Torts and New Technologies
Yale Law School, Spring 2019, Reading Group
This reading group will consider the complicated, iterative relationship between the domestic law of torts and new technologies. We will focus on some of the most fraught tort law concepts—reasonableness, foreseeability, causation, crashworthiness—and consider how their inherent difficulty is further complicated by new technologies that permit new human conduct and, by extension, new kinds of harm, which in turn create justificiations for new liabilities and insurance.
Law and Artificial Intelligence
Yale Law School, Spring 2017, Reading Group, co-taught with Jack Balkin
Machine learning systems, algorithms, and other AI applications are transforming vital aspects of the economy and society—they influence what we see, hear, and often think. Decisions around when loans are approved, which job candidates are reviewed, and whether criminal defendants are deprived of their liberty are now often made by machines. Our materials and discussions will ask students to grapple with how AI is impacting our lives now and into the future. We will examine how these technologies will interact with, challenge, and shape law and society going forward and provide a multidisciplinary survey of some of the key issues in space, immersing students in the on-going discourse between technological development and the law.
Yale Law School, Spring 2017, co-taught with BJ Ard & Jack Balkin
This course prepares students for careers in Tech Law. Legislators, lobbyists, in-house counsel, administrators, litigators, and judges all face certain recurring issues stemming from the interaction of law and new technology. This course teases out fundamental concepts and perspectives on how to approach these problems and identifies the strengths and weaknesses of competing responses.
In the process, we consider the interplay of law, technological design, norms, and the market as modalities of regulation; competing strategies for updating the law through courts, legislatures, administrative agencies, and international institutions; efforts by incumbent and newcomer industries to use the law to promote their preferred business models; and the legal implications of other political, economic, and social impacts associated with legally disruptive technologies.
Law and Disruptive Technology
Yale Law School, Spring 2016, co-taught with BJ Ard & Jack Balkin
This course studies the interplay of law and technological change at the domestic and international level, with a focus on the nature of technological disruption and the regulatory challenges posed by new technologies. Case studies will include autonomous weapon systems, home audio/video copying, driverless cars, cyberwarfare, railroads, social media, “Big Data” analytics, and 3-D printing.
International Law and Foreign Relations Lawyering
Yale Law School, Fall 2015, co-taught with Oona Hathaway
This course - offered annually since 2009 - provides students an opportunity to study, research, and participate in current legal debates. Students work on research topics selected from among those presented by U.S. congressional staff, executive branch lawyers, or nonprofit groups working on issues relating to international law, national security law, or foreign relations law. The seminar has also submitted amicus briefs to the D.C. Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court.
Students work both individually and in small groups to write reports on selected topics and, as appropriate, produce recommendations for reform. Students also have an opportunity to meet with attorneys and policymakers who are directly involved in the legal debates on which the class is working.
New Technology and the Law of War
Yale Law School, Spring 2015, Reading Group
New, high-tech weapons are celebrated for their ability to limit troop and civilian casualties, vilified for making war easier, and constantly compared favorably and unfavorably with human beings. They also raise a host of new legal questions, such as when a cyber-attack justifies commencing a war, or who should be held accountable for a war crime committed by a robot. In this reading group, we will discuss these and other novel legal, policy, and ethical issues presented by emerging weapons technologies.