Wednesday, June 28, 2023

National Business Law Scholars - Virtual Mentoring Workshop

As part of or an adjunct to the National Business Law Scholars Conference, we often host a mentoring workshop designed for individuals considering entering the academy and those who have recently landed an academic position.  This year, we will hold a virtual workshop on Wednesday, July 5th from 4:30 to 5:30 EDT. The session will be a panel focusing on entering and navigating the academy and becoming a scholar. The event is intended for scholars beginning their careers in business law and business-law related fields.

Participants should RSVP as soon as possible to Eric Chaffee ([email protected]). Even if you are at a later point in your career, you may know individuals who may be interested in this event.  Please feel free to let them know about it and offer them Eric's contact information.

June 28, 2023 in Conferences, Joan Heminway | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 12, 2023

National Business Law Scholars 2023 - This Thursday and Friday!

If you happen to be traveling in the region of Knoxville, Tennessee on Thursday or Friday, feel free to stop by and catch all or part of this year's National Business Law Scholars Conference, hosted by the Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law at The University of Tennessee College of Law.  The final schedule will be posted on the conference website within the next day, but I can tell you now that we start at 8:15 am for breakfast on Thursday (9:15 am for the program) and run through a 5:30 pm reception, and we start at at 8:00 am for breakfast on Friday (8:45 am for the program) and run until 3:30 pm. We have, as usual, a number of engaging plenary programs, but the conference mostly consists of scholarly paper panels.  As always, the schedule has been produced by the incomparable Eric Chaffee (who is moving to Case Western Law this summer).  He is amazing.

The morning plenaries (which start the conference proceedings each day) focus on entrepreneurship, a topic of focus for and strength of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and The University of Tennessee College of Law, working through our Transactional Law Clinic.  Thursday's morning plenary panel focuses on the engagement of law schools with university and community venture activity.  Friday's morning plenary session features an interview with two lawyer entrepreneurs who will help us explore our ability, as business law professors, to help prepare our students for entrepreneurship.

The third plenary session (Thursday, just after lunch) is an author-meets-readers program on Adam Pritchard's recently released book, A HISTORY OF SECURITIES LAW IN THE SUPREME COURT (Oxford University Press 2023).  Adam previewed aspects of the book in a presentation at the Neel Corporate Governance Center last fall.  We are in for a real treat!  UT Law is so pleased to be able to host this session at the conference.  Adam has been a regular National Business Law Scholars Conference attendee and frequently offers constructive comments on other business law scholars' works at the conference.

I look forward to seeing many of you later in the week!  We are so glad to have everyone at UT Law in person this year for the conference.

June 12, 2023 in Books, Conferences, Entrepreneurship, Joan Heminway, Research/Scholarhip | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

The Gratitude of a Mini-Me: Honoring Helen S. Scott

Earlier tonight, I had the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to--in some small way--let a teacher-mentor know how much she means to me and has meant to my career.  Specifically, I had the privilege of presenting an award to the amazing woman who taught me in the foundational law courses that I have needed most in my careers as a practitioner and an instructor.  That amazing woman is NYU's Professor Helen Scott.  The award was a surprise, making things all the more fun.

I know some BLPB readers also are Helen's former students.  Others are fans of hers for other reasons.  For all, I am copying in below the tribute I offered in conveying the award to Helen at the 2023 Impact Investment Legal Working Group & Grunin Center Annual Conference hosted at my alma mater, NYU Law.  Feel free to add your tributes in the comments.  I promise to pass them on.

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Commitment; sustained commitment.

Sometimes, there is someone who impacts your life deeply by merely "being there" in important ways at key times. Helen Scott is one of those people in my life. I do hope many of you are similarly blessed.

We all know Helen is retiring this year--a scary thought for some of us. It was 41 years ago that both of us began our NYU journeys. In 1982, I started my path here as a law student and she as a law professor. Kismet, in some sense, I suppose. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to say a few words about her here before she saunters off into retirement.

I took both Corporations and Securities Regulation with Helen. By the time I found myself in her classroom as a second-year law student, I already had been working for about six months as a law clerk in the corporate finance group of a midtown firm—a job I kept until graduation. But it was in Helen's courses that everything came together for me. She made both courses truly engaging and tied them into the reality of law practice as much as possible.

Her unflagging dedication to teaching was obvious. Among other things, she was one of the only tenure-track professors during my law school career here at NYU Law who brought actual documents into the classroom and classroom discussions. She also brought interoffice envelopes filled with candy into class at the end of the semester, flinging the contents up the aisles of the classroom for all to grab.

Her obligations to her students—even back then, in her early years of teaching—extended to activities outside the classroom. She would go to lunch with small groups of interested students. Members of my study group were interested! We considered the expense of joining her for lunch at the Washington Square Diner (an affordability issue for at least some of us back then) an investment. Those lunches were above and beyond the call of academic duty. They cemented my desire to do what Helen had done, to become what my husband refers to as her “Mini Me.” But Helen's support for me and my career did not stop there.

I was married in August 1985, a few months after graduation and about a month after taking the bar exam. Helen and Ira were there to support me and my husband. As Helen knows, their wonderful wedding gift of a down comforter kept us warm over many years! We had it re-stuffed and re-sewn before we finally gave up on it.

In the years to follow, there were touch-base visits during several of Ira's board meetings in Boston (Where I was practicing at the time)—times to discuss lawyering and family. Helen and Ira's children are a few years older than ours, but close enough in age where she could share quality information. During one visit, she bought my children ice cream at Quincy Market. She was their hero!

When I told Helen I wanted to teach law, she offered encouragement, but also “tough love.” She even critiqued the structure and content of my job talk . . . over the telephone! For those in academia, you will know why that is so appreciated and so difficult.

