By Andrew Cohen
Berkeley Law has added four accomplished educators to its faculty, three of whom just began teaching at the school.
A prominent expert on financial markets and fraud, Partnoy taught at the University of San Diego School of Law for 21 years, directing its Center for Corporate and Securities Law, and won its Thorsnes Prize for Excellence in Teaching three times. Previously, he was a derivatives specialist at Morgan Stanley and a lawyer at Covington & Burling.
A Yale Law School graduate, Partnoy has testified before Congress on credit rating agencies, and some of his proposals were included in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. He has worked with several Berkeley Law faculty members, and last year co-authored a piece in The Atlantic with Professor Steven Davidoff Solomon about their adventure as shareholder activists.
“Berkeley is an amazing place in every way,” Partnoy says. “The business law faculty are among the best in the country. Very few schools can offer such a wide range of courses and the chance to interface with the business and legal communities in such interesting, substantive ways.”
The author of seven books, Partnoy is an international research fellow for Oxford University and a member of the Financial Economists Roundtable.
“I’m fascinated by markets and by questions about when they fail and treat people poorly,” he says. “Many aspects of the markets are unexplored from a law and policy perspective. My goal is to make students fluent in the fundamentals of business law, motivate them to explore further, and help them do that both in and out of the classroom.”
In four years at UC Irvine School of Law, Davis was twice named Upper Level Courses Professor of the Year. Researching and writing on federal litigation, administrative law, federal Indian law, and property law, his work has appeared in many leading law reviews, specialty law journals, and amicus briefs.
A Columbia Law School graduate, Davis clerked for Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the U.S. District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals and was a litigation associate at O’Melveny & Myers. There, he specialized in appellate litigation and financial services regulatory law and did extensive pro bono work with Indian Nations and intertribal organizations.
“I’m excited to join a world-class faculty and amazingly talented students,” Davis says of joining Berkeley Law. He lauds the school’s “commitment to social justice and public interest work, deep strengths in the study of law and society and of morality, law, and political theory, and more generally its commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship.”
His research tackles how to resolve competing claims to self-determination through law. Current projects include exploring what private law doctrines from fiduciary law and property law might reveal about a state’s right to exclude non-citizens from its territory.
Davis will teach Federal Indian Law for upperclassmen and as an elective for 1Ls, as well as Torts. He plans to “combine traditional Socratic teaching with problem-based exercises to foster experiential learning and collaboration among students.”
Erik Stallman ’03
For Stallman, new associate director of the Samuelson Law, Technology, & Public Policy Clinic, returning to his alma mater is exhilarating and surreal.
“I had great experiences working with tech law clinics during my time at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), and I witnessed firsthand the influence of (Samuelson Clinic Director) Jennifer Urban’s work on notice and takedown,” he says. “The chance to join the clinic and work alongside Berkeley Law faculty to further the public interest in tech policy while helping students become thoughtful lawyers is a dream come true.”
Stallman has worked since 2005 on IP and telecommunications law and policy for Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), nongovernmental organizations, and private practice. He will co-teach the clinic’s seminar, and help steer its copyright and telecommunications policy work on behalf of individuals and public interest organizations.
“I’m thrilled about coming back to Berkeley Law’s unique combination of intellect and collegiality,” he says. “Also, Berkeley’s proximity to organizations and individuals at the center of key IP and tech policy debates creates tremendous opportunities for the clinic to engage in and influence those debates.”
Stallman recently served as policy counsel at Google. Before that, he was general counsel at CDT, counsel and policy advisor to two Congresswomen, an attorney in the FCC Media Bureau and at Steptoe & Johnson, and a clerk for U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Susan Graber.
Wexler will join the faculty next year, after clerking with federal judge Katherine Polk Failla (Southern District of New York). A visiting fellow at Yale Law, her alma mater, she studies the nexus of information law, technology, and criminal justice, focusing on criminal defendants’ access to relevant evidence.
“When that access conflicts with government or third-party interests in withholding sensitive information, evidence law and criminal procedure combine to regulate the balance of power between the government, third parties, and the accused,” Wexler says. “My work tests the limits of defendants’ ability to compel disclosures in these circumstances.”
She has published in top legal journals, and her work challenging the trade secret evidentiary privilege in criminal proceedings has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Monthly, Slate, and NPR’s The Takeaway. As a law student, she won Yale’s prize for best copyright law paper and twice won its prize for best paper concerning the Bill of Rights.
Wexler, who has been a lawyer-in-residence at the Data and Society Research Institute and a fellow at the Legal Aid Society’s criminal defense practice, recently clerked for U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Pierre Leval. Before law school, she made documentary films for national broadcast television, museums, and educational distribution.
“I’m excited to join a community that shares a goal of serving the public good,” says Wexler, who will teach Evidence Law and a seminar next year. “Since I work on issues at the intersection of law and technology, I’m also thrilled that Berkeley has such an inspiring tech-law faculty.”