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We are delighted to report that the ABA Business Law Section has posthumously awarded Larry Ribstein its Martin I. Lubaroff Award, presented annually to a lawyer who has consistently demonstrated leadership, scholarship, and outstanding service in LLCs, Partnerships and Unincorporated Entities law.  That describes no one so well as Larry.

The award was established in 2001 to honor the memory of Marty Lubaroff who untimely passed away on January 1, 2001. Marty was the quintessential lawyer–careful, thorough, exacting, engaging, insightful, precise, provocative and persistent, while gentle, kind and courteous. He was a good friend and mentor to scores of lawyers in Delaware and throughout the United States. Marty was a long-time member of, and key participant in, the LLCs, Partnerships and Unincorporated Entities Committee. He chaired the Limited Partnerships Subcommittee at the time of his death.

Larry’s influence continues to be felt and acknowledged.  In addition to the GMU Law & Economics Center conference Josh mentioned, the Illinois College of Law is honoring Larry with a conference and memorial fund of its own:

In recognition and celebration of Professor Ribstein’s innumerous contributions to legal scholarship and the academy, the College of Law will host a conference in October 2013, the proceedings of which will be published in a special edition of theUniversity of Illinois Law Review. And in honor of Professor Ribstein’s incredible influence on students, colleagues, and the legal profession, the College has established The Larry E. Ribstein Memorial Fund. The Fund will be used to support a series of initiatives to advance the intellectual life of the University of Illinois College of Law, including a signature lecture series, workshops for junior faculty members, and innovations designed to more effectively bridge the worlds of legal theory and legal practice.

Our greatly lamented colleague Lary Ribstein was a movie buff. Some time ago he wrote an encyclopedic article on business in the movies, “Wall Street and Vine: Hollywood’s View of
Business.”  At the time of his death, he and I were in discussions about publishing this article in the journal I edit, Managerial and Decison Economics.  After his tragic death, I contacted his widow, Ann, and received permission to publish the article.  It is now published in the June issue of MDE.  (If your library does not subscribe to MDE, the article is still available on SSRN.)  Anyone with any interest in the movies and their perception of business must read this article. Given the volume of Larry’s scholarship, it is amazing that he had time to see as many movies as he discusses in this article.

I’m very pleased to announce the George Mason Law & Economics Center is hosting a program focusing on our friend and colleague Larry Ribstein’s scholarship on the market for law.   Henry Butler and Bruce Kobayashi have put together a really wonderful program of folks coming together not to celebrate Larry’s work — but to use it as a platform for further discussion and for legal scholars to engage in these important issues.

Interested readers might want to check out the TOTM Unlocking the Law Symposium.

The announcement follows and I hope to see some of you there on Friday, November 9, 2012 at GMU Law.
The Henry G. Manne Program in Law and Regulatory Studies presents Unlocking the Law: Building on the Work of Professor Larry Ribstein to be held at George Mason University School of Law, Friday, November 9th, 2012. The conference will run from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

OVERVIEW: In a series of influential and provocative articles, Professor Larry Ribstein examined the forces behind the recent upheaval in the market for legal services. These forces included increased global competition, changes in the demand for legal services resulting from the expanded role of the in-house counsel, and the expanded use of technology. His analysis showed that changes in the market for legal services were not just the result of a cyclical downturn in the economy. Rather, the profound changes in the market reflected building competitive pressures that exposed the flaws in the business model used by large firms to provide legal services. His recent writings also examined the broader implications of this upheaval for legal education, the private production of law, and whether legal innovation will be hindered by or hasten the demise of the current system of professional regulation of lawyers.

Professor Ribstein passed away suddenly on December 24, 2011. In the wake of the terrible loss of their close friend and colleague, Professors Henry Butler and Bruce Kobayashi (along with several other colleagues at Mason Law) have decided to honor Larry through a conference designed to capture and expand on the spirit of Larry’s recent work. The Unlocking the Law Conference seeks to advance these goals by inviting legal scholars to present their views and engage in a vibrant discussion about the present and future of the market for legal services. The panels at this conference will showcase 14 papers written specifically for this occasion and presented to the public for the first time.

This conference is organized by Henry N. Butler, Executive Director of the Law & Economics Center and George Mason Foundation Professor of Law, and Bruce H. Kobayashi, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law through a new Project on Legal Services Reform – under the auspices of the Mason Law & Economics Center. The Project on Legal Services Reform seeks to continue and extend the important work on legal innovation, legal education, law firms, and legal regulation produced by Larry. We hope to encourage scholars who have not worked in these areas to read Larry’s work, critique it in the same manner in which Larry famously commented on papers, and expand (or even restrict or redirect) the thrust of Larry’s work. In essence, this project is about “Larry as Catalyst.”

For background information, you might want to visit TRUTH ON THE MARKET (http://www.truthonthemarket.com), which held an online symposium on this topic on September 19 and 20, 2011.

