September 19, 2011
Academic Economists Aren't Practical Either
I just came across the paper Economists’ Hubris - The Case of Award Winning Finance Literature, by Shahin Shojai and George Feiger. It appears that it is not just Chief Justice Roberts who thinks academics could be doing some more practical work. Here's the abstract:
In this fifth article in the Economists’ Hubris series, we investigate the practical applications of eight papers that won best-article awards in 2008 and 2009 from the Journal of Finance or the Journal of Financial Economics, the two leading journals in finance. We find that these articles are unlikely to help financial executives improve the way they evaluate risk or manage either risk or their institutions. Finance academics appear to live in a parallel universe, completely oblivious to the nature of the financial services sector that they purport to study. Some of the papers do challenge long-held beliefs, which is very encouraging, but academics still need to go much further than that to write articles that are of any practical value.
I happen to believe that there are a lot of excellent law review articles out there with significant practical application. Sometimes, those articles are not at the top journals or winning the top awards (though some are and do). Earlier this year, there were some discussions on the general subject of law reviews and their value and impact. See, e.g., here, here, here, and here. And there is value in academic writing (legal and otherwise) that is not especially practical, but that adds to the discourse in other ways. Perhaps one day we'll figure out how to value (and assess the value of) different kinds of scholarship. Perhaps.
September 09, 2011
Empirical Evidence on the Impact of Blogging
David McKenzie & Berk Ozler have posted The Impact of Economics Blogs on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
There is a proliferation of economics blogs, with increasing numbers of economists attracting large numbers of readers, yet little is known about the impact of this new medium. Using a variety of experimental and non-experimental techniques, this study quantifies some of their effects. First, links from blogs cause a striking increase in the number of abstract views and downloads of economics papers. Second, blogging raises the profile of the blogger (and his or her institution) and boosts their reputation above economists with similar publication records. Finally, a blog can transform attitudes about some of the topics it covers.
I'm curious if this holds true for Business Law Bloggers, too. My suspicion is that the findings would hold true across disciplines or at least many disciplines. As the authors explain:
This evidence is . . . consistent with the view that blogging helps build prestige and recognition in the profession, with bloggers being more likely to be admired or respected than other academics of similar (or in many cases better) publication records. This is of course only a correlation, and there are several caveats to consider. First, to the extent that blogging serves to increase the RePEc ratings by increasing downloads (as seen in the previous section) and citations, the observed correlation will be a lower bound on the causal impact of blogging. However, if bloggers are also more likely to be engaged in other activities of a public intellectual, such as media appearances, writing books etc., and if these don't all arise directly as a result of blogging, the estimates will conflate the impact of blogging with the impacts of these other activities, thereby overstating the impact of blogs. Nevertheless, given the large magnitude of the coefficient observed, it does not seem likely that all of the observed impact of blogging just reflects omitted variables, and therefore we view this evidence as strongly suggesting that blogging increases the influence, respect, or public image of the blogger. [footnote omitted]
There is always the risk a prolific blogger will get a greater (and disproportionate) share of recognition for being more "out there" more often than a non-blogging colleague. That said, a consistent, if not prolific, blogger who has a similar publication record may be more connected to current events in his or her profession. And blogging demonstrates a willingness and ability to share opinions (for better or worse).
Blogging can't, and shouldn't, replace other forms of scholarship. But in addition to tradtional scholarship, it adds to the overall depth, and especially breadth, of knowledge. At least, it does for me. I truly believe my scholarship and my teaching have improved because of blogging, even if, sometimes, it feels like a lot of "extra" work. As long as it is making me better at what I do, it's work I need to do.
September 03, 2011
A "Win-Win" for Unemployment Numbers
The Wall Street Journal reports (here) that "President Barack Obama ... asked the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday to withdraw an air-quality rule that Republicans and business groups said would cost millions of jobs."
Well, it looks like the deregulation will not only improve unemployment numbers by saving/creating jobs, but also by reducing job applicants: "The EPA had estimated the tighter standard would save 12,000 lives each year ...."
September 02, 2011
What Is a Mentor and Does It Matter?
I am not a mentor!
Never have been. Never will be. Don’t care to be.
I’m a lawyer. I’m a co-worker. In some cases, I may be a friend. But I’m not a mentor; I have no time for that crap.
It's an interesting article, written exactly as you would expect from the author of The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law. Mr. Herrmann makes some very good points, and provides some good advice. He notes in his conclusion:
Don't be a mentor!
