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Oliver R. Goodenough
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Professor Goodenough’s research and writing at the intersection of law, economics, finance, media, technology, neuroscience and behavioral biology make him an authority in several emerging areas of law and its application in society. A pioneer in Neurolaw, he has participated in experiments using fMRI brain scanning techniques to explore the neurological basis of moral reasoning in conjunction with Humboldt University in Berlin and the University of London. He is also expert in the impact of digital technology on law, with a particular emphasis on using the internet to create digital business organizations and to improve the support provided by law for innovation and entrepreneurship generally. His academic appointments reflect the breadth of his studies; he is currently a Professor of Law and the Director of Scholarship at Vermont Law School, a visitor at Stanford's CodeX Center for Legal Informatics, a Research Fellow of the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research, and an Adjunct Professor at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering. He has also been a Faculty Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, a Visiting Research Fellow at the Zoology Department at the University of Cambridge, a Lecturer in Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a Visiting Professor at the Neurological Department of the Charite Medical School of Humboldt University in Berlin. Prof. Goodenough served as co-director of the Education and Outreach Program of the MacArthur Foundation Law and Neuroscience Project. Prof. Goodenough has written on a wide variety of subjects relating law, business, and cognitive and behavioral science. Law, Mind and Brain, co-edited with Michael Freeman, was published by Ashgate in February, 2009. With Semir Zeki, he edited the 2004 special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society devoted to Law and the Brain, reprinted in book form under that title by Oxford University Press in 2006. He is co-author of This Business of Television, now in its third edition. His shorter works include articles and chapters on law and neuroscience, intellectual property, the transmission of culture, and, with Richard Dawkins, a report in Nature on chain letters as evolving ‘mind viruses’. Professor Goodenough received his B.A. from Harvard University and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation, he practiced law in New York, first as an association with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton and then with Kay, Collyer & Boose, where he was became a partner. In 2000 he won the Lee Loevinger Jurimetrics Research Award for his work on law and neuroscience, in 2002 the Gruter Institute Bene Merenti Award for outstanding achievements in law and behavioral research, and in 2010 the Vermont Law School Richard Brooks Faculty Scholarship Prize for scholarly achievement.

Entries by Oliver R. Goodenough

A St. Nicholas Carol for Christmas

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2015 | 4:10 PM

On Christmas Eve at the North Pole
A chubby sprite in white and red
Groaned inwardly and searched his soul
For why the world felt drab and dead.
A line of elves, in bright array,
Stood waiting in the toy-stuffed shop
For orders...

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Message to Merkel: Think Outside the Box

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 11:13 PM

The Greek debt crisis is a collision of two seemingly incompatible necessities. One is to put the Greek economy into a position for long term health; the other is to keep it from expiring in the short term. If these are to be reconciled, the players in Europe need to...

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Justice Holmes, Meet Dr. Turing: Law Is Computation

(1) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 3:03 PM

In his famous work of legal theory, The Common Law, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. memorably declared: "The life of the law has not been logic." This pronouncement sums up a deeply held tenant of American legal theory. Most lawyers in the United States believe that there is an element of...

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Innovation in Legal Practice: Beyond the Current Model of Professionalism

(2) Comments | Posted April 24, 2015 | 9:38 PM

While the U.S. legal system has many virtues, it also has glaring flaws. One of its chief failures is access: Most of us in America simply can't afford the help of a lawyer that is so often necessary for navigating the complex landscape of the law. This underrepresentation is particularly...

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Legal Technology 3.0

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 6:20 AM

The impact of technology on law is moving forward with all the subtlety of a charging rhinoceros, transforming traditional practice and spawning new forms of "legal service" delivery. Surprisingly, many expect that the swirling events will just enhance the existing system, leaving it essentially intact, but with certain processes improved....

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Reimagining Legal Education

(3) Comments | Posted September 5, 2012 | 8:01 PM

Where is legal education headed in the next decade, year, or even months? After a century or more of relative stability in both doctrinal content and pedagogical method, suddenly everything is up in the air as a perfect storm of change sweeps through. The storm is marked by the confluence...

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Teaching Real Law for the 99 Percent

(1) Comments | Posted January 18, 2012 | 5:22 PM

A week ago, Washington, D.C., was awash with law professors, me among them. This generally earnest crowd gathered for the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Although "buzz" is often too animated a term for discussions among people who are fascinated by the details of civil...

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Educating Digital Lawyers

(1) Comments | Posted January 3, 2012 | 3:39 PM

America's law professors are gathering in Washington, D.C., this week for their annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). While self-criticism and self-examination are not always the strengths of the legal academy, this year is different. A contraction in applications and placement prospects and the critical assault...

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When Taxes Are Good for Us

(268) Comments | Posted April 15, 2011 | 4:39 PM

The government's near miss with a shutdown last week and the follow-up speech by President Obama are the latest episodes in our public conversation about the proper role of government and taxes. As currently framed, this conversation is badly, and improperly, skewed towards the negative. It has somehow become...

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Running Web-Based Businesses Entirely Through Internet Communication

(2) Comments | Posted July 12, 2010 | 5:12 PM

The Internet is creating a new class of web-based, geographically-dispersed entrepreneurs. Digital communication allows work, capital, and knowledge to come together in a virtual world that can let go of the old necessities of handshakes and paperwork. Until recently, however, the legal frameworks available for structuring these businesses haven't kept...

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