upon to play an active role in the development and implementation of national strategies affecting multimodal communication. This post-Tunis Internet governance conference invites papers broadly addressing the topic of civil society and the Internet. The name of the presenter/s and his/her/their affiliation/s as well as the thematic focus of the proposal should appear on the top right-hand corner of the abstract. Send abstracts of 500 words or less and requests for further information to:

Manuela Ines Wedam

Law Conference Coordinator


PO Box 19



Fax: +43 662 83539922 or +1 509 3560077

Deadline for the receipt of abstracts is 14 April 2008. Each abstract must be accompanied by the author’s curriculum vitae and a biographical sketch of 300 words or less.

Advisory program committee:

James Archibald, Department of Translation Studies, McGill University

Dennis Campbell, Center for International Legal Studies

Richard Gold, Centre for Intellectual Property Policy, McGill University

Michael L. Rustad, Intellectual Property Law Program, Suffolk University School of Law


AALS: A Modest Dissent

Many thanks to Dan for the welcome, and to all the Concurring Opinion permabloggers for inviting me to visit. As a long-time reader, I’m glad to make my first – and hopefully not last – foray into the blogosphere here.

In posts preceding the recently concluded Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting, Brian Leiter and Orin Kerr respectively questioned the intellectual content, and suggested the underwhelming quality, of AALS conference programming – or at least that part of the “programming” that occurs in the hotel’s ballrooms, as opposed to its lobby and various hallways, and at an array of nearby restaurants and bars. This critique is hardly unique to them, moreover. Rather, it seems to constitute the conventional wisdom.

Having spent almost three days last week not simply “at AALS” in the abstract, but actually at the conference site (I’m close enough to the City not to have devoted time to shopping and sightseeing), I thought I would devote my first post to offering a modest dissent from the Leiter, Kerr, et al. critique.

Of course, there is the standard defense of the AALS annual meeting as an occasion for systematic schmoozing – a species of speed dating for law professors. (On this count, I might note that this year’s venue – the Hilton New York – had some real strengths. One could basically set oneself on an infinite loop up and down the escalators at either end of the second and third floor (see the 3-D tour) – where most of the schmoozing took place – for the entire weekend.) But a defense of schmoozing would be too easy: What’s not to like about it? Instead, I want to suggest that AALS may have merit of the intellectual variety, notwithstanding Brian and Orin’s critique.

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