But this story is not just about Helen and me. Helen has similarly impacted many others—I suspect both law and business students—in their lives and careers. I have had the pleasure of working with a number of NYU Law fellows through and outside the Grunin Center who echo in similar fashion, but in different ways, the strength of Helen's devotion to building their knowledge bases and fostering their continued professional development. I aspire to have the same kind of impact with my law and business students.

You may wonder where all this is going . . . .

In recognition of Helen’s extraordinary, sustained commitment to NYU Law, the Grunin Center, and her students (including me), I am delighted and honored to be able to present Helen with the inaugural Grunin Center Sustained Commitment Award. Helen’s career exemplifies sustained commitment. I know you will agree that she is truly deserving of this honor.

June 6, 2023 in Conferences, Joan Heminway, Law School, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Last Call for the 2023 National Business Law Scholars Conference!

As I recently announced, tomorrow is the last day that we will be accepting submissions for the National Business Law Scholars Conference, June 15-16 at The University of Tennessee College of Law.  We need to start scheduling the sessions for the conference next week.  The substantive requirements for submission include a paper title, a brief abstract, and a few key words.

Information about the conference, including related notes on transportation and accommodations and more information about submissions, can be found here.  We look forward to seeing many of you in Knoxville in June!  Please contact me or Eric Chaffee with questions.

April 27, 2023 in Conferences, Joan Heminway | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 17, 2023

National Business Law Scholars 2023 - Extension of Submission Deadline to April 28th

I am looking forward to welcoming many of you to Knoxville for the National Business Law Scholars Conference on June 15th and 16th!  We have a great group already registered for the conference.  The papers being presented span a wide range of interesting business law topics, as has been the custom.

Several folks indicated they were a bit jammed for time to make the April 7 deadline for submissions.  After consulting with our master scheduler, Eric Chaffee, we have determined to leave submissions open until April 28th.  We are in the process of changing the conference website to update the submission deadline, but the submission link (which generates an email to Eric) is still open.

In the coming weeks, the conference website will be updated to include information on lodging (we have arrangements with several local hotels) and transportation.  In addition to Knoxville's local airport, McGee-Tyson (TYS), flights are available to a number of local airports (Nashville, Chattanooga, and Tri-Cities) at which one can rent a car and from which one can drive to Knoxville.  The State of Tennessee is beautiful and fun.  I would be delighted to offer touring advice to anyone who would like to take some vacation time around the conference.

With the extended submission date, we hope that a few more of you will be in a position to submit work to present at the conference.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or Eric for any desired guidance in that regard, especially if you have never submitted to the conference before.  We are happy to help.

April 17, 2023 in Call for Papers, Conferences, Joan Heminway | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 27, 2023

Stetson Law Symposium: Elon Musk and the Law

Last Friday, I had the privilege of speaking, with other colleagues, at the 2023 Stetson Law Review Symposium on "Elon Musk and the Law."  (See the flyer on the program, below.)  This symposium grew out of a discussion group I organized at the 2022 Southeastern Association of Law Schools Conference.  I posted about it here back in May of last year.

I could not have been happier with the way the symposium worked out.  The Stetson Law students, faculty, and administration were well organized, kind, and fun--a total pleasure to work with.  And I got excellent questions and feedback on my early draft paper, Representing Elon Musk, which focuses attention on the lawyer-client relationship under the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct.  I look forward to seeing the final published proceedings in two forthcoming books of the Stetson Law Review.

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Stetson2023(flyer)

March 27, 2023 in Conferences, Current Affairs, Ethics, Joan Heminway, Law Reviews, Research/Scholarhip, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 20, 2023

ComplianceNet 2023 - March 31 Submission Deadline

This just in from friend-of-the-BLPB Josephine Sandler Nelson:
 
ComplianceNet 2023's deadline to apply has been extended to March 31, 2023. This is an amazing conference. See info below and at the website here. There is also a best paper prize that attendees should know about.

ComplianceNet 2023 will be hosted by American University's Washington College of Law in Washington, DC on June 21-23, 2023. It will have an anti-corruption theme, though papers on all topics related to compliance will be welcome. We are currently accepting panel or paper submissions, with an extended deadline of Friday, March 31, 2023. 
 
ComplianceNet seeks to bring together scholars from a range of different disciplines to study the interaction between rules (broadly defined) and individual, group, or organizational behavior. The first five meetings have been highly successful, bringing together academics from business, criminology, economics, law, political science, psychology and sociology, among other fields. See the ComplianceNet website at www.compliancenet.org for more details about the organization’s structure and goals.

March 20, 2023 in Compliance, Conferences, Joan Heminway | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 17, 2023

Wake Forest Law - ESG and Blockchain

I am honored to be speaking later today on ESG, blockchains, and corporate governance at this symposium at Wake Forest University School of Law.  This practitioner-centered symposium promises to offer significant information useful to my teaching and scholarship.  My fellow speakers hail from law firms and other organizations across the United States.  I am excited to share and learn!

WakeForest2023(Flyer)

March 17, 2023 in Conferences, Corporate Governance, Current Affairs, Joan Heminway | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 20, 2023

2023 Emory Law Transactional Law and Skills Conference & Tennessee's Business Law Journal

For those of you who may have been wondering about Emory Law's biennial Conference on the Teaching of Transactional Law and Skills, I have posted current information below.  I am pleased to see that our business law journal, Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law, is again publishing the proceedings.  This has been a great partnership between Emory Law and Tennessee Law over the years.  The proceedings of the 2021 Emory Law conference can be found here.