Just be a decent human being who respects the feelings of others, and work collegially with people to achieve your common goals. That’s plenty. That’s really all there was before they invented the concept of “mentoring,” and it’s really all there’ll ever be.
Mr. Herrmann takes issue with the current concept of mentoring. He explains, "Mentoring means that you go out of your way to help people. . . . Surely 'mentoring' isn’t just working with colleagues in a way that makes sense. That’s just doing your job; it’s not mentoring." I appreciate his point, at least in one sense. In my experience, both as a faculty member and as an attorney, formal mentoring programs usually involved someone with more experience (a little or a lot) taking another person to lunch and talking awkwardly about things loosely related to life and career. Sometimes the programs provided "mentors" who were only participating because they had to do so. Other times it meant providing an already needy mentee another person to torture with their laments. Sure, the program worked once in a while, but it was usually what my wife calls "forced fun," which is really the former and not the latter.
Unfortunately, I think some people (especially lawyers) use calls "not to mentor" like Mr. Herrmann's to shirk their duties. That is, as an excuse to treat people poorly and harshly, rather than being "a decent human being who respects the feelings of others, and work[s] collegially with people to achieve [their] common goals." The people who I think of as mentors were not, I don't think, actively mentoring me. They were doing exactly what Mr. Herrmann describes. They were working with me so that we could produce better work product, and serve our clients or students, depending on the setting, better.
Regardless of their intent, I think of these people as mentors. But perhaps Mr. Herrmann is right -- maybe they weren't mentors. Maybe they were (and are) facilitators, teachers, colleagues, counselors, or friends (or some combination of those). Whatever you call them, I'm glad they were there, and I hope to make them proud by being whatever it is they were to me, to others.
September 01, 2011
Work-Life Balance: Taking Breaks Seriously
Most of us understand that taking breaks is often important when it comes to maintaining productivity over the long haul. What we might not be as clear on is that the type of break may matter quite a bit. Recent research reported in the Wall Stree Journal (here) suggests that while we are always likely using some form of attention while we are awake, giving a break to the particular type of attention we generally use while working is key to replenishing ourselves. The suggested distinction is between directed and involuntary attention. A break that gives our directed attention some time to rest is helpful, while a break that changes activities but still requires directed attention is less helpful. The specific contrast highlighted in the article is between taking in the sights and sounds of nature as opposed to strolling down a busy street in town. The former produced a 20% improvement in memory and attention following the break, while the latter produced no improvement. Interestingly, the study suggested that just looking at pictures of nature could produce a similar positive effect.
If looking at pictures of nature seems like it might work for you, permit me to suggest a photobook of snippets from my Zen instructor's dharma talks that I co-authored and which can be found here. (You can find the full version of the talks here.)
August 29, 2011
Rauch on the Tea Party of No
I always find Jonathan Rauch an interesting read, and his most recent op-ed is no exception. (Full disclosure: Jonathan's sister is a former boss and current great friend of mine.) In his piece, Grand ol’ Palestinians: No-compromise Republicans taking a page from Mideast politics, he argues:
Republicans are well along toward importing what is arguably the world’s most dysfunctional political model: that of the Palestinians, the gang who can’t say yes.
The Palestinians, it has been said, never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. The GOP is on its way there.
To make his point, he lists his "hallmarks" of "political Palestinianism":
Tenet No. 1: You can never be pure enough.
Tenet No. 2: Compromise is the enemy.
Tenet No. 3: Negotiating and delivering are different things.
Tenet No. 4: Think wishfully.
I'm particularly persuaded that Tenet No. 2 has become too firmly entrenched. Compromise is rarely the enemy, and a pragmatic approach to solving problems can go a long way. In the environmental arena, Professor Joel Mintz has written, "[P]ragmatism has the potential to furnish a durable and useful set of intellectual tools for analyzing knotty environmental policy issues.” This is true for national debt and other financial issues, too. But being pragmatic requires a willingness to prioritize and compromise for the greater good.
I recommend taking a look at Jonathan's article, and I hope some politicans will, too.
August 28, 2011
Rock Star, Pro Athlete, ... Blogger?
