Brooklyn Law School recently named Professor James Fanto the Gerald Baylin Professor of Law. Established in 2010, this professorship honors a distinguished member of the BLS Class of 1953. Gerald Baylin was a World War II veteran, renowned New York City litigator, and dedicated alumnus.
“Professor Fanto epitomizes our very best,” said Dean Nick Allard. “That he should receive this title is no surprise to those familiar with his scholarly work and influence on the legal academy. The endowed chair recognizes not only his past achievements, but also supports his current and future contributions to law. We are pleased to confer this honor on such an esteemed colleague.”
Professor Fanto serves as co-director of the Center for the Study of Business Law and Regulation, which provides a forum for scholarship that offers new perspectives on, and solutions to, real world business law and regulatory issues. Professor Fanto teaches a roster of courses on banking, broker-dealer law, regulation and compliance, corporate and securities law, corporate finance, and comparative and international corporate law and governance. He has helped lead the Law School’s vast business and regulatory curriculum with an eye on innovation. His newest course, An Introduction to Compliance and Risk Management in Financial Institutions, emphasizes theory, practice, and networking, Professor Fanto co-teaches the course with top compliance practitioners — many of them BLS alumni — who offer invaluable personal and professional perspective to students.
A renowned scholar, Professor Fanto has published several influential books such as Broker-Dealer Law and Regulation (Wolters-Kluwer 4th ed., co-authored with Professor Norman Poser and updated annually) and Directors’ and Officers’ Liability (PLI 2d ed., annually updated). He is also Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Practical Compliance & Risk Management for the Securities Industry (Walters Kluwer); an editor of an electronic journal in the Social Science Research Network; an occasional faculty member at the FINRA Institute at Wharton; and an independent consultant and expert on corporate and securities law matters.
In the short time that the Center for Business Law and Regulation has been in existence, Professor Fanto has organized, moderated, or served as a commentator on several programs unique to the academy. They bring academics who are adept in theoretical inquiry and policy analysis together with practitioners, regulators, and judges to study how best to improve the functioning of a market-based economy. Among the recent programs in which he participated were a panel discussion on New Developments in FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) Enforcement, and an Investment Roundtable that included scholars and high-level practitioners in the investment management and funds area. On March 25, he will moderate a panel discussion on “The Compliance Role in Financial Institutions: How Dodd-Frank is Changing the Municipal Securities Industry.”
Professor Fanto is also affiliated with the Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law, and with the Center for Law, Language & Cognition.
Before entering academia, Professor Fanto practiced banking, corporate, and securities law with the firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell in Washington, D.C., New York, and Paris, France. He was a law clerk to Judge Louis H. Pollak of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and to Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I am very honored and grateful to receive the Gerald Baylin Chair,” Professor Fanto said. “I hope to live up to its high standards and to continue to serve Brooklyn Law School, my colleagues, and our students in any way that I can.”
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Read more about Professor Fanto’s innovative course.