Just as I was ready to post this, I heard from the 2023-24 Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Bethany Wilson, that we are currently accepting articles for the Fall 2023 edition of Transactions. The articles published by Transactions typically focus on transitional business law issues and topics, including agency, antitrust, arbitration, bankruptcy, business associations, contracts, insurance, intellectual property, labor and employment, property, real estate, secured transactions, securities regulation, shareholder litigation, and tax. If you have any articles that you would be interested in having published by Transactions, please send them our way. Articles can be submitted via Scholastica or by emailing an abstract and copy of the article to [email protected].

 

image from dim.mcusercontent.com

February 20, 2023 in Conferences, Joan Heminway, Law Reviews, Research/Scholarhip | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 3, 2023

Are People in the Tech Industry the Most Powerful People in the World? Part One

My mind is still reeling from my trip to Lisbon last week to keynote at the Building The Future tech conference sponsored by Microsoft.

My premise was that those in the tech industry are arguably the most powerful people in the world and with great power comes great responsibility and a duty to protect human rights (which is not the global state of the law).

I challenged the audience to consider the financial price of implementing human rights by design and the societal cost of doing business as usual.

In 20 minutes, I covered  AI bias and new EU regulations; the benefits and dangers of ChatGPT; the surveillance economy; the UNGPs and UN Global Compact; a new suit by Seattle’s school board against social media companies alleging harmful mental health impacts on students; potential corporate complicity with rogue governments; the upcoming Supreme Court case on Section 230 and content moderator responsibility for “radicalizing” users; and made recommendations for the governmental, business, civil society, and consumer members in the audience.

Thank goodness I talk quickly.

Here are some non-substantive observations and lessons. In a future post, I'll go in more depth about my substantive remarks. 

1. Your network is critical. Claire Bright, a business and human rights rock star, recommended me based on a guest lecture I did for her class. My law students are in for a treat when she speaks with them about the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (that she helped draft) next month.

2. Your social media profile is important. Organizers looked at videos that had nothing to do with this topic to see how I present on a stage. People are always watching.

3. Sometimes you can’t fake it until you make it. This is one of the few times where I didn’t know more than my audience about parts of my presentation. I prepared so that I could properly respect my audience’s expertise. For example, I watched 10 hours of video on a tech issue to prepare one slide just in case someone asked a question during the networking sessions.

4. Speak your truth. Going to a tech conference to tell tech people about their role in human rights and then going to a corporate headquarters to do the same isn’t easy, but it’s necessary and I had no filter or restrictions. I didn't hold back talking about Microsoft-backed ChatGPT even though they invited me to Lisbon for the conference. It was an honor to speak to Microsoft employees the day after the conference with Claire, Luis Amado, former head of B Lab Europe, and Susana Guedes to discuss sustainability, ESG, diversity, and incentivizing companies and employees to do the right thing, even when it's not popular.

5. Explore and leave the hotel even when you’re tired. I was feeling run down last Friday night and wanted to stay in bed with some room service. Manuela Doutel Haghighi (one of my new favorite people) organized a dinner at an Iranian restaurant owned by a former lawyer with 6 badass women, and I now have new colleagues and collaborators.

Stay tuned for my next post where I'll cover some of my remarks.

 

 

February 3, 2023 in Compliance, Conferences, Corporate Governance, Corporate Personality, Corporations, CSR, Current Affairs, Ethics, Human Rights, International Business, Lawyering, Marcia Narine Weldon | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Save the Date: 2023 National Business Law Scholars Conference

The call for papers will be posted soon, but I wanted to let everyone know that The University of Tennessee College of Law will be hosting the National Business Law Scholars Conference in person (!) in Knoxville, Tennessee on June 15 and 16.  As many will recall, Tennessee Law was scheduled to host the conference in 2020 and 2021, only to have to move the conference online late in the game both years because of COVID-19 infection rates.  While we were happy to host our business law friends on Zoom those two years, we are truly excited to have folks come to our campus!

More coming soon.  But go ahead and save those dates.  Please reach out to me if you have any questions.

January 24, 2023 in Conferences, Joan Heminway | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Can The Next Generation of Lawyers Save the World?

An ambitious question, yes, but it was the title of the presentation I gave at the Society for Socio-Economists Annual Meeting, which closed yesterday. Thanks to Stefan Padfield for inviting me.

In addition to teaching Business Associations to 1Ls this semester and running our Transactional Skills program, I'm also teaching Business and Human Rights. I had originally planned the class for 25 students, but now have 60 students enrolled, which is a testament to the interest in the topic. My pre-course surveys show that the students fall into two distinct camps. Most are interested in corporate law but didn't know even know there was a connection to human rights. The minority are human rights die hards who haven't even taken business associations (and may only learn about it for bar prep), but are curious about the combination of the two topics. I fell in love with this relatively new legal  field twelve years ago and it's my mission to ensure that future transactional lawyers have some exposure to it.

It's not just a feel-good way of looking at the world. Whether you love or hate ESG, business and human rights shows up in every factor and many firms have built practice areas around it. Just last week, the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive came into force. Like it or not, business lawyers must know something about human rights if they deal with any company that has or is part of a supply or value chain or has disclosure requirements. 

