March 12, 2007
The Second Illinois-Zhongshan Conference on Law an Economic Development
Posted by Christine Hurt

Last week was the week of three illnesses and a funeral at our house.  In succession, illness struck the two kids and me, and Paul had to travel solo to Austin when his 93-year-old grandfather passed away.  (Marvin Schlecte practiced medicine until he was almost 90 years old.  May we all live such productive and happy lives.)  However, I did crawl out of my sickbed just long enough to present my latest paper at a conference held at the University of Illinois College of Law with the Zhongshan University in Guangzhou, China:  Chinese Reforms in Comparative Perspective.  This conference was coordinate by my great colleagues Tom Ginsburg and Cindy Williams, and I was grateful for being asked to participate.

Two interesting points:  First, this was my first time to present with an interpreter.  We had been told to prepare a 15-minute presentation, even though our allotted time was 30 minutes each.  When every thing you say is said twice, this takes a lot of your time!  I found myself thinking very hard about every sentence that I said.  No fluff, no filler, no getting to say the same thing in a slightly different way than the first time.  Very succinct. 

Second, the thrust of my paper, The Undercivilization of Corporate Law, is that Type I errors in our criminal law system and Type II errors in our civil system under the same facts are inconsistent with our baseline expectations of defendants' protections.  However, I prefaced my talk with acknowledging that in other countries, such as China, baseline expectations may differ.  That got a laugh!

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