ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Friday, January 2, 2015

Airlines and Calling the Kettle Black

A few days ago, I blogged on the recent lawsuit by United Airlines and Orbitz against the developer of Skiplagged.  One of the causes of action alleged is breach of contract for encouraging the purchase of a ticket to certain destinations only to get off at an interim point to save money.

The airlines themselves may be breaching their contracts with flyers.  For example, when we buy tickets to be flown from point A to point B, that arguably implies being done so without undue delays and, in particular, possibly having to spend the night at your own cost and without your personal belongings in random cities around the world if connections are missed because of flight delays (unless, of course, you choose to spend the night sitting upright in the airport).  Needless to say, if you seek to change your ticket, airlines will either charge extreme high fees and the “difference in price” for doing so or outright prohibit this practice.  I’ve had to change tickets many times in the past, and it has typically only taken an agent about five minutes to do so.  Unconscionabiliy, anyone? 

Here’s what happened to me one cold winter night a few years back: On my way to Denmark from St. Croix, the airline was late taking off and got even more delayed when it “had to” make an unplanned “quick landing” for gas, which was cheaper at the interim airport than at the end destination, and… ice cubes for people’s drinks!  I wish I was kidding, but I’m not.  I missed the once-daily connection out of Atlanta to Copenhagen and had to spend the night in Atlanta in December.  As I was living in tropical St. Croix at the time, I had some warm clothes with me on board the airplane to stay warm there, but had packed my winter gear in my suitcase.  The airline paid for my hotel, but would, in spite of my desperate pleas, not let me have my suitcase back for the night.  Result: I had to travel to and from the hotel, etc., in indoor clothes on what turned out to be an unseasonably cold winter day in Atlanta (yes, I should have brought a warmer jacket on board the plane, but planes to and from the Caribbean are often very small and I always try not to bring too much carry-on items).

Before 1978, U.S. airlines were required under “Rule 240” to offer seats on a competitor’s next flight if that would be the fastest way of getting the traveler to his or her destination.  Airlines created after deregulation were never required to follow that rule, but older airlines such as Delta, United and Continental apparently still adhere to the rule.  Funny that they never seem to mention that when they delay you significantly.  Next time you fly, it may pay to scrutinize your contract of carriage more carefully to ascertain your rights in case of a delay. 

It may be time for Congress to reintroduce a Rule 240-type requirement on airlines, especially as these have become extremely good at flying full – even at overcapacity - and thus often do not have extra space for passengers that have missed their flights.  Good customer service often seems to have given way to airlines’ “me first” attitude in the name of hearing the highest profits possible by nickel-and-diming most aspects of airline travel on, at least, economy class.

Feeling empathetic towards the airlines?  Don’t.  Full or nearly full flights in conjunction with declining gas prices have enabled U.S.-based airlines to earn the highest profit margins in decades.  One trade group estimates that airline made 6% profit margins in 2014, higher than the highest rates in the 1990s.  Of course, the task of businesses is to make as much money as they can.  But at least they should live up to their own contracts of carriage and other contracts principles just as they claim passengers and website developers should.

Here’s a hat tip to Professor Miriam Cherry and other contracts professors on a well-known industry list serve for news about this story.  All opinion and thoughts above are my own.

January 2, 2015 in Commentary, Contract Profs, Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight, Current Affairs, Famous Cases, In the News, Recent Cases, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Contracts Spotlight: Eniola Akindemowo

Spotlight_2_6_4_12_2Eniola Akindemowo (Thomas Jefferson)

213bios1photo Ph.D., University of London (Queen Mary)

LL.M, University of London (University College)

LL.B, University of Ife

Grad. Cert. (Higher Education), Monash University

Professor Akindemowo joined the faculty of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego in 2006.  She teaches Contracts and E-Commerce.

Professor Akindemowo brings 17 years of teaching th Thomas Jefferson. Immediately before joining Thomas Jefferson, she was a faculty member of the Monash University Faculty of Law in Melbourne Australia, where she was also an Associate Director of the Center for Law in the Digital Economy (CLiDE).  She has been the recipient of several competitive research and travel grants.

She enjoys the fact that contracts are deeply rooted in everyday life, and that there is an abundance of material/examples - regular news clips, music, movies, common daily experiences - to use as teaching aids to enliven the classroom. Professor Akindemowo has a particular interest in comparative contractual law, given that she has taught Contracts from the perspectives of the US legal system, the English legal system, and the Australian legal system. Her other areas of interest and expertise are Information Technology Law, Internet Contracting, Payment Systems and E-Commerce.

Professor Akindemowo is the author of several articles that have been published in both student-edited, and peer-reviewed journals. She is the author of the first substantive book on IT law to have been published in Australia, and co-author of another on E-Commerce and the Law.

