Widgets versus Services
When, if at all, do courts recognize the emergence of the services economy, as distinct from traditional models of goods-based exchange? This class section will explore that question, focusing predominantly on contract and business law. The ultimate answer is mixed. Although traditional contract law does distinguish between services and non-services contexts, many of those distinctions emerged over a century ago, and have mutated relatively slowly. More recent innovations (predominantly in intellectual property and the common law of ideas) have proven to be more adaptable. This lecture will survey the domains in which law treats services as special, and whether that treatment is likely to facilitate or discourage economic growth.
Eric Talley has been teaching in law schools, economics departments and business schools since 1995, covering courses in Corporate and Commercial Law, Contracts, Law and Economics, Quantitative Methods in the Law, Securities Regulation/Fraud, Behavioral Law and Economics, and Law and Game Theory. Also affiliated with the RAND Corporation, Professor Talley studies stockholder rights, corporate litigation and securities. He has published articles in many of the nation's most respected legal journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Games and Economic Behavior, the Journal of Legal Studies, and the Southern California Law Review. Recent publications include “Cataclysmic Liability Risk among Big-4 Auditors: An Empirical Analysis” (forthcoming, Columbia Law Review 2006); “Public Versus Private Provision of Corporate Law” (with Gillian K. Hadfield, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 2006) and “Unregulable Defenses and the Perils of Shareholder Choice” (with Jennifer Arlen, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 2003). Professor Talley holds a bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from the University of California, San Diego, and a J.D. from Stanford University, where he served as articles editor for the Stanford Law Review. He also received Ph.D. at Stanford in economics. He has been an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow and visiting professor at Georgetown, a visiting professor at the California Institute of Technology, and a John Olin Foundation fellow and instructor at Stanford. He is currently Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. From 2001-2004, where he serves as co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy. Until July 2006, he was the Ivadelle & Theodore Johnson Professor of Law and Business at the University of Southern California, with joint appointments in the Gould School of Law and the Marshall School of Business (finance and business economics group). From 2001-2004, he served as director of the USC Center for Law, Economics and Organization and of USC's Olin Program in Law and Rational Choice. He is currently a director of the American Association of Law and Economics, and former chair of the American Association of Law Schools section in Law and Economics. He is a frequent commentator on the national radio show Marketplace, and speaks frequently to corporate boards on issues pertaining to fiduciary duties and corporate governance.