Friday, January 28, 2011

St. Thomas University Looking for Business Associations Faculty

A plug for my school. We are still looking for a new or lateral Business Associations faculty for next year. With Florida now also testing UCC Articles 3 and 9, I suspect there is more room for commercial law as well as traditional corporate subjects. Here is the ad from Fall. We've filled some slots, but are still looking in the business arena. If you are looking or would like to recommend anyone, please contact me directly at or hiring chair Tamara Lawson, below.

ST. THOMAS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW in Miami, Florida, invites applications from experienced and entry-level candidates for tenure-track positions beginning in the 2011/2012 academic year. The Law School especially seeks candidates in the areas of Business Associations, Wills and Trusts, Constitutional Law, Securities Regulations, Property and Civil Procedure. Applicants must possess a distinguished academic record, a dedication to excellence in teaching, and a demonstrated commitment to scholarship. Consistent with the Law School’s tradition of diversity, members of minority groups and women are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants should send a letter of application and a resume. CONTACT: Professor Tamara Lawson, Chair of the Faculty Recruitment Committee, St. Thomas University School of Law, 16401 NW 37th Avenue, Miami Gardens, Florida 33054. E-MAIL: FAX: (305) 623-2390.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Opportunity for Publishing for Commercial Law Profs

For those who didn't attend the Annual Conference in San Francisco or visit the CALI booth or simply haven't heard . . . CALI is also sponsoring fellowships in a program called ELangdell whereby professors submit proposals to CALI for law school text books and supplements and, if accepted, CALI publish the work as a digital e-book in multiple formats. CALI pays $500 per chapter to authors, but gives the books away for free to students. This is a great resource for students and professors in a time where book costs are very high and resources slim. CALI is hoping to both have a nice library of free books itself and, perhaps, to put market pressure on the main publishers regarding their pricing of e-books. Several books are in progress and the beta versions of Doug McFarland’s Civil Procedure text (6th edition) and a chapter on Ethics for Tax lawyers are already available. Other proposed texts are in process.

If you are interested in putting in a proposal for something in the Commercial Law area, contact Deb Quentel at CALI at The next round of proposals are due by February 2, 2011.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Arbitration by Door Posting?

Dan Barnhizer (Michigan State) posted yesterday on the Contracts list serve this photo sent to him from a student that saw it at a Whataburger. The text reads:

"Arbitration Notice"
"By entering these premises, you hereby agree to resolve any and all disputes or claims of any kind whatsoever, which arise from the products, services or premises, by way of binding arbitration, not litigation. No suit or action may be filed in any state or federal court. Any arbitration shall be governed by the FEDERAL ARBITRATION ACT, and administered by the American Mediation Association.
"Arbitration Notice"

Naturally, this raises many questions about consent to abitration, class action arbitrations and rules that might even apply to any such disputes. And, of course, Barnhizer asked "what they do for drive-through customers?"

AALS Section on Financial Institutions and Consumer Financial Services

The section program at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools in San Francisco on January 7 this year focused on the "post-crisis" landscape. The Call for Papers panel featured papers by William Birdthistle, Jim Hawkins, Adam Levitin, Alan White and Sarah Woo.

One of my favorites on this panel was James Hawkins' (University of Houston) paper on Regulating the Fringe: Reexamining the Link Between Fringe Banking and Financial Distress forthcoming in the Indiana Law Review. Basically Jim argues that products like payday loans, pawn loans, and rent-to-own leases— might not cause as much financial distress to consumers because of the finality involved in these transactions and the amount. As such, perhaps we might reconsider whether regulators should lump these types of transactions with others. At the heart of this is what constitutes financial distress. While I am not a fan of the fringe banking products, Jim's argument that they might require differing treatment in terms of regulation is worth serious consideration. For my part, I part with him in some of the ideas regarding monetary valuation. I remain unconvinced that one person's financial distress is the same as another's due to relative economic means as a whole. For instance, a person of very limited means may experience serious financial distress when their $750 auto is repossessed and they cannot get to work, then loose their employment, etc. While the event of losing the car may have a finality in and of itself that does not continue to plague the consumer, even smaller dollar transactions can have great impact on the lives of many consumers. That aside, the finality of the transaction is worth further thought when considering regulation of fringe banking products, as is the differing impact of the size of these transactions.