[The be the next feature in the Contracts Prof Blog spotlight, send a note to Meredith Miller.]

October 3, 2007 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Contracts Spotlight: Eboni Nelson


Eboni_nelson_2Eboni Nelson (University of South Carolina)

B.A., Wake Forest University

J.D., Harvard Law School

Eboni Nelson recently joined the faculty of the University of South Carolina, where she teaches Contracts, Sales and Consumer Law. Prior to joining the faculty, she taught Commercial Law and Texas Consumer Law at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, TX. She was also a visiting professor at the University of Houston Law Center, where she taught Contracts and Texas Consumer Law.

Before joining "the best profession in the world," Professor Nelson practiced ERISA and Employee Benefits in the Houston office of Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP (Yes...that Giuliani!!), where she developed a love for statutory and code work. Her love of Contracts came from earning her stripes as a teaching assistant for Professor Elizabeth Warren at Harvard Law School.

Professor Nelson's scholarly interests include education law and policy, specifically the intersection of consumer law and education issues. Her recent articles concerning affirmative action in higher education and the constitutionality of race-conscious student assignment plans have appeared as lead articles in the Journal of College and University Law, a peer-reviewed journal at Notre Dame, and the Denver Law Review. Her current work examines issues related to student consumer debt.

Professor Nelson is originally from Greenville, SC and is excited about her recent move "home." While happy that she and her husband, Scott, are now closer, her family is ecstatic that their 2 year old daughter, Ella Joy, is now only an hour and a half away. In her spare time, Professor Nelson pursues her lifelong quest to be the ultimate cook and entertainer, just like her idol Ina Garten a/k/a the Barefoot Contessa.

[If you would like to be featured in the ContractsProf Blog spotlight, or would like to recommend someone to be featured, please contact Meredith Miller.]

August 28, 2007 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Contracts Prof Spotlight: Martín Hevia

Spotlight_2_6_6Martín Hevia (Escuela de Derecho, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella at Buenos Aires)

SJD, University of Toronto

Pix_februar_2007_015_3Martín is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Escuela de Derecho, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella at Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he teaches Contracts, Obligations and Principles of Private and Commercial Law.

Martín is a 2001 graduate of the Escuela de Derecho, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, where he was the first Editor-In-Chief of Revista Argentina de Teoría Jurídica, a theoretically-minded journal of law. In 2000, he was an exchange student at Chicago Kent College of Law. In 2003, he was directly admitted to the SJD programme at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. He recently got his SJD under the supervision of Profs. Arthur Ripstein and Peter Benson.   At the University of Toronto, Martín was Co-Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Law & Equality (2004-2006) and President of the Graduate Law Students´ Association (2004-2006). He was awarded the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award for his extracurricular contributions to university life.

Martín's areas of research interest include the philosophical foundations of both the civil and the common law, comparative private law, and legal and political philosophy.  In his doctoral dissertation, he explores the following question: if, as John Rawls famously suggests, justice is the first virtue of social institutions, how are we to understand the institution of contract law?

Further, Martín's “Kronman on Contract Law and Distributive Justice” is forthcoming in the Journal of Contract Law.

In accordance with the general spirit at the Escuela, as a private law professor, Martín aims at breaking down the disciplinary and idiomatic barriers that isolate private law scholarship by taking advantage of theoretical tools available in fields like philosophy, economics, and history to gain a deeper understanding of private law Martín can be reached at

[If you would like to be featured in the Contracts Prof Spotlight, or have a recommendation for someone who should be featured, send an email to Meredith R. Miller: mmiller -at-]

March 27, 2007 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Sudha Setty

Spotlight_2_6_4_12 Sudha Setty (Western New England College School of Law)
B.A., Stanford University
J.D., Columbia University

Sudhasetty02Sudha Setty recently joined the faculty of Western New England College School of Law, teaching contracts and comparative constitutional law. 

Prior to moving to the Pioneer Valley and starting life as an academic, she was a litigator at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York for seven years.  At Davis Polk, Professor Setty worked on a wide range of commercial civil litigation matters, enforcement proceedings before the SEC and NASD, and antitrust matters.  Her pro bono practice while at the firm included prisoner’s rights trial, working on challenges to state constitutional ballot initiatives on voter identification requirements, and mentoring high school students.

Professor Setty was a history major at Stanford University, after which she spent a year in Japan teaching English.  That was followed by law school at Columbia, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar and an editor of the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems. She has written in the areas of Title IX and women’s rights, and her scholarly focus is on comparative law.  She spends her free time wearing her Red Sox cap and, now that she’s not in New York City, happily not getting ridiculed for it.