Over at The Race to the Bottom, Jay Brown reviews some of the benefits of blogging, including: (1) increased downloads of academic papers; (2) improved faculty reputation; and, (3) the ability to influence policy- and decision-makers. He goes on to note:
Given these advantages, Kim Krawiec rightfully asks why more faculty do not blog. There are any number of reasons. The work load is one. The lack of credit at law schools (despite the considerable potential for increased institutional notoriety) is another. There is often some hesitancy about operating on the Internet which is still very much a Hobbesian state of nature, with both high and low quality side by side. Comments can also provoke unsavory responses, sometimes requiring a thick skin. But in fact one would assume that with the benefits, blogging would increase. In fact, the data suggests otherwise. Individual law blogs continue to disappear.
August 24, 2011
Gooses, Ganders, and the Many Facets of Monetary Policy
Bloomberg reports that the Fed gave $1.2 trillion in "secret loans" to the largest banks in the United States and around the world. Bloomberg provides a cool liquidity chart here, that allows comparisons of the borrowers and their peak amounts borrowed.
I share frustration that, during the crisis, massive loans were available to the largest borrowers, while small businesses and individuals who posed reasonable credit risks were shut out of the loan market. And just because the Fed's massive loan program appears to have served its purpose without any significant harm to taxpayers, it doesn't mean that it was a risk-free endeavor. Still, I'm of a mixed mind as to whether its a good idea to ensure the Fed can't make such loans.
Adding to the current sense of foreboding, at least for me, is the fact that the Federal Reserve, which rode to the rescue last time, is legally constrained by provisions of Dodd-Frank legislation little recognized outside the world of regulators and financial techies. Back in 2007, the Fed could invent programs to bail out solvent but illiquid institutions. It could also turn investment banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley (MS) into bank holding companies with access to unlimited Fed funding -- and even infuse cash into nonbank basket case AIG (AIG) directly and indirectly to forestall an uncontrolled collapse, which could have made the Lehman Brothers disaster look like a mere rounding error.
Sometimes, banks, businesses, and individuals are solvent, but not liquid, and access to credit is the only thing that can keep the banks, businesses, or individuals from going under. We see this at the largest banks, as the Fed program seems to demonstrate, and we see it at the individual consumer level, where there is some indication that restricted access to expensive payday lending can have a negative impact on consumers. (Zinman, 2008)
At a minimum, this is another instance where it is not clear to me whether the large government bailout (or bailout-like) program is the problem, though I remain skeptical of the bailout programs. What is clear to me is that the implementation of the program for only the largest and most powerful among us again creates an inequity that warrants questioning. As the Bloomberg report explains: "$1.2 trillion of public money [is] about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages."
There is clearly some interest in shutting down the Fed's (and government's) ability to make large loans and expenditures. Maybe that's right, but I happen to like the idea that the government can choose to help in the face of disasters, whether they are financial or natural disasters. (Note that I maintain my view that government does a terrible job of planning for and mitgating such diasasters, but that's a different matter.) I just want government to make good choices and to recognize that's what's good for the very wealthy goose, may also be good for the very modest gander.
August 20, 2011
Poker and the Debt Crisis
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reportedly told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Internet poker legislation "will get done." … The joint select committee on deficit reduction has been tasked with finding at least $1.5 trillion in debt savings over the next 10 years. Licensing and regulating Internet poker is a way the committee could identify billions of dollars with little effort.
Perhaps that will stop the exodus of poker pros.
August 19, 2011
Homer Simpson, Darryl Strawberry and Keating v. Motorola
A former student e-shared with me the news report about the Keating v. Motorola Mobility Holdings class-action suit, which claims that Motorola and its board violated fiduciary duties by entering into a merger agreement with Google. (The case is John Keating v Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., et al., Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 28854; the complaint is available via Westlaw.)
The suit alleges:
The offered consideration does not compensate shareholders for the Company's intrinsic value and stand-alone alternatives going forward, not does it compensate shareholders for the Company's value as a strategic asset for Google.
All in all, after a quick look at the complaint, these are my first thoughts: (1) Mr. Keating trusts his judgment over the board of directors, (2) Mr. Keating does not care for Carl Icahn, and (3) the case seems premature. In addition to sending me the article, my former student asked, is there any likeihood this suit will succeed? As I thought about my response, I remembered an old Simpsons episode, which leads to my Darryl Strawberry reference. Simpsons fans will recall the episode when Darryl Strawberry and other Major League Players came in as ringers for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team's championship game. Homer Simpson played right field, and when Strawberry joined the team, this exchange followed:
Homer Simpson: You're Darryl Strawberry!
