Omri Ben-Shahar : Courses and Seminars
This course examines the legal framework for consumer protection law in the United States. It explores the federal and states' consumer protection legislation as well doctrines of common law that limit unfair and deceptive contract practices. The course will pay special attention to consumer financial and mortgage protection and consumer protection on the Internet. Contracts is a pre-requisite. The student's grade is based on class participation and a final examination.
This course, offered over two sequential quarters, is an introduction to commercial and consumer law and lays the foundation for advanced study in commercial transactions, corporations, restitution, consumer credit, insurance, labor and employment law, and investment securities. Substantively, the Contracts course deals with how contracts are formed, which contracts are valid, when a contract has been breached and the various remedies for breach, including damages, specific performance, and restitution. The course is also designed to introduce the student to legal methodology and to compare the common law with the techniques of statutory interpretation, particularly in connection with the Uniform Commercial Code. The student's grade is based on a single final examination at the conclusion of the Spring quarter.
Greenberg Seminar: Law and Disaster
The Greenberg seminar on law and disaster will examine different ways in which the law responds to, or prepares for, disasters, and how disasters shape the law. Natural calamities like Hurricane Katrina, mass accidents like the Titanic, environmental tragedies like a large oil spill, economic crashes like the collapse of the financial markets, impending catastrophes like climate change, and even colossal legal blunders -- all have met patterns of legal responses that are uniquely shaped by the social and psychological attitudes towards disaster.
Omri Ben-Shahar, William H. J. Hubbard
This seminar examines the role of private non-governmental entities in regulating standard of behavior in society. It explores prominent cases in which private entities set standards, regulate entry, monitor compliance, and impose sanctions in activities related to risk, health, safety, finances, living standards, and privacy. Private regulators can act as complements—but also as substitutes—to government regulation. For example, retailers regulate safety, environmental, and labor practices of their suppliers; hospitals regulate professional practices of physicians; insurers regulate the safety practices of their policyholders; universities regulate innovation and the development of knowledge; trade associations regulate conduct in their industries; and Google regulates a host of issues, from privacy and decency to branding and even geo-political mapping. Students will be required to write (SRP-level) papers on case studies, examining particular examples of private “outsourced” regulations and evaluating their advantages and shortcomings relative to public regulation.