November 28, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: George W. Kuney

Spotlight_2_6_4_7 George W. Kuney (University of Tennessee College of Law)

B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz
J.D., Univerisity of California, Hastings College of Law
M.B.A., University of San Diego

Kuneynew George W. Kuney is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law at  University of Tennessee College of Law, where he teaches Contracts, Contract Drafting, Debtor-Creditor, Property, Representing Enterprises and Workouts & Reorganizations.

Professor Kuney was born and raised in San Francisco and was a partner in the San Diego office of Allen Matkins Leck Gamble & Mallory LLP where he concentrated his practice on insolvency and reorganization matters nationwide.  Prior to that he received his training with Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Robertson & Falk LLP and Morrison & Foerster LLP. 

Professor Kuney's expertise and scholarly interests relate to business transactions and litigation with an emphasis on acquisitions, recapitalizations, reorganizations and financing. He is a Research Fellow of the Center for Corporate Governance, a multi-disciplinary research center of the University of Tennessee. He is also an Editor Emeritus of the California Bankruptcy Journal and the Business Law News and is currently the editorial advisor to Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law. He teaches Contracts, Contract Drafting, Property, Debtor-Creditor, Workouts & Reorganizations, and a transactional simulation seminar at UT.  He is an author of Kuney & Lloyd, Contracts:  Transactions and Litigation (West 2006) and the author of The Elements of Contract Drafting (2d Ed. West 2006) and Legal Drafting in a Nutshell (3d Ed. West 2007), as well as a number of law review and other articles.

In addition to his other activities, professor Kuney consults for outside clients on matters related to business law, contracts, Chapter 11, and insolvency. One of his current passions is exploring and advocating the limitations of bankruptcy law as a device to affect non-debtor rights and duties that could not be affected under otherwise applicable non-bankruptcy law. He conducts transactional training seminars and clinics for law students, lawyers, and law firms across the country.

Professor Kuney lives in the Ft. Sanders neighborhood of Knoxville with his wife, Donna C. Looper, also an attorney and an Adjunct Professor.  His interests include architecture, entrepreneurship, history, real estate development, land use, carpentry, hiking, and Lady Vols basketball.

November 16, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Miriam Albert

Spotlight_2_6_4_8Miriam R. Albert (Hofstra Law)
B.A., Tufts University
J.D., Emory University
M.B.A., Emory University
L.L.M, New York University

Miriam Albert is a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Hofstra, where she teaches contracts, business organizations, business planning and business drafting.

Professor Albert joined Hofstra in the fall of 2004, with practice experience as a corporate and securities attorney and teaching experience at law and business schools. She was previously on the faculties of Fordham Business School and Widener Law School, teaching business law topics including corporate, agency and partnership law, mergers and acquisitions, securities law, and interviewing and counseling, as well as legal writing.

Her research interests focus on business organization and international and domestic securities law issues. Her articles have appeared in publications such as the Arizona Law Review, Rutgers Law Journal and the American Business Law Journal, a peer-reviewed journal for which she is a reviewer. Before entering academia, she practiced corporate and securities law at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in New York.

She is a former stand up comic and pilates instructor, and the mom of a sweet 3 year old daughter she adopted from Russia when she was 10 months old.  Her interests are focused on both lofty scholarly pursuits and the Wiggles, a group of 4 annoying Australians who sing and dance and basically fascinate her daughter.

November 8, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Jack Graves

Spotlight_2_6_4_10 Jack Graves (Touro Law Center)
B.A., University of Colorado
J.D., University of Colorado
K_prof_2 Jack Graves has joined the faculty at Touro Law School, where he teaches Contracts and Buiness Organizations.

Jack Graves arrived as a member of the legal academy having traveled a somewhat more circuitous path than many.  Before attending law school, Jack spent fifteen years in business management—serving as a CFO, COO, and President of various private and publicly held corporations.  Jack ultimately left the business world for law school, earning his degree from the University of Colorado in 1994.  Following law school, Jack first clerked for the Honorable David M. Ebel on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and then joined the law firm of Chrisman, Bynum & Johnson, P.C. (now the Boulder, Colorado office of Faegre & Benson LLP).  Six years later, Jack left the world of law practice for legal academia.

Jack has been a “well traveled” law professor to date, having taught Contracts at the University of Colorado School of Law, Stetson Unive rsity College of Law, and, now, Touro Law School.  Along with Contracts, Jack teaches a variety of other courses related to business law, but his favorite is a course he initially developed while at Stetson and expects to be teaching at Touro next fall—International Sales Law & Arbitration.   His recent scholarship has focused on party autonomy in choice of contract law, as well as a pedagogical article on teaching international commercial law and arbitration.  He is currently working on a casebook intended for use in teaching international sales law and arbitration together in a fully integrated manner.  Jack’s scholarly interests also mesh well with his continuing service as a coach of law student teams in the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.

When not teaching, writing, or thinking about law, Jack is an avid outdoor enthusiast, including climbing (see photo – Alps ’06), cycling, kayaking, and skiing.

