December 23, 2016
AALS BA 2017 Program
Posted by Usha Rodrigues

I'm pleased to share the program announcement for the Business Association and Comparative Law Sections' Joint Program for the 2017 AALS meeting.  I hope to see you there!


The AALS Sections on Business Associations and Comparative Law invite you to join us for a joint program at the AALS Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 5, 2017, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, Continental Parlor 3, Ballroom Level.

Title:  Business Law in the Global Gig Economy:  Legal Theory, Doctrine, and Innovations in the Context of Startups, Scaleups, and Unicorns

Description:  Startups and entrepreneurs have long played an important role in the U.S. economy.  From Henry Ford to Mark Zuckerberg, entrepreneurs have revolutionized the ways in which their customers receive products and services. As Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, has explained, “There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.”  That philosophy continues today as entrepreneurs disrupt markets and challenge business and legal norms. Traditional notions of the firm, fiduciary duties, contractual bargains, and optimal capital structures may not aptly fit entrepreneurial approaches. Indeed, entrepreneurs’ business models, financing needs, and operational objectives require lawyers and scholars to rethink governance, capital structures, and regulatory schemes that may limit or impede further innovation, both nationally and transnationally.  This program will examine the current and potential role of business, contract, and related laws on entrepreneurs and their business ventures. We hope to create a robust conversation that maps the past and future of legal theory and doctrine related to entrepreneurship—defining that concept broadly in terms of industry and size. Legal entrepreneurs also fit this model as they introduce contractual innovations and disrupt the field of business law itself. Taking a cue from entrepreneurs, the program welcomes all ideas, including those that may disrupt conventional norms.

Format:  The basic format of the session will be the presentation of two papers selected from a call for papers and then a moderated roundtable discussion among the speakers.


Speaker: Ms. Cass Matthews, Google, Inc.

Speaker: D. Gordon Smith, Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School

Speaker: Cynthia A. Williams, Osgoode Hall Law School York University

Moderator: Michelle M. Harner, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Paper: Regulatory Entrepreneurship by Jordan Barry, University of San Diego School of Law, and Elizabeth Pollman, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

Paper: Catching Disruption:  Regulating Corporate Venture Capital by Jennifer Fan, University of Washington School of Law

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