Monday, June 25, 2018
The close of business on Friday, June 22 marked the end of the 9th National Business Law Scholars Conference. With Paul Mahoney and Cindy Schipani as our keynote speakers, two featured plenary panels (revisiting, respectively, the 2008 financial crisis and salient business crime issues), and 30 academic paper and author-meets-readers panels, this year's conference was packed with activity. Maggie Sachs, who retired from an illustrious business law teaching career effective May 31, and the University of Georgia hosted the event. I am proud to have had a role in planning the conference and am relieved that our all-volunteer planning committee was able to (again) carry off a successful event. A mostly final (!) event program is available here. Thanks to Eric Chaffee for his usual Herculean efforts in organizing and reshuffling (up through the last day of the conference) the program.
I moderated the financial crisis plenary panel, offered comments on David Webber's The Rise of the Working-Class Shareholder: Labor’s Last Best Weapon, (as shown in the picture below), presented a two-paper project on business deregulation that I am working on this summer, and introduced Cindy's Friday keynote luncheon presentation on corporate board independence and diversity. [Note that BLPB co-blogger Ann Lipton also was on the book commentary panel with me (on the right in the photo below), as was fellow NYU Law alum Mehrsa Baradaran (on the left in the photo below).]
Each of these programs, as well as the plenary sessions and concurrent panels that I attended as an audience member, was an educational experience for me. Among other things, I got four super-helpful comments on my deregulation presentation. That alone was worth the four-hour-plus drive from Knoxville to Athens.
The conference included (as speakers and audience members) business law faculty from both law schools and business schools as well as others (including corporate counsel and government officials) who work in business law from a governance, policy-making, or rule-making perspective. The breadth of business law scholarship featured at the conference was inspiring. I heard about ongoing academic research on board composition, financial regulation, technology/business law interactions, and more.
Next year, we will meet at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law, with Steven Davidoff Solomon hosting. More on that soon. For now, I will enjoy the warm glow of a stimulating conference in which we served over 100 business law scholars from around the world.