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Current Issue : Fall 2009


Brooklyn Law School’s Visiting Assistant Professor Program offers the country’s brightest legal minds a unique opportunity to prepare for a career teaching law. The Law School’s VAPs, as they are known, typically spend two academic years in residence, teaching one course each semester. This year the Law School welcomes Patricia Judd and Charles Korsmo to the VAP program.

Patricia Judd joins the Law School after seven years with the Association of American Publishers in Washington, D.C., where she most recently served as Executive Director, International Copyright Enforcement and Trade Policy. Prior to that, she was a trademark attorney with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and an international consultant to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in Sydney, Australia.

Judd is thrilled to have the chance to work in academia. “I remember when I was in law school asking one of my teachers, ‘How do I get your job?’ The advice I received was, ‘Go do something that you are passionate about and build a reputation in your field and then you can bring that knowledge to your teaching.’ So this idea of teaching has been percolating for a while.”

Judd is teaching International Intellectual Property Law in the fall, and next semester she will teach Copyright Law. Her coursework draws on years of experience as an international trade attorney who holds an L.L.M. in intellectual property law from George Washington University Law School and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Judd’s scholarship interests concern the intersection of intellectual property rights protection and international law, with a focus on international trade. Her current project concentrates on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) implementation in emerging and developing economies, and how particular provisions in the agreement provide either clarity or ambiguity in the quest for World Trade Organization (WTO) compliance by countries with varying socio-economic, cultural or legal norms and priorities.

As a professor of international law, she hopes that her students learn to be comfortable with the law as ever-changing. “Law students want to put everything in these neat little boxes, and the one thing I love about the world of international law is that lines are dotted not solid,” she said. “I want my students to be comfortable with unanswered questions, because that is the crux of the fascinating work.”

Patricia Judd Patricia Judd

Charles Korsmo joins the Law School from Sullivan & Cromwell where he worked on multi-billion dollar lawsuits in the areas of real estate, shareholder derivative actions, and tax disputes. Korsmo, who holds a B.S. in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a J.D. from Yale Law School, is teaching Torts in the fall and Land Use Controls in the spring.

Prior to private practice, he clerked with Judge Ralph K. Winter of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. His background also includes work as a special assistant with the Environmental Protection Agency and work with several U.S. House of Representatives committees, including the House Policy Committee and the Homeland Security Committee.

In a previous life, Korsmo was a professional actor. Between the ages of ten and thirteen, he appeared in several major motion pictures including Dick Tracy, What About Bob?, and Hook. His last role was in college when he starred in Can’t Hardly Wait. Korsmo admits that he does occasionally draw upon his experience as an actor in the practice of law. “It helps with the stage fright of standing in front of almost one hundred first-year students,” he joked. “I hope that my acting training helps my lawyering. It certainly makes me a bit more comfortable in front of crowds. The only thing is that as a lawyer I have to write all my lines.”

Korsmo has indeed been writing his own lines. In his recent article, “The Financial Crisis and the Business Judgment Rule,” published in Corporate Governance Advisor, Korsmo summarized two circuit court opinions involving bank mergers that were decided in the wake of the current financial crisis. “The boards of directors of these banks rushed through merger decisions and were sued for hurriedly accepting deals,” explained Korsmo. “The courts refused to question the judgment of the boards in light of both the extraordinary circumstances and government pressure. This was the first indication that the Business Judgment Rule is in full flower, and that courts will not undo the mergers and other actions that took place.”

Korsmo is also researching the Fraud on the Market Doctrine in securities class action lawsuits, arguing against the gate-keeping requirement of an efficient market for claims of market manipulation.

Charles Korsmo Charles Korsmo