About

Background

I received my J.D. from Yale Law School where I concentrated on law and economics and international law.

Prior to attending Yale, I received a Ph.D. from 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 but is still located at the historic 10 Gower Street in the Bloomsbury district of London. It was founded by 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. My book Rights and Revolution is based on my doctoral thesis at London including two months of field work in Nicaragua during the Sandinista period. My advisor was the late Arthur Lipow, who had been a student of Seymour Martin Lipset, and was the author of a very valuable book, Authoritarian Socialism in America: Edward Bellamy and the Nationalist Movement.

After my residence in London, I received a two year MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security from 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 (now renamed as the School of Global Policy and Strategy) as well as the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UCSD. I returned to the U.S.-Mexican Center a few years later while in law school to do research on NAFTA and labor rights. While at Harvard I served as the Assistant Director of the Harvard Trade Union Program, now affiliated with the Harvard Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School.

I did my undergraduate work in Development Studies at U.C. Berkeley, writing papers on, among other issues, the problems of political economy in Chile, Venezuela and Brazil. I then served for several years on the staff of the Center for Labor Research and Education at U.C. Berkeley and the staff of a large labor union before starting work on my Ph.D. The Center was part of what was then called the Institute of Industrial Relations, founded by the post war labor economist Clark Kerr, later President of the University of California until his ouster by Governor Reagan.

During my years at IIR, I also studied under and worked closely with Hal Draper, the noted Marxist scholar and veteran socialist activist. Hal’s biting essay “The Mind of Clark Kerr” had a significant influence on the leaders of Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement. Hal’s magisterial multi-volume work Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution remains the leading work on Marx’s political theory. An equally impressive work but not as well known is Hal’s translation of Heinrich Heine’s poetry. The London Times called this a “magnificent achievement.” Indeed. Hal and I co-authored The Hidden History of the Equal Rights Amendment which was published by the Center for Socialist History.

My interest in the intersection between law and Silicon Valley emerged, in part, as a result of two college era jobs. While in college I worked at the United States Attorneys’ offices in Chicago and San Francisco. I saw the importance of the rule of law first hand, as I helped, for example, with the preparation of exhibits in a federal civil rights trial on behalf of the slain civil right leader Fred Hampton, Jr. Coincidentally I had written a dystopian short story about Hampton’s murder as a freshman at New Trier high school. My freshman English teacher took notice. She had gone to UC Berkeley and suggested I consider going there as well. My first job out of college was at a startup in Berkeley that made computer kits for the hobbyist market, right around the time Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were attending the Homebrew Computer Club. In fact, that startup was a competitor with Apple! Needless to say, one was somewhat more successful than the other.

NOTICE

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 and does not represent the views of Santa Clara University or its School of Law. While I may, and often do, comment on legal issues this is intended as either my personal 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.

 

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