Darryl Strawberry: Yes.
Homer Simpson: You play right field.
Darryl Strawberry: Yes.
Homer Simpson: I play right field too.
Darryl Strawberry: So?
Homer Simpson: Well, are you better than me?
Darryl Strawberry: Well, I've never met you, but... yes.
As I took a glance at the complaint, my response followed something like this:
Former Student: Shareholders sued Motorola for agreeing to merge with Google.
Former Student: The Motorola shareholders haven't had their vote yet, either, right?
Former Student: The complaint seems to allege a violation of Revlon duties, but those don't apply to all negotiated acquitions, right?
Former Student: So, is there any chance of success?
Me: Well, I've haven't seen any of the evidence, and I don't know a lot of the specifics, but... no.
August 16, 2011
Choosing Social Responsibility As Good Business
North Dakota has benefitted greatly from the most recent oil boom in the western part of the state. And the state's finances, as well as many of the state's citizens' finances, are in good shape. That doesn't mean that that everyone is benefiting. As this report (with video) explains, McKenzie County has the fifth highest average wage rate in the state, but a poverty rate higher than the state average.
I'm someone who supports the energy industry in many ways, and I believe that there are times when the government creates many kinds of unnecessary hurdles to production and exploration. By the same token, energy companies create the kind of climate that leads to knee-jerk responses that impede program. (See, e.g., BP in the Gulf of Mexico). While the knee-jerk responses aren't always productive, some sort of response is often necessitated by events.
In western North Dakota and other parts of the country where energy extraction is in high gear, energy companies would be well served to keep their eyes on the circumstances around them. Taking the time to ensure operations are as safe as possible, for both people and the environment, is one good start. Paying attention to what is happening in the communities is which they work is another.
This is not me saying that the government should somehow mandate that corporations certain kinds of social responsibility. This is me saying that investments in communities are often investments in the companies working in those communities. Perhaps it is my public relations background, but in my experience, businesses that have good relationships with their customers and communities are in much better position to whether the storm when inevitable mistakes happen. Plus, you can avoid headlines like this.
August 14, 2011
Congratulations, You're a Lawyer!
August 13, 2011
Love One Another: Business, Law, and the Power of Serving Others
Peggy Noonan opines on the recent London riots in today's Wall Street Journal and suggests that, "What we're seeing on the streets in Britain right now is something we may be starting to see here." I tend to agree. She mentions the "flash mob" curfews in Philadelphia as evidence, and we have the same thing in the suburbs of Cleveland where I live. While reading the Wall Street Journal has taught me that no matter how bad the news, there is almost always someone profiting from it--it is likely fair to say that few businesses flourish in riots. So what, besides instituting curfews, is the law to do? Noonan notes that government is in general in no position to throw more money at the problem right now, and even churches "too are hard-pressed these days." What she offers as a solution is Love:
The problem, at bottom, is love, something we never talk about in public policy discussions because it's too soft and can't be quantified or legislated. But little children without love and guidance are afraid. They're terrified—they have nothing solid in the world, which is a pretty scary place. So they never feel safe. As they grow, their fear becomes rage. Further on, the rage can be expressed in violence.
But in fact the benefits of a version of Love--helping others--has already been quantified by Dr. Maria Pagano (who also happens to be my wife--but please don't hold that against her). Pagano has already proved that helping others improves the likelihood of staying sober in addicts; is currently studying the effectiveness of helping others in teenage populations that have come into contact with the judicial system and are struggling with substance abuse; and is in the process of submitting a grant proposal to study the benefits of helping others for reducing the incidence and spread of HIV/STDs. You can find her "Helping Others" website here.
Of course, actively leveraging the benefits of service would only constitute one part of what will need to be a much broader solution to the related problems we are currently facing. But it is arguably a relatively inexpensive solution and can reasonably be expected to produce less negative side effects than at least some other typical interventions. The application would include, for example, simply incorporating service into the sentencing of juvenile offenders. Nor is this a completely novel idea. "Service learning" is being incorporated into education programs here at Akron and elsewhere, and programs like the Law & Psychology one at Nebraska already include altruism as one of their areas of study.
August 06, 2011
Work-Life Balance: Another Reason to Unplug
Scott Adams writes in the WSJ today that our loss of "boredom" (that thing that arises when you're not glued to your smartphone, Xbox, Kindle, iPad, etc.) may be directly correlated with a loss of creativity. What would a world look like where leaders and innovators lack "boredom"? In addition to "people acting more dogmatic than usual" and "the economy flat-lin[ing] for lack of industry-changing innovation," the money quote for me was:
You might find that bloggers are spending most of their energy writing about other bloggers.