At the beginning of the semester, we discuss the role of the corporation in society. In many classes, we conduct simulations where students serve as board members, government officials, institutional investors, NGO leaders, consumers, and others who may or may not believe that the role of business is business. Every year, I also require the class to examine the top 10 business and human rights topics as determined by the Institute of Human Rights and Business (IHRB). In 2022, the top issues focused on climate change:

  1. State Leadership-Placing people at the center of government strategies in confronting the climate crisis
  2. Accountable Finance- Scaling up efforts to hold financial actors to their human rights and environmental responsibilities
  3. Dissenting Voices- Ensuring developmental and environmental priorities do not silence land rights defenders and other critical voices
  4. Critical Commodities- Addressing human rights risks in mining to meet clean energy needs
  5. Purchasing Power- Using the leverage of renewable energy buyers to accelerate a just transition
  6. Responsible Exits- Constructing rights-based approaches to buildings and infrastructure mitigation and resilience
  7. Green Building- Building and construction industries must mitigate impacts while avoiding corruption, reducing inequality, preventing harm to communities, and providing economic opportunities
  8. Agricultural Transitions- Decarbonising the agriculture sector is critical to maintaining a path toward limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees
  9. Transforming Transport- The transport sector, including passenger and freight activity, remains largely carbon-based and currently accounts for approximately 23% total energy-related CO2 global greenhouse gas emissions
  10. Circular Economy- Ensure “green economy” is creating sustainable jobs and protecting workers

The 2023 list departs from the traditional type of list and looks at the people who influence the decisionmakers in business. That's the basis of the title of this post and yesterday's presentation. The 2023 Top Ten are:

  1. Strategic Enablers- Scrutinizing the role of management consultants in business decisions that harm communities and wider society. Many of our students work outside of the law as consultants or will work alongside consultants. With economic headwinds and recessionary fears dominating the headlines, companies and law firms are in full layoff season. What factors should advisors consider beyond financial ones, especially if the work force consists of primarily lower-paid, low-skilled labor, who may not be able to find new employment quickly? Or should financial considerations prevail?
  2. Capital Providers- Holding investors to account for adverse impacts on people- More than 220 investors collectively representing US$30 trillion in assets under management  have signed a public statement acknowledging the importance of human rights impacts in investment and global prosperity. Many financial firms also abide by the Equator Principles, a benchmark that helps those involved in project finance to determine environmental and social impacts from financing. Our students will serve as counsel to banks,  financial firms, private equity, and venture capitalists. Many financial institutions traditionally focus on shareholder maximization but this could be an important step in changing that narrative. 
  3. Legal Advisors- Establishing norms and responsible performance standards for lawyers and others who advise companies. ABA Model Rule 2.1 guides lawyers to have candid conversations that "may refer not only to law but to other considerations such as moral, economic, social and political factors, that may be relevant to the client's situation." Business and human rights falls squarely in that category. Additionally, the ABA endorsed the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights ten years ago and released model supply chain contractual clauses related to human rights in 2021. Last Fall, the International Bar Association's Annual Meeting had a whole track directed to business and human rights issues. Our students advise on sanctions, bribery, money laundering, labor relations, and a host of other issues that directly impact human rights. I'm glad to see this item on the Top 10 list. 
  4. Risk Evaluators- Reforming the role of credit rating agencies and those who determine investment worthiness of states and companies. Our students may have heard of S&P, Moody's, & Fitch but may not know of the role those entities played in the 2008 financial crisis and the role they play now when looking at sovereign debt.  If the analysis from those entities  are flawed or laden with conflicts of interest or lack of accountability, those ratings can indirectly impact the government's ability to provide goods and services for the most vulnerable citizens.
  5. Systems Builders- Embedding human rights considerations in all stages of computer technology. If our students work in house or for governments, how can they advise tech companies working with AI, surveillance, social media, search engines and the spread of (mis)nformation? What ethical responsibilities do tech companies have and how can lawyers help them wrestle with these difficult issues?
  6. City Shapers-  Strengthening accountability and transformation in real estate finance and construction. Real estate constitutes 60% of global assets. Our students need to learn about green finance, infrastructure spending, and affordable housing and to speak up when there could be human rights impacts in the projects they are advising on. 
  7. Public Persuaders- Upholding standards so that advertising and PR companies do not undermine human rights. There are several legal issues related to advertising and marketing. Our students can also play a role in advising companies, in accordance with ethical rule 2.1, about persuaders presenting human rights issues and portraying controversial topics related to gender, race, indigenous peoples, climate change in a respectful and honest manner. 
  8. Corporate Givers- Aligning philanthropic priorities with international standards and the realities of the most vulnerable. Many large philanthropists look at charitable giving as investments (which they are) and as a way to tackle intractable social problems. Our students can add a human rights perspective as advisors, counsel, and board members to ensure that organizations give to lesser known organizations that help some of the forgotten members of society. Additionally, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer note that a shared-value approach, "generat[es] economic value in a way that also produces value for society by addressing its challenges. A shared value approach reconnects company success with social progress. Firms can do this in three distinct ways: by reconceiving products and markets, redefining productivity in the value chain, and building supportive industry clusters at the company's locations." Lawyers can and should play a role in this. 
  9. Business Educators- Mainstreaming human rights due diligence into management, legal, and other areas of academic training. Our readers teaching in business and law schools and focusing on ESG can discuss business and human rights under any of the ESG factors. If you don't know where to start, the ILO has begun signing MOUs with business schools around the world to increase the inclusion of labor rights in business school curricula. If you're worried that it's too touchy feely to discuss or that these topics put you in the middle of the ESG/anti-woke debate, remember that many of these issues relate directly to enterprise risk management- a more palatable topic for most business and legal leaders. 
  10. Information Disseminators- Ensuring that journalists, media, and social media uphold truth and public interest. A couple of years ago, "fake news" was on the Top 10 and with all that's going on in the world with lack of trust in the media and political institutions, lawyers can play a role in representing reporters and media outlets. Similarly, lawyers can explain the news objectively and help serve as fact checkers when appearing in news outlets.

If you've made it to the end of this post, you're either nodding in agreement or shaking your head violently in disagreement. I expect many of my students will feel the same, and I encourage that disagreement. But it's my job to expose students to these issues. As they learn about ESG from me and the press, it's critical that they disagree armed with information from all sides.

So can the next generation of lawyers save the world? Absolutely yes, if they choose to. 