REGISTRATION: You must pre-register for this event. To register, please send a message with your name, affiliation, and full contact information to: Jeff Smith, Coordinator, Henry G. Manne Program in Law and Regulatory Studies, jsmithQ@gmu.edu

AGENDA:

Friday, November 9, 2012:

Panel I. The Future of Legal Services and Legal Education

How the Structure of Universities Determined the Fate of American Law Schools
– Henry G. Manne, Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ave Maria School of Law; Dean Emeritus, George Mason University School of Law

The Undergraduate Option for Legal Education
– John O. McGinnis, George C. Dix Professor in Constitutional Law, Northwestern University School of Law

Panel II. Deregulating Legal Services

The Deprofessionalization of Profession Services: What Law and Medicine Have in Common and How They Differ
– Richard A. Epstein, Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

The Future of Licensing Lawyers
– M. Todd Henderson, Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School

Failing the Legal System: Why Lawyers and Judges Need to Act to Authorize the Organizational Practice of Law
– Gillian K. Hadfield, Richard L. and Antoinette Schamoi Kirtland Professor of Law and Professor of Economics, University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Globalization and Deregulation of Legal Services
– Nuno Garoupa, Professor and H. Ross and Helen Workman Research Scholar, University of Illinois College of Law; Co-Director, Illinois Program on Law, Behavior, and Social Science

Panel III. Law Firms and Competition Between Lawyers

From Big Law to Lean Law
– William D. Henderson, Professor of Law and Van Nolan Faculty Fellow, Indiana University Maurer School of Law; Director, Center on the Global Legal Profession

Glass Half Full: The Significant Upsides to the Changes in the American Legal Market
– Benjamin H. Barton, Professor of Law, University of Tennessee College of Law

An Exploration of Price Competition Among Lawyers
– Clifford Winston, Senior Fellow, Economics Studies, Brooking Institution

Panel IV. Reputation, Fiduciary Duties, and Agency Costs

Lawyers as Reputational Intermediaries: Sovereign Bond Issuances (1820-2012)
– Michael H. Bradley, F.M. Kirby Professor of Investment Banking Emeritus, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University; Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
– Mitu Gulati, Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
– Irving A. De Lira Salvatierra, Graduate Student, Department of Economics, Duke University

The Fiduciary Society
– Jason Scott Johnston, Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation Professor of Law and Nicholas E. Chimicles Research Professor in Business Law and Regulation, University of Virginia School of Law

Class Action Lawmakers and the Agency Problem
– Barry E. Adler, Bernard Petrie Professor of Law and Business and Associate Dean for Information Systems and Technology, New York University School of Law

Panel V. Private Lawmaking and Adjudication

Decentralizing the Lawmaking Function: Should There Be Intellectual Property Rights in Law?
– Robert G. Bone, G. Rollie White Teaching Excellence Chair in Law, University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Arbitration, the Law Market, and the Law of Lawyering
– Erin O’Hara O’Connor, Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law, Vanderbilt University Law School
– Peter B. Rutledge, Herman E. Talmadge Chair of Law, University of Georgia Law School

VENUE:
George Mason University School of Law
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201

FURTHER INFORMATION: For more information regarding this conference or other initiatives of the Law & Economics Center, please visit: http://www.MasonLEC.org

Call or send an email to: Tel: (703) 993-8040, Email: lec@gmu.edu

The Henry G. Manne Program in Law & Economics honors the legacy of Henry G. Manne, Dean Emeritus of George Mason Law School and founder of the Law & Economics Center. Manne was a trailblazer in the development of law and economics, not only as a prominent and influential scholar, but also as an academic entrepreneur. He spurred the development of law and economics into the most influential area of legal scholarship through his Economics Institutes for Law Professors and Law Institutes for Economics Professors. The Manne Program promotes law-and-economics scholarship by funding faculty research and hosting research roundtables and academic conferences.

http://www.MasonManne.org

Ideoblog Archives Available

Josh Wright —  22 January 2012

I’ve received quite a few emails from TOTM and Ideoblog readers on this topic and so I want to highlight for our readers that we have Larry’s Ideoblog archives available at the link featured across the top bar under the Truth on the Market banner (click here).  They are also available on the left hand side of the blog by topic.  It will not surprise Larry’s friends and colleagues that this double-feature of Ideoblog archives was a one of Larry’s conditions for the Ideoblog / TOTM merger.

Usha Rodrigues has a characteristically delightful and poignant remembrance of Larry up over at Conglomerate:

Finally, the section is done.  And it’s stronger and richer than it was just 24 hours ago.  I send my last email at 4:07.  It reads: “You’re hilarious.  And a treasure. Thanks again, U”

On a Saturday afternoon.  For a junior colleague.  At another institution.  Even as it was happening, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was.  Larry was smart, he was blunt, he was quick, he was generous.  Each quality is rare taken individually; together, they are unheard of.

And this exchange with Larry is typical — and priceless:

After all the hype and Oscar drama, I finally saw Avatar when it came out on DVD.  I was not impressed.  This manipulative simplistic story almost won Best Picture?  Really? I emailed Larry to ask what he thought.  His reply was terse: “I wouldn’t see Avatar unless strapped to a seat and threatened with torture.”

As she concludes, summarizing well what we all feel:

God, I’ll miss you, Larry.  We all will.