*Photo caption: Is my helicopter rescue contract specifically enforceable in a Swiss court?

November 1, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Jamie Fox

Spotlight_2_6_4_6 James W. Fox Jr. (Stetson University College of Law)
B.A., University of North Carolina
J.D., University of Michigan Law School

Fox_press_photo Jamie Fox is a Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida. 

I have been at Stetson since 2000, before which I taught as a visitor at Mercer University Law School.  After law school in Ann Arbor, I clerked for Judge Phyllis Kravitch on the Eleventh Circuit and worked at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., where, among other things, I had the pleasure of serving as a temporary attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services.  I am also currently President of the Board for Gulfcoast Legal Services.

I write and teach in the areas of American legal history, contracts, and poverty law.  I have recently written articles on the Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras, and am currently exploring the intersection of mid-nineteenth century contract law, contract ideology, and the implementation of the Fourteenth Amendment through the Freedmen's Bureau.  I am also interested in the connections between poverty law and contract, particularly under the present regime of responsibilities-oriented welfare programs.  When I am not writing or teaching, I spend most of my time with my wife, Maria, and our three children, Nicholas (8), Luke (6), and Grace (2).  And, I have to say,raising children keeps teaching me surprising lessons about legal formalism, norms, interpretation, and excuse that weirdly affect my thinking about contract law.  In whatever time that remains I enjoy reading even more about history and theory or watching grainy documentaries (my wife, a literature scholar and fiction fanatic, finds this deeply odd).  I also enjoy college basketball (as a Carolina grad this might more aptly be described as an obsession), cooking (and, yes, eating), and a very occasional game of golf.

October 26, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Shandrea Solomon

Spotlight_2_6_4_5 Shandrea Solomon (Phoenix Law)
B.A., Southern University A&M College
J.D., Loyola University School of Law (New Orleans)

Shandrea Solomon has joined the faculty of Phoenix School of Law as an Assistant Professor.  Among other subjects, she teaches contracts.

She received her J.D. in 1994 from Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans, where she accrued several honors and awards including the Shell Oil Scholarship, Trial Practice Book Award, Moot Court membership, and recognition for her skills in Mediation & Arbitration. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she graduated cum laude. She received several honors and awards, including the President's Scholarship, Alumni Scholarship, Lambda Iota Tau English Fraternity recognition, and Outstanding Student Awards.

Prior to joining PhoenixLaw's faculty, Professor Solomon held positions at several major schools. She was assistant to the dean and adjunct professor at the University of Mississippi Law School, director of admissions and special programs at the University of Florida College of Law, and the vice president of student affairs at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida. She also interned with ProServ Sports Agency in Phoenix and the Minnesota Vikings Football Club.

Her research interests cover several facets of the law, with a focus on affirmative action and diversity in legal education, but also contracts, criminal law and procedure, and sports and entertainment law. She is a member of the Louisiana Bar Association, National Bar Association, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Professor Solomon is passionate about community service. She serves as a faculty advisor to the Phoenix School of Law Family Advocacy Pro Bono Project, a collaborative service project of PhoenixLaw, the Salvation Army – Elim House, and the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Maricopa County. The Project provides services to survivors of domestic violence. She also sits on the board of the Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County, an organization that addresses adult literacy issues in Arizona. Other community-based activities with which she is involved include the Arizona Cardinals Community Service Wives/Significant Others Foundation, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Boys & Girls Club, Cardinals Kids Camps, Salvation Army Annual Canned Food drive, the Phoenix Women’s Sports Foundation, and Habitat for Humanity.

Professor Solomon and her husband, Richard, defensive backs’ coach with the Arizona Cardinals Football Club, reside in Gilbert, Arizona.

October 18, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Kristen Boon

Spotlight_2_6_6 Kristen Boon (Seton Hall University)

B.A., McGill University
M.A., McGill University
J.D., New York University School of Law
LL.M, Columbia University

Boonkrist_2 Kristen Boon has joined the law faculty at Seton Hall University.

Professor Boon has an LLM from Columbia University and a JD from NYU School
of Law.  She is currently finishing her JSD at Columbia. Despite her American training, Professor Boon is Canadian, and clerked in the Canadian Supreme Court and worked as a legal officer for Foreign Affairs Canada.   

She says she is well known for her "Canadianisms," although she noted that
her use of the letter "u" in words such as colour and neighbourhood is starting to drop off.  She has learned that it is important to speak to her audience. That said, Kristen has made a priority of exploring different parts of Canada on her vacations, and just ran a half marathon in the Canadian Rockies in September.

A recipient of several fellowships, including a SSHRC doctoral fellowship and an international fellowship from the American Association of University Women, Professor Boon's research focus is on the intersection of public and private international law.  She is currently working on an article concerning the new generation of Security Council sanctions regimes.