January 14, 2023 in Business Associations, Business School, Compliance, Conferences, Consulting, Contracts, Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance, Corporate Personality, Corporations, CSR, Current Affairs, Ethics, Financial Markets, Human Rights, International Business, International Law, Law Firms, Law School, Lawyering, Management, Marcia Narine Weldon, Private Equity, Shareholders, Stefan J. Padfield, Teaching, Technology, Venture Capital | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 9, 2023

Automating Bias - Cardozo Law Review Symposium

If you are interested in business law topics at the intersection of law & technology and social inclusion, and if you are in NYC on January 25 (or just generally available that day for a webinar!), you may want to check out the Cardozo Law Review symposium on "Automating Bias."  The program agenda is included below.  Thanks to the symposium editor for bringing this program to our attention.

The symposium is being held at Cardozo School of Law, 55 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, with an option to attend by webinar. (The symposium editor will send a link to the webinar to all registrants closer to the event).  In-person and live webinar attendees can receive CLE credits for attending; no CLE credits are available for remote attendees accessing the program later in recorded form.  [Note: This last sentence has been revised from the version of this post originally published to indicate that live webinar attendees may receive CLE credit.]

Those interested can register through the Eventbrite page linked here.  Click on the image below for a higher resolution copy of the program agenda and speakers.

 

BLPB(CardozoSymposium2023)

January 9, 2023 in Conferences, Joan Heminway, Technology, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 2, 2023

A Business Law Prof "Goes Bowling" (Again): Leadership Lessons

OrangeBowl2022(Milton+)

I have been to college bowl games before to watch the Tennessee Volunteers football team play.  There was the loss to Clemson in the Peach Bowl (Atlanta) in 2003 and there were losses to North Carolina and Purdue in the Music City Bowl (Nashville) in 2010 and 2021.  I cannot remember if I was there for the 2016 win over Nebraska in the Music City Bowl (Nashville).  And I may have missed another bowl in there somewhere.  This year, the stakes seemed bigger.  The enemy again would be Clemson.  Could this bowl game be a revenge match for the 2003 Peach Bowl loss?

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And so, here we were (me, my husband, and my 31-year-old daughter), at 4:30 am Friday morning, December 30, 2022.  We were awake and showered and packing the car for our first trip to the Orange Bowl.  Tennessee football had played well in a truly storied 2022 season.  And I was there for it all (at least for the home games).  Due to my service to the campus, I had the opportunity to get great tickets.  My hubby and daughter were "in."  Now, it was "go time."

Having arranged the trip late in the game and needing to integrate it with pre-existing plans for the three of us to spend the new year in San Diego (where I have family), the flight options for the trip were complex, limited, and somewhat expensive.  But my secretarial assistant is a wiz at finding odd and inexpensive routing (shout out to Sean!). To save money, we would leave from Nashville, not Knoxville. 

The trip, counterintuitively, involved flying from Nashville to Dulles and then to Fort Lauderdale.  But we were prepared!  We know the road to Nashville well (my husband's business has a clinic there, our son lives there, and I do a fair amount of work for the Tennessee Bar Association, which is based there).  We understood that the trip to Nashville sometimes involves delays (especially in areas where the interstate is a mere two-lane highway).  So, I built an extra hour-plus into our driving schedule.  We made good progress for the first hour or so of the trip.  And then the wheels fell off the wagon (so to speak) . . . .

Less than halfway to the airport in Nashville (which is about a 2.5-hour drive from Knoxville), we were stopped dead in our tracks on the interstate.  There was an accident ahead (and apparently not too far ahead).  We were grateful that it did not involve our car or us.  For a bit, we remained calm.  We had plenty of extra time.  How bad could it be?

It was bad.  Based on news gleaned from our cell phones, two cars were overturned.  People parked on the highway with us got out of their cars to walk their dogs, etc.  If folks could tolerate the cold, they turned their engines off.  We all amused ourselves with our cell phones.  I finished calculating the grades in one of my classes.  (Grades were due later that morning, and I had planned to send this last set from the airport before we left.)  An hour passed.

Then, the panic set in, a bit.  At about 75 minutes in, with no sign of a change in sight, my husband said: "Should we look into changing our flight?"  Then, it ht me: there would be few seats left on any plane, given bowl games, new year's eve, and (in general) the holiday travel debacle that continued to plague travelers days after the Christmas holiday was ostensibly "in the books."

OrangeBowl2022(I40Traffic)

I engaged with Tom through United Airline's reservations line.  Tom was our savior.  After more than an hour on the phone (seriously--the sun began to rise as we continued to sit in the traffic jam--see the photo above) during which Tom looked for every available flight/series of flights from every fairly local airport into every imaginable airport within driving distance of Miami, Tom found us three seats on a Southwest Airlines flight out of Nashville into Fort Myers.  It would cost us megabucks extra, but it would get in early enough for us to drive the two-plus hours to Hollywood/Miami and still make the game, if all went well.  We took the deal.

Blessedly, all did go well.  After two-plus hours of zero movement on the highway, the cars in front of us began to switch into gear and roll down the interstate once more.  Blessing of all blessings!  After arriving at the airport in Nashville, we were able to reserve a one-day rental car from Fort Myers to Fort Lauderdale at a reasonable price.  And after a relatively uneventful flight (despite the issues Southwest Airlines had experienced earlier in the week), we drove to Hollywood, checked into our hotel, and Uberred to the game.

We missed the alumni tailgate (a favorite pre-game activity of mine), but we arrived in time to explore the Hard Rock Stadium pre-game scene for a bit.  We were all smiles, as you can see from this photo.