[Robert Chang-hsien Tsai (Assistant Professor, Institute of Law for Science and Technology, National Tsing Hua University) Taiwan asked us to post this remembrance, and we are glad to do so]

I’ve been deeply saddened since I heard of the heartbreaking news about Larry. I had the privilege to be advised by Larry along my intellectual journey when studying in the US. Larry has set an example of what it means to be a passionate researcher and an enthusiastic educator, which will always remind me of how to be a professor in my lifetime.

My admiration for Larry can be traced back to when I was writing my master thesis at National Taiwan University in 2003. Reading his works, I was amazed by his thorough and original reasoning and hoped I could meet and learn from him someday. Years later, when I was applying for an LLM program in the US, NYU became my first choice because Larry would be visiting there at the same time. Luckily, I could keep learning from him in person during the JSD program at UIUC. Within the whole three-year mentoring process and even until recently, Larry generously spent his time providing constructive and timely feedback whenever I needed. On countless occasions, his broad knowledge and astute observations on law and the global market provided me with the kinds of insight that I needed to find a fruitful direction. His encouragement and confidence in me sustained me through difficult times and I will definitely draw on them as I meet the challenges to come.

No doubt Larry’s scholarship will keep influencing me in my lifetime. As his JSD advisee in the Chinese world, I’ll try my best to make his scholarship remembered.

My deepest thoughts are with Ann, Sarah and Susanna for remembering Larry, my unforgotten mentor.

Remembering Larry Ribstein

totmauthor —  2 January 2012

[Note: Professor Roberta Romano asked that we post her remembrance of Larry Ribstein, which we are glad to do below]

I was terribly saddened and, quite frankly, dumbfounded when I heard that Larry Ribstein had passed away. I had seen Larry approximately three weeks before when he gave a workshop at Yale and the last thought that would have crossed my mind would have been that I would be receiving such horrible news. At the time, Larry mentioned in his no-nonsense way numerous projects that he had in the works and how much he was looking forward to spending the Spring semester in New York. It is exceedingly difficult to accept that all of this will not happen.

Although life is transient, Larry’s scholarship will endure.  His work on the non-corporate business form (the “uncorporation” as he put it) must be consulted by anyone venturing to work in the area, which has become one of increasing importance, as evidenced by the greater attention given to it in casebooks and law school classes, a resurgence integrally related to Larry’s writings. He also successfully arbitraged his insights on uncorporations into our understanding of corporations. To take one example, his research examining small business operators’ choice of the limited liability company form over the limited liability partnership advanced our understanding of the importance of network externalities. Of course, he was as well a preeminent scholar in corporate law.  His outstanding critique of the enactment and implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxely Act is but one example. And there is much more. His keen ability to draw connections across fields led to enduring contributions in franchising law, choice of law, and the legal profession, to name just a few.  I would be remiss to not mention as well his entertaining, and insightful work on Hollywood’s portrayal of business.  It always seemed to me to be a shining example of the motto, Who says corporate law is not fun?  Larry was an original and creative voice, and he fearlessly ventured into, and took positions on, areas which the meek would scrupulously avoid. He will be missed.

Larry Ribstein, Philosopher

totmauthor —  1 January 2012

[Nelson Lund asked that TOTM publish this post in Larry Ribstein’s honor and we are very pleased to do so on his behalf]

Everyone who knew Larry Ribstein realized that he was very smart, very tough, and very hard working. Less well appreciated was his absolutely uncompromising commitment to the pursuit of the truth. Surprisingly, perhaps, this is a very rare quality among legal academics. It is the mark of a philosopher, by which I emphatically do not mean a professor of philosophy.

During countless conversations over a distressingly short period of twenty years, I knew that I could count on Larry to correct any lazy or thoughtless comment I made, just as I knew he would instantly recognize any useful insight I might happen upon. If we all have our intellectual biases and unjustified presuppositions, as I suppose we do, Larry was as aggressive as anyone I’ve known in resisting such barriers to the truth within himself. In that sense, he was far more tough on himself than he was on those of us who were fortunate to have his help in our own intellectual pursuits.

I do have one regret about my friendship with Larry, which is that I have only dabbled in the fields where he was a giant. Had I worked seriously in the areas on which he focused, or had he given more attention to the subjects that occupy most of my attention, I would have a much better understanding of many things. His death has made my life poorer, as it has the world in which he lived.

Happy New Year TOTM readers.  I’ve had a very difficult time returning to blogging.  Monday mornings I would normally wake up to a string of four or five of Larry’s posts already up and attracting comments.   He had a way of making one feel incredibly inefficient and unproductive by comparison!  Of course, there was never any real comparison to Larry’s production.  But it was incredibly motivating nonetheless.  I miss him terribly.

We will continue to collect your remembrances of Larry on the Memoriam tab above.  Please keep them coming.

Below, I’ve collected links to 11 of Larry’s most popular posts of 2011.  Enjoy.

The local Champaign paper has a nice story on Larry.

 

Here’s the full link in case I didn’t get the link in correctly above: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/people/2011-12-27/life-remembered-ui-law-professor-turned-it-11-everything.html