October 11, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Kerri Lynn Stone

Spotlight_2_6_4_4 Kerri Lynn Stone (Temple)
B.A., Columbia University
J.D., NYU Law School

Kerri_stone_pic Kerri Stone is in her second year of a two-year post as an Abraham L. Freedman Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Temple Law School.

Kerri Stone is a 2000 graduate of New York University School of Law, where she served as Developments Editor of NYU's Journal of International Law and Politics and was named a Robert McKay Scholar. She received her B.A. in English and Comparative Literature, magna cum laude, from Columbia University. Following her law school graduation, Kerri clerked for three federal judges: Judge Michael H. Dolinger (Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York), Judge Julio M. Fuentes (Third Circuit Court of Appeals), and Judge Maryanne Trump Barry (Third Circuit Court of Appeals). She subsequently practiced with the firm of Proskauer Rose, LLP, as an associate in both the Litigation and the Labor and Employment Departments, and she was an adjunct professor of Business Law at the Business School of Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey from 2001-2005.

Kerri is the author of four articles. The first three were published in the North Atlantic Regional  Business Law Association's 2003 Business Law Review, the Columbia Journal of Gender & Law, and the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, and her most recent article will be published in the Hastings Law Journal. Her areas of scholarship and teaching experience include employment law and discrimination, torts, disability law, and contracts.

Kerri is married to another lawyer, Josh, and lives on the upper west side of Manhattan. In her spare time, she enjoys taking jazz dance classes at Manhattan's 92nd Street Y, skiing beginner ski trails with her husband, and hanging out with her mom.

October 4, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Daniel Schwarcz

Spotlight_2_6_7 Daniel Schwarcz (Harvard University)
A.B., Amherst College
J.D., Harvard Law School

Schwarcz Daniel Schwarcz is in his second year of a two-year post as a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Harvard Law School. His work to date focuses primarily on insurance law and includes "A Products Liability Theory for the Judicial Regulation of Insurance" (forthcoming in the William & Mary Law Review and available at  Daniel graduated from Harvard Law School in 2003.  While a law student, he was an Articles Editor of the Harvard Law Review and an Olin Fellow in Law and Economics.

Since graduating from law school, he has stayed in Boston while his fiancée, Tamar, has worked on her Ph.D. in biology.  Before starting at Harvard, he clerked for Judge Sandra Lynch of the First Circuit and then practiced in the Boston office of Ropes & Gray, where he focused on insurance law matters.  The next few months promise to be eventful for Daniel, as he is simultaneously in the process of looking for a permanent academic post and getting married.  To relax during this time, Daniel looks forward to making frequent visits to Hartford, Connecticut where he will enjoy being around other people who actually care about insurance.  (In reality, Daniel likes to relax by cooking, playing strategy games, and watching football (Miami Dolphins) and baseball (the dreaded Yankees)).

[To have your profile featured in the weekly ContractsProf Spotlight or recommend someone to be featured, please email Meredith Miller]

September 28, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Ronald J. Colombo

Ronald J. Colombo
(Hofstra University)

B.S., Cornell University
J.D., New York University School of Law

ColomboProfessor Colombo has joined Hoftra University Law School, where he will teach Contracts, Securities Regulation, and Business Organizations.

My research focuses primarily on corporate and securities law and, more specifically, the application of non-economic principles and norms to these fields.  Before joining the Hofstra faculty in 2006, I served in the Complex Global Litigation Group of Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated as Vice-President and Counsel. In this position, I supervised investigations, litigations, and regulatory inquiries affecting Morgan Stanley’s investment banking franchise. Prior to that, I practiced as a litigation associate at the New York office of Sullivan & Cromwell, where, among other things, I represented corporate and banking clients in civil and criminal investigations conducted by the S.E.C., the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Reserve Bank; in matters before state courts, federal courts, and arbitration panels; and in appeals before the Third Circuit, the D.C. Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. From 2000 – 2003, I also served on the Committee on Professional and Judicial Ethics of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

I graduated, magna cum laude, from N.Y.U. School of Law.  At N.Y.U., I served as a Note & Development Editor of the N.Y.U. Law Review, published a note on the clergy-penitent evidentiary privilege, interned at the Federal Defender Division of the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Immediately following graduation, I clerked for Judge Jerry Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Notwithstanding my dedication to law and teaching, my pride and joy remains my three children:
Isabella (4 yrs); Christina (2 yrs); and Ron Jr. (6 mos.).

And if any time remains after the day is done, I might be found in front of a television or radio watching or listening to a N.Y. Yankees ballgame.

September 20, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

ContractsProf Spotlight: Chapin Cimino Cody

Spotlight_2_6_4_3 Chapin Cimino Cody (Drexel University)
BA, Denison University
JD, University of Chicago

Dsc_7695 Chapin Cimino Cody is part of the inaugural faculty at Drexel Law School, where she will teach Contracts.