OrangeBowl2022(ThreeAmigos)

Then, the adrenaline started flowing.  And it flowed, and flowed,  . . . .  And the Tennessee Vols prevailed over the Clemson Tigers 31-14.

What does any of this have to do with being a business law professor (other than that working for an employer that fields a winning football team provides more motive and opportunity to attend college bowl games)? 

As I have been processing Friday's Orange Bowl trip in my mind and, simultaneously, preparing for a panel discussion I am participating in at the Association of American Law Schools 2023 Annual Meeting later this week (Thursday, 8:00 am - 9:40 am), I realized that there are many leadership lessons in that experience that we can and should be teaching our law students.  Those include assessing the contextual importance of certain leadership attributes (e.g., tenacity, patience, flexibility, resilience) to leadership processes (e.g., effective questioning, resource allocation).  Lawyers are professional and personal leaders, and as I offered in a recently published edited transcript, "[i]n transactional business law, there are so many opportunities to lead, from team work situations involving the drafting and negotiation of merger agreements to diversifying the board of directors . . . ."  I then noted that "any scenario involving business transactional law or practice . . . likely involves at least one circumstance in which change leadership can be taught." (Check out my article on Change Leadership and the Law School Curriculum here.)

In Thursday's program, I will be talking about lawyer leadership and leadership development in the transactional business law space--at UT and more generally. As regular readers know, I have been directing our Institute for Professional Leadership at UT Law since the fall semester of 2020. The curriculum I manage addresses lawyer leadership.  But lawyer leadership is teachable in so many settings and without the need for specialized courses or an articulated curriculum..

The AALS panel is ambitiously (but not unrealistically) entitled "How Transactional Lawyers Can Impact the World."  For those of you who will be at the conference on Thursday, we will be in Marriott Grand Ballroom 11 on the Lobby Level of the North Tower.  The discussion is being moderated by Eric Chaffee, the current chair of the Section on Transactional Law and Skills.  The program description for the session reads as follows:

The theme of this year's annual meeting is "How Law Schools Can Make a Difference." References to social change and the law often beckon forth thoughts of crusading litigators winning important cases in court. This session explores what role transactional attorneys can play in impacting the world and how law students can be prepared to become those type of lawyers.

My co-panelists are an impressive lot, all dear friends in the law academy, with a varied set of perspectives and amazingly strong track records in legal education:

Alina Ball (University of California, Hastings College of the Law)
J. Robert Brown, Jr. (University of Denver Sturm College of Law)
Nicole Iannarone (Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law)
Benjamin Means (University of South Carolina School of Law)

It is such an honor to be included in this group!  I hope to see a number of you who are readers from the law teaching world at the session.  The Q&A part of the program will, I am sure, be illuminating and a strong feature of the session.

Oh, and Go Vols!

January 2, 2023 in Conferences, Joan Heminway | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 23, 2022

Give Yourself the Gift of Understanding Contract Drafting and Negotiation In Miami or Virtually February 2023

It's the holidays and it's time to treat yourself and members of your team to practical training and fantastic networking in sunny Miami in February. We don't have bomb cyclones down here. The Transactional Skills Program at the University of Miami School of Law couldn't be more excited to host the How to Contract Conference from February 15-17, 2023. 

Thumbnail_ContractsCon Flyer - 1 page (12-23-2022)

  • ContractsCon is a training and networking EXTRAVAGANZA focused on the practical contract drafting and negotiating skills that in-house counsel and contracts professionals need to know. 
  • This event is a zero-fluff, to-the-point training on the nitty-gritty details. ContractsCon includes:
    • speakers who get the in-house experience and can explain why we draft the way we do
    • training centered around provision-level playbooks for you and your company to use when you return to work
    • workshops that provide a deeper dive into more nuanced topics and include interactive group activities
    • ContractsCon Playbook, featuring the advice and drafting approaches discussed at ContractsCon
    • access to How to Contract’s SaaS Contracts Training Library, with 20+ hours of training videos, the Cloud Services Agreement Playbook, and lots more (through March 31, 2023)
    • CLE pending in 26 states for up to 7 hours for virtual ticket holders and up to 13 hours for in-person attendees
  • ContractsCon is an annual training and networking event for in-house counsel and  contract professionals presented by How to Contract and Law Insider and hosted by University of Miami School of Law. This 2-day event will feature over 20 live training sessions with some of the most well-known contract experts.
  • Our promise is to share with you the core skills and expertise you need to work in-house on commercial contracts. All you have to do is show up ready to learn.
  • ContractsCon is designed for in-house lawyers and professionals who want to learn:
    • the insights and techniques needed to handle the commercial contracts filling their inbox every day,
    • how experienced lawyers manage risk, work efficiently, and make the hard decisions in challenging circumstances,
    • WHAT to say, WHY to say it that way, and HOW to reach the best-negotiated deal you can with your contract counterparties.
  • Give us two days of your time and you'll walk away with enhanced skills that enable you to better protect your company and clients. You'll gain more confidence.  You'll finally leave those "I don't know" and "I'm not sure" frustrations behind you. You'll also be able to network with other lawyers and professionals who share your desire to improve your skills and overcome any traces of imposter syndrome. 

Click here to get your ticket. And I'll see you in Miami, mojito in hand (after I do my session, of course).

December 23, 2022 in Conferences, Contracts, Corporations, Current Affairs, Law Firms, Law School, Lawyering, Marcia Narine Weldon, Negotiation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

SEALS 2023 - Congressional Insider Trading Discussion Group

Co-blogger John Anderson and I are considering submitting a late proposal for the inclusion of a discussion group in the Business Law Workshop for the 2023 annual meeting of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS). The 2023 conference is scheduled to be held from July 23 - July 29 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. A draft title and description for the possible discussion group follow.

Stock Ownership and Trading by Government Officials - Time for Reform?

