Faculty Presentations at Law and Society Association

BYU Law professors RonNell Andersen Jones, Kif Augustine-Adams, Gordon Smith, and Carolina Nunez presented papers and participated in roundtable discussions during the Law and Society Association’s (LSA) annual meeting in Seattle, Washington on May 28-31, 2015.  The LSA is the world's largest organization for the interdisciplinary, multi-methodological study of law.

The focus of this year’s meeting was “Law’s Promise and Law's Pathos in the Global North and Global South.” According to the LSA web site, the 2015 LSA annual meeting was to engage law’s promises and law’s pathos in domestic and transnational contexts, through plenaries addressing the roles of law in the war on terror, in climate change, in emancipation and protection of the world’s most vulnerable populations, and in law’s relationships with religions.

Professor Jones organized a roundtable discussion and servde as the moderator for Media Law in the Wake of Ferguson.

“In the midst of the protests and civil unrest that followed the fatal shooting of a young black man in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri last summer, members of the news media found themselves caught up in their own conflicts with police and other authorities in ways that gave rise to new questions about the boundaries of press freedoms in the United States,” Professor Jones stated.

The roundtable discussed the media interactions with government officials in the aftermath of the Ferguson shooting—including the detention and reported intimidation and harassment of working journalists, restrictions on access to news scenes, and limitations on the release of public records related to the shooting and the subsequent unrest—and will discuss the risks to press freedom that arise during the militarization of police forces.  Participants discussed legislative and judicial protections afforded to working journalists in earlier eras and will address whether those protections are waning, whether they are (or ought to be) unique to the organized press, and whether the Ferguson episodes and subsequent police-community interactions create cause for wider concern about the free flow of information and the protection of news gatherers in the future.

Professor Augustine-Adams presented her paper, “Photos as Law Enforcement: Policing the Boundaries of Women’s Behavior in Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, 1924- 1926.” She also served as chair for a roundtable discussion on Immigration Activism by Non-Lawyers. In addition, Professor Augustine-Adams served as chair and moderator for a paper session on Imagining Mexico: Images, Popular Culture, and Law.

Professor Smith has worked for the past two years with three other law professors to organize panels on fiduciary law. He moderated a panel on Fiduciary Theory and presented his recent work on the business judgment rule in the panel on Private Fiduciary Law. Participants also discussed Public Fiduciary Law in a third panel.

Fiduciary law arises in myriad private relationships including guardianships, employment relationships, trusts, business organizations, and professional relationships in law, medicine, and other fields. Recently, legal scholars and courts have devoted increasing attention to fiduciary law as a distinctive field of private law, and they have examined the application of fiduciary principles to public officials and public institutions.

“A number of law schools, including BYU Law, now offer courses on fiduciary law,” Professor Smith stated. “These developments suggest that fiduciary law may be poised to take a seat alongside torts, contracts, property, and unjust enrichment as a pillar of private-law education within the law school curriculum.”

Professor Nunez presented “The Citizenship Trajectory” in a session on Contextualizing Citizenship. In addition, she served as the moderator for Immigration Activism by Non-Lawyers roundtable.