The paths I’ve followed haven’t always been well-illuminated. The one I’m on now, in fact, has led me to a brand new, pre-accredited law school (albeit one at an established, well-regarded research institution). The “story” of how I ultimately found this job is that, while I did realize in my first or second year of law school that teaching law would be the best job imaginable, I didn’t begin then meticulously plotting an academic trajectory. Instead I went down a few side roads and soon enough I found my way to the right place. 

I didn’t start out looking for the side roads, however. In law school I followed the crowd to the doors of the big New York firms. I decided to spend my second summer at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. I genuinely liked the firm, so I accepted their offer to join the litigation practice after graduation. But a detour to Philadelphia to clerk changed that plan.  In the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, I saw many interesting things: impeccably written briefs, skilled oral advocates, sophisticated commercial disputes, and young women being given a lot of responsibility on pending cases.  Some of these revelations came as quite a surprise, as every New York lawyer I had known insisted there was no sophisticated commercial litigation outside of New York.  Still, these observations, coupled with what seemed to be an oddly high divorce rate among the New York lawyers, convinced me to stay in Philadelphia. So I told my firm I wouldn’t be coming that fall after all. The utility of this move was at best uncertain given one bit of conventional wisdom, which is that pedigrees from fancy New York firms certainly help aspiring teaching candidates down the road.

In Philly I practiced commercial litigation at a great firm, Pepper Hamilton, and got tremendous experience. I worked at a high level on lots of different commercial matters -- contract, antitrust, securities, copyright and trademark. I also got some practice experience in public law areas, namely first amendment and higher education work, which I loved. I got trial experience, mediation experience, mentoring experience -- all kinds of good stuff. I worked at a sane place with good people and did well.

Then my first daughter arrived. At the time my spouse was consulting (read: traveling 4-5 days/week) and I knew I couldn’t do what I needed to do and keep all fronts covered adequately, so I took a big risk and took an extended maternity leave. The last time I checked, “extended maternity leave” is not on anyone’s list of “how to get a teaching job” (Leiter?  Wendel?). I ended up staying out for two years – having a second child (another daughter) almost right away and also teaching for the first time.  To stay engaged while I was out, I taught “media law and ethics” as an adjunct to undergraduates at a local university.

Shortly after returning to practice I knew that it was time to start making the move to academia.  Two years ago I started teaching legal writing at Villanova University Law School, which was another serendipitous but very worthwhile experience. In that time I learned a lot about legal education, law schools as institutions, law students, and teaching. I was also able to publish an article and put myself on the market. Viewed ex ante, the article I wrote was not the most predictable path to success, either, because I took a pass on the received wisdom that an entry-level candidate should choose a topic and construct a thesis in order to maximize her placement possibilities. Instead I wrote about what was on my mind, which was standing in a certain class of discrimination suits.  Then, lo and behold, Drexel University decided to open a law school, right here in Philadelphia. I took myself off the market and the rest is (very recent) history.   

For anyone unfamiliar with this recent history, which is probably just about everyone reading this, or anyone curious about what it is like to start a new law at an established institution, I recommend a post on the subject written by my colleague, Dan Filler, at Concurring Opinions.  The crux: “this is entrepreneurship, on someone else’s dime.  Anything is possible.”

September 13, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Michael Satz

Spotlight_2_6_4_2 Michael Satz (University of Idaho College of Law)
B.A., B.S., Southern Methodist University
J.D., University of Michigan

Michael_satz_2 Michael Satz recently joined the law faculty at the University of Idaho College of Law as an associate professor.  At Idaho, he teaches Contracts, Secured Transactions and Creditor's Rights. 

Professor Satz received a B.A. and B.S. from Southern Methodist University in 1990.  After that, he was a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy, completing two overseas tours of duty in Japan onboard the Amphibious Assault Ships USS San Bernardino (LST-1189) and USS Dubuque (LPD-8). Professor Satz then attended The University of Michigan School of Law, earning his J.D. Cum Laude in 2000. While at Michigan, Professor Satz was an Executive Editor on the Michigan Law Review.

Professor Satz has practiced in both the commercial litigation area and as in-house counsel at a major Japanese auto company. One of the perks of his in-house counsel job was free company cars for all counsel. Professor Satz has made it his mission in life to petition the AALS to encourage member schools to provide free vehicles for all faculty members. “It’s a great perk” says Professor Satz, “and it will go a long way in bridging the generational gap between the professors and the students. For example, can you imagine how much more respect the stodgy Contracts professor will garner from the 1L class when he comes spinning into the parking lot in a shiny new sports car, does a donut skidding directly into a parking spot in reverse, hops out and immediately starts lecturing about the Objective Theory of Contract?” Thus far, the response to Professor Satz’ suggestion from the Torts contingent on the faculty at his law school has been lukewarm, but Professor Satz says “they seem to be coming around, especially when you tell them about all the innovations in safety equipment in new cars today, such as ABS brakes and smart airbags. If I can persuade the auto manufactures to put 1L sensing technology into new cars, we may just get there.”