July 28, 2011
The SEC, the D.C. Circuit, and the Rule of Law
Earlier this week, Steve posted an interesting list of many of the recent cases the SEC has lost in the D.C. Circuit (including the latest proxy access case). Steve closed by noting that "an agency has to work really hard to lose this much," and that he was "inclined to think that the SEC simply doesn't care enough about the rule of law." That may be true, but if a lack of respect for the rule of law is an issue here (and that's a big "if"), then I'd like to add that the D.C. Circuit may also be deserving of some criticism. Steve himself notes that "the Financial Planning case is just bad statutory interpretation by the court." To that one can add Brett McDonnell's comments regaring the proxy access case that I posted here (remember, we are talking about the court concluding that the SEC acted arbitrarily and capriciously):
The SEC's documents proposing and finalizing the rule are about extensive as I have ever seen from that agency, and they had voluminous comments from all sides to help guide them. The D.C. Circuit cherrypicks areas where it asserts the SEC didn't do enough. It will almost always be possible to do that with any agency rulemaking. Requiring that level of deliberation could well make the task of rule-writing for Dodd-Frank more daunting still. This opinion is little more than the judges ignoring the proper judicial rule of deference to an agency involved in notice-and-comment rulemaking and asserting their own naked political preferences. Talk about judicial activism.
To this I would also add Jay Brown's take:
In some respects, the DC Circuit's decision … is a grave disappointment. The SEC has the authority to adopt an access rule, that was confirmed in Dodd-Frank. The rule was carefully crafted and vetted over a year long process. The panel, however, didn't like the rule and imposed an almost impossible burden on the SEC. It wasn't enough, for example, for the SEC to conclude that access could benefit boards and point to some studies making that point. Instead, the Agency had to rely on the right studies. The opinion criticized those used by the SEC but did not do the same with respect to those on the other side. In other words, it is clear that the court agreed with one side but not the other. One way or another that panel was going to strike down the rule. That the DC Circuit would issue a political decision is no real surprise. The circuit is full of judges who likely were too controversial for their home state senators to nominate. Without senators in Congress, DC has no politicians who can object to the White House nominees. As a result, the White House has a free hand and can more easily appoint controversial idealogues…. What the case shows is how far behind the courts are with respect to the evolution of the corporate governance process. Two of the [three] judges on the panel were appointed by President Reagan at the height of the law and economics movement. That was the hey day of deregulation and the view that the market can resolve all issues. The shallowness of that philosophy was brought home in the most recent recession. But it is clear that this panel views interference in the management prerogative with disfavor and does not need much excuse to overturn it.
July 20, 2011
Are Bookstores and Electricity Generation on a Similar Trajectory?
I happen to think so, but with news that Borders is almost certainly closing its doors, one has to wonder what the future holds for physical bookstores. When I was young, most of the books stores were independents, with some kind of sad stores at shopping malls. Then the shopping mall stores consolidated, got big, and put a lot of the independent books stores out of business.
When I was in Ann Arbor in the late 1980s, Borders was a big, awesome, independent bookstore. I thought it was great. And a few independent books store remain -- the best one I have visited in the last few years is Powell's City of Books. There is something great about wandering the stacks of books and pulling things off the shelf for a look. The same is true for libraries, but the option of buying that great find, right then and there, is something unique.
Perhaps the failure of some of the large chains will create new opportunities for smaller, independent, local stores to regain strength. The assumption that larger scale is inherently good is not necessarily true. This shift is happening in some areas of the electricity generation sector, too. We have been following the Thomas Edison/Samuel Insull model of large central stations for years, with the assumption that bigger is better. And sometimes it is, but not always.
There is some interesting work in the area of microgrids that could help increase reliability while reducing the land used for electricity generation. (If you're interested in such things, I recommend Sara Bronin's article, Curbing Energy Sprawl with Microgrids.) This doesn't mean there won't be large generating facilities, but there will less, and we should not assume bigger is better.
Hopefully, this is a market correction in both areas, and part of a cycle that is responding to other external changes (such as internet booksellers on the books side and better technologies and increased sensitivity to environmental concerns on the electricity side). I'd hate to think it's just that we don't like books that much any more.