Allegations of unlawful insider trading by government officials have again been making headlines. Multiple Senators were investigated for suspiciously timed trades in advance of the COVID-19 market collapse. A February 2022 Business Insider article identified members of both houses of Congress hailing from both major political parties who have failed to comply with applicable federal legislation. And a recent poll found that more than three-quarters of American voters think members of Congress have an “unfair advantage” in trading stocks. This discussion group focuses on insider trading by government officials and the need for and nature of possible responses.

Please contact me as soon as possible if you are interested in participating. We need to assemble a group of at least ten folks in total, at least half of whom are from SEALS member schools.  And the program is filling up fast!

November 15, 2022 in Conferences, Joan Heminway, Securities Regulation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 7, 2022

How to Contract Conference- February 16-17 in Miami

I had originally planned to post Pt. 2 of the blog post I did a couple of weeks ago, but this announcement is time sensitive.

I'm thrilled to announce that the Transactional Skills Program at the University of Miami School of Law is partnering with Laura Frederick for the second How to Contract conference. It's time sensitive because we are considering holding a side event with a contract drafting and negotiation competition for law students if there's enough interest. If you think you would be interested, please email me at [email protected].

For lawyers, there are virtual and live options for the contract conference. I've cut and pasted from the website so you can see why you should come to sunny Miami (and it won't be hurricane season):

It is not about the mega deals.

ContractsCon is about the contracts you work on EVERY DAY. We want to help you learn how to draft and negotiate the deals you see all the time.

Because for every 100-page specialized contract sent to outside counsel, there are thousands of smaller but important ones that in-house counsel and professionals do day in and day out.

ContractsCon focuses on how we manage risk and make the tough decisions with less time and information than we need.

It is not a summary of recent case law.

ContractsCon is about providing actionable advice to help you do the work that you have sitting in your inbox RIGHT NOW.

It's not about case names or citations and we don't get into academic explanations.

ContractsCon focuses on the real-world expertise from experienced practitioners that you need to improve your contract skills and expertise and become better at drafting and negotiating in the real world.

It is not going to put you to sleep.

ContractsCon is about the fun and awesomeness of contracts. We are organizing it to be a true lovefest for everything contracts.  

Why not combine learning about contracts with having fun?

You'll meet other lawyers and professionals passionate about contract drafting and negotiating. Our sessions and workshops feature contracting superstars who love what they do and will share their excitement with you. Plus we're planning a ton of activities on-site and online to keep you engaged. 

ContractsCon is designed for in-house lawyers and professionals who want to learn:

  • the insights and techniques needed to handle the commercial contracts filling their inbox every day,
  • how experienced lawyers manage risk, work efficiently, and make the hard decisions in challenging circumstances,
  • WHAT to say, WHY to say it that way, and HOW to reach the best-negotiated deal you can with your contract counterparties.

Virtual ticket holders get access to 6 HOURS of no-fluff practical contract training by experienced practicing lawyers.

People who attend in person in Miami get 12 HOURS of training, including 6 hours of interactive skills workshops.

I hope to see you in Miami in a few months. Don't forget to follow Laura Frederick on LinkedIn for great contract drafting tips and to let me know whether you and your students might be interested in participating in a contract drafting competition. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 7, 2022 in Commercial Law, Conferences, Contracts, Corporations, Law Firms, Law School, Lawyering, LLCs, M&A, Marcia Narine Weldon, Negotiation, Teaching, Unincorporated Entities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 3, 2022

The Wit and Wisdom of Tom N.

It was so wonderful to be able to host an in-person version of our "Connecting the Threads" Business Law Prof Blog symposium on Friday.  Connecting the Threads VI was, for me, a major victory in the continuing battle against COVID-19--five healthy bloggers and a live audience!  Being in the same room with fellow bloggers John Anderson, Colleen Baker, Doug Moll (presenting with South Carolina Law friend-of-the-BLPB Ben Means), and Stefan Padfield was truly joyful.  And the topics on which they presented--shadow insider trading, exchange trading in the cloud, family business succession, and anti-ESG legislation--were all so salient.  (I offered the abstract for my own talk on fiduciary duties in unincorporated business associations in last week's post.)  For a number of us, the topic of our presentations arose from work we have done here on the BLPB.

This year, as I noted in my post last week, we had a special guest as our luncheon speaker.  That guest would be known to many of you who are regular readers as "Tom N."  Tom has commented on our blog posts here on the BLPB for at least eight years.  (I rooted around and found a comment from him as far back as 2014.)  And Tom lives right here in Tennessee--in middle Tennessee, to be exact (closer to Haskell Murray than to me).  You can check out his bio here.  I am delighted that we were able to coerce Tom to give up a day of law practice to come join us at the symposium.

The title/topic for Tom's talk was "A Country Boy Busines Lawyer's View from Down in the Weeds."  The talk was, by design, a series of reflections on Tom's wide-ranging business law practice here in the state of Tennessee.  He tries to stay out of the courtroom, but by his own recounting, he has been in court in every county in the state--and Tennessee has 95 counties!  

In the end, Tom ended up offering a bunch of tips for law students and lawyers (both of whom were in attendance at the symposium).  I took notes during Tom's talk.  I have assembled them into a list below.  The key points are almost in the order in which they were delivered.  The stories that led to a number of these snippets of practical advice were priceless.  You had to be there.  Anyway, here is my list, together with a few editorial comments of my own.  Tom can feel free to add, correct, or dispute my notes in the comments!