September 6, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Nathan Oman

Spotlight_2_6_4_1 Nathan B. Oman (William & Mary)
B.A., Brigham Young University
J.D., Harvard Law School

Nate_1 Nathan Oman has joined the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary.  This year, he will teach Contracts and Secured Transactions.

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah thinking that lawyers were boring.  As an undergraduate I studied political science, philosophy, and economics mainly because I couldn't decide which field I was more interested in.  Gradually it became clear to me that the most interesting place where the concerns of these disciplines intersected was in the law.  I tested the waters by working as a research assistant for a duo of law professors and got hooked on jurisprudence.  Some come to the law for money, power, and prestige.  Some come to the law out of a burning sense of outrage at the injustices of the world and a desire to work for their redress.  Some come to the law because they have humanities degrees and don't know what else to do with their lives.  Oddly enough, I came to the law because I thought that reading law review articles was fun.

After college I worked on the DC staff of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) while my wife attended graduate school.  When she finished her degree, we moved to Boston and I began law school at Harvard.  Having studied political theory and spent a year or two working in politics, I assumed that the most interesting -- and important -- subjects were those that deal with the architecture and power of political institutions. I found to my surprise, however, that the most engaging fields were torts, property, and -- especially -- contracts.  As a 1L, I read Grant Gilmore's The Death of Contract and Charles Fried's Contract as Promise, and I have been hooked on the theory of contract law ever since.

After graduating from law school (which included a stint on the Articles Committee of the Harvard Law Review, where even my appetite for reading law review articles flagged at times), we moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, where I clerked for Judge Morris "Buzz" Arnold on the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.  (Best clerkship ever!)  After clerking, I survived two years of litigation and appellate practice with the Washington, DC office of Sidley Austin LLP before running the gauntlet of the "meat market."  I now teach contracts and commercial law at William & Mary Law School.

For the present, my primary research interest in contract law is the relationship between economic and moral theories of contract.  My own conclusion is that neither approach adequately captures the law of contracts, which contains some rules and structures that are best explained by one approach and some rules and structures that are best explained by the other approach.  My ambition is to show that despite this heterogeneity, contract law should be understood as more than the largely random result of historical and political accidents but actually has a relatively coherent normative structure.  Hopefully, the products of this ambition will be coming soon to a law review near you.  (You can download my work thus far here).

When not working on contracts, I have a scholarly interest in law and religion. My focus here is less on traditional questions of church and state than on understanding how people have used religion as a lens through which to understand and experience the law.  I am currently researching an article comparing the early legal codes of commonwealth America's two indigenous theocracies -- the early Puritan of Massachusetts Bay and the mid-19th century Mormon "State of Deseret" in the American West -- in an attempt to understand the very different ways in which competing theologies are
manifested in the law.

In addition to the law, I enjoy spending time with my wife and 4-year-old son.  I also like to garden, run and play chess (badly).  I have long felt that I had an inner banjo player, but I feared to let him out because I was convinced that he basically sucked. I recently began learning the banjo and my fears have proven to be fully justified.

[Ed. note: Nathan also manages to contribute rather admirably to the blog over at Concurring Opinions].

August 30, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Gregory Duhl

Spotlight_2_6_5 Gregory Duhl (University of Tulsa College of Law)

B.A., Yale College
J.D., Harvard University
LL.M, Temple University

Duhl_1 Gregory Duhl has joined the faculty at the University of Tulsa College of Law. At Tulsa, he teaches Contracts, Sales, and Secured Transactions.

From 2002-2004, Professor Duhl was an Abraham L. Freedman Fellow and Lecturer-in-Law at Temple University's James E. Beasley School of Law where he co-taught Contracts with his two mentors, Bill Woodward and Amy Boss. He then visited for two years at the Southern Illinois University School of Law.

Professor Duhl graduated from Yale College (B.A. 1991) and Harvard Law School (J.D. 1995), practiced law at Mayer, Brown in Chicago, Brown & Bain, P.A. in Phoenix, and Schiff, Hardin & Waite in Chicago, and then gave up big firm practice to represent tenants in Chicago Eviction Court before entering law teaching.

Professor Duhl writes in the areas of Agency & Partnership, Contracts, and Property, and is beginning an investigation of the payday lending industry as well as an empirical study of how courts have developed a substantive body of law for limited liability companies. He also edits the Unincorporated Business Law Prof blog.