July 13, 2011
Do North Dakota's Corporations Exist if the State Doesn't Exist?
Interesting news today that North Dakota may not actually be a proper state. It seems that the state's constitution lacks a requirement that the state's executive officers uphold the U.S. Constitution, thus violating Article VI.
If the state is not really a state, then would that mean that corporations under "state" law are not really formed either? Would the fictional corporate person suddenly become a fictional, fictional person? Heady stuff.
Add to this the fact that most of the state is violating North Dakota law by reporting that the flooding in Minot (the western part of the state) is caused by the Souris River, using the French (and Canadian) name, rather than the English (and state-mandated) name, the Mouse River.
Even if most people are getting name of the river that is causing the flooding wrong, the flooding is very, very real. Please help if you can. Here are a couple places: http://minotfloodshirts.myminto.com/ and http://minotredcross.org/.
July 08, 2011
Video Game Case: A Pro-Business Decision, But Some Still Miss the Point
On June 27, 2011, the United States Supreme Court decided Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, which determined that video games are protected by the First Amendment and that a California law restricting sales of violent video games to minors could not "survive strict scrutiny." As some readers may recall, I used to work in the video game industry, and I am on record supporting this outcome.
The majority opinion, written by Justice Scalia was unwavering in viewing video games as protected speech. A concurrence, by Justice Alito and joined by Chief Justice Roberts, was less so. The concurrence argued that the statute was improper, but that a properly drafted statute could withstand scrutiny. Ultimately, though, seven Justices thought the California law was wrong, choosing instead the "pro-industry" position. The video game industry is big business, too, with more than $10.5 billion in 2009 computer and video game sales.
Despite being big business, the concurrence and dissent both bought in to the idea that violent video games are harmful to minors. From the research I have seen, links between video games and violence is correlative, not causative. (Justice Breyer's dissent provides appendices of listing research on studies concluding violent video games are harmful and not harmful, most of which, I admit, I have not reviewed.) It is not shocking to me that kids who tend to be violent are drawn to violent video games. The truth is that video games can serve as cathartic for some, and may prove detrimental to others. The same remains true of Madame Bovary.
I can't help but note that the concurrence makes some similar assumptions to those who drafted the California law. In his concurrence, Justice Alito says that the majority opinion is wrong and that "[w]e should not jump to the conclusion that new technology is fundamentally the same as some older thing with which we are familiar."
I respectfully disagree. In fact, we should not jump to the conclusion that new technology is fundamentally different than some older thing with which we are familiar. The majority got it right.
July 06, 2011
A Colleague Lost: Rest in Peace, David Getches
David Getches, who was the University of Colorado Law School dean until last week, passed away Tuesday. Less than a month ago, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
I had only met David a few times, but he is someone I will miss. I knew about David long before I met him. In law school, I was excited to take a Native American Law seminar, where I read a number of his writings. At that point, he was something of a rock star to me, in a scholarly sort of way.
Over the past four years, I have had the privilege to serve as the University of North Dakota School of Law's Trustee to the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, which is where I had the opportunity to meet David. We never talked much (I mostly watched and listened), but in my experience, he was someone who commanded respect, but never demanded it.
About this time last year I had the pleasure of sharing an airport shuttle with David back to Calgary (from Banff). I wanted to speak with him, but I did not want to bug him, either. I briefly re-introduced myself, then quietly went back to reading. At one point, though, I decided to ask a question; I'm glad I did. We had a nice conversation for the rest of the ride, where he shared with me some of his experiences as a, lawyer, law professor, and dean. He talked as someone who truly loved his career, his family and friends, and his life.
David's primary focus was Indian law and natural resources law, which is not directly relevant here. But David's expertise was far broader that those subject areas. As lawyer, a law professor, and law dean, he influenced the entire legal community, in addition to students and the academy, in way that will last well beyond his time with us.
Even after meeting David, he remains something of a rock star to me, and I'm honored to have spent a little time with him. My thoughts are with his family and friends. He will be missed.
July 04, 2011
Happy 4th of July
Happy Independence Day to all our American readers. (I know people outside the U.S. read this blog, but you're just going to have to bear with us today; it's a pretty big deal over here.)
Since this is a business law blog, don't forget all that American business people have done (and are still doing) to make our country great. What we have today is due in no small part to American capitalists and entrepreneurs, in addition to the heroes more commonly celebrated in the history books.