  • Take tax courses; if you fear they may hurt your GPA, audit them.
  • Use all available resources to get more knowledge.  (Tom indicated that he bought Westlaw/used Practical Law as a solo practitioner for many years but recently gave it up.  he also noted that he regularly reads a number of the law prof blogs.)
  • Be a bar association member and access the resources bar associations provide.  (Tom noted the excellent written materials published by the American Bar Association and the superior continuing legal education programs produced by the Tennessee Bar Association.)
  • “You are going to learn to write in law school.”  (Tom advised focusing on clear, efficient writing—something I just emphasized with my Business Associations students last week.)
  • Publish in the law.  (Tom shared his view that writing in the law improves both knowledge and analysis.)
  • Expect the unexpected, especially in court (e.g., confronting in court transactions in pot-bellied pigs involving a Tennessee nonprofit).  And as a Corollary: "You can't make this stuff up."  The truth often is stranger than anything you could make up . . . .)
  • In business disputes, never assume that an attorney was there on the front end.  (And yes, there was mention of the use by many unknowledgeable consumers of online entity formation services.)
  • As a lawyer, be careful not to insert your own business judgment.  The business decision is the client's to make.
  • Relatedly, let the business people hand you the framework of the deal.
  • Along the same lines: "I am not paying people to tell me I can’t do it; I am paying people to tell me how to do it.”  (As heard by Tom from his father, a business owner-manager.  I think many of us have heard this or learned this—sometimes the hard way . . . .  I do try to prevent my students from learning that lesson the hard way by telling them outright.)
  • And further: “You want to screw up a deal, put the lawyers in the center of it.”
  • As a courtroom lawyer, know the judges and—perhaps more importantly—court clerks!
  • Introduce yourself to everyone; they may be in a position to help you now or later (referencing the time he introduced himself, unknowingly, to John Wilder, the former Lt. Governor of Tennessee, who proceeded to introduce him to the local judges).
  • Preparation for the bar exam is a curriculum of its own.  (That's close to a quote.)
  • “A lot of things go more smoothly of you can get people talking.”  (Tom is more of a fan of mediation than arbitration.)
  • Local rules of court may not be even published; sometimes, you just need to pick up the phone and call the court clerk.  (Another reason to get to know local court clerks!)
  • Developing rapport with a judge is incredibly important to successful courtroom lawyering.
  • Saying "I don’t know" does not hurt anything; in fact, it may help judges/others develop confidence in you and your integrity.
  • Your law school grades will not matter after your first or second job.  Employers will be looking at you and your professional record, not your grades.

I am sure I missed something along the way.  Maybe my fellow bloggers in attendance will have something to add.  But this list alone is, imv, pure gold for students and starting lawyers.

October 3, 2022 in Colleen Baker, Conferences, Corporate Governance, Family Business, Haskell Murray, Joan Heminway, John Anderson, Lawyering, Securities Regulation, Stefan J. Padfield, Unincorporated Entities | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, September 26, 2022

UT Law Again Welcomes the Business Law Prof Blog to Knoxville!

After two years of the "Zoom version" of the annual Business Law Prof Blog symposium, Connecting the Threads VI, the live, in-person symposium is back.  Scheduled for this coming Friday, September 30, the symposium features presentations by me and fellow BLPB bloggers John Anderson, Colleen Baker, Doug Moll (with co-presenter and special guest Ben Means), and Stefan Padfield.  The agenda and more can be found here.  UT Law looks forward to hosting this event for a sixth year!

I will be speaking on The Fiduciary-ness of Business Associations.  A brief summary follows.

Fiduciary duty has historically been a core value of statutory business associations.  However, with Delaware leading the charge, limited liability company and limited partnership statutes in some jurisdictions allow equity holders to contractually eliminate fiduciary duties.  In addition, state legislatures in jurisdictions like Wyoming and Tennessee have adopted legislation that allows decentralized autonomous organizations—blockchain-based associations of business venturers—to organize as limited liability companies and avoid statutory fiduciary duties without engaging in private ordering. 

The public policy ramifications of some of these legislative moves have not been fully vetted in traditional ways or have not been completely explored in certain contexts.  Moreover, business lawyers now have more options in advising businesses and their constituents, adding to already complex matrices applicable to choice-of-entity decision making.  This presentation offers a window on recent fiduciary-related legislative developments in business entity law and identifies and reflects on related professional responsibility questions impacting lawyers advising business entities and their owners.

I look forward to seeing my co-bloggers in person, sharing some ideas, and hearing from the commentators--my UT Law colleagues and students.  BLPB commenter Tom N. is making a special appearance as the symposium lunch speaker, too.  It should be a great day all around!

September 26, 2022 in Colleen Baker, Conferences, Joan Heminway, John Anderson, Stefan J. Padfield | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, September 4, 2022

AALS Section on Business Associations - Tuesday Deadline for 2023 Annual Meeting Submissions

Jim Park, Chair of the Section on Business Associations of the Association of American Law Schools recently sent section members a reminder message relating to submissions for the section's program for the 2023 Annual Meeting.  The extended deadline for submissions is Tuesday.  I blogged about the call for papers back in May (the post includes the entire initial call for papers) and am including an excerpted version of Jim's recent message below for ease of reference.

*****

Dear Members of the AALS Business Associations Section:

I am writing to let you know that the deadline for submitting a paper for presentation at our program in San Diego on January 4, 2023 has been extended to Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. The topic of the program is Corporate Governance in a Time of Global Uncertainty. Please send all submissions to Mira Ganor at [email protected] with the words "AALS - BA- Paper Submission" in the subject line of your submission email. . . .

Thanks, Jim

*****

I hope folks whose research addresses the call will send along their work for consideration.  The annual meeting program often is a great way to jumpstart the new semester and generates ideas for future scholarship and collaborations.  Both presenters and audience members benefit in these and other ways.

September 4, 2022 in Call for Papers, Conferences, Joan Heminway | Permalink | Comments (0)