My primary question is, what should I teach in my brief tenure? What should budding Russian lawyers take away from an initial exposure to US business law?
One predecessor at Belgorod (seems I am not the first US attorney to land on these shores) told me that his initial ambitious course agenda was carved back at the request of the faculty so as to address some fundamentals. He was kind enough to share his entire course with me and I set forth the outline below:
What Lawyers Do
US Law (seems to outline our court system)
Legal Requirements of Businesses Dealing With Customers
Raising Money for Business
Business Names and Trademarks
It reads a bit like a law school curriculum; those readers lucky enough to have avoided law school no doubt are distraught (seeing the above list) to have missed the excitement! But the key inquiry is: what is missing? And is that important? Possible areas:
*How do you sue someone; what does it cost; does it work to create justice; private dispute resolution (arbitration, etc.)
*Anti-trust. Is there such a concept in an economy that was until recently monolithic? Should they care about this?
*Protecting IP -- certainly a major issue here.
*Corporate governance: how should a business be run, by whom and for whose benefit?
*Bankruptcy and insolvency: can and should a person or business escape debt, and when? What is our solution and is it a good one?
*Tax--I confess not to know a single thing about the Russian tax system. But tax drives so much US business structuring. Do we have a tax system that encourages what should be encouraged?
*What business practices in the US send you to jail?
*Securities exchanges, capital markets, PE funds, hedge funds.
SO-- I need your input. What should I be telling these students that is most likely to be useful?