The Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (BCLBE) is the hub of Berkeley Law's research and teaching on the impact of law on business and the U.S. and global economies.

BCLBE April 2014 Update                            

The April Update includes Fall 2014 course highlights, event re-caps and media links for BBLJ's symposium on Shareholder Activism, Thomas Brown's lecture on Regulation and the Future of Money, and Eric Talley's survey results as presented at the California State Bar's Task Force on Admissions Regulation Reform.


Nuisance Litigation

Prof. William H. J. Hubbard
University of Chicago, Law School
Monday, April 14, 2014 
Boalt Hall 132; 12:40 - 1:55 pm 
Download paper>

Business Law Certificate Ceremony

Wednesday, May 8, 2014
Boalt Hall Warren Room; 3:30 - 5:00 pm

Join us in celebrating this year's J.D. and LL.M. graduates, who will receive the Business Law Certificate in recognition of their completion of a rigorous course of study in preparation for professional practice as legal advisors to businesses, to business-oriented NGOs, and to government entities. Read more>


BCLBE is currently looking for an Associate Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations to work closely with the BCLBE Executive Director and the Berkeley Law development team to secure grants and gifts to support BCLBE's research, education, and policy activities. This is an exciting opportunity to join a dynamic team at Berkeley Law. Go to Berkeley Jobs and search #16419 (no registration required).

For a summary of past events, visit our events page. For videos of our events, go to our video library.

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The following media is now available:

Smart Course Planning: What to Take in Business Law and Why

Shareholder Activism Symposium
Panel 1
Shareholder Activism: Bird's Eye-View
Panel 2
Hot-Button Issues: How Should We Interpret the Current State of Play?
Panel 3
Future of Shareholder Activism: Where Do We Go From Here?

Social Enterprise Law Symposium
Panel 1
Early-Stage Financing & Mission Preservation
Panel 2

The April 2014 Update is available.

At the end of a spirited debate between Jamie Yood ’14 and Joseph Santiesteban ’14, the latter won the prestigious McBaine Moot Court Competition
The competitors argued their cases before a trio of prominent judges: UC President Janet Napolitano; Goodwin Liu, associate justice of the California Supreme Court; and Chief Judge Claudia Wilken ’75 of the U.S. District Court for Northern California. This fall, Santiesteban will begin work at Ropes & Gray, where he will focus on intellectual property and privacy. 

At a meeting with the California State Bar’s Task Force on Admissions Regulation Reform last month, Prof. Eric Talley emphasized the correlation of technical skills in business and finance, which are not routinely taught in law school, with a corporate lawyer’s ability to serve clients. According to a recent survey of transactional specialists conducted by Talley, document drafting, professional ethics, and fact development and analysis were among the most crucial skills needed for practice. Read more>

Congratulations to the winners of the Pircher, Nichols & Meeks 2014 Joint Venture Challenge! The winning teams were composed of the following Haas and Berkeley Law students: First Place: Ben Bradbury (MBA), Mary Loum (JD), Arkadiusz Malinowski (JD), and Kim McGinnis (MBA); Second Place: Zane Keller (MBA), Steven McCarthy (JD), and Sam Wang (MBA). And thanks to our Judges: Phil Nichols and Stevens Carey, partners at the sponsoring firm, and Josh Myerberg, Executive Director, at Morgan Stanley's San Francisco office. The JV Challenge was organized by BCLBE, with support from Pircher, Nichols & Meeks and Leo Pircher '57. 
Read more>

 The March 2014 Update is available.

An ABA task force recently made a proposal to establish minimum requirements within ABA-accredited law schools for “experiential” learning related to building practical skills and competencies. While an important invitation for law schools to re-imagine how they deliver legal education, the proposal raises the question of what constitutes “skills and competencies.” Within business law, this challenge is perhaps greatest for transactional attorneys. However, it is unclear how much, if any, input these practitioners/educators have had on the process of drafting guidelines, or whether there has been much systematic analysis of what topics constitute important “skills.” To address these gaps, Berkeley Law faculty, led by Eric Talley, devised an on-line survey instrument to help gauge what sorts of core competencies established professionals consider important. The preliminary results can be found here. We hope the results will help both practitioners and legal educators assess (and if necessary, work to amend) the current proposed ABA guidelines.

