Research and teaching
I am a law professor at Santa Clara University School of Law in Silicon Valley. I am trained as a lawyer and a political scientist. In my academic research I apply institutional and comparative analysis in order to understand the changing nature of the global economy and international politics.
I am currently working on a long term research project with Jennifer Kuan, an economist at the Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research, on the changing structure of the capital markets, as well as several other papers on corporate governance and the financial markets. My most recent publication is a book chapter on insider trading in the startup environment in a collection edited by Stephen Bainbridge at UCLA. You can find a copy here. I teach courses at the law school on corporate law and governance, capital markets, corporate finance, international finance and international labor rights. I also guest lecture at Santa Clara’s Leavey School of Business on cross border transactions. I have been a visiting law professor at Cornell Law School, and a visiting scholar at Harvard, Stanford, and the University of California.
Educational and Professional Background
Prior to joining the faculty at Santa Clara, I was an associate at two large corporate law firms for five years, including one year at Latham & Watkins in New York and four years at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Silicon Valley. I specialized in corporate finance and securities law in the high technology sector, representing start up companies, venture capital funds, private equity funds, investment banks and public corporations.
I received a J.D. from Yale Law School and did my Ph.D. in the Department of Politics and Sociology at the University of London’s Birkbeck College. The Department is now known as just the Department of Politics. It was founded by the Bernard Crick, the democratic socialist and political philosopher, who was perhaps best known as the biographer of Orwell. While I was there Paul Hirst was Department Chair and the historian Ben Pimlott was in residence.
I was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security by the Social Science Research Council and went, first, to Harvard’s Center for International Affairs and then to the University of California’s Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies on the U.C. San Diego campus as well as the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UCSD. I returned to the Center a few years later to do research on NAFTA and labor rights.
I did my undergraduate work in Development Studies at U.C. Berkeley. I then served for several years on the staff of the Center for Labor Research and Education at U.C. Berkeley where I worked with a wide range of labor unions on issues related to collective bargaining, organizing and political affairs. I then became Director of Public Affairs at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1245, a large multi-state union that represents workers in the electrical utility industry including those at Pacific Gas & Electric.
Consulting and other activities
I consult with and advise a wide range of individuals and organizations in the public and private sector on issues related to my research and teaching including corporate governance, intellectual property, corporate finance, securities law, and international relations. I work with entrepreneurs and investors as well as investment firms. For example, I advised a leading Valley CEO on a proxy battle at a major semiconductor firm. I also serve as an expert witness in cases involving corporate governance and related issues including working with firms such as Jenner and Block, SidleyAustin, and Sedgwick.
I have been particularly active advising the pension funds managed by union trustees on issues related to corporate governance and social responsibility. I have worked closely with the AFL-CIO, Change to Win and numerous unions on their capital markets and corporate social responsibility programs.
I have served as a member of the board of directors of two startup companies (one in the high speed networking space and another in online retail) and one publicly traded technology company (OPTi, Inc.) and served as a member of that board’s audit committee and as chair of its compensation committee.
While in law school at Yale I was part of the legal team headed by Professor Harold Koh that represented the so-called Haitian “boat people” who were quarantined by the U.S. government at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay. While an associate at Latham & Watkins in New York I was part of the legal team that assisted the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and survivors of the Golden Venture, a ship carrying political refugees from mainland China that ran aground in New York, in the three-year effort that secured the survivors’ release from detention in INS jails.
While I am a lawyer and licensed to practice law in New York and California, nothing I write here is meant to express a legal opinion or to constitute legal advice. Everything I write here is purely my personal opinion. While I may and often do comment on legal issues this is intended as either opinion or legal information which is NOT the same thing as legal advice. If you need legal advice you should consult with your own attorney. If you do not have an attorney you can contact the local bar association for a referral.