Professor Duhl grew up north of Chicago and never thought that he would find himself living in Oklahoma. He lives there with his wife Michelle and their two dogs, Midnight and Kinsey (named after Kinsey Millhone - the protagonist in Sue Grafton's mysteries). His favorite job was teaching at a stodgy, private boys secondary school in Sydney, Australia, after graduating from college, where he relived the role of Robin Williams in Dead Poet's Society. He still encourages students to stand on the desk at the front of the room and yell if they are afraid to speak in class.

[To have your profile featured in the weekly ContractsProf Spotlight or recommend someone to be featured, please email Meredith Miller]

August 24, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Angelique EagleWoman (Wambdi WasteWin)

Angelique EagleWoman
(Wambdi WasteWin) (Hamline University)

B.A., Stanford University
J.D., University of North Dakota
L.L.M., University of Tulsa College of Law


Angelique EagleWoman has joined the Hamline University Law faculty this August. Her teaching areas include Contracts I, Contracts II and Native American Law in 2006-2007. 

I grew up both on the reservation and off, between Topeka, Kansas and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota. Since I was eight years old, I knew that I wanted to be a lawyer. The interest stemmed from a traumatic experience. My aunt’s husband, my uncle, was African-American and went in to pay a speeding ticket at the Shawnee County Sheriff’s office. After entering the law enforcement building, he was brutally beaten and taken to the hospital. I remember being eight years old and watching the local news showing my aunt and uncle rejoicing outside of a courtroom for winning a large monetary judgment against the Shawnee County Sheriff’s office. I viewed law as a way to remedy grave injustices and knew then that I would be a lawyer.

During my preteen years, my father often gave me political manifestos to read. I read “Custer Died for Your Sins,” “The Trail of Broken Treaties,” and “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.” Through these early influences, I committed myself to becoming a voice and an advocate for my Tribe and other Tribal Nations. I feel that my path has risen up to meet me along the way.

Through my high school years, I attended both public schools and a tribal school. I applied to Stanford and was routed to a postgraduate year at the preparatory school, Northfield Mount Hermon in Massachusetts. When I flew to Northfield, it was my first experience in an airplane. During my postgraduate year, I was accepted at Stanford where I majored in political science.

From there, I took several years off to return to my home reservation and soon moved to a nearby reservation, the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota. At that time, I served as the tribal truancy officer appearing in tribal court representing the Tate Topa (Four Winds) Tribal School. I went on to become the outreach counselor at Little Hoop Community College and was invited to teach. I taught Federal Indian Law two semesters. I knew that my path was calling me to return to my dream of becoming a lawyer.

In the midst of the Indian mascot controversy, I spent a tense three years at the University of North Dakota School of Law. During the summers, I clerked at the prestigious Indian law firm of Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse & Endreson in Washington, D.C. I accepted their offer my third year and joined on as an associate attorney. During my time at Sonosky, Chambers, my interest in tribal economic development blossomed. I never acclimated to D.C. and felt that my true calling involved teaching as well as the law. I had been accepted in a Ph.D. Educational Leadership program at UND and planned to return to begin it. In the interim, I accepted a position working with the UND Upward Bound program traveling to three reservation high schools and local schools in the Grand Forks area to encourage first generation low income high school students to attend college.

After a year and a half with Upward Bound, I reentered legal practice at the request of my Tribe, the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate. Representing my Tribe and working as an associate at several Indian law firms over the years, I worked on various contracts involving Tribal Nations, state governments and agencies, federal governmental agencies, and private tribal clients conducting businesses. After several years, I followed the old dream to the University of Tulsa College of Law and attained my L.L.M. in American Indian and Indigenous Studies with Honors.

I am pleased to be a new member of the Hamline Law faculty and teaching a full year of Contracts Law to first year law students. The law of contracts is a fundamental building block for lawyers working in all areas of economic development, for those who will represent clients seeking to enter into commercial relationships with Tribal Nations, and for those who will be representing Tribal Nations and other tribal business clients.

[To have your profile featured in the weekly ContractsProf Spotlight or recommend someone to be featured, please email Meredith Miller]

August 17, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Let there be light...

Spotlight__revisedIn just one short week, we will re-initiate the weekly Contracts Prof spotlight.  Each week, ContractsProf Blog will shine the spotlight on a contracts teacher -- presenting the individual stories of scholarly achievements, teaching innovations and public service.

We will begin the spotlight series by focusing individuals who are just beginning their law teaching careers.  So if you are a new contracts teacher, please email me to be included in this series. (Don't be shy!)  We will also post bios of more experienced Contracts Profs, so please feel free to contact me if you would like to have your profile featured.

[Meredith R. Miller]

August 11, 2006 in Contracts Profs Weekly Spotlight | Permalink | TrackBack (0)