March 2009 The 2nd Annual BCLT Privacy Lecture

March 18, 2009

UC Berkeley Law School
Event held at the Bancroft Hotel

BCLT’s 2009 Privacy Lecture features an address by Richard A. Epstein, the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago.

Professor Epstein is known for his research and writing in a broad range of constitutional, economic, historical, and philosophical subjects. In 2003 he was awarded an honorary degree in law from Ghent University. In 2005 he was named by Legal Affairs magazine as one of the twenty leading legal thinkers in the United States. Also in 2005, the College of William & Mary School of Law awarded him the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize.

Responses to Professor Epstein’s 2008 BCLT Privacy Lecture will be made by Professor Orin Kerr and Assistant Professor Erin Murphy.

Orin Kerr teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, and computer crime law. He is the is a co-author of the leading casebook in criminal procedure and also a co-author of the leading treatise in criminal procedure.

Erin Murphy’s research focuses on questions related to new technologies and the relationship between the individual and the state in the criminal justice context.

The moderator of the 2009 BCLT Privacy Lecture will be Paul M. Schwartz, Professor of Law, U.C. Berkeley School of Law, co-author of Information Privacy Law (2d ed. 2006), and author of numerous publications about privacy law.


Professor Epstein’s Abstract for the 2009 BCLT Privacy lecture

It is easy to fall into the trap of assuming that legal systems typically resolve dyadic relationships in which a plaintiff seeks to gain something from a defendant. But in the many social settings the operative arrangements involve three or more parties, and the question is how to sort out the arrangements among them. These questions can arise in private law, for example, when one person lends property to a third person for safekeeping. These three cornered problems have generated interesting legal solutions under the law of bailments when property has been destroyed by a third person. More close to home, there is a long line of cases that addresses the question of whether the bailee of tangible property is in a position to claim any privilege of his bailor when that property is sought by government investigators. The mode of search and request may change as we move from tangible documents to cyberspace, but the principle of analysis says the same. Professor Epstein shall argue that privileges against government intrusion into information are these same in all settings and that the owner of property should not be required to forfeit protection when that information is transferred to third parties.