On February 24, BCLBE hosted a lunch presentation featuring Eugene Ludwig, founder and CEO of Promontory Financial Group. In his talk titled "Financial Regulation in the Post Reform Era: Putting Dodd-Frank in Context," Ludwig shared his perspectives on the Dodd-Frank Act and other regulation efforts within the context of earlier cycles of crisis and reform. He discussed what the changes mean for the evolution of the American regulatory model and the transformative potential of the financial services industry.  
Video>       Read more>

Prof. Eric Talley comments on the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, which has brought to light issues surrounding monopsonies: single, dominant buyers that create imbalances in price purchasing power. Because monopsonists exert considerable influence as dominant buyers, sellers are adversely affected and undermined. According to Talley, Comcast-Time Warner Cable’s defense of their deal will likely center around suppliers’ (like Netflix’s) extensive market power, and the cable companies’ ability to translate the merger into more bargaining power for its consumers.

With deep sorrow we share the news that our colleague, Prof. Suzanne Scotchmer, passed away on January 30.  She joined the Berkeley faculty in 1986 and, despite many offers from other universities, Suzanne remained a devoted and deeply distinguished member of the Berkeley faculty for almost her entire professional life.  Suzanne was a brilliant, internationally-renowned economist who made significant contributions to basic as well as applied theory in the areas of game theory, club theory, and patent law and incentives for R&D. She wrote more than 20 books, served as a consultant to the Department of Justice on antitrust, was a fellow of the Econometrics Society, and was highly sought after as a lecturer and speaker at universities across the globe. Read more> 

Berkeley Business Law Journal has recently published a new Journal (Volume 10.2). This issue includes articles from practitioners and educators, including:
"Is Self-Regulation the Answer?" - Ian Peck, Kirkland & Ellis; "Charitable Insolvency and Corporate Governance" - Reid Weisbord, Rutgers School of Law; "The Law of Corporate Purpose" - David Yosifon, Santa Clara Law
Download the Journal here.

India’s public distribution system (PDS) distributes subsidized food to India’s poor. Reforms to the PDS in the state of Chhattisgarh have been lauded as a model for the National Food Security Act that other states can emulate. Prof. Prasad Krishnamurthy and two co-authors analyzed the impacts of these reforms on rice consumption in the state for the decade ending 2010. Their findings suggest that sustained reforms , when coupled with political and social will can improve access to food and other essentials through the PDS, but in the absence of such commitments, any PDS improvements may be insubstantial or unsustainable.

BCLBE received a cy près award to fund the launch of its Financial Literacy Education and Research Institute. The Institute will research, create, and implement consumer financial education programs that address the complex array of social, psychological, and economic factors that have historically limited efforts to improve consumer financial literacy. The diverse skills of the Berkeley Law faculty and the school's close affiliation with the East Bay Community Law Center uniquely position the Institute for success. Read more>

In his new article in the Journal of Legal Studies, "Rules, Standards, and Complexity in the Cost Benefit Analysis of Capital Regulation", Prof. Prasad Krishnamurthy examines the extent to which cost-benefit analysis can contribute to resolving issues in the regulation of bank capital requirements. Krishnamurthy argues that a proper cost-benefit analysis would have exposed some of the possible consequences of risk-based requirements, and perhaps have led to the adoption of simpler rules that would maintain systemic stability. The full paper is available here.

In a recent article, Profs. Aaron Edlin and Rebecca Haw contend that occupational licensing boards, which now license as much as one-third of the US workforce, operate in a manner similar to cartels, excluding competition and raising prices for consumers. Because licensing boards are created by the states, they have been considered exempt from antitrust scrutiny under the state action doctrine. A recent decision by the Fourth Circuit, however, allowed a suit by the FTC against a state licensing board, providing an opportunity for the Supreme Court to clarify doctrine in this area. The authors recommend that the Court allow antitrust action against state licensing boards whenever the boards are composed of